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Zosimus yielded to the perseverance of the Africans, changed his mind, and condemned with the utmost severity Pelagius and Celestius, whom he had honoured with his approbation, and covered with his protection. This was followed by a train of evils, which pursued these two monks without interruption. They were condemned, says Mosheim, by that same Ephesian council which had launched its thunder at the head of Nestorius. In short, the Gauls, Britons, and Africans, by their councils and emperors, by their edicts and penal laws-demolished this sect in its infancy, and suppressed it entirely, before it had acquired any tolerable degree of vigour or consistence.--Buck's Theological Dictionary.
26. RELIGION OF THE GOTHS, OR SCANDINAVIANS,
Goths is the name generally given to those nations in the northern part of Europe who directed their arms against the Roman empire, and finally, under Alaric, one of their most celebrated kings, plundered Rome, A. D. 401, and introduced disorders, anarchy, and revolutions, in the west of Europe. The Goths came from Scandinavia, a name generally given by the ancients to the tract of territory which contains the modern kingdoms of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, &c.
The theology of the, Scandinavians or Goths was most intimately connected with their manners. They held three great principles, or fundamental doctrines of religion :-"To serve the Supreme Being with prayer and sacrifice; to do no wrong or unjust action ; and to be intrepid in fight." These principles are the key to the Edda, or sacred book of the Scandinavians, which, though it contains the substance of a very ancient religion, is not itself a work of high antiquity, being compiled in the thirteenth century by Snorro Sturlson, supreme judge of Iceland, Odin, characterized as the terrible and severe God, the Father of carnage, the ayenger, was the principal deity of the Scandipavians; from whose union with Frea, the heavenly
mother, sprung various subordinate divinities; as Thor, who perpetually wars against Loke and his evil giants, who envy the power of Odin, and seek to destroy his works. Among the inferior deities were the virgins of the Valhalli, whose office was to administer to the heroes in paradise. The timid wretch who allowed himself to perish by disease or age was unworthy the joys of paradise. These joys were fighting, ceaseless slaughter, and drinking beer out of the skulls of their enemies, with a renovation of life to furnish a perpetuity of the same pleasures. The favourites of Odin were all who die in battle, or, what was equally meritorious, by their own hand.
As the Scandinavians believed this world to be the work of some superior intelligences, so they held all nature to be constantly under the regulation of an Almighty will and power, and subject to a fixed and unalterable destiny. These notions had a wonderful effect on the national manners, and on the conduct of individuals. The Scandinavian placed his sole delight in war; he entertained an absolute contempt of danger and of death, and his glory was estimated by the number he had slain in battle,* The death-song of 'Regner Lodbrok, king of Denmark, who fell into the hands of his enemies, was thrown into prison, and by them condemned to be destroyed by serpents, is a faithful picture of the Scandinavian character. The following is an exact translation of a part of his song:
“ We have fought with our swords. I was young, when, towards the east, in the bay of Oreon, we made torrents of blood flow, to gorge the ravenous beast of prey, and the yellow footed bird. There resounded the bared steel upon the lofty helmets of
The whole ocean was one wound. The crow waded in the blood of the slain. When we had numbered twenty years, we lifted our spears on high, and every where spread our renown. Eight barons we overcame in the east, before the port of Diminum; and plentifully we feasted the eagle in that slaughter. The warm stream of wounds ran into the ocean. The army fell before us. When we steered our ships into the mouth of the Vistula, we
• Tytler's History,
sent the Helsingians to the hall of Odin. Then did the sword bite. The waters were all one wound. The earth was dyed red with the warm stream. The swords rung upon the coats of mail, and clove the bucklers in twain. None fled on that day, till among his ships Herandus fell. Than him no braver baron cleaves the sea with ships; a cheerful heart did he ever bring to the combat. Then the host threw away their shields, when the uplifted spear flew at the breasts of heroes. The sword bit the Scarfian rocks; bloody was the shield in battle, until Rafuo the king was slain. From the heads of warriors the warm sweat streamed down their armour. The crows around the Indirian islands had an ample prey. It were difficult to single put one among so many deaths. At the rising of the sun I beheld the spears piercing the bodies of foes, and the bows throwing forth their steel-pointed ar
Loud roared the swords in the plaiňs of Lano. The vir. gin long bewailed the slaughter of that morning."
He thus laments the death of one of his sons in bat
“When Rogvaldus was slain, for him mourned all the bawks of heaven," as lamenting a benefactor who had so liberally supplied them with prey; " for boldly," as he adds, “in the strise of swords, did the breaker of helinets throw the spear of blood.” The
poem concludes with sentiments of the highest bravery and contempt of death.
“What is more certain to the brave man than death, though amidst the storm of swords, he stands always ready to oppose it? He, only, regrets this life, who hath never known distress. The timorous man allures the devouring eagle to the field of battie. The coward, whenever he comes, is useless to himself. This I esteem honourable, that the youth should allvance to the combat fairly matched one against another; nor man retreat from man. Long was this the warrior's highest glory. He who aspires to the love of virgins ought always to be foremost in the war of arms. It appears to me of truth, that we are led by the Fates, Seldom can any overcome the appointment of destiny. Litle did I foresee that Ella* was to have my life in his hands, in that day when, fainting, I concealed my blood, and pushed forth my ships into the waves, after we had spread a repast for the beasts of prey throughout the Scottish bays. But this makes me always rejoice, that in the halls of our father Balder (or Odin) I know there are seats prepared, where in a short time, we shall be drinking alo out of the hollow skulls of our enemies. In the house of the
This was the name of his enemy who had condemned him to death.
mighty Odin, no brave man laments death. I come not with the voice of despair to Odin's hall. How eagerly would all the song of Aslauga now rush to war, did they know the distress of their father, whom a multitude of venomous serpents tear? I have given to my children a mother who hath filled their hearts with valour. I am fast approaching to my end. A cruel death awaits me from the viper's bite. A snake dwells in the midst of my heart. I hope that the sword of some of my sons shall yet be stained with the blood Ella. The valiant youths will wax red with anger, and will not sit in peace. Fifty and one times have I reared the standard in hattle. În my youth, I leamed to dye the sword in blood; my hope was then, that no king among men would be more renowned than me. The goddesses of death will now soon call me; I must not mourn my death. Now I end my song. The goddesses invite me away; they whom Odin has sent to me from his hall. I will sit upon a lofty seat, and drink ale joyfully with the goddesses of death. The hours of my life are run out. I will smile when I die.”
27. TAKING OF ROME BY ALARIC, KING OF THE Gọths.
In the year 401, the imperial city of Rome was besieged and taken by Alaric, king of the Goths, who delivered it over to the licentious fury of his army. A scene of horror ensued, scarcely paralleled in the history of war. The plunder of the city was accoinplished in six days; the streets were deluged with the blood of murdered citizens, and some of the noblest edifices were razed to their foundation.
The. of Rome was at this time an object of admiration. Its inhabitants were estimated at twelve hundred thousand. Its houses were but little short of fifty thousand; seventeen hundred and eighty of which were similar in grandeur and extent to the palaces of princes. Every thing bespoke wealth and luxury. The market, the race-courses, the temples, the fountains, the porticos, the shady groves, unitedly combined to add surpassing splendour to the spot.
Two years before the surrender of the city, Alaric had laid siege to it, and had received from the proud and insolent Romans, as a price of his retreat from the walls, five thousand pounds of gold, thirty thousand