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surname of Optimus, or thé Best. He subdued all the East; and destroyed the empire of the Parthians, which had hitherto remained unconquered. Such was the justice of this emperor, that when he delivered, according to eustom, the sword to the chief of the Prætorium, he added, Use this for me, if I rule with justice, and agajust me, if I rule otherwise,' hoc pro me si juste imperavero, si perperam contra me utere. He reigned 19 years, and six months, and died in Cilicia, as some relate, by poison, A. D. 117,
He built the famous pillar, called by his name, in seven years. In his reign flourished Plutarch, Lucian, the younger Pliny, Suetonius, Florus, and Tacitus.
14. Ælius Adrianus was equally distinguished for his viees and his virtues. He reduced to obedience, after great slaughter, the tuniultuous Jews, who had revolted, and had Barchochebas, for their leader. He had an excel. lent niemory, and was skilled in every, the minutest art. He reigned 20 years, and 11 months, and died aged 62 A. D. 138. In his time, lived Ptolemy of Alexandria, the astronomer, Justin and Aulus Gellius. He came into Britain, and divided Scotland from England by a wall of 80,000 paces.
He was the author of those celebrated verses to his soul, ' Animula vagula,' &c. which have been so successfully paraphrased by Pope in bis • Vital spark of heavenly frame.
15. Antoninus Pius, adopted by Adrian, who, for his virtues, bis humanity, and the sweetness of his mamiers; acquired the distinctive appellation of the Pious. He never waged war, but governed the world by his authority alone. He died A. D. 161, aged 75, after a reign of 22 years. In his time flourished Polycarp, Justin, the Christian martyr, Galen, aud Ælian.
- 16. Marcus Aurelius, was so devoted to philosophy, as to acquire the name of the Philosopher. He was in all things a prince of the greatest moderation, and was successful in the war with the Marcomanni and Quadi. The memorable saying of Plato was constantly repeated by bim : Happy is that state where philosophers are kings, and kings philosophers. He died in Pannonia, A. D. 180, aged 58, of which he reigned 19 years.
During the reigns of Nerva, Trajan, Adrian, and the Antonines, the Roman world was governed with judgment,
and protected with vigour. The happiness of the people expressed the virtue and the ability of their sovereign. Succeeding ages of misery and oppression reinembered with fond regret, the mildness of Nerva, and the genius of Adrian. The image of Marcus Antoninus was preserved by many among those of their household gods, and the justice of Trajan was recorded in the congratulatory addresses of the senate, when they wished, upon the accession of a new emperor,' that he might surpass the felicity of Augustus and the virtue of Trajan.'
17. Lucius Commodus suceeeded, the unworthy son of a most worthy father. For in cruelty, lust, foul and base arts, he most resembled Nero. He was killed for his barbarity, and the senate pronounced him an enemy to men and gods. He aseended the throne, A. C. 150, and died in the year 192 ; he is supposed to have been 19 years old at his accession. Commodus was remarkably dextrous in the manly exercise of destroying wild beasts by the spear and the bow: but his character was stained by the folly of exhibiting these qualifications to the public. He was detested for his 'enormity and infamous debauchery.
18. Helvius Pertinax, was 69 years old before he began to reign; he was chosen by the prætorian guard, and approved by the senate on account of his experience. He was murdered by the soldiery, A. D. 193, before he had reigned three months. After his death, the empire was put up to sale by his murderers, and was bought by Didias Julianus, a lawyer, who was soon put to death. He reigned only 66 days, and was succeeded by Severus.
19. Septimius Severus, a man whose severity coincided with his name. He encountered and conquered Pescennius Niger, prefect in Syria, and Clodius Albinus, prefect in Britain, who were both competitors for the empire. He died at York, A. D. 211, after having reigned 17 years, aged 67.
20. Antoninus Caracalla and Geta, two sons of Severus, reigned with equat authority after the death of their father, Geta was of a mild temper, the other, rash, fierce, and cruel : hence proceeded perpetual discord between the brothers. At last, Caracalla killed Geta in the arms of his mother. After an abominable and cruel reign of six years,
the career of this monster was terminated by assassination, A, D. 217.
21. The disorders in the empire which began with Com." modus, continued for about a century, till the accession of Diocletian. That interval was filled by the reigns of Heliogabalus, Alexander Severus, Maximin, Gordian, Del cius, Gallus, Valerianus, Gallianus, Claudius, Aurelianus, Tacitus, Probus, and Carus, a period, the annals of which, furnish neither information nor'amusement. The reign of Alexander Severus should be excepted. The character of this mild, beneficent and enlightened prince, seems the more amiable, when contrasted with those who 'preceded and followed bim.
22. Constantius, the father of Constantine the Great, was created consul, A. D. 291. He and Gallerius were emperors in 304, by the resignation of Maximilian and Diocletian. Constantius died at York, A. D. 306. With bim ended ibe state of Rome under the Pagav emperors.
During this period tourished Cicero, Sallust, Virgil, Ovid, Horace, Livy, Seneca, Pliny, Martial, Tacitus, Juvenal, and Lucan, and many other poets, historians, and pbilosophers of inferior celebrity.
II. The state of the Romans under the Christian emperors.
1. Constantine the Great, began to reign, A. D. 306.' The first years of his goverðmentawere disturbed by the efforts of Maxentius in the west, and Maximin in the east, his colleagues in the empire, to root out Christiauity. But Maxentius perished miserably after he had been defeated in a pitched battle by Constantine ; at this time a cross is said to have appeared in the heavens, with this inscription, in hac signe vinces, under this baðver shalt theu conquer. Some time after Maximin died. Licinius, who had inarried the sister of Constantine yet survived but not long after he also was slain. These tyrants being thus removed Constantine openly professed the Christian religion. While he was yet a navice in the faithr, he fluctuated between the sect or heresy of Arius, and the orthodox'opinion of Atha. masius, although he professed to be a resolate defender of the decrees of the council of Nice. By him the seat of the
empire was removed from Rome to Byzantium, where a new city was raised, and from his name, called Const antinople. He reigned till the year 337, when he died, leaving behiud him three sons, Constans, Constantine, and Constantius. He was baptized a little before his death. In his family, be was unfortunate. He took off his brother. in-law Licinius for his treachery, put to death his own son Crispus, on the complaints of his wife Fausta, and condemned her to die, for having falsely accused bis son.
Constantinople was dedicated, A. D. 330, or 334, and contained a century after its foundation, a capitol or school of learning, a circus, two theatres, eight public and 153 private baths; 52 porticoes, 5 granaries, & aqueducts, 4 spacious halls, 14 churches, 14 palaces, and 322 streets. There were 583 permanent garrisons upon the frontiers of the empire, and the military establishment under the successors of Constantine consisted of 645,000 soldiers. The new capital was characterised by eastern splendour, Juxury, and voluptuousness, and the cities, of Greece were despoiled for its embellishment.
2. Constantins. The empire was divided among the three sons of Constantine, and, as is usual in such cases, an intestine war broke out with great fury. But Constantine, who began the war against Constans, was slain near Aquileia. Constans not loog aster met with the same fate; so that Constantius remained sole emperor. Italy, Africa, and Illyricum were apportioned to him, and upon the death of Constantine in 340, he came to the possession of Gaul, Spain, and Britain. He was the great patron of Athavasius and was killed by the treachery of Magneotius, whose life he had formerly saved. He was 30 years old, of which he reigned 13. Constantius lired upwards of 40, and reigned 25 years. He took the part of the Arians, and persecuted the orthodox party. He died A. D. 361.
3. Julian, named the Apostate, from having renounced the Christian faith through the influence of some philosophers, under whom he had studied at Athens. He abstained indeed from murder and bloodshed, but took another course; he fomented divisions among the Christians, deprived the youth of a learned education, and stripped them of their fortunes. Whenever the Christians complained of this injurious treatment, he only ridiculed
them, answering in the words of Christ himself, · Blessed are the poor. At length, that he might give the Christian religion a deadly wound, he attempted to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem, but this undertaking was frustrated, as Ammianus Marcellivus, a heathen writer testifies, by flames bursting out of the ground. The church suffered much by the conduct of this emperor, who endeavoured to undermine the very foundations of the Christian religion. He was slain in battle with the Persians, in the thirty-krst year of his age after a reign of three years, A. D. 363. Julian was the slave of the most bigoted superstition, believing in omens aud auguries, and fancying himself favoured with an actual intercourse with the gods and goddesses.
4. Jovian, a captain of the domestic guards, was declared emperor by the suffrages of the army, A. D. 363. The short reign of Jovian (a period of seven months) was mild and equitable; he favoured Christianity, and restored its votaries to all their privileges as subjects. He died suddenly at the age of thirty-three.
5. Valentinian, on the death of Jovian, was chosen emperor by the army. He caused his brother Valens to take the nanie of Augustus. He waged war with the Alemanni, the Saxons, the Quadi, and other northern nations, and died in Pannonia, A. D. 367. Valens who had a quarrel with the Gothis, being wounded in a battle, retired to a small cottage for safety ;- but was burnt alive by those barbarians. He was a constant protector of the Arians. In the reign of Valens, the Goths took possession of Dacia, and were known by the distinct appellation of Ostrogoths and Visigoths, or eastern and western Goths. The irruptions of these barbarians became frequent and extensive In the battle of Adrianople two thirds of the Roman army were cut to pieces, and the Goths often approached within sight of the walls of Constantinople.
6. Gration commenced his reign, A. D. 375. He was educated by Ausonius the poet, whom he advanced to be consul, and associated Theodosius with himself in the government, who ruled with great ability the eastern and western empire. He defeated the Germans, and made a great slaughter of them, and was therefore called Alemannicus. He was a good friend to St. Ambrose ; but fond of sports and hunting, and of foreign, rather than his own