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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

WHEN Valens was on the point of departing from Constantinople, Isaac, a monk of great virtue, who feared no danger in the cause of God, presented himself before him, and addressed him in the following words:—“Give back, O emperor, to the orthodox, and to those who maintain the Nicene doctrines, the churches of which you have deprived them, and the victory will be yours.” The emperor was offended at this act of boldness, and commanded that Isaac should be arrested and kept in chains until his return, when he meant to bring him to justice for his temerity. Isaac, however, replied, “You will not return unless you restore the Churches.” And so, in fact, it came to pass. Valens marched at the head of his troops in pursuit of the Goths, through Thrace, as far as Adrianople; here he found the barbarians encamped in a very advantageous position, and yet he had the rashness to attack them before he had ranged his own legions in proper order. His cavalry was dispersed, his infantry compelled to retreat, and he himself escaped with difficulty with a few of his attendants, and sought refuge and concealment in a small house or tower. The barbarians were in full pursuit, and went beyond the tower, not suspecting that he had selected it for his place of concealment. As the last detachment of the barbarians was passing by the tower, the attendants of the emperor let fly a volley of arrows, which immediately led to the conjecture that Valens was concealed within the building: the barbarians loudly shouted this intelligence to their companions who were in advance of them, and thus the news was conveyed till it reached the detachments which were foremost in the pursuit. They returned, and encompassed the tower. They collected vast quantities of wood from the country around, which they piled up against the tower, and finally set fire to the mass. A wind which then happened to arise, favoured the progress of the conflagration; and in a short period, the tower, with all that it contained, including the emperor and his attendants, was utterly destroyed. Valens was fifty years of age; he had reigned thirteen years conjointly with his brother, and three by himself.








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