Imágenes de páginas


mitted by their own laws, which commend persuasion, and condemn a compulsion.' That is a proof it was their avowed sentiment. Libanius seems not much to have studied the books of the New Testament; he took his notion of the Christian laws, and the Christian religion, from the professors and teachers of them.

And it might be easily shewn, that the Christians of old had alleged the same reasons and arguments against persecution, with those now made use of by this learned sophist. They argued, that compulsion did not make real converts, but hypocrites only. So said Lactantius, whom I shall transcribe briefly below.

10. The moderation of the Christian emperors, of Theodosius in particular, ought to be observed. That emperor advanced several, yea many heathens to governments and magistracies; and shewed favour to our Libanius, though he was so open in his zeal for Gentilism.

11. We may observe what we have seen upon many occasions in many others, that our orator displays that popular argument, taken from the successes and victories of Rome, whilst a worshipper of the gods. This was an argument, very proper to work upon the passions. The greatness of the Roman empire had been attained, before the rise of the Christian religion; it was easy to insinuate the danger of innovation, and to terrify men with the apprehension of the consequences of it. Doubtless this argument had a great influence upon many; but there were those, who were so far influenced by reason, as to believe, that the world had been in all times governed by the providence of the one God, creator of the heavens and the earth, not by inani. mate images, or dæmons; these were the Christians: and upon the ground of this most just and reasonable persuasion, they stood the charge of their heathen neighbours, and bore all the hatred which they loaded them with, as enemies to the welfare of the empire, and of the world in general, by forsaking the ancient worship of the gods.

1ģ. Nor has Libanius omitted the old and common reflection upon the Christians, as if they had been all mean and ignorant mechanics. This reflection had been always false and unjust, because there were in all times among the professors of Christianity some men of learning and good condition. But this argument should have been dropt before this time. It might be turned against the heathens. The emperors themselves were now Christians, and had been so for some while, except Julian. Governors and magistrates were now generally Christians; and there were many eminent wits, philosophers, and orators, among the bishops and Christian people. To this greatness and splendour had the Christian church attained, from mean and small beginnings indeed, by the force of truth, and a rational evidence, without, and against worldly terrors and allurements. A greater wonder this, and a work of greater power, as well as of more virtue, than the magnificence of Rome, and the grandeur of her empire!



1. His work and time. II. His character of Constantine, with remarks. III. His character

of Julian.

1. EUTROPIUS is called by Suidas d an Italian sophist. He says, “ he wrote

an Abridgment or Summary of the Roman History, in the Latin tongue, and other things.' That · Summary of

a See above, p. 362.

cant Quid ergo promovet, qui corpus inquinat, quando b. Res est enim præter cæteras voluntaria ; nec imponi immutare non potest voluntatem?' Lactant. Epit. cap. 54. cuiquam necessitas potest, ut colat, quod non vult. Potest c Vid. Voss. de Hist. Lat. lib. ii. cap. 8. Fabr. Bib. Lat. aliquis forsitan simulare; non potest velle. Denique, cum lib. iii. cap. 9. Tom. 2. p, 576. &c. Tillem. Valens. art. 24. metu tormentorum aliqui aut cruciatibus victi ad execranda 4 Ευτροπιος Ιταλος, σοφισης: Την Ρωμαϊκην ισοριαν επιλοsacrificia consenserint, nunquam ultro faciunt, quod necessi- μικως τη Ιταλων φωνη εβραψε και αλλα. Suid. tate fecerunt: sed, datâ rursus facultate, ac reddità libertate, e Historiæ Romanæ Breviarium. referunt se ad Deum, eumque et precibus et lacrymis plaVOL. IV.

3 B


the Roman History, from the foundation of Rome to the death of Jovian is still extant. He served under Julian in the Persian expedition, as he says himself.

His Summary was written in the time of Valentinian and Valens. But it is inscribed to Valens only, and must have been written about the year 370.

Our writers of Universal ancient History say, after Tillemont: He b seems to have been of • the senatorial order; for at the head of his work he is distinguished with the title of Clarissimus,

which was peculiar to Senators. Nevertheless, I do not see that title in any of the editions of his work, which I have; nor in the Greek paraphrase of Pæanius, though Í have two editions of it.

He is generally reckoned a heathen: I think he must be so esteemed. If he had been a Christian, there would have appeared some intimations of it in the history of Dioclesian and Constantine; especially when it is considered, that he wrote in the time of Christian emperors.

II. Eutropius enlargeth in the history and character of Constantine; but without taking any notice of his Christianity. He says, “that · Constantine had a great and aspiring mind. He • aimed at no less than to be sole governor of the whole world. He blames him for his wars * with Licinius, though he was related to him by marriage: and then censures him for putting • Licinius to death, after he had overcome him, though he had promised hiin his life with the • solemnity of an oath. He adds, that for a while Constantine's reign was mild, and generally • acceptable: but the long continuance of prosperity in some measure perverted him; and he • then put to death several of his own relations, one an excellent man [meaning his son Crispus,] • and his sister's son, a hopeful youth [meaning Licinianus, or young Licinius,] then his wife, . and after that many of his friends.'

With regard to all which it will be readily allowed, that we do not aim to justify any bad actions of Constantine. When I formerly wrote the history of this “ emperor, all these things were particularly considered. And I also alleged the judgments of divers learned men, some favourable, others less favourable to him.

The case of Licinius is there particularly considered, and the judgments of divers learned men produced. I now add here the judgment of Mr. Mosheim; who ' first gives an account of the wars between Constantine and Licinius, and the event of them; and then, in a note, refers to Julian's Cæsars. And he observes, “that : Julian himself, than whom no man was less • favourable to Constantine, has represented Licinius as a great tyrant, and a very vicious man.. Mr. Mosheim is also of opinion, that - Aurelius Victor has referred to Licinius's persecution of the Christians, and severely condemned the cruelty of it: I place his words below, that the curious and learned reader may the better consider the justness of his observation,

And I shall now refer to a place in Pagi, which also was omitted formerly. He is very particular in his answers to the several complaints before mentioned.

• We i know not,' he says, * the reason, why young Licinius was put to death; but possibly he was an accomplice with his • father. In the death of Crispus, Constantine may have been rather unhappy than criminal. • Fausta may have been condemned by a just sentence.

* Ηinc Julianus rerum potitus est, ingentique apparatu προθυρων ελθονία, πολλα και αλοπα πλημμελανία, ταχεως και Parthis intulit bellum: cui expeditioni ego quoque interfui. Mirws egyharsy. Julian. Cæs. p. 315. ed. Spanhem. Brev. l. x. cap. 16.

Avo ya Tupayves (Maxentium et Licinium] (Erye yon ' b Univ. Hist. vol. xvi. p. 352.

αληθη φαναι) καθηρηκει, τον μεν απολεμoντε και μαλακον τον c Constantinus tamen, vir ingens, et omnia efficere nitens δε αθλιον τε και δια το γηρας: αμφοτερω δε θεοις τε και ανθρωquæ animo præparàsset, simul principatum totius orbis affec- 7015 EXH15w. Id. ib. p. 329. tans, Licimio bellum intulit; quamvis necessitado illi et affi- h Liceat mihi hic observare, quod neglectum esse adhuc nitas cum eo esset ; nam soror ejus Constantia nupta Licinio video, Aurelium Victorem, libro de Cæsaribus cap. 41, Licierat. Varia deinceps inter eos bella, et pax reconciliata rup- nianæ hujus vexationis mentionem his fecisse verbis. • Licinio taque est. Postremo Licinius navali et terrestri prælio victus ne insontium quidem ac nobilium philosophorum servili apud Nicomediam se dedidit, et contra religionem sacramenti more cruciatus adhibiti modum fecere.' Philosophi, quos "Thessalonicæ privatus occisus – -Verum insolentia reruni hic excruciâsse Licinius dicitur, Christiani sine dubio sunt; secundarum aliquantum ex illa favorabili animi docilitate quos multi, disciplinæ nostræ parum gnari, Philosophorum mutavit. Primum necessitudines persecutus, egregium virum, sectam esse opinati sunt. Intactum dimiserunt hunc locum et sororis filium, commodæ indolis juvenem, interfecit, post Aurelii interpretes. Moshem, ibid. numerosos amicos. Eutrop. Brev. I. x. cap. 5, 6.

i Et hæc quidem Eusebius [lib. iv. cap. 54. de Vitâ Con« See Vol. ii. p. 339—343.

· P. 340, 341. stantini.] universim de cunctis, in quibus Constantinus utVid. Inst. S. 4. P. 1. cap. 1. sect. 10. p. 145, 146. cumque culpabilis videbatur aliquibus. De cædibus autem, & Ipse Julianus, quo nemo iniquior fuic in Constantinum, si rationem in particulari reddere voluisset, dixisset forsitan non potuit, quin Licinium infamem tyrannum, vitiisque et cum ipso Baronio, Licinium juniorem ex sorore Constantia sceleribus obrutum, diceret. Moshem. ibid.

natum, etsi causa vulgo ignoraretur, verosimiliter tamen comI think it best for me to transcribe here the passages of plicem patri suo fuisse : in Crispo filio infelicem magis quam Julian, in his own original language. Λικινιον δε μεχρι των reum : in Faustà conjuge etiam justum judicem appellandum. Numerosos amicos, quos successive interfectos scribit Eutro- mediis, comparandus. Innumeræ in eo' animi corporisque pius, lib. x-credendum, plerosque id commeritos, quod virtutes claruerunt: militaris gloriæ appetentissimus : fortuna nimiâ principis credulitate tandem deprehenderentur fuisse in bellis prospera fuit, verum ita, ut non superaret industriam. abusi ob suam exuberantem malitiam, ut loquitur Eusebius, Id. ib. I. x. cap. 7. et insatiabilem cupiditatem, qualis proculdubio fuit Sopater 6 Gloriæ avidus, ac per eam animi plerumque immodici: ille philosophus, tandem Ablabio agente interfectus : idque nimius religionis Christianæ insectator, perinde tamen ut justả Dei dispensatione, quia Constantinum conatus a verâ cruore abstineret. Lib. x. cap. 16. religione abalienare-Et si plures quam alias tunc fuissent, c Vide Auctorem ipsum. Voss. de Hist. Latin. lib. ii. quid hoc ad fidem Christianam spectat, impingendumque cap. 9. Vales. Præf. Fabric. Bib. Lat. T. I. p. 612. et T. 3. Constantino nomen persecutoris, quamdiu nec unus quidem

just sentence. As for “ his many friends,” Eutropius • has named none. But some of them may at length have been brought to condign punishment, • for having abused the emperor's credulity by their malicious accusations of others. Nor has

any one been named, who suffered from him for not being a Christian, or that had one hair of • his head touched upon that account.'

So Pagi, whom I have transcribed below in his own words, that they who please may attend to these Observations. Undoubtedly, heathen people in general were much prejudiced against Constantine, the first Roman emperor, who made an open profession of Christianity. And we may be allowed to apologize for him, so far as can be done upon good foundations.

I may not omit to observe, that after all that has been already transcribed from him, Eutropius adds, still speaking of Constantine: For the former part of his reign he deserves to be i reckoned among the best princes, and for the latter part he must be ranked with those of a • middle sort. He was distinguished by many good qualities of body and mind. He was espe• cially desirous of military honour; and indeed was prosperous in his wars. Nor was his suc*cess therein beyond the merit of his abilities.'

That is the judgment of Eutropius, whom I take to be rather a military man, than a sophist. In his opinion Constantine was a great man, and no bad prince.

III. In his character of Julian, beside other things, he says, "he was very ambitious of glory • and honour: an enemy to the Christian religion: however, so as to abstain from blood.'

In some editions there is a word denoting that Julian was too great' an enemy to the Christians. But some learned editors are of opinion, that that word is an interpolation; and, probably, it is so. Without it, it is here implied, that Julian in his enmity to the Christiau religion, bore hard upon the Christians, and incommoded them in divers respects, though he did not put them to death, as some other emperors had done.

This is all I think needful to take from Eutropius. I should have been well pleased to find more in a work, which is so filled with a variety of events in many reigns, some since the rise of Christianity, and others before it.

C H A P. LI.


1. His time and work, and character. II. Extracts from him.

1. AMMIANUS MARCELLINUS · was a Greek, of a good family at Antioch, who lived under Con. stantius, and the following emperors, to the reign of Theodosius, and near the end of the fourth century. He had early a military post, called domestic protector; which is reckoned to be an argument, that he was of a good family. From the year 350 to 359, he served in divers places under Ursicinus, master of the horse to Constantius. He was with Julian in his Persian expetrary, he

Pope Blount Censura Auctorum. p. 181. Tillenominatur, cui ea de causâ vel pilus capitis tactus fuerit ? mont H. E. Valens. art. 23. Bayle Diction. Hist. Crit. Mar. Pagi ann. 324. n. 12.

cellin. The Writers of Universal Ancient History, Vol. xvi. * Vir primo imperii tempore optimis principibus, ultimo. p. 351, 352.

p. 113.

dition in 363. After which he seems to have continued in the east, and to have lived pretty much at Antioch, in which he was born; which place he did not leave before the year 374, when he went to Rome, where he wrote his history, as appears from several parts of ķis work: which is the history of the Roman affairs from Nerva to the death of Valens, in 378.

This history consisted of one and thirty books, the first thirteen of which are lost, and the last eighteen only remaining ; which begin at the 17th year of Constantius, of our Lord 353.

His style is remarkably rough ; but it is not strange, that the style of a soldier, and a Greek, writing in Latin, should have some faults ; which, however, are fully compensated by his faithfulness and impartiality. Some have thought him a Christian; but that is evidently a mistake, and they have had

very few followers. They who have any doubts about this matter, may do well to consult the preface of. Adrian Valesius to his edition of this author, and Mr. Bayle's Dictionary. As he wrote under Christian emperors, he might not judge it proper to profess his religion unseasonably, and might think fit to be somewhat cautious in his reflections upon Christianity.

Says Tillemont, . It is manifest, that he is zealous for idols, and for such as worshipped • them; and particularly for Julian the apostate, whom he makes his hero; and, on the con

appears to be a great enemy to Constantius. Nevertheless, he often speaks with some • equity both of one and the other.'

He is plainly an admirer of Julian. Nevertheless he deserves, in my opinion, the character which he gives of himself at the conclusion of his work of a faithful historian. If I should have occasion to complain of some instances of partiality, I shall take the liberty to mention them.

Says Seur: “Ammianus Marcellinus' is a celebrated Historian, who was in divers honoura• ble military offices in the reigns of several emperors. He speaks as an eye-witness of many * things of which he writes, and oftentimes of having a part in them. Though he was a pagan, • he shews no animosity against the Christian religion, but expresseth himself with a great deal . of modesty, and represents things faithfully and equitably, with great care, and in good order."

As it appears from some things said in the work itself, that it was not finished before the year of Christ 390, I have placed him no earlier than 380, though he had then flourished a great while, as is evident from what has been just said of him.

II. Having given this account of the author himself and his work, I now proceed to make extracts from him.

1. Ammianus informs us, thats Constantine, desirous to know exactly the opinions of seve• veral sects, the Manichees in particular, and the like, and not finding any one fit for that pur. pose, he accepted and employed Strategins, who had been recommended to him. And he • discharged that office so much to satisfaction, that the emperor ordered, that for the future he should be called Musonianus.'

That must be reckoned a curious passage, though we are not acquainted with the report made after inquiry: nor do I know, that this is mentioned any where else by any other ancient writer now extant.

A Sed qui attente legerit, quæ præter cætera in fine libri which are at the beginning of the 21st book of his History. xiv. de Adrastiâ et Nemesi, quæ in libro xvi. de Mercurio, quæ And there are many other places proper to support the same in libro xxi. de numine Themidis, de Haruspicica, de Augu- judgment concerning him. riis, variisque artibus futura prænoscendi, veteres Theologos € Hæc, ut miles quondam et Græcus, a principatu Nervå suos et Physicos ac Mysticos secutus scripsit : profecto fateri 'exorsus, ad usque Valentis interitum, pro virium explicavi cogetur, eum cultui Deorum addictum ac devotum fuisse. A mensurâ : opus veritatis professum nunquam (ut arbitror,) Vales. Præf.

sciens silentio ausus corrumpere vel mendacio. Ammian. 6 See Ammian, Marcellin. note (B.)

1. xxxi. cap. 16. sub fin. L'Emp. Valens. art. 23,

* Hist. de l'Eglise et de l'Empire. A. 384. p. 446. d The late learned and excellent Mr. Mosheim was of opi- & Domitiano crudeli morte consumpto, Musonius ejus sucnion, that Marcellinus, and some other learned men about cessor Orientem Prætoriani regebat potestate Præfecti, facunthis time, were a sort of neuters : they neither rejected the diâ sermonis utriusque clarus : unde sublimius quam sperabaChristian religion, nor forsook the religion of their ancestors. tur eluxit. Constantinus enim, cum limatius superstitionum His argument may be seen quoted above, p. 238; which ap- quæreret sectas, Manichæorum, et similium, nec interpres pears to me a particularity in that great man. To me it seems, inveniretur idoneus, hunc ipsum commendatum ut sufficienthat Ammianus was as much a heather, as he would have tem, elegit : quem officio functum perite, Musonianum vobeen, if Christianity had never appeared in the world. I re- luit appellari, ante Strategium dictitatuin. Et ex eo percursis fer to a quotation of Valesius, supra, note“, and particu- honorum gradibus multis adscendit ad præfecturam ; prudens larly to Ammianus's defence and recommendation of heathen alia, tolerabilisque provinciis, et mitis, et blandus, &c. Amaugury, and other like methods of investigating futurities, mian. 1. xy. cap. 13.

Strategius, who now approved himself to Constantine, was afterwards in several high offices. In the reign of Constantius he was for a while proconsul of Achaia, and in the year 354 was made by the same emperor præfect of the prætorium in the east.

I transcribe in the margin more of this paragraph of Ammianus than I have translated. He says, that Strategius was noted for his skill in both languages, meaning Greek and Latin : and he commends him for the moderation and mildness with which he governed the people of the provinces, who had been committed to his care. As does also a Libanius. I must likewise refer to Gothofred.

2. In the history of affairs in the year 355, he says : • that ^ Leontius, who was then præfect • of Rome, having performed an act of justice becoming his office, he received an order from · Constantius, to send to him at Milan, Liberius a priest of the Christian law [bishop of Rome), • as having been disobedient to the commands of the emperor, and the decrees of many of his • brethren. And I shall give a short account of the affair. Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria • at that time, taking more upon himn than became his character, as was confidently reported, * was deposed by a numerous assembly, which they called a synod. For by his great skill in the augury of birds, and other arts of prognostication, he was said to have often foretold future things. He was also charged with other things contrary to the Christian law. When Liberius • was desired by the emperor to assent to the rest, and to subscribe to the sentence for removing • him [Athanasius] from the sacerdotal see, he obstinately refused to comply; again and again

declaring, that it was the height of wickedness to condemn a man unseen and unheard"; thus • openly withstanding the emperor's will and pleasure. For he being ever averse to Athanasius, • though he knew the thing was already done effectually, yet he was very desirous to have it • confirmed by the authority also of that superior power, which belongs to the bishops of the * eternal city. Liberius not complying, he was sent for to come to the court; and was at • length carried away [to Milan) under a strong guard in the night time, for fear of the people, .by whom he was dearly beloved.'

So writes Ammianus, representing this part of the conduct of Liberius, not disagreeably to the accounts of our ecclesiastical « writers. Liberius, however, was not always steady: but there is no necessity that I should now concern myself any farther in his history.

3. We must take another passage concerning Constantius. In his character of this emperor, at the end of his reign, Ammianus says: “ The Christian religion, which in itself is plain and • simple, he adulterated with a childish superstition : for studying it with a vain curiosity instead • of sober modesty, he raised many dissensions, which when caused, he cherished and increased by a strife about words. And the public carriages were even worn out by the troops of priests galloping from all quarters to their synods, as they call them, to bring the whole sect to their • particular opinion.'

Most persons will allow this to be a judicious passage. First, he calls the Christian religion . a plain and simple religion.' They who best understand the New Testament, will most admire the justness of this observation. Secondly, the strife about words,' very probably has a reference to those two words, homoüsius,' and · homoioüsius, of the same, and the like

a Liban. de Vitâ suâ. p. 29. C. D.

Imperatoris arbitrio. Id enim ille, Athanasio semper infestus, • Vid. Musonianus, in Prosopogr. Cod. Theodos.

licet sciret impletum, tamen auctoritate quoque, quâ potiores © Hoc administrante Leontio, Liberius, Christianæ legis æternæ Urbis Episcopi, firmari desiderio nitebatur ardenti. antistes, a Constantio ad Comitatum mitti præceptus est, Quo non impetrato, Liberius ægre populi metu, qui ejus tamquam Imperatoris jussis, et plurimorum sui consortium amore flagrabat, cum magnâ difficultate noctis medio potuit decretis obsistens, in re, quam brevi textu percurram. Atha- absportari. Lib. xv. cap. 7. nasium episcopum eo tempore apud Alexandriam, ultra pro- Vid. Theodoret. 1. ii. c. 16. Sozom. 1. iv. cap.9. Athafessionem altius se efferentem, sciscitarique conatum externa, nas. Histor. Arian. ad Monachos. p. 364 -368. edit. Bened. ut prodidere rumores assidui, cætus in unum quæsitus ejus- Rufin. H. E. I. i. cap. 20. Sulp. Sever. Hist. 1. ii. cap. 39. dem loci multorum (synodus út appellant) removit a sacra- al. cap. 55. et 56. mento quod obtinebat. Dicebatur enim fatidicarum sortium e Christianam religionem absolutam et simplicem anili sufidem, quæve augurales portenderent alites, scientissime cal- perstitione confundens: in quâ scrutandâ perplexius, quam lens, aliquoties prædixisse futura. Super his intendebantur ei componendâ gravius, excitavit discidia pluriina ; quæ proalia quoque a proposito legis abhorrentia, cui præsidebat. gressa fusius aluit concertatione verborum ; ut catervis AnHunc per subscriptionem abjicere sede sacerdotali, paria sen- tistitum jumentis publicis ultro citroque discurrentibus per tiens cæteris, jubente Principe, Liberius monitus perseveran- synodos quas appellant, dum ritum omnem ad suum trahere ter renitebatur, nec visum hominem, nec auditum damnare, conantur arbitrium, rei vehiculariæ succideret nervos. Amm. nefas ultimum sæpe exclamans, aperte scilicet recalcitrans M. l. xxi, cap. 16. seu ult.

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