Book I

Introduction to the Work.

Eusebius, surnamed Pamphilus, writing the History of the Church in ten books, closed it with that period of the emperor Constantine, when the persecution which Diocletian had begun against the Christians came to an end. Also in writing the life of Constantine, this same author has but slightly treated of matters regarding Arius, being more intent on the rhetorical finish of his composition and the praises of the emperor, than on an accurate statement of facts. Now, as we propose to write the details of what has taken place in the churches since his time to our own day, we begin with the narration of the particulars which he has left out, and we shall not be solicitous to display a parade of words, but to lay before the reader what we have been able to collect from documents, and what we have heard from those who were familiar with the facts as they told them. And since it has an important bearing on the matter in hand, it will be proper to enter into a brief account of Constantine’s conversion to Christianity, making a beginning with this event.

By what Means the Emperor Constantine became a Christian.

When Diocletian and Maximian, surnamed Herculius, had by mutual consent laid aside the imperial dignity, and retired into private life, Maximian, surnamed Galerius, who had been a sharer with them in the government, came into Italy and appointed two Cæsars, Maximin in the eastern division of the empire, and Severus in the Italian. In Britain, however, Constantine was proclaimed emperor, instead of his father Constantius, who died in the first year of the two hundred and seventy-first Olympiad, on the 25th of July. And at Rome Maxentius, the son of Maximian Herculius, was raised by the prætorian soldiers to be a tyrant rather than an emperor. In this state of things Herculius, impelled by a desire to regain the sovereignty, attempted to destroy his son Maxentius; but this he was prevented by the soldiery from effecting, and he soon afterwards died at Tarsus in Cilicia. At the same time Severus Cæsar being sent to Rome by Galerius Maximian, in order to seize Maxentius, was slain, his own soldiers having betrayed him. At length Galerius Maximian, who had exercised the chief authority, also died, having previously appointed as his successor, his old friend and companion in arms, Licinius, a Dacian by birth. Meanwhile, Maxentius sorely oppressed the Roman people, treating them as a tyrant rather than as a king, shamelessly violating the wives of the nobles, putting many innocent persons to death, and perpetrating other similar atrocities. The emperor Constantine being informed of this, exerted himself to free the Romans from the slavery under him (i.e. Maxentius), and began immediately to consider by what means he might overthrow the tyrant. Now while his mind was occupied with this great subject, he debated as to what divinity’s aid he should invoke in the conduct of the war. He began to realize that Diocletian’s party had not profited at all by the pagan deities, whom they had sought to propitiate; but that his own father Constantius, who had renounced the various religions of the Greeks, had passed through life far more prosperously. In this state of uncertainty, as he was marching at the head of his troops, a preternatural vision, which transcends all description, appeared to him. In fact, about that part of the day when the sun after posing the meridian begins to decline towards the west, he saw a pillar of light in the heavens, in the form of a cross, on which were inscribed these words, By This Conquer. The appearance of this sign struck the emperor with amazement and scarcely believing his own eyes, he asked those around him if they beheld the same spectacle; and as they unanimously declared that they did, the emperor’s mind was strengthened by this divine and marvelous apparition. On the following night in his slumbers he saw Christ who directed him to prepare a standard according to the pattern of that which had been seen; and to use it against his enemies as an assured trophy of victory. In obedience to this divine oracle, he caused a standard in the form of a cross to be prepared, which is preserved in the palace even to the present time: and proceeding in his measures with greater earnestness, he attacked the enemy and vanquished him before the gates of Rome, near the Mulvian bridge, Maxentius himself being drowned in the river. This victory was achieved in the seventh year of the conqueror’s reign. After this, while Licinius, who shared the government with him, and was his brother-in-law, having married his sister Constantia, was residing in the East, the emperor Constantine, in view of the great blessing he had received, offered grateful thanksgivings to God as his benefactor; these consisted in his relieving the Christians from persecution, recalling those who were in exile, liberating such as were imprisoned, and causing the confiscated property of the prescribed to be restored to them; he moreover rebuilt the churches, and performed all these things with the greatest ardor. About this time Diocletian, who had abdicated the imperial authority, died at Salona in Dalmatia.

While Constantine favors the Christians, Licinius, his Colleague, persecutes them.

Now Constantine, the emperor, having thus embraced Christianity, conducted himself as a Christian of his profession, rebuilding the churches, and enriching them with splendid offerings: he also either closed or destroyed the temples of the pagans, and exposed the images which were in them to popular contempt. But his colleague Licinius, holding his pagan tenets, hated Christians; and although from fear of the emperor Constantine he avoided exciting open persecution, yet he managed to plot against them covertly, and at length proceeded to harass them without disguise. This persecution, however, was local, extending only to those districts where Licinius himself was: but as these and other public outrages did not long remain concealed from Constantine, finding out that the latter was indignant at his conduct, Licinius had recourse to an apology. Having thus propitiated him, he entered into a feigned league of friendship, pledging himself by many oaths not to act again tyrannically. But no sooner did he pledge himself than he committed perjury; for he neither changed his tyrannical mood nor ceased persecuting Christians. Indeed, he even prohibited the bishops by law from visiting the uncoverted pagans, lest it should be made a pretext for proselyting them to the Christian faith. And the persecution was thus at the same time well known and secret. It was conceded in name but manifest in fact; for those who were exposed to his persecution suffered most severely both in their persons and property.

War arises between Constantine and Licinius on Account of the Christians.

By this course he drew upon himself the emperor Constantine’s heaviest displeasure; and they became enemies, the pretended treaty of friendship between them having been violated. Not long afterwards they took up arms against each other as declared enemies. And after several engagements both by sea and land, Licinius was at last utterly defeated near Chrysopolis in Bithynia, a port of the Chalcedonians, and surrendered himself to Constantine. Accordingly he having taken him alive, treated him with the utmost humanity, and would by no means put him to death, but ordered him to take up his abode and live in tranquillity at Thessalonica. He having, however, remained quiet a short time, managed afterwards to collect some barbarian mercenaries and made an effort to repair his late disaster by a fresh appeal to arms. The emperor being made acquainted with his proceedings, directed that he should be slain, which was carried into effect. Constantine thus became possessed of the sole dominion, and was accordingly proclaimed sovereign Autocrat, and again sought to promote the welfare of Christians. This he did in a variety of ways, and Christianity enjoyed unbroken peace by reason of his efforts. But an internal dissension soon succeeded this state of repose, the nature and origin of which I shall now endeavor to describe.

The Dispute of Arius with Alexander, his Bishop.

After Peter, bishop of Alexandria, had suffered martyrdom under Diocletian, Achillas was installed in the episcopal office, whom Alexander succeeded, during the period of peace above referred to. He, in the fearless exercise of his functions for the instruction and government of the Church, attempted one day in the presence of the presbytery and the rest of his clergy, to explain, with perhaps too philosophical minuteness, that great theological mystery—theUnityof the Holy Trinity. A certain one of the presbyters under his jurisdiction, whose name was Arius, possessed of no inconsiderable logical acumen, imaging that the bishop was subtly teaching the same view of this subject as Sabellius the Libyan, from love of controversy took the opposite opinion to that of the Libyan, and as he thought vigorously responded to what was said by the bishop. If, said he, the Father begat the Son, he that was begotten had a beginning of existence: and from this it is evident, that there was a time when the Son was not. It therefore necessarily follows, that he had his substance from nothing.

Division begins in the Church from this Controversy; and Alexander Bishop of Alexandria excommunicates Arius and his Adherents.

Having drawn this inference from his novel train of reasoning, he excited many to a consideration of the question; and thus from a little spark a large fire was kindled: for the evil which began in the Church at Alexandria, ran throughout all Egypt, Libya, and the upper Thebes, and at length diffused itself over the rest of the provinces and cities. Many others also adopted the opinion of Arius; but Eusebius in particular was a zealous defender of it: not he of Cæsarea, but the one who had before been bishop of the church at Berytus, and was then somehow in possession of the bishopric of Nicomedia in Bithynia. When Alexander became conscious of these things, both from his own observation and from report, being exasperated to the highest degree, he convened a council of many prelates; and excommunicated Arius and the abettors of his heresy; at the same time he wrote as follows to the bishops constituted in the several cities:—

The Epistle of Alexander Bishop of Alexandria.

To our beloved and most honored fellow-Ministers of the Catholic Church everywhere, Alexander sends greeting in the Lord.

Inasmuch as the Catholic Church is one body, and we are commanded in the holy Scriptures to maintain the bond of unity and peace, it becomes us to write, and mutually acquaint one another with the condition of things among each of us, in order that if one member suffers or rejoices, we may either sympathize with each other, or rejoice together. Know therefore that there have recently arisen in our diocese lawless and anti-christian men, teaching apostasy such as one may justly consider and denominate the forerunner of Antichrist. I wished indeed to consign this disorder to silence, that if possible the evil might be confined to the apostates alone, and not go forth into other districts and contaminate the ears of some of the simple. But since Eusebius, now in Nicomedia, thinks that the affairs of the Church are under his control because, forsooth, he deserted his charge at Berytus and assumed authority over the Church at Nicomedia with impunity, and has put himself at the head of these apostates, daring even to send commendatory letters in all directions concerning them, if by any means he might inveigle some of the ignorant into this most impious and anti-christian heresy, I felt imperatively called on to be silent no longer, knowing what is written in the law, but to inform you of all of these things, that ye might understand both who the apostates are, and also the contemptible character of their heresy, and pay no attention to anything that Eusebius should write to you. For now wishing to renew his former malevolence, which seemed to have been buried in oblivion by time, he affects to write in their behalf; while the fact itself plainly shows that he does this for the promotion of his own purposes. These then are those who have become apostates: Arius, Achillas, Aithales, and Carpones, another Arius, Sarmates, Euzoïus, Lucius, Julian, Menas, Helladis, and Gaius; with these also must be reckoned Secundus and Theonas, who once were called bishops. The dogmas they have invented and assert, contrary to the Scriptures, are these: That God was not always the Father, but that there was a period when he was not the Father; that the Word of God was not from eternity, but was made out of nothing; for that the ever-existing God (the I AM—the eternal One) made him who did not previously exist, out of nothing; wherefore there was a time when he did not exist, inasmuch as the Son is a creature and a work. That he is neither like the Father as it regards his essence, nor is by nature either the Father’s true Word, or true Wisdom, but indeed one of his works and creatures, being erroneously called Word and Wisdom, since he was himself made of God’s own Word and the Wisdom which is in God, whereby God both made all things and him also. Wherefore he is as to his nature mutable and susceptible of change, as all other rational creatures are: hence the Word is alien to and other than the essence of God; and the Father is inexplicable by the Son, and invisible to him, for neither does the Word perfectly and accurately know the Father, neither can he distinctly see him. The Son knows not the nature of his own essence: for he was made on our account, in order that God might create us by him, as by an instrument; nor would he ever have existed, unless God had wished to create us.

Some one accordingly asked them whether the Word of God could be changed, as the devil has been? and they feared not to say, Yes, he could; for being begotten, he is susceptible of change. We then, with the bishops of Egypt and Libya, being assembled together to the number of nearly a hundred, have anathematized Arius for his shameless avowal of these heresies, together with all such as have countenanced them. Yet the partisans of Eusebius have received them; endeavoring to blend falsehood with truth, and that which is impious with what is sacred. But they shall not prevail, for the truth must triumph; and light has no fellowship with darkness, nor has Christ any concord with Belial. Who ever heard such blasphemies? or what man of any piety is there now hearing them that is not horror-struck, and stops his ears, lest the filth of these expressions should pollute his sense of hearing? Who that hears John saying, In the beginning was the Word, does not condemn those that say, There was a period when the Word was not? or who, hearing in the Gospel of the only-begotten Son, and that all things were made by him, will not abhor those that pronounce the Son to be one of the things made? How can he be one of the things which were made by himself? Or how can he be the only-begotten, if he is reckoned among created things? And how could he have had his existence from nonentities, since the Father has said, My heart has indited a good matter; and I begat thee out of my bosom before the dawn? Or how is he unlike the Father’s essence, who is his perfect image, and the brightness of his glory and says: He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father? Again how if the Son is the Word and Wisdom of God, was there a period when he did not exist? for that is equivalent to their saying that God was once destitute both of Word and Wisdom. How can he be mutable and susceptible of change, who says of himself, I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and I and the Father are one; and again by the Prophet, Behold me because I am, and have not changed? But if any one may also apply the expression to the Father himself, yet would it now be even more fitly said of the Word; because he was not changed by having become man, but as the Apostle says, Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. But what could persuade them to say that he was made on our account, when Paul has expressly declared that all things are for him, and by him? One need not wonder indeed at their blasphemous assertion that the Son does not perfectly know the Father; for having once determined to fight against Christ, they reject even the words of the Lord himself, when he says, As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father. If therefore the Father but partially knows the Son, it is manifest that the Son also knows the Father but in part. But if it would be improper to affirm this, and it be admitted that the Father perfectly knows the Son, it is evident that as the Father knows his own Word, so also does the Word know his own Father, whose Word he is. And we, by stating these things, and unfolding the divine Scriptures, have often confuted them: but again as chameleons they were changed, striving to apply to themselves that which is written, When the ungodly has reached the depths of iniquity, he becomes contemptuous. Many heresies have arisen before these, which exceeding all bounds in daring, have lapsed into complete infatuation: but these persons, by attempting in all their discourses to subvert the Divinity of The Word, as having made a nearer approach to Antichrist, have comparatively lessened the odium of former ones. Wherefore they have been publicly repudiated by the Church, and anathematized. We are indeed grieved on account of the perdition of these persons, and especially so because, after having been previously instructed in the doctrines of the Church, they have now apostatized from them. Nevertheless we are not greatly surprised at this, for Hymenæus and Philetus fell in like manner; and before them Judas, who had been a follower of the Saviour, but afterwards deserted him and became his betrayer. Nor were we without forewarning respecting these very persons: for the Lord himself said: Take heed that no man deceive you: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ: and shall many deceive many; and the time is at hand; Go ye not therefore after them. And Paul, having learned these things from the Saviour, wrote, That in the latter times some should apostatize from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits, and doctrines of devils, who pervert the truth. Seeing then that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has himself enjoined this, and has also by the apostle given us intimation respecting such men, we having ourselves heard their impiety have in consequence anathematized them, as we before said, and declared them to be alienated from the Catholic Church and faith. Moreover we have intimated this to your piety, beloved and most honored fellow-ministers, in order that ye might neither receive any of them, if they should presume to come to you, nor be induced to put confidence in Eusebius, or any other who may write to you about them. For it is incumbent on us who are Christians, to turn away from all those who speak or entertain a thought against Christ, as from those who are resisting God, and are destroyers of the souls of men: neither does it become us even to salute such men, as the blessed John has prohibited, lest we should at any time be made partakers of their sins. Greet the brethren which are with you; those who are with me salute you.

Upon Alexander’s thus addressing the bishops in every city, the evil only became worse, inasmuch as those to whom he made this communication were thereby excited to contention. And some indeed fully concurred in and subscribed to the sentiments expressed in this letter, while others did the reverse. But Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, was beyond all others moved to controversy, inasmuch as Alexander in his letter had made a personal and censorious allusion to him. Now at this juncture Eusebius possessed great influence, because the emperor resided at Nicomedia. For in fact Diocletian had a short time previously built a palace there. On this account therefore many of the bishops paid their court to Eusebius. And he repeatedly wrote both to Alexander, that he might set aside the discussion which had been excited, and again receive Arius and his adherents into communion; and also to the bishops in each city, that they might not concur in the proceedings of Alexander. By these means confusion everywhere prevailed: for one saw not only the prelates of the churches engaged in disputing, but the people also divided, some siding with one party, and some with the other. To so disgraceful an extent was this affair carried, that Christianity became a subject of popular ridicule, even in the very theatres. Those who were at Alexandria sharply disputed about the highest points of doctrine, and sent deputations to the bishops of the several dioceses; while those who were of the opposite faction created a similar disturbance.

With the Arians the Melitians mingled themselves, who a little while before had been separated from the Church: but who these [Melitians] are must now be stated.

By Peter, bishop of Alexandria, who in the reign of Diocletian suffered martyrdom, a certain Melitius, bishop of one of the cities in Egypt, in consequence of many other charges, and more especially because during the persecution he had denied the faith and sacrificed, was deposed. This person, being stripped of his dignity, and having nevertheless many followers, became the leader of the heresy of those who are to this day called from him Melitians throughout Egypt. And as he had no rational excuse for his separation from the Church, he pretended that he had simply been wronged and loaded Peter with calumnious reproaches. Now Peter died the death of a martyr during the persecution, and so Melitius transferred his abuse first to Achillas, who succeeded Peter in the bishopric, and afterwards again to Alexander, the successor of Achillas. In this state of things among them, the discussion in relation to Arius arose; and Melitius with his adherents took part with Arius, entering into a conspiracy with him against the bishop. But as many as regarded the opinion of Arius as untenable, justified Alexander’s decision against him, and thought that those who favored his views were justly condemned. Meanwhile Eusebius of Nicomedia and his partisans, with such as favored the sentiments of Arius, demanded by letter that the sentence of excommunication which had been pronounced against him should be rescinded; and that those who had been excluded should be readmitted into the Church, as they held no unsound doctrine. Thus letters from the opposite parties were sent to the bishop of Alexandria; and Arius made a collection of those which were favorable to himself while Alexander did the same with those which were adverse. This therefore afforded a plausible opportunity of defense to the sects, which are now prevalent, of the Arians, Eunomians, and such as receive their name from Macedonius; for these severally make use of these epistles in vindication of their heresies.

The Emperor Constantine being grieved at the Disturbance of the Churches, sends Hosius the Spaniard to Alexandria, exhorting the Bishop and Arius to Reconciliation and Unity.

When the emperor was made acquainted with these disorders, he was very deeply grieved; and regarding the matter as a personal misfortune, immediately exerted himself to extinguish the conflagration which had been kindled, and sent a letter to Alexander and Arius by a trustworthy person named Hosius, who was bishop of Cordova, in Spain. The emperor greatly loved this man and held him in the highest estimation. It will not be out of place to introduce here a portion of this letter, the whole of which is given in the life of Constantine by Eusebius.

Victor Constantine Maximum Augustus to Alexander and Arius.

I am informed that your present controversy originated thus. When you, Alexander, inquired of your presbyters what each thought on a certain inexplicable passage of the written Word, rather on a subject improper for discussion; and you, Arius, rashly gave expression to a view of the matter such as ought either never to have been conceived, or when suggested to your mind, it became you to bury it in silence. This dispute having thus been excited among you, communion has been denied; and the most holy people being rent into two factions, have departed from the harmony of the common body. Wherefore let each one of you, showing consideration for the other, listen to the impartial exhortation of your fellow-servant. And what counsel does he offer? It was neither prudent at first to agitate such a question, nor to reply to such a question when proposed: for the claim of no law demands the investigation of such subjects, but the idle useless talk of leisure occasions them. And even if they should exist for the sake of exercising our natural faculties, yet we ought to confine them to our own consideration, and not incautiously bring them forth in public assemblies, nor thoughtlessly confide them to the ears of everybody. Indeed how few are capable either of adequately expounding, or even accurately understanding the import of matters so vast and profound!

And even if any one should be considered able to satisfactorily accomplish this, how large a portion of the people would he succeed in convincing? Or who can grapple with the subtilties of such investigations without danger of lapsing into error? It becomes us therefore on such topics to check loquacity, lest either on account of the weakness of our nature we should be incompetent to explain the subject proposed; or the dull understanding of the audience should make them unable to apprehend clearly what is attempted to be taught: and in the case of one or the other of these failures, the people must be necessarily involved either in blasphemy or schism. Wherefore let an unguarded question, and an inconsiderate answer, on the part of each of you, procure equal forgiveness from one another. No cause of difference has been started by you bearing on any important precept contained in the Law; nor has any new heresy been introduced by you in connection with the worship of God; but ye both hold one and the same judgment on these points, which is the Creed. Moreover, while you thus pertinaciously contend with one another about matters of small or scarcely the least importance, it is unsuitable for you to have charge of so many people of God, because you are divided in opinion: and not only is it unbecoming, but it is also believed to be altogether unlawful.

In order to remind you of your duty by an example of an inferior kind, I may say: you are well aware that even the philosophers themselves are united under one sect. Yet they often differ from each other on some parts of their theories: but although they may differ on the very highest branches of science, in order to maintain the unity of their body, they still agree to coalesce. Now, if this is done amongst them, how much more equitable will it be for you, who have been constituted ministers of the Most High God, to become unanimous with one another in such a religious profession. But let us examine with closer consideration, and deeper attention, what has been already stated. Is it right on account of insignificant and vain contentions between you about words, that brethren should be set in opposition against brethren; and that the honorable communion should be distracted by unhallowed dissension, through our striving with one another respecting things so unimportant, and by no means essential? These quarrels are vulgar and rather consistent with puerile thoughtlessness, than suitable to the intelligence of priests and prudent men. We should spontaneously turn aside from the temptations of the devil. The great God and Saviour of us all has extended to all the common light. Under his providence, allow me, his servant, to bring this effort of mine to a successful issue; that by my exhortation, ministry, and earnest admonition, I may lead you, his people, back to unity of communion. For since, as I have said, there is but one faith among you, and one sentiment respecting religion, and since the precept of the law, in all its parts, combines all in one purpose of soul, let not this diversity of opinion, which has excited dissension among you, by any means cause discord and schism, inasmuch as it does not affect the force of the law as a whole. Now, I say these things, not as compelling you all to see exactly alike on this very insignificant subject of controversy, whatever it may be; since the dignity of the communion may be preserved unaffected, and the same fellowship with all be retained, even though there should exist among you some dissimilarity of sentiment on unimportant matters. For, of course, we do not all desire the same thing in every respect; nor is there one unvarying nature, or standard of judgment in us. Therefore, in regard to divine providence, let there be one faith, one sentiment, and one covenant of the Godhead: but those minute investigations which ye enter into among yourselves with so much nicety, even if ye should not concur in one judgment in regard to them, should remain within the sphere of your own reflection, kept in the secret recesses of the mind. Let then an ineffable and select bond of general friendship, with faith in the truth, reverence for God, and a devout observance of his law, remain unshaken among you. Resume mutual friendship and grace; restore to the whole people their accustomed familiar embraces; and do ye yourselves, on the strength of having purified your own souls, again recognize one another. For friendship often becomes sweeter after the removal of animosity. Thus restore to me tranquil days, and nights free from care; that to me also some pleasure in the pure light may be preserved, and a cheerful serenity during the rest of my life: otherwise, I must necessarily groan, and be wholly suffused with tears; neither will the remaining period of my earthly existence be peacefully sustained. For while the people of God (I speak of my fellow-servants) are severed from one another by so unworthy and injurious a contest, how is it possible for me to maintain my usual equanimity? But in order that you may have some idea of my excessive grief on account of this unhappy difference, listen to what I am about to state. On my recent arrival at the city of Nicomedia, it was my intention immediately after to proceed into the East: but while I was hastening toward you, and had advanced a considerable distance on my way, intelligence of this affair altogether reversed my purpose, lest I should be obliged to see with my own eyes a condition of things such as I could scarcely bear the report of. Open to me therefore by your reconciliation henceforth, the way into the East, which ye have obstructed by your contentions against one another: and permit me speedily to behold both you and all the rest of the people rejoicing together; and to express my due thanks to the Divine Being, because of the general harmony and liberty of all parties, accompanied by the cordial utterance of your praise.

Of the Synod which was held at Nicæa in Bithynia, and the Creed there put forth.

Such admirable and wise counsel did the emperor’s letter contain. But the evil had become too strong both for the exhortations of the emperor, and the authority of him who was the bearer of his letter: for neither was Alexander nor Arius softened by this appeal; and moreover there was incessant strife and tumult among the people. Moreover another local source of disquietude had pre-existed there, which served to trouble the churches,—the dispute namely in regard to the Passover, which was carried on in the regions of the East only. This arose from some desiring to keep the Feast more in accordance with the custom of the Jews; while others preferred its mode of celebration by Christians in general throughout the world. This difference, however, did not interfere with their communion, although their mutual joy was necessarily hindered. When, therefore, the emperor beheld the Church agitated on account of both of these causes, he convoked a General Council, summoning all the bishops by letter to meet him at Nicæa in Bithynia. Accordingly the bishops assembled out of the various provinces and cities; respecting whom Eusebius Pamphilus thus writes, word for word, in his third book of the life of Constantine:

Wherefore the most eminent of the ministers of God in all the churches which have filled Europe, Africa, and Asia, were convened. And one sacred edifice, dilated as it were by God, contained within it on the same occasion both Syrians and Cilicians, Phœnicians, Arabs and Palestinians, and in addition to these, Egyptians, Thebans, Libyans, and those who came from Mesopotamia. At this synod a Persian bishop was also present, neither was the Scythian absent from this assemblage. Pontus also and Galatia, Pamphylia, Cappadocia, Asia and Phrygia, supplied those who were most distinguished among them. Besides, there met there Thracians and Macedonians, Achaians and Epirots, and even those who dwelt still further away than these, and the most celebrated of the Spaniards himself took his seat among the rest. The prelate of the imperial city was absent on account of age; but some of his presbyters were present and filled his place. Such a crown, composed as a bond of peace, the emperor Constantine alone has ever dedicated to Christ his Saviour, as a thank-offering worthy of God for victory over his enemies, having appointed this convocation among us in imitation of the Apostolic Assembly. For among them it is said were convened devout men of every nation under heaven; Parthians, Medes and Elamites, and those who dwelt in Mesopotamia, Judæa and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the part of Libya which is toward Cyrene, strangers from Rome also, both Jews and proselytes with Cretans and Arabs. That congregation, however, was inferior in this respect, that all present were not ministers of God: whereas in this assembly the number of bishops exceeded three hundred; while the number of the presbyters, deacons, and acolyths and others who attended them was almost incalculable. Some of these ministers of God were eminent for their wisdom, some for the strictness of their life, and patient endurance [of persecution], and others united in themselves all these distinguished characteristics: some were venerable from their advanced age, others were conspicuous for their youth and vigor of mind, and others had but recently entered on their ministerial career. For all these the emperor appointed an abundant supply of daily food to be provided.

Such is Eusebius’ account of those who met on this occasion. The emperor having completed the festal solemnization of this triumph over Licinius, came also in person to Nice.

There were among the bishops two of extraordinary celebrity, Paphnutius, bishop of Upper Thebes, and Spyridon, bishop of Cyprus: why I have so particular referred to these two individuals, I shall state hereafter. Many of the laity were also present, who were practiced in the art of reasoning, and each eager to advocate the cause of his own party. Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, as was before said, supported the opinion of Arius, together with Theognis and Maris; of these the former was bishop of Nicæa, and Maris of Chalcedon in Bithynia. These were powerfully opposed by Athanasius, a deacon of the Alexandrian church, who was highly esteemed by Alexander his bishop, and on that account was much envied, as will be seen hereafter. Now a short time previous to the general assembling of the bishops, the disputants engaged in preparatory logical contests before the multitudes; and when many were attracted by the interest of their discourse, one of the laity, a confessor , who was a man of unsophisticated understanding, reproved these reasoners, telling them that Christ and his apostles did not teach us dialectics, art, nor vain subtilties, but simple-mindedness, which is preserved by faith and good works. As he said this, all present admired the speaker and assented to the justice of his remarks; and the disputants themselves, after hearing his plain statement of the truth, exercised a greater degree of moderation: thus then was the disturbance caused by these logical debates suppressed at this time.

On the following day all the bishops were assembled together in one place; the emperor arrived soon after and on his entrance stood in their midst, and would not take his place, until the bishops by bowing intimated their desire that he should be seated: such was the respect and reverence which the emperor entertained for these men. When a silence suitable to the occasion had been observed, the emperor from his seat began to address them words of exhortation to harmony and unity, and entreated each to lay aside all private pique. For several of them had brought accusations against one another and many had even presented petitions to the emperor the day before. But he, directing their attention to the matter before them, and on account of which they were assembled, ordered these petitions to be burnt; merely observing that Christ enjoins him who is anxious to obtain forgiveness, to forgive his brother. When therefore he had strongly insisted on the maintenance of harmony and peace, he sanctioned again their purpose of more closely investigating the questions at issue. But it may be well to hear what Eusebius says on this subject, in his third book of the Life of Constantine. His words are these:

A variety of topics having been introduced by each party and much controversy being excited from the very commencement, the emperor listened to all with patient attention, deliberately and impartially considering whatever was advanced. He in part supported the statements which were made on either side, and gradually softened the asperity of those who contentiously opposed each other, conciliating each by his mildness and affability. And as he addressed them in the Greek language, for he was not unacquainted with it, he was at once interesting and persuasive, and wrought conviction on the minds of some, and prevailed on others by entreaty, those who spoke well he applauded. And inciting all to unanimity at length he succeeded in bringing them into similarity of judgment, and conformity of opinion on all the controverted points: so that there was not only unity in the confession of faith, but also a general agreement as to the time for the celebration of the feast of Salvation. Moreover the doctrines which had thus the common consent, were confirmed by the signature of each individual.

Such in his own words is the testimony respecting these things which Eusebius has left us in writing; and we not unfitly have used it, but treating what he has said as an authority, have introduced it here for the fidelity of this history. With this end also in view, that if any one should condemn as erroneous the faith professed at this council of Nicæa, we might be unaffected by it, and put no confidence in Sabinus the Macedonian, who calls all those who were convened there ignoramuses and simpletons. For this Sabinus, who was bishop of the Macedonians at Heraclea in Thrace, having made a collection of the decrees published by various Synods of bishops, has treated those who composed the Nicene Council in particular with contempt and derision; not perceiving that he thereby charges Eusebius himself with ignorance, who made a like confession after the closest scrutiny. And in fact some things he has willfully passed over, others he has perverted, and on all he has put a construction favorable to his own views. Yet he commends Eusebius Pamphilus as a trustworthy witness, and praises the emperor as capable in stating Christian doctrines: but he still brands the faith which was declared at Nicæa, as having been set forth by ignorant persons, and such as had no intelligence in the matter. And thus he voluntarily contemns the words of a man whom he himself pronounces a wise and true witness: for Eusebius declares, that of the ministers of God who were present at the Nicene Synod, some were eminent for the word of wisdom, others for the strictness of their life; and that the emperor himself being present, leading all into unanimity, established unity of judgment, and agreement of opinion among them. Of Sabinus, however, we shall make further mention as occasion may require. But the agreement of faith, assented to with loud acclamation at the great council of Nicæa is this:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible:—and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of the Father, that is of the substance of the Father; God of God and Light of light; true God of true God; begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father: by whom all things were made, both which are in heaven and on earth: who for the sake of us men, and on account of our salvation, descended, became incarnate, and was made man; suffered, arose again the third day, and ascended into the heavens, and will come again to judge the living and the dead. [We] also [believe] in the Holy Spirit. But the holy Catholic and Apostolic church anathematizes those who say There was a time when he was not, and He was not before he was begotten and He was made from that which did not exist, and those who assert that he is of other substance or essence than the Father, or that he was created, or is susceptible of change.

This creed was recognized and acquiesced in by three hundred and eighteen [bishops]; and being, as Eusebius says, unanimous is expression and sentiment, they subscribed it. Five only would not receive it, objecting to the term homoousios, of the same essence, or consubstantial: these were Eusebius bishop of Nicomedia, Theognis of Nice, Maris of Chalcedon, Theonas of Marmarica, and Secundus of Ptolemaïs. For, said they since that is consubstantial which is from another either by partition, derivation or germination; by germination, as a shoot from the roots; by derivation, as children from their parents; by division, as two or three vessels of gold from a mass, and the Son is from the Father by none of these modes: therefore they declared themselves unable to assent to this creed. Thus having scoffed at the word consubstantial, they would not subscribe to the deposition of Arius. Upon this the Synod anathematized Arius, and all who adhered to his opinions, prohibiting him at the same time from entering into Alexandria. At the same time an edict of the emperor sent Arius himself into exile, together with Eusebius and Theognis and their followers; Eusebius and Theognis, however, a short time after their banishment, tendered a written declaration of their change of sentiment, and concurrence in the faith of the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father, as we shall show as we proceed.

At this time during the session of the Synod, Eusebius, surnamed Pamphilus, bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine, who had held aloof for a short time, after mature consideration whether he ought to receive this definition of the faith, at length acquiesced in it, and subscribed it with all the rest: he also sent to the people under his charge a copy of the Creed, with an explanation of the word homoousios, that no one might impugn his motives on account of his previous hesitation. Now what was written by Eusebius was as follows in his own words:

You have probably had some intimation, beloved, of the transactions of the great council convened at Nicæa, in relation to the faith of the Church, inasmuch as rumor generally outruns true account of that which has really taken place. But lest from such report alone you might form an incorrect estimate of the matter, we have deemed it necessary to submit to you, in the first place, an exposition of the faith proposed by us in written form; and then a second which has been promulgated, consisting of ours with certain additions to its expression. The declaration of faith set forth by us, which when read in the presence of our most pious emperor, seemed to meet with universal approbation, was thus expressed:

According as we received from the bishops who preceded us, both in our instruction [in the knowledge of the truth], and when we were baptized; as also we have ourselves learned from the sacred Scriptures: and in accordance with what we have both believed and taught while discharging the duties of presbyter and the episcopal office itself, so now we believe and present to you the distinct avowal of our faith. It is this:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible:—and in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Word of God, God of God, Light of light, Life of life, the only-begotten Son, born before all creation, begotten of God the Father, before all ages, by whom also all things were made; who on account of our salvation became incarnate, and lived among men; and who suffered and rose again on the third day, and ascended to the Father, and shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. We believe also in one Holy Spirit. We believe in the existence and subsistence of each of these [persons]: that the Father is truly Father, the Son truly Son, and the Holy Spirit truly Holy Spirit; even as our Lord also, when he sent forth his disciples to preach the Gospel, said, Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Concerning these doctrines we steadfastly maintain their truth, and avow our full confidence in them; such also have been our sentiments hitherto, and such we shall continue to hold until death and in an unshaken adherence to this faith, we anathematize every impious heresy. In the presence of God Almighty, and of our Lord Jesus Christ we testify, that thus we have believed and thought from our heart and soul, since we have possessed a right estimate of ourselves; and that we now think and speak what is perfectly in accordance with the truth. We are moreover prepared to prove to you by undeniable evidences, and to convince you that in time past we have thus believed, and so preached.

When these articles of faith were proposed, there seemed to be no ground of opposition: nay, our most pious emperor himself was the first to admit that they were perfectly correct, and that he himself had entertained the sentiments contained in them; exhorting all present to give them their assent, and subscribe to these very articles, thus agreeing in a unanimous profession of them, with the insertion, however, of that single word homoousios (consubstantial), an expression which the emperor himself explained, as not indicating corporeal affections or properties; and consequently that the Son did not subsist from the Father either by division or abscission: for said he, a nature which is immaterial and incorporeal cannot possibly be subject to any corporeal affection; hence our conception of such things can only be in divine and mysterious terms. Such was the philosophical view of the subject taken by our most wise and pious sovereign; and the bishops on account of the word homoousious, drew up this formula of faith.

The Creed.

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible:—and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of the Father, that is of the substance of the Father; God of God, Light of light, true God of true God; begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father; by whom all things were made both which are in heaven and on earth; who for the sake of us men, and on account of our salvation, descended, became incarnate, was made man, suffered and rose again on the third day; he ascended into the heavens, and will come to judge the living and the dead. [We believe] also in the Holy Spirit. But those who say There was a time when he was not, or He did not exist before he was begotten, or He was made of nothing or assert that He is of other substance or essence than the Father, or that the Son of God is created, or mutable, or susceptible of change, the Catholic and apostolic Church of God anathematizes.

Now this declaration of faith being propounded by them, we did not neglect to investigate the distinct sense of the expressions of the substance of the Father, and consubstantial with the Father. Whereupon questions were put forth and answers, and the meaning of these terms was clearly defined; when it was generally admitted that ousias (of the essence or substance) simply implied that the Son is of the Father indeed, but does not subsist as a part of the Father. To this interpretation of the sacred doctrine which declares that the Son is of the Father, but is not a part of his substance, it seemed right to us to assent. We ourselves therefore concurred in this exposition; nor do we cavil at the word homoousios having regard to peace, and fearing to lose a right understanding of the matter. On the same grounds we admitted also the expression begotten, not made: for made, said they, is a term applicable in common to all the creatures which were made by the Son, to whom the Son has no resemblance. Consequently he is no creature like those which were made by him, but is of a substance far excelling any creature; which substance the Divine Oracles teach was begotten of the Father by such a mode of generation as cannot be explained nor even conceived by any creature. Thus also the declaration that the Son is consubstantial with the Father having been discussed, it was agreed that this must not be understood in a corporeal sense, or in any way analogous to mortal creatures; inasmuch as it is neither by division of substance, nor by abscission nor by any change of the Father’s substance and power, since the underived nature of the Father is inconsistent with all these things. That he is consubstantial with the Father then simply implies, that the Son of God has no resemblance to created things, but is in every respect like the Father only who begat him; and that he is of no other substance or essence but of the Father. To which doctrine, explained in this way, it appeared right to assent, especially since we knew that some eminent bishops and learned writers among the ancients have used the term homoousios in their theological discourses concerning the nature of the Father and the Son. Such is what I have to state to you in reference to the articles of faith which have been promulgated; and in which we have all concurred, not without due examination, but according to the senses assigned, which were investigated in the presence of our most highly favored emperor, and for the reasons mentioned approved. We have also considered the anathema pronounced by them after the declaration of faith inoffensive; because it prohibits the use of illegitimate terms, from which almost all the distraction and commotion of the churches have arisen. Accordingly, since no divinely inspired Scripture contains the expressions, of things which do not exist, and there was a time when he was not, and such other phrases as are therein subjoined, it seemed unwarrantable to utter and teach them: and moreover this decision received our sanction the rather from the consideration that we have never heretofore been accustomed to employ these terms. We deemed it incumbent on us, beloved, to acquaint you with the caution which has characterized both our examination of and concurrence in these things: and that on justifiable grounds we resisted to the last moment the introduction of certain objectionable expressions as long as these were not acceptable; and received them without dispute, when on mature deliberation as we examined the sense of the words, they appeared to agree with what we had originally proposed as a sound confession of faith.

Such was the letter addressed by Eusebius Pamphilus to the Christians at Cæsarea in Palestine. At the same time the Synod itself also, with one accord, wrote the following epistle to the church of the Alexandrians, and to believers in Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis.

The Letter of the Synod, relative to its Decisions: and the Condemnation of Arius and those who agreed with him.

To the holy, by the grace of God, and great church of the Alexandrians, and to our beloved brethren throughout Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis, the bishops assembled at Nicæa, constituting the great and holy Synod, send greeting in the Lord.

Since, by the grace of God, a great and holy Synod has been convened at Nicæa, our most pious sovereign Constantine having summoned us out of various cities and provinces for that purpose, it appeared to us indispensably necessary that a letter should be written to you on the part of the sacred Synod; in order that ye may know what subjects were brought under consideration and examined, and what was eventually determined on and decreed.

In the first place, then, the impiety and guilt of Arius and his adherents were examined into, in the presence of our most religious emperor Constantine: and it was unanimously decided that his impious opinion should be anathematized, with all the blasphemous expressions he has uttered, in affirming that the Son of God sprang from nothing, and that there was a time when he was not; saying moreover that the Son of God, because possessed of free will, was capable either of vice or virtue; and calling him a creature and a work. All these sentiments the holy Synod has anathematized, having scarcely patience to endure the hearing of such an impious opinion, or, rather, madness, and such blasphemous words. But the conclusion of our proceedings against him you must either have been informed of already or will soon learn; for we would not seem to trample on a man who has received the chastisement which his crime deserved. Yet so contagious has his pestilential error proved, as to drag into perdition Theonas, bishop of Marmarica, and Secundus of Ptolemaïs; for they have suffered the same condemnation as himself. But when the grace of God delivered us from those execrable dogmas, with all their impiety and blasphemy, and from those persons, who had dared to cause discord and division among a people previously at peace, there still remained the contumacy of Melitius [to be dealt with] and those who had been ordained by him; and we now state to you, beloved brethren, what resolution the Synod came to on this point. It was decreed, the Synod being moved to great clemency towards Melitius, although strictly speaking he was wholly undeserving of favor, that he remain in his own city but exercise no authority either to ordain or nominate for ordination; and that he appear in no other district or city on this pretense, but simply retain a nominal dignity. That those who had received appointments from him, after having been confirmed by a more legitimate ordination, should be admitted to communion on these conditions: that they should continue to hold their rank and ministry, but regard themselves as inferior in every respect to all those who have been ordained and established in each place and church by our most-honored fellow-minister, Alexander, so that they shall have no authority to propose or nominate whom they please, or to do anything at all without the concurrence of some bishop of the Catholic Church who is one of Alexander’s suffragans. On the other hand, such as by the grace of God and your prayers have been found in no schism, but have continued in the Catholic Church blameless, shall have authority to nominate and ordain those who are worthy of the sacred office, and to act in all things according to ecclesiastical law and usage. When it may happen that any of those holding preferments in the church die, then let these who have been thus recently admitted be advanced to the dignity of the deceased, provided that they should appear worthy, and that the people should elect them, the bishop of Alexandria also ratifying their choice. This privilege is conceded to all the others indeed, but to Melitius personally we by no means grant the same license, on account of his former disorderly conduct, and because of the rashness and levity of his character, in order that no authority or jurisdiction should be given him as a man liable again to create similar disturbances. These are the things which specially affect Egypt, and the most holy church of the Alexandrians: and if any other canon or ordinance has been established, our Lord and most-honored fellow-minister and brother Alexander being present with us, will on his return to you enter into more minute details, inasmuch as he has been a participator in whatever is transacted, and has had the principal direction of it. We have also gratifying intelligence to communicate to you relative to unity of judgment on the subject of the most holy feast of Easter: for this point also has been happily settled through your prayers; so that all the brethren in the East who have heretofore kept this festival when the Jews did, will henceforth conform to the Romans and to us, and to all who from the earliest time have observed our period of celebrating Easter. Rejoicing therefore in these conclusions and in the general unanimity and peace, as well as in the extirpation of all heresy, receive with the greater honor and more abundant love our fellow-minister and your bishop Alexander, who has greatly delighted us by his presence, and even at his advanced age has undergone extraordinary exertions in order that peace might be re-established among you. Pray on behalf of us all, that the things decided as just may be inviolably maintained through Almighty God, and our Lord Jesus Christ, together with the Holy Spirit; to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

This epistle of the Synod makes it plain that they not only anathematized Arius and his adherents, but the very expressions of his tenets; and that having agreed among themselves respecting the celebration of Easter, they readmitted the heresiarch Melitius into communion, suffering him to retain his episcopal rank, but divesting him of all authority to act as a bishop. It is for this reason I suppose that even at the present time the Melitians in Egypt are separated from the church, because the Synod deprived Melitius of all power. It should be observed moreover that Arius had written a treatise on his own opinion which he entitled Thalia; but the character of the book is loose and dissolute, similar in its style and metres to the songs of Sotades. This production also the Synod condemned at the same time. Nor was it the Synod alone that took the trouble to write letters to the churches announcing the restoration of peace, but the emperor Constantine himself also wrote personally and sent the following address to the church of the Alexandrians.

The Emperor’s Letter.

Constantine Augustus, to the Catholic church of the Alexandrians. Beloved brethren, hail! We have received from Divine Providence the inestimable blessing of being relieved from all error, and united in the acknowledgment of one and the same faith. The devil will no longer have any power against us, since all that which he had malignantly devised for our destruction has been entirely overthrown from the foundations. The splendor of truth has dissipated at the command of God those dissensions, schisms, tumults, and so to speak, deadly poisons of discord. Wherefore we all worship one true God, and believe that he is. But in order that this might be done, by divine admonition I assembled at the city of Nicæa most of the bishops; with whom I myself also, who am but one of you, and who rejoice exceedingly in being your fellow-servant, undertook the investigation of the truth. Accordingly, all points which seemed in consequence of ambiguity to furnish any pretext for dissension, have been discussed and accurately examined. And may the Divine Majesty pardon the fearful enormity of the blasphemies which some were shamelessly uttering concerning the mighty Saviour, our life and hope; declaring and confessing that they believe things contrary to the divinely inspired Scriptures. While more than three hundred bishops remarkable for their moderation and intellectual keenness, were unanimous in their confirmation of one and the same faith, which according to the truth and legitimate construction of the law of God can only be the faith; Arius alone beguiled by the subtlety of the devil, was discovered to be the sole disseminator of this mischief, first among you, and afterwards with unhallowed purposes among others also. Let us therefore embrace that doctrine which the Almighty has presented to us: let us return to our beloved brethren from whom an irreverent servant of the devil has separated us: let us go with all speed to the common body and our own natural members. For this is becoming your penetration, faith and sanctity; that since the error has been proved to be due to him who is an enemy to the truth, ye should return to the divine favor. For that which has commended itself to the judgment of three hundred bishops cannot be other than the doctrine of God; seeing that the Holy Spirit dwelling in the minds of so many dignified persons has effectually enlightened them respecting the Divine will. Wherefore let no one vacillate or linger, but let all with alacrity return to the undoubted path of duty; that when I shall arrive among you, which will be as soon as possible, I may with you return due thanks to God, the inspector of all things, for having revealed the pure faith, and restored to you that love for which ye have prayed. May God protect you, beloved brethren.

Thus wrote the emperor to the Christians of Alexandria, assuring them that the exposition of the faith was neither made rashly nor at random, but that it was dictated with much research, and after strict investigation: and not that some things were spoken of, while others were suppressed in silence; but that whatever could be fittingly advanced in support of any opinion was fully stated. That nothing indeed was precipitately determined, but all was previously discussed with minute accuracy; so that every point which seemed to furnish a pretext for ambiguity of meaning, or difference of opinion, was thoroughly sifted, and its difficulties removed. In short he terms the thought of all those who were assembled there the thought of God, and does not doubt that the unanimity of so many eminent bishops was effected by the Holy Spirit. Sabinus, however, the chief of the heresy of the Macedonians, willfully rejects these authorities, and calls those who were convened there ignorant and illiterate persons; nay, he almost accuses Eusebius of Cæsarea himself of ignorance: nor does he reflect, that even if those who constituted that synod had been laymen, yet as being illuminated by God, and the grace of the Holy Spirit, they were utterly unable to err from the truth. Nevertheless, hear farther what the emperor decreed in another circular both against Arius and those who held his opinions, sending it in all directions to the bishops and people.

Another Epistle of Constantine.

Victor Constantine Maximus Augustus, to the bishops and people.—Since Arius has imitated wicked and impious persons, it is just that he should undergo the like ignominy. Wherefore as Porphyry, that enemy of piety, for having composed licentious treatises against religion, found a suitable recompense, and such as thenceforth branded him with infamy, overwhelming him with deserved reproach, his impious writings also having been destroyed; so now it seems fit both that Arius and such as hold his sentiments should be denominated Porphyrians, that they may take their appellation from those whose conduct they have imitated. And in addition to this, if any treatise composed by Arius should be discovered, let it be consigned to the flames, in order that not only his depraved doctrine may be suppressed, but also that no memorial of him may be by any means left. This therefore I decree, that if any one shall be detected in concealing a book compiled by Arius, and shall not instantly bring it forward and burn it, the penalty for this offense shall be death; for immediately after conviction the criminal shall suffer capital punishment. May God preserve you!

Another Epistle.

Constantine Augustus, to the Churches.

Having experienced from the flourishing condition of public affairs, how great has been the grace of divine power, I judged this to be an object above all things claiming my care, that one faith, with sincere love, and uniform piety toward Almighty God should be maintained amongst the most blessed assemblies of the Catholic Church. But inasmuch as I perceived that this could not be firmly and permanently established, unless all, or at least the greatest part of the bishops could be convened in the same place, and every point of our most holy religion should be discussed by them in council; therefore as many as possible were assembled, and I myself also as one of you was present; for I will not deny what I especially rejoice in, that I am your fellow-servant. All points were then minutely investigated, until a decision acceptable to Him who is the inspector of all things, was published for the promotion of uniformity of judgment and practice; so that nothing might be henceforth left for dissension or controversy in matters of faith. There also the question having been considered relative to the most holy day of Easter, it was determined by common consent that it should be proper that all should celebrate it on one and the same day everywhere. For what can be more appropriate, or what more solemn, than that this feast from which we have received the hope of immortality, should be invariably kept in one order, and for an obvious reason among all? And in the first place, it seemed very unworthy of this most sacred feast, that we should keep it following the custom of the Jews; a people who having imbrued their hands in a most heinous outrage, have thus polluted their souls, and are deservedly blind. Having then cast aside their usage, we are free to see to it that the celebration of this observance should occur in future in the more correct order which we have kept from the first day of the Passion until the present time. Therefore have nothing in common with that most hostile people the Jews. We have received from the Saviour another way; for there is set before us both a legitimate and accurate course in our holy religion: unanimously pursuing this, let us, most honored brethren, withdraw ourselves from that detestable association. For it is truly absurd for them to boast that we are incapable of rightly observing these things without their instruction. For on what subject will they be competent to form a correct judgment, who after that murder of their Lord, having been bereft of their senses, are led not by any rational motive, but by an ungovernable impulse, wherever their innate fury may drive them? Thence it is therefore, that even in this particular they do not perceive the truth, so that they constantly erring in the utmost degree, instead of making a suitable correction, celebrate the Feast of Passover a second time in the same year. Why then should we follow the example of those who are acknowledged to be infected with grievous error? Surely we should never suffer Easter to be kept twice in one and the same year! But even if these considerations were not laid before you, it became your prudence at all times to take heed, both by diligence and prayer, that the purity of your soul should in nothing have communion, or seem to do so with the customs of men so utterly depraved. Moreover this should also be considered, that in a matter so important and of such religious significance, the slightest disagreement is most irreverent. For our Saviour left us but one day to be observed in commemoration of our deliverance, that is the day of his most holy Passion: he also wished his Catholic Church to be one; the members of which, however much they may be scattered in various places, are notwithstanding cherished by one Spirit, that is by the will of God. Let the prudence consistent with your sacred character consider how grievous and indecorous it is, that on the same days some should be observing fasts, while others are celebrating feasts; and after the days of Easter some should indulge in festivities and enjoyments, and others submit to appointed fastings. On this account therefore Divine Providence directed that an appropriate correction should be effected, and uniformity of practice established, as I suppose you are all aware.

Since then it was desirable that this should be so amended that we should have nothing in common with that nation of parricides, and of those who slew their Lord; and since the order is a becoming one which is observed by all the churches of the western, southern, and northern parts, and by some also in the eastern; from these considerations for the present all thought it to be proper, and I pledged myself that it would be satisfactory to your prudent penetration, that what is observed with such general unanimity of sentiment in the city of Rome, throughout Italy, Africa, all Egypt, Spain, France, Britain, Libya, the whole of Greece, and the dioceses of Asia, Pontus, and Cilicia, your intelligence also would cheerfully accept; reflecting too that not only is there a greater number of churches in the places before mentioned, but also that this in particular is a most sacred obligation, that all should in common desire whatever strict reason seems to demand, and what has no communion with the perjury of the Jews. But to sum up matters briefly, it was determined by common consent that the most holy festival of Easter should be solemnized on one and the same day; for it is not even seemly that there should be in such a hallowed solemnity any difference: and it is more commendable to adopt that opinion in which there will be no intermixture of strange error, or deviation from what is right. These things therefore being thus consistent, do you gladly receive this heavenly and truly divine command: for whatever is done in the sacred assemblies of the bishops is referable to the Divine will. Wherefore, when ye have indicated the things which have been prescribed to all our beloved brethren, it behooves you to publish the above written statements and to accept the reasoning which has been adduced, and to establish this observance of the most holy day: that when I arrive at the long and earnestly desired view of your order, I may be able to celebrate the sacred festival with you on one and the same day; and may rejoice with you for all things, in seeing Satanic cruelty frustrated by divine power through our efforts, while your faith, peace and concord are everywhere flourishing. May God preserve you, beloved brethren.

Another Epistle to Eusebius.

Victor Constantine Maximus Augustus, to Eusebius.

Since an impious purpose and tyranny have even to the present time persecuted the servants of God our Saviour, I have been credibly informed and am fully persuaded, most beloved brother, that all our sacred edifices have either by neglect gone to decay, or from dread of impending danger have not been adorned with becoming dignity. But now that liberty has been restored, and that persecuting dragon Licinius has by the providence of the Most High God, and our instrumentality, been removed from the administration of public affairs, I imagine that the divine power has been made manifest to all, and at the same time that those who either through fear or unbelief fell into any sins, having acknowledged the living God, will come to the true and right course of life. Wherefore enjoin the churches over which you yourself preside, as well as the other bishops presiding in various places, together with the presbyters and deacons whom you know, to be diligent about the sacred edifices, either by repairing those which remain standing, or enlarging them, or by erecting new ones wherever it may be requisite. And do you yourself ask, and the rest through you, the necessary supplies both from the governors of the provinces, and the officers of the prætorian prefecture: for directions have been given to them to execute with all diligence the orders of your holiness. May God preserve you, beloved brother.

These instructions, concerning the building of churches were sent by the emperor to the bishops in every province: but what he wrote to Eusebius of Palestine respecting the preparation of some copies of the Scriptures, we may ascertain from the letters themselves:

Victor Constantine Maximus Augustus, to Eusebius of Cæsarea.

In the city which derives its name from us, a very great multitude of persons, through the assisting providence of our Saviour God, have united themselves to the most holy Church, so that it has received much increase there. It is therefore requisite that more churches should be furnished in that place: wherefore do you most cordially enter into the purpose which I have conceived. I have thought fit to intimate this to your prudence, that you should order to be transcribed on well-prepared parchment, by competent writers accurately acquainted with their art, fifty copies of the Sacred Scriptures, both legibly described, and of a portable size, the provision and use of which you know to be needful for the instruction of the Church. Letters have also been despatched from our clemency, to the financial agent of the diocese that he be careful to provide all things necessary for the preparation of them. That these copies may be got ready as quickly as possible, let it be a task for your diligence: and you are authorized, on the warrant of this our letter, to use two of the public carriages for their conveyance; for thus the copies which are most satisfactorily transcribed, may be easily conveyed for our inspection, one of the deacons of your church fulfilling this commission; who when he has reached us shall experience our bounty. May God preserve you, beloved brother.

Another Epistle to Macarius.

Victor Constantine Maximus Augustus, to Macarius of Jerusalem.—Such is the grace of our Saviour, that no supply of words seems to be adequate to the expression of its present manifestation. For that the monument of his most holy passion, long since hidden under the earth, should have lain concealed for a period of so many years, until, through the destruction of the common enemy of all, it should shine forth to his own servants after their having regained their freedom, exceeds all admiration. For if all those who throughout the whole habitable earth are accounted wise, should be convened in one and the same place, desiring to say something worthy of the event, they would fall infinitely short of the least part of it; for the apprehension of this wonder as far transcends every nature capable of human reasoning, as heavenly things are mightier than human. Hence therefore this is always my especial aim, that as the credibility of the truth daily demonstrates itself by fresh miracles, so the souls of us all should become more diligent respecting the holy law, with modesty and unanimous eagerness. But I desire that you should be fully aware of what I conceive is pretty generally known, that it is now my chief care, that we should adorn with magnificent structures that hallowed spot, which by God’s appointment I have disencumbered of a most disgraceful addition of an idol, as of some grievous burden; which was consecrated indeed from the beginning in the purpose of God, but has been more manifestly sanctified since he has brought to light the evidence of the Saviour’s passion. Wherefore it is becoming your prudence to make such arrangements, and provision of everything necessary, that not only a church should be built in itself superior to any elsewhere, but that the rest of its parts also may be such that all the most splendid edifices in every city may be excelled by this. With regard to the workmanship and chaste execution of the walls, know that we have entrusted the care of these things to our friend Dracilian, deputy to the most illustrious prefects of the prætorium, and to the governor of the province: for my piety has ordered that artificers and workmen, and whatever other things they may be informed from your sagacity to be necessary for the structure, shall through their care be immediately sent. Respecting the columns or the marbles, whatever you may judge to be more precious and useful, do you yourself after having inspected the plan take care to write to us; that when we shall understand from your letter how many things and of what kind there may be need of, these may be conveyed to you from all quarters: for it is but just that the most wonderful place in the world, should be adorned in accordance with its dignity. But I wish to know from you, whether you consider that the vault of the basilica should be fretted, or constructed on some other plan: for if it is to be fretted, it can also be decorated with gold. It remains that your holiness should inform the officers before mentioned as soon as possible, how many workmen and artificers, and what money for expenses you will want. Be careful at the same time to report to me speedily, not only concerning the marbles and columns, but also concerning the fretted vault, if indeed you should decide this to be the more beautiful. May God preserve you, beloved brother.

The emperor having also written other letters of a more oratorical character against Arius and his adherents, caused them to be everywhere published throughout the cities, exposing him to ridicule, and taunting him with irony. Moreover, writing to the Nicomedians against Eusebius and Theognis, he censures the misconduct of Eusebius, not only on account of his Arianism, but because also having formerly been well-affected to the ruler, he had traitorously conspired against his affairs. He then exhorts them to elect another bishop instead of him. But I thought it would be superfluous to insert here the letters respecting these things, because of their length: those who wish to do so may find them elsewhere and give them a perusal. This is sufficient notice of these transactions.

The Emperor also summons to the Synod Acesius, Bishop of the Novatians.

The emperor’s diligence induces me to mention another circumstance expressive of his mind, and serving to show how much he desired peace. For aiming at ecclesiastical harmony, he summoned to the council Acesius also, a bishop of the sect of Novatians. Now, when the declaration of faith had been written out and subscribed by the Synod, the emperor asked Acesius whether he would also agree to this creed to the settlement of the day on which Easter should be observed. He replied, The Synod has determined nothing new, my prince: for thus heretofore, even from the beginning, from the times of the apostles, I traditionally received the definition of the faith, and the time of the celebration of Easter. When, therefore, the emperor further asked him, For what reason then do you separate yourself from communion with the rest of the Church? he related what had taken place during the persecution under Decius; and referred to the rigidness of that austere canon which declares, that it is not right persons who after baptism have committed a sin, which the sacred Scriptures denominate a sin unto death to be considered worthy of participation in the sacraments: that they should indeed be exhorted to repentance, but were not to expect remission from the priest, but from God, who is able and has authority to forgive sins. When Acesius had thus spoken, the emperor said to him, Place a ladder, Acesius, and climb alone into heaven. Neither Eusebius Pamphilus nor any other has ever mentioned these things: but I heard them from a man by no means prone to falsehood, who was very old, and simply stated what had taken place in the council in the course of a narrative. From which I conjecture that those who have passed by this occurrence in silence, were actuated by motives which have influenced many other historians: for they frequently suppress important facts, either from prejudice against some, or partiality towards others.

Of the Bishop Paphnutius.

As we have promised above to make some mention of Paphnutius and Spyridon, it is time to speak of them here. Paphnutius then was bishop of one of the cities in Upper Thebes: he was a man so favored divinely that extraordinary miracles were done by him. In the time of the persecution he had been deprived of one of his eyes. The emperor honored this man exceedingly, and often sent for him to the palace, and kissed the part where the eye had been torn out. So great devoutness characterized the emperor Constantine. Let this single fact respecting Paphnutius suffice: I shall now explain another thing which came to pass in consequence of his advice, both for the good of the Church and the honor of the clergy. It seemed fit to the bishops to introduce a new law into the Church, that those who were in holy orders, I speak of bishops, presbyters, and deacons, should have no conjugal intercourse with the wives whom they had married while still laymen. Now when discussion on this matter was impending, Paphnutius having arisen in the midst of the assembly of bishops, earnestly entreated them not to impose so heavy a yoke on the ministers of religion: asserting that marriage itself is honorable, and the bed undefiled; urging before God that they ought not to injure the Church by too stringent restrictions. For all men, said he, cannot bear the practice of rigid continence; neither perhaps would the chastity of the wife of each be preserved: and he termed the intercourse of a man with his lawful wife chastity. It would be sufficient, he thought, that such as had previously entered on their sacred calling should abjure matrimony, according to the ancient tradition of the Church: but that none should be separated from her to whom, while yet unordained, he had been united. And these sentiments he expressed, although himself without experience of marriage, and, to speak plainly, without ever having known a woman: for from a boy he had been brought up in a monastery, and was specially renowned above all men for his chastity. The whole assembly of the clergy assented to the reasoning of Paphnutius: wherefore they silenced all further debate on this point, leaving it to the discretion of those who were husbands to exercise abstinence if they so wished in reference to their wives. Thus much concerning Paphnutius.

Of Spyridon, Bishop of the Cypriots.

With respect to Spyridon, so great was his sanctity while a shepherd, that he was thought worthy of being made a Pastor of men: and having been assigned the bishopric of one of the cities in Cyprus named Trimithus, on account of his extreme humility he continued to feed his sheep during his incumbency of the bishopric. Many extraordinary things are related of him: I shall however record but one or two, lest I should seem to wander from my subject. Once about midnight, thieves having clandestinely entered his sheepfold attempted to carry off some of the sheep. But God who protected the shepherd preserved his sheep also; for the thieves were by an invisible power bound to the folds. At daybreak, when he came to the sheep and found the men with their hands tied behind them, he understood what was done: and after having prayed he liberated the thieves, earnestly admonishing and exhorting them to support themselves by honest labor, and not to take anything unjustly. He then gave them a ram, and sent them away, humorously adding, that ye may not appear to have watched all night in vain. This is one of the miracles in connection with Spyridon. Another was of this kind. He had a virgin daughter named Irene, who was a partaker of her father’s piety. An acquaintance entrusted to her keeping an ornament of considerable value: she, to guard it more securely, hid what had been deposited with her in the ground, and not long afterwards died. Subsequently the owner of the property came to claim it; and not finding the virgin, he began an excited conversation with the father, at times accusing him of an attempt to defraud him, and then again beseeching him to restore the deposit. The old man, regarding this person’s loss as his own misfortune, went to the tomb of his daughter, and called upon God to show him before its proper season the promised resurrection. Nor was he disappointed in his hope: for the virgin again reviving appeared to her father, and having pointed out to him the spot where she had hidden the ornament, she once more departed. Such characters as these adorned the churches in the time of the emperor Constantine. These details I obtained from many inhabitants of Cyprus. I have also found a treatise composed in Latin by the presbyter Rufinus, from which I have collected these and some other things which will be hereafter adduced.

Of Eutychian the Monk.

I have heard moreover concerning Eutychian, a devout person who flourished about the same time; who also belonged to the Novatian church, yet was venerated for the performance of similar miracles. I shall unequivocally state my authority for this narrative, nor will I attempt to conceal it, even though I give offense to some parties. It was Auxanon, a very aged presbyter of the Novatian church; who when quite a youth accompanied Acesius to the Synod at Nicæa, and related to me what I have said concerning him. His life extended from that period to the reign of Theodosius the Younger; and when I was a mere youth he recounted to me the acts of Eutychian, enlarging much on the divine grace which was manifested in him: but one circumstance he alluded to, which occurred in the reign of Constantine, peculiarly worthy of mention. One of those military attendants, whom the emperor calls his domestic [or body] guards having been suspected of treasonable practices, sought his safety in flight. The indignant monarch ordered that he should be put to death, wherever he might be found: who, having been arrested on the Bithynian Olympus, was bound with heavy and painful chains and kept imprisoned near those parts of Olympus where Eutychian was leading a solitary life, and healing both the bodies and souls of many. The aged Auxanon being then very young was with him, and was being trained by him in the discipline of the monastic life. Many persons came to this Eutychian, entreating him to procure the release of the prisoner by interceding for him with the emperor. For the fame of the miracles done by Eutychian had reached the ears of the emperor. He readily promised to go to the sovereign; but as the chains inflicted intolerable suffering, those who interested themselves on his behalf declared that death caused by the effect of his chains would anticipate both the emperor’s vengeance and any intercession that might be made for the prisoner. Accordingly Eutychian sent to the jailers requesting them to relieve the man; but they having answered that they should bring themselves into danger by relieving a criminal, he went himself to the prison, attended by Auxanon; and as they refused to open the jail, the grace which rested on Eutychian was rendered more conspicuous: for the gates of the prison opened of their own accord, while the jailers had the keys in their custody. As soon as Eutychian, together with Auxanon, had entered the prison, to the great astonishment of all then present the fetters spontaneously fell from the prisoner’s limbs. He then proceeded with Auxanon to the city which was anciently called Byzantium but afterwards Constantinople, where having been admitted into the imperial palace, he saved the man from death; for the emperor, entertaining great veneration for Eutychian, readily granted his request. This indeed occurred some time after [the period to which this part of our history refers].

The bishops who were convened at the council of Nicæa, after having drawn up and enrolled certain other ecclesiastical regulations which they are accustomed to term canons, again departed to their respective cities: and as I conceive it will be appreciated by lovers of learning, I shall here subjoin the names of such as were present, as far as I have been able to ascertain them, with the province and city over which they severally presided, and likewise the date at which this assembly took place. Hosius, who was I believe bishop of Cordova in Spain, as I have before stated. Vito and Vicentius, presbyters of Rome, Alexander, bishop of Egypt, Eustathius of Antiochia Magna, Macarius of Jerusalem, and Harpocration of Cynopolis: the names of the rest are fully reported in The Synodicon of Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria. This Synod was convened (as we have discovered from the notation of the date prefixed to the record of the Synod) in the consulate of Paulinus and Julian, on the 20th day of May, and in the 636th year from the reign of Alexander the Macedonian. Accordingly the work of the council was accomplished. It should be noted that after the council the emperor went into the western parts of the empire.

Eusebius Bishop of Nicomedia, and Theognis Bishop of Nicæa, who had been banished for agreeing in Opinion with Arius, having published their Recantation, and assented to the Creed, are reinstated in their Sees.

Eusebius and Theognis having sent a penitential confession to the principal bishops, were by an imperial edict recalled from exile and restored to their own churches, displacing those who had been ordained in their places; Eusebius [displacing] Amphion, and Theognis Chrestus. This is a copy of their written retraction:

We having been sometime since condemned by your piety, without a formal trial, ought to bear in silence the decisions of your sacred adjudication. But since it is unreasonable that we by silence should countenance caluminators against ourselves, we on this account declare that we entirely concur with you in the faith; and also that, after having closely considered the import of the term consubstantial, we have been wholly studious of peace, having never followed the heresy. After suggesting whatever entered our thought for the security of the churches, and fully assuring those under our influence, we subscribed the declaration of faith; we did not subscribe the anathematizing; not as objecting to the creed, but as disbelieving the party accused to be such as was represented, having been satisfied on this point, both from his own letters to us, and from personal conversations. But if your holy council was convinced, we not opposing but concurring in your decisions, by this statement give them our full assent and confirmation: and this we do not as wearied with our exile, but to shake off the suspicion of heresy. If therefore ye should now think fit to restore us to your presence, ye will have us on all points conformable, and acquiescent in your decrees: especially since it has seemed good to your piety to deal tenderly with and recall even him who was primarily accused. It would be absurd for us to be silent, and thus give presumptive evidence against ourselves, when the one who seemed responsible has been permitted to clear himself from the charges brought against him. Vouchsafe then, as is consistent with that Christ-loving piety of yours, to remind our most religious emperor, to present our petitions, and to determine speedily concerning us in a way becoming yourselves.

Such was the language of the recantation of Eusebius and Theognis; from which I infer that they had subscribed the articles of faith which had been set forth, but would not become parties to the condemnation of Arius. It appears also that Arius was recalled before them; but, although this may be true, yet he had been forbidden to enter Alexandria. This is evident from the fact that he afterwards devised a way of return for himself, both into the church and into Alexandria, by having made a fictitious repentance, as we shall show in its proper place.

After the Synod, on the Death of Alexander, Athanasius is constituted Bishop of Alexandria.

A little after this, Alexander bishop of Alexandria having died, Athanasius was set over that church. Rufinus relates, that this [Athanasius] when quite a boy, played with others of his own age at a sacred game: this was an imitation of the priesthood and the order of consecrated persons. In this game therefore Athanasius was allotted the episcopal chair, and each of the other lads personated either a presbyter or a deacon. The children engaged in this sport on the day in which the memory of the martyr and bishop Peter was celebrated. Now at that time Alexander bishop of Alexandria happening to pass by, observed the play in which they were engaged, and having sent for the children, enquired from them the part each had been assigned in the game, conceiving that something might be portended by that which had been done. He then gave directions that the children should be taken to the church, and instructed in learning, but especially Athanasius; and having afterwards ordained him deacon on his becoming of adult age, he brought him to Nicæa to assist him in the disputations there when the Synod was convened. This account of Athanasius Rufinus has given in his own writings; nor is it improbable that it took place, for many transactions of this kind have often occurred. Concerning this matter it will suffice to have said the above.

The Emperor Constantine having enlarged the Ancient Byzantium, calls it Constantinople.

After the Synod the emperor spent some time in recreation, and after the public celebration of his twentieth anniversary of his accession, he immediately devoted himself to the reparation of the churches. This he carried into effect in other cities as well as in the city named after him, which being previously called Byzantium, he enlarged, surrounded with massive walls, and adorned with various edifices; and having rendered it equal to imperial Rome, he named it Constantinople, establishing by law that it should be designated New Rome. This law was engraven on a pillar of stone erected in public view in the Strategium, near the emperor’s equestrian statue. He built also in the same city two churches, one of which he named Irene, and the other The Apostles. Nor did he only improve the affairs of the Christians, as I have said, but he also destroyed the superstition of the heathens; for he brought forth their images into public view to ornament the city of Constantinople, and set up the Delphic tripods publicly in the Hippodrome. It may indeed seem now superfluous to mention these things, since they are seen before they are heard of. But at that time the Christian cause received its greatest augmentation; for Divine Providence preserved very many other things during the times of the emperor Constantine. Eusebius Pamphilus has in magnificent terms recorded the praises of the emperor; and I considered it would not be ill-timed to advert thus to them as concisely as possible.

The Emperor’s Mother Helena having come to Jerusalem, searches for and finds the Cross of Christ, and builds a Church.

Helena, the emperor’s mother (from whose name having made Drepanum, once a village, a city, the emperor called it Helenopolis), being divinely directed by dreams went to Jerusalem. Finding that which was once Jerusalem, desolate as a Preserve for autumnal fruits, according to the prophet, she sought carefully the sepulchre of Christ, from which he arose after his burial; and after much difficulty, by God’s help she discovered it. What the cause of the difficulty was I will explain in a few words. Those who embraced the Christian faith, after the period of his passion, greatly venerated this tomb; but those who hated Christianity, having covered the spot with a mound of earth, erected on it a temple to Venus, and set up her image there, not caring for the memory of the place. This succeeded for a long time; and it became known to the emperor’s mother. Accordingly she having caused the statue to be thrown down, the earth to be removed, and the ground entirely cleared, found three crosses in the sepulchre: one of these was that blessed cross on which Christ had hung, the other two were those on which the two thieves that were crucified with him had died. With these was also found the tablet of Pilate, on which he had inscribed in various characters, that the Christ who was crucified was king of the Jews. Since, however, it was doubtful which was the cross they were in search of, the emperor’s mother was not a little distressed; but from this trouble the bishop of Jerusalem, Macarius, shortly relieved her. And he solved the doubt by faith, for he sought a sign from God and obtained it. The sign was this: a certain woman of the neighborhood, who had been long afflicted with disease, was now just at the point of death; the bishop therefore arranged it so that each of the crosses should be brought to the dying woman, believing that she would be healed on touching the precious cross. Nor was he disappointed in his expectation: for the two crosses having been applied which were not the Lord’s, the woman still continued in a dying state; but when the third, which was the true cross, touched her, she was immediately healed, and recovered her former strength. In this manner then was the genuine cross discovered. The emperor’s mother erected over the place of the sepulchre a magnificent church, and named it New Jerusalem, having built it facing that old and deserted city. There she left a portion of the cross, enclosed in a silver case, as a memorial to those who might wish to see it: the other part she sent to the emperor, who being persuaded that the city would be perfectly secure where that relic should be preserved, privately enclosed it in his own statue, which stands on a large column of porphyry in the forum called Constantine’s at Constantinople. I have written this from report indeed; but almost all the inhabitants of Constantinople affirm that it is true. Moreover the nails with which Christ’s hands were fastened to the cross (for his mother having found these also in the sepulchre had sent them) Constantine took and had made into bridle-bits and a helmet, which he used in his military expeditions. The emperor supplied all materials for the construction of the churches, and wrote to Macarius the bishop to expedite these edifices. When the emperor’s mother had completed the New Jerusalem, she reared another church not at all inferior, over the cave at Bethlehem where Christ was born according to the flesh: nor did she stop here, but built a third on the mount of his Ascension. So devoutly was she affected in these matters, that she would pray in the company of women; and inviting the virgins enrolled in the register of the churches to a repast, serving them herself, she brought the dishes to table. She was also very munificent to the churches and to the poor; and having lived a life of piety, she died when about eighty years old. Her remains were conveyed to New Rome, the capital, and deposited in the imperial sepulchres.

The Emperor Constantine abolishes Paganism and erects many Churches in Different Places.

After this the emperor became increasingly attentive to the interests of the Christians, and abandoned the heathen superstitions. He abolished the combats of the gladiators, and set up his own statues in the temples. And as the heathens affirmed that it was Serapis who brought up the Nile for the purpose of irrigating Egypt, because a cubit was usually carried into his temple, he directed Alexander to transfer the cubit to the church. And although they predicted that the Nile would not overflow because of the displeasure of Serapis, nevertheless there was an inundation in the following year and afterwards, taking place regularly: thus it was proved by fact that the rising of the Nile was not in consequence of their superstition, but by reason of the decrees of Providence. About the same time those barbarians the Sarmatians and Goths made incursions on the Roman territory; yet the emperor’s earnestness respecting the churches was by no means abated, but he made suitable provision for both these matters. Placing his confidence in the Christian banner, he completely vanquished his enemies, so as even to cast off the tribute of gold which preceding emperors were accustomed to pay the barbarians: while they themselves, being terror-struck at the unexpectedness of their defeat, then for the first time embraced the Christian religion, by means of which Constantine had been protected. Again he built other churches, one of which was erected near the Oak of Mamre, under which the Sacred Oracles declare that Abraham entertained angels. For the emperor having been informed that altars had been reared under that oak, and that pagan sacrifices were offered upon them, censured by letter Eusebius bishop of Cæsarea, and ordered that the altars should be demolished, and a house of prayer erected beside the oak. He also directed that another church should be constructed in Heliopolis in Phœnicia, for this reason. Who originally legislated for the inhabitants of Heliopolis I am unable to state, but his character and morals may be judged of from the [practice of that] city; for the laws of the country ordered the women among them to be common, and therefore the children born there were of doubtful descent, so that there was no distinction of fathers and their offspring. Their virgins also were presented for prostitution to the strangers who resorted thither. The emperor hastened to correct this evil which had long prevailed among them. And passing a solemn law of chastity, he removed the shameful evil and provided for the mutual recognition of families. And having built churches there, he took care that a bishop and sacred clergy should be ordained. Thus he reformed the corrupt manners of the people of Heliopolis. He likewise demolished the temple of Venus at Aphaca on Mount Libanus, and abolished the infamous deeds which were there celebrated. Why need I describe his expulsion of the Pythonic demon from Cilicia, by commanding the mansion in which he was lurking to be razed from its foundations? So great indeed was the emperor’s devotion to Christianity, that when he was about to enter on a war with Persia, he prepared a tabernacle formed of embroidered linen on the model of a church, just as Moses had done in the wilderness; and this so constructed as to be adapted to conveyance from place to place, in order that he might have a house of prayer even in the most desert regions. But the war was not at that time carried on, being prevented through dread of the emperor. It would, I conceive, be out of place here to describe the emperor’s diligence in rebuilding cities and converting many villages into cities; as for example Drepanum, to which he gave his mother’s name, and Constantia in Palestine, so called from his sister. For my task is not to enumerate of the emperor’s actions, but simply such as are connected with Christianity, and especially those which relate to the churches. Wherefore I leave to others more competent to detail such matters, the emperor’s glorious achievements, inasmuch as they belong to a different subject, and require a distinct treatise. But I myself should have been silent, if the Church had remained undisturbed by divisions: for where the subject does not supply matter for relation, there is no necessity for a narrator. Since however subtle and vain disputation has confused and at the same time scattered the apostolic faith of Christianity, I thought it desirable to record these things, in order that the transactions of the churches might not be lost in obscurity. For accurate information on these points procures celebrity among the many, and at the same time renders him who is acquainted with them more secure from error, and instructs him not to be carried away by any empty sound of sophistical argumentation which he may chance to hear.

In what Manner the Nations in the Interior of India were Christianized in the Times of Constantine.

We must now mention in what manner Christianity was spread in this emperor’s reign: for it was in his time that the nations both of the Indians in the interior, and of the Iberians first embraced the Christian faith. But I shall briefly explain why I have used the appended expression in the interior. When the apostles went forth by lot among the nations, Thomas received the apostleship of the Parthians; Matthew was allotted Ethiopia; and Bartholomew the part of India contiguous to that country: but the interior India, in which many barbarous nations using different languages lived, was not enlightened by Christian doctrine before the times of Constantine. I now come to speak of the cause which led them to become converts to Christianity. A certain philosopher, Meropius, a Tyrian by race, determined to acquaint himself with the country of the Indians, being stimulated to this by the example of the philosopher Metrodorus, who had previously traveled through the region of India. Having taken with him therefore two youths to whom he was related, who were by no means ignorant of the Greek language, Meropius reached the country by ship; and when he had inspected whatever he wished, he touched at a certain place which had a safe harbor, for the purpose of procuring some necessaries. It so happened that a little before that time the treaty between the Romans and Indians had been violated. The Indians, therefore, having seized the philosopher and those who sailed with him, killed them all except his two youthful kinsmen; but sparing them from compassion for their tender age, they sent them as a gift to the king of the Indians. He being pleased with the personal appearance of the youths, constituted one of them, whose name was Edesius, cup-bearer at his table; the other, named Frumentius, he entrusted with the care of the royal records. The king dying soon after, left them free, the government devolving on his wife and infant son. Now the queen seeing her son thus left in his minority, begged the young men to undertake the charge of him, until he should become of adult age. Accordingly, the youths accepted the task, and entered on the administration of the kingdom. Thus Frumentius controlled all things and made it a task to enquire whether among the Roman merchants trafficking with that country, there were any Christians to be found: and having discovered some, he informed them who he was, and exhorted them to select and occupy some appropriate places for the celebration of Christian worship. In the course of a little while he built a house of prayer; and having instructed some of the Indians in the principles of Christianity, they fitted them for participation in the worship. On the young king’s reaching maturity, Frumentius and his associates resigned to him the administration of public affairs, in the management of which they had honorably acquitted themselves, and besought permission to return to their own country. Both the king and his mother entreated them to remain; but being desirous of revisiting their native place, they could not be prevailed on, and consequently departed. Edesius for his part hastened to Tyre to see his parents and kindred; but Frumentius arriving at Alexandria, reported the affair to Athanasius the bishop, who had but recently been invested with that dignity; and acquainting him both with the particulars of his wanderings and the hopes Indians had of receiving Christianity. He also begged him to send a bishop and clergy there, and by no means to neglect those who might thus be brought to salvation. Athanasius having considered how this could be most profitably effected, requested Frumentius himself to accept the bishopric, declaring that he could appoint no one more suitable than he was. Accordingly this was done; Frumentius invested with episcopal authority, returned to India and became there a preacher of the Gospel, and built several churches, being aided also by divine grace, he performed various miracles, healing with the souls also the bodily diseases of many. Rufinus assures us that he heard these facts from Edesius, who was afterwards ordained to the priesthood at Tyre.

In what Manner the Iberians were converted to Christianity.

It is now proper to relate how the Iberians about the same time became proselytes to the faith. A certain woman leading a devout and chaste life, was, in the providential ordering of God, taken captive by the Iberians. Now these Iberians dwell near the Euxine Sea, and are a colony of the Iberians of Spain. Accordingly the woman in her captivity exercised herself among the barbarians in the practice of virtue: for she not only maintained the most rigid continence, but spent much time in fastings and prayers. The barbarians observing this were astonished at the strangeness of her conduct. It happened then that the king’s son, then a mere babe, was attacked with disease; the queen, according to the custom of the country, sent the child to other women to be cured, in the hope that their experience would supply a remedy. After the infant had been carried around by its nurse without obtaining relief from any of the women, he was at length brought to this captive. She had no knowledge of the medical art, and applied no material remedy; but taking the child and laying it on her bed which was made of horsecloth, in the presence of other females, she simply said, Christ, who healed many, will heal this child also; then having prayed in addition to this expression of faith, and called upon God, the boy was immediately restored, and continued well from that period. The report of this miracle spread itself far and wide among the barbarian women, and soon reached the queen, so that the captive became very celebrated. Not long afterwards the queen herself having fallen sick sent for the captive woman. Inasmuch as she being a person of modest and retiring manners excused herself from going, the queen was conveyed to her. The captive did the same to her as she had done to her son before; and immediately the disease was removed. And the queen thanked the stranger; but she replied, this work is not mine, but Christ’s, who is the Son of God that made the world; she therefore exhorted her to call upon him, and acknowledge the true God. Amazed at his wife’s sudden restoration to health, the king of the Iberians wished to requite with gifts her whom he had understood to be the means of effecting these cures; she however said that she needed not riches, inasmuch as she possessed as riches the consolations of religion; but that she would regard as the greatest present he could offer her, his recognition of the God whom she worshiped and declared. With this she sent back the gifts. This answer the king treasured up in his mind, and going forth to the chase the next day, the following circumstance occurred: a mist and thick darkness covered the mountain tops and forests where he was hunting, so that their sport was embarrassed, and their path became inextricable. In this perplexity the prince earnestly invoked the gods whom he worshiped; and as it availed nothing, he at last determined to implore the assistance of the captive’s God; when scarcely had he begun to pray, ere the darkness arising from the mist was completely dissipated. Wondering at that which was done, he returned to his palace rejoicing, and related to his wife what had happened; he also immediately sent for the captive stranger, and begged her to inform him who that God was whom she adored. The woman on her arrival caused the king of the Iberians to become a preacher of Christ: for having believed in Christ through this devoted woman, he convened all the Iberians who were under his authority; and when he had declared to them what had taken place in reference to the cure of his wife and child not only, but also the circumstances connected with the chase, he exhorted them to worship the God of the captive. Thus, therefore, both the king and the queen were made preachers of Christ, the one addressing their male, and the other their female subjects. Moreover, the king having ascertained from his prisoner the plan on which churches were constructed among the Romans, ordered a church to be built, and immediately provided all things necessary for its erection; and the edifice was accordingly commenced. But when they came to set up the pillars, Divine Providence interposed for the confirmation of the inhabitants in the faith; for one of the columns remained immovable, and no means were found capable of moving it; but their ropes broke and their machinery fell to pieces; at length the workmen gave up all further effort and departed. Then was proved the reality of the captive’s faith in the following manner: going to the place at night without the knowledge of any one, she spent the whole time in prayer; and by the power of God the pillar was raised, and stood erect in the air above its base, yet so as not to touch it. At daybreak the king, who was an intelligent person, came himself to inspect the work, and seeing the pillar suspended in this position without support, both he and his attendants were amazed. Shortly after, in fact before their very eyes, the pillar descended on its own pedestal, and there remained fixed. Upon this the people shouted, attesting the truth of the king’s faith, and hymning the praise of the God of the captive. They believed thenceforth, and with eagerness raised the rest of the columns, and the whole building was soon completed. An embassy was afterwards sent to the Emperor Constantine, requesting that henceforth they might be in alliance with the Romans, and receive from them a bishop and consecrated clergy, since they sincerely believed in Christ. Rufinus says that he learned these facts from Bacurius, who was formerly one of the petty princes of the Iberians, but subsequently went over to the Romans, and was made a captain of the military force in Palestine; being at length entrusted with the supreme command in the war against the tyrant Maximus, he assisted the Emperor Theodosius. In this way then, during the days of Constantine, were the Iberians also converted to Christianity.

Of Anthony the Monk.

What sort of a man the monk Anthony was, who lived in the same age, in the Egyptian desert, and how he openly contended with devils, clearly detecting their devices and wily modes of warfare, and how he performed many miracles, it would be superfluous for us to say; for Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, has anticipated us, having devoted an entire book to his biography. Of such good men there was a large number at one time during the years of the Emperor Constantine.

Manes, the Founder of the Manichæan Heresy, and on his Origin.

But amidst the good wheat, tares are accustomed to spring up; for envy loves to plot insidiously against the good. Hence it was that a little while before the time of Constantine, a species of heathenish Christianity made its appearance together with that which was real; just as false prophets sprang up among the true, and false apostles among the true apostles. For at that time a dogma of Empedocles, the heathen philosopher, by means of Manichæus, assumed the form of Christian doctrine. Eusebius Pamphilus has indeed mentioned this person in the seventh book of his Ecclesiastical History, but has not entered into minute details concerning him. Wherefore, I deem it incumbent on me to supply some particulars which he has left unnoticed: thus it will be known who this Manichæus was, whence he came, and what was the nature of his presumptuous daring.

A Saracen named Scythian married a captive from the Upper Thebes. On her account he dwelt in Egypt, and having versed himself in the learning of the Egyptians, he subtly introduced the theory of Empedocles and Pythagoras among the doctrines of the Christian faith. Asserting that there were two natures, a good and an evil one, he termed, as Empedocles had done, the latter Discord, and the former Friendship. Of this Scythian, Buddas, who had been previously called Terebinthus, became a disciple; and he having proceeded to Babylon, which the Persians inhabit, made many extravagant statements respecting himself, declaring that he was born of a virgin, and brought up in the mountains. The same man afterwards composed four books, one he entitled The Mysteries, another The Gospel, a third The Treasure, and the fourth Heads [Summaries]; but pretending to perform some mystic rites, he was hurled down a precipice by a spirit, and so perished. A certain woman at whose house he had lodged buried him, and taking possession of his property, bought a boy about seven years old whose name was Cubricus: this lad she enfranchised, and having given him a liberal education, she soon after died, leaving him all that belonged to Terebinthus, including the books he had written on the principles inculcated by Scythian. Cubricus, the freedman, taking these things with him and having withdrawn into the regions of Persia, changed his name, calling himself Manes; and disseminated the books of Buddas or Terebinthus among his deluded followers as his own. Now the contents of these treatises apparently agree with Christianity in expression, but are pagan in sentiment: for Manichæus being an atheist, incited his disciples to acknowledge a plurality of gods, and taught them to worship the sun. He also introduced the doctrine of Fate, denying human free-will; and affirmed a transmutation of bodies, clearly following the opinions of Empedocles, Pythagoras, and the Egyptians. He denied that Christ existed in the flesh, asserting that he was an apparition; and rejected moreover the law and the prophets, calling himself the Comforter,—all of which dogmas are totally at variance with the orthodox faith of the church. In his epistles he even dared to call himself an apostle; but for a pretension so unfounded he brought upon himself merited retribution in the following manner. The son of the Persian monarch having been attacked with disease, his father became anxious for his recovery, and left no means untried in order to effect it; and as he had heard of the wonder-working of Manichæus, and thinking that these miracles were real, he sent for him as an apostle, trusting that through him his son might be restored. He accordingly presented himself at court, and with his assumed manner undertook the treatment of the young prince. But the king seeing that the child died in his hands shut up the deceiver in prison, with the intention of putting him to death. However, he contrived to escape, and fled into Mesopotamia; but the king of Persia having discovered that he was dwelling there, caused him to be brought thence by force, and after having flayed him alive, he stuffed his skin with chaff, and suspended it in front of the gate of the city. These things we state not having manufactured them ourselves, but collected from a book entitled The disputation of Archelaus bishop of Caschara (one of the cities of Mesopotamia). For Archelaus himself states that he disputed with Manichæus face to face, and mentions the circumstances connected with his life to which we have now alluded. Envy thus delights, as we before remarked, to be insidiously at work in the midst of a prosperous condition of affairs. But for what reason the goodness of God permits this to be done, whether he wishes thereby to bring into activity the excellence of the principles of the church, and to utterly break down the self-importance which is wont to unite itself with faith; or for what other cause, is, at the same time, a difficult question, and not relevant to the present discussion. For our object is neither to examine the soundness of doctrinal views, nor to analyze the mysterious reasons for the providences and judgments of God; but to detail as faithfully as possible the history of transactions which have taken place in the churches. The way in which the superstition of the Manichæans sprang up a little before the time of Constantine has been thus described; now let us return to the times and events which are the proper subjects of this history.

Eusebius Bishop of Nicomedia, and Theognis Bishop of Nicæa, having recovered Confidence, endeavor to subvert the Nicene Creed, by plotting against Athanasius.

The partisans of Eusebius and Theognis having returned from their exile, these latter were reinstated in their churches, having expelled, as we observed, those who had been ordained in their stead. Moreover, they came into great consideration with the emperor, who honored them exceedingly, as those who had returned from error to the orthodox faith. They, however, abused the license thus afforded them, by exciting greater commotions in the world than they had done before; being instigated to this by two causes—on the one hand the Arian heresy with which they had been previously infected, and bitter animosity against Athanasius on the other, because he had so vigorously withstood them in the Synod while the articles of faith were under discussion. And in the first place they objected to the ordination of Athanasius partly as a person unworthy of the prelacy, and partly because he had been elected by disqualified persons. But when Athanasius had shown himself superior to this calumny (for having assumed control of the church of Alexandria, he ardently contended for the Nicene creed), then Eusebius exerted himself to the utmost insidiously to cause the removal of Athanasius and to bring Arius back to Alexandria; for he thought that thus only he should be able to expunge the doctrine of consubstantiality, and introduce Arianism. Eusebius therefore wrote to Athanasius, desiring him to re-admit Arius and his adherents into the church. Now the tone of his letter indeed was that of entreaty, but openly he menaced him. And as Athanasius would by no means accede to this, he endeavored to induce the emperor to give Arius an audience, and then permit him to return to Alexandria: and by what means he attained his object, I shall mention in its proper place. Meanwhile before this another commotion was raised in the church. In fact, her own children again disturbed her peace. Eusebius Pamphilus says, that immediately after the Synod, Egypt became agitated by intestine divisions: not assigning, however, the reason for this, so that hence he has won the reputation of disingenuousness, and of avoiding to specify the causes of these dissensions, from a determination on his part not to give his sanction to the proceedings at Nicæa. Yet as we ourselves have discovered from various letters which the bishops wrote to one another after the Synod, the term homoousios troubled some of them. So that while they occupied themselves in a too minute investigation of its import, they roused the strife against each other; it seemed not unlike a contest in the dark; for neither party appeared to understand distinctly the grounds on which they calumniated one another. Those who objected to the word homoousios, conceived that those who approved it favored the opinion of Sabellius and Montanus; they therefore called them blasphemers, as subverting the existence of the Son of God. And again the advocates of this term, charging their opponents with polytheism, inveighed against them as introducers of heathen superstitions. Eustathius, bishop of Antioch, accuses Eusebius Pamphilus of perverting the Nicene Creed; Eusebius again denies that he violates that exposition of the faith, and recriminates, saying that Eustathius was a defender of the opinion of Sabellius. In consequence of these misunderstandings, each of them wrote as if contending against adversaries: and although it was admitted on both sides that the Son of God has a distinct person and existence, and all acknowledged that there is one God in three Persons, yet from what cause I am unable to divine, they could not agree among themselves, and therefore could in no way endure to be at peace.

Of the Synod held at Antioch, which deposed Eustathius, Bishop of Antioch, on whose account a Sedition broke out and almost ruined the City.

Having therefore convened a Synod at Antioch, they deposed Eustathius, as a supporter of the Sabellian heresy, rather than of the tenets which the council at Nicæa had formulated. As some affirm [this measure was taken] for other and unsatisfactory reasons, though none other have been openly assigned: this is a matter of common occurrence; the bishops are accustomed to do this in all cases, accusing and pronouncing impious those whom they depose, but not explaining their warrant for so doing. George, bishop of Laodicea in Syria, one of the number of those who abominated the term homoousios, assures us in his Encomium of Eusebius Emisenus, that they deposed Eustathius as favoring Sabellianism, on the impeachment of Cyrus, bishop of Berœa. Of Eusebius Emisenus we shall speak elsewhere in due order. George has written of Eustathius [somewhat inconsistently]; for after asserting that he was accused by Cyrus of maintaining the heresy of Sabellius, he tells us again that Cyrus himself was convicted of the same error, and degraded for it. Now how was it possible that Cyrus should accuse Eustathius as a Sabellian, when he inclined to Sabellianism himself? It appears likely therefore that Eustathius must have been condemned on other grounds. At that time, however, there arose a dangerous sedition at Antioch on account of his deposition: for when they proceeded to the election of a successor, so fierce a dissension was kindled, as to threaten the whole city with destruction. The populace was divided into two factions, one of which vehemently contended for the translation of Eusebius Pamphilus from Cæsarea in Palestine to Antioch; the other equally insisted on the reinstatement of Eustathius. And the populace of the city were infected with the spirit of partisanship in this quarrel among the Christians, a military force was arrayed on both sides with hostile intent, so that a bloody collision would have taken place, had not God and the dread of the emperor repressed the violence of the multitude. For the emperor through letters, and Eusebius by refusing to accept the bishopric, served to allay the ferment: on which account that prelate was exceedingly admired by the emperor, who wrote to him commending his prudent determination, and congratulating him as one who was considered worthy of being bishop not of one city merely, but of almost the whole world. Consequently it is said that the episcopal chair of the church at Antioch was vacant for eight consecutive years after this period; but at length by the exertions of those who aimed at the subversion of the Nicene creed, Euphronius was duly installed. This is the amount of my information respecting the Synod held at Antioch on account of Eustathius. Immediately after these events Eusebius, who had long before left Berytus, and was at that time presiding over the church at Nicomedia, strenuously exerted himself in connection to those of his party, to bring back Arius to Alexandria. But how they managed to effect this, and by what means the emperor was prevailed on to admit both Arius and with him Euzoïus into his presence must now be related.

Of the Presbyter who exerted himself for the Recall of Arius.

The Emperor Constantine had a sister named Constantia, the widow of Licinius, who had for some time shared the imperial dignity with Constantine, but had assumed tyrannical powers and had been put to death in consequence. This princess maintained in her household establishment a certain confidential presbyter, tinctured with the dogmas of Arianism; Eusebius and others having prompted him, he took occasion in his familiar conversations with Constantia, to insinuate that the Synod had done Arius injustice, and that the common report concerning him was not true. Constantia gave full credence to the presbyter’s assertions, but durst not report them to the emperor. Now it happened that she became dangerously ill, and her brother visited her daily. As the disease became aggravated and she expected to die, she commended this presbyter to the emperor, testifying to his diligence and piety, as well as his devoted loyalty to his sovereign. She died soon after, whereupon the presbyter became one of the most confidential persons about the emperor; and having gradually increased in freedom of speech, he repeated to the emperor what he had before stated to his sister, affirming that Arius had no other views than the sentiments avowed by the Synod; and that if he were admitted to the imperial presence, he would give his full assent to what the Synod had decreed: he added, moreover, that he had been unreasonably slandered. The presbyter’s words appeared strange to the emperor, and he said, If Arius subscribes with the Synod and holds its views, I will both give him an audience, and send him back to Alexandria with honor. Having thus said, he immediately wrote to him in these words:

Victor Constantine Maximus Augustus, to Arius.

It was intimated to your reverence some time since, that you might come to my court, in order to obtain an interview with us. We are not a little surprised that you did not do this immediately. Wherefore having at once mounted a public vehicle, hasten to arrive at our court; that when you have experienced our clemency and regard for you, you may return to your own country. May God protect you, beloved. Dated the twenty-fifth of November.

This was the letter of the emperor to Arius. And I cannot but admire the ardent zeal which the prince manifested for religion: for it appears from this document that he had often before exhorted Arius to change his views, inasmuch as he censures his delaying to return to the truth, although he had himself written frequently to him. Now on the receipt of this letter, Arius came to Constantinople accompanied by Euzoïus, whom Alexander had divested of his deaconship when he excommunicated Arius and his partisans. The emperor accordingly admitted them to his presence, and asked them whether they would agree to the creed. And when they readily gave their assent, he ordered them to deliver to him a written statement of their faith.

Arius, on being recalled, presents a Recantation to the Emperor, and pretends to accept the Nicene Creed.

They having drawn up a declaration to the following effect, presented it to the emperor.

Arius and Euzoïus, to our Most Religious and Pious Lord, the Emperor Constantine.

In accordance with the command of your devout piety, sovereign lord, we declare our faith, and before God profess in writing, that we and our adherents believe as follows:

We believe in one God the Father Almighty: and in the Lord Jesus Christ his Son, who was begotten of him before all ages, God the Word through whom all things were made, both those which are in the heavens and those upon the earth; who descended, and became incarnate, and suffered, and rose again, ascended into the heavens, and will again come to judge the living and the dead. [We believe] also in the Holy Spirit, and in the resurrection of the flesh, and in the life of the coming age, and in the kingdom of the heavens, and in one Catholic Church of God, extending from one end of the earth to the other.

This faith we have received from the holy gospels, the Lord therein saying to his disciples: Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. If we do not so believe and truly receive the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as the whole Catholic Church and the holy Scriptures teach (in which we believe in every respect), God is our judge both now, and in the coming judgment. Wherefore we beseech your piety, most devout emperor, that we who are persons consecrated to the ministry, and holding the faith and sentiments of the church and of the holy Scriptures, may by your pacific and devoted piety be reunited to our mother, the Church, all superfluous questions and disputings being avoided: that so both we and the whole church being at peace, may in common offer our accustomed prayers for your tranquil reign, and on behalf of your whole family.

Arius having returned to Alexandria with the Emperor’s Consent, and not being received by Athanasius, the Partisans of Eusebius bring Many Charges against Athanasius before the Emperor.

Arius having thus satisfied the emperor, returned to Alexandria. But his artifice for suppressing the truth did not succeed; for on his arrival at Alexandria, as Athanasius would not receive him, but turned away from him as a pest, he attempted to excite a fresh commotion in that city by disseminating his heresy. Then indeed both Eusebius himself wrote, and prevailed on the emperor also to write, in order that Arius and his partisans might be readmitted into the church. Athanasius nevertheless wholly refused to receive them, and wrote to inform the emperor in reply, that it was impossible for those who had once rejected the faith, and had been anathematized, to be again received into communion on their return. But the emperor, provoked at this answer, menaced Athanasius in these terms:

Since you have been apprised of my will, afford unhindered access into the church to all those who are desirous of entering it. For if it shall be intimated to me that you have prohibited any of those claiming to be reunited to the church, or have hindered their admission, I will forthwith send some one who at my command shall depose you, and drive you into exile.

The emperor wrote thus from a desire of promoting the public good, and because he did not wish to see the church ruptured; for he labored earnestly to bring them all into harmony. Then indeed the partisans of Eusebius, ill-disposed towards Athanasius, imagining they had found a seasonable opportunity, welcomed the emperor’s displeasure as an auxiliary to their own purpose: and on this account they raised a great disturbance, endeavoring to eject him from his bishopric; for they entertained the hope that the Arian doctrine would prevail only upon the removal of Athanasius. The chief conspirators against him were Eusebius bishop of Nicomedia, Theognis of Nicæa, Maris of Chalcedon, Ursacius of Singidnum in Upper Mœsia, and Valens of Mursa in Upper Pannonia. These persons suborn by bribes certain of the Melitian heresy to fabricate various charges against Athanasius; and first they accuse him through the Melitians Ision, Eudæmon and Callinicus, of having ordered the Egyptians to pay a linen garment as tribute to the church at Alexandria. But this calumny was immediately disproved by Alypius and Macarius, presbyters of the Alexandrian church, who then happened to be at Nicomedia; they having convinced the emperor that these statements to the prejudice of Athanasius were false. Wherefore the emperor by letter severely censured his accusers, but urged Athanasius to come to him. But before he came the Eusebian faction anticipating his arrival, added to their former accusation the charge of another crime of a still more serious nature than the former; charging Athanasius with plotting against his sovereign, and with having sent for treasonable purposes a chest full of gold to one Philumenus. When, however, the emperor had himself investigated this matter at Psamathia, which is in the suburbs of Nicomedia, and had found Athanasius innocent, he dismissed him with honor; and wrote with his own hand to the church at Alexandria to assure them that their bishop had been falsely accused. It would indeed have been both proper and desirable to have passed over in silence the subsequent attacks which the Eusebians made upon Athanasius, lest from these circumstances the Church of Christ should be judged unfavorably of by those who are adverse to its interests. But since having been already committed to writing, they have become known to everybody, I have on that account deemed it necessary to make as cursory allusion to these things as possible, the particulars of which would require a special treatise. Whence the slanderous accusation originated, and the character of those who devised it, I shall now therefore state in brief. Mareotes is a district of Alexandria; there are contained in it very many villages, and an abundant population, with numerous splendid churches; these churches are all under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Alexandria, and are subject to his city as parishes. There was in this region a person named Ischyras, who had been guilty of an act deserving of many deaths; for although he had never been admitted to holy orders, he had the audacity to assume the title of presbyter, and to exercise sacred functions belonging to the priesthood. But having been detected in his sacrilegious career, he made his escape thence and sought refuge in Nicomedia, where he implored the protection of the party of Eusebius; who from their hatred to Athanasius, not only received him as a presbyter, but even promised to confer upon him the dignity of the episcopacy, if he would frame an accusation against Athanasius, listening as a pretext for this to whatever stories Ischyras had invented. For he spread a report that he had suffered dreadfully in consequence of an assault; and that Macarius had rushed furiously toward the altar, had overturned the table, and broken a mystical cup: he added also that he had burnt the sacred books. As a reward for this accusation, the Eusebian faction, as I have said, promised him a bishopric; foreseeing that the charges against Macarius would involve, along with the accused party, Athanasius, under whose orders he would seem to have acted. But this charge they formulated later; before it they devised another full of the bitterest malignity, to which I shall now advert. Having by some means, I know not what, obtained a man’s hand; whether they themselves had murdered any one, and cut off his hand, or had severed it from some dead body, God knows and the authors of the deed: but be that as it may, they publicly exposed it as the hand of Arsenius, a Melitian bishop, while they kept the alleged owner of it concealed. This hand, they asserted, had been made use of by Athanasius in the performance of certain magic arts; and therefore it was made the gravest ground of accusation which these calumniators had concerted against him: but as it generally happens, all those who entertained any pique against Athanasius came forward at the same time with a variety of other charges. When the emperor was informed of these proceedings, he wrote to his nephew Dalmatius the censor, who then had his residence at Antioch in Syria, directing him to order the accused parties to be brought before him, and after due investigation, to inflict punishment on such as might be convicted. He also sent thither Eusebius and Theognis, that the case might be tried in their presence. When Athanasius knew that he was to be summoned before the censor, he sent into Egypt to make a strict search after Arsenius; and he ascertained indeed that he was secreted there, but was unable to apprehend him, because he often changed his place of concealment. Meanwhile the emperor suppressed the trial which was to have been held before the censor, on the following account.

On Account of the Charges against Athanasius, the Emperor convokes a Synod of Bishops at Tyre.

The emperor had ordered a Synod of bishops to be present at the consecration of the church which he had erected at Jerusalem. He therefore directed that, as a secondary matter, they should on their way first assemble at Tyre, to examine into the charges against Athanasius; in order that all cause of contention being removed there, they might the more peacefully perform the inaugural ceremonies in the dedication of the church of God. This was the thirtieth year of Constantine’s reign, and sixty bishops were thus convened at Tyre from various places, on the summons of Dionysius the consul. As to Macarius the presbyter, he was conducted from Alexandria in chains, under a military escort; while Athanasius was unwilling to go thither, not so much from dread, because he was innocent of the charges made, as because he feared lest any innovations should be made on the decisions of the council at Nicæa; he was, however, constrained to be present by the menacing letters of the emperor. For it had been written him that if he did not come voluntarily, he should be brought by force.

Of Arsenius, and his Hand which was said to have been cut off.

The special providence of God drove Arsenius also to Tyre; for, disregarding the injunctions he had received from the accusers who had bribed him, he went thither disguised to see what would be done. It by some means happened that the servants of Archelaus, the governor of the province, heard some persons at an inn affirm that Arsenius, who was reported to have been murdered, was concealed in the house of one of the citizens. Having heard this and marked the individuals by whom this statement was made, they communicated the information to their master, who causing strict search to be made for the man immediately, discovered and properly secured him; after which he gave notice to Athanasius that he need not be under any alarm, inasmuch as Arsenius was alive and there present. Arsenius on being apprehended, at first denied that he was the person; but Paul, bishop of Tyre, who had formerly known him, established his identity. Divine providence having thus disposed matters, Athanasius was shortly after summoned by the Synod; and as soon as he presented himself, his traducers exhibited the hand, and pressed their charge. He managed the affair with great prudence, for he enquired of those present, as well as of his accusers, who were the persons who knew Arsenius? and several having answered that they knew him, he caused Arsenius to be introduced, having his hands covered by his cloak. Then he again asked them, Is this the person who has lost a hand? All were astonished at the unexpectedness of this procedure, except those who knew whence the hand had been cut off; for the rest thought that Arsenius was really deficient of a hand, and expected that the accused would make his defense in some other way. But Athanasius turning back the cloak of Arsenius on one side showed one of the man’s hands; again, while some were supposing that the other hand was wanting, permitting them to remain a short time in doubt afterward he turned back the cloak on the other side and exposed the other hand. Then addressing himself to those present, he said, Arsenius, as you see, is found to have two hands: let my accusers show the place whence the third was cut off.

Athanasius is found Innocent of what he was accused; his Accusers take to Flight.

Matters having been brought to this issue with regard to Arsenius, the contrivers of this imposture were reduced to perplexity; and Achab, who was also called John, one of the principal accusers, having slipped out of court in the tumult, effected his escape. Thus Athanasius cleared himself from this charge, without having recourse to any pleading; for he was confident that the sight only of Arsenius alive would confound his calumniators.

When the Bishops will not listen to Athanasius’ Defense on the Second Charge, he betakes himself to the Emperor.

But in refuting the false allegations against Macarius, he made use of legal forms; taking exception in the first place to Eusebius and his party, as his enemies, protesting against the injustice of any man’s being tried by his adversaries. He next insisted on its being proved that his accuser Ischyras had really obtained the dignity of presbyter; for so he had been designated in the indictment. But as the judges would not allow any of these objections, the case of Macarius was entered into, and the informers being found deficient of proofs, the hearing of the matter was postponed, until some persons should have gone into Mareotis, in order that all doubtful points might be examined on the spot. Athanasius seeing that those very individuals were to be sent to whom he had taken exception (for the persons sent were Theognis, Maris, Theodorus, Macedonius, Valens, and Ursacius), exclaimed that their procedure was both treacherous and fraudulent; for that it was unjust that the presbyter Macarius should be detained in bonds, while the accuser together with the judges who were his adversaries, were permitted to go, in order that an ex parte collection of the facts in evidence might be made. Having made this protest before the whole Synod and Dionysius the governor of the province, and finding that no one paid any attention to his appeal, he privately withdrew. Those, therefore, who were sent to Mareotis, having made an ex parte investigation, held that what the accuser said was true.

On the Departure of Athanasius, those who composed the Synod vote his Deposition.

Thus Athanasius departed, hastening to the emperor, and the Synod in the first place condemned him in his absence; and when the result of the enquiry which had been instituted at Mareotis was presented, they voted to depose him; loading him with opprobrious epithets in their sentence of deposition, but being wholly silent respecting the disgraceful defeat of the charge of murder brought by his calumniators. They moreover received into communion Arsenius, who was reported to have been murdered; and he who had formerly been a bishop of the Melitian heresy subscribed to the deposition of Athanasius as bishop of the city of Hypselopolis. Thus by an extraordinary course of circumstances, the alleged victim of assassination by Athanasius, was found alive to assist in deposing him.

The Members of the Synod proceed from Tyre to Jerusalem, and having celebrated the Dedication of the ‘New Jerusalem,’ receive Arius and his Followers into Communion.

Letters in the meantime were brought from the emperor directing those who composed the Synod to hasten to the New Jerusalem: having therefore immediately left Tyre, they set forward with all despatch to Jerusalem, where, after celebrating a festival in connection with the consecration of the place, they readmitted Arius and his adherents into communion, in obedience, as they said, to the wishes of the emperor, who had signified in his communication to them, that he was fully satisfied respecting the faith of Arius and Euzoïus. They moreover wrote to the church at Alexandria, stating that all envy being now banished, the affairs of the church were established in peace: and that since Arius had by his recantation acknowledged the truth, it was but just that, being thenceforth a member of the church, he should also be henceforth received by them, alluding to the banishment of Athanasius [in their statement that all envy was now banished]. At the same time they sent information of what had been done to the emperor, in terms nearly to the same effect. But whilst the bishops were engaged in these transactions, other letters came unexpectedly from the emperor, intimating that Athanasius had fled to him for protection; and that it was necessary for them on his account to come to Constantinople. This unanticipated communication from the emperor was as follows.

The Emperor summons the Synod to himself by Letter, in order that the Charges against Athanasius might be carefully examined before him.

Victor Constantine Maximus Augustus, to the bishops convened at Tyre.

I am indeed ignorant of the decisions which have been made by your Council with so much turbulence and storm: but the truth seems to have been perverted by some tumultuous and disorderly proceedings: because, that is to say, in your mutual love of contention, which you seem desirous of perpetuating, you disregard the consideration of those things which are acceptable to God. It will, however, I trust, be the work of Divine Providence to dissipate the mischiefs resulting from this jealous rivalry, as soon as they shall have been detected; and to make it apparent to us, whether ye who have been convened have had regard to truth, and whether your decisions on the subjects which have been submitted to your judgment have been made apart from partiality or prejudice. Wherefore it is indispensable that you should all without delay attend upon my piety, that you may yourselves give a strict account of your transactions. For what reason I have deemed it proper to write thus, and to summon you before me, you will learn from what follows. As I was making my entry into the city which bears our name, in this our most flourishing home, Constantinople,—and it happened that I was riding on horseback at the time,—suddenly the Bishop Athanasius, with certain ecclesiastics whom he had around him, presented himself so unexpectedly in our path, as to produce an occasion of consternation. For the Omniscient God is my witness that at first sight I did not recognize him until some of my attendants, in answer to my enquiry, informed me, as was very natural, both who he was, and what injustice he had suffered. At that time indeed I neither conversed, nor held any communication with him. But as he repeatedly entreated an audience, and I had not only refused it, but almost ordered that he should be removed from my presence, he said with greater boldness, that he petitioned for nothing more than that you might be summoned hither, in order that in our presence, he, driven by necessity to such a course, might have a fair opportunity afforded him of complaining of his wrongs. Wherefore as this seems reasonable, and consistent with the equity of my government, I willingly gave instructions that these things should be written to you. My command therefore is, that all, as many as composed the Synod convened at Tyre, should forthwith hasten to the court of our clemency, in order that from the facts themselves you may make clear the purity and integrity of your decision in my presence, whom you cannot but own to be a true servant of God. It is in consequence of the acts of my religious service towards God that peace is everywhere reigning; and that the name of God is sincerely had in reverence even among the barbarians themselves, who until now were ignorant of the truth. Now it is evident that he who knows not the truth, does not have a true knowledge of God also: yet, as I before said even the barbarians on my account, who am a genuine servant of God, have acknowledged and learned to worship him, whom they have perceived in very deed protecting and caring for me everywhere. So that from dread of us chiefly, they have been thus brought to the knowledge of the true God whom they now worship. Nevertheless we who pretend to have a religious veneration for (I will not say who guard) the holy mysteries of his church, we, I say, do nothing but what tends to discord and animosity, and to speak plainly, to the destruction of the human race. But hasten, as I have already said, all of you to us as speedily as possible: and be assured that I shall endeavor with all my power to cause that what is contained in the Divine Law may be preserved inviolate, on which neither stigma nor reproach shall be able to fasten itself; and this will come to pass when its enemies, who under cover of the sacred profession introduce numerous and diversified blasphemies, are dispersed, broken to pieces, and altogether annihilated.

The Synod not having come to the Emperor, the Partisans of Eusebius accuse Athanasius of having threatened to divert the Corn supplied to Constantinople from Alexandria: the Emperor being exasperated at this banishes Athanasius into Gaul.

This letter rendered those who constituted the Synod very fearful, wherefore most of them returned to their respective cities. But Eusebius, Theognis, Maris, Patrophilus, Ursacius, and Valens, having gone to Constantinople, would not permit any further enquiry to be instituted concerning the broken cup, the overturned communion table, and the murder of Arsenius; but they had recourse to another calumny, informing the emperor that Athanasius had threatened to prohibit the sending of corn which was usually conveyed from Alexandria to Constantinople. They affirmed also that these menaces were heard from the lips of Athanasius by the bishops Adamantius, Anubion, Arbathion and Peter, for slander is most prevalent when of the assertor of it appears to be a person worthy of credit. Hence the emperor being deceived, and excited to indignation against Athanasius by this charge, at once condemned him to exile, ordering him to reside in the Gauls. Now some affirm that the emperor came to this decision with a view to the establishment of unity in the church, since Athanasius was inexorable in his refusal to hold any communion with Arius and his adherents. He accordingly took up his abode at Treves, a city of Gaul.

Of Marcellus Bishop of Ancyra, and Asterius the Sophist.

The bishops assembled at Constantinople deposed also Marcellus bishop of Ancyra, a city of Galatia Minor, on this account. A certain rhetorician of Cappadocia named Asterius having abandoned his art, and professed himself a convert to Christianity, undertook the composition of some treatises, which are still extant, in which he commended the dogmas of Arius; asserting that Christ is the power of God, in the same sense as the locust and the palmer-worm are said by Moses to be the power of God, with other similar utterances. Now Asterius was in constant association with the bishops, and especially with those of their number who did not discountenance the Arian doctrine: he also attended their Synods, in the hope of insinuating himself into the bishopric of some city: but he failed to obtain ordination, in consequence of having sacrificed during the persecution. Going therefore throughout the cities of Syria, he read in public the books which he had composed. Marcellus being informed of this, and wishing to counteract his influence, in his over-anxiety to confute him, fell into the diametrically opposite error; for he dared to say, as the Samosatene had done, that Christ was a mere man. When the bishops then convened at Jerusalem had intelligence of these things, they took no notice of Asterius, because he was not enrolled even in the catalogue of ordained priests; but they insisted that Marcellus, as a priest, should give an account of the book which he had written. Finding that he entertained Paul of Samosata’s sentiments, they required him to retract his opinion; and he being thoroughly ashamed of himself, promised to burn his book. But the convention of bishops being hastily dissolved by the emperor’s summoning them to Constantinople, the Eusebians on their arrival at that city, again took the case of Marcellus into consideration; and as Marcellus refused to fulfil his promise of burning his untimely book, those present deposed him, and sent Basil into Ancyra in his stead. Moreover Eusebius wrote a refutation of this work in three books, in which he exposed its erroneous doctrine. Marcellus however was afterwards reinstated in his bishopric by the Synod at Sardica, on his assurance that his book had been misunderstood, and that on that account he was supposed to favor the Samosatene’s views. But of this we shall speak more fully in its proper place.

After the Banishment of Athanasius, Arius having been sent for by the Emperor, raises a Disturbance against Alexander Bishop of Constantinople.

While these things were taking place, the thirtieth year of Constantine’s reign was completed. But Arius with his adherents having returned to Alexandria, again disturbed the whole city; for the people of Alexandria were exceedingly indignant both at the restoration of this incorrigible heretic with his partisans, and also because their bishop Athanasius had been sent to exile. When the emperor was apprised of the perverse disposition of Arius, he once more ordered him to repair to Constantinople, to give an account of the commotions he had afresh endeavored to excite. It happened at that time that Alexander, who had some time before succeeded Metrophanes, presided over the church at Constantinople. That this prelate was a man of devoted piety was distinctly manifested by the conflict he entered into with Arius; for when Arius arrived and the people were divided into two factions and the whole city was thrown into confusion: some insisting that the Nicene Creed should be by no means infringed on, while others contended that the opinion of Arius was consonant to reason. In this state of affairs, Alexander was driven to straits: more especially since Eusebius of Nicomedia had violently threatened that he would cause him to be immediately deposed, unless he admitted Arius and his followers to communion. Alexander, however, was far less troubled at the thought of his own deposition as fearful of the subversion of the principles of the faith, which they were so anxious to effect: and regarding himself as the constituted guardian of the doctrines recognized, and the decisions made by the council at Nicæa, he exerted himself to the utmost to prevent their being violated or depraved. Reduced to this extremity, he bade farewell to all logical resources, and made God his refuge, devoting himself to continued fasting and never ceased from praying. Communicating his purpose to no one, he shut himself up alone in the church called Irene: there going up to the altar, and prostrating himself on the ground beneath the holy communion table, he poured forth his fervent prayers weeping; and this he ceased not to do for many successive nights and days. What he thus earnestly asked from God, he received: for his petition was such a one: If the opinion of Arius were correct, he might not be permitted to see the day appointed for its discussion; but that if he himself held the true faith, Arius, as the author of all these evils, might suffer the punishment due to his impiety.

The Death of Arius.

Such was the supplication of Alexander. Meanwhile the emperor, being desirous of personally examining Arius, sent for him to the palace, and asked him whether he would assent to the determinations of the Synod at Nicæa. He without hesitation replied in the affirmative, and subscribed the declaration of the faith in the emperor’s presence, acting with duplicity. The emperor, surprised at his ready compliance, obliged him to confirm his signature by an oath. This also he did with equal dissimulation. The way he evaded, as I have heard, was this: he wrote his own opinion on paper, and carried it under his arm, so that he then swore truly that he really held the sentiments he had written. That this is so, however, I have written from hearsay, but that he added an oath to his subscription, I have myself ascertained, from an examination of the emperor’s own letters. The emperor being thus convinced, ordered that he should be received into communion by Alexander, bishop of Constantinople. It was then Saturday, and Arius was expecting to assemble with the church on the day following: but divine retribution overtook his daring criminalities. For going out of the imperial palace, attended by a crowd of Eusebian partisans like guards, he paraded proudly through the midst of the city, attracting the notice of all the people. As he approached the place called Constantine’s Forum, where the column of porphyry is erected, a terror arising from the remorse of conscience seized Arius, and with the terror a violent relaxation of the bowels: he therefore enquired whether there was a convenient place near, and being directed to the back of Constantine’s Forum, he hastened thither. Soon after a faintness came over him, and together with the evacuations his bowels protruded, followed by a copious hemorrhage, and the descent of the smaller intestines: moreover portions of his spleen and liver were brought off in the effusion of blood, so that he almost immediately died. The scene of this catastrophe still is shown at Constantinople, as I have said, behind the shambles in the colonnade: and by persons going by pointing the finger at the place, there is a perpetual remembrance preserved of this extraordinary kind of death. So disastrous an occurrence filled with dread and alarm the party of Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia; and the report of it quickly spread itself over the city and throughout the whole world. As the king grew more earnest in Christianity and confessed that the confession at Nicæa was attested by God, he rejoiced at the occurrences. He was also glad because of his three sons whom he had already proclaimed Cæsars; one of each of them having been created at every successive decennial anniversary of his reign. To the eldest, whom he called Constantine, after his own name, he assigned the government of the western parts of the empire, on the completion of his first decade. His second son Constantius, who bore his grandfather’s name, he constituted Cæsar in the eastern division, when the second decade had been completed. And Constans, the youngest, he invested with a similar dignity, in the thirtieth year of his own reign.

The Emperor falls sick and dies.

A year having passed, the Emperor Constantine having just entered the sixty-fifth year of his age, was taken with a sickness; he therefore left Constantinople, and made a voyage to Helenopolis, that he might try the effect of the medicinal hot springs which are found in the vicinity of that city. Perceiving, however, that his illness increased, he deferred the use of the baths; and removing from Helenopolis to Nicomedia, he took up his residence in the suburbs, and there received Christian baptism. After this he became cheerful; and making his will, appointed his three sons heirs to the empire, allotting to each one of them his portion, in accordance with the arrangements he had made while living. He also granted many privileges to the cities of Rome and Constantinople; and entrusting the custody of his will to that presbyter by whose means Arius had been recalled, and of whom we have already made mention, he charged him to deliver it into no one’s hand, except that of his son Constantius, to whom he had given the sovereignty of the East. After the making of his will, he survived a few days and died. Of his sons none were present at his death. A courier was therefore immediately despatched into the East, to inform Constantius of his father’s decease.

The Funeral of the Emperor Constantine.

The body of the emperor was placed in a coffin of gold by the proper persons, and then conveyed to Constantinople, where it was laid out on an elevated bed of state in the palace, surrounded by a guard, and treated with the same respect as when he was alive, and this was done until the arrival of one of his sons. When Constantius was come out of the eastern parts of the empire, it was honored with an imperial sepulture, and deposited in the church called The Apostles: which he had caused to be constructed for this very purpose, that the emperors and prelates might receive a degree of veneration but little inferior to that which was paid to the relics of the apostles. The Emperor Constantine lived sixty-five years, and reigned thirty-one. He died in the consulate of Felician and Tatian, on the twenty-second of May, in the second year of the 278th Olympiad. This book, therefore, embraces a period of thirty-one years.

Book II

Introduction containing the Reason for the Author’s Revision of his First and Second Books.

Rufinus, who wrote an Ecclesiastical History in Latin, has erred in respect to chronology. For he supposes that what was done against Athanasius occurred after the death of the Emperor Constantine: he was also ignorant of his exile to the Gauls and of various other circumstances. Now we in the first place wrote the first two books of our history following Rufinus; but in writing our history from the third to the seventh, some facts we collected from Rufinus, others from different authors, and some from the narration of individuals still living. Afterward, however, we perused the writings of Athanasius, wherein he depicts his own sufferings and how through the calumnies of the Eusebian fiction he was banished, and judged that more credit was due to him who had suffered, and to those who were witnesses of the things they describe, than to such as have been dependent on conjecture, and had therefore erred. Moreover, having obtained several letters of persons eminent at that period, we have availed ourselves of their assistance also in tracing out the truth as far as possible. On this account we were compelled to revise the first and second books of this history, using, however, the testimony of Rufinus where it is evident that he could not be mistaken. It should also be observed, that in our former edition, neither the sentence of deposition which was passed upon Arius, nor the emperor’s letters were inserted, but simply the narration or facts in order that the history might not become bulky and weary the readers with tedious matters of detail. But in the present edition, such alterations and additions have been made for your sake, O sacred man of God, Theodore, in order that you might not be ignorant what the princes wrote in their own words, as well as the decisions of the bishops in their various Synods, wherein they continually altered the confession of faith. Wherefore, whatever we have deemed necessary we have inserted in this later edition. Having adopted this course in the first book, we shall endeavor to do the same in the consecutive portion of our history, I mean the second. On this let us now enter.

Eusebius, Bishop of Nicomedia, and his Party, by again endeavoring to introduce the Arian Heresy, create Disturbances in the Churches.

After the death of the Emperor Constantine, Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, and Theognis of Nicæa, imagining that a favorable opportunity had arisen, used their utmost efforts to expunge the doctrine of homoousion, and to introduce Arianism in its place. They, nevertheless, despaired of effecting this, if Athanasius should return to Alexandria: in order therefore to accomplish their designs, they sought the assistance of that presbyter by whose means Arius had been recalled from exile a little before. How this was done shall now be described. The presbyter in question presented the will and the request of the deceased king to his son Constantius; who finding those dispositions in it which he was most desirous of, for the empire of the East was by his father’s will apportioned to him, treated the presbyter with great consideration, loaded him with favors, and ordered that free access should be given him both to the palace and to himself. This license soon obtained for him familiar intercourse with the empress, as well as with her eunuchs. There was at that time a chief eunuch of the imperial bed-chamber named Eusebius; him the presbyter persuaded to adopt Arian’s views, after which the rest of the eunuchs were also prevailed on to adopt the same sentiments. Not only this but the empress also, under the influence of the eunuchs and the presbyters, became favorable to the tenets of Arius; and not long after the subject was introduced to the emperor himself. Thus it became gradually diffused throughout the court, and among the officers of the imperial household and guards, until at length it spread itself over the whole population of the city. The chamberlains in the palace discussed this doctrine with the women; and in the family of every citizen there was a logical contest. Moreover, the mischief quickly extended to other provinces and cities, the controversy, like a spark, insignificant at first, exciting in the auditors a spirit of contention: for every one who inquired the cause of the tumult, found immediately occasion for disputing, and determined to take part in the strife at the moment of making the inquiry. By general altercation of this kind all order was subverted; the agitation, however, was confined to the cities of the East, those of Illyricum and the western parts of the empire meanwhile were perfectly tranquil, because they would not annul the decisions of the Council of Nicæa. As this affair increased, going from bad to worse, Eusebius of Nicomedia and his party looked upon popular ferment as a piece of good fortune. For only thus they thought they would be enabled to constitute some one who held their own sentiments bishop of Alexandria. But the return of Athanasius at that time defeated their purpose; for he came thither fortified by a letter from one of the Augusti, which the younger Constantine, who bore his father’s name, addressed to the people of Alexandria, from Treves, a city in Gaul. A copy of this epistle is here subjoined.

Athanasius, encouraged by the Letter of Constantine the Younger, returns to Alexandria.

Constantine Cæsar to the members of the Catholic Church of the Alexandrians.

It cannot, I conceive, have escaped the knowledge of your devout minds, that Athanasius, the expositor of the venerated law, was sent for a while unto the Gauls, lest he should sustain some irreparable injury from the perverseness of his blood-thirsty adversaries, whose ferocity continually endangered his sacred life. To evade this [perverseness], therefore, he was taken from the jaws of the men who threatened him into a city under my jurisdiction, where, as long as it was his appointed residence, he has been abundantly supplied with every necessity: although his distinguished virtue trusting in divine aid would have made light of the pressure of a more rigorous fortune. And since our sovereign, my father, Constantine Augustus of blessed memory, was prevented by death from accomplishing his purpose of restoring this bishop to his see, and to your most sanctified piety, I have deemed it proper to carry his wishes into effect, having inherited the task from him. With how great veneration he has been regarded by us, ye will learn on his arrival among you; nor need any one be surprised at the honor I have put upon him, since I have been alike influenced by a sense of what was due to so excellent a personage, and the knowledge of your affectionate solicitude respecting him. May Divine Providence preserve you, beloved brethren.

Relying on this letter, Athanasius came to Alexandria, and was most joyfully received by the people of the city. Nevertheless as many in it as had embraced Arianism, combining together, entered into conspiracies against him, by which frequent seditions were excited, affording a pretext to the Eusebians for accusing him to the emperor of having taken possession of the Alexandrian church on his own responsibility, in spite of the adverse judgment of a general council of bishops. So far indeed did they succeed in pressing their charges, that the emperor became exasperated, and banished him from Alexandria. How indeed this came about I shall hereafter explain.

On the Death of Eusebius Pamphilus, Acacius succeeds to the Bishopric of Cæsarea.

At this time Eusebius, who was bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine, and had the surname of Pamphilus, having died, Acacius, his disciple, succeeded him in the bishopric. This individual published several books, and among others a biographical sketch of his master.

The Death of Constantine the Younger.

Not long after this the brother of the Emperor Constantius, Constantine the younger, who bore his father’s name, having invaded those parts of the empire which were under the government of his younger brother Constans, engaging in a conflict with his brother’s soldiery, was slain by them. This took place under the consulship of Acindynus and Proclus.

Alexander, Bishop of Constantinople, when at the Point of Death proposes the Election either of Paul or of Macedonius as his Successor.

About the same time another disturbance in addition to those we have recorded, was raised at Constantinople on the following account. Alexander, who had presided over the churches in that city, and had strenuously opposed Arius, departed this life, having occupied the bishopric for twenty-three years and lived ninety-eight years in all, without having ordained any one to succeed him. But he had enjoined the proper persons to choose one of the two whom he named; that is to say, if they desired one who was competent to teach, and of eminent piety, they should elect Paul, whom he had himself ordained presbyter, a man young indeed in years, but of advanced intelligence and prudence; but if they wished a man of venerable aspect, and external show only of sanctity, they might appoint Macedonius, who had long been a deacon among them and was aged. Hence there arose a great contest respecting the choice of a bishop which troubled the church exceedingly; for ever since the people were divided into two parties, one of which favored the tenets of Arius, while the other held what the Nicene Synod had defined, those who held the doctrine of consubstantiality always had the advantage during the life of Alexander, the Arians disagreeing among themselves and perpetually conflicting in opinion. But after the death of that prelate, the issue of the struggle became doubtful, the defenders of the orthodox faith insisting on the ordination of Paul, and all the Arian party espousing the cause of Macedonius. Paul therefore was ordained bishop in the church called Irene, which is situated near the great church of Sophia; whose election appeared to be more in accordance with the suffrage of the deceased.

The Emperor Constantius ejects Paul after his Election to the Bishopric, and sending for Eusebius of Nicomedia, invests him with the Bishopric of Constantinople.

Not long afterwards the emperor having arrived at Constantinople was highly incensed at the consecration [of Paul]; and having convened an assembly of bishops of Arian sentiments, he divested Paul of his dignity, and translating Eusebius from the see of Nicomedia, he appointed him bishop of Constantinople. Having done this the emperor proceeded to Antioch.

Eusebius having convened Another Synod at Antioch in Syria, causes a New Creed to be promulgated.

Eusebius, however, could by no means remain quiet, but as the saying is, left no stone unturned, in order to effect the purpose he had in view. He therefore causes a Synod to be convened at Antioch in Syria, under pretense of dedicating the church which the father of the Augusti had commenced, and which his son Constantius had finished in the tenth year after its foundations were laid, but with the real intention of subverting and abolishing the doctrine of the homoousion. There were present at this Synod ninety bishops from various cities. Maximus, however, bishop of Jerusalem; who had succeeded Macarius, did not attend, recollecting that he had been deceived and induced to subscribe the deposition of Athanasius. Neither was Julius, bishop of the great Rome, there, nor had he sent a substitute, although an ecclesiastical canon commands that the churches shall not make any ordinances against the opinion of the bishop of Rome. This Synod assembled at Antioch in presence of the emperor Constantius in the consulate of Marcellus and Probinus, which was the fifth year after the death of Constantine, father of the Augusti. Placitus, otherwise called Flaccillus, successor to Euphronius, at that time presided over the church at Antioch. The confederates of Eusebius had previously designed to calumniate Athanasius; accusing him in the first place of having acted contrary to a canon which they then constituted, in resuming his episcopal authority without the license of a general council of bishops, inasmuch as on his return from exile he had on his own responsibility taken possession of the church; and then because a tumult had been excited on his entrance and many were killed in the riot; moreover that some had been scourged by him, and others brought before the tribunals. Besides they brought forward what had been determined against Athanasius at Tyre.

Of Eusebius of Emisa.

On the ground of such charges as these, they proposed another bishop for the Alexandrian church, and first indeed Eusebius surnamed Emisenus. Who this person was, George, bishop of Laodicea, who was present on this occasion, informs us. For he says in the book which he has composed on his life, that Eusebius was descended from the nobility of Edessa in Mesopotamia, and that from a child he had studied the holy Scriptures; that he was afterwards instructed in Greek literature by a master resident at Edessa; and finally that the sacred books were expounded to him by Patrophilus and Eusebius, of whom the latter presided over the church at Cæsarea, and the former over that at Scythopolis. Afterwards when he dwelt in Antioch, it happened that Eustathius was deposed on the accusation of Cyrus of Berœa for holding the tenets of Sabellius. Then again he associated with Euphronius, successor of Eustathius, and avoiding a bishopric, he retired to Alexandria, and there devoted himself to the study of philosophy. On his return to Antioch he formed an intimate acquaintance with Placitus [or Flaccillus], the successor of Euphronius. At length he was ordained bishop of Alexandria, by Eusebius, bishop of Constantinople; but did not go thither in consequence of the attachment of the people of that city to Athanasius, and was therefore sent to Emisa. As the inhabitants of Emisa excited a sedition on account of his appointment,—for he was commonly charged with the study and practice of judicial astrology, —he fled and came to Laodicea, to George, who has given so many historical details of him. George having taken him to Antioch, procured his being again brought back to Emisa by Placitus and Narcissus; but he was afterwards charged with holding the Sabellian views. George more elaborately describes the circumstances of his ordination and adds at the close that the emperor took him with him in his expedition against the barbarians, and that miracles were wrought by his hand. The information given by George concerning Eusebius of Emisa may be considered reproduced at sufficient length by me here.

The Bishops assembled at Antioch, on the Refusal of Eusebius of Emisa to accept the Bishopric of Alexandria, ordain Gregory, and change the Language of the Nicene Creed.

Now at that time Eusebius having been proposed and fearing to go to Alexandria, the Synod at Antioch designated Gregory as bishop of that church. This being done, they altered the creed; not as condemning anything in that which was set forth at Nicæa, but in fact with a determination to subvert and nullify the doctrine of consubstantiality by means of frequent councils, and the publication of various expositions of the faith, so as gradually to establish the Arian views. How these things issued we will set forth in the course of our narrative; but the epistle then promulgated respecting the faith was as follows:

We have neither become followers of Arius,—for how should we who are bishops be guided by a presbyter?—nor have we embraced any other faith than that which was set forth from the beginning. But being constituted examiners and judges of his sentiments, we admit their soundness, rather than adopt them from him: and you will recognize this from what we are about to state. We have learned from the beginning to believe in one God of the Universe, the Creator and Preserver of all things both those thought of and those perceived by the senses: and in one only-begotten Son of God, subsisting before all ages, and co-existing with the Father who begat him, through whom also all things visible and invisible were made; who in the last days according to the Father’s good pleasure, descended, and assumed flesh from the holy virgin, and having fully accomplished his Father’s will, that he should suffer, and rise again, and ascend into the heavens, and sit at the right hand of the Father; and is coming to judge the living and the dead, continuing King and God for ever. We believe also in the Holy Spirit. And if it is necessary to add this, we believe in the resurrection of the flesh, and the life everlasting.

Having thus written in their first epistle, they sent it to the bishops of every city. But after remaining some time at Antioch, as if to condemn the former, they published another letter in these words:

Another Exposition of the Faith.

In conformity with evangelic and apostolic tradition, we believe in one God the Father Almighty, the Creator and Framer of the universe. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, his Son, God the only-begotten, through whom all things were made: begotten of the Father before all ages, God of God, Whole of Whole, Only of Only, Perfect of Perfect, King of King, Lord of Lord; the living Word, the Wisdom, the Life, the True Light, the Way of Truth, the Resurrection, the Shepherd, the Gate; immutable and inconvertible; the unaltering image of the Divinity, Substance and Power, and Counsel and Glory of the Father; born before all creation; who was in the beginning with God, God the Word, according as it is declared in the Gospel, and the Word was God, by whom all things were made, and in whom all things subsist: who in the last days came down from above, and was born of the virgin according to the Scriptures; and was made man, the Mediator between God and men, the Apostle of our Faith, and the Prince of Life, as he says, I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. Who suffered on our behalf, and rose again for us on the third day, and ascended into the heavens, and is seated at the right hand of the Father; and will come again with glory and power to judge the living and the dead. [We believe] also in the Holy Spirit, who is given to believers for their consolation, sanctification, and perfection; even as our Lord Jesus Christ commanded his disciples, saying, Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; that is to say of the Father who is truly the Father, of the Son who is truly the Son, and of the Holy Spirit who is truly the Holy Spirit, these words not being simply or insignificantly applied, but accurately expressing the proper subsistence, glory, and order, of each of these who are named: so that there are three in person, but one in concordance. Holding therefore this faith in the presence of God and of Christ, we anathematize all heretical and false doctrine. And if any one shall teach contrary to the sound and right faith of the Scriptures, affirming that there is or was a period or an age before the Son of God existed, let him be accursed. And if any one shall say that the Son is a creature as one of the creatures, or that he is offspring as one of the offsprings, and shall not hold each of the aforesaid doctrines as the Divine Scriptures have delivered them to us: or if any one shall teach or preach any other doctrine contrary to that which we have received, let him be accursed. For we truly and unreservedly believe and follow all things handed down to us from the sacred Scriptures by the prophets and apostles.

Such was the exposition of the faith published by those then assembled at Antioch, to which Gregory also subscribed as bishop of Alexandria, although he had not yet entered that city. The Synod having done these things, and legislated some other canons, was dissolved. At this time it happened that public affairs also were disturbed. The nation called Franks made incursions into the Roman territories in Gaul, and at the same time there occurred violent earthquakes in the East, and especially at Antioch, which continued to suffer concussions during a whole year.

On the Arrival of Gregory at Alexandria, tended by a Military Escort, Athanasius flees.

After these things, Syrian, the military commander, and the corps of heavy armed soldiers, five thousand in number, conducted Gregory to Alexandria; and such of the citizens as were of Arian sentiments combined with them. But it will be proper here to relate by what means Athanasius escaped the hands of those who wished to apprehend him, after his expulsion from the church. It was evening, and the people were attending the vigil there, a service being expected. The commander arrived, and posted his forces in order of battle on every side of the church. Athanasius having observed what was done, considered within himself how he might prevent the people’s suffering in any degree on his account: accordingly having directed the deacon to give notice of prayer, after that he ordered the recitation of a psalm; and when the melodious chant of the psalm arose, all went out through one of the church doors. While this was doing, the troops remained inactive spectators, and Athanasius thus escaped unhurt in the midst of those who were chanting the psalm, and immediately hastened to Rome. Gregory then prevailed in the church: but the people of Alexandria, being indignant at this procedure, set the church called that of Dionysius on fire. Let this be sufficient on this subject. Now Eusebius, having thus far obtained his object, sent a deputation to Julius, bishop of Rome, begging that he would himself take cognizance of the charges against Athanasius, and order a judicial investigation to be made in his presence.

The People of Constantinople restore Paul to his See after the Death of Eusebius, while the Arians elect Macedonius.

But Eusebius did not live to learn the decision of Julius concerning Athanasius, for he died a short time after that Synod was held. Whereupon the people introduced Paul again into the church of Constantinople: the Arians, however, ordained Macedonius at the same time, in the church dedicated to Paul. This those who had formerly co-operated with Eusebius (that disturber of the public peace) brought about, assuming all his authority. These were Theognis, bishop of Nicæa, Maris of Chalcedon, Theodore of Heraclea in Thrace, Ursacius of Singidunum in Upper Mysia, and Valens of Mursa in Upper Pannonia. Ursacius and Valens indeed afterward altered their opinions, and presented a written recantation of them to bishop Julius, so that on subscribing the doctrine of consubstantiability they were again admitted to communion; but at that time they warmly supported the Arian error, and were instigators of the most violent conflicts in the churches, one of which was connected with Macedonius at Constantinople. By this intestine war among the Christians, continuous seditions arose in that city, and many lives were sacrificed in consequence of these occurrences.

Paul is again ejected from the Church by Constantius, in consequence of the Slaughter of Hermogenes, his General.

Intelligence of these proceedings reached the ears of the Emperor Constantius, whose residence was then at Antioch. Accordingly he ordered his general Hermogenes, who had been despatched to Thrace, to pass through Constantinople on his way, and expel Paul from the church. He, on arriving at Constantinople, threw the whole city into confusion, attempting to cast out the bishops; for sedition immediately arose from the people in their eagerness to defend the bishop. And when Hermogenes persisted in his efforts to drive out Paul by means of his military force, the people became exasperated as is usual in such cases; and making a desperate attack upon him, they set his house on fire, and after dragging through the city, they at last put him to death. This took place in the consulate of the two Augusti,—that is to say, the third consulship,—Constantius, and the second of Constans: at which time Constans, having subdued the Franks, compelled them to enter into a treaty of peace with the Romans. The Emperor Constantius, on being informed of the assassination of Hermogenes, set off on horseback from Antioch, and arriving at Constantinople immediately expelled Paul, and then punished the inhabitants by withdrawing from them more than 40,000 measures of the daily allowance of wheat which had been granted by his father for gratuitous distribution among them: for prior to this catastrophe, nearly 80,000 measures of wheat brought from Alexandria had been bestowed on the citizens. He hesitated, however, to ratify the appointment of Macedonius to the bishopric of that city, being irritated against him not only because he had been ordained without his own consent; but also because on account of the contests in which he had been engaged with Paul, Hermogenes, his general, and many other persons had been slain. But having given him permission to minister in the church in which he had been consecrated, he returned to Antioch.

The Arians remove Gregory from the See of Alexandria, and appoint George in his Place.

About the same time the Arians ejected Gregory from the see of Alexandria, on the ground that he was unpopular and at the same time because he had set a church on fire, and did not manifest sufficient zeal in promoting the interests of their party. They therefore inducted George into his see, who was a native of Cappadocia, and had acquired the reputation of being an able advocate of their tenets.

Athanasius and Paul going to Rome, and having obtained Letters from Bishop Julius, recover their respective Dioceses.

Athanasius, meanwhile, after a lengthened journey, at last reached Italy. The western division of the empire was then under the sole power of Constans, the youngest of Constantine’s sons, his brother Constantine having been slain by the soldiers, as was before stated. At the same time also Paul, bishop of Constantinople, Asclepas of Gaza, Marcellus of Ancyra, a city of the Lesser Galatia, and Lucius of Adrianople, having been accused on various charges, and expelled from their several churches arrived at the imperial city. There each laid his case before Julius, bishop of Rome. He on his part, by virtue of the Church of Rome’s peculiar privilege, sent them back again into the East, fortifying them with commendatory letters; and at the same time restored to each his own place, and sharply rebuked those by whom they had been deposed. Relying on the signature of the bishop Julius, the bishops departed from Rome, and again took possession of their own churches, forwarding the letters to the parties to whom they were addressed. These persons considering themselves treated with indignity by the reproaches of Julius, called a council at Antioch, assembled themselves and dictated a reply to his letters as the expression of the unanimous feeling of the whole Synod. It was not his province, they said, to take cognizance of their decisions in reference to any whom they might wish to expel from their churches; seeing that they had not opposed themselves to him, when Novatus was ejected from the church. These things the bishops of the Eastern church communicated to Julius, bishop of Rome. But, as on the entry of Athanasius into Alexandria, a tumult was raised by the partisans of George the Arian, in consequence of which, it is affirmed, many persons were killed; and since the Arians endeavor to throw the whole odium of this transaction on Athanasius as the author of it, it behooves us to make a few remarks on the subject. God the Judge of all only knows the true causes of these disorders; but no one of any experience can be ignorant of the fact, that such fatal accidents are for the most part concomitants of the factious movements of the populace. It is vain, therefore, for the calumniators of Athanasius to attribute the blame to him; and especially Sabinus, bishop of the Macedonian heresy. For had the latter reflected on the number and magnitude of the wrongs which Athanasius, in conjunction with the rest who hold the doctrine of consubstantiality, had suffered from the Arians, or on the many complaints made of these things by the Synods convened on account of Athanasius, or in short on what that arch-heretic Macedonius himself has done throughout all the churches, he would either have been wholly silent, or if constrained to speak, would have spoken more plausible words, instead of these reproaches. But as it is intentionally overlooking all these things, he willfully misrepresents the facts. He makes, however, no mention whatever of the heresiarch, desiring by all means to conceal the daring enormities of which he knew him to be guilty. And what is still more extraordinary, he has not said one word to the disadvantage of the Arians, although he was far from entertaining their sentiments. The ordination of Macedonius, whose heretical views he had adopted, he has also passed over in silence; for had he mentioned it, he must necessarily have recorded his impieties also, which were most distinctly manifested on that occasion. Let this suffice on this subject.

The Emperor Constantius, through an Order to Philip the Prætorian Prefect, secures the Exile of Paul, and the Installation of Macedonius in his See.

When the Emperor Constantius, who then held his court at Antioch, heard that Paul had again obtained possession of the episcopal throne, he was excessively enraged at his presumption. He therefore despatched a written order to Philip, the Prætorian Prefect, whose power exceeded that of the other governors of provinces, and who was styled the second person from the emperor, to drive Paul out of the church again, and introduce Macedonius into it in his place. Now the prefect Philip, dreading an insurrectionary movement among the people, used artifice to entrap the bishop: keeping, therefore, the emperor’s mandate secret, he went to the public bath called Zeuxippus, and on pretense of attending to some public affairs, sent to Paul with every demonstration of respect, requesting his attendance there, on the ground that his presence was indispensable. The bishop came; and as he came in obedience to this summons, the prefect immediately showed him the emperor’s order; the bishop patiently submitted condemnation without a hearing. But as Philip was afraid of the violence of the multitude—for great numbers had gathered around the building to see what would take place, for their suspicions had been aroused by current reports—he commanded one of the bath doors to be opened which communicated with the imperial palace, and through that Paul was carried off, put on board a vessel provided for the purpose, and so sent into exile immediately. The prefect directed him to go to Thessalonica, the metropolis of Macedonia, whence he had derived his origin from his ancestors; commanding him to reside in that city, but granting him permission to visit other cities of Illyricum, while he strictly forbade his passing into any portion of the Eastern empire. Thus was Paul, contrary to his expectation, at once expelled from the church, and from the city, and again hurried off into exile. Philip, the imperial prefect, leaving the bath, immediately proceeded to the church. Together with him, as if thrown there by an engine, Macedonius rode seated in the same seat with the prefect in the chariot seen by everybody, and a military guard with drawn swords was about them. The multitude was completely overawed by this spectacle, and both Arians and Homoousians hastened to the church, every one endeavoring to secure an entrance there. As the prefect with Macedonius came near the church, an irrational panic seized the multitude and even the soldiers themselves; for as the assemblage was so numerous and no room to admit the passage of the prefect and Macedonius was found, the soldiers attempted to thrust aside the people by force. But the confined space into which they were crowded together rendering it impossible to recede, the soldiers imagined that resistance was offered, and that the populace intentionally stopped the passage; they accordingly began to use their naked swords, and to cut down those that stood in their way. It is affirmed that about 3150 persons were massacred on this occasion; of whom the greater part fell under the weapons of the soldiers, and the rest were crushed to death by the desperate efforts of the multitude to escape their violence. After such distinguished achievements, Macedonius, as if he had not been the author of any calamity, but was altogether guiltless of what had been perpetrated, was seated in the episcopal chair by the prefect, rather than by the ecclesiastical canon. Thus, then, by means of so many murders in the church, Macedonius and the Arians grasped the supremacy in the churches. About this period the emperor built the great church called Sophia, adjoining to that named Irene, which being originally of small dimensions, the emperor’s father had considerably enlarged and adorned. In the present day both are seen within one enclosure, and have but one appellation.

Athanasius, intimidated by the Emperor’s Threats, returns to Rome again.

At this time another accusation was concocted against Athanasius by the Arians, who invented this pretext for it. The father of the Augusti had long before granted an allowance of corn to the church of the Alexandrians for the relief of the indigent. This, they asserted, had usually been sold by Athanasius, and the proceeds converted to his own advantage. The emperor, giving credence to this slanderous report, threatened Athanasius with death, as a penalty; who, becoming alarmed at the intimation of this threat, took to flight, and kept himself concealed. When Julius, bishop of Rome, was apprised of these fresh machinations of the Arians against Athanasius, and had also received the letter of the then deceased Eusebius, he invited the persecuted Athanasius to come to him, having ascertained where he was secreted. The epistle also of the bishops who had been some time before assembled at Antioch, just then reached him; and at the same time others from the bishops in Egypt, assuring him that the entire charge against Athanasius was a fabrication. On the receipt of these contradictory communications, Julius first replied to the bishops who had written to him from Antioch, complaining of the acrimonious feeling they had evinced in their letter, and charging them with a violation of the canons, because they had not requested his attendance at the council, seeing that the ecclesiastical law required that the churches should pass no decisions contrary to the views of the bishop of Rome: he then censured them with great severity for clandestinely attempting to pervert the faith; in addition, that their former proceedings at Tyre were fraudulent, because the investigation of what had taken place at Mareotes was on one side of the question only; not only this, but that the charge respecting Arsenius had plainly been proved a false charge. Such and similar sentiments did Julius write in his answer to the bishops convened at Antioch; we should have inserted here at length, these as well as those letters which were addressed to Julius, did not their prolixity interfere with our purpose. But Sabinus, the advocate of the Macedonian heresy, of whom we have before spoken, has not incorporated the letters of Julius in his Collection of Synodical Transactions; although he has not omitted that which the bishops of Antioch sent to Julius. This, however, is usual with him; he carefully introduces such letters as make no reference to, or wholly repudiate the term homoousion; while he purposely passes over in silence those of a contrary tendency. This is sufficient on this subject. Not long after this, Paul, pretending to make a journey from Thessalonica to Corinth, arrived in Italy: upon which both the bishops made an appeal to the emperor of those parts, laying their respective cases before him.

The Emperor of the West requests his Brother to send him Three Persons who could give an Account of the Deposition of Athanasius and Paul. Those who are sent publish Another Form of the Creed.

When the Western emperor was informed of their affairs, he sympathized with their sufferings; and wrote to his brother [Constantius], begging him to send three bishops who should explain to him the reason for the deposition of Athanasius and Paul. In compliance with this request, Narcissus the Cilician, Theodore the Thracian, Maris of Chalcedon, and Mark the Syrian, were deputed to execute this commission; who on their arrival refused to hold any communication with Athanasius or his friends, but suppressing the creed which had been promulgated at Antioch, presented to the Emperor Constans another declaration of faith composed by themselves, in the following terms:

Another Exposition of the Faith.

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, the Creator and Maker of all things, of whom the whole family in heaven and upon earth is named; and in his only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who was begotten of the Father before all ages; God of God; Light of Light; through whom all things in the heavens and upon the earth, both visible and invisible, were made: who is the Word, and Wisdom, and Power, and Life, and true Light: who in the last days for our sake was made man, and was born of the holy virgin; was crucified, and died; was buried, arose again from the dead on the third day, ascended into the heavens, is seated at the right hand of the Father, and shall come at the consummation of the ages, to judge the living and the dead, and to render to every one according to his works: whose kingdom being perpetual, shall continue to infinite ages; for he shall sit at the right hand of the Father, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come. [We believe] in the Holy Spirit, that is, in the Comforter, whom the Lord, according to his promise, sent to his apostles after his ascension into the heavens, to teach them, and bring all things to their remembrance: by whom also the souls of those who have sincerely believed on him shall be sanctified; and those who assert that the Son was made of things which are not, or of another substance, and not of God, or that there was a time when he did not exist, the Catholic Church accounts as aliens.

Having delivered this creed to the emperor, and exhibited it to many others also, they departed without attending to anything besides. But while there was yet an inseparable communion between the Western and Eastern churches, there sprang up another heresy at Sirmium, a city of Illyricum; for Photinus, who presided over the churches in that district, a native of the Lesser Galatia, and a disciple of that Marcellus who had been deposed, adopting his master’s sentiments, asserted that the Son of God was a mere man. We shall, however, enter into this matter more fully in its proper place.

Of the Creed sent by the Eastern Bishops to those in Italy, called the Lengthy Creed.

After the lapse of about three years from the events above recorded, the Eastern bishops again assembled a Synod, and having composed another form of faith, they transmitted it to those in Italy by the hands of Eudoxius, at that time bishop of Germanicia, and Martyrius, and Macedonius, who was bishop of Mopsuestia in Cilicia. This expression of the Creed, being written in more lengthy form, contained many additions to those which had preceded it, and was set forth in these words:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, the Creator and Maker of all things, of whom the whole family in heaven and upon earth is named; and in his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was begotten of the Father before all ages; God of God; Light of Light; through whom all things in the heavens and upon the earth, both visible and invisible, were made: who is the Word, and Wisdom, and Power, and Life, and true Light: who in the last days for our sake was made man, and was born of the holy virgin; who was crucified, and died, and was buried, and rose again from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and shall come at the consummation of the ages, to judge the living and the dead, and to render to every one according to his works: whose kingdom being perpetual shall continue to infinite ages; for he sits at the right hand of the Father, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come. We believe also in the Holy Spirit, that is, in the Comforter, whom the Lord according to his promise sent to his apostles after his ascension into heaven, to teach them and bring all things to their remembrance, through whom also the souls of those who sincerely believe on him are sanctified. But those who assert that the Son was made of things not in being, or of another substance, and not of God, or that there was a time or age when he did not exist, the holy catholic Church accounts as aliens. The holy and catholic Church likewise anathematizes those also who say that there are three Gods, or that Christ is not God before all ages, or that he is neither Christ, nor the Son of God, or that the same person is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, or that the Son was not begotten, or that the Father begat not the Son by his own will or desire. Neither is it safe to affirm that the Son had his existence from things that were not, since this is nowhere declared concerning him in the divinely inspired Scriptures. Nor are we taught that he had his being from any other pre-existing substance besides the Father, but that he was truly begotten of God alone; for the Divine word teaches that there is one unbegotten principle without beginning, the Father of Christ. But those who unauthorized by Scripture rashly assert that there was a time when he was not, ought not to preconceive any antecedent interval of time, but God only who without time begat him; for both times and ages were made through him. Yet it must not be thought that the Son is co-inoriginate, or co-unbegotten with the Father: for there is properly no father of the co-inoriginate or co-unbegotten. But we know that the Father alone being inoriginate and incomprehensible, has ineffably and incomprehensibly to all begotten, and that the Son was begotten before the ages, but is not unbegotten like the Father, but has a beginning, viz. the Father who begat him, for the head of Christ is God. Now although according to the Scriptures we acknowledge three things or persons, viz. that of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do not on that account make three Gods: since we know that that there is but one God perfect in himself, unbegotten, inoriginate, and invisible, the God and Father of the only-begotten, who alone has existence from himself, and alone affords existence abundantly to all other things. But neither while we assert that there is one God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten, do we therefore deny that Christ is God before the ages, as the followers of Paul of Samosata do, who affirm that after his incarnation he was by exaltation deified, in that he was by nature a mere man. We know indeed that he was subject to his God and Father: nevertheless he was begotten of God, and is by nature true and perfect God, and was not afterwards made God out of man; but was for our sake made man out of God, and has never ceased to be God. Moreover we execrate and anathematize those who falsely style him the mere unsubstantial word of God, having existence only in another, either as the word to which utterance is given, or as the word conceived in the mind: and who pretend that before the ages he was neither the Christ, the Son of God, the Mediator, nor the Image of God; but that he became the Christ, and the Son of God, from the time he took our flesh from the virgin, about four hundred years ago. For they assert that Christ had the beginning of his kingdom from that time, and that it shall have an end after the consummation of all things and the judgment. Such persons as these are the followers of Marcellus and Photinus, the Ancyro-Galatians, who under pretext of establishing his sovereignty, like the Jews set aside the eternal existence and deity of Christ, and the perpetuity of his kingdom. But we know him to be not simply the word of God by utterance or mental conception, but God the living Word subsisting of himself; and Son of God and Christ; and who did, not by presence only, co-exist and was conversant with his Father before the ages, and ministered to him at the creation of all things, whether visible or invisible, but was the substantial Word of the Father, and God of God: for this is he to whom the Father said, Let us make man in our image, and according to our likeness: who in his own person appeared to the fathers, gave the law, and spake by the prophets; and being at last made man, he manifested his Father to all men, and reigns to endless ages. Christ has not attained any new dignity; but we believe that he was perfect from the beginning, and like his Father in all things; and those who say that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are the same person, impiously supposing the three names to refer to one and the same thing and person, we deservedly expel from the church because by the incarnation they render the Father, who is incomprehensible and insusceptible of suffering, subject to comprehension and suffering. Such are those denominated Patropassians among the Romans, and by us Sabellians. For we know that the Father who sent, remained in the proper nature of his own immutable deity; but that Christ who was sent, has fulfilled the economy of the incarnation. In like manner those who irreverently affirm that Christ was begotten not by the will and pleasure of his Father; thus attributing to God an involuntary necessity not springing from choice, as if he begat the Son by constraint, we consider most impious and strangers to the truth because they have dared to determine such things respecting him as are inconsistent with our common notions of God, and are contrary indeed to the sense of the divinely-inspired Scripture. For knowing that God is self-dependent and Lord of himself we devoutly maintain that of his own volition and pleasure he begat the Son. And while we reverentially believe what is spoken concerning him; The Lord created me the beginning of his ways on account of his works: yet we do not suppose that he was made similarly to the creatures or works made by him. For it is impious and repugnant to the church’s faith to compare the Creator with the works created by him; or to imagine that he had the same manner of generation as things of a nature totally different from himself: for the sacred Scriptures teach us that the alone only-begotten Son was really and truly begotten. Nor when we say that the Son is of himself, and lives and subsists in like manner to the Father, do we therefore separate him from the Father, as if we supposed them dissociated by the intervention of space and distance in a material sense. For we believe that they are united without medium or interval, and that they are incapable of separation from each other: the whole Father embosoming the Son; and the whole Son attached to and eternally reposing in the Father’s bosom. Believing, therefore, in the altogether perfect and most holy Trinity, and asserting that the Father is God, and that the Son also is God, we do not acknowledge two Gods, but one only, on account of the majesty of the Deity, and the perfect blending and union of the kingdoms: the Father ruling over all things universally, and even over the Son himself; the Son being subject to the Father, but except him, ruling over all things which were made after him and by him; and by the Father’s will bestowing abundantly on the saints the grace of the Holy Spirit. For the Sacred Oracles inform us that in this consists the character of the sovereignty which Christ exercises.

We have been compelled, since the publication of our former epitome, to give this more ample exposition of the creed; not in order to gratify a vain ambition, but to clear ourselves from all strange suspicion respecting our faith which may exist among those who are ignorant of our real sentiments. And that the inhabitants of the West may both be aware of the shameless misrepresentations of the heterodox party; and also know the ecclesiastical opinion of the Eastern bishops concerning Christ, confirmed by the unwrested testimony of the divinely-inspired Scriptures, among all those of unperverted minds.

Of the Council at Sardica.

The Western prelates on account of their being of another language, and not understanding this exposition, would not admit of it; saying that the Nicene Creed was sufficient, and that they would not waste time on anything beyond it. But when the emperor had again written to insist on the restoration to Paul and Athanasius of their respective sees, but without effect in consequence of the continual agitation of the people—these two bishops demanded that another Synod should be convened, so that their case, as well as other questions in relation to the faith might be settled by an ecumenical council, for they made it obvious that their deposition arose from no other cause than that the faith might be the more easily perverted. Another general council was therefore summoned to meet at Sardica,—a city of Illyricum,—by the joint authority of the two emperors; the one requesting by letter that it might be so, and the other, of the East, readily acquiescing in it. It was the eleventh year after the death of the father of the two Augusti, during the consulship of Rufinus and Eusebius, that the Synod of Sardica met. According to the statement of Athanasius about 300 bishops from the western parts of the empire were present; but Sabinus says there came only seventy from the eastern parts, among whom was Ischyras of Mareotes, who had been ordained bishop of that country by those who deposed Athanasius. Of the rest, some pretended infirmity of body; others complained of the shortness of the notice given, casting the blame of it on Julius, bishop of Rome, although a year and a half had elapsed from the time of its having been summoned: in which interval Athanasius remained at Rome awaiting the assembling of the Synod. When at last they were convened at Sardica, the Eastern prelates refused either to meet or to enter into any conference with those of the West, unless they first excluded Athanasius and Paul from the convention. But as Protogenes, bishop of Sardica, and Hosius, bishop of Cordova, a city in Spain, would by no means permit them to be absent, the Eastern bishops immediately withdrew, and returning to Philippopolis in Thrace, held a separate council, wherein they openly anathematized the term homoousios; and having introduced the Anomoian opinion into their epistles, they sent them in all directions. On the other hand those who remained at Sardica, condemning in the first place their departure, afterwards divested the accusers of Athanasius of their dignity; then confirming the Nicene Creed, and rejecting the term anomoion, they more distinctly recognized the doctrine of consubstantiality, which they also inserted in epistles addressed to all the churches. Both parties believed they had acted rightly: those of the East, because the Western bishops had countenanced those whom they had deposed; and these again, in consequence not only of the retirement of those who had deposed them before the matter had been examined into, but also because they themselves were the defenders of the Nicene faith, which the other party had dared to adulterate. They therefore restored to Paul and Athanasius their sees, and also Marcellus of Ancyra in Lesser Galatia, who had been deposed long before, as we have stated in the former book. At that time indeed he exerted himself to the utmost to procure the revocation of the sentence pronounced against him, declaring that his being suspected of entertaining the error of Paul of Samosata arose from a misunderstanding of some expressions in his book. It must, however, be noticed that Eusebius Pamphilus wrote three entire books against Marcellus, in which he quotes that author’s own words to prove that he asserts with Sabellius the Libyan, and Paul of Samosata, that the Lord [Jesus] was a mere man.

Defense of Eusebius Pamphilus.

But since some have attempted to stigmatize even Eusebius Pamphilus himself as having favored the Arian views in his works, it may not be irrelevant here to make a few remarks respecting him. In the first place then he was both present at the council of Nicæa, which defined the doctrine of the homoousion and gave his assent to what was there determined. And in the third book of the Life of Constantine, he expressed himself in these words: The emperor incited all to unanimity, until he had rendered them united in judgment on those points on which they were previously at variance; so that they were quite agreed at Nicæa in matters of faith. Since therefore Eusebius, in mentioning the Nicene Synod, says that all differences were removed, and that all came to unity of sentiment, what ground is there for assuming that he was himself an Arian? The Arians are also certainly deceived in supposing him to be a favorer of their tenets. But some one will perhaps say that in his discourses he seems to have adopted the opinions of Arius, because of his frequently saying through Christ, to whom we should answer that ecclesiastical writers often use this mode of expression and others of a similar kind denoting the economy of our Saviour’s humanity: and that before all these the apostle made use of such expressions, and never has been accounted a teacher of false doctrine. Moreover, inasmuch as Arius has dared to say that the Son is a creature, as one of the others, observe what Eusebius says on this subject, in his first book against Marcellus:

He alone, and no other, has been declared to be, and is the only-begotten Son of God; whence any one could justly censure those who have presumed to affirm that he is a Creature made of nothing, like the rest of the creatures; for how then would he be a Son? and how could he be God’s only-begotten, were he assigned the same nature as the other creatures…and were he one of the many created things, seeing that he, like them, would in that case be partaker of a creation from nothing? But the Sacred Scriptures do not thus instruct us.

He again adds a little afterwards:

Whoever then defines the Son as made of things that are not, and as a creature produced from nothing pre-existing, forgets that while he concedes the name of Son, he denies him to be a Son in reality. For he that is made of nothing, cannot truly be the Son of God, any more than the other things which have been made; but the true Son of God, forasmuch as he is begotten of the Father, is properly denominated the only-begotten and beloved of the Father. For this reason also, he himself is God; for what can the offspring of God be, but the perfect resemblance of him who begot him? A sovereign indeed builds a city, but does not beget it; and is said to beget a son, not to build one. An artificer, also, may be called the framer, but not the father of his work; while he could by no means be styled the framer of him whom he had begotten. So also the God of the Universe is the Father of the Son; but might be fitly termed the Framer and Maker of the world. And although it is once said in Scripture, The Lord created me the beginning of his ways on account of his works, yet it becomes us to consider the import of this phrase, which I shall hereafter explain; and not, as Marcellus has done, from a single passage to jeopardize the most important doctrine of the church.

These and many other such expressions Eusebius Pamphilus has given utterance to in the first book against Marcellus; and in his third book, declaring in what sense the term creature is to be taken, he says:

Accordingly, these things being thus established, it follows that in the same sense as that which preceded, the words, The Lord created me the beginning of his ways, on account of his works, must have been spoken. For although he says that he was created, it is not as if he should say that he had arrived at existence from what was not, nor that he himself also was made of nothing like the rest of the creatures, which some have erroneously supposed; but as subsisting, living, pre-existing, and being before the constitution of the whole world; and having been appointed to rule the universe by his Lord and Father: the word created being here used instead of ordained or constituted. Certainly the apostle expressly called the rulers and governors among men creature, when he said, Submit yourselves to every human creature for the Lord’s sake; whether to the king as supreme, or to governors as those sent by him. The prophet also when he says, Prepare, Israel, to invoke thy God. For behold he who confirms the thunder, creates the Spirit, and announces his Christ unto men: …has not used the word he who creates in the sense of makes out of nothing. For God did not then create the Spirit, when he declared his Christ to all men, since There is nothing new under the sun; but the Spirit existed, and had being previously: but he was sent at what time the apostles were gathered together, when like thunder There came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind; and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. And thus they declared unto all men the Christ of God, in accordance with that prophecy which says, Behold he who confirms the thunder, creates the Spirit, and announces his Christ unto men: the word creates being used instead of sends down, or appoints; and thunder in another figure implying the preaching of the Gospel. Again he that says, Create in me a clean heart, O God, said not this as if he had no heart; but prayed that his mind might be purified. Thus also it is said, That he might create the two into one new man, instead of unite. Consider also whether this passage is not of the same kind, Clothe yourselves with the new man, which is created according to God; and this, If, therefore, any one be in Christ, he is a new creature; and whatever other expressions of a similar nature any one may find who shall carefully search the divinely inspired Scripture. Wherefore, one should not be surprised if in this passage, The Lord created me the beginning of his ways, the term created is used metaphorically, instead of appointed or constituted.

Such words Eusebius uses in his work against Marcellus; we have quoted them on account of those who have slanderously attempted to traduce and criminate him. Neither can they prove that Eusebius attributes a beginning of subsistence to the Son of God, although they may find him often using the expressions by accommodation; and especially so, because he was an emulator and admirer of the works of Origen, in which those who are able to comprehend the depth of Origen’s writings, will perceive it to be everywhere stated that the Son was begotten of the Father. These remarks have been made in passing, in order to refute those who have misrepresented Eusebius.

The Council of Sardica restores Paul and Athanasius to their Sees; and on the Eastern Emperor’s Refusal to admit them, the Emperor of the West threatens him with War.

Those convened at Sardica, as well as those who had formed a separate council at Philippopolis in Thrace, having severally performed what they deemed requisite, returned to their respective cities. From that time, therefore, the Western church was severed from the Eastern; and the boundary of communion between them was the mountain called Soucis, which divides the Illyrians from the Thracians. As far as this mountain there was indiscriminate communion, although there was a difference of faith; but beyond it they did not commune with one another. Such was the perturbed condition of the churches at that period. Soon after these transactions, the emperor of the Western parts informed his brother Constantius of what had taken place at Sardica, and begged him to restore Paul and Athanasius to their sees. But as Constantius delayed to carry this matter into effect, the emperor of the West again wrote to him, giving him the choice either of re-establishing Paul and Athanasius in their former dignity, and restoring their churches to them; or, on his failing to do this, of regarding him as his enemy, and immediately expecting war. The letter which he addressed to his brother was as follows:

Athanasius and Paul are here with me; and I am quite satisfied after investigation, that they are persecuted for the sake of piety. If, therefore, you will pledge yourself to reinstate them in their sees, and to punish those who have so unjustly injured them, I will send them to you; but should you refuse to do this, be assured, that I will myself come thither, and restore them to their own sees, in spite of your opposition.

Constantius, being Afraid of his Brother’s Threats, recalls Athanasius by Letter, and sends him to Alexandria.

On receiving this communication the emperor of the East fell into perplexity; and immediately sending for the greater part of the Eastern bishops, he acquainted them with the choice his brother had submitted to him, and asked what ought to be done. They replied, it was better to concede the churches to Athanasius, than to undertake a civil war. Accordingly the emperor, urged by necessity, summoned Athanasius and his friends to his presence. Meanwhile the emperor of the West sent Paul to Constantinople, with two bishops and other honorable attendance, having fortified him with his own letters, together with those of the Synod. But while Athanasius was still apprehensive, and hesitated to go to him,—for he dreaded the treachery of his calumniators,—the emperor of the East not once only, but even a second and a third time, invited him to come to him; this is evident from his letters, which, translated from the Latin tongue, are as follows:

Epistle of Constantius to Athanasius.

Constantius Victor Augustus to Athanasius the bishop.

Our compassionate clemency cannot permit you to be any longer tossed and disquieted as it were by the boisterous waves of the sea. Our unwearied piety has not been unmindful of you driven from your native home, despoiled of your property, and wandering in pathless solitudes. And although I have too long deferred acquainting you by letter with the purpose of my mind, expecting your coming to us of your own accord to seek a remedy for your troubles; yet since fear perhaps has hindered the execution of your wishes, we therefore have sent to your reverence letters full of indulgence, in order that you may fearlessly hasten to appear in our presence, whereby after experiencing our benevolence, you may attain your desire, and be re-established in your proper position. For this reason I have requested my Lord and brother Constans Victor Augustus to grant you permission to come, to the end that by the consent of us both you may be restored to your country, having this assurance of our favor.

Another Epistle to Athanasius.

Constantius Victor Augustus to the bishop Athanasius.

Although we have abundantly intimated in a former letter that you might confidently come to our court, as we are extremely anxious to reinstate you in your proper place, yet we have again addressed this letter to your reverence. We therefore urge you, without any distrust or apprehension, to take a public vehicle and hasten to us, in order that you may be able to obtain what you desire.

Another Epistle to Athanasius.

Constantius Victor Augustus to the bishop Athanasius.

While we were residing at Edessa, where your presbyters were present, it pleased us to send one of them to you, for the purpose of hastening your arrival at our court, in order that after having been introduced to our presence, you might forthwith proceed to Alexandria. But inasmuch as a considerable time has elapsed since you received our letter, and yet have not come, we now therefore hasten to remind you to speedily present yourself before us, that so you may be able to return to your country, and obtain your desire. For the more ample assurance of our intention, we have despatched to you Achetas the deacon, from whom you will learn both our mind in regard to you, and that you will be able to secure what you wish; viz., our readiness to facilitate the objects you have in view.

When Athanasius had received these letters at Aquileia,—for there he abode after his departure from Sardica,—he immediately hastened to Rome; and having shown these communications to Julius the bishop, he caused the greatest joy in the Roman Church. For it seemed as if the emperor of the East also had recognized their faith, since he had recalled Athanasius. Julius then wrote to the clergy and laity of Alexandria on behalf of Athanasius as follows:

Epistle of Julius, Bishop of Rome, to those at Alexandria.

Julius, the bishop, to the presbyters, deacons, and people inhabiting Alexandria, brethren beloved, salutations in the Lord.

I also rejoice with you, beloved brethren, because you at length see before your eyes the fruit of your faith. For that this is really so, any one may perceive in reference to my brother and fellow-prelate Athanasius, whom God has restored to you, both on account of his purity of life, and in answer to your prayers. From this it is evident that your supplications to God have unceasingly been offered pure and abounding with love; for mindful of the divine promises and of the charity connected with them, which ye learned from the instruction of my brother, ye knew assuredly, and according to the sound faith which is in you clearly foresaw that your bishop would not be separated from you for ever, whom ye had in your devout hearts as though he were ever present. Wherefore it is unnecessary for me to use many words in addressing you, for your faith has already anticipated whatever I could have said; and the common prayer of you all has been fulfilled according to the grace of Christ. I therefore rejoice with you, and repeat that ye have preserved your souls invincible in the faith. And with my brother Athanasius I rejoice equally; because, while suffering many afflictions, he has never been unmindful of your love and desire; for although he seemed to be withdrawn from you in person for a season, yet was he always present with you in spirit. Moreover, I am convinced, beloved, that every trial which he has endured has not been inglorious; since both your faith and his has thus been tested and made manifest to all. But had not so many troubles happened to him, who would have believed, either that you had so great esteem and love for this eminent prelate, or that he was endowed with such distinguished virtues, on account of which also he will by no means be defrauded of his hope in the heavens? He has accordingly obtained a testimony of confession in every way glorious both in the present age and in that which is to come. For having suffered so many and diversified trials both by land and by sea, he has trampled on every machination of the Arian heresy; and though often exposed to danger in consequence of envy, he despised death, being protected by Almighty God, and our Lord Jesus Christ, ever trusting that he should not only escape the plots [of his adversaries], but also be restored for your consolation, and bring back to you at the same time greater trophies from your own conscience. By which means he has been made known even to the ends of the whole earth as glorious, his worth having been approved by the purity of his life, the firmness of his purpose, and his steadfastness in the heavenly doctrine, all being attested by your unchanging esteem and love. He therefore returns to you, more illustrious now than when he departed from you. For if the fire tries the precious metals (I speak of gold and silver) for purification, what can be said of so excellent a man proportionate to his worth, who after having overcome the fire of so many calamities and dangers, is now restored to you, being declared innocent not only by us, but also by the whole Synod? Receive therefore with godly honor and joy, beloved brethren, your bishop Athanasius, together with those who have been his companions in tribulation. And rejoice in having attained the object of your prayers, you who have supplied with meat and drink, by your supporting letters, your pastor hungering and thirsting, so to speak, for your spiritual welfare. And in fact ye were a comfort to him while he was sojourning in a strange land; and ye cherished him in your most faithful affections when he was plotted against and persecuted. As for me, it makes me happy even to picture to myself in imagination the delight of each one of you at his return, the pious greetings of the populace, the glorious festivity of those assembled to meet him, and indeed what the entire aspect of that day will be when my brother shall be brought back to you again; when past troubles will be at an end, and his prized and longed-for return will unite all hearts in the warmest expression of joy. This feeling will in a very high degree extend to us, who regard it as a token of divine favor that we should have been privileged to become acquainted with so eminent a person. It becomes us therefore to close this epistle with prayer. May God Almighty and his Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ afford you this grace continually, thus rewarding the admirable faith which ye have manifested in reference to your bishop by an illustrious testimony: that the things most excellent which Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man; even the things which God has prepared for them that love him, may await you and yours in the world to come, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom be glory to God Almighty for ever and ever, Amen. I pray that ye may be strengthened, beloved brethren.

Athanasius, relying on these letters, arrived at the East. The Emperor Constantius did not at that time receive him with hostility of feeling; nevertheless at the instigation of the Arians he endeavored to circumvent him, and addressed him in these words: You have been reinstated in your see in accordance with the decree of the Synod, and with our consent. But inasmuch as some of the people of Alexandria refuse to hold communion with you, permit them to have one church in the city. To this demand Athanasius promptly replied: You have the power, my sovereign, both to order, and to carry into effect, whatever you may please. I also, therefore, would beg you to grant me a favor. The emperor having readily promised to acquiesce, Athanasius immediately added, that he desired the same thing might be conceded to him, which the emperor had sought from him, viz.: that in every city one church should be assigned to those who might refuse to hold communion with the Arians. The Arians perceiving the purpose of Athanasius to be inimical to their interests, said that this affair might be postponed to another time: but they suffered the emperor to act as he pleased. He therefore restored to Athanasius, Paul, and Marcellus their respective sees; as also to Asclepas, bishop of Gaza, and Lucius of Adrianople. For these, too, had been received by the Council of Sardica: Asclepas, because he showed records from which it appeared that Eusebius Pamphilus, in conjunction with several others, after having investigated his case, had restored him to his former rank; and Lucius, because his accusers had fled. Hereupon the emperor’s edicts were despatched to their respective cities, enjoining the inhabitants to receive them readily. At Ancyra indeed, when Basil was ejected, and Marcellus was introduced in his stead, there was a considerable tumult made, which afforded his enemies an occasion of calumniating him: but the people of Gaza willingly received Asclepas. Macedonius at Constantinople, for a short time gave place to Paul, convening assemblies by himself separately, in a separate church in that city. Moreover the emperor wrote on behalf of Athanasius to the bishops, clergy, and laity, in regard to receiving him cheerfully: and at the same time he ordered by other letters, that whatever had been enacted against him in the judicial courts should be abrogated. The communications respecting both these matters were as follows:

The Epistle of Constantius in Behalf of Athanasius.

Victor Constantius Maximus Augustus, to the bishops and presbyters of the Catholic Church.

The most reverend bishop Athanasius has not been forsaken by the grace of God. But although he was for a short time subjected to trial according to men, yet has he obtained from an omniscient Providence the exoneration which was due to him; having been restored by the will of God, and our decision, both to his country and to the church over which by divine permission he presided. It was therefore suitable that what is in accordance with this should be duly attended to by our clemency: so that all things which have been heretofore determined against those who held communion with him should now be rescinded; that all suspicion against him should henceforward cease; and that the immunity which those clergymen who are with him formerly enjoyed, should be, as it is meet, confirmed to them. Moreover, we thought it just to add this to our grace toward him, that the whole ecclesiastical body should understand that protection is extended to all who have adhered to him, whether bishops or other clergymen: and union with him shall be a sufficient evidence of each person’s right intention. Wherefore we have ordered, according to the similitude of the previous providence, that as many as have the wisdom to enroll themselves with the sounder judgment and party and to choose his communion, shall enjoy that indulgence which we have now granted in accordance with the will of God.

Another Epistle sent to the Alexandrians.

Victor Constantius Maximus Augustus, to the people of the Catholic Church at Alexandria.

Setting before us as an aim your good order in all respects, and knowing that you have long since been bereft of episcopal oversight, we thought it just to send back to you again Athanasius your bishop, a man known to all by the rectitude and sanctity of his life and manners. Having received him with your usual and becoming courtesy, and constituted him the assistant of your prayers to God, exert yourselves to maintain at all times, according to the ecclesiastical canon, harmony and peace, which will be alike honorable to yourselves, and grateful to us. For it is unreasonable that any dissension or faction should be excited among you, hostile to the prosperity of our times; and we trust that such a misfortune will be wholly removed from you. We exhort you, therefore, to assiduously persevere in your accustomed devotions, by his assistance, as we before said: so that when this resolution of yours shall become generally known, entering into the prayers of all, even the pagans, who are still enslaved in the ignorance of idolatrous worship, may hasten to seek the knowledge of our sacred religion, most beloved Alexandrians. Again, therefore, we exhort you to give heed to these things: heartily welcome your bishop, as one appointed you by the will of God and our decree; and esteem him worthy of being embraced with all the affections of your souls. For this becomes you, and is consistent with our clemency. But in order to check all tendency to seditions and tumult in persons of a factious disposition, orders have been issued to our judges to give up to the severity of the laws all whom they may discover to be seditious. Having regard, therefore, to our determination and God’s, as well as to the anxiety we feel to secure harmony among you, and remembering also the punishment that will be inflicted on the disorderly, make it your especial care to act agreeably to the sanctions of our sacred religion, with all reverence honoring your bishop; that so in conjunction with him you may present your supplications to the God and Father of the universe, both for yourselves, and for the orderly government of the whole human race.

An Epistle respecting the Rescinding of the Enactments against Athanasius.

Victor Constantius Augustus to Nestorius, and in the same terms to the governors of Augustamnica, Thebaïs, and Libya.

If it be found that at any time previously any enactment has been passed prejudicial and derogatory to those who hold communion with Athanasius the bishop, our pleasure is that it should now be wholly abrogated; and that his clergy should again enjoy the same immunity which was granted to them formerly. We enjoin strict obedience to this command, to the intent that since the bishop Athanasius has been restored to his church, all who hold communion with him may possess the same privileges as they had before, and such as other ecclesiastics now enjoy: that so their affairs being happily arranged, they also may share in the general prosperity.

Athanasius, passing through Jerusalem on his Return to Alexandria, is received into Communion by Maximus: and a Synod of Bishops, convened in that City, confirms the Nicene Creed.

Athanasius the bishop being fortified with such letters as these, passed through Syria, and came into Palestine. On arriving at Jerusalem he acquainted Maximus the bishop both with what had been done in the Council of Sardica, and also that the Emperor Constantius had confirmed its decision: he then proposed that a Synod of the bishops there should be held. Maximus, therefore, without delay sent for certain of the bishops of Syria and Palestine, and having assembled a council, he restored Athanasius to communion, and to his former dignity. After which the Synod communicated by letterto the Alexandrians, and to all the bishops of Egypt and Libya, what had been determined respecting Athanasius. Whereupon the adversaries of Athanasius exceedingly derided Maximus, because having before assisted in his deposition, he had suddenly changed his mind, and as if nothing had previously taken place, had voted for his restoration to communion and rank. When Ursacius and Valens, who had been fiery partisans of Arianism, ascertained these things, condemning their former zeal, they proceeded to Rome, where they presented their recantation to Julius the bishop, and gave their assent to the doctrine of consubstantiality: they also wrote to Athanasius, and expressed their readiness to hold communion with him in future. Thus Ursacius and Valens were at that time subdued by the good fortune of Athanasius and induced to recognize the orthodox faith. Athanasius passed through Pelusium on his way to Alexandria, and admonished the inhabitants of every city to beware of the Arians, and to receive those only that professed the Homoousian faith. In some of the churches also he performed ordination; which afforded another ground of accusation against him, because of his undertaking to ordain in the dioceses of others. Such was the progress of affairs at that period in reference to Athanasius.

Of the Usurpers Magnentius and Vetranio.

About this time an extraordinary commotion shook the whole state, of the principal heads, of which we shall give a brief account, deeming it necessary not to pass over them altogether. We mentioned in our first book, that after the death of the founder of Constantinople, his three sons succeeded him in the empire: it must now be also stated, that a kinsman of theirs, Dalmatius, so named from his father, shared with them the imperial authority. This person after being associated with them in the sovereignty for a very little while, the soldiers put to death, Constantius having neither commanded his destruction, nor forbidden it. The manner in which Constantine the younger was also killed by the soldiers, on his invading that division of the empire which belonged to his brother, has already been recorded more than once. After his death, the Persian war was raised against the Romans, in which Constantius did nothing prosperously: for in a battle fought by night on the frontiers of both parties, the Persians had to some slight extent the advantage. And this at a time when the affairs of the Christians became no less unsettled, there being great disturbance throughout the churches on account of Athanasius, and the term homoousion. Affairs having reached this pass, there sprang up a tyrant in the western parts called Magnentius, who by treachery slew Constans, the emperor of the western division of the empire, at that time residing in the Gauls. This being done, a furious civil war arose, and Magnentius made himself master of all Italy, reduced Africa and Libya under his power, and even obtained possession of the Gauls. But at the city of Sirmium in Illyricum, the military set up another tyrant whose name was Vetranio; while a fresh trouble threw Rome itself into commotion. For there was a nephew of Constantine’s, Nepotian by name, who, supported by a body of gladiators, there assumed the sovereignty. He was, however, slain by some of the officers of Magnentius, who himself invaded the western provinces, and spread desolation in every direction.

After the Death of Constans, the Western Emperor, Paul and Athanasius are again ejected from their Sees: the Former on his Way into Exile is slain; but the Latter escapes by Flight.

The conflux of these disastrous events occurred during a short space of time; for they happened in the fourth year after the council at Sardica, during the consulate of Sergius and Nigrinian. When these circumstances were published, the entire sovereignty of the empire seemed to devolve on Constantius alone, who, being accordingly proclaimed in the East sole Autocrat, made the most vigorous preparations against the usurpers. Hereupon the adversaries of Athanasius, thinking a favorable crisis had arisen, again framed the most calumnious charges against him, before his arrival at Alexandria; assuring the Emperor Constantius that he was subverting all Egypt and Libya. And his having undertaken to ordain out of the limits of his own diocese, tended not a little to accredit the accusations against him. Meanwhile in this conjuncture, Athanasius entered Alexandria; and having convened a council of the bishops in Egypt, they confirmed by their unanimous vote, what had been determined in the Synod at Sardica, and that assembled at Jerusalem by Maximus. But the emperor, who had been long since imbued with Arian doctrine, reversed all the indulgent proceedings he had so recently resolved on. And first of all he ordered that Paul, bishop of Constantinople, should be sent into exile; whom those who conducted strangled, at Cucusus in Cappadocia. Marcellus was also ejected, and Basil again made ruler of the church at Ancyra. Lucius of Adrianople, being loaded with chains, died in prison. The reports which were made concerning Athanasius so wrought on the emperor’s mind, that in an ungovernable fury he commanded him to be put to death wherever he might be found: he moreover included Theodulus and Olympius, who presided over churches in Thrace, in the same proscription. Athanasius, however, was not ignorant of the intentions of the emperor; but learning of them he once more had recourse to flight, and so escaped the emperor’s menaces. The Arians denounced this retreat as criminal, particularly Narcissus, bishop of Neronias in Cilicia, George of Laodicæa, and Leontius who then had the oversight of the church at Antioch. This last person, when a presbyter, had been divested of his rank, because in order to remove all suspicion of illicit intercourse with a woman named Eustolium, with whom he spent a considerable portion of his time, he had castrated himself and thenceforward lived more unreservedly with her, on the ground that there could be no longer any ground for evil surmises. Afterwards however, at the earnest desire of the Emperor Constantius, he was created bishop of the church at Antioch, after Stephen, the successor of Placitus. So much respecting this.

Macedonius having possessed himself of the See of Constantinople inflicts much Injury on those who differ from him.

At that time Paul having been removed in the manner described, Macedonius became ruler of the churches in Constantinople; who, acquiring very great ascendancy over the emperor, stirred up a war among Christians, of a no less grievous kind than that which the usurpers themselves were waging. For having prevailed on his sovereign to co-operate with him in devastating the churches, he procured that whatever pernicious measures he determined to pursue should be ratified by law. And on this account throughout the several cities an edict was proclaimed, and a military force appointed to carry the imperial decrees into effect. Accordingly those who acknowledged the doctrine of consubstantiality were expelled not only from the churches, but also from the cities. Now at first they were satisfied with expulsion; but as the evil grew they resorted to the worse extremity of inducing compulsory communion with them, caring but little for such a desecration of the churches. Their violence indeed was scarcely less than that of those who had formerly obliged the Christians to worship idols; for they applied all kinds of scourgings, a variety of tortures, and confiscation of property. Many were punished with exile; some died under the torture; and others were put to death while they were being led into exile. These atrocities were exercised throughout all the eastern cities, but especially at Constantinople; the internal strife which was but slight before was thus savagely increased by Macedonius, as soon as he obtained the bishopric. The cities of Greece, however, and Illyricum, with those of the western parts, still enjoyed tranquillity; inasmuch as they preserved harmony among themselves, and continued to adhere to the rule of faith promulgated by the council of Nicæa.

Athanasius’ Account of the Deeds of Violence committed at Alexandria by George the Arian.

What cruelties George perpetrated at Alexandria at the same time may be learned from the narration of Athanasius, who both suffered in and witnessed the occurrences. In his Apology for his flight, speaking of these transactions, he thus expresses himself:

Moreover, they came to Alexandria, again seeking to destroy me: and on this occasion their proceedings were worse than before; for the soldiery having suddenly surrounded the church, there arose the din of war, instead of the voice of prayer. Afterwards, on his arrival during Lent, George, sent from Cappadocia, added to the evil which he was instructed to work. When Easter-week was passed, the virgins were cast into prison, the bishops were led in chains by the military, and the dwellings even of orphans and widows were forcibly entered and their provisions pillaged. Christians were assassinated by night; houses were sealed; and the relatives of the clergy were endangered on their account. Even these outrages were dreadful; but those that followed were still more so. For in the week after the holy Pentecost, the people, having fasted, went forth to the cemetery to pray, because all were averse to communion with George: that wickedest of men being informed of this, instigated against them Sebastian, an officer who was a Manichæan. He, accordingly, at the head of a body of troops armed with drawn swords, bows, and darts, marched out to attack the people, although it was the Lord’s day: finding but few at prayers,—as the most part had retired because of the lateness of the hour,—he performed such exploits as might be expected from them. Having kindled a fire, he set the virgins near it, in order to compel them to say that they were of the Arian faith: but seeing they stood their ground and despised the fire, he then stripped them, and so beat them on the face, that for a long time afterwards they could scarcely be recognized. Seizing also about forty men, he flogged them in an extraordinary manner: for he so lacerated their backs with rods fresh cut from the palm-tree, which still had their thorns on, that some were obliged to resort repeatedly to surgical aid in order to have the thorns extracted from their flesh, and others, unable to bear the agony, died under its infliction. All the survivors with one virgin they banished to the Great Oasis. The bodies of the dead they did not so much as give up to their relatives, but denying them the rites of sepulture they concealed them as they thought fit, that the evidences of their cruelty might not appear. They did this acting as madmen. For while the friends of the deceased rejoiced on account of their confession, but mourned because their bodies were uninterred, the impious inhumanity of these acts was sounded abroad the more conspicuously. For soon after this they sent into exile out of Egypt and the two Libyas the following bishops: Ammonius, Thmuïs, Caïus, Philo, Hermes, Pliny, Psenosiris, Nilammon, Agatho, Anagamphus, Mark, Ammonius, another Mark, Dracontius, Adelphius, and Athenodorus; and the presbyters Hierax and Discorus. And so harshly did they treat them in conducting them, that some expired while on their journey, and others in the place of banishment. In this way they got rid of more than thirty bishops, for the anxious desire of the Arians, like Ahab’s, was to exterminate the truth if possible.

Such are the words of Athanasius in regard to the atrocities perpetrated by George at Alexandria. The emperor meanwhile led his army into Illyricum. For there the urgency of public affairs demanded his presence; and especially the proclamation of Vetranio as emperor by the military. On arriving at Sirmium, he came to a conference with Vetranio during a truce; and so managed, that the soldiers who had previously declared for him changed sides, and saluted Constantius alone as Augustus and sovereign autocrat. In the acclamations, therefore, no notice was taken of Vetranio. Vetranio, perceiving himself to be abandoned, immediately threw himself at the feet of the emperor; Constantius, taking from him his imperial crown and purple, treated him with great clemency, and recommended him to pass the rest of his days tranquilly in the condition of a private citizen: observing that a life of repose at his advanced age was far more suitable than a dignity which entailed anxieties and care. Vetranio’s affairs came to this issue; and the emperor ordered that a liberal provision out of the public revenue should be given him. Often afterwards writing to the emperor during his residence at Prusa in Bithynia, Vetranio assured him that he had conferred the greatest blessing on him, by liberating him from the disquietudes which are the inseparable concomitants of sovereign power. Adding that he himself did not act wisely in depriving himself of that happiness in retirement, which he had bestowed upon him. Let this suffice on this point. After these things, the Emperor Constantius having created Gallus his kinsman Cæsar, and given him his own name, sent him to Antioch in Syria, providing thus for the guarding of the eastern parts. When Gallus was entering this city, the Savior’s sign appeared in the East: for a pillar in the form of a cross seen in the heavens gave occasion of great amazement to the spectators. His other generals the emperor despatched against Magnentius with considerable forces, and he himself remained at Sirmium, awaiting the course of events.

Of the Heresiarch Photinus.

During this time Photinus, who then presided over the church in that city more openly avowed the creed he had devised; wherefore a tumult being made in consequence, the emperor ordered a Synod of bishops to be held at Sirmium. There were accordingly convened there of the Oriental bishops, Mark of Arethusa, George of Alexandria, whom the Arians sent, as I have before said, having placed him over that see on the removal of Gregory, Basil who presided over the church at Ancyra after Marcellus was ejected, Pancratius of Pelusium, and Hypatian of Heraclea. Of the Western bishops there were present Valens of Mursa, and the then celebrated Hosius of Cordova in Spain, who attended much against his will. These met at Sirmium, after the consulate of Sergius and Nigrinian, in which year no consul celebrated the customary inaugural solemnities, in consequence of the tumults of war; and having met and found that Photinus held the heresy of Sabellius the Libyan, and Paul of Samosata, they immediately deposed him. This decision was both at that time and afterwards universally commended as honorable and just; but those who continued there, subsequently acted in a way which was by no means so generally approved.

Creeds published at Sirmium in Presence of the Emperor Constantius.

As if they would rescind their former determinations respecting the faith, they published anew other expositions of the creed, viz.: one which Mark of Arethusa composed in Greek; and others in Latin, which harmonized neither in expression nor in sentiment with one another, nor with that dictated by the bishop of Arethusa. I shall here subjoin one of those drawn up in Latin, to that prepared in Greek by Mark: the other, which was afterwards recited at Sirmium, will be given when we describe what was done at Ariminum. It must be understood, however, that both the Latin forms were translated into Greek. The declaration of faith set forth by Mark, was as follows:

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, the Creator and Maker of all things, of whom the whole family in heaven and on earth is named, and in his only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who was begotten of the Father before all ages, God of God, Light of Light, by whom all things visible and invisible, which are in the heavens and upon the earth, were made: who is the Word, and the Wisdom, and the true Light, and the Life; who in the last days for our sake was made man and born of the holy virgin, and was crucified and died, and was buried, and rose again from the dead on the third day, and was received up into heaven, and sat at the right hand of the Father, and is coming at the completion of the age to judge the living and the dead, and to requite every one according to his works: whose kingdom being everlasting, endures into infinite ages; for he will be seated at the Father’s right hand, not only in the present age, but also in that which is to come. [We believe] also in the Holy Spirit, that is to say the Comforter, whom, having promised to his apostles after his ascension into the heavens, to teach them, and bring all things to their remembrance, he sent; by whom also the souls of those who have sincerely believed in him are sanctified. But those who affirm that the Son is of things which are not, or of another substance, and not of God, and that there was a time or an age when he was not, the holy and catholic Church recognizes to be aliens. We therefore again say, if any one affirms that the Father and Son are two Gods, let him be anathema. And if any one admits that Christ is God and the Son of God before the ages, but does not confess that he ministered to the Father in the formation of all things, let him be anathema. If any one shall dare to assert that the Unbegotten, or a part of him, was born of Mary, let him be anathema. If any one should say that the Son was of Mary according to foreknowledge, and not that he was with God, begotten of the Father before the ages, and that all things were not made by him, let him be anathema. If any one affirms the essence of God to be dilated or contracted, let him be anathema. If any one says that the dilated essence of God makes the Son, or shall term the Son the dilatation of his essence, let him be anathema. If any one calls the Son of God the internal or uttered word, let him be anathema. If any one declares that the Son that was born of Mary was man only, let him be anathema. If any man affirming him that was born of Mary to be God and man, shall imply the unbegotten God himself, let him be anathema. If any one shall understand the text, I am the first, and I am the last, and besides me there is no God, which was spoken for the destruction of idols and false gods, in the sense the Jews do, as if it were said for the subversion of the only-begotten of God before the ages, let him be anathema. If any one hearing the Word was made flesh, should imagine that the Word was changed into flesh, or that he underwent any change in assuming flesh, let him be anathema. If any one hearing that the only-begotten Son of God was crucified, should say that his divinity underwent any corruption, or suffering, or change, or diminution, or destruction, let him be anathema. If any one should affirm that the Father said not to the Son, Let us make man, but that God spoke to himself, let him be anathema. If any one says that it was not the Son that was seen by Abraham, but the unbegotten God, or a part of him, let him be anathema. If any one says that it was not the Son that as man wrestled with Jacob, but the unbegotten God, or a part of him, let him be anathema. If any one shall understand the words, The Lord rained from the Lord, not in relation to the Father and the Son, but shall say that he rained from himself, let him be anathema: for the Lord the Son rained from the Lord the Father. If any one hearing the Lord the Father, and the Lord the Son, shall term both the Father and the Son Lord, and saying the Lord from the Lord shall assert that there are two Gods, let him be anathema. For we do not co-ordinate the Son with the Father, but [conceive him to be] subordinate to the Father. For he neither came down to the body without his Father’s will; nor did he rain from himself, but from the Lord (i.e. the Father) who exercises supreme authority: nor does he sit at the Father’s right hand of himself, but in obedience to the Father saying, Sit thou at my right hand [let him be anathema]. If any one should say that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one person, let him be anathema. If any one, speaking of the Holy Spirit the Comforter, shall call him the unbegotten God, let him be anathema. If any one, as he hath taught us, shall not say that the Comforter is other than the Son, when he has himself said, the Father, whom I will ask, shall send you another Comforter, let him be anathema. If any one affirm that the Spirit is part of the Father and of the Son, let him be anathema. If any one say that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three Gods, let him be anathema. If any one say that the Son of God was made as one of the creatures by the will of God, let him be anathema. If any one shall say that the Son was begotten without the Father’s will, let him be anathema: for the Father did not, as compelled by any natural necessity, beget the Son at a time when he was unwilling; but as soon as it pleased him, he has declared that of himself without time and without passion, he begot him. If any one should say that the Son is unbegotten, and without beginning, intimating that there are two without beginning, and unbegotten, so making two Gods, let him be anathema: for the Son is the head and beginning of all things; but the head of Christ is God. Thus do we devoutly trace up all things by the Son to one source of all things who is without beginning. Moreover, to give an accurate conception of Christian doctrine, we again say, that if any one shall not declare Christ Jesus to have been the Son of God before all ages, and to have ministered to the Father in the creation of all things; but shall affirm that from the time only when he was born of Mary, was he called the Son and Christ, and that he then received the commencement of his divinity, let him be anathema, as the Samosatan.

Another Exposition of the Faith set forth at Sirmium in Latin, and afterwards translated into Greek.

Since it appeared good that some deliberation respecting the faith should be undertaken, all points have been carefully investigated and discussed at Sirmium, in presence of Valens, Ursacius, Germinius, and others.

It is evident that there is one God, the Father Almighty, according as it is declared over the whole world; and his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, God, and Saviour, begotten of him before the ages. But we ought not to say that there are two Gods, since the Lord himself has said I go unto my Father and your Father, and unto my God and your God. Therefore he is God even of all, as the apostle also taught, Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yea of the Gentiles also; seeing that it is one God who shall justify the circumcision by faith. And in all other matters there is agreement, nor is there any ambiguity. But since it troubles very many to understand about that which is termed substantia in Latin, and ousia in Greek; that is to say, in order to mark the sense more accurately, the word homoousion or homoiousion, it is altogether desirable that none of these terms should be mentioned: nor should they be preached on in the church, for this reason, that nothing is recorded concerning them in the holy Scriptures; and because these things are above the knowledge of mankind and human capacity, and that no one can explain the Son’s generation, of which it is written, And who shall declare his generation? It is manifest that the Father only knows in what way he begat the Son; and again the Son, how he was begotten by the Father. But no one can doubt that the Father is greater in honor, dignity, and divinity, and in the very name of Father; the Son himself testifying My Father who hath sent me is greater than I. And no one is ignorant that this is also catholic doctrine, that there are two persons of the Father and Son, and that the Father is the greater: but that the Son is subject, together with all things which the Father has subjected to him. That the Father had no beginning, and is invisible, immortal, and impassible: but that the Son was begotten of the Father, God of God, Light of Light; and that no one comprehends his generation, as was before said, but the Father alone. That the Son himself, our Lord and God, took flesh or a body, that is to say human nature, according as the angel brought glad tidings: and as the whole Scriptures teaches, and especially the apostle who was the great teacher of the Gentiles, Christ assumed the human nature through which he suffered, from the Virgin Mary. But the summary and confirmation of the entire faith is, that [the doctrine of] the Trinity should be always maintained, according as we have read in the gospel, Go ye and disciple all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Thus the number of the Trinity is complete and perfect. Now the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, sent by the Son, came according to his promise, in order to sanctify and instruct the apostles and all believers.

They endeavored to induce Photinus, even after his deposition, to assent to and subscribe these things, promising to restore him his bishopric, if by recantation he would anathematize the dogma he had invented, and adopt their opinion. But he did not accept their proposal, and on the other hand he challenged them to a disputation: and a day being appointed by the emperor’s arrangement, the bishops who were there present assembled, and not a few of the senators, whom the emperor had directed to attend to the discussion. In their presence, Basil, who at that time presided over the church at Ancyra, was appointed to oppose Photinus, and short-hand writers took down their respective speeches. The conflict of arguments on both sides was extremely severe; but Photinus having been worsted, was condemned, and spent the rest of his life in exile, during which time he composed treatises in both languages—for he was not unskilled in Latin—against all heresies, and in favor of his own views. Concerning Photinus let this suffice.

Now the bishops who were convened at Sirmium, were afterwards dissatisfied with that form of the creed which had been promulgated by them in Latin; for after its publication, it appeared to them to contain many contradictions. They therefore endeavored to get it back again from the transcribers; but inasmuch as many secreted it, the emperor by his edicts commanded that the version should be sought for, threatening punishment to any one who should be detected concealing it. These menaces, however, were incapable of suppressing what had already fallen into the hands of many. Let this suffice in regard to these affairs.>

Of Hosius, Bishop of Cordova.

Since we have observed that Hosius the Spaniard was present [at the council of Sirmium] against his will, it is necessary to give some brief account of him. A short time before he had been sent into exile by the intrigues of the Arians: but at the earnest solicitation of those convened at Sirmium, the emperor summoned him thither, wishing that by persuasion, or by compulsion he should give his sanction to their proceedings; for if this could be effected, they considered it would give great authority to their sentiments. On this ground, therefore, as I have said, he was most unwillingly obliged to be present: and when he refused to concur with them, stripes and tortures were inflicted on the old man. Wherefore he was constrained by force to acquiesce in and subscribe to their exposition of the faith. Such was the issue of affairs at that time transacted at Sirmium. But the emperor Constantius after these things still continued to reside at that place, awaiting there the result of the war against Magnentius.

Overthrow of the Usurper Magnentius.

Magnentius in the meanwhile having made himself master of the imperial city Rome, put to death many members of the senatorial council, as well as many of the populace. But as soon as the commanders under Constantius had collected an army of Romans, and commenced their march against him, he left Rome, and retired into the Gauls. There several battles were fought, sometimes to the advantage of one party, and sometimes to that of the other: but at last Magnentius having been defeated near Mursa—a fortress of Gaul—was there closely besieged. In this place the following remarkable incident is said to have occurred. Magnentius desiring to reassure the courage of his soldiers who were disheartened by their late overthrow, ascended a lofty tribunal for this purpose. They, wishing to give utterance to the usual acclamation with which they greet emperors, contrary to their intention simultaneously all shouted the name not of Magnentius, but of Constantius Augustus. Regarding this as an omen unfavorable to himself, Magnentius immediately withdrew from the fortress, and retreated to the remotest parts of Gaul. Thither the generals of Constantius hastened in pursuit. An engagement having again taken place near Mount Seleucus, Magnentius was totally routed, and fled alone to Lyons, a city of Gaul, which is distant three days’ journey from the fortress at Mursa. Magnentius, having reached this city, first slew his own mother; then having killed his brother also, whom he had created Cæsar, he at last committed suicide by falling on his own sword. This happened in the sixth consulate of Constantius, and the second of Constantius Gallus, on the fifteenth day of August. Not long after, the other brother of Magnentius, named Decentius, put an end to his own life by hanging himself. Such was the end of the enterprises of Magnentius. The affairs of the empire were not altogether quieted; for soon after this another usurper arose whose name was Silvanus: but the generals of Constantius speedily put him also out of the way, whilst raising disturbances in Gaul.

Of the Jews inhabiting Dio-Cæsarea in Palestine.

About the same time there arose another intestine commotion in the East: for the Jews who inhabited Dio-Cæsarea in Palestine took up arms against the Romans, and began to ravage the adjacent places. But Gallus who was also called Constantius, whom the emperor, after creating Cæsar, had sent into the East, despatched an army against them, and completely vanquished them: after which he ordered that their city Dio-Cæsarea should be razed to the foundations.

Of Gallus Cæsar.

Gallus, having accomplished these things, was unable to bear his success with moderation; but forthwith attempted innovations against the authority of him who had constituted him Cæsar, himself aspiring to the sovereign power. His purpose was, however, soon detected by Constantius: for he had dared to put to death, on his own responsibility, Domitian, at that time Prætorian prefect of the East, and Magnus the quæstor, not having disclosed his designs to the emperor. Constantius, extremely incensed at this conduct, summoned Gallus to his presence, who being in great terror went very reluctantly; and when he arrived in the western parts, and had reached the island of Flanona, Constantius ordered him to be slain. But not long after he created Julian, the brother of Gallus, Cæsar, and sent him against the barbarians in Gaul. It was in the seventh consulate of the emperor Constantius that Gallus, who was surnamed Constantius, was slain, when he himself was a third time consul: and Julian was created Cæsar on the 6th of November in the following year, when Arbetion and Lollian were consuls; of him we shall make farther mention in the next book. When Constantius was thus relieved from the disquietudes which had occupied him, his attention was again directed to ecclesiastical contentions. Going therefore from Sirmium to the imperial city Rome, he again appointed a synod of bishops, summoning some of the eastern prelates to hasten into Italy, and arranging for those of the west to meet them there. While preparations were making in the east for this purpose, Julius bishop of Rome died, after having presided over the church in that place fifteen years, and was succeeded in the episcopal dignity by Liberius.

Of Aëtius the Syrian, Teacher of Eunomius.

At Antioch in Syria another heresiarch sprang up, Aëtius, surnamed Atheus. He agreed in doctrine with Arius, and maintained the same opinions: but separated himself from the Arian party because they had admitted Arius into communion. For Arius, as I have before related, entertaining one opinion in his heart, professed another with his lips; having hypocritically assented to and subscribed the form of faith set forth at the council of Nicæa, in order to deceive the reigning emperor. On this account, therefore, Aëtius separated himself from the Arians. He had, however, previously been a heretic, and a zealous advocate of Arian views. After receiving some very scanty instruction at Alexandria, he departed thence, and arrived at Antioch in Syria, which was his native place, was ordained deacon by Leontius, who was then bishop of that city. Upon this he began to astonish those who conversed with him by the singularity of his discourses. And this he did in dependence on the precepts of Aristotle’s Categories; there is a book of that name, the scope of which he neither himself perceived, nor had been enlightened on by intercourse with learned persons: so that he was little aware that he was framing fallacious arguments to perplex and deceive himself. For Aristotle had composed this work to exercise the ingenuity of his young disciples, and to confound by subtle arguments the sophists who affected to deride philosophy. Wherefore the Ephectic academicians, who expound the writings of Plato and Plotinus, censure the vain subtlety which Aristotle has displayed in that book: but Aëtius, who never had the advantage of an academical preceptor, adhered to the sophisms of the Categories. For this reason he was unable to comprehend how there could be generation without a beginning, and how that which was begotten can be co-eternal with him who begat. In fact, Aëtius was a man of so superficial attainments, and so little acquainted with the sacred Scriptures, and so extremely fond of caviling, a thing which any clown might do, that he had never carefully studied those ancient writers who have interpreted the Christian oracles; wholly rejecting Clemens and Africanus and Origen, men eminent for their information in every department of literature and science. But he composed epistles both to the emperor Constantius, and to some other persons, wherein he interwove tedious disputes for the purpose of displaying his sophisms. He has therefore been surnamed Atheus. But although his doctrinal statements were similar to those of the Arians, yet from the abstruse nature of his syllogisms, which they were unable to comprehend, his associates in Arianism pronounced him a heretic. Being for that reason expelled from their church, he pretended to have separated himself from their communion. Even in the present day there are to be found some who from him were formerly named Aëtians, but now Eunomians. For some time later Eunomius, who had been his amanuensis, having been instructed by his master in this heretical mode of reasoning, afterwards became the head of that sect. But of Eunomius we shall speak more fully in the proper place.

Of the Synod at Milan.

Now at that time the bishops met in Italy, very few indeed from the East, most of them being hindered from coming either by the firmities of age or by the distance; but of the West there were more than three hundred. It was a command of the emperor that they should be assembled at Milan. On meeting, the Eastern prelates opened the Synod by calling upon those convened to pass a unanimous sentence of condemnation against Athanasius; with this object in view, that he might thenceforward be utterly shut out from Alexandria. But Paulinus, bishop of Treves in Gaul, and Dionysius, of whom the former was bishop of Alba, the metropolis of Italy, and Eusebius of Vercellæ, a city of Liguria in Italy, perceiving that the Eastern bishops, by demanding a ratification of the sentence against Athanasius, were intent on subverting the faith, arose and loudly exclaimed that this proposition indicated a covert plot against the principles of Christian truth. For they insisted that the charges against Athanasius were unfounded, and merely invented by his accusers as a means of corrupting the faith. Having made this protest with much vehemence of manner, the congress of bishops was then dissolved.

Of the Synod at Ariminum, and the Creed there published.

The emperor on being apprised of what had taken place, sent these three bishops into exile; and determined to convene an ecumenical council, that by drawing all the Eastern bishops into the West, he might if possible bring them all to agree. But when, on consideration, the length of the journey seemed to present serious obstacles, he directed that the Synod should consist of two divisions; permitting those present at Milan to meet at Ariminum in Italy: but the Eastern bishops he instructed by letters to assemble at Nicomedia in Bithynia. The emperor’s object in these arrangements was to effect a general unity of opinion; but the issue was contrary to his expectation. For neither of the Synods was in harmony with itself, but each was divided into opposing factions: for those convened at Ariminum could not agree with one another; and the Eastern bishops assembled at Seleucia in Isauria made another schism. The details of what took place in both we will give in the course of our history, but we shall first make a few observations on Eudoxius. About that time Leontius having died, who had ordained the heretic Aëtius as deacon, Eudoxius bishop of Germanicia—this city is in Syria—who was then at Rome, thinking no time was to be lost, speciously represented to the emperor that the city over which he presided was in need of his counsel and care, and requested permission to return there immediately. This the emperor readily acceded to, having no suspicion of a clandestine purpose: Eudoxius having some of the principal officers of the emperor’s bedchamber as coadjutors, deserted his own diocese, and fraudulently installed himself in the see of Antioch. His first desire was to restore Aëtius; accordingly he convened a council of bishops for the purpose of reinvesting Aëtius with the dignity of the diaconate. But this could in no way be brought about, for the odium with which Aëtius was regarded was more prevalent than the exertions of Eudoxius in his favor. When the bishops were assembled at Ariminum, those from the East declared that they were willing to pass in silence the case of Athanasius: a resolution that was zealously supported by Ursacius and Valens, who had formerly maintained the tenets of Arius; but, as I have already stated, had afterwards presented a recantation of their opinion to the bishop of Rome, and publicly avowed their assent to the doctrine of consubstantiality. For these men always inclined to side with the dominant party. Germinius, Auxentius, Demophilus and Gaius made the same declaration in reference to Athanasius. When therefore some endeavored to propose one thing in the convocation of bishops, and some another, Ursacius and Valens said that all former draughts of the creed ought to be considered as set aside, and the last alone, which had been prepared at their late convention at Sirmium, regarded as authorized. They then caused to be read a paper which they held in their hands, containing another form of the creed: this had indeed been drawn up at Sirmium, but had been kept concealed, as we have before observed, until their present publication of it at Ariminum. It has been translated from the Latin into Greek, and is as follows:

The catholic faith was expounded at Sirmium in presence of our lord Constantius, in the consulate of the most illustrious Flavius Eusebius, and Hypatius, on the twenty-third of May.

We believe in one only and true God, the Father Almighty, the Creator and Framer of all things: and in one only-begotten Son of God, before all ages, before all beginning, before all conceivable time, and before all comprehensible thought, begotten without passion: by whom the ages were framed, and all things made: who was begotten as the only-begotten of the Father, only of only, God of God, like to the Father who begat him, according to the Scriptures: whose generation no one knows, but the Father only who begat him. We know that this his only-begotten Son came down from the heavens by his Father’s consent for the putting away of sin, was born of the Virgin Mary, conversed with his disciples, and fulfilled every dispensation according to the Father’s will: was crucified and died, and descended into the lower parts of the earth, and disposed matters there; at the sight of whom the (door-keepers of Hades trembled ): having arisen on the third day, he again conversed with his disciples, and after forty days were completed he ascended into the heavens, and is seated at the Father’s right hand; and at the last day he will come in his Father’s glory to render to every one according to his works. [We believe] also in the Holy Spirit, whom the only-begotten Son of God Jesus Christ himself promised to send to the human race as the Comforter, according to that which is written: I go away to my Father, and will ask him, and he will send you another Comforter, the Spirit of truth. He shall receive of mine, and shall teach you, and bring all things to your remembrance. As for the term substance, which was used by our fathers for the sake of greater simplicity, but not being understood by the people has caused offense on account of the fact that the Scriptures do not contain it, it seemed desirable that it should be wholly abolished, and that in future no mention should be made of substance in reference to God, since the divine Scriptures have nowhere spoken concerning the substance of the Father and the Son. But we say that the Son is in all things like the Father, as the Holy Scriptures affirm and teach.

These statements having been read, those who were dissatisfied with them rose and said We came not hither because we were in want of a creed; for we preserve inviolate that which we received from the beginning; but we are here met to repress any innovation upon it which may have been made. If therefore what has been recited introduces no novelties, now openly anathematize the Arian heresy, in the same manner as the ancient canon of the church has rejected all heresies as blasphemous: for it is evident to the whole world that the impious dogma of Arius has excited the disturbances of the church, and the troubles which exist until now. This proposition, which was not accepted by Ursacius, Valens, Germinius, Auxentius, Demophilus, and Gaïus, rent the church asunder completely: for these prelates adhered to what had then been recited in the Synod of Ariminum; while the others again confirmed the Nicene Creed. They also ridiculed the superscription of the creed that had been read; and especially Athanasius, in a letter which he sent to his friends, wherein he thus expresses himself:

What point of doctrine was wanting to the piety of the catholic church, that they should now make an investigation respecting the faith, and prefix moreover the consulate of the present times to their published exposition of it? For Ursacius, Valens, and Germinius have done what was neither done, nor even heard of, at any time before among Christians: having composed a creed such as they themselves are willing to believe, they prefaced it with the consulate, month, and day of the present time, in order to prove to all discerning persons that theirs is not the ancient faith, but such as was originated under the reign of the present emperor Constantius. Moreover they have written all things with a view to their own heresy: and besides this, pretending to write respecting the Lord, they name another Lord as theirs, even Constantius, who has countenanced their impiety, so that those who deny the Son to be eternal, have styled him eternal emperor. Thus are they proved to be the enemies of Christ by their profanity. But perhaps the holy prophets’ record of time afforded them a precedent for [noticing] the consulate! Now even if they should presume to make this pretext, they would most glaringly expose their own ignorance. The prophecies of these holy men do indeed mark the times. Isaiah and Hosea lived in the days of Uzziah, Joatham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah; Jeremiah in the time of Josiah; Ezekiel and Daniel in the reign of Cyrus and Darius; and others uttered their predictions in other times. Yet they did not then lay the foundations of religion. That was in existence before them, and always was, even before the creation of the world, God having prepared it for us in Christ. Nor did they designate the commencement of their own faith; for they were themselves men of faith previously: but they signified the times of the promises given through them. Now the promises primarily referred to our Saviour’s advent; and all that was foretold respecting the course of future events in relation to Israel and the Gentiles was collateral and subordinate. Hence the periods mentioned indicated not the beginning of their faith, as I before observed, but the times in which these prophets lived and foretold such things. But these sages of our day, who neither compile histories, nor predict future events, after writing, The Catholic Faith was published, immediately add the consulate, with the month and the day: and as the holy prophets wrote the date of their records and of their own ministration, so these men intimate the era of their own faith. And would that they had written concerning their own faith only—since they have now begun to believe—and had not undertaken to write respecting the Catholic faith. For they have not written, Thus we believe; but, The Catholic Faith was published. The temerity of purpose herein manifested argues their ignorance; while the novelty of expression found in the document they have concocted shows it to be the same as the Arian heresy. By writing in this manner, they have declared when they themselves began to believe, and from what time they wish it to be understood their faith was first preached. And just as when the evangelist Luke says, A decree of enrolment was published, he speaks of an edict which was not in existence before, but came into operation at that time, and was published by him who had written it; so these men by writing The faith has now been published, have declared that the tenets of their heresy are of modern invention, and did not exist previously. But since they apply the term Catholic to it, they seem to have unconsciously fallen into the extravagant assumption of the Cataphrygians, asserting even as they did, that the Christian faith was first revealed to us, and commenced with us. And as those termed Maximilla and Montanus, so these style Constantius their Lord, instead of Christ. But if according to them the faith had its beginning from the present consulate, what will the fathers and the blessed martyrs do? Moreover what will they themselves do with those who were instructed in religious principles by them, and died before this consulate? By what means will they recall them to life, in order to obliterate from their minds what they seemed to have taught them, and to implant in its stead those new discoveries which they have published? So stupid are they as to be only capable of framing pretenses, and these such as are unbecoming and unreasonable, and carry with them their own refutation.

Athanasius wrote thus to his friends: and the interested who may read through his whole epistle will perceive how powerfully he treats the subject; but for brevity’s sake we have here inserted a part of it only. The Synod deposed Valens, Ursacius, Auxentius, Germinius, Gaïus, and Demophilus for refusing to anathematize the Arian doctrine; who being very indignant at their deposition, hastened directly to the emperor, carrying with them the exposition of faith which had been read in the Synod. The council also acquainted the emperor with their determinations in a communication which translated from the Latin into Greek, was to the following effect:

Epistle of the Synod of Ariminum to the Emperor Constantius.

We believe that it was by the appointment of God, as well as at the command of your piety, that the decrees formerly published have been executed. Accordingly we Western bishops came out of various districts to Ariminum, in order that the faith of the catholic church might be made manifest, and that those who held contrary views might be detected. For on a considerate review by us of all points, our decision has been to adhere to the ancient faith which the prophets, the gospels, and the apostles have revealed through our Lord Jesus Christ, the guardian of your empire, and the protector of your person, which faith also we have always maintained. We conceived that it would be unwarrantable and impious to mutilate any of those things which have been justly and rightly ratified, by those who sat in the Nicene council with Constantine of glorious memory, the father of your piety. Their doctrine and views have been infused into the minds and preached in the hearing of the people, and found to be powerfully opposed, even fatal, to the Arian heresy. And not only this heresy, but also all others have been put down by it. Should therefore anything be added to or taken away from what was at that time established, it would prove perilous; for if either of these things should happen, the enemy will have boldness to do as they please.

Wherefore Ursacius and Valens being heretofore suspected of entertaining Arian sentiments, were suspended from communion: but in order to be restored to it they made an apology, and claimed that they had repented of their shortcoming, as their written recantation attests: they therefore obtained pardon and complete absolution.

The time when these things occurred was when the council was in session at Milan, when the presbyters of the church of Rome were also present.

At the same time, having known that Constantine, who even after his death is worthy of honorable mention, exposed the faith with due precision, but being born of men was baptized and departed to the peace due to him as his reward, we have deemed it improper to innovate after him disregarding so many holy confessors and martyrs, who also were authors of this confession, and persevered in their faith in the ancient system of the catholic church. Their faith God has perpetuated down to the years of your own reign through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whose grace it also became possible for you to so strengthen your dominion as to rule over one portion of the world.

Yet have these infatuated and wretched persons, endued with an unhappy disposition, again had the temerity to declare themselves the propagators of false doctrine, and even endeavor to subvert the constitution of the Church. For when the letters of your piety had ordered us to assemble for the examination of the faith, they laid bare their intention, stripped of its deceitful garb. For they attempted with certain craft and confusion to propose innovations, having in this as allies Germinius, Auxentius, and Gaius, who continually cause strife and dissension, and their single teaching has surpassed the whole body of blasphemies. But when they perceived that we had not the same disposition or mind as they in regard to their false views they changed their minds during our council and said another expression of belief should be put forth. And short indeed was the time which convinced them of the falsity of their views.

In order, therefore, that the affairs of the Church may not be continually brought into the same condition, and in order that trouble and tumult may not continually arise and confuse all things, it appeared safe to preserve the previously determined views firm and unalterable, and to separate from our communion the persons above named; for which reason we have despatched to your clemency delegates who will communicate the opinion of the council to you. And to our delegates we have given this commission above all, that they should accredit the truth taking their motive from the ancient and right decisions. They will inform your holiness that peace will not be established as Ursacius and Valens say when some point of the right be overturned. For how can those be at peace who destroy peace? Rather will strife and tumult be occasioned by these things in the church of Rome also, as in the other cities. Wherefore, now, we beseech your clemency that you should look upon our delegation with a calm eye and listen to it with favor, and not allow that anything should be changed, thus bringing insult to the deceased, but permit us to continue in those things which have been defined and legislated by our ancestors; who, we should say, acted with shrewdness and wisdom and with the Holy Spirit. For the innovations they introduce at present fill the believing with distrust and the unbelieving with cruelty. We further implore you to instruct that the bishops who dwell in foreign parts, whom both the infirmity of age and the ills of poverty harass should be assisted to return easily and speedily to their own homes, so that the churches may not remain bereft of their bishops. Still further we beg of you this also, that nothing be stricken off, nor anything be added, to the articles [of faith] remaining over from the times of your pious father even until now; but that these may continue inviolate. Permit us not to toil and suffer longer, nor to be separated from our dioceses, but that together with our own peoples we may in peace have time to offer prayers and thanksgiving, supplicating for your safety and continuance in the dominion, which may the divinity grant unto you perpetually. Our delegates bear the signatures and greetings of the bishops. These [delegates] will from the Divine Scriptures themselves instruct your piety.

The Synod then thus wrote and sent their communications to the emperor by the bishops [selected for that purpose]. But the partisans of Ursacius and Valens having arrived before them, did their utmost to calumniate the council, exhibiting the exposition of the faith which they had brought with them. The emperor, prejudiced beforehand towards Arianism, became extremely exasperated against the Synod, but conferred great honor on Valens and Ursacius and their friends. Those deputed by the council were consequently detained a considerable time, without being able to obtain an answer: at length, however, the emperor replied through those who had come to him, in the manner following:

Constantius Victor and Triumphator Augustus to all the bishops convened at Ariminum.

That our especial care is ever exercised respecting the divine and venerated law even your sanctity is not ignorant. Nevertheless we have hitherto been unable to give an audience to the twenty bishops sent as deputation from you, for an expedition against the barbarians has become necessary. And since, as you will admit, matters relative to the divine law ought to be entered on with a mind free from all anxiety; I have therefore ordered these bishops to await our return to Adrianople; that when all public business shall have been duly attended to, we may be able then to hear and consider what they shall propose. In the meanwhile let it not seem troublesome to your gravity to wait for their return; since when they shall convey to you our resolution, you will be prepared to carry into effect such measures as may be most advantageous to the welfare of the catholic church.

The bishops on receipt of this letter wrote thus in reply:

We have received your clemency’s letter, sovereign lord, most beloved of God, in which you inform us that the exigencies of state affairs have hitherto prevented your admitting our delegates to your presence: and you bid us await their return, until your piety shall have learnt from them what has been determined on by us in conformity with the tradition of our ancestors. But we again protest by this letter that we can by no means depart from our primary resolution; and this also we have commissioned our deputies to state. We beseech you therefore, both with serene countenance to order this present epistle of our modesty to be read; and also to listen favorably to the representations with which our delegates have been charged. Your mildness doubtless perceives, as well as we, to how great an extent grief and sadness prevail, because of so many churches being bereft of their bishops in these most blessed times of yours. Again therefore we entreat your clemency, sovereign lord most dear to God, to command us to return to our churches, if it please your piety, before the rigor of winter; in order that we may be enabled, in conjunction with the people, to offer up our accustomed prayers to Almighty God, and to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, his only-begotten Son, for the prosperity of your reign, as we have always done, and even now do in our prayers.

The bishops having waited together some time after this letter had been despatched, inasmuch as the emperor deigned no reply, they departed to their respective cities. Now the emperor had long before intended to disseminate Arian doctrine throughout the churches; and was anxious to give it the pre-eminence; hence he pretended that their departure was an act of contumely, declaring that they had treated him with contempt by dissolving the council in opposition to his wishes. He therefore gave the partisans of Ursacius unbounded license to act as they pleased in regard to the churches: and directed that the revised form of creed which had been read at Ariminum should be sent to the churches throughout Italy; ordering that whoever would not subscribe it should be ejected from their sees, and that others should be substituted in their place. And first Liberius, bishop of Rome, having refused his assent to that creed, was sent into exile; the adherents of Ursacius appointing Felix to succeed him, who had been a deacon in that church, but on embracing the Arian heresy was elevated to the episcopate. Some however assert that he was not favorable to that opinion, but was constrained by force to receive the ordination of bishop. After this all parts of the West were filled with agitation and tumult, some being ejected and banished, and others established in their stead. These things were effected by violence, on the authority of the imperial edicts, which were also sent into the eastern parts. Not long after indeed Liberius was recalled, and reinstated in his see; for the people of Rome having raised a sedition, and expelled Felix from their church, the emperor even though against his wish consented. The partisans of Ursacius, quitting Italy, passed through the eastern parts; and arriving at Nice, a city of Thrace, they dwelt there a short time and held another Synod, and after translating the form of faith which was read at Ariminum into Greek, they confirmed and published it afresh in the form quoted above, giving it the name of the general council, in this way attempting to deceive the more simple by the similarity of names, and to impose upon them as the creed promulgated at Nicæa in Bithynia, that which they had prepared at Nice in Thrace. But this artifice was of little advantage to them; for it was soon detected, they became the object of derision. Enough now has been said of the transactions which took place in the West: we must now proceed to the narrative of what was done in the East at the same time.

Cruelty of Macedonius, and Tumults raised by him.

The bishops of the Arian party began to assume greater assurance from the imperial edicts. In what manner they undertook to convene a Synod, we will explain somewhat later. Let us now briefly mention a few of their previous acts. Acacius and Patrophilus having ejected Maximus, bishop of Jerusalem, installed Cyril in his see. Macedonius subverted the order of things in the cities and provinces adjacent to Constantinople, promoting to ecclesiastical honors his assistants in his intrigues against the churches.He ordained Eleusius bishop of Cyzicus, and Marathonius, bishop of Nicomedia: the latter had before been a deacon under Macedonius himself, and proved very active in founding monasteries both of men and women. But we must now mention in what way Macedonius desolated the churches in the cities and provinces around Constantinople. This man, as I have already said, having seized the bishopric, inflicted innumerable calamities on such as were unwilling to adopt his views. His persecutions were not confined to those who were recognized as members of the catholic church, but extended to the Novatians also, inasmuch as he knew that they maintained the doctrine of the homoousion; they therefore with the others underwent the most intolerable sufferings, but their bishop, Angelius by name, effected his escape by flight. Many persons eminent for their piety were seized and tortured, because they refused to communicate with him: and after the torture, they forcibly constrained the men to be partakers of the holy mysteries, their mouths being forced open with a piece of wood, and then the consecrated elements thrust into them. Those who were so treated regarded this as a punishment far more grievous than all others. Moreover they laid hold of women and children, and compelled them to be initiated [by baptism]; and if any one resisted or otherwise spoke against it, stripes immediately followed, and after the stripes, bonds and imprisonment, and other violent measures. I shall here relate an instance or two whereby the reader may form some idea of the extent of the harshness and cruelty exercised by Macedonius and those who were then in power. They first pressed in a box, and then sawed off, the breasts of such women as were unwilling to communicate with them. The same parts of the persons. of other women they burnt partly with iron, and partly with eggs intensely heated in the fire. This mode of torture which was unknown even among the heathen, was invented by those who professed to be Christians. These facts were related to me by the aged Auxanon, the presbyter in the Novatian church of whom I spoke in the first book. He said also that he had himself endured not a few severities from the Arians, prior to his reaching the dignity of presbyter; having been thrown into prison and beaten with many stripes, together with Alexander the Paphlagonian, his companion in the monastic life. He added that he had himself been able to sustain these tortures, but that Alexander died in prison from the effects of their infliction. He is now buried on the right of those sailing into the bay of Constantinople which is called Ceras, close by the rivers, where there is a church of the Novatians named after Alexander. Moreover the Arians, at the instigation of Macedonius, demolished with many other churches in various cities, that of the Novatians at Constantinople near Pelargus. Why I particularly mention this church, will be seen from the extraordinary circumstances connected with it, as testified by the same aged Auxanon. The emperor’s edict and the violence of Macedonius had doomed to destruction the churches of those who maintained the doctrine of consubstantiality; the decree and violence reached this church, and those also who were charged with the execution of the mandate were at hand to carry it into effect. I cannot but admire the zeal displayed by the Novatians on this occasion, as well as the sympathy they experienced from those whom the Arians at that time ejected, but who are now in peaceful possession of their churches. For when the emissaries of their enemies were urgent to accomplish its destruction, an immense multitude of Novatians, aided by numbers of others who held similar sentiments, having assembled around this devoted church, pulled it down, and conveyed the materials of it to another place: this place stands opposite the city, and is called Sycæ, and forms the thirteenth ward of the town of Constantinople. This removal was effected in a very short time, from the extraordinary ardor of the numerous persons engaged in it: one carried tiles, another stones, a third timber; some loading themselves with one thing, and some with another. Even women and children assisted in the work, regarding it as the realization of their best wishes, and esteeming it the greatest honor to be accounted the faithful guardians of things consecrated to God. In this way at that time was the church of the Novatians transported to Sycæ. Long afterwards when Constantius was dead, the emperor Julian ordered its former site to be restored, and permitted them to rebuild it there. The people therefore, as before, having carried back the materials, reared the church in its former position; and from this circumstance, and its great improvement in structure and ornament, they not inappropriately called it Anastasia. The church as we before said was restored afterwards in the reign of Julian. But at that time both the Catholics and the Novatians were alike subjected to persecution: for the former abominated offering their devotions in those churches in which the Arians assembled, but frequented the other three —for this is the number of the churches which the Novatians have in the city—and engaged in divine service with them. Indeed they would have been wholly united, had not the Novatians refused from regard to their ancient precepts. In other respects however, they mutually maintained such a degree of cordiality and affection, as to be ready to lay down their lives for one another: both parties were therefore persecuted indiscriminately, not only at Constantinople, but also in other provinces and cities. At Cyzicus, Eleusius, the bishop of that place, perpetrated the same kind of enormities against the Christians there, as Macedonius had done elsewhere, harassing and putting them to flight in all directions and [among other things] he completely demolished the church of the Novatians at Cyzicus. But Macedonius consummated his wickedness in the following manner. Hearing that there was a great number of the Novatian sect in the province of Paphlagonia, and especially at Mantinium, and perceiving that such a numerous body could not be driven from their homes by ecclesiastics alone, he caused, by the emperor’s permission, four companies of soldiers to be sent into Paphlagonia, that through dread of the military they might receive the Arian opinion. But those who inhabited Mantinium, animated to desperation by zeal for their religion, armed themselves with long reap-hooks, hatchets, and whatever weapon came to hand, and went forth to meet the troops; on which a conflict ensuing, many indeed of the Paphlagonians were slain, but nearly all the soldiers were destroyed. I learnt these things from a Paphlagonian peasant who said that he was present at the engagement; and many others of that province corroborate this account. Such were the exploits of Macedonius on behalf of Christianity, consisting of murders, battles, incarcerations, and civil wars: proceedings which rendered him odious not only to the objects of his persecution, but even to his own party. He became obnoxious also to the emperor on these accounts, and particularly so from the circumstance I am about to relate. The church where the coffin lay that contained the relics of the emperor Constantine threatened to fall. On this account those that entered, as well as those who were accustomed to remain there for devotional purposes, were in much fear. Macedonius, therefore, wished to remove the emperor’s remains, lest the coffin should be injured by the ruins. The populace getting intelligence of this, endeavored to prevent it, insisting that the emperor’s bones should not be disturbed, as such a disinterment would be equivalent, to their being dug up: many however affirmed that its removal could not possibly injure the dead body, and thus two parties were formed on this question; such as held the doctrine of consubstantiality joining with those who opposed it on the ground of its impiety. Macedonius, in total disregard of these prejudices, caused the emperor’s remains to be transported to the church where those of the martyr Acacius lay. Whereupon a vast multitude rushed toward that edifice in two hostile divisions, which attacked one another with great fury, and great loss of life was occasioned, so that the churchyard was covered with gore, and the well also which was in it overflowed with blood, which ran into the adjacent portico, and thence even into the very street. When the emperor was informed of this unfortunate occurrence, he was highly incensed against Macedonius, both on account of the slaughter which he had occasioned, and because he had dared to move his father’s body without consulting him. Having therefore left the Cæsar Julian to take care of the western parts, he himself set out for the east. How Macedonius was a short time afterwards deposed, and thus suffered a most inadequate punishment for his infamous crimes, I shall hereafter relate.

Of the Synod at Seleucia, in Isauria.

But I must now give an account of the other Synod, which the emperor’s edict had convoked in the east, as a rival to that of Ariminum. It was at first determined that the bishops should assemble at Nicomedia in Bithynia; but a great earthquake having nearly destroyed that city, prevented their being convened there. This happened in the consulate of Tatian and Cerealis, on the 28th day of August. They were therefore planning to transfer the council to the neighboring city of Nicæa: but this plan was again altered, as it seemed more convenient to meet at Tarsus in Cilicia. Being dissatisfied with this arrangement also, they at last assembled themselves at Seleucia, surnamed Aspera, a city of Isauria. This took place in the same year [in which the council of Ariminum was held], under the consulate of Eusebius and Hypatius, the number of those convened being about 160. There was present on this occasion Leonas, an officer of distinction attached to the imperial household, before whom the emperor’s edict had enjoined that the discussion respecting the faith should be entered into. Lauricius also, the commander-in-chief of the troops in Isauria, was ordered to be there, to serve the bishops in such things as they might require. In the presence of these personages therefore, the bishops were there convened on the 27th of the month of September, and immediately began a discussion on the basis of the public records, shorthand writers being present to write down what each might say. Those who desire to learn the particulars of the several speeches, will find copious details of them in the collection of Sabinus; but we shall only notice the more important heads. On the first day of their being convened, Leonas ordered each one to propose what he thought fit: but those present said that no question ought to be agitated in the absence of those prelates who had not yet arrived; for Macedonius, bishop of Constantinople, Basil of Ancyra, and some others who were apprehensive of an impeachment for their misconduct, had not made their appearance. Macedonius pleaded indisposition, and failed to attend; Patrophilus said he had some trouble with his eyes, and that on this account it was needful for him to remain in the suburbs of Seleucia; and the rest offered various pretexts to account for their absence. When, however, Leonas declared that the subjects which they had met to consider must be entered on, notwithstanding the absence of these persons, the bishops replied that they could not proceed to the discussion of any question, until the life and conduct of the parties accused had been investigated: for Cyril of Jerusalem, Eustathius of Sebastia in Armenia, and some others, had been charged with misconduct on various grounds long before. A sharp contest arose in consequence of this demur; some affirming that cognizance ought first to be taken of all such accusations, and others denying that anything whatever should have precedence of matters of faith. The emperor’s orders contributed not a little to augment this dispute, inasmuch as letters of his were produced urging now this and now that as necessary to be considered first. The dispute having arisen on this subject, a schism was thus made, and the Seleucian council was divided into two factions, one of which was headed by Acacius of Cæsarea in Palestine, George of Alexandria, Uranius of Tyre, and Eudoxius of Antioch, who were supported by only about thirty-two other bishops. Of the opposite party, which was by far the more numerous, the principal were George of Laodicea in Syria, Sophronius of Pompeiopolis in Paphlagonia, and Eleusius of Cyzicus. It being determined by the majority to examine doctrinal matters first, the party of Acacius openly opposed the Nicene Creed, and wished to introduce another instead of it. The other faction, which was considerably more numerous, concurred in all the decisions of the council of Nicæa, but criticised its adoption of the term homoousion. Accordingly they debated on this point, much being said on each side, until late in the evening, when Silvanus, who presided over the church at Tarsus, insisted with much vehemence of manner, that there was no need of a new exposition of the faith; but that it was their duty rather to confirm that which was published at Antioch, at the consecration of the church in that place. On this declaration, Acacius and his partisans privately withdrew from the council; while the others, producing the creed composed at Antioch, read it, and then separated for that day. Assembling in the church of Seleucia on the day following, after having closed the doors, they again read the same creed, and ratified it by their signatures. At this time the readers and deacons present signed on behalf of certain absent bishops, who had intimated their acquiescence in its form.

Acacius, Bishop of Cæsarea, dictates a new Form of Creed in the Synod at Seleucia.

Acacius and his adherents criticised what was done: because, that is to say, they closed the church doors and thus affixed their signatures; declaring that all such secret transactions were justly to be suspected, and had no validity whatever. These objections he made because he was anxious to bring forward another exposition of the faith drawn up by himself, which he had already submitted to the governors Leonas and Lauricius, and was now intent on getting it alone confirmed and established, instead of that which had been subscribed. The second day was thus occupied with nothing else but exertions on his part to effect this object. On the third day Leonas endeavored to produce an amicable meeting of both parties; Macedonius of Constantinople, and also Basil of Ancyra, having arrived during its course. But when the Acacians found that both the parties had come to the same position, they refused to meet; saying that not only those who had before been deposed, but also such as were at present under any accusation, ought to be excluded from the assembly.’ And as after much cavilling on both sides, this opinion prevailed; those who lay under any charge went out of the council, and the party of Acacius entered in their places. Leonas then said that a document had been put into his hand by Acacius, to which he desired to call their attention: but he did not state that it was the drought of a creed, which in some particulars covertly, and in others unequivocally contradicted the former. When those present became silent, thinking that the document contained something else besides an exposition of a creed, the following creed composed by Acacius, together with its preamble, was read.

We having yesterday assembled by the emperor’s command at Seleucia, a city of Isauria, on the 27th day of September, exerted ourselves to the utmost, with all moderation, to preserve the peace of the church, and to determine doctrinal questions on prophetic and evangelical authority, so as to sanction nothing in the ecclesiastic confession of faith at variance with the sacred Scriptures, as our Emperor Constantius most beloved of God has ordered. But inasmuch as certain individuals in the Synod have acted injuriously toward several of us, preventing some from expressing their sentiments, and excluding others from the council against their wills; and at the same time have introduced such as have been deposed, and persons who were ordained contrary to the ecclesiastical canon, so that the Synod has presented a scene of tumult and disorder, of which the most illustrious Leonas, the Comes, and the most eminent Lauricius, governor of the province, have been eye-witnesses, we are therefore under the necessity of making this declaration. That we do not repudiate the faith which was ratified at the consecration of the church at Antioch; for we give it our decided preference, because it received the concurrence of our fathers who were assembled there to consider some controverted points. Since, however, the terms homoousion and homoiousion have in time past troubled the minds of many, and still continue to disquiet them; and moreover that a new term has recently been coined by some who assert the anomoion of the Son to the Father: we reject the first two, as expressions which are not found in the Scriptures; but we utterly anathematize the last, and regard such as countenance its use, as alienated from the church. We distinctly acknowledge the homoion of the Son to the Father, in accordance with what the apostle has declared concerning him, Who is the image of the invisible God.

We confess then, and believe in one God the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and of things visible and invisible. We believe also in his Son our Lord Jesus Christ, who was begotten of him without passion before all ages, God the Word, the only-begotten of God, the Light, the Life, the Truth, the Wisdom: through whom all things were made which are in the heavens and upon the earth, whether visible or invisible. We believe that he took flesh of the holy Virgin Mary, at the end of the ages, in order to abolish sin; that he was made man, suffered for our sin, and rose again, and was taken up into the heavens, to sit at the right hand of the Father, whence he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. We believe also in the Holy Spirit, whom our Lord and Saviour has denominated the Comforter, and whom he sent to his disciples after his departure, according to his promise: by whom also he sanctifies all believers in the church, who are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Those who preach anything contrary to this creed, we regard as aliens from the catholic church.

This was the declaration of faith proposed by Acacius, and subscribed by himself and as many as adhered to his opinion, the number of whom we have already given. When this had been read, Sophronius bishop of Pompeiopolis in Paphlagonia, thus expressed himself: If to express a separate opinion day after day, be received as the exposition of the faith, we shall never arrive at any accurate understanding of the truth. These were the words of Sophronius. And I firmly believe, that if the predecessors of these prelates, as well as their successors, had entertained similar sentiments in reference to the Nicene creed, all polemical debates would have been avoided; nor would the churches have been agitated by such violent and irrational disturbances. However let those judge who are capable of understanding how these things are. At that time after many remarks on all sides had been made both in reference to this doctrinal statement, and in relation to the parties accused, the assembly was dissolved. On the fourth day they all again met in the same place, and resumed their proceedings in the same contentious spirit as before. On this occasion Acacius expressed himself in these words: Since the Nicene creed has been altered not once only, but frequently, there is no hindrance to our publishing another at this time. To which Eleusius bishop of Cyzicus, replied: The Synod is at present convened not to learn what it had no previous knowledge of, nor to receive a creed which it had not assented to before, but to confirm the faith of the fathers, from which it should never recede, either in life or death. Thus Eleusius opposing Acacius spoke meaning by the faith of the fathers, that creed which had been promulgated at Antioch. But surely he too might have been fairly answered in this way: How is it O Eleusius, that you call those convened at Antioch the fathers, seeing that you do not recognize those who were their fathers? The framers of the Nicene creed, by whom the homoousian faith was acknowledged, have a far higher claim to the title of the fathers; both as having the priority in point of time, and also because those assembled at Antioch were by them invested with the sacerdotal office. Now if those at Antioch have disowned their own fathers, those who follow them are unconsciously following parricides. Besides how can they have received a legitimate ordination from those whose faith they pronounce unsound and impious? If those, however, who constituted the Nicene Synod had not the Holy Spirit which is imparted by the imposition of hands, those at Antioch have not duly received the priesthood: for how could they have received it from those who had not the power of conferring it? Such considerations as these might have been submitted to Eleusius in reply to his objections. But they then proceeded to another question, connected with the assertion made by Acacius in his exposition of the faith, that the Son was like the Father; enquiring of one another in what this resemblance consisted. The Acacian party affirmed that the Son was like the Father as it respected his will only, and not his substance or essence; but the rest maintained that the likeness extended to both essence and will. In altercations on this point, the whole day was consumed; and Acacius, being confuted by his own published works, in which he had asserted that the Son is in all things like the Father, his opponents asked him how do you now deny the likeness of the Son to the Father as to his essence? Acacius in reply said, that no author, ancient or modern, was ever condemned out of his own writings. As they kept on their discussion on this matter to a most tedious extent, with much acrimonious feeling and subtlety of argument, but without any approach to unity of judgment, Leonas arose and dissolved the council: and this was the conclusion of the Synod at Seleucia. For on the following day [Leonas] being urged to do so would not again meet with them. I have been deputed by the emperor, said he, to attend a council where unanimity was expected to prevail: but since you can by no means come to a mutual understanding, I can no longer be present: go therefore to the church, if you please, and indulge in vain babbling there. The Acacian faction conceiving this decision to be advantageous to themselves, also refused to meet with the others. The adverse party left alone met in the church and requested the attendance of those who followed Acacius, that cognizance might be taken of the case of Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem: for that prelate had been accused long before, on what grounds however I am unable to state. He had even been deposed, because owing to fear, he had not made his appearance during two whole years, after having been repeatedly summoned in order that the charges against him might be investigated. Nevertheless, when he was deposed, he sent a written notification to those who had condemned him, that he should appeal to a higher jurisdiction: and to this appeal the emperor Constantius gave his sanction. Cyril was thus the first and indeed only clergyman who ventured to break through ecclesiastical usage, by becoming an appellant, in the way commonly done in the secular courts of judicature: and he was now present at Seleucia, ready to be put upon his trial; on this account the other bishops invited the Acacian party to take their places in the assembly, that in a general council a definite judgment might be pronounced on the case of those who were arraigned: for they cited others also charged with various misdemeanors to appear before them at the same time, who to protect themselves had sought refuge among the partisans of Acacius. When therefore that faction persisted in their refusal to meet, after being repeatedly summoned, the bishops deposed Acacius himself, together with George of Alexandria, Uranius of Tyre, Theodulus of Chæretapi in Phrygia, Theodosius of Philadelphia in Lydia, Evagrius of the island of Mytilene, Leontius of Tripolis in Lydia, and Eudoxius who had formerly been bishop of Germanica, but had afterwards insinuated himself into the bishopric of Antioch in Syria. They also deposed Patrophilus for contumacy, in not having presented himself to answer a charge preferred against him by a presbyter named Dorotheus. These they deposed: they also excommunicated Asterius, Eusebius, Abgarus, Basilicus, Phœbus, Fidelis, Eutychius, Magnus, and Eustathius; determining that they should not be restored to communion, until they made such a defense as would clear them from the imputations under which they lay. This being done, they addressed explanatory letters to each of the churches whose bishops had been deposed. Anianus was then constituted bishop of Antioch instead of Eudoxius: but the Acacians having soon after apprehended him, he was delivered into the hands of Leonas and Lauricius, by whom he was sent into exile. The bishops who had ordained him being incensed on this account, lodged protests against the Acacian party with Leonas and Lauricius, in which they openly charged them with having violated the decisions of the Synod. Finding that no redress could be obtained by this means, they went to Constantinople to lay the whole matter before the emperor.

On the Emperor’s Return from the West, the Acacians assemble at Constantinople, and confirm the Creed of Ariminum, after making Some Additions to it.

And now the emperor returned from the West and appointed a prefect over Constantinople, Honoratus by name, having abolished the office of proconsul. But the Acacians being beforehand with the bishops, calumniated them to the emperor, persuading him not to admit the creed which they had proposed. This so annoyed the emperor that he resolved to disperse them; he therefore published an edict, commanding that such of them as were subject to fill certain public offices should be no longer exempted from the performance of the duties attached to them. For several of them were liable to be called on to occupy various official departments, connected both with the city magistracy, and in subordination to the presidents and governors of provinces. While these were thus harassed the partisans of Acacius remained for a considerable time at Constantinople and held another Synod. Sending for the bishops at Bithynia, about fifty assembled on this occasion, among whom was Maris, bishop of Chalcedon: these confirmed the creed read at Ariminum to which the names of the consuls had been prefixed. It would have been unnecessary to repeat it here, had there not been some additions made to it; but since that was done, it may be desirable to transcribe it in its new form.

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, of whom are all things. And in the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of God before all ages, and before every beginning; through whom all things visible and invisible were made: who is the only-begotten born of the Father, the only of the only, God of God, like to the Father who begat him, according to the Scriptures, and whose generation no one knows but the Father only that begat him. We know that this only-begotten Son of God, as sent of the Father, came down from the heavens, as it is written, for the destruction of sin and death: and that he was born of the Holy Spirit, and of the Virgin Mary according to the flesh, as it is written, and conversed with his disciples; and that after every dispensation had been fulfilled according to his Father’s will, he was crucified and died, and was buried and descended into the lower parts of the earth, at whose presence hades itself trembled: who also arose from the dead on the third day, again conversed with his disciples, and after the completion of forty days was taken up into the heavens, and sits at the right hand of the Father, whence he will come in the last day, the day of the resurrection, in his Father’s glory, to requite every one accord-to his works. [We believe] also in the Holy Spirit, whom he himself the only-begotten of God, Christ our Lord and God, promised to send to mankind as the Comforter, according as it is written, the Spirit of truth; whom he sent to them after he was received into the heavens. But since the term ousia [substance or essence], which was used by the fathers in a very simple and intelligible sense, but not being understood by the people, has been a cause of offense, we have thought proper to reject it, as it is not contained even in the sacred writings; and that no mention of it should be made in future, inasmuch as the holy Scriptures have nowhere mentioned the substance of the Father and of the Son. Nor ought the subsistence of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit to be even named. But we affirm that the Son is like the Father, in such a manner as the sacred Scriptures declare and teach. Let therefore all heresies which have been already condemned, or may have arisen of late, which are opposed to this exposition of the faith, be anathema.

These things were recognized at that time at Constantinople. And now as we have at length wound our way through the labyrinth of all the various forms of faith, let us reckon the number of them. After that which was promulgated at Nicæa, two others were proposed at Antioch at the dedication of the church there. A third was presented to the Emperor in Gaul by Narcissus and those who accompanied him. The fourth was sent by Eudoxius into Italy. There were three forms of the creed published at Sirmium, one of which having the consuls’ names prefixed was read at Ariminum. The Acacian party produced an eighth at Seleucia. The last was that of Constantinople, containing the prohibitory clause respecting the mention of substance or subsistence in relation to God. To this creed Ulfilas bishop of the Goths gave his assent, although he had previously adhered to that of Nicæa; for he was a disciple of Theophilus bishop of the Goths, who was present at the Nicene council, and subscribed what was there determined. Let this suffice on these subjects.

On the Deposition of Macedonius, Eudoxius obtains the Bishopric of Constantinople.

Acacius, Eudoxius, and those at Constantinople who took part with them, became exceedingly anxious that they also on their side might depose some of the opposite party. Now it should be observed that neither of the factions were influenced by religious considerations in making depositions, but by other motives: for although they did not agree respecting the faith, yet the ground of their reciprocal depositions was not error in doctrine. The Acacian party therefore availing themselves of the emperor’s indignation against others, and especially against Macedonius, which he was cherishing and anxious to vent, in the first place deposed Macedonius, both on account of his having occasioned so much slaughter, and also because he had admitted to communion a deacon who had been found guilty of fornication. They then depose Eleusius bishop of Cyzicus, for having baptized, and afterwards invested with the diaconate, a priest of Hercules at Tyre named Heraclius, who was known to have practiced magic arts. A like sentence was pronounced against Basil, or Basilas,—as he was also called,—who had been constituted bishop of Ancyra instead of Marcellus: the causes assigned for this condemnation were, that he had unjustly imprisoned a certain individual, loaded him with chains, and put him to the torture; that he had traduced some persons; and that he had disturbed the churches of Africa by his epistles. Dracontius was also deposed, because he had left the Galatian church for that of Pergamos. Moreover they deposed, on various pretenses, Neonas bishop of Seleucia, the city in which the Synod had been convened, Sophronius of Pompeiopolis in Paphlagonia, Elpidius of Satala, in Macedonia, and Cyril of Jerusalem, and others for various reasons.

Of Eustathius Bishop of Sebastia.

But Eustathius bishop of Sebastia in Armenia was not even permitted to make his defense; because he had been long before deposed by Eulalius, his own father, who was bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, for dressing in a style unbecoming the sacerdotal office. Let it be noted that Meletius was appointed his successor, of whom we shall hereafter speak. Eustathius indeed was subsequently condemned by a Synod convened on his account at Gangra in Paphlagonia; he having, after his deposition by the council at Cæsarea, done many things repugnant to the ecclesiastical canons. For he had forbidden marriage, and maintained that meats were to be abstained from: he even separated many from their wives, and persuaded those who disliked to assemble in the churches to commune at home. Under the pretext of piety, he also seduced servants from their masters. He himself wore the habit of a philosopher, and induced his followers to adopt a new and extraordinary garb, directing that the hair of women should be cropped. He permitted the prescribed fasts to be neglected, but recommended fasting on Sundays. In short, he forbade prayers to be offered in the houses of married persons: and declared that both the benediction and the communion of a presbyter who continued to live with a wife whom he might have lawfully married, while still a layman, ought to be shunned as an abomination. For doing and teaching these things and many others of a similar nature, a Synod convened, as we have said, at Gangra in Paphlagonia deposed him, and anathematized his opinions. This, however, was done afterwards. But on Macedonius being ejected from the see of Constantinople, Eudoxius, who now looked upon the see of Antioch as secondary in importance, was promoted to the vacant bishopric; being consecrated by the Acacians, who in this instance cared not to consider that it was inconsistent with their former proceedings. For they who had deposed Dracontius because of his translation from Galatia to Pergamos, were clearly acting in contrariety to their own principles and decisions, in ordaining Eudoxius, who then made a second change. After this they sent their own exposition of the faith, in its corrected and supplementary form, to Arminium, ordering that all those who refused to sign it should be exiled on the authority of the emperor’s edict. They also informed such other prelates in the East as coincided with them in opinion of what they had done; and more especially Patrophilus bishop of Scythopolis, who on leaving Seleucia had proceeded directly to his own city. Eudoxius having been constituted bishop of the imperial city, the great church named Sophia was at that time consecrated, in the tenth consulate of Constantius, and the third of Julian Cæsar, on the 15th day of February. It was while Eudoxius occupied this see, that he first uttered that sentence which is still everywhere current, The Father is impious, the Son is pious. When the people seemed startled by this expression, and a disturbance began to be made, Be not troubled, said he, on account of what I have just said: for the Father is impious, because he worships no person; but the Son is pious because he worships the Father. Eudoxius having said this, the tumult was appeased, and great laughter was excited in the church: and this saying of his continues to be a jest, even in the present day. The heresiarchs indeed frequently devised such subtle phrases as these, and by them rent the church asunder. Thus was the Synod at Constantinople terminated.

Of Meletius Bishop of Antioch.

It becomes us now to speak of Meletius, who, as we have recently observed, was created bishop of Sebastia in Armenia, after the deposition of Eustathius; from Sebastia he was transferred to Berœa, a city of Syria. Being present at the Synod of Seleucia, he subscribed the creed set forth there by Acacius, and immediately returned thence to Berœa. When the convention of the Synod at Constantinople was held, the people of Antioch finding that Eudoxius, captivated by the magnificence of the see of Constantinople, had contemned their church, they sent for Meletius, and invested him with the bishopric of the church at Antioch. Now he at first avoided all doctrinal questions, confining his discourses to moral subjects; but subsequently he expounded to his auditors the Nicene creed, and asserted the doctrine of the homoousion. The emperor being informed of this, ordered that he should be sent into exile; and caused Euzoïus, who had before been deposed together with Arius, to be installed bishop of Antioch in his stead. Such, however, as were attached to Meletius, separated themselves from the Arian congregation, and held their assemblies apart: nevertheless, those who originally embraced the homoousian opinion would not communicate with them, because Meletius had been ordained by the Arians, and his adherents had been baptized by them. Thus was the Antiochian church divided, even in regard to those whose views on matters of faith exactly corresponded. Meanwhile the emperor getting intelligence that the Persians were preparing to undertake another war against the Romans, repaired in great haste to Antioch.

The Heresy of Macedonius.

Macedonius on being ejected from Constantinople, bore his condemnation ill and became restless; he therefore associated himself with the other faction that had deposed Acacius and his party at Seleucia, and sent a deputation to Sophronius and Eleusius, to encourage them to adhere to that creed which was first promulgated at Antioch, and afterwards confirmed at Seleucia, proposing to give it the counterfeit name of the homoiousian creed. By this means he drew around him a great number of adherents, who from him are still denominated Macedonians. And although such as dissented from the Acacians at the Seleucian Synod had not previously used the term homoiousios, yet from that period they distinctly asserted it. There was, however, a popular report that this term did not originate with Macedonius, but was the invention rather of Marathonius, who a little before had been set over the church at Nicomedia; on which account the maintainers of this doctrine were also called Marathonians. To this party Eustathius joined himself, who for the reasons before stated had been ejected from the church at Sebastia. But when Macedonius began to deny the Divinity of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity, Eustathius said: I can neither admit that the Holy Spirit is God, nor can I dare affirm him to be a creature. For this reason those who hold the homoousion of the Son call these heretics Pneumatomachi. By what means these Macedonians became so numerous in the Hellespont, I shall state in its proper place. The Acacians meanwhile became extremely anxious that another Synod should be convened at Antioch, in consequence of having changed their mind respecting their former assertion of the likeness in all things of the Son to the Father. A small number of them therefore assembled in the following consulate which was that of Taurus and Florentius, at Antioch in Syria, where the emperor was at that time residing, Euzoïus being bishop. A discussion was then renewed on some of those points which they had previously determined, in the course of which they declared that the term homoios ought to be erased from the form of faith which had been published both at Ariminum and Constantinople; and they no longer concealed but openly declared that the Son was altogether unlike the Father, not merely in relation to his essence, but even as it respected his will; asserting boldly also, as Arius had already done, that he was made of nothing. Those in that city who favored the heresy of Aëtius, gave their assent to this opinion; from which circumstance in addition to the general appellation of Arians, they were also termed Anomœans, and Exucontians, by those at Antioch who embraced the homoousian, who nevertheless were at that time divided among themselves on account of Meletius, as I have before observed. Being therefore questioned by them, how they dared to affirm that the Son is unlike the Father, and has his existence from nothing, after having acknowledged him God of God in their former creed? they endeavored to elude this objection by such fallacious subterfuges as these. The expression, God of God, said they, is to be understood in the same sense as the words of the apostle, but all things of God. Wherefore the Son is of God, as being one of these all things: and it is for this reason the words according to the Scriptures are added in the draught of the creed. The author of this sophism was George bishop of Laodicea, who being unskilled in such phrases, was ignorant of the manner in which Origen had formerly explained these peculiar expressions of the apostle, having thoroughly investigated the matter. But notwithstanding these evasive cavilings, they were unable to bear the reproach and contumely they had drawn upon themselves, and fell back upon the creed which they had before put forth at Constantinople; and so each one retired to his own district. George returning to Alexandria, resumed his authority over the churches there, Athanasius still not having made his appearance. Those in that city who were opposed to his sentiments he persecuted; and conducting himself with great severity and cruelty, he rendered himself extremely odious to the people. At Jerusalem Arrenius was placed over the church instead of Cyril: we may also remark that Heraclius was ordained bishop there after him, and after him Hilary. At length, however, Cyril returned to Jerusalem, and was again invested with the presidency over the church there. About the same time another heresy sprang up, which arose from the following circumstance.

Of the Apollinarians, and their Heresy.

There were two men of the same name at Laodicea in Syria, a father and son: their name was Apollinaris; the former of them was a presbyter, and the latter a reader in that church. Both taught Greek literature, the father grammar, and the son rhetoric. The father was a native of Alexandria, and at first taught at Berytus, but afterwards removed to Laodicea, where he married, and the younger Apollinaris was born. They were contemporaries of Epiphanius the sophist, and being true friends they became intimate with him; but Theodotus bishop of Laodicea, fearing that such communication should pervert their principles, and lead them into paganism, forbade their associating with him: they, however, paid but little attention to this prohibition, their familiarity with Epiphanius being still continued. George, the successor of Theodotus, also endeavored to prevent their conversing with Epiphanius; but not being able in any way to persuade them on this point, he excommunicated them. The younger Apollinaris regarding this severe procedure as an act of injustice, and relying on the resources of his rhetorical sophistry, originated a new heresy, which was named after its inventor, and still has many supporters. Nevertheless some affirm that it was not for the reason above assigned that they dissented from George, but because they saw the unsettledness and inconsistency of his profession of faith; since he sometimes maintained that the Son is like the Father, in accordance with what had been determined in the Synod at Seleucia, and at other times countenanced the Arian view. They therefore made this a pretext for separation from him: but as no one followed their example, they introduced a new form of doctrine, and at first they asserted that in the economy of the incarnation, God the Word assumed a human body without a soul. Afterwards, as if changing mind, they retracted, admitting that he took a soul indeed, but that it was an irrational one, God the Word himself being in the place of a mind. Those who followed them and bear their name at this day affirm that this is their only point of distinction [from the Catholics]; for they recognize the consubstantiality of the persons in the Trinity. But we will make further mention of the two Apollinares in the proper place.

Successes of Julian; Death of the Emperor Constantius.

While the Emperor Constantius continued his residence at Antioch, Julian Cæsar engaged with an immense army of barbarians in the Gauls, and obtaining the victory over them, he became extremely popular among the soldiery and was proclaimed emperor by them. When this was made known, the Emperor Constantius was affected most painfully; he was therefore baptized by Euzoïus, and immediately prepared to undertake an expedition against Julian. On arriving at the frontiers of Cappadocia and Cilicia, his excessive agitation of mind produced apoplexy, which terminated his life at Mopsucrene, in the consulate of Taurus and Florentius, on the 3d of November. This was in the first year of the 285th Olympiad. Constantius had lived forty-five years, having reigned thirty-eight years; thirteen of which he was his father’s colleague in the empire, and after his father’s death for twenty-five years [sole emperor], the history of which latter period is contained in this book.

Book III

Of Julian; his Lineage and Education; his Elevation to the Throne; his Apostasy to Paganism.

The Emperor Constantius died on the frontiers of Cilicia on the 3d of November, during the consulate of Taurus and Florentius; Julian leaving the western parts of the empire about the 11th of December following, under the same consulate, came to Constantinople, where he was proclaimed emperor. And as I must needs speak of the character of this prince who was eminently distinguished for his learning, let not his admirers expect that I should attempt a pompous rhetorical style, as if it were necessary to make the delineation correspond with the dignity of the subject: for my object being to compile a history of the Christian religion, it is both proper in order to the being better understood, and consistent with my original purpose, to maintain a humble and unaffected style. However, it is proper to describe his person, birth, education, and the manner in which he became possessed of the sovereignty; and in order to do this it will be needful to enter into some antecedent details. Constantine who gave Byzantium his own name, had two brothers named Dalmatius and Constantius, the offspring of the same father, but by a different mother. The former of these had a son who bore his own name: the latter had two sons, Gallus and Julian. Now as on the death of Constantine who founded Constantinople, the soldiery had put the younger brother Dalmatius to death, the lives of his two orphan children were also endangered: but a disease which threatened to be fatal preserved Gallus from the violence of his father’s murderers; while the tenderness of Julian’s age—for he was only eight years old at the time—protected him. The emperor’s jealousy toward them having been gradually subdued, Gallus attended the schools at Ephesus in Ionia, in which country considerable hereditary possessions had been left them. And Julian, when he was grown up, pursued his studies at Constantinople, going constantly to the palace, where the schools then were, in plain clothes, under the superintendence of the eunuch Mardonius. In grammar Nicocles the Lacædemonian was his instructor; and Ecebolius the Sophist, who was at that time a Christian, taught him rhetoric: for the emperor had made the provision that he should have no pagan masters, lest he should be seduced to the pagan superstitions. For Julian was a Christian at the beginning. His proficiency in literature soon became so remarkable, that it began to be said that he was capable of governing the Roman empire; and this popular rumor becoming generally diffused, greatly disquieted the emperor’s mind, so that he had him removed from the Great City to Nicomedia, forbidding him at the same time to frequent the school of Libanius the Syrian Sophist. For Libanius having been driven at that time from Constantinople, by a combination of the educators there, had retired to Nicomedia, where he opened a school. Here he gave vent to his indignation against the educators in the treatise he composed regarding them. Julian was, however, interdicted from being his auditor, because Libanius was a pagan in religion: nevertheless he privately procured his orations, which he not only greatly admired, but also frequently and with close study perused. As he was becoming very expert in the rhetorical art, Maximus the philosopher arrived at Nicomedia (not the Byzantine, Euclid’s father) but the Ephesian, whom the emperor Valentinian afterwards caused to be executed as a practicer of magic. This took place later; at that time the only thing that attracted him to Nicomedia was the fame of Julian. From him [Julian] received, in addition to the principles of philosophy, his own religious sentiments, and a desire to possess the empire. When these things reached the ears of the emperor, Julian, between hope and fear, became very anxious to lull the suspicions which had been awakened, and therefore began to assume the external semblance of what he once was in reality. He was shaved to the very skin, and pretended to live a monastic life: and while in private he pursued his philosophical studies, in public he read the sacred writings of the Christians, and moreover was constituted a reader in the church of Nicomedia. Thus by these specious pretexts he succeeded in averting the emperor’s displeasure. Now he did all this from fear, but he by no means abandoned his hope; telling his friends that happier times were not far distant, when he should possess the imperial sway. In this condition of things his brother Gallus having been created Cæsar, on his way to the East came to Nicomedia to see him. But when not long after this Gallus was slain, Julian was suspected by the emperor; wherefore he directed that a guard should be set over him: he soon, however, found means of escaping from them, and fleeing from place to place he managed to be in safety. At last the Empress Eusebia having discovered his retreat, persuaded the emperor to leave him uninjured, and permit him to go to Athens to pursue his philosophical studies. From thence—to be brief—the emperor recalled him, and after created him Cæsar; in addition to this, uniting him in marriage to his own sister Helen, he sent him against the barbarians. For the barbarians whom the Emperor Constantius had engaged as auxiliary forces against the tyrant Magnentius, having proved of no use against the usurper, were beginning to pillage the Roman cities. And inasmuch as he was young he ordered him to undertake nothing without consulting the other military chiefs.

Now these generals having obtained such authority, became lax in their duties, and the barbarians in consequence strengthened themselves. Julian perceiving this allowed the commanders to give themselves up to luxury and revelling, but exerted himself to infuse courage into the soldiery, offering a stipulated reward to any one who should kill a barbarian. This measure effectually weakened the enemy and at the same time conciliated to himself the affections of the army. It is reported that as he was entering a town a civic crown which was suspended between two pillars fell upon his head, which it exactly fitted: upon which all present gave a shout of admiration, regarding it as a presage of his one day becoming emperor. Some have affirmed that Constantius sent him against the barbarians, in the hope that he would perish in an engagement with them. I know not whether those who say this speak the truth; but it certainly is improbable that he should have first contracted so near an alliance with him, and then have sought his destruction to the prejudice of his own interests. Let each form his own judgment of the matter. Julian’s complaint to the emperor of the inertness of his military officers procured for him a coadjutor in the command more in sympathy with his own ardor; and by their combined efforts such an assault was made upon the barbarians, that they sent him an embassy, assuring him that they had been ordered by the emperor’s letters, which were produced, to march into the Roman territories. But he cast the ambassador into prison, and vigorously attacking the forces of the enemy, totally defeated them; and having taken their king prisoner, he sent him alive to Constantius. Immediately after this brilliant success he was proclaimed emperor by the soldiers; and inasmuch as there was no imperial crown at hand, one of his guards took the chain which he wore about his own neck, and bound it around Julian’s head. Thus Julian became emperor: but whether he subsequently conducted himself as became a philosopher, let my readers determine. For he neither entered into communication with Constantius by an embassy, nor paid him the least homage in acknowledgment of past favors; but constituting other governors over the provinces, he conducted everything just as it pleased him. Moreover, he sought to bring Constantius into contempt, by reciting publicly in every city the letters which he had written to the barbarians; and thus having rendered the inhabitants of these places disaffected, they were easily induced to revolt from Constantius to himself. After this he no longer wore the mask of Christianity, but everywhere opened the pagan temples, offering sacrifice to the idols; and designating himself Pontifex Maximus, gave permission to such as would to celebrate their superstitious festivals. In this manner he managed to excite a civil war against Constantius; and thus, as far as he was concerned, he would have involved the empire in all the disastrous consequences of a war. For this philosopher’s aim could not have been attained without much bloodshed: but God, in the sovereignty of his own councils, checked the fury of these antagonists without detriment to the state, by the removal of one of them. For when Julian arrived among the Thracians, intelligence was brought him that Constantius was dead; and thus was the Roman empire at that time preserved from the intestine strife that threatened it. Julian forthwith made his public entry into Constantinople; and considered with himself how he might best conciliate the masses and secure popular favor. Accordingly he had recourse to the following measures: he knew that Constantius had rendered himself odious to the defenders of the homoousian faith by having driven them from the churches, and proscribed their bishops. He was also aware that the pagans were extremely discontented because of the prohibitions which prevented their sacrificing to their gods, and were very anxious to get their temples opened, with liberty to exercise their idolatrous rites. In fact, he was sensible that while both these classes secretly entertained rancorous feelings against his predecessor, the people in general were exceedingly exasperated by the violence of the eunuchs, and especially by the rapacity of Eusebius the chief officer of the imperial bed-chamber. Under these circumstances he treated all parties with subtlety: with some he dissimulated; others he attached to himself by conferring obligations upon them, for he was fond of affecting beneficence; but to all in common he manifested his own predilection for the idolatry of the heathens. And first in order to brand the memory of Constantius by making him appear to have been cruel toward his subjects, he recalled the exiled bishops, and restored to them their confiscated estates. He next commanded the suitable agents to see that the pagan temples should be opened without delay. Then he directed that such individuals as had been victims of the extortionate conduct of the eunuchs, should receive back the property of which they had been plundered. Eusebius, the chief of the imperial bed-chamber, he punished with death, not only on account of the injuries he had inflicted on others, but because he was assured that it was through his machinations that his brother Gallus had been killed. The body of Constantius he honored with an imperial funeral, but expelled the eunuchs, barbers, and cooks from the palace. The eunuchs he dispensed with, because they were unnecessary in consequence of his wife’s decease, as he had resolved not to marry again; the cooks, because he maintained a very simple table; and the barbers, because he said one was sufficient for a great many persons. These he dismissed for the reasons given; he also reduced the majority of the secretaries to their former condition, and appointed for those who were retained a salary befitting their office. The mode of public traveling and conveyance of necessaries he also reformed, abolishing the use of mules, oxen, and asses for this purpose, and permitting horses only to be so employed. These various retrenchments were highly lauded by some few, but strongly reprobated by all others, as tending to bring the imperial dignity into contempt, by stripping it of those appendages of pomp and magnificence which exercise so powerful an influence over the minds of the vulgar. Not only so, but at night he was accustomed to sit up composing orations which he afterwards delivered in the senate: though in fact he was the first and only emperor since the time of Julius Cæsar who made speeches in that assembly. To those who were eminent for literary attainments, he extended the most flattering patronage, and especially to those who were professional philosophers; in consequence of which, abundance of pretenders to learning of this sort resorted to the palace from all quarters, wearing their palliums, being more conspicuous for their costume than their erudition. These impostors, who invariably adopted the religious sentiments of their prince, were all inimical to the welfare of the Christians; and Julian himself, whose excessive vanity prompted him to deride all his predecessors in a book which he wrote entitled The Cæsars, was led by the same haughty disposition to compose treatises against the Christians also. The expulsion of the cooks and barbers is in a manner becoming a philosopher indeed, but not an emperor; but ridiculing and caricaturing of others is neither the part of the philosopher nor that of the emperor: for such personages ought to be superior to the influence of jealousy and detraction. An emperor may be a philosopher in all that regards moderation and self-control; but should a philosopher attempt to imitate what might become an emperor, he would frequently depart from his own principles. We have thus briefly spoken of the Emperor Julian, tracing his extraction, education, temper of mind, and the way in which he became invested with the imperial power.

Of the Sedition excited at Alexandria, and how George was slain.

It is now proper to mention what took place in the churches under the same [emperor]. A great disturbance occurred at Alexandria in consequence of the following circumstance. There was a place in that city which had long been abandoned to neglect and filth, wherein the pagans had formerly celebrated their mysteries, and sacrificed human beings to Mithra. This being empty and otherwise useless, Constantius had granted to the church of the Alexandrians; and George wishing to erect a church on the site of it, gave directions that the place should be cleansed. In the process of clearing it, an adytum of vast depth was discovered which unveiled the nature of their heathenish rites: for there were found there the skulls of many persons of all ages, who were said to have been immolated for the purpose of divination by the inspection of entrails, when the pagans performed these and such like magic arts whereby they enchanted the souls of men. The Christians on discovering these abominations in the adytum of the Mithreum, went forth eagerly to expose them to the view and execration of all; and therefore carried the skulls throughout the city, in a kind of triumphal procession, for the inspection of the people. When the pagans of Alexandria beheld this, unable to bear the insulting character of the act, they became so exasperated, that they assailed the Christians with whatever weapon chanced to come to hand, in their fury destroying numbers of them in a variety of ways: some they killed with the sword, others with clubs and stones; some they strangled with ropes, others they crucified, purposely inflicting this last kind of death in contempt of the cross of Christ: most of them they wounded; and as it generally happens in such a case, neither friends nor relatives were spared, but friends, brothers, parents, and children imbrued their hands in each other’s blood. Wherefore the Christians ceased from cleansing the Mithreum: the pagans meanwhile having dragged George out of the church, fastened him to a camel, and when they had torn him to pieces, they burnt him together with the camel.

The Emperor Indignant at the Murder of George, rebukes the Alexandrians by Letter.

The emperor being highly indignant at the assassination of George, wrote to the citizens of Alexandria, rebuking their violence in the strongest terms. A report was circulated that those who detested him because of Athanasius, perpetrated this outrage upon George: but as for me I think it is undoubtedly true that such as cherish hostile feelings against particular individuals are often found identified with popular commotions; yet the emperor’s letter evidently attaches the blame to the populace, rather than to any among the Christians. George, however, was at that time, and had for some time previously been, exceedingly obnoxious to all classes, which is sufficient to account for the burning indignation of the multitude against him. That the emperor charges the people with the crime may be seen from his letter which was expressed in the following terms.

Emperor Cæsar Julian Maximus Augustus to the Citizens of Alexandria.

Even if you have neither respect for Alexander the founder of your city, nor, what is more, for that great and most holy god Serapis; yet how is it you have made no account not only of the universal claims of humanity and social order, but also of what is due to us, to whom all the gods, and especially the mighty Serapis, have assigned the empire of the world, for whose cognizance therefore it became you to reserve all matters of public wrong? But perhaps the impulse of rage and indignation, which taking possession of the mind, too often stimulate it to the most atrocious acts, has led you astray. It seems, however, that when your fury had in some degree moderated, you aggravated your culpability by adding a most heinous offense to that which had been committed under the excitement of the moment: nor were you, although but the common people, ashamed to perpetrate those very acts on account of which you justly detested them. By Serapis I conjure you tell me, for what unjust deed were ye so indignant at George? You will perhaps answer, it was because he exasperated Constantius of blessed memory against you: because he introduced an army into the sacred city: because in consequence the governor of Egypt despoiled the god’s most holy temple of its images, votive offerings, and such other consecrated apparatus as it contained; who, when ye could not endure the sight of such a foul desecration, but attempted to defend the god from sacrilegious hands, or rather to hinder the pillage of what had been consecrated to his service, in contravention of all justice, law, and piety, dared to send armed bands against you. This he probably did from his dreading George more than Constantius: but he would have consulted better for his own safety had he not been guilty of this tyrannical conduct, but persevered in his former moderation toward you. Being on all these accounts enraged against George as the adversary of the gods, you have again polluted your sacred city; whereas you ought to have impeached him before the judges. For had you thus acted, neither murder, nor any other unlawful deed would have been committed; but justice being equitably dispensed, would have preserved you innocent of these disgraceful excesses, while it brought on him the punishment due to his impious crimes. Thus too, in short, the insolence of those would have been curbed who contemn the gods, and respect neither cities of such magnitude, nor so flourishing a population; but make the barbarities they practice against them the prelude, as it were, of their exercise of power. Compare therefore this my present letter, with that which I wrote you some time since. With what high commendation did I then greet you! But now, by the immortal gods, with an equal disposition to praise you I am unable to do so on account of your heinous misdoings. The people have had the audacity to tear a man in pieces, like dogs; nor have they been subsequently ashamed of this inhuman procedure, nor desirous of purifying their hands from such pollution, that they may stretch them forth in the presence of the gods undefiled by blood. You will no doubt be ready to say that George justly merited this chastisement; and we might be disposed perhaps to admit that he deserved still more acute tortures. Should you farther affirm that on your account he was worthy of these sufferings, even this might also be granted. But should you add that it became you to inflict the vengeance due to his offenses, that I could by no means acquiesce in; for you have laws to which it is the duty of every one of you to be subject, and to evince your respect for both publicly, as well as in private. If any individual should transgress those wise and salutary regulations which were originally constituted for the well-being of the community, does that absolve the rest from obedience to them? It is fortunate for you, ye Alexandrians, that such an atrocity has been perpetrated in our reign, who, by reason of our reverence for the gods, and on account of our grandfather and uncle whose name we bear, and who governed Egypt and your city, still retain a fraternal affection for you. Assuredly that power which will not suffer itself to be disrespected, and such a government as is possessed of a vigorous and healthy constitution, could not connive at such unbridled licentiousness in its subjects, without unsparingly purging out the dangerous distemper by the application of remedies sufficiently potent. We shall however in your case, for the reasons already assigned, restrict ourselves to the more mild and gentle medicine of remonstrance and exhortation; to the which mode of treatment we are persuaded ye will the more readily submit, inasmuch as we understand ye are Greeks by original descent, and also still preserve in your memory and character the traces of the glory of your ancestors. Let this be published to our citizens of Alexandria.

Such was the emperor’s letter.

On the Death of George, Athanasius returns to Alexandria, and takes Possession of his See.

Not long after this, Athanasius returning from his exile, was received with great joy by the people of Alexandria. They expelled at that time the Arians from the churches, and restored Athanasius to the possession of them. The Arians meanwhile assembling themselves in low and obscure buildings, ordained Lucius to supply the place of George. Such was the state of things at that time at Alexandria.

Of Lucifer and Eusebius.

About the same time Lucifer and Eusebius were by an imperial order, recalled from banishment out of the Upper Thebaïs; the former being bishop of Carala, a city of Sardinia, the latter of Vercellæ, a city of the Ligurians in Italy, as I have said previously. These two prelates therefore consulted together on the most effectual means of preventing the neglected canons and discipline of the church from being in future violated and despised.

Lucifer goes to Antioch and consecrates Paulinus.

It was decided therefore that Lucifer should go to Antioch in Syria, and Eusebius to Alexandria, that by assembling a Synod in conjunction with Athanasius, they might confirm the doctrines of the church. Lucifer sent a deacon as his representative, by whom he pledged himself to assent to whatever the Synod might decree; but he himself went to Antioch, where he found the church in great disorder, the people not being agreed among themselves. For not only did the Arian heresy, which had been introduced by Euzoïus, divide the church, but, as we before said, the followers of Meletius also, from attachment to their teacher, separated themselves from those with whom they agreed in sentiment. When therefore Lucifer had constituted Paulinus their bishop, he again departed.

By the Co-operation of Eusebius and Athanasius a Synod is held at Alexandria, wherein the Trinity is declared to be Consubstantial.

As soon as Eusebius reached Alexandria, he in concert with Athanasius immediately convoked a Synod. The bishops assembled on this occasion out of various cities, took into consideration many subjects of the utmost importance. They asserted the divinity of the Holy Spirit and comprehended him in the consubstantial Trinity: they also declared that the Word in being made man, assumed not only flesh, but also a soul, in accordance with the views of the early ecclesiastics. For they did not introduce any new doctrine of their own devising into the church, but contented themselves with recording their sanction of those points which ecclesiastical tradition has insisted on from the beginning, and wise Christians have demonstratively taught. Such sentiments the ancient fathers have uniformly maintained in all their controversial writings. Irenæus, Clemens, Apollinaris of Hierapolis, and Serapion who presided over the church at Antioch, assure us in their several works, that it was the generally received opinion that Christ in his incarnation was endowed with a soul. Moreover, the Synod convened on account of Beryllus bishop of Philadelphia in Arabia, recognized the same doctrine in their letter to that prelate. Origen also everywhere in his extant works accepts that the Incarnate God took on himself a human soul. But he more particularly explains this mystery in the ninth volume of his Comments upon Genesis, where he shows that Adam and Eve were types of Christ and the church. That holy man Pamphilus, and Eusebius who was surnamed after him, are trustworthy witnesses on this subject: both these witnesses in their joint life of Origen, and admirable defense of him in answer to such as were prejudiced against him, prove that he was not the first who made this declaration, but that in doing so he was the mere expositor of the mystical tradition of the church. Those who assisted at the Alexandrian Council examined also with great minuteness the question concerning Essence or Substance, and Existence, Subsistence, or Personality. For Hosius, bishop of Cordova in Spain, who has been before referred to as having been sent by the Emperor Constantine to allay the excitement which Arius had caused, originated the controversy about these terms in his earnestness to overthrow the dogma of Sabellius the Libyan. In the council of Nicæa, however, which was held soon after, this dispute was not agitated; but in consequence of the contention about it which subsequently arose, the matter was freely discussed at Alexandria. It was there determined that such expressions as ousia and hypostasis ought not to be used in reference to God: for they argued that the word ousia is nowhere employed in the sacred Scriptures; and that the apostle has misapplied the term hypostasis owing to an inevitable necessity arising from the nature of the doctrine. They nevertheless decided that in refutation of the Sabellian error these terms were admissible, in default of more appropriate language, lest it should be supposed that one thing was indicated by a threefold designation; whereas we ought rather to believe that each of those named in the Trinity is God in his own proper person. Such were the decisions of this Synod. If we may express our own judgment concerning substance and personality, it appears to us that the Greek philosophers have given us various definitions of ousia, but have not taken the slightest notice of hypostasis. Irenæus the grammarian indeed, in his Alphabetical [Lexicon entitled] Atticistes, even declares it to be a barbarous term; for it is not to be found in any of the ancients, except occasionally in a sense quite different from that which is attached to it in the present day. Thus Sophocles, in his tragedy entitled Phœnix, uses it to signify treachery: in Menander it implies sauces; as if one should call the sediment at the bottom of a hogshead of wine hypostasis. But although the ancient philosophical writers scarcely noticed this word, the more modern ones have frequently used it instead of ousia. This term, as we before observed, has been variously defined: but can that which is capable of being circumscribed by a definition be applicable to God who is incomprehensible? Evagrius in his Monachicus, cautions us against rash and inconsiderate language in reference to God; forbidding all attempt to define the divinity, inasmuch as it is wholly simple in its nature: for, says he, definition belongs only to things which are compound. The same author further adds, Every proposition has either a genus which is predicted, or a species, or a differentia, or a proprium, or an accidens, or that which is compounded of these: but none of these can be supposed to exist in the sacred Trinity. Let then what is inexplicable be adored in silence. Such is the reasoning of Evagrius, of whom we shall again speak hereafter. We have indeed made a digression here, but such as will tend to illustrate the subject under consideration.

Quotations from Athanasius’ ‘Defense of his Flight.’

On this occasion Athanasius read to those present the Defense which he had composed some time before in justification of his flight; a few passages from which it may be of service to introduce here, leaving the entire production, which is too long to be transcribed, to be sought out and perused by the studious.

See the daring enormities of the impious persons! Such are their proceedings: and yet instead of blushing at their former clumsy intrigues against us, they even now abuse us for having effected our escape out of their murderous hands; nay, are grievously vexed that they were unable to put us out of the way altogether. In short, they overlook the fact that while they pretend to upbraid us with cowardice, they are really criminating themselves: for if it be disgraceful to flee, it is still more so to pursue, since the one is only endeavoring to avoid being murdered, while the other is seeking to commit the deed. But Scripture itself directs us to flee: and those who persecute unto death, in attempting to violate the law, constrain us to have recourse to flight. They should rather, therefore, be ashamed of their persecution, than reproach us for having sought to escape from it: let them cease to harass, and those who flee will also cease. Nevertheless they set no bounds to their malevolence, using every art to entrap us, in the consciousness that the flight of the persecuted is the strongest condemnation of the persecutor: for no one runs away from a mild and beneficent person, but from one who is of a barbarous and cruel disposition. Hence it was that Every one that was discontented and in debt fled from Saul to David. Wherefore these [foes of ours] in like manner desire to kill such as conceal themselves, that no evidence may exist to convict them of their wickedness. But in this also these misguided men most egregiously deceive themselves: for the more obvious the effort to elude them, the more manifestly will their deliberate slaughters and exiles be exposed. If they act the part of assassins, the voice of the blood which is shed will cry against them the louder: and if they condemn to banishment, they will raise so everywhere living monuments of their own injustice and oppression. Surely unless their intellects were unsound they would perceive the dilemma in which their own counsels entangle them. But since they have lost sound judgment, their folly is exposed when they vanish, and when they seek to stay they do not see their wickedness. But if they reproach those who succeed in secreting themselves from the malice of their blood-thirsty adversaries, and revile such as flee from their persecutors, what will they say to Jacob’s retreat from the rage of his brother Esau, and to Moses retiring into the land of Midian for fear of Pharaoh? And what apology will these babblers make for David’s flight from Saul, when he sent messengers from his own house to dispatch him; and for his concealment in a cave, after contriving to extricate himself from the treacherous designs of Abimelech, by feigning madness? What will these reckless asserters of whatever suits their purpose answer, when they are reminded of the great prophet Elijah, who by calling upon God had recalled the dead to life, hiding himself from dread of Ahab, and fleeing on account of Jezebel’s menaces? At which time the sons of the prophets also, being sought for in order to be slain, withdrew, and were concealed in caves by Obadiah; or are they unacquainted with these instances because of their antiquity? Have they forgotten also what is recorded in the Gospel, that the disciples retreated and hid themselves for fear of the Jews? Paul, when sought for by the governor [of Damascus] was let down from the wall in a basket, and thus escaped the hands of him that sought him. Since then Scripture relates these circumstances concerning the saints, what excuse can they fabricate for their temerity? If they charge us with cowardice, it is in utter insensibility to the condemnation it pronounces on themselves. If they asperse these holy men by asserting that they acted contrary to the will of God, they demonstrate their ignorance of Scripture. For it was commanded in the Law that cities of refuge should be constituted, by which provision was made that such as were pursued in order to be put to death might have means afforded of preserving themselves. Again in the consummation of the ages, when the Word of the Father, who had before spoken by Moses, came himself to the earth, he gave this express injunction, When they persecute you in one city, flee unto another: and shortly after, When therefore ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (let whosoever reads, understand), then let those in Judea flee unto the mountains: let him that is on the house-top not come down to take anything out of his house; nor him that is in the fields return to take his clothes. The saints therefore knowing these precepts, had such a sort of training for their action: for what the Lord then commanded, he had before his coming in the flesh already spoken of by his servants. And this is a universal rule for man, leading to perfection, to practice whatever God has enjoined. On this account the Word himself, becoming incarnate for our sake, deigned to conceal himself when he was sought for; and being again persecuted, condescended to withdraw to avoid the conspiracy against him. For thus it became him, by hungering and thirsting and suffering other afflictions, to demonstrate that he was indeed made man. For at the very commencement, as soon as he was born, he gave this direction by an angel to Joseph: Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, for Herod will seek the infant’s life. And after Herod’s death, it appears that for fear of his son Archelaus he retired to Nazareth. Subsequently, when he gave unquestionable evidence of his Divine character by healing the withered hand, when the Pharisees took council how they might destroy him, Jesus knowing their wickedness withdrew himself thence. Moreover, when he had raised Lazarus from the dead, and they had become still more intent on destroying him, [we are told that] Jesus walked no more openly among the Jews, but retired into a region on the borders of the desert. Again when the Saviour said, Before Abraham was, I am; and the Jews took up stones to cast at him; Jesus concealed himself, and going through the midst of them out of the Temple, went away thence, and so escaped. Since then they see these things, or rather understand them, (for they will not see,) are they not deserving of being burnt with fire, according to what is written, for acting and speaking so plainly contrary to all that the Lord did and taught? Finally, when John had suffered martyrdom, and his disciples had buried his body, Jesus having heard what was done, departed thence by ship into a desert place apart. Now the Lord did these things and so taught. But would that these men of whom I speak, had the modesty to confine their rashness to men only, without daring to be guilty of such madness as to accuse the Saviour himself of cowardice; especially after having already uttered blasphemies against him. But even if they be insane they will not be tolerated and their ignorance of the gospels be detected by every one. The cause for retreat and flight under such circumstances as these is reasonable and valid, of which the evangelists have afforded us precedents in the conduct of our Saviour himself: from which it may be inferred that the saints have always been justly influenced by the same principle, since whatever is recorded of him as man, is applicable to mankind in general. For he took on himself our nature, and exhibited in himself the affections of our infirmity, which John has thus indicated: Then they sought to take him; but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. Moreover, before that hour came, he himself said to his mother, Mine hour is not yet come; and to those who were denominated his brethren, My time is not yet come. Again when the time had arrived, he said to his disciples, Sleep on now, and take your rest: for behold the hour is at hand, and the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. … So that he neither permitted himself to be apprehended before the time came; nor when the time was come did he conceal himself, but voluntarily gave himself up to those who had conspired against him. … Thus also the blessed martyrs have guarded themselves in times of persecution: being persecuted they fled, and kept themselves concealed; but being discovered they suffered martyrdom.

Such is the reasoning of Athanasius in his apology for his own flight.

After the Synod of Alexandria, Eusebius proceeding to Antioch finds the Catholics at Variance on Account of Paulinus’ Consecration; and having exerted himself in vain to reconcile them, he departs; Indignation of Lucifer and Origin of a Sect called after him.

As soon as the council of Alexandria was dissolved, Eusebius bishop of Vercellæ went from Alexandria to Antioch; there finding that Paulinus had been ordained by Lucifer, and that the people were disagreeing among themselves,—for the partisans of Meletius held their assemblies apart,—he was exceedingly grieved at the want of harmony concerning this election, and in his own mind disapproved of what had taken place. His respect for Lucifer however induced him to be silent about it, and on his departure he engaged that all things should be set right by a council of bishops. Subsequently he labored with great earnestness to unite the dissentients, but did not succeed. Meanwhile Meletius returned from exile; and finding his followers holding their assemblies apart from the others, he set himself at their head. But Euzoïus, the chief of the Arian heresy, had possession of the churches: Paulinus only retained a small church within the city, from which Euzoïus had not ejected him, on account of his personal respect for him. But Meletius assembled his adherents without the gates of the city. It was under these circumstances that Eusebius left Antioch at that time. When Lucifer understood that his ordination of Paul was not approved of by Eusebius, regarding it as an insult, he became highly incensed; and not only separated himself from communion with him, but also began, in a contentious spirit, to condemn what had been determined by the Synod. These things occurring at a season of grievous disorder, alienated many from the church; for many attached themselves to Lucifer, and thus a distinct sect arose under the name of Luciferians. Nevertheless Lucifer was unable to give full expression to his anger, inasmuch as he had pledged himself by his deacon to assent to whatever should be decided on by the Synod. Wherefore he adhered to the tenets of the church, and returned to Sardinia to his own see: but such as at first identified themselves with his quarrel, still continue separate from the church. Eusebius, on the other hand, traveling throughout the Eastern provinces like a good physician, completely restored those who were weak in the faith, instructing and establishing them in ecclesiastical principles. After this he passed over to Illyricum, and thence to Italy, where he pursued a similar course.

Of Hilary Bishop of Poictiers.

There, however, Hilary bishop of Poictiers (a city of Aquitania Secunda) had anticipated him, having previously confirmed the bishops of Italy and Gaul in the doctrines of the orthodox faith; for he first had returned from exile to these countries. Both therefore nobly combined their energies in defense of the faith: and Hilary being a very eloquent man, maintained with great power the doctrine of the homoousion in books which he wrote in Latin. In these he gave sufficient support [to the doctrine] and unanswerably confuted the Arian tenets. These things took place shortly after the recall of those who had been banished. But it must be observed, that at the same time Macedonius, Eleusius, Eustathius, and Sophronius, with all their partisans, who had but the one common designation Macedonians, held frequent Synods in various places. Having called together those of Seleucia who embraced their views, they anathematized the bishops of the other party, that is the Acacian: and rejecting the creed of Ariminum, they confirmed that which had been read at Seleucia. This, as I have stated in the preceding book, was the same as had been before promulgated at Antioch. When they were asked by some one, Why have ye, who are called Macedonians hitherto, retained communion with the Acacians, as though ye agreed in opinion, if ye really hold different sentiments? they replied thus, through Sophronius, bishop of Pompeiopolis, a city of Paphlagonia: Those in the West, said he, were infected with the homoousian error as with a disease: Aëtius in the East adulterated the purity of the faith by introducing the assertion of a dissimilitude of substance. Now both of these dogmas are illegitimate; for the former rashly blended into one the distinct persons of the Father and the Son, binding them together by that cord of iniquity the term homoousion; while Aëtius wholly separated that affinity of nature of the Son to the Father, by the expression anomoion, unlike as to substance or essence. Since then both these opinions run into the very opposite extremes, the middle course between them appeared to us to be more consistent with truth and piety: we accordingly assert that the Son is like the Father as to subsistence.

Such was the answer the Macedonians made by Sophronius to that question, as Sabinus assures us in his Collection of the Synodical Acts. But in decrying Aëtius as the author of the Anomoion doctrine, and not Acacius, they flagrantly disguise the truth, in order to seem as far removed from the Arians on the one side, as from the Homoousians on the other: for their own words convict them of having separated from them both, merely from the love of innovation. With these remarks we close our notice of these persons.

The Emperor Julian extracts Money from the Christians.

Although at the beginning of his reign the Emperor Julian conducted himself mildly toward all men; but as he went on he did not continue to show the same equanimity. He most readily indeed acceded to the requests of the Christians, when they tended in any way to cast odium on the memory of Constantius; but when this inducement did not exist, he made no effort to conceal the rancorous feelings which he entertained towards Christians in general. Accordingly he soon ordered that the church of the Novatians at Cyzicus, which Euzoïus had totally demolished, should be rebuilt, imposing a very heavy penalty upon Eleusius bishop of that city, if he failed to complete that structure at his own expense within the space of two months. Moreover, he favored the pagan superstitions with the whole weight of his authority: and the temples of the heathen were opened, as we have before stated; but he himself also publicly offered sacrifices to Fortune, goddess of Constantinople, in the cathedral, where her image was erected.

Of Maris Bishop of Chalcedon; Julian forbids Christians from entering Literary Pursuits.

About this time, Maris bishop of Chalcedon in Bithynia being led by the hand into the emperor’s presence,—for on account of extreme old age he had a disease in his eyes termed cataract,—severely rebuked his impiety, apostasy, and atheism. Julian answered his reproaches by loading him with contumelious epithets: and he defended himself by words calling him blind. You blind old fool, said he, this Galilæan God of yours will never cure you. For he was accustomed to term Christ the Galilæan, and Christians Galilæans. Maris with still greater boldness replied, I thank God for bereaving me of my sight, that I might not behold the face of one who has fallen into such awful impiety. The emperor suffered this to pass without farther notice at that time; but he afterwards had his revenge. Observing that those who suffered martyrdom under the reign of Diocletian were greatly honored by the Christians, and knowing that many among them were eagerly desirous of becoming martyrs, he determined to wreak his vengeance upon them in some other way. Abstaining therefore from the excessive cruelties which had been practiced under Diocletian; he did not however altogether abstain from persecution (for any measures adopted to disquiet and molest I regard as persecution). This then was the plan he pursued: he enacted a law by which Christians were excluded from the cultivation of literature; lest, said he, when they have sharpened their tongue, they should be able the more readily to meet the arguments of the heathen.

Of the Outrages committed by the Pagans against the Christians.

He moreover interdicted such as would not abjure Christianity, and offer sacrifice to idols, from holding any office at court: nor would he allow Christians to be governors of provinces; for, said he, their law forbids them to use the sword against offenders worthy of capital punishment. He also induced many to sacrifice, partly by flatteries, and partly by gifts. Immediately, as if tried in a furnace, it at once became evident to all, who were the real Christians, and who were merely nominal ones. Such as were Christians in integrity of heart, very readily resigned their commission, choosing to endure anything rather than deny Christ. Of this number were Jovian, Valentinian, and Valens, each of whom afterwards became emperor. But others of unsound principles, who preferred the riches and honor of this world to the true felicity, sacrificed without hesitation. Of these was Ecebolius, a sophist of Constantinople who, accommodating himself to the dispositions of the emperors, pretended in the reign of Constantius to be an ardent Christian; while in Julian’s time he appeared an equally vigorous pagan: and after Julian’s death, he again made a profession of Christianity. For he prostrated himself before the church doors, and called out, Trample on me, for I am as salt that has lost its savor. Of so fickle and inconstant a character was this person, throughout the whole period of his history. About this time the emperor wishing to make reprisals on the Persians, for the frequent incursions they had made on the Roman territories in the reign of Constantius, marched with great expedition through Asia into the East. But as he well knew what a train of calamities attend a war, and what immense resources are needful to carry it on successfully and that without it cannot be carried on, he craftily devised a plan for collecting money by extorting it from the Christians. On all those who refused to sacrifice he imposed a heavy fine, which was exacted with great rigor from such as were true Christians, every one being compelled to pay in proportion to what he possessed. By these unjust means the emperor soon amassed immense wealth; for this law was put in execution, both where Julian was personally present, and where he was not. The pagans at the same time assailed the Christians; and there was a great concourse of those who styled themselves philosophers. They then proceeded to institute certain abominable mysteries; and sacrificing pure children both male and female, they inspected their entrails, and even tasted their flesh. These infamous rites were practiced in other cities, but more particularly at Athens and Alexandria; in which latter place, a calumnious accusation was made against Athanasius the bishop, the emperor being assured that he was intent on desolating not that city only, but all Egypt, and that nothing but his expulsion out of the country could save it. The governor of Alexandria was therefore instructed by an imperial edict to apprehend him.

Flight of Athanasius.

But he fled again, saying to his intimates, Let us retire for a little while, friends; it is but a small cloud which will soon pass away. He then immediately embarked, and crossing the Nile, hastened with all speed into Egypt, closely pursued by those who sought to take him. When he understood that his pursuers were not far distant, his attendants were urging him to retreat once more into the desert, but he had recourse to an artifice and thus effected his escape. He persuaded those who accompanied him to turn back and meet his adversaries, which they did immediately; and on approaching them they were simply asked where they had seen Athanasius: to which they replied that he was not a great way off, and, that if they hastened they would soon overtake him. Being thus deluded, they started afresh in pursuit with quickened speed, but to no purpose; and Athanasius making good his retreat, returned secretly to Alexandria; and there he remained concealed until the persecution was at an end. Such were the perils which succeeded one another in the career of the bishop of Alexandria, these last from the heathen coming after that to which he was before subjected from Christians. In addition to these things, the governors of the provinces taking advantage of the emperor’s superstition to feed their own cupidity, committed more grievous outrages on the Christians than their sovereign had given them a warrant for; sometimes exacting larger sums of money than they ought to have done, and at others inflicting on them corporal punishments. The emperor learning of these excesses, connived at them; and when the sufferers appealed to him against their oppressors, he tauntingly said, It is your duty to bear these afflictions patiently; for this is the command of your God.

Martyrs at Merum in Phrygia, under Julian.

Amachius governor of Phrygia ordered that the temple at Merum, a city of that province, should be opened, and cleared of the filth which had accumulated there by lapse of time: also that the statues it contained should be polished fresh. This in being put into operation grieved the Christians very much. Now a certain Macedonius and Theodulus and Tatian, unable to endure the indignity thus put upon their religion, and impelled by a fervent zeal for virtue, rushed by night into the temple, and broke the images in pieces. The governor infuriated at what had been done, would have put to death many in that city who were altogether innocent, when the authors of the deed voluntarily surrendered themselves, choosing rather to die themselves in defense of the truth, than to see others put to death in their stead. The governor seized and ordered them to expiate the crime they had committed by sacrificing: on their refusal to do this, their judge menaced them with tortures; but they despising his threats, being endowed with great courage, declared their readiness to undergo any sufferings, rather than pollute themselves by sacrificing. After subjecting them to all possible tortures he at last laid them on gridirons under which a fire was placed, and thus slew them. But even in this last extremity they gave the most heroic proofs of fortitude, addressing the ruthless governor thus: If you wish to eat broiled flesh, Amachius, turn us on the other side also, lest we should appear but half cooked to your taste. Thus these martyrs ended their life.

Of the Literary Labors of the Two Apollinares and the Emperor’s Prohibition of Christians being instructed in Greek Literature.

The imperial law which forbade Christians to study Greek literature, rendered the two Apollinares of whom we have above spoken, much more distinguished than before. For both being skilled in polite learning, the father as a grammarian, and the son as a rhetorician, they made themselves serviceable to the Christians at this crisis. For the former, as a grammarian, composed a grammar consistent with the Christian faith: he also translated the Books of Moses into heroic verse; and paraphrased all the historical books of the Old Testament, putting them partly into dactylic measure, and partly reducing them to the form of dramatic tragedy. He purposely employed all kinds of verse, that no form of expression peculiar to the Greek language might be unknown or unheard of amongst Christians. The younger Apollinaris, who was well trained in eloquence, expounded the gospels and apostolic doctrines in the way of dialogue, as Plato among the Greeks had done. Thus showing themselves useful to the Christian cause they overcame the subtlety of the emperor through their own labors. But Divine Providence was more potent than either their labors, or the craft of the emperor: for not long afterwards, in the manner we shall hereafter explain, the law became wholly inoperative; and the works of these men are now of no greater importance, than if they had never been written. But perhaps some one will vigorously reply saying: On what grounds do you affirm that both these things were effected by the providence of God? That the emperor’s sudden death was very advantageous to Christianity is indeed evident: but surely the rejection of the Christian compositions of the two Apollinares, and the Christians beginning afresh to imbue their minds with the philosophy of the heathens, this works out no benefit to Christianity, for pagan philosophy teaches Polytheism, and is injurious to the promotion of true religion. This objection I shall meet with such considerations as at present occur to me. Greek literature certainly was never recognized either by Christ or his Apostles as divinely inspired, nor on the other hand was it wholly rejected as pernicious. And this they did, I conceive, not inconsiderately. For there were many philosophers among the Greeks who were not far from the knowledge of God; and in fact these being disciplined by logical science, strenuously opposed the Epicureans and other contentious Sophists who denied Divine Providence, confuting their ignorance. And for these reasons they have become useful to all lovers of real piety: nevertheless they themselves were not acquainted with the Head of true religion, being ignorant of the mystery of Christ which had been hidden from generations and ages. And that this was so, the Apostle in his epistle to the Romans thus declares: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has shown it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, that they may be without excuse; because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God. From these words it appears that they had the knowledge of truth, which God had manifested to them; but were guilty on this account, that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God. Wherefore by not forbidding the study of the learned works of the Greeks, they left it to the discretion of those who wished to do so. This is our first argument in defense of the position we took: another may be thus put: The divinely inspired Scriptures undoubtedly inculcate doctrines that are both admirable in themselves, and heavenly in their character: they also eminently tend to produce piety and integrity of life in those who are guided by their precepts, pointing out a walk of faith which is highly approved of God. But they do not instruct us in the art of reasoning, by means of which we may be enabled successfully to resist those who oppose the truth. Besides adversaries are most easily foiled, when we can use their own weapons against them. But this power was not supplied to Christians by the writings of the Apollinares. Julian had this in mind when he by law prohibited Christians from being educated in Greek literature, for he knew very well that the fables it contains would expose the whole pagan system, of which he had become the champion to ridicule and contempt. Even Socrates, the most celebrated of their philosophers, despised these absurdities, and was condemned on account of it, as if he had attempted to violate the sanctity of their deities. Moreover, both Christ and his Apostle enjoin us to become discriminating money-changers, so that we might prove all things, and hold fast that which is good: directing us also to beware lest any one should spoil us through philosophy and vain deceit. But this we cannot do, unless we possess ourselves of the weapons of our adversaries: taking care that in making this acquisition we do not adopt their sentiments, but testing them, reject the evil, but retain all that is good and true: for good wherever it is found, is a property of truth. Should any one imagine that in making these assertions we wrest the Scriptures from their legitimate construction, let it be remembered that the Apostle not only does not forbid our being instructed in Greek learning, but that he himself seems by no means to have neglected it, inasmuch as he knows many of the sayings of the Greeks. Whence did he get the saying, The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, slow-bellies, but from a perusal of The Oracles of Epimenides, the Cretan Initiator? Or how would he have known this, For we are also his offspring, had he not been acquainted with The Phenomena of Aratus the astronomer? Again this sentence, Evil communications corrupt good manners, is a sufficient proof that he was conversant with the tragedies of Euripides. But what need is there of enlarging on this point? It is well known that in ancient times the doctors of the church by unhindered usage were accustomed to exercise themselves in the learning of the Greeks, until they had reached an advanced age: this they did with a view to improve themselves in eloquence and to strengthen and polish their mind, and at the same time to enable them to refute the errors of the heathen. Let these remarks be sufficient in the subject suggested by the two Apollinares.

The Emperor preparing an Expedition against the Persians, arrives at Antioch, and being ridiculed by the Inhabitants, he retorts on them by a Satirical Publication entitled ‘Misopogon, or the Beard-Hater.’

The emperor having extorted immense sums of money from the Christians, hastening his expedition against the Persians, arrived at Antioch in Syria. There, desiring to show the citizens how much he affected glory, he unduly depressed the prices of commodities; neither taking into account the circumstances of that time, nor reflecting how much the presence of an army inconveniences the population of the provinces, and of necessity lessens the supply of provisions to the cities. The merchants and retailers therefore left off trading, being unable to sustain the losses which the imperial edict entailed upon them; consequently the necessaries failed. The Antiochians not bearing the insult,—for they are a people naturally impatient with insult,—instantly broke forth into invectives against Julian; caricaturing his beard also, which was a very long one, and saying that it ought to be cut off and manufactured into ropes. They added that the bull which was impressed upon his coin, was a symbol of his having desolated the world. For the emperor, being excessively superstitious, was continually sacrificing bulls on the altars of his idols; and had ordered the impression of a bull and altar to be made on his coin. Irritated by these scoffs, he threatened to punish the city of Antioch, and returned to Tarsus in Cilicia, giving orders that preparations should be made for his speedy departure thence. Whence Libanius the sophist took occasion to compose two orations, one addressed to the emperor in behalf of the Antiochians, the other to the inhabitants of Antioch on the emperor’s displeasure. It is however affirmed that these compositions were merely written, and never recited in public. Julian abandoning his former purpose of revenging himself on his satirists by injurious deeds, expended his wrath in reciprocating their abusive taunts; for he wrote a pamphlet against them which he entitled Antiochicus, or Misopogon, thus leaving an indelible stigma upon that city and its inhabitants. But we must now speak of the evils which he brought upon the Christians at Antioch.

The Emperor consulting an Oracle, the Demon gives no Response, being awed by the Nearness of Babylas the Martyr.

Having ordered that the pagan temples at Antioch should be opened, he was very eager to obtain an oracle from Apollo of Daphne. But the demon that inhabited the temple remained silent through fear of his neighbor, Babylas the martyr; for the coffin which contained the body of that saint was close by. When the emperor was informed of this circumstance, he commanded that the coffin should be immediately removed: upon which the Christians of Antioch, including women and children, transported the coffin from Daphne to the city, with solemn rejoicings and chanting of psalms. The psalms were such as cast reproach on the gods of the heathen, and those who put confidence in them and their images.

Wrath of the Emperor, and Firmness of Theodore the Confessor.

Then indeed the emperor’s real temper and disposition, which he had hitherto kept as much as possible from observation, became fully manifested: for he who had boasted so much of his philosophy, was no longer able to restrain himself; but being goaded almost to madness by these reproachful hymns, he was ready to inflict the same cruelties on the Christians, with which Diocletian’s agents had formerly visited them. Since, however, his solicitude about the Persian expedition afforded him no leisure for personally executing his wishes, he commanded Sallust the Prætorian Prefect to seize those who had been most conspicuous for their zeal in psalm-singing, in order to make examples of them. The prefect, though a pagan, was far from being pleased with his commission; but since he durst not contravene it, he caused several of the Christians to be apprehended, and some of them to be imprisoned. One young man named Theodore, whom the heathens brought before him, he subjected to a variety of tortures, causing his person to be so lacerated and only released him from further punishment when he thought that he could not possibly outlive the torments: yet God preserved this sufferer, so that he long survived that confession. Rufinus, the author of the Ecclesiastical History written in Latin, states that he himself conversed with the same Theodore a considerable time afterwards: and enquired of him whether in the process of scourging and racking he had not felt the most intense pains; his answer was, that he felt the pain of the tortures to which he was subjected for a very short time; and that a young man stood by him who both wiped off the sweat which was produced by the acuteness of the ordeal through which he was passing, and at the same time strengthened his mind, so that he rendered this time of trial a season of rapture rather than of suffering. Let this suffice concerning the most wonderful Theodore. About this time Persian ambassadors came to the emperor, requesting him to terminate the war on certain express conditions. But Julian abruptly dismissed them, saying, You shall very shortly see me in person, so that there will be no need of an embassy.

The Jews instigated by the Emperor attempt to rebuild their Temple, and are frustrated in their Attempt by Miraculous Interposition.

The emperor in another attempt to molest the Christians exposed his superstition. Being fond of sacrificing, he not only himself delighted in the blood of victims, but considered it an indignity offered to him, if others did not do likewise. And as he found but few persons of this stamp, he sent for the Jews and enquired of them why they abstained from sacrificing, since the law of Moses enjoined it? On their replying that it was not permitted them to do this in any other place than Jerusalem, he immediately ordered them to rebuild Solomon’s temple. Meanwhile he himself proceeded on his expedition against the Persians. The Jews who had been long desirous of obtaining a favorable opportunity for rearing their temple afresh in order that they might therein offer sacrifice, applied themselves very vigorously to the work. Moreover, they conducted themselves with great insolence toward the Christians, and threatened to do them as much mischief, as they had themselves suffered from the Romans. The emperor having ordered that the expenses of this structure should be defrayed out of the public treasury, all things were soon provided, such as timber and stone, burnt brick, clay, lime, and all other materials necessary for building. On this occasion Cyril bishop of Jerusalem, called to mind the prophecy of Daniel, which Christ also in the holy gospels has confirmed, and predicted in the presence of many persons, that the time had indeed come in which one stone should not be left upon another in that temple, but that the Saviour’s prophetic declaration should have its full accomplishment. Such were the bishop’s words: and on the night following, a mighty earthquake tore up the stones of the old foundations of the temple and dispersed them all together with the adjacent edifices. Terror consequently possessed the Jews on account of the event; and the report of it brought many to the spot who resided at a great distance: when therefore a vast multitude was assembled, another prodigy took place. Fire came down from heaven and consumed all the builders’ tools: so that the flames were seen preying upon mallets, irons to smooth and polish stones, saws, hatchets, adzes, in short all the various implements which the workmen had procured as necessary for the undertaking; and the fire continued burning among these for a whole day. The Jews indeed were in the greatest possible alarm, and unwillingly confessed Christ, calling him God: yet they did not do his will; but influenced by inveterate prepossessions they still clung to Judaism. Even a third miracle which afterwards happened failed to lead them to a belief of the truth. For the next night luminous impressions of a cross appeared imprinted on their garments, which at daybreak they in vain attempted to rub or wash out. They were therefore blinded as the apostle says, and cast away the good which they had in their hands: and thus was the temple, instead of being rebuilt, at that time wholly overthrown.

The Emperor’s Invasion of Persia, and Death.

The emperor meanwhile invaded the country of the Persians a little before spring, having learnt that the races of Persia were greatly enfeebled and totally spiritless in winter. For from their inability to endure cold, they abstain from military service at that season, and it has become a proverb that a Mede will not then draw his hand from underneath his cloak. And well knowing that the Romans were inured to brave all the rigors of the atmosphere he let them loose on the country. After devastating a considerable tract of country, including numerous villages and fortresses, they next assailed the cities; and having invested the great city Ctesiphon, he reduced the king of the Persians to such straits that the latter sent repeated embassies to the emperor, offering to surrender a portion of his dominions, on condition of his quitting the country, and putting an end to the war. But Julian was unaffected by these submissions, and showed no compassion to a suppliant foe: nor did he think of the adage, To conquer is honorable, but to be more than conqueror gives occasion for envy. Giving credit to the divinations of the philosopher Maximus, with whom he was in continual intercourse, he was deluded into the belief that his exploits would not only equal, but exceed those of Alexander of Macedon; so that he spurned with contempt the entreaties of the Persian monarch. He even supposed in accordance with the teachings of Pythagoras and Plato on the transmigration of souls, that he was possessed of Alexander’s soul, or rather that he himself was Alexander in another body. This ridiculous fancy deluded and caused him to reject the negotiations for peace proposed by the king of the Persians. Wherefore the latter convinced of the uselessness of them was constrained to prepare for conflict, and therefore on the next day after the rejection of his embassy, he drew out in order of battle all the forces he had. The Romans indeed censured their prince, for not avoiding an engagement when he might have done so with advantage: nevertheless they attacked those who opposed them, and again put the enemy to flight. The emperor was present on horseback, and encouraged his soldiers in battle; but confiding simply in his hope of success, he wore no armor. In this defenceless state, a dart cast by some one unknown, pierced through his arm and entered his side, making a wound. In consequence of this wound he died. Some say that a certain Persian hurled the javelin, and then fled; others assert that one of his own men was the author of the deed, which indeed is the best corroborated and most current report. But Callistus, one of his body-guards, who celebrated this emperor’s deeds in heroic verse, says in narrating the particulars of this war, that the wound of which he died was inflicted by a demon. This is possibly a mere poetical fiction, or perhaps it was really the fact; for vengeful furies have undoubtedly destroyed many persons. Be the case however as it may, this is certain, that the ardor of his natural temperament rendered him incautious, his learning made him vain, and his affectation of clemency exposed him to contempt. Thus Julian ended his life in Persia, as we have said, in his fourth consulate, which he bore with Sallust his colleague. This event occurred on the 26th of June, in the third year of his reign, and the seventh from his having been created Cæsar by Constantius, he being at that time in the thirty-first year of his age.

Jovian is proclaimed Emperor.

The soldiery being thrown into extreme perplexity by an event so unexpected, and without delay, on the following day proclaimed Jovian emperor, a person alike distinguished for his courage and birth. He was a military tribune when Julian put forth an edict giving his officers the option of either sacrificing or resigning their rank in the army, and chose rather to lay down his commission, than to obey the mandate of an impious prince. Julian, however, being pressed by the urgency of the war which was before him, retained him among his generals. On being saluted emperor, he positively declined to accept the sovereign power: and when the soldiers brought him forward by force, he declared that being a Christian, he did not wish to reign over a people who chose to adopt paganism as their religion. They all then with one voice answered that they also were Christians: upon which he accepted the imperial dignity. Perceiving himself suddenly left in very difficult circumstances, in the midst of the Persian territory, where his army was in danger of perishing for want of necessaries, he agreed to terminate the war, even on terms by no means honorable to the glory of the Roman name, but rendered necessary by the exigencies of the crisis. Submitting therefore to the loss of the government of Syria, and giving up also Nisibis, a city of Mesopotamia, he withdrew from their territories. The announcement of these things gave fresh hope to the Christians; while the pagans vehemently bewailed Julian’s death. Nevertheless the whole army reprobated his intemperate heat, and ascribed to his rashness in listening to the wily reports of a Persian deserter, the humiliation of ceding the territories lost: for being imposed upon by the statements of this fugitive, he was induced to burn the ships which supplied them with provisions by water, by which means they were exposed to all the horrors of famine. Then also Libanius composed a funeral oration on him, which he designated Julianus, or Epitaph, wherein he celebrates with lofty encomiums almost all his actions; but in referring to the books which Julian wrote against the Christians, he says that he has therein clearly demonstrated the ridiculous and trifling character of their sacred books. Had this sophist contented himself with extolling the emperor’s other acts, I should have quietly proceeded with the course of my history; but since this famous rhetorician has thought proper to take occasion to inveigh against the Scriptures of the Christian faith, we also propose to pause a little and in a brief review consider his words.

Refutation of what Libanius the Sophist said concerning Julian.

When the winter, says he, had lengthened the nights, the emperor made an attack on those books which made the man of Palestine both God, and the Son of God: and by a long series of arguments having proved that these writings, which are so much revered by Christians, are ridiculous and unfounded, he has evinced himself wiser and more skillful than the Tyrian old man. But may this Tyrian sage be propitious to me, and mildly bear with what has been affirmed, seeing that he has been excelled by his son! Such is the language of Libanius the Sophist. But I confess, indeed, that he was an excellent rhetorician, but am persuaded that had he not coincided with the emperor in religious sentiment, he would not only have given expression to all that has been said against him by Christians, but would have magnified every ground of censure as naturally becomes a rhetorician. For while Constantius was alive he wrote encomiums upon him; but after his death he brought the most insulting and reproachful charges against him. So that if Porphyry had been emperor, Libanius would certainly have preferred his books to Julian’s: and had Julian been a mere sophist, he would have termed him a very indifferent one, as he does Ecebolius in his Epitaph upon Julian. Since then he has spoken in the spirit of a pagan, a sophist, and the friend of him whom he lauded, we shall endeavor to meet what he has advanced, as far as we are able. In the first place he says that the emperor undertook to attack these books during the long winter nights. Now to attack means to make the writing of a confutation of them a task, as the sophists commonly do in teaching the rudiments of their art; for he had perused these books long before, but attacked them at this time. But throughout the long contest into which he entered, instead of attempting to disprove anything by sound reasoning, as Libanius asserts, in the absence of truth he had recourse to sneers and contemptuous jests, of which he was excessively fond; and thus he sought to hold up to derision what is too firmly established to be overthrown. For every one who enters into controversy with another, sometimes trying to pervert the truth, and at others to conceal it, falsifies by every possible means the position of his antagonist. And an adversary is not satisfied with doing malignant acts against one with whom he is at variance, but will speak against him also, and charge upon the object of his dislike the very faults he is conscious of in himself. That both Julian and Porphyry, whom Libanius calls the Tyrian old man, took great delight in scoffing, is evident from their own works. For Porphyry in his History of the Philosophers has treated with ridicule the life of Socrates, the most eminent of all the philosophers, making such remarks on him as neither Melitus, nor Anytus, his accusers, would have dared to utter; of Socrates, I say, who was admired by all the Greeks for his modesty, justice, and other virtues; whom Plato, the most admirable among them, Xenophon, and the rest of the philosophic band, not only honor as one beloved of God, but also are accustomed to think of as having been endowed with superhuman intelligence. And Julian, imitating his father, displayed a like morbidness of mind in his book, entitled The Cæsars, wherein he traduces all his imperial predecessors, not sparing even Mark the philosopher. Their own writings therefore show that they both took pleasure in taunts and reviling; and I have no need of profuse and clever expressions to do this; but what has been said is enough concerning their mood in this respect. Now I write these things, using the oration of each as witnesses respecting their dispositions, but of Julian in particular, what Gregory of Nazianzus says in his Second Oration against the Pagans is in the following terms:

These things were made evident to others by experience, after the possession of imperial authority had left him free to follow the bent of his inclinations: but I had foreseen it all, from the time I became acquainted with him at Athens. Thither he came, by permission of the emperor, soon after the change in his brother’s fortune. His motive for this visit was twofold: one reason was honorable to him, viz. to see Greece, and attend the schools there; the other was a more secret one, which few knew anything about, for his impiety had not yet presumed to openly avow itself, viz. to have opportunity of consulting the sacrificers and other impostors respecting his own destiny. I well remember that even then I was no bad diviner concerning this person, although I by no means pretend to be one of those skilled in the art of divination: but the fickleness of his disposition, and the incredible extravagancy of his mind, rendered me prophetic; if indeed he is the best prophet who conjectures correctly events. For it seemed to me that no good was portended by a neck seldom steady, the frequent shrugging of shoulders, an eye scowling and always in motion, together with a frenzied aspect; a gait irregular and tottering, a nose breathing only contempt and insult, with ridiculous contortions of countenance expressive of the same thing; immoderate and very loud laughter, nods as it were of assent, and drawings back of the head as if in denial, without any visible cause; speech with hesitancy and interrupted by his breathing; disorderly and senseless questions, answers no better, all jumbled together without the least consistency or method. Why need I enter into minute particulars? Such I foresaw he would be beforehand as I found him afterwards from experience. And if any of those who were then present and heard me, were now here, they would readily testify that when I observed these prognostics I exclaimed, Ah! how great a mischief to itself is the Roman empire fostering! And that when I had uttered these words I prayed God that I might be a false prophet. For it would have been far better [that I should have been convicted of having formed an erroneous judgment], than that the world should be filled with so many calamities, and that such a monster should have appeared as never before had been seen: although many deluges and conflagrations are recorded, many earthquakes and chasms, and descriptions are given of many ferocious and inhuman men, as well as prodigies of the brute creation, compounded of different races, of which nature produced unusual forms. His end has indeed been such as corresponds with the madness of his career.

This is the sketch which Gregory has given us of Julian. Moreover, that in their various compilations they have endeavored to do violence to the truth, sometimes by the corruption of passages of sacred Scripture, at others by either adding to the express words, and putting such a construction upon them as suited their own purpose, many have demonstrated, by confuting their cavils, and exposing their fallacies. Origen in particular, who lived long before Julian’s time, by himself raising objections to such passages of Holy Scripture as seemed to disturb some readers, and then fully meeting them, has shut out the invidious clamors of the thoughtless. And had Julian and Porphyry given his writings a candid and serious perusal, they would have discoursed on other topics, and not have turned to the framing of blasphemous sophisms. It is also very obvious that the emperor in his discourses was intent on beguiling the ignorant, and did not address himself to those who possess the form of the truth as it is presented in the sacred Scriptures. For having grouped together various expressions in which God is spoken of dispensationally, and more according to the manner of men, he thus comments on them. Every one of these expressions is full of blasphemy against God, unless the phrase contains some occult and mysterious sense, which indeed I can suppose. This is the exact language he uses in his third book against the Christians. But in his treatise On the Cynic Philosophy, where he shows to what extent fables may be invented on religious subjects, he says that in such matters the truth must be veiled: For, to quote his very words, Nature loves concealment; and the hidden substance of the gods cannot endure being cast into polluted ears in naked words. From which it is manifest that the emperor entertained this notion concerning the divine Scriptures, that they are mystical discourses, containing in them some abstruse meaning. He is also very indignant because all men do not form the same opinion of them; and inveighs against those Christians who understand the sacred oracles in a more literal sense. But it ill became him to rail so vehemently against the simplicity of the vulgar, and on their account to behave so arrogantly towards the sacred Scriptures: nor was he warranted in turning with aversion from those things which others rightly apprehended, because forsooth they understood them otherwise than he desired they should. But now as it seems a similar cause of disgust seems to have operated upon him to that which affected Porphyry, who having been beaten by some Christians at Cæsarea in Palestine and not being able to endure [such treatment], from the working of unrestrained rage renounced the Christian religion: and from hatred of those who had beaten him he took to write blasphemous works against Christians, as Eusebius Pamphilus has proved who at the same time refuted his writings. So the emperor having uttered disdainful expressions against the Christians in the presence of an unthinking multitude, through the same morbid condition of mind fell into Porphyry’s blasphemies. Since therefore they both willfully broke forth into impiety, they are punished by the consciousness of their guilt. But when Libanius the Sophist says in derision, that the Christians make a man of Palestine both God and the Son of God, he appears to have forgotten that he himself has deified Julian at the close of his oration. For they almost killed, says he, the first messenger of his death, as if he had lied against a god. And a little afterwards he adds, O thou cherished one of the gods! thou disciple of the gods! thou associate with the gods! Now although Libanius may have meant otherwise, yet inasmuch as he did not avoid the ambiguity of a word which is sometimes taken in a bad sense, he seems to have said the same things as the Christians had done reproachfully. If then it was his intention to praise him, he ought to have avoided equivocal terms; as he did on another occasion, when being criticised he avoided a certain word, cutting it out of his works. Moreover, that man in Christ was united to the Godhead, so that while he was apparently but man, he was the invisible God, and that both these things are most true, the divine books of Christians distinctly teach. But the heathen before they believe, cannot understand: for it is a divine oracle that declares Unless ye believe, assuredly ye shall not understand. Wherefore they are not ashamed to place many men among the number of their gods: and would that they had done this, at least to the good, just, and sober, instead of the impure, unjust, and those addicted to drunkenness, like the Hercules, the Bacchus, and the Æsculapius, by whom Libanius does not blush to swear frequently in his orations. And were I to attempt to enumerate the unnatural debaucheries and infamous adulteries of these, the digression would be lengthened beyond measure: but for those who desire to be informed on the subject, Aristotle’s Peplum, Dionysius’ Corona, Rheginus’ Polymnemon, and the whole host of poets will be enough to show that the pagan theology is a tissue of extravagant absurdities. We might indeed show by a variety of instances that the practice of deifying human beings was far from uncommon among the heathen, nay, that they did so without the slightest hesitation: let a few examples suffice. The Rhodians having consulted an oracle on some public calamity, a response was given directing them to pay their adoration to Atys, a pagan priest who instituted frantic rites in Phrygia. The oracle was thus expressed:

Atys propitiate, the great god, the chaste Adonis, the blessed fair-haired Dionysius rich in gifts.

Here Atys, who from an amatory mania had castrated himself, is by the oracle designated as Adonis and Bacchus.

Again, when Alexander, king of the Macedonians, passed over into Asia, the Amphictyons courted his favor, and the Pythoness uttered this oracle:

To Zeus supreme among the gods, and Athene Tritogenia pay homage, and to the king divine concealed in mortal form, him Zeus begat in honor to be the protector and dispenser of justice among mortals, Alexander the king.

These are the words of the demon at Delphi, who when he wished to flatter potentates, did not scruple to assign them a place among the gods. The motive here was perhaps to conciliate by adulation: but what could one say of the case of Cleomedes the pugilist, whom they ranked among the gods in this oracle?

The last of the heroes is Cleomedes, the Astypalian. Him honor with sacrifices; for he is no longer a mortal.

Because of this oracle Diogenes the cynic, and Oënomaus the philosopher, strongly condemned Apollo. The inhabitants of Cyzicus declared Hadrian to be the thirteenth god; and Adrian himself deified his own catamite Antinoüs. Libanius does not term these ridiculous and contemptible absurdities, although he was familiar with these oracles, as well as with the work of Adrias on the life of Alexander (the pseudo-prophet of Paphlagonia): nor does he himself hesitate to dignify Porphyry in a similar manner, when after having preferred Julian’s books to his, he says, May the Syrian be propitious to me. This digression will suffice to repel the scoffs of the sophist, without following him farther in what he has advanced; for to enter into a complete refutation would require an express work. We shall therefore proceed with our history.

The Bishops flock around Jovian, each attempting to draw him to his own Creed.

Jovian having returned from Persia, ecclesiastical commotions were again renewed: for those who presided over the churches endeavored to anticipate each other, in the hope that the emperor would attach himself to their own tenets. He however had from the beginning adhered to the homoousian faith, and openly declared that he preferred this to all others. Moreover, he wrote letters to and encouraged Athanasius bishop of Alexandria, who immediately after Julian’s death had recovered the Alexandrian church, and at that time gaining confidence from the letters [spoken of] put away all fear. The emperor further recalled from exile all those prelates whom Constantius had banished, and who had not been re-established by Julian. Moreover, the pagan temples were again shut up, and they secreted themselves wherever they were able. The philosophers also laid aside their palliums, and clothed themselves in ordinary attire. That public pollution by the blood of victims, which had been profusely lavished even to disgust in the reign of Julian, was now likewise taken away.

The Macedonians and Acacians meet at Antioch, and proclaim their Assent to the Nicene Creed.

Meanwhile the state of the church was by no means tranquil; for the heads of the sects assiduously paid their court to the emperor their king that protection for themselves meant also power against their acknowledged opponents. And first the Macedonians presented a petition to him, in which they begged that all those who asserted the Son to be unlike the Father, might be expelled from the churches, and themselves allowed to take their place. This supplication was presented by Basil bishop of Ancyra, Silvanus of Tarsus, Sophronius of Pompeiopolis, Pasinicus of Zelæ, Leontius of Comana, Callicrates of Claudiopolis, and Theophilus of Castabala. The emperor having perused it, dismissed them without any other answer than this: I abominate contentiousness; but I love and honor those who exert themselves to promote unanimity. When this remark became generally known, it subdued the violence of those who were desirous of altercation and thus was realized in the design of the emperor. At this time the real spirit of the Acacian sect, and their readiness to accommodate their opinions to those invested with supreme authority, became more conspicuous than ever. For assembling themselves at Antioch in Syria, they entered into a conference with Melitius, who had separated from them a little before, and embraced the homoousian opinion. This they did because they saw Melitius was in high estimation with the emperor, who then resided at Antioch; and assenting therefore by common consent, they drew up a declaration of their sentiments acknowledging the homoousion and ratifying the Nicene Creed and presented it to the emperor. It was expressed in the following terms.

The Synod of bishops convened at Antioch out of various provinces, to the most pious and beloved of God, our lord Jovian Victor Augustus.

That your piety has above all things aimed at establishing the peace and harmony of the church, we ourselves, most devout emperor, are fully aware. Nor are we insensible that you have wisely judged an acknowledgment of the orthodox faith to be the sum and substance of this unity. Wherefore lest we should be included in the number of those who adulterate the doctrine of the truth, we hereby declare to your piety that we embrace and steadfastly hold the faith of the holy Synod formerly convened at Nicæa. Especially since the term homoousios, which to some seems novel and inappropriate, has been judiciously explained by the fathers to denote that the Son was begotten of the Father’s substance, and that he is like the Father as to substance. Not indeed that any passion is to be understood in relation to that ineffable generation. Nor is the term ousia, substance, taken by the fathers in any usual signification of it among the Greeks; but it has been employed for the subversion of what Arius impiously dared to assert concerning Christ, viz.—that he was made of things not existing. Which heresy the Anomœans, who have lately sprung up, still more audaciously maintain, to the utter destruction of ecclesiastical unity. We have therefore annexed to this our declaration, a copy of the faith set forth by the bishops assembled at Nicæa, with which also we are fully satisfied. It is this: We believe in one God the Father Almighty, and all the rest of the Creed in full. We, the undersigned, in presenting this statement, most cordially assent to its contents. Melitius bishop of Antioch, Eusebius of Samosata, Evagrius of Sicily, Uranius of Apamæa, Zoilus of Larissa, Acacius of Cæsarea, Antipater of Rhosus, Abramius of Urimi, Aristonicus of Seleucia-upon-Belus, Barlamenus of Pergamus, Uranius of Melitina, Magnus of Chalcedon, Eutychius of Eleutheropolis, Isacocis of Armenia Major, Titus of Bostra, Peter of Sippi, Pelagius of Laodicæa, Arabian of Antros, Piso of Adana through Lamydrion a presbyter, Sabinian bishop of Zeugma, Athanasius of Ancyra through Orphitus and Aëtius presbyters, Irenion bishop of Gaza, Piso of Augusta, Patricius of Paltus through Lamyrion a presbyter, Anatolius bishop of Berœa, Theotimus of the Arabs, and Lucian of Arca.

This declaration we found recorded in that work of Sabinus, entitled A Collection of the Acts of Synods. Now the emperor had resolved to allay if possible the contentious spirit of the parties at variance, by bland manners and persuasive language toward them all; declaring that he would not molest any one on account of his religious sentiments, and that he should love and highly esteem such as would zealously promote the unity of the church. The philosopher Themistius attests that such was his conduct, in the oration he composed on his consulate. For he extols the emperor for his overcoming the wiles of flatterers by freely permitting every one to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience. And in allusion to the check which the sycophants received, he facetiously observes that experience has made it evident that such persons worship the purple and not God; and resemble the changeful Euripus, which sometimes rolls its waves in one direction, and at others the very opposite way.

Death of the Emperor Jovian.

Thus did the emperor repress at that time the impetuosity of those who were disposed to cavil: and immediately departing from Antioch, he went to Tarsus in Cilicia, where he duly performed the funeral obsequies of Julian, after which he was declared consul. Proceeding thence directly to Constantinople, he arrived at a place named Dadastana, situated on the frontiers of Galatia and Bithynia. There Themistius the philosopher, with others of the senatorial order, met him, and pronounced the consular oration before him, which he afterwards recited before the people at Constantinople. And indeed the Roman empire, blest with so excellent a sovereign, would doubtless have flourished exceedingly, as it is likely that both the civil and ecclesiastical departments would have been happily administered, had not his sudden death bereft the state of so eminent a personage. For disease caused by some obstruction, having attacked him at the place above mentioned during the winter season, he died there on the 17th day of February, in his own and his son Varronian’s consulate, in the thirty-third year of his age, after having reigned seven months.

This book contains an account of the events which took place in the space of two years and five months.

Book IV

After Jovian’s Death, Valentinian is proclaimed Emperor, and takes his Brother Valens as Colleague in the Empire; Valentinian holds the Orthodox Faith, but Valens is an Arian.

The Emperor Jovian having died, as we have said, at Dadastana, in his own consulate and that of Varronian his son on the 17th of February, the army leaving Galatia arrived at Nicæa in Bithynia in seven days’ march, and there unanimously proclaimed Valentinian emperor, on the 25th of February, in the same consulate. He was a Pannonian by race, a native of the city of Cibalis, and being entrusted with a military command, had displayed great skill in tactics. He was moreover endowed with such greatness of mind, that he always appeared superior to any degree of honor he might have attained. As soon as they had created him emperor, he proceeded forthwith to Constantinople; and thirty days after his own possession of the imperial dignity, he made his brother Valens his colleague in the empire. They both professed Christianity, but did not hold the same Christian creed: for Valentinian respected the Nicene Creed; but Valens was prepossessed in favor of the Arian opinions. And this prejudice was caused by his having been baptized by Eudoxius bishop of Constantinople. Each of them was zealous for the views of his own party; but when they had attained sovereign power, they manifested very different dispositions. For previously in the reign of Julian, when Valentinian was a military tribune, and Valens held a command in the emperor’s guards, they both proved their zeal for the faith; for being constrained to sacrifice, they chose rather to give up their military rank than to do so and renounce Christianity. Julian, however, knowing the necessity of the men to the state, retained them in their respective places, as did also Jovian, his successor in the empire. Later on, being invested with imperial authority, they were in accord in the management of public affairs, but as regards Christianity, as I have said, they behaved themselves very differently: for Valentinian while he favored those who agreed with him in sentiment, offered no violence to the Arians; but Valens, in his anxiety to promote the Arian cause, grievously disturbed those who differed from them, as the course of our history will show. Now at that time Liberius presided over the Roman church; and at Alexandria Athanasius was bishop of the Homoousians, while Lucius had been constituted George’s successor by the Arians. At Antioch Euzoïus was at the head of the Arians: but the Homoousians were divided into two parties, of one of which Paulinus was chief, and Melitius of the other. Cyril was again constituted over the church at Jerusalem. The churches at Constantinople were under the government of Eudoxius, who openly taught the dogmas of Arianism, but the Homoousians had but one small edifice in the city wherein to hold their assemblies. Those of the Macedonian heresy who had dissented from the Acacians at Seleucia, then retained their churches in every city. Such was the state of ecclesiastical affairs at that time.

Valentinian goes into the West; Valens remains at Constantinople, and grants the Request of the Macedonians to hold a Synod, but persecutes the Adherents of the ‘Homoousion.’

Of the emperors one, i.e. Valentinian, speedily went to the western parts of the empire; for the exigencies of affairs required his presence thither: meanwhile Valens, residing at Constantinople, was addressed by most of the prelates of the Macedonion heresy, requesting that another Synod might be convened for the correction of the creed. The emperor supposing they agreed in sentiment with Eudoxius and Acacius, gave them permission to do so: they therefore made preparations for assembling in the city of Lampsacus. But Valens proceeded with the utmost despatch toward Antioch in Syria, fearing lest the Persians should violate the treaty into which they had entered for thirty years in the reign of Jovian, and invade the Roman territories. They however remained quiet; and Valens employed this season of external tranquillity to prosecute a war of extermination against all who acknowledged the homoousion. Paulinus their bishop, because of his eminent piety, he left unmolested. Melitius he punished with exile: and all the rest, as many as refused to communicate with Euzoïus, he drove out from the churches in Antioch, and subjected to various losses and punishments. It is even affirmed that he caused many to be drowned in the river Orontes, which flows by that city.

While Valens persecutes the Orthodox Christians in the East, a Usurper arises at Constantinople named Procopius: and at the Same Time an Earthquake and Inundation take Place and injure Several Cities.

While Valens was thus occupied in Syria, there arose a usurper at Constantinople named Procopius; who having collected a large body of troops in a very short time, meditated an expedition against the emperor. This intelligence created extreme solicitude in the emperor’s mind and checked for a while the persecution he had commenced against all who dared to differ from him in opinion. And while the commotions of a civil war were painfully anticipated, an earthquake occurred which did much damage to many cities. The sea also changed its accustomed boundaries, and overflowed to such an extent in some places, that vessels might sail where roads had previously existed; and it retired so much from other places, that the ground became dry. These events happened in the first consulate of the two emperors.

The Macedonians hold a Synod at Lampsacus, during a Period of Both Secular and Ecclesiastical Agitation; and after confirming the Antiochian Creed, and anathematizing that promulgated at Ariminum, they again ratify the Deposition of Acacius and Eudoxius.

While these events were taking place there could be no peace either in the church or in the state. Now those who had been empowered by the emperor to hold a council assembled at Lampsacus in the consulate just mentioned: this was seven years after the council of Seleucia. There, after confirming the Antiochian Creed, to which they had subscribed at Seleucia, they anathematized that which had been set forth at Ariminum by their former associates in opinion. They moreover again condemned the party of Acacius and Eudoxius, and declared their deposition to have been just. The civil war which was then impending prevented Eudoxius bishop of Constantinople from either gainsaying or revenging these determinations. Wherefore Eleusius bishop of Cyzicus and his adherents became for a little while the stronger party; inasmuch as they supported the views of Macedonius, which although before but obscurely known, acquired great publicity through the Synod at Lampsacus. This Synod, I think, was the cause of the increase of the Macedonians in the Hellespont; for Lampsacus is situated in one of the narrow bays of the Hellespont. Such was the issue of this council.

Engagement between Valens and Procopius near Nacolia in Phrygia; after which the Usurper is betrayed by his Chief Officers, and with them put to Death.

Under the consulate of Gratian and Dagalaïfus in the following year, the war was begun. For as soon as the usurper Procopius, leaving Constantinople, began his march at the head of his army toward the emperor, Valens hastened from Antioch, and came to an engagement with him near a city of Phrygia, called Nacolia. In the first encounter he was defeated; but soon after he took Procopius alive, through the treachery of Agilo and Gomarius, two of his generals, whom he subjected to the most extraordinary punishments. The traitors he caused to be executed by being sawn asunder, disregarding the oaths he had sworn to them. Two trees standing near each other being forcibly bowed down, one of the usurper’s legs was fastened to each of them, after which the trees being suddenly permitted to recover their erect position, by their rise rent the tyrant into two parts; and thus torn apart the usurper perished.

After the Death of Procopius Valens constrains those who composed the Synod, and All Christians, to profess Arianism.

The emperor having thus successfully terminated the conflict, immediately began to move against the Christians, with the design of converting every sect to Arianism. But he was especially incensed against those who had composed the Synod at Lampsacus, not only on account of their deposition of the Arian bishops, but because they had anathematized the creed published at Ariminum. On arriving therefore at Nicomedia in Bithynia, he sent for Eleusius bishop of Cyzicus, who, as I have before said, closely adhered to the opinions of Macedonius. Therefore the emperor having convened a council of Arian bishops, commanded Eleusius to give his assent to their faith. At first he refused to do so, but on being terrified with threats of banishment and confiscation of property, he was intimidated and assented to the Arian belief. Immediately afterwards, however, he repented; and returning to Cyzicus, bitterly complained in presence of all the people, asserting that his quiescence was due to violence, and not of his own choice. He then exhorted them to seek another bishop for themselves, since he had been compelled to renounce his own opinion. But the inhabitants of Cyzicus loved and venerated him too much to think of losing him; they therefore refused to be subject to any other bishop, nor would they permit him to retire from his own church: and thus continuing under his oversight, they remained steadfast in their own heresy.

Eunomius supersedes Eleusius the Macedonian in the See of Cyzicus, His Origin and Imitation of Aëtius, whose Amanuensis he had been.

The bishop of Constantinople being informed of these circumstances, constituted Eunomius bishop of Cyzicus, inasmuch as he was a person able by his eloquence to win over the minds of the multitude to his own way of thinking. On his arrival at Cyzicus an imperial edict was published in which it was ordered that Eleusius should be ejected, and Eunomius installed in his place. This being carried into effect, those who attached themselves to Eleusius, after erecting a sacred edifice without the city, assembled there with him. But enough has been said of Eleusius: let us now give some account of Eunomius. He had been secretary to Aëtius, surnamed Atheus, of whom we have before spoken, and had learnt from conversing with him, to imitate his sophistical mode of reasoning; being little aware that while exercising himself in framing fallacious arguments, and in the use of certain insignificant terms, he was really deceiving himself. This habit however inflated him with pride, and he fell into blasphemous heresies, and so became an advocate of the dogmas of Arius, and in various ways an adversary to the doctrines of truth. And as he had but a very slender knowledge of the letter of Scripture, he was wholly unable to enter into the spirit of it. Yet he abounded in words, and was accustomed to repeat the same thoughts in different terms, without ever arriving at a clear explanation of what he had proposed to himself. Of this his seven books On the Apostle’s Epistle to the Romans, on which he bestowed a quantity of vain labor, is a remarkable proof: for although he has employed an immense number of words in the attempt to expound it, he has by no means succeeded in apprehending the scope and object of that epistle. All other works of his extant are of a similar character, in which he that would take the trouble to examine them, would find a great scarcity of sense, amidst a profusion of verbiage. This Eunomius Eudoxius promoted to the see of Cyzicus; who being come thither, astonished his auditors by the extraordinary display of his dialectic art, and thus a great sensation was produced at Cyzicus. At length the people unable to endure any longer the empty and assumptions parade of his language, drove him out of their city. He therefore withdrew to Constantinople, and taking up his abode with Eudoxius, was regarded as a titular bishop. But lest we should seem to have said these things for the sake of detraction, let us hear what Eunomius himself has the hardihood to utter in his sophistical discourses concerning the Deity himself, for he uses the following language: God knows no more of his own substance than we do; nor is this more known to him, and less to us: but whatever we know about the Divine substance, that precisely is known to God; and on the other hand, whatever he knows, the same also you will find without any difference in us. This and many other similar tedious and absurd fallacies Eunomius was accustomed to draw up in utter insensibility to his own folly. On what account he afterwards separated from the Arians, we shall state in its proper place.

Of the Oracle found inscribed an a Stone, when the Walls of Chalcedon were demolished by Order of the Emperor Valens.

An order was issued by the emperor that the walls of Chalcedon, a city opposite to Byzantium, should be demolished: for he had sworn to do this, after he should have conquered the usurper, because the Chalcedonians had sided with the usurper, and had used insulting language toward Valens, and shut their gates against him as he passed by their city. In consequence of the imperial decree, therefore, the walls were razed and the stones were conveyed to Constantinople to serve for the formation of the public baths which are called Constantianæ. On one of these stones an oracle was found engraven, which had lain concealed for a long time, in which it was predicted that when the city should be supplied with abundance of water, then should the wall serve for a bath; and that innumerable hordes of barbarous nations having overrun the provinces of the Roman empire, and done a great deal of mischief, should themselves at length be destroyed. We shall here insert this oracle for the gratification of the studious:

When nymphs their mystic dance with wat’ry feet
Shall tread through proud Byzantium’s stately street;
When rage the city wall shall overthrow,
Whose stones to fence a bathing-place shall go:
Then savage lands shall send forth myriad swarms,
Adorned with golden locks aud burnished arms,
That having Ister’s silver streams o’erpast,
Shall Scythian fields and Mœsia’s meadows waste.
But when with conquest flushed they enter Thrace,
Fate shall assign them there a burial-place.

Such was the prophecy. And indeed it afterwards happened, that when Valens by building an aqueduct supplied Constantinople with abundance of water, the barbarous nations made various irruptions, as we shall hereafter see. But it happened that some explained the prediction otherwise. For when that aqueduct was completed, Clearchus the prefect of the city built a stately bath, to which the name of the Plentiful Water was given, in that which is now called the Forum of Theodosius: on which account the people celebrated a festival with great rejoicings, whereby there was, say they, an accomplishment of those words of the oracle,

their mystic dance with wat’ry feet
Shall tread through proud Byzantium’s stately street.

But the completion of the prophecy took place afterwards. While the demolition was in progress the Constantinopolitans besought the emperor to suspend the destruction of the walls; and the inhabitants of Nicomedia and Nicæa sending from Bithynia to Constantinople, made the same request. But the emperor being exceedingly exasperated against the Chalcedonians, was with difficulty prevailed upon to listen to these petitions in their favor: but that he might perform his oath, he commanded that the walls should be pulled down, while at the same time the breaches should be repaired by being filled up with other small stones. Whence it is that in the present day one may see in certain parts of the wall very inferior materials laid upon prodigiously large stones, forming those unsightly patches which were made on that occasion. So much will be sufficient on the walls of Chalcedon.

Valens persecutes the Novatians, because they accepted the Orthodox Faith.

The emperor however did not cease his persecution of those who embraced the doctrine of the homoousion, but drove them away from Constantinople: and as the Novatians acknowledged the same faith, they also were subjected to similar treatment. He commanded that their churches should be shut up, also their bishop they sent into exile. His name was Agelius, a person that had presided over their churches from the time of Constantine, and had led an apostolic life: for he always walked barefoot, and used but one coat, observing the injunction of the gospel. But the emperor’s displeasure against this sect was moderated by the efforts of a pious and eloquent man named Marcian, who had formerly been in military service at the imperial palace, but was at that time a presbyter in the Novatian church, and taught Anastasia and Carosa, the emperor’s daughters, grammar; from the former of whom the public baths yet standing, which Valens erected at Constantinople, were named. From respect for this person therefore the Novatian churches which had been for some time closed, were again opened. The Arians however would not suffer this people to remain undisturbed, for they disliked them on account of the sympathy and love the Novatians manifested toward the Homoousians, with whom they agreed in sentiment. Such was the state of affairs at that time. We may here remark that the war against the usurper Procopius was terminated about the end of May, in the consulate of Gratian and Dagalaïfus.

Birth of Valentinian the Younger.

Soon after the conclusion of this war, and under the same consulate, a son was born to Valentinian, the emperor in the Western parts, to whom the same name as his father’s was given. For Gratian had been born previously to his becoming emperor.

Hail of Extraordinary Size; and Earthquakes in Bithynia and the Hellespont.

On the 2d of June of the following year, in the consulate of Lupicin and Jovian, there fell at Constantinople hail of such a size as would fill a man’s hand. Many affirmed that this hail had fallen as a consequence of the Divine displeasure, because of the emperor’s having banished several persons engaged in the sacred ministry, those, that is to say, who refused to communicate with Eudoxius. During the same consulate, on the 24th of August, the emperor Valentinian proclaimed his son Gratian Augustus. In the next year, when Valentinian and Valens were a second time consuls, there happened on the 11th of October, an earthquake in Bithynia which destroyed the city of Nicæa on the eleventh day of October. This was about twelve years after Nicomedia had been visited by a similar catastrophe. Soon afterwards the largest portion of Germa in the Hellespont was reduced to ruins by another earthquake. Nevertheless no impression was made on the mind of either Eudoxius the Arian bishop, or the emperor Valens, by these occurrences; for they did not desist from their relentless persecution of those who dissented from them in matters of faith. Meanwhile these convulsions of the earth were regarded as typical of the disturbances which agitated the churches: for many of the clerical body were sent into exile, as we have stated; Basil and Gregory alone, by a special dispensation of Divine Providence, being on account of their eminent piety exempted from this punishment. The former of these individuals was bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia; while Gregory presided over Nazianzus, a little city in the vicinity of Cæsarea. But we shall have occasion to mention both Basil and Gregory again in the course of our history.

The Macedonians, pressed by the Emperor’s Violence toward them, send a Deputation to Liberius Bishop of Rome, and subscribe the Nicene Creed.

When the maintainers of the homoousian doctrine had been thus severely dealt with, and put to flight, the persecutors began afresh to harass the Macedonians; who impelled by fear rather than violence, send deputations to one another from city to city, declaring the necessity of appealing to the emperor’s brother, and also to Liberius bishop of Rome: and that it was far better for them to embrace their faith, than to communicate with the party of Eudoxius. They sent for this purpose Eustathius bishop of Sebastia, who had been several times deposed, Silvanus of Tarsus in Cilicia, and Theophilus of Castabala in the same province; charging them to dissent in nothing from Liberius concerning the faith, but to enter into communion with the Roman church, and confirm the doctrine of the homoousian. These persons therefore proceeded to Old Rome, carrying with them the letters of those who had separated themselves from Acacius at Seleucia. To the emperor they could not have access, he being occupied in the Gauls with a war against the Sarmatæ; but they presented their letters to Liberius. He at first refused to admit them; saying they were of the Arian faction, and could not possibly be received into communion by the church, inasmuch as they had rejected the Nicene Creed. To this they replied that by change of sentiment they had acknowledged the truth, having long since renounced the Anomœan Creed, and avowed the Son to be in every way like the Father: moreover that they considered the terms like (homoios) and homoousios to have precisely the same import. When they had made this statement, Liberius demanded of them a written confession of their faith; and they accordingly presented him a document in which the substance of the Nicene Creed was inserted. I have not introduced here, because of their length, the letters from Smyrna, Asia, and from Pisidia, Isauria, Pamphylia, and Lycia, in all which places they had held Synods. The written profession which the deputies sent with Eustathius, delivered to Liberius, is as follows:

To our Lord, Brother, and fellow-Minister Liberius: Eustathius, Theophilus, and Silvanus, salutations in the Lord.

On account of the insane opinion of heretics, who cease not to introduce occasions of offense into the catholic churches, we being desirous of checking their career, come forward to express our approbation of the doctrines recognized the Synod of orthodox bishops which has been convened at Lampsacus, Smyrna, and various other places: from which Synod we being constituted a deputation, bring a letter to your benignity and to all the Italian and Western bishops, by which we declare that we hold and maintain the catholic faith which was established in the holy council at Nicæa under the reign of Constantine of blessed memory, by three hundred and eighteen bishops, and has hitherto continued entire and unshaken; in which creed the term homoousios is holily and devoutly employed in opposition to the pernicious doctrine of Arius. We therefore, together with the aforesaid persons whom we represent, profess under our own hand, that we have held, do hold, and will maintain the same faith even unto the end. We condemn Arius, and his impious doctrine, with his disciples, and those who agree with his sentiments; as also the same heresy of Sabellius, the Patripassians, the Marcionites, the Photinians, the Marcellians, that of Paul of Samosata, and those who countenance such tenets; in short all the heresies which are opposed to the aforesaid sacred creed, which was piously and in a catholic spirit set forth by the holy fathers at Nicæa. But we especially anathematize that form of the creed which was recited at the Synod of Ariminum, as altogether contrary to the before-mentioned creed of the holy Synod of Nicæa, to which the bishops at Constantinople affixed their signatures, being deceived by artifice and perjury, by reason of its having been brought from Nice, a town of Thrace. Our own creed, and that of those whose delegates we are, is this:

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, the Maker of all things visible and invisible: and in one only-begotten God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God; begotten of the Father; that is of the substance of the Father; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten not made, of the same substance with the Father, through whom all things were made which are in heaven, and which are upon the earth: who for us men, and for our salvation, descended, became incarnate, and was made man; suffered, and rose again the third day; ascended into the heavens, and will come to judge the living and the dead. [We believe] also in the Holy Spirit. But the Catholic and Apostolic Church of God anathematizes those who assert that there was a time when he was not, and that he was not before he was begotten, and that he was made of things which are not; or those that say the Son of God is of another hypostasis or substance than the Father, or that he is mutable, or susceptible of change.

I, Eustathius, bishop of the city of Sebastia, with Theophilus and Silvanus, delegates of the Synod of Lampsacus, Smyrna, and other places, have voluntarily subscribed this confession of faith with our own hands. And if, after the publication of this creed, any one shall presume to calumniate either us, or those who sent us, let him come with the letters of your holiness before such orthodox bishops as your sanctity shall approve of, and bring the matter to an issue with us before them; and if any charge shall be substantiated, let the guilty be punished.

Liberius having securely pledged the delegates by this document, received them into communion, and afterwards dismissed them with this letter:

The Letter of Liberius Bishop of Rome, to the Bishops of the Macedonians.

To our beloved brethren and fellow-ministers, Evethius, Cyril, Hyperechius, Uranius, Heron, Elpidius, Maximus, Eusebius, Eucarpius, Heortasius, Neon, Eumathius, Faustinus, Proclinus, Pasinicus, Arsenius, Severus, Didymion, Brittanius, Callicrates, Dalmatius, Ædesius, Eustochius, Ambrose, Gelonius, Pardalius, Macedonius, Paul, Marcellus, Heraclius, Alexander, Adolius, Marcian, Sthenelus, John, Macer, Charisius, Silvanus, Photinus, Anthony, Aythus, Celsus, Euphranon, Milesius, Patricius, Severian, Eusebius, Eumolpius, Athanasius, Diophantus, Menodorus, Diocles, Chrysampelus, Neon, Eugenius, Eustathius, Callicrates, Arsenius, Eugenius, Martyrius, Hieracius, Leontius, Philagrius, Lucius, and to all the orthodox bishops in the East, Liberius bishop of Italy, and the bishops throughout the West, salutations always in the Lord.

Your letters, beloved brethren, resplendent with the light of faith, delivered to us by our highly esteemed brethren, the bishops Eustathius, Silvanus, and Theophilus, brought to us the much longed-for joy of peace and concord: and this chiefly because they have demonstrated and assured us that your opinion and sentiments are in perfect harmony with those both of our insignificance, and also with those of all the bishops in Italy and the Western parts. We knowledge this to be the Catholic and Apostolic faith, which until the time of the Synod at Nicæa had continued unadulterated and unshaken. This creed your legates have professed that they themselves hold, and to our great joy have obliterated every vestige and impression of an injurious suspicion, by attesting it not only in word, but also in writing. We have deemed it proper to subjoin to these letters a copy of this their declaration, lest we should leave any pretext to the heretics for entering into a fresh conspiracy, by which they might stir up the smouldering embers of their own malice, and according to their custom, rekindle the flames of discord. Moreover our most esteemed brethren, Eustathius, Silvanus, and Theophilus, have professed this also, both that they themselves, and also your love, have always held, and will maintain unto the last, the creed approved of at Nicæa by 318 Orthodox Bishops; which contains the perfect truth, and both confutes and overthrows the whole swarm of heretics. For it was not of their own will, but by Divine appointment that so great a number of bishops was collected against the madness of Arius, as equaled that of those by whose assistance blessed Abraham through faith destroyed so many thousand of his enemies. This faith being comprehended in the terms hypostasis and homoousios, like a strong and impregnable fortress checks and repels all the assaults and vain machinations of Arian perverseness. Wherefore when all the Western bishops were assembled at Ariminum, whither the craft of the Arians had drawn them, in order that either by deceptive persuasions, or to speak more truly, by the coercion of the secular power, they might erase, or indirectly revoke what had been introduced into the creed with so much prudence, their subtlety was not of the least avail. For almost all those who at Ariminum were either allured into error, or at that time deceived, have since taken a right view of the matter; and after anathematizing the exposition of faith set forth by those who were convened at Ariminum, have subscribed the Catholic and Apostolic Creed which was promulgated at Nicæa. They have entered into communion with us, and regard the dogma of Arius and his disciples with increased aversion, and are even indignant against it. Of which fact when the legates of your love saw the indubitable evidences, they annexed yourselves to their own subscription; anathematizing Arius, and what was transacted at Ariminum against the creed ratified at Nicæa, to which even you yourselves, beguiled by perjury, were induced to subscribe. Whence it appeared suitable to us to write to your love, and to accede to your just request, especially since we are assured by the profession of your legates that the Eastern bishops have recovered their senses, and now concur in opinion with the orthodox of the West. We further give you to understand, lest ye should be ignorant of it, that the blasphemies of the Synod of Ariminum have been anathematized by those who seem to have been at that time deceived by fraud, and that all have acknowledged the Nicene Creed. It is fit therefore that it should be made generally known by you that such as have had their faith vitiated by violence or guile, may now emerge from heretical darkness into the Divine light of catholic liberty. Moreover whosoever of them, after this council, shall not disgorge the poison of corrupt doctrine, by abjuring all the blasphemies of Arius, and anathematizing them, let them know that they are themselves, together with Arius and his disciples and the rest of the serpents, whether Sabellians, Patripassians, or the followers of any other heresy, dissevered and excommunicated from the assemblies of the Church, which does not admit of illegitimate children. May God preserve you steadfast, beloved brethren.

When the adherents of Eustathius had received this letter, they proceeded to Sicily, where they caused a Synod of Sicilian bishops to be convened, and in their presence avowed the homoousian faith, and professed their adherence to the Nicene Creed: then having received from them also a letter to the same effect as the preceding, they returned to those who had sent them. They on their part, on the receipt of the letters of Liberius, sent delegates from city to city to the prominent supporters of the doctrine of the homoousion, exhorting them to assemble simultaneously at Tarsus in Cilicia, in order to confirm the Nicene Creed, and terminate all the contentions which had subsequently arisen. And indeed this would probably have been accomplished had not the Arian bishop, Eudoxius, who at that time possessed great influence with the emperor, thwarted their purpose; for on learning of the Synod that had been summoned to meet [at Tarsus], he became so exasperated that he redoubled his persecution against them. That the Macedonians by sending legates to Liberius were admitted to communion with him, and professed the Nicene Creed, is attested by Sabinus himself, in his Collection of Synodical Transactions.

Eunomius separates from Eudoxius; a Disturbance is raised at Alexandria by Eudoxius, and Athanasius flees into Voluntary Exile again, but in Consequence of the Clamors of the People the Emperor recalls and re-establishes him in his See.

About the same time Eunomius separated himself from Eudoxius, and held assemblies apart, because after he had repeatedly entreated that his preceptor Aëtius might be received into communion, Eudoxius continued to oppose it. Now Eudoxius did this against his preference, for he did not reject the opinion with Aëtius since it was the same as his own; but he yielded to the prevailing sentiment of his own party, who objected to Aëtius as heterodox. This was the cause of the division between Eunomius and Eudoxius, and such was the state of things at Constantinople. But the church at Alexandria was disturbed by an edict of the prætorian prefects, sent hither by means of Eudoxius. Whereupon Athanasius, dreading the irrational impetuosity of the multitude, and fearing lest he should be regarded as the author of the excesses that might be committed, concealed himself for four entire months in an ancestral tomb. Inasmuch however as the people, on account of their affection for him, became seditious in impatience of his absence, the emperor, on ascertaining that on this account agitation prevailed at Alexandria, ordered by his letters that Athanasius should be suffered to preside over the churches without molestation; and this was the reason why the Alexandrian church enjoyed tranquillity until the death of Athanasius. How the Arian faction became possessed of the churches after his decease, we shall unfold in the course of our history.

The Arians ordain Demophilus after the Death of Eudoxius at Constantinople; but the Orthodox Party constitute Evagrius his Successor.

The Emperor Valens leaving Constantinople again set out towards Antioch; but on his arrival at Nicomedia, a city of Bithynia, his progress was arrested by the following circumstances. Eudoxius the bishop of the Arian church who has been in possession of the seat of the Constantinopolitan church for nineteen years, died soon after the emperor’s departure from that city, in the third consulate of Valentinian and Valens. The Arians therefore appointed Demophilus to succeed him; but the Homoousians considering that an opportunity was afforded them, elected a certain Evagrius, a person who maintained their own principles; and Eustathius, who had been bishop of Antioch, formally ordained him. He had been recalled from exile by Jovian, and had at this time privately come to Constantinople, for the purpose of confirming the adherents to the doctrine of the homoousion.

The Emperor banishes Evagrius and Eustathius. The Arians persecute the Orthodox.

When this had been accomplished the Arians renewed their persecution of the Homoousians: and the emperor was very soon informed of what had taken place, and apprehending the subversion of the city in consequence of some popular tumult, immediately sent troops from Nicomedia to Constantinople; ordering that both he who had been ordained, and the one who had ordained him, should be apprehended and sent into exile in different regions. Eustathius therefore was banished to Bizya a city of Thrace; and Evagrius was conveyed to another place. After this the Arians, becoming bolder, grievously harassed the orthodox party, frequently beating them, reviling them, causing them to be imprisoned, and fined; in short they practiced distressing and intolerable annoyances against them. The sufferers were induced to appeal to the emperor for protection against their adversaries if haply they might obtain some relief from this oppression. But whatever hope of redress they might have cherished from this quarter, was altogether frustrated, inasmuch as they thus merely spread their grievances before him who was the very author of them.

Certain Presbyters burnt in a Ship by Order of Valens. Famine in Phrygia.

Certain pious men of the clerical order, eighty in number, among whom Urbanus, Theodore, and Menedemus were the leaders, proceeded to Nicomedia, and there presented to the emperor a supplicatory petition, informing him and complaining of the ill-usage to which they had been subjected. The emperor was filled with wrath; but dissembled his displeasure in their presence, and gave Modestus the prefect a secret order to apprehend these persons, and put them to death. The manner in which they were destroyed being unusual, deserves to be recorded. The prefect fearing that he should excite the populace to a seditious movement against himself, if he attempted the public execution of so many, pretended to send the men away into exile. Accordingly as they received the intelligence of their destiny with great firmness of mind the prefect ordered that they should be embarked as if to be conveyed to their several places of banishment, having meanwhile enjoined on the sailors to set the vessel on fire, as soon as they reached the mid sea, that their victims being so destroyed, might even be deprived of burial. This injunction was obeyed; for when they arrived at the middle of the Astacian Gulf, the crew set fire to the ship, and then took refuge in a small barque which followed them, and so escaped. Meanwhile it came to pass that a strong easterly wind blew, and the burning ship was roughly driven but moved faster and was preserved until it reached a port named Dacidizus, where it was utterly consumed together with the men who were shut up in it. Many have asserted that this impious deed was not suffered to go unpunished: for there immediately after arose so great a famine throughout all Phrygia, that a large proportion of the inhabitants were obliged to abandon their country for a time, and betake themselves some to Constantinople and some to other provinces. For Constantinople, notwithstanding the vast population it supplies, yet always abounds with the necessaries of life, all manner of provisions being imported into it by sea from various regions; and the Euxine which lies near it, furnishes it with wheat to any extent it may require.

The Emperor Valens, while at Antioch, again persecutes the Adherents of the ‘Homoousion.’

The Emperor Valens, little affected by the calamities resulting from the famine, went to Antioch in Syria, and during his residence there cruelly persecuted such as would not embrace Arianism. For not content with ejecting out of almost all the churches of the East those who maintained the homoousian opinion, he inflicted on them various punishments besides. He destroyed a greater number even than before, delivering them up to many different kinds of death, but especially drowning in the river.

Events at Edessa: Constancy of the Devout Citizens, and Courage of a Pious Woman.

But we must here mention certain circumstances that occurred at Edessa in Mesopotamia. There is in that city a magnificent church dedicated to St. Thomas the Apostle, wherein, on account of the sanctity of the place, religious assemblies are incessantly held. The Emperor Valens wishing to inspect this edifice, and having learnt that all who usually congregated there were opposed to the heresy which he favored, he is said to have struck the prefect with his own hand, because he had neglected to expel them thence also. As the prefect after submitting to this ignominy, was most unwillingly constrained to subserve the emperor’s indignation against them,—for he did not desire to effect the slaughter of so great a number of persons,—he privately suggested that no one should be found there. But no one gave heed either to his admonitions or to his menaces; for on the following day they all crowded to the church. And when the prefect was going towards it with a large military force in order to satisfy the emperor’s rage, a poor woman leading her own little child by the hand hurried hastily by, on her way to the church, breaking through the ranks of the prefect’s company of soldiers. The prefect irritated at this, ordered her to be brought to him, and thus addressed her: Wretched woman! whither are you running in so disorderly a manner? She replied, To the same place that others are hastening. Have you not heard, said he, that the prefect is about to put to death all that shall be found there? Yes, said the woman, and therefore I hasten that I may be found there. And whither are you dragging that little child? said the prefect: the woman answered, That he also may be made worthy of martyrdom. The prefect on hearing these things, conjecturing that a similar resolution actuated the others who were assembled there, immediately went back to the emperor, and informed him that all were ready to die in behalf of their own faith. He added that it would be preposterous to destroy so many persons at one time, and thus persuaded the emperor to control his wrath. In this way were the Edessenes preserved from being massacred by order of their sovereign.

Slaughter of Many Persons by Valens an Account of their Names, in Consequence of a Heathen Prediction.

The cruel disposition of the emperor was at this time abused by an execrable demon, who induced certain curious persons to institute an inquiry by means of necromancy as to who should succeed Valens on the throne. To their magical incantations the demon gave responses not distinct and unequivocal, but as the general practice is, full of ambiguity; for displaying the four letters q, e, o, and d, he declared that the name of the successor of Valens began with these; and that it was a compound name. When the emperor was apprised of this oracle, instead of committing to God, who alone can penetrate futurity, the decision of this matter, in contravention of those Christian principles to which he pretended the most zealous adherence, he put to death very many persons of whom he had the suspicion that they aimed at the sovereign power: thus such as were named Theodore, Theodotus, Theodosius, Theodulus, and the like, were sacrificed to the emperor’s fears; and among the rest was Theodosiolus, a very brave man, descended from a noble family in Spain. Many persons therefore, to avoid the danger to which they were exposed, changed their names, giving up those which they had received from their parents in infancy as dangerous. This will be enough on that subject.

Death of Athanasius, and Elevation of Peter to His See.

It must be said that as long as Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, was alive, the emperor, restrained by the Providence of God, abstained from molesting Alexandria and Egypt: indeed he knew very well that the multitude of those who were attached to Athanasius was very great; and on that account he was careful lest the public affairs should be hazarded, by the Alexandrians, who are an irritable race, being excited to sedition. But Athanasius, after being engaged in so many and such severe conflicts on behalf of the church, departed this life in the second consulate of Gratian and Probus, having governed that church amidst the greatest perils forty-six years. He left as his successor Peter, a devout and eloquent man.

The Arians are allowed by the Emperor to imprison Peter and to set Lucius over the See of Alexandria.

Upon this the Arians, emboldened by their knowledge of the emperor’s religious sentiments, again took courage, and without delay informed him of the circumstance. He was then residing at Antioch. Then indeed Euzoïus who presided over the Arians of that city, eagerly embracing the favorable opportunity thus presented, begged permission to go to Alexandria, for the purpose of putting Lucius the Arian in possession of the churches there. The emperor acceded to this request, and as speedily as possible Euzoïus proceeded forthwith to Alexandria, attended by the imperial troops. Magnus, also, the emperor’s treasurer, went with him. Moreover an imperial mandate had been issued to Palladius, the governor of Egypt, enjoining him to aid them with a military force. Wherefore having apprehended Peter, they cast him into prison; and after dispersing the rest of the clergy, they placed Lucius in the episcopal chair.

Silence of Sabinus on the Misdeeds of the Arians; Flight of Peter to Rome; Massacre of the Solitaries at the Instigation of the Arians.

Of the outrages perpetrated upon the installation of Lucius, and the treatment of those who were ejected, both in the courts and outside of the courts, and how some were subjected to a variety of tortures, and others sent into exile even after this excruciating process, Sabinus takes not the slightest notice. In fact, being half disposed to Arianism himself, he purposely veils the atrocities of his friends. Peter, however, has exposed them, in the letters he addressed to all the churches, when he had escaped from prison. For this [bishop] having managed to escape from prison, fled to Damasus, bishop of Rome. The Arians though not very numerous, becoming thus possessed of the Alexandrian churches soon after obtained an imperial edict directing the governor of Egypt to expel not only from Alexandria but even out of the country, the favorers of the homoousian doctrine, and all such as were obnoxious to Lucius. After this they assailed and disturbed and terribly harassed the monastic institutions in the desert; armed men rushed in the most ferocious manner upon those who were utterly defenceless, and who would not lift an arm to repel their violence: so that numbers of unresisting victims were in this manner slaughtered with a degree of wanton cruelty beyond description.

The Deeds of Some Holy Persons who devoted themselves to a Solitary Life.

Since I have referred to the monasteries of Egypt, it may be proper here to give a brief account of them. They were founded probably at a very early period, but were greatly enlarged and augmented by a devout man whose name was Ammoun. In his youth this person had an aversion to matrimony; but when some of his relatives urged him not to contemn marriage, but to take a wife to himself, he was prevailed upon and was married. On leading the bride with the customary ceremonies from the banquet-room to the nuptial couch, after their mutual friends had withdrawn, he took a book containing the epistles of the apostles and read to his wife Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians, explaining to her the apostle’s admonitions to married persons. Adducing many external considerations besides, he descanted on the inconveniences and discomforts attending matrimonial intercourse, the pangs of child-bearing, and the trouble and anxiety connected with rearing a family. He contrasted with all this the advantages of chastity; described the liberty, and immaculate purity of a life of continence; and affirmed that virginity places persons in the nearest relation to the Deity. By these and other arguments of a similar kind, he persuaded his virgin bride to renounce with him a secular life, prior to their having any conjugal knowledge of each other. Having taken this resolution, they retired together to the mountain of Nitria, and in a hut there inhabited for a short time one common ascetic apartment, without regarding their difference of sex, being according to the apostles, one in Christ. But not long after, the recent and unpolluted bride thus addressed Ammoun: It is unsuitable, said she, for you who practice chastity, to look upon a woman in so confined a dwelling; let us therefore, if it is agreeable to you, perform our exercise apart. This agreement again was satisfactory to both, and so they separated, and spent the rest of their lives in abstinence from wine and oil, eating dry bread alone, sometimes passing over one day, at others fasting two, and sometimes more. Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, asserts in his Life of Anthony, that the subject of his memoir who was contemporary with this Ammoun, saw his soul taken up by angels after his decease. Accordingly, a great number of persons emulated Ammoun’s manner of life, so that by degrees the mountains of Nitria and Scitis were filled with monks, an account of whose lives would require an express work. As, however, there were among them persons of eminent piety, distinguished for their strict discipline and apostolic lives, who said and did many things worthy of being recorded, I deem it useful to interweave with my history a few particulars selected out of the great number for the information of my readers. It is said that Ammoun never saw himself naked, being accustomed to say that it became not a monk to see even his own person exposed. And when once he wanted to pass a river, but was unwilling to undress, he besought God to enable him to cross without his being obliged to break his resolution; and immediately an angel transported him to the other side of the river. Another monk named Didymus lived entirely alone to the day of his death, although he had reached the age of ninety years. Arsenius, another of them, would not separate young delinquents from communion, but only those that were advanced in age: for, said he, when a young person is excommunicated he becomes hardened; but an elderly one is soon sensible of the misery of excommunication. Pior was accustomed to take his food as he walked along. As a certain one asked him, Why do you eat thus? That I may not seem, said he, to make eating serious business but rather a thing done by the way. To another putting the same question he replied, Lest even in eating my mind should be sensible of corporeal enjoyment. Isidore affirmed that he had not been conscious of sin even in thought for forty years; and that he had never consented either to lust or anger. Pambos being an illiterate man went to some one for the purpose of being taught a psalm; and having heard the first verse of the thirty-eighth psalm, I said I will take heed to my ways, that I offend not with my tongue, he departed without staying to hear the second verse, saying, this one will suffice, if I can practically acquire it. And when the person who had given him the verse reproved him because he had not seen him for the space of six months, he answered that he had not yet learnt to practice the verse of the psalm. After a considerable lapse of time, being asked by one of his friends whether he had made himself master of the verse, his answer was, I have scarcely succeeded in accomplishing it during nineteen years. A certain individual having placed gold in his hands for distribution to the poor, requested him to reckon what he had given him. There is no need of counting, said he, but of integrity of mind. This same Pambos, at the desire of Athanasius the bishop, came out of the desert to Alexandria and on beholding an actress there, he wept. When those present asked him why he wept, he replied, Two causes have affected me: one is the destruction of this woman; the other is that I exert myself less to please my God than she does to please obscene characters. Another said that a monk who did not work ought to be regarded as on a level with the covetous man. Piterus was well-informed in many branches of natural philosophy, and was accustomed frequently to enter into expositions of the principles sometimes of one and sometimes of another department of science, but he always commenced his expositions with prayer. There were also among the monks of that period, two of the same name, of great sanctity, each being called Macarius; one of whom was from Upper Egypt, the other from the city of Alexandria. Both were celebrated for their ascetic discipline, the purity of their life and conversation, and the miracles which were wrought by their hands. The Egyptian Macarius performed so many cures, and cast out so many devils, that it would require a distinct treatise to record all that the grace of God enabled him to do. His manner toward those who resorted to him was austere, yet at the same time calculated to inspire veneration. The Alexandrian Macarius, while in all respects resembling his Egyptian namesake, differed from him in this, that he was always cheerful to his visitors; and by the affability of his manners led many young men to asceticism. Evagrius became a disciple of these men, acquired from them the philosophy of deeds, whereas he had previously known that which consisted in words only. He was ordained deacon at Constantinople by Gregory of Nazianzus, and afterwards went with him into Egypt, where he became acquainted with these eminent persons, and emulated their course of conduct, and miracles were done by his hands as numerous and important as those of his preceptors. Books were also composed by him of very valuable nature, one of which is entitled The Monk, or, On Active Virtue; another The Gnostic, or, To him who is deemed worthy of Knowledge: this book is divided into fifty chapters. A third is designated Antirrheticus, and contains selections from the Holy Scriptures against tempting spirits, distributed into eight parts, according to the number of the arguments. He wrote moreover Six Hundred Prognostic Problems, and also two compositions in verse, one addressed To the Monks living in Communities, and the other To the Virgin. Whoever shall read these productions will be convinced of their excellence. It will not be out of place here, I conceive, to subjoin to what has been before stated, a few things mentioned by him respecting the monks. These are his words:

It becomes us to enquire into the habits of the pious monks who have preceded us, in order that we may correct ourselves by their example: for undoubtedly very many excellent things have been said and done by them. One of them was accustomed to say, that a drier and not irregular diet combined with love, would quickly conduct a monk into the haven of tranquillity. The same individual freed one of his brethren from being troubled by apparitions at night, by enjoining him to minister while fasting to the sick. And being asked why he prescribed this: Such affections, said he, are by nothing so effectually dissipated as by the exercise of compassion. A certain philosopher of those times coming to Anthony the Just, said to him, How can you endure, father, being deprived of the comfort of books? My book, O philosopher, replied Anthony, is the nature of things that are made, and it is present whenever I wish to read the words of God. That chosen vessel, the aged Egyptian Macarius, asked me, why the strength of the faculty of memory is impaired by cherishing the remembrance of injury received from men; while by remembering those done us by devils it remains uninjured? And when I hesitated, scarcely knowing what answer to make, and begged him to account for it: Because, said he, the former is an affection contrary to nature, and the latter is conformable to the nature of the mind. Going on one occasion to the holy father Macarius about mid-day, and being overcome with the heat and thirst, I begged for some water to drink: Content yourself with the shade, was his reply, for many who are now journeying by land, or sailing on the deep, are deprived even of this. Discussing with him afterwards the subject of abstinence, Take courage, my son, said he: for twenty years I have neither eaten, drunk, nor slept to satiety; my bread has always been weighed, my water measured, and what little sleep I have had has been stolen by reclining myself against a wall. The death of his father was announced to one of the monks: Cease your blasphemy, said he to the person that told him; my father is immortal. One of the brethren who possessed nothing but a copy of the Gospels, sold it, and distributed the price in food to the hungry, uttering this memorable saying—I have sold the book which says, Sell that thou hast and give to the poor. There is an island about the northern part of the city of Alexandria, beyond the lake called Maria, where a monk from Parembole dwells, in high repute among the Gnostics. This person was accustomed to say, that all the deeds of the monks were done for one of these five reasons;—on account of God, nature, custom, necessity, or manual labor. The same also said that there was only one virtue in nature, but that it assumes various characteristics according to the dispositions of the soul: just as the light of the sun is itself without form, but accommodates itself to the figure of that which receives it. Another of the monks said, I withdraw myself from pleasures, in order to cut off the occasions of anger: for I know that it always contends for pleasures, disturbing my tranquillity of mind, and unfitting me for the attainment of knowledge. One of the aged monks said that Love knows not how to keep a deposit either of provisions or money. He added, I never remember to have been twice deceived by the devil in the same thing. Thus wrote Evagrius in his book entitled Practice. And in that which he called The Gnostic he says, We have learned from Gregory the Just, that there are four virtues, having distinct characteristics:—prudence and fortitude, temperance and justice. That it is the province of prudence to contemplate the sacred and intelligent powers apart from expression, because these are unfolded by wisdom: of fortitude to adhere to truth against all opposition, and never to turn aside to that which is unreal: of temperance to receive seed from the chief husbandman, but to repel him who would sow over it seed of another kind: and finally, of justice to adapt discourse to every one, according to their condition and capacity; stating some things obscurely, others in a figurative manner, and explaining others clearly for the instruction of the less intelligent. That pillar of truth, Basil of Cappadocia, used to say that the knowledge which men teach is perfected by constant study and exercise; but that which proceeds from the grace of God, by the practice of justice, patience, and mercy. That the former indeed is often developed in persons who are still subject to the passions; whereas the latter is the portion of those only who are superior to their influence, and who during the season of devotion, contemplate that peculiar light of the mind which illumines them. That luminary of the Egyptians, holy Athanasius, assures us that Moses was commanded to place the table on the north side. Let the Gnostics therefore understand what wind is contrary to them, and so nobly endure every temptation, and minister nourishment with a willing mind to those who apply to them. Serapion, the angel of the church of the Thmuïtae, declared that the mind is completely purified by drinking in spiritual knowledge: that charity cures the inflammatory tendencies of the soul; and that the depraved lusts which spring up in it are restrained by abstinence. Exercise thyself continually, said the great and enlightened teacher Didymus, in reflecting on providence and judgment; and endeavor to bear in memory the material of whatever discourses thou mayst have heard on these topics, for almost all fail in this respect. Thou wilt find reasonings concerning judgment in the difference of created forms, and the constitution of the universe: sermons on providence comprehended in those means by which we are led from vice and ignorance to virtue and knowledge.

These few extracts from Evagrius we thought it would be appropriate to insert here. There was another excellent man among the monks, named Ammonius, who had so little interest in secular matters, that when he went to Rome with Athanasius, he chose to investigate none of the magnificent works of that city, contenting himself with examining the Cathedral of Peter and Paul only. This same Ammonius on being urged to enter upon the episcopal office, cut off his own right ear, that by mutilation of his person he might disqualify himself for ordination. But when long afterwards Evagrius, whom Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria, wished to make a bishop, having effected his escape without maiming himself in any way, afterwards happened to meet Ammonius, and told him jocosely, that he had done wrong in cutting off his own ear, as he had by that means rendered himself criminal in the sight of God. To which Ammonius replied, And do you think, Evagrius, that you will not be punished, who from self-love have cut out your own tongue, to avoid the exercise of that gift of utterance which has been committed to you? There were at the same time in the monasteries very many other admirable and devout characters whom it would be too tedious to enumerate in this place, and besides if we should attempt to describe the life of each, and the miracles they did by means of that sanctity with which they were endowed, we should necessarily digress too far from the object we have in view. Should any one desire to become acquainted with their history, in reference both to their deeds and experiences and discourses for the edification of their auditors, as well as how wild beasts became subject to their authority, there is a specific treatise as on the subject, composed by the monk Palladius, who was a disciple of Evagrius, and gives all these particulars in minute detail. In that work he also mentions several women, who practiced the same kind of austerities as the men that have been referred to. Both Evagrius and Palladius flourished a short time after the death of Valens. We must now return to the point whence we diverged.

Assault upon the Monks, and Banishment of their Superiors, who exhibit Miraculous Power.

The emperor Valens having issued an edict commanding that the orthodox should be persecuted both in Alexandria and in the rest of Egypt, depopulation and ruin to an immense extent immediately followed: some were dragged before the tribunals, others cast into prison, and many tortured in various ways, and in fact all sorts of punishments were inflicted upon persons who aimed only at peace and quiet. When these outrages had been perpetrated at Alexandria just as Lucius thought proper, Euzoïus returned to Antioch, and Lucian the Arian, attended by the commander-in-chief of the army with a considerable body of troops, immediately proceeded to the monasteries of Egypt, where the general in person assailed the assemblage of holy men with greater fury even than the ruthless soldiery. On reaching these solitudes they found the monks engaged in their customary exercises, praying, healing diseases, and casting out devils. Yet they, regardless of these extraordinary evidences of Divine power, suffered them not to continue their solemn devotions, but drove them out of the oratories by force. Rufinus declares that he was not only a witness of these cruelties, but also one of the sufferers. Thus in them were renewed those things which are spoken of by the apostle: for they were mocked, and had trial of scourgings, were stripped naked, put in bonds, stoned, slain with the sword, went about in the wilderness clad in sheep-skins and goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented, of whom the world was not worthy, wandering in deserts, in mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. In all these things they obtained a good report for their faith and their works, and the cures which the grace of Christ wrought by their hands. But as it appears Divine Providence permitted them to endure these evils, having for them provided something better, that through their sufferings others might obtain the salvation of God, and this subsequent events seem to prove. When therefore these wonderful men proved superior to all the violence which was exercised toward them, Lucius in despair advised the military chief to send the fathers of the monks into exile: these were the Egyptian Macarius, and his namesake of Alexandria, both of whom were accordingly banished to an island where there was no Christian inhabitant, and in this island there was an idolatrous temple, and a priest whom the inhabitants worshiped as a god. On the arrival of these holy men at the island, the demons of that place were filled with fear and trepidation. Now it happened at the same time that the priest’s daughter became suddenly possessed by a demon, and began to act with great fury, and to overturn everything that came in her way; nor was any force sufficient to restrain her, but she cried with a loud voice to these saints of God, saying:—Why are ye come here to cast us out from hence also? Then did the men there also display the peculiar power which they had received through Divine grace: for having cast out the demon from the maid, and presented her cured to her father, they led the priest himself, and also all the inhabitants of the island to the Christian faith. Whereupon they immediately brake their images in pieces, and changed the form of their temple into that of a church; and having been baptized, they joyfully received instruction in the doctrines of Christianity. Thus these marvelous individuals, after enduring persecution on account of the homoousian faith, were themselves more approved, became the means of salvation to others, and confirmed the truth.

Of Didymus the Blind Man.

About the same period God brought into observation another faithful person, deeming it worthy that through him faith might be witnessed unto: this was Didymus, a most admirable and eloquent man, instructed in all the learning of the age in which he flourished. At a very early age, when he had scarcely acquired the first elements of learning, he was attacked by disease in the eyes which deprived him of sight. But God compensated to him the loss of corporeal vision, by bestowing increased intellectual acumen. For what he could not learn by seeing, he was enabled to acquire through the sense of hearing; so that being from his childhood endowed with excellent abilities, he soon far surpassed his youthful companions who possessed the keenest sight. He made himself master of the principles of grammar and rhetoric with astonishing facility; and proceeded thence to philosophical studies, dialectics, arithmetic, music, and the various other departments of knowledge to which his attention was directed; and he so treasured up in his mind these branches of science, that he was prepared with the utmost readiness to enter into a discussion of these subjects with those who had become conversant therewith by reading books. Not only this, but he was so well acquainted with the Divine oracles contained in the Old and New Testament that he composed several treatises in exposition of them, besides three books on the Trinity. He published also commentaries on Origen’s book Of Principles, in which he commends these writings, saying that they are excellent, and that those who calumniate their author, and speak slightingly of his works, are mere cavilers. For, says he, they are destitute of sufficient penetration to comprehend the profound wisdom of that extraordinary man. Those who may desire to form a just idea of the extensive erudition of Didymus, and the intense ardor of his mind, must peruse with attention his diversified and elaborate works. It is said that after Anthony had conversed for some time with this Didymus, long before the reign of Valens, when he came from the desert to Alexandria on account of the Arians, perceiving the learning and intelligence of the man, he said to him, Didymus, let not the loss of your bodily eyes distress you: for you are deprived of such eyes merely as are the common possession of gnats and flies; rather rejoice that you have eyes such as angels see with, by which the Deity himself is discerned, and his light comprehended. This address of the pious Anthony to Didymus was made long before the times we are describing: in fact Didymus was then regarded as the great bulwark of the true faith, answering the Arians, whose sophistic cavilings he fully exposed, triumphantly refuting all their vain subtleties and deceptive reasonings.

Of Basil of Cæsarea, and Gregory of Nazianzus.

Now Providence opposed Didymus to the Arians at Alexandria. But for the purpose of confuting them in other cities, it raised up Basil of Cæsarea and Gregory of Nazianzus; concerning these it will be reasonable to give a brief account in this place. Indeed the universally prevalent memory of the men would be enough as a token of their fame; and the extent of their knowledge is sufficiently perceptible in their writings. Since, however, the exercise of their talents was of great service to the Church, tending in a high degree to the maintenance of the catholic faith, the nature of my history obliges me to take particular notice of these two persons. If any one should compare Basil and Gregory with one another, and consider the life, morals, and virtues of each, he would find it difficult to decide to which of them he ought to assign the pre-eminence: so equally did they both appear to excel, whether you regard the rectitude of their conduct, or their deep acquaintance with Greek literature and the sacred Scriptures. In their youth they were pupils at Athens of Himerius and Prohæresius, the most celebrated sophists of that age: subsequently they frequented the school of Libanius at Antioch in Syria, where they cultivated rhetoric to the utmost. Having been deemed worthy of the profession of sophistry, they were urged by many of their friends to enter the profession of teaching eloquence; others would have persuaded them to practice law: but despising both these pursuits, they abandoned their former studies, and embraced the monastic life. Having had some slight taste of philosophical science from him who then taught it at Antioch, they procured Origen’s works, and drew from them the right interpretation of the sacred Scriptures; for the fame of Origen was very great and widespread throughout the whole world at that time; after a careful perusal of the writings of that great man, they contended against the Arians with manifest advantage. And when the defenders of Arianism quoted the same author in confirmation, as they imagined, of their own views, these two confuted them, and clearly proved that their opponents did not at all understand the reasoning of Origen. Indeed, although Eunomius, who was then their champion, and many others on the side of the Arians were considered men of great eloquence, yet whenever they attempted to enter into controversy with Gregory and Basil, they appeared in comparison with them ignorant and illiterate. Basil being ordained to the office of deacon, was by Meletius, bishop of Antioch, from that rank elevated to the bishopric of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, which was his native country. Thither he therefore hastened, fearing lest these Arian dogmas should have infected the provinces of Pontus; and in order to counteract them, he founded several monasteries, diligently instructed the people in his own doctrines, and confirmed the faith of those whose minds were wavering. Gregory being constituted bishop of Nazianzus, a small city of Cappadocia over which his own father had before presided, pursued a course similar to that which Basil took; for he went through the various cities, and strengthened the weak in faith. To Constantinople in particular he made frequent visits, and by his ministrations there, comforted and assured the orthodox believers, wherefore a short time after, by the suffrage of many bishops, he was made bishop of the church at Constantinople. When intelligence of the proceedings of these two zealous and devoted men reached the ears of the emperor Valens, he immediately ordered Basil to be brought from Cæsarea to Antioch; where being arraigned before the tribunal of the prefect, that functionary asked him why he would not embrace the emperor’s faith? Basil with much boldness condemned the errors of that creed which his sovereign countenanced, and vindicated the doctrine of the homoousion: and when the prefect threatened him with death, Would, said Basil, that I might be released from the bonds of the body for the truth’s sake. The prefect having exhorted him to reconsider the matter more seriously, Basil is reported to have said, I am the same to-day that I shall be to-morrow: but I wish that you had not changed yourself. At that time, therefore, Basil remained in custody throughout the day. It happened, however, not long afterwards that Galates, the emperor’s infant son, was attacked with a dangerous malady, so that the physicians despaired of his recovery; when the empress Dominica, his mother, assured the emperor that she had been greatly disquieted in her dreams by fearful visions, which led her to believe that the child’s illness was a chastisement on account of the ill treatment of the bishop. The emperor after a little reflection sent for Basil, and in order to prove his faith said to him, If the doctrine you maintain is the truth, pray that my son may not die. If your majesty should believe as I do, replied Basil, and the church should be unified, the child shall live. To these conditions the emperor would not agree: God’s will concerning the child will be done then, said Basil; as Basil said this the emperor ordered him to be dismissed; the child, however, died shortly after. Such is an epitome of the history of these distinguished ecclesiastics, both of whom have left us many admirable works, some of which Rufinus says he has translated into Latin. Basil had two brothers, Peter and Gregory; the former of whom adopted Basil’s monastic mode of life; while the latter emulated his eloquence in teaching, and completed after his death Basil’s treatise on the Six Days’ Work, which had been left unfinished. He also pronounced at Constantinople the funeral oration of Meletius, bishop of Antioch; and many other orations of his are still extant.

Of Gregory Thaumaturgus (the Wonder-Worker).

But since from the likeness of the name, and the title of the books attributed to Gregory, persons are liable to confound very different parties, it is important to notice that Gregory of Pontus is a different person. He was a native of Neocæsarea in Pontus, of greater antiquity than the one above referred to, inasmuch as he was a disciple of Origen. This Gregory’s fame was celebrated at Athens, at Berytus, throughout the entire diocese of Pontus, and I might almost add in the whole world. When he had finished his education in the schools of Athens, he went to Berytus to study civil law, where hearing that Origen expounded the Holy Scriptures at Cæsarea, he quickly proceeded thither; and after his understanding had been opened to perceive the grandeur of these Divine books, bidding adieu to all further cultivation of the Roman laws, he became thenceforth inseparable from Origen, from whom having acquired a knowledge of the true philosophy, he was recalled soon after by his parents and returned to his own country; and there, while still a layman, he performed many miracles, healing the sick, and casting out devils even by his letters, insomuch that the pagans were no less attracted to the faith by his acts, than by his discourses. Pamphilus Martyr mentions this person in the books which he wrote in defence of Origen; to which there is added a commendatory oration of Gregory’s, composed in praise of Origen, when he was under the necessity of leaving him. There were then, to be brief, several Gregories: the first and most ancient was the disciple of Origen; the second was the bishop of Nazianzus; the third was Basil’s brother; and there was another Gregory whom the Arians constituted bishop during the exile of Athanasius. But enough has been said respecting them.

Of Novatus and his Followers. The Novatians of Phrygia alter the Time of keeping Easter, following Jewish Usage.

About this time the Novatians inhabiting Phrygia changed the day for celebrating the Feast of Easter. How this happened I shall state, after first explaining the reason of the strict discipline which is maintained in their church, even to the present day, in the provinces of Phrygia and Paphlagonia. Novatus, a presbyter of the Roman Church, separated from it, because Cornelius the bishop received into communion believers who had sacrificed during the persecution which the Emperor Decius had raised against the Church. Having seceded on this account, on being afterwards elevated to the episcopacy by such bishops as entertained similar sentiments, he wrote to all the churches that they should not admit to the sacred mysteries those who had sacrificed; but exhorting them to repentance, leave the pardoning of their offense to God, who has the power to forgive all sin. Receiving such letters, the parties in the various provinces, to whom they were addressed, acted according to their several dispositions and judgments. As he asked that they should not receive to the sacraments those who after baptism had committed any deadly sin this appeared to some a cruel and merciless course: but others received the rule as just and conducive to the maintenance of discipline, and the promotion of greater devotedness of life. In the midst of the agitation of this question, letters arrived from Cornelius the bishop, promising indulgence to delinquents after baptism. Thus as these two persons wrote contrary to one another, and each confirmed his own procedure by the testimony of the Divine word, as it usually happens, every one identified himself with that view which favored his previous habits and inclinations. Those who had pleasure in sin, encouraged by the license then granted them, took occasion from it to revel in every species of criminality. Now the Phrygians appear to be more temperate than other nations, and are seldom guilty of swearing. The Scythians, on the other hand, and the Thracians, are naturally of a very irritable disposition: while the inhabitants of the East are addicted to sensual pleasures. But the Paphlagonians and Phrygians are prone to neither of these vices; nor are the sports of the circus and theatrical exhibitions in much estimation among them even to the present day. And for this reason, it seems to me, these people, as well as others of the same character, so readily assented to the letters then written by Novatus. Fornication and adultery are regarded among them as the grossest enormities: and it is well known that there is no race of men on the face of the earth who more rigidly govern their passions in this respect than the Phrygians and Paphlagonians. The same reason I think had force with those who dwelt in the West and followed Novatus. Yet although for the sake of stricter discipline Novatus became a separatist, he made no change in the time of keeping Easter, but invariably observed the practice that obtained in the Western churches. For they celebrate this feast after the equinox, according to the usage which had of old been delivered to them when first they embraced Christianity. He himself indeed afterwards suffered martyrdom in the reign of Valerian, during the persecution which was then raised against the Christians. But those in Phrygia who are named after him Novatians, about this period changed the day of celebrating Easter, being averse to communion with other Christians even on this occasion. This was effected by means of a few obscure bishops of that sect convening a Synod at the village of Pazum, which is situated near the sources of the river Sangarius; for there they framed a canon appointing its observance on the same day as that on which the Jews annually keep the feast of Unleavened Bread. An aged man, who was the son of a presbyter, and had been present with his father at this Synod, gave us our information on this matter. But both Agelius, bishop of the Novatians at Constantinople, and Maximus of Nicæa, as also the bishops of Nicomedia and Cotyæum, were absent, although the ecclesiastical affairs of the Novatians were for the most part under the control of these bishops. How the church of the Novatians soon after was divided into two parties in consequence of this Synod, shall be related in its proper course: but we must now notice what took place about the same time in the Western parts.

Damasus ordained Bishop of Rome. Sedition and Loss of Life caused by the Rivalry of Ursinus.

While the emperor Valentinian governed in peace, and interfered with no sect, Damasus after Liberius undertook the administration of the bishopric at Rome; whereupon a great disturbance was caused on the following account. A certain Ursinus, a deacon of that church, had been nominated among others when the election of a bishop took place; as Damasus was preferred, this Ursinus, unable to bear the disappointment of his hopes, held schismatic assemblies apart from the church, and even induced certain bishops of little distinction to ordain him in secret. This ordination was made, not in a church, but in a retired place called the Palace of Sicine, whereupon dissension arose among the people; their disagreement being not about any article of faith or heresy, but simply as to who should be bishop. Hence frequent conflicts arose, insomuch that many lives were sacrificed in this contention; and many of the clergy as well as laity were punished on that account by Maximin, the prefect of the city. Thus was Ursinus obliged to desist from his pretensions at that time, and those who were minded to follow him were reduced to order.

Dissension about a Successor to Auxentius, Bishop of Milan. Ambrose, Governor of the Province, going to appease the Tumult, is by General Consent and with the Approval of the Emperor Valentinian elected to the Bishopric of that Church.

About the same time it happened that another event took place at Milan well worthy of being recorded. On the death of Auxentius, who had been ordained bishop of that church by the Arians, the people again were disturbed respecting the election of a successor; for as some proposed one person, and others favored another, the city was full of contention and uproar. In this state of things the governor of the province, Ambrose by name, who was also of consular dignity, dreading some catastrophe from the popular excitement, ran into the church in order to quell the disturbance. As he arrived there and the people became quiet, he repressed the irrational fury of the multitude by a long and appropriate address, by urging such motives as they felt to be right, and all present suddenly came to an unanimous agreement, crying out that Ambrose was worthy of the bishopric, and demanding his ordination: for by that means only, it was alleged, would the peace of the church be secured, and all be reunited in the same faith and judgment. And inasmuch as such unanimity among the people appeared to the bishops then present to proceed from some Divine appointment, immediately they laid hands on Ambrose; and having baptized him—for he was then but a catechumen—they were about to invest him with the episcopal office. But although Ambrose willingly received baptism, he with great earnestness refused to be ordained: upon which the bishops referred the matter to the Emperor Valentinian. This prince regarding the universal consent of the people as the work of God, sent word to the bishops to do the will of God by ordaining him; declaring that his choice was by the voice of God rather than by the votes of men. Ambrose was therefore ordained; and thus the inhabitants of Milan who were divided among themselves, were once more restored to unity.

Death of Valentinian.

The Sarmatæ after this having made incursions into the Roman territories, the emperor marched against them with a numerous army but when the barbarians understood the formidable nature of this expedition, they sent an embassy to him to sue for peace on certain conditions. As the ambassadors were introduced to the emperor’s presence, and appeared to him to be not very dignified fellows, he enquired whether all the Sarmatæ were such as these? As they replied that the noblest personages of their whole nation had come to him, Valentinian became excessively enraged, and exclaimed with great vehemence, that the Roman empire was indeed most wretched in devolving upon him at a time when a nation of such despicable barbarians, not content with being permitted to exist in safety within their own limits, dared to take up arms, invade the Roman territories, and break forth into open war. The violence of his manner and utterance of these words was so great, that all his veins were opened by the effort, and all the arteries ruptured; and from the quantity of blood which thereupon gushed forth he died. This occurred at Bergition Castle, after Gratian’s third consulate in conjunction with Equitius, on the seventeenth day of November, Valentinian having lived fifty-four years and reigned thirteen. Upon the decease of Valentinian, six days after his death the army in Italy proclaimed his son Valentinian, then a young child, emperor, at Acincum, a city of Italy. When this was announced to the other two emperors, they were displeased, not because the brother of the one and the nephew of the other had been declared emperor, but because the military presumed to proclaim him without consulting them, whom they themselves wished to have proclaimed. They both, however, ratified the transaction, and thus was Valentinian the younger seated on his father’s throne. Now this Valentinian was born of Justina, whom Valentinian the elder married while Severa his former wife was alive, under the following circumstances. Justus the father of Justina, who had been governor of Picenum under the reign of Constantius, had a dream in which he seemed to himself to bring forth the imperial purple out of his right side. When this dream had been told to many persons, it at length came to the knowledge of Constantius, who conjecturing it to be a presage that a descendant of Justus would become emperor, caused him to be assassinated. Justina being thus bereft of her father, still continued a virgin. Some time after she became known to Severa, wife of the emperor Valentinian, and had frequent intercourse with the empress, until their intimacy at length grew to such an extent that they were accustomed to bathe together. When Severa saw Justina in the bath she was greatly struck with the beauty of the virgin, and spoke of her to the emperor; saying that the daughter of Justus was so lovely a creature, and possessed of such symmetry of form, that she herself, though a woman, was altogether charmed with her. The emperor, treasuring this description by his wife in his own mind, considered with himself how he could espouse Justina, without repudiating Severa, as she had borne him Gratian, whom he had created Augustus a little while before. He accordingly framed a law, and caused it to be published throughout all the cities, by which any man was permitted to have two lawful wives. The law was promulgated and he married Justina, by whom he had Valentinian the younger, and three daughters, Justa, Grata, and Galla; the two former of these remained virgins: but Calla was afterwards married to the emperor Theodosius the Great, who had by her a daughter named Placidia. For that prince had Arcadius and Honorius by Flaccilla his former wife: we shall however enter into particulars respecting Theodosius and his sons in the proper place.

The Emperor Valens, appeased by the Oration of Themistius the Philosopher, abates his Persecution of the Christians.

In the meanwhile Valens, making his residence at Antioch, was wholly undisturbed by foreign wars; for the barbarians on every side restrained themselves within their own boundaries. Nevertheless, he himself waged a most cruel war against those who maintained the homoousian doctrine, inflicting on them more grievous punishments every day; until the philosopher Themistius by his Appealing Oration somewhat moderated his severity. In this speech he tells the emperor, That he ought not to be surprised at the difference of judgment on religious questions existing among Christians; inasmuch as that discrepancy was trifling when compared with the multitude of conflicting opinions current among the heathen; for these amount to above three hundred; that dissension indeed was an inevitable consequence of this disagreement; but that God would be the more glorified by a diversity of sentiment, and the greatness of his majesty be more venerated, from the fact of its not being easy to have a knowledge of Him. The philosopher having said these and similar things, the emperor became milder, but did not completely give up his wrath; for although he ceased to put ecclesiastics to death, he continued to send them into exile, until this fury of his also was repressed by the following event.

The Goths, under the Reign of Valens, embrace Christianity.

The barbarians, dwelling beyond the Danube, called the Goths, having engaged in a civil war among themselves, were divided into two parties, one of which was headed by Fritigernes, the other by Athanaric. When the latter had obtained an evident advantage over his rival, Fritigernes had recourse to the Romans, and implored their assistance against his adversary. This was reported to the Emperor Valens, and he ordered the troops which were garrisoned in Thrace to assist those barbarians who had appealed to him against their more powerful countrymen; and by means of this subsidy they won a complete victory over Athanaric beyond the Danube, totally routing the enemy. This became the occasion for the conversion of many of the barbarians to the Christian religion: for Fritigernes, to express his sense of the obligation the emperor had conferred upon him, embraced the religion of his benefactor, and urged those who were under his authority to do the same. Therefore it is that so many of the Goths are even to the present time infected with the errors of Arianism, they having on the occasion preferred to become adherents to that heresy on the emperor’s account. Ulfilas, their bishop at that time, invented the Gothic letters, and translating the Sacred Scriptures into their own language, undertook to instruct these barbarians in the Divine oracles. And as Ulfilas did not restrict his labors to the subjects of Fritigernes, but extended them to those who acknowledged the sway of Athanaric also, Athanaric regarding this as a violation of the privileges of the religion of his ancestors, subjected those who professed Christianity to severe punishments; so that many of the Arian Goths of that period became martyrs. Arius indeed, failing in his attempt to refute the opinion of Sabellius the Libyan, fell from the true faith, and asserted the Son of God to be a new God: but the barbarians embracing Christianity with greater simplicity of mind despised the present life for the faith of Christ. With these remarks we shall close our notice of the Christianized Goths.

Admission of the Fugitive Goths into the Roman Territories, which caused the Emperor’s Overthrow, and eventually the Ruin of the Roman Empire.

Not long after the barbarians had entered into a friendly alliance with one another, they were again vanquished by other barbarians, their neighbors, called the Huns; and being driven out of their own country, they fled into the territory of the Romans, offering to be subject to the emperor, and to execute whatever he should command them. When Valens was made acquainted with this, not having the least presentiment of the consequences, he ordered that the suppliants should be received with kindness; in this one instance alone showing himself compassionate. He therefore assigned them certain parts of Thrace for their habitation, deeming himself peculiarly fortunate in this matter: for he calculated that in future he should possess a ready and well-equipped army against all assailants; and hoped that the barbarians would be a more formidable guard to the frontiers of the empire even than the Romans themselves. For this reason he in the future neglected to recruit his army by Roman levies; and despising those veterans who had bravely straggled and subdued his enemies in former wars, he put a pecuniary value on the militia which the inhabitants of the provinces, village by village, had been accustomed to furnish, ordering the collectors of his tribute to demand eighty pieces of gold for every soldier, although he had never before lightened the public burdens. This change was the origin of many disasters to the Roman empire subsequently.

Abatement of Persecution against the Christians because of the War with the Goths.

The barbarians having been put into possession of Thrace, and securely enjoying that Roman province, were unable to bear their good fortune with moderation; but committing hostile aggressions upon their benefactors, devastated all Thrace and the adjacent countries. When these proceedings came to the knowledge of Valens, he desisted from sending the adherents of the homoousion into banishment; and in great alarm left Antioch, and came to Constantinople, where also the persecution of the orthodox Christians was for the same reason come to an end. At the same time Euzoïus, bishop of the Arians at Antioch, departed this life, in the fifth consulate of Valens, and the first of Valentinian the younger; and Dorotheus was appointed in his place.

The Saracens, under Mavia their Queen, embrace Christianity; and Moses, a Pious Monk, is consecrated their Bishop.

No sooner had the emperor departed from Antioch, than the Saracens, who had before been in alliance with the Romans, revolted from them, being led by Mavia their queen, whose husband was then dead. All the regions of the East therefore were at that time ravaged by the Saracens: but a certain divine Providence repressed their fury in the manner I am about to describe. A person named Moses, a Saracen by birth, who led a monastic life in the desert, became exceedingly eminent for his piety, faith, and miracles. Mavia the queen of the Saracens was therefore desirous that this person should be constituted bishop over her nation, and promised on the condition to terminate the war. The Roman generals considering that a peace founded on such terms would be extremely advantageous, gave immediate directions for its ratification. Moses was accordingly seized, and brought from the desert to Alexandria, in order that he might there be invested with the bishopric: but on his presentation for that purpose to Lucius, who at that time presided over the churches in that city, he refused to be ordained by him, protesting against it in these words: I account myself indeed unworthy of the sacred office; but if the exigencies of the state require my bearing it, it shall not be by Lucius laying his hand on me, for it has been filled with blood. When Lucius told him that it was his duty to learn from him the principles of religion, and not to utter reproachful language, Moses replied, Matters of faith are not now in question: but your infamous practices against the brethren sufficiently prove that your doctrines are not Christian. For a Christian is no striker, reviles not, does not fight; for it becomes not a servant of the Lord to fight. But your deeds cry out against you by those who have been sent into exile, who have been exposed to the wild beasts, and who had been delivered up to the flames. Those things which our own eyes have beheld are far more convincing than what we receive from the report of another. As Moses expressed these and other similar sentiments his friends took him to the mountains, that he might receive ordination from those bishops who lived in exile there. Moses having thus been consecrated, the Saracen war was terminated; and so scrupulously did Mavia observe the peace thus entered into with the Romans that she gave her daughter in marriage to Victor the commander-in-chief of the Roman army. Such were the transactions in relation to the Saracens.

After the Departure of Valens from Antioch, the Alexandrians expel Lucius, and restore Peter, who had come with Letters from Damasus Bishop of Rome.

About the same time, as soon as the Emperor Valens left Antioch, all those who had anywhere been suffering persecution began again to take courage, and especially those of Alexandria. Peter returned to that city from Rome, with letters from Damasus the Roman bishop, in which he confirmed the homoousian faith, and sanctioned Peter’s ordination. The people therefore resuming confidence, expelled Lucius, who immediately embarked for Constantinople: but Peter survived his re-establishment a very short time, and at his death appointed his brother Timothy to succeed him.

The Emperor Valens is ridiculed by the People on Account of the Goths; undertakes an Expedition against them and is slain in an Engagement near Adrianople.

The Emperor Valens arrived at Constantinople on the 30th of May, in the sixth year of his own consulate, and the second of Valentinian the Younger, and found the people in a very dejected state of mind: for the barbarians, who had already desolated Thrace, were now laying waste the very suburbs of Constantinople, there being no adequate force at hand to resist them. But when they undertook to make near approaches, even to the walls of the city, the people became exceedingly troubled, and began to murmur against the emperor; accusing him of having brought on the enemy thither, and then indolently prolonging the struggle there, instead of at once marching out against the barbarians. Moreover at the exhibition of the sports of the Hippodrome, all with one voice clamored against the emperor’s negligence of the public affairs, crying out with great earnestness, Give us arms, and we ourselves will fight. The emperor provoked at these seditious clamors, marched out of the city, on the 11th of June; threatening that if he returned, he would punish the citizens not only for their insolent reproaches, but for having previously favored the pretensions of the usurper Procopius; declaring also that he would utterly demolish their city, and cause the plough to pass over its ruins, he advanced against the barbarians, whom he routed with great slaughter, and pursued as far as Adrianople, a city of Thrace, situated on the frontiers of Macedonia. Having at that place again engaged the enemy, who had by this time rallied, he lost his life on the 9th of August, under the consulate just mentioned, and in the fourth year of the 289th Olympiad. Some have asserted that he was burnt to death in a village whither he had retired, which the barbarians assaulted and set on fire. But others affirm that having put off his imperial robe he ran into the midst of the main body of infantry; and that when the cavalry revolted and refused to engage, the infantry were surrounded by the barbarians, and completely destroyed in a body. Among these it is said the emperor fell, but could not be distinguished, in consequence of his not having on his imperial habit. He died in the fiftieth year of his age, having reigned in conjunction with his brother thirteen years, and three years after the death of the brother. This book therefore contains [the course of events during] the space of sixteen years.

Book V

After the Death of Valens the Goths again attack Constantinople, and are repulsed by the Citizens, aided by Some Saracen Auxiliaries.

After the Emperor Valens had thus lost his life, in a manner which has never been satisfactorily ascertained, the barbarians again approached the very walls of Constantinople, and laid waste the suburbs on every side of it. Whereat the people becoming indignant armed themselves with whatever weapons they could severally lay hands on, and sallied forth of their own accord against the enemy. The empress Dominica caused the same pay to be distributed out of the imperial treasury to such as volunteered to go out on this service, as was usually allowed to soldiers. A few Saracens also assisted the citizens, being confederates, who had been sent by Mavia their queen: the latter we have already mentioned. In this way the people having fought at this time, the barbarians retired to a great distance from the city.

The Emperor Gratian recalls the Orthodox Bishops, and expels the Heretics from the Churches. He takes Theodosius as his Colleague in the Empire.

Gratian being now in possession of the empire, together with Valentinian the younger, and condemning the cruel policy of his uncle Valens towards the [orthodox] Christians, recalled those whom he had sent into exile. He moreover enacted that persons of all sects, without distinction, might securely assemble together in their churches; and that only the Eunomians, Photinians, and Manichæans should be excluded from the churches. Being also sensible of the languishing condition of the Roman empire, and of the growing power of the barbarians and perceiving that the state was in need of a brave and prudent man, he took Theodosius as his colleague in the sovereign power. This [Theodosius] was descended from a noble family in Spain, and had acquired so distinguished a celebrity for his prowess in the wars, that he was universally considered worthy of imperial dignity, even before Gratian’s election of him. Having therefore proclaimed him emperor at Sirmium a city of Illyricum in the consulate of Ausonius and Olybrius, on the 16th of January, he divided with him the care of managing the war against the barbarians.

The Principal Bishops who flourished at that Time.

Now at this time Damasus who had succeeded Liberius then presided over the church at Rome. Cyril was still in possession of that at Jerusalem. The Antiochian church, as we have stated, was divided into three parts: for the Arians had chosen Dorotheus as the successor of their bishop Euzoïus; while one portion of the rest was under the government of Paulinus, and the others ranged themselves with Melitius, who had been recalled from exile. Lucius, although absent, having been compelled to leave Alexandria, yet maintained the episcopal authority among the Arians of that city; the Homoousians there being headed by Timothy, who succeeded Peter. At Constantinople Demophilus the successor of Eudoxius presided over the Arian faction, and was in possession of the churches; but those who were averse to communion with him held their assemblies apart.

The Macedonians, who had subscribed the ‘Homoousian’ Doctrine, return to their Former Error.

After the deputation from the Macedonians to Liberius, that sect was admitted to entire communion with the churches in every city, intermixing themselves indiscriminately with those who from the beginning had embraced the form of faith published at Nicæa. But when the law of the Emperor Gratian permitted the several sects to reunite without restraint in the public services of religion, they again resolved to separate themselves; and having met at Antioch in Syria, they decided to avoid the word homoousios again, and in no way to hold communion with the supporters of the Nicene Creed. They however derived no advantage from this attempt; for the majority of their own party being disgusted at the fickleness with which they sometimes maintained one opinion, and then another, withdrew from them, and thenceforward became firm adherents of those who professed the doctrine of the homoousion.

Events at Antioch in Connection with Paulinus and Meletius.

About this time a serious contest was excited at Antioch in Syria, on account of Melitius. We have already observed that Paulinus, bishop of that city, because of his eminent piety was not sent into exile: and that Melitius after being restored by Julian, was again banished by Valens, and at length recalled in Gratian’s reign. On his return to Antioch, he found Paulinus greatly enfeebled by old age; his partisans therefore immediately used their utmost endeavors to get him associated with that bishop in the episcopal office. And when Paulinus declared that it was contrary to the canons to take as a coadjutor one who had been ordained by the Arians, the people had recourse to violence, and caused him to be consecrated in one of the churches without the city. When this was done, a great disturbance arose; but afterwards the people were brought to unite on the following stipulations. Having assembled such of the clergy as might be considered worthy candidates for the bishopric, they found them six in number, of whom Flavian was one. All these they bound by an oath, not to use any effort to get themselves ordained, when either of the two bishops should die, but to permit the survivor to retain undisturbed possession of the see of the deceased. Thus pledges were given, and the people had peace and so no longer quarreled with one another. The Luciferians, however, separated themselves from the rest, because Melitius who had been ordained by the Arians was admitted to the episcopate. In this state of the Antiochian church, Melitius was under the necessity of going to Constantinople.

Gregory of Nazianzus is transferred to the See of Constantinople. The Emperor Theodosius falling Sick at Thessalonica, after his Victory over the Barbarians, is there baptized by Ascholius the Bishop.

By the common suffrage of many bishops, Gregory was at this time translated from the see of Nazianzus to that of Constantinople, and this happened in the manner before described. About the same time the emperors Gratian and Theodosius each obtained a victory over the barbarians. And Gratian immediately set out for Gaul, because the Alemanni were ravaging those provinces: but Theodosius, after erecting a trophy, hastened towards Constantinople, and arrived at Thessalonica. There he was taken dangerously ill, and expressed a desire to receive Christian baptism. Now he had been instructed in Christian principles by his ancestors, and professed the homoousian faith. Becoming increasingly anxious to be baptized therefore, as his malady grew worse, he sent for the bishop of Thessalonica, and first asked him what doctrinal views he held? The bishop having replied, that the opinion of Arius had not yet invaded the provinces of Illyricum, nor had the novelty to which that heretic had given birth begun to prey upon the churches in those countries; but they continued to preserve unshaken that faith which from the beginning was delivered by the apostles, and had been confirmed in the Nicene Synod, the emperor was most gladly baptized by the bishop Ascholius; and having recovered from his disease not many days after, he came to Constantinople on the twenty-fourth of November, in the fifth consulate of Gratian, and the first of his own.

Gregory, finding Some Dissatisfaction about his Appointment, abdicates the Episcopate of Constantinople. The Emperor orders Demophilus the Arian Bishop either to assent to the ‘Homoousion,’ or leave the City. He chooses the Latter.

Now at that time Gregory of Nazianzus, after his translation to Constantinople, held his assemblies within the city in a small oratory, adjoining to which the emperors afterwards built a magnificent church, and named it Anastasia. But Gregory, who far excelled in eloquence and piety all those of the age in which he lived, understanding that some murmured at his preferment because he was a stranger, after expressing his joy at the emperor’s arrival, resigned the bishopric of Constantinople. When the emperor found the church in this state, he began to consider by what means he could make peace, effect a union, and enlarge the churches. Immediately, therefore, he intimated his desire to Demophilus, who presided over the Arian party; and enquired whether he was willing to assent to the Nicene Creed, and thus reunite the people, and establish peace. Upon Demophilus’ declining to accede to this proposal, the emperor said to him, Since you reject peace and harmony, I order you to quit the churches. When Demophilus heard this, weighing with himself the difficulty of contending against superior power, he convoked his followers in the church, and standing in the midst of them, thus spoke: Brethren, it is written in the Gospel, If they persecute you in one city, flee ye into another. Since therefore the emperor needs the churches, take notice that we will henceforth hold our assemblies without the city. Having said this he departed; not however as rightly apprehending the meaning of that expression in the Evangelist, for the real import of the sacred oracle is that such as would avoid the course of this world must seek the heavenly Jerusalem. He therefore went outside the city gates, and there in future held his assemblies. With him also Lucius went out, who being ejected from Alexandria, as we have before related, had made his escape to Constantinople, and there abode. Thus the Arians, after having been in possession of the churches for forty years, were in consequence of their opposition to the peace proposed by the emperor Theodosius, driven out of the city, in Gratian’s fifth consulate, and the first of Theodosius Angustus, on the 26th of November. The adherents of the homoousian faith in this manner regained possession of the churches.

A Synod consisting of One Hundred and Fifty Bishops meets at Constantinople. The Decrees passed. Ordination of Nectarius.

The emperor making no delay summoned a Synod of the prelates of his own faith, in order that he might establish the Nicene Creed, and appoint a bishop of Constantinople: and inasmuch as he was not without hope that he might win the Macedonians over to his own views, he invited those who presided over that sect to be present also. There met therefore on this occasion of the Homoousian party, Timothy from Alexandria, Cyril from Jerusalem, who at that time recognized the doctrine of homoousion, having retracted his former opinion; Melitius from Antioch, he having arrived there previously to assist at the installation of Gregory; Ascholius also from Thessalonica, and many others, amounting in all to one hundred and fifty. Of the Macedonians, the leaders were Eleusius of Cyzicus, and Marcian of Lampsacus; these with the rest, most of whom came from the cities of the Hellespont, were thirty-six in number. Accordingly they were assembled in the month of May, under the consulate of Eucharius and Evagrius, and the emperor used his utmost exertions, in conjunction with the bishops who entertained similar sentiments to his own, to bring over Eleusius and his adherents to his own side. They were reminded of the deputation they had sent by Eustathius to Liberius then bishop of Rome; that they had of their own accord not long before entered into promiscuous communion with the orthodox; and the inconsistency and fickleness of their conduct was represented to them, in now attempting to subvert the faith which they once acknowledged, and professed agreement with the catholics in. But they paying little heed alike to admonitions and reproofs, chose rather to maintain the Arian dogma, than to assent to the homoousian doctrine. Having made this declaration, they departed from Constantinople; moreover they wrote to their partisans in every city, and charged them by no means to harmonize with the creed of the Nicene Synod. The bishops of the other party remaining at Constantinople, entered into a consultation about the ordination of a bishop; for Gregory, as we have before said, had resigned that see, and was preparing to return to Nazianzus. Now there was a person named Nectarius, of a senatorial family, mild and gentle in his manners, and admirable in his whole course of life, although he at that time bore the office of proctor. This man was seized upon by the people, and elected to the episcopate, and was ordained accordingly by one hundred and fifty bishops then present. The same prelates moreover published a decree, prescribing that the bishop of Constantinople should have the next prerogative of honor after the bishop of Rome, because that city was New Rome. They also again confirmed the Nicene Creed. Then too patriarchs were constituted, and the provinces distributed, so that no bishop might exercise any jurisdiction over other churches out of his own diocese: for this had been often indiscriminately done before, in consequence of the persecutions. To Nectarius therefore was allotted the great city and Thrace. Helladius, the successor of Basil in the bishopric of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, obtained the patriarchate of the diocese of Pontus in conjunction with Gregory Basil’s brother, bishop of Nyssa in Cappadocia, and Otreïus bishop of Melitina in Armenia. To Amphilochius of Iconium and Optimus of Antioch in Pisidia, was the Asiatic diocese assigned. The superintendence of the churches throughout Egypt was committed to Timothy of Alexandria. On Pelagius of Laodicea, and Diodorus of Tarsus, devolved the administration of the churches of the East; without infringement however on the prerogatives of honor reserved to the Antiochian church, and conferred on Melitius then present. They further decreed that as necessity required it, the ecclesiastical affairs of each province should be managed by a Synod of the province. These arrangements were confirmed by the emperor’s approbation. Such was the result of this Synod.

The Body of Paul, Bishop of Constantinople, is honorably transferred from his Place of Exile. Death of Meletius.

The emperor at that time caused to be removed from the city of Ancyra, the body of the bishop Paul, whom Philip the prefect of the Prætorium had banished at the instigation of Macedonius, and ordered to be strangled at Cucusus a town of Armenia, as I have already mentioned. He therefore received the remains with great reverence and honor, and deposited in the church which now takes its name from him; which the Macedonian party were formerly in possession of while they remained separate from the Arians, but were expelled at that time by the emperor, because they refused to adopt his sentiments. About this period Melitius, bishop of Antioch, fell sick and died: in whose praise Gregory, the brother of Basil, pronounced a funeral oration. The body of the deceased bishop was by his friends conveyed to Antioch; where those who had identified themselves with his interests again refused subjection to Paulinus, but caused Flavian to be substituted in the place of Melitius, and the people began to quarrel anew. Thus again the Antiochian church was divided into rival factions, not grounded on any difference of faith, but simply on a preference of bishops.

The Emperor orders a Convention composed of All the Various Sects. Arcadius is proclaimed Augustus. The Novatians permitted to hold their Assemblies in the City of Constantinople: Other Heretics driven out.

Great disturbances occurred in other cities also, as the Arians were ejected from the churches. But I cannot sufficiently admire the emperor’s prudence in this contingency. For he was unwilling to fill the cities with disturbance, as far as this was dependent on him, and so after a very short time he called together a general conference of the sects, thinking that by a discussion among their bishops, their mutual differences might be adjusted, and unanimity established. And this purpose of the emperor’s I am persuaded was the reason that his affairs were so prosperous at that time. In fact by a special dispensation of Divine Providence the barbarous nations were reduced to subjection under him: and among others, Athanaric king of the Goths made a voluntary surrender of himself to him, with all his people, and died soon after at Constantinople. At this juncture the emperor proclaimed his son Arcadius Augustus, on the sixteenth of January, in the second consulate of Merobaudes and Saturnilus. Not long afterwards in the month of June, under the same consulate, the bishops of every sect arrived from all places: the emperor, therefore, sent for Nectarius the bishop, and consulted with him on the best means of freeing the Christian religion from dissensions, and reducing the church to a state of unity. The subjects of controversy, said he, ought to be fairly discussed, that by the detection and removal of the sources of discord, a universal agreement may be effected. Hearing this proposition Nectarius fell into uneasiness, and communicated it to Agelius bishop of the Novatians, inasmuch as he entertained the same sentiments as himself in matters of faith. This man, though eminently pious, was by no means competent to maintain a dispute on doctrinal points; he therefore proposed to refer the subject to Sisinnius his reader, as a fit person to manage a conference. Sisinnius, who was not only learned, but possessed of great experience, and was well informed both in the expositions of the sacred Scriptures and the principles of philosophy, being convinced that disputations, far from healing divisions usually create heresies of a more inveterate character, gave the following advice to Nectarius, knowing well that the ancients have nowhere attributed a beginning of existence to the Son of God, conceiving him to be co-eternal with the Father, he advised that they should avoid dialectic warfare and bring forward as evidences of the truth the testimonies of the ancients. Let the emperor, said he, demand of the heads of each sect, whether they would pay any deference to the ancients who flourished before schism distracted the church; or whether they would repudiate them, as alienated from the Christian faith? If they reject their authority, then let them also anathematize them: and should they presume to take such a step, they would themselves be instantly thrust out by the people, and so the truth will be manifestly victorious. But if, on the other hand, they are not willing to set aside the fathers, it will then be our business to produce their books, by which our views will be fully attested. Nectarius having heard these words of Sisinnius, hastened to the palace, and acquainted the emperor with the plan which had been suggested to him; who at once perceiving its wisdom and propriety, carried it into execution with consummate prudence. For without discovering his object, he simply asked the chiefs of the heretics whether they had any respect for and would accept the teachings of those teachers who lived previous to the dissension in the church? As they did not repudiate them, but replied that they highly revered them as their masters; the emperor enquired of them again whether they would defer to them as accredited witnesses of Christian doctrine? At this question, the leaders of the several parties, with their logical champions,—for many had come prepared for sophistical debate,—found themselves extremely embarrassed. For a division was caused among them as some acquiesced in the reasonableness of the emperor’s proposition while others shrunk from it, conscious that it was by no means favorable to their interests: so that all being variously affected towards the writings of the ancients, they could no longer agree among themselves, dissenting not only from other sects, but those of the same sect differing from one another. Accordant malice therefore, like the tongue of the giants of old, was confounded, and their tower of mischief overturned. The emperor perceiving by their confusion that their sole confidence was in subtle arguments, and that they feared to appeal to the expositions of the fathers, had recourse to another method: he commanded every sect to set forth in writing their own peculiar tenets. Accordingly those who were accounted the most skillful among them, drew up a statement of their respective creeds, couched in terms the most circumspect they could devise; a day was appointed, and the bishops selected for this purpose presented themselves at the palace. Nectarius and Agelius appeared as the defenders of the homoousian faith; Demophilus supported the Arian dogma; Eunomius himself undertook the cause of the Eunomians; and Eleusius, bishop of Cyzicus, represented the opinions of those who were denominated Macedonians. The emperor gave them all a courteous reception; and receiving from each their written avowal of faith, he shut himself up alone, and prayed very earnestly that God would assist him in his endeavors to ascertain the truth. Then perusing with great care the statement which each had submitted to him, he condemned all the rest, inasmuch as they introduced a separation of the Trinity, and approved of that only which contained the doctrine of the homoousion. This decision caused the Novatians to flourish again, and hold their meetings within the city: for the emperor delighted with the agreement of their profession with that which he embraced, promulgated a law securing to them the peaceful possession of their own church buildings, and assigned to their churches equal privileges with those to which he gave his more especial sanction. But the bishops of the other sects, on account of their disagreement among themselves, were despised and censured even by their own followers: so that overwhelmed with perplexity and vexation they departed, addressing consolatory letters to their adherents, whom they exhorted not to be troubled because many had deserted them and gone over to the homoousian party; for they said, Many are called, but few chosen —an expression which they never used when on account of force and terror the majority of the people was on their side. Nevertheless the orthodox believers were not wholly exempt from inquietude; for the affairs of the Antiochian church caused divisions among those who were present at the Synod. The bishops of Egypt, Arabia and Cyprus, combined against Flavian, and insisted on his expulsion from Antioch: but those of Palestine, Phœnicia, and Syria, contended with equal zeal in his favor. What result issued from this contest I shall describe in its proper place.

The Emperor Gratian is slain by the Treachery of the Usurper Maximus. From Fear of him Justina ceases persecuting Ambrose.

Nearly at the same time with the holding of these Synods at Constantinople, the following events occurred in the Western parts. Maximus, from the island of Britain, rebelled against the Roman empire, and attacked Gratian, who was then wearied and exhausted in a war with the Alemanni. In Italy, Valentinian being still a minor, Probus, a man of consular dignity, had the chief administration of affairs, and was at that time prefect of the Prætorium. Justina, the mother of the young prince, who entertained Arian sentiments, as long as her husband lived had been unable to molest the Homoousians; but going to Milan while her son was still young, she manifested great hostility to Ambrose the bishop, and commanded that he should be banished. While the people from their excessive attachment to Ambrose, were offering resistance to those who were charged with taking him into exile, intelligence was brought that Gratian had been assassinated by the treachery of the usurper Maximus. In fact Andragathius, a general under Maximus, having concealed himself in a litter resembling a couch, which was carried by mules, ordered his guards to spread a report before him that the litter contained the Emperor Gratian’s wife. They met the emperor near the city of Lyons in France just as he had crossed the river: who believing it to be his wife, and not suspecting any treachery, fell into the hands of his enemy as a blind man into the ditch; for Andragathius, suddenly springing forth from the litter, slew him. Gratian thus perished in the consulate of Merogaudes and Saturninus, in the twenty-fourth year of his age, and the fifteenth of his reign. When this happened the Empress Justina’s indignation against Ambrose was repressed. Afterwards Valentinian most unwillingly, but constrained by the necessity of the time, admitted Maximus as his colleague in the empire. Probus alarmed at the power of Maximus, resolved to retreat into the regions of the East: leaving Italy therefore, he proceeded to Illyricum, and fixed his residence at Thessalonica a city of Macedonia.

While the Emperor Theodosius is engaged in Military Preparations against Maximus, his Son Honorius is born. He then proceeds to Milan in Order to encounter the Usurper.

But the Emperor Theodosius was filled with great solicitude, and levied a powerful army against the usurper, fearing lest he should meditate the assassination of the young Valentinian also. While engaged in this preparation, an embassy arrived from the Persians, requesting peace from the emperor. Then also the empress Flaccilla bore him a son named Honorius, on the 9th of September, in the consulate of Richomelius and Clearchus. Under the same consulate, and a little previously, Agelius bishop of the Novatians died. In the year following, wherein Arcadius Augustus bore his first consulate in conjunction with Baudon, Timothy bishop of Alexandria died, and was succeeded in the episcopate by Theophilus. About a year after this, Demophilus the Arian prelate having departed this life, the Arians sent for Marinus a leader of their own heresy out of Thrace, to whom they entrusted the bishopric: but Marinus did not long occupy that position, for under him that sect was divided into two parties, as we shall hereafter explain; for they invited Dorotheus to come to them from Antioch in Syria, and constituted him their bishop. Meanwhile the emperor Theodosius proceeded to the war against Maximus, leaving his son Arcadius with imperial authority at Constantinople. Accordingly arriving at Thessalonica he found Valentinian and those about him in great anxiety, because through compulsion they had acknowledged the usurper as emperor. Theodosius, however, gave no expression to his sentiments in public; he neither rejected nor admitted the embassy of Maximus: but unable to endure tyrannical domination over the Roman empire, under the assumption of an imperial name, he hastily mustered his forces and advanced to Milan, whither the usurper had already gone.

The Arians excite a Tumult at Constantinople.

At the time when the emperor was thus occupied on his military expedition, the Arians excited a great tumult at Constantinople by such devices as these. Men are fond of fabricating statements respecting matters about which they are in ignorance; and if at any time they are given occasion they swell to a prodigious extent rumors concerning what they wish, being ever fond of change. This was strongly exemplified at Constantinople on the present occasion: for each invented news concerning the war which was carrying on at a distance, according to his own caprice, always presuming upon the most disastrous results; and before the contest had yet commenced, they spoke of transactions in reference to it, of which they knew nothing, with as much assurance as if they had been spectators on the very scene of action. Thus it was confidently affirmed that the usurper had defeated the emperor’s army, even the number of men slain on both sides being specified; and that the emperor himself had nearly fallen into the usurper’s hands. Then the Arians, who had been excessively exasperated by those being put in possession of the churches within the city who had previously been the objects of their persecution, began to augment these rumors by additions of their own. But since the currency of such stories with increasing exaggeration, in time made even the farmers themselves believe them—for those who had circulated them from hearsay, affirmed to the authors of these falsehoods, that the accounts they had received from them had been fully corroborated elsewhere; then indeed the Arians were emboldened to commit acts of violence, and among other outrages, to set fire to the house of Nectarius the bishop. This was done in the second consulate of Theodosius Augustus, which he bore with Cynegius.

Overthrow and Death of the Usurper Maximus.

As the emperor marched against the usurper the intelligence of the formidable preparations made by him so alarmed the troops under Maximus, that instead of fighting for him, they delivered him bound to the emperor, who caused him to be put to death, on the twenty-seventh of August, under the same consulate. Andragathius, who with his own hand had slain Gratian, understanding the fate of Maximus, precipitated himself into the adjacent river, and was drowned. Then the victorious emperors made their public entry into Rome, accompanied by Honorius the son of Theodosius, still a mere boy, whom his father had sent for from Constantinople immediately after Maximus had been vanquished. They continued therefore at Rome celebrating their triumphal festivals: during which time the Emperor Theodosius exhibited a remarkable instance of clemency toward Symmachus, a man who had borne the consular office, and was at the head of the senate at Rome. For this Symmachus was distinguished for his eloquence, and many of his orations are still extant composed in the Latin tongue: but inasmuch as he had written a panegyric on Maximus, and pronounced it before him publicly, he was afterwards impeached for high treason; wherefore to escape capital punishment he took sanctuary in a church. The emperor’s veneration for religion led him not only to honor the bishops of his own communion, but to treat with consideration those of the Novatians also, who embraced the homoousian creed: to gratify therefore Leontius the bishop of the Novatian church at Rome, who interceded in behalf of Symmachus, he graciously pardoned him for that crime. Symmachus, after he had obtained his pardon, wrote an apologetic address to the Emperor Theodosius. Thus the war, which at its commencement threatened so seriously, was brought to a speedy termination.

Of Flavian Bishop of Antioch.

About the same period, the following events took place at Antioch in Syria. After the death of Paulinus, the people who had been under his superintendence refused to submit to the authority of Flavian, but caused Evagrius to be ordained bishop of their own party. As he did not survive his ordination long, no other was constituted in his place, Flavian having brought this about: nevertheless those who disliked Flavian on account of his having violated his oath, held their assemblies apart. Meanwhile Flavian left no stone unturned, as the phrase is, to bring these also under his control; and this he soon after effected, when he appeased the anger of Theophilus, then bishop of Alexandria, by whose mediation he conciliated, Damasus bishop of Rome also. For both these had been greatly displeased with Flavian, as well for the perjury of which he had been guilty, as for the schism he had occasioned among the previously united people. Theophilus therefore being pacified, sent Isidore a presbyter to Rome, and thus reconciled Damasus, who was still offended; representing to him the propriety of overlooking Flavian’s past misconduct, for the sake of producing concord among the people. Communion being in this way restored to Flavian, the people of Antioch were in the course of a little while induced to acquiesce in the union secured. Such was the conclusion of this affair at Antioch. But the Arians of that city being ejected from the churches, were accustomed to hold their meetings in the suburbs. Meanwhile Cyril bishop of Jerusalem having died about this time, was succeeded by John.

Demolition of the Idolatrous Temples at Alexandria, and the Consequent Conflict between the Pagans and Christians.

At the solicitation of Theophilus bishop of Alexandria the emperor issued an order at this time for the demolition of the heathen temples in that city; commanding also that it should be put in execution under the direction of Theophilus. Seizing this opportunity, Theophilus exerted himself to the utmost to expose the pagan mysteries to contempt. And to begin with, he caused the Mithreum to be cleaned out, and exhibited to public view the tokens of its bloody mysteries. Then he destroyed the Serapeum, and the bloody rights of the Mithreum he publicly caricatured; the Serapeum also he showed full of extravagant superstitions, and he had the phalli of Priapus carried through the midst of the forum. The pagans of Alexandria, and especially the professors of philosophy, were unable to repress their rage at this exposure, and exceeded in revengeful ferocity their outrages on a former occasion: for with one accord, at a preconcerted signal, they rushed impetuously upon the Christians, and murdered every one they could lay hands on. The Christians also made an attempt to resist the assailants, and so the mischief was the more augmented. This desperate affray was prolonged until satiety of bloodshed put an end to it. Then it was discovered that very few of the heathens had been killed, but a great number of Christians; while the number of wounded on each side was almost innumerable. Fear then possessed the pagans on account of what was done, as they considered the emperor’s displeasure. For having done what seemed good in their own eyes, and by their bloodshed having quenched their courage, some fled in one direction, some in another, and many quitting Alexandria, dispersed themselves in various cities. Among these were the two grammarians Helladius and Ammonius, whose pupil I was in my youth at Constantinople. Helladius was said to be the priest of Jupiter, and Ammonius of Simius. Thus this disturbance having been terminated, the governor of Alexandria, and the commander-in-chief of the troops in Egypt, assisted Theophilus in demolishing the heathen temples. These were therefore razed to the ground, and the images of their gods molten into pots and other convenient utensils for the use of the Alexandrian church; for the emperor had instructed Theophilus to distribute them for the relief of the poor. All the images were accordingly broken to pieces, except one statue of the god before mentioned, which Theophilus preserved and set up in a public place; Lest, said he, at a future time the heathens should deny that they had ever worshiped such gods. This action gave great umbrage to Ammonius the grammarian in particular, who to my knowledge was accustomed to say that the religion of the Gentiles was grossly abused in that that single statue was not also molten, but preserved, in order to render that religion ridiculous. Helladius however boasted in the presence of some that he had slain in that desperate onset nine men with his own hand. Such were the doings at Alexandria at that time.

Of the Hieroglyphics found in the Temple of Serapis.

When the Temple of Serapis was torn down and laid bare, there were found in it, engraven on stones, certain characters which they call hieroglyphics, having the forms of crosses. Both the Christians and pagans on seeing them, appropriated and applied them to their respective religions: for the Christians who affirm that the cross is the sign of Christ’s saving passion, claimed this character as peculiarly theirs; but the pagans alleged that it might appertain to Christ and Serapis in common; for, said they, it symbolizes one thing to Christians and another to heathens. Whilst this point was controverted amongst them, some of the heathen converts to Christianity, who were conversant with these hieroglyphic characters, interpreted the form of a cross and said that it signifies Life to come. This the Christians exultingly laid hold of, as decidedly favorable to their religion. But after other hieroglyphics had been deciphered containing a prediction that When the cross should appear,—for this was life to come,the Temple of Serapis would be destroyed, a very great number of the pagans embraced Christianity, and confessing their sins, were baptized. Such are the reports I have heard respecting the discovery of this symbol in form of a cross. But I cannot imagine that the Egyptian priests foreknew the things concerning Christ, when they engraved the figure of a cross. For if the advent of our Saviour into the world was a mystery hid from ages and from generations, as the apostle declares; and if the devil himself, the prince of wickedness, knew nothing of it, his ministers, the Egyptian priests, are likely to have been still more ignorant of the matter; but Providence doubtless purposed that in the enquiry concerning this character, there should something take place analogous to what happened heretofore at the preaching of Paul. For he, made wise by the Divine Spirit, employed a similar method in relation to the Athenians, and brought over many of them to the faith, when on reading the inscription on one of their altars, he accommodated and applied it to his own discourse. Unless indeed any one should say, that the Word of God wrought in the Egyptian priests, as it did on Balaam and Caiaphas; for these men uttered prophecies of good things in spite of themselves. This will suffice on the subject.

Reformation of Abuses at Rome by the Emperor Theodosius.

The emperor Theodosius during his short stay in Italy, conferred the greatest benefit on the city of Rome, by grants on the one hand, and abrogations on the other. His largesses were indeed very munificent; and he removed two most infamous abuses which existed in the city. One of them was the following: there were buildings of immense magnitude, erected in ancient Rome in former times, in which bread was made for distribution among the people. Those who had the charge of these edifices, who Mancipes were called in the Latin language, in process of time converted them into receptacles for thieves. Now as the bake-houses in these structures were placed underneath, they build taverns at the side of each, where they kept prostitutes; by which means they entrapped many of those who went thither either for the sake of refreshment, or to gratify their lusts, for by a certain mechanical contrivance they precipitated them from the tavern into the bake-house below. This was practiced chiefly upon strangers; and such as were in this way kidnapped were compelled to work in the bake-houses, where many of them were immured until old age, not being allowed to go out, and giving the impression to their friends that they were dead. It happened that one of the soldiers of the emperor Theodosius fell into this snare; who being shut up in the bake-house, and hindered from going out, drew a dagger which he wore and killed those who stood in his way: the rest being terrified, suffered him to escape. When the emperor was made acquainted with the circumstance he punished the Mancipes, and ordered these haunts of lawless and abandoned characters to be pulled down. This was one of the disgraceful nuisances of which the emperor purged the imperial city: the other was of this nature. When a woman was detected in adultery, they punished the delinquent not in the way of correction but rather of aggravation of her crime. For shutting her up in a narrow brothel, they obliged her to prostitute herself in a most disgusting manner; causing little bells to be rung at the time of the unclean deed that those who passed might not be ignorant of what was doing within. This was doubtless intended to brand the crime with greater ignominy in public opinion. As soon as the emperor was apprised of this indecent usage, he would by no means tolerate it; but having ordered the Sistra —for so these places of penal prostitution were denominated—to be pulled down, he appointed other laws for the punishment of adulteresses.Thus did the emperor Theodosius free the city from two of its most discreditable abuses: and when he had arranged all other affairs to his satisfaction, he left the emperor Valentinian at Rome, and returned himself with his son Honorius to Constantinople, and entered that city of the 10th of November, in the consulate of Tatian and Symmachus.

Of the Office of Penitentiary Presbyters and its Abolition.

At this time it was deemed requisite to abolish the office of those presbyters in the churches who had charge of the penitences: this was done on the following account. When the Novatians separated themselves from the Church because they would not communicate with those who had lapsed during the persecution under Decius, the bishops added to the ecclesiastical canon a presbyter of penitence in order that those who had sinned after baptism might confess their sins in the presence of the presbyter thus appointed. And this mode of discipline is still maintained among other heretical institutions by all the rest of the sects; the Homoousians only, together with the Novatians who hold the same doctrinal views, have abandoned it. The latter indeed would never admit of its establishment: and the Homoousians who are now in possession of the churches, after retaining this function for a considerable period, abrogated it in the time of Nectarius, in consequence of an event which occured in the Constantinopolitan church, which is as follows: A woman of noble family coming to the penitentiary, made a general confession of those sins she had committed since her baptism: and the presbyter enjoined fasting and prayer continually, that together with the acknowledgment of error, she might have to show works also meet for repentance. Some time after this, the same lady again presented herself, and confessed that she had been guilty of another crime, a deacon of the church having slept with her. When this was proved the deacon was ejected from the church: but the people were very indignant, being not only offended at what had taken place, but also because the deed had brought scandal and degradation upon the Church. When in consequence of this, ecclesiastics were subjected to taunting and reproach, Eudæmon a presbyter of the church, by birth an Alexandrian, persuaded Nectarius the bishop to abolish the office of penitentiary presbyter, and to leave every one to his own conscience with regard to the participation of the sacred mysteries: for thus only, in his judgment, could the Church be preserved from obloquy. Having heard this explanation of the matter from Eudæmon I have ventured to put in the present treatise: for as I have often remarked, I have spared no pains to procure an authentic account of affairs from those who were best acquainted with them, and to scrutinize every report, lest I should advance what might be untrue. My observation to Eudæmon, when he first related the circumstance, was this: Whether, O presbyter, your counsel has been profitable for the Church or otherwise, God knows; but I see that it takes away the means of rebuking one another’s faults, and prevents our acting upon that precept of the apostle, Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Concerning this affair let this suffice.

Divisions among the Arians and Other Heretics.

I conceive it right moreover not to leave unnoticed the proceedings of the other religious bodies, viz. the Arians, Novatians, and those who received their denominations from Macedonius and Eunomius. For the Church once being divided, rested not in that schism, but the separatists taking occasion from the slightest and most frivolous pretences, disagreed among themselves. The manner and time, as well as the causes for which they raised mutual dissensions, we will state as we proceed. But let it be observed here, that the emperor Theodosius persecuted none of them except Eunomius; but inasmuch as the latter, by holding meetings in private houses at Constantinople, where he read the works he had composed, corrupted many with his doctrines, he ordered him to be sent into exile. Of the other heretics he interfered with no one; nor did he constrain them to hold communion with himself; but he allowed them all to assemble in their own conventicles, and to entertain their own opinions on points of Christian faith. Permission to build themselves churches without the cities was granted to the rest: but inasmuch as the Novatians held sentiments precisely identical with his own as to faith, he ordered that they should be suffered to continue unmolested in their churches within the cities, as I have before noticed. Concerning these I think it opportune, however, to give in this place some farther account, and shall therefore retrace a few circumstances in their history.

Peculiar Schism among the Novatians.

Of the Novatian church at Constantinople Agelius was the bishop for the space of forty years, viz. from the reign of Constantine until the sixth year of that of the emperor Theodosius, as I have stated somewhere previously. He perceiving his end approaching, ordained Sisinnius to succeed him in the bishopric. This person was a presbyter of the church over which Agelius presided, remarkably eloquent, and had been instructed in philosophy by Maximus, at the same time as the emperor Julian. Now as the Novatian laity were dissatisfied with this election, and wished rather that he had ordained Marcian, a man of eminent piety, on account of whose influence their sect had been left unmolested during the reign of Valens, Agelius therefore to allay his people’s discontent, laid his hands on Marcian also. Having recovered a little from his illness, he went to the church and thus of his own accord addressed the congregation: After my decease let Marcian be your bishop; and after Marcian, Sisinnius. He survived these words but a short time; Marcian accordingly having been constituted bishop of the Novatians, a division arose in their church also, from this cause. Marcian had promoted to the rank of presbyter a converted Jew named Sabbatius, who nevertheless continued to retain many of his Jewish prejudices; and moreover he was very ambitious of being made a bishop. Having therefore confidentially attached to his interest two presbyters, Theoctistus and Macarius, who were cognizant of his designs, he resolved to defend that innovation made by the Novatians in the time of Valens, at Pazum a village of Phrygia, concerning the festival of Easter, to which I have already adverted. And in the first place, under pretext of more ascetic austerity, he privately withdrew from the church, saying that he was grieved on account of certain persons whom he suspected of being unworthy of participation in the sacrament. It was however soon discovered that his object was to hold assemblies apart. When Marcian understood this, he bitterly censured his own error, in ordaining to the presbyterate persons so intent on vain-glory; and frequently said, That it had been better for him to have laid his hands on thorns, than to have imposed them on Sabbatius. To check his proceedings, he procured a Synod of Novatian bishops to be convened at Angarum, a commercial town near Helenopolis in Bithynia. On assembling here they summoned Sabbatius, and desired him to explain the cause of his discontent. Upon his affirming that he was troubled about the disagreement that existed respecting the Feast of Easter, and that it ought to be kept according to the custom of the Jews, and agreeable to that sanction which those convened at Pazum had appointed, the bishops present at the Synod perceiving that this assertion was a mere subterfuge to disguise his desire after the episcopal chair, obliged him to pledge himself on oath that he would never accept a bishopric. When he had so sworn, they passed a canon respecting this feast, which they entitled indifferent, declaring that a disagreement on such a point was not a sufficient reason for separation from the church; and that the council of Pazum had done nothing prejudicial to the catholic canon. That although the ancients who lived nearest to the times of the apostles differed about the observance of this festival, it did not prevent their communion with one another, nor create any dissension. Besides that the Novatians at imperial Rome had never followed the Jewish usage, but always kept Easter after the equinox; and yet they did not separate from those of their own faith, who celebrated it on a different day. From these and many such considerations, they made the Indifferent Canon, above-mentioned, concerning Easter, whereby every one was at liberty to keep the custom which he had by predilection in this matter, if he so pleased; and that it should make no difference as regards communion, but even though celebrating differently they should be in accord in the church. After this rule had been thus established, Sabbatius being bound by his oath, anticipated the fast by keeping it in private, whenever any discrepancy existed in the time of the Paschal solemnity, and having watched all night, he celebrated the sabbath of the passover; then on the next day he went to church, and with the rest of the congregation partook of the sacraments. He pursued this course for many years, so that it could not be concealed from the people; in imitation of which some of the more ignorant, and chiefly the Phrygians and Galatians, supposing they should be justified by this conduct imitated him, and kept the passover in secret after his manner. But Sabbatius afterwards disregarding the oath by which he had renounced the episcopal dignity, held schismatic meetings, and was constituted bishop of his followers, as we shall show hereafter.

The Author’s Views respecting the Celebration of Easter, Baptism, Fasting, Marriage, the Eucharist, and Other Ecclesiastical Rites.

As we have touched the subject I deem it not unreasonable to say a few words concerning Easter. It appears to me that neither the ancients nor moderns who have affected to follow the Jews, have had any rational foundation for contending so obstinately about it. For they have not taken into consideration the fact that when Judaism was changed into Christianity, the obligation to observe the Mosaic law and the ceremonial types ceased. And the proof of the matter is plain; for no law of Christ permits Christians to imitate the Jews. On the contrary the apostle expressly forbids it; not only rejecting circumcision, but also deprecating contention about festival days. In his epistle to the Galatians he writes, Tell me ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? And continuing his train of argument, he demonstrates that the Jews were in bondage as servants, but that those who have come to Christ are called into the liberty of sons. Moreover he exhorts them in no way to regard days, and months, and years. Again in his epistle to the Colossians he distinctly declares, that such observances are merely shadows: wherefore he says, Let no man judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of any holy-day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath-days; which are a shadow of things to come. The same truths are also confirmed by him in the epistle to the Hebrews in these words: For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. Neither the apostles, therefore, nor the Gospels, have anywhere imposed the yoke of servitude on those who have embraced the truth; but have left Easter and every other feast to be honored by the gratitude of the recipients of grace. Wherefore, inasmuch as men love festivals, because they afford them cessation from labor: each individual in every place, according to his own pleasure, has by a prevalent custom celebrated the memory of the saving passion. The Saviour and his apostles have enjoined us by no law to keep this feast: nor do the Gospels and apostles threaten us with any penalty, punishment, or curse for the neglect of it, as the Mosaic law does the Jews. It is merely for the sake of historical accuracy, and for the reproach of the Jews, because they polluted themselves with blood on their very feasts, that it is recorded in the Gospels that our Saviour suffered in the days of unleavened bread. The aim of the apostles was not to appoint festival days, but to teach a righteous life and piety. And it seems to me that just as many other customs have been established in individual localities according to usage. So also the feast of Easter came to be observed in each place according to the individual peculiarities of the peoples inasmuch as none of the apostles legislated on the matter. And that the observance originated not by legislation, but as a custom the facts themselves indicate. In Asia Minor most people kept the fourteenth day of the moon, disregarding the sabbath: yet they never separated from those who did otherwise, until Victor, bishop of Rome, influenced by too ardent a zeal, fulminated a sentence of excommunication against the Quartodecimans in Asia. Wherefore also Irenæus, bishop of Lyons in France, severely censured Victor by letter for his immoderate heat; telling him that although the ancients differed in their celebration of Easter, they did not desist from intercommunion. Also that Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who afterwards suffered martyrdom under Gordian, continued to communicate with Anicetus bishop of Rome, although he himself, according to the usage of his native Smyrna, kept Easter on the fourteenth day of the moon, as Eusebius attests in the fifth book of his Ecclesiastical History. While therefore some in Asia Minor observed the day above-mentioned, others in the East kept that feast on the sabbath indeed, but differed as regards the month. The former thought the Jews should be followed, though they were not exact: the latter kept Easter after the equinox, refusing to celebrate with the Jews; for, said they, it ought to be celebrated when the sun is in Aries, in the month called Xanthicus by the Antiochians, and April by the Romans. In this practice, they averred, they conformed not to the modern Jews, who are mistaken in almost everything, but to the ancients, and to Josephus according to what he has written in the third book of his Jewish Antiquities. Thus these people were at issue among themselves. But all other Christians in the Western parts, and as far as the ocean itself, are found to have celebrated Easter after the equinox, from a very ancient tradition. And in fact these acting in this manner have never disagreed on this subject. It is not true, as some have pretended, that the Synod under Constantine altered this festival: for Constantine himself, writing to those who differed respecting it, recommended that as they were few in number, they could agree with the majority of their brethren. His letter will be found at length in the third book of the Life of Constantine by Eusebius; but the passage in it relative to Easter runs thus:

It is a becoming order which all the churches in the Western, Southern, and Northern parts of the world observe, and some places in the East also. Wherefore all on the present occasion have judged it right, and I have pledged myself that it will have the acquiescence of your prudence, that what is unanimously observed in the city of Rome, throughout Italy, Africa, and the whole of Egypt, in Spain, France, Britain, Libya, and all Greece, the diocese of Asia and Pontus, and Cilicia, your wisdom also will readily embrace; considering not only that the number of churches in the aforesaid places is greater, but also that while there should be a universal concurrence in what is most reasonable, it becomes us to have nothing in common with the perfidious Jews.

Such is the tenor of the emperor’s letter. Moreover the Quartodecimans affirm that the observance of the fourteenth day was delivered to them by the apostle John: while the Romans and those in the Western parts assure us that their usage originated with the apostles Peter and Paul. Neither of these parties however can produce any written testimony in confirmation of what they assert. But that the time of keeping Easter in various places is dependent on usage, I infer from this, that those who agree in faith, differ among themselves on questions of usage. And it will not perhaps be unseasonable to notice here the diversity of customs in the churches. The fasts before Easter will be found to be differently observed among different people. Those at Rome fast three successive weeks before Easter, excepting Saturdays and Sundays. Those in Illyrica and all over Greece and Alexandria observe a fast of six weeks, which they term The forty days fast.’ Others commencing their fast from the seventh week before Easter, and fasting three five days only, and that at intervals, yet call that time The forty days fast.’ It is indeed surprising to me that thus differing in the number of days, they should both give it one common appellation; but some assign one reason for it, and others another, according to their several fancies. One can see also a disagreement about the manner of abstinence from food, as well as about the number of days. Some wholly abstain from things that have life: others feed on fish only of all living creatures: many together with fish, eat fowl also, saying that according to Moses, these were likewise made out of the waters. Some abstain from eggs, and all kinds of fruits: others partake of dry bread only; still others eat not even this: while others having fasted till the ninth hour, afterwards take any sort of food without distinction. And among various nations there are other usages, for which innumerable reasons are assigned. Since however no one can produce a written command as an authority, it is evident that the apostles left each one to his own free will in the matter, to the end that each might perform what is good not by constraint or necessity. Such is the difference in the churches on the subject of fasts. Nor is there less variation in regard to religious assemblies. For although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this. The Egyptians in the neighborhood of Alexandria, and the inhabitants of Thebaïs, hold their religious assemblies on the sabbath, but do not participate of the mysteries in the manner usual among Christians in general: for after having eaten and satisfied themselves with food of all kinds, in the evening making their offerings they partake of the mysteries. At Alexandria again, on the Wednesday in Passion week and on Good Friday, the scriptures are read, and the doctors expound them; and all the usual services are performed in their assemblies, except the celebration of the mysteries. This practice in Alexandria is of great antiquity, for it appears that Origen most commonly taught in the church on those days. He being a very learned teacher in the Sacred Books, and perceiving that the impotence of the law of Moses was weakened by literal explanation, gave it a spiritual interpretation; declaring that there has never been but one true Passover, which the Saviour celebrated when he hung upon the cross: for that he then vanquished the adverse powers, and erected this as a trophy against the devil. In the same city of Alexandria, readers and chanters are chosen indifferently from the catechumens and the faithful; whereas in all other churches the faithful only are promoted to these offices. I myself, also, learned of another custom in Thessaly. If a clergyman in that country, after taking orders, should sleep with his wife, whom he had legally married before his ordination, he would be degraded. In the East, indeed, all clergymen, and even the bishops themselves, abstain from their wives: but this they do of their own accord, and not by the necessity of any law; for there have been among them many bishops, who have had children by their lawful wives, during their episcopate. It is said that the author of the usage which obtains in Thessaly was Heliodorus bishop of Tricca in that country; under whose name there are love books extant, entitled Ethiopica, which he composed in his youth. The same custom prevails at Thessalonica, and in Macedonia, and in Greece. I have also known of another peculiarity in Thessaly, which is, that they baptize there on the days of Easter only; in consequence of which a very great number of them die without having received baptism. At Antioch in Syria the site of the church is inverted; so that the altar does not face toward the east, but toward the west. In Greece, however, and at Jerusalem and in Thessaly they go to prayers as soon as the candles are lighted, in the same manner as the Novatians do at Constantinople. At Cæsarea likewise, and in Cappadocia, and in Cyprus, the presbyters and bishops expound the Scriptures in the evening, after the candles are lighted. The Novatians of the Hellespont do not perform their prayers altogether in the same manner as those of Constantinople; in most things, however, their usage is similar to that of the prevailing church. In short, it is impossible to find anywhere, among all the sects, two churches which agree exactly in their ritual respecting prayers. At Alexandria no presbyter is allowed to address the public: a regulation which was made after Arius had raised a disturbance in that church. At Rome they fast every Saturday. At Cæsarea of Cappadocia they exclude from communion those who have sinned after baptism as the Novatians do. The same discipline was practiced by the Macedonians in the Hellespont, and by the Quartodecimans in Asia. The Novatians in Phrygia do not admit such as have twice married; but those of Constantinople neither admit nor reject them openly, while in the Western parts they are openly received. This diversity was occasioned, as I imagine, by the bishops who in their respective eras governed the churches; and those who received these several rites and usages, transmitted them as laws to their posterity. However, to give a complete catalogue of all the various customs and ceremonial observances in use throughout every city and country would be difficult—rather impossible; but the instances we have adduced are sufficient to show that the Easter Festival was from some remote precedent differently celebrated in every particular province. They talk at random therefore who assert that the time of keeping Easter was altered in the Nicene Synod; for the bishops there convened earnestly labored to reduce the first dissenting minority to uniformity of practice with the rest of the people. Now that many differences existed even in the apostolic age of the church occasioned by such subjects, was not unknown even to the apostles themselves, as the book of The Acts testifies. For when they understood that a disturbance occurred among believers on account of a dissension of the Gentiles, having all met together, they promulgated a Divine law, giving it the form of a letter. By this sanction they liberated Christians from the bondage of formal observances, and all vain contention about these things; and they taught them the path of true piety, prescribing such things only as were conducive to its attainment. The epistle itself, which I shall here transcribe, is recorded in The Acts of the Apostles.

The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia. Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law; to whom we gave no such commandment: it seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you, with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same thing by mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

These things indeed pleased God: for the letter expressly says, It seemed good to the Holy Ghost to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things. There are nevertheless some persons who, disregarding these precepts, suppose all fornication to be an indifferent matter; but contend about holy-days as if their lives were at stake, thus contravening the commands of God, and legislating for themselves, and making of none effect the decree of the apostles: neither do they perceive that they are themselves practicing the contrary to those things which God approved. It is possible easily to extend our discourse respecting Easter, and demonstrate that the Jews observe no exact rule either in the time or manner of celebrating the paschal solemnity: and that the Samaritans, who are an offshoot from the Jews, always celebrate this festival after the equinox. But this subject would require a distinct and copious treatise: I shall therefore merely add, that those who affect so much to imitate the Jews, and are so very anxious about an accurate observance of types, ought to depart from them in no particular. For if they have chosen to be so correct, they must not only observe days and months, but all other things also, which Christ (who was made under the law) did in the manner of the Jews; or which he unjustly suffered from them; or wrought typically for the good of all men. He entered into a ship and taught. He ordered the Passover to be made ready in an upper room. He commanded an ass that was tied to be loosed. He proposed a man bearing a pitcher of water as a sign to them for hastening their preparations for the Passover. [He did] an infinite number of other things of this nature which are recorded in the gospels. And yet those who suppose themselves to be justified by keeping this feast, would think it absurd to observe any of these things in a bodily manner. For no doctor ever dreams of going to preach from a ship—no person imagines it necessary to go up into an upper room to celebrate the Passover there—they never tie, and then loose an ass again—and finally no one enjoins another to carry a pitcher of water, in order that the symbols might be fulfilled. They have justly regarded such things as savoring rather of Judaism: for the Jews are more solicitous about outward solemnities than the obedience of the heart; and therefore are they under the curse, because they do not discern the spiritual bearing of the Mosaic law, but rest in its types and shadows. Those who favor the Jews admit the allegorical meaning of these things; and yet they wage a deadly warfare against the observance of days and months, without applying to them a similar sense: thus do they necessarily involve themselves in a common condemnation with the Jews.

But enough I think has been said concerning these things. Let us now return to the subject we were previously treating of, the fact that the Church once divided did not stay with that division, but that those separated were again divided among themselves, taking occasion from the most trivial grounds. The Novatians, as I have stated, were divided among themselves on account of the feast of Easter, the controversy not being restricted to one point only. For in the different provinces some took one view of the question, and some another, disagreeing not only about the month, but the days of the week also, and other unimportant matters; in some places they hold separate assemblies because of it, in others they unite in mutual communion.

Further Dissensions among the Arians at Constantinople. The Psathyrians.

But dissensions arose among the Arians also on this account. The contentious questions which were daily agitated among them, led them to start the most absurd propositions. For whereas it has been always believed in the church that God is the Father of the Son, the Word, it was asked whether God could be called Father before the Son had subsistence? Thus in asserting that the Word of God was not begotten of the Father, but was created out of nothing, and thus falling into error on the chief and main point, they deservedly fell into absurd cavilings about a mere name. Dorotheus therefore being sent for by them from Antioch maintained that God neither was nor could be called Father before the Son existed. But Marinus whom they had summoned out of Thrace before Dorotheus, piqued at the superior deference which was paid to his rival, undertook to defend the contrary opinion. In consequence of these things there arose a schism among them, and being thus divided respecting this term, each party held separate meetings. Those under Dorotheus retained their original places of assembly: but the followers of Marinus built distinct oratories for themselves, and asserted that the Father had always been Father, even when the Son was not. This section of the Arians was denominated Psathyrians, because one of the most zealous defenders of this opinion was Theoctistus, a Syrian by birth, and a cake-seller [Psathyropla] by trade. Selenas bishop of the Goths adopted the views of this party, a man of mixed descent; he was a Goth by his father’s side, but by his mother’s a Phrygian, by which means he taught in the church with great readiness in both these languages. This faction however soon quarreled among themselves, Marinus disagreeing with Agapius, whom he himself had preferred to the bishopric of Ephesus. They disputed, however, not about any point of religion, but in narrow-mindedness about precedence, in which the Goths sided with Agapius. Wherefore many of the ecclesiastics under their jurisdiction, abominating the vain-glorious contest between these two, abandoned them both, and became adherents to the homoousian faith. The Arians having continued thus divided among themselves during the space of thirty-five years, were reunited in the reign of Theodosius the Younger, under the consulate of Plintha the commander-in-chief of the army, he being a member of the sect of Psathyrians; these were prevailed on to desist from contention. They afterwards passed a resolution, giving it all the cogency of law, that the question which had led to their separation, should never be mooted again. But this reconciliation extended no farther than Constantinople; for in other cities where any of these two parties were found, they persisted in their former separation. So much respecting the division among the Arians.

The Eunomians divide into Several Factions.

But neither did the followers of Eunomius remain without dissensions: for Eunomius himself had long before this separated from Eudoxius who ordained him bishop of Cyzicus, taking occasion from that bishop’s refusal to restore to communion his master Aëtius who had been ejected. But those who derived their name from him were subsequently divided into several factions. For first Theophronius a Cappadocian, who had been instructed in the art of disputation by Eunomius, and had acquired a smattering of Aristotle’s Categories, and his Book of Interpretation, composed some treatises which he entitled, On the Exercise of the Mind. Having, however, drawn down upon himself the reprobation of his own sect, he was ejected as an apostate. He afterwards held assemblies apart from them, and left behind him a heresy which bore his own name. Furthermore at Constantinople a certain Eutychius from some absurd dispute, withdrew from the Eunomians, and still continues to hold separate meetings. The followers of Theophronius are denominated Eunomiotheophronians; and those of Eutychius have the appellation of Eunomieutychians. What those nonsensical terms were about which they differed I consider unworthy of being recorded in this history, lest I should go into matters foreign to my purpose. I shall merely observe that they adulterated baptism: for they do not baptize in the name of the Trinity, but into the death of Christ. Among the Macedonians also there was for some time a division, when Eutropius a presbyter held separate assemblies, and Carterius did not agree with him. There are possibly in other cities sects which have emanated from these: but living at Constantinople, where I was born and educated, I describe more particularly what has taken place in that city; both because I have myself witnessed some of these transactions, and also because the events which have there occurred are of pre-eminent importance, and are therefore more worth of commemoration. Let it however be understood that what I have here related happened at different periods, and not at the same time. But if any one should be desirous of knowing the names of the various sects, he may easily satisfy himself, by reading a book entitled Ancoratus, composed by Epiphanius, bishop of Cyprus: but I shall content myself with what I have already stated. The public affairs were again thrown into agitation from a cause I shall now refer to.

The Usurper Eugenius compasses the Death of Valentinian the Younger. Theodosius obtains a Victory over him.

There was in the Western regions a grammarian named Eugenius, who after having for some time taught the Latin language, left his school, and was appointed to service at the palace, being constituted chief secretary to the emperor. Possessing a considerable degree of eloquence, and being on that account treated with greater distinction than others, he was unable to bear his good fortune with moderation. For associating with himself Arbogastes, a native of Galatia Minor, who then had the command of a division of the army, a man harsh in manner and very bloodthirsty, he determined to usurp the sovereignty. These two therefore agreed to murder the Emperor Valentinian, having corrupted the eunuchs of the imperial bed-chamber. These, on receiving tempting promises of promotion, strangled the emperor in his sleep. Eugenius immediately assuming the supreme authority in the Western parts of the empire, conducted himself in such a manner as might be expected from a usurper. When the Emperor Theodosius was made acquainted with these things, he was exceedingly distressed, because his defeat of Maximus had only prepared the way for fresh troubles. He accordingly assembled his military forces, and having proclaimed his son Honorius Augustus, on the 10th of January, in his own third consulate which he bore with Abundantius, he again set out in great haste toward the Western parts, leaving both his sons invested with imperial authority at Constantinople. As he marched against Eugenius a very great number of the barbarians beyond the Danube volunteered their services, and followed him in this expedition. After a rapid march he arrived in the Gauls with a numerous army, where Eugenius awaited him, also at the head of an immense body of troops. Accordingly an engagement took place near the river Frigidus, which is [about thirty-six miles] distant [from Aquileia]. In that part of the battle where the Romans fought against their own countrymen, the conflict was doubtful: but where the barbarian auxiliaries of the Emperor Theodosius were engaged, the forces of Eugenius had greatly the advantage. When the emperor saw the barbarians perishing, he cast himself in great agony upon the ground, and invoked the help of God in this emergency: nor was his request unheeded; for Bacurius his principal officer, inspired with sudden and extraordinary ardor, rushed with his vanguard to the part where the barbarians were hardest pressed, broke through the ranks of the enemy, and put to flight those who a little before were themselves engaged in pursuit. Another marvelous circumstance also occurred. A violent wind suddenly arose, which retorted upon themselves the darts cast by the soldiers of Eugenius, and at the same time drove those hurled by the imperial forces with increased impetus against their adversaries. So prevalent was the emperor’s prayer. The success of the struggle being in this way turned, the usurper threw himself at the emperor’s feet, and begged that his life might be spared: but as he lay a prostrate suppliant at the feet [of the emperor] he was beheaded by the soldiers, on the 6th of September, in the third consulate of Arcadius, and the second of Honorius. Arbogastes, who had been the chief cause of so much mischief, having continued his flight for two days after the battle, and seeing no chance of escape, despatched himself with his own sword.

Illness and Death of Theodosius the Elder.

The Emperor Theodosius was in consequence of the anxiety and fatigues connected with this war thrown into bodily illness; and believing the disease which had attacked him would be fatal, he became more concerned about the public affairs than his own life, considering how great calamities often overtook the people after the death of their sovereign. He therefore hastily summoned his son Honorius from Constantinople, being principally desirous of setting in order the state of things in the western parts of the empire. After his son’s arrival at Milan, he seemed to recover a little, and gave directions for the celebration of the games of the hippodrome on account of his victory. Before dinner he was pretty well, and a spectator of the sports; but after he had dined he became suddenly too ill to return to them, and sent his son to preside in his stead; when the night came on he died, it being the seventeenth of January, during consulate of Olybrius and Probus. This was in the first year of the two hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad. The emperor Theodosius lived sixty years, and reigned sixteen. This book therefore comprehends the transactions of sixteen years and eight months.

Book VI

On the Death of Theodosius his Two Sons divide the Empire. Rufinus is slain at the Feet of Arcadius.

After the death of the Emperor Theodosius, in the consulate of Olybrius and Probinus or the seventeenth of January, his two sons undertook the administration of the Roman empire. Thus Arcadius assumed the government of the East, and Honorius of the West. At that time Damasus was bishop of the church at Imperial Rome, and Theophilus of that of Alexandria, John of Jerusalem, and Flavian of Antioch; while the episcopal chair at Constantinople or New Rome was filled by Nectarius, as we mentioned in the foregoing book. The body of the Emperor Theodosius was taken to Constantinople on the 8th of November in the same consulate, and was honorably interred by his son Arcadius with the usual funeral solemnities. Not long afterwards on the 28th day of the same month the army also arrived, which had served under the Emperor Theodosius in the war against the usurper. When therefore according to custom the Emperor Arcadius met the army without the gates, the soldiery slew Rufinus the Prætorian prefect. For he was suspected of aspiring to the sovereignty, and had the reputation of having invited into the Roman territories the Huns, a barbarous nation, who had already ravaged Armenia, and were then making predatory incursions into other provinces of the East. On the very day on which Rufinus was killed, Marcian bishop of the Novatians died, and was succeeded in the episcopate by Sisinnius, of whom we have already made mention.

Death of Nectarius and Ordination of John.

A short time after Nectarius also, bishop of Constantinople died, during the consulate of Cæsarius and Atticus, on the 27th of September. A contest thereupon immediately arose respecting the appointment of a successor, some proposing one person, and some another: at length however it was determined to send for John, a presbyter of the church at Antioch, for there was a report that he was very instructive, and at the same time eloquent. By the general consent therefore of both the clergy and laity, he was summoned very soon afterwards to Constantinople by the Emperor Arcadius: and to render the ordination more authoritative and imposing, several prelates were requested to be present, among whom also was Theophilus bishop of Alexandria. This person did everything he could to detract from John’s reputation, being desirous of promoting to that see, Isidore a presbyter of his own church, to whom he was greatly attached, on account of a very delicate and perilous affair which Isidore had undertaken to serve his interests. What this was I must now unfold. While the Emperor Theodosius was preparing to attack the usurper Maximus, Theodosius sent Isidore with gifts giving twofold letters, and enjoining him to present both the gifts and the proper letters to him who should become the victor. In accordance with these injunctions Isidore on his arrival at Rome awaited there the event of the war. But this business did not long remain a secret: for a reader who accompanied him privately sequestered the letters; upon which Isidore in great alarm returned to Alexandria. This was the reason why Theophilus so warmly favored Isidore. The court however gave the preference to John: and inasmuch as many had revived the accusations against Theophilus, and prepared for presentation to the bishops then convened memorials of various charges, Eutropius the chief officer of the imperial bed-chamber collected these documents, and showed them to Theophilus, bidding him choose between ordaining John, and undergoing a trial on the charges made against him. Theophilus terrified at this alternative, consented to ordain John. Accordingly John was invested with the episcopal dignity on the 26th of February, under the following consulate, which the Emperor Honorius celebrated with public games at Rome, and Eutychian, then Prætorian prefect, at Constantinople. But since the man is famous, both for the writings he has left, and the many troubles he fell into, it is proper that I should not pass over his affairs in silence, but to relate as compendiously as possible whence he was, and from what ancestry; also the particulars of his elevation to the episcopate, and the means by which he was subsequently degraded; and finally how he was more honored after his death, than he had been during his life.

Birth and Education of John Bishop of Constantinople.

John was a native of Antioch in Syria-Cœle, son of Secundus and Anthusa, and scion of a noble family in that country. He studied rhetoric under Libanius the sophist, and philosophy under Andragathius the philosopher. Being on the point of entering the practice of civil law, and reflecting on the restless and unjust course of those who devote themselves to the practice of the forensic courts, he was turned to the more tranquil mode of life, which he adopted, following the example of Evagrius. Evagrius himself had been educated under the same masters, and had some time before retired to a private mode of life. Accordingly he laid aside his legal habit, and applied his mind to the reading of the sacred scriptures, frequenting the church with great assiduity. He moreover induced Theodore and Maximus, who had been his fellow-students under Libanius the sophist, to forsake a profession whose primary object was gain, and embrace a life of greater simplicity. Of these two persons, Theodore afterwards became bishop of Mopsuestia in Cilicia, and Maximus of Seleucia in Isauria. At that time being ardent aspirants after perfection, they entered upon the ascetic life, under the guidance of Diodorus and Carterius, who then presided over a monastic institution. The former of these was subsequently elevated to the bishopric of Tarsus, and wrote many treatises, in which he limited his attention to the literal sense of scripture, avoiding that which was mystical. But enough respecting these persons. Now John was then living on the most intimate terms with Basil, at that time constituted a deacon by Meletius, but afterwards ordained bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia. Accordingly Zeno the bishop on his return from Jerusalem, appointed him a reader in the church at Antioch. While he continued in the capacity of a reader he composed the book Against the Jews. Meletius having not long after conferred on him the rank of deacon, he produced his work On the Priesthood, and those Against Stagirius; and moreover those also On the Incomprehensibility of the Divine Nature, and On the Womenwho lived with the Ecclesiastics. Afterwards, upon the death of Meletius at Constantinople,—for there he had gone on account of Gregory Nazianzen’s ordination,—John separated himself from the Meletians, without entering into communion with Paulinus, and spent three whole years in retirement. Later, when Paulinus was dead, he was ordained a presbyter by Evagrius the successor of Paulinus. Such is a brief outline of John’s career previous to his call to the episcopal office. It is said that on account of his zeal for temperance he was stern and severe; and one of his early friends has said that in his youth he manifested a proneness to irritability, rather than to modesty. Because of the rectitude of his life, he was free from anxiety about the future, and his simplicity of character rendered him open and ingenuous; nevertheless the liberty of speech he allowed himself was offensive to very many. In public teaching he was powerful in reforming the morals of his auditors; but in private conversation he was frequently thought haughty and assuming by those who did not know him.

Of Serapion the Deacon on whose Account John becomes Odious to his Clergy.

Being such in disposition and manners, and promoted to the episcopacy, John was led to conduct himself toward his clergy with more than proper superciliousness, designing to correct the morals of the clergy under him. Having thus chafed the temper of the ecclesiastics, he was disliked by them; and so many of them stood aloof from him as a passionate man, and others became his bitter enemies. Serapion, a deacon of his retinue, led him to alienate their minds still more from him; and once in presence of the whole assembled clergy he cried out with a loud voice to the bishop—You will never be able to govern these men, my lord, unless you drive them all with a rod. This speech of his excited a general feeling of animosity against the bishop; the bishop also not long after expelled many of them from the church, some for one cause, and some for another. And, as it usually happens when persons in office adopt such violent measures, those who were thus expelled by him formed combinations and inveighed against him to the people. What contributed greatly to gain credence for these complaints was the fact that the bishop was not willing to eat with any one else, and never accepted an invitation to a feast. On account of this the plot against him became widespread. His reasons for not eating with others no one knew with any certainty, but some persons in justification of his conduct state that he had a very delicate stomach, and weak digestion, which obliged him to be careful in his diet, and therefore he ate alone; while others thought this was due to his rigid and habitual abstinence. Whatever the real motive may have been, the circumstance itself contributed not a little to the grounds of accusation by his calumniators. The people nevertheless continued to regard him with love and veneration, on account of his valuable discourses in the church, and therefore those who sought to traduce him, only brought themselves into contempt. How eloquent, convincing, and persuasive his sermons were, both those which were published by himself, and such as were noted down by short-hand writers as he delivered them, why should we stay to declare? Those who desire to form an adequate idea of them, must read for themselves, and will thereby derive both pleasure and profit.

John draws down upon Himself the Displeasure of Many Persons of Rank and Power. Of the Eunuch Eutropius.

As long as John was in conflict with the clergy only, machinations against him were utterly powerless; but when he proceeded to rebuke many of those in public office also with immoderate vehemence, the tide of unpopularity began to set against him with far greater impetus. Hence many stories were told to his disparagement. And most of these found attentive and believing listeners. This growing prejudice was not a little increased by an oration which he pronounced at that time against Eutropius. For Eutropius was the chief eunuch of the imperial bed-chamber, and the first of all eunuchs that was admitted to the dignity of consul. He, desiring to inflict vengeance on certain persons who had taken refuge in the churches, induced the emperors to make a law excluding delinquents from the privilege of sanctuary, and authorizing the seizure of those who had sought the shelter of the sacred edifices. But its author was punished for this almost immediately; for scarcely had the law been promulgated, before Eutropius himself, having incurred the displeasure of the emperor, fled for protection to the church. The bishop therefore, while Eutropius trembling with fear lay under the table of the altar, mounting the pulpit from which he was accustomed to address the people in order to be the more distinctly heard, uttered an invective against him: wherefore he seemed to create greater displeasure in some, as he not only denied compassion to the unfortunate, but added insult to cruelty. By the emperor’s order however, for certain offences committed by him, Eutropius, though bearing the consulate, was decapitated, and his name effaced from the list of consuls, that of Theodore his colleague being alone suffered to remain as in office for that year. It is said that John afterwards used the same license towards Gaïnas also, who was then commander-in-chief of the army; treating him with characteristic rudeness, because he had presumed to request the emperor to assign the Arians, with whom he agreed in sentiment, one of the churches within the city. Many others also of the higher orders, for a variety of causes, he censured with the same unceremonious freedom, so that by these means he created many powerful adversaries. Wherefore Theophilus bishop of Alexandria, immediately after his ordination, was plotting his overthrow; and concerted measures for this purpose in secret, both with the friends who were around him, and by letter with such as were at a distance. For it was not so much the boldness with which John lashed whatever was obnoxious to him, that affected Theophilus, as his own failure to place his favorite presbyter Isidore in the episcopal chair of Constantinople. In such a state were the affairs of John the bishop at that time; mischief thus threatened him at the very commencement of his episcopate. But we shall enter into these things more at large as we proceed.

Gaïnas the Goth attempts to usurp the Sovereign Power; after filling Constantinople with Disorder, he is slain.

I shall now narrate some memorable circumstances that occurred at that period, in which it will be seen how Divine Providence interposed by extraordinary agencies for the preservation of the city and Roman empire from the utmost peril. Gaïnas was a barbarian by extraction but after becoming a Roman subject, and having engaged in military service, and risen by degrees from one rank to another, he was at length appointed general-in-chief both of the Roman horse and foot. When he had obtained this lofty position, he forgot his position and relations, and was unable to restrain himself and on the other hand according to the common saying left no stone unturned in order to gain control of the Roman government. To accomplish this he sent for the Goths out of their own country, and gave the principal commissions in the army to his relations. Then when Tribigildus, one of his kinsmen who had the command of the forces in Phrygia, had at the instigation of Gaïnas broken out into open revolt, and was filling the people of Phrygia with confusion and dismay, he managed to have deputed to him the oversight of matters in the disturbed province. Now the Emperor Arcadius not suspecting [any harm] committed the charge of these affairs to him. Gaïnas therefore immediately set out at the head of an immense number of the barbarous Goths, apparently on an expedition against Tribigildus, but with the real intention of establishing his own unjust domination. On reaching Phrygia he began to subvert everything. Consequently the affairs of the Romans were immediately thrown into great consternation, not only on account of the vast barbarian force which Gaïnas had at his command, but also because the most fertile and opulent regions of the East were threatened with desolation. In this emergency the emperor, acting with much prudence, sought to arrest the course of the barbarian by address: he accordingly sent him an embassy with instructions to appease him for the present by every kind of concession. Gaïnas having demanded that Saturninus and Aurelian, two of the most distinguished of the senatorial order, and men of consular dignity, whom he knew to be unfavorable to his pretensions, should be delivered up to him, the emperor most unwillingly yielded to the exigency of the crisis; and these two persons, prepared to die for the public good, nobly submitted themselves to the emperor’s disposal. They therefore proceeded to meet the barbarian, at a place used for horse-racing some distance from Chalcedon, being resolved to endure whatever he might be disposed to inflict; but however they suffered no harm. The usurper simulating dissatisfaction, advanced to Chalcedon, whither the emperor Arcadius also went to meet him. Both then entered the church where the body of the martyr Euphemia is deposited, and there entered into a mutual pledge on oath that neither would plot against the other. The emperor indeed kept his engagement, having a religious regard to an oath, and being on that account beloved of God. But Gaïnas soon violated it, and did not swerve from his original purpose; on the contrary he was intent on carnage, plunder, and conflagration, not only against Constantinople, but also against the whole extent of the Roman empire, if he could by any means carry it into effect. The city was accordingly quite inundated by the barbarians, and its residents were reduced to a condition equivalent to that of captives. Moreover so great was the danger of the city that a comet of prodigious magnitude, reaching from heaven even to the earth, such as was never before seen, gave forewarning of it. Gaïnas first most shamelessly attempted to make a seizure of the silver publicly exposed for sale in the shops: but when the proprietors, advised beforehand by report of his intention, abstained from exposing it on their counters, his thoughts were diverted to another object, which was to send an immense body of barbarians at night for the purpose of burning down the palace. Then indeed it appeared distinctly that God had providential care over the city: for a multitude of angels appeared to the rebels, in the form of armed men of gigantic stature, before whom the barbarians, imagining them to be a large army of brave troops, turned away with terror and departed. When this was reported to Gaïnas, it seemed to him quite incredible—for he knew that the greatest part of the Roman army was at a distance, dispersed as a garrison over the Eastern cities—and he sent others on the following night and repeatedly afterwards. Now as they constantly returned with the same statement—for the angels of God always presented themselves in the same form—he came with a great multitude, and at length became himself a spectator of the prodigy. Then supposing that what he saw was really a body of soldiers, and that they concealed themselves by day, and baffled his designs by night, he desisted from his attempt, and took another resolution which he conceived would be detrimental to the Romans; but the event proved it to be greatly to their advantage. Pretending to be under demoniacal possession, he went forth as if for prayer to the church of St. John the Apostle, which is seven miles distant from the city. Together with him went barbarians who carried out arms, having concealed them in casks and other specious coverings. And when the soldiers who guarded the city gates detected these, and would not suffer them to pass, the barbarians drew their swords and put them to death. A fearful tumult thence arose in the city, and death seemed to threaten every one; nevertheless the city continued secure at that time, its gates being every where well defended. The emperor with timely wisdom proclaimed Gaïnas a public enemy, and ordered that all the barbarians who remained shut up in the city should be slain. Thus one day after the guards of the gates had been killed, the Romans attacked the barbarians within the walls near the church of the Goths—for thither such of them as had been left in the city had betaken themselves—and after destroying a great number of them they set the church on fire, and burnt it to the ground. Gaïnas being informed of the slaughter of those of his party who did not manage to get out of the city, and perceiving the failure of all his artifices, left St. John’s church, and advanced rapidly towards Thrace. On reaching the Chersonnese he endeavored to pass over from thence and take Lampsacus, in order that from that place he might make himself master of the Eastern parts. As the emperor had immediately dispatched forces in pursuit both by land and by sea, another wonderful interposition of Divine Providence occurred. For while the barbarians, destitute of ships, hastily put together rafts and were attempting to cross on them, suddenly the Roman fleet appeared, and the west wind began to blow hard. This afforded an easy passage to the Romans; but the barbarians with their horses, tossed up and down in their frail barks by the violence of the gale, were at length overwhelmed by the waves; many of them also were destroyed by the Romans. In this manner during the passage a vast number of the barbarians perished; but Gaïnas departing thence fled into Thrace, where he fell in with another body of the Roman forces and was slain by them together with the barbarians that attended him. Let this cursory notice of Gaïnas suffice here.

Those who may desire more minute details of the circumstances of that war, should read The Gaïnea of Eusebius Scholasticus, who was at that time a pupil of Troïlus the sophist; and having been a spectator of the war, related the events of it in an heroic poem consisting of four books; and inasmuch as the events alluded to had but recently taken place, he acquired for himself great celebrity. The poet Ammonius has also very lately composed another description in verse of the same transactions, which he recited before the emperor in the sixteenth consulate of Theodosius the younger, which he bore with Faustus.

This war was terminated under the consulate of Stilicho and Aurelian. The year following, the consulate was celebrated by Fravitus also a Goth by extraction, who was honored by the Romans, and showed great fidelity and attachment to them, rendering important services in this very war. For this reason he attained to the dignity of consul. In that year on the tenth of April there was born a son to the Emperor Arcadius, the good Theodosius.

But while the affairs of the state were thus troubled, the dignitaries of the Church refrained not in the least from their disgraceful cabals against each other, to the great reproach of the Christian religion; for during this time the ecclesiastics incited tumults against each other. The source of the mischief originated in Egypt in the following manner.

Dissension between Theophilus Bishop of Alexandria and the Monks of the Desert. Condemnation of Origen’s Books.

The question had been started a little before, whether God is a corporeal existence, and has the form of man; or whether he is incorporeal, and without human or, generally speaking, any other bodily shape? From this question arose strifes and contentions among a very great number of persons, some favoring one opinion on the subject, and others patronizing the opposite. Very many of the more simple ascetics asserted that God is corporeal, and has a human figure: but most others condemn their judgment, and contended that God is incorporeal, and free of all form whatever. With these latter Theophilus bishop of Alexandria agreed so thoroughly that in the church before all the people he inveighed against those who attributed to God a human form, expressly teaching that the Divine Being is wholly incorporeal. When the Egyptian ascetics were apprised of this, they left their monasteries and came to Alexandria; where they excited a tumult against the bishop, accusing him of impiety, and threatening to put him to death. Theophilus becoming aware of his danger, after some consideration had recourse to this expedient to extricate himself from the threatened death. Going to the monks, he in a conciliatory tone thus addressed them: In seeing you, I behold the face of God. The utterance of this saying moderated the fury of these men and they replied: If you really admit that God’s countenance is such as ours, anathematize Origen’s book; for some drawing arguments from them oppose themselves to our opinion. If you will not do this, expect to be treated by us as an impious person, and the enemy of God. But as far as I am concerned, said Theophilus, I will readily do what you require: and be ye not angry with me, for I myself also disapprove of Origen’s works, and consider those who countenance them deserving of censure. Thus he succeeded in appeasing and sending away the monks at that time; and probably the whole dispute respecting this subject would have been set at rest, had it not been for another circumstance which happened immediately after. Over the monasteries in Egypt there were four devout persons as superintendents named Dioscorus, Ammonius, Eusebius, and Euthymius: these men were brothers, and had the appellation of the Tall Monks given them on account of their stature. They were moreover distinguished both for the sanctity of their lives, and the extent of their erudition, and for these reasons their reputation was very high at Alexandria. Theophilus in particular, the prelate of that city, loved and honored them exceedingly: insomuch that he constituted one of them, Dioscorus, bishop of Hermopolis against his will, having forcibly drawn him from his retreat. Two of the others he entreated to continue with him, and with difficulty prevailed upon them to do so; still by the exercise of his authority as bishop he accomplished his purpose: when therefore he had invested them with the clerical office, he committed to their charge the management of ecclesiastical affairs. They, constrained by necessity, performed the duties thus imposed on them successfully; nevertheless they were dissatisfied because they were unable to follow philosophical pursuits and ascetic exercises. And as in process of time, they thought they were being spiritually injured, observing the bishop to be devoted to gain, and greedily intent on the acquisition of wealth, and according to the common saying leaving no stone unturned for the sake of gain, they refused to remain with him any longer, declaring that they loved solitude, and greatly preferred it to living in the city. As long as he was ignorant of the true motive for their departure, he earnestly begged them to abide with him; but when he perceived that they were dissatisfied with his conduct, he became excessively irritated, and threatened to do them all kinds of mischief. But they making little account of his menaces retired into the desert; upon which Theophilus, who was evidently of a hasty and malignant temperament, raised not a small clamor against them, and by every contrivance earnestly sought to do them injury. He also conceived a dislike against their brother Dioscorus, bishop of Hermopolis. He was moreover extremely annoyed at the esteem and veneration in which he was held by the ascetics. Being aware, however, that he would be able to do no harm to these persons unless he could stir up hostility in the minds of the monks against them, he used this artifice to effect it. He well knew that these men in their frequent theological discussions with him, had maintained that the Deity was incorporeal, and by no means had a human form; because [they argued] such a constitution would involve the necessary accompaniment of human passions. Now this has been demonstrated by the ancient writers and especially Origen. Theophilus, however though entertaining the very same opinion respecting the Divine nature, yet to gratify his vindictive feelings, did not hesitate to pervert what he and they had rightly taught: but imposed upon the majority of the monks, men who were sincere but rude in speech, the greater part of whom were quite illiterate. Sending letters to the monasteries in the desert, he advised them not to give heed either to Dioscorus or to his brothers, inasmuch as they affirmed that God had not a body. Whereas, said he, according to the sacred Scripture God has eyes, ears, hands, and feet, as men have; but the partisans of Dioscorus, being followers of Origen, introduce the blasphemous dogma that God has neither eyes, ears, feet, nor hands. By this sophism he took advantage of the simplicity of these monks and thus a hot dissension was stirred up among them. Such as had a cultivated mind indeed were not beguiled by this plausibility, and therefore still adhere to Dioscorus and Origen; but the more ignorant who greatly exceeded the others in number, inflamed by an ardent zeal without knowledge, immediately raised an outcry against their brethren. A division being thus made, both parties branded each other as impious; and some listening to Theophilus called their brethren Origenists, and impious and the others termed those who were convinced by Theophilus Anthropomorphitæ. On this account violent altercation arose, and an inextinguishable war between the monks. Theophilus on receiving intimation of the success of his device, went to Nitria where the monasteries are, accompanied by a multitude of persons, and armed the monks against Dioscorus and his brethren; who being in danger of losing their lives, made their escape with great difficulty.

While these things were in progress in Egypt John bishop of Constantinople was ignorant of them, but flourished in eloquence and became increasingly celebrated for his discourses. Moreover he first enlarged the prayers contained in the nocturnal hymns, for the reason I am about to assign.

The Arians and the Supporters of the ‘Homoousion’ hold Nocturnal Assemblies and sing Antiphonal Hymns, a Species of Composition ascribed to Ignatius, surnamed Theophorus. Conflict between the Two Parties.

The Arians, as we have said, held their meetings without the city. As often therefore as the festal days occurred—I mean Saturday and Lord’s day—in each week, on which assemblies are usually held in the churches, they congregated within the city gates about the public squares, and sang responsive verses adapted to the Arian heresy. This they did during the greater part of the night: and again in the morning, chanting the same songs which they called responsive, they paraded through the midst of the city, and so passed out of the gates to go to their places of assembly. But since they did not desist from making use of insulting expressions in relation to the Homoousians, often singing such words as these: Where are they that say three things are but one power?—John fearing lest any of the more simple should be drawn away from the church by such kind of hymns, opposed to them some of his own people, that they also employing themselves in chanting nocturnal hymns, might obscure the effort of the Arians, and confirm his own party in the profession of their faith. John’s design indeed seemed to be good, but it issued in tumult and dangers. For as the Homoousians performed their nocturnal hymns with greater display,—for there were invented by John silver crosses for them on which lighted wax-tapers were carried, provided at the expense of the empress Eudoxia,—the Arians who were very numerous, and fired with envy, resolved to revenge themselves by a desperate and riotous attack upon their rivals. For from the remembrance of their own recent domination, they were full of confidence in their ability to overcome, and of contempt for their adversaries. Without delay therefore, on one of these nights, they engaged in a conflict; and Briso, one of the eunuchs of the empress, who was at that time leading the chanters of these hymns, was wounded by a stone in the forehead, and also some of the people on both sides were killed. Whereupon the emperor being angered, forbade the Arians to chant their hymns any more in public. Such were the events of this occasion.

We must now however make some allusion to the origin of this custom in the church of responsive singing. Ignatius third bishop of Antioch in Syria from the apostle Peter, who also had held intercourse with the apostles themselves, saw a vision of angels hymning in alternate chants the Holy Trinity. Accordingly he introduced the mode of singing he had observed in the vision into the Antiochian church; whence it was transmitted by tradition to all the other churches. Such is the account [we have received] in relation to these responsive hymns.

Dispute between Theophilus and Peter leading to an Attempt on the Part of the Former to depose John Bishop of Constantinople.

Not long after this, the monks of the desert, together with Dioscorus and his brothers, came to Constantinople. There was also with them Isidore, formerly the most intimate friend of the bishop Theophilus, but then become his bitterest enemy, on account of the following circumstance: A certain man named Peter was at that time the archpresbyter of the Alexandrian church; Theophilus being irritated against this person, determined to eject him from the church; and as the ground of expulsion, he brought the charge against him of having admitted to a participation of the sacred mysteries, a woman of the Manichæan sect, without first compelling her to renounce her Manichæan heresy. As Peter in his defence declared, that not only had the errors of this woman been previously abjured, but that Theophilus himself had sanctioned her admission to the eucharist, Theophilus became indignant, as if he had been grievously calumniated; whereupon he affirmed that he was altogether unacquainted with the circumstance. Peter therefore summoned Isidore to bear witness to the bishop’s knowledge of the facts concerning the woman. Now Isidore happened to be then at Rome, on a mission from Theophilus to Damasus the prelate of the imperial city, for the purpose of affecting a reconciliation between him and Flavian bishop of Antioch; for the adherents of Meletius had separated from Flavian in detestation of his perjury, as we have already observed. When Isidore had returned from Rome, and was cited as a witness by Peter, he deposed that the woman was received by consent of the bishop; and that he himself had administered the sacrament to her. Upon this Theophilus became enraged and in anger ejected them both. This furnished the reason for Isidore’s going to Constantinople with Dioscorus and his brethren, in order to submit to the cognizance of the emperor, and John the bishop, the injustice and violence with which Theophilus had treated them. John, on being informed of the facts, gave the men an honorable reception, and did not exclude them from communion at prayers, but postponed their communion of the sacred mysteries, until their affairs should be examined into. Whilst matters were in this posture, a false report was brought to Theophilus’ ears, that John had both admitted them to a participation of the mysteries, and was also ready to give them assistance; wherefore he resolved not only to be revenged on Isidore and Dioscorus, but also if possible to cast John out of his episcopal chair. With this design he wrote to all the bishops of the various cities, and concealing his real motive, ostensibly condemned therein the books of Origen merely: which Athanasius, his predecessor, had used in confirmation of his own faith, frequently appealing to the testimony and authority of Origen’s writings, in his orations against the Arians.

Epiphanius Bishop of Cyprus convenes a Synod to condemn the Books of Origen.

He moreover renewed his friendship with Epiphanius bishop of Constantia in Cyprus, with whom he had formerly been at variance. For Theophilus accused Epiphanius of entertaining low thoughts of God, by supposing him to have a human form. Now although Theophilus was really unchanged in sentiment, and had denounced those who thought that the divinity was human in form, yet on account of his hatred of others, he openly denied his own convictions; and he now professed to be friendly with Epiphanius, as if he had altered his mind and agreed with him in his views of God. He then managed it so that Epiphanius by letter should convene a Synod of the bishops in Cyprus, in order to condemn the writings of Origen. Epiphanius being on account of his extraordinary piety a man of simple mind and manners was easily influenced by the letters of Theophilus: having therefore assembled a council of bishops in that island, he caused a prohibition to be therein made of the reading of Origen’s works. He also wrote to John, exhorting him to abstain from the study of Origen’s books, and to convoke a Synod for decreeing the same thing as he had done. Accordingly when Theophilus had in this way deluded Epiphanius, who was famous for his piety, seeing his design prosper according to his wish, he became more confident, and himself also assembled a great number of bishops. In that convention, pursuing the same course as Epiphanius, he caused a like sentence of condemnation to be pronounced on the writings of Origen, who had been dead nearly two hundred years: not having this as his first object, but rather his purpose of revenge on Dioscorus and his brethren. John paying but little attention to the communications of Epiphanius and Theophilus, was intent on instructing the churches; and he flourished more and more as a preacher, but made no account of the plots which were laid against him. As soon, however, as it became apparent to every body that Theophilus was endeavoring to divest John of his bishopric, then all those who had any ill-will against John, combined in calumniating him. And thus many of the clergy, and many of those in office, and of those who had great influence at the court, believing that they had found an opportunity now of avenging themselves upon John, exerted themselves to procure the convocation of a Grand Synod at Constantinople, partly by sending letters and partly by dispatching messengers in all directions for that purpose.

Of Severian and Antiochus: their Disagreement from John.

The odium against John Chrysostom was considerably increased by another additional event as follows: two bishops flourished at that time, Syrians by birth, named Severian and Antiochus; Severian presided over the church at Gabala, a city of Syria, and Antiochus over that of Ptolemaïs in Phœnicia. They were both renowned for their eloquence; but although Severian was a very learned man, he did not succeed in using the Greek language perfectly; and so while speaking Greek he betrayed his Syrian origin. Antiochus came first to Constantinople, and having preached in the churches for some time with great zeal and ability, and having thus amassed a large sum of money, he returned to his own church. Severian hearing that Antiochus had collected a fortune by his visit to Constantinople, determined to follow his example. He therefore exercised himself for the occasion, and having composed a number of sermons, set out for Constantinople. Being most kindly received by John, to a certain point, he soothed and flattered the man, and was himself no less beloved and honored by him: meanwhile his discourses gained him great celebrity, so that he attracted the notice of many persons of rank, and even of the emperor himself. And as it happened at that time that the bishop of Ephesus died, John was obliged to go to Ephesus for the purpose of ordaining a successor. On his arrival at that city, as the people were divided in their choice, some proposing one person, and some another, John perceiving that both parties were in a contentious mood, and that they did not wish to adopt his counsel, he resolved without much ado to end their dispute by preferring to the bishopric a certain Heraclides, a deacon of his own, and a Cypriot by descent. And thus both parties desisting from their strife with each other had peace. Now as this detention [at Ephesus] was lengthened, Severian continued to preach at Constantinople, and daily grew in favor with his hearers. Of this John was not left ignorant, for he was promptly made acquainted with whatever occurred, Serapion, of whom we have before spoken, communicating the news to him and asserting that the church was being troubled by Severian; thus the bishop was aroused to a feeling of jealousy. Having therefore among other matters deprived many of the Novatians and Quartodecimans of their churches, he returned to Constantinople. Here he resumed himself the care of the churches under his own especial jurisdiction. But Serapion’s arrogance no one could bear; for thus having won John’s unbounded confidence and regard, he was so puffed up by it that he treated every one with contempt. And on this account also animosity was inflamed the more against the bishop. On one occasion when Severian passed by him, Serapion neglected to pay him the homage due to a bishop, but continued seated [instead of rising], indicating plainly how little he cared for his presence. Severian, unable to endure patiently this [supposed] rudeness and contempt, said with a loud voice to those present, If Serapion should die a Christian, Christ has not become incarnate. Serapion, taking occasion from this remark, publicly incited Chrysostom to enmity against Severian: for suppressing the conditional clause of the sentence, If Serapion die a Christian, and saying that he had made the assertion that Christ has not become incarnate, he brought several witnesses of his own party to sustain this charge. But on being informed of this the Empress Eudoxia severely reprimanded John, and ordered that Severian should be immediately recalled from Chalcedon in Bithynia. He returned forthwith; but John would hold no intercourse whatever with him, nor did he listen to any one urging him to do so, until at length the Empress Eudoxia herself, in the church called The Apostles, placed her son Theodosius, who now so happily reigns, but was then quite an infant, before John’s knees, and adjuring him repeatedly by the young prince her son, with difficulty prevailed upon him to be reconciled to Severian. In this manner then these men were outwardly reconciled; but they nevertheless continued cherishing a rancorous feeling toward each other. Such was the origin of the animosity [of John] against Severian.

Epiphanius, in order to gratify Theophilus, performs Ordinations at Constantinople without John’s Permission.

Not long after this, at the suggestion of Theophilus, the bishop Epiphanius again came from Cyprus to Constantinople; he brought also with him a copy of the synodical decree in which they did not excommunicate Origen himself but condemned his books. On reaching St. John’s church, which is seven miles distant from the city, he disembarked, and there celebrated a service; then after having ordained a deacon, he again entered the city. In complaisance to Theophilus he declined John’s courtesy, and engaged apartments in a private house. He afterwards assembled those of the bishops who were then in the capital, and producing his copy of the synodical decree condemnatory of Origen’s works, recited it before them; not being able to assign any reason for this judgment, than that it seemed fit to Theophilus and himself to reject them. Some indeed from a reverential respect for Epiphanius subscribed the decree; but many refused to do so among whom was Theotimus bishop of Scythia, who thus addressed Epiphanius:—I neither choose, Epiphanius, said he, to insult the memory of one who ended his life piously long ago; nor dare I be guilty of so impious an act, as that of condemning what our predecessors did not reject: and especially when I know of no evil doctrine contained in Origen’s books. Having said this, he brought forward one of that author’s works, and reading a few passages therefrom, showed that the sentiments propounded were in perfect accordance with the orthodox faith. He then added, Those who speak evil of these writings are unconsciously casting dishonor upon the sacred volume whence their principles are drawn. Such was the reply which Theotimus, a bishop celebrated for his piety and rectitude of life, made to Epiphanius.

The Author’s Defence of Origen.

But since carping detractors have imposed upon many persons and have succeeded in deterring them from reading Origen, as though he were a blasphemous writer, I deem it not unseasonable to make a few observations respecting him. Worthless characters, and such as are destitute of ability to attain eminence themselves, often seek to get into notice by decrying those who excel them. And first Methodius, bishop of a city in Lycia named Olympus, labored under this malady; next Eustathius, who for a short time presided over the church at Antioch; after him Apollinaris; and lastly Theophilus. This quaternion of revilers has traduced Origen, but not on the same grounds, one having found one cause of accusation against him, and another another; and thus each has demonstrated that what he has taken no objection to, he has fully accepted. For since one has attacked one opinion in particular, and another has found fault with another, it is evident that each has admitted as true what he has not assailed, giving a tacit approbation to what he has not attacked. Methodius indeed, when he had in various places railed against Origen, afterwards as if retracting all he had previously said, expresses his admiration of the man, in a dialogue which he entitled Xenon. But I affirm that from the censure of these men, greater commendation accrues to Origen. For those who have sought out whatever they deemed worthy of reprobation in him, and yet have never charged him with holding unsound views respecting the holy Trinity, are in this way most distinctly shown to bear witness to his orthodox piety: and by not reproaching him on this point, they commend him by their own testimony. But Athanasius the defender of the doctrine of consubstantiality, in his Discourses against the Arians continually cites this author as a witness of his own faith, interweaving his words with his own, and saying, The most admirable and assiduous Origen, says he, by his own testimony confirms our doctrine concerning the Son of God, affirming him to be co-eternal with the Father. Those therefore who load Origen with opprobrium, overlook the fact that their maledictions fall at the same time on Athanasius, the eulogist of Origen. So much will be enough for the vindication of Origen; we shall now return to the course of our history.

Epiphanius is asked to meet John; on refusing he is admonished concerning his Anticanonical Proceedings; alarmed at this he leaves Constantinople.

John was not offended because Epiphanius, contrary to the ecclesiastical canon, had made an ordination in his church; but invited him to remain with him at the episcopal palace. He, however, replied that he would neither stay nor pray with him, unless he would expel Dioscorus and his brethren from the city, and with his own hand subscribe the condemnation of Origen’s books. Now as John deferred the performance of these things, saying that nothing ought to be done rashly before investigation by a general council, John’s adversaries led Epiphanius to adopt another course. For they contrived it so that as a meeting was in the church named The Apostles, Epiphanius came forth and before all the people condemned the books of Origen, excommunicated Dioscorus with his followers, and charged John with countenancing them. These things were reported to John; whereupon on the following day he sent the appended message to Epiphanius just as he entered the church:

You do many things contrary to the canons, Epiphanius. In the first place you have made an ordination in the churches under my jurisdiction: then without my appointment, you have on your own authority officiated in them. Moreover, when heretofore I invited you hither, you refused to come, and now you take that liberty yourself. Beware therefore, lest a tumult being excited among the people, you yourself should also incur danger therefrom.

Epiphanius becoming alarmed on hearing these admonitions, left the church; and after accusing John of many things, he set out on his return to Cyprus. Some say that when he was about to depart, he said to John, I hope that you will not die a bishop: to which John replied, Expect not to arrive at your own country. I cannot be sure that those who reported these things to me spoke the truth; but nevertheless the event was in the case of both as prophesied above. For Epiphanius did not reach Cyprus, having died on board the ship during his voyage; and John a short time afterwards was driven from his see, as we shall show in proceeding.

John is expelled from his Church by a Synod held at Chalcedon on account of his Dispraise of Women.

When Epiphanius was gone, John was informed by some person that the Empress Eudoxia had stimulated Epiphanius against him. And being of a fiery temperament, and of a ready utterance, he soon after pronounced a public invective against women in general. The people readily took this as uttered indirectly against the empress and so the speech was laid hold of by evil-disposed persons, and reported to those in authority. At length on being informed of it the empress immediately complained to her husband, telling him that the insult offered to herself was equally an insult against him. The emperor therefore authorized Theophilus to convoke a Synod without delay against John; Severian also co-operated in promoting this, for he still retained his grudge against Chrysostom. Not long time accordingly intervened before Theophilus arrived, having induced several bishops from different cities to accompany him; these however had been summoned by the emperor’s orders also. Many of the bishops in Asia John had deposed when he went to Ephesus and ordained Heraclides. Accordingly they all by previous agreement assembled at Chalcedon in Bithynia. Cyrinus was at that time bishop of Chalcedon, an Egyptian by birth, who said many things to the bishops in disparagement of John, denouncing him as the impious, the haughty, the inexorable. They indeed were very much satisfied at these denunciations. But Maruthas bishop of Mesopotamia having involuntarily trod on Cyrinus’ foot, he was severely hurt by it and was unable to embark with the rest for Constantinople, but remained behind at Chalcedon. The rest crossed over. Now Theophilus had so openly avowed his hostility to John, that none of the clergy would go forth to meet him, or pay him the least honor; but some Alexandrian sailors happening to be on the spot—for at that time the grain transporting vessels were there—greeted him with joyful acclamations. He excused himself from entering the church, and took up his abode at one of the imperial mansions called The Placidian. Then on this account a torrent of accusations began to be poured forth against John; for no mention was now made of Origen, but all were intent on urging a variety of criminations, many of which were ridiculous. Preliminary matters being thus settled, the bishops were convened in one of the suburbs of Chalcedon, a place called The Oak, and immediately cited John to answer the charges which were brought against him. He also summoned Serapion the deacon; Tigris the eunuch presbyter, and Paul the reader, were likewise summoned to appear there with him, for these men were included in the impeachments, as participators in his guilt. And since John taking exception to those who had cited him, on the ground of their being his enemies, refused to attend, and demanded a general council, without delay they repeated their citation four times in succession; and as he persisted in his refusal to meet them as his judges, always giving the same answer, they condemned him, and deposed him without assigning any other cause for his deposition but that he refused to obey the summons. This decision on being announced towards evening, incited the people to a most alarming sedition; insomuch that they kept watch all night, and would by no means suffer him to be removed from the church, but cried out that his cause ought to be determined in a larger assembly. A decree of the emperor, however, commanded that he should be immediately expelled, and sent into exile; which as soon as John was apprised of, he voluntarily surrendered himself about noon unknown to the populace, on the third day after his condemnation: for he dreaded any insurrectionary movement on his account, and was accordingly led away.

Sedition on Account of John Chrysostom’s Banishment. He is recalled.

The people then became intolerably tumultuous; and as it frequently happens in such cases, many who before were adversely disposed against him, now changed their hostility into compassion, and said of him whom they had so recently desired to see deposed, that he had been traduced. By this means therefore they became very numerous who exclaimed against both the emperor and the Synod of bishops; but the origin of the intrigue they more particularly referred to Theophilus. For his fraudulent conduct could no longer be concealed, being exposed by many other indications, and especially by the fact of his having held communion with Dioscorus, and those termed the Tall Monks, immediately after John’s deposition. But Severian preaching in the church, and thinking it a suitable occasion to declaim against John, said: If John had been condemned for nothing else, yet the haughtiness of his demeanor was a crime sufficient to justify his deposition. Men indeed are forgiven all other sins: but God resisteth the proud, as the Divine Scriptures teach us. These reproaches made the people still more inclined to opposition; so that the emperor gave orders for his immediate recall. Accordingly Briso a eunuch in the service of the empress was sent after him, who finding him at Prænetum—a commercial town situated over against Nicomedia—brought him back toward Constantinople. And as he had been recalled, John refused to enter the city, declaring he would not do so until his innocence had been admitted by a higher tribunal. Thus he remained at a suburb called Marianæ. Now as he delayed at that place the commotion increased, and caused the people to break forth into very indignant and opprobrious language against their rulers, wherefore to check their fury John was constrained to proceed. On his way a vast multitude, with veneration and honor, conducted him immediately to the church; there they entreated him to seat himself in the episcopal chair, and give them his accustomed benediction. When he sought to excuse himself, saying that this ought to be brought about by an order from his judges, and that those who condemned him must first revoke their sentence, they were only the more inflamed with the desire of seeing him reinstated, and of hearing him address them again. The people finally prevailed on him to resume his seat, and pray as usual for peace upon them; after which, acting under the same constraint, he preached to them. This compliance on John’s part afforded his adversaries another ground of crimination; but respecting this they took no action at that time.

Conflict between the Constantinopolitans and Alexandrians on Account of Heraclides; Flight of Theophilus and the Bishops of his Party.

In the first place, then, Theophilus attempted to investigate the case of the ordination of Heraclides, that thereby he might if possible find occasion of again deposing John. Heraclides was not present at this scrutiny. He was nevertheless judged in his absence, on the charge of having unjustly beaten some persons, and afterwards dragged them in chains through the midst of the city of Ephesus. As John and his adherents remonstrated against the injustice of passing sentence upon an absent person, the Alexandrians contended that they ought to hear the accusers of Heraclides, although he was not present. A sharp contest therefore ensued between the Alexandrians and the Constantinopolitans, and a riot arose whereby many persons were wounded, and some were killed. Theophilus, seeing what was done, fled to Alexandria without ceremony; and the other bishops, except the few who supported John, followed his example, and returned to their respective sees. After these transactions, Theophilus was degraded, in every one’s estimation: but the odium attached to him was exceedingly increased by the shameless way in which he continued to read Origen’s works. And when he was asked why he thus countenanced what he had publicly condemned, he replied, Origen’s books are like a meadow enameled with flowers of every kind. If, therefore, I chance to find a beautiful one among them, I cull it: but whatever appears to me to be thorny, I step over, as that which would prick. But Theophilus gave this answer without reflecting on the saying of the wise Solomon, that the words of the wise are as goads; and those who are pricked by the precepts they contain, ought not to kick against them. For these reasons then Theophilus was held in contempt by all men. Dioscorus bishop of Hermopolis, one of those termed the Tall Monks, died a short time after the flight of Theophilus, and was honored with a magnificent funeral, being interred in the church at The Oak, where the Synod was convened on John’s account. John meanwhile was sedulously employed in preaching. He ordained Serapion bishop of Heraclea in Thrace, on whose account the odium against himself had been raised. Not long after the following events occurred.

Of Eudoxia’s Silver Statue. On account of it John is exiled a Second Time.

At this time a silver statue of the Empress Eudoxia covered with a long robe was erected upon a column of porphyry supported by a lofty base. And this stood neither near nor far from the church named Sophia, but one-half the breadth of the street separated them. At this statue public games were accustomed to be performed; these John regarded as an insult offered to the church, and having regained his ordinary freedom and keenness of tongue, he employed his tongue against those who tolerated them. Now while it would have been proper to induce the authorities by a supplicatory petition to discontinue the games, he did not do this, but employing abusive language he ridiculed those who had enjoined such practices. The empress once more applied his expressions to herself as indicating marked contempt toward her own person: she therefore endeavored to procure the convocation of another council of bishops against him. When John became aware of this, he delivered in the church that celebrated oration commencing with these words: Again Herodias raves; again she is troubled; she dances again; and again desires to receive John’s head in a charger. This, of course, exasperated the empress still more. Not long after the following bishops arrived: Leontius bishop of Ancyra in Asia, Ammonius of Laodicea in Pisidia, Briso of Philippi in Thrace, Acacius of Berœa in Syria, and some others. John presented himself fearlessly before them, and demanded an investigation of the charges which were made against him. But the anniversary of the birth of our Saviour having recurred, the emperor would not attend church as usual, but sent Chrysostom a message to the effect that he should not partake of the communion with him until he had cleared himself of the crimes with which he stood impeached. Now as John maintained a bold and ardent bearing, and his accusers seemed to grow faint-hearted, the bishops present, setting aside all other matters, said they would confine themselves to this sole consideration, that he had on his own responsibility, after his deposition, again seated himself in the episcopal chair, without being authorized by an ecclesiastical council. As he alleged that sixty-five bishops who had held communion with him had reinstated him, the partisans of Leontius objected, saying: A larger number voted against you, John, in the Synod. But although John then contended that this was a canon of the Arians, and not of the catholic church, and therefore it was inoperative against him—for it had been framed in the council convened against Athanasius at Antioch, for the subversion of the doctrine of consubstantiality —the bishops would not listen to his defence, but immediately condemned him, without considering that by using this canon they were sanctioning the deposition of Athanasius himself. This sentence was pronounced a little before Easter; the emperor therefore sent to tell John that he could not go to the church, because two Synods had condemned him. Accordingly Chrysostom was silenced, and went no more to the church; but those who were of his party celebrated Easter in the public baths which are called Constantianæ, and thenceforth left the church. Among them were many bishops and presbyters, with others of the clerical order, who from that time held their assemblies apart in various places, and were from him denominated Johannites. For the space of two months, John refrained from appearing in public; after which a decree of the emperor sent him into exile. Thus he was led into exile by force, and on the very day of his departure, some of the Johannites set fire to the church, which by means of a strong easterly wind, communicated with the senate-house. This conflagration happened on the 20th of June, under the sixth consulate of Honorius, which he bore in conjunction with Aristænetus. The severities which Optatus, the prefect of Constantinople, a pagan in religion, and a hater of the Christians, inflicted on John’s friends, and how he put many of them to death on account of this act of incendiarism, I ought, I believe, to pass by in silence.

Ordination of Arsacius as John’s Successor. Indisposition of Cyrinus Bishop of Chalcedon.

After the lapse of a few days, Arsacius was ordained bishop of Constantinople; he was a brother of Nectarius who so ably administered the see before John, although he was then very aged, being upwards of eighty years old. While he very mildly and peacefully administered the episcopate, Cyrinus bishop of Chalcedon, upon whose foot Maruthas bishop of Mesopotamia had inadvertently trodden, became so seriously affected by the accident, that mortification ensued, and it became necessary to amputate his foot. Nor was this amputation performed once only, but was required to be often repeated: for after the injured limb was cut off, the evil so permeated his whole system, that the other foot also having become affected by the disease had to submit to the same operation. I have alluded to this circumstance, because many have affirmed that what he suffered was a judgment upon him for his calumnious aspersions of John, whom he so often designated as arrogant and inexorable, as I have already said. Furthermore as on the 30th of September, in the last-mentioned consulate, there was an extraordinary fall of hail of immense size at Constantinople and its suburbs, it also was declared to be an expression of Divine indignation on account of Chrysostom’s unjust deposition: and the death of the empress tended to give increased credibility to these reports, for it took place four days after the hail-storm. Others, however, asserted that John had been deservedly deposed, because of the violence he had exercised in Asia and Lydia, in depriving the Novatians and Quartodecimans of many of their churches, when he went to Ephesus and ordained Heraclides. But whether John’s deposition was just, as his enemies declare, or Cyrinus suffered in chastisement for his slanderous revilings; whether the hail fell, or the empress died on John’s account, or whether these things happened for other reasons, or for these in connection with others, God only knows, who is the discerner of secrets, and the just judge of truth itself. I have simply recorded the reports which were current at that time.

Death of Arsacius, and Ordination of Atticus.

But Arsacius did not long survive his accession to the bishopric; for he died on the 11th of November under the following consulate, which was Stilicho’s second, and the first of Anthemius. In consequence of the fact that the bishopric became desirable and many aspired to the vacant see, much time elapsed before the election of a successor: but at length in the following consulate, which was the sixth of Arcadius, and the first of Probus, a devout man named Atticus was promoted to the episcopate. He was a native of Sebastia in Armenia, and had followed an ascetic life from an early age: moreover in addition to a moderate share of learning, he possessed a large amount of natural prudence. But I shall speak of him more particularly a little later.

John dies in Exile.

John taken into exile died in Comana on the Euxine, on the 14th of September, in the following consulate, which was the seventh of Honorius, and the second of Theodosius. A man, as we have before observed, who on account of zeal for temperance was inclined rather to anger than forbearance: and his personal sanctity of character led him to indulge in a latitude of speech which to others was intolerable. Indeed, it is most inexplicable to me, how with a zeal so ardent for the practice of self-control and blamelessness of life, he should in his sermons appear to teach a loose view of temperance. For whereas by the Synod of bishops repentance was accepted but once from those who had sinned after baptism; he did not scruple to say, Approach, although you may have repented a thousand times. For this doctrine, many even of his friends censured him, but especially Sisinnius bishop of the Novatian; who wrote a book condemnatory of the above quoted expression of Chrysostom’s, and severely rebuked him for it. But this occurred long before.

Of Sisinnius Bishop of the Novatians. His Readiness at Repartee.

It will not be out of place here, I conceive, to give some account of Sisinnius. He was, as I have often said, a remarkably eloquent man, and well-instructed in philosophy. But he had particularly cultivated logic, and was profoundly skilled in the interpretation of the holy Scriptures; insomuch that the heretic Eunomius often shrank from the acumen which his reasoning displayed. As regards his diet he was not simple; for although he practised the strictest moderation, yet his table was always sumptuously furnished. He was also accustomed to indulge himself by wearing white garments, and bathing twice a day in the public baths. And when some one asked him why he, a bishop, bathed himself twice a day? he replied, Because it is inconvenient to bathe thrice. Going one day from courtesy to visit the bishop Arsacius, he was asked by one of the friends of that bishop, why he wore a garment so unsuitable for a bishop? and where it was written that an ecclesiastic should be clothed in white? Do you tell me first, said he, where it is written that a bishop should wear black? When he that made the inquiry knew not what to reply to this counter-question: You cannot show, rejoined Sisinnius, that a priest should be clothed in black. But Solomon is my authority, whose exhortation is, Let thy garments be white. And our Saviour in the Gospels appears clothed in white raiment: moreover he showed Moses and Elias to the apostles, clad in white garments. His prompt reply to these and other questions called forth the admiration of those present. Again when Leontius bishop of Ancyra in Galatia Minor, who had taken away a church from the Novatians, was on a visit to Constantinople, Sisinnius went to him, and begged him to restore the church. But he received him rudely, saying, Ye Novatians ought not to have churches; for ye take away repentance, and shut out Divine mercy. As Leontius gave utterance to these and many other such revilings against the Novatians, Sisinnius replied: No one repents more heartily than I do. And when Leontius asked him Why do you repent? That I came to see you, said he. On one occasion John the bishop having a contest with him, said, The city cannot have two bishops. Nor has it, said Sisinnius. John being irritated at this response, said, You see you pretend that you alone are the bishop. I do not say that, rejoined Sisinnius; but that I am not bishop in your estimation only, who am such to others. John being still more chafed at this reply, said, I will stop your preaching; for you are a heretic. To which Sisinnius good-humoredly replied, I will give you a reward, if you will relieve me from so arduous a duty. John being softened a little by this answer, said, I will not make you cease to preach, if you find speaking so troublesome. So facetious was Sisinnius, and so ready at repartee: but it would be tedious to dwell further on his witticisms. Wherefore by means of a few specimens we have illustrated what sort of a person he was, deeming these as sufficient. I will merely add that he was celebrated for erudition, and on account of it all the bishops who succeeded him loved and honored him; and not only they but all the leading members of the senate also esteemed and admired him. He is the author of many works: but they are characterized by too great an affectation of elegance of diction, and a lavish intermingling of poetic expressions. On which account he was more admired as a speaker than as a writer; for there was dignity in his countenance and voice, as well as in his form and aspect, and every movement of his person was graceful. On account of these features he was loved by all the sects, and he was in especial favor with Atticus the bishop. But I must conclude this brief notice of Sisinnius.

Death of the Emperor Arcadius.

Not long after the death of John, the Emperor Arcadius died also. This prince was of a mild and gentle disposition, and toward the close of his life was esteemed to be greatly beloved of God, from the following circumstance. There was at Constantinople an immense mansion called Carya; for in the court of it there is a walnut tree on which it is said Acacius suffered martyrdom by hanging; on which account a chapel was built near it, which the Emperor Arcadius one day thought fit to visit, and after having prayed there, left again. All who lived near this chapel ran in a crowd to see the emperor; and some going out of the mansion referred to, endeavored to preoccupy the streets in order to get a better view of their sovereign and his suite, while others followed in his train, until all who inhabited it, including the women and children, had wholly gone out of it. No sooner was this vast pile emptied of its occupants, the buildings of which completely environed the church, than the entire building fell. On which there was a great outcry, followed by shouts of admiration, because it was believed the emperor’s prayer had rescued so great a number of persons from destruction. This event occurred in that manner. On the 1st of May, Arcadius died, leaving his son Theodosius only eight years old, under the consulate of Bassus and Philip, in the second year of the 297th Olympiad. He had reigned thirteen years with Theodosius his father, and fourteen years after his death, and had then attained the thirty-first year of his age. This book includes the space of twelve years and six months.

Book VII

Anthemius the Prætorian Prefect administers the Government of the East in Behalf of Young Theodosius.

After the death of Arcadius on the first of May, during the consulate of Bassus and Philip, his brother Honorius still governed the Western parts of the empire; but the administration of the East devolved on his son Theodosius the Younger, then only eight years old. The management of public affairs was therefore intrusted to Anthemius the Prætorian prefect, grandson of that Philip who in the reign of Constantius ejected Paul from the see of Constantinople, and established Macedonius in his place. By his directions Constantinople was surrounded with high walls. He was esteemed and actually was the most prudent man of his time, and seldom did anything unadvisedly, but consulted with the most judicious of his friends respecting all practical matters, and especially with Troïlus the sophist, who while excelling in philosophical attainments, was equal to Anthemius himself in political wisdom. Wherefore almost all things were done with the concurrence of Troïlus.

Character and Conduct of Atticus Bishop of Constantinople.

When Theodosius the emperor was in the eighth year of his age, Atticus was in the third year of his presidency over the church at Constantinople, a man as we have by anticipation said distinguished alike for his learning, piety, and discretion, wherefore it came about that the churches under his episcopate attained a very flourishing condition. For he not only united those of the household of faith, but also by his prudence called forth the admiration of the heretics, whom indeed he by no means desired to harass; but if he sometimes was obliged to impress them with the fear of himself, he soon afterward showed himself mild and clement toward them. But indeed he did not neglect his studies; for he assiduously labored in perusing the writings of the ancients, and often spent whole nights in the task; and thus he could not be confused by the reasonings of the philosophers, and the fallacious subtleties of the sophists. Besides this he was affable and entertaining in conversation, and ever ready to sympathize with the afflicted: and in a word, to sum up his excellences in the apostle’s saying, He was made all things to all men. Formerly while a presbyter, he had been accustomed, after composing his sermons, to commit them to memory, and then recite them in the church: but by diligent application he acquired confidence and made his instruction extemporaneous and eloquent. His discourses however were not such as to be received with much applause by his auditors, nor to deserve to be committed to writing. Let these particulars respecting his talents, erudition, and manners suffice. We must now proceed to relate such things as are worthy of record, that happened in his time.

Of Theodosius and Agapetus Bishops of Synada.

A certain Theodosius was bishop of Synada in Phrygia Pacata; he violently persecuted the heretics in that province—and there was a great number of them—and especially those of the Macedonian sect; he drove them out not only from the city, but also out of the country. This course he pursued not from any precedent in the orthodox church, nor from the desire of propagating the true faith; but being enslaved by the love of filthy lucre, he was impelled by the avaricious motive of amassing money, by extorting it from the heretics. To this end he made all sorts of attempts upon the Macedonians, putting arms into the hands of his clergy; and employing innumerable stratagems against them; nor did he refrain from delivering them up to the secular tribunals. But he especially annoyed their bishop whose name was Agapetus: and finding the governors of the province were not invested with sufficient authority to punish heretics according to his wish, he went to Constantinople and petitioned for edicts of a more stringent nature from the Prætorian prefect. While Theodosius was absent on this business, Agapetus who, as I have said, presided over the Macedonian sect, came to a wise and prudent conclusion. Communicating with his clergy, he called all the people under his guidance together, and persuaded them to embrace the homoousian faith. On their acquiescing in this proposition, he proceeded immediately to the church attended not merely by his own adherents, but by the whole body of the people. There having offered prayer, he took possession of the episcopal chair in which Theodosius was accustomed to seat himself; and preaching thenceforth the doctrine of consubstantiality, he reunited the people, and made himself master of the churches in the diocese of Synada. Soon after these transactions, Theodosius returned to Synada, bringing with him extended powers from the prefect, and knowing nothing of what had taken place, he proceeded to the church just as he was. Being forthwith unanimously expelled, he again betook himself to Constantinople; upon his arrival at that place he complained to Atticus, the bishop, of the treatment he had met with, and the manner in which he had been deprived of his bishopric. Atticus perceiving that this movement had resulted advantageously to the church, consoled Theodosius as well as he could; recommending him to embrace with a contented mind a retired life, and thus sacrifice his own private interests to the public good. He then wrote to Agapetus authorizing him to retain the episcopate, and bidding him be under no apprehension of being molested in consequence of Theodosius’ grievance.

A Paralytic Jew healed by Atticus in Baptism.

This was one important improvement in the circumstances of the Church, which happened during the administration of Atticus. Nor were these times without the attestation of miracles and healings. For a certain Jew being a paralytic had been confined to his bed for many years; and as every sort of medical skill, and the prayers of his Jewish brethren had been resorted to but had availed nothing, he had recourse at length to Christian baptism, trusting in it as the only true remedy to be used. When Atticus the bishop was informed of his wishes, he instructed him in the first principles of Christian truth, and having preached to him to hope in Christ, directed that he should be brought in his bed to the font. The paralytic Jew receiving baptism with a sincere faith, as soon as he was taken out of the baptismal font found himself perfectly cured of his disease, and continued to enjoy sound health afterwards. This miraculous power Christ vouchsafed to be manifested even in our times; and the fame of it caused many heathens to believe and be baptized. But the Jews although zealously seeking after signs, not even the signs which actually took place induced to embrace the faith. Such blessings were thus conferred by Christ upon men.

The Presbyter Sabbatius, formerly a Jew, separates from the Novatians.

Many, however, making no account of these events yielded to their own depravity; for not only did the Jews continue in unbelief after this miracle, but others also who love to follow them were shown to hold views similar to theirs. Among these was Sabbatius, of whom mention has before been made; who not being content with the dignity of presbyter to which he had attained, but aiming at a bishopric from the beginning, separated himself from the church of the Novatians, making a pretext of observing the Jewish Passover. Holding therefore schismatic assemblies apart from his own bishop Sisinnius, in a place named Xerolophus, where the forum of Arcadius now is, he ventured on the performance of an act deserving the severest punishments. Reading one day at one of these meetings that passage in the Gospel where it is said, Now it was the Feast of the Jews called the Passover, he added what was never written nor heard of before: Cursed be he that celebrates the Passover out of the days of unleavened bread. When these words were reported among the people, the more simple of the Novatian laity, deceived by this artifice, flocked to him. But his fraudulent fabrication was of no avail to him; for his forgery issued in most disastrous consequences. For shortly afterwards he kept this feast in anticipation of the Christian Easter; and many according to their custom flocked to him. While they were passing the night in the accustomed vigils, a panic as if caused by evil spirits fell upon them, as if Sisinnius their bishop were coming with a multitude of persons to attack them. From the perturbation that might be expected in such a case, and their being shut up at night in a confined place, they trod upon one another, insomuch that above seventy of them were crushed to death. On this account many deserted Sabbatius: some however, holding his ignorant prejudice, remained with him. In what way Sabbatius, by a violation of his oath, afterwards managed to get himself ordained a bishop, we shall relate hereafter.

The Leaders of Arianism at this Time.

Dorotheus bishop of the Arians, who, as we have said, was translated by that sect from Antioch to Constantinople, having attained the age of one hundred and nineteen years, died on the 6th of November, in the seventh consulate of Honorius, and the second of Theodosius Augustus. After him Barbas presided over the Arian sect, in whose time the Arian faction was favored by possessing two very eloquent members, both having the rank of presbyter, one of whom was named Timothy, and the other George. Now George excelled in Grecian literature; Timothy, on the other hand, was proficient in the sacred Scriptures. George indeed constantly had the writings of Aristotle and Plato in his hands: Timothy found his inspiration in Origen; he also evinced in his public expositions of the holy Scriptures no inconsiderable acquaintance with the Hebrew language. Now Timothy had formerly identified himself with the sect of the Psathyrians; but George had been ordained by Barbas. I have myself conversed with Timothy, and was exceedingly struck by the readiness with which he would answer the most difficult questions, and clear up the most obscure passages in the Divine oracles; he also invariably quoted Origen as an unquestionable authority in confirmation of his own utterances. But it is astonishing to me that these two men should continue to uphold the heresy of the Arians; the one being so conversant with Plato, and the other having Origen so frequently on his lips. For Plato does not say that the second and third cause, as he usually terms them, had a beginning of existence: and Origen everywhere acknowledges the Son to be co-eternal with the Father. Nevertheless although they remained connected with their own church, still they unconsciously changed the Arian sect for the better, and displaced many of the blasphemies of Arius by their own teachings. But enough of these persons. Sisinnius bishop of the Novatians dying under the same consulate, Chrysanthus was ordained in his place, of whom we shall have to speak by and by.

Cyril succeeds Theophilus Bishop of Alexandria.

Shortly afterwards Theophilus bishop of Alexandria having fallen into a lethargic state, died on the 15th of October, in the ninth consulate of Honorius, and the fifth of Theodosius. A great contest immediately arose about the appointment of a successor, some seeking to place Timothy the archdeacon in the episcopal chair; and others desiring Cyril, who was a nephew of Theophilus. A tumult having arisen on this account among the people, Abundantius, the commander of the troops in Egypt, took sides with Timothy. [Yet the partisans of Cyril triumphed.] Whereupon on the third day after the death of Theophilus, Cyril came into possession of the episcopate, with greater power than Theophilus had ever exercised. For from that time the bishopric of Alexandria went beyond the limits of its sacerdotal functions, and assumed the administration of secular matters. Cyril immediately therefore shut up the churches of the Novatians at Alexandria, and took possession of all their consecrated vessels and ornaments; and then stripped their bishop Theopemptus of all that he had.

Propagation of Christianity among the Persians by Maruthas Bishop of Mesopotamia.

About this same time it happened that Christianity was disseminated in Persia, by reason of the following causes. Frequent embassies were sent to and fro between the sovereigns of Persia and the Roman empire, for which there were continual occasions. Necessity brought it about at that time that the Roman emperor thought proper to send Maruthas bishop of Mesopotamia, who has been before mentioned, on a mission to the king of the Persians. The king discovering great piety in the man treated him with great honor, and gave heed to him as one who was indeed beloved of God. This excited the jealousy of the magi, whose influence is considerable over the Persian monarch, for they feared lest he should persuade the king to embrace Christianity. For Maruthas had by his prayers cured the king of a violent headache to which he had been long subject, and which the magi had been unable to relieve. The magicians therefore had recourse to this deception. As the Persians worship fire, and the king was accustomed to pay his adorations in a certain edifice to the fire which was kept perpetually burning, they concealed a man underneath the sacred hearth, ordering him to make this exclamation at the time of day when the king was accustomed to perform his devotion! The king should be thrust out because he is guilty of impiety, in imagining a Christian priest to be loved by the Deity. When Isdigerdes—for that was the king’s name—heard these words, he determined to dismiss Maruthas, notwithstanding the reverence with which he regarded him. But Maruthas being truly a God-loving man, by the earnestness of his prayers, detected the imposition of the magi. Going to the king therefore he addressed him thus: Be not deluded, O king, said he, but when you again enter that edifice and hear the same voice, explore the ground below, and you will discover the fraud. For it is not the fire that speaks, but human contrivance does this. The king received the suggestion of Maruthas and went as usual to the little house where the ever-burning fire was. When he again heard the same voice, he ordered the hearth to be dug up; whereupon the impostor, who uttered the supposed words of the Deity, was discovered. Becoming indignant at the deception thus attempted the king commanded that the tribe of the magi should be decimated. When this was effected he permitted Maruthas to erect churches wherever he wished; and from that time the Christian religion was diffused among the Persians. Then Maruthas being recalled went to Constantinople; not long afterwards however, he was again sent as ambassador to the Persian court. Again the magi devised contrivances so as by all possible means to prevent the king from giving him audience. One of their devices was to cause a most disgusting smell where the king was accustomed to go, and then accuse the Christians of being the authors of it. The king however having already had occasion to suspect the magi, very diligently and closely scrutinized the matter; and again the authors of the nuisance were detected. Wherefore he punished several of them, and held Maruthas in still higher honor. For the Romans as a nation he had much regard, and prized good feeling on their part very highly. Nay, he almost embraced the Christian faith himself, as Maruthas in conjunction with Abdas bishop of Persia gave another experimental proof of its power: for these two by giving themselves to much fasting and prayer, had cast out a demon with which the king’s son was possessed. But the death of Isdigerdes prevented his making an open profession of Christianity. The kingdom then devolved on Vararanes his son, in whose time the treaty between the Romans and Persians was broken as we shall have occasion to narrate a little later.

The Bishops of Antioch and Rome.

During this period upon the death of Flavian Porphyry received the episcopate of Antioch, and after him Alexander was set over that church. But at Rome, Damasus having held that bishopric eighteen years Siricius succeeded him; and Siricius having presided there fifteen years, Anastasius held sway over the church for three years; after Anastasius Innocent [was promoted to the same see]. He was the first persecutor of the Novatians at Rome, and many of their churches he took away.

Rome taken and sacked by Alaric.

About this same time it happened that Rome was taken by the barbarians; for a certain Alaric, a barbarian who had been an ally of the Romans, and had served as an ally with the emperor Theodosius in the war against the usurper Eugenius, having on that account been honored with Roman dignities, was unable to bear his good fortune. He did not choose to assume imperial authority, but retiring from Constantinople went into the Western parts, and arriving at Illyricum immediately laid waste the whole country. As he marched, however, the Thessalians opposed him at the mouths of the river Peneus, whence there is a pass over Mount Pindus to Nicopolis in Epirus; and coming to an engagement, the Thessalians killed about three thousand of his men. After this the barbarians that were with him destroying everything in their way, at last took Rome itself, which they pillaged, burning the greatest number of the magnificent structures and other admirable works of art it contained. The money and valuable articles they plundered and divided among themselves. Many of the principal senators they put to death on a variety of pretexts. Moreover, Alaric in mockery of the imperial dignity, proclaimed one Attalus emperor, whom he ordered to be attended with all the insignia of sovereignty on one day, and to be exhibited in the habit of a slave on the next. After these achievements he made a precipitate retreat, a report having reached him that the emperor Theodosius had sent an army to fight him. Nor was this report a fictitious one; for the imperial forces were actually on their way; but Alaric, not waiting for the materialization of the rumor, decamped and escaped. It is said that as he was advancing towards Rome, a pious monk exhorted him not to delight in the perpetuation of such atrocities, and no longer to rejoice in slaughter and blood. To whom Alaric replied, ’I am not going on in this course of my own will; but there is a something that irresistibly impels me daily, saying, Proceed to Rome, and desolate that city. Such was the career of this person.

The Bishops of Rome.

After Innocent, Zosimus governed the Roman church for two years: and after him Boniface presided over it for three years. He was succeeded by Celestinus. And this Celestinus took away the churches from the Novatians at Rome also, and obliged Rusticula their bishop to hold his meetings secretly in private houses. Until this time the Novatians had flourished exceedingly in Rome, possessing many churches there, which were attended by large congregations. But envy attacked them also, as soon as the Roman episcopate, like that of Alexandria, extended itself beyond the limits of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and degenerated into its present state of secular domination. For thenceforth the bishops would not suffer even those who agreed with them in matters of faith to enjoy the privilege of assembling in peace, but stripped them of all they possessed, praising them merely for these agreements in faith. The bishops of Constantinople kept themselves free from this [sort of conduct]; inasmuch as in addition to tolerating them and permitting them to hold their assemblies within the city, as I have already stated, they treated them with every mark of Christian regard.

Of Chrysanthus Bishop of the Novatians at Constantinople.

After the death of Sisinnius, Chrysanthus was constrained to take upon him the episcopal office. He was the son of Marcian the predecessor of Sisinnius, and having had a military appointment in the palace at an early age, he was subsequently under Theodosius the Great made governor of Italy, and after that lord-lieutenant of the British Isles, in both which capacities he elicited for himself the highest admiration. Returning to Constantinople at an advanced age, earnestly desiring to be constituted prefect of that city, he was made bishop of the Novatians against his will. For as Sisinnius, when at the point of death, had referred to him as a most suitable person to occupy the see, the people regarding this declaration as law, sought to have him ordained forthwith. Now as Chrysanthus attempted to avoid having this dignity forced upon him, Sabbatius imagining that a seasonable opportunity was now afforded him of making himself master of the churches, and making no account of the oath by which he had bound himself, procured his own ordination at the hands of a few insignificant bishops. Among these was Hermogenes, who had been excommunicated with curses by [Sabbatius] himself on account of his blasphemous writings. But this perjured procedure of Sabbatius was of no avail to him: for the people disgusted with his obstreperousness, used every effort to discover the retreat of Chrysanthus; and having found him secluded in Bithynia, they brought him back by force, and invested him with the bishopric. He was a man of unsurpassed modesty and prudence; and thus he established and enlarged the churches of the Novatians at Constantinople. Moreover he was the first to distribute gold among the poor out of his own private property. Furthermore he would receive nothing from the churches but two loaves of the consecrated bread every Lord’s day. So anxious was he to promote the advantage of his own church, that he drew Ablabius, the most eminent orator of that time from the school of Troïlus, and ordained him a presbyter; whose sermons are in circulation being remarkably elegant and full of point. But Ablabius was afterwards promoted to the bishopric of the church of the Novatians at Nicæa, where he also taught rhetoric at the same time.

Conflict between the Christians and Jews at Alexandria: and breach between the Bishop Cyril and the Prefect Orestes.

About this same time it happened that the Jewish inhabitants were driven out of Alexandria by Cyril the bishop on the following account. The Alexandrian public is more delighted with tumult than any other people: and if at any time it should find a pretext, breaks forth into the most intolerable excesses; for it never ceases from its turbulence without bloodshed. It happened on the present occasion that a disturbance arose among the populace, not from a cause of any serious importance, but out of an evil that has become very popular in almost all cities, viz. a fondness for dancing exhibitions. In consequence of the Jews being disengaged from business on the Sabbath, and spending their time, not in hearing the Law, but in theatrical amusements, dancers usually collect great crowds on that day, and disorder is almost invariably produced. And although this was in some degree controlled by the governor of Alexandria, nevertheless the Jews continued opposing these measures. And although they are always hostile toward the Christians they were roused to still greater opposition against them on account of the dancers. When therefore Orestes the prefect was publishing an edict—for so they are accustomed to call public notices—in the theatre for the regulation of the shows, some of the bishop Cyril’s party were present to learn the nature of the orders about to be issued. There was among them a certain Hierax, a teacher of the rudimental branches of literature, and one who was a very enthusiastic listener of the bishop Cyril’s sermons, and made himself conspicuous by his forwardness in applauding. When the Jews observed this person in the theatre, they immediately cried out that he had come there for no other purpose than to excite sedition among the people. Now Orestes had long regarded with jealousy the growing power of the bishops, because they encroached on the jurisdiction of the authorities appointed by the emperor, especially as Cyril wished to set spies over his proceedings; he therefore ordered Hierax to be seized, and publicly subjected him to the torture in the theatre. Cyril, on being informed of this, sent for the principal Jews, and threatened them with the utmost severities unless they desisted from their molestation of the Christians. The Jewish populace on hearing these menaces, instead of suppressing their violence, only became more furious, and were led to form conspiracies for the destruction of the Christians; one of these was of so desperate a character as to cause their entire expulsion from Alexandria; this I shall now describe. Having agreed that each one of them should wear a ring on his finger made of the bark of a palm branch, for the sake of mutual recognition, they determined to make a nightly attack on the Christians. They therefore sent persons into the streets to raise an outcry that the church named after Alexander was on fire. Thus many Christians on hearing this ran out, some from one direction and some from another, in great anxiety to save their church. The Jews immediately fell upon and slew them; readily distinguishing each other by their rings. At daybreak the authors of this atrocity could not be concealed: and Cyril, accompanied by an immense crowd of people, going to their synagogues—for so they call their house of prayer—took them away from them, and drove the Jews out of the city, permitting the multitude to plunder their goods. Thus the Jews who had inhabited the city from the time of Alexander the Macedonian were expelled from it, stripped of all they possessed, and dispersed some in one direction and some in another. One of them, a physician named Adamantius, fled to Atticus bishop of Constantinople, and professing Christianity, some time afterwards returned to Alexandria and fixed his residence there. But Orestes the governor of Alexandria was filled with great indignation at these transactions, and was excessively grieved that a city of such magnitude should have been suddenly bereft of so large a portion of its population; he therefore at once communicated the whole affair to the emperor. Cyril also wrote to him, describing the outrageous conduct of the Jews; and in the meanwhile sent persons to Orestes who should mediate concerning a reconciliation: for this the people had urged him to do. And when Orestes refused to listen to friendly advances, Cyril extended toward him the book of gospels, believing that respect for religion would induce him to lay aside his resentment. When, however, even this had no pacific effect on the prefect, but he persisted in implacable hostility against the bishop, the following event afterwards occurred.

The Monks of Nitria come down and raise a Sedition against the Prefect of Alexandria.

Some of the monks inhabiting the mountains of Nitria, of a very fiery disposition, whom Theophilus some time before had unjustly armed against Dioscorus and his brethren, being again transported with an ardent zeal, resolved to fight in behalf of Cyril. About five hundred of them therefore quitting their monasteries, came into the city; and meeting the prefect in his chariot, they called him a pagan idolater, and applied to him many other abusive epithets. He supposing this to be a snare laid for him by Cyril, exclaimed that he was a Christian, and had been baptized by Atticus the bishop at Constantinople. As they gave but little heed to his protestations, and a certain one of them named Ammonius threw a stone at Orestes which struck him on the head and covered him with the blood that flowed from the wound, all the guards with a few exceptions fled, plunging into the crowd, some in one direction and some in another, fearing to be stoned to death. Meanwhile the populace of Alexandria ran to the rescue of the governor, and put the rest of the monks to flight; but having secured Ammonius they delivered him up to the prefect. He immediately put him publicly to the torture, which was inflicted with such severity that he died under the effects of it: and not long after he gave an account to the emperors of what had taken place. Cyril also on the other hand forwarded his statement of the matter to the emperor: and causing the body of Ammonius to be deposited in a certain church, he gave him the new appellation of Thaumasius, ordering him to be enrolled among the martyrs, and eulogizing his magnanimity in church as that of one who had fallen in a conflict in defence of piety. But the more sober-minded, although Christians, did not accept Cyril’s prejudiced estimate of him; for they well knew that he had suffered the punishment due to his rashness, and that he had not lost his life under the torture because he would not deny Christ. And Cyril himself being conscious of this, suffered the recollection of the circumstance to be gradually obliterated by silence. But the animosity between Cyril and Orestes did not by any means subside at this point, but was kindled afresh by an occurrence similar to the preceding.

Of Hypatia the Female Philosopher.

There was a woman at Alexandria named Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time. Having succeeded to the school of Plato and Plotinus, she explained the principles of philosophy to her auditors, many of whom came from a distance to receive her instructions. On account of the self-possession and ease of manner, which she had acquired in consequence of the cultivation of her mind, she not unfrequently appeared in public in presence of the magistrates. Neither did she feel abashed in coming to an assembly of men. For all men on account of her extraordinary dignity and virtue admired her the more. Yet even she fell a victim to the political jealousy which at that time prevailed. For as she had frequent interviews with Orestes, it was calumniously reported among the Christian populace, that it was she who prevented Orestes from being reconciled to the bishop. Some of them therefore, hurried away by a fierce and bigoted zeal, whose ringleader was a reader named Peter, waylaid her returning home, and dragging her from her carriage, they took her to the church called Cæsareum, where they completely stripped her, and then murdered her with tiles. After tearing her body in pieces, they took her mangled limbs to a place called Cinaron, and there burnt them. This affair brought not the least opprobrium, not only upon Cyril, but also upon the whole Alexandrian church. And surely nothing can be farther from the spirit of Christianity than the allowance of massacres, fights, and transactions of that sort. This happened in the month of March during Lent, in the fourth year of Cyril’s episcopate, under the tenth consulate of Honorius, and the sixth of Theodosius.

The Jews commit Another Outrage upon the Christians and are punished.

Soon afterwards the Jews renewed their malevolent and impious practices against the Christians, and drew down upon themselves deserved punishment. At a place named Inmestar, situated between Chalcis and Antioch in Syria, the Jews were amusing themselves in their usual way with a variety of sports. In this way they indulged in many absurdities, and at length impelled by drunkenness they were guilty of scoffing at Christians and even Christ himself; and in derision of the cross and those who put their trust in the Crucified One, they seized a Christian boy, and having bound him to a cross, began to laugh and sneer at him. But in a little while becoming so transported with fury, they scourged the child until he died under their hands. This conduct occasioned a sharp conflict between them and the Christians; and as soon as the emperors were informed of the circumstance, they issued orders to the governor of the province to find out and punish the delinquents. And thus the Jewish inhabitants of this place paid the penalty for the wickedness they had committed in their impious sport.

Miracle performed by Paul Bishop of the Novatians at the Baptism of a Jewish Impostor.

About this time Chrysanthus bishop of the Novatians, after presiding over the churches of his own sect seven years, died on the 26th of August, under the consulate of Monaxius and Plintha. He was succeeded in the bishopric by Paul, who had formerly been a teacher of the Latin language: but afterwards, setting aside the Latin language, had devoted himself to an ascetic course of life; and having founded a monastery of religious men, he adopted a mode of living not very different from that pursued by the monks in the desert. In fact I myself found him just such a person as Evagrius says the monks dwelling in the deserts ought to be; imitating them in continued fastings, silence, abstinence from animal food, and for the most part abstaining also from the use of oil and wine. He was, moreover, solicitous about the wants of the poor to as great an extent as any other man; he untiringly visited those who were in prison, and in behalf of many criminals interceded with the judges, who readily attended to him on account of his eminent piety. But why should I lengthen my account of him? For I am about to mention a deed done by him which is well worthy of being recorded in writing. A certain Jewish impostor, pretending to be a convert to Christianity, was in the habit of being baptized often and by that artifice he amassed a good deal of money. After having deceived many of the Christian sects by this fraud—for he received baptism from the Arians and Macedonians—as there remained no others to practise his hypocrisy upon, he at length came to Paul bishop of the Novatians, and declaring that he earnestly desired baptism, requested that he might obtain it at his hand. Paul commended the determination of the Jew, but told him he could not perform that rite for him, until he had been instructed in the fundamental principles of the faith, and given himself to fasting and prayer for many days. The Jew compelled to fast against his will became the more importunate in his request for baptism; now as Paul did not wish to discourage him by longer delays, since he was so urgent, consented to grant his request, and made all the necessary preparations for the baptism. Having purchased a white vestment for him, he ordered the font to be filled with water, and then led the Jew to it in order to baptize him. But a certain invisible power of God caused the water suddenly to disappear. The bishop, of course, and those present, had not the least suspicion of the real cause, but imagined that the water had escaped by the channels underneath, by means of which they are accustomed to empty the font; these passages were therefore very carefully closed, and the font filled again. Again, however, as the Jew was taken there a second time, the water vanished as before. Then Paul addressing the Jew, said, Either you are an evil-doer, wretched man, or an ignorant person who has already been baptized. The people having crowded together to witness this miracle, one among them recognized the Jew, and identified him as having been baptized by Atticus, the bishop, a little while before. Such was the portent wrought by the hands of Paul bishop of the Novatians.

Renewal of Hostilities between the Romans and Persians after the Death of Isdigerdes King of the Persians.

Isdigerdes king of the Persians, who had in no way molested the Christians in his dominions, having died, his son Vararanes by name succeeded him in the kingdom. This prince yielding to the influence of the magi, persecuted the Christians there with rigor, by inflicting on them a variety of Persian punishments and tortures. They were therefore on account of the oppression obliged to desert their country and seek refuge among the Romans, entreating them not to suffer them to be completely extirpated. Atticus the bishop received these suppliants with great benignity, and did his utmost to help them in whatsoever way it was possible: accordingly he made the emperor Theodosius acquainted with the facts. It happened at the same time that another grievance of the Romans against Persians came to light. The Persians, that is to say, would not send back the laborers in the gold mines who had been hired from among the Romans; and they also plundered the Roman merchants. The bad feeling which these things produced was greatly increased by the flight of the Persian Christians into the Roman territories. For the Persian king immediately sent an embassy to demand the fugitives. But the Romans were by no means disposed to deliver them up; not only as desirous of defending their suppliants, but also because they were ready to do anything for the sake of the Christian religion. For which reason they chose rather to renew the war with the Persians, than to suffer the Christians to be miserably destroyed. The league was accordingly broken, and a fierce war followed. Of which war I deem it not unseasonable to give some brief account. The Roman emperor first sent a body of troops under the command of the general Ardaburius; who making an irruption through Armenia into Persia, ravaged one of its provinces called Azazene. Narsæus the Persian general marched against him with the Persian army; but on coming to an engagement he was defeated, and obliged to retreat. Afterwards he judged it advantageous to make an unexpected irruption through Mesopotamia into the Roman territories there unguarded, thinking by this means to be revenged on the enemy. But this design of Narsæus did not escape the observation of the Roman general. Having therefore plundered Azazene, he then himself also hastily marched into Mesopotamia. Wherefore Narsæus, although furnished with a large army, was prevented from invading the Roman provinces; but arriving at Nisibis—a city in the possession of the Persians situated on the frontiers of both empires—he sent Ardaburius desiring that they might make mutual arrangements about carrying on the war, and appoint a time and place for an engagement. But he said to the messengers, Tell Narsæus that the Roman emperors will not fight when it pleases him. The emperor perceiving that the Persian was mustering his whole force, made additional levies to his army, and put his whole trust in God for the victory: and that the king was not without immediate benefit from this pious confidence the following circumstance proves. As the Constantinopolitans were in great consternation, and apprehensive respecting the issue of the war, angels from God appeared to some persons in Bithynia who were travelling to Constantinople on their own affairs, and bade them tell the people not to be alarmed, but pray to God and be assured that the Romans would be conquerors. For they said that they themselves were appointed by God to defend them. When this message was circulated it not only comforted the residents of the city, but rendered the soldiers more courageous. The seat of war being transferred, as we have said, from Armenia to Mesopotamia, the Romans shut up the Persians in the city of Nisibis, which they besieged; and having constructed wooden towers which they advanced by means of machines to the walls, they slew great numbers of those who defended them, as well as of those who ran to their assistance. When Vararanes the Persian monarch learned that his province of Azazene on the one hand had been desolated, and that on the other his army was closely besieged in the city of Nisibis, he resolved to march in person with all his forces against the Romans: but dreading the Roman valor, he implored the aid of the Saracens, who were then governed by a warlike chief named Alamundarus. This prince accordingly brought with him a large reinforcement of Saracen auxiliaries, exhorted the king of the Persians to fear nothing, for that he would soon reduce the Romans under his power, and deliver Antioch in Syria into his hands. But the event did not realize these promises; for God infused into the minds of the Saracens a terrible panic; and imagining that the Roman army was falling upon them, and finding no other way of escape, they precipitated themselves, armed as they were, into the river Euphrates, wherein nearly one hundred thousand of them were drowned. Such was the nature of the panic.

The Romans besieging Nisibis, understanding that the king of Persia was bringing with him a great number of elephants, became alarmed in their turn, burnt all the machines they had used in carrying on the siege, and retired into their own country. What engagements afterwards took place, and how Areobindus another Roman general killed the bravest of the Persians in single combat, and by what means Ardaburius destroyed seven Persian commanders in an ambuscade, and in what manner Vitian another Roman general vanquished the remnant of the Saracen forces, I believe I ought to pass by, lest I should digress too far from my subject.

Of Palladius the Courier.

How the Emperor Theodosius received intelligence of what was done in an incredibly short space of time, and how he was quickly informed of events taking place far away, I shall attempt to explain. For he had the good fortune to possess among his subjects a man endowed with extraordinary energy both of body and mind, named Palladius; who rode so vigorously that he would reach the frontiers of the Roman and Persian dominions in three days, and again return to Constantinople in as many more. The same individual traversed other parts of the world on missions from the emperor with equal celerity: so that an eloquent man once said not unaptly, This man by his speed proves the vast expanse of the Roman Empire to be little. The king of the Persians himself was astonished at the expeditious feats which were related to him of this courier: but we must be content with the above details concerning him.

A Second Overthrow of the Persians by the Romans.

Now the emperor of the Romans dwelling in Constantinople being fully aware that God had plainly given him the victory was so benevolent that although those under him had been successful in war nevertheless he desired to make peace; and to that end he dispatched Helion, a man in whom he placed the greatest confidence, with a commission to enter into a pacific treaty with the Persians. Helion having arrived in Mesopotamia, at the place where the Romans for their own security had formed a trench, sent before him as his deputy Maximin an eloquent man who was the associate of Ardaburius the commander-in-chief of the army, to make preliminary arrangements concerning the terms of peace. Maximin on coming into the presence of the Persian king, said he had been sent to him on this matter, not by the Roman emperor, but by his generals; for he said this war was not even known to the emperor, and if known would be considered insignificant by him. And as the sovereign of Persia had gladly decided to receive the embassy,—for his troops were suffering from want of provisions,—there came to him that corps among them which is distinguished by the name of the Immortals. This is a body of brave men numbering about ten thousand—and counselled the king not to listen to any overtures for peace, until they should have made an attack upon the Romans, who, they said, were now become extremely incautious. The king approving their advice, ordered the ambassador to be imprisoned and a guard set over him, and permitted the Immortals to put their design upon the Romans into execution. They therefore, on arriving at the place appointed, divided themselves into two bands, with a view to surround some portion of the Roman army. The Romans observing but one body of Persians approaching them, prepared themselves to receive it, not having seen the other division, in consequence of their suddenly rushing forth to battle. But just as the engagement was about to commence, Divine Providence so ordered it, that another division of the Roman army under Procopius a general emerged from behind a certain hill and perceiving their comrades in danger, attacked the Persians in the rear. Thus were they, who but a little before had surrounded the Romans, themselves encompassed. Having utterly destroyed these in a short time, the Romans turned upon those who broke forth from their ambuscade and in like manner slew every one of them with darts. In this way those who by the Persians were termed the Immortals were all of them shown to be mortal, Christ having executed this vengeance upon the Persians because they had shed the blood of so many of his pious worshippers. The king of the Persians on being informed of the disaster, pretended to be ignorant of what had taken place, and ordered the embassy to be admitted, he thus addressing the ambassador: I agree to the peace, not as yielding to the Romans, but to gratify you, whom I have found to be the most prudent of all the Romans. Thus was that war concluded which had been undertaken on account of the suffering Christians in Persia, under the consulate of the two Augusti, being the thirteenth of Honorius, and the tenth of Theodosius, in the fourth year of the 300th Olympiad: and with it terminated the persecution which had been excited in Persia against the Christians.

Kind Treatment of the Persian Captives by Acacius Bishop of Amida.

A noble action of Acacius bishop of Amida, at that time greatly enhanced his reputation among all men. As the Roman soldiery would on no consideration restore to the Persian king the captives whom they had taken, these captives, about seven thousand in number, were being destroyed by famine in devastating Azazene, and this greatly distressed the king of the Persians. Then Acacius thought such a matter was by no means to be trifled with; having therefore assembled his clergy, he thus addressed them: Our God, my brethren, needs neither dishes nor cups; for he neither eats nor drinks, nor is in want of anything. Since then, by the liberality of its faithful members the church possesses many vessels both of gold and silver, it behooves us to sell them, that by the money thus raised we may be able to redeem the prisoners and also supply them with food. Having said these things and many others similar to these, he ordered the vessels to be melted down, and from the proceeds paid the soldiers a ransom for their captives, whom he supported for some time; and then furnishing them with what was needful for their journey, sent them back to their sovereign. This benevolence on the part of the excellent Acacius, astonished the king of the Persians, as if the Romans were accustomed to conquer their enemies as well by their beneficence in peace as their prowess in war. They say also that the Persian king wished that Acacius should come into his presence, that he might have the pleasure of beholding such a man; a wish which by the emperor Theodosius’ order was soon gratified. So signal a victory having through Divine favor been achieved by the Romans, many who were illustrious for their eloquence, wrote panegyrics in honor of the emperor, and recited them in public. The empress herself also composed a poem in heroic verse: for she had excellent literary taste; being the daughter of Leontius the Athenian sophist, she had been instructed in every kind of learning by her father; Atticus the bishop had baptized her a little while previous to her marriage with the emperor, and had then given her the Christian name of Eudocia, instead of her pagan one of Athenaïs. Many, as I have said, produced eulogiums on this occasion. Some, indeed, were stimulated by the desire of being noticed by the emperor; while others were anxious to display their talents to the masses, being unwilling that the attainments they had made by dint of great exertion should lie buried in obscurity.

Virtues of the Emperor Theodosius the Younger.

But although I am neither eager for the notice of the emperor, nor wish to make an exhibition of my oratorical powers, yet have I felt it my duty to record plainly the singular virtues with which the emperor is endowed: for I am persuaded that silence concerning them, as they are so excellent, would be injustice to those who should come after us. In the first place then, this prince though born and nurtured to empire, was neither stultified nor effeminated by the circumstances of his birth and education. He evinced so much prudence, that he appeared to those who conversed with him to have acquired wisdom from experience. Such was his fortitude in undergoing hardships, that he would courageously endure both heat and cold; fasting very frequently, especially on Wednesdays and Fridays; and this he did from an earnest endeavor to observe with accuracy all the prescribed forms of the Christian religion. He rendered his palace little different from a monastery: for he, together with his sisters, rose early in the morning, and recited responsive hymns in praise of the Deity. By this training he learnt the holy Scriptures by heart; and he would often discourse with the bishops on scriptural subjects, as if he had been an ordained priest of long standing. He was a more indefatigable collector of the sacred books and of the expositions which had been written on them, than even Ptolemy Philadelphus had formerly been. In clemency and humanity he far surpassed all others. For the emperor Julian although he professed to be a philosopher, could not moderate his rage against the Antiochians who derided him, but inflicted upon Theodore the most agonizing tortures. Theodosius on the contrary, bidding farewell to Aristotle’s syllogisms, exercised philosophy in deeds, by getting the mastery over anger, grief, and pleasure. Never has he revenged himself on any one by whom he has been injured; nor has any one ever even seen him irritated. And when some of his most intimate friends once asked him, why he never inflicted capital punishment upon offenders, his answer was, Would that it were even possible to restore to life those that have died. To another making a similar inquiry he replied, It is neither a great nor a difficult thing for a mortal to be put to death but it is God only that can resuscitate by repentance a person that has once died. So habitually indeed did he practice mercy, that if any one were guilty and sentence of death was passed upon him, and he was conducted toward the place of execution, he was never suffered to reach the gates of the city before a pardon was issued, commanding his immediate return. Having once exhibited a show of hunting wild beasts in the Amphitheatre at Constantinople, the people cried out, Let one of the boldest bestiarii encounter the enraged animal. But he said to them, Do ye not know that we are wont to view these spectacles with feelings of humanity? By this expression he instructed the people to be satisfied in future with shows of a less cruel description. His piety was such that he had a reverential regard for all who were consecrated to the service of God; and honored in an especial manner those whom he ascertained to be eminent for their sanctity of life. It is said that the bishop of Chebron having died at Constantinople, the emperor expressed a wish to have his cassock of sackcloth of hair; which, although it was excessively filthy, he wore as a cloak, hoping that thus he should become a partaker in some degree of the sanctity of the deceased. In a certain year, during which the weather had been very tempestuous, he was obliged by the eagerness of the people to exhibit the usual sports in the Hippodrome; and when the circus was filled with spectators, the violence of the storm increased, and there was a heavy fall of snow. Then the emperor made it very evident how his mind was affected towards God; for he caused the herald to make a proclamation to the people to this effect: It is far better and fitter to desist from the show, and unite in common prayer to God, that we may be preserved unhurt from the impending storm. Scarcely had the herald executed his commission, when all the people, with the greatest joy, began with one accord to offer supplication and sing praises to God, so that the whole city became one vast congregation; and the emperor himself in official garments, went into the midst of the multitude and commenced the hymns. Nor was he disappointed in his expectation, for the atmosphere began to resume its wonted serenity: and Divine benevolence bestowed on all an abundant harvest, instead of an expected deficiency of corn. If at any time war was raised, like David he had recourse to God, knowing that he is the arbiter of battles, and by prayer brought them to a prosperous issue. At this point therefore, I shall relate, how a little after the war against the Persians, by placing his confidence in God he vanquished the usurper John, after Honorius had died on the 15th of August, in the consulate of Asclepiodotus and Marian. For I judge what then occurred worthy of mention, inasmuch as there happened to the emperor’s generals who were dispatched against the tyrant, something analogous to what took place when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea under the guidance of Moses. These things however, I shall set forth very briefly, leaving to others the numerous details which would require a special treatise.

After the Death of the Emperor Honorius John usurps the Sovereignty at Rome. He is destroyed through the Prayers of Theodosius the Younger.

When the Emperor Honorius died Theodosius—now sole ruler—having received the news concealed the truth as long as possible, misleading the people sometimes with one report, and then with another. But he privately dispatched a military force to Salonæ, a city of Dalmatia, that in the event of any revolutionary movement in the West there might be resources at hand to check it; and after making these provisional arrangements, he at length openly announced his uncle’s death. In the meantime John, the superintendent of the emperor’s secretaries, not content with the dignity to which he had already attained, seized upon the sovereign authority; and sent an embassy to the emperor Theodosius, requesting that he might be recognized as his colleague in the empire. But that prince first caused the ambassadors to be arrested, then sent off Ardaburius, the commander-in-chief of the army, who had greatly distinguished himself in the Persian war. He, on arriving at Salonæ, set sail from thence for Aquileia. And he was fortunate as was thought, but fortune was adverse to him as it afterwards appeared. For a contrary wind having arisen, he was driven into the usurper’s hand. The latter having seized him became more sanguine in his hope that the emperor would be induced by the urgency of the case to elect and proclaim him emperor, in order to preserve the life of his general-in-chief. And the emperor was in fact greatly distressed when he heard of it, as was also the army which had been sent against the usurper, lest Ardaburius should be subjected to evil treatment by the usurper. Aspar the son of Ardaburius, having learnt that his father was in the usurper’s power, and aware at the same time that the party of the rebels was strengthened by the accession of immense numbers of barbarians, knew not what course to pursue. Then again at this crisis the prayer of the pious emperor prevailed. For an angel of God, under the appearance of a shepherd, undertook the guidance of Aspar and the troops which were with him, and led him through the lake near Ravenna—for in that city the usurper was then residing—and there detained the military chief. Now, no one had ever been known to have forded that lake before; but God then rendered that passable, which had hitherto been impassable. Having therefore crossed the lake, as if going over dry ground, they found the gates of the city open, and overpowered the usurper. This event afforded that most devout emperor an opportunity of giving a fresh demonstration of his piety towards God. For the news of the usurper’s being destroyed, having arrived while he was engaged at the exhibition of the sports of the Hippodrome, he immediately said to the people: Come now, if you please, let us leave these diversions, and proceed to the church to offer thanksgivings to God, whose hand has overthrown the usurper. Thus did he address them; and the spectacles were immediately forsaken and neglected, the people all passing out of the circus singing praises together with him, as with one heart and one voice. And arriving at the church, the whole city again became one congregation; and once in the church they passed the remainder of the day in these devotional exercises.

Valentinian a Son of Constantius and Placidia, Aunt of Theodosius, is proclaimed Emperor.

After the usurper’s death, the emperor Theodosius became very anxious as to whom he should proclaim emperor of the West. He had a cousin then very young named Valentinian; the son of his aunt Placidia, daughter of Theodosius the Great, and sister of the two Augusti Arcadius and Honorius and of that Constantius who had been proclaimed emperor by Honorius, and had died after a short reign with him. This cousin he created Cæsar, and sent into the Western parts, committing the administration of affairs to his mother Placidia. He himself also hastened towards Italy, that he might in person both proclaim his cousin emperor, and also being present among them, endeavor to influence the natives and residents by his counsels not to submit to usurpers readily. But when he reached Thessalonica he was prevented from proceeding further by sickness; he therefore sent forward the imperial crown to his cousin by Helion the patrician, and he himself returned to Constantinople. But concerning these matters I deem the narrative here given sufficient.

Christian Benevolence of Atticus Bishop of Constantinople. He registers John’s Name in the Diptychs. His Fore-knowledge of his Own Death.

Meanwhile Atticus the bishop caused the affairs of the church to flourish in an extraordinary manner; administering all things with prudence, and inciting the people to virtue by his instruction. Perceiving that the church was on the point of being divided inasmuch as the Johannites assembled themselves apart, he ordered that mention of John should be made in the prayers, as was customary to be done of the other deceased bishops; by which means he trusted that many would be induced to return to the Church. And he was so liberal that he not only provided for the poor of his own parishes, but transmitted contributions to supply the wants and promote the comfort of the indigent in the neighboring cities also. On one occasion as he sent to Calliopius a presbyter of the church at Nicæa, three hundred pieces of gold he also dispatched the following letter.

Atticus to Calliopius—salutations in the Lord.

I have been informed that there are in your city ten thousand necessitous persons whose condition demands the compassion of the pious. And I say ten thousand, designating their multitude rather than using the number precisely. As therefore I have received a sum of money from him, who with a bountiful hand is wont to supply faithful stewards; and since it happens that some are pressed by want, that those who have may be proved, who yet do not minister to the needy—take, my friend, these three hundred pieces of gold, and dispose of them as you may think fit. It will be your care, I doubt not, to distribute to such as are ashamed to beg, and not to those who through life have sought to feed themselves at others’ expense. In bestowing these alms make no distinction on religious grounds; but feed the hungry whether they agree with us in sentiment, or not.

Thus did Atticus consider even the poor who were at a distance from him. He labored also to abolish the superstitions of certain persons. For on being informed that those who had separated themselves from the Novatians, on account of the Jewish Passover, had transported the body of Sabbatius from the island of Rhodes—for in that island he had died in exile—and having buried it, were accustomed to pray at his grave, he caused the body to be disinterred at night, and deposited in a private sepulchre; and those who had formerly paid their adorations at that place, on finding his tomb had been opened, ceased honoring that tomb thenceforth. Moreover he manifested a great deal of taste in the application of names to places. To a port in the mouth of the Euxine sea, anciently called Pharmaceus, he gave the appellation of Therapeia; because he would not have a place where religious assemblies were held, dishonored by an inauspicious name. Another place, a suburb of Constantinople, he termed Argyropolis, for this reason. Chrysopolis is an ancient port situated at the head of the Bosphorus, and is mentioned by several of the early writers, especially Strabo, Nicolaus Damascenus, and the illustrious Xenophon in the sixth book of his Anabasis of Cyrus; and again in the first of his Hellenica he says concerning it, that Alcibiades having walled it round, established a toll in it; for all who sailed out of Pontus were accustomed to pay tithes there. Atticus seeing the former place to be directly opposite to Chrysopolis, and very delightfully situated, declared that it was most fitting it should be called Argyropolis; and as soon as this was said it firmly established the name. Some persons having said to him that the Novatians ought not to be permitted to hold their assemblies within the cities: Do you not know, he replied, that they were fellow-sufferers with us in the persecution under Constantius and Valens? Besides, said he, they are witnesses to our creed: for although they separated from the church a long while ago, they have never introduced any innovations concerning the faith. Being once at Nicæa on account of the ordination of a bishop, and seeing there Asclepiades bishop of the Novatians, then very aged, he asked him, How many years have you been a bishop? When he was answered fifty years: You are a happy man, said he, to have had charge of so good a work for such a length of time. To the same Asclepiades he observed: I commend Novatus; but can by no means approve of the Novatians. And when Asclepiades, surprised at this strange remark, said, What is the meaning of your remark, bishop? Atticus gave him this reason for the distinction. I approve of Novatus for refusing to commune with those who had sacrificed, for I myself would have done the same: but I cannot praise the Novatians, inasmuch as they exclude laymen from communion for very trivial offenses. Asclepiades answered, There are many other sins unto death, as the Scriptures term them, besides sacrificing to idols; on account of which even you excommunicate ecclesiastics only, but we laymen also, reserving to God alone the power of pardoning them. Atticus had moreover a presentiment of his own death; for at his departure from Nicæa, he said to Calliopius a presbyter of that place: Hasten to Constantinople before autumn if you wish to see me again alive; for if you delay beyond that time, you will not find me surviving. Nor did he err in this prediction; for he died on the 10th of October, in the 21st year of his episcopate, under the eleventh consulate of Theodosius, and the first of Valentinian Cæsar. The Emperor Theodosius indeed, being then on his way from Thessalonica, did not reach Constantinople in time for his funeral, for Atticus had been consigned to the grave one day before the emperor’s arrival. Not long afterwards, on the 23d of the same month, October, the young Valentinian was proclaimed Augustus.

Sisinnius is chosen to succeed Atticus.

After the decease of Atticus, there arose a strong contest about the election of a successor, some proposing one person, and some another. One party, they say, was urgent in favor of a presbyter named Philip; another wished to promote Proclus who was also a presbyter; but the general desire of the people was that the bishopric should be conferred on Sisinnius. This person was also a presbyter but held no ecclesiastical office within the city, having been appointed to the sacred ministry in a church at Elæa, a village in the suburbs of Constantinople. This village is situated across the harbor from the city, and in it from an ancient custom the whole population annually assembled for the celebration of our Saviour’s ascension. All of the laity were warmly attached to the man because he was famous for his piety, and especially because he was diligent in the care of the poor even beyond his power. The earnestness of the laity thus prevailed, and Sisinnius was ordained on the twenty-eighth day of February, under the following consulate, which was the twelfth of Theodosius, and the second of Valentinian. The presbyter Philip was so chagrined at the preference of another to himself, that he even introduced the subject into his Christian History, making some very censorious remarks, both about the person ordained and those who had ordained him, and much more severely on the laity. But he said such things as I cannot by any means commit to writing. Since I do not approve of his unadvised action in committing them to writing, I do not deem it unseasonable, however, to give some notice here of him and of his works.

Voluminous Productions of Philip, a Presbyter of Side.

Philip was a native of Side; Side is a city of Pamphylia. From this place also Troïlus the sophist came, to whom Philip boasted himself to be nearly related. He was a deacon and thus admitted to the privilege of familiar intercourse with John Chrysostom, the bishop. He labored assiduously in literature, and besides making very considerable literary attainments, formed an extensive collection of books in every branch of knowledge. Affecting the Asiatic style, he became the author of many treatises, attempting among others a refutation of the Emperor Julian’s treatises against the Christians, and compiled a Christian History, which he divided into thirty-six books; each of these books occupied several volumes, so that they amounted altogether to nearly one thousand, and the mere argument of each volume equalled in magnitude the volume itself. This composition he has entitled not an Ecclesiastical, but a Christian History, and has grouped together in it abundance of very heterogeneous materials, wishing to show that he is not ignorant of philosophical and scientific learning: for it contains a medley of geometrical theorems, astronomical speculations, arithmetical calculations, and musical principles, with geographical delineations of islands, mountains, forests, and various other matters of little moment. By forcing such irrelevant details into connection with his subject, he has rendered his work a very loose production, useless alike, in my opinion, to the ignorant and the learned; for the illiterate are incapable of appreciating the loftiness of his diction, and such as are really competent to form a just estimate, condemn his wearisome tautology. But let every one exercise his own judgment concerning these books according to his taste. All I have to add is, that he has confounded the chronological order of the transactions he describes: for after having related what took place in the reign of the Emperor Theodosius, he immediately goes back to the times of the bishop Athanasius; and this sort of thing he does frequently. But enough has been said of Philip: we must now mention what happened under the episcopate of Sisinnius.

Proclus ordained Bishop of Cyzicus by Sisinnius, but rejected by the People.

The bishop of Cyzicus having died, Sisinnius ordained Proclus to the bishopric of that city. But while he was preparing to depart thither, the inhabitants anticipated him, by electing an ascetic named Dalmatius. This they did in disregard of a law which forbade their ordination of a bishop without the sanction of the bishop of Constantinople; but they pretended that this was a special privilege granted to Atticus personally. Proclus therefore continued destitute of the presidency over his own church, but acquired celebrity for his discourses in the churches of Constantinople. We shall however speak of him more particularly in an appropriate place. Sisinnius having survived his appointment to the bishopric by barely two entire years, was removed by death on the 24th of December, in the consulate of Hierius and Ardaburius. For his temperance, integrity of life, and benignity to the poor, he was deservedly eminent; he was moreover singularly affable and guileless in disposition, and this rendered him rather averse to business, so that by men of active habits he was accounted indolent.

Nestorius of Antioch promoted to the See of Constantinople. His Persecution of the Heretics.

After the death of Sisinnius, on account of the spirit of ambitious rivalry displayed by the ecclesiastics of Constantinople, the emperors resolved that none of that church should fill the vacant bishopric, notwithstanding the fact that many eagerly desired to have Philip ordained, and no less a number were in favor of the election of Proclus. They therefore sent for a stranger from Antioch, whose name was Nestorius, a native of Germanicia, distinguished for his excellent voice and fluency of speech; qualifications which they judged important for the instruction of the people. After three months had elapsed therefore, Nestorius was brought from Antioch, being greatly lauded by some for his temperance: but what sort of a disposition he was of in other respects, those who possessed any discernment were able to perceive from his first sermon. Being ordained on the 10th of April, under the consulate of Felix and Taurus, he immediately uttered those famous words, before all the people, in addressing the emperor, Give me, my prince, the earth purged of heretics, and I will give you heaven as a recompense. Assist me in destroying heretics, and I will assist you in vanquishing the Persians. Now although these utterances were extremely gratifying to some of the multitude, who cherished a senseless antipathy to the very name of heretic; yet those, as I have said, who were skillful in predicating a man’s character from his expressions, did not fail to detect his levity of mind, and violent and vainglorious temperament, inasmuch as he had burst forth into such vehemence without being able to contain himself for even the shortest space of time; and to use the proverbial phrase, before he had tasted the water of the city, showed himself a furious persecutor. Accordingly on the fifth day after his ordination, having determined to demolish a chapel in which the Arians were accustomed to perform their devotions privately, he drove these people to desperation; for when they saw the work of destruction going forward in their chapel, they threw fire into it, and the fire spreading on all sides reduced many of the adjacent buildings also to ashes. A tumult accordingly arose on account of this throughout the city, and the Arians burning to revenge themselves, made preparations for that purpose: but God the Guardian of the city suffered not the mischief to gather to a climax. From that time, however, they branded Nestorius as an incendiary, and it was not only the heretics who did this, but those also of his own faith. For he could not rest, but seeking every means of harassing those who embraced not his own sentiments, he continually disturbed the public tranquillity. He annoyed the Novatians also, being incited to jealousy because Paul their bishop was everywhere respected for his piety; but the emperor by his admonitions checked his fury. With what calamities he visited the Quartodecimans throughout Asia, Lydia, and Caria, and what multitudes perished in a popular tumult of which he was the cause at Miletus and Sardis, I think proper to pass by in silence. What punishment he suffered for all these enormities, and for that unbridled license of speech in which he indulged himself, I shall mention somewhat later.

The Burgundians embrace Christianity under Theodosius the Younger.

I must now relate an event well worthy of being recorded, which happened about this time. There is a barbarous nation dwelling beyond the Rhine, denominated Burgundians; they lead a peaceful life; for being almost all artisans, they support themselves by the exercise of their trades. The Huns, by making continual irruptions on this people, devastated their country, and often destroyed great numbers of them. In this perplexity, therefore, the Burgundians resolved to have recourse not to any human being, but to commit themselves to the protection of some god: and having seriously considered that the God of the Romans mightily defended those that feared him, they all with common consent embraced the faith of Christ. Going therefore to one of the cities of Gaul, they requested the bishop to grant them Christian baptism: who ordering them to fast seven days, and having meanwhile instructed them in the elementary principles of the faith, on the eighth day baptized and dismissed them. Accordingly becoming confident thenceforth, they marched against their invaders; nor were they disappointed in their hope. For the king of the Huns, Uptar by name, having died in the night from the effects of a surfeit, the Burgundians attacked that people then without a commander-in-chief; and although they were few in numbers and their opponents very many, they obtained a complete victory; for the Burgundians were altogether but three thousand men, and destroyed no less than ten thousand of the enemy. From that period this nation became zealously attached to the Christian religion. About the same time Barbas bishop of the Arians died, on the 24th of June, under the thirteenth consulate of Theodosius, and the third of Valentinian, and Sabbatius was constituted his successor. Enough has been said of these matters.

Nestorius harasses the Macedonians.

Nestorius indeed acted contrary to the usage of the Church, and caused himself to be hated in other ways also, as is evident from what happened during his episcopate. For Anthony bishop of Germa, a city of the Hellespont, actuated by the example of Nestorius in his intolerance of heretics, began to persecute the Macedonians, under the pretext of carrying out the intentions of the patriarch. The Macedonians for some time endured his annoyance; but when Anthony proceeded to farther extremities, unable any longer to bear his harsh treatment, they were led to a sad desperation, and suborning two men, who put right in a secondary place and profit first, they assassinated their tormenter. When the Macedonians had perpetrated this crime, Nestorius took occasion from it to increase his violence of conduct against them, and prevailed on the emperor to take away their churches. They were therefore deprived of not only those which they possessed at Constantinople, before the old walls of the imperial city, but of those also which they had at Cyzicus, and many others that belonged to them in the rural districts of the Hellespont. Many of them therefore at that time came over to the Catholic church, and professed the homoousian faith. But as the proverb says, drunkards never want wine, nor the contentious strife: and so it fell out with regard to Nestorius, who after having exerted himself to expel others from the church, was himself ejected on the following account.

Of the Presbyter Anastasius, by whom the Faith of Nestorius was perverted.

Nestorius had an associate whom he had brought from Antioch, a presbyter named Anastasius; for this man he had the highest esteem, and consulted him in the management of his most important affairs. This Anastasius preaching one day in the church said, Let no one call Mary Theotocos: for Mary was but a woman; and it is impossible that God should be born of a woman. These words created a great sensation, and troubled many both of the clergy and laity; they having been heretofore taught to acknowledge Christ as God, and by no means to separate his humanity from his divinity on account of the economy of incarnation, heeding the voice of the apostle when he said, Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh; yet now henceforth know we him no more. And again, Wherefore, leaving the word of the beginning of Christ, let us go on unto perfection. While great offense was taken in the church, as we have said, at what was thus propounded, Nestorius, eager to establish Anastasius’ proposition—for he did not wish to have the man who was esteemed by himself found guilty of blasphemy—delivered several public discourses on the subject, in which he assumed a controversial attitude, and totally rejected the epithet Theotocos. Wherefore the controversy on the subject being taken in one spirit by some and in another by others, the discussion which ensued divided the church, and resembled the struggle of combatants in the dark, all parties uttering the most confused and contradictory assertions. Nestorius thus acquired the reputation among the masses of asserting the blasphemous dogma that the Lord is a mere man, and attempting to foist on the Church the dogmas of Paul of Samosata and Photinus; and so great a clamor was raised by the contention that it was deemed requisite to convene a general council to take cognizance of the matter in dispute. Having myself perused the writings of Nestorius, I have found him an unlearned man and shall candidly express the conviction of my own mind concerning him: and as in entire freedom from personal antipathies, I have already alluded to his faults, I shall in like manner be unbiassed by the criminations of his adversaries, to derogate from his merits. I cannot then concede that he was either a follower of Paul of Samosata or of Photinus, or that he denied the Divinity of Christ: but he seemed scared at the term Theotocos, as though it were some terrible phantom. The fact is, the causeless alarm he manifested on this subject just exposed his extreme ignorance: for being a man of natural fluency as a speaker, he was considered well educated, but in reality he was disgracefully illiterate. In fact he contemned the drudgery of an accurate examination of the ancient expositors: and, puffed up with his readiness of expression, he did not give his attention to the ancients, but thought himself the greatest of all. Now he was evidently unacquainted with the fact that in the First Catholic epistle of John it was written in the ancient copies, Every spirit that separates Jesus, is not of God. The mutilation of this passage is attributable to those who desired to separate the Divine nature from the human economy: or to use the very language of the early interpreters, some persons have corrupted this epistle, aiming at separating the manhood of Christ from his Deity. But the humanity is united to the Divinity in the Saviour, so as to constitute not two persons but one only. Hence it was that the ancients, emboldened by this testimony, scrupled not to style Mary Theotocos. For thus Eusebius Pamphilus in his third book of the Life of Constantine writes in these terms:

And in fact God with us submitted to be born for our sake; and the place of his nativity is by the Hebrews called Bethlehem. Wherefore the devout empress Helena adorned the place of accouchement of the God-bearing virgin with the most splendid monuments, decorating that sacred spot with the richest ornaments.

Origen also in the first volume of his Commentaries on the apostle’s epistle to the Romans, gives an ample exposition of the sense in which the term Theotocos is used. It is therefore obvious that Nestorius had very little acquaintance with the treatises of the ancients, and for that reason, as I observed, objected to the word only: for that he does not assert Christ to be a mere man, as Photinus did or Paul of Samosata, his own published homilies fully demonstrate. In these discourses he nowhere destroys the proper personality of the Word of God; but on the contrary invariably maintains that he has an essential and distinct personality and existence. Nor does he ever deny his subsistence as Photinus and the Samosatan did, and as the Manichæans and followers of Montanus have also dared to do. Such in fact I find Nestorius, both from having myself read his own works, and from the assurances of his admirers. But this idle contention of his has produced no slight ferment in the religious world.

Desecration of the Altar of the Great Church by Runaway Slaves.

While matters were in this state it happened that an outrage was perpetrated in the church. For the domestics of a man of quality who were foreigners, having experienced harsh treatment from their master, fled from him to the church; and thus they ran up to the very altar with their swords drawn. Nor could they be prevailed upon by any entreaties to withdraw; so that they impeded the performance of the sacred services; but inasmuch as they obstinately maintained their position for several days, brandishing their weapons in defiance of any one who dared to approach them—and in fact killed one of the ecclesiastics, and wounded another—they were finally compelled to slay themselves. A person who was present at this desecration of the sanctuary, remarked that such a profanation was an ominous presage, and in support of his view of the matter, quoted the two following iambics of an ancient poet:—

For such prognostics happen at a time
When temples are defiled by impious crime.

Nor was he who made the prediction disappointed in these inauspicious forebodings: for they signified as it seems a division among the people, and the deposition of the author of it.

Synod at Ephesus against Nestorius. His Deposition.

Not long time elapsed before a mandate from the emperor directed the bishops in all places to assemble at Ephesus. Immediately after the festival of Easter therefore Nestorius, escorted by a great crowd of his adherents, repaired to Ephesus, and found many of the bishops already there. Cyril bishop of Alexandria making some delay, did not arrive till near Pentecost. Five days after Pentecost, Juvenal bishop of Jerusalem arrived. While John of Antioch was still absent, those who were now congregated entered into the consideration of the question; and Cyril of Alexandria began a sharp skirmish of words, with the design of terrifying Nestorius, for he had a strong dislike for him. When many had declared that Christ was God, Nestorius said: I cannot term him God who was two and three months old. I am therefore clear of your blood, and shall in future come no more among you. Having uttered these words he left the assembly, and afterwards held meetings with the other bishops who entertained sentiments similar to his own. Accordingly those present were divided into two factions. That section which supported Cyril, having constituted themselves a council, summoned Nestorius: but he refused to meet them, and put them off until the arrival of John of Antioch. The partisans of Cyril therefore proceeded to the examination of the public discourses of Nestorius which he had preached on the subject in dispute; and after deciding from a repeated perusal of them that they contained distinct blasphemy against the Son of God, they deposed him. This being done, the partisans of Nestorius constituted themselves another council apart, and therein deposed Cyril himself, and together with him Memnon bishop of Ephesus. Not long after these events, John bishop of Antioch made his appearance; and being informed of what had taken place, he pronounced unqualified censure on Cyril as the author of all this confusion, in having so precipitately proceeded to the deposition of Nestorius. Upon this Cyril combined with Juvenal to revenge themselves on John, and they deposed him also. When affairs reached this confused condition, Nestorius saw that the contention which had been raised was thus tending to the destruction of communion, in bitter regret he called Mary Theotocos, and cried out: Let Mary be called Theotocos, if you will, and let all disputing cease. But although he made this recantation, no notice was taken of it; for his deposition was not revoked, and he was banished to the Oasis, where he still remains. Such was the conclusion of this Synod. These things were done on the 28th of June, under the consulate of Bassus and Antiochus. John when he had returned to his bishopric, having convened several bishops, deposed Cyril, who had also returned to his see: but soon afterwards, having set aside their enmity and accepting each other as friends, they mutually reinstated each other in their episcopal chairs. But after the deposition of Nestorius a mighty agitation prevailed through the churches of Constantinople. For the people was divided on account of what we have already called his unfortunate utterances; and the clergy unanimously anathematized him. For such is the sentence which we Christians are accustomed to pronounce on those who have advanced any blasphemous doctrines, when we set up their impiety that it may be publicly exposed, as it were, on a pillar, to universal execration.

Maximian elected to the Episcopate of Constantinople, though Some wished Proclus to take that Place.

After this there was another debate concerning the election of a bishop of Constantinople. Many were in favor of Philip, of whom we have already made mention; but a still greater number advocated the claims of Proclus. And the candidacy of Proclus would have succeeded, had not some of the most influential persons interfered, on the ground of its being forbidden by the ecclesiastical canon that a person nominated to one bishopric should be translated to that of another city. The people believing this assertion, were thereby restrained; and about four months after the deposition of Nestorius, a man named Maximian was promoted to the bishopric, who had lived an ascetic life, and was also ranked as a presbyter. He had acquired a high reputation for sanctity, on account of having at his own expense constructed sepulchral depositaries for the reception of the pious after their decease, but was rude in speech and inclined to live a quiet life.

The Author’s Opinion of the Validity of Translations from One See to Another.

But since some parties by appealing to a prohibition in the ecclesiastical canon, prevented the election of Proclus, because of his previous appointment to the see of Cyzicus, I wish to make a few remarks on this subject. Those who then presumed to interpose such a cause of exclusion do not appear to me to have stated the truth; but they were either influenced by prejudice against Proclus, or at least have been themselves completely ignorant both of the canons, and of the frequent and often advantageous precedents that had been established in the churches. Eusebius Pamphilus relates in the sixth book of his Ecclesiastical History, that Alexander bishop of a certain city in Cappadocia, coming to Jerusalem for devotional purposes, was detained by the inhabitants of that city, and constituted bishop, as the successor of Narcissus; and that he continued to preside over the churches there during the remainder of his life. So indifferent a thing was it amongst our ancestors, to transfer a bishop from one city to another as often as it was deemed expedient. But if it is necessary to place beyond a doubt the falsehood of the statement of those who prevented the ordination of Proclus, I shall annex to this treatise the canon bearing on the subject. It runs thus:

If any one after having been ordained a bishop should not proceed to the church unto which he has been appointed, from no fault on his part, but either because the people are unwilling to receive him, or for some other reason arising from necessity, let him be partaker of the honor and functions of the rank with which he has been invested, provided he intermeddles not with the affairs of the church wherein he may minister. It is his duty however to submit to whatever the Synod of the province may see fit to determine, after it shall have taken cognizance of the matter.

Such is the language of the canon. That many bishops have been transferred from one city to another to meet the exigencies of peculiar cases, I shall now prove by giving the names of those bishops who have been so translated. Perigenes was ordained bishop of Patræ: but inasmuch as the inhabitants of that city refused to admit him, the bishop of Rome directed that he should be assigned to the metropolitan see of Corinth, which had become vacant by the decease of its former bishop; here he presided during the rest of his days. Gregory was first made bishop of Sasima, one of the cities of Cappadocia, but was afterwards transferred to Nazianzus. Melitius after having presided over the church at Sebastia, subsequently governed that of Antioch. Alexander bishop of Antioch transferred Dositheus bishop of Seleucia, to Tarsus in Cilicia. Reverentius was removed from Arca in Phœnicia, and afterwards to Tyre. John was transferred from Gordum a city of Lydia, to Proconnesus, and presided over the church there. Palladius was transferred from Helenopolis to Aspuna; and Alexander from the same city to Adriani. Theophilus was removed from Apamea in Asia, to Eudoxiopolis anciently called Salambria. Polycarp was transferred from Sexantaprista a city of Mysia, to Nicopolis in Thrace. Hierophilus from Trapezopolis in Phrygia to Plotinopolis in Thrace. Optimus from Agdamia in Phrygia to Antioch in Pisidia; and Silvanus from Philippopolis in Thrace to Troas. This enumeration of bishops who have passed from one see to another is sufficient for the present; concerning Silvanus who was removed from Philippopolis in Thrace to Troas I deem it desirable here to give a concise account.

Miracle performed by Silvanus Bishop of Troas formerly of Philippopolis.

Silvanus was formerly a rhetorician, and had been brought up in the school of Troïlus the sophist; but aiming at perfection in his Christian course, he entered on the ascetic mode of life, and set aside the rhetorician’s pallium. Atticus bishop of Constantinople having taken notice of him afterwards ordained him bishop of Philippopolis. Thus he resided three years in Thrace; but being unable to endure the cold of that region—for his constitution was delicate and sickly—he begged Atticus to appoint some one else in his place, alleging that it was for no other reason but the cold that he resigned residence in Thrace. This having been done, Silvanus resided at Constantinople, where he practiced so great austerities that, despising the luxurious refinements of the age, he often appeared in the crowded streets of that populous city shod with sandals made of hay. Some time having elapsed, the bishop of Troas died; on which account the inhabitants of that city came to Atticus concerning the appointment of a successor. While he was deliberating whom he should ordain for them, Silvanus happened to pay him a visit, which at once relieved him from further anxiety; for addressing Silvanus, he said: You have now no longer any excuse for avoiding the pastoral administration of a church; for Troas is not a cold place: so that God has considered your infirmity of body, and provided you a suitable residence. Go thither then, my brother, without delay. Silvanus therefore removed to that city.

Here a miracle was performed by his instrumentality, which I shall now relate. An immense ship for carrying burdens, such as they term float, intended for the conveyance of enormous pillars, had been recently constructed on the shore at Troas. This vessel it was necessary to launch. But although many strong ropes were attached to it, and the power of a vast number of persons was applied, the vessel was in no way moved. When these attempts had been repeated several days successively with the like result, the people began to think that a devil detained the ship; they therefore went to the bishop Silvanus, and entreated him to go and offer a prayer in that place. For thus only they thought it could be launched. He replied with his characteristic lowliness of mind that he was but a sinner, and that the work pertained to some one who was just and not to himself. Being at length prevailed on by their continued entreaties, he approached the shore, where after having prayed, he touched one of the ropes, and exhorting the rest to vigorous exertion, the ship was by the first pull instantly set in motion, and ran swiftly into the sea. This miracle wrought by the hands of Silvanus, stirred up the whole population of the province to piety. But the uncommon worth of Silvanus was manifested in various other ways. Perceiving that the ecclesiastics made a merchandise of the contentions of those engaged in law-suits, he would never nominate any one of the clergy as judge: but causing the documents of the litigants to be delivered to himself, he summoned to him some pious layman in whose integrity he had confidence; and committing to him the adjudication of the case, he soon equitably settled all the differences of the litigants; and by this procedure Silvanus acquired for himself great reputation from all classes of persons.

We have indeed digressed pretty much from the course of our history in giving this account of Silvanus; but yet it will not, we imagine, be unprofitable. Let us now however return to the place from which we departed. Maximian, having been ordained on the 25th of October, under the consulate of Bassus and Antiochus, the affairs of the church were reduced to a better ordered and more tranquil condition.

Many of the Jews in Crete embrace the Christian Faith.

About this period a great number of Jews who dwelt in Crete were convened to Christianity, through the following disastrous circumstance. A certain Jewish impostor pretended that he was Moses, and had been sent from heaven to lead out the Jews inhabiting that island, and conduct them through the sea: for he said that he was the same person who formerly preserved the Israelites by leading them through the Red Sea. During a whole year therefore he perambulated the several cities of the island, and persuaded the Jews to believe such assurances. He moreover bid them renounce their money and other property, pledging himself to guide them through a dry sea into the land of promise. Deluded by such expectations, they neglected business of every kind, despising what they possessed, and permitting any one who chose to take it. When the day appointed by this deceiver for their departure had arrived, he himself took the lead, and all followed with their wives and children. He led them therefore until they reached a promontory that overhung the sea, from which he ordered them to fling themselves headlong into it. Those who came first to the precipice did so, and were immediately destroyed, some of them being dashed in pieces against the rocks, and some drowned in the waters: and more would have perished, had not the Providence of God led some fishermen and merchants who were Christians to be present. These persons drew out and saved some that were almost drowned, who then in their perilous situation became sensible of the madness of their conduct. The rest they hindered from casting themselves down, by telling them of the destruction of those who had taken the first leap. When at length the Jews perceived how fearfully they had been duped, they blamed first of all their own indiscreet credulity, and then sought to lay hold of the pseudo-Moses in order to put him to death. But they were unable to seize him, for he suddenly disappeared which induced a general belief that it was some malignant fiend, who had assumed a human form for the destruction of their nation in that place. In consequence of this experience many of the Jews in Crete at that time abandoning Judaism attached themselves to the Christian faith.

Preservation of the Church of the Novatians from Fire.

A little while after this, Paul bishop of the Novatians acquired the reputation of a man truly beloved of God in a greater measure than he had before. For a terrible conflagration having broken out at Constantinople, such as had never happened before,—for the fire destroyed the greater part of the city,—as the largest of the public granaries, the Achillean bath, and everything else in the way of the fire were being consumed, it at length approached the church of the Novatians situated near Pelargus. When the bishop Paul saw the church endangered, he ran upon the altar, where he commended to God the preservation of the church and all it contained; nor did he cease to pray not only for it, but also for the city. And God heard him, as the event clearly proved: for although the fire entered this oratory through all its doors and windows, it did no damage. And while many adjacent edifices fell a prey to the devouring element, the church itself was seen unscathed in the midst of the whole conflagration triumphing over its raging flames. This went on for two days and two nights, when the fire was extinguished, after it had burnt down a great part of the city: but the church remained entire, and what is more marvelous still, there was not the slightest trace even of smoke to be observed either on its timbers or its walls. This occurred on the 17th of August, in the fourteenth consulate of Theodosius, which he bore together with Maximus. Since that time the Novatians annually celebrate the preservation of their church, on the 17th of August, by special thanksgivings to God. And almost all men, Christians and most of the pagans from that time forth continue to regard that place with veneration as a peculiarly consecrated spot, because of the miracle which was wrought for its safeguard. So much concerning these affairs.

Proclus succeeds Maximian Bishop of Constantinople.

Maximian, having peacefully governed the church during two years and five months, died on the 12th of April, in the consulate of Areobindus and Aspar. This happened to be on the fifth day of the week of fasts which immediately precedes Easter. The day of the week was Thursday. Then the Emperor Theodosius wishing to prevent the disturbances in the church which usually attend the election of a bishop, made a wise provision for this affair; for in order that there might be no dispute again about the choice of a bishop and tumult thus arise, without delaying, before the body of Maximian was interred, he directed the bishops who were then in the city to place Proclus in the episcopal chair. For he had received already letters from Cælestinus bishop of Rome approving of this election, which he had forwarded to Cyril of Alexandria, John of Antioch, and Rufus of Thessalonica; in which he assured them that there was no impediment to the translation to another see, of a person who had been nominated and really was the bishop of some one church. Proclus, being thus invested with the bishopric, performed the funeral obsequies of Maximian: but it is now time briefly to give some account of him also.

Excellent Qualities of Proclus.

Proclus was a reader at a very early age, and assiduously frequenting the schools, became devoted to the study of rhetoric. On attaining manhood he was in the habit of constant intercourse with Atticus the bishop, having been constituted his secretary. When he had made great progress, his patron promoted him to the rank of deacon; subsequently being elevated to the presbyterate, as we have before stated, he was ordained by Sisinnius to be bishop of Cyzicus. But all these things were done long before. At this time he was allotted the episcopal chair of Constantinople. He was a man of moral excellence equal to any other; for having been trained by Atticus, he was a zealous imitator of all that bishop’s virtues. Patience, however, he exercised to a greater degree than his master, who occasionally practiced severities upon the heretics; for Proclus was gentle towards everybody, being convinced that kindness is far more effective than violence in advancing the cause of truth. Resolving therefore to vexatiously interfere with no heresy whatever, he restored in his own person to the church that mild and benign dignity of character, which had so often before been unhappily violated. In this respect he followed the example of the Emperor Theodosius; for as the latter had determined never to exercise his imperial authority against criminals, so had Proclus likewise purposed not to disquiet those who entertained other sentiments on divine subjects than those which he cherished himself.

Panegyric of the Emperor Theodosius Younger.

For these reasons the emperor had the highest esteem for Proclus. For in fact he himself was a pattern to all true clergymen, and never approved of those who attempted to persecute others. Nay I may venture to affirm, that in meekness he surpassed all those who have ever faithfully borne the sacerdotal office. And what is recorded of Moses in the book of Numbers, Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth—may most justly be applied at this day; for the Emperor Theodosius is meek above all the men which are upon the face of the earth. It is because of this meekness that God subdued his enemies without martial conflicts, as the capture of the usurper John, and the subsequent discomfiture of the barbarians clearly demonstrate. For the God of the universe has afforded this most devout emperor in our times supernatural aid of a similar kind to what was vouchsafed to the righteous heretofore. I write not these things from adulation, but truthfully narrate facts such as everybody can attest.

Calamities of the Barbarians who had been the Usurper John’s Allies.

After the death of the usurper, the barbarians whom he had called to his assistance against the Romans, made preparations for ravaging the Roman provinces. The emperor being informed of this, immediately, as his custom was, committed the management of the matter to God; and continuing in earnest prayer, he speedily obtained what he sought; for it is worth while to give attention to disasters which befell the barbarians. For their chief, whose name was Rougas, was struck dead with a thunderbolt. Then a plague followed which destroyed most of the men who were under him: and as if this was not sufficient, fire came down from heaven, and consumed many of the survivors. This filled the barbarians with the utmost terror; not so much because they had dared to take up arms against a nation of such valor as the Romans possessed, as that they perceived them to be assisted by a mighty God. On this occasion, Proclus the bishop preached a sermon in the church in which he applied a prophecy out of Ezekiel to the deliverance effected by God in the late emergency, and was in consequence much admired. This is the language of the prophecy:

And thou, son of man, prophesy against Gog the prince of Rhos, Mosoch, and Thobel. For I will judge him with death, and with blood, and with overflowing rain, and with hail-stones. I will also rain fire and brimstone upon him, and upon all his bands, and upon many nations that are with him. And I will be magnified, and glorified, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations: and they shall know that I am the Lord.

This application of the prophecy was received with great applause, as I have said, and enhanced the estimation in which Proclus was held. Moreover the providence of God rewarded the meekness of the emperor in various other ways, one of which was the following.

Marriage of the Emperor Valentinian with Eudoxia the Daughter of Theodosius.

He had by the empress Eudocia, his wife, a daughter named Eudoxia. Her his cousin Valentinian, appointed by him emperor of the West, demanded for himself in marriage. When the emperor Theodosius had given his assent to this proposal, and they had consulted with each other as to the place on the frontiers of both empires, where it would be desirable that the marriage should be celebrated, it was decided that both parties should go to Thessalonica (which is about half-way) for this purpose. But Valentinian sent a message to the effect that he would not give him the trouble of coming, for that he himself would go to Constantinople. Accordingly, having secured the Western parts with a sufficient guard, he proceeded thither on account of his nuptials, which were celebrated in the consulate of Isidore and Sinator; after which he returned with his wife into the West. This auspicious event took place at that time.

The Body of John Chrysostom transferred to Constantinople, and placed in the Church of the Apostles by the Emperor at the Instigation of Proclus.

Not long after this, Proclus the bishop brought back to the Church those who had separated themselves from it on account of Bishop John’s deposition, he having soothed the irritation by a prudent expedient. What this was we must now recount. Having obtained the emperor’s permission, he removed the body of John from Comana, where it was buried, to Constantinople, in the thirty-fifth year after his deposition. And when he had carried it in solemn procession through the city, he deposited it with much honor in the church termed The Apostles. By this means the admirers of that prelate were conciliated, and again associated in communion with the [catholic] Church. This happened on the 27th of January, in the sixteenth consulate of the Emperor Theodosius. But it astonishes me that envy, which has been vented against Origen since his death, has spared John. For the former was excommunicated by Theophilus about two hundred years after his decease; while the latter was restored to communion by Proclus in the thirty-fifth year after his death! So different was Proclus from Theophilus. And men of observation and intelligence cannot be deceived in reference to how these things were done and are continually being done.

Death of Paul Bishop of the Novatians, and Election of Marcian as his Successor.

A little while after the removal of John’s body, Paul bishop of the Novatians died, on the 21st of July, under the same consulate: who at his own funeral united, in a certain sense, all the different sects into one church. For all parties attended his body to the tomb, chanting psalms together, inasmuch as even during his lifetime by his rectitude he was in universal esteem by all. But as Paul just before his death performed a memorable act, I deem it advantageous to insert it in this history as it may be interesting to the readers of this work to be acquainted with it. And lest the brilliancy of that important deed should be obscured by dwelling on circumstantial details of minor consequence, I shall not stay to expatiate on the strictness with which he maintained his ascetic discipline as to diet even throughout his illness, without the least departure from the course he had prescribed for himself, or the omission of any of the ordinary exercises of devotion with his accustomed fervor. But what was this deed? Conscious that his departure was at hand, he sent for all the presbyters of the churches under his care, and thus addressed them: Give your attention while I am alive to the election of a bishop to preside over you, lest the peace of your churches should hereafter be disturbed. They having answered that this affair had better not be left to them: For inasmuch, said they, as some of us have one judgment about the matter, and some another, we would by no means nominate the same individual. We wish therefore that you would yourself designate the person you would desire to succeed you. Give me then, said Paul, this declaration of yours in writing, that you will elect him whom I should appoint. When they had written this pledge, and ratified it by their signatures, Paul, rising in his bed and sitting up, wrote the name of Marcian in the paper, without informing any of those present what he had inserted. This person had been promoted to the rank of presbyter, and instructed in the ascetic discipline by him, but was then gone abroad. Having folded this document and put his own seal on it, he caused the principal presbyters to seal it also; after which he delivered it into the hands of Marcus a bishop of the Novatians in Scythia, who was at that time staying at Constantinople, to whom he thus spake, If it shall please God that I should continue much longer in this life, restore me this deposit, now entrusted to your safe keeping. But should it seem fit to him to remove me, you will herein discover whom I have chosen as my successor in the bishopric. Soon after this he died; and on the third day after his death, the paper having been unfolded in the presence of a great number of persons, Marcian’s name was found within it, when they all cried out that he was worthy of the honor. Messengers were therefore sent off without delay to bring him to Constantinople. These, by a pious fraud, finding him residing at Tiberiopolis in Phrygia, brought him back with them; whereupon he was ordained and placed in the episcopal chair on the 21st of the same month.

The Empress Eudocia goes to Jerusalem; sent there by the Emperor Theodosius.

Moreover the Emperor Theodosius offered up thanksgivings to God for the blessings which had been conferred upon him; at the same time reverencing Christ with the most special honors. He also sent his wife Eudocia to Jerusalem, she having bound herself by a vow to go thither, should she live to see the marriage of her daughter. The empress therefore, on her visit to the sacred city, adorned its churches with the most costly gifts; and both then, and after her return, decorated all the churches in the other cities of the East with a variety of ornaments.

Thalassius is ordained Bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia.

About this same time, under the seventeenth consulate of Theodosius, Proclus the bishop undertook the performance of an act, such as no one among the ancients had done. Firmus bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia being dead, the inhabitants of that place came to Constantinople to consult Proclus about the appointment of a bishop. While Proclus was considering whom he should prefer to that see, it so happened that all the senators came to the church to visit him on the sabbath day; among whom was Thalassius also, a man who had administered the government of the nations and cities of Illyricum. And as it was reported that the emperor was about to entrust the government of the Eastern parts to him, Proclus laid his hands on him, and ordained him bishop of Cæsarea, instead of Prætorian Prefect.

In such a flourishing condition were the affairs of the Church at this time. But we shall here close our history, praying that the churches everywhere, with the cities and nations, may live in peace; for as long as peace continues, those who desire to write histories will find no materials for their purpose. And we ourselves, O holy man of God, Theodore, should have been unable to accomplish in seven books the task we undertook at your request, had the lovers of seditions chosen to be quiet.

This last book contains an account of the transactions of thirty-two years: and the whole history which is comprised in seven books, comprehends a period of 140 years. It commences from the first year of the 271st Olympiad, in which Constantine was proclaimed emperor; and ends at the second year of the 305th Olympiad, in which the Emperor Theodosius bore his seventeenth consulate.