Imágenes de páginas

passage of Socrates, declares himself in favour of the genuineness of it; as does Basnage likewise. Petavius,' who published an edition of this philosopher's Orations, does not allow it to be the same that was spoken to Valens, and assigns many reasons for his judgment; though he was at the pains to translate it into Greek. Fabricius is of opinion, that the oration of which Socrates and Sozomen speak is lost; and he refers to Baronius, as having been before of the same sentiment. Tillemont' says: · We have still in Latin an oration addressed to Va• lens, in which is what these writers mention : but it is so like to that which we have in Greek, • and was certainly addressed to Jovian, that it is not easy to believe that Themistius composed • both. It s is more probable, that the true oration to Valens being lost, some person left out • that which was peculiar to Jovian, the better to accommodate the whole to Valens.'

There can therefore be no good reason, why I should be at the pains to make extracts out of this Latin oration ; though the truth of what is written by Socrates and Sozomen ought not to be contested. Themistius did address an oration to Valens recommending moderation ; and the emperor was mitigated: he was milder in the punishments inflicted upon those who differed from him : some were only banished, who otherwise might have been put to death.

IV. We may now, I think, see what judgment ought to be made of this philosopher and senator : he was eminent for learning and eloquence, esteemed by all learned men in general, both Christians and others; in favour with all the emperors in whose time he lived : excepting Julian, they were all Christians; and they were all flattered by him. But it does not appear, that he was at all inclined to embrace the Christian sentiments. Nevertheless, he may have been a very useful man : for during his abode at Constantinople, he educated many young persons in the knowledge of the polite arts and sciences. Moderation was for the interest of Gentilism at that time : such principles were approved and embraced by this philosopher, and recommended by him upon proper occasions. Jovian was handsomely commended by him for his law of general toleration for all opinions, including Gentilism, and the several sects among Christians. The same sentiments were recommended by him afterwards to Valens, from the same just, and equitable, and forcible reasons and considerations; and not altogether without effect. The severity of that bigotted prince toward Homoüsians was mitigated, and they had a benefit by it.

a Hæc oratio Themistii ad Valentem hodie extat Latine edita a Duditio. Nam, quod Socrates ait, Themistium in ea oratione locutum esse de discrepantiâ dogmatum philosophicorum, habetur in versione Duditii. Vales. in Socrat. p. 58.

b Cum porro Valens majore in dies odio adversus Homoüsianos æstuaret, quos acerrime vexabat, Themistius furentem oratione placare tentat. Quam Latine olim ab Andrea Duditio publicatam, Græce Petavius vertit. Basn. ann. 375, num. viii.

© Hanc ipsam esse orationem, qui in Catholicos exacerbatus Valens a Themistio compellatus, ac mitigatus dicitur, miror cuiquam in animum induxisse. Petav. annot. ad Themist. p. 459.

Nos, ut jacturam hanc aliqua ex parte sublevemus, Græcam nostram interpretationem pro germana Themistii oratione substituimus. Petav. ibid. p.

460. e Alter vero Themistii 20sos apoo Puntixos, quo ab illa

etiam persecutione Socrates iv. 32, et Sozomenus vi. 36, Valentem scribunt revocatum esse, intercidit, ut recte Baronius ad A. C. 374, num. ix. Fabric. Bib. Gr. T. viii. p. 10.

L'Emp. Théodos. art. 94. H. des Emp. Tom. v. & Il y a plus d'apparence, que, le veritable discours à Va. lens étant perdu, on a retranché de l'autre ce qui étoit particulier à Jovien, pour l'accommoder à Valens Le P. Harduin n'en a pas voulu dire un mot. Tillem. ibid.

Il y a peu de faits dans ses éloges. Mais on y trouve des maximes assez belles ; et il prend presque toujours le caractère d'un homme d'honneur. Cependant, quoiqu' il se declare grand ennemi des flateurs, je ne vois pas, qu'on le puisse excuser de l'avoir été luimesme. Car les discours, qu'il faits aux Empereurs sont tous éloges, souvent mal fondés; et Valens y paroît aussi bon, et aussi grand que Théodose. Id. ib.



1. His time, works, and character. II. Extracts out of his epistles. III. Extracts out of his

other works. IV. His Oration for the temples, to the emperor Theodosius, in the year 390, translated from the original, with notes. V. General, and concluding observations upon that Oration.

Libanius ' a celebrated sophist of the fourth century, flourished under Constantius, and the following emperors, till the time of Theodosius the great. He was born at Antioch, in Syria, in the year of Christ 314, or 315. He taught rhetoric for some while at Constantinople, and afterwards at Nicomedia. About the year 354, he came to his native place Antioch ; where he resided, for the most part, the remainder of his life.

He is placed by Cave at the year 360; I place him at the year 570, at which time he was considerably above fifty years of age. When he wrote his life, he was in the sixtieth year of his age. He speaks of his being fifty years old in the time of Jovian, who succeeded Julian, and in the time of Valens d fifty-seven. In a letter to Priscus, he says, he was seventy-six years old ; which he could not be before the year of our Lord 390, or 391, and near the end of the reign of Theodosius, before mentioned, who died in 395.

He was the author of many works, still extant. His letters, which were very numerous, are particularly recommended by Eunapius, and Photius. And the late Mr. Wolfius, in our time, has made a large collection of them, amounting to the number of more than sixteen hundred: the greatest part of which are unquestionably genuine, and very entertaining,

Libanius was a great admirer of Julian, fond of Gentilism, and averse to Christianity, but not an enemy to all Christians. He did not embrace Christianity, having been educated in great prejudices against it, and having never examined its evidences. Nevertheless I cannot but esteem him an useful man; for, as Socrates acknowledgeth, he was an excellent sophist : and he was continually employed in teaching polite literature, and had many scholars; some of whom were afterwards men of great eminence. Among them Socrates' and Sozomen * reckon John Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and Maximus, bishop of Seleucia, in Isauria.

And Sozomen says, that when Libanius was dying, and his friends asked him whom he would have to succeed him in his school, he said, he should have chosen John [Chrysostom,] but • the Christians had got him He says, in one of his epistles, that " philosophers are to be respected next after the gods ; for they are next to them in dignity. Recommending Letoïus to Eutocius, he says : • Letoïus ó is my friend, because he is a good man, and exceeds what might . be expected from one in his station. By profession he is a soldier, but in his mind he is well • affected to literature, and to those who make that their study.' These, and many other like things, in his writings, shew how desirous Libanius was to promote learning and knowledge.


· Liban. De vità sua. Eunap. de Vitis Philosoph. et Sophist. Η ΕΓω δε σοφισην μεν αυθον αρισον γενεσθαι φημι. Socr.
Phot. Cod. xc. p. 209. Suid. V. 116arios. Fabr. Bib. Gr. 1. iii. cap. 23. in.
Tom. vii. p. 378, '&c. Cav. Hist. Lit. Tillemont. Hist. des i Vid. Socrat. I. vi. cap. 3.
Emp. Tom. iv. Julien. art. 36. 37. Le Clerc. Bib. Anc, et k Soz. I. viii

. cap. 2. p. 757. A. B. Mod. T. iii. p 353. &c. Bib. Raisonnée. T. 24. p. 177. &c. -λεβείαι Ιωαννην ειπειν, ει μη Χριςιανοι τaloν εσυλησαν. Bib. Germanique. T. 47. p. 1. &c.

Id. ib. p. 756. B. b De Vitâ sua. p. 19.

η Φιλοσοφες, ω μακαριε, μετα τες Θεές θεραπευειν, εγΓυς c Ibid. p. 46.

ονίας των Θεων. Εp. 1524. p. 649,

Λήοιος ημιν φιλος εςιν, απο τα χρησος είναι, και κρείττων Το δε ημετερον, εξ μεν και έβδομηκονία είη γείονα. Εp. 866. Τα σχηματος, εν ω ζη. Ζη μεν γαρ εν δραιωθα μοιρα, τη P. 405.

γνωμη δε μεία των περι λοψες εσιν. Εp. 433. p. 221. In Libanii Vit. p. 133. & Ubi supr. p. 212.

d Ibid.


P. 48.

Eunapius says, that · Libanius was well qualified for public offices in the state, and that one of the emperors, in whose time he lived, meaning Theodosius the great, bestowed upon hin, the honorary title of præfect of the prætorium, the highest office in the empire ; but Libanius declined it, saying, that the title of sophist was more honourable. We may observe him in his epistles expressing the same sentiment. And by the force of his eloquence he appeased two emperors, Julian and Theodosius, when they were much offended with the people of Antioch.

both these occasions are still extant. However, undoubtedly, there were others beside him, who joined together in mitigating the displeasure of those emperors.

Divers letters of our sophist are written to Christians, and Christian bishops. Indeed, the correspondence between him and Basil, consisting of more than twenty letters, is ' suspected, (and I think justly), not to be genuine. There is also a letter to John, by whom many learned men suppose to be meant Chrysostom; but Valesius? hesitates, and I think with good reason. There is also one letter to Athanasius, by whom may be intended the celebrated bishop o Alexandria : another to Amphilochius, bishop. Wolfius makes no doubt, that hereby is intended Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium. The letter next following, is inscribed to Optimus, appointed bishop. Hereby may be meant Optimus, who for some while was bishop of Antioch in Pisidia ; who likewise, as appears from this letter, was disciple of Libanius, and had been chosen bishop without his own consent. In'a letter to Olympius, Libanius recommends Heliodorus; whom Wolfius supposeth to be the author of the Ethiopicks, and a Christian. There is also " á letter of our author to Heliodorus, 'supposed to be the same. Concerning him may be consulted" Fabricius. Photius o gives an agreeable account of the Ethiopicks. When Heliodorus wrote that work, he was a Christian; and it is supposed, that afterwards he was a bishop.

II. I cannot forbear to take particular notice of some of our sophist's letters. Good sentiments may be observed in several of them.

1. He expresseth himself very agreeably concerning forgiveness of injuries, and readiness to be reconciled, in a letter to Ulpian, a part of which I shall transcribe here. • I am glad that ' you have the emperor's good-will, [meaning Jovian as is supposed :) I conclude it from your

being still in the magistracy; for without that you could not have this. If the difference be-
*tween you and Seleucus is made up, so much the better; if not, by Jupiter, let it be brought
* to an end without delay. If you was the first author in the injury, it is fit you should be the
• first author of peace. If the fault is on his side, the greater honour will you have from a re-
• conciliation. It is not he who avengeth an injury, whom we admire, but he who has power to
• avenge it and does not. The former belongs to barbarians and wild-beasts ; the latter to
Greeks and Athenians, and such as resemble the gods. Call to mind him, whose death cost
you so many tears; and, perhaps, you will find, that he forgave many men offences, which
were not small, and greater than those which have caused a difference between you.'

2. There is another letter o equally pleasing, written upon the same sentiments, and in the time of Julian, and in favour of a Christian. • Orion,' says he, was my friend, when he was . in prosperity; and now he is in affliction, I have the same disposition toward him. If he thinks

differently from us concerning the Deity, he hurts himself, being deceived: but it is not fit " that his friends should look upon him as an enemy::

He goes on to dissuade against treating Orion with severity. It is, indeed, a curious letter; upon which Wolfius' has made remarks, and Le Clerc'yet more. Orion was plainly a Christian, as appears not only from this, but also from another letter' of Libanius. In the time of his

prosperity, it is likely, he had done some things to the detriment of Hellenism, which were liable

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2 Ικανος δε ην και πολιθικους ομιλησαι πραγμασι-Εunap. ib. p. 135.

Εμοι σχημα μεν αρκεν οι λοίοι, δι' ες εδεπωπoίε ταπεινόλερον ηύησαμην εμαυλον υμων, ων η λαμπρότης όρκος τους κολαξι. Ep. 19. p. 7.

Legatio ad Julianum. T. 2. p. 151. Ad Theodos. Imp. . de Seditione Antiochena, p. 389, &c. Vid. et ad Theodos. Antiochenis reconciliatum, p. 406. &c.

Ap. Wolf. ep. 1590–1605. e Vid. Garnor. de Vita. S. Basilii. cap. 39.

Ep. 1576. : In notis ad Socrat. 1. vi. cap. 3. p. 75.

Ep. 691. p. 331.
i Ep. 1226. p. 581.
k Ep. 1227. p. 582. Οπτιμω επισκοπω γενομενω.
' Ep. 437. p. 222.

Ep. 595. p. 286.
" Bib. Gr. lib. v. cap. 6. T. 6. p. 794.
• Cod. 73. p. 157.
P Ep. 1138. p. 542.
9 Ep. 730, p. 349.

Vide Notas. p. 349.
s Bib. A. et M. Tom. 3. p. 366, &c.
? Ep. 673. p. 322.

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to resentment in the reign of Julian. But Libanius extenuates his fault, and endeavours to mi. tigate his sufferings.

3. Wolfius - justly considers these letters as proofs of the equity of Libanius toward Christians.

4. It must be owned, I think, that Libanius was of a friendly disposition, good-natured, tender-hearted, and compassionate. And I would farther observe here, that though he sometimes speaks with great dislike, and even with indignation against the Christians, calling them profane, and impure, and the like; he never adopts the language of Julian, or calls them Galileans, though Julian never spoke of them under any other denomination.

5. I would here mention another observation upon our author. I do not perceive that he had read the books of the New Testament: I may add, nor the Old, that I can discern. Wolfius thinks, that "in one of his letters published by him, Libanius alludes to St. Paul's epistle to the Ephesians. iv. 26. “ Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” And thence he concludes, that Libanius had read the books of the New Testament. But it should be consi. dered, that that letter is one of the letters to Basil, which are not known to be genuine, and probably are not.

6. Libanius, formerly quoted by us, passed a judgment upon the writings of Julian and Porphyry against the Christians; preferring the work of Julian to that of Porphyry. Whence some may argue, that he must have been well acquainted with the books of the New Testament, and the principles contained in them: but I do not think there is any proof of this. The judgment of Libanius upon that controversy is of no value ; and might be founded, such as it was, upon only a very general knowledge of Christianity, of which he could not be destitute. In short, our sophist, with all his discernment in many other things, being prejudiced and conceited, shut his eyes against the evidences of the Christian religion, and would not examine them; nor vouchsafe to read, with any attention, the writings of the apostles and evangelists of Jesus Christ, who had not the reputation of being skilled in Greek learning.

III. I shall now make some extracts out of his other works.

1. In a panegyric upon Julian, at the beginning of the year 363, when Julian was for the fourth time consul, he says of him : * By the guidance of philosophy he soon wiped off the • reproach of impiety, and learned the truth, and acknowledged those for gods, who were such • indeed, instead of him who was only thought to be so. That day I call the beginning of liberty « to the world.'

2. In a funeral oration upon Julian, he gives this account of his conduct in religious matters, when he came to be sole emperor, after the death of Constantius. • Having,''as he says, paid • all honours due to Constantius, he began with remedying matters relating to the gods, sacrificing in the view of all, and expressing his satisfaction in those who followed him, and deriding those who did not, and endeavouring to persuade them to imitate him, but without compulsion. Indeed, they who were in wrong sentiments, were filled with fear, and expected pulling out of eyes, beheadings, and rivers of blood, flowing from innumerable slaughters ; • and that this new lord would find out new ways of torture; and that fire and sword, and

drowning, and burying alive, and amputation of limbs, would be trifling things. Such 5 things • had been practised by those who went before; but now more grievous things were expected. • But Julian dissented from those who had practised such things, as not obtaining the end aimed • at; and he was sensible, that no benefit was to be expected from such violence. For men

labouring under diseases of the body, may be relieved by bandages ; but a false opinion about *the gods is not to be expelled by cutting and burning ; and if the hand sacrificeth, the mind


· Notanda est hæc epistola, tamquam index æquitatis, quâ asiucova, co gay map! Te Sela qaçarilor cox sxy TEPAPEPEIM" Libanius in Christianos usus est. Not. (19.) ad. ep. 673. αλλ' ευθυς την κηλιδα διερριψε, και τες ονλας, αν7ι το δοκούλος, p. 323.

επείνω" προς την αληθειαν η εμονι φιλοσοφια χρησαμενος. . πως αλλοις κηρυίτων μη χειναι μεχρι δυσμων ήλια Εκείνην εξω την ημεραν αρχην ελευθεριας τη γη καλω, κ. λ. λυπην φυλαττειν, αυτος εν πολλοίς ήλιοις εφυλαξας. Εp. 1586. Panegyr. Imp. Juliano Cos. dictus. Or. 8. T. 2.


234. C. P. 721.

Conf. Or. 10. p. 265. A. ċ Vult omnino illa S. Pauli Eph. iv. 26. Ex his, itemque I Concio Funebr. super Juliani Imp. nece, Or. x. Tom. 2. aliis locis, patet, Libanium sacros Novi Testamenti libros p. 289. D. 290, 291, et ap. Fabric. Bib. Gr. Tom. vii. Paevolvisse. Wolf. Ib. in not. p. 721.

rentalis in Julian. Imp. cap. 58, 59, p. 283, &c. d See before. p. 322.

και Ταυλα μεν γαρ τοις προσθεν επεπρακίο: πολυ δε τείων Φιλοσοφιας δε ήμμενον, και επι τον εκεινης παρακυψανία ηλπιζείο χαλεπωλερα. κ. λ. p. 290. Β.

reproves the hand, and condemns the infirmity of the body, and still approves what it approved • before. There is only an appearance of a change, but no real alteration of sentiment. More• over, they who comply, are pardoned afterwards, and they who die [under torture] are ho• noured as gods.'

• Considering, " therefore, these things, and observing likewise, that their affairs had been • increased by slaughters, he declined what he could not approve of. Thus he brought over all • to the truth, who were to be persuaded; but did not compel those who were in love with • falsehood. However, he did not cease to call to them, and say, Whither do you run? Are you • not ashamed to think darkness brighter than light?

—They who were of the same sentiments, were dearer to him than his kindred : esteeming him his friend, who was a friend to Jupiter, • and him his enemy, who was an enemy to Jupiter: or rather esteeming him his friend, who was • a friend to Jupiter ; but not every one his enemy, who was an enemy to Jupiter : for such as · he thought might be changed in time, he did not reject, but by good usage gained upon * them; Ind though they refused at first, he brought them at length to dance about 'the • altars.'

Upon this passage I may be allowed to make some remarks. (1.) Here is an acknowledgment, that in times past, under heathen emperors, Christians had undergone very ill usage. (2.) And that under those sufferings their numbers had increased, and their religion had prospered. This could never be said of Hellenism. (3.) Here is a reference to some customs of the Christians. They who were overcome by tortures, and other sufferings, in time of persecution, afterwards acknowledged their weakness, and upon due humiliation, were pardoned. They who persevered and died for their religion, were honoured as martyrs, or as gods, as he represents it

. (4.) Libanius has here produced good reasons against persecuting men upon account of religious sentiments. (5.) It is intimated, that Julian, by his management, prevailed upon many, and made more than a few converts to Gentilism. (6.) This account of Julian's conduct, as I apprehend, may be considered, as intended, partly at least, to be an apology for him to heathen people. Upon Julian's accession, the Christians feared a heavy persecution; and there were also, as it seems, a good number of heathens, who wished, and expected to see the Christians treated with the utmost rigour and severity; and some there were, who gave such counsel, and advised him to act in that manner. The better to satisfy such persons, Libanius argues against the severities of persecution, and shews, that milder methods were not without effect.

IV. I must now give a particular account of an Oration of Libanius, entitled, For the • Temples. It is addressed to Theodosius the first, or the great, who then had for his colleague in the empire Valentinian the second, or the younger. James Gothofredo the publisher of this oration, has endeavoured to determine the time of it. He argues from divers notes of time in the oration itself, that it must have been written after the year $88, and before 391, and very probably in the year 390. Nevertheless, Mr. Tillemont has since argued, that` it might be written in the year 384. And Gothofred himself has also since said, that this oration was written in the year 387, if that be not a fault of the impression, as I think it must be. I do not think it needful for me to enter here into a debate upon this point ; Gothofred's argument in his notes has an appearance of probability; and I may observe some characters of time in my own notes upon the oration, as we pass along.

Whether this oration was spoken to Theodosius, may be questioned : for though Libanius seems to speak to the emperor, as present, it cannot be thence certainly concluded that he was so, because Libanius expresseth himself in a like manner in some other orations, when it is plain the emperor was absent, as Gothofred has observed.

The occasion of the oration was this. In the reign of Theodosius several heathen temples, some of them very magnificent, were pulled down and destroyed in the cities, and especially in country-places, by the monks, with the consent and connivance, as Libanius intimates, of the

Ταυλα εν αιθιωμενος, και ταις σφαίαις ορων ηυξημενα τα εκεινων, εφυδεν α καθεμεμφελο. p. 290 C.

Λιβανια λοίος υπερ των ιερων. .

Libanii Antiocheni pro Templis Gentilium non exscindendis, ad Theodosium M. Imp. Oratio, nunc primum edita a Jacobo Gothofredo J. C. notisque illustrata Genevæ. 1634.

d Vide Gothofred, notas in Oration. Libanii. p. 37-40. € See H. E. L'Emp. Théodose. i. art. xviii. et note xvi. ' Quæ [sacrificia) paullo ante hanc legem Romæ stetisse Libanius diserte testatur oratione, quam edidi, iFeS TWY isporr, quæ scripta est anno D. 387. Goth. in Cod. Theod. T. 6.

p. 272.

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