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CHAP, these two extraordinary facts is invalidated by the XL silence of the most authentic historians; and the

use of burning-glasses was never adopted in the attack or defence of places *Yet the admirable experiments of a French philosopher † have demonstrated the possibility of such a mirror ; and, since it is possible, I am more disposed to attribute the art to the greatest mathematicians of antiquity, than to give the merit of the fiction to the idle fancy of a monk or a sophist. According to another story, Proclus applied sulphur to the destruction of the Gothic fleet ; in a modern imagination, the name of sulphur is instantly connected with the suspicion of gun-powder, and that suspi cion is propagated by the secret arts of his disciple Anthemius g. A citizen of Tralles in Asia had five sons, who were all distinguished in their respective professions by merit and success. Olympius excelled in the knowledge and practice of the Roman jurisprudence. Dioscorus and Alexander became learned physicians ; but the skill of the


In the siege of Syracuse, by the silence of Polybius, Plutarch, Livy; in the siege of Constantinople, by that of Mar. cellinus and all the contemporaries of the vith century.

+ Without any previous knowledge of Tzetzes or Anthemius, the immortal Buffon imagined'and executed a set of burning-glasses, with which he could inflame planks at the distance of 200 feet (Supplement a l'Hist. Naturelle, tom. i. p. 399 483. quarto edition). What miracles would not his genius have performed for the public service, with royal expence, and in the strong sun of Constantinople or Syracuse ?

John Malala (tom. i. p. 120--124.) relates the fact : but he seems to confound the names or persons of Proclus and Marinus.

§ Agathias, I. v. p. 149–152. The merit of Anthemius as an architect is loudly praised by Procopius (de Edif. l. i. c. 1.) and Paulus Silentiarius (part i. 134, &c.).


former was exercised for the benefit of his fellow- c H A P. citizens, while his more ambitious brother acquired wealth and reputation at Rome. The fame of Metrodorus the grammarian, and of Anthemius the mathematician and architect, reached the ears of the emperor Justinian, who invited them to Constantinople; and while the one instructed the rising generation in the schools of eloquence, the other filled the capital and provinces with more lasting monuments of his art. In a trifling dispute res lative to the walls or windows of their contiguous houses, he had been vanquished by the eloquence of his neighbour Zeno; but the orator was defeated in his turn by the master of mechanics, whose malicious, though harmless, stratagems are darkly represented by the ignorance of Agathias. In a lower room, Anthemius arranged several vessels or cauldrons of water, each of them covered by the wide bottom of a leathern tube, which rose to a narrow top, and was artificially conveyed among the joists and rafters of the adjacent building. A fire was kindled beneath the cauldron ; the steam of the boiling water ascended through the tubes; the house was shaken by the efforts of imprisoned air, and its trembling inhabitants might wonder that the city was unconscious of the earthquake which they had felt.

other time, the friends of Zeno, as they sat at table, were dazzled by the intolerable light which flashed in their eyes from the reflecting mirrors of Anthemius: they were astonished by the noise which he produced from a collision of certain minute and sonorous particles; and the orator declared

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CH A P. clared in tragic style to the senate, that a mere

a mortal must yield to the power of an antagonist, who shook the earth with the trident of Neptune, and imitated the thunder and lightning of Jove himself. The genius of Anthemius and his colleague

Isidore the Milesian, was excited and employed by a prince, whose taste for architecture had degenerated into a mischievous and costly passion. His favourite architects submitted their designs and difficulties to Justinian, and discreetly confessed how much their laborious meditations were surpassed by the intuitive knowledge or celestial inspiration of an emperor, whose views were always directed to the benefit of his people, the glory of

his reign, and the salvation of his soul *. Foundation The principal church, which was dedicated by of the church of the founder of Constantinople to Saint Sophia, or St. Sophia. the eternal wisdom, had been twice destroyed by

fire.; after the exile of John Chrysostom, and during the Nika of the blue and green factions. No sooner did the tumult subside, than the Christian populace deplored their sacrilegious rashness; but they might have rejoiced in the calamity, had they foreseen the glory of the new temple, which at the end of forty days was strenuously undertaken by the piety of Justinian f. The ruins were


cleared See Procopius (de Edificiis, 1. i. c. 1, 2. 1. ii. c. 3.). He relates a coincidence of dreams which supposes some fraud in Justinian or his architect. They both saw, in a vision, the same plan for stopping an inundation at Dara. A stone quarry near Jerusalem was revealed to the emperor (l. v. c. 6.): an angel was tricked into the perpetual custody of St. Sophia (Anonya. de Antiq. C. P. 1. iv. p. 70.).

+ Among the crowd of ancients and moderns who have ceIebrated the edifice of St. Sophia, I shall distinguish and follow, 1. Four original spectators and historians: Procopius (de


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cleared away, a more spacious plan was described, c H A P. and as it required the consent of some proprietors of ground, they obtained the most exorbitant terms from the eager desires and timorous conscience of the monarch. Anthemius formed the design, and his genius directed the hands of ten thousand workmen, whose payment in pieces of fine silver was never delayed beyond the evening. The em. peror himself, clad in a linen tunic, surveyed each day their rapid progress, and encouraged their diligence by his familiarity, his zeal, and his rewards. The new cathedral of St. Sophia was consecrated by the patriarch, five years, eleven months, and ten days from the first foundation; and in the midst of the solemn festival, Justinian exclaimed with devout vanity, "Glory be to God, "who hath thought me worthy to accomplish so great a work; I have vanquished thee, O Soloદ mon * "But the pride of the Roman Solomon, before


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Edific. 1. i. c. 1.), Agathias (1. v. p. 152, 153.), Paul Silentiarius (in a poem of 1026 hexameters, ad calcem Annæ Comnen. Alexiad), and Evagrius (1. iv. c. 31.), 2. Two legendary Greeks of a later period: George Codinus (de Origin. Č.P. p. 64-74.), and the anonymous writer of Banduri (Imp. Orient. tom. i. 1. iv. p. 65-80.). 3. The great Byzantine antiquarian Ducange (Comment. ad Paul Silentiar. p. 525$98. and C. P. Christ. 1. iii. p. 5-78.). 4. Two French travellers-the one Peter Gyllius (de Topograph. C. P. 1. ii. c. 3, 4.) in the xvith; the other, Grelot (Voyage de C. P. p. 95 -164. Paris, 1680, in quarto): he has given plans, prospects and inside-views of St. Sophia; and his plans, though on a smaller scale, appear more correct than those of Ducange. I have adopted and reduced the measures of Grelot: but as no Christian can now ascend the dome, the height is borrowed from Evagrius, compared with Gyllius, Greaves, and the riental Geographer.

* Solomon's temple was surrounded with courts, porticos, &c.; but the proper structure of the house of God was no more



CHA P. before twenty years had elapsed, was humbled by

an earthquake, which overthrew the eastern part of the dome. Its splendour was again restored by the perseverance of the same prince; and in the thirty-sixth year of his reign, Justinian celebrated the second dedication of a temple, which remains, after twelve centuries, a stately monument of his fame. The architecture of St. Sophia, which is now converted into the principal mosch, has been imitated by the Turkish sultans, and that venerable pile continues to excite the fond admiration

of the Greeks, and the more rational curiosity of Descrip European travellers. The eye of the spectator is tion.

disappointed by an irregular prospect of half-domes and shelving roofs: the western front, the principal approach, is destitute of simplicity and magnificence; and the scale of dimensions has been much surpassed by several of the Latin cathedrals. But the architect who first erected an aerial cupola, is entitled to the praise of bold design and skilful execution. The dome of St. Sophia, illuminated by four-and-twenty windows, is formed with so small a curve, that the depth is equal only to one-sixth of its diameter; the measure of that diameter is one hundred and fifteen feet, and the lofty centre, where a crescent has supplanted the cross, rises to the perpendicular height of one hundred and eighty feet above the pavement. The circle which en, . compasses the dome, lightly reposes on four strong


(if we take the Egyptain or Hebrew cubit at 22 inches) than 65 feet in heignt, 36 in breadth, and 10 in length-a small parish church, says Prideau (Connection, vol. i. p. 144. folio); but few sanctuaries could be valued at four or five millions sterling!

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