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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

MAURICE, on succeeding to the empire, in the first place made the necessary arrangements for his nuptials, and, in accordance with the imperial ordinance, marries Augusta, named also Constantina, with magnificent ceremony, and with public banquetings and festivity in every part of the city. In attendance on the nuptials were Religion and Royalty, offering an escort most distinguished and gifts most precious. For the one supplied a father and mother, to hallow the rite with honoured locks of grey and venerable wrinkles—a circumstance strange in the story of sovereigns—as also brethren noble and blooming, to give dignity to the nuptial procession: the other, a gold embroidered robe, adorned with purple and Indian gems, and crowns most costly, with abundance of gold and the varied emblazonment of jewels; together with the attendance of all who were distinguished in courtly rank or military service, lighting the nuptial flambeaux in splendid costumes and investitures, and hymning the bridal cavalcade: so that no human display was ever more majestic and happy. Damophilus, when writing on the subject of Rome, says that Plutarch the Chæronean has well remarked, that in order to her greatness alone did Virtue and Fortune unite in friendly truce: but, for myself, I would say, that in respect of Maurice alone did Piety and Good Fortune so conspire; by Piety laying compulsion upon Fortune, and not permitting her to shift at all. It was henceforward the settled aim of the emperor to wear the purple and the diadem not merely on his person but also on his soul: for he alone of recent sovereigns was sovereign of himself; and, with authority most truly centred in himself, he banished from his own soul the mob-rule of the passions, and having established an aristocracy in his own reasonings, he shewed himself a living image of virtue, training his subjects to imitation. Nor have I said this by way of flattery: for how could such be my motive, since he is not acquainted with what is being written? That such was, however, the case with Maurice, will be evidenced by the gifts bestowed upon him by God, and the circumstances of various kinds that must unquestionably be referred to divine favour.








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