Evagrius Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History (AD431-594), translated by E. Walford (1846). Book 5.
ACCESSION OF JUSTIN THE SECOND.
IN this manner did Justinian depart to the lowest region of retribution, after having filled every place with confusion and tumults, and having received at the close of his life the reward of his actions. His nephew Justin succeeds to the purple; having previously held the office of guardian of the palace, styled in the Latin language Curopalata. No one, except those who were immediately about his person, was aware of the demise of Justinian or the declaration of Justin, until the latter made his appearance in the hippodrome, by way of formally assuming the stated functions of royalty. Confining himself to this simple proceeding, he then returned to the palace.
His first edict was one dismissing the bishops to their respective sees, wherever they might be assembled, with a provision that they should maintain what was already established in religion, and abstain from novelties in matters of faith. This proceeding was to his honour. In his mode of life, however, he was |246 dissolute, utterly abandoned to luxury and inordinate pleasures: and to such a degree was he inflamed with desire for the property of others, as to convert every thing into a means of unlawful gain; standing in no awe of the Deity even in the case of bishoprics, but making them a matter of public sale to any purchasers that offered. Possessed, as he was, alike by the vices of audacity and cowardice, he in the first place sends for his kinsman Justin, a man universally famous for military skill and his other distinctions, who was at that time stationed upon the Danube, and engaged in preventing the Avars from crossing that river.
These were one of those Scythian tribes who live in wagons, and inhabit the plains beyond the Caucasus. Having been worsted by their neighbours, the Turks, they had migrated in a mass to the Bosphorus; and, having subsequently left the shores of the Euxine— where were many barbarian tribes, and where also cities, castles, and some harbours had been located by the Romans, being either settlements of veterans, or colonies sent out by the emperors—they were pursuing their march, in continual conflict with the barbarians whom they encountered, until they reached the bank of the Danube; and thence they sent an embassy to Justinian.
From this quarter Justin was summoned, as having a claim to the fulfilment of the terms of the agreement between himself and the emperor. For, since both |247 of them had been possessed of equal dignity, and the succession to the empire was in suspense between both, they had agreed, after much dispute, that whichever of the two should become possessed of the sovereignty, should confer the second place on the other; so that while ranking beneath the emperor, he should still take precedence of all others.
MURDER OF JUSTIN, KINSMAN OF THE EMPEROR.
THE emperor accordingly received him, in the first instance, with an abundant display of kindness. Afterwards, he proceeded to fix certain charges upon him, and to withdraw the various guards of his person, forbidding him at the same time access to his presence; for he himself lived in the retirement of his palace: and ultimately he ordered his removal to Alexandria. There he is miserably murdered in the dead of night, when he had just retired to rest; such being the reward of his fidelity to the commonwealth and his achievements in war. Nor did the emperor and his consort Sophia abate their rage, nor had they sufficiently indulged their boiling spite, before they had gazed upon his head and spurned it with their feet. |248
EXECUTION OF AETHERIUS AND ADDAEUS.
NOT long after, the emperor brought to trial for treason Aetherius and Addaeus, members of the senate, who had occupied the very highest position at the court of Justinian. Aetherius confessed to a design of poisoning the emperor, saying that he had in Addaeus an accomplice in the plot and an abettor throughout. The latter, however, asseverated, with fearful imprecations, that he was utterly ignorant of the transaction. Both were accordingly beheaded, Addaeus affirming, at the instant of execution, that he had been falsely accused on this point, but admitting that he received his due at the hands of all-seeing Justice, for that he had taken off Theodotus, prefect of the palace, by sorcery. How far these statements are true, I am not able to say; but both were men of bad character; Addaeus being addicted to unnatural lust, and Aetherius pursuing to the utmost a system of false accusation, and plundering the property both of the living and the dead, in the name of the imperial household, of which he had been comptroller in the time of Justinian. Such was the termination of these matters. |249
EDICT OF JUSTIN CONCERNING THE FAITH.1
JUSTIN issues an edict to the Christians in every quarter, in the following terms.
"In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, our God, the Emperor Caesar Flavian Justin, faithful in Christ, clement, supreme, beneficent, Alemannicus, Gothicus, Germanicus, Anticus, Francicus, Herulicus, Gepidicus, pious, fortunate, glorious, victorious, triumphant, ever-worshipful Augustus.
"'My peace I give to you,' says the Lord Christ, our very God. 'My peace I leave to you,' he also proclaims to all mankind. Now this is nothing else than that those who believe on him should gather into one and the same church, being unanimous concerning the true belief of Christians, and withdrawing from such as affirm or entertain contrary opinions: for the prime means of salvation for all men is the confession of the right faith. Wherefore we also, following the evangelical precepts and the holy symbol or doctrine of the holy fathers, exhort all persons to unite in one and the same church and sentiment; and this we do, believing in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, holding the doctrine of a consubstantial Trinity, one Godhead or nature and substance, both in terms and reality; one power, influence, and operation in three subsistences |250 or persons; into which doctrine we were baptized, in which we believe, and to which we have united ourselves. For we worship a Unity in trinity and a Trinity in unity, peculiar both in its division and in its union, being Unity in respect of substance or Godhead, and Trinity with regard to its proprieties or subsistences or persons; for it is divided indivisibly, so to speak, and is united divisibly: for there is one thing in three, namely, the Godhead; and the three things are one, namely, those in which is the Godhead, or, to speak more accurately, which are the Godhead: and we acknowledge the Father to be God, the Son God, and the Holy Spirit God, whenever each person is regarded by itself—the thought in that case separating the things that are inseparable—and the three when viewed in conjunction to be God by sameness of motion and of nature; inasmuch as it is proper both to confess the one God, and at the same time to proclaim the three subsistences or proprieties. We also confess the only begotten Son of God, the God-Word, who, before the ages and without time, was begotten of the Father, not made, and who, in the last of the days, for our sakes and for our salvation, descended from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and of our Lady, the holy glorious Mother of God and ever virgin Mary, and was born of her; who is our Lord Jesus Christ, one of the Holy Trinity, united in glorification with the Father and the Holy Spirit: for the Holy Trinity did not admit the |251 addition of a fourth person, even when one of the Trinity, the God-Word, had become incarnate; but our Lord Jesus Christ is one and the same, being consubstantial with God the Father, as respects the Godhead, and at the same time consubstantial with ourselves as respects the manhood; passible in the flesh, and at the same time impassible in the Godhead: for we do not admit that the divine Word who wrought the miracles was one, and he who underwent the sufferings was another ; but we confess our Lord Jesus Christ to be one and the same, namely, the Word of God become incarnate and made perfectly man, and that both the miracles and the sufferings which he voluntarily underwent for our salvation belong to one and the same; inasmuch as it was not a human being that gave himself on our behalf; but the God-Word himself, becoming man without undergoing change, submitted in the flesh to the voluntary passion and death on our behalf. Accordingly, while confessing him to be God, we do not contravene the circumstance of his being man; and while confessing him to be man, we do not deny the fact of his being God: whence, while confessing our Lord Jesus Christ to be one and the same, composed of both natures, namely, the Godhead and the manhood, we do not superinduce confusion upon the union; for he will not lose the circumstance of being God on becoming man like ourselves ; nor yet, in being by nature God, and in that respect incapable of likeness to us, will he also |252 decline the circumstance of being man. But as he continued God in manhood; in like manner, though possessed of divine supremacy, he is no less man; being both in one, God and man at the same time, one Emmanuel. Further, while confessing him to be at the same time perfect in Godhead and perfect in manhood, of which two he was also composed, we do not attach to his one complex subsistence a division by parts or severance ; but we signify that the difference of the natures is not annulled by the union: for neither was the divine nature changed into the human, nor the human nature converted into the divine; but, each being the more distinctly understood and existent in the limit and relation of its own nature, we say that the union took place according to subsistence. The union according to subsistence signifies, that the God-Word, that is to say one subsistence of the three subsistences of the Godhead, was not united with a previously existing human being, but in the womb of our Lady, the holy glorious Mother of God and ever virgin Mary, formed for himself of her, in his own subsistence, flesh consubstantial with ourselves, having the same passions in all respects except sin, and animated with a reasonable and intelligent soul; for he retained his subsistence in himself, and became man, and is one and the same, our Lord Jesus Christ, united in glorification with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Further, while considering his ineffable union, we rightly confess one nature, |253 that of the Divine Word, to have become incarnate, by flesh animated with a reasonable and intelligent soul; and, on the other hand, while contemplating the difference of the natures, we affirm that they are two, without, however, introducing any division, for either nature is in him; whence we confess one and the same Christ, one Son, one person, one subsistence, both God and man together: and all who have held or do hold opinions at variance with these, we anathematize, judging them to be alien from the Holy and Apostolic Church of God. Accordingly, while the right doctrines which have been delivered to us by the holy fathers are being thus proclaimed, we exhort you all to gather into one and the same Catholic and Apostolic Church, or rather we even entreat you; for though possessed of imperial supremacy, we do not decline the use of such a term, in behalf of the unanimity and union of all Christians, in the universal offering of one doxology to our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, and in abstinence for the future on the part of all from unnecessary disputes about persons and words—since the words lead to one true belief and understanding—while the usage and form which has hitherto prevailed in the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of God, remains for ever unshaken and unchanged."
To this edict all assented, saying that it was expressed in orthodox language. None, however, of the severed portions of the Church were entirely reunited, |254 because the edict distinctly declared that what had hitherto been unshaken and unchanged, should continue so in all coming time.
DEPOSITION OF ANASTASIUS, PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH.
JUSTIN also ejected Anastasius from the episcopate of Theopolis, on the charge of a profuse and improper expenditure of the funds of the see, and also for scandalous language against himself; inasmuch as Anastasius, on being asked why he was so lavishly squandering the property of the see, frankly replied, that it was done to prevent its being carried off by that universal pest, Justin. He is also said to have entertained a grudge against Anastasius, because he had refused to pay a sum of money, when demanded of him in consideration of his appointment to the bishopric. Other charges were also brought against him by persons, who, as I suppose, wished to second the emperor's bent.
GREGORY, THE SUCCESSOR OF ANASTASIUS.2
NEXT in succession, Gregory is elevated to the episcopal see: "wide whose renown," according to |255 the language of poetry; a person who had devoted himself from the earliest period of life to the monastic discipline, and had wrestled therein so manfully and stoutly, that he arrived at the highest elevation when scarcely past his boyhood, and became superior of the monastery of the Byzantines, in which he had assumed the bare mode of life, and subsequently, by the orders of Justin, of the monastery of Mount Sinai. Here he encountered extreme danger, having sustained a siege by the Scenite Arabs.
Having, nevertheless, secured the complete tranquillity of the spot, he was thence summoned to the archiepiscopal dignity. He was unrivalled in every excellence of intellect and virtue, and most energetic in accomplishing whatever he resolved upon, uninfluenced by fear, and incapable of shrinking before secular power. So noble was his expenditure of money, in a general system of liberality and munificence, that whenever he appeared in public, crowds, besides his ordinary attendants, followed him; and all gathered round him who saw or heard of his approach. The respect shewn to so high a dignity, was but second to the honour bestowed upon the individual, in the generous desire of persons to obtain a near view of him and to hear his words; for he was possessed of singular power to inspire with attachment towards himself all who held converse with him, being a person of most imposing aspect and sweet address, especially |256 quick of perception and prompt in execution, a most able counsellor and judge, both in his own matters and in those of others. On this account it was that he accomplished so much, never deferring any thing till to-morrow. By dealing with matters with unfailing promptitude, according as either necessity required or opportunity favoured, he tilled with admiration not only the Roman but the Persian sovereigns, as I shall set forth the particulars in their proper place. His character was strongly marked by vehemence, and at times by indications of anger; while, on the other hand, his meekness and gentleness were not confined, but were exceedingly abundant; so that to him was admirably fitted the excellent expression of Gregory Theologus, "austerity tempered with modesty," while neither quality was impaired, but each rendered more striking by the other.
SUBMISSION OF THE INHABITANTS OF PERSARMENIA.
IN the first year of the episcopate of Gregory, the inhabitants of what was formerly called the greater Armenia, but afterwards Persarmenia—this country was formerly subject to the Romans, but when Philip, the successor of Gordian, had betrayed it to Sapor, what is called the lesser Armenia alone was possessed |257 by the Romans, but the remainder by the Persians — this people, being Christians and cruelly treated by the Persians, especially on the score of their faith, sent a secret embassy to Justin, imploring to be allowed to place themselves under the dominion of the Romans, in order to a safe and unrestrained observance of their religion. When the emperor had admitted their overtures, and certain written conditions had been settled on his part and guaranteed by the most solemn oaths, the Armenians massacre their governors; and the whole nation, together with their allied neighbours, both of kindred and foreign race, unite themselves to the Roman empire, Vardanes having a precedence among his countrymen by birth, dignity, and military skill. In reply to the complaints of Chosroes on account of these transactions, Justin alleged that the peace had expired, and that it was impossible to reject the advances of Christians, when desirous of uniting themselves with fellow Christians in time of war.
Such was his reply. Notwithstanding, he made no preparation for war, but was involved in his habitual luxury, regarding every thing as secondary to his personal enjoyments.|258
SIEGE OF NISIBIS BY MARCIAN.3
THE emperor sends out his kinsman Marcian, as commander of the forces of the East, without, however, sufficiently supplying him with troops, or the other material of war. He occupies Mesopotamia, at the imminent risk of utter ruin, followed by very few troops, and these imperfectly armed, and by a few rustic labourers and herdsmen, whom he had pressed into his service from among the provincials. After gaining the advantage in some skirmishes near Nisibis with the Persians, who were themselves not yet completely prepared, he sits down before that city, though the enemy did not think it necessary to close the gates, and insolently jeered the Roman troops. Besides many other prodigies presaging the approaching calamities, I also saw, at the beginning of the war, a newly born calf with two heads.
INVASION OF THE PERSIANS.4
CHOSROES, when his preparations for war were completed, having accompanied Adaarmanes for some |259 distance, sent him across the Euphrates from his own bank of the river into the Roman territory, by Circesium, a city most important to the Romans, situated at the limit of the empire, and rendered strong not only by its walls, which are carried to an immense height, but by the rivers Euphrates and Aboras, which, as it were, insulate the place. Chosroes himself, having crossed the Tigris with his own division of the army, advanced upon Nisibis.
Of these operations the Romans were for a long time ignorant, so far that Justin, relying on a rumour to the effect that Chosroes was either dead or approaching his last breath, was indignant at the tardiness of the siege of Nisibis, and sent persons for the purpose of stimulating the efforts of Marcian, and bringing to him the keys of the gates as quickly as possible. Information, however, that the siege was making no progress, but that the commander was bringing great discredit upon himself by attempting impossibilities in the case of so important a city with so contemptible a force, is conveyed in the first instance to Gregory, bishop of Theopolis: for the bishop of Nisibis, being strongly attached to Gregory, as having received munificent presents from him, and especially being indignant at the insolence which the Persians were continually displaying towards the Christians, and desirous that his city should be subject to the Roman power, supplied information to Gregory of all things that were going |260 on in the enemy's territory, at each several juncture. This the latter immediately forwarded to Jus tin, informing him as quickly as possible of the advance of Chosroes: but he, being immersed in his habitual pleasures, paid no regard to the letters of Gregory; nor was he indeed inclined to believe them, indulging rather the thoughts suggested by his wishes: for the ordinary mark of dissolute persons is a meanness of spirit combined with confidence with regard to results; as well as incredulity, if any thing occurs which runs counter to their desires. Accordingly he writes to Gregory, altogether repudiating the information as being utterly false, and, even supposing it were true, saying that the Persians would not come up before the siege was concluded, and that, if they did, they would be beaten off with loss. He further sends Acacius, a wicked and insolent man, to Marcian with orders to supersede him in the command, even supposing he had already set one foot within the town. This command he strictly executed, carrying out the emperor's orders without any regard to the public good: for, on his arrival at the camp, he deprives Marcian of his command while on the enemy's territory, and without informing the army of the transaction. The various officers, on learning at the break of the next clay that their commander was superseded, no longer appeared at the head of their troops, but stole away in various directions, and thus raised that ridiculous siege. |261
Adaarmanes, on the other hand, in command of a considerable force of Persians and Scenite barbarians, having marched by Circesium, inflicted every possible injury with fire and sword upon the Roman territory, setting no limits to his intentions or actions. He also captures many fortresses and towns, without encountering any resistance; in the first place, because there was no one in command, and secondly, because, since the Roman troops were shut up in Daras by Chosroes, his foragings and incursions were made in perfect security. He also directed an advance upon Theopolis, without proceeding thither in person. These troops were compelled to draw off most unexpectedly; for scarcely any one, or indeed very few persons, remained in the city; and the bishop had fled, taking with him the sacred treasures, because both the greater part of the walls had fallen to ruins, and the populace had made insurrection with the hope of gaining ascendancy by change: a thing of frequent occurrence, and especially at junctures like this. The insurgents themselves also abandoned the city, without any attempt to meet the emergency or take active measures against the enemy. |262
CAPTURE OF APAMEA AND DARAS.
FAILING thus in this attempt, Adaarmanes, having burnt the city formerly called Heraclea but subsequently Gagalica, made himself master of Apamea; which, having been founded by Seleucus Nicator, was once flourishing and populous, but had fallen to a great extent into ruin through lapse of time. On the capitulation of the city from the inability of the inhabitants to offer any resistance, since the wall had fallen down through age, he fired and pillaged the whole place, in violation of the terms, and drew off, carrying away captive the inhabitants of the town and the adjoining country, and among them the bishop and the governor. He also exercised every kind of atrocity during his march, without meeting with any resistance or indeed attempt at opposition, except a very small force sent out by Justin under the command of Magnus, who had formerly been a banker at Constantinople, and subsequently appointed steward of one of the imperial residences. These troops however fled with precipitation, and narrowly escaped being made prisoners.
After these operations, Adaarmanes joins Chosroes, who had not yet captured the city he was besieging. By the junction, he threw an important weight into the |263 scale, in raising the spirits of his countrymen, while he disheartened their opponents. He found the city cut off by lines, and a huge mound carried forward within a short distance of the walls, with engines mounted, and especially catapults, shooting from vantage ground. By these means, Chosroes took the city by storm. John, the son of Timostratus, was governor, who paid little regard to the defence of the place, or perhaps betrayed it; for both accounts are reported. Chosroes had besieged the city for five months or more without any effort being made for its relief. Having brought forth all the inhabitants in immense numbers, some of whom he miserably slaughtered but retained the greater part as captives, he garrisoned the city, on account of its important situation, and then retired into his own territories.
INSANITY OF JUSTIN.
ON being informed of these events, Justin, in whose mind no sober and considerate thoughts found place after so much inflation and pride, and who did not bear what had befallen him with resignation suited to a human being, falls into a state of frenzy, and becomes unconscious of all subsequent transactions.
Tiberius assumes the direction of affairs, a Thracian by |264 birth, but holding the first place in the court of Justin. He had previously been sent out against the Avars by the emperor, who had raised a very large army for the purpose; and he would inevitably have been made prisoner, since his troops would not even face the barbarians, had not divine Providence unexpectedly delivered him, and preserved him for succession to the Roman 'sovereignty; which, through the inconsiderate measures of Justin, was in danger of falling to ruin, together with the entire commonwealth, and of passing from such a height of power into the hands of barbarians.
EMBASSY OF TRAJAN TO CHOSROES.
ACCORDINGLY, Tiberius adopts a measure opportune and well suited to the state of affairs, which altogether repaired the calamity. He despatches to Chosroes, Trajan, a senator and an accomplished man, universally esteemed for his years and intelligence; not, however, as representative of the sovereign power, nor yet as ambassador for the commonwealth, but merely to treat on behalf of the empress Sophia; who herself also wrote to Chosroes, bewailing the calamities which had befallen her husband, and the loss of its head which the commonwealth sustained, and urging the unseemliness of trampling upon a widowed female, a prostrate |265 monarch, and a desolate empire: at the same time reminding him that, when afflicted with sickness, he had himself not only been treated with similar forbearance, but that the very best physicians had been sent to him by the Roman government, and had cured him of his disease. Chosroes is, accordingly, moved by the appeal, and when upon the very point of attacking the empire, makes a truce for three years, embracing the eastern parts; with a condition that Armenia should be excepted, so as to allow of hostilities being maintained there, provided the East were not molested.
During these proceedings in the East, Sirmium is taken by the barbarians, which had some time before fallen into the hands of the Gepidae, and been afterwards restored by them to Justin.
PROCLAMATION OF TIBERIUS. HIS CHARACTER.5
ABOUT this time Justin, by the advice of Sophia, bestows on Tiberius the rank of Caesar, giving utterance, in the act of declaration, to such expressions as surpass all that has been recorded in ancient or recent history; our compassionate God having vouchsafed to him an opportunity for an avowal of his own errors, and a suggestion of what was for the benefit of the state. For when there were assembled in the open |266 court, where ancient usage enjoins that such proceedings should take place, both the archbishop, John, whom we have already mentioned, and his clergy, as well as the state dignitaries, and the household troops, the emperor, on investing Tiberius with the imperial tunic and robe, gave utterance with a loud voice to the following words: "Let not the grandeur of thy investiture deceive thee, nor the pomp of the present spectacle; beguiled by which, I have unwittingly rendered myself obnoxious to the most severe penalties. Do thou make reparation for my errors, by administering the commonwealth with all gentleness." Then pointing to the magistrates, he recommended him by no means to put confidence in them, adding: "These are the very persons who have brought me into the condition which thou now witnessest:" together with other similar expressions, which filled all with utter amazement, and drew forth an abundance of tears.
Tiberius was very tall, and by far the most noble in person not only of sovereigns but all mankind; so that, in the first place, his beauty was deserving of sovereignty. In disposition, he was mild and compassionate, and gave cordial reception to all persons at their very first approach. He deemed wealth to consist in aiding all with largesses, not merely so far as to meet their wants, but even to superfluity: for he did not consider what the needy ought to receive, but what it became a Roman emperor to bestow. He |267 esteemed that gold to be adulterated which was exacted with tears: on which account he entirely remitted the taxation for one year, and released from their imposts the properties which Adaarmanes had devastated, not merely to the extent of the damage but even far beyond it. The magistrates were also excused from the necessity of making the unlawful presents, by means of which the emperors formerly made a sale of their subjects. On these points he also issued constitutions, as a security for coining time.
SUCCESSES OF THE ROMAN COMMANDER JUSTINIAN AGAINST THE PERSIANS.
TIBERIUS, accordingly, applying to a rightful purpose the wealth which had been amassed by improper means, made the necessary preparations for war. So numerous was the army of brave men, raised among the Transalpine nations, the Massagetae, and other Scythian tribes, by a choice levy in the countries on the Rhine, and on this side of the Alps, as well as in Paeonia, Mysia, Illyria, and Isauria, that he completed squadrons of excellent cavalry, to the amount of nearly one hundred and fifty thousand men, and repulsed Chosroes, who, immediately after the capture of Daras, had advanced in the course of the summer against Armenia, and |268 was thence directing his movements upon Caesarea, which was the seat of government of Cappadocia and the capital of the cities in that quarter. In such contempt did Chosroes hold the Roman power, that, when the Caesar had sent an embassy to him, he did not deign to admit the ambassadors to an audience, but bid them follow him to Caesarea; at which place he said he would take the embassy into his consideration. When, however, he saw the Roman army in the front of him, under the command of Justinian, the brother of that Justin who had been miserably put to death by the Emperor Justin, in complete equipment, with the trumpets sending forth martial sounds, the standards uplifted for conflict, and the soldiery eager for slaughter, breathing forth fury, and at the same time maintaining perfect order, and, besides, so numerous and noble a body of cavalry as no monarch had ever imagined, he drew a deep groan, with many adjurations, at the unforeseen and unexpected sight, and was reluctant to begin the engagement. But while he is lingering and whiling away the time, and making a mere feint of fighting, Kurs, the Scythian, who was in command of the right wing, advances upon him; and since the Persians were unable to stand his charge, and were in a very signal manner abandoning their ground, he made an extensive slaughter of his opponents. He also attacks the rear, where both Chosroes and the whole army had placed |269 their baggage, and captures all the royal stores and the entire baggage, under the very eyes of Chosroes; who endured the sight, deeming self-imposed constraint more tolerable than the onset of Kurs. The latter, having together with his troops made himself master of a great amount of money and spoil, and carrying off the beasts of burden with their loads, among which was the sacred fire of Chosroes to which divine honours were paid, makes a circuit of the Persian camp, singing songs of victory, and rejoins, about nightfall, his own army, who had already broken up from their position, without a commencement of battle on the part of either Chosroes or themselves, beyond a few slight skirmishes or single combats, such as usually take place.
Chosroes, having lighted many fires, made preparations for a night assault; and since the Romans had formed two camps, he attacks the division which lay northward, at the dead of night. On their giving way under this sudden and unexpected onset, he advances upon the neighbouring town of Melitene, which was undefended and deserted by its inhabitants, and having fired the whole place, prepared to cross the Euphrates. At the approach, however, of the united forces of the Romans, in alarm for his own safety, he mounted an elephant, and crossed alone; while great numbers of his army found a grave in the waters of the river : on learning whose fate he retreated. |270
Having paid this extreme penalty for his insolence towards the Roman power, Chosroes retires with the survivors to the eastern parts, in which quarter the terms of the truce had provided that no one should attack him. Nevertheless Justinian made an irruption into the Persian territory with his entire force, and passed the whole winter there, without any molestation. He withdrew about the summer solstice, without having sustained any loss whatever, and passed the summer near the border, surrounded by prosperity and glory.
DEATH OF CHOSROES. SUCCESSION OF HORMISDAS.6
CIIOSROES, lost in frenzy and despair, and submerged in the surgings of sorrow, is brought to a miserable end by overwhelming anguish, after leaving behind him a lasting monument of his flight, in the law which he enacted, that no king of the Persians should henceforward lead an army against the Romans. He is succeeded by his son Hormisdas. These matters I must now pass over, since the events which follow in direct succession are inviting my attention and awaiting the regular progress of my narrative. |271
SUCCESSION OF BISHOPS.
ON the decease of John, named also Catelinus, Bonosus is intrusted with the helm of the Roman see, and he is succeeded by another John, and he, again, by Pelagius. In the imperial city John is succeeded by Eutychius, who had already held the see before him. Apollinaris is succeeded in the see of Alexandria by John, and he by Eulogius, After Macarius, John is elevated to the bishopric of Jerusalem, who had pursued the monastic discipline in what is called the monastery of the Acoemets. This period passed without any changes being attempted in the state of the Church.
EARTHQUAKE AT ANTIOCH.7
IN the third year of the administration of the empire by Tiberius, a violent earthquake befell Theopolis and its suburb of Daphne, precisely at noon; on which occasion the whole of that suburb was laid in utter ruin by the shocks, while the public and private buildings in Theopolis, though rent to the ground, were still |272 not entirely levelled. Several other events occurred both in Theopolis, and also in the imperial city, deserving especial notice, which threw both places into confusion, and broke out into excessive disturbances: events which took their rise from zeal for God, and terminated in a manner worthy of divine agency. These I now proceed to notice.
COMMOTION ON ACCOUNT OF ANATOLIUS.
THERE was residing at Theopolis a certain Anatolius, who was originally one of the vulgar and an artisan, but had subsequently, by some means or other, obtained admission into public offices and other posts of importance. In this city he was pursuing his engagements, from which resulted an intimacy with Gregory, president of that Church, and frequent visits to him, partly for the purpose of conversing on matters of business, and partly with a view to obtain greater influence on the ground of his intercourse with the prelate. This person was detected in the practice of sacrificial rites, and being called to account was proved to be a miscreant and a sorcerer, and implicated in innumerable enormities. He gains over, however, by bribery, the governor of the East, and would have obtained an acquittal, together with his accomplices, for he was |273 associated with others of a similar stamp who were involved in the detection, had not the people risen, and, by exciting a universal stir, frustrated the design.
They also clamoured against the bishop, saying that he was a party to the scheme; and some turbulent a:id malignant demon induced persons to believe that he had also taken part with Anatolius in the sacrificial rites. By this means Gregory was brought into extreme danger, from the vehement efforts of the populace against him; and the suspicion was so far prevalent, that even the emperor Tiberius was desirous of learning the truth from the mouth of Anatolius. Accordingly, he orders Anatolius and his associates to be conveyed forthwith to the imperial city. On learning this, Anatolius rushed to a certain image of the Mother of God, which was suspended by a cord in the prison, and folding his hands behind his back, announced himself as a suppliant: but she, in detestation and conviction of the guilty and God-hated man, turned herself quite round, presenting a prodigy awful and worthy of perpetual remembrance; which, having been witnessed by all the prisoners as well as by those who had the charge of Anatolius and his associates, was thus published to the world. She also appeared in a vision to some of the faithful, exhorting them against the wretch, and saying that Anatolius was guilty of insult against her Son.
When he had been conveyed to the imperial city, |274 and, on being subjected to the extreme of torture, was unable to allege anything against the bishop, he and his associates were the cause of still greater disturbances and a general rising of the populace: for, when some of the party had received sentence of banishment instead of death, the populace, inflamed with a sort of divine zeal, caused a general commotion, in their fury and indignation, and having seized the persons condemned to banishment and put them into a skiff, they committed them alive to the flames; such being the people's verdict. They also clamoured against the emperor and their own bishop Eutychius as betrayers of the faith; and they would have inevitably despatched Eutychius, and those who had been charged with the investigation, making search for them in every quarter, had not all-preserving Providence rescued them from their pursuers, and gradually lulled the anger of so numerous a population; so that no outrage was perpetrated at their hands. Anatolius himself, after being first exposed to the wild beasts in the amphitheatre and mangled by them, was then impaled, without terminating even then his punishment in this world; for the wolves, tearing down his polluted body, divided it as a feast among themselves; a circumstance never before noticed. There was also one of my fellow-citizens, who, before these events took place, affirmed that he had been informed by a dream, that the judgment upon Anatolius and his associates was in the |275 hands of the populace. A person too of high distinction, being the curator of the palace, who had resolutely protected Anatolius, said that he had seen the Mother of God, demanding of him how long he intended to defend Anatolius, who had so grievously outraged herself and her Son. Such was the termination of this business.
CHARACTER AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF MAURICE.
TIBERIUS, being by this time in possession of the crown on the death of Justin, supersedes Justinian, since he had not been equally successful against the barbarians, and appoints Maurice to the command of the forces of the East; a person who derived his descent and name from the elder Rome, but, as regards his more immediate origin, was a native of Arabissus in Cappadocia; a man of sense and ability, and of unvarying accuracy and firmness. Being staid and precise in his mode of living and manners, he was temperate in his food, using only such as was necessary and simple, and was superior to all other indulgences of a luxurious life. He was not easily accessible to the solicitations of the vulgar, nor a too easy listener in general; well knowing that the one tends to produce contempt, and the other leads to flattery. Accordingly, |276 he granted audiences sparingly, and those only to persons on serious business, and closed his ears against idle talk, not with wax, as poets say, but rather with reason; so that this latter was an excellent key to them, appropriately both opening and closing them during conversation. So completely had he banished both ignorance, the mother of audacity, and also cowardice, which is at the same time a foreigner and a neighbour to the former, that with him to face danger was an act of prudence, and to decline it was a measure of safety; while both courage and discretion were the charioteers of opportunity, and guided the reins to whatever quarter necessity directed: so that his efforts were both restrained and put forth, as it were, by measure and rule. Concerning this person I shall speak more fully in the sequel; since the detail of his greatness and excellence I must reserve for the history of his reign ; which displayed the man in a clearer light, as unfolding, through freedom of action, even the more inward parts of his character.
This Maurice, advancing beyond the limits of the empire, captures both cities and fortresses, of the greatest importance to the Persians, and carried off so much plunder, that the captives were sufficiently numerous to occupy at length whole islands, towns, and districts which had been deserted : and thus the land which had been previously untilled, was every where restored to cultivation. Numerous |277 armies also were raised from among them, that fought resolutely and courageously against the other nations. At the same time every household was completely furnished with domestics, on account of the easy rate at which slaves were procured.
OVERTHROW OF THE PERSIANS.
HE also engaged Tamchosroes and Adaarmanes, the principal Persian commanders, who had advanced against him with a considerable force: but the nature, manner, and place of these transactions I leave others to record, or shall perhaps myself make them the subject of a distinct work, since my present one professes to treat of matters of a very different kind. Tamchosroes, however, falls in battle, not by the bravery of the Roman soldiery, but merely through the piety and faith of their commander: and Adaarmanes, being worsted in the fight and having lost many of his men, flies with precipitation, and this too, although Alamundarus, the commander of the Scenite barbarians, played the traitor in declining to cross the Euphrates and support Maurice against the Scenites of the opposite party. For this people are invincible by any other than themselves, on account of the fleetness of their horses : when hemmed in, they cannot be |278 captured; and they outstrip their enemies in retreat. Theodoric too, commander of the Scythian troops, did not so much as venture within range of the missiles, but fled with all his people.
PRODIGIES FORESHEWING THE ELEVATION OF MAURICE TO THE EMPIRE.
PRODIGIES also occurred, which indicated that the imperial power was destined to Maurice. As he was offering incense, at the dead of night, within the sanctuary of Mary, the holy and immaculate virgin and Mother of God, which is called by the Antiochenes the church of Justinian, the veil which surrounds the holy table became wrapt in flames; so that Maurice was seized with amazement and awe, and was terrified at the sight. Gregory, the archbishop of the city, who was standing by, said that it was a divine manifestation, betokening to him the highest fortune.
Christ our God also appeared to him, when in the East, calling upon him to avenge Him: which circumstance distinctly intimated the possession of sovereign power; for of what other person would He have made the demand than of an emperor, and one who manifested so much piety towards Him?
His parents also detailed to me circumstance's |279 remarkable and worthy of being recorded, when I was making inquiries on this point: for his father said that, about the time of his conception, he had seen in a dream a very large vine growing from his bed, on which hung great numbers of beautiful clusters of grapes : and his mother told me that, at the time of her delivery, the earth sent forth a strange odour of peculiar sweetness; and that Empusa, as she is called, had often carried off the child for the purpose of devouring him, but had been unable to injure him.
Simeon, too, who practised the station upon the pillar in the neighbourhood of Theopolis, a most energetic man, and distinguished by every divine virtue, both said and did many things which betokened his succession to the empire. The sequel of the history will relate respecting him whatever circumstances are suitable.
ACCESSION OF MAURICE.8
MAURICE assumes the sovereignty, when Tiberius was at the point of death, and had bestowed upon him his daughter Augusta, and the empire as her dowry. Notwithstanding the shortness of his reign, Tiberius left behind him an immortal memorial in the remembrance of his good deeds; for he bequeathed to the |280 commonwealth, in the appointment of Maurice, an inheritance, not admitting of specification in terms, but most precious. He also distributed his own appellations, giving to Maurice the name of Tiberius, and to Augusta that of Constantina. The transactions of their reign the sequel of the history will set forth, with the aid of the divine impulse.
IN order also to an accurate account of the various periods of time, be it known that Justin the younger, reigned alone twelve years, ten months and a half, and in conjunction with Tiberius, three years and eleven months: so that the whole period is sixteen years, nine months and a half. Tiberius also reigned four years alone : so that the whole time from Romulus to the proclamation of Maurice Tiberius, amounts to * * * years; as appears from the previous and present dates. |281
SUCCESSION OF WRITERS ON SACRED AND PROFANE HISTORY.
BY the aid of God, an account of the affairs of the Church, presenting a fair survey of the whole, has been preserved for us in what has been recorded by Eusebius Pamphili down to the time of Constantine, and thence forward as far as Theodosius the younger, by Theodoret, Sozomen, and Socrates, and in the matters which have been selected for my present work.
Primitive and profane history has been also preserved in a continuous narrative by those who have been zealous at the task; Moses being the first to compose history, as has been clearly shewn by those who have collected whatever bears upon the subject, in writing a true account of events from the beginning of the world, derived from what he learned in converse with God on Mount Sinai. Then follow the accounts which those who after him prepared the way for our religion have stored up in sacred scriptures. Josephus also composed an extensive history, in every way valuable. All the stories, whether fabulous or true, relating to the contests of the Greeks and ancient barbarians, both among themselves and against each other, and whatever else had been achieved since the period at which they record the first existence of |282 mankind, have been written by Charax, Theopompus, Ephorus, and others too numerous to mention. The transactions of the Romans, embracing the history of the whole world and whatever else took place either with respect to their intestine divisions or their proceedings towards other nations, have been treated of by Dionysius of Halicarnassus, who has brought down his account from the times of what are called the Aborigines, to those of Pyrrhus of Epirus. The history is then taken up by Polybius of Megalopolis, who brings it down to the capture of Carthage. All these materials Appian has portioned out by a clear arrangement, separately grouping each series of transactions, though occurring at intervals of time. What events occurred subsequent to the before-mentioned periods, have been treated by Diodorus Siculus, as far as the time of Julius Caesar, and by Dion Cassius, who continued his account as far as Antoninus of Emesa. In a similar work of Herodian, the account extends as far as the death of Maximus; and in that of Nicostratus, the sophist of Trapezus, from Philip, the successor of Gordian, to Odenatus of Palmyra, and the ignominious expedition of Valerian against the Persians. Dexippus has also written at great length on the same subject, commencing with the Scythian wars, and terminating with the reign of Claudius, the successor of Gallierius: and he also included the military transactions of the Carpi and other barbarian tribes, in Greece, Thrace, |283 and Ionia. Eusebius too, commencing from Octavian, Trajan, and Marcus, brought his account down to the death of Carus. The history of the same times has been partially written both by Arrian and Asinius Quadratus: that of the succeeding period by Zosimus, as far as Honorius and Arcadius: and events subsequent to their reign by Priscus the Rhetorician, and others. The whole of this range of history has been excellently epitomised by Eustathius of Epiphania, in two volumes, one extending to the capture of Troy, the other to the twelfth year of the reign of Anastasius. The occurrences subsequent to that period have been written by Procopius the rhetorician as far as the time of Justinian ; and the account has been thenceforward continued by Agathias the rhetorician, and John, my fellow-citizen and kinsman, as far as the flight of Chosroes the younger to the Romans, and his restoration to his kingdom: on which occasion Maurice was by no means tardy in his operations, but royally entertained the fugitive, and with the utmost speed restored him to his kingdom, at great cost and with numerous forces. These writers, however, have not yet published their history. With respect to these events, I also will detail in the sequel such matters as are suitable, with the favour of the higher power.
THE END OF THE FIFTH BOOK.
[Footnotes have been moved to the end and assigned numbers rather than the asterisks etc used in the printed volume. Footnotes in [Red] are taken from the running titles, not the bottom of the page]
1. [A.D. 566.]
2. [A.D. 571.]
3. [A.D. 572.]
4. [A. D. 574.]
5. [A. D. 474.]
6. [A. D. 576.]
7. [A. D. 580.]
8. [A. D. 582.]
This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 19th October 2002. All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.
Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font, free from here.
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