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• bius being ignorant of Herod's story, and having heard of the slaughter of the infants; when
he met with this jest in some author, concluded, that there had been some young child of Herod • put to death with them.'
• I am content therefore to leave it a doubtful point, whether Macrobius transcribed this • whole passage, or the jest only, from some more ancient author.'
Upon the whole then, there lies no objection against this relation of St. Matthew. There • is nothing improbable in the thing itself, considering the jealous cruel temper of Herod. The • silence of Josephus, or of the ancient Greek and Roman historians, can be no difficulty with * any reasonable person. This fact is confirmed by the express testimony of very early Christian
writers, and by Macrobius, a heathen author, about the end of the fourth century; from whom • it appears that this event was not then contested, and that it was even better known than the • fate of those sons of Herod, whom Josephus says he put to death at man's estate.'
All this I wrote formerly. Nor am I now able to say any thing more pertinent, or more material,
However, I shall observe that this jest of Augustus stands in a chapter of Macrobius, which • contains a collection of Augustus’s witty sayings or jests upon others, and the repartees or smart sayings of others upon him; which, as it seems, to his no sinall honour, he bore very patiently. As they are all independent on each other, no elucidations can be brought in from the connexion ; for there is none.
Pontanus, in his notes upon this place, says, Scaliger wondered that Augustus should • make this reflection upon Herod, since Augustus himself had confirmed the sentence of death upon
the three sons of Herod.” I do not find that place in Scaliger. But whoever wondered at it, it was without reason in my opinion. For though Augustus complied with the requests or proposals of Herod, and gave him leave to do with those sons as he pleased, the emperor might still think it a strange thing that any prince should put so many of his own sons to death; and he might well say, alluding to the Jewish custom of forbearing to eat swine's flesh, it was better to be Herod's hog than • his son. Very probably that was the occasion of the jest of Augustus. And therefore, as Whitby says : • It must be confessed that Macrobius is mistaken about the circumstances of • this story.'
C H A P. LOI.
His time, and character, and work, and extracts from him.
1. Claudius Rutilius NumatianUS, « whose father had borne several high offices in the Roman empire with great applause and acceptance, was a native of Gaul. He had himself been præfect of the city, and master of the palace; and, as some say, consul and præfect of the prætorium, which I do not think to be certain. In the year 418, in the time of Theodosius the younger, he made a visit to his native country, or returned to it, with a design to reside there. He has described his voyage thither from Rome in an elegant Latin poem, consisting of two books, the second of which is almost entirely lost.
a De jocis Augusti in alios, et aliorum rursus in ipsum. Saturn. 1. 2. cap. iv.
b Soleo in Augusto magis mirari quos pertulit jocos, quam ipse quos protulit, quia major est patientiæ quam facundiæ laus; maxine cum æquanimiter aliqua etiam jocis mordaciora pertulerit. Sat. 1. 2. cap. 4. p. 335.
• Miratur autem Scaliger ad Eusebium, p. 163, hæc verba excidisse, cum ipse Augustus sententiam capitis in tres filius Herodis judicio suo probatam confirmaverit. Pont. in loc.
d Vid. Voss. de Hist. lat. l. 2. cap. 15. Tillem. L'Emp. Honorè, art. 67. Fabric. Bib. Lat. I. 3. cap. 13. To.n. i.
II. In his voyage he touched at Capraria, a small island lying between Leghorn and Corsica. • This island' says he, is full of men that shun the light. They call themselves monks, a * name borrowed from the Greek language, because they chuse to live alone. They dread the • gifts of fortune, because they are not able to bear her frowns : and make themselves miserable • because they are afraid of being so. What foolish distraction of mind-to dread adversity, and ‘yet not be able to bear prosperity! He goes on to ascribe their way of life to melancholy, illnature, and hatred of mankind.
III. Soon after, at Gorgona, another small island near Pisa, among the hermits there, he met with a young gentleman of his own acquaintance, whom he laments and banters in the following manner: · And here a Roman citizen has buried himself among the rocks alive. • For the young man, once our friend, of noble parentage, and ample fortune, happy too in
marriage, impelled by the furies, forsakes the society of gods and men. The superstitious fool • hides himself in a dark hole. The unhappy wretch believes the cælestial deities to be pleased
with human misery, and plagues himself worse than the angry gods would do. What new * mischief do we see worse than the sorceries of Circe? She metamorphosed the bodies of men • into the shape of swine. This religion makes men brutes all over !'
IV. Hence it is apparent that hermitages and monasteries, which had their religion in the East, were now got also into Europe. Other reflections I forbear, as obvious, and easy to be made by all who are disposed to think.
v. Beside these two passages, more directly relating to Christian affairs, it may be observed that, at the port Faleria, when Rutilius went ashore, he found the heathen people celebrating the feast of Osirus. • Here he met with a Jew who had some authority in the place : and he • laments the conquest of Judea by Pompey and Titus, which had occasioned the spreading of • the Jewish superstition over the empire.'
I have thought this worth notice, because, possibly, here is a reference to the increase of Christianity, which was derived from Judaism, and certainly had spread farther in the Roman empire than Judaism itself. I therefore put the verses in the margin. An exact translation is not needful.
However, at the year 418, the year of this voyage of Rutilius, Pagi " has some curious obser- . vations upon the laws of the empire at that time. He says that the Jews were then of great account.
This author is in Colonia.
Non, rogo, deterior Circæis secta venenis ?
Ibid. ver. 515-820,
* Processu pelagi jam se Capraria tollit.
Squallet lucifugis insula plena viris.
Quod soli nullo vivere teste volunt.
Quisquam est sponte miser, ne miser esse queat ?
c Sed male pensavit requiem stationis amanæ
Hospite conductor durior Antiphate.
Humanis animal dissociale cibis.
Dum mala formides, nec bona posse pati ?
Tristia seu nigro viscera felle tument.
Rutilii Itinerarium, lib. i. ver. 439–452.
Damnaque libatæ grandia clamat aquæ.
Quæ genitale caput propudiosa metit.
Sed cor frigidius religione sua est.
Tamquam lassati mollis imago Dei.
Nec pueros omnes credere posse reor.
Pompeii bellis, imperioque Titi.
Ibid. ver. 381-398. d Ann. 419. num lxx.
e Judæorum magna ratio hoc adhuc tempore habita. Id. ibid.
f Tom. 2. chi vi, p. 203, ốc.
• Assurgit ponti medio circumflua Gorgon,
Inter Pisanum Cyrniacumque latus.
Perditus hic viyo fupere civis erat.
Nec censu inferior, conjugiove minor,
Et turpem latebram credulus exul agit. Infelix putat, illuvie cælestia pasci,
Seque premit læsis sævior ipse Deis.
His work, and time, and extracts from him.
1. I begin immediately with Photius's account of this author.
• We read,' says Photius, the two and twenty books of Olympiodorus. He begins his history at the second consulship of Honorius, emperor of Rome, and the second of Theodosius, and brings it down to the time that Valentinian, son of Placidia and Constantius, was declared ! emperor of Rome. This writer was of Thebes in Ægypt, a chymist by employment, as he
says himself, and as to religion a Greek. He dedicates his history to the emperor Theodosius, * son of Arcadius, and nephew to Honorius and Placidia.
Hereby it appears that the history of Olympiodorus began at the year 407, and reached to the year 425, when Valentinian the third was declared emperor. The history was dedicated to Theodosius the younger, who reigned from the year 408 to 450. As it reached to the reign of Valentinian, it must have been published between the year 425 and 450. I place him at the year 425, where he is placed by Cave.
Photius says the author's style is clear; nevertheless he passeth a censure upon his manner of writing. However Tillemont · says that, the extract, which Photius has preserved, makes
us regret that we have no more of him : for, certainly, he would clear up many things. · Zosimus cites him by name, and appears to have borrowed several things from him, as well as Sozomen.'
Cave' considers him as a very superstitious Gentile, and thinks he was partial in what he says of some Christians. Nevertheless, if his history were now extant, I believe it would have been curious and entertaining. But the bigotry of some people who have destroyed works which they did not like, has deprived us of a great deal of pleasure, as well as instruction, which we might have had.
2. I shall transcribe a few things out of the extracts of Photius, which are all we now have of this history.
Olympiodorus gives a brief account of one Constantine a common soldier, who was proclaimed emperor by the Roman army in Britain out of respect to his name, in the reign of Honorius, A. D. 407, and was put to death in 411.
• Whilst “ these things were transacting,' says he, Constantius aud Ulphilas are sent by • Honorius against Constantine: who coming to Arles, where Constantine then was with his son, • laid siege to it. And ' Constantine, taking refuge in a church, was ordained presbyter, his • life having been promised to him with the security of an oath. The gates of the city were • then open to the besiegers; and Constantine, f with his son, was sent to Honorius. But the emperor not being able to forgive the treatment of his cousins, * whom Constantine had killed * contrary to the oath that had been given, ordered them to be both put to death, when they • were yet thirty miles off from Ravenna.'
• Vid. Cav. H. L. T. i. p. 468. Fabric. Bib. Gr. 1. v. cap. vere Christianam miris effert laudibus Augustinus, eumque, 5. T. 6. p. 237. &c. et lib. v. cap. 38. T. 9. p. 400. Tillem, ut avoolepyov, falso non minus quam invidiose traducit. Cav. H. E. Honoré. art. 66. Voss. de Histor. Gr. 1. 2.
ib. p. 468. Universal Ancient History, Vol. xvi. p. 532.
8 Hujus loco Constantinus, ex infimâ militiâ, propter solam b Cod. 80. p. 178.
spem nominis, sine merito virtutis eligitur, qui continuo, ut • Ούτος ο συγγραφευς Θηβαιος μεν εςιν, εκ των προς invasit imperium, in Gallias transiit. Oros. 1. 7. cap. 40. p. Αιγυπτον Θηβων το γενος ποιητής, ως αυτος φησι, το επιση- 570. n Apud. Phot, ib. p. 184. δευμα, “Ελλην την θρησκειαν. Pliot. p. 178. med.
1 Και Κωνσταντινος, καταφυγων εις ευκτηριον, πρεσβυτερος As before, Honoré, art. 66.
τοτε χειροτογειται, ορκων αυτω υπερ σωτηριας δοθεντων. κ. λ. · Zos. I. 5. p. 803.
Ibid. * In hac historia non modo superstitionum Gentilium ritus k He means Didymus and Verinianus. Vid. Sozom. 1. 9: commendavit, sed et in Christianos clam invectus est, præ- cap. 4. et 13, et Zosin, 1. 5. et 6. cipue in Olympium officiorum magistrum, quem ob pietatem
3. I shall observe briefly another passage or two in the extracts of Photius.
• This writer,' says he, gives an account of a voyage he made to Athens, not without some • danger.' He says that by his interest Leontius was advanced to the sophistic chair when he • did not himself at all desire it. He likewise says that none, especially strangers, might wear • the cloak without leave of the sophists, and submitting to the ceremonies of initiation. Which are there transcribed, and are ridiculous enough.
Upon occasion of this passage, Tillemont, and other learned men, refer to an oration of Gregory Nazianzen, and observe that the same fooleries were still practised at Athens, with regard to scholars newly arrived, which are described by Gregory in his time. also hence conclude that Gentilism still prevailed very much' at Athens, and that it was not restrained with much rigour and severity by Christian magistrates.
4. • Once more, there is a story told by this writer, which he had heard from a man of great note, of three silver images found in the earth in Thrace. And when this treasure was
inquired into, it was found that they had been hid by the people of the country in a conse* crated piece of ground, as a security against the incursions of barbarians. The images lay with
their faces toward the north, the country of the barbarians. And,' as he says, “the removal • of them was soon followed by the incursions of Goths, and afterwards of Hions.'
This story is a proof of the writer's superstition and credulity: which, as I apprehend, were common dispositions in heathen people of all ranks, high and low, learned and unlearned, Indeed, we have seen many proofs of it.
I think we may
1. His time and works. II. Extracts from his history. III. Concluding remarks upon the
1. I shall likewise begin the history of this writer with the extracts of Photius.
• We a read,' says Photius, the history of Zosimus, count, and ex-advocate of the treasury, ' in six books. As to religion, he is impious, and often reviles the pious. His style is concise * and perspicuous. He begins his history at the time of Augustus, and runs through the several
reigns to Dioclesian, in a brief and hasty manner, mentioning little more than the successions • of the emperors. But after Dioclesian he is more particular, writing their history in five books,
whereas the first alone comprehends all the rest from Augustus to · Dioclesian. And the sixth book concludes with Alarich's second siege of Rome.' Photius adds farther that, • Zosimus' « so nearly resembles Eunapius, that he may be said to have transcribed him, rather than to • have written a new history, except that he is more concise, and does not rail at Stilicho ; for • the rest, his history is much the same. And they agree in reviling the pious emperors.'
So says Photius : but Zosimus has not mentioned Eunapius.
There needs little more to be said by way of a previous account of this writer. Cave & placeth him as flourishing about the year 425. And Euagrius says he lived in the time of Honorius
Λεγει δε και εις τας Αθηνας καταραι, και τη αυτ8 σποδη κοσυνηγορο. Εςι δε θρησκειαν ασεβης, και πολλακις εν πολλοις και επιμέλεια και εις τον σοφισικον θρονον αναχθήναι Λεοντιον υλακτων κατα των ευσεβιων. κ. λ. Phot. Cod. 98. p. 269. υπω θελοντα Λεγει δε και σερι τα τριζωνος, ως 8κ εξην κατα € In our present copies the latter part of the first book is τας Αθηνας περιβαλεσθαι αυτον τινα- -ω μη η των σοφισων wanthig. Hodie postrema pars libri primi, ea nempe quæ a γνωμη επετρεπε-κ. λ. 10. p. 189.
Probo usque ad Diocletianum, desideratur. Fabric. "Bib. Gri 6 Ör. 20. p. 327.
T. 6. p. 604.
f Ib. 271. m. C Ap. Phot. p. 188, 189.
8 Hist. Lit. Tom. i. p. 468. « Ανεγνωστη ισορικον λόγοις έξ Ζωσιμο, κομητος απο φισ. - x.lt PET' auteS yayovcos Euagr. 1. 3. cap. 51.
p. 312. A.
and Arcadius, and afterwards. As he quotes Olympiodorus he must have written after him, if that passage be genuine : and some learned men are of opinion that he plainly borrows some things from Olympiodorus, in the fifth and sixth books of his work. I shall place below what Fabricius says concerning his time, not very disagreeably to what has been already observed.
Zosimus has been often blamed for his severe reflections upon Constantine and Theodosius the first, and has been defended by others. He is manifestly an enemy to the Christians; and, in point of his own religion, very superstitious and credulous. I think it best for me to transcribe from him a good part of what he says directly or indirectly of Christians : and I shall also take in some of his remarkable strokes in favour of Gentilism. These things may entertain my readers, as I apprehend, without perverting any of them. Indeed I think this method necessary to set before my readers the state of things in the Roman empire at that time, both with regard to Gentilism, and to Christianity.
But before I proceed to make my extracts I shall put down here a part of what Vossius says of this author, in his work concerning the Greek historians. • Zosimus, count and ex-advocate • of the treasury, lived in the time of the younger Theodosius, as appears from Euagrius. He • has left six books of history: the first of which runs through the emperors from Augustus to • Dioclesian. In the other he relates more at large the Roman affairs to the second siege of • Rome by Alarich, and his appointing Attalus emperor, and then dethroning him again. It is
probable that he went somewhat lower, as something seems to be wanting at the end of what • we have.
- The style of Zosimus is concise, pure, and perspicuous, as is observed by Photius • in his Bibliotheque. But he was a pagan, and frequently blames Christian princes : upon • which account he has been censured by Photius, Euagrius, Nicephorus, and others. But • Leunclavius is of opinion that, even in those things, Zosimus ought to be credited. For it is • certain that Christian princes were guilty of great faults, which a faithful historian ought not to • conceal.' So says Vossius. And I have thought it best not to suppress his judgment.
Vossius, as we have seen, supposed somewhat to be wanting at the end of the last book. But Fabricius, who has since considered that point, is of opinion that we have it entire.
I have not observed any where an account of the place of this writer's nativity, nor of his usual residence. He is called count, which shews his dignity, and is said to have been ex. advocate of the treasury: which seems to shew that he had for some time an honourable employment under the emperor, in whose time he lived; but the emperor is not named. Valesius, in his notes upon Euagrius, is inclined to place Zosimuş much lower than is generally done. He thinks he flourished in the time of the emperor Anastasius : and says that the character of advocate of the treasury, differs little from that of sophist. • II. I now proceed to make extracts.
1. In his first book, in the reign of Aurelian, speaking of some superstitious customs of the Palmyrens, and the benefit of them : . But these things, says he, • I leave with the happiness • of those men. For the present race has rejected the divine benefit.' And soon afterwards :
a Scripsisse videri possit non post Eunapium modo, sed Unde creber est in sugillandis principibus Christianis. Quo Olympiodorum Thebanum quoque adeoque post A. C. 425.) nomine etiam a Photio reprehenditur, item Evagrio, Nicephoro, quem libro v. cap. 27. allegat, ubi de Ravennâ urbe disserit, et aliis. Sed Leunclavius censet, ne in istis quidem fidem quamquam locus iste glossenia videtur Lambecio.
facile Zosimo esse abrogandam. Nam et Christiani principes quæ de Constantino Tyranno habet libro vi. et quæ de Alaricho quædam enormia vitia habuisse quæ, fidelis historicus minime ac Stilichone scribit libro quinto, cuncta fere ex Olynypiodoro debeat præterire. G. J. Voss. Hist. Gr. 1. 2. cap. xx. Vid. mutuatum esse notat Henr. Valesius ad Sozom. p. 170. Quo- etiam J. A. Bosius, ap. Blount Censura auctor. in Zosimo. niam porro Olympiodorus historiam suam usque ad Valen
p. 209. tiniani iii. sive Placidi imperium produxit, quod cæpit A. C. Gesta hæc sunt, in quibus desinit Zosimi historia, anno 425, hinc constat, Zosimum non ante id tempus historiam Christi 410, Honorii Imp. 10, Theodosii Junioris 3. Atque suam composuisse. Post Arcadii et Honorii tempora rejicit ex isto Photii loco patet, historiam Zosimi, quam ipse legit, etiam Euagrius. iii. 41. Fabr. Bib. Gr. 1. 5. cap. v. T. 6. non longius productam fuisse, quam in nostris codicibus extat : p. 606, et 007.
quamquam Vossius-verisimile putavit paullo ulterius prob Zosimus quoque, comes et ex-advocatus fisci, vixit tem- gressum, &c. Fabric. Bib. Gr. 1. 6. p. 607. pore Theodosii junioris, ut ex Euagrio Scholastico constat. Et advocati fisci dignitas, quâ ornatur Zosimus, non mulReliquit Historiæ libros sex, quorum primus Cæsares ab Au- tum abhorret a sophistica. Vales, Ann. ad Euagr. I. 3. gusto usque ad Diocletianum percurrit. Cæteris quinque fusius persequitur res Romanas usque ad Romam iterum ab Ταυτα μεν τη τηνικαυτα των ανθρωπων ευδαιμονια παριημι, Alaricho obsessam, Attalum ab eo designatum Imperatorem, το καθ' ημας γενες αποσεισαμενα
ευεργεσιαν. . Zos. 1. i. posteaque eâ dignitate exutum-Sed homo suit Paganus.-- p. 660. A. ed. Sylburg. Francof. 1590.