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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

Those of Theophanes Chronograph


[Footnote 55: Theophylact, l. viii. c. 15. The life of Maurice was composed about the year 628 (l. viii. c. 13) by Theophylact Simocatta, ex-praefect, a native of Egypt. Photius, who gives an ample extract of the work, (cod. lxv. p. 81--100,) gently reproves the affectation and allegory of the style. His preface is a dialogue between Philosophy and History; they seat themselves under a plane-tree, and the latter touches her lyre.]

[Footnote 56: Christianis nec pactum esse, nec fidem nec foedus ..... quod si ulla illis fides fuisset, regem suum non occidissent. Eutych. Annales tom. ii. p. 211, vers. Pocock.]

[Footnote 57: We must now, for some ages, take our leave of contemporary historians, and descend, if it be a descent, from the affectation of rhetoric to the rude simplicity of chronicles and abridgments. Those of Theophanes (Chronograph. p. 244--279) and Nicephorus (p. 3--16) supply a regular, but imperfect, series of the Persian war; and for any additional facts I quote my special authorities. Theophanes, a courtier who became a monk, was born A.D. 748; Nicephorus patriarch of Constantinople, who died A.D. 829, was somewhat younger: they both suffered in the cause of images Hankius, de Scriptoribus Byzantinis, p. 200-246.]

[Footnote 58: The Persian historians have been themselves deceived: but Theophanes (p. 244) accuses Chosroes of the fraud and falsehood; and Eutychius believes (Annal. tom. ii. p. 212) that the son of Maurice, who was saved from the assassins, lived and died a monk on Mount Sinai.]

The first intelligence from the East which Heraclius received, [59] was that of the loss of Antioch; but the aged metropolis, so often overturned by earthquakes, and pillaged by the enemy, could supply but a small and languid stream of treasure and blood. The Persians were equally successful, and more fortunate, in the sack of Caesarea, the capital of Cappadocia; and as they advanced beyond the ramparts of the frontier, the boundary of ancient war, they found a less obstinate resistance and a more plentiful harvest. The pleasant vale of Damascus has been adorned in every age with a royal city: her obscure felicity has hitherto escaped the historian of the Roman empire: but Chosroes reposed his troops in the paradise of Damascus before he ascended the hills of Libanus, or invaded the cities of the Phoenician coast. The conquest of Jerusalem, [60] which had been meditated by Nushirvan, was achieved by the zeal and avarice of his grandson; the ruin of the proudest monument of Christianity was vehemently urged by the intolerant spirit of the Magi; and he could enlist for this holy warfare with an army of six-and-twenty thousand Jews, whose furious bigotry might compensate, in some degree, for the want of valor and discipline. [6011] After the reduction of Galilee, and the region beyond the Jordan, whose resistance appears to have delayed the fate of the capital, Jerusalem itself was taken by assault. The sepulchre of Christ, and the stately churches of Helena and Constantine, were consumed, or at least damaged, by the flames; the devout offerings of three hundred years were rifled in one sacrilegious


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