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Chapter 25




Talents, angel bright. If wanting worth, are shining instruments In false ambition's hands, to finish faults Illustrious, and give infamy renown.--Young.


1. The character of the prince who removed the seat of empire and made a complete revolution in the civil and religious institutions of his country, is naturally one on which the opinions of historians are divided, according to their sentiments respecting the great changes that he effected. The heathen writers describe him as a monster of tyranny; the Christian fathers are anxious to conceal his faults and exaggerate his virtues, as if the nature of Christianity was in some degree affected by the character of its first and greatest patron. The truth is, that the character of Constantine, like that of other great conquerors, varied with the circumstances of his life. While engaged in the contest for empire, while employed in making unparalleled political changes, he displayed the fortitude of a hero, and wisdom of a legislator; but when complete success reduced him to inactivity, when his vigorous mind was no longer stimulated by fear or hope, prosperity roused all his bad passions by affording an opportunity for their indulgence; and the virtues which had insured victory disappeared when there was no longer any stimulus to rouse them into action. The fourteen years of profound peace that preceded the emperor's death, form a period of great external splendour, but of real and rapid decay; the court was distinguished at once by avarice and prodigality; the money raised by heavy taxes, unknown in former ages, was lavished on unworthy favourites or wasted in idle exhibitions of magnificence. 2. A mind relaxed by prosperity is peculiarly open to suspicion; the ears of the monarch were greedily lent to every tale brought to him by malignant spies and informers; such encouragement increased the number of those wretches; every street and almost every house in the capital, contained some one ever on the watch to pick up any unguarded expression which might be distorted into treason or sedition. It was not likely that a monarch who had consented to the murder of his own son, on the most groundless charges, would be more merciful to those who had no natural claims upon his forbearance; execution followed execution with fearful rapidity, until the bonds of society were broken, and every man dreaded his neighbour, lest by misinterpreting a word or look, he should expose him to the indiscriminate cruelty of the sovereign.

3. The example of their father's tyranny produced an effect on the minds of his sons, which no education, however excellent or judicious, could remove. Pious Christian pastors, learned philosophers, and venerable sages of the law, were employed to instruct the three princes, Constanti'ne, Constan'tius, and Con'stans; but the effects of their labours never appeared in the lives of their pupils.

4. For some reasons which it is now impossible to discover, the great Constantine had raised two of his nephews to the rank of princes, and placed them on an equality with his own children. Before the emperor's body was consigned to the tomb, this impolitic arrangement brought destruction on the entire Flavian family. A forged scroll was produced by the bishop of Nicome'dia, purporting to be Constantine's last will, in which he accused his brothers of having given him poison, and besought his sons to avenge his death. 5. Constan'tius eagerly embraced such an opportunity of destroying the objects of his jealousy; his two uncles, seven of his cousins, the patrician Opta'lus, who married the late emperor's sister, and the prefect Abla'vius, whose chief crime was enormous wealth, were subjected to a mock trial, and delivered to the executioner. Of so numerous a family Gal'lus and Julian alone were spared; they owed their safety to their concealment, until the rage of the assassins had abated. 6. After this massacre, the three brothers, similar in name, and more alike in crime, proceeded to divide their father's dominions: Constantine took for his share the new capital and the central provinces; Thrace and the East were assigned to Constan'tius; Con'stans received Italy, Africa, and the western Illy'ricum.

7. The weakness produced by this division encouraged the enemies of the Romans, whom the dread of Constantine's power had hitherto kept quiet, to take up arms. Of these the most formidable was Sa'por king of Persia. 8. The abilities of Sapor showed that he merited a throne; he had scarcely arrived at maturity when he led an army against Tha'ir king of Arabia, who had harassed Persia during his minority; the expedition was completely successful. Tha'ir was slain, and the kingdom subdued. The young conqueror did not abuse his victory; he treated the vanquished with such clemency, that the Arabs gave him the title of _Doulacnaf_ or protector of the nation.

[Sidenote: A.D. 338.]

9. On the death of Constantine, Sa'por invaded the eastern provinces of the Roman empire; he was vigorously opposed by Constan'tius, and the war was protracted during several years with varying fortune. At the battle of Sin'gara, the Romans surprised the Persian camp, but were in their turn driven from it with great slaughter by the troops which Sapor had rallied. The eldest son of the Persian king was, however, brought off as a prisoner by the Romans, and the barbarous Constan'tius ordered him to be scourged, tortured, and publicly executed. 10. Though Sa'por had been victorious in the field, he failed in his chief design of seizing the Roman fortresses in Mesopota'mia; during twelve years he repeatedly besieged Ni'sibis, which had been long the great eastern bulwark of the empire, but was invariably baffled by the strength of the place, and the valour of the garrison. At length both parties became wearied of a struggle which exhausted their resources, and new enemies appearing, they resolved to conclude a peace. Sa'por returned home to repel an invasion of the Scythians; Constan'tius, by the death of his two brothers, found himself involved in a civil war which required his undivided attention.

11. Constan'tine had scarcely been seated on his throne, when he attempted to wrest from Con'stans some of the provinces which had been assigned as his portion. He rashly led his army over the Julian Alps, and devastated the country round Aquile'ia where, falling into an ambuscade, he perished ingloriously. Con'stans seized on the inheritance of the deceased prince, and retained it during ten years, obstinately refusing to give any share to his brother Constan'tius. 12. But the tyranny of Con'stans at last became insupportable. Magnen'tius, an enterprising general, proclaimed himself emperor, and his cause was zealously embraced by the army. Con'stans was totally unprepared for this insurrection; deserted by all except a few favourites, whom dread of the popular hatred they had justly incurred prevented from desertion, he attempted to escape into Spain, but was overtaken at the foot of the Pyrenees, and murdered. 13. The prefectures of Gaul and Italy cheerfully submitted to the usurpation of Magnen'tius; but the legions of Illyr'icum elected their general, Vetra'nio, emperor, and his usurpation was sanctioned by the princess Constanti'na, who, regardless of her brother's rights, placed the diadem upon his head with her own hands. 14. The news of these events hastened the return of Constan'tius to Europe; on his arrival at the capital, he received embassies from the two usurpers, offering terms of accommodation; he rejected the terms of Magnen'tius with disdain, but entered into a negociation with Vetra'nio. The Illyrian leader, though a good general, was a bad politician; he allowed himself to be duped by long discussions, until the greater part of his army had been gained over by Constan'tius; he then consented to a personal interview, and had the mortification to see his soldiers, with one accord, range themselves under the banners of their lawful sovereign. Vetra'nio immediately fell at the feet of Constan'tius, and tendered his homage, which was cheerfully accepted; he was not only pardoned, but rewarded; the city of Pru'sa, in Bythnia, was allotted to him as a residence, and a pension assigned for his support. 15. The war against Magnen'tius was maintained with great obstinacy, but at first with little success; the emperor was confined in his fortified camp, while the troops of the usurper swept the surrounding country, and captured several important posts. Constan'tius was so humbled, that he even proposed a treaty, but the terms on which Magnen'tius insisted were so insulting, that the emperor determined to encounter the hazard of a battle. Scarcely had he formed this resolution, when his army was strengthened by the accession of Sylva'nus, a general of some reputation, who, with a large body of cavalry, deserted from the enemy.

16. The decisive battle between the competitors for the empire, was fought under the walls of Mur'sa, a city on the river Drave. Magnen'tius attempted to take the place by storm, but was repulsed; and almost at the same moment, the imperial legions were seen advancing to raise the siege. The army of Magnen'tius consisted of the western legions that had already acquired fame in the wars of Gaul; with battalions of Germans and other barbarous tribes, that had of late years been incorporated with the regular forces. In addition to the imperial guards, Constan'tius had several troops of those oriental archers, whose skill with the bow was so justly celebrated; but far the most formidable part of his army were his mail-clad cuirassiers, whose scaly armour, and ponderous lances, made their charge almost irresistible. The cavalry on the emperor's left wing commenced the engagement, and broke through the Gallic legions in the first charge; the hardy veterans again rallied, were again charged, and again broken; at length, before they could form their lines, the light cavalry of the second rank rode, sword in hand, through the gaps made by the cuirassiers, and completed their destruction. Meantime, the Germans and barbarians stood exposed, with almost naked bodies, to the destructive shafts of the oriental archers; whole troops, stung with anguish and despair, threw themselves into the rapid stream of the Drave, and perished. Ere the sun had set, the army of Magnen'tius was irretrievably ruined; fifty-four thousand of the vanquished were slain, and the loss of the conquerors is said to have been even greater.

17. From this battle the ruin of the Roman empire may be dated; the loss of one hundred thousand of its best and bravest soldiers could not be repaired, and never again did any emperor possess a veteran army equal to that which fell on the fatal plains of Mur'sa. The defeat of Magnen'tius induced the Italian and African provinces to return to their allegiance; the Gauls, wearied out by the exactions which distress forced the usurper to levy, refused to acknowledge his authority, and at length his own soldiers raised the cry of "God save Constan'tius." To avoid the disgrace of a public execution, Magnen'tius committed suicide, and several members of his family imitated his example. The victor punished with relentless severity all who had shared in the guilt of this rebellion; and several who had been compelled to join in it by force shared the fate of those by whom it had been planned.

18. The Roman, empire was now once more united under a single monarch; but as that prince was wholly destitute of merit, his victory served only to establish the reign of worthless favourites. Of these the most distinguished was the chamberlain, Euse'bius, whose influence was so great that he was considered the master of the emperor; and to whose instigation many of the crimes committed by Constan'tius must be attributed.

19 Gal'lus and Ju'lian, who had escaped in the general massacre of the Flavian family, were detained as prisoners of state in a strong castle, which had once been the residence of the kings of Cappado'cia. Their education had not been neglected, and they had been assigned a household proportionate to the dignity of their birth. At length the emergencies of the state compelled Constan'tius to nominate an associate in the government of the empire; and Gal'lus now in the twenty-fifth year of his age, was summoned from his retirement, invested with the title of Csar, and married to the princess Constan'tina. 20. The latter circumstance proved his ruin; stimulated by the cruel ambition of his wife, he committed deeds of tyranny, which alienated the affections of his subjects, and acts bordering on treason, that roused the jealousy of Constan'tius. He was summoned to appear at the imperial court to explain his conduct, but was seized on his journey, made a close prisoner, and transmitted to Po'la a town in Ist'ria, where he was put to death.

21. Julian, the last remnant of the Flavian family, was, through the powerful intercession of the empress, spared, and permitted to pursue his studies in Athens. In that city, where the Pagan philosophy was still publicly taught, the future emperor imbibed the doctrines of the heathens, and thus acquired the epithet of Apostate, by which he is unenviably known to posterity. Julian was soon recalled from his retirement, and elevated to the station which his unfortunate brother had enjoyed. His investiture with the royal purple took place at Milan, whither Constantius had proceeded to quell a new insurrection in the western provinces.

22. Before the emperor returned to the east, he determined to revisit the ancient capital; and Rome, after an interval of more than thirty years, became for a brief space the residence the sovereign. He signalized his visit by presenting to the city an obelisk, which at a vast expense he procured to be transported from Egypt. 23. The renewed efforts of the Persians and other enemies of the empire in the East, recalled Constan'tius to Constantinople, while Julian was employed in driving from Gaul the barbarous tribes by which it had been invaded. The conduct of the young Csar, both as a soldier and a statesman, fully proved that literary habits do not disqualify a person from discharging the duties of active life; he subdued the enemies that devastated the country, and forced them to seek refuge in their native forests; he administered the affairs of state with so much wisdom, temperance, and equity, that he acquired the enthusiastic love of his subjects, and richly earned the admiration of posterity. 24. The unexpected glory obtained by Julian, awakened the jealousy of Constan'tius; he sent to demand from him a large body of forces, under the pretence that reinforcements were wanting in the East; but the soldiers refused to march, and Julian, after some affected delays, sanctioned their disobediance. A long negociation, in which there was little sincerity on either side, preceded any hostile step; both at length began to put their armies in motion, but the horrors of civil war were averted by the timely death of Constan'tius, who fell a victim to fever, aggravated by his impatience, at a small village near Tar'sus in Cili'cia.


Questions for Examination.

1. What was the character of Constantine the Great?

2. Did any evil result from the employment of spies?

3. In what manner were the sons of Constantine educated?

4. What conspiracy was formed against part of the imperial family?

5. Did any of the Flavian family escape from the massacre?

6. How was the empire divided between the sons of Constantine?

7. Who was the most formidable enemy of the empire?

8. How did the king of Persia behave in the Arabian war?

9. What were the chief events in the war between Sapor and Constantius? 10. How were Sapor and Constantius forced to make peace?

11. What was the fate of the younger Constantine?

12. By whom was Constans dethroned?

13. What parties embraced the cause of Vetranio?

14. How did Constantius treat the Illyrian general?

15. Was Magnentius deserted by any of his forces?

16. What were the circumstances of the battle of Mursa?

17. What important results were occasioned by this great battle?

18. Who was the prime minister of Constantius?

19. Whom did the emperor select as an associate?

20. How was Gallus brought to an untimely end?

21. Where was Julian educated?

22. Did Constantius visit Rome?

23. How did Julian conduct himself in Gaul?

24. What led to the war between Julian and Constantius?




To him, as to the bursting levin, Brief, bright, resistless course was given, Till burst the bolt on yonder shore, Burn'd, blaz'd, destroy'd--and was no more.--Scott.


1. Julian was in his thirty-second year when by the death of his cousin he became undisputed sovereign of the Roman empire; his worst error was his apostacy from Christianity; he hated the religion he had deserted, and laboured strenuously to substitute in its place an idle system which combined the most rational part of the old heathen system with the delusive philosophy of the schools. Vanity was his besetting sin; he chose to be considered a philosopher rather than a sovereign, and to acquire that title he thought fit to reject the decencies of this life, and the best guide to that which is to come. A treatise is extant from Julian's pen, in which he expatiates with singular complacency on the filth of his beard, the length of his nails, and the inky blackness of his hands, as if cleanliness was inconsistent with the philosophic character! In every other respect, the conduct of Julian merits high praise; he was just, merciful, and tolerant; though frequently urged to become a persecutor, he allowed his subjects that freedom of opinion which he claimed for himself, unlike Constan'tius, who, having embraced the Arian heresy, treated his Catholic subjects with the utmost severity. 2. But, though Julian would not inflict punishment for a difference of opinion, he enacted several disqualifying laws, by which he laboured to deprive the Christians of wealth, of knowledge, and of power; he ordered their schools to be closed, and he jealously excluded them from all civil and military offices. 3. To destroy the effects of that prophecy in the Gospel to which Christians may appeal as a standing miracle in proof of revelation,--the condition of the Jews,--Julian determined to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem, and restore the children of Israel to the land of their fathers. Historians worthy of credit inform us, that his plan was defeated by a direct miraculous interposition, and there are few historical facts supported by more decisive testimony; but even if the miracle be denied, the prophecy must be considered as having received decisive confirmation, from the acknowledged fact, that the emperor entertained such a design, and was unable to effect its accomplishment.

4. The mutual hatred of the Pagans and Christians would probably have rekindled the flames of civil war, had not Julian fallen in an expedition against the Persians. 5. The emperor triumphantly advanced through the dominions of Sa'por as far as the Ti'gris; but the Asiatics, though defeated in the field, adopted means of defence more terrible to an invader than arms. They laid waste the country, destroyed the villages, and burned the crops in the Roman line of march; a burning sun weakened the powers of the western veterans, and when famine was added to the severity of the climate, their sufferings became intolerable. 6. With a heavy heart Julian at last gave orders to commence a retreat, and led his exhausted soldiers back over the desert plains which they had already passed with so much difficulty. The retrograde march was terribly harassed by the light cavalry of the Persians, a species of troops peculiarly fitted for desultory warfare. The difficulties of the Romans increased at every step, and the harassing attacks of their pursuers became more frequent and more formidable; at length, in a skirmish which almost deserved the name of a battle, Julian was mortally wounded, and with his loss the Romans dearly purchased a doubtful victory.

7. In the doubt and dismay which followed the death of Ju'lian, a few voices saluted Jo'vian, the first of the imperial domestics, with the title of emperor, and the army ratified the choice. The new sovereign successfully repelled some fresh attacks of the Persians, but despairing of final success, he entered into a treaty with Sa'por, and purchased a peace, or rather a long truce of thirty years, by the cession of several frontier provinces.

8. The first care of Jo'vian was to fulfil the stipulated articles; the Roman garrisons and colonies so long settled in the frontier towns that they esteemed them as their native soil, were withdrawn; and the Romans beheld with regret the omen of their final destruction in the first dismemberment of the empire. The first edict in the new reign contained a repeal of Julian's disqualifying laws, and a grant of universal toleration. This judicious measure at once showed how ineffectual had been the efforts of the late emperor to revive the fallen spirit of paganism; the temples were immediately deserted, the sacrifices neglected, the priests left alone at their altars; those who, to gratify the former sovereign assumed the dress and title of philosophers, were assailed by such storms of ridicule, that they laid aside the designation, shaved their beards, and were soon undistinguished in the general mass of society. 9. Jo'vian did not long survive this peaceful triumph of Christianity; after a reign of eight months, he was found dead in his bed, having been suffocated by the mephitic vapours which a charcoal fire extracted from the fresh plaster, on the walls of his apartment.

[Sidenote: A.D. 364.]

10. During ten days the Roman empire remained without a sovereign, but finally the soldiers elevated to the imperial purple, Valentinian, the son of count Gratian, an officer of distinguished merit. He chose as his associate in the government his brother Valens, whose only claim seems to have rested on fraternal affection; to him he entrusted the rich prefecture of the East, while he himself assumed the administration of the western provinces, and fixed the seat of his government at Milan. 11. Though in other respects cruel, Valentinian was remarkable for maintaining a system of religious toleration; but Valens was far from pursuing such a laudable course. He had imbibed the errors of Arius, and bitterly persecuted all who remained faithful to the Catholic doctrines. By this unwise conduct he provoked a formidable rebellion, which was headed by Proco'pius, an able general, whom unjust persecution had stimulated to revolt. 12. The success of the usurper was at first so great, that Va'lens was ready to yield up his throne; but being dissuaded from this inglorious resolution, he entrusted the conduct of the war to the aged prefect Sallust, who had twice refused the imperial diadem. The followers of Proco'pius soon deserted to those leaders whose names were endeared to their recollections by the remembrance of former glories; and the unfortunate leader, forsaken by all, was made prisoner and delivered to the executioner.

13. In the mean time, Valenti'nian was engaged in a desperate warfare with the German and other barbarous nations, who had recovered from the losses which they had suffered under Ju'lian. On every frontier of the western empire hordes of enemies appeared, eager for plunder, regardless of their own lives, and merciless to those of others. 14. The Picts and Scots rushed from the mountains of Caledo'nia upon the colonies of North Britain, and devastated the country with fire and sword, almost to the walls of London. The task of quelling these incursions was entrusted to the gallant Theodo'sius, and the event proved that Valentinian could not have made a better choice. In the course of two campaigns, the invaders were driven back to their forests, and a Roman fleet sweeping the coasts of Britain, made them tremble for the safety of their own retreats.

15. The success of the emperor against the Saxons, the Franks, the Alleman'ni[1], the Qua'di, and other tribes on the Rhine and Danube, was not less conspicuous than that of Theodo'sius in Britain. 16. The Qua'di, humbled by a severe defeat, sent ambassadors to deprecate his displeasure; but while Valenti'nian was angrily upbraiding the deputies for their unprovoked hostility, he ruptured a blood-vessel and died almost instantaneously. He was succeeded by his sons Gra'tian and Valenti'nian II.

17. A much more important change took place in the eastern world; the first admission of the barbarian tribes into the empire, which they finally destroyed.

[Sidenote: A.D. 376.]

The nation of the Goths had been from remote ages settled on the banks of the Danube, and were by that river divided into two nations, the Ostrogoths on the east, and the Visigoths on the west. They had for many years enjoyed the blessings of profound peace under the government of their king Herman'ric, when they were suddenly alarmed by the appearance of vast hordes of unknown enemies on their northern and eastern frontiers. These were the Huns, a branch of the great Mongolian race, which, from the earliest time, had possessed the vast and wild plains of Tartary. Terrified by the numbers, the strength, the strange features and implacable cruelty of such foes, the Goths deserted their country, almost without attempting opposition, and supplicated the emperor Va'lens to grant them a settlement in the waste lands of Thrace. This request was cheerfully granted, and the eastern empire was supposed to be strengthened by the accession of a million of valiant subjects, bound both by interest and gratitude to protect its frontiers.

18. But the avarice of Va'lens and his ministers defeated these expectations; instead of relieving their new subjects, the Roman governors took advantage of their distress to plunder the remains of their shattered fortunes, and to reduce their children to slavery. Maddened by such oppression, the Goths rose in arms, and spread desolation over the fertile plains of Thrace. Va'lens summoned his nephew, Gratian, to his assistance; but before the emperor of the west arrived, he imprudently engaged the Goths near Adrianople, and with the greater part of his army fell on the field. 19. This was the most disastrous defeat which the Romans had sustained for several centuries; and there was reason to dread that it would encourage a revolt of the Gothic slaves in the eastern provinces, which must terminate in the ruin of the empire. To prevent such a catastrophe, the senate of Constantinople ordered a general massacre of these helpless mortals, and their atrocious edict was put into immediate execution. 20. The Goths attempted to besiege both Adrianople and Constantinople, but, ignorant of the art of attacking fortified places, they were easily repelled; but they however succeeded in forcing their way through the Thracian mountains, and spread themselves over the provinces to the west, as far as the Adriatic sea and the confines of Italy. The march of the emperor Gratian had been delayed by the hostility of the Alleman'ni, whom he subdued in two bloody engagements; but as he advanced towards Adrianople, fame brought the news of his uncle's defeat and death, which he found himself unable to revenge.

21. Feeling that the affairs of the East required the direction of a mind more energetic than his own, he determined to invest with the imperial purple, Theodo'sius, the son of that general who had rescued Britain from the barbarians. How great must have been his confidence in the fidelity of his new associate, who had a father's death to revenge; for the elder Theodo'sius, notwithstanding his splendid services, had fallen a victim to the jealous suspicions of the emperor!

22. The reign of Theodo'sius in the East lasted nearly sixteen years, and was marked by a display of unusual vigour and ability. He broke the power of the Goths by many severe defeats, and disunited their leading tribes by crafty negociations. But the continued drain on the population, caused by the late destructive wars, compelled him to recruit his forces among the tribes of the barbarians, and a change was thus made in the character and discipline of the Roman army, which in a later age produced the most calamitous consequences. The exuberant zeal, which led him to persecute the Arians and the pagans, occasioned some terrible convulsions, which distracted the empire, and were not quelled without bloodshed. He, however, preserved the integrity of the empire, and not a province was lost during his administration.

23. The valour which Gratian had displayed in the early part of his life, rendered the indolence and luxury to which he abandoned himself, after the appointment of Theodo'sius, more glaring. The general discontent of the army induced Max'imus, the governor of Britain, to raise the standard of revolt, and, passing over to the continent, he was joined by the greater part of the Gallic legions. When this rebellion broke out Gratian was enjoying the sports of the field in the neighbourhood of Paris, and did not discover his danger until it was too late to escape. He attempted to save his life by flight, but was overtaken by the emissaries of the usurper, near Lyons, and assassinated. 24. Theodo'sius was induced to make peace with Max'imus, on condition that the latter should content himself with the prefecture of Gaul, and should not invade the territories of the younger Valentin'ian. 25. Ambition hurried the faithless usurper to his ruin; having by perfidy obtained possession of the passes of the Alps, he led an overwhelming army into Italy, and Valenti'nian, with his mother Justi'na, were scarcely able, by a hasty flight, to escape to the friendly court of Theodo'sius.

26. The emperor of the East readily embraced the cause of the fugitives; the numerous troops of barbarian cavalry which he had taken into pay, enabled him to proceed with a celerity which baffled all calculation. 27. Before Maximus could make any preparations for his reception, Theodosius had completely routed his army, and was already at the gates of Aquilei'a, where the usurper had taken refuge. The garrison, secretly disinclined to the cause of Maximus, made but a faint resistance, the town was taken, and the unfortunate ruler led as a captive into the presence of his conqueror, by whom he was delivered to the executioner.

Theodo'sius, having re-established the authority of the youthful Valentin'ian, returned home. But the emperor of the West did not long enjoy his restored throne; he was murdered by Arbogas'tes, his prime minister, who dreaded that the abilities displayed by the young prince would enable him, when arrived to maturity, to shake off the authority of an unprincipled servant. 28. The assassin was afraid himself to assume the purple, but he procured the election of Euge'nius, a man not wholly unworthy of empire. Theodo'sius was called by these events a second time to Italy; he passed the Alps, but found his further progress impeded by the judicious disposition which Arbogas'tes had made of his forces. Defeated in his first attack, Theodo'sius renewed the engagement on the following day, and being aided by the seasonable revolt of some Italian legions, obtained a complete victory. Euge'nius was taken prisoner, and put to death by the soldiers. Arbogas'tes, after wandering some time in the mountains, lost all hope of escape, and terminated his life by suicide.

29. The empire was thus once more reunited under the government of a single sovereign; but he was already stricken by the hand of death. The fatigues of the late campaign proved too much for a constitution already broken by the alternate pleasures of the palace and the toils of the camp; four months after the defeat of Euge'nius, he died at Milan, universally lamented.


Questions for Examination.

1. What was the character of Julian?

2. To what disqualifications did he subject the Christians?

3. How was Julian frustrated in his attempt to weaken the prophetic evidence of Christianity?

4. How was a civil contest between the Pagans and Christians averted?

5. What success had Julian in the Persian invasion?

6. How did Julian die?

7. Who succeeded Julian?

8. What were the most important occurrences in the reign of Jovian?

9. What caused Jovian's death?

10. Who were the successors of Jovian?

11. How did Valens provoke a revolt?

12. By what means was the rebellion of Procopius suppressed?

13. What barbarous nations attacked the Roman empire?

14. In what state was Britain at this period?

15. Over what enemies did the emperor triumph?

16. What occasioned the death of Valentinian?

17. What caused the introduction of the Goths into the Roman empire?

18. How did the imprudence of Valens cause his destruction?

19. What atrocious edict was issued by the senate of Constantinople?

20. How was Gratian prevented from avenging his uncle's death?

21. To whom did Gratian entrust the eastern provinces?

22. How did Theodosius administer the government of the East?

23. By whom was Gratian deposed and slain?

24. On what conditions did Theodosius make peace with Maximus?

25. Were these conditions observed?

26. How did the war between Theodosius and Maximus terminate?

27. Did Valentinian long survive his restoration?

28. How did Theodosius act on the news of Valentinian's murder?

29. What caused the death of Theodosius?



[1] From this powerful tribe Germany is still called, by the French, _Allemagne_.

Oliver Goldsmith