Those in every city who maintained the Nicene doctrine now began to take courage, and more particularly the inhabitants of Alexandria in Egypt. Peter 1514 had returned thither from Rome with a letter from Damasus, confirmatory of the tenets of Nicæa and of his own ordination; and he was installed in the government of the churches in the place of Lucius, who sailed away to Constantinople after his eviction. The Emperor Valens very naturally was so distracted by other affairs, that he had no leisure to attend to these transactions. He had no sooner arrived at Constantinople than he incurred the suspicion and hatred of the people. The barbarians were pillaging Thrace, and were even advancing to the very suburbs, and attempted to make an assault on the very walls, with no one to hinder them. The city was indignant at this inertness; and the people even charged the emperor with being a party to their attack, because he did not sally forth, but delayed offering battle. At length, when he was present at the sports of the Hippodrome, the people openly and loudly accused him of neglecting the affairs of the state, and demanded arms that they might fight in their own defense. Valens, offended at these reproaches, immediately undertook an expedition against the barbarians; but he threatened to punish the insolence of the people on his return, and also to take vengeance on them for having formerly supported the tyrant Procopius.
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