augustine of canterbury

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY CHAPTER I The Eome Of Gregory The Great The Some of Gregory the Great was no longer the powerful and splendid city of the early Emperors with which we are most familiar. It had long since ceased to be the capital of the Empire. From the death of Gallienua (a.d. 260), with the short interval of seven years of the reigns of Tacitus and Probus (275-282 A.d.), the Emperors had practically ceased to reside in Eome ; the defence of the Empire from the Barbarians required their presence nearer the frontiers, at the centre of military operations ; and the camp was also the court and the centre of political administration. When Diocletian divided and reorganised the Empire, he founded an Eastern capital at Nicomedia, on the eastern shore of the Propontis, which Constantino removed to Constantinople on the western shore of the Bosphorus. Milan was chosen as the capital of the Western Augustus. Both, with the concourse of people which public affairs and private interests andpleasures attract to a capital, grew into great cities, and were adorned with such splendid public buildings as became the dignity of the Empire. While a new nobility, of the great officers of the army and of the household and of the provincial governors, was growing up at the new capitals, the great nobles of old Eome held themselves aloof from the courts of the imperial adventurers, and kept up the splendour and luxury of the ancient city out of the revenues of the vast estates acquired by their ancestors in all parts of the world which Eoman arms had subdued. This splendid luxury was rudely interrupted. Alaric with his Goths appeared before the gates of the city in 409 A.d., and was bought off with a great ransom. But he came again the following year and gave up the city to sac...
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