- Hey, look at this. It's volume four of the Decline and
Fall of the Roman Empire
- What was that, Stephen?
- Oh, it's just a book that Robert dropped, TIM. The Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon.
- Have you ever read it, Stephen?
- No, TIM, I can't say that I have. It's rather long, you know, it is six
- Yes, I do know. But in the light of what's been happening, it is very
interesting. I should have seen the correlation before.
- Why, how do you mean, TIM?
- It seems that the Roman Empire, or what was left it, suffered a similar spate
of senseless violence in the sixth century. People split into two warring
factions which Gibbon says invaded the peace of families, divided friends and
brothers. There was a lot of crime and killing and the warring factions almost
destroyed civilisation. As the Dark Ages followed on shortly afterwards, perhaps
they were partly responsible for doing just that.
- But why?
- There was no reason behind it. If people had an allegiance to one colour, they
hated people of the opposite colour. Hated them enough to kill each other. And
the colours were blue and green.
from The Blue and the Green
I recently acquired a complete set of The Decline and Fall of
the Roman Empire and decided to see precisely what it had to say about the
events alluded to in The Blue and the Green. I had wondered whether or
not the reference used in the episode was real, and if it was how much impact it
really had. The answer is quite a bit - and I am presenting on this page
selected excerpts from Gibbon to save other fans from having to read all six
volumes. Most of these references come from Volume Four. I thought it might be
of interest to some Tomorrow People fans to see just what TIM was referring to.
the patron of the republic, it was the interest and duty of the Gothic king to
cultivate the affections of the senate and people.
The nobles of Rome were flattered by sonorous epithets and formal
professions of respect, which had been more justly applied to the merit and
authority of their ancestors. The people enjoyed, without fear or danger, the
three blessings of a capital, order, plenty, and public amusements.
A visible diminution of their numbers may be found even in the measure of
liberality; yet Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily, poured their tribute of corn into
the granaries of Rome an allowance of bread
and meat was
distributed to the indigent citizens; and every office was deemed honorable
which was consecrated to the care of
and happiness. The public games,
such as the Greek ambassador might politely applaud, exhibited a faint and
feeble copy of the magnificence of the Caesars: yet the musical, the gymnastic,
and the pantomime arts, had not totally sunk in oblivion; the wild beasts of
Africa still exercised in the amphitheatre the courage and dexterity of the
hunters; and the indulgent Goth either patiently tolerated or gently restrained
the blue and green
factions, whose contests so often filled the
circus with clamor and even with blood."
the eunuch Amantius had been defrauded of his money, it became necessary to
deprive him of his life. The task
was easily accomplished by the charge of a real or fictitious conspiracy; and
the judges were informed, as an accumulation of guilt, that he was secretly
addicted to the Manichaean heresy. Amantius lost his head; three of his
companions, the first domestics of the palace, were punished either with death
or exile; and their unfortunate candidate for the purple was cast into a deep
dungeon, overwhelmed with stones, and ignominiously thrown, without burial, into
the sea. The ruin of Vitalian was a
work of more difficulty and danger. That
Gothic chief had rendered himself popular by the civil war which he boldly waged
against Anastasius for the defence of the orthodox faith, and after the
conclusion of an advantageous treaty, he still remained in the neighborhood of
Constantinople at the head of a formidable and victorious army of Barbarians. By
the frail security of oaths, he was tempted to relinquish this advantageous
situation, and to trust his person within the walls of a city, whose
inhabitants, particularly the blue faction, were
artfully incensed against him by the remembrance even of his pious
the exercise of supreme power, the first act of Justinian was to divide it with
the woman whom he loved, the famous Theodora, whose strange elevation cannot be
triumph of female virtue. Under the
reign of Anastasius, the care of the wild beasts maintained by the green
faction at Constantinople was intrusted to Acacius, a native of the Isle of
Cyprus, who, from his employment, was surnamed the master of the bears.
This honorable office was given after his death to another candidate,
notwithstanding the diligence of his widow, who had already provided a husband
and a successor. Acacius had left
three daughters, Comito, Theodora, and Anastasia, the eldest of whom did not
then exceed the age of seven years. On a solemn festival, these helpless orphans were sent by
their distressed and indignant mother, in the garb of suppliants, into the midst
of the theatre: the green faction received them
with contempt, the blues with compassion; and this
difference, which sunk deep into the mind of Theodora, was felt long afterwards
the administration of the empire."
material difference may be observed in the games of antiquity: the most eminent
of the Greeks were actors, the Romans were merely spectators. The Olympic
stadium was open to wealth, merit, and ambition; and if the candidates could
depend on their personal skill and activity, they might pursue the footsteps of
Diomede and Menelaus, and conduct their own horses in the rapid
twenty, forty chariots were allowed to start at the same instant; a crown of
leaves was the reward of the victor; and his fame, with that of his family and
country, was chanted in lyric strains more durable than monuments of brass and
marble. But a
senator, or even a citizen, conscious of his dignity, would
to expose his person, or his horses, in the circus of Rome.
The games were exhibited at the expense of the republic, the magistrates,
or the emperors: but the reins were abandoned to servile hands; and if the
profits of a favorite charioteer sometimes exceeded those of an advocate, they
must be considered as the effects of popular extravagance, and the high wages of
a disgraceful profession. The race,
in its first institution, was a simple contest of two chariots, whose drivers
were distinguished by white and red liveries: two additional colors, a light green,
and a caerulean blue, were afterwards introduced;
and as the races were repeated twenty-five times, one hundred chariots
contributed in the same day to the pomp of the
circus. The four factions soon
acquired a legal establishment, and a mysterious origin, and their fanciful
colors were derived from the various appearances of nature in the four seasons
of the year; the red dogstar of summer, the snows of winter, the deep shades of
autumn, and the cheerful verdure of the spring. Another interpretation
preferred the elements to the seasons, and the struggle of the green
and blue was supposed to represent the
conflict of the earth and sea. Their
respective victories announced either a plentiful harvest or a prosperous
navigation, and the hostility of the husbandmen and mariners was somewhat less
absurd than the blind ardor of the Roman people, who devoted their lives and
fortunes to the color which they had espoused. Such folly was disdained and
indulged by the wisest princes; but the names of Caligula, Nero, Vitellius,
Verus, Commodus, Caracalla, and Elagabalus, were enrolled in the blue
or green factions of the circus; they frequented
their stables, applauded their favorites, chastised their antagonists, and
deserved the esteem of the populace, by the natural or affected imitation of
their manners. The bloody and
tumultuous contest continued to disturb the public festivity, till the last age
of the spectacles of Rome; and Theodoric, from a motive of justice or affection,
interposed his authority to protect the greens
against the violence of a consul and a patrician, who were passionately
addicted to the blue faction of the
adopted the follies, though not the virtues, of ancient Rome; and the same
factions which had agitated the circus, raged with redoubled fury in the
hippodrome. Under the reign of
Anastasius, this popular frenzy was inflamed by religious zeal; and the greens,
who had treacherously concealed stones and daggers under baskets of fruit,
massacred, at a solemn festival, three thousand of their blue
adversaries. From this capital, the pestilence was diffused into the provinces
and cities of the East, and the sportive distinction of two colors produced two
strong and irreconcilable factions, which shook the foundations of a feeble
government. The popular dissensions,
the most serious interest, or holy pretence, have scarcely equalled the
obstinacy of this wanton discord, which invaded the peace of families,
divided friends and brothers, and tempted the female sex, though seldom seen
in the circus, to espouse the inclinations of their lovers, or to contradict the
wishes of their husbands. Every
law, either human or divine, was trampled under foot, and as long as the party
was successful, its deluded followers appeared careless of private distress or
public calamity. The license, without the freedom, of democracy, was revived at
Antioch and Constantinople, and the support of a faction became necessary to
every candidate for civil or ecclesiastical honors.
A secret attachment to the family or sect of Anastasius was imputed to
the greens; the blues
were zealously devoted to the cause of orthodoxy and Justinian, and their
grateful patron protected, above five years, the disorders of a faction, whose
seasonable tumults overawed the palace, the senate, and the capitals of the
East. Insolent with royal favor the
blues affected to strike terror by a peculiar and
Barbaric dress, the long hair of the Huns, their close sleeves and ample
garments, a lofty step, and a sonorous voice.
In the day they concealed their two-edged poniards, but in the night they
boldly assembled in arms, and in numerous bands, prepared for every act of
violence and rapine. Their adversaries of the green
faction, or even inoffensive citizens, were stripped and often murdered by these
nocturnal robbers, and it became dangerous to wear any gold
girdles, or to appear at a late hour in the streets of a peaceful capital.
A daring spirit, rising with impunity, proceeded to violate the safeguard
of private houses; and fire was employed to facilitate the attack, or to conceal
the crimes of these factious rioters. No place was safe or sacred from their
depredations; to gratify either avarice or revenge, they profusely spilt the
blood of the innocent; churches and altars were polluted by atrocious murders;
and it was the boast of the assassins, that their dexterity could always inflict
a mortal wound with a single stroke of their dagger.
The dissolute youth of Constantinople adopted the blue
livery of disorder; the laws were silent, and the bonds of society were relaxed:
creditors were compelled to resign their obligations; judges to reverse their
sentence; masters to enfranchise their slaves; fathers to supply the
extravagance of their children; noble matrons were prostituted to the lust of
their servants; beautiful boys were torn from the arms of their parents; and
wives, unless they preferred a voluntary death, were ravished in the presence of
their husbands. The despair of the greens, who were
persecuted by their enemies, and deserted by the magistrates, assumed the
privilege of defence, perhaps of retaliation; but those who survived the combat
were dragged to execution, and the unhappy fugitives, escaping to woods and
caverns, preyed without mercy on the society from whence they were expelled.
Those ministers of justice who had courage to punish the crimes, and to brave
the resentment, of the blues, became the victims of
their indiscreet zeal; a praefect of Constantinople fled for refuge to the holy
sepulchre, a count of the East was ignominiously whipped, and a governor of
Cilicia was hanged, by the order of Theodora, on the tomb of two assassins whom
he had condemned for the murder of his groom, and a daring attack upon his own
life. An aspiring candidate may be tempted to build his greatness on the public
confusion, but it is the interest as well as duty of a sovereign to maintain the
authority of the laws. The first edict of Justinian, which was often repeated, and
sometimes executed, announced his firm resolution to support the innocent, and
to chastise the guilty, of every denomination and color. Yet the balance of justice was still inclined in favor of the
blue faction, by the secret affection, the habits,
and the fears of the emperor; his equity, after an apparent struggle, submitted,
without reluctance, to the implacable passions of Theodora, and the empress
never forgot, or forgave, the injuries of the comedian.
At the accession of the younger Justin, the proclamation of equal and
rigorous justice indirectly condemned the partiality of the former reign.
"Ye blues, Justinian is no more!
ye greens, he is still alive!""
sedition, which almost laid Constantinople in ashes, was excited by the mutual
hatred and momentary reconciliation of the two factions.
In the fifth year of his reign, Justinian celebrated the festival of the
ides of January; the games were incessantly disturbed by the clamorous
discontent of the greens: till the twenty-second
race, the emperor maintained his silent gravity; at length, yielding to his
impatience, he condescended to hold, in abrupt sentences, and by the voice of a
crier, the most singular dialogue that ever passed between a prince and
subjects. Their first complaints
were respectful and modest; they accused the subordinate ministers of
oppression, and proclaimed their wishes for the long life and victory of the
emperor. "Be patient and
attentive, ye insolent railers!" exclaimed Justinian; "be mute, ye
Jews, Samaritans, and Manichaeans!" The greens
still attempted to awaken his compassion. "We
are poor, we are innocent, we are injured, we dare not pass through the streets:
a general persecution is exercised against our name and color.
Let us die, O emperor! but let us die by your command, and for your
service!" But the repetition of partial and passionate invectives degraded,
in their eyes, the majesty of the purple; they renounced allegiance to the
prince who refused justice to his people; lamented that the father of Justinian
had been born; and branded his son with
opprobrious names of a homicide, an ass, and a perjured tyrant.
"Do you despise your lives?" cried the indignant monarch: the blues
rose with fury from their seats; their hostile clamors thundered in the
hippodrome; and their adversaries, deserting the unequal contest spread terror
and despair through the streets of Constantinople.
At this dangerous moment, seven notorious assassins of both factions, who
had been condemned by the praefect, were carried round the city, and afterwards
transported to the place of execution in the suburb of Pera. Four were
immediately beheaded; a fifth was hanged: but when the same punishment was
inflicted on the remaining two, the rope broke, they fell alive to the ground,
the populace applauded their escape, and the monks of St. Conon, issuing from
the neighboring convent, conveyed them in a boat to the sanctuary of the church.
As one of these criminals was of the blue, and the
other of the green livery, the two factions were
equally provoked by the cruelty of their oppressor, or the ingratitude of their
patron; and a short truce was concluded till they had delivered their prisoners
and satisfied their revenge. The
palace of the praefect, who withstood the seditious torrent, was instantly
burnt, his officers and guards were massacred, the prisons were forced open, and
freedom was restored to those who
use it for the public destruction. A
military force, which had been despatched to the aid of the civil magistrate,
was fiercely encountered by an armed multitude, whose numbers and boldness
continually increased; and the Heruli, the wildest Barbarians in the service of
the empire, overturned the priests and their relics, which, from a pious motive,
had been rashly interposed to separate the bloody conflict.
The tumult was exasperated by this sacrilege, the people fought with
enthusiasm in the cause of God; the women, from the roofs and windows, showered
stones on the heads of the soldiers, who darted fire brands against the houses;
and the various flames, which had been kindled by the hands of citizens and
strangers, spread without
over the face of the city. The
conflagration involved the cathedral of St. Sophia, the baths of Zeuxippus, a
part of the palace, from the first entrance to the altar of Mars, and the long
portico from the palace to the forum of Constantine: a large hospital, with the
sick patients, was consumed; many churches and stately edifices were destroyed
and an immense treasure of gold and silver was either melted or lost.
From such scenes of horror and distress, the wise and wealthy citizens
escaped over the Bosphorus to the Asiatic side; and during five days
Constantinople was abandoned to the factions, whose watchword, Nika, vanquish!
has given a name to this memorable sedition."
long as the factions were divided, the triumphant blues,
and desponding greens, appeared to behold with the
same indifference the disorders of the state.
They agreed to censure the corrupt management of justice and the finance;
and the two
ministers, the artful Tribonian, and the rapacious John of Cappadocia, were
loudly arraigned as the authors of the
misery. The peaceful murmurs of the
people would have been disregarded: they were heard with respect when the city
was in flames; the quaestor, and the praefect, were instantly removed, and their
offices were filled by two senators of blameless integrity.
After this popular concession, Justinian proceeded to the hippodrome to
confess his own errors, and to accept the repentance of his grateful subjects;
but they distrusted his assurances, though solemnly pronounced in the presence
of the holy Gospels; and the emperor, alarmed by their distrust, retreated with
precipitation to the strong fortress of the palace.
The obstinacy of the tumult was now imputed to a secret and ambitious
conspiracy, and a suspicion was entertained, that the insurgents, more
especially the green faction, had been supplied
with arms and money by Hypatius and Pompey, two patricians, who could neither
forget with honor, nor remember with safety, that they were the nephews of the
was an easy and a decisive measure to revive the animosity of the factions; the blues
were astonished at their own guilt and folly, that a trifling injury
should provoke them to conspire with their implacable enemies against a gracious
and liberal benefactor; they again proclaimed the majesty of Justinian; and the greens,
with their upstart emperor, were left alone in the hippodrome. The fidelity of
the guards was doubtful; but the military force of Justinian consisted in three
thousand veterans, who had been
valor and discipline in the Persian and Illyrian wars. Under the command of
Belisarius and Mundus, they silently marched in two divisions from the palace,
forced their obscure way through narrow passages, expiring flames, and falling
edifices, and burst open at the same moment the two opposite gates of the
hippodrome. In this narrow space,
the disorderly and affrighted
incapable of resisting on either side a firm and
attack; the blues signalized the fury of their
repentance; and it is computed, that above thirty thousand persons were slain in
the merciless and promiscuous carnage of the day.
Hypatius was dragged from his throne, and conducted, with his brother
Pompey, to the feet of the emperor: they implored his clemency; but their crime
was manifest, their innocence uncertain, and Justinian had been too much
terrified to forgive. The next morning the two nephews of Anastasius, with
eighteen illustrious accomplices, of patrician or consular rank, were privately
executed by the soldiers; their bodies were thrown
sea, their palaces razed, and their fortunes confiscated. The hippodrome itself
was condemned, during several years, to a mournful silence: with the restoration
of the games, the same disorders revived; and the blue
and green factions continued to afflict the reign
of Justinian, and to disturb the
tranquility of the Eastern empire."
principal church, which was dedicated by the founder of Constantinople to St.
Sophia, or the eternal wisdom, had been twice destroyed by fire; after the exile
of John Chrysostom, and
during the Nika of the blue and green
miles below Antioch, the River Orontes falls into the Mediterranean. The haughty Persian visited the term of his conquests; and,
after bathing alone in the sea, he offered a solemn sacrifice of thanksgiving to
the sun, or rather to the Creator of the sun, whom the Magi adored.
If this act of superstition offended the prejudices of the Syrians, they
were pleased by the courteous and even eager attention with which he assisted at
the games of the circus; and as Chosroes had heard that the blue
faction was espoused by the emperor, his peremptory command secured the
victory of the green charioteer."
ferment subsided; but every accident betrayed the impotence of the government,
and the factious temper of the people: the guards were disposed to mutiny as
often as their quarters were changed, or their pay was withheld: the frequent
calamities of fires and earthquakes afforded the opportunities of disorder; the
disputes of the blues and greens,
of the orthodox and heretics, degenerated into bloody battles; and, in the
presence of the Persian ambassador,
Justinian blushed for himself and for his subjects."
if Constantinople had been firm and faithful, the murderer might have spent his
fury against the walls; and the rebel army would have been gradually consumed or
reconciled by the prudence of the emperor.
In the games of the Circus, which he repeated with unusual pomp, Maurice
disguised, with smiles of
the anxiety of his heart, condescended to solicit the applause of the factions,
and flattered their pride by accepting from their respective tribunes a list of
nine hundred blues and fifteen hundred greens,
whom he affected to esteem as the solid pillars of his throne Their treacherous
or languid support betrayed his weakness and hastened his fall: the green
secret accomplices of the rebels, and the blues
recommended lenity and moderation in a contest with their Roman brethren The
rigid and parsimonious virtues of Maurice had long since alienated the hearts of
his subjects: as he walked barefoot in a religious procession, he was rudely
assaulted with stones, and his guards were compelled to present their iron maces
in the defence of his person. A
fanatic monk ran through the streets with a drawn sword, denouncing against him
the wrath and the sentence of God; and a vile plebeian, who represented his
countenance and apparel, was seated on an ass, and pursued by the imprecations
of the multitude. The emperor suspected the popularity of Germanus with the
soldiers and citizens: he feared, he threatened, but he delayed to strike; the
patrician fled to the sanctuary of the church; the people rose in his defence,
the walls were deserted by the guards, and the lawless city was abandoned to the
flames and rapine of a nocturnal tumult. In a small bark, the unfortunate Maurice, with his wife and
nine children, escaped to the Asiatic shore; but the violence of the wind
compelled him to land at the church of St. Autonomus, near Chalcedon, from
whence he despatched Theodosius, he eldest son, to implore the gratitude and
friendship of the Persian monarch. For
himself, he refused to fly: his body was tortured with sciatic pains, his mind
was enfeebled by superstition; he patiently awaited the event of the revolution,
and addressed a fervent and public prayer to the Almighty, that the punishment
of his sins might be inflicted in this world rather than in a future life. After
the abdication of Maurice, the two factions disputed
of an emperor; but the favorite of the blues was
rejected by the jealousy of their antagonists, and Germanus himself was hurried
along by the crowds who rushed to the palace of Hebdomon, seven miles from the
city, to adore the majesty of Phocas the centurion.
A modest wish of resigning the purple to the rank and merit of Germanus
was opposed by his resolution, more obstinate and equally sincere; the senate
and clergy obeyed
and, as soon as the patriarch was assured of his orthodox belief, he consecrated
the successful usurper in the church of St. John the Baptist.
On the third day, amidst the acclamations of a thoughtless people, Phocas
made his public entry in a chariot drawn by four white horses: the revolt of the
troops was rewarded by a lavish donative; and the new sovereign, after visiting
the palace, beheld from his throne the games of the hippodrome.
In a dispute of precedency between the two
his partial judgment inclined in favor of the greens.
"Remember that Maurice is still alive," resounded from the opposite
side; and the indiscreet clamor of the blues
admonished and stimulated the cruelty of the tyrant.
The ministers of death were despatched to Chalcedon: they dragged the
emperor from his
and the five sons of Maurice were successively murdered before the eyes of their
agonizing parent. At each stroke,
which he felt in his heart, he found strength to rehearse a pious ejaculation:
"Thou art just, O Lord! and thy judgments are righteous." And such, in
the last moments, was his rigid attachment to truth and justice, that he
revealed to the soldiers the pious falsehood of a nurse who presented her own
child in the place of a royal infant. The tragic scene was finally closed by the
execution of the emperor himself, in the twentieth year of his reign, and the
sixty-third of his age. The bodies
of the father and his five sons were cast into the sea; their heads were exposed
at Constantinople to the insults or pity of the multitude; and it was not till
some signs of putrefaction had appeared, that Phocas connived at the private
burial of these venerable remains. In
that grave, the faults and errors of Maurice were kindly interred.
His fate alone was remembered; and
at the end
of twenty years, in the recital of the history of Theophylact, the mournful tale
was interrupted by the tears of
the fever of the times, the sense, or rather the sound of a syllable, was
sufficient to disturb the peace of an empire. The Trisagion (thrice holy,)
"Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of
is supposed, by the Greeks, to be the identical hymn which the angels and
cherubim eternally repeat before the throne of God, and which, about the middle
of the fifth century, was miraculously revealed to the church of Constantinople.
The devotion of Antioch soon added, "who was crucified for us!"
and this grateful address, either to Christ alone, or to the whole Trinity, may
be justified by the rules of theology, and has been gradually adopted by the
Catholics of the East and West. But
it had been imagined by a Monophysite bishop; the gift of an enemy was at first
rejected as a dire and dangerous blasphemy, and the rash innovation had nearly
cost the emperor Anastasius his throne and his life. The people of
Constantinople was devoid of any rational principles of freedom; but they held,
as a lawful cause of rebellion, the color of a livery in the races, or the color
of a mystery in the schools. The
Trisagion, with and without this obnoxious addition, was chanted in the
cathedral by two adverse choirs, and when their lungs were exhausted, they had
recourse to the more solid arguments of sticks and stones; the aggressors were
punished by the emperor, and defended by the patriarch; and the crown and mitre
were staked on the event of this momentous quarrel.
The streets were instantly crowded with innumerable swarms of men, women,
and children; the legions of monks, in regular array, marched, and shouted, and
fought at their head, "Christians! this is the day of martyrdom: let us not
desert our spiritual father; anathema to the Manichaean tyrant! he is unworthy
to reign." Such was the Catholic cry; and the galleys of Anastasius lay
upon their oars before the palace, till the patriarch had pardoned his penitent,
and hushed the waves of the troubled multitude.
The triumph of Macedonius was checked by a speedy exile; but the zeal of
his flock was again exasperated by the same question, "Whether one of the
Trinity had been crucified?" On this momentous occasion, the blue
and green factions of Constantinople suspended
their discord, and the civil and military powers were annihilated in their
presence. The keys of the city, and the standards of the guards, were
deposited in the forum of Constantine, the principal station and camp of the
faithful. Day and night they were
incessantly busied either in singing hymns to the honor of their God, or in
pillaging and murdering the servants of their prince.
The head of his favorite monk, the friend, as they styled him, of the
enemy of the Holy Trinity, was borne aloft on a spear; and the firebrands, which
had been darted against heretical structures, diffused the undistinguishing
flames over the most orthodox buildings. The
statues of the emperor were broken, and his person was concealed in a suburb,
till, at the end of three days, he dared to implore the mercy of his subjects.
Without his diadem, and in the posture of a suppliant, Anastasius
appeared on the throne of the circus. The
Catholics, before his face, rehearsed their genuine Trisagion; they exulted in
the offer, which he proclaimed by the voice of a herald, of abdicating the
purple; they listened to the admonition, that, since all could not reign, they
should previously agree in the choice of a sovereign; and they accepted the
blood of two unpopular ministers, whom their master, without
condemned to the lions. These
furious but transient seditions were encouraged by the success of Vitalian, who,
with an army of Huns and Bulgarians, for the most part idolaters, declared
himself the champion of the Catholic faith.
In this pious rebellion he depopulated Thrace, besieged Constantinople,
exterminated sixty-five thousand of his fellow-Christians, till he obtained the
recall of the bishops, the satisfaction of the pope, and the establishment of
the council of Chalcedon, an orthodox treaty, reluctantly signed by the dying
Anastasius, and more faithfully performed by the uncle of Justinian. And such was the event of the first of the religious wars
which have been
waged in the name and by the disciples, of the God of peace."
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Extracts from The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by
Edward Gibbon. Copyright on this work has expired and it is in the public