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Two centuries later, Agapetus had similar words for Justinian:

Know, O divinely wrought image of piety, that by however much you are deemed worthy by God of great gifts, by that much more are you obligated to make a fitting return to Him. (cap. 5)

Since you have received the sceptre of kingship from God, take thought how you may repay the one who has given you this gift; just as you have been preferred by Him before all men, so you should be eager to honour Him above all. (cap. 61)

The sting in these admonitions lies in the unspoken issue of who will judge whether or not laws are 'pious', and what the reaction will be to laws deemed 'impious'. Even more than the new emphasis on piety itself, this implicit threat is what makes Eusebius and Agapetus stand apart from classical works in this genre. By the fourth century, pagan emperors needed to demonstrate these divine ties as much as a Christian like Constantine would.15 Even if the emperor were, in fact, a brute, the genre - which came to be known as speculum principis -permitted speakers to praise his sense of honour and love of learning, in the hope that by their holding such a mirror up to him the ruler would learn to perceive his own features there. Pagan orators could also warn about the evils that accompanied misrule. The difference in this case was one of enforcement. The artists and intellectuals who delivered such speeches to pagan emperors represented an extremely important community - the elites on whose support emperors depended to keep order established and taxes flowing - but one that had little recourse if the intended recipient chose not to follow their advice. Pliny the Younger, author of a paradigmatic speech delivered to one of the traditional 'good emperors', boasted at length of the liberty of the senate under Trajan and that emperor's deference to their opinions, but when it came to saying what would happen to emperors who were less well behaved, the most Pliny could muster was a warning that they would be sorry after they died.16

Such toothless sanctions were worse than no sanctions at all, and that is undoubtedly why so many such orators chose instead to dwell on the positive results that would follow from obeying their advice. But Eusebius was a bishop and Agapetus a deacon. Both represented an institution, the Christian church, with an identity akin to that of the Roman senate. It only takes a moment's reflection to see that the judgment of emperors - the decision as to whether

15 Nock, 'The emperor's divine comes", 114; G. F. Chesnut, 'The ruler and the Logos'.

16 Pliny the Younger, Panegyricus 53.5 (trans. Radice): 'there will be neither time nor place for the shades of disastrous rulers to rest in peace from the execrations of posterity'.

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