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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

GERONTIUS, from being the most efficient of the generals of Constantine, became his enemy; and believing that Maximus, his intimate friend, was well qualified to hold the reins of power, he invested him with the imperial purple, and conveyed him to Tarracon. Gerontius then marched against Constantine, and put Constans to death at Vienna.

As soon as Constantine heard of the usurpation of Maximus, he sent one of his generals, named Edovicus, beyond the Rhine, to levy an army of Franks and Alemanni; and he sent his son Constans to guard Vienna and the neighbouring towns. Gerontius then laid siege to Aries; but some troops of Honorius marched to its relief, under the command of Constantius, the father of that Valentinian who subsequently became emperor of Rome. Gerontius retreated precipitately with a few soldiers; for the greater number of his troops deserted to the army of Constantius. The Spanish soldiery conceived an utter contempt against Gerontius, on account of his cowardly retreat, and took counsel how to slay him. They attacked his house during the night; but he, with one Alanus his friend, and a few slaves, ascended to the top of the house, and did such execution with their arrows, that no less than three hundred of the soldiers fell. When the stock of arrows was exhausted, the slaves made their escape from the house; and Gerontius might easily have followed their example, had not his affection for Nunechia, his wife, detained him by her side. At day-break the next day, the soldiers deprived him of all hope of saving his life, by setting fire to the house; and he cut off the head of Alanus, in compliance with his entreaties. His wife then besought him, with groans and tears, to perform the same office for her, rather than permit her to fall into the hands of another; and he complied with her last request. Thus died one who manifested a degree of courage worthy of her religion; for she was a Christian: and her death deserves to be held in remembrance. Gerontius then struck himself thrice with his sword; but, not succeeding in wounding himself mortally, he drew forth his poignard, which he wore at his side, and plunged it into his heart.








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