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stance should be placed beyond all doubt, we have sent, in honour of his venerable name, this cross, which we have caused to be made, and together with it that which was sent to his sanctuary by Justinian, emperor of the Romans, and which was conveyed hither by our father Chosroes, king of kings, son of Cabades, at the time of the rupture between the two states, and has been found among our treasures."
Gregory, having received these crosses, with the approval of the emperor Maurice, dedicated them with much ceremony in the sanctuary of the martyr. Shortly after, Chosroes sent other offerings for the same temple, with a golden disc, bearing the following inscription :
"I, Chosroes, king of kings, son of Hormisdas, have placed the inscription upon this disc, not as an object for the gaze of mankind, nor that the greatness of thy venerable name might be made known by words of mine, but on account of the truth of the matters therein recorded, and the many benefits and favours which I have received at thy hands: for, that my name should be inscribed on thy sacred vessels, is a happiness to me. At the time when I was at Beramais, I begged of thee, O holy one, that thou wouldest come to my aid, and that Sira might conceive: and inasmuch as Sira was a Christian and I a heathen, and our law forbids us to have a Christian wife, nevertheless, on account of my favourable feelings towards thee, I disregarded the law as respects her, and among my wives I have constantly esteemed, and do still esteem, her as peculiarly mine. Thus I resolved to request of thy goodness, O saint, that she might conceive: and I made the request with a vow, that, if Sira should conceive, I would send the cross she wears to thy venerable sanctuary. On this account both I and Sira purposed to retain this cross in memory of thy name, O saint, and in place of it to send five thousand staters, as its value, which does not really exceed four thousand four hundred staters.2 From the time that I conceived this request and these intentions, until I reached Rhosochosron, not more than ten days elapsed, when thou, O saint, not on
1 Or, grandfather. See above, book iv. chap. 28.
2 There were three sorts of staters: 1. Stater Atticus; of the value of about fifteen shillings. 2. Stater Aureus Macedonicus; worth in our money about eighteen shillings and four pence. 3. Stater Daricus, which it is probable is the money here meant; it was valued at fifteen shillings.
account of my worthiness, but thy kindness, appearedst to me in a vision of the night, and didst thrice tell me that Sira should conceive, while, in the same vision, thrice I replied, It is well. From that day forward Sira has not experienced the custom of women, because thou art the granter of requests; though I, had I not believed thy words, and that thou art holy and the granter of requests, should have doubted that she would not thenceforward experience the custom of women. From this circumstance I was convinced of the power of the vision and the truth of thy words, and accordingly forthwith sent the same cross and its value to thy venerable sanctuary, with directions that out of that sum should be made a disc, and a cup for the purposes of the divine mysteries, as also a cross to be fixed upon the holy table, and a censer, all of gold: also a Hunnish veil' adorned with gold. Let the surplus of the sum belong to thy sanctuary, in order that by virtue of thy fortune, O saint, thou mayest come to the aid of me and Sira in all matters, and especially with respect to this petition; and that what has been already procured for us by thy intercession, may be consummated according to the compassion of thy goodness, and the desire of me and Sira; so that both of us, and all persons in the world, may trust in thy power and continue to believe in thee."
Such is the language of the offerings sent by Chosroes: an instance altogether resembling the prophecy of Balaam; since our compassionate God has wisely disposed it, that the tongues of heathens should give utterance to saving words.
CHAP. XXII.-NAAMANES THE ARAB.
Ar the same time Naamanes, chieftain of the Scenites, after having been a detestable and vile heathen, to such an
1 In the churches of the Christians there were curtains before the doors. And at the very altar there were curtains, wherewith the doors of the altar or choir were covered. And when the priest was about to celebrate the eucharist, those curtains were wont to be drawn, that the people might behold the mysteries afar off. This is attested by St. Chrysostom, in his third Homily on the Epistle to the Ephesians, in these words: "so also here, when the sacrifice is offered, and Christ is sacrificed, when you shall hear these words, 'Let us all pray together,' when you see the curtains drawn, then think that heaven is opened from above," &c. The word άupíupa, is taken for the curtains which were placed at the doors of the altar.
e to t
extent as to sacrifice with his own hand human beings to his gods, approached the sacred baptism.
At which time he
melted down a Venus of solid gold, and divided it
Gregory too, after the presentation of the crosses of Chosroes, while making, with the approbation of the government, a visitation of the solitudes on the borders, where the doctrines of Severus extensively prevailed, brought into union with the church of God many garrisons, villages, monasteries, and entire tribes.
CHAP. XXIII.-SIMEON THE STYLITE THE YOUNGER.
At this time, when the sainted Simeon was afflicted with a mortal disease, Gregory, on being informed by me of the circumstance, hastens to salute him for the last time, but was nevertheless disappointed. This Simeon far surpassed all his contemporaries in virtue, and endured the discipline of a life on the top of a column from his earliest years, since he even cast his teeth in that situation. The occasion on which he was first elevated on the column, was the following. While still very young, he was roving about, sporting and bounding along the eminences of the mountain, and meeting with a panther, he throws his girdle round its neck, and with this kind of halter led the beast, beguiled of its ferocity, to his monastery. His preceptor, who himself occupied a column, observing the circumstance, inquired what he had got; to which he replied, that it was a cat. Conjecturing from this occurrence how distinguished the child would be for virtue, he took him up upon the column; and on this column, and on another, towering above the summit of the mountain, he spend sixty-eight years; earning thereby the highest gifts of grace, in respect of the ejection of demons, the healing of every disease and malady, and the foresight of future things as if they were present.
He also foretold to Gregory that the latter would not witness his death, but said that he was ignorant of the events which should follow it.
On occasion also of my ponderings on the loss of my children, when I was perplexed with the suggestion, why such [EVAGRIUS.]
things did not befall heathens who had numerous offspring; although I had not disclosed my thoughts to any one, he wrote advising me to abandon such ideas as being displeasing to God.
In the case of the wife of one of my amanuenses, when the milk would not flow after child-birth, and the child was in extreme danger, laying his hand upon the right hand of her husband, he bid him place it upon the breasts of his wife. When this was done, immediately the milk started, as if from a fountain, so as to saturate her dress.
A child having been forgotten at dead of night by its fellow-travellers, a lion took it on its back, and conveyed it to the monastery; when, by orders of Simeon, the servants went out and brought in the child under the protection of the lion.
Many other actions he performed, surpassing everything that has been recorded; which demand of an historian elegance of language, leisure, and a separate treatise, being renowned by the tongues of mankind; for persons came to visit him from almost every part of the earth, not only Romans but barbarians, and obtained the object of their prayers. In his case, the place of food and drink was supplied by the branches of a shrub which grew upon the mountain.
CHAP. XXIV.-DEATH OF THE PATRIARCH GREGORY. SHORTLY after, Gregory also dies, after taking a draught of medicine composed of what is called Hermodactylus, administered by one of the physicians during a fit of gout; a disease with which he was much afflicted. At the time of his death, Gregory, the successor of Pelagius, was bishop of Old Rome, and John of New Rome; Eulogius, one of those whom I have already mentioned, of Alexandria; and Anastasius was restored, after three and twenty years,1 to the see of Theopolis.2 John was bishop of Jerusalem; since whose decease, which occurred shortly after, no one has hitherto been intrusted with that see.
Here let me close my history, in the twelfth year of the
Τῷ οἰκείῳ ἀποδοθέντος θρόνῳ. Hence it is evident that Anastasius was restored to the see of Antioch a little before Gregory's death. 2 Anastasius had been deposed A. D. 570. See above, b. v. chap. 5.
reign of Maurice Tiberius, leaving the task of selecting and recording succeeding events to those who choose to undertake it. If any matter has been overlooked by me, or has been treated without sufficient accuracy, let no one blame me, considering that I have brought together scattered materials in order to the benefit of mankind; for whose sake I have submitted to so much toil.
I have also compiled another volume, containing memorials, epistles, decrees, orations, and disputations, and some other matters. The memorials were principally composed in the name of Gregory, bishop of Theopolis; and by means of them I obtained two dignities, Tiberius Constantine having conferred upon me quæstorian rank, and Maurice Tiberius that of prefecture, in consideration of what I composed at the time when he rid the empire of reproach in becoming the father of Theodosius, an earnest of all prosperity both to himself and the commonwealth.