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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

SUBSEQUENTLY Marcian had a rupture with Zeno, and attempted to dispute the empire with him. He was the son of Anthemius who had formerly reigned at Rome, and was allied to Leo, the preceding emperor, having married his younger daughter Leontia. After a severe battle around the palace, in which many fell on both sides, Marcian repulsed his opponents, and would have become master of the palace, had he not let slip the critical moment, by putting off the operation to the morrow.

For the critical season is swift of flight: when it is close upon one, it may be secured; but should it once have escaped the grasp, it soars aloft and laughs at its pursuers, not deigning to place itself again within their reach. And hence no doubt it is, that statuaries and painters, while they figure it with a lock hanging down in front, represent the head as closely shaven behind; thus skilfully symbolising, that when it comes up from behind one, it may perhaps be held fast by the flowing forelock, but fairly escapes when it has once got the start, from the absence of any thing by which the pursuer might grasp it.

And this was what befel Marcian, when he had lost the moment favourable to his success, and was unable to find it afterwards. For the next day he was betrayed by his own followers, and being completely deserted, fled to the sacred precinct of the divine Apostles; whence he was dragged away by force, and transported to Cæsarea in Cappadocia. Having there joined the society of certain monks, he was afterwards detected in meditating an escape; and being removed by the emperor to Tarsus in Cilicia, he was shorn, and ordained a presbyter: of all which particulars an elegant narrative has been given by Eustathius the Syrian.








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