Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen.: The Different Nations took up Arms against the Romans, of whom some were, through the Providence of God defeated, and others brought to Terms of Amity.Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Chapter V.—The Different Nations took up Arms against the Romans, of whom some were, through the Providence of God defeated, and others brought to Terms of Amity.
It happened about the same time that the Huns, who were encamped in Thrace, retreated disgracefully and cast off many of their number although they had neither been attacked nor pursued. 1628 Uldis, the leader of the barbarous tribes who dwell near the Ister, crossed that river at the head of a large army, and encamped on the frontiers of Thrace. He took possession by treachery of a city of Mœsia, called Castra Martis, and thence made incursions into the rest of Thrace, and insolently refused to enter into terms of alliance with the Romans. The prefect of the Thracian soldiers made propositions of peace to him, but he replied by pointing to the sun, and declaring that it would be easy to him, if he desired to do so, to subjugate every region of the earth that is enlightened by that luminary. But while Uldis was uttering menaces of this description, and was ordering as large a tribute as he pleased, and that on this condition peace could be established with the Romans or the war would continue,—when affairs were so helpless, God gave manifest proofs of special favor towards the present reign; for, shortly afterwards, the immediate attendants and the leaders of the tribes of Uldis were discussing the Roman form of government, the philanthropy of the emperor, and his promptitude and liberality in rewarding the best and good men. It was not without God that they turned to the love of the points so discussed and seceded to the Romans, to whose camp they joined themselves, together with the troops ranged under themselves. Finding himself thus abandoned, Uldis escaped with difficulty to the opposite bank of the river. Many of his troops were slain; and among others the whole of the barbarous tribe called the Sciri. This tribe had been very strong in point of numbers before falling into this misfortune. Some of them were killed; and others were taken prisoners, and conveyed in chains to Constantinople. The governors were of opinion that, if allowed to remain together, they would probably make a revolution. Some of them were, therefore, sold at a low price; while others were given away as slaves for presents, upon condition that they should never be permitted to return to Constantinople, or to Europe, but be separated by the sea from the places familiar to them. Of these, a number was left unsold; and they were ordered to settle in different places. I have seen many in Bithynia, near Mount Olympus, living apart from one another, and cultivating the hills and valleys of that region.
Independent chapter; cf. Zos. v. 22.
Next: Alaric the Goth. He assaulted Rome, and straitened it by War.
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