The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. II
Edward Gibbon

Part 11 out of 16

devotion. The temperance which adorned the severe manners of the
soldier and the philosopher was connected with some strict and
frivolous rules of religious abstinence; and it was in honor of
Pan or Mercury, of Hecate or Isis, that Julian, on particular
days, denied himself the use of some particular food, which might
have been offensive to his tutelar deities. By these voluntary
fasts, he prepared his senses and his understanding for the
frequent and familiar visits with which he was honored by the
celestial powers. Notwithstanding the modest silence of Julian
himself, we may learn from his faithful friend, the orator
Libanius, that he lived in a perpetual intercourse with the gods
and goddesses; that they descended upon earth to enjoy the
conversation of their favorite hero; that they gently interrupted
his slumbers by touching his hand or his hair; that they warned
him of every impending danger, and conducted him, by their
infallible wisdom, in every action of his life; and that he had
acquired such an intimate knowledge of his heavenly guests, as
readily to distinguish the voice of Jupiter from that of Minerva,
and the form of Apollo from the figure of Hercules. ^26 These
sleeping or waking visions, the ordinary effects of abstinence
and fanaticism, would almost degrade the emperor to the level of
an Egyptian monk. But the useless lives of Antony or Pachomius
were consumed in these vain occupations. Julian could break from
the dream of superstition to arm himself for battle; and after
vanquishing in the field the enemies of Rome, he calmly retired
into his tent, to dictate the wise and salutary laws of an
empire, or to indulge his genius in the elegant pursuits of
literature and philosophy.

[Footnote 23: The dexterous management of these sophists, who
played their credulous pupil into each other's hands, is fairly
told by Eunapius (p. 69- 79) with unsuspecting simplicity. The
Abbe de la Bleterie understands, and neatly describes, the whole
comedy, (Vie de Julian, p. 61-67.)]
[Footnote 24: When Julian, in a momentary panic, made the sign of
the cross the daemons instantly disappeared, (Greg. Naz. Orat.
iii. p. 71.) Gregory supposes that they were frightened, but the
priests declared that they were indignant. The reader, according
to the measure of his faith, will determine this profound

[Footnote 25: A dark and distant view of the terrors and joys of
initiation is shown by Dion Chrysostom, Themistius, Proclus, and
Stobaeus. The learned author of the Divine Legation has
exhibited their words, (vol. i. p. 239, 247, 248, 280, edit.
1765,) which he dexterously or forcibly applies to his own

[Footnote 26: Julian's modesty confined him to obscure and
occasional hints: but Libanius expiates with pleasure on the
facts and visions of the religious hero. (Legat. ad Julian. p.
157, and Orat. Parental. c. lxxxiii. p. 309, 310.)]

The important secret of the apostasy of Julian was intrusted
to the fidelity of the initiated, with whom he was united by the
sacred ties of friendship and religion. ^27 The pleasing rumor
was cautiously circulated among the adherents of the ancient
worship; and his future greatness became the object of the hopes,
the prayers, and the predictions of the Pagans, in every province
of the empire. From the zeal and virtues of their royal
proselyte, they fondly expected the cure of every evil, and the
restoration of every blessing; and instead of disapproving of the
ardor of their pious wishes, Julian ingenuously confessed, that
he was ambitious to attain a situation in which he might be
useful to his country and to his religion. But this religion was
viewed with a hostile eye by the successor of Constantine, whose
capricious passions altercately saved and threatened the life of
Julian. The arts of magic and divination were strictly prohibited
under a despotic government, which condescended to fear them; and
if the Pagans were reluctantly indulged in the exercise of their
superstition, the rank of Julian would have excepted him from the
general toleration. The apostate soon became the presumptive
heir of the monarchy, and his death could alone have appeased the
just apprehensions of the Christians. ^28 But the young prince,
who aspired to the glory of a hero rather than of a martyr,
consulted his safety by dissembling his religion; and the easy
temper of polytheism permitted him to join in the public worship
of a sect which he inwardly despised. Libanius has considered
the hypocrisy of his friend as a subject, not of censure, but of
praise. "As the statues of the gods," says that orator, "which
have been defiled with filth, are again placed in a magnificent
temple, so the beauty of truth was seated in the mind of Julian,
after it had been purified from the errors and follies of his
education. His sentiments were changed; but as it would have
been dangerous to have avowed his sentiments, his conduct still
continued the same. Very different from the ass in Aesop, who
disguised himself with a lion's hide, our lion was obliged to
conceal himself under the skin of an ass; and, while he embraced
the dictates of reason, to obey the laws of prudence and
necessity." ^29 The dissimulation of Julian lasted about ten
years, from his secret initiation at Ephesus to the beginning of
the civil war; when he declared himself at once the implacable
enemy of Christ and of Constantius. This state of constraint
might contribute to strengthen his devotion; and as soon as he
had satisfied the obligation of assisting, on solemn festivals,
at the assemblies of the Christians, Julian returned, with the
impatience of a lover, to burn his free and voluntary incense on
the domestic chapels of Jupiter and Mercury. But as every act of
dissimulation must be painful to an ingenuous spirit, the
profession of Christianity increased the aversion of Julian for a
religion which oppressed the freedom of his mind, and compelled
him to hold a conduct repugnant to the noblest attributes of
human nature, sincerity and courage.

[Footnote 27: Libanius, Orat. Parent. c. x. p. 233, 234. Gallus
had some reason to suspect the secret apostasy of his brother;
and in a letter, which may be received as genuine, he exhorts
Julian to adhere to the religion of their ancestors; an argument
which, as it should seem, was not yet perfectly ripe. See
Julian, Op. p. 454, and Hist. de Jovien tom ii. p. 141.]
[Footnote 28: Gregory, (iii. p. 50,) with inhuman zeal, censures
Constantius for paring the infant apostate. His French
translator (p. 265) cautiously observes, that such expressions
must not be prises a la lettre.]
[Footnote 29: Libanius, Orat. Parental. c ix. p. 233.]

Chapter XXIII: Reign Of Julian.

Part II.

The inclination of Julian might prefer the gods of Homer,
and of the Scipios, to the new faith, which his uncle had
established in the Roman empire; and in which he himself had been
sanctified by the sacrament of baptism. But, as a philosopher,
it was incumbent on him to justify his dissent from Christianity,
which was supported by the number of its converts, by the chain
of prophecy, the splendor of or miracles, and the weight of
evidence. The elaborate work, ^30 which he composed amidst the
preparations of the Persian war, contained the substance of those
arguments which he had long revolved in his mind. Some fragments
have been transcribed and preserved, by his adversary, the
vehement Cyril of Alexandria; ^31 and they exhibit a very
singular mixture of wit and learning, of sophistry and
fanaticism. The elegance of the style and the rank of the
author, recommended his writings to the public attention; ^32 and
in the impious list of the enemies of Christianity, the
celebrated name of Porphyry was effaced by the superior merit or
reputation of Julian. The minds of the faithful were either
seduced, or scandalized, or alarmed; and the pagans, who
sometimes presumed to engage in the unequal dispute, derived,
from the popular work of their Imperial missionary, an
inexhaustible supply of fallacious objections. But in the
assiduous prosecution of these theological studies, the emperor
of the Romans imbibed the illiberal prejudices and passions of a
polemic divine. He contracted an irrevocable obligation to
maintain and propagate his religious opinions; and whilst he
secretly applauded the strength and dexterity with which he
wielded the weapons of controversy, he was tempted to distrust
the sincerity, or to despise the understandings, of his
antagonists, who could obstinately resist the force of reason and

[Footnote 30: Fabricius (Biblioth. Graec. l. v. c. viii, p.
88-90) and Lardner (Heathen Testimonies, vol. iv. p. 44-47) have
accurately compiled all that can now be discovered of Julian's
work against the Christians.]
[Footnote 31: About seventy years after the death of Julian, he
executed a task which had been feebly attempted by Philip of
Side, a prolix and contemptible writer. Even the work of Cyril
has not entirely satisfied the most favorable judges; and the
Abbe de la Bleterie (Preface a l'Hist. de Jovien, p. 30, 32)
wishes that some theologien philosophe (a strange centaur) would
undertake the refutation of Julian.]

[Footnote 32: Libanius, (Orat. Parental. c. lxxxvii. p. 313,) who
has been suspected of assisting his friend, prefers this divine
vindication (Orat. ix in necem Julian. p. 255, edit. Morel.) to
the writings of Porphyry. His judgment may be arraigned,
(Socrates, l. iii. c. 23,) but Libanius cannot be accused of
flattery to a dead prince.]

The Christians, who beheld with horror and indignation the
apostasy of Julian, had much more to fear from his power than
from his arguments. The pagans, who were conscious of his
fervent zeal, expected, perhaps with impatience, that the flames
of persecution should be immediately kindled against the enemies
of the gods; and that the ingenious malice of Julian would invent
some cruel refinements of death and torture which had been
unknown to the rude and inexperienced fury of his predecessors.
But the hopes, as well as the fears, of the religious factions
were apparently disappointed, by the prudent humanity of a
prince, ^33 who was careful of his own fame, of the public peace,
and of the rights of mankind. Instructed by history and
reflection, Julian was persuaded, that if the diseases of the
body may sometimes be cured by salutary violence, neither steel
nor fire can eradicate the erroneous opinions of the mind. The
reluctant victim may be dragged to the foot of the altar; but the
heart still abhors and disclaims the sacrilegious act of the
hand. Religious obstinacy is hardened and exasperated by
oppression; and, as soon as the persecution subsides, those who
have yielded are restored as penitents, and those who have
resisted are honored as saints and martyrs. If Julian adopted
the unsuccessful cruelty of Diocletian and his colleagues, he was
sensible that he should stain his memory with the name of a
tyrant, and add new glories to the Catholic church, which had
derived strength and increase from the severity of the pagan
magistrates. Actuated by these motives, and apprehensive of
disturbing the repose of an unsettled reign, Julian surprised the
world by an edict, which was not unworthy of a statesman, or a
philosopher. He extended to all the inhabitants of the Roman
world the benefits of a free and equal toleration; and the only
hardship which he inflicted on the Christians, was to deprive
them of the power of tormenting their fellow-subjects, whom they
stigmatized with the odious titles of idolaters and heretics.
The pagans received a gracious permission, or rather an express
order, to open All their temples; ^34 and they were at once
delivered from the oppressive laws, and arbitrary vexations,
which they had sustained under the reign of Constantine, and of
his sons. At the same time the bishops and clergy, who had been
banished by the Arian monarch, were recalled from exile, and
restored to their respective churches; the Donatists, the
Novatians, the Macedonians, the Eunomians, and those who, with a
more prosperous fortune, adhered to the doctrine of the Council
of Nice. Julian, who understood and derided their theological
disputes, invited to the palace the leaders of the hostile sects,
that he might enjoy the agreeable spectacle of their furious
encounters. The clamor of controversy sometimes provoked the
emperor to exclaim, "Hear me! the Franks have heard me, and the
Alemanni;" but he soon discovered that he was now engaged with
more obstinate and implacable enemies; and though he exerted the
powers of oratory to persuade them to live in concord, or at
least in peace, he was perfectly satisfied, before he dismissed
them from his presence, that he had nothing to dread from the
union of the Christians. The impartial Ammianus has ascribed
this affected clemency to the desire of fomenting the intestine
divisions of the church, and the insidious design of undermining
the foundations of Christianity, was inseparably connected with
the zeal which Julian professed, to restore the ancient religion
of the empire. ^35

[Footnote 33: Libanius (Orat. Parent. c. lviii. p. 283, 284 has
eloquently explained the tolerating principles and conduct of his
Imperial friend. In a very remarkable epistle to the people of
Bostra, Julian himself (Epist. lii.) professes his moderation,
and betrays his zeal, which is acknowledged by Ammianus, and
exposed by Gregory (Orat. iii. p.72)]

[Footnote 34: In Greece the temples of Minerva were opened by his
express command, before the death of Constantius, (Liban. Orat.
Parent. c. 55, p. 280;) and Julian declares himself a Pagan in
his public manifesto to the Athenians. This unquestionable
evidence may correct the hasty assertion of Ammianus, who seems
to suppose Constantinople to be the place where he discovered his
attachment to the gods]

[Footnote 35: Ammianus, xxii. 5. Sozomen, l. v. c. 5. Bestia
moritur, tranquillitas redit .... omnes episcopi qui de propriis
sedibus fuerant exterminati per indulgentiam novi principis ad
acclesias redeunt. Jerom. adversus Luciferianos, tom. ii. p.
143. Optatus accuses the Donatists for owing their safety to an
apostate, (l. ii. c. 16, p. 36, 37, edit. Dupin.)]
As soon as he ascended the throne, he assumed, according to
the custom of his predecessors, the character of supreme pontiff;
not only as the most honorable title of Imperial greatness, but
as a sacred and important office; the duties of which he was
resolved to execute with pious diligence. As the business of the
state prevented the emperor from joining every day in the public
devotion of his subjects, he dedicated a domestic chapel to his
tutelar deity the Sun; his gardens were filled with statues and
altars of the gods; and each apartment of the palace displaced
the appearance of a magnificent temple. Every morning he saluted
the parent of light with a sacrifice; the blood of another victim
was shed at the moment when the Sun sunk below the horizon; and
the Moon, the Stars, and the Genii of the night received their
respective and seasonable honors from the indefatigable devotion
of Julian. On solemn festivals, he regularly visited the temple
of the god or goddess to whom the day was peculiarly consecrated,
and endeavored to excite the religion of the magistrates and
people by the example of his own zeal. Instead of maintaining
the lofty state of a monarch, distinguished by the splendor of
his purple, and encompassed by the golden shields of his guards,
Julian solicited, with respectful eagerness, the meanest offices
which contributed to the worship of the gods. Amidst the sacred
but licentious crowd of priests, of inferior ministers, and of
female dancers, who were dedicated to the service of the temple,
it was the business of the emperor to bring the wood, to blow the
fire, to handle the knife, to slaughter the victim, and,
thrusting his bloody hands into the bowels of the expiring
animal, to draw forth the heart or liver, and to read, with the
consummate skill of an haruspex, imaginary signs of future
events. The wisest of the Pagans censured this extravagant
superstition, which affected to despise the restraints of
prudence and decency. Under the reign of a prince, who practised
the rigid maxims of economy, the expense of religious worship
consumed a very large portion of the revenue a constant supply of
the scarcest and most beautiful birds was transported from
distant climates, to bleed on the altars of the gods; a hundred
oxen were frequently sacrificed by Julian on one and the same
day; and it soon became a popular jest, that if he should return
with conquest from the Persian war, the breed of horned cattle
must infallibly be extinguished. Yet this expense may appear
inconsiderable, when it is compared with the splendid presents
which were offered either by the hand, or by order, of the
emperor, to all the celebrated places of devotion in the Roman
world; and with the sums allotted to repair and decorate the
ancient temples, which had suffered the silent decay of time, or
the recent injuries of Christian rapine. Encouraged by the
example, the exhortations, the liberality, of their pious
sovereign, the cities and families resumed the practice of their
neglected ceremonies. "Every part of the world," exclaims
Libanius, with devout transport, "displayed the triumph of
religion; and the grateful prospect of flaming altars, bleeding
victims, the smoke of incense, and a solemn train of priests and
prophets, without fear and without danger. The sound of prayer
and of music was heard on the tops of the highest mountains; and
the same ox afforded a sacrifice for the gods, and a supper for
their joyous votaries." ^36
[Footnote 36: The restoration of the Pagan worship is described
by Julian, (Misopogon, p. 346,) Libanius, (Orat. Parent. c. 60,
p. 286, 287, and Orat. Consular. ad Julian. p. 245, 246, edit.
Morel.,) Ammianus, (xxii. 12,) and Gregory Nazianzen, (Orat. iv.
p. 121.) These writers agree in the essential, and even minute,
facts; but the different lights in which they view the extreme
devotion of Julian, are expressive of the gradations of
self-applause, passionate admiration, mild reproof, and partial
But the genius and power of Julian were unequal to the
enterprise of restoring a religion which was destitute of
theological principles, of moral precepts, and of ecclesiastical
discipline; which rapidly hastened to decay and dissolution, and
was not susceptible of any solid or consistent reformation. The
jurisdiction of the supreme pontiff, more especially after that
office had been united with the Imperial dignity, comprehended
the whole extent of the Roman empire. Julian named for his
vicars, in the several provinces, the priests and philosophers
whom he esteemed the best qualified to cooperate in the execution
of his great design; and his pastoral letters, ^37 if we may use
that name, still represent a very curious sketch of his wishes
and intentions. He directs, that in every city the sacerdotal
order should be composed, without any distinction of birth and
fortune, of those persons who were the most conspicuous for the
love of the gods, and of men. "If they are guilty," continues
he, "of any scandalous offence, they should be censured or
degraded by the superior pontiff; but as long as they retain
their rank, they are entitled to the respect of the magistrates
and people. Their humility may be shown in the plainness of
their domestic garb; their dignity, in the pomp of holy
vestments. When they are summoned in their turn to officiate
before the altar, they ought not, during the appointed number of
days, to depart from the precincts of the temple; nor should a
single day be suffered to elapse, without the prayers and the
sacrifice, which they are obliged to offer for the prosperity of
the state, and of individuals. The exercise of their sacred
functions requires an immaculate purity, both of mind and body;
and even when they are dismissed from the temple to the
occupations of common life, it is incumbent on them to excel in
decency and virtue the rest of their fellow-citizens. The priest
of the gods should never be seen in theatres or taverns. His
conversation should be chaste, his diet temperate, his friends of
honorable reputation; and if he sometimes visits the Forum or the
Palace, he should appear only as the advocate of those who have
vainly solicited either justice or mercy. His studies should be
suited to the sanctity of his profession. Licentious tales, or
comedies, or satires, must be banished from his library, which
ought solely to consist of historical or philosophical writings;
of history, which is founded in truth, and of philosophy, which
is connected with religion. The impious opinions of the
Epicureans and sceptics deserve his abhorrence and contempt; ^38
but he should diligently study the systems of Pythagoras, of
Plato, and of the Stoics, which unanimously teach that there are
gods; that the world is governed by their providence; that their
goodness is the source of every temporal blessing; and that they
have prepared for the human soul a future state of reward or
punishment." The Imperial pontiff inculcates, in the most
persuasive language, the duties of benevolence and hospitality;
exhorts his inferior clergy to recommend the universal practice
of those virtues; promises to assist their indigence from the
public treasury; and declares his resolution of establishing
hospitals in every city, where the poor should be received
without any invidious distinction of country or of religion.
Julian beheld with envy the wise and humane regulations of the
church; and he very frankly confesses his intention to deprive
the Christians of the applause, as well as advantage, which they
had acquired by the exclusive practice of charity and
beneficence. ^39 The same spirit of imitation might dispose the
emperor to adopt several ecclesiastical institutions, the use and
importance of which were approved by the success of his enemies.
But if these imaginary plans of reformation had been realized,
the forced and imperfect copy would have been less beneficial to
Paganism, than honorable to Christianity. ^40 The Gentiles, who
peaceably followed the customs of their ancestors, were rather
surprised than pleased with the introduction of foreign manners;
and in the short period of his reign, Julian had frequent
occasions to complain of the want of fervor of his own party. ^41

[Footnote 37: See Julian. Epistol. xlix. lxii. lxiii., and a long
and curious fragment, without beginning or end, (p. 288-305.) The
supreme pontiff derides the Mosaic history and the Christian
discipline, prefers the Greek poets to the Hebrew prophets, and
palliates, with the skill of a Jesuit the relative worship of

[Footnote 38: The exultation of Julian (p. 301) that these
impious sects and even their writings, are extinguished, may be
consistent enough with the sacerdotal character; but it is
unworthy of a philosopher to wish that any opinions and arguments
the most repugnant to his own should be concealed from the
knowledge of mankind.]

[Footnote 39: Yet he insinuates, that the Christians, under the
pretence of charity, inveigled children from their religion and
parents, conveyed them on shipboard, and devoted those victims to
a life of poverty or pervitude in a remote country, (p. 305.) Had
the charge been proved it was his duty, not to complain, but to

[Footnote 40: Gregory Nazianzen is facetious, ingenious, and
argumentative, (Orat. iii. p. 101, 102, &c.) He ridicules the
folly of such vain imitation; and amuses himself with inquiring,
what lessons, moral or theological, could be extracted from the
Grecian fables.]

[Footnote 41: He accuses one of his pontiffs of a secret
confederacy with the Christian bishops and presbyters, (Epist.
lxii.) &c. Epist. lxiii.]
The enthusiasm of Julian prompted him to embrace the friends
of Jupiter as his personal friends and brethren; and though he
partially overlooked the merit of Christian constancy, he admired
and rewarded the noble perseverance of those Gentiles who had
preferred the favor of the gods to that of the emperor. ^42 If
they cultivated the literature, as well as the religion, of the
Greeks, they acquired an additional claim to the friendship of
Julian, who ranked the Muses in the number of his tutelar
deities. In the religion which he had adopted, piety and
learning were almost synonymous; ^43 and a crowd of poets, of
rhetoricians, and of philosophers, hastened to the Imperial
court, to occupy the vacant places of the bishops, who had
seduced the credulity of Constantius. His successor esteemed the
ties of common initiation as far more sacred than those of
consanguinity; he chose his favorites among the sages, who were
deeply skilled in the occult sciences of magic and divination;
and every impostor, who pretended to reveal the secrets of
futurity, was assured of enjoying the present hour in honor and
affluence. ^44 Among the philosophers, Maximus obtained the most
eminent rank in the friendship of his royal disciple, who
communicated, with unreserved confidence, his actions, his
sentiments, and his religious designs, during the anxious
suspense of the civil war. ^45 As soon as Julian had taken
possession of the palace of Constantinople, he despatched an
honorable and pressing invitation to Maximus, who then resided at
Sardes in Lydia, with Chrysanthius, the associate of his art and
studies. The prudent and superstitious Chrysanthius refused to
undertake a journey which showed itself, according to the rules
of divination, with the most threatening and malignant aspect:
but his companion, whose fanaticism was of a bolder cast,
persisted in his interrogations, till he had extorted from the
gods a seeming consent to his own wishes, and those of the
emperor. The journey of Maximus through the cities of Asia
displayed the triumph of philosophic vanity; and the magistrates
vied with each other in the honorable reception which they
prepared for the friend of their sovereign. Julian was
pronouncing an oration before the senate, when he was informed of
the arrival of Maximus. The emperor immediately interrupted his
discourse, advanced to meet him, and after a tender embrace,
conducted him by the hand into the midst of the assembly; where
he publicly acknowledged the benefits which he had derived from
the instructions of the philosopher. Maximus, ^46 who soon
acquired the confidence, and influenced the councils of Julian,
was insensibly corrupted by the temptations of a court. His
dress became more splendid, his demeanor more lofty, and he was
exposed, under a succeeding reign, to a disgraceful inquiry into
the means by which the disciple of Plato had accumulated, in the
short duration of his favor, a very scandalous proportion of
wealth. Of the other philosophers and sophists, who were invited
to the Imperial residence by the choice of Julian, or by the
success of Maximus, few were able to preserve their innocence or
their reputation. The liberal gifts of money, lands, and houses,
were insufficient to satiate their rapacious avarice; and the
indignation of the people was justly excited by the remembrance
of their abject poverty and disinterested professions. The
penetration of Julian could not always be deceived: but he was
unwilling to despise the characters of those men whose talents
deserved his esteem: he desired to escape the double reproach of
imprudence and inconstancy; and he was apprehensive of degrading,
in the eyes of the profane, the honor of letters and of religion.

[Footnote 42: He praises the fidelity of Callixene, priestess of
Ceres, who had been twice as constant as Penelope, and rewards
her with the priesthood of the Phrygian goddess at Pessinus,
(Julian. Epist. xxi.) He applauds the firmness of Sopater of
Hierapolis, who had been repeatedly pressed by Constantius and
Gallus to apostatize, (Epist. xxvii p. 401.)]
[Footnote 43: Orat. Parent. c. 77, p. 202. The same sentiment is
frequently inculcated by Julian, Libanius, and the rest of their
[Footnote 44: The curiosity and credulity of the emperor, who
tried every mode of divination, are fairly exposed by Ammianus,
xxii. 12.]

[Footnote 45: Julian. Epist. xxxviii. Three other epistles, (xv.
xvi. xxxix.,) in the same style of friendship and confidence, are
addressed to the philosopher Maximus.]

[Footnote 46: Eunapius (in Maximo, p. 77, 78, 79, and in
Chrysanthio, p. 147, 148) has minutely related these anecdotes,
which he conceives to be the most important events of the age.
Yet he fairly confesses the frailty of Maximus. His reception at
Constantinople is described by Libanius (Orat. Parent. c. 86, p.
301) and Ammianus, (xxii. 7.)

Note: Eunapius wrote a continuation of the History of
Dexippus. Some valuable fragments of this work have been
recovered by M. Mai, and reprinted in Niebuhr's edition of the
Byzantine Historians. - M.]

[Footnote 47: Chrysanthius, who had refused to quit Lydia, was
created high priest of the province. His cautious and temperate
use of power secured him after the revolution; and he lived in
peace, while Maximus, Priscus, &c., were persecuted by the
Christian ministers. See the adventures of those fanatic
sophists, collected by Brucker, tom ii. p. 281-293.]

[Footnote 48: Sec Libanius (Orat. Parent. c. 101, 102, p. 324,
325, 326) and Eunapius, (Vit. Sophist. in Proaeresio, p. 126.)
Some students, whose expectations perhaps were groundless, or
extravagant, retired in disgust, (Greg. Naz. Orat. iv. p. 120.)
It is strange that we should not be able to contradict the title
of one of Tillemont's chapters, (Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iv. p.
960,) "La Cour de Julien est pleine de philosphes et de gens

The favor of Julian was almost equally divided between the
Pagans, who had firmly adhered to the worship of their ancestors,
and the Christians, who prudently embraced the religion of their
sovereign. The acquisition of new proselytes ^49 gratified the
ruling passions of his soul, superstition and vanity; and he was
heard to declare, with the enthusiasm of a missionary, that if he
could render each individual richer than Midas, and every city
greater than Babylon, he should not esteem himself the benefactor
of mankind, unless, at the same time, he could reclaim his
subjects from their impious revolt against the immortal gods. ^50
A prince who had studied human nature, and who possessed the
treasures of the Roman empire, could adapt his arguments, his
promises, and his rewards, to every order of Christians; ^51 and
the merit of a seasonable conversion was allowed to supply the
defects of a candidate, or even to expiate the guilt of a
criminal. As the army is the most forcible engine of absolute
power, Julian applied himself, with peculiar diligence, to
corrupt the religion of his troops, without whose hearty
concurrence every measure must be dangerous and unsuccessful; and
the natural temper of soldiers made this conquest as easy as it
was important. The legions of Gaul devoted themselves to the
faith, as well as to the fortunes, of their victorious leader;
and even before the death of Constantius, he had the satisfaction
of announcing to his friends, that they assisted with fervent
devotion, and voracious appetite, at the sacrifices, which were
repeatedly offered in his camp, of whole hecatombs of fat oxen.
^52 The armies of the East, which had been trained under the
standard of the cross, and of Constantius, required a more artful
and expensive mode of persuasion. On the days of solemn and
public festivals, the emperor received the homage, and rewarded
the merit, of the troops. His throne of state was encircled with
the military ensigns of Rome and the republic; the holy name of
Christ was erased from the Labarum; and the symbols of war, of
majesty, and of pagan superstition, were so dexterously blended,
that the faithful subject incurred the guilt of idolatry, when he
respectfully saluted the person or image of his sovereign. The
soldiers passed successively in review; and each of them, before
he received from the hand of Julian a liberal donative,
proportioned to his rank and services, was required to cast a few
grains of incense into the flame which burnt upon the altar.
Some Christian confessors might resist, and others might repent;
but the far greater number, allured by the prospect of gold, and
awed by the presence of the emperor, contracted the criminal
engagement; and their future perseverance in the worship of the
gods was enforced by every consideration of duty and of interest.

By the frequent repetition of these arts, and at the expense of
sums which would have purchased the service of half the nations
of Scythia, Julian gradually acquired for his troops the
imaginary protection of the gods, and for himself the firm and
effectual support of the Roman legions. ^53 It is indeed more
than probable, that the restoration and encouragement of Paganism
revealed a multitude of pretended Christians, who, from motives
of temporal advantage, had acquiesced in the religion of the
former reign; and who afterwards returned, with the same
flexibility of conscience, to the faith which was professed by
the successors of Julian.

[Footnote 49: Under the reign of Lewis XIV. his subjects of every
rank aspired to the glorious title of Convertisseur, expressive
of their zea and success in making proselytes. The word and the
idea are growing obsolete in France may they never be introduced
into England.]

[Footnote 50: See the strong expressions of Libanius, which were
probably those of Julian himself, (Orat. Parent. c. 59, p. 285.)]

[Footnote 51: When Gregory Nazianzen (Orat. x. p. 167) is
desirous to magnify the Christian firmness of his brother
Caesarius, physician to the Imperial court, he owns that
Caesarius disputed with a formidable adversary. In his
invectives he scarcely allows any share of wit or courage to the
[Footnote 52: Julian, Epist. xxxviii. Ammianus, xxii. 12. Adeo
ut in dies paene singulos milites carnis distentiore sagina
victitantes incultius, potusque aviditate correpti, humeris
impositi transeuntium per plateas, ex publicis aedibus . . . . .
ad sua diversoria portarentur. The devout prince and the
indignant historian describe the same scene; and in Illyricum or
Antioch, similar causes must have produced similar effects.]
[Footnote 53: Gregory (Orat. iii. p. 74, 75, 83-86) and Libanius,
(Orat. Parent. c. lxxxi. lxxxii. p. 307, 308,). The sophist owns
and justifies the expense of these military conversions.]

While the devout monarch incessantly labored to restore and
propagate the religion of his ancestors, he embraced the
extraordinary design of rebuilding the temple of Jerusalem. In a
public epistle ^54 to the nation or community of the Jews,
dispersed through the provinces, he pities their misfortunes,
condemns their oppressors, praises their constancy, declares
himself their gracious protector, and expresses a pious hope,
that after his return from the Persian war, he may be permitted
to pay his grateful vows to the Almighty in his holy city of
Jerusalem. The blind superstition, and abject slavery, of those
unfortunate exiles, must excite the contempt of a philosophic
emperor; but they deserved the friendship of Julian, by their
implacable hatred of the Christian name. The barren synagogue
abhorred and envied the fecundity of the rebellious church; the
power of the Jews was not equal to their malice; but their
gravest rabbis approved the private murder of an apostate; ^55
and their seditious clamors had often awakened the indolence of
the Pagan magistrates. Under the reign of Constantine, the Jews
became the subjects of their revolted children nor was it long
before they experienced the bitterness of domestic tyranny. The
civil immunities which had been granted, or confirmed, by
Severus, were gradually repealed by the Christian princes; and a
rash tumult, excited by the Jews of Palestine, ^56 seemed to
justify the lucrative modes of oppression which were invented by
the bishops and eunuchs of the court of Constantius. The Jewish
patriarch, who was still permitted to exercise a precarious
jurisdiction, held his residence at Tiberias; ^57 and the
neighboring cities of Palestine were filled with the remains of a
people who fondly adhered to the promised land. But the edict of
Hadrian was renewed and enforced; and they viewed from afar the
walls of the holy city, which were profaned in their eyes by the
triumph of the cross and the devotion of the Christians. ^58

[Footnote 54: Julian's epistle (xxv.) is addressed to the
community of the Jews. Aldus (Venet. 1499) has branded it with
an; but this stigma is justly removed by the subsequent editors,
Petavius and Spanheim. This epistle is mentioned by Sozomen, (l.
v. c. 22,) and the purport of it is confirmed by Gregory, (Orat.
iv. p. 111.) and by Julian himself (Fragment. p. 295.)]
[Footnote 55: The Misnah denounced death against those who
abandoned the foundation. The judgment of zeal is explained by
Marsham (Canon. Chron. p. 161, 162, edit. fol. London, 1672) and
Basnage, (Hist. des Juifs, tom. viii. p. 120.) Constantine made a
law to protect Christian converts from Judaism. Cod. Theod. l.
xvi. tit. viii. leg. 1. Godefroy, tom. vi. p. 215.]
[Footnote 56: Et interea (during the civil war of Magnentius)
Judaeorum seditio, qui Patricium, nefarie in regni speciem
sustulerunt, oppressa. Aurelius Victor, in Constantio, c. xlii.
See Tillemont, Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 379, in 4to.]

[Footnote 57: The city and synagogue of Tiberias are curiously
described by Reland. Palestin. tom. ii. p. 1036-1042.]

[Footnote 58: Basnage has fully illustrated the state of the Jews
under Constantine and his successors, (tom. viii. c. iv. p.

Chapter XXIII: Reign Of Julian.

Part III.

In the midst of a rocky and barren country, the walls of
Jerusalem ^59 enclosed the two mountains of Sion and Acra, within
an oval figure of about three English miles. ^60 Towards the
south, the upper town, and the fortress of David, were erected on
the lofty ascent of Mount Sion: on the north side, the buildings
of the lower town covered the spacious summit of Mount Acra; and
a part of the hill, distinguished by the name of Moriah, and
levelled by human industry, was crowned with the stately temple
of the Jewish nation. After the final destruction of the temple
by the arms of Titus and Hadrian, a ploughshare was drawn over
the consecrated ground, as a sign of perpetual interdiction.
Sion was deserted; and the vacant space of the lower city was
filled with the public and private edifices of the Aelian colony,
which spread themselves over the adjacent hill of Calvary. The
holy places were polluted with mountains of idolatry; and, either
from design or accident, a chapel was dedicated to Venus, on the
spot which had been sanctified by the death and resurrection of
Christ. ^61 ^* Almost three hundred years after those stupendous
events, the profane chapel of Venus was demolished by the order
of Constantine; and the removal of the earth and stones revealed
the holy sepulchre to the eyes of mankind. A magnificent church
was erected on that mystic ground, by the first Christian
emperor; and the effects of his pious munificence were extended
to every spot which had been consecrated by the footstep of
patriarchs, of prophets, and of the Son of God. ^62
[Footnote 59: Reland (Palestin. l. i. p. 309, 390, l. iii. p.
838) describes, with learning and perspicuity, Jerusalem, and the
face of the adjacent country.]

[Footnote 60: I have consulted a rare and curious treatise of M.
D'Anville, (sur l'Ancienne Jerusalem, Paris, 1747, p. 75.) The
circumference of the ancient city (Euseb. Preparat. Evangel. l.
ix. c. 36) was 27 stadia, or 2550 toises. A plan, taken on the
spot, assigns no more than 1980 for the modern town. The circuit
is defined by natural landmarks, which cannot be mistaken or

[Footnote 61: See two curious passages in Jerom, (tom. i. p. 102,
tom. vi. p. 315,) and the ample details of Tillemont, (Hist, des
Empereurs, tom. i. p. 569. tom. ii. p. 289, 294, 4to edition.)]

[Footnote *: On the site of the Holy Sepulchre, compare the
chapter in Professor Robinson's Travels in Palestine, which has
renewed the old controversy with great vigor. To me, this temple
of Venus, said to have been erected by Hadrian to insult the
Christians, is not the least suspicious part of the whole legend.
- M. 1845.]

[Footnote 62: Eusebius in Vit. Constantin. l. iii. c. 25-47,
51-53. The emperor likewise built churches at Bethlem, the Mount
of Olives, and the oa of Mambre. The holy sepulchre is described
by Sandys, (Travels, p. 125-133,) and curiously delineated by Le
Bruyn, (Voyage au Levant, p. 28-296.)]
The passionate desire of contemplating the original
monuments of their redemption attracted to Jerusalem a successive
crowd of pilgrims, from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, and the
most distant countries of the East; ^63 and their piety was
authorized by the example of the empress Helena, who appears to
have united the credulity of age with the warm feelings of a
recent conversion. Sages and heroes, who have visited the
memorable scenes of ancient wisdom or glory, have confessed the
inspiration of the genius of the place; ^64 and the Christian who
knelt before the holy sepulchre, ascribed his lively faith, and
his fervent devotion, to the more immediate influence of the
Divine Spirit. The zeal, perhaps the avarice, of the clergy of
Jerusalem, cherished and multiplied these beneficial visits. They
fixed, by unquestionable tradition, the scene of each memorable
event. They exhibited the instruments which had been used in the
passion of Christ; the nails and the lance that had pierced his
hands, his feet, and his side; the crown of thorns that was
planted on his head; the pillar at which he was scourged; and,
above all, they showed the cross on which he suffered, and which
was dug out of the earth in the reign of those princes, who
inserted the symbol of Christianity in the banners of the Roman
legions. ^65 Such miracles as seemed necessary to account for its
extraordinary preservation, and seasonable discovery, were
gradually propagated without opposition. The custody of the true
cross, which on Easter Sunday was solemnly exposed to the people,
was intrusted to the bishop of Jerusalem; and he alone might
gratify the curious devotion of the pilgrims, by the gift of
small pieces, which they encased in gold or gems, and carried
away in triumph to their respective countries. But as this
gainful branch of commerce must soon have been annihilated, it
was found convenient to suppose, that the marvelous wood
possessed a secret power of vegetation; and that its substance,
though continually diminished, still remained entire and
unimpaired. ^66 It might perhaps have been expected, that the
influence of the place and the belief of a perpetual miracle,
should have produced some salutary effects on the morals, as well
as on the faith, of the people. Yet the most respectable of the
ecclesiastical writers have been obliged to confess, not only
that the streets of Jerusalem were filled with the incessant
tumult of business and pleasure, ^67 but that every species of
vice - adultery, theft, idolatry, poisoning, murder - was
familiar to the inhabitants of the holy city. ^68 The wealth and
preeminence of the church of Jerusalem excited the ambition of
Arian, as well as orthodox, candidates; and the virtues of Cyril,
who, since his death, has been honored with the title of Saint,
were displayed in the exercise, rather than in the acquisition,
of his episcopal dignity. ^69

[Footnote 63: The Itinerary from Bourdeaux to Jerusalem was
composed in the year 333, for the use of pilgrims; among whom
Jerom (tom. i. p. 126) mentions the Britons and the Indians. The
causes of this superstitious fashion are discussed in the learned
and judicious preface of Wesseling. (Itinarar. p. 537-545.)]

[Footnote *: Much curious information on this subject is
collected in the first chapter of Wilken, Geschichte der
Kreuzzuge. - M.]

[Footnote 64: Cicero (de Finibus, v. 1) has beautifully expressed
the common sense of mankind.]

[Footnote 65: Baronius (Annal. Eccles. A. D. 326, No. 42-50) and
Tillemont (Mem. Eccles. tom. xii. p. 8-16) are the historians and
champions of the miraculous invention of the cross, under the
reign of Constantine. Their oldest witnesses are Paulinus,
Sulpicius Severus, Rufinus, Ambrose, and perhaps Cyril of
Jerusalem. The silence of Eusebius, and the Bourdeaux pilgrim,
which satisfies those who think perplexes those who believe. See
Jortin's sensible remarks, vol. ii. p 238-248.]

[Footnote 66: This multiplication is asserted by Paulinus,
(Epist. xxxvi. See Dupin. Bibliot. Eccles. tom. iii. p. 149,) who
seems to have improved a rhetorical flourish of Cyril into a real
fact. The same supernatural privilege must have been
communicated to the Virgin's milk, (Erasmi Opera, tom. i. p. 778,
Lugd. Batav. 1703, in Colloq. de Peregrinat. Religionis ergo,)
saints' heads, &c. and other relics, which are repeated in so
many different churches.

Note: Lord Mahon, in a memoir read before the Society of
Antiquaries, (Feb. 1831,) has traced in a brief but interesting
manner, the singular adventures of the "true" cross. It is
curious to inquire, what authority we have, except of late
tradition, for the Hill of Calvary. There is none in the sacred
writings; the uniform use of the common word, instead of any word
expressing assent or acclivity, is against the notion. - M.]
[Footnote 67: Jerom, (tom. i. p. 103,) who resided in the
neighboring village of Bethlem, describes the vices of Jerusalem
from his personal experience.]

[Footnote 68: Gregor. Nyssen, apud Wesseling, p. 539. The whole
epistle, which condemns either the use or the abuse of religious
pilgrimage, is painful to the Catholic divines, while it is dear
and familiar to our Protestant polemics.]

[Footnote 69: He renounced his orthodox ordination, officiated as
a deacon, and was re-ordained by the hands of the Arians. But
Cyril afterwards changed with the times, and prudently conformed
to the Nicene faith. Tillemont, (Mem. Eccles. tom. viii.,) who
treats his memory with tenderness and respect, has thrown his
virtues into the text, and his faults into the notes, in decent
obscurity, at the end of the volume.]

The vain and ambitious mind of Julian might aspire to
restore the ancient glory of the temple of Jerusalem. ^70 As the
Christians were firmly persuaded that a sentence of everlasting
destruction had been pronounced against the whole fabric of the
Mosaic law, the Imperial sophist would have converted the success
of his undertaking into a specious argument against the faith of
prophecy, and the truth of revelation. ^71 He was displeased with
the spiritual worship of the synagogue; but he approved the
institutions of Moses, who had not disdained to adopt many of the
rites and ceremonies of Egypt. ^72 The local and national deity
of the Jews was sincerely adored by a polytheist, who desired
only to multiply the number of the gods; ^73 and such was the
appetite of Julian for bloody sacrifice, that his emulation might
be excited by the piety of Solomon, who had offered, at the feast
of the dedication, twenty-two thousand oxen, and one hundred and
twenty thousand sheep. ^74 These considerations might influence
his designs; but the prospect of an immediate and important
advantage would not suffer the impatient monarch to expect the
remote and uncertain event of the Persian war. He resolved to
erect, without delay, on the commanding eminence of Moriah, a
stately temple, which might eclipse the splendor of the church of
the resurrection on the adjacent hill of Calvary; to establish an
order of priests, whose interested zeal would detect the arts,
and resist the ambition, of their Christian rivals; and to invite
a numerous colony of Jews, whose stern fanaticism would be always
prepared to second, and even to anticipate, the hostile measures
of the Pagan government. Among the friends of the emperor (if the
names of emperor, and of friend, are not incompatible) the first
place was assigned, by Julian himself, to the virtuous and
learned Alypius. ^75 The humanity of Alypius was tempered by
severe justice and manly fortitude; and while he exercised his
abilities in the civil administration of Britain, he imitated, in
his poetical compositions, the harmony and softness of the odes
of Sappho. This minister, to whom Julian communicated, without
reserve, his most careless levities, and his most serious
counsels, received an extraordinary commission to restore, in its
pristine beauty, the temple of Jerusalem; and the diligence of
Alypius required and obtained the strenuous support of the
governor of Palestine. At the call of their great deliverer, the
Jews, from all the provinces of the empire, assembled on the holy
mountain of their fathers; and their insolent triumph alarmed and
exasperated the Christian inhabitants of Jerusalem. The desire
of rebuilding the temple has in every age been the ruling passion
of the children of Israel. In this propitious moment the men
forgot their avarice, and the women their delicacy; spades and
pickaxes of silver were provided by the vanity of the rich, and
the rubbish was transported in mantles of silk and purple. Every
purse was opened in liberal contributions, every hand claimed a
share in the pious labor, and the commands of a great monarch
were executed by the enthusiasm of a whole people. ^76

[Footnote 70: Imperii sui memoriam magnitudine operum gestiens
propagare Ammian. xxiii. 1. The temple of Jerusalem had been
famous even among the Gentiles. They had many temples in each
city, (at Sichem five, at Gaza eight, at Rome four hundred and
twenty-four;) but the wealth and religion of the Jewish nation
was centred in one spot.]

[Footnote 71: The secret intentions of Julian are revealed by the
late bishop of Gloucester, the learned and dogmatic Warburton;
who, with the authority of a theologian, prescribes the motives
and conduct of the Supreme Being. The discourse entitled Julian
(2d edition, London, 1751) is strongly marked with all the
peculiarities which are imputed to the Warburtonian school.]
[Footnote 72: I shelter myself behind Maimonides, Marsham,
Spencer, Le Clerc, Warburton, &c., who have fairly derided the
fears, the folly, and the falsehood of some superstitious
divines. See Divine Legation, vol. iv. p. 25, &c.]

[Footnote 73: Julian (Fragment. p. 295) respectfully styles him,
and mentions him elsewhere (Epist. lxiii.) with still higher
reverence. He doubly condemns the Christians for believing, and
for renouncing, the religion of the Jews. Their Deity was a true,
but not the only, God Apul Cyril. l. ix. p. 305, 306.]
[Footnote 74: 1 Kings, viii. 63. 2 Chronicles, vii. 5. Joseph.
Antiquitat. Judaic. l. viii. c. 4, p. 431, edit. Havercamp. As
the blood and smoke of so many hecatombs might be inconvenient,
Lightfoot, the Christian Rabbi, removes them by a miracle. Le
Clerc (ad loca) is bold enough to suspect to fidelity of the

Note: According to the historian Kotobeddym, quoted by
Burckhardt, (Travels in Arabia, p. 276,) the Khalif Mokteder
sacrificed, during his pilgrimage to Mecca, in the year of the
Hejira 350, forty thousand camels and cows, and fifty thousand
sheep. Barthema describes thirty thousand oxen slain, and their
carcasses given to the poor. Quarterly Review, xiii.p.39 - M.]

[Footnote 75: Julian, epist. xxix. xxx. La Bleterie has
neglected to translate the second of these epistles.]

[Footnote 76: See the zeal and impatience of the Jews in Gregory
Nazianzen (Orat. iv. p. 111) and Theodoret. (l. iii. c. 20.)]

Yet, on this occasion, the joint efforts of power and
enthusiasm were unsuccessful; and the ground of the Jewish
temple, which is now covered by a Mahometan mosque, ^77 still
continued to exhibit the same edifying spectacle of ruin and
desolation. Perhaps the absence and death of the emperor, and
the new maxims of a Christian reign, might explain the
interruption of an arduous work, which was attempted only in the
last six months of the life of Julian. ^78 But the Christians
entertained a natural and pious expectation, that, in this
memorable contest, the honor of religion would be vindicated by
some signal miracle. An earthquake, a whirlwind, and a fiery
eruption, which overturned and scattered the new foundations of
the temple, are attested, with some variations, by contemporary
and respectable evidence. ^79 This public event is described by
Ambrose, ^80 bishop of Milan, in an epistle to the emperor
Theodosius, which must provoke the severe animadversion of the
Jews; by the eloquent Chrysostom, ^81 who might appeal to the
memory of the elder part of his congregation at Antioch; and by
Gregory Nazianzen, ^82 who published his account of the miracle
before the expiration of the same year. The last of these writers
has boldly declared, that this preternatural event was not
disputed by the infidels; and his assertion, strange as it may
seem is confirmed by the unexceptionable testimony of Ammianus
Marcellinus. ^83 The philosophic soldier, who loved the virtues,
without adopting the prejudices, of his master, has recorded, in
his judicious and candid history of his own times, the
extraordinary obstacles which interrupted the restoration of the
temple of Jerusalem. "Whilst Alypius, assisted by the governor
of the province, urged, with vigor and diligence, the execution
of the work, horrible balls of fire breaking out near the
foundations, with frequent and reiterated attacks, rendered the
place, from time to time, inaccessible to the scorched and
blasted workmen; and the victorious element continuing in this
manner obstinately and resolutely bent, as it were, to drive them
to a distance, the undertaking was abandoned." ^* Such authority
should satisfy a believing, and must astonish an incredulous,
mind. Yet a philosopher may still require the original evidence
of impartial and intelligent spectators. At this important
crisis, any singular accident of nature would assume the
appearance, and produce the effects of a real prodigy. This
glorious deliverance would be speedily improved and magnified by
the pious art of the clergy of Jerusalem, and the active
credulity of the Christian world and, at the distance of twenty
years, a Roman historian, care less of theological disputes,
might adorn his work with the specious and splendid miracle. ^84

[Footnote 77: Built by Omar, the second Khalif, who died A. D.
644. This great mosque covers the whole consecrated ground of
the Jewish temple, and constitutes almost a square of 760 toises,
or one Roman mile in circumference. See D'Anville, Jerusalem, p.

[Footnote 78: Ammianus records the consults of the year 363,
before he proceeds to mention the thoughts of Julian. Templum .
. . . instaurare sumptibus cogitabat immodicis. Warburton has a
secret wish to anticipate the design; but he must have
understood, from former examples, that the execution of such a
work would have demanded many years.]

[Footnote 79: The subsequent witnesses, Socrates, Sozomen,
Theodoret, Philostorgius, &c., add contradictions rather than
authority. Compare the objections of Basnage (Hist. des Juifs,
tom. viii. p. 156-168) with Warburton's answers, (Julian, p.
174-258.) The bishop has ingeniously explained the miraculous
crosses which appeared on the garments of the spectators by a
similar instance, and the natural effects of lightning.]
[Footnote 80: Ambros. tom. ii. epist. xl. p. 946, edit.
Benedictin. He composed this fanatic epistle (A. D. 388) to
justify a bishop who had been condemned by the civil magistrate
for burning a synagogue.]
[Footnote 81: Chrysostom, tom. i. p. 580, advers. Judaeos et
Gentes, tom. ii. p. 574, de Sto Babyla, edit. Montfaucon. I have
followed the common and natural supposition; but the learned
Benedictine, who dates the composition of these sermons in the
year 383, is confident they were never pronounced from the

[Footnote 82: Greg. Nazianzen, Orat. iv. p. 110-113.]

[Footnote 83: Ammian. xxiii. 1. Cum itaque rei fortiter instaret
Alypius, juvaretque provinciae rector, metuendi globi flammarum
prope fundamenta crebris assultibus erumpentes fecere locum
exustis aliquoties operantibus inaccessum; hocque modo elemento
destinatius repellente, cessavit inceptum. Warburton labors (p.
60-90) to extort a confession of the miracle from the mouths of
Julian and Libanius, and to employ the evidence of a rabbi who
lived in the fifteenth century. Such witnesses can only be
received by a very favorable judge.]

[Footnote *: Michaelis has given an ingenious and sufficiently
probable explanation of this remarkable incident, which the
positive testimony of Ammianus, a contemporary and a pagan, will
not permit us to call in question. It was suggested by a passage
in Tacitus. That historian, speaking of Jerusalem, says, [I omit
the first part of the quotation adduced by M. Guizot, which only
by a most extraordinary mistranslation of muri introrsus sinuati
by "enfoncemens" could be made to bear on the question. - M.] The
Temple itself was a kind of citadel, which had its own walls,
superior in their workmanship and construction to those of the
city. The porticos themselves, which surrounded the temple, were
an excellent fortification. There was a fountain of constantly
running water; subterranean excavations under the mountain;
reservoirs and cisterns to collect the rain-water." Tac. Hist. v.
ii. 12. These excavations and reservoirs must have been very
considerable. The latter furnished water during the whole siege
of Jerusalem to 1,100,000 inhabitants, for whom the fountain of
Siloe could not have sufficed, and who had no fresh rain-water,
the siege having taken place from the month of April to the month
of August, a period of the year during which it rarely rains in
Jerusalem. As to the excavations, they served after, and even
before, the return of the Jews from Babylon, to contain not only
magazines of oil, wine, and corn, but also the treasures which
were laid up in the Temple. Josephus has related several
incidents which show their extent. When Jerusalem was on the
point of being taken by Titus, the rebel chiefs, placing their
last hopes in these vast subterranean cavities, formed a design
of concealing themselves there, and remaining during the
conflagration of the city, and until the Romans had retired to a
distance. The greater part had not time to execute their design;
but one of them, Simon, the Son of Gioras, having provided
himself with food, and tools to excavate the earth descended into
this retreat with some companions: he remained there till Titus
had set out for Rome: under the pressure of famine he issued
forth on a sudden in the very place where the Temple had stood,
and appeared in the midst of the Roman guard. He was seized and
carried to Rome for the triumph. His appearance made it be
suspected that other Jews might have chosen the same asylum;
search was made, and a great number discovered. Joseph. de Bell.
Jud. l. vii. c. 2. It is probable that the greater part of these
excavations were the remains of the time of Solomon, when it was
the custom to work to a great extent under ground: no other date
can be assigned to them. The Jews, on their return from the
captivity, were too poor to undertake such works; and, although
Herod, on rebuilding the Temple, made some excavations, (Joseph.
Ant. Jud. xv. 11, vii.,) the haste with which that building was
completed will not allow us to suppose that they belonged to that
period. Some were used for sewers and drains, others served to
conceal the immense treasures of which Crassus, a hundred and
twenty years before, plundered the Jews, and which doubtless had
been since replaced. The Temple was destroyed A. C. 70; the
attempt of Julian to rebuild it, and the fact related by
Ammianus, coincide with the year 363. There had then elapsed
between these two epochs an interval of near 300 years, during
which the excavations, choked up with ruins, must have become
full of inflammable air. The workmen employed by Julian as they
were digging, arrived at the excavations of the Temple; they
would take torches to explore them; sudden flames repelled those
who approached; explosions were heard, and these phenomena were
renewed every time that they penetrated into new subterranean
passages. ^* This explanation is confirmed by the relation of an
event nearly similar, by Josephus. King Herod having heard that
immense treasures had been concealed in the sepulchre of David,
he descended into it with a few confidential persons; he found in
the first subterranean chamber only jewels and precious stuffs:
but having wished to penetrate into a second chamber, which had
been long closed, he was repelled, when he opened it, by flames
which killed those who accompanied him. (Ant. Jud. xvi. 7, i.)
As here there is no room for miracle, this fact may be considered
as a new proof of the veracity of that related by Ammianus and
the contemporary writers. - G.
To the illustrations of the extent of the subterranean
chambers adduced by Michaelis, may be added, that when John of
Gischala, during the siege, surprised the Temple, the party of
Eleazar took refuge within them. Bell. Jud. vi. 3, i. The sudden
sinking of the hill of Sion when Jerusalem was occupied by
Barchocab, may have been connected with similar excavations.
Hist. of Jews, vol. iii. 122 and 186. - M.

[Footnote *: It is a fact now popularly known, that when mines
which have been long closed are opened, one of two things takes
place; either the torches are extinguished and the men fall first
into a swoor and soon die; or, if the air is inflammable, a
little flame is seen to flicker round the lamp, which spreads and
multiplies till the conflagration becomes general, is followed by
an explosion, and kill all who are in the way. - G.]

[Footnote 84: Dr. Lardner, perhaps alone of the Christian
critics, presumes to doubt the truth of this famous miracle.
(Jewish and Heathen Testimonies, vol. iv. p. 47-71.)]

The silence of Jerom would lead to a suspicion that the same
story which was celebrated at a distance, might be despised on
the spot.

Note: Gibbon has forgotten Basnage, to whom Warburton replied. -

Chapter XXIII: Reign Of Julian.

Part IV.

The restoration of the Jewish temple was secretly connected
with the ruin of the Christian church. Julian still continued to
maintain the freedom of religious worship, without distinguishing
whether this universal toleration proceeded from his justice or
his clemency. He affected to pity the unhappy Christians, who
were mistaken in the most important object of their lives; but
his pity was degraded by contempt, his contempt was embittered by
hatred; and the sentiments of Julian were expressed in a style of
sarcastic wit, which inflicts a deep and deadly wound, whenever
it issues from the mouth of a sovereign. As he was sensible that
the Christians gloried in the name of their Redeemer, he
countenanced, and perhaps enjoined, the use of the less honorable
appellation of Galilaeans. ^85 He declared, that by the folly of
the Galilaeans, whom he describes as a sect of fanatics,
contemptible to men, and odious to the gods, the empire had been
reduced to the brink of destruction; and he insinuates in a
public edict, that a frantic patient might sometimes be cured by
salutary violence. ^86 An ungenerous distinction was admitted
into the mind and counsels of Julian, that, according to the
difference of their religious sentiments, one part of his
subjects deserved his favor and friendship, while the other was
entitled only to the common benefits that his justice could not
refuse to an obedient people. According to a principle, pregnant
with mischief and oppression, the emperor transferred to the
pontiffs of his own religion the management of the liberal
allowances for the public revenue, which had been granted to the
church by the piety of Constantine and his sons. The proud
system of clerical honors and immunities, which had been
constructed with so much art and labor, was levelled to the
ground; the hopes of testamentary donations were intercepted by
the rigor of the laws; and the priests of the Christian sect were
confounded with the last and most ignominious class of the
people. Such of these regulations as appeared necessary to check
the ambition and avarice of the ecclesiastics, were soon
afterwards imitated by the wisdom of an orthodox prince. The
peculiar distinctions which policy has bestowed, or superstition
has lavished, on the sacerdotal order, must be confined to those
priests who profess the religion of the state. But the will of
the legislator was not exempt from prejudice and passion; and it
was the object of the insidious policy of Julian, to deprive the
Christians of all the temporal honors and advantages which
rendered them respectable in the eyes of the world. ^88

[Footnote 85: Greg. Naz. Orat. iii. p. 81. And this law was
confirmed by the invariable practice of Julian himself.
Warburton has justly observed (p. 35,) that the Platonists
believed in the mysterious virtue of words and Julian's dislike
for the name of Christ might proceed from superstition, as well
as from contempt.]

[Footnote 86: Fragment. Julian. p. 288. He derides the (Epist.
vii.,) and so far loses sight of the principles of toleration, as
to wish (Epist. xlii.).]
[Footnote 88: These laws, which affected the clergy, may be found
in the slight hints of Julian himself, (Epist. lii.) in the vague
declamations of Gregory, (Orat. iii. p. 86, 87,) and in the
positive assertions of Sozomen, (l. v. c. 5.)]

A just and severe censure has been inflicted on the law
which prohibited the Christians from teaching the arts of grammar
and rhetoric. ^89 The motives alleged by the emperor to justify
this partial and oppressive measure, might command, during his
lifetime, the silence of slaves and the applause of Gatterers.
Julian abuses the ambiguous meaning of a word which might be
indifferently applied to the language and the religion of the
Greeks: he contemptuously observes, that the men who exalt the
merit of implicit faith are unfit to claim or to enjoy the
advantages of science; and he vainly contends, that if they
refuse to adore the gods of Homer and Demosthenes, they ought to
content themselves with expounding Luke and Matthew in the church
of the Galilaeans. ^90 In all the cities of the Roman world, the
education of the youth was intrusted to masters of grammar and
rhetoric; who were elected by the magistrates, maintained at the
public expense, and distinguished by many lucrative and honorable
privileges. The edict of Julian appears to have included the
physicians, and professors of all the liberal arts; and the
emperor, who reserved to himself the approbation of the
candidates, was authorized by the laws to corrupt, or to punish,
the religious constancy of the most learned of the Christians.
^91 As soon as the resignation of the more obstinate ^92 teachers
had established the unrivalled dominion of the Pagan sophists,
Julian invited the rising generation to resort with freedom to
the public schools, in a just confidence, that their tender minds
would receive the impressions of literature and idolatry. If the
greatest part of the Christian youth should be deterred by their
own scruples, or by those of their parents, from accepting this
dangerous mode of instruction, they must, at the same time,
relinquish the benefits of a liberal education. Julian had reason
to expect that, in the space of a few years, the church would
relapse into its primaeval simplicity, and that the theologians,
who possessed an adequate share of the learning and eloquence of
the age, would be succeeded by a generation of blind and ignorant
fanatics, incapable of defending the truth of their own
principles, or of exposing the various follies of Polytheism. ^93

[Footnote 89: Inclemens. . . . perenni obruendum silentio.
Ammian. xxii. 10, ixv. 5.]

[Footnote 90: The edict itself, which is still extant among the
epistles of Julian, (xlii.,) may be compared with the loose
invectives of Gregory (Orat. iii. p. 96.) Tillemont (Mem. Eccles.
tom. vii. p. 1291-1294) has collected the seeming differences of
ancients and moderns. They may be easily reconciled. The
Christians were directly forbid to teach, they were indirectly
forbid to learn; since they would not frequent the schools of the
[Footnote 91: Codex Theodos. l. xiii. tit. iii. de medicis et
professoribus, leg. 5, (published the 17th of June, received, at
Spoleto in Italy, the 29th of July, A. D. 363,) with Godefroy's
Illustrations, tom. v. p. 31.]
[Footnote 92: Orosius celebrates their disinterested resolution,
Sicut a majori bus nostris compertum habemus, omnes ubique
propemodum . . . officium quam fidem deserere maluerunt, vii. 30.

Proaeresius, a Christian sophist, refused to accept the partial
favor of the emperor Hieronym. in Chron. p. 185, edit. Scaliger.
Eunapius in Proaeresio p. 126.]

[Footnote 93: They had recourse to the expedient of composing
books for their own schools. Within a few months Apollinaris
produced his Christian imitations of Homer, (a sacred history in
twenty-four books,) Pindar, Euripides, and Menander; and Sozomen
is satisfied, that they equalled, or excelled, the originals.

Note: Socrates, however, implies that, on the death of
Julian, they were contemptuously thrown aside by the Christians.
Socr. Hist. iii.16. - M.]
It was undoubtedly the wish and design of Julian to deprive
the Christians of the advantages of wealth, of knowledge, and of
power; but the injustice of excluding them from all offices of
trust and profit seems to have been the result of his general
policy, rather than the immediate consequence of any positive
law. ^94 Superior merit might deserve and obtain, some
extraordinary exceptions; but the greater part of the Christian
officers were gradually removed from their employments in the
state, the army, and the provinces. The hopes of future
candidates were extinguished by the declared partiality of a
prince, who maliciously reminded them, that it was unlawful for a
Christian to use the sword, either of justice, or of war; and who
studiously guarded the camp and the tribunals with the ensigns of
idolatry. The powers of government were intrusted to the pagans,
who professed an ardent zeal for the religion of their ancestors;
and as the choice of the emperor was often directed by the rules
of divination, the favorites whom he preferred as the most
agreeable to the gods, did not always obtain the approbation of
mankind. ^95 Under the administration of their enemies, the
Christians had much to suffer, and more to apprehend. The temper
of Julian was averse to cruelty; and the care of his reputation,
which was exposed to the eyes of the universe, restrained the
philosophic monarch from violating the laws of justice and
toleration, which he himself had so recently established. But
the provincial ministers of his authority were placed in a less
conspicuous station. In the exercise of arbitrary power, they
consulted the wishes, rather than the commands, of their
sovereign; and ventured to exercise a secret and vexatious
tyranny against the sectaries, on whom they were not permitted to
confer the honors of martyrdom. The emperor, who dissembled as
long as possible his knowledge of the injustice that was
exercised in his name, expressed his real sense of the conduct of
his officers, by gentle reproofs and substantial rewards. ^96

[Footnote 94: It was the instruction of Julian to his
magistrates, (Epist. vii.,). Sozomen (l. v. c. 18) and Socrates
(l. iii. c. 13) must be reduced to the standard of Gregory,
(Orat. iii. p. 95,) not less prone to exaggeration, but more
restrained by the actual knowledge of his contemporary readers.]
[Footnote 95: Libanius, Orat. Parent. 88, p. 814.]

[Footnote 96: Greg. Naz. Orat. iii. p. 74, 91, 92. Socrates, l.
iii. c. 14. The doret, l. iii. c. 6. Some drawback may, however,
be allowed for the violence of their zeal, not less partial than
the zeal of Julian]
The most effectual instrument of oppression, with which they
were armed, was the law that obliged the Christians to make full
and ample satisfaction for the temples which they had destroyed
under the preceding reign. The zeal of the triumphant church had
not always expected the sanction of the public authority; and the
bishops, who were secure of impunity, had often marched at the
head of their congregation, to attack and demolish the fortresses
of the prince of darkness. The consecrated lands, which had
increased the patrimony of the sovereign or of the clergy, were
clearly defined, and easily restored. But on these lands, and on
the ruins of Pagan superstition, the Christians had frequently
erected their own religious edifices: and as it was necessary to
remove the church before the temple could be rebuilt, the justice
and piety of the emperor were applauded by one party, while the
other deplored and execrated his sacrilegious violence. ^97 After
the ground was cleared, the restitution of those stately
structures which had been levelled with the dust, and of the
precious ornaments which had been converted to Christian uses,
swelled into a very large account of damages and debt. The
authors of the injury had neither the ability nor the inclination
to discharge this accumulated demand: and the impartial wisdom of
a legislator would have been displayed in balancing the adverse
claims and complaints, by an equitable and temperate arbitration.

But the whole empire, and particularly the East, was thrown into
confusion by the rash edicts of Julian; and the Pagan
magistrates, inflamed by zeal and revenge, abused the rigorous
privilege of the Roman law, which substitutes, in the place of
his inadequate property, the person of the insolvent debtor.
Under the preceding reign, Mark, bishop of Arethusa, ^98 had
labored in the conversion of his people with arms more effectual
than those of persuasion. ^99 The magistrates required the full
value of a temple which had been destroyed by his intolerant
zeal: but as they were satisfied of his poverty, they desired
only to bend his inflexible spirit to the promise of the
slightest compensation. They apprehended the aged prelate, they
inhumanly scourged him, they tore his beard; and his naked body,
annointed with honey, was suspended, in a net, between heaven and
earth, and exposed to the stings of insects and the rays of a
Syrian sun. ^100 From this lofty station, Mark still persisted to
glory in his crime, and to insult the impotent rage of his
persecutors. He was at length rescued from their hands, and
dismissed to enjoy the honor of his divine triumph. The Arians
celebrated the virtue of their pious confessor; the Catholics
ambitiously claimed his alliance; ^101 and the Pagans, who might
be susceptible of shame or remorse, were deterred from the
repetition of such unavailing cruelty. ^102 Julian spared his
life: but if the bishop of Arethusa had saved the infancy of
Julian, ^103 posterity will condemn the ingratitude, instead of
praising the clemency, of the emperor.

[Footnote 97: If we compare the gentle language of Libanius
(Orat. Parent c. 60. p. 286) with the passionate exclamations of
Gregory, (Orat. iii. p. 86, 87,) we may find it difficult to
persuade ourselves that the two orators are really describing the
same events.]

[Footnote 98: Restan, or Arethusa, at the equal distance of
sixteen miles between Emesa (Hems) and Epiphania, (Hamath,) was
founded, or at least named, by Seleucus Nicator. Its peculiar
aera dates from the year of Rome 685, according to the medals of
the city. In the decline of the Seleucides, Emesa and Arethusa
were usurped by the Arab Sampsiceramus, whose posterity, the
vassals of Rome, were not extinguished in the reign of Vespasian.

See D'Anville's Maps and Geographie Ancienne, tom. ii. p. 134.
Wesseling, Itineraria, p. 188, and Noris. Epoch Syro-Macedon, p.
80, 481, 482.]
[Footnote 99: Sozomen, l. v. c. 10. It is surprising, that
Gregory and Theodoret should suppress a circumstance, which, in
their eyes, must have enhanced the religious merit of the

[Footnote 100: The sufferings and constancy of Mark, which
Gregory has so tragically painted, (Orat. iii. p. 88-91,) are
confirmed by the unexceptionable and reluctant evidence of
Libanius. Epist. 730, p. 350, 351. Edit. Wolf. Amstel. 1738.]

[Footnote 101: Certatim eum sibi (Christiani) vindicant. It is
thus that La Croze and Wolfius (ad loc.) have explained a Greek
word, whose true signification had been mistaken by former
interpreters, and even by Le Clerc, (Bibliotheque Ancienne et
Moderne, tom. iii. p. 371.) Yet Tillemont is strangely puzzled to
understand (Mem. Eccles. tom. vii. p. 1390) how Gregory and
Theodoret could mistake a Semi-Arian bishop for a saint.]
[Footnote 102: See the probable advice of Sallust, (Greg.
Nazianzen, Orat. iii. p. 90, 91.) Libanius intercedes for a
similar offender, lest they should find many Marks; yet he
allows, that if Orion had secreted the consecrated wealth, he
deserved to suffer the punishment of Marsyas; to be flayed alive,
(Epist. 730, p. 349-351.)]

[Footnote 103: Gregory (Orat. iii. p. 90) is satisfied that, by
saving the apostate, Mark had deserved still more than he had
At the distance of five miles from Antioch, the Macedonian
kings of Syria had consecrated to Apollo one of the most elegant
places of devotion in the Pagan world. ^104 A magnificent temple
rose in honor of the god of light; and his colossal figure ^105
almost filled the capacious sanctuary, which was enriched with
gold and gems, and adorned by the skill of the Grecian artists.
The deity was represented in a bending attitude, with a golden
cup in his hand, pouring out a libation on the earth; as if he
supplicated the venerable mother to give to his arms the cold and
beauteous Daphne: for the spot was ennobled by fiction; and the
fancy of the Syrian poets had transported the amorous tale from
the banks of the Peneus to those of the Orontes. The ancient
rites of Greece were imitated by the royal colony of Antioch. A
stream of prophecy, which rivalled the truth and reputation of
the Delphic oracle, flowed from the Castalian fountain of Daphne.
^106 In the adjacent fields a stadium was built by a special
privilege, ^107 which had been purchased from Elis; the Olympic
games were celebrated at the expense of the city; and a revenue
of thirty thousand pounds sterling was annually applied to the
public pleasures. ^108 The perpetual resort of pilgrims and
spectators insensibly formed, in the neighborhood of the temple,
the stately and populous village of Daphne, which emulated the
splendor, without acquiring the title, of a provincial city. The
temple and the village were deeply bosomed in a thick grove of
laurels and cypresses, which reached as far as a circumference of
ten miles, and formed in the most sultry summers a cool and
impenetrable shade. A thousand streams of the purest water,
issuing from every hill, preserved the verdure of the earth, and
the temperature of the air; the senses were gratified with
harmonious sounds and aromatic odors; and the peaceful grove was
consecrated to health and joy, to luxury and love. The vigorous
youth pursued, like Apollo, the object of his desires; and the
blushing maid was warned, by the fate of Daphne, to shun the
folly of unseasonable coyness. The soldier and the philosopher
wisely avoided the temptation of this sensual paradise: ^109
where pleasure, assuming the character of religion, imperceptibly
dissolved the firmness of manly virtue. But the groves of Daphne
continued for many ages to enjoy the veneration of natives and
strangers; the privileges of the holy ground were enlarged by the
munificence of succeeding emperors; and every generation added
new ornaments to the splendor of the temple. ^110

[Footnote 104: The grove and temple of Daphne are described by
Strabo, (l. xvi. p. 1089, 1090, edit. Amstel. 1707,) Libanius,
(Naenia, p. 185-188. Antiochic. Orat. xi. p. 380, 381,) and
Sozomen, (l. v. c. 19.) Wesseling (Itinerar. p. 581) and Casaubon
(ad Hist. August. p. 64) illustrate this curious subject.]

[Footnote 105: Simulacrum in eo Olympiaci Jovis imitamenti
aequiparans magnitudinem. Ammian. xxii. 13. The Olympic Jupiter
was sixty feet high, and his bulk was consequently equal to that
of a thousand men. See a curious Memoire of the Abbe Gedoyn,
(Academie des Inscriptions, tom. ix. p. 198.)]
[Footnote 106: Hadrian read the history of his future fortunes on
a leaf dipped in the Castalian stream; a trick which, according
to the physician Vandale, (de Oraculis, p. 281, 282,) might be
easily performed by chemical preparations. The emperor stopped
the source of such dangerous knowledge; which was again opened by
the devout curiosity of Julian.]
[Footnote 107: It was purchased, A. D. 44, in the year 92 of the
aera of Antioch, (Noris. Epoch. Syro-Maced. p. 139-174,) for the
term of ninety Olympiads. But the Olympic games of Antioch were
not regularly celebrated till the reign of Commodus. See the
curious details in the Chronicle of John Malala, tom. i. p. 290,
320, 372-381,) a writer whose merit and authority are confined
within the limits of his native city.]

[Footnote 108: Fifteen talents of gold, bequeathed by Sosibius,
who died in the reign of Augustus. The theatrical merits of the
Syrian cities in the reign of Constantine, are computed in the
Expositio totius Murd, p. 8, (Hudson, Geograph. Minor tom. iii.)]

[Footnote 109: Avidio Cassio Syriacas legiones dedi luxuria
diffluentes et Daphnicis moribus. These are the words of the
emperor Marcus Antoninus in an original letter preserved by his
biographer in Hist. August. p. 41. Cassius dismissed or punished
every soldier who was seen at Daphne.]
[Footnote 110: Aliquantum agrorum Daphnensibus dedit, (Pompey,)
quo lucus ibi spatiosior fieret; delectatus amoenitate loci et
aquarum abundantiz, Eutropius, vi. 14. Sextus Rufus, de
Provinciis, c. 16.]

When Julian, on the day of the annual festival, hastened to
adore the Apollo of Daphne, his devotion was raised to the
highest pitch of eagerness and impatience. His lively
imagination anticipated the grateful pomp of victims, of
libations and of incense; a long procession of youths and
virgins, clothed in white robes, the symbol of their innocence;
and the tumultuous concourse of an innumerable people. But the
zeal of Antioch was diverted, since the reign of Christianity,
into a different channel. Instead of hecatombs of fat oxen
sacrificed by the tribes of a wealthy city to their tutelar deity
the emperor complains that he found only a single goose, provided
at the expense of a priest, the pale and solitary in habitant of
this decayed temple. ^111 The altar was deserted, the oracle had
been reduced to silence, and the holy ground was profaned by the
introduction of Christian and funereal rites. After Babylas ^112
(a bishop of Antioch, who died in prison in the persecution of
Decius) had rested near a century in his grave, his body, by the
order of Caesar Gallus, was transported into the midst of the
grove of Daphne. A magnificent church was erected over his
remains; a portion of the sacred lands was usurped for the
maintenance of the clergy, and for the burial of the Christians
at Antioch, who were ambitious of lying at the feet of their
bishop; and the priests of Apollo retired, with their affrighted
and indignant votaries. As soon as another revolution seemed to
restore the fortune of Paganism, the church of St. Babylas was
demolished, and new buildings were added to the mouldering
edifice which had been raised by the piety of Syrian kings. But
the first and most serious care of Julian was to deliver his
oppressed deity from the odious presence of the dead and living
Christians, who had so effectually suppressed the voice of fraud
or enthusiasm. ^113 The scene of infection was purified,
according to the forms of ancient rituals; the bodies were
decently removed; and the ministers of the church were permitted
to convey the remains of St. Babylas to their former habitation
within the walls of Antioch. The modest behavior which might
have assuaged the jealousy of a hostile government was neglected,
on this occasion, by the zeal of the Christians. The lofty car,
that transported the relics of Babylas, was followed, and
accompanied, and received, by an innumerable multitude; who
chanted, with thundering acclamations, the Psalms of David the
most expressive of their contempt for idols and idolaters. The
return of the saint was a triumph; and the triumph was an insult
on the religion of the emperor, who exerted his pride to
dissemble his resentment. During the night which terminated this
indiscreet procession, the temple of Daphne was in flames; the
statue of Apollo was consumed; and the walls of the edifice were
left a naked and awful monument of ruin. The Christians of
Antioch asserted, with religious confidence, that the powerful
intercession of St. Babylas had pointed the lightnings of heaven
against the devoted roof: but as Julian was reduced to the
alternative of believing either a crime or a miracle, he chose,
without hesitation, without evidence, but with some color of
probability, to impute the fire of Daphne to the revenge of the
Galilaeans. ^114 Their offence, had it been sufficiently proved,
might have justified the retaliation, which was immediately
executed by the order of Julian, of shutting the doors, and
confiscating the wealth, of the cathedral of Antioch. To discover
the criminals who were guilty of the tumult, of the fire, or of
secreting the riches of the church, several of the ecclesiastics
were tortured; ^115 and a Presbyter, of the name of Theodoret,
was beheaded by the sentence of the Count of the East. But this
hasty act was blamed by the emperor; who lamented, with real or
affected concern, that the imprudent zeal of his ministers would
tarnish his reign with the disgrace of persecution. ^116

[Footnote 111: Julian (Misopogon, p. 367, 362) discovers his own
character with naivete, that unconscious simplicity which always
constitutes genuine humor.]

[Footnote 112: Babylas is named by Eusebius in the succession of
the bishops of Antioch, (Hist. Eccles. l. vi. c. 29, 39.) His
triumph over two emperors (the first fabulous, the second
historical) is diffusely celebrated by Chrysostom, (tom. ii. p.
536-579, edit. Montfaucon.) Tillemont (Mem. Eccles. tom. iii.
part ii. p. 287-302, 459-465) becomes almost a sceptic.]
[Footnote 113: Ecclesiastical critics, particularly those who
love relics, exult in the confession of Julian (Misopogon, p.
361) and Libanius, (Laenia, p. 185,) that Apollo was disturbed by
the vicinity of one dead man. Yet Ammianus (xxii. 12) clears and
purifies the whole ground, according to the rites which the
Athenians formerly practised in the Isle of Delos.]
[Footnote 114: Julian (in Misopogon, p. 361) rather insinuates,
than affirms, their guilt. Ammianus (xxii. 13) treats the
imputation as levissimus rumor, and relates the story with
extraordinary candor.]

[Footnote 115: Quo tam atroci casu repente consumpto, ad id usque
e imperatoris ira provexit, ut quaestiones agitare juberet solito
acriores, (yet Julian blames the lenity of the magistrates of
Antioch,) et majorem ecclesiam Antiochiae claudi. This
interdiction was performed with some circumstances of indignity
and profanation; and the seasonable death of the principal actor,
Julian's uncle, is related with much superstitious complacency by
the Abbe de la Bleterie. Vie de Julien, p. 362-369.]

[Footnote 116: Besides the ecclesiastical historians, who are
more or less to be suspected, we may allege the passion of St.
Theodore, in the Acta Sincera of Ruinart, p. 591. The complaint
of Julian gives it an original and authentic air.]

Chapter XXIII: Reign Of Julian.

Part V.

The zeal of the ministers of Julian was instantly checked by
the frown of their sovereign; but when the father of his country
declares himself the leader of a faction, the license of popular
fury cannot easily be restrained, nor consistently punished.
Julian, in a public composition, applauds the devotion and
loyalty of the holy cities of Syria, whose pious inhabitants had
destroyed, at the first signal, the sepulchres of the Galilaeans;
and faintly complains, that they had revenged the injuries of the
gods with less moderation than he should have recommended. ^117
This imperfect and reluctant confession may appear to confirm the
ecclesiastical narratives; that in the cities of Gaza, Ascalon,
Caesarea, Heliopolis, &c., the Pagans abused, without prudence or
remorse, the moment of their prosperity. That the unhappy
objects of their cruelty were released from torture only by
death; and as their mangled bodies were dragged through the
streets, they were pierced (such was the universal rage) by the
spits of cooks, and the distaffs of enraged women; and that the
entrails of Christian priests and virgins, after they had been
tasted by those bloody fanatics, were mixed with barley, and
contemptuously thrown to the unclean animals of the city. ^118
Such scenes of religious madness exhibit the most contemptible
and odious picture of human nature; but the massacre of
Alexandria attracts still more attention, from the certainty of
the fact, the rank of the victims, and the splendor of the
capital of Egypt.

[Footnote 117: Julian. Misopogon, p. 361.]

[Footnote 118: See Gregory Nazianzen, (Orat. iii. p. 87.) Sozomen
(l. v. c. 9) may be considered as an original, though not
impartial, witness. He was a native of Gaza, and had conversed
with the confessor Zeno, who, as bishop of Maiuma, lived to the
age of a hundred, (l. vii. c. 28.) Philostorgius (l. vii. c. 4,
with Godefroy's Dissertations, p. 284) adds some tragic
circumstances, of Christians who were literally sacrificed at the
altars of the gods, &c.]
George, ^119 from his parents or his education, surnamed the
Cappadocian, was born at Epiphania in Cilicia, in a fuller's
shop. From this obscure and servile origin he raised himself by
the talents of a parasite; and the patrons, whom he assiduously
flattered, procured for their worthless dependent a lucrative
commission, or contract, to supply the army with bacon. His
employment was mean; he rendered it infamous. He accumulated
wealth by the basest arts of fraud and corruption; but his
malversations were so notorious, that George was compelled to
escape from the pursuits of justice. After this disgrace, in
which he appears to have saved his fortune at the expense of his
honor, he embraced, with real or affected zeal, the profession of
Arianism. From the love, or the ostentation, of learning, he
collected a valuable library of history rhetoric, philosophy, and
theology, ^120 and the choice of the prevailing faction promoted
George of Cappadocia to the throne of Athanasius. The entrance
of the new archbishop was that of a Barbarian conqueror; and each
moment of his reign was polluted by cruelty and avarice. The
Catholics of Alexandria and Egypt were abandoned to a tyrant,
qualified, by nature and education, to exercise the office of
persecution; but he oppressed with an impartial hand the various
inhabitants of his extensive diocese. The primate of Egypt
assumed the pomp and insolence of his lofty station; but he still
betrayed the vices of his base and servile extraction. The
merchants of Alexandria were impoverished by the unjust, and
almost universal, monopoly, which he acquired, of nitre, salt,
paper, funerals, &c.: and the spiritual father of a great people
condescended to practise the vile and pernicious arts of an
informer. The Alexandrians could never forget, nor forgive, the
tax, which he suggested, on all the houses of the city; under an
obsolete claim, that the royal founder had conveyed to his
successors, the Ptolemies and the Caesars, the perpetual property
of the soil. The Pagans, who had been flattered with the hopes
of freedom and toleration, excited his devout avarice; and the
rich temples of Alexandria were either pillaged or insulted by
the haughty prince, who exclaimed, in a loud and threatening
tone, "How long will these sepulchres be permitted to stand?"
Under the reign of Constantius, he was expelled by the fury, or
rather by the justice, of the people; and it was not without a
violent struggle, that the civil and military powers of the state
could restore his authority, and gratify his revenge. The
messenger who proclaimed at Alexandria the accession of Julian,
announced the downfall of the archbishop. George, with two of
his obsequious ministers, Count Diodorus, and Dracontius, master
of the mint were ignominiously dragged in chains to the public
prison. At the end of twenty-four days, the prison was forced
open by the rage of a superstitious multitude, impatient of the
tedious forms of judicial proceedings. The enemies of gods and
men expired under their cruel insults; the lifeless bodies of the
archbishop and his associates were carried in triumph through the
streets on the back of a camel; ^* and the inactivity of the
Athanasian party ^121 was esteemed a shining example of
evangelical patience. The remains of these guilty wretches were
thrown into the sea; and the popular leaders of the tumult
declared their resolution to disappoint the devotion of the
Christians, and to intercept the future honors of these martyrs,
who had been punished, like their predecessors, by the enemies of
their religion. ^122 The fears of the Pagans were just, and their
precautions ineffectual. The meritorious death of the archbishop
obliterated the memory of his life. The rival of Athanasius was
dear and sacred to the Arians, and the seeming conversion of
those sectaries introduced his worship into the bosom of the
Catholic church. ^123 The odious stranger, disguising every
circumstance of time and place, assumed the mask of a martyr, a
saint, and a Christian hero; ^124 and the infamous George of
Cappadocia has been transformed ^125 into the renowned St. George
of England, the patron of arms, of chivalry, and of the garter.

[Footnote 119: The life and death of George of Cappadocia are
described by Ammianus, (xxii. 11,) Gregory of Nazianzen, (Orat.
xxi. p. 382, 385, 389, 390,) and Epiphanius, (Haeres. lxxvi.) The
invectives of the two saints might not deserve much credit,
unless they were confirmed by the testimony of the cool and
impartial infidel.]

[Footnote 120: After the massacre of George, the emperor Julian
repeatedly sent orders to preserve the library for his own use,
and to torture the slaves who might be suspected of secreting any
books. He praises the merit of the collection, from whence he
had borrowed and transcribed several manuscripts while he pursued
his studies in Cappadocia. He could wish, indeed, that the works
of the Galiaeans might perish but he requires an exact account
even of those theological volumes lest other treatises more
valuable should be confounded in their less Julian. Epist. ix.

[Footnote *: Julian himself says, that they tore him to pieces
like dogs, Epist. x. - M.]

[Footnote 121: Philostorgius, with cautious malice, insinuates
their guilt, l. vii. c. ii. Godefroy p. 267.]

[Footnote 122: Cineres projecit in mare, id metuens ut clamabat,
ne, collectis supremis, aedes illis exstruerentur ut reliquis,
qui deviare a religione compulsi, pertulere, cruciabiles poenas,
adusque gloriosam mortem intemerata fide progressi, et nunc
Martyres appellantur. Ammian. xxii. 11. Epiphanius proves to the
Arians, that George was not a martyr.]

[Footnote 123: Some Donatists (Optatus Milev. p. 60, 303, edit.
Dupin; and Tillemont, Mem. Eccles. tom. vi. p. 713, in 4to.) and
Priscillianists (Tillemont, Mem. Eccles. tom. viii. p. 517, in
4to.) have in like manner usurped the honors of the Catholic
saints and martyrs.]

[Footnote 124: The saints of Cappadocia, Basil, and the
Gregories, were ignorant of their holy companion. Pope Gelasius,
(A. D. 494,) the first Catholic who acknowledges St. George,
places him among the martyrs "qui Deo magis quam hominibus noti
sunt." He rejects his Acts as the composition of heretics. Some,
perhaps, not the oldest, of the spurious Acts, are still extant;
and, through a cloud of fiction, we may yet distinguish the
combat which St. George of Cappadocia sustained, in the presence
of Queen Alexandria, against the magician Afhanasius.]

[Footnote 125: This transformation is not given as absolutely
certain, but as extremely probable. See the Longueruana, tom. i.
p. 194.

Note: The late Dr. Milner (the Roman Catholic bishop) wrote
a tract to vindicate the existence and the orthodoxy of the
tutelar saint of England. He succeeds, I think, in tracing the
worship of St. George up to a period which makes it improbable
that so notorious an Arian could be palmed upon the Catholic
church as a saint and a martyr. The Acts rejected by Gelasius
may have been of Arian origin, and designed to ingraft the story
of their hero on the obscure adventures of some earlier saint.
See an Historical and Critical Inquiry into the Existence and
Character of Saint George, in a letter to the Earl of Leicester,
by the Rev. J. Milner. F. S. A. London 1792. - M.]
[Footnote 126: A curious history of the worship of St. George,
from the sixth century, (when he was already revered in
Palestine, in Armenia at Rome, and at Treves in Gaul,) might be
extracted from Dr. Heylin (History of St. George, 2d edition,
London, 1633, in 4to. p. 429) and the Bollandists, (Act. Ss.
Mens. April. tom. iii. p. 100-163.) His fame and popularity in
Europe, and especially in England, proceeded from the Crusades.]

About the same time that Julian was informed of the tumult
of Alexandria, he received intelligence from Edessa, that the
proud and wealthy faction of the Arians had insulted the weakness
of the Valentinians, and committed such disorders as ought not to
be suffered with impunity in a well-regulated state. Without
expecting the slow forms of justice, the exasperated prince
directed his mandate to the magistrates of Edessa, ^127 by which
he confiscated the whole property of the church: the money was
distributed among the soldiers; the lands were added to the
domain; and this act of oppression was aggravated by the most
ungenerous irony. "I show myself," says Julian, "the true friend
of the Galilaeans. Their admirable law has promised the kingdom
of heaven to the poor; and they will advance with more diligence
in the paths of virtue and salvation, when they are relieved by
my assistance from the load of temporal possessions. Take care,"
pursued the monarch, in a more serious tone, "take care how you
provoke my patience and humanity. If these disorders continue, I
will revenge on the magistrates the crimes of the people; and you
will have reason to dread, not only confiscation and exile, but
fire and the sword." The tumults of Alexandria were doubtless of
a more bloody and dangerous nature: but a Christian bishop had
fallen by the hands of the Pagans; and the public epistle of
Julian affords a very lively proof of the partial spirit of his
administration. His reproaches to the citizens of Alexandria are
mingled with expressions of esteem and tenderness; and he
laments, that, on this occasion, they should have departed from
the gentle and generous manners which attested their Grecian
extraction. He gravely censures the offence which they had
committed against the laws of justice and humanity; but he
recapitulates, with visible complacency, the intolerable
provocations which they had so long endured from the impious
tyranny of George of Cappadocia. Julian admits the principle,
that a wise and vigorous government should chastise the insolence
of the people; yet, in consideration of their founder Alexander,
and of Serapis their tutelar deity, he grants a free and gracious
pardon to the guilty city, for which he again feels the affection
of a brother. ^128
[Footnote 127: Julian. Epist. xliii.]

[Footnote 128: Julian. Epist. x. He allowed his friends to
assuage his anger Ammian. xxii. 11.]

After the tumult of Alexandria had subsided, Athanasius,
amidst the public acclamations, seated himself on the throne from
whence his unworthy competitor had been precipitated: and as the
zeal of the archbishop was tempered with discretion, the exercise
of his authority tended not to inflame, but to reconcile, the
minds of the people. His pastoral labors were not confined to
the narrow limits of Egypt. The state of the Christian world was
present to his active and capacious mind; and the age, the merit,
the reputation of Athanasius, enabled him to assume, in a moment
of danger, the office of Ecclesiastical Dictator. ^129 Three
years were not yet elapsed since the majority of the bishops of
the West had ignorantly, or reluctantly, subscribed the
Confession of Rimini. They repented, they believed, but they
dreaded the unseasonable rigor of their orthodox brethren; and if
their pride was stronger than their faith, they might throw
themselves into the arms of the Arians, to escape the indignity
of a public penance, which must degrade them to the condition of
obscure laymen. At the same time the domestic differences
concerning the union and distinction of the divine persons, were
agitated with some heat among the Catholic doctors; and the
progress of this metaphysical controversy seemed to threaten a
public and lasting division of the Greek and Latin churches. By
the wisdom of a select synod, to which the name and presence of
Athanasius gave the authority of a general council, the bishops,
who had unwarily deviated into error, were admitted to the
communion of the church, on the easy condition of subscribing the
Nicene Creed; without any formal acknowledgment of their past
fault, or any minute definition of their scholastic opinions.
The advice of the primate of Egypt had already prepared the
clergy of Gaul and Spain, of Italy and Greece, for the reception
of this salutary measure; and, notwithstanding the opposition of
some ardent spirits, ^130 the fear of the common enemy promoted
the peace and harmony of the Christians. ^131

[Footnote 129: See Athanas. ad Rufin. tom. ii. p. 40, 41, and
Greg. Nazianzen Orat. iii. p. 395, 396; who justly states the
temperate zeal of the primate, as much more meritorious than his
prayers, his fasts, his persecutions, &c.]
[Footnote 130: I have not leisure to follow the blind obstinacy
of Lucifer of Cagliari. See his adventures in Tillemont, (Mem.
Eccles. tom. vii. p. 900-926;) and observe how the color of the
narrative insensibly changes, as the confessor becomes a

[Footnote 131: Assensus est huic sententiae Occidens, et, per tam
necessarium conilium, Satanae faucibus mundus ereptus. The
lively and artful dialogue of Jerom against the Luciferians (tom.
ii. p. 135-155) exhibits an original picture of the
ecclesiastical policy of the times.]

The skill and diligence of the primate of Egypt had improved
the season of tranquillity, before it was interrupted by the
hostile edicts of the emperor. ^132 Julian, who despised the
Christians, honored Athanasius with his sincere and peculiar
hatred. For his sake alone, he introduced an arbitrary
distinction, repugnant at least to the spirit of his former
declarations. He maintained, that the Galilaeans, whom he had
recalled from exile, were not restored, by that general
indulgence, to the possession of their respective churches; and
he expressed his astonishment, that a criminal, who had been
repeatedly condemned by the judgment of the emperors, should dare
to insult the majesty of the laws, and insolently usurp the
archiepiscopal throne of Alexandria, without expecting the orders
of his sovereign. As a punishment for the imaginary offence, he
again banished Athanasius from the city; and he was pleased to
suppose, that this act of justice would be highly agreeable to
his pious subjects. The pressing solicitations of the people
soon convinced him, that the majority of the Alexandrians were
Christians; and that the greatest part of the Christians were
firmly attached to the cause of their oppressed primate. But the
knowledge of their sentiments, instead of persuading him to
recall his decree, provoked him to extend to all Egypt the term
of the exile of Athanasius. The zeal of the multitude rendered
Julian still more inexorable: he was alarmed by the danger of
leaving at the head of a tumultuous city, a daring and popular
leader; and the language of his resentment discovers the opinion
which he entertained of the courage and abilities of Athanasius.
The execution of the sentence was still delayed, by the caution
or negligence of Ecdicius, praefect of Egypt, who was at length
awakened from his lethargy by a severe reprimand. "Though you
neglect," says Julian, "to write to me on any other subject, at
least it is your duty to inform me of your conduct towards
Athanasius, the enemy of the gods. My intentions have been long
since communicated to you. I swear by the great Serapis, that
unless, on the calends of December, Athanasius has departed from
Alexandria, nay, from Egypt, the officers of your government
shall pay a fine of one hundred pounds of gold. You know my
temper: I am slow to condemn, but I am still slower to forgive."
This epistle was enforced by a short postscript, written with the
emperor's own hand. "The contempt that is shown for all the gods
fills me with grief and indignation. There is nothing that I
should see, nothing that I should hear, with more pleasure, than
the expulsion of Athanasius from all Egypt. The abominable
wretch! Under my reign, the baptism of several Grecian ladies of
the highest rank has been the effect of his persecutions." ^133
The death of Athanasius was not expressly commanded; but the
praefect of Egypt understood that it was safer for him to exceed,
than to neglect, the orders of an irritated master. The
archbishop prudently retired to the monasteries of the Desert;
eluded, with his usual dexterity, the snares of the enemy; and
lived to triumph over the ashes of a prince, who, in words of
formidable import, had declared his wish that the whole venom of
the Galilaean school were contained in the single person of
Athanasius. ^134
[Footnote 132: Tillemont, who supposes that George was massacred
in August crowds the actions of Athanasius into a narrow space,
(Mem. Eccles. tom. viii. p. 360.) An original fragment, published
by the Marquis Maffei, from the old Chapter library of Verona,
(Osservazioni Letterarie, tom. iii. p. 60-92,) affords many
important dates, which are authenticated by the computation of
Egyptian months.]

[Footnote 133: I have preserved the ambiguous sense of the last
word, the ambiguity of a tyrant who wished to find, or to create,
[Footnote 134: The three epistles of Julian, which explain his
intentions and conduct with regard to Athanasius, should be
disposed in the following chronological order, xxvi. x. vi. * See
likewise, Greg. Nazianzen xxi. p. 393. Sozomen, l. v. c. 15.
Socrates, l. iii. c. 14. Theodoret, l iii. c. 9, and Tillemont,
Mem. Eccles. tom. viii. p. 361-368, who has used some materials
prepared by the Bollandists.]

[Footnote *: The sentence in the text is from Epist. li.
addressed to the people of Alexandria. - M.]

I have endeavored faithfully to represent the artful system
by which Julian proposed to obtain the effects, without incurring
the guilt, or reproach, of persecution. But if the deadly spirit
of fanaticism perverted the heart and understanding of a virtuous
prince, it must, at the same time, be confessed that the real
sufferings of the Christians were inflamed and magnified by human
passions and religious enthusiasm. The meekness and resignation
which had distinguished the primitive disciples of the gospel,
was the object of the applause, rather than of the imitation of
their successors. The Christians, who had now possessed above
forty years the civil and ecclesiastical government of the
empire, had contracted the insolent vices of prosperity, ^135 and
the habit of believing that the saints alone were entitled to
reign over the earth. As soon as the enmity of Julian deprived
the clergy of the privileges which had been conferred by the
favor of Constantine, they complained of the most cruel
oppression; and the free toleration of idolaters and heretics was
a subject of grief and scandal to the orthodox party. ^136 The
acts of violence, which were no longer countenanced by the
magistrates, were still committed by the zeal of the people. At
Pessinus, the altar of Cybele was overturned almost in the
presence of the emperor; and in the city of Caesarea in
Cappadocia, the temple of Fortune, the sole place of worship
which had been left to the Pagans, was destroyed by the rage of a
popular tumult. On these occasions, a prince, who felt for the
honor of the gods, was not disposed to interrupt the course of
justice; and his mind was still more deeply exasperated, when he
found that the fanatics, who had deserved and suffered the
punishment of incendiaries, were rewarded with the honors of
martyrdom. ^137 The Christian subjects of Julian were assured of
the hostile designs of their sovereign; and, to their jealous
apprehension, every circumstance of his government might afford
some grounds of discontent and suspicion. In the ordinary
administration of the laws, the Christians, who formed so large a
part of the people, must frequently be condemned: but their
indulgent brethren, without examining the merits of the cause,
presumed their innocence, allowed their claims, and imputed the
severity of their judge to the partial malice of religious
persecution. ^138 These present hardships, intolerable as they
might appear, were represented as a slight prelude of the
impending calamities. The Christians considered Julian as a
cruel and crafty tyrant; who suspended the execution of his
revenge till he should return victorious from the Persian war.
They expected, that as soon as he had triumphed over the foreign
enemies of Rome, he would lay aside the irksome mask of
dissimulation; that the amphitheatre would stream with the blood
of hermits and bishops; and that the Christians who still
persevered in the profession of the faith, would be deprived of
the common benefits of nature and society. ^139 Every calumny
^140 that could wound the reputation of the Apostate, was
credulously embraced by the fears and hatred of his adversaries;
and their indiscreet clamors provoked the temper of a sovereign,
whom it was their duty to respect, and their interest to flatter.

They still protested, that prayers and tears were their only
weapons against the impious tyrant, whose head they devoted to
the justice of offended Heaven. But they insinuated, with sullen
resolution, that their submission was no longer the effect of
weakness; and that, in the imperfect state of human virtue, the
patience, which is founded on principle, may be exhausted by
persecution. It is impossible to determine how far the zeal of
Julian would have prevailed over his good sense and humanity; but
if we seriously reflect on the strength and spirit of the church,
we shall be convinced, that before the emperor could have
extinguished the religion of Christ, he must have involved his
country in the horrors of a civil war. ^141
[Footnote 135: See the fair confession of Gregory, (Orat. iii. p.
61, 62.)]
[Footnote 136: Hear the furious and absurd complaint of Optatus,
(de Schismat Denatist. l. ii. c. 16, 17.)]

[Footnote 137: Greg. Nazianzen, Orat. iii. p. 91, iv. p. 133. He
praises the rioters of Caesarea. See Sozomen, l. v. 4, 11.
Tillemont (Mem. Eccles. tom. vii. p. 649, 650) owns, that their
behavior was not dans l'ordre commun: but he is perfectly
satisfied, as the great St. Basil always celebrated the festival
of these blessed martyrs.]

[Footnote 138: Julian determined a lawsuit against the new
Christian city at Maiuma, the port of Gaza; and his sentence,
though it might be imputed to bigotry, was never reversed by his
successors. Sozomen, l. v. c. 3. Reland, Palestin. tom. ii. p.

[Footnote 139: Gregory (Orat. iii. p. 93, 94, 95. Orat. iv. p.
114) pretends to speak from the information of Julian's
confidants, whom Orosius (vii. 30) could not have seen.]

[Footnote 140: Gregory (Orat. iii. p. 91) charges the Apostate
with secret sacrifices of boys and girls; and positively affirms,
that the dead bodies were thrown into the Orontes. See
Theodoret, l. iii. c. 26, 27; and the equivocal candor of the
Abbe de la Bleterie, Vie de Julien, p. 351, 352. Yet contemporary
malice could not impute to Julian the troops of martyrs, more
especially in the West, which Baronius so greedily swallows, and
Tillemont so faintly rejects, (Mem. Eccles. tom. vii. p.


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