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Gibbon's work, although very lengthy, is very relevant to the study of the Roman Empire. He looks primarily as to why it failed to continue over the centuries -- thus the title. But it really is worth ... Read full review
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Alemanni Alexandria Ammianus ancient Antioch Arian arms army arts Assyria Athanas Athanasius Barbarians bishops Bleterie Cappadocia Catholic cavalry celebrated CHAP character Christian church civil conduct Constan Constantinople Constantius council Ctesiphon danger Danube death declared desert disgrace divine Donatists East Eccles ecclesiastical edict Egypt emperor empire enemies epistle Eunapius Eusebius exile expressed faction faith father favour Gaul glory gods Goths Gratian Greek Gregory Nazianzen guilt Hist historian honourable Imperial Jovian Julian labour laws Libanius Libanius Orat magistrates merit military mind ministers Misopogon monarch oppressed orthodox Pagans palace Parent passions peace perhaps Persian person philosopher Philostorgius primate prince Procopius provinces prudent reign religion religious Roman Rome Sapor Scythia secret Socrates soldiers soon sovereign Sozomen spirit success synod temple Themistius Theodoret Theodosius theological throne Tigris Tillemont tion troops tyrant Valens Valentinian valour victory virtues xxii XXIV zeal Zosimus
Page 66 - The sacraments of the church were administered to the reluctant victims, who denied the vocation, and abhorred the principles, of Macedonius. The rites of baptism were conferred on women and children, who, for that purpose, had been torn from the arms of their friends and parents ; the mouths of the communicants were held open, by a wooden engine, while the consecrated bread was forced down their throats; the breasts of tender virgins were either burnt with red-hot egg-shells,* or inhumanly compressed...
Page 316 - Yet if it be true, that the sentiment of compassion is imperceptibly weakened by the sight and practice of domestic cruelty, we may observe, that the horrid objects which are disguised by the arts of European refinement, are exhibited in their naked and most disgusting simplicity in the tent of a Tartarian shepherd. The ox, or the sheep, are slaughtered by the same hand from which they were accustomed to receive their daily food ; and the bleeding limbs are served, with very little preparation, on...
Page 154 - ... that the men who exalt the merit of implicit faith are unfit to claim or to enjoy the advantages of science; and he vainly contends, that if they refuse to adore the gods of Homer and Demosthenes, they ought to content themselves with expounding Luke and Matthew in the...
Page 89 - Caesarea in Cappadocia ; and when at length they were admitted to the presence of Constantius, they found that he had already conceived from the despatches of his own officers, the most unfavourable opinion of the conduct of Julian, and of the Gallic army. The letters were heard with impatience ; the trembling messengers were dismissed with indignation and contempt ; and the looks, the gestures, the furious language of the monarch, expressed the disorder of his soul. The domestic connection which...
Page 284 - When they hunted the woods for prey, it is said, that they attacked the shepherd rather than his flock; and that they curiously selected the most delicate and brawny parts, both of males and females, which they prepared for their horrid repasts.
Page 97 - Julian, whose mind was deeply wounded by the reproach of ingratitude, aspired to maintain, by argument as well as by arms, the superior merits of his cause ; and to excel, not only in the arts of war, but in those of composition. His epistle to the senate and people of...
Page 12 - Athanasius himself, has candidly confessed that, whenever he forced his understanding to meditate on the divinity of the Logos, his toilsome and unavailing efforts recoiled on themselves; that the more he thought, the less he comprehended; and the more he wrote, the less capable was he of expressing his thoughts.
Page 24 - It is a thing equally deplorable and dangerous that there are as many creeds as opinions among men, as many doctrines as inclinations, and as many sources of blasphemy as there are faults among us, because we make creeds arbitrarily, and explain them as arbitrarily. The Homoousion is rejected and received, and explained away by successive synods.
Page 128 - ... respective parts; and they artfully contrived, by dark hints and affected disputes, to excite the impatient hopes of the aspirant, till they delivered him into the hands of their associate Maximus, the boldest and most skilful master of the theurgic science. By his hands Julian was secretly initiated at Ephesus, in the twentieth year of his age. His residence at Athens confirmed this unnatural alliance of philosophy and superstition. He obtained the privilege of a solemn initiation into the mysteries...
Page 257 - Sallust. Both princes invariably retained, in the purple, the chaste and temperate simplicity which had adorned their private life; and, under their reign, the pleasures of the court never cost the people a blush or a sigh. They gradually reformed many of the abuses of the times of Constantius; judiciously adopted and improved the designs of Julian and his successor; and displayed a style and spirit of legislation which might inspire posterity with the most favorable opinion of their character and...