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History. and admitted scandalous sinners to the Communion, annexed to Baptism; i. e. had not received milk and Heretics of before they had undergone the required penance. He honey, unction, and the imposition of hands.
the IIIrd then passed from Africa to Rome and joined Novatian. Cornelius also reproaches Novatian with having,
Century. Novatian. Novatian appears to have been a man of a very during persecution, denied his Sacerdotal Office, and
different disposition. A Philosopher before he embraced with having said, (on being requested by the Deacons
themselves Cathari, as it were Puritans, and rebaptized
Without entering into a detail of the fruitless attempts tized during persecution, returned, through despair, to
He informs us that Novatian, when dangerously ill, prian in the name of the Clergy of Rome, before the Works, &e
then enjoins temperance and abstinence from meats
offered to idols.
, Rhetorisque officio fungitur : et sciunt, his reasoning methodical, his citations apposite, and
Socrates f says, that Novatian suffered martyrdom paid him no honours after his death. He struck his wife while preg
under Valerian, but this opinion has been rejected by nant with his foot, and caused her to miscarry.
other writers. * To effect this purpose, two of his partisans were sent to three ignorant and rustic Bishops, who lived in the smallest Province of * Cypr. in Nov. Italy, and prevailed upon them to hasten to Rome as mediators, to + Dupin, Biblioth. p. 112. put an end to the divisions which agitated the Church. On the Lib. iv. c. 28. On the subject of Novatian and his schism, see arrival of these Bishops, Novatian is said to have shut them up in a Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. vi. c. 43. Cyprian, Ep. 49. 52. &c. Tillechamber, to have reduced them to a state of intoxication, and then to mont, Mém. On the name Novatian, see Lardner, Cred. part ii. ave induced them to ordain him Bishop by the imposition of bands. ch, xlvii.
FROM THE FOUNDATION OF CONSTANTINOPLE TO THE DEATH OF CONSTANTIUS.
FROM A. D. 323 TO A. D. 361.
salubrity of the climate and the richness of the soil ; ConstantiHistory. The period of peace, which succeeded his triumphs,
the facility with which the fleet of an invader may be nus Magnus. From enabled Constantine, who was now no longer in the excluded, and the supplies of allies and traders
From glow of "youth and fervent years,” to reflect on the drawn in; the abundant resources derived from the 323.
harvests of Thrace and the fishery of the Propontis, means by which he might best consolidate his power,
323. and perpetuate his name. Born, educated, and exalted when the passages of the Hellespont and the Bospho
to the Imperial dignity in Countries at a distance from rus are elosed, and the immense commerce, which 361.
Rome, * in which he had never resided for any length flows from all quarters by the Euxine and the MediPoundation
361. of Constan
of time, he could have felt but little of the attachment terranean, when they are opened ;-these are some of hisople, which animated her sons, and that little appears to
the obvious advantages which combined to mark it have been gradually converted into estrangement and
as the centre of a mighty Empire. disgust. Motives no less of policy than of personal
In the execution of this great design, neither labour ambition induced him to aspire to the fame of being nor expense* was spared. The forests on the banks of the founder of a new Capital, a design which was said the Euxine, and the marble quarries of the Isle of Proto have been entertained by the first Cæsars. The connesus, afforded copious materials, and the establishnecessity of repressing with equal vigour the Persians ment of privileged Schools and Professors in various on the one hand, and the Barbarians of the Euxine on Provinces, for the encouragement of architectural stuthe other, pointed out as the most desirable position stimulate the genius of artificers. While the walls of
dies, was calculated to increase the numbers and to some spot which might command the neighbouring shores of Europe and of Asia. The peculiar situation the ancient city were fortified and extended, so as to of the ancient Byzantium, the excellence of which Con- enclose five of the seven hills on which Constantinople stantine had had an opportunity of remarking when is seated, the utmost activity was exerted in raising besieged by Licinius, was in the highest degree adapted buildings which might vie with the most stately strucfor the attainment of this object,ß It was built on a tures of the Western metropolis. A Capitol,' a CirPeninsula, which on the West is united with the Con
cus or Hippodrome, Theatres, Temples, and Palaces, tinent of Europe, and on the East, advancing towards among which the Imperial mansion shone conspithe Bosphorus, approaches to the confines of Asia. Its cuous, interspersed with aqueducts and gardens, and Southern side is washed by the Propontis, and its adorned with obelisks and statues in rich variety, Northern forms an ample and secure harbour.ll The
seem to display all the resources of Art drawn forth to
the numerous pieces of ancient workmanship, of which
entrance is about five hundred yards broad, and a strong chain Before the death of Julius Cæsar, there was a report at Rome could be occasionally drawn across it, to guard the port and the city that he had intended to transfer the seat of empire to Troy or Alex- from the attack of an hostile navy." Gibbon, Decline and Fall, ch. andria.
Quin etiam valida fama percrebuit migraturum Alexan. xvii., from whose admirable description much of the above account has driam vel llum, translatis simul opibus imperii, exhaustique delectibus been drawn. Laliæ. (Sueton. in Vit. Jul. Cæsar. c. 79.) The beautiful Ode, in Six hundred centenaries (about two millions five hundred which Horace endeavours with the nicest art to deter Augustus from thousand pounds) were expended on the erection of the walls, the por adopting the supposed design of his relation, is well known. (lib. ticos, and the aqueducts. Codi Antiq. Const. p. 11. ii. 3.) Constantine pretended that he fixed upon Byzantium in + “A particular description, composed about a century after its consequence of a vision.
foundation, enumerales a Capitol, or School of Learning, a Circus, two ġ li is said that Coustantine intended at first to have built the Theatres, eight public, and one hundred and fifty-three private Baths, new Capital in the plain which lies below Ancient Troy, towards the fifty-two Porticos, five Granaries, eight Aqueducts, or reservoirs Rhetæan promontory and the Tomb of Ajax.
of water, four spacious Halls for the meetings of the Senate or Courts Il “ The river Lycus, formed by the conflux of two little streams, of Justice, fourteen Churches, fourteen Palaces, and four thousand pours into the harbour a perpetual supply of fresh water, which serves three hundred and eighty-eight houses, which, for their size or to cleanse the bottom, and to invite the periodical shoals of fish to seek beauty, deserved to be distinguished from the multitude of plebeian their retreat in that convenient recess. As the vicissitudes of tides habitations.” (Gibbon, Decline and Fall, ch. xvii.) See also are scarcely fele in those seas, the constant depth of the harbour allows Bridges's Roman Empire under Constantine the Great, London, 1828. goods to be landed on the quays without the assistance of boats; and
to A. D.
History. the Pagan shrines were stripped to decorate the new “Honour without labour”* was become the privilege Constanti
Capital, * was a colossal Statue of Apollo, the supposed of Consuls--their disgrace and their boast. The dis- nus Magnus, From work of Phidias, placed on a lofty pillar of porphyry. tinguished rank of Patrician, which was no longer an
From While frequent largesses gratified the lower Orders, hereditary title, was usually conferred for life on fa323. splendid abodes, estates, and pensions, liberally be-' vourites, and enabled them to enjoy free access to the
323. stowed on favourites, served to confirm the desire which presence of the Emperor. 361.
would naturally be manifested by a large class of aspir- The Prætorian Præfects, who had gradually risen to
Præfects. buildings on moles advanced into the sea.† Constan- ascendancy depended, reduced to the less dangerous tinople was divided into fourteen regions : the Public situation of Civil and Provincial Magistrates. Four Council received the name of Senate ; and the privileges Præfects (besides the two officers of the same name
of Italy were conferred on the inhabitants of the infant who presided with municipal power over Rome and 330.
city, which being raised with extraordinary expedi- Constantinople) were set over the four divisions into
tion under the name of Second or New Rome, was de- which, by the arrangement of Diocletian, the Roman 334. dicated with the greatest solemnity.
Empire had been portioned—the East, Illyricum, Italy, Political
The new regulations, or rather the new form of and Gaul,t—which four Præfectures were subdivided regulations of Constan- government, introduced or improved by Constantine into thirteen Diocesses, containing in all one hundred tine. and his successors, has strong claims on our attention, and sixteen Provinces.
as leading to the discovery of some of the internal The military power, which was formerly enjoyed by Military causes of the downfall of the Empire.
the Prætorian Præfects, was bestowed by Constantine discipline. The loss of substantial greatness is often followed on two Masters general, one of whom had the comand perhaps disguised by the substitution of ostenta- mand of the cavalry, and the other of the infantry. tious ceremonies. The gradations of rank were now Their number was afterwards doubled, on the division marked with the utmost minuteness. The Magistrates of the East and West, and, at length, increased to were divided into the three classes, the Illustres, ll the eight, four more being stationed on the borders of the Spectabiles, and the Clarissimi ; and a variety of titles, Rhine, of the Upper and the Lower Danube, and of which the old Romans would have spurned as ridicu- the Euphrates. Under them were thirty-five Com
lous, or as degrading, were lavished with Oriental extra- manders, who were placed in different Provinces. All The Con. vagance on the different Officers of State. The Consuls, these were styled Dukes, or, as the name imports, suls. from the time of Diocletian, were chosen, not by the Military Chiefs ; but ten were distinguished by the new
vote of the Senate, but by the sole will of the Emperor, title of Counts, or Companions.
institutions of Constantine, which was productive of
the most fatal consequences, was the distinction intro* Constantinopolis dedicatur pænè omnium urbium nuditate.- duced between the Palatines, or Troops of the Court, Hieron. Chron, p. 181.
and the Borderers, or Troops of the Frontiers. The + The custom of building on huge piles driven into the water, par. Palatines, though exposed to far less toil and danger, ticularly at Baiæ, is often mentioned by Roman writers. The reader will, doubtless, recall to mind the lines of Horace:
received higher pay, and greater privileges than the sepulchri Immemor, struis domos ; Marisque Baiis obstrepentis urges
* Mamertin, in Panegyr. Vet. xi. 2. Summovere littora,
+ ** 1. The Præfect of the East stretched his ample jurisdiction into the Parum locuples continente ripa.
three parts of the Globe which were subject to the Romans, from the Lib. iii. Od. 1. Comp. lib. ii. Od. 18. cataracts of the Nile to the banks of the Phasis, and from the mounOn the time spent in building Constantinople, see Tillemont, tains of Thrace to the frontiers of Persia. 2. The important Provinces Hist. des Emp. tom. iv.
of Pannonia, Dacia, Macedonia, and Greece, once acknowledged the According to the Alexandrian Chronicle, p. 285, as often as the authority of the Præfect of Illyricum. 3. The power of the Præfect birthday of the city was celebrated, the statue of Constantine, bearing of Italy was not confined to the Country from which he derived his in its right hand an image of the Genius of the place, was carried 'it extended over the additional territory of Rhætia as far as the in procession, and when it was opposite the throne, the Emperor, banks of the Danube, over the dependent islands of the Mediterranean, rising, showed his reverence to the memory of his predecessor. and over that part of the Continent of Africa which lies between the
|| Clarissimi (most honourable) became the title appropriated to confines of Cyrene and those of Tingitania. 4. The Præfect of the Senators; Spectabiles (respectable) to those of the Senatorial Order, Gauls comprehended under that plural denomination the kindred Prowho were distinguished above the rest; Illustres (illustrious) to more vinces of Britain and Spain, and his authority was obeyed from the eminent personages, as the Consuls and Patricians, the Prætorian wall of Antoninus to the foot of Mount Atlas." (Gibbon, ch. xvii.) Præfects, with the Præfects of Rome and Constantinople, the Masters See Zosim. lib. ii. p. 109, 110. Comp. Univ. Flist. vol. vi. p. 270. General of the Cavalry and Infantry, and some Ministers of the Palace. Bridges's Life of Constantine, p. 244. and particularly Howell's His. See Howell's History of the World, vol. ii.
tory of the World,
History. Borderers. The former, therefore, were enervated by where treason, or rather a hostile intention, against the Constanti
luxury: the latter relaxed by discontent. While one Emperor or the State was suspected, the examination by nus Magnus From Body oppressed the cities, the other but inadequately the rack—that most uncertain as well as most inhuman
From defended the extremities of the Province. Severity test, from which the Roman citizen of old claimed the 323.
was unsuccessfully employed to prevent the results of peculiar privilege of exemption-suspended its terrors impolicy. The remedy could at best be bat transitory; without distinction over members of the highest, no less the mischief was permanent.
than over the lowest Orders of society. 361. The reduction of the Legions from six thousand to The system of oppressive taxation was an evil of far
361. one thousand, or fifteen hundred men, served also to more extensive range. The tribute, or indictions, (as the Finances. diminish that feeling of importance and strength, edicts were called, which were subscribed by the Emwhich, especially when blended with the uninterrupted peror,) imposed burtheps which were sometimes found too associations which the memory suggests, often proves excessive to be borne. An account of the intricate state most effectual in inspiring subordination and courage. of the finances would exceed the limits within which The enumeration of one hundred and thirty-one le- the present sketch is confined. The landed property, gions gratified perhaps the vanity, but weakened the of which the measure was carefully taken, and the value power of their masters. The rest of the troops was ascertained throughout the Empire by appointed surdivided into several bodies of infantry and cavalry, and veyors, was subjected to a tax which produced the the whole military establishment of the successors of most fatal effects upun agriculture. The assessment Constantine has been reckoned at six hundred and was in the form of a capitation, the number of tributary forty-five thousand soldiers.*
subjects in every Province, and the amount of the imBarbarians were gradually introduced into the various positions being returned, the latter sum was divided by ranks of the army, and, as might have been expected, the former, and the rate of each head calculated. But the dangerous consequences of this step were sometimes it must be remarked that several poorer persons might visible, when they were employed in resisting the in- be considered as composing but one of these heads, vasion of their countrymen. It was also found neces- while one wealthy citizen might represent several.* sary to resort to severe means in order to obviate the A tribute was also raised, which, with a few excepdifficulties which attended the raising of levies.
tions, fell on the trading part of the community the Besides the Magistrates and Generals, there were merchant, the mechanic, and the usurer. Tarons
To these imUfcens, &c. seven important Officers: 1. The Præpositus Cubiculi, positions, which were required with much severity, may
or Chamberlain, whose familiar access to the Emperor be added the free gifts, or coronary gold. The ancient naturally gave him considerable influence. 2. The custom practised by the allies of Rome, of bestowing Master of the Offices, who possessed great power in voluntarily crowns of gold on victorious Generals, and the direction of public affairs. He commanded the afterwards of sending current coin, was now changed military and Civil Schools ; he took cognizance of into a duty, which was demanded on the occasion of causes which related to those privileged individuals, any occurrence in his reign which the Emperor thought who, from their connection with the Court; declined the fit to consider as important. ordinary tribunals; and he superintended the Post and The closing years of Constantine were clouded by a Death of arsenals, and the supplies of military machines and domestic calamity, of which he had to reproach him- Crispus. weapons which were manufactured in different cities self as being the rash and unfeeling author. The milifor the use of the Roman army. Under his adminis- tary fame of Crispus, (his son by Minervina,) combined tration, four offices, which employed a hundred and with his private virtues and accomplishments, which forty-eight secretaries, were occupied in managing the excited the esteem and admiration of the people, appear correspondence between the Emperor and his subjects. to have awakened the jealousy of his Imperial father. 3. The Quæstor, who composed orations, or rather The aspiring youth soon found himself deprived of edicts, in the name of the Emperor, and who, some- further opportunities of pursuing his career of distinctimes, with the assistance of the Consistory, decided tion. Under these circumstances it is but natural to Causes which had been considered doubtful by the infe- suppose that he indulged in the language of impatience rior Courts of Judicature. 4. The Count of the Sacred and indignation, which the arts of treachery may Largesses, or Public Treasurer, who regulated the in- afterwards have distorted and coloured. An edict of ternal revenue and the foreign trade of the Empire. Constantine betrayed his fears of secret treason and 325. 5. The Count, or Treasurer, of the Private Estate; part invited accusations against those to whom he had ex- Octob. 1. of which had perhaps arisen from testaments or pur- tended in an especial manner his patronage and friendchases, but the chief portion from confiscations. 6. and ship.t His object was easily understood by the in7. Two Counts of the Domestics, who commanded the triguers who infested the Court, and its effect was splendid body-guard of the Emperor, which consisted some time after tragically apparent. The unfortunate of three thousand five hundred men.
Crispus, seized in the midst of a banquet, was decapi- 326. Among the defects of the Imperial Government may tated or destroyed by poison,& near Pola, in Istria. July irl Law. be reckoned the increased number of established spies This dark event, ll of which the causes and circum
and informers, who under the name of Agents were encouraged to communicate to the suspicious inmate
* Gibbon, Decline and Fall, &c. of the palace every appearance of conspiracy, real or Cod. Theodos. lib. ix. tit. iv. imaginary, in the Provinces. A fatal and corrupt ex- Codin. p. 34. pedient, which not unfrequently left the innocent a prey
Sidon. Apollinar. Epist. v. 8. to the designing, and gave the name of loyalty and
Eusebius passes over the story in his life of Constantine, which zeal to malice, vindictiveness, or rapacity. In cases
was published after the death of Crispus, of whom he speaks in Aattering terms in his Hist. lib. X. c. 9. Evagrius (lih, iii. c. 41.)
would infer from his silence that the fact is doubtful; he should * Agathias, lib. v. p. 157.
rather have inferred that the Historian was a Courtier.
to A. D.
to A. D.
History. stances were never revealed, is attributed to the scan- punished by an unexpected defeat, induced Constan- Constanti
dalous accusations of his step-mother Fausta, who tine to abandon their cause. Overthrown in a decisive nus Magnus From dreaded the offspring of a former marriage, and the battle by the Goths, the Sarmatians were reduced to
From supposed successor to the Empire, as the rival of her the necessity of arming their slaves, which enabled 323. own children. But the grief of his aged mother, them in their turn to overcome their invaders. But the
Helena, at length induced Constantine to enter into a victorious slaves, by whose assistance this advantage
more scrupulous examination, which ended in establish- had been obtained, having once felt their importance, 361,
ing the innocence of his son. Fausta, it is generally combined with the enemy, and, under the name of 361.
pired at Aquyrion, a castle near Nicomedia, whence his
Constantine Sunt hæc gemmea sed Neroniana ? $
splendidly decorated, as if in mockery of greatness, re
ceived for a time the same expressions of reverence Gothic war.
The only military events of importance which took which it had excited during life. place in the latter part of this reign were owing to the
The character of Constantine has been represented Character.
in a manner so widely different by Christian and by
Historian seems to consist in choosing a medium be-
As a military coinmander, and, in many re-
with consummate dexterity and courage. His operaarrows, of which the barbs, made of fishbone, were dipped tions, no less vigorously executed than ably conceived, in poison. In their movements, which spread terror and
struck awe into the Barbarians, and arrested their dedesolation, they had gradually proceeded in a West
structive progress. Yet in the midst of the most active
, whose Tribe composition. And, whatever opinion may be entertained
of his own literary powers, it cannot be denied that he at length the Sarmatians applied to Constantine for chastity and temperance, virtues very uncommon in a 332. assistance. The Emperor had scarcely acceded to a
situation of unlimited power and in times of extreme de-
ostentatious parade to a degree surprising in a mind
to men upworthy of his favour. His faults, and par-
in the earlier part of his life.
* Civilibus artibus et liberalibus studiis deditus, affectator justie
tiæ et amoris, quem omninò sibi et liberalitate et docilitate quæsivit.
Eutropius. See Howell's Hist. of the World, p. 2, and Lardner's
Credib. part ii. ch. Ixx.
† Zosim. lib. ii. virum, el sororis filium commodæ indolis juvenem interfecit, mor
Aur. Vict. Ammian. lib. xvi. Euseb. lib. v. urorem, post numerosos amicos. Eutrop. lib. x.; Brev. Hist. Rom.
Hence Aurelius Victor, though with more point than truth, has lib. X. c. 6.
thus described his character during three different periods of his
reign : Proverbio vulgari Trachala decem annis praestantissimus,
immodicas nominatus. Epit. c. 41. Constantine, ch, iv.