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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

THE emperor having extorted immense sums of money from the Christians, accelerates his expedition against the Persians, and proceeds to Antioch in Syria. There, desiring to show the citizens how much he affected glory, he unduly depressed the prices of commodities; neither taking into account the circumstances of that time, nor reflecting how much the presence of an army inconveniences the population of a province, and lessens the supply of provisions to the cities. The merchants and retailers therefore left off trading, being unable to sustain the losses which the imperial edict entailed upon them; consequently the markets were unfurnished with necessaries. This arbitrary conduct, together with its effect, so exasperated the Antiochians, a people naturally predisposed to insolence, that they instantly broke forth into invectives against Julian; caricaturing his beard also, which was a very long one, and saying that it ought to be cut off and manufactured into ropes. They added that the bull which was impressed upon his coin, was a symbol of his having desolated the world. For this emperor, in his excess of superstitious devotion, was continually sacrificing bulls on the altars of his idols; and had ordered the impression of a bull and altar to be made on his coin. Irritated by these scoffs, he threatened to punish the city of Antioch, and to return to Tarsus in Cilicia, giving orders that preparations should be made for his speedy departure thence. Libanius the sophist made this an occasion of composing two orations, one addressed to the emperor in behalf of the Antiochians, the other to the inhabitants of Antioch on the emperor’s displeasure. It is however affirmed that these compositions were merely written, and never recited in public. Julian abandoning his former purpose of revenging himself on his satirists by injurious deeds, expended his wrath in reciprocating their abusive taunts; for he wrote a pamphlet against them which he entitled “Antiochicus or Misopōgōn,” thus leaving an indelible stigma upon that city and its inhabitants. But we must now speak of the evils which he brought upon the Christians at Antioch.








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