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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10762
Theodoret Of Cyrus, Ecclesiastical History, 3.6


nanJulian, wishing to make a campaign against the Persians, dispatched the trustiest of his officers to all the oracles throughout the Roman Empire, while he himself went as a suppliant to implore the Pythian oracle of Daphne to make known to him the future. The oracle responded that the corpses lying hard by were becoming an obstacle to divination; that they must first be removed to another spot; and that then he would utter his prophecy, for, said he, I could say nothing, if the grove be not purified. Now at that time there were lying there the relics of the victorious martyr Babylas and the lads who had gloriously suffered with him, and the lying prophet was plainly stopped from uttering his wonted lies by the holy influence of Babylas. Julian was aware of this, for his ancient piety had taught him the power of victorious martyrs, and so he removed no other body from the spot, but only ordered the worshippers of Christ to translate the relics of the victorious martyrs. They marched with joy to the grove, put the coffin on a car and went before it leading a vast concourse of people, singing the psalms of David, while at every pause they shouted Shame be to all them that worship molten images. For they understood the translation of the martyr to mean defeat for the demon.


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1. New Testament, Luke, 21.6 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

21.6. As for these things which you see, the days will come, in which there will not be left here one stone on another that will not be thrown down.
2. Ammianus Marcellinus, History, 20.10-20.11, 22.5.2-22.5.4, 22.12.7 (4th cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

22.5.2. But when his fears were ended, and he saw that the time had come when he could do as he wished, he revealed the secrets of his heart and by plain and formal decrees ordered the temples to be opened, victims brought to the altars, and the worship of the gods restored. 22.5.3. And in order to add to the effectiveness of these ordices, he summoned to the palace the bishops of the Christians, who were of conflicting opinions, and the people, who were also at variance, and politely advised them to lay aside their differences, and each fearlessly and without opposition to observe his own beliefs. 22.5.4. On this he took a firm stand, to the end that, as this freedom increased their dissension, he might afterwards have no fear of a united populace, knowing as he did from experience that no wild beasts are such enemies to mankind as are most of the Christians in their deadly hatred of one another. And he often used to say: Hear me, to whom the Alamanni and the Franks have given ear, thinking that in this he was imitating a saying of the earlier emperor Marcus. But he did not observe that the two cases were very different. 22.12.7. Moreover, the ceremonial rites were excessively increased, with an expenditure of money hitherto unusual and burdensome. And, as it was now allowed without hindrance, everyone who professed a knowledge of divination, alike the learned and the ignorant, without limit or prescribed rules, were permitted to question the oracles and the entrails, which sometimes disclose the future; and from the notes of birds, from their flight, and from omens, the truth was sought with studied variety, if anywhere it might be found.
3. Julian (Emperor), Letters, 41 (4th cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

4. Julian (Emperor), Letters, 41 (4th cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

5. Julian (Emperor), Letters, 41 (4th cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

6. Libanius, Orations, 12.69, 18.18, 18.27, 18.126 (4th cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

7. Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, 1.17-1.18, 3.1, 3.15, 3.17-3.18, 3.20-3.21 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

1.17. Helena, the emperor's mother (from whose name having made Drepanum, once a village, a city, the emperor called it Helenopolis), being divinely directed by dreams went to Jerusalem. Finding that which was once Jerusalem, desolate 'as a Preserve for autumnal fruits,' according to the prophet, she sought carefully the sepulchre of Christ, from which he arose after his burial; and after much difficulty, by God's help she discovered it. What the cause of the difficulty was I will explain in a few words. Those who embraced the Christian faith, after the period of his passion, greatly venerated this tomb; but those who hated Christianity, having covered the spot with a mound of earth, erected on it a temple to Venus, and set up her image there, not caring for the memory of the place. This succeeded for a long time; and it became known to the emperor's mother. Accordingly she having caused the statue to be thrown down, the earth to be removed, and the ground entirely cleared, found three crosses in the sepulchre: one of these was that blessed cross on which Christ had hung, the other two were those on which the two thieves that were crucified with him had died. With these was also found the tablet of Pilate, on which he had inscribed in various characters, that the Christ who was crucified was king of the Jews. Since, however, it was doubtful which was the cross they were in search of, the emperor's mother was not a little distressed; but from this trouble the bishop of Jerusalem, Macarius, shortly relieved her. And he solved the doubt by faith, for he sought a sign from God and obtained it. The sign was this: a certain woman of the neighborhood, who had been long afflicted with disease, was now just at the point of death; the bishop therefore arranged it so that each of the crosses should be brought to the dying woman, believing that she would be healed on touching the precious cross. Nor was he disappointed in his expectation: for the two crosses having been applied which were not the Lord's, the woman still continued in a dying state; but when the third, which was the true cross, touched her, she was immediately healed, and recovered her former strength. In this manner then was the genuine cross discovered. The emperor's mother erected over the place of the sepulchre a magnificent church, and named it New Jerusalem, having built it facing that old and deserted city. There she left a portion of the cross, enclosed in a silver case, as a memorial to those who might wish to see it: the other part she sent to the emperor, who being persuaded that the city would be perfectly secure where that relic should be preserved, privately enclosed it in his own statue, which stands on a large column of porphyry in the forum called Constantine's at Constantinople. I have written this from report indeed; but almost all the inhabitants of Constantinople affirm that it is true. Moreover the nails with which Christ's hands were fastened to the cross (for his mother having found these also in the sepulchre had sent them) Constantine took and had made into bridle-bits and a helmet, which he used in his military expeditions. The emperor supplied all materials for the construction of the churches, and wrote to Macarius the bishop to expedite these edifices. When the emperor's mother had completed the New Jerusalem, she reared another church not at all inferior, over the cave at Bethlehem where Christ was born according to the flesh: nor did she stop here, but built a third on the mount of his Ascension. So devoutly was she affected in these matters, that she would pray in the company of women; and inviting the virgins enrolled in the register of the churches to a repast, serving them herself, she brought the dishes to table. She was also very munificent to the churches and to the poor; and having lived a life of piety, she died when about eighty years old. Her remains were conveyed to New Rome, the capital, and deposited in the imperial sepulchres. 1.18. After this the emperor became increasingly attentive to the interests of the Christians, and abandoned the heathen superstitions. He abolished the combats of the gladiators, and set up his own statues in the temples. And as the heathens affirmed that it was Serapis who brought up the Nile for the purpose of irrigating Egypt, because a cubit was usually carried into his temple, he directed Alexander to transfer the cubit to the church. And although they predicted that the Nile would not overflow because of the displeasure of Serapis, nevertheless there was an inundation in the following year and afterwards, taking place regularly: thus it was proved by fact that the rising of the Nile was not in consequence of their superstition, but by reason of the decrees of Providence. About the same time those barbarians the Sarmatians and Goths made incursions on the Roman territory; yet the emperor's earnestness respecting the churches was by no means abated, but he made suitable provision for both these matters. Placing his confidence in the Christian banner, he completely vanquished his enemies, so as even to cast off the tribute of gold which preceding emperors were accustomed to pay the barbarians: while they themselves, being terror-struck at the unexpectedness of their defeat, then for the first time embraced the Christian religion, by means of which Constantine had been protected. Again he built other churches, one of which was erected near the Oak of Mamre, under which the Sacred Oracles declare that Abraham entertained angels. For the emperor having been informed that altars had been reared under that oak, and that pagan sacrifices were offered upon them, censured by letter Eusebius bishop of C sarea, and ordered that the altars should be demolished, and a house of prayer erected beside the oak. He also directed that another church should be constructed in Heliopolis in Phœnicia, for this reason. Who originally legislated for the inhabitants of Heliopolis I am unable to state, but his character and morals may be judged of from the [practice of that] city; for the laws of the country ordered the women among them to be common, and therefore the children born there were of doubtful descent, so that there was no distinction of fathers and their offspring. Their virgins also were presented for prostitution to the strangers who resorted there. The emperor hastened to correct this evil which had long prevailed among them. And passing a solemn law of chastity, he removed the shameful evil and provided for the mutual recognition of families. And having built churches there, he took care that a bishop and sacred clergy should be ordained. Thus he reformed the corrupt manners of the people of Heliopolis. He likewise demolished the temple of Venus at Aphaca on Mount Libanus, and abolished the infamous deeds which were there celebrated. Why need I describe his expulsion of the Pythonic demon from Cilicia, by commanding the mansion in which he was lurking to be razed from its foundations? So great indeed was the emperor's devotion to Christianity, that when he was about to enter on a war with Persia, he prepared a tabernacle formed of embroidered linen on the model of a church, just as Moses had done in the wilderness; Exodus xxxv.-xl and this so constructed as to be adapted to conveyance from place to place, in order that he might have a house of prayer even in the most desert regions. But the war was not at that time carried on, being prevented through dread of the emperor. It would, I conceive, be out of place here to describe the emperor's diligence in rebuilding cities and converting many villages into cities; as for example Drepanum, to which he gave his mother's name, and Constantia in Palestine, so called from his sister. For my task is not to enumerate of the emperor's actions, but simply such as are connected with Christianity, and especially those which relate to the churches. Wherefore I leave to others more competent to detail such matters, the emperor's glorious achievements, inasmuch as they belong to a different subject, and require a distinct treatise. But I myself should have been silent, if the Church had remained undisturbed by divisions: for where the subject does not supply matter for relation, there is no necessity for a narrator. Since however subtle and vain disputation has confused and at the same time scattered the apostolic faith of Christianity, I thought it desirable to record these things, in order that the transactions of the churches might not be lost in obscurity. For accurate information on these points procures celebrity among the many, and at the same time renders him who is acquainted with them more secure from error, and instructs him not to be carried away by any empty sound of sophistical argumentation which he may chance to hear. 3.1. The Emperor Constantius died on the frontiers of Cilicia on the 3d of November, during the consulate of Taurus and Florentius; Julian leaving the western parts of the empire about the 11th of December following, under the same consulate, came to Constantinople, where he was proclaimed emperor. And as I must needs speak of the character of this prince who was eminently distinguished for his learning, let not his admirers expect that I should attempt a pompous rhetorical style, as if it were necessary to make the delineation correspond with the dignity of the subject: for my object being to compile a history of the Christian religion, it is both proper in order to the being better understood, and consistent with my original purpose, to maintain a humble and unaffected style. However, it is proper to describe his person, birth, education, and the manner in which he became possessed of the sovereignty; and in order to do this it will be needful to enter into some antecedent details. Constantine who gave Byzantium his own name, had two brothers named Dalmatius and Constantius, the offspring of the same father, but by a different mother. The former of these had a son who bore his own name: the latter had two sons, Gallus and Julian. Now as on the death of Constantine who founded Constantinople, the soldiery had put the younger brother Dalmatius to death, the lives of his two orphan children were also endangered: but a disease which threatened to be fatal preserved Gallus from the violence of his father's murderers; while the tenderness of Julian's age - for he was only eight years old at the time - protected him. The emperor's jealousy toward them having been gradually subdued, Gallus attended the schools at Ephesus in Ionia, in which country considerable hereditary possessions had been left them. And Julian, when he was grown up, pursued his studies at Constantinople, going constantly to the palace, where the schools then were, in plain clothes, under the superintendence of the eunuch Mardonius. In grammar Nicocles the Lac demonian was his instructor; and Ecebolius the Sophist, who was at that time a Christian, taught him rhetoric: for the emperor had made the provision that he should have no pagan masters, lest he should be seduced to the pagan superstitions. For Julian was a Christian at the beginning. His proficiency in literature soon became so remarkable, that it began to be said that he was capable of governing the Roman empire; and this popular rumor becoming generally diffused, greatly disquieted the emperor's mind, so that he had him removed from the Great City to Nicomedia, forbidding him at the same time to frequent the school of Libanius the Syrian Sophist. For Libanius having been driven at that time from Constantinople, by a combination of the educators there, had retired to Nicomedia, where he opened a school. Here he gave vent to his indignation against the educators in the treatise he composed regarding them. Julian was, however, interdicted from being his auditor, because Libanius was a pagan in religion: nevertheless he privately procured his orations, which he not only greatly admired, but also frequently and with close study perused. As he was becoming very expert in the rhetorical art, Maximus the philosopher arrived at Nicomedia (not the Byzantine, Euclid's father) but the Ephesian, whom the emperor Valentinian afterwards caused to be executed as a practicer of magic. This took place later; at that time the only thing that attracted him to Nicomedia was the fame of Julian. From him [Julian] received, in addition to the principles of philosophy, his own religious sentiments, and a desire to possess the empire. When these things reached the ears of the emperor, Julian, between hope and fear, became very anxious to lull the suspicions which had been awakened, and therefore began to assume the external semblance of what he once was in reality. He was shaved to the very skin, and pretended to live a monastic life: and while in private he pursued his philosophical studies, in public he read the sacred writings of the Christians, and moreover was constituted a reader in the church of Nicomedia. Thus by these specious pretexts he succeeded in averting the emperor's displeasure. Now he did all this from fear, but he by no means abandoned his hope; telling his friends that happier times were not far distant, when he should possess the imperial sway. In this condition of things his brother Gallus having been created C sar, on his way to the East came to Nicomedia to see him. But when not long after this Gallus was slain, Julian was suspected by the emperor; wherefore he directed that a guard should be set over him: he soon, however, found means of escaping from them, and fleeing from place to place he managed to be in safety. At last the Empress Eusebia having discovered his retreat, persuaded the emperor to leave him uninjured, and permit him to go to Athens to pursue his philosophical studies. From thence - to be brief - the emperor recalled him, and after created him C sar; in addition to this, uniting him in marriage to his own sister Helen, he sent him against the barbarians. For the barbarians whom the Emperor Constantius had engaged as auxiliary forces against the tyrant Magnentius, having proved of no use against the usurper, were beginning to pillage the Roman cities. And inasmuch as he was young he ordered him to undertake nothing without consulting the other military chiefs. Now these generals having obtained such authority, became lax in their duties, and the barbarians in consequence strengthened themselves. Julian perceiving this allowed the commanders to give themselves up to luxury and revelling, but exerted himself to infuse courage into the soldiery, offering a stipulated reward to any one who should kill a barbarian. This measure effectually weakened the enemy and at the same time conciliated to himself the affections of the army. It is reported that as he was entering a town a civic crown which was suspended between two pillars fell upon his head, which it exactly fitted: upon which all present gave a shout of admiration, regarding it as a presage of his one day becoming emperor. Some have affirmed that Constantius sent him against the barbarians, in the hope that he would perish in an engagement with them. I know not whether those who say this speak the truth; but it certainly is improbable that he should have first contracted so near an alliance with him, and then have sought his destruction to the prejudice of his own interests. Let each form his own judgment of the matter. Julian's complaint to the emperor of the inertness of his military officers procured for him a coadjutor in the command more in sympathy with his own ardor; and by their combined efforts such an assault was made upon the barbarians, that they sent him an embassy, assuring him that they had been ordered by the emperor's letters, which were produced, to march into the Roman territories. But he cast the ambassador into prison, and vigorously attacking the forces of the enemy, totally defeated them; and having taken their king prisoner, he sent him alive to Constantius. Immediately after this brilliant success he was proclaimed emperor by the soldiers; and inasmuch as there was no imperial crown at hand, one of his guards took the chain which he wore about his own neck, and bound it around Julian's head. Thus Julian became emperor: but whether he subsequently conducted himself as became a philosopher, let my readers determine. For he neither entered into communication with Constantius by an embassy, nor paid him the least homage in acknowledgment of past favors; but constituting other governors over the provinces, he conducted everything just as it pleased him. Moreover, he sought to bring Constantius into contempt, by reciting publicly in every city the letters which he had written to the barbarians; and thus having rendered the inhabitants of these places disaffected, they were easily induced to revolt from Constantius to himself. After this he no longer wore the mask of Christianity, but everywhere opened the pagan temples, offering sacrifice to the idols; and designating himself 'Pontifex Maximus,' gave permission to such as would to celebrate their superstitious festivals. In this manner he managed to excite a civil war against Constantius; and thus, as far as he was concerned, he would have involved the empire in all the disastrous consequences of a war. For this philosopher's aim could not have been attained without much bloodshed: but God, in the sovereignty of his own councils, checked the fury of these antagonists without detriment to the state, by the removal of one of them. For when Julian arrived among the Thracians, intelligence was brought him that Constantius was dead; and thus was the Roman empire at that time preserved from the intestine strife that threatened it. Julian immediately made his public entry into Constantinople; and considered with himself how he might best conciliate the masses and secure popular favor. Accordingly he had recourse to the following measures: he knew that Constantius had rendered himself odious to the defenders of the homoousian faith by having driven them from the churches, and proscribed their bishops. He was also aware that the pagans were extremely discontented because of the prohibitions which prevented their sacrificing to their gods, and were very anxious to get their temples opened, with liberty to exercise their idolatrous rites. In fact, he was sensible that while both these classes secretly entertained rancorous feelings against his predecessor, the people in general were exceedingly exasperated by the violence of the eunuchs, and especially by the rapacity of Eusebius the chief officer of the imperial bed-chamber. Under these circumstances he treated all parties with subtlety: with some he dissimulated; others he attached to himself by conferring obligations upon them, for he was fond of affecting beneficence; but to all in common he manifested his own predilection for the idolatry of the heathens. And first in order to brand the memory of Constantius by making him appear to have been cruel toward his subjects, he recalled the exiled bishops, and restored to them their confiscated estates. He next commanded the suitable agents to see that the pagan temples should be opened without delay. Then he directed that such individuals as had been victims of the extortionate conduct of the eunuchs, should receive back the property of which they had been plundered. Eusebius, the chief of the imperial bed-chamber, he punished with death, not only on account of the injuries he had inflicted on others, but because he was assured that it was through his machinations that his brother Gallus had been killed. The body of Constantius he honored with an imperial funeral, but expelled the eunuchs, barbers, and cooks from the palace. The eunuchs he dispensed with, because they were unnecessary in consequence of his wife's decease, as he had resolved not to marry again; the cooks, because he maintained a very simple table; and the barbers, because he said one was sufficient for a great many persons. These he dismissed for the reasons given; he also reduced the majority of the secretaries to their former condition, and appointed for those who were retained a salary befitting their office. The mode of public traveling and conveyance of necessaries he also reformed, abolishing the use of mules, oxen, and asses for this purpose, and permitting horses only to be so employed. These various retrenchments were highly lauded by some few, but strongly reprobated by all others, as tending to bring the imperial dignity into contempt, by stripping it of those appendages of pomp and magnificence which exercise so powerful an influence over the minds of the vulgar. Not only so, but at night he was accustomed to sit up composing orations which he afterwards delivered in the senate: though in fact he was the first and only emperor since the time of Julius C sar who made speeches in that assembly. To those who were eminent for literary attainments, he extended the most flattering patronage, and especially to those who were professional philosophers; in consequence of which, abundance of pretenders to learning of this sort resorted to the palace from all quarters, wearing their palliums, being more conspicuous for their costume than their erudition. These impostors, who invariably adopted the religious sentiments of their prince, were all inimical to the welfare of the Christians; and Julian himself, whose excessive vanity prompted him to deride all his predecessors in a book which he wrote entitled The C sars, was led by the same haughty disposition to compose treatises against the Christians also. The expulsion of the cooks and barbers is in a manner becoming a philosopher indeed, but not an emperor; but ridiculing and caricaturing of others is neither the part of the philosopher nor that of the emperor: for such personages ought to be superior to the influence of jealousy and detraction. An emperor may be a philosopher in all that regards moderation and self-control; but should a philosopher attempt to imitate what might become an emperor, he would frequently depart from his own principles. We have thus briefly spoken of the Emperor Julian, tracing his extraction, education, temper of mind, and the way in which he became invested with the imperial power. 3.15. Amachius governor of Phrygia ordered that the temple at Merum, a city of that province, should be opened, and cleared of the filth which had accumulated there by lapse of time: also that the statues it contained should be polished fresh. This in being put into operation grieved the Christians very much. Now a certain Macedonius and Theodulus and Tatian, unable to endure the indignity thus put upon their religion, and impelled by a fervent zeal for virtue, rushed by night into the temple, and broke the images in pieces. The governor infuriated at what had been done, would have put to death many in that city who were altogether innocent, when the authors of the deed voluntarily surrendered themselves, choosing rather to die themselves in defense of the truth, than to see others put to death in their stead. The governor seized and ordered them to expiate the crime they had committed by sacrificing: on their refusal to do this, their judge menaced them with tortures; but they despising his threats, being endowed with great courage, declared their readiness to undergo any sufferings, rather than pollute themselves by sacrificing. After subjecting them to all possible tortures he at last laid them on gridirons under which a fire was placed, and thus slew them. But even in this last extremity they gave the most heroic proofs of fortitude, addressing the ruthless governor thus: 'If you wish to eat broiled flesh, Amachius, turn us on the other side also, lest we should appear but half cooked to your taste.' Thus these martyrs ended their life. 3.17. The emperor having extorted immense sums of money from the Christians, hastening his expedition against the Persians, arrived at Antioch in Syria. There, desiring to show the citizens how much he affected glory, he unduly depressed the prices of commodities; neither taking into account the circumstances of that time, nor reflecting how much the presence of an army inconveniences the population of the provinces, and of necessity lessens the supply of provisions to the cities. The merchants and retailers therefore left off trading, being unable to sustain the losses which the imperial edict entailed upon them; consequently the necessaries failed. The Antiochians not bearing the insult - for they are a people naturally impatient with insult - instantly broke forth into invectives against Julian; caricaturing his beard also, which was a very long one, and saying that it ought to be cut off and manufactured into ropes. They added that the bull which was impressed upon his coin, was a symbol of his having desolated the world. For the emperor, being excessively superstitious, was continually sacrificing bulls on the altars of his idols; and had ordered the impression of a bull and altar to be made on his coin. Irritated by these scoffs, he threatened to punish the city of Antioch, and returned to Tarsus in Cilicia, giving orders that preparations should be made for his speedy departure thence. Whence Libanius the sophist took occasion to compose two orations, one addressed to the emperor in behalf of the Antiochians, the other to the inhabitants of Antioch on the emperor's displeasure. It is however affirmed that these compositions were merely written, and never recited in public. Julian abandoning his former purpose of revenging himself on his satirists by injurious deeds, expended his wrath in reciprocating their abusive taunts; for he wrote a pamphlet against them which he entitled Antiochicus, or Misopogon, thus leaving an indelible stigma upon that city and its inhabitants. But we must now speak of the evils which he brought upon the Christians at Antioch. 3.18. Having ordered that the pagan temples at Antioch should be opened, he was very eager to obtain an oracle from Apollo of Daphne. But the demon that inhabited the temple remained silent through fear of his neighbor, Babylas the martyr; for the coffin which contained the body of that saint was close by. When the emperor was informed of this circumstance, he commanded that the coffin should be immediately removed: upon which the Christians of Antioch, including women and children, transported the coffin from Daphne to the city, with solemn rejoicings and chanting of psalms. The psalms were such as cast reproach on the gods of the heathen, and those who put confidence in them and their images. 3.20. The emperor in another attempt to molest the Christians exposed his superstition. Being fond of sacrificing, he not only himself delighted in the blood of victims, but considered it an indignity offered to him, if others did not do likewise. And as he found but few persons of this stamp, he sent for the Jews and enquired of them why they abstained from sacrificing, since the law of Moses enjoined it? On their replying that it was not permitted them to do this in any other place than Jerusalem, he immediately ordered them to rebuild Solomon's temple. Meanwhile he himself proceeded on his expedition against the Persians. The Jews who had been long desirous of obtaining a favorable opportunity for rearing their temple afresh in order that they might therein offer sacrifice, applied themselves very vigorously to the work. Moreover, they conducted themselves with great insolence toward the Christians, and threatened to do them as much mischief, as they had themselves suffered from the Romans. The emperor having ordered that the expenses of this structure should be defrayed out of the public treasury, all things were soon provided, such as timber and stone, burnt brick, clay, lime, and all other materials necessary for building. On this occasion Cyril bishop of Jerusalem, called to mind the prophecy of Daniel, which Christ also in the holy gospels has confirmed, and predicted in the presence of many persons, that the time had indeed come 'in which one stone should not be left upon another in that temple,' but that the Saviour's prophetic declaration should have its full accomplishment. Such were the bishop's words: and on the night following, a mighty earthquake tore up the stones of the old foundations of the temple and dispersed them all together with the adjacent edifices. Terror consequently possessed the Jews on account of the event; and the report of it brought many to the spot who resided at a great distance: when therefore a vast multitude was assembled, another prodigy took place. Fire came down from heaven and consumed all the builders' tools: so that the flames were seen preying upon mallets, irons to smooth and polish stones, saws, hatchets, adzes, in short all the various implements which the workmen had procured as necessary for the undertaking; and the fire continued burning among these for a whole day. The Jews indeed were in the greatest possible alarm, and unwillingly confessed Christ, calling him God: yet they did not do his will; but influenced by inveterate prepossessions they still clung to Judaism. Even a third miracle which afterwards happened failed to lead them to a belief of the truth. For the next night luminous impressions of a cross appeared imprinted on their garments, which at daybreak they in vain attempted to rub or wash out. They were therefore 'blinded' as the apostle says, and cast away the good which they had in their hands: and thus was the temple, instead of being rebuilt, at that time wholly overthrown. 3.21. The emperor meanwhile invaded the country of the Persians a little before spring, having learned that the races of Persia were greatly enfeebled and totally spiritless in winter. For from their inability to endure cold, they abstain from military service at that season, and it has become a proverb that 'a Mede will not then draw his hand from underneath his cloak.' And well knowing that the Romans were inured to brave all the rigors of the atmosphere he let them loose on the country. After devastating a considerable tract of country, including numerous villages and fortresses, they next assailed the cities; and having invested the great city Ctesiphon, he reduced the king of the Persians to such straits that the latter sent repeated embassies to the emperor, offering to surrender a portion of his dominions, on condition of his quitting the country, and putting an end to the war. But Julian was unaffected by these submissions, and showed no compassion to a suppliant foe: nor did he think of the adage, 'To conquer is honorable, but to be more than conqueror gives occasion for envy.' Giving credit to the divinations of the philosopher Maximus, with whom he was in continual intercourse, he was deluded into the belief that his exploits would not only equal, but exceed those of Alexander of Macedon; so that he spurned with contempt the entreaties of the Persian monarch. He even supposed in accordance with the teachings of Pythagoras and Plato on 'the transmigration of souls,' that he was possessed of Alexander's soul, or rather that he himself was Alexander in another body. This ridiculous fancy deluded and caused him to reject the negotiations for peace proposed by the king of the Persians. Wherefore the latter convinced of the uselessness of them was constrained to prepare for conflict, and therefore on the next day after the rejection of his embassy, he drew out in order of battle all the forces he had. The Romans indeed censured their prince, for not avoiding an engagement when he might have done so with advantage: nevertheless they attacked those who opposed them, and again put the enemy to flight. The emperor was present on horseback, and encouraged his soldiers in battle; but confiding simply in his hope of success, he wore no armor. In this defenceless state, a dart cast by some one unknown, pierced through his arm and entered his side, making a wound. In consequence of this wound he died. Some say that a certain Persian hurled the javelin, and then fled; others assert that one of his own men was the author of the deed, which indeed is the best corroborated and most current report. But Callistus, one of his body-guards, who celebrated this emperor's deeds in heroic verse, says in narrating the particulars of this war, that the wound of which he died was inflicted by a demon. This is possibly a mere poetical fiction, or perhaps it was really the fact; for vengeful furies have undoubtedly destroyed many persons. Be the case however as it may, this is certain, that the ardor of his natural temperament rendered him incautious, his learning made him vain, and his affectation of clemency exposed him to contempt. Thus Julian ended his life in Persia, as we have said, in his fourth consulate, which he bore with Sallust his colleague. This event occurred on the 26th of June, in the third year of his reign, and the seventh from his having been created C sar by Constantius, he being at that time in the thirty-first year of his age.
8. Theodoret of Cyrus, Ecclesiastical History, 1.17, 3.3, 3.7 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

1.17. The bearer of these letters was no less illustrious a personage than the mother of the emperor, even she who was glorious in her offspring, whose piety was celebrated by all; she who brought forth that great luminary and nurtured him in piety. She did not shrink from the fatigue of the journey on account of her extreme old age, but undertook it a little before her death, which occurred in her eightieth year. When the empress beheld the place where the Saviour suffered, she immediately ordered the idolatrous temple, which had been there erected, to be destroyed, and the very earth on which it stood to be removed. When the tomb, which had been so long concealed, was discovered, three crosses were seen buried near the Lord's sepulchre. All held it as certain that one of these crosses was that of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that the other two were those of the thieves who were crucified with Him. Yet they could not discern to which of the three the Body of the Lord had been brought near, and which had received the outpouring of His precious Blood. But the wise and holy Macarius, the president of the city, resolved this question in the following manner. He caused a lady of rank, who had been long suffering from disease, to be touched by each of the crosses, with earnest prayer, and thus discerned the virtue residing in that of the Saviour. For the instant this cross was brought near the lady, it expelled the sore disease, and made her whole. The mother of the emperor, on learning the accomplishment of her desire, gave orders that a portion of the nails should be inserted in the royal helmet, in order that the head of her son might be preserved from the darts of his enemies. The other portion of the nails she ordered to be formed into the bridle of his horse, not only to ensure the safety of the emperor, but also to fulfil an ancient prophecy; for long before Zechariah, the prophet, had predicted that There shall be upon the bridles of the horses Holiness unto the Lord Almighty. She had part of the cross of our Saviour conveyed to the palace. The rest was enclosed in a covering of silver, and committed to the care of the bishop of the city, whom she exhorted to preserve it carefully, in order that it might be transmitted uninjured to posterity. She then sent everywhere for workmen and for materials, and caused the most spacious and most magnificent churches to be erected. It is unnecessary to describe their beauty and grandeur; for all the pious, if I may so speak, hasten there and behold the magnificence of the buildings. This celebrated and admirable empress performed another action worthy of being remembered. She assembled all the women who had vowed perpetual virginity, and placing them on couches, she herself fulfilled the duties of a handmaid, serving them with food and handing them cups and pouring out wine, and bringing a basin and pitcher, and pouring out water to wash their hands. After performing these and other laudable actions, the empress returned to her son, and not long after, she joyfully entered upon the other and a better life, after having given her son much pious advice and her fervent parting blessing. After her death, those honours were rendered to her memory which her steadfast and zealous service to God deserved. 3.3. When Julian had made his impiety openly known the cities were filled with dissensions. Men enthralled by the deceits of idolatry took heart, opened the idols' shrines, and began to perform those foul rites which ought to have died out from the memory of man. Once more they kindled the fire on the altars, befouled the ground with victims' gore, and defiled the air with the smoke of their burnt sacrifices. Maddened by the demons they served they ran in corybantic frenzy round about the streets, attacked the saints with low stage jests, and with all the outrage and ribaldry of their impure processions. On the other hand the partizans of piety could not brook their blasphemies, returned insult for insult, and tried to confute the error which their opponents honoured. In their turn the workers of iniquity took it ill; the liberty allowed them by the sovereign was an encouragement to audacity and they dealt deadly blows among the Christians. It was indeed the duty of the emperor to consult for the peace of his subjects, but he in the depth of his iniquity himself maddened his peoples with mutual rage. The deeds dared by the brutal against the peaceable he overlooked and entrusted civil and military offices of importance to savage and impious men, who though they hesitated publicly to force the lovers of true piety to offer sacrifice treated them nevertheless with all kinds of indignity. All the honours moreover conferred on the sacred ministry by the great Constantine Julian took away. To tell all the deeds dared by the slaves of idolatrous deceit at that time would require a history of these crimes alone, but out of the vast number of them I shall select a few instances. At Askalon and at Gaza, cities of Palestine, men of priestly rank and women who had lived all their lives in virginity were disembowelled, filled with barley, and given for food to swine. At Sebaste, which belongs to the same people, the coffin of John the Baptist was opened, his bones burnt, and the ashes scattered abroad. Who too could tell without a tear the vile deed done in Phœnicia? At Heliopolis by Lebanon there lived a certain deacon of the name of Cyrillus. In the reign of Constantine, fired by divine zeal, he had broken in pieces many of the idols there worshipped. Now men of infamous name, bearing this deed in mind, not only slew him, but cut open his belly and devoured his liver. Their crime was not, however, hidden from the all-seeing eye, and they suffered the just reward of their deeds; for all who had taken part in this abominable wickedness lost their teeth, which all fell out at once, and lost, too, their tongues, which rotted away and dropped from them: they were moreover deprived of sight, and by their sufferings proclaimed the power of holiness. At the neighbouring city of Emesa they dedicated to Dionysus, the woman-formed, the newly erected church, and set up in it his ridiculous androgynous image. At Dorystolum, a famous city of Thrace, the victorious athlete Æmilianus was thrown upon a flaming pyre, by Capitolinus, governor of all Thrace. To relate the tragic fate of Marcus, however, bishop of Arethusa, with true dramatic dignity, would require the eloquence of an Æschylus or a Sophocles. In the days of Constantius he had destroyed a certain idol-shrine and built a church in its place; and no sooner did the Arethusians learn the mind of Julian than they made an open display of their hostility. At first, according to the precept of the Gospel, Marcus endeavoured to make his escape; but when he became aware that some of his own people were apprehended in his stead, he returned and gave himself up to the men of blood. After they had seized him they neither pitied his old age nor reverenced his deep regard for virtue; but, conspicuous as he was for the beauty alike of his teaching and of his life, first of all they stripped and smote him, laying strokes on every limb, then they flung him into filthy sewers, and, when they had dragged him out again, delivered him to a crowd of lads whom they charged to prick him without mercy with their pens. After this they put him into a basket, smeared him with pickle and honey, and hung him up in the open air in the height of summer, inviting wasps and bees to a feast. Their object in doing this was to compel him either to restore the shrine which he had destroyed, or to defray the expense of its erection. Marcus, however, endured all these grievous sufferings and affirmed that he would consent to none of their demands. His enemies, with the idea that he could not afford the money from poverty, remitted half their demand, and bade him pay the rest; but Marcus hung on high, pricked with pens, and devoured by wasps and bees, yet not only showed no signs of pain, but derided his impious tormentors with the repeated taunt, You are groundlings and of the earth; I, sublime and exalted. At last they begged for only a small portion of the money; but, said he, it is as impious to give an obole as to give all. So discomfited they let him go, and could not refrain from admiring his constancy, for his words had taught them a new lesson of holiness. 3.7. Julian could not endure the shame brought upon him by these doings, and on the following day ordered the leaders of the choral procession to be arrested. Sallustius was prefect at this time and a servant of iniquity, but he nevertheless was anxious to persuade the sovereign not to allow the Christians who were eager for glory to attain the object of their desires. When however he saw that the emperor was impotent to master his rage, he arrested a young man adorned with the graces of a holy enthusiasm while walking in the Forum, hung him up before the world on the stocks, lacerated his back with scourges, and scored his sides with claw-like instruments of torture. And this he did all day from dawn till the day was done; and then put chains of iron on him and ordered him to be kept in ward. Next morning he informed Julian of what had been done, and reported the young man's constancy and added that the event was for themselves a defeat and for the Christians a triumph. Persuaded of the truth of this, God's enemy suffered no more to be so treated and ordered Theodorus to be let out of prison, for so was named this young and glorious combatant in truth's battle. On being asked if he had had any sense of pain on undergoing those most bitter and most savage tortures he replied that at the first indeed he had felt some little pain, but that then had appeared to him one who continually wiped the sweat from his face with a cool and soft kerchief and bade him be of good courage. Wherefore, said he, when the executioners gave over I was not pleased but vexed, for now there went away with them he who brought me refreshment of soul. But the demon of lying divination at once increased the martyr's glory and exposed his own falsehood; for a thunderbolt sent down from heaven burnt the whole shrine and turned the very statue of the Pythian into fine dust, for it was made of wood and gilded on the surface. Julianus the uncle of Julian, prefect of the East, learned this by night, and riding at full speed came to Daphne, eager to bring succour to the deity whom he worshipped; but when he saw the so-called god turned into powder he scourged the officers in charge of the temple, for he conjectured that the conflagration was due to some Christian. But they, maltreated as they were, could not endure to utter a lie, and persisted in saying that the fire had started not from below but from above. Moreover some of the neighbouring rustics came forward and asserted that they had seen the thunderbolt come rushing down from heaven.
9. Sozomenus, Ecclesiastical History, 5.1-5.4, 5.9-5.10, 5.19

5.1. Such were the transactions which took place in the Eastern Church. In the meantime, however, Julian, the C sar, attacked and conquered the barbarians who dwelt on the banks of the Rhine; many he killed, and others he took prisoners. As the victory added greatly to his fame, and as his moderation and gentleness had endeared him to the troops, they proclaimed him Augustus. Far from making an excuse to Constantius for this act, he exchanged the officers who had been elected by Constantius, and industriously circulated letters wherein Constantius had solicited the barbarians to enter the Roman territories, and aid him against Magnentius. He then suddenly changed his religion, and although he had previously confessed Christianity, he declared himself high-priest, frequented the pagan temples, offered sacrifices, and invited his subjects to adopt that form of worship. As an invasion of Roman territory by the Persians was expected, and as Constantius had on this account repaired to Syria, Julian conceived that he might without battle render himself master of Illyricum; he therefore set out on his journey to this province, under pretense that he intended to present an apology to Constantius for having, without his sanction, received the symbols of imperial power. It is said, that when he arrived on the borders of Illyria, the vines appeared full of green grapes, although the time of the vintage was past, and the Pleiades had set; and that there fell upon his followers a dashing of the dew from the atmosphere, of which each drop was stamped with the sign of the cross. He and many of those with him regarded the grapes appearing out of season as a favorable omen; while the dew had made that figure by chance on the garments upon which it happened to fall. Others thought that of the two symbols, the one of the green grapes signified that the emperor would die prematurely, and his reign would be very short; while the second sign, that of the crosses formed by the drops of dew, indicated that the Christian religion is from heaven, and that all persons ought to receive the sign of the cross. I am, for my own part, convinced that those who regarded these two phenomena as unfavorable omens for Julian, were not mistaken; and the progress of time proved the accuracy of their opinion. When Constantius heard that Julian was marching against him at the head of an army, he abandoned his intended expedition against the Persians, and departed for Constantinople; but he died on the journey, when he had arrived as far as Mopsucren, which lies near the Taurus, between Cilicia and Cappadocia. He died in the forty-fifth year of his age, after reigning thirteen years conjointly with his father Constantine, and twenty-five years after the death of that emperor. A little while after the decease of Constantius, Julian, who had already made himself master of Thrace, entered Constantinople and was proclaimed emperor. Pagans assert that diviners and demons had predicted the death of Constantius, and the change in affairs, before his departure for Galatia, and had advised him to undertake the expedition. This might have been regarded as a true prediction, had not the life of Julian been terminated so shortly afterwards, and when he had only tasted the imperial power as in a dream. But it appears to me absurd to believe that, after he had heard the death of Constantius predicted, and had been warned that it would be his own fate to fall in battle by the hands of the Persians, he should have leaped into manifest death - offering him no other fame in the world than that of lack of counsel, and poor generalship, - and who, had he lived, would probably have suffered the greater part of the Roman territories to fall under the Persian yoke. This observation, however, is only inserted lest I should be blamed for omitting it. I leave every one to form his own opinion. 5.2. Immediately after the death of Constantius, the dread of a persecution arose in the Church, and Christians suffered more anguish from the anticipation of this calamity than they would have experienced from its actual occurrence. This state of feeling proceeded from the fact that a long interval had made them unaccustomed to such dangers, and from the remembrance of the tortures which had been exercised by the tyrants upon their fathers, and from their knowledge of the hatred with which the emperor regarded their doctrines. It is said that he openly renounced the faith of Christ so entirely, that he by sacrifices and expiations, which the pagans call renunciatory, and by the blood of animals, purged himself of our baptism. From that period he employed himself in auguries and in the celebration of the pagan rites, both publicly and privately. It is related that one day, as he was inspecting the entrails of a victim, he beheld among them a cross encompassed with a crown. This appearance terrified those who were assisting in the ceremony, for they judged that it indicated the strength of religion, and the eternal duration of the Christian doctrines; inasmuch as the crown by which it was encircled is the symbol of victory, and because of its continuity, for the circle beginning everywhere and ending in itself, has no limits in any direction. The chief augur commanded Julian to be of good cheer, because in his judgment the victims were propitious, and since they surrounded the symbol of the Christian doctrine, and was indeed pushing into it, so that it would not spread and expand itself where it wished, since it was limited by the circumference of the circle. I have also heard that one day Julian descended into a most noted and terrific adytum, either for the purpose of participating in some initiation, or of consulting an oracle; and that, by means of machinery which is devised for this end, or of enchantments, such frightful specters were projected suddenly before him, that through perturbation and fear, he became forgetful of those who were present, for he had turned to his new religion when already a man, and so unconsciously fell into his earlier habit, and signed himself with the symbol of Christ, just as the Christian encompassed with untried dangers is wont to do. Immediately the specters disappeared and their designs were frustrated. The initiator was at first surprised at this, but when apprised of the cause of the flight of the demons, he declared that the act was a profanation; and after exhorting the emperor to be courageous and to have no recourse in deed or thought to anything connected with the Christian religion, he again conducted him to the initiation. The zeal of the king for such matters saddened the Christians not a little and made them extremely anxious, more especially as he had been himself formerly a Christian. He was born of pious parents, had been initiated in infancy according to the custom of the Church, and had been brought up in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, and was nurtured by bishops and men of the Church. He and Gallus were the sons of Constantius, the brother by the same father of Constantine the emperor, and of Dalmatius. Dalmatius had a son of the same name, who was declared C sar, and was slain by the soldiery after the death of Constantine. His fate would have been shared by Gallus and Julian, who were then orphans, had not Gallus been spared on account of a disease under which he was laboring, and from which, it was supposed, that he would soon naturally die; and Julian, on account of his extreme youth, for he was but eight years of age. After this wonderful preservation, a residence was assigned to the two brothers in a palace called Macellum, situated in Cappadocia; this imperial post was near Mount Argeus, and not far from C sarea; it contained a magnificent palace and was adorned with baths, gardens, and perennial fountains. Here they were cultured and educated in a manner corresponding to the dignity of their birth; they were taught the sciences and bodily exercises befitting their age, by masters of languages and interpreters of the Holy Scriptures, so that they were enrolled among the clergy, and read the ecclesiastical books to the people. Their habits and actions indicated no dereliction from piety. They respected the clergy and other good people and persons zealous for doctrine; they repaired regularly to church and rendered due homage to the tombs of the martyrs. It is said that they undertook to deposit the tomb of St. Mammas the martyr in a large edifice, and to divide the labor between themselves, and that while they were trying to excel one another in a rivalry of honor, an event occurred which was so astonishing that it would indeed be utterly incredible were it not for the testimony of many who are still among us, who heard it from those who were eyewitnesses of the transaction. The part of the edifice upon which Gallus labored advanced rapidly and according to wish, but of the section upon which Julian labored, a part fell into ruin; another was projected upward from the earth; a third immediately on its touching the foundation could not be held upright, but was hurled backward as if some resistant and strong force from beneath were pushing against it. This was universally regarded as a prodigy. The people, however, drew no conclusion from it till subsequent events manifested its import. There were a few who from that moment doubted the reality of Julian's religion, and suspected that he only made an outward profession of piety for fear of displeasing the emperor, who was then a Christian, and that he concealed his own sentiments because it was not safe to divulge them. It is asserted that he was first secretly led to renounce the religion of his fathers by his intercourse with diviners; for when the resentment of Constantius against the two brothers was abated, Gallus went to Asia, and took up his residence in Ephesus, where the greater part of his property was situated; and Julian repaired to Constantinople, and frequented the schools, where his fine natural abilities and ready attainments in the sciences did not remain concealed. He appeared in public in the garb of a private individual, and had much company; but because he was related to the emperor and was capable of conducting affairs and was expected to become emperor, considerable talk about him to this effect was prevalent, as is wont to be the case in a populous and imperial city, he was commanded to retire to Nicomedia. Here he became acquainted with Maximus, an Ephesian philosopher, who instructed him in philosophy, and inspired him with hatred towards the Christian religion, and moreover assured him that the much talked of prophecy about him was true. Julian, as happens in many cases, while suffering in anticipation of severe circumstances, was softened by these favorable hopes and held Maximus as his friend. As these occurrences reached the ears of Constantius, Julian became apprehensive, and accordingly shaved himself, and adopted externally the monkish mode of life, while he secretly held to the other religion. When he arrived at the age of manhood, he was more readily infatuated, and yet was anxious about these tendencies; and admiring the art (if there be such an art) of predicting the future, he thought the knowledge of it necessary; he advanced to such experiments as are not lawful for Christians. From this period he had as his friends those who followed this art. In this opinion, he came into Asia from Nicomedia, and there consorting with men of such practices, he became more ardent in the pursuit of divination. When Gallus, his brother, who had been established as C sar, was put to death on being accused of revolution, Constantius also suspected Julian of cherishing the love of empire, and therefore put him under the custody of guards. Eusebia, the wife of Constantius, obtained for him permission to retire to Athens; and he accordingly settled there, under pretext of attending the pagan exercises and schools; but as rumor says, he communed with diviners concerning his future prospects. Constantius recalled him, and proclaimed him C sar, promised him his sister Constantia in marriage, and sent him to Gaul; for the barbarians whose aid had been hired by Constantius previously against Magnentius, finding that their services were not required, had portioned out that country. As Julian was very young, generals, to whom the prudential affairs were turned over, were sent with him; but as these generals abandoned themselves to pleasure, he was present as C sar, and provided for the war. He confirmed his soldiers in their spirit for battle, and urged them in other ways to incur danger; he also ordered that a fixed reward should be given to each one who should slay a barbarian. After he had thus secured the affections of the soldiery, he wrote to Constantius, acquainting him with the levity of the generals; and when another general had been sent, he attacked the barbarians, and obtained the victory. They sent embassies to beg for peace, and showed the letter in which Constantius had requested them to enter the Roman dominions. He purposely delayed to send the ambassador back; he attacked a number of the enemy unexpectedly and conquered them. Some have said that Constantius, with designed enmity, committed this campaign to him; but this does not appear probable to me. For, as it rested with Constantius alone to nominate him C sar, why did he confer that title upon him? Why did he give him his sister in marriage, or hear his complaints against the inefficient generals, and send a competent one in their stead in order to complete the war, if he were not friendly to Julian? But as I conjecture, he conferred on him the title of C sar because he was well disposed to Julian; but that after Julian had, without his sanction, been proclaimed emperor, he plotted against him through the barbarians on the Rhine; and this, I think, resulted either from the dread that Julian would seek revenge for the ill-treatment he and his brother Gallus had experienced during their youth, or as would be natural, from jealousy of his attaining similar honor. But a great variety of opinions are entertained on this subject. 5.3. When Julian found himself sole possessor of the empire, he commanded that all the pagan temples should be reopened throughout the East; that those which had been neglected should be repaired; that those which had fallen into ruins should be rebuilt, and that the altars should be restored. He assigned considerable money for this purpose; he restored the customs of antiquity and the ancestral ceremonies in the cities, and the practice of offering sacrifice. He himself offered libations openly and publicly sacrificed; bestowed honors on those who were zealous in the performance of these ceremonies; restored the initiators and the priests, the hierophants and the servants of the images, to their old privileges; and confirmed the legislation of former emperors in their behalf; he conceded exemption from duties and from other burdens as was their previous right; he restored the provisions, which had been abolished, to the temple guardians, and commanded them to be pure from meats, and to abstain from whatever according to pagan saying was befitting him who had announced his purpose of leading a pure life. He also ordered that the nilometer and the symbols and the former ancestral tablets should be cared for in the temple of Serapis, instead of being deposited, according to the regulation, established by Constantine, in the church. He wrote frequently to the inhabitants of those cities in which he knew paganism was nourished, and urged them to ask what gifts they might desire. Towards the Christians, on the contrary, he openly manifested his aversion, refusing to honor them with his presence, or to receive their deputies who were delegated to report about grievances. When the inhabitants of Nisibis sent to implore his aid against the Persians, who were on the point of invading the Roman territories, he refused to assist them because they were wholly Christianized, and would neither reopen their temples nor resort to the sacred places; he threatened that he would not help them, nor receive their embassy, nor approach to enter their city before he should hear that they had returned to paganism. He likewise accused the inhabitants of Constantia in Palestine, of attachment to Christianity, and rendered their city tributary to that of Gaza. Constantia, as we stated before, was formerly called Majuma, and was used as a harbor for the vessels of Gaza; but on hearing that the majority of its inhabitants were Christians, Constantine elevated it to the dignity of a city, and conferred upon it the name of his own son, and a separate form of government; for he considered that it ought not to be dependent on Gaza, a city addicted to pagan rites. On the accession of Julian, the citizens of Gaza went to law against those of Constantia. The emperor himself sat as judge, and decided in favor of Gaza, and commanded that Constantia should be an appendage to that city, although it was situated at a distance of twenty stadia. Its former name having been abolished by him, it has since been denominated the maritime region of Gaza. They have now the same city magistrates, military officers, and public regulations. With respect to ecclesiastical concerns, however, they may still be regarded as two cities. They have each their own bishop and their own clergy; they celebrate festivals in honor of their respective martyrs, and in memory of the priests who successively ruled them; and the boundaries of the adjacent fields by which the altars belonging to the bishops are divided, are still preserved. It happened within our own remembrance that an attempt was made by the bishop of Gaza, on the death of the president of the church at Majuma, to unite the clergy of that town with those under his own jurisdiction; and the plea he advanced was, that it was not lawful for two bishops to preside over one city. The inhabitants of Majuma opposed this scheme, and the council of the province took cognizance of the dispute, and ordained another bishop. The council decided that it was altogether right for those who had been deemed worthy of the honors of a city on account of their piety, not to be deprived of the privilege conferred upon the priesthood and rank of their churches, through the decision of a pagan emperor, who had taken a different ground of action. But these events occurred at a later period than that now under review. 5.4. About the same time, the emperor erased C sarea, the large and wealthy metropolis of Cappadocia, situated near Mount Argeus, from the catalogue of cities, and even deprived it of the name of C sarea, which had been conferred upon it during the reign of Claudius C sar, its former name having been Mazaca. He had long regarded the inhabitants of this city with extreme aversion, because they were zealously attached to Christianity, and had formerly destroyed the temple of the ancestral Apollo and that of Jupiter, the tutelar deity of the city. The temple dedicated to Fortune, the only one remaining in the city, was overturned by the Christians after his accession; and on hearing of the deed, he hated the entire city intensely and could scarce endure it. He also blamed the pagans, who were few in number, but who ought, he said, to have hastened to the temple, and, if necessary, to have suffered cheerfully for Fortune. He caused all possessions and money belonging to the churches of the city and suburbs of C sarea to be rigorously sought out and carried away; about three hundred pounds of gold, obtained from this source, were conveyed to the public treasury. He also commanded that all the clergy should be enrolled among the troops under the governor of the province, which is accounted the most arduous and least honorable service among the Romans. He ordered the Christian populace to be numbered, women and children inclusive, and imposed taxes upon them as onerous as those to which villages are subjected. He further threatened that, unless their temples were speedily re-erected, his wrath would not be appeased, but would be visited on the city, until none of the Galileans remained in existence; for this was the name which, in derision, he was wont to give to the Christians. There is no doubt but that his menaces would have been fully executed had not death quickly intervened. It was not from any feeling of compassion towards the Christians that he treated them at first with greater humanity than had been evinced by former persecutors, but because he had discovered that paganism had derived no advantage from their tortures, while Christianity had been especially increased, and had become more honored by the fortitude of those who died in defense of the faith. It was simply from envy of their glory, that instead of employing fire and the sword against them, and maltreating their bodies like former persecutors, and instead of casting them into the sea, or burying them alive in order to compel them to a change of sentiment, he had recourse to argument and persuasion, and sought by these means to reduce them to paganism; he expected to gain his ends more easily by abandoning all violent measures, and by the manifestation of unexpected benevolence. It is said that on one occasion, when he was sacrificing in the temple of Fortune at Constantinople, Maris, bishop of Chalcedon, presented himself before him, and publicly rebuked him as an irreligous man, an atheist, and an apostate. Julian had nothing in return to reproach him with except his blindness, for his sight was impaired by old age, and he was led by a child. According to his usual custom of uttering blasphemies against Christ, Julian afterward added in derision, The Galilean, your God, will not cure you. Maris replied, 'I thank God for my blindness, since it prevents me from beholding one who has fallen away from our religion.' Julian passed on without giving a reply, for he considered that paganism would be more advanced by a personal and unexpected exhibition of patience and mildness towards Christians. 5.9. As I have advanced thus far in my history, and have given an account of the death of George and of Theodoritus, I deem it right to relate some particulars concerning the death of the three brethren, Eusebius, Nestabus, and Zeno. The inhabitants of Gaza, being inflamed with rage against them, dragged them from their house, in which they had concealed themselves and cast them into prison, and beat them. They then assembled in the theater, and cried out loudly against them, declaring that they had committed sacrilege in their temple, and had used the past opportunity for the injury and insult of paganism. By these shouts and by instigating one another to the murder of the brethren, they were filled with fury; and when they had been mutually incited, as a crowd in revolt is wont to do, they rushed to the prison. They handled the men very cruelly; sometimes with the face and sometimes with the back upon the ground, the victims were dragged along, and were dashed to pieces by the pavement. I have been told that even women quitted their distaffs and pierced them with the weaving-spindles, and that the cooks in the markets snatched from their stands the boiling pots foaming with hot water and poured it over the victims, or perforated them with spits. When they had torn the flesh from them and crushed in their skulls, so that the brain ran out on the ground, their bodies were dragged out of the city and flung on the spot generally used as a receptacle for the carcasses of beasts; then a large fire was lighted, and they burned the bodies; the remt of the bones not consumed by the fire was mixed with those of camels and asses, that they might not be found easily. But they were not long concealed; for a Christian woman, who was an inhabitant, though not a native of Gaza, collected the bones at night by the direction of God. She put them in an earthen pot and gave them to Zeno, their cousin, to keep, for thus God had informed her in a dream, and also had indicated to the woman where the man lived: and before she saw him, he was shown to her, for she was previously unacquainted with Zeno; and when the persecution had been agitated recently he remained concealed. He was within a little of being seized by the people of Gaza and being put to death; but he had effected his escape while the people were occupied in the murder of his cousins, and had fled to Anthedon, a maritime city, about twenty stadia from Gaza and similarly favorable to paganism and devoted to idolatry. When the inhabitants of this city discovered that he was a Christian, they beat him terribly on the back with rods and drove him out of the city. He then fled to the harbor of Gaza and concealed himself; and here the woman found him and gave him the remains. He kept them carefully in his house until the reign of Theodosius, when he was ordained bishop; and he erected a house of prayer beyond the walls of the city, placed an altar there, and deposited the bones of the martyrs near those of Nestor, the Confessor. Nestor had been on terms of intimacy with his cousins, and was seized with them by the people of Gaza, imprisoned, and scourged. But those who dragged him through the city were affected by his personal beauty; and, struck with compassion, they cast him, before he was quite dead, out of the city. Some persons found him, and carried him to the house of Zeno, where he expired during the dressing of his cuts and wounds. When the inhabitants of Gaza began to reflect on the enormity of their crime, they trembled lest the emperor should take vengeance on them. It was reported that the emperor was filled with indignation, and had determined upon punishing the decuria; but this report was false, and had no foundation save in the fears and self-accusations of the criminals. Julian, far from evincing as much anger against them as he had manifested against the Alexandrians on the murder of George, did not even write to rebuke the people of Gaza. On the contrary, he deposed the governor of the province, and held him as a suspect, and represented that clemency alone prevented his being put to death. The crime imputed to him was, that of having arrested some of the inhabitants of Gaza, who were reported to have begun the sedition and murders, and of having imprisoned them until judgment could be passed upon them in accordance with the laws. For what right had he, asked the emperor, to arrest the citizens merely for retaliating on a few Galileans the injuries that had been inflicted on them and their gods? This, it is said, was the fact in the case. 5.10. At the same period the inhabitants of Gaza sought for the monk Hilarion; but he had fled to Sicily. Here he employed himself in collecting wood in the deserts and on the mountains, which he carried on his shoulders for sale in the cities, and, by these means, obtained sufficient food for the support of the body. But as he was at length recognized by a man of quality whom he had dispossessed of a demon, he retired to Dalmatia, where, by the power of God, he performed numerous miracles, and through prayer, repressed an inundation of the sea and restored the waves to their proper bounds, and again departed, for it was no joy to him to live among those who praised him; but when he changed his place of abode, he was desirous of being unobserved and by frequent migrations to be rid of the fame which prevailed about him. Eventually he sailed for the island of Cyprus, but touched at Paphos, and, at the entreaty of the bishop of Cyprus, he loved the life there and practiced philosophy at a place called Charburis. Here he only escaped martyrdom by flight; for he fled in compliance with the Divine precept which commands us not to expose ourselves to persecution; but that if we fall into the hands of persecutors, to overcome by our own fortitude the violence of our oppressors. The inhabitants of Gaza and of Alexandria were not the only citizens who exercised such atrocities against the Christians as those I have described. The inhabitants of Heliopolis, near Mount Libanus, and of Arethusa in Syria, seem to have surpassed them in excess of cruelty. The former were guilty of an act of barbarity which could scarcely be credited, had it not been corroborated by the testimony of those who witnessed it. They stripped the holy virgins, who had never been looked upon by the multitude, of their garments, and exposed them in a state of nudity as a public spectacle and objects of insult. After numerous other inflictions they at last shaved them, ripped them open, and concealed in their viscera the food usually given to pigs; and since the swine could not distinguish, but were impelled by the need of their customary food, they also tore in pieces the human flesh. I am convinced that the citizens of Heliopolis perpetrated this barbarity against the holy virgins on account of the prohibition of the ancient custom of yielding up virgins to prostitution with any chance comer before being united in marriage to their betrothed. This custom was prohibited by a law enacted by Constantine, after he had destroyed the temple of Venus at Heliopolis, and erected a church upon its ruins. Mark, bishop of Arethusa, an old man and venerable for his gray hairs and life, was put to a very cruel death by the inhabitants of that city, who had long entertained inimical feelings against him, because, during the reign of Constantine, he had more spiritedly than persuasively elevated the pagans to Christianity, and had demolished a most sacred and magnificent temple. On the accession of Julian he saw that the people were excited against the bishop; an edict was issued commanding the bishop either to defray the expenses of its re-erection, or to rebuild the temple. Reflecting that the one was impossible and the other unlawful for a Christian and still less for a priest, he at first fled from the city. On hearing, however, that many were suffering on his account, that some were dragged before the tribunals and others tortured, he returned, and offered to suffer whatever the multitude might choose to inflict upon him. The entire people, instead of admiring him the more as having manifested a deed befitting a philosopher, conceived that he was actuated by contempt towards them, and rushed upon him, dragged him through the streets, pressing and plucking and beating whatever member each one happened upon. People of each sex and of all ages joined with alacrity and fury in this atrocious proceeding. His ears were severed by fine ropes; the boys who frequented the schools made game of him by tossing him aloft and rolling him over and over, sending him forward, catching him up, and unsparingly piercing him with their styles. When his whole body was covered with wounds, and he nevertheless was still breathing, they anointed him with honey and a certain mixture, and placing him in a fish-basket made of woven rushes, raised him up on an eminence. It is said that while he was in this position, and the wasps and bees lit upon him and consumed his flesh, he told the inhabitants of Arethusa that he was raised up above them, and could look down upon them below him, and that this reminded him of the difference that would exist between them in the life to come. It is also related that the prefect who, although a pagan, was of such noble conduct that his memory is still honored in that country, admired the self-control of Mark, and boldly uttered reproaches against the emperor for allowing himself to be vanquished by an old man, who was exposed to innumerable tortures; and he added that such proceedings reflected ridicule on the emperor, while the names of the persecuted were at the same time rendered illustrious. Thus did the blessed one endure all the torments inflicted upon him by the inhabitants of Arethusa with such unshaken fortitude that even the pagans praised him. 5.19. Julian, having determined upon undertaking a war against Persia, repaired to Antioch in Syria. The people loudly complained, that, although provisions were very abundant the price affixed to them was very high. Accordingly, the emperor, from liberality, as I believe, towards the people, reduced the price of provisions to so low a scale that the vendors fled the city. A scarcity in consequence ensued, for which the people blamed the emperor; and their resentment found vent in ridiculing the length of his beard, and the bulls which he had had stamped upon his coins; and they satirically remarked, that he upset the world in the same way that his priests, when offering sacrifice, threw down the victims. At first his displeasure was excited, and he threatened to punish them and prepared to depart for Tarsus. Afterwards, however, he suppressed his feelings of indignation, and repaid their ridicule by words alone; he composed a very elegant work under the title of Aversion to Beards, which he sent to them. He treated the Christians of the city precisely in the same manner as at other places, and endeavored, as far as possible, to promote the extension of paganism. I shall here recount some of the details connected with the tomb of Babylas, the martyr, and certain occurrences which took place about this period in the temple of Apollo at Daphne. Daphne is a suburb of Antioch, and is planted with cypresses and other trees, beneath which all kinds of flowers flourish in their season. The branches of these trees are so thick and interlaced that they may be said to form a roof rather than merely to afford shade, and the rays of the sun can never pierce through them to the soil beneath. It is made delicious and exceedingly lovely by the richness and beauty of the waters, the temperateness of the air, and the breath of friendly winds. The Greeks invent the myth that Daphne, the daughter of the river Ladon, was here changed into a tree which bears her name, while she was fleeing from Arcadia, to evade the love of Apollo. The passion of Apollo was not diminished, they say, by this transformation; he made a crown of the leaves of his beloved and embraced the tree. He afterwards often fixed his residence on this spot, as being dearer to him than any other place. Men of grave temperament, however, considered it disgraceful to approach this suburb; for the position and nature of the place seemed to excite voluptuous feelings; and the substance of the fable itself being erotic, afforded a measurable impulse and redoubled the passions among corrupt youths. They, who furnished this myth as an excuse, were greatly inflamed and gave way without constraint to profligate deeds, incapable of being continent themselves, or of enduring the presence of those who were continent. Any one who dwelt at Daphne without a mistress was regarded as callous and ungracious, and was shunned as an abominable and abhorrent thing. The pagans likewise manifested great reverence for this place on account of a very beautiful statue of the Daphnic Apollo which stood here, as also a magnificent and costly temple, supposed to have been built by Seleucus, the father of Antiochus, who gave his name to the city of Antioch. Those who attach credit to fables of this kind believe that a stream flows from the fountain Castalia which confers the power of predicting the future, and which is similar in its name and powers to the fountain of Delphi. It is related that Adrian here received intimation of his future greatness, when he was but a private individual; and that he dipped a leaf of the laurel into the water and found written thereon an account of his destiny. When he became emperor, it is said, he commanded the fountain to be closed, in order that no one might be enabled to pry into the knowledge of the future. But I leave this subject to those who are more accurately acquainted with mythology than I am. When Gallus, the brother of Julian, had been declared C sar by Constantius, and had fixed his residence at Antioch, his zeal for the Christian religion and his veneration for the memory of the martyrs determined him to purge the place of the pagan superstition and the outrages of profligates. He considered that the readiest method of effecting this object would be to erect a house of prayer in the temple and to transfer there the tomb of Babylas, the martyr, who had, with great reputation to himself, presided over the church of Antioch, and suffered martyrdom. It is said that from the time of this translation, the demon ceased to utter oracles. This silence was at first attributed to the neglect into which his service was allowed to fall and to the omission of the former cult; but results proved that it was occasioned solely by the presence of the holy martyr. The silence continued unbroken even when Julian was the sole ruler of the Roman Empire, although libations, incense, and victims were offered in abundance to the demon; for when eventually the oracle itself spoke and indicated the cause of its previous silence, the emperor himself entered the temple for the purpose of consulting the oracle, and offering up gifts and sacrifices with entreaties to grant a reply. The demon did not openly admit that the hindrance was occasioned by the tomb of Babylas, the martyr, but he stated that the place was filled with dead bodies, and that this prevented the oracle from speaking. Although many interments had taken place at Daphne, the emperor perceived that it was the presence of Babylas, the martyr, alone which had silenced the oracle, and he commanded his tomb to be removed. The Christians, therefore, assembled together and conveyed the coffin to the city, about forty stadia distant, and deposited it in the place where it is still preserved, and to which the name of the martyr has been given. It is said that men and women, young men and maidens, old men and children drew the casket, and encouraged one another by singing psalms as they went along the road, apparently for the purpose of lightening their labor, but in truth because they were transported by zeal and spirit for their kindred religious belief, which the emperor had opposed. The best singers sang first, and the multitude replied in chorus, and the following was the burden of their song: Confounded are all they who worship graven images, who boast themselves in idols.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aigai in cilicia, asclepius sanctuary Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 49
alexandria, serapeum Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 50
antioch, site of imperial court under julian Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 1255
apamea, temple of jupiter Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 50
aphaca, temple of aphrodite Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 49
aphrodite (goddess) Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 2
christianization Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 2
constantine i (emperor) Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 49, 50
heliopolis (baalbek) Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 2
iamblichus, neoplatonist Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 1255
jerusalem Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 49, 50
julian (emperor) Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 49, 50
julian (the apostate), generally Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 1255, 1268
julian (the apostate), interest in prophecy Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 1255
julian (the apostate), life Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 1255
julian (the apostate), neo-platonism Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 1255
mambre, sanctuary Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 49
martyrium, martyr Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 50
neo-platonism, and julian Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 1255
oracle Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 50
orthodoxy Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 50
pagan, paganism Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 2
piety, imperial Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 49, 50
sacrifice Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 49
socrates (church historian) Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 49
sozomen (church historian) Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 49
temple destruction' Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 2
theodoret (church historian) Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 50
theodosius i (emperor) Hahn Emmel and Gotter, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2008) 50