free ebooks

History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

And if Chosroes had possessed any maritime power


day; the Patriarch Zachariah, and the true cross, were transported into Persia; and the massacre of ninety thousand Christians is imputed to the Jews and Arabs, who swelled the disorder of the Persian march. The fugitives of Palestine were entertained at Alexandria by the charity of John the Archbishop, who is distinguished among a crowd of saints by the epithet of almsgiver: [61] and the revenues of the church, with a treasure of three hundred thousand pounds, were restored to the true proprietors, the poor of every country and every denomination. But Egypt itself, the only province which had been exempt, since the time of Diocletian, from foreign and domestic war, was again subdued by the successors of Cyrus. Pelusium, the key of that impervious country, was surprised by the cavalry of the Persians: they passed, with impunity, the innumerable channels of the Delta, and explored the long valley of the Nile, from the pyramids of Memphis to the confines of Aethiopia. Alexandria might have been relieved by a naval force, but the archbishop and the praefect embarked for Cyprus; and Chosroes entered the second city of the empire, which still preserved a wealthy remnant of industry and commerce. His western trophy was erected, not on the walls of Carthage, [62] but in the neighborhood of Tripoli; the Greek colonies of Cyrene were finally extirpated; and the conqueror, treading in the footsteps of Alexander, returned in triumph through the sands of the Libyan desert. In the same campaign, another army advanced from the Euphrates to the Thracian Bosphorus; Chalcedon surrendered after a long siege, and a Persian camp was maintained above ten years in the presence of Constantinople. The sea-coast of Pontus, the city of Ancyra, and the Isle of Rhodes, are enumerated among the last conquests of the great king; and if Chosroes had possessed any maritime power, his boundless ambition would have spread slavery and desolation over the provinces of Europe.

[Footnote 59: Eutychius dates all the losses of the empire under the reign of Phocas; an error which saves the honor of Heraclius, whom he brings not from Carthage, but Salonica, with a fleet laden with vegetables for the relief of Constantinople, (Annal. tom. ii. p. 223, 224.) The other Christians of the East, Barhebraeus, (apud Asseman, Bibliothec. Oriental. tom. iii. p. 412, 413,) Elmacin, (Hist. Saracen. p. 13--16,) Abulpharagius, (Dynast. p. 98, 99,) are more sincere and accurate. The years of the Persian war are disposed in the chronology of Pagi.]

[Footnote 60: On the conquest of Jerusalem, an event so interesting to the church, see the Annals of Eutychius, (tom. ii. p. 212--223,) and the lamentations of the monk Antiochus, (apud Baronium, Annal. Eccles. A.D. 614, No. 16--26,) whose one hundred and twenty-nine homilies are still extant, if what no one reads may be said to be extant.]

[Footnote 6011: See Hist. of Jews, vol. iii. p. 240.--M.]

[Footnote 61: The life of this worthy saint is composed by Leontius, a contemporary bishop; and I find in Baronius (Annal. Eccles. A.D. 610, No. 10, &c.) and Fleury (tom. viii. p. 235-242) sufficient extracts of this edifying work.]


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us