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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

ABOUT this time Justin, by the advice of Sophia, bestows on Tiberius the rank of Cæsar, giving utterance, in the act of declaration, to such expressions as surpass all that has been recorded in ancient or recent history; our compassionate God having vouchsafed to him an opportunity for an avowal of his own errors, and a suggestion of what was for the benefit of the state. For when there were assembled in the open court, where ancient usage enjoins that such proceedings should take place, both the archbishop, John, whom we have already mentioned, and his clergy, as well as the state dignitaries, and the household troops, the emperor, on investing Tiberius with the imperial tunic and robe, gave utterance with a loud voice to the following words: “Let not the grandeur of thy investiture deceive thee, nor the pomp of the present spectacle; beguiled by which, I have unwittingly rendered myself obnoxious to the most severe penalties. Do thou make reparation for my errors, by administering the commonwealth with all gentleness.” Then pointing to the magistrates, he recommended him by no means to put confidence in them, adding: “These are the very persons who have brought me into the condition which thou now witnessest:” together with other similar expressions, which filled all with utter amazement, and drew forth an abundance of tears.

Tiberius was very tall, and by far the most noble in person not only of sovereigns but all mankind; so that, in the first place, his beauty was deserving of sovereignty. In disposition, he was mild and compassionate, and gave cordial reception to all persons at their very first approach. He deemed wealth to consist in aiding all with largesses, not merely so far as to meet their wants, but even to superfluity: for he did not consider what the needy ought to receive, but what it became a Roman emperor to bestow. He esteemed that gold to be adulterated which was exacted with tears: on which account he entirely remitted the taxation for one year, and released from their imposts the properties which Adaarmanes had devastated, not merely to the extent of the damage but even far beyond it. The magistrates were also excused from the necessity of making the unlawful presents, by means of which the emperors formerly made a sale of their subjects. On these points he also issued constitutions, as a security for coming time.








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