Monday, March 14, 2011

Gregory of Tours: Something praiseworthy.

"As I have told you in Book IV, the people chose Tiberius as Caesar, a capable man, strong in body and in mind, full of charity and dedicated to the care of the needy. He distributed among the poor much of the treasure which Justin had amassed, and the Empress frequently rebuked him for reducing the state to bankruptcy. ... 'As long as the poor receive alms and those whom we capture(!) are ransomed,' Tiberius would answer, 'our treasury will never be empty. This is the great treasure, as our Lord explained: "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not brake through nor steal"'" - History of the Franks, V.19.

The ! is due to the wording being opposite in sense to the passage. The pattern was to ransom those who were captured by the barbarians, not the other way around.

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