Ecclesiastical History VII-IX

Author: Sozomen

(NOTE: The electronic text obtained from The Electronic Bible Society was not completely corrected. EWTN has corrected all discovered errors. If you find errors or omissions in the text, please notify

Transliteration of Greek words: All phonetical except: w = omega; h serves three puposes: 1. = Eta; 2. = rough breathing, when appearing initially before a vowel; 3. = in the aspirated letters theta = th, phi = ph, chi = ch. Accents are given immediately after their corresponding vowels: acute = ' , grave = `, circumflex = ^. The character ' doubles as an apostrophe, when necessary.



[Translated by E. Walford; revised by Chester D. Hartranft, D.D., Professor of Historical Theology in the Hartford Theological Seminary.]



SUCH was the fate of Valens. The barbarians, (1) flushed with victory, overran Thrace, and advanced to the gates of Constantinople. In this emergency, a few of the confederate Saracens sent by Maria, together with many of the populace, were of great service. It is reported that Dominica, wife of Valens, furnished money out of the public treasury, and some of the people, after hastily arming themselves, attacked the barbarians, and drove them from the city.

Gratian, who at this period reigned conjointly with his brother over the whole Roman Empire, disapproved of the late persecution that had been carried on to check the diversity in religious creeds, and recalled all those who had been banished on account of their religion. He also enacted a law by which it was decreed that every individual should be freely permitted the exercise of his own religion, and should be allowed to hold assemblies, with the exception of the Manichaeans and the followers of Photinus and Eunomius. (2)


ON reflecting that, while it was indispensably requisite to check the incursions of the barbarians of the Ister in Illyria and Thrace, his presence was equally necessary in Gaul to repel the inroads of the Alemanni, Gratian associated Theodosius (3) with himself at Sirmich, in the government of the empire. Theodosius belonged to an illustrious family of the Pyrenees in Iberia, and had acquired so much renown in war, that before he was raised to the imperial power, he was universally considered capable of guiding the reins of the empire.

At this period all the churches of the East, with the exception of that of Jerusalem, were in the hands of the Arians. The Macedonians differed but little in opinion from those who maintained the doctrine of Nicaea, and held intercourse and communion with them in all the cities; and this had been more especially the case with the Macedonians of Constantinople, ever since their reconciliation with Liberius. But after the enactment of Gratian's law, some bishops of the Macedonian heresy took courage and repossessed the churches from which they had been ejected by Valens. They assembled together at Antioch in Caria, and protested that the Son is not to be declared "consubstantial" with the Father, but only like unto Him in substance. From that period, many of the Macedonians seceded from the others, and held separate churches; while others, condemning this opposition and contentiousness of those who had made these decisions, united themselves still more firmly with the followers of the Nicene doctrines.

Many of the bishops who had been banished by Valens, and who were recalled about this period in consequence of the law of Gratian, manifested no ambition to be restored to the highest offices of the Church; but they preferred the unity of the people, and therefore begged the Arian bishops to retain the posts they occupied, and not to rend by dissension the Church, which had been transmitted by God and the apostles as one, but which contentiousness and ambition for precedence had divided into many parts. Eulalius, bishop of Amasia in Pontus, was one of those who pursued this course of conduct. It is said that when he returned from exile, he found that his church was presided over by an Arian bishop, and that scarcely fifty inhabitants of the city had submitted to the control of this new bishop. Eulalius, desiring unity above all other considerations, offered to take part with the Arian bishop in the government of the church, and expressly agreed to allow him the precedence. But as the Arian would not comply with this proposition, it was not long before he found himself deserted by the few who had followed him, and who went over to the other party.


In consequence of this law, Meletius returned about this period to Antioch in Syria; and his presence gave rise to great contention among the people. (1) Paulinus, whom Valens, from veneration for his piety, had not ventured to banish, was still alive. The partisans of Meletius, therefore, proposed his association with Paulinus, who condemned the ordination of Meletius, because it had been conferred by Arian bishops; and yet the supporters of Meletius went forward by force into the work they had devised; for they were not few in number, and so placed Meletius on the episcopal throne in one of the suburban churches. The mutual animosity of the two parties increased, and sedition was expected, had not a remarkable plan for the restoration of concord prevailed. For it seemed best, to take oaths from those who were considered elegible, or who were expected to occupy the episcopal see of that place. Of these there were five besides Flavian. These promised that they would neither strive for, nor accept the episcopate should an ordination take place among them during the life of Paulinus and Meletius, and that in the event of the decease of either of these great men, the other alone should succeed to the bishopric. On their ratifying this promise with oaths, unanimity was restored among almost all the people; a few of the Luciferites still diverged because Meletius had been ordained by heretics. On the termination of this contest, Meletius proceeded to Constantinople, where many other bishops had assembled together to deliberate on the necessity of translating Gregory from the bishopric of Nazianzen to that of this city.


As Gaul was about this period infested by, the incursions of the Alemanni, (2) Gratian returned to his paternal dominions, which he had reserved for himself and his brother, when he bestowed the government of Illyria and of the Eastern provinces upon Theodosius. He effected his purpose with regard to the barbarians; and Theodosius was equally successful against the tribes from the banks of the Ister; he defeated them, compelled them to sue for peace, and, after accepting hostages from them, proceeded to Thessalonica. He fell ill while in this city, and after receiving instruction from Ascholius, the bishop, he was initiated, and was soon after restored to health. The parents of Theodosius were Christians, and were attached to the Nicene doctrines; he was pleased with Ascholius, who maintained the same doctrines, and was, in a word, endowed with every virtue of the priesthood. He also rejoiced at finding that the Arian heresy had not been participated in by Illyria. (3) He inquired concerning the religious sentiments which were prevalent in the other provinces, and ascertained that, as far as Macedonia, (4) all the churches were like minded, and all held that equal homage ought to be rendered to God the Word, and to the Holy Ghost, as to God the Father; but that towards the East, and particularly at Constantinople, the people were divided into many different heresies. Reflecting that it would be better to propound his own religious views to his subjects, so as not to appear to be using force by commanding the unwilling subject to worship contrary to his judgment, Theodosius enacted a law at Thessalonica, which he caused to be published at Constantinople, well knowing that the rescript would speedily become public to all the other cities, if issued from that city, which is as a citadel of the whole empire. He made known by this law his intention of leading all his subjects to the reception of that faith which Peter, the chief of the apostles, had, from the beginning, preached to the Romans, and which was professed by Damasus, bishop of Rome, and by Peter, bishop of Alexandria. He enacted (5) that the title of "Catholic Church" should be exclusively confined to those who rendered equal homage to the Three Persons of the Trinity, and that those individuals who entertained opposite opinions should be treated as heretics, regarded with contempt, and delivered over to punishment.


SOON after the enactment of this law, Theodosius went to Constantinople. (6) The Arians, under the guidance of Demophilus, still retained possession of the churches. Gregory of Nazianzen presided over those who maintain the "consubstantiality" of the Holy Trinity, and assembled them together in a little dwelling, which had been altered into the form of a house of prayer, by those who held the same opinions and had a like form of worship. It subsequently became one of the most conspicuous in the city, and is so now, not only for the beauty and number of its structures, but also for the advantages accruing to it from the visible manifestations of God. For the power of God was there manifested, and was helpful both in waking visions and in dreams, often for the relief of many diseases and for those afflicted by some sudden transmutation in their affairs. The power was accredited to Mary, the Mother of God, the holy virgin, for she does manifest herself in this way. The name of Anastasia was given to this church, because, as I believe, the Nicene doctrines which were fallen into disuse in Constantinople, and, so to speak, buried by reason of the power of the heterodox, arose from the dead and were again quickened through the discourses of Gregory; or, as I have heard, some affirm with assurance that one day, when the people were met together for worship in this edifice, a pregnant woman fell from the highest gallery, and was found dead on the spot; but that, at the prayer of the whole congregation, she was restored to life, and she and the infant were saved. On account of the occurrence of this divine marvel, the place, as some assert, obtained its name.

The emperor sent to command Demophilus to conform to the doctrines of Nicaea, and to lead the people to embrace the same sentiments or else to vacate the churches. Demophilus assembled the people, acquainted them with the imperial edict, and informed them that it was his intention to hold a church the next day without the walls of the city, in accordance, he said, with the Divine law, which commands us when we are persecuted in one city to "flee unto another.'' (1) From that day he always held church without the city with Lucius, who was formerly the bishop of the Arians at Alexandria; and who, after having been expelled, as above related, from that city, fled to Constantinople and fixed his residence there. When Demophilus and his followers had quitted the church, the emperor entered therein and engaged in prayer; and from that period those who maintained the consubstantiality of the Holy Trinity held possession of the houses of prayer. These events occurred in the fifth year of the consulate of Gratian, and in the first of that of Theodosius, and after the churches had been during forty years m the hands of the Arians.


THE Arians, who were still very strong in point of numbers, (2) and who, through the protection formerly granted by Constantius and Valens, were still convening without fear, and discoursing publicly concerning God and the Divine nature, now determined upon making an attempt to gain over the emperor to their party, through the intervention of individuals of their sect who held appointments at court; and they entertained hopes of succeeding in this project, as well as they had succeeded in the case of Constantius. These machinations excited great anxiety and fear among the members of the Catholic Church; but the chief cause of their apprehension was the reasoning power of Eunomius. It appears that, during the reign of Valens, Eunomius had some dispute with his own clergy at Cyzicus, and had in consequence seceded from the Arians, and retired to Bithynia, near Constantinople. Here multitudes resorted to him; some also gathered from different quarters, a few with the design of testing his principles, and others merely from the desire of listening to his discourses. His reputation reached the ears of the emperor, who would gladly have held a conference with him. But the Empress Flacilla (3) studiously prevented an interview from taking place between them; for she was the most faithful guard of the Nicene doctrines, and feared least Eunomius might, by his powers of disputation, induce a change in the sentiments of the emperor.

In the meantime, while these intrigues were being carried on by each party, it is said that the bishops then residing in Constantinople went to the emperor, to render him the customary salutations. An old priest from a city of little note, (4) and who was simple and unworldly, yet well instructed in Divine subjects, formed one of this party. The rest saluted the emperor with uncovered head and very reverently. The aged priest greeted him in the same form; but, instead of rendering equal honor to the prince, who was seated beside his father, the old priest approached him, patted him familiarly, and called him his dear child. The emperor was incensed and enraged at the indignity offered to his son, in that he had not been accorded like honor; and commanded that the old man should be thrust from his presence with violence. While being pushed away, hither and thither, however, the old priest turned around and exclaimed, "Reflect, O emperor, on the wrath of the Heavenly Father against those who do not honor His Son as Himself, and who have the audacity to assert that the Son is inferior to the Father." The emperor felt the force of this observation, recalled the priest, apologized to him for what had occurred, and confessed that he had spoken the truth. The emperor was henceforward less disposed to hold intercourse with heretics, and he prohibited contests and assemblies in the markets. He made it dangerous to hold discussions of this kind about the substance and nature of God, by enacting a law, and defining the punishments in this matter. (1)


THE emperor soon after convened a council of orthodox bishops, for the purpose of confirming the decrees of Nicaea, and of electing a bishop to the vacant see of Constantinople. (2) He likewise summoned the Macedonians to this assembly; for as their doctrines differed but little from those of the Catholic Church, he judged that it would be easy to effect a reunion with them. About a hundred and fifty bishops who maintained the consubstantiality of the Holy Trinity, were present at this council, as likewise thirty-six of the Macedonian bishops, chiefly from the cities of the Hellespont; of whom the principal were Eleusius, bishop of Cyzicus, and Marcian, bishop of Lampsacus. The other party was under the guidance of Timothy, who had succeeded his brother Peter in the see of Alexandria; of Meletius, bishop of Antioch, who had repaired to Constantinople a short time previously, on account of the election of Gregory, and of Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, who had at this period renounced the tenets of the Macedonians which he previously held. Ascholius, bishop of Thessalonica, Diodorus, bishop of Tarsus, and Acacius, bishop of Berea, were also present at the council. These latter unanimously maintained the decrees of Nicaea, and urged Eleusius and his partisans to conform to these sentiments, reminding them, at the same time, of the embassy they had formerly deputed to Liberius, and of the confession they conveyed to him through the medium of Eustathius, Silvanus, and Theophilus, as has been narrated. The Macedonians, however, declared openly that they would never admit the Son to be of the same substance as the Father, whatever confession they might formerly have made to Liberius, and immediately withdrew. They then wrote to those of their adherents in every city, exhorting them not to conform to the doctrines of Nicaea.

The bishops who remained at Constantinople now turned their attention to the election of a prelate to the see of that city. It is said that the emperor, from profound admiration of the sanctity and eloquence of Gregory, judged that he was worthy of this bishopric, and that, from reverence of his virtue, the greater number of the Synod was of the same opinion. Gregory at first consented to accept the presidency of the church of Constantinople; but afterwards, on ascertaining that some of the bishops, particularly those of Egpyt, objected to the election, he withdrew his consent. For my part, this wisest of men is worthy of admiration, not only for universal qualifications, but not the least for his conduct under the present circumstances. His eloquence did not inspire him with pride, nor did vainglory lead him to desire the control of a church, which he had received when it was no longer in danger. He surrendered his appointment to the bishops when it was required of him, and never complained of his many labors, or of the dangers he had incurred in the suppression of heresies. Had he retained possession of the bishopric of Constantinople, it would have been no detriment to the interests of any individual, as another bishop had been appointed in his stead at Nazianzen. But the council, in strict obedience to the laws of the fathers and ecclesiastical order, withdrew from him, with his own acquiescence, the deposit which had been confided to him, without making an exception in favor of so eminent a man. The emperor and the priests therefore proceeded to the election of another bishop, which they regarded as the most important affair then requiring attention; and the emperor was urgent that diligent investigations might be instituted, so that the most excellent and best individual might be intrusted with the high-priesthood of the great and royal city. The council, however, was divided in sentiment; for each of the members desired to see one of his own friends ordained over the church.


A CERTAIN man of Tarsus in Cilicia, of the illustrious order of senator, was at this period residing at Constantinople. (3) Being about to return to his own country, he called upon Diodorus, bishop of Tarsus, to inquire whether he had any letters to send by him. Diodorus was fully intent upon the ordination, which was the subject then engrossing universal attention of the men. He had no sooner seen Nectarius than he considered him worthy of the bishopric, and straightway determined this in his own mind as he reflected on the venerable age of the man, his form so befitting a priest, and the suavity of his manners. He conducted him, as if upon some other business, to the bishop of Antioch, and requested him to use his influence to procure this election. The bishop of Antioch derided this request, for the names of the most eminent men had already been proposed for consideration. He, however, called Nectarius to him, and desired him to remain for a short time with him. Some time after, the emperor commanded the priests to draw up a list of the names of those whom they thought worthy of the ordination, reserving to himself the right of choosing any one of those whose names were thus submitted to him. All the bishops complied with this mandate; and, among the others, the bishop of Antioch wrote down the names of those whom he proposed as candidates for the bishopric, and, at the end of his list, from consideration for Diodorus, he inserted the name of Nectarius. The emperor read the list of those inscribed and stopped at the name of Nectarius at the end of the document, on which he placed his finger, and seemed for some time lost in reflection; ran it up to the beginning, and again went through the whole, and chose Nectarius. This nomination excited great astonishment and all the people were anxious to ascertain who Nectarius was, his manner of life, and birthplace. When they heard that he had not been initiated their amazement was increased at the decision of the emperor. I believe that Diodorus himself was not aware that Nectarius had not been baptized; for, had he been acquainted with this fact, he would not have ventured to give his vote for the priesthood to one uninitiated. It appears reasonable to suppose, that on perceiving that Nectarius was of advanced age, he took it for granted that he had been initiated long previously. But these events did not take place without the interposition of God. For when the emperor was informed that Nectarius had not been initiated, he remained of the same opinion, although opposed by many priests. When at last, consent had been given to the imperial mandate, Nectarius was initiated, and while yet clad in his initiatory robes, was proclaimed bishop of Constantinople by the unanimous voice of the Synod. Many have conjectured that the emperor was led to make this election by a Divine revelation. I shall not decide whether this conjecture be true or false; but I feel convinced, when I reflect on the extraordinary circumstances attending this ordination, that the events were not brought about without the Divine strength; and that God led this mild and virtuous and excellent man into the priesthood. Such are the details which I have been able to ascertain concerning the ordination of Nectarius.


AFTER these transactions, Nectarius and the other priests assembled together, (1) and decreed that the faith established by the council of Nicaea should remain dominant, and that all heresies should be condemned; that the churches everywhere should be governed according to the ancient canons; that each bishop should remain in his own church, and not go elsewhere under any light pretext; or, without invitation, perform ordinations in which he had no right to interfere, as had frequently been the case in the Catholic Church during the times of persecution. They likewise decreed that the affairs of each church should be subjected to the investigation and control of a council of the province; and that the bishop of Constantinople should rank next in point of precedence to the bishop of Rome, as occupying the see of New Rome; for Constantinople was not only already favored with this appellation, but was also in the enjoyment of many privileges, -- such as a senate of its own, and the division of the citizens into ranks and orders; it was also governed by its own magistrates, and possessed contracts, laws, and immunities in equal degree with those of Rome in Italy.

The council also decreed that Maximus had not been nor was now a bishop; and that those individuals whom he had ordained were not of the clergy; and that all that had been done by him, or in his name, was null and void. Maximus was a native of Alexandria, and, by profession, a cynical philosopher. He was zealously attached to the Nicene doctrines, and had been secretly ordained bishop of Constantinople by bishops who had assembled in that city from Egypt.

Such were the decrees of the council. They were confirmed by the emperor, who enacted (2) that the faith established at Nicaea should be dominant, and that the churches everywhere should be placed in the hands of those who acknowledged one and the same Godhead in the hypostasis of three Persons of equal honor and of equal power; namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. To designate them still more precisely, the emperor declared that he referred to those who held communion with Nectarius, at Constantinople, and with Timothy, bishop of Alexandria, in Egypt; in the churches of the East with Diodorus, bishop of Tarsus, and in Syria with Pelagius, bishop of Laodicea and in Asia with Amphilochius, president of the churches in Iconium; to those in the cities by the Pontus, from Bithynia to Armenia, who held communion with Helladius, bishop of the church of Caesarea in Cappadocia; with Gregory, bishop of Nyssa; and with Otreinus, bishop of Melitine; and to the cities of Thrace and Scythia, who held communion with Terentius, bishop of Tomi, and with Martyrius, bishop of Marcianopolis. The emperor was personally acquainted with all these bishops, and had ascertained that they governed their respective churches wisely and piously. After these transactions, the council was dissolved, and each of the bishops returned homewards.


Nectarius made himself acquainted with the routine of sacerdotal ceremonies under the instruction of Cyriacus, (1) bishop of Adana, whom he had requested Diodorus, bishop of Tarsus, to leave with him for a short period. Nectarius also retained several other Cilicians with him, amongst whom was Martyrius, his physician, who had been a witness of the irregularities of his youth. Nectarius was desirous of ordaining him deacon; but Martyrius refused the honor under the plea of his own unworthiness of such a divine service, and called upon Nectarius himself to witness as to the course of his past life. To this Nectarius replied as follows: "Although I am now a priest, do you not know that my past career was a more guilty one than yours, inasmuch as you were but an instrument in my numerous profligacies?" "But you, O blessed one," replied Martyrius, "were cleansed by baptism, and were then accounted worthy of the priesthood. Both these ordinances are appointed by the Divine law for purification from sin, and it seems to me that you now differ in no respect from a new-born infant; but I long ago received holy baptism, and have since continued in the same abusive course." It was under this plea that he excused himself from receiving ordination; and I commend the man for his refusal, and therefore would give him a part in my history.

The Emperor Theodosius, on being informed of various events connected with Paul, (2) formerly bishop of Constantinople, caused his body to be removed to the church erected by Macedonius, his enemy, and buried there. This temple is a spacious and most distinguished edifice, and is still named after Paul. Hence many persons who are ignorant of the facts of the case, particularly women and the mass of the people, imagine that Paul, the apostle, is interred therein. The remains of Meletius were at the same time conveyed to Antioch, and deposited near the tomb of Babylas the martyr. It is said that through every public way, by the command of the emperor, the relics were received within the walls in every city, contrary to Roman custom, and were honored with singing of psalms antiphonally in such places, until they were transferred to Antioch.


AFTER the pompous interment of the remains of Meletius, Flavian was ordained in his stead, and that, too, in direct violation of the oath he had taken; (3) for Paulinus was still alive. This gave rise to fresh troubles in the church of Antioch. Many persons refused to maintain communion with Flavian, and held their church apart with Paulinus. Even the priests differed among themselves on this subject. The Egyptians, Arabians, and Cypriots were indignant at the injustice that had been manifested towards Paulinus. On the other hand, the Syrians, the Palestinians, the Phoenicians, and the greater part of Armenia, Cappadocia, Galatia, and Pontus, sided with Flavian. The bishop of Rome, and all the Western priests, regarded the conduct of Flavian with the utmost displeasure. They addressed the customary epistles, called synodical, to Paulinus as bishop of Antioch, and took no notice of Flavian. They also withdrew from communion with Diodorus, bishop of Tarsus, and Acacius, bishop of Berea, because they had ordained Flavian. (4) To take further cognizance of the affair, the Western bishops and the Emperor Gratian wrote to the bishops of the East, and summoned them to attend a council in the West.


ALTHOUGH all the houses of prayer were at this period in the possession of the Catholic Church, many troubles occurred in various parts of the empire, instigated by the Arians. (1) The Emperor Theodosius, therefore, soon after the council above mentioned, again summoned together the presidents of the sects which were flourishing, in order that they might either bring others to their own state of conviction on disputed topics, or be convinced themselves; for he imagined that all would be brought to oneness of opinion, if a free discussion were entered into, concerning ambiguous points of doctrine. The council, therefore, was convened. This occurred in the year of the second consulate of Merobaudes, and the first of Saturninus, and at the same period that Arcadius was associated with his father in the government of the empire. Theodosius sent for Nectarius, consulted with him concerning the coming Synod, and commanded him to introduce the discussion of all questions which had given rise to heresies, so that the church of the believers in Christ might be one, and might agree on the doctrine according to which piety ought to be observed. When Nectarius returned home, feeling anxious about the affair confided to him, he made known the mandate of the emperor to Agelius, the president of the church of the Novatians, who held the same religious sentiments as himself. Agelius proved the virtue of his life by works, but was unaccustomed to the finesse and deception of words; he therefore proposed as a substitute, one of his readers, by name Sisinius, who afterwards succeeded him as bishop, a man who could see what was practical, and could debate, if that were necessary. Sisinius possessed powers of intellect and of expression; he had an accurate knowledge of the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, and was well acquainted with profane and with ecclesiastical literature. He proposed that all disputation with the heterodox, as being a fruitful source of contention and war, should be avoided; but recommended that inquiries should rather be instituted, as to whether the heretics admitted the testimony of the expositors and teachers of the sacred words, who lived before the Church was rent in division. "If they reject the testimony of these great men," said he, "they will be condemned by their own followers; but if they admit their authority as being adequate to resolve ambiguous points of doctrine, we will produce their books." For Sisinius was well aware that, as the ancients recognized the Son to be eternal like the Father, they had never presumed to assert that He had had an origin from some beginning. This suggestion received the approbation of Nectarius, and afterwards of the emperor; and investigations were set on foot as to the opinions entertained by heretics concerning the ancient interpreters of Scripture. As it was found that the heretics professed to hold these early writers in great admiration, the emperor asked them openly whether they would defer to the authority of the aforesaid on controverted topics, and test their own doctrines by the sentiments propounded in those works. This proposition excited great contention among the leaders of the various heretical sects, for they did not all hold the same view about the books of the ancients; the emperor knew that they were convicted by the debates over their own words alone, and withdrew the proposition. He blamed them for their opinion, and commanded each party to draw up a written exposition of its own creed. On the day appointed for the presentation of these documents, Nectarius and Agelius appeared at the palace, as representatives of those who maintain the consubstantiality of the Holy Trinity; Demophilus, the Arian president, came forward as the deputy of the Arians; Eunomius represented the Eunomians; and Eleusius, bishop of Cyzicus, appeared for the sectarians denominated Macedonians. The emperor, after receiving their formularies, expressed himself in favor of that one alone in which consubstantiality of the Trinity was recognized, and destroyed the others. The interests of the Novatians were not affected by this transaction, for they held the same doctrines as the Catholic Church concerning the Divine nature. The members of the other sects were indignant with the priests for having entered into unwise disputations in the presence of the emperor. Many renounced their former opinions, and embraced the authorized form of religion. The emperor enacted a law, prohibiting heretics from holding churches, from giving public instructions in the faith, and from conferring ordination on bishops or others. (2) Some of the heterodox were expelled from the cities and villages, while others were disgraced and deprived of the privileges enjoyed by other subjects of the empire. Great as were the punishments adjudged by the laws against heretics, they were not always carried into execution, for the emperor had no desire to persecute his subjects; he only desired to enforce uniformity of view about God through the medium of intimidation. Those who voluntarily renounced heretical opinions received commendation from him.


AS the Emperor Gratian was at this period occupied with a war against the Alamanni, (1) Maximus quitted Britain, with the design of usurping the imperial power. Valentinian was then residing in Italy, but as he was a minor, the affairs of state were transacted by Probus, a praetorian prefect, who had formerly been consul.

Justina, the mother of the emperor, having espoused the Arian heresy, persecuted Ambrose, bishop of Milan, and disquieted the churches by her efforts to introduce alterations in the Nicene doctrines, and to obtain the predominance of the form of belief set forth at Ariminum. She was incensed against Ambrose because he strenuously opposed her attempts at innovation, and she represented to her son that he had insulted her. Valentinian believed this calumny, and, determined to avenge the supposed wrongs of his mother, he sent a party of soldiers against the church. On their reaching the temple, they forced their way into the interior, arrested Ambrose, and were about to lead him into exile at that very moment, when the people assembled in crowds at the church, and evinced a resolution to die rather than submit to the banishment of their priest. Justina was still further incensed at this occurrence; and with a view of enforcing her project by law, she sent for Menivolus, (2) one of the legal secretaries, and commanded him to draw up, as quickly as possible, an edict confirmatory of the decrees of Ariminum. Menivolus, being firmly attached to the Catholic Church, refused to write the document, and the empress tried to bribe him by promises of greater honors. He still, however, refused compliance, and, tearing off his belt, he threw it at the feet of Justina, and declared that he would neither retain his present office, nor accept of promotion, as the reward of impiety. As he remained firm in his refusal, others were intrusted with the compilation of the law. By this law, all who conformed to the doctrines set forth at Ariminum and ratified at Constantinople were exhorted to convene boldly; and it was enacted that death should be the punishment of those who should hinder or be running counter to this law of the emperor.

While the mother of the emperor was planning the means of carrying this cruel law into execution, intelligence was brought of the murder of Gratian, through the treachery of Andragathius, the general of Maximus. Andragathius obtained possession of the imperial chariot, and sent word to the emperor that his consort was traveling towards his camp. Gratian, who was but recently married and youthful, as well as passionately attached to his wife, hastened incautiously across the river, and in his anxiety to meet her fell without forethought into the hands of Andragathius; he was seized, and, in a little while, put to death. He was in the twenty-fourth year of his age, and had reigned fifteen years. This calamity quieted Justina's wrath against Ambrose.

Maximus, in the meantime, raised a large army of Britons, neighboring Gauls, Celts, and other nations, and marched into Italy. The pretext which he advanced for this measure was, that he desired to prevent the introduction of innovations in the ancient form of religion and of ecclesiastical order; but he was in reality actuated by the desire of dispelling any suspicion that might have been excited as to his aspirations after tyranny. He was watching and intriguing for the imperial rule in such a way that it might appear as if he had acquired the Roman government by law, and not by force. Valentinian was compelled by the exigencies of the times to recognize the symbols of his rule; but soon after, in fear of suffering, fled with his mother Justina, and Probus, the praetorian prefect in Italy, to Thessalonica.


WHILE Theodosius was making preparations for a war against Maximus, his son Honorius was born. (3) On the completion of these warlike preparations, he left his son Arcadius to govern at Constantinople, and proceeded to Thessalonica, where he received Valentinian. He refused either to dismiss openly, or to give audience to the embassy sent by Maximus, but continued his journey at the head of his troops towards Italy.

About this period, Agelius, bishop of the Novatians at Constantinople, feeling his end approaching, nominated Sisinius, one of the presbyters of his church, as his successor. The people, however, murmured that the preference had not rather been given to Marcian, who was noted on account of his piety, and Agelius therefore ordained him, and addressed the people who were assembled in the church in the following words: "After me you shall have Mar-clan for your bishop, and after him, Sisinius." Agelius died soon after he had uttered these words. He had governed his church forty years with the greatest approbation from his own heretical party; and some assert that during the times of Pagan persecution, he had openly confessed the name of Christ.

Not long after Timothy and Cyril died; Theophilus succeeded to the see of Alexandria, and John to that of Jerusalem. Demophilus, leader of the Arians at Constantinople, likewise died and was succeeded by Marinus of Thrace; but he was superseded by Dorotheus, who soon after arrived from Antioch in Syria, and who was considered by his sect to be better qualified for the office than Marinus.

Theodosius, having in the meantime entered Italy, various conflicting reports were spread as to the success of his arms. It was rumored among the Arians that the greater part of his army had been cut to pieces in battle, and that he himself had been captured by the tyrant; and assuming this report to be true, these sectarians became bold and ran to the house of Nectarius and set it on fire, from indignation at the power which the bishop had obtained over the churches. The emperor, however, carried out his purpose in the war, for the soldiers of Maximus, impelled by fear of the preparations against them, or treachery, seized and slew the tyrant. Andragathius, the murderer of Gratian, no sooner heard of the death of Maximus, than he leaped into the river with his armor, and perished. The war having been thus terminated, and the death of Gratian avenged, Theodosius, accompanied by Valentinian, celebrated a triumph in Rome, and restored order in the churches of Italy, for the Empress Justina was dead.


PAULINUS, (1) bishop of Antioch, died about this period, and those who had been convened into a church with him persisted in their aversion to Flavian, although his religious sentiments were precisely the same as their own, because he had violated the oath he had formerly made to Meletius. They, therefore, elected Evagrius as their bishop. Evagrius did not long survive this appointment, and although Flavian prevented the election of another bishop, those who had seceded from communion with him, still continued to hold their assemblies apart.

About this period, the bishop of Alexandria, to whom the temple of Dionysus had, at his own request, been granted by the emperor, converted the edifice into a church. The statues were removed, the adyta were exposed; and, in order to cast contumely on the pagan mysteries, he made a procession for the display of these objects; the phalli, and whatever other object had been concealed in the adyta which really was, or seemed to be, ridiculous, he made a public exhibition of. The pagans, amazed at so unexpected an exposure, could not suffer it in silence, but conspired together to attack the Christians. They killed many of the Christians, wounded others, and seized the Serapion, a temple which was conspicuous for beauty and vastness and which was seated on an eminence. This they converted into a temporary citadel; and hither they conveyed many of the Christians, put them to the torture, and compelled them to offer sacrifice. Those who refused compliance were crucified, had both legs broken, or were put to death in some cruel manner. When the sedition had prevailed for some time, the rulers came and urged the people to remember the laws, to lay down their arms, and to give up the Serapion. There came then Romanus, the general of the military legions in Egpyt; and Evagrius was the prefect of Alexandria. (2) As their efforts, however, to reduce the people to submission were utterly in vain, they made known what had transpired to the emperor. Those who had shut themselves up in the Serapion prepared a more spirited resistance, from fear of the punishment that they knew would await their audacious proceedings, and they were further instigated to revolt by the inflammatory discourses of a man named Olympius, attired in the garments of a philosopher, who told them that they ought to die rather than neglect the gods of their fathers. Perceiving that they were greatly dispirited by the destruction of the idolatrous statues, he assured them that such a circumstance did not warrant their renouncing their religion; for that the statues were composed of corruptible materials, and were mere pictures, and therefore would disappear; whereas, the powers which had dwelt within them, had flown to heaven. By such representations as these, he retained the multitude with him in the Serapion.

When the emperor was informed of these occurrences, he declared that the Christians who had been slain were blessed, inasmuch as they had been admitted to the honor of martyrdom, and had suffered in defense of the faith. He offered free pardon (3) to those who had slain them, hoping that by this act of clemency they would be the more readily induced to embrace Christianity; and he commanded the demolition of the temples in Alexandria which had been the cause of the popular sedition. It is said that, when this imperial edict was read in public, the Christians uttered loud shouts of joy, because the emperor laid the odium of what had occurred upon the pagans. The people who were guarding the Serapion were so terrified at hearing these shouts, that they took to flight, and the Christians immediately obtained possession of the spot, which they have retained ever since. I have been informed that, on the night preceding this occurrence, Olympius heard the voice of one singing hallelujah in the Serapion. The doors were shut and everything was still; and as he could see no one, but could only hear the voice of the singer, he at once understood what the sign signified; and unknown to any one he quitted the Serapion and embarked for Italy. It is said that when the temple was being demolished, some stones were found, on which were hieroglyphic characters in the form of a cross, which on being submitted to the inspection of the learned, were interpreted as signifying the life to come. (1) These characters led to the conversion of several of the pagans, as did likewise other inscriptions found in the same place, and which contained predictions of the destruction of the temple. It was thus that the Serapion was taken, and, a little while after, converted into a church; it received the name of the Emperor Arcadius.

There were still pagans in many cities, who contended zealously in behalf of their temples; as, for instance, the inhabitants of Petraea and of Areopolis, in Arabia; of Raphi and Gaza, in Palestine; of Heriopolis in Phoenicia; and of Apamea, on the river Axius, in Syria. I have been informed that the inhabitants of the last-named city often armed the men of Galilee and the peasants of Lebanon in defense of their temples; and that at last, they even carried their audacity to such a height, as to slay a bishop named Marcellus. This bishop had commanded the demolition of all the temples in the city and villages, under the supposition that it would not be easy otherwise for them to be converted from their former religion. Having heard that there was a very spacious temple at Aulon, a district of Apamea, he repaired thither with a body of soldiers and gladiators. He stationed himself at a distance from the scene of conflict, beyond the reach of the arrows; for he was afflicted with the gout, and was unable to fight, to pursue, or to flee. Whilst the soldiers and gladiators were engaged in the assault against the temple, some pagans, discovering that he was alone, hastened to the place where he was separated from the combat; they arose suddenly and seized him, and burnt him alive. The perpetrators of this deed were not then known, but, in course of time, they were detected, and the sons of Marcellus determined upon avenging his death. The council of the province, however, prohibited them from executing this design, and declared that it was not just that the relatives or friends of Marcellus should seek to avenge his death; when they should rather return thanks to God for having accounted him worthy to die in such a cause.


NECTARIUS, about this period, abolished the office of the presbyter whose duty it was to pre- side over the imposition of penance; and this is the first instance of the suppression of this office in the Church. (2) This example was followed by the bishops of every region. Various accounts have been given of the nature, the origin, and the cause of the abolition of this office. I shall state my own views on the subject. Impeccability is a Divine attribute, and belongs not to human nature; therefore God has decreed that pardon should be extended to the penitent, even after many transgressions. As in supplicating for pardon; it is requisite to confess the sin, it seems probable that the priests, from the beginning, considered it irksome to make this confession in public, before the whole assembly of the people. They therefore appointed a presbyter, of the utmost sanctity, and the most undoubted prudence, to act on these occasions; the penitents went to him, and confessed their transgressions; and it was his office to indicate the kind of penance adapted to each sin, and then when satisfaction had been made, to pronounce absolution. As the custom of doing penance never gained ground among the Novatians, regulations of this nature were of course unnecessary among them; but the custom prevailed among all other heretics, and prevails even to the present day. It is observed with great rigor by the Western churches, (3) particularly at Rome, where there is a place appropriated to the reception of penitents, in which spot they stand and mourn until the completion of the services, for it is not lawful for them to take part in the mysteries; then they cast themselves, with groans and lamentations, prostrate on the ground. The bishop conducts the ceremony, sheds tears, and prostrates himself in like manner; and all the people burst into tears, and groan aloud. Afterwards, the bishop rises first from the ground, and raises up the others; he offers up prayer on behalf of the penitents, and then dismisses them. Each of the penitents subjects himself in private to voluntary suffering, either by fastings, by abstaining from the bath or from divers kinds of meats, or by other prescribed means, until a certain period appointed by the bishop. When the time arrives, he is made free from the consequences of his sin, and assembles at the church with the people. The Roman priests have carefully observed this custom from the beginning to the present time. In the church at Constantinople, a presbyter was always appointed to preside over the penitents, until a lady of the nobility made a deposition to the effect, that when she resorted as a penitent to the presbyter, to fast and offer supplications to God, and tarried for that purpose, in the church a rape had been committed on her person by the deacon. Great displeasure was manifested by the people when this occurrence was made known to them, on account of the discredit that would result to the church; and the priests, in particular, were thereby greatly scandalized. Nectarius, after much hesitation as to what means ought to be adopted, deposed the deacon; and, at the advice of certain persons, who urged the necessity of leaving each individual to examine himself before participating in the sacred mysteries, he abolished the office of the presbyter presiding over penance. From that period, therefore, the performance of penance fell into disuse; and it seems to me, that extreme laxity of principle was thus substituted for the severity and rigor of antiquity. Under the ancient system, I think, offences were of rarer occurrence; for people were deterred from their commission, by the dread of confessing them, and of exposing them to the scrutiny of a severe judge. I believe it was from similar considerations, that the Emperor Theodosius, who was always zealous in promoting the glory of the Church, issued a law, (1) enacting that women should not be admitted into the ministry, unless they had had children, and were upwards of sixty years of age, according to the precept of the Apostle Paul. (2) By this law it was also decreed, that women who had shaved their heads should be ejected from the churches; and that the bishop by whom such women were admitted should be deposed from the bishopric.


Such subjects as the above, however, are best left to the decision of individual judgment.

The emperor, about this period, condemned Eunomius to banishment. (3) This heretic had fixed his residence in the suburbs of Constantinople, and held frequent churches in private houses, where he read his own writings. He induced many to embrace his sentiments, so that the sectarians, who were named after him, became very numerous. He died not long after his banishment, and was interred at Dacora, his birthplace, a village of Cappadocia, situated near Mount Argeus, in the territory of Caesarea. Theophronius, who was also a native of Cappadocia, and who had been his disciple, continued to promulgate his doctrines. Having gotten a smattering, through the writings of Aristotle, he composed an introduction to the study of the syllogisms in them, which he entitled "Exercises for the Mind." But he afterwards engaged, I have understood, in many unprofitable disputations, and soon ceased to confine himself to the doctrines of his master. But being eager for new things, he endeavored to prove, from the terms which are placed in the Sacred Scriptures, that though God foreknows that which is not, and knows that which is, and remembers what has happened, he does not always have that knowledge in the same manner with respect to the future and present, and changes his knowledge of the past. As this hypothesis appeared positively absurd to the Eunomians, they excommunicated him from their church; and he constituted himself the leader of a new sect, called, after his name, Theophronians. Not long after, Eutychus, one of the Eunomians, originated another sect in Constantinople, to which his own name was given. For the question had been proposed, as to whether the Son of God is or is not acquainted with the last hour; and for its solution, the words of the evangelist were quoted, in which it is stated that the day and hour are known only to the Father. (4) Eutychus, however, contended that this knowledge belongs also to the Son, inasmuch as He has received all things from the Father. The Eunomian presidents, having condemned this opinion, he seceded from communion with them, and went to join Eunomius in his place of banishment. A deacon, and some other individuals, who had been dispatched from Constantinople to accuse Eutychus, and, if necessary, to oppose him in argument, arrived first at the place of destination. When Eunomius was made acquainted with the object of their journey, he expressed himself in favor of the sentiments propounded by Eutychus; and, on his arrival, prayed with him, although it was not lawful to pray with any one who travels unprovided with letters written in sacred characters, attesting his being in communion. Eunomius died soon after this contention; and the Eunomian president, at Constantinople, refused to receive Eutychus into communion; for he antagonized him from jealousy because he was not even of clerical rank, and because he could not answer his arguments, and did not find it possible to solve his problems. Eutychus, therefore, separated those who had espoused his sentiments into a personal heresy. Many assert that he and Theophronius were the first who propounded the peculiar views entertained by the Eunomians concerning divine baptism. The above is a brief account of such details as I have been able to give in order to afford a succinct knowledge of the causes which led the Eunomians to be divided among themselves. I should be prolix were I to enter into further particulars; and, indeed, the subject would be by no means an easy one to me, since I have no such dialectic skill.

The following question was, in the meantime, agitated among the Arians of Constantinople: Prior to the existence of the Son (whom they regard as having proceeded out of nothing), is God to be termed the Father? Dorotheus, who had been summoned from Antioch to rule over them in the place of Marinus, was of opinion that God could not have been called the Father prior to the existence of the Son, because the name of Father has a necessary connection with that of Son. Marinus, on the other hand, maintained that the Father was the Father, even when the Son existed not; and he advanced this opinion either from conviction, or else from the desire of contention, and from jealousy at the preference that had been shown to Dorotheus in the Church. The Arians were thus divided into two parties; Dorotheus and his followers retained possession of the houses of prayer, while Marinus, and those who seceded with him, erected new edifices in which to hold their own churches. The name "Psathyrians" and "Goths" were given to the partisans of Marinus; Psathyrians, because Theoctistus, a certain cake-vender (psathuropw'lhs) was a zealous advocate of their opinions; and Goths, because their sentiments were approved by Selinus, bishop of that nation. Almost all these barbarians followed the instructions of Selinus, and they gathered in churches with the followers of Marinus. The Goths were drawn to Selinus particularly because he had formerly been the secretary of Ulphilas, and had succeeded him as bishop. He was capable of teaching in their churches, not only in the vernacular, but also in the Greek language.

Soon after a contest for precedency arose between Marinus and Agapius, whom Marinus himself had ordained bishop over the Arians at Ephesus; and in the quarrel which ensued, the Goths took the part of Agapius. It is said that many of the Arian clergy of that city were so much irritated through the ambition displayed by these two bishops, that they communed with the Catholic Church. Such was the origin of the division of the Arians into two factions, -- a division which still subsists; so that, in every city, they have separate churches. The Arians at Constantinople, however, after a separation of thirty-five years, were reconciled to each other by Plinthas, formerly a consul, (2) general of the cavalry and infantry, a man possessed of great influence at court. To prevent the revival of the former dissensions among them, the question which had been the cause of the division was forbidden to be mooted. And these occurrences took place later.


A DIVISION arose during the same reign among the Novatians (2) concerning the celebration of the festival of Easter, and from this dispute originated another, called the Sabbatian. Sabbatius, who, with Theoctistus and Macarius, had been ordained presbyter by Marcian, adopted the opinion of the co-presbyters, who had been convened at Pazoucoma (3) during the reign of Valens, and maintained that the feast of the Passover (Easter) ought to be celebrated by Christians as by Jews. He seceded from the Church at first for the purpose of exercising greater austerity, for he professed to adopt a very austere mode of life. He also declared that one motive of his secession was, that many persons who participated in the mysteries appeared to him to be unworthy of the honor. When, however, his design of introducing innovations was detected, Marcian expressed his regret at having ordained him, and, it is said, was often heard to exclaim that he would rather have laid his hands upon thorns than upon the head of Sabbatius. Perceiving that the people of his diocese were being rent into two factions, Marcian summoned all the bishops of his own persuasion to Sangarus, a town of Bithynia, near the seashore, not far from the city of Helenopolis. When they had assembled, they summoned Sabbatius, and asked him to state the cause of his grievance; and as he merely complained of the diversity prevailing in regard to the feast, they suspected that he made this a pretext to disguise his love of precedency, and made him declare upon oath that he would never accept the episcopal office. When he had taken the required oath, all were of the same opinion, and they voted to hold the church together, for the difference prevailing in the celebration of the Paschal feast ought by no means to be made an occasion for separation from communion and they decided that each individual should be at liberty to observe the feast according to his own judgment. They enacted a canon on the subject, which they styled the "Indifferent (hadia'phoros) Canon." Such were the transactions of the assembly at Sangarus. From that period Sabbatius adhered to the usage of the Jews; and unless all happened to observe the feast at the same time, he fasted, according to the custom, but in advance, and celebrated the Passover with the usual prescriptions by himself. He passed the Saturday, from the evening to the appointed time, in watching and in offering up the prescribed prayers; and on the following day he assembled with the multitude, and partook of the mysteries. This mode of observing the feast was at first unnoticed by the people but as, in process of time, it began to attract observation, and to become more generally known, he found a great many imitators, particularly in Phrygia and Galatia, to whom this celebration of the feast became a national custom. Eventually he openly seceded from communion, and became the bishop of those who had espoused his sentiments, as we shall have occasion to show in the proper place.

I am, for my own part, astonished that Sabbatius and his followers attempted to introduce this innovation. The ancient Hebrews, as is related by Eusebius, (1) on the testimony of Philo, Josephus, Aristobulus, and several others, offered the sacrifices after the vernal equinox, when the sun is in the first sign of the zodiac, called by the Greeks the Ram, and when the moon is in the opposite quarter of the heavens, and in the fourteenth day of her age. Even the Novatians themselves, who have studied the subject with some accuracy, declare that the founder of their heresy and his first disciples did not follow this custom, which was introduced for the first time by those who assembled at Pazoucoma; and that at old Rome the members of this sect still observe the same practice as the Romans, who have not deviated from their original usage in this particular, the custom having been handed down to them by the holy apostles Peter and Paul. Further, the Samaritans, who are scrupulous observers of the laws of Moses, never celebrate this festival till the first-fruits have reached maturity; they say it is, in the law, called the Feast of First-Fruits, and before these appear, it is not lawful to observe the feast; and, therefore, necessarily the vernal equinox must precede. Hence arises my astonishment that those who profess to adopt the Jewish custom in the celebration of this feast, do not conform to the ancient practice of the Jews. With the exception of the people above mentioned, and the Quartodecimani of Asia, all heresies, I believe, celebrate the Passover in the same manner as the Romans and the Egyptians. The Quartodecimani are so called because they observe this festival, like the Jews, on the fourteenth day of the moon, and hence their name. The Novatians observe the day of the resurrection. They follow the custom of the Jews and the Quartodecimani, except when the fourteenth day of the moon falls upon the first day of the week, in which case they celebrate the feast so many days after the Jews, as there are intervening days between the fourteenth day of the moon and the following Lord's day. The Montanists, who are called Pepuzites and Phrygians, celebrate the Passover according to a strange fashion which they introduced. They blame those who regulate the time of observing the feast according to the course of the moon, and affirm that it is right to attend exclusively to the cycles of the sun. They reckon each month to consist of thirty days, and account the day after the vernal equinox as the first day of the year, which, according to the Roman method of computation, would be called the ninth day before the calends of April. It was on this day, they say, that the two great luminaries appointed for the indication of times and of years were created. This they prove by the fact that every eight years the sun and the moon meet together in the same point of the heavens. The moon's cycle of eight years is accomplished in ninety-nine months, and in two thousand nine hundred and twenty-two days; and during that time there are eight revolutions made by the sun, each comprising three hundred and sixty-five days, and the fourth part of a day. For they compute the day of the creation of the sun, mentioned in Sacred Writ, to have been the fourteenth day of the moon, occurring after the ninth day before the calends of the month of April, and answering to the eighth day prior to ides of the same month. They always celebrate the Passover on this day, when it falls on the day of the resurrection; otherwise they celebrate it on the following Lord's day; for it is written according to their assertion that the feast may be held on any day between the fourteenth and twenty-first.


We have now described the various usages that prevailed in the celebration of the Passover. (1) It appears to me that Victor, bishop of Rome, and Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, came to a very wise decision on the controversy that had arisen between them. (2) For as the bishops of the West did not deem it necessary to dishonor the tradition handed down to them by Peter and by Paul, and as, on the other hand, the Asiatic bishops persisted in following the rules laid down by John the evangelist, they unanimously agreed to continue in the observance of the festival according to their respective customs, without separation from communion with each other. They faithfully and justly assumed, that those who accorded in the essentials of worship ought not to separate from one another on account of customs. For exactly similar traditions on every point are to be found in all the churches even though they hold the same opinions. There are, for instance, many cities in Scythia, and yet they all have but one bishop; whereas, in other nations a bishop serves as priest even over a village, as I have myself observed in Arabia, and in Cyprus, and among the Novatians and Montanists of Phrygia. Again, there are even now but seven deacons at Rome, answering precisely to the number ordained by the apostles, of whom Stephen was the first martyr; whereas, in other churches, the number of deacons is a matter of indifference. At Rome hallelujah is sung once annually, namely, on the first day of the festival of the Passover; so that it is a common thing among the Romans to swear by the fact of hearing or singing this hymn. In that city the people are not taught by the bishop, nor by any one in the Church. At Alexandria the bishop of the city alone teaches the people, and it is said that this custom has prevailed there ever since the days of Arius, who, though but a presbyter, broached a new doctrine. Another strange custom also prevails at Alexandria which I have never witnessed nor heard of elsewhere, and this is, that when the Gospel is read the bishop does not rise from his seat. The archdeacon alone reads the Gospel in this city, whereas in some places it is read by the deacons, and in many churches only by the priests; while on noted days it is read by the bishops, as, for instance, at Constantinople, on the first day of the festival of the resurrection. (3) In some churches the interval called Quadragesima, which occurs before this festival, and is devoted by the people to fasting, is made to consist of six weeks; and this is the case in Illyria and the Western regions, in Libya, throughout Egypt, and in Palestine; whereas it is made to comprise seven weeks at Constantinople, and in the neighboring provinces as far as Phoenicia. In some churches the people fast three alternate weeks, during the space of six or seven weeks, whereas in others they fast continuously during the three weeks immediately preceding the festival. Some people, as the Montanists, only fast two weeks. Assemblies are not held in all churches on the same time or manner. The people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week, which custom is never observed at Rome or at Alexandria. There are several cities and villages in Egypt where, contrary to the usage established elsewhere, the people meet together on Sabbath evenings, and, although they have dined previously, partake of the mysteries. The same prayers and psalms are not recited nor the same lections read on the same occasions in all churches. Thus the book entitled "The Apocalypse of Peter," which was considered altogether spurious by the ancients, is still read m some of the churches of Palestine, on the day of preparation, when the people observe a fast m memory of the passion of the Saviour. So the work entitled "The Apocalypse of the Apostle Paul," though unrecognized by the ancients, is still esteemed by most of the monks. Some persons affirm that the book was found during this reign, by Divine revelation, in a marble box, buried beneath the soil in the house of Paul at Tarsus in Cilicia. I have been informed that this report is false by Cilix, a presbyter of the church in Tarsus, a man of very advanced age, as is indicated by his gray hairs, who says that no such occurrence is known among them, and wonders if the heretics did not invent the story. What I have said upon this subject must now suffice. Many other customs are still to be observed in cities and villages; and those who have been brought up in their observance would, from respect to the great men who instituted and perpetuated these customs, consider it wrong to abolish them. Similar motives must be attributed to those who observe different practices in the celebration of the feast which has led us into this long digression.


WHILE the heretics were disrupted among themselves, the Catholic Church increased more and more by many accessions from the heterodox, on account of the dissensions among them and especially from multitudes of pagans. (1) The emperor having observed that the practice of idolatry had been greatly promoted by the facility of constant ingress and egress to and from the temple, directed the entrances of all temples to be closed; and eventually he commanded the demolition of many of these edifices. (2) When the pagans found themselves deprived of their own houses of prayer, they began to frequent our churches; for they did not dare to offer sacrifices after the pagan form in secret, for it was dangerous, since the sacrifice was under the penalty of death and of confiscation of property.

It is said that the river of Egypt did not overflow its banks this year at the proper season; and that the Egyptians angrily ascribed this circumstance to the prohibition of sacrifices to it, according to the ancestral law. The governor of the province, apprehensive test the general discontent should terminate in sedition, sent a message to the emperor on the subject. But the emperor, far from attaching more importance to the temporary fertility produced by the Nile, than to the fidelity he owed to God and the interests of religion, replied as follows: "Let that river cease to flow, if enchantments are requisite to insure the regularity of its course; or if it delights in sacrifices, or if blood must be mingled with the waters that derive their source from the paradise of God." Soon afterwards, the Nile overflowed its banks with such violence, that the highest eminences were submerged. When it reached the farthest limit and almost had attained the fullest measure, the water did not the less press upward, so that the Egyptians were thrown into the contrary fear. The dread was lest the city of Alexandria and part of Libya should be submerged. The pagans of Alexandria, irritated at this unexpected occurrence, exclaimed in derision at the public theatres, that the river, like an old man or fool, could not moderate its proceedings. Many of the Egpytians were hence induced to abandon the superstitions of their forefathers, and embrace Christianity. These incidents are given as I have learned them.


ABOUT this time the head of John the Baptist, which Herodias had asked of Herod the tetrarch, was removed to Constantinople. (3) It is said that it was discovered by some monks of the Macedonian heresy, who originally dwelt at Constantinople, and afterwards fixed their abode in Cilicia. Mardonius, the first eunuch of the palace, made known this discovery at court, during the preceding reign; and Valens commanded that the relic should be removed to Constantinople. The officers appointed to carry it thither, placed it in a public chariot, and proceeded with it as far as Pantichium, a district in the territory of Chalcedon. Here the mules of the chariot suddenly stopped; and neither the application of the lash, nor the threats of the hostlers, could induce them to advance further. So extraordinary an event was considered by all, and even by the emperor himself, to be of God; and the holy head was therefore deposited at Cosilaos, a village in the neighborhood, which belonged to Mardonius. Soon after, the Emperor Theodosius, impelled by an impulse from God, or from the prophet, repaired to the village. He determined upon removing the remains of the Baptist, and it is said met with no opposition, except from a holy virgin, Matrona, who had been the servant and guardian of the relic. He laid aside all authority and force, and after many entreaties, extorted a reluctant consent from her to remove the head; for she bore in mind what had occurred at the period when Valens commanded its removal. The emperor placed it, with the box in which it was encased, in his purple robe, and conveyed it to a place called Hebdomos, in the suburbs of Constantinople, where he erected a spacious and magnificent temple. The woman who had been appointed to the charge of the relic could not be persuaded by the emperor to renounce her religious sentiments, although he had recourse to entreaty and promises; for she was, it appears, of the Macedonian heresy. A presbyter of the same tendency, named Vincent, who also took charge of the coffin of the prophet, and performed the sacerdotal functions over it, followed the religious opinions of the emperor, and entered into communion with the Catholic Church. He had taken an oath, as the Macedonians affirm, never to swerve from their doctrines; but he afterwards openly declared that, if the Baptist would follow the emperor, he also would enter into communion with him and be separated. He was a Persian, and had left his country in company with a relative named Addas, during the reign of Constantius, in order to avoid the persecution which the Christians were then suffering in Persia. On his arrival in the Roman territories, he was placed in the ranks of the clergy, and advanced to the office of presbyter. Addas married and rendered great service to the Church. He left a son named Auxentius, who was noted for his very faithful piety, his zeal for his friends, the moderation of his life, his love of letters, and the greatness of his attainments in pagan and ecclesiastical literature. He was modest and retiring in deportment, although admitted to familiarity with the emperor and the courtiers, and possessed of a very illustrious appointment. His memory is still revered by the monks and zealous men, who were all acquainted with him. The woman who had been entrusted with the relic remained during the rest of her life at Cosilaos. She was greatly distinguished by her piety and wisdom, and instructed many holy virgins; and I have been assured that many still survive who reflect the honorable character which was the result of training under Matrona.


WHILE Theodosius was thus occupied in the wise and peaceful government of his subjects in the East, and in the service of God, intelligence was brought that Valentinian had been strangled. (1) Some say that he was put to death by the eunuchs of the bedchamber, at the solicitation of Arbogastes, a military chief, and of certain courtiers, who were displeased because the young prince had begun to walk in the footsteps of his father, concerning the government, and contrary to the opinions approved by them. Others assert, however, that Valentinian committed the fatal deed with his own hands, because he found himself impeded in attempting deeds which are not lawful in one of his years; and on this account he did not deem it worth while to live; for although an emperor, he was not allowed to do what he wished. It is said that the boy was noble in person, and excellent in royal manners; and that, had he lived to the age of manhood, he would have shown himself worthy of holding the reins of empire, and would have surpassed his father in magnanimity and justice. But though endowed with these promising qualities, he died in the manner above related.

A certain man named Eugenius, who was by no means sincere in his professions of Christianity, aspired to sovereignty, and assumed the symbols of imperial power. He was hoping to succeed in the attempt safely; for he was led by the predictions of individuals who professed to foresee the future, by the examination of the entrails and livers of animals and the course of the stars. Men of the highest rank among the Romans were addicted to these superstitions. Flavian, then a praetorian prefect, a learned man, and one who appeared to have an aptitude for politics, was noted for being conversant with, every means of foretelling the future. He persuaded Eugenius to take up arms by assuring him that he was destined for the throne, that his warlike undertakings would be crowned with victory, and that the Christian religion would be abolished. Deceived by these flattering representations, Eugenius raised an army and took possession of the gates into Italy, as the Romans call the Julian Alps, an elevated and precipitous range of mountains; these he seized beforehand and fortified, for they had but one path in the narrows, and were shut in on each side by precipices and the loftiest mountains. Theodosius was perplexed as to whether he ought to await the issue of the war, or whether it would be better in the first place to attack Eugenius; and in this dilemma, he determined to consult John, a monk of Thebais, who, as I have before stated, was celebrated for his knowledge of the future. He therefore sent Eutropius, a eunuch of the palace, and of tried fidelity, to Egypt, with orders to bring John, if possible, to court; but, in case of his refusal, to learn what ought to be done. When he came to John, the monk could not be persuaded to go to the emperor, but he sent word by Eutropius that the war would terminate in favor of Theodosius, and that the tyrant would be slain; but that, after the victory, Theodosius himself would die in Italy. The truth of both of these predictions was confirmed by events.


IN this time, on account of the necessities of war, it seemed best to the officials whose concern it was, to impose more than the customary taxes; for this reason the populace of Antioch in Syria revolted; (2) the statues of the emperor and empress were thrown down and dragged by ropes through the city, and, as is usual on such occasions, the enraged multitude uttered every insulting epithet that passion could suggest. The emperor determined to avenge this insult by the death of many of the citizens of Antioch; the people were struck dumb at the mere announcement; the rage of the citizens had subsided, and had given place to repentance; and, as if already subjected to the threatened punishment, they abandoned themselves to groans and tears, and supplicated God to turn away the anger of the emperor, and made use of some threnodic hymns for their litanies. They deputed Flavian, their bishop, to go on an embassy to Theodosius; but on his arrival, finding that the resentment of the emperor at what had occurred was unabated, he had recourse to the following artifice. He caused some young men accustomed to sing at the table of the emperor to utter these hymns with the litanies of the Antiochans. It is said that the humanity of the emperor was excited; he was overcome by pity at once; his wrath was subdued, and as his heart yearned over the city, he shed tears on the cup which he held in his hand. It is reported that, on the night before the sedition occurred, a spectre was seen in the form of a woman of prodigious height and terrible aspect, pacing through the streets of the city, lashing the air with an ill-sounding whip, similar to that which is used in goading on the beasts brought forward at the public theatres. It might have been inferred that the sedition was excited by the agency of some evil and malicious demon. There is no doubt but that much bloodshed would have ensued, had not the wrath of the emperor been stayed by his respect for this sacerdotal entreaty.


WHEN he had completed his preparations for war, (1) Theodosius declared his younger son Honorius emperor, and leaving him to reign at Constantinople conjointly with Arcadius, who had previously been appointed emperor, he departed from the East to the West at the head of his troops. His army consisted not only of Roman soldiers, but of bands of barbarians from the banks of the Ister. It is said that when he left Constantinople, he came to the seventh milestone, and went to pray to God in the church which he had erected in honor of John the Baptist; and in his name prayed that success might attend the Roman arms, and besought the Baptist himself to aid him. After offering up these prayers he proceeded towards Italy, crossed the Alps, and took the first guard-posts. On descending from the heights of these mountains, he perceived a plain before him covered with infantry and cavalry, and became at the same time aware that some of the enemy's troops were lying in ambush behind him, among the recesses of the mountains. The advance guard of his army attacked the infantry stationed in the plain, and a desperate and very doubtful conflict ensued. Further, when the army surrounded him, he considered that he had come into the power of men, and could not be saved even by those who would desire to do so, since those who had been posted in his rear were seizing the heights; he fell prone upon the earth, and prayed with tears, and God instantly answered him; for the officers of the troops stationed in ambush on the height sent to offer him their services as his allies, provided that he would assign them honorable posts in his army. As he had neither paper nor ink within reach, he took up some tablets, and wrote on them the high and befitting appointments he would confer upon them, provided that they would fulfill their promise to him. Under these conditions they advanced to the emperor. The issue did not yet incline to either side, but the battle was still evenly balanced in the plain, when a tremendous wind descended into the face of the enemy. It was such an one as we have never before re corded, and broke up the ranks of the enemies. The arrows and darts which were sent against the Romans, as if projected by the opposing ranks, were turned upon the bodies of those who had cast them; and their shields were wrenched from their hands, and whirled against them with filth and dust. Standing thus exposed, in a defenseless condition, to the weapons of the Romans, many of them perished, while the few who attempted to effect an escape were soon captured. Eugenius threw himself at the feet of the emperor, and implored him to spare his life; but while in the act of offering up these entreaties, a soldier struck off his head. Arbogastes fled after the battle, and fell by his own hands. It is said that while the battle was being fought, a demoniac presented himself in the temple of God which is in the Hebdomos, where the emperor had engaged in prayer on starting out, and insulted John the Baptist, taunting him with having his head cut off, and shouted the following words: "You conquer me, and lay snares for my army." The persons who happened to be on the spot, and who were waiting impatiently to learn some news of the war, were amazed, and wrote an account of it on the day that it occurred, and afterwards ascertained that it was the same day as that on which the battle had been fought. Such is the history of these transactions.


AFTER the death of Eugenius, the emperor went to Milan, and repaired towards the church to pray within its walls. (2) When he drew near the gates of the edifice, he was met by Ambrose, the bishop of the city, who took hold of him by his purple robe, and said to him, in the presence of the multitude, "Stand back! a man defiled by sin, and with hands imbrued in blood unjustly shed, is not worthy, without repentance, to enter within these sacred precincts, or partake of the holy mysteries." The emperor, struck with admiration at the boldness of the bishop, began to reflect on his own conduct, and, with much contrition, retraced his steps. The occasion of the sin was as follows. When Buthericus was general of the troops in Illyria, a charioteer saw him shamefully exposed at a tavern, and attempted an outrage; he was apprehended and put in custody. Some time after, some magnificent races were to be held at the hippodrome, and the populace of Thessalonica demanded the release of the prisoner, considering him necessary to the celebration of the contest. As their request was not attended to, they rose up in sedition and finally slew Buthericus. On hearing of this deed, the wrath of the emperor was excited immediately, and he commanded that a certain number of the citizens should be put to death. The city was filled with the blood of many unjustly shed; for strangers, who had but just arrived there on their journey to other lands, were sacrificed with the others. There were many cases of suffering well worthy of commiseration, of which the following is an instance. A merchant offered himself to be slain as a substitute for his two sons who had both been selected as victims, and promised the soldiers to give them all the gold he possessed, on condition of their effecting the exchange. They could not but compassionate his misfortune, and consented to take him as a substitute for one of his sons, but declared that they did not dare to let off both the young men, as that would render the appointed number of the slain incomplete. The father gazed on his sons, groaning and weeping; he could not save either from death, but he continued hesitating until they had been put to death, being overcome by an equal love for each. I have also been informed, that a faithful slave voluntarily offered to die instead of his master, who was being led to the place of execution. It appears that it was for these and other acts of cruelty that Ambrose rebuked the emperor, forbade him to enter the church, and excommunicated him. Theodosius publicly confessed his sin in the church, and during the time set apart for penance, refrained from wearing his imperial ornaments, according to the usage of mourners. He also enacted a law (1) prohibiting the officers entrusted with the execution of the imperial mandates, from inflicting the punishment of death till thirty days after the mandate had been issued, in order that the wrath of the emperor might have time to be appeased, and that room might be made for the exercise of mercy and repentance.

Ambrose, no doubt, performed many other actions worthy of his priestly office, which are known, as is likely, only to the inhabitants of the country. Among the illustrious deeds that are attributed to him, I have been made acquainted with the following. It was the custom of the emperor to take a seat in assemblies of the church within the palisades of the altar, so that he sat apart from the rest of the people. Ambrose, considering that this custom had originated either from subserviency or from want of discipline, caused the emperor to be seated without the trellis work of the altar, so that he sat in front of the people, and behind the priests. The emperor Theodosius approved of this best tradition, as did likewise his successors; and we are told that it has been ever since scrupulously observed.

I think it necessary to make a record of another action worthy of mention performed by this bishop. A pagan of distinction insulted Gratian, affirming that he was unworthy of his father; and he was in consequence condemned to death. As he was being led out to execution, Ambrose went to the palace to implore a pardon. Gratian was then engaged in witnessing a private exhibition of the hunt, such as the emperors were wont to celebrate for their private pleasure, and not for the public pastime. On finding this to be the case, the bishop went to the gate where they led in the beasts; he hid himself, and entered with the hunters who took charge of the animals, and did not intermit, although Gratian and his attendants resisted, till he had obtained an immediate and saving consent of the emperor, which released the man who was to be led out to death. Ambrose was very diligent in the observance of the laws of the Church, and in maintaining discipline among his clergy. I have selected the above two incidents from among the records of his numerous magnanimous deeds, in order to show with what intrepidity he addressed those in power when the service of God was in question.


THERE were at this period many other bishops (2) in various parts of the empire highly celebrated for their sanctity and high qualifications, of whom Donatus, bishop of Euroea (3) in Epirus, deserves to be particularly instanced. The inhabitants of the country relate many extraordinary miracles which he performed, of which the most celebrated seems to have been the destruction of a dragon of enormous size. It had stationed itself on the high road, at a place called Chamaegephyrae and devoured sheep, goats, oxen, horses, and men. Donatus came upon this beast, attacked it unarmed, without sword, lance, or javelin; it raised its head, and was about to dash upon him, when Donatus made the sign of the cross with his finger in the air, and spat upon the dragon. The saliva entered its mouth, and it immediately expired. As it lay extended on the earth it did not appear inferior in size to the noted serpents of India. I have been informed that the people of the country yoked eight pair of oxen to transport the body to a neighboring field, where they burnt it, that it might not during the process of decomposition corrupt the air and generate disease. The tomb of this bishop is deposited in a magnificent house of prayer which bears his name. It is situated near a fountain of many waters, which God caused to rise from the ground in answer to his prayer, in an arid spot where no water had previously existed. For it is said that one day, when on a journey, he had to pass through this locality; and, perceiving that his companions were suffering from thirst, he moved the soil with his hands and engaged in prayer; before his prayer was concluded, a spring of water arose from the ground, which has never since been dried up. The inhabitants of Isoria, a village in the territory of Euroea, bear testimony to the truth of this narration.

The church of Tomi, and indeed all the churches of Scythia, were at this period under the government of Theotimus, a Scythian. He had been brought up in the practice of philosophy; and his virtues had so won the admiration of the barbarian Huns, who dwelt on the banks of the Ister, that they called him the god of the Romans, for they had experience of divine deeds wrought by him. It is said that one day, when traveling toward the country of the barbarians, he perceived some of them advancing towards Total. His attendants burst forth into lamentations, and gave themselves up at once for lost; but he merely descended from horseback, and prayed. The consequence was, that the barbarians passed by without seeing him, his attendants, or the horses from which they had dismounted. As these tribes frequently devastated Scythia by their predatory incursions, he tried to subdue the ferocity of their disposition by presenting them with food and gifts. One of the barbarians hence concluded that he was a man of wealth, and, determining to take him prisoner, leaned upon his shield, as was his custom when parleying with his enemies; the man raised up his right hand in order to throw a rope, which he firmly grasped, over the bishop, for he intended to drag him away to his own country; but in the attempt, his hand remained extended in the air, and the barbarian was not released from his terrible bonds until his companions had implored Theotimus to intercede with God in his behalf.

It is said that Theotimus always retained the long hair which he wore when he first devoted himself to the practice of philosophy. He was very temperate, had no stated hours for his repasts, but ate and drank when compelled to do so by the calls of hunger and of thirst. I consider it to be the part of a philosopher to yield to the demands of these appetites from necessity, and not from the love of sensual gratification.


EPIPHANIUS was at this period at the head of the metropolitan church of Cyprus. (1) He was celebrated, not only for the virtues he manifested and miraculous deeds during his life, but also for the honor that was rendered to him by God after his death; for it was said that demons were expelled, and diseases healed at his tomb. Many wonderful actions wrought while he lived are attributed to him, of which the following is one of the most remarkable that has come to our knowledge. He was extremely liberal towards the needy, either to those who had suffered from shipwreck or any other calamity; and after expending the whole of his own patrimony in the relief of such cases, he applied the treasures of the church to the same purpose. These treasures had been greatly increased by the donations of pious men of various provinces, who had been induced by their admiration of Epiphanius to entrust him with the distribution of their alms during their lives, or to bequeath their property to him for this purpose at their death. It is said that on one occasion the treasurer, who was a godly man, discovered that the revenues of the church had been nearly drained, and so little remained in the treasury that he considered it his duty to rebuke the bishop as a spendthrift. Epiphanius, however, having, notwithstanding these remonstrances, given away the small sum that had remained, a stranger went to the little house where the treasurer lived, and placed in his hands a bag containing many gold coins. Since neither the giver nor the sender was visible, it seemed very naturally miraculous, that in a gift of so much money a man should keep himself unknown; thus everybody thought it to be a Divine work.

I desire also to relate another miracle that is attributed to Epiphanius. I have heard that a similar action has been related of Gregory, who formerly governed Neocaesarea; and I see no reason to doubt the veracity of the account; but it does not disprove the authenticity of the miracle attributed to Epiphanius. Peter, the apostle, was not the only man who raised another from the dead; John, the evangelist, wrought a similar miracle at Ephesus; as did likewise the daughters of Philip at Hierapolis. Similar actions have been performed in different ages by the men of God. The miracle which I wish to instance is the following. Two beggars having ascertained when Epiphanius would pass that way, agreed to extract a larger donation than usual from him by having recourse to stratagem. As soon as the bishop was seen approaching, one of the beggars flung himself on the ground and simulated death; the other stood by and uttered loud lamentations, deploring the loss of his companion, and his own poverty, which made him unable to procure sepulture for him. Epiphanius prayed to God that the deceased might rise in peace; he gave the survivor sufficient money for the interment, and said to the weeper, "Take measures, my son, for the burial of your companion, and weep no more; he cannot now arise from the dead; the calamity was inevitable, therefore you ought to bear it with resignation." Saying these words, the bishop departed from the spot. As soon as there was no one in sight, the beggar who had addressed Epiphanius touched the other with his foot, as he lay extended on the ground, and said to him, "You have well performed your part; arise now, for through your labor, we have a good provision for to-day." He, however, lay in the same way, neither heard any cry, nor perceived him who moved him with all his strength; the other beggar ran after the priest and confessed their artifice, and, with lamentations and tearing of his hair, he besought Epiphanius to restore his companion. Epiphanius merely exhorted him to submit with patience to the catastrophe, and sent him away. God did not undo what had happened, because, I feel persuaded, it was his design to show that those who practice deception on his servants are accounted as guilty of the fraud as if it had been perpetrated against Him who sees all, and who hears all.


THE following details are also the results of inquiry. (1) Acacius (2) was conspicuous among the bishops; he had already previously administered the episcopate of Beroea in Syria. There are of course many actions of his, which are worthy of record. He was from his youth brought up to the profession of ascetic monasticism, and was rigid in observing all the regulations of this mode of life. When he was raised to the bishopric, he gave this evidence of greatest virtue, in that he kept the episcopal residence open at all hours of the day, so that the citizens and strangers were always free to visit him, even when he was at meals or at repose. This course of conduct is, l in my opinion, very admirable; for either he was living in such a way as to be always sure of himself, or he devised this as a means of preparation against the evil in one's nature, so that in expecting to be caught by the sudden entrance of persons, it would be necessary for him to be on continuous guard, not to err in his duties, but rather to be engaged in covenanted acts.

Zeno and Ajax, (3) two celebrated brothers, flourished about the same period. They devoted themselves to a life of philosophy, but did not fix their abode as hermits in the desert, but at Gaza, a maritime city, which was also called Majuma. They both defended the truth of their religion with greatest fidelity, and confessed God with courage, so that they were frequently subjected to very cruel and harsh treatment by the pagans. It is said that Ajax married a very lovely woman, and after he had known her thrice in all that time, had three sons; and that subsequently he held no further intercourse with her, but persevered in the exercises of monasticism. He brought up two of his sons to the divine life and celibacy, and the third he permitted to marry. He governed the church of Botolium with propriety and distinction.

Zeno, who had from his youth renounced the world and marriage, persevered in steadfast adherence to the service of God. It is said, and I myself am witness of the truth of the assertion, that when he was bishop of the church in Majuma, he was never absent at morning or evening hymns, or any other worship of God, unless attacked by some malady; and yet he was at this period an old man, being nearly a hundred years of age. He continued his course of life in the monastic philosophy, but, by pursuing his trade of weaving linen, continued to earn the means of supplying his own wants and of providing for others. He never deviated from this course of conduct till the close of his life, although he exceeded all the other priests of that province in age; and although he presided over the people and property of the largest church.

I have mentioned these as examples of those who served as priests at this period. It would be a task to enumerate all where the main part of them were good, and God bore testimony to their lives by readily hearing their prayers and by working many miracles.


WHILE the Church everywhere was under the sway of these eminent men, the clergy and people were excited to the imitation of their virtue and zeal. Nor was the Church of this era distinguished only by these illustrious examples of piety; for the relics of the proto-prophets, (1) Habakkuk, and a little while after, Micah, were brought to light about this time. As I understand, God made known the place where both these bodies were deposited by a divine vision in a dream to Zebennus, who was then acting as bishop of the church of Eleutheropolis. The relics of Habakkuk were found at Cela, a city formerly called Ceila. The tomb of Micah was discovered at a distance of ten stadia from Cela, at a place called Berathsatia. (2) This tomb was ignorantly styled by the people of the country, "the tomb of the faithful"; or, in their native language, Nephsameemana. These events, which occurred during the reign of Theodosius, were sufficient for the good repute of the Christian religion.

After conquering Eugenius, (3) Theodosius the emperor remained for some time at Milan, and here he was attacked with a serious malady. He recalled to mind the prediction of the monk, John, and conjectured that his sickness was unto death. He sent in haste for his son Honorius from Constantinople; and on seeing him by, he seemed to be easier, so that he was able to be present at the sports of the Hippodrome. After dinner, however, he suddenly grew worse, and sent to desire his son to preside at the spectacle. He died on the following night. This event happened during the consulate of the brothers Olybrius and Probianus. (4)



Such was the death of Theodosius, who had contributed so efficiently to the aggrandizement of the Church. (1) He expired in the sixtieth year of his age, and the sixteenth of his reign. He left his two sons as his successors. Arcadius, the elder, reigned in the East, and Honorius in the West. They both held the same religious sentiments as their father.

Damasus was dead; and at this period Siricius was the leader of the church of Rome; Nectarius, of the church in Constantinople; Theophilus, over the church of Alexandria; Flavian, over the church of Antioch; and John, over that of Jerusalem. Armenia and the Eastern provinces were at this time overrun by the barbarian Huns. (2) Rufinus, prefect of the East, was suspected of having clandestinely invited them to devastate the Roman territories, in furtherance of his own ambitious designs; for he was said to aspire to tyranny. For this reason, he was soon after slain; for, on the return of the troops from the conquest of Eugenius, the Emperor Arcadius, according to custom, went forth from Constantinople to meet them; and the soldiers took this opportunity to massacre Rufinus. These circumstances tended greatly to the extension of religion. The emperors attributed to the piety of their father, the ease with which the tyrant had been vanquished, and the plot of Rufinus to gain their government arrested; and they readily confirmed all the laws which had been enacted by their predecessors in favor of the churches, and bestowed their own gifts in addition. Their subjects profited by their example, so that even the pagans were converted without difficulty to Christianity, and the heretics united themselves to the Catholic Church.

Owing to the disputes which had arisen among the Arians and Eunomians, and to which I have already alluded, these heretics daily diminished in number. Many of them, in reflecting upon the diversity of sentiments which prevailed among those of their own persuasion, judged that the truth of God could not be present with them, and went over to those who held the same faith as the emperors.

The interests of the Macedonians of Constantinople were materially affected by their possessing no bishop in that juncture; for, ever since they had been deprived of their churches by Eudoxius, under the reign of Constantius, they had been governed only by presbyters, and remained so until the next reign. The Novatians, on the other hand, although they had been agitated by the controversy concerning the Passover, which was an innovation made by Sabbatius, yet the most of them remained in quiet possession of their churches, and had not been molested by any of the punishments or laws enacted against other heretics, because they maintained that the Three Persons of the Trinity are of the same substance. The virtue of their leaders also tended greatly to the maintenance of concord among them. After the presidency of Agelius they were governed by Marcian, a good man; and on his decease, (3) a little while before the time now under consideration, the bishopric devolved upon Sisinius, (4) a very eloquent man, well versed in the doctrines of philosophy and of the Holy Scriptures, and so expert in disputation that even Eunomius, who was well approved in this art and effective in this work, often refused to hold debates with him. His course of life was prudent and above the reach of calumny; yet he indulged in luxury, and even in superfluities; so that those who knew him not were incredulous as to whether he could remain temperate in the midst of so much abundance. His manners were gracious and suave in assemblies, and on this account he was esteemed by the bishops of the Catholic Church, by the rulers, and by the learned. His jests were replete with good nature, and he could bear ridicule without manifesting the least resentment. He was very prompt and witty in his rejoinders. Being once asked wherefore, as he was bishop, he bathed twice daily, he replied, "Because I do not bathe thrice." On another occasion, being ridiculed by a member of the Catholic Church because he dressed in white, he asked where it was commanded that he should dress in black; and, as the other hesitated for a reply, he continued, "You can give no argument in support of your position; but I refer you to Solomon, the wisest of men, who says, 'Let your garments be always white.' Moreover Christ is described in the Gospel as having appeared in white, and Moses and Elias manifester themselves to the apostles in robes of white." It appears to me that the following reply was also very ingenious. Leontius, bishop of Ancyra, in Galatia, settled in Constantinople after he had deprived the Novatians in his province of their churches. Sisinius went to him to request that the churches might be restored; but far from yielding compliance, he reviled the Novatians, and said that they were not worthy of holding churches, because, by abolishing the observance of penance, they intercepted the philanthropy of God. To this Sisinius replied, "No one does penance as I do." Leontius asked him in what way he did penance. "In coming to see you," retorted Sisinius. Many other witty speeches are attributed to him, and he is even said to have written several works with some elegance. But his discourses obtained greater applause than his writings, since he was best at declamation, and was capable of attracting the hearer by his voice and look and pleasing countenance. This brief description may serve as a proof of the disposition and mode of life of this great man.


NECTARIUS died about this period, (1) and lengthened debates were held on the ordination of a successor. They all voted for different individuals, and it seemed impossible for all to unite on one, and the time passed heavily. There was, however, at Antioch on the Orontes, a certain presbyter named John, a man of noble birth and of exemplary life, and possessed of such wonderful powers of eloquence and persuasion that he was declared by the sophist, Libanius the Syrian, to surpass all the orators of the age. When this sophist was on his death-bed he was asked by his friends who should take his place. "It would have been John," replied he, "had not the Christians taken him from us." Many of those who heard the discourses of John in the church were thereby excited to the love of, virtue and to the reception of his own religious sentiments. (2) For by living a divine life he imparted zeal from his own virtues to his hearers. He produced convictions similar to his own, because he did not enforce them by rhetorical art and strength, but expounded the sacred books with truth and sincerity. For a word which is ornamented by deeds customarily shows itself as worthy of belief; but without these the speaker appears as an impostor and a traitor to his own words, even though he teach earnestly. Approbation in both regards was due to John. He devoted himself to a prudent course of life and to a severe public career, while he also used a clear diction, united with brilliance in speech.

His natural abilities were excellent, and he improved them by studying under the best masters. He learned rhetoric from Libanius, and philosophy from Andragathius. When it was expected that he would embrace the legal profession and take part in the career of an advocate, he determined to exercise himself in the sacred books and to practice philosophy according to the law of the Church. He had as teachers of this philosophy, Carterius and Diodorus, two celebrated presidents of ascetic institutions. Diodorus was afterwards the governor of the church of Tarsus, and, I have been informed, left many books of his own writings in which he explained the significance of the sacred words and avoided allegory. John did not receive the instructions of these men by himself, but persuaded Theodore and Maximus, who had been his companions under the instruction of Libanius, to accompany him. Maximus afterwards became bishop of Seleucia, in Isauria; and Theodore, bishop of Mompsuestia, in Cilicia. Theodore was well conversant with the sacred books and with the rest of the discipline of rhetoricians and philosophers. After studying the ecclesiastical laws, and frequenting the society of holy men, he was filled with admiration of the ascetic mode of life and condemned city life. He did not persevere in the same purpose, but after changing it, he was drawn to his former course of life; and, to justify his conduct, cited many examples from ancient history, with which he was well acquainted, and went back into the city. On hearing that he was engaged in business and intent on marriage, John composed an epistle, (3) more divine in language and thought than the mind of man could produce, and sent it to him. Upon reading it, he repented and immediately gave up his possessions, renounced his intention of marrying, and was saved by the advice of John, and returned to the philosophic career. This seems to me a remarkable instance of the power of John's eloquence; for he readily forced conviction on the mind of one who was himself habituated to persuade and convince others. By the same eloquence, John attracted the admiration of the people; while he strenuously convicted sinners even in the churches, and antagonized with boldness all acts of injustice, as if they had been perpetrated against himself. This boldness pleased the people, but grieved the wealthy and the powerful, who were guilty of most of the vices which he denounced.

Being, then, held in such high estimation by those who knew him by experience, and by those who were acquainted with him through the reports of others, John was adjudged worthy, in word and in deed, by all the subjects of the Roman Empire, to be the bishop of the church of Constantinople. The clergy and people were unanimous in electing him; their choice was approved by the emperor, who also sent the embassy which should conduct him; and, to confer greater solemnity on his ordination, a council was convened. Not long after the letter of the emperor reached Asterius, the general of the East; he sent to desire John to repair to him, as if he had need of him. On his arrival, he at once made him get into his chariot, and conveyed him with dispatch to a military station, Pagras so-called, where he delivered him to the officers whom the emperor had sent in quest of him. Asterius acted very prudently in sending for John before the citizens of Antioch knew what was about to occur; for they would probably have excited a sedition, and have inflicted injury on others, or subjected themselves to acts of violence, rather than have suffered John to be taken from them.

When John had arrived at Constantinople, and when the priests were assembled together, Theophilus opposed his ordination; and proposed as a candidate in his stead, a presbyter of his church named Isidore, who took charge of strangers and of the poor at Alexandria. I have been informed by persons who were acquainted with Isidore, that from his youth upwards he practiced the philosophic virtues, near Scetis. Others say that he had gained the friendship of Theophilus by being a participant and a familiar in a very perilous undertaking. For it is reported that during the war against Maximus, Theophilus intrusted Isidore with gifts and letters respectively addressed to the emperor and to the tyrant, and sent him to Rome, desiring him to remain there until the termination of the war, when he was to deliver the gifts, with the letters, to him, who might prove the victor. Isidore acted according to his instructions, but the artifice was detected; and, fearful of being arrested, he fled to Alexandria. Theophilus from that period evinced much attachment towards him, and, with a view of recompensing his services, strove to raise him to the bishopric of Constantinople. But whether there was really any truth in this report, or whether Theophilus desired to ordain this man because of his excellence, it is certain that he eventually yielded to those who decided for John. (1) He feared Eutropius, who was artfully eager for this ordination. Eutropius then presided over the imperial house, and they say he threatened Theophilus, that unless he would vote with the other bishops, he would have to defend himself against those who desired to accuse him; for many written accusations against him were at that time before the council.


As soon as John was raised to the episcopal dignity, he devoted his attention first to the reformation of the lives of his clergy; (2) he reproved and amended their ways and diet and every procedure of their manifold transactions. He also ejected some of the clergy from the Church. He was naturally disposed to reprehend the misconduct of others, and to antagonize righteously those who acted unjustly; and he gave way to these characteristics still more in the episcopate; for his nature, having attained power, led his tongue to reproof, and nerved his wrath more readily against the enemy. He did not confine his efforts to the reformation of his own church; but as a good and large-minded man, he sought to rectify abuses throughout the world. Immediately upon entering the episcopate, he strove to put an end to the dissension which had arisen concerning Paulinus, between the Western and Egyptian bishops and the bishops of the East; since on this account a general disunion was overpowering the churches in the whole empire. He requested the assistance of Theophilus in effecting the reconciliation of Flavian with the bishop of Rome. (3) Theophilus agreed to co-operate with him in the restoration of concord; and Acacius, bishop of Berea, and Isidore, whom Theophilus had proposed as a candidate for ordination instead of John, were sent on an embassy to Rome. They soon effected the object of their journey, and sailed back to Egypt. Acacius repaired to Syria, bearing conciliatory letters to the adherents of Flavian from the priests of Egypt and of the West. And the churches, after a long delay once more laid aside their discord, and took up communion with one another. The people at Antioch, who were called Eustathians, continued, indeed, for some time to hold separate assemblies, although they possessed no bishop. Evagrius, the successor of Paulinus, did not, as we have stated, long survive him; and I think reconciliation became easier for the bishops from there being no one to oppose. The laity, as is customary with the populace, gradually went over to those who assembled together under the guidance of Flavian; and thus, in course of time, they were more and more united.


A BARBARIAN, named Gainas, (1) who had taken refuge among the Romans, and who had risen from the lowest ranks of the army to military command, formed a design to usurp the throne of the Roman Empire. With this in view, he sent for his countrymen, the Goths, from their own homes to come to the Roman territories, and appointed his relatives to be tribunes and chiliarchs. Tirbingilus, a relative of his, who commanded a large body of troops in Phrygia, commenced an insurrection; and to all persons of judgment it was patent that he was preparing the way. Under the pretext of resenting the devastation of many of the Phrygian cities, which had been committed to his superintendence, Gainas turned to their assistance; but on his arrival, when a multitude of barbarians had been equipped for war, he disclosed his plan which he had previously concealed, and pillaged the cities which he had been commanded to guard, and was about to attack others. He then proceeded to Bithynia, and encamped in the boundaries of Chalcedon, and threatened war. The cities of the East of Asia, and as many as lived between these regions and about the Euxine, being thus in danger, the emperor and his counsellors judged that it would not be safe to venture into any hazardous undertaking without preparation against men who were already desperate; for the emperor declared that he was ready to be favorable to him in every point, and sent to Gainas to offer him whatever he might demand.

Gainas requested that two consuls, named Saturninus and Aurelian, whom he suspected of being inimical, should be delivered up to him; and when they were in his power, he pardoned them. He afterwards held a conference with the emperor near Chalcedon, in the house of prayer in which the tomb of Euphemia the martyr is deposited; and after he and the emperor had mutually bound themselves by vows of friendship to each other, he threw down his arms, and repaired to Constantinople, where, by an imperial edict, he was appointed general of the infantry and cavalry. Prosperity so far beyond his deserts was more than he could bear with moderation; and as, contrary to all expectations, he had succeeded so wonderfully in his former enterprise, he determined to undermine the peace of the Catholic Church. He was a Christian, and, like the rest of the barbarians, had espoused the Arian heresy. Urged either by the presidents of this party, or by the suggestions of his own ambition, he applied to the emperor to place one of the churches of the city in the hands of the Arians. He represented that it was neither just nor proper that, while he was general of the Roman troops, he should be compelled to retire without the walls of the city when he wished to engage in prayer. John did not remain inactive when made acquainted with these proceedings. He assembled all the bishops who were then residing in the city, and went with them to the palace. He spoke at great length in the presence of the emperor and of Gainas, reproached the latter with being a stranger and a fugitive, and reminded him that his life had been saved by the father of the emperor, to whom he had sworn fidelity, as likewise to his children, to the Romans, and to the laws which he was striving to make powerless. When he had made this speech he showed the law which Theodosius had established, forbidding the heterodox to hold a church within the walls. Then, addressing himself to the emperor, John exhorted him to maintain the laws which had been established against heretics; and told him that it would be better to be deprived of the empire, than to be guilty of impiety by becoming a traitor to the house of God. Thus did John speak boldly like a man, and gave no place to innovation in the churches under his care. Gainas, however, regardless of his oaths, attacked the city. His enterprise was pre-announced by the appearance of a comet directly over the city; this comet was of extraordinary magnitude, larger, it is said, than any that had previously been seen, and reaching almost to the earth itself. Gainas intended to seize first upon the stores of the bankers, and hoped to collect together their enormous wealth. But since the rumor of his plan was spread, the bankers concealed their ready wealth and no longer set forth silver upon the tables, as they were wont publicly to do. Gainas then sent some of the barbarians by night to set fire to the palace; but they were unskillful and overcome with fear, so they turned back. For when they drew near the edifice, they fancied that they saw a multitude of heavily armed men of immense stature, and they returned to inform Gainas that fresh troops had just arrived. Gainas disbelieved their report, for he was confident that no troops bad entered the city. As, however, other individuals whom he despatched to the palace for the same purpose, on the following night, returned with the same report, he went out himself to be an eye-witness of the extraordinary spectacle. Imagining that the army before him consisted of soldiers who had been withdrawn from other cities, and that these troops protected the city and palace by night and concealed themselves by day, Gainas feigned to be possessed of a demon; and under the pretext of offering up a prayer, went to the church which the father of the emperor had erected in honor of John the Baptist, at Hebdomos. Some of the barbarians remained in Constantinople, and others accompanied Gainas; they secretly carried arms and pots full of darts in the women's chariots, but when they were discovered, they slew the guard at the gates, who attempted to hinder the carrying out of the arms. From this the city was filled with as much confusion and uproar, as if it had suddenly been captured. A good thought ruled this terrible moment; for the emperor without delay declared Gainas a public enemy, and commanded that all the barbarians left in the city should be slain. No sooner was this mandate issued, than the soldiers rushed upon the barbarians, and slew the greater number of them; they then set fire to the church which was named after the Goths; for as was customary, they had congregated there in the house of prayer, because there was no other refuge, since the gates were shut. On hearing of this calamity, Gainas passed through Thrace, and proceeded towards the Cherronesus, intending to cross the Hellespont; for he thought that if he could conquer the opposite coast of Asia, he could easily subjugate to himself all the provinces of the empire in the East. All these things proved contrary to his hopes, because the Romans were there favored by Divine power. For the army sent by the emperor was on hand by land and by sea, under the command of Flavira, who although a barbarian by birth, was a good man, and an able general. The barbarians, having no ships, imprudently attempted to cross the Hellespont to the opposite continent on rafts; when suddenly a great wind blew and violently separated them, and drove them against the Roman vessels. The greater part of the barbarians and their horses were drowned; but many were slain by the military. Gainas, however, with a few of his followers escaped; but not long after, when fleeing through Thrace, they fell in with another detachment of the Roman army, and Gainas, with all his barbarians, perished. Such was the termination of the daring schemes and life of Gainas.

Flavita had rendered himself very conspicuous in this war, and was therefore appointed consul. (1) During his consulate, and that of Vincentius, a son was born to the emperor. The young prince was named after his grandfather, and at the commencement of the next consulate, (2) was proclaimed Augustus.


JOHN governed the church of Constantinople with exemplary prudence, and induced many of the pagans and of the heretics to unite themselves with him. (3) Crowds of people daily resorted to him; some for the purpose of being edified by listening to his discourses, and others with the intention of tempting him, He, how ever, pleased and attracted all classes, and led them to embrace the same religious sentiments as himself. As the people pressed around him, and could not get enough of his words, so that when they were pushed hither and you, and were pressing one another, they incurred danger; and each one was forcing his way to go farther, so that by standing near, he might hear more accurately what John was saying, he placed himself in the midst of them upon the platform of the readers, and, having taken a seat, taught the multitude. It seems to me that this is a suitable place in my history for the insertion of the account of a miracle which was performed during the life of John. A certain man of the Macedonian heresy, lived with a wife of the same belief; he chanced to hear John discoursing concerning the opinion one ought to hold about the Divine nature; he was convinced by the argument he heard advanced, and strove to persuade his wife to embrace the same sentiments. Her previous habits of mind, and the conversation of other women of her acquaintance, deterred her from complying with his wishes; and, when he found that all his efforts to convince her were futile, he told her that, unless she would be of one mind with him on Divine subjects, she should not continue to live with him. The woman, therefore, promised to do as she was required; but, at the same time, she made known the matter to one of her servant maids, in whose fidelity she confided, and used her as an instrument in deceiving her husband. At the season of the celebration of the mysteries (the initiated will understand what I mean), this woman kept what was given to her and held down her head as if engaged in prayer. Her servant, who was standing behind her, placed in her hand a bit of bread which she had brought with her; but, as soon as she had placed it between her teeth, it was converted into stone. Since such a divine affair had happened to her, she was very fearful lest any further calamity should befall her, and ran to the bishop, and confessed on herself. She showed him the stone, which bore the marks of her teeth; it was composed of some unknown substance, and was marked by a very strange color. She implored forgiveness with tears, and continued ever after to hold the same religious tenets as her husband. If any person should consider this narrative incredible, he can inspect the stone in question; for it is still preserved in the treasury of the church of Constantinople.


John (1) having been informed that the churches in Asia and the neighborhood were governed by unworthy persons, and that they bartered the priesthood for the incomes and gifts received, or bestowed that dignity as a matter of private favor, repaired to Ephesus, and deposed thirteen bishops, some in Lycia and Phrygia, and others in Asia itself, and appointed others in their stead. The bishop of Ephesus was dead, and he therefore ordained Heraclides over the church. Heraclides was a native of Cyprus, and was one of the deacons under John: he had formerly joined the monks at Scetis, and had been the disciple of the monk Evagrius. John also expelled Gerontius, bishop of the church in Nicomedia. This latter was a deacon under Ambrosius, of the church of Milan; he declared, I do not know why, either with an intention to invent a miracle, or because he had been himself deceived by the art and phantasms of a demon, that he had seized something resembling an ass, (onoskeli's) by night, had cut off its head, and flung it into a grinding-house. Ambrose regarded this mode of discourse as unworthy of a deacon of God, and commanded Gerontius to remain in seclusion until he had expiated his fault by repentance. Gerontius, however, was a very skillful physician; he was eloquent and persuasive, and knew well how to gain friends; be therefore ridiculed the command of Ambrose, and repaired to Constantinople. In a short time he obtained the friendship of some of the most powerful men at court; and, not long after, was elevated to the bishopric of Nicomedia. He was ordained by Helladius, bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, who performed this office the more readily for him, because he had been instrumental, through his interest at court, in obtaining high appointment in the army for that functionary's son. When Ambrose heard of this ordination, he wrote to Nectarius, the president of the church of Constantinople, desiring him to eject Gerontius from the priesthood, and not permit him and the ecclesiastical order to be so abused. However desirous Nectarius might have been to obey this injunction, he could never succeed carrying it into effect, owing to the determined resistance of the people of Nicomedia. John deposed Gerontius, and ordained Pansophius, who had formerly been preceptor to the wife of the emperor, and who, though a man of decided piety and of a mild and gentle disposition, was not liked by the Nicomedians. They arose in frequent sedition, and enumerated publicly and privately the beneficence of Gerontius, and on the liberal advantage derived from his science, and its generous and active use for the rich and poor alike; and as is usual when we applaud those we love, they ascribed many other virtues to him. They went about the streets of their own city and Constantinople as if some earthquake, or pestilence, or other visitation of Divine wrath had occurred, and sang psalms, and offered supplications that they might have Gerontius for their bishop. They were at length compelled to yield to necessity, and parted with grief and groans from Gerontius, receiving in his stead a bishop whom they regarded with fear and aversion. The bishops who had been deposed all their followers declaimed against John, as the leader of a revolution in the churches, and as changing the rights of the ordained, contrary to the ancestral laws; and under the influence of their grievance, they condemned deeds done by him, which were worthy of praise according to the opinion of most people. Among other matters, they reproached him with the proceedings that had been taken against Eutropius.


EUTROPIUS was originally the chief of the eunuchs, and was the first and only person of that rank of whom we have known or heard who attained the consular and patrician dignity. (1) When he was raised to present power, he thought not of the future, nor of the instability of human affairs, but caused those who sought an asylum in churches to be thrust out. He treated Pentadia, the wife of Timasius, in this manner. Timasius was a general in the army, capable and much feared; but Eutropius procured an edict for his banishment to Pasis in Egypt, under the pretext that he aspired to tyranny. I have been informed that Timasius fell a victim to thirst, or dreading lest anything worse might be in store, he was caught in the sands there, and was found dead. Eutropius issued a law, enacting that no one should seek refuge in churches, and that those who had already fled thither should be driven out. He was, however, the first to transgress this law; for not long after its enactment, he offended the empress, and immediately left the palace, and fled to the Church as a suppliant. While he was lying beneath the table, John pronounced a discourse, in which he reprehended the pride of power, and directed the attention of the people to the instability of human greatness. The enemies of John hence took occasion to cast reproach on him, because he had rebuked instead of compassionating, one who was suffering under the calamities of adverse fortunes. Eutropius soon after paid the penalty of his impious plan, and was beheaded; and the law which he had enacted was effaced from the public inscriptions. The wrath of God having been thus promptly visited on the injustice that had been perpetrated against the Church, prosperity was restored to it, and there was an increase in the Divine worship. The people of Constantinople were more sedulous then than before, in attendance at the singing of the morning and evening hymns.


THE Arians, having been deprived of their churches in Constantinople during the reign Theodosius, held their churches without the walls of the city. (2) They previously assembled by night in the public porticoes, and were divided into bands, so that they sang antiphonally, for they had composed certain refrains which reflected their own dogma, and at the break of day marched in procession, singing these hymns, to the places in which they held their churches. They proceeded in this manner on all solemn festivals, and on the first and last days of the week. The sentiments propounded in these odes were such as were likely to engender disputes. As, for instance, the following: "Where are those who say that the Three Persons constitute one Power?" Other similar acrimonious observations were interspersed throughout their compositions. John was fearful lest any of his own church people should be led astray by witnessing these exhibitions, and therefore commanded them to sing hymns in the same manner. The orthodox became more distinguished, and in a short time surpassed the opposing heretics in number and processions; for they had silver crosses and lighted wax tapers borne before them. The eunuch of the empress was appointed to regulate these processions, to pay the cost of whatever might be required, and to prepare hymns. Hence the Arians, impelled either by jealousy or revenge, attacked the members of the Catholic Church. Much bloodshed ensued on both sides. Briso (for this was the name of the imperial eunuch) was wounded on the forehead by a stone that was cast at him. The resentment of the emperor was kindled, and he put a stop to the Arian assemblies. Having commenced the custom of singing hymns in the manner and from the cause above stated, the members of the Catholic Church did not discontinue the practice, but have retained it to the present day. The institution of these processions and his services in the Church endeared John to the people; but he was hated by the clergy and the powerful on account of his free boldness, for he never failed to rebuke the clergy when he detected them in acts of injustice, nor to exhort the powerful to return to the practice of virtue when they abused their wealth, committed impiety, or yielded to voluptuousness.


The enmity of the clergy against John was greatly increased by Serapion, his archdeacon. He was an Egyptian, naturally prone to anger, and always ready to insult his opponents.(3) The feelings of hostility were further fostered by the counsel which Olympias received from John. Olympias was of most illustrious birth, and although she had become a widow while young, and was zealously attached to the exercises of monastic philosophy according to the laws of the church, yet Nectarius had ordained her as deaconess. John, perceiving that she bestowed her goods liberally on any one who asked her for them, and that she despised everything but the service of God, said to her: "I applaud your intentions; but would have you know that those who aspire to the perfection of virtue according to God, ought to distribute their wealth with economy. You, however, have been bestowing wealth on the wealthy, which is as useless as if you had cast it into the sea. Know you not that you have voluntarily, for the sake of God, devoted all your possessions to the relief of the poor. You ought, therefore, to regard your wealth as belonging to your Master, and to remember that you have to account for its distribution. If you will be persuaded by me, you will in future regulate your donations according to the wants of those who solicit relief. You will thus be enabled to extend the sphere of your benevolence, and your mercy and most zealous care will receive reward from God."

John had several disputes with many of the monks, particularly with Isaac. He highly commended those who remained in quietude in the monasteries and practiced philosophy there; he protected them from all injustice and solicitiously supplied whatever necessities they might have. But the monks who went out of doors and made their appearance in cities, he reproached and regarded as insulting philosophy. For these causes, he incurred the hatred of the clergy, and of many of the monks, who called him a hard, passionate, morose, and arrogant man. They therefore attempted to bring his life into public disrepute, by stating confidently, as if it were the truth, that he would eat with no one, and that he refused every invitation to a meal that was offered him. I know of no pretext that could have given rise to this assertion, except that, as I have been assured by a man of undoubted veracity, John had, by rigorous asceticism, rendered himself liable to pain in the head and stomach, and was thus prevented from being present at some of the choicest symposia. Hence, however, originated the greatest accusation that was ever devised against him.


JOHN likewise incurred the enmity of the empress, through the machinations of Severian, bishop of Gabali in Syria. (1) Severian and Antiochus, bishop of Ptolemais, a city in Phoenicia, were both learned men, and well qualified to teach in the churches. Antiochus had so fine a voice and delivery that, by some persons, he was surnamed Chrysostom. Severian, on the other hand, had the harshness of the Syrians in his speech; but, in point of knowledge and the evidences of the Scriptures, he was considered superior to Antiochus. It appears that Antiochus was the first to visit Constantinople; he gained great applause by his discourses, amassed some property, and then returned to his own city. Severian followed his example, and went to Constantinople. He formed an intimacy with John, spoke frequently in the churches, and was admired. He was in honor, and became well known to many of those in power, and to the emperor and empress. When John went to Asia, he commended the Church to his care; for he was so far deceived by the adulation of Severian as to imagine him to be his zealous friend. Severian, however, thought only of gratifying his auditors, and of pleasing the people by his discourses. (2) When John was apprised of this, he was filled with jealousy; and his resentment was further kindled, it is said, by the representations of Serapion. After the return of John from Asia, Serapion happened to see Severian passing; but, instead of rising to salute him, he kept his seat, in order to show his utter contempt for the man. Severian was offended by this manifestation of disrespect, and exclaimed, "If Serapion die a clergyman, then Christ was not incarnate." Serapion reported these words; and John, in consequence, expelled Severian from the city as insolent, and as a blaspheme against God; for witnesses were brought forward to attest that the above words had been really uttered by him. Some of the friends of Serapion even went so far as to suppress part of the speech of Severian, and to affirm that he had declared that Christ was not incarnate. John also rebuked Severian, by asking whether, "If Serapion should not die among the clergy, it would follow that Christ had not been incarnate?" As Soon as the wife of the emperor was informed by the friends of Severian of what had occurred, she immediately sent for him from Chalcedon. John, notwithstanding all her remonstrances, positively refused to hold any intercourse with him, until the empress placed her son Theodosius on his knees in the church named after the apostles; then she entreated him persistently, and frequently adjured him, until John yielded a reluctant consent to receive Severian into friendship. Such are the accounts which I have received of these transactions. (3))


A QUESTION was at this period agitated in Egypt, which had been propounded a short time previously, namely, whether it is right to believe that God is anthropomorphic. (1) Because they laid hold of the sacred words with simplicity and without any questioning, most of the monks of that part of the world were of this opinion; and supposed that God possessed eyes, a face, and hands, and other members of the bodily organization. But those who searched into the hidden meaning of the terms of Scripture held the opposite; and they maintained that those who denied the incorporeality of God were guilty of blasphemy. This later opinion was espoused by Theophilus, and preached by him in the church; and in the epistle (2) which, according to custom, he wrote respecting the celebration of the passover, he took occasion to state that God ought to be regarded as incorporeal, as alien to a human form. When it was, signified to the Egyptian monks that Theophilus had broached these sentiments, they went to Alexandria, assembled the people together in one place, excited a tumult, and determined upon slaying the bishop as an impious man. Theophilus, however, presented himself to the insurgents forthwith, and said to them, "When I look upon you, it is as if I beheld the face of God." This address sufficiently mollified the men; yielding their wrath, they replied, "Wherefore, then, if you really hold orthodox doctrines, do you not denounce the books of Origen; since those who read them are led into such opinions?" "Such has long been my intention," replied he, "and I shall do as you advise; for I blame not less than you do, all those who follow the doctrines of Origen." By these means he deluded the brethren, and broke up the sedition.


The controversy would most likely have been terminated, had it not been renewed by Theophilus himself, from inimical feelings against Ammonius, Dioscorus, Eusebius, and Euthymius, who were called "the long." (3) They were brothers; and, as we have before stated, became conspicuous among the philosophers at Scetis. They were at one period beloved by Theophilus above all the other monks of Egypt; he sought their society, and frequently dwelt with them. He even conferred on Dioscorus the bishopric of Hermopolis. He was confirmed in his hatred of them, on account of his enmity to Isidore, whom he had endeavored to ordain in Constantinople after Nectarius. Some say, that a woman, belonging to the Manichean heresy, had been converted to the faith of the Catholic Church; Theophilus rebuked the arch-presbyter (towards whom he had other reasons for entertaining resentful feeling), because he had admitted her to participate in the sacred mysteries before she had adjured her former heresy. Peter, for this was the name of the arch-presbyter, maintained that he had received the woman into communion according to the laws of the Church, and with the consent of Theophilus; and referred to Isidore, as a witness to the truth of what he had deposed. Isidore happened to be then at Rome on an embassy; but, on his return, he testified that the assertions of Peter were true. Theophilus resented this avowal as a calumny, and ejected both him and Peter from the Church. Such is the account given by some persons of the transaction. I have, however, heard it alleged, by a man of undoubted veracity, who was very intimate with the monks above mentioned, that the enmity of Theophilus towards Isidore originated from two causes. One of these causes was identical with that specified by Peter the presbyter, namely, that he had refused to attest the existence of a testament in which the inheritance was entailed on the sister of Theophilus; the other cause alleged by this individual was, that Isidore refused to give up certain moneys that had been confided to him for the relief of the poor, and which Theophilus wished to appropriate to the erection of churches; saying that it is better to restore the bodies of the suffering, which are more rightly to be considered the temples of God, and for which end the money had been furnished, than to build walls. But from whatever cause the enmity of Theophilus might have originated, Isidore, immediately after his excommunication, joined his former companions, the monks at Scetis. Ammonius, with a few others, then repaired to Theophilus, and en-treated him to restore Isidore to communion. Theophilus readily promised to do as they requested; but as time passed away, and nothing more was effected for them, and it became evident that Theophilus was pretending, they again repaired to him, renewed their entreaties, and pressed him to be faithful to his engagement. Instead of complying, Theophilus thrust one of the monks into prison, for the purpose of intimidating the others. But he erred in this. Ammonius and all the monks with him then went to the prison, into which they were readily admitted by the jailer, who imagined that they had come to bring provisions to the prisoner; but having once obtained admission, they refused to leave the prison. When Theophilus heard of their voluntary confinement, he sent to desire them to come to him. They replied, that he ought first to take them out of prison himself, for it was not just, after having been subjected to public indignity, that they should be privately released from confinement. At length, however, they yielded and went to him. Theophilus apologized for what had occurred, and dismissed them as if he had no further intention of molesting them; but by himself, he champed and was vexed, and determined to do them ill. He was in doubt, however, as to how he could ill-treat them, as they had no possessions, and despised everything but philosophy, until it occurred to him, to disturb the peace of their retirement. From his former intercourse with them he had gathered that they blamed those who believe that God has a human form, and that they adhered to the opinions of Origen; he brought them into collision with the multitude of monks who maintained the other view. A terrible contention prevailed among the monks, for they did not think it worth while to persuade one another by flaming arguments for themselves in an orderly way, but settled down into insults. They gave the name of Origenists to those who maintained the incorporeality of the Deity, while those who held the opposite opinion were called Anthropomorphists.


Dioscorus, Ammonius, and the other monks, having discovered the machinations of Theophilus, retired to Jerusalem, and thence proceeded to Scythopolis; for they thought that it would be an advantageous residence there for them on account of the many palms, whose leaves are used by the monks for their customary work. (1) Dioscorus and Ammonius were accompanied hither by about eighty other monks. In the meantime, Theophilus sent messengers to Constantinople, to prefer complaints against them, and to oppose any petitions that they might lay before the emperor. On being informed of this fact, Ammonius and the monks embarked for Constantinople, and took Isidore with them; and they requested that their cause might be tried in the presence of the emperor and of the bishop; for they thought that, by reason of his boldness, John, who was careful to do right, would be able to help them in their rights. John, although he received them with kindness, and treated them with honor, and did not forbid them to pray in the church, refused to admit them to participation in the mysteries, for it was not lawful to do this before the investigation. He wrote to Theophilus, desiring him to receive them back into communion, as their sentiments concerning the Divine nature were orthodox; requesting him, if he regarded their orthodoxy as doubtful, to send some one to act as their accuser. Theophilus returned no reply to this epistle. Some time subsequently, Ammonius and his companions presented themselves before the wife of the emperor, as she was riding out, and complained of the machinations of Theophilus against them. She knew what had been plotted against them; and she stood up in honor of them; and, leaning forward from her royal chariot, she nodded, and said to them, "Pray for the emperor, for me, for our children, and for the empire. For my part, I shall shortly cause a council to be convened, to which Theophilus shall be summoned." A false report having prevailed in Alexandria, that John had received Dioscorus and his companions into communion, and had afforded them every aid and encouragement in his power, Theophilus began to reflect upon what measures it would be possible to adopt in order to eject John from his episcopate.


THEOPHILUS kept his designs against John as secret as possible; and wrote to the bishops of every city, condemning the books of Origen. (2) It also occurred to him that it would be advantageous to enlist Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis, in Cyprus, on his side, a man who was revered for his life, and was the most distinguished of his contemporaries; and he therefore formed a friendship with him, although he had formerly blamed him for asserting that God possessed a human form. As if repentant of having ever entertained any other sentiment, Theophilus wrote to Epiphanius to acquaint him that he now held the same opinions as himself, and to move attacks against the books of Origen, as the source of such nefarious dogmas. Epiphanius had long regarded the writings of Origen with peculiar aversion, and was therefore easily led to attach credit to the epistle of Theophilus. He soon after assembled the bishops of Cyprus together, and prohibited the examination of the books of Origen. He also wrote to the other bishops, and, among others, to the bishop of Constantinople, exhorting them to convene. Synods, and to make the same decision. Theophilus, perceiving that there could be no l danger in following the example of Epiphanius, who was the object of popular praise, and who was admired for the virtue of his life, whatever his opinion might be, passed a vote similar to that of Epiphanius, with the concurrence of the bishops under his jurisdiction. John, on the other hand, paid little attention to the letters of Epiphanius and Theophilus. Those among the powerful and the clergy, who were opposed to him, perceived that the designs of Theophilus tended to his ejection from the bishopric, and therefore endeavored to procure the convention of a council in Constantinople, in order to carry this measure into execution. Theophilus, knowing this, exerted himself to the utmost in convening this council. He commanded the bishops of Egypt to repair by sea to Constantinople; he wrote to request Epiphanius and the other Eastern bishops to proceed to that city with as little delay as possible, and he himself set off on the journey thither by land. Epiphanius was the first to sail from Cyprus; he landed at Hebdomos, a suburb of Constantinople; and after having prayed in the church erected at that place, he proceeded to enter the city. In order to do him honor, John went out with all his clergy to meet him. Epiphanius, however, evinced clearly by his conduct that he believed the accusations against John; for, although invited to reside in the ecclesiastical residences, he would not continue there, and refused to meet with John in them. He also privately assembled all the bishops who were residing in Constantinople, and showed them the decrees which he had issued against the discourses of Origen. He persuaded some of the bishops to approve of these decrees, while others objected to them. Theotimus, bishop of Scythia, strongly opposed the proceedings of Epiphanius, and told him that it was not right to cast insult on the memory of one who had long been numbered with the dead; nor was it without blasphemy to assail the conclusion to which the ancients had arrived on the subject, and to set aside their decisions. While discoursing in this strain, he drew forth a book of Origen's which he had brought with him; and, after reading aloud a passage conducive to the education of the Church, he remarked that those who condemned such sentiments acted absurdly, for they were in danger of insulting the subjects themselves about which these words treated. John still had respect for Epiphanius, and invited him to join in the meetings of his church, and to dwell with him. But Epiphanius declared that he would neither reside with John nor pray with him publicly, unless he would denounce the works of Origen and expel Dioscorus and his companions. Not considering it just to act in the manner proposed until judgment had been passed on the case, John tried to postpone matters. When the assembly was about to be held in the Church of the Apostles, those ill-disposed to John planned that Epiphanius should go beforehand and publicly decry the books of Origen to the people, and Dioscorus and his companions as the partisans of this writer; and also to attack the bishop of the city as the abetter of those heretics. And some concerned themselves in this; for by this means it was supposed that the affections of the people would be alienated from their bishop. The following day, when Epiphanius was about entering the church, in order to carry his design into execution, he was stopped by Serapion, at the command of John, who had received intimation of the plot. Serapion proved to Epiphanius that while the project he had devised was unjust in itself, it could be of no personal advantage to him; for that if it should excite a popular resurrection, he would be regarded as responsible for the outrages that might follow. By these arguments Epiphanius was induced to relinquish his attack.


About this time, the son of the empress was attacked by a dangerous illness, and the mother, apprehensive of consequences, sent to implore Epiphanius to pray for him. (1) Epiphanius returned for answer, that the sick one would live, provided that she would avoid all intercourse with the heretic Dioscorus and his companions. To this message the empress replied as follows: "If it be the will of God to take my son, His will be done. The Lord who gave me my child, can take him back again. You have not power to raise the dead, otherwise your archdeacon would not have died." She alluded to Chrispion, the archdeacon, who had died a short time previously. He was brother to Fuscon and Salamanus, monks whom I had occasion to mention (2) when detailing the history of events under the reign of Valens; he had been companion of Epiphanius, and had been appointed his archdeacon. Ammonius and his companions went to Epiphanius, at the permission of the empress. Epiphanius inquired who they were, and Ammonius replied, "We are, O father, the Long Brothers; we come respectfully to know whether you have read any of our works or those of our disciples?" On Epiphanius replying that he had not seen them, he continued, "How is it, then, that you consider us to be heretics, when you have no proof as to what sentiments we may hold?" Epiphanius said that he had formed his judgment by the reports he had heard on the subject; and Ammonius replied, "We have pursued a very different line of conduct from yours. We have conversed with your disciples, and read your works frequently, and among others, that entitled 'The Anchored.' When we have met with persons who have ridiculed your opinions, and asserted that your writings are replete with heresy, we have contended for you, and defended you as our father. Ought you then to condemn the absent upon mere report, and of whom you know nothing with assured certitude, or return such an exchange to those who have spoken well of you?" Epiphanius was measurably convinced, and dismissed them. Soon after he embarked for Cyprus, either because he recognized the futility of his journey to Constantinople, or because, as there is reason to believe, God had revealed to him his approaching death; for he died while on his voyage back to Cyprus. It is reported that he said to the bishops who had accompanied him to the place of embarkation, "I leave you the city, the palace, and the stage, for I shall shortly depart." I have been informed by several persons that John predicted that Epiphanius would die at sea, and that this latter predicted the deposition of John. For it appears that when the dispute between them was at its height, Epiphanius said to John, "I hope you will not die a bishop," and that John replied, "I hope you will never return to your bishopric."


AFTER the departure of Epiphanius, John, when preaching in the church as usual, chanced to inveigh against the vices to which females are peculiarly prone.(1) The people imagined that his strictures were enigmatically directed against the wife of the emperor. The enemies of the bishop did not fail to report his discourse in this sense to the empress; and she, conceiving herself to have been insulted, complained to the emperor, and urged the necessity for the speedy presence of Theophilus and the convocation of a council. Severian, bishop of Gabala, who had not yet changed his former resentment against John, cooperated in the promotion of these measures. I am not in possession of sufficient data to determine whether there was any truth in the current report that John delivered the discourse above mentioned with express allusion to the empress, because he suspected her of having excited Epiphanius against him. Theophilus arrived soon after at Chalcedon in Bithynia, and was followed thither by many bishops. Some of the bishops joined him in compliance with his own invitation, and others in obedience to the commands of the emperor. The bishops whom John had deposed in Asia repaired to Chalcedon with the utmost alacrity, as likewise all those who cherished any feeling of hostility against him. The ships which Theophilus expected from Egypt had already come to Chalcedon. When they had convened again in the same place, and when they had deliberated how the attempt against John might be judiciously forwarded by them, Cyrinus, leader of the church of Chalcedon, who was an Egyptian and a relative of Theophilus, and who had besides some other difficulties with John, spoke very abusively of him. Justice, however, seemed to follow him speedily; for Maruthas, a native of Mesopotamia, who had accompanied the bishops, happened to tread on his foot; and Cyrinus suffered so severely from this accident that he was unable to repair with the other bishops to Constantinople, although his aid was necessary to the execution of the designs that had been formed against John. The wound assumed so alarming an appearance, that the surgeons were obliged to perform several operations on the leg; and at length mortification took place, and spread over the whole body, and even extended to the other foot. He expired soon afterwards in great agony.


WHEN Theophilus entered Constantinople, none of the clergy went out to meet him; for his enmity against the bishop had become publicly known.(2) Some sailors from Alexandria, however, who chanced to be on the shore, both from the corn vessels as well as other ships, having collected together, received him with great acclamations of joy. Passing by the church, he proceeded directly to the palace, where a lodging had been prepared for his accommodation. He soon perceived that many people of the city were strongly prejudiced against John, and ready to bring accusations against him; and taking his measures accordingly, he repaired to a place called "The Oak," in the suburbs of Chalcedon. This place now bears the name of Rufinus; for he was a consul, and erected here a magnificent palace, and a great church in honor of the apostles, Peter and Paul, and therefore named it the Apostolium; and appointed a congregation of monks to perform the clerical duties in the church. When Theophilus and the other bishops met for deliberation in this place, he judged it expedient to make no further allusion to the works of Origen, and called the monks of Scetis to repentance, promising that there would be no recollection of wrongs nor infliction of evil. His partisans zealously seconded his efforts, and told them that they must ask Theophilus to pardon their conduct; and as all the members of the assembly concurred in this request, the monks were troubled, and believing that it was necessary to do what they were desired by so many bishops, they used the words which it was their custom to use even when injured, and said "spare us." Theophilus willingly received them into favor, and restored them to communion; and the question concerning the injuries done to the monks of Scetis was ended. I feel convinced that this matter would not have been so quickly settled, had Dioscorus and Ammonius been present with the other monks. But Dioscorus had died some time previously, and had been interred in the church dedicated to St. Mocius the martyr. Ammonius, also, had been taken ill at the very time that preparations were being made for the convocation of the council; and although he insisted upon repairing to "The Oak," yet his malady was thereby greatly increased: he died soon after his journey, and had a splendid entombment among the monks of that vicinity, and there he lies. Theophilus, it is said, shed tears on hearing of his death, and declared that although he had been the cause of much perplexity, there was not a monk to be found of more exalted character than Ammonius. It must, however, be admitted, that the death of this monk tended much to promote the success of the designs of Theophilus.

The members of the council summoned all the clergy of Constantinople to appear before them, and threatened to depose those who did not obey the summons. They cited John to appear and answer; as likewise Serapion, Tigrius a presbyter, and Paul a reader. John acquainted them, through the medium of Demetrius, bishop of Pisinus, and of some of the other clergy, who were his friends, that he would not avoid investigation, but that he was ready, if the names of his accusers and the subject of his accusations were made known to him, to justify his proceedings before a larger council; for he did not choose to be considered insane, and to recognize his manifest enemies as judges. The bishops testified so much indignation at the non-compliance of John, that some of the clergy whom he had sent to the council were intimidated and did not return to him. Demetrius, and those who preferred his interests to all other considerations, quitted the council, and returned to him. The same day, a courier and a shorthand writer were dispatched from the palace to command John to repair to the bishops, and to urge the bishops to decide his cause without further delay. After John had been cited four times, and had appealed to a general council, no other accusation could be substantiated against him, except his refusal to obey the summons of the council; and upon this ground they deposed him.


THE people of Constantinople were made acquainted with the decree of the council towards the evening; and they immediately rose up in sedition.(1) At the break of day they ran to the church, and shouted, among many other plans, that a larger council ought to be convened to take cognizance of the matter; and they prevented the officers, who had been sent by the emperor to convey John into banishment, from carrying the edict into execution. John, apprehensive lest another accusation should be preferred against him, under the pretext that he had disobeyed the mandate of the emperor, or excited an insurrection among the people, when the multitude was dispersed, secretly made his escape from the church at noon, three days after his deposition. When the people became aware that he had gone into exile, the sedition became serious, and many insulting speeches were uttered against the emperor and the council; and particularly against Theophilus and Severian, who were regarded as the originators of the plot. Severian happened to be teaching in the church at the very time that these occurrences were taking place; and he took occasion to commend the deposition of John, and stated that, even supposing him guiltless of other crimes, John deserved to be deposed on account of his pride; because, while God willingly forgives men all other sins, he resists the proud. At this discourse the people became restive under the wrong, and renewed their wrath, and fell into unrestrainable revolt. They ran to the churches, to the market-places, and even to the palace of the emperor, and with howls and groans demanded the recall of John. The empress was at length overcome by their importunity; and she persuaded her husband to yield to the wishes of the people. She quickly sent a eunuch, named Briso, in whom she placed confidence, to bring back John from Prenetus, a city of Bithynia; and protested that she had taken no part in the machinations that had been carded on against him, but had, on the contrary, always respected him as a priest and the initiator of her children.

When John, on his journey homeward, reached the suburbs belonging to the empress, he stopped near Anaplus; and refused to re-enter the city until the injustice of his deposition had been recognized by a larger synod of bishops; but as this refusal tended to augment the popular excitement, and led to many public declamations against the emperor and the empress, he allowed himself to be persuaded to enter the city. The people went to meet him, singing psalms composed with reference to the circumstances; many carried light wax tapers. They conducted him to the church; and although he refused, and frequently affirmed that those who had condemned him ought first to reconsider their vote, yet they compelled him to take the episcopal throne, and to speak peace to the people according to the custom of the priests. He then delivered an extemporaneous discourse, in which, by a pleasing figure of speech, he declared that Theophilus had meditated an injury against his church, even as the king of Egypt had contemplated the violation of Sarah, the wife of the patriarch Abraham, which is recorded in the books of the Hebrews: he then proceeded to commend the zeal of the people, and to extol the emperor and the empress for their good will to him; he stirred the people to much applause and good acclaim for the emperor and his spouse, so that he had to leave his speech half ended.


ALTHOUGH Theophilus would fain have brought an accusation against John,(1) under the plea that he had unlawfully reinstated himself in his bishopric, yet he was deterred from doing so by the fear of offending the emperor, who had been compelled to recall John, as the means of suppressing the popular insurrection. Theophilus, however, received an accusation against Heraclides during the absence of the accused, in the hope of thereby authorizing the sentence of condemnation which had been issued against John. But the friends of Heraclides interposed, and declared that it was unjust, and contrary to ecclesiastical law, to condemn one who was absent. Theophilus and his partisans maintained the opposite side of the question: the people of Alexandria and of Egypt sided with them, and were opposed by the citizens of Constantinople. The strife between the two parties became so vehement that bloodshed ensued; many were wounded, and others slain in the contest. Severian, and all the bishops at Constantinople who did not support the cause of John, became apprehensive for their personal safety, and quitted the city in haste. Theophilus, also, fled the city at the commencement of the winter; and, in company with Isaac the monk, sailed for Alexandria. A wind arose which drove the vessel to Gera, a small city about fifty stadia from Pelusium. The bishop of this city died, and the inhabitants, I have been informed, elected Nilammon to preside over their church; he was a good man, and had attained the summit of monastic philosophy. He dwelt without the city, in a cell of which the door was built up with stones. He refused to accept the dignity of the priesthood; and Theophilus, therefore, visited him in person, to exhort him to receive ordination at his hands. Nilammon repeatedly refused the honor; but, as Theophilus would take no refusal, he said to him, "'To-morrow, my father, you shall act as you please; to-day it is requisite that I should arrange my affairs." Theophilus repaired, on the following day, to the cell of the monk, and commanded the door to be opened; but Nilammon exclaimed, "Let us first engage in prayer." Theophilus complied and began to pray. Nilammon likewise prayed within his cell, and in the act of prayer he expired. Theophilus, and those who were standing with him without the cell, knew nothing at the time of what had occurred; but, when the greater part of the day had passed away, and the name of Nilammon had been loudly reiterated without his returning any answer, the stones were removed from the door, and the monk was found dead. They honored him with a public burial after they had clothed him in the necessary vestments, and the inhabitants built a house of prayer about his tomb; and they celebrate the day of his death, in a very marked way, until this day. Thus died Nilammon, if it can be called death to quit this life for another,--rather than accept a bishopric of which, with extraordinary modesty, he considered himself unworthy.

After his return to Constantinople, John appeared to be more than ever beloved by the people. Sixty bishops assembled together in that city, and annulled all the decrees of the council of "The Oak." They confirmed John in the possession of the bishopric, and enacted that he should officiate as a priest, confer ordination, and perform all the duties of the church usually devolving on the president. At this time Serapion was appointed bishop of Heraclea in Thrace.


NOT long after these occurrences the silver statue of the empress, which is still to be seen to the south of the church opposite the grand council-chamber, was placed upon a column of porphyry on a high platform,(1) and the event was celebrated there with applause and popular spectacles of dances and mimes, as was then customary on the erection of the statues of the emperors. In a public discourse to the people John charged that these proceedings reflected dishonor on the Church. This remark recalled former grievances to the recollection of the empress, and irritated her so exceedingly at the insult that she determined to convene another council. He did not yield, but added fuel to her indignation by still more openly declaiming, against her in the church; and it was at this period that he pronounced the memorable discourse commencing with the words, "Herodias is again enraged; again she dances; again she seeks to have the head of John in a basin."

Several bishops arrived soon after at Constantinople, and amongst them were Leontius, bishop of Ancyra, and Acacius, bishop of Berea. The festival of our Lord's Nativity was then at hand, and the emperor, instead of repairing to the church as usual, sent to acquaint John that he could not hold communion with him until he had cleared himself of the charges. John spiritedly replied that he was ready to prove his innocence; and this so intimidated his accusers that they did not dare to follow up the charges. The judges decided that, having been once deposed, he ought not to be admitted to a second trial. But they called on John to defend himself on this point only, that after he had been deposed, he had sat on the episcopal throne before a synod had reinstated him. In his defense he appealed to the decision of the bishops who had, subsequently to the council of "The Oak," held communion with him. The judges waived this argument, under the plea that those who had held communion with John were inferior in point of number to those who had deposed him, and that a canon was in force by which he stood condemned. Under this pretext they therefore deposed him, although the law in question had been enacted by heretics; for the Arians, after having taken advantage of various calumnies to expel Athanasius from the church of Alexandria, enacted this law from the apprehension of a change in public affairs, for they struggled to have the decisions against him remain uninvestigated.


AFTER his deposition, John held no more assemblies in the church, but quietly remained in the episcopal dwelling-house.(2) At the termination of the season of Quadragesima, on the same holy night in which the yearly festival in commemoration of the resurrection of Christ is celebrated, the followers of John were expelled from the church by the soldiers and his enemies, who attacked the people while still celebrating the mysteries. Since this occurrence was unforeseen, a great disturbance arose in the baptistery. The women wept and lamented, and the children screamed; the priests and the deacons were beaten, and were forcibly ejected from the church, in the priestly garments in which they had been officiating. They were charged with the commission of such disorderly acts as can be readily conceived by those who have been admitted to the mysteries, but which I consider it requisite to pass over in silence, lest my work should fall into the hands of the uninitiated.

When the people perceived the plot, they did not use the church on the following day, but celebrated the Paschal feast in the very spacious public baths called after the Emperor Constantius. Bishops and presbyters, and the rest, whose right it is to administer church matters, officiated. Those who espoused the cause of John were present with the people. They were, however, driven hence, and then assembled on a spot without the walls of the city, which the Emperor Constantine, before the city had been built, had caused to be cleared and inclosed with palisades, for the purpose of celebrating there the games of the hippodrome. From that period, the people held separate assemblies, sometimes, whenever it was feasible, in that locality, and sometimes in another. They obtained the name of Johnites. About this time, a man who was either possessed of a devil, or who feigned to have one, was seized, having a poniard on his person, with the intention of assassinating John. He was apprehended by the people as one who had been hired for this plot, and led to the prefect; but John sent some bishops of his party to free him from custody before he had been questioned by torture. Some time afterwards, a slave of Elpidius the presbyter, who was an avowed enemy of the deacon, was seen running as swiftly as possible towards the episcopal residence. A passer-by endeavored to stop him, in order to ascertain the cause of so much haste; but instead of answering him, the slave plunged his poniard into him. Another person, who happened to be standing by, and who cried out at seeing the other wounded, was also wounded in a similar way by the slave; as was likewise a third bystander. All the people in the neighborhood, on seeing what had occurred, shouted that the slave ought to be arrested. He turned and fled. When those who were pursuing called out to those ahead to seize the fugitive, a man, who just then came out from the baths, strove to stop him, and was so grievously wounded that he fell down dead on the spot. At length, the people contrived to encircle the slave. They seized him, and conveyed him to the palace of the emperor, declaring that he had intended to have assassinated John, and that the crime ought: to be visited with punishment. The prefect, allayed the fury of the people by putting the delinquent into custody, and by assuring them that justice should have its course against him.


FROM this period the most zealous of the people guarded John alternately, stationing themselves about the episcopal residence by night and by day.(1) The bishops who had condemned him complained of this conduct as a violation of the laws of the Church, declared that they could answer for the justice of the sentence that had been enacted against him, and asserted that tranquillity would never be restored among the people until he had been expelled from the city. A messenger having conveyed to him a mandate from the emperor enjoining his immediate departure, John obeyed, and escaped from the city, unnoticed by those who had been appointed to guard him. He made no other censure than that, in being sent into banishment without a legal trial or any of the forms of the law, he was treated more severely than murderers, sorcerers, and adulterers. He was conveyed in a little bark to Bithynia, and thence immediately continued his journey. Some of his enemies were apprehensive lest the people, on hearing of his departure, should pursue him, and bring him back by force, and therefore commanded the gates of the church to be closed. When the people who were in the public places of the city heard of what had occurred, great confusion ensued; for some ran to the seashore as if they would follow him, and others fled hither and thither, and were in great terror since the wrath of the emperor was expected to visit them for creating so much disturbance and tumult. Those who were within the church barred the exits still further by rushing together upon them, and by pressing upon one another. With difficulty they forced the doors open by the use of great violence; one party shattered them with stones, another was pulling them toward themselves, and was thus forcing the crowd backward into the building. Meanwhile the church was suddenly consumed on all sides with fire. The flames extended in all directions, and the grand house of the senatorial council, adjacent to the church on the south, was doomed. The two parties mutually accused each other of incendiarism. The enemies of John asserted that his partisans had been guilty of the deed from revenge, on account of the vote that had been passed against him by the council. These latter, on the other hand, maintained that they had been calumniated, and that the deed was perpetrated by their enemies, with the intention of burning them in the church. While the fire was spreading from late afternoon until the morning, and creeping forward to the material which was still standing, the officers who held John in custody conveyed him to Cucusus, a city of Armenia, which the emperor by letter had appointed as the place of residence for the condemned man. Other officers were commissioned to arrest all the bishops and clerics who had favored the cause of John, and to imprison them in Chalcedon. Those citizens who were suspected of attachment to John were sought out and cast into prison, and compelled to pronounce anathema against him.


ARSACIUS, brother of Nectarius, who had administered the bishopric before John, was, not long afterwards, ordained as bishop of Constantinople.(2) He was of a very mild disposition, and possessed of great piety; but the reputation he had acquired as a presbyter was diminished by the conduct of some of the clergy to whom he delegated his power, and who did what they pleased in his name; for their evil deeds were imputed to him. Nothing, however, operated so much to his disadvantage as the persecution that was carried on against the followers of John. They refused to hold communion, or even to join in prayer with him, because the enemies of John were associated with him; and as they persisted, as we have before stated, in holding a church in the further parts of the city, he complained to the emperor of their conduct. The tribune was commanded to attack them with a body of soldiers, and by means of clubs and stones he soon dispersed them. The most distinguished among them in point of rank, and those who were most zealous in their adherence to John, were cast into prison. The soldiers as is usual on such occasions, went beyond their orders, and forcibly stripped the women of their ornaments, and carried off as booty their chains, their golden girdles, necklaces, and their collars of rings; they pulled off the lobes of the ear with the earrings. Although the whole city was thus filled with trouble and lamentation, the affection of the people for John still remained the same, and they refrained from appearing in public. Many of them absented themselves from the market-place and public baths, while others, not considering themselves safe in their own houses, fled the city.

Among the zealous men and excellent women who adopted this latter measure was Nicarete, a lady of Bithynia. She belonged to a noted family of the nobility, and was celebrated on account of her perpetual virginity and her virtuous life. She was the most modest of all the zealous women that we have ever known, and was well ordered in manner and speech and in behavior, and throughout her life she invariably preferred the service of God to all earthly considerations. She showed herself capable of enduring with courage and thought the sudden reversals of adverse affairs; she saw herself unjustly despoiled of the greater part of her ample patrimony without manifesting any indignation, and managed the little that remained to her with so much economy, that although she was advanced in age, she contrived to supply all the wants of her household, and to contribute largely to others. Since she loved a humane spirit, she also prepared a variety of remedies for the needs of the sick poor, and she frequently succeeded in curing patients who had derived no benefit from the skill of the customary physicians. With a devout strength which assisted her in reaching the best results, she closed her lips. To sum up all in a few words, we have never known a devoted woman endowed with such manners, gravity, and every other virtue. Although she was so extraordinary, she concealed the greater part of her nature and deeds; for by modesty of character and philosophy she was always studious of concealment. She would not accept of the office of deaconess, nor of instructress of the virgins consecrated to the service of the Church, because she accounted herself unworthy, although the honor was frequently pressed upon her by John.

After the popular insurrection had been quelled, the prefect of the city appeared in public, as if to inquire into the cause of the conflagration, and the burning of the council-hall, and punished many severely; but being a pagan, he ridiculed the calamities of the Church, and delighted in its misfortunes.


EUTROPIUS, a reader,(1) was required to name the persons who had set fire to the church; but although he was scourged severely, although his sides and cheeks were torn with iron nails, and although lighted torches were applied to the most sensitive parts of his body, no confession could be extorted from him, notwithstanding his youth and delicacy of constitution. After having been subjected to these tortures, he was cast into a dungeon, where he soon afterwards expired.

A dream of Sisinius concerning Eutropius seems worthy of insertion in this history. Sisinius, the bishop of the Novatians, saw in his sleep a man, conspicuous for beauty and stature, standing near the altar of the church which the Novatians erected to the honor of Stephen, the proto- martyr; the man complained of the rarity of good men, and said that he had been searching throughout the entire city, and had found but one who was good, and that one was Eutropius. Astonished at what he had seen, Sisinius made known the dream to the most faithful of the presbyters of his church, and commanded him to seek Eutropius wherever he might be. The presbyter rightly conjectured that this Eutropius could be no other than he who had been so barbarously tortured by the prefect, and went from prison to prison in quest of him. At length he found him, and in conversation with him made known the dream of the bishop, and besought him with tears to pray for him. SUch are the details we possess concerning Eutropius.

Great fortitude was evinced in the midst of these calamities by Olympias, the deaconess. Being dragged for this reason before the tribunal, and interrogated by the prefect as to her motives in setting fire to the church, she replied, "My past life ought to avert all suspicion from me, for I have devoted my large property to the restoration of the temples of God." The prefect alleged that he was well acquainted with her past course of life. "Then," continued she, "you ought to appear in the place of the accuser and let another judge us." As the accusation against her was wholly unsubstantiated by proofs, and as the prefect found that he had no ground on which he could justly blame her, he changed to a milder charge as if desirous of advising her, finding fault with her and the other women, because they refused communion with his bishop, although it was possible for them to repent and to change their own circumstances. They all through fear deferred to the advice of the prefect, but Olympias said to him, "It is not just that, after having been publicly calumniated, without having had anything proved against me in the courts, I should be obliged to clear myself of charges totally unconnected with the accusation in question. Let me rather take counsel concerning the original accusation that has been preferred against me. For even if you resort to unlawful compulsion, I will not hold communion with those from whom I ought to secede, nor consent to anything that is not lawful to the pious." The prefect, finding that he could not prevail upon her to hold communion with Arsacius, dismissed her that she might consult the advocates. On another occasion, however, he again sent for her and condemned her to pay a heavy fine, for he imagined by this means she would be compelled to change her mind. But she totally disregarded the loss of her property, and quitted Constantinople for Cyzicus. Tigrius, a presbyter, was about the same period stripped of his clothes, scourged on the back, bound hand and foot, and stretched on the rack. He was a barbarian by race, and a eunuch, but not by birth. He was originally a slave in the house of a man in power, and on account of his faithful services had obtained his freedom. He was afterwards ordained as presbyter, and was distinguished by his moderation and meekness of disposition, and by his charity towards strangers and the poor. Such were the events which took place in Constantinople.

Meanwhile Siricius had died, after having administered the bishopric of Rome fifteen years. Anastasius held the same bishopric three years, and then died, and was succeeded by Innocent. Flavian, who refused his consent to the deposition of John, was also dead; and Porphyry, being appointed to succeed him in the church of Antioch, where he agreed with those who had condemned John, many of those in Syria seceded from the church in Antioch, and because they made congregations among themselves, they were subjected to many cruelties. For the purpose of enforcing fellowship with Arsacius, and with this Porphyry and Theophilus, the bishop of Alexandria, a law was established, by the zeal of the powerful at court, that those who were orthodox should not assemble outside of the churches, and those who were not in communion with them should be expelled.


ABOUT this period(1) the dissensions by which the Church was agitated were followed, as is frequently the case, by disturbances and commotions in the state. The Huns crossed the Ister and devastated Thrace. The robbers in Isauria gathered in great numbers and ravaged cities and villages as far as Caria and Phoenicia. Stilicho, the general of Honorius, a man who had attained great power, if any one ever did, and had under his sway the flower of the Roman and of the barbarian soldiery, conceived feelings of enmity against the rulers who held office under Arcadius, and determined to set the two empires at enmity with each other. He caused Alaric, the leader of the Goths, to be appointed by Honorius to the office of general of the Roman troops, and sent him into Illyria; whither also he dispatched Jovius, the praetorian prefect, and promised to join them there with the Roman soldiers in order to add that province to the dominions of Honorius. Alaric marched at the head of his troops from the barbarous regions bordering on Dalmatia and Pannonia, and came to Epirus; and after waiting for some time there, he returned to Italy. Stilicho was prevented from fulfilling his agreement to join Alaric, by some letters which were transmitted to him from Honorius. These events happened in the manner narrated.


INNOCENT,(2) bishop of Rome,(3) was extremely indignant when apprised of the measures that had been adopted against John, and condemned the whole proceedings. He then turned his attention to the convocation of an oecumenical council, and wrote to John and to the clergy of Constantinople in part. Subjoined are the two letters, precisely as I found them, translated from the Latin into Greek.

"Innocent, to the beloved brother John.

"Although one conscious of his own innocence ought to expect every blessing and to ask for mercy from God, yet it seems well to us to send you a befitting letter by Cyriacus, the deacon, and to counsel you to long- suffering, lest the contumely cast upon you should have more power in subduing your courage than the testimony of a good conscience in encouraging you to hope. It is not requisite to teach you, who are the teacher and pastor of so great a people, that God always tries the best of men to see whether they will continue in the height of patience, and will not give way to any labor of suffering; and how true it is that the conscience is a firm thing against all that befalls us unjustly, and unless one be moved in these misfortunes by patience, he furnishes a ground for evil surmising. For he ought to endure everything, who first trusts in God, and then in his own conscience. Especially when an excellent and good man can exercise himself in endurance, he cannot be overcome; for the Holy Scriptures guard his thoughts, and the devout lections, which we expound to the people, abound in examples. These Scriptures assure us that almost all the saints are variously and continuously afflicted, and are tested by some investigation, and so have come to the crown of patience. Let thy conscience encourage thy love, O most honored brother; for that faculty amid tribulations possesses an encouragement for virtue. For since Christ, the Master, is observing, the purified conscience will station you in the haven of peace."

"Innocent, the bishop, to the presbyters, deacons, and all the clergy, and to the people of the church of Constantinople under John, the bishop, greeting to you, beloved brethren.

"From the letters of your love that you forwarded to me through Germanus, the presbyter, and Cassianus, the deacon, I have learned, with anxious solicitude, the scenes of evil which you have placed before our eyes. I have frequently seen during its repeated reading with what calamities and labors the faith is wearied. Only the consolation of patience heals such a state of affairs. Our God will shortly put an end to such tribulations, and they will eventually tend to your profit. But we recognized with approbation your proposition, placed at the beginning of the letter of your love; to wit, that this very consolation is necessary, and embraces many proofs of your patience; for our consolation, which we ought to have conveyed, you have anticipated in your epistle. Our Lord is wont to furnish this patience to the suffering, in order that when they fall into tribulations, the servants of Christ may encourage themselves; for they should reason within themselves that what they suffer has happened previously to the saints. And even we ourselves derive comfort from your letters, for we are not strangers to your sufferings; but we are disciplined in you. Who, indeed, can endure to witness the errors introduced by those who were bound especially to be enthusiasts for the quiet of peace and for its concord? But far from maintaining peace, they expel guiltless priests from the front seat of their own churches. John, our brother and fellow-minister and your bishop, has been the first to suffer this unjust treatment without being allowed a hearing. No accusation was brought, none was heard. What proposition was it that was nullified, so that no show of judgment might arise or be sought? Others were seated in the places of living priests, as though any who began from such discord would be able to possess anything or do anything rightly in any one's judgment. We have never known such audacities to have been done by our fathers. They rather prohibited such innovations by refusing to give power to any one to be ordained in another's place while the occupant was living, since he is unable to be a bishop who is unjustly substituted.

"With respect to the observance of canons, we declare that those defined at Nicaea are alone(1) entitled to the obedience and recognition of the Catholic Church. If any individuals should attempt to introduce other canons, at variance with those of Nicaea, and such as are a compilation by heretics, such canons ought to be rejected by the Catholic Church, for it is not lawful to add the inventions of heretics to the Catholic canons. For they always wish to belittle the decision of the Nicene fathers through opponents and lawless men. We say, then, that the canons we have censured are not only to be disregarded, but to be condemned with the dogmas of heretics and schismatics, even as they have been formerly condemned at the council of Sardica by the bishops who were our predecessors. For it would be better, O most honored brethren, that these transactions be condemned, than that any actions should be confirmed contrary to the canons.

"What measures ought we to adopt now in the present circumstances against such deeds? It is necessary that there be a synodical investigation, and a synod we long ago said should be gathered. There are no other means of arresting the fury of the tempest. In order that we may attain this it will be profitable meanwhile for that healing to be exalted which comes by the will of the great God and of His Christ, our Lord. We shall thus behold the cessation of all the woes which have been excited by the envy of the devil, and which have served as trials for our faith. If we remain steadfast in the faith, there is nothing that we ought not to expect from the Lord. We are constantly watching for the opportunity of convening an oecumenical council, whereby, in accordance with the will of God, an end may be put to these harassing commotions. Let us, then, endure in the interval, and, fortified by the wall of patience, let us trust in the help of our God for the restoration of all things.

"We had previously been made acquainted with all that you have related concerning your trials, by our fellow-bishops Demetrius, Cyriacus, Eulysius, and Palladius, who visited Rome at different periods and are now with us; from them we had learned all the details by a complete inquiry."


Such were the letters of Innocent from which the opinion which he entertained of John may readily be inferred. About the same period some hailstones of extraordinary magnitude fell at Constantinople and in the suburbs of the city.(1) Four days afterwards, the wife of the emperor died. These occurrences were by many regarded as indications of Divine wrath on account of the persecution that had been carried on against John. For Cyrinus, bishop of Chalcedon, one of his principal calumniators, had long previously terminated his life in the midst of great bodily agony, arising from the accident that had occurred to his foot, and the consequent necessary amputation of the leg by the physicians. Arsacius, too, died after he had presided but a very short period over the church of Constantinople. Many candidates were proposed as his successor; and four months after his decease, Atticus, a presbyter, of the clergy of Constantinople, and one of the enemies of John, was ordained. He was a native of Sebaste in Armenia. He had been instructed from his youth in the principles of monastic philosophy by monks of the Macedonian heresy. These monks, who then enjoyed a very high reputation at Sebaste for philosophy, were of the discipline of Eustathius, to whom allusion has been already made as bishop there, and a leader of the best monks. When Atticus attained the age of manhood, he embraced the tenets of the Catholic Church. He possessed more by nature than by learning, and became a participant in affairs, and was as skillful in carrying on intrigues as in evading the machinations of others. He was of a very engaging disposition, and was beloved by many. The discourses which he delivered in the church did not rise above mediocrity; and although not totally devoid of erudition, they were not accounted by his auditors of sufficient value to be preserved in writing. Being intent, if an opportunity offered itself anywhere, he exercised himself in the most approved Greek authors; but lest, in conversation about these writers, he might appear unlettered, he frequently concealed what he did know. It is said that he manifested much zeal in behalf of those who entertained the same sentiments as himself, and that he rendered himself formidable to the heterodox. When he wished he could easily throw them into alarm; but he at once transformed himself and would appear meek. Such is the information which those who knew the man have furnished.

John acquired great celebrity even in his exile. He possessed ample pecuniary resources, and being besides liberally supplied with money by Olympias, the deaconess, and others, he purchased the liberty of many captives from the Isaurian robbers, and restored them to their families. He also administered to the necessities of many who were in want; and by his kind words comforted those who did not stand in need of money. Hence he was exceedingly beloved not only in Armenia, where he dwelt, but by all the people of the neighboring countries, and the inhabitants of Antioch and of the other parts of Syria, and of Cilicia, who frequently sought his society.


INNOCENT, bishop of Rome, was very anxious, as appears by his former letter, to procure the recall of John.(2) He sent five bishops and two presbyters of the Roman church, with the bishops who had been delegated as ambassadors to him from the East, to the emperors Honorius and Arcadius, to request the convocation of a council, and solicit them to name time and place. The enemies of John at Constantinople framed a charge as though these things were done to insult the Eastern emperor, and caused the ambassadors to be ignominiously dismissed as if they had invaded a foreign government. John was at the same time condemned by an imperial edict to a remoter place of banishment, and soldiers were sent to conduct him to Pityus; the soldiers were soon on hand, and effected the removal. It is said that during this journey, Basiliscus, the martyr, appeared to him at Comani, in Armenia, and apprised him of the day of his death. Being attacked with pain in the head, and being unable to bear the heat of the sun, he could not prosecute his journey, but closed his life in that town.



SUCH are the details that have been transmitted concerning John. Not long after his death, and three years after the elevation of Atticus to the bishopric of Constantinople, and during the consulate of Bassus and Philip, Arcadius died. He left Theodosius, his son,(1) who was just weaned, as his successor to the empire. He also left three daughters of tender age, named Pulcheria, Arcadia, and Marina.

It appears to me that it was the design of God to show by the events of this period, that piety alone suffices for the salvation of princes; and that without piety, armies, a powerful empire, and every other resource, are of no avail. The Divine Power which is the guardian of the universe, foresaw that the emperor would be distinguished by his piety, and therefore determined that Pulcheria, his sister, should be the protector of him and of his government. This princess was not yet fifteen years of age, but had received a mind most wise and divine above her years. She first devoted her virginity to God, and instructed her sisters in the same course of life. To avoid all cause of jealousy and intrigue, she permitted no man to enter her palace. In confirmation of her resolution, she took God, the priests, and all the subjects of the Roman empire as witnesses to her self-dedication. In token of her virginity and the headship of her brother, she consecrated in the church of Constantinople, a holy table, a remarkable fabric and very beautiful to see; it was made of gold and precious stones; and she inscribed these things on the front of the table, so that it might be patent to all. After quietly resuming the care of the state, she governed the Roman empire excellently and with great orderliness; she concerted her measures so well that the affairs to be carried out were quickly decreed and completed. She was able to write and to converse with perfect accuracy in the Greek and Latin languages. She caused all affairs to be transacted in the name of her brother, and devoted great attention to bringing him up as a prince in the best possible way and with such information as was suitable to his years. She had him taught by the most skilled men, in horsemanship, and the practice of arms, and in letters. But he was systematically taught by his sister to be orderly and princely in his manners; she showed him how to gather up his robes, and how to take a seat, and how to walk; she trained him to restrain laughter, to assume a mild or a formidable aspect as the occasion might require, and to inquire with urbanity into the cases of those who came before him with petitions. But she strove chiefly, to lead him into piety, and to pray continuously; she taught him to frequent the church regularly, and to honor the houses of prayer with gifts and treasures; and she inspired him with reverence for priests and other good men, and for those who, in accordance with the law of Christianity, had devoted themselves to philosophy. She provided zealously and wisely that religion might not be endangered by the innovation of spurious dogmas. That new heresies have not prevailed in our times, we shall find to be due especially to her, as we shall subsequently see. With how much fear she worshiped God, it would take long for any one to say; and how many houses of prayer she built magnificently, and how many hostelries and monastic communities she established, the arrangement for the expenses for their perpetual support, and the provision for the inmates. If any one pleases to examine the truth from the business itself, and not to be convinced by my words, he will learn that they are not falsely described by me for my own favor, if he will investigate the testimonial documents written up by the stewards of her house, and if he will inquire from the true records whether the facts agree with my history. If these proofs alone do not satisfy him so as to make him believe, let God himself persuade him who had her in favor altogether and everywhere on account of her conduct, so that He heard her prayer readily, and frequently directed beforehand the things which ought to be done. Such indications of Divine love are not conferred upon men unless they have merited them by their works. But I willingly pass over for the present the many separate manifestations of Divine favor that were granted to the sister of the emperor as proofs that she was loved of God, lest anybody should blame me for having set out to do other things, and yet had turned to the use of encomiums. One incident relating to her seems, however, so fitting in itself and to my ecclesiastical history, and so evident a demonstration of her love for God, that I will relate it here, although it happened some time afterwards. It is as follows:--


A WOMAN by name Eusebia,(1) who was a deaconess of the Macedonian sect, had a house and garden without the walls of Constantinople, in which she kept the holy remains of forty soldiers,(2) who had suffered martyrdom under Licinius at Sebaste in Armenia. When she felt death approaching, she bequeathed the aforesaid place to some orthodox monks, and bound them by oath to bury her there, and to hew out separately a place above her head at the top of her coffin, and to deposit the relics of the martyrs with her, and to inform no one. The monks did so; but in order to render due honor to the martyrs secretly, according to the agreement with Eusebia, they formed a subterranean house of prayer near her tomb. But open to view, an edifice was erected above the foundation, inclosed with baked bricks, and a secret descent from it to the martyrs. Soon after, Caesar, a man among those in power, who had formerly been advanced to the dignity of consul and prefect, lost his wife, and caused her to be interred near the tomb of Eusebia; for the two ladies had been knit together by the most tender friendship, and had been of one mind on all doctrinal and religious subjects. Caesar was hence induced to purchase this place so that he might be entombed near his wife. The aforesaid monks settled elsewhere, and without divulging anything about the martyrs. After this, when the building was demolished, and when the earth and refuse were scattered about, the whole place was smoothed off. For Caesarius himself erected there a magnificent temple to God to the honor of Thyrsus, the martyr. It appears probable that God designedly willed the aforesaid place to disappear, and so long a time to elapse in order that the discovery of the martyrs might be regarded as more marvelous and a more conspicuous event, and as a proof of the Divine favor towards the discoverer. The discoverer was, in fact, no other than the Empress Pulcheria, the sister of the emperor. The admirable Thyrsus appeared to her three times, and revealed to her those concealed beneath the earth; and commanded that they should be deposited near his tomb, in order that they might share in the same position and honor. The forty martyrs themselves also appeared to her, arrayed in shining robes. But the occurrence seemed too marvelous to be credible, and altogether impossible; for the aged of clergy of that region, after having frequently prosecuted inquiries, had not been able to indicate the position of the martyrs, nor indeed had any one else. At length, when everything was hopeless, Polychronius, a certain presbyter, who had formerly been a servant in the household of Caesar, was reminded by God that the locality in question had once been inhabited by monks. He therefore went to the clergy of the Macedonian sect to inquire concerning them. All the monks were dead, with the exception of one, who seemed to have been preserved in life for the express purpose of pointing out the spot where the relics of the holy martyrs were concealed. Polychronius. questioned him closely on the subject, and finding that, on account of the agreement made with Eusebia, his answers were somewhat undecided, he made known to him the Divine revelation and the anxiety of the empress, as well as the failure of her recourses. The monk then confessed that God had declared the truth to the empress; for at the time when he was an overgrown boy, and was taught the monastic life by its aged leaders, he remembered exactly that the relics of the martyrs had been deposited near the tomb of Eusebia; but that the subsequent lapse of time, and the changes which had been carried on in that locality, deprived him of the power of recalling to his recollection whether the relics had been deposited beneath the church or in any other spot. And further said Polychronius, "I have not suffered a like lapse of memory, for I remember that I was present at the interment of the wife of Caesar, and, as well as I can judge from the relative situation of the high road, I infer that she must have been buried beneath the ambo"; this is the platform for the readers. "Therefore," subjoined the monk, "it must be near the remains of Caesar's wife that the tomb of Eusebia must be sought; for the two ladies lived on terms of the closest friendship and intimacy, and mutually agreed to be interred beside each other." When it was necessary to dig, according to the aforesaid intimations, and to track out the sacred relics, and the empress had learned the facts, she commanded them to begin the work. On digging up the earth by the ambo, the coffin of Caesar's wife was discovered according to the conjecture of Polychronius. At a short distance on the side they found the, pavement of baked bricks, and a marble tablet of equal dimensions, each the measure of the bricks, under which the coffin of Eusebin was disclosed; and dose by was an oratory, elegantly inclosed with white and purple marble. The cover of the tomb was in the form, of a holy table, and at the summit, where the relics were deposited, a small orifice was visible. A man attached to the palace, who happened to be standing by, thrust a cane which he held in his hand into the orifice; and on withdrawing the cane he held it to his nose, and inhaled a sweet odor of myrrh, which inspired the workmen and bystanders with fresh confidence. When they had eagerly opened the coffin, the remains of Eusebia were found, and near her head was the prominent part of the tomb fashioned exactly in the form of a chest, and was concealed within by its own cover; and the iron which inclosed it on each side at the edges was firmly held together by lead. In the middle, the same orifice again appeared, and still more clearly revealed the fact of the relics being concealed within. As soon as the discovery was announced, they ran to the church of the martyr, and sent for smiths to unfasten the iron bars, and easily drew off the lid. A great many perfumes were found thereunder, and among the perfumes two silver caskets were found in which lay the holy relics. Then the princess returned thanks to God for having accounted her worthy of so great a manifestation and for attaining the discovery of the holy relics. After this she honored the martyrs with the costliest casket; and on the conclusion of a public festival which was celebrated with befitting honor and with a procession to the accompaniment of psalms, and at which I was present, the relics were placed alongside of the godlike Thyrsus. And others who were present can also bear testimony that these things were done in the way described, for almost all of them still survive. And the event occurred much later, when Proclus governed the church of Constantinople.


IT is said that God frequently in many other cases revealed to the princess what was about to happen, and that the most occurred to her and her sisters as witnesses of the Divine love. (1) They all pursue the same mode of life; they are sedulous about the priests and the houses of prayer, and are munificent to needy strangers and the poor. These sisters generally take their meals and walks together, and pass their days and their nights in company, singing the praises of God. As is the custom with exemplary women, they employ themselves in weaving and in similar occupations. Although princesses, born and educated in palaces, they avoid levity and idleness, which they think unworthy of any who profess virginity, so they put such indolence far from their own life. For this reason the mercy of God is manifested and is conquering in behalf of their house; for He increases the emperor in years and government; every conspiracy and war concocted against him has been overthrown of itself.


ALTHOUGH the Persians had prepared to take up arms, they were induced to conclude a truce with the Romans for a hundred years?

Stilicho, the general of the troops of Honorius, was suspected of having conspired to proclaim his son Eucherius emperor of the East, and was, in consequence, slain by the army at Ravenna. He had, at a former period, while Arcadius was still living, conceived bitter feelings of enmity against his officers, and was hence impelled to bring the two empires into collision. He caused Alaric, the leader of the Goths, to secure the office of general of the Romans, and advised him to seize Illyria; and, having sent forward Jovian, the appointed prefect, he agreed to join him shortly with Roman troops, and to reduce its subjects under the rule of Honorius. Alaric quitted the barbarous region bordering on Dalmatia and Pannonia, where he had been dwelling, and marched at the head of his soldiery to Epirus; after remaining for some time in that country, he retreated to Italy, without having accomplished anything. For he was about to migrate according to the agreement, but he was restrained by the letters of Honorius. After the death of Arcadius, Honorius projected a journey to Constantinople, in behalf of his nephew, to appoint officers faithful to his security and empire; for he held his nephew in the place of his son, and he was fearful lest the boy might suffer on account of his youth, since he would be exposed to plots; but when Honorius was on the very point of setting out on this journey, Stilicho dissuaded him from his design, by proving to him that his presence was requisite in Italy, to repress the schemes of Constantine, who sought to possess himself of the sovereign power at Aries. Stilicho then took that one of the sceptres which the Romans call Labarum, obtained some letters from the emperor, with which he set out, at the head of four legions, to carry on war in the East; but a report having been spread that he had conspired against the emperor, and had formed a scheme, in conjunction with those in power, to raise his son to the throne, the troops rose up in sedition, and slew the praetorian prefect (1) of Italy and of Gaul, the military commanders, and the chief officers of the court. Stilicho himself was slain by the soldiers at Ravenna. He had attained almost absolute power; and all men, so to speak, whether Romans or barbarians, were under his control. Thus perished Stilicho, on a suspicion of having conspired against the emperors. Eucherius, his son, was also slain.


IT happened about the same time that the Huns, who were encamped in Thrace, retreated disgracefully and cast off many of their number although they had neither been attacked nor pursued. (2) Uldis, the leader of the barbarous tribes who dwell near the Ister, crossed that river at the head of a large army, and encamped on the frontiers of Thrace. He took possession by treachery of a city of Moesia, called Castra Martis, and thence made incursions into the rest of Thrace, and insolently refused to enter into terms of alliance with the Romans. The prefect of the Thracian soldiers made propositions of peace to him, but he replied by pointing to the sun, and declaring that it would be easy to him, if he desired to do so, to subjugate every region of the earth that is enlightened by that luminary. But while Uldis was uttering menaces of this description, and was ordering as large a tribute as he pleased, and that on this condition peace could be established with the Romans or the war would continue, -- when affairs were so helpless, God gave manifest proofs of special favor towards the present reign; for, shortly afterwards, the immediate attendants and the leaders of the tribes of Uldis were discussing the Roman form of government the philanthropy of the emperor, and his promptitude and liberality in rewarding the best and good men. It was not without God that they turned to the love of the points so discussed and seceded to the Romans, to whose camp they joined themselves, together with the troops ranged under themselves. Finding himself thus abandoned, Uldis escaped with difficulty to the opposite bank of the river. Many of his troops were slain; and among others the whole of the barbarous tribe called the Sciri. This tribe had been very strong in point of numbers before falling into this misfortune. Some of them were killed; and others were taken prisoners, and conveyed in chains to Constantinople. The governors were of opinion that, if allowed to remain together, they would probably make a revolution. Some of them were, therefore, sold at a low price; while others were given away as slaves for presents, upon condition that they should never be permitted to return to Constantinople, or to Europe, but be separated by the sea from the places familiar to them. Of these, a number was left unsold; and they were ordered to settle in different places. I have seen many in Bithynia, near Mount Olympus, living apart from one another, and cultivating the hills and valleys of that region.


THUS was the Eastern Empire preserved from the evils of war, (3) and governed with high order, contrary to all expectations, for its ruler was still young. In the meantime, the Western Empire fell a prey to disorders, because many tyrants arose. After the death of Stilicho, Alaric, the leader of the Goths, sent an embassy to Honorius to treat of peace; but without avail. He advanced to Rome, and laid siege to it; and by posting a large army of barbarians on the banks of the Tiber, he effectually prevented the transmission of all provisions into the city from Portus. After the siege had lasted some time, and fearful ravages had been made in the city by famine and pestilence, many of the slaves, and most of the barbarians by race within the walls, deserted to Alaric. Those among the senators who still adhered to pagan superstition, proposed to offer sacrifices in the Capitol and the other temples; and certain Tuscans, who were summoned by the prefect of the city, promised to drive out the barbarians with thunder and lightning; they boasted of having performed a similar exploit at Larnia, a city of Tuscany, which Alaric had passed by for Rome, and had not taken. The event, however, proved that no advantage could be derived from these persons for the city. All persons of good sense were aware that the calamities which this siege entailed upon the Romans were indications of Divine wrath sent to chastise them for their luxury, their debauchery, and their manifold acts of injustice towards each other, as well as towards strangers. It is said that, when Alaric was marching against Rome, a good monk of Italy besought him to spare the city, and not to become the author of so many calamities. Alaric, in reply, assured him that he did not feel disposed to commence the siege, but that some resistless influence compelled and commanded him to go against Rome; and this he eventually did. While he was besieging the city, the inhabitants presented many gifts to him, and for some time he raised the siege, when the Romans agreed to persuade the emperor to enter into a treaty of peace with him.


ALTHOUGH ambassadors were dispatched to treat of peace, [1] the enemies of Alaric at the court of the emperor sedulously guarded against the conclusion of any treaty with him. But after this, when an embassy had been sent to him by Innocent, bishop of Rome, and Alaric was summoned by a letter of the emperor, he repaired to the city of Ariminum, which is two hundred and ten stadia distant from Ravenna.

He encamped beyond the walls of the city; and Jovius, the prefect of Italy, held a conference with him and conveyed his demands to the emperor, one of which was, that he might be appointed by an edict to the generalship of the cavalry and infantry. The emperor gave full power to Jovius to grant Alaric as much money and provision as he might desire, but refused ever to confer this dignity upon him. Jovius unadvisedly awaited the messenger from the palace, in the camp of Alaric; and commanded the decision of the emperor to be read in the presence of all the barbarians. On finding that the dignity was denied him, Alaric was enraged at the result, ordered the trumpets to be sounded, and marched towards Rome. Jovius, apprehensive of being suspected by the emperor of siding with Alaric, committed a still greater act of imprudence by taking an oath on the safety of the emperor, and compelling the principal officers to swear that they would never consent to any terms of peace with Alaric. The barbarian chief, however, soon after changed his mind, and sent word he did not desire any post of dignity, but was willing to act as an ally of the Romans, provided that they would grant him a certain quantity of corn, and some territory of secondary importance to them, in which he might establish himself.


After having sent some bishops as ambassadors, on two different occasions, to treat on this subject, but without effect, Alaric returned to Rome, and besieged the city; he took possession of one part of Portus, and compelled the Romans to recognize Attalus, then prefect of the city, as their king.[2] When the Romans had been nominated for the other offices, Alaric was appointed general of the cavalry and infantry, and Ataulphus, the brother of his wife, was raised to the command of the force called the domestic cavalry. Attalus assembled the senators, and addressed them in a long and very elaborate discourse, in which he promised to restore the ancient customs of the senate, and also to bring Egypt and the other Eastern provinces under the sway of Italy. Such was the boastfulness of a man, who was not destined to bear the name of sovereign during the space of a single year. He was deceived by the representations of some diviners, who assured him that he would be able to conquer Africa without a battle; he disobeyed Alaric, who urged him to send a moderate force to Carthage, to slay the officers of Honorius, in case of their attempting any resistance. He also refused to follow the counsels of John, to whom he had given the command of the royal cohorts about his own person, and who advised him to entrust Constans, on his proposed departure for Libya, with a document which they call edict, as though sent by Honorius, by which Heraclean might be dispossessed of office; he had been entrusted. with the rule of the soldiers in Africa. Had this artifice been adopted, it would probably have proved successful, for the designs of Attalus were unknown in Libya. But as soon as Constans had set sail for Carthage, according to the advice of the diviners, Attalus was so weak in mind that he did not think it doubtful, but believed that the Africans would be his subjects, according to the prediction of the diviners, and marched at the head of his army towards Ravenna. When it was announced that Attalus had reached Ariminum, with an army composed partly of Roman and partly of barbarian troops, Honorius wrote to him to acknowledge him as emperor, and deputed the highest officers of his court to wait upon him, and offer him a share in the empire. Attalus, however, refused to share power with another, and sent word that Honorius might choose an island or any spot of ground that he pleased for his private residence, and that he would be allowed every imperial service. The affairs of Honorius were reduced to so critical a condition, that ships were kept in readiness to convey him, if it were necessary, to his nephew, when an army of four thousand men which had started from the west arrived unexpectedly during the night at Ravenna; Honorius caused the walls of the city to be guarded by this reinforcement, for he distrusted the native troops as inclined to treachery.

In the meantime Heraclean had put Constans to death, and had ranged troops along the ports and coasts of Africa to hinder the merchant vessels from going to Rome. When, as a consequence, a famine seized the Romans, they sent a deputation to Attalus about it. Being at a loss what measures to adopt, he returned to Rome to consult the senate. The famine was so grievous that chestnuts were used by the people to supply the place of corn, and some persons were suspected of having partaken of human flesh. Alaric advised that five hundred barbarians should be sent into Africa against Heraclean, but the senators and Attalus objected that Africa ought not to be entrusted to barbarians. It then became evident to Alaric that God disapproved of the rule of Attalus; and finding that it would be futile to labor for a matter which was beyond his power, and after receiving certain pledges, he agreed with Honorius to deprive Attalus of his sovereignty. All the parties concerned assembled together without the walls of the city, and Attalus threw aside the symbols of imperial power. His officers also threw aside their girdles, and Honorius granted pardon to all for these occurrences, and each was to hold the honor and office which he had first had. Attalus retired with his son to Alaric, for he thought his life would not be in safety as yet, if he continued to dwell among the Romans.


The failure which had attended the designs of Attalus was a source of deep displeasure the pagans and Christians of the Arian heresy. [1] The pagans had inferred from the known predilections and early education of Attalus, that he would openly maintain their superstitions, and restore their ancient temples, their festivals, and their altars. The Arians imagined that, as soon as he found his reign firmly established, Attalus would reinstate them in the supremacy over the churches which they had enjoyed during the reigns of Constantius and of Valens; for he had been baptized by Sigesarius, [2] bishop of the Goths, to the great satisfaction of Alaric and the Arian party.

Soon after, Alaric stationed himself among the Alps, at a distance of about sixty stadia from Ravenna, and held a conference with the emperor concerning the conclusion of a peace. Saros, a barbarian by birth, and highly practiced in the art of war, had only about three hundred men with him, but all well disposed and most efficient. He was suspicious of Alaric on account of their former enmity, and reasoned that a treaty between the Romans and Goths would be of no advantage to him. Suddenly advancing with his own troops, he slew some of the barbarians. Impelled by rage and terror at this incident, Alaric retraced his steps, and returned to Rome, and took it by treachery. He permitted each of his followers to seize as much of the wealth of the Romans as he was able, and to plunder all the houses; but from respect towards the Apostle Peter, he commanded that the large and very spacious church erected around his. tomb should be an asylum. This was the only cause which prevented the entire demolition of Rome; and those who were there saved, and they were many, rebuilt the city.


IT is obvious that the capture of so great a city as Rome must have been attended with many remarkable circumstances. I shall, therefore, now proceed to the narration of such events as seem worthy of a place in ecclesiastical history. [3] I shall recount a pious action performed by a barbarian, and record the bravery of a Roman lady for the preservation of her chastity. The barbarian and the lady were both Christians, but not of the same heresy, the former being an Arian, and the latter a zealous follower of the Nicene doctrines. A young man of Alaric's soldiers saw this very beautiful woman, and was conquered by her loveliness, and tried to drag her into intercourse; but she drew back, and exerted herself that she might not suffer pollution. He drew his sword, and threatened to slay her; but he was restrained by the passion which he entertained toward her, and merely inflicted a slight wound on her neck. The blood flowed in abundance, and she offered her neck to the sword; for she preferred to die in her chastity than to survive, after having consorted lawfully with a husband, and then to be attempted by another man. When the barbarian repeated his purpose, and followed it with more fearful threats, he accomplished nothing further; struck with wonder at her chastity, he conducted her to the church of Peter the apostle, and gave six pieces of gold for her support to the officers who were guarding the church, and commanded them to keep her for her husband.


During this period many tyrants rebelled against Honorius in the Western government. Some fell upon one another, while others were apprehended in a marvelous way, and so evidenced that the Divine love toward Honorius was not common. The soldiers in Britain [1] were the first to rise up in sedition, and they proclaimed Mark as tyrant. Afterwards, however, they slew Mark, and proclaimed Gratian. Within four months subsequently they killed Gratian, and elected Constantine in his place, imagining that, on account of his name, he would be able to reduce the empire firmly under his authority; and for no other reason than this, several other persons of the same name were elected to the tyranny. Constantine passed over from Britain to Bononia, a maritime city of Gaul; and after inducing all the troops in Gaul and Aquitania to espouse his cause, he reduced to obedience l the inhabitants of the regions extending to the mountains which divide Italy from Gaul, and which the Romans have named the Cottian Alps. He then sent his oldest son, Constans, whom he had already nominated Caesar, and whom he afterwards proclaimed emperor, into Spain. Constans, after making himself master of this province, and appointing his own governors over it, commanded that Didymus and Verinian, relatives of Honorius, should be loaded with chains, and brought before him. Didymus and Verinian had at first differed among themselves, but a reconciliation was effected between them, when they found themselves menaced by the same danger. They combined their forces, which consisted. chiefly of armed peasants and slaves. They attacked Lusitania in common, and slew many of the soldiers sent by the tyrant for their capture.


The troops of Constans were shortly afterwards strengthened by reinforcements, and Didymus and Verinian, with their wives, were taken prisoners, and were eventually put to death. [2] Their brothers, Theodosiolus and Lagodius, who were living in other provinces, fled the country; the former escaped to Italy, to the Emperor Honorius; the latter fled to the East, to Theodosius. After these transactions, Constans returned to his father, after he had posted a guard of his own soldiers for the road to Spain; for he did not permit the Spaniards to act as guard, according to the ancient custom, a privilege for which they had petitioned. This precaution was probably afterwards the cause of the ruin of the country; for when Constantine was deprived of his power, the barbarous races of the Vandals, Suevi, and Alani took confidence and conquered the road, and took possession of many forts and cities in Spain and Gaul, and arrested the officers of the tyrant.

In the meantime, Constantine, who still thought that matters would go according to his purpose, caused his son to be proclaimed emperor instead of Caesar, and determined to possess himself of Italy. With this view, he crossed the Cottian Alps, and entered Liverona, a city of Liguria. He was on the point of crossing the Po, when he was compelled to retrace his steps, upon being informed of the death of Alavicus. This Alavicus was the commander of the troops of Honorius, and being suspected of conspiring to place the entire Western government under the domination of Constantine, he was slain when returning from a procession, in which, according to custom, it was his office to march in advance of the emperor. Immediately after this occurrence, the emperor descended from horseback, and publicly returned thanks to God for having delivered him from one who had openly conspired against him. Constantine fled and seized Aries, and Constans, his son, hastened from Spain, and sought refuge in the same city.

On the decline of the power of Constantine, the Vandals, Suevi, and Alani eagerly took the Pyrenees when they heard that it was a prosperous and most abundant region. And since those who had been entrusted by Constans with the guard of the passage had neglected their duty, the invaders passed by into Spain.


Meanwhile Gerontius, from being the most efficient of the generals of Constantine, became his enemy; [1] and believing that Maximus, his intimate friend, was well qualified for the tyranny, he invested him with the imperial robe, and permitted him to reside in Tarracona. Gerontius then marched against Constantine, and took care to put Constans, the son of Constantine, to death at Vienna.

As soon as Constantine heard of the usurpation of Maximus, he sent one of his generals, named Edovicus, beyond the Rhine, to levy an army of Franks and Alemanni; and he sent his son Constans to guard Vienna and the neighboring towns. Gerontius then advanced upon Aries and laid siege to it; but directly, when the army of Honorius had come to hand against the tyrant, under the command of Constantius, the father of that Valentinian who subsequently became emperor of Rome, Gerontius retreated precipitately with a few soldiers; for the greater number of his troops deserted to the army of Constantius. The Spanish soldiery conceived an utter contempt for Gerontius, on account of his retreat, and took counsel how to slay him. They, gathered in close ranks and attacked his house at night; but he, with one Alanus, his friend, and a few servants, ascended to the top of the house, and did such execution with their arrows that no less than three hundred of the soldiers fell. When the stock of arrows was exhausted, the servants made their escape by letting themselves down secretly from the building; and Gerontius, although he might have been saved in a similar fashion, did not choose to do so, because he was restrained by his affection for Nonnichia, his wife. At daybreak of the next day, the soldiers cast fire into the house; when he saw that there was no hope of safety left, he cut off the head of his companion, Alanus, in compliance with his wish. After this, his own wife was lamenting, and with tears was pressing herself with the sword, pleading to die by the hand of her husband before she should be subjected to others, and was supplicating for this last gift from him. And this woman by her courage showed herself worthy of her religion, for she was a Christian, and she died thus mercifully; she handed down to time a record of herself, too strong for oblivion. Gerontius then struck himself thrice with his sword; but perceiving that he had not received a mortal wound, he drew forth his poniard, which he wore at his side, and plunged it into his heart.


ALTHOUGH the city of Aries was closely besieged by the army of Honorius, Constantine still resisted the siege, because Edovicus was announced as at hand with many allies. [2] This frightened the generals of Honorius beyond measure. Then they determined to return to Italy, and to carry on the war there. When they had united on this plan, Edovicus was announced as in the neighborhood, so they crossed the river Rhone. Constantius, who commanded the infantry, quietly awaited the approach of the enemy, while Ulphilas, the fellow-general of Constantius, remained not far off in ambush with his cavalry. The enemy passed by the army of Ulphilas, and were about to engage with the troops of Constantius, when a signal was given, and Ulphilas suddenly appeared and assaulted the enemy from the rear. Their flight was immediate. Some escaped, some were slain, while others threw down their arms and asked for pardon, and were spared. Edovicus mounted his horse and fled to the lands of one Ecdicius, a landed proprietor, to whom he had formerly rendered some important service, and whom he therefore imagined to be his friend. Ecdicius, however, struck off his head, and presented it to the generals of Honorius, in hope of receiving some great reward and honor. Constantius, on receiving the head, proclaimed that the public thanks were due to Ecdicius for the deed of Ulphilas; but when Ecdicius was eager to accompany him he commanded him to depart, for he did not consider the companionship of a malicious host to be good for himself or the army. And the man who had dared to commit the most unholy murder of a friend and a guest who was in an unfortunate situation, -- this man went away, as the proverb says, gaping with emptiness.


After this victory the troops of Honorius again laid siege to the city. [3] When Constantine heard of the death of Edovicus he cast aside his purple robe and imperial ornaments, and repaired to the church, where he caused himself to be ordained as presbyter. Those within the walls, having first received oaths, opened the gates, and their Fives were spared. From that period the whole province returned to its allegiance to Honorius, and has since been obedient to the rulers of his appointment. Constantine, with his son Julian, was sent into Italy, but he was waylaid and killed. Not long afterwards Jovianus and Maximus, the tyrants above mentioned, Saros, and many others who had conspired against Honorius, were unexpectedly slain.


This is not the proper place to enter into the details concerning the deaths of the tyrants; [1] but I considered it necessary to allude to the circumstance in order to show that to insure the stability of imperial power, it is sufficient for an emperor to serve God with reverence, which was the course pursued by Honorius. Galla Placidia, his sister, born of the same father as himself, dwelt with him, and likewise distinguished herself by real zeal in the maintenance of religion and of the churches. After Constantius, who was a brave and able general, had destroyed the tyrant Constantine, the emperor rewarded him by giving him his sister in marriage; he also bestowed upon him the ermine and purple, and admitted him to a share in the government. Constantius did not long survive the promotion; he died soon after, and left two children, Valentinian, who succeeded Honorius, and Honoria. Meanwhile the Eastern Empire was free from wars, and contrary to all opinion, its affairs were conducted with great order, for the ruler was still a youth. It seems as if God openly manifested His favor towards the present emperor, not only by disposing of warlike affairs in an unexpected way, but also by revealing the sacred bodies of many persons who were of old most distinguished for piety; among other relics, those of Zechariah, the very ancient prophet, and of Stephen, who was ordained deacon by the apostles, were discovered; and it seems incumbent upon me to describe the mode, since the discovery of each was marvelous and divine. [2]


I SHALL first speak of the relics of the prophet. [3] Caphar-Zechariah is a village of the territory of Eleutheropolis, a city of Palestine. The land of this district was cultivated by Calemerus, a serf; he was well disposed to the owner, but hard, discontented, and unjust towards his neighboring peasants. Although he possessed these defects of character, the prophet stood by him in a dream, and manifested himself; pointing out a particular garden, he said to him, "Go, dig in that garden at the distance of two cubits from the hedge of the garden by the road leading to the city of Bitheribis. You will there find two coffins, the inner one of wood, the other of lead. Beside the coffins you will see a glass vessel full of water, and two serpents of moderate size, but tame, and perfectly innoxious, so that they seem to be used to being handled." Calemerus followed the directions of the prophet at the designated place and zealously applied himself to the task. When the sacred depository was disclosed by the afore-mentioned signs, the divine prophet appeared to him, clad in a white stole, which makes me think that he was a priest. At his feet outside of the coffin was lying a child which had been honored with a royal burial; for on its head was a golden crown, its feet were encased in golden sandals, and it was arrayed in a costly robe. The wise men and priests of the time were greatly perplexed about this child, who and whence he might be and for what reason he had been so clothed. It is said that Zechariah, the superior of a monastic community at Gerari, found an ancient document written in Hebrew, which had not been received among the canonical books. In this document it was stated that when Zechariah the prophet had been put to death by Joash, king of Judah, the family of the monarch was soon visited by a dire calamity; for on the seventh day after the death of the prophet, one of the sons of Joash, whom he tenderly loved, suddenly expired. Judging that this affliction was a special manifestation of Divine wrath, the king ordered his son to be interred at the feet of the prophet, as a kind of atonement for the crime against him. Such are the particulars which I have ascertained on the subject.

Although the prophet had lain under the earth for so many generations, he appeared sound; his hair was closely shorn, his nose was straight; his beard moderately grown, his head quite short, his eyes rather sunken, and concealed by the eyebrows.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (LNPF II/II, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.