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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

THE same author writes that Justinian, having, in pity to the Christians in that quarter, professed his intention of undertaking an expedition for their relief, was being diverted from his purpose by the suggestion of John, prefect of the palace, when a dream appeared to him, bidding him not to shrink from the execution of his design; for, by assisting the Christians he would overthrow the power of the Vandals. Being determined by this circumstance, in the seventh year of his reign, he despatches Belisarius, about the summer solstice, to attack Carthage; on which occasion, when the general’s ship touched at the shore of the palace, Epiphanius, bishop of the city, offered up appropriate prayers, having previously baptized some of the soldiers and embarked them on board the vessel. He also narrates some circumstances, worthy of record, relating to the martyr Cyprian, in the following words:

“All the Carthaginians especially reverence Cyprian, a holy man, and having erected on the shore, in front of their city, a noble shrine, besides other reverential observances, they celebrate an annual festival, and call it Cypriana; and the sailors are accustomed to call the tempestuous weather which I have before mentioned by the same name as the festival, since it is wont to happen at the time of the year at which the Africans have fixed its perpetual celebration. This temple the Vandals, in the reign of Huneric, took by force from the Christians, and ignominiously expelling the priests, refitted it, as henceforward belonging to the Arians. They say that Cyprian, frequently appearing in a dream to the Africans who were indignant and distressed on this account, told them that there was no occasion for the Christians to be solicitous about him, for in time he would avenge himself: which prediction attained its accomplishment in the time of Belisarius, when Carthage, ninety-five years after its loss, was reduced by him under the Roman power, by the utter overthrow of the Vandals: at which time the doctrine of the Arians was entirely extirpated from Africa, and the Christians recovered their own temples, according to the prediction of the martyr Cyprian.”








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