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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

Rehearsed their genuine Trisagion


penitent, and hushed the waves

of the troubled multitude. The triumph of Macedonius was checked by a speedy exile; but the zeal of his flock was again exasperated by the same question, "Whether one of the Trinity had been crucified?" On this momentous occasion, the blue and green factions of Constantinople suspended their discord, and the civil and military powers were annihilated in their presence. The keys of the city, and the standards of the guards, were deposited in the forum of Constantine, the principal station and camp of the faithful. Day and night they were incessantly busied either in singing hymns to the honor of their God, or in pillaging and murdering the servants of their prince. The head of his favorite monk, the friend, as they styled him, of the enemy of the Holy Trinity, was borne aloft on a spear; and the firebrands, which had been darted against heretical structures, diffused the undistinguishing flames over the most orthodox buildings. The statues of the emperor were broken, and his person was concealed in a suburb, till, at the end of three days, he dared to implore the mercy of his subjects. Without his diadem, and in the posture of a suppliant, Anastasius appeared on the throne of the circus. The Catholics, before his face, rehearsed their genuine Trisagion; they exulted in the offer, which he proclaimed by the voice of a herald, of abdicating the purple; they listened to the admonition, that, since all could not reign, they should previously agree in the choice of a sovereign; and
they accepted the blood of two unpopular ministers, whom their master, without hesitation, condemned to the lions. These furious but transient seditions were encouraged by the success of Vitalian, who, with an army of Huns and Bulgarians, for the most part idolaters, declared himself the champion of the Catholic faith. In this pious rebellion he depopulated Thrace, besieged Constantinople, exterminated sixty-five thousand of his fellow-Christians, till he obtained the recall of the bishops, the satisfaction of the pope, and the establishment of the council of Chalcedon, an orthodox treaty, reluctantly signed by the dying Anastasius, and more faithfully performed by the uncle of Justinian. And such was the event of the first of the religious wars which have been waged in the name and by the disciples, of the God of peace. [79]

[Footnote 76: Petavius (Dogmat. Theolog. tom. v. l. v. c. 2, 3, 4, p. 217-225) and Tillemont (Mem. Eccles. tom. xiv. p. 713, &c., 799) represent the history and doctrine of the Trisagion. In the twelve centuries between Isaiah and St. Proculs's boy, who was taken up into heaven before the bishop and people of Constantinople, the song was considerably improved. The boy heard the angels sing, "Holy God! Holy strong! Holy immortal!"]

[Footnote 77: Peter Gnapheus, the fuller, (a trade which he had exercised in his monastery,) patriarch of Antioch. His tedious story is discussed in the Annals of Pagi (A.D. 477--490) and a dissertation of M. de Valois at the end of his Evagrius.]

[Footnote 78: The troubles under the reign of Anastasius must be gathered from the Chronicles of Victor, Marcellinus, and Theophanes. As the last was not published in the time of Baronius, his critic Pagi is more copious, as well as more correct.]

[Footnote 79: The general history, from the council of Chalcedon to the death of Anastasius, may be found in the Breviary of Liberatus, (c. 14--19,) the iid and iiid books of Evagrius, the abstract of the two books of Theodore the Reader, the Acts of the Synods, and the Epistles of the Pope, (Concil. tom. v.) The series is continued with some disorder in the xvth and xvith tomes of the Memoires Ecclesiastiques of Tillemont. And here I must take leave forever of that incomparable guide--whose bigotry is overbalanced by the merits of erudition, diligence, veracity, and scrupulous minuteness. He was prevented by death from completing, as he designed, the vith century of the church and empire.]


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