« AnteriorContinuar »
emperor was of the Greek religion, and of the same opinion with Severus, who was an idolater * and whom he appointed consul; and that they secretly consulted together about restoring the . execrable worship of idolatry.' He says likewise that • Illus and Leontius, whom he set up to • be emperor with Zeno, were of the same opinion, and had the same design in favour of impiety, • Pamprepius leading them that way. He relates the vain pretences of Pamprepius, and his un• faithfulness to his friends, and his violent death in the same manner that others do. Pampre'pius was an Ægyptian, and by profession a grammarian.'
We might have been well pleased to see Damascius's own words in this place. But we must be content with the extracts in Photius.
Anthemius' was emperor from the year 467 to 472. That he was a Gentile there is no proof, but the contrary. Severus was appointed consul at Rome, by Anthemius in the year 470. • Damascius in another place tells a silly story of a horse of this Severus, of which • he was very fond, and which, when stroked, emitted large sparks of fire, which also portended • his master's consulship.' Illus and Leontius were two great officers, who together began a rebellion against Zeno in the year 482, and were put to death in the year 488, or about that time. As to Pamprepius, we have here a general account of him from Photius. More may
be seen of him in an article o in Suidas, supposed to be taken from Malchus, mentioned by Photius, Cod. lxxviii. p. 172, a 'Greek historian and a Christian ; who wrote an history from the time of Constantine to Anastasius, who succeeded Zeno in the year 491.
10. Before I proceed any farther I shall transcribe here another like passage from these extracts of Photius: • Damascius,' says : Photius, • reckoning up those who have opposed our • holy and inviolable faith unwillingly, and as it were compelled by the force of truth, writes • thus: “ The emperor Julian likewise attempted it, but he did not succeed four years. And a * good while afterwards Lucius, captain of the guard at Byzantium, under the emperor Theodo
sius, attempted the same thing ; who intending to kill the emperor, was got into the palace, • and after thrice endeavouring to draw his sword, was affrighted from executing his design: for • at the same time he saw a woman of a large and terrible countenance at the back of Theodosius, * embracing him. After that, the great general in the East aimed at the same thing, but was • prevented by a violent death. For falling from his horse he broke his leg, and died by that • accident. Then, says he, in our time Severianus, our fellow citizen, together with divers * others: but he narrowly escaped with his life, through the unfaithfulness of those who were * with him, and perhaps of others, and of Americus, who discovered the conspiracy to Zeno.
And, beside these, Marsus and Illus; of whom Marsus died of a distemper in the very insur• rection; and Illus was apprehended and beheaded : after which his head was thrown from a • rock into the enemies camp. Ammonius - being a sordid wretch, and aiming at nothing but money, came to an agreement with a bishop of the prevailing religion.”
So writes Damascius; who, as it seems, approved of any attempts against Christians, and the Christian religion. Upon these stories may be seen some remarks of Cave in his introduction, p. Ixv.
11. In another place ' he just mentions Athanasius also with the same character of “a bishop • of the prevailing religion. He means Athanasius, who succeeded Peter Mongus at Alexandria, in the year * 4.90.
12. He complains of some who' privately broke down and destroyed sacred images.
13. I do not know whether it would be excused, if I should forbear to take notice of some of this writer's stories of incredible things.
He says expressly, that in " a battle fought near Rome with the Scythians commanded by
a Verum consilium de restituendâ idololatrià, non nisi per ca- f Vide et Voss. de Histor. Gr. 1. 2. cap. xxi. lumniam Anthemio adscribi potest, ut liquet ex Annal. Eccl. 8 Ibid. p. 1072. Pagi ann. 470. num. i.
Η ο δε Αμμωνιος, αισχροκερδης ων, και παντα όρων εις χρη6 Coss. Severus et Jordanes- -prior occidentalis, ut liquet ματισμον όντιναεν, ομολογιας τίθεται προς τον επισκοσοντα τα ex Damascio in Vitâ Isidori Philosophi, &c. Pagi ibid. τηνικαυτα την κρατασαν δοξαν. Ιb. p. 1072.
• Τατα τοινυν ο ιππος, ω τα πολλα εχρητο, ψηχομενος σπιν- Προς τον επισκοπάντα το τηνικαυτα την κρατεσαν δοξαν θηρας απο σωματος πολλές τε και μεγαλες αφιει, έως αυτω το Alavacioy. p. 1060. ver. 20. Τεράς εις την υπατικην αρχήν εν Ρωμη κατανυσθαι. Ιbid. p. Vide Pagi A. D. 490. num. xxiv. 1040. fin.
1 Τινες δε ελαθον το ιερωμα καταξαντες, και διαφθειραντες. d Vid. Pagi ann. 482. n. xviii. et 488. vi.
X. d. p. 1041, sub fin.
m P. 1040, m. • V. Παμπριπιος.
• Attila in the time of Valentinian [the third] who succeeded Honorius [in the year 425], the • slaughter on both sides was so great, that none on either side escaped, except the generals, and • a few of their attendants. And, which is very strange, he says, when the bodies were fallen the • souls still stood upright, and continued fighting three whole days and nights, nothing inferior to
living men, either for the activity of the hands or the fierceness of their minds. The images • of the souls therefore were both seen and heard, fighting together, and clashing with their • armour.' He moreover endeavours to confirm the truth of this by other relations of a like kind.
Of himself this writer says, that sometimes, when he pulls off, or puts on his clothes, great • sparks fly out, and sometimes with a noise; that at other times his clothes are all over of a • flame, and yet not hurt.'
He says that, · Hierius, son of Plutarch, and scholar of Proclus, had seen a human head no • larger than a pea: which yet was a complete human head with hair, eyes, a face, and a mouth, • that had a voice as loud as a thousand men together.'
Certainly the learned heathen sophists and philosophers of that time did not reject the Christian religion for want of credulity. They received many incredible things; and yet would not attend to the credible relations in the historical books of the Old and New Testament.
III. I now proceed to the passages in Suidas.
1. • Ammonianus the grammarian, was related to Syrianus, whom he resembled in body • and mind, being both of them tall and handsome. They agreed very much in temper and • manners. But Syrianus was dearest to God, and a philosopher indeed; whilst the other * employed his time in correcting the Greek poets, and putting out correct editions of them. * This is Ammonianus who had an ass that was studious of wisdoin.'
This article is plainly taken from Damascius; as may be collected from Photius's extracts of that author, where a good part of it still appears. There it is thus expressed : • This is Am* monianus who had an ass, which, as is said, when he attended the lectures upon poetry, often neglected his food when laid before him, though at the same time he was hungry. So much was the ass taken with the love of poetry.'
Kuster, in his notes upon Suidas, puts the question whether Damascius wrote this seriously: and thinks he must be reckoned an ass, who believed there ever was such an ass. Nevertheless, I think it cannot be denied that the philosophers of that time delighted in such stories.
2. In the article of Seberianus, or Severianus, is another passage fairly concluded to be taken from Damascius, forasmuch as a part of it is found in Photius's extracts of that' author, as Kuster has observed in his notes upon Suidas. It is here said that, • Severianus was of Damas*cus, a man of a good family, descended from Roman ancestors who had lived at Alexandria. • He says Severianus was perfectly free from covetousness, but allows that he was of a stiff and
rigid temper. He s was extremely devout, and zealous for the Greek religion : unhappy man, • not moved by sufferings or threatenings To him the emperor Zeno offered the highest
government next to himself, if he would be one of the prevailing religion; but neither so did • he persuade him, nor would he be persuaded: he shewed us the letter containing those offers ; • but it did not affect him.'
So writes Damascius; and there are other things in that article as it stands in Suidas, which may deserve notice; for I have transcribed but a small part of it: however, as much as is needful for my design.
3. Under the name Hypatia is another passage in Suidas, which with good reason is supposed to be taken from Damascius.
Hypatia, “ daughter of Theon the geometrician and philosopher of Alexandria, herself a * philosopher, and well known, wife of Isidorus the philosopher. She flourished in the time of
a P. 1041, in.
credat. Kuster. * Ap. Phot. pag. 1057. • Αμμωνιανος, Γραμματικος, κοσμεμενος τη συγγενεια Συ- και Ιερατατος δ' ην εις υπερβολήν, και 'Ελλην, και υπο πολλουν prave -αλλ' ο μεν θεοφιλεσερος ην ο Συριανός, και τω όντι απειλων και φοίων εκ ανεδωκεν ο αλιτηριος- TOTW XUTEφιλοσοφος. Ο δε ηγαπα την επι ποιητων εξηγησει και διορθω- πηγγειλατο Ζηνων βασιλευς, ει γενοιτο των κρατεντων, την σει της Ελληνικης λέξεως καθειμενην τεχνην. Ούτος ην Αμμω- μετα βασιλεα μεγισην αρχην. Αλλ' εδε ως εσείθεν, έδε εμελλε νιανος, ω κεκτησθαι συμβεβηκεν ονόν σοφιας ακροατην. Suidas.
Και ημιν δε υπανεγνω την επαγγελλομενη επισο» Ap. Phot. p. 1040. in.
λην, και μη πειθασαν. Suid. V.
LE MF66705 . Serione hæc an joco scripsisti, Damascie? Certe asinis Suid. V. TRATIA. accensendum eum puto, qui talep unquam asinum extitisse
· Arcadius. [Then he mentions her writings.] She was torn to pieces by the Alexandrians,
and her body with the greatest ignominy was dragged through the whole city. This she suf• fered, because she was envied for her excellent wisdom, and especially for her skill in astro* nomy. Her death some ascribed to Cyril
, others to the seditious and tumultuous temper of • the Alexandrians : for so they have served several of their own bishops, particularly George • and Proterius. She was born, bred, and educated in Alexandria. Having a genius superior • to her father, she was not contented with the mathematical learning which she had received . from him, but studied also the other parts of philosophy to good advantage. And though
a • woman, habiting herself in a cloak, she went about the city, and publicly explained Plato, • Aristotle, and the other philosophers, to all who desired it of her. Nor was she learned only. • She arrived likewise at the highest eminence in virtue, chaste, and always a virgin ; and so
very fair and beautiful, that one of her scholars fell in love with her. And not being able to govern his passion, he made it known to her: (however a cure was wrought upon the young
man by music, or some other method, for it is differently related.] Hypatia being such a per. • son, so knowing in words and things, and so chaste and discreet in her behaviour, she was beloved and admired to a great degree by the whole city in general. And the magistrates of the highest dignity, waited first upon her at their arrival
, as is done at Athens. For though the thing itself was lost, the name of philosophy still seemed august and venerable to those who possessed the chief posts in the state.' It happened that • Cyril, bishop of the opposite sect, passing by the house of Hypatia, saw a great crowd at her door, on foot and horseback; some coming, some going, and the house full of people. When he asked, what those people were, "and what was the reason of such a crowd at that house, he was answered by his attendants • that they were paying their respects to the philosopher Hypatia, and that was her house. • Whereupon he became so possessed with envy that he contrived a murder, the most villanous
of all murders. For, as she was one day coming out of her house, she was set upon by a number of brutal wretches, of accomplished wickedness, who fearing neither the judgment of God or men, killed this philosopher, bringing thereby the utmost guilt and reproach upon their country. The emperor was extremely provoked at this action, and would have punished it, if • Ædesius“ had not by bribes corrupted those about him. So he pardoned the murderers, but brought down vengeance upon himself and his family.'
Other things follow in that article which deserve notice. But I have proposed to take . nothing but what relates to Hypatia.
This is the account of Damascius, a learned Gentile. It may not be amiss to see how this story is told by Socrates, a Christian, who likewise is earlier, he having written his Ecclesiastical History about the year 440.
Having in some preceding chapters taken notice of a misunderstanding between Orestes governor of Ægypt, and Cyril bishop of Alexandria, he goes on: • There was a woman at Alexi andria, by name Hypatia, daughter of Theon the philosopher : she was so eminent for learning, • that she excelled all the philosophers of her time: she had succeeded in the Platonic school, • and explained all the branches of philosophy to those who came to hear her: and from all
parts such as were studious of philosophy resorted to her. And by reason of the authority • which she had gained by her distinguished knowledge, she often had access to the magistrates
with singular modesty : nor was she ashamed to appear in a public assembly of men ; foras• much as all admired and revered her for her uncommon virtue. Nevertheless envy laid hold of her: for because she often was with Orestes, the Christian populace admitted a calumny against her, that she was the person who obstructed a reconciliation between Orestes and the bishop. Some persons therefore of a fierce disposition, headed by Peter, a reader, conspired • against her. They waited for her as she was returning home froin some place; and pulling
her out of her chariot, they dragged her to the church called Cæsarium; where they stript • her naked, and killed her with sharp shells. And when they had torn her to pieces, they • carried all her members to a place called Cinaron, and consumed them with fire. This action brought no small disgrace upon Cyril
, and the church of Alexandria. And indeed,' says So
Suid. p. 533.
• Ædesius was a monk at Constantinople, agent for the • Ηδη γαν ποτε συνεβη τον επισκοεντα την αντικειμενην bishop Cyril of Alexandria. αίρεσω Κυριλλών, παριοντα δια τα δικα της Υπατιας, κ. λ. & Socrat. H. E. lib. 7. cap. xv. p. 352. Ibid. p. 534.
crates, * murders and fightings, and all such things, are altogether foreign to the Christian principles. These things were done in the fourth year of the episcopate of Cyril, in the tenth consulship of Honorius, and the sixth of Theodosius, in the month of March, in the time of • Lent. That is the year of Christ 4:15.' This chapter of Socrates is transcribed by Nicephorus almost word for word, with
Synesius, made bishop of Ptolemais in Libya, about the year 410, was her scholar, and ever retained a high respect for her. Several of his letters are sent to her, and inscribed in this manner: To the philosopher,' or to the philosopher Hypatia.' And in one of them, written after he was bishop, he calls her his mother, his sister, his mistress, and his benefactress. In another he says she had a most divine soul. In another to Herculian, he mightily congratulates himself that, .by a journey with him to Alexandria, he had made him know what • he could not believe upon the report of fame, till he saw and heard that extraordinary person • who set open the door of the mysteries of true philosophy.'
One thing in the preceding history may create a difficulty in the minds of some of my readers. Hypatia is there said to have been always a virgin, and yet she was wife of Isidorus. But those things are not "inconsistent: for in those times some people, both Christians and others, married without intending to cohabit together. However, I think that this circumstance of her marriage must be understood to aggravate the indiscretion of the young man, her scholar, who fell in love with her.
Du Pin, having related the story of Hypatia's death, adds: “It' is not Socrates only who relates this history. It is also attested by Damascius, who, in the Life of the philosopher Isi. • dorus, describes the tragical death of this illustrious lady, and accuseth Cyril of being the au• thor of it. But we are not to give credit to that historian. Cyril had no hand in that murder. They were some seditious people who laid hold of the occasion of the difference which there
was between him and Orestes, to commit that assassination. So says Du Pin. But does not Socrates deserve some regard, if Damascius be entitled to none ?
CHA P. LXIII.
His time, history, and works, with remarks ; where also of Agathias, and Procopius.
SIMPLICIUS is well known for his Commentary upon the Enchiridion of Epictetus, of which there have been several editions in Greek and Latin, and some translations into modern languages, particularly French and English ; of him I must give some account. And I think it not improper first to take some notice of Agathias, from whom that account must be taken.
In his Commentary upon Epictetus, Simplicius has an argument against the < Manichees; and for that reason may be justly placed among my witnesses to Christianity. But if there were no such thing, Simplicius could not be omitted by me, his history being connected with the Christian affairs in the time in which he lived.
& Isidori philosophi conjux, sed ita ut conjugii usu abstineret. Fabric. Bib. Gr. 1. 5. cap. 22. sect. x. T. 8. p. 220.
Hinc erat, cur celeberrima hujus sectæ philosopha, Hypatia, maritum quidem haberet Isidorum, at corpus tamen castum et inviolatum servaret. Moshem. Dissertation. sect. 49. p. 214. not. ?.
St. Cyril. d'Alex. Bibliothéque. Tom. 3. P. 2. p. 41. * In Epictet. cap. 34. p. 103, &c.
Agathias · has himself informed us who he was. His native place was Myrina in Asia, 'which was a colony of the ancient Æolians. His father's name was
His father's name was Memnonius, and by profession he was a lawyer ; but he has not told us where he pleaded, though we know from himself that d for a while he studied the law at Alexandria.
He appears to have been a very ingenious man, author of many short poems, and a history of the reign of the emperor Justinian in five books. It is a kind of supplement to Procopius, who concluded' at the twenty-sixth year of Justinian, the year of Christ 552. He did not begin to write his history till after the death of Justinian, in the year 565, and the accession of Justin the younger in the same year. Pagi "supposeth him to have finished his work about the year 579 ; Fabricius' says not before the year 593.
Vossius and others have supposed Agathias to have been a Gentile ; but * Pagi says he was a Christian, and Fabricius' has shewn it more at large.
However, he was a man of candour and moderation. The " Germans,' he says, had a • multitude of deities, and practised cruel sacrifices, but by conversing with the Franks, they * were growing more polite. However, as he adds, they who are in error are rather objects • of commiseration, than of contempt and hatred : for all men aim at truth; if they are in error,
it is not the fault of their will but of their judgment, they being attached to opinions once • embraced by them.'
And in the introduction to his work, he laments that" wars and battles are so much the subjects of poems and histories ; "which, as he says, he cannot ascribe to the stars, nor to fate,
as some do: for if the world were governed by fate, there would be an end of choice, and • there would no longer be virtue among men, nor any room for instruction or improvement in • arts and sciences. Nor are wars and contentions agreeable to the mind of God, who is su*premely good: they must therefore be ascribed to the avarice and ambition of men.'
Fabricius has observed, that • Procopius, opredecessor of Agathias in the history of Justinian, was a Christian, and that he did not approve of the fierce contentions which there were among • Christians upon abstruse and difficult points; and that he blamed Justinian for his severity
against heretics, stripping them of their goods, and inflicting upon them other punishinents.' By which we can be assured that there have been in all times, among Christians, men of learning and good sense, who did what lay in their power to recommend moderation, and secure the peace of the world.
I now proceed to the passage of Agathias, for the sake of which I have given this account of him: divers philosophers are here mentioned, but I aim principally at Simplicius.
• Not long before this,' says Agathias, • Damascius the Syrian, Simplicius of Cilicia, Eulamius of Phrygia, Hermias and Diogenes of Phænicia, and Isidorus of Gaza, who all were, as
a Vide Voss. de Hist. Gr. I. 2. cap. xxii. Fabric. Bib. Gr. vertentium, anno ejus xxxii. Christi 559. Fabr. T. 6. p. 1. 5. cap. v. Tom. 6. p. 260. &c.
* Ann. 379. num. 5. Εμοι Αγαθιας μεν ονομα, Μυρινα δε πατρις, Μεμνονιος Ubi supr. p. 261. et in notis. Vid. et Spanheim. Tom. i. πατηρ, τεχνη δε τα Ρωμαιων νομιμα, και οι των δικαστηριων p. 167, 168. aywves. Agath. 1. i. p. 3. fin.
Agath. I. i. p. 13. m. • Falluntur qui Smyrnæ causas in foro perorásse Agathiam 2 Και εν μεση μεν η ποιησις, πληρης δε ξυμπασα ίςοριά colligunt ex Suidæ loco, Vulcanius, Vossius, Heidenreichius. πολεμων τε και παραταξεων. Ag. 1. i. p.
6. Nam licet patronum causarum fuisse certum est, atque ipse Procopius, ex Cæsareâ Palæstinæ rhetor, sive causarum non uno in loco hoc tradit, tamen quâ in urbe id fecerit, patronus, ac fortasse sophista, hoc est, eloquentiam professus nunquam declarat. &c. Fabric. ut supr. p. 260. in notis. Constantinopoli. Hunc licet Paganis adscribere non dubitent Agath. 1. 2. p. 48.
Eichelius, et Mottanus Vayerus, Christianum utique et e Agathiæ Historici et Poëtæ eximii, [aliter scholastici] De Catholicum fuisse scripta ipsius perspicue testantur: eum Imperio et Rebus gestis Justiniani Imperatoris Libri quinque. vero qui subtiles et acres de religione concertationes neut:Agath. I. i. p. 6.
quam probaret, nedum eas putaret historiæ ambitiose inse& Agath. ib. p. 4.
rendas esse ; quique reprehendat Justinianum, quod hæretih Ex morte interim Chosroës ab Agathiâ memoratâ colligo, cos spoliandos bonis et suppliciis afficiendos duxit. Fabr. Bib. Agathiam ante currentem annum historiam suam, quam ad Gr. T. 6. p. 248. Vid. et Spanhem. Tom. i. p.
1166. usque Christi 559, tantum perduxit, non publicâsse, nec ab- Ρ Ου πολλω γαρ εμπροσθεν Δαμασκιος ο Συρος, και Σιμsolvisse. Pagi ann. 579. num. y. conf. eumdem ad ann. 552. αλικιος ο Κιλιξ, Ευλαμιος τε ο Φρυξ, και Πρισκιανος ο Λυδος, n. xiv. xv.
Ερμείας τε, και Διογενης, οι εκ Φοινίκης, και Ισιδωρος ο Γα-composuit post Justiniani Augusti, A. C. 566 de- ζαιος: ουτοι δε άπαντες, το ακρον άωτον, κατα την ποιησιν, functi fata, neque ante ann. 593 edidit, de ejus Imperio sive των καθ' ημας χρονω φιλοσοφησαντων, επειδη αυτeς ή παρα de rebus ipso imperante gestis libros V. initio sumpto ab ejus “Ρωμαιοις κρατησα επι τω κρειττονι δοξα 8κ ηρεσκεν, ώοντο τε xxvi. Christi 553, ubi desinit Procopius Cæsareensis, usque την Περσικην πολιτειαν πολλω ειναι αμειγονα- -X. a. Agath. ad cladem Hunnorum in se ipsos, instigante Justiniano, arma 1. 2. p. 65, 66.