The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire
By Edward Gibbon
          THE  division  of  the  Roman  world  between  the  sons  of
          Theodosius marks the  final  establishment  of the empire of
          the East, which, from the reign of Arcadius to the taking of
          Constantinople by the  Turks,  subsisted  one  thousand  and
          fifty-eight years in  a  state  of  premature  and perpetual
          decay. The sovereign  of that empire assumed and obstinately
          retained  the vain,  and  at  length  fictitious,  title  of
          Emperor of the  ROMANS;  and  the hereditary appellations of
          CAESAR and AUGUSTUS  continued  to  declare  that he was the
          legitimate successor of  the  first  of men, who had reigned
          over the first  of  nations.  The  palace  of Constantinople
          rivalled, and perhaps  excelled, the magnificence of Persia;
          and the eloquent sermons of St Chrysostom(1) celebrate, while 
          they condemn, the  pompous  luxury  of the reign of Arcadius
          "The emperor," says  he,  "wears on his head either a diadem
          or a crown  of  gold,  decorated  with  precious  stones  of
          inestimable value. These  ornaments  and his purple garments
          are reserved for  his  sacred person alone; and his robes of
          silk are embroidered with the figures of golden dragons. His
          throne is of massy gold. Whenever he appears in public he is
          surrounded by his  courtiers, his guards, and his attendants
          Their spears, their  shields,  their  cuirasses, the bridles
          and trappings of  their horses, have either the substance or
          the appearance of  gold;  and the large splendid boss in the
          midst of their  shield  is  encircled  with  smaller bosses,
          which represent the  shape  of  the human eye. The two mules
          that draw the  chariot  of  the monarch are perfectly white,
          and shining all  over with gold. The chariot itself, of pure
          and solid gold,  attracts  the admiration of the spectators,
          who contemplate the  purple  curtains, the snowy carpet, the
          size of the  precious  stones, and the resplendent plates of
          gold, that glitter as they are agitated by the motion of the
          carriage. The Imperial pictures are white, on a blue ground;
          the emperor appears seated on his throne, with his arms, his
          horses,  and his  guards  beside  him;  and  his  vanquished
          enemies  in  chains   at   his   feet."  The  successors  of
          Constantine established their  perpetual  residence  in  the
          royal city which  he  had erected on the verge of Europe and
          Asia. Inaccessible to  the  menaces  of  their  enemies, and
          perhaps to the  complaints  of  their  people, they received
          with each wind  the  tributary productions of every climate;
          while the impregnable  strength  of  their capital continued
          for ages to  defy  the  hostile  attempts of the barbarians.
          Their  dominions were  bounded  by  the  Hadriatic  and  the
          Tigris;  and  the   whole   interval  of  twenty-five  days'
          navigation, which separated the extreme cold of Scythia from
          the torrid zone  of Aethiopia,(2) was comprehended within the 
          limits of the  empire of the East. The populous countries of
          that empire were the seat of art and learning, of luxury and
          wealth; and the  inhabitants,  who  had assumed the language
          and  manners  of   Greeks,   styled  themselves,  with  some
          appearance of truth,  the  most  enlightened  and  civilised
          portion of the  human  species. The form of government was a
          pure and simple  monarchy;  the  name of the ROMAN REPUBLIC,
          which so long  preserved  a  faint tradition of freedom, was
          confined  to  the   Latin  provinces;  and  the  princes  of
          Constantinople  measured  their  greatness  by  the  servile
          obedience of their  people. They were ignorant how much this
          passive disposition enervates  and degrades every faculty of
          the mind. The  subjects  who  had resigned their will to the
          absolute commands of  a  master  were  equally  incapable of
          guarding their lives  and  fortunes  against the assaults of
          the barbarians or of defending their reason from the terrors
          of superstition.

          The first events  of  the reign of Arcadius and Honorius are
          so intimately connected, that the rebellion of the Goths and
          the fall of  Rufinus  have  already  claimed  a place in the
          history of the  West.  It  has  already  been  observed that
          Eutropius,(3) one  of  the principal eunuchs of the palace of 
          Constantinople, succeeded the haughty minister whose ruin he
          had accomplished and  whose  vices  he  soon imitated. Every
          order of the  state  bowed  to  the new favourite; and their
          tame and obsequious  submission encouraged him to insult the
          laws, and, what  is  still more difficult and dangerous, the
          manners  of  his   country.   Under   the   weakest  of  the
          predecessors of Arcadius  the  reign of the eunuchs had been
          secret and almost invisible. They insinuated themselves into
          the confidence of  the prince but their ostensible functions
          were confined to  the  menial  service  of  the wardrobe and
          Imperial bedchamber. They  might  direct  in  a  whisper the
          public counsels, and  blast  by  their malicious suggestions
          the fame and  fortunes of the most illustrious citizens; but
          they never presumed to stand forward in the front of empire,
         (4) or to  profane  the public honours of the state. Eutropius 
          was the first  of his artificial sex who dared to assume the
          character of a Roman magistrate and general.(5) Sometimes, in 
          the  presence  of  the  blushing  senate,  he  ascended  the
          tribunal  to  pronounce  judgment  or  to  repeat  elaborate
          harangues; and sometimes  appeared on horseback, at the head
          of his troops,  in  the  dress  and  armour  of  a hero. The
          disregard of custom  and  decency  always betrays a weak and
          ill-regulated  mind;  nor   does   Eutropius  seem  to  have
          compensated for the  folly  of  the  design  by any superior
          merit or ability in the execution. His former habits of life
          had not introduced  him  to  the  study  of  the laws or the
          exercises  of  the   field;  his  awkward  and  unsuccessful
          attempts provoked the secret contempt of the spectators; the
          Goths expressed their  wish  that  'such'  a  general  might
          always command the  armies  of  Rome;  and  the  name of the
          minister  was  branded   with   ridicule,  more  pernicious,
          perhaps, than hatred  to a public character. The subjects of
          Arcadius were exasperated  by  the  recollection  that  this
          deformed and decrepit  eunuch, (6) who so perversely mimicked 
          the actions of a man, was born in the most abject conditions
          of servitude; that  before he entered the Imperial palace he
          had been successively  sold  and  purchased  by  an  hundred
          masters, who had  exhausted  his  youthful strength in every
          mean and infamous office, and at length dismissed him in his
          old age to  freedom  and  poverty.(7) While these disgraceful 
          stories were circulated, and perhaps exaggerated, in private
          conversations, the vanity  of  the  favourite  was flattered
          with the most  extraordinary  honours. In the senate, in the
          capital, in the  provinces,  the  statues  of Eutropius were
          erected, in brass  or  marble, decorated with the symbols of
          his civil and  military  virtues,  and  inscribed  with  the
          pompous title of the third founder of Constantinople. He was
          promoted to the  rank  of patrician, which began to signify,
          in a popular  and  even legal acceptation, the father of the
          emperor:  and the  last  year  of  the  fourth  century  was
          polluted by the  consulship  of  an eunuch and a slave. This
          strange and inexpiable  prodigy (8)  awakened,  however,  the 
          prejudices of the Romans. The effeminate consul was rejected
          by the West  as  an  indelible  stain  to  the annals of the
          republic; and without  invoking  the  shades  of  Brutus and
          Camillus,  the  colleague   of   Eutropius,  a  learned  and
          respectable  magistrate, (9)   sufficiently  represented  the 
          different maxims of the two administrations.

          The bold and  vigorous  mind  of  Rufinus seems to have been
          actuated by a more sanguinary and revengeful spirit; but the
          avarice of the  eunuch  was  not less insatiate than that of
          the praefect.(10)  As long as he despoiled the oppressors who 
          had enriched themselves  with  the  plunder  of  the people,
          Eutropius might gratify  his  covetous  disposition  without
          much envy or  injustice: but the progress of his rapine soon
          invaded  the  wealth  which  had  been  acquired  by  lawful
          inheritance  or laudable  industry.  The  usual  methods  of
          extortion were practised  and  improved;  and  Claudian  has
          sketched a lively and original picture of the public auction
          of the state.  "The  impotence  of  the  eunuch"  (says that
          agreeable  satirist)  "has  served  only  to  stimulate  his
          avarice: the same  hand which, in his servile condition, was
          exercised in petty  thefts  to  unlock  the  coffers  of his
          master,  now grasps  the  riches  of  the  world;  and  this
          infamous broker of  the  empire  appreciates and divides the
          Roman provinces from Mount Haemus to the Tigris. One man, at
          the expense of  his  villa,  is  made  proconsul  of Asia; a
          second purchases Syria  with  his wife's jewels; and a third
          laments that he  has  exchanged  his paternal estate for the
          government of Bithynia.  In  the  antechamber of Eutropius a
          large tablet is  exposed  to  public  view,  which marks the
          respective prices of  the  provinces. The different value of
          Pontus, of Galatia,  of  Lydia  is accurately distinguished.
          Lycia may be  obtained  for so many thousand pieces of gold;
          but the opulence of Phrygia will require a more considerable
          sum. The eunuch wishes to obliterate by the general disgrace
          his personal ignominy;  and  as he has been sold himself, he
          is desirous of  selling  the  rest  of mankind. In the eager
          contention,  the  balance,   which  contains  the  fate  and
          fortunes of the  province,  often  trembles on the beam; and
          till on of  the scales is inclined by a superior weight, the
          mind of the  impartial judge remains in anxious suspense.(11) 
          Such" (continues the  indignant  poet)  "are  the  fruits of
          Roman valour, of  ,  the  defeat  of  Antiochus,  and of the
          triumph  of  Pompey."  This  venal  prostitution  of  public
          honours secured the  impunity  of  future  crimes;  but  the
          riches  which  Eutropius   derived  from  confiscation  were
          'already' stained with  injustice;  since  it  was decent to
          accuse and to condemn the proprietors of the wealth which he
          was impatient to  confiscate.  Some  noble blood was shed by
          the hand of  the  executioner;  and  the  most  inhospitable
          extremities of the  empire  were  filled  with  innocent and
          illustrious exiles. Among  the  generals  and consuls of the
          East, Abundantius(12)  had  reason to dread the first effects 
          of the resentment  of  Eutropius.  He had been guilty of the
          unpardonable crime of  introducing  that abject slave to the
          palace of Constantinople;  and some degree of praise must be
          allowed to a  powerful  and  ungrateful  favourite  who  was
          satisfied with the  disgrace  of his benefactor. Abundantius
          was stripped of  his ample fortunes by an Imperial rescript,
          and banished to  Pityus, on the Euxine, the last frontier of
          the Roman world;  where he subsisted by the precarious mercy
          of the barbarians  till  he  could obtain, after the fall of
          Eutropius,  a  milder  exile  at  Sidon  in  Phoenicia.  The
          destruction of Timasius (13)  required  a  more  serious  and 
          regular   mode  of   attack.   That   great   officer,   the
          master-general of the  armies  of Theodosius, had signalised
          his valour by  a decisive victory which he obtained over the
          Goths of Thessaly but he was too prone, after the example of
          his sovereign, to  enjoy  the luxury of peace and to abandon
          his confidence to  wicked and designing flatterers. Timasius
          had despised the  public  clamour  by  promoting an infamous
          dependent to the  command  of  a  cohort; and he deserved to
          feel the ingratitude  of Bargus, who was secretly instigated
          by the favourite  to  accuse  his  patron  of  a treasonable
          conspiracy. The general was arraigned before the tribunal of
          Arcadius himself; and the principal eunuch stood by the side
          of the throne  to  suggest  the questions and answers of his
          sovereign. But as this form of trial might be deemed partial
          and  arbitrary, the  further  inquiry  into  the  crimes  of
          Timasius  was delegated  to  Saturnius  and  Procopius;  the
          former of consular  rank,  the latter still respected as the
          father-in-law of the  emperor  Valens.  The appearances of a
          fair and legal  proceeding  were  maintained  by  the  blunt
          honesty of Procopius;  and he yielded with reluctance to the
          obsequious dexterity of  his  colleague,  who  pronounced  a
          sentence of condemnation  against  the unfortunate Timasius.
          His immense riches  were  confiscated  in  the  name  of the
          emperor and for  the  benefit  of  the favourite; and he was
          doomed to perpetual  exile  at Oasis, a solitary spot in the
          midst of the  sandy  deserts  of Libya.(14) Secluded from all 
          human converse, the  master-general  of the Roman armies was
          lost for ever  to  the  world;  but the circumstances of his
          fate  have been  related  in  a  various  and  contradictory
          manner. It is insinuated that Eutropius despatched a private
          order for his  secret  execution.(15) It was reported that in 
          attempting to escape from Oasis he perished in the desert of
          thirst and hunger,  and  that his dead body was found on the
          sands of Libya.(16) It has been asserted with more confidence 
          that  his  son  Syagrius,  after  successfully  eluding  the
          pursuit of the agents and emissaries of the court, collected
          a band of  African robbers that he rescued Timasius from the
          place of his  exile;  and  that  both the father and the son
          disappeared  from the  knowledge  of  mankind. (17)  But  the 
          ungrateful Bargus, instead  of being suffered to possess the
          reward  of  guilt,  was  soon  afterwards  circumvented  and
          destroyed by the  more  powerful  villainy  of  the minister
          himself, who retained  sense  and spirit enough to abhor the
          instrument of his own crimes.

          The public hatred and the despair of individuals continually
          threatened, or seemed  to  threaten,  the personal safety of
          Eutropius, as well  as  of  the  numerous adherents who were
          attached to his  fortune  and had been promoted by his venal
          favour. For their  mutual defence he contrived the safeguard
          of a law  which  violated  every  principle  of humanity and
          justice.(18) I.  It  is  enacted,  in  the  name  and  by the 
          authority of Arcadius,  that  all  those who shall conspire,
          either with subjects or with strangers, against the lives of
          any of the persons whom the emperor considers as the members
          of  his  own   body,   shall  be  punished  with  death  and
          confiscation. This species  of  fictitious  and metaphorical
          treason is extended  to  protect  not only the 'illustrious'
          officers of the  state  and  army  who are admitted into the
          sacred consistory, but  likewise  the principal domestics of
          the palace, the  senators  of  Constantinople,  the military
          commanders, and the  civil  magistrates  of the provinces: a
          vague and indefinite  list,  which,  under the successors of
          Constantine,  included an  obscure  and  numerous  train  of
          subordinate  ministers.  II.  This  extreme  severity  might
          perhaps be justified,  had  it  been only directed to secure
          the  representatives  of   the  sovereign  from  any  actual
          violence in the  execution  of  their  office. But the whole
          body of Imperial  dependents  claimed a privilege, or rather
          impunity, which screened  them  in  the  loosest  moments of
          their  lives  from   the  hasty,  perhaps  the  justifiable,
          resentment  of their  fellow-citizens:  and,  by  a  strange
          perversion  of the  laws,  the  same  degree  of  guilt  and
          punishment  was applied  to  a  private  quarrel  and  to  a
          deliberate conspiracy against  the  emperor  and the empire.
          The edict of  Arcadius  most  positively  and  most absurdly
          declares that in such cases of treason, thoughts and actions
          ought to be punished with equal severity; that the knowledge
          of a mischievous intention, unless it be instantly revealed,
          becomes equally criminal  with  the intention itself;(19) and 
          that those rash  men who shall presume to solicit the pardon
          of traitors shall  themselves  be  branded  with  public and
          perpetual infamy. III. "With regard to the sons of traitors"
          (continues the emperor),  "although  they ought to share the
          punishment, since they  will  probably  imitate the guilt of
          their parents, yet,  by  the  special effect of our Imperial
          lenity, we grant them their lives; but, at the same time, we
          declare them incapable of inheriting, either on the father's
          or on the  mother's side, or of receiving any gift or legacy
          from  the testament  either  of  kinsmen  or  of  strangers.
          Stigmatised with hereditary  infamy, excluded from the hopes
          of honours or  fortune, let them endure the pangs of poverty
          and contempt till they shall consider life as a calamity and
          death as a  comfort  and  relief."  In  such  words, so well
          adapted to insult  the feelings of mankind, did the emperor,
          or rather his  favourite eunuch, applaud the moderation of a
          law which transferred  the same unjust and inhuman penalties
          to the children of all those who had seconded or who had not
          disclosed these fictitious conspiracies. Some of the noblest
          regulations of Roman  jurisprudence  have  been  suffered to
          expire; but this  edict, a convenient and forcible engine of
          ministerial tyranny, was  carefully inserted in the codes of
          Theodosius and Justinian;  and  the  same  maxims  have been
          revived in modern  ages  to  protect the electors of Germany
          and the cardinals of the church of Rome.(20) 

          Yet these sanguinary  laws,  which  spread  terror  among  a
          disarmed and dispirited  people,  were of too weak a texture
          to  restrain  the   bold  enterprise  of  Tribigild (21)  the 
          Ostrogoth. The colony of that warlike nation, which had been
          planted by Theodosius  in  one of the most fertile districts
          of Phrygia,(22)  impatiently  compared  the  slow  returns of 
          laborious husbandry with  the  successful rapine and liberal
          rewards of Alaric  and  their leader resented, as a personal
          affront, his own  ungracious  reception  in  the  palace  of
          Constantinople. A soft  and wealthy province in the heart of
          the empire was  astonished  by  the  sound  of  war, and the
          faithful vassal who  had  been  disregarded or oppressed was
          again respected as  soon as he resumed the hostile character
          of a barbarian.  The  vineyards  and fruitful fields between
          the rapid Marsyas  and the winding Maeander(23) were consumed 
          with fire; the  decayed  walls  of  the cities crumbled into
          dust  at  the  first  stroke  of  an  enemy;  the  trembling
          inhabitants escaped from  a bloody massacre to the shores of
          the Hellespont; and  a  considerable  part of Asia Minor was
          desolated by the  rebellion of Tribigild. His rapid progress
          was checked by  the resistance of the peasants of Pamphylia;
          and the Ostrogoths,  attacked  in  a narrow pass between the
          city of Selgae (24)  a  deep morass, and the craggy cliffs of 
          Mount Taurus, were  defeated  with the loss of their bravest
          troops. But the  spirit  of  their  chief was not daunted by
          misfortune, and his army was continually recruited by swarms
          of barbarians and  outlaws  who  were desirous of exercising
          the profession of robbery under the more honourable names of
          war and conquest.  The  rumours  of the success of Tribigild
          might for some  time  be suppressed by fear, or disguised by
          flattery; yet they  gradually alarmed both the court and the
          capital.  Every  misfortune  was  exaggerated  in  dark  and
          doubtful hints, and  the future designs of the rebels became
          the  subject  of   anxious  conjecture.  Whenever  Tribigild
          advanced into the  inland  country, the Romans were inclined
          to suppose that he meditated the passage of Mount Taurus and
          the invasion of Syria. If he descended towards the sea, they
          imputed, and perhaps suggested, to the Gothic chief the more
          dangerous project of  arming  a  fleet  in  the  harbours of
          Ionia, and of  extending his depredations along the maritime
          coast,  from  the   mouth   of  the  Nile  to  the  port  of
          Constantinople. The approach  of danger and the obstinacy of
          Tribigild, who refused all terms of accommodation, compelled
          Eutropius to summon  a council of war.(25) After claiming for 
          himself the privilege  of  a  veteran  soldier,  the  eunuch
          intrusted the guard  of  Thrace and the Hellespont to Gainas
          the Goth, and  the  command  of  the  Asiatic  army  to  his
          favourite Leo; two  generals who differently but effectually
          promoted the cause  of the rebels. Leo,(26) who from the bulk 
          of his body  and  the  dullness of his mind was surnamed the
          Ajax of the  East,  had  deserted  his  original  trade of a
          woolcomber, to exercise with much less skill and success the
          military  profession;  and  his  uncertain  operations  were
          capriciously framed and  executed  with an ignorance of real
          difficulties and a  timorous  neglect  of  every  favourable
          opportunity. The rashness  of  the Ostrogoths had drawn them
          into a disadvantageous position between the rivers Melas and
          Eurymedon, where they  were  almost besieged by the peasants
          of Pamphylia; but  the  arrival of an Imperial army, instead
          of  completing their  destruction,  afforded  the  means  of
          safety and victory.  Tribigild  surprised the unguarded camp
          of the Romans  in  the  darkness  of  the night, seduced the
          faith of the  greater part of the barbarian auxiliaries, and
          dissipated without much  effort  the  troops  which had been
          corrupted by the  relaxation of discipline and the luxury of
          the capital. The  discontent  of  Gainas,  who had so boldly
          contrived and executed  the  death of Rufinus, was irritated
          by the fortune of his unworthy successor; he accused his own
          dishonourable patience under the servile reign of an eunuch;
          and the ambitious Goth was convicted, at least in the public
          opinion, of secretly fomenting the revolt of Tribigild, with
          whom he was connected by a domestic as well as by a national
          alliance.(27) When  Gainas  passed  the  Hellespont, to unite 
          under his standard  the  remains  of  the Asiatic troops, he
          skilfully  adapted  his   motions   to  the  wishes  of  the
          Ostrogoths, abandoning by his retreat the country which they
          desired to invade,  or  facilitating  by  his  approach  the
          desertion of the  barbarian  auxiliaries.  To  the  Imperial
          court he repeatedly  magnified  the  valour, the genius, the
          inexhaustible  resources of  Tribigild,  confessed  his  own
          inability to prosecute  the war, and extorted the permission
          of negotiating with his invincible adversary. The conditions
          of  peace were  dictated  by  the  haughty  rebel,  and  the
          peremptory demand of  the  head  of  Eutropius  revealed the
          author and the design of this hostile conspiracy.

          The bold satirist,  who  has  indulged his discontent by the
          partial and passionate  censure  of  the Christian emperors,
          violates the dignity  rather  than  the  truth of history by
          comparing the son of Theodosius to one of those harmless and
          simple animals who  scarcely feel that they are the property
          of their shepherd. Two passions, however - fear and conjugal
          affection - awakened  the  languid  soul of Arcadius: he was
          terrified by the  threats  of a victorious barbarian, and he
          yielded to the  tender  eloquence  of his wife Eudoxia, who,
          with a flood  of  artificial  tears,  presenting  her infant
          children to their father, implored his justice for some real
          or imaginary insult  which  she  imputed  to  the  audacious
          eunuch.(28) The  emperor's  hand  was  directed  to  sign the 
          condemnation of Eutropius;  the  magic  spell,  which during
          four  years  had  bound  the  prince  and  the  people,  was
          instantly dissolved; and  the  acclamations  that  so lately
          hailed the merit and fortune of the favourite were converted
          into the clamours of the soldiers and people, who reproached
          his crimes and pressed his immediate execution. In this hour
          of distress and despair his only refuge was in the sanctuary
          of the church, whose privileges he had wisely, or profanely,
          attempted to circumscribe;  and  the  most  eloquent  of the
          saints, John Chrysostom, enjoyed the triumph of protecting a
          prostrate minister, whose  choice  had  raised  him  to  the
          ecclesiastical  throne of  Constantinople.  The  archbishop,
          ascending the pulpit  of  the  cathedral  that  he  might be
          distinctly seen and  heard by an innumerable crowd of either
          sex and of  every  age, pronounced a seasonable and pathetic
          discourse on the forgiveness of injuries and the instability
          of human greatness.  The  agonies of the pale and affrighted
          wretch, who lay  grovelling  under  the  table of the altar,
          exhibited  a  solemn  and  instructive  spectacle;  and  the
          orator,  who  was   afterwards   accused  of  insulting  the
          misfortunes of Eutropius,  laboured  to excite the contempt,
          that he might assuage the fury, of the people.(29) The powers 
          of humanity, of  superstition,  and  of eloquence prevailed.
          The empress Eudoxia was restrained, by her own prejudices or
          by those of  her  subjects,  from violating the sanctuary of
          the church; and  Eutropius was tempted to capitulate, by the
          milder arts of  persuasion,  and  by  an  oath that his life
          should be spared. (30)  Careless  of  the  dignity  of  their 
          sovereign,  the new  ministers  of  the  palace  immediately
          published an edict,  to  declare that his late favourite had
          disgraced the names  of consul and patrician, to abolish his
          statues,  to  ,confiscate  his  wealth,  and  to  inflict  a
          perpetual exile in the island of Cyprus.(31) A despicable and 
          decrepit eunuch could  no  longer  alarm  the  fears  of his
          enemies; nor was  he capable of enjoying what yet remained -
          the comforts of  peace, of solitude, and of a happy climate.
          But their implacable  revenge  still  envied  him  the  last
          moments of a  miserable  life,  and  Eutropius had no sooner
          touched the shores  of  Cyprus than he was hastily recalled.
          The  vain hope  of  eluding,  by  a  change  of  place,  the
          obligation of an  oath,  engaged the empress to transfer the
          scene of his  trial and execution from Constantinople to the
          adjacent suburb of Chalcedon. The consul Aurelian pronounced
          the sentence; and  the  motives  of that sentence expose the
          jurisprudence of a  despotic  government.  The  crimes which
          Eutropius  had  committed  against  the  people  might  have
          justified his death;  but  he was found guilty of harnessing
          to his chariot  the  'sacred' animals, who, from their breed
          or colour, were  reserved  for the use of the emperor alone.

          While this domestic  revolution  was  transacted,  Gainas(33) 
          openly revolted from  his  allegiance,  united his forces at
          Thyatira  in  Lydia  with  those  of  Tribigild,  and  still
          maintained his superior ascendant over the rebellious leader
          of the Ostrogoths.  The  confederate armies advanced without
          resistance  to  the   straits  of  the  Hellespont  and  the
          Bosphorus, and Arcadius  was  instructed to prevent the loss
          of his Asiatic  dominions by resigning his authority and his
          person to the  faith  of  the  barbarians. The church of the
          holy martyr Euphemia,  situate  on  a  lofty  eminence  near
          Chalcedon,(34) was  chosen  for  the  place of the interview. 
          Gainas bowed with  reverence  at  the  feet  of the emperor,
          whilst he required the sacrifice of Aurelian and Saturninus,
          two ministers of  consular  rank  and their naked necks were
          exposed by the  haughty rebel to the edge of the sword, till
          he condescended to  grant  them a precarious and disgraceful
          respite. The Goths, according to the terms of the agreement,
          were immediately transported  from Asia into Europe; and the
          victorious chief, who  accepted  the title of master-general
          of the Roman  armies,  soon  filled  Constantinople with his
          troops, and distributed among his dependents the honours and
          rewards of the  empire. In his early youth Gainas had passed
          the Danube as  a suppliant and a fugitive: his elevation had
          been the work  of  valour and fortune, and his indiscreet or
          perfidious conduct was  the  cause  of  his  rapid downfall.
          Notwithstanding the vigorous  opposition  of the archbishop,
          he  importunately  claimed   for  his  Arian  sectaries  the
          possession of a  peculiar  church,  and  the  pride  of  the
          catholics was offended  by  the public toleration of heresy.
         (35) Every quarter  of  Constantinople  was filled with tumult 
          and disorder; and  the  barbarians gazed with such ardour on
          the rich shops  of  the  jewellers  and  the  tables  of the
          bankers which were covered with gold and silver, that it was
          judged prudent to  remove  those  dangerous temptations from
          their sight. They  resented  the  injurious  precaution; and
          some alarming attempts  were made during the night to attack
          and destroy with  fire the Imperial palace.(36) In this state 
          of mutual and  suspicious  hostility,  the  guards  and  the
          people of Constantinople shut the gates, and rose in arms to
          prevent or to punish the conspiracy of the Goths. During the
          absence of Gainas  his  troops were surprised and oppressed;
          seven thousand barbarians  perished in this bloody massacre.
          In the fury of the pursuit the catholics uncovered the roof,
          and continued to  throw  down flaming logs of wood till they
          overwhelmed their adversaries,  who  had  retreated  to  the
          church or conventicle  of  the  Arians.  Gainas  was  either
          innocent of the  design  or too confident of his success; he
          was astonished by  the  intelligence  that the flower of his
          army had been  ingloriously  destroyed;  that he himself was
          declared a public enemy; and that his countryman Fravitta, a
          brave and loyal  confederate,  had assumed the management of
          the war by  sea  and  land.  The  enterprises  of  the rebel
          against the cities  of Thrace were encountered by a firm and
          well-ordered defence: his  hungry soldiers were soon reduced
          to the grass  that grew on the margin of the fortifications;
          and Gainas, who  vainly  regretted  the wealth and luxury of
          Asia, embraced a desperate resolution of forcing the passage
          of the Hellespont.  He  was  destitute  of  vessels, but the
          woods of the  Chersonesus  afforded materials for rafts, and
          his intrepid barbarians  did  not refuse to trust themselves
          to the waves.  But Fravitta attentively watched the progress
          of their undertaking.  As soon as they had gained the middle
          of the stream,  the  Roman  galleys,(37) impelled by the full 
          force of oars,  of  the  current,  and of a favourable wind,
          rushed  forwards in  compact  order  and  with  irresistible
          weight, and the Hellespont was covered with the fragments of
          the Gothic shipwreck. After the destruction of his hopes and
          the loss of  many thousands of his bravest soldiers, Gainas,
          who could no  longer  aspire  to  govern  or  to  subdue the
          Romans, determined to  resume  the  independence of a savage
          life. A light and active body of barbarian horse, disengaged
          from their infantry  and  baggage, might perform in eight or
          ten days a  march of three hundred miles from the Hellespont
          to the Danube; (38)  the garrisons of that important frontier 
          had been gradually  annihilated;  the  river in the month of
          December would be  deeply frozen; and the unbounded prospect
          of Scythia was  open  to the ambition of Gainas. This design
          was  secretly  communicated  to  the  national  troops,  who
          devoted themselves to  the  fortunes  of  their  leader; and
          before the signal  of departure was given, a great number of
          provincial auxiliaries, whom  he  suspected of an attachment
          to their native  country,  were  perfidiously massacred. The
          Goths  advanced by  rapid  marches  through  the  plains  of
          Thrace, and they  were  soon  delivered  from  the  fear  of
          pursuit  by  the   vanity   of  Fravitta,  who,  instead  of
          extinguishing  the  war,   hastened  to  enjoy  the  popular
          applause,  and  to   assume  the  peaceful  honours  of  the
          consulship.  But a  formidable  ally  appeared  in  arms  to
          vindicate the majesty  of the empire, and to guard the peace
          and liberty of  Scythia. (39)  The  superior forces of Uldin, 
          king of the Huns, opposed the progress of Gainas; an hostile
          and ruined country  prohibited  his retreat; he disdained to
          capitulate; and after  repeatedly  attempting to cut his way
          through the ranks  of  the  enemy,  he  was  slain, with his
          desperate followers, in  the  field  of  battle. Eleven days
          after the naval  victory  of  the  Hellespont,  the  head of
          Gainas, the inestimable  gift of the conqueror, was received
          at  Constantinople with  the  most  liberal  expressions  of
          gratitude; and the  public  deliverance  was  celebrated  by
          festivals and illuminations. The triumphs of Arcadius became
          the subject of  epic  poems; (40)  and the monarch, no longer 
          oppressed by any  hostile  terrors,  resigned himself to the
          mild and absolute  dominion of his wife, the fair and artful
          Eudoxia, who has  sullied her fame by the persecution of St.
          John Chrysostom.

          After the death  of the indolent Nectarius, the successor of
          Gregory  Nazianzen,  the   church   of   Constantinople  was
          distracted by the ambition of rival candidates, who were not
          ashamed to solicit,  with  gold or flattery, the suffrage of
          the people or  of  the favourite. On this occasion Eutropius
          seems to have  deviated  from  his  ordinary maxims; and his
          uncorrupted judgment was  determined  only  by  the superior
          merit of a  stranger. In a late journey into the East he had
          admired the sermons  of  John,  a  native  and  presbyter of
          Antioch, whose name has been distinguished by the epithet of
          Chrysostom, or the  Golden  Mouth. (41)  A  private order was 
          despatched to the governor of Syria; and as the people might
          be unwilling to  resign  their  favourite  preacher,  he was
          transported, with speed  and secrecy, in a postchariot, from
          Antioch to Constantinople.  The  unanimous  and  unsolicited
          consent of the  court,  the  clergy, and the people ratified
          the choice of  the  minister; and, both as a saint and as an
          orator,   the  new   archbishop   surpassed   the   sanguine
          expectations of the  public.  Born  of  a  noble and opulent
          family  in  the   capital  of  Syria,  Chrysostom  had  been
          educated, by the  care of a tender mother, under the tuition
          of the most  skilful masters. He studied the art of rhetoric
          in the school  of Libanius; and that celebrated sophist, who
          soon discovered the  talents  of  his  disciple, ingenuously
          confessed that John  would  have deserved to succeed him had
          he not been  stolen  away  by the Christians. His piety soon
          disposed  him  to  receive  the  sacrament  of  baptism;  to
          renounce the lucrative and honourable profession of the law;
          and to bury himself in the adjacent desert, where he subdued
          the lusts of  the  flesh by an austere penance of six years.
          His infirmities compelled  him  to  return to the society of
          mankind; and the  authority  of Meletius devoted his talents
          to the service  of  the  church:  but  in  the  midst of his
          family,  and  afterwards   on   the  archiepiscopal  throne,
          Chrysostom still persevered  in the practice of the monastic
          virtues. The ample  revenues,  which  his  predecessors  had
          consumed in pomp  and  luxury,  he diligently applied to the
          establishment of hospitals;  and  the  multitudes  who  were
          supported by his charity preferred the eloquent and edifying
          discourses of their  archbishop  to  the  amusements  of the
          theatre or the  circus.  The  monuments  of  that eloquence,
          which  was  admired   near   twenty  years  at  Antioch  and
          Constantinople,  have  been  carefully  preserved;  and  the
          possession of near  one  thousand  sermons  or  homilies has
          authorised the critics (42) of succeeding times to appreciate 
          the genuine merit  of Chrysostom. They unanimously attribute
          to the Christian  orator  the free command of an elegant and
          copious language; the  judgment  to  conceal  the advantages
          which  he  derived   from  the  knowledge  of  rhetoric  and
          philosophy;  an  inexhaustible   fund   of   metaphors   and
          similitudes, of ideas and images, to vary and illustrate the
          most familiar topics; the happy art of engaging the passions
          in the service  of virtue, and of exposing the folly as well
          as the turpitude of vice almost with the truth and spirit of
          a dramatic representation.

          The pastoral labours  of  the  archbishop  of Constantinople
          provoked and gradually  united  against  him  two  sorts  of
          enemies; the aspiring  clergy,  who  envied his success, and
          the obstinate sinners,  who  were  offended by his reproofs.
          When Chrysostom thundered  from  the  pulpit  of  St. Sophia
          against the degeneracy  of  the  Christians, his shafts were
          spent among the  crowd, without wounding or even marking the
          character of any  individual.  When he declaimed against the
          peculiar vices of the rich, poverty might obtain a transient
          consolation from his  invectives:  but the guilty were still
          sheltered by their  numbers;  and  the  reproach  itself was
          dignified by some ideas of superiority and enjoyment. But as
          the  pyramid  rose   towards   the   summit,  it  insensibly
          diminished to a  point;  and the magistrates, the ministers,
          the favourite eunuchs,  the  ladies  of  the  court, (43) the 
          empress Eudoxia herself, had a much larger share of guilt to
          divide among a smaller proportion of criminals. The personal
          applications of the  audience  were anticipated or confirmed
          by the testimony  of  their own conscience; and the intrepid
          preacher assumed the  dangerous  right  of exposing both the
          offence and the  offender  to  the  public  abhorrence.  The
          secret resentment of  the court encouraged the discontent of
          the clergy and monks of Constantinople, who were too hastily
          reformed by the  fervent  zeal  of  their archbishop. He had
          condemned from the pulpit the domestic females of the clergy
          of  Constantinople, who,  under  the  name  of  servants  or
          sisters, afforded a  perpetual  occasion either of sin or of
          scandal. The silent  and solitary ascetics, who had secluded
          themselves from the  world,  were  entitled  to  the warmest
          approbation of Chrysostom;  but he despised and stigmatised,
          as the disgrace  of  their  holy  profession,  the  crowd of
          degenerate  monks,  who,   from  some  unworthy  motives  of
          pleasure or profit,  so  frequently  infested the streets of
          the capital. To  the  voice of persuasion the archbishop was
          obliged to add  the  terrors of authority; and his ardour in
          the exercise of  ecclesiastical  jurisdiction was not always
          exempt from passion;  nor  was it always guided by prudence.
          Chrysostom  was naturally  of  a  choleric  disposition. (44) 
          Although he struggled,  according  to  the  precepts  of the
          Gospel, to love  his private enemies, he indulged himself in
          the privilege of  hating  the  enemies  of  God  and  of the
          church; and his sentiments were sometimes delivered with too
          much  energy  of   countenance   and  expression.  He  still
          maintained,   from  some   considerations   of   health   or
          abstinence, his former  habits  of taking his repasts alone;
          and this inhospitable  custom, (45) which his enemies imputed 
          to pride, contributed at least to nourish the infirmity of a
          morose and unsocial  humour.  Separated  from  that familiar
          intercourse which facilitates the knowledge and the despatch
          of business, he  reposed  an  unsuspecting confidence in his
          deacon  Serapion;  and   seldom   applied   his  speculative
          knowledge  of human  nature  to  the  particular  characters
          either of his  dependents or of his equals. Conscious of the
          purity of his  intentions, and perhaps of the superiority of
          his genius, the  archbishop  of  Constantinople extended the
          jurisdiction of the Imperial city, that he might enlarge the
          sphere of his  pastoral  labours;  and the conduct which the
          profane  imputed  to   an   ambitious  motive,  appeared  to
          Chrysostom  himself  in   the   light   of   a   sacred  and
          indispensable duty. In  his  visitation  through the Asiatic
          provinces he deposed  thirteen bishops of Lydia and Phrygia;
          and indiscreetly declared  that  a deep corruption of simony
          and licentiousness had  infected  the whole episcopal order.
         (46) If those  bishops  were  innocent, such a rash and unjust 
          condemnation must excite a well-grounded discontent. If they
          were guilty, the  numerous  associates  of their guilt would
          soon discover that  their own safety depended on the ruin of
          the archbishop, whom they studied to represent as the tyrant
          of the Eastern church.

          This ecclesiastical conspiracy was managed by Theophilus,(47) 
          archbishop of Alexandria,  an  active and ambitious prelate,
          who  displayed  the   fruits   of  rapine  in  monuments  of
          ostentation. His national dislike to the rising greatness of
          a city which  degraded him from the second to the third rank
          in the Christian  world  was  exasperated  by  some personal
          disputes  with  Chrysostom   himself.  (48)  By  the  private 
          invitation   of   the    empress,   Theophilus   landed   at
          Constantinople, with a  stout  body of Egyptian mariners, to
          encounter the populace; and a train of dependent bishops, to
          secure by their voices the majority of a synod. The synod(49) 
          was convened in  the  suburb of Chalcedon, surnamed the Oak,
          where Rufinus had  erected  a  stately church and monastery;
          and their proceedings were continued during fourteen days or
          sessions. A bishop  and  a  deacon accused the archbishop of
          Constantinople; but the  frivolous  or  improbable nature of
          the forty-seven articles  which  they  presented against him
          may justly be  considered  as  a  fair  and  unexceptionable
          panegyric.  Four  successive   summons   were  signified  to
          Chrysostom; but he  still refused to trust either his person
          or his reputation  in  the  hands of his implacable enemies,
          who, prudently declining  the  examination of any particular
          charges,  condemned  his   contumacious   disobedience,  and
          hastily pronounced a  sentence  of  deposition. The synod of
          the Oak immediately  addressed  the  emperor  to  ratify and
          execute their judgment,  and  charitably insinuated that the
          penalties of treason  might  be  inflicted  on the audacious
          preacher, who had  reviled,  under  the name of Jezebel, the
          empress Eudoxia herself. The archbishop was rudely arrested,
          and conducted through  the  city,  by  one  of  the Imperial
          messengers, who landed  him,  after a short navigation, near
          the  entrance  of   the  Euxine;  from  whence,  before  the
          expiration of two days, he was gloriously recalled.

          The first astonishment  of his faithful people had been mute
          and  passive:  they   suddenly   rose   with  unanimous  and
          irresistible fury. Theophilus  escaped,  but the promiscuous
          crowd of monks and Egyptian mariners was slaughtered without
          pity in the  streets  of  Constantinople. (50)  A  seasonable 
          earthquake  justified  the   interposition  of  Heaven;  the
          torrent of sedition  rolled  forwards  to  the  gates of the
          palace; and the  empress, agitated by fear or remorse, threw
          herself at the  feet  of  Arcadius,  and  confessed that the
          public safety could  be purchased only by the restoration of
          Chrysostom.  The  Bosphorus  was  covered  with  innumerable
          vessels;  the shores  of  Europe  and  Asia  were  profusely
          illuminated; and the  acclamations  of  a  victorious people
          accompanied, from the  port to the cathedral, the triumph of
          the archbishop, who  too  easily  consented  to  resume  the
          exercise of his  functions,  before  his  sentence  had been
          legally  reversed by  the  authority  of  an  ecclesiastical
          synod.  Ignorant, or  careless,  of  the  impending  danger,
          Chrysostom indulged his  zeal,  or  perhaps  his resentment;
          declaimed with peculiar asperity against 'female' vices; and
          condemned the profane  honours  which were addressed, almost
          in the precincts  of  St.  Sophia,  to  the  statue  of  the
          empress. His imprudence  tempted  his enemies to inflame the
          haughty  Spirit  of   Eudoxia,   by  reporting,  or  perhaps
          inventing, the famous  exordium  of  a  sermon, "Herodias is
          again furious; Herodias again dances; she once more requires
          the head of  John:"  an insolent allusion, which, as a woman
          and a sovereign,  it  was  impossible for her to forgive.(51) 
          The short interval  of  a  perfidious  truce was employed to
          concert more effectual measures for the disgrace and ruin of
          the archbishop. A  numerous council of the Eastern prelates,
          who were guided from a distance by the advice of Theophilus,
          confirmed the validity,  without  examining  the justice, of
          the former sentence;  and  a  detachment of barbarian troops
          was introduced into  the  city,  to suppress the emotions of
          the people. On the vigil of Easter the solemn administration
          of baptism was  rudely  interrupted  by  the  soldiers,  who
          alarmed the modesty  of the naked catechumens, and violated,
          by their presence,  the  awful  mysteries  of  the Christian
          worship. Arsacius occupied  the church of St. Sophia and the
          archiepiscopal throne. The  catholics retreated to the baths
          of Constantine, and  afterwards  to  the  fields, where they
          were still pursued  and insulted by the guards, the bishops,
          and the magistrates.  The  fatal day of the second and final
          exile of Chrysostom  was  marked by the conflagration of the
          cathedral,  of  the   senate-house,   and  of  the  adjacent
          buildings; and this calamity was imputed, without proof, but
          not without probability,  to  the  despair  of  a persecuted

          Cicero might claim  some  merit  if his voluntary banishment
          preserved the peace  of  the republic;(53) but the submission 
          of a Chrysostom  was  the  indispensable duty of a Christian
          and a subject.  Instead  of  listening  to his humble prayer
          that  he  might   be  permitted  to  reside  at  Cyzicus  or
          Nicomedia, the inflexible empress assigned for his exile the
          remote and desolate  town  of  Cucusus,  among the ridges of
          Mount Taurus, in  the  Lesser  Armenia.  A  secret  hope was
          entertained that the  archbishop might perish in a difficult
          and dangerous march  of  seventy days in the heat of summer,
          through  the  provinces   of   Asia   Minor,  where  he  was
          continually  threatened  by   the  hostile  attacks  of  the
          Isaurians, and the  more  implacable  fury of the monks. Yet
          Chrysostom  arrived  in   safety   at   the   place  of  his
          confinement; and the  three years which he spent at Cucusus,
          and the neighbouring  town  of  Arabissus, were the last and
          most glorious of  his life. His character was consecrated by
          absence and persecution;  the  faults  of his administration
          were no longer  remembered;  but  every  tongue repeated the
          praises  of  his  genius  and  virtue:  and  the  respectful
          attention of the  Christian world was fixed on a desert spot
          among  the mountains  of  Taurus.  From  that  solitude  the
          archbishop,   whose   active   mind   was   invigorated   by
          misfortunes, maintained a strict and frequent correspondence
         (54) with the  most  distant  provinces; exhorted the separate 
          congregation of his faithful adherents to persevere in their
          allegiance;  urged  the   destruction   of  the  temples  of
          Phoenicia, and the  extirpation  of  heresy  in  the isle of
          Cyprus; extended his pastoral care to the missions of Persia
          and Scythia; negotiated,  by his ambassadors, with the Roman
          pontiff and the  emperor Honorius; and boldly appealed, from
          a partial synod,  to  the  supreme  tribunal  of  a free and
          general council. The mind of the illustrious exile was still
          independent; but his captive body was exposed to the revenge
          of the oppressors,  who  continued  to  abuse  the  name and
          authority of Arcadius. (55)  An  order was despatched for the 
          instant removal of  Chrysostom  to  the  extreme  desert  of
          Pityus: and his  guards  so  faithfully  obeyed  their cruel
          instructions, that, before  he  reached  the seacoast of the
          Euxine, he expired  at  Comana,  in  Pontus, in the sixtieth
          year of his  age. The succeeding generation acknowledged his
          innocence and merit.  The archbishops of the East, who might
          blush  that their  predecessors  had  been  the  enemies  of
          Chrysostom, were gradually  disposed, by the firmness of the
          Roman pontiff, to  restore  the  honours  of  that venerable
          name.(56) At  the pious solicitation of the clergy and people 
          of Constantinople, his relics, thirty years after his death,
          were transported from  their  obscure sepulchre to the royal
          city.(57) The  emperor Theodosius advanced to receive them as 
          far as Chalcedon;  and,  falling  prostrate  on  the coffin,
          implored, in the  name  of  his guilty parents, Arcadius and
          Eudoxia, the forgiveness of the injured saint.(58) 

          Yet a reasonable  doubt may be entertained whether any stain
          of hereditary guilt  could  be  derived from Arcadius to his
          successor. Eudoxia was  a  young  and  beautiful  woman, who
          indulged her passions  and  despised her husband: Count John
          enjoyed, at least,  the  familiar confidence of the empress;
          and the public  named  him  as the real father of Theodosius
          the younger.(59) The birth of a son was accepted, however, by 
          the  pious husband  as  an  event  the  most  fortunate  and
          honourable to himself,  to  his  family,  and to the Eastern
          world: and the royal infant, by an unprecedented favour, was
          invested with the  titles  of  Caesar  and Augustus. In less
          than four years  afterwards, Eudoxia, in the bloom of youth,
          was destroyed by the consequences of a miscarriage; and this
          untimely death confounded  the prophecy of a holy bishop,(60) 
          who, amidst the universal joy, had ventured to foretell that
          she should behold  the  long  and  auspicious  reign  of her
          glorious son. The catholics applauded the justice of Heaven,
          which avenged the persecution of St. Chrysostom; and perhaps
          the emperor was  the  only person who sincerely bewailed the
          loss of the  haughty  and rapacious Eudoxia. Such a domestic
          misfortune  afflicted  him   more  deeply  than  the  public
          calamities of the  East(61) - the licentious excursions, from 
          Pontus to Palestine, of the Isaurian robbers, whose impunity
          accused the weakness of the government; and the earthquakes,
          the conflagrations, the  famine, and the flights of locusts,
         (62) which the  popular  discontent  was  equally  disposed to 
          attribute to the  incapacity  of  the monarch. At length, in
          the thirty-first year  of  his age, after a reign (if we may
          abuse  that word)  of  thirteen  years,  three  months,  and
          fifteen   days,  Arcadius   expired   in   the   palace   of
          Constantinople. It is impossible to delineate his character;
          since, in a  period very copiously furnished with historical
          materials, it has  not  been  possible  to remark one action
          that properly belongs to the son of the great Theodosius.

          The historian Procopius (63)  has indeed illuminated the mind 
          of the dying  emperor  with  a  ray  of  human  prudence, or
          celestial   wisdom.  Arcadius   considered,   with   anxious
          foresight, the helpless condition of his son Theodosius, who
          was no more  than seven years of age, the dangerous factions
          of a minority,  and  the  aspiring  spirit of Jezdegerd, the
          Persian monarch. Instead  of  tempting  the allegiance of an
          ambitious subject by  the participation of supreme power, he
          boldly appealed to the magnanimity of a king, and placed, by
          a solemn testament,  the sceptre of the East in the hands of
          Jezdegerd  himself.  The   royal   guardian   accepted   and
          discharged this honourable  trust  with unexampled fidelity;
          and the infancy  of Theodosius was protected by the arms and
          councils  of Persia.  Such  is  the  singular  narrative  of
          Procopius; and his  veracity is not disputed by Agathias,(64) 
          while he presumes  to  dissent  from  his  judgment,  and to
          arraign the wisdom  of  a  Christian emperor, who so rashly,
          though so fortunately,  committed  his son and his dominions
          to the unknown  faith of a stranger, a rival, and a heathen.
          At  the distance  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  years,  this
          political  question  might   be  debated  in  the  court  of
          Justinian; but a  prudent  historian  will refuse to examine
          the propriety, till  he  has  ascertained  the truth, of the
          testament of Arcadius.  As  it  stands without a parallel in
          the history of  the  world,  we  may  justly require that it
          should be attested by the positive and unanimous evidence of
          contemporaries. The strange  novelty  of  the  event,  which
          excites our distrust,  must have attracted their notice; and
          their universal silence  annihilates  the  vain tradition of
          the succeeding age.

          The maxims of  Roman  jurisprudence, if they could fairly be
          transferred from private  property to public dominion, would
          have adjudged to  the  emperor  Honorius the guardianship of
          his nephew, till  he  had attained, at least, the fourteenth
          year of his  age.  But  the  weakness  of  Honorius, and the
          calamities of his  reign,  disqualified him from prosecuting
          this natural claim;  and such was the absolute separation of
          the two monarchies,  both  in  interest  and affection, that
          Constantinople would have  obeyed  with  less reluctance the
          orders of the  Persian,  than  those  of  the Italian court.
          Under a prince  whose  weakness is disguised by the external
          signs  of  manhood   and   discretion,  the  most  worthless
          favourites may secretly  dispute  the  empire of the palace,
          and dictate to submissive provinces the commands of a master
          whom they direct  and despise. But the ministers of a child,
          who is incapable  of  arming  them  with the sanction of the
          royal  name,  must   acquire  and  exercise  an  independent
          authority. The great officers of the state and army, who had
          been appointed before  the  death  of  Arcadius,  formed  an
          aristocracy which might  have inspired them with the idea of
          a free republic;  and  the  government of the Eastern empire
          was fortunately assumed  by  the  praefect Anthemius,(65) who 
          obtained, by his  superior  abilities,  a  lasting ascendant
          over the minds  of  his  equals.  The  safety  of  the young
          emperor proved the merit and integrity of Anthemius; and his
          prudent firmness sustained  the  force  and reputation of an
          infant reign. Uldin,  with  a formidable host of barbarians,
          was encamped in the heart of Thrace; he proudly rejected all
          terms of accommodation;  and,  pointing  to  the rising sun,
          declared to the  Roman  ambassadors  that the course of that
          planet should alone terminate the conquests of the Huns. But
          the  desertion  of  his  confederates,  who  were  privately
          convinced of the  justice  and  liberality  of  the Imperial
          ministers, obliged Uldin  to repass the Danube: the tribe of
          the  Scyrri,  which   composed  his  rearguard,  was  almost
          extirpated; and many  thousand  captives  were dispersed, to
          cultivate, with servile  labour,  the  fields of Asia.(66) In 
          the  midst  of   the   public  triumph,  Constantinople  was
          protected by a  strong  enclosure  of new and more extensive
          walls; the same  vigilant  care  was  applied to restore the
          fortifications  of the  Illyrian  cities;  and  a  plan  was
          judiciously conceived, which,  in  the space of seven years,
          would  have  secured   the   command   of   the  Danube,  by
          establishing on that  river a perpetual fleet of two hundred
          and fifty armed vessels.(67) 

          But the Romans  had so long been accustomed to the authority
          of a monarch,  that the first, even among the females of the
          Imperial family, who  displayed any courage or capacity, was
          permitted to ascend  the  vacant  throne  of Theodosius. His
          sister Pulcheria,(68)  who  was  only  two  years  older than 
          himself,  received at  the  age  of  sixteen  the  title  of
          Augusta; and though her favour might be sometimes clouded by
          caprice or intrigue,  she  continued  to  govern the Eastern
          empire near forty  years;  during  the  long minority of her
          brother, and after  his  death  in  her own name, and in the
          name of Marcian,  her  nominal husband. From a motive either
          of prudence or  religion,  she  embraced a life of celibacy;
          and  notwithstanding some  aspersions  on  the  chastity  of
          Pulcheria,(69) this resolution, which she communicated to her 
          sisters Arcadia and  Marina, was celebrated by the Christian
          world as the sublime effort of heroic piety. In the presence
          of the clergy  and people the three daughters of Arcadius(70) 
          dedicated their virginity  to  God;  and  the  obligation of
          their solemn vow was inscribed on a tablet of gold and gems,
          which  they  publicly   offered   in  the  great  church  of
          Constantinople. Their palace was converted into a monastery,
          and all males  except  the  guides  of their conscience, the
          saints who had  forgotten  the  distinction  of sexes - were
          scrupulously excluded from  the  holy  threshold. Pulcheria,
          her two sisters,  and  a  chosen train of favourite damsels,
          formed a religious  community:  they renounced the vanity of
          dress, interrupted by frequent fasts their simple and frugal
          diet,  allotted  a   portion  of  their  time  to  works  of
          embroidery, and devoted  several  hours of the day and night
          to the exercises  of  prayer  and  psalmody.  The piety of a
          Christian virgin was  adorned  by the zeal and liberality of
          an empress. Ecclesiastical  history  describes  the splendid
          churches which were built at the expense of Pulcheria in all
          the provinces of  the  East,  her charitable foundations for
          the benefit of  strangers  and the poor, the ample donations
          which she assigned for the perpetual maintenance of monastic
          societies, and the  active  severity with which she laboured
          to suppress the opposite heresies of Nestorius and Eutyches.
          Such virtues were supposed to deserve the peculiar favour of
          the Deity: and  the  relics  of  martyrs,  as  well  as  the
          knowledge of future events, were communicated in visions and
          revelations to the  Imperial  saint. (71) Yet the devotion of 
          Pulcheria never diverted  her  indefatigable  attention from
          temporal affairs; and  she  alone, among all the descendants
          of the great Theodosius, appears to have inherited any share
          of his manly  spirit and abilities. The elegant and familiar
          use which she  had  acquired  both  of  the  Greek and Latin
          languages was readily  applied  to  the various occasions of
          speaking or writing  on  public  business: her deliberations
          were maturely weighed; her actions were prompt and decisive;
          and while she  moved  without noise or ostentation the wheel
          of government, she  discreetly  attributed  to the genius of
          the emperor the  long tranquillity of his reign. In the last
          years of his  peaceful  life  Europe was indeed afflicted by
          the arms of Attila; but the more extensive provinces of Asia
          still continued to  enjoy  a  profound and permanent repose.
          Theodosius the younger  was never reduced to the disgraceful
          necessity  of  encountering   and   punishing  a  rebellious
          subject: and since we cannot applaud the vigour, some praise
          may  be  due   to   the  mildness  and  prosperity,  of  the
          administration of Pulcheria.

          The Roman world  was  deeply  interested in the education of
          its master. A  regular  course  of  study  and  exercise was
          judiciously instituted; of the military exercises of riding,
          and  shooting with  the  bow;  of  the  liberal  studies  of
          grammar, rhetoric, and  philosophy: the most skilful masters
          of the East  ambitiously  solicited  the  attention of their
          royal pupil, and  several  noble youths were introduced into
          the palace to  animate  his  diligence  by  the emulation of
          friendship. Pulcheria alone discharged the important task of
          instructing her brother  in  the arts of government; but her
          precepts may countenance some suspicion of the extent of her
          capacity or of  the purity of her intentions. She taught him
          to maintain a  grave  and  majestic  deportment; to walk, to
          hold his robes,  to  seat  himself on his throne in a manner
          worthy of a  great  prince;  to  abstain  from  laughter, to
          listen with condescension,  to  return  suitable answers; to
          assume by turns  a  serious  or  a  placid countenance; in a
          word, to represent  with  grace  and  dignity  the  external
          figure of a  Roman  emperor.  But  Theodosius (72)  was never 
          excited to support  the  weight  and glory of an illustrious
          name; and, instead  of aspiring to imitate his ancestors, he
          degenerated (if we  may  presume  to  measure the degrees of
          incapacity) below the  weakness of his father and his uncle.
          Arcadius and Honorius had been assisted by the guardian care
          of a parent,  whose  lessons  were enforced by his authority
          and example. But  the  unfortunate prince who is born in the
          purple must remain a stranger to the voice of truth; and the
          son of Arcadius  was condemned to pass his perpetual infancy
          encompassed only by  a  servile  train of women and eunuchs.
          The  ample leisure  which  he  acquired  by  neglecting  the
          essential duties of  his  high  office  was  filled  by idle
          amusements and unprofitable  studies.  Hunting  was the only
          active pursuit that could tempt him beyond the limits of the
          palace; but he  most  assiduously laboured, sometimes by the
          light of a  midnight  lamp,  in  the mechanic occupations of
          painting  and  carving;  and  the  elegance  with  which  he
          transcribed religious books  entitled  the  Roman emperor to
          the singular epithet  of  'Calligraphes',  or a fair writer.
          Separated from the world by an impenetrable veil, Theodosius
          trusted the persons  whom  he loved; he loved those who were
          accustomed to amuse  and  flatter  his  indolence, and as he
          never perused the  papers  that were presented for the royal
          signature, the acts  of  injustice the most repugnant to his
          character  were frequently  perpetrated  in  his  name.  The
          emperor  himself  was   chaste,   temperate,   liberal,  and
          merciful; but these  qualities  - which can only deserve the
          name of virtues  when  they  are  supported  by  courage and
          regulated by discretion  -  were seldom beneficial, and they
          some  times  proved   mischievous,  to  mankind.  His  mind,
          enervated by a  royal  education, was oppressed and degraded
          by  abject superstition:  he  fasted,  he  sung  psalms,  he
          blindly accepted the  miracles  and doctrines with which his
          faith  was  continually   nourished.   Theodosius   devoutly
          worshipped  the dead  and  living  saints  of  the  catholic
          church; and he  once  refused  to eat till an insolent monk,
          who  had  cast   an   excommunication   on   his  sovereign,
          condescended  to heal  the  spiritual  wound  which  he  had

          The story of  a  fair  and  virtuous  maiden, exalted from a
          private condition to the Imperial throne, might be deemed an
          incredible romance, if  such a romance had not been verified
          in the marriage  of  Theodosius.  The celebrated Athenais(74) 
          was educated by  her  father  Leontius  in  the religion and
          sciences of the  Greeks; and so advantageous was the opinion
          which   the  Athenian   philosopher   entertained   of   his
          contemporaries, that he  divided  his  patrimony between his
          two sons, bequeathing  to his daughter a small legacy of one
          hundred pieces of  gold,  in  the lively confidence that her
          beauty and merit would be a sufficient portion. The jealousy
          and avarice of  her brothers soon compelled Athenais to seek
          a refuge at  Constantinople,  and with some hopes, either of
          justice  or  favour,   to  throw  herself  at  the  feet  of
          Pulcheria. That sagacious  princess listened to her eloquent
          complaint,  and  secretly   destined  the  daughter  of  the
          philosopher Leontius for  the  future wife of the emperor of
          the East, who  had  now  attained  the twentieth year of his
          age. She easily  excited  the curiosity of her brother by an
          interesting picture of the charms of Athenais: large eyes, a
          well-proportioned nose, a  fair  complexion, golden locks, a
          slender  person,  a  graceful  demeanour,  an  understanding
          improved  by  study,   and   a  virtue  tried  by  distress.
          Theodosius, concealed behind  a  curtain in the apartment of
          his sister, was permitted to behold the Athenian virgin: the
          modest youth immediately  declared  his  pure and honourable
          love, and the  royal  nuptials  were  celebrated  amidst the
          acclamations of the capital and the provinces. Athenais, who
          was easily persuaded  to  renounce  the  errors of Paganism,
          received at her  baptism  the  Christian name of Eudocia but
          the cautious Pulcheria  withheld  the  title of Augusta till
          the wife of  Theodosius had approved her fruitfulness by the
          birth of a  daughter,  who espoused fifteen years afterwards
          the emperor of  the  West.  The  brothers of Eudocia obeyed,
          with some anxiety,  her  Imperial  summons; but as she could
          easily forgive their  fortunate unkindness, she indulged the
          tenderness, or perhaps the vanity, of a sister, by promoting
          them to the  rank of consuls and praefects. In the luxury of
          the palace she  still  cultivated those ingenuous arts which
          had contributed to  her  greatness, and wisely dedicated her
          talents to the  honour  of  religion  and  of  her  husband.
          Eudocia composed a  poetical  paraphrase  of the first eight
          books of the  Old  Testament and of the prophecies of Daniel
          and Zechariah; a  cento  of  the verses of Homer, applied to
          the life and  miracles of Christ, the legend of St. Cyprian,
          and a panegyric  on the Persian victories of Theodosius; and
          her  writings,  which   were  applauded  by  a  servile  and
          superstitious age, have not been disdained by the candour of
          impartial criticism.(75)  The fondness of the emperor was not 
          abated  by time  and  possession;  and  Eudocia,  after  the
          marriage of her  daughter,  was  permitted  to discharge her
          grateful vows by  a  solemn  pilgrimage  to  Jerusalem.  Her
          ostentatious progress through the East may seem inconsistent
          with the spirit of Christian humility: she pronounced from a
          throne of gold and gems an eloquent oration to the senate of
          Antioch, declared her royal intention of enlarging the walls
          of the city,  bestowed  a  donative of two hundred pounds of
          gold to restore  the  public baths, and accepted the statues
          which were decreed  by the gratitude of Antioch. In the Holy
          Land her alms and pious foundations exceeded the munificence
          of the great Helena; and though the public treasure might be
          impoverished by this  excessive  liberality, she enjoyed the
          conscious satisfaction of  returning  to Constantinople with
          the chains of  St.  Peter, the right arm of St. Stephen, and
          the undoubted picture of the Virgin, painted by St. Luke.(76) 
          But this pilgrimage  was  the  fatal  term of the glories of
          Eudocia. Satiated with  empty pomp, and unmindful perhaps of
          her obligations to Pulcheria, she ambitiously aspired to the
          government of the  Eastern empire: the palace was distracted
          by female discord;  but  the  victory was at last decided by
          the superior ascendant  of  the  sister  of  Theodosius. The
          execution  of Paulinus,  master  of  the  offices,  and  the
          disgrace  of  Cyrus,   Praetorian   praefect  of  the  East,
          convinced  the  public   that  the  favour  of  Eudocia  was
          insufficient to protect  her  most faithful friends, and the
          uncommon beauty of  Paulinus  encouraged  the  secret rumour
          that his guilt was that of a successful lover.(77) As soon as 
          the empress perceived  that  the affection of Theodosius was
          irretrievably lost, she requested the permission of retiring
          to the distant  solitude  of  Jerusalem.  She  obtained  her
          request, but the  jealousy  of Theodosius, or the vindictive
          spirit of Pulcheria,  pursued  her  in her last retreat; and
          Saturninus, count of  the  domestics, was directed to punish
          with death two  ecclesiastics,  her  most favoured servants.
          Eudocia instantly revenged  them by the assassination of the
          count: the furious  passions  which  she  indulged  on  this
          suspicious  occasion  seemed  to  justify  the  severity  of
          Theodosius; and the  empress,  ignominiously stripped of the
          honours of her  rank,(78) was disgraced, perhaps unjustly, in 
          the eyes of the world. The remainder of the life of Eudocia,
          about sixteen years,  was  spent  in exile and devotion; and
          the  approach  of   age,   the   death  of  Theodosius,  the
          misfortunes of her only daughter, who was led a captive from
          Rome to Carthage,  and  the  society  of  the  Holy Monks of
          Palestine, insensibly confirmed  the religious temper of her
          mind. After a  full  experience of the vicissitudes of human
          life, the daughter  of  the  philosopher Leontius expired at
          Jerusalem, in the  sixty-seventh year of her age; protesting
          with her dying  breath  that  she had never transgressed the
          bounds of innocence and friendship.(79) 

          The gentle mind  of  Theodosius  was  never  inflamed by the
          ambition of conquest  or  military  renown;  and  the slight
          alarm of a Persian war scarcely interrupted the tranquillity
          of  the  East.  The  motives  of  this  war  were  just  and
          honourable. In the  last year of the reign of Jezdegerd, the
          supposed guardian of  Theodosius,  a  bishop, who aspired to
          the crown of martyrdom, destroyed one of the fire-temples of
          Susa. (80) His  zeal  and  obstinacy  were  revenged  on  his 
          brethren: the Magi  excited  a  cruel  persecution;  and the
          intolerant  zeal  of  Jezdegerd  was  imitated  by  his  son
          Varahes, or Bahram, who soon afterwards ascended the throne.
          Some Christian fugitives, who escaped to the Roman frontier,
          were  sternly demanded,  and  generously  refused;  and  the
          refusal, aggravated by  commercial  disputes, soon kindled a
          war between the  rival monarchies. The mountains of Armenia,
          and the plains  of  Mesopotamia,  were  filled  with hostile
          armies; but the  operations of two successive campaigns were
          not productive of  any  decisive  or  memorable events. Some
          engagements were fought,  some  towns  were  besieged,  with
          various and doubtful  success:  and  if the Romans failed in
          their  attempt  to   recover  the  long-lost  possession  of
          Nisibis, the Persians  were  repulsed  from  the  walls of a
          Mesopotamian city by  the  valour  of  a martial bishop, who
          pointed his thundering  engine in the name of St. Thomas the
          Apostle. Yet the  splendid  victories  which  the incredible
          speed of the messenger Palladius repeatedly announced to the
          palace of Constantinople  were celebrated with festivals and
          panegyrics. From these  panegyrics  the historians(81) of the 
          age might borrow  their extraordinary, and perhaps fabulous,
          tales of the  proud  challenge  of  a  Persian hero, who was
          entangled by the  net,  and  despatched  by  the  sword,  of
          Areobindus the Goth;  of  the  ten thousand 'Immortals', who
          were slain in  the  attack  of  the  Roman  camp; and of the
          hundred thousand Arabs,  or Saracens, who were impelled by a
          panic  terror  to   throw   themselves   headlong  into  the
          Euphrates. Such events  may  be  disbelieved or disregarded;
          but the charity  of  a  bishop, Acacius of Amida, whose name
          might have dignified the saintly calendar, shall not be lost
          in oblivion. Boldly  declaring that vases of gold and silver
          are useless to  a  God  who  neither  eats  nor  drinks, the
          generous prelate sold  the  plate  of  the  church of Amida;
          employed the price  in  the  redemption  of  seven  thousand
          Persian captives; supplied  their  wants  with  affectionate
          liberality; and dismissed  them  to their native country, to
          inform their king  of  the true spirit of the religion which
          he persecuted. The  practice  of benevolence in the midst of
          war must always  tend to assuage the animosity of contending
          nations;  and  I   wish  to  persuade  myself  that  Acacius
          contributed to the  restoration  of peace. In the conference
          which was held  on  the limits of the two empires, the Roman
          ambassadors  degraded  the   personal   character  of  their
          sovereign, by a  vain  attempt  to magnify the extent of his
          power, when they  seriously advised the Persians to prevent,
          by a timely  accommodation,  the  wrath of a monarch who was
          yet ignorant of  this  distant  war.  A truce of one hundred
          years was solemnly ratified; and although the revolutions of
          Armenia  might  threaten   the   public   tranquillity,  the
          essential conditions of  this  treaty  were  respected  near
          four-score  years  by  the  successors  of  Constantine  and

          Since the Roman  and Parthian standards first encountered on
          the banks of  the  Euphrates,  the kingdom of Armenia(82) was 
          alternately oppressed by  its  formidable protectors; and in
          the course of  this  History,  several events which inclined
          the balance of  peace  and war, have been already related. A
          disgraceful treaty had  resigned  Armenia to the ambition of
          Sapor; and the scale of Persia appeared to preponderate. But
          the royal race of Arsaces impatiently submitted to the house
          of Sassan; the turbulent nobles asserted, or betrayed, their
          hereditary independence; and  the  nation was still attached
          to the Christian princes of Constantinople. In the beginning
          of the fifth  century Armenia was divided by the progress of
          war and faction; (83) and the unnatural division precipitated 
          the downfall of that ancient monarchy. Chosroes, the Persian
          vassal, reigned over  the eastern and most extensive portion
          of the country;  while the western province acknowledged the
          jurisdiction of Arsaces,  and  the  supremacy of the emperor
          Arcadius. After the  death of Arsaces, the Romans suppressed
          the  regal government,  and  imposed  on  their  allies  the
          condition of subjects. The military command was delegated to
          the  count  of   the   Armenian   frontier;   the   city  of
          Theodosiopolis (84) was  built  and  fortified  in  a  strong 
          situation, on a  fertile  and lofty ground, near the sources
          of the Euphrates;  and  the dependent territories were ruled
          by five satraps,  whose  dignity  was  marked  by a peculiar
          habit of gold  and  purple.  The  less fortunate nobles, who
          lamented the loss  of  their king, and envied the honours of
          their equals, were  provoked  to  negotiate  their peace and
          pardon at the  Persian  court;  and,  returning  with  their
          followers to the  palace  of Artaxata, acknowledged Chosroes
          for their lawful  sovereign.  About thirty years afterwards,
          Artasires, the nephew  and successor of Chosroes, fell under
          the displeasure of  the  haughty  and  capricious  nobles of
          Armenia; and they  unanimously desired a Persian governor in
          the room of  an  unworthy king. The answer of the archbishop
          Isaac,  whose  sanction   they   earnestly   solicited,   is
          expressive of the  character  of  a superstitious people. He
          deplored the manifest  and  inexcusable  vices of Artasires;
          and declared that  he  should  not  hesitate  to  accuse him
          before  the tribunal  of  a  Christian  emperor,  who  would
          punish, without destroying,  the sinner "Our king" continued
          Isaac, "is too much addicted to licentious pleasures, but he
          has been purified  in  the  holy  water  of baptism. He is a
          lover of women,  but  he  does  not  adore  the  fire or the
          elements. He may deserve the reproach of lewdness, but he is
          an undoubted catholic;  and  his  faith  is pure, though his
          manners are flagitious.  I  will never consent to abandon my
          sheep to the  rage  of  devouring wolves; and you would soon
          repent your rash  exchange of the infirmities of a believer,
          for the specious  virtues  of an heathen."(85) Exasperated by 
          the firmness of  Isaac, the factious nobles accused both the
          king and the  archbishop  as  the  secret  adherents  of the
          emperor;  and  absurdly   rejoiced   in   the   sentence  of
          condemnation, which, after  a  partial hearing, was solemnly
          pronounced by Bahram  himself.  The  descendants  of Arsaces
          were degraded from  the  royal  dignity, (86)  which they had 
          possessed above five  hundred  and  sixty  years;(87) and the 
          dominions of the  unfortunate  Artasires,  under the new and
          significant appellation of  Persarmenia,  were  reduced into
          the form of a province. This usurpation excited the jealousy
          of the Roman  government;  but the rising disputes were soon
          terminated by an  amicable, though unequal, partition of the
          ancient kingdom of  Armenia;  and a territorial acquisition,
          which Augustus might have despised, reflected some lustre on
          the declining empire of the younger Theodosius.

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