Sacred Texts  Christianity  Early Church Fathers  Index  Previous  Next 

Chapter XVI.—Honorius the Ruler, a Lover of God. Death of Honorius. His Successors, Valentinian, and Honoria his Daughter; the Peace which was then Worldwide.

This is not the proper place to enter into the details concerning the deaths of the tyrants; 1640 but I considered it necessary to allude to the circumstance in order to show that to insure the stability of imperial power, it is sufficient for an emperor to serve God with reverence, which was the course pursued by Honorius. Galla Placidia, his sister, born of the same father as himself, dwelt with him, and likewise distinguished herself by real zeal in the maintenance of religion and of the churches. After Constantius, who was a brave and able general, had destroyed the tyrant Constantine, the emperor rewarded him by giving him his sister in marriage; he also bestowed upon him the ermine and purple, and admitted him to a share in the government. Constantius did not long survive the promotion; he died soon after, and left two children, Valentinian, who succeeded Honorius, and Honoria. Meanwhile the Eastern Empire was free from wars, and contrary to all opinion, its affairs were conducted with great order, for the ruler was still a youth. It seems as if God openly manifested His favor towards the present emperor, not only by disposing of warlike affairs in an unexpected way, but also by revealing the sacred bodies of many persons who were of old most distinguished for piety; among other relics, those of Zechariah, the very ancient prophet, and of Stephen, who was ordained deacon by the apostles, were discovered; and it seems incumbent upon me to describe the mode, since the discovery of each was marvelous and divine. 1641



Independent chapter. Cf. Philost. xii. 4–13; Olymp. Fragm. 34, 39, 40.


He recounts the discovery of Zechariah only, while all the language here, and that of the beginning of the next chapter, indicates his intention to describe both. Could the work then have been concluded?

Next: Discovery of the Relics of Zechariah the Prophet, and of Stephen the Proto-Martyr.