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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

JUSTINIAN was possessed by another propensity, of unequalled ferocity; whether attributable to an innate defect of his disposition, or to cowardice and apprehensions, I am not able to say. It took its rise from the existence of the faction among the populace distinguished by the name “Nica.” He appeared to favour one party, namely the Blues, to such an excess, that they slaughtered their opponents at mid-day and in the middle of the city, and, so far from dreading punishment, were even rewarded; so that many persons became murderers from this cause. They were allowed to assault houses, to plunder the valuables they contained, and to compel persons to purchase their own lives; and if any of the authorities endeavoured to check them, he was in danger of his very life: and it actually happened that a person holding the government of the East, having chastised some of the rioters with lashes, was himself scourged in the very centre of the city, and carried about in triumph. Callinicus also, the governor of Cilicia, having subjected to legal punishment two Cilician murderers, Paul and Faustinus, who had assaulted and endeavoured to despatch him, suffered impalement, as the penalty for right feeling and maintenance of the laws. The members of the other faction having, in consequence, fled from their homes, and meeting with a welcome nowhere, but being universally scouted as a pollution, betook themselves to waylaying travellers, and committed thefts and murders to such an extent, that every place was filled with untimely deaths, robberies, and every other crime. Sometimes also, siding with the other faction, Justinian put to death in turn their opponents, by surrendering to the vengeance of the laws those whom he had allowed to commit in the cities equal outrages with barbarians. Neither words nor time would suffice for a minute detail of these transactions. Thus much will, however, serve for a conception of the remainder.








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