Monday, June 25, 2007

St. Isidore -- The Sixth age of the World until St. Ambrose

75. Trajan ruled for nineteen years. He extended the empire of the Romans with wondrous power far and wide to the east. Tranquil and liberal in all things, he took Babylonia and Arabia and reached all the way to the territory of India, like Alexander. Among all of the things he said, the most extraordinary is reported to have been his response when asked why he was so approachable by everyone around him: (to wit), that he would rather deprive himself of being emperor than be a private emperor. Simon Cleophas, bishop of Jerusalem, was crucified at this time and John the Apostle passed away.

76. Hadrian ruled for twenty-one years. Envying the glory of Trajan, he surrendered the provinces of the east to the Persians and established the boundary of the Roman empire at the river Euphrates. He also subjugated the Jews who, for a second time, had become rebels, and he restored the city of Jerusalem and called it by his own name, Aelia. At the same time, Aquila Ponticus, the second translator after the Septuagint, arose. And Basilides was acknowledged to be a heresiarch.

77. Antoninus Pius ruled for twenty-two years. He received this cognomen on account of his clemency, because throughout the entire Roman kingdom he relaxed the debts of everyone, burning the notes. For which reason he is also called the "Father of the Country." He was the first to divide the imperium of the Roman world, which he did with Antoninus the Younger, making him equal in power. With Antoninus Pius ruling, Valentius and Marcion were shown to be heresiarchs and the doctor Galen, born in Pergamum, was regarded as illustrious in Rome.

78. Antoninus Minor ruled for eighteen years. Having advanced to Parthia, he took Seleucia, the city of Assyria, with 400,000 men. He triumphed over the Parthians and the Persians. With him ruling, Montanus, the author of the Cataphrygites and Tatian, from whom came the heresy of the Encratitarites, appeared.

79. Commodus ruled for thirteen years. He was a man of great lust. Under his imperial rule, Theodotian of Ephesus, the third translator, appeared. And Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, was regarded as illustrious in his teaching.

80. Aelius Pertinax ruled for one year. With the senate entreating him to make his wife "Augustus" and his son "Caesar," he refused, saying that he ought to be replaced because he ruled unwillingly.

81. Severus Pertinax ruled for eighteen years. He successfully waged many wars. He conquered Parthia, acquired Arabia, and took Britain by force. He had a knowledge of literature and philosophy. In his time Symmachus, the fourth translator, was acknowledged. Narcissus, bishop of Jerusalem, was celebrated with many virtues. Tertullian of Africa was regarded as illustrious in the church. Origen of Alexandria was erudite in his studies.

82. Antoninus Caracalla, the son of Severus, ruled for seven years. He was impatient in his desires. He took his stepmother as his wife. He did nothing memorable. In his time, in Jericho, a fifth edition of the holy scriptures was found, the author of which was not known.

83. Macrinus ruled for one year. Ruling with his own son, he undertook nothing memorable during his brief time as emperor. For after only one year, both were killed as a result of a military uprising.

84. Aurelius Antoninus ruled for four years. He lived most obscenely and was himself killed by a military revolt. In his time, a sixth edition was found in Nicopolis. The heresiarch Sabellius appeared.

85. Alexander ruled for thirteen years. He most gloriously conquered the Persians. He was favorable to the citizens. In his time, Origen of Alexandria excelled and in Rome, the legal expert Ulpian was illustrious.

86. Maximinus ruled for three years. He was the first to be made emperor by the body of the military without a senate decree. He persecuted Christians.

87. Gordian ruled for six years. He afflicted the rebelling Parthians and Persians. Returning victorious from Persia, he died as a result of the treachery of his own men. In his time, Zephyrinus, with the witness of the holy spirit descending in the form of a dove over his head, was ordained bishop of Rome.

88. Philip ruled for seven years. He was thefirst among the emperors to believe in Christ. In his first year, the one thousandthyear of the city of Rome was reported to have passed.

89. Decius ruled for one year. In his time, St. Anthony the monk, by whom monasteries were first founded, is reported to have appeared.

90. Gallus and his son Volusianus ruled for two years. Novatus, a priest under bishop Cyprian, came to Rome and founded the Novatian hersesy.

91. Valerian, with Gallienus, ruled for fifteen years. Cyprian, first rhetor and them bishop, was crowned with martyrdom. Also the Goths depopulated Greece, Macedonia, and Pontus in Asia. Valerian, orchestrating a persecution of the Christians, was captured by Sapor, king of the Persians, and there he grew old with the disgrace of his life.

92. Claudius ruled for two years. He conquered and devastated the Goths (in) Illyricum and Macedonia. Paul of Samostenus was acknowledged to be a heresiarch.

93. Aurelian ruled for six years. He extended the empire of the Romans by force almost to its previous boundaries. Carrying out the persecution against the Christians, he was seized with a sudden calamity and died without delay.

94. Tacitus ruled for one year. His brief life left no deed worthy of record.

95. Probus ruled for six years. Vigorous in war and illustrious in civilian life, he restored to the Romans, by force, Gaul, which had been occupied by the barbarians. In his time the heresy of the Manicheans arose. (5,481)

96. Carus ruled with his sons Carinus and Numerianus for two years. (134) Carus, after he triumphed over the Persians and, victorious, placed fortifications along the Tigris, was killed by a stroke of misfortune.

97. Diocletian and Maximian ruled for twenty years. Diocletian, having burned holy books, persecuted Christians throughout the world. He was the first to order gems put on clothes and shoes. At that time princes were to wear only purple on their backs. These emperors waged various wars and, having conquered Persia, took Mesopotamia. After awhile, when both had left the rank of emperor, they lived as private citizens.

98. Galerius ruled for two years. His brief imperium saw nothing worthy of historical record.

99. Constantine ruled for thirty years. He prepared for war with the Persians and they feared his arrival, so that supplicants came forth promising to carry out his orders. He also became a Christian, giving permission to Christians to congregate freely, and built basilicas in honor of Christ. In these times, the Arian heresy appeared. Also the Nicene Council was convoked by Constantine for the condemnation of Arius. Also at that time the schism of the Donatists arose. At the same time the cross of Christ was discovered in Jerusalem by Helen, the mother of Constantine. But Constantine, baptised by Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia at the very end of his life, was converted to the Arian dogma. O the pain! Such a good beginning, such a bad end.

100. Constantius and Constans ruled for twenty-four years. Constantius, terrible in the cruelty of his ways, endured many things from the Persians. From that time on he became an Arian and persecuted Catholics all over the world. Relying on his favor, Arius proceeded to the church in Constantinople, about to fight against those of our faith. Diverted through the forum of Constantine for the sake of some necessity, suddenly his viscera and his life simultaneously poured out. At the same time, Athanasius and Hilary were celebrated for their doctrine and confession of the faith. The heresy of the Anthropomorphites arose in Syria, Macedonia, and Constantinople. Donatus, an author of the art of grammar and instructor of Jerome, was regarded as illustrious in Rome. Anthony the monk died. The bones of the apostles Andrew and Luke were translated to Constantinople.

101. Julian ruled for two years. He went from being a cleric to being an emperor and a pagan. He was converted to the cult of the idols and instituted martyrdom for the Christians. He forbade Christians to teach or learn the liberal arts. At that time he also, out of his hatred for Christ, permitted the Jews to repair the Temple of Jerusalem. Jews gathered from all the provinces and laid new foundations for the Temple. Suddenly at night an earthquake struck and the stones from the deepest parts of the foundation were shaken and scattered far and wide. In addition a fiery ball came out from the interior of the building of the Temple and prostrated many with its fire. Those remaining were frightened by this terror and involuntarily confessed Christ. And lest they thought it was over with this destruction, the sign of the cross appeared the following night on everyone's clothing. Julian, proceeding against the Persians, died, having been hit with a javelin as the attack was being launched.

102. Jovian ruled for one year. When he realized that he was being chosen emperor by the army, he confirmed that he was a Christian and decided that it was no longer permissable for pagans to hold office. "And we," he said to all of the army, "who through Julianus rejected the name of Christ, wish to be Christians again." He then received the sceptre of the imperium from those who had heard him and returned after having made peace with the Persians. He gave the priveleges back to the Christians with a law granted in perpetuity and ordered the temples of the idols closed.

103. Valentinian and his brother Valens ruled for fourteen years. The Goths, in Istrus, were divided into two kingdoms under kings Fridigern and Athalaric. But Fridigern overcame Athalaric with the help of Valens, the Arian emperor, having been persuaded, in exchange for the aid, to convert form being a catholic to being an Arian along with all of the people of the Goths, thus following Valens' error. Also at that time Ulfilas, bishop of the Goths, invented letters for the Goths like the letters of the Greeks and then translated both (the New and Old) Testaments into their own tongue. Also Photinus, Eunomius, and Apollonaris were acknowledged to be heresiarchs at this same time.

104. Gratian with his brother Valentinian ruled for six years. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, excelled in the dogma of the Catholics. Priscillian introduced into Spain the evil heresy bearing his name. Martin, bishop of Tours, the city of Gaul, was resplendent with the signs of many miracles.

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