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A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology (ed. William Smith) 7 7 Browse Search
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A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology (ed. William Smith), (search)
ALEXANDRIA, succeeded as patriarch of that city St. Achillas, (as his predecessor, St. Peter, had predicted, Martyr. S. Petri, ap. Surium, vol. vi. p. 577,) A. D. 312. He, " the noble Champion of Apostolic Doctrine," (Theodt. Hist. Eccl. 1.2,) first laid bare the irreligion of Arius, and condemned him in his dispute with Alexander Baucalis. St. Alexander was at the Oecumenical Council of Nicaea, A. D. 325, with his deacon, St. Athanasius, and, scarcely five months after, died, April 17th, A. D. 326. St. Epiphanius (ad v. Hacres. 69.4) says he wrote some seventy circular epistles against Arius, and Socrates (H. E. 1.6), and Sozomen (H. E. 1.1), that he collected them into one volume. Two epistles remain; 1. to Alexander, bishop of Constantinople, written after the Council at Alexandria which condemned Arius, and before the other circular letters to the various bishops. (See Theodt. H. E. 1.4; Galland. Bibl. Pair. vol. iv. p. 441. ) 2. The Encyclic letter announcing Arius's deposition
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology (ed. William Smith), (search)
D. 317, along with his brother Constantinus and the younger Liciniusand was invested with the consulship the year following. Entering forthwith upon his military career, he distinguished himself in a campaign against the Franks, and soon after, in the war with Licinius, gained a great naval victory in the Hellespont, A. D. 323. But unhappily the glory of these exploits excited the bitter jealousy of his step-mother Fausta, at whose instigation he was put to death by his father in the year A. D. 326. [CONSTANTINUS, p. 835.] (Euseb. Chron. ad ann. 317; Sozomen. Hist. Eccl. 1.5; Eckhel, vol. viii. p. 100.) A great number of coins, especially in small brass, are extant bearing the name and effigy of this youth, commonly with the titles Caesar and Princeps Juventutis annexed; on the reverse of one we read the words Alamannia Devicta, which may refer to his success in the West, but the legends for the most part commemorate the exploits of his father rather than his own achievements.
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology (ed. William Smith), (search)
ailure, soon after died at Tarsus. But although, on this occasion at least, she appeared in the light of a devoted wife, she at the same time played the part of a most cruel stepmother, for, in consequence of her jealous machinations, Constantine was induced to put his son Crispus to death. When, however, the truth was brought to light by Helena, who grieved deeply for her grandchild, Fausta was shut up in a bath heated far above the common temperature, and was thus suffocated, probably in A. D. 326. Zosimus seems inclined to throw the whole blame in both instances on Constantine, whom he accuses as the hypocritical perpetrator of a double murder, while others assign the promiscuous profligacy of the empress as the true origin of her destruction, but in reality the time, the causes, and the manner of her death are involved in great obscurity in consequence of the vague and contradictory representations of our historical authorities. (CONSTANTINUS, p. 835; CRISPUS, p. 892; Zosim. 2.10,
him a foreign tongue, while from the hellenic idioms with which his style abounds we should be led to conclude that he was a Greek. From the personages whom he introduces in the Saturnalia, and represents as his contemporaries, we are entitled to conclude that he lived about the beginning of the fifth century, but of his personal history or of the social position which he occupied we know absolutely nothing. In the Codex Theodosianus, it is true, a law of Constantine, belonging to the year A. D. 326, is preserved, addressed to a certain Maximianus Macrobius, another of Honorius (A. D. 399) addressed to Macrobius, propraefect of the Spains, another of Arcadius and Honorius (A. D. 400), addressed to Vincentius, praetorian praefect of the Gauls, in which mention is made of a Macrobius as Vicarius; another of Honorius (A. D. 410), addressed to Macrobius, proconsul of Africa; and a rescript of Honorius and Theodosius (A. D. 422), addressed to Florentius, praefect of the city, in which it i
stantine should be allowed to raise troops by conscription in Egypt, then governed by his jealous partner in the empire, Maximin. A similar difficulty applies to all Constantine's civil contests, until after the final overthrow of Licinius in A. D. 323, and the only civil war of Constantine after that was against Calocerus in Cyprus, in 335 ; the date of which is altogether too late, as Pachomius (Epistol. Ammon. 100.6) was converted in the tine of Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, who died A. D. 326. It is likely, therefore, that the mention of Constantine's name is an error of the biographer, and that Tillemont is right in thinking that the conscription in which Pachomius was drawn was ordered by Maximin II. We may, therefore, with Tillemont, fix the time of Pachomius birth in A. D. 292. Papebroche makes the war to be that of Diocletian (under whom Constantine, then a youth, was serving) against the usurper Achilles,A. D. 296, but this supposition is inadmissible. The conscripts we
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology (ed. William Smith), (search)
the flattery of the poet, that he not only recalled him from exile, but honoured him with a letter. Hieronymus says that he was restored to his native country in A. D. 328; but the panegyric must have been presented to Constantine in A. D. 326, as in the manuscript it is said to have been composed in the Vicennalia of the emperor, which were celebrated in this year, and likewise from the fact that the poet praises Crispus, the son of Constantine, who was put to death by order of his the in A. D. 326. We may therefore conclude that the panegyric was written in the previous year. and was intended to celebrate the Vicennalia of the emperor It is probable that Publilius, after his return, was raised to offices of honour and trust, since Tillemont points out (Histoire des Empereurs, vol. iv. p. 364), from an ancient writer on the praefects of the city, that there was a Publilius Optatianus, praefect of the city in A. D. 329, and again in 333, and it is likely enough that he was the same pe
gment to be found in the work, and sometimes (especially in the case of Constantine) an intemperate expression of opinion, which somewhat exaggerates, if it does not distort the truth. But he does not seem fairly chargeable with deliberate invention, or wilful misrepresentation. One passage in his history in particular has been fastened upon as evident proof of his untrustworthiness, where (2.29) he gives his account of the conversion of Constantine, placing it after the murder of his son (A. D. 326), whereas Constantine had declared himself a Christian much earlier. (Sainte-Croix, Mém. de l' Académie des Inscr. vol. xlix. p. 466). But on the other hand, the common story of the conversion of Constantine does not rest on any authority that is worth much; and though it is pretty clear that Zosimus has committed an anachronism, it is not so gross as has been sometimes supposed; and there is thus much to be said in excuse for Zosimus, that it was not till the latter part of his life that