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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, (nuévą 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 Wisdom, 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 Wisdom, --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,-as 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 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 to pay 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.
and, as each layer was completed, twelve Priests recited prayers. The spongy shell was then covered with an incrustation of marble, and the seams between the pieces filled up with gold. Even the massive piles of masonry that supported the arches on which the cupola rested were covered with gold; and a proportionate prodigality spent itself even on the less sacred parts of the building. The pavement was of precious marbles, magnificent beyond example. The altar was of solid silver. The gates around it of silver, gilt. So were chairs for seven Priests, and a throne for the Archbishop. The “holy of holies" and adjacent parts of the interior were almost incredibly rich. The holy table was whimsically precious ; for it consisted of gold, silver, pearls, all kinds of precious stones, amber, glass, tin, iron, and other metals, all beaten fine, mixed together and smelted into one mass, which betrayed its heterogeneous ingredients by an unheard-of diversity of colour. This most costly Corinthian metal won the admiration of every beholder. And all round the sacred places jewels were inlaid with a profusion that could only be explained by the fact that an empire had been swept by the rude hand of power to bring them all into one place.
Justinian would then have paved over the pavement with solid gold; but “he was restrained by certain mathematicians," who said that the time would come when some of his successors would be poor, and if he made his temple altogether golden, they would pull it down to satisfy their necessities. He had gates of amber, gates of ivory, and gates made strong by the insertion of timbers from Noah's ark!
The work is not finished. They bring the stone that covered the well of Samaria ; the four brazen trumpets at whose blast fell the walls of Jericho; a venerable crucifix, the figure being precisely of the same size as the Saviour Himself, “as measured by wise and faithful men,” a crucifix that heals diseases, and casts out devils; holy relics inlaid in all the pillars !
The profusion and variety of ecclesiastical vessels and furniture corresponded to the pomp of ceremonies to be performed, and an endowment of three hundred and sixtyfive estates in the eastern and western parts of the empire, in Egypt, India, and all the East, was intendedsupposing the rents to be forthcoming-to keep up the ministration of the place by large companies of Priests. But there was only a sorry provision of a dozen Gospels, instead of Bibles enough to enlighten the host of Clergy and provide for lessons in hearing of the congregations.
But we refrain from further details. On the 22d day of November the Emperor drove into the court of his temple in a splendid chariot, caused 1,000 oxen, 6,000 sheep, 600 deer, 1,000 swine, 10,000 fowls, and 10,000 chickens to be killed, and given to the people for a banquet. On the same day, during three hours, 30,000 measures of wheat were distributed to the poor. Then Justinian, carrying a cross, attended only by the Patriarch Eutychius, entered the temple, and, bidding the Patriarch stand at a distance, he alone ascended the pulpit, spread his hands towards heaven, and said aloud : “ Glory to thee, O God, who hast deigned to give me so great honour that I should finish this work. I HAVE CONQUERED THEE, O SOLOMON !" Issuing from the temple, he commanded large sums of money to be scattered among the multitude; and the next day, after sacrificing at least as many holocausts (odoravrøjata lúoac) as on the first, he permitted the temple to be opened, and the people to go in. Then he feasted the people and gave thanks to God for fifteen days.* Thus he conquered Solomon! Thus the great desire of his heart was accomplished.
But the work was not perfect. About seventeen years afterward, that very consecrated dome, made holy with relics and made sure with prayers, fell in an instant. The silver altar, the wondrous pavement, the pillars and gates glittering with jewels of every name, were dashed to atoms. And
• But this was not to be compared with King Solomon's bounty at the dedication of the temple at Jerusalem. That good King, without a word of boasting, but with expressions of profound humiliation before God, gave in sacrifice, and to be eaten as well as killed sacrificially, 22,000 oxen, and 120,000 sheep, besides a great national feast for fourteen days, “ from the entering in of Hamath, unto the river of Egypt." (1 Kings viii.)