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eession, to interpret wealth as an evidence of CHA P. guilt, and to proceed from the claim of inheritance, to the power of confiscation. VII. Among the forms of rapine, a philosopher may be permitted to name the conversion of Pagan or heretical riches to the use of the faithful; but in the time of Justinian, this holy plunder was condemned by the sectaries alone, who became the victims of his orthodox avarice *.

Dishonour might be ultimately reflected on the The ministers of Juscharacter of Justinian; but much of the guilt, tinian. and still more of the profit, was intercepted by the ministers, who were seldom promoted for their virtues, and not always selected for their talents. The merits of Tribonian the quæstor will hereafter be weighed in the reformation of the Roman law; but the economy of the East was subordinate to the prætorian præfect, and Procopius has justified his anecdotes by the portrait which he exposes in his public history. of the notorious vices of John of Cappadocia His knowledge was not borrowed from schools, and his style was scarcely legible;

. John of Cappado

the c



* John Malala, tom. ii. p. 101, 102, 103.

One of these, Anatolius, perished in an earthquake-doubtless a judgement! The complaints and clamours of the people. in Agathias (1. v. p. 146, 147.) are almost an echo of the anecdote. The aliena pecunia redenda of Corippus (1. ii. 381, &c.). is not very honourable to Justinian's memory.

See the history' and character of John of Cappadocia in Procopius (Persic. 1. i. c. 24, 25. l. ii. c. 30. Vandal. 1. i. c. 13. Anecdot. c. 2. 17. 22.). The agreement of the history and anecdotes is a mortal wound to the reputation of the præfect.

§ Ου γαρ αλλο εδεν ες γραμματικές φοίτων εμαθεν μη γραμματα, ́kai TAUTA NAXH n«nus ygafui-a forcible expression.



CHA P: he excelled in the powers of native genius, to

suggest the wisest counsels, and to find expedients in the most desperate situations. The corruption of his heart was equal to the vigour of his understanding. Although he was suspected of magic and Pagan superstition, he appeared insensible to the fear of God or the reproaches of man; and his aspiring fortune was raised on the death of thousands, the poverty of millions, the ruin of cities, and the desolation of provinces. From the dawn of light to the moment of dinner, he assiduously laboured to enrich his master and himself at the expence of the Roman world; the remainder of the day was spent in sensual and obscene pleasures, and the silent hours of the night were interrupted by the perpetual dread of the justice of an assassin. His abilities, perhaps his vices, recommended him to the lasting friendship of Justinian : the emperor yielded with reluctance to the fury of the people ; his victory was displayed by the immediate restoration of their enemy; and they felt above ten years under his oppressive administration, that he was stimulated by revenge, rather than instructed by misfortune. Their murmurs served only to fortify the resolution of Justinian; but the præfect in the insolence of favour, provoked the resentment of Theodora, disdained a power before which every knee was bent, and attempted to sow the seeds of discord between the emperor and his beloved consort. Even Theodora herself was constrained to dissemble, to wait a favourable moment, and by an artful conspiracy to render John of Cappadocia



the accomplice of his own destruction, At a c H A P. time when Belisarius, unless he had been a hero, must have shewn himself a rebel, his wife Antò. nina, who enjoyed the secret confidence of the empress, communicated his feigned discontent to Euphemia, the daughter of the Præfect; the credulous virgin imparted to her father the dangerous project, and John, who might have known the value of oaths and promises, was tempted to accept a nocturnal, and almost treasonable, interview with the wife of Belisarius. An ambuscade of guards and eunuchs had been posted by the eommand of Theodora; they rushed with drawn swords to seize or to punish the guilty minister : he was saved by the fidelity of his attendants; but. instead of appealing to a gracious sovereign, who had privately warned him of his danger, he pusillanimously fled to the sanctuary of the church. The favourite of Justinian was sacrificed to conjugal tenderness or domestic tranquillity; the conversion of a præfect into a priest extinguished his ambitious hopes; but the friendship of the emperor alleviated his disgrace, and he retained in the mild exile. of Cyzicus an ample portion of his riches, Such imperfect revenge could not satisfy the unrelenting hatred of Theodora ; the murder of his old enemy, the bishop of Cyzicus, afforded a decent pretence; and John of Cappadocia, whose actions had deserved a thousand deaths, was at last condemned for a crime of which he was innocent. A great minister, who had been invested with the honours of consul and



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CHA P. patrician, was ignominiously scourged like the

vilest of malefactors; a tattered cloak was the sole remnant of his fortunes; he was transported in a bark to the place of his banishment at An. tinopolis in Upper Egypt, and the præfect of the East begged his bread through the cities which had trembled at his name. During an exile of seven years, his life was protracted and threatened by the ingenious cruelty of Theodora ; and when her death permitted the emperor ro recal a servant whom he had abandoned with regret, the amibition of John of Cappadocia was reduced to the humble duties of the sacerdotal profession. His successors convinced the subjects of Justinian, that the arts of oppression might still be improved by experience and industry; the frauds of a Syrian banker were introduced into the admi. nistration of the finances; and the example of the præfect was diligently copied by the quæstor, the public and private treasurer, the governors of provinces, and the principal magistrates of the Eastern empire *.

V. The edifices of Justiniani were cemented and archi. tects with the blood and treasure of his people; but

those stately structures appeared to announce the prosperity of the empire, and actually displayed the skill of their architects. Both the theory and

His edifices


* The chronology of Procopius is loose and obscure ; but with the aid of Pagi I can discern that John was appointed prætorian præfect of the East in the year 530; that he was removed in January 532-restored before June 533- banished in 541--and recalled between June 548 and April 1, 549. Aleman. (P. 96, 97.) gives the list of his ter successors rapid series in a part of a single reign.


Practice of the arts which depend on mathema- CHAP. tical science and mechanical power were cultivated under the patronage of the emperors; the fame of Archimedes was rivalled by Proclus and Anthemius; and if their miracles had been related by intelligent spectators, they might now enlarge the speculations, instead of exciting the distrust, of philosophers. A tradition has prevailed, that the Roman fleet was reduced to ashes in the port of Syracuse by the burning-glasses of Archimedes *; and it is asserted, that a similar expedient was em ployed by Proclus to destroy the Gothic vessels in the harbour of Constantinople, and to protect his benefactor Anastasius against the bold enterprise of Vitalian. A machine was fixed on the walls of the city, consisting of an hexagon mirror of polished brass, with many smaller and moveable polygons to receive and reflect the rays of the meridian sun; and a consuming flame was darted, to the distance, perhaps, of two hundred feet. The truth of VOL. VII. these


*This conflagration is hinted by Lucian (in Hippia. c. 2.) and Galen (1. iii. de temperamentis, tom. i. p. 81. edit. Basil) in the second century. A thousand years afterwards, it is positively affirmed by Zonaras (1. ix. p. 424.) on the faith of Dion Cassius, by Tzetzes (Chiliad ii. 119, &c.), Eustathius (ad Iliad. E. p. 338.), and the scholiast of Lucian. See Fabricius (Bibliot. Græc. 1. iii. c. 22. tom. ii. p. 551, 552.), to whom I am more or less indebted for several of these quo



Zonaras (1. xiv. p. 55.) affirms the fact, without quoting any evidence.

Tzetzes describes the artifice of these burning-glasses, which he had read, perhaps with no learned eyes, in a mathe matical treatise of Anthemius. That treatise rig zagadožws nxaunuara, has been lately published, translated, and illustrated, by M. Dupuys, a scholar and a mathematician, (Memoirs de l'Academie des Inscriptions, tom. xlii. p. 392

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