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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

ON the arrival of the emperor Valens at Constantinople, on the 30th of May, in the sixth year of his own consulate, and the second of Valentinian junior’s, he finds the people in a very dejected state of mind: for the barbarians who had already desolated Thrace, were now laying waste the very suburbs of Constantinople, there being no adequate force at hand to resist them. But when they presumed to make near approaches, even to the walls of the city, the people became exceedingly troubled, and began to murmur against the emperor; accusing him of having been the cause of bringing the enemy thither, and then indolently wasting his time there, instead of at once marching out against the barbarians. Moreover at the exhibition of the sports of the Hippodrome, all with one voice exclaimed against the emperor’s negligence of the public affairs, crying out with great earnestness, “Give us arms, and we ourselves will fight.” The emperor provoked at these seditious clamours, marches out of the city, on the 11th of June; threatening that if he returned, he would punish the citizens not only for their insolent reproaches, but for having heretofore favoured the pretensions of the tyrant Procopius. After declaring therefore that he would utterly demolish their city, and cause the plough to pass over its ruins, he advanced against the barbarians, whom he routed with great slaughter, and pursued as far as Adrianople a city of Thrace, situated on the frontiers of Macedonia. Having at that place again engaged the enemy, who had by this time rallied, he lost his life on the 9th of August, under the consulate just mentioned, and in the fourth year of the 289th Olympiad. Some have asserted that he was burnt to death in a village whither he had retired, which the Goths assaulted and set on fire. But others affirm that having put off his imperial robe he ran into the midst of the main body of infantry; and that when the cavalry revolted and refused to engage, the foot were surrounded by the barbarians, and completely destroyed. Among these it is said the emperor fell, but could not be distinguished, in consequence of his having laid aside his imperial habit. He died in the fiftieth year of his age, having reigned in conjunction with his brother thirteen years, and three years after his death. This book therefore contains the course of events during the space of sixteen years.








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