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virtuous father. The youth was castrated: he sur- CHAP:

vived the operation, and the memory of this indecent cruelty is preserved by the elevation of Germanus to the rank of a patriarch and saint. After pouring this bloody libation on his father’s tomb, Constantine returned to his capital, and the growth of his young beard during the Sicilian voyage was announced by the familiar surname of Pogonatus, to the Grecian world. But his reign, like that of his predecessor, was stained with fraternal discord. On his two brothers, Heraclius and Tiberius, he had bestowed the title of Augustus: an empty title, for they continued to languish, without trust or power, in the solitude of the palace. At their secret instigation, the troops of the Anatolian theme or province approached the city on the Asiatic side, demanded for the royal brothers the partition or exercise of sovereignty, and supported their seditious claim by a theological argument. They were Christians (they cried), and orthodox Catholics; the sincere votaries of the holy and undivided Trinity. Since there are three equal persons in heaven, it is reasonable there should be three equal persons upon earth. The emperor invited these learned divines to a friendly conference, in which they might propose their arguments to the senate: they obeyed the summons, but the prospect of their bodies hanging on the gibbet in the suburb of Galata reconciled their companions to the unity of the reign of Constantine. He pardoned his brothers, and their names were still pronounced in the public acclamations: but on the repetition or suspicion of a similar offence, the obnoxious princes were deprived of their titles and noses, in the presence of the Catholic bishops who were assembled at Constantinople in the sixth general synod. In the close of his life, Pogonatus was anxious only to establish the right of primogeniture: the hair of “ his two sons, Justinian and Heraclius, was offered on

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CHAP. XLVIII.

Justinian II.

the shrine of St. Peter, as a symbol of their spiritual
adoption by the pope; but the elder was alone ex-
alted to the rank of Augustus, and the assurance of
the empire.
After the decease of his father, the inheritance of

A.D. 55, the Roman world devolved to Justinian II.; and the

September.

name of a triumphant lawgiver was dishonoured by the vices of a boy, who imitated his namesake only in the expensive luxury of building. His passions were strong; his understanding was feeble; and he was intoxicated with a foolish pride, that his birth had given him the command of millions, of whom the smallest community would not have chosen him for their local magistrate. His favourite ministers were two beings the least susceptible of human sympathy, an eunuch and a monk: to the one he abandoned the palace, to the other the finances; the former corrected the emperor's mother with a scourge, the latter suspended the insolvent tributaries, with their heads downwards, over a slow and smoky fire. Since the days of Commodus and Caracalla, the cruelty of the Roman princes had most commonly been the effect of their fear; but Justinian, who possessed some vigour of character, enjoyed the sufferings, and braved the revenge, of his subjects, about ten years, till the measure was full, of his crimes and of their patience. In a dark dungeon, Leontius, a general of reputation, had groaned above three years, with some of the noblest and most deserving of the patricians: he was suddenly drawn forth to assume the government of Greece; and this promotion of an injured man was a mark of the contempt rather than of the confidence of his prince. As he was followed to the port by the kind offices of his friends, Leontius observed with a sigh that he was a victim adorned for sacrifice, and that inevitable death would pursue his footsteps. They ventured to reply, that glory and empire might be the recompense of a generous resolution; that every order of men abhorred the reign of a monster; and that the hands of two hundred thousand patriots expected only the voice of a leader. The night was chosen for their deliverance; and in the first effort of the conspirators, the praefect was slain, and the prisons were forced open; the emissaries of Leontius proclaimed in every street, “Christians, to St. Sophia!” and the seasonable text of the patriarch, “this is the day of the Lord!” was the prelude of an inflammatory sermon. From the church the people adjourned to the hippodrome: Justinian, in whose cause not a sword had been drawn, was dragged before these tumultuary judges, and their clamours demanded the instant death of the tyrant. But Leontius, who was already clothed with the purple, cast an eye of pity on the prostrate son of his own benefactor, and of so many emperors. The life of Justinian was spared; the amputation of his nose, perhaps of his tongue, was imperfectly performed: the happy flexibility of the Greek language could impose the name of Rhinotmetus; and the mutilated tyrant was banished to Chersonae in Crim-Tartary, a lonely settlement, where corn, wine, and oil, were imported as foreign luxuries.

CHAP. XLVIII.

On the edge of the Scythian wilderness, Justinian His exile, still cherished the pride of his birth, and the hope of Ao

his restoration. After three years’ exile, he received the pleasing intelligence that his injury was avenged by a second revolution, and that Leontius in his turn had been dethroned and mutilated by the rebel Apsimar, who assumed the more respectable name of Tiberius. But the claim of lineal succession was still formidable to a plebeian usurper; and his jealousy was stimulated by the complaints and charges of the Chersonites, who beheld the vices of the tyrant in the spirit of the exile. With a band of followers,

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3%; attached to his person by common hope or common * despair, Justinian fled from the inhospitable shore to

the horde of the Chozars, who pitched their tents between the Tanais and Borysthenes. The khan entertained with pity and respect the royal suppliant: Phanagoria, once an opulent city, on the Asiatic side of the lake Moeotis, was assigned for his residence; and every Roman prejudice was stifled in his marriage with the sister of the barbarian, who seems, however, from the name of Theodora, to have received the sacrament of baptism. But the faithless Chozar was soon tempted by the gold of Constantinople; and had not the design been revealed by the conjugal love of Theodora, her husband must have been assassinated, or betrayed into the power of his enemies. After strangling, with his own hands, the two emissaries of the khan, Justinian sent back his wife to her brother, and embarked on the Euxine in search of new and more faithful allies. His vessel was assaulted by a violent tempest; and one of his pious companions advised him to deserve the mercy of God by a vow of general forgiveness, if he should be restored to the throne. “Of forgiveness?” replied the intrepid tyrant: “may I perish this instant —may the Almighty whelm me in the waves—if I consent to spare a single head of my enemies!” He survived this impious menace, sailed into the mouth of the Danube, trusted his person in the royal village of the Bulgarians, and purchased the aid of Terbelis, a Pagan conqueror, by the promise of his daughter and a fair partition of the treasures of the empire. The Bulgarian kingdom extended to the confines of Thrace; and the two princes besieged Constantinople at the head of fifteen thousand horse. Apsimar was dismayed by the sudden and hostile apparition of his rival, whose head had been promised by the Chozar, and of whose evasion he was yet ignorant. After an

absence of ten years, the crimes of Justinian were CHAP: faintly remembered, and the birth and misfortunes "": of their hereditary sovereign excited the pity of the multitude, ever discontented with the ruling powers; and by the active diligence of his adherents he was introduced into the city and palace of Constantine. In rewarding his allies, and recalling his wife, Jus- His restoratinian displayed some sense of honour and gratitude; ..." and Terbelis retired, after sweeping away a heap of Ağı" gold coin, which he measured with his Scythian whip. But never was vow more religiously performed than the sacred oath of revenge which he had sworn amidst the storms of the Euxine. The two usurpers, for I must reserve the name of tyrant for the conqueror, were dragged into the hippodrome, the one from his prison, the other from his palace. Before their execution, Leontius and Apsimar were cast prostrate in chains beneath the throne of the emperor; and Justinian, planting a foot on each of their necks, contemplated above an hour the chariot-race, while the inconstant people shouted, in the words of the Psalmist, “Thou shalt trample on the asp and basilisk, and on the lion and dragon shalt thou set thy foot!” The universal defection which he had once experienced might provoke him to repeat the wish of Caligula, that the Roman people had but one head. Yet I shall presume to observe, that such a wish is unworthy of an ingenious tyrant, since his revenge and cruelty would have been extinguished by a single blow, instead of the slow variety of tortures which Justinian inflicted on the victims of his anger. His pleasures were inexhaustible: neither private virtue nor public service could expiate the guilt of active, or even passive, obedience to an established government; and during the six years of his new reign, he considered the axe, the cord, and the rack, as the only instruments of royalty. But his most im

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