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of Diocletian, reduced to an humble station by the prudence of Constantine,” they multiplied in the palaces of his degenerate sons, and insensibly acquired the knowledge, and at length the direction, of the secret councils of Constantius. The aversion and contempt which mankind has so uniformly entertained for that imperfect species appears to have degraded their character, and to have rendered them almost as incapable as they were supposed to be of conceiving any generous sentiment or of performing any worthy action." But the eunuchs were skilled in the arts of flattery and intrigue; and they alternately governed the mind of Constantius by his fears, his indolence, and his vanity.” Whilst he viewed in a deceitful mirror the fair appearance of public prosperity, he supinely permitted them to intercept the complaints of the injured provinces, to accumulate immense treasures by the sale of justice and of honours; to disgrace the most important dignities by the promotion of those who had purchased at their hands the powers of oppression,” and to gratify their resentment against the few independent spirits who arrogantly refused to solicit the protection of slaves Of these slaves the most distinguished was the chamberlain Eusebius, who ruled the monarch and the palace with such absolute sway that Constantius, according to the sarcasm of an
• There is a passage in the Augustan History, p. 137 [xviii. 66], in which Lampridius, whilst he praises Alexander Severus and Constantine for restraining the tyranny of the eunuchs, deplores the mischiefs which they occasioned in other reigns. Huc accedit quod eunuchos nec in consiliis nec in ministeriis habuit; qui soli principes perdunt, dum eos more gentium aut regum Persarum volunt vivere; qui a populo etiam amicissimum semovent ; qui internuntii sunt, aliud quam respondetur referentes; claudentes principem suum, et agentes ante omnia ne quid Sclat. 7 Xenophon (Cyropaedia, l. viii. [leg. vii.] p. 540 [c. 5, 60]) has stated the specious reasons which engaged Cyrus to entrust his person to the guard of eunuchs. He had observed in animals that, although the practice of castration might tame their ungovernable fierceness, it did not diminish their strength or spirit; and he persuaded himself that those who were separated from the rest of human kind would be more firmly attached to the person of their benefactor. But a long experience has contradicted the judgment of Cyrus. Some particular instances may occur of eunuchs distinguished by their fidelity, their valour, and their abilities; but, if we examine the general history of Persia, India, and China, we shall find that the power of the eunuchs has uniformly marked the decline and fall of every dynasty. 8See Ammianus Marcellinus, l. xxi. c. 16, l. xxii. c. 4. The whole tenor of his impartial history serves to justify the invectives of Mamertinus, of Libanius, and ot Julian himself, who have insulted the vices of the court of Constantius. * Aurelius Victor censures the negligence of his sovereign in choosing the governors of the provinces and the generals of the army, and concludes his history with a very bold observation, as it is much more dangerous under a feeble reign to attack the ministers than the master himself. “Uti verum absolvam brevi, ut Imperatore ipso clarius ita apparitorum plerisque magis atrox nihil " [Caes. 42).
impartial historian, possessed some credit with his haughty favourite.” By his artful suggestions, the emperor was persuaded to subscribe the condemnation of the unfortunate Gallus, and to add a new crime to the long list of unnatural murders which pollute the honour of the house of Constantine. When the two nephews of Constantine, Gallus and Julian, Education of
were saved from the fury of the soldiers, the former was aboutfit." twelve, and the latter about six, years of age; and, as the eldest was thought to be of a sickly constitution, they obtained with the less difficulty a precarious and dependent life from the affected pity of Constantius, who was sensible that the execution of these helpless orphans would have been esteemed by all mankind an act of the most deliberate cruelty.” Different cities of Ionia and Bithynia were assigned for the places of their exile and education; but, as soon as their growing years excited the jealousy of the emperor, he judged it more prudent to secure those unhappy youths in the strong castle of Macellum, near (c. 34 A.D. Caesarea. The treatment which they experienced during a six years' confinement was partly such as they could hope from a careful guardian, and partly such as they might dread from a suspicious tyrant.” Their prison was an ancient palace, the residence of the kings of Cappadocia; the situation was pleasant, the buildings stately, the inclosure spacious. They pursued their studies, and practised their exercises, under the tuition of the most skilful masters; and the numerous household, appointed to attend, or rather to guard, the nephews of Constantine, was not unworthy of the dignity of their birth. But they could not disguise to themselves that they were deprived of fortune, of
10 Apud quem (si vere dici debeat) multum Constantius potuit. Ammian. l. xvill. c. 4.
in Gregory Nazianzen (Orat. iii. p. 90) reproaches the apostate with his ingratitude towards Mark, bishop of Arethusa, who had contributed to save his life; and we learn, though from a less respectable authority (Tillemont, Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 916), that Julian was concealed in the sanctuary of a church. . [Gallus and Julian were step-brothers, being sons of Galla and Basilina respectively. The exact date of Julian's birth has been recently a subject of discussion, Schwarz (de vita et scr. Jul. imp. p. 16) gives Nov.-Dec., 331; Kellerbauer, Sept., 331 : C. Radinger (Philologus, 50, p. 761; 1891), May, 331, comparing lemma to Anth. Pal. 14, 148,-very probably as regards the month. But C. J. Neumann, Das Geburtsjahr K. so shews that if we accept May from Radinger, the year must be 332; for he died in his thirty-second year (Amm. 25, 3,23) in June. If born in May, 331, his death must have occurred in his thirty-third year.]
iz The most authentic account of the education and adventures of Julian is contained in the epistle or manifesto which he himself addressed to the senate and people of Athens. Libanius (Orat. Parentalis), on the side of the Pagans, and Socrates (l. iii. c. 1), on that of the Christians, have preserved several interesting circumstances.
freedom, and of safety; secluded from the society of all whom they could trust or esteem; and condemned to pass their melancholy hours in the company of slaves, devoted to the commands of a tyrant, who had already injured them beyond the hope of reconciliation. At length, however, the emergencies of the state compelled the emperor, or rather his eunuchs, to invest Gallus, in the twenty-fifth year of his age, with the title gamu; d. of Caesar,” and to cement this political connexion by his mar§§. riage with the princess Constantina.” After a formal interview, *** in which the two princes mutually engaged their faith never to undertake anything to the prejudice of each other, they repaired without delay to their respective stations. Constantius continued his march towards the West, and Gallus fixed his residence at Antioch, from whence, with a delegated authority, he administered the five great dioceses of the eastern praefecture.” In this fortunate change, the new Caesar was not unmindful of his brother Julian, who obtained the honours of his rank, the appearances of liberty, and the restitution of an ample patrimony.” oo: The writers the most indulgent to the memory of Gallus, and oil." even Julian himself, though he wished to cast a veil over the frailties of his brother, are obliged to confess that the Caesar was incapable of reigning. Transported from a prison to a throne, he possessed neither genius nor application, nor docility to compensate for the want of knowledge and experience. A temper naturally morose and violent, instead of being corrected, was soured, by solitude and adversity; the remembrance of what he had endured disposed him to retaliation rather than to sympathy; and the ungoverned sallies of his rage were often fatal to those who approached his person or were subject to his power.” Constantina, his wife, is described, not as a
13(Flavius Claudius Constantius.]
14 [Widow of Hannibalianus.]
*For the promotion of Gallus, see Idatius [date 15th, not 5th March], Zosimus, and the two Victors. According to Philostorgius (l. iv. c. 1), Theophilus, an Arian bishop, was the witness, and, as it were, the guarantee, of this solemn engagement. He supported that character with generous firmness; but M. de Tillemont (Hist, des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 1120) thinks it very improbable that an heretic should have possessed such virtue.
16 Julian was at first permitted to pursue his studies at Constantinople, but the reputation which he acquired soon excited the jealousy of Constantius; and the young prince was advised to withdraw himself to the less conspicuous scenes of Bithynia and Ionia.
17 See Julian ad S. P. Q. A. p. 271 [35o], Jerom. in Chron., Aurelius Victor [Caes. 42.8), Eutropius, x. 14 [leg. 13]. I shall copy the words of Eutropius, who wrote his abridgment about fifteen years after the death of Gallus, when there was
woman, but as one of the infernal furies tormented with an insatiate thirst of human blood.” Instead of employing her influence to insinuate the mild counsels of prudence and humanity, she exasperated the fierce passions of her husband; and, as she retained the vanity, though she had renounced the gentleness, of her sex, a pearl necklace was esteemed an equivalent price for the murder of an innocent and virtuous nobleman.19 The cruelty of Gallus was sometimes displayed in the undissembled violence of popular or military executions; and was sometimes disguised by the abuse of law, and the forms of judicial proceedings. The private houses of Antioch and the places of public resort were besieged by spies and informers; and the Caesar himself, concealed in a plebeian habit, very frequently condescended to assume that odious character. Every apartment of the palace was adorned with the instruments of death and torture, and a general consternation was diffused through the capital of Syria. The Prince of the East, as if he had been conscious how much he had to fear, and how little he deserved to reign, selected for the objects of his resentment the provincials, accused of some imaginary treason, and his own courtiers, whom with more reason he suspected of incensing, by their secret correspondence, the timid and suspicious mind of Constantius. But he forgot that he was depriving himself of his only support, the affection of the people; whilst he furnished the malice of his enemies with the arms of truth, and afforded the emperor the fairest pretence of exacting the forfeit of his purple, and of his life.” As long as the civil war suspended the fate of the Roman of world, Constantius dissembled his knowledge of the weak and ; cruel administration to which his choice had subjected the East;" and the discovery of some assassins, secretly dispatched to
no longer any motive either to flatter or to depreciate his character. “Multis incivilibus gestis Gallus Caesar . . . vir naturâ ferox [leg. ferus] et ad tyrannidem pronior, si suo jure imperare licuisset."
18 Megaera quidem mortalis, inflammatrix saevientis assidua, humani cruoris avida, &c. Ammian. Marcellin. l. xiv. c. 1. The sincerity of Ammianus would not suffer him to misrepresent facts or characters, but his love of ambitious ornaments frequently betrayed him into an unnatural vehemence of expression.
is riis name was Clematius of Alexandria, and his only crime was a refusal to gratify the desires of his mother-in-law; who solicited his death, because she had been disappointed of his love. Ammian. l. xiv. c. 1.
20 See in Ammianus (l. xiv. c. 1 [and c.] 7) a very ample detail of the cruelties of Gallus. His brother Julian (p. 272 ) insinuates that a secret conspiracy had been formed against him; and Zosimus names (l. ii. p. 135 [c. 55]) the persons engaged in it; a minister of considerable rank, and two obscure agents, who were resolved to make their fortune.
Antioch by the tyrant of Gaul, was employed to convince the public, that the emperor and the Caesar were united by the same interest and pursued by the same enemies.” But, when the victory was decided in favour of Constantius, his dependent colleague became less useful and less formidable. Every circumstance of his conduct was severely and suspiciously examined, and it was privately resolved either to deprive Gallus of the purple or at least to remove him from the indolent luxury of Asia to the hardships and dangers of a German war. The death of Theophilus, consular of the province of Syria, who in a time of scarcity had been massacred by the people of Antioch with the connivance, and almost at the instigation, of Gallus, was justly resented, not only as an act of wanton cruelty, but as a dangerous insult on the supreme majesty o Constantius. Two ministers of illustrious rank, Domitian, the oriental praefect, and Montius, quaestor of the palace, were empowered by a special commission to visit and reform the state of the East.” They were instructed to behave towards Gallus with moderation and respect, and, by the gentlest arts of persuasion, to engage him to comply with the invitation of his brother and colleague. The rashness of the praefect disappointed these prudent measures, and hastened his own ruin as well as that of his enemy. On his arrival at Antioch, Domitian passed disdainfully before the gates of the palace, and, alleging a slight pretence of indisposition, continued several days in sullen retirement to prepare an inflammatory memorial, which he transmitted to the Imperial court. Yielding at length to the pressing solicitations of Gallus, the praefect condescended to take his seat in council; but his first step was to signify a concise and haughty mandate, importing that the Caesar should immediately repair to Italy, and threatening that he himself
on Zonaras, l. xiii. tom. ii. p. 17, 18 sc. 8]. The assassins had seduced a great number of legionaries; but their designs were discovered and revealed by an old woman in whose cottage they lodged.
* [So Schiller (ii. p. 300): “Constantius therefore sent the praef. praet, orientis Domitian, and the minister of justice (quaestor palatii) Montius,” &c. But Ammian only says that Domitian was commissioned (xiv. 7, 9); nothing is said of the sending of Montius, -for the simple reason that he was not sent. Neither Gibbon, nor Schiller, nor Milman (who writes ad hunc loc.: “The commission seems to have been granted to Domitian alone. Montius interfered to support his authority"— but does not explain how Montius came to be there) realized that Montius was the quastor palatii of the Caesar, not of Constantius. he Caesars had a household (like the Augusti) and palace officials; thus we find Nebridius as qu. palat. of Julian (Amm. xx. 9, 5). These officials were probably appointed by the Augustus, as we may infer from Julian's demand that Constantius should allow him to appoint all officials in his own province except the praetorian praefect. Amm. xx. 8, 14.]