Imágenes de páginas

shall omit observing, that he did not proceed to the taking away the sacrifices. But who ever • suffered a greater punishment for taking away the sacred money (out of the temples), partly in • what he brought upon himself; partly in what he suffered after his death, insomuch that his · family destroyed one another, till there were none left. And it had been much better for • him that some of his posterity should reign, than to enlarge with buildings a city of his own ' name: for the sake of which city itself all men still curse his memory, except those who live there in wicked luxury, because by their poverty these have their abundance. And since next to him they mention - his son, and how he destroyed the temples, when they who pulled them • down · took no less pains in destroying them, than the builders had done in raising them: so • laborious a work was it to separate the stones cemented by the strongest bands, p. 23. Since, • I say, they mention these things, I will mention somewhat yet more considerable. That he

indeed made presents of the temples to those who were about him, just as he might give a "horse, or a slave, or a dog, or a golden cup: but they were unhappy presents to both the 'giver and the receivers of them: for he spent all his life in fear of the Persians, dreading all • their motions, as children do bugbears. Of these some were childless, and died miserably • intestate: and others had better never have had children ; with such infamy and mutual

discord do they live together, who descend from them, whilst they dwell among sacred pillars • taken from the temples. To whom I think these things are owing, who knowing how to * enrich themselves, have taught their children this way to happiness And at this time their distempers carry some of them to 8 Cilicia, needing the help of Æsculapius. But instead of obtaining relief, they meet with affronts only for the injury done to the place, p. 24. How can * such return without cursing the author of these evils ? But let the conduct of this emperor be "such as to deserve praises iving and dead; such as we know that he was who succeeded • him; who had overturned the Persian empire if treachery had not prevented it. Nevertheless • he was great in his death : for he was killed by treachery, as Achilles also was; and is ap• plauded for that, as well as for what he did before his death. This has he obtained from the

gods, to whom he restored their rites, and honours, and temples, and altars, and blood : from • whom, having heard, “ that he should humble the pride of Persia, and then die," he pur‘chased the glory of his life, taking many cities, subduing a large tract of land, teaching his * pursuers to fly'; and was about to receive, as * all know, an embassy which would havę brought the submission of the enemy. Wherefore he was pleased with his wound, and looking

upon it rejoiced, and without any tears rebuked those who wept, for not thinking that a ' wound was better to him than any old age. So that the embassies sent after his death were • all his right, p. 25. And the reason why the 'Achemenidæ for the future made use of * entreaties instead of arms, was, that the fear of him still possessed their minds. Such an one

was he who restored to us the temples of the gods, who did things too good to be forgotten, • himself above all oblivion, But I thought, that “ he who reigned lately would pull down and • burn the temples of those who were of the opposite sentiment, as he knew how to despise the


a Libanius refers to Constantine's son Crispus, and his wife Cilicia. This temple, according to Eusebius, vit. Constantin, Fausta, who were put to death by him.

1. iii. c. 56. and Sozomen. I. ii. c. 5, was destroyed by Conb Libanius intends the brothers, nephews, and sons of Con- stantine. Libanius is here supposed to ascribe it to-Constanstantine the Great. For after his death, his son Constantius tius. But I do not think it necessary so to understand him. put to death two of his father Constantine's brothers, and six of It is sufficient for his argument, if some of those to whom their children. (Vid. Julian. Orat. ad S. P. 2. Atheniens. 497. Constantius had made presents of sacred things, or :some of Vid. et Victorom. Julian. Orat. 7. p. 424. Eutropium, Zosi- their descendants, went in vain to this place, by whomsoever mum. 1. ii. Socrat. d. jii. c. 1: imo et Libanium nostrum Orat. the temple there was destroyed.

Julian. 7. in Julian. Imp. Cos.p. 236. et Orat. in Juliani necem p. 262.] i Libanius intimates, that Julian was killed by some ChrisOf bis sons, Constantine the younger was killed in the war tian, one of his own soldiers. with his brother Constans; and Constans himself in the k Gothofred observes, (p. 57.) that here, and in some tyranny of Maguentius. Gothofred. p. 54.

other places, Libanius affirms, or intimates, that Julian had Constantine's issue was at an end in Constantius. Con- actually overcome the Persians : Persas jam devictos a Juliano stantini M. stirps in Constantio defecit. Gothofred. p. 55. Imp. cum is percussus fuit, asserit hic Libanius, ut et Oratione d.Constantius.

in Juliani necem. p. 303. et 308. Legatosque a Persis pacem e Theodoret, H. E. 1. v. cap. 21, takes particular notice of oratum jam decretos; idque omnibus notum esse : quod et the difficulty of pulling down the temple of Jupiter at Apa- ipsum duobus aliis locis prodit : puta, Orat. in Juliani necem. mea, which was destroyed about this time.

p. 303. et de vita sua. p. 45. # For this Gothofred, .p. 55, 56, refers to Orat, in Juliani | Another name for the Persians, so called again by Libanecem, p. 253. 266. et l. viii, C. Theod. de Jure fisci. nius, Orat, in Julian. necem. p. 269. Gothofred. p. 57.

s He seems to mean the temple of Æsculapius at Ægis in m Valens.

p. 26.

gods. But he was better than expectation, sparing the temples of the enemies, and not disdaining to run some hazards for preserving those of his own dominions, which had been long since erected with much labour, and at vast expense. For if cities are to be preserved every where, and some cities outshine others, by means of their temples, and these are their chief • ornaments, next to the emperor's palaces : how is it that no care must be taken of these, nor any endeavours used to preserve them in the body of the cities ?'

* But it is said : “ There will be other edifices, though there should be no temples.” But * • I think tribute to be of importance to the treasury. Let these stand then, and be taxed,'

- Do we think it a cruel thing to cut off a man's hand, and a small matter to pluck out * the eyes of cities? And do we not lament the ruins made by earthquakes ? and when there are no earthquakes, nor other accidents, shall we ourselves do what they are wont to affect ? Are o not the temples the possession of the emperors, as well as other things? Is it the part of wise • men to sink their own goods ? Does not every one suppose him to be distracted, who throws « his purse into the sea? or, if the master of a ship should cut those ropes which are of use to • the ship: or, if any one should order a mariner to throw away his oar, would you think it an • absurdity? And yet think it proper for a magistrate to deprive a city of such a part of it? • What reason is there for destroying that, the use of which may be changed? Would it not be • shameful for an army to fight against its own walls? and for a general to excite them against • what they have raised with great labour ; the finishing of which was a festival for them who " then reigned ? Let no man think, emperor, that this is a charge brought against you. For there • lies in ruins, in the Persian borders, a temple, to which there is none like, as may be learned • from them who saw it, so magnificent the stone-work, and in compass equal to the city.' p. 27. • Therefore in time of war the citizens thought their enemies would gain nothing by taking " the town, since they could not take that likewise, as the strength of 'its fortifications bid

defiance to all their attacks-At length, however, it was attacked, and with a fury equal to that of the greatest enemies, animated by the hopes of the richest plunder. I have heard it • disputed by some, in which state it was the greatest wonder: whether now that it is no more, • or when it had suffered nothing of this kind, like the temple of Serapis. But that temple, iso

magnificent and so large, not to mention the wonderful structure of the roof, and the many brass • statues, now hid in darkness out of the light of the sun, is quite perished'; a lamentation to • them who have seen it, a pleasure to them who never saw it. For the eyes and ears are not • alike affected with these tħings. Or rather to those who have not seen it, it is both sorrow and • pleasure : the one, because of its fall, the other because their eyes never saw it.' p. 28. . • Nevertheless, if it be rightly considered, this work is not yours, but the work of a man who • has deceived you: a profane wretch, an enemy of the gods, base, covetous, ungrateful to the • earth that received him when born, advanced without merit, and abusing his greatness, when * advanced; a slave to his wife, gratifying her in any thing, and esteeming her all things; in 'perfect subjection to them who direct these things; whose only virtue lies in wearing the habit

of mourners; but especially to those of them who also weave coarse garments. This' work* house deluded, imposed upon him, and mişled him. [And it is said, that s many gods have • been deceived by gods ;j for they gave out, “ that the priests sacrificed, and so near them,

* Secundum hoc paganorum argumentum, quo sub Chris- e Monks who wove garments for themselves, and for the tanis Imperatoribus persuadere conabantur, ne templa exscin- use of poor people. For which reason he also presently afterderentur, ab utilitate desumptum est; nempe quod vectigalia wards calls their monastery a work-house. ex locatione templorum colligi possent, eaque in alios usus

* Τοιείον ερίαςηριον ηπαθησεν, εφενακισεν, επηδαείο, σαρεtransferri, &c. Gothofred. p. 58.

κρεσαίο. p. 28. Μ. • That is, as Gothofred supposes, the temples, wheb di- g Upon this place Dr. Ward observed as follows. "Here verted from their sacred use, and brought into the public seems to be a compliment designed upon the emperor, to treasury, come under the same laws with other things be- • soften the charge of his being imposed upon ; since it was longing to the emperor's revenue. Templa, semel religion. not an unusual thing for the gods to impose upon one vel superstitioni detracta, fiscoque delata, pari jure, quo cæ- • another. So Juno in Homer calls Jupiter sorguy?n5. Il. a. teras res fiscales haberi definit Libanius. Goth. p. 58. ver. 540. And Horace, speaking of Mercury,

'It is uncertain what temple our author nieans. Gotho- “ Voce dum terret, viduus pharetra, fred is inclined to think, it was the temple at Edessa. Goth.

“ Risit Apollo.

Car. i, ode 10.

And Virgil, referring to Juno, d Gothofred, p. 59, supposeth the person, against whom Adnuit, atque dolis risit Cytherea repertis." Libanius here rails so heartily, to be Cynegius, præfect of the

Æn. iv. ver. 128. prætorium in the east, or the emperor's lieutenant, from 38+, to 388.

P. 59.



« that the smoke reached their noses :” and after the manner of some simple people, they enlarge 6 and heightenj matters, and vaunt themselves, as if they thought nothing was above their power. By such fiction, ` and contrivance, and artful stories, proper to excite displeasure, they persuaded the mildest father [of his people] among the emperors.' p. 29. . For these “were really his virtues, humanity, tenderness, compassion, mildness, equity, who had rather • save than destroy. But there were those who gave juster counsel ; that if such a thing had • been done, the attempt should be punished, and care taken to prevent the like for time to

Yet he who thought he ought to have a Cadmean victory, carried on his conquest. • But after he had taken his own pleasures, he should have provided for his people, and not have • desired to appear great to those who shun the labours of the country, and converse in the • mountains as they say, with the former of all things. But let your actions appear excellent

and praise-worthy to all men. There are at this time many, so far friends, as to receive and • empty your treasures, and to whom your empire is dearer than their own souls; but when the i time comes, that good counsel and real services are wanted, they have no concern upon them, • but to take care of themselves; and if any one comes to them, and inquires what this means,

they excuse themselves, as free from all fault. They disown what they have done, or pretend * “ that they have obeyed the emperor's order; and if there is any blame, he must see to it.” p. 30. • Such things they say, when it is they who are guilty, who can give no account of their * actions. For what account can be given of such mischiefs ? These men before others deny • this to be their own work. But when they address you alone, without witnesses, they say,

they have been in this war serving your fámily.” They would deliver your house from those • who by land and sea endeavour to defend your person : than which there is nothing greater you • can receive from them. For these men, under the name of friends and protectors, telling stories • of those, by whom they say they have been injured, improve your credulity into an occasion of doing more mischief.'

• But I return to them, to demonstrate their injustice by what they have said : Say then, for • what reason you destroyed that great temple ? Not because the emperor approved the doing it.

They who pull down a temple, have done no wrong, if the emperor has ordered it to be done. • Therefore they who pulled it down did not do wrong by doing what the emperor approved of. • But he who does that which is not approved by the emperor, does wrong; does he not? You, • then, are the men who have nothing of this to say for what you have done. p. 31. Tell me

why 8 this temple of fortune is safe, and the temple of Jupiter, and of Minerva, and of" • Bacchus? Is it because you would have them remain? No; but because no one has given you

power over them ; which, nevertheless, you have assumed against those which you have destroyed. How, then, are you not liable to punishment? or how can you pretend that what you have done is right, when the sufferers have done no harm ? Of which charge there would • have been some appearance, if you, O emperor, had published an edict to this purpose: “ Let • no man within my empire believe in the gods, nor worship them, nor ask any good thing of

them, neither for himself, nor for his children, unless it be done in silence and privately: • but let all present themselves at the places where I worship, and join in the rites there

performed. “And let them offer the same prayers which they do, and bow the head at i the • hand of him who directs the multitude. Whoever transgresses this law, shall be put to death.”

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a He insinuates, that the monks scrupled not to say any thing against the Gentiles, to incense the emperors; charging them with conspiracies, and treasonable designs.

b Gothofred supposeth our author to intend Valens. Goi.

p. 61.

• Το σωζειν μαλλον η απoλλυναι.

d Gothofred, p. 61, supposes Libanius to refer to the consultations of the heathen magicians and soothsayers about a successor to Valens ; of which there are accounts in divers authors. Ammianus M. l. xxix. Zosimus, l. iv. Sozom. I. vi. c. 35. lex 8. C. Th. de Maleficis. Tom. iii. p. 127. And see this volume, The state of Gentilism, &c. Sect. ii.

e By a Cadmean victory is to be understood a victory preiudicial to the conqueror.

The monasteries were generally at some distance from

cities, in solitary places. He particularly refers to the monks, not far from Antioch.

8 Ειπε μοι, δια τι το της Τυχης τε7ο σων εςιν ιερον, και το το Διος, και το της Αθηνας, και το τε Διονυσε' αρ' ότι βελoισθ' αν αυλα μενειν; Ου, αλλ' ότι μηδεις την επ' αυτα δεδωκεν υμιν εξεC10.9. 2. 2. p. 31. in.

" These were heathen temples at Antioch ; therefore this passage affords a good argument, that this Oration was composed in that city.

The deacuns directed, and regulated the behaviour of the people in Christian assemblies. See Bingham's Antiquities, &c. B. 15. ch. i. Vol. vi. p. 574. octavo edition, and elsewhere. At heathen sacrifices there was a person, who had a like office. To this Libanius here alludes. Gothofred's note, p. 63, is different ; but I think not so right.

• It was easy for you to publish such a law as this; but you have not done it; nor have


in this matter laid a yoke upon the souls of men. But though you think one way better than the other, yet you do not judge that other to be an impiety, for which a man may be justly * punished. p. 32. · Nor have you excluded those of that sentiment from honours, but • have « conferred upon them the highest offices, and have given them access to your table, to eat and • drink with you. This you have done formerly, and at this time; beside others, you have

associated to yourself (thinking it advantageous to your government) a man, who swears by • the gods, both before others, and before yourself; and you are not offended at it; nor do you * think yourself injured by those oaths: nor do you account him a wicked man who placeth his • best hopes in the gods. When, therefore, you do not reject us, as neither did he who subdued • the Persians by arms, reject those of his subjects who differed from him in this matter? By what right do they make these incursions ? How do they seize other men's goods with the indignation of the countries? How do they destroy some things, and carry off others ? adding to * the injury of their actions the insolence of glorying in them. We, o emperor, if you approve and permit these things, will bear them ; not without grief indeed; but yet we will shew, that we have learned to obey. But if you give them no power, and yet they come, and • invade our small remaining substance, or our walls: know, that the owners of the countries will defend themselves.'

That is the whole Oration of this learned sophist, for the Temples, that they may be preserved; and it may be considered as a laboured apology for Gentilism.

The translation has been made with the utmost care; and it has been a difficult task; and though I have had the assistance of a learned friend, I hardly dare be positive that it is right every where. There are some ambiguous expressions, about which learned critics may hesitate which is the true meaning; however, I hope, the translation is generally exact and right.

V. It is very fit that some remarks should now be made upon this Oration. But it is not necessary to observe particularly what confirmation Libanius affords to the accounts given by Christian ecclesiastical historians, in his agreement with them about the succession of the Roman emperors, from Constantine to that time, whom, though Libanius has not expressly named them, he has sufficiently distinguished by some characters. The great aversion for Constantine, the first Christian emperor, and the affection for Julian upon account of his Gentilism, are apparent. The credulity and superstition of our learned author, even to old age, and the last period of life, are also obvious. Nor will any omit to observe the great freedom of speech used with a Christian emperor throughout the Oration. There are, however, several things, of which I would remind the reader, and put them together briefly, in the following order.

1. In this Oration we see the state of Christianity and Gentilism. Christianity was the prevailing religion; heathenism was declining, and under many disadvantages and discouragements. Sacrifices were generally forbidden, and allowed of in but few places; though incense and other rites were not totally prohibited.

2. Libanius mentions a general title and character of Christian bishops, who, by his account, had the highest office among them. They were called pastors; and he particularly mentions Flavianus, at that time bishop of Antioch.

3. Here is much discourse of a sort of people who were called monks by the Christians. According to our author's account, they were numerous in the eastern part of the empire, which we also know very well otherwise. They were distinguished from other Christians by a black or sad-coloured garment, by their fastings and abstemiousness, by singing hymns or prayers in their worship. They dwelt in distinct societies in the mountains, or other places at some distance from cities. They sometimes laboured with their hands, particularly, in weaving garments, probably for themselves and other poor people. Here is a hint that they had their support, partly at least, from the charitable contributions of others, as an encouragement and recompence for their extraordinary devotions; and that upon account of their reputation for piety, they had a good deal of power and influence; but nevertheless were subject to the bishop or pastor of the neighbouring city, which was next to their dwellings; to whom application was made by those who had any complaints against them.

4 Ου μην ηξιωσας γε, εδ' επεσησας ζυμον ενθαυθα ταις των ανθρωπων ψυχαις. p. 31.

αλλα και αρχας δεδωκας, και συσσίλες εποιησας. • A man who swears by the gods, before others, and before yourself.] What Libanius says here is very true. This passage itself may be reckoned one instance of that freedom.

I shall here allege another oration to the same Theodosius, where he swears by Jupiter, and all the gods. So.xpuels, W βασιλευ. Πολλα απαθα σοι γενολο δια την αθαν χρησoτητα: και εξωτε, νη τον Δια, και σανίας τες Θερς, τοτ' οψεσθαι προGEDOXwy. De Vinctis. p. 57. Genevæ, 1631.

4. About this time there were some heathen temples demolished, and some other offences offered to the heathens by these people, whom Libanius particularly describes by their black

garments,' or the habit of mourners.' Undoubtedly, this conduct is not to be justified; they ought not to have demolished temples without the emperor's order: such a thing could hardly be done by virtue of an imperial edict, but it would occasion some tumults and disturbances, much more, if they acted in this matter without authority. And if they plundered the heathen people of any of their goods upon false pretences, that is another thing for which they were justly blameable. It

It may be reasonably supposed, that Libanius aggravates things: but, at the same time, it is to be feared, that they, whose zeal outrun the laws in demolishing templos, did not rigorously observe the rules of justice and equity in other matters.

5. Libanius considers several arguments of the Christians for destroying the temples, and offers divers things by way of answer: • That the heathen people sacrificed in them contrary to « law. Which he denies. • That they killed oxen in the countries, at “the festivals:' in which he denies that they did any thing contrary to law. • That by destroying the temples many had • been converted to Christianity, and more would be so, if all the temples were destroyed.' In answer to which, he denies, that any sincere converts were made by that method. That it * was for the benefit of mankind, that the temples should be destroyed, and that if there were • an end put to heathen sacrifices, and all their rites, it would conduce to the prosperity of the empire.' Which he not only denies, but affirms that the grandeur and prosperity of the Roman empire were owing to the worship of the gods: and that all late calamities which had befallen the empire, were owing to the neglect of them.

6. In his answer to those arguments of the Christians, and in the course of his Oration, he offers a variety of arguments for the preservation of the temples: That in them, and the rites belonging to them, consisted the prosperity and safety of the people, the countries, the cities, and the stability of the empire: that they who had destroyed any temples, or deprived them of their ornaments, and applied them to other uses, had been punished in themselves, or their posterity: that the temples at least might be saved, and applied to other uses: that they were some of the greatest ornaments of the cities: that to destroy them, and forbid the rites belonging to them, was persecution; which is unreasonable in itself, and contrary to the Christian doctrine: finally, that the Christians themselves were sensible of the benefit of temples, and the sacrifices performed in them: particularly, that they were beneficial at Rome, and at Alexandria in Egypt; insomuch that they dared not to destroy the temples in those cities; consequently, they ought to allow them to be beneficial every where, and therefore they ought to be preserved.

It is not necessary for me to inquire into the validity of these arguments; but in the notes, at the bottom of the pages, some observations have been made, especially upon the argumeut last mentioned.

7. And I would here further observe concerning one of these arguments, that it seems to be weakly and imprudently insisted upon at this time: • That the Christians were sensible the

temples were beneficial in some places, and that they dared not to destroy them, fearing the 4 bad consequences of it, as to the prosperity of the empire, and the fruitfulness of the earth.' For, as this was certainly a mistake, so the open pleading of this argument would, in all probability, hasten the ruin of the temples; and the zealous Christians would hereupon endeavour to persuade the emperor to grant effectual orders for destroying them, as necessary to shew they despised their deities; and as the only means of removing a pretence, by which the heathen people were supported and encouraged in their erroneous and absurd superstition.

8. Libanius condemns force and compulsion in matters of religion. It had been well if heathen people had been always of this opinion: but time was, when the best arguments for moderation and toleration were rejected by them. And they not only denied Christians the use of their temples, but compelled them to worship the gods, though contrary to their consciences, by the terror of the greatest evils, and inflicting upon them pains and punishments disgraceful to the Roman government, and contrary to all the principles of reason, and the sentiments of humanity.

9. Libanius owns, that the Christians also condemned persecution: he says, it was not per

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