« PreviousContinue »
of the same stamp against Gregory, as having repeatedly disturbed the peace of the city. On the latter charge he declared his readiness to make his defence: with respect to the others, he appealed to the emperor and a synod. Accordingly, he repaired to the imperial city, to make answer to these charges, accompanied by myself as his adviser, and is victorious after a prolonged struggle during an investigation of the matter before the patriarchs from every quarter, who appeared either in person or by deputy, as well as the sacred senate, and many most religious metropolitans: and the result was that the accuser, after having been scourged and paraded round the city, was sent into exile. Gregory thence returns to his see, at the time when the troops were in a state of mutiny, and Philippicus was remaining in the neighbourhood of Bercea and Chalcis.
CHAP. VIII.-RECURRENCE OF EARTHQUAKES AT ANTIOCH.
Ar an interval of four months from the return of Gregory, in the six hundred and thirty-seventh year of the era of Theopolis, sixty-one years after the former earthquake,” a crash and concussion shook the entire city, about the third hour of the night, on the last day of the month Hyperberetæus, at the time when I was celebrating my marriage with a young maiden, and the whole city was making rejoicings and holding a festival at the public cost, in honour of the nuptial ceremony. This convulsion levelled by far the greater part of the buildings, their very foundations being cast up by it, and all the portions of the most holy church were thrown to the ground, with the exception of the hemisphere, which, after its injury by the earthquake in the time of Justin, had been secured by
1 What is now-a-days usually done amongst us in criminal suits and prosecutions, that counsel should be assigned to the party accused, was in early use in ecclesiastical courts of judicature also, as Evagrius here informs us. It is to be observed that Gregory, bishop of Antioch, when accused of incest by a laic before a secular judge, appealed to the emperor and a synod. And also that Evagrius says, that Gregory's cause was tried before the patriarchs and metropolitans, and before the senators. So in the Chalcedon synod, after the bishops and secular judges were met together, the cause of Dioscorus, bishop of Alexandria, was discussed and determined.
? This fixes the date to A. D. 589. See above, b. iv. ch. 6.
Ephraemius with timbers from Daphne. By the subsequent shocks, it received an inclination in a northerly direction ; so that the timbers were thrown by it into a leaning position, and fell, when the hemisphere had returned, by the force of the shock, exactly into its original situation, as if it had been adjusted by a rule. Nearly the entire quarter named Ostracine was ruined, and Psephium, of which I have made previ. ous mention, as well as all the parts called Brysia, and the buildings of the venerable sanctuary of the Mother of God, with the sole exception of the central colonnade, which was singularly preserved. All the towers of the plain were also damaged, though the other buildings in that quarter escaped, with the exception of the battlements, of which some stones were thrown backwards, though they did not fall. Other churches also suffered injury, and one of the public baths, namely, that which had separate divisions according to the seasons. An incalculable number of persons were involved in the destruction, and, according to an estimate which some persons drew from the supply of bread,' about sixty thousand perished. The bishop experienced a most unexpected preservation in the midst of the fall of the entire habitation where he then was, and the destruction of every
individual except those who were near his person. These took up the bishop in their arms, and lowered him by a cord, after a second shock had rent an opening, and thus they removed him beyond the reach of danger. Another preservation was also grar to the city, our compassionate God having mitigated the keenness of His threatened vengeance, and corrected our sin with the branch of pity and mercy: for no conflagration followed, though so many fires were spread about the place, in hearths, public and private lamps, kitchens, furnaces, baths, and innumerable other forms. Very many persons of distinction, and among them Asterius himself, became the victims of the calamity. The emperor endeavoured to alleviate this visitation by grants of money.
| Valesius explains this passage as follows: As at Rome, Constantinople, and Alexandria, so also at Antioch, the Annona was distributed to the citizens out of the public stock. From this bread therefore, which they were wont to distribute daily, it was easy to collect the number of the dead.
CHAP. IX.-INROAD AND DESTRUCTION OF THE BARBARIANS.
In the army, matters continued in the same state ; and, in consequence, the barbarians made an inroad, in the expectation that there would be no one to check them in the exercise of barbarian practices. Germanus, however, encounters them with his forces, and inflicted a defeat so destructive, that not a man was left to convey to the Persians tidings of the misfortune.
CHAP. X.-CLEMENCY OF THE EMPEROR TOWARDS THE REBELS.
INVASION OF THE AVARS.
ACCORDINGLY, the emperor remunerates the troops with largesses of money; and, withdrawing Germanus and others, brings them to trial. They were all condemned to death : but the emperor would not permit any infliction whatever; on the contrary, he bestowed rewards on them.
During the course of these transactions, the Avars twice made an inroad as far as the Long Wall, and captured Anchialus, Singidunum, and many towns and fortresses throughout the whole of Greece, enslaving the inhabitants, and laying everything waste with fire and sword ; in consequence of the greater part of the forces being engaged in the East. Accordingly, the emperor sends Andrew, the first of the imperial guards, on an attempt to induce the troops to receive their former officers.
CHAP. XI.-Mission OF THE PATRIARCH GREGORY TO THE
SINCE, however, the troops would not endure the bare mention of the proposal, the business is transferred to Gregory, not only as being a person competent to the execution of the most important measures, but because he had earned the highest regard from the soldiery; since some of them had received presents from him in money, others in clothing, provisions, and other things, when they were passing his neighbourhood at the time of their enlistment. Accordingly, he assembles, by summons despatched to every quarter, the principal persons of the army at Litarba, a place distant from Theopolis about three hundred stadia ; and, though confined to his couch, addressed them in person, in the following words.
CHAP. XII.-ORATION OF GREGORY TO THE TROOPS. “I HAVE been expecting, O Romans—Romans both in name and deeds—that your visit to me would have been made long ago, for the purpose of communicating to me your present circumstances, and of receiving that friendly counsel of which you have an assurance in my kindliness towards you, so unequivocally evinced by past occurrences, at the time when I relieved, by a supply of necessaries, your tempeststruck and wave-tost plight. Since, however, this course has not hitherto been taken—it may be that Providence has not permitted it, in order that the Persians, having been utterly defeated by men without a leader, might be thereby thoroughly taught the prowess of the Romans, and that your pure loyalty might be completely proved, in having been tested by the juncture and testified by your deeds ; for you showed that, notwithstanding your quarrel with your officers, you do not regard anything as more important than the good of the commonwealth_let us accordingly now deliberate what ought to be your conduct. Your sovereign invites you
with a promise of an amnesty of all past transactions, receiving the display of your loyalty to the commonwealth and your prowess in the field as emblems of supplication. While bestowing upon you these most certain pledges of pardon the emperor thus speaks : 'Since God has given victory to their loyalty, and, on the abandonment of their errors, a signal display has been granted to their prowess as a clear intimation of forgiveness, how can I do otherwise than follow the judgment of Heaven ? A king's heart is in the hand of God, and He sways it whithersoever He will.'? Yield, therefore, to me at once, O Romans. Let us not wilfully forfeit the present opportunity, nor allow it to elude our grasp: for opportunity, when it has once slipped from us, is most unwilling to be seized, and, as if it were indignant at having been neglect
1 Evagrius has here made use of a metaphor, and compares the Roman camp to a ship, and the mutiny they had raised he compares to a tempest. The metaphor is strictly classical.
2 See Prov. xxi. 1.
ed, is ever after intolerant of capture. Show yourselves the heirs of the obedience of your fathers, as ye are of their courage; in order that ye may appear altogether Romans, and no taunt may touch you or point at you as degenerate. Your fathers, under the command of consuls and emperors, by obedience and courage became masters of the whole world. Manlius Torquatus, though he crowned, yet also put to death his son, who had played a valiant part, but in disobedience of orders. For by skill on the part of the leaders, combined with obedience in those whom they lead, great successes are ordinarily achieved ; but either, when bereaved of the other, is lame and unsteady, and is utterly overthrown by the separation of the excellent pair. Be not therefore tardy, but at once obey my call, while the priestly office mediates between the
emperor and the army; and show that your proceedings were not the establishment of a rival sovereign, but a transient display of just indignation against commanders who had wronged you : for unless you immediately embrace the offer, I shall at once consider myself as quit of the service laid upon me in this matter by my duty to the commonwealth and my regard for you. Consider too, yourselves, what has been the fate of pretenders to the sovereignty. What, too, will be the termination of your present position ? To continue concentrated is impossible: for whence will you derive your provision of ordinary fruits, or those supplies which the sea furnishes to the land, except by war between Christians, and the mutual infliction of the most disgraceful treatment? What, too, will be the final result? You will live in dispersion, and haunted by Justice, who will henceforward disdain to bestow forgiveness. Let us therefore give pledges of amity, and consider what course will be for the benefit of ourselves and the state, at a time, too, when we shall have the days of the saving Passion and of the most holy Resurrection conspiring with the deed.”
CHAP. XIII.-SUBMISSION OF THE TROOPS. HAVING thus addressed them, accompanying his speech with many tears, he wrought an instantaneous change in the minds of all, as it had been by some divine impulse. They immediately requested permission to retire from the meeting,
" See the story as given by Livy, b. viii. ch. 5—12.