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tinian expostulated by his ambassadors upon this breach of the first peace. The wily Persian received the ambassadors with civility, and with tears in his eyes deprecated the miseries of this war, into which he was reluctantly driven, he said, by the Persian nobility, to resist the aggressions of Justinian, who stirred up enemies against him on every side, and tampered with his Christian subjects to shake their fidelity. At the same time, he intimated that he might be induced, by a sum of money in hand, and an annual subsidy, to return home and make a lasting peace. A peace was concluded very advantageous to himself, and ignominious to the Romans; but Chosroes did not hold it sacred. With a fond desire of accumulating wealth, he went on taking city after city, and raising contributions wherever Covetousness was his besetting sin; and to fill his coffers he long kept the Romans in alarm.

he came.

Nor was it by his own arms only that Chosroes terrified the Romans. He encouraged the Saracens and Goths to invade the Roman territories; and when Justinian remonstrated, Chosroes replied that his brother, the Roman emperor, had no right to complain, since it could be proved, by his own letters, that he had practised the same arts with the Saracens and Huns, to induce them to invade Persia.

After all his successes, the empire of Chosroes extended from Syria and the Mediterranean Sea, to the river Indus, eastwards; and from the Sihon and Jaxartes, to the frontiers of Egypt, southwards. He erected his capital, Madain,* on the Tigris, about a day's journey from Bagdad. He adorned this city with a stately palace called Thak Khosrou, "the dome of Khosru," from its magnificent cupola, in the vault of which he deposited his treasures. This building was so durable in construction, that the caliph Almanzor was forced to desist from an attempt to pull it down, on account of the greatness of the expense and labour. Most of the palace remained undemolished, upon which a Persian poet wrote the following distich :

"See here the reward of an excellent work;

All-consuming time still spares the palace of Chosru." The only insurrection which disturbed the reign of Chosroes, was that of his son Nouschizad. The mother of this prince was a Christian, and he was brought up by her in her faith, contrary to the wish of Chosroes. The profession which this youth made of his belief in the doctrines of Christ was a bold one, and he poured contempt on the rites of the magi. This enraged Chosroes, who, to punish what he deemed heresy, placed him in confinement. Nouschizad, however, deceived by a rumour of the death of his father, effected his escape, released other prisoners, collected a number of followers, of whom many were Christians, and attempted to establish himself in Fars and Ahwaz. Chosroes sent an army to quell this revolt, and gave a letter of instruction to Ram-Burzeen, the general, to this effect: My son Nouschizad, hearing a rumour


* By some writers, Madain is supposed to have been the same with Ctesiphon. If this be correct, the city

was erected during the Parthian domination, and Chos

roes would therefore only improve it, or add thereto.

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that went abroad of my death, has, without waiting for its confirmation, taken up arms: he has released many prisoners; he has expended treasure which I meant to employ against the enemies of my kingdom; and he has taken the field without reflection on the consequences which may result from such a number of Christians acquiring power. If, however, Nouschizad will return to his allegiance, send back the prisoners he has released to their places of confinement, put to death some particular officers and nobles who have espoused his cause, and allow the rest of his followers to disperse and go where they choose, I will consent to pardon him; but should he continue in rebellion, and not submit when he receives this assurance of mercy, Ram-Burzeen is directed not to lose an instant in attacking him. A man of illustrious descent, whose disposition inclines him to evil, should be treated according to his conduct, not his birth. It is a good action to slay a wicked man in arms against the king, who is the sovereign of the earth. Let no fear prevent your cutting the thread of his days; it will be by himself, not by you, that his blood is shed. He flies with ardour to the religion of Christ, and turns away his head from our crown. But should Nouschizad be made prisoner in action, hurt not a hair of his head; shut him up in the same place where he was before confined, along with the slaves who attended him. Let him be furnished with all he wants, and allow none of our military officers to use expressions that can in any degree insult or wound the feelings of a son whom we still hold dear. If any should abuse Nouschizad, let him lose his life; for although that prince has dishonoured his birth still it is from us that he derives his existence, and our affection continues his security."

The mandate of Chosroes was obeyed. RamBurzeen brought the prince to action, in which Nouschizad was slain. Before he died, he requested that his body might be sent to his mother, that he might have the burial of a Christian. Thus was the house of Chosroes divided against itself: the father was "divided against the son," because he had relinquished the worship of his forefathers, thereby verifying the words of our Saviour, Luke xii. 53. It were to be wished, however, that Nouschizad had suffered these persecutions with Christian resignation.

Historians have dwelt on the magnificence of the courts which sought the friendship of Chosroes. Among these, the emperors of China and India are the most distinguished. Their presents to him are described as magnificent, as exceeding in curiosity and richness any that were before seen. This may, however, be oriental hyperbole; for Mirkhond and other Persian historians dwell with delight on the subject, because the act tended to exalt the character of Chos


The internal regulations of the kingdom of Chosroes, says Malcolm, were excellent. He established and fixed a moderate land tax over all his dominions. He also imposed a capitation tax on Jews and Christians. All persons under twenty and above fifty were exempted from service. The regulations for preserving the discipline of his army were even more stringent than those of the civil government. But all the

vigilance and justice of Chosroes could not prevent corruption and tyranny among the officers of the government. The knowledge of this came to the monarch's ears, and he appointed a secret commission of thirteen persons, in whom he placed implicit confidence, to inquire into and bring him a true report on the conduct of the inferior officers of the state. The result of this commission was, the discovery of great abuses, and the execution of twenty-four petty governors, convicted of injustice and tyranny.


tented till he had gained the possession, though its price was blood, this action is well calculated to raise the character of Chosroes in the reader's estimation. He may, indeed, be considered as one of the greatest of Asiatic monarchs. Had he been a Christian, how had he blessed mankind! And how many nominal Christians are shamed by his conduct!

This great king, as we have seen, was generally successful in his wars, (of which he was too fond,) by his arts or his arms. Towards the latter end of his reign, however, a campaign against Cappadocia proved disastrous. Justin, the emperor of Rome, had in his last years been incapable of directing the affairs of the empire.

The manner in which this intelligence was conveyed to the monarch, aptly illustrates the despotic principles of ancient oriental states, where able and good ministers could only hint at abuses through the medium of incident. Per-Under these circumstances, his wife Sophia sent sian writers say, that during the latter years of the reign of Chosroes, an immense number of jackals came from the fields of Tartary into the provinces of Persia, the inhabitants of which were greatly alarmed at the horrid shrieks and screams of their new visitors. Intelligence of this was sent to court, and Chosroes partaking in the superstition of the age, demanded of the chief mobud, or high-priest, what it portended. The officer gave a reply which, while it shows his own uprightness, denotes that Chosroes was a true oriental despot, to whose ear truth could only be spoken indirectly. "By what I have learned from the history of former times," said the mobud, "it is when injustice prevails, that beasts of prey spread over a kingdom." Chosroes took the hint, and appointed the commission described. That Chosroes was a lover of justice in the strictest sense of the word, cannot be doubted. A Persian manuscript relates the following curious account, which he used to give, of the sense of justice first springing up in his mind. "I one day, when a youth, saw a man on foot throw a stone at a dog, and break the animal's leg; a moment afterwards a horse passed, and with a kick broke the man's leg; and this animal had only galloped a short distance, when its foot slipped in a hole, and its leg was broken. I gazed with wonder and awe, and have since feared to commit injustice." Though this anecdote may partake of oriental exaggeration, yet it shows that in all ages of the world, a sense of retributive justice pervaded the minds of men.

"There is a time, and justice marks the date,
For long forbearing clemency to wait;
That hour elapsed, the incurable revolt
Is punished, and down comes the thunderbolt."


An interesting anecdote is related illustrative of Chosroes' love of justice. A Roman ambassador, sent to Ctesiphon with rich presents, when admiring the noble prospect from the windows of the royal palace, remarked an uneven spot of ground, and asked the reason why it was not rendered uniform. "It is the property of an aged woman," said a Persian noble, "who has objections to sell it, though often requested to do so by our king; and he is more willing to have his prospect spoiled, than to commit violence." "That irregular spot," replied the Roman, "consecrated as it is by justice, appears more beautiful than all the surrounding scenery." Contrasted with the conduct of Ahab, who coveted the field of Naboth, and who could not rest con

letters to Chosroes pathetically describing the miseries of the Roman empire; beseeching him to remember the kindness of former emperors, particularly the sending him physicians; and representing the uncertainty of all worldly greatness, and the small glory that would result to him from conquests made over a headless nation and a helpless woman. Chosroes, on reading these letters, immediately withdrew his troops from the Roman empire, and consented to a truce for three years, Armenia excluded. This truce was favourable to the Romans, and their affairs were quickly re-established by the diligence and success of Tiberius, the successor of Justin, who was an active and vigilant prince, and a warrior of great experience. Chosroes, who had no idea of these changes, prepared early the next spring to enter Armenia, resolving to penetrate Cappadocia, and to make himself master of Cesarea, and other cities in that quarter. Tiberius, foreseeing the consequences of this invasion, sent ambassadors to dissuade Chosroes from this expedition, and to engage him to make a solid and lasting peace; but at the same time he sent these ambassadors, he directed Justinian to assemble all the forces in the eastern provinces, in order, if necessary, to repel force by force. Chosroes re ceived the ambassadors haughtily, commanding them to follow him to Cesarea, where he should be at leisure to hear them. Not long after, he met with the Roman army, which, contrary to his expectations, was extremely numerous, and eager to engage his forces. It is thought by some historians that he would have retired to a convenient camp, instead of enduring a conflict, had not Curtius, a Scythian, who commanded the right wing of the Roman army, charged the left of the Persians, where Chosroes was in person. The combat was severe, but at length the Persians were defeated, and the royal treasure, and the sacred fire, before which the king worshipped, taken in his sight. The next night, under the cover of darkness, Chosroes retaliated upon one detachment of the Roman army, routing them with great slaughter, after which he marched to the Euphrates, in order to winter in his own dominions. Justinian, the Roman general, however, penetrating his design, followed him so closely, that he was forced to pass the river on an elephant, with great risk of being drowned, a death which was the lot of many of his followers. The Romans pursued them across the river, and for the first time wintered in the Persian provinces.

The Greek writers say, that Chosroes died almost immediately after this loss of a broken heart. It is certain that the effects of it brought him to the grave; but it would appear that he lingered on till the following spring, and that before he died, he made peace with the Romans, and enacted a decree that none of his successors should risk their persons in a general engagement; thereby conveying a tacit censure on his own rashness. The disasters which oppressed him most, were, the loss of the sacred fire, the mutinous behaviour of his soldiers, and the discontent of his subjects in general, who, like other communities, were ever ready to murmur when adversity cast its dark shadows over their rulers. Chosroes died A.D. 580, after he had reigned forty-eight years. His last instructions to his son and successor were admirable for patriarchal wisdom and piety, resembling those of Cyrus to his offspring. They read thus:

"I, Nouschirvan, sovereign of Persia and India, address these my last words to Hormouz, my son, that they may serve him as a lamp in the day of darkness, a path in his journey through the wilderness, a pole star in his navigation through the tempestuous ocean of this


"Let him remember, in the midst of his greatness, that kings rule not for themselves, but for their people; respecting whom they are like the heavens to the earth. How can the earth be fruitful, unless it be watered, unless it be fostered by the heavens? My son, let your subjects all feel your beneficence: the nearest to you first, and so on by degrees, to the remotest. If I durst, I would propose to you my own example; but I choose rather to remind you of that glorious luminary which has been an example to me. Behold the sun: it visits all parts of the world; and if sometimes visible, at other times withdrawn from view, it is because the universe is successively gilded and cherished by its splendid beams. Enter not into any province but with a prospect of doing good to the inhabitants; quit it not but with the intention of doing good elsewhere. Bad men must needs be punished: to them the sun of majesty is necessarily eclipsed; but the good deserve encouragement, and require to be cheered with its beams.


My son, often present thyself before Heaven to implore its aid; but approach not with an impure mind. Do thy dogs enter the temple? Should evil lusts be admitted into the temple of thy soul? If thou carefully observe this rule, thy prayers shall be heard, thy enemies shall be confounded, thy friends shall be faithful. Thou shalt be a delight to thy subjects, and shalt have cause to delight in them. Do justice, abase the proud, comfort the distressed, love your children, protect learning, be advised by your ancient counsellors, suffer not the young to meddle in state affairs, and let your people's good be your sole and supreme object. Farewell, I leave you a. mighty empire; you will keep it if you follow my counsels; but it will be impossible for you to do so, if you follow strange counsel."

That Chosroes took Cyrus the Great for his example, may be gathered from the fact, that he caused a similar inscription to be engraved on

his tiara.

What is long life, or what a glorious reign, If our successors follow in our train? My fathers left this crown, and I the trust Must soon resign, and mingle with the dust. Such was the mighty Chosroes! His name ranks high in the pages of history, and perhaps he approached nearer to the character of a good and just prince than any human being placed in such a situation, and in such an age. His own country had cause to regret his loss; others, however, doubtless rejoiced in his death. Copying some of his predecessors, he toiled ardently to raise a monumental pile that might record the mischiefs he had done. But this was in part owing to the despotic nature of the Persian government. The monarchs of Persia, whatever may have been their dispositions, were compelled by their constitution to repress rebellion, retaliate attack, and to attain power over foreign nations in order to preserve their own in peace, which led them to commit many actions at variance with humanity and justice. Such was their state policy. Nor theirs alone. The four great monarchies of antiquity stood mostly upon a foundation of injustice. They grew up by unreasonable quarrels and excessive revenge, by ravage and bloodshed, by depopulating countries, and by laying cities and villages into ruinous heaps. Tully justly observed, that if the Romans would have been exactly just, redeundam erat ad casas, they must have given the conquered nations their country again; they must have resigned their empire and wealth, shrunk into peasantry, and retired to their old cottages. The same may be said of some modern states. Their power has been also reared upon the ruin of other nations.

"Lands intersected by a narrow firth

Abhor each other. Mountains interposed
Make enemies of nations who had else
Like kindred drops been mingled into one.
Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;
And worse than all, and most to be deplored
As human nature's broadest, foulest blot,
Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat
With stripes, that mercy with a bleeding heart
Weeps, when she sees infiicted on a beast.
Then what is man? And what man seeing this,
And having human feelings, does not blush
And hang his head, to think himself a man?"

Alas! that it should be the maxim of the world, that he that is strong enough, may do what he pleases; One stronger than they will bring them to judgment.

Chosroes was succeeded in his kingdom by his



Hormisdas II. ascended the throne of Persia under very auspicious circumstances. His empire was not only extensive, but he had for his counsellor the celebrated Buzurge Mihir, the wisest man in Persia, and the first minister of Chosroes. Buzurge had been the preceptor of Hormisdas, and had faithfully performed that arduous trust. The natural dispositions of the royal pupil were indolence, luxury, pride, and cruelty; and these sad features in his character, though not corrected, were so far restrained while Buzurge frequented the court, that in the beginning of his reign, Hormisdas promised to surpass even Chosroes himself. He treated Buzurge

with so much deference, that he would not wear the tiara in his presence; and when some of his courtiers thought this extraordinary, and asserted that it was more than due even to a father, he answered, "You say right, my friends, I owe more to him than to my father: the life and kingdom I received from Nouschirvan, will expire in a few years; but the fame I shall acquire by following the instructions of Buzurge, will survive to the latest ages."

Here was a fine prospect of a happy reign; but it soon vanished. When the venerable Buzurge retired from the court, Hormisdas fell a prey to the adulation and sycophancy of younger and false counsellors. His character became changed. Released from the wholesome restraint which the example of his father, and the lessons of his tutor had imposed, he plunged into every excess, and involved himself and his empire in the greatest calamities. His most faithful judges and counsellors were either removed, or put to death, and multitudes of his best subjects fell a prey to his violence for imputed disaffection or treason. It is even said that he put to death the wise Buzurge himself!

The early consequences of this change of rule, were foreign wars and internal rebellions. He first quarrelled with the emperor Tiberius. When that monarch sent ambassadors to renew the last peace made with Chosroes, he treated them disdainfully, and required a sum of money as a tribute, before he granted it, which involved him in a war with the Romans.

In the first campaign, no decisive engagement took place. The Romans, under the command of Philippicus, captured many Persian towns, plundered several provinces, and took many prisoners, while the Persian army withdrew into the mountains for fear. The next year, however, Philippicus defeated the Persians, under the command of Cardariganus, with great slaughter, and the Romans, at the close of the campaign, again made incursions into Persia, burned the villages, and plundered the people. The next spring, the tide of success was turned. The Persians gained some advantages, upon which Philippicus was removed, and Commentiolus sent to command in his place. But matters wore no better aspect, and Philippicus was again sent into the field, and his want of success again restored Commentiolus. He❘ now engaged the Persians, but he fled at the onset; and Heraclius taking the command, entirely defeated the Persians, with the loss of Aphraates and Nabades, two of their best generals.

In the mean time, about A.D. 585, the hordes of the great khakan of Tartary crossed the Oxus, and demanded a free passage through Persia, on the pretext of making war with the emperor of Constantinople. The alarmed Hormisdas at first consented; but their conduct soon satisfied him that he had admitted into his kingdom the most dangerous of all enemies. Baharam, one of the chiefs in the Persian army, was selected to head the troops against the ferocious invaders. Baharam selected twelve thousand of the bravest of the forces, and marched against them, and was successful. In the strong mountainous country,* where he opposed the Tartars, his veterans gained

Some authors say it was in Khorassan that Baharam engaged the Tartars; others say, Mazanderan

a complete victory over their numerous but undisciplined hosts. The khakan was slain; and his son, who re-assembled his defeated army, was also killed in a second action. The spoils of the Tartars, which were immense, were sent to Madain to Hormisdas.

Baharam was now sent against the Romans. Orders were given him to pass the river Araxes, and to ravage the Roman territories on that side. To oppose him, the Roman emperor sent Romanus with a powerful army, who entirely defeated the Persian conqueror, and thereby gave a fatal blow to the Persian affairs.


When Hormisdas received advice of this disaster, he sent Baharam a woman's garment, in contempt, and threatened to decimate his troops. The rough soldier put on the dress he had received, and presented himself to his soldiers. Behold," said he, "the reward with which the monarch I serve has deigned to crown my services." A revolt was the consequence. The soldiers hailed Baharam as their sovereign, and demanded to be led against the reckless monarch who had dared, from the midst of his luxurious court, to cast such an insult on the defender of their country.

Baharam was too indignant to repress the violence of his troops, but veiling his ambition, he forbade the overthrow of the house of Sassan; and commanded that money should be struck in the name of Chosru Parviz, the son of Hormisdas. This measure caused dissensions in the royal family. Chosru fled, to escape the danger to which he saw himself exposed; and the king, after his son's flight, imprisoned two of his maternal uncles, Bundawee and Botham, which act precipitated his ruin. The friends of these nobles not only liberated them from prison, but were sufficiently powerful to confine Hormisdas, whose eyes they put out, to disqualify him from reigning in future. Determined to do as they pleased, they also put to death his younger son Hormisdas, whom he recommended as fitter to reign over them than Chosru, who was a prince prone to vice of every kind, and regardless of the public good. Such was the end of the reign of the wicked prince Hormisdas II. heed to flattery, and was ruined.

He gave

As soon as Chosru learned the fate of his father, he returned, and ascended the throne of Persia, A. D. 588.


When Chosru, or, as we shall now call him, after the Greek writers, Chosroes, ascended the throne, he received the homage of the principal persons present, amid loud acclamations and ardent prayers for his felicity. Then supposing himself firmly seated on the throne, he gave sumptuous entertainments, and distributed the royal treasures amongst those he thought most capable of rendering him assistance; largesses were also bestowed upon the people, and the prison doors opened-except to his own father-that the fame of his lenity and liberality might secure the hearts of his subjects.

+ Some ancient writers say, that he caused his father to be put to death soon afterwards. Mirkhond, however, relates, that after his restoration to the throne, he put to death his two uncles, to whom he owed his life and throne, on the specious but cruel pretext that they had dared to lay violent hands upon the person of his father.

But there was one heart proof against his generosity. Baharam had affected great regard for the house of Sassan, but he now threw off the mask, and exhibited to the world that he had a greater regard for his own honours. Chosroes sent him magnificent presents, and promised him the second seat in his kingdom, if he came and acknowledged him for his sovereign. Baharam rejected his overtures with scorn, and ordered him to lay down his crown, and come and pay his respects to him, on which condition he should be made governor of a province. Chosroes again entreated him to be his friend, but, deaf to all remonstrances, Baharam prepared for war, and Chosroes was compelled to meet him in the field, to contest with him the crown of Persia.

The opposing armies met near Nisibis, Chosroes keeping within the city, while Baharam encamped before it. A negotiation was commenced, but it proved ineffectual. At the same time, Chosroes, suspecting some of his nobles, put them to death. This was fatal to his cause. Disaffection spread through his ranks, and when Baharam attacked the suburbs, many of them joined his standard, and Chosroes was compelled to take refuge in flight.

Baharam now entered the city of Ctesiphon with the full purpose of ascending the throne of Persia. With this design he threw Bundawee into prison, and treated all such as had shown any affection to the royal family with great severity; while towards the rest of the Persians he affetced the greatest humanity and condescension. But the people in general could not be depended upon. The house of Sassan was still regarded with general favour, and when he assumed the regal ornaments and furniture, as a preliminary step to taking the title, the Persian nobility, disdaining to become the subjects of one born their equal, concerted measures for emancipating themselves and their country, and restoring the ancient lustre of the Persian empire. They commenced the reformation by releasing Bundawee from prison, and acknowledging him for their chief. By the advice of this prince, they attacked Baharam in the palace in the dead of the night, which they did with great courage. Baharam, however, and his attendants vanquished the assailants, so that many of them were slain. Bundawee and a few others only escaped, and these marched towards Media, and endeavoured to raise forces for Chosroes.

Baharam had now a fair prospect of building up his glory on the ruins of the house of Sassan. He placed the crown upon his head, and resolved to wear it. But Chosroes again appeared in the field against him. He had fled to the emperor Maurice of Rome, with whom he had made a treaty, and who ordered the governors of his frontier provinces to furnish him with whatever might be necessary for his restoration. These supplies had the wished-for effect. The Persians, seeing Chosroes in a condition to defend them, universally acknowledged him, and opened their gates to his forces.

Baharam prepared to meet him, determined at all hazards to maintain the dignity he had usurped. Zadeṣpras, one of his commanders, having attempted to enter the district of one of the lords who had declared for Chosroes, was

defeated and put to death. Soon after, Anathonus was also slain. The next year, A. D. 593, Chosroes marched into Persia with intent to decide the war. Many of the forces of Baharam quitted his service and went over to Chosroes; and Seleucia, and most of the great cities near the river Euphrates, submitted to him. In the mean time, several skirmishes had taken place, all advantageous to Chosroes. At length, he defeated the main army of Baharam with great slaughter, by which act he was enabled to reascend the throne. Baharam fled to Tartary, where, though he had formerly put their forces to shame, he was kindly treated by the khakan, under whom he attained the highest distinctions; but his days were shortened by poison, which was given him, according to Persian authors, by the queen of the khakan, who dreaded his future designs.

On gaining this victory, Chosroes gave a remarkable instance of superstitious credulity, in a letter to Gregory, bishop of Antioch, as preserved by Theophylact. It reads thus:

"I, Chosroes, son of Hormisdas, king of kings, etc., having heard that the famous martyr Sergius granted to every one who sought his aid their petitions, did, on the seventh day of January, in the first year of my reign, invoke him to grant me victory against Zadespras; promising, that if that rebel was either killed or taken by my troops, that I would give to his church a golden cross enriched with jewels and accordingly, on the ninth day of February, the head of Zadespras was brought to me by a party of horse, which I despatched against him.

"To give, therefore, the most public testimony of my gratitude and thankfulness to the saint for granting my petition, I send to his church that cross, and also another, formerly given by the emperor Justinian, and taken away by my grandfather Chosroes, the son of Cavades, which I found deposited among my treasures."

Chosroes married a Christian, called by the Roman writers Irene,* and by the Persian Schirin, "soft," or "agreeable;" for whose sake he for a long time treated the Christians kindly. It was thought by many that he was "almost a Christian" himself; but in a few years after, he gave unequivocal proof of his attachment to the religion of his ancestors, and of that aversion which the unregenerate heart of man bears to the faith of Christ. He conceived an implacable hatred against the Christians, and persecuted them even unto death. In this line of conduct he may have been actuated by the counsels of the magi; for they bore an implacable hatred to the religion of the cross, feeling, like Demetrius of old, that their gains were likely to be affected by its extension. Many bitter persecutions have arisen from this unhallowed source, and yet, notwithstanding, Christianity has flourished—a proof that God is its Author.

From the moment Chosroes felt himself established on the throne, he changed the tone of his conduct both towards the Romans and the Persians, his subjects. Forgetful of the debt of gratitude he owed the former, he insulted their

By the Byzantine writers, Irene is said to have been the daughter of Maurice, the emperor of Rome; the Roman accounts say that she was a public dancer.

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