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in his life and death. In his life, he was an elegant writer of the Syriac and Arabic tongues, a poet, physician, and historian, a subtle philosopher, and a moderate divine. In his death, his funeral was attended by his rival the Nestorian patriarch, with a train of Greeks and Armenians, who forgot their disputes, and mingled their tears over the grave of an enemy. The sect which was honoured by the virtues of Abulpharagius appears, however, to sink below the level of their Nestorian brethren. The superstition of the Jacobites is more abject, their fasts more rigid," their intestine divisions are more numerous, and their doctors (as far as I can measure the degrees of nonsense) are more remote from the precincts of reason. Something may possibly be allowed for the rigour of the Monophysite theology; much more for the superior influence of the monastic order. Tn Syria, in Egypt, in AEthiopia, the Jacobite monks have ever been distinguished by the austerity of their penance and the absurdity of their legends. Alive or dead they are worshipped as the favourites of the Deity; the crosier of bishop and patriarch is reserved for their venerable hands; and they assume the government of men, while they are yet reeking with the habits and prejudices of the cloister."
III. In the style of the oriental Christians, the III. THE
Monothelites of every age are described under the appellation of Maronites," a name which has been
* This excessive abstinence is censured by La Croze (p. 352), and even by the Syrian Assemannus (tom. i. p. 226. tom. ii. p. 304, 305).
* The state of the Monophysites is excellently illustrated in a dissertation at the beginning of the iid volume of Assemannus, which contains 142 pages. The Syriac Chronicle of Gregory Bar-Hebraeus, or Abulpharagius (Bibliot. Orient. tom. ii. p. 321–463), pursues the double series of the Nestorian Catholics and the Maphrians of the Jacobites.
* The synonymous use of the two words may be proved from Eutychius (Annal. tom. ii. p. 101. 267. 332); and many similar passages which may be found in the methodical table of Pocock. He was not actuated by any prejudice against the Maronites of the xth century; and we may believe a Melchite, whose testimony is confirmed by the Jacobites and Latins. .
CHAP. insensibly transferred from a hermit to a monastery,
from a monastery to a nation. Maron, a saint or
story of the patriarch John Maron (Assemann. Bibliot. Orient. tom. i. p. 496– 520) illustrates, from the year 686 to 707, the troubles of Mount Libanus.
tyrants of the East. The son of the orthodox Constantine pursued, with pious hatred, a people of soldiers, who might have stood the bulwark of his empire against the common foes of Christ and of Rome. An army of Greeks invaded Syria; the monastery of St. Maron was destroyed with fire; the bravest chieftains were betrayed and murdered, and twelve thousand of their followers were transplanted to the distant frontiers of Armenia and Thrace. Yet the humble nation of the Maronites has survived the empire of Constantinople, and they still enjoy, under their Turkish masters, a free religion and a mitigated servitude. Their domestic governors are chosen among the ancient nobility; the patriarch, in his monastery of Canobin, still fancies himself on the throne of Antioch; nine bishops compose his synod, and one hundred and fifty priests, who retain the liberty of marriage, are intrusted with the care of one hundred thousand souls. Their country extends from the ridge of Mount Libanus to the shores of Tripoli; and the gradual descent affords, in a narrow space, each variety of soil and climate, from the Holy Cedars, erect under the weight of snow," to the vine, the mulberry, and the olive trees of the fruitful valley. In the twelfth century, the Maronites, abjuring the Monothelite error, were reconciled to the Latin churches of Antioch and Rome," and the same alliance has been frequently renewed by the ambition
*In the last century twenty large cedars still remained (Voyage de la Roque, tom. i. p. 68–76); at present they are reduced to four or five (Volney, tom. i. p.264). These trees, so famous in Scripture, were guarded by excommunication: the wood was sparingly borrowed for small crosses, &c.; an annual mass was chanted under their shade; and they were endowed by the Syrians with a sensitive power of erecting their branches to repel the snow, to which Mount Libanus is less faithful than it is painted by Tacitus: inter ardores opacum fidumque nivibus—a daring metaphor (Hist. v. 6).
g The evidence of William of Tyre (Hist. in Gestis Dei per Francos, l. xxii. c. 8. p. 1022) is copied or confirmed by Jacques de Vitra (Hist. Hierosolym. 1. ii. c. 77. p. 1093, 1094). But this unnatural league expired with the power of the Franks; and Abulpharagius (who died in 1286) considers the Maronites as a sect of Monothelites (Bibliot. Orient, tom. ii. p. 292).
IV. THE ARMENIANS.
of the popes and the distress of the Syrians. But it may
beratus (Brev. c. 19), Renaudot (Hist. Patriarch. Alex. p. 132. 303), and Assemannus (Bibliot. Orient. tom. ii. Dissertat. de Monophysitis, p. viii. p. 286).
substance. Their adversaries reproach them with the adoration of a phantom; and they retort the accusation, by deriding or execrating the blasphemy of the Jacobites, who impute to the Godhead the vile infirmities of the flesh, even the natural effects of nutrition and digestion. The religion of Armenia could not derive much glory from the learning or the power of its inhabitants. The royalty expired with the origin of their schism; and their Christian kings, who arose and fell in the thirteenth century
on the confines of Cilicia, were the clients of the
Latins and the vassals of the Turkish sultan of Iconium. The helpless nation has seldom been permitted to enjoy the tranquillity of servitude. From the earliest period to the present hour, Armenia has been the theatre of perpetual war; the lands between Tauris and Erivan were dispeopled by the cruel policy of the Sophis; and myriads of Christian families were transplanted, to perish or to propagate in the distant provinces of Persia. Under the rod of oppression, the zeal of the Armenians is fervent and intrepid: they have often preferred the crown of martyrdom to the white turban of Mahomet; they devoutly hate the error and idolatry of the Greeks; and their transient union with the Latins is not less devoid of truth, than the thousand bishops whom their patriarch offered at the feet of the Roman pontiff." The catholic, or patriarch, of the Armenians, resides in the monastery of Ekmiasin, three leagues from Erivan. Forty-seven archbishops, each of whom may claim the obedience of four or five suffragans, are consecrated by his hand; but the far greater part are only titular prelates, who dignify with their presence and service the simplicity of his
* See a remarkable fact of the xiith century in the History of Nicetas Choniates (p. 258). Yet three hundred years before, Photius (Epistol. ii. p. 49. edit. Montacut.) had gloried in the conversion of the Armenians—xareswil anasgay oc8oboča's.
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