Free Republic 3rd Qtr 2020 Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $10,886
Woo hoo!! And we're now over 12%!! Thank you all very much!!

Keyword: lateantiquity

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • "Work of Every Description Ceased" ~ First hand accounts of the Plague of Justinian, 6th century AD

    04/01/2020 5:50:14 AM PDT · by Antoninus · 15 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | April 1, 2020 | Florentius
    Click above for a video excerpt from The Ecclesiastical History of Evagrius describing a personal encounter with the dreaded Plague of Justinian. The thought of pandemic troubles many souls these days. It is well to keep in mind that as bad as things may seem with regard to the deaths caused by the COVID-19 virus, we are not even within shouting distance of the type of utter and absolute societal devastation caused by the typical catastrophic historical plague. One of these epic pestilential events was the so-called Plague of Justinian of the mid-to-late 6th century AD. Erupting in AD 542,...
  • "He incurred the emperor's anger" ~ The last days and death of Belisarius

    03/02/2020 6:09:47 AM PST · by Antoninus · 17 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | March 1, 2020 | Florentius
    The life of Belisarius, the greatest military commander of the Roman Empire, came to a close in early March AD 565. Considering how much detail we have of his middle life and military career thanks to his secretary, the historian Procopius of Caesarea, we possess comparatively very little information about his final days. The chronicler John Malalas, writing perhaps 10 years after Belisarius's death, provides some of the only reliable notices of the hero's last acts, beginning with the plot against Justinian which was hatched in AD 562 and in which Belisarius was implicated as a co-conspirator. Malalas offers the...
  • Fifty Works From the Early Church That Every Christian Should Read

    01/08/2020 6:36:01 AM PST · by Antoninus · 134 replies
    List Challenges ^ | January 7, 2020
    These books contain important accounts and teachings from the early Church that every Christian should at least be familiar with. Unfortunately, many of these ancient resources are unknown to Christians today. How many of these have you read? Take the challenge here: Fifty Works From the Early Church That Every Christian Should ReadIf you have read less than 5 of these, you rank as a catechumen. If you have read at least 5, you are a novice. If you have read at least 10, you are an acolyte. If you have read at least 20, you would qualify as a...
  • "Stand back! A man defiled by sin is not worthy to enter within these sacred precincts." ~St. Ambrose

    12/07/2019 6:16:20 PM PST · by Antoninus · 11 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | December 07, 2018 | Florentius
    December 7 is the feast day of Aurelius Ambrosius, known to history as Saint Ambrose of Milan. He was born in Trier to a wealthy Roman family—his father, also named Ambrose, was Praetorian Prefect of Gaul according to Ambrose's ancient biographer, Paulinus of Milan. Paulinus relates a miracle associated with Ambrose's youth that seemed to presage a great future for the child: When he, as an infant placed in a cradle within the courtyard of the governor's residence, was sleeping with open mouth, suddenly a swarm of bees came and covered his face and lips in such a way that...
  • "Thou art just, O Lord, and thy judgments are righteous"~The execution of the Roman emperor Maurice

    11/27/2019 6:41:59 AM PST · by Antoninus · 5 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | November 27, 2017 | Florentius
    November 27 marks the anniversary of one of the most cruel and lamentable acts in all of human history -- the execution of the Eastern Roman Emperor Maurice, and five of his six sons, at the hands of the usurper Phocas in AD 602. Having been proclaimed as emperor by the Balkan army who had numerous grievances against Maurice, Phocas entered Constantinople with the assent of the people, and Maurice and the imperial family fled. Their ship was forced ashore by a storm, however, and they sought sanctuary in a church near Chalcedon across the strait from Constantinople. According to...
  • October 28, AD 312 ~ Constantine defeats Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge

    10/28/2019 9:39:33 AM PDT · by Antoninus · 10 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | October 28, 2016 | Florentius
    October 28 marks the anniversary of the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (AD 312) at which Constantine the Great defeated the usurper Maxentius who had set himself up as emperor in Rome. Son of the emperor Maximian Herculius, Maxentius claimed the same right to the throne that Constantine had claimed from his own father, the emperor Constantius I Chlorus. The difference was that Constantius conferred the imperial power upon his son Constantine on his deathbed, whereas Maxentius took his father's authority by force and drove the old man from Rome. After several failed attempts of the eastern emperors to end...
  • "You Urge Me to Make a New Work from the Old" ~ September 30, Feast of St. Jerome

    09/30/2019 11:48:13 AM PDT · by Antoninus · 2 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | September 30, 2019 | Florentius
    For this date in the year AD 420, the Chronicon of Prosper of Aquitaine (written in the mid-5th century) contains the following notice: Hieronimus presbyter moritur anno aetatis suae XCI pridie kalendas Octobris. That is, in English: “The priest Jerome died at the age of 91 on 30 September.” His full name was Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus, but he is known to later ages simply as Saint Jerome, Doctor of the Church. Along with Augustine of Hippo, Jerome was one of the most voluminous scholars of antiquity whose works have come down to us. In his own book entitled: De Viris...
  • "Ambrose for Bishop!" ~ The elevation by popular acclamation of Aurelius Ambrosius, AD 374

    09/18/2019 7:05:21 AM PDT · by Antoninus · 2 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | September 17, 2019 | Florentius
    Here is a new book that is about to publish: The Life of Saint Ambrose by Paulinus of Milan, also known as the Vita Sancti Ambrosii. Well, in truth, it’s a reprint of a text that was originally published in 1928. It has been out of print for nearly 100 years and is the only stand-alone English translation of this ancient work currently available. Aurelius Ambrosius is one of the towering figures of Late Antiquity. A voluminous writer and homilist, and a spiritual father to other great saints including Augustine of Hippo, Ambrose was deeply involved in the theological and...
  • "Again, Herodias Seeks the Head of John in a Basin" ~ The exile and death of Saint John Chrysostom

    09/14/2019 1:32:18 PM PDT · by Antoninus · 1 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | September 14, 2018 | Florentius
    Today, September 14, is the 1,611th anniversary of the death of Saint John Chrysostom, the great patriarch of Constantinople. St. John perished while on his way to a more distant exile on the shores of the Black Sea in AD 407. Though an outstanding orator and one of the greatest theologians of the early Church, John became embroiled in the religious and political factions in Constantinople. He was particularly known for railing against the excesses of the imperial court, drawing the ire of the Empress Eudoxia, wife of Arcadius, who felt that John’s invectives against immodest and gaudy female dress...
  • Pulcheria ~ Powerful Roman empress and beloved saint

    09/10/2019 11:10:25 AM PDT · by Antoninus · 4 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | January 18, 2017 | Florentius
    January 19 is the birthday of Saint Pulcheria. Though little remembered today, Pulcheria played an important role in helping the Eastern Roman Empire survive the 5th century intact. She is commemorated as a saint by the Eastern and Western Churches on September 10. Daughter of the Eastern Emperor Arcadius and granddaughter of Theodosius the Great, Pulcheria was pushed into imperial politics at the tender age of 10. When her father died in AD 408, her younger brother, Theodosius II, inherited the throne as a small child, under the regency of two powerful men at court, the praetorian prefects Anthemius and...
  • "I am receiving the reward for my deeds" ~ The Miserable Reign of Pope Vigilius, AD 537-555

    09/07/2019 10:48:06 AM PDT · by Antoninus · 13 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | September 7, 2019 | Florentius
    Dark political machinations occur. Huge sums of money change hands. The secular power intrudes upon the domain of the Church, creating a situation whereby the reigning Pope is deposed and another is set up in his place. The deposed Pope is silenced, made a monk and sent into exile. The new Pope is secretly beholden to the secular powers who afforded him his seat. They now expect to see their temporal and ecclesiastical goals supported and advanced by the authority of the Papal office. Indeed, they are willing to coerce the Holy Father if he shows any reticence —and they’ve...
  • "You have won, O Galilean!" ~ Who killed Julian the Apostate?

    06/26/2019 9:06:58 AM PDT · by Antoninus · 23 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | June 26, 2018 | Florentius
    On the 26th of June AD 363, the last pagan Roman Emperor, Flavius Claudius Julianus, known to history as Julian the Apostate, perished from a wound he received while fighting off a Persian ambush. The pagan historian Ammianus Marcellinus—a witness to the event and an admirer of Julian—described the scene as follows: When we marched on from this place, the Persians, since their frequent losses made them dread regular battles with the infantry, laid ambuscades, and secretly attended us, from the high hills on both sides watching our companies as they marched, so that the soldiers, suspicious of this, all...
  • "The ship was utterly consumed with all on board" ~ The persecutions of the Arian Emperor Valens

    06/13/2019 12:10:06 PM PDT · by Antoninus · 5 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | 6/13/19 | Florentius
    The Roman Emperor Valens is an enigmatic and paradoxical historical figure. Placed on the throne of the Eastern Empire by his brother, Valentinian I in AD 364, Valens was a reasonably effective ruler for much of his reign, but lacked much of the political, military and religious acumen of his elder sibling. In his Ecclesiastical History, Hermias Sozomen compares the religious views of the two brothers as follows: Valens, when he was baptized, employed Eudoxius as his initiator, and was zealously attached to the doctrines of Arius, and would readily have compelled all mankind by force to yield to them....
  • A Pagan Convert Becomes Empress of the Romans ~ Theodosius II marries Aelia Eudocia, June 7, AD 421

    06/07/2019 11:05:10 AM PDT · by Antoninus · 4 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | June 7, 2019 | Florentius
    On June 7, AD 421, the 20 year-old Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II married a beautiful young Greek girl. Though born into a pagan family and given the name Athenais, the young bride had converted to Christianity shortly before her nuptials and took the name Aelia Eudocia. She would go on to become a devout Christian and a controversial figure in the Eastern Roman court dominated by another powerful woman, the empress Pulcheria. Here is the brief biography of Eudocia provided in the 6th century Ecclesiastical History of Evagrius Scholasticus, written about a century after her death: Theodosius II espoused...
  • "Noble in person and excellent in royal manners" ~ Baptism of Desire and Valentinian II

    05/15/2019 1:31:13 PM PDT · by Antoninus · 5 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | May 15, 2019 | Florentius
    On May 15, anno domini 392, the young Western Roman Emperor Valentinian II was found dead in the imperial residence at Vienne in southern Gaul. It is said he was hanged using his own handkerchief. Son of the great warrior emperor, Valentinian I, the younger Valentinian had been declared emperor when he was only four years old upon the premature death of is father in AD 375, even though his half-brother, Gratian, already ruled as co-emperor in the West. Under the regency of his mother, the forceful Empress Justina, and the protection of the army, Valentinian II came to an...
  • "We are to be thrown overboard by the Empire" ~ The short reign of...Julius Nepos

    05/10/2019 6:49:10 AM PDT · by Antoninus · 12 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | May 9, 2019 | Florentius
    May 9 is one of several possible dates given for the death of the last Western Roman emperor, Julius Nepos, in the year AD 480. “Wait,” you say. “I thought the last Western Emperor was Romulus Augustulus who was deposed by Odoacer the Scirian in AD 476.” Well, about that... Julius Nepos was named Western Emperor by the ailing Eastern Roman emperor Leo in AD 473. Leo did this because he opposed the puppet emperor Glycerius who had been raised by the Burgundian general Gundobad. According to the Chronicle of John of Antioch, this Gundobad had personally beheaded the Western...
  • A passionate longing to acquire (and destroy) books~ The cognitive dissonance of Julian the Apostate

    04/11/2019 6:24:41 AM PDT · by Antoninus · 9 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | April 10, 2019 | Florentius
    In doing some research on the previous post, I ran across this intriguing letter from Julian the Apostate to Ecdicius, the Prefect of Egypt. Julian wrote the letter at the end of January in AD 362 and it follows up on the assassination of George, the Arian bishop of Alexandria, by a pagan mob in his city. Here is the brief letter in full: Some men have a passion for horses, others for birds, others, again, for wild beasts; but I, from childhood, have been penetrated by a passionate longing to acquire books. It would therefore be absurd if I...
  • "He hated the entire city intensely" ~ St. Eupsychius and Julian the Apostate's reaction...

    04/09/2019 5:31:12 PM PDT · by Antoninus · 24 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | 4/9/19 | Florentius
    April 9 is the traditional feast day of the little known saint, Eupsychius of Caesarea in Cappadocia. Though he lived after the time of Constantine, Eupsychius was a martyr who suffered during the reign of Julian the Apostate. His crime, apparently, was his role in the destruction of the Temple of Fortune in Caesarea ca. AD 362 immediately after the accession of Julian to the imperial throne. The historian Hermias Sozomen, writing about 80 years after the event, provides the only close-contemporary account of Eupsychius’s death: It is said that about this period, Basil, presbyter of the church of Ancyra,...
  • "I condemn Agape and Chionia to be burnt alive." ~ April 3, AD 303

    04/03/2019 12:17:40 PM PDT · by Antoninus · 48 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | April 3, 2017 | Florentius
    April 3 is the Catholic feast day of three sisters who were executed during the persecution of Diocletian in AD 303: Agape, Chionia and Irene. The three were citizens of the city of Thessalonica in Macedonia which was also the hometown of Diocletian's Caesar, or junior emperor, Galerius. It was Galerius who first instigated Diocletian to commence an empire-wide persecution of Christians, so it is perhaps not surprising to find the attack being pressed so vigorously there. We are fortunate that the authentic acts of these martyrs have come down to us from antiquity largely intact. The transcript of their...
  • March 23, AD 536 ~ Mutiny of Justinian's Army in Africa

    03/23/2019 10:09:36 AM PDT · by Antoninus · 14 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | Florentius
    After his stunning re-conquest of Roman north Africa, and destruction of the Vandalic kingdom, Belisarius returned to Constantinople late in AD 534. He left prematurely because a conspiracy had sprung up accusing him of seeking to usurp the imperial power and set himself up as king of Africa. To defuse suspicion, he packed up his household and returned to the capital, his ships laden with the Vandal royalty as captives and the legendary Vandal treasure. Once in Constantinople, Belisarius received a traditional Roman triumph. But while the imperial court celebrated, the situation in Africa deteriorated. Belisarius had left his former...