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By the law, forbidding all but Christians to wear a girdle,' * probably Zosimus intends the law of Honorius, dated the fourteenth of November, in the year 408, which «forbids all but • catholics to bear any military offices.' I do not see any law expressly repealing that just mentioned; though there may be some references to it. And, as Gothofred says, in the latter * part of the year 409, and in the beginning of the year 410, Honorius shewed uncommon mildiness to heretics, and particularly to Donatists, in which the pagans may have shared. For • Zosimus says that the law which forbade all who were enemies to the catholic faith, (which • includes both pagans and heretics) to bear military offices, (meaning that above-mentioned,) • had been repealed, and about this time, Tillemont

Tillemont · likewise may be consulted. 33. I proceed no farther in my extracts of this kind out of Zosimus. Alarich still continued in Italy; and Honorius not having performed the conditions insisted upon, Alarich came again to Rome, besieged it, and took it, in the year 410, But Zosimus has not written the history of that siege, and the event of it; or if he did, it is now wanting.

34. In the extracts already made, we have seen many proofs of the credulity and superstition of this great man. Nevertheless I am disposed to put together here some other instances hitherto omitted.

35. After having made great complaints of the extent and grandeur of the city of Constantinople, he says: “I have often wondered, since the city of Byzantium has grown so great, that our ancestors had no divine prophecy about it. And having long employed my thoughts about it, and having turned over a great many historians, and collections of oracles, and having spent • a good deal of time in endeavouring to understand them, I at length met with an oracle, which is ascribed to Sibylla Epythræa, or Phaello. It is to this effect,

36. About the time of the death of Valentinian, which happened in November 375, or soon after, • there o fell a thunderbolt,' he says, “upon Sirmium, which consumed both the palace

and the market-place, which by good judges was esteemed a bad omen to public affairs. There • also happened earthquakes in some places. Crete was violently shaken, as also Peloponnesus, * and all the rest of Greece; so that many cities were destroyed, except only the city of the • Athenians and others in Attica. That, as is said, was saved in this manner: Nestorius f who ! was hierophantes, (or high-priest) had a dreain, in which he was admonished that the hero • Achilles ought to be honoured with public honours, for that would be for the welfare of the

city. When he communicated that vision to the chief men of the city, they thought he doted, • as being an old man, and therefore did nothing that was required. However, 3 considering • with himself what ought to be done, and being likewise instructed by divine illuminations in• fused into his mind, he made an image of the hero in a small house, and then put it under the • image of Minerva, which is in the Parthenon. And as often as he offered sacrifices to the

goddess, he at the same time performed what was due to the hero. By this means, having • fulfilled the intention of the dream, the Athenians were saved; and all Attica partook of the • benevolence of the hero. The truth of all which may be learned from the hymn which the

philosopher Syrianus composed in honour of the hero upon that occasion. This relation I have • thought not improper to insert in this place.'

Beside other things which may be taken notice of, we may observe, here are proofs that at this time, about the year 375, and afterwards, Gentile people did practise the ancient rites upon divers occasions: nor do we see that they met with much molestation therein. And Zosimus, now in 420, or later, speaks of them with a great deal of freedom.

37. Valens had war with the Goths. And in the year 378, the year in which he died, he came from Antioch to Constantinople. When the army set out thence to go into Thrace,

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a Eos qui catholicæ sectæ sunt inimici, intra Palatium See L'Emp. Honoré. art. 31. et 34. militare prohibemus. Cod. Theod. lib. 16. Tit. v. l. 42. de a Lib. 2. p. 689, 690. Hæreticis. Tom. 6. p. 163.

e L. 4. p. 745. b Honorius scilicet et extremis superioris anni, 409, et primis Νεσoριος, εν εκείνοις τοις χρονοις ιεροφαντειν τεταγμενος, hujus anni mensibus, in hæreticos remissior fuerat, ac nomi- οναρ εθεασατο παρακελευομενον χρηναι τον Αχιλλεα τον ήρωα natim Donatistas, quorum depravatos animos ad correctionem δημοσιαις τιμασθαι τιμαις εσεσθαι γαρ τοτε τη πολει σωτηmitius invitandos crediderat, ut ipsemet superiore loco ait.

prov. p. 745. fin. Quinimo et in Paganos. Nam et Zosimus lib. 5. p. 821,

αυτος καθ' εαυτον λογισαμενος το τρακτεον, και ταις legem, quâ catholicæ sectæ inimici (id est, ut hæretici, ita et θεοειδεσιν εννοιαις παιδαγωγουμενος, εικονα τ8 ήρωος εν οικω pagani) intra Palatium militare prohibiti fuerant, (et sic 1. 42. μικρα δημιεργησας, υπεθηκε τω εν Παρθενωνα καθιδρυμενα της supr) eo quo dixi tempore, abrogatam testatur. Gothofred. Abyvas ayanuati

. x. n. 1. 4. p. 746. in. Cod. Theod. T. 6. p. 171.

hi Zo6. 1. 4. p. 748.

and the emperor with them,' as our historian says, they saw a prodigy, or strange sight; the • body of a man lay in the road quite motionless, who looked as if he had been whipped from • head to foot, only his eyes were open, and seemed to stare at all who came near him. When • he was asked whở he was, and whence he came, and from whom he had suffered that treat* ment, he made no answer to any; which they thought to be very strange. And they shewed

him to the emperor as he passed by; and though he put the same questions to him he remained • speechless. He could not be thought a living creature, because his whole body was void of • motion; nor yet quite dead, because his eyes seemed well. At length he vanished on a sud« den. Which when the standers-by saw, they could not tell what to think. But they who

were skilful said, it portended the future state of the empire: that it should look as if it had « been beaten, and whipt, and like those who are just expiring, till by the bad management of

magistrates and governors, it should be quite destroyed. And if we consider every thing this , • prediction will appear to have been very true.'

38. I shall transcribe no more of these things at length, and add only a paragraph of Dr. Bentley in his Remarks * upon a late Discourse of Free-thinking; where this last-mentioned, and several other like things are summarily rehearsed: • Zosimus, a poor superstitious creature, • (and consequently, as one would guess, an improper witness for our free-thinker) who has • Ælled his little history not more with malice against the Christians, than with bigotry for the • Pagans: who treats his readers with oracles of the Palmyrenes, and Sibyls; with annual mira- cles done by Venus, where gold and silver swam upon the water; with presages and dreams

of old women; with thunders and earthquakes, as if they were prodigies; with a dead body * vanishing in the middle of an army; with omens and predictions from entrails of beasts; with • an apparition of Pallas and her gorgons, and with a spectre of Achilles; with wooden idols • that fire could not burn; with a necklace of the goddess Rhea that executed divine vengeance: • who imputes the taking of Rome by Alarich to the omission of pagan sacrifices; and the decay • of the Roman empire to Constantine's neglecting the Ludi Seculares: this wise and judicious « author is brought in for good evidence. And our avowed enemy to superstition, connives at • all this trumpery for the sake of one stab at the reputation of Constantine, and the honour of • Christianity

III. Some may think that I have been too prolix in my extracts from this author. Nevera theless I have not thought it expedient to abridge more than I have done. There is somewhat entertaining in those histories, as I believe will be owned by most of my readers. And these extracts are authentic monuments of the ancient heathen superstition and credulity, and of the zeal with which the rites of Gentilism were upheld and defended by all sorts of persons, learned as well as unlearned; and by men of high stations, as well as by people of low condition. They did all that lay in their power to check or stop the progress of Christianity. They would gladly have recovered and restored ancient Gentilism. Here are many reflections upon Christian emperors, and especially upon Constantine and Theodosius. And the work is even filled with: complaints of the badness of the times, and the declension of the Roman empire: all owing, as insinuated, to the change of religion, and the non-performance of the rites of Gentilism, according to the ancient custom.

* Remarks, &c. num. xlii. p. 167.




His time, history and works, with remarks.

year 450.

HIEROCLES, · styled by Bayle a Platonic philosopher of the fifth century, I place at the

• Hierocles,' says Suidas, ' an Alexandrian philosopher, was a man of a great mind, and of such eloquence, as to attract the admiration of all his hearers. He had a disciple named Theosebius, who, beyond any man known to us, was able to look into the minds of men. This • Theosebius assured us, that Hierocles in some of his lectures said, that the discourses of Socrates were like dies; for fall which way soever they would, they were always right. Hierocles's great and generous mind was discovered in adversity; for coming to Byzantium, he offended the people of the prevailing religion, meaning the Christians, and being brought into court, • he was there beaten and wounded : the blood then running down, he took some of it in the hollow of his hand and threw it at the judge, saying to him at the same time, “ You, Cyclops, here, drink wine, since you have devoured human flesh.” And being banished thence he . came to Alexandria, where, after his former manner, he taught philosophy to those who re• sorted to him. His good sense may be seen in his writings; in his Commentary upon the

golden Verses of Pythagoras, in his book of Providence, and in many other works : by all • which he appears to have been a man of an exalted mind, as well as of extensive knowledge.'

1. It is allowed, and is particularly observed by his annotator, that this article of Suidas is taken from the Life of Isidorus, written by Damascius.

2. We may observe the style of this heathen writer in the sixth century. Speaking of Conštantinople, he calls it by its ancient name Byzantium, rather than by that which generally obtained in his own time.

3. May not this action of Hierocles, who filled the hollow of his hand with blood, and threw it at the judge, be allowed to justify a like action in Ædesius, a Christian martyr mentioned formerly?

am sorry that Hierocles was ill-treated by the Christians at Constantinople: but I am well pleased to see that he afterwards philosophized at Alexandria in his usual manner. Of this we are assured by Damascius himself, who was not wanting in zeal for Gentilism: And it is, I think, a proof that the severities with which the Gentile people, and particularly their-learned men and philosophers, were treated, were not extremely rigorous.

Hierocles was a married man. · He s married only for the sake of children. His wife,' as Damascius writes, became possessed. As the dæmon would not be persuaded to depart by * good words, his disciple Theosebius compelled him by an oath ; though he did not understand


a Vid. Fabric. Bib. Gr. l. 2. c. xii. Tom. i. p. 469-473. Vitâ Isidori philosophi, vel ex Photio patet; apud quem in Bayle, Hierocles Philosophe Platonicien. Pearsoni Prolegom. Excerptis ex illâ Vità, Cod. 242, p. 1037, nonnulla eorum, et Needham Præfatio.

quæ hic de Hierocle grammaticus noster habet, autoset le-atque adeo circa medium seculi post Christum na- guntur. Kuster. in Suidæ locum. tum quinti foruisse. Fabric. ubi supra. p. 470.

I See this Vol. ch. xxxix. num. iii. ο Ιεροκλης, φιλόσοφος Αλεξανδρεύς, κ. λ. Suidas.

8 Γυναικα παιδοποιον αγεται. Ως δε εκ επειθετο το δαιμο1 Εις γαρ το Βυζαντιον ανελθων προσεκρεσε τους κρατ8σι, νιον της γυναικος εξελθειν λογοις ημετεροις, ορκω αυτο απηναγκαι εις δικαστηριον αχθεις ετυπτετο τας εξ ανθρωπων πληγας. . καζεν ο Θεοσεβιος" καιτοι 8τε μαγευειν ειδως, έτε θεαργιας Ρεομενος δε τω αιματι, βαψας κοιλην την χειρα, προσραινει τον μελετησας αρκιζε δε τας ηλι8 προτεινων ακτίνας, δικαςην, αμα λεγων.

και Εβραιων θεον. "Ωδε απεληλατο ο δαιμων, ανακρογων, Κυκλωψ, τη, πι' οινον, επει φαγες ανδρομεα κρεα. ευλαξεισθαι τες θεές, αισχυνεσθαι δε και αυτον. Αp. Phot.

Homer. Odyss. 1. ver. 347. Suidas. Cod. 242. p. 1037. • Totum hunc articulum descripsisse Suidam ex Dainascii


* magic nor theurgy: but he adjured him by the rays of the sun, and the God of the Hebrews. • Whereupon the dæmon departed, crying out that he reverenced the gods and him in particular.'

I need not make any remarks. But I thought it not improper to relate this story of a Gentile philosopher told by a Gentile historian.

In this article we have seen particular mention made of two works of Hierocles, his Com. mentary upon the golden Verses of Pythagoras, which is still extant; and his Discourse on Providence, of which there are large extracts in · Photius. It consisted of seven books, and was inscribed to Olympiodorus, well known for some embassies, and other services for the empire.

Beside these there are large fragments of other works preserved in Stobæus, and generally published together with the works above-mentioned.

All these are valuable, tending to recommend and promote virtue ; but not with that force which flows from revelation, enjoining every part of moral righteousness by divine authority, and · with the assurance of recompenses in a future state. This is a defect common to him with other Gentile writers.

However, it is not my design to detract from Hierocles ; whom I esteem as a good and useful man, and all his writings valuable. Several of the fragments are of considerable length. Some of the subjects treated of in the fragments are these : Our • duty to the gods ; our duty to our

country; our duty to parents ; of brotherly love; of marriage ; of our duty to relations ; of economy, or the management of a family; where he treats of the different offices of the • husband and the wife, or the master and the mistress.' The fraginent on marriage, meaning the society of one man and one woman, is copious, enlarging on the benefits, the pleasures, the honour of marriage, and that it is becoming in a wise man. It must be owned that here occur those expressions : • In this discourse concerning marriage and the procreation of children, it will be needful to say something concerning the increase of children: for it is agreeable to nature and marriage, that all, or however the most, should be preserved and brought up.'

Here seems to be a license given to parents to expose their children if they are numerous and burthensome. However, he argues against that in the next words after this manner: • In• deed many dislike this rule for a reason not very becoming, they have too great a desire of • riches, and too great a dread of poverty. Then he observes the benefits of a numerous offspring, and says that men beget children not only for themselves, but also for their country; which cannot be upheld and prosper without a succession of men one after another.



Proclus, president of the school of philosophy at Athens, author of a treatise against the Christians,

many other works.


1. Proclus'ought to be reckoned among the writers against the Christian religion. I shall begin with the account given of him by Suidas in his Lexicon, and then add what may be farther needful.

a Cod. ccxiv. p. 548, &c.
• Hieroclis fragmenta apud Needham. p. 280, &c.
c P. 300. edit. Needham.
d Ey og

τω περι τα γαμο και της παιδοποιϊας τοπω θετεις εςι και ο της πολυτεκνιας λογος. Κατα φυσιν γαρ εως και ακολοθον

τα γαμωτα παντα, η τα γε πλεισα, των γεγομενων avatpepely. Ibid. p. 308.


• Αλλ' εoικασιν οι πλειες απειθειν τη παραινέσει, οι αιτιαν ου μαλα πρεπωδης δια γαρ φιλοπλατιαν, και το παμμεγα κακον ηγεισθαι την σενιαν, τετο πασχεσι. Ιbid. p. 308.

! Cav. Hist. Lit. Tom. I. p. 552. Fabric. Bib. Gr. I. v. c. 16. Tom. 8. p. 455. &c. et Prolegom. in Procli vitam a Marino scriptam. Vid. et Phot. Cod. 239. p.982.

3 H

2. Procluso of Lycia,' says Suidas, scholar of Syrianus, a hearer also of the philosopher • Plutarch, son of Nestorius, was a Platonic philosopher. He presided in the philosophical • school at Athens. Marinus of Neapolis was his scholar and successor.

He wrote very many • books, philosophical and grammatical; a Commentary upon all Homer; a Commentary upon · Hesiod's Works and Days; of Theurgy two books ; upon the Republic of Plato, four books; • of Oracles, ten books- -{and others, whose titles are there mentioned) and eighteen argu• ments against the Christians. This is that Proclus who after Porphyry moved his impure and

petulant tongue against the Christians. Against him wrote John, called Philoponus, who ad• mirably confuted his eighteen arguments, and likewise shewed his ignorance and unskilfulness • in the Greek learning, upon which he so much valued himself. Proclus also wrote a book concerning the mother of the gods, which if any person take into his hands he will see that the philosopher did not without divine impulse explain the theology of that goddess ; so that men need not any longer be disturbed about the lamentations which are heard in that solemnity.'

This last part of the article Suidas had from Marinus, as we shall see presently,

3. Suidas says he was of Lycia : and Marinus, in his Life of Proclus, says that his father Patricius, and his Mother Marcella, were both of Lycia : but that Proclus was born at Byzantium. He lived in the fifth century, being born, as Fabricius' has computed, in the year

of Christ 412, and dying when he was about seventy-five years of age in the year 485, I have placed hiin at the year 464, when he was above forty years of age; at which time it may be reasonably supposed he was settled in his presidentship in the school at « Athens, and had been the author of several works.

4. Proclus's book against the Christians is not extant by itself; and many learned men have supposed that John Philoponus's answer to him was also lost : but Fabricius“ shews this to be a mistake. And he observes likewise, that the eighteen arguments of Proclus are preserved in the eighteen books of Philoponus against him.

It should be also observed, that those eighteen arguments of Proclus were not against the Christian religion in general, but only, or chiefly, against that one opinion of the Christians, that the world had a beginning.

5. I add nothing farther here ; but I intend to make extracts in the next chapter out of the Life of Proclus, written by his scholar Marinus ; in which, as seems to me, there are not a few things deserving our notice.

* Προκλός, ο λυκιος, μαθητης Συριανά, ακεσης δε και Fabric. Prolegom. in Marini Proclum. p. vi. Vid. et Bib. Gr. Πλαταρχ8 τ8 Νεφοριε, τ8 φιλοσοφο και αυτος φιλοσοφος ubi supr. p. 456. Πλατωνικος. Ούτος προεση της εν Αθήναις φιλοσοφα σχολης" d Athenas autem venit Proclus circa A. D. 463 aut 464, και αυτα μαθητης και διαδοχος χρηματιζει Μαρινος ο Νεαπολί- si Lambecii judicio standum sit. Pet. Needham. in Præf. ad της. Εγραψε πανυ πολλα, φιλοσοφα τε και γραμματικα

Hieroclem. sub fin. "Υπομνημα εις όλον τον Ομηρον Υπομνημα εις τα Ησιοδα Εργα e Equidem hoc Philoponi adversus Proclum opus non miκαι Ημερας: Περι Χρηςομαθιας βιβλια γ' Περι Αγωγης nus quam Procli ipsius argumenta intercidisse putat Caveus, β-Περι τα λογια, βιβλία 1. Περι των παρ' 'Ομηρω Θεων: vir doctissimus in Historia Literaria- -ratus a Proclo, ad Επιχειρηματα κατα Χρισιανων ιη. Ούτος εσι Προκλος, ο Celsi, Juliani, Porphyrii denique exemplum, ut ex Suidæ δευτερος μετα Πορφυριον κατα Χριςιανων την μιαραν και verbis male collegit, universam Christianam Religionem illis εφιβριςον αυτο γλωσσαν κινησας- -Suid.

xviii. argumentis impugnatam fuisse. Enimvero duodeviginti 6 Marini Proclus. cap. 6. p. 11. edit. Fabric.

ETIYEÇMuata directa sunt potissimum adversus unum dogma · Hæc genitura-docet, Proclum, qui Byzantinus fuit, Christianorum de mundo non æterno ; et eriamnum extant et citra controversiam seculo post Christum natum 5 floruit, in Johannis Philoponi libris duodeviginti de æternitate mundi natum esse Anno Christi 412, die 8 Februarii -Ex ejusdem contra Proclum, quod hoc ipsum opus est tantis a Suidâ ceiterato testimonio scimus, Proclum vixisse annos quinque et lebratum laudibus. Fabric. de Procli Scriptis editis, ad calseptuaginta, (lunares nempe, quibus usi Græci) ut adeo mor- cem Marini Procli. p. 80. tuus sit Athenis Anno Christi Juliano 485, die 17 Aprilis.

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