In Constantinople itself sedition and profligacy were rampant, the emperors were the tools of faction and cared but little for the interests of their subjects, whose lot was one of hopeless misery and depravity.
(See Constantinople.) The ancient historians invariably note the profligacy of the inhabitants of Byzantium.
Its prosperity, as also its profligacy, is attested by the New Testament, by Strabo and Pausanias.
It shows how a bold and p lausible adventurer, aided by the profligacy of a parasite, the avarice and hypocrisy of a confessor, and a mother's complaisant familiarity with vice, achieves the triumph of making a gulled husband bring his own unwilling but too yielding wife to shame.
Recent researches into his early life discredit most of the stories that have been told respecting his profligacy and his contempt for the claims of the church; and it is admitted that, while rejecting her authority in the sphere of dogma and intellect, he observed the proprieties of life (gambling being then scarcely looked on as a vice) and respected the outward observances of religion.
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