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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

CHOSROES, on his restoration to his kingdom, sends to Gregory a cross, embellished with much gold and precious stones, in honour of the victorious martyr Sergius; which cross Theodora, the wife of Justinian, had dedicated, and Chosroes had carried off, with the other treasures, as I have already related. He also sends another golden cross, on which was engraven the following inscription in Greek:—

“This cross I, Chosroes, king of kings, son of Hormisdas, have sent. After I had been compelled to take refuge in the Roman territory by the slanderous practices and villany of the unhappy Varamus and his cavalry, and when, because the unhappy Zadespram had come to Nisibis with an army, with a view to seduce the cavalry in that quarter to revolt and raise commotion, we also had sent a body of cavalry with a commander to Charchas; at that time, by the fortune of the venerable and renowned saint, Sergius, having heard that he granted the petitions addressed to him, we vowed, in the first year of our reign, on the seventh day of January, that if our cavalry should slay or capture Zadespram, we would send to his sanctuary a golden cross, embellished with jewels for the sake of his venerable name: and on the seventh day of February they brought to us the head of Zadespram. Having, accordingly, obtained our petition, in order that each circumstance should be placed beyond all doubt, we have sent, in honour of his venerable name, this cross, which we have caused to be made, and together with it that which was sent to his sanctuary by Justinian, emperor of the Romans, and which was conveyed hither by our father Chosroes, king of kings, son of Cabades, at the time of the rupture between the two states, and has been found among our treasures.”

Gregory, having received these crosses, with the approval of the emperor Maurice, dedicated them with much ceremony in the sanctuary of the martyr. Shortly after, Chosroes sent other offerings for the same temple, with a golden disc, bearing the following inscription:—

“I, Chosroes, king of kings, son of Hormisdas, have placed the inscription upon this disc, not as an object for the gaze of mankind, nor that the greatness of thy venerable name might be made known by words of mine, but on account of the truth of the matters therein recorded, and the many benefits and favours which I have received at thy hands: for, that my name should be inscribed on thy sacred vessels, is a happiness to me. At the time when I was at Beramais, I begged of thee, O holy one, that thou wouldest come to my aid, and that Sira might conceive: and inasmuch as Sira was a Christian and I a heathen, and our law forbids us to have a Christian wife, nevertheless, on account of my favourable feelings towards thee, I disregarded the law as respects her, and among my wives I have constantly esteemed, and do still esteem her as peculiarly mine. Thus I resolved to request of thy goodness, O Saint, that she might conceive: and I made the request with a vow, that, if Sira should conceive, I would send the cross she wears to thy venerable sanctuary. On this account both I and Sira purposed to retain this cross in memory of thy name, O Saint, and in place of it to send five thousand staters, as its value, which does not really exceed four thousand four hundred staters. From the time that I conceived this request and these intentions, until I reached Rhosochosron, not more than ten days elapsed, when thou, O Saint, not on account of my worthiness but thy kindness, appearedst to me in a vision of the night and didst thrice tell me that Sira should conceive, while, in the same vision, thrice I replied, It is well. From that day forward Sira has not experienced the custom of women, because thou art the granter of requests; though I, had I not believed thy words, and that thou art holy and the granter of requests, should have doubted that she would not thenceforward experience the custom of women. From this circumstance I was convinced of the power of the vision and the truth of thy words, and accordingly forthwith sent the same cross and its value to thy venerable sanctuary, with directions that out of that sum should be made a disc, and a cup for the purposes of the divine mysteries, as also a cross to be fixed upon the holy table, and a censer, all of gold: also a Hunnish veil adorned with gold. Let the surplus of the sum belong to thy sanctuary, in order that by virtue of thy fortune, O saint, thou mayest come to the aid of me and Sira in all matters, and especially with respect to this petition; and that what has been already procured for us by thy intercession, may be consummated according to the compassion of thy goodness, and the desire of me and Sira; so that both of us, and all persons in the world, may trust in thy power and continue to believe in thee.”

Such is the language of the offerings sent by Chosroes: an instance altogether resembling the prophecy of Balaam; since our compassionate God has wisely disposed it, that the tongues of heathens should give utterance to saving words.








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