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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

A SIMILAR, or even more terrible calamity, befell Constantinople, which took its rise from the quarter of the city bordering on the sea, and named Bosporium. The account is, that about dusk-hour, a demon of destruction in the form of a woman, or in reality a poor woman incited by a demon, for the story is told in both ways, carried a light into the market for the purpose of buying pickled victuals, and then, having set down the light, stole away. Catching some tow, it raised a great flame, and in a moment set the apartment on fire. The conflagration, thus begun, soon consumed every thing within its reach, and afterwards continuing to spread for four days, not only over the more combustible materials, but buildings of stone, notwithstanding every effort to check it, at last destroyed the whole heart of the city from north to south, a space of five stadia in width, and fourteen in length; throughout which it left no building standing, either public or private, nor pillars nor arches of stone; but the hardest substances were as completely consumed as if they had been combustible. The ruin, at its northern extremity, which is where the docks are situated, extended from the Bosporium to the old temple of Apollo; at the southern, from the harbour of Julian as far as the houses near the oratory of the church of Unanimity; and in the centre of the city, from the forum of Constantine to the Forum Tauri, as it is called: a pitiable and loathsome spectacle; for all the most conspicuous ornaments of the city, and whatever had been embellished with unrivalled magnificence, or adapted to public or private utility, had been swept together into huge heaps and impassable mounds, formed of various substances, whose former features were now so blended in one confused mass, that not even those who lived on the spot could recognise the different portions, and the place to which each had belonged.








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