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sent of the little isle to the saint. The king had refused Columba an audience; and even ordered the palace gates to be shut against him; but the saint, by a word, instantly caused them to fly open. He founded a cell of monks, in Iona, and the first religious were canons regular, of whom Columba was first abbot; and his monks, till A. D. 716, differed from those of the church of Rome, but in the observation of Easter and in the clerical tonsure. Columba led here an exemplary life, and was highly respected for the sanctity of his manners, for many years. He is the first on record who had the faculty of the second sight, for he told the victory of Aidan over the Picts and Saxons on the very instant it happened. He had the honour of burying in his island, Conval and Kinnatel, two kings of Scotland, and o fcrowning a third. At length worn out with age, he died in Iona in the arms of his disciples, and was interred there, but, as the Irish pretend, in aftertimes translated to Down; where, according to the epitaph, his remains were deposited with those of St. Bridget and St. Patrick:
"Hi tres in Duno tumulo tumulantur in uno ;
But this is denied by the Scots, who affirm, that the contrary is shown in a life of the saint, extracted out of the pope's library, and translated out of the Latin into Erse, by father Cail o haran, which decides in favour of Iona the momentous dispute.
PROCOPIUS, an ancient Greek historian, was born at Cæsarea in Palestine. Repairing to Constantinople, he obtained the esteem of the emperor Anastasius, as well as that of Justin the first, and Justinian. He gained reputation as a rhetorician and pleader of causes. He became secretary to Belisarius; and attended that brave general in the wars of Persia, Africa, and Italy. He was afterwards a member of the senate, and also prefect or governor of the city of Constantinople, where he died, A.D. 560. He is not a despicable historian among the Byzantines. His history contains eight books; two of the Persian war, which are epitomized by Photius, in the sixty-third chapter of his "Bibliotheca;" two of the wars of the Vandals; and four of that of the Goths; of all which, there is a kind of abridgment in the preface of Agathias, who began his history where Procopius left off. Besides these eight books, Suidas mentions a ninth, which comprehends subjects not before published, and is termed "Anecdota," or secret his
tory, and in which Justinian and his empress Theodora are drawn with the most odious and contemptible features; but it carries the air of a malicious performance.
The learned have been much divided, nor are they yet agreed, about the religion of Procopius; some contending that he was an heathen, some that he was a Christian, and some that he was both heathen and Christian, of which last opinion was the learned Cave. Le Vayer declares for the Paganism of Procopius, and quotes the following passage from his first book of the "Wars of the Goths," which, he says, is sufficient to undeceive those who considered him as a Christian historian. "I will not trouble myself," says he, speaking of the different opinions of Christians," to relate the subject of such controversies, although it is not unknown to me, because I hold it a vain desire to comprehend the divine nature, and understand what God is. Human wit knows not the things here below; how then can it be satisfied in the search after divinity? I omit therefore such vain matter, and which only the credulity of man causes to be respected; content with acknowledging, that there is one God full of bounty, who governs us, and whose power stretches over the universe. Let every one therefore believe what he thinks fit, whether he be a priest, and tied to divine worship, or a man of a private and secular condition." Fabricius sees nothing in this inconsistent with the soundness of Christian belief, and therefore is not moved by this declaration, which appeared to Le Vayer, and other learned men, to be decisive against Procopius's Christianity. This, however, whatever the real case may be, seems to have been allowed on all sides, that Procopius was at least a Christian by name and profession; and that, if his private persuasion was not with Christians, he conformed to the public worship, in order to stand well with the emperor Justinian. The books of Procopius on the Gothic war, were published by Leonardo Aretino, in Latin, as his own, in 1470. His works were mutilated by the first Latin translators, and the Greek was not printed till the edition of Hoeschelius, of Augsburg, 1607. A Paris edition was published by the Jesuit Claude Maltret, in 1663, 2 vols. fol. Greek and Latin, but with the omission of most of the anecdotes. These were afterwards published by Monnoye, in the first volume of the Menagiana.
AGATHIAS, one of the Byzantine historians. His history treats of the affairs of part of that emperor's reign, beginning where Procopius ends, at the twenty-sixth year of Justinian, or 558 years after Christ, and closing with the slaughter of the Huns in 559. His style is terse, and ornamented, as might be expected from a writer who paid homage to the muses. He wrote epigrams, many of which may be still read in the Anthologia. J. Vulcanius published Agathias's history, in 4to. at
Leyden, in the year 1594; it was afterwards elegantly reprinted, in folio, at Paris, in 1658.
THEODORUS, an ecclesiastical historian, and a reader in the great church at Constantinople, on which account he was styled Anagnostes. He made an extract from the ecclesiastical histories of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, in two books, which is still in manuscript, and afterwards continued the history of the church, in two more books, from the latter part of Theodosius the Younger, to the time of the emperor Justinian. EVAGRIUS SCHOLASTICUS, a famous historian, born at Epiphania, about A. D. 526. He practised as an advocate, from which he was called Scholasticus. He was also tribune, and keeper of the prefect's despatches. He wrote an ecclesiastical history, which begins where those of Socrates and Theodoret end; with other works, for which he was rewarded by the emperors Tiberius II. and Mauritius. M. de Valois published at Paris a good edition of Evagrius's ecclesiastical history, in folio; and it was re-published at Cambridge in 1620, in folio, by William Reading, with notes of various authors.
MARCELLINUS, count of Illyria, under the emperor Justinian, drew up a chronicle, commencing at the poiut in which Jerome finishes, and carrying it down to the year 534. It is much applauded by Cassiodorus, who says that the count also composed a very minute description of Constantinople and Jerusalem. The chronicle has been several times printed, first by Schoonhovins, in the sixteenth century; then by Joseph Scaliger, and still more recently by father Sirmond.
PAUL, the Silentiary, so called from an office which he held in the sacred palace at Constantinople. He flourished under the emperor Justinian. Paul wrote a history, in Greek verse, of the church of St. Sophia, Epigrams, &c.
PETER PATRICK, a native of Thessalonica, who was sent by the emperor Justinian I., ambassador to Amalasuntha, queen of the Goths, A.D. 534; and in 550 to Chosroes, king of Persia, to conclude a peace. On his return he was appointed mayor of the palace. He wrote a work entitled, "the History of Ambassadors," part of which is extant, and was published in the collection of Byzantine historians, in 1648, folio.
GILDAS, sirnamed the WISE, a celebrated British monk, born in Wales in 511. Where he was educated is uncertain. Some say he went over to Ireland; others, that he visited France and Italy. All agree that after his return to England he became a most assiduous preacher of the Gospel. Du Pin says he founded a monastery at Venetia in Britain. Gildas is the only British author of this century, whose works are printed. His history of Britain is valuable on account of its antiquity, and as containing the only information we have concerning the times of which he wrote, though it is inelegant.
THEOPHYLACT, named SIMOCAITA, a Greek historian, a native of Greece, but of Egyptian origin. His history of the reign of the emperor Maurice is comprehended in eight books, and terminates with the massacre of this prince and his children by Phocas. Casaubon reckons Simocatta one of the best of the later Greek historians.
BEULANIUS, a British historian, who was also a divine. He was born about 580. He was famous as a teacher of youth, and had the celebrated Nennius for his scholar. His morals were of the purest kind. He was extremely industrious in examining into the antiquities of nations, and tracing out the families of the English Saxons after they had entered Britain; and from these collections he is said to have written a work, "De Genealogiis Gentium." He had a son, who will be found in the next period.
NENNIUS, an historian, was abbot of Bangor. It is said he took refuge at Chester, at the time of the massacre of the monks of that monastery. He was author of several works, but the only one remaining is his "Historia Britonum," or "Eulogium Britanniæ," which has been printed in Gale's Hist. Brit. Scrip. Oxon. 1691. Great part of his work is supposed to have been compiled, or perhaps transcribed, from the history of one Elborus, or Elvodugus.
MATHEMATICS AND GEOGRAPHY.
EUTOCIUS, a considerable mathematician, who lived at the time of the decline of the sciences in Greece, was a native of Ascalon, in Palestine, and a disciple of Isiodorus, one of the celebrated architects employed by the emperor Justinian. He probably flourished about the commencement of this century, though we have no particulars respecting his life, but his works reflect much honour on his memory. He wrote elaborate and perspicuous" Commentaries on the books of Archimedes concerning the Sphere and Cylinder;" and also on the first four books of the Conics of Apollonius Pergæus. These commentaries have not only elucidated many difficult passages in those profound writers, but have tended to throw light on the history of the mathematics. There have been many editions of them, but the most magnificent was that in the edition of the works of Archimedes, printed at Oxford in folio, in the year 1792, which was prepared for the press by Torelli of Verona; and that in Dr. Halley's edition of the eight books of Apollonius, published at Oxford in 1710.
COSMAS, an Egyptian merchant, who, under the emperor Justinian, in the course of his traffic, made some voyages in India about the year 522, whence he acquired the sirname of VOL. II. 2 G
Indicoplenstes," or the Indian navigator; but afterwards, by a transition not uncommon in that superstitious age, renounced all the concerns of this life, and assumed the monastic character, as it is said, among the Nestorians. In the solitude and leisure of a cell, he composed several works, between the years 535 and 547; one of which, dignified by him with the name of "Christian Topography," has reached us. This book was published at Alexandria, A.D. 547. The main design of this work is to combat the opinion of those philosophers who assert that the earth is of a spherical figure, and to prove that it is an oblong plane, twelve thousand miles in length from east to west, and six thousand miles in breadth from north to south, surrounded by high walls, covered by the firmament as with a canopy or vault; that the vicissitude of day and night was occasioned by a mountain of prodigious height, situated in the extremities of the north, round which the sun moved; that when he appeared on one side of this mountain, the earth was illuminated; when concealed on the other side, the earth was left involved in darkness. However, amidst these wild reveries, more suited to the credulity of his new profession, than to the sound sense characteristic of that in which he was formerly engaged, Cosmas seems to relate what he himself had observed in his travels, or what he had learned from others with great simplicity and regard for truth. He appears to have been well acquainted with the western coast of the Indian peninsula, and names several places situated upon it; he describes it as the chief seat of the pepper trade, and mentions Mala, probably the origin of Malabar, as one of the most frequented ports on that account. From him also we learn, that the island of Taprobane, which he supposes to be at an equal distance from the Persian gulf on the west, and the country of the Sinæ on the east, had become, on account of this commodious situation, a great staple of trade; that into it was imported the silk of the Sinæ, and the precious spices of the eastern countries, which were conveyed thence to all parts of India, to Persia, and to the Arabian Gulf. To this island he gives the name of Sielediba, nearly the same with that of Selendib, or Serendeb, by which it is still known over the East. To Cosmas we are also indebted for the first information of a new rival to the Romans in trade having appeared in the Indian seas. All the considerable ports of India were frequented by traders from Persia, who, in return for some productions of their own country in request among the Indians, received the precious commodities, which they conveyed up the Persian Gulf, and by means of the great rivers, Euphrates and Tigris, distributed them through every province of their empire. As the voyage from Persia to India was much shorter than that from Egypt, and attended with less expense and danger, the intercourse