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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

And the rebel army was sanctified by the abuna


[Footnote

155: The abuna is improperly dignified by the Latins with the title of patriarch. The Abyssinians acknowledge only the four patriarchs, and their chief is no more than a metropolitan or national primate, (Ludolph. Hist. Aethiopic. et Comment. l. iii. c. 7.) The seven bishops of Renaudot, (p. 511,) who existed A.D. 1131, are unknown to the historian.]

[Footnote 156: I know not why Assemannus (Bibliot. Orient. tom. ii. p. 384) should call in question these probable missions of Theodora into Nubia and Aethiopia. The slight notices of Abyssinia till the year 1500 are supplied by Renaudot (p. 336-341, 381, 382, 405, 443, &c., 452, 456, 463, 475, 480, 511, 525, 559--564) from the Coptic writers. The mind of Ludolphus was a perfect blank.]

[Footnote 157: Ludolph. Hist. Aethiop. l. iv. c. 5. The most necessary arts are now exercised by the Jews, and the foreign trade is in the hands of the Armenians. What Gregory principally admired and envied was the industry of Europe--artes et opificia.]

[Footnote 158: John Bermudez, whose relation, printed at Lisbon, 1569, was translated into English by Purchas, (Pilgrims, l. vii. c. 7, p. 1149, &c.,) and from thence into French by La Croze, (Christianisme d'Ethiopie, p. 92--265.) The piece is curious; but the author may be suspected of deceiving Abyssinia, Rome, and Portugal. His title to the rank of patriarch is dark and doubtful, (Ludolph. Comment.

No. 101, p. 473.)]

But the vows which pain had extorted were forsworn on the return of health. The Abyssinians still adhered with unshaken constancy to the Monophysite faith; their languid belief was inflamed by the exercise of dispute; they branded the Latins with the names of Arians and Nestorians, and imputed the adoration of four gods to those who separated the two natures of Christ. Fremona, a place of worship, or rather of exile, was assigned to the Jesuit missionaries. Their skill in the liberal and mechanic arts, their theological learning, and the decency of their manners, inspired a barren esteem; but they were not endowed with the gift of miracles, [159] and they vainly solicited a reenforcement of European troops. The patience and dexterity of forty years at length obtained a more favorable audience, and two emperors of Abyssinia were persuaded that Rome could insure the temporal and everlasting happiness of her votaries. The first of these royal converts lost his crown and his life; and the rebel army was sanctified by the abuna, who hurled an anathema at the apostate, and absolved his subjects from their oath of fidelity. The fate of Zadenghel was revenged by the courage and fortune of Susneus, who ascended the throne under the name of Segued, and more vigorously prosecuted the pious enterprise of his kinsman. After the amusement of some unequal combats between the Jesuits and his illiterate priests, the emperor declared himself a proselyte to the synod of Chalcedon, presuming that his clergy and people would embrace without delay the religion of their prince. The liberty of choice was succeeded


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