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Chapter XI.—Hail of Extraordinary Size; and Earthquakes in Bithynia and the Hellespont.

On the 2d of June of the following year, in the consulate 590 of Lupicin and Jovian, there fell at Constantinople hail of such a size as would fill a man’s hand. Many affirmed that this hail had fallen as a consequence of the Divine displeasure, because of the emperor’s having banished several persons engaged in the sacred ministry, those, that is to say, who refused to communicate with Eudoxius. 591 During the same consulate, on the 24th of August, the emperor Valentinian proclaimed his son Gratian Augustus. In the next year, 592 when Valentinian and Valens were a second time consuls, there happened on the 11th of October, an earthquake in Bithynia which destroyed the city of Nicæa on the eleventh day of October. This was about twelve years after Nicomedia had been visited by a similar catastrophe. Soon afterwards the largest portion of Germa in the Hellespont was reduced to ruins by another earthquake. Nevertheless no impression was made on the mind of either Eudoxius the Arian bishop, or the emperor Valens, by these occurrences; for they did not desist from their relentless persecution of those who dissented from them in matters of faith. Meanwhile these convulsions of the earth were regarded as typical of the disturbances which agitated the churches: for many of the clerical body were sent into exile, as we have stated; Basil and Gregory alone, by a special dispensation of Divine Providence, being on account of their eminent piety exempted from this punishment. The former of these individuals was bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia; while Gregory presided over Nazianzus, 593 a little city in the vicinity of Cæsarea. But we shall have occasion to mention both Basil and Gregory again in the course of our history. 594



367 a.d.


See II. 43.


368 a.d.


If Socrates means to speak with precision here of the offices occupied by these men during the year which his narrative has reached he is mistaken, for Basil became bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia the year following, and Gregory was made bishop, not of Nazianzus at this time, but of Sisima. He did not, however, enter on the duties of this bishopric as he says in his letters.


Chap. 26.

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