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relics, thirty years after his death, were transported from their obscure sepulchre to the royal city." The emperor Theodosius advanced to receive them as far as Chalcedon; and, falling prostrate on the coffin, implored, in the name of his guilty parents, Arcadius and Eudoxia, the forgiveness of the injured saint.” Yet a reasonable doubt may be entertained, whether any _stain of hereditary guilt could be derived from Arcadius to his successor. Eudoxia was a young and beautiful woman, who indulged her passions, and despised her husband; Count John enjoyed, at least, the familiar considence of the empress; and the public named him as the real father of Theodosius the younger.” The birth of a son was accepted, however, by the pious husband, as an event the most fortunate and honorable to himself, to his family, and to the Eastern world: and the royal infant, by an unprecedented favor, was invested with the titles of Caesar and Augustus. In less than four years afterwards, Eudoxia, in the bloom of youth, was destroyed by the consequences of a miscarriage; and this untimely death confounded the prophecy of a o bishop,” who, amidst the universal joy, had ventured to foretell, that she should behold the long and auspicious reign of her glorious son. The Catholics applauded the justice of Heaven, which avenged the persecution of St. Chrysostom ; and perhaps the emperor was the only person who sincerely bewailed the loss of the haughty and rapacious Eudoxia. Such a domestic misfortune afflicted him more deeply than the public calamities of the East;" the licentious excursions, from Pontus to Palestine, of the Isaurian robbers, whose impunity accused the weakness of the government; and the earthquakes, the conflagrations, the famine, and the flights of locusts,” which the popular dis. content was equally disposed to attribute to the incapacity of the monarch. At length, in the thirty-first year of his age, after a reign (if we may abuse that word) of thirteen years, three months, and fifteen days, Arcadius expired in the palace of Constantinople. It is impossible to delineate his character; since, in a period very copiously furnished with historical materials, it has not been possible to remark one action that properly belongs to the son of the great Theodosius. The historian Procopius” has indeed illuminated the mind of the dying emperor with a ray of human prudence, or celestial wisdom. Arcadius considered, with anxious foresight, the helpless condition of his son Theodosius, who was no more than seven years of age, the dangerous factions of a minority, and the aspiring spirit of Jezdegerd, the Persian monarch. Instead of tempting the allegiance of an ambitious subject, by the participation of supreme power, he boldly appealed to the magnanimity of a king; and placed, by a solemn testament, the sceptre of the East in the hands of Jezdegerd himself. The royal guardian accepted and discharged this honorable trust with unexampled fidelity; and the infancy of Theodosius was protected by the arms and councils of Persia. Such is the singular narrative of Procopius; and his veracity is not disputed by Agathias,” while he presumes to dissent from his judgment, and to arraign the wisdom of a Christian emperor, who, so rashly, though so fortunately, committed his son and his dominions to the unknown faith of a stranger, a rival, and a heathen. At the distance of one hundred and fifty years, this political question might be debated in the court of Justinian; but a prudent historian will refuse to examine the propriety, till he has ascertained the truth, of the testament of Arcadius. As it stands without a parallel in the history of the world, we may justly require, that it should be attested by the positive
57 Socrates, 1. vii. c. 45. Theodoret, 1. v. c. 36. This event reconciled the Joannites, who had hitherto refused to acknowledge his successors. During his lifetime, the Joannites were ...so by the Catholics, as the true and orthodox communion of Constantinople. Their obstimacy gradually drove them to the brink of schism. 58 According to some accounts (Baronius, Annal. Eccles. A. D. 438, No. 9, 10), the emperor was forced to send a letter of invitation and excuses, before the body of the ceremonious saint could be moved from Comana. 59 Zosimus, 1. v. p. 315. The chastity of an empress should not be impeached without producing a witness; but it is astonishing, that the witness should write and live under a prince whose legitimacy he dared to attack. We must suppose that his history was a party libel, privately read and circulated by the Pagans. Tillemont (Hist. des Empereurs, tom. v. p. 782) is not averse to brand the reputation of Eudoxia, * Porphyry of Gaza. His zeal was transported by the order which he had obtained for the destruction of eight Pagan temples of that city. See the curious details of his life (Baronius, A. D. 401, No. 17-51), originally written in Greek, or perhaps in Syriac, by a monk, one of his favorite deacons. " Philostorg. l. xi. c. 8, and Godefroy, Dissertat. p. 457,
C2 Jerom (tom. vi. pp. 73, 76) describes, in lively colors, the regular and destructive march of the locusis, which spread a dark cloud between heaven and earth, over the land of Palestine. Seasonable winds scattered them, partly into the Dead Sea and partly into the Mediterranean.
o Procopius, de Bell. Persic. l. i. 6.2, p. 8, edit. Louvre.
& Agathias, l. iv. pp. 136, 137. Although he confesses the prevalence of the tradition, he asserts, oat Érocopius was the first who had committed it to writing. Titlemont (Hist. des Empereurs, tom. vi. p. 597) argues very sensibly, on the merits of this fable. His criticism was not warped by any ecclesiastical authority; both Procopius and Agathias are half Pagans.”
* See, St. Martin's article on Jezdegerd, in the Biographie Universelle de Michaud.—M.
and unanimous evidence of contemporaries. The strange novelty of the event, which excites our distrust, must have attracted their notice; and their universal silence annihilates the vain tradition of the succeeding age. The maxims of Roman jurisprudence, if they could fairly be transferred from private property to public dominion, would have adjudged to the emperor Honorius the guardianship of his nephew, till he had attained, at least, the fourteenth year of his age. But the weakness of Honorius, and the calāmities of his reign, disqualified him from prosecuting this natural claim; and such was the absolute separation of the two monarchies, both in interest and affection, that Constantinople would have obeyed, with less reluctance, the orders of the Persian, than those of the Italian, court. Under a prince whose weakness is disguised by the external signs of manhood and discretion, the most worthless favorites may secretly dispute the empire of the palace; and dictate to submissive provinces the commands of a master, whom they direct and despise. But the ministers of a child, who is incapable of arming them with the sanction of the royal name, must acquire and exercise an independent authority. The great officers of the state and army, who had been appointed before the death of Arcadius, formed an aristocracy, which might have inspired them with the idea of a free republic; and the government of the Eastern empire was fortunately assumed by the praefect Anthemius,” who obtained, by his superior abilities, a lasting ascendant over the minds of his equals. The safety of the young emperor proved the merit and integrity of Anthemius; and his prudent firmness sustained the force and reputation of an infant reign. Uldin, with a formidable host of Barbarians, was encamped in the heart of Thrace; he proudly rejected all terms of accommodation; and, pointing to the rising sun, declared to the Roman ambassadors, that the course of that }." should alone terminate the conquests of the Huns. at the desertion of his confederates, who were privately convinced of the justice and liberality of the Imperial ministers, obliged Uldin to repass the Danube: the tribe of the Scyrri, which composed his rear-guard, was almost extirpated ; and many thousand captives were dispersed to cultivate, with servile labor, the fields of Asia.” In the midst of the public triumph, Constantinople was protected by a strong enclosure of new and more extensive walls; the same vigilant care was applied to restore the fortifications of the Illyrian cities; and a plan was judiciously conceived, which, in the space of seven years, would have secured the command of the Danube, by establishing on that river a perpetual fleet of two hundred and fifty armed vessels." But the Romans had so long been accustomed to the authority of a monarch, that the first, even among the females, of the Imperial family, who displayed any courage or capacity, was permitted to ascend the vacant throne of Theodosius. His sister Pulcheria,” who was only two years older than himself, received, at the age of sixteen, the title of Augusta ; and though her favor might be sometimes clouded by caprice or intrigue, she continued to govern the Eastern empire near forty years; during the long minority of her brother, and after his death, in her own name, and in the name of Marcian, her nominal husband. From a motive either of prudence or religion, she embraced a life of celibacy; and notwithstanding some aspersions on the chastity of Pulcheria,” this resolution, which she communicated to her sisters Arcadia and Marina, was celebrated by the Christian world, as the sublime effort of heroic piety. In the presence of the clergy and people, the three daughters of Arcadius " dedicated their virginity to God; and the obligation of their solemn vow was inscribed on a tablet of gold and gems; which they publicly offered in the great church of Constantinople. Their palace was converted into a monastery; and all males, except the guides of their conscience, the saints who had forgotten the distinction of sexes, were scrupulously excluded from the holy threshold. Pulcheria, her two sisters, and a chosen train of favorite damsels, formed a religious community: they renounced the vanity of dress; interrupted, by frequent fasts, their simple and frugal diet; allotted a portion of their time to works of embroidery; and devoted several hours of the day and night to the exercises of prayer and psalmody. The piety of a Christian virgin was adorned by the zeal and liberality of an empress. Ecclesiastical history describes the splendid churches, which were built at the expense of Pulcheria, in all the provinces of the East; her charitable foundations for the benefit of strangers and the poor; the ample donations which she assigned for the perpetual maintenance of monastic societies; and the active severity with which she labored to suppress the opposite heresies of Nestorius and Eutyches. Such virtues were supposed to deserve the peculiar favor of the Deity: and the relics of martyrs, as well as the knowledge of future events, were communicated in visions and revelations to the Imperial saint.” Yet the devotion of Pulcheria never diverted her indefatigable attention from temporal affairs; and she alone, among all the descendants of the great Theodosius, appears to have inherited any share of his manly spirit and abilities. The elegant and familiar use which she had acquired, both of the Greek and Latin languages, was readily applied to the various occasions of speaking, or writing, on public business; her deliberations were maturely weighed; her actions were prompt and decisive ; and, while she moved, without noise or ostentation, the wheel of government, she discreetly attributed to the genius of the emperor the long tranquillity of his reign. In the last years of his peaceful life, Europe was indeed afflicted by the arms of Attila; but the more extensive provinces of Asia still continued to enjoy a profound and permanent repose. Theodosius the younger was never reduced to the disgraceful necessity of encountering and punishing a rebellious subject: and since we cannot applaud the vigor, some praise may be due to the mildness and prosperity, of the administration of Pulcheria.
* Socrates, 1. vii. c. 1. Anthemius was the grandson of Philip, one of the ministers of Constantius, and the grandfather of the emperor Anthemius. After his return from the Persian embassy, he was appointed consul and Praetorian ratect of the East, in the o 405; and held the P. about ten years. oeh's honors and praises in Godefroy, Cod. Theod, tom. vi. p. 350. Tillemont, tiist des Emp. tom. vi. p. 1, &c.
66 Sozomen, 1. ix. c. 5. He saw some Scyrri at work near Mount Olympus in Bithynia, and cherished the vain hope that those captives were the last of the Ination.
Gi Cod. Theod. 1. vii. tit. xvii. 1. xv. tit. i. leg. 49.
68 Sozomen has filled three chapters with a magnificent panegyric of Pulcheria (I. ix., c. 1, 2,3); and Tillemont (Mémoires Ecclés. tom. xv. pp. 171-184) has dedicated a separate article to the honor of St. Pulcheria, virgin and em
p 69 Suidas (Excerpta, p. 68, in Script. Byzant.) pretends, on the credit of the Nestorians, that Pulchéria was exasperated against their founder, because, he censured her connection with the beautiful Paulinus, and her incest with her brother Theodosius.
70 See Ducange, Famil. Byzantin. p. 70. Flaccilla, the eldest daughter, either died before Arcadius, or, if she lived till the year 431 (Marcellin. Chron.), some defect of mind or body must have excluded her from the honors of her rank.
*The heathen Eunanius gives a frightful picture of the venality and injustice of the court of Pulcheria. Fragm. Eunap. in Mar, ii. 293, in Niebuhr, 97.-M.
71 She was admonished, by repeated dreams, of the place where the relics of the forty martyrs had been buried. The ground had successively belonged to the house and garden of a woman of Constantinople, to a monastery of Macedonian monks, and to a church of St. Thyrsus, erected by Caesarius, who was consul A. D. 897; and the memory of the relics was almost obliterated. Notwith: standing the charitable wishes of Dr. Jortin (Remarks, tom. iv., p. 234), it is not easy to acquit Pulcheria of some share in the pious frami, which must have been transacted when she was more than five-and-thi ty years of age.