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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

THE intelligence of the formidable preparations made by the emperor against the tyrant, so alarmed the troops under Maximus, that instead of fighting for him, they delivered him bound to the emperor, who caused him to be put to death, on the twenty-seventh of August, under the same consulate. Andragathius, who with his own hand had slain Gratian, understanding the fate of Maximus, precipitated himself into an adjacent river, and was drowned. Both the victorious emperors then made their public entry into Rome, accompanied by Honorius the son of Theodosius, still a mere boy, whom his father had sent for from Constantinople immediately after Maximus had been vanquished. They continued therefore at Rome celebrating their triumphal festivals: during which time the emperor Theodosius exhibited a remarkable instance of clemency toward Symmachus, a. man who had borne the consular office, and was at the head of the senate at Rome. This person was distinguished for his eloquence, and many of his orations are still extant composed in the Latin tongue: but inasmuch as he had written a panegyric on Maximus, and pronounced it before him publicly, he was afterwards impeached for high treason; wherefore to escape capital punishment he took sanctuary in a church. The emperor’s veneration for religion led him not only to honour the prelates of his own communion, but to treat with consideration those of the Novatians also, who embraced the Homoousian creed: to gratify therefore Leontius the bishop of the Novatian church at Rome, who interceded in behalf of Symmachus, he graciously pardoned that criminal. Symmachus, after he had obtained his pardon, wrote an apologetic address to the emperor Theodosius. Thus was the war, which at its commencement appeared so terrible, brought to a speedy termination.








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