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courage of Tiridates, and the vićtorious arms c H A p. . of Galerius, had annexed to the Armenian mo- xviii. narchy “. -v-/ During the long period of the reign of Con- The Perstantius, the provinces of the east were afflićted o, by the calamities of the Persian war. The irre- 337–360. gular incursions of the light troops alternately spread terror and devastation beyond the Tigris, and beyond the Euphrates, from the gates of Ctesiphon to those of Antioch; and this active service was performed by the Arabs of the desert, who were divided in their interest and affections; fome of their independent chiefs being enlisted in the party of Sapor, whilst others had engaged their doubtful fidelity to the emperor *. The more grave and important operations of the war were conducted with equal vigour; and the armies of Rome and Persia encountered each other in nine bloody fields, in two of which Constantius himself commanded in person “. The event of Battle of the "5".
$8 Julian. Orat. i. p. 20, 21. Moses of Chorene, 1. ii. c. 89. I. iii. c. 1–9. p. 226—240. The perfect agreement between the vague hints of the contemporary orator, and the circumstantial narrative of the national historian, gives light to the former, and weight to the latter. For the credit of Moses it may be likewise observed, that the name of Antiochus is found a few years before in a civil office of inferior dignity. See Godefroy, Cod. Theod. tom. vi. P. 35o.
59 Ammianus (xiv. 4.) gives a lively description of the wandering and praedatory life of the Saracens, who stretched from the confines of Assyria to the cataraćts of the Nile. It appears from the adventures of Malchus, which jeroin has related in so entertaining a manner, that the high road between Beroea and Edessa was infested by
these robbers. See Hieronym. tom. i. p. 256. - 6° we shall take from Eutropius the general idea of the war Kx- 10.). A Persis enim multa et gravia perpesius, sepe captis oppidis,
the day was most commonly adverse to the Romans, but in the battle of Singara, their impru
cifive vićtory. The stationary troops of Singara retired on the approach of Sapor, who passed the Tigris over three bridges, and occupied, near the village of Hilleh an advantageous camp, which, by the labour of his numerous pioneers, he furrounded in one day with a deep ditch, and a lofty. rampart. His formidable host, when it was drawn out in order of battle, covered the banks of the river, the adjacent heights, and the whole extent of a plain of above twelve miles, which separated. the two armies. Both were alike impatient to engage; but the Barbarians, after a slight resist. ance, fled in disorder; unable to resist, or de-, firous to weary, the strength of the heavy l egions, who, fainting with heat and thirst, pursued them. across the plain, and cut in pieces a line of ca
valry, clothed in complete armöur, which had
been posted before the gates of the camp to pro
tect their retreat. Constantius, who was hurried
along in the pursuit, attempted, without effect, to restrain the ardour of his troops, by represent
ing to them the dangers of the approaching night,
and the certainty of completing their success with c H. A. P.
the return of day. As they depended much XVIII. \-y
more on their own valour, than on the experience
c H A P. had been made a captive in the Persian camp. XVIII. The unhappy youth, who might have excited the ‘TT compassion of the most savage enemy, was scourged, tortured, and publicly executed by the inhuman Romans “. Siege of Whatever advantages might attend the arms of Niño. Sapor in the field, though nine repeated vićtories diffused among the nations the fame of his valour and conduct, he could not hope to succeed in the execution of his designs, while the fortified towns of Mesopotamia, and above all, the strong and ancient city of Nifibis, remained in the posses. fion of the Romans. In the space of twelve years, Nisibis, which since the time of Lucullus, had been deservedly esteemed the bulwark of the east, sustained three memorable fieges against the power A.D 338. of Sapor ; and the disappointed monarch, after 346. 33 o' urging his attacks above fixty, eighty, and an hundred days, was thrice repulsed with loss and ignominy". This large and populous city was situate about two days journey from the Tigris, in the midst of a pleasant and fertile plain at the foot of mount Mafius. A treble inclosure of brick walls was defended by a deep ditch “; and the
64 1.ihanius, Orat. iii. p. 133. with Julian. Orat. i. p. 24. and Spanheim's Commentary, p. 179. 63 See Julian. Orat. i. p. 27. Orat. ii. p. 62, &c. with the Commentary of Spanheim (p. 188–202.), who illustrates the circumstances, and ascertains the time of the three fieges of Nisibis. Their dates are likewise examined by Tillemont (Hist. des Empereurs, ton, iv. p. 668. 671. 674.). Something is added from Zosimus, 1. iii. p. 151. and the Alexandrine Chronicle, p. 290. & 4 Sallust. Fragment. lxxxiv. edit. Brosses, and Plutarch in Lucull. tom. iii. p. 134. Nifibis is now reduced to one hundred and fifty houses; the marshy lands produce rice, and the fertile meadows, as
the intrepid affistance of Count Lucilianus, and E H A P- 3 his garrison, was seconded by the desperate cou- *Y*rage of the people. The citizens of Nisibis were animated by the exhortations of their bishop “, inAured to arms by the presence of danger, and convinced of the intentions of Sapor to plant a Perfian colony in their room, and to lead them away into distant and barbarous captivity. The event of the two former sieges elated their confidence and exasperated the haughty spirit of the Great King, who advanced a third time towards Nisibis, at the head of the united forces of Persia and India. The ordinary machines invented to batter or undermine the walls, were rendered ineffećtual by the superior skill of the Romans; and many days had vainly elapsed, when Sapor embraced a resolution, worthy of an eastern monarch, who believed that the elements themselves were subječt to his power. At the stated season of the melting of the snows in Armenia, the river Mygdonius, which divides the plain and the city of .Nisibis, forms like the Nile “, an inundation
as far as Mosul and the Tigris, are covered with the ruins of towas and villages. See Niebuhr, Voyages, tool. ii. p. 300–309. 65 The miracles which Theodoret (!. ii. c. 3 o') as robes to St. James, bishop of Edessa, were at least performed in a worthy cause, the defence of his country. He appeared on the was is under the figure of the Roman emperor, and sent an army of gnats to fling the trunks of the elephants, and to discom fit the host of the new
Senacherib. 66 Julian Orat. i. p. 27. Though Niebuhr (tom, ii. p. 307.) allows a very confiderable swell to the Mygdonius, over which he saw a bridge of twelve arches ; it is difficult, however, to understand this parallel of a trifling rivulet with a mighty river. There are many circumstances obscure, and almost unintelligible, in The de
feription of these stupendous water-works. OVer