Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen.: Proceedings of Macedonius in Mantinium. His Removal from his See when he attempted to remove the Coffin of Constantine the Great. Julian was pronounced Cæsar.Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Chapter XXI.—Proceedings of Macedonius in Mantinium. His Removal from his See when he attempted to remove the Coffin of Constantine the Great. Julian was pronounced Cæsar.
About the same time Eleusius wholly demolished the church of the Novatians in Cyzicus. 1334 The inhabitants of other parts of Paphlagonia, and particularly of Mantinium, were subjected to similar persecutions. Macedonius, having been apprised that the majority of these people were followers of Novatus, and that the ecclesiastical power was not of itself sufficiently strong to expel them, persuaded the emperor to send four cohorts against them. For he imagined that men who are unaccustomed to arms would, on the first appearance of soldiers, be seized with terror, and conform to his sentiments. But it happened otherwise, for the people of Mantinium armed themselves with sickles and axes and whatever other weapons chanced to be at hand, and marched against the military. A severe conflict ensued, and many of the Paphlagonians fell, but nearly all the soldiers were slain. Many of the friends of Macedonius blamed him for having occasioned so great a disaster, and the emperor was displeased, and regarded him with less favor than before. Inimical feelings were engendered still more strongly by another occurrence. Macedonius contemplated the removal of the coffin of the Emperor Constantine, as the structure in which it had been concealed was falling into ruin. The people were divided in opinion on this subject: some concurred in the design, and others opposed it, deeming it impious and similar to digging up a grave. Those who maintained the Nicene doctrines were of the latter sentiment, and insisted that no indignity should be offered to the body of Constantine, as that emperor had held the same doctrines as themselves. They were besides, I can readily imagine, eager to oppose the projects of Macedonius. However, without further delay, Macedonius caused the coffin to be conveyed to the same church in which the tomb of Acacius the martyr is placed. The people, divided into two factions, the one approving, the other condemning the deed, rushed upon each other in the same church, and so much carnage ensued that the house of prayer and the adjoining place were filled with blood and slaughtered bodies. The emperor, who was then in the West, was deeply incensed on hearing of this occurrence; and he blamed Macedonius as the cause of the indignity offered to his father, and of the slaughter of the people.
The emperor had determined to visit the East, and held on his way; he conferred the title of Cæsar on his cousin Julian, and sent him to Western Gaul.
Soc. ii. 38; order and detail from Socrates.
Next: Council of Seleucia.
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