« ForrigeFortsett »
WANT OF NATIONAL EMULATION'.
national character, a similar emulation was kindled among the states of Latium and Italy; and in the arts and sciences they aspired to equal or surpass their Grecian masters. The empire of the Caesars undoubtedly checked the activity and progress of the human mind: its magnitude might indeed allow some scope for domestic competition; but when it was gradually reduced, at first to the East, and at last to Greece and Constantinople, the Byzantine subjects were degraded to an abject and languid temper, the natural effect of their solitary and insulated state. From the North they were oppressed by nameless tribes of barbarians, to whom they scarcely imparted the appellation of men. The language and religion of the more polished Arabs were an insurmountable bar to all social intercourse. The conquerors of Europe were their brethren in the Christian faith; but the speech of the Franks or Latins was unknown, their manners were rude, and they were rarely connected, in peace or war, with the successors of Heraclius. Alone in the universe, the self-satisfied pride of the Greeks was not disturbed by the comparison of foreign merit: and it is no wonder if they fainted in the race, since they had neither competitors to urge their speed, nor judges to crown their victory. The nations of Europe and Asia were mingled by the expeditions to the Holy Land; and it is under the Comnenian dynasty that a faint emulation of knowledge and military virtue was rekindled in the Byzantine empire.
Note A. (See p. 2.)
As Gibbon has not given an account of the Byzantine law in any part of his work, a brief history of its sources may be stated in this place, more especially as the labours of modern scholium have thrown new light upon the subject. Although the compilation of Justinian was mainly intended for peoples who spoke Greek, the emperor restricted its use by promulgating it in the Latin language, which was unintelligible to the greater part of his subjects. This defect was remedied to a great extent by a Greek school of jurists, which had flourished even before his reign, and who translated the Corpus Juris into the Greek language. The consequence was that the original was soon disused throughout the Eastern empire, and that Greek translations of the Institutions, the Pandects, and the Code usurped their place. These translations, however, were not skimped by any official authority; and in the times of confusion which followed the reign of Heniclius even the translations were neglected, and their place was supplied by
the writings of commentators, who had published abridgments of the laws. Leo Ill., the Isaurian, attempted to remedy this evil by publishing a Greek Manual of Law, which became the primary authority in all the courts of the empire. This Manual, which was revised by Constantino CopronymuB, the son of Leo, bore the title of t'clo/n ('Exliy*) T*» ><-f"»), and is still extant in many manuscripts, which till a recent time were erroneously supposed to be the ProcMron, or Manual of Basil, Constantine, and Leo, of which we shall speak presently. The l-xluj't of L«o and Constantine Copronymus contains eighteen titles, and adopts an order entirely different from that of the Institutions of Justinian. It omits entirely several very important matters, such as servitudes and the different modes of acquiring property. Its authority was abrogated by Basil I., who severely censures it on account of its iiiqierfections, and declares it to be an insult to the earlier legislators. It was not, however, entirely disused, since the MSS. which
THE BYZANTINE LAW.
contain it are all later than the ninth century.
A more complete reform in the Byzantine law was effected by Basil I. His legislation was comprised in three works: — 1. ProcUinn (r(ox"l»i Gees), a manual intended to serve as an introduction to the science. 2. Basilica (tx fanXixa), a revision of the ancient laws. 3. Epamgoge ('T.-r*my*y>i r£> '«/&»>), a second edition of the Prochiron Manual published after the Basilica.
The Prochiron is issued in the names of Basil, and of his two sons, Constantine and Leo, and was probably published in A.d. 870. It contains forty titles. The former half of the work is executed in an entirely different manner from the latter. In the first twenty titles the same plan has been followed as in the Basilica: the extracts from the Institutions are first given, and these are followed successively by extracts from the Pandects. Code, Novella; of Justinian, and then by the Novelise of subsequent emperors; but in the last twenty titles this well-arranged plan is abandoned, from a determination to hurry the work to a conclusion. The Ecloga of Leo, which Basil so strongly condemns, now becomes the basis of his work; the extracts from the Institutions and the Novella, are very numerous, while the Pandects and the Code are almost entirely neglected. A complete edition of the Prochiron was published for the first time by Zacharia in 1837.
The Basilica contains a complete code of Byzantine law. It was originally published by Basil about 884, under the title of the Revision of the Old Laws (*A«axaftunf r£t trttkauit lofiw). It was divided into forty books, although Basil in his Prochiron had announced that the new Code would consist of sixty books. This Code, however, was again revised and enlarged by Leo the Philosopher, and was published in his own name and that of his son Constantine Porphyrogenitus between 905 and 911. It is this new and revised
Code in sixty books which we now possess under the title of Basilica or Imperial laws. The earlier code of Basil has entirely disappeared. The Basilica, like the compilation of Justinian, is a collection of all the authorities of Byzantine law. It is compiled from the Greek translations of Justinian's laws, and from the Greek commentaries on them, which had received the sanction of the Byzantine legal schools. It was not a new translation of the Latin text of Justinian, but it employed the Greek texts which had been in existence more than three centuries. Each of the sixty books is distributed into titles, which are again subdivided into chapters and paragraphs. Each title contains, with more or less accuracy, all the laws relating to this subject in the Institutions, the Pandects, the Code, and the Novella?, and thus presents in one place the enactments upon a subject previously dispersed in four collections. The Basilica does not contain everything which is found in the Corpus Juris, but it contains numerous fragments of the opinions of the ancient jurists and of imperial constitutions which are not in the compilation of Justinian. There is no complete MS. of the Basilica. The best edition is by Heimbach, in five volumes 4to., Leipzig, 1833, seq.
The publication of the Basilica led to the gradual disuse of the original compilations of Justinian in the East. But the Roman law was thus more firmly established in Eastern Europe and Western Asia. The Basilica continued to be the law of the Byzantine empire till its conquest by the Turks, and has been declared to be the law of the new kingdom of Greece.
The best histories of the Byzantine law are by Zacharia, Histories Juris GreecoRomani Delineatio, and by Montreuil, Histoire du Droit Byzantin, Paris, 3 vols. 8vo., 1843-46. See also Finlay, History of the Byzantine Empire, vol. i. p. 280,, seq.—S.
40 SUPERSTITION OF THE GREEK CHURCH. Chap. LIY.
Origin And Doctrine Of The Paulicians. — Their Persecution By The Greek Emperors. — Revolt In Armenia, Etc. — Transplantation Into Thrace. — Propa«ation In The West. — The Seeds, Character, And Consequences Of The Reformation.
In the profession of Christianity the variety of national characters snpine may be clearly distinguished. The natives of Syria and rfTf'o'rMk Egypt abandoned their lives to lazy and contemplative churek devotion: Rome again aspired to the dominion of the world; and the wit of the lively and loquacious Greeks was consumed in the disputes of metaphysical theology. The incomprehensible mysteries of the Trinity and Incarnation, instead of commanding their silent submission, were agitated in vehement and subtle controversies, which enlarged their faith at the expense, perhaps, of their charity and reason. From the council of Nice to the end of the seventh century the peace and unity of the church was invaded by these spiritual wars; and so deeply did they affect the decline and fall of the empire, that the historian has too often been compelled to attend the synods, to explore the creeds, and to enumerate the sects, of this busy period of ecclesiastical annals. From the beginning of the eighth century to the last ages of the Byzantine empire the sound of controversy was seldom heard: curiosity was exhausted, zeal was fatigued, and in the decrees of six councils the articles of the Catholic faith had been irrevocably defined. The spirit of dispute, however vain and pernicious, requires some energy and exercise of the mental faculties; and the prostrate Greeks were content to fast, to pray, and to believe in blind obedience to the patriarch and his clergy. During a long dream of superstition the Virgin and the saints, their visions and miracles, their relics and images, were preached by the monks, and worshipped by the people; and the appellation of people might be extended, without injustice, to the first ranks of civil society. At an unseasonable moment the Isaurian emperors attempted somewhat rudely to awaken their subjects: under their influence reason might obtain some proselytes, a far greater number was swayed by interest or fear; but the Eastern world embraced or deplored their visible deities, and the restoration of images was celebrated as the feast of orthodoxy. In this passive
A.D. 600. ORIGIN OF THE PAUMCIANS. 47
and unanimous state the ecclesiastical rulers were relieved from the toil, or deprived of the pleasure, of persecution. The Pagans had disappeared; the Jews were silent and obscure; the disputes with the Latins were rare and remote hostilities against a national enemy; and the sects of Egypt and Syria enjoyed a free toleration under the shadow of the Arabian caliphs. About the middle of the seventh century a branch of Manichffians was selected as the victims of spiritual tyranny : their patience was at length exasperated to despair and rebellion; and their exile has scattered over the West the seeds of reformation. These important events will justify some inquiry into the doctrine and story of the Paulicians ;' and, as they cannot plead for themselves, our candid criticism will magnify the good, and abate or suspect the evil, that is reported by their adversaries.
The Gnostics, who had distracted the infancy, were oppressed by the greatness and authority of the church. Instead of emu- origjn of lating or surpassing the wealth, learning, and numbers of ^,5*""" the Catholics, their obscure remnant was driven from the stTffl1,0' capitals of the East and West, and confined to the villages *•"•660'&cand mountains along the borders of the Euphrates. Some vestige of the Marcionites may be detected in the fifth century ;2 but the numerous sects were finally lost in the odious name of the Manichaeans: and these heretics, who presumed to reconcile the doctrines of Zoroaster and Christ, were pursued by the two religions with equal and unrelenting hatred. Under the grandson of Heraclius, in the neighbourhood of Samosata, more famous for the birth of Lucian than for the title of a Syrian kingdom, a reformer arose, esteemed by the Paulicians as the chosen messenger of truth. In his humble dwelling of Mananalis, Constantine entertained a deacon who returned from Syrian captivity, and received the inestimable gift of the New Testament, which was already concealed from the vulgar by the prudence of the Greek, and perhaps of the Gnostic, clergy.3 These books be
1 The errors and virtues of the Paulicians are weighed, with his usual judgment and candour, by the learned Mosheini (Hist. Ecclesiast. seculuru ix. p. 311, &C.). He draws his original intelligence from Photius (contra Manichteos, 1. i.)and Peter Siculus (Hist. Manichseoruin). The first of these accounts has not fallen into my hands; the second, which Mosheim prefers, I have read in a Latin version inserted in the Maxima Bibliotheca Patrum (tom. xvi. p. 754-764; from the edition of the Jesuit Raderus (Ingolstadii, 1604, in 4to.).'
3 In the time of Theodoret, the diocese of Cyrrhus, in Syria, contained eight hundred villages. Of these, two were inhabited by Arians and Eunomians, and eight by Marcionites, whom the laborious bishop reconciled to the Catholic church (Dupin, Biblioth. Ecclesiastique, tom. iv. p. 81, 8'2).
1 Nobis profanis ista (sacra Evangelia) legere non licet Bed sacerdotibus duntaxat,
* Compare Hallam's Middle Ages, "to be accurate as well as luminous, and vol. iii. p. 379, 10th ed. Mr. Hallam "is at least far superior to any modern justly observes that this chapter "appears "work on the subject."—M.
48 THE PAULICIANS: THEIR lilllLE. Chap. UV.
came the measure of his studies and the rule of his faith; and the Catholics, who dispute his interpretation, acknowledge that his text was genuine and sincere. But he attached himself with peculiar devotion to the writings and character of St Paul: the name of the Paulicians is derived by their enemies from some unknown and domestic teacher; but I am confident that they gloried in their affinity to the apostle of the Gentiles. His disciples, Titus, Timothy, Sylvanus, Tychichus, were represented by Constantine and his fellowlabourers: the names of the apostolic churches were applied to the congregations which they assembled in Armenia and Cappadocia; and this innocent allegory revived the example and memory of the •nie,r first ages. In the Gospel and the Epistles of St. Paul his Uiblc- faithful follower investigated the creed of primitive Christianity; and, whatever might be the success, a Protestant reader will applaud the spirit of the inquiry. But if the Scriptures of the Paulicians were pure, they were not perfect Their founders rejected the two Epistles of St. Peter,' the apostle of the circumcision, whose dispute with their favourite for the observance of the law could not easily be forgiven.1 They agreed with their Gnostic brethren in the universal contempt for the Old Testament, the books of Moses and the prophets, which have been consecrated by the decrees of the Catholic church. With equal boldness, and doubtless with more reason, Constantine, the new Sylvanus, disclaimed the visions which in so many bulky and splendid volumes had been published by the Oriental sects;6 the fabulous productions of the Hebrew patriarchs and the sages of the East; the spurious gospels, epistles, and acts, which in the first age had overwhelmed the orthodox code; the theology of Manes, and the authors of the kindred heresies; and the thirty generations, or aeons, which had been created by the fruitful fancy of Valentine. The Paulicians sincerely condemned the memory
was the first scruple of a Catholic when he was advised to read the Bible (Petr. Sicul. p. 761).
* In rejecting the second Epistle of St. Peter, the Paulicians are justified by some of the most respectable of the ancients and moderns (see Wetstein ad loc Simon, Hist. Critique du Nouveau Testament, c. 17). They likewise overlooked the Apocalypse (Petr. Sicul. p. 756); but as such neglect is not imputed as a crime, the Greeks of the ixth century must have been careless of the credit and honour of the Revelations.
4 This contention, which has not escaped the malice of Porphyry, supposes some error and passion in one or both of the apostles. By Clirysostotn, Jerome and Erasmus, it is represented as a sham quarrel, a pious fraud, for the benefit of the Gentiles and the correction of the Jews (Middleton's Works, vol. ii. p. 1-20).
6 Those who are curious of this heterodox library may consult the researches of Beausobre (Hist. Critique du Maniche'isme, torn. i. p. 305-437). Even in Africa, St. Austin could describe the Manichsean books, tarn multi, tain grandes, tam pretiosi codices (contra Faust, xiii. 14); but he adds, without pity, Incondite omnes illas membranas: and his advice has been rigorously followed.