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historians” of the age might borrow their extraordinary, and, perhaps, fabulous tales; of the proud challenge of a Persian hero, who was entangled by the net, and despatched by the sword, of Areobindus the Goth; of the ten thousand Immortals, who were slain in the attack of the Roman camp; and of the hundred thousand Arabs, or Saracens, who were impelled by a panic terror to throw themselves headlong into the Euphrates. Such events may be disbelieved or disregarded ; but the charity of a bishop, Acacius of Amida, whose name might have dignified the saintly calendar, shall not be lost in oblivion. Boldly declaring, that vases of gold and silver are useless to a God who neither eats nor drinks, the generous prelate sold the plate of the church of Amida; employed the price in the redemption of seven thousand Persian captives; supplied their wants with affectionate liberality; and dismissed them to their native country, to inform their king of the true spirit of the religion which he persecuted. The practice of benevolence in the midst of war must always tend to assuage the animosity of contending nations; and I wish to persuade myself, that Acacius contributed to the restoration of peace. In the conference which was held on the limits of the two empires, the Roman ambassadors degraded the personal character of their sovereign, by a vain attempt to magnify the extent of his power: when they seriously advised the Persians to prevent, by a timely accommodation, the wrath of a monarch, who was yet ignorant of this distant war. A truce of one hundred years was solemnly ratified; and although the revolutions of Armenia might threaten the public tranquillity, the essential conditions of this treaty were respected near fourscore years by the successors of Constantine and Artaxerxes. Since the Roman and Parthian standards first encountered on the banks of the Euphrates, the kingdom of Armenia” was alternately oppressed by its formidable protectors; and in the course of this History, several events, which inclined the balance of peace and war, have been already * Socrates (1. vii. c. 18, 19, 20, 21) is the best author for the Persian war...We may likewise consult the three Chronicles, the Paschal, and those of Marcellinus and Malala. **This account of the ruin and division of the kingdom of Armenia is taken from the third book of the Armenian history of Moses of Chorene. ...I)eficient as he is in every qualification of a good historian, his local information, his passions, and his prejudices, are strongly expressive of a native and contemporary. Procopius o; 1. iii. c. 1, 5) relates the same facts in a very different mailrelated. A disgraceful treaty had resigned Armenia to the ambition of Sapor; and the scale of Persia appeared to preponderate. But the royal race of Arsaces impatiently submitted to the house of Sassan; the turbulent nobles asserted, or betrayed, their hereditary independence; and the nation was still attached to the Christian princes of Constantinople. In the beginning of the fifth century, Armenia was divided by the progress of war and faction ; * and the unnatural division precipitated the downfall of that ancient monarchy. Chosroes, the Persian vassal, reigned over the Eastern and most extensive portion of the country; while the Western province acknowledged the jurisdiction of Arsaces, and the supremacy of the emperor Arcadius.* After the death of Arsaces, the Romans suppressed the regal government, and imposed on their allies the condition of subjects. The military command was delegated to the count of the Armenian frontier; the city of Theodosiopolis” was built and fortified in a strong situation, on fertile and lofty ground, near the sources of the Euphrates; and the dependent territories were ruled by five satraps, whose dignity was marked by a peculiar habit of gold and purple. The less fortunate nobles, who lamented the loss of their king, and envied the honors of their equals, were provoked to negotiate their peace and pardon at the Persian court; and returning, with their followers, to the palace of Artaxata, acknowledged Chosroes f for their lawful sovereign. About thirty years afterwards, Artasires, the nephew and successor of Chosroes, fell under the displeasure of the haughty and capricious nobles of Armenia; and they unanimously desired a Persian governor in the room of an unworthy king. The answer of the archbishop Isaac, whose sanction they earnestly solicited, is expressive of the character of a superstitious people. He deplored the manifest and inexcusable vices of Artasires; and declared, that he should not hesitate to accuse him before the tribunal of a Christian emperor, who would punish, without destroying, the sinner. “Our king,” continued Isaac, “is too much addicted to licentious pleasures, but he has been purified in the holy waters of baptism. He is a lover of women, but he does not adore the fire or the elements. He may deserve the reproach of lewdness, but he is an undoubted Catholic; and his faith is pure, though his manners are flagitious. I will never consent to abandon my sheep to the rage of devouring wolves; and you would soon repent your rash exchange of the infirmities of a believer, for the specious virtues of a heathen.” “ Exasperated by the firmness of Isaac, the factious nobles accused both the king and the archbishop as the secret adherents of the emperor; and absurdly rejoiced in the sentence of condemnation, which, after a partial hearing, was solemnly pronounced by Bahram himself. The descendants of Arsaces were degraded from the royal dignity,” which they had possessed above five hundred and sixty years; * and the dominions of the unfortunate Artasires,” under the new and significant appellation of Persarmenia, were reduced into the form of a province. This usurpation excited the jealousy of the Roman government; but the rising disputes were soon terminated by an amicable, though unequal, partition of the ancient kingdom of Armenia: f and a territorial acquisition, which Augustus might have despised, reflected some lustre on the declining empire of the younger Theodosius.
ner: but I have extracted the circumstance; the most probable in themselves, and the least inconsistent with Moses of Chorene.
83 The Western Armenians used the Greek language and character in their religious offices; but the use of that hostile tongue was prohibited by the Persians in the Eastern provinces, which were obliged to use the Syriac, till the invention of the Armenian letters by Mesrobes, in the beginning of the fifth century, and the subsequent version of the Bible into the Armenian language ; †. o which relaxed the connection of the clurch and nation with Constan
*# Moses Chorene, l. iii. c. 59, p. 309, and p. 358. Procopius, de Edificiis, l. iii. c. 5. Theodosiopolis stands, or rather stood, about thirty-five miles to the east of Arzeroum, the modern capital of Turkish Armenia. See D'Anville, Geographie Ancienne, tom. ii. pp.99, 100.
*The division of Armenia, according to M. St. Martin, took place much earlier, A. C. 390. The Eastern or Persian division was four times as large as the Western or Roman. This partition took place during the reigns of Theodosius the First, and Varanes (Bahram) the Fourth. St. Martin, Sup. to Le Beau, iv. 429. This partition was but imperfectly acceomplished, as both parts were afterwards reunited under Chosroes, who paid tribute both to the Roman emperor and to the Persian king, v. 439.-M.
t Chosroes, according to Procopius (who calls him Arsaces, the common name of the Armenian kings) and the Armenian writers, bequeathed to his two sons, to Tigranes the Persian, to Arsaces the Roman, division of Armenia, A.C. 416. With the assistance of the discontented nobles the Persian king placed his son Sapor on the throne of the Eastern division; the Western at the same time was united to the Roman empire, and called the Greater Armenia. It was then that Theodosiopolis was built. Sapor abandoned the throne of Armenia to assert his tights to that of Persia: he perished in the struggle, and after a period of all* Moses Choren...l. iii. c. 63, p. 316, . According to the institution of St. Greg. ory, the Apostle of Armenia, the archbishop was always of the royal family; a circumstance which, in some degree, corrected the influence of the sacerdotal claracter, and united the mitre with the crown.
80 A branch of the royal house of Arsaces still subsisted with the rank and possessions (as it should seem) of Armenian Gatraps. See Moses Chorem. l. iii. c. 65, p. 321.
'#' Valarsaces was appointed king of Armenia by his brother the Parthian monarch, immediately after the defeat of Antiochus Sidetes (Moses Chorem. l. ii. c. 2, p. 85), one hundred and thirty years before Christ.*. Without depending on the various and contradictory periods of the reigns of the last kings, we may be a sured, that the ruin of the Armenian kingdom happened after the council of ( halcedon, A. D. 431. (l. iii. c. 61, p. 312); and under Varanes, or Bahram. kin of Persia (l. iii. c. 64, p. 317), who reigned from A. D. 420 to 440. See Assemanni, Bibliot. Oriental. tom. iii. p. 396.
archy, Bahram V., who had ascended the throne of Persia, placed the last native prince, Ardaschir, son of Baliram Schahpour, on the throne of the Persian division of Armenia, St. Martin, v. 506. This Ardaschir was the Artasires of Gibbon. The archbishop Isaac is called by the Armenians the Patriarch Sahag. St. Martin, vi. 20.-M. e o hundred and eighty. St. Martin, ibid. He places this event A. C. * According to M. St. Martin, vi. 32, Vagharschah, or Valarsaces, was ap. pointed king by his brother Mithridates the Great, king of Parthia.-M.
i # *:: or Ardaschir was probably sent to the castle of Oblivion. St. Martin. vi. 31.—M.
+ *":duration of the Armenian kingdom, according to M. St. Martin, was 580 years.-M1.
DEATH OF HONORIUS.—VALENTINIAN III. EMPEROR OF THE WEST. — ADMINISTRATION OF HIS MOTHER PLACIDIA.— AïTIUS AND BONIFACE.-CONQUEST OF AFRICA BY THE VANDALS.
DURING a long and disgraceful reign of twenty-eight ears, Honorius, emperor of the West, was separated from the friendship of his brother, and afterwards of his nephew, who reigned over the East; and Constantinople beheld, with apparent indifference and secret joy, the calamities of Rome. The strange adventures of Placidia gradually renewed and cemented the alliance of the two empires. The daughter of the great Theodosius had been the captive, and the queen, of the Goths; she lost an affectionate husband; she was dragged in chains by his insulting assassin; she tasted the pleasure of revenge, and was exchanged, in the treaty of peace, for six hundred thousand measures of wheat. After her return from Spain to Italy, Placidia experienced a new persecution in the bosom of her family. She was averse to a marriage, which had been stipulated without her consent; and the brave Constantius, as a noble reward for the tyrants whom he had vanquished, received from the hand of Honorius himself, the struggling and reluctant hand of the widow of Adolphus. But her resistance ended with the ceremony of the nuptials: nor did Placidia refuse to become the mother of Honoria and Valentinian the Third, or to assuine and exercise an absolute dominion over the mind of her grateful husband. The generous soldier, whose time had hitherto been divided between social pleasure and military service, was taught new lessons of avarice and ambition; he extorted the title of Augustus; and the servant of Honorius was associated to the empire of the West. The death of Constantius, in the seventh month of his reign, instead of diminishing, seemed to increase the power of Placidia; and the indecent familiarity” of her brother,
* See p. 60. * Tā avvvex; rară a réua buxiwara, is the expression of Olympiodorus, (apud