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translation of the empire, the remote and the imme- CHAP.
diate consequences of that memorable event were strangely confounded by the vanity of the Greeks, and the credulity of the Latins." It was asserted, and believed, that all the noble families of Rome, the senate, and the equestrian order, with their innumerable attendants, had followed their emperor to the banks of the Propontis; that a spurious race of strangers and plebeians was left to possess the solitude of the ancient capital; and that the lands of Italy, long since converted into gardens, were at once deprived of cultivation and inhabitants.” In the course of this history, such exaggerations will be reduced to their just value: yet, since the growth of Constantinople cannot be ascribed to the general increase of mankind and of industry, it must be admitted, that this artificial colony was raised at the expense of the ancient cities of the empire. Many opulent senators of Rome, and of the Eastern provinces, were probably invited by Constantine to adopt for their country the fortunate spot which he had chosen for his own residence. The invitations of a master are scarcely to be distinguished from commands; and the liberality of the emperor obtained a ready and cheerful obedience. He bestowed on his favourites the palaces which he had built in the several quarters of the city, assigned them lands and pensions for the
• Liutprand Legatio ad Imp. Nicephorum, p. 153. The modern Greeks have strangely disfigured the antiquities of Constantinople. We might excuse the errors of the Turkish or Arabian writers; but it is somewhat astonishing, that the Greeks, who had access to the authentic materials preserved in their own language, should prefer fiction to truth, and loose tradition to genuine history. In a single page of Codinus we may detect twelve unpardonable mistakes; the reconciliation of Severus and Niger, the marriage of their son and daughter, the siege of Byzantium by the Macedonians, the invasion of the Gauls, which recalled Severus to Rome, the sixty years which elapsed from his death to the foundation of Constantinople, &c.
* Montesquieu, Grandeur et Decadence des Romains, c. 17.
support of their dignity," and alienated the demesnes of Pontus and Asia to grant hereditary estates by the easy tenure of maintaining a house in the capital." But these encouragements and obligations soon became superfluous, and were gradually abolished. Wherever the seat of government is fixed, a considerable part of the public revenue will be expended by the prince himself, by his ministers, by the officers of justice, and by the domestics of the palace. The most wealthy of the provincials will be attracted by the powerful motives of interest and duty, of amusement and curiosity. A third and more numerous class of inhabitants will insensibly be formed, of servants, of artificers, and of merchants, who derive their subsistence from their own labour, and from the wants or luxury of the superior ranks. In less than a century, Constantinople disputed with Rome itself the pre-eminence of riches and numbers. New piles of buildings, crowded together with too little regard to health or convenience, scarcely allowed the intervals of narrow streets for the perpetual throng of men, of horses, and of carriages. The allotted space of ground was insufficient to contain the increasing people; and the additional foundations, which, on either side, were advanced into the sea, might alone have composed a very considerable city."
* Themist. Orat. iii. p. 48. edit. Hardouin. Sozomen, l. ii. c. 3. Zosim. l. ii. p. 107. Anonym. Walesian. p. 715. If we could credit Codinus (p. 10), Constantine built houses for the senators on the exact model of their Roman palaces, and gratified them, as well as himself, with the pleasure of an agreeable surprise; but the whole story is full of fictions and inconsistencies.
* The law by which the younger Theodosius, in the year 438, abolished this tenure, may be found among the Novellae of that emperor at the end of the Theodosian Code, tom. vi. nov. 12. M. de Tillemont (Hist, des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 371) has evidently mistaken the nature of these estates. With a grant from the imperial demesnes, the same condition was accepted as a favour, which would justly have been deemed a hardship, if it had been imposed upon private property.
* The passages of Zosimus, of Eunapius, of Sozomen, and of Agathius, which relate to the increase of buildings and inhabitants at Constantinople, are collected and connected by Gyllius de Byzant. l. i. c. 3. Sidonius Apollinaris (in Panegyr. Anthem. 56. p. 290. edit. Sirmond) describes the moles that were pushed forwards into the sea; they consisted of the famous Puzzolan sand, which hardens in the water.
The frequent and regular distributions of wine and go. oil, of corn or bread, of money or provisions, had e almost exempted the poorest citizens of Rome from Privilege. the necessity of labour. The magnificence of the first Caesars was in some measure imitated by the founder of Constantinople:" but his liberality, however it might excite the applause of the people, has incurred the censure of posterity. A nation of legislators and conquerors might assert their claim to the harvests of Africa, which had been purchased with their blood; and it was artfully contrived by Augustus, that, in the enjoyment of plenty, the Romans should lose the memory of freedom. But the prodigality of Constantine could not be excused by any consideration either of public or private interest; and the annual tribute of corn imposed upon Egypt, for the benefit of his new capital, was applied to feed a lazy and indolent populace, at the expense of the husbandmen of an industrious province.” Some other regulations of this emperor are less liable to blame, but they are less deserving of notice. He divided Constantinople into fourteen regions or quarters," dignified the public council with the appellation of
* Sozomen, l. ii. c. 3. Philostorg. l. ii. c. 9. Codin. Antiquitat. Const. p. 8. It appears by Socrates, l. ii. c. 13, that the daily allowances of the city consisted of eight myriads of arov, which we may either translate with Walesius by the words modii of corn, or consider as expressive of the number of loaves of bread.
s See Cod. Theodos. l. xiii. and xiv. and Cod. Justinian. Edict. xii. tom. ii. p. 648. edit. Genev. See the beautiful complaint of Rome in the poem of Claudian de Bell. Gildonico, ver. 46–64.
Cum subiit par Roma mihi, divisaque sumsit
* The regions of Constantinople are mentioned in the code of Justinian, and particularly described in the Notitia of the younger Theodosius; but as the four last of them are not included within the wall of Constantine, it may be doubted whether this division of the city should be referred to the founder.
senate,' communicated to the citizens the privileges of Italy, and bestowed on the rising city the title of Colony, the first and most favoured daughter of ancient Rome. The venerable parent still maintained the legal and acknowledged supremacy, which was due to her age, to her dignity, and to the remembrance of her former greatness." As Constantine urged the progress of the work with the impatience of a lover, the walls, the porticoes, and the principal edifices were completed in a few years, or, according to another account, in a few months: but this extraordinary diligence should excite the less admiration, since many of the buildings were finished in so hasty and imperfect a manner,
* Senatum constituit secundi ordinis; Claros vocavit. Anonym. Walesian. p. 715. The senators of old Rome were styled Clarissimi. See a curious note of Walesius ad Ammian. Marcellin. xxii. 9. From the eleventh epistle of Julian, it should seem that the place of senator was considered as a burthen, rather than as an honour; but the Abbé de la Bleterie (Wie de Jovien, tom. ii. p. 371) has shown that this epistle could not relate to Constantinople. Might we not read, instead of the celebrated name of Bvozvrious, the obscure but more probable word Burawényol; P Bisanthe or Rhoedestus, now Rhodosto, was a small maritime city of Thrace. See Stephan. Byz de Urbibus, p. 225, and Cellar. Geograph. tom. i. p. 849.
j Cod. Theodos. l. xiv. 13. The commentary of Godefroy (tom. v. p. 220) is long, but perplexed; nor indeed is it easy to ascertain in what the Jus Italicum could consist, after the freedom of the city had been communicated to the whole empire.
* Julian (Orat. i. p. 8) celebrates Constantinople as not less superior to all other cities, than she was inferior to Rome itself. His learned commentator (Spanheim, p. 75, 76) justifies this language by several parallel and contemporary instances. Zosimus, as well as Socrates and Sozomen, flourished after the division of the empire between the two sons of Theodosius, which established a perfect equality between the old and the new capital.
* Codinus (Antiquitat. p. 8) affirms, that the foundations of Constantinople were laid in the year of the world 5837 (A. D. 329), on the 26th of September, and that the city was dedicated the 11th of May 5838 (A. D. 330). He connects these dates with several characteristic epochs, but they contradict each other; the authority of Codinus is of little weight, and the space which he assigns must appear insufficient. The term of ten years is given us by Julian (Orat. i. p. 8); and Spanheim labours to establish the truth of it (p. 69–75), by the help of two passages from Themistius (Orat. iv. p. 58) and Philostorgius (l. ii. c. 9), which form a period from the year 324 to the year 334. Modern critics are divided concerning this point of chronology, and their different sentiments are very accurately discussed by Tillemont, Hist, des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 619–625.
that, under the succeeding reign, they were preserved CHAP.
with difficulty from impending ruin." But while they displayed the vigour and freshness of youth, the founder prepared to celebrate the dedication of his city." The games and largesses which crowned the pomp of this memorable festival may easily be supposed: but there is one circumstance of a more singular and permanent nature, which ought not entirely to be overlooked. As often as the birthday of the city returned, the statue of Constantine, framed by his order, of gilt wood, and bearing in its right hand a small image of the Genius of the place, was erected on a triumphal car. The guards, carrying white tapers, and clothed in their richest apparel, accompanied the solemn procession as it moved through the Hippodrome. When it was opposite to the throne of the reigning emperor, he rose from his seat, and with grateful reverence adored the memory of his predecessor.” At the festival of the dedication, an edict, engraved on a column of marble, bestowed the title of SEcond or NEw RomE on the city of Constantine.” But the name of Constantinople" has prevailed over that honourable epithet ; and after the revolution of fourteen centuries, still perpetuates the fame of its author."
m Themistius, Orat. iii. p. 47. Zosim. l. ii. p. 108. Constantine himself, in one of his laws (Cod. Theod. l. xv. tit. i.), betrays his impatience. n Cedrenus and Zonaras, faithful to the mode of superstition which prevailed in their own times, assure us that Constantinople was consecrated to the virgin Mother of God. • The earliest and most complete account of this extraordinary ceremony may be found in the Alexandrian Chronicle, p. 285. Tillemont, and the other friends of Constantine, who are offended with the air of Paganism which seems unworthy of a Christian prince, had a right to consider it as doubtful, but they were not authorised to omit the mention of it. P Sozomen, l. ii. c. 2. Ducange C. P. l. i. c. 6. Velutipsius Roma filiam, is the expression of Augustin. de Civitat. Dei, l. v. c. 25. * Eutropius, l. x. c. 8. Julian. Orat. i. p. 8. Ducange C. P. l. i. c. 5. The name of Constantinople is extant on the medals of Constantine. * The lively Fontenelle (Dialogues des Morts, xii) affects to deride the vanity of human ambition, and seems to triumph in the disappointment of Constantine,