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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

TIBERIUS, being by this time in possession of the crown on the death of Justin, supersedes Justinian, since he had not been equally successful against the barbarians, and appoints Maurice to the command of the forces of the East; a person who derived his descent and name from the elder Rome, but, as regards his more immediate origin, was a native of Arabissus in Cappadocia; a man of sense and ability, and of unvarying accuracy and firmness. Being staid and precise in his mode of living and manners, he was temperate in his food, using only such as was necessary and simple, and was superior to all other indulgences of a luxurious life. He was not easily accessible to the solicitations of the vulgar, nor a too easy listener in general; well knowing that the one tends to produce contempt, and the other leads to flattery. Accordingly, he granted audiences sparingly, and those only to persons on serious business, and closed his ears against idle talk, not with wax, as poets say, but rather with reason; so that this latter was an excellent key to them, appropriately both opening and closing them during conversation. So completely had he banished both ignorance, the mother of audacity, and also cowardice, which is at the same time a foreigner and a neighbour to the former, that with him to face danger was an act of prudence, and to decline it was a measure of safety; while both courage and discretion were the charioteers of opportunity, and guided the reins to whatever quarter necessity directed: so that his efforts were both restrained and put forth, as it were, by measure and rule. Concerning this person I shall speak more fully in the sequel; since the detail of his greatness and excellence I must reserve for the history of his reign; which displayed the man in a clearer light, as unfolding, through freedom of action, even the more inward parts of his character.

This Maurice, advancing beyond the limits of the empire, captures both cities and fortresses, of the greatest importance to the Persians, and carried off so much plunder, that the captives were sufficiently numerous to occupy at length whole islands, towns, and districts which had been deserted: and thus the land which had been previously untilled, was every where restored to cultivation. Numerous armies also were raised from among them, that fought resolutely and courageously against the other nations. At the same time every household was completely furnished with domestics, on account of the easy rate at which slaves were procured.








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