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gence should excite the less admiration, since C H A P. many of the buildings were finished in so hasty XVII. and imperfect a manner, that, under the succeed- TT ing reign, they were preserved with difficulty from impending ruin “s. But while they displayed the vigour and freshness of youth, the founder prepared to celebrate the dedication of his city “. The games and largesses which crowned the pomp of this memorable festival may easily be supposed : but there is one circumstance of a more singular and permanent nature, which ought not entirely to be overlooked. As often as the birth-day of the city returned, the statue of Constantine, framed by his order, of gilt wood, and bearing in his right-hand a small image of the genius of the place, was erected on a triumphal car. The guards, carrying white tapers, and clothed in their richest apparel, accompanied the solemn procession as it moved through the Hippodrome.
of May 5838 (A. D. 330.). He conne&s these dates with several chara&teristic epochs, but they contradićt each other ; the authority of Codinus is of little weight, and the space which he assigns must appear insufficient. The term of ten years is given us by Julian (Orat. i. p. 8.), and Spanheim labours to establish the truth of it (p. 69–75.); by the help of two passages from Themistius Orat. iv. p. 58.) and of Philosiorgius (l. ii. c. 9.), which form a period from the year 324 to the year 334, Modern crics are divided concerning this point of chronology, and their different sentiments are very accurately discussed by Tillemont, Hiisk. des Empercurs, tom. iv. p. 619–625,
65 Themistius, Orat. iii. p. 47. Zosim. I. ii. p. 108. Constantime himself, in one of his laws (Cod. Theod. 1. xv. tit. i.). betrays his impatience.
66 Cedrenus and Zonaras, faithful to the mode of superstition which prevailed in their own times, assure us that Constantinople was consecrated to the virgin Mother of God. 9 When
c H. A. P. When it was opposite to the throne of the reign
ing emperor, he rose from his seat, and with grateful reverence adored the memory of his predecessor". At the festival of the dedication, an edićt, engraved on a column of marble, bestowed the title of Second or NEw Rome on the city of Constantine". But the name of Cönstantinople “” has prevailed over that honourable epithet ; and after the revolution of fourteen centuries, still perpetuates the fame of its author *. The foundation of a new capital is naturally conne&ted with the establishment of a new form of civil and military administration. The distinčt view of the complicated system of policy, introduced by Diocletian, improved by Constantine, and completed by his immediate successors, may not only amuse the fancy by the fingular pićture of a great empire, but will tend to illustrate the secret and internal causes of its rapid decay. In the pursuit of any remarkable institution, we may be frequently led into the more early or the more recent times of the Roman history; but the proper limits of this enquiry will be included within a period of about one hundred and thirty years, from the accession of Constantine to the publication of the Theodosian code "; from which, as well as from the Notitia of the east and west 7°, we derive the most copious and authentic information of the state of the empire. This variety of objećts will suspend, for some time, the course of the narrative; but the interruption will be censured only by those readers who are insensible to the importance of laws and manners, while they peruse, with eager curiosity, the transient intrigues of a court, or the accidental event of a battle. The manly pride of the Romans, content with substantial power, had left to the vanity of the east the forms and ceremonies of ostentatious
Form of government,
67 The earliest and most complete account of this extraordinary ceremony may be found in the Alexandrian Chronicle, p. 285. Tillemont, and the other friends of Constantine, who are offended with the air of Paganism which seems unworthy of a Christian prince, had a right to confider it as doubtful, but they were not authorised to omit the mention of it.
98 Sozomen, l. ii. c. 2. Ducange C. P. l. i. c. 6. Velut ipsius Romae filiam, is the expression of Augustin. de Civitat. Dei, l. v. c. 25.
99 Eutropius, l. x. c. 8. Julian. Orat. i. p. 8. Ducange C. P. 1. i. c. 5. The name of Constantinople is extant on the medals of Constantine.
79 The lively Fontenelle (Dialogues des Morts, xii.) affe&ts to deride the vanity of human ambition, and seems to triumph in the disappointment of Constantine, whose immortal name is now lost in the vulgar appellation of Itambol, a Turkish corruption of is on, woxiv. Yet the original name is still preserved, 1. By the nations of Europe. 2. By the modern Greeks. 3. By the Arabs, whose writings are diffused over the wide extent of their conquests in Asia and Africa. See d'Herbelot Bibliotheque Orientale, p. 275. 4. By the more learned Turks, and by the emperor himself in his public mandates. Cantemir's History of the Othman Empire, P. 5*
‘and 7 * The Theodosian code was promulgated A. D. 438. See the Prolegomena of Godefroy, c. i. p. 185.
72 Pancirolus, in his elaborate Commentary, assigns to the No
titia a date almost finilar to that of the Theodosian code; but his proofs, or rather conjectures, are extremely feeble. I should be rather inclined to place this useful work between the final division of the empire (A.D. 395.), and the successful invasion of Gaul by the Barbarians (A.D. 407). See Histoire des anciens Peuples de l'Europe, tom, vii. p. 42.
C H A Pe.
Hierarchy of the state.
blance of those virtues which were derived from their ancient freedom, the simplicity of Roman manners was insensibly corrupted by the stately affectation of the courts of Asia. The distinctions of personal merit and influence, so conspicuous in a republic, so feeble and obscure under a monarchy, were abolished by the despotism of the emperors; who substituted in their room a severe subordination of rank and office, from the titled slaves who were feated on the steps of the throne, to the meanest instruments of arbitrary power. This multitude of abject dependents was interested in the support of the ačtual government, from the dread of a revolution, which might at once confound their hopes, and intercept the reward of their services. In this divine hierarchy (for such it is frequently styled), every rank was marked with the most scrupulous exačtness, and its dignity was displayed in a variety of trifling and solemn ceremonies, which it was a study to learn, and a sacrilege to neglect 7". The purity of the Latin language was debased, by adopting, in the intercourse of pride and flattery, a profusion
73 Scilicet externae superbiae sueto, non inerat notitia nostri (perhaps nosrae); apud quos vis Imperii valet, inania transmittuntur. Tacit Annal. xv. 31. The gradation from the style of freedom and simplicity, to that of form and servitude, may be traced in the Epistles of Cicero, of Pliny, and of Symmachus.
74 The emperor Gratian, after confirming a law of precedency published by Valentinian, the father of his Divinity, thus continues = Siquis igitur indebitum fibi locum usurpaverit, nulla se ignoratione defendat; fit que plane sacrilegii reus, qui divina praccepta neglexerit. Cod. Theod, 1. vi. tit. v. leg. 2. of
of epithets, which Tully would scarcely have un- C H A P.
7s Consult the Notitia Dignitatum, at the end of the Theodosian. Code, tom. vi. p. 316.
76 Pancirolus ad Notitiam utriusque Imperii, p. 39. But his explanations are obscure, and he does not sufficiently distinguish the painted emblems from the effective ensigns of office.
- VoI. III. D All