Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire

Gibbon's The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire

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269 - 402.) He refers to the great Armenian History of Galanus, (3 vols. in fol. Rome, 1650 - 1661,) and commends the state of Armenia in the iiid volume of the Nouveaux Memoires des Missions du Levant. The work of a Jesuit must have sterling merit when it is praised by La Croze.]

[Footnote *: See vol. iii. ch. xx. p. 271. - M.]

[Footnote 140: The schism of the Armenians is placed 84 years after the council of Chalcedon, (Pagi, Critica, ad A.D. 535.) It was consummated at the end of seventeen years; and it is from the year of Christ 552 that we date the aera of the Armenians, (L'Art de verifier les Dates, p. xxxv.)] [Footnote 141: The sentiments and success of Julian of Halicarnassus may be seen in Liberatus, (Brev. c. 19,) Renaudot, (Hist. Patriarch. Alex. p. 132, 303,) and Assemannus, (Bibliot. Orient. tom. ii. Dissertat. Monophysitis, l. viii. p. 286.)]

[Footnote 142: See a remarkable fact of the xiith century in the History of Nicetas Choniates, (p. 258.) Yet three hundred years before, Photius (Epistol. ii. p. 49, edit. Montacut.) had gloried in the conversion of the Armenians.] [Footnote 143: The travelling Armenians are in the way of every traveller, and their mother church is on the high road between Constantinople and Ispahan; for their present state, see Fabricius, (Lux Evangelii, &c., c. xxxviii. p. 40 - 51,) Olearius, (l. iv. c. 40,) Chardin, (vol. ii. p. 232,) Teurnefort, (lettre xx.,) and, above all, Tavernier, (tom. i. p. 28 - 37, 510

  • 518,) that rambling jeweller, who had read nothing, but had seen so much and so well]
    1. In the rest of the Roman empire, the despotism of the

prince might eradicate or silence the sectaries of an obnoxious creed. But the stubborn temper of the Egyptians maintained their opposition to the synod of Chalcedon, and the policy of Justinian condescended to expect and to seize the opportunity of discord. The Monophysite church of Alexandria ^144 was torn by the disputes of the corruptibles and incorruptibles, and on the death of the patriarch, the two factions upheld their respective candidates. ^145 Gaian was the disciple of Julian, Theodosius had been the pupil of Severus: the claims of the former were supported by the consent of the monks and senators, the city and the province; the latter depended on the priority of his ordination, the favor of the empress Theodora, and the arms of the eunuch Narses, which might have been used in more honorable warfare. The exile of the popular candidate to Carthage and Sardinia inflamed the ferment of Alexandria; and after a schism of one hundred and seventy years, the Gaianites still revered the memory and doctrine of their founder. The strength of numbers and of discipline was tried in a desperate and bloody conflict; the streets were filled with the dead bodies of citizens and soldiers; the pious women, ascending the roofs of their houses, showered down every sharp or ponderous utensil on the heads of the enemy; and the final victory of Narses was owing to the flames, with which he wasted the third capital of the Roman world. But the lieutenant of Justinian had not conquered in the cause of a heretic; Theodosius himself was speedily, though gently, removed; and Paul of Tanis, an orthodox monk, was raised to the throne of Athanasius. The powers of government were strained in his support; he might appoint or displace the dukes and tribunes of Egypt; the allowance of bread, which Diocletian had granted, was suppressed, the churches were shut, and a nation of schismatics was deprived at once of their spiritual and carnal food. In his turn, the tyrant was excommunicated by the zeal and revenge of the people: and none except his servile Melchites would salute him as a man, a Christian, or a bishop. Yet such is the blindness of ambition, that, when Paul was expelled on a charge of murder, he solicited, with a bribe of seven hundred pounds of gold, his restoration to the same station of hatred and ignominy. His successor Apollinaris entered the hostile city in military array, alike qualified for prayer or for battle. His troops, under arms, were distributed through the streets; the gates of the cathedral were guarded, and a chosen band was stationed in the choir, to defend the person of their chief. He stood erect on his throne, and, throwing aside the upper garment of a warrior, suddenly appeared before the eyes of the multitude in the robes of patriarch of Alexandria. Astonishment held them mute; but no sooner had Apollinaris begun to read the tome of St. Leo, than a volley of curses, and invectives, and stones, assaulted the odious minister of the emperor and the synod. A charge was instantly sounded by the successor of the apostles; the soldiers waded to their knees in blood; and two hundred thousand Christians are said to have fallen by the sword: an incredible account, even if it be extended from the slaughter of a day to the eighteen years of the reign of Apollinaris. Two succeeding patriarchs, Eulogius ^146 and John, ^147 labored in the conversion of heretics, with arms and arguments more worthy of their evangelical profession. The theological knowledge of Eulogius was displayed in many a volume, which magnified the errors of Eutyches and Severus, and attempted to reconcile the ambiguous language of St. Cyril with the orthodox creed of Pope Leo and the fathers of Chalcedon. The bounteous alms of John the eleemosynary were dictated by superstition, or benevolence, or policy. Seven thousand five hundred poor were maintained at his expense; on his accession he found eight thousand pounds of gold in the treasury of the church; he collected ten thousand from the liberality of the faithful; yet the primate could boast in his testament, that he left behind him no more than the third part of the smallest of the silver coins. The churches of Alexandria were delivered to the Catholics, the religion of the Monophysites was proscribed in Egypt, and a law was revived which excluded the natives from the honors and emoluments of the state.

[Footnote 144: The history of the Alexandrian patriarchs, from Dioscorus to Benjamin, is taken from Renaudot, (p. 114 - 164,) and the second tome of the Annals of Eutychius.]

[Footnote 145: Liberat. Brev. c. 20, 23. Victor. Chron. p. 329 330. Procop. Anecdot. c. 26, 27.]

[Footnote 146: Eulogius, who had been a monk of Antioch, was more conspicuous for subtilty than eloquence. He proves that the enemies of the faith, the Gaianites and Theodosians, ought not to be reconciled; that the same proposition may be orthodox in the mouth of St. Cyril, heretical in that of Severus; that the opposite assertions of St. Leo are equally true, &c. His writings are no longer extant except in the Extracts of Photius, who had perused them with care and satisfaction, ccviii. ccxxv. ccxxvi. ccxxvii. ccxxx. cclxxx.]

[Footnote 147: See the Life of John the eleemosynary by his contemporary Leontius, bishop of Neapolis in Cyrus, whose Greek text, either lost or hidden, is reflected in the Latin version of Baronius, (A.D. 610, No.9, A.D. 620, No. 8.) Pagi (Critica, tom.

  1. p. 763) and Fabricius l. v c. 11, tom. vii. p. 454) have made some critical observations]

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Fall of Roman Empire