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on the chastity of his fathers wife; and easily obtained, from the jealousy of the emperor, a sentence of death against a young prince whom she considered with reason as the most formidable rival of her own children. But Helena, the aged mother of Constantine, lamented and revenged the untimely fate of her grandson Crispus : nor was it long before a real or pretended discovery was made, that Fausta herself entertained a criminal connexion with a slave belonging to the Imperial stables.” Her condemnation and punishment were the instant consequences of the charge ; and the adulteress was suffocated by the steam of a bath, which, for that purpose, had been heated to an extraordinary degree.* By some it will perhaps be thought, that the remembrance of a conjugal union of twenty years, and the honour of their common offspring, the destined heirs of the throne, might have softened the obdurate heart of Constantine; and persuaded him to suffer his wife, however guilty she might appear, to expiate her offences in a solitary prison. But it seems a superfluous labour to weigh the propriety, unless we could ascertain the truth, of this singular event; which is attended with some circumstances of doubt and perplexity. Those who have attacked, and those who have defended, the character of Constantine have alike disregarded two very remarkable passages of two orations pronounced under the succeeding reign. The former celebrates the virtues, the beauty, and the fortune of the empress Fausta, the daughter, wife, sister, and mother of so many princes.” The latter asserts, in explicit terms, that the mother of the younger Constantine, who was slain three years after his father's death, survived to weep over the fate of her son.” Notwithstanding the positive testimony of several writers of the Pagan as well as of the Christian religion, there may still remain some reason to believe, or at least to suspect, that Fausta escaped the blind and suspicious cruelty of her husband. The deaths of a son, and of a nephew, with the execution of a great number of respectable and perhaps innocent friends,” who were involved in their fall, may be sufficient, however, to justify the discontent of the Roman people, and to explain the satirical verses affixed to the palace-gate, comparing the splendid and bloody reigns of Constantine and Nero.” By the death of Crispus, the inheritance of the empire seemed to devolve on the three sons of Fausta, who have been already mentioned under the names of Constantine, of Constantius, and of Constans. These young princes were successively invested with the title of Caesar; and the dates of their promotion may be referred to the tenth, the twentieth, and the thirtieth years of the reign of their father.” This conduct, though it tended to multiply the future masters of the Roman world, might be excused by the partiality of paternal affection; but it is not easy to understand the motives of the emperor, when he endangered the safety both of his family and of his people, by the unnecessary elevation of his two nephews, Dalmatius and Hannibalianus. The former was raised, by the title of Caesar, to an equality with his cousins. In favour of the latter, Constantine invented the new and singular appellation of Nobilissimus;* to which he annexed the flattering distinction of a robe of purple and gold. But of the whole series of Roman princes in any age of the empire, Hannibalianus alone was distinguished by the title of KING; a name whicn the subjects of Tiberius would have detested, as the profane and cruel insult of capricious tyranny. The use of such a title, even as it appears under the reign of Constantine, is a strange and unconnected fact, which can scarcely be admitted on the joint authority of imperial medals and contemporary writers.” The whole empire was deeply interested in the education of their educa. these five youths, the acknowledged successors of Constantine." The exercises of the body prepared them for the fatigues of war and the duties of active life. Those who occasionally mention the education or talents of Constantius allow that he excelled in the gymnastic arts of leaping and running ; that he was a dexterous archer, a skilful horseman, and a master of all the different weapons used in the service either of the cavalry or of the infantry.” The same assiduous cultivation was bestowed, though not perhaps with equal success, to improve the minds of the sons and nephews of Constantine.” The most celebrated professors of the Christian faith, of the Grecian philosophy, and of the Roman jurisprudence were invited by the liberality of the emperor, who reserved for himself the important task of instructing the royal youths in the science of government and the knowledge of mankind. But the genius of Constantine himself had been formed by adversity and experience. In the free intercourse of private life, and amidst the dangers of the court of Galerius, he had learned to command his own passions, to encounter those of his equals, and to depend for his present safety and future greatness on the prudence and firmness of his personal conduct. His destined successors had the misfortune of being born and educated in the Imperial purple. Incessantly surrounded with a train of flatterers, they passed their youth in
* Philostorgius, l. ii. c. 4. Zosimus (l. ii. p. 104, o 39]) imputes to Constantine the death of two wives: of the innocent Fausta, and of an adulteress who was the mother of his three successors. According to Jerom, three or four years elapsed between the death of Crispus and that of Fausta. The elder Victor is prudently silent. [Thus Jerome's date would be c. 329 A.D., Greg. of Tours, H. F. i. 36, suggests 326 (so Tillemont, iv. p. 224). Clinton decides for 327.]
*If Fausta was put to death, it is reasonable to believe that the private apartments of the palace were the scene of her execution. The orator Chrysostom indulges his fancy by exposing the naked empress on a desert mountain, to be devoured by wild beasts.
*Julian. Orat. i. [p. Io, ed. Hertl.]. He seems to call her the mother of Crispus. She might assume that title by adoption. At least, she was not considered as his mortal enemy. Julian compares the fortune [not the fate] of Fausta with that of Parysatis, the Persian queen. A Roman would have more naturally recollected the second Agrippina:— Et moi, qui sur le trône ai suivi mes ancétres: Moi, fille, femme, soeur et mere de vos maitres.
The sons and nephews of Constantine
* Monod, in Constantin. Jun. c. 4, ad Calcem. Eutrop. edit. Havercamp. The orator styles her the most divine and pious of queens. [Ranke, Weltgeschichte, iii. 521, accepts the evidence of this document and rejects the execution of Fausta. But the Monodia has nothing to do with Constantine; see Appendix I.] 27 Interfecit numerosos amicos. Eutrop. x. 6. *Saturni aurea saecula quis requirat 2 Sunt haec gemmea, Sed Neroniana. Sidon. Apollinar. v. 8. It is somewhat singular, that these satirical lines should be attributed, not to an obscure libeller, or a disappointed patriot, but to Ablavius [Ablabius], prime minister and favourite of the emperor. We may now perceive that the imprecations of the Roman people were dictated by humanity, as well as by superstition. Zosim. l. ii. p. 105 [29 ad fin., 30 ad in.]. 29 Euseb. Orat. in Constantin. c. 3. These dates are sufficiently correct to justify the orator. [The right dates are 317, 323,333 respectively.] 30Zosim. l. ii. p. 117 | c. 39). Under the predecessors of Constantine, Nobilissimus was a vague epithet rather than a legal and determined title. [Delmatius is named on coins: nob. Caes, and princ. iuventutis, Cohen, 6.]
* Adstruunt nummi veteres ac singulares. Spanheim de Usu Numismat. Dissertat. xii. vol. ii. p. 357 [cp. Eckhel, 8, p. 174]. Ammianus speaks of this Roman king (l. xiv. c. 1) and Valesius ad loc. The Valesian fragment styles him King of kings; and the Paschal Chronicle (p. 286 [p. 532, ed. Bonn), by employing the word ‘Piyo, acquires the weight of Latin evidence. [Pontic and Armenian regions were assigned to him in 335 A.D. with the title of rex regum. He was thus to be a vassal king, subordinate to the Emperors. Observe that 'Piya (not Bagota) is used of him in the Paschal Chronicle. Mommsen guesses that Bosporus (in the Chersonesus) was included in this kingdom, from the fact that the last coin of Bosporus dates from 335 A.D. (Rom. Ges. v. 289).] * His dexterity in martial exercise is celebrated by Julian (Orat. i. p. 11 , Orat. ii. p. 53 , and allowed by Ammianus (l. xxi. c. 16). *Euseb. in Vit. Constantin. l. iv. c. 51. Julian. Orat. i. p. 11-16, with Spanheim's elaborate Commentary. Libanius, Orat. iii. p. rog sed. Paris, 1627]. Constantius studied with laudable diligence; but the dulness of his fancy prevented him from succeeding in the art of poetry, or even of rhetoric,
the enjoyment of luxury and the expectation of a throne; nor would the dignity of their rank permit them to descend from that elevated station from whence the various characters of human nature appear to wear a smooth and uniform aspect. The indulgence of Constantine admitted them at a very tender age to share the administration of the empire; and they studied the art of reigning at the expense of the people entrusted to their care. The younger Constantine was appointed to hold his court in Gaul; and his brother Constantius exchanged that department, the ancient patrimony of their father, for the more opulent, but less martial, countries of the East. Italy, the Western Illyricum, and Africa were accustomed to revere Constans, the third of his sons, as the representative of the great Constantine. He fixed Dalmatius on the Gothic frontier, to which he annexed the government of Thrace, Macedonia, and Greece. The city of Caesarea was chosen for the residence of Hannibalianus; and the provinces of Pontus, Cappadocia, and the Lesser Armenia were destined to form the extent of his new kingdom. For each of these princes a suitable establishment was provided. A just proportion of guards, of legions, and of auxiliaries was allotted for their respective dignity and defence. The ministers and generals who were placed about their persons were such as Constantine could trust to assist, and even to control, these youthful sovereigns in the exercise of their delegated power. As they advanced in years and experience, the limits of their authority were insensibly enlarged: but the emperor always reserved for himself the title of Augustus; and, while he shewed the Caesars to the armies and provinces, he maintained every part of the empire in equal obedience to its supreme head.* The tranquillity of the last fourteen years of his reign was scarcely interrupted by the contemptible insurrection of a camel-driver in the island of Cyprus, * or by the active part which the policy of Constantine engaged him to assume in the wars of the Goths and Sarmatians.
*::::::::: Among the different branches of the human race, the Sarmatians form a very remarkable shade; as they seem to unite the manners of the Asiatic barbarians with the figure and complexion of the ancient inhabitants of Europe. According to the various accidents of peace and war, of alliance or conquest, the Sarmatians were sometimes confined to the banks of the Tanais; and they sometimes spread themselves over the immense plains which lie between the Vistula and the Volga.” The care of their numerous flocks and herds, the pursuit of game, and the exercise of war, or rather of rapine, directed the vagrant motions of the Sarmatians. The moveable camps or cities, the ordinary residence of their wives and children, consisted only of large waggons, drawn by oxen and covered in the form of tents. The military strength of the nation was composed of cavalry; and the custom of their warriors, to lead in their hand one or two spare horses, enabled them to advance and to retreat with a rapid diligence which surprised the security, and eluded the pursuit, of a distant enemy.” Their poverty of iron prompted their rude industry to invent a sort of cuirass, which was capable of resisting a sword or javelin, though it was formed only of horses' hoofs, cut into thin and polished slices, carefully laid over each other in the manner of scales or feathers, and strongly sewed upon an under-garment of coarse linen.” The offensive arms of the Sarmatians were short daggers, long lances, and a weighty bow with a quiver of arrows. They were reduced to the necessity of employing fish bones for the points of their weapons; but the custom of dipping them in a venomous liquor
* Eusebius ([Vita C.] l. iv. c. 51, 52), with a design of exalting the authority and glory of Constantine, affirms that he divided the Roman empire as a private citizen might have divided his patrimony. His distribution of the provinces may be collected from Eutropius, the two Victors, and the Valesian fragment. [On this division see Appendix 15.]
*Calocerus, the obscure leader of this rebellion, or rather tumult, was apprehended and burnt alive in the market-place of Tarsus, by the vigilance of Dalmatius. ... See the elder Victor, the chronicle of Jerom, and the doubtful traditions of Theophanes and Cedrenus,
that poisoned the wounds which they inflicted is alone sufficient
to prove the most savage manners; since a people impressed
with a sense of humanity would have abhorred so cruel a
practice, and a nation skilled in the arts of war would have dis
dained so impotent a resource.” Whenever these Barbarians
28 Cellarius has collected the opinions of the ancients concerning the European and Asiatic Sarmatia; and M. d’Anville has applied them to modern geography with the skill and accuracy which always distinguishes that excellent writer.
37Ammian. 1. xvii. c. 12. The Sarmatian horses were castrated, to prevent the mischievous accidents which might happen from the noisy and ungovernable passions of the males.
* Pausanias, l. i. p. 50, edit. Kuhn (c. 21]... That inquisitive traveller had care. fully examined a Sarmatian cuirass, which was preserved in the temple of AEsculapius at Athens.
39 Aspicis et mitti sub adunco toxica ferro,
See in the Recherches sur les Américains, tom. ii. p. 236-271, a very curious dissertation on poisoned darts. The venom was commonly extracted from the vegetable reign; but that employed by the Scythians appears to have been drawn from