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

Part 13 out of 16

mind equal to the divinity, triumphed over the evil propensities
of human nature, - * * who held commerce with immaterial beings
while yet in the material body - who condescended to rule because
a ruler was necessary to the welfare of mankind." Mai, Nov. Coll.
ii. 261. Eunapius in Niebuhr, 69.]
The triumph of Christianity, and the calamities of the
empire, may, in some measure, be ascribed to Julian himself, who
had neglected to secure the future execution of his designs, by
the timely and judicious nomination of an associate and
successor. But the royal race of Constantius Chlorus was reduced
to his own person; and if he entertained any serious thoughts of
investing with the purple the most worthy among the Romans, he
was diverted from his resolution by the difficulty of the choice,
the jealousy of power, the fear of ingratitude, and the natural
presumption of health, of youth, and of prosperity. His
unexpected death left the empire without a master, and without an
heir, in a state of perplexity and danger, which, in the space of
fourscore years, had never been experienced, since the election
of Diocletian. In a government which had almost forgotten the
distinction of pure and noble blood, the superiority of birth was
of little moment; the claims of official rank were accidental and
precarious; and the candidates, who might aspire to ascend the
vacant throne could be supported only by the consciousness of
personal merit, or by the hopes of popular favor. But the
situation of a famished army, encompassed on all sides by a host
of Barbarians, shortened the moments of grief and deliberation.
In this scene of terror and distress, the body of the deceased
prince, according to his own directions, was decently embalmed;
and, at the dawn of day, the generals convened a military senate,
at which the commanders of the legions, and the officers both of
cavalry and infantry, were invited to assist. Three or four
hours of the night had not passed away without some secret
cabals; and when the election of an emperor was proposed, the
spirit of faction began to agitate the assembly. Victor and
Arinthaeus collected the remains of the court of Constantius; the
friends of Julian attached themselves to the Gallic chiefs,
Dagalaiphus and Nevitta; and the most fatal consequences might be
apprehended from the discord of two factions, so opposite in
their character and interest, in their maxims of government, and
perhaps in their religious principles. The superior virtues of
Sallust could alone reconcile their divisions, and unite their
suffrages; and the venerable praefect would immediately have been
declared the successor of Julian, if he himself, with sincere and
modest firmness, had not alleged his age and infirmities, so
unequal to the weight of the diadem. The generals, who were
surprised and perplexed by his refusal, showed some disposition
to adopt the salutary advice of an inferior officer, ^100 that
they should act as they would have acted in the absence of the
emperor; that they should exert their abilities to extricate the
army from the present distress; and, if they were fortunate
enough to reach the confines of Mesopotamia, they should proceed
with united and deliberate counsels in the election of a lawful
sovereign. While they debated, a few voices saluted Jovian, who
was no more than first ^101 of the domestics, with the names of
Emperor and Augustus. The tumultuary acclamation ^* was
instantly repeated by the guards who surrounded the tent, and
passed, in a few minutes, to the extremities of the line. The
new prince, astonished with his own fortune was hastily invested
with the Imperial ornaments, and received an oath of fidelity
from the generals, whose favor and protection he so lately
solicited. The strongest recommendation of Jovian was the merit
of his father, Count Varronian, who enjoyed, in honorable
retirement, the fruit of his long services. In the obscure
freedom of a private station, the son indulged his taste for wine
and women; yet he supported, with credit, the character of a
Christian ^102 and a soldier. Without being conspicuous for any
of the ambitious qualifications which excite the admiration and
envy of mankind, the comely person of Jovian, his cheerful
temper, and familiar wit, had gained the affection of his
fellow-soldiers; and the generals of both parties acquiesced in a
popular election, which had not been conducted by the arts of
their enemies. The pride of this unexpected elevation was
moderated by the just apprehension, that the same day might
terminate the life and reign of the new emperor. The pressing
voice of necessity was obeyed without delay; and the first orders
issued by Jovian, a few hours after his predecessor had expired,
were to prosecute a march, which could alone extricate the Romans
from their actual distress. ^103

[Footnote 100: Honoratior aliquis miles; perhaps Ammianus
himself. The modest and judicious historian describes the scene
of the election, at which he was undoubtedly present, (xxv. 5.)]

[Footnote 101: The primus or primicerius enjoyed the dignity of a
senator, and though only a tribune, he ranked with the military
dukes. Cod. Theodosian. l. vi. tit. xxiv. These privileges are
perhaps more recent than the time of Jovian.]

[Footnote *: The soldiers supposed that the acclamations
proclaimed the name of Julian, restored, as they fondly thought,
to health, not that of Jovian. loc. - M.]

[Footnote 102: The ecclesiastical historians, Socrates, (l. iii.
c. 22,) Sozomen, (l. vi. c. 3,) and Theodoret, (l. iv. c. 1,)
ascribe to Jovian the merit of a confessor under the preceding
reign; and piously suppose that he refused the purple, till the
whole army unanimously exclaimed that they were Christians.
Ammianus, calmly pursuing his narrative, overthrows the legend by
a single sentence. Hostiis pro Joviano extisque inspectis,
pronuntiatum est, &c., xxv. 6.]

[Footnote 103: Ammianus (xxv. 10) has drawn from the life an
impartial portrait of Jovian; to which the younger Victor has
added some remarkable strokes. The Abbe de la Bleterie (Histoire
de Jovien, tom. i. p. 1-238) has composed an elaborate history of
his short reign; a work remarkably distinguished by elegance of
style, critical disquisition, and religious prejudice.]

Chapter XXIV: The Retreat And Death Of Julian.

Part V.

The esteem of an enemy is most sincerely expressed by his
fears; and the degree of fear may be accurately measured by the
joy with which he celebrates his deliverance. The welcome news
of the death of Julian, which a deserter revealed to the camp of
Sapor, inspired the desponding monarch with a sudden confidence
of victory. He immediately detached the royal cavalry, perhaps
the ten thousand Immortals, ^104 to second and support the
pursuit; and discharged the whole weight of his united forces on
the rear- guard of the Romans. The rear-guard was thrown into
disorder; the renowned legions, which derived their titles from
Diocletian, and his warlike colleague, were broke and trampled
down by the elephants; and three tribunes lost their lives in
attempting to stop the flight of their soldiers. The battle was
at length restored by the persevering valor of the Romans; the
Persians were repulsed with a great slaughter of men and
elephants; and the army, after marching and fighting a long
summer's day, arrived, in the evening, at Samara, on the banks of
the Tigris, about one hundred miles above Ctesiphon. ^105 On the
ensuing day, the Barbarians, instead of harassing the march,
attacked the camp, of Jovian; which had been seated in a deep and
sequestered valley. From the hills, the archers of Persia
insulted and annoyed the wearied legionaries; and a body of
cavalry, which had penetrated with desperate courage through the
Praetorian gate, was cut in pieces, after a doubtful conflict,
near the Imperial tent. In the succeeding night, the camp of
Carche was protected by the lofty dikes of the river; and the
Roman army, though incessantly exposed to the vexatious pursuit
of the Saracens, pitched their tents near the city of Dura, ^106
four days after the death of Julian. The Tigris was still on
their left; their hopes and provisions were almost consumed; and
the impatient soldiers, who had fondly persuaded themselves that
the frontiers of the empire were not far distant, requested their
new sovereign, that they might be permitted to hazard the passage
of the river. With the assistance of his wisest officers, Jovian
endeavored to check their rashness; by representing, that if they
possessed sufficient skill and vigor to stem the torrent of a
deep and rapid stream, they would only deliver themselves naked
and defenceless to the Barbarians, who had occupied the opposite
banks, Yielding at length to their clamorous importunities, he
consented, with reluctance, that five hundred Gauls and Germans,
accustomed from their infancy to the waters of the Rhine and
Danube, should attempt the bold adventure, which might serve
either as an encouragement, or as a warning, for the rest of the
army. In the silence of the night, they swam the Tigris,
surprised an unguarded post of the enemy, and displayed at the
dawn of day the signal of their resolution and fortune. The
success of this trial disposed the emperor to listen to the
promises of his architects, who propose to construct a floating
bridge of the inflated skins of sheep, oxen, and goats, covered
with a floor of earth and fascines. ^107 Two important days were
spent in the ineffectual labor; and the Romans, who already
endured the miseries of famine, cast a look of despair on the
Tigris, and upon the Barbarians; whose numbers and obstinacy
increased with the distress of the Imperial army. ^108

[Footnote 104: Regius equitatus. It appears, from Irocopius,
that the Immortals, so famous under Cyrus and his successors,
were revived, if we may use that improper word, by the
Sassanides. Brisson de Regno Persico, p. 268, &c.]

[Footnote 105: The obscure villages of the inland country are
irrecoverably lost; nor can we name the field of battle where
Julian fell: but M. D'Anville has demonstrated the precise
situation of Sumere, Carche, and Dura, along the banks of the
Tigris, (Geographie Ancienne, tom. ii. p. 248 L'Euphrate et le
Tigre, p. 95, 97.) In the ninth century, Sumere, or Samara,
became, with a slight change of name, the royal residence of the
khalifs of the house of Abbas.

Note: Sormanray, called by the Arabs Samira, where D'Anville
placed Samara, is too much to the south; and is a modern town
built by Caliph Morasen. Serra-man-rai means, in Arabic, it
rejoices every one who sees it. St. Martin, iii. 133. - M.]

[Footnote 106: Dura was a fortified place in the wars of
Antiochus against the rebels of Media and Persia, (Polybius, l.
v. c. 48, 52, p. 548, 552 edit. Casaubon, in 8vo.)]

[Footnote 107: A similar expedient was proposed to the leaders of
the ten thousand, and wisely rejected. Xenophon, Anabasis, l.
iii. p. 255, 256, 257. It appears, from our modern travellers,
that rafts floating on bladders perform the trade and navigation
of the Tigris.]

[Footnote 108: The first military acts of the reign of Jovian are
related by Ammianus, (xxv. 6,) Libanius, (Orat. Parent. c. 146,
p. 364,) and Zosimus, (l. iii. p. 189, 190, 191.) Though we may
distrust the fairness of Libanius, the ocular testimony of
Eutropius (uno a Persis atque altero proelio victus, x. 17) must
incline us to suspect that Ammianus had been too jealous of the
honor of the Roman arms.]

In this hopeless condition, the fainting spirits of the
Romans were revived by the sound of peace. The transient
presumption of Sapor had vanished: he observed, with serious
concern, that, in the repetition of doubtful combats, he had lost
his most faithful and intrepid nobles, his bravest troops, and
the greatest part of his train of elephants: and the experienced
monarch feared to provoke the resistance of despair, the
vicissitudes of fortune, and the unexhausted powers of the Roman
empire; which might soon advance to elieve, or to revenge, the
successor of Julian. The Surenas himself, accompanied by another
satrap, ^* appeared in the camp of Jovian; ^109 and declared,
that the clemency of his sovereign was not averse to signify the
conditions on which he would consent to spare and to dismiss the
Caesar with the relics of his captive army. ^! The hopes of
safety subdued the firmness of the Romans; the emperor was
compelled, by the advice of his council, and the cries of his
soldiers, to embrace the offer of peace; ^!! and the praefect
Sallust was immediately sent, with the general Arinthaeus, to
understand the pleasure of the Great King. The crafty Persian
delayed, under various pretenses, the conclusion of the
agreement; started difficulties, required explanations, suggested
expedients, receded from his concessions, increased his demands,
and wasted four days in the arts of negotiation, till he had
consumed the stock of provisions which yet remained in the camp
of the Romans. Had Jovian been capable of executing a bold and
prudent measure, he would have continued his march, with
unremitting diligence; the progress of the treaty would have
suspended the attacks of the Barbarians; and, before the
expiration of the fourth day, he might have safely reached the
fruitful province of Corduene, at the distance only of one
hundred miles. ^110 The irresolute emperor, instead of breaking
through the toils of the enemy, expected his fate with patient
resignation; and accepted the humiliating conditions of peace,
which it was no longer in his power to refuse. The five
provinces beyond the Tigris, which had been ceded by the
grandfather of Sapor, were restored to the Persian monarchy. He
acquired, by a single article, the impregnable city of Nisibis;
which had sustained, in three successive sieges, the effort of
his arms. Singara, and the castle of the Moors, one of the
strongest places of Mesopotamia, were likewise dismembered from
the empire. It was considered as an indulgence, that the
inhabitants of those fortresses were permitted to retire with
their effects; but the conqueror rigorously insisted, that the
Romans should forever abandon the king and kingdom of Armenia.
^!!! A peace, or rather a long truce, of thirty years, was
stipulated between the hostile nations; the faith of the treaty
was ratified by solemn oaths and religious ceremonies; and
hostages of distinguished rank were reciprocally delivered to
secure the performance of the conditions. ^111
[Footnote 109: Sextus Rufus (de Provinciis, c. 29) embraces a
poor subterfuge of national vanity. Tanta reverentia nominis
Romani fuit, ut a Persis primus de pace sermo haberetur.]

[Footnote *: He is called Junius by John Malala; the same, M. St.
Martin conjectures, with a satrap of Gordyene named Jovianus, or
Jovinianus; mentioned in Ammianus Marcellinus, xviii. 6. - M.]

[Footnote !: The Persian historians couch the message of
Shah-pour in these Oriental terms: "I have reassembled my
numerous army. I am resolved to revenge my subjects, who have
been plundered, made captives, and slain. It is for this that I
have bared my arm, and girded my loins. If you consent to pay
the price of the blood which has been shed, to deliver up the
booty which has been plundered, and to restore the city of
Nisibis, which is in Irak, and belongs to our empire, though now
in your possession, I will sheathe the sword of war; but should
you refuse these terms, the hoofs of my horse, which are hard as
steel, shall efface the name of the Romans from the earth; and my
glorious cimeter, that destroys like fire, shall exterminate the
people of your empire." These authorities do not mention the
death of Julian. Malcolm's Persia, i. 87. - M.]

[Footnote !!: The Paschal chronicle, not, as M. St. Martin says,
supported by John Malala, places the mission of this ambassador
before the death of Julian. The king of Persia was then in
Persarmenia, ignorant of the death of Julian; he only arrived at
the army subsequent to that event. St. Martin adopts this view,
and finds or extorts support for it, from Libanius and Ammianus,
iii. 158. - M.]

[Footnote 110: It is presumptuous to controvert the opinion of
Ammianus, a soldier and a spectator. Yet it is difficult to
understand how the mountains of Corduene could extend over the
plains of Assyria, as low as the conflux of the Tigris and the
great Zab; or how an army of sixty thousand men could march one
hundred miles in four days.

Note: Yet this appears to be the case (in modern maps: ) the
march is the difficulty. - M.]

[Footnote !!!: Sapor availed himself, a few years after, of the
dissolution of the alliance between the Romans and the Armenians.

See St. M. iii. 163. - M.]
[Footnote 111: The treaty of Dura is recorded with grief or
indignation by Ammianus, (xxv. 7,) Libanius, (Orat. Parent. c.
142, p. 364,) Zosimus, (l. iii. p. 190, 191,) Gregory Nazianzen,
(Orat. iv. p. 117, 118, who imputes the distress to Julian, the
deliverance to Jovian,) and Eutropius, (x. 17.) The
last-mentioned writer, who was present in military station,
styles this peace necessarium quidem sed ignoblem.]

The sophist of Antioch, who saw with indignation the sceptre
of his hero in the feeble hand of a Christian successor,
professes to admire the moderation of Sapor, in contenting
himself with so small a portion of the Roman empire. If he had
stretched as far as the Euphrates the claims of his ambition, he
might have been secure, says Libanius, of not meeting with a
refusal. If he had fixed, as the boundary of Persia, the
Orontes, the Cydnus, the Sangarius, or even the Thracian
Bosphorus, flatterers would not have been wanting in the court of
Jovian to convince the timid monarch, that his remaining
provinces would still afford the most ample gratifications of
power and luxury. ^112 Without adopting in its full force this
malicious insinuation, we must acknowledge, that the conclusion
of so ignominious a treaty was facilitated by the private
ambition of Jovian. The obscure domestic, exalted to the throne
by fortune, rather than by merit, was impatient to escape from
the hands of the Persians, that he might prevent the designs of
Procopius, who commanded the army of Mesopotamia, and establish
his doubtful reign over the legions and provinces which were
still ignorant of the hasty and tumultuous choice of the camp
beyond the Tigris. ^113 In the neighborhood of the same river, at
no very considerable distance from the fatal station of Dura,
^114 the ten thousand Greeks, without generals, or guides, or
provisions, were abandoned, above twelve hundred miles from their
native country, to the resentment of a victorious monarch. The
difference of their conduct and success depended much more on
their character than on their situation. Instead of tamely
resigning themselves to the secret deliberations and private
views of a single person, the united councils of the Greeks were
inspired by the generous enthusiasm of a popular assembly; where
the mind of each citizen is filled with the love of glory, the
pride of freedom, and the contempt of death. Conscious of their
superiority over the Barbarians in arms and discipline, they
disdained to yield, they refused to capitulate: every obstacle
was surmounted by their patience, courage, and military skill;
and the memorable retreat of the ten thousand exposed and
insulted the weakness of the Persian monarchy. ^115

[Footnote 112: Libanius, Orat. Parent. c. 143, p. 364, 365.]
[Footnote 113: Conditionibus . . . . . dispendiosis Romanae
reipublicae impositis . . . . quibus cupidior regni quam gloriae
Jovianus, imperio rudis, adquievit. Sextus Rufus de Provinciis,
c. 29. La Bleterie has expressed, in a long, direct oration,
these specious considerations of public and private interest,
(Hist. de Jovien, tom. i. p. 39, &c.)]
[Footnote 114: The generals were murdered on the bauks of the
Zabatus, (Ana basis, l. ii. p. 156, l. iii. p. 226,) or great
Zab, a river of Assyria, 400 feet broad, which falls into the
Tigris fourteen hours below Mosul. The error of the Greeks
bestowed on the greater and lesser Zab the names of the Walf,
(Lycus,) and the Goat, (Capros.) They created these animals to
attend the Tiger of the East.]

[Footnote 115: The Cyropoedia is vague and languid; the Anabasis
circumstance and animated. Such is the eternal difference
between fiction and truth.]
As the price of his disgraceful concessions, the emperor
might perhaps have stipulated, that the camp of the hungry Romans
should be plentifully supplied; ^116 and that they should be
permitted to pass the Tigris on the bridge which was constructed
by the hands of the Persians. But, if Jovian presumed to solicit
those equitable terms, they were sternly refused by the haughty
tyrant of the East, whose clemency had pardoned the invaders of
his country. The Saracens sometimes intercepted the stragglers
of the march; but the generals and troops of Sapor respected the
cessation of arms; and Jovian was suffered to explore the most
convenient place for the passage of the river. The small
vessels, which had been saved from the conflagration of the
fleet, performed the most essential service. They first conveyed
the emperor and his favorites; and afterwards transported, in
many successive voyages, a great part of the army. But, as every
man was anxious for his personal safety, and apprehensive of
being left on the hostile shore, the soldiers, who were too
impatient to wait the slow returns of the boats, boldly ventured
themselves on light hurdles, or inflated skins; and, drawing
after them their horses, attempted, with various success, to swim
across the river. Many of these daring adventurers were
swallowed by the waves; many others, who were carried along by
the violence of the stream, fell an easy prey to the avarice or
cruelty of the wild Arabs: and the loss which the army sustained
in the passage of the Tigris, was not inferior to the carnage of
a day of battle. As soon as the Romans were landed on the western
bank, they were delivered from the hostile pursuit of the
Barbarians; but, in a laborious march of two hundred miles over
the plains of Mesopotamia, they endured the last extremities of
thirst and hunger. They were obliged to traverse the sandy
desert, which, in the extent of seventy miles, did not afford a
single blade of sweet grass, nor a single spring of fresh water;
and the rest of the inhospitable waste was untrod by the
footsteps either of friends or enemies. Whenever a small measure
of flour could be discovered in the camp, twenty pounds weight
were greedily purchased with ten pieces of gold: ^117 the beasts
of burden were slaughtered and devoured; and the desert was
strewed with the arms and baggage of the Roman soldiers, whose
tattered garments and meagre countenances displayed their past
sufferings and actual misery. A small convoy of provisions
advanced to meet the army as far as the castle of Ur; and the
supply was the more grateful, since it declared the fidelity of
Sebastian and Procopius. At Thilsaphata, ^118 the emperor most
graciously received the generals of Mesopotamia; and the remains
of a once flourishing army at length reposed themselves under the
walls of Nisibis. The messengers of Jovian had already
proclaimed, in the language of flattery, his election, his
treaty, and his return; and the new prince had taken the most
effectual measures to secure the allegiance of the armies and
provinces of Europe, by placing the military command in the hands
of those officers, who, from motives of interest, or inclination,
would firmly support the cause of their benefactor. ^119
[Footnote 116: According to Rufinus, an immediate supply of
provisions was stipulated by the treaty, and Theodoret affirms,
that the obligation was faithfully discharged by the Persians.
Such a fact is probable but undoubtedly false. See Tillemont,
Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 702.]
[Footnote 117: We may recollect some lines of Lucan, (Pharsal.
iv. 95,) who describes a similar distress of Caesar's army in
Spain: -

Saeva fames aderat -
Miles eget: toto censu non prodigus emit
Exiguam Cererem. Proh lucri pallida tabes!
Non deest prolato jejunus venditor auro.

See Guichardt (Nouveaux Memoires Militaires, tom. i. p. 370-382.)
His analysis of the two campaigns in Spain and Africa is the
noblest monument that has ever been raised to the fame of

[Footnote 118: M. d'Anville (see his Maps, and l'Euphrate et le
Tigre, p. 92, 93) traces their march, and assigns the true
position of Hatra, Ur, and Thilsaphata, which Ammianus has
mentioned. ^* He does not complain of the Samiel, the deadly hot
wind, which Thevenot (Voyages, part ii. l. i. p. 192) so much

[Footnote *: Hatra, now Kadhr. Ur, Kasr or Skervidgi.
Thilsaphata is unknown - M.]

[Footnote 119: The retreat of Jovian is described by Ammianus,
(xxv. 9,) Libanius, (Orat. Parent. c. 143, p. 365,) and Zosimus,
(l. iii. p. 194.)]
The friends of Julian had confidently announced the success
of his expedition. They entertained a fond persuasion that the
temples of the gods would be enriched with the spoils of the
East; that Persia would be reduced to the humble state of a
tributary province, governed by the laws and magistrates of Rome;
that the Barbarians would adopt the dress, and manners, and
language of their conquerors; and that the youth of Ecbatana and
Susa would study the art of rhetoric under Grecian masters. ^120
The progress of the arms of Julian interrupted his communication
with the empire; and, from the moment that he passed the Tigris,
his affectionate subjects were ignorant of the fate and fortunes
of their prince. Their contemplation of fancied triumphs was
disturbed by the melancholy rumor of his death; and they
persisted to doubt, after they could no longer deny, the truth of
that fatal event. ^121 The messengers of Jovian promulgated the
specious tale of a prudent and necessary peace; the voice of
fame, louder and more sincere, revealed the disgrace of the
emperor, and the conditions of the ignominious treaty. The minds
of the people were filled with astonishment and grief, with
indignation and terror, when they were informed, that the
unworthy successor of Julian relinquished the five provinces
which had been acquired by the victory of Galerius; and that he
shamefully surrendered to the Barbarians the important city of
Nisibis, the firmest bulwark of the provinces of the East. ^122
The deep and dangerous question, how far the public faith should
be observed, when it becomes incompatible with the public safety,
was freely agitated in popular conversation; and some hopes were
entertained that the emperor would redeem his pusillanimous
behavior by a splendid act of patriotic perfidy. The inflexible
spirit of the Roman senate had always disclaimed the unequal
conditions which were extorted from the distress of their captive
armies; and, if it were necessary to satisfy the national honor,
by delivering the guilty general into the hands of the
Barbarians, the greatest part of the subjects of Jovian would
have cheerfully acquiesced in the precedent of ancient times.

[Footnote 120: Libanius, (Orat. Parent. c. 145, p. 366.) Such
were the natural hopes and wishes of a rhetorician.]

[Footnote 121: The people of Carrhae, a city devoted to Paganism,
buried the inauspicious messenger under a pile of stones,
(Zosimus, l. iii. p. 196.) Libanius, when he received the fatal
intelligence, cast his eye on his sword; but he recollected that
Plato had condemned suicide, and that he must live to compose the
Panegyric of Julian, (Libanius de Vita sua, tom. ii. p. 45, 46.)]

[Footnote 122: Ammianus and Eutropius may be admitted as fair and
credible witnesses of the public language and opinions. The
people of Antioch reviled an ignominious peace, which exposed
them to the Persians, on a naked and defenceless frontier,
(Excerpt. Valesiana, p. 845, ex Johanne Antiocheno.)]
[Footnote 123: The Abbe de la Bleterie, (Hist. de Jovien, tom. i.
p. 212- 227.) though a severe casuist, has pronounced that Jovian
was not bound to execute his promise; since he could not
dismember the empire, nor alienate, without their consent, the
allegiance of his people. I have never found much delight or
instruction in such political metaphysics.]

But the emperor, whatever might be the limits of his
constitutional authority, was the absolute master of the laws and
arms of the state; and the same motives which had forced him to
subscribe, now pressed him to execute, the treaty of peace. He
was impatient to secure an empire at the expense of a few
provinces; and the respectable names of religion and honor
concealed the personal fears and ambition of Jovian.
Notwithstanding the dutiful solicitations of the inhabitants,
decency, as well as prudence, forbade the emperor to lodge in the
palace of Nisibis; but the next morning after his arrival.
Bineses, the ambassador of Persia, entered the place, displayed
from the citadel the standard of the Great King, and proclaimed,
in his name, the cruel alternative of exile or servitude. The
principal citizens of Nisibis, who, till that fatal moment, had
confided in the protection of their sovereign, threw themselves
at his feet. They conjured him not to abandon, or, at least, not
to deliver, a faithful colony to the rage of a Barbarian tyrant,
exasperated by the three successive defeats which he had
experienced under the walls of Nisibis. They still possessed
arms and courage to repel the invaders of their country: they
requested only the permission of using them in their own defence;
and, as soon as they had asserted their independence, they should
implore the favor of being again admitted into the ranks of his
subjects. Their arguments, their eloquence, their tears, were
ineffectual. Jovian alleged, with some confusion, the sanctity
of oaths; and, as the reluctance with which he accepted the
present of a crown of gold, convinced the citizens of their
hopeless condition, the advocate Sylvanus was provoked to
exclaim, "O emperor! may you thus be crowned by all the cities
of your dominions!" Jovian, who in a few weeks had assumed the
habits of a prince, ^124 was displeased with freedom, and
offended with truth: and as he reasonably supposed, that the
discontent of the people might incline them to submit to the
Persian government, he published an edict, under pain of death,
that they should leave the city within the term of three days.
Ammianus has delineated in lively colors the scene of universal
despair, which he seems to have viewed with an eye of compassion.
^125 The martial youth deserted, with indignant grief, the walls
which they had so gloriously defended: the disconsolate mourner
dropped a last tear over the tomb of a son or husband, which must
soon be profaned by the rude hand of a Barbarian master; and the
aged citizen kissed the threshold, and clung to the doors, of the
house where he had passed the cheerful and careless hours of
infancy. The highways were crowded with a trembling multitude:
the distinctions of rank, and sex, and age, were lost in the
general calamity. Every one strove to bear away some fragment
from the wreck of his fortunes; and as they could not command the
immediate service of an adequate number of horses or wagons, they
were obliged to leave behind them the greatest part of their
valuable effects. The savage insensibility of Jovian appears to
have aggravated the hardships of these unhappy fugitives. They
were seated, however, in a new-built quarter of Amida; and that
rising city, with the reenforcement of a very considerable
colony, soon recovered its former splendor, and became the
capital of Mesopotamia. ^126 Similar orders were despatched by
the emperor for the evacuation of Singara and the castle of the
Moors; and for the restitution of the five provinces beyond the
Tigris. Sapor enjoyed the glory and the fruits of his victory;
and this ignominious peace has justly been considered as a
memorable aera in the decline and fall of the Roman empire. The
predecessors of Jovian had sometimes relinquished the dominion of
distant and unprofitable provinces; but, since the foundation of
the city, the genius of Rome, the god Terminus, who guarded the
boundaries of the republic, had never retired before the sword of
a victorious enemy. ^127

[Footnote 124: At Nisibis he performed a royal act. A brave
officer, his namesake, who had been thought worthy of the purple,
was dragged from supper, thrown into a well, and stoned to death
without any form of trial or evidence of guilt. Anomian. xxv.

[Footnote 125: See xxv. 9, and Zosimus, l. iii. p. 194, 195.]
[Footnote 126: Chron. Paschal. p. 300. The ecclesiastical
Notitie may be consulted.]

[Footnote 127: Zosimus, l. iii. p. 192, 193. Sextus Rufus de
Provinciis, c. 29. Augustin de Civitat. Dei, l. iv. c. 29. This
general position must be applied and interpreted with some

After Jovian had performed those engagements which the voice
of his people might have tempted him to violate, he hastened away
from the scene of his disgrace, and proceeded with his whole
court to enjoy the luxury of Antioch. ^128 Without consulting the
dictates of religious zeal, he was prompted, by humanity and
gratitude, to bestow the last honors on the remains of his
deceased sovereign: ^129 and Procopius, who sincerely bewailed
the loss of his kinsman, was removed from the command of the
army, under the decent pretence of conducting the funeral. The
corpse of Julian was transported from Nisibis to Tarsus, in a
slow march of fifteen days; and, as it passed through the cities
of the East, was saluted by the hostile factions, with mournful
lamentations and clamorous insults. The Pagans already placed
their beloved hero in the rank of those gods whose worship he had
restored; while the invectives of the Christians pursued the soul
of the Apostate to hell, and his body to the grave. ^130 One
party lamented the approaching ruin of their altars; the other
celebrated the marvellous deliverance of their church. The
Christians applauded, in lofty and ambiguous strains, the stroke
of divine vengeance, which had been so long suspended over the
guilty head of Julian. They acknowledge, that the death of the
tyrant, at the instant he expired beyond the Tigris, was revealed
to the saints of Egypt, Syria, and Cappadocia; ^131 and instead
of suffering him to fall by the Persian darts, their indiscretion
ascribed the heroic deed to the obscure hand of some mortal or
immortal champion of the faith. ^132 Such imprudent declarations
were eagerly adopted by the malice, or credulity, of their
adversaries; ^133 who darkly insinuated, or confidently asserted,
that the governors of the church had instigated and directed the
fanaticism of a domestic assassin. ^134 Above sixteen years after
the death of Julian, the charge was solemnly and vehemently
urged, in a public oration, addressed by Libanius to the emperor
Theodosius. His suspicions are unsupported by fact or argument;
and we can only esteem the generous zeal of the sophist of
Antioch for the cold and neglected ashes of his friend. ^135

[Footnote 128: Ammianus, xxv. 9. Zosimus, l. iii. p. 196. He
might be edax, vino Venerique indulgens. But I agree with La
Bleterie (tom. i. p. 148-154) in rejecting the foolish report of
a Bacchanalian riot (ap. Suidam) celebrated at Antioch, by the
emperor, his wife, and a troop of concubines.]
[Footnote 129: The Abbe de la Bleterie (tom. i. p. 156-209)
handsomely exposes the brutal bigotry of Baronius, who would have
thrown Julian to the dogs, ne cespititia quidem sepultura

[Footnote 130: Compare the sophist and the saint, (Libanius,
Monod. tom. ii. p. 251, and Orat. Parent. c. 145, p. 367, c. 156,
p. 377, with Gregory Nazianzen, Orat. iv. p. 125-132.) The
Christian orator faintly mutters some exhortations to modesty and
forgiveness; but he is well satisfied, that the real sufferings
of Julian will far exceed the fabulous torments of Ixion or

[Footnote 131: Tillemont (Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 549)
has collected these visions. Some saint or angel was observed to
be absent in the night, on a secret expedition, &c.]

[Footnote 132: Sozomen (l. vi. 2) applauds the Greek doctrine of
tyrannicide; but the whole passage, which a Jesuit might have
translated, is prudently suppressed by the president Cousin.]

[Footnote 133: Immediately after the death of Julian, an
uncertain rumor was scattered, telo cecidisse Romano. It was
carried, by some deserters to the Persian camp; and the Romans
were reproached as the assassins of the emperor by Sapor and his
subjects, (Ammian. xxv. 6. Libanius de ulciscenda Juliani nece,
c. xiii. p. 162, 163.) It was urged, as a decisive proof, that no
Persian had appeared to claim the promised reward, (Liban. Orat.
Parent. c. 141, p. 363.) But the flying horseman, who darted the
fatal javelin, might be ignorant of its effect; or he might be
slain in the same action. Ammianus neither feels nor inspires a

[Footnote 134: This dark and ambiguous expression may point to
Athanasius, the first, without a rival, of the Christian clergy,
(Libanius de ulcis. Jul. nece, c. 5, p. 149. La Bleterie, Hist.
de Jovien, tom. i. p. 179.)]
[Footnote 135: The orator (Fabricius, Bibliot. Graec. tom. vii.
p. 145-179) scatters suspicions, demands an inquiry, and
insinuates, that proofs might still be obtained. He ascribes the
success of the Huns to the criminal neglect of revenging Julian's

It was an ancient custom in the funerals, as well as in the
triumphs, of the Romans, that the voice of praise should be
corrected by that of satire and ridicule; and that, in the midst
of the splendid pageants, which displayed the glory of the living
or of the dead, their imperfections should not be concealed from
the eyes of the world. ^136 This custom was practised in the
funeral of Julian. The comedians, who resented his contempt and
aversion for the theatre, exhibited, with the applause of a
Christian audience, the lively and exaggerated representation of
the faults and follies of the deceased emperor. His various
character and singular manners afforded an ample scope for
pleasantry and ridicule. ^137 In the exercise of his uncommon
talents, he often descended below the majesty of his rank.
Alexander was transformed into Diogenes; the philosopher was
degraded into a priest. The purity of his virtue was sullied by
excessive vanity; his superstition disturbed the peace, and
endangered the safety, of a mighty empire; and his irregular
sallies were the less entitled to indulgence, as they appeared to
be the laborious efforts of art, or even of affectation. The
remains of Julian were interred at Tarsus in Cilicia; but his
stately tomb, which arose in that city, on the banks of the cold
and limpid Cydnus, ^138 was displeasing to the faithful friends,
who loved and revered the memory of that extraordinary man. The
philosopher expressed a very reasonable wish, that the disciple
of Plato might have reposed amidst the groves of the academy;
^139 while the soldier exclaimed, in bolder accents, that the
ashes of Julian should have been mingled with those of Caesar, in
the field of Mars, and among the ancient monuments of Roman
virtue. ^140 The history of princes does not very frequently
renew the examples of a similar competition.

[Footnote 136: At the funeral of Vespasian, the comedian who
personated that frugal emperor, anxiously inquired how much it
cost. Fourscore thousand pounds, (centies.) Give me the tenth
part of the sum, and throw my body into the Tiber. Sueton, in
Vespasian, c. 19, with the notes of Casaubon and Gronovius.]

[Footnote 137: Gregory (Orat. iv. p. 119, 120) compares this
supposed ignominy and ridicule to the funeral honors of
Constantius, whose body was chanted over Mount Taurus by a choir
of angels.]

[Footnote 138: Quintus Curtius, l. iii. c. 4. The luxuriancy of
his descriptions has been often censured. Yet it was almost the
duty of the historian to describe a river, whose waters had
nearly proved fatal to Alexander.]

[Footnote 139: Libanius, Orat. Parent. c. 156, p. 377. Yet he
acknowledges with gratitude the liberality of the two royal
brothers in decorating the tomb of Julian, (de ulcis. Jul. nece,
c. 7, p. 152.)]

[Footnote 140: Cujus suprema et cineres, si qui tunc juste
consuleret, non Cydnus videre deberet, quamvis gratissimus amnis
et liquidus: sed ad perpetuandam gloriam recte factorum
praeterlambere Tiberis, intersecans urbem aeternam, divorumque
veterum monumenta praestringens Ammian. xxv. 10.]

Chapter XXV: Reigns Of Jovian And Valentinian, Division Of The

Part I.

The Government And Death Of Jovian. - Election Of
Valentinian, Who Associates His Brother Valens, And Makes The
Final Division Of The Eastern And Western Empires. - Revolt Of
Procopius. - Civil And Ecclesiastical Administration. - Germany.
- Britain. - Africa. - The East. - The Danube. - Death Of
Valentinian. - His Two Sons, Gratian And Valentinian II., Succeed
To The Western Empire.

The death of Julian had left the public affairs of the
empire in a very doubtful and dangerous situation. The Roman
army was saved by an inglorious, perhaps a necessary treaty; ^1
and the first moments of peace were consecrated by the pious
Jovian to restore the domestic tranquility of the church and
state. The indiscretion of his predecessor, instead of
reconciling, had artfully fomented the religious war: and the
balance which he affected to preserve between the hostile
factions, served only to perpetuate the contest, by the
vicissitudes of hope and fear, by the rival claims of ancient
possession and actual favor. The Christians had forgotten the
spirit of the gospel; and the Pagans had imbibed the spirit of
the church. In private families, the sentiments of nature were
extinguished by the blind fury of zeal and revenge: the majesty
of the laws was violated or abused; the cities of the East were
stained with blood; and the most implacable enemies of the Romans
were in the bosom of their country. Jovian was educated in the
profession of Christianity; and as he marched from Nisibis to
Antioch, the banner of the Cross, the Labarum of Constantine,
which was again displayed at the head of the legions, announced
to the people the faith of their new emperor. As soon as he
ascended the throne, he transmitted a circular epistle to all the
governors of provinces; in which he confessed the divine truth,
and secured the legal establishment, of the Christian religion.
The insidious edicts of Julian were abolished; the ecclesiastical
immunities were restored and enlarged; and Jovian condescended to
lament, that the distress of the times obliged him to diminish
the measure of charitable distributions. ^2 The Christians were
unanimous in the loud and sincere applause which they bestowed on
the pious successor of Julian. But they were still ignorant what
creed, or what synod, he would choose for the standard of
orthodoxy; and the peace of the church immediately revived those
eager disputes which had been suspended during the season of
persecution. The episcopal leaders of the contending sects,
convinced, from experience, how much their fate would depend on
the earliest impressions that were made on the mind of an
untutored soldier, hastened to the court of Edessa, or Antioch.
The highways of the East were crowded with Homoousian, and Arian,
and Semi- Arian, and Eunomian bishops, who struggled to outstrip
each other in the holy race: the apartments of the palace
resounded with their clamors; and the ears of the prince were
assaulted, and perhaps astonished, by the singular mixture of
metaphysical argument and passionate invective. ^3 The moderation
of Jovian, who recommended concord and charity, and referred the
disputants to the sentence of a future council, was interpreted
as a symptom of indifference: but his attachment to the Nicene
creed was at length discovered and declared, by the reverence
which he expressed for the celestial ^4 virtues of the great
Athanasius. The intrepid veteran of the faith, at the age of
seventy, had issued from his retreat on the first intelligence of
the tyrant's death. The acclamations of the people seated him
once more on the archiepiscopal throne; and he wisely accepted,
or anticipated, the invitation of Jovian. The venerable figure
of Athanasius, his calm courage, and insinuating eloquence,
sustained the reputation which he had already acquired in the
courts of four successive princes. ^5 As soon as he had gained
the confidence, and secured the faith, of the Christian emperor,
he returned in triumph to his diocese, and continued, with mature
counsels and undiminished vigor, to direct, ten years longer, ^6
the ecclesiastical government of Alexandria, Egypt, and the
Catholic church. Before his departure from Antioch, he assured
Jovian that his orthodox devotion would be rewarded with a long
and peaceful reign. Athanasius, had reason to hope, that he
should be allowed either the merit of a successful prediction, or
the excuse of a grateful though ineffectual prayer. ^7

[Footnote 1: The medals of Jovian adorn him with victories,
laurel crowns, and prostrate captives. Ducange, Famil. Byzantin.
p. 52. Flattery is a foolish suicide; she destroys herself with
her own hands.]

[Footnote 2: Jovian restored to the church a forcible and
comprehensive expression, (Philostorgius, l. viii. c. 5, with
Godefroy's Dissertations, p. 329. Sozomen, l. vi. c. 3.) The new
law which condemned the rape or marriage of nuns (Cod. Theod. l.
ix. tit. xxv. leg. 2) is exaggerated by Sozomen; who supposes,
that an amorous glance, the adultery of the heart, was punished
with death by the evangelic legislator.]

[Footnote 3: Compare Socrates, l. iii. c. 25, and Philostorgius,
l. viii. c. 6, with Godefroy's Dissertations, p. 330.]

[Footnote 4: The word celestial faintly expresses the impious and
extravagant flattery of the emperor to the archbishop. (See the
original epistle in Athanasius, tom. ii. p. 33.) Gregory
Nazianzen (Orat. xxi. p. 392) celebrates the friendship of Jovian
and Athanasius. The primate's journey was advised by the
Egyptian monks, (Tillemont, Mem. Eccles. tom. viii. p. 221.)]
[Footnote 5: Athanasius, at the court of Antioch, is agreeably
represented by La Bleterie, (Hist. de Jovien, tom. i. p.
121-148;) he translates the singular and original conferences of
the emperor, the primate of Egypt, and the Arian deputies. The
Abbe is not satisfied with the coarse pleasantry of Jovian; but
his partiality for Athanasius assumes, in his eyes, the character
of justice.]
[Footnote 6: The true area of his death is perplexed with some
difficulties, (Tillemont, Mem. Eccles. tom. viii. p. 719-723.)
But the date (A. D. 373, May 2) which seems the most consistent
with history and reason, is ratified by his authentic life,
(Maffei Osservazioni Letterarie, tom. iii. p. 81.)]
[Footnote 7: See the observations of Valesius and Jortin (Remarks
on Ecclesiastical History, vol. iv. p. 38) on the original letter
of Athanasius; which is preserved by Theodoret, (l. iv. c. 3.) In
some Mss. this indiscreet promise is omitted; perhaps by the
Catholics, jealous of the prophetic fame of their leader.]

The slightest force, when it is applied to assist and guide
the natural descent of its object, operates with irresistible
weight; and Jovian had the good fortune to embrace the religious
opinions which were supported by the spirit of the times, and the
zeal and numbers of the most powerful sect. ^8 Under his reign,
Christianity obtained an easy and lasting victory; and as soon as
the smile of royal patronage was withdrawn, the genius of
Paganism, which had been fondly raised and cherished by the arts
of Julian, sunk irrecoverably in the. In many cities, the
temples were shut or deserted: the philosophers who had abused
their transient favor, thought it prudent to shave their beards,
and disguise their profession; and the Christians rejoiced, that
they were now in a condition to forgive, or to revenge, the
injuries which they had suffered under the preceding reign. ^9
The consternation of the Pagan world was dispelled by a wise and
gracious edict of toleration; in which Jovian explicitly
declared, that although he should severely punish the
sacrilegious rites of magic, his subjects might exercise, with
freedom and safety, the ceremonies of the ancient worship. The
memory of this law has been preserved by the orator Themistius,
who was deputed by the senate of Constantinople to express their
royal devotion for the new emperor. Themistius expatiates on the
clemency of the Divine Nature, the facility of human error, the
rights of conscience, and the independence of the mind; and, with
some eloquence, inculcates the principles of philosophical
toleration; whose aid Superstition herself, in the hour of her
distress, is not ashamed to implore. He justly observes, that in
the recent changes, both religions had been alternately disgraced
by the seeming acquisition of worthless proselytes, of those
votaries of the reigning purple, who could pass, without a
reason, and without a blush, from the church to the temple, and
from the altars of Jupiter to the sacred table of the Christians.

[Footnote 8: Athanasius (apud Theodoret, l. iv. c. 3) magnifies
the number of the orthodox, who composed the whole world. This
assertion was verified in the space of thirty and forty years.]

[Footnote 9: Socrates, l. iii. c. 24. Gregory Nazianzen (Orat.
iv. p. 131) and Libanius (Orat. Parentalis, c. 148, p. 369)
expresses the living sentiments of their respective factions.]

[Footnote 10: Themistius, Orat. v. p. 63-71, edit. Harduin,
Paris, 1684. The Abbe de la Bleterie judiciously remarks, (Hist.
de Jovien, tom. i. p. 199,) that Sozomen has forgot the general
toleration; and Themistius the establishment of the Catholic
religion. Each of them turned away from the object which he
disliked, and wished to suppress the part of the edict the least
honorable, in his opinion, to the emperor.]

In the space of seven months, the Roman troops, who were now
returned to Antioch, had performed a march of fifteen hundred
miles; in which they had endured all the hardships of war, of
famine, and of climate. Notwithstanding their services, their
fatigues, and the approach of winter, the timid and impatient
Jovian allowed only, to the men and horses, a respite of six
weeks. The emperor could not sustain the indiscreet and malicious
raillery of the people of Antioch. ^11 He was impatient to
possess the palace of Constantinople; and to prevent the ambition
of some competitor, who might occupy the vacant allegiance of
Europe. But he soon received the grateful intelligence, that his
authority was acknowledged from the Thracian Bosphorus to the
Atlantic Ocean. By the first letters which he despatched from
the camp of Mesopotamia, he had delegated the military command of
Gaul and Illyricum to Malarich, a brave and faithful officer of
the nation of the Franks; and to his father-in-law, Count
Lucillian, who had formerly distinguished his courage and conduct
in the defence of Nisibis. Malarich had declined an office to
which he thought himself unequal; and Lucillian was massacred at
Rheims, in an accidental mutiny of the Batavian cohorts. ^12 But
the moderation of Jovinus, master- general of the cavalry, who
forgave the intention of his disgrace, soon appeased the tumult,
and confirmed the uncertain minds of the soldiers. The oath of
fidelity was administered and taken, with loyal acclamations; and
the deputies of the Western armies ^13 saluted their new
sovereign as he descended from Mount Taurus to the city of Tyana
in Cappadocia. From Tyana he continued his hasty march to
Ancyra, capital of the province of Galatia; where Jovian assumed,
with his infant son, the name and ensigns of the consulship. ^14
Dadastana, ^15 an obscure town, almost at an equal distance
between Ancyra and Nice, was marked for the fatal term of his
journey and life. After indulging himself with a plentiful,
perhaps an intemperate, supper, he retired to rest; and the next
morning the emperor Jovian was found dead in his bed. The cause
of this sudden death was variously understood. By some it was
ascribed to the consequences of an indigestion, occasioned either
by the quantity of the wine, or the quality of the mushrooms,
which he had swallowed in the evening. According to others, he
was suffocated in his sleep by the vapor of charcoal, which
extracted from the walls of the apartment the unwholesome
moisture of the fresh plaster. ^16 But the want of a regular
inquiry into the death of a prince, whose reign and person were
soon forgotten, appears to have been the only circumstance which
countenanced the malicious whispers of poison and domestic guilt.
^17 The body of Jovian was sent to Constantinople, to be interred
with his predecessors, and the sad procession was met on the road
by his wife Charito, the daughter of Count Lucillian; who still
wept the recent death of her father, and was hastening to dry her
tears in the embraces of an Imperial husband. Her disappointment
and grief were imbittered by the anxiety of maternal tenderness.
Six weeks before the death of Jovian, his infant son had been
placed in the curule chair, adorned with the title of
Nobilissimus, and the vain ensigns of the consulship.
Unconscious of his fortune, the royal youth, who, from his
grandfather, assumed the name of Varronian, was reminded only by
the jealousy of the government, that he was the son of an
emperor. Sixteen years afterwards he was still alive, but he had
already been deprived of an eye; and his afflicted mother
expected every hour, that the innocent victim would be torn from
her arms, to appease, with his blood, the suspicions of the
reigning prince. ^18

[Footnote 11: Johan. Antiochen. in Excerpt. Valesian. p. 845.
The libels of Antioch may be admitted on very slight evidence.]

[Footnote 12: Compare Ammianus, (xxv. 10,) who omits the name of
the Batarians, with Zosimus, (l. iii. p. 197,) who removes the
scene of action from Rheims to Sirmium.]

[Footnote 13: Quos capita scholarum ordo castrensis appellat.
Ammian. xxv. 10, and Vales. ad locum.]

[Footnote 14: Cugus vagitus, pertinaciter reluctantis, ne in
curuli sella veheretur ex more, id quod mox accidit protendebat.
Augustus and his successors respectfully solicited a dispensation
of age for the sons or nephews whom they raised to the
consulship. But the curule chair of the first Brutus had never
been dishonored by an infant.]

[Footnote 15: The Itinerary of Antoninus fixes Dadastana 125
Roman miles from Nice; 117 from Ancyra, (Wesseling, Itinerar. p.
142.) The pilgrim of Bourdeaux, by omitting some stages, reduces
the whole space from 242 to 181 miles. Wesseling, p. 574.

Note: Dadastana is supposed to be Castabat. - M.]

[Footnote 16: See Ammianus, (xxv. 10,) Eutropius, (x. 18.) who
might likewise be present, Jerom, (tom. i. p. 26, ad Heliodorum.)
Orosius, (vii. 31,) Sozomen, (l. vi. c. 6,) Zosimus, (l. iii. p.
197, 198,) and Zonaras, (tom. ii. l. xiii. p. 28, 29.) We cannot
expect a perfect agreement, and we shall not discuss minute

[Footnote 17: Ammianus, unmindful of his usual candor and good
sense, compares the death of the harmless Jovian to that of the
second Africanus, who had excited the fears and resentment of the
popular faction.]

[Footnote 18: Chrysostom, tom. i. p. 336, 344, edit. Montfaucon.
The Christian orator attempts to comfort a widow by the examples
of illustrious misfortunes; and observes, that of nine emperors
(including the Caesar Gallus) who had reigned in his time, only
two (Constantine and Constantius) died a natural death. Such
vague consolations have never wiped away a single tear.]
After the death of Jovian, the throne of the Roman world
remained ten days, ^19 without a master. The ministers and
generals still continued to meet in council; to exercise their
respective functions; to maintain the public order; and peaceably
to conduct the army to the city of Nice in Bithynia, which was
chosen for the place of the election. ^20 In a solemn assembly of
the civil and military powers of the empire, the diadem was again
unanimously offered to the praefect Sallust. He enjoyed the
glory of a second refusal: and when the virtues of the father
were alleged in favor of his son, the praefect, with the firmness
of a disinterested patriot, declared to the electors, that the
feeble age of the one, and the unexperienced youth of the other,
were equally incapable of the laborious duties of government.
Several candidates were proposed; and, after weighing the
objections of character or situation, they were successively
rejected; but, as soon as the name of Valentinian was pronounced,
the merit of that officer united the suffrages of the whole
assembly, and obtained the sincere approbation of Sallust
himself. Valentinian ^21 was the son of Count Gratian, a native
of Cibalis, in Pannonia, who from an obscure condition had raised
himself, by matchless strength and dexterity, to the military
commands of Africa and Britain; from which he retired with an
ample fortune and suspicious integrity. The rank and services of
Gratian contributed, however, to smooth the first steps of the
promotion of his son; and afforded him an early opportunity of
displaying those solid and useful qualifications, which raised
his character above the ordinary level of his fellow-soldiers.
The person of Valentinian was tall, graceful, and majestic. His
manly countenance, deeply marked with the impression of sense and
spirit, inspired his friends with awe, and his enemies with fear;
and to second the efforts of his undaunted courage, the son of
Gratian had inherited the advantages of a strong and healthy
constitution. By the habits of chastity and temperance, which
restrain the appetites and invigorate the faculties, Valentinian
preserved his own and the public esteem. The avocations of a
military life had diverted his youth from the elegant pursuits of
literature; ^* he was ignorant of the Greek language, and the
arts of rhetoric; but as the mind of the orator was never
disconcerted by timid perplexity, he was able, as often as the
occasion prompted him, to deliver his decided sentiments with
bold and ready elocution. The laws of martial discipline were
the only laws that he had studied; and he was soon distinguished
by the laborious diligence, and inflexible severity, with which
he discharged and enforced the duties of the camp. In the time
of Julian he provoked the danger of disgrace, by the contempt
which he publicly expressed for the reigning religion; ^22 and it
should seem, from his subsequent conduct, that the indiscreet and
unseasonable freedom of Valentinian was the effect of military
spirit, rather than of Christian zeal. He was pardoned, however,
and still employed by a prince who esteemed his merit; ^23 and in
the various events of the Persian war, he improved the reputation
which he had already acquired on the banks of the Rhine. The
celerity and success with which he executed an important
commission, recommended him to the favor of Jovian; and to the
honorable command of the second school, or company, of
Targetiers, of the domestic guards. In the march from Antioch,
he had reached his quarters at Ancyra, when he was unexpectedly
summoned, without guilt and without intrigue, to assume, in the
forty-third year of his age, the absolute government of the Roman

[Footnote 19: Ten days appear scarcely sufficient for the march
and election. But it may be observed, 1. That the generals might
command the expeditious use of the public posts for themselves,
their attendants, and messengers. 2. That the troops, for the
ease of the cities, marched in many divisions; and that the head
of the column might arrive at Nice, when the rear halted at
[Footnote 20: Ammianus, xxvi. 1. Zosimus, l. iii. p. 198.
Philostorgius, l. viii. c. 8, and Godefroy, Dissertat. p. 334.
Philostorgius, who appears to have obtained some curious and
authentic intelligence, ascribes the choice of Valentinian to the
praefect Sallust, the master-general Arintheus, Dagalaiphus count
of the domestics, and the patrician Datianus, whose pressing
recommendations from Ancyra had a weighty influence in the
[Footnote 21: Ammianus (xxx. 7, 9) and the younger Victor have
furnished the portrait of Valentinian, which naturally precedes
and illustrates the history of his reign.

Note: Symmachus, in a fragment of an oration published by M.
Mai, describes Valentinian as born among the snows of Illyria,
and habituated to military labor amid the heat and dust of Libya:
genitus in frigoribus, educatus is solibus Sym. Orat. Frag. edit.
Niebuhr, p. 5. - M.]
[Footnote *: According to Ammianus, he wrote elegantly, and was
skilled in painting and modelling. Scribens decore, venusteque
pingens et fingens. xxx. 7. - M.]

[Footnote 22: At Antioch, where he was obliged to attend the
emperor to the table, he struck a priest, who had presumed to
purify him with lustral water, (Sozomen, l. vi. c. 6. Theodoret,
l. iii. c. 15.) Such public defiance might become Valentinian;
but it could leave no room for the unworthy delation of the
philosopher Maximus, which supposes some more private offence,
(Zosimus, l. iv. p. 200, 201.)]

[Footnote 23: Socrates, l. iv. A previous exile to Melitene, or
Thebais (the first might be possible,) is interposed by Sozomen
(l. vi. c. 6) and Philostorgius, (l. vii. c. 7, with Godefroy's
Dissertations, p. 293.)]
The invitation of the ministers and generals at Nice was of
little moment, unless it were confirmed by the voice of the army.

The aged Sallust, who had long observed the irregular
fluctuations of popular assemblies, proposed, under pain of
death, that none of those persons, whose rank in the service
might excite a party in their favor, should appear in public on
the day of the inauguration. Yet such was the prevalence of
ancient superstition, that a whole day was voluntarily added to
this dangerous interval, because it happened to be the
intercalation of the Bissextile. ^24 At length, when the hour was
supposed to be propitious, Valentinian showed himself from a
lofty tribunal; the judicious choice was applauded; and the new
prince was solemnly invested with the diadem and the purple,
amidst the acclamation of the troops, who were disposed in
martial order round the tribunal. But when he stretched forth
his hand to address the armed multitude, a busy whisper was
accidentally started in the ranks, and insensibly swelled into a
loud and imperious clamor, that he should name, without delay, a
colleague in the empire. The intrepid calmness of Valentinian
obtained silence, and commanded respect; and he thus addressed
the assembly: "A few minutes since it was in your power,
fellow-soldiers, to have left me in the obscurity of a private
station. Judging, from the testimony of my past life, that I
deserved to reign, you have placed me on the throne. It is now
my duty to consult the safety and interest of the republic. The
weight of the universe is undoubtedly too great for the hands of
a feeble mortal. I am conscious of the limits of my abilities,
and the uncertainty of my life; and far from declining, I am
anxious to solicit, the assistance of a worthy colleague. But,
where discord may be fatal, the choice of a faithful friend
requires mature and serious deliberation. That deliberation
shall be my care. Let your conduct be dutiful and consistent.
Retire to your quarters; refresh your minds and bodies; and
expect the accustomed donative on the accession of a new
emperor." ^25 The astonished troops, with a mixture of pride, of
satisfaction, and of terror, confessed the voice of their master.

Their angry clamors subsided into silent reverence; and
Valentinian, encompassed with the eagles of the legions, and the
various banners of the cavalry and infantry, was conducted, in
warlike pomp, to the palace of Nice. As he was sensible,
however, of the importance of preventing some rash declaration of
the soldiers, he consulted the assembly of the chiefs; and their
real sentiments were concisely expressed by the generous freedom
of Dagalaiphus. "Most excellent prince," said that officer, "if
you consider only your family, you have a brother; if you love
the republic, look round for the most deserving of the Romans."
^26 The emperor, who suppressed his displeasure, without altering
his intention, slowly proceeded from Nice to Nicomedia and
Constantinople. In one of the suburbs of that capital, ^27
thirty days after his own elevation, he bestowed the title of
Augustus on his brother Valens; ^* and as the boldest patriots
were convinced, that their opposition, without being serviceable
to their country, would be fatal to themselves, the declaration
of his absolute will was received with silent submission. Valens
was now in the thirty-sixth year of his age; but his abilities
had never been exercised in any employment, military or civil;
and his character had not inspired the world with any sanguine
expectations. He possessed, however, one quality, which
recommended him to Valentinian, and preserved the domestic peace
of the empire; devout and grateful attachment to his benefactor,
whose superiority of genius, as well as of authority, Valens
humbly and cheerfully acknowledged in every action of his life.

[Footnote 24: Ammianus, in a long, because unseasonable,
digression, (xxvi. l, and Valesius, ad locum,) rashly supposes
that he understands an astronomical question, of which his
readers are ignorant. It is treated with more judgment and
propriety by Censorinus (de Die Natali, c. 20) and Macrobius,
(Saturnal. i. c. 12-16.) The appellation of Bissextile, which
marks the inauspicious year, (Augustin. ad Januarium, Epist.
119,) is derived from the repetition of the sixth day of the
calends of March.]

[Footnote 25: Valentinian's first speech is in Ammianus, (xxvi.
2;) concise and sententious in Philostorgius, (l. viii. c. 8.)]

[Footnote 26: Si tuos amas, Imperator optime, habes fratrem; si
Rempublicam quaere quem vestias. Ammian. xxvi. 4. In the
division of the empire, Valentinian retained that sincere
counsellor for himself, (c.6.)]
[Footnote 27: In suburbano, Ammian. xxvi. 4. The famous
Hebdomon, or field of Mars, was distant from Constantinople
either seven stadia, or seven miles. See Valesius, and his
brother, ad loc., and Ducange, Const. l. ii. p. 140, 141, 172,

[Footnote *: Symmachus praises the liberality of Valentinian in
raising his brother at once to the rank of Augustus, not training
him through the slow and probationary degree of Caesar. Exigui
animi vices munerum partiuntur, liberalitas desideriis nihil
reliquit. Symm. Orat. p. 7. edit. Niebuhr, 1816, reprinted from
Mai. - M.]

[Footnote 28: Participem quidem legitimum potestatis; sed in
modum apparitoris morigerum, ut progrediens aperiet textus.
Ammian. xxvi. 4.]

Chapter XXV: Reigns Of Jovian And Valentinian, Division Of The

Part II.

Before Valentinian divided the provinces, he reformed the
administration of the empire. All ranks of subjects, who had
been injured or oppressed under the reign of Julian, were invited
to support their public accusations. The silence of mankind
attested the spotless integrity of the praefect Sallust; ^29 and
his own pressing solicitations, that he might be permitted to
retire from the business of the state, were rejected by
Valentinian with the most honorable expressions of friendship and
esteem. But among the favorites of the late emperor, there were
many who had abused his credulity or superstition; and who could
no longer hope to be protected either by favor or justice. ^30
The greater part of the ministers of the palace, and the
governors of the provinces, were removed from their respective
stations; yet the eminent merit of some officers was
distinguished from the obnoxious crowd; and, notwithstanding the
opposite clamors of zeal and resentment, the whole proceedings of
this delicate inquiry appear to have been conducted with a
reasonable share of wisdom and moderation. ^31 The festivity of a
new reign received a short and suspicious interruption from the
sudden illness of the two princes; but as soon as their health
was restored, they left Constantinople in the beginning of the
spring. In the castle, or palace, of Mediana, only three miles
from Naissus, they executed the solemn and final division of the
Roman empire. ^32 Valentinian bestowed on his brother the rich
praefecture of the East, from the Lower Danube to the confines of
Persia; whilst he reserved for his immediate government the
warlike ^* praefectures of Illyricum, Italy, and Gaul, from the
extremity of Greece to the Caledonian rampart, and from the
rampart of Caledonia to the foot of Mount Atlas. The provincial
administration remained on its former basis; but a double supply
of generals and magistrates was required for two councils, and
two courts: the division was made with a just regard to their
peculiar merit and situation, and seven master-generals were soon
created, either of the cavalry or infantry. When this important
business had been amicably transacted, Valentinian and Valens
embraced for the last time. The emperor of the West established
his temporary residence at Milan; and the emperor of the East
returned to Constantinople, to assume the dominion of fifty
provinces, of whose language he was totally ignorant. ^33

[Footnote 29: Notwithstanding the evidence of Zonaras, Suidas,
and the Paschal Chronicle, M. de Tillemont (Hist. des Empereurs,
tom. v. p. 671) wishes to disbelieve those stories, si
avantageuses a un payen.]

[Footnote 30: Eunapius celebrates and exaggerates the sufferings
of Maximus. (p. 82, 83;) yet he allows that the sophist or
magician, the guilty favorite of Julian, and the personal enemy
of Valentinian, was dismissed on the payment of a small fine.]

[Footnote 31: The loose assertions of a general disgrace
(Zosimus, l. iv. p. 201, are detected and refuted by Tillemont,
(tom. v. p. 21.)]
[Footnote 32: Ammianus, xxvi. 5.]

[Footnote *: Ipae supra impacati Rhen semibarbaras ripas raptim
vexilla constituens * * Princeps creatus ad difficilem militiam
revertisti. Symm. Orat. 81. - M.]

[Footnote 33: Ammianus says, in general terms, subagrestis
ingenii, nec bellicis nec liberalibus studiis eruditus. Ammian.
xxxi. 14. The orator Themistius, with the genuine impertinence
of a Greek, wishes for the first time to speak the Latin
language, the dialect of his sovereign. Orat. vi. p. 71.]

The tranquility of the East was soon disturbed by rebellion;
and the throne of Valens was threatened by the daring attempts of
a rival whose affinity to the emperor Julian ^34 was his sole
merit, and had been his only crime. Procopius had been hastily
promoted from the obscure station of a tribune, and a notary, to
the joint command of the army of Mesopotamia; the public opinion
already named him as the successor of a prince who was destitute
of natural heirs; and a vain rumor was propagated by his friends,
or his enemies, that Julian, before the altar of the Moon at
Carrhae, had privately invested Procopius with the Imperial
purple. ^35 He endeavored, by his dutiful and submissive
behavior, to disarm the jealousy of Jovian; resigned, without a
contest, his military command; and retired, with his wife and
family, to cultivate the ample patrimony which he possessed in
the province of Cappadocia. These useful and innocent
occupations were interrupted by the appearance of an officer with
a band of soldiers, who, in the name of his new sovereigns,
Valentinian and Valens, was despatched to conduct the unfortunate
Procopius either to a perpetual prison or an ignominious death.
His presence of mind procured him a longer respite, and a more
splendid fate. Without presuming to dispute the royal mandate,
he requested the indulgence of a few moments to embrace his
weeping family; and while the vigilance of his guards was relaxed
by a plentiful entertainment, he dexterously escaped to the
sea-coast of the Euxine, from whence he passed over to the
country of Bosphorus. In that sequestered region he remained
many months, exposed to the hardships of exile, of solitude, and
of want; his melancholy temper brooding over his misfortunes, and
his mind agitated by the just apprehension, that, if any accident
should discover his name, the faithless Barbarians would violate,
without much scruple, the laws of hospitality. In a moment of
impatience and despair, Procopius embarked in a merchant vessel,
which made sail for Constantinople; and boldly aspired to the
rank of a sovereign, because he was not allowed to enjoy the
security of a subject. At first he lurked in the villages of
Bithynia, continually changing his habitation and his disguise.
^36 By degrees he ventured into the capital, trusted his life and
fortune to the fidelity of two friends, a senator and a eunuch,
and conceived some hopes of success, from the intelligence which
he obtained of the actual state of public affairs. The body of
the people was infected with a spirit of discontent: they
regretted the justice and the abilities of Sallust, who had been
imprudently dismissed from the praefecture of the East. They
despised the character of Valens, which was rude without vigor,
and feeble without mildness. They dreaded the influence of his
father-in- law, the patrician Petronius, a cruel and rapacious
minister, who rigorously exacted all the arrears of tribute that
might remain unpaid since the reign of the emperor Aurelian. The
circumstances were propitious to the designs of a usurper. The
hostile measures of the Persians required the presence of Valens
in Syria: from the Danube to the Euphrates the troops were in
motion; and the capital was occasionally filled with the soldiers
who passed or repassed the Thracian Bosphorus. Two cohorts of
Gaul were persuaded to listen to the secret proposals of the
conspirators; which were recommended by the promise of a liberal
donative; and, as they still revered the memory of Julian, they
easily consented to support the hereditary claim of his
proscribed kinsman. At the dawn of day they were drawn up near
the baths of Anastasia; and Procopius, clothed in a purple
garment, more suitable to a player than to a monarch, appeared,
as if he rose from the dead, in the midst of Constantinople. The
soldiers, who were prepared for his reception, saluted their
trembling prince with shouts of joy and vows of fidelity. Their
numbers were soon increased by a band of sturdy peasants,
collected from the adjacent country; and Procopius, shielded by
the arms of his adherents, was successively conducted to the
tribunal, the senate, and the palace. During the first moments
of his tumultuous reign, he was astonished and terrified by the
gloomy silence of the people; who were either ignorant of the
cause, or apprehensive of the event. But his military strength
was superior to any actual resistance: the malecontents flocked
to the standard of rebellion; the poor were excited by the hopes,
and the rich were intimidated by the fear, of a general pillage;
and the obstinate credulity of the multitude was once more
deceived by the promised advantages of a revolution. The
magistrates were seized; the prisons and arsenals broke open; the
gates, and the entrance of the harbor, were diligently occupied;
and, in a few hours, Procopius became the absolute, though
precarious, master of the Imperial city. ^* The usurper improved
this unexpected success with some degree of courage and
dexterity. He artfully propagated the rumors and opinions the
most favorable to his interest; while he deluded the populace by
giving audience to the frequent, but imaginary, ambassadors of
distant nations. The large bodies of troops stationed in the
cities of Thrace and the fortresses of the Lower Danube, were
gradually involved in the guilt of rebellion: and the Gothic
princes consented to supply the sovereign of Constantinople with
the formidable strength of several thousand auxiliaries. His
generals passed the Bosphorus, and subdued, without an effort,
the unarmed, but wealthy provinces of Bithynia and Asia. After an
honorable defence, the city and island of Cyzicus yielded to his
power; the renowned legions of the Jovians and Herculeans
embraced the cause of the usurper, whom they were ordered to
crush; and, as the veterans were continually augmented with new
levies, he soon appeared at the head of an army, whose valor, as
well as numbers, were not unequal to the greatness of the
contest. The son of Hormisdas, ^37 a youth of spirit and
ability, condescended to draw his sword against the lawful
emperor of the East; and the Persian prince was immediately
invested with the ancient and extraordinary powers of a Roman
Proconsul. The alliance of Faustina, the widow of the emperor
Constantius, who intrusted herself and her daughter to the hands
of the usurper, added dignity and reputation to his cause. The
princess Constantia, who was then about five years of age,
accompanied, in a litter, the march of the army. She was shown to
the multitude in the arms of her adopted father; and, as often as
she passed through the ranks, the tenderness of the soldiers was
inflamed into martial fury: ^38 they recollected the glories of
the house of Constantine, and they declared, with loyal
acclamation, that they would shed the last drop of their blood in
the defence of the royal infant. ^39

[Footnote 34: The uncertain degree of alliance, or consanguinity,
is expressed by the words, cognatus, consobrinus, (see Valesius
ad Ammian. xxiii. 3.) The mother of Procopius might be a sister
of Basilina and Count Julian, the mother and uncle of the
Apostate. Ducange, Fam. Byzantin. p. 49.]
[Footnote 35: Ammian. xxiii. 3, xxvi. 6. He mentions the report
with much hesitation: susurravit obscurior fama; nemo enim dicti
auctor exstitit verus. It serves, however, to remark, that
Procopius was a Pagan. Yet his religion does not appear to have
promoted, or obstructed, his pretensions.]
[Footnote 36: One of his retreats was a country-house of
Eunomius, the heretic. The master was absent, innocent,
ignorant; yet he narrowly escaped a sentence of death, and was
banished into the remote parts of Mauritania, (Philostorg. l. ix.
c. 5, 8, and Godefroy's Dissert. p. 369- 378.)]
[Footnote *: It may be suspected, from a fragment of Eunapius,
that the heathen and philosophic party espoused the cause of
Procopius. Heraclius, the Cynic, a man who had been honored by a
philosophic controversy with Julian, striking the ground with his
staff, incited him to courage with the line of Homer Eunapius.
Mai, p. 207 or in Niebuhr's edition, p. 73. - M.]
[Footnote 37: Hormisdae maturo juveni Hormisdae regalis illius
filio, potestatem Proconsulis detulit; et civilia, more veterum,
et bella, recturo. Ammian. xxvi. 8. The Persian prince escaped
with honor and safety, and was afterwards (A. D. 380) restored to
the same extraordinary office of proconsul of Bithynia,
(Tillemont, Hist. des Empereurs, tom. v. p. 204) I am ignorant
whether the race of Sassan was propagated. I find (A. D. 514) a
pope Hormisdas; but he was a native of Frusino, in Italy, (Pagi
Brev. Pontific. tom. i. p. 247)]

[Footnote 38: The infant rebel was afterwards the wife of the
emperor Gratian but she died young, and childless. See Ducange,
Fam. Byzantin. p. 48, 59.]
[Footnote 39: Sequimini culminis summi prosapiam, was the
language of Procopius, who affected to despise the obscure birth,
and fortuitous election of the upstart Pannonian. Ammian. xxvi.

In the mean while Valentinian was alarmed and perplexed by
the doubtful intelligence of the revolt of the East. ^* The
difficulties of a German was forced him to confine his immediate
care to the safety of his own dominions; and, as every channel of
communication was stopped or corrupted, he listened, with
doubtful anxiety, to the rumors which were industriously spread,
that the defeat and death of Valens had left Procopius sole
master of the Eastern provinces. Valens was not dead: but on the
news of the rebellion, which he received at Caesarea, he basely
despaired of his life and fortune; proposed to negotiate with the
usurper, and discovered his secret inclination to abdicate the
Imperial purple. The timid monarch was saved from disgrace and
ruin by the firmness of his ministers, and their abilities soon
decided in his favor the event of the civil war. In a season of
tranquillity, Sallust had resigned without a murmur; but as soon
as the public safety was attacked, he ambitiously solicited the
preeminence of toil and danger; and the restoration of that
virtuous minister to the praefecture of the East, was the first
step which indicated the repentance of Valens, and satisfied the
minds of the people. The reign of Procopius was apparently
supported by powerful armies and obedient provinces. But many of
the principal officers, military as well as civil, had been
urged, either by motives of duty or interest, to withdraw
themselves from the guilty scene; or to watch the moment of
betraying, and deserting, the cause of the usurper. Lupicinus
advanced by hasty marches, to bring the legions of Syria to the
aid of Valens. Arintheus, who, in strength, beauty, and valor,
excelled all the heroes of the age, attacked with a small troop a
superior body of the rebels. When he beheld the faces of the
soldiers who had served under his banner, he commanded them, with
a loud voice, to seize and deliver up their pretended leader; and
such was the ascendant of his genius, that this extraordinary
order was instantly obeyed. ^40 Arbetio, a respectable veteran of
the great Constantine, who had been distinguished by the honors
of the consulship, was persuaded to leave his retirement, and
once more to conduct an army into the field. In the heat of
action, calmly taking off his helmet, he showed his gray hairs
and venerable countenance: saluted the soldiers of Procopius by
the endearing names of children and companions, and exhorted them
no longer to support the desperate cause of a contemptible
tyrant; but to follow their old commander, who had so often led
them to honor and victory. In the two engagements of Thyatira
^41 and Nacolia, the unfortunate Procopius was deserted by his
troops, who were seduced by the instructions and example of their
perfidious officers. After wandering some time among the woods
and mountains of Phyrgia, he was betrayed by his desponding
followers, conducted to the Imperial camp, and immediately
beheaded. He suffered the ordinary fate of an unsuccessful
usurper; but the acts of cruelty which were exercised by the
conqueror, under the forms of legal justice, excited the pity and
indignation of mankind. ^42
[Footnote *: Symmachus describes his embarrassment. "The Germans
are the common enemies of the state, Procopius the private foe of
the Emperor; his first care must be victory, his second revenge."
Symm. Orat. p. 11. - M.]
[Footnote 40: Et dedignatus hominem superare certamine
despicabilem, auctoritatis et celsi fiducia corporis ipsis
hostibus jussit, suum vincire rectorem: atque ita turmarum,
antesignanus umbratilis comprensus suorum manibus. The strength
and beauty of Arintheus, the new Hercules, are celebrated by St.
Basil, who supposed that God had created him as an inimitable
model of the human species. The painters and sculptors could not
express his figure: the historians appeared fabulous when they
related his exploits, (Ammian. xxvi. and Vales. ad loc.)]

[Footnote 41: The same field of battle is placed by Ammianus in
Lycia, and by Zosimus at Thyatira, which are at the distance of
150 miles from each other. But Thyatira alluitur Lyco, (Plin.
Hist. Natur. v. 31, Cellarius, Geograph. Antiq. tom. ii. p. 79;)
and the transcribers might easily convert an obscure river into a
well-known province.

Note: Ammianus and Zosimus place the last battle at Nacolia
in Phrygia; Ammianus altogether omits the former battle near
Thyatira. Procopius was on his march (iter tendebat) towards
Lycia. See Wagner's note, in c. - M.]
[Footnote 42: The adventures, usurpation, and fall of Procopius,
are related, in a regular series, by Ammianus, (xxvi. 6, 7, 8, 9,
10,) and Zosimus, (l. iv. p. 203-210.) They often illustrate, and
seldom contradict, each other. Themistius (Orat. vii. p. 91, 92)
adds some base panegyric; and Euna pius (p. 83, 84) some
malicious satire.]

[Footnote !: Symmachus joins with Themistius in praising the
clemency of Valens dic victoriae moderatus est, quasi contra se
nemo pugnavit. Symm. Orat. p. 12. - M.]

Such indeed are the common and natural fruits of despotism
and rebellion. But the inquisition into the crime of magic, ^!!
which, under the reign of the two brothers, was so rigorously
prosecuted both at Rome and Antioch, was interpreted as the fatal
symptom, either of the displeasure of Heaven, or of the depravity
of mankind. ^43 Let us not hesitate to indulge a liberal pride,
that, in the present age, the enlightened part of Europe has
abolished ^44 a cruel and odious prejudice, which reigned in
every climate of the globe, and adhered to every system of
religious opinions. ^45 The nations, and the sects, of the Roman
world, admitted with equal credulity, and similar abhorrence, the
reality of that infernal art, ^46 which was able to control the
eternal order of the planets, and the voluntary operations of the
human mind. They dreaded the mysterious power of spells and
incantations, of potent herbs, and execrable rites; which could
extinguish or recall life, inflame the passions of the soul,
blast the works of creation, and extort from the reluctant
daemons the secrets of futurity. They believed, with the wildest
inconsistency, that this preternatural dominion of the air, of
earth, and of hell, was exercised, from the vilest motives of
malice or gain, by some wrinkled hags and itinerant sorcerers,
who passed their obscure lives in penury and contempt. ^47 The
arts of magic were equally condemned by the public opinion, and
by the laws of Rome; but as they tended to gratify the most
imperious passions of the heart of man, they were continually
proscribed, and continually practised. ^48 An imaginary cause as
capable of producing the most serious and mischievous effects.
The dark predictions of the death of an emperor, or the success
of a conspiracy, were calculated only to stimulate the hopes of
ambition, and to dissolve the ties of fidelity; and the
intentional guilt of magic was aggravated by the actual crimes of
treason and sacrilege. ^49 Such vain terrors disturbed the peace
of society, and the happiness of individuals; and the harmless
flame which insensibly melted a waxen image, might derive a
powerful and pernicious energy from the affrighted fancy of the
person whom it was maliciously designed to represent. ^50 From
the infusion of those herbs, which were supposed to possess a
supernatural influence, it was an easy step to the use of more
substantial poison; and the folly of mankind sometimes became the
instrument, and the mask, of the most atrocious crimes. As soon
as the zeal of informers was encouraged by the ministers of
Valens and Valentinian, they could not refuse to listen to
another charge, too frequently mingled in the scenes of domestic
guilt; a charge of a softer and less malignant nature, for which
the pious, though excessive, rigor of Constantine had recently
decreed the punishment of death. ^51 This deadly and incoherent
mixture of treason and magic, of poison and adultery, afforded
infinite gradations of guilt and innocence, of excuse and
aggravation, which in these proceedings appear to have been
confounded by the angry or corrupt passions of the judges. They
easily discovered that the degree of their industry and
discernment was estimated, by the Imperial court, according to
the number of executions that were furnished from the respective
tribunals. It was not without extreme reluctance that they
pronounced a sentence of acquittal; but they eagerly admitted
such evidence as was stained with perjury, or procured by
torture, to prove the most improbable charges against the most
respectable characters. The progress of the inquiry continually
opened new subjects of criminal prosecution; the audacious
informer, whose falsehood was detected, retired with impunity;
but the wretched victim, who discovered his real or pretended
accomplices, were seldom permitted to receive the price of his
infamy. From the extremity of Italy and Asia, the young, and the
aged, were dragged in chains to the tribunals of Rome and
Antioch. Senators, matrons, and philosophers, expired in
ignominious and cruel tortures. The soldiers, who were appointed
to guard the prisons, declared, with a murmur of pity and
indignation, that their numbers were insufficient to oppose the
flight, or resistance, of the multitude of captives. The
wealthiest families were ruined by fines and confiscations; the
most innocent citizens trembled for their safety; and we may form
some notion of the magnitude of the evil, from the extravagant
assertion of an ancient writer, that, in the obnoxious provinces,
the prisoners, the exiles, and the fugitives, formed the greatest
part of the inhabitants. ^52

[Footnote !!: This infamous inquisition into sorcery and
witchcraft has been of greater influence on human affairs than is
commonly supposed. The persecutions against philosophers and
their libraries was carried on with so much fury, that from this
time (A. D. 374) the names of the Gentile philosophers became
almost extinct; and the Christian philosophy and religion,
particularly in the East, established their ascendency. I am
surprised that Gibbon has not made this observation. Heyne, Note
on Zosimus, l. iv. 14, p. 637. Besides vast heaps of manuscripts
publicly destroyed throughout the East, men of letters burned
their whole libraries, lest some fatal volume should expose them
to the malice of the informers and the extreme penalty of the
law. Amm. Marc. xxix. 11. - M.]

[Footnote 43: Libanius de ulciscend. Julian. nece, c. ix. p. 158,
159. The sophist deplores the public frenzy, but he does not
(after their deaths) impeach the justice of the emperors.]

[Footnote 44: The French and English lawyers, of the present age,
allow the theory, and deny the practice, of witchcraft,
(Denisart, Recueil de Decisions de Jurisprudence, au mot
Sorciers, tom. iv. p. 553. Blackstone's Commentaries, vol. iv.
p. 60.) As private reason always prevents, or outstrips, public
wisdom, the president Montesquieu (Esprit des Loix, l. xii. c. 5,
6) rejects the existence of magic.]

[Footnote 45: See Oeuvres de Bayle, tom. iii. p. 567-589. The
sceptic of Rotterdam exhibits, according to his custom, a strange
medley of loose knowledge and lively wit.]

[Footnote 46: The Pagans distinguished between good and bad
magic, the Theurgic and the Goetic, (Hist. de l'Academie, &c.,
tom. vii. p. 25.) But they could not have defended this obscure
distinction against the acute logic of Bayle. In the Jewish and
Christian system, all daemons are infernal spirits; and all
commerce with them is idolatry, apostasy &c., which deserves
death and damnation.]

[Footnote 47: The Canidia of Horace (Carm. l. v. Od. 5, with
Dacier's and Sanadon's illustrations) is a vulgar witch. The
Erictho of Lucan (Pharsal. vi. 430-830) is tedious, disgusting,
but sometimes sublime. She chides the delay of the Furies, and
threatens, with tremendous obscurity, to pronounce their real
names; to reveal the true infernal countenance of Hecate; to
invoke the secret powers that lie below hell, &c.]

[Footnote 48: Genus hominum potentibus infidum, sperantibus
fallax, quod in civitate nostra et vetabitur semper et
retinebitur. Tacit. Hist. i. 22. See Augustin. de Civitate Dei,
l. viii. c. 19, and the Theodosian Code l. ix. tit. xvi., with
Godefroy's Commentary.]

[Footnote 49: The persecution of Antioch was occasioned by a
criminal consultation. The twenty-four letters of the alphabet
were arranged round a magic tripod: and a dancing ring, which had
been placed in the centre, pointed to the four first letters in
the name of the future emperor, O. E. O Triangle. Theodorus
(perhaps with many others, who owned the fatal syllables) was
executed. Theodosius succeeded. Lardner (Heathen Testimonies,
vol. iv. p. 353-372) has copiously and fairly examined this dark
transaction of the reign of Valens.]

[Footnote 50: Limus ut hic durescit, et haec ut cera liquescit

Uno eodemque igni - Virgil. Bucolic. viii. 80.

Devovet absentes, simulacraque cerea figit.
Ovid. in Epist. Hypsil. ad Jason 91.

Such vain incantations could affect the mind, and increase the
disease of Germanicus. Tacit. Annal. ii. 69.]

[Footnote 51: See Heineccius, Antiquitat. Juris Roman. tom. ii.
p. 353, &c. Cod. Theodosian. l. ix. tit. 7, with Godefroy's
[Footnote 52: The cruel persecution of Rome and Antioch is
described, and most probably exaggerated, by Ammianus (xxvii. 1.
xxix. 1, 2) and Zosimus, (l. iv. p. 216-218.) The philosopher
Maximus, with some justice, was involved in the charge of magic,
(Eunapius in Vit. Sophist. p. 88, 89;) and young Chrysostom, who
had accidentally found one of the proscribed books, gave himself
up for lost, (Tillemont, Hist. des Empereurs, tom. v. p. 340.)]

When Tacitus describes the deaths of the innocent and
illustrious Romans, who were sacrificed to the cruelty of the
first Caesars, the art of the historian, or the merit of the
sufferers, excites in our breast the most lively sensations of
terror, of admiration, and of pity. The coarse and
undistinguishing pencil of Ammianus has delineated his bloody
figures with tedious and disgusting accuracy. But as our
attention is no longer engaged by the contrast of freedom and
servitude, of recent greatness and of actual misery, we should
turn with horror from the frequent executions, which disgraced,
both at Rome and Antioch, the reign of the two brothers. ^53
Valens was of a timid, ^54 and Valentinian of a choleric,
disposition. ^55 An anxious regard to his personal safety was the
ruling principle of the administration of Valens. In the
condition of a subject, he had kissed, with trembling awe, the
hand of the oppressor; and when he ascended the throne, he
reasonably expected, that the same fears, which had subdued his
own mind, would secure the patient submission of his people. The
favorites of Valens obtained, by the privilege of rapine and
confiscation, the wealth which his economy would have refused.
^56 They urged, with persuasive eloquence, that, in all cases of
treason, suspicion is equivalent to proof; that the power
supposes the intention, of mischief; that the intention is not
less criminal than the act; and that a subject no longer deserves
to live, if his life may threaten the safety, or disturb the
repose, of his sovereign. The judgment of Valentinian was
sometimes deceived, and his confidence abused; but he would have
silenced the informers with a contemptuous smile, had they
presumed to alarm his fortitude by the sound of danger. They
praised his inflexible love of justice; and, in the pursuit of
justice, the emperor was easily tempted to consider clemency as a
weakness, and passion as a virtue. As long as he wrestled with
his equals, in the bold competition of an active and ambitious
life, Valentinian was seldom injured, and never insulted, with
impunity: if his prudence was arraigned, his spirit was
applauded; and the proudest and most powerful generals were
apprehensive of provoking the resentment of a fearless soldier.
After he became master of the world, he unfortunately forgot,
that where no resistance can be made, no courage can be exerted;
and instead of consulting the dictates of reason and magnanimity,
he indulged the furious emotions of his temper, at a time when
they were disgraceful to himself, and fatal to the defenceless
objects of his displeasure. In the government of his household,
or of his empire, slight, or even imaginary, offences - a hasty
word, a casual omission, an involuntary delay - were chastised by
a sentence of immediate death. The expressions which issued the
most readily from the mouth of the emperor of the West were,
"Strike off his head;" "Burn him alive;" "Let him be beaten with
clubs till he expires;" ^57 and his most favored ministers soon
understood, that, by a rash attempt to dispute, or suspend, the
execution of his sanguinary commands, they might involve
themselves in the guilt and punishment of disobedience. The
repeated gratification of this savage justice hardened the mind
of Valentinian against pity and remorse; and the sallies of
passion were confirmed by the habits of cruelty. ^58 He could
behold with calm satisfaction the convulsive agonies of torture
and death; he reserved his friendship for those faithful servants
whose temper was the most congenial to his own. The merit of
Maximin, who had slaughtered the noblest families of Rome, was
rewarded with the royal approbation, and the praefecture of Gaul.

Two fierce and enormous bears, distinguished by the appellations
of Innocence, and Mica Aurea, could alone deserve to share the
favor of Maximin. The cages of those trusty guards were always
placed near the bed-chamber of Valentinian, who frequently amused
his eyes with the grateful spectacle of seeing them tear and
devour the bleeding limbs of the malefactors who were abandoned
to their rage. Their diet and exercises were carefully inspected
by the Roman emperor; and when Innocence had earned her
discharge, by a long course of meritorious service, the faithful
animal was again restored to the freedom of her native woods. ^59

[Footnote 53: Consult the six last books of Ammianus, and more
particularly the portraits of the two royal brothers, (xxx. 8, 9,
xxxi. 14.) Tillemont has collected (tom. v. p. 12-18, p. 127-133)
from all antiquity their virtues and vices.]

[Footnote 54: The younger Victor asserts, that he was valde
timidus: yet he behaved, as almost every man would do, with
decent resolution at the head of an army. The same historian
attempts to prove that his anger was harmless. Ammianus observes,
with more candor and judgment, incidentia crimina ad contemptam
vel laesam principis amplitudinem trahens, in sanguinem
[Footnote 55: Cum esset ad acerbitatem naturae calore propensior.
. . poenas perignes augebat et gladios. Ammian. xxx. 8. See
xxvii. 7]
[Footnote 56: I have transferred the reproach of avarice from
Valens to his servant. Avarice more properly belongs to
ministers than to kings; in whom that passion is commonly
extinguished by absolute possession.]
[Footnote 57: He sometimes expressed a sentence of death with a
tone of pleasantry: "Abi, Comes, et muta ei caput, qui sibi
mutari provinciam cupit." A boy, who had slipped too hastily a
Spartan bound; an armorer, who had made a polished cuirass that
wanted some grains of the legitimate weight, &c., were the
victims of his fury.]

[Footnote 58: The innocents of Milan were an agent and three
apparitors, whom Valentinian condemned for signifying a legal
summons. Ammianus (xxvii. 7) strangely supposes, that all who
had been unjustly executed were worshipped as martyrs by the
Christians. His impartial silence does not allow us to believe,
that the great chamberlain Rhodanus was burnt alive for an act of
oppression, (Chron. Paschal. p. 392.)

Note: Ammianus does not say that they were worshipped as
martyrs. Onorum memoriam apud Mediolanum colentes nunc usque
Christiani loculos ubi sepulti sunt, ad innocentes appellant.
Wagner's note in loco. Yet if the next paragraph refers to that
transaction, which is not quite clear. Gibbon is right. - M.]

[Footnote 59: Ut bene meritam in sylvas jussit abire Innoxiam.
Ammian. xxix. and Valesius ad locum.]

Chapter XXV: Reigns Of Jovian And Valentinian, Division Of The

Part III.

But in the calmer moments of reflection, when the mind of
Valens was not agitated by fear, or that of Valentinian by rage,
the tyrant resumed the sentiments, or at least the conduct, of
the father of his country. The dispassionate judgment of the
Western emperor could clearly perceive, and accurately pursue,
his own and the public interest; and the sovereign of the East,
who imitated with equal docility the various examples which he
received from his elder brother, was sometimes guided by the
wisdom and virtue of the praefect Sallust. Both princes
invariably retained, in the purple, the chaste and temperate
simplicity which had adorned their private life; and, under their
reign, the pleasures of the court never cost the people a blush
or a sigh. They gradually reformed many of the abuses of the
times of Constantius; judiciously adopted and improved the
designs of Julian and his successor; and displayed a style and
spirit of legislation which might inspire posterity with the most
favorable opinion of their character and government. It is not
from the master of Innocence, that we should expect the tender
regard for the welfare of his subjects, which prompted
Valentinian to condemn the exposition of new-born infants; ^60
and to establish fourteen skilful physicians, with stipends and
privileges, in the fourteen quarters of Rome. The good sense of
an illiterate soldier founded a useful and liberal institution
for the education of youth, and the support of declining science.
^61 It was his intention, that the arts of rhetoric and grammar
should be taught in the Greek and Latin languages, in the
metropolis of every province; and as the size and dignity of the
school was usually proportioned to the importance of the city,
the academies of Rome and Constantinople claimed a just and
singular preeminence. The fragments of the literary edicts of
Valentinian imperfectly represent the school of Constantinople,
which was gradually improved by subsequent regulations. That
school consisted of thirty-one professors in different branches
of learning. One philosopher, and two lawyers; five sophists,
and ten grammarians for the Greek, and three orators, and ten
grammarians for the Latin tongue; besides seven scribes, or, as
they were then styled, antiquarians, whose laborious pens
supplied the public library with fair and correct copies of the
classic writers. The rule of conduct, which was prescribed to the
students, is the more curious, as it affords the first outlines
of the form and discipline of a modern university. It was
required, that they should bring proper certificates from the
magistrates of their native province. Their names, professions,
and places of abode, were regularly entered in a public register.

The studious youth were severely prohibited from wasting their
time in feasts, or in the theatre; and the term of their
education was limited to the age of twenty. The praefect of the
city was empowered to chastise the idle and refractory by stripes
or expulsion; and he was directed to make an annual report to the
master of the offices, that the knowledge and abilities of the
scholars might be usefully applied to the public service. The
institutions of Valentinian contributed to secure the benefits of
peace and plenty; and the cities were guarded by the
establishment of the Defensors; ^62 freely elected as the
tribunes and advocates of the people, to support their rights,
and to expose their grievances, before the tribunals of the civil
magistrates, or even at the foot of the Imperial throne. The
finances were diligently administered by two princes, who had
been so long accustomed to the rigid economy of a private
fortune; but in the receipt and application of the revenue, a
discerning eye might observe some difference between the
government of the East and of the West. Valens was persuaded,
that royal liberality can be supplied only by public oppression,
and his ambition never aspired to secure, by their actual
distress, the future strength and prosperity of his people.
Instead of increasing the weight of taxes, which, in the space of
forty years, had been gradually doubled, he reduced, in the first
years of his reign, one fourth of the tribute of the East. ^63
Valentinian appears to have been less attentive and less anxious
to relieve the burdens of his people. He might reform the abuses
of the fiscal administration; but he exacted, without scruple, a
very large share of the private property; as he was convinced,
that the revenues, which supported the luxury of individuals,
would be much more advantageously employed for the defence and
improvement of the state. The subjects of the East, who enjoyed
the present benefit, applauded the indulgence of their prince.
The solid but less splendid, merit of Valentinian was felt and
acknowledged by the subsequent generation. ^64

[Footnote 60: See the Code of Justinian, l. viii. tit. lii. leg.
2. Unusquisque sabolem suam nutriat. Quod si exponendam
putaverit animadversioni quae constituta est subjacebit. For the
present I shall not interfere in the dispute between Noodt and
Binkershoek; how far, or how long this unnatural practice had
been condemned or abolished by law philosophy, and the more
civilized state of society.]

[Footnote 61: These salutary institutions are explained in the
Theodosian Code, l. xiii. tit. iii. De Professoribus et Medicis,
and l. xiv. tit. ix. De Studiis liberalibus Urbis Romoe. Besides
our usual guide, (Godefroy,) we may consult Giannone, (Istoria di
Napoli, tom. i. p. 105-111,) who has treated the interesting
subject with the zeal and curiosity of a man of latters who
studies his domestic history.]

[Footnote 62: Cod. Theodos. l. i. tit. xi. with Godefroy's
Paratitlon, which diligently gleans from the rest of the code.]

[Footnote 63: Three lines of Ammianus (xxxi. 14) countenance a
whole oration of Themistius, (viii. p. 101-120,) full of
adulation, pedantry, and common-place morality. The eloquent M.
Thomas (tom. i. p. 366-396) has amused himself with celebrating
the virtues and genius of Themistius, who was not unworthy of the
age in which he lived.]

[Footnote 64: Zosimus, l. iv. p. 202. Ammian. xxx. 9. His
reformation of costly abuses might entitle him to the praise of,
in provinciales admodum parcus, tributorum ubique molliens
sarcinas. By some his frugality was styled avarice, (Jerom.
Chron. p. 186)]

But the most honorable circumstance of the character of
Valentinian, is the firm and temperate impartiality which he
uniformly preserved in an age of religious contention. His
strong sense, unenlightened, but uncorrupted, by study, declined,
with respectful indifference, the subtle questions of theological
debate. The government of the Earth claimed his vigilance, and
satisfied his ambition; and while he remembered that he was the
disciple of the church, he never forgot that he was the sovereign
of the clergy. Under the reign of an apostate, he had signalized
his zeal for the honor of Christianity: he allowed to his
subjects the privilege which he had assumed for himself; and they
might accept, with gratitude and confidence, the general
toleration which was granted by a prince addicted to passion, but
incapable of fear or of disguise. ^65 The Pagans, the Jews, and
all the various sects which acknowledged the divine authority of
Christ, were protected by the laws from arbitrary power or
popular insult; nor was any mode of worship prohibited by
Valentinian, except those secret and criminal practices, which
abused the name of religion for the dark purposes of vice and
disorder. The art of magic, as it was more cruelly punished, was
more strictly proscribed: but the emperor admitted a formal
distinction to protect the ancient methods of divination, which
were approved by the senate, and exercised by the Tuscan
haruspices. He had condemned, with the consent of the most
rational Pagans, the license of nocturnal sacrifices; but he
immediately admitted the petition of Praetextatus, proconsul of
Achaia, who represented, that the life of the Greeks would become
dreary and comfortless, if they were deprived of the invaluable
blessing of the Eleusinian mysteries. Philosophy alone can
boast, (and perhaps it is no more than the boast of philosophy,)
that her gentle hand is able to eradicate from the human mind the
latent and deadly principle of fanaticism. But this truce of
twelve years, which was enforced by the wise and vigorous
government of Valentinian, by suspending the repetition of mutual
injuries, contributed to soften the manners, and abate the
prejudices, of the religious factions.

[Footnote 65: Testes sunt leges a me in exordio Imperii mei
datae; quibus unicuique quod animo imbibisset colendi libera
facultas tributa est. Cod. Theodos. l. ix. tit. xvi. leg. 9. To
this declaration of Valentinian, we may add the various
testimonies of Ammianus, (xxx. 9,) Zosimus, (l. iv. p. 204,) and
Sozomen, (l. vi. c. 7, 21.) Baronius would naturally blame such
rational toleration, (Annal. Eccles A. D. 370, No. 129-132, A. D.
376, No. 3, 4.)]
[Footnote *: Comme il s'etait prescrit pour regle de ne point se
meler de disputes de religion, son histoire est presque
entierement degagee des affaires ecclesiastiques. Le Beau. iii.
214. - M.]

The friend of toleration was unfortunately placed at a
distance from the scene of the fiercest controversies. As soon
as the Christians of the West had extricated themselves from the
snares of the creed of Rimini, they happily relapsed into the
slumber of orthodoxy; and the small remains of the Arian party,
that still subsisted at Sirmium or Milan, might be considered
rather as objects of contempt than of resentment. But in the
provinces of the East, from the Euxine to the extremity of
Thebais, the strength and numbers of the hostile factions were
more equally balanced; and this equality, instead of recommending
the counsels of peace, served only to perpetuate the horrors of
religious war. The monks and bishops supported their arguments
by invectives; and their invectives were sometimes followed by
blows. Athanasius still reigned at Alexandria; the thrones of
Constantinople and Antioch were occupied by Arian prelates, and
every episcopal vacancy was the occasion of a popular tumult.
The Homoousians were fortified by the reconciliation of
fifty-nine Macelonian, or Semi-Arian, bishops; but their secret
reluctance to embrace the divinity of the Holy Ghost, clouded the
splendor of the triumph; and the declaration of Valens, who, in
the first years of his reign, had imitated the impartial conduct
of his brother, was an important victory on the side of Arianism.
The two brothers had passed their private life in the condition
of catechumens; but the piety of Valens prompted him to solicit
the sacrament of baptism, before he exposed his person to the
dangers of a Gothic war. He naturally addressed himself to
Eudoxus, ^66 ^* bishop of the Imperial city; and if the ignorant
monarch was instructed by that Arian pastor in the principles of
heterodox theology, his misfortune, rather than his guilt, was
the inevitable consequence of his erroneous choice. Whatever had
been the determination of the emperor, he must have offended a
numerous party of his Christian subjects; as the leaders both of
the Homoousians and of the Arians believed, that, if they were
not suffered to reign, they were most cruelly injured and
oppressed. After he had taken this decisive step, it was
extremely difficult for him to preserve either the virtue, or the
reputation of impartiality. He never aspired, like Constantius,
to the fame of a profound theologian; but as he had received with
simplicity and respect the tenets of Euxodus, Valens resigned his
conscience to the direction of his ecclesiastical guides, and
promoted, by the influence of his authority, the reunion of the
Athanasian heretics to the body of the Catholic church. At
first, he pitied their blindness; by degrees he was provoked at
their obstinacy; and he insensibly hated those sectaries to whom
he was an object of hatred. ^67 The feeble mind of Valens was
always swayed by the persons with whom he familiarly conversed;
and the exile or imprisonment of a private citizen are the favors
the most readily granted in a despotic court. Such punishments
were frequently inflicted on the leaders of the Homoousian party;


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