Eugene Ho: Passages from Edward Gibbons
The following is a compilation of my favourite passages, almost one thousand in total, from Gibbon’s masterpiece. They were chosen not because of the importance of the histories which they relate, but because of the literary wit and beauty that they contain. Gibbon once accused compilers of having “darkened the face of learning” (see below: Chapter 2, last entry). I only hope that Dr. Zimmermann and myself are not two of them!
In addition to the passages below, there are also two in-depth studies of Gibbon and his History which I have written and posted on the Internet:
• ‘The Man and his Book’, and
• ‘A Closer Look at the Decline and Fall’.
— Eugene Ho —
p. 1. In the second century of the Christian era, the empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilized portion of mankind. The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valour. The gentle, but powerful, influence of laws and manners had gradually cemented the union of the provinces. Their peaceful inhabitants enjoyed or abused the advantages of wealth and luxury. The image of a free constitution was preserved with decent reverence. The Roman senate appeared to possess the sovereign authority, and devolved on the emperors all the executive powers of government.
p. 1. The principal conquests of the Romans were achieved under the republic; and the emperors, for the most part, were satisfied with preserving those dominions which had been acquired by the policy of the senate, the active emulation of the consuls, and the martial enthusiasm of the people.
p. 3. Engaged in the pursuit of pleasure, or in the exercise of tyranny, the first Caesars seldom showed themselves to the armies, or to the provinces.
p. 3. After a war of about forty years, undertaken by the most stupid, maintained by the most dissolute, and terminated by the most timid of all the emperors, the far greater part of the island submitted to the Roman yoke.
p. 6. [A]s long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.
p. 9. In the purer ages of the commonwealth, the use of arms was reserved for those ranks of citizens who had a country to love, a property to defend, and some share in enacting those laws, which it was their interest, as well as duty, to maintain. But in proportion as the public freedom was lost in extent of conquest, war was gradually improved into an art, and degraded into a trade.
p. 17. We have attempted to explain the spirit which moderated, and the strength which supported, the power of Hadrian and the Antonines.
p. 18. Of the natives barbarians, the Celtiberians were the most powerful, as the Cantabrians and Asturians proved the most obstinate. Confident in the strength of their mountains, they were the last who submitted to the arms of Rome, and the first who threw off the yoke of the Arabs.
p. 24. It is easier to deplore the fate, than to describe the actual condition, of Corsica.
p. 25. The policy of the emperors and the senate, as far as it concerned religion, was happily seconded by the reflections of the enlightened, and by the habits of the superstitious, part of their subjects. The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrates, as equally useful.
p. 28. Rome, the capital of a great monarchy, was incessantly filled with subjects and strangers from every part of the world, who all introduced and enjoyed the favourite superstitions of their native country.
p. 32. The natives of Italy, allured by pleasure or by interest, hastened to enjoy the advantages of victory.
p. 33. This obvious difference marked the two portions of the empire with a distinction of colours, which, though it was in some degree concealed during the meridian splendour of prosperity, became gradually more visible as the shades of night descended upon the Roman world.
p. 34. Among the innumerable monuments of architecture constructed by the Romans, how many have escaped the notice of history, how few have resisted the ravages of time and barbarism!
p. 48. In their dress, their table, their houses, and their furniture, the favourites of fortune united every refinement of conveniency, of elegance, and of splendour, whatever could soothe their pride or gratify their sensuality. Such refinements, under the odious name of luxury, have been severely arraigned by the moralists of every age; and it might perhaps be more conducive to the virtue, as well as happiness of mankind, if all possessed the necessities, and none of the superfluities, of life.
p. 51. The authority of Plato and Aristotle, of Zeno and Epicurus, still reigned in the schools; and their systems, transmitted with blind deference from one generation of disciples to another, precluded every generous attempt to exercise the powers, or enlarge the limits, of the human mind.
p. 52. The name of Poet was almost forgotten; that of Orator was usurped by the sophists. A cloud of critics, of compilers, of commentators, darkened the face of learning, and the decline of genius was soon followed by the corruption of taste.
p. 52. The influence of the clergy, in an age of superstition, might be usefully employed to assert the rights of mankind; but so intimate is the connection between the throne and the altar, that the banner of the church has very seldom been seen on the side of the people.
p. 54. Augustus pronounced a studied oration, which displayed his patriotism, and disguised his ambition.
p. 56. When Pompey commanded in the east, he rewarded his soldiers and allies, dethroned princes, divided kingdoms, founded colonies, and distributed the treasures of Mithridates.
p. 69. History…is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortune of mankind.
p. 70. If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world, during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus. The vast extent of the Roman empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of virtue and wisdom. The armies were restrained by the firm but gentle hand of four successive emperors, whose characters and authority commanded involuntary respect.
p. 70. The military force was a blind and irresistible instrument of oppression; and the corruption of Roman manners would always supply flatterers eager to applaud, and ministers prepared to serve, the fear or the avarice, the lust or the cruelty, of their masters.
p. 72. The minds of the Romans were very differently prepared for slavery. Oppressed beneath the weight of their own corruption and of miliary violence, they for a long while preserved the sentiments, or at least the ideas, of their free-born ancestors.
p. 75. Most of the crimes which disturb the internal peace of society are produced by the restraints which the necessary, but unequal, laws of property have imposed on the appetites of mankind, by confining to a few the possession of those objects that are coveted by many.
p. 78. The governors of the provinces, who had long been the spectators, and perhaps the partners, of his [Maternus, a private soldier] depredations, were, at length, roused from their supine indolence by the threatening commands of the emperor.
p. 79. Avarice was the reigning passion of his [Cleander’s] soul, and the great principle of his administration.
p. 81. Nero himself excelled, or affected to excel, in the elegant arts of music and poetry.
p. 83. [W]hen he [Commodus] exercised his skill in the school of the gladiators, or his own palace, his wretched antagonists were frequently honoured with a mortal wound from the hand of Commodus, and obliged to seal their flattery with their blood.
p. 95. Virtue, or the appearances of virtue, recommended Albinus to the confidence and good opinion of Marcus.
p. 95. He [Albinus] courted power by nobler, or, at least by more specious, arts.
p. 98. The enemy was now within two hundred and fifty miles of Rome; and every moment diminished the narrow span of life and empire allotted to Julian.
p. 101. Severus pronounced his funeral oration with studied eloquence, inward satisfaction, and well-acted sorrow.
p. 104. [T]he Romans, after the fall of the republic, combated only for the choice of masters. Under the standard of a popular candidate for empire, a few enlisted from affection, some from fear, many from interest, none from principle.
p. 109. Till the reign of Severus, the virtue and even the good sense of the emperors had been distinguished by their zeal or affected reverence for the senate.
p. 113. The disorder of his [Severus’] mind irritated the pains of his body; he wished impatiently for death, and hastened the instant of it by his impatience.
p. 122. As soon as the character of Macrinus was surveyed by the sharp eye of discontent, some vices, and many defects, were easily discovered. The choice of his ministers was in many instances justly censured, and the dissatisfied people, with their usual candour, accused at once his indolent tameness and his excessive severity.
p. 122. His [Macrinus’] rash ambition had climbed a height where it was difficult to stand with firmness, and impossible to fall without instant destruction.
p. 123. [The empress Julia] was doomed to weep over the death of one of her sons, and over the life of the other.
p. 128. The most worthless of mankind are not afraid to condemn in others the same disorders which they allow in themselves; and can readily discover some nice difference of age, character, or station, to justify the partial distinction.
p. 144. Inattentive, or rather averse, to the welfare of his people, he [Caracalla] found himself under the necessity of gratifying the insatiate avarice, which he had excited in the army.
p. 146. In the cool shade of retirement, we may easily devise imaginary forms of government, in which the sceptre shall be constantly bestowed on the most worthy, by the free and incorrupt suffrage of the whole community. Experience overturns these airy fabrics, and teaches us that in a large society, the election of a monarch can never devolve to the wisest, or to the most numerous, part of the people.
p. 148. Though a stranger to real wisdom, he [Maximin] was not devoid of a selfish cunning, which showed him that the emperor had lost the affection of the army, and taught him to improve their discontent to his own advantage.
p. 151. As long as the cruelty of Maximin was confined to the illustrious senators, or even to the bold adventurers, who in the court or army expose themselves to the caprice of fortune, the body of the people viewed their sufferings with indifference, or perhaps with pleasure.
p. 153. Twenty-two acknowledged concubines, and a library of sixty-two thousand volumes, attested the variety of his [Gordianus II’s] inclinations, and from the productions which he left behind him, it appears that the former as well as the latter were designed for use rather than ostentation.
p. 154. During the emperor’s absence, a detachment of the Praetorian guards remained at Rome, to protect, or rather to command, the capital.
p. 164. The fear of a rescue from the faithful Germans of the Imperial Guards shortened their tortures; and their bodies, mangled with a thousand wounds, were left exposed to the insults or to the pity of the populace.
p. 164. As [Gordianus III] was only nineteen years of age at the time of his death, the history of his life, were it known to us with greater accuracy than it really is, would contain little more than the account of his education, and the conduct of the ministers, who by turns abused or guided the simplicity of his inexperienced youth.
p. 171. During the long servitude of Persia under the Macedonian and the Parthian yoke, the nations of Europe and Asia had mutually adopted and corrupted each other’s superstition. The Arsacides, indeed, practised the worship of the Magi; but they disgraced and polluted it with a various mixture of foreign idolatry.
p. 176. The majesty of Ormusd, who was jealous of a rival, was seconded by the despotism of Artaxerxes, who could not suffer a rebel…
p. 181. Our suspicions are confirmed by the authority of a contemporary historian, who mentions the virtues of Alexander with respect, and his faults with candour.
p. 182. [A]fter consuming in Mesopotamia an inactive and inglorious summer, [Alexander Severus] led back to Antioch an army diminished by sickness, and provoked by disappointment.
p. 188. It is difficult to ascertain, and easy to exaggerate, the influence of the climate of ancient Germany over the minds and bodies of the natives.
p. 189. The last century [ie., the 17th Century] abounded with antiquarians of profound learning and easy faith…
p. 193. The sounds that summoned the German to arms… aroused him from his uncomfortable lethargy, gave him an active pursuit, and, by strong exercise of the body, and violent emotions of the mind, restored him to a more lively sense of his existence. In the dull intervals of peace, these barbarians were immoderately addicted to deep gaming and excessive drinking; both of which, by different means, the one by inflaming their passions, the other by extinguishing their reason, alike relieved them from the pain of thinking.
p. 199. Female courage, however it may be raised by fanaticism, or confirmed by habit, can be only a faint and imperfect imitation of the manly valour that distinguishes the age or country in which it may be found.
p. 206. Wars, and the administration of public affairs, are the principal subjects of history.
p. 207. Surrounded with imperfect fragments, always concise, often obscure, and sometimes contradictory, [the historian] is reduced to collect, to compare, and to conjecture.
p. 208. [Decius] conducted or followed his army to the confines of Italy…
p. 221. Perhaps the merit of [Valerian] was inadequate to his reputation; perhaps his abilities, or at least his spirit, were affected by the languor and coldness of old age.
p. 227. [T]o the south of that inland sea were situated the soft and wealthy provinces of Asia Minor, which possessed all that could attract, and nothing which could resist, a barbarian conqueror.
p. 235. By his weak or wicked counsels, the Imperial army was betrayed into a situation where valour and military skill were equally unavailing.
p. 237. The voice of history… is often little more than the organ of hatred or flattery.
p. 238. In every art that he [Gallienus] attempted his lively genius enabled him to succeed; and as his genius was destitute of judgment, he attempted every art except the important ones of war and government.
p. 238. [Gallienus] was a master of several curious but useless sciences, a ready orator and elegant poet, a skilful gardener, an excellent cook, and most contemptible prince.
p. 240. In times of confusion, every active genius finds the place assigned to him by Nature: in a general state of war, military merit is the road to glory and to greatness.
p. 241. The rapid and perpetual transitions from the cottage to the throne and from the throne to the grave, might have amused an indifferent philosopher; were it possible for a philosopher to remain indifferent amidst the general calamities of human kind.
p. 246. Aureolus, doubtful of his internal strength and hopeless of foreign succours, already anticipated the fatal consequences of unsuccessful rebellion.
p. 251. Several large bodies of barbarians, covering their retreat with a moveable fortification of waggons, retired, or rather escaped, from the field of slaughter.
p. 258. Fear has been the original parent of superstition, and every new calamity urges trembling mortals to deprecate the wrath of their invisible enemies.
p. 259. The extent of the new walls, erected by Aurelian, and finished in the reign of Probus, was magnified by popular estimation to near fifty, but is reduced by accurate measurement to about twenty-one miles.
p. 263. Invincible in war, [Odenathus] was there cut off by domestic treason, and his favourite amusement of hunting was the cause, or at least the occasion, of his death.
p. 265. [Zenobia] retired within the walls of her capital, made every preparation for a vigorous resistance, and declared, with the intrepidity of a heroin, that the last moment of her reign and of her life should be the same.
p. 275. [A]n amazing period of tranquil anarchy [elapsed], during which the Roman world remained without a sovereign, without a usurper, and without a sedition.
p. 283. [Probus’] dutiful address to the senate displayed the sentiments, or at least the language, of a Roman patriot.
p. 286. The fame of warriors is built on the destruction of human kind.
p. 288. The infrequency of marriage, and the ruin of agriculture, affected the principles of population, and not only destroyed the strength of the present, but intercepted the hope of future generations.
p. 291. [I]n the prosecution of a favourite scheme, the best of men, satisfied with the rectitude of their intentions, are subject to forget the bounds of moderation.
p. 296. In the Gallic war [Carinus] discovered some degree of personal courage; but from the moment of his arrival at Rome he abandoned himself to the luxury of the capital, and to the abuse of his fortune. He was soft, yet cruel; devoted to pleasure, but destitute of taste.
p. 296. [Carinus] beheld with inveterate hatred all those who might remember his former obscurity, or censure his present conduct.
p. 302. [Carinus’] personal vices overbalanced every advantage of birth and situation. The most faithful servants of the father [ie., the emperor Carus] despised the incapacity, and dreaded the cruel arrogance of the son…. A tribune, whose wife he had seduced, seized the opportunity of revenge, and by a single blow extinguished civil discord in the blood of the adulterer.
p. 303. Favourable oracles, or rather the consciousness of superior merit, prompted [Diocletian] to pursue the profession of arms and the hopes of fortune.
p. 309. When Britain was thus dismembered from the empire its importance was sensibly felt and its loss sincerely lamented. The Romans celebrated, and perhaps magnified, the extent of that noble island, provided on every side with convenient harbours.
p. 311. [Carausius] was murdered by his first minister Allectus, and the assassin succeeded to his power and to his danger. But he possessed not equal abilities either to exercise the one or to repel the other.
p. 313. Whenever the provinces were invaded, Diocletian conducted himself with that calm dignity which he always affected or possessed.
p. 316. The darkness of the middle ages ensured a favourable reception to every tale of wonder, and the revival of learning gave new vigour to hope, and suggested more specious arts of deception.
p. 331. The pride, or rather the policy, of Diocletian, engaged that artful prince to introduce the stately magnificence of the court of Persia.
p. 336. It is seldom that minds long exercised in business have formed any habits of conversing with themselves, and in the loss of power they principally regret the want of occupation.
p. 354. [Maxentius] retired from Italy into Illyricum, affecting to lament his past conduct, and secretly contriving new mischiefs.
p. 354. Maximian either craftily invented, or hastily credited, a vain report of the death of Constantine.
p. 356. This tax was so extremely oppressive, either in itself or in the mode of collecting it that, whilst the revenue was increased by extortion, it was diminished by despair.
p. 356. The soldiers were the only order of men whom [Maxentius] appeared to respect, or studied to please…. A prince, of such a character, alike incapable of governing either in peace or in war, might purchase the support, but he could never obtain the esteem, of the army.
p. 363. Concealing, or at least attempting to conceal, from the public knowledge the misfortunes of his arms, he indulged himself in a vain confidence, which deferred the remedies of the approaching evil without deferring the evil itself.
p. 364. The guardians of [the Sibylline books] were as well versed in the arts of this world as they were ignorant of the secrets of fate; and they returned [Maxentius] a very prudent answer, which might adapt itself to the event, and secure their reputation, whatever should be the chance of arms.
p. 374. Two laws… may be selected from the crowd; the one for its importance, the other for its singularity; the former for its remarkable benevolence, the latter for its excessive severity.
p. 375. The less opulent or less industrious part of mankind, instead of rejoicing in an increase of family, deemed it an act of paternal tenderness to release their children from the impending miseries of a life which they themselves were unable to support.
p. 380. The troops of Licinius, though they were lately raised, ill armed, and worse disciplined, made head against their conquerors with fruitless but desperate valour, till a total defeat, and the slaughter of five-and-twenty thousand men, irretrievably determined the fate of their leader.
p. 384. The sullen obstinacy of which [the Jews] maintained their peculiar rites and unsocial manners seemed to mark them out a distinct species of men, who boldly professed, or who faintly disguised, their implacable hatred to the rest of human-kind.
p. 385. The current of zeal and devotion, as it was contracted into a narrow channel, ran with strength, and sometimes with the fury, of a torrent.
p. 388. It became the most sacred duty of a new convert to diffuse among his friends and relations the inestimable blessing which he had received, and to warn them against a refusal that would be severely punished as a criminal disobedience to the will of a benevolent but all-powerful Deity.
p. 395. The philosopher, who considered the system of polytheism as a composition of human fraud and error, could disguise a smile of contempt under the mask of devotion, without apprehending that either the mockery or the compliance would expose him to the resentment of any invisible, or, as he conceived them, imaginary power.
p. 396. The innumerable deities and rites of polytheism were closely interwoven with every circumstance of business or pleasure, of public or of private life; and it seemed impossible to escape the observance of them, without, at the same time, renouncing the commerce of mankind, and all the offices and amusements of society.
p. 398. [T]here were a few sages of Greece and Rome who had conceived a more exalted, and, in some respects, a juster idea of human nature, though it must be confessed that, in the sublime inquiry, their reason had been often guided by their imagination, and that their imagination had been prompted by their vanity. When they viewed with complacency the extent of their own mental powers, when they exercised the various faculties of memory, of fancy, and of judgment, in the most profound speculations or the most important labours, and when they reflected on the desire of fame, which transported them into future ages, far beyond the bounds of death and of the grave, they were unwilling to confound themselves with the beasts of the field, or to suppose that a being, for whose dignity they entertained the most sincere admiration, could be limited to a spot of earth, and to a few years of duration.
p. 402. The revolution of seventeen centuries has instructed us not to press too closely the mysterious language of prophecy and revelation; but as long as, for wise purposes, this error was permitted to subsist in the church, it was productive of the most salutary effects on the faith and practice of Christians, who lived in the awful expectation of that moment when the globe itself, and all the various race of mankind, should tremble at the appearance of their divine Judge.
p. 406. The condemnation of the wisest and most virtuous of the Pagans, on account of their ignorance or disbelief of the divine truth, seems to offend the reason and the humanity of the present age. But the primitive church, whose faith was of a much firmer consistence, delivered over, without hesitation, to eternal torture the far greater part of the human species.
p. 409. The duty of an historian does not call upon him to interpose his private judgment in this nice and important controversy; but he ought not to dissemble the difficulty of adopting such a theory as may reconcile the interest of religion with that of reason, of making a proper application of that theory, and of defining with precision the limits of that happy period, exempt from error and from deceit, to which we might be disposed to extend the gift of supernatural powers.
p. 409. And yet, since every friend to revelation is persuaded of the reality, and every reasonable man is convinced of the cessation, of miraculous powers, it is evident that there must have been some period in which they were either suddenly or gradually withdrawn from the Christian church.
p. 410. Accustomed long since to observe and to respect the invariable order of Nature, our reason, or at least our imagination, is not sufficiently prepared to sustain the visible action of the Deity.
p. 410. The most curious, or the most credulous, among the Pagans were often persuaded to enter into a society which asserted an actual claim of miraculous powers. The primitive Christians perpetually trod on mystic ground, and their minds were exercised by the habits of believing the most extraordinary events. They felt, or they fancied, that on every side they were incessantly assaulted by daemons, comforted by visions, instructed by prophecy, and surprisingly delivered from danger, sickness, and from death itself, by the supplications of the church.
p. 411. The desire of perfection became the ruling passion of [the Christians’] soul; and it is well known that, while reason embraces a cold mediocrity, our passions hurry us with rapid violence over the space which lies between the most opposite extremes.
p. 413. There are two very natural propensities which we may distinguish in the most virtuous and liberal dispositions, the love of pleasure and the love of action…. To the love of pleasure we may… ascribe most of the agreeable, to the love of action we may attribute most of the useful and respectable, qualifications…. The insensible and inactive disposition… would be rejected, by the common consent of mankind, as utterly incapable of procuring any happiness to the individual, or any public benefit to the world. But it was not in this world that the primitive Christians were desirous of making themselves either agreeable or useful.
p. 413. Very different was the reasoning of our devout predecessors; vainly aspiring to imitate the perfection of angels, they disdained, or they affected to disdain, every earthly and corporeal delight.
p. 413. Gay apparel, magnificent houses, and elegant furniture were supposed to unite the double guilt of pride and of sensuality: a simple and mortified appearance was more suitable to the Christian who was certain of his sins and doubtful of his salvation.
p. 415. Since desire was imputed as a crime, and marriage was tolerated as a defect, it was consistent with the same principles to consider a state of celibacy as the nearest approach to the Divine perfection.
p. 417. The ecclesiastical governors of the Christians were taught to unite the wisdom of the serpent with the innocence of the dove; but as the former was refined, so the latter was insensibly corrupted, by the habits of government.
p. 423. The progress of the ecclesiastical authority gave birth to the memorable distinction of the laity and of the clergy, which had been unknown to the Greeks and Romans…. a celebrated order of men which has furnished the most important, though not always the most edifying, subjects for modern history.
p. 425. In the time of the emperor Decius it was the opinion of the magistrates that the Christians of Rome were possessed of very considerable wealth, that vessels of gold and silver were used in their religious worship, and that many among their proselytes had sold their lands and houses to increase the public riches of the sect, at the expense, indeed, of their unfortunate children, who found themselves beggars because their parents had been saints.
p. 431. We have already seen how various, how loose, and how uncertain were the religious sentiments of Polytheists. They were abandoned almost without control, to the natural workings of a superstitious fancy. The accidental circumstances of their life and situation determined the object as well as the degree of their devotion; and as long as their adoration was successfully prostituted to a thousand deities, it was scarcely possible that their hearts could be susceptible of a very sincere or lively passion for any of them.
p. 431. On public occasions the philosophic part of mankind affected to treat with respect and decency the religious institutions of their country, but their secret contempt penetrated through the thin and awkward disguise; and even the people, when they discovered that their deities were rejected and derided by those whose rank or understanding they were accustomed to reverence, were filled with doubts and apprehensions concerning the truth of those doctrines to which they had yielded the most implicit belief.
p. 431. A state of scepticism and suspense may amuse a few inquisitive minds. But the practice of superstition is so congenial to the multitude that, if they are forcibly awakened, they still regret the loss of their pleasing vision.
p. 432. So urgent on the vulgar is the necessity of believing, that the fall of any system of mythology will most probably be succeeded by the introduction of some other mode of superstition.
p. 436. A perpetual stream of strangers and provincials flowed into the capacious bosom of Rome. Whatever was strange or odious, whoever was guilty or suspected, might hope, in the obscurity of that immense capital, to elude the vigilance of the law. In such a various conflux of nations, every teacher, either of truth or of falsehood, every founder, whether of a virtuous or a criminal association, might easily multiply his disciples or accomplices.
p. 440. Such is the constitution of civil society, that, whilst a few persons are distinguished by riches, by honours, and by knowledge, the body of the people is condemned to obscurity, ignorance, and poverty. The Christian religion, which addressed itself to the whole human race, must consequently collect a far greater number of proselytes from the lower than from the superior ranks of life.
p. 440. Whilst [the early Christian preachers] cautiously avoid the dangerous encounter of philosophers, they mingle with the rude and illiterate crowd, and insinuate themselves into those minds whom their age, their sex, or their education has the best disposed to receive the impression of superstitious terrors.
p. 443. The lame walked, the blind saw, the sick were healed, the dead were raised, daemons were expelled, and the laws of Nature were frequently suspended for the benefit of the church.
p. 453. History… undertakes to record the transaction of the past, for the instruction of future ages.
p. 469. During the same period of persecution, the zealous, the eloquent, the ambitious Cyprian governed the church, not only of Carthage, but even of Africa. He possessed every quality which could engage the reverence of the faithful, or provoke the suspicion and resentment of the Pagan magistrates.
p. 475. But although devotion had raised, and eloquence continued to inflame, this fever of the mind, it insensibly gave way to the more natural hopes and fears of the human heart, to the love of life, the apprehension of pain, and the horror of dissolution.
p. 478. During the whole course of his reign Marcus despised the Christians as a philosopher, and punished them as a sovereign.
p. 490. After taking such effectual measures to abolish the worship and to dissolve the government of the Christians, it was thought necessary to subject to the most intolerable hardships the condition of those perverse individuals who should reject the religion of nature, or Rome, and of their ancestors.
p. 499. Cruelty and superstition were the ruling passions of the soul of Maximin. The former suggested the means, the latter pointed out the objects, of persecution. The emperor was devoted to the worship of the gods, to the study of magic, and to the belief of oracles.
p. 502. The most extravagant legends, as they conduced to the honour of the church, were applauded by the credulous multitude, countenanced by the power of the clergy, and attested by the suspicious evidence of ecclesiastical history.
p. 504. [E]ven admitting, without hesitation or inquiry, all that history has recorded, or devotion has feigned, on the subject of martyrdoms, it must still be acknowledged that the Christians, in the course of their intestine dissensions, have inflicted far greater severities on each other than they had experienced from the zeal of the infidels.
p. 504. The church of Rome defended by violence the empire which she had acquired by fraud.
p. 521. The manly pride of the Romans, content with substantial power, had left to the vanity of the East the forms and ceremonies of ostentatious greatness.
p. 522. By a philosophic observer the system of the Roman government might have been mistaken for a splendid theatre filled with players of every character and degree, who repeated the language, and imitated the passions, of their original model.
p. 524. The public festival was continued during several days in all the principal cities; in Rome, from custom, in Constantinople, from imitation; in Carthage, Antioch, and Alexandria, from the love of pleasure and the superfluity of wealth.
p. 525. As soon as the consuls had discharged these customary duties, they were at liberty to retire into the shade of private life, and to enjoy during the remainder of the year the undisturbed contemplation of their own greatness.
p. 531. As the spirit of jealousy and ostentation prevailed in the councils of the emperors, they proceeded with anxious diligence to divide the substance and to multiply the titles of power.
p. 536. The honour of a liberal profession has indeed been vindicated by ancient and modern advocates, who have filled the most important stations with pure integrity and consummate wisdom; but in the decline of Roman jurisprudence the ordinary promotion of lawyers was pregnant with mischief and disgrace. The noble art, which had once been preserved as the sacred inheritance of the patricians, was fallen into the hands of freedmen and plebeians, who, with cunning rather than with skill, exercised a sordid and pernicious trade.
p. 536. Careless of fame and of justice, they are described for the most part as ignorant and rapacious guides, who conducted their clients through a maze of expense, of delay, and of disappointment; from whence, after a tedious series of years, they were at length dismissed, when their patience and fortune was almost exhausted.
p. 542. The introduction of barbarians into the Roman armies became every day more universal, more necessary, and more fatal.
p. 560. The character of the prince who removed the seat of empire, and introduced such important changes into the civil and religious constitution of his country, has fixed the attention, and divided the opinions, of mankind.
p. 561. Even those who censured the propriety of his measures were compelled to acknowledge that he possessed magnanimity to conceive, and patience to execute, the most arduous designs, without being checked either by the prejudices of education or by the clamours of the multitude.
p. 566. Under such painful circumstances the royal youth might not always be able to compose his behaviour or suppress his discontent; and we may be assured that he was encompassed by a train of indiscreet or perfidious followers, who assiduously studied to inflame, and who were perhaps instructed to betray, the unguarded warmth of his resentment.
p. 571. The most celebrated professors of the Christian faith, of the Grecian philosophy, and of the Roman jurisprudence, were invited by the liberality of the emperor, who reserved for himself the important task of instructing the royal youths in the science of government and the knowledge of mankind.
p. 579. These alliances, which the policy of Constantine… had formed between the several branches of the Imperial house, served only to convince mankind that these princes were as cold to the endearments of conjugal affection, as they were insensible to the ties of consanguinity and the moving entreaties of youth and innocence.
p. 592. But as [Zosimus] neither shows himself a soldier nor a politician, his narrative must be weighed with attention, and received with caution.
p. 599. The aversion and contempt which mankind has so uniformly entertained for that imperfect species [ie., eunuchs] appears to have degraded their character, and to have rendered them almost as incapable as they were supposed to be of conceiving any generous sentiment, or of performing any worthy action.
p. 601. [Constantia] retained the vanity, though she had renounced the gentleness of her sex…
p. 605. The emperor was easily convinced that his own safety was incompatible with the life of his cousin: the sentence of death was signed, despatched, and executed; and the nephew of Constantine, with his hands tied behind his back, was beheaded in prison, like the vilest malefactor.
p. 606. Far from the tumult of arms and the treachery of courts, he spent six months amidst the groves of the Academy, in a free intercourse with the philosophers of the age, who studied to cultivate the genius, to encourage the vanity, and to inflame the devotion of their royal pupil.
p. 610. [Sylvanus] assumed the purple at his headquarters of Cologne, and his active powers appeared to menace Italy with an invasion and Milan with a siege.
p. 623. Sabinian, a wealthy and subtle veteran, who had attained the infirmities, without acquiring the experience, of age.
p. 632. A tender regard of the peace and happiness of his subjects was the ruling principle which directed, or seemed to direct, the administration of Julian.
p. 636. During the whole course of [Constantine’s] reign, the stream of Christianity flowed with a gentle, though accelerated, motion: but its general direction was sometimes checked, and sometimes diverted, by the accidental circumstances of the times, and by the prudence, or possibly the caprice, of the monarch.
p. 638. It was enacted that the places of worship, and public lands, which had been confiscated, should be restored to the church, without dispute, without delay, and without expense…
p. 639. [T]he counsels of princes are more frequently influenced by views of temporal advantages than by considerations of abstract and speculative truth.
p. 639. But the operation of the wisest laws is imperfect and precarious. They seldom inspire virtue, they cannot always restrain vice. Their power is insufficient to prohibit all that they condemn, nor can they always punish the actions which they prohibit.
p. 648. The philosopher, who with calm suspicion examines the dreams and omens, the miracles and prodigies, of profane or even of ecclesiastical history, will probably conclude that, if the eyes of the spectators have sometimes been deceived by fraud, the understanding of the readers has much more frequently been insulted by fiction.
p. 649. The vision of Constantine maintained an honourable place in the legend of superstition till the bold and sagacious spirit of criticism presumed to depreciate the triumph, and to arraign the truth, of the first Christian emperor.
p. 653. Among the proselytes of Christianity there were many who judged it imprudent to precipitate a salutary rite who could not be repeated; to throw away an inestimable privilege which could never be recovered. By the delay of their baptism they could venture freely to indulge their passions in the enjoyment of this world, while they still retained in their own hands the means of a sure and easy absolution.
p. 654. Instead of asserting his just superiority above the imperfect heroism and profane philosophy of Trajan and the Antonines, the mature age of Constantine forfeited the reputation which he had acquired in his youth. As he gradually advanced in the knowledge of truth, he proportionably declined in the practice of virtue…
p. 654. Future tyrants were encouraged to believe that the innocent blood which they might shed in a long reign would instantly be washed away in the waters of regeneration; and the abuse of religion dangerously undermined the foundations of moral virtue.
p. 663. An absolute monarch, who is rich without patrimony, may be charitable without merit; and Constantine too easily believed that he should purchase the favour of Heaven if he maintained the idle at the expense of the industrious, and distributed among the saints the wealth of the republic.
p. 664. The form of these religious edifices was simple and oblong, though they might sometimes swell into the shape of a dome, and sometimes branch into the figure of a cross.
p. 669. The preachers recommended the practice of the social duties; but they exalted the perfection of monastic virtue, which is painful to the individual, and useless to mankind.
p. 669. Those modest orators acknowledged that, as they were destitute of the gift of miracles, they endeavoured to acquire the arts of eloquence.
p. 674. The inflexible zeal of freedom and fanaticism animated the Donatists to refuse obedience to the usurpers, whose election they dispute, and whose spiritual powers they denied.
p. 675. The schism of the Donatists was confined to Africa; the more diffusive mischief of the Trinitarian controversy successively penetrated into every part of the Christian world. The former was an accident quarrel, occasioned by the abuse of freedom; the latter was a high and mysterious argument, derived from the abuse of philosophy.
p. 679. The respectable name of Plato was used by the orthodox, and abused by the heretics, as the common support of truth and error…
p. 680. We may strive to abstract the notions of time, of space, and of matter, which so closely adhere to all the perceptions of our experimental knowledge. But as soon as we presume to reason of infinite substance, of spiritual generation, as often as we deduce any positive conclusion from a negative idea, we are involved in darkness, perplexity, and inevitable contradiction.
p. 680. A chosen society of philosophers, men of a liberal education and curious disposition, might silently meditate, and temperately discuss in the gardens of Athens or the library of Alexandria, the abstruse questions of metaphysical science. The lofty speculations, which neither convinced the understanding nor agitated the passions of the Platonists themselves, were carelessly overlooked by the idle, the busy, and even the studious part of mankind.
p. 681. These speculations, instead of being treated as the amusement of a vacant hour, became the most serious business of the present, and the most useful preparation for a future, life. A theology which it was incumbent to believe, which it was impious to doubt, and which it might be dangerous, and even fatal, to mistake, became the familiar topic of private meditation and popular discourse.
p. 684. The advocates of a system which seemed to establish three independent Deities attempted to preserve the unity of the First Cause, so conspicuous in the design and order of the world, by the perpetual concord of their administration and the essential agreement of their will.
p. 687. [A]s the degrees of theological hatred depend on the spirit of the war rather than on the importance of the controversy, the heretics who degraded were treated with more severity than those who annihilated the person of the Son.
p. 688. It is amusing enough to delineate the form, and to trace the vegetation, of a singular plant; but the tedious detail of leaves without flowers, and of branches without fruit, would soon exhaust the patience and disappoint the curiosity of the laborious student.
p. 690. The Greek word which was chosen to express this mysterious resemblance bears so close an affinity to the orthodox symbol, that the profane of every age have derided the furious contests which the difference of a single diphthong excited between the Homoousians and the Homoiousians.
p. 690. [I]n the midst of their fierce contentions, they easily forgot the doubt which is recommended by philosophy, and the submission which is enjoined by religion.
p. 692. But as those princes presumed to extend their despotism over the faith, as well as over the lives and fortunes of their subjects, the weight of their suffrage sometimes inclined the ecclesiastical balance: and the prerogatives of the King of Heaven were settled, or changed, or modified, in the cabinet of an earthly monarch.
p. 692. [Constantine] laments that the Christian people, who had the same God, the same religion, and the same worship, should be divided by such inconsiderable distinctions; and he seriously recommends to the clergy of Alexandria the example of the Greek philosophers, who could maintain their arguments without losing their temper, and assert their freedom without violating their friendship.
p. 696. The mind of Constantius, which could neither be moderated by reason nor fixed by faith, was blindly impelled to either side of the dark and empty abyss, by his horror of the opposite extreme; he alternately embraced and condemned the sentiments, he successively banished and recalled the leaders, of the Arian and Semi-Arian factions.
p. 696. During the season of public business or festivity, he employed whole days, and even nights, in selecting the words, and weighing the syllables, which composed his fluctuating creeds.
p. 697. We have seldom an opportunity of observing, either in active or speculative life, what effect may be produced, or what obstacles may be surmounted, by the force of a single mind, when it is inflexibly applied to the pursuit of a single object.
p. 698. Amidst the storms of persecution, the archbishop of Alexandria [Athanasius] was patient of labour, jealous of fame, careless of safety; and although his mind was tainted by the contagion of fanaticism, Athanasius displayed a superiority of character and abilities which would have qualified him, far better than the degenerate sons of Constantine, for the government of a great monarchy.
p. 699. The archbishop of Alexandria [Athanasius] was capable of distinguishing how far he might boldly command, and where he must dexterously insinuate; how long he might contend with power, and when he must withdraw from persecution; and while he directed the thunders of the church against heresy and rebellion, he could assume, in the bosom of his own party, the flexible and indulgent temper of a prudent leader.
p. 699. [Athanasius] appeared with easy and respectful firmness in the courts of princes; and in various turns of his prosperous and adverse fortune he never lost the confidence of his friends, or the esteem of his enemies.
p. 703. The council of Sardica reveals the first symptoms of discord and schism between the Greek and Latin churches, which were separated by the accidental difference of faith and the permanent distinction of language.
p. 714. The persecution of Athanasius and of so many respectable bishops, who suffered for the truth of their opinions, or at least for the integrity of their conscience, was a just subject of indignation and discontent to all Christians, except those who were blindly devoted to the Arian faction.
p. 722. In the actions of these desperate enthusiasts, who were admired by one party as the martyrs of God, and abhorred by the other as the victims of Satan, an impartial philosopher may discover the influence and the last abuse of that inflexible spirit which was originally derived from the character and principals of the Jewish nation.
p. 721. The captives died, without a murmur, either by the sword, the axe, or the fire; and the measures of retaliation were multiplied in a rapid proportion, which aggravated the horrors of rebellion and excluded the hope of mutual forgiveness.
p. 722. The simple narrative of the intestine divisions which distracted the peace and dishonoured the triumph of the church, will confirm the remark of a Pagan historian, and justify the complaint of a venerable bishop.
p. 723. [W]hile Constantine designed to ruin the foundations, he seemed to reform the abuses, of the ancient religion.
p. 723. The Imperial city of Constantinople was, in some measure, raised at the expense, and was adorned with the spoils, of the opulent temples of Greece and Asia…
p. 725. In the East as well as in the West, in cities as well as in the country, a great number of temples were respected, or at least were spared; and the devout multitude still enjoyed the luxury of sacrifices, of festivals, and of processions, by the permission, or by the connivance, of the civil government.
p. 726. The superstition of the senator and of the peasant, of the poet and the philosopher, was derived from very different causes, but they met with equal devotion in the temples of the gods.
p. 733. [Julian] recapitulated their victories, lamented their sufferings, applauded their resolution, animated their hopes, and checked their impetuosity…
p. 737. The Romans, as ignorant as their brethren of the real date of [Jesus’] birth, fixed the solemn festival to the 25th of December, the Brumalia, or winter solstice, when the Pagans annually celebrated the birth of the sun.
p. 738. In the execution of a daring enterprise [Julian] availed himself of every precaution, as far as prudence could suggest; and where prudence could no longer accompany his steps, he trusted the event to valour and to fortune.
p. 742. By [Julian’s] order, Jovinus led back a part of the army into Italy; and the siege of Aquileia was formed with diligence and prosecuted with vigour.
p. 743. Without shedding the blood of his fellow-citizens, [Julian] escaped the dangers of a doubtful conflict, and acquired the advantages of a complete victory.
p. 744. Philosophy had instructed Julian to compare the advantages of action and retirement; but the elevation of his birth and the accidents of his life never allowed him the freedom of choice.
p. 746. [A]fter bestowing a careless glance on five or six of the races, [Julian] hastily withdrew with the impatience of a philosopher, who considered every moment as lost that was not devoted to the advantage of the public or the improvement of his own mind.
p. 755. The acute penetration of [Julian’s] mind was agreeably occupied in detecting and defeating the chicanery of the advocates, who laboured to disguise the truth of facts and to pervert the sense of the laws.
p. 756. After an interval of one hundred and twenty years from the death of Alexander Severus, the Romans beheld an emperor who made no distinction between his duties and his pleasures, who laboured to relieve the distress and to revive the spirit of his subjects, and who endeavoured always to connect authority with merit, and happiness with virtue.
p. 757. [Gregory Nazianzen], with some eloquence, much enthusiasm, and more vanity, addresses his discourse to heaven and earth, to men and angels, to the living and the dead…. He concludes with a bold assurance that he has erected a monument not less durable, and much more portable, than the Columns of Hercules.
p. 758. The dull and obstinate understanding of Gallus embraced, with implicit zeal, the doctrines of Christianity, which never influenced his conduct, or moderated his passions.
p. 762. As long as our immortal souls are confined in a mortal prison, it is our interest, as well as our duty, to solicit the favour, and to deprecate the wrath, of the powers of heaven; whose pride is gratified by the devotion of mankind, and whose grosser parts may be supposed to derive some nourishment from the fumes of sacrifice.
p. 767. Religious obstinacy is hardened and exasperated by oppression; and, as soon as the persecution subsides, those who have yielded are restored as penitents, and those who have resisted are honoured as saints and martyrs.
p. 768. Instead of maintaining the lofty state of a monarch, distinguished by the splendour of his purple, and encompassed by the golden shields of his guards, Julian solicited, with respectful eagerness, the meanest offices which contributed to the worship of the gods.
p. 774. In a public epistle to the nation or community of the Jews dispersed through the provinces, [Julian] 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.
p. 781. Such authority should satisfy a believing, and must astonish an incredulous, mind. Yet a philosopher may still require the original evidence of impartial and intelligent spectators.
p. 782. [Julian] affected to pity the unhappy Christians who were mistaken in the most important object of their lives; but his pity was degraded by contempt, his contempt was embittered by hatred.
p. 782. [Julian] declared that, by the folly of the Galilaeans, whom he describes as a sect of fanatics, contemptible to men and odious to the gods, the empire had been reduced to the brink of destruction…
p. 784. Under the administration of their enemies, the Christians had much to suffer, and more to apprehend.
p. 789. The return of the saint was a triumph; and the triumph was an insult on the religion of the emperor, who exerted his pride to dissemble his resentment.
p. 790. From the love, or the ostentation, of learning, [George of Cappadocia] collected a valuable library of history, rhetoric, philosophy, and theology.
p. 798. In the cool moments of reflection, Julian preferred the useful and benevolent virtues of Antoninus; but his ambitious spirit was inflamed by the glory of Alexander, and he solicited, with equal ardor, the esteem of the wise and the applause of the multitude. In the season of life when the powers of the mind and body enjoy the most active vigour, the emperor, who was instructed by the experience and animated by the success, of the German war, resolved to signalise his reign by some more splendid and memorable achievement.
p. 799. Julian was persuaded to fix, till the ensuing spring, his residence at Antioch, among a people maliciously disposed to deride the haste and censure the delays of their sovereign.
p. 800. Fashion was the only law, pleasure the only pursuit, and the splendour of dress and furniture was the only distinction of the citizens of Antioch. The arts of luxury were honoured, the serious and manly virtues were the subject of ridicule, and the contempt for female modesty and reverent age announced the universal corruption of the capital of the East.
p. 800. The rustic manners of a prince who disdained such glory, and was insensible of such happiness, soon disgusted the delicacy of his subjects, and the effeminate Orientals could neither imitate nor admire the severe simplicity which Julian always maintained and sometimes affected.
p. 802. [T]he spirit of Antioch was manifested by the connivance of the magistrates and the applause of the multitude. The disciple of Socrates [ie., Julian] was too deeply affected by these popular insults; but the monarch, endowed with quick sensibility and possessed of absolute power, refused his passions the gratification of revenge.
p. 803. The sophists of every age, despising or affecting to despise the accidental distinctions of birth and fortune, reserve their esteem for the superior qualities of the mind, with which they themselves are so plentifully endowed.
p. 803. Julian… was deeply flattered by the praise, the admonition, the freedom, and the envy of an independent philosopher [ie., Libanius], who refused his favours, loved his person, celebrated his fame, and protected his memory.
p. 808. The broad channel of the Euphrates was crowded by a fleet of eleven hundred ships, destined to attend the motions and to satisfy the wants of the Roman armies.
p. 809. Hormisdas at first excited the compassion, and at length acquired the esteem, of his new masters…
p. 809. [T]he ranks, from a motive either of use or ostentation, were formed in such open order that the whole line of march extended almost ten miles.
p. 810. The inhabitants of the open towns, unable to resist and unwilling to yield, fled with precipitation, and their houses, filled with spoil and provisions, were occupied by the soldiers of Julian, who massacred, without remorse and without punishment, some defenceless women.
p. 815. When the Romans marched through the flat and flooded country, their sovereign [ie., Julian], on foot, at the head of his legions, shared their fatigues and animated their diligence.
p. 821. But we may rest assured, from the love of glory, and contempt of danger, which formed the character of Julian, that he was not discouraged by any trivial or imaginary obstacles.
p. 825. The Persians repeatedly charged with fury; they were repeatedly repulsed with firmness.
p. 829. [A]nd if [Julian] entertained any serious thoughts of investing with the purple the most worthy among the Romans, he was diverted from his resolution by the difficulty of the choice, the jealousy of power, the fear of ingratitude, and the natural presumption of health, of youth, and of prosperity.
p. 833. The crafty Persian [ie., Sapor] delayed, under various pretences, the conclusion of the agreement; started difficulties, required explanations, suggested expedients, receded from his concessions, increased his demands, and wasted four days in the arts of negotiation…
p. 839. Such imprudent declarations were eagerly adopted by the malice or credulity of their adversaries, who darkly insinuated or confidently asserted that the governors of the church had instigated and directed the fanaticism of a domestic assassin.
p. 840. In the exercise of his uncommon talents [Julian] often descended below the majesty of his rank. Alexander was transformed into Diogenes the philosopher was degraded into a priest. The purity of his virtue was sullied by excessive vanity; his superstition disturbed the peace and endangered the safety of a mighty empire…
p. 841. As soon as [Jovian] ascended the throne he transmitted a circular epistle to all the governors of provinces, in which he confessed the divine truth and secured he legal establishment of the Christian religion.
p. 842. As soon as [Athanasius] had gained the confidence and secured the faith of the Christian emperor, he returned in triumph to his diocese, and continued, with mature counsels and undiminished vigour, to direct, ten years longer, the ecclesiastical government of Alexandria, Egypt, and the catholic church.
p. 851. [The people] despised the character of Valens, which was rude without vigour, and feeble without mildness.
p. 857. After [Valentinian] became master of the world, he unfortunately forgot that, where no resistance can be made, no courage can be exerted; and instead of consulting the dictates of reason and magnanimity, he indulged the furious emotions of his temper, at a time when they were disgraceful to himself, and fatal to the defenceless objects of his displeasure.
p. 860. The government of the Earth claimed [Valentinian’s] vigilance, and satisfied his ambition; and while he remembered that he was the disciple of the church, he never forgot that he was the sovereign of the clergy.
p. 865. [M]any of those devout females had embraced the doctrines of Christianity, not only with the cold assent of the understanding, but with the warmth of affection, and perhaps with the eagerness of fashion.
p. 865. By [some monks’] contempt of the world, they insensibly acquired its most desirable advantages…
p. 865. If the ecclesiastics were checked in the pursuit of personal emolument, they would exert a more laudable industry to increase the wealth of the church; and dignify their covetousness with the specious names of piety and patriotism.
p. 869. The bloody and obstinate conflict lasted a whole summer’s day, with equal valour and with alternate success.
p. 869. Withicab, the son of Vadamair, a German prince, of a weak and sickly constitution, but of a daring and formidable spirit.
p. 870. Every step which [the Roman troops] gained increased their ardour, and abated the resistance of the enemy…
p. 874. A military confederation was gradually moulded into a national body by the gentle operation of marriage and consanguinity; and the adjacent tribes, who solicited the alliance, accepted the name and laws, of the Saxons.
p. 874. In the course of their slow and distant navigations they must always have been exposed to the danger, and very frequently to the misfortune, of shipwreck…
p. 875. The fabulous colonies of Egyptians and Trojans, of Scandinavians and Spaniards, which flattered the pride and amused the credulity of our rude ancestors, have insensibly vanished in the light of science and philosophy.
p. 877. The vicinity of the Hebrides, so profusely scattered along the western coast of Scotland, tempted their curiosity and improved their skill; and they acquired, by slow degrees, the art, or rather the habit, of managing their boats in a tempestuous sea, and of steering their nocturnal course by the light of the well-known stars.
p. 877. On this slight foundation a huge superstructure of fable was gradually reared by the bards and the monks; two orders of men who equally abused the privilege of fiction.
p. 878. The sums of gold and silver which had been painfully collected, or liberally transmitted, for the payment of the troops, were intercepted by the avarice of the commanders…
p. 878. The oppression of the good and the impunity of the wicked equally contributed to diffuse through the island a spirit of discontent and revolt; and every ambitious subject, every desperate exile, might entertain a reasonable hope of subverting the weak and distracted government of Britain.
p. 879. Lord Lyttelton has circumstantially related…, and Sir David Dalrymple has slightly mentioned…, a barbarous inroad of the Scots…
p. 881. The prince who refuses to be the judge, instructs his people to consider him as the accomplice of his ministers.
p. 881. The wisdom of the imperial council was deceived by artifice, and their honest indignation was cooled by delay.
p. 882. Romanus, elated by impunity and irritated by resistance, was still continued in the military command, till the Africans were provoked, by his avarice, to join the rebellious standard of Firmus, the Moor.
p. 883. Theodosius imitated the example and obtained the success of his predecessor Metellus.
p. 884. Africa had been lost by the vices of Romanus; it was restored by the virtues of Theodosius…
p. 884. Valentinian no longer reigned; and the death of Theodosius, as well as the impunity of Romanus, may justly be imputed to the arts of the ministers who abused the confidence and deceived the inexperienced youth of his sons.
p. 887. Since the conversion of the Armenians and Iberians, those nations considered the Christians as the favourites, and the Magians as the adversaries, of the Supreme Being; the influence of the clergy over a superstitious people was uniformly exerted in the cause of Rome…
p. 890. During a peaceful interval of thirty years, the Romans secured their frontiers, and the Goths extended their dominions.
p. 890. The independent tribes were persuaded, or compelled, to acknowledge the king of the Ostrogoths as the sovereign of the Gothic nation…
p. 891. [T]he assistance of [the Heruli’s] light infantry was eagerly solicited, and highly esteemed, in all the wars of the barbarians.
p. 891. Those distant inhabitants of the Baltic coast were supported by the labours of agriculture, enriched by the trade of amber, and consecrated by the peculiar worship of the Mother of the Gods.
p. 891. [Hermanic’s] dominions, which extended from the Danube to the Baltic, included the native seats, and the recent acquisition, of the Goths; and he reigned over the greatest part of Germany and Scythia with the authority of a conqueror, and sometimes with the cruelty of a tyrant.
p. 892. [T]he provinces of Thrace groaned under the weight of the barbarians, who displayed the insolence of masters, and the licentiousness of enemies.
p. 892. A chain of posts and fortifications, skilfully disposed by Valens, or the generals of Valens, resisted their march, prevented their retreat, and intercepted their subsistence.
p. 895. The obstinacy with which [the Maesian and Pannonian bands] disputed the vain honours of rank and precedency was the cause of their destruction, and, while they acted with separate forces and divided councils, they were surprised and slaughtered by the active vigour of the Sarmatian horse.
p. 896. The severe condemnation of the murder of Gabinus was the only measure which could restore the confidence of the Germans, and vindicate the honour of the Roman name.
p. 896. The extreme devastation and promiscuous massacre of a savage war were justified in the eyes of the emperor, and perhaps in those of the world, by the cruelty of retaliation; and such was the discipline of the Romans, and the consternation of the enemy, that Valentinian repassed the Danube without the loss of a single man.
p. 897. [The ambassadors of the Quadi] approached the [Roman] throne with bended bodies and dejected countenances…
p. 900. [M]an has much more to fear from the passions of his fellow-creatures than from the convulsions of the elements.
p. 901. The different characters that mark the civilised nations of the globe may be ascribed to the use and the abuse of reason, which so variously shapes and so artificially composes the manners and opinions of an European or a Chinese.
p. 901. In every age the immense plains of Scythia or Tartary have been inhabited by vagrant tribes of hunters and shepherds, whose indolence refuses to cultivate the earth, and whose restless spirit disdains the confinement of a sedentary life.
p. 903. The active cavalry of Scythia is always followed, in their most distant and rapid incursions, by an adequate number of spare horses, who may be occasionally used either to redouble the speed or to satisfy the hunger of the barbarians.
p. 903. But his extraordinary abstinence, which the Stoic would approve and the hermit might envy, is commonly succeeded by the most voracious indulgence of appetite. The wines of a happier climate are the most grateful present or the most valuable commodity that can be offered to the Tartars…
p. 904. The thirst of rapine, the fear or the resentment of injury, the impatience of servitude, have, in every age, been sufficient causes to urge the tribes of Scythia boldly to advance into some unknown countries, where they might hope to find a more plentiful subsistence, or a less formidable enemy.
p. 906. The weak were desirous of support, and the strong were ambitious of dominion…
p. 908. The victor, enriched by the tribute and fortified by the arms of dependent kings, has spread his conquests over Europe or Asia.
p. 910. In the eyes of the Greeks and Persians, the real geography of Scythia was bounded, on the east, by the mountains of Imaus or Caf; and their distant prospect of the extreme and inaccessible parts of Asia was clouded by ignorance, or perplexed by fiction.
p. 912. On the side of the north, the ocean was assigned as the limit of the power of the Huns. Without enemies to resist their progress, or witnesses to contradict their vanity, they might securely achieve a real, or imaginary, conquest of the frozen regions of Siberia.
p. 914. [T]he forces of the Huns were not inferior to those of the Moguls, or of the Mantcheoux; and their ambition might entertain the most sanguine hopes of success. But their pride was humbled, and their progress was checked, by the arms and policy of Vouti, the fifth [sic.] emperor of the powerful dynasty of the Han.
p. 915. Intimidated by the arms, or allured by the promises, of Vouti and his successors, the most considerable tribes, both of the East and of the West, disclaimed the authority of the Tanjou.
p. 918. [T]he flight of the tribes of Scythia would inevitably tend to increase the strength or to contract the territories of the Huns. The harsh and obscure appellations of those tribes would offend the ear, without informing the understanding, of the reader…
p. 918. The Huns… boldly advanced to invade the country of the Alani, a pastoral people, who occupied, or wasted, an extensive tract of the deserts of Scythia.
p. 919. On the banks of the Tanais the military power of the Huns and the Alani encountered each other with equal valour, but with unequal success.
p. 920. [A]s [the Huns] were almost destitute of beards, they never enjoyed either the manly graces of youth or the venerable aspect of age.
p. 923. The liberality of the emperor [Valens] was accompanied, however, with two harsh and vigorous conditions, which prudence might justify on the side of the Romans, but which distress alone could extort from the indignant Goths.
p. 924. [S]uch were the timid councils of the reign of Valens, that the brave officers who had served their country in the execution of their duty were punished by the loss of their employments, and narrowly escaped the loss of their heads.
p. 927. [A]s [Lupicinus] was already inflamed by wine and oppressed by sleep, he issued a rash command, that their death should be revenged by the massacre of the guards of Fritigern and Alavivus.
p. 928. The weak and guilty Lupicinus, who had dared to provoke, who had neglected to destroy, and who still presumed to despise his formidable enemy, marched against the Goths, at the head of such a military force as could be collected on this sudden emergency.
p. 928. As [the barbarians] had been deprived by the ministers of the emperor of the common benefits of nature and the fair intercourse of social life, they retaliated the injustice on the subjects of the empire…
p. 930. The imprudence of Valens and his ministers had introduced into the heart of the empire a nation of enemies; but the Visigoths might even yet have been reconciled by the manly confession of past errors and the sincere performance of former engagements.
p. 930. [T]he immediate conduct of the Gothic war was intrusted… to…two generals who indulged themselves in a very false and favourable opinion of their own abilities.
p. 930. [T]he barbarians, secure within the vast circle of the enclosure, enjoyed the fruits of their valour and the spoils of the province. In the midst of riotous intemperance, the watchful Fritigern observed the motions and penetrated the designs of the Romans.
p. 932. [T]he diligence of Saturninus, the master-general of the cavalry, was employed to improve the strength and to contract the extent of the Roman fortifications. His labours were interrupted by the alarming intelligence that new swarms of barbarians had passed the unguarded Danube, either to support the cause or to imitate the example of Fritigern.
p. 932. The sagacious Fritigern had successfully appealed to the passions as well as to the interest of his barbarian allies; and the love of rapine and the hatred of Rome seconded, or even prevented, the eloquence of his ambassadors.
p. 933. The loose subordination and extensive possessions of the Huns and the Alani delayed the conquests and distracted the councils of that victorious people.
p. 933. The Sarmatians, who could never forgive the successor of Valentinian, enjoyed and increased the general confusion; and a seasonable irruption of the Alemanni into the provinces of Gaul engaged the attention and diverted the forces of the emperor of the West.
p. 934. After this signal victory, which secured the peace of Gaul and asserted the honour of the Roman arms, the emperor Gratian appeared to proceed without delay on his Eastern expedition…
p. 934. The subjects of the empire, who had so often experienced that the Alemanni could neither be subdued by arms nor restrained by treaties, might not promise themselves any solid or lasting tranquillity…
p. 943. [The emperor] Gratian was too late to assist, he was too weak to revenge, his unfortunate colleague [Valens].
p. 948. [T]he effects which were produced by the battle of Hadrianople on the minds of the barbarians and of the Romans, extended the victory of the former, and the defeat of the latter, far beyond the limits of a single day.
p. 949. As long as the superior genius of Fritigern preserved the union and directed the motions of the barbarians, their power was not inadequate to the conquest of the empire.
p. 949. [The barbarians’] mischievous disposition was shown in the destruction of every object which they wanted strength to remove, or taste to enjoy…
p. 950. In the hands of a skilful politician the most different means may be successfully applied to the same ends; and the peace of the empire, which had been forwarded by the divisions, was accomplished by the re-union of the Gothic nation.
p. 953. The original treaty, which fixed the settlement of the Goths, ascertained their privileges, and stipulated their obligations, would illustrate the history of Theodosius and his successors.
p. 954. Notwithstanding these specious arguments and these sanguine expectations, it was apparent to every discerning eye that the Goths would long remain the enemies, and might soon become the conquerors, of the Roman empire.
p. 954. During the civil war against Maximus a great number of Gothic deserters retired into the morasses of Macedonia, wasted the adjacent provinces, and obliged the intrepid monarch to expose his person and exert his power to suppress the rising flame of rebellion.
p. 955. The Goths… were directed by the authority of Fravita, a valiant and honourable youth, distinguished above the rest of his countrymen by the politeness of his manners, the liberality of his sentiments, and the mild virtues of social life. But the more numerous faction adhered to the fierce and faithless Priulf, who inflamed the passions and asserted the independence of his warlike followers.
p. 1. [Gratian’s] gentle and amiable disposition endeared him to his private friends, the graceful affability of his manners engaged the affection of the people…
p. 7. Among the benefactors of the church, the fame of Constantine has been rivalled by the glory of Theodosius. If Constantine had the advantage of erecting the standard of the cross, the emulation of his successor assumed the merit of subduing the Arian heresy, and of abolishing the worship of idols in the Roman world.
p. 9. Two natives of Cappadocia, Basil and Gregory Nazianzen, were distinguished above all their contemporaries by the rare union of profane eloquence and of orthodox piety.
p. 11. But [Gregory Nazianzen’s] fatigues were rewarded by the daily increase of his fame and his congregation; and he enjoyed the pleasure of observing that the greater part of his numerous audience retired from his sermons satisfied with the eloquence of the preacher, or dissatisfied with the manifold imperfections of their faith and practice.
p. 12. …[T]he angels who protected the catholic cause were only visible to the eyes of faith…
p. 13. …[W]e are always prone to impute our own sentiments and passions to the Deity…
p. 14. In an age when the ecclesiastics had scandalously degenerated from the model of apostolical purity, the most worthless and corrupt were always the most eager to frequent and disturb the episcopal assemblies.
p. 16. The heretical teachers, who usurped the sacred titles of Bishops or Presbyters, were not only excluded from the privileges and emoluments so liberally granted to the orthodox clergy, but they were exposed to the heavy penalties of exile and confiscation, if they presumed to preach the doctrine, or to practise the rites, of their accursed sects.
p. 19. The cruelty of Ithacius, who beheld the tortures, and solicited the death of the heretics, provoked the just indignation of mankind…
p. 20. The clergy and people of Milan were attached to their archbishop [ie., Ambrose] and he deserved the esteem, without soliciting the favour, or apprehending the displeasure, of his feeble sovereigns.
p. 29. The virtuous mind of Theodosius was often relaxed by indolence, and it was sometimes inflamed by passion…. [A]s soon as the design was accomplished, or the danger was surmounted, the hero sunk into inglorious repose, and, forgetful that the time of a prince is the property of his people, resigned himself to the enjoyment of the innocent but trifling pleasures of a luxurious court…. But the painful virtue which claims the merit of victory is exposed to the danger of defeat; and the reign of a wise and merciful prince was polluted by an act of cruelty which would stain the annals of Nero or Domitian.
p. 32. [Theodosius’] commissioners then proceeded to inquire into the guilt of individuals of those who had perpetrated, and of those who had not prevented, the destruction of the sacred statues.
p. 33. [Theodosius] confessed that, if the exercise of justice is the most important duty, the indulgence of mercy is the most exquisite pleasure, of a sovereign.
p. 33. The sedition of Thessalonica is ascribed to a more shameful cause and was productive of much more dreadful consequences.
p. 34. [W]hile the father hesitated with equal tenderness, while he was doubtful to choose, and unwilling to condemn, the soldiers determined his suspense by plunging their daggers at the same moment into the breasts of the defenceless youths.
p. 37. Theodosius discharged his obligation to the brother, he indulged his conjugal tenderness to the sister, of Valentinian [II].
p. 38. [Valentinian II’s] zeal of the faith of Nice [Nicaea], and his filial reverence of the character and authority of Ambrose, disposed the catholics to entertain the most favourable opinion of the virtues of the young emperor of the West.
p. 39. [Valentinian II] secretly invited the archbishop of Milan to undertake the office of a mediator, as the pledge of his sincerity and the guardian of his safety.
p. 41. The industry of the two master-generals, Stilicho and Timasius, was directed to recruit the numbers and to revive the discipline of the Roman legions.
p. 45. The complaints of contemporary writers, who deplore the increase of luxury and depravation of manners, are commonly expressive of their peculiar temper and situation.
p. 45. A long period of calamity or decay must have checked the industry and diminished the wealth of the people; and their profuse luxury must have been the result of that indolent despair which enjoys the present hour and declines the thoughts of futurity.
p. 45. The uncertain condition of their property discouraged the subjects of Theodosius from engaging in those useful and laborious undertakings which require an immediate expense, and promise a slow and distant advantage.
p. 45. The relaxation of discipline and the disuse of exercise rendered the soldiers less able and less willing to support the fatigues of the service…
p. 46. As the use of the shield is incompatible with that of the bow, [the soldiers] reluctantly marched into the field, condemned to suffer either the pain of wounds or the ignominy of flight, and always disposed to prefer the more shameful alternative.
p. 46. The cavalry of the Goths, the Huns, and the Alani, had felt the benefits and adopted the use of defensive armour…
p. 46. The influence which Ambrose and his brethren had acquired over the youth of Gratian and the piety of Theodosius was employed to infuse the maxims of persecution into the breasts of their Imperial proselytes.
p. 47. The laws of Moses and the examples of Jewish history were hastily, perhaps erroneously, applied by the clergy to the mind and universal reign of Christianity.
p. 49. The altar of Victory was again restored by Julian, tolerated by Valentinian, and once more banished from the senate by the zeal of Gratian.
p. 49. Four respectable deputations were successively voted to the Imperial court, to represent the grievances of the priesthood and the senate, and to solicit the restoration of the altar of Victory.
p. 50. The great and incomprehensible secret of the universe eludes the inquiry of man. Where reason cannot instruct, custom may be permitted to guide; and every nation seems to consult the dictates of prudence, by a faithful attachment to those rites and opinions which have received the sanction of ages.
p. 53. The pious labour, which had been suspended near twenty years since the death of Constantius, was vigorously resumed, and finally accomplished, by the zeal of Theodosius.
p. 54. Many of those temples were the most splendid and beautiful monuments of Grecian architecture; and the emperor himself [Theodosius] was interested not to deface the splendour of his own cities, or to diminish the value of his own possessions. Those stately edifices might be suffered to remain, as so many lasting trophies of the victory of Christ.
p. 60. The popular modes of religion, that propose any visible and material objects of worship, have the advantage of adapting and familiarising themselves to the senses of mankind: but this advantage is counter-balanced by the various and inevitable accidents to which the faith of the idolater is exposed. It is scarcely possible that, in every disposition of mind, he should preserve his implicit reverence for the idols, or the relics, which the naked eye and the profane hand are unable to distinguish from the most common productions of art or nature; and if, in the hour of danger, their secret and miraculous virtue does not operate for their own preservation, he scorns the vain apologies of his priests, and justly derides the object and the folly of his superstitious attachment.
p. 61. Whatever might be the truth of the facts or the merit of the distinction, these vain pretences were swept away by the last edict of Theodosius, which inflicted a deadly wound on the superstition of the Pagans.
p. 62. The churches were filled with the increasing multitude of these unworthy proselytes, who had conformed, from temporal motives, to the reigning religion; and whilst they devoutly imitated the postures and recited the prayers of the faithful, they satisfied their conscience by the silent and sincere invocation of the gods of antiquity.
p. 63. The Pagans were indulged in the most licentious freedom of speech and writing; the historical and philosophical remains of Eunapius, Zosimus, and the fanatic teachers of the school of Plato, betray the most furious animosity, and contain the sharpest invectives, against the sentiments and conduct of their victorious adversaries.
p. 64. The memory of theological opinions cannot long be preserved without the artificial helps of priests, of temples, and of books.
p. 66. A superstitious practice, which tended to increase the temptation of fraud and credulity, insensibly extinguished the light of history and of reason in the Christian world.
p. 66. Martin of Tours… extorted this confession from the mouth of the dead man. The error is allowed to be natural; the discovery is supposed to be miraculous. Which of the two was likely to happen most frequently?
p. 67. Augustin composed the two-and-twenty books de Civitate Dei in the space of thirteen years, A.D. 413 – 426…. His learning is too often borrowed, and his arguments are too often his own; but the whole work claims the merit of a magnificent design, vigorously, and not unskilfully, executed.
p. 69. The meaner passions of pride, avarice, and revenge, may be deemed unworthy of a celestial breast; yet the saints themselves condescended to testify their grateful approbation of the liberality of their votaries; and the sharpest bolts of punishment were hurled against those impious wretches who violated their magnificent shrines, or disbelieved their supernatural power.
p. 69. Atrocious, indeed, must have been the guilt, and strange would have been the scepticism, of those men, if they had obstinately resisted the proofs of a divine agency, which the elements, the whole range of the animal creation, and even the subtle and invisible operations of the human mind, were compelled to obey.
p. 69. The sublime and simple theology of the primitive Christians was gradually corrupted: and the MONARCHY of heaven, already clouded by metaphysical subtleties, was degraded by the introduction of a popular mythology which tended to restore the reign of polytheism.
p. 70. The same uniform original spirit of superstition might suggest, in the most distant ages and countries, the same methods of deceiving the credulity, and of affecting the senses of mankind: but it must ingenuously be confessed that the ministers of the catholic church imitated the profane model which they were impatient to destroy. The most respectable bishops had persuaded themselves that the ignorant rustics would more cheerfully renounce the superstitions of Paganism if they found some resemblance, some compensation, in the bosom of Christianity. The religion of Constantine achieved, in less than a century, the final conquest of the Roman empire: but the victors themselves were insensibly subdued by the arts of their vanquished rivals.
p. 72. The subjects of Rome, who still reverenced the persons, or rather the names, of their sovereigns, beheld with equal abhorrence the rebels who opposed, and the ministers who abused, the authority of the throne.
p. 73. The sacrifice of an hero gratified [Rufinus]; the honours of the consulship elated his vanity…
p. 75. If avarice were not the blindest of the human passions, the motives of Rufinus might excite our curiosity, and we might be tempted to inquire with what view he violated every principle of humanity and justice to accumulate those immense treasures which he could not spend without folly nor possess without danger.
p. 77. But [Rufinus] still possessed the most effectual means of defending his dignity, and perhaps of oppressing his enemies.
p. 78. Stilicho obtained the preference over a crowd of rivals who ambitiously disputed the hand of the princess [Serena], and the favour of her adoptive father [Theodosius].
p. 79. The assurance that the husband of Serena would be faithful to the throne which he was permitted to approach engaged the emperor to exalt the fortunes, and to employ the abilities, of the sagacious and intrepid Stilicho.
p. 80. Two rivals only remained to dispute the claims, and to provoke the vengeance, of Stilicho.
p. 83. [The favourites of Arcadius] incessantly laboured, by dark and treacherous machinations, to deprive [Stilicho] of the esteem of the prince, the respect of the people, and the friendship of the barbarians.
p. 83. At a time when the only hope of delaying the ruin of the Roman name depended on the firm union and reciprocal aid of all the nations to whom it had been gradually communicated, the subjects of Arcadius and Honorius were instructed, by their respective masters, to view each other in a foreign and even hostile light…
p. 83. The natives of Italy affected to despise the servile and effeminate Greeks of Byzantium, who presumed to imitate the dress, and to usurp the dignity, of Roman senators…
p. 88. [The Barbarians’] horses had never been taught to bear the control, or to obey the guidance, of the bridle.
p. 90. His subjects, who attentively studied the character of their young sovereign, discovered that Honorius was without passion, and consequently without talents; and that his feeble and languid disposition was alike incapable of discharging the duties of his rank, or of enjoying the pleasures of his age.
p. 90. [T]he ambitious minister [ie., Stilicho] suffered [Honorius] to attain the age of manhood without attempting to excite his courage or to enlighten his understanding.
p. 90. But the son of Theodosius [ie., Honorius] passed the slumber of his life a captive in his palace, a stranger in his country, and the patient, almost the indifferent, spectator of the ruin of the Western empire, which was repeatedly attacked, and finally subverted, by the arms of the barbarians. In the eventful history of a reign of twenty-eight years, it will seldom be necessary to mention the name of the emperor Honorius.
p. 92. In the midst of a divided court and a discontented people, the emperor Arcadius was terrified by the aspect of the Gothic arms…
p. 95. The invasion of the Goths, instead of vindicating the honours, contributed, at least accidentally, to extirpate the last remains, of Paganism; and the mysteries of Ceres, which had subsisted eighteen hundred years, did not survive the destruction of Eleusis and the calamities of Greece.
p. 95. Stilicho, who had not been permitted to repulse, advanced to chastise, the invaders of Greece.
p. 97. At the head of such troops, who might deserve the name and would display the spirit of Romans, [Synesius] animates the son of Theodosius [ie., Arcadius] to encounter a race of barbarians who were destitute of any real courage…
p. 97. The court of Arcadius indulged the zeal, applauded the eloquence, and neglected the advice, of Synesius.
p. 97. Perhaps the pride of the ministers, whose business was seldom interrupted by reflection, might reject, as wild and visionary, every proposal which exceeded the measure of their capacity, and deviated from the forms and precedents of office.
p. 99. The scarcity of facts, and the uncertainty of dates, oppose our attempts to describe the circumstances of the first invasion of Italy by the arms of Alaric.
p. 101. The fortresses of the Rhine were abandoned; and the safety of Gaul was protected only by the faith of the Germans, and the ancient terror of the Roman name.
p. 102. The siege of an obscure place, which contained so rich a prize, and seemed incapable of a long resistance, was instantly formed, and indefatigably pressed, by the king of the Goths [Alaric]…
p. 102. [T]he passage of the Po was an enterprise of much less hazard and difficulty; and the successful action, in which [Stilicho] cut his way through the Gothic camp under the walls of Asta, revived the hopes and vindicated the honour of Rome.
p. 106. Yet the people, and even the clergy, incapable of forming any rational judgment of the business of peace and war, presumed to arraign the policy of Stilicho, who so often vanquished, so often surrounded, and so often dismissed the implacable enemy of the republic.
p. 108. Cicero… faintly censures the abuse, and warmly defends the use, of these sports…
p. 109. The fears of Honorius were not without foundation, nor were his precautions without effect.
p. 112. The correspondence of nations was in that age so imperfect and precarious, that the revolutions of the North might escape the knowledge of the court of Ravenna, till the dark cloud, which was collected along the coast of the Baltic, burst in thunder upon the banks of the Upper Danube.
p. 112. [Stilicho] once more abandoned the provinces, recalled the troops, pressed the new levies, which were rigorously exacted and pusillanimously eluded.
p. 113. The senate and people trembled at [the barbarians’] approach within an hundred and eighty miles of Rome, and anxiously compared the danger which they had escaped with the new perils to which they were exposed.
p. 115. The proud monarch of so many warlike nations [ie., Radagaisus], after the loss of his bravest warriors, was reduced to confide either in the faith of a capitulation, or in the clemency of Stilicho.
p. 116. It is uncertain whether [the hosts] attempted to revenge the death of their general [Radagaisus]; but their irregular fury was soon diverted by the prudence and firmness of Stilicho, who opposed their march and facilitated their retreat, who considered the safety of Rome and Italy as the great object of his care, and who sacrificed with too much indifference the wealth and tranquillity of the distant provinces.
p. 119. If any of the legionaries were permitted to return from the Italian expedition, their faithful report of the court and character of Honorius must have tended to dissolve the bounds of allegiance, and to exasperate the seditious temper of the British army.
p. 119. The spirit of revolt, which had formerly disturbed the age of Gallienus, was revived by the capricious violence of the soldiers; and the unfortunate, perhaps the ambitious, candidates, who were the objects of their choice, were the instruments, and at length the victims, of their passion.
p. 119. [T]he authority of Constantine was less precarious, and his government was more successful, than the transient reigns of Marcus and of Gratian.
p. 122. In the course of this unfortunate expedition, the king of the Goths [ie., Alaric] must indeed have sustained a considerable loss; and his harassed forces required an interval of repose to recruit their numbers and revive their confidence…. He had deserved the esteem, and he soon accepted the friendship, of Stilicho himself.
p. 123. [The senators] loudly declared, in regular speeches or in tumultuary acclamations, that it was unworthy of the majesty of Rome to purchase a precarious and disgraceful truce from a barbarian king…
p. 124. The tumult of virtue and freedom subsided; and the sum of four thousand pounds of gold was granted, under the name of subsidy, to secure the peace of Italy, and to conciliate the friendship of the king of the Goths [Alaric].
p. 126. [Stilicho] instantly summoned, in the camp of Bologna, a council of the confederate leaders who were attached to his service, and would be involved in his ruin.
p. 126. [T]he most distant connection with the master-general of the West [Stilicho], which had so lately been a title to wealth and honours, was studiously denied, and rigorously punished.
p. 127. [The friends of Stilicho] died in silence; their firmness justified the choice, and perhaps absolved the innocence, of their patron; and the despotic power which could take his life without a trial, and stigmatise his memory without a proof, has no jurisdiction over the impartial suffrage of posterity.
p. 127. The son of Stilicho [Eucherius]… was educated in the bosom of Christianity, which his father had uniformly professed and zealously supported.
p. 128. [I]t is the last humiliation of the character of Honorius, that posterity has not condescended to reproach him with his base ingratitude to the guardian of his youth and the support of his empire [ie., Stilicho].
p. 129. It would not be easy to produce a passage that deserves the epithet of sublime or pathetic; to select a verse that melts the heart or enlarges the imagination. We should vainly seek in the poems of Claudian the happy invention and artificial conduct of an interesting fable, or the just and lively representation of the characters and situations of real life.
p. 129. [Claudian] was endowed with the rare and precious talent of raising the meanest, of adoring the most barren, and of diversifying the most similar, topics…
p. 130. The incapacity of a weak and distracted government may often assume the appearance and produce the effects of a treasonable correspondence with the public enemy.
p. 131. By the imprudent conduct of his ministers of Honorius the republic lost the assistance, and deserved the enmity, of thirty thousand of her bravest soldiers; and the weight of that formidable army, which alone might have determined the event of the war, was transferred from the scale of the Romans into that of the Goths.
p. 131. From his camp, on the confines of Italy, Alaric attentively observed the revolutions of the palace, watched the progress of faction and discontent, disguised the hostile aspect of a barbarian invader, and assumed the more popular appearance of the friend and ally of the great Stilicho.
p. 132. The modesty of Alaric was interpreted by the ministers of Ravenna as a sure evidence of his weakness and fear. They disdained either to negotiate a treaty or to assemble an army…
p. 134. The temporal honours which the devout Paula inherited and despised are carefully recapitulated by Jerom, the guide of her conscience and the historian of her life.
p. 135. One hundred and sixty eight years before the Christian era the [Anician] family was ennobled by the praetorship of Anicius, who gloriously terminated the Illyrian war by the conquest of the nation and the captivity of their king.
p. 138. The opulent nobles of an immense capital, who were never excited by the military glory, and seldom engaged in the occupations of civil government, naturally resigned their leisure to the business and amusements of private life.
p. 138. At Rome commerce was always held in contempt; but the senators, from the first age of the republic, increased their patrimony and multiplied their clients by the lucrative practice of usury…
p. 139. The greater part of the nobles, who dissipated their fortunes in profuse luxury, found themselves poor in the midst of wealth, and idle in a constant round of dissipation.
p. 141. But the modern nobles measure their rank and consequence according to the loftiness of their chariots, and the weighty magnificence of their dress. Their long robes of silk and purple float in the wind; and as they are agitated, by art or accident, they occasionally discover the under garments, the rich tunics, embroidered with the figures of various animals.
p. 142. In the exercise of domestic jurisdiction the nobles of Rome express an exquisite sensibility for any personal injury, and a contemptuous indifference for the rest of the human species.
p. 143. Whenever the rich prepare a solemn and popular entertainment, whenever they celebrate with profuse and pernicious luxury their private banquets, the choice of the guests is the subject of anxious deliberation. The modest, the sober, and the learned are seldom preferred; and the nomenclators, who are commonly swayed by interested motives, have the address to insert in the list of invitations the obscure names of the most worthless of mankind. But the frequent and familiar companions of the great are those parasites who practise the most useful of all arts, the art of flattery; who eagerly applaud each word and every action of their immortal patron; gaze with rapture on his marble columns and variegated pavements, and strenuously praise the pomp and elegance which he is taught to consider as a part of his personal merit.
p. 144. The acquisition of knowledge seldom engages the curiosity of the nobles, who abhor the fatigue and disdain the advantages of study…
p. 145. These vices, which degrade the moral character of the Romans, are mixed with a puerile superstition that disgraces their understanding. They listen with confidence to the predictions of haruspices, who pretend to read in the entrails of victims the signs of future greatness and prosperity; and there are many who do not presume either to bathe or to die, or to appear in public, till they have diligently consulted, according to the rules of astrology, the situation of Mercury and the aspect of the moon.
p. 146. The intemperance of the Gauls, the cunning and levity of the Greeks, the savage obstinacy of the Egyptians and Jews, the servile temper of the Asiatics, and the dissolute, effeminate prostitution of the Syrians, were mingled in the various multitude, which, under the proud and false denomination of Romans, presumed to despise their fellow-subject, and even their sovereigns, who dwelt beyond the precincts of the ETERNAL CITY.
p. 146. [T]he successors of Constantine, instead of crushing the last remains of the democracy by the strong arm of military power, embraced the mild policy of Augustus, and studied to relieve the poverty and to amuse the idleness of an innumerable people.
p. 150. The births and deaths of the citizens were duly registered; and if any writer of antiquity had condescended to mention the annual amount, or the common average, we might now produce some satisfactory calculation which would destroy the extravagant assertions of critics, and perhaps confirm the modest and probable conjectures of philosophers.
p. 150. But the loftiness of these buildings, which often consisted of hasty work and insufficient materials, was the cause of frequent and fatal accidents…
p. 153. The food the most repugnant to sense or imagination, the aliments the most unwholesome and pernicious to the constitution, were eagerly devoured, and fiercely disputed, by the rage of hunger.
p. 156. But the hopes of peace were disappointed by the weak obstinacy, or interested views, of the minister Olympius. Without listening to the salutary remonstrances of the senate, he dismissed their ambassadors under the conduct of a military escort, too numerous for a retinue of honour, and too feeble for an army of defence.
p. 159. While the emperor and his court enjoyed with sullen pride the security of the marshes and fortifications of Ravenna, they abandoned Rome, almost without defence, to the resentment of Alaric.
p. 161. Astonished by such examples of domestic treason, Honorius trembled at the approach of every servant, at the arrival of every messenger.
p. 162. The favourable intelligence which was received from Africa suddenly changed the opinions of men and the state of public affairs.
p. 162. The most imprudent measures were adopted, without the knowledge or against the advice of Alaric…
p. 162. [T]he degraded emperor of the Romans [ie., Honorius], desirous of life and insensible of disgrace, implored the permission of following the Gothic camp in the train of a haughty and capricious barbarian.
p. 164. [M]any thousand warriors, more especially the Huns who served under the standard of Alaric, were strangers to the name, or at least to the faith, of Christ, and we may suspect, without any breach of charity or candour, that in the hour of savage licence, when every passion was inflamed and every restraint was removed, the precepts of the Gospel seldom influenced the behaviour of the Gothic Christians.
p. 165. The brutal soldiers satisfied their sensual appetites without consulting either the inclination or the duties of their female captives…
p. 166. There were other losses indeed of a more substantial kind and more general concern…. The most exquisite works of art were roughly handled or wantonly destroyed…
p. 166. At their entrance through the Salarian gate [the Goths] fired the adjacent houses to guide their march and to distract the attention of the citizens…
p. 167. [I]t was not easy to compute the multitudes who, from an honourable station and a prosperous fortune, were suddenly reduced to the miserable condition of captives and exiles.
p. 169. [T]he village of Bethlehem, the solitary residence of St. Jerom and his female converts, was crowded with illustrious beggars, of either sex and every age, who excited the public compassion by the remembrance of their past fortune.
p. 169. There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times.
p. 170. In the beginning of the sixteenth century the manners of Italy exhibited a remarkable scene of the depravity of mankind. They united the sanguinary crimes that prevail in an unsettled state of society, with the polished vices which spring from the abuse of art and luxury; and the loose adventurers, who had violated every prejudice of patriotism and superstition to assault the palace of the Roman pontiff, must deserve to be considered as the most profligate of the Italians.
p. 170. The retreat of the victorious Goths, who evacuated Rome on the sixth day, might be the result of prudence, but it was not surely the effect of fear.
p. 170. The furious spirit of Luther, the effect of temper and enthusiasm, has been forcibly attacked… and feebly defended…
p. 172. Their trembling captives, the sons and daughters of Roman senators, presented, in goblets of gold and gems, large draughts of Falernian wine to the haughty victors, who stretched their huge limbs under the shade of plane-trees, artificially disposed to exclude the scorching rays, and to admit the genial warmth, of the sun.
p. 172. Whether fame, or conquest, or riches were the object of Alaric, he pursued that object with an indefatigable ardour which could neither be quelled by adversity nor satiated by success.
p. 174. The luxury of Italy had been less effectual to soften the temper than to relax the courage of the Goths; and they had imbibed the vices, without imitating the arts and institutions, of civilised society.
p. 175. [T]he splendour of [Placidia’s] birth, the bloom of youth, the elegance of manners, and the dexterous insinuations which she condescended to employ, made a deep impression on the mind of Adolphus…
p. 177. Some portion of the Gothic treasures might be the gift of friendship or the tribute of obedience, but the far greater part had been the fruits of war and rapine, the spoils of the empire, and perhaps of Rome.
p. 177. By another law the lands which had been left without inhabitants or cultivation were granted, with some diminution of taxes, to the neighbours who should occupy or the strangers who should solicit them…
p. 178. Heraclian, count of Africa… was tempted in the year of his consulship to assume the character of a rebel and the title of emperor.
p. 179. The usurpation of Constantine, who received the purple from the legions of Britain, had been successful, and seemed to be secure.
p. 182. United by friendship, animated by despair, but at length oppressed by multitudes, this band of heroes deserved the esteem, without exciting the compassion, of their enemies…
p. 184. The consciousness of the guilt, and the thirst of rapine, prompted the mercenary guards of the Pyrenees to desert their station; to invite the arms of the Suevi, the Vandals, and the Alani; and to swell the torrent which was poured with irresistible violence from the frontiers of Gaul to the sea of Africa.
p. 186. The Spanish war was obstinately supported, during three campaigns, with desperate valour and various success; and the martial achievements of Wallia diffused through the empire the superior renown of the Gothic hero.
p. 188. Yet these domestic misfortunes, which are seldom the lot of a vanquished people, had been felt and inflicted by the Romans themselves, not only in the insolence of foreign conquest, but in the madness of civil discord.
p. 189. [T]he barbarians of Gaul, more especially the Goths, repeatedly declared that they were bound to the people by the ties of hospitality, and to the emperor by the duty of allegiance and military service.
p. 189. Afflicted by similar calamities, and actuated by the same spirit, the Armorican provinces (a name which comprehended the maritime countries of Gaul between the Seine and the Loire) resolved to imitate the example of the neighbouring island.
p. 189. The limits of Armorica are defined by two national geographers…. The word had been used in a more extensive, and was afterwards contracted to a much narrower, signification.
p. 191. But the desire of obtaining the advantages, and of escaping the burthens, of political society, is a perpetual and inexhaustible source of discord…
p. 192. In such councils, where the princes and magistrates sat promiscuously with the bishops, the important affairs of the state, as well as of the church, might be freely debated, differences reconciled, alliances formed, contributions imposed, wise resolutions often concerted, and sometimes executed…
p. 192. It is somewhat remarkable, or rather it is extremely natural, that the revolt of Britain and Armorica should have introduced an appearance of liberty into the obedient provinces of Gaul.
p. 192. In a solemn edict, filled with the strongest assurances of that paternal affection which princes so often express, and so seldom feel, the emperor Honorius promulgated his intention of convening an annual assembly of the seven provinces…
p. 194. The division of the Roman world between the sons of Theodosius [ie., Honorius and Arcadius] marks the final establishment of the empire of the East, which, from the reign of Arcadius to the taking of Constantinople by the Turks, subsisted one thousand and fifty-eight years in a state of perpetual decay. The sovereign of that empire assumed and obstinately retained the vain, and at length fictitious, title of Emperor of the ROMANS; and the hereditary appellations of CAESAR and AUGUSTUS continued to declare that he was the legitimate successor of the first of men, who had reigned over the first of nations.
p. 194. The palace of Constantinople rivalled, and perhaps excelled, the magnificence of Persia; and the eloquent sermons of St. Chrysostom celebrate, while they condemn, the pompous luxury of the reign of Arcadius.
p. 194. Inaccessible to the menaces of their enemies, and perhaps to the complaints of their people, [the successors of Constantine] received with each wind the tributary productions of every climate; while the impregnable strength of their capital continued for ages to defy the hostile attempts of the barbarians.
p. 195. The subjects who had resigned their will to the absolute commands of a master were equally incapable of guarding their lives and fortunes against the assaults of the barbarians or of defending their reason from the terrors of superstition.
p. 195. It has already been observed that Eutropius, one of the principal eunuchs of the palace of Constantinople, succeeded the haughty minister whose ruin he had accomplished and whose vices he soon imitated.
p. 196. Eutropius was the first of his artificial sex who dared to assume the character of a Roman magistrate and general…. His former habits of life had not introduced him to the study of the laws or the exercises of the field…
p. 198. The eunuch wishes to obliterate by the general disgrace his personal ignominy; and as he has been sold himself, he is desirous of selling the rest of mankind.
p. 200. The public hatred and the despair of individuals continually threatened, or seemed to threaten, the personal safety of Eutropius, as well as of the numerous adherents who were attached to his fortune and had been prompted by his venal favour.
p. 201. “With regard to the sons of the traitors” (continues the emperor [Arcadius]), “although they ought to share the punishment, since they will probably imitate the guilt, of their parents, yet, by the special effect of our Imperial lenity, we grant them their lives…. Stigmatised with hereditary infamy, excluded from the hopes of honours or fortune, let them endure the pangs of poverty and contempt till they shall consider life as a calamity and death as a comfort and relief.”
p. 202. The rumour of the success of Tribigild might for some time be suppressed by fear, or disguised by flattery…
p. 202. The approach of danger and the obstinacy of Tribigild, who refused all terms of accommodation, compelled Eutropius to summon a council of war.
p. 202. Leo, who from the bulk of his body and the dulness of his mind was surnamed the Ajax of the East, had deserted his original trade of a woolcomber, to exercise with much less skill and success the military profession…
p. 203. Gainas… skilfully adapted his motions to the wishes of the Ostrogoths, abandoning by his retreat the country which they desired to invade, or facilitating by his approach the desertion of the barbarian auxiliaries.
p. 204. The archbishop [Chrysostom], ascending the pulpit of the cathedral [of Constantinople] that he might be distinctly seen and heard by an innumerable crowd of either sex and of every age, pronounced a seasonable and pathetic discourse on the forgiveness of injuries and the instability of human greatness.
p. 204. [T]he orator [ie., Chrysostom], who was afterwards accused of insulting the misfortunes of Eutropius, laboured to excite the contempt, that he might assuage the fury, of the people.
p. 206. Gainas was either innocent of the design or too confident of his success…
p. 209. [A]s the pyramid rose towards the summit, it insensibly diminished to a point; and the magistrates, the ministers, the favourite eunuchs, the ladies of the court, the empress Eudoxia herself, had a much larger share of guilt to divide among a smaller proportion of criminals.
p. 210. To the voice of persuasion the archbishop [ie., Chrysostom] was obliged to add the terrors of authority; and his ardour in the exercise of ecclesiastical jurisdiction was not always exempt from passion; nor was it always guided by prudence.
p. 210. Conscious of the purity of his intentions, and perhaps of the superiority of his genius, [Chrysostom] extended the jurisdiction of the Imperial City [Constantinople], that he might enlarge the sphere of his pastoral labours…
p. 212. Ignorant, or careless, of the impending danger, Chrysostom indulged his zeal, or perhaps his resentment…
p. 212. A numerous council of the Eastern prelates, who were guided from a distance by the advice of Theophilus, confirmed the validity, without examining the justice, of the former sentence…
p. 218. Pulcheria alone discharged the important task of instructing her brother [ie., Theodosius the Younger] in the arts of government; but her precepts may countenance some suspicion of the extent of her capacity or of the purity of her intentions.
p. 222. From these panegyrics the historians of the age might borrow their extraordinary, and perhaps fabulous, tales; of the proud challenge of a Persian hero, who was entangled by the net, and despatched by the sword, of Areobindus the Goth…
p. 224. The less fortunate nobles, who lamented the loss of their king, and envied the honours of their equals, were provoked to negotiate their peace and pardon at the Persian court…
p. 225. Constantinople beheld, with apparent indifference and secret joy, the calamities of Rome.
p. 228. The emperor of the East [ie., Theodosius the Younger] acquired the useful dominion of the rich and maritime province of Dalmatia, and the dangerous sovereignty of Pannonia and Noricum…
p. 228. Placidia envied, but she could not equal, the reputation and virtues of the wife and sister of Theodosius [the Younger]; the elegant genius of Eudocia, the wise and successful policy of Pulcheria.
p. 228. The Count de Buat… has established the reality, explained the motives, and traced the consequences, of this remarkable cession.
p. 230. [T]his memorable defeat, which has been represented as the punishment, was most probably the effect, of [the master-general Castinus’] rash presumption. Seville and Carthagena became the reward, or rather the prey, of the ferocious conquerors…
p. 233. The conquest of Africa was facilitated by the active zeal or the secret favour of a domestic faction…
p. 236. [Augustin] boldly sounded the dark abyss of grace, predestination, free-will, and original sin; and the rigid system of Christianity which he framed or restored has been entertained with public applause and secret reluctance by the Latin church.
p. 236. The church of Rome has canonised Augustin and reprobated Calvin. Yet, as the real difference between them is invisible even to a theological microscope, the Molinists are oppressed by the authority of the saint, and the Jansenists are disgraced by their resemblance to the heretic.
p. 237. By the skill of Boniface, and perhaps by the ignorance of the Vandals, the siege of Hippo was protracted above fourteen months…
p. 238. It might naturally be expected, after the retreat of Boniface, that the Vandals would achieve without resistance or delay the conquest of Africa. Eight years however elapsed from the evacuation of Hippo to the reduction of Carthage.
p. 238. This moderation, which cannot be imputed to the justice, must be ascribed to the policy, of the conqueror.
p. 238. [Genseric] subscribed a solemn treaty, with the hope of deriving some advantage from the term of its continuance and the moment of its violation.
p. 239. A new city [ie., Carthage] had arisen from its ruins, with the title of a colony; and though Carthage might yield to the royal prerogatives of Constantinople, and perhaps to the trade of Alexandria, or the splendour of Antioch, she still maintained the second rank in the West…
p. 239. The habits of trade and the abuse of luxury had corrupted [the Carthaginians’] manners; but their impious contempt of monks and the shameless practice of unnatural lusts are the two abominations which excite the pious vehemence of Salvian, the preacher of the age.
p. 245. The public tranquillity was frequently interrupted by the fierce impatience of the barbarians and the perfidious intrigues of the Byzantine court.
p. 245. The kings of the Huns assumed the solid benefits, as well as the vain honours, of the negotiation.
p. 246. It was natural enough that the Scythians should adore, with peculiar devotion, the god of war; but as they were incapable of forming either an abstract idea or a corporeal representation, they worshipped their tutelar deity under the symbol of an iron cimeter.
p. 251. [A line of castles and fortresses at the Illyrian frontier] were commonly sufficient to repel, or to intercept, the inroads of an enemy who was ignorant of the art, and impatient of the delay, of a regular siege.
p. 252. [A] military force was collected in Europe, formidable by their arms and numbers, if the generals had understood the science of command, and their soldiers the duty of obedience.
p. 245. [T]he barbarians, who despised death, might be apprehensive of disease…
p. 256. [T]he universal corruption which increased the influence of the rich and aggravated the misfortunes of the poor.
p. 256. [Attila] stipulated the immediate payment of six thousand pounds of gold to defray the expenses, or to expiate the guilt, of the war.
p. 260. [I]t was with extreme difficulty that Maximin and Priscus were able to divert the conversation or to soothe the angry minds of the barbarians.
p. 263. When Maximin offered his presents to Cerca the principal queen [of Attila]… his attentive eye was able to discover some taste in the ornaments, and some regularity in the proportions [of her mansion’s architecture].
p. 267. Vigilius… [carried] with him a weighty purse of gold, which the favourite eunuch had furnished, to satisfy the demands of Edecon and to corrupt the fidelity of the guards.
p. 269. The same language, even in the camp of the Huns, was used by… Apollonius, whose bold refusal to deliver the presents, till he had been admitted to a personal interview, displayed a sense of dignity, and a contempt of danger, which Attila was not prepared to expect from the degenerate Romans.
p. 271. [Aetius] soothed their [the barbarians’] passions, consulted their prejudices, balanced their interest, and checked their ambition.
p. 273. At the head of an army of Huns, [Count Litorius] rashly advanced to the gates of Toulouse, full of careless contempt for an enemy whom his misfortunes had rendered prudent, and his situation made desperate.
p. 274. The two armies expected the signal of a decisive action; but the generals, who were conscious of each other’s force, and doubtful of their own superiority, prudently sheathed their swords in the field of battle…
p. 274. Theodoric, king of the Visigoths, appears to have deserved the love of his subjects, the confidence of his allies, and the esteem of mankind.
p. 283. But in this tumultuary retreat the vanguard of the Romans and their allies continually pressed, and sometimes engaged, the troops whom Attila had posted in the rear; the hostile columns, in the darkness of the night and the perplexity of the roads, might encounter each other without design…
p. 284. Sangiban, the faithless king of the Alani, was placed in the centre: where his motions might be strictly watched, and his treachery might be instantly punished.
p. 286. In the same manner, but on the left of the line, Aetius himself, separated from his allies, ignorant of their victory, and anxious for their fate, encountered and escaped the hostile troops that were scattered over the plains of Chalons…
p. 290. Till the middle of the fifth century these remote and sequestered spots remained without cultivation, with few inhabitants, and almost without a name.
p. 290. This emigration is not attested by any contemporary evidence; but the fact is proved by the event, and the circumstances might be preserved by tradition.
p. 292. The state of [Attila’s] army might facilitate the treaty and hasten his retreat.
p. 295. In a bloody and decisive conflict on the banks of the river Netad in Pannonia, the lance of the Gepidae, the sword of the Goths, the arrows of the Huns, the Suevic infantry, the light arms of the Heruli, and the heavy weapons of the Alani, encountered or supported each other…
p. 295. Such an event might contribute to the safety of the Eastern empire under the reign of a prince who conciliated the friendship, without forfeiting the esteem, of the barbarians.
p. 299. If all the barbarian conquerors had been annihilated in the same hour, their total destruction would not have restored the empire of the West: and if Rome still survived, she survived the loss of freedom, of virtue, and of honour.
p. 299. The rapacious Vandals confiscated the patrimonial estates of the senators, and intercepted the regular subsidies which relieved the poverty and encouraged the idleness of the plebeians.
p. 300. The revolutions of the palace, which left the Western empire without a defender and without a lawful prince, dispelled the apprehensions and stimulated the avarice of Genseric.
p. 303. [I]t was difficult either to escape, or to satisfy, the avarice of a conqueror who possessed leisure to collect, and ships to transport, the wealth of the capital [ie. Rome].
p. 304. [T]he aged prelate [Deogratias, bishop of Carthage] repeated his visits both in the day and night, with an assiduity that surpassed his strength, and a tender sympathy which enhanced the value of his services.
p. 305. A copious stream, issuing from the mountain, and falling headlong in many a loud and foaming cascade, discharged its waters into a lake about two miles in length…
p. 309. But the Romans were not inclined either to excuse his [the emperor Avitus’] faults or to acknowledge his virtues.
p. 310. Disease, or the hand of the executioner, arrested [Avitus] on the road…
p. 313. The favourite servants who obtained such irregular powers were insolent in their behaviour and arbitrary in their demands…
p. 315. [T]he stately libraries and halls of justice became useless to an indolent generation whose repose was seldom disturbed either by study or business.
p. 315. The emperor [Majorian] conceived that it was his interest to increase the number of his subjects; that it was his duty to guard the purity of the marriage-bed…
p. 320. [Marcellinus’] voluntary or reluctant submission to the authority of Majorian was rewarded by the government of Sicily and the command of an army stationed in that island to oppose or to attack the Vandals…
p. 320. Aegidius, the master-general of Gaul, who equalled, or at least who imitated, the heroes of ancient Rome, proclaimed his immortal resentment against the assassins of his beloved master. A brave and numerous army was attached to his standard: and though he was prevented by the arts of Ricimer and the arms of the Visigoths from marching to the gates of Rome, he maintained his independent sovereignty beyond the Alps and rendered the name of Aegidius respectable both in peace and war.
p. 322. In the treatment of [Genseric’s] unhappy prisoners he sometimes consulted his avarice, and sometimes indulged his cruelty…
p. 327. In all his public declarations the emperor Leo assumes the authority and profess the affection of a father for his son Anthemius, with whom he had divided the administration of the universe.
p. 332. [Arvandus’] easy temper was corrupted by flattery and exasperated by opposition…
p. 333. In the name of a great province, and according to the forms of Roman jurisprudence, [four deputies of Gaul] instituted a civil and criminal action, requiring such restitution as might compensate the losses of individuals, and such punishment as might satisfy the justice of the state.
p. 334. [Arvandus] held a secret correspondence with the Visigoths to betray the province which he oppressed… his extravagant vices would have inspired contempt if they had not excited fear and abhorrence.
p. 334. Sidonius… execrates the crimes and applauds the punishment of Seronatus, perhaps with the indignation of a virtuous citizen, perhaps with the resentment of a personal enemy.
p. 335. [Epiphanius, bishop of Pavia] seriously admonished the emperor [Anthemius] to avoid a contest with a fierce barbarian [Count Ricimer], which might be fatal to himself, and must be ruinous to his dominions.
p. 340. Pavia was immediately besieged, the fortifications were stormed, the town was pillaged; and although the bishop might labour, with much zeal and some success, to save the property of the church and the chastity of female captives, the tumult could only be appeased by the execution of Orestes…. [T]he helpless Augustulus, who could no longer command the respect, was reduced to implore the clemency, of Odoacer.
p. 344. [T]he Italians alternately lamented the presence or the absence of the sovereigns whom they detested or despised; and the succession of five centuries inflicted the various evils of military licence, capricious despotism, and elaborate oppression. During the same period, the barbarians had emerged from obscurity and contempt, and the warriors of Germany and Scythia were introduced into the provinces, as the servants, the allies, and at length the masters, of the Romans, whom they insulted or protected.
p. 347. The loose and imperfect practice of religion satisfied the conscience of the multitude. The prince or magistrate, the soldier or merchant, reconciled their fervent zeal and implicit faith with the exercise of their profession, the pursuit of their interest, and the indulgence of their passion: but the Ascetics, who obeyed and abused the rigid precepts of the Gospel, were inspired by the savage enthusiasm which represents man as a criminal, and God as a tyrant.
p. 350. The prolific colonies of monks multiplied with rapid increase on the sands of Libya, upon the rocks of Thebais, and in the cities of the Nile.
p. 351. [T]he life of Hilarion displays the facility with which an indigent hermit of Palestine might traverse Egypt, embark for Sicily, escape to Epirus, and finally settle in the island of Cyprus.
p. 352. Reason might subdue, or passion might suspend, their [the monks’] influence; but they acted most forcibly on the infirm minds of children and females; they were strengthened by secret remorse or accidental misfortune; and they might derive some aid from the temporal considerations of vanity or interest.
p. 353. [T]he monasteries were filled by a crowd of obscure and abject plebeians, who gained in the cloister much more than they had sacrificed in the world.
p. 355. The freedom of the mind, the source of every generous and rational sentiment, was destroyed by the habits of credulity and submission; and the monk, contracting the vices of a slave, devoutly followed the faith and passions of his ecclesiastical tyrant. The peace of the Eastern church was invaded by a swarm of fanatics, incapable of fear, or reason, or humanity; and the Imperial troops acknowledged, without shame, that they were much less apprehensive of an encounter with the fiercest barbarians.
p. 358. Time continually increased, and accidents could seldom diminish, the estates of the popular monasteries, which spread over the adjacent country and cities…
p. 359. But [the monks] gradually assumed the pride of wealth, and at last indulged the luxury of expense.
p. 359. The lives of the primitive monks were consumed in penance and solitude, undisturbed by the various occupations which fill the time, and exercise the faculties, of reasonable, active, and social beings.
p. 359. I have somewhere heard or read the frank confession of a Benedictine abbot: “My vow of poverty has given me an hundred thousand crowns a year; my vow of obedience has raised me to the rank of a sovereign prince.” I forget the consequence of his vow of chastity.
p. 362. Among these heroes of the monastic life, the name and genius of Simeon Stylites have been immortalised by the singular invention of an aerial penance.
p. 363. A cruel, unfeeling temper has distinguished the monks of every age and country: their stern indifference, which is seldom mollified by personal friendship, is inflamed by religious hatred; and their merciless zeal has strenuously administered the holy office of the Inquisition.
p. 365. The devout shepherds, who were attached to his [Ulphilas’] person and tractable to his voice…
p. 368. In the most corrupt state of Christianity the barbarians might learn justice from the law, and mercy from the gospel; and if the knowledge of their duty was insufficient to guide their actions or to regulate their passions, they were sometimes restrained by conscience, and frequently punished by remorse.
p. 373. These unhappy exiles, when they reached the Moorish huts, might excite the compassion of a people whose native humanity was neither improved by reason nor corrupted by fanaticism: but if they escaped the dangers, they were condemned to share the distress, of a savage life.
p. 380. The laborious interpretation of doubtful texts, or the curious pursuit of metaphysical arguments, would have excited an endless controversy…
p. 386. In all his transactions with mankind [Clovis] calculated the weight of interest, of passion, and of opinion; and his measures were sometimes adapted to the sanguinary manners of the Germans, and sometimes moderated by the milder genius of Rome and Christianity.
p. 390. The new Constantine [ie., Clovis] was immediately baptised with three thousand of his warlike subjects, and their example was imitated by the remainder of the gentle barbarians, who, in obedience to the victorious prelate, adored the cross which they had burnt, and burnt the idols which they had formerly adored.
p. 391. Under the Roman empire the wealth and jurisdiction of the bishops, their sacred character and perpetual office, their numerous dependents, popular eloquence, and provincial assemblies, had rendered them always respectable, and sometimes dangerous.
p. 394. The bishops were reconciled and flattered by the hopes which [Gundobold] artfully suggested of his approaching conversion; and though he eluded their accomplishment to the last moment of his life, his moderation secured the peace and suspended the ruin of the kingdom of Burgundy.
p. 404. [T]he composition of the Burgundian laws was a measure of policy rather than of justice, to alleviate the yoke and regain the affections of their Gallic subjects.
p. 404. Yet the laws of the barbarians were adapted to their wants and desires, their occupations and their capacity; and they all contributed to preserve the peace, and promote the improvements, of the society for whose use they were originally established.
p. 405. A more ample latitude was allowed, if every citizen, in the presence of the judge, might declare the law under which he desired to live, and the national society to which he chose to belong. Such an indulgence would abolish the partial distinctions of victory: and the Roman provincials might patiently acquiesce in the hardships of their condition, since it depended on themselves to assume the privilege, if they dared to assert the character, of free and warlike barbarians.
p. 405. [I]n the loose society of the Germans, revenge was always honourable, and often meritorious…
p. 407. In every religion the Deity has been invoked to confirm the truth, or to punish the falsehood, of human testimony…
p. 411. In the bloody discord and silent decay of the Merovingian line a new order of tyrants arose in the provinces, who, under the appellation of Seniors or Lords, usurped a right to govern and a licence to oppress the subjects of their peculiar territory.
p. 412. But the Roman captives who were destitute of art, but capable of labour, were condemned, without regard to their former rank, to tend the cattle and cultivate the lands of the barbarians…. [T]he servile people, according to the situation and temper of their lords, was sometimes raised by precarious indulgence, and more frequently depressed by capricious despotism.
p. 412. From the reign of Clovis, during five successive centuries, the laws and manners of Gaul uniformly tended to promote the increase, and to confirm the duration, of personal servitude.
p. 419. The successors of Clovis wanted resolution to assume, or strength to exercise, the legislative and executive powers which the people had abdicated: the royal prerogative was distinguished only by a more ample privilege of rapine and murder; and the love of freedom, so often invigorated and disgraced by private ambition, was reduced among the licentious Franks to the contempt of order and the desire of impunity.
p. 420. After their conversion from idolatry or heresy, the Franks and the Visigoths were disposed to embrace, with equal submission, the inherent evils and the accidental benefits of superstition.
p. 420. The bishops of Spain respected themselves, and were respected by the public: their indissoluble union disguised their vices, and confirmed their authority…
p. 421. The bishops, who in each revolution were prepared to flatter the victorious and to insult the prostrate, laboured with diligence and success to kindle the flames of persecution, and to exalt the mitre above the crown…. The clergy, who anointed their lawful prince, always recommended, and sometimes practice, the duty of allegiance…
p. 422. The declamations of Gildas, the fragments or fables of Nennius, the obscure hints of the Saxon laws and chronicles, and the ecclesiastical tales of the venerable Bede, have been illustrated by the diligence, and sometimes embellished by the fancy, of succeeding writers, whose works I am not ambitious either to censure or to transcribe.
p. 424. It was easy to foresee, but it was impossible to prevent, the impending evils.
p. 425. Each intrepid chieftain… chose the place of the attack, and conducted his subsequent operations according to the events of the war and the dictates of his private interest.
p. 434. By the revolution of Britain the limits of science as well as of empire were contracted. The dark cloud which had been cleared by the Phoenician discoveries, and finally dispelled by the arms of Caesar, again settled on the shores of the Atlantic, and a Roman province was again lost among the fabulous Islands of the Ocean.
p. 437. From these institutions of peace and war Polybius has deduced the spirit and success of a people incapable of fear and impatient of repose.
p. 437. The arms of the republic, sometimes vanquished in battle, always victorious in war, advanced with rapid steps to the Euphrates, the Danube, the Rhine, and the Ocean…
p. 438. [T]he decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight.
p. 438. The victorious legions, who, in distant wars, acquired the vices of strangers and mercenaries, first oppressed the freedom of the republic, and afterwards violated the majesty of the purple.
p. 439. As the happiness of a future life is the great object of religion, we may hear without surprise or scandal that the introduction, or at least the abuse of Christianity, had some influence on the decline and fall of the Roman empire.
p. 440. The Romans were ignorant of the extent of their dangers and the number of their enemies.
p. 441. The happiness of an hundred millions depended on the personal merit of one or two men, perhaps children, whose minds were corrupted by education, luxury, and despotic power.
p. 443. Yet the experience of four thousand years should enlarge our hopes and diminish our apprehensions…
p. 450. The reputation both of the leader and of the war diffused a universal ardour; the Walamirs were multiplied by the Gothic swarms already engaged in the service, or seated in the provinces, of the empire…
p. 452. At length, destitute of provisions and hopeless of relief, that unfortunate monarch [Odoacer] yielded to the groans of his subjects and the clamours of his soldiers.
p. 453. [H]istory… has not left any just representation of the events which displayed, or the defects which clouded, the virtues of Theodoric.
p. 455. Among the barbarians of the West the victory of Theodoric had spread a general alarm. But as soon as it appeared that he was satisfied with conquest and desirous of peace, terror was changed into respect, and they submitted to a powerful mediation, which was uniformly employed for the best purposes of reconciling their quarrels and civilising their manners.
p. 457. The life of Theodoric represents the rare and meritorious example of a barbarian who sheathed his sword in the pride of victory and the vigour of his age. A reign of three and thirty years was consecrated to the duties of civil government, and the hostilities, in which he was sometimes involved, were speedily terminated by the conduct of his lieutenants, the disciplines of his troops, the arms of his allies, and even by the terror of his name.
p. 460. It has been the object of Augustus to conceal the introduction of monarchy; it was the policy of Theodoric to disguise the reign of a barbarian. If his subjects were sometimes awakened from this pleasing vision of a Roman government, they derived more substantial comfort from the character of a Gothic prince who had penetration to discern, and firmness to pursue, his own and the public interest.
p. 464. A difference of religion is always pernicious and often fatal to the harmony of the prince and people…
p. 466. Two hundred thousand barbarians, formidable even to their master, were seated in the heart of Italy; they indignantly supported the restraints of peace and discipline; the disorders of their march were always felt and sometimes compensated; and where it was dangerous to punish, it might be prudent to dissemble, the sallies of their native fierceness.
p. 469. [Boethius] imbibed the spirit, and imitated the method, of his dead and living masters, who attempted to reconcile the strong and subtle sense of Aristotle with the devout contemplation and sublime fancy of Plato.
p. 470. A philosopher, liberal of his wealth and parsimonious of his time, might be insensible to the common allurements of ambition, the thirst of gold and employment.
p. 472. Humanity will be disposed to encourage any report which testifies the jurisdiction of conscience and the remorse of kings; and philosophy is not ignorant that the most horrid spectres are sometimes created by the powers of a disordered fancy, and the weakness of a distempered body. After a life of virtue and glory, Theodoric was now descending with shame and guilt into the grave: his mind was humbled by the contrast of the past, and justly alarmed by the invisible terrors of futurity.
p. 476. Since the eunuch Amantius had been defrauded of his money, it became necessary to deprive him of his life.
p. 478. [Procopius’] style continually aspires, and often attains, to the merit of strength and elegance…
p. 479. Such base inconsistency must doubtless sully the reputation, and detract from the credit, of Procopius…
p. 481. The beauty of Theodora was the subject of more flattering praise, and the source of more exquisite delight.
p. 483. Those who believe that the female mind is totally depraved by the loss of chastity will eagerly listen to all the invectives of private envy or popular resentment, which have dissembled the virtues of Theodora, exaggerated her vices, and condemned with rigour the venal or voluntary sins of the youthful harlot.
p. 487. The popular dissensions, founded on the most serious interest or holy pretence, have scarcely equalled the obstinacy of this wanton discord, which invaded the peace of families, divided friends and brothers, and tempted the female sex, though seldom seen in the circus, to espouse the inclinations of their lovers, or to contradict the wishes of their husbands.
p. 491. …Hypatius and Pompey, two patricians who could neither forget with honour, nor remember with safety, that they were the nephews of the emperor Anastasius.
p. 493. Tradition preserved, and experience simplified, the humble practice of the arts; society was enriched by the division of labour and the facility of exchange…
p. 499. [T]he study of nature was the surest symptom of an unbelieving mind.
p. 503. Dishonour might be ultimately reflected on the character of Justinian; but much of the guilt, and still more of the profit, was intercepted by the ministers, who were seldom promoted for their virtues, and not always selected for their talents.
p. 504. Although [John of Cappadocia] was suspected of magic and Pagan superstition, he appeared insensible to the fear of God or the reproaches of man; and his aspiring fortune was raised on the death of thousands, the poverty of millions, the ruin of cities, and the desolation of provinces.
p. 505. The edifices of Justinian were cemented with the blood and treasure of his people; but those stately structures appeared to announce the prosperity of the empire, and actually displayed the skill of their architects.
p. 513. Instead of a hasty crowd of peasants, a garrison of two thousand soldiers was stationed along the rampart, granaries of corn and reservoirs of water were provided for their use, and, by a precaution that inspired the cowardice which it foresaw, convenient fortresses were erected for their retreat.
p. 517. [T]he fabulous promise of the Son of God, that Edessa should never be taken, filled the citizens with valiant confidence and chilled the besiegers with doubt and dismay.
p. 518. The Persians were twice circumvented, in a situation which made valour useless and flight impossible…
p. 520. The double and treble ditches were filled with a stream of water, and in the management of the river the most skilful labour was employed to supply the inhabitants, to distress the besiegers, and to prevent the mischiefs of a natural or artificial inundation. Dara continued more than sixty years to fulfil the wishes of its founders and to provoke the jealousy of the Persians…
p. 522. The systems which professed to unfold the nature of God, of man, and of the universe, entertained the curiosity of the philosophic student; and according to the temper of his mind, he might doubt with the Sceptics, or decide with the Stoics, sublimely speculate with Plato, or severely argue with Aristotle.
p. 526. [Simplicus’] moral interpretation of Epictetus is preserved in the library of nations, as a classic book, most excellently adapted to direct the will, to purify the heart, and to confirm the understanding, by a just confidence in the nature both of God and man.
p. 529. The Arian clergy presumed to insinuate that [Hilderic] had renounced his faith, and the soldiers more loudly complained that he had degenerated from the courage, of his ancestors.
p. 531. After a bold inroad into Persarmenia, in which his glory was shared by a colleague, and his progress was checked by an enemy, Belisarius repaired to the important station of Dara…
p. 532. While the African war became the topic of popular discourse and secret deliberation, each of the Roman generals was apprehensive, rather than ambitious, of the dangerous honour…
p. 543. It was equally the concern of the Roman general to subdue the hostile, and to save the prostrate, barbarian…
p. 547. [T]he vain and transitory scenes of human greatness are unworthy of a serious thought.
p. 550. [Sallust] quotes two columns, with a Phoenician inscription. I believe in the columns I doubt the inscription and I reject the pedigree.
p. 558. Although Theodatus descended from a race of heroes, he was ignorant of the art and averse to the dangers of war.
p. 562. Leuderis, an aged warrior, was left in the capital with four thousand soldiers; a feeble garrison, which might have seconded the zeal, though it was incapable of opposing the wishes, of the Romans.
p. 581. Seven thousand horsemen, matchless for beauty and valour, were maintained in the service, and at the private expense, of the general [ie., Belisarius].
p. 581. It was the custom of the Roman triumphs that a slave should be placed behind the chariot, to remind the conqueror of the stability of fortune and the infirmities of human nature.
p. 582. In the various situations of their fortune [Antonina] became the companion, the enemy, the servant, and the favourite of the empress Theodora: these loose and ambitious females had been connected by similar pleasures; they were separated by the jealousy of vice, and at length reconciled by the partnership of guilt.
p. 583. A philosopher may pity and forgive the infirmities of female nature from which he receives no real injury; but contemptible is the husband who feels, and yet endures, his own infamy in that of his wife.
p. 584. Photius was more resolved to punish, and less prompt to pardon…
p. 584. The monk of Ephesus [Theodosius, Antonina’s lover] was nourished in the palace with luxury and ambition; but instead of assuming, as he was promised, the command of the Roman armies, Theodosius expired in the first fatigues of an amorous interview.
p. 585. [T]he disgrace of Belisarius was alleviated by the dignity of his own character and the influence of his wife, who might wish to humble, but could not desire to ruin, the partner of her fortunes.
p. 586. Our estimate of personal merit is relative to the common faculties of mankind. The aspiring efforts of genius or virtue, either in active or speculative life, are measured not so much by their real elevation as by the height to which they ascent above the level of their age or country; and the same stature which in a people of giants would pass unnoticed, must appear conspicuous in a race of pigmies.
p. 587. The generals, who were multiplied beyond the example of former times, laboured only to prevent the success or to sully the reputation of their colleagues; and they had been taught by experience that, if merit sometimes provoked the jealousy, error, or even guilt, would obtain the indulgence, of a gracious emperor.
p. 589. The assassination of a royal guest was executed in the presence and by the command of the king’s daughter, who had been provoked by some words of insult, and disappointed by his diminutive stature…
p. 589. These acts of hostility, the sallies, as it might be pretended, of some loose adventurers, were disowned by the nation, and excused by the emperor…
p. 592. The Sclavonians disdained to obey a despot, a prince, or even a magistrate; but their experience was too narrow, their passions too headstrong, to compose a system of equal law or general defence.
p. 593. The works which the emperor raised for the protection, but at the expense of his subjects, served only to disclose the weakness of some neglected part; and the walls, which by flattery had been deemed impregnable, were either deserted by the garrison or scaled by the barbarians.
p. 603. The virtue of Chosroes was that of a conqueror who, in the measures of peace and war, is excited by ambition and restrained by prudence…
p. 603. Nushirvan [Chosroes]’s two elder brothers had been deprived of their fair expectations of the diadem: their future life, between the supreme rank and the condition of subjects, was anxious to themselves and formidable to their master…
p. 603. But the people, more especially in the East, is disposed to forgive, and even to applaud, the cruelty which strikes at the loftiest heads at the slaves of ambition, whose voluntary choice has exposed them to live in the smiles, and to perish by the frown, of a capricious monarch.
p. 604. [T]he rare and inestimable treasure of fresh water was parsimoniously managed, and skilfully dispersed over the arid territory of Persia.
p. 604. Could [the philosophers] hope that the precepts of philosophy should direct the life and control the passions of a despot whose infancy had been taught to consider his absolute and fluctuating will as the only rule of moral obligation?
p. 605. Every learned or confident stranger was enriched by the bounty and flattered by the conversation of the monarch [Chosroes]…
p. 605. [Chosroes] allowed himself freely to compare the tenets of the various sects; and the theological disputes, in which he frequently presided, diminished the authority of the priest and enlightened the minds of the people.
p. 611. [T]he whole picture exhibited the intrepidity of the troops and the vigilance of the general. Chosroes was deluded by the address, and awed by the genius, of the lieutenant of Justinian [ie., Belisarius]. Conscious of the merit, and ignorant of the force, of his antagonist, he dreaded a decisive battle in a distant country, from whence not a Persian might return to relate the melancholy tale.
p. 613. [A] vein of precious metal may be equally diffused through the circle of the hills, although these secret treasures are neglected by the laziness, or concealed by the prudence, of the Mingrelians.
p. 615. According to the destination of the two sexes, the men [of Colchis] seemed formed for action, the women for love; and the perpetual supply of females from Mount Caucasus has purified the blood, and improved the breed, of the southern nations of Asia.
p. 617. … Christianity, which the Mingrelians still profess with becoming zeal, without understanding the doctrines or observing the precepts of their religion.
p. 618. Instead of being protected by the valour, Colchis was insulted by the licentiousness, of foreign mercenaries…
p. 623. Yet the repeated labours of Isdigune could procure only a partial and imperfect truce, which was always purchased with the treasures, and renewed at the solicitation, of the Byzantine count.
p. 627. But the wars, the conquests, and the triumphs of Justinian, are the feeble and pernicious efforts of old age, which exhaust the remains of strength and accelerate the decay of the powers of life.
p. 629. [Areobindus] was suddenly oppressed by a sedition of the guards, and his abject supplications, which provoked the contempt, could not move the pity, of the inexorable tyrant.
p. 629. The Moors, though ignorant of justice, were impatient of oppression: their vagrant life and boundless wilderness disappointed the arms and eluded the chains of a conqueror…
p. 632. On the first attack, [the mercenary troops] abandoned their ensigns, threw down their arms, and dispersed on all sides with an active speed which abated the loss, whilst it aggravated the shame, of their defeat. p, 634. A hero on the banks of the Euphrates, a slave in the palace of Constantinople, [Belisarius] accepted with reluctance the painful task of supporting his own reputation and retrieving the faults of his successors.
p. 636. A crowd of spectres, pale and emaciated, their bodies oppressed with disease and their minds with despair, surrounded the palace of the governor [Bessas], urged, with unavailing truth, that it was the duty of a master to maintain his slaves, and humbly requested that he would provide for their subsistence, permit their flight, or command their immediate execution. Bessas replied, with unfeeling tranquillity, that it was impossible to feed, unsafe to dismiss, and unlawful to kill, the subjects of the emperor.
p. 636. [Belisarius’] cavalry advanced from the port along the public road to awe the motions and distract the attention of the enemy.
p. 641. [R]iches, in a corrupt age, are the support and ornament of personal merit.
p. 647. [Narses] resolved to risk the Gothic kingdom on the chance of a day, in which the valiant would be animated by instant danger, and the disaffected might be awed by mutual ignorance.
p. 647. …fifteen hundred chosen horse, destined, according to the emergencies of action, to sustain the retreat of their friends, or to encompass the flank of the enemy.
p. 656. Of such soldiers few could be tempted to sally from the gates; and none could be persuaded to remain in the field, unless they wanted strength and speed to escape from the Bulgarians.
p. 656. [Procopius’] reckoning is inflamed by passion, and clouded with uncertainty.
p. 658. [The conspirators’] black slaves were stationed in the vestibule and porticoes to announce the death of the tyrant, and to excite a sedition in the capital.
p. 661. Justinian was neither beloved in his life nor regretted at his death. The love of fame was deeply implanted in his breast, but he condescended to the poor ambition of titles, honours, and contemporary praise; and while he laboured to fix the admiration, he forfeited the esteem and affection, of the Romans.
p. 665. [R]evenge embraces the moment and selects the victim…
p. 669. Attached to no party, interested only for the truth and candour of history, and directed by the most temperate and skilful guides, I enter with just diffidence on the subject of civil law…
p. 669. …I shall trace the Roman jurisprudence from Romulus to Justinian, appreciate the labours of that emperor, and pause to contemplate the principles of a science so important to the peace and happiness of society.
p. 676. As soon as [the supreme judge] ascended his tribunal, he announced… the rules which he proposed to follow in the decision of doubtful cases, and the relief which his equity would afford from the precise rigour of ancient statutes.
p. 676. [T]he plea of youth, or fraud, or violence, annulled the obligations or excused the performance of an inconvenient contract.
p. 681. [I]n a more enlightened age the legal actions were derided and observed, and the same antiquity which sanctified the practice, obliterated the use and meaning, of this primitive language.
p. 681. To define the ambiguities, to circumscribe the latitude, to apply the principles, to extend the consequences, to reconcile the real or apparent contradictions, was a much nobler and more important task…
p. 682. From the multitude of voluminous civilians who fill the intermediate space, it is evident that such studies may be pursued, and such works may be performed, with a common share of judgment, experience, and industry.
p. 687. In the space of ten centuries the infinite variety of laws and legal opinions had filled many thousand volumes, which no fortune could purchase and no capacity could digest.
p. 687. The theory of professors was assisted by the practice of advocates and the experience of magistrates…
p. 692. The books of jurisprudence were interesting to few and entertaining to none; their value was connected with present use, and they sunk for ever as soon as that use was superseded by the innovations of fashion, superior merit, or public authority.
p. 698. Yet [the son’s] life might be adverse to the interest or passions of an unworthy father: the same crimes that flowed from the corruption, were more sensibly felt by the humanity of the Augustan age…
p. 699. [T]he exposition of children was the prevailing and stubborn vice of antiquity: it was sometimes prescribed, often permitted, almost always practised with impunity by the nations who never entertained the Roman ideas of paternal power…
p. 715. Usury, the inveterate grievance of the city, had been discouraged by the Twelve Tables, and abolished by the clamours of the people. It was revived by their wants and idleness, tolerated by the direction of the praetors, and finally determined by the Code of Justinian.
p. 720. After the expulsion of the kings, the ambitious Romans who should dare to assume their title or imitate their tyranny was devoted to the infernal gods…
p. 720. [D]uring the two purest ages, from the establishment of equal freedom to the end of the Punic wars, the city [of Rome] was never disturbed by sedition, and rarely polluted with atrocious crimes.
p. 721. The first imperfect attempt to restore the proportion of crimes and punishments was made by the dictator Sylla, who, in the midst of his sanguinary triumphs, aspired to restrain the licence rather than to oppress to liberty of the Romans.
p. 722. The licentious commerce of the sexes may be tolerated as an impulse of nature, or forbidden as a source of disorder and corruption…
p. 723. I touch with reluctance, and despatch with impatience, a more odious vice, of which modesty rejects the name, and nature abominates the idea.
p. 728. [T]he laudable desire of conciliating ancient names with recent institutions destroyed the harmony, and swelled the magnitude, of the obscure and irregular system.
p. 730. The officers who exercised the power, or attended the person, of the prince [ie., Justin II], were attired in their richest habits, and arranged according to the military and civil order of the hierarchy.
p. 735. But the passions of the people are furious and changeable, and the Romans soon recollected, or dreaded the resentment, of their victorious general [the eunuch Narses].
p. 736. The soldiers resented the disgrace, and bewailed the loss, of their general [Narses].
p. 737. The same courage which obtains the esteem of a civilised enemy provokes the fury of a savage; and the impatient besieger [ie., Alboin the King of the Lombards] had bound himself by a tremendous oath that age, and sex, and dignity should be confounded in a general massacre.
p. 738. The ambitious Rosamond aspired to reign in the name of her lover; the city and palace of Verona were awed by her power; and a faithful band of her native Gaepidae was prepared to applaud the revenge and to second the wishes of their sovereign. But the Lombard chiefs, who fled in the first moments of consternation and disorder, had resumed their courage and collected their powers…
p. 740. [T]he sentiments of Justin [II] were pure and benevolent, and… he might have filled his station without reproach if the faculties of his mind had not been impaired by disease, which deprived the emperor of the use of his feet and confined him to the palace, a stranger to the complaints of the people and the vices of the government.
p. 745. [T]he hot vapours of an Italian sun infected with disease those tramontane bodies which had already suffered the vicissitudes of intemperance and famine. The powers that were inadequate to the conquest, were more than sufficient for the desolation, of the country…
p. 752. The ministers of command and the messengers of victory no longer met on the Appian or Flaminian way, and the hostile approach of the Lombards was often felt and continually feared.
p. 752. Such incessant alarms must annihilate the pleasures and interrupt the labours of a rural life; and the Campagna of Rome was speedily reduced to the state of a dreary wilderness, in which the land is barren, the waters are impure, and the air is infectious.
p. 759. The merits of Gregory were treated by the Byzantine court with reproach and insult; but in the attachment of a grateful people he found the purest reward of a citizen, and the best right of a sovereign.
p. 761. In the meanwhile [Chosroes’] general Adarman advanced from Babylon, traversed the desert, passed the Euphrates, insulted the suburbs of Antioch, reduced to ashes the city of Apamea, and laid the spoils of Syria at the feet of his master…
p. 761. The two armies encountered each other in the battle of Melitene: the barbarians, who darkened the air with a cloud of arrows, prolonged their line and extended their wings across the plain…
p. 761. A Scythian chief, who commanded their right wing, suddenly turned the flank of the enemy, attacked their rear-guard in the presence of Chosroes, penetrated to the midst of the camp, pillaged the royal tent, profaned the eternal fire, loaded a train of camels with the spoils of Asia, cut his way through the Persian host, and returned with songs of victory to his friends…
p. 771. The pride of the second Justin, of Tiberius, and Maurice was humbled by a proud barbarian [Baian, king of the Avars], more prompt to inflict than exposed to suffer the injuries of war; and as often as Asia was threatened by the Persian arms, Europe was oppressed by the dangerous inroads or costly friendship of the Avars.
p. 776. [T]he solitude or degeneracy of the provinces could no longer supply a race of men to handle those weapons, to guard those walls, to navigate those ships, and to reduce the theory of war into bold and successful practice. The genius of Belisarius and Narses had been formed without a master, and expired without a disciple.
p. 780. Ignorant of letters, of laws, and even of arms, [Phocas] indulged in the supreme rank a more ample privilege of lust and drunkenness, and his brutal pleasures were either injurious to his subjects or disgraceful to himself. Without assuming the office of a prince, he renounced the profession of a soldier, and the reign of Phocas afflicted Europe with ignominious peace and Asia with desolating war. His savage temper was inflamed by passion, hardened by fear, exasperated by resistance or reproach.
p. 785. The first intelligence from the East which Heraclius received was that of the loss of Antioch; but the aged metropolis, so often overturned by earthquakes and pillaged by the enemy, could supply but a small and languid stream of treasure and blood. The Persians were equally successful and more fortunate in the sack of Caesarea, the capital of Cappadocia; and as they advanced beyond the ramparts of the frontier, the boundary of ancient war, they found a less obstinate resistance and a more plentiful harvest.
p. 790. In the first and last years of a long reign [Heraclius] appears to be the slave of sloth, of pleasure, or of superstition; the careless and impotent spectator of the public calamities. But the languid mists of the morning and evening are separated by the brightness of the meridian sun…
p. 795. Heraclius was rewarded by [the captives’] tears and grateful acclamations; but this wise measure, which spread the fame of his benevolence, diffused the murmurs of the Persians against the pride and obstinacy of their own sovereign [Chosroes].
p. 805. After the extinction of paganism, the Christians in peace and piety might have enjoyed their solitary triumph. But the principle of discord was alive in their bosom, and they were more solicitous to explore the nature, than to practice the laws, of their founder. I have already observed that the disputes of the TRINITY were succeeded by those of the INCARNATION; alike scandalous to the church, alike pernicious to the state, still more minute in their origin, still more durable in their effects. It is my design to comprise in the present chapter a religious war of two hundred and fifty years, to represent the ecclesiastical and political schism of the Oriental sects, and to introduce their clamours or sanguinary contests by a modest inquiry into the doctrines of the primitive church.
p. 808. [T]he strangers of Rome or Asia, who never beheld the manhood, were the more readily disposed to embrace the divinity, of Christ.
p. 813. On all sides it was confessed that the mode of their coexistence could neither be represented by our ideas nor expressed by our language. Yet a secret and incurable discord was cherished between those who were most apprehensive of confounding, and those who were most fearful of separating, the divinity and the humanity of Christ…. Impelled by religious frenzy, they fled with adverse haste from the error which they mutually deemed most destructive of truth and salvation. On either hand they were anxious to guard, they were jealous to defend, the union and the distinction of the two natures, and to invent such forms of speech, such symbols of doctrine, as were least susceptible of doubt or ambiguity.
p. 814. To purge themselves from the guilt or reproach of damnable error, the Catholics disavowed their consequences, explained their principles, excused their indiscretions, and unanimously pronounced the sounds of concord and faith.
p. 816. In the bloom of beauty, and in the maturity of wisdom, the modest maid [Hypatia] refused her lovers and instructed her disciples…
p. 817. [Cyril’s] enmity to the Byzantine pontiffs was a sense of interest, not a sally of passion: he envied their fortunate station in the sunshine of the Imperial court; and he dreaded their upstart ambition, which oppressed the metropolitans of Europe and Asia, invaded the provinces of Antioch and Alexandria, and measured their diocese by the limits of the empire.
p. 819. [W]hatever is superstitious or absurd might claim the protection of the monks…
p. 819. [E]very wind scattered round the empire the leaves of controversy; and the voice of the combatants on a sonorous theatre re-echoed in the cells of Palestine and Egypt.
p. 819. At the head of an Italian synod, Celestine weighed the merits of the cause, approved the creed of Cyril, condemned the sentiments and person of Nestorius, degraded the heretic from his episcopal dignity, allowed a respite of ten days for recantation and penance, and delegated to his enemy the execution of this rash and illegal sentence.
p. 820. Ephesus… was chosen for the place, the festival of Pentecost for the day, of the meeting; a writ of summons was despatched to each metropolitan, and a guard was stationed to protect and confine the fathers till they should settle the mysteries of heaven and the faith of the earth.
p. 823. But [Cyril’s] artful emissaries, both in the court and city, successfully laboured to appease the resentment, and to conciliate the favour, of the emperor.
p. 823. Constantinople and the suburbs were sanctified with frequent monasteries, and the holy abbots, Dalmatius and Eutyches, had devoted their zeal and fidelity to the cause of Cyril, the worship of Mary, and the unity of Christ.
p. 830. In the name of the fourth general council, the Christ in one person, but in two natures, was announced to the Catholic world: an invisible line was drawn between the heresy of Apollinaris and the faith of St. Cyril; and the road to paradise, a bridge as sharp as a razor, was suspended over the abyss by the master-hand of the theological artist.
p. 831. On the third day before the festival of Easter the patriarch [Marcian] was besieged in the cathedral, and murdered in the baptistery. The remains of his mangled corpse were delivered to the flames, and his ashes to the wind…
p. 832. A solemn anathema is pronounced against Nestorius and Eutyches; against all heretics by whom Christ is divided, or confounded, or reduced to a phantom.
p. 837. [The patrician Photius’] weaker brethren submitted to their earthly monarch [ie., Justinian], underwent the ceremony of baptism, and laboured, by their extraordinary zeal, to erase the suspicion, or to expiate the guilt, of idolatry.
p. 841. This fantastic opinion was announced in the last edicts of Justinian; and at the moment of his seasonable departure, the clergy had refused to subscribe, the prince was prepared to persecute, and the people were resolved to suffer or resist.
p. 843. The majesty of the pope and the Roman synod was represented by two priests, one deacon, and three bishops; but these obscure Latins had neither arms to compel, nor treasures to bribe, nor language to persuade; and I am ignorant by what arts they could determine the lofty emperor of the Greeks to abjure the catechism of his infancy, and to persecute the religion of his fathers.
p. 845. Language, the leading principle which unites or separates the tribes of mankind, soon discriminate the sectaries of the East by a peculiar and perpetual badge which abolished the means of intercourse and the hope of reconciliation.
p. 847. The Nestorians composed a large majority of the clergy and people: they were encouraged by the smile, and armed with the sword, of despotism…
p. 848. The desire of gaining souls for God and subjects for the church has excited in every age the diligence of the Christian priests.
p. 862. [T]he Nubians at length executed their threats of returning to the worship of idols; the climate required the indulgence of polygamy, and they have finally preferred the triumph of the Koran to the abasement of the Cross.
p. 863. Encompassed on all sides by the enemies of their religion, the Aethiopians slept near a thousand years, forgetful of the world, by whom they were forgotten.
p. 870. The reign of Constantine the Third lasted only one hundred and three days: he expired in the thirtieth year of his age, and, although his life had been a long malady, a belief was entertained that poison had been the means, and his cruel stepmother the author, of his untimely fate.
p. 879. [Constantine the Fifth’s] lust confounded the eternal distinction of sex and species, and he seemed to extract some unnatural delight from the objects most offensive to human sense.
p. 884. Educated in a camp, and ignorant both of laws and letters, he introduced into his civil government the rigour and even cruelty of military discipline; but if his severity was sometimes dangerous to the innocent, it was always formidable to the guilty.
p. 886. [Theophilus’] valour was often felt by the enemies, and his justice by the subjects, of the monarchy…
p. 886. [T]he justice of Theophilus was fashioned on the model of the Oriental despots, who, in personal and irregular acts of authority, consult the reason or passion of the moment, without measuring the sentence by the law, or the penalty by the offence.
p. 892. [T]he most solid praise of Basil [the First] is drawn from the comparison of a ruined and a flourishing monarchy, that which he wrested from the dissolute Michael, and that which he bequeathed to the Macedonian dynasty.
p. 895. [S]everal books of profane and ecclesiastical science were composed by the pen, or in the name, of the Imperial philosopher [Leo the Sixth, Philosophus].
p. 895. Marriage was allowed as a necessary means for the propagation of mankind; after the death of either party the survivor might satisfy by a second union the weakness or the strength of the flesh…
p. 897. In the fortieth year of his reign Constantine the Seventh obtained the possession of the Eastern world, which he ruled, or seemed to rule, near fifteen years…. The emperor neglected the practice, to instruct his son Romanus in the theory, of government…
p. 898. … Theophano, a woman of base origin, masculine spirit, and flagitious manners.
p. 902. When [the marriage of Zoe and Theodora] was discussed in the council of their dying father [Constantine the Ninth], the cold or pious Theodora refused to give an heir to the empire…
p. 907. Michael… his surname of Parapinaces denotes the reproach which he shared with an avaricious favourite, who enhanced the price and diminished the measure of wheat.
p. 908. … a daughter of the house of Ducas illustrated the blood and confirmed the succession of the Comnenian dynasty.
p. 913. The first in the charge, the last in the retreat, [Manual the First’s] friends and his enemies alike trembled, the former for his safety, and the latter for their own.
p. 919. It was the first care of Andronicus to occupy the palace, to salute the emperor, to confine his mother, to punish his minister, and to restore the public order and tranquillity.
p. 920. When [Andronicus] listened to his passions, he was the scourge; when he consulted his reason, the father, of his people.
p. 922. If we compute the number and duration of the reigns [of the Eastern emperors between Heraclius and Andronicus], it will be found that a period of six hundred years is filled by sixty emperors…. It is thus that the experience of history exalts and enlarges the horizon of our intellectual view. In a composition of some days, in a perusal of some hours, six hundred years have rolled away, and the duration of a life or reign is contracted to a fleeting moment: the grave is ever beside the throne; the success of a criminal is almost instantly followed by the loss of his prize; and our immortal reason survives and disdains the sixty phantoms of kings who have passed before our eyes, and faintly dwell on our remembrance. The observation, that in every age and climate ambition has prevailed with the same commanding energy, may abate the surprise of a philosopher; but while he condemns the vanity, he may search the motive of this universal desire to obtain and hold the sceptre of dominion.
p. 923. From the pinnacle of greatness Andronicus was precipitated by a death more cruel and shameful than that of the vilest malefactor; but the most glorious of his predecessors had much more to dread from their subjects than to hope from their enemies.
p. 5. …these images… were the object of worship, and the instruments of miracles; and in the hour of danger or tumult their venerable presence could revive the hope, rekindle the courage, or repress the fury, of the Roman legions.
p. 8. In the long night of superstition the Christians had wandered far away from the simplicity of the Gospel: nor was it easy for them to discern the clue, and tread back the mazes, of the labyrinth.
p. 9. The scandal of an abstract heresy can be only proclaimed to the people of the blast of the ecclesiastical trumpet; but the most ignorant can perceive, the most torpid must feel, the profanation and downfall of their visible deities.
p. 20. The Lombards, after a weak resistance, obtained an ignominious peace, and swore to restore the possessions, and to respect the sanctity, of the Roman church. But no sooner was Astolphus [the king of the Lombards] delivered from the presence of the French arms, than he forgot his promise and resented his disgrace.
p. 22. An answer so agreeable to their wishes were accepted by the Franks, as the opinion of a casuist, the sentence of a judge, or the oracle of a prophet: the Merovingian race disappeared from the earth…
p. 28. The idols, for such they were now held, were secretly cherished by the order and the sex most prone to devotion; and the fond alliance of the monks and females obtained a final victory over the reason and authority of man.
p. 33. The appellation of great has been often bestowed, and sometimes deserved, but CHARLEMAGNE is the only prince in whose favour the title has been indissolubly blended with the name.
p. 50. Ambitious of restoring the splendour of the purple, Frederic the First invaded the republics of Lombardy with the arts of a statesman, the valour of a soldier, and the cruelty of a tyrant.
p. 55. If we annihilate the interval of time and space between Augustus and Charles [the Fourth], strong and striking will be the contrast between the two Caesars: the Bohemian, who concealed his weakness under the mask of ostentation, and the Roman, who disguised his strength under the semblance of modesty.
p. 60. Our toil is lessened, and our wealth is increased, by our dominion over the useful animals; and the Arabian shepherd had acquired the absolute possession of a faithful friend and a laborious slave.
p. 69. The Arabian poets were the historians and moralists of the age; and if they sympathised with the prejudices, they inspired and crowned the virtues, of their countrymen.
p. 73. Arabia was free: the adjacent kingdoms were shaken by the storms of conquest and tyranny, and the persecuted sects fled to the happy land where they might profess what they thought, and practise what they professed.
p. 78. [The public] applauded [Mahomet’s] commanding presence, his majestic aspect, his piercing eye, his gracious smile, his flowing beard, his countenance that painted every sensation of the soul, and his gestures that enforced each expression of the tongue.
p. 80. Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius…
p. 90. During the month of Ramadan, from the rising to the setting of the sun, the Musulman abstains from eating, and drinking, and women, and baths, and perfumes; from all nourishment that can restore his strength, from all pleasure that can gratify his senses…. These painful restraints are, doubtless, infringed by the libertine, and eluded by the hypocrite…
p. 92. It is not surprising that superstition should act most powerfully on the fears of her votaries, since the human fancy can paint with more energy the misery than the bliss of a future life. With the two simple elements of darkness and fire we create a sensation of pain, which may be aggravated to an infinite degree by the idea of endless duration. But the same idea operates with an opposite effect on the continuity of pleasure…
p. 106. Enthusiasm and discipline impelled the march, and preserved the secret, till the blaze of ten thousand fires proclaimed to the astonished Koreish the design, the approach, and the irresistible force of the enemy.
p. 108. [T]he war of Honain derived a proper appellation from the idols, whom Mahomet had vowed to destroy, and whom the confederates of Tayef had sworn to defend…. They descended without precaution into the valley of Honain: the heights had been occupied by the arches and slingers of the confederates; their numbers were oppressed, their discipline was confounded, their courage was appalled, and the Koreish smiled at their impending destruction.
p. 116. The heat of the climate inflames the blood of the Arabs, and their libidinous complexion has been noticed by the civil writers of antiquity.
p. 122. [T]he Charegites, the desperate fanatics who disclaimed the yoke of subordination and reason, were confounded among the free-born Arabs, who demanded the redress of their wrongs and the punishment of their oppressors.
p. 129. [Mahomet’s] voice invited the Arabs to freedom and victory, to arms and rapine, to the indulgence of their darling passions in this world and the other: the restraints which he imposed were requisite to establish the credit of the prophet, and to exercise the obedience of the people…
p. 130. The metaphysical questions on the attributes of God, and the liberty of man, have been agitated in the schools of the Mahometans as well as in those of the Christians; but among the former they have never engaged the passions of the people, or disturbed the tranquillity of the state.
p. 149. About four years after the triumphs of the Persian war the repose of Heraclius and the empire was again disturbed by a new enemy, the power of whose religion was more strongly felt than it was clearly understood by the Christians of the East. In his palace of Constantinople or Antioch he was awakened by the invasion of Syria, the loss of Bosra, and the danger of Damascus.
p. 157. Under the last of the Caesars [the cities of Emesa or Hems, and Heliopolis or Baalbec] were strong and populous… an ample space was covered with public and private buildings; and the citizens were illustrious by their spirit, or at least by their pride; by their riches, or at least by their luxury.
p. 164. At the darkest hour of the night [Dames] scaled the most accessible height, which he had diligently surveyed, a place where the stones were less entire, or the slope less perpendicular, or the guard less vigilant.
p. 173. The Greeks of Egypt, whose numbers could scarcely equal a tenth of the natives, were overwhelmed by the universal defection: they had ever been hated, they were no longer feared: the magistrate fled from his tribunal, the bishop from his altar; and the distant garrisons were surprised or starved by the surrounding multitudes.
p. 178. In the administration of Egypt, Amrou balanced the demands of justice and policy; the interest of the people of the law, who were defended by God; and of the people of the alliance, who were protected by man.
p. 182. My conquest of Africa is drawn from two French interpreters of Arabic literature, Cardonne… and Otter….
p. 187. It had been the frequent practice of the Moorish tribes to join the invaders, to share the plunder, to profess the faith, and to revolt to their savage state of independence and idolatry on the first retreat or misfortune of the Moslems.
p. 198. Disdaining the confinement of their walls, [the Romans] gave battle to the Arabs on the plain; but an ambuscade rising from the shelter of a quarry, or a ruin, chastised their indiscretion, and intercepted their return.
p. 199. Both the interpreters of Novairi, De Guignes… and Cardonne…, lead Musa into the Narbonnese Gaul. But I find no mention of this enterprise, either in Roderic of Toledo, or the MSS. of the Escurial, and the invasion of the Saracens is postponed by a French chronicle till the ninth year after the conquest of Spain, A.D. 721….
p. 201. Had Walid recovered, the delay of Musa would have been criminal: he pursued his march, and found an enemy on the throne. In his trial before a partial judge, against a popular antagonist, he was convicted of vanity and falsehood; and a fine of two hundred thousand pieces of gold either exhausted his poverty or proved his rapaciousness.
p. 204. By the repetition of a sentence and the loss of a foreskin, the subject or the slave, the captive or the criminal, arose in a moment the free and equal companion of the victorious Moslems.
p. 204. More pure than the system of Zoroaster, more liberal than the law of Moses, the religion of Mahomet might seem less inconsistent with reason than the creed of mystery and superstition which, in the seventh century, disgraced the simplicity of the Gospel.
p. 212. So patient was their [ie., the Arabs’] perseverance, or so languid were their operations, that they repeated in the six following summers the same attack and retreat, with a gradual abatement of hope and vigour, till the mischances of shipwreck and disease, of the sword and of fire, compelled them to relinquish the fruitless enterprise. They might bewail the loss, or commemorate the martyrdom, of thirty thousand Moslems who fell in the siege of Constantinople…
p. 217. [T]he calamities of famine and disease were soon felt by the troops of Moslemah, and, as the former was miserably assuaged, so the latter was dreadfully propagated, by the pernicious nutriment which hunger compelled them to extract from the most unclean or unnatural food.
p. 221. The descendants of Clovis had lost the inheritance of his martial and ferocious spirit; and their misfortune or demerit has affixed the epithet of lazy to the last kings of the Merovingian race. They ascended the throne without power, and sunk into the grave without a name.
p. 232. If I may speak of myself (the only person of whom I can speak with certainty), my happy hours have far exceeded, and far exceed, the scanty numbers of the caliph of Spain; and I shall not scruple to add, that many of them are due to the pleasing labour of the present composition.
p. 234. In every city the productions of Arabic literature were copied and collected by the curiosity of the studious and the vanity of the rich.
p. 236. …the sublime science of astronomy, which elevates the mind of man to disdain his diminutive planet and momentary existence.
p. 249. To a point of honour Motassem had sacrificed a flourishing city, two hundred thousand lives, and the property of millions. The same caliph descended from his horse, and dirtied his robe, to relieve the distress of a decrepit old man, who, with his laden ass, had tumbled into a ditch. On which of these actions did he reflect with the most pleasure when he was summoned by the angel of death?
p. 257. The lofty titles of the morning-star, and the death of the Saracens, were applied in the public acclamations to Nicephorus Phocas, a prince as renowned in the camp as he was unpopular in the city.
p. 263. The art of agriculture had amused the leisure, and exercised the pens, of the best and wisest of the ancients…
p. 267. The provinces were less fortunate and impregnable, and few districts, few cities, could be discovered which had not been violated by some fierce barbarians, impatient to despoil, because he was hopeless to possess.
p. 273. Whatever might be consumed for the present wants or reserved for the future use of the state, the first and most sacred demand was for the pomp and pleasure of the emperor…
p. 273. The princes of Constantinople were far removed from the simplicity of nature…. They enjoyed, or affected to enjoy, the rustic festival of the vintage…
p. 285. But the assurance of mercy was loose and indefinite: [the emperor] swore, not to his people, but to an invisible judge; and except in the inexpiable guilt of heresy, the ministers of heaven were always prepared to preach the indefeasible right, and to absolve the venial transgressions, of their sovereign.
p. 296. While the government of the East was transacted in Latin, the Greek was the language of literature and philosophy, nor could the masters of this rich and perfect idiom be tempted to envy the borrowed learning and imitative taste of their Roman disciples.
p. 299. In every page our taste and reason are wounded by the choice of gigantic and obsolete words, a stiff and intricate phraseology, the discord of images, the childish play of false or unseasonable ornament, and the painful attempt to elevate themselves, to astonish the reader, and to involve a trivial meaning in the smoke of obscurity and exaggeration. Their prose is soaring to the vicious affectation of poetry; their poetry is sinking below the flatness and insipidity of prose.
p. 300. The minds of the Greeks were bound in the fetters of a base and imperious superstition, which extends her dominion round the circle of profane science. Their understandings were bewildered in metaphysical controversy: in the belief of visions and miracles they had lost all principles of moral evidence, and their taste was vitiated by the homilies of the monks, an absurd medley of declamation and Scripture. Even these contemptible studies were no longer dignified by the abuse of superior talents: the leaders of the Greek church were humbly content to admire and copy the oracles of antiquity, nor did the schools or pulpit produce any rivals of the fame of Athanasius and Chrysostom.
p. 300. Alone in the universe, the self-satisfied pride of the Greeks was not disturbed by the comparison of foreign merit; and it is no wonder if they fainted in the race, since they had neither competitors to urge their speed, nor judges to crown their victory.
p. 300. As St. Bernard of the Latin, so John Damascenus, in the eighth century, is revered as the last father of the Greek, church.
p. 301. From the council of Nice [ie., Nicaea] to the end of the seventh century, the peace and unity of the church was invaded by these spiritual wars; and so deeply did they affect the decline and fall of the empire, that the historian has too often been compelled to attend the synods, to explore the creeds, and to enumerate the sects, of this busy period of ecclesiastical annals.
p. 301. In this passive and unanimous state the ecclesiastical rulers were relieved from the toil, or deprived of the pleasure, of persecution.
p. 302. The Gnostics, who had distracted the infancy, were oppressed by the greatness and authority, of the church.
p. 304. The mother of God was degraded [by the Paulicians] from her celestial honours and immaculate virginity; and the saints and angels were no longer solicited to exercise the laborious office of mediation in heaven and ministry upon earth.
p. 311. The Bulgarians, a name so innocent in its origin, so odious in its application, spread their branches over the face of Europe.
p. 312. It was in cruelty alone that [the soldiers of the Albigensian Crusade] could equal the heroes of the Crusades, and the cruelty of [its] priests was far excelled by the founders of the Inquisition an office more adapted to confirm than to refute the belief of an evil principle.
p. 312. A philosopher, who calculates the degree of their merit and the value of their reformation, will prudently ask from what articles of faith, above or against our reason, [the reformers] have enfranchised the Christians; for such enfranchisement is doubtless a benefit so far as it may be compatible with truth and piety. After a fair discussion we shall rather be surprised by the timidity than scandalised by the freedom of our first reformers.
p. 313. The imitation of paganism was supplied by a pure and spiritual worship of prayer and thanksgiving, the most worthy of man, the least unworthy of the Deity.
p. 314. The chain of authority was broken, which restrains the bigot from thinking as he pleases, and the slave from speaking as he thinks: the popes, fathers, and councils were no longer the supreme and infallible judges of the world; and each Christian was taught to acknowledge no law but the Scriptures, no interpreter but his own conscience.
p. 316. …[T]he swarms of savages who, between the seventh and the twelfth century, descended from the plains of Scythia, in transient inroads or perpetual emigration. Their names are uncouth, their origins doubtful, their actions obscure, their superstition was blind, their valour brutal, and the uniformity of their public and private lives was neither softened by innocence nor refined by policy.
p. 316. Theophanes places the old Bulgaria on the banks of the Atell or Volga; but he deprives himself of all geographical credit by discharging that river into the Euxine Sea.
p. 324. It is the observation of the Imperial author of the Tactics [ie., the emperor Leo], that all the Scythian hordes resembled each other in their pastoral and military life, that they all practised the same means of subsistence, and employed the same instruments of destruction.
p. 325. Among the barbarians there were many whose spontaneous virtue supplied their laws and corrected their manners, who performed the duties, and sympathised with the affections, of social life.
p. 326. I have neither power nor inclination to follow the Hungarians beyond the Rhine; but I must observe with surprise that the southern provinces of France were blasted by the tempest, and that Spain, behind her Pyrenees, was astonished at the approach, of these formidable strangers.
p. 334. [The Russians] proceeded without obstacle down the Borysthenes [ie., the Dnieper], as far as the seven or thirteen ridges of rocks, which traverse the bed, and precipitate the waters, of the river.
p. 335. But the same communication which had been opened for the benefit, was soon abused for the injury, of mankind…. The Russian traders had seen the magnificence, and tasted the luxury, of the city of the Caesars [ie., Constantinople]. A marvellous tale, and a scanty supply, excited the desires of their savage countrymen: they envied the gifts of nature which their climate denied; they coveted the works of art, which they were too lazy to imitate and too indigent to purchase…
p. 335. Had the Greek emperors been endowed with foresight to discern, and vigour to prevent, perhaps they might have sealed with a maritime force the mouth of the Borysthenes.
p. 337. [T]he pride or weakness of empire indulged an opinion that no honour could be gained or lost in the intercourse with barbarians.
p. 342. [A]n observing traveller transports the brazen gates from Magdeburg in Germany…, and quotes an inscription which seems to justify his opinion.
p. 344. The three great nations of the world, the Greeks, the Saracens, and the Franks, encountered each other on the theatre of Italy.
p. 345. A colony of Saracens had been planted at Bari, which commands the entrance of the Adriatic Gulf; and their impartial depredations provoked the resentment and conciliated the union of the two emperors [ie., Basil the Macedonian and Louis II].
p. 351. Eight miles from [the duke of Naples’] residence, as a bulwark against Capua, the town of Aversa was built and fortified for [the Normans’] use; and they enjoyed as their own the corn and fruits, the meadows and groves, of that fertile district. The report of their success attracted every year new swarms of pilgrims and soldiers: the poor were urged by necessity; the rich were excited by hope; and the brave and active spirits of Normandy were impatient of ease and ambitious of renown.
p. 353. The first of his peers, their president and general, was entitled Count of Apulia; and this dignity was conferred on William of the Iron Arm, who, in the language of the age, is styled a lion in battle, a lamb in society, and an angel in council.
p. 354. [T]he virtues of William [of the Iron Arm] were buried in his grave; and Drogo, his brother and successor, was better qualified to lead the valour, than to restrain the violence, of his peers.
p. 358. [I]n the pursuit of greatness [Robert Guiscard] was never arrested by the scruples of justice, and seldom moved by the feelings of humanity…
p. 359. As the genius of Robert [Guiscard] expanded with his fortune, he awakened the jealousy of his elder brother, by whom, in a transient quarrel, his life was threatened and his liberty restrained.
p. 367. The ducal galley was laboriously rescued from the waves, and Robert [Guiscard] halted seven days on the adjacent cape to collect the relics of his loss and revive the drooping spirits of his soldiers.
p. 369. The treaty with the sultan had procured a supply of some thousand Turks; and the arrows of the Scythian horse were opposed to the lances of the Norman cavalry.
p. 371. [In regard to the casualties of the Greeks, Turks, and English in the Battle of Durazzo] Lupus Protospata… says 6000; William the Apulian more than 5000…. Their modesty is singular and laudable: they might with so little trouble have slain two or three myriads of schismatics and infidels!
p. 377. Without the appearance of an enemy a victorious army dispersed or retreated in disorder and consternation, and [the emperor] Alexius, who had trembled for his empire, rejoiced in his deliverance.
p. 377. Of human life the most glorious or humble prospects are alike and soon bounded by the sepulchre.
p. 382. It was the right and duty, it might be the interest and glory, of Manuel to restore the ancient majesty of the empire, to recover the provinces of Italy and Sicily, and to chastise this pretended king [Roger of Sicily], the grandson of a Norman vassal.
p. 384. By his own avarice, or the complaints of his subjects, the Greek emperor [ie., Manuel] was provoked to arrest the persons, and confiscate the effects, of the Venetian merchants.
p. 384. [T]he death of Palaeologus devolved the command on several chiefs, alike eminent in rank, alike defective in military talents…
p. 386. … a Christian people was oppressed and insulted by the ascendant of the eunuchs, who openly professed, or secretly cherished, the religion of Mahomet.
p. 388. [I]f it were true that [Pope] Celestine the Third had kicked away the Imperial crown from the head of the prostrate Henry [VI], such an act of impotent pride could serve only to cancel an obligation and provoke an enemy. The Genoese, who enjoyed a beneficial trade and establishment in Sicily, listened to the promise of his boundless gratitude and speedy departure: their fleet commanded the straits of Messina, and opened the harbour of Parlermo; and the first act of his government was to abolish the privileges and to seize the property of these imprudent allies.
p. 391. Never was the Musulman hero [Mahmud the Gaznevide] dismayed by the inclemency of the seasons, the barrenness of the desert, the multitudes of the enemy, or the formidable array of their elephants of war.
p. 392. [T]he paths of blood… is the history of nations…
p. 393. [Mahmud’s] behaviour, in the last days of his life, evinces the vanity of these possessions, so laboriously won, so dangerously held, and so inevitably lost.
p. 394. The features of the [Turkish] men are harsh and ferocious; the countenance of their women is soft and pleasing.
p. 400. The final conquest of Armenia and Georgia was achieved by Alp Arslan. In Armenia, the title of a kingdom, and the spirit of a nation, were annihilated: the artificial fortifications were yielded by the mercenaries of Constantinople; by strangers without faith, veterans without pay or arms, and recruits without experience or discipline.
p. 401. In the palace, Diogenes [Romanus] was no more than the husband of Eudocia: in the camp, he was the emperor of the Romans, and he sustained that character with feeble resources and invincible courage. By his spirit and success, the soldiers were taught to act, the subjects to hope, and the enemies to fear.
p. 406. In every age, and more especially in Asia, the thirst of power has inspired the same passions and occasioned the same disorders…
p. 412. [T]he most interesting conquest of the Seljukian Turks was that of Jerusalem, which soon became the theatre of nations.
p. 415. Among the Franks the zeal of pilgrimage prevailed beyond the example of former times, and the roads were covered with multitudes of either sex and of every rank, who professed their contempt of life so soon as they should have kissed the tomb of their Redeemer.
p. 417. The pathetic tale excited the millions of the West to march under the standard of the cross to the relief of the Holy Land; and yet how trifling is the sum of these accumulated evils, if compared with the single act of the sacrilege of Hakem, which had been so patiently endured by the Latin Christians! A slighter provocation inflamed the more irascible temper of their descendants: a new spirit had arisen of religious chivalry and papal dominion; a nerve was touched of exquisite feeling; and the sensation vibrated to the heart of Europe.
p. 418. When [Peter the Hermit] painted the sufferings of the natives and pilgrims of Palestine, every heart was melted to compassion; every breast glowed with indignation when he challenged the warriors of the age to defend their brethren, and rescue their Saviour…
p. 423. So familiar, and as it were so natural to man, is the practice of violence, that our indulgence allows the slightest provocation, the most disputable right, as a sufficient ground of national hostility.
p. 426. [Pope Urban II] proclaimed a plenary indulgence to those who should enlist under the banner of the cross; the absolution of all their sins, and a full receipt for all that might be due to canonical penance. The cold philosophy of modern times is incapable of feeling the impression that was made on a sinful and fanatic world. At the voice of their pastor, the robber, the incendiary, the homicide, arose by thousands to redeem their souls by repeating on the infidels the same deeds which they had exercised against their Christian brethren; and the terms of atonement were eagerly embraced by offenders of every rank and denomination.
p. 427. On the chiefs and soldiers who marched to the holy sepulchre, I will dare to affirm that all were promoted by the spirit of enthusiasm, the belief of merit, the hope of reward, and the assurance of divine aid. But I am equally persuaded that in many it was not the sole, that in some it was not the leading, principle of action. The use and abuse of religion are feeble to stem, they are strong and irresistible to impel, the stream of national manners.
p. 428. The ignorance which magnified the hopes, diminished the perils, of the enterprise. Since the Turkish conquest, the paths of pilgrimage were obliterated; the chiefs themselves had an imperfect notion of the length of the way and the state of their enemies; and such was the stupidity of the people, that, at the sight of the first city or castle beyond the limits of their knowledge, they were ready to ask whether that was not the Jerusalem, the term and object of their labours.
p. 430. Some counts and gentlemen, at the head of three thousand horse, attended the motions of the multitude to partake in the spoil: but their genuine leaders (may we credit such folly?) were a goose and a goat, who were carried in the front, and to whom these worthy Christians ascribed an infusion of the divine spirit.
p. 440. The Familiae Dalmaticae of Ducange are meagre and imperfect; the national historians are recent and fabulous, the Greeks remote and careless.
p. 444. High on the throne the emperor [Alexius Comnenus] sat mute and immovable: his majesty was adored by the Latin princes; and they submitted to kiss either his feet or his knees, an indignity which their own writers are ashamed to confess, and unable to deny.
p. 447. A small remnant of the pilgrims, who passed the Bosphorus, was permitted to visit the holy sepulchre. Their northern constitution was scorched by the rays, and infected by the vapours, of a Syrian sun.
p. 447. I have expatiated with pleasure on the first steps of the crusaders, as they paint the manners and character of Europe: but I shall abridge the tedious and uniform narrative of their blind achievements, which were performed by strength and are described by ignorance.
p. 448. But the Turks could protract their resistance and secure their escape, as long as they were masters of the lake Ascanius…
p. 449. [The Turks’ and the Franks’] encounter was varied, and balanced by the contrast of arms and discipline: of the direct charge and wheeling evolutions, of the couched lance and the brandished javelin, of a weighty broadsword and a crooked sabre, of cumbrous armour and thin flowing robes, and of the long Tartar bow and the arbalist, or crossbow, a deadly weapon, yet unknown to the Orientals.
p. 449. In the evening swiftness yielded to strength; on either side the numbers were equal, or at least as great as any ground could hold, or any generals could manage…
p. 451. In the description of Antioch it is not easy to define a middle term between her ancient magnificence, under the successors of Alexander and Augustus, and the modern aspect of Turkish desolation.
p. 452. In the slow and successive labours of a siege the crusaders were supine and ignorant, without skill to contrive, or money to purchase, or industry to use, the artificial engines and implements of assault.
p. 453. In the eventful period of the siege and defence of Antioch, the crusaders were alternately exalted by victory or sunk in despair; either swelled with plenty or emaciated with hunger.
p. 458. The ministers of Egypt declared in a haughty, or insinuated in a milder, tone, that their sovereign, the true and lawful commander of the faithful, had rescued Jerusalem from the Turkish yoke…
p. 458. The zeal and courage of the crusaders were chilled in the moment of victory; and instead of marching to improve the consternation, they hastily dispersed to enjoy the luxury, of Syria.
p. 459. [A]s soon as they descried the holy city, the crusaders forgot their toils and claimed their reward.
p. 461. In the pillage of public and private wealth, the adventurers had agreed to respect the exclusive property of the first occupant; and the spoils of the great mosque, seventy lamps and massy vases of gold and silver, rewarded the diligence, and displayed the generosity, of Tancred. A bloody sacrifice was offered by his mistaken votaries to the God of the Christians: resistance might provoke, but neither age nor sex could mollify, their implacable rage…
p. 465. [I]n their most dissolute period the knights of the hospital and temple maintained their fearless and fanatic character: they neglected to live, but they were prepared to die, in the service of Christ…
p. 466. The connection of the lord and vassal was honourable and voluntary: reverence was due to the benefactor, protection to the dependent; but they mutually pledged their faith to each other; and the obligation on either side might be suspended by neglect or dissolved by injury. The cognisance of marriages and testaments was blended with religion, and usurped by the clergy…
p. 470. It does not appear that the emperor [Alexius] attempted to revive his obsolete claims over the kingdom of Jerusalem, but the borders of Cilicia and Syria were more recent in his possession, and more accessible to his arms.
p. 470. The strength of Durazzo and prudence of Alexius, the progress of famine and approach of winter, eluded [Tancred’s] ambitious hopes, and the venal confederates were seduced from his standard. A treaty of peace suspended the fears of the Greeks, and they were finally delivered by the death of an adversary [ie., Tancred] whom neither oaths could bind, nor dangers could appal, nor prosperity could satiate.
p. 475. Instead of crushing the common foe by a double attack at the same time, but on different sides, the Germans were urged by emulation, and the French were retarded by jealousy.
p. 476. The desire of comparing two great men [Frederick Barbarossa and Alexander the Great] has tempted many writers to drown Frederick in the river Cydnus, in which Alexander so imprudently bathed…
p. 477. The enthusiasm of the first crusade is a natural and simple event, while hope was fresh, danger untried, and enterprise congenial to the spirit of the times. But the obstinate perseverance of Europe may indeed excite our pity and admiration; that no instruction should have been drawn from constant and adverse experience; that the same confidence should have repeatedly grown from the same failures; that six succeeding generations should have rushed headlong down the precipice that was open before them; and that men of every condition should have staked their public and private fortunes on the desperate adventure of possessing or recovering a tombstone two thousand miles from their country.
p. 477. [T]he nations were moved by the authority of their pontiffs and the example of their kings: their zeal was kindled, and their reason was silenced, by the voice of their holy orators; and among these, Bernard, the monk, or the saint, may claim the most honourable place.
p. 479. Their [ie., the Turks’] tyrants, the Seljukian sultans, had followed the common law of the Asiatic dynasties, the unceasing round of valour, greatness, discord, degeneracy, and decay…
p. 483. [T]he caliph Adhed… expired in happy ignorance of his fate: his treasures secured the loyalty of the soldiers, and silenced the murmurs of the sectaries; and in all subsequent revolutions Egypt has never departed from the orthodox tradition of the Moslems.
p. 485. …[T]he wishes and interest of the people, whose happiness is the first object of government.
p. 485. [W]hile [Saladin] emulated the temperance, he surpassed the chastity, of his Arabian prophet.
p. 494. [Saladin] was subdued by the cries of the people, who were the victim, and of the soldiers, who were the instruments, of his martial zeal.
p. 495. Richard [the Lion-Hearted] embarked for Europe, to seek a long captivity and a premature grave…
p. 499. Twenty-eight years after [Louis IX’s] death, he was canonised at Rome, and sixty-five miracles were readily found and solemnly attested to justify the claim of the royal saint. The voice of history renders a more honourable testimony, that… Louis was the father of his people, the friend of his neighbours, and the terror of the infidels.
p. 504. The restoration of the Western empire by Charlemagne was speedily followed by the separation of the Greek and Latin churches. A religious and national animosity still divides the two largest communions of the Christian world; and the schism of Constantinople, by alienating her most useful allies, and provoking her most dangerous enemies, has precipitated the decline and fall of the Roman empire in the East.
p. 505. The craft or superstition of Rome has imposed on her priests and deacons the rigid obligation of celibacy; among the Greeks it is confined to the bishops; the loss is compensated by dignity or annihilated by age; and the parochial clergy, the papas, enjoy the conjugal society of the wives whom they have married before their entrance into holy orders.
p. 506. Bigotry and national aversion are powerful magnifiers of every object of dispute; but the immediate cause of the schism of the Greeks may be traced in the emulation of the leading prelates, who maintained the supremacy of the old metropolis, superior to all, and of the reigning capital, inferior to none, in the Christian world.
p. 507. In each revolution the breath, the nod, of the sovereign had been accepted by a submissive clergy; and a synod of three hundred bishops was always prepared to hail the triumph, or to stigmatise the fall, of the holy, or the execrable, Photius.
p. 507. According to the emergencies of the church and state, a friendly correspondence was sometimes resumed [between the Roman and the Greek Churches]; the language of charity and concord was sometimes affected; but the Greeks have never recanted their errors, the popes have never repealed their sentence; and from this thunderbolt we may date the consummation of the schism.
p. 515. The crusade and reigns of the counts of Flanders, Baldwin and his brother Henry, are the subject of a particular history by the Jesuit Doutremens…, which I have only seen with the eyes of Ducange.
p. 517. The policy of Venice was marked by the avarice of a trading, and the insolence of a maritime, power…
p. 517. The twelfth century produced the first rudiments of the wise and jealous aristocracy, which has reduced the doge to a pageant, and the people to a cipher.
p. 517. Under the weight of years, and after the loss of his eyes, [the doge Henry] Dandolo retained a sound understanding and a manly courage; the spirit of a hero, ambitious to signalise his reign by some memorable exploits; and the wisdom of a patriot, anxious to build his fame on the glory and advantage of his country [Venice].
p. 525. The six divisions traversed the Bosphorus without encountering an enemy or an obstacle; to land the foremost was the wish, to conquer or die was the resolution, of every division and of every soldier.
p. 528. The nations admired the magnanimity of the blind old man [Dandolo, doge of Venice], without reflecting that his age and infirmities diminished the price of life and enhanced the value of immortal glory.
p. 532. Regardless of his [Alexius’] painful situation, the Latin chiefs repeated their demands, resented his delays, suspected his intentions, and exacted a decisive answer of peace or war.
p. 534. By the experience of the former siege [of Constantinople] the Greeks were instructed, but the Latins were animated…
p. 534. The episcopal banners were displayed on the walls; a hundred marks of silver had been promised to the first adventurers; and if their reward was intercepted by death, their names have been immortalised by fame.
p. 536. The marquis of Montferrat was the patron of discipline and decency: the count of Flanders was the mirror of chastity…
p. 540. The incomparable statue of Helen, which is delineated by Nicetas in the words of admiration of love: her well-turned feet, snowy arms, rosy lips, bewitching smiles, swimming eyes, arched eyebrows, the harmony of her shape, the lightness of her drapery, and her flowing locks that waved in the winds…
p. 545. [The marquis Boniface] viewed with a careless eye the beauties of the valley of Tempe; traversed with a cautious step the straits of Thermopylae; occupied the unknown cities of Thebes, Athens, and Argos; and assaulted the fortifications of Corinth and Napoli, which resisted his arms.
p. 546. Two fugitives, who had reigned at Constantinople, still asserted the title of emperor; and the subjects of their fallen throne might be moved to pity by the misfortunes of the elder Alexius, or excited to revenge by the spirit of Mourzoufle.
p. 546. [T]he wicked can never love, and should rarely trust, their fellow criminals: [Mourzoufle] was seized in the bath, deprived of his eyes, stripped of his troops and treasures, and turned out to wander an object of horror and contempt to those who with more propriety could hate, and with more justice could punish, the assassin of the emperor Isaac and his son.
p. 548. [The barons’] discord, poverty, and ignorance extended the ramifications of tyranny to the most sequestered villages. The Greeks were oppressed by the double weight of the priest, who was invested with temporal power, and of the soldier, who was inflamed by fanatic hatred…
p. 548. As long as the crusaders were united at Constantinople, the memory of their conquest, and the terror of their arms, imposed silence on the captive land: their dispersion betrayed the smallness of their numbers and the defects of their discipline; and some failures and mischances revealed the secret that they were not invincible. As the fear of the Greeks abated, their hatred increased. They murmured; they conspired; and before a year of slavery had elapsed, they implored, or accepted, the succour of a barbarian, whose power they had felt, and whose gratitude they trusted.
p. 551. In the rear, the marshal supported the weight of the pursuit; in the front, he moderated the impatience of the fugitives, and wherever the Comans approached they were repelled by a line of impenetrable spears.
p. 551. [I]n his [Baldwin I’s] brother’s absence, Count Henry assumed the regency of the empire, at once in a state of childhood and caducity.
p. 552. In the support of the Eastern empire, Henry was gradually left without an associate, as the heroes of the crusades retired from the world or from the war.
p. 553. When the despair of the Greek subjects invited Calo-John as their deliverer, they hoped that he would protect their liberty and adopt their laws; they were soon taught to compare the degrees of national ferocity, and to execrate the savage conqueror…
p. 560. Thirst, hunger, and nakedness are positive evils: but wealth is relative; and a prince, who would be rich in a private station, may be exposed by the increase of his wants to all the anxiety and bitterness of poverty.
p. 561. About the middle of the last age [ie., the middle of the 17th Century], an inveterate ulcer was touched and cured by a holy prickle of the holy crown [of thorns]: the prodigy is attested by the most pious and enlightened Christians of France; nor will the fact be easily disproved, except by those who are armed with a general antidote against religious credulity.
p. 565. After this narrative of the expeditions of the Latins to Palestine and Constantinople, I cannot dismiss the subject without revolving the general consequences on the countries that were the scene, and on the nations that were the actors, of these memorable crusades.
p. 566. The principle of the Crusades was a savage fanaticism; and the most important effects were analogous to the cause…. The belief of the Catholics were corrupted by new legends, their practice by new superstitions…
p. 566. The active spirit of the Latins preyed on the vitals of their reason and religion; and if the ninth and tenth centuries were the times of darkness, the thirteenth and fourteenth were the age of absurdity and fable.
p. 568. Before the introduction of trade, which scatters riches, and of knowledge, which dispels prejudice, the prerogative of birth is most strongly felt and most humbly acknowledged.
p. 571. [E]very ear was deaf, and every circumstance was adverse, to [the Courtenays’] lawful claims.
p. 574. [T]he favour of Henry [the Seventh] was the prelude of disgrace; his disgrace was the signal of death…. His son Edward lived a prisoner in the Tower, and died an exile in Padua.
p. 575. [Lascaris’] enemies of the Hellespont and the Maeander were surprised by his celerity and subdued by his boldness. A victorious reign of eighteen years expanded the principality of Nice to the magnitude of an empire. The throne of his successor and son-in-law Vataces was founded on a more solid basis, a larger scope, and more plentiful resources; and it was the temper, as well as the interest, of Vataces to calculate the risk, to expect the moment, and to insure the success, of his ambitious designs.
p. 575. A portion of this vacant property was occupied and improved by the command, and for the benefit, of the emperor: a powerful hand and a vigilant eye supplied and surpassed, by a skilful management, the minute diligence of a private farmer…
p. 576. A strong shade of degeneracy is visible between John Vataces and his son Theodore; between the founder who sustained the weight, and the heir who enjoyed the splendour, of the Imperial crown.
p. 577. …George Muzalon, the great domestic, who was equally distinguished by the royal favour and the public hatred.
p. 580. [Vataces] employed the guards to possess the treasure, and the treasure to corrupt the guards…
p. 585. In the confidence of fanaticism, [the Arsenites] had proposed to try their cause by a miracle; and when the two papers, that contained their own and the adverse cause, were cast into a fiery brazier, they expected that the Catholic verity would be respected by the flames. Alas! the two papers were indiscriminately consumed, and this unforeseen accident produced the union of the day, and renewed the quarrel of an age.
p. 589. [The papal nuncios] were conducted to the prison, to behold four princes of the royal blood chained in the four corners…. Two of these captives were afterwards released; the one by submission, the other by death…
p. 591. [T]he hapless boy [Conradin] sunk in the unequal conflict [with Charles of Anjou]; and his execution on a public scaffold taught the rivals of Charles to tremble for their heads as well as their dominions.
p. 592. Fortune had left [John of Procida] nothing to lose, except life; and to despise life is the first qualification of a rebel.
p. 599. After the French and Catalans, the third dynasty was that of the Accaioli, a family, plebeian at Florence, potent at Naples, and sovereign in Greece.
p. 603. The blossoms of wit and beauty increased the fondness of the elder Andronicus; and, with the common vanity of age, he expected to realise in the second, the hope which had been disappointed in the first, generation.
p. 603. A beautiful female, a matron in rank, a prostitute in manners, had instructed the younger Andronicus in the rudiments of love…
p. 604. The soul of the enterprise was the great domestic John Cantacuzene: the sally from Constantinople is the first date of his actions and memorials; and if his own pen be most descriptive of his patriotism, an unfriendly historian has not refused to celebrate the zeal and ability which he displayed in the service of the young emperor [Andronicus the Younger].
p. 605. Andronicus the younger was touched with remorse, or fatigued with business, or deceived by negotiation: pleasure rather than power was his aim; and the licence of maintaining a thousand hounds, a thousand hawks, and a thousand huntsmen, was sufficient to sully his fame and disarm his ambition.
p. 611. Driven from the coast, in his march, or rather flight, into the mountains of Servia, Cantacuzene assembled his troops to scrutinise those who were worthy and willing to accompany his broken fortunes.
p. 612. The introduction of barbarians and savages into the contests of civilised nations is a measure pregnant with shame and mischief, which the interest of the moment may compel, but which is reprobated by the best principles of humanity and reason. It is the practice of both sides to accuse their enemies of the guilt of the first alliances; and those who fail in their negotiations are loudest in their censure of the example which they envy and would gladly imitate.
p. 612. A crowd of nobles or plebeians whom [Apocaucus] feared or hated had been seized by his orders in the capital and the provinces, and the old palace of Constantine was assigned for the place of their confinement. Some alterations in raising the walls and narrowing the cells had been ingeniously contrived to prevent their escape and aggravate their misery, and the work was incessantly pressed by the daily visits of the tyrant.
p. 615. [T]he son of Andronicus was surrounded with artful or unthinking companions, who taught him to hate his guardian [Cantacuzene], to deplore his exile, and to vindicate his rights.
p. 624. In a state of society in which policy is rude and valour is universal, the ascendant of one man must be founded on his power and resolution to punish his enemies and recompense his friends.
p. 633. The Tartars ravaged with equal fury the countries which they hoped to possess and those which they were hastening to leave.
p. 639. Othman possessed, and perhaps surpassed, the ordinary virtues of a soldier; and the circumstances of time and place were propitious to his independence and success.
p. 641. The maritime country from the Propontis to the Maeander and the isle of Rhodes, so long threatened and so often pillaged, was finally lost about the thirtieth year of Andronicus the Elder. Two Turkish chieftains… left their name to their conquests, and their conquests to their posterity.
p. 644. A naked crowd of Christians of both sexes and every age, of priests and monks, of matrons and virgins, was exposed in the public market; the whip was frequently used to quicken the charity of redemption…
p. 648. The disorders of the moral are sometimes corrected by those of the physical world; and an acrimonious humour falling on a single fibre of one man may prevent or suspend the misery of nations.
p. 653. The conquest and monarchy of the world was the first object of the ambition of TIMOUR. To live in the memory and esteem of future ages was the second wish of his magnanimous spirit.
p. 657. [The] petty tyrants might have opposed [Timour] with confederate arms: they separately stood, and successively fell; and the difference of their fate was only marked by the promptitude of submission or the obstinacy of resistance.
p. 662. Each of these ambitious monarchs might accuse his rival of violating his territory, of threatening his vassals, and protecting his rebels; and by the name of rebels each understood the fugitive princes whose kingdom he had usurped, and whose life or liberty he implacably pursued. The resemblance of character was still more dangerous than the opposition of interest; and in their victorious career, Timour was impatient of an equal, and Bajazet was ignorant of a superior.
p. 676. In the government of a vast empire [Timour] stood alone and absolute, without a rebel to oppose his power, a favourite to seduce his affections, or a minister to mislead his judgment.
p. 676. To maintain the harmony of authority and obedience, to chastise the proud, to protect the weak, to reward the deserving, to banish vice and idleness from his dominions, to secure the traveller and merchant, to restrain the depredations of the soldier, to cherish the labours of the husbandman, to encourage industry and learning, and, by an equal and moderate assessment, to increase the revenue without increasing the taxes, are indeed the duties of a prince…
p. 677. [Timour] invaded Turkestan, Kipzak, Russia, Hindostan, Syria, Anatolia, Armenia, and Georgia…. From thence he departed laden with spoil; but he left behind him neither troops to awe the contumacious, nor magistrates to protect the obedient, natives.
p. 678. In war [Soliman] was brave, active, and fortunate: his courage was softened by clemency; but it was likewise inflamed by presumption, and corrupted by intemperance and idleness.
p. 683. [I]n human life, the most important scenes will depend on the character of a single actor.
p. 686. If we contrast the rapid progress of this mischievous discovery [of gunpowder] with the slow and laborious advances of reason, science, and the arts of peace, a philosopher, according to his temper, will laugh or weep at the folly of mankind.
p. 689. Under [Pope Clement VI’s] reign Avignon was the seat of pomp and pleasure: in his youth he had surpassed the licentiousness of a baron; and the palace, nay the bedchamber of the pope, was adorned, or polluted, by the visits of his female favourites.
p. 698. From a review of the public transactions it will appear that the Greeks insisted on three successive measures, a succour, a council, and a final reunion, while the Latins eluded the second, and only promised the first as a consequential and voluntary reward of the third.
p. 704. Amurath was unskilled in the disputes, but he was apprehensive of the union, of the Christians.
p. 709. Prejudice may be enlightened by reason, and a superficial glance may be rectified by a clear and more perfect view of an object adapted to our faculties. But the bishops and monks had been taught from their infancy to repeat a form of mysterious words: their national and personal honour depended on the repetition of the same sounds, and their narrow minds were hardened and inflamed by the acrimony of a public dispute.
p. 713. In their lowest servitude and depression, the subjects of the Byzantine throne were still possessed of a golden key that could unlock the treasures of antiquity, of a musical and prolific language that gives a soul to the objects of sense, and a body to the abstractions of philosophy.
p. 714. In Europe the lower ranks of society were relieved from the yoke of feudal servitude; and freedom is the first step to curiosity and knowledge.
p. 714. The use, however rude and corrupt, of the Latin tongue had been preserved by superstition; the universities, from Bologna to Oxford, were peopled with thousands of scholars; and their misguided ardour might be directed to more liberal and manly studies.
p. 716. [Barlaam] is described, by Petrarch and Boccace, as a man of a diminished stature, though truly great in the measure of learning and genius: of a piercing discernment, though of a slow and painful elocution.
p. 716. [I]n a laborious struggle with the dryness and difficulty of the first rudiments [Barlaam] began to reach the sense, and to feel the spirit, of poets and philosophers whose minds were congenial to his own.
p. 716. The manifold avocations of Petrarch, love and friendship, his various correspondence and frequent journeys, the Roman laurel, and his elaborate compositions in prose and verse, in Latin and Italian, diverted him from a foreign idiom; and as he advanced in life the attainment of the Greek language was the object of his wishes rather than of his hopes.
p. 719. …so strong was my passion, that the lessons which I had imbibed in the day were the constant subject of my nightly dreams.
p. 726. Genius may anticipate the season of maturity; but in the education of a people, as in that of an individual, memory must be exercised before the powers of reason and fancy can be expanded: nor may the artist hope to equal or surpass, till he has learned to imitate, the works of his predecessors.
p. 728. Of many a statue, the place was marked by an empty pedestal; of many a column, the size was determined by a broken capital…
p. 731. A nation ignorant of the equal benefits of liberty and law must be awed by the flashes of arbitrary power: the cruelty of a despot will assume the character of justice; his profusion, of liberality; his obstinacy, of firmness.
p. 732. The lord of nations [Amurath II] submitted to fast, and pray, and turn round in endless rotation with the fanatics, who mistook the giddiness of the head for the illumination of the spirit.
p. 735. [A]s all were willing to believe, and none were present to contradict, the crusaders multiplied, with unblushing confidence, the myriads of Turks whom they had left on the field of battle.
p. 737. A critic will always distrust these spolia opima of a victorious general, so difficult for valour to obtain, so easy for flattery to invent…
p. 738. The spirit of persecution is unworthy of a Christian; the military profession ill becomes a priest; but the former is excused by the times; and the latter was ennobled by the courage of Julian [Caesarini]…
p. 743. In honour of his hero, [the historian] Barletius… kills the sultan [Amurath II], by disease indeed, under the walls of Croya.
p. 751. Persuasion is the resource of the feeble; and the feeble can seldom persuade…
p. 753. [T]he diligence of the multitude was quickened by the eye of a despot whose smile was the hope of fortune, and whose frown was the messenger of death.
p. 755. [Mahomet II’s] hours were spent in delineating the plan of the hostile city [Constantinople]; in debating with his generals and engineers on what spot he should erect his batteries; on which side he should assault the walls; where he should sprint his mines; to what place he should apply his scaling-ladders: and the exercises of the day repeated and proved the lucubrations of the night.
p. 757. The indigent and solitary prince [Constantine Palaeologus] prepared… to sustain his formidable adversary; but if his courage were equal to the peril, his strength was inadequate to the contest.
p. 764. In bold defiance, or rather in gross ignorance, of language and geography, the president Cousin detains [the ships] at Chios with a south, and wafts them to Constantinople with a north, wind.
p. 765. [C]ourage arises in a great measure from the consciousness of strength…
p. 768. Fear is the first principle of a despotic government…
p. 770. Under pain of death, silence was enjoined; but the physical laws of motion and sound are not obedient to discipline or fear…
p. 771. The single combats of the heroes of history or fable amuse our fancy and engage our affections: the skilful evolutions of war may inform the mind, and improve a necessary, though pernicious, science.
p. 772. [The historian] Ducas kills [Constantine Palaeologus] with two blows of Turkish soldiers; Chalcocondyles wounds him in the shoulder, and then tramples him in the gate. The grief of Phranza, carrying him among the enemies, escapes from the precise image of his death…
p. 781. The remaining fragments of the Greek kingdom in Europe and Asia I shall abandon to the Turkish arms…
p. 786. In the first ages of the decline and fall of the Roman empire our eye is invariably fixed on the royal city…. We contemplate her fortunes, at first with admiration, at length with pity, always with attention…
p. 790. Under the reign of superstition [the clergy] had much to hope from the ignorance, and much to fear from the violence, of mankind. The wealth, whose constant increase must have rendered them the sole proprietors of the earth, was alternately bestowed by the repentant father and plundered by the rapacious son: their persons were adored or violated; and the same idol, by the hands of the same votaries, was placed on the altar or trampled in the dust. In the feudal system of Europe, arms were the title of distinction and the measure of allegiance…. The turbulent Romans disdained the yoke and insulted the impotence of their bishop…
p. 791. Since the primitive times the wealth of the popes were exposed to envy, their power to opposition, and their persons to violence. But the long hostility of the mitre and the crown increased the numbers and inflamed the passions of their enemies.
p. 796. Blending in the same discourse the texts of Livy and St. Paul, uniting the motives of Gospel and of classic enthusiasm, [Arnold of Brescia] admonished the Romans how strangely their patience and the vices of the clergy had degenerated from the primitive times of the church and the city.
p. 802. No criminals were so powerful as to brave, so obscure as to elude, the justice of the senator [Brancaleone].
p. 804. “… our common enemies,… who sow the seeds of discord that they may reap the harvest of destruction.”
p. 809. Had the policy of the senate and the discipline of the legions been restored with the Capitol, the divided condition of Italy would have offered the fairest opportunity of a second conquest. But in arms the modern Romans were not above, and in arts they were far below, the common level of the neighbouring republics.
p. 809. Ambition is a weed of quick and early vegetation in the vineyard of Christ.
p. 809. [E]ach of the competitors was reduced to suffer the insults of his enemies, who were not awed by conscience, and to purchase the support of his adherents, who were instigated by avarice or ambition.
p. 821. [T]he Colonna embraced the name of Ghibelines and the party of the empire; the Ursini espoused the title of Guelphs and the cause of the church.
p. 827. While [the nobles] indulged their contempt, the restoration of the good estate, [Rienzi’s] favourite expression, was entertained among the people as a desirable, a possible, and at length as an approaching, event; and while all had the disposition to applaud, some had the courage to assist, their promised deliverer.
p. 832. While Petrarch indulged these prophetic visions, the Roman hero [Rienzi] was fast declining from the meridian of fame and power; and the people, who had gazed with astonishment on the ascending meteor, began to mark the irregularity of its course, and the vicissitudes of light and obscurity.
p. 834. The ambition of the honours of chivalry betrayed the meanness of [Rienzi’s] birth and degraded the importance of his office; and the equestrian tribune was not less odious to the nobles, whom he adopted, than to the plebeians, whom he deserted.
p. 848. Besieging Rome by land and water, [Ladislaus king of Naples] thrice entered the gates as a barbarian conqueror; profaned the altars, violated the virgins, pillaged the merchants, performed his devotions at St. Peter’s, and left a garrison in the castle of St. Angelo.
p. 849. “If the one advances,” says a servant of Gregory [the Twelfth], “the other retreats; the one appears an animal fearful of the land, the other a creature apprehensive of the water….”
p. 850. After thus eradicating the remains of the schism, the synod of Constance proceeded with slow and cautious steps to elect the sovereign of Rome and the head of the church.
p. 854. The birth of Stephen Porcaro was noble, his reputation spotless: his tongue was armed with eloquence, his mind was enlightened with learning; and he aspired… to free his country and immortalise his name.
p. 854. The dominion of priests is most odious to a liberal spirit…
p. 856. [A]fter [the popes’] return from Avignon, the keys of St. Peter were guarded by the sword of St. Paul.
p. 858. The successful candidate is drawn from the church, and even the convent from the mode of education and life the most adverse to reason, humanity, and freedom. In the trammels of servile faith he has learned to believe because it is absurd, to revere all that is contemptible, and to despise whatever might deserve the esteem of a rational being; to punish error as a crime, to reward mortification and celibacy as the first of virtues; to place the saints of the calendar above the heroes of Rome and the sages of Athens; and to consider the missal, or the crucifix, as more useful instruments than the plough or the loom. In the office of nuncio, or the rank of cardinal, he may acquire some knowledge of the world; but the primitive stain will adhere to his mind and manners: from study and experience he may suspect the mystery of his profession; but the sacerdotal artist will imbibe some portion of the bigotry which he inculcates.
p. 860. … the vicissitudes of fortune, which spares neither man nor the proudest of his works, which buries empires and cities in a common grave…
p. 862. … all that is human must retrograde if it do not advance…
p. 863. The art of man is able to construct monuments far more permanent than the narrow span of his own existence: yet these monuments, like himself, are perishable and frail; and in the boundless annals of time his life and his labours must equally be measured as a fleeting moment.
p. 867. A vase or statue of those precious metals [gold and silver] might tempt the vanity of some barbarian chief; but the grosser multitude, regardless of the form, was tenacious only of the substance…
p. 879. [A] History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; the greatest, perhaps, and most awful scene in the history of mankind.
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