Front Page Titles (by Subject) APPENDIX ADDITIONAL NOTES BY THE EDITOR - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 4
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APPENDIX ADDITIONAL NOTES BY THE EDITOR - Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 4 
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ed. J.B. Bury with an Introduction by W.E.H. Lecky (New York: Fred de Fau and Co., 1906), in 12 vols. Vol. 4.
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LEGEND OF THE FINDING OF THE TRUE CROSS — (P. 76)
The legend of the discovery of the Cross by Judas for St. Helena has come down in Syriac, Greek, and Latin versions. See E. Nestle, Byz. Zeitschrift, iv. p. 319-345, who makes it probable that the original Helena legend was in Syriac, and prints the oldest Greek version extant from a Sinai MS. of the eighth century copied by Mr. Rendel Harris. (The Greek from later MSS. (1) in J. Gretser’s huge treatise, De Cruce Christi (1000), ii. 530 sqq., and Holder, Inventio verae crucis, 1889; (2) in Gretser, op. cit., ii. 543 sqq.; (3) Wotke, Wiener Studien, 1891, p. 300 sqq.; the Latin (1) in the Sanctuarium (a rather rare book; c. 1479) of Mombritius, and in Acta Sanct., May 4, I., 445 sqq.; (2) in Holder, op. cit.; (3) in Mombritius, op. cit.; the Syriac (1) from seventh century MS., in Nestle’s De sancta Cruce, 1889; (2) ib.; (3) in Bedjan’s Acta Martyrum et Sanctorum, 1890, p. 326 sqq.)
ST. GEORGE — (P. 98)
The article on St. George by Zöckler in Herzog and Plitt’s Encyclopædia has been superseded by the discussion of F. Görres in the Zeitsch. f. wiss. Theologie, xvi. 1890, p. 454 sqq. “Ritter St. Georg in Geschichte, Legende, u. Kunst.” [There is no question that the Acta (in Act. Sanct. 23rd April) are apocryphal and legendary. They are remarkable for the horrible descriptions of scenes of martyrdom, which might serve as a text to elucidate the pictures on the walls of the curious round Church of San Stefano on the Esquiline.] Görres arrives at practically the same conclusion as Tillemont (Mém. eccl., v. 185-9, 658-60). All the details of St. George’s martyrdom are uncertain; but St. George existed and suffered as a martyr in the East in some pre-Constantinian persecution. Tillemont established the reality of St. George by the existence of his cult (he was a μεγαλόμαρτυς) in the sixth century; Görres proves that it already existed in the fifth century. (1) The round Church of St. George at Thessalonica is not younger than the fifth century and possibly belongs to the fourth; (2) Venantius (Carm. ii. 12, p. 41, ed. M.H.G.) mentions a Gallic basilica to St. George, founded by Sidonius Apollinaris; (3) the decree of Pope Gelasius de libris non recipiendis, at end of fifth century, condemns the Acta of St. George as apocryphal, but confesses his historical existence.
The connection of his name with a dragon-slaying legend does not relegate him to the region of myth. For over against the fabulous Christian dragonslayer, Theodore of the Bithynian Heraclea, we can set Agapetus of Synnada and Arsacius, who though celebrated as dragon-slayers were historical persons.
Gibbon’s theory which identifies St. George with George of Cappadocia has nothing to be said for it; but Görres points out that it is not open to any objection on the ground that George of Cappadocia was an Arian. For there are examples of Arians admitted into the Martyrologium: he cites Agapetus of Synnada and Auxentius, afterwards bishop of Mopsuestia. (It is to be noted that one recension of the Acta S. Georgii was edited by Arians.)
CHURCHES OF CONSTANTINE AT JERUSALEM — (P. 75)
In regard to Constantine’s Churches at Jerusalem it may be said, without entering upon the question as to the true positions of Golgotha and the Holy Sepulchre, that it is certain that these Churches — (1) the round Church of the Anastasis which contained the Sepulchre, and the (2) adjacent Basilica, dedicated to the Cross — stood on the site of the present Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Injured by the Persians (614 ) they were restored some years later, and a plan of the buildings drawn up, towards the end of the seventh century, by the pilgrim Arculfus is extant, and is of great importance for the topography. Some traces of the old buildings still remain. “The relative position of the Churches is the same; the circular Church of the Anastasis has preserved its form; the south wall of the Basilica can be traced from ‘Calvary’ eastward, and one of the large cisterns constructed by Constantine has been discovered” (Sir C. Wilson, in Smith’s Dict. of the Bible, new ed., 1893, p. 1654). Mr. Fergusson’s theory which identified the Church of the Resurrection with the mosque known as Kubbet-es-Sakhrah, the Dome of the Rock (within the so-called “Haram area”), is now quite exploded.
The Dome of the Rock has its own question, but has nothing to do with Constantine. Is it of Saracenic origin dating from the end of the seventh century — built perhaps by a Greek architect? or was it originally a Christian Church, and converted into a mosque? It has been identified by Professor Sepp with a Church of St. Sophia built by Justinian. Sir C. Wilson thinks that it stands on the site of St. Sophia, which was destroyed by the Persians; “that it was rebuilt with the old material by Abdul-Melik who covered it with a dome, and that it was again repaired and redecorated by El Mamûn” (ib., p. 1657).
The adjacent mosque el-Aksa occupies the site of the mosque of Omar. It was built by Abd al Malik, “out of the ruins of Justinian’s Church of St. Mary” (Wilson, ib.), which is fully described by Procopius; but there is a difference of opinion whether the Church was on the same site as the mosque or (so Fergusson and others) in the south-eastern corner of the “Haram area,” where there are vaults apparently of the Justinianean age.
For further details see Sir C. Wilson’s article Jerusalem, cited above; Mr. T. H. Lewis’ essay on the Church of Constantine at Jerusalem in the Palestine Pilgrims’ Text Society, 1891; Sepp, Die Felsenkuppell eine Justinianische Sophien-kirche; various papers in the Palestine Exploration Fund publications.
THE TIGRIS AND EUPHRATES — (P. 127)
The recent publication of a geographical description of Mesopotamia and Baghdād by an Arabic writer, Ibn Serapion, of whom nothing is known except that he wrote in the early years of the tenth century, by Mr. Guy Le Strange (with translation and commentary, in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Soc., 1895, January and April; cp. addenda in July, and 1896, October), is of considerable importance.
It shows that since the tenth century great alterations have taken place in the course of the Tigris and Euphrates, and shows what these alterations were; it gives a clear account of the canal system which drew the overflow of the Euphrates into the Tigris; and it supplies most important data for the reconstruction of the topography of Baghdād.
Before the Caliphate, the River Tigris followed its present course, from Kūt-al-Amarah (about 100 miles below Baghdād) flowing in a south-easterly direction to its junction with the Euphrates. But during the middle ages — in the tenth century for example — it flowed almost due south, “running down the channel now known as the Shatt-al-Hay, and passing through the city of Wāsit” (Le Strange, ib., Jan., p. 3). The changes in the Euphrates are thus summed up by Mr. Le Strange (p. 4): A little above Al-Kūfa “the stream bifurcated. The branch to the right — considered then as the main stream of the Euphrates, but now known as the Hindiyya Canal — ran down past Al-Kūfa, and a short distance below the city became lost in the western part of the great Swamp,” which also swallowed up the waters of the Tigris. “The stream to the left or eastward called the Sūrā Canal — which, in its upper reach, follows the line of the modern Euphrates — ran a short course and then split up into numerous canals whose waters for the most part flowed out into the Tigris above Wāsit.” The great Swamp in which the streams of both Tigris and Euphrates lost themselves was drained by the Tidal Estuary which reached the sea at Abbadān, “a town which, on account of the recession of the Persian Gulf, now lies nearly twenty miles distant from the present shore-line.”
It should be carefully remembered in reading the account of the events after Julian’s death that the Tigris has also altered its course to the north of Ctesiphon since the tenth century. From a point below Samarrā to a point above Baghdād, it followed a shorter and more westerly channel than at the present day.
As to the canal Nahr-al-Malik (see above, p. 137), Mr. Le Strange says (ib., Jan., p. 75), that “roughly speaking it followed the line of the modern Radhwāniyya Canal.”
It may be added that the geographical work of Abu-l-Fidā, mentioned by Gibbon, p. 127, n. 54, is not very valuable, being neither good nor early. The authoritative Arabic text is that of Reinaud, 1840, and there is a French translation by S. Guyard, 1883. On early geographical works in Arabic, see Le Strange’s Palestine under the Moslems (Pal. Explor. Fund).
AUTHORITIES — (C. XXV. sqq.)
For the works of Libanius, cp. vol. ii. Appendix 10, p. 361-362. The chronology of the most important of his later orations is determined by Sievers as follows: —
There can be no question that Or. xxviii. on the Temples and many other of the orations of Libanius were not publicly delivered (in the Emperor’s presence, for instance), but were merely read to a private audience of sympathisers, or circulated as pamphlets.
For Themistius, cp. vol. ii. Appendix 10, p. 362. The orations which concern this and the following chapters are: —
Synesius of Cyrene (born 360-70 ) studied first at Alexandria, afterwards at Athens. When he had completed his academical course he returned to the Pentapolis and led the life of a cultivated country gentleman. In 397 he arrived in Constantinople to plead the cause of Cyrene at the court, and stayed there some years, where he enjoyed the friendship of Aurelian. During that time he delivered his speech on the office of king (see below, vol. v. p. 146), and witnessed the fall of Aurelian and rebellion of Gainas. He afterwards made these events the subject of a bold political “squib,” entitled “The Egyptians.” For the light which this throws on the political parties and intrigues in Constantinople, see below, vol. v. Appendix 19.
After the Gainas episode, Aurelian returned, and by his influence the petition of Synesius was granted. Synesius then returned to Africa (probably in 402 to Alexandria, and 404 to Cyrene; so Seeck, who has revised the chronology of the letters of Synesius in a very valuable study in Philologus, 52, p. 458 sqq., 1893). Translation of his interesting descriptions of the pleasures of country life will be found in Mr. Halcomb’s excellent article on “Synesius,” in the Dict. of Chr. Biography. These descriptions occur in his letters, of which 156 are extant1 (included in the Epistolographi Græci of Hercher). The Cyrenaica, however, was exposed to the depredation of the nomads, owing to the incompetence of the governor Cerealis, and Synesius took an active part in defending the province. In 403 he had married a Christian wife; he came under the influence of Theophilus, Bishop of Alexandria (where he resided a couple of years); and was gradually converted to Christianity. In 410 he yielded to the wishes of the people of Ptolemais and became a bishop. He died a few years later. His works, which included philosophical poems, may be most conveniently consulted in Migne’s edition (Monograph: Volkmann, Synesios von Cyrene, 1869. See also A. Nieri, La Cirenaica nel secolo quinto giusta le lettere di Sinesio, in the Revista di filologia, 21, 220 sqq. (1892)).
Palladius, Bishop of Helenopolis, wrote a biographical work on John Chrysostom (of whom he was a supporter) under the title “A Dialogue with Theodore the Deacon.” After Chrysostom’s banishment, not being safe in Constantinople, he went to Rome and explained to the Pope the true facts of Chrysostom’s treatment. Afterwards returning to the east he was thrown into prison, and then banished to a remote part of Egypt. At a later time his sentence was revoked; he seems to have been restored to Helenopolis, and was then translated to the See of Aspuna in Galatia I. (Socrates, vii. 36). A strict ascetic himself, he dedicated to Lausus the Chamberlain (of Theodosius ii. ?) a compilation of short biographies of men and women of his time who had embraced the ascetic life. It is known as the Historia Lausiaca (written about 420 ); more will be said of it in considering the sources for the growth of monasticism, in an appendix to vol. vi.
To what has been said of Eunapius in vol. ii. Appendix 10 (p. 364) I must here add a reference to a paper of C. de Boor (in Rheinisches Museum, vol. xlvii. (1892) p. 321-3) on the new edition of the history of Eunapius, which, softened down and mutilated so as not to shock the susceptibilities of Christian readers, was subsequently issued (by the book-trade?). The Prooemium in the Excerpta de Sententiis was copied down from this expurgated edition, and is not the work of Eunapius but is the editor’s preface. Güldenpenning has attempted to explain the extraordinary fact that Zosimus does not even mention the greatest blot on the reign of Theodosius the Great — the massacre of Thessalonica — by supposing that he used the expurgated Eunapius. This seems hardly probable.
The History (λόγοι ἱστορικοὶ) of the pagan Olympiodorus (of the Egyptian Thebes) in twenty-two books was a highly important work. It embraced eighteen years of contemporary history ( 407-425). It is unluckily lost, but valuable fragments are preserved in the Bibliotheca of Photius (amongst others a curious account of the initiation of new students at the university of Athens, fr. 28). The work was used as a source by the somewhat later writers, Philostorgius, Socrates, Sozomen, and later still by Zosimus, so that our historical material for the reign of Honorius and the first half of the reign of Theodosius ii. depends more largely on Olympiodorus than might be inferred from the extent of the Photian fragments. He himself described his work as material (ὕλη) for history. He dedicated it to Theodosius ii. The most convenient edition of the fragments is that in Müller’s Fragmenta, Hist. Græc., iv. p. 57 sqq.
In the same place (69 sqq.) will be found the fragments of Priscus of Panium in Thrace, whose history probably began about 433 and ended at 474. The most famous is the account of his embassy to Hunland, but other very valuable notices from his work are preserved. So far as we can judge from these remains he was perhaps the best historian of the fifth century.
Q. Aurelius Symmachus (of a rich but not an ancient family2 ) was born not long after 340. The details of his career are rehearsed on the base of a statue which his son set up in his house: —
Q. Aur(elio) Symmacho v(iro) c(larissimo) quaest(ori) pret(ori) pontifici maiori, correctori Lucaniae et Brittiorum, comiti ordinis tertii, procons(uli) Africae, praef(ecto) urb(i), co(nsuli) ordinario, oratori disertissimo, Q. Fab(ius) Memm(ius) Symmachus v(ir) c(larissimus) patri optimo.
On the occasion of the quinquennalia of Valentinian ( 369, Feb. 25) he carried the Senate’s congratulations and aurum oblaticium to the Emperor and pronounced panegyrics on Valentinian and Gratian, of which fragments remain (Or. i. and Or. iii., ed. Seeck, p. 318 and 330). He remained with the court, and accompanied the Emperors on their Alamannic expedition in 369 (like Ausonius). He celebrated the campaign in a second panegyric in honour of Valentinian’s third consulship, 370 (Orat. ii.). He was proconsul of Africa at the time of the revolt of Firmus (373-375). He was prefect of Rome in 384, and his appointment probably marks a revival of the pagan influence after Gratian’s death.3 In the same year he drew up the celebrated third Relatio to Theodosius for the restoration of the Altar of Victory, which had been removed by Gratian in 382. In 388, as the spokesman of the senate, he pronounced a panegyric on the tyrant Maximus, when he invaded Italy, and for this he was accused of treason on Valentinian’s restoration, and with difficulty escaped punishment. The Panegyric and the Apology to Theodosius which he wrote after his pardon are mentioned by Socrates (v. 14), but have not survived. In 391 he was consul, and took the occasion of a panegyric which he pronounced in the presence of Theodosius to recommend to him a petition which the Roman senate had recently preferred for the restoration of the Altar of Victory. The result is described by Gibbon (vol. v. p. 75). Next year Symmachus made another unsuccessful attempt with Valentinian. He probably survived the year 404 (see below, p. 350).
His works have been edited by Seeck (in M.G.H.). They consist of nine Books of Letters, and the Relationes (which used to be numbered as a tenth Book of Letters); and fragmentary remains of eight Orations (first published by Mai, and unknown to Gibbon).
The poems of Decimus Magnus Ausonius (born c. 310 at Burdigala) are more important for the literary than for the political history of the century. His uncle and preceptor Arborius, with whom he lived at Tolosa (320-28), had the honour of being for a time teacher of one of Constantine’s sons (Constantine or Constantius). He became a teacher of grammar (about 334) and soon afterwards of rhetoric, in his native town, and married about the same time. About 364 he was summoned to the court of Trier to instruct Gratian. In 368 and 369 he accompanied Valentinian and Gratian on their Alamannic campaigns. He refers to their victories in his Mosella (written at Trier in 370-1): —
In 370 he obtained the rank of comes and in 375 was promoted to be quæstor sacri palatii. His son Hesperius ( 376 proconsul of Africa) became in 377 Prætorian Prefect of Italy, while his son-in-law Thalassius became in 378 proconsul of Africa. Ausonius himself was appointed Prætorian Prefect of Gaul in first months of 378 (see Cod. Th. 815, 35). But in his Epicedion in Patrem he describes his son Hesperius as,
Præfectus Gallis et Libyæ et Latio.
By coupling this with words in the Gratiarum Actio to Gratian, § 7, ad præfecturæ collegium filius cum patre coniunctus, and Liber Protrept. ad Nepotem, v. 91, præfecturam duplicem, it has been concluded (see Peiper’s preface to his ed. p. ci.) that, in consequence of the relationship between the two prefects, the prefectures of Gaul and Italy were temporarily united into a single administration under the collegial government of father and son, and, when Ausonius laid down the office in the last month of 379, again divided. In 379 he was consul. His death occurred later than 393. One of his most intimate friends was his pupil Pontius Paulinus, and he was in touch with many other men of literary importance, such as Symmachus and Drepanius Pacatus. His son-in-law Thalassius was the father (by a first wife) of the poet Paulinus of Pella. The works of Ausonius have been edited by Schenkl (in Mon. Germ. Hist.) and by Peiper (1886).
Of Pontius Paulinus of Nola, the most important of various people of the same name (to be distinguished from (1) Paulinus of Pella, (2) the author of the Life of St. Ambrose, and (3) Paulinus of Périgueux, who in the latter half of fifth century wrote a Life of St. Martin), there are extant various works both poetical and, in prose, epistles and a panegyric on Theodosius i. Born about 354, he retired to Nola in 394 and died 431 (there is an account of his death in a letter of Uranius to Pacatus, printed in Migne, Patr. Lat., vol. 53). His descriptions of Churches at Nola, in Epistle 32 and in some of his poems (18, 21, 27, 28), are of great importance for the history of Christian architecture. A new edition of his works is much wanted. That in Migne’s Patrologia is most convenient for reference (Monograph: A. Bose, Paulin und seine Zeit, 1856).
Paulinus of Pella (his father, a native of Burdigala, was Prætorian Prefect of Illyricum; which explains the birth of Paulinus in Macedonia) is known by his poem entitled Eucharisticon Deo sub ephemeridis meæ textu (published in De la Bigne, Bibliot. Patr., Appendix col. 281, ed. 1579); contains one or two important notices of events in Aquitania at the time of Ataulf’s invasion. The poet, thirty years old then, was appointed comes largitionum by the tyrant Attalus,
Burdigala was burnt down by the Goths, who, not knowing that he held this dignity, stripped him and his mother of their property. He went to the neighbouring Vasates; induced the Alans to separate from the Goths and undertake the Roman cause; and the town was delivered by their intervention.
It is probable that Claudius Claudianus was born in Egypt and certain that he belonged to Alexandria and spent his early years there (cp. Sidonius Apoll. ix. 275, and Birt’s preface to his ed. of Claudian, ad init.). His father Claudian (cp. C.I.L., 6, 1710) may be identical with Claudian the brother of the philosopher Maximus, Julian’s teacher (Eunapius, Vit. Soph., p. 47 and 101, ed. Boiss.; Birt, ib. p. vi.). At Alexandria he wrote poems in Greek, and a fragment of his Γιγαντομαχία has been preserved. (There seems to have been another Greek poet of the same name, who wrote in the reign of Theodosius ii., and to him may be ascribed perhaps some Christian epigrams. But it is certain that the great Claudian wrote in Greek,4 and his authorship of the Γιγαντομαχία has been successfully vindicated by Birt.) He seems to have come to Italy in or before 394, where he obtained a small post in one of the departments (scrinia) under the control of the magister officiorum; and his poetical talents were discovered in the senatorial circles of Rome. He was patronised by Rufinus Synesius Hadrianus, a countryman of his own, who held the post of Count of the Sacred Largesses ( 395; he was Mag. Offic., 397-399, and subsequently Praet. Praef. of Italy), and by members of the great Anician family, in the years 394 and 395, before he was discovered and “taken up” by Stilicho and the court of Honorius. From 396 to 404 he was a sort of poet laureate to the Imperial court; Honorius was his Augustus, Stilicho his Maecenas. His fame and favour did not bring any remarkable advancement in his career in the civil service; by the year 400 he had become tribune and notary. But he enjoyed the ample honour of having his statue erected (perhaps at the beginning of 400; Birt, op. cit., xliv.) in the Forum of Trajan, and the inscription of this statue is preserved in the Museum of Naples. It is printed in C.I.L., 6, 1710, and runs as follows:—
We have no record of Claudian’s death; but it is a probability closely approaching certainty that he died in 404 (so Birt, p. lix.). The silence of his muse after this date, amidst the public events which ensued, is unintelligible on any other supposition. Here, if ever, a conclusion from silence is justified.
This table may be found convenient by those who have the older editions of Claudian. More details, and the proofs of the chronology, will be found in Th. Birt’s Preface to his complete and admirable edition of Claudian (in Mon. Germ. Hist.). A handy text founded on Birt’s work has been published by I. Koch (1893). Cp. also Jeep, Cl. Claudiani Carmina, 1876-9. Vogt, de Claudiani carminum quæ Stiliconem prædicant fide historica, 1863. Ney, Vindiciæ Claudianeæ, 1865.
Aurelius Prudentius Clemens — the first distinctly Christian Latin poet — was a Spaniard by birth (born 348). He gave up a secular career at the age of fifty-seven and spent the remainder of his life in composing Christian poetry. For historical purposes his most important work is the Contra Symmachum in two Books, on the question of the Altar of Victory. It is important to determine the date of this work. It seems decisive (as Birt has observed in his Preface to Claudian) that in Bk. ii. Prudentius sings of the victory over Alaric at Pollentia but does not mention the triumph of Verona (see below, vol. v. Appendix 9). It follows that the work Contra Symmachum appeared between May 402 and August 403; another inference is that Symmachus was alive (cp. Gibbon, chap. xxviii. n. 22) in the year 402-3. (Birt points out a number of verbal echoes which show that the muse of the Christian poet was stimulated by the “Gothic War” of the pagan.) It seems highly probable that this controversial poem was called forth by an actual permission granted by Honorius to restore the Altar of Victory in 399. At least this is a very plausible inference from a line (19) of Claudian in the Præf. to De cons. Stil. iii. (a poem of that year): —
advexit reduces secum Victoria Musas,
combined with de vi. cons. Hon. 597: —
(Edition of Prudentius: H. Dressel, 1860. “Translations from Prudentius,” Rev. F. St. J. Thackeray, 1890.)
The most distinguished poet5 in the reign of Valentinian iii., before the rise of Sidonius, was the Spaniard, Flavius Merobaudes. Sidonius mentions, without naming him, in Carm. ix. 296 sqq., as one who was honoured (like Claudian) by a statue in the Forum of Trajan.
Sirmondus brilliantly guessed the identity of the poet referred to in these lines, and his guess was confirmed by the discovery of the basis of the statue, with the full inscription, beginning Fl.: Merobaudi vs com. sc., and ending: dedicata iv. kal. Aug. Conss. DD NN Theodosio vx. et Valentiniano iv. About the same time fragments of a poet of that age were discovered in a MS. of St. Gall, and the text of the Inscription enabled Niebuhr (by means of verbal similarities) to establish that these relics belonged to Merobaudes. First edited by Niebuhr, they were printed by Bekker in the Bonn Corpus Byz. (in the same volume as Corippus). The following are some of the points of historical interest in these fragments: —
Carmina I. and II. reflect the establishment of Galla Placidia and her son Valentinian in the West after the overthrow of the usurper John by the help of Theodosius ii. The verse on the child Valentinian (I., 11): —
hic ubi sacra parens placidi petit oscula nati,
has a curious interest owing to the epithet. The child who is here placidus (with a play on his mother’s name) is destined to be more familiar as the mature, effeminate placidus, branded for ever with infamy by another poet: —
Aetium Placidus mactavit semivir amens.
The victory over John and the betrothal of Valentinian with Eudoxia are thus referred to (l. 9): —
For the intimate relation between the courts of Ravenna and Constantinople, such a full and candid expression of gratitude to the Eastern sovereign, as the following, on the part of a poet of Ravenna, is of much significance, C. ii., 13, 14: —
C. iv. is a hendecasyllabic poem on the birthday of Gaudentius the son of Aetius. The sojourn of Aetius as a hostage with the Goths is mentioned: —
The most important fragment is that of the Panegyric on the third consulship of Aetius ( 446) with a Preface in prose. He refers to his exploits against the Armorici (l. 8): —
lustrat Aremoricos iam mitior incola saltus;
he describes the peace of 442 with Gaiseric (insessor Libyes) and alludes to the marriage of Huneric with Eudoxia (ll. 24-30).
The death of the father of Aetius and the story of that general’s youth are narrated (l. 110 sqq.), and the suppression of troubles in Gaul, probably caused by the bagaudae, is celebrated (148 sqq.).6 The deliverance of Narbo is specially emphasised (l. 20): —
Prosper Tiro, of Aquitaine, lived in the first half of the fifth century. He was probably in holy orders, and was an admirer of St. Augustine. He compiled an Epitome chronicon, based almost entirely on Jerome’s chronicle, and published it in 433 (first edition). (1) From the crucifixion forward, Prosper added the consuls of each year, derived from a consular list. (2) He continued the chronicle of Jerome to 433, the year of publication. (3) He introduced notices from some of St. Augustine’s works. The second edition appeared 443, the third 445, the fourth (which some of the extant MSS. represent) 451, in each case brought down to the date of publication. The fifth and last edition appeared 455, after the death of Valentinian, which it records. The compilation has been very carelessly done, both in the earlier part which is based on Jerome and in the later independent part, 378-455. But in lack of other sources Prosper is very important for the first half of the fifth century. The authoritative edition is that of Mommsen (in Chronica Minora, i. p. 343 sqq., 1892), on whose preface this notice is based.
From the true Prosper Tiro (whom Gibbon always cites as Prosper) we must carefully distinguish another chronicle, which for some time went under Prosper’s name. This is what used to be called the Chronicon Imperiale.7 It ended with the year 452, and was ascribed to Prosper, because the last notices of Prosper’s chronicle, 453-455, were added to it in the MSS. But it came to be seen that the two chronicles were not from the same author; the Chronicon Imperiale gives Imperial not Consular years; and the strange practice was adopted of distinguishing it from the work of the true Prosper by giving it the true Prosper’s full name — “Prosper Tiro.” This practice was followed by Gibbon. It must therefore be carefully remembered that in Gibbon’s references “Prosper” means Prosper Tiro, while “Prosper Tiro” means a totally distinct chronicle with which neither Prosper Tiro nor any one of Prosper’s name had anything to do.
This anonymous chronicle has been edited by Mommsen in Chron. Min. i. p. 617 sqq., along with another anonymous chronicle8 (which goes down to 511), under the title Chronica Gallica. The earlier part is based on Jerome’s chronicle. The compiler also used the additions made by Rufinus to the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius; some works of Ambrose, Augustine and Cassian; and the Life of Ambrose by Paulinus. From 395 to the end he either used written sources now lost or verbal information. He is quite independent of Prosper, and sympathises with the opponents of Augustine in the Pelagian controversy. His work contains two important notices on the Saxon conquest of Britain ( 408 and 441).
This later part of the work represents a Gallic chronicle, perhaps written at Massilia (cp. Mommsen, p. 628), which was used by the compiler of the other chronicle, mentioned above, which goes down to 511. The later part of this chronicle is taken doubtless from a continuation of the Gallic chronicle. The author of the chronicle of 511 drew also upon Orosius and Idatius and upon the Chronicle of Constantinople (Mommsen, p. 627).
In future it would be convenient to refer to Gibbon’s “Prosper Tiro” and this second chronicle as the Chronicle of 452 and the Chronicle of 511. The South-Gallic Annals were continued in the sixth century and were used by Marius of Avenches, Maximus of Saragossa, and Isidore of Seville. See vol. v. Appendix 2. With the South-Gallic Chronicles Mommsen has published (from a Brussels and a Madrid MS.) a short untitled Narration concerning Emperors of the Valentinianean and Theodosian House (Valentinian, Valens, Gratian, Theodosius, Arcadius, and Honorius), written by a “contemporary and admirer” of Theodosius ii. It contains no new historical fact; but is interesting in having the notice that Honorius died of dropsy, which is found in no other Latin record, and among Greek writers only in Philostorgius (12, 13).
The second of the two fragments which, accidentally joined together in an MS. and hence falsely supposed to belong to the same work, go under the name of Anonymus Valesii,9 is highly important for events in Italy for the period which it covers from 475 to 526, that is to say, for Odovacar and Theodoric. It is a fragment of annals written at Ravenna in the sixth century, when that city had been recovered by the Empire. The fragment (of which more will be said in vol. v. Appendix 2) is mentioned here, because it is edited by Mommsen (in Chronica Minora, I. p. 259 sqq.) as belonging to one of a series of annals and chronicles which had a common source in a lost document which he calls Chronica Italica and which had formerly been called by Waitz the Ravennate Annals, a name which disguises the fact that the compilation had been begun before Ravenna became the seat of the western Emperors.
The other chief documents which contain the material for arriving at the original constitution of the Chronica Italica are as follows: —
Fasti Vindobonenses, preserved in a Vienna MS. in two recensions (distinguished as priores and posteriores), to which are to be added some excerpts in a St. Gall MS. (excerpta Sangallensia). This chronicle used to be known as the Anonymus Cuspiniani, having been first published by Cuspinianus in 1553. The prior recension comes down to 493, the posterior to 539, but both are mutilated, the prior omitting the years 404-454.
The Continuation of Prosper, preserved in a Copenhagen MS.10 (compiled in the seventh century towards the end of the reign of Heraclius, probably in Italy). In the later part of his work he made use of the chronicle of Isidore (who himself used the Chronica Italica) and the Chronica Italica.
The Latin version of a Greek chronicle (written at Alexandria after 387), known as the Barbarus of Scaliger.
Excerpts in the Liber Pontificalis of Ravenna, written by Agnellus in the ninth century.
These documents are edited by Mommsen in parallel columns in vol. i. of Chronica Minora. But as the Chronica Italica were utilised by Prosper, Marcellinus Comes, Cassiodorius, Marius of Aventicum, Isidore, Paulus Diaconus, Theophanes, these authors must be also taken into account. The “Chronica Italica” seems to have been first published in 387, and its basis was the chronicle of Constantinople. Afterwards it was from time to time brought up to date, perhaps, as Mommsen suggests, by the care of booksellers. In the sixth century it was probably re-edited and carried on, after the overthrow of the Gothic kingdom, by Archbishop Maximian of Ravenna, whose “chronicle” is cited by Agnellus. But there is no reason to suppose that he had anything to do with the illiterate fragment of the socalled Anonymus Valesii.
The so-called Historia Miscella is made up of three distinct works of different ages: (1) Books 1-10 = the history of Eutropius, coming down to the death of Jovian; cp. vol. i. Appendix 1; (2) Books 11-16, the work of Paulus Diaconus, who lived at the end of the eighth century and is more famous by his History of the Lombards; (3) the continuation of Landulfus Sagax, who lived more than 200 years later. The second part, which concerns us here, is compiled from Prosper, Orosius, Jordanes and others, but contains some notices drawn from lost sources. The work may be consulted in Muratori’s Scriptores Rerum Italicarum, vol. i., or in Migne’s Patrol. Lat., vol. xcv.
Paulus Orosius of Tarraco in Spain dedicated to his friend St. Augustine his Historiae adversum Paganos in 7 Books. He was young when, at St. Augustine’s suggestion, he wrote the work shortly after 417. It was intended to illustrate and vindicate the Divine dispensation of a history of the world from the deluge to his own day, and to show that Christianity was not the cause of the evil times (see below on Salvian). The only part of importance as historical material is the last portion of Bk. vii., which deals with the latter part of the fourth, and first seventeen years of the fifth, century. His spirit is that of a narrow-minded provincial bigot, but he has some very important entries for the history of his own time — for example on the campaign of Pollentia and the invasion of Radagaisus. [Edition C. Zangemeister in the Corpus Script. Eccles. Lat. 1882; and text (Teubner) by same editor 1889.]
The importance of the work of Salvian on the Divine Government (De Gubernatione Dei, in 8 Books) for the state of the Empire in the fifth century is not adequately realised by Gibbon. It is (as Mr. Hodgkin justly says, i. p. 918, in his admirable chapter on the book) “one of our most valuable sources of information as to the inner life of the dying Empire and the moral character of its foes.” Salvian was a presbyter of Massilia. He was married, but after the birth of a daughter he and his wife took a vow of chastity for life. He seems to have been born c. 400 and was still living in 480. He wrote his book before the middle of the century.
The purpose of this book was to answer the great problem which at that time was perplexing thoughtful people: Why is civilised society dissolving and breaking up before the barbarians, if there is a Divine governance of the world? This question had been dealt with before by Augustine in the De Civitate Dei, and by Orosius in the Hist. adversus Paganos. Their various answers have been well compared by Mr. Hodgkin. Augustine’s answer was merely negative: the evils which had come upon Rome were not the effect of the introduction of Christianity. Orosius denied the existence of the evils. But a good deal had happened between 417 and 440; and in 440 even Orosius could hardly have ventured to maintain his thesis. Salvian’s answer was: these evils are the effects of our vices. He draws a vivid and highly exaggerated contrast between Roman vices and Teutonic virtues. He dwells especially on a matter which came very directly within his own knowledge, the abuses and unjust exactions practised by Gallic officials.
So far as Salvian’s arguments are concerned there is nothing to be added to Gibbon’s criticism (xxxv. n. 12): “Salvian has attempted to explain the moral government of the Deity: a task which may be readily performed by supposing that the calamities of the wicked are judgments, and those of the righteous trials.”
Tyrannius Rufinus (born at Concordia c. 345, died in Sicily, 410) lived in Egypt for some time, where he was thrown into prison, on the occasion of the persecution which was conducted with the permission of the Emperor Valens, by Lucius, the Arian successor of Athanasius at Alexandria. Having quitted Egypt, on his release, he spent nearly twenty years as a monk on the Mount of Olives. During this period he became acquainted with Bacurius the first Christian king of the Iberians, and with Oedesius the companion of Frumentius, the apostle of the Ethiopians. He returned to Italy in 397 and spent the later part of his life at Aquileia. This period was troubled by a famous controversy with his friend Jerome. Rufinus translated many Greek works into Latin, among others Origen’s treatise περὶ ἀρχω̂ν. The controversy arose out of certain references to Jerome in the Preface to this translation, and it was represented that Rufinus misused the authority of Jerome’s name to cover heretical doctrines of Origen. The most important works of Rufinus are his Ecclesiastical History in two Books, being a continuation of that of Eusebius, which he rendered into Latin; and his history of Egyptian Anchorets. For the origin of monasticism the latter work is of considerable importance.
Modern Works. Besides those mentioned in Appendix 1, vol. i., and Appendix 10, vol. ii.: H. Richter, Das weströmische Reich, besonders unter den Kaisern Gratian, Valentinian II. und Maximus (375-388), 1865; J. Ifland and A. Güldenpenning, der Kaiser Theodosius der Grosse, 1878; A. Güldenpenning, Geschichte des oströmischen Reiches unter den Kaisern Arcadius und Theodosius ii., 1885. V. Schultze, Geschichte des Untergangs des griechisch-römischen Heidentums, 1887.
For the barbarian invasions and the Teutonic Kingdoms: Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders, vol. i. and ii. (ed. 2, 1892); F. Dahn, Könige der Germanen; and the same writer’s Urgeschichte der germanischen und romanischen Völker; R. Pallmann’s Geschichte der Völkerwanderung; E. von Wietersheim’s Geschichte der Völkerwanderung (ed. 2 by Dahn, 1880-1); Köpke’s Anfänge des Königthums bei den Gothen. There are also special histories of the chief German invaders: I. Aschbach, Geschichte der Westgothen; F. Papencordt’s Geschichte der vandalischen Herrschaft in Afrika; C. Binding’s Geschichte des burgundisch-romanischen Königreichs. The work of Zeuss: Die Deutschen und die Nachbarstämme, is a most valuable storehouse of references.
Special Monographs: on Stilicho (cp. above, under Claudian): R. Keller, Stilicho, 1884; Rosenstein, Alarich und Stilicho, in Forsch. zur deutschen Geschichte, vol. 3, 1863; Vogt, Die politischen Bestrebungen Stilichos, 1870; on Chrysostom: F. Ludwig, Der heilige Johannes Chrys. in seinem Verhältniss zum byzantinischen Hof, 1883, and Rev. W. R. W. Stephens, Life and Times of John Chrysostom. (Others are referred to in the footnotes.)
PICTS AND SCOTS — (P. 226, 227)
“Cæsar tells us that the inhabitants of Britain in his day painted themselves with a dye extracted from wood; by the time, however, of British independence under Carausius and Allectus, in the latter part of the third century, the fashion had so far fallen off in Roman Britain that the word Picti, Picts, or painted men, had got to mean the peoples beyond the Northern Wall, and the people on the Solway were probably included under the same name, though they also went by the separate denomination of Atecotti. Now all these Picts were natives of Britain, and the word Picti is found applied to them for the first time in a panegyric by Eumenius, in the year 296; but in the year 360 another painted people appeared on the scene. They came from Ireland, and to distinguish these two sets of painted foes from one another Latin historians left the painted natives to be called Picti, as had been done before, and for the painted invaders from Ireland they retained, untranslated, a Celtic word of the same (or nearly the same) meaning, namely Scotti. Neither the Picts nor the Scotti probably owned these names, the former of which is to be traced to Roman authors, while the latter was probably given the invaders from Ireland by the Brythons, whose country they crossed the sea to ravage. The Scots, however, did recognise a national name, which described them as painted or tattooed men. . . . This word was Cruithnig, which is found applied equally to the painted people of both Islands.” “The portion of Ireland best known to history as Pictish was a pretty well-defined district consisting of the present county of Antrim and most of that of Down.” (Professor Rhŷs, Early Britain, p. 235 sqq.) But Professor Rhŷs now takes another view of Picti, which he regards not as Latin, but as native and connected with the Gallic Pictones. See Scottish Review, July, 1891.
Ammianus (278) divided the inhabitants of the North of Britain (the Picts) into two nations, the Dicalidonæ and Verturiones. “Under the former name, which seems to mean the people of the two Caledonias, we appear to have to do with the Caledonias proper . . . while in later times the word Verturiones yielded in Goidelic the well-known name of the Brythons of the kingdom of Fortrenn: they were possibly the people previously called Boresti, but that is by no means certain.” (Rhŷs, ib. p. 93.)
The Atecotti seem to have occupied part of the land between the walls of Hadrian and Antoninus, where the Maeatae dwelled (see Mr. Haverfield’s map of Roman Britain, in Poole’s Historical Atlas of Modern Europe). Professor Rhŷs proposes to identify them with the earlier Genunians (Γενουνία μοɩ̂ρα of Pausanias, 8, 43) and the later Picts of Galloway (ib. p. 89, 90).
THE DEATH OF COUNT THEODOSIUS — (P. 236)
The cause of the sudden execution of Theodosius at Carthage in 396 is obscure. We can only suppose that he had powerful enemies — friends of the governor Romanus. H. Richter (das weströmische Reich, p. 401) imputes the responsibility to Merobaudes. But Merobaudes was the minister of Gratian in Gaul, and not of Justina and Valentinian in Mediolanum (as Mr. Hodgkin observes). Mr. Hodgkin conjectures that the blow came not from Mediolanum but from Antioch. The name of Theodosius began with the four fatal letters Θ ε ο δ, “and it seems therefore allowable to suppose that the incantation scene at Antioch four years previously — the laurel tripod, the person in linen mantle and with linen socks, who shook the magic cauldron and made the ring dance up and down among the twenty-four letters of the alphabet — were links in the chain of causation which led the blameless veteran to his doom” (Italy and her Invaders, i. p. 292). And certainly we can well imagine that the superstitious Valens watched with apprehension the career of every eminent officer whose name began with those four letters, and observing the distinguished services of the Count of Africa used influence at Milan to procure his fall.
MELLOBAUDES — (P. 236, 257)
Gibbon has confused Mellobaudes with the more eminent Merobaudes in two places (p. 236 and 257). Mellobaudes (or Mallobaudes: the MSS. of Ammian vary) was a Frank king and held the post of comes domesticorum under Gratian. See Ammian, 30, 3, 7, and 31, 10, 6; and cp. above p. 306.
This Mellobaudes must also be distinguished from another less important Mellobaudes (or Mallobaudes), a Frank who was tribunus armaturarum under Constantius; see Ammian, 14, 11, 21, and 15, 5, 6. These namesakes are confounded in the index of Gardthausen’s Ammianus. See Richter, Das weströmische Reich, p. 283.
Merobaudes deserves prominence as the first of a series of men of barbarian origin who rose to power in the Imperial service; Merobaudes, Arbogast, Stilicho, Aetius, Ricimer. He married into the family of Valentinian (Victor, Epit. 45), and was consul in 377.
LIST OF KINGS OF PERSIA, FROM SAPOR II. TO KOBAD — (P. 242)
Sapor (Shāpūr) ii. dies 379.
Ardashir ii. succeeds 379, Aug. 19.
Sapor iii. succeeds 383, Aug. 18.
Bahrām iv. succeeds 388, Aug. 16.
Yezdegerd i. succeeds 399, Aug. 14.
Bahrām v. succeeds 420, Aug. 8.
Yezdegerd ii. succeeds 438, Aug. 4.
Hormizd iii. succeeds 457, July 30.
Pērōz came to the throne in 459, but counted from the first year of Hormizd, whom he deposed.
Balāsh succeeds 484, July 23
Kobad (Kavādh) succeeds 488, July 22; died Sept. 13, 531.
The dates given are those of the beginning of the Persian year in which the king succeeded and from which he counted, not the actual days of accession; and are taken from Nöldeke, Excurs i. to his Geschichte der Perser und Araber zur Zeit der Sassaniden. Thus Bahrām v. did not actually possess the throne till 421 (spring).
THE ORIGIN OF THE HUNS — (C. XXVI.)
Excerpts of ethnological interest from the voluminous Annals of the Han dynasty (in about a hundred volumes)1 were translated by Mr. Wylie (at Sir H. Howorth’s request) and published in the third and fourth volumes of the Journal of the Anthropol. Institute. Sir H. Howorth wrote a preface, arguing that the Hiung-Nu cannot be identified with the Huns. His argument is: the Hiung-Nu were Turks; the Huns were Ugrians; therefore the Huns were not Hiung-Nu. “The Huns, as I have elsewhere argued, were a race of Ugrians led by a caste of another race now represented by some of the Lesghian tribes of the Caucasus. The Hiung-Nu were not Ugrians. It was Klaproth, whose grasp of the whole subject of the ethnography of Northern Asia was most masterly, and who, notwithstanding some failures, I hold to have been facile princeps among Asiatic ethnologists, first proved that the Hiung-Nu were Turks, and his conclusions were endorsed by the very competent authority of Abel Remusat, and since by other scholars.”
That the Hiung-Nu were a Turkic race (the correct way of stating it is: the Turks were Hiung-Nu) may indeed be regarded as certain; but so much cannot be said of Sir H. Howorth’s other premiss, that the Huns were Ugrians.
For Klaproth’s proof that the Huns were Lesghians, see his Tableaux historiques de l’Asie, and Howorth, Journal Anth. Inst. iii. p. 453-4. His comparative list of Hunnic and Lesghian names presents such strikingly close resemblances that it is hard to resist his conclusions; and his identification of the Hunnic var “river” (Jordanes, Get. 52) with Lesghian or, ouor, is plausible. While admitting that the Huns may be connected with this Caucasian race, I cannot follow Sir H. Howorth in his further speculations, or admit that an affinity has been proved with the Finno-Ugrian languages. Sir H. Howorth’s comparative table of Hunnic with Hungarian names (p. 470) is quite unconvincing.
On the other hand I cannot accept as proven, or as more than a brilliant conjecture, the identification of the Huns with the Hiung-Nu. The thesis has been recently defended by Mr. E. H. Parker, a Chinese scholar, whose work I have used and referred to in additional footnotes on Gibbon’s account of the Hiung-Nu in this volume. In “A Thousand Years of the Tartars,” p. 99, Mr. Parker puts it thus: The Northern Hiung-Nu, unable to maintain their ground against various enemies, “disappeared far away to the North, many of them no doubt finding their way by the upper waters of the Selinga and the Irtysh to Issekul, the Aral, and the Caspian, struggling with the Bashkirs, the Alans, and the unknown tribes then occupying Russia into Europe.” And again in an article on “The Origin of the Turks” in the English Hist. Review, July, 1896, p. 434, he defends the view that “the Hiung-Nu were in fact the Huns, who afterwards appeared as the Hunni in Europe.”
While I am not convinced that on the ethnographical side there is any a priori objection to the identification of the Huns with the “Hiung” slaves — Mr. Parker observes that to this day Hiung “is in some parts of China still pronounced Hiln” — I cannot, from the historical side, see the justification for asserting the identity. The resemblance of the name is in fact the only proof. It is a mortal leap from the kingdom of the northern Zenghi to the steppes of Russia, and he who takes it is supported on the wings of fancy, not on the ground of fact. On this question research in the Chinese annals has added nothing to the data which were so ably manipulated by Deguignes.
The Geougen, who will be more important afterwards in connection with the Turks (see chapter xlii.), were wrongly identified with the Avars by Deguignes. Mr. Parker (Eng. Hist. Rev. loc. cit. p. 435) is unable to decide whether they were of Hunnic or Tungusic origin, and suspects a mixture of both races.
The close connection of the Huns and Avars seems clear. Professor Vámbéry in his A Magyarok Eredete (1882), p. 415 sqq., has collected the Hun and Avar words and names that can be gleaned from literature, and attempted to interpret them by the help of Turkish. His list however is not complete.
THE SARMATIAN WAR OF 378 — (P. 324,
A Sarmatian campaign of Theodosius in 378 after his recall from Spain is mentioned by Theodoret, v. 5; and Theodoret’s statement, which has been questioned by some, is confirmed, as H. Richter has pointed out (das weströmische Reich, p. 691), by Themistius and Pacatus. In his Panegyric of 379 Themistius refers to it thus (xiv. 182 C): ἐξ ἐκείνου δὲ καὶ σὲ ἐκάλουν ἐπὶ τὴν βασιλείαν Ῥωμαɩ̂οι, ἐξότου Σαυρομάτας λυττω̂ντας καὶ τὴν πρὸς τῷ ποταμῷ γη̂ν ἄπασαν ἐπιδραμόντας μόνος ἀνέστειλας κ.τ.λ. Pacatus, c. 10: vix tecta Hispana susceperas, iam Sarmatias tabernaculis tegebaris; vix emerita arma suspenderas, iam hosti armatus instabas; vix Iberum tuum videras, iam Istro prætendebas. Cp. Ifland, p. 59, and Kaufmann, Philologus, 31, p. 472 sqq.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE PACIFICATION OF THE GOTHS, 379, 380 — (P. 329sqq.)
The account given in our sources of the warfare in Thrace and Illyricum during the years 379-80 and the subjugation of the Goths is very confused, and Gibbon has made no attempt to distinguish the events of the two years. With the help of laws in the Codex Theod. (of which the dates however cannot be implicitly trusted) Ifland has extracted with some pains the following chronology from Zosimus, Jordanes, and the ecclesiastical historians, with an occasional indication from Ambrose (Der Kaiser Theodosius, p. 65-86).
[1 ]Among them letters to Hypatia.
[2 ]His father, L. Aurelius Avianius Symm. (consul 330), was prefect of Rome in 364-5. Statues were set up to him both in Rome and Constantinople, as is recorded in an inscription, where the public offices which he held are enumerated. He was princeps senatus. C.I.L., 6, 1698.
[3 ]For the Panegyric ( 389) of Drepanius Latinus Pacatus, see vol. v. p. 43.
[4 ]He attests it himself, Carm. Min., 41, 14, et Latiae accessit Graia Thalia togae.
[5 ]There was another contemporary poet, Quintianus a Ligurian, who also sang the praises of Aetius. Sidonius, c. ix. 289 sqq.
[6 ]Cp. Chron. Gall. ad 437 (Mommsen, Chron. Min. i. p. 660).
[7 ]Also Pithoeanum, having been first published (at Paris in 1588) by Petrus Pithoeus. The best MS. is in the British Museum.
[8 ]Preserved in a MS. at Madrid, under the name of Sulpicius Severus. It has been discussed by O. Holder-Egger, Ueber die Weltchronik des sogenannten Severus Sulpitius, &c., 1875.
[9 ]For the first fragment see vol. ii. Appendix 10, p. 360.
[10 ]The new material contained in it was first edited by G. Hille (1866) under the title Prosperi Aquitani Chronici continuator Havniensis.
[1 ]There is a Russian translation of the entire work.