HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

AFTER Jovian had reigned about eight months, he died suddenly at Dadastanis, a town of Bithynia, while on his road to Constantinople. Some say that his death was occasioned by eating too plentiful a supper: others attribute it to the dampness of the chamber in which he slept; for it was of very recent construction, and quantities of coals had been burnt in it during the winter for the purpose of drying the walls. On the arrival of the troops at Nicæa in Bithynia, they proclaimed Valentinian emperor. He was a good man, and capable of holding the reins of the empire. He had not long returned from banishment: for it is said that Julian, immediately on his accession to the empire, erased the name of Valentinian from the Jovian legions, as they were called, and condemned him to perpetual banishment, under the pretext that he failed in his duty of leading out the soldiers under his command against the enemy. The true reason of his condemnation, however, was the following. When Julian was in Gaul, he went one day to a temple to offer incense. Valentinian accompanied him, according to an ancient Roman law, which still prevails, and which enacted that the Jovians and the Herculeans (that is to say, the legions of soldiers who have received this appellation in honour of Jupiter and of Hercules) should always attend the emperor as his body guard. When they were about to enter the temple, the priest, in accordance with the Pagan custom, sprinkled water upon them with the branch of a tree. A drop fell upon the robe of Valentinian, who was a Christian: his indignation arose, and he rebuked the priest with great rudeness; it is even said that he tore off, in the presence of the emperor, the portion of the garment on which the water had fallen, and flung it from him. From that moment Julian entertained inimical feelings against him, and soon after banished him to Melitine in Armenia, under the plea of misconduct in military affairs: for he would not have religion regarded as the cause of the decree, lest Valentinian should be accounted a martyr or a confessor. Julian treated other Christians, as we have already stated, in the same manner; for he perceived that persecution only added to the lustre of their reputation, and tended to the consolidation of their religion. As soon as Jovian succeeded to the throne, Valentinian was recalled from banishment: but the death of the emperor in the meantime took place; and Valentinian, by the unanimous consent of the troops and the chiefs, was appointed his successor. When he was invested with the symbols of imperial power, the soldiers cried out that it was necessary to elect some one to share the burden of government. To this proposition Valentinian made the following reply: “It depended on you alone, O soldiers, to proclaim me emperor; but now that you have elected me, it depends not upon you, but upon me, to perform what you demand: remain quiet, as subjects ought to do, and leave me to act as an emperor.” Not long after this refusal to comply with the demand of the soldiery, he repaired to Constantinople, and proclaimed his brother emperor: he gave him the East as his share of the government; and reserved to himself the regions alone the Western Ocean, from Illyria to the furthest coasts of Lybia. Both the brothers were Christians, but they differed in opinion and disposition. Valens, having been baptized by Eudoxius when he officiated as bishop, was zealously attached to the doctrines of Arius, and would readily have compelled all mankind by force to yield to them: Valentinian, on the other hand, maintained the faith of the Council of Nicæa, and favoured those who upheld the same sentiments, without molesting those who entertained other opinions.








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com