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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

SUCH was the moderation with which the emperor used the advantage which God had given him, that he nevertheless desired to make peace; and to that end he despatched Helion, a man in whom he placed the greatest confidence, with a commission to enter into a pacific treaty with the Persians. He having arrived in Mesopotamia, at the place where the Romans for their own security had formed a trench, sent before him as his deputy Maximin an eloquent man who was the assessor of Ardaburius the commander-in-chief of the army, to make preliminary arrangements concerning the terms of peace. Maximin on coming into the presence of the Persian king, said he had been sent to him on this matter, not by the Roman emperor, who was ignorant of the state of things, and thoroughly contemned the war, but by his generals. And when the sovereign of Persia would have gladly received the embassy, because his troops were suffering from want of provisions; that corps among them which is distinguished by the name of the Immortals, numbering about ten thousand of his bravest men, counselled the king not to listen to any overtures for peace, until they should have made an attack upon the Romans, who, they said, were now become extremely incautious. The king approving their advice, ordered the ambassador to be imprisoned and a guard set over him; and permitted the Immortals to put their design upon the Romans into execution. They therefore, on arriving at the place appointed, divided themselves into two bands, with a view to surround some portion of the Roman army. The Romans observing but one body of Persians approaching them, prepared themselves to receive it, not having seen the other division, in consequence of their suddenly rushing forth to battle. But just as the engagement was about to commence, Divine Providence so ordered it, that Procopius a Roman general with another part of the army appeared on the heights, who, perceiving their comrades in danger, attacked the Persians in the rear. Thus were they, who but a little before had surrounded the Romans, themselves encompassed and in a short time utterly destroyed: and those who broke forth from their ambuscade being next attacked by the Romans, were in like manner every one of them slain with darts. In this way was the mortality demonstrated of those who by the Persians were termed the Immortals; Christ having executed this vengeance upon that people, because of their having shed the blood of so many of his pious worshippers. The king of the Persians on being informed of this overthrow, pretended to be ignorant of what had been done; and ordering the embassy to be admitted, he thus addressed Maximin: “I agree to the peace, not as yielding to the Romans; but to gratify you, whom I have found to be the most prudent of your whole nation.” Thus was that war concluded which had been undertaken on account of the suffering Christians in Persia, under the consulate of the two Augusti, being the thirteenth of Honorius, and the tenth of Theodosius, in the fourth year of the 300th Olympiad: and with it terminated the persecution which had been excited in Persia against the Christians.








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