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Chapter XVI.—The Emperor Constantius, through an Order to Philip the Prætorian Prefect, secures the Exile of Paul, and the Installation of Macedonius in his See.

When the Emperor Constantius, who then held his court at Antioch, heard that Paul had again obtained possession of the episcopal throne, he was excessively enraged at his presumption. He therefore despatched a written order to Philip, the Prætorian Prefect, whose power exceeded that of the other governors of provinces, and who was styled the second person from the emperor,288288    δεύτερος μετὰ βασιλέα; not only second in rank, but first after him in power, ‘his right-hand man.’ Cf. Vergil’s alter ab illo, Ecl. V. 49, and VIII. 39. to drive Paul out of the church again, and introduce Macedonius into it in his place. Now the prefect Philip, dreading an insurrectionary movement among the people, used artifice to entrap the bishop: keeping, therefore, the emperor’s mandate secret, he went to the 43public bath called Zeuxippus, and on pretense of attending to some public affairs, sent to Paul with every demonstration of respect, requesting his attendance there, on the ground that his presence was indispensable. The bishop came; and as he came in obedience to this summons, the prefect immediately showed him the emperor’s order; the bishop patiently submitted condemnation without a hearing. But as Philip was afraid of the violence of the multitude—for great numbers had gathered around the building to see what would take place, for their suspicions had been aroused by current reports—he commanded one of the bath doors to be opened which communicated with the imperial palace, and through that Paul was carried off, put on board a vessel provided for the purpose, and so sent into exile immediately. The prefect directed him to go to Thessalonica, the metropolis of Macedonia, whence he had derived his origin from his ancestors; commanding him to reside in that city, but granting him permission to visit other cities of Illyricum, while he strictly forbade his passing into any portion of the Eastern empire. Thus was Paul, contrary to his expectation, at once expelled from the church, and from the city, and again hurried off into exile. Philip, the imperial prefect, leaving the bath, immediately proceeded to the church. Together with him, as if thrown there by an engine, Macedonius rode seated in the same seat with the prefect in the chariot seen by everybody, and a military guard with drawn swords was about them. The multitude was completely overawed by this spectacle, and both Arians and Homoousians hastened to the church, every one endeavoring to secure an entrance there. As the prefect with Macedonius came near the church, an irrational panic seized the multitude and even the soldiers themselves; for as the assemblage was so numerous and no room to admit the passage of the prefect and Macedonius was found, the soldiers attempted to thrust aside the people by force. But the confined space into which they were crowded together rendering it impossible to recede, the soldiers imagined that resistance was offered, and that the populace intentionally stopped the passage; they accordingly began to use their naked swords, and to cut down those that stood in their way. It is affirmed that about 3150 persons were massacred on this occasion; of whom the greater part fell under the weapons of the soldiers, and the rest were crushed to death by the desperate efforts of the multitude to escape their violence. After such distinguished achievements, Macedonius, as if he had not been the author of any calamity, but was altogether guiltless of what had been perpetrated, was seated in the episcopal chair by the prefect, rather than by the ecclesiastical canon. Thus, then, by means of so many murders in the church, Macedonius and the Arians grasped the supremacy in the churches. About this period the emperor built the great church called Sophia, adjoining to that named Irene, which being originally of small dimensions, the emperor’s father had considerably enlarged and adorned. In the present day both are seen within one enclosure, and have but one appellation.


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