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1 - 1 Introduction; the church of S. Sophia in Constantinople

It is not because I wish to make a display of skill, nor through any confidence in my eloquence, nor because I pride myself on my personal knowledge of many lands, that I have set about writing this record; for indeed I had no grounds for venturing so bold an intention. 2 Yet the thought has many times occurred to me, how many and how great are the benefits which are wont to accrue to states through History, which transmits to future generations the memory of those who have gone before, and resists the steady effort of time to bury events in oblivion; and while it incites to virtue those who from time to time may read it by the praise it bestows, it constantly assails vice by repelling its influence. 3 Wherefore our concern must be solely this — that all the deeds of the past shall be clearly set forth, and by what man, whosoever he might be, they were wrought. And this, I believe, is not an impossible task, even for a lisping and thin-voiced tongue. 4 Apart from all this, history shews that subjects who have received benefits have proved themselves grateful toward their benefactors, and that they have repaid them with p5thank-offerings in generous measure, seeing that, while they have profited, it may be, for the moment only by the beneficence of their rulers, they nevertheless preserve their sovereigns' virtue imperishable in the memory of those who are to come after them.1 5 Indeed it is through this very service that many men of later times strive after virtue, by emulating the honours of those who have preceded them, and, because they cannot endure censure, are quite likely to shun the basest practices. And the reason why I have made this preface I shall forthwith disclose.

6 In our own age there has been born the Emperor Justinian, who, taking over the State when it was harassed by disorder, has not only made it greater in extent, but also much more illustrious, by expelling from it those barbarians who had from of old pressed hard upon it, as I have made clear in detail in the Books on the Wars. 7 Indeed they say that Themistocles, the son of Neocles, once boastfully said that he did not lack the ability to make a small state large. 8 But this Sovereign does not lack the skill to produce completely transformed states — witness the way he has already added to the Roman domain many states which in his own times had belonged to others, and has created countless cities which did not exist before. 9 And finding that the belief in God was, before his time, straying into errors and being forced to go in many directions, he completely destroyed all the paths leading to such errors, and brought it about that it stood on the firm foundation p7of a single faith.2 Moreover, finding the laws obscure because they had become far more numerous than they should be, and in obvious confusion because they disagreed with each other, he preserved them by cleansing them of the mass of their verbal trickery, and by controlling their discrepancies with the greatest firmness; as for those who plotted against him, he of his own volition dismissed the charges against them, causing those who were in want to have a surfeit of wealth, and crushing the spiteful fortune that oppressed them, he wedded the whole State to a life of prosperity. Furthermore, he strengthened the Roman domain, which everywhere lay exposed to the barbarians, by a multitude of soldiers, and by constructing strongholds he built a wall along all its remote frontiers.

However, most of the Emperor's other achievements have been described by me in my other writings,3 so that the subject of the present work will be the benefits which he wrought as a builder. They do indeed say that the best king of whom we know by tradition was the Persian Cyrus, and that he was chiefly responsible for the founding of the kingdom of Persia for the people of his race. But whether that Cyrus was in fact such a man as he whose education from childhood up is described by Xenophon the Athenian, I have no means of knowing. For it may well be that the skill of the writer of that description was quite capable, such was his exquisite eloquence, of coming to be a mere embellishment of the facts.a p9But in the case of the king of our times, Justinian (whom one would rightly, I think, call a king by nature as well as by inheritance, since he is, as Homer says,4 "as gentle as a father"), if one should examine his reign with care, he will regard the rule of Cyrus as a sort of child's play.5 The proof of this will be that the Roman Empire, as I have just said, has become more than doubled both in area and in power generally, while, on the other hand, those who treacherously formed the plot6 against him, going so far even as to plan his assassination, are not only living up to the present moment, and in possession of their own property, even though their guilt was proved with absolute certainty, but are actually still serving as generals of the Romans, and are holding the consular rank to which they had been appointed.

But now we must proceed, as I have said, to the subject of the buildings of this Emperor, so that it may not come to pass in the future that those who see them refuse, by reason of their great number and magnitude, to believe that they are in truth the works of one man. For already many works of men of former times which are not vouched for by a written record have aroused incredulity because of their surpassing merit. And with good reason the buildings in Byzantium, beyond all the rest, will serve as a foundation for my narrative. For "o'er a work's beginnings," as the old saying has it,7 "we needs must set a front that shines afar."

20 Some men of the common herd, all the rubbish of p11the city, once rose up against the Emperor Justinian in Byzantium, when they brought about the rising called the Nika Insurrection, which has been described by me in detail and without any concealment in Books on the Wars.8 21 And by way of shewing that it was not against the Emperor alone that they had taken up arms, but no less against God himself, unholy wretches that they were, they had the hardihood to fire the Church of the Christians, which the people of Byzantium call "Sophia,"9 an epithet which they have most appropriately invented for God, by which they call His temple; and God permitted them to accomplish this impiety, foreseeingº into what an object of beauty this shrine was destined to be transformed. 22 So the whole church at that time lay a charred mass of ruins. But the Emperor Justinian built not long afterwards a churchso finely shaped,that if anyone had enquired of the Christians before the burning if it would be their wish that the church should be destroyed and one like this should take its place, shewing them some sort of model of the building we now see, it seems to me that they would have prayed that they might see their church destroyed forthwith, in order that the building might be converted into its present form. 23 At any rate the Emperor, disregarding all questions of expense, eagerly pressed on to begin the work of construction, and began to gather all the artisans from the whole world. 24 And Anthemius of Tralles, the most learned man in the skilled craft which is known as the art of building,not only of all his contemporaries, p13but also when compared with those who had lived long before him, ministered to the Emperor's enthusiasm, duly regulating the tasks of the various artisans, and preparing in advance designs of the future construction; and associated with him with another master-builder, Isidorus by name, a Milesian by birth, a man who was intelligent and worthy to assist the Emperor Justinian. 25 Indeed this also was an indication of the honour in which God held the Emperor, that He had already provided the men who would be most serviceable to him in the tasks which were waiting to be carried out. 26 And one might with good reason marvel at the discernment of the Emperor himself, in that out of the whole world he was able to select the men who were most suitable for the most important of his enterprises.13

27 So the church has become a spectacle of marvellous beauty, overwhelming to those who see it, but to those who know it by hearsay altogether incredible.For it soars to a height to match the sky, and as if surging up from amongst the other buildings it stands on high and looks down upon the remainder of the city, adorning it, because it is a part of it, but glorying in its own beauty, because, though a part of the city and dominating it, it at the same time towers above it to such a height that the whole city is viewed from there as from a watch-tower. 28 Both its breadth and its length have been so carefully proportioned, that it may not improperly be said to be exceedingly long and at the same time unusually broad. And it exults in an indescribable beauty.
image ALT: Architectural plan of a large church about 1meters long. It is that of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

Plan of St. Sophia.

image ALT: Architectural cross-section of a large church about 1meters long. It is that of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

Longitudinal Section of St. Sophia.
A, the original dome as built by Anthemius and Isidorus.
B, reconstruction of the dome in A.D. 558 by Isidorus the Younger.

p1729 For it proudly reveals its mass and the harmony of its proportions, having neither excess nor deficiency, since it is both more pretentious than the buildings to which we are accustomed, and considerably more noble than those which are merely huge, and it abounds exceedingly in sunlight and in the reflection of the sun's rays from the marble. 30 Indeed one might say that its interior is not illuminated from without by the sun, but that the radiance comes into being within it, such an abundance of light bathes this shrine. 31 And the face itself of the church (which would be the part which faces the rising sun, that portion of the building in which they perform the mysteries in worship of God) was constructed in the following manner. 32 A structure of masonry (oikodomia) is built up from the ground, not made in a straight line, but gradually curving inward on its flanks and receding at the middle, so that it forms the shape of half a circle, which those who are skilled in such matters call a half-cylinder (hêmikylindron); and so it rises precipitously to a height.33 The upper part of this structure ends in the fourth part of a sphere (sphaira), and above it another crescent-shaped (mênoeides) structure rises, fitted to the adjoining parts of the building, marvellous in its grace, but by reason of the seeming insecurity of its composition altogether terrifying. 34 For it seems somehow to float in the air on no firm basis, but to be poised aloft to the peril of those inside it. Yet actually it is braced with exceptional firmness and security. 35 On either side of this are columns arranged on the pavement; these likewise do not p19stand in a straight line, but they retreat inward in the pattern of the semicircle (hêmikyklon) as if they were yielding to one another in a choral dance, and above them hangs a structure of crescent shape (mênoeides). 36 And on the side opposite the east is reared a wall containing the entrances (eisodoi), and on either side of this there stand in a semicircle (hêmikyklon) not only the columns themselves but also the structure above them, all this being very similar to the columns and structure I have just described. 37 And in the centre of the church stand four man-made eminences (lophoi), which they call piers (pessoi), two on the north side and two on the south, opposite and equal to each other, each pair having between them just four columns.38 The piers (lophoi) are composed of huge stones joined together, carefully selected and skilfully fitted to one another by the masons, and rising to a great height. One might suppose that they were sheer mountain-peaks. 39 From these spring four arches (apsides) which rise over the four sides of a square, and their ends come together in pairs and are made fast to each other on top of these piers (lophoi), while the other portions rise and soar to an infinite height. 40 And while two of the arches rise over empty air, those namely on the east and the west sides, the other two have under them certain structural elements (oikodomia), including p2number of rather small columns. 41 Upon the crowns of the arches rests a circular structure (kykloterês oikodomia), cylindrical (strongylon) in shape; it is through this that the light of day always first smiles. 42 For it towers above the whole earth, as I believe, and the structure is interrupted at short intervals, openings having been left intentionally, in the spaces where the perforation of the stone-work takes place, to be channels for the admission of light in sufficient measure. 43 And since the arches where they are joined together are so constructed as to form a four-cornered plan, the stonework between the arches produces four triangles (trigôna).44 And while each supporting end (krêpis) of a triangle, having been contracted to a point by the coming together of each pair of arches, makes the lower point an acute angle, yet as the triangle rises and its width is extended by the intermediate surface, 45 it ends in the segment of a circle (kykloterês) which it supports, and forms the remaining anglesat that level. And upon this circle rests the huge spherical dome (sphairoeidês tholos) which makes the structure exceptionally beautiful. 46 Yet it seems not to rest upon solid masonry, but to cover the space with its golden dome (sphaira) suspended from Heaven. 47 All these details, fitted together with incredible skill in mid-air and floating off from each other and resting only on the parts next to them, produce a single and most extraordinary harmony in the work, and yet do not permit the spectator to linger much over the study of any one of them, but each detail attracts the eye and draws it on irresistibly to itself. 48 So the vision p23constantly shifts suddenly, for the beholder is utterly unable to select which particular detail he should admire more than all the others. 49 But even so, though they turn their attention to every side and look with contracted brows upon every detail, observers are still unable to understand the skilful craftsmanship, but they always depart from there overwhelmed by the bewildering sight. So much, then, for this.

50 It was by many skilful devices that the Emperor Justinian and the master-builder Anthemius and Isidorus secured the stability of the church, hanging, as it does, in mid-air. Some of these it is both hopeless for me to understand in their entirety, and impossible to explain in words; I shall record only one of them for the present, from which it should be possible to gain an impression of the strength of the whole work. 51 It is as follows: The piers (lophoi) which I have just mentioned are not constructed in the same way as other structures, but in the following manner. The courses of stone were laid down so as to form a four-cornered shape, 52 the stones being rough by nature but worked smooth; and they were cut to the angles when they were destined to form the projecting corners of the sides of the pier, but when they chanced to be assigned to a position between the angles, they were cut in rectangles (tetrapleuron).53 These were held together neither by lime (titanos), which they call "asbestus",20 nor by asphalt, the material which was the pride of Semiramis in Babylon,21 nor by any other such thing, p25but by lead (molibdos) poured into the interstices (telma), which flowed about everywhere in the spaces between the stones and hardened in the joints (harmonia), binding them to each other.22 54 Thus were these parts constructed; but let us proceed to the remaining portions of the church.

The whole ceiling is overlaid with pure gold,b which adds glory to the beauty, yet the light reflected from the stones prevails, shining out in rivalry with the gold. 55 And there are two stoa-like colonnades (stoai),23 one on each side, not separated in any way from the structure of the church itself, but actually making the effect of its width greater,24 and reaching along its whole length, to the very end, while in height they are less than the interior of the building. 56 And they too have vaulted ceilings (orophê tholos) and decorations of gold. One of these two colonnaded stoas has been assigned to men worshippers, while the other is reserved for women engaged in the same exercise. 57 But they have nothing to distinguish them, nor do they differ from one another in any way, but their very equality serves to beautify the church, and p27their similarity to adorn it. 58 But who could fittingly describe the galleries (hyperôa) of the women's side (gynaikonitis), or enumerate the many colonnades and the colonnaded aisles (peristyloi aulai) by means of which the church is surrounded? 59 Or who could recount the beauty of the columns (kiones) and the stones with which the church is adorned? One might imagine that he had come upon a meadow with its flowers in full bloom. 60 For he would surely marvel at the purple of some, the green tint of others, and at those on which the crimson glows and those from which the white flashes, and again at those which Nature, like some painter, varies with the most contrasting colours. 61 And whenever anyone enters this church to pray, he understands at once that it is not by any human power or skill, but by the influence of God, that this work has been so finely turned. And so his mind is lifted up toward God and exalted, feeling that He cannot be far away, but must especially love to dwell in this place which He has chosen. 62 And this does not happen only to one who sees the church for the first time, but the same experience comes to him on each successive occasion, as though the sight were new each time. 63 Of this spectacle no one has ever had a surfeit, but when present in the church men rejoice in what they see, and when they leave it they take proud delight in conversing about it. 64 Furthermore, concerning the treasures of this church — the vessels of gold and silver and the works in precious stones, which the Emperor Justinian has dedicated here — it is impossible to give a precise account of them all. But I shall allow my readers to form a judgment by a single example. 65 That part of the shrine which is p29especially sacred, where only priests may enter, which they call the Inner Sanctuary (thysiastêrion), is embellished with forty thousand pounds' weight of silver.

66 So the church of Constantinople (which men are accustomed to call the Great Church), speaking concisely and merely running over the details with the finger-tips, as it were, and mentioning with a fleeting word only the most notable features, was constructed in such a manner by the Emperor Justinian. 67 But it was not with money alone that the Emperor built it, but also with labour of the mind and with the other powers of the soul, as I shall straightway shew. 68 One of the arches which I just now mentioned (lôri25 the master-builders call them), the one which stands toward the east, had already been built up from either side, but it had not yet been wholly completed in the middle, and was still waiting. 69 And the piers (pessoi), above which the structure was being built, unable to carry the mass which bore down upon them, somehow or other suddenly began to crack, and they seemed on the point of collapsing. 70 So Anthemius and Isidorus, terrified at what had happened, carried the matter to the Emperor, having come to have no hope in their technical skill. 71 And straightway the Emperor, impelled by I know not what, but I suppose by God (for he is not himself a master-builder), commanded them to carry the curve of this arch to its final completion. "For when it rests upon itself," he said, "it will no longer need p31the props (pessoi) beneath it."26 72 And if this story were without witness, I am well aware that it would have seemed a piece of flattery and altogether incredible; but since there are available many witnesses of what then took place, we need not hesitate to proceed to the remainder of the story. 73 So the artisans carried out his instructions, and the whole arch then hung secure, sealing by experiment the truth of his idea. 74 Thus, then, was this arch completed; but in the process of building the other arches, indeed, those namely which are turned toward the south and the north, the following chanced to take place. 75 The so‑called lôri had been raised up, carrying the masonry of the church, but everything underneath was labouring under their load, making the columns (kiones) which stood there throw off tiny flakes, as if they had been planed. 76 So once more the master-builders were dismayed at what had happened and reported their problem to the Emperor. 77 And again the Emperor met the situation with a remedy, as follows. He ordered them immediately to remove the upper parts (akra) of the masonry which were strained, that is, the portions which came into contact with the arches, and to put them back much later, as soon as the dampness of the masonry should abate enough to bear them. 78 These instructions they carried out, and thereafter the structure stood p33secure.27 And the Emperor, in this way, enjoys a kind of testimonial from the work.

1 - 2 Other churches and buildings of Constantinople P1

Before the Senate House there happened to be a sort of market-place, which the people of Byzantium call the Augusteum. In that place there is a structure of stones, which is made up of not less than seven courses, laid in a rectangle, all fitted to each other at their ends, but each course being narrower than that beneath, and set back, with the result that each of the stones becomes, from the way it is set, a projecting step, so that people assembled there sit upon them as upon seats. 2 And at the top of the stones there rises a column of extraordinary size, not a monolith, however, but composed of large stones in circular courses, cut so as to form angles on their inner faces, and fitted to one another by the skill of the masons. 3 And finest brass, cast in panels and garlands, covers the stones on every side, both serving to bind them securely, and covering them with adornment, and giving the shaft throughout, but particularly at the base and the capital, the appearance of a column. 4 This brass, in its colour, is softer than pure gold, and its value is not much less than that of an equal weight of silver. 5 And on the p35summit of the column stands a gigantic bronze horse, facing toward the east, a very noteworthy sight.28 He seems about to advance, and to be splendidly pressing forward. 6 Indeed he holds his left foot in the air, as though heº were about to take a forward step on the ground before him, while the other is pressed down upon the stone on which he stands, as if ready to take the next step; his hind feet he holds close together, so that they may be ready whenever he decides to move. 7 Upon this horse is mounted a colossal bronze figure of the Emperor. And the figure is habited like Achilles, 8 that is, the costume he wears is known by that name. He wears half-boots and his legs are not covered by greaves. 9 Also he wears a breastplate in the heroic fashion, and a helmet covers his head and gives the impression that it moves up and down,29 and a dazzling light flashes forth from it. One might say, in poetic speech, that here is that star of Autumn.30 And he looks toward the rising sun, directing his course, I suppose, against the Persians. And in his left hand he holds a globe, by which the sculptor signifies that the whole earth and sea are subject to him, yet he has neither sword nor spear nor any other weapon, but a cross stands upon the globe which he carries, the emblem by which alone he has obtained both his Empire and his victory in war.31 And stretching forth his right hand toward the rising sun and spreading out his fingers, he p37commands the barbarians in that quarter to remain at home and to advance no further. So much, then, for this statue.

The church called after Eirenê, which was next to the Great Church and had been burned down together with it, the Emperor Justinian rebuilt on a large scale, so that it was scarcely second to any of the churches in Byzantium, save that of Sophia. And between these two churches there was a certain hospice, devoted to those who were at once destitute and suffering from serious illness, those who were, namely, suffering in loss of both property and health. This was erected in early times by a certain pious man, Samson by name. And neither did this remain untouched by the rioters, but it caught fire together with the churches on either side of it and was destroyed. The Emperor Justinian rebuilt it, making it a nobler building in the beauty of its structure, and much larger in the number of its rooms. He has also endowed it with a generous annual income of money, to the end that through all time the ills of more sufferers may be cured. But by no means feeling either a surfeit or any sort of weariness in shewing honour to God, he established two other hospices opposite to this one in the buildings called respectively the House of Isidorus and the House of Arcadius, the Empress Theodora labouring with him in this most holy undertaking. All the other shrines which this Emperor dedicated to Christ are so numerous and so great in size, that it is impossible to write about them in detail. For neither the power of language, nor the whole span of eternity, would suffice p39us to make a catalogue and by name descant upon each one of these. It will suffice us to have said thus much.

1 - 3 Other churches and buildings of Constantinople P2

We must begin with the churches of Mary the Mother of God. For we know that this is the wish of the Emperor himself, and true reason manifestly demands that from God one must proceed to the Mother of God. 2 The Emperor Justinian built many churches to the Mother of God in all parts of the Roman Empire, churches so magnificent and so huge and erected with such a lavish outlay of money, that if one should see one of them by itself, he would suppose that the Emperor had built this work only and had spent the whole time of his reign occupied with this alone. 3 But now, as I said, I must describe the sanctuaries of Byzantium. One of the churches of the Mother of God he built outside the fortifications in a place called Blachernae32 (for to the Emperor's credit there must also be reckoned the buildings erected by his uncle Justinus, since Justinian administered the government also during his uncle's reign on his own authority). This church is on the sea, a most holy and very stately church, of unusual length and yet of a breadth well proportioned to its length, both its upper and its lower parts being supported by nothing but sections of Parian stone which stand there to serve as columns. 4 And in all the other parts of the church these columns are set in straight lines, except at the centre, where they recede.33 5 Anyone upon entering this church would marvel particularly at the greatness of the mass p41which is held in place without instability, and at the magnificence which is free from bad taste.

6 He dedicated to the Virgin another shrine in the place called Pegê.34 In that place is a dense grove of cypresses and a meadow abounding in flowers in the midst of soft glebe, a park abounding in beautiful shrubs, and a spring bubbling silently forth with a gentle stream of sweet water — all especially suitable to a sanctuary. 7 Such are the surroundings of the sanctuary. But the church itself is not easy to describe in such terms as it deserves, nor can one readily form a mental vision of it, nor do it justice in whispering speech. 8 It must suffice to say only this, that it surpasses most shrines both in beauty and in size. 9 Both these churches were erected outside the city-wall,35 the one where it starts beside the shore of the sea, the other close to the Golden Gate, as it is called, which chances to be near the end of the line of fortifications, in order that both of them may serve as invincible defences to the circuit-wall of the city.36 Also in the Heraeum, which they now call the Hieron, he built a church to the Mother of God which it is not easy to describe.

In that section of the city which is called Deuteron37 he erected a most holy and revered church to St. Anna, whom some consider to have been the mother of the Virgin and the grandmother p43of Christ. For God, being born a man as was His wish, is subjected to even a third generation, and His ancestry is traced back from His mother even as is that of a man. Not far from this same church, near the last street within the city, he built a very imposing shrine to the martyr Zoê.

He found a shrine of the Archangel Michael in Byzantium which was small and very badly lighted, utterly unworthy to be dedicated to the Archangel; it was built in earlier times by a certain patrician senator, quite like a tiny bedroom of a dwelling-house, and that, too, of the house of one who is not very prosperous. So he tore this down, even to the lowest foundations, so that no trace of its earlier unseemliness might remain. And increasing its size to the proportions which it now displays, he transformed it into a marvellously beautiful building. For the church38 is in the form of a rectangle (tetrapleuron), and the length appears not much greater than the width. And at either end of the side which faces the east a thick wall was perfectly constructed of many fitted stones, but in the middle it is drawn back so as to form a recess. On either side of this rise columns of naturally variegated hues which support the church. The opposite wall, which faces approximately the west, is pierced by the doors which lead into the church.

1 - 4 Other churches and buildings of Constantinople P3

His faith in the Apostles of Christ he displayed in the following manner. First he built a church of Peter and Paul, which had not previously existed in p45Byzantium, alongside the imperial residence which in former times was called by the name of Hormisdas.39 2 For he40 had contrived that this building, which was his private residence, should both seem to be a palace, and by the magnificence of its structure be as handsome as one; and when he became Emperor of the Romans he joined it to the Palace proper. 3 There too he built another shrine to the famous Saints Sergius and Bacchus, and then also another shrine which stood at an angle to this one.41 4 These two churches do not face each other, but stand at an angle to one another, being at the same time joined to each other and rivalling each other; and they share the same entrances (eisodoi) and are like each other in all respects, even to the open spaces (kraspeda) by which they are surrounded; and each of them is found to be neither superior nor inferior to the other either in beauty or in size or in any other respect. 5 Indeed each equally outshines the sun by the gleam of its stones, and each is equally adorned throughout with an abundance of gold and teems with offerings. 6 In just one respect, however, they do differ. For the long axis (mêkos) of one of them is built straight, while in the other church the columns stand for the most part in a semi-circle (hêmikyklos).42 7 But whereas they possess a single colonnaded stoa,43 called a narthex because of its great length, for each one of their porches (prothyra), they have their propylaea (propylaia) entirely in common, and p49they share a single court (aulê), and the same doors leading in from the court (metauloi thyrai), and they are alike in that they belong to the Palace. 8 These two churches are so admirable that they manifestly form an adornment of the whole city, and not merely of the Palace.

p47 image ALT:
The ground plan of a small squarish church with a rudimentary apse. It is the plan of SS. Sergius and Bacchus in Istanbul.
image ALT:
The ground plan of a large cruciform church with an apse and five domes. It is the plan of St. John in Ephesus.

Plan of SS. Sergius and Bacchus.

Plan of St. John at Ephesus.

9 Afterwards, as shewing very special honour to all the Apostles together, he did as follows. There was in Byzantium from ancient times a church dedicated to all the Apostles; but having by now been shaken by the passage of time, it had fallen under the suspicion that it would not continue to stand. This the Emperor Justinian pulled down entirely, and he was at pains not simply to restore it, but to make it more worthy both in size and in beauty. He carried out his effort as follows.44 Two straight lines were drawn, intersecting each other at the middle in the form of a cross, one extending east and west, and the other which crossed this running north and south. On the outside these lines were defined by walls on all of the sides, while on the inside they were traced by rows of columns standing above one another. At the crossing of the two straight lines, that is to say at about the middle,45 there was set aside a place which may not be entered by those who may not celebrate the mysteries; this with good reason they call the "sanctuary" (hierateion). The two arms (pleurai) of this enclosure which lie along the transverse line are equal p51to each other, but the arm which extends toward the west, along the upright line, is enough longer than the other to make the form of the cross.a That portion of the roof which is above the sanctuary, as it is called, is built, in the centre at least, on a plan resembling that of the Church of Sophia, except that it is inferior to it in size. The arches, four in number, rise aloft and are bound together in the same manner, and the circular drum (kykloteres) which stands upon them is pierced by the windows, and the dome (sphairoeides) which arches above this seems to float in the air and not to rest upon solid masonry, though actually it is well supported. Thus, then, was the central portion of the roof constructed. And the arms of the building, which are four, as I have said, were roofed on the same plan as the central portion, but this one feature is lacking: underneath the domes (sphairikon) the masonry is not pierced by windows. And at the time when this shrine was completed by him, the Apostles made it manifest to all men how they delight in the honour shewn them by the Emperor and glory in it exceedingly. At any rate the bodies of the Apostles Andrew and Luke and Timothy, which previously had been invisible and altogether concealed, became at that time visible to all men, signifying, I believe, that they did not reject the faith of the Emperor, but expressly permitted him to see them and approach them and touch them, that he might thereby enjoy their assistance and the safety of his life. This was made known in the following way.

p53The Emperor Constantius46 had built this church in honour of the Apostles and in their name, decreeing that tombs for himself and for all future Emperors should be placed there, and not for the rulers alone, but for their consorts as well; and this custom is preserved to the present day. Here also he laid the body of his father Constantine. 20 But neither did he give any intimation whatever that the bodies of the Apostles were there, nor did any place appear there which seemed to be given over to the bodies of the holy men. 21 But when the Emperor Justinian was rebuilding this shrine, the workmen dug up the whole soil so that nothing unseemly should be left there; and they saw three wooden coffins lying there neglected, which revealed by inscriptions upon them that they contained the bodies of the Apostles Andrew and Luke and Timothy. 22 And the Emperor himself and all the Christians saw these with the greatest joy, and having arranged a procession in their honour and a festival, and having performed the customary holy rites over them and having put the coffins in order, they laid them once more in the ground, not leaving the place unmarked or solitary, but piously ordaining that it be dedicated to the bodies of the Apostles. 23 And it is plain, as I have said, that it was in requital for this honour which the Emperor shewed them, that these Apostles appeared to men on this occasion. 24 For when the Emperor is pious, divinity walks not p55afar from human affairs, but is wont to mingle with men and to take delight in associating with them.

25 Who could pass over in silence the Church of Acacius?47 This had fallen into ruin, and he took it down and rebuilt it from the foundations, so as to make it a building of marvellous size. It is carried on all sides on columns of astonishing whiteness, and the floor is covered with similar stone, from which such a brilliant light is reflected that it gives the impression that the whole church is coated with snow. 26 And two stoas are thrown out in front of it, one of them making a court (peristylos), the other facing48 the market-place. 27 I have almost omitted to mention that martyr's shrine which is dedicated to St. Plato, a truly holy and much revered building, not far from the market-place which bears the name of the Emperor Constantine; also the church dedicated to the martyr Mocius, to which all other shrines yield in size. 28 There is also the resting-place of the martyr Thyrsus, and likewise the precinct of St. Theodore, situated outside the city at a place called Rhesium, as well as the sanctuary of the martyr Thecla, which is hard by the harbour of the city which chances to bear the name of Julian, and that of St. Theodota in the suburb called Hebdomum.49 29 All these our present Emperor built from the foundations during the reign of his uncle Justinus, and they are not easy to describe in words, and p57one cannot admire them sufficiently when they are seen. 30 But the Church of St. Agathonicus now draws my narrative and constrains me, though I no longer have the voice or the words to do justice to it. So I must content myself with mention of this church, and leave it to others to describe its beauty and its magnificence in every detail — others whose power of utterance is fresh and not yet wholly spent.

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5 1 There are other shrines also, both in the place called Anaplus50 and on the shore of the opposite continent, which he found in a condition unworthy to be dedicated to any of the saints, as well as along the inlet which the inhabitants call Ceras,51 after Ceroessa, the mother of Byzas, the founder of the city; and in all these he displayed a munificence altogether befitting an Emperor, as I shall presently shew, after first explaining how the sea adorns Byzantium.

2 Besides the city's other blessings the sea is set most beautifully all about it, forming curving bays, contracting into narrow straits, and spreading into a great open sea; and thus it makes the city exceptionally beautiful, and offers the quiet shelter of harbours to navigators, thereby abundantly providing the city with the necessities of life and making it rich in all useful things. 3 For in reality there are two seas embracing it, the Aegean on the one side and the sea called the Euxine on the other; these unite with each other to the east of the city, and rushing together as they mingle their waves, and pushing back the solid land by this invasion, they beautify the p59city as they surround it. 4 So it is encircled by three straits which open into one another, so disposed that they both adorn and serve the city, all of them most delightful for sailing, each a pleasurable sight for the eye, and very commodious for anchorage. 5 And the middle one of them,52 coming down from the Euxine Sea, flows straight toward the city, as though to beautify it, and on either side of it the two continents are placed. 6 And it is pressed in by their banks, so that it ripples and seems to plume itself because it approaches the city mounted upon both Asia and Europe. 7 One would imagine that he was looking upon a river moving toward him with gentle current. And the strait which lies on the left of this53 is confined by its shores on either side for a very great distance, displaying the woods and the lovely meadows and all the other details of the opposite shore which lie open to view from the city. 8 Then from that point it broadens as it is thrust away from the city toward the south, and carries the coast of Asia very far from the city. 9 Yet the wash of the sea continues to envelop the city up to its western boundary. The third strait,54 which branches off from the first toward the right, commencing at Sycae,55 as it is called, extends for a very great distance along the side of the city which faces the north, and terminates in the bay which forms its end. Thus the sea forms a garland about the city; the remainder of the city's boundary is formed by the land which lies between the two arms of the sea, and is of sufficient size to bind together there the crown p61of waters. This bay is always calm, being so fashioned by nature that it is never roiled, just as if limits were set there for the turbulent waters and all billows were excluded from that area so as to do honour to the city. And in winter, even should violent winds chance to fall upon the open spaces of the sea and upon the strait, as soon as ships reach the entrance to the bay, they proceed for the rest of the way without a pilot and are anchored without precautions. For the circuit of the bay extends to a distance of •more than forty stades, and furnishes anchorage throughout its whole extent; so that when a ship anchors there the stern rides upon the sea while the prow rests upon the land, as if the two elements contended with each other to see which of them would be able to render the greater service to the city.

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Such is the nature of this bay. And the Emperor Justinian adorned it with buildings on all sides and thus made it still more notable. 2 On the left of the bay he found the martyr's shrine of St. Lawrence, which previously had been without a ray of light and practically filled with darkness, and he remodelled it, to speak briefly, and consecrated it in the form in which it is now seen. 3 Over against this, in the quarter called Blachernae, he built the Church of the Virgin which I just described.56 4 Further on he established a shrine to St. Priscus and St. Nicholas, an entirely new creation of his own, at a spot where the Byzantines love especially to tarry, some worshipping and doing honour to these saints who p63have come to dwell among them, and others simply enjoying the charm of the precinct, since the Emperor forced back the wash of the sea and set the foundations far out into the water when he established this sanctuary.57

5 At the far end of the bay, on the ground which rises steeply in a sharp slope,58 stands a sanctuary dedicated from ancient times to Saints Cosmas and Damian. When the Emperor himself once lay seriously ill, giving the appearance of being actually dead (in fact he had been given up by the physicians as being already numbered among the dead), these Saints came to him here in a vision, and saved him unexpectedly and contrary to all human reason and raised him up.a 6 In gratitude he gave them such requital as a mortal may, by changing entirely and remodelling the earlier building, which was unsightly and ignoble and not worthy to be dedicated to such powerful Saints, and he beautified and enlarged the church and flooded it with brilliant light and added many other things which it had not before. 7 So when any persons find themselves assailed by illnesses which are beyond the control of physicians, in despair of human assistance they take refuge in the one hope left to them, and getting on flat-boats they are carried up the bay to this very church. 8 And as they enter its mouth they straightway see the shrine as on an acropolis, priding itself in the gratitude of the Emperor and permitting them to enjoy the hope which the shrine affords.

p659 Across the bay the Emperor built a martyr's shrine which had not existed before, by the very strand of the bay, and dedicated it to the martyr Anthimus. The foundations of the shrine are washed by the caressing flow of the sea in an altogether charming manner. For the incoming waves do not rise up with a roar and break on the stones there, nor do the breakers thunder aloud like those of the sea and divide and break up in a foaming mass, but the water comes forward gently, and silently touches the land and then quietly draws back. And extending back from the beach is a smooth and very level court (aulê), adorned on all sides with marbles and with columns and glorying in its view over the sea. Beyond this is a stoa with the church inside rising in the form of a quadrangle to a great height and made beautiful by the charm of its stones and by the gold applied to them. And the length exceeds the width only by the extent of the sanctuary, where alone the sacred mysteries may be performed, along the side which faces towards the east. So much, then, for this.

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Beyond this, just about at the opening of the bay, was built a Church of the Martyr Eirenê. This entire church was constructed by the Emperor on such a magnificent scale that I, at least, could not possibly do it justice. 2 For seeking to rival the sea in lending beauty to the land about the gulf, he set all these shrines, as in an encircling necklace, round about it. But since I have mentioned this Church of Eirenê, it will not be amiss for me at this point to recount also the incident which happened there. p673 Here from ancient times were buried the remains of no fewer than forty holy men; these had chanced to be Roman soldiers who served in the Twelfth Legion, which in ancient times had been posted in the city of Melitenê in Armenia. 4 So when the masons were excavating in the place which I have just mentioned, they found a chest shewing by an inscription that it contained the remains of these very men. 5 And God brought to light this chest, which thus far had been forgotten, with an express purpose, partly to assure all men that He had accepted the Emperor's gifts most gladly, and partly because He was eager to repay this great man's beneficence with a greater favour. 6 It chanced that the Emperor Justinian was suffering from a grievous affliction, since a dangerous discharge had set in at the knee and caused him to be tortured with pain; and for this he himself was chiefly responsible. 7 For during all the days which precede the Feast of Easter, and which are called days of fasting, he observed a severe routine which was unfit not only for an Emperor, but for any man who was concerned in any way with state affairs.59 8 Indeed he had gone two whole days quite without food, and that too while rising regularly from his bed at early dawn and keeping watch over the State, and constantly managing its affairs by word and deed from early dawn to midday and equally into the night. 9 And although he went to his couch late in the night, he immediately rose again, as if he could not endure his bed. And when he did take nourishment, he p69abstained from wine and bread and other foods and ate only herbs, and those, too, wild ones thoroughly pickled with salt and vinegar,b and his only drink was water. Yet he never took a sufficiency even of these, but whenever he did take a meal, he merely tasted these foods he liked and then left them before he had eaten enough. Hence, then, his malady gathered strength and got beyond the help of the physicians, and for a long time the Emperor was racked by these pains. But during this time he heard about the relics which had been brought to light, and abandoning human skill, he gave the case over to them, seeking to recover his health through faith in them, and in a moment of direst necessity he won the reward of the true belief. For as soon as the priests laid the reliquary on the Emperor's knee, the ailment disappeared entirely, driven out by the bodies of men who had been dedicated to the service of God. And God did not permit this to be a matter of dispute, for he shewed a great sign of what was being done. For oil suddenly flowed out from these holy relics, and flooding the chest poured out over the Emperor's feet and his whole garment, which was purple. So this tunic, thus saturated, is preserved in the Palace, partly as testimony to what occurred at that time, and also a source of healing for those who in future are assailed by any incurable disease.
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Thus was the bay called the Horn given distinction by the Emperor Justinian. And by erecting buildings he elaborated into a thing of great beauty the shores of the other two straits which I have just mentioned, in the following p71manner. 2 There happened to be two sanctuaries dedicated to the Archangel Michael, standing opposite one another on either side of the strait, the one at the place called Anaplus,60 on the left bank as one sails toward the Euxine Sea, the other on the opposite shore. 3 The men of ancient times called this point Proöchthi,61 because, I suppose, it projects far out from the shore-line there, but now it is called Brochi,62 for with the passage of time names are corrupted through the ignorance of local residents. 4 And the priests of these two shrines, seeing them utterly dilapidated by time and having become fearful that they would fall in upon them at any moment, petitioned the Emperor to restore both of them to their ancient form. 5 For it was not possible, during the reign of this Emperor, for any church either to be built for the first time or to be restored when it had fallen into disrepair except with imperial funds, not alone in Byzantium, but in every part of the Roman Empire.63 6 So the Emperor no sooner had found this pretext than he at once tore them both down to the foundations, so that none of their previous untidiness was left. He rebuilt the one at Anaplus in the following way. 7 By a stone quay he made the shore-line there curve inward to form a sheltered harbour and he transformed the sea-beach into a market. 8 For the sea at that point is very calm, and makes possible trading with the land. 9 And the sea-traders tie up their skiffs along the p73stone quay and from their decks exchange their merchandise for the products of the land. Behind this shore-market extends the court (aulê) in front of the church. In colour this court resembles beautiful marbles and snow. Those who promenade here delight in the beauty of the stones, while they rejoice in the view of the sea and revel alike in the breezes wafted from the water and in those that descend from the hills which tower over the land. A circular (enkyklios) stoa surrounds the church and is lacking only on the side towards the east. In the centre stands the church, adorned with stones of an infinite variety of colours. The roof soars aloft in the form of a dome (tholos). How could any man do justice to the work in describing the lofty stoas, the secluded buildings within the enclosure, the charm of the marbles with which both walls and pavements are everywhere arranged? In addition to these an extraordinary amount of gold has been applied to every part of the shrine and looks just as if it had grown upon it. This same description can be applied equally well to the shrine of John the Baptist, which the Emperor Justinian recently dedicated to him at Hebdomum,64 as it is called. For these two shrines happen to resemble each other closely, except that the shrine of the Baptist chances not to be on the sea.

Now the Church of the Archangel in the place called Anaplus was built in this way. And on the opposite bank is a site somewhat removed from the sea, naturally level and raised to a height by courses of stone. There has been built the other shrine of the p75Archangel, a work of extraordinary beauty and unrivalled in size, and because of its magnificence worthy both of Michael, to whom it is dedicated, and of the Emperor Justinian, who dedicated it. 20 Not far from this place he restored in the same way a holy shrine of the Virgin which had fallen into disrepair a long time before, and it would be a long task to study this building and describe in words its majesty. But here follows the long-awaited portion of my narrative.

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On this shore there chanced to have been from ancient times a remarkable palace. This the Emperor Justinian has dedicated wholly to God, exchanging immediate enjoyment for the reward of piety thereby obtained, in the following manner. 2 There was a throng of women in Byzantium who had carried on in brothels a business of lechery, not of their own free will, but under force of lust.65 3 For it was maintained by brothel-keepers, and inmates of such houses were obliged at any and all times to practise lewdness, and pairing off at a moment's notice with strange men as they chanced to come along, they submitted to their embraces. 4 For there had been a numerous body of procurers in the city from ancient times, conducting their traffic in licentiousness in brothels and selling others' youth in the public market-place and forcing virtuous persons into slavery. 5 But the Emperor Justinian and the Empress Theodora, who always shared a common piety in all that they did, devised the following plan. 6 They cleansed the state of the pollution of the brothels, banishing the very name of brothel-keepers, and they set free from a licentiousness fit only for p77slaves the women who were struggling with extreme poverty, providing them with independent maintenance, and setting virtue free. This they accomplished as follows. 7 Near that shore of the strait which is on the right as one sails toward the Sea called Euxine, they made what had formerly been a palace into an imposing convent designed to serve as a refuge for women who repented of their past lives, 8 so that there through the occupation which their minds would have with the worship of God and with religion they might be able to cleanse away the sins of their lives in the brothel. 9 Therefore they call this domicile of such women "Repentance," in keeping with its purpose. And these Sovereigns have endowed this convent with an ample income of money, and have added many buildings most remarkable for their beauty and costliness, to serve as a consolation for the women, so that they should never be compelled to depart from the practice of virtue in any manner whatsoever. So much, then, for this.66

As one goes on from there toward the Euxine Sea, a certain sheer promontory is thrust out along the shore-line of the strait, on which stands a martyr's shrine of St. Panteleëmon, which had been carelessly built to begin with and had suffered greatly from the long passage of time; this the Emperor Justinian removed completely from the spot and in its place built in a very magnificent manner the church which now p79stands on this site, and he thus preserved to the martyr his honour and at the same time added beauty to the strait by setting these shrines on either side of it. Beyond this shrine, in the place called Argyronium, there had been from ancient times a refuge for poor persons who were afflicted with incurable diseases. This, with the passage of time, had already fallen into a state of extreme disrepair, but he restored it with all enthusiasm, so that it should provide a lodging for those who suffered in this way. And there is a certain promontory named Mochadium near the place which is now called Hieron.67 There he built another church to the Archangel, one of peculiar sanctity and inferior in esteem to none of the shrines of the Archangel which I have just mentioned.

He also dedicated a shrine to the martyr Tryphon which was finely built at a great cost of labour and of time so that it became an object of altogether indescribable beauty, in a street of the city which is named Pelargus.68 Furthermore he dedicated a shrine to the martyrs Menas and Menaeus in the Hebdomum.69 And on the left as one enters the gate which is known as the Golden Gate, this Emperor found a martyr's shrine of St. Ia, fallen in ruins, which he restored with all sumptuousness. Such were the labours accomplished by the Emperor Justinian in connection with the holy places in Byzantium; but to enumerate all the sacred edifices which he built through the length and breadth of the whole Roman Empire is a difficult, nay, an altogether impossible task. However, when it becomes necessary for us to mention any city or p81district by name, the sanctuaries in that place shall be recorded at the proper point.

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So the churches, both in the city of Constantinople and in its suburbs, were built as stated by the Emperor Justinian; but it is not easy to recount in my narrative each one of the other buildings erected by him. 2 But to speak comprehensively, the majority of the buildings and the most noteworthy structures of the rest of the city, and particularly of the Palace area, had been burned and razed to the ground when he undertook to rebuild them and to restore them all in more beautiful form. 3 Yet it has seemed to me not at all necessary at the present time to recount these in detail, for they all been described with care in my Books on the Wars. At this point, only this shall be set down, that this Emperor's work includes the propylaea (propylaia) of the Palace and the so‑called Bronze Gate70 as far as what is called the House of Ares, and beyond the Palace both the Baths of Zeuxippus and the great colonnaded stoas and indeed everything on either side of them as far as the market-place which bears the name of Constantine. 4 And besides these he remodeled the building known as the House of Hormisdas, which is close by the Palace, so altering and transforming it altogether into a more noble structure as to be really in keeping with the royal residence, to which he joined it, making it greater in width and consequently much more admirable.71

5 And there is before the Palace a certain market-place p83surrounded by columns (peristylos), which the people of Byzantium call the Augustaeum. This I have mentioned previously72 when in the account of the Church of Sophia I described the bronze statue of the Emperor commemorating the work, set upon a very tall column made of fitted blocks. 6 To the east of this market-place stands the Senate House, surpassing description by reason of its costliness and every element of its construction, the work of the Emperor Justinian. 7 There the Senate of the Romans assembles at the beginning of the year and celebrates an annual festival, observing always the ancient tradition of the State. 8 Six of its columns stand in front of it, two of which have between them the wall of the Senate House which faces the west, while the four others stand a little beyond it; all of them are white in colour, and in size, I believe, they are the largest of all columns in the whole world. 9 And the columns form a porch (stoa) which carries a roof curving into a vault (tholos), and the whole upper portion of the colonnade is adorned with marbles which rival the columns in their beauty, and the roof is wonderfully set off by a great number of statues which stand upon it.73

Not far from this market-place is the residence of the Emperor, and practically the whole Palace is new, and, as I have said, was built by the Emperor Justinian; but it is impossible to describe it in words and it must suffice for future generations to know p85that it happens to be entirely the work of this Emperor. We know the lion, as they say, by his claw, and so those who read this will know the impressiveness of the Palace from the vestibule (protemenisma).74 So this entrance, which they call Chalkê,75 is of the following sort. Four straight walks stand in a quadrangle (tetragonos) rising heaven-high, equal to each other in all respects except that those which face south and north, respectively, are both slightly shorter than the others. At each corner there projects a sort of structure (anastasis) of very carefully worked stones, ascending with the wall from the ground to its very top, having four sides, to be sure, but joined to the wall on one side, not detracting from the beauty of the structure, but actually adding a sort of grace to it by the harmony of the similar proportions. Above them rise eight arches, four of which support the roof which curves over the centre of the whole structure in the form of a suspended dome (sphairoeidês), while the others, two toward the south and two toward the north, rest upon the adjoining walls and lift on high the vaulted (tholos) roof which is balanced between them.76 And the whole ceiling boasts of its pictures, not having been fixed with wax melted and applied to the surface,77 but set with tiny cubes of stone beautifully coloured in all hues, which represent human figures and all other kinds of subjects. The subjects of these pictures I will now describe. On either side p87is war and battle, and many cities are being captured, some in Italy, some in Libya; and the Emperor Justinian is winning victories through his General Belisarius, and the General is returning to the Emperor, with his whole army intact, and he gives him spoils, both kings and kingdoms and all things that are most prized among men. In the centre stand the Emperor and the Empress Theodora, both seeming to rejoice and to celebrate victories over both the King of the Vandals and the King of the Goths, who approach them as prisoners of war to be led into bondage. Around them stands the Roman Senate, all in festal mood. This spirit is expressed by the cubes of the mosaic, which by their colours depict exultation on their very countenances. So they rejoice and smile as they bestow on the Emperor honours equal to those of God, because of the magnitude of his achievements. And the whole interior of the building, as far as the mosaics above, is clothed with handsome marbles, not only the upright surfaces, but the whole of the pavement as well. 20 Some of these marbles are of Spartan stone78 which rivals the emerald, while some simulate the flame of fire; but the most of them are white in colour, yet the white is not plain, but is set off with wavy lines of blue which mingle with the white. So much, then, for this.

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As one sails from the Propontis79 up toward the eastern side of the city, there is on the left a public bath. This is called Arcadianae, and it is an ornament to Constantinople, large as the city is. 2 There this Emperor built a court (aulê) which lies p89outside the city, and it is always open to those who tarry there for promenades and to those who anchor there as they are sailing by. 3 This is flooded with light when the sun rises, and when it passes on toward the west it is pleasantly shaded. And the unruffled sea flows quietly about this court, encircling it with its stream, coming in from the Pontus like a river, so that those who are promenading can actually converse with those who are sailing by. 4 For the sea preserves its depth even though it reaches up to the very foundations of the court and so is navigable there for ships, and by reason of the deep calm which prevails it brings together those on land and those on the sea so that they can converse with each other. 5 Such, then, is the side of the court which borders on the sea, adorned by the view over it, and breathed upon by the gentle breezes which come from it. 6 Columns and marbles of surpassing beauty cover the whole of it, both the pavement and the parts above. And from these gleams an intensely brilliant white light as the rays of the sun are flashed back almost undimmed. 7 Nay more, it is adorned with great numbers of statues, some of bronze, some of polished stone, a sight worthy of a long description. One might surmise that they were the work of Pheidias the Athenian, or of the Sicyonian Lysippus or of Praxiteles. 8 There also the Empress Theodora stands upon a column, which the city in gratitude for the court dedicated to her. 9 The statue is indeed beautiful, but still inferior to the beauty of the Empress; for to express her loveliness in words or to portray it p91in a statue would be, for a mere human being, altogether impossible.c The column is purple, and it clearly declares even before one sees the statue that it bears an Empress.

I shall now describe the labours which were carried out here by this Emperor to ensure an abundant water-supply. In the summer season the imperial city used to suffer from scarcity of water as a general thing, though at the other seasons it enjoyed a sufficiency. Because that period always brings droughts, the springs, running less freely than at the other seasons, used to deliver through the conduits a less abundant flow of water to the city. Wherefore the Emperor devised the following plan. At the Imperial Portico,80 where the lawyers and prosecutors prepare their cases, as well as all others who are concerned with such matters, there is a certain very large court (aulê), very long, and broad in proportion, surrounded by columns (peristylos) on the four sides (tetrapleuron), not set upon a foundation of earth by those who constructed it, but built upon living rock. Four colonnaded stoas surround the court, standing one on each side. Excavating to a great depth this court and one of the stoas (that which faces toward the south), the Emperor Justinian made a suitable storage reservoir for the summer season, to contain the water which had been wasted because of its very abundance during the other seasons. For receiving this overflow of the aqueduct p93when its stream is spilling over, this cistern both furnishes a place for the water which for the moment can find no space, and provides a supply for those who need it when water becomes scarce. Thus the Emperor Justinian made provision that the people of Byzantium should not be in want of fresh water.

He has also built palaces at various places, completely new ones, one at the Heraeum, which they now call Hieron, and another at the place called Jucundianae.81 But I could never adequately describe in fitting words either their magnificence and their exquisitely detailed workmanship or their massive bulk. It will be sufficient to say simply that they are regal and that they were built under the personal supervision of the Emperor and with the help of his skill, while nothing was disregarded, excepting only money. The sum of this indeed was so great that it cannot be computed by any reckoning.

There too he skilfully contrived a sheltered harbour which had not existed before. Finding a shore which lay open to the winds from two directions and to the beating of the waves, he converted it into a refuge for voyagers in the following way. He prepared great numbers of what are called "chests" or cribs, of huge size, and threw them out for a great distance from the shore along oblique lines on either side of the harbour, and by constantly setting a layer of other chests in regular courses upon those underneath he erected two very long walls,82 which lay at an angle to each other on the opposite sides of the harbour, rising from their foundations deep in the water up to p95the surface on which the ships float.83 20 Then upon these walls he threw rough-cut stones, which are pounded by the surf and beat back the force of the waves; and even when a severe storm comes down in the winter, the whole space between the walls remains calm, a single entrance being left between the breakwaters for the ships to enter the harbour. 21 In that place also he erected holy shrines, as I have already recounted,84 and stoas and markets and public baths, and practically all the other types of buildings, so that this quarter is in no way inferior to the Palace-quarter within the city. 22 And he also constructed another harbour on the opposite mainland, in the place which bears the name of Eutropius, not far distant from this Heraeum, executed in the same manner as the harbour which I have just mentioned.

23 Now building operations carried out by the Emperor Justinian in the imperial city, to describe them in the briefest terms, were about such as I have recounted. The one detail which remains to be mentioned here I shall straightway set forth. 24 Since the Emperor maintains his residence here, it results from the very magnitude of the Empire that a throng of men of all conditions comes to the city from the whole world. 25 Each of them is led to come either by some errand of business or by some hope or by chance; and many indeed come whose affairs are not in a happy state at home, in order to petition the Emperor; and all these become residents of the city because of some compulsion which is either urgent, p97imminent, or threatening. 26 And in addition to their other difficulties, it comes about that these persons are also in want of quarters, being unable to pay the hire of any stay here. 27 This difficulty the Emperor Justinian and the Empress Theodora solved completely for them. For very close to the sea, in the place called Stadium (for in ancient times, I suppose, it was given over to games of some kind), they built a very large hospice, destined to serve as a temporary lodging for those who should find themselves thus embarrassed.

2 Fortifications and cities on the Persian frontier
2 - 1

All the new churches which the Emperor Justinian built both in Constantinople and in its suburbs, and all those which, having been ruined by the passage of time, he restored, as well as all the other buildings which he erected here, have been described in the preceding Book. 2 From this point we must proceed to the defences with which he surrounded the farthest limits of the territory of the Romans. Here indeed my narrative will be constrained to halt painfully and to labour with an impossible subject. 3 For it is not the pyramids which we are about to describe, those celebrated monuments of the rulers of Egypt, on which labour was expended for a useless show,a but rather all the fortifications whereby this Emperor preserved the Empire, walling it about p99and frustrating the attacks of the barbarians on the Romans. And it seems to me not amiss to start from the Persian frontier.

4 When the Persians retired from the territory of the Romans, selling to them the city of Amida, as I have related in the Books on the Wars,1 the Emperor Anastasius selected a hitherto insignificant village close to the Persian boundary, Daras by name, and urgently set about enclosing it with a wall and making it into a city which should serve as a bulwark against the enemy. 5 But since it was forbidden in the treaty which the Emperor Theodosius once concluded with the Persian nation, that either party should construct any new fortress on his own land where it bordered on the boundaries of the other nation, the Persians, citing the terms of the peace, tried with all their might to obstruct the work, though they were hard pressed by being involved in a war with the Huns. 6 So the Romans, observing that they were for this reason unprepared, pressed on the work of building all more keenly, being anxious to get ahead of the enemy before they should finish their struggle with the Huns and come against them. 7 Consequently, being fearful by reason of suspicion of the enemy, and continually expecting their attacks, they did not carry out the building with care, since the haste inspired by their extreme eagerness detracted from the stability of their work. 8 For stability is never likely to keep company with speed, nor is accuracy wont to follow swiftness. 9 They therefore carried out the construction of the circuit-wall in great p101haste, not having made it fit to withstand the enemy, but raising it only to such a height as was barely necessary; indeed they did not even lay the stones themselves carefully, or fit them together as they should, or bind them properly at the joints with mortar. So within a short time, since the towers could not in any way withstand the snows and the heat of the sun because of their faulty construction, it came about that the most of them fell into ruin. So were the earlier walls built at the city of Daras.2

The Emperor Justinian perceived that the Persians, as far as lay in their power, would not permit this outpost of the Romans, which was a menace to them, to stand there, but they would of course assault it with all their might, and would use every device to conduct siege operations on even terms with the city; and that a great number of elephants would come with them, and these would bear wooden towers on their shoulders, under which they would stand, supporting them like foundations; and worse still, that they would be led about wherever the enemy needed them and would bear a fortress which would follow along wherever, according to the judgement of their masters, it should happen to be needed; 21 and that the enemy would mount these towers and shoot down upon the heads of the Romans inside the city, and attack them from a higher level; that, furthermore they would raise up artificial mounds against them, and would bring up all manner of siege-engines. And if any misfortune should befall the city of Daras, which was thrown out like an earthwork before the whole Roman Empire and was obviously placed as a threat to the enemy's land, the disaster for us would p103not stop there, but a great part of the State would be seriously shaken. For these reasons he wished to surround the place with defences in keeping with its practical usefulness.

First of all he rendered the wall (which, as I have said, was very low and therefore very easy for an enemy to assault) both inaccessible and wholly impregnable for an attacking force.3 For he contracted the original apertures of the battlements by inserting stones and reduced them to very narrow slits, leaving only traces of them in the form of tiny windows, and allowing them to open just enough for a hand to pass through, so that outlets were left through which arrows could be shot against assailants. Then above these he added to the wall a height of •about thirty feet,4 not building the addition upon the whole thickness of the wall, lest the foundations should be overloaded by the excessive weight which bore upon them, so that the whole work would suffer some irreparable damage, but he enclosed the space at that level with courses of stones on the outside and constructed a colonnaded stoa (stoa) running all around the wall, and he placed the battlements above this portico, so that the wall really had a double roof throughout; and at the towers there were actually three levels for the men who defended the wall and repelled attacks upon it. For at about the middle of each tower he added a rounded structure (sphairikon schêma) upon which he placed additional battlements, thus making the wall three-storeyed.
Fortifications at Sergiopolis (Rusafa).

Plan of part of the circuit-wall.
Above, section of a tower.
Below, elevation and section of part of the circuit-wall.
Elevation and plan of a part of the circuit-wall, with stairs and a projecting tower.

p107Then he observed that it had come about that many of the towers, as I have said, had fallen into ruin in a short time, yet it was entirely out of the question to pull them down, since the enemy were constantly in the neighbourhood watching their opportunity and continually scouting to see whether they might not find some part of the defences dismantled at any time. But he hit upon the following plan. He left these towers in place, and outside each of them he cleverly erected another structure in the form of a rectangle, which was built securely and with every possible care, and thus, by means of a second set of defences, he safely enclosed those parts of the wall which had suffered. 20 But one of the towers, called the "Tower of the Guard," he pulled down at a favourable moment and rebuilt so that it was safe, and everywhere he removed the fear which had arisen from the weakness of the circuit-wall. 21 He also wisely added sufficient height, in due proportion, to the outworks. 22 And outside these he dug a moat, not in the way in which men are wont to make them, but only for a short distance and in a novel manner; and the reason for this I shall explain.

23 The greater part of the defences, as it happens, are in general unapproachable for an attacking party, since they do not stand on level ground and offer no favourable opportunity for assault to an approaching force; but they stand along a steep slope of a rough and precipitous character, where it is not possible for a mine to be dug or for any attack to be made. 24 But on the side which is turned toward south, the soil is deep and soft and consequently easy to mine, so that it makes the city assailable on this side. 25 So in p109that place he dug a crescent-shaped moat, with sufficient breadth and depth and extending to a great distance, and joined either end of this to the outworks and filled it amply with water, rendering it altogether impassable for the enemy; and on its inner side he set up another outwork. On this the Romans take their stand and keep guard in time of siege, freed from anxiety for the circuit-wall and the other outwork which is thrown out before the main wall. 26 And it happened that between the main wall and the outwork, at the gate which faces toward the village of Ammodius,5 there lay a great mound of earth, under cover of which the enemy were able to be in large measure unobserved while making mines against the city under the circuit-wall. 27 This mound he removed from the spot and he cleared up the place thoroughly, and thus frustrated any secret attack on the wall by the enemy.

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Thus did he construct these fortifications. He likewise made reservoirs for water both in the space between the circuit-wall and the outworks and also close by the church which is dedicated to the Apostle Bartholomew, situated toward the west. 2 And a river also flows from a suburb of the city which is •two miles distant from it and is called Cordes.6 3 On either side of it rise two cliffs which are exceedingly rugged. This river flows down between the heights on either side of it all the way to the city, carried along the bases of the mountains, and for p111just this reason it cannot be turned aside or tampered with by the enemy; 4 for there is no flat ground where they might be able to turn it from its course. And it is drawn into the city in the following way. 5 They have constructed a large channel extending out from the circuit-wall, and covered the mouth of the conduit with a great number of the thickest possible iron bars, some upright and some horizontal; and thus they have arranged that the water can enter the city without endangering the fortifications. 6 In this way the water flows into the city and fills its reservoirs and then is conducted wherever the inhabitants wish, and finally flows out at another part of the city, the opening for its discharge being made like that by which it enters the city. 7 And winding about the plain near by, it used to make the city easy to besiege; for it was not a difficult matter, thanks to the bountiful supply of water, for the enemy to encamp there. 8 So in order that this should not happen the Emperor Justinian took the situation under careful consideration, seeking diligently to find some remedy for the condition. 9 And God provided the solution for the impossible problem which confronted him, settling the matter out of hand and saving the city without the least delay. This took place as follows.

One of the men serving in the army in this place, either in consequence of a dream or led to do it of his own accord, gathered a great throng of the workmen who were engaged in the building operations and bade them dig a long trench within the circuit-wall, shewing them a certain spot where he said that they would find sweet water welling up from the recesses of the earth. He made the pit in the form p113of a circle •fifteen feet across and drove it down to a great depth. This pit proved to be the salvation of the city, not indeed by any foresight of these workmen, but an event here, which would have been a disaster, turned out entirely to the advantage of the Romans, all on account of the pit. For during this time extraordinarily heavy rains fell, and the river, which I just mentioned, rose in high flood before the circuit-wall and no longer flowed in its usual bed, and it became so swollen that neither the opening by which it entered the city nor the conduit could contain it as formerly. So it backed up and gathered its stream against the wall, rising to a great height and depth; in some places it was stagnant, but elsewhere it was rough and turbulent. Consequently it broke through the outer defences and levelled them at once, and it also carried away a great portion of the main wall, and forcing open the gates and flowing in a mighty stream it spread over practically the whole city, and it circulated through the market-place and the streets and even through the houses, sweeping onward a great mass of furniture and wooden utensils and other such objects; then plunging into this pit it disappeared underground. Not many days later it emerged near the confines of Theodosiopolis, reappearing in a place •about forty miles from the city of Daras, and it was recognised by the objects which it had carried off from the houses of that city; for the whole of the rubbish came to light there. And since then, in times of peace and in prosperity, this river has flowed into the centre of the city and filled the storage-reservoirs with water p115to overflowing and then has been borne out of the city by the exits made for this purpose by those who built the city, as I have just explained. And it waters the land in that region and is always eagerly welcomed by all those who dwell round about. But whenever a hostile army comes up to besiege the city, they close the exits through the iron bars by means of sluice-gates (katarraktais), as they are called, straightway forcing the river, by this artificial constraint, to alter its course and change its exit, and they conduct it to the pit and the chasm which leads away from it. And as a result of the enemy are hard pressed by lack of water and are compelled immediately to abandon the siege. Indeed Mirrhanes,7 the Persian general during the reign of Cabades, came there to lay a siege, but was compelled by all these difficulties to retire after no long time without having accomplished anything. 20 And Chosroes himself, a long time later, came there for the same purpose with a great army and undertook to attack the city. 21 But finding himself in straits for want of water, and viewing the imposing height of the circuit-wall, which he suspected was quite impregnable, he changed his purpose and departed, marching straight for the Persian territory, outwitted by the foresight of the Roman Emperor.8

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These projects, then, were carried out as I have said by the Emperor Justinian at the city of Daras. I shall now relate how he brought it about that this city should never again suffer such damage from the river, a matter in which God manifestly assisted his effort. 2 There was a certain Chryses of Alexandria, a skillful master-builder, who served the Emperor in his building operations and built most of the structures erected in the city of Daras and in the rest of the country. 3 This Chryses was away at the time when the disaster caused by the river befell the city of Daras, and after he heard the news he went to his bed in distress over the misfortune. And he saw a vision as follows. 4 It seemed in his dream that a certain creature of enormous size and in other respects too mighty to resemble a man,9 prescribed and gave directions for a certain device which would be able to prevent the river from again running wild to the ruin of the city. 5 He immediately surmised that the suggestion came from God, and wrote an account of the device and of the vision and sent it to the Emperor, shewing by a sketch the instructions received from the dream. 6 It chanced that not long before this a messenger had come to the Emperor from the city of Daras, who reported to him all the damage which had been caused by the river. 7 Thereupon the Emperor was greatly perturbed and deeply grieved by what had happened, and he straightway summoned the eminent p119master-builders Anthemius and Isidorus, whom I have mentioned previously.8 And he communicated the details of what had happened and enquired of the men what contrivance could possibly be made, so that no such calamity might again befall the city. Each of them gave some suggestion which seemed to himself well adapted to the situation. But the Emperor, obviously moved by a divine inspiration which came to him, though he had not yet seen the letter of Chryses, devised and sketched out of his own head, strange to say, the very plan of the dream. 9 However, while their opinion was still unsettled, and it was not clear to them what should be done, they adjourned the conference. And three days later there came a man who shewed to the Emperor the letter of Chryses and the drawing of the device of the dream. The Emperor again summoned the master-builders, and bade them to call to mind their previous thoughts on this problem. And they repeated all the details in order, both what they had devised themselves and what the Emperor had daringly proposed should be done. Then the Emperor shewed them the man who had been sent by Chryses, and his letter, and told them of the vision of what was to be done which had been seen in the dream, and the sketch which had been made, and caused them to marvel greatly, as they considered how God becomes a partner with this Emperor in all matters which will benefit the State. So the Emperor's plan won the day, while the wisdom and skill of the master-builders yielded place to it. And Chryses again went to the city of Daras, with instructions from the Emperor to carry out with all zeal the scheme p121which had been described, just as the intimation of the dream had dictated. And he carried out the instructions in the following manner.

At a place •about forty feet removed from the outer fortifications (proteichisma) of the city, between the two cliffs between which the river runs, he constructed a barrier (antiteichisma) of proper thickness and height. The ends of this he so mortised into each of the two cliffs, that the water of the river could not possibly get by that point, even if it should come down very violently. This structure is called by those skilled in such matters a dam (phraktes) or flood-gate (aris), or whatever else they please. This barrier (antiteichisma) was not built in a straight line, but was bent into the shape of a crescent, so that the curve, by lying against the current of the river, might be able to offer still more resistance to the force of the stream. 20 And he made sluice-gates (thyrides) in the dam, in both its lower and its upper parts, so that when the river suddenly rose in flood, should this happen, it would be forced to collect there and not go on with its full stream, but discharging through the openings only a small volume of the excess accumulation, would always have to abate its force little by little, and the city-wall would never suffer damage. 21 For the outflow collects in the space which, as I have said, extends for •forty feet between the dam and the outer fortifications, and is under no pressure whatever, but it goes in an orderly fashion into the customary entrances and from there empties into the conduit (ochetagogia). 22 And the city gate itself, which the river p123had earlier burst open by its sudden pressure, he removed from that place, and he walled up with very large stones the place which it had formerly occupied, because lying on level ground, as it did, it was easily reached by the river when it was in flood. 23 And he set this gate near by at a place higher up where the circuit-wall was on a steep slope, to which the river could not possibly come. Thus were these works carried out by this Emperor.

24 And there was a great difficulty regarding water for the people living in this city. For they had neither any spring welling up there, nor water conveyed about the streets of the city by a conduit (ochetos); neither was it stored there in any cisterns; but whileºthose very near whose streets the river flowed drew their drinking-water without any trouble because of its proximity, those whose homeschanced to be very far from the river's course, were obliged to choose one of these two alternatives — either to take a vast deal of trouble in order to obtain drinking-water at all, or to perish of thirst. 25 But the Emperor Justinian built a great conduit by which he led the water about to every part of the city, and thus relieved the straits of the inhabitants. 26 Furthermore, he constructed two shrines, both the Great Church, as it is called, and the Church of the Apostle Bartholomew. He also built numerous barracks for the soldiers, in order that they might cause no annoyance whatever to the inhabitants.

27 Likewise both the wall and the outworks of the city of Amida, which had been built long before, and, because of their age, seemed likely to fall p125in ruins, he not long afterwards replaced by new structures and thus restored the safety of the city. 28 All else that he did in the fortresses which chance to be within the territory of these cities I shall now proceed to relate.

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As one goes from Daras into the Persian country there lies on the left a territory which cannot be traversed at all by waggons or even by horses, extending to a distance of about two days' journey for an unencumbered travellerand ending in a steep and precipitous bluff which is called Rhabdios.2 And on both sides of this road leading to Rhabdios the Persian territory stretches out to a very great distance. 3 At first I was amazed at this, and I made enquiry of the natives how it came about that a road and district which belonged to the Romans had land of the enemy on either side of it; and some of them explained that the place had belonged to the Persians at one time, but that at the petition of the Persian King one of the Roman Emperors had handed over a certain vine-producing village near Martyropolisand had received this place in exchange for it. 4 Rhabdios stands on precipitous and wholly wild rocks, which rise there to an astonishing height. 5 And beneath it is a place which they call the Field of the Romans, I suppose because they marvelled, at first, that though this lies in the midst of Persian territory, it belongs to the Romans. 6 This Field of the Romans lies on flat ground, and is very productive p127of the crops which grow on cornº-lands. 7 One might conjecture this also from the circumstance that Persian territory surrounds the place on every side.

8 There is a fortress in Persia of very great note, Sisauranonby name, which the Emperor Justinian once captured and levelled to the ground, taking captive a great throng of Persian horsemen along with their leader Bleschames.9 This is separated from the city of Daras by a journey of two days for an unencumbered traveller, and is •about three miles distant from Rhabdios. At first this region was unguarded and was of no consequence whatever to the Romans. For it had never been garrisoned nor had it been fortified, and it had not received any other care from them. Indeed it was to the Persians that those who farmed the "Field" which I just mentioned paid fifty staters annually, just as though they were paying ordinary taxes,on condition that they might possess their own lands free from fear and be able to profit by the crops which grew upon them. But the Emperor Justinian arranged to alter all this for their benefit. He encircled Rhabdios with a wall built along the crest of the rocks which rise there, thus making the place inaccessible for the enemy, that is, with the assistance of nature. Then, since those who dwelt there had a scanty supply of water — for no spring was to be found on the summit of the rocks — he constructed two cisterns and dug channels into the rock there in many directions, so that he made many reservoirs for water, in p129order that when the rain-water collected in these the inhabitants might be able to use them in security, and then they might not be captured easily when hard pressed for lack of water.

And all the other forts which lie in the mountains, forming a line from there and from the city of Daras all the way to Amida, namely Ciphas and Sauras and Margdis and Lournês and Idriphthon and Atachas and Siphriŭs and Rhipalthas and Banasymeôn, and also Sinas and Rhasios and Dabanas, and all the others which have been there from ancient times, and which had previously been fenced about in most ridiculous fashion, he rebuilt and made safe, transforming them to their present aspect as to both beauty and strength, and making them impregnable, so that actually they are thrown out as a mighty bulwark to shield the land of the Romans. In that place there is a lofty mountain towering to the sky, exceedingly steep and altogether inaccessible. And in the plain below the soil lies deep and soft, an excellent surface for plowing and extremely good for pasture, for it is covered with a great abundance of forage. There are numerous villages along the foot-hills of the mountain, inhabited by people who are indeed happy in their possession of the necessities of life, but would be easy to capture, if anyone should attack them. This situation the Emperor Justinian corrected for them by building a fort on the very tip of the mountain, so that they might store their most valuable property there and also, fleeing thither, save themselves whenever the enemy should come against them; and this fort is named Basileôn.Furthermore, he carefully rebuilt the p131forts about the city of Amida which had been enclosed by mud walls and were entirely at the mercy of the enemy, and he so transformed them all that they were perfectly secure. 20 Among these are Apadnas and the little town of Virthon; for it is not easy to mention all separately by name. 21 But, to speak briefly, he has made impregnable at the present time all the places which previously lay exposed to assailants. And as a result of this, Mesopotamia is manifestly inaccessible to the Persian nation.

22 But I must not pass by in silence the device which he hit upon in the fort Baras which I have just mentioned.It so happened that inside the fort there was no water at all, for this Baras was built on the steep slope of a very high mountain. 23 Outside the fort, however, at a very great distance, there was a spring at the foot of the mountain, beyond the slope; but it had seemed inadvisable to enclose this within the fortifications of the stronghold, so that no part of the defences might lie on level ground and so be easy to capture. Therefore he devised the following plan. 24 He bade them dig within the fortifications until they came approximately to the level of the plain. And when this work was completed according to the Emperor's instructions, water was found there, contrary to all expectation, running in from the spring. Thus not only is the fortress placed in a position of safety, but it proves to be properly situated as regards water also.

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In the same way he restored the circuit-wall of p133Theodosiopolis,20 which stands on the River Aborrhas21 as a bulwark of the Roman Empire; for time had succeeded most completely in breaking it down, so that it afforded no assurance of safety to the people there, but rather kept them all in a constant state of terror for fear that it would fall upon them in the not distant future. But this Emperor rebuilt the greater part of the wall and thus succeeded effectually in checking the inroads of the Persians at least on the Mesopotamian border.

2 The work that he carried out in Constantina is also worthy of mention. Formerly the circuit-wall of this city was of such a height that it could be scaled with a ladder, and its whole method of construction made it easy to attack, built as it was by men of former times in a casual sort of way. 3 Indeed the towers were so widely separated that if any attackers advanced to make an assault upon the space between them, the defenders posted on the towers had no means of driving them back. Moreover the wall had suffered from the passage of time, and for the most part had come to be not very far from a state of collapse. 4 Furthermore, the outworks (proteichisma) protecting the city were of such a sort that they looked like a wall built for the purpose of attacking it (epiteichisma). In fact their thickness had not been made more than •three feet, and even that was held together with mud, the lower courses for a short space being built of hard stone suitable for making mill-stones (lithos mylites), but the upper portion consisting of so‑called "white stone" (leukolithos), which is untrustworthy and very soft. So the whole place was easy for assailants to capture. 5 But the Emperor Justinian rebuilt with new masonry p135those portions of the circuit-wall which had suffered, particularly the parts which faced the west and the north. 6 And in all parts of the defences he inserted a new tower between each pair of towers, and consequently all the towers stood out from the circuit-wall very close to one another. 7 Also he added greatly to the height of the whole wall and of all the tower, and thus made the defences of the city impregnable to the enemy. 8 And he also built covered approaches (anodoi) to the towers, and made them three-storied (triôrophoi) by adding courses of stones curved in the form of vaults (tholoi); thus he made each one of them a pyrgo-castellum,22 as it was called and as it actually was. 9 For they call forts castella in the Latin tongue. Furthermore, Constantina in former times used to suffer terribly for want of water. Outside the city, about a mile away, there are springs of sweet water and then a very large grove planted with trees which reach to the sky; but within the walls, where the streets happen to be sloping, and not level, the city had been without water from early times, and the inhabitants always suffered from thirst and from the great difficulty of obtaining water. But the Emperor Justinian brought the stream within the wall by means of an aqueduct, and adorned the city with ever-flowing fountains, so that he might justly be called its founder. All this, then, is what was done by the Emperor Justinian for these cities.

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And there was a Roman fortress beside the Euphrates River on the frontier of Mesopotamia p137at the point where the Aborrhas River mingles with the Euphrates, into which it empties. 2 This is called Circesium,23 and was built by Emperor Diocletian in ancient times. 3 And our present Emperor Justinian, finding it dilapidated through the passage of time and neglected besides and in general unguarded, transformed it into a very strong fortress and brought it about that it became a city conspicuous for its size and beauty. 4 For Diocletian, when he constructed this fortress, did not surround it with a wall on all sides, but carried out the construction of the circuit-wall only as far as the River Euphrates, and he finished off the work at each of the two ends with a terminal tower, but after that he left that side of the site wholly unwalled, believing, I suppose, that the water of the river would serve as a protection for the fort on that side. 5 However, as time went on, the terminal tower which faced toward the south was undermined by the ceaseless wash of the water, and entirely wrecked, and it became evident that, unless someone brought help with the greatest speed, it would collapse immediately. 6 Then appeared the Emperor Justinian, entrusted by God with this commission, to watch over the whole Roman Empire and, so far as was possible, to remake it. 7 Indeed he not only preserved the damaged tower by rebuilding it with hard stone, such as would be suitable for making mill-stones, but he also enclosed the entire unwalled side of the fortress with a wall of the greatest strength, thus doubling its stability by adding the protection given by the circuit-wall to that afforded by the river. 8 In addition to this, he added very strong outworks to the defences p139of the city, and especially where the junction of the two rivers forms a triangle he thus made any attack by the enemy impossible. 9 And he stationed here a commander of select troops, one whom they call a Duke or "leader," who was to be stationed there permanently, and he thus constituted the place an adequate bulwark of the government of the State. The bath, too, which serves the common use of all the people living in the city, had become entirely useless because of the incursion of the river, with the result that it was no longer capable of providing its usual service; and so he transformed it to its present state of splendour. For all the receptacles which previously were poised on solid masonry and were destined to serve the purposes of the bath (it is beneath these that fire is kept burning, and they are wont to call them cauldrons)24 — all these, he found, had already been exposed to the invasion of the water, and consequently the bath had been rendered useless; so he strengthened with courses of stone all that had formerly been poised there, as I have explained, and built another structure above it, where the river cannot reach it, and thus he restored to the troops there the enjoyment which they gained from the bath. In such a way was the work at Circesium carried out by this Emperor.

Beyond Circesium is an ancient fort, Annoucas25 by name, whose wall, which he found a ruin, the Emperor Justinian rebuilt in such magnificent style p141that thereafter it took second place in point of strength to no single one of the most notable cities. In the same way those forts which lie about the city of Theodosiopolis, some of which had previously been without walls, while some were walled with mud and the ridiculous construction that goes with mud-work, like a wall made of loose stones, he made truly formidable, as they now are, and altogether unapproachable for their assailants; these include Magdalathôn with two others which chance to be on either side of it, and two named Thannourios, one large and one small, and Vimisdeôn, and Themeres, as well as Vidamas, Dausarôn, Thiolla, Phichas and Zamarthas, and, one may say, all the rest. And there was a certain spot near the larger Thannourios at which the hostile Saracens, after crossing the Aborrhas River, had complete freedom to resort, and making that their headquarters they would scatter through the thick leafy forest and over the mountain which rises there, and then they would descend with impunity upon the Romans who lived in the places round about. But now the Emperor Justinian has built a very large tower of hard stone at this point, in which he has established a very considerable garrison, and thus has succeeded completely in checking the inroads of the enemy by devising this bulwark against them.

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Such were the works of the Emperor Justinian in Mesopotamia. And it is necessary for me at this point in my narrative to mention Edessa26 and Carrhae27 and Callinicum28 and all the other towns which p143chance to lie in that region, for these too are situated between the two rivers. 2 The city of Edessa is situated on a river of small volume, Scirtus by name, which collects its water from a wide area and flows into the middle of the city. 3 And after leaving the city, it flows on further, after it has furnished the city with an abundant supply, effecting its entrance and its exit through channels in the wall constructed by men of former times. 4 On one occasion this river, swollen by heavy rains, rose to an altogether extraordinary height and came upon the city as if bent on destroying it.29 5 Consequently it levelled to the ground a large part of the outworks and of the circuit-wall and covered practically the whole city, doing irreparable damage. For in a moment it wiped out completely the finest of the buildings and caused the death of one third of the population. 6 But the Emperor Justinian immediately not only restored all the ruined parts of the city, including the church of the Christians and the structure called Antiphorus,30 but also made effective provision that such a calamity should not occur again. 7 For he succeeded in making a new channel for the river before the circuit-wall, circumventing it by the following device. 8 The land on the right of the river was formerly both flat and low, while on the left stood a steep hill, which did not permit the stream to turn aside at all or deviate from p145its customary course, but drove it against the city by sheer compulsion; for on the right there was nothing to check it when it rushed straight towards the city. 9 So he cut down this whole hill, and while making the land on the left of the river hollow deeper than its own bed, on the right he set up a huge wall of stones, each a load for a waggon, so that as long as the river flowed with its usual temperate stream, the city would never be deprived of its benefit, but whenever by any chance it rose to a great height and overflowed, a moderate portion of it would flow as usual into the city, while the excess of the stream would pass under constraint into the channel devised by Justinian and be led behind the hippodrome which is not far away, thus being vanquished, contrary to all expectation, by human skill and foresight. In addition to this, he also compelled the river to follow a practically straight course after it gets inside the city, and above it he raised a structure resting on either bank so that it could not be diverted from its course, and he thus not only preserved the benefit which the city gained from the river, but also freed the city from the fear of it. Moreover, it happened that the main wall of Edessa and its outworks had suffered from the passage of time no less than they had from the flood and for the most part were fit only to be called ruins. Therefore the Emperor rebuilt both of them and made them new and much stronger than they had been formerly. And a certain section of the circuit-wall of Edessa contains a fort outside of which rose a hill, which stood very close by and commanded the city spread out beneath it. The inhabitants of early times, perceiving that this hill p147constituted a threat to the city-wall, had brought it inside the circuit-wall, so that it might not render the city vulnerable. But by this they caused the city to be actually much more vulnerable, for a very small cross-wall,31 lying on the exposed ground, was an easy thing to capture even for children playing at storming a wall. So after this had been torn down, another wall was built on the crest of the hill, the work of the Emperor Justinian, which did not have to fear any attack to be made from a higher position, and this descended along the slope as far as the level ground at either end and was joined to the circuit-wall.

Furthermore, he also took down the walls and the outworks of Carrhae and of the city of Callinicum, which were falling into ruin because of their great age, and once more made them, as they now are, entire and completely invulnerable. He also surrounded with very strong walls the fortress at Batnae32 which previously had been unwalled and neglected, and transformed it into the fine condition in which it is now seen.

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So these structures were erected by the Emperor Justinian in the manner which I have described in Mesopotamia and in Osroenê, as it is called. 2 And I shall describe the fashion in which his work was carried out on the right of the Euphrates River. 3 The other boundaries between the Romans and the Persians are in general of such a sort that the territories of the two peoples are adjacent to each other, and both peoples push out from their own territory and either fight with each other or compose p149their differences, as people will whenever nations differing in customs and in government hold any land on a common boundary. 4 However, in the territory anciently called Commagenê, but now known as Euphratesia, they do not live close to each other at all. For a land which is altogether bare and unproductive separates the Roman and the Persian territory for a great distance, and this contains nothing worth fighting for. 5 Both of them, however, have built forts carelessly of unbaked brick in the desert which chances to lie nearest to the land which they inhabit; 6 these forts never suffered attack from their neighbours, for both peoples lived there without enmity, since they possessed nothing which their adversaries might desire. 7 The Emperor Diocletian had built three forts, such as I have described, in this desert, one of which, Mambri33 by name, had fallen into decay in the long course of time and was restored by the Emperor Justinian.

8 At a distance of •about five miles from this fort on the road to Roman territory, Zenobia, wife of Odonathus, who was ruler of the Saracens in that district, once founded a small city in earlier times and gave her name to it; 9 for the name she gave it was Zenobia, as was fitting.34 But the long period of time that had elapsed since those events had reduced its circuit-wall to a ruin, since the Romans were quite unwilling to take care of it, and thus it had come to be altogether destitute of inhabitants. So it was possible for the p151Persians freely, whenever they wished, to get into the middle of Roman territory before the Romans had word of the hostile inroad. But the Emperor Justinian rebuilt Zenobia completely and he filled it quite full of inhabitants, and he stationed there a commander of select troops and a thoroughly adequate garrison, and made it a bulwark of the Roman Empire and a frontier barrier against the Persians; indeed he did not simply restore its previous form, but he actually made it very much stronger than it was before. It is surrounded by cliffs which stand very close to the city, and for this reason it was possible for the enemy to shoot down from their summits upon the heads of the defenders of the circuit-wall. This he was anxious to prevent, and so he built a certain additional structure on the top of the circuit-wall, at precisely the place where the cliffs are nearest, designed to serve permanently as a shelter for the men fighting there. Such a structure they call "wings" (ptera), because it appears to droop, as it were, from the wall. However, it is impossible to describe all that the Emperor accomplished at Zenobia, since, seeing that it occupies a site far removed from any neighbour and on this account is sure to be always in danger, and that it is unable to secure succour because there are no Romans who live near at hand, the Emperor considered the city worthy, as well he might, of his unceasing attention above all other places. Nevertheless I shall describe a few of the things that were done there.

By the side of Zenobia flows the Euphrates River, passing to the east of it and coming very close to the circuit-wall on that side; but since high mountains p153rise beside the river at this point, the stream cannot spread out at all, but by reason of the proximity of these mountains and because it is constrained by its banks, which are hard, it would gather its stream into an extraordinarily narrow space whenever it chanced that rains caused it to rise in flood, and would pour out against the wall and immediately rise, not only about the foundations but even as far as the battlements. And when the wall had once been soaked through by the water, the result was that the river loosened the courses of stones and thereafter the wall stood upon a dangerous conglomeration of stones. But he constructed a huge protective wall (probolos) of hard stone of equal length with the circuit-wall, and caused this to check at that point the turbulence of the river when it rose, and so freed the wall entirely from harm from this source, even should the river rise to a great height in its most violent state. He also found that portion of the city's circuit-wall which faces the north dangerously weakened by the passage of time; so he first took it down, along with the outworks, clear to the ground, and then rebuilt it, yet not as it had been before, for at that point the buildings of the city had been especially crowded, causing trouble to those who lived there. 20 But he went beyond the place where the foundations of the circuit-wall and the outworks had formerly stood, even beyond the moat itself, and there he built the wall, which is a remarkable sight in itself and exceptionally beautiful, thus materially increasing the area of Zenobia. 21 Furthermore, a certain hill stood very close to the city on the p155side toward the west, from which it was possible for the barbarians, whenever they attacked the city, to shoot down with impunity upon the heads of the defenders, and even upon the heads of those who stood in the middle of the city. 22 So the Emperor Justinian connected the fortifications with this hill on both sides, and thus brought it inside Zenobia; and he escarped the whole hill throughout, so that no one might climb it to work harm from there, and placed another fortification on its summit and thus made the city altogether inaccessible to those who wished to assault it. 23 For beyond the hill it chances that the ground is very low and for this reason it is impossible for the enemy to approach it at all closely. 24 And immediately above the depression rise the mountains which face toward the west. Yet this Emperor did not provide only for the safety of this city, but he erected churches there and barracks for the military forces; 25 nay more, he added to it public baths and stoas. For all these operations the master-builders Isidorus and John gave their assistance — John a Byzantine and Isidorus a Milesian by birth, nephew of the Isidorus whom I have mentioned before.35 Both of them were young men, but they displayed a natural ability beyond their years, and they had come to their full maturity with their experience in the Emperor's undertakings.

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After Zenobia is the fortress of Sura,36 situated on the Euphrates River, which had such contemptible defences that when Chosroes, on one occasion, p157attacked, it did not hold him off for so much as a half-hour, but was captured immediately by the Persians. 2 This too, like Callinicum, was rebuilt by the Emperor Justinian, who surrounded the entire fortress with a very stout wall, which he strengthened by outworks and thus brought it about that it should no longer yield to the enemy's assaults.

3 There is a certain church in Euphratesia, dedicated to Sergius, a famous saint, whom men of former times used to worship and revere, so that they named the place Sergiopolis,37 and they had surrounded it with a very humble wall, just sufficient to prevent the Saracens of the region from capturing it by storm. 4 For the Saracens are naturally incapable of storming a wall, and the weakest kind of barricade, put together with perhaps nothing but mud, is sufficient to check their assault. 5 At a later time, however, this church, through its acquisition of treasures, came to be powerful and celebrated. 6 And the Emperor Justinian, upon considering this situation, at once gave it careful attention, and he surrounded the church with a most remarkable wall, and he stored up a great quantity of water and thus provided the inhabitants with a bountiful supply. 7 Furthermore, he added to the place houses and stoas and the other buildings which are wont to be the adornments of a city. 8 Besides this he established there a garrison of soldiers who, in case of need, defended the circuit-wall. 9 Chosroes, indeed, the King of the Persians, p159made a great effort to capture the city, sending a great army to besiege it; but because of the strength of the defences he accomplished nothing and abandoned the investment.

The Emperor bestowed the same careful attention on all the towns and forts which lie on the farthest borders of Euphratesia, namely Barbalissus38 and Neocaesarea,39 and Gaboulôn,40 as it is called, and the Pentacomia which is on the Euphrates River, and Europus.41 Also he found the walls of the place called Hemerium42 to be in part carelessly built and of unsafe construction and in part actually to consist of nothing but mud, while the place suffered from great scarcity of water, so that it was in every way an object of contempt to the enemy; so he razed it to the ground and immediately rebuilt it all carefully with courses of very hard stone, rightly giving the work generous proportions of both breadth and height, and he fashioned many cisterns for water in all parts of the defences, filling all these amply with rain-water; moreover, he established a large garrison there and so brought about the state of security which we now see there, and made the city's dominance sure. And if one should consider these fortresses very carefully, disregarding all the other useful works of the Emperor Justinian, he would say that it was solely for this purpose that he succeeded to the imperial power, since God unceasingly provides for the safety of the Roman people.

p161In addition to these he also found Hierapolis,43 which happens to be the first of all the cities of that region, lying exposed to those who wished to attack it, and by his prudent foresight he assured its safety. Previously it had enclosed a large tract of barren land, and consequently was undefended; so he relieved it of this senseless expanse and made the circuit-wall shorter as well as more safe, reducing it to a measure calculated to meet the actual need of the situation, and thus bringing it about that the city is among the strongest of the present day. Here too he conferred the following benefit. An unfailing supply of drinking-water springs up from the recesses of the earth in the midst of the city and makes a broad lake there. And whenever an enemy chances to lay siege to the place, this water proves the salvation of the city; but in good times the lake becomes unnecessary to it, because abundant water is brought in from outside. And as time went on, the inhabitants of the place, having enjoyed a long-continued peace and experiencing no need, treated this spring with neglect. For in times of prosperity human nature knows not how to take thought against ills not yet at hand. So they kept filling the lake constantly with pollution, both swimming and washing clothes in it and throwing all manner of rubbish into it. . . .

There were also two other towns in this district of Euphratesia, Zeugma and Neocaesarea, which went by the name of fortified towns, but were enclosed by p163fortifications resembling walls of loose stones. And because these were made too low when they were built, they were accessible to the enemy without any effort, since they could leap upon them without fear, while their extreme narrowness made them impossible to defend, since the garrison of the town had no place whatever where they might stand and carry on the defence. 20 But the Emperor Justinian surrounded these places too with real walls of adequate breadth and height, and he made them strong in their other equipment, and so brought it about that they are justly called cities and are too well built for hostile attacks.

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He also turned his attention to the cities which had been captured by Chosroes. (This was when that barbarian ignored the oaths he had sworn at the time of the "endless peace"44 and the money given him to secure this peace; when he was filled with malice against the Emperor Justinian because he had become master of Italy and of Libya by conquest, and was moved less by the obligation of his oaths than by his rage at the Emperor's successes. So he watched for the right time, and when the greater part of the Roman army was away in the West, he invaded the Roman territory without any previous notice, before the Romans could hear of the approach of the enemy). So the Emperor Justinian transformed these cities to such a state of safety and beauty that they are all much more prosperous at the present time than they were formerly, and no longer need either be fearful of the inroads of the p165villainous barbarians, or apprehensive for any reason of their attacks.

2 Above all he made Antioch, which is now called Theopolis,45 both fairer and stronger by far than it had been formerly. 3 In ancient times its circuit-wall was both too long and absolutely full of many turnings, in some places uselessly enclosing the level ground and in others the summits of the mountain, and for this reason it was exposed to attack in a number of places. 4 But the Emperor Justinian, contracting this wall as would best serve the need, carefully remade it so as to guard, not the same districts as before, but only the city itself. 5 As for the lower part of the circuit-wall, where the city was dangerously spread out (since it lay in a soft plain and could not be defended because of a superfluity of wall), he changed its course by drawing it inward as much as possible, it having gained protection by being compressed. 6 And the River Orontes, which had flowed past the city, as it formerly was, in a winding course, he thrust over so that it ran in a new bed, hugging the circuit-wall. 7 He did this by winding the stream round again by means of an artificial channel as near the wall as possible. In this way he both relieved the city of the danger arising from its excessive size and recovered the protection afforded by the Orontes. 8 And by building other bridges there he furnished new means of crossing the river; and after changing its stream for as great a p167distance as was necessary, he then restored it to its former course. 9 The upper part,46 in the mountainous portion, he managed as follows: on the summit of the mountain which they call Orocassias47 there happened to be a rock outside the wall and very close to it, nearly matching in height the circuit-wall in this place and making it quite vulnerable. It was from this point in fact that the city was taken by Chosroes, as is related in my description of the event.48 The region within the circuit-wall was for the most part bare and difficult to traverse, for high rocks and impassable ravines divide up that district, so that the paths from that place have no outlet. Thus the wall there is just as if it belonged to some other city and not to Antioch at all. So he bade a long farewell to the rock, which, being close to the wall, was fiendishly devised to make the wall easy to capture, and decided to build the defences of the city as far away from it as possible, having learned from the experience of events the folly of those who had built the city in former times. Moreover he made quite level the region within the wall, which formerly had been precipitous, building ascents there which would in the future be passable, not only for men on foot, but for cavalry, and would even serve as waggon-roads. He also built baths and reservoirs on these hills inside the wall. And he dug a cistern in each tower, remedying by means of rain-water the want of water which had previously existed there.

It is proper to describe also what he did with the p169torrent which comes down from these mountains. Two precipitous mountains rise above the city, approaching each other quite closely. Of these they call the one Orocassias and the other is called Staurin.49 Where they come to an end they are joined by a glen and ravine which lies between them, which produces a torrent, when it rains, called Onopnictes.50 This, coming down from a height, swept over the circuit-wall and on occasion rose to a great volume, spreading into the streets of the city and doing ruinous damage to those who lived in that district. But even for this the Emperor Justinian found the remedy, in the following way: Before that part of the circuit-wall which happens to lie nearest to the ravine out of which the torrent was borne against the fortifications, he built an immense wall or dam, which reached roughly from the hollow bed of the ravine to each of the two mountains, so that the stream should no longer be able to sweep on when it was at full flood, but should collect for a considerable distance back and form a lake there. And by constructing sluice-gates in this wall he contrived that the torrent, flowing through these, should lose its force gradually, checked by this artificial barrier, and no longer violently assault the circuit-wall with its full stream, and so overflow it and damage the city, but should gently and evenly glide on in the manner I have described and, with this means of outflow, should proceed through the channel wherever the inhabitants of former times would have wished to conduct it if it had been so manageable.

p171This, then, was what the Emperor Justinian accomplished concerning the circuit-wall of Antioch. He also rebuilt the whole city, which had been completely burned by the enemy. 20 For since everything was everywhere reduced to ashes and levelled to the ground, and since many mounds of ruins were all that was left standing of the burned city, it became impossible for the people of Antioch to recognise the site of each person's house, when first they carried out all the debris, and to clear out the remains of a burned house; and since there were no longer public stoas or colonnaded courts in existence anywhere, nor any market-place remaining, and since the side-streets no longer marked off the thoroughfares of the city, they did not any longer dare to build any house. 21 But the Emperor without any delay transported the debris as far as possible from the city, and thus freed the air and the ground of all encumbrances; then he first of all covered the cleared land of the city everywhere with stones each large enough to load a waggon. 22 Next he laid it out with stoas and market-places, and dividing all the blocks of houses by means of streets, and making water-channels and fountains and sewers,51 all those of which the city now boasts, he built theatres and baths for it, ornamenting it with all the other public buildings by means of which the prosperity of a city is wont to be shewn.52 He also, by bringing in a multitude of p173artisans and craftsmen, made it more easy and less laborious for the inhabitants to build their own houses. 23 Thus it was brought about that Antioch has become more splendid now than it formerly was. 24 Moreover, he built there a great Church to the Mother of God. The beauty of this, and its magnificence in every respect, it is impossible to describe; he also honoured it with an income of a very large sum. 25 Moreover, he built an immense Church for the Archangel Michael. He made provision likewise for the poor of the place who were suffering from maladies, providing buildings for them and all the means for the care and cure of their ailments, for men and women separately, and he made no less provision for strangers who might on occasion be staying in the city.

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In the same manner he also repaired the circuit-wall of the city of Chalcis, which had been faultily built in the first place and had been wrecked by the years; he restored this along with the outworks and rendered it much more defensible than before, and gave it the form which we now see.53

2 There was a certain utterly neglected fortress in Syria, Cyrus by name,54 which the Jews built in early p175times, when they have been carried off as captives from Palestine into Assyria by the army of the Medes and were released much later by King Cyrus;55 and for this reason they named the place Cyrus, paying this tribute of gratitude to their benefactor. 3 And as time went on this place came to be neglected in general and remained altogether without walls. 4 But the Emperor Justinian, both out of his forethought for the safety of the State, and at the same time shewing especial honour to the Saints Cosmas and Damian, whose bodies lie close by even up to my day, made Cyrus a flourishing city and one of great note through the safety afforded by the strongest possible wall, by the greatest strength of its garrison, by the size of its public buildings, and by the imposing scale of its other appointments. 5 The interior of this city had been destitute of water from ancient times; outside of it there had been a certain extraordinary spring which provided a great abundance of water fit for drinking, yet it was utterly useless to the inhabitants of the city, since they had no means of drawing water from the spring except with great toil and danger. 6 For it was necessary, in order to get to it, for them to make use of circuitous paths, since a steep and altogether impassable area lay between; thus they could easily fall into the hands of the enemy if they should happen to lie in ambush. 7 So he dug a channel outside the city all the way to the spring, not allowing it to be seen, but concealing it as carefully as possible, and thus he provided the inhabitants with a supply of water without toil or risk.

p1778 Also he restored the entire circuit-wall of the city of Chalcis, which had fallen down to the ground and anyhow was unsuitable for defence, by means of exceptionally stout masonry, and he strengthened it with outworks.56 9 Furthermore, he improved the other towns and forts of the Syrians in the same manner and made them altogether objects of envy.

Thus did the Emperor Justinian assure the safety of Syria. And there is a city in Phoenicia by Lebanon,57 Palmyra by name, built in a neighbourless region by men of former times, but well situated across the track of the hostile Saracens. Indeed it was for this very reason that they had originally built this city, in order, namely, that these barbarians might not unobserved make sudden inroads into the Roman territory. This city, which through lapse of time had come to be almost completely deserted, the Emperor Justinian strengthened with defences which defy description, and he also provided it with abundant water and a garrison of troops, and thus put a stop to the raids of the Saracens.

3 Fortifications and cities in Armenia, Tzanica, and on the shores of the Black Sea
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Thus the Emperor Justinian strengthened the territory of the East with fortifications, as I have set forth in the preceding Book. And since I began at the Persian frontier of the Roman Empire in p179describing the defences built by him, it has seemed to me not inappropriate to pass on from there to Armenia, which adjoins Persia from the city of Amida as far as the second Theodosiopolis.1 2 But now that I am about to mention the buildings of that region, it seems to me highly opportune to describe first how this Emperor brought the Armenians out of a very precarious way of life into their present state of complete safety. 3 For it was not by means of buildings alone that he saved these subjects of his, but also by his foresight in other matters, as I shall presently shew. But I must go back a little to begin.

4 The Armenians of ancient times used to have a king of their own race, as is recorded by those who have written the history of the earliest period. 5 And when Alexander of Macedon overthrew the King of the Persians, the Persians remained quietly in subjection, but the Parthians rose against the Macedonians and overcoming them in the struggle, drove them out of the country and gained the territory as far as the Tigris River, and the Persian state remained subject to them after that for five hundred years, until Alexander, son of Mamaea,2 became Emperor of the Romans. 6 At one time, one of the kings of the Parthians appointed his brother, Arsaces by name, King of the Armenians, as the history of the Armenians declares. I say this lest anyone think the descendants of Arsaces are Armenians. 7 At least peace continued between them for these five hundred years because of the kinship. p18And the King of the Armenians had his seat in Greater Armenia, as it was called, being subject to the Roman Emperor from an early period; but at a later time two sons were born to a certain Arsaces, King of Armenia, Tigranes and Arsaces by name. 9 When this king was about to reach the end of his life, he made a will in which he made both of the boys his successors in the kingdom, not assigning an equal weight of power to each of them, but leaving to Tigranes a four-fold portion. So the father Arsaces, having made this disposition of the royal power, departed from the world, but his son Arsaces, being resentful and angry because his portion proved to be inferior, laid the matter before the Roman Emperor, hoping that by using every device he might destroy the power of his brother and nullify his father's purpose as being unjust. At that time Theodosius, son of Arcadius,3 who was still quite a boy, was ruling over the Romans. And Tigranes, fearing the vengeance of the Emperor, placed himself in the power of the Persians and handed over his kingdom to them, considering it preferable to live as a private individual among the Persians, than to make a fair settlement with his brother and with him to rule over the Armenians righteously and justly. Arsaces meanwhile still feared the hostility of the Persians and of his brother and resigned his own kingship in favour of the Emperor Theodosius, on certain conditions which I have described in the Books on the Wars.4 And for a time the territory of the Armenians was fought over by the Romans and the Persians, but at length p183they reached an agreement that the Persians should hold the portion of Tigranes and the Romans that of Arsaces. On these conditions a truce was agreed upon by both sides and thereafter the Roman Emperor always appointed a ruler for the Armenians, whomever he wished and whenever he wished. And they used to call this ruler even to my time the Count of Armenia.

Such a government, however, was not able to repel the attacks of its enemies, since it had at its disposal no regular troops, and therefore the Emperor Justinian, observing that Armenia was always in a state of disorder and was, for this reason, an easy prey for the barbarians, abolished this form of administration and placed a general in charge of Armenia and assigned to him military forces sufficient to withstand the inroads of the enemy. Such was the disposition he made for Greater Armenia, as it is called, but in the other Armenia, which extends inside of the Euphrates River as far as the city of Amida,5 five Armenian satraps held the power, and these offices were always hereditary and held for life. However, they received the symbols of office only from the Roman Emperor. It is worth while to describe these insignia, for they will never again be seen by man. There is a cloak made of wool, not such as is produced by sheep, but gathered from the sea. 20 Pinnos6 the creature is called on which this wool grows. And the part where the purple p185should have been, that is, where the insertion of purple cloth is usually made, is overlaid with gold.7 21 The cloak was fastened by a golden brooch in the middle of which was a precious stone from which hung three sapphires by loose golden chains. 22 There was a tunic of silk adorned in every part with decorations of gold which they are wont to call plumia.8 23 The boots were of red colour and reached to the knee, of the sort which only the Roman Emperor and the Persian King are permitted to wear.

24 Roman soldiers, however, never fought under the orders of the king of the Armenians or of the satraps, but these rulers conducted their wars independently. 25 But at a later time, during the reign of Zeno,9 some of the satraps decided to array themselves openly with Illus and Leontius, who had revolted against the Emperor. 26 Consequently, when the Emperor had reduced Leontius and Illus to subjection, he left in the former status only one satrap, who held a very inferior province which was not of any importance, in the region called Belabitinê; all the others he removed and no longer permitted them to transmit the office to those connected with them by kinship, but he ordained that on each occasion different men of the Emperor's choosing should succeed to these offices, just as is the rule in all the other offices of the Romans. 27 Even so, these officials were not in command of Roman soldiers, but only of a few Armenians, as had been customary p187previously, with the result that they were unable to repel the attacks of an enemy. 28 And when this came to the knowledge of the Emperor Justinian, he immediately did away with the title of Satrap and appointed over these provinces two Dukes, as they are called; 29 and he put under them a very large force of regular Roman troops to assist them in guarding the Roman frontier. He also built strongholds for them as follows.

3 - 2

I shall start from the places in Mesopotamia, so that my account may proceed in order from the points which I have described previously. One of the rulers of the Armenian provinces, whom they call Duke, he established in the city called Martyropolis,and the other in a stronghold which they call Citharizôn.2 And I shall make clear just where in the Roman Empire these places actually are. In the part of Armenia called Sophanenê there is a certain city known as Martyropolis which lies on the very bank of the NymphiusRiver, quite close to the enemy, because the Nymphius River at that point divides the Roman from the Persian territory. 3 For across the river lies the territory of Arxanenê, which has been subject to the Persians from early times. Even so the city had been neglected by the Romans and lay always exposed to these barbarians. 4 In consequence of this, indeed, Cabades, King of the Persians, invadedthe Roman territory during the reign of Anastasius, directing his march by way of Martyropolis, since it lay a little more than p189a one-day's journey from Amida for an unencumbered traveller. 5 And as if he were still dealing with some minor detail of his journey, an incidental task of his campaign, he captured this city out of hand, not by storming the wall or by making any kind of assault or siege, but simply by sending an announcement that he would arrive. 6 For the inhabitants of the city, knowing well that they would not be able to hold out even for one short moment against the attacking force, when they learned that the army of the Medes had arrived close by, immediately approached Cabades in company with Theodorus, who at that time was Satrap of Sophanenê, clothed in his robes of office, and placed themselves and Martyropolis at his disposal, bearing in their hands the public taxes of two years. 7 And Cabades was pleased with this and withheld his hand from the city and from the whole district, as belonging to the Persian Kingdom, and he let the people go unharmed, neither inflicting any damage nor changing the form of the government, but he appointed Theodorus himself their Satrap, entrusting to him, since he had shewn himself not indiscreet, the tokens of the office, with the intention that he watch over the land for the Persians. 8 Then he led his army forward, captured Amida by siege, and marched back into the land of Persia, as I have related in the Books on the Wars.9 And the Emperor Anastasius, understanding that it was not possible to defend Martyropolis from hostile assault, since it had no defences, not only shewed no resentment against Theodorus and the people of Sophanenê, but actually expressed deep gratitude to them for their action. Indeed the p191circuit-wall of this Martyropolis was really •about four feet in thickness, while it was only •twenty feet high. In consequence, the wall could not only be easily assaulted by the enemy if they stormed it or brought up their siege engines, but it was quite easy for them simply to scramble over it.

Therefore the Emperor Justinian devised the following plan: Outside the circuit-wall he dug a trench, and laying foundations there he built a second wall with a thickness of four feet, leaving a space of four feet between the two walls; and he raised the new wall also to a height of twenty feet and made it in all respects equal to the first. Then, by throwing stones and mortar into the space between the two walls, he brought this work to perfection by forming one solid structure with a thickness of •twelve feet. Above this he added, in about the same thickness, the same height which the earlier wall had had. He also constructed admirable outworks for the city and all the other things without exception on which a city's defences are based.

3 - 3

As one goes westerly from Martyropolis, there is a place called Pheisôn, which is also situated in Armenia, in the section called Sophanenê, a little less than a day's journey distant from Martyropolis. 2 Beyond this place, at about the eighth milestone, precipitous and altogether impassable mountains come together to form two passes, very close to each other, which they are wont to call cleisurae.p1933 And when travellers go from Persarmenia to Sophanenê, either from the Persian territory itself or by way of the fortress of Citharizôn, it is necessary for them to get there by way of these two passes. 4 The natives call the one of them Illyrisum and the other Saphchae. 5 And for the purpose of checking the enemy's advance in that region, these places were, as it happened, worth making thoroughly defended and well equipped in every way. Yet they remained altogether unguarded by the men of earlier times. 6 But the Emperor Justinian, by establishing admirable forts at Pheisôn and in the passes and posting in them invincible garrisons, has made this region altogether inaccessible to the barbarians. Such were the things done by the Emperor Justinian in the territory called Sophanenê.

7 And at the place named Citharizôn, which is in Asthianinê, as it is called, he established a fortress which had not existed before, a huge and extraordinarily impregnable stronghold, situated in a hilly region. 8 He also brought into it an abundant supply of water and made all other proper arrangements for the inhabitants, and stationed there the second of the Dukes, as I have said,with a very numerous garrison of soldiers. And he thereby guaranteed the safety of the Armenian provinces.

9 As one goes from Citharizôn to Theodosiopolis and the other Armenia, the land is called Chorzanê; it extends for a distance of about three days' journey, not being marked off from the Persian territory by the water of any lake or by any river's stream or p195by a wall of mountains which pinch the road into a narrow pass, but the two frontiers are indistinct. So the inhabitants of this region, whether subjects of the Romans or of the Persians, have no fear of each other, nor do they give one another any occasion to apprehend an attack, but they even intermarry and hold a common market for their produce and together share the labours of farming. And if the commanders on either side ever make an expedition against the others, when they are ordered to do so by their sovereign, they always find their neighbours unprotected. Their very populous towns are close to each other, yet from ancient times no stronghold existed on either side. It was possible, therefore, for the Persian King to proceed by this route with comparative ease and convenience in passing through into Roman territory, until the Emperor Justinian blocked his way in the following manner. There was a town in the middle of this region named Artalesôn which he surrounded with a very strong wall and converted into an impregnable fortress; and he stationed there detachments of regular troops which by his orders were always to be commanded by an officer whom the Romans, in the Latin tongue, call a Dux. By these measures he fortified the whole of that remote frontier.

3 - 4

These things were accomplished by the Emperor in the manner described. I shall now go on to tell about all the other works which by his diligence he executed in the otherArmenia. 2 The city of Satalahad been in a precarious state in ancient times. For it is situated not far from the land of the enemy p197and it also lies in a low-lying plain and is dominated by many hills which tower around it, and for this reason it stood in need of circuit-walls which would defy attack. 3 Nevertheless, even though its surroundings were of such a nature as this, its defences were in a perilous condition, having been carelessly constructed with bad workmanship in the beginning, and with the long passage of time the masonry had everywhere collapsed. 4 But the Emperor tore all this down and built there a new circuit-wall, so high that it seemed to overtop the hills around it, and of a thickness sufficient to ensure the safety of its towering mass. 5 And he set up admirable outworks on all sides and so struck terror into the hearts of the enemy. He also built a very strong fortress not far from Satala in the territory called Osroenê.

6 There was a certain fortress in that region erected by men of ancient times on the crest of a precipitous hill, which in early times Pompey, the Roman general, captured; and becoming master of the land by his victories, he strengthened this town materially and named it Coloneia.7 This also the Emperor Justinian, finding that it had suffered much through the ravages of so long a time, restored with all his resources. 8 Furthermore, by granting great sums to the inhabitants of this region he brought it about that everywhere on their own land either new defences were built or those which had fallen into decay were restored. 9 Thus practically all the fortifications which p199can be found there are, as it happens, the work of the Emperor Justinian. In that region also he constructed the forts called Baiberdôn and Areôn. He likewise restored Lysiormum, which had already fallen into ruin, as well as Lytatarizôn.20 And at the place which they call Germani Fossatum21 he built a new fort. Furthermore, he rebuilt the walls of Sebasteia22 and Nicopolis,23 cities of Armenia, for they were all on the point of collapsing, having suffered from the long passage of time, and he made them new. He also carried out the building of churches and monasteries there. In Theodosiopolis he dedicated a church to the Mother of God, and he restored monasteries in the place called Petrios and in Coucarizôn. In Nicopolis he built the monastery named after the Forty-five Saints, and in Bizani a church to the martyr George. And close to Theodosiopolis he restored a monastery named after the Forty Martyrs.

There was in antiquity a certain town in Lesser Armenia, as it is called, not far from the Euphrates River, in which a detachment of Roman soldiers was posted. The town was Melitenê,24 and the detachment was called a "legion." In that place the Romans in former times had built a stronghold in the form of a square, on level ground, which served adequately as barracks for the soldiers and provided a place where they could deposit their standards. Later on, by decision of the Roman Emperor Trajan, the place received the rank of a city and became the p201metropolis of the province. And as time went on, the city of Melitenê became large and populous. But since the people were no longer able to live inside the fortifications (for it was reduced to a small space, as I have said) they settled in the adjoining plain, and here their shrines have been erected and the residences of the magistrates and their market-place, and all the other places for the sale of goods, and all the streets and stoas and baths and theatres of the city, and whatever else contributes to the embellishment of a great city. In this way it came about that Melitenê was for the most part unwalled. Accordingly the Emperor Anastasius undertook to surround the whole of it with a wall; 20 before, however, he had carried out his purpose he fulfilled the measure of his life. But the Emperor Justinian built about it on all sides a very strong wall and made Melitenê a mighty stronghold for the Armenians and a thing of beauty.

3 - 5

These works he built in the Armenia which is on the right of the Euphrates River; and I shall go on to tell what was done by him in Greater Armenia. 2 When Theodosius, the Emperor of the Romans, took over the dominion of Arsaces, as I have just related,25 he built on one of the hills a fort which was easy for assailants to capture, and he named it Theodosiopolis.26 3 This city Cabades, who was then King of Persia, captured in passing when he was marching on Amida. 4 The Roman Emperor Anastasius not p203much later built a city there, enclosing within the circuit-wall the hill on which stood the fortress of Theodosius. 5 And he gave his own name to the city, yet he was quite unable to obliterate that of Theodosius, the earlier founder; for although familiar names are wont constantly to be changed by men for new, nevertheless the older names cannot easily be relinquished. 6 This wall of Theodosiopolis was of adequate extent, but it did not rise to a height proportionate to its thickness. 7 In fact it attained a height of only •about thirty feet, and for this reason it had proved to be very easy for an enemy to capture by assault, particularly for the Persians. 8 In other ways too it was vulnerable; for it was protected neither by outworks nor by a moat. 9 Indeed, there was actually a certain elevation which came very close to the city and overtopped the circuit-wall. Consequently the Emperor Justinian took the following measures to meet the situation. First of all he dug a very deep ditch all around, making it very like the ravines between lofty mountains. Next he sliced off the elevated ground, so transforming it as to make a series of impassable cliffs and of gulches affording no outlet. And in order that the wall might be exceptionally high and altogether impregnable, in case anyone should attack it, he added all the details which he had incorporated in the fortifications of Daras.27 For he made the embrasures quite narrow, just wide enough for the defenders to be able to shoot from them, and by adding courses of stones he built thereon a storey like a gallery all round, and then cleverly added other embrasures above them; p205and surrounding the wall with outworks on all sides he made it much like the circuit-wall of Daras, fashioning each tower as a strong fortress. Here he stationed all the troops and the General of the two Armenias, and thus he made the Armenians thenceforth too strong to be afraid of the attacks of the Persians.

In Bizana, however, nothing was done by this Emperor, for the following reason. This town lies on level ground, and about it for a great distance stretch plains suitable for cavalry manoeuvres, and there are many pools of standing water there. Consequently it is not only very open to the enemy's attack, but most unhealthy for the inhabitants. For these reasons he passed over this town and in another situation built a city bearing the Emperor's own name, a very noteworthy and altogether impregnable place, in the district called Tzumina, which is •three miles removed from Bizana, situated on very precipitous ground and enjoying excellent air.

3 - 6

These, then, are the things which the Emperor Justinian did in Armenia. And it has seemed to me not inappropriate to record at this point in my account what he did for the Tzani, for they are neighbours of the Armenians. 2 From ancient times the Tzani28 have lived as an independent people, without rulers, following a savage-like manner of life, regarding as gods the trees and birds and sundry creatures besides, and worshipping them, and spending their whole lives among mountains reaching to the sky and covered with forests,29 and cultivating p207no land whatever, but robbing and living always on their plunder. 3 For they themselves are not skilled in cultivating the soil, and their country, at least where it is not occupied by the steepest mountains, is hilly. 4 These uplands are not rolling hills, neither do they provide soil such as would produce harvests, if one should cultivate them, but they are excessively rough and extremely hard and altogether unfavourable to any crops. 5 It is not possible either to irrigate the land or to harvest corn;º one cannot find meadow-land in that region, indeed even the trees which grow in Tzanica bear no fruit and are entirely unproductive, for seasons do not regularly follow one another, and the earth is not visited at one period by a cold wet season, while at another the sun's heat quickens it, but the land is held in the grip of an endless winter and buried under everlasting snows. 6 For this reason the Tzani in ancient times used to live in independence, but during the reign of the present Emperor Justinian they were defeated in battle by the Romans under the general Tzittas, and abandoning the struggle they all straightway yielded to him, preferring the toilless servitude to the dangerous liberty. 7 And they immediately changed their belief to piety, all of them becoming Christians, and they altered their manner of life to a milder way, giving up all brigandage and always marching with the Romans whenever they went against their enemies. 8 And the Emperor Justinian, fearing that the Tzani at some time might alter their way of life and change their habits back to the wilder sort, devised the following measures.

p2099 Tzanica was a very inaccessible country and altogether impossible for horses, being shut in on all sides by cliffs and for the most part by forests, as I have said. As a result of this it was impossible for the Tzani to mingle with their neighbours, living as they did a life of solitude among themselves in the manner of wild beasts. Accordingly he cut down all the trees by which the routes chanced to be obstructed, and transforming the rough places and making them smooth and passable for horses, he brought it about that they mingled with other peoples in the manner of men in general and consented to have intercourse with their neighbours. After this he built a church for them in a place called Schamalinichôn, and caused them to conduct services and to partake of the sacraments and propitiate God with prayers and perform the other acts of worship, so that they should know that they were human beings. And he built forts in all parts of the land, assigned to them very strong garrisons of Roman soldiers, and gave the Tzani unhampered intercourse with other peoples. I shall now tell where in Tzanica he built these forts.

It happens that a certain point in that land forms the meeting-place of three roads; for the boundaries of the Romans and the Persarmenians and the Tzani themselves begin here and extend out from this point. Here he constructed a very strong fortress which had not existed previously, Horonôn by name, making it the mainstay of the peace of the region. For the Romans were first able to enter Tzanica from that point. Here too he established a military commander called a Duke. And at a place two p211days' journey distant from Horonôn, where the territory of the Tzani who are called Ocenitae commences (for the Tzani are divided into many tribes), there was a sort of stronghold built by men of former times, Chartôn by name, which long before had already become a ruin through neglect. This the Emperor Justinian restored, and he caused a large population to live there and to preserve order in the country. 20 And as one goes from there towards the east, there is a precipitous ravine which extends around to the north; here he built a new fortress, Barchôn by name. 21 Beyond this at the foot of the mountain are folds where the cattle of the Ocenite Tzani, as they are called, find shelter; and they breed these cattle, not in order to plough the earth — for the Tzani are altogether indolent and averse to the tasks of husbandry, as I have said,30 and they neither plough nor perform the other labours of husbandry — but in order to have a constant supply of milk and to eat their flesh. 22 Beyond the foothills of the mountain, where the place called Cena lies in the level country, as one goes approximately westward there is a fort named Sisilissôn; this had been built in ancient times, but, with the passage of time, had come to be deserted; so the Emperor Justinian restored it and established there a sufficient garrison of Roman soldiers, just as in all the others. 23 And as one goes on from that fort, there is a certain place on the left, towards the north, which the natives call Longini Fossatum,31 because in earlier times Longinus, a Roman general, p213an Isaurian by birth, had made an expedition against the Tzani on one occasion and built his camp there. 24 In that place this Emperor built a fortress called Bourgousnoes, one day's journey distant from Sisilissôn. 25 This fort of Sisilissôn too was rendered very strong by this same Emperor, as was stated a little above. 26 From there begins the territory of the Coxyline Tzani, as they are called; and here has now made two forts, one called Schamalinichôn and the other is the one they call Tzanzacôn; and here he posted another military commander.

3 - 7

These things, then, were done by the Emperor Justinian in Tzanica. In the land beyond this which lies along the Euxine Sea there is a city named Trapezus;32 and since there was a scarcity of water in that city, the Emperor Justinian built an aqueduct which they call the Aqueduct of the martyr Eugenius, and thus he put an end to the scarcity for the inhabitants of this place. 2 Both there and in Amaseia he restored most of the churches, which had been damaged by the long passage of time. 3 And beyond the confines of Trapezus there is a place called Rhizaeum33 which he restored himself, throwing about it a novel system of defences which surpass any description or report of them. 4 For it was so fashioned as to be inferior in point of size and safety to no one of the cities on the Persian frontier.

5 He also built a fortress in Lazica named Losorium, and he fortified the mountain-passes of the country which they are wont to call cleisurae,34 with the purpose, of course, that the enemy might be shut off p215from the entrance into Lazica. 6 Nay more, he restored the Christian church in Lazica, which was old and had become weakened in its masonry. 7 He likewise founded Petra in Lazica, an admirable city, which the Lazi through their own folly handed over to the Persians, bringing Chosroes there with a great army; but the Romans prevailed over the Persians in the struggle and killed a part of the enemy and made the rest captive and razed the city, so that the barbarians might not again be able, by coming there, to work mischief, all of which has been set forth by me in the Books on the Wars.35 8 In the same place I have explained how the Romans dismantled two fortresses, Sebastopolis36 and Pityûs,37 on the opposite coast as one goes from Lazica to the Maeotic Lake,38 because they had heard that Chosroes was eager to send an army with men to take possession of these fortresses. 9 But at a later time the Emperor Justinian restored the whole of Sebastopolis and made it impregnable by means of its circuit-wall and other defences, adorned it with streets and with various buildings besides, and produced the present city, which is remarkable among the cities of the world for its beauty and its size.

Moreover, in the case of the coastal cities Bosporus39 and Chersôn,40 which lie on the shore there beyond the Maeotic Lake and the Taurians and Tauroscythians, at the extremity of the Roman Empire, he found that the walls had fallen completely into ruin, p217and he made them remarkably beautiful and thoroughly safe. In that region he built two fortresses, that called Aloustou and the one among the Gorzoubitae. He strengthened the defences of Bosporus particularly, which in ancient times had been a barbarous city lying under the power of the Huns, but which he himself had brought under Roman sway. And there is a certain region along the coast there called Dory, where Goths have lived from ancient times, those namely who had not followed Theoderic when he went into Italy, but remained there of their own accord, and even up to my day they are on terms of alliance with the Romans. And they march with the Romans against their enemies whenever the Emperor so wishes. Their number comes to three thousand, and they are both excellent soldiers and skilfull tillers of the soil, and the most hospitable people in the world. The land of Dory itself lies on high ground, yet it is neither rough nor hard, but good soil and productive of the best crops. However, Emperor built no city or fortress in any part of this land, since the men of the country would not suffer themselves to be confined in any fortified places but always lived most happily in an open plain. But wherever the region seemed easily accessible to assailants, he shut off these approaches with long walls and thereby freed the Goths from fear of invasion. So much, then, for this.

There is a certain city on the coast of the Euxine Sea, inhabited by Thracians, Anchialus41 by name, which properly we should mention in describing the p219land of Thrace. But since in the present place our treatise has enumerated the buildings of this Emperor along the shore of the Euxine Sea, it is in no way inappropriate to describe at this point in our narrative what he built at this town of Anchialus. 20 At that place, then, natural springs of warm water bubble forth, not far from the city, providing natural baths for the people there. 21 The Emperors of earlier times used to allow this place to remain unwalled from ancient times, though such a host of barbarians dwelt near by; 22 and sick persons used to visit the place, gaining relief at the cost of danger. 23 Therefore the Emperor Justinian made it a walled city, as it now is, and thus made the cure free from danger. 24 So the strongholds of the East, as well as those of Armenia and Tzanica, and those on both shores of the Euxine Sea, were thus built by the Emperor Justinian. 25 From this point we must proceed to the buildings which he erected in the rest of Europe.

4 - 1 Illyricum: mostly fortifications P1

To cross a great sea in an ill-appointed ship is a miserable task, I think, beset with the greatest dangers. And it is the same thing to recount the buildings of the Emperor Justinian with impotent words. 2 For through the greatness of his mind this p221Emperor has accomplished things which surpass description, in buildings no less than in practically all other matters. 3 And in Europe, being consumed by the desire to make his services fit the magnitude of the need which existed for them, he has carried out works which are not easy to enumerate or simple to describe in writing. 4 For these works have been executed with due regard for the nearness of the Ister River and for the consequent necessity imposed by the barbarians who threaten the land. 5 For it has as neighbours nations of Huns and of Goths, and the regions of Taurus and of Scythia rise up again it, as well as the haunts of the Sclaveni and of sundry other tribes — whether they are called by the writers of the most ancient history Hamaxibian or Metanastic Sauromatae,1 and whatever other wild race of men really either roams about or leads a settled life in that region. 6 And in his determination to resist these barbarians who were endlessly making war, the Emperor Justinian, who did not take the matter lightly, was obliged to throw innumerable fortresses about the country, to assign to them untold garrisons of troops, and to set up all other possible obstacles to an enemy who attacked without warning and who permitted no intercourse. 7 Indeed it was the custom of these peoples to rise and make war upon their enemies for no particular cause, and to open hostilities without sending an embassy, and they did not bring their struggles to an end through any treaty or cease operations for any specified p223period, but they made their attacks without provocation and reached a decision by the sword alone. But still we must proceed owing to the remainder of our story. 8 For when we have begun a task it will be better to go through to the end in any fashion whatever than to depart leaving it unfinished. 9 Certainly my action would not be free from blame, if, after our Emperor has performed the work, I for my part, should shrink from telling of what he has done. But now that we are on the point of enumerating the buildings of this Emperor in Europe, it is proper first to make a few observations regarding this land.

There is a narrow arm or bight which is pushed out from the Adriatic Sea, as it is called, and strays away from the remainder of the sea and goes up into the mainland, and dividing the continent for a great distance it forms the Ionian Gulf, having on the right the Epirotes and the other peoples of that region and on the left Calabria; then, being compressed into a narrow inlet for a very long way, the sea bounds practically the whole continent.2 And the River Ister, flowing higher up,3 and opposite the sea, makes the land of Europe an island, as it were. In that region this Emperor built many noteworthy buildings. Indeed he fortified the whole of Europe so safely that he rendered it inaccessible to the barbarians who live beyond the Ister River.

But I must commence from the native land of the Emperor, to which of all places must be given first rank in all other respects, and with this I must begin p225my present account. For to this land alone is it given to rejoice and swell with pride and enjoy the solemn dignity of having bred and presented to the Romans an Emperor whose works it is impossible to tell in words or to record in writing.

Among the Dardanians of Europe who live beyond the boundaries of the Epidamnians, close to the fortress which is called Bederiana, there was a hamlet named Taurisium, whence sprang the Emperor Justinian, the founder of the civilised world.4 He therefore built a wall of small compass about this place in the form of a square, placing a tower at each corner, and caused it to be called, as it actually is, Tetrapyrgia.5 And close by this place he built a very notable city which he named Justiniana Prima6 (this means "first" in the Latin tongue), thus paying a debt of gratitude to the home that fostered him. 20 Yet all Romans should have shared this debt among themselves, for this land nourished a common saviour for all of them. 21 In that place also he constructed an aqueduct and so caused the city to be abundantly supplied with ever-running water. 22 And many other enterprises were carried out by the founder of this city — works of great size and worthy of especial note. 23 For to enumerate the churches is not easy, and it is impossible to tell in words of the lodgings for magistrates, the great stoas, the fine market-places, the fountains, the streets, the baths, the shops. 24 In brief, the city is both great and p227populous and blessed in every way — a city worthy to be the metropolis of the whole region, for it has attained this rank. 25 It has also been allotted to the Archbishop of Illyricum as his seat, the other cities conceding this honour to it, as being first in point of size. Thus this city has won honour for the Emperor in requital for his favour; 26 for while it prides itself upon its foster-son, he for his part takes a corresponding pride in that he built the city. But this will be enough for me to tell; 27 indeed it is impossible to describe everything in detail, for since the city is the Emperor's own, any account of it necessarily falls short of the reality.

28 He also rebuilt the entire fortress of Bederiana and made it much stronger. And there was a certain city among the Dardanians, dating from ancient times, which was named Ulpiana;7 29 he tore down most of its circuit-wall, for it was seriously damaged and altogether useless, and he added a very great number of improvements to the city, changing it to its present fair aspect; and he named it Justiniana Secunda 30 (secunda is the Latin word for second). Near it he built another city where none had existed before, which he called Justinopolis from his uncle's name. 31 Furthermore, he found the walls of Sardica8 and Naïsopolis,9 as well as those of Germaê and of Pantalia,in ruins from the passage of time, and he built them up securely and made them such that they could defy the enemy. 32 Between these he built p229three small forts, Cratiscara and Quimedaba and Roumisiana. Thus he raised these cities from their foundations. 33 And wishing, as he did, to make the Ister River the strongest possible line of first defence before them and before the whole of Europe, he distributed numerous forts along the bank of the river, as I shall soon describe, and he placed garrisons of troops everywhere along the shore, in order to put the most rigid check upon the crossing of the barbarians there. 34 But even after he had completed all these precautions, he was still uneasy because of the uncertainty of human plans; and since he reflected that if it should ever be possible for the enemy to break through somehow, they would then fall upon fields which would be entirely unguarded, would enslave the whole population, from the youths upwards, and would plunder all their property, he did not leave their common safety to depend upon the forts along the river alone, but he also provided individual safeguards for them; 35 for he made the defences so continuous in the estates that each farm either has been converted into a stronghold or lies adjacent to one which is fortified; and he did this both here and in New Epirus, as it is called, and in Old Epirus.36 Here too he built the city of Justinianopolis, which formerly was called Adrianopolis.12

37 And he restored Nicopolis and Photicê and the place called Phoenicê. These two towns, namely Photicê and Phoenicê, stood on low-lying ground and were surrounded by stagnant water which collected there. 38 Consequently the Emperor Justinian, reasoning that it was impossible for walls to be built about p231them on foundations of solid construction, left them just as they were, but close to them he built forts on rising ground which is exceedingly steep. 39 There was a certain ancient city in this region, abundantly supplied with water and endowed with a name worthy of the place; for it was called Euroeafrom ancient times. 40 Not far from this Euroea a lake spreads out with an island in its midst upon which rises a hill. 41 And a break is left in the lake just large enough so that a kind of approach to the island remains. 42 The Emperor moved the inhabitants of Euroea to this place, built a very strong city, and put a wall about it.14

4 - 2 Illyricum: mostly fortifications P2

Beyondthe whole of Epirus and Aetolia and Acarnania, as one skirts the coast, one comes to the Crisaean Gulfand the Isthmus and Corinth and the other parts of Greece. These regions made demands upon his very utmost wisdom. 2 And above all else one might wonder at the number of walled cities with which he fortified the Roman Empire. For he made provision for all of them and especially for the by-paths up the mountains at Thermopylae. 3 First of all he raised the walls there to a very great height. For the mountains which rise in that region were easy to capture, if one should assault them, they being not really walled, but simply supplied with what appeared to be a cornice of masonry. 4 On all these walls he even placed double battlements, and he likewise carried out this same improvement p233in the fortress which had stood there from an ancient date, carelessly constructed, as it was, by men of former times. 5 For he built it up to an adequate height and made the ramparts double. 6 In addition to this he also devised for the fort, which was entirely without water, a storage-cistern for rain-water. 7 Furthermore, he carefully walled off many paths up the mountains which previously had been both unguarded and unwalled. 8 One might marvel with good reason at the Persian King for spending so much time there and finding only a single narrow path, and that too with the help of Grecian traitors, while in fact there are many unwalled routes there which are practically waggon-roads. 9 The sea, washing the base of the mountains, continually made new ascents from this point; and since glens and impassable ravines abound there, it seemed to the men of ancient times impossible to close up thoroughly with walls the openings which had been made by nature; and because of their reluctance to undertake a difficult task, they carelessly abandoned their safety to chance, basing their hope of salvation on the assumption that the barbarians would be ignorant of the road. For since men always shrink from hard work, they imagine that what has seemed very difficult to them will not be easy for any others. So no man will any longer dispute the assertion that the Emperor Justinian has shewn himself most provident and most exceptionally careful as compared with all other men who have ever lived, seeing that even the sea, though it comes close to the mountains and surrounds them and beats against them, has not proved p235an obstacle sufficient to prevent the foundations from being securely laid in the midst of the surging water and on the wet sand, or to forestall the most striking union of the most opposite elements, which are thus forced to yield to man's skill and to bow to his superior power. Yet this Emperor, even after joining the forests and the glens to each other, and fastening the sea to the mountain, and encircling all Greece with strongholds, did not stop his zeal for his subjects, but he also constructed many forts inside the wall, planning for all the contingencies which sway man's fortune, so that if these walls in any manner or at any time chanced to be captured, the garrisons might still be maintained in the fortresses. Furthermore, he placed granaries and reservoirs of water in safe places everywhere and established there about two thousand soldiers as a garrison, a thing which not one of the former Emperors has done in all time.For these walls were entirely unguarded from early times even to my day, and some of the peasants from the neighbourhood, when the enemy came down, would suddenly change their mode of life, and becoming makeshift soldiers for the occasion, would keep guard there in turn; and because of their inexperience in the business they, together with Greece itself, proved an easy prey to the enemy, and on account of this niggardliness the country through its whole extent lay open to the oncoming barbarians.

Thus did the Emperor Justinian secure the defences at Thermopylae. And in all the cities outside the pass, which in that region are sufficiently numerous, p237he very carefully built strong walls, both at Saccus and Hypatê and Coracii and Unnum and Baleae and at Leontarium, as it is called. At Heraclea he did as follows. As one descends from Illyricum into Greece, one is confronted by two mountains which rise very close together for a long distance, forming between them a narrow pass of the sort which they are wont to call cleisurae.A small stream comes down between them, in the summer season flowing with pure drinking-water from the mountains which rise there and forming a tiny brook. Whenever it rains, however, an exceedingly deep and very violent torrent billows down, gathering its volume chiefly from the streams which course down from the mountain peaks thereabout. 20 At that point it was possible for the barbarians with no difficulty to effect an entrance both against Thermopylae and into that part of Greece. 21 But on either side of the pass there had been two fortresses from early times, on the one side the city of Heraclea, which I have just mentioned, and on the other, separated by no small distance, Myropoles, as it is called.22 Both these fortresses had lain in ruin from ancient times, so the Emperor Justinian rebuilt them and closed the pass with a very strong cross-wall which he made fast to each of the two mountains, thus blocking the entrance for the barbarians, and the stream when it is in flood is now forced to form a pond inside the wall and then to flow over it and go on wherever it chances.

p23923 He also rendered secure all the cities of Greece which are inside the walls at Thermopylae, renewing their circuit-walls in every case. 24 For they had fallen into ruin long before, at Corinth because of terrible earthquakes which had visited the city; and at Athens and Plataea and the towns of Boeotia they had suffered from the long passage of time, while no man in the whole world took thought for them. 25 But he left nothing vulnerable or unguarded, for after vigilantly caring for the safety of his subjects, he felt convinced that even if the barbarians should chance to overrun the country about Thermopylae, they would, as soon as they learned that after surmounting this obstacle they would have gained no advantage (the rest of Greece having been fortified at every point), give up immediately in despair, knowing that it would be necessary for them to besiege each individual city. 26 For when expectation is prolonged, it cannot endure the strain, nor does it even desire a profit which is delayed; but it simply abandons the contingent chance of success through waiting.

27 When the Emperor Justinian, after he had accomplished all this, learned that all the cities of the Peloponnesus were unwalled, he reasoned that obviously a long time would be consumed if he attended to them one by one, and so he walled the whole Isthmus securely, because much of the old wall had already fallen down. 28 And he built fortresses there and established garrisons. In this manner he p241made all the towns in the Peloponnesus inaccessible to the enemy, even if somehow they should force the defences at Thermopylae. Thus were these things done.

4 - 3 Illyricum: mostly fortifications P3

There was a certain city in Thessaly, Diocletianopolis by name, which had been prosperous in ancient times, but with the passage of time and the assaults of the barbarians it had been destroyed, and for a very long time it had been destitute of inhabitants; and a certain lake chances to be close by which was named Castoria.20 There is an island in the middle of the lake, for the most part surrounded by water; 2 but there remains a single narrow approach to this island through the lake, not more than •fifteen feet wide. 3 And a very lofty mountain stands above the island, one half being covered by the lake while the remainder rests upon it. 4 Wherefore this Emperor passed over the site of Diocletianopolis, since it was manifestly easy of access and had long been in a state of collapse, as has been stated, and built a very strong city on the island, and, as was right, he allowed it bear his own name. 5 Furthermore, he restored the circuit-walls of Echinaeus and of Thebes and Pharsalus and of all the other cities of Thessaly, including Demetrias and Metropolis, as it is called, and Gomphi and Tricca,21 making them safe and strong, since they had all suffered with the passage of time and could be captured easily, if anyone should attack them.

6 But now that we have reached Thessaly, let us direct our account at once to Mt. Pelion and the p243Peneus River. 7 This river flows from Mt. Pelion22 with a gentle stream which encircles and beautifies the city of Larissa; Phthia23 is no longer in existence, this being the work of the long passage of time. 8 And this river flows on with a very easy descent all the way to the sea. The country is indeed productive of all kinds of crops and has a surfeit of drinking-water, yet the inhabitants of the region could not derive the least enjoyment from these things because they were in a state of constant terror and ever expected the barbarians to fall upon them, since there was no stronghold anywhere in this district where they might take refuge and find safety. 9 Even Larissa and Caesarea,24 since their defences had suffered excessively, had come to be practically unwalled. But the Emperor Justinian made the defences of both very strong, and in this way brought the blessings of true prosperity to the region. And not far away rise precipitous mountains, covered with lofty trees — the home of the Centaurs. This was the spot where the battle of the Lapiths took place against the race of the Centaurs, as our myths have it from of old, childishly pretending that in early times a strange race of men existed, compounded of the nature of two creatures. Ancient times have also left a certain testimony to the myth in a name applied to a fort in the mountains there; for the place is called Centauropolis p245even to my day. The wall of this fort, which had already fallen down, as well as the fortress of Eurymenê, near by, which was in the same state, was rebuilt and strengthened by the Emperor Justinian. This Emperor restored also many other forts in Thessaly, the names of which I shall include a little further on in the list of towns in Macedonia which have been provided with walls.

But now, in order that no portion of Greece may be left unmentioned, we must go to the island of Euboea, for it stands close to Athens and Marathôn. This island of Euboea is thrown out into the sea in front of Greece, and it looks as if it had been cut off somehow from the mainland, having been one with the continent formerly, but later split off by a strait. An arm of the sea breaks the continent there near the city of Chalcis, collecting itself in a narrow stream and being compressed by its banks to the breadth of a brook. The portion of land which is thus cut off forms an island, and the strait is called Euripus. 20 Such then is Euboea; and a bridge over the strait is formed by a single timber laid across it. This the natives put in place whenever they wish, and thus they seem to be mainlanders when they cross on foot to the opposite shore; but when they remove it and cross the strait in boats, they become islanders again, so that by the placing or removal of one timber they may either walk or go in boats25 . . . they call the enclosed portion Pallenê. p24721 The natives in ancient times had closed the entrance with a cross-wall, with which they had linked together the two seas; and they had built there a city which in former times they called Potidaea, but now Cassandria. 22 But time so ruined all the buildings in this place that a Hunnic tribe, in overrunning that region not long ago, destroyed the city and the wall without fear, quite as if they were doing something just by the way, though since the world began they had never stormed a wall. 23 But this too provided the Emperor Justinian with an opportunity to display his skill and his magnanimity. 24 For, by always bringing his wisdom to bear in circumventing the difficulties he meets with, he straightway uses beneficent measures, thus transforming the greatest disasters into a happier state of affairs. 25 So in this way he brought it about that both the city of Pallenê, which stands as a bulwark of the whole region, and the cross-wall at the entrance of the peninsula, became manifestly impregnable and able to defy any who should wish to attack them. 26 These things, then, were done by him as his service to Macedonia.

27 Not far from Thessalonica flows a certain river, Rhechius by name,26 which wanders through a goodly land of deep soil and then empties into the sea near by. 28 The river flows with a steady current, the water is calm and drinkable, and the ground is level with many ploughed fields and bottom-lands with good pasturage. 29 In these respects the land is blessed, but p249it used to be completely exposed to the barbarians, having neither fortress nor any other defence in a space of •forty miles. 30 Consequently the Emperor built a new fort of great strength beside the mouth of the Rhechius River, near the shore of the sea, and it has been named Artemisium.

4 - 4 Epirus, Macedonia, Dardania, Thessaly, and inner Illyricum P1

It is proper to tell also how many other strongholds he constructed in this part of Europe. If we were making this catalogue of the forts in this region — those namely which were constructed by the Emperor Justinian — for the benefit of some other nations of men who lived far away, with a different form of government, in some place where the record would lack the testimony of witnesses, I know well that my account would seem fabulous and altogether incredible because of the mere number of the forts built. 2 But as matters stand, since these things are to be seen at no great distance, and visitors from these regions are very numerous in our midst, let us, boldly telling the truth, well vouched for as it is, proceed with unbounded confidence to enumerate without any hesitation all the forts which the Emperor Justinian has built throughout the regions which I have just described, either by restoring those fortifications which were in ruins or by contriving new walls. 3 It will be preferable to set them all down together in catalogue form so that my narrative may not become utterly irksome by interspersing a crowd of place-names here and there in it.27

p250 Now the following new forts were built by the Emperor in New Epirus:28
St. Sabianus
p251 Labellus
The following were restored:
St. Stephen's
The city of Scydreôn
p252 Dionoia
And in Old Epirus the following new forts were built:
And the following forts were restored:
p253 Percus
St. Sabinus'
And a cistern in the fort of Comê
And from Justinianopolis29 and Photicê, two forts of St. Donatus
In Macedonia:
p254 Basilica Amyntou30
p255 Priniana
And these forts were restored in Thessaly:
p256 In Dardania the following were built. New:
And the following were restored:
p257 Dabanus
p258 Arsa
Near the city Sardicê:
And in the district of Cabetzus, Balbae was built new, and the following were restored:
p259 Turicla
. . . the following new:
And the following were restored:
p260 Bitzimaeas
Near the city Germenne, Scaplizo was built new, and the following were restored:
Near the city Pauta:
p261 In the district of Scassetana:
Near the city . . . the following were built new:
p262 Holodoris
And the following were restored:
In the district of Remisianisia:
p263 Tomes
In the district of Aquenisium, Timathochiôm was built new, and the following were restored:
p264 Braeola
p265 Odriuzo

4 - 5 Epirus, Macedonia, Dardania, Thessaly, and inner Illyricum P2

Thus did the Emperor Justinian fortify the whole interior of Illyricum. I shall also explain in what manner he fortified the bank of the Ister River, which they also call the Danube, by means of strongholds and garrisons of troops. 2 The Roman Emperors of former times, by way of preventing the crossing of the Danube by the barbarians who live on the other side, occupied the entire bank of this river with strongholds, and not the right bank of the stream alone, for in some parts of it they built towns and fortresses on its other bank. 3 However, they did not so build these strongholds that they were impossible to attack, if anyone should come against them, but p267they only provided that the bank of the river was not left destitute of men, since the barbarians there had no knowledge of storming walls. 4 In fact the majority of these strongholds consisted only of a single tower, and they were called appropriately "lone towers," and very few men were stationed in them. 5 At that time this alone was quite sufficient to frighten off the barbarian clans, so that they would not undertake to attack the Romans. 6 But at a later time34 Attila invaded with a great army, and with no difficulty razed the fortresses; then, with no one standing against him, he plundered the greater part of the Roman Empire. 7 But the Emperor Justinian rebuilt the defences which had been torn down, not simply as they had been before, but so as to give the fortifications the greatest possible strength; and he added many more which he built himself. 8 In this way he completely restored the safety of the Roman Empire, which by then had been lost. And I shall explain how all this was accomplished.

9 The River Ister flows down from the mountains in the country of the Celts, who are now called Gauls; and it passes through a great extent of country which for the most part is altogether barren, though in some places it is inhabited by barbarians who live a kind of brutish life and have no dealings with other men. When it gets close to Dacia, for the first time it clearly forms the boundary between the barbarians, who hold its left bank, and the territory of the Romans, which is on the right. Consequently the Romans apply the term Ripesia to this part of p269Dacia, for ripa signifies bank in the Latin tongue. Accordingly they had made a beginning by building on the bank there in ancient times a city, by name Singidunum.35 This the barbarians captured in time, and they immediately razed it, leaving the place quite destitute of inhabitants. They did precisely the same thing to most of the other strongholds. But the Emperor Justinian restored the entire city and surrounded it with a very strong fortification, and thus made it once more a famous and important city. And he set up another new fortress of exceptional strength •about eight miles distant from Singidunum, which they call by the appropriate name of Octavus. Beyond it was the ancient city of Viminacium,36 which the Emperor rebuilt entire and made new, for it had long before been ruined down to its uttermost foundations.

4 - 6 Epirus, Macedonia, Dardania, Thessaly, and inner Illyricum P3

As one goes on from Viminacium there chance to be three strongholds on the bank of the Ister, Pinci and Cupi and Novae. 2 These were formerly both single in construction and when named were single towers.37 But now the Emperor Justinian has greatly increased the number of the houses and enlarged the defences at these places, and thereby has properly given them the rank of cities. 3 And opposite Novae in the mainland on the other side of the river, had stood from ancient times a neglected tower, by name Literata; the men of former times used to call this Lederata. p27This the present Emperor transformed into a great fortress of exceptional strength. 5 After Novae are the forts of Cantabaza, Smornês, Campsês, Tanata, Zernês, and Ducepratum. And on the opposite side he built a number of other forts from their lowest foundations. 6 Farther on is the so‑called Caput Bovis,38 the work of the Roman Emperor Trajan, and beyond this is an ancient town named Zanes. 7 And he placed very strong defences around all these and so made them impregnable bulwarks of the State. 8 And not far from this Zanes there is a fort, Pontes by name. The river throws out a sort of branch there, and after thus passing around a certain small portion of the bank, it turns again to its own stream and is reunited with itself. 9 It does this, not of its own accord, but compelled by human devices. The reason why the place was called Pontes, and why they made this forced diversion of the Ister at this point, I shall now make clear.

The Roman Emperor Trajan, being of an impetuous and active temperament, seemed to be filled with resentment that his realm was not unlimited, but was bounded by the Ister River. So he was eager to span it with a bridge that he might be able to cross it and that there might be no obstacle to his going against the barbarians beyond it. How he built this bridge I shall not be at pains to relate, but shall let Apollodorus of Damascus, who was the master-builder of the whole work, describe the p273operation.39 However, the Romans derived no profit from it subsequently, because later on the bridge was completely destroyed by the floods of the Ister and by the passage of time. At the same time Trajan built two forts, one on either side of the river; the one on the opposite bank they named Theodora, while the one in Dacia was called Pontes from the work — for the Romans call a bridge pontem in the Latin tongue.40 But when boats reached that point, the river was no longer navigable, since the ruins and the foundations of the bridge lay in the way; and it is for this reason that they compel the river to change its course and to go about in a detour, so that they may keep it navigable even beyond that point. Both these forts had suffered so much from the passage of time, and more still from the assaults of the barbarians, that they had come to be utterly destroyed. And the Emperor Justinian restored Pontes, which is on the right of the river, providing it with new and thorough impregnable defences, and thus re-established the safety of Illyricum. However, the fort on the other side of the river, the one which they call Theodora, he considered in no way worthy of his attention, exposed as it was to the barbarians there. But the strongholds which now stand beyond Pontes he himself built new; these are named p275Mareburgou and Susiana, Harmata and Timena, and Theodoropolis, Stiliburgou and Halicaniburgou.

There was a certain small town near by, Acues by name, which had fallen partly into decay; this the Emperor put in order. 20 Beyond that lay Burgonobore and Laccoburgo, and the fortress called Dorticum, utterly effaced by time, which he made into a fort now very strong. 21 And he remodelled a stronghold called Judaeus, which had consisted of a single tower, and made it a splendid fortress in name and in fact. 22 Nor did he neglect the fort named Burgualtu, which previously was desolate and wholly without inhabitants, but also surrounded with a new circuit-wall another place which they call Gombes. 23 Also he rebuilt the defences of Crispas, which had suffered with the passage of time, likewise Longiniana and Ponteserium,41 an exceptionally fine piece of work. 24 In Bononia and Novus he restored the parapets which had crumbled. And all the parts of the city Ratiara42 which had collapsed he re-erected. 25 He improved many other places in accordance with their particular needs, either making very small places large, or curtailing their size where it was excessive, so that they might not be easy for an enemy to attack either because of excessive smallness or because of too great size; thus, for example, Mocatiana, which previously was a single tower standing alone, he converted into the more complete fortress which it now is. 26 On the other hand, the fortress of Almou, which used p277to cover a large area, he brought into small compass and thus made it safe and able to defy the assaults of the enemy. 27 In many places, finding a single tower standing by itself and therefore an easy prey for assailants, he converted it into a very strong fortress; 28 this he did, for example, with Tricesa and Putedis. Furthermore, he restored in a marvellous way the damaged defences at Cebrus. At Bigranaê he constructed a fortress which had not existed before, and very close to it a second one, Onus by name, where a single tower had previously stood. 29 And not far away there were the bare foundations of a city which in early times used to bear the name of Augustes. 30 But now, still bearing its ancient name, though all made over new by the Emperor Justinian and quite complete, it knows43 a rather numerous population. 31 Also he restored the damaged portion of the defences of Aëdabê, and put in order the city of Varianaa which had long lain in ruins. In addition, he built a wall around Valeriana, which previously had no defences.

32 Furthermore, he gave his attention to towns which do not lie upon the bank of the river but stand at a great distance from it — towns which were about to fall in ruins for the most part — and he encircled them with walls which are practically impregnable. 33 These places are named Castra Martis and Zetnucortou and Iscus. And an ancient fort named Hunnôn, on the bank of the river, he treated as worthy of attention in all respects and particularly in the matter of its circuit-wall. 34 There is a certain place not far removed p279from this fort of Hunnôn where there are two fortresses, one on either side of the Ister River, the one in Illyricum named Palatiolum, and the one on the other side, Sycibida. 35 These, which had been ruined by time, the Emperor Justinian restored and thereby checked the incursions of the barbarians of that region; and beyond them he built a fort at an ancient stronghold which was named Utôs. 36 And at the extremity of the Illyrian territory he built a fort named Lapidarias, and he transformed into a notable fortress a single tower which had stood alone, called Lucernariaburgou. 37 These then were the works executed by the Emperor Justinian in Illyricum. Yet it was not with buildings alone that he fortified this land, but he also established very considerable garrisons of troops in all the strongholds and thereby warded off the assaults of the barbarians.

4 - 7 Thrace, Haemimontum, and Moesia P1

Such, then, are the strongholds of Illyricum along the Ister River. But we must now go on to the fortified towns of Thrace, those namely which were built by the Emperor Justinian along the river-bank there. 2 For it has seemed to me not improper, after first describing the coast of that region, then to take up also the record of what he did in the interior. 3 First, then, let us proceed to Mysia,44 the home of men whom the poets call hand-to‑hand fighters,45 for their country borders upon Illyricum. 5 So beyond that place which they call Lucernariaburgou the Emperor Justinian built the fortress Securisca, a new work of his own. Beyond this he p281restored the parts of Cyntodemus which had suffered. And still further on he built a city which had not existed previously, and this he named Theodoropolis, after the Empress. 6 Furthermore, he preserved the fortresses called Iatrôn and Tigas by building anew the parts which had suffered, and to the fort of Maxentius he added a tower, which he thought it needed. 7 And he built the fort of Cyntôn which had not existed before. Beyond this is the stronghold Trasmariscas. Just opposite this, on the other bank of the river, Constantine, Emperor of the Romans, once built with no small care a fort, Daphnê by name, thinking it not inexpedient that the river should be guarded on both sides at this point. 8 As time went on, the barbarians destroyed this entirely; but the Emperor Justinian rebuilt it, beginning at the foundations. 9 And beyond Trasmariscas is the stronghold Altenôn and one which they call Candidiana, destroyed long before by the same enemy, which he repaired with all the care that they deserved. And there are three forts, Saltupyrgus, Dorostolus and Sycidaba, one after the other along the bank of the Ister, which the Emperor put in order by carefully repairing such parts of each one as had suffered. He displayed a similar care in the case of Questris, which lies back from the river. And Palmatis, which was cramped for space, he enlarged and made very much broader, though it is not on the bank of the river. Close to this he built also a new fort named Adina, because the barbarian Sclaveni were constantly laying concealed p283ambuscades there against travellers,46 thus making the whole district impassable. He likewise built the fortress of Tiliciôn47 and a stronghold which lies to its left.

Such was the condition of the fortresses of Mysia48 on the bank of the Ister River, as well as those near it. Next I shall proceed to Scythia; there the first fortress is the one named for St. Cyril, of which the Emperor Justinian rebuilt with care those portions which had suffered with time. Beyond this from ancient times there was a stronghold, Ulmitôn by name, but since the barbarian Sclaveni had been making their ambuscades there for a great length of time and had been tarrying there very long, it had come to be wholly deserted and nothing of it was left except the name. So he built it all up from the foundations and thus freed that region from the menace and the attacks of the Sclaveni. Beyond this is the city of Ibida, whose circuit-wall had suffered in many places; these he renewed without delay and made the city very strong. 20 And beyond it he built a new fortress, a work of his own, which they call Aegissus.49 At the extremity of Scythia lies another fortress, Halmyris by name, a great part of which had become manifestly insecure, and this he saved by rebuilding it. 21 All the other strongholds also within the bounds of Europe are worthy of mention.

4 - 8 Thrace, Haemimontum, and Moesia P2

All the building that was done by the Emperor Justinian in Dardania, Epirus, Macedonia and the p285other parts of Illyricum,50 also in Greece and along the Ister River has already been described by me. 2 Next let us go to Thrace, laying down as the fairest foundation, as it were, for our narrative the environs of Byzantium, since this city is preëminent in Thrace not only because of its power, but also by reason of its natural site, planted as it is on Europe like a kind of acropolis and finally setting a guard over the sea which divides it from Asia. 3 I have already described in the preceding narrative all the buildings of the city itself, including the work which was done for the shrines, both inside and outside the walls of Constantinople. I shall now proceed from that point.

4 In a suburb of the city there is a fortress which they call Strongylum51 from the form in which it is built. 5 The road which leads from that point to Rhegium52 was for the most part uneven; and if rain chanced to fall it became a bog and was difficult for travellers to get through. 6 But now this Emperor has paved it with blocks of stone each large enough to load a waggon and so has made it altogether practicable and easy. 7 In length, this road extends all the way to Rhegium and its breadth is such that two waggons, going in opposite directions, have no lack of room. 8 The paving-stones are exceptionally coarse, so that you would expect them to be mill-stones; and they are of goodly size. Consequently each one covers much ground and stands very high. 9 They are very p287carefully worked so as to form a smooth and even surface, and they give the appearance not simply of being laid together at the joints, or even of being exactly fitted, but they seem actually to have grown together.53 So much, then, for this.

There chances to be a kind of lake very close to this place called Rhegium, into which pour streams that flow from the adjacent uplands. This lake extends as far as the sea so that in the very narrow tongue of land between them they have a common shore. Both sea and lake wash against this shore as their waters roll against its opposite sides, and they bellow against each other as they constantly rush straight on towards one another, sharing a common beach. But when they come very close, they check their flow and turn upon themselves, just as if they had fixed their limits there. However, there is a place where the waters mingle, having a sort of strait between them, and it is uncertain to which of them belongs the water of the strait. Neither does the current of the sea always flow into the lake nor does the lake continuously empty into the sea; but when heavy rains have fallen, and when the south wind has been blowing, the water of the channel seems to flow out from the lake, but if the wind comes from the north, the sea seems to be flooding into the lake. At this point, moreover, the sea is shallow for a considerable distance, with the exception of a very small space where the depth is great. Indeed this is so narrow that it is called Myrmex.54 The strait which joins the sea and the p289lake, as I have said, was crossed in ancient times by a wooden bridge, with great danger for those passing that way, because they were often destroyed together with the bridge-timbers if they happened to collapse. But now the Emperor Justinian has carried the bridge on a huge arch built of picked stones, and thus he has made the crossing there free from danger.

Beyond Rhegium is a certain city named Athyras, whose inhabitants he found suffering from extreme scarcity of water; this difficulty he remedied for them by building a reservoir there, in which by storing at just the right time the unnecessary excess of water, he dispensed it as needed to the inhabitants. He also rebuilt such parts of the circuit-wall as had suffered.

Beyond Athyras is a certain place which the inhabitants call Episcopia. 20 The Emperor Justinian, perceiving that this lay exposed to the assaults of the enemy, and that a large expanse of country here was altogether unguarded, since no stronghold at all existed, built a fortress in that place; and he built the towers there, not in the customary manner, but as follows. 21 At regular intervals a structure is built out from the circuit-wall, very narrow at first, but finally spreading out to a great breadth; on this in each case a tower was erected. 22 Thus it is impossible for the enemy to get close to the wall anywhere, because when they get into a precarious position between the towers they are easily shot at from both sides and from above by the guards there and are destroyed. 23 The gates too he did not place in the p291customary position between the towers, but at an angle, in the narrow part of the projection which runs out from the wall, where they could not be seen by the enemy but were masked behind the towers. 24 In that place Theodore, a very clever man who held the office of silentiarius,55 was of service to the Emperor. 25 Thus were these fortifications built. And it is proper, proceeding thence to the long walls,56 to explain them briefly.

4 - 9 Thrace, Haemimontum, and Moesia P3

The Sea,57 commencing from the Ocean and from Spain, goes on in a single direction, approximately eastward, keeping Europe on its left as far as Thrace, but at that point it divides itself and while one portion goes towards the East, another part of it turns gradually, at an oblique angle,58 and forms the Euxine Sea, as it is called. 2 When it reaches Byzantium, it makes a bend about the eastern portion of the city, as if rounding a turning-post, and bending much more obliquely,59 it runs in the form of a strait,60 turning the front and back portions of Thrace into an isthmus, as one would expect. 3 This does not mean that the sea is divided here into two separate bays,61 as is wont to happen at other isthmuses, but it circles round in a marvellous way, from two sides surrounding Thrace and especially all the suburbs of Byzantium. 4 The people there build and adorn their suburbs, not only to meet the actual needs of life, but they display an insolent and boundless luxury and all the other vices that the power of wealth brings p293when it comes to men. 5 And they accumulate much furniture in their houses and make it a point to keep costly objects in them. Thus, when it comes about that any of the enemy overrun the land of the Romans suddenly, the damage caused there is much greater than in other places, and the region is then overwhelmed with irreparable calamities. 6 The Emperor Anastasius had determined to put a stop to this and so built long walls62 at a distance of not less than •forty miles from Byzantium, uniting the two shores of the sea on a line where they are separated by about a two-days' journey.63 7 By this means he thought that everything inside was placed in security. But in fact this was the cause of greater calamities. For neither was it possible to make safe a structure of such great length nor could it be guarded rigorously. 8 And whenever the enemy descended on any portion of these long walls, they both overpowered all the guards with no difficulty, and falling unexpectedly upon the other people they inflicted loss not easy to describe.

9 But the Emperor rebuilt those portions of these walls which had suffered, and making the weak parts very strong for the sake of the guards, he added the following devices. He blocked up all the exits from each tower leading to those adjoining it; and he built from the ground up a single ascent inside each individual tower, which the guards there can close in case of emergency and scorn the enemy if p295they have penetrated inside the circuit-wall, since each tower by itself was sufficient to ensure safety for its guards. Also inside these walls he diligently made provision for safety, not only doing what has just been mentioned, but also restoring all the parts of the circuit-wall of the city of Selymbria64 which happened to have been damaged. These things then were done by the Emperor Justinian at the long walls.

The well-known city of Heraclea65 which is situated on the coast near by, the ancient Perinthus — which in former times men regarded as the first city of Europe, though it now takes a place second to Constantinoplea — suffered cruelly from lack of water in recent times. This was not because the country about it had no water, nor yet because this matter was neglected by the ancient builders of the city (for Europe has an abundance of springs and the men of ancient times were careful to build aqueducts), but because Time, following its custom, had destroyed the city's aqueduct, since it either failed to notice that its masonry had become enfeebled by age, or else was leading the people of Heraclea to their own destruction through their neglect of it;66 and the city was nearly left depopulated for this reason. And Time was having the same effect upon the palace there, a very admirable building. But when the Emperor Justinian saw the city, he in no careless fashion, but rather in a manner befitting an p297Emperor, flooded it with crystal-clear drinking-water, and he, far from permitting the city to be deprived of the honour of its palace, rebuilt it throughout.

One day's journey distant from Heraclea was a town on the coast named Rhaedestus,67 well situated for the voyage to the Hellespont, with a good harbour well adapted for the business of the sea, so that merchant vessels could put in and unload their cargoes very conveniently and then put out to sea again with no difficulty after loading their freight. But it lay exposed to the barbarians, who sometimes overran that region in unexpected raids, because it was not protected even by makeshift defences nor was it naturally difficult of access. Consequently the place came to be disregarded and neglected by the merchants through fear of the risk. But now the Emperor Justinian has not only provided for the safety of the place but has also saved all those who dwell round about. 20 For he erected at Rhaedestus a city which is not only strongly defended by its wall, but is also of extraordinary size. 21 Hither on occasion all those who dwell near by flee for refuge when the barbarians fall upon them, and they thus save themselves and their property.

4 - 10 Thrace, Haemimontum, and Moesia P4

Such were the works carried out by the Emperor Justinian at Rhaedestus. I shall go on to tell what he did in the region of the Chersonese.68 2 The Chersonese extends out from all that portion of Thrace. It projects boldly into the sea and seems to be pressing onward, giving the impression that it is p299advancing toward Asia.69 3 It has a single projecting point at the city of Elaeus,70 and this divides the sea into two parts, while the promontory itself is cut off from the rest of the mainland by the water, and curves inward before the advancing sea to form the so‑called Gulf of Melas.71 4 The remainder of it almost forms an island, acquiring a name appropriate to the shape which it assumes, for it is called Chersonese, most likely because it is prevented only by a tiny isthmus from being altogether an island. 5 At this isthmus the men of former times built a cross-wall of a very casual and indifferent sort which could be captured with the help of a ladder, 6 because, I suppose, they thought they were building an earthen wall around a casually placed garden-plot, and so built it of meagre dimensions and rising only slightly from the ground. 7 And facing the sea at either side of the isthmus they constructed wretched little bastions, of the sort which people are wont to call "moles," and with these they closed the gap between the water and the circuit-wall, not with the expectation of repelling attacking forces at this point, but rather in order to invite them to effect an entrance; so contemptible did they make them and so easy to capture for any who should attack. 8 But they thought they had set up a kind of invincible bulwark against the enemy and so decided to regard everything inside this circuit-wall as requiring no further protection, for there actually was neither fort nor any other stronghold on the Chersonese, though it extends to a length of almost three day's journey.72 9 Indeed the enemy, p301while overrunning the land of Thrace recently, did actually undertake to force the entrance by the beach, and frightening off the guards there they leaped inside just as if they were playing a game, and they got inside the defences with no trouble.

So the Emperor Justinian, with his constant solicitude for the safety of his subjects, did as follows. First of all he demolished completely the old wall, so that not so much as a trace of it was left. And he straightway erected another wall, upon the same ground, very broad and rising to a great height. Above the battlements a set-back73 vaulted structure in the manner of a colonnaded stoa makes a roof to shelter those who defend the circuit-wall. And other breastworks resting upon the vaulted structure double the fighting for those who lay siege to the wall. Furthermore, at either end of the wall, at the very edge of the sea, he made bastions (proboloi) extending far out into the water, which were joined to the wall and rivalled its defences in height. He also cleared the moat outside the wall and dug it out very thoroughly, adding a great deal to its width and to its depth. Furthermore, he stationed detachments of soldiers on these long walls, sufficient to offer resistance to all the barbarians if they should make any attempt upon the Chersonese. And after he had made all this firm provision for its safety, he also p303built additional strongholds for the people inside; so that if (God forbid) any mischance should befall the long walls, the inhabitants of the Chersonese would none the less be in safety. 20 For he surrounded the city of Aphrodisias with very strong defences, though it had been unwalled for the most part before that, and he put walls around the city of Ciberis which was lying dismantled, and provided it with inhabitants. 21 He also built there baths and guest-houses and numerous dwellings, and all the other things which make a city notable. 22 Furthermore, he provided Callipolis,74 as it is called, with a very strong wall, a city which had been left unwalled by the men of earlier times because of the faith which was placed in the long walls. 23 There too he built storehouses for grain and for wine amply sufficient for all the wants of the soldiers in Chersonese.

24 There was a certain ancient city opposite Abydus,75 Sestus76 by name, which again had been carelessly planned in earlier times and had no defences. 25 A certain very steep hill towers above it, on which he built an altogether inaccessible fortress, which cannot possibly be taken by any assailant. 26 And it happens that at no great distance from Sestus is situated Elaeus, where a precipitous rock rises from the sea, culminating in a lofty headland which is a natural fortress. 27 So this Emperor built a fort there too, which is hard to get past and altogether impregnable for assailants. 28 Furthermore, he founded the fortress at Thescus on the other side of the long wall, strengthening it by means of an especially strong circuit-wall. p305Thus he ensured the safety of the inhabitants of Chersonese from every side.

4 - 11 Thrace, Haemimontum, and Moesia P5

Beyond the Chersonese stands the city of Aenus,77 which bears the name of its founder; for he was Aeneas, as they say, son of Anchises. 2 The circuit-wall of this place was easy to capture not only because of its lowness, since it did not rise even to the necessary height, 3 but because it offered an exposed approach on the side toward the sea, whose waters actually touched it in places. 4 But the Emperor Justinian raised it to such a height that it could not even be assailed, much less be captured. 5 And by extending the wall and closing the gaps on every side he rendered Aenus altogether impregnable. 6 Thus the city was made safe; and yet the district remained easy for the barbarians to overrun, since Rhodopê78 from ancient times had been lacking in fortifications. 7 And there was a certain village in the interior, Vellurus by name, which in wealth and population ranked as a city, but because it had no walls at all it constantly lay open to the plundering barbarians, a fate which was shared by the many fields lying about it. 8 Our Emperor made this a city and provided it with a wall and made it worthy of himself. 9 He also took great pains to put in order all such parts of the other cities in Rhodopê as had come to be defective or had suffered with time. Among these were Trajanopolis79 and Maximianopolis, p307where he restored the parts of the bastions which had become weak. Thus were these things done.

The city of Anastasiopolis in this region was indeed walled even before this, but it lay along the shore and the beach was unprotected. Consequently the boats putting in there often fell suddenly into the hands of the barbarian Huns, who by means of them also harassed the islands lying off the coast there. But the Emperor Justinian walled in the whole sea-front by means of a connecting wall and thus restored safety both for the ships and for the islanders. Furthermore, he raised the aqueduct to an imposing height all the way from the mountains which rise here as far as the city. And there is a certain ancient town in Rhodopê, Toperus80 by name, which is surrounded for the most part by the stream of a river, but had a steep hill rising above it. As a result of this it had been captured by the barbarian Sclaveni not long before. But the Emperor Justinian added a great deal to the height of the wall, so that it now overtops the hill by as much as it previously fell below its crest. And he set a colonnaded portico with a vaulted roof on its wall, and from this the defenders of the city fight in safety against those attacking the wall; and he equipped each one of the towers so as to be a strong fort. He also secured the interval between the circuit-wall and the river by shutting it off with a cross-wall. These things, then, were done by the Emperor Justinian as I have said.

And I shall describe all the fortresses which were p309made by him through the rest of Thrace and through what is now called Haemimontum.81 First of all he built with great pains those parts which were lacking, and those which had suffered, in Philippopolis82 and Beroea,83 and also at Adrianopolis84 and Plotinopolis,85 (for these happened to be very vulnerable), though they lay close to many tribes of barbarians. 20 And in all parts of Thrace he established countless fortresses, by which he has now made entirely free from devastation a land which formerly lay exposed to the inroads of the enemy. These fortresses, so far as I recall them, are as follows:

In Europe:
In Rhodopê, new:
Of Thrace:
The trading-port of the Taurocephali
St. Trajan's
p3Of Haemimontum:
St. Theodore's
St. Julian's
St. Theodore's
The remaining Thracian fortresses; also those along the Euxine Sea p313and the Ister River, and in the interior, as follows:

In Mysia,90 on the Ister River:
The city Castellum
In the interior:
Pulchra Theodora

5 Buildings in Asia
5 - 1

The buildings erected by the Emperor Justinian in all Europe have been recorded, as far as possible, in the preceding Book. We must now go on to the remaining parts of Asia. 2 All the fortifications of cities and the fortresses, as well as the other buildings which he erected throughout the East, from the boundary of Persia as far as the city of Palmyra, which chances to be in Phoenicia by Lebanon1 — these, I think, have been sufficiently described by me above.2 3 So at present I shall tell also of all that was done by him in the rest of Asia and in Libya, either in fortifying, or in repairing the roads where they were difficult to travel and wholly beset with dangers (sometimes, because mountains towered above them, where they were too steep, sometimes where, since there was a river near by, travellers were caught in it and drowned), or, finally, in repairing all the parts of cities which had become defective — all this I shall proceed to tell, beginning at this point.

4 There chanced to be a certain place before the city of Ephesus, lying on a steep slope hilly and bare of soil and incapable of producing crops, even should one attempt to cultivate them, but altogether hard and rough. 5 On that site the natives had set up a church in early times to the Apostle John; this Apostle has been named "the Theologian," because the nature of God was described by him in a manner beyond the unaided power of man. 6 This church, which was small and in a ruined condition because of its great age, the Emperor Justinian tore p319down to the ground and replaced by a church so large and beautiful, that, to speak briefly, it resembles very closely in all respects, and is a rival to, the shrine which he dedicated to all the Apostles in the imperial city, which I have described above.3

7 This, then, was done at Ephesus by this Emperor. And on our neighbouring island of Tenedos he made provision for the welfare of the imperial city and of those who labour on the sea, which I shall describe immediately, with the following introductory observation. 8 The sea at the Hellespont flows in a very narrow channel, since the two continents at that point approach very close to each other and form the beginning of the strait at Sestus and Abydus; and when ships which are holding a direct course for Constantinople reach that point, they cast anchor. 9 And it is impossible for them to go further unless they have a wind blowing from the south. So when the grain fleet from Alexandria reaches that point, if the wind blows favourably for them, those having this business in charge bring their ships into the harbours of Byzantium in a short time; then, after discharging their cargoes, they depart with all speed, so that before the winter season they may complete a second or even a third voyage. And those of them who wish to do so, also take on a return cargo of merchandise from that place before they sail back. If, however, the wind blew against them at the Hellespont, it came about that both the grain and the ships had to lie there rotting. The Emperor Justinian took this situation under consideration, and made a clear demonstration p321that nothing could prove impossible for man, even though he have the greatest difficulties to contend with. For on the island of Tenedos, which is very close to the strait, he contrived a granary large enough to allow the whole fleet to unload, •in breadth not less than ninety feet and in length two hundred and eighty feet, and rising to a very great height. And since the time when this was built by the Emperor, whenever the carriers of public grain reach that point and are impeded by adverse winds, they deposit their cargoes in this storehouse, and bidding a happy farewell to the north wind and the west, they make ready for the next voyage. And they for their part go straightway about their business, and at a later time, when the voyage from there to Byzantium comes to be practicable, those who are assigned to this office convey the grain from Tenedos in other ships.

5 - 2

There is a certain city in Bithynia which bears the name of Helen,4 mother of the Emperor Constantine, for they say that Helen was born in this village, which formerly was of no consequence. 2 But Constantine, by way of repaying the debt of her nurture, endowed this place with the name and dignity of a city. However, he has built there nothing in a style of imperial magnificence, but, though the place remained outwardly as it had been before, it will now boast merely of the title of city and pride itself in the name of its foster-child Helen. 3 But our Emperor, as if seeking to excuse his imperial predecessor's p323want of propriety, first of all observed that the city was suffering from shortage of water and was cruelly oppressed by thirst, and so he improvised a marvellous aqueduct and provided it with an unlooked-for supply of water, sufficient for the people there not only to drink but also to use for bathing and for all the other luxuries in which men indulge who have an unstinted supply of water. 4 Besides this he made for them a public bath which had not existed before, and he rebuilt another which was damaged and lay abandoned, and already lay in ruin because of the scarcity of water which I have mentioned and because of neglect. 5 Nay more, he built here churches and a palace and stoas and lodgings for the magistrates, and in other respects he gave it the appearance of a prosperous city.

6 Close to this city flows a river which the natives call Dracon from the course which it follows. 7 For it twists about and winds from side to side, reversing its whirling course and advancing with crooked stream, now to the right and now to the left. Consequently it is actually necessary for those visiting there to cross it more than twenty times. 8 Thus it has come about that many have lost their lives when the river has risen in sudden flood. 9 Furthermore, a dense wood and a great expanse of reeds which grew there used to obstruct its exit to the sea and made it more troublesome for the regions round about. Indeed, not long ago, when it had been swollen by heavy rains, it backed up and rose in flood and spread far out over p325the land and caused irreparable damage. For it ruined many districts, uprooted vines and even olive trees and countless other trees of all sorts, trunks and all, not sparing the houses which stood outside the circuit-wall of the city and inflicting other severe losses upon the inhabitants. And feeling compassion for them, the Emperor Justinian devised the following plan. He cleared off the woods and cut all the reeds, thus allowing the river a free outlet to the sea, so that it might no longer be necessary for it to spread out. And he cut off in the middle the hills which rise there, and built a waggon-road in places which formerly were sheer and precipitous; and in this way he made the crossing of the river for the most part unnecessary for those who dwelt there. Also he placed two very broad bridges over this river, and in consequence everyone now crosses it without danger.

5 - 3

And it is proper to tell of the benefits which he also bestowed upon Nicaea in Bithynia. First of all, he restored the entire aqueduct, which was completely ruined and was not satisfying the need, and thus he provided the city with abundant water. 2 Then he built churches and monasteries, some for women and some for men. 3 And the palace there, which already had in part collapsed, he carefully restored throughout; and he also restored a bath at the lodgings of the veredarii, as they are called,5 which had lain in ruin for a long time. 4 To the west of this city and very close to it a torrent is wont to p327smite almost everything, making the road there altogether impassable. 5 A bridge had been built over it by the men of earlier times, which, as time went on, was quite unable to withstand the impact of the torrent, since it had not been properly constructed, as it chanced; and finally it yielded to the pressure of the surge and was swept away with it without leaving a trace in the spot where previously it had stood. 6 But the Emperor Justinian planted another bridge there of such height and breadth, that the previous bridge seemed to have been only a fraction of the new one in point of size; and this bridge rises high above the torrent when it is in flood and keeps in perfect safety those passing that way.

7 In Nicomedia6 he restored the bath called Antoninus, for the most important part of it had collapsed, and because of the great size of the building it had not been expected that it would be rebuilt. 8 And that great river which they now call the Sagaris,7 rushing down, as it does, with its impetuous stream and having a great depth at the centre and broadening out till it resembles a sea, had always been, since the world began, left untouched by a bridge; instead they lash together a great number of skiffs and fasten them together cross-wise, and people venture to cross these on foot, as once the Persian host, through fear of Xerxes,8 crossed the Hellespont. 9 But even this is not without danger for them, for many a time the river has seized and carried away all the skiffs, together with their cables, and thus put a stop to the crossing of travellers. But the Emperor Justinian has now undertaken p329the project of building a bridge over the river. Having already begun the task, he is now much occupied with it; and I know well that he will complete it not long hence, finding my assurance in this — that God coöperates with him in all his labours.9 Indeed it is for this reason that no project of his has failed of fulfilment up to the present time, though in the beginning he has seemed in many cases to be undertaking impossible things.

There is a certain road in Bithynia leading from there into the Phrygian territory, on which it frequently happened that countless men and beasts too perished in the winter season. The soil of this region is exceedingly deep; and not only after unusual deluges of rain or the final melting of very heavy snows, but even after occasional showers it turns into a deep and impassable marsh, making the roads quagmires, with the result that travellers on that road were frequently drowned. But he himself and the Empress Theodora, by their wise generosity, removed this danger for wayfarers. They laid a covering of very large stones over this highway for a distance of one half a day's journey for an unencumbered travellerand so brought it about that travellers on that road could get through on the hard pavement. These things, then, were done by the Emperor Justinian in this way.

A natural spring of hot water bubbles up in Bithynia, at a place known as Pythia.This spring is used as a cure by many and particularly by the p331people of Byzantium, especially those who chance to be afflicted by disease. There indeed he displayed a prodigality befitting an Emperor. He built a palace which had not been there before, and made a public bath supplied by the hot water which rises there. And by means of an aqueduct he conveyed to this place springs of drinking-water which gush forth at a very great distance, and thus abated the lack of sweet water which previously had prevailed there. 20 In addition to this, he enlarged and made much more notable both the Church of the Archangel and the infirmary for the sick.

5 - 4

There is a river in Galatia which the natives call Siberis, close to the place called Sycae, •about ten miles from Juliopolistoward the east. 2 This river often rose suddenly to a great height and caused the death of many of those travelling that way. 3 The Emperor was disturbed when these things were reported to him, and he put a stop to the evil thenceforth by bridging the river with a strong structure capable of resisting the stream when in flood, and by adding another wall in the form of a jetty on the eastward side of the bridge; such a thing is called a promachon or breakwater by those skilled in these matters.4 He also built a church to the west of the bridge to be a refuge for travellers in the winter season. 5 As to this Juliopolis, its circuit-wall used to be disturbed and weakened by a river which p333flows along its western side. 6 This Emperor, however, put a stop to that, by setting up a wall flanking the circuit-wall for a distance of •not less than five hundred feet, and in this way he preserved the defences of the city, which were no longer deluged by the stream.

7 In Cappadocia he did the following. The city of Caesareathere has been from ancient times very large and populous. But it was surrounded by a wall which, by reason of its immoderate extent, was very easy to attack and altogether impossible to defend. 8 For it embraced a great expanse of land which was not at all necessary to the city, and by reason of its excessive size it was easily assailable by an attacking force. 9 High hills rise there, not standing very close together, but far apart. These the founder of the city was anxious to enclose within the circuit-wall so that they might not be a threat against the city; and in the name of safety he did a thing which was fraught with danger. For he enclosed within the walls many open fields and gardens as well as rocky cliffs and pasture-lands for flocks. However, even at a later time the inhabitants of the place decided not to build anything in this area, but it remained exactly as it had been. Even such houses as did chance to be in this district have continued to be isolated and solitary up to the present day. And neither could the garrison maintain a proper defence in keeping with the extent of the wall, nor was it possible for the inhabitants to keep it in repair, seeing that it was so large. And because they seemed to be unprotected, they were in constant terror. But the Emperor Justinian tore down the unnecessary p335portions of the circuit-wall and surrounded the city with a wall which was truly safe, and made defences which would be thoroughly impregnable in case of attack; and then he made the place strong by the addition of a sufficient garrison. Thus did he guarantee the safety of the inhabitants of Caesarea in Cappadocia.

There was a certain fortress in Cappadocia, Mocesus by name, situated on level ground, but it had sunk into such a state of disrepair that part of it had fallen down and the rest was on the point of doing so. All this the Emperor Justinian pulled down, and he built a very strong wall to the west of the old fortress, on a site which lay above a very steep slope and was quite inaccessible if anyone should try to attack it. There too he built many churches and hospices and public baths and all the other structures that are the mark of a prosperous city. Consequently it rose even to the rank of a metropolis,for thus the Romans call the leading city of a province. These things, then, were done in Cappadocia.

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As one goes from the city of Antioch, which is now called Theopolis, into Cilicia, there is a suburb lying very close to the road, Platanôn by name;and not far from this city lay a path which had long been compressed into a very narrow track by the overhanging mountains; and after being washed by rains for a long time it was destroyed for the most part and afforded only dangerous passage to travellers. 2 When the Emperor Justinian heard of this, he p337took the matter under careful consideration and straightway found a remedy for the trouble. 3 He spent a sum of money past reckoning, cutting through, for a great distance, all the mountains which rose there to a great height and overcoming impossible obstacles; and he constructed a waggon-road, contrary to all reason and expectation, making flat and open ground of what had previously been broken by precipices, thereby clearly demonstrating that nothing could prove impossible for a man of discerning judgment who was ready to disregard expense. This, then, was done as I have said.

4 There is in Cilicia a certain city called Mopsuestia, said to be the work of that ancient seer.Alongside this flows the Pyramus River, which, while it adds beauty to the city, can be crossed only by a bridge. 5 But as much time passed it came about that the greater part of the bridge had suffered; indeed it seemed to be on the point of falling at any moment and for this reason death faced those who crossed it. 6 Thus a structure which was devised by men of former times for the preservation of life came, by reason of the negligence of the authorities, to be a source of great danger and a thing to be feared. 7 But our Emperor with great care set right all the damaged parts and once more restored the safety of the bridge and of those who crossed it, and caused the city to plume itselfagain, and without risk, on the river's beauty.

8 Beyond it there is a certain city named Adana,on the eastern side of which the Sarus20 River flows, p339coming down from the mountains of Armenia. 9 The Sarus is navigable and quite impossible for men on foot to ford. So in ancient times an enormous and very notable bridge was constructed here. It was built in the following fashion. At many points in the river piers of massive blocks of stone were reared upon its bed, built to a great thickness and forming a line extending across the entire width of the stream and in height rising far above high water. Above each pair of piers spring arches which rise to a great height, spanning the open space between them. The portion of this masonry which chanced to be below the water and so was constantly battered by its powerful current had, in a space of time beyond reckoning, come to be mostly destroyed. So the whole bridge appeared likely after no long time to fall into the river. It had come to be always the prayer of each man who crossed the bridge that it might remain firm if only during the moment of his crossing. But the Emperor Justinian dug another channel for the river and forced it to change its course temporarily; and then getting the masonry which I have just mentioned free from the water and removing the damaged portions, he rebuilt them without any delay and then returned the river to its former path, which they call the "bed." Thus then were these things done.a

At Tarsus, the Cydnus River flows through the middle of the city. It appears that in general it had caused no damage at any time, but on one occasion it chanced that it did cause irreparable loss, for the p341following reason.21 It was about the time of the spring equinox, and a strong south wind which arose suddenly had melted all the snow which had fallen through the winter season, blanketing practically the whole Taurus range. Consequently streams of water were pouring down from the heights everywhere and each of the ravines discharged a torrent, and both the summits and the foothills of the Taurus mountains were deluged. So by reason of this water the Cydnus rose in flood, for the streams kept pouring their water into it, since it was close to the mountains, and it was further swollen by heavy rains which fell at the same time; consequently the river flooded and immediately wiped out completely all the suburbs which were situated to the south of the city. Then it went roaring against the city itself, and tearing out the bridges, which were small, it covered all the market-places, flooded the streets, and wrought havoc by entering the houses and rising even to their upper storeys. Night and day the whole city continued in this critical and uncertain situation, and it was only tardily and at length that the river subsided little by little and returned once more to its accustomed level. When the Emperor Justinian learned of this, he devised the following plan. First he prepared another bed for the river above the city, in order that the stream might be separated there into two parts and might divide its volume so that only about half of it should flow toward Tarsus. 20 Then he made the bridges very much broader and so strong that the Cydnus in flood could not sweep them away. p343Thus he brought it about that the city stands forever freed from fear and from danger.

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Such were the works of the Emperor Justinian in Cilicia. And in Jerusalem he dedicated to the Mother of God a shrine with which no other can be compared.22 2 This is called by the natives the "New Church"; and I shall explain of what sort it is, first making this observation, that this city is for the most part set upon hills; however these hills have no soil upon them, but stand with rough and very steep sides, causing the streets to run straight up and down like ladders. 3 All the other buildings of the city chance to lie in one group, part of them built upon a hill and part upon the lower level where the earth spreads out flat; but this shrine alone forms an exception. 4 For the Emperor Justinian gave orders that it be built on the highest of the hills, specifying what the length and breadth of the building should be, as well as the other details. 5 However, the hill did not satisfy the requirements of the project, according to the Emperor's specifications, but a fourth part of the church, facing the south and the east, was left unsupported, that part in which the priests are wont to perform the rites. 6 Consequently those in charge of this work hit upon the following plan. They threw the foundations out as far as the limit of the even ground, and then erected a structure which rose as high as the rock. 7 And when they had raised this up level with p345the rock they set vaults upon the supporting walls, and joined this substructure to the other foundation of the church. 8 Thus the church is partly based upon living rock, and partly carried in the air by a great extension artificially added to the hill by the Emperor's power. 9 The stones of this substructure are not of a size such as we are acquainted with, for the builders of this work, in struggling against the nature of the terrain and labouring to attain a height to match the rocky elevation, had to abandon all familiar methods and resort to practices which were strange and altogether unknown. So they cut out blocks of unusual size from the hills which rise to the sky in the region before the city, and after dressing them carefully they brought them to the site in the following manner. They built waggons to match the size of the stones, placed a single block on each of them, and had each waggon with its stone drawn by forty oxen which had been selected by the Emperor for their strength. But since it was impossible for the roads leading to the city to accommodate these waggons, they cut into the hills for a very great distance, and made them passable for the waggons as they came along there, and thus they completed the length of the church in accordance with the Emperor's wish. However, when they made the width in due proportion, they found themselves quite unable to set a roof upon the building. So they searched through all the woods and forests and every place where they had heard that very tall trees grew, and found a certain dense forest which produced cedars of extraordinary height, and by means of these they p347put the roof upon the church, making its height in due proportion to the width and length of the building.

These things the Emperor Justinian accomplished by human strength and skill. But he was also assisted by his pious faith, which rewarded him with the honour he received and aided him in this cherished plan. For the church required throughout columns whose appearance would not fall short of the beauty of the building and of such a size that they could resist the weight of the load which would rest upon them. But the site itself, being inland very far from the sea and walled about on all sides by quite steep hills, as I have said, made it impossible for those who were preparing the foundations to bring columns from outside. But when the impossibility of this task was causing the Emperor to become impatient, God revealed a natural supply of stone perfectly suited to this purpose in the near by hills, one which had either lain there in concealment previously, or was created at that moment. 20 Either explanation is credible to those who trace the cause of it to God; 21 for while we, in estimating all things by the scale of man's power, consider many things to be wholly impossible, for God nothing in the whole world can be difficult or impossible. 22 So the church is supported on all sides by a number of huge columns from that place, which in colour resemble flames of fire, some standing below and some above and others in the stoas which surround the whole church except on the side facing the east. Two of these columns stand before the door of the church, exceptionally large and probably second to no column in the whole world. 23 Here is added another p349colonnaded stoa which is called the narthex, I suppose because it is not broad.23 24 Beyond this is a court with similar columns standing on the four sides. From this there lead doors to the interior (metauloi thyrai) which are so stately that they proclaim to those walking outside what kind of sight they will meet within. Beyond there is a wonderful gateway (propylaia) and an arch (apsis), carried on two columns, which rises to a very great height. 25 Then as one advances there are two semi-circles (hemikykla) which stand facing each other on one side of the road which leads to the church, while facing each other on the other side are two hospices, built by the Emperor Justinian. One of these is destined for the shelter of visiting strangers, while the other is an infirmary for poor persons suffering from diseases. 26 And the Emperor Justinian endowed this Church of the Mother of God with the income from a large sum of money. Such were the activities of the Emperor Justinian in Jerusalem.

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In Palestine there is a city named Neapolis,24 above which rises a high mountain, called Garizin. 2 This mountain the Samaritans originally held; and they had been wont to go up to the summit of the mountain to pray on all occasions, not because they had ever built any temple there, but because they worshipped the summit itself with the greatest reverence. 3 But when Jesus, the Son of God, was in the body and went among the p351people there, He had a conversation with a certain woman who was a native of the place.25 And when this woman questioned Him about the mountain, He replied that thereafter the Samaritans would not worship on this mountain, but that the true worshippers (referring to the Christians), would worship Him in that place;b and as time went on the prediction became a fact. 4 For it was not possible that He who was God should not utter truth. 5 And it came about as follows. During the reign of Zeno,26 the Samaritans suddenly banded together and fell upon the Christians in Neapolis in the church while they were celebrating the festival called the Pentecost, and they destroyed many of them, and they struck with their swords the man who at that time was their Bishop, Terebinthius by name, finding him standing at the holy table as he performed the mysteries; and they slashed at him and cut off the fingers from his hand; and they railed at the mysteries, as is natural for Samaritans to do, while we honour them with silence. 6 And this priest straightway came to Byzantium and appeared before the ruling Emperor and displayed what he had suffered, setting forth what had happened and reminding the Emperor of the prophecy of Christ; and he begged him to avenge all that had been done. 7 The Emperor Zeno was greatly disturbed by what had happened, and with no delay inflicted punishment in due measure upon those who had done the terrible thing. He drove out the Samaritans from Mt. Garizin and straightway handed it over to the Christians, and building a church p353on the summit he dedicated it to the Mother of God, putting a barrier, as it was made to appear, around this church, though in reality he erected only a light wall of stone. 8 And he established a garrison of soldiers, placing a large number in the city below, but not more than ten men at the fortifications and the church. 9 The Samaritans resented this, and chafed bitterly in their vexation and deplored their condition, but through fear of the Emperor they bore their distress in silence. But at a later time, when Anastasius27 was holding the imperial office, the following happened. Some of the Samaritans, incited by a woman's suggestion, unexpectedly climbed the steep face of the mountain, since the path which leads up from the city was carefully guarded and it was impossible for them to attempt the ascent by that route. Entering the church suddenly, they slew the guards there and with a mighty cry summoned the Samaritans in the city. They, however, through fear of the soldiers, were by no means willing to join the attempt of the conspirators. And not long afterwards the governor of the district (he was Procopius of Edessa, a man of learning) arrested the authors of the outrage and put them to death. Yet even after that no thought was taken for the fortifications, and no provision for proper defence was made at that time by the Emperor. But during the present reign, although the Emperor Justinian has converted the Samaritans for the most part to a more pious way of life and has made them Christians, he p355left the old fortifications around the church on Garizin in the form in which it was, that is, merely a barrier, as I have said; but by surrounding this with another wall on the outside he made the place absolutely impregnable. There too he restored five shrines of the Christians which had been burned down by the Samaritans. Thus, then, have these things been done.
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In what was formerly called Arabia and is now known as "Third Palestine,"28 a barren land extends for a great distance, unwatered and producing neither crops nor any useful thing. A precipitous and terribly wild mountain, Sina29 by name, rears its height close to the Red Sea, as it is called. 2 There is no need at this point in my account to write a description of that region because everything has been set forth in the Books on the Wars,30 where I gave a full description of the Red Sea and what is called the Arabian Gulf, as well as of the Ethiopians and Auxomitae and the tribes of the Homerite Saracens. At that point I shewed also in what manner the Emperor Justinian added the Palm Groves31 to the Roman Empire. 3 Therefore I omit mention of these things, that I may not acquire a reputation for bad taste. 4 On this Mt. Sina live monks whose life is a kind of careful rehearsal of death,32 and they enjoy without fear the solitude which is very precious to them. 5 Since these monks have nothing to crave — for they are superior to all p357human desires and have no interest in possessing anything or in caring for their bodies, nor do they seek pleasure in any other thing whatever — the Emperor Justinian built them a church which have dedicated to the Mother of God, so that they might be enabled to pass their lives therein praying and holding services. 6 He built this church, not on the mountain's summit, but much lower down. 7 For it is impossible for a man to pass the night on the summit, since constant crashes of thunder and other terrifying manifestations of divine power are heard at night, striking terror into man's body and souls. 8 It was in that place, they say, that Moses received the laws from God and published them. 9 And at the base of the mountain this Emperor built a very strong fortress and established there a considerable garrison of troops, in order that the barbarian Saracens might not be able from that region, which, as I have said, is uninhabited, to make inroads with complete secrecy into the lands of Palestine proper.

Thus, then, were these things done. All that he did in the monasteries of this region and throughout the rest of the East I shall now record in the form of a summary.

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These, then, were the monasteries restored in Jerusalem:
1 The Monastery of St. Thalelaeus.
2 The Monastery of St. Gregory.
3 Also St. Panteleëmon's in the Desert of Jordan.
4 A hospice in Jerichô.
p3595 A Church of the Mother of God in Jerichô.
6 The Monastery of the Iberians in Jerusalem.
7 The Monastery of the Lazi in the Desert of Jerusalem.
8 The Monastery of St. Mary on the Mount of Olives.
9 The Monastery of the Spring of St. Elissaeus in Jerusalem.
The Monastery of St. Siletheus.
The Monastery of the Abbot Romanus.
At Bethlehem he restored the wall.
The Monastery of the Abbot John in Bethlehem.
He also built wells or cisterns as follows:
at the Monastery of St. Samuel, a well and a wall;
at that of the Abbot Zacharias, a well;
at that of Susanna, a well;
at that of Aphelius, a well;
at St. John's on the Jordan, a well;
20 at St. Sergius' on the mountain called Cisserôn, a well;
21 the wall of Tiberias;
22 the Poor-house in Bostra.
23 In Phoenicia, the following:
the House of the Virgin in Porphyreôn;
24 the Monastery of St. Phocas on the Mount;
25 the House of St. Sergius in Ptolemaïs;
26 in Damascus, the House of St. Leontius;
27 near Apamea,33 he restored the Poor-house of St. Romanus;
28 the wall of the Blessed Marôn;
p36129 near Theopolis, he restored the Church of Daphnê;34
30 in Laodicea, he restored St. John's.
31 In Mesopotamia:
he restored a Monastery of St. John; 32 the Monasteries of Delphrachis, Zebinus, Theodotus, John, Sarmathê, Cyrenus, Begadaeus;
33 A Monastery of Apadnas in Isauria;
34 At the city of Curicum, he restored a Bath and a Poor-house;
35 the Poor-house of St. Conôn;
36 He renewed the aqueduct of the same in Cyprus;
37 The House of Sts. Cosmas and Damian in Pamphylia;
38 The Poor-house of St. Michael in the Emporium, as it is called, of the harbour-city of Perga in Pamphylia.
6 North Africa, from Alexandria to central Algeria
6 - 1

Thus were these things done by the Emperor Justinian. And at Alexandria he did the following. The Nile River does not flow all the way to Alexandria, but after flowing to the town which is named from Chaereüs, it then turns to the left, leaving aside the confines of Alexandria. 2 Consequently the men of former times, in order that the city might not be entirely cut off from the river, dug a very deep canal from Chaereüs and thus by means of a short branch made the river accessible to it. There too, as it p363chances, are the mouths of certain streams flowing in from Lake Maria.1 3 In this canal it is by no means possible for large vessels to sail, so at Chaereüs they transfer the Egyptian grain to boats which they are wont to call diaremata,2 and thus convey it to the city, which they are enabled to reach by way of the canal-route, and they deposit it in the quarter of the city which the Alexandrians call Phialê. 4 But since it often came about that the grain was destroyed in that place by the people rising in sedition, the Emperor Justinian surrounded this district with a wall and so prevented the damage to the grain. 5 Thus were these things done by the Emperor Justinian.

But inasmuch as our account has now led us to Egypt, the close neighbour of Libya, let us now set forth how many things were done by him there also, since this Emperor found all Libya too lying under the power of barbarians and joined it to the remainder of the Roman Empire.

6 The Nile River, flowing out of India into Egypt, divides that land into two parts as far as the sea. The land, thus divided by the stream, is thenceforth designated by two separate names:3 7 the region on p365the right of the river is called Asia as far as Colchian Phasis, which divides Asia from the continent of Europe, or even all the way to the Cimmerian Strait and the River Tanaïs.4 8 In regard to this question those who are learned in these matters are in conflict with one another, as has been made clear in the Books on the Wars5 in the course of my description of the sea called Euxine. 9 And the land on the left of the Nile bears the name of Libya as far as the Ocean, which on the west marks the boundary between the two continents by sending out a certain arm6 which opens out into this sea of ours. All the rest of Libya has received several different names, each region being designated, presumably, by the name of the people who dwell there. However, the territory extending from the confines of Alexandria as far as the cities of Cyrenê, comprising the Pentapolis, is now the only region which is called by the name of Libya. In that territory is a city one day's journey distant from Alexandria, Taphosiris by name, where they say that the god of the Egyptians, Osiris, was buried. In this city the Emperor Justinian built many things, and in particular the residences of the magistrates and baths.

6 - 2

The greatest part of this land of Libya chances to have been desert, which was in general neglected. 2 Yet our Emperor takes thought for this land also with watchful care, so that it might not have the ill fortune to suffer anything from inroads of the Moors who inhabit the adjoining country; and to this end he established there two strongholds with garrisons, one of which they call Paratonium,º7 while the other, p367which lies not far from the Pentapolis, has received the name Antipyrgum. 3 And the Pentapolis is removed from Alexandria by a twenty days' journey for an unencumbered traveller.8 4 In this region of Pentapolis the Emperor Justinian surrounded the city of Teuchira9 with very strong fortifications. 5 The circuit-wall of Bernicêhe rebuilt from its lowest foundations. 6 In that city he also built a bath for the use of the people. 7 Furthermore, on the extreme boundary of the Pentapolis which faces the south, he constructed fortresses in two monasteries which bear the names Agriolodê and Dinarthisum; 8 and these stand as bulwarks against the barbarians of that region, so that they may not come down stealthily into Roman territory and suddenly fall upon it.

9 There is a certain city there, Ptolemaïsby name, which in ancient times had been prosperous and populous, but as time went on it had come to be almost deserted owing to extreme scarcity of water. For the great majority of the population, driven by thirst, had moved from there long ago and gone wherever each one could. Now, however, this Emperor has restored the city's aqueduct and thus brought back to it its former measure of prosperity. The last city of Pentapolis towards the west is named Boreium.Here the mountains press close upon one another, and thus forming a barrier by their crowding, effectively close the entrance to the enemy. This city, which had been without a wall, the Emperor enclosed with very strong defences, thus making it p369as safe as possible for the future, together with the whole country round about it.

And there are two cities which are known by the same name, each of them being called Augila.a These are distant from Boreium about four days' journey for an unencumbered traveller,and to the south of it; and they are both ancient cities whose inhabitants have preserved the practices of antiquity, for they all were suffering from the disease of polytheism even up to my day. There from ancient times there have been shrines dedicated to Ammon and to Alexander the Macedonian. The natives actually used to make sacrifices to them even up to the reign of Justinian. In this place there was a great throng of those called temple-slaves. But now the Emperor has made provision, not alone for the safety of the persons of his subjects, but he has also made it his concern to save their souls, be thus he has cared in every way for the people living there. Indeed he by no means neglected to take thought for their material interests in an exceptional way, and also he has taught them the doctrine of the true faith, making the whole population Christians and bringing about a transformation of their polluted ancestral customs. 20 Moreover he built for them a Church of the Mother of God to be a guardian of the safety of the cities and of the true faith. So much, then, for this.

21 The city of Boreium, which lies near the barbarian Moors, has never been subject to tribute up to the present time, nor have any collectors of tribute or p371taxes come to it since the creation of man. 22 The Jews had lived close by from ancient times, and they had an ancient temple there also, which they revered and honoured especially, since it was built, as they say, by Solomon, while he was ruling over the Hebrew nation. 23 But the Emperor Justinian brought it about that all these too changed their ancestral worship and have become Christians, and he transformed their temple into a church.

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Beyond these lie the Great Syrtes, as they are called. And I shall explain what their form is and why they are given this name. 2 A sort of shore projects there, but is itself divided by the influx of the sea, and being hidden by the water it seems to disappear and to retreat back into itself; and it forms by its curve a very long crescent-shaped gulf.3 The chord of the crescent extends to a distance of four hundred stades,but the perimeter of the crescent amounts to a six-days' journey,4 for the sea, thrusting itself inside of this arm of the mainland, forms the gulf. 5 When a ship driven by the wind or wave gets inside the opening and beyond the chord of the crescent, it is then impossible for it to return, but from that moment it seems "to be drawn" (suresthai)and appears distinctly to be dragged steadily forward. p3736 From this fact, I suppose, the men of ancient times named the place Syrtes because of the fate of the ships. 7 On the other hand, it is not possible for the ships to make their way to the shore, for submerged rocks scattered over the greater part of the gulf do not permit sailing there, since they destroy the ships in the shoals. 8 Only in small boats are the sailors of such ships able to save themselves, with good luck, by picking their way amid perils through the outlets.

9 Here are the boundaries of Tripolis,as it is called. It is inhabited by the barbarian Moors, a Phoenician race. Here too is a city, Cidamêby name; and in it live Moors who have been at peace with the Romans from ancient times. All these were won over by the Emperor Justinian and voluntarily adopted the Christian doctrine. These Moors are now called pacati, because they have a permanent treaty with the Romans; for peace they call pacem in the Latin tongue. Tripolis is a twenty-days' journey from the Pentapolis for an unencumbered traveller.20

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Next after this comes the city of Leptis Magna,21 which in ancient times was large and populous, though at a later time it came to be deserted for the most part, being through neglect largely buried in sand. 2 Our Emperor built up the circuit-wall of this city from the foundations, not however on as large a scale as it was formerly, but much smaller, in order p375that the city might not again be weak because of its very size, and liable to capture by the enemy, and also be exposed to the sand. 3 At present, indeed, he has left the buried portion of the city just as it was, covered by the sand heaped up in mounds, but the rest of the city he has surrounded with a very strongly built wall. 4 Here he dedicated to the Mother of God a very notable shrine, and built four other churches. 5 Furthermore, he rebuilt the palace, which had been built here in early times and now lay in ruins, the work of the ancient Emperor Severus,22 who was born in this place and so left this palace as a memorial of his good fortune.

6 Now that I have reached this point in the narrative, I cannot pass over in silence the thing which happened in Leptis Magna in our time. When the Emperor Justinian had already taken over the imperial authority, but had not yet undertaken the Vandalic War, the barbarian Moors, those called Leuathae, overpowered the Vandals, who were then masters of Libya, and made Leptis Magna entirely empty of inhabitants. 7 While they were tarrying for a time with their leaders on hilly ground not far from Leptis Magna, they suddenly saw a flame of fire in the middle of the city. 8 Supposing that local enemies had got in there, they ran to the rescue with great speed. 9 Finding no one there, they took the matter to the soothsayers, who, by an inkling of what has since happened, predicted that Leptis Magna would soon be inhabited again. Not long after that the Emperor's army came and occupied both Tripolis and p377the rest of Libya, gaining ascendancy over both the Vandals and the Moors in the war. However, I shall return to the point at which I digressed from my account.

In this city the Emperor Justinian also built public baths, and he erected the circuit-wall of the city from its lowest foundations, and by means both of the baths and of all the other improvements gave it the character of a city. The barbarians who live close by, those called Gadabitani, who up to that time were exceedingly addicted to what is called the Greek23 form of atheism, he has now made zealous Christians. He also walled the city of Sabrathan,24 where he also built a very noteworthy church.

There are two cities at the extremity of this land, Tacapa25 and Girgis, between which lie the Lesser Syrtes. There a thing happens every day which is truly wonderful. The sea, compressed into a narrow space, forms a crescent-shaped gulf, just as I have said happens at the other Syrtes. The sea comes up on the mainland more than a day's journey for an unencumbered traveller,26 but towards evening it returns again, leaving the shore there dry as on other coasts. The sailors put out over the mainland, which is temporarily transformed into a sea, and during the day they sail as far as possible by the usual means, but in the late afternoon they make preparations to bivouac as if on land, having certain long poles in readiness. As soon as they observe p379that the water is threatening to draw back, with no delay they leap out of the ships holding the poles and dragging them along. At first they swim, and then they stand as soon as the water does not rise above their faces. 20 And they plant the ends of their poles in the earth as soon as it has become dry or is on the point of becoming so, and they set them upright so as to prop up the boat from both sides and keep it upright, in order that it may not fall over to either side and be crushed. 21 On the following day, at early dawn, the mainland again transforms itself into the sea with its rolling waves, and the boats are lifted and float away. 22 The sailors meanwhile remove the poles at just the right moment and proceed to sail once more. 23 This goes on without any variation, but every day the alternation of the elements takes place.

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After Tripolis and the Syrtes, let us go on to the rest of Libya. 2 We must begin from Carthage, which chances to be the largest and the most noteworthy of the cities in this region, prefacing our account with the remark that when Gizericb and the Vandals acquired Libya, a device occurred to them which was both pernicious and worthy of barbarians. 3 They reasoned that they would be better off if all the towns of the region should be without walls, so that the Romans might not capture any of them and thus be able to harm the Vandals. 4 So they immediately tore down all the walls to the ground. All the barbarians, as a general thing, are very keen in planning damage to the Romans, and they are very swift in executing whatever they decide upon. 5 Only Carthage p381and a few other places were left by them just as they were, for they declined to concern themselves with these, and left them for time to destroy. 6 But the Emperor Justinian (although no man approved of his purpose27 and all actually shuddered at the undertaking, and only God furthered the project and promised help and support) sent Belisarius and an army against Libya; and he broke the power of Gelimer and the Vandals, killing many and making the rest captives, as I have recounted in the Books of the Wars.28 7 He restored all the dismantled strongholds in Libya, every one of them, and he also added a great many new ones himself.

8 First, then, he cared for Carthage, which now, very properly, is called Justinianê, rebuilding the whole circuit-wall, which had fallen down, and digging around it a moat which it had not had before. 9 He also dedicated shrines, one to the Mother of God in the palace, and one outside this to a certain local saint, Saint Prima. Furthermore, he built stoas on either side of what is called the Maritime Forum, and a public bath, a fine sight, which they have named Theodorianae, after the Empress. He also built a monastery on the shore inside the circuit-wall, close to the harbour which they call Mandracium, and by surrounding it with very strong defences he made it an impregnable fortress.

p383These things, then, were done by Justinian at modern Carthage. In the surrounding region, which is called Proconsularis,29 there was an unwalled city, Vaga by name, which could be captured not only by a planned attack of the barbarians, but even if they merely chanced to be passing that way. This place the Emperor Justinian surrounded with very strong defences and made it worthy to be called a city, and capable of affording safe protection to its inhabitants. And they, having received this favour, now call the city Theodorias in honour of the Empress. He also built in this district a fortress which they call Tucca.

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In Byzacium there is a city on the coast, Adramytus by name,30 which has been large and flourishing from ancient times, and for this reason it won the name and rank of metropolis of the region, since it chances to be first in point of size and, in general, of prosperity. 2 The Vandals had torn the circuit-wall of this city down to the ground, so that the Romans might not be able to use it against them. And it lay conveniently exposed to the Moors when they overran that region. 3 Nevertheless, the Libyans who lived there tried to make provision, so far as they could, for their own safety, and so they made a barricade out of the ruins of the walls and joined their houses together; 4 and from these they would fight against their assailants and try to defend themselves, though their hope was slight and their position precarious. 5 So their safety always hung by a hair and they were kept standing on one leg, being exposed to the attacks of the Moors and to the p385neglect of the Vandals. 6 However, when the Emperor Justinian became master of Libya by conquest, he put an exceedingly massive wall about the city and stationed there an adequate garrison of troops, thus giving the inhabitants assurance of safety and enabling them to disdain all enemies. 7 For this reason they now call the place Justinianê, thus repaying the Emperor for their deliverance and displaying their gratitude simply by the adoption of the name, since they had no other means by which they could requite the Emperor's beneficence, nor did he himself wish other requital.

8 There was also a certain other town on the coast of Byzacium which the inhabitants used to call Caputvada.31 At that point the Emperor's fleet landed and there the troops first set foot on the land of Libya, when they made the expedition against Gelimer and the Vandals. 9 In that place also God revealed that marvellous and indescribable gift to the Emperor which I have described in the Books on the Wars.32 For although the locality was exceedingly arid, so that the Roman army was very hard pressed by lack of water, the ground, which previously had been completely dry, sent up a spring at the place where the soldiers were building their stockade, for as they dug, the water began to gush forth. So the earth threw off the drought which prevailed there, and transforming its own character became saturated with drinking-water. Because of this circumstance they built a satisfactory camp in that place and p387spent that night there; and on the next day they prepared for battle and, to omit what intervened, took possession of Libya. So the Emperor Justinian, by way of bearing witness to the gift of God by means of a permanent testimony — for the most difficult task easily yields to his wish — conceived the desire to transform this place forthwith into a city which should be made strong by a wall and distinguished by its other appointments as worthy to be counted an impressive and prosperous city; and the purpose of the Emperor has been realized. For a wall has been brought to completion and with it a city, and the condition of a farm land is being suddenly changed. And the rustics have thrown aside the plough and lead the existence of a community, no longer going the round of country tasks but living a city life. They pass their days in the market-place and hold assemblies to deliberate on questions which concern them; and they traffic with one another, and conduct all the other affairs which pertain to the dignity of a city.

This then was done in Byzacium on the sea. In the interior of this land and to its farther parts, where barbarian Moors live hard by, he built very powerful outposts against them, because of which they are no longer able to overrun the Roman dominion. He surrounded each one of the cities with very strong walls, since they stand on the rim of the territory; these bear the names Mammes, Teleptê and Cululis.33 He also constructed a fort which the natives call Aumetra, and in these places he stationed trustworthy garrisons of troops.

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In the same way he assured the safety of the land of Numidia by means of fortifications and garrisons of soldiers, each one of which I shall now mention. 2 There is a mountain in Numidia which is called Aurasius,34 such as chances to be found nowhere else at all in the civilized world. 3 For this mountain rises steeply to a towering height and its perimeter extends to a distance of about three days' journey.35 It offers no path as one approaches it, having no ascent except over cliffs. 4 But after one gets to the top there is deep soil and level plains and easy roads, meadows good for pasture, parks full of trees and plough-land everywhere. 5 Springs bubble out from the cliffs there, their waters are placid, there are rippling rivers which flow chattering along, and strangest of all, the grain-fields and the trees on this mountain produce crops which are double in size compared with those which are wont to grow in the rest of Libya. Such is the condition of Mt. Aurasius. 6 The Vandals held it originally along with the rest of Libya, but the Moors wrested it from them and settled there. 7 The Emperor Justinian, however, expelled from there the Moors, and Iaudas who ruled over them,36 and added this mountain to the rest of the Roman Empire. 8 As a precaution in order that the barbarians might not again make trouble by getting a foothold there, he fortified cities about the mountain which he found deserted and altogether unwalled. I refer to Pentebagae and Florentianae and Badê and Meleum and Tamugadê, p391as well as two forts, Dabusis and Gaeana; also he established there sufficient garrisons of soldiers, thus leaving to the barbarians there no hope of attacking Aurasius. 9 The district beyond Aurasius, which had not been under the Vandals at all, he wrested from the Moors. There he walled two cities, Fricê and Sitifis.37 At the cities situated in the rest of Numidia, the names of which follow, he set up impregnable defences: Laribuzuduôn, Paraturôn, Cilana, Siccaveneria,38 Tigisis, Lamfouaomba, Calamaa, Medara,39 Medela; besides these, two forts, Scilê and Foscala. So much, then, for this.

There is a city on the island Sardô, which is now named Sardinia, called by the Romans Traiani Forum. This Justinian has supplied with a wall which it did not have before, but instead it lay exposed to the island40 Moors, who are called Barbaricini,41 whenever they wished to plunder it.

And at Gadira,42 at one side of the Pillars of Heracles, on the right side of the strait, there had been at one time a fortress on the Libyan shore named Septum;43 this was built by the Romans in early times, but being neglected by the Vandals, it had been destroyed by time. Our Emperor Justinian made it strong by means of a wall and strengthened its safety by means of a garrison. There too he consecrated p393to the Mother of God a noteworthy church, thus dedicating to her the threshold44 of the Empire, and making this fortress impregnable for the whole race of mankind.

So much for these things. There can be no dispute, but it is abundantly clear to all mankind, that the Emperor Justinian has strengthened the Empire, not with fortresses alone, but also by means of garrisons of soldiers, from the bounds of the East to the very setting of the sun, these being the limits of the Roman dominion. As many, then, of the buildings of the Emperor Justinian as I have succeeded in discovering, either by seeing them myself, or by hearing about them from those who have seen them, I have described in my account to the best of my ability. I am fully aware, however, that there are many others which I have omitted to mention, which either went unnoticed because of their multitude, or remained altogether unknown to me. 20 So if anyone will take the pains to search them all out and add them to my treatise, he will have the credit of having done a needed work and of having won the renown of a lover of fair achievements.