Chapter XLIII.—Calamities of the Barbarians who had been the Usurper Johns Allies.
After the death of the usurper, the barbarians whom he had called to his assistance against the Romans, made preparations for ravaging the Roman provinces. The emperor being informed of this, immediately, as his custom was, committed the management of the matter to God; and continuing in earnest prayer, he speedily obtained what he sought; for it is worth while to give attention to disasters which befell the barbarians. 1033 For their chief, whose name was Rougas, was struck dead with a thunderbolt. Then a plague followed which destroyed most of the men who were under him: and as if this was not sufficient, fire came down from heaven, and consumed many of the survivors. This filled the barbarians with the utmost terror; not so much because they had dared to take up arms against a nation of such valor as the Romans possessed, as that they perceived them to be assisted by a mighty God. On this occasion, Proclus the bishop preached a sermon in the church in which he applied a prophecy out of Ezekiel to the deliverance effected by God in the late emergency, and was in consequence much admired. This is the language of the prophecy: 1034
And thou, son of man, prophesy against Gog the prince of Rhos, Mosoch, and Thobel. For I will judge him with death, and with blood, and with overflowing rain, and with hail-stones. I will also rain fire and brimstone upon him, and upon all his bands, and upon many nations that are with him. And I will be magnified, and glorified, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations: and they shall know that I am the Lord.
This application of the prophecy was received with great applause, as I have said, and enhanced the estimation in which Proclus was held. Moreover the providence of God rewarded the meekness of the emperor in various other ways, one of which was the following.
Who these barbarians were it is impossible to find out precisely, and that not because no mention is made of barbarian inroads on the imperial territories, but because so many are mentioned by the chronographers and the historians of the Goths (Jornandes, Prosper Aquitanus, Marcellinus, &c.) that it is impossible to identify this with any of them to the exclusion of the rest. Rougas also appears in these historians as Rouas (in Priscus), Roas (in Jornandes), Rugilas (in Prosper Aquitanus), and is said to be related to Attila; but nothing certain can be drawn from the accounts.176:1034
Ezek. 38:2, 22, 23. Ambrose has also used this prophecy, applying it to the Goths, and exhorted Gratian to make war against them. Cf. Ambrose, de Fide, 2. 16. The quotation here is from the LXX.