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from the instructions of the philosopher. Maximus, 46 who soon acquired the confidence, and influenced the councils, of Julian, was insensibly corrupted by the temptations of a court. His dress became more splendid, his demeanour more lofty, and he was exposed, under a succeeding reign, to a disgraceful inquiry into the means by which the disciple of Plato had accumulated, in the short duration of his favour, a very scandalous proportion of wealth. Of the other philosophers and sophists who were invited to the Imperial residence by the choice of Julian, or by the success of Maximus, few were able to preserve their innocence or their reputation.47 The liberal gifts of money, lands, and houses were insufficient to satiate their rapacious avarice, and the indignation of the people was justly excited by the remembrance of their abject poverty and disinterested professions. The penetration of Julian could not always be deceived, but he was unwilling to despise the characters of those men whose talents deserved his esteem; he desired to escape the double reproach of imprudence and inconstancy, and he was apprehensive of degrading, in the eyes of the profane, the honour of letters and of religion. 18 The favour of Julian was almost equally divided between the
Pagans who had firmly adhered to the worship of their Conversions.
ons ancestors, and the Christians who prudently embraced the religion of their sovereign. The acquisition of new proselytes 49 gratified the ruling passions of his soul, superstition and vanity; and he was heard to declare, with the enthusiasm of a missionary, that if he could render each individual richer than Midas, and every city greater than Babylon, he should not esteem himself the benefactor of mankind unless, at the same time, he could reclaim his subjects from their impious revolt against the immortal gods.50 A prince, who had studied human nature, and who possessed the treasures of the Roman empire, could adapt his arguments, his promises, and his rewards to every order of Christians ; 51 and the merit of a seasonable conversion was allowed to supply the defects of a candidate, or even to expiate the guilt of a criminal. As the army is the most forcible engine of absolute power, Julian applied himself, with peculiar diligence, to corrupt the religion of his troops, without whose hearty concurrence every measure must be dangerous and unsuccessful, and the natural temper of soldiers made this conquest as easy as it was important. The legions of Gaul devoted themselves to the faith, as well as to the fortunes, of their victorious leader; and even before the death of Constantius, he had the satisfaction of announcing to his friends that they assisted, with fervent devotion and voracious appetite, at the sacrifices, which were repeatedly offered in his camp, of whole hecatombs of fat oxen.52 The armies of the East, which had been trained under the standard of the cross and of Constantius, required a more artful and expensive mode of persuasion. On the days of solemn and public festivals the emperor received the homage, and rewarded the merit, of the troops. His throne of state was encircled with the military ensigns of Rome and the republic; the holy name of Christ was erased from the Labarum; and the symbols of war, of majesty, and of Pagan superstition were so dexterously blended that the faithful subject incurred the guilt of idolatry when he respectfully saluted the person or image of his sovereign. The soldiers passed successively in review, and each of them, before he received from the hand of Julian a liberal donative, proportioned to his rank and services, was required to cast a few grains of incense into the flame which burnt upon the altar. Some Christian confessors might resist, and others might repent; but the far greater number, allured by the prospect of gold and awed by the presence of the emperor, contracted the criminal engagement, and their future perseverance in
46 Eunapius a (in Maximo, p. 77, 78, 79, and in Chrysanthio, p. 147, 148 (p. 94 sqq. and 191 599., ed. Comm.]) has minutely related these ancedotes, which he conceives to be the most important events of the age. Yet he fairly confesses the frailty of Maximus. His reception at Constantinople is described by Libanius (Orat. Parent. c. 76, p. 301) and Ammianus (xxii. 7).
47 Chrysanthius, who had refused to quit Lydia, was created high-priest of the province. His cautious and temperate use of power secured him after the revolution: and he lived in peace; while Maximus, Priscus, &c., were persecuted by the Christian ministers. See the adventures of those fanatic sophists, collected by Brucker, tom. ii. p. 281-293.
48 See Libanius (Orat. Parent. c. 100, 101, p. 324, 325, 326) and Eunapius (Vit. Sophist. in Proæresio, p. 126 [p. 160, ed. Comm.]). Some students, whose expecta. tions perhaps were groundless or extravagant, retired in disgust (Greg. Naz. Orat. iv. p. 120). “ It is strange that we should not be able to contradict the title of one of Tillemont's chapters (Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 960), “La Cour de Julien est pleine de philosophes et de gens perdus."
19 Under the reign of Lewis XIV. his subjects of every rank aspired to the glorious title of Convertisseur, expressive of their zeal and success in making proselytes. The word and the idea are growing obsolete in France; may they never be introduced into England!
* Eunapius wrote a continuation of the M. Mai, and reprinted in Niebuhr's ediHistory of Dexippus. Some valuable frag- tion of the Byzantine Historians.-M. ments of this work have been recovered by
50 See the strong expressions of Libanius, which were probably those of Julian himself (Orat. Parent. c. 59, p. 285).
51 When Gregory Nazianzen (Orat. x. p. 167) is desirous to magnify the Christian firmness of his brother Cæsarius, physician to the Imperial court, he owns that Cæsarius disputed with a formidable adversary, rómu ly or hoãs, xai nigar iv dogwe duóthTI. In his invectives he scarcely allows any share of wit or courage to the apostate,
52 Julian. Epist. xxxviii. [p. 415]. Ammianus, xxii. 12. Adeo ut in dies pæne singulos milites carnis distentiore saginâ victitantes incultius, potusque aviditate correpti, humeris impositi transeuntium per plateas, ex publicis ædibus . ... ad sua diversoria portarentur. The devout prince and the indignant historian describe the same scene; and in Illyricum or Antioch similar causes must have produced similar effects.
the worship of the gods was enforced by every consideration of duty and of interest. By the frequent repetition of these arts, and at the expense of sums which would have purchased the service of half the nations of Scythia, Julian gradually acquired for his troops the imaginary protection of the gods, and for himself the firm and effectual support of the Roman legions.53 It is indeed more than probable that the restoration and encouragement of Paganism revealed a multitude of pretended Christians, who, from motives of temporal advantage, had acquiesced in the religion of the former reign, and who afterwards returned, with the same flexibility of conscience, to the faith which was professed by the successors of Julian. While the devout monarch incessantly laboured to restore and
propagate the religion of his ancestors, he embraced the * extraordinary design of rebuilding the temple of Jerusalem. In a public epistle 54 to the nation or community of the Jews dispersed through the provinces, he pities their misfortunes, condemns their oppressors, praises their constancy, declares himself their gracious protector, and expresses a pious hope that, after his return from the Persian war, he may be permitted to pay his grateful vows to the Almighty in his holy city of Jerusalem. The blind superstition and abject slavery of those unfortunate exiles must excite the contempt of a philosophic emperor, but they deserved the friendship of Julian by their implacable hatred of the Christian name. The barren synagogue abhorred and envied the fecundity of the rebellious church; the power of the Jews was not equal to their malice, but their gravest rabbis approved the private murder of an apostate, 55 and their seditious clamours had often awakened the indolence of the Pagan magistrates. Under the reign of Constantine, the Jews became the subjects of their revolted children, nor was it long before they experienced the bitterness of domestic tyranny. The civil immunities which had been granted or confirmed by Severus were gradually repealed by the Christian princes; and a rash tumult, excited by the
63 Gregory (Orat. iii. p. 74, 75, 83-86) and Libanius (Orat. Parent. c. lxxxi. Ixxxii. p. 307, 308), gepl Taún any proudny, oux ápraõuen houToy áunawolas piyan. The sophist owns and justifies the expense of these military conversions.
54 Julian's epistle (xxv.) is addressed to the community of the Jews. Aldus (Venet. 1499) has branded it with an ei grosos; but this stigma is justly removed by the subsequent editors, Petavius and Spanheim. The epistle is mentioned by Sozomen (1. v. c. 22), and the purport of it is confirmed by Gregory (Orat, iv. p. 111), and by Julian himself (Fragment. p. 295).
55 The Misnah denounced death against those who abandoned the foundation. The judgment of zeal is explained by Marsham (Canon. Chron. p. 161, 162, edit. fol. London, 1672) and Basnage (Hist. des Juifs, tom. viii. p. 120). Constantine made a law to protect Christian converts from Judaism. Cod. Theod. 1. xvi, tit. viii. leg. 1. Godefroy, tom. vi. p. 215.
Jews of Palestine, 56 seemed to justify the lucrative modes of oppression which were invented by the bishops and eunuchs of the court of Constantius. The Jewish patriarch, who was still permitted to exercise a precarious jurisdiction, held his residence at Tiberias, 57 and the neighbouring cities of Palestine were filled with the remains of a people who fondly adhered to the promised land. But the edict of Hadrian was renewed and enforced, and they viewed from afar the walls of the holy city, which were profaned in their eyes by the triumph of the cross and the devotion of the Christians. 58
In the midst of a rocky and barren country the walls of Jerusalem 59 enclosed the two mountains of Sion and Acra within an oval figure of about three English miles.60 Towards the south, the upper town and the fortress of David were erected on the lofty ascent of Mount Sion ; on the north side, the buildings of the lower town covered the spacious summit of Mount Acra; and a part of the hill, distinguished by the name of Moriah, and levelled by human industry, was crowned with the stately temple of the Jewish nation. After the final destruction of the temple by the arms of Titus and Hadrian a ploughshare was drawn over the consecrated ground, as a sign of perpetual interdiction. Sion was deserted, and the vacant space of the lower city was filled with the public and private edifices of the Ælian colony, which spread themselves over the adjacent hill of Calvary. The holy places were polluted with
56 Et interea (during the civil war of Magnentius) Judæorum seditio, qui Patricium nefarie in regni speciem sustulerunt, oppressa. Aurelius Victor, in Constantio, c. xlii. See Tillemont, Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 379, in 4to.
57 The city and synagogue of Tiberias are curiously described by Reland, Palestin. tom. ii. p. 1036–1042.
58 Basnage has fully illustrated the state of the Jews under Constantine and his successors (tom. viii. c. iv. p. 111-153).
59 Reland (Palestin. l. i. p. 309, 390, l. iii. p. 838) describes, with learning and perspicuity, Jerusalem and the face of the adjacent country.
60°I have consulted a rare and curious treatise of M. d'Anville (sur l'Ancienne Jérusalem, Paris, 1747, p. 75). The circumference of the ancient city (Euseb. Preparat. Evangel. 1. ix. c. 36) was 27 stadia, or 2550 toises. A plan taken on the spot assigns no more than 1980 for the modern town. The circuit is defined by natural landmarks, which cannot be mistaken or removed.
* Both Mr. Williams (Holy City, vol. opinion that the walls of Hadrian em. i. p. 149) and Dr. Robinson (Bibl. Res. in braced about the same circumference as Palestine, vol.i. p.467) agree that Josephus' the modern city, or about 21 geographical account (Bell. Jud. v. c. 4, s. 8) of the miles. This must have been its size when circumference of the ancient city of Jeru. Julian attempted to rebuild the temple-salem, viz. 33 stadia, or nearly 34 geogra- the period of which Gibbon speaks; phical miles, is correct. After its destruc- whose measurement, if he speaks of the tion by Titus, Jerusalem seems to have city before Titus, is too small; if of its lain in ruins till the time of Hadrian, who state after Hadrian, too large. He prorebuilt it under the name of Ælia Capito- ceeded on the authority of d'Anville, lina. The circumference of his walls was whose plan of Jerusalem (according to considerably smaller, as a part of Mount Mr. Williams, vol. i. suppt. p. 6) is very Zion was excluded. Robinson (1. c.) is of inaccurate.--S.
monuments of idolatry, and, either from design or accident, a chapel was dedicated to Venus on the spot which had been sanctified by the death and resurrection of Christ.612 Almost three hundred years after those stupendous events, the profane chapel of Venus was demolished by the order of Constantine, and the removal of the earth and stones revealed the holy sepulchre to the eyes of mankind. A magnificent church was erected on that mystic ground by the first Christian emperor, and the effects of his pious munificence were extended to every spot which had been consecrated by the footsteps of patriarchs, of prophets, and of the Son of God. 62 The passionate desire of contemplating the original monuments
of their redemption attracted to Jerusalem a successive Pilgrimages.
*** crowd of pilgrims from the shores of the Atlantic ocean and the most distant countries of the East :63 and their piety was authorised by the example of the empress Helena, who appears to have united the credulity of age with the warm feelings of a recent conversion. Sages and heroes, who have visited the memorable scenes of ancient wisdom or glory, have confessed the inspiration of the genius of the place ;64 and the Christian who knelt before the holy sepulchre ascribed his lively faith and his fervent devotion to the more immediate influence of the Divine Spirit. The zeal, perhaps the avarice, of the clergy of Jerusalem cherished and multiplied these beneficial visits. They fixed, by unquestionable tradition, the scene of each memorable event. They exhibited the instruments which had been used in the passion of Christ; the nails and the lance that had pierced his hands, his feet, and his side ; the crown of thorns that was planted on his head; the pillar at which he was scourged; and, above all, they showed the cross on which he suffered, and which was dug out of the earth in the reign of those princes who inserted the symbol
61 See two curious passages in Jerom (tom. i. p. 102, tom. vi. p. 315), and the ample details of Tillemont (Hist. des Empereurs, tom. i. p. 569, tom. ii. p. 289, 294, 4to. edition).
62 Eusebius in Vit. Constantin. 1. iü. c. 25-47, 51-53. The emperor likewise built churches at Bethlem, the Mount of Olives, and the oak of Mambre. The holy sepulchre is described by Sandys (Travels, p. 125-133), and curiously delineated by Le Bruyn (Voyage au Levant, p. 288-296).
63 The Itinerary from Bordeaux to Jerusalem was composed in the year 333, for the use of pilgrims; among whom Jerom (tom. i. p. 126) mentions the Britons and the Indians. The causes of this superstitious fashion are discussed in the learned and judicious preface of Wesseling (Itinerar. p. 537–545).b
64 Cicero (de Finibus, v. 1) has beautifully expressed the common sense of mankind.
. On the site of the Holy Sepulchre, the Christians, is not the least suspicious compare the chapter in Professor Robin. part of the whole legend.-M. 1845. son's Travels in Palestine, which has re- b Much curious information on this newed the old controversy with great subject is collected in the first chapter of vigour. To me this temple of Venus, said Wilken, Geschichte der Kreuzzüge.-M. to have been erected by Hadrian to insult