Front Page Titles (by Subject) APPENDIX ADDITIONAL NOTES BY THE EDITOR - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 2
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
APPENDIX ADDITIONAL NOTES BY THE EDITOR - Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 2 
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ed. J.B. Bury with an Introduction by W.E.H. Lecky (New York: Fred de Fau and Co., 1906), in 12 vols. Vol. 2.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
THE ORIGIN OF THE GOTHS; AND THE GOTHIC HISTORY OF JORDANES — (P. 4sqq.)
The earliest mention of the Goths of which we have any record occurred in the work of Pytheas of Massilia, who lived towards the end of the fourth century and is famous as the earliest explorer of the North. His good faith has been called in question by some ancient writers, but the moderns take a more favourable view of his work, so far as it is known from the references of such writers as Strabo and Pliny. (See Müllenhoff, Deutsche Alterthumskunde, I.) His notice of the Goths is cited by Pliny, Nat. Hist. xxxvii. 2: Pytheas Guttonibus Germaniae genti accoli aestuarium Oceani Mentonomon nomine spatio sladiorum sex milia; ab hoc diei navigatione insulam abesse Abalum. The names Abalum and Mentonomon are mysterious; but there seems ground for inferring that in the fourth century the Guttones lived in the same regions on the shores of the Baltic which they occupied in the first century (Pliny, Nat. Hist. iv. 14; Tacitus, Germ. 43, Gotones). Nor is there any good ground for refusing to identify the Gotones or Guttones of the first century with the Gothi of the third. (See Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders, vol. i. cap. i., to which I would refer for a full discussion, as well as to Dahn’s Könige der Germanen.)
Our chief source for the early history of the Goths is the Getica (or de origine actibusque Getarum) of Jordanes (whom it was formerly usual to call Jornandes, a name which appears only in inferior MSS.). Jordanes (a Christian name suggesting the river Jordan) was a native of Lower Moesia, and lived in the sixth century in the reign of Justinian. It is not quite certain to what nationality he belonged; but it is less probable that he was a genuine Goth or even a Teuton than that he was of Alanic descent. A certain Candac had led a mixed body of barbarians, Scyri, Sadagarii, and Alans (see Get. l. 265) into Lower Moesia and Scythia; they had settled in the land, assimilated themselves to the surrounding Goths, and adopted the Gothic name, more illustrious than their own. The grandfather of Jordanes had been a notary of Candac, and Jordanes himself was secretary of Candac’s nephew Gunthigis. This connection of the family of Jordanes with a family which was certainly not Gothic, combined with the name of his father Alanoviimuthes, leads us to conclude that Jordanes was an Alan;1 and this was quite consistent with his being an ardent “Goth.” The small Alanic settlement of Moesia merged itself in the Gothic people, just as the larger Alanic population of Spain merged itself in the Vandalic nation. Beginning life as a scribe, Jordanes ended it as a monk (Getica, l. 266), perhaps as a bishop; it has been proposed to identify him with a bishop of Croton who lived at the same time and bore the same name (Mansi, ix. 60).
Jordanes wrote his Getica in the year 551. It was unnecessary for him to say that he had no literary training (agrammatus); this fact is written large all over his work. He states that his book was the result of a three days’ study of the Gothic History of Cassiodorius, the learned minister of Theodoric. The fact is that the Getica is simply an abridgment of the larger work of Cassiodorius (in twelve books); and modern critics (Usener, Hodgkin) not unreasonably question the “three days” of Jordanes. Thus, when we are dealing with Jordanes, we are really, in most cases, dealing with Cassiodorius; and the spirit, the tendency, of Cassiodorius is faithfully reflected in Jordanes. To praise the Gothic race, and especially the Amal line to which Theodoric belonged, was the aim of that monarch’s minister; Jordanes writes in the same spirit and echoes the antipathy to the Vandals which was expressed by Cassiodorius. There are, however, also certain original elements in the Getica. There is a significant contrast between the knowledge of the geography of the eastern provinces in the Balkan peninsula and the ignorance of the rest of the empire, which are displayed in this treatise. The stress laid on the institution of Gothic foederati may be attributed rather to the Moesian subject of the empire than to the minister of the independent Ostrogothic kingdom.
One of the features of the lost work of Cassiodorius was the manufacture of an ancient history for the Goths by the false identification of that race with the Getae and with the Scythians. The former confusion was suggested by the resemblance of name, the latter by the geographical comprehensiveness of the term Scythia, which embraced all the peoples of the North before they appeared on the scene of history. These fanciful reconstructions are eagerly adopted by Jordanes.
It may be well doubted whether Jordanes consulted on his own account another writer on Gothic history, Ablavius (cp. Gibbon, chap. x. note 5), who is merely a name to us. He cites him with praise (iv. 28 and elsewhere); but there is little doubt that the laudatory references are derived from Cassiodorius. On the other hand it may be supposed that Jordanes, living among Goths, counting himself as a Goth, had some independent knowledge of old Gothic legends and songs to which he refers as mentioned by Ablavius (ib. quem ad modum et in priscis eorum carminibus pene storico ritu, &c.). The emigration of the Goths from Scandzia, the island of the far north, their coming to the land of Oium, and battle with the Spali, are not indeed historical, but are a genuine Gothic legend; and stand on quite a different footing from the Getic and Scythian discoveries of Cassiodorius.
The other work of Jordanes, a summary of Roman history (entitled de summa temporum vel origine actibusque gentis Romanorum, usually cited as Romana), written partly before, partly after, the Getica, does not concern us here. An account of the sources of both works will be found in Mommsen’s exhaustive Proœmium to his splendid edition in the Monumenta Germaniæ historica (1882), from which for this brief notice I have selected a few leading points. The reader may also be referred to the clear summary and judicious discussion of Mr. Hodgkin in the introduction and appendix to the first chapter of his Italy and her Invaders, and to Mr. Acland’s article “Jordanes” in the Dictionary of Christian Biography.
Some other points in connection with Jordanes will call for notice when we come to his own time.
VISIGOTHS AND OSTROGOTHS — (P. 8)
We cannot say with certainty at what period the Gothic race was severed into the nations of East and West Goths. The question is well discussed by Mr. Hodgkin, in Italy and her Invaders, chap. i. Appendix.
The name Ostrogoth occurs first in the Life of Claudius Gothicus in the Historia Augusta (written about the beginning of the fourth century), and next in Claudian, in Eutrop. ii. 153 (at the end of the same century). Our first testimony to the existence of the Visigothic name is later. In the fifth century Sidonius Apollinaris speaks of the Vesi in two places (Pan. in Avit. 456; Pan. in Major. 458). Is there any ground for inferring that the Ostrogothic name is the older? It looks rather as if at first (c. 300-400) the distinction was between Ostrogoths and Goths; and that the name Visigoth was a later appellation.
We must emphatically reject the view that Gruthungi and Thervingi were old names for Ostrogoths and Visigoths respectively and expressed the same distinction. Mr. Hodgkin has noticed the objections supplied by the passages in the Vita Claudii and Claudian; and they are decisive.
THE DEFEAT OF VALERIAN, AND THE DATE OF CYRIADES — (P. 43)
Valerian set out in 257, held a council of war in Byzantium at the beginning of 258 (Hist. Aug. xxvi. 13). Thence he proceeded to Cappadocia. The north coasts of Asia Minor were suffering at this time from the invasions of the Germans, and it has been conjectured that there may have been an understanding between the European and Asiatic enemies of the Empire (as sometimes in later ages; as once before in the days of Decebalus), and that Valerian aimed at preventing a junction of Persians and Goths. Vict. Parthica on coins in 259 point to a victory perhaps near Edessa. Where Valerian was captured is uncertain. Cedrenus says in Cæsarea (i. p. 454); the anonymous Continuator of Dion suggests the neighbourhood of Samosata. The date is uncertain too. There is no trace of Valerian after 260 Inscriptions and sculptures on the rocks of Nakshi Rustan have been supposed to commemorate the Persian victory.
Gibbon in his “probable series of events” has distinctly gone wrong. Two things are certain: (1) Sapor was twice at Antioch, and (2) Cyriades fell before Valerian. The first visit of the Persian monarch to Antioch was in the summer of 256, whither he was accompanied by Cyriades (also called Mariades, see Müller, F.H.G. iv. p. 192), whom he had set up in that city as a Persian vassal. Antioch was won back in the same year or in 257; Cyriades was torn to pieces by the inhabitants, and the Persians were massacred. See Ammian, xxiii. 5; Hist. Aug. xxiv. 2. The second visit of Sapor to Antioch was after the capture of Valerian. See Aur. Victor, Cæsar. 33, 3.
THE PRETENDERS IN THE REIGN OF GALLIENUS, KNOWN AS THE THIRTY TYRANTS — (P. 49)
Fati publici fuit, says Trebellius Pollio, who recorded the deeds of the tyrants in the Augustan History, ut Gallieni tempore quicunque potuit, ad imperium prosiliret. Gibbon recognised that the significance of these shadow-emperors was only “collective”; they all vanished rapidly; the emperor’s power always proved superior. Their simultaneous appearance only illustrates vividly the general disintegration of the Empire.
It may be well, however, to add a few details, chiefly references, to the succinct account of Gibbon. I take them in the order of his list.
(1) Cyriades. See p. 44, and Appendix 3.
(2) Macrianus. The generals Macrianus and Balista caused the two sons of the former, T. Fulvius Junius Macrianus and T. Fulvius Junius Quietus, to be proclaimed emperors (261 ; see Hist. Aug. Vita Gall. 1, 2). It is a question whether Macrianus their father (he to whom Gibbon imputed the blame of Valerian’s disaster) assumed the purple also. There can, I think, be no doubt that he did not. We have (a) the negative evidence that no coins which can be certainly ascribed to him and not to his son are forthcoming; (b) the story of his refusal in Hist. Aug. xxiv. 7-11; and (c) the positive statement of Zonaras, xii. 24. Against this we have to place the apparent statement in Hist. Aug. xxiii. 1, 2-4 (I say apparent, because the passage is mutilated), and the clear statement in xxiv. 12, 12, which is glaringly inconsistent with the immediately preceding narrative. Macrianus is described as refusing the empire on the ground of old age and bodily weakness, and casting the burden on his sons. Balista, who had offered him the empire, agrees; and then the narrative proceeds: “Macrianus promises (clearly in the name of his sons) a double donation to the soldiers and hurls threats against Gallienus; accordingly he was made emperor along with Macrianus and Quietus his two sons,” as if this were the logical outcome of the proceedings. From this evidence there can I think be only one conclusion.
(3) Balista. He has even less claim than the elder Macrianus to a place among the tyrants; like Macrianus he was only a tyrant-maker. Hist. Aug. xxiv. 12, 4, and 18.
(4) Odenathus. The ground for placing Odenathus among the tyrants seems to be that he assumed the title of king (Hist. Aug. xxiv. 15, 2) and that he had great power in the East. But a tyrant means one who rebels against the true emperor and usurps the Imperial title. Odenthaus never rebelled against Gallienus and never usurped the title Augustus (Σεβαστὁς) or the title Cæsar. He supported the interests of Gallienus in the East and overthrew the real tyranny which was set up by Macrianus. For his services Gallienus rewarded him by the title of αὐτοκράτωρ or imperator, an unusual title to confer, but not necessarily involving Imperial dignity. (This title is enough to account for the statement in Hist. Aug. xxiii. 12, 1.) As a king he held the same position that, for instance, Agrippa held under Claudius. An inscription of a statue which two of his generals erected in his honour in 271 has been preserved (de Vogüe, Syrie centrale, p. 28) and there he is entitled king of kings. This, as Schiller says (i. 838), should be decisive.
(5) Zenobia. What applies to Odenathus applies to Zenobia as far as the reign of Gallienus is concerned. She received the title Σεβαστή in Egypt, but not till after 271 and doubtless with the permission of Claudius.
(6) Postumus. (See note 86, p. 25.) He made his residence at Trier, was acknowledged in Spain and Britain, and seems to have taken effective measures for the tranquillity and security of Gaul. In 262 he celebrated his quinquennalia (Eckhel, vii. 438). His coinage is superior to that of the lawful emperors of the time; it did not pass current in Italy, and the Imperial money was excluded from Gaul (Mommsen, Röm. Münzwesen, 815). It is important to observe that Postumus was faithful to the idea of Rome. He was not in any sense a successor of Sacrovir, Vindex, and Classicus; he had no thought of an anti-Roman imperium Galliarum.
(7) Lollianus. This is the form of the name in our MSS. of his Life in the Historia Augusta (xxiv. 5); his true name, Cornelius Ulpianus Laelianus, is preserved on coins (Cohen, v. 60). In a military mutiny (268 , in his fifth consulship) Postumus was slain and Laelianus elevated. The new tyrant marched against the Germans, who had taken advantage of this struggle (subita irruptione Germanorum) to invade the empire and destroy the forts which Postumus during the year of his rule had erected on the frontier; but he was slain by his soldiers, — it is said, because he was too energetic, quod in labore nimius esset (Hist. Aug. xxiv. 5). Victorinus, who succeeded him, had probably something to do with his death.
(8) Victorinus. In 265 Gallienus sent Aureolus to assert his authority in Gaul against Postumus. In the course of the war, an Imperial commander M. Piauvonius Victorinus deserted to the tyrant, who welcomed him and created him Cæsar. Victorinus obtained supreme power after the death of Laelianus. He reigned but a few months; his death is noticed by Gibbon in chap. xi.
Victoria or Victorina. The mother of Victorinus (see chap. xi.). Her coins are condemned as spurious (Cohen, 5, 75).
(9) Marius. M. Aurelius Marius; Eckhel, vii. 454. According to Hist. Aug. xxiv. 8, 1, he reigned only three days after the death of Victorinus. Perhaps he survived Victorinus by three days, but there can be no doubt that he arose as a tyrant, at an earlier date, perhaps immediately after the death of Postumus. If he had reigned only three days, it is unlikely we should have his coins. Compare Schiller, i. 856.
(10) Tetricus. (See chap. xi.)
(11) Ingenuus. His tyranny was set up in Pannonia and Moesia in the same year as that of Postumus in Gaul (258 ). He was defeated by Aureolus at Mursa — the scene of the defeat of a more famous tyrant in later times — and slain, at his own request, by his shield-bearer.
(12) Regillianus. A Dacian, who held the post of dux of Illyricum; his true name was Regalianus, preserved on coins and in one MS. of the Historia Augusta. He had won victories against the Sarmatians, and his name, in its corrupt form, lent itself to the declension of rex: “rex, regis, regi, Regi-lianus” (Hist. Aug. xxiv. 10, 5). But his reign lasted only for a moment. His elevation was probably due to disaffection produced by the hard measures adopted by Gallienus in Pannonia when he suppressed the revolt of Ingenuus.
(13) Aureolus. (See chap. xi.)
(14) Saturninus. Of him we know nothing. See Hist. Aug. xxiv. 23, and xxiii. 9, 1.
(15) Trebellianus. See Hist. Aug. xxiv. 26; beyond what is stated there we know nothing. Palatium in arce Isauriae constituit. He was slain by an Egyptian, brother of the man who slew Æmilianus, tyrant in Egypt; see below.
(16) Piso. It is probably a mistake to include Piso among the tyrants. He belonged to the party of Macrianus (see above), who in 261 sent him to Greece to overpower the governor Valens. But a curious thing happened. Piso, who had come in the name of a tyrant, supported the cause of the lawful emperor Gallienus (see Hist. Aug. xxiv. 21, 4), while Valens, who represented the cause of Gallienus, revolted, and became a tyrant himself. Both Piso and Valens were slain by their soldiers; — the news of Piso’s death had reached Rome by the 25th June (Hist. Aug. ib. 3).
(17) Valens. See last note.
(18) Æmilianus. He threatened to starve the empire, which depended for corn on Egypt. There are no genuine coins of this tyrant.
(19) Celsus. Elevated by the proconsul of Africa and the dux limitis Libyci. Hist. Aug. xxiv. 29.
Of these nineteen, Macrianus, Balista, Odenathus, Zenobia, and Piso have no claim to be regarded as tyrants. But the places of Macrianus the father and Balista may be filled by Macrianus the son and Quietus. Thus the number nineteen is reduced to sixteen.
It is worth noting that Pollio, who, as Gibbon says, “expresses the most minute anxiety to complete the number” of the thirty tyrants, and as we have seen includes some who were certainly not tyrants, should omit two names of rebels which are mentioned by Zosimus. In i. 38 (ed. Mendelssohn) this historian says: ὲν τούτῳ δὲ ὲπαναστάντων αὐτῷ (Gallienus) Μέμορός τε τον̂ Μουρουσίου καὶ Αὐριόλου καὶ Ἀντωνίνου καὶ ὲτέρων πλειόνων. Aurelius we know; ὲτέρους πλείονας we know; but who were Memor and Antoninus? Are they mentioned by Pollio under other names or did they not reach the length of an Imperial title? Of Antoninus as far as I know we hear nowhere else, but of Memor we have a notice, in a fragment of the Anonymous Continuer of Dion Cassius (Müller, F.H.G. iv. p. 193), frag. 4, where the mention of a Theodotus recalls him who put to death Æmilianus and makes us think of Egypt. (In the old Stephanian text of Zosimus Κέκροπος is read instead of Μὲμορος; but the unknown MS. used by Stephanus seems to have been worthless.)
ZENOBIA — (P. 83sqq.)
In regard to Gibbon’s account of the war of Aurelian with Zenobia, the following points are to be observed: —
(1) This war preceded the subjugation of Tetricus and Gaul.
(2) After her husband’s death Zenobia took the title βασίλισσα, and while her son Wahballath succeeded to his father’s position as dux Romanorum and Lord of Palmyra, she really ruled. The name Wahballath, meaning dea dedit, was rendered in Greek by Ἀθηνό-δωρος.
(3) The story told by Gibbon from Hist. Aug. xxiii. 13, that Zenobia defeated a Roman army (under one Heraclian) is suspicious (see Schiller, i. 859, note 1); for we find her on good terms with the Roman government immediately after, and she recovers Egypt, which was under the usurper Probatus, for Claudius, who was too much occupied with the Gothic danger to proceed himself against the tyrant. Her son Wahballath governed in Egypt as the representative of Claudius, and the circumstance that he was officially named βασιλεύς does not imply that he was a rebel.
(4) Aurelian on his accession 270 recognised Wahballath as vir consularis Romanorum Imperator dux Romanorum; he appeared beside Aurelian on coins; and his mother assumed the title Augusta.
(5) Wahballath began to issue coins without the head of Aurelian and assumed the title Augustus. This seems to have been a consequence of an estrangement from the Emperor; but we do not know the immediate circumstances. The position which the Palmyrene family occupied was obviously inconsistent with the unity of the Empire.
(6) The following stages may be marked in the course of the war: (a) Probus establishes the authority of Aurelian in Egypt, and the forces of Zenobia fail at Chalcedon; (b) Aurelian takes Ancyra and Tyana, and passes into Syria; (c) Zenobia’s army is driven from Antioch, and (d) defeated at Emesa; (e) the surrender of Palmyra (early in 272); (f) its final destruction (spring 273).
(7) Von Sallet, who has thrown much light on this episode in his work Die Fürsten von Palmyra, thinks that the catastrophe of Palmyra was accomplished before the end of 271. But there are serious objections to his chronology. See Schiller, i. 857-864.
CORRECTOR ITALIÆ — (P. 96)
As Gibbon notices, two statements are made in the Historia Augusta, as to the honourable provision which Aurelian made for Tetricus. In the Life of Tetricus (xxiv. 24, 5) we read: conrectorem totius Italiæ fecit, id est, Campaniæ, Samni, Lucaniæ, Brittiorum [Bruttii], Apuliæ, Calabriæ, Etruriæ atque Umbriæ, Piceni et Flaminiæ omnisque annonariæ regionis; but in the Life of Aurelian (xxvi. 39, 1) Tetricum triumphatum correctorem Lucaniæ fecit (so Aurel. Victor. &c.). Both statements cannot be true, and Mommsen (Ephem. epig. i. 140) has proved that the first is to be accepted and the second rejected.
We find the idea of a governor of Italy in the famous advice to Augustus which Dion Cassius (52, 21) puts in the mouth of Maecenas. It is suggested that Italy beyond a circuit of a hundred miles from Rome should be governed like the provinces. But as early as 214 we find C. Suetrius Sabinus, a consular, as electus ad corrigendum statum Italiæ (C.I.L. x. 5398) and at a later period Pomponius Bassus ἐπανορθωτὴς πάσης Ἰταλίας. See further Mommsen, loc. cit., and Staatsrecht, ii. 1086.
Thus we find that correctors of all Italy were occasionally appointed, during the third century. Therefore, Mommsen argues convincingly (and it is a good instance of the application of a principle of historical criticism), the notice that Tetricus was corrector Italiæ is the true one. For a later writer to whom correctors of Lucania were perfectly familiar would never have changed a corrector Lucaniæ into a corrector Italiæ.
PROBUS AND THE LIMES GERMANICUS — (P. 120)
The statement of Gibbon that Probus “constructed a stone wall of a considerable height, and strengthened it by towers at convenient distances” is not warranted by the evidence, which consists entirely of two remarks in his Life in the Hist. Aug.: —
(1) c. 13. contra urbes Romanas et castra in solo barbarico posuit atque illic milites collocavit.
(2) c. 14. sed visum est id non posse fieri nisi si limes Romanus extenderetur et fieret Germania tota provincia. (id refers to the command of Probus, that the German dependent tribes should not fight themselves, but, when attacked, seek the aid of the Roman army.)
It will be observed that the only statement of fact is in the first passage, from which we learn that Probus constructed and garrisoned some forts on soil which was then barbarian. The second passage states no fact, but ventilates a, perhaps wild, hypothesis.
It is also to be noticed that the actual Wall, constructed long before the time of Probus, was not a regular wall of hewn stone, and that its length between the points that Gibbon roughly marks was more than 300 (not “near 200”) miles.
It may be added that the limes (both the trans-Rhenane and the trans-Danubian) was probably due chiefly to Domitian and Hadrian.
There is a considerable literature on the Imperial limes; but all previous works will be superseded by “Der Obergermanischraetische Limes des Römerreichs,” edited by O. von Sarwey and F. Hettner, and published under the auspices of the Reichs-Limes-Kommission. This work is appearing in parts.
GERMAN CAMPAIGNS OF DIOCLETIAN, MAXIMIAN, AND CONSTANTIUS ( 285-299) — (P. 158sqq.)
(1) There was a campaign in spring 285, against German invaders of the Danubian regions, in consequence of which Diocletian assumed the title of Germanicus Maximus. Cp. Corp. Insc. Lat. vi. 1116.
(2) In 286 the Alamanni (who, pushed by the Burgundians, had left their old abodes on the Main and established themselves along the banks of the Rhine, within the limes, from Mainz to Lake Constance) and Burgundians invaded Gaul. Maximian was at Mainz, in June (Frag. Vat. 271). The Heruls and Chaibones also approached the frontier, but their host was destroyed by Maximian, who allowed plague and famine to work havoc among the Alamannic invaders. See Mamertinus, Pan. Max. v. and Genethl. Max. 17.
(3) At the beginning of 287 marauding expeditions had to be repelled and Maximian won back some territory beyond the Rhine. Mamertinus, Pan. Max. 6, 10.
(4) 291; war with the Franks, of whom large numbers were settled in lands of the Nervii and round Trier. Cp. Incert. Pan. Constant. Cæs. 21, Mamert. Genethl. Max. 7.
(5) 293, summer; Constantius, having taken Gesoriacum, invades the land of the Franks, and, returning victorious, settles a large number as coloni in Gaul. It has been conjectured (Schiller, ii. 132) that the regions of the Lower Meuse and Rhine were now once more incorporated in the Empire as the province of Germania Secunda, which is mentioned in the List of provinces found at Verona (see Introduction, p. lviii.).
(6) After the recovery of Britain, Constantius busied himself with the fortification of the Rhine frontier. In 298 the victories of Langres and Windisch (Vindonissa) were won over the Alamanni.
(7) In 299 Constantius invaded the land of the Alamanni; Incert. Pan. Constantio Cæs. 2, 3.
For the determination of the chronology Mommsen’s study in the Abhandlungen of the Berlin Academy, 1860, is invaluable.
DIOCLETIAN’S TARIFF OF MAXIMUM PRICES — (P. 178)
The most celebrated work of Diocletian in the field of political economy was the edict (referred to by Lactantius in De Mort. persecutorum, 7; partial copies of it have been discovered since Gibbon wrote, in the form of inscriptions) fixing maximum prices for provisions and wages, 301 See Corp. Insc. Lat. iii. 801 sqq. and ib. Suppl. p. 1910 sqq. It had been found that, notwithstanding plenteous harvests, prices and wages went up. The soldiers especially suffered, and, unable to purchase their provisions from their pay, were obliged to draw upon their savings. It is probable that the law was not universal, but applied only to those provinces which were ruled directly by Diocletian; it is also probable that it was enforced only for a few years. For a full discussion see Mommsen’s paper in the Berichte der könsächsischen Ges. d. Wissensch., phil.-hist. klasse, 1851. The text is published in a convenient form by Mommsen, with notes by Blümner, 1893.
The monetary reforms of Diocletian, though they were not permanent, have some interest in connection with this edict. He coined a new aureus of 60 to a pound of gold; he restored the denarius of silver; and introduced some new copper coins. The relative value of silver to gold seems to have been determined at 14·27 to 1. See Finlay, Hist. of Greece, vol. 1, App. 1.
AUTHORITIES FOR MATTERS PERTAINING TO CHRISTIANITY AND THE PRIMITIVE CHRISTIANS — (Chap. XV.)
[By an inadvertency it was not mentioned on p. 263, that C. de Boor has shown it to be highly probable (Byzantinische Zeitschrift, i. p. 13 sqq.) that the Anonymous Continuer of Dion is identical with Peter the Patrician (who lived in the sixth century under Justinian). — It should also be added to the notice of Rufus Festus, vol. i. p. 310, that this writer should be simply called Festus (as C. Wagener observes in his Jahresbericht on Eutropius, in Philologus, 42, p. 521), as the addition “Rufus” appears only in inferior MSS. It is highly unsafe to speak, as some writers do, of “Rufius Festus,” on the strength of a guess of Mommsen (Hermes, 16, p. 605) that the author of the Breviarium is identical with the Rufius Festus Avienus of C.I.L. 6, 103. — I am also bound to state that E. Rohde (Byz. Ztsch., 5, p. 1 sqq.) and C. Neumann (in the same number of the same journal) agree in ascribing to the tenth cent. the Philopatris, which, with Crampe, I assigned to the seventh on p. 131 above; and they urge weighty arguments against Crampe’s view.]
The De Mortibus Persecutorum, which was briefly noticed in vol. i. Appendix 1, calls for some further observations here. It always seemed clear that it was ascribed to Lactantius before the end of the fourth century, and possible that L. Cæcilius (the name of the author in the unique MS. found at Moissac, and now in the Bibl. Nationale) might be a mistake for L. Cælius, the name of Firmianus Lactantius; accordingly, fortified by the judgments of Teuffel and Ebert, I am inclined (with Schiller, Burckhardt, and others) to accept the identification, and suppose that the difference of style (justly noticed by Gibbon, ch. xx. n. 40) may be explained by difference of subject. Yet a study of the exhaustive investigation of Brandt might go far to convince one that Lactantius was not the author of the Mortes, and that Gibbon’s hesitation was thoroughly justified. The arguments of Ebert, the chief champion of the Lactantian authorship (Ueber den Verfasser des Buches de M. P., Ber. der sächs. Ges. der Wissensch., phil.-hist. Cl. 1870), have been assailed with force by Brandt, the greatest living authority on Lactantius, in his essay Ueber die Entstehungsverhältnisse der Prosaschr. des Lact. und des Buches de M. P. (Sitzungsber. der Wiener Akad., vol. cxxv. Abh. vi. 1892).
(1) There is a serious chronological argument, which in itself (if the facts were correct) would be almost conclusive (first urged by P. Meyer in Quæst. Lactant. particula prima, 1878). The author of the Mortes was an eye-witness of the persecutions at Nicomedia, where he wrote after the middle of 313 (cp. xii. 2; xiii. 1; xxxv. 4; xlviii. 1; and xlviii. 13; xlix.; lii. 4). But the Divine Institutions, which was finished before 310 (Brandt has shown, p. 12 sqq., that it was almost certainly completed in 307-8), though begun at Nicomedia, was finished at Trier, whither Lactantius must have gone before 310. Therefore, the writer who describes as an eye-witness the persecutions after 310 cannot have been Lactantius.
(2) There are peculiarities in style in the Mortes which cannot be explained by the nature of the subject; e.g., “more or less strong vulgarisms, Græcisms, &c., where Lactantius writes correctly” (p. 58, e.g., misereri with dat., idolum, &c.).
(3) Advocates of the Lactantian authorship appeal to numerous passages which are verbally identical with, or echoes of, passages of Lactantius. But Brandt urges that these must be the work of an inferior imitator, and are in fact a strong argument against the Lactantian authorship. Especially instructive is a comparison of Mort. xxxviii. 1 (which Ebert is forced to regard as an interpolation) with Div. Inst. vi. 23, § 10-12.
(4) Brandt also insists that the author of the Mortes (whose want of bona fides is glaringly exhibited in his exaggerated descriptions of Maximin’s lust, e.g., or the cruelty of Galerius; xxxviii. 4; xxi. 5) stands on a lower ethical level than the Lactantius whom we know from his undoubted writings.
(5) The weak argument which rests on the fact that the Mortes is dedicated to “Donatus confessor,” and that Lactantius inscribed his De Ira Dei to Donatus, is turned by Brandt into an argument on the other side. While the mere identity of a most common name proves nothing, what we know of the two Donati forbids the identification. The Donatus of the Mort. was imprisoned in 305 (cf. 16; 35), and underwent the stress of the persecution; but the only thing that Lactantius has to say to his Donatus is to warn him against trusting the authority of philosophers. There is not a hint in the De Ira Dei that the person addressed was undergoing imprisonment, which, whether the De Ira Dei was prior to 311 (as Brandt has tried to show) or subsequent (as Ebert held), is an argument against the identification of the two Donati.
On the other hand the Mortes was ascribed to Lactantius in the course of the fourth century, for Jerome had a copy in 393 , on which doubtless the name of Lactantius was inscribed; De Vir. Ill. c. 80, habemus (I possess) eius — de persecutione librum unum. And Brandt has corroborated this view of Jerome’s statement by showing that the person who (c. 370 or not many years later) interpolated the Divine Institutions with the addresses to the Emperors (see Brandt, die Kaiseranreden, Sitzungsber. der W. Ak. 119, 1889), made use of the Mortes, supposing it to be Lactantian. This false ascription of the treatise, the work perhaps of a pupil of Lactantius, to Lactantius himself is accounted for by Brandt by the hypothesis that it was published anonymously, and the public, anxious to discover the authorship, were led by the Lactantianisms and the Nicomedian origin to fix on the wellknown writer of the Divine Institutions. L. Cæcilii would be, on this hypothesis, probably a mistak for L. Cælii (i.e. Lactantii), and not the name of the true author.
As for the date (discussed by Görres in Philologus, xxxvi. p. 597 sqq., 1877), Brandt narrows it down to a short period between the end of 314 and the middle of 315 (p. 111). The Epitome of the Divine Institutions (its Lactantian authorship has been vindicated, p. 2-10) was used in the Mortes, and was written between the middle of 313 and the conclusion of the Mortes. Seeck (who accepts from Idatius 316 as date of Diocletian’s death) makes the limits 317 and 321.
On Brandt’s arguments I would observe that all except (1) have little cogency. (4) is especially weak; we have a much more glaring example of such inconsistency in the case of Procopius the historian. In regard to (1), Seeck urges (Gesch. des Unterg. der ant. Welt, p. 428) Jerome’s statement that L. taught Crispus as Cæsar, i.e. after 317 ; Constantine would not before his conversion (312, at earliest) have chosen a Christian preceptor for his son; in 308 Crispus was not more than two years old. There seems indeed to be no reason for supposing that L. went to Trier much before 317; therefore he could be in Nicomedia in 313; and the chief argument against the Lactantian authorship of the Mortes breaks down. It may be added that no argument, except one favourable to the identification, can be based on the difference between the names in the MSS., — Cælius and Cæcilius, — in view of the fact that L. Cæcilius Firmianus is found in a Numidian inscription (C.I.L. 8, 7241); and Lactantius belonged to the African Diocese (Seeck, ib. 426).
On the life of Lactantius see Brandt, Ueber das Leben des L., Sitzungsber. der W. Akad., cxx., 1890; and on the interpolations in the Divine Inst. (see above chap. xx. n. 2) his two papers, Die dualistischen Zusätze, ib. cxviii., 1889, and Die Kaiseranreden, ib. cxix., 1889.
To understand the historical work of Eusebius of Cæsarea, we must glance at the “Chronographies” of Sextus Julius Africanus, who flourished in the early part of the third century and wrote his chronographical work between 212 and 221 All that is known about him and his work will be found in the invaluable study of H. Gelzer, Sextus Julius Africanus und die byzantinische Chronographie (1880). He is the founder of Byzantine chronography. His system is determined by the Jewish idea of a worldepoch of 6000 years; and he divides this into two parts at the death of Phalek. He is concerned to prove that the incarnation took place in the year 5500 (= 2 ); after which there are 500 years of waiting till the end of the world and the beginning of the millennium or the World-Sabbath. The date of Moses was fixed at 1020 years before the first olympiad by Justus of Tiberias, and this view, to which the apologist Justin gave currency, is maintained by Africanus, who puts Moses in 3707-8 and the first olympiad = first year of Ahaz in 4727-8. A contemporary of Africanus, Hippolytus of Rome, also wrote a chronicle of the world, which Gelzer (ii. 23) designates as a very feeble performance, in erudition far inferior to that of Africanus.
The chronicle of Eusebius, translated into Latin by Jerome, threw that of Africanus into the background. Gelzer (ii. 42 sqq.) gives him the credit which he deserves for his excellent critical discussion of the number of years between the Exodus and the building of Solomon’s temple. Here we have a contradiction between St. Paul and the Book of Judges on one hand, and the Books of Kings on the other. Eusebius does not hesitate to criticise the inspired numbers with masterly ability, just as if they occurred in profane documents, and rejects the statement of the apostle Paul. “In later patristic literature we find nothing similar. The Greek Church was perfectly speechless at the boldness which treated the chronological sketch of the apostle like that of a profane author” (Gelzer, ii. 47).
Again the historical instinct of Eusebius is shown in the choice of his era. While Africanus began with Adam, this instinct taught Eusebius that all Hebrew events before Abraham were “prehistoric,” and so he dated events by the years of Abraham, whom he places in 2017 , whereas the date of Africanus was 2300. But this was little compared with his boldness in rejecting the received date of Moses, whom he placed in 1512 instead of 1795
In the Ecclesiastical History, the Panegyric on Constantine, and the Life of Constantine (a Denkschrift rather than a regular biography; Ranke), the guiding idea of Eusebius is the establishment of a Christian empire, for which Constantine was the chosen instrument. See Ranke’s short suggestive essay in Weltgeschichte, ii. 2, 249 sqq.; one of his points is that we must not press some deviations in the Life, written after Constantine’s death, from the earlier works. But we must agree with the remark of O. Seeck: “Nichts hat dem Andenken des grossen Kaisers mehr geschadet als das Lügenbuch des Eusebios.” Seeck declines to make any use of the documents contained in it. P. Meyer, de Vita Const. Eusebiana, 1883; V. Schultze, Quellenuntersuchungen zur Vita Const. des Eus., in Zeitsch. für Kirchengesch., xiv. p. 503 sqq., 1894; Amedeo Crivellucci, Della fede storica di Eusebio nella vita di Constantino, 1888 (Livorno); Görres, Z. f. wiss. Theol., xx. 215 sqq.; xxi. 35 sqq.; xxxiii. 124 sqq.
Two historical fragments, one covering 293-337, the other 474-526, first printed by H. Valois at the end of his edition of Ammian (from a MS. belonging to J. Sirmond, which afterwards passed into the Phillipps collection, and was translated in 1887 from Cheltenham to Berlin), are generally described under the name Anonymus Valesii. This title is misleading, by its suggestion that the two fragments belong to the same work, whereas they have nothing to do with each other; but it is still convenient to refer to them under the old title. Though they have nothing to do with Ammianus, Gardthausen. following the example of Valois, printed them at the end of his edition. The authoritative edition is now Mommsen’s in the Chronica Minora (M.G.H.); the first which concerns us here, being printed under the title Origo Constantini imperatoris in vol. i. p. 7-11 (1891).
The unknown author of this fragment wrote in the fourth century, and Mommsen designates him as “optimi et Ammiano neque aetate neque auctoritate inferioris” and adds that he probably wrote “ante tempora absolute Christiana.” Several passages (e.g., 20, 33, 34), which are redolent of the Christian clerical style, are shown to be interpolations derived from Orocius (Mommsen, pref. p. 6; cp. W. Ohnesorge, Der Anonymus Valesii de Constantino, p. 88 sqq., 1885, who has some good remarks on the author’s geographical knowledge, and the probability that he wrote in Italy).
[The Anonymi Monodia (first published by Morelli in 1691) was supposed to be (in accordance with its title in the Palatine MS.) a funeral oration on Constantine, the eldest son of Constantine the Great; and on this supposition Gibbon made important use of it (p. 180, n. 26; cp. p. 206, n. 71). But it is only necessary to read it carefully to see that the inscription is false, and that it cannot refer to the younger Constantine. This was proved by Wesseling, who made it probable that the subject of the oration was Theodore Palæologus. As the argument of Gibbon as to Fausta’s survival was recently repeated by such a capable scholar as Victor Schultze, with an appeal to the Monodia (Brieger’s Zeitschr. f. Kirchengeschichte, viii. p. 541, apparently he had not read the document), it may be worth while to state briefly the chief decisive points. (I cite from the most recent edition: Anon. Græci oratio funebris, by C. E. Frotscher, 1856.) (1) The very first words are quite impossible in an orator of the fourth century: Ἄνδρες Ῥωμαɩ̂οι, μα̂λλον δὲ τω̂ν Ῥωμαίων ποτὲ λείψανα δυστυχη̂. (2) The subject of the laudation died of a plague (p. 14); Constantine according to our authorities was killed by violence. (3) ἐπὶ τούτοις ἐκ Πελοποννήσου πρὸς ἡμα̂ς πάλιν ἀνἡγου (p. 16) does not apply to Constantine, nor yet (4) the statement (p. 26) that he sent ambassadors to Iberia (whether Spanish or Caucasian) to get him a wife.]
It is much to be regretted that the history of Constantine the Great, in two books, written by a young Athenian named Praxagoras at the age of twenty-two, is only known to us by a brief quotation in Photius, cod. 62, p. 20, ed. Bekk. (= F.H.G. iv. p. 2). Photius does not give his date. Müller says he wrote at end of Constantine’s reign, or under Constantius, ut uidetur, but does not give reasons. In accepting this date as probably right I am guided by the following consideration. Praxagoras (Photius tells us) was a pagan (Ἕλλην τὴν θρησκείαν), and yet he praised Constantine very highly, setting him above all his predecessors who held the Imperial dignity. It is extremely improbable that a pagan living in the second half of the fourth century — a contemporary of Julian and Eunapius — or in the fifth, would have adopted this attitude. Hostility to Constantine’s memory is a note of Julian and all the pagans who came after him. It seems to me, therefore, that the first half of the fourth century is the only epoch which suits our data respecting Praxagoras.
Julian has been treated so fully in the text that only bibliographical points need be noted here. My references throughout are to the critical text of Hertlein (Gibbon used that of Spanheim, 1696), which includes the extant works, except (1) the treatise contra Christianos, which has been ingeniously reconstituted from the citations of Cyril and edited by C. J. Neumann, 1880; and (2) six letters which A. Papadopoulos-Kerameus discovered in a MS. at the μονὴ τη̂ς Θεοτόκου in the island of Chalce near Constantinople. These are published in the Rheinisches Museum, 42 (1887), p. 15 sqq., in the Maurogordateios Bibliotheke and elsewhere [number 1, to his uncle Julian, 2, to the priestess Theodora (cp. Hertl. Ep. 5), 3, to Theodorus, high priest, 4, to Priscus, 5, to Maximin, 6, probably to a priestess]. Three of these [1, 2, 3] are considered of doubtful authenticity by Schwarz in his valuable Julianstudien, Philol. li. p. 623 sqq. (1892), where he tries to discriminate in the extant correspondence of Julian, what is genuine, spurious, and doubtful. He condemns letters 8, 18, 19, 24, 25, 34, 40, 41, 53, 54, 60, 61, 66, 67, 72, 73, 75. Doubts are attached to 28, 32, 57, 68. Letter 27 is mainly genuine, but is tainted by an interpolation, § 9-21. (Schwarz also disproves Cumont’s conjecture that a number of the letters are the work of Julian the Sophist, p. 626 sqq.) Julian wrote a special work in his Alamannic campaign, not extant now, which was used by Ammianus and Libanius (see below under Ammianus). The Cohortatio ad Græcos, which had been falsely ascribed to Justin, has been shown by J. Asmus to be a contemporary polemical tract against Julian (acc. to J. Dräseke, Apollinarios von Laodicea, 1891, p. 85 sqq., identical with the treatise of Apollinaris on Truth, mentioned by Sozomen, v. 18). It was used by Gregory Naz., in his Invectives. See Zeitsch. für wissensch. Theologie, xxxviii. 115 sqq., 1895. The Therapeutic of Theodoret seems to have been directed against Julian’s “Rhetor-edict” and his work against the Galilæans; see J. Asmus, Byz. Zeitsch. 3, p. 116 sqq. [Modern works: J. F. Mücke, Flavius Cl. Julianus, 1866-8. Rendall, The Emperor Julian, 1878. Naville, Julien l’Apostat et sa philosophie du polythéisme, 1877. Miss Gardner, Julian the Philosopher, 1895. Sievers (in his Studien), Julians Perserkrieg. Rode, Geschichte der Reaction Kaiser J. gegen die christliche Kirche, 1877. Schwarz, de vita et scriptis Juliani imperatoris, 1888. F. Cumont, Sur l’authenticité de quelques lettres de Julian, 1889. Wiegand, Die Alamannenschlacht von Strassburg (in Heft 3 of Beitr. zur Landes und Volkeskunde von Elsass-Lothr., 1887). Koch, Leyden Dissertation on Julian’s Gallic campaigns, 1890. Reinhardt, Der Tod des Kaisers Julian, 1891, and Der Perserkrieg des K. J., 1892. Klimek, Zur Wurdigung der Handschriften und zur Textkritik Julians, 1888. See also G. Boissier’s La fin du paganisme; Petit de Julleville’s L’Ecole d’Athènes au ive siècle après Jésus Christ. Others have been mentioned in the notes.]
Of the life and works of Libanius (314-c. 395 ) a full account will be found in the standard monograph of Sievers, Das Leben des Libanius (1868), which is full of valuable research for the general history of the time. Reiske’s edition of the Orations and Declamations appeared too late (1784-1797, 4 volumes) for Gibbon to use. A new edition both of Speeches and Letters (ed. Wolf, 1738) is much needed. 1607 letters are preserved, of which Sievers gives a full dated index (p. 297 sqq.). Four hundred letters professing to be Latin translations from originals of Libanius have been proved by R. Förster to be forgeries (F. Zambeccari und die Briefe des Libanius, 1876; cp. Sievers, ib. Beil. T.T.). The dates of the Speeches of Libanius, which concern us in the present volume, are, according to Sievers (p. 203), as follows:—
Of the orations of Themistius (a younger contemporary and friend of Libanius) those which concern this volume are the Panegyrics of Constantius: i. 347; ii. 355; iii. (Πρεσβευτικός) and iv., delivered in the senate at Constantinople 357. The subject of i. is ϕιλανθρωπία, which Christ (Gr. Litteratur, p. 672) designates as the Schlagwort of Themistius, — a pagan whose tolerance stands out in contrast with the temper of men like Libanius and Eunapius. (Ed. Dindorf, 1832; E. Baret, de Them. sophista et apud imperatores oratore, Paris, 1853.)
The Latin panegyric of Nazarius on Constantine (see below, vol. iii. p. 299) and the speech of thanksgiving of Claudius Mamertinus to Julian are printed in Baehrens’ xii. Panegyr. Lat., as x. and xi.
Ammianus Marcellinus, born c. 330, belonged to a good Antiochene family (Amm. xix. 8, 6), and was thus a Græcus (xxxi. 16), though he wrote his history in Latin, which had become a second mother-tongue. His good birth and connections gained him admission to the corps of the domestici (see vol. iii. App. 8). His military service probably lasted somewhat more than ten years. We find him at Nisibis in 353 under Ursicinus (xiv. 9, 1). Next year he is in the West; we catch him on the way to Milan (ib. 11, 5); and he goes with other protectores, domestici and tribuni (scholarum?) on a mission to Köln (xv. 5, 2, and xviii. 8, 11). But in 357 he returns to the East, to the scene of the Persian war (xvi. 10, 21), and Gibbon notices his escape from Amida. He went through Julian’s campaign and probably retired from military service soon after the conclusion of the war by Jovian’s treaty (cp. Budinger, Ammianus Marcellinus und die Eigenart seines Geschichtswerkes, 1895).
His Res Gestæ in thirty-one books was intended as a continuation of Tacitus, and began with Nerva (xxxi. 16). “The first thirteen books, a superficial epitome of 257 years, are now lost; the last eighteen, which contain no more than twenty-five years, still preserve the copious and authentic history of his own times” (Gibbon, ch. xxvi. n. 113). Book xiv. begins with the acts of the Cæsar Gallus in 353 , and book xxxi. ends with the battle of Hadrianople in 378 The work seems to have been finished early in the last decade of the century, and he won by it a considerable reputation at Rome (cp. Libanius, Epp. ed. Wolf, Ep. to Amm. Marc. pp. 132 sqq.). Characteristic are his imitations of Tacitus and Sallust, and his contempt for the scandal-mongering popular history of Marius Maximus. The impartiality of Ammianus is appreciated by Gibbon, and generally recognised. For the Persian wars his account is not only that of a contemporary but of an eye-witness. As to his sources for Julian’s German wars, see below. He was a pagan, but was not unjust to Christianity, of which he speaks with respect, and, though an admirer of Julian, shows by a very strong expression his disapprobation of that Emperor’s measure which prohibited Christians from teaching (xxii. 10, 7). For his view of Christianity cp. xxi. 16, 18 (quoted by Gibbon) and xxii. 11, 5 (nihil nisi iustum suadet et lene). His remarkable phrase about the founder of Christianity was unknown until A. von Gutschmid brilliantly restored a corrupt pasage, xxii. 16, 22: —
Ex his fontibus [sc. Egyptian sources] per sublimia gradiens sermonum amplitudine Iouis æmulus non uisa Aegypto militauit sapientia gloriosa.
The name of the wise man, thus described, has disappeared from the MSS., and Valesius proposed to substitute Platon for non. But Gutschmid saw that the reference is to Jesus, and that the abbreviated name ihs had fallen out accidentally after his. Thus ex his Iesus fontibus now appears in Gardthausen’s text. (Non u. Aegypto is not verbally true, according to the account of Matthew, but it is in any case true in spirit.) Ammianus was doubtless thinking of the doctrine of the Logos in the fourth Gospel.
In connection with this passage I would hazard a conjecture. I think that when Ammianus went out of his way to connect Jesus with Egypt, he had in mind a letter of Julian to the Alexandrians (Ep. li.), where the Emperor reproaches them for the prevalence of the Galilean superstition in their cities. The general theme of the letter is: What is Alexandria to Jesus or Jesus to Alexandria? The Ptolemies, he says (p. 557, l. 7, ed. Hertl.), οὔτι τοɩ̂ς Ἰησον̂ λόγοις ηὔξησαν αὐτήν οὐδὲ τῃ̑ τω̂ν ἐχθίστων Γαλιλαίων διδασκαλἱᾳ τὴν οἰκονομἱαν αὐτῃ̑ ταύτην ὑϕ’ [Editor: illegible character]ς νν̂ν ὲστιν εὐδαίμων ὲξειργάσαντο. Again (p. 558, l. 7), [Editor: illegible character]ν δὲ οῠτε ὑμεɩ̂ς οὔτε οἱ πατέρες ὑμω̂ν ὲοράκασιν Ἰησον̂ν οἰεσθε χρη̂ναι θεὸν λόγον ὑπάρχειν. I suggest that Ammian’s words are a criticism on Julian’s argument, and that non uisa Aegypto was suggested by the sentence last quoted.
The attitude of Ammianus to internal ecclesiastical history has been well brought out by Büdinger (op. cit. p. 15 sqq.). He declines to enter into the details of Christian controversies; his idea is that the Christians fight among themselves like wild beasts. — His ideas of morality are high and strict; he believes in progress and the enlightenment of his own age, cp. xviii. 7, 7. He has a high ideal of the Imperial authority. He shows towards the Germans a certain bitterness which is never apparent in his treatment of the oriental nations. That he was in a certain measure superstitious, notwithstanding his enlightenment, has been brought out by Büdinger. A proneness to exaggerate signs and portents may partly account for the extraordinary mistake in xx. 3, 1, where it is stated that in the east of the Empire there was an eclipse of the sun visible from dawn to noon, in 360 (the month is not given), — a total eclipse, for the stars were visible. In that year there was a total eclipse, but only visible in Australia; and there was also an eclipse in the afternoon of 28th August, (1) visible in Asia but further east than the east boundary of the Empire, and (2) partial, so that intermicabant iugiter stellæ could not apply to it. (Query: Did Ammianus, by a lapse of memory, set down under a wrong year the total eclipse of 4th June, 364 ?)
One sharp criticism of Gibbon on Ammianus (see below, chap. xxii. n. 6) is due, as Mr. Hodgkin has pointed out to me, to a misunderstanding. Ammianus means in the passage in question that the troops were not to reach Persia, but to muster in Italy, at the beginning of spring.
A reference must be made to the friendship of Ammian with his fellowcitizen and fellow-pagan Libanius. Their correspondence seems to have begun (not very cordially perhaps) about 359; Libanius, ep. 141, ed. Wolf; and a very interesting letter (cited above) is extant (date 390-1) in which the rhetor admonishes Ammianus to go on with his historical work. In ep. 232 he refers to ὀ καλὸς Ἀμμιανός. In other letters addressed to. Ammianus or Marcellinus there is nothing to identify the writer’s correspondent.
For contemporary history Ammianus made use of the writings of Julian, the history of Eutropius and other sources. Much has been written on the subject of his fontes: Gardthausen, Die geographischen Quellen Ammians, 1873 (and Coniectanea Ammianea, 1869); Hertz, Aulus Gellius und Ammianus Marcellinus (Hermes 8, 1874); Sudhaus, de ratione quæ intercedat inter Zosimi et Ammiani de bello a Jul. imp. cum Pers. gesto relationes, 1870; Hugo Michael, de A. M. studiis Ciceronianis, 1874, die verlorenen Bücher des Ammianus M., 1880. In Hermes 25, 1889, E. von Borries, Die Quellen zu den Feldzügen Julians des Abtrünnigen gegen die Germanen (p. 173 sqq.), elaborately and ingeniously discusses the question of the relations between the sources for Julian’s German campaigns (viz., Ammian, Libanius’ Epitaphios, and Zosimus). His results are:—
(1) Libanius used all Julian’s writings including a lost work on the battle of Strassburg. Borries thinks the Ἐπιτάϕιος was composed as early as end of 363.
(2) (Zosimus drew from) Eunapius (who) used a memoir of the physician Oribasius, and various writings (including lost letters) of Julian, but not the work on the campaign against the Alamanni.
(3) A lost source, x., used all the writings of Julian and the Memoir of Oribasius.
(4) Ammianus used two sources (as is shown by a number of contradictions and repetitions, and the fact that he sometimes agrees with Libanius, sometimes with Eunapius (Zosimus)). These sources were Julian’s monograph on the Alamannic campaign, and x.
Borries shows that there were no “Commentaries” of Julian such as Hecker assumes in “Zur Geschichte des Kaisers Julian,” 1876 (cp. Die Alamannenschlacht bei Strassburg, in Jahrbb. für class. Philol., 1879, p. 59-80).
Gardthausen’s edition of Ammianus (1874) is the best.
On Ammian’s geographical knowledge see Mommsen, Hermes 16, 1881.
Eunapius of Sardis was born about 347, and survived 414 For the facts which are known about his life see Müller, Frag. Hist. Græc. iv. p. 7-8. He wrote (1) a continuation of the Chronicle of Dexippus, which ended in 270 and brought it down to the death of Theodosius I., in 395 Then (2) he composed (c. 405 ) his Lives of  Philosophers and Sophists, a work which is preserved (ed. Boissonade, in Didot series, 1849), and is valuable as a history of the fourth century renascence of sophistic. (3) About ten years later, he took up his history again and continued it to 404 , — probably intending to make the death of Arcadius (408) his terminus. Of the history we have only fragments (edited by Müller, F.H.G. iv.); but we have further knowledge of it through the fact that it was the main source of Zosimus. It was characterised by all the weaknesses of contemporary rhetoric. For the history of events from Diocletian forward Eunapius’ narrative and the Epitome of Victor seem to have been drawn from a common source, but I agree with Mendelssohn in deciding, in opposition to Opitz and Jeep, that this source was not Ammianus. For the campaigns of Julian, Eunapius used the Memoirs of Oribasius. Like Libanius, he was a firm adherent of the old religion, and an enthusiastic admirer of Julian.
For Magnus of Carrhæ and Eutychianus who wrote accounts of the Persian campaign of Julian, see Müller, F.H.G. iv. 4-6, and Mendelssohn’s Preface to Zosimus, p. xxxix. sqq.
Zosimus, count and ex-advocatus fisci, wrote his history, as L. Mendelssohn (who has recently published an excellent critical edition, 1887) showed, between the years 450 and 501 He is not to be identified with either of his two contemporary namesakes, the grammarian of Ascalon or the sophist of Gaza. That he lived part of his life at Constantinople has been inferred from his accurate description of the city, ii. c. 30 sqq. Like Eunapius he was devoted to paganism, and hostile to the Christian Emperors.
Introducing his work by expressing his belief in a guiding providence in history, and appealing to the work of Polybius in which the wonderful career of Rome was unfolded, Zosimus proceeds to give a rapid sketch of Imperial history up to the death of Claudius (i. 1-46), and then begins, with the accession of Aurelian, a fuller narrative, coming down to the siege of Rome by Alaric in 410. The author clearly intended to continue his work to a later date; if the sixth book, of which there are only thirteen chapters, had reached the average length of the first five, it would probably have ended with the death of Honorius. Between books i. and ii. there is a great gap, corresponding to the reigns of Carus, Carinus, and Diocletian. We may conjecture that book ii. began with the accession of Diocletian.
The important question of the sources of Zosimus has been acutely investigated by Mendelssohn (see Preface and Notes to his edition). His results are briefly: (1) For chaps. 1-46, Zosimus used a lost source, in which the account of the Gothic invasions was drawn from the Scythica of Dexippus, but the Chronica of that writer was not consulted. The hypothesis of an indirect use of the same source will explain the remarkable agreements between Zonaras and Zosimus; and the identification of the source is bound up with the perplexed question of the fontes of Zonaras. (2) For the main body of the work Zosimus has chiefly relied on Eunapius, as can be shown from the Eunapian fragments. Besides oracles, and one or two passages of small importance, which he has taken from other sources, Mendelssohn makes it probable that the digression on the secular games at beginning of book ii. was derived from Phlegon’s treatise on Roman Feasts; and explains the agreements between Zosimus and Ammianus in the account of Julian’s Persian expedition by a common use of Magnus of Carrhæ (cp. Zosimus’ own words, iii. 2, 4, where he promises to tell of Julian μάλιστα ὄσα τοɩ̂ς ἄλλοις παραλελεɩ̂ϕθαι δοκεɩ̂—doubtless an allusion to Eunapius). (3) For the last years, 407-410 , he uses Olympiodorus, whom he mentions. It is important here to consult Sozomen, who used the same source.
There is an elaborate and admirable “characteristic” of Zosimus as an historian in the Analekten to the fourth part of Ranke’s Weltgeschichte (Abth. 2, p. 264 sqq.).
The Consular Fasti of Idatius or, correctly, Hydatius, the Spaniard, consist of three parts: (1) from the first consuls to the foundation of Constantinople, 330 , (2) from 330 to 395, (3) from 395 to 468. Parts i. and ii. are an epitome of a chronicle which has been more fully preserved in a Greek form in the Chronicon Paschale. (Mommsen has printed the two versions side by side in Chron. Minora, i. p. 208 sqq.) The second part was written at Constantinople “quae etiam in chronicis urbanis hereditatem quodammodo Romae veteris sibi vindicavit.” We must suppose that a copy reached Spain towards the end of the fourth century, and was continued by Idatius concurrently with his continuation of the Chronicle of Jerome, along with which it has come down (see Mommsen, l. c. p. 201. Also C. Frick, in Byz. Zeitschrift, vol. i.). In the second part, Idatius seems to have added some notices from the Chronicle of Jerome (composed c. 380 ).
Of the four Greek ecclesiastical historians who wrote in the first half of the fifth century, the earliest, Philostorgius (born before 365 (?); flor. c. 380-412 ), is the most interesting, as an Arian. Unluckily his “Ecclesiastical History” (which beginning with Constantine ended in 425 ) is only known by the epitome of it made by Photius in the ninth century; it can be proved that at the beginning of the fourteenth century Nicephorus Xanthopulos had only this epitome and not the complete work before him. (For the problem as to how far the epitome differs from the original, the study of J. R. Asmus, in Byz. Zeitsch. v. 30 sqq., 1895, is suggestive.) The sources of Philostorgius, Socrates, and Sozomen have been elaborately studied by L. Jeep in Quæstiones Fridericianæ, 1881, and Quellenuntersuchungen zu den griechischen Kirchenhistorikern, 1884. He concludes that Philostorgius made use of Eunapius, and, for the late years of his work, Olympiodorus (see below, vol. iv. Appendix 5).
Some fragments of another Arian historian (name unknown) are preserved (as Mr. Gwatkin showed in his Studies of Arianism) in the Chronicon Paschale. P. Batiffol has tried to show that this writer was a source of Philostorgius and Theodoret (Röm. Quartalschrift, 9, p. 57 sqq., 1895).
Socrates (orthodox; native of Constantinople) brought down his History to 439 (cp. vii. 48), in which year (or 440) he can be shown to have completed his work. His sources (referred to by himself) are: Eusebius; Rufinus (cp. ii. 1); Athanasius; three Collections of Letters, of (a) Arius, (b) Constantine against Arius, (c) Alexander of Alexandria (cp. i. 6); Sabinus (Bishop of Thracian Heraclea, and adherent of the heresy of Macedonius), who compiled a Collection of the Acts of the Synods, beginning with Nicæa (συναγωγὴ τω̂ν συνοδικω̂ν), doubtless filling in the historical connection, and adding comments from his own point of view. Besides these, Socrates certainly made use of the Constantinopolitan Chronicle (see above); and Jeep has tried to show that he used Philostorgius and Olympiodorus. For the relations of Socrates and Rufinus see Gwatkin, Studies of Arianism, p. 93 sqq.
Sozomen, a contemporary of Socrates and likewise orthodox (probably native of Palestine), proposed to trace the history of the Church from 324 to 439 (where Socrates ended; see Soz.’s dedication); but the work as we have it ends in 425, the last books apparently having been lost (cp. Jeep, Quellenuntersuch. p. 140). He used Socrates, but also went to the sources of Socrates; in the last book he abandons Socrates for Olympiodorus. Cp. Sarrazin, de Theodoro Lectore (in Gelzer u. Götz, Diss. Jenenses).
Theodoret (orthodox) wrote his work (which comes down to 429 ) between 441 and 449 It has very little value, adding almost nothing to Socrates and Sozomen. The sources have been fully investigated by A. Güldenpenning, Die Kirchengeschichte des Theodoret von Kyrrhos, 1889. Besides Athanasius, Arius, Eustathius of Antioch, he used (according to Güldenpenning) Socrates and Sozomen, and perhaps Philostorgius; also Ephraem Syrus and the Gregories of Nazianzus and Nyssa. The most elaborate work on Theodoret is in Russian, by N. Glubokovski, 1890.
Besides these, two other Ecclesiastical Histories in Greek were composed about the same time, which are now lost and never attained the same popularity, those of (1) Philip Sidetes; cp. Socr. vii. 26-7; and Harnack, Texte u. Untersuch. I. i. 179 sqq.; and (2) Hesychius of Jerusalem, cp. Fabricius, Bib. Gr. vii. 548 sqq. All six began their histories about the same place, — where Eusebius ended. Cp. Harnack’s Sokrates u. Sozomenos, in Encycl. of Herzog u. Plitt; he calls attention to the differences between western and eastern Ecclesiastical historians in motive, aim, and scope.
Modern Works (compare vol. i. Appendix 1). Burckhardt, Die Zeit Constantins des Grossen, 1880 (edition 2). Ranke, Weltgeschichte, iv. O. Seeck, Geschichte des Untergangs der antiken Welt, vol. i. 1895 (which, I regret, appeared too late to be used in the preparation of vol. i. and ii. of this edition. Especially noteworthy is the brilliant chapter on early German society). For early Christian art, F. X. Kraus, Geschichte der christlichen Kunst, vol. i. part i. 1895, where full bibliographical references will be found, and V. Schultze, Archäologie der altchristlichen Kunst, 1895 (cp. vol. iii. Appendix 2). On ecclesiastical matters the reader may profitably consult (besides good ecclesiastical histories, which are numerous, e.g., Neander, Schröckh, Hefele, Milman) articles in the Dictionary of Christian Biography, and in the theological encyclopædia of Herzog and Plitt.
ORIGIN OF GNOSTICISM — (P. 274)
Hilgenfeld has developed his view as to the rise of Gnosticism in his highly important work on early heresies, Die Ketzergeschichte des Urchristenthums. His position is that Gnosticism was founded (as Irenæus said) by the Samaritan, Simon the Magian, at the beginning of the Apostolic epoch, and thus arose strictly outside Christianity, but yet within its atmosphere. Then it became in a way Christian, and deeply affected Christianity, both by breaking down Jewish Christianity, and by calling forth a combined opposition which led to the formation of a united Catholic church. Hilgenfeld repeats and defends his theory in his Zeitsch. für wissenschaftliche Theologie, vol. xxxiii. 1890, p. 1 sqq., against the different view put forward in Harnack’s Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte, vol. i. 1st edition, p. 178 sqq. Harnack holds that Gnosticism arose from pre-Christian syncretistic religious theories (a “Religionsmischung”) which existed in Syria and especially Samaria, and aimed at a universal religion. The Gnostics he describes as “the theologians of the first century” (p. 163); they took up Christianity at once as a universal religion and opposed it sharply to Judaism and other religions. In Gnosticism, he says (following Overbeck), is represented “die acute Verweltlichung” (Hellenisation) of Christianity, — a result which was only obtained by a gradual process in Catholic Christianity.
Harnack points out well (p. 172) that Gnosticism was accompanied by a number of other sects, only partially related, which on one hand shade off into Hellenism, on the other to ordinary Christianity; e.g. Carpocratians and Encratites respectively. He deals at length with the peculiar position of Marcion, p. 197 sqq. [Cp. articles on Gnosticism and Marcion, in Dict. of Christian Biography.]
Harnack has since made a valuable contribution to the study of Gnosticism by his work “Ueber das gnostische Buch Pistis Sophia” (1891). He shows that this treatise (for which see above, p. 277, n. 33), of which he gives an elaborate exegesis, was earlier than 302, and fixes it to the second half of the third century (p. 94 sqq.). He shows that it was written in Egypt, but does not represent Valentinian doctrines (as had been supposed) but rather Ophite, if we use this elastic word to connote a whole group of Syrian gnostic heresies (Ophites, Nicolaites, Sethites, Kainites, &c.). He goes on to develop an attractive theory that the Pistis Sophia is identical with a treatise mentioned by Epiphanius (De Hær. xxvi.) under the title of the Small Questions of Mary, as a work that issued from this Gnostic group, and he even tries to establish that it represents in particular the views of the Sethites.
A long and important study on Gnostic works preserved in Coptic (the Books of Jeû: Coptic text and German translation) by C. Schmidt, in Gebhardt u. Harnack, Texte u. Unters., viii. 1 and 2, deserves special mention.
WORLD-ERAS — (P. 289)
The system of Africanus (see above, note 10) which established 5500 years between the creation of the world and the incarnation (σάρκωσις: not the nativity, ἐνανθρωπησις) of Christ was adopted by many subsequent chroniclers: e.g. by Hippolytus, by Sulpicius Severus, by Eutychius. It was also accepted by Eusebius, but in his chronicle (see above, n. 10) he reckoned events from Abraham, 2017 On this system a.m. 5500 was concurrent with our 2
The other most important eras were:—
(1) The “Byzantine” or “Roman” era (adopted in the Chronicon Paschale) = a.m. 5507 (incarnation, 21st March). As this year was identified with 1 we must, in order to reduce a date a.m. to a date , subtract 5508. Thus a.m. 5958 (- 5508) = 450.
(2) The “Antiochene” era (used by John Malalas) = a.m. 5967; but concurrent with 3-2 The rule for reducing a date is: subtract 5970. Thus a.m. 6370 (- 5970) = 400-1. Cp. Gelzer, Sex. Julius Africanus, ii. 132.
(3) The “Ecclesiastical” era of Annianus (adopted by George Syncellus and Theophanes) was a.m. 5501. (The year 5500 ended on 24th March, 5501 began 25th March, day of the immaculate conception. The same day of the month (1st Nisan) was the day of the Creation and the Crucifixion.) This year was concurrent with 9 Therefore to reduce a.m. in Theophanes to we must subtract (5501 - 9 =) 5492. Thus a.m. 6000 (- 5492) = 508.
Annianus (finished his work 412) owed much to his elder contemporary Panodorus (c. 395-408) — as has been shown by Unger, cp. Gelzer, op. cit. ii. 191 — and both were the main foundations of the chronicle of Syncellus. Panodorus invented a different era which found little favour. He placed Christ’s birth in a.m. 5493. Unger has shown that he miscalculated the length of the Ptolemaic dynasty by a year; his era should be 5494. The eras of Annianus and Panodorus are sometimes known as the Alexandrine.
EARLY CHURCH INSTITUTIONS — (P. 311)
There is a considerable German literature on early Christian institutions, from Baur’s Der Ursprung des Episkopats, 1838, to the present day (of recent works, E. Löning’s Die Gemeindeverfassung des Urchristenthums, 1889, deserves special mention). Important contributions have been made to the subject in England by Bishop Lightfoot and by Dr. Hatch; the latter in The Organisation of the Early Christian Churches (translated into German and edited by Harnack), 1880, doing good service by pointing out resemblances with the organisation of religious communities in the contemporary pagan world. The large literature relating to the Ignatian Letters is also directly concerned with the origin of episcopacy. The subject has been treated from a wider point of view by M. Réville in his Les origines de l’épiscopat, vol. i. 1894, a work which throws light on many points. A very brief summary of his results (though they are by no means incontestable) in regard to the episcopate will be appropriate.
He throws aside the πρω̂τον ψεν̂δος of many of his predecessors, “le funeste préjugé de l’unité du christianisme primitif,” the idea that in the early church the institutions found in one community existed in all the others. Thus for Paul’s time the evidence of the Pauline epistles proves that there were episcopi at Philippi, but does not give the slightest reason to assume such in Galatia. The episcopal functions were originally administrative and financial [and liturgical]; and were distinct from the presbyteral functions, though often exercised by presbyters; the deacons were assistants of the episcopi. Thus the current view that bishop and presbyter were originally synonymous terms is, according to Réville, erroneous; it is only true in so far as the duties of instruction came to devolve on the bishops as well as the presbyters. (1) In the earliest documents we find a plurality of bishops (and this is still the case at Corinth, when the Epistle of Clement was written); (2) in the last years of the first century a single bishop is becoming the rule in the churches of Asia Minor (cp. Pastoral Epistles); (3) the third stage is the monarchical bishop, the ideal which Ignatius extolled in his Letters (which are certainly genuine) as the true remedy for the disorders and divisions of the Eastern Churches, but which (the monarchical, as distinguished from the “uninominal”) was not yet (in the second decade of the second century), as his letters prove, a reality. For the organisation of the Christian community in Palestine, consult the articles of Hilgenfeld in his Zeitschrift, vol. 33, 1890, p. 98 sqq., and 223 sqq.
It may still be maintained that neither M. Réville nor any one else has satisfactorily explained how bishop and presbyter came to be used interchangeably at any time, as in Acts xx. 28, and the 1st chap. of Titus.
NUMBER OF CHRISTIANS IN THE EMPIRE UNDER DIOCLETIAN AND CONSTANTINE — (Pp. 337, 341)
Gibbon considers the number of Christians at Rome to have been not more than one-twentieth of the population about the middle of the third century, and he adopts the same proportion for the whole Empire. (This conclusion agrees with that of Friedländer, Sittengeschichte, iii. 531.) On the other hand, much higher proportions have been computed by more recent writers: Stäudlin, one-half; Matter, one-fifth; La Bastie, one-twelfth; while Chastel gives one-fifteenth for the West, and one-tenth for the East. See Burckhardt, Die Zeit Constantins des Grossen, edition 2, p. 137. H. Richter (whose judgment in such a matter deserves particular consideration) reckons the Christians at one-ninth of the total population (Weströmisches Reich, 85, 86). But we have not sufficient data to fix such accurate ratios; we may say that from Decius to Constantine the proportion probably varied from about one-twentieth to one-ninth. Burckhardt, putting aside the question of numbers, finds the main strength of the Christians in their belief in immortality (p. 140).
[1 ]There are internal confirmations of this conclusion, — signs of a special interest taken by Jordanes in the Alans; see Getica, xv. 83, xxiv. 126-7, xliii. 226. See Mommsen, Proœmium to his edition, p. x.