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works of ancient sculpture had been defaced by Christian zeal, or Barbaric violence; the fairest structures were demolished; and the marbles of Paros or Numidia were burnt for lime, or applied to the meanest uses. Of many a statue, the place was marked by an empty pedestal; of many a column, the size was determined by a broken capital; the tombs of the Emperors were scattered on the ground; the stroke of time was accelerated by storms and earthquakes; and the vacant space was adorned, by vulgar tradition, with fabulous monuments of gold and silver. From these wonders, which lived only in memory or belief, he distinguishes, however, the porphyry pillar, the column and colossus of Justinian", and the church, more especially the dome of St Sophia; the best conclusion, since it could not be described according to its merits, and after it no other object could deserve to be mentioned. But he forgets, that a century before, the trembling fabrics of the colossus and the church had been saved and supported by the timely care of Andronicus the Elder. Thirty years after the Emperor had fortified St Sophia with two new buttresses, or pyra
* Nicephorus Gregoras has described the Colossus of Justinian, (l. vii. 1 2.); but his measures are false and inconsistent. The editor, Boivin, consulted his friend Girardon; and the sculptor gave him the true proportions of an equestrian statue. That of Justinian was still visible to Peter Gyllius, not on the column, but in the outward court of the seraglio 5 and he was at Constantinople when it was melted down, and cast into a brass cannon, (de Topograph. C. P. l. ii. c. 17.).
mids, the eastern hemisphere suddenly gave way;
* See the decay and repairs of St Sophia, in Nicephorus Gregoras, (l. vii. 12. l. xv. 2.). The building was propped by Andronicus in 1317, the eastern hemisphere fell in 1345. The Greeks, in their pompous rhetoric, exalted the beauty and holiness of the church, an earthly heaven, the abode of angels, and of God himself, &c.
+ The genuine and original narrative of Syropulus (p. 312, –351.) opens the schisin from the first office of the Greeks at Venice, to the general opposition at Constantinople of the clergy and people.
f On the schism of Constantinople, see Phranza (l. ii. c. 17.), Laonicus Chalcondyles (l. vi. p. 155. 56.), and Duo eas (c. 31.); the last of whom writes with truth and freedom: Among the moderns we may distinguish the continuator of Fleury, (tom. xxii. p. 338. &c. 4ol. 422. &c.), and Sponda: nus, (A. D. 1440–30.). The sense of the latter is drowned in prejudice and passion, as soon as Rome and religion are concerned.
and the isles of Corfu and Lesbos, the subjects of the Latins complained, that the pretended union would be an instrument of oppression. No sooner did they land on the Byzantine shore, than they were saluted, or rather assailed, with a general murmur of zeal and discontent. During their absence, above two years, the capital had been deprived of its civil and ecclesiastical rulers. Fanaticism fermented in anarchy; the most furious monks reigned over the conscience of women and bigots; and the hatred of the Latin name was the first principle of nature and religion. Before his departure for Italy, the Emperor had flattered the city with the assurance of a prompt relief, and a powerful succour; and the clergy, confident in their orthodoxy and science, had promised themselves and their flocks an easy victory over the blind shepherds of the West. The double disappointment exasperated the Greeks; the conscience of the subscribing prelates was awakened; the hour of temptation was past; and they had more to dread from the public resentment, than they could hope from the favour of the Emperor or the Pope. Instead of justifying their conduct, they deplored their weakness, professed their contrition, and cast themselves on the mercy of God and of their brethren. To the reproachful question, What had been the event or use of their Italian synod: they answered, with sighs and tears, “Alas! we have made a new “faith; we have exchanged piety for impiety; we “ have betrayed the immaculate sacrifice; and we “are become Azymites.” (The Azymites were those who celebrated the communion with unleavened bread; . and I must retract or qualify the o
praise which I have bestowed on the growing philosophy of the times.) “Alas! we have been se“duced by distress, by fraud, and by the hopes “ and fears of a transitory life. The hand that “has signed the union should be cut off; and the “ tongue that has pronounced the Latin creed de“serves to be torn from the root.” The best proof of their repentance was an increase of zeal for the most trivial rites, and the most incomprehensible doctrines; and an absolute separation from all, without excepting their prince, who preserved some regard for honour and consistency. After the decease of the patriarch Joseph, the Archbishops of Heraclea and Trebizond had courage to refuse the vacant office; and Cardinal Bessarion preferred the warm and comfortable shelter of the Vatican. The choice of the Emperor and his clergy was confined to Metrophanes of Cyzicus. He was consecrated in St Sophia, but the temple was vacant; the cross-bearers abdicated their service; the infection spread from the city to the villages; and Metrophanes discharged, without effect, some ecclesiastical thunders against a nation of schismatics. The eyes of the Greeks were directed to Mark of Ephesus, the champion of his country; and the sufferings of the holy confessor were repaid with a tribute of admiration and applause. His example and writings propagated the flame of religious discord; age and infirmity soon removed him from the world; but the gospel of Mark was not a law
of forgiveness; and he requested with his dying o L 2 breath,
breath, that none of the adherents of Rome might
p. 188. 190. from a Greek MS. at Turin, Iter et labores Archiepiscopi Arsenii,). -