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the seat of the Eastern Empire. The period of this war was about A.D. 567, and at this epoch the Turks first appear in the history of Europe. The record of the house of Alboin is simply a record of crime and murder. He carried away his wife by violence, and, after killing her father Cunimund, he made a drinking-cup of his skull; and not content with this barbarity he made his wife drink from that fatal cup. He fell a victim to his wife's revenge for this outrage. The King of the Lombards,' says Gibbon, 'contemplated with delight the head of Cunimund, and his skull was fashioned into a cup to satiate the hatred of the conqueror, or perhaps to comply with the savage custom of the country.' We can hardly wonder at the awful sequel of this painful history. Human nature recoils and shudders at the history of these Lombards in the early years of their appearance in the history of the Roman Empire. It is to this period, and the few years immediately succeeding it, that the history of John of Ephesus relates. It does not add much to our knowledge of the civil history of the time, because the whole soul of the author is occupied with the controversy between the Monophysites and the Catholic Church. It is rather difficult to characterise this controversy, because John of Ephesus and the Monophysites call themselves the orthodox'-a designation which the Catholic Church can never concede to those who confound the Divine and the human natures in Christ. John of Ephesus was one of the leaders of the Monophysites and writes in the true spirit of a partisan. Parties ran high at that time in Constantinople, and to those who consider the history of the hunian mind, and the influence of dogmatic teaching upon it, worthy subjects of contemplation, the history of John of Ephesus will always present a field of deep interest.

The Empress Theodora, once the most shameless and abandoned of women, abominable even in an abominable age, but afterwards the wife of Justinian, was a decided patroness of the Monophysites, and under her influence Theodosius, the exiled patriarch of Alexandria, resided at Constantinople. He had been exiled for these opinions, and the devotion of the empress to the Monophysite heresy is recorded in a note in Gibbon, which, though it partakes of the sneering nature of his style, is not so offensive to the faith or the modesty of his readers, as most of his notes on the subject of Theodora.

The history, as it now remains to us, begins with an account of the persecution and the cruelties committed on the 'orthodox,' as John of Ephesus calls them, by the machinations of John of Sirmium, which occurred about the close of the year A.D. 570. The commencement of the book is lost, but the persecution must


have been very severe. Bishops and divines in those days were not permitted to ventilate heretical opinions with the impunity of our own theological sciolists. The Council of Robbers, as the Council of Ephesus (A.D. 449) was called, visited with such severity what they deemed the heresy of Flavianus, that they publicly scourged him—to say nothing of the irregular kicks and bruises he received and treated him with such barbarity that he ended his days within a very short space of time after the Council. The Council of Chalcedon, as is well known, in A.D. 451 re-established the Catholic doctrine of the two natures in one person, and its teaching was the test in after days to which the orthodoxy of churches and individuals was subjected. John of Ephesus throughout his history treats the Catholics as heretics, and calls them by the opprobrious term of

Synodites,' because they agreed with this Council in their views upon


and nature of Christ. In the mind of John of Ephesus a Synodite was a compound of heresy, cruelty, and every vice under the sun ; while the Monophysites were, in his view, the orthodox.' The commencement of the book is lost, but it appears

that the convents in outlying places had been searched, and men and women dragged to prison and treated with the utmost indignity. They were eaten up by vermin, and denied the means of cleanliness and health. The clergy and others came to them in prison, not alas ! to minister to their brethren in their sorrow, but to oppress and insult them! One of the most aggravated forms of insult appears to have been the attempt to compel them to join in the Holy Communion with the Synodites, who were simply an abomination to them. The prisoners would throw themselves upon the ground, and utter solemn imprecations on those who would thus force them to communicate, while their persecutors, disregarding their screams, forced the consecrated bread into their mouths, their hands being held to prevent resistance.

To men who had definite principles, which they believed to be of vital importance, these forced communions were most abhorrent. Even the coldest of modern Christians would refuse and resist any forced participation in heathen worship. And we must remember that, while the controversy about the two natures in Christ was at its height, each party esteemed the other almost as unsound as heathens.

Several persons of distinction, especially Paul, Bishop of Antioch, and Stephan, Bishop of Cyprus, as well as John of Ephesus himself, were involved in this persecution. Stephan was treated with extraordinary severity, and a class of argument was applied to him which, although sufficiently potent, was neither ecclesiastical nor logical. Several life-guardsmen (excubitores) were sent to chastise him with clubs, which they did till he vomited blood. They were, however, touched with something like a feeling of compassion when they saw their victim fainting away, and they seemed to fear that he might die under their hands: so they threw pails of water over their fainting heretic. These convincing arguments, and the consideration that many others were compromised by his opposition, appear to have shaken the resolution of Stephan, and he listened to terms of union. But when John of Sirmium proposed to reconsecrate him, this was an indignity he could not away with! He demanded that his orders and his consecration should be considered valid, or that he should be re-baptized as well as re-consecrated. Indeed, when this was again proposed in Church, Stephan rushed away suddenly and appeared before the Emperor, exclaiming that the Christian Church was ruined, and its canons confounded! He persuaded the Emperor that his cause was just, and his Majesty drew up an edict reprobating the whole proceeding, and forbidding any attempt to enforce it.


The history of these transactions must sound strangely to the ears of those who are accustomed to a constitutional monarchy with a Church, the laws of which are not at the mercy of the sovereign. It is true that the House of Commons occasionally shows a desire to be nibbling at the spiritual functions, as well as the temporalities of the Church. But this ordinance of the Emperor concerning a point of ecclesiastical discipline and doctrine, without consultation with any ecclesiastical authority, places the sovereign in a point of view which astonishes modern readers. But, after all, notwithstanding this act of power on the part of the sovereign, the dominant faction was able by bribery to smother all notice of this edict, and thus evade its force !

It would be a very useful task if any competent person would go through this volume and arrange the information it gives under special heads. It is so desultory in its method, or rather in its want of method, that although devoted only to one subject, it confuses even that one subject by the unconnected way in which all that relates to it is narrated. Dr. Land has given a chronological table of its contents, but this is insufficient, as a fuller abstract in chronological order is needed. Mr. Payne Smith, in his translation, has very judiciously incorporated into a continuous narrative all those portions of the work which will bear this treatment, by bringing together, at the earliest mention of any person,

the scattered notices which relate to him in subsequent portions of the history. At the period at which the history of John of Ephesus com


mences, Justin II. was seized by a mysterious visitation of Providence—a sickness which is rather mysteriously related by all the authorities. * It appears to have affected his feet and his mind. In A.D. 574, Justin joined Tiberius with himself in the Empire, and by this wise precaution he found a support for himself in the season of his weakness, and a competent successor to his throne. Many of the circumstances of this sickness are very graphically described by John of Ephesus; and, as the statement of a contemporary who had enjoyed the favour of Justinian for many years, his accounts will have considerable weight. Indeed that portion of the civil history of the Roman Empire can never be written again without a thorough investigation of the statements of this writer.

We furnish a few of the curious details which he has preserved relative to this mental affliction of the Monarch, but, of course, in estimating their value, we must remember that John of Ephesus considers this disease as divinely sent to punish him for persecuting 'the orthodox’ (Monophysites). He distinctly declares that this wicked persecution by means of John of Sirmium had brought God's judgment upon the Emperor, and that this judgment was sent by means of an evil angel, who suddenly entered into him, and took his form and domineered over him.' And he specifies the manner in which this evil angel tormented him. "He barked like a dog and bleated like a goat, and then he would mew like a cat, and again crow like a cock;' so that the zoological noises, which so frequently greeted the ears of the first reformed House of Commons were by no means original vagaries. The narrative then proceeds thus :

At other times the evil spirit filled him with agitation and terror so that he rushed about in furious haste from place to place, and crept, if he could, under the bed, and hid himself among the pillows; and then, when the horror came upon him, he would rush out with hot and violent speed, and run to the windows to throw himself down. And his attendants, in spite of their respect for him as king, had to run after him, and lay hold of him, to prevent him from dashing himself down and being killed : and the Queen was obliged to give orders for carpenters to come and fix bars in the windows, and close them up on the whole of that side of the palace on which the King lived. Moreover, they selected strong young men to act as his chamberlains and guard him; for when they were obliged, in the way I have described, to run after him and seize him, as he was a powerful man,

* Justin collected the remaining strength of his mind and body, but the popular belief that his speech was inspired by the Deity, betrays a very humble opinion both of the man and of his times.' Gibbon, ch. xlv. The meaning of this sentence is by uo means clear, and it seems to be one of those instances where he draws the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument.' Vol. 117.-No. 233. M



he would turn upon them, and seize them with his teeth, and tear them; and two of them he bit so severely about the head as seriously to injure them, and they were ill, and the report got about the city that the King had eaten two of his chamberlains. And sometimes, as was said, they had even to tie him up, while he screamed and howled and uttered words without meaning; but if they said to him, The Bogle is coming for you, he would be still in a moment, and run away and hide himself; and any name which they mentioned was enough to frighten him, and make him run away, and be quiet, and creep under his bed. .

'In this disordered state of the King's intellect, those about him devised various kinds of amusements, both to divert his attention, and in the hope of restoring him to the use of his reason. The most successful of these was a little wagon, with a throne upon it for him to sit upon, and having placed him on it, his chamberlains drew him about, and ran with him backwards and forwards for a long time, while he, in delight and admiration at their speed, desisted from many of his absurdities. Another was an organ, which they kept almost constantly playing day and night near his chamber; and as long as he heard the sound of the tunes which it played he remained quiet; but occasionally, even then, a sudden horror would come upon him, and he would break out into cries, and be guilty of strange actions. For once, when the patriarch came to visit him, and drew near and made his obeisance, seeing that the King was agitated, he signed him with the sign of the cross; upon which he raised his hand, and struck him so heavy a blow on the head, that the patriarch reeled and fell on his back a good distance from him, while the King exclaimed, “ An evil end be thine; go and sign thyself, that thine own devils may get out of thee." The rest meanwhile took the bishop and raised him up; but it was some time before he returned to his senses, being stunned by the severity of the blow. At another time, as it was impossible for the patriarch not to pay the customary visits to the palace, upon his entering cautiously and on his guard, the King, at the sight of him, fell into a fit of laughter, and jumping up, laid hands upon him, and took from his shoulder his mitre, which is the insignia of the episcopal oflice, and spread it out and put it upon his head, like a woman's hood, and looking at it, said, “ How well it becomes you now, my lord patriarch! only you should put on some gold lace, like the ribands which the ladies wear upon their heads.” At another time, standing at a window overlooking the seashore, he began to cry like those who go about hawking crockery, "Who'll buy my pans ?” And many other such things he did which it is impossible to relate, and which were wrought in him by the devil, to whom he was given up; and which were the common talk of every city and village, and house and street, and tavern within and without Constantinople : and even upon the way all men talked of them with much wonder and astonishment.'

* “ John of Ephesus,' ii, 2-4. Smith's Translation, p. 167 seq. It will be observed that Mr. Smith, following the Syriac form of expression, uses the words King and Queen instead of Emperor and Empress. Dr. Schönfelder has transmed parts of this passage most incorrectly


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