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There was much wood in the building; and in the time of Theodosius, during the holding of the second synod of Constantinople, the Arians thought to advance their cause by burning it down. They raised a riot, set fire to the church, and the Patriarch Nectarius had to assemble his brethren in the church of St. Irene, another edifice of Constantine. After being without a roof for two years, it was arched over by one Master Rufinus, and so continued until the fifth year of the Emperor Justinian; when, after a dreadful battle between two factions in the hippodrome, wherein thirty-five thousand men perished, that Sovereign resolved “to build a temple, such as had not been reared from the time of Adam."

He therefore wrote to his Generals, Satraps, Judges, and Collectors of provinces, commanding them all and each to make diligent search for pillars, hewn stones, peristyles, boards, gates, and whatever materials would be useful for building temples. Then they to whom the service was confided, collected all they could from idol-temples, ancient baths, and palaces, from every province, and from all the islands of north, south, east, and west, and sent it to the Emperor Justinian. Among others, one Marcia, a Roman widow, sent on rafts eight pillars which she had received in her dowry. Those pillars had formed part of the Temple of the Sun, built by the Emperor Aurelian in Rome, before he surrendered himself to the Persians. They were altogether wonderful, of green marble, cut and polished, and were brought from Rome by Constantine, Prætor of Ephesus, together with these words, written to the Emperor: thee for the salvation of my soul these pillars, equal in length, weight, and breadth.So early had people come to substitute donations for faith in Christ. Other pillars were brought from Cyzicum, from Troas, and from the Cyclades. And materials of all kinds came pouring into Constantinople for seven years and a half.

In the twelfth year of his reign Justinian demolished the temple built by Constantine, and having no use for its materials, on account of the great store accumulated, laid them aside. And to obtain the necessary space, he set


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about buying the neighbouring houses; and first began to negotiate for the purchase of one belonging to a certain widow, named Anna, offering a handsome price. But the widow refused to sell her house at any price, and resisted the entreaties of the great men of the city, sent to expostulate with her on her obstinacy. “ At last the Emperor himself went to her, and supplicated the woman to take a price. Then, when she saw the Emperor, she fell at his feet, and, herself in the attitude of a suppliant, said, 'I will take no price for the house from thee. I only ask that I too may have a reward in the day of judgment, out of the temple thou art going to build, and may be buried by my own dwelling.'” He therefore promised her a place of burial within the temple, so that she might have perpetual possession of her own estate.

The Holy Well, too, as they called it, and the whole space occupied by the altar and the ambo (reader's desk, or pulpit), belonged to the house of Antiochus, a eunuch, and was valued at thirty-eight pounds (impat). But as Antiochus wanted to drive a bargain for his house, and as the Emperor was not willing to be imposed upon, nor yet to do violence to the man, Master Strategius, Prefect of the imperial treasury, and spiritual brother of the Emperor, promised to get possession of it by some contrivance. Now the Circensian games were near; and knowing that the said Antiochus was fond of those games, Strategius threw him into prison. When the day for the games came, Antiochus, with a mournful voice, implored that he might be suffered to behold the games, and promised that, if let out of prison to see them, he would do anything the Emperor desired. Forthwith he was led into the hippodrome, where the Emperor sat ready for the chariots to start, and there sold him his house, the Questor and the whole Senate subscribing their names as witnesses.

Another part of the site required belonged to a person who sold his property with a good grace; but there was yet another belonging to one Xenophon, a tailor, and a wretched little house it was. But this proprietor not only asked twice its value, but solicited that on the day of the Circensian

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games, the four bands of charioteers should reverentially bow down before him. The price was paid, and the honour was awarded. Justinian decreed that the tailor should appear on each day of the games within railings, on the hippodrome, in that position to receive the coveted adoration. And as long as he lived, he was thus worshipped, amidst the derision of the multitude, who nick-named him, “ Prince of the defunct." These are not very favourable specimens of the culture of the people of New Rome, in the days of the first Justinian.

Justinian then measured his ground; and, finding a place where there was solid rock, he there traced the foundation for the masonry that was to support the grand cupola. The ground being opened for all the foundations, he summoned the Patriarch Eutychius to pray for the successful progress of the building; and, prayers being offered, the Emperor himself first took mortar in a shell, gave thanks to God, and threw it into the foundation. Constantly he visited the works, and often took refreshment in a handsome oratory, built there for his accommodation. By a covered way from his palace, he went every day to observe the progress made by a hundred master-masons, each directing a hundred labourers,—ten thousand one hundred in all ; half of them at work on one side, and half on the other; each division emulating the skill and industry of the other, and all stimulated by the presence of the Emperor, who said that the angel of the Lord had appeared to him in a dream, and given him the plan of the building.

The mortar was made of a decoction of barley mixed warm with lime and calcined oyster-shells; and, the masses of hewn stone being laid in thick beds of this composition, the walls hardened like solid rock. A store of silver money was kept on the spot; and the workmen were paid liberally, each according to the work he did, “that no one might lose his temper, or curse," and by so doing bring mischief on the work.

Strategius, spiritual brother of the Emperor, collected money for the building. The Emperor, as soon as the pillars were to be erected, abstained from his mid-day sleep, and came to oversee the polishing and fitting of the marbles, and other operations that needed care, attended by Troilus his Chamberlain, and encouraged his artisans to diligence and carefulness by offers of reward. He threw aside, at those times, the purple, and all other badges of majesty; and, clad in a clean white dress,—shall we say, a blouse ?--and wearing only a thin kerchief on his head, with a stick in his hand, performed the part of overseer of the works.

In due time a miracle was enacted, by one of those frauds unhappily called pious, to which it was thought lawful to resort on great occasions,

Ignatius, the real architect, left his son, a lad fourteen years of age, to take care of some tools at noon one Saturday, (nuspą oußßárov,) while he and the workmen were at dinner. A person in the habit of a eunuch, finely dressed, seated himself beside the boy, asked why the workmen abandoned their sacred employment, even for an hour, and bade him call them back at once, to speed the erection of the house of God. The young watchman was, of course, reluctant to quit his post; but the stranger became very urgent, and prevailed at length, by saying, “I swear to thee by Holy TVisdom, the Word of God, which is now in building, that I will not quit this place until thou returnest; for I am commanded to stay here, and keep watch.” The boy went, told his father, and was taken to the Emperor, who sat at dinner in the oratory. After putting suitable questions to the boy, Justinian declared that that eunuch was none other than the angel of the Lord; and that because of the angelic oath, the temple should be called Holy Iisdom, -Ayia Lopia ---SANCTA SOPHIA. And this is the legend of the naming of that church, St. Sophia ; but it is not ours to determine whether it was, at the time, an ordinary choice of a name, another church was named Holy Peace, Sancta Irene," or a fraud, as related in Banduri. At any rate, the name was given by Justinian, and it still continues.

That the angel, bound to that spot by his vow, might sit there and keep the temple to the end of time, the boy was


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not suffered to return, but sent away, his father consenting, to one of the Cyclades, and his reported conversation with the angel engraven on one of the pillars that supports the cupola. But this guardian angel certainly did not keep his vow; for the Mohammedans have had the building in their possession for four centuries, cursing the name of our Lord, THE WORD OF God, but still consenting that their mosque shall be dedicated to the Holy Wisdom. Thus does infatuation succeed imposture. Perhaps Justinian was pushed hard for money

his workmen, although the materials cost him nothing, and the ground came cheap. But this eunuch-angel is brought upon the stage again, to adorn a yet more clumsy legend. Our anonymous author says that he appeared to Justinian one Saturday evening, bade him not be troubled, but send some of his chief men next day, who would bring him as much coined gold as he needed. Next day, as the tale says, three grandees, with fifty servants, and a long train of mules and waggons, went out of the city, they knew not whither, came to a grand palace, found it uninhabited, and the floors covered with gold, which they shovelled away, and came back rejoicing. The palace was never seen more, for it vanished into air ; but the gold continued solid coin,

We pass by other follies of the kind.

Certain it is that Justinian exercised great ingenuity for the construction of the first spherical arch, or cupola, on so grand a scale as that of his new temple. He sent to Rhodes for a peculiar kind of brick, or tile, so light that twelve of the Rhodian tiles would weigh no more than one brick of the common sort.* They were all of the same size, and on each the words were stamped: God hath founded her, and she shall not be moved ; God shall help her, and that right early." Between each pair of bricks, in a cavity made for that purpose, small pieces of relics were deposited ;

• Gibbon says five, guided by a comparison of authorities; and this is nearer probability.

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