Front Page Titles (by Subject) General Observations on the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 6
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General Observations on the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West - Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 6 
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. 6.
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General Observations on the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West
The Greeks, after their country had been reduced into a province, imputed the triumphs of Rome, not to the merit, but to the fortune, of the republic. The inconstant goddess, who so blindly distributes and resumes her favours, had now consented (such was the language of envious flattery) to resign her wings, to descend from her globe, and to fix her firm and immutable throne on the banks of the Tiber.1 A wiser Greek, who has composed, with a philosophic spirit, the memorable history of his own times, deprived his countrymen of this vain and delusive comfort by opening to their view the deep foundations of the greatness of Rome.2 The fidelity of the citizens to each other, and to the state, was confirmed by the habits of education and the prejudices of religion. Honour, as well as virtue, was the principle of the republic; the ambitious citizens laboured to deserve the solemn glories of a triumph; and the ardour of the Roman youth was kindled into active emulation, as often as they beheld the domestic images of their ancestors.3 The temperate struggles of the patricians and plebeians had finally established the firm and equal balance of the constitution; which united the freedom of popular assemblies with the authority and wisdom of a senate and the executive powers of a regal magistrate. When the consul displayed the standard of the republic, each citizen bound himself, by the obligation of an oath, to draw his sword in the cause of his country, till he had discharged the sacred duty by a military service of ten years. This wise institution continually poured into the field the rising generations of freemen and soldiers; and their numbers were reinforced by the warlike and populous states of Italy, who, after a brave resistance, had yielded to the valour, and embraced the alliance, of the Romans. The sage historian, who excited the virtue of the younger Scipio and beheld the ruin of Carthage,4 has accurately described their military system; their levies, arms, exercises, subordination, marches, encampments; and the invincible legion, superior in active strength to the Macedonian phalanx of Philip and Alexander. From these institutions of peace and war, Polybius has deduced the spirit and success of a people incapable of fear and impatient of repose. The ambitious design of conquest, which might have been defeated by the seasonable conspiracy of mankind, was attempted and achieved; and the perpetual violation of justice was maintained by the political virtues of prudence and courage. The arms of the republic, sometimes vanquished in battle, always victorious in war, advanced with rapid steps to the Euphrates, the Danube, the Rhine, and the Ocean; and the images of gold, or silver, or brass, that might serve to represent the nations and their kings, were successively broken by the iron monarchy of Rome.5
The rise of a city, which swelled into an empire, may deserve, as a singular prodigy, the reflection of a philosophic mind. But the decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and, as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight. The story of its ruin is simple and obvious; and, instead of inquiring why the Roman empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it had subsisted so long. The victorious legions, who, in distant wars, acquired the vices of strangers and mercenaries, first oppressed the freedom of the republic, and afterwards violated the majesty of the purple. The emperors, anxious for their personal safety and the public peace, were reduced to the base expedient of corrupting the discipline which rendered them alike formidable to their sovereign and to the enemy; the vigour of the military government was relaxed, and finally dissolved, by the partial institutions of Constantine; and the Roman world was overwhelmed by a deluge of Barbarians.
The decay of Rome has been frequently ascribed to the translation of the seat of empire; but this history has already shewn that the powers of government were divided rather than removed. The throne of Constantinople was erected in the East; while the West was still possessed by a series of emperors who held their residence in Italy and claimed their equal inheritance of the legions and provinces. This dangerous novelty impaired the strength, and fomented the vices, of a double reign; the instruments of an oppressive and arbitrary system were multiplied; and a vain emulation of luxury, not of merit, was introduced and supported between the degenerate successors of Theodosius. Extreme distress, which unites the virtue of a free people, embitters the factions of a declining monarchy. The hostile favourites of Arcadius and Honorius betrayed the republic to its common enemies; and the Byzantine court beheld with indifference, perhaps with pleasure, the disgrace of Rome, the misfortunes of Italy, and the loss of the West. Under the succeeding reigns, the alliance of the two empires was restored; but the aid of the Oriental Romans was tardy, doubtful, and ineffectual; and the national schism of the Greeks and Latins was enlarged by the perpetual difference of language and manners, of interest, and even of religion. Yet the salutary event approved in some measure the judgment of Constantine. During a long period of decay, his impregnable city repelled the victorious armies of Barbarians, protected the wealth of Asia, and commanded, both in peace and war, the important straits which connect the Euxine and Mediterranean seas. The foundation of Constantinople more essentially contributed to the preservation of the East than to the ruin of the West.
As the happiness of a future life is the great object of religion, we may hear, without surprise or scandal, that the introduction, or at least the abuse, of Christianity had some influence on the decline and fall of the Roman empire. The clergy successfully preached the doctrines of patience and pusillanimity; the active virtues of society were discouraged; and the last remains of the military spirit were buried in the cloister; a large portion of public and private wealth was consecrated to the specious demands of charity and devotion; and the soldiers’ pay was lavished on the useless multitudes of both sexes, who could only plead the merits of abstinence and chastity. Faith, zeal, curiosity, and the more earthly passions of malice and ambition kindled the flame of theological discord; the church, and even the state, were distracted by religious factions, whose conflicts were sometimes bloody, and always implacable; the attention of the emperors was diverted from camps to synods; the Roman world was oppressed by a new species of tyranny; and the persecuted sects became the secret enemies of their country. Yet party-spirit, however pernicious or absurd, is a principle of union as well as of dissension. The bishops, from eighteen hundred pulpits, inculcated the duty of passive obedience to a lawful and orthodox sovereign; their frequent assemblies, and perpetual correspondence, maintained the communion of distant churches: and the benevolent temper of the gospel was strengthened, though confined, by the spiritual alliance of the Catholics. The sacred indolence of the monks was devoutly embraced by a servile and effeminate age; but, if superstition had not afforded a decent retreat, the same vices would have tempted the unworthy Romans to desert, from baser motives, the standard of the republic. Religious precepts are easily obeyed, which indulge and sanctify the natural inclinations of their votaries; but the pure and genuine influence of Christianity may be traced in its beneficial, though imperfect, effects on the Barbarian proselytes of the North. If the decline of the Roman empire was hastened by the conversion of Constantine, his victorious religion broke the violence of the fall, and mollified the ferocious temper of the conquerors.
This awful revolution may be usefully applied to the instruction of the present age. It is the duty of a patriot to prefer and promote the exclusive interest and glory of his native country; but a philosopher may be permitted to enlarge his views, and to consider Europe as one great republic, whose various inhabitants have attained almost the same level of politeness and cultivation. The balance of power will continue to fluctuate, and the prosperity of our own or the neighbouring kingdoms may be alternately exalted or depressed; but these partial events cannot essentially injure our general state of happiness, the system of arts, and laws, and manners, which so advantageously distinguish, above the rest of mankind, the Europeans and their colonies. The savage nations of the globe are the common enemies of civilised society; and we may inquire with anxious curiosity, whether Europe is still threatened with a repetition of those calamities which formerly oppressed the arms and institutions of Rome. Perhaps the same reflections will illustrate the fall of that mighty empire, and explain the probable causes of our actual security.
I. The Romans were ignorant of the extent of their danger, and the number of their enemies. Beyond the Rhine and Danube, the northern countries of Europe and Asia were filled with innumerable tribes of hunters and shepherds, poor, voracious, and turbulent; bold in arms, and impatient to ravish the fruits of industry. The Barbarian world was agitated by the rapid impulse of war; and the peace of Gaul or Italy was shaken by the distant revolutions of China. The Huns, who fled before a victorious enemy, directed their march towards the West; and the torrent was swelled by the gradual accession of captives and allies. The flying tribes who yielded to the Huns assumed in their turn the spirit of conquest; the endless column of Barbarians pressed on the Roman empire with accumulated weight; and, if the foremost were destroyed, the vacant space was instantly replenished by new assailants. Such formidable emigrations can no longer issue from the North; and the long repose, which has been imputed to the decrease of population, is the happy consequence of the progress of arts and agriculture. Instead of some rude villages, thinly scattered among its woods and morasses, Germany now produces a list of two thousand three hundred walled towns; the Christian kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden, and Poland have been successively established; and the Hanse merchants, with the Teutonic knights, have extended their colonies along the coast of the Baltic, as far as the Gulf of Finland. From the Gulf of Finland to the Eastern Ocean, Russia now assumes the form of a powerful and civilised empire. The plough, the loom, and the forge are introduced on the banks of the Volga, the Oby, and the Lena; and the fiercest of the Tartar hordes have been taught to tremble and obey. The reign of independent Barbarism is now contracted to a narrow span; and the remnant of Calmucks or Uzbecks, whose forces may be almost numbered, cannot seriously excite the apprehensions of the great republic of Europe.6 Yet this apparent security should not tempt us to forget that new enemies, and unknown dangers, may possibly arise from some obscure people, scarcely visible in the map of the world. The Arabs or Saracens, who spread their conquests from India to Spain, had languished in poverty and contempt, till Mahomet breathed into those savage bodies the soul of enthusiasm.
II. The empire of Rome was firmly established by the singular and perfect coalition of its members. The subject nations, resigning the hope, and even the wish, of independence, embraced the character of Roman citizens; and the provinces of the West were reluctantly torn by the Barbarians from the bosom of their mother-country.7 But this union was purchased by the loss of national freedom and military spirit; and the servile provinces, destitute of life and motion, expected their safety from the mercenary troops and governors, who were directed by the orders of a distant court. The happiness of an hundred millions depended on the personal merit of one or two men, perhaps children, whose minds were corrupted by education, luxury, and despotic power. The deepest wounds were inflicted on the empire during the minorities of the sons and grandsons of Theodosius; and, after those incapable princes seemed to attain the age of manhood, they abandoned the church to the bishops, the state to the eunuchs, and the provinces to the Barbarians. Europe is now divided into twelve powerful, though unequal, kingdoms, three respectable commonwealths, and a variety of smaller, though independent, states; the chances of royal and ministerial talents are multiplied, at least with the number of its rulers; and a Julian, or Semiramis, may reign in the North, while Arcadius and Honorius again slumber on the thrones of the South.7a The abuses of tyranny are restrained by the mutual influence of fear and shame; republics have acquired order and stability; monarchies have imbibed the principles of freedom, or, at least, of moderation; and some sense of honour and justice is introduced into the most defective constitutions by the general manners of the times. In peace, the progress of knowledge and industry is accelerated by the emulation of so many active rivals: in war, the European forces are exercised by temperate and undecisive contests. If a savage conqueror should issue from the deserts of Tartary, he must repeatedly vanquish the robust peasants of Russia, the numerous armies of Germany, the gallant nobles of France, and the intrepid freemen of Britain; who, perhaps, might confederate for their common defence. Should the victorious Barbarians carry slavery and desolation as far as the Atlantic Ocean, ten thousand vessels would transport beyond their pursuit the remains of civilised society; and Europe would revive and flourish in the American world, which is already filled with her colonies and institutions.8
III. Cold, poverty, and a life of danger and fatigue fortify the strength and courage of Barbarians. In every age they have oppressed the polite and peaceful nations of China, India, and Persia, who neglected, and still neglect, to counterbalance these natural powers by the resources of military art. The warlike states of antiquity, Greece, Macedonia, and Rome, educated a race of soldiers; exercised their bodies, disciplined their courage, multiplied their forces by regular evolutions, and converted the iron which they possessed, into strong and serviceable weapons. But this superiority insensibly declined with their laws and manners; and the feeble policy of Constantine and his successors armed and instructed, for the ruin of the empire, the rude valour of the Barbarian mercenaries. The military art has been changed by the invention of gunpowder; which enables man to command the two most powerful agents of nature, air and fire. Mathematics, chymistry, mechanics, architecture, have been applied to the service of war; and the adverse parties oppose to each other the most elaborate modes of attack and of defence. Historians may indignantly observe that the preparations of a siege would found and maintain a flourishing colony;9 yet we cannot be displeased that the subversion of a city should be a work of cost and difficulty, or that an industrious people should be protected by those arts, which survive and supply the decay of military virtue. Cannon and fortifications now form an impregnable barrier against the Tartar horse; and Europe is secure from any future irruption of Barbarians; since, before they can conquer, they must cease to be barbarous. Their gradual advances in the science of war would always be accompanied, as we may learn from the example of Russia, with a proportionable improvement in the arts of peace and civil policy; and they themselves must deserve a place among the polished nations whom they subdue.
Should these speculations be found doubtful or fallacious, there still remains a more humble source of comfort and hope. The discoveries of ancient and modern navigators, and the domestic history, or tradition, of the most enlightened nations, represent the human savage, naked both in mind and body, and destitute of laws, of arts, of ideas, and almost of language.10 From this abject condition, perhaps the primitive and universal state of man, he has gradually arisen to command the animals, to fertilise the earth, to traverse the ocean, and to measure the heavens. His progress in the improvement and exercise of his mental and corporeal faculties11 has been irregular and various, infinitely slow in the beginning, and increasing by degrees with redoubled velocity; ages of laborious ascent have been followed by a moment of rapid downfall; and the several climates of the globe have felt the vicissitudes of light and darkness. Yet the experience of four thousand years should enlarge our hopes, and diminish our apprehensions; we cannot determine to what height the human species may aspire in their advances towards perfection; but it may safely be presumed that no people, unless the face of nature is changed, will relapse into their original barbarism. The improvements of society may be viewed under a threefold aspect. 1. The poet or philosopher illustrates his age and country by the efforts of a single mind; but these superior powers of reason or fancy are rare and spontaneous productions, and the genius of Homer, or Cicero, or Newton would excite less admiration, if they could be created by the will of a prince or the lessons of a preceptor. 2. The benefits of law and policy, of trade and manufactures, of arts and sciences, are more solid and permanent; and many individuals may be qualified, by education and discipline, to promote, in their respective stations, the interest of the community. But this general order is the effect of skill and labour; and the complex machinery may be decayed by time or injured by violence. 3. Fortunately for mankind, the more useful, or, at least, more necessary arts can be performed without superior talents or national subordination; without the powers of one or the union of many. Each village, each family, each individual, must always possess both ability and inclination to perpetuate the use of fire12 and of metals; the propagation and service of domestic animals; the methods of hunting and fishing; the rudiments of navigation; the imperfect cultivation of corn or other nutritive grain; and the simple practice of the mechanic trades. Private genius and public industry may be extirpated; but these hardy plants survive the tempest, and strike an everlasting root into the most unfavourable soil. The splendid days of Augustus and Trajan were eclipsed by a cloud of ignorance; and the Barbarians subverted the laws and palaces of Rome. But the scythe, the invention or emblem of Saturn,13 still continued annually to mow the harvests of Italy: and the human feasts of the Læstrygons14 have never been renewed on the coast of Campania.
Since the first discovery of the arts, war, commerce, and religious zeal have diffused, among the savages of the Old and New World, those inestimable gifts: they have been successively propagated; they can never be lost. We may therefore acquiesce in the pleasing conclusion that every age of the world has increased, and still increases, the real wealth, the happiness, the knowledge, and perhaps the virtue of the human race.15
Zeno and Anastasius, Emperors of the East — Birth, Education, and first Exploits of Theodoric the Ostrogoth — His Invasion and Conquest of Italy — The Gothic Kingdom of Italy — State of the West — Military and Civil Government — The Senator Boethius — Last Acts and Death of Theodoric
After the fall of the Roman empire in the West, an interval of fifty years, till the memorable reign of Justinian, is faintly marked by the obscure names and imperfect annals of Zeno, Anastasius, and Justin, who successively ascended the throne of Constantinople. During the same period, Italy revived and flourished under the government of a Gothic king, who might have deserved a statue among the best and bravest of the ancient Romans.
Theodoric the Ostrogoth, the fourteenth in lineal descent of the royal line of the Amali,1 was born in the neighbourhood of Vienna2 two years after the death of Attila. A recent victory had restored the independence of the Ostrogoths; and the three brothers, Walamir, Theodemir, and Widimir, who ruled that warlike nation with united counsels, had separately pitched their habitations in the fertile though desolate province of Pannonia.3 The Huns still threatened their revolted subjects, but their hasty attack was repelled by the single forces of Walamir, and the news of his victory reached the distant camp of his brother in the same auspicious moment that the favourite concubine of Theodemir was delivered of a son and heir. In the eighth year of his age, Theodoric was reluctantly yielded by his father to the public interest, as the pledge of an alliance which Leo, emperor of the East, had consented to purchase by an annual subsidy of three hundred pounds of gold. The royal hostage was educated at Constantinople with care and tenderness. His body was formed to all the exercises of war, his mind was expanded by the habits of liberal conversation; he frequented the schools of the most skilful masters; but he disdained or neglected the arts of Greece, and so ignorant did he always remain of the first elements of science that a rude mark was contrived to represent the signature of the illiterate king of Italy.4 As soon as he had attained the age of eighteen, he was restored to the wishes of the Ostrogoths, whom the emperor aspired to gain by liberality and confidence. Walamir had fallen in battle; the youngest of the brothers, Widimir, had led away into Italy and Gaul an army of Barbarians, and the whole nation acknowledged for their king the father of Theodoric. His ferocious subjects admired the strength and stature of their young prince;5 and he soon convinced them that he had not degenerated from the valour of his ancestors. At the head of six thousand volunteers he secretly left the camp in quest of adventures, descended the Danube as far as Singidunum or Belgrade, and soon returned to his father with the spoils of a Sarmatian king whom he had vanquished and slain. Such triumphs, however, were productive only of fame, and the invincible Ostrogoths were reduced to extreme distress by the want of clothing and food. They unanimously resolved to desert their Pannonian encampments, and boldly to advance into the warm and wealthy neighbourhood of the Byzantine court, which already maintained in pride and luxury so many bands of confederate Goths. After proving by some acts of hostility that they could be dangerous, or at least troublesome, enemies, the Ostrogoths sold at a high price their reconciliation and fidelity, accepted a donative of lands6 and money, and were entrusted with the defence of the lower Danube, under the command of Theodoric, who succeeded after his father’s death to the hereditary throne of the Amali.7
An hero, descended from a race of kings, must have depised the base Isaurian who was invested with the Roman purple, without any endowments of mind or body, without any advantages of royal birth or superior qualifications. After the failure of the Theodosian line, the choice of Pulcheria and of the senate might be justified in some measure by the characters of Marcian and Leo, but the latter of these princes confirmed and dishonoured his reign by the perfidious murder of Aspar and his sons, who too rigorously exacted the debt of gratitude and obedience. The inheritance of Leo and of the East was peaceably devolved on his infant grandson, the son of his daughter Ariadne; and her Isaurian husband, the fortunate Trascalisseus, exchanged that barbarous sound for the Grecian appellation of Zeno. After the decease of the elder Leo, he approached with unnatural respect the throne of his son, humbly received, as a gift, the second rank in the empire, and soon excited the public suspicion on the sudden and premature death of his young colleague, whose life could no longer promote the success of his ambition. But the palace of Constantinople was ruled by female influence, and agitated by female passions; and Verina, the widow of Leo, claiming his empire as her own, pronounced a sentence of deposition against the worthless and ungrateful servant on whom she alone had bestowed the sceptre of the East.8 As soon as she sounded a revolt in the ears of Zeno, he fled with precipitation into the mountains of Isauria, and her brother Basiliscus, already infamous by his African expedition,9 was unanimously proclaimed by the servile senate. But the reign of the usurper was short and turbulent. Basiliscus presumed to assassinate the lover of his sister; he dared to offend the lover of his wife, the vain and insolent Harmatius, who, in the midst of Asiatic luxury, affected the dress, the demeanour, and the surname of Achilles.10 By the conspiracy of the malcontents, Zeno was recalled from exile; the armies, the capital, the person, of Basiliscus were betrayed; and his whole family was condemned to the long agony of cold and hunger by the inhuman conqueror, who wanted courage to encounter or to forgive his enemies. The haughty spirit of Verina was still incapable of submission or repose. She provoked the enmity of a favourite general, embraced his cause as soon as he was disgraced, created a new emperor in Syria and Egypt, raised an army of seventy thousand men, and persisted to the last moment of her life in a fruitless rebellion, which, according to the fashion of the age, had been predicted by Christian hermits and Pagan magicians. While the East was afflicted by the passions of Verina, her daughter Ariadne was distinguished by the female virtues of mildness and fidelity; she followed her husband in his exile, and after his restoration she implored his clemency in favour of her mother. On the decease of Zeno, Ariadne, the daughter, the mother, and the widow of an emperor, gave her hand and the Imperial title to Anastasius, an aged domestic of the palace, who survived his elevation above twenty-seven years, and whose character is attested by the acclamation of the people, “Reign as you have lived!”11
Whatever fear or affection could bestow, was profusely lavished by Zeno on the king of the Ostrogoths: the rank of patrician and consul, the command of the Palatine troops, an equestrian statue, a treasure in gold and silver of many thousand pounds, the name of son, and the promise of a rich and honourable wife. As long as Theodoric condescended to serve, he supported with courage and fidelity the cause of his benefactor: his rapid march contributed to the restoration of Zeno; and in the second revolt, the Walamirs, as they were called, pursued and pressed the Asiatic rebels, till they left an easy victory to the Imperial troops.12 But the faithful servant was suddenly converted into a formidable enemy, who spread the flames of war from Constantinople to the Adriatic; many flourishing cities were reduced to ashes, and the agriculture of Thrace was almost extirpated by the wanton cruelty of the Goths, who deprived their captive peasants of the right hand, that guided the plough.13 On such occasions, Theodoric sustained the loud and specious reproach of disloyalty, of ingratitude, and of insatiate avarice, which could be only excused by the hard necessity of his situation. He reigned, not as the monarch, but as the minister of a ferocious people, whose spirit was unbroken by slavery, and impatient of real or imaginary insults. Their poverty was incurable; since the most liberal donatives were soon dissipated in wasteful luxury, and the most fertile estates became barren in their hands; they despised, but they envied, the laborious provincials; and, when their subsistence had failed, the Ostrogoths embraced the familiar resources of war and rapine. It had been the wish of Theodoric (such at least was his declaration) to lead a peaceful, obscure, obedient life, on the confines of Scythia, till the Byzantine court, by splendid and fallacious promises, seduced him to attack a confederate tribe of Goths, who had been engaged in the party of Basiliscus. He marched from his station in Mæsia, on the solemn assurance that before he reached Hadrianople he should meet a plentiful convoy of provisions and a reinforcement of eight thousand horse and thirty thousand foot, while the legions of Asia were encamped at Heraclea to second his operations. These measures were disappointed by mutual jealousy. As he advanced into Thrace, the son of Theodemir found an inhospitable solitude, and his Gothic followers, with an heavy train of horses, of mules, and of waggons, were betrayed by their guides among the rocks and precipices of Mount Sondis,14 where he was assaulted by the arms and invectives of Theodoric the son of Triarius. From a neighbouring height, his artful rival harangued the camp of the Walamirs, and branded their leader with the opprobrious names of child, of madman, of perjured traitor, the enemy of his blood and nation. “Are you ignorant,” exclaimed the son of Triarius, “that it is the constant policy of the Romans to destroy the Goths by each other’s swords? Are you insensible that the victor in this unnatural contest will be exposed, and justly exposed, to their implacable revenge? Where are those warriors, my kinsmen and thy own, whose widows now lament that their lives were sacrificed to thy rash ambition? Where is the wealth which thy soldiers possessed when they were first allured from their native homes to enlist under thy standard? Each of them was then master of three or four horses; they now follow thee on foot like slaves, through the deserts of Thrace; those men who were tempted by the hope of measuring gold with a bushel, those brave men who are as free and as noble as thyself.” A language so well suited to the temper of the Goths excited clamour and discontent; and the son of Theodemir, apprehensive of being left alone, was compelled to embrace his brethren, and to imitate the example of Roman perfidy.15
In every state of his fortune, the prudence and firmness of Theodoric were equally conspicuous; whether he threatened Constantinople at the head of the confederate Goths, or retreated with a faithful band to the mountains and sea-coast of Epirus. At length the accidental death of the son of Triarius16 destroyed the balance which the Romans had been so anxious to preserve, the whole nation acknowledged the supremacy of the Amali, and the Byzantine court subscribed an ignominious and oppressive treaty.17 The senate had already declared that it was necessary to choose a party among the Goths, since the public was unequal to the support of their united forces; a subsidy of two thousand pounds of gold, with the ample pay of thirteen thousand men, were required for the least considerable of their armies;18 and the Isaurians, who guarded not the empire but the emperor, enjoyed, besides the privilege of rapine, an annual pension of five thousand pounds. The sagacious mind of Theodoric soon perceived that he was odious to the Romans, and suspected by the Barbarians; he understood the popular murmur that his subjects were exposed in their frozen huts to intolerable hardships, while their king was dissolved in the luxury of Greece; and he prevented the painful alternative of encountering the Goths, as the champion, or of leading them to the field as the enemy, of Zeno. Embracing an enterprise worthy of his courage and ambition, Theodoric addressed the emperor in the following words: “Although your servant is maintained in affluence by your liberality, graciously listen to the wishes of my heart! Italy, the inheritance of your predecessors, and Rome itself, the head and mistress of the world, now fluctuate under the violence and oppression of Odoacer the mercenary. Direct me, with my national troops, to march against the tyrant. If I fall, you will be relieved from an expensive and troublesome friend; if, with the Divine permission, I succeed, I shall govern in your name, and to your glory, the Roman senate, and the part of the republic delivered from slavery by my victorious arms.” The proposal of Theodoric was accepted, and perhaps had been suggested, by the Byzantine court. But the forms of the commission or grant appear to have been expressed with a prudent ambiguity, which might be explained by the event; and it was left doubtful, whether the conqueror of Italy should reign as the lieutenant, the vassal, or the ally of the emperor of the East.19
The reputation both of the leader and of the war diffused an universal ardour; the Walamirs were multiplied by the Gothic swarms already engaged in the service, or seated in the provinces, of the empire; and each bold Barbarian, who had heard of the wealth and beauty of Italy, was impatient to seek, through the most perilous adventures, the possession of such enchanting objects. The march of Theodoric must be considered as the emigration of an entire people;20 the wives and children of the Goths, their aged parents, and most precious effects were carefully transported; and some idea may be formed of the heavy baggage that now followed the camp, by the loss of two thousand waggons, which had been sustained in a single action in the war of Epirus. For their subsistence, the Goths depended on the magazines of corn which was ground in portable mills by the hands of their women; on the milk and flesh of their flocks and herds; on the casual produce of the chase, and upon the contributions which they might impose on all who should presume to dispute the passage or to refuse their friendly assistance. Notwithstanding these precautions, they were exposed to the danger, and almost to the distress, of famine, in a march of seven hundred miles, which had been undertaken in the depth of a rigorous winter. Since the fall of the Roman power, Dacia and Pannonia no longer exhibited the rich prospect of populous cities, well-cultivated fields, and convenient highways: the reign of barbarism and desolation was restored, and the tribes of Bulgarians, Gepidæ, and Sarmatians, who had occupied the vacant province, were prompted by their native fierceness, or the solicitations of Odoacer, to resist the progress of his enemy. In many obscure though bloody battles, Theodoric fought and vanquished; till at length, surmounting every obstacle by skilful conduct and persevering courage, he descended from the Julian Alps, and displayed his invincible banners on the confines of Italy.21
Odoacer, a rival not unworthy of his arms, had already occupied the advantageous and well-known post of the river Sontius near the ruins of Aquileia; at the head of a powerful host, whose independent kings22 or leaders disdained the duties of subordination and the prudence of delays. No sooner had Theodoric granted a short repose and refreshment to his wearied cavalry, than he boldly attacked the fortifications of the enemy; the Ostrogoths shewed more ardour to acquire, than the mercenaries to defend, the lands of Italy; and the reward of the first victory was the possession of the Venetian province as far as the walls of Verona. In the neighbourhood of that city, on the steep banks of the rapid Adige, he was opposed by a new army, reinforced in its numbers and not impaired in its courage: the contest was more obstinate, but the event was still more decisive; Odoacer fled to Ravenna, Theodoric advanced to Milan, and the vanquished troops saluted their conqueror with loud acclamations of respect and fidelity. But their want either of constancy or of faith soon exposed him to the most imminent danger; his vanguard, with several Gothic counts, which had been rashly entrusted to a deserter, was betrayed and destroyed near Faenza by his double treachery; Odoacer again appeared master of the field, and the invader, strongly intrenched in his camp of Pavia, was reduced to solicit the aid of a kindred nation, the Visigoths of Gaul.23 In the course of this history, the most voracious appetite for war will be abundantly satiated; nor can I much lament that our dark and imperfect materials do not afford a more ample narrative of the distress of Italy and of the fierce conflict which was finally decided by the abilities, experience, and valour of the Gothic king. Immediately before the battle of Verona, he visited the tent of his mother24 and sister, and requested that on a day, the most illustrious festival of his life, they would adorn him with the rich garments which they had worked with their own hands. “Our glory,” said he, “is mutual and inseparable. You are known to the world as the mother of Theodoric; and it becomes me to prove that I am the genuine offspring of those heroes from whom I claim my descent.” The wife or concubine of Theodemir was inspired with the spirit of the German matrons who esteemed their sons’ honour far above their safety; and it is reported that in a desperate action, when Theodoric himself was hurried along by the torrent of a flying crowd, she boldly met them at the entrance of the camp, and, by her generous reproaches, drove them back on the swords of the enemy.25
From the Alps to the extremity of Calabria, Theodoric reigned by the right of conquest;26 the vandal ambassadors surrendered the land of Sicily, as a lawful appendage of his kingdom; and he was accepted as the deliverer of Rome by the senate and people, who had shut their gates against the flying usurper.27 Ravenna alone, secure in the fortifications of art and nature, still sustained a siege of almost three years; and the daring sallies of Odoacer carried slaughter and dismay into the Gothic camp. At length, destitute of provisions and hopeless of relief, that unfortunate monarch yielded to the groans of his subjects and the clamours of his soldiers. A treaty of peace was negotiated by the bishop of Ravenna; the Ostrogoths were admitted into the city; and the hostile kings consented, under the sanction of an oath, to rule with equal and undivided authority the provinces of Italy.28 The event of such an agreement may be easily foreseen. After some days had been devoted to the semblance of joy and friendship, Odoacer, in the midst of a solemn banquet, was stabbed by the hand, or at least by the command, of his rival.29 Secret and effectual orders had been previously despatched; the faithless and rapacious mercenaries, at the same moment and without resistance, were universally massacred; and the royalty of Theodoric was proclaimed by the Goths, with the tardy, reluctant, ambiguous consent of the emperor of the East. The design of a conspiracy was imputed, according to the usual forms, to the prostrate tyrant; but his innocence and the guilt of his conqueror30 are sufficiently proved by the advantageous treaty which force would not sincerely have granted nor weakness have rashly infringed. The jealousy of power and the mischiefs of discord may suggest a more decent apology, and a sentence less rigorous may be pronounced against a crime which was necessary to introduce into Italy a regeneration of public felicity. The living author of this felicity was audaciously praised in his own presence by sacred and profane orators;31 but history (in his time she was mute and inglorious) has not left any just representation of the events which displayed, or of the defects which clouded, the virtues of Theodoric.32 One record of his fame, the volume of public epistles composed by Cassiodorius in the royal name, is still extant, and has obtained more implicit credit than it seems to deserve.33 They exhibit the forms, rather than the substance, of his government; and we should vainly search for the pure and spontaneous sentiments of the Barbarian amidst the declamation and learning of a sophist, the wishes of a Roman senator, the precedents of office, and the vague professions which, in every court and on every occasion, compose the language of discreet ministers. The reputation of Theodoric may repose with more confidence on the visible peace and prosperity of a reign of thirty-three years, the unanimous esteem of his own times, and the memory of his wisdom and courage, his justice and humanity, which was deeply impressed on the minds of the Goths and Italians.
The partition of the lands of Italy, of which Theodoric assigned the third part to his soldiers, is honourably arraigned as the sole injustice of his life. And even this act may be fairly justified by the example of Odoacer, the rights of conquest, the true interest of the Italians, and the sacred duty of subsisting a whole people, who, on the faith of his promises, had transported themselves into a distant land.34 Under the reign of Theodoric, and in the happy climate of Italy, the Goths soon multiplied to a formidable host of two hundred thousand men,35 and the whole amount of their families may be computed by the ordinary addition of women and children. Their invasion of property, a part of which must have been already vacant, was disguised by the generous but improper name of hospitality; these unwelcome guests were irregularly dispersed over the face of Italy, and the lot of each Barbarian was adequate to his birth and office, the number of his followers, and the rustic wealth which he possessed in slaves and cattle. The distinctions of noble and plebeian were acknowledged;36 but the lands of every freeman were exempt from taxes, and he enjoyed the inestimable privilege of being subject only to the laws of his country.37 Fashion, and even convenience, soon persuaded the conquerors to assume the more elegant dress of the natives, but they still persisted in the use of their mother-tongue; and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.38 Distress might sometimes provoke the indigent Roman to assume the ferocious manners which were insensibly relinquished by the rich and luxurious Barbarian;39 but these mutual conversions were not encouraged by the policy of a monarch who perpetuated the separation of the Italians and Goths; reserving the former for the arts of peace and the latter for the service of war. To accomplish this design, he studied to protect his industrious subjects, and to moderate the violence without enervating the valour of his soldiers, who were maintained for the public defence. They held their lands and benefices as a military stipend; at the sound of the trumpet they were prepared to march under the conduct of their provincial officers; and the whole extent of Italy was distributed into the several quarters of a well-regulated camp. The service of the palace and of the frontiers was performed by choice or by rotation; and each extraordinary fatigue was recompensed by an increase of pay and occasional donatives. Theodoric had convinced his brave companions that empire must be acquired and defended by the same arts. After his example, they strove to excel in the use, not only of the lance and sword, the instruments of their victories, but of the missile weapons, which they were too much inclined to neglect; and the lively image of war was displayed in the daily exercise and annual reviews of the Gothic cavalry. A firm though gentle discipline imposed the habits of modesty, obedience, and temperance; and the Goths were instructed to spare the people, to reverence the laws, to understand the duties of civil society, and to disclaim the barbarous licence of judicial combat and private revenge.40
Among the Barbarians of the West, the victory of Theodoric had spread a general alarm. But, as soon as it appeared that he was satisfied with conquest and desirous of peace, terror was changed into respect, and they submitted to a powerful mediation, which was uniformly employed for the best purposes of reconciling their quarrels and civilising their manners.41 The ambassadors who resorted to Ravenna from the most distant countries of Europe, admired his wisdom, magnificence,42 and courtesy; and, if he sometimes accepted either slaves or arms, white horses or strange animals, the gift of a sundial, a water-clock, or a musician, admonished even the princes of Gaul, of the superior art and industry of his Italian subjects. His domestic alliances,43 a wife, two daughters, a sister, and a niece, united the family of Theodoric with the kings of the Franks, the Burgundians, the Visigoths, the Vandals, and the Thuringians; and contributed to maintain the harmony, or at least the balance, of the great republic of the West.44 It is difficult in the dark forests of Germany and Poland to pursue the emigrations of the Heruli, a fierce people who disdained the use of armour, and who condemned their widows and aged parents not to survive the loss of their husbands or the decay of their strength.45 The king of these savage warriors solicited the friendship of Theodoric, and was elevated to the rank of his son, according to the barbaric rites of a military adoption.46 From the shores of the Baltic, the Æstians or Livonians laid their offerings of native amber47 at the feet of a prince whose fame had excited them to undertake an unknown and dangerous journey of fifteen hundred miles. With the country48 from whence the Gothic nation derived their origin he maintained a frequent and friendly correspondence; the Italians were clothed in the rich sables49 of Sweden; and one of its sovereigns, after a voluntary or reluctant abdication, found an hospitable retreat in the palace of Ravenna. He had reigned over one of the thirteen populous tribes who cultivated a small portion of the great island or peninsula of Scandinavia, to which the vague appellation of Thule has been sometimes applied. That Northern region was peopled, or had been explored, as high as the sixty-eighth degree of latitude, where the natives of the polar circle enjoy and lose the presence of the sun at each summer and winter solstice during an equal period of forty days.50 The long night of his absence or death was the mournful season of distress and anxiety, till the messengers who had been sent to the mountain tops descried the first rays of returning light and proclaimed to the plain below the festival of his resurrection.51
The life of Theodoric represents the rare and meritorious example of a Barbarian, who sheathed his sword in the pride of victory and the vigour of his age. A reign of three and thirty years was consecrated to the duties of civil government, and the hostilities in which he was sometimes involved were speedily terminated by the conduct of his lieutenants, the discipline of his troops, the arms of his allies, and even by the terror of his name. He reduced, under a strong and regular government, the unprofitable countries of Rhætia, Noricum, Dalmatia, and Pannonia, from the source of the Danube and the territory of the Bavarians,52 to the petty kingdom erected by the Gepidæ on the ruins of Sirmium. His prudence could not safely entrust the bulwark of Italy to such feeble and turbulent neighbours; and his justice might claim the lands which they oppressed, either as a part of his kingdom or as the inheritance of his father. The greatness of a servant, who was named perfidious because he was successful, awakened the jealousy of the emperor Anastasius; and a war was kindled on the Dacian frontier, by the protection which the Gothic king, in the vicissitude of human affairs, had granted to one of the descendants of Attila. Sabinian, a general illustrious by his own and father’s merit, advanced at the head of ten thousand Romans; and the provisions and arms, which filled a long train of waggons, were distributed to the fiercest of the Bulgarian tribes. But, in the fields of Margus, the Eastern powers were defeated by the inferior forces of the Goths and Huns;53 the flower, and even the hope, of the Roman armies was irretrievably destroyed; and such was the temperance with which Theodoric had inspired his victorious troops, that, as their leader had not given the signal of pillage, the rich spoils of the enemy lay untouched at their feet.54 Exasperated by this disgrace, the Byzantine court despatched two hundred ships and eight thousand men to plunder the sea-coast of Calabria and Apulia; they assaulted the ancient city of Tarentum, interrupted the trade and agriculture of an happy country, and sailed back to the Hellespont, proud of their piratical victory over a people whom they still presumed to consider as their Roman brethren.55 Their retreat was possibly hastened by the activity of Theodoric; Italy was covered by a fleet of a thousand light vessels,56 which he constructed with incredible despatch; and his firm moderation was soon rewarded by a solid and honourable peace. He maintained with a powerful hand the balance of the West, till it was at length overthrown by the ambition of Clovis; and, although unable to assist his rash and unfortunate kinsman the king of the Visigoths, he saved the remains of his family and people, and checked the Franks in the midst of their victorious career. I am not desirous to prolong or repeat57 this narrative of military events, the least interesting of the reign of Theodoric; and shall be content to add that the Alemanni were protected,58 that an inroad of the Burgundians was severely chastised, and that the conquest of Arles and Marseilles opened a free communication with the Visigoths, who revered him both as their national protector and as the guardian of his grandchild, the infant son of Alaric. Under this respectable character, the king of Italy restored the Prætorian prefecture of the Gauls, reformed some abuses in the civil government of Spain, and accepted the annual tribute and apparent submission of its military governor, who wisely refused to trust his person in the palace of Ravenna.59 The Gothic sovereignty was established from Sicily to the Danube, from Sirmium or Belgrade60 to the Atlantic Ocean; and the Greeks themselves have acknowledged that Theodoric reigned over the fairest portion of the Western empire.61
The union of the Goths and Romans might have fixed for ages the transient happiness of Italy; and the first of nations, a new people of free subjects and enlightened soldiers, might have gradually arisen from the mutual emulation of their respective virtues. But the sublime merit of guiding or seconding such a revolution was not reserved for the reign of Theodoric; he wanted either the genius or the opportunities of a legislator;62 and, while he indulged the Goths in the enjoyment of rude liberty, he servilely copied the institutions, and even the abuses, of the political system which had been framed by Constantine and his successors. From a tender regard to the expiring prejudices of Rome, the Barbarian declined the name, the purple, and the diadem of the emperors;63 but he assumed, under the hereditary title of king, the whole substance and plenitude of Imperial prerogative.64 His addresses to the Eastern throne were respectful and ambiguous; he celebrated in pompous style the harmony of the two republics, applauded his own government as the perfect similitude of a sole and undivided empire, and claimed above the kings of the earth the same pre-eminence which he modestly allowed to the person or rank of Anastasius. The alliance of the East and West was annually declared by the unanimous choice of two consuls; but it should seem that the Italian candidate who was named by Theodoric accepted a formal confirmation from the sovereign of Constantinople.65 The Gothic palace of Ravenna reflected the image of the court of Theodosius or Valentinian. The Prætorian prefect, the prefect of Rome, the quæstor, the master of the offices, with the public and patrimonial treasures, whose functions are painted in gaudy colours by the rhetoric of Cassiodorius, still continued to act as the ministers of state. And the subordinate care of justice and the revenue was delegated to seven consulars, three correctors, and five presidents, who governed the fifteen regions of Italy, according to the principles and even the forms of Roman jurisprudence.66 The violence of the conquerors was abated or eluded by the slow artifice of judicial proceedings; the civil administration with its honours and emoluments was confined to the Italians; and the people still preserved their dress and language, their laws and customs, their personal freedom, and two-thirds of their landed property. It had been the object of Augustus to conceal the introduction of monarchy; it was the policy of Theodoric to disguise the reign of a Barbarian.67 If his subjects were sometimes awakened from this pleasing vision of a Roman government, they derived more substantial comfort from the character of a Gothic prince who had penetration to discern, and firmness to pursue, his own and the public interest. Theodoric loved the virtues which he possessed, and the talents of which he was destitute. Liberius was promoted to the office of Prætorian prefect for his unshaken fidelity to the unfortunate cause of Odoacer. The ministers of Theodoric, Cassiodorius68 and Boethius, have reflected on his reign the lustre of their genius and learning. More prudent or more fortunate than his colleague, Cassiodorius preserved his own esteem without forfeiting the royal favour; and, after passing thirty years in the honours of the world, he was blessed with an equal term of repose in the devout and studious solitude of Squillace.
As the patron of the republic, it was the interest and duty of the Gothic king to cultivate the affections of the senate69 and people. The nobles of Rome were flattered by sonorous epithets and formal professions of respect, which had been more justly applied to the merit and authority of their ancestors. The people enjoyed, without fear or danger, the three blessings of a capital, order, plenty, and public amusements. A visible diminution of their numbers may be found even in the measure of liberality;70 yet Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily poured their tribute of corn into the granaries of Rome; an allowance of bread and meat was distributed to the indigent citizens; and every office was deemed honourable which was consecrated to the care of their health and happiness. The public games, such as a Greek ambassador might politely applaud, exhibited a faint and feeble copy of the magnificence of the Cæsars, yet the musical, the gymnastic, and the pantomime arts had not totally sunk in oblivion; the wild beasts of Africa still exercised in the amphitheatre the courage and dexterity of the hunters; and the indulgent Goth either patiently tolerated or gently restrained the blue and green factions, whose contests so often filled the circus with clamour, and even with blood.71 In the seventh year of his peaceful reign, Theodoric visited the old capital of the world; the senate and people advanced in solemn procession to salute a second Trajan, a new Valentinian; and he nobly supported that character by the assurance of a just and legal government,72 in a discourse which he was not afraid to pronounce in public and to inscribe on a tablet of brass. Rome, in this august ceremony, shot a last ray of declining glory; and a saint, the spectator of this pompous scene, could only hope, in his pious fancy, that it was excelled by the celestial splendour of the New Jerusalem.73 During a residence of six months, the fame, the person, and the courteous demeanour of the Gothic king excited the admiration of the Romans, and he contemplated, with equal curiosity and surprise, the monuments that remained of their ancient greatness. He imprinted the footsteps of a conqueror on the Capitoline hill, and frankly confessed that each day he viewed with fresh wonder the forum of Trajan and his lofty column. The theatre of Pompey appeared, even in its decay, as a huge mountain artificially hollowed and polished, and adorned by human industry; and he vaguely computed, that a river of gold must have been drained to erect the colossal amphitheatre of Titus.74 From the mouths of fourteen aqueducts, a pure and copious stream was diffused into every part of the city; among these the Claudian water, which arose at the distance of thirty-eight miles in the Sabine mountains, was conveyed along a gentle though constant declivity of solid arches, till it descended on the summit of the Aventine hill. The long and spacious vaults which had been constructed for the purpose of common sewers, subsisted, after twelve centuries, in their pristine strength; and the subterraneous channels have been preferred to all the visible wonders of Rome.75 The Gothic kings, so injuriously accused of the ruin of antiquity, were anxious to preserve the monuments of the nation whom they had subdued.76 The royal edicts were framed to prevent the abuses, the neglect, or the depredations of the citizens themselves; and a professed architect, the annual sum of two hundred pounds of gold, twenty-five thousand tiles, and the receipt of customs from the Lucrine port were assigned for the ordinary repairs of the walls and public edifices. A similar care was extended to the statues of metal or marble of men or animals. The spirit of the horses, which have given a modern name to the Quirinal, was applauded by the Barbarians;77 the brazen elephants of the Via sacra were diligently restored;78 the famous heifer of Myron deceived the cattle, as they were driven through the forum of Peace;79 and an officer was created to protect those works of art, which Theodoric considered as the noblest ornament of his kingdom.
After the example of the last emperors, Theodoric preferred the residence of Ravenna, where he cultivated an orchard with his own hands.80 As often as the peace of his kingdom was threatened (for it was never invaded) by the Barbarians, he removed his court to Verona81 on the northern frontier, and the image of his palace, still extant, on a coin, represents the oldest and most authentic model of Gothic architecture. These two capitals, as well as Pavia, Spoleto, Naples, and the rest of the Italian cities, acquired under his reign the useful or splendid decorations of churches, aqueducts, baths, porticoes, and palaces.82 But the happiness of the subject was more truly conspicuous in the busy scene of labour and luxury, in the rapid increase and bold enjoyment of national wealth. From the shades of Tibur and Præneste, the Roman senators still retired in the winter season to the warm sun and salubrious springs of Baiæ; and their villas, which advanced on solid moles into the bay of Naples, commanded the various prospect of the sky, the earth, and the water. On the eastern side of the Hadriatic, a new campania was formed in the fair and fruitful province of Istria, which communicated with the palace of Ravenna by an easy navigation of one hundred miles. The rich productions of Lucania and the adjacent provinces were exchanged at the Marcilian fountain, in a populous fair annually dedicated to trade, intemperance, and superstition. In the solitude of Comum, which had once been animated by the mild genius of Pliny, a transparent bason above sixty miles in length still reflected the rural seats which encompassed the margin of the Larian lake; and the gradual ascent of the hills was covered by a triple plantation of olives, of vines, and of chestnut trees.83 Agriculture revived under the shadow of peace, and the number of husbandmen was multiplied by the redemption of captives.84 The iron mines of Dalmatia, a gold mine in Bruttium, were carefully explored, and the Pomptine marshes, as well as those of Spoleto, were drained and cultivated by private undertakers, whose distant reward must depend on the continuance of the public prosperity.85 Whenever the seasons were less propitious, the doubtful precautions of forming magazines of corn, fixing the price, and prohibiting the exportation attested at least the benevolence of the state; but such was the extraordinary plenty which an industrious people produced from a grateful soil that a gallon of wine was sometimes sold in Italy for less than three farthings, and a quarter of wheat at about five shillings and sixpence.86 A country possessed of so many valuable objects of exchange soon attracted the merchants of the world, whose beneficial traffic was encouraged and protected by the liberal spirit of Theodoric. The free intercourse of the provinces by land and water was restored and extended; the city gates were never shut either by day or by night; and the common saying, that a purse of gold might be safely left in the fields, was expressive of the conscious security of the inhabitants.87
A difference of religion is always pernicious and often fatal to the harmony of the prince and people; the Gothic conqueror had been educated in the profession of Arianism, and Italy was devoutly attached to the Nicene faith. But the persuasion of Theodoric was not infected by zeal, and he piously adhered to the heresy of his fathers, without condescending to balance the subtile arguments of theological metaphysics. Satisfied with the private toleration of his Arian sectaries, he justly conceived himself to be the guardian of the public worship, and his external reverence for a superstition which he despised may have nourished in his mind the salutary indifference of a statesman or philosopher. The Catholics of his dominions acknowledged, perhaps with reluctance, the peace of the church; their clergy, according to the degrees of rank or merit, were honourably entertained in the palace of Theodoric; he esteemed the living sanctity of Cæsarius88 and Epiphanius,89 the orthodox bishops of Arles and Pavia; and presented a decent offering on the tomb of St. Peter, without any scrupulous inquiry into the creed of the apostle.90 His favourite Goths, and even his mother, were permitted to retain or embrace the Athanasian faith, and his long reign could not afford the example of an Italian Catholic who either from choice or compulsion had deviated into the religion of the conqueror.91 The people, and the Barbarians themselves, were edified by the pomp and order of religious worship; the magistrates were instructed to defend the just immunities of ecclesiastical persons and possessions; the bishops held their synods, the metropolitans exercised their jurisdiction, and the privileges of sanctuary were maintained or moderated according to the spirit of the Roman jurisprudence. With the protection, Theodoric assumed the legal supremacy of the church; and his firm administration restored or extended some useful prerogatives which had been neglected by the feeble emperors of the West. He was not ignorant of the dignity and importance of the Roman pontiff, to whom the venerable name of Pope was now appropriated. The peace or the revolt of Italy might depend on the character of a wealthy and popular bishop, who claimed such ample dominion both in heaven and earth; who had been declared in a numerous synod to be pure from all sin, and exempt from all judgment.92 When at his summons the chair of St. Peter was disputed by Symmachus and Lawrence, they appeared before the tribunal of an Arian monarch, and he confirmed the election of the most worthy or the most obsequious candidate.92a At the end of his life, in a moment of jealousy and resentment, he prevented the choice of the Romans, by nominating a pope in the palace of Ravenna. The danger and furious contests of a schism were mildly restrained, and the last decree of the senate was enacted to extinguish, if it were possible, the scandalous venality of the papal elections.93
I have descanted with pleasure on the fortunate condition of Italy; but our fancy must not hastily conceive that the golden age of the poets, a race of men without vice or misery, was realised under the Gothic conquest. The fair prospect was sometimes overcast with clouds; the wisdom of Theodoric might be deceived, his power might be resisted, and the declining age of the monarch was sullied with popular hatred and patrician blood. In the first insolence of victory, he had been tempted to deprive the whole party of Odoacer of the civil and even the natural rights of society;94 a tax unseasonably imposed after the calamities of war would have crushed the rising agriculture of Liguria; a rigid pre-emption of corn, which was intended for the public relief, must have aggravated the distress of Campania. These dangerous projects were defeated by the virtue and eloquence of Epiphanius and Boethius, who, in the presence of Theodoric himself, successfully pleaded the cause of the people;95 but, if the royal ear was open to the voice of truth, a saint and a philosopher are not always to be found at the ear of kings. The privileges of rank, or office, or favour were too frequently abused by Italian fraud and Gothic violence, and the avarice of the king’s nephew was publicly exposed, at first by the usurpation, and afterwards by the restitution, of the estates which he had unjustly extorted from his Tuscan neighbours. Two hundred thousand Barbarians, formidable even to their master, were seated in the heart of Italy; they indignantly supported the restraints of peace and discipline; the disorders of their march were always felt and sometimes compensated; and, where it was dangerous to punish, it might be prudent to dissemble, the sallies of their native fierceness. When the indulgence of Theodoric had remitted two thirds of the Ligurian tribute, he condescended to explain the difficulties of his situation, and to lament the heavy though inevitable burdens which he imposed on his subjects for their own defence.96 These ungrateful subjects could never be cordially reconciled to the origin, the religion, of even the virtues of the Gothic conqueror; past calamities were forgotten, and the sense or suspicion of injuries was rendered still more exquisite by the present felicity of the times.
Even the religious toleration which Theodoric had the glory of introducing into the Christian world was painful and offensive to the orthodox zeal of the Italians. They respected the armed heresy of the Goths; but their pious rage was safely pointed against the rich and defenceless Jews, who had formed their establishments at Naples, Rome, Ravenna, Milan, and Genoa, for the benefit of trade, and under the sanction of the laws.97 Their persons were insulted, their effects were pillaged, and their synagogues were burnt by the mad populace of Ravenna and Rome, inflamed, as it should seem, by the most frivolous or extravagant pretences. The government which could neglect, would have deserved, such an outrage. A legal inquiry was instantly directed; and, as the authors of the tumult had escaped in the crowd, the whole community was condemned to repair the damage; and the obstinate bigots who refused their contributions were whipped through the streets by the hand of the executioner. This simple act of justice exasperated the discontent of the Catholics, who applauded the merit and patience of these holy confessors; three hundred pulpits deplored the persecution of the church; and, if the chapel of St. Stephen at Verona was demolished by the command of Theodoric, it is probable that some miracle hostile to his name and dignity had been performed on that sacred theatre. At the close of a glorious life, the king of Italy discovered that he had excited the hatred of a people whose happiness he had so assiduously laboured to promote; and his mind was soured by indignation, jealousy, and the bitterness of unrequited love. The Gothic conqueror condescended to disarm the unwarlike natives of Italy, interdicting all weapons of offence, and excepting only a small knife for domestic use. The deliverer of Rome was accused of conspiring with the vilest informers against the lives of senators whom he suspected of a secret and treasonable correspondence with the Byzantine court.98 After the death of Anastasius, the diadem had been placed on the head of a feeble old man; but the powers of government were assumed by his nephew Justinian, who already meditated the extirpation of heresy, and the conquest of Italy and Africa. A rigorous law which was published at Constantinople, to reduce the Arians by the dread of punishment within the pale of the church, awakened the just resentment of Theodoric, who claimed for his distressed brethren of the East the same indulgence which he had so long granted to the Catholics of his dominions. At his stern command, the Roman pontiff, with four illustrious senators, embarked on an embassy, of which he must have alike dreaded the failure or the success. The singular veneration shewn to the first pope who had visited Constantinople was punished as a crime by his jealous monarch; the artful or peremptory refusal of the Byzantine court might excuse an equal, and would provoke a larger, measure of retaliation; and a mandate was prepared in Italy, to prohibit, after a stated day, the exercise of the Catholic worship. By the bigotry of his subjects and enemies, the most tolerant of princes was driven to the brink of persecution; and the life of Theodoric was too long, since he lived to condemn the virtue of Boethius and Symmachus.99
The senator Boethius100 is the last of the Romans whom Cato or Tully could have acknowledged for their countryman. As a wealthy orphan, he inherited the patrimony and honours of the Anician family, a name ambitiously assumed by the kings and emperors of the age; and the appellation of Manlius asserted his genuine or fabulous descent from a race of consuls and dictators, who had repulsed the Gauls from the Capitol and sacrificed their sons to the discipline of the republic. In the youth of Boethius, the studies of Rome were not totally abandoned; a Virgil101 is now extant, corrected by the hand of a consul; and the professors of grammar, rhetoric, and jurisprudence were maintained in their privileges and pensions by the liberality of the Goths. But the erudition of the Latin language was insufficient to satiate his ardent curiosity; and Boethius is said to have employed eighteen laborious years in the schools of Athens,102 which were supported by the zeal, the learning, and the diligence of Proclus and his disciples. The reason and piety of their Roman pupil were fortunately saved from the contagion of mystery and magic, which polluted the groves of the academy; but he imbibed the spirit, and imitated the method, of his dead and living masters, who attempted to reconcile the strong and subtle sense of Aristotle with the devout contemplation and sublime fancy of Plato. After his return to Rome and his marriage with the daughter of his friend, the patrician Symmachus, Boethius still continued, in a palace of ivory and marble,103 to prosecute the same studies.104 The church was edified by his profound defence of the orthodox creed against the Arian, the Eutychian, and the Nestorian heresies; and the Catholic unity was explained or exposed in a formal treatise by the indifference of three distinct though consubstantial persons.105 For the benefit of his Latin readers, his genius submitted to teach the first elements of the arts and sciences of Greece. The geometry of Euclid, the music of Pythagoras, the arithmetic of Nicomachus, the mechanics of Archimedes, the astronomy of Ptolemy, the theology of Plato, and the logic of Aristotle, with the commentary of Porphyry, were translated and illustrated by the indefatigable pen of the Roman senator. And he alone was esteemed capable of describing the wonders of art, a sundial, a water-clock, or a sphere which represented the motions of the planets. From these abstruse speculations, Boethius stooped, or, to speak more truly, he rose to the social duties of public and private life: the indigent were relieved by his liberality; and his eloquence, which flattery might compare to the voice of Demosthenes or Cicero, was uniformly exerted in the cause of innocence and humanity. Such conspicuous merit was felt and rewarded by a discerning prince; the dignity of Boethius was adorned with the titles of consul and patrician, and his talents were usefully employed in the important station of master of the offices. Notwithstanding the equal claims of the East and West, his two sons were created, in their tender youth, the consuls of the same year.106 On the memorable day of their inauguration, they proceeded in solemn pomp from their palace to the forum, amidst the applause of the senate and people; and their joyful father, the true consul of Rome, after pronouncing an oration in the praise of his royal benefactor, distributed a triumphal largess in the games of the circus. Prosperous in his fame and fortunes, in his public honours and private alliances, in the cultivation of science and the consciousness of virtue, Boethius might have been styled happy, if that precarious epithet could be safely applied before the last term of the life of man.
A philosopher, liberal of his wealth and parsimonious of his time, might be insensible to the common allurements of ambition, the thirst of gold and employment. And some credit may be due to the asseveration of Boethius, that he had reluctantly obeyed the divine Plato, who enjoins every virtuous citizen to rescue the state from the usurpation of vice and ignorance. For the integrity of his public conduct he appeals to the memory of his country. His authority had restrained the pride and oppression of the royal officers, and his eloquence had delivered Paulianus from the dogs of the palace. He had always pitied, and often relieved, the distress of the provincials, whose fortunes were exhausted by public and private rapine; and Boethius alone had courage to oppose the tyranny of the Barbarians, elated by conquest, excited by avarice, and, as he complains, encouraged by impunity. In these honourable contests, his spirit soared above the consideration of danger, and perhaps of prudence; and we may learn from the example of Cato that a character of pure and inflexible virtue is the most apt to be misled by prejudice, to be heated by enthusiasm, and to confound private enmities with public justice. The disciple of Plato might exaggerate the infirmities of nature and the imperfections of society; and the mildest form of a Gothic kingdom, even the weight of allegiance and gratitude, must be insupportable to the free spirit of a Roman patriot. But the favour and fidelity of Boethius declined in just proportion with the public happiness; and an unworthy colleague was imposed, to divide and control the power of the master of the offices. In the last gloomy season of Theodoric, he indignantly felt that he was a slave; but, as his master had only power over his life, he stood without arms and without fear against the face of an angry Barbarian, who had been provoked to believe that the safety of the senate was incompatible with his own. The senator Albinus was accused and already convicted on the presumption of hoping, as it was said, the liberty of Rome. “If Albinus be criminal,” exclaimed the orator, “the senate and myself are all guilty of the same crime. If we are innocent, Albinus is equally entitled to the protection of the laws.” These laws might not have punished the simple and barren wish of an unattainable blessing; but they would have shewn less indulgence to the rash confession of Boethius that, had he known of a conspiracy, the tyrant never should.107 The advocate of Albinus was soon involved in the danger and perhaps the guilt of his client; their signature (which they denied as a forgery) was affixed to the original address, inviting the emperor to deliver Italy from the Goths; and three witnesses of honourable rank, perhaps of infamous reputation, attested the treasonable designs of the Roman patrician.108 Yet his innocence must be presumed, since he was deprived by Theodoric of the means of justification, and rigorously confined in the tower of Pavia, while the senate, at the distance of five hundred miles, pronounced a sentence of confiscation and death against the most illustrious of its members. At the command of the Barbarians, the occult science of a philosopher was stigmatised with the names of sacrilege and magic.109 A devout and dutiful attachment to the senate was condemned as criminal by the trembling voices of the senators themselves; and their ingratitude deserved the wish or prediction of Boethius, that, after him, none should be found guilty of the same offence.110
While Boethius, oppressed with fetters, expected each moment the sentence or the stroke of death, he composed in the tower of Pavia the Consolation of Philosophy; a golden volume not unworthy of the leisure of Plato or Tully, but which claims incomparable merit from the barbarism of the times and the situation of the author. The celestial guide, whom he had so long invoked at Rome and Athens, now condescended to illumine his dungeon, to revive his courage, and to pour into his wounds her salutary balm. She taught him to compare his long prosperity and his recent distress, and to conceive new hopes from the inconstancy of fortune. Reason had informed him of the precarious condition of her gifts; experience had satisfied him of their real value; he had enjoyed them without guilt; he might resign them without a sigh, and calmly disdain the impotent malice of his enemies, who had left him happiness, since they had left him virtue. From the earth, Boethius ascended to heaven in search of the supreme good; explored the metaphysical labyrinth of chance and destiny, of prescience and free-will, of time and eternity; and generously attempted to reconcile the perfect attributes of the Deity with the apparent disorders of his moral and physical government. Such topics of consolation, so obvious, so vague, or so abstruse, are ineffectual to subdue the feelings of human nature. Yet the sense of misfortune may be diverted by the labour of thought; and the sage who could artfully combine in the same work the various riches of philosophy, poetry, and eloquence, must already have possessed the intrepid calmness which he affected to seek. Suspense, the worst of evils, was at length determined by the ministers of death, who executed, and perhaps exceeded, the inhuman mandate of Theodoric. A strong cord was fastened round the head of Boethius and forcibly tightened, till his eyes almost started from their sockets; and some mercy may be discovered in the milder torture of beating him with clubs till he expired.111 But his genius survived to diffuse a ray of knowledge over the darkest ages of the Latin world; the writings of the philosopher were translated by the most glorious of the English kings;112 and the third emperor of the name of Otho removed to a more honourable tomb the bones of a Catholic saint, who, from his Arian persecutors, had acquired the honours of martyrdom and the fame of miracles.113 In the last hours of Boethius, he derived some comfort from the safety of his two sons, of his wife, and of his father-in-law, the venerable Symmachus. But the grief of Symmachus was indiscreet, and perhaps disrespectful: he had presumed to lament, he might dare to revenge, the death of an injured friend. He was dragged in chains from Rome to the palace of Ravenna; and the suspicions of Theodoric could only be appeased by the blood of an innocent and aged senator.114
Humanity will be disposed to encourage any report which testifies the jurisdiction of conscience and the remorse of kings; and philosophy is not ignorant that the most horrid spectres are sometimes created by the powers of a disordered fancy and the weakness of a distempered body. After a life of virtue and glory, Theodoric was now descending with shame and guilt into the grave: his mind was humbled by the contrast of the past, and justly alarmed by the invisible terrors of futurity. One evening, as it is related, when the head of a large fish was served on the royal table,115 he suddenly exclaimed that he beheld the angry countenance of Symmachus, his eyes glaring fury and revenge, and his mouth armed with long sharp teeth which threatened to devour him. The monarch instantly retired to his chamber, and, as he lay trembling with aguish cold, under a weight of bedclothes, he expressed in broken murmurs to his physician Elpidius his deep repentance for the murders of Boethius and Symmachus.116 His malady increased, and, after a dysentery which continued three days, he expired in the palace of Ravenna, in the thirty-third, or, if we compute from the invasion of Italy, in the thirty-seventh year of his reign. Conscious of his approaching end, he divided his treasures and provinces between his two grandsons, and fixed the Rhone as their common boundary.117 Amalaric was restored to the throne of Spain. Italy, with all the conquests of the Ostrogoths, was bequeathed to Athalaric; whose age did not exceed ten years, but who was cherished as the last male offspring of the line of Amali, by the short-lived marriage of his mother Amalasuntha with a royal fugitive of the same blood.118 In the presence of the dying monarch, the Gothic chiefs and Italian magistrates mutually engaged their faith and loyalty to the young prince and to his guardian mother; and received, in the same awful moment, his last salutary advice, to maintain the laws, to love the senate and people of Rome, and to cultivate with decent reverence the friendship of the emperor.119 The monument of Theodoric was erected by his daughter Amalasuntha, in a conspicuous situation, which commanded the city of Ravenna, the harbour, and the adjacent coast. A chapel of a circular form, thirty feet in diameter, is crowned by a dome of one entire piece of granite: from the centre of the dome four columns arose, which supported, in a vase of porphyry, the remains of the Gothic king, surrounded by the brazen statues of the twelve apostles.120 His spirit, after some previous expiation, might have been permitted to mingle with the benefactors of mankind, if an Italian hermit had not been witness in a vision to the damnation of Theodoric,121 whose soul was plunged, by the ministers of divine vengeance, into the vulcano of Lipari, one of the flaming mouths of the infernal world.122
THE BATTLE OF MAURICA, COMMONLY CALLED THE BATTLE OF CHÂLONS — (P. 59)
The scene of the battle by which the invasion of Attila was checked has been the subject of some perplexity. The statements which have to be considered are the following: —
1. Idatius: in campis Catalaunicis haud longe de civitate quam effregerant Mettis.
2. An insertion in the text of Prosper, found in the Codex Havniensis, and doubtless representing an entry in the Chronica Italica. Mommsen, Chron. Min. i. p. 302 and 481: pugnatum est in quinto milliario de Trecas, loco numcupato Maurica in Campania.
3. Chron. 511 (see above, vol. iv. Appendix 5), Mommsen, Chron. Min. i. p. 663: Tricassis pugnat loco Mauriacos.
4a. Jordanes c. 36: convenitur itaque in campos Catalaunicos, qui et Mauriaci nominantur, centum leuvas ut Galli vocant in longum tenentes et septuaginta in latum. (A Gallic leuva or league = 1½ Roman miles.)
4b. Gregory of Tours, 2, 7: Mauriacum campum adiens se præcingit ad bellum [Attila]. The accounts of the episode in Jordanes and Gregory are not independent; cp. Mommsen, Pref. to Jordanes, p. xxxvi.
The traditional view that the battle was fought near Duro-Catalaunum or Châlons on Marne is not borne out by the data. That town is not mentioned, and the notice of Jordanes shows that its proximity is not implied by the name “Catalaunian Plains,” for Maurica might have been at the other extremity. Setting aside Idatius, whose statement is discredited by the words “not far from Metz,” we find the other notices agreeing in the designation of the battlefield as the Mauriac Plain, or a place named Maurica, and one of them gives the precise distance from Troyes. The name Maurica, Mauriac, has been identified with great probability with Mery (on Seine), about twenty miles from Troyes. There seems therefore every likelihood that the battle was fought between Troyes and Mery, and the solution, for which Mr. Hodgkin well argues (Italy, i. p. 143-5), is confirmed, as he observes, by the strategical importance of Troyes, which was at the centre of many roads.
An interesting discovery was made in 1842 at the village of Pouan, about 10 miles from Mery-on-Seine. A skeleton was found with a two-edged sword and a cutlass, both adorned with gold, and a number of gold ornaments, one of them a ring with the inscription HEVA. They are the subject of a memoir by M. Peigné Delacourt (1860), who claimed the grave as the tomb of the Visigothic king Theodoric. See Hodgkin (ib. p. 140). In any case the remains may well be connected with the great battle.
AUTHORITIES — (C. XXXVI. sqq.)
The history of the reign of Leo I. and Zeno (in three Books) was written by Candidus the Isaurian. He held the post of clerk or secretary to influential Isaurians; such is the vague phrase of Photius, who in the Bibliotheca (cod. 79) gives a short notice of the writer and a summary of the contents of his work. He was an orthodox Christian. Besides the account in Photius (Müller, F.H.G. iv. p. 135), we have probably three fragments in the Lexicon of Suidas: (α) sub χειρίζω (Müller, ib. 137); (β) the first part of the article Ἁρμάτος (assigned by Niebuhr to Malchus but) vindicated for Candidus by Toup and Shestakov; (γ) the first part of the article Βασιλίσκος plausibly assigned to Candidus by Shestakov (β and γ are printed under Malchus in Müller, ib. p. 116, 117). But the work of Candidus can be further traced in the chronicles of later writers, who made use (directly or indirectly) of his history. This has been shown by Shestakov in his paper Candid Isavriski (Lietopis ist.-phil. obschestva, Odessa, 1894, Viz. Otd. 2, p. 124-149), of which he promises a continuation. This is the most important study of Candidus that has yet appeared. Shestakov analyses the account of the great fire in Leo’s reign given by our authorities, and shows that, while Evagrius drew (through Eustathius) from Priscus, Zonaras and Cedrenus drew from Candidus (who probably made use of Priscus too); and he applies the same method to the stories of Aspar’s fall and the expedition of Basiliscus. It had already been recognised that the fragments of John of Antioch numbered 210 and 211 in Müller (F.H.G. iv. 618 sqq.) depended on Candidus; this is also probably true of the Escurial fragment of the same writer, 214 C in Müller (ib. v., cp. Shestakov, p. 125). Shestakov traces Candidus in Zonaras, Cedrenus, Nicephorus Callistus, and makes it probable that his history was consulted by Procopius1 and Theodore Lector.
Pamprepius, the philosopher, a friend of the general Illus who revolted against Zeno, also wrote a book on Isaurian history; and the same subject was treated by Capito the Lycian, who translated the history of Eutropius into Greek. See Muller, F.H.G. iv. p. 123. It may be added that a notice bearing on the chronology of the revolt of Verina and Illus has been recently discovered in a curious work by a contemporary astrologer named Palchus. An account of this work is given by M. F. Cumont in the Revue de l’instruction publique en Belgique, 1897, vol. xl. p. 1. It contains a horoscope of the coronation of Leontius, the puppet emperor whom the rebels set up in Syria, and who was crowned at Tarsus, 483. The date given is the 24th of Epiphi = 19th July, whereas Theophanes gives 27th June.
Malchus of Philadelphia wrote, under Anastasius, a continuation of the history of Priscus, covering the years 474 to 480. (So Photius. Bib. Cod. 78; but Suidas gives the work a wider extent — from Constantine I. to Anastasius). He was indifferent to religion, like Priscus and Procopius, but did not attack Christianity, so that Photius charitably regarded him as within the pale of Christendom. He censured the vices of Zeno with great severity. [Fragments (preserved in the Excerpta de legationibus of Constantine Porph., and in Suidas) in Müller’s F.H.G. iv. p. 111 sqq. Also in Dindorf’s Hist. Græc. minores.]
Eustathius of Epiphania wrote, under Anastasius, a history from the earliest times to the 12th year of Anastasius; he died in that year ( 502). He is known through Evagrius, who used him largely, and through Malalas (p. 398-9, ed. Bonn). For the fifth century he used the work of Priscus. [Müller, F.H.G. iv. p. 138 sqq.]
A Panegyric on the Emperor Anastasius by the rhetor Procopius of Gaza is printed in the same vol. of the Bonn. Script. Byzant., as Dexippus, Eunapius, Malchus, &c. Here will also be found a poetical encomium in Latin on the same Emperor by Priscian. Both these panegyrics laud the financial relief which the government of Anastasius gave to the Empire.
Hesychius illustris, of Miletus, wrote under Justinian: (1) a universal history coming down to the death of Anastasius ( 518), of which almost nothing has been preserved but a long fragment relating to the early history of Byzantium (πάτρια Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, in Codinus, ed. Bonn, p. 16 sqq.); (2) a history of the reign of Justin and the first years of Justinian; nothing of this survives, a loss deeply to be regretted; (3) a lexicon of famous literary people; some fragments of this are preserved in Photius and Suidas. The short biographical dictionary ascribed to Hesychius is not genuine, but a much later compilation. This pseudo-Hesychius was edited by J. Flach, 1880, and is included in Müller’s ed. of the Fragments (F.H.G. iv. 143 sqq.).
Theodoros Anagnostes (Lector) wrote, under Justin and in the early years of Justinian, (1) a Historia tripartita, founded on Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, coming down to 439; and (2) a continuation of this, Historia ecclesiastica, to the beginning of Justinian’s reign. Neither work is extant. Some fragments from (1) are contained in a Paris MS., and have been published by Cramer, Anecd. Paris. ii. p. 87 sqq.; but these fragments were derived not from the original work, but from a Collection of excerpts which was used by the chronographer Theophanes. Other fragments have been found in an Oxford MS. (Barocc. 142) and were used by de Boor for his edition of Theophanes. Of (2), fragments have been edited by Valois (at end of his ed. of Theodoret, Evagrius, and Philostorgius, p. 551 sqq., 1673), Cramer (ib.), Müller (Revue Archéologique, nouv. série, 1873, t. 26, 396 sqq.), and some others have been found in Codinus and the Anonymous Banduri by V. Sarrazin, whose monograph, De Theodoro Lectore (in the Commentationes Philol. Jenenses, 1881, vol. 1), is the most important study of Theodorus, especially as a source of Theophanes. Sarrazin has shown (p. 193 sqq.) that some of the fragments of Valois and Cramer are not from Theodore but from John Diacrinomenos, who was one of the sources of Theodore. He has also given reasons for holding that Theophanes used a Collection of Excerpts in the case of this work too; that the Müller fragments are remains of that Collection; and that the Cramer and Valois fragments represent Excerpts from that Collection, not from the original work.
A treatise on the civil service (περι αρχω̂ν, De magistratibus), written by an official, John of Philadelphia, generally described as “the Lydian” (Lydus), was first published in 1812 by Hase (reprinted in Bonn ed.). His work, which gives a history of the Prætorian prefecture under Anastasius, Justin, and Justinian, is of immense importance for the study of the administration in the sixth century. He bitterly complains of the decline of the service and the reduction of its emoluments. Of Justinian he always speaks in terms of the highest praise; but his account of the career of John of Cappadocia, on whom he throws most of the blame for the degradation of the civil service, bears out the representations of Procopius. But Lydus carefully and repeatedly warns his readers that Justinian was ignorant of the Prefect’s misdeeds. At the end of forty years’ work, having passed successively through the grades of notary, chartulary, augustalis, and finally that of cornicularius ( 551) — his promotion being facilitated by his knowledge of the Latin language, which was supposed to be exceptional, but was really very slight, — John retired to literary leisure, honoured but impoverished. His other extant works are de Ostentis (ed. Wachsmuth) and de Mensibus. But he was employed by Justinian to write a Panegyric on that Emperor and a history of the Persian war (cp. de Mag. iii. 28); these and his poems have been lost.
To the account which Gibbon has given of the career of Procopius of Cæsarea little need be added except on a few doubtful points. There is no record of the date of his birth, but it must have been before the end of the fifth century (c. 490, Dahn suggests); he was probably in the fifties when he began to write his history. The political sympathies apparent in his writings (noticed by Dahn, and elucidated more fully by Panchenko) suggest that he belonged to the official aristocracy; and there is plausibility in the hypothesis of Haury that his father may have been the Procopius of Edessa,2 whom he mentions himself in his Edifices (p. 236, ed. Bonn) as governor of the First Palestine in the reign of Anastasius; this receives some support from the interest manifested by Procopius in Edessene affairs.
The exact nature of the post which Procopius occupied in regard to Belisarius has been questioned. Three questions have been raised: (1) in 527 was Procopius appointed an assessor or consiliarius by Belisarius himself or by the Emperor? (2) did he occupy in the African and Italian Wars the same official post which he held in the Persian War? (3) are we right in supposing that he was officially a legal adviser to Belisarius at any time? Though the third question has been raised last, it comes logically first. In a recent study on the historian M. Brückner has pointed out3 (a) that Procopius never displays legal knowledge, and avoids juristic questions, (b) that his contemporary Agathias calls him not ξύμβουλος, but ῥήτωρ (Suidas calls him ὑπογραϕεύς, ῥήτωρ, σοϕιστής, ἀκόλουθος Βελισαρίου), (c) that, if the father of Procopius was an Edessene as Haury suggests, the law that no one could be assessor in his native land would have prevented Procopius from being chosen to that post when Belisarius was general in Mesopotamia, for the law could hardly have been evaded by the accidental birth of Procopius in Cæsarea. Hence he doubts whether Procopius was an official assessor of Belisarius. The second argument does not carry much weight, and the third depends on a hypothesis — a plausible hypothesis, no doubt. Procopius himself states that when Belisarius was appointed commander of the regiments of Daras in 527 he was chosen as his ξύμβουλος (B.P. i. 12); and he describes himself as πήρεδρος of Belisarius on his Vandalic expedition (B.V. i. 14). It is usually assumed that both words designate the same official position, ξύμβουλος corresponding to consiliarius and πάρεδρος to assessor. There can, I think, be no question that πάρεδρος is intended to designate an official post (elsewhere Procopius explains it as quæstor); and, if Brückner were right, Procopius would have made a distinctly false statement about his own position. It is otherwise with ξύμβουλος, which need not imply an official post. The right inference may be that on the first occasion (in the Persian War) Procopius accompanied Belisarius as his private secretary and adviser on civil matters; but that on the second occasion (for the Vandal War) he was appointed official assessor by the Emperor at the wish of Belisarius. It has been well pointed out by Dahn that Procopius is not given to varying his phrases and seeking synonyms, but rather to using the same stereotyped expressions for the same things; and therefore (in absence of other knowledge) the presumption is that ξύμβουλος does not express the same position as πάρεδρος. I may be met by the objection that the passive ἡρέθη in B.P. i. 12 (τότε δὴ αὐτον̂ ξύμβουλος ἡρέθη Προκόπιος) suggests an official appointment independent of Belisarius (cp. Dahn, op. cit. p. 16); but this is sufficiently explained by the impersonal tone which Procopius affects, in imitation of Thucydides. Brückner seems to be far from hitting the point when he says that Procopius “is not wont to hide his light under a bushel”; on the contrary, Procopius imitates the personal reserve of Thucydides. It is impossible, therefore, to attach importance to the negative argument “dass Prokop so ausserordentlich wenig rechtswissenschaftliche Kenntnisse entwickelt,” or that he tells nothing of his own activity as legal assessor. I see no good ground for doubting that in the African and Gothic Wars Procopius was assessor of Belisarius in the full official sense of the term.
The dates of the composition of the historian’s works have undergone an important revision by the investigation of J. Haury. This scholar has proved from two passages4 that the greatest part of the Military History, Bks. i.-vii., was written in 545, the year which offered a suitable terminus for the Persian and the Vandalic Wars.5 The work was not published till 550, in which year a few additions were made,6 but no alterations.7
The Secret History, Haury has shown, was written in 550, not, as usually supposed, in 558-9. Had it been written in 558-9 it is impossible to see why none of the events between 550 and 558 are used to support the author’s indictment of Justinian’s government. The reason for supposing it to have been composed in 558-9 was the explicit statement that thirty-two years had elapsed since Justinian undertook the administration (ἐξ ὅτου ἀνὴρ ὅδε διῳκήσατο τὴν πολιτείαν). Haury has shown that the author counts not from the accession of Justinian but from that of Justin ( 518), on the principle that Justin was a cipher, and completely in the hands of his nephew.8
The eighth book of the Military History, usually counted as the fourth of the Gothic War, was written in 553-4. The last work, the Edifices, was not published before 560; for it mentions the construction of the bridge over the Sangarius (vol. iii. p. 315), the date of which we know from Theophanes to have been 559-60 (under the circumstances, 560).9 It is gratuitous to suppose that this is an interpolation. There is, however, another passage in the Edifices on which Dahn confidently based his view that the Secret History was composed after the Edifices. In mentioning the inundation of Edessa by the river Skirtos, Procopius (Secret Hist. p. 111) refers to his description in his earlier works. Now there is no such description in the Military History, but there is in the Edifices. Haury, however, has pointed to a passage in the Bell. Pers. (vol. i. p. 209) where there is clearly a considerable gap in our text,10 and plausibly argues that the description referred to in the Secret History occupied this gap. In any case, Dahn’s argument from the Skirtos is met by the counter argument from the Sangarios.11
It was probably after the publication of Bk. viii. of the Military History ( 554) that Justinian became conscious of the existence of the great historian, and engaged him to write the work on the Edifices. There can be no doubt that Procopius wrote it ironically, “with his tongue in his cheek”; the smiles of the court had not altered his political hostility to the government. The very hyperbole of his praise was a mockery. As he invariably in the Edifices cites his Military History as οἱ ὑπὲρ τω̂ν πολέμων λόγοι, it is reasonable to assume that, when he says in the Proœmium that he has related Justinian’s other doings ἐν ὲτέροις λόγοις, he is secretly alluding to the unpublished work, whose publication would have cost him his head. It is probable that Procopius was rewarded for his memorial of Justinian’s Buildings by the office of Prefecture of the City. At all events two years after its publication, in 562, a Procopius was made Prefect of Constantinople.12
The chronology of the career of Procopius, so far as can be determined, would be as follows: —
This is not the place to speak of the literary character of the works of Procopius except so far as it concerns their historical criticism. Procopius is an imitator of both Herodotus and Thucydides. How largely he used these ancient historians has been shown in two special monographs by H. Braun.13 In geographical and ethnographical digressions, descriptions of strange incidents, dreams, &c., the influence of Herodotus is apparent; and the Herodotean conception of the supernatural, the power of fortune or fate, the envy of the gods, is adopted by Procopius. In the prefaces to his works, in speeches and letters, in descriptions of sieges, naval battles, plagues, Procopius takes Thucydides as his model.14 It is curious to find not only John, the son of Vitalian, but Moors and other Barbarians, spouting Thucydidean phrases. When we find incidents at the siege of Amida reproduced from the siege of Platæa, we have reason to doubt whether Procopius confined himself to adapting merely the words of his models.
It was recognised by Gibbon, and has been confirmed by later investigations, that in the history of events previous to his own time Procopius is untrustworthy; he was quite careless in selecting and using sources, and has been convicted of numerous errors.15 It is hardly too strong to say, as has been said by Brückner, that he shows want both of historical sense and of conscientiousness.
The politics of Procopius are marked by four prominent features: (1) Patriotism, based on the idea of the Roman world embodying a civilisation inaccessible to the Barbarians; (2) Constitutional sm, a worship of law and order; and, closely connected with this, (3) Conservatism, devotion to the old traditional customs of the Empire, and dislike of innovation as such; (4) Class sympathies with the aristocracy (aristocracy, of course, of wealth, not birth). This analysis of the political view of Procopius, which can be clearly traced in his Public History, is due to Panchenko;16 the two last features had been well developed by Dahn.
As to religion, the historian generally uses the language of a sceptic and fatalist, regarding Christianity as an outsider with tolerant indifference, but never committing himself to any utterance against it. He wrote in fact (as Alemanni observed) as a politicus. But he was intensely superstitious; as diligent a seeker after oracles and dreams as Herodotus himself. I cannot resist the suspicion that the indifference of Procopius was to some extent an affectation, due to his admiration for the old classical writers and the pre-Christian Empire. Certainly in judging his fatalistic utterances we must take into account his imitation of Herodotus.
The must disputed question as to the genuineness of the Secret History has been set at rest by the researches of Dahn and Haury. Dahn’s investigation (op. cit.) into the diction of this work, as compared with the undoubted writings of Procopius, has received greater significance in the light of the elaborate study of B. Panchenko (O tainoi istorii Prokopiia),17 which contains an exhaustive analysis of the work. The matter was clinched by J. Haury’s (op. cit.) determination of the chronology of the Procopian writings. His argument has been stated briefly above in the Introduction to vol. i. (p. lxv.).
In regard to the distinct question as to the credibility of the Secret History, it is important to observe that there is no fundamental opposition between it and the Public History. The political attitude of the writer (as described above) is the same in both documents. The result of that political attitude was bitter hostility to the reigning dynasty as (1) barbarian; (2) tyrannical, trampling on the constitution; (3) innovating; (4) oppressing the aristocracy. In the Public History criticisms on the Government had necessarily to be confined within certain limits, but they are often expressed freely enough. Procopius often puts his criticisms dexterously into the mouth of enemies; thus Totila censures the administration of Justinian in Italy. It is noticeable that Procopius never praises Justinian in the Military History; in the only passage in which he approaches commendation the commendation is of an ambiguous kind, and is interpreted as blame in the Secret History.18 Procopius admired and regretted the government of Anastasius, as we know from the Secret History; and in his account of the Nika Sedition in the Vandalica it is not difficult to read between the lines his veiled sympathy with the nephews of Anastasius.
The first five chapters of the Secret History, relating to Belisarius and Antonina, form a sort of appendix to the Military History, and are distinguished by a relatively large number of references to the Military History. We must assume that between 545 and 550 events had occurred which prevented Procopius from any longer seeing in Belisarius a possible leader of a successful opposition to Justinian. The rest of the work deals with the family, the court, and the domestic administration of Justinian; it is a Civil, in contrast with the Military, History. It falls into two parts, of which the first is personal, dealing with the private life of the sovran and his consort (cc. 6-17),19 while the second treats his political administration. These parts are separated by a lacuna. In the last sentence of cap. 17 Theodora is the subject; in the first sentence of cap. 18 Justinian is the subject. It seems more probable that this break is due to the fact that the work was never revised by the author for publication than to an accidental loss in the course of its transmission.20 It looks as if Procopius, when he finished c. 17, had started on a new plan, and had never welded the two parts together. It should be observed that there is no literary evidence as to the existence of the Secret History before Suidas (tenth century). There is no proof that it was used by Evagrius (notwithstanding Jeep’s observations),21 much less that it was known to Agathias.
The publication of the Secret History raised in arms the Jurists who revered the memory of Justinian, and the work was described as Vaticana venena. When it is recognised that there is no essential opposition between the point of view of the Military and that of the Secret History, that the hostility to the government, outspoken in the one, is present and, though veiled, constantly peers out in the other, the argument that the author’s evidence is damaged by inconsistency and contradictions falls to the ground. When we make allowance for the bitter acrimony of the writer, and for his gross superstition, the fact remains that most of his statements as to the administration of Justinian and Theodora are perfectly credible. Many of them are directly supported by the notices of other contemporary writers; and others are indirectly supported by parallels or analogies found in contemporary sources. It is the great merit of the Russian scholar, B. Panchenko, to have examined22 in detail the statements of the Secret History in the light of the contemporary evidence as to Justinian’s reign; and the general credibility of the objective statements of the Procopian work has strikingly emerged. Of course, Procopius can be frequently convicted of unfairness; he always attributes the worst motives. His description of the profligacy of Theodora only proves his familiarity with the pornography of the stews of Constantinople; but it rests on the solid fact that the youth of Theodora was disreputable. We can appeal to the testimony of John of Ephesus (comment. de beatis orientalibus, ed. van Douwen and Land, p. 68): Stephanum virum egregium duxit ad Theodoram τὴν ἐκ τον̂ πορνείου, quæ illo tempore patricia eral.
[Literature: J. Eichel, Ανέκδοτα seu historia arcana Procopii . . . convicta, 1654; W. S. Teuffel, Procopius (in Studien und Charakteristiken, 1871); Reinkens, Anecdota sintne scripta a Procopio Caesariensi inquiritur, 1858; H. Eckhardt, De Anecdotis Procop. Caes., 1860; Ueber Procop und Agathias als Quellenschriftsteller fur den Gothenkrieg in Italian, 1864; W. Gundlach, Quaestiones Procopianae, 1861; F. Dahn, op. cit.; A. Schulz, Procopius de Bello Vandalico, 1871; A. Auler, De fide Proc. Caes. in secundo bello Persico, &c., 1876; Ranke, Procopius von Cäsarea, in Weltgeschichte, iv. 2, p. 285 sqq.; Débidour, L’impératrice Théodore, 1885; Mallet, the Empress Theodora, in Eng. Hist. Review, 1887, Jan.; Kirchner, Bemerkungen zu Prokops Darstellung der Perserkriege des Anastasius, Justin und Justinian, 1887; H. Braun, opp. citt.; J. Haury, opp. citt.; J. Scheftlein, De praepositionum usu Procopiano, 1893; M. Bruckner, op. cit.; B. Panchenko, op. cit.; M. Krasheninnikov, O rukopisnom predanii Istorii Prokopiia, in Viz. Vrem. ii. p. 416 sqq.; art. on Procopius in Krumbacher’s Gesch. der byz. Litteratur (ed. 2, 1896).
Editions. The Bonn ed. by Dindorf (1833-8) is not much better than the Paris ed. by Maltretus, which Gibbon used. These texts are founded on inferior MSS. Isambert’s separate ed. of the Anecdota is poor (1856). A new much-needed complete ed. is promised by J. Haury, but the first three books of the Gothic War (based on the best MSS., and accompanied by an excellent Italian translation) by D. Comparetti have been issued in the series of Fonti per la storia d’Italia (1895-6).]
Agathias of Myrina ( 536-582) practised as an advocate (scholastikos) at Constantinople, and combined law with literature. In his earlier years he wrote poems and epigrams; after the death of Justinian he devoted himself to history and continued the work of Procopius. His history “On the Reign of Justinian” embraces in five Books the years 552-558, and would have been continued if he had lived. Gibbon well characterises his work and contrasts him with Procopius (see vol. vii. p. 275), and notes the information on Persian affairs which he derived from his friend Sergius (vol. i. c. 8). He seems in general to have depended on oral sources for his narrative; he names most of the old writers whom he used for his digressions. [Ed. in the Bonn series by Niebuhr; in the Hist. Græc. Minores, vol. ii., by L. Dindorf. H. Eckhardt, Agathias und Prokop als Quellenschriftsteller für den Gothenkrieg, 1864; W. S. Teuffel, in Philologus, 1846, Bd. 1, 495 sqq.]
The history of the advocate Agathias was continued by an imperial guardsman, Menanderprotector. He had, however, the training of a jurist, as he tells us in his very interesting preface, where he describes the wild and idle life of his youth, which he reformed under the beneficent influence of the Emperor Maurice. His work covers the years 558-582; we possess very important fragments of it in the Constantinian excerpts de legationibus and de sententiis, and a few in Suidas. Evagrius drew from Menander (probably directly) for his fifth book. He was also used by Theophylactus Simocatta (for an excursus in Bk. iii. on the Persian wars of Justin II. and Tiberius. See below, vol. viii. Appendix 1). [Müller, F.H.G. iv. p. 200 sqq.; L. Dindorf, Hist. Græc. Min. vol. ii.]
Johannes Rhetor, or Malalas (the Syriac equivalent of Rhetor),23 of Antioch, published between 528 and 540 a chronicle beginning with the Creation and ending with the first months of 528 (Bks. 1-17). The work was re-edited and brought down (Bk. 18) to the death of Justinian24 ( 565). Neither the first edition, which was used by Evagrius (who cites it under the name of Johannes rhetor) nor the second (used by the Paschal Chronist, Theophanes, &c.) has come down to us; but we have materials sufficient for an almost complete restoration of the second edition. (1) The chief of these materials is the abridgment of the whole work; which is preserved in an Oxford MS. of the eleventh century (Barocc. 182). The first pages of the MS., with the title, are lost; and the work was identified by some passages verbally identical with passages which John of Damascus quotes from “John Malalas.” (2) Next best to recovering the original second edition would be the recovery of the Slavonic translation made by the Bulgarian presbyter Gregory (c. 900).25 Luckily, large parts of this, in Russian form, are preserved. (3) Numerous excerpts and fragments have been identified, and enable us to supplement the Oxford text. (a) Four Tusculan fragments, published in Mai’s Spicil. Rom. vol. ii. part 3, and identified by Patzig. (b) Excerpts from an anonymous Chronicler (end of ninth century) who copied Malalas, published in Cramer’s Anecd. Par. 2, p. 165 sqq. (c) Constantinian excerpts περὶ ἐπιβουλω̂ν published from an Escurial MS. by Mommsen in Hermes 6, 366 sqq. (d) The preface of Malalas, with the beginning of Bk. 1, in Cod. Par. 682 (tenth century), publ. by A. Wirth, Chronographische Späne, p. 3 sqq. (1894). (e) Excerpts in Cod. Par. 1336 (Cramer, Anecd. Par. 2, p. 231 sqq.). (4) The Paschal Chronicle (seventh century) and the Chronography of Theophanes (beginning of ninth century) extracted their material largely from Malalas, generally adhering verbally to the original. They are therefore very important for the restoration. (5) Other writers who used Malalas have also to be taken into consideration: John of Ephesus, Evagrius, John of Antioch (see below), John of Nikiu, John of Damascus, George Monachus, Cedrenus (indirectly).
The chronicle of Malalas gives the impression that it was compiled not by a rhetor but by a monk whose abysses of ignorance it would be hard to fathom. But though in itself a pitiable performance, it is, as Prof. Krumbacher observes, enormously important for the history of literature. It is the earliest example of the Byzantine monastic chronicle, not appealing to educated people, but written down to the level of the masses. There is no sense of proportion. The fall of an empire and the juggling of a mountebank are related with the same seriousness. Pages and pages are occupied with minute descriptions of the personal appearance of the hereos of the Trojan war. All manner of trivial gossip is introduced. The blunders are appalling; e.g., Herodotus is placed subsequent to Polybius. The last Books, from Zeno forward, are important, because they are written by a contemporary, and Bk. 18 is one of our chief sources for the reign of Justinian. In this chronicle the conventional style of historic prose is deserted; popular idioms, words, and grammatical forms are used without scruple. Thus it is “the first monument of popular Greek, of any size, that we possess” (Krumbacher). It should be observed, however, that this style is not evenly preserved; in many places Malalas has preserved the better style of his sources. In Bks. 1-17 prominence is always given to events connected with his native city, Antioch.
Malalas-problems. When it was shown that the eighteenth Book of Malalas was added subsequently to the publication of the first seventeen26 (see Mr. E. W. Brooks, Eng. Hist. Rev., 1892, vol. vii. p. 291 sqq.; cp. S. Shestakov, in the fifth part of the Zapiski of the University of Kazan, 1890), the question arose whether the work was thus revised and continued by Johannes himself or by another. If we adopt the former alternative, we are asked to suppose that Johannes migrated to Constantinople; for part of Bk. 18 appears to have been composed there, not at Antioch, though part of it shows Antiochene influence. The second alternative seems more likely, and, if it be adopted, the question arises whether the editor and continuator may not to a large extent be responsible for the style. He may be certainly considered responsible for obliterating (though not completely) indications of the monophysitic leanings of the original author. For this question see C. E. Gleye’s important article Zur Johannes-frage, in Byz. Ztschrift., 1895, p. 422 sqq.
Bibliography. A full list of the numerous works dealing with the numerous Malalas questions will be found in Krumbacher, Gesch. der byz. Litt. (ed. 2) p. 332-4. Only a few need be mentioned here. (1) Editio princeps, Chilmead-Hody, Oxford, 1691, reproduced in the Bonn Corpus, 1831. The text contains many errors from which the MS. is free and is otherwise inaccurate; see J. B. Bury, Collation of the Codex Baroccianus, Byz. Ztschrift., 1896, Bd. 6, Heft 2. A new edition, based on all the extant material, is expected from Dr. C. E. Gleye. (2) G. Sotiriadis, Zur Kritik von Johannes von Antiochia, 1888. E. Patzig, Unerkannt und unbekannt gebliebene Malalas-fragmente, 1891, and Johannes Antiochenus und Johannes Malalas, 1892. S. Shestakov, op. cit., and a paper on the importance of the Slavonic translation for the Greek text in Viz. Vremennik, 1, p. 503 sqq. E. W. Brooks, op. cit. C. E. Gleye, op. cit., and a paper on the Slavonic Malalas in the Archiv für Slav. Philologie, 16, p. 578 sqq. There is also much on Malalas in Gelzer’s Sextus Julius Africanus (1880-5).
Quite distinct from the John of Antioch who was distinguished as Malalas is another John of Antioch, to whom a large number of excerpts preserved in various MSS. are ascribed. His existence is confirmed by Tzetzes, but the questions of his date and his literary property are surrounded with the greatest difficulties. It is quite clear that his name covers two distinct chroniclers, of whom the earlier probably lived in the seventh century and the later in the tenth. But it is still a matter of controversy which is which. The matter is of considerable importance indirectly; it has even some bearings on historical questions (cp. above, vol. v. Appendix 14); but the question is much too complicated to be discussed here, and no solution has been reached yet.27 It will be enough to indicate the fragments in question. (1) The Constantinian fragments (excerpta de virtutibus and de insidiis), of which the last refer to the reign of Phocas; (2) fragments in Cod. Paris, 1630; (3) the “Salmasian” fragments of Cod. Par., 1763, of which the latest refer to Valentinian iii.; (4) fragments of the part relating to the Trojan War preserved in Codex Vindobonensis 99 (historicus), under the name of Johannes Sikeliotes. The first three groups were published by Müller, F.H.G. iv. p. 535 sqq., and v. pp. 27, 28, while (4) is partly published in a gymnasial programme of Graz by A. Heinrich, 1892, p. 2-10. The two chronicles, represented by these fragments, may be distinguished as C and S; and the question is whether C, from which the Constantinian fragments, or S, from which the Salmasian fragments are derived, is the earlier work. S was a chronicle of the same style as that of Malalas or Theophanes, Christian and Byzantine; C was a work of “hellenistic” character and dealt with the Roman republic, which the true monkish chronographer always neglected. Cp. Patzig, Joannes Antiochenus, &c., especially p. 22, who upholds the view that S is the older, and that C was compiled in the ninth or tenth century. (Cp. the works of Sotiriadis, Patzig, Gleye, Gelzer, cited in connection with John Malalas, and C. de Boor Hermes, 1884, B. 19, 123 sqq.; ib. 1885, B. 20, 321 sqq.; Byz. Ztsch., 1893, B. 2, 195 sqq.)28
For the Persian wars in the reign of Anastasius we have the valuable Syriac history of Josua Stylites, known to Gibbon through the abridged Latin translation of Assemani (Bibl. Orient. i. 262-283). The work is entitled “A history of the time of affliction at Edessa and Amida and throughout all Mesopotamia,” and was composed in 506-7, the last date mentioned being 28 Nov., 506, but was probably not published till after the death of Anastasius. It contains a very graphic diary of the events at Edessa during a period of great distress. The narrative of the Persian invasion begins in c. xlviii. The original text was first published by the Abbé Martin (with French transl.) in Abh. of the Deutsche Morgenl. Gesellschaft, 6, 1 (1876); but this has been superseded by the edition of W. Wright, with an English version, 1882. The position of Josua in regard to the theological controversies of the day is treated by H. Gelzer in a paper in the Byzantinische Zeitschrift, i. p. 34 sqq. (1892). Josua was one of the sources of the Chronicle of Edessa ( 201-540); see L. Hallier, in Texte und Untersuchungen, ix. 1, 1892.
The ecclesiastical history of Zacharias Rhetor, bishop of Mytilene, composed about 518, throws little light on the political history which is the subject of the volume. But it was translated from Greek into Syriac and incorporated in a Syriac work, which was compiled about fifty years later, and goes generally by the name of Zacharias. The genuine Zacharias corresponds to Bks. 3-6 of the compilation, which consisted of twelve Books (Bk. 11 and part of 10 and 12 are lost). The pseudo-Zacharias has records of considerable value on the Persian wars and the founding of Daras, a curious notice on the Nika riot, &c. Fragments of the work, preserved in the Vatican, were published and translated by Mai (Scr. Vet. Coll. vol. x.), but the work in its more complete form was not known till 1870, when it was published by Land from a MS. in the British Museum. (The genuine Zacharias has been translated by Rev. F. J. Hamilton, 1892, printed privately.) An English translation of “The Chronicle known as that of Zachariah of Mytilene,” by Dr. F. J. Hamilton and Mr. E. W. Brooks, has appeared, and likewise a German translation of the same work by Dr. K. Ahrens and Professor G. Kruger, 1899.
C. Sollius Modestus Apollinaris Sidonius was born about 430-433 He belonged to a good Lyonese family; his father was Prætorian prefect of Gaul in 449, a post which his father had held before him. Sidonius married Papianilla of Arverni, daughter of Avitus. His relations with that emperor and with his successors Majorian and Anthemius are noticed by Gibbon (c. xxxvi.). In 469 or 470 Sidonius became bishop of Arverni; he died, before he reached the age of fifty, in 479. The years of his episcopate were troubled, owing to the hostilities between the Visigoths and the Empire. Arverni in Aquitania Prima still, but alone, held out against the Goths, till 475, when Sidonius and Ecdicius his brother-in-law were captured by King Euric, and the bishop was compelled to live for some time in exile from his see, at Tolosa and Burdigala. His literary works consist of a collection of twenty-four poems, and of nine Books of Epistles. These epistles were written evidently with the intention of being published, and each Book appeared separately (Book i. published in 469, ii. in 472, v. in 474-5, vii. in 475 (?)). In many of the Letters original poems are inserted. Books iii. v. vii. and viii. contain letters of great importance for the history of the Visigoths. Sidonius had ceased to write longer poems before 469, — that is, before he began to publish letters and before his ecclesiastical career began. It may be convenient to arrange here the most important (most of which are mentioned by Gibbon) chronologically: —
The poetical talent of Sidonius, like that of Claudian and of Merobaudes, was publicly recognised at Rome by a statue in the Forum of Trajan.
The authoritative edition of his works is that of C. Luetjohann (in the Mon. Germ. Hist.), 1887, to which Mommsen has contributed a short biography of the poet. Mr. Hodgkin (Italy and her Invaders, vol. ii.) has an interesting chapter on Sidonius, with some prose and verse translations from his works.
The state of Noricum in the days of the last Emperors of the West is graphically described in the Life of Saint Severinus by an eye-witness, Eugippius, who was with the saint in Noricum when it was at the mercy of the Rugians and their fellow-barbarians. Severinus was buried in the Lucullan Castle near Naples, by the bounty of the lady Barbaria, and a monastery was established in the same place. Eugippius became its abbot, and wrote the biography of his master in 511. [Edition by H. Sauppe, 1877, in the Mon. Germ. Hist.]
The fragment of an Italian (Ravennate) chronicle, known as Anonymus Valesh, Part ii., and recording the reigns of Odovacar and Theodoric, has been noticed already in vol. iv. Appendix 5, p. 353, in connection with the Chronica Italica. The chronicler made use of the Vita Severini of Eugippius. He writes from an Imperial point of view, speaks loyally of Zeno, and constantly describes Theodoric by the title Patricius, which keeps in mind that king’s theoretical dependence on the Roman Empire. The language is full of barbarisms, and there seems very little probability in the conjecture of Waitz that the author is no other than Bishop Maximian of Ravenna, whose portrait has been immortalised in mosaics in the Church of San Vitale. The fragment is perhaps not continuous, but a number of extracts, bearing on Odovacar and Theodoric, strung together from the original chronicle (cp. Cipolla, op. cit. infra, p. 80 sqq.). It seems likely that the anonymous author wrote during the civil wars which followed the fall of the Ostrogothic kingdom.29 Recently a very complete study, especially of the MSS., has appeared by C. Cipolla, in the Bullettino dell’ Instituto storico italiano, No. ii. (1892, p. 7-98). Cp. especially sect. iv. p. 80 sqq. [For editions see above, vol. iv. p. 353. References to various monographs will be found in the article of Cipolla.]
Ennodius, the son of Gallic parents, was born 474, in Liguria, died 521. He may have been grandson of Ennodius, proconsul of Africa under Honorius and Theodosius II. His father’s name may have been Firminus. He had a secular education in the Latin classics, and was consecrated by Epiphanius of Ticinum (whose life he wrote) before 496. He went to Milan, to fill a clerical post, before 499, and from Milan most of his letters are written. The life of Epiphanius was composed between 501 and 504 (see Vogel’s preface to his ed. p. xviii.-xix.). All the works of Ennodius are included in the large edition of Vogel in the Mon. Germ. Hist., 1885. They form a very valuable supplement to Cassiodorus for the history of Italy under Theodoric. [Monograph: Fertig, Ennodius und seine Zeit, 1858.]
Cassiodorus has had the misfortune of being called out of his name. His full name was Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator, and in accordance with the custom of the time he was always known by the last name, Senator. We do not find him called Cassiodorus till the eighth century (by Paul the Deacon, Hist. Lang. i. 25); and even the name has been corrupted, modern scholars following Maffei in writing Cassiodorius. But Mommsen, who at first approved, has now condemned, this fashion, and adopts the true form in his edition of the works of Cassiodorus. This name points to the derivation of the writer’s family from Syria. They settled at Scyllace and by the middle of the fifth century had become the most influential people in Bruttii. The father of Senator filled financial offices under Odovacar, administered Sicily, and embraced the cause of Theodoric, who rewarded him by the less distinguished post of corrector of Bruttii and Lucania. The inferiority of this post to the posts which he had already occupied may have been compensated for by the circumstance that the appointment was an exception to the rule that no man should be governor of his native province. But he was soon raised to be Prætorian prefect (after 500). The son was born c. 490. At an early age (twelve or thirteen?) he became consiliarius to his father, and he became quæstor between the years 507 and 511 (cp. Mommsen, Proœm. p. x.) and drew up state papers for the king. Then, like his father, he was appointed corrector of his native province; became consul ord. in 514; and was promoted to be magister officiorum before 526. In 533 Amalasuentha created him Prætorian prefect, a post which he retained under Theodahat and Witigis. The dates of his chief works are: Chronicle, 519; Gothic History in twelve Books, between 526 and 533 (so Mommsen; Usener put it earlier, 518-21); publication of his Variæ, 537. He also wrote various theological works (including a compilation of Church History from Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, entitled Historia tripartita; in this work he had a collaborator, Epiphanius). He survived 573. He had thrown himself thoroughly into the Gothic interest, and both the official and private correspondence contained in his Variæ (epistolæ) are a most valuable mine for the history of the Ostrogothic kingdom. His weak point was inordinate literary vanity, and the tumid pomposity of his style, tricked out with far-fetched metaphors and conceits, renders it often a task of considerable difficulty to elicit the sense. Mr. Hodgkin observes that, next to Rhetoric, “Natural History had the highest place in his affections. He never misses an opportunity of pointing a moral lesson by an allusion to the animal creation, especially to the habits of birds.” A short extract found in a MS. of the Institutiones humanarum rerum of Cassiodorus, at Carlsruhe, and known as the Anecdoton Holderi, was edited with a commentary by H. Usener in 1877. It threw new light on some points connected with the statesman’s biography. The Variæ have been edited in a splendid edition by Mommsen (in Mon. Germ. Hist., 1894). A large volume of selected translations has been published by Mr. Hodgkin.
The Chronicle (or Consularia) of Cassiodorus was drawn up in 519, on the occasion of the consulship of Theodoric’s son-in-law, Eutharic Cillica. The sources which he used were: (1) The Chronicle of Jerome; (2) the Chronicle of Prosper, in the edition published in 445 (cp. above, vol. iv. Appendix 5, p. 353), for the years subsequent to the end of Jerome’s Chron.; (3) an epitome of Livy; (4) the history of Aufidius Bassus; (5) Eutropius; (6) the Paschale of Victorius; (7) Consularia Italica (see above, vol. iv. Appendix 5). “Written for the use of the city populace,” as Mommsen remarks, it contains many entries relating to games and the buildings in Rome, and it is marked by some interesting blunders in grammatical form. Finding in his source, for instance, Varane et Tertullo conss. ( 410), Cassiodorus translating this into the nominative case gives Varan et Tertullus. See Mommsen, Chron. Min. ii. p. 112. In the later part of the work he has made several slight additions and changes of his own in the notices which he copies from his authorities, out of regard for Gothic feelings. Thus Prosper recorded that Ambrose of Milan wrote “in defence of the Catholic faith.” But the Goths were Arians; and so Cassiodorus modifies the phrase to “concerning the Christian faith.” Again Prosper simply states that “Rome was taken by the Goths under Alaric”; Cassiodorus adds that “they used their victory with clemency.” The best edition is Mommsen’s in Chron. Min. ii. p. 120 sqq.
Flavius Cresconius Corippus, a native of Africa, seems to have held the office of a tribune or a notary, in that branch of the civil service of which the quæstor of the Sacred Palace was the chief.30 He was an old man at the death of Justinian.31 He wrote two poems relating to contemporary history, both of the greatest interest and importance. (1) The Johannid celebrates the Moorish wars of Johannes, who was appointed Magister Militum in 546 (see below, vol. vii. Appendix 10). It was unknown to Gibbon and was published for the first time by Mazzucchelli (librarian of the Ambrosian library) from the Codex Trivultianus, the only MS. now known to exist. (Other MSS. known in the Middle Ages and as late as the sixteenth century have disappeared.) The poem contains eight Books; the end of the eighth Book is missing, and there are other lacunæ.32 Corippus introduces a sketch of the events in Africa which preceded the arrival of John (3, 54-4, 246); describing the career of Antala, the wars of Solomon and Areobindus. The poem must have been composed soon after the decisive victory of John in 548. The respect shown for Athanasius, the Prætorian prefect, suggests that he was still in office when Corippus wrote. (2) Towards the end of Justinian’s reign Corippus went to Constantinople, where he was present at the coronation of Justin II. In connection with this Emperor’s accession he wrote his In laudem Justini Augusti minoris, hoping that the sovereign would help him in his need. For he seems to have lost his property in the troubles which broke out in Africa a few years before (see vol. vii. App. 10). Compare Præfatio, 43, nudatus propriis. This poem consists of a preface, a short panegyric on Anastasius the quæstor (who probably undertook to introduce Corippus to the Emperor) and four Books. It has been repeatedly edited, and has been well elucidated by Fogginius (1777). For its contents see Gibbon, c. xlv. The critical edition of Joseph Partsch (in the Mon. Germ. Hist.), 1879, has superseded all previous works. Corippus, it may be observed, though a poor poet compared with Claudian, is far more satisfactory to the historian. He has no scruples about introducing barbarous names into his verse, and is consequently less allusive. His account of the Moorish nations is of great importance for the geography of North Africa. We meet such names as Silcadenit, Naffur, Silvaizan; such a line as,
Astuces, Anacutasur, Celianus, Imaclas.
Count Marcellinus was of Illyrian birth and Latin was his native tongue. He was cancellarius of Justinian, before Justinian ascended the throne and probably when he held the post of magister equitum et peditum in præsenti. Some years later, before the death of Justin, he wrote and edited a chronicle, beginning with the accession of Theodosius I., where Jerome stopped, and coming down to the death of Anastasius; afterwards he continued it to 534. (Another contemporary but anonymous author subsequently brought it down to 548.) The sources of Marcellinus were Orosius, the Consularia of Constantinople (see above vol. ii. Appendix 10), the Consularia Italica, Gennadius’ continuation of Jerome’s de Viris illustribus, and one or two ecclesiastical works (for instance a life of Chrysostom, similar to that of Palladius). See preface to Mommsen’s edition in Chron. Min. vol. ii. p. 39 sqq. Marcellinus contains some important notices of events in Illyricum; and for Anastasius, Justin, and Justinian, his statements — always provokingly brief — have a very high value.
Victor Tonnennensis,33 an African bishop, wrote under Justinian and Justin II. a chronicle from the Creation to the year 566. We possess the most important part of it from 444 forward. For Victor’s life we have some notices in his own chronicle and a notice in Isidore’s De viris illustribus, c. 49, 50. He took part with the western churchmen against Justinian in the Three Chapter Controversy, and was banished, first to the Balearic islands (a certain emendation of Mommsen in Victor, sub ann. 555) and after other changes of exile, to Egypt; finally in 564-5 he was removed to Constantinople. He wrote his work during his exile. Mommsen has shown that he made use of Western Consularia from 444 to 457; of Eastern Consularia from 458 to 500 (except for 460, 464, 465); but of Western again from 501-563. In 563 he suddenly and unaccountably ceases to date by consulships, and begins to date by the years of Justinian’s reign. It is to be observed that in marking the years after Basil’s consulate 540 he departs from the usual practice; he calls 541 not the first but the second year post consulatum Basilii. It is very curious that he makes a mistake about the year of Justinian’s death, which he places in Ind. 15 and the fortieth year of his reign, though it really took place in Ind. 14, ann. regn. 39. [Edition: Mommsen, Chron. Min. 2, p. 178 sqq.]
The chronicle of Victor was continued by a Visigoth, John of Biclarum. He too, like Victor, suffered persecution for his religious opinions. He had gone to Constantinople in his childhood, learned Latin and Greek, and had been brought up in the Catholic faith. At the age of seventeen he returned to Spain, c. 576, and was banished to Barcino by the Arian king Leovigild on account of his religious opinions. Exiled for ten years (till 586), he was released by Leovigild’s Catholic successor Reccared, and founded the monastery of Biclarum (site unknown). Afterwards he became bishop of Gerunda, and there is evidence that he was still alive in 610. His chronicle differs from most others in that it can be studied by itself without any reference to sources. For he derived his knowledge from his own experience and the verbal communications of friends (ex parte quod oculata fide pervidimus et ex parte quæ ex relatu fidelium didicimus). He professes to be the continuator of Eusebius, Jerome, Prosper, and Victor. At the outset he falls into the mistake which, as we saw, Victor made as to the date of Justinian, and places it in the fifteenth indiction. This led to a misdating of the years of Justin II., and he commits other serious chronological blunders. Mommsen, Chron. Min. ii. p. 209. His chronicle ends with the year 590. It is worthy of note that John always speaks with the highest appreciation of the Gothic king Leovigild, who banished him. [Ed. Mommsen, Chron. Min. ii. p. 207 sqq.]
Fragments of the Chronicle of Maximus of Cæsaraugusta have been preserved in the margin of MSS. of Victor and John of Biclarum, extending over the years 450 to 568 (perhaps to 580). Mommsen, Chron. Min. ii. p. 221-3.
Marius (c. 530-594), bishop of Aventicum (Avenches), wrote a chronicle extending from 455 to 581. Mommsen has shown that he made use of the Consularia Italica and the Chronica Gallica (cp. above, vol. iv. Appendix 5, p. 352). [Editions: Arndt, ed. maior, 1875, ed. minor, 1878; Mommsen, Chron. Min. ii. p. 227 sqq.]
Isidorus Junior became bishop of Hispalis (Seville) c. 600-3, and died in the year 636. He wrote a History of the Goths, Vandals, and Sueves, coming down to the year 624. It is preserved in two recensions, in one of which the original form has been abbreviated, in the other augmented. The sources of Isidore were Orosius, Jerome, Prosper (ed. of 553), Idatius, Maximus of Saragossa, John of Biclarum. He used the Spanish era (= Christian era + 38); Mommsen has drawn up a most convenient comparative table of the dates (Chron. Min. ii. p. 246-251). Isidore is our main source for the Spanish history of the last hundred years with which he deals. [Ed. Mommsen, Chron. Min. ii. 241 sqq., to which are appended various Additamenta and Continuations. Monograph: H. Hertzberg, Die Historien und die Chroniken des Isidorus von Seville, 1874; Hertzberg’s conclusions have been modified by Mommsen.]
Gregory of Tours in his Historia Francorum (best edition by Arndt and Krusch in the M.G.H.), although he wrote in the last quarter of the sixth century, throws some light on the great Hunnic invasion of Gaul and the career of Aetius, especially by his citations from a lost writer, Renatus Profuturus Frigeridus. For the reigns of the Frank kings Childeric and Chlodwig he is our main guide. The sources of his history have been carefully analysed and its value tested by M. Monod (in his Etudes Critiques sur les sources de l’histoire mérovingienne, 1872) and G.W. Junghans, whose history of the reigns of Childeric and Chlodwig has been translated into French by M. Monod, with additional notes. Gregory’s narrative of these reigns is based in a small part on written documents, — consular annals, — and to a great extent on popular and ecclesiastical traditions. To the first class belong bk. ii. chaps. 18 and 19, on Childeric; the account of the Burgundian war, 500, in chaps. 31 and 33; and a few other facts and dates. Such a notice, for instance, as —
Chlodovechus rex cum Alarico rege Gothorum in campo Vogladense decimo ab urbe Pictava miliario convenit —
clearly comes from a chronicle. On the other hand the story of Childeric’s flight to Thuringia and marriage with Basina is clearly from an oral source and has undergone the influence of popular imagination. The Annals which Gregory used in chaps. 18 and 19 are conjectured to have been composed in Angers.
The determination of the chronology of Chlodwig ’s reign would be impossible from Gregory’s data alone; it depends on certain data of his contemporary, Marius of Aventicum, who made use of the lost South-Gallic Annals (see above). Thus Marius gives 548 for the death of Theudebert and 561 for the death of Chlotachar. We know from Gregory (a) that thirty-seven years elapsed between the death of Chlodwig and that of Theudebert, and (b) that Chlotachar died in the fifty-first year of his reign. These data combined point to 510 or 511 as the year of Chlodwig’s death. The date subscribed to the acts of the Council of Orleans (July 10, 511), held when Chlodwig was still alive, proves that the latter is the true date.
Modern Works. Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders, vol. ii. for the last western emperors, vol. iii. for Odovacar, Theodoric, and events in Africa and Italy up to 535, vol. iv. for the Imperial Restoration. Ranke, Weltgeschichte, vol. iv. J. C. Manso, Geschichte des ost-gothischen Reiches in Italien (1824). Dahn, Könige der Germanen. R. Kopke, Die Anfänge des Königthums bei den Gothen. Papencordt, Geschichte der Vandalen. For the overthrow of the Vandals and Imperial settlement of Africa: C. Diehl, L’Afrique Byzantine (1896). For Oriental affairs: Rawlinson, Seventh Oriental Monarchy. For the economic state of the empire under Justinian: Finlay, Hist. of Greece, vol. i.
Monographs: Lord Mahon (afterwards Earl Stanhope), Life of Belisarius; Hodgkin, Theodoric the Goth, 1891; Bryce, Justinian (in the Dictionary of Christian Biography); A. Debidour, L’impératrice Théodora (1885); A. Rose, Anastasius I. (1882). On the military establishment of the Empire in Justinian’s reign, C. Benjamin, De Iustiniani imp. aetate quaestiones militares, 1892. Many others are referred to elsewhere in this volume.
ODOVACAR’S GRANT TO PIERIUS
An interesting memorial of the administration of Odovacar survives in a deed of donation to his Count of Domestics, Pierius. The papyrus document (dated at Ravenna in 489) is preserved in two parts, of which one is at Naples, the other at Vienna. It was published in 1805 in Marini’s Papiri diplomatici, but the English reader will find it convenient to consult the text (with a clear exposition) in Hodgkin’s Italy and her Invaders, iii. note B (p. 165 sqq.). Odovacar granted his minister estates which were to yield an income amounting to the value of about £414. These estates were (1) in the territory of Syracuse, (2) the island of Meleda on the Dalmatian coast. Pierius had already received these lands, but, as these only produced about £390, Odovacar completes in this document the promised revenue by adding some small farms to the Syracusan estate, calculated to yield £24 9s. (so that Pierius gained an additional 9s. or ¾ of a solidus). The document is not signed by Odovacar. It is probable, as Dahn observes (Kön. der Germanen, ii. 48), that he could not write.
THE ORIGIN OF MONASTICISM — (C. XXXVII.)
For his account of the beginnings of monasticism in Egypt, Gibbon has not given to the Abbot Pachomius his due place, and seems almost to regard him as merely a follower of Antony. Nor has he perhaps brought out with sufficient distinctness the contrast between the hermits and the monks.
The best-known authorities for the origin of Egyptian monasticism are Rufinus, Palladius, and Sozomen. But the accounts of these three writers are, for the most part, not independent. All three, as has been proved by the researches of Lucius and Amélineau, go back to common sources, — works which were written in the Coptic of Upper Egypt, but were probably accessible in a Greek form before the year 400. The Historia Lausiaca of Palladius depends entirely on such sources for Upper Egypt; but the account of the monks of Lower Egypt is based on the author’s personal investigations as well as on literary (Coptic) sources.
One of the most important of the sources of Palladius and Sozomen for the monastic foundations of Upper Egypt was the Coptic Life of the great founder himself, the Abbot Pachomius; and this biography is fortunately preserved to us in various recensions. There are (a) some fragments of the original Life, as it was written down in the Coptic of Upper Egypt, after the death of Pachomius, by monks of Phbôou; (b) a late Arabic version; (c) a version in the Coptic of Lower Egypt; (d) three Greek recensions, and a Latin translation of a fourth, by Dionysius Exiguus (a Roman abbot of the sixth century). The two most important Greek recensions were published in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. iii. (p. 25 sqq.); the Coptic and Arabic versions (French translation) have been recently given to the world by Amélineau (Annales du Musée Guimet, xvii., 1889). This publication of Amélineau has put the historical investigation of the work of Pachomius on a new footing. The Coptic and Arabic versions bring us much nearer to the original form of the biography of the saint. We have only one Greek source that does not depend on a Coptic original: a Letter of Bishop Ammon to the Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria (c. 400 ad), — an important document (Acta Sanctt. May, vol. iii. p. 63 sqq.). The mutual relations of all these sources have been investigated in a valuable monograph by Dr. Grützmacher, Pachomius und das alteste Klosterleben, 1896.
Pachomius was born in 285, founded his first cloister at Tabennîsi c. 322, afterwards made the cloister of Phbôou his residence, died in 345. (These dates have been determined by Gwatkin and Grützmacher.) But in his youth, before he became a Christian, Pachomius lived as a monk of Serapis at Schénésit or Chenoboscium, near Diospolis in the southern Thebaid. His biography states that he occupied himself with growing palms and vegetables, which supplied both his own needs and those of poor neighbours and travellers. We must not indeed derive Egyptian monasticism from the cult of Serapis by the recluses who lived together in his temples; but it can hardly be denied that this heathen institution had a considerable influence on the Christian ascetics, and it is significant that the founder of monastic communities had been a recluse of Serapis. The tonsure seems undoubtedly to have been borrowed from the practice of the votaries of the Egyptian deity.
Between the solitary cell of Antony and the organised monastery of Pachomius, there was the intermediate stage of colonies of hermits. Pachomius joined a colony of this kind, which was under the guidance of Palæmon, south of Chenoboscium. Here he became convinced that life in a society of recluses was a more perfect state than the solitary life of an anachoret; and conceived the idea of a strict organisation.
The clergy were at first bitterly opposed to the monastic spirit. The struggle comes out in the Coptic and Arabic recensions of the Life of Pachomius; it has been softened down and almost disappears in the Greek versions. The bishops and clergy persecuted the monks. The Church, however, soon found it necessary to reconcile itself to a movement which was far too strong to be suppressed and to concede its approval to the monastic ideal. This reconciliation was due to the wisdom of the Patriarch Athanasius. It has been well said that his Life of S. Anthony is the seal which the Church set on its recognition of the new movement (Grützmacher).
[Literature. Helyot’s great Histoire des ordres monastiques was used by Gibbon. German works by Fehr, Biedenfeld, Möhler, and Evelt are cited by H. Richter, das weström. Reich, p. 674; also Mangold, de monachatus origine et causis. Weingarten, Der Ursprung des Mönchtums im nachkonstantinischen Zeitalter, 1877 (advocates the Serapean origin of monasticism). Harnack, Das Mönchtum, seine Ideale und seine Geschichte, 1886. Mayer, Die christliche Askese, ihr Wesen und ihre geschichtliche Entfaltung, 1894. Amélineau, op. cit., and Etude historique sur St. Pachome, 1888. Grützmacher, op. cit. For the monks of Serapis: Revillout, Le reclus du Sérapeum, in the Rev. Egyptol., 1880, vol. i. On the sources of Palladius, &c.: Lucius, Ztschrift. für Kirchengeschichte, 7, p. 163 sqq. (1885). For the Regula of St. Pachomius, we have now (besides Palladius, Sozomen, the version of the Vita Pachomii, by Dionysius Exiguus), as well as the Arabic version of the Vita Pachomii, also an Ethiopic recension. It was published by Dillmann in 1866 (in his Chrestomathia æthiopica) and has been translated by Konig in Studien und Kritiken, 1878.]
The history of monasticism in Palestine, where Hilarion ( 291-371) occupies somewhat the same position as Pachomius in Egypt, is derived from the lives of the great abbots (Hilarion, Chariton, Euthymius, Sabas, Theodosius, &c.) as well as the ecclesiastical historians. The recent work on the subject by Father Oltarzhevski (Palestinskoe Monashestvo s iv. do vi. vieka, 1896), though it contains a great deal of material, seems to be superficial and unmethodical.
THE GOTHIC ALPHABET OF ULFILAS — (P. 181)
The statements of Gibbon that the alphabet of Ulfilas consisted of twenty-four letters, and that he invented four new letters, are not quite accurate. The Goths before Ulfilas used the Runic alphabet, or futhorc (so called from the first six letters), consisting of twenty-four signs. Ulfilas based his alphabet on the Greek, adopting the Greek order; and adapted it to the requirements of Gothic speech. But his alphabet has twenty-five letters; five of them are derived from the Runic, one from the Latin (S), and one is of uncertain origin. This uncertain letter has the value of Q, and corresponds, in position in the alphabet, to the Greek numeral sigma (between E and Z). It is remarkable that the letters Θ and Ψ are interchanged. Ψ is adopted to represent th, and occupies ninth place, corresponding to Θ, while Θ is used for the sound W and holds the place corresponding to Ψ. Thus the two additional symbols which Gibbon selects for special mention are Greek, but applied to a different use. The English equivalents of the Gothic letters are as follows, in alphabetical order: —
A, B, G, D, E, Q, Z, H, Th, I, K, L, M, N, J (runic), U (runic), P, R (runic), S, T, V, F (runic), Ch, W, O (runic).
THE SAXON CONQUEST OF BRITAIN — (P. 269)
In regard to Vortigern’s invitation, Mr. Freeman observes (Norman Conquest, i. 13-14): —
“The southern Britons were now exposed to the attacks of the Picts and Scots who had never submitted to the Roman yoke, and there is no absurdity in the familiar story that a British prince took Teutonic mercenaries into his pay, and that these dangerous allies took advantage of the weakness of their hosts to establish themselves as permanent possessors of part of the island. But if the account be rejected, the general narrative of the Conquest is in no way affected; and, if it be accepted, we may be sure that Vortigern’s imitation of many Roman precedents did but hasten the progress of events. The attempts which had been checked while the Roman power was flourishing were sure to be renewed when the check was withdrawn, and if a Welsh King did invite a Jutish chieftain to defend him, that invitation was only the occasion, and not the cause, of the conquest which now began.”
The conquest began about the middle of the fifth century; but, as Mr. Plummer observes (in his ed. of Bede, vol. ii. p. 27), it is improper to interpret Bede as committing himself (in B. i. 15) to the year 449 for the first coming of the Saxons. “Bede never professes to know the exact year . . . he always uses the word ‘circiter’ in reference to it” — and circiter covers 446-457.
In earlier times of course the shore of Britain was exposed to the raids of Saxon pirates, against which the Count of the Saxon shore had to guard. For the littus Saxonicum meant the shore exposed to Saxon pirates, not the shore colonised by Saxon settlements. Cp. Freeman, op. cit. p. 11, note 2; Stubbs, Const. Hist. of England, i. p. 64.
For the Saxon conquest in general see Guest, Origines Celticae, vol. ii.; Freeman, op. cit. cap. 2; J. R. Green, Making of England. The Ecclesiastical History of Bede (with his other works) has been edited by Mr. Plummer (1896) — a truly admirable edition; and by Mommsen in the Chronica Minora, vol. iii., which also includes Gildas and Nennius. The chief work on Nennius is H. Zimmer’s Nennius vindicatus, 1893.
GIBBON ON THE HOUSE OF BOURBON — (P. 294)
“A Julian or Semiramis may reign in the North, while Arcadius and Honorius again slumber on the thrones of the House of Bourbon.”
Thus the passage appeared in the first quarto edition (1781). In his Autobiography (Memoir E, in Mr. Murray’s edition, 1896, p. 324) Gibbon makes the following statement in a footnote: —
“It may not be generally known that Louis XVI. is a great reader, and a reader of English books. On the perusal of a passage of my History (vol. iii. p. 636), which seems to compare him with Arcadius or Honorius, he expressed his resentment to the Prince of B—, from whom the intelligence was conveyed to me. I shall neither disclaim the allusion nor examine the likeness; but the situation of the late King of France excludes all suspicion of flattery, and I am ready to declare that the concluding observations of my third Volume were written before his accession to the throne.”
Gibbon, however, altered the words “House of Bourbon” to “South” in his later edition, thus making the allusion ambiguous.
FAMILY POLICY OF THEODORIC — (P. 316)
Theodoric’s system of connecting himself by matrimonial alliances with the Teutonic monarchs of Western Europe will be illustrated by a genealogical table.
AN INSCRIPTION OF THEODORIC — (P. 329)
The inscription on the draining of the Pomptine marshes by Theodoric, preserved at Mesa, is as follows: —
D(ominus) n(oster) glrsmus [= gloriosissimus] adq(ue) inclyt(us) rex Theodericus vict(or) ac triumf(ator), semper Aug(ustus), bono r(ei) p(ublicae) natus, custos libertatis et propagator Rom(ani) nom(inis), domitor gtium [= gentium] Decennovii1 viae Appiae id(est) a Trip(ontio) usq(ue) Tarric(inam) iter et loca quae confluentib(us) ab utraq(ue) parte palud(ibus) per omn(es) retro princip(es) inundaverant2 usui pub(li)co et securitate [leg. — ati, Mommsen] viantium admiranda propitio deo felic(ita) te restituit; operi iniuncto naviter insudante adq(ue) clementissimi princip(is) feliciter deserviente p(rae) coniis ex prosapie Deciorum Caec(ina) Mav(ortio ?) Basilio Decio v(iro) c(larissimo) et ill(ustri) ex p(raefecto) u(rbi) ex p(raefecto) p(raetorio), ex cons(ule) ord(inariao) pat(ricio), qui ad perpetuandam tanti domini gloriam per plurimos qui non ante [fuerant suppl. Mommsen] albeos deducta in mare aqua ignotae atavis et nimis antiquae reddidit siccitati.
See Corp. Inscr. Lat. X. p. 690 sqq.
[1 ]Such are the figurative expressions of Plutarch (Opera, tom. ii. p. 318, edit. Wechel), to whom, on the faith of his son Lamprias (Fabricius, Bibliot. Græc. tom. iii. p. 341), I shall boldly impute the malicious declamation, περὶ τη̂ς Ῥωμαίων τύχης. The same opinions had prevailed among the Greeks two hundred and fifty years before Plutarch; and to confute them is the professed intention of Polybius (Hist. l. i. p. 90, edit. Gronov. Amstel. 1670 [c. 63]).
[2 ]See the inestimable remains of the sixth book of Polybius, and many other parts of his general history, particularly a digression in the seventeenth [leg. eighteenth] book, in which he compares the phalanx and the legion [c. 12-15].
[3 ]Sallust, de Bell. Jugurthin. c. 4. Such were the generous professions of P. Scipio and Q. Maximus. The Latin historian had read, and most probably transcribes, Polybius, their contemporary and friend.
[4 ]While Carthage was in flames, Scipio repeated two lines of the Iliad, which express the destruction of Troy, acknowledging to Polybius, his friend and preceptor (Polyb. in Excerpt. de Virtut. et Vit. tom. ii. p. 1455-1465 [xxxix. 3]), that, while he recollected the vicissitudes of human affairs, he inwardly applied them to the future calamities of Rome (Appian. in Libycis, p. 136, edit. Toll. [Punica, c. 82]).
[5 ]See Daniel, ii. 31-40. “And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron; forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces, and subdueth all things.” The remainder of the prophecy (the mixture of iron and clay) was accomplished, according to St. Jerom, in his own time. Sicut enim in principio nihil Romano Imperio fortius et durius, ita in fine rerum nihil imbecillius: quum et in bellis civilibus et adversus diversas nationes aliarum gentium barbararum auxilio indigemus (Opera, tom. v. p. 572).
[6 ]The French and English editors of the Genealogical History of the Tartars have subjoined a curious, though imperfect, description of their present state. We might question the independence of the Calmucks, or Eluths, since they have been recently vanquished by the Chinese, who, in the year 1759, subdued the lesser Bucharia, and advanced into the country of Badakshan, near the sources of the Oxus (Mémoires sur les Chinois, tom. i. p. 325-400). But these conquests are precarious, nor will I venture to ensure the safety of the Chinese empire.
[7 ]The prudent reader will determine how far this general proposition is weakened by the revolt of the Isaurians, the independence of Britain and Armorica, the Moorish tribes, or the Bagaudæ of Gaul and Spain (vol. ii. p. 56-57; vol. v. p. 280-281, 345-346; vol. vi. p. 82).
[7a ][For the text of the 1st edit. see Appendix 7.]
[8 ]America now contains about six millions of European blood and descent; and their numbers, at least in the North, are continually increasing. Whatever may be the changes of their political situation, they must preserve the manners of Europe; and we may reflect with some pleasure that the English language will probably be diffused over an immense and populous continent.
[9 ]On avoit fait venir (for the siege of Turin) 140 pièces de canon; et il est à remarquer que chaque gros canon monté revient à environ 2000 écus; il y avoit 110,000 boulets; 106,000 cartouches d’une façon, et 300,000 d’une autre; 21,000 bombes; 27,700 grenades, 15,000 sacs à terre, 30,000 instrumens pour le pionnage; 1,200,000 livres de poudre. Ajoutez à ces munitions, le plomb, le fer, et le fer blanc, les cordages, tout ce qui sert aux mineurs, le souphre, le salpêtre, les outils de toute espèce. Il est certain que les frais de tous ces préparatifs de destruction suffiroient pour fonder et pour faire fleurir la plus nombreuse colonie. Voltaire, Siècle de Louis XIV. c. xx. in his Works, tom. xi. p. 391.
[10 ]It would be an easy though tedious task to produce the authorities of poets, philosophers, and historians. I shall therefore content myself with appealing to the decisive and authentic testimony of Diodorus Siculus (tom. i. l. i. p. 11, 12 [c. 8], l. iii. p. 184, &c. [c. 14, 15], edit. Wesseling). The Ichthyophagi, who in his time wandered along the shores of the Red Sea, can only be compared to the natives of New Holland (Dampier’s Voyages, vol. i. p. 464-469). Fancy or perhaps reason may still suppose an extreme and absolute state of nature far below the level of these savages, who had acquired some arts and instruments.
[11 ]See the learned and rational work of the President Goguet, de l’Origine des Loix, des Arts, et des Sciences. He traces from facts or conjectures (tom. i. p. 147-337, edit. 12mo) the first and most difficult steps of human invention.
[12 ]It is certain, however strange, that many nations have been ignorant of the use of fire. Even the ingenious natives of Otaheite, who are destitute of metals, have not invented any earthen vessels capable of sustaining the action of fire and of communicating the heat to the liquids which they contain.
[13 ]Plutarch. Quæst. Rom. in tom. ii. p. 275. Macrob. Saturnal. l. i. c. 8, p. 152, edit. London. The arrival of Saturn (or his religious worship) in a ship may indicate that the savage coast of Latium was first discovered and civilised by the Phœnicians.
[14 ]In the ninth and tenth books of the Odyssey, Homer has embellished the tales of fearful and credulous sailors, who transformed the cannibals of Italy and Sicily into monstrous giants.
[15 ]The merit of discovery has too often been stained with avarice, cruelty, and fanaticism; and the intercourse of nations has produced the communication of disease and prejudice. A singular exception is due to the virtue of our own times and country. The five great voyages successively undertaken by the command of his present Majesty were inspired by the pure and generous love of science and of mankind. The same prince, adapting his benefactions to the different stages of society, has founded a school of painting in his capital, and has introduced into the islands of the South Sea the vegetables and animals most useful to human life.
[1 ]Jornandes (de Rebus Geticis, c. 13, 14, p. 629, 630, edit. Grot.) has drawn the pedigree of Theodoric from Gapt, one of the Anses or Demi-gods who lived about the time of Domitian. Cassiodorius, the first who celebrates the royal race of the Amali (Variar. viii. 5, ix. 25, x. 2, xi. 1), reckons the grandson of Theodoric as the xviith in descent. Peringsciold (the Swedish commentator of Cochlœus, Vit. Theodoric. p. 271, &c. Stockholm, 1699) labours to connect this genealogy with the legends or traditions of his native country.
[2 ]More correctly, on the banks of the lake Pelso (Neusiedler-see), near Carnuntum, almost on the same spot where Marcus Antoninus composed his Meditations (Jornandes, c. 52, p. 659. Severin, Pannonia Illustrata, p. 22. Cellarius, Geograph. Antiq. tom. i. p. 350). [Date of Theodoric’s birth, c. 454 (not earlier); he was sent to Constantinople in 461.]
[3 ][This division of the kingdom, which we find so often among the Franks, meets us here first among the Goths. Walamir’s part seems to have been between the rivers Save and Drave, Widimir’s between the Save and the Plattensee, Theodemir’s between the Plattensee and the Danube. Cp. Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders, iii. p. 14.]
[4 ]The four first letters of his name (ΘΕΟΔ) were inscribed on a gold plate, and, when it was fixed on the paper, the king drew his pen through the intervals (Anonym. Valesian. ad calcem Amm. Marcellin. p. 722). This authentic fact, with the testimony of Procopius, or at least of the contemporary Goths (Gothic. l. i. c. 2, p. 311), far outweighs the vague praises of Ennodius (Sirmond, Opera, tom. i. p. 1596) and Theophanes (Chronograph. p. 112). [The same story is told of the Emperor Justin in the Secret History of Procopius. Mr. Hodgkin thinks it was transferred from Justin to Theodoric. It might be legitimate to make the reverse supposition, seeing that Procopius was ill disposed to Justin, the Anon. Val. impartial towards Theodoric.]
[5 ]Statura est quæ resignet proceritate [leg. prolixitate] regnantem (Ennodius, p. 1614 [§ 89; p. 214, ed. Vogel]). The bishop of Pavia (I mean the ecclesiastic who wished to be a bishop) then proceeds to celebrate the complexion, eyes, hands, &c. of his sovereign.
[6 ][Namely, certain cities in Macedonia Prima: — Pella, Cyrrhus, Europus, Methone, Pydna, Berœa, and (?) Dius. Cp. Mommsen’s Jordanes, p. 132.]
[7 ]The state of the Ostrogoths, and the first years of Theodoric, are found in Jornandes (c. 52-56, p. 689-696) and Malchus (Excerpt. Legat. p. 78-80), who erroneously style him the son of Walamir. [Mr. Hodgkin (p. 27) suggests that Theodoric’s triumphal entry into Rome in 500 , described by Anon. Vales. (67) as a triennial celebration, may have commemorated his reception of the title king in 471 in subordination to his father.]
[8 ]Theophanes (p. 111) inserts a copy of her sacred letters to the provinces: ἴστε ὄτι βασἱλειον ὴμέτερόν ὲστι . . . καὶ ὄτι προεχειρησάμεθα βασιλέα Τρασκαλλισαɩ̂ον, &c. Such female pretensions would have astonished the slaves of the first Cæsars. [This notice of Theophanes comes from Malalas; see the fragment in Hermes, vi. 371 (publ. by Mommsen).]
[9 ]Above, p. 126 sqq.
[10 ]Suidas, tom. i. p. 332, 333, edit. Kuster. [One of the chief causes of the fall of Basiliscus was his fatal policy of restoring the primacy in the Eastern Church to the see of Ephesus at the expense of Constantinople. This won for him the powerful opposition of the Patriarch Acacius. See Zacharias Myt., v. 3-5.]
[11 ]The contemporary histories of Malchus and Candidus are lost; but some extracts or fragments have been saved by Photius (lxxviii. lxxix. p. 100-102), Constantine Porphyrogenitus (Excerpt. Leg. p. 78-97), and in various articles of the Lexicon of Suidas. The Chronicle of Marcellinus (Imago Historiæ) are originals for the reigns of Zeno and Anastasius; and I must acknowledge, almost for the last time, my obligations to the large and accurate collections of Tillemont (Hist. des Emp. tom. vi. p. 472-652). [See further Appendix 2.]
[12 ]In ipsis congressionis tuæ foribus cessit invasor, cum profugo per te sceptra redderentur de salute dubitanti. Ennodius then proceeds (p. 1596, 1597, tom. i. Sirmond. [p. 204, ed: Vogel]) to transport his hero (on a flying dragon?) into Æthiopia, beyond the tropic of Caricer. The evidence of the Valesian Fragment (p. 717), Liberatus (Brev. Eutych. c. 25, p. 118), and Theophanes (p. 112) is more sober and rational. [The complicated triangular duel between the two Theodorics and the Emperor from 478 to 481 may be summarised thus: —
It will be seen that Gibbon (misled by false arrangement of the fragments of Malchus) has presented the interview of the two Theodorics (which took place in 478) and their alliance as subsequent to the events of 479. Theodoric son of Triarius was induced to desert his namesake by the bestowal of the post of magister militum in praesenti. The alliance of the Bulgarians — the first time this people appears in history — with Zeno is preserved in a fragment of John of Antioch (Müller, F.H.G. iv. p. 619), and a success gained by Theodoric over the Bulgarian king is recorded by Ennodius in his Panegyric on Theodoric (p. 211, ed. Vogel). — Recitach, the son of Theodoric son of Triarius, at first reconciled to Zeno, was afterwards slain by Theodoric the Amal at Zeno’s suggestion. See John of Antioch, ib. p. 620.]
[13 ]This cruel practice is specially imputed to the Triarian Goths, less barbarous, as it should seem, than the Walamirs; but the son of Theodemir is charged with the ruin of many Roman cities (Malchus, Excerpt. Leg. p. 95). [This is the right interpretation of the words of Malchus, χεɩ̂ράς τε άποτέμνων ἅμα τῷ Ἁρματίῳ. He does not mean “cutting off the hands of Harmatius,” but that in mutilating the peasants his conduct resembled that of Harmatius. Malch. p. 120, ed. Müller.]
[14 ][The site of this mountain is unknown.]
[15 ]Jornandes (c. 56, 57, p. 696) displays the services of Theodoric, confesses his rewards, but dissembles his revolt, of which such curious details have been preserved by Malchus (Excerpt. Legat. p. 78-97 [fr. 11, 15, 16, ed. Müller]). Marcellinus, a domestic of Justinian, under whose fourth consulship ( 534) he composed his Chronicle (Scaliger, Thesaurus Temporum, P. ii. p. 34-57), betrays his prejudice and passion: in Græciam debachantem . . . Zenonis munificentiâ pene pacatus . . . beneficiis nunquam satiatus, &c.
[16 ]As he was riding in his own camp, an unruly horse threw him against the point of a spear which hung before a tent, or was fixed on a waggon (Marcellin. in Chron., Evagrius, l. iii. c. 25).
[17 ]See Malchus (p. 91) and Evagrius (l. iii. c. 25).
[18 ]Malchus, p. 85. In a single action, which was decided by the skill and discipline of Sabinian, Theodoric could lose 5000 men. [In Epirus. 479.]
[19 ]Jornandes (c. 57, p. 696, 697) has abridged the great history of Cassiodorius. See, compare, and reconcile Procopius (Gothic. l. i. c. 1), the Valesian Fragment (p. 718 [§ 49]), Theophanes (p. 113), and Marcellinus (in Chron.). [Mr. Hodgkin translates and compares the Gothic version in Jordanes, and the Imperial version in Procopius and Anon. Val. He is inclined to ascribe this idea of invading Italy to Theodoric. It seems clear that Theodoric was to stand in the same relation to Zeno, in which Athaulf and Wallia stood to Honorius.]
[20 ][Various calculations of the numbers have been made. Mr. Hodgkin estimates the fighting strength of the army at about 40,000, the whole nation at 200,000, as minimum figures.]
[21 ]Theodoric’s march is supplied and illustrated by Ennodius (p. 1598-1602), when the bombast of the oration is translated into the language of common sense.
[22 ]Tot reges, &c. (Ennodius, p. 1602 [p. 207, ed. Vogel]). We must recollect how much the royal title was multiplied and degraded, and that the mercenaries of Italy were the fragments of many tribes and nations.
[23 ][They were a counterpoise to the Burgundians who came to the aid of Odovacar and invaded Liguria. See Historia Miscella.]
[24 ]See Ennodius, p. 1603, 1604 [p. 208, ed. Vog.]. Since the orator, in the king’s presence, could mention and praise his mother, we may conclude that the magnanimity of Theodoric was not hurt by the vulgar reproaches of concubine and bastard.
[25 ]This anecdote is related on the modern but respectable authority of Sigonius (Op. tom. i. p. 580. De Occident. Imp. l. xv.): his words are curious: “Would you return?” &c. She presented, and almost displayed, the original recess. [The anecdote is worthless; but whence did Sigonius derive it?]
[26 ][In the Panegyric of Ennodius, a passage (in c. x. p. 209, ed. Vogel) which escaped Gibbon’s notice darkly mentions a slaughter of the adherents of Odovacar in all parts of Italy, carried out (apparently in 490 ) by a prearranged scheme. His phrases suggest that the clergy were privy to it. Cp. Dahn, Kön. der Germanen, ii. 80.]
[27 ]Hist. Miscell. l. xv., a Roman history from Janus to the ninth century, an Epitome of Eutropius, Paulus Diaconus, and Theophanes, which Muratori has published from a MS. in the Ambrosian library (Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. i. p. 100).
[28 ][This was an arrangement which obviously had no elements of permanence, and Tillemont rejected the statement of Procopius (i. 1), on whose single authority it depended until the discovery of a confirmatory fragment of John of Antioch (214a, Müller, F.H.G. v.).]
[29 ][An account of the death of Odovacar has been recovered in a fragment of John of Antioch (ib. fr. 214). Theodoric invited Odovacar (now 60 years old) to a feast in the Palace of the Consul at the south-east corner of Ravenna, on March 15. As Odovacar sat at table, two men knelt before him with a petition and clasped his hands. Then soldiers, who were hidden in recesses on either side of the hall, rushed out, but for some cause they could not bring themselves to strike the king. Theodoric himself stepped forward and raised his sword. “Where is God?” cried Odovacar. “This didst thou to my friends,” said Theodoric, and clave him from the collar bone to the loin. Surprised at his own stroke, he exclaimed, “The wretch can have had no bones in his body.”]
[30 ]Procopius (Gothic. l. i. c. 1) approves himself an impartial sceptic: ϕασὶ . . . δολερῷ τρόπῳ ἔκτεινε. Cassiodorius (in Chron.) and Ennodius (p. 1604 [p. 210, ed. Vogel]) are loyal and incredulous, and the testimony of the Valesian Fragment (p. 718 [§ 55]) may justify their belief. Marcellinus spits the venom of a Greek subject — perjuriis illectus interfectusque est (in Chron.).
[31 ]The sonorous and servile oration of Ennodius was pronounced at Milan or Ravenna in the years 507 or 508 (Sirmond, tom. i. p. 1615). Two or three years afterwards, the orator was rewarded with the bishopric of Pavia, which he held till his death in the year 521 (Dupin, Bibliot. Eccles., tom. v. p. 11-14. See Saxii Onomasticon, tom. ii. p. 12).
[32 ]Our best materials are occasional hints from Procopius and the Valesian Fragment, which was discovered by Sirmond, and is published at the end of Ammianus Marcellinus. The author’s name is unknown, and his style is barbarous; but in his various facts he exhibits the knowledge, without the passions, of a contemporary. [See Appendix 2.] The president Montesquieu had formed the plan of an history of Theodoric, which at a distance might appear a rich and interesting subject.
[33 ]The best edition of the Variarum Libri xii. is that of Joh. Garretius (Rotomagi, 1679, in Opp. Cassiodor. 2 vols. in fol.); but they deserved and required such an editor as the Marquis Scipio Maffei, who thought of publishing them at Verona. The Barbara Eleganza (as it is ingeniously named by Tiraboschi) is never simple and seldom perspicuous. [See further Appendix 2.]
[34 ]Procopius, Gothic. l. i. c. 1, Variarum, ii. . Maffei (Verona Illustrata, p. i. p. 228) exaggerates the injustice of the Goths, whom he hated as an Italian noble. The plebeian Muratori crouches under their oppression. [The process of distribution may have been in the main a transferring of the thirds of the men of Odovacar to the men of Theodoric.]
[35 ]Procopius, Goth. l. iii. c. 4, 21. Ennodius describes (p. 1612, 1613 [p. 213, ed. Vogel]) the military arts and increasing numbers of the Goths.
[36 ]When Theodoric gave his sister to the king of the Vandals, she sailed for Africa with a guard of 1000 noble Goths, each of whom was attended by five armed followers (Procop. Vandal. l. i. c. 8). The Gothic nobility must have been as numerous as brave.
[37 ]See the acknowledgment of Gothic liberty, Var. v. 30. [But compare i. 19 and iv. 14.]
[38 ]Procopius, Goth. l. i. c. 2. The Roman boys learned the language (Var. viii. 21) of the Goths. Their general ignorance is not destroyed by the exceptions of Amalasuntha, a female, who might study without shame, or of Theodatus, whose learning provoked the indignation and contempt of his countrymen.
[39 ]A saying of Theodoric was founded on experience: “Romanus miser imitatur Gothum; et utilis (dives [Valois suggested uilis, which is adopted by Gardthausen]) Gothus imitatur Romanum.” (See the Fragment and Notes of Valesius, p. 719 [§ 61].)
[40 ]The view of the military establishment of the Goths in Italy is collected from the Epistles of Cassiodorius (Var. i. 24, 40; iii. 3 [23 ?], 24, 48; iv. 13, 14; v. 26, 27; viii. 3, 4, 25). They are illustrated by the learned Mascou (Hist. of the Germans, l. xi. 40-44. Annotation xiv.).
[41 ]See the clearness and vigour of his negotiations in Ennodius (p. 1607) and Cassiodorius (Var. iii. 1, 2, 3, 4; iv. 13; v. 43, 44), who gives the different styles of friendship, counsel, expostulation, &c.
[42 ]Even of his table (Var. vi. 9) and palace (vii. 5). The admiration of strangers is represented as the most rational motive to justify these vain expenses, and to stimulate the diligence of the officers to whom those provinces were entrusted.
[43 ]See the public and private alliances of the Gothic monarch, with the Burgundians (Var. i. 45, 46), with the Franks (ii. 40), with the Thuringians (iv. 1), and with the Vandals (v. i.). Each of these epistles affords some curious knowledge of the policy and manners of the Barbarians. [Cp. genealogical table, Appendix 8.]
[44 ]His political system may be observed in Cassiodorius (Var. iv. 1, ix. 1), Jornandes (c. 58, p. 698, 699), and the Valesian Fragment (p. 720, 721). Peace, honourable peace, was the constant aim of Theodoric.
[45 ]The curious reader may contemplate the Heruli of Procopius (Goth. l. ii. c. 14), and the patient reader may plunge into the dark and minute researches of M. de Buat (Hist. des Peuples Anciens, tom. ix. p. 348-396). [Cp. Zeuss, Die Deutschen und die Nachbarstämme, p. 476.]
[46 ]Variarum, iv. 2. The spirit and forms of this martial institution are noticed by Cassiodorius; but he seems to have only translated the sentiments of the Gothic king into the language of Roman eloquence.
[47 ]Cassiodorius, who quotes Tacitus to the Æstians, the unlettered savages of the Baltic (Var. v. 2), describes the amber for which their shores have ever been famous, as the gum of a tree, hardened by the sun, and purified and wafted by the waves. When that singular substance is analysed by the chemists, it yields a vegetable oil and a mineral acid. [Tacitus, Germ. 45.]
[48 ]Scanzia, or Thule, is described by Jornandes (c. 3, p. 610-613) and Procopius (Goth. l. ii. c. 15). Neither the Goth nor the Greek had visited the country; both had conversed with the natives in their exile at Ravenna or Constantinople.
[49 ]Saphirinas pelles. In the time of Jornandes, they inhabited Suethans, the proper Sweden; but that beautiful race of animals has gradually been driven into the eastern parts of Siberia. See Buffon (Hist. Nat. tom. xiii. p. 309-313, quarto edition); Pennant (System of Quadrupeds, vol. i. p. 322-328); Gmelin (Hist. Gén. des Voyages, tom. xviii. p. 257, 258); and Levésque (Hist. de Russie, tom. v. p. 165, 166, 514, 515).
[50 ]In the system or romance of M. Bailly (Lettres sur les Sciences et sur l’Atlantide, tom. i. p. 249-256, tom. ii. p. 114-139), the phœnix of the Edda, and the annual death and revival of Adonis and Osiris, are the allegorical symbols of the absence and return of the sun in the arctic regions. This ingenious writer is a worthy disciple of the great Buffon; nor is it easy for the coldest reason to withstand the magic of their philosophy.
[51 ]Αὕτη τε Θυλίταις ἡ μεγίστη τω̂ν ὲορτω̂ν ἐστι, says Procopius. At present a rude Manicheism (generous enough) prevails among the Samoyedes in Greenland and in Lapland (Hist. des Voyages, tom. xviii. p. 508, 509, tom. xix. p. 105, 106, 527, 528); yet, according to Grotius, Samojutæ cælum atque astra adorant, numina haud aliis iniquiora (de Rebus Belgicis. l. iv. p. 338, folio edition): a sentence which Tacitus would not have disowned.
[52 ]See the Hist. des Peuples Anciens, &c. tom. ix. p. 255-273, 396-501. The Count de Buat was French minister at the court of Bavaria: a liberal curiosity prompted his inquiries into the antiquities of the country, and that curiosity was the germ of twelve respectable volumes.
[53 ][The “Huns” are Bulgarians; see Ennodius, Paneg. c. xii. p. 211, ed. Vogel.]
[54 ]See the Gothic transactions on the Danube and in Illyricum, in Jornandes (c. 58, p. 699), Ennodius (p. 1607-1610 [p. 210, 211, ed. Vogel]), Marcellinus (in Chron. p. 44, 47, 48), and Cassiodorius (in Chron. and Var. iii. 23, 50; iv. 13; vii. 4, 24; viii. 9, 10, 11, 21; ix. 8, 9).
[55 ]I cannot forbear transcribing the liberal and classic style of Count Marcellinus: Romanus comes domesticorum et Rusticus comes scholariorum cum centum armatis navibus, totidemque dromonibus, octo millia militum armatorum secum ferentibus, ad devastanda Italiæ littora processerunt, et usque ad Tarentum antiquissimam civitatem aggressi sunt; remensoque mari inhonestam victoriam quam piratico ausu Romani ex Romanis rapuerunt, Anastasio Cæsari reportarunt (in Chron. p. 48). See Variar. i. 16, ii. 38.
[56 ]See the royal orders and instructions (Var. iv. 15; v. 16-20). These armed boats should be still smaller than the thousand vessels of Agamemnon at the siege of Troy.
[57 ]Above, p. 329-235.
[58 ]Ennodius (p. 1610 [p. 212, ed. Vog.]) and Cassiodorius, in the royal name (Var. ii. 41), record his salutary protection of the Alemanni. [Compare Agathias, i. 6. The victory of the Franks over the Alamanni and the reception of Alamanni into the realm of Theodoric must be kept altogether apart chronologically, as von Schubert showed (Die Unterwerfung der Alamannen unter die Franken, 1884). The date for the former event, given in Gregory of Tours, 2, 30 (Whether due to Gregory himself or an adscript by some one else), is 495, and Mommsen is inclined to accept it (see Proœm. to his ed. of Cassiodorus, p. xxxiii.). In any case the date was not (as Vogel tried to prove, Sybel’s Hist. Zeitschrift, 1886, Bd. 56, 385 sqq.) subsequent to 500. But the reception of the Alamans was subsequent to the Sirmian expedition (see below) of 504. Probably, as Mommsen suggests, Theodoric assigned abodes in Pannonia to the Alaman fugitives who had been wandering about homeless since 495.]
[59 ]The Gothic transactions in Gaul and Spain are represented with some perplexity in Cassiodorius (Var. iii. 32, 38, 41, 43, 44; v. 39), Jornandes (c. 58, p. 698, 699), and Procopius (Goth. l. i. c. 12). I will neither hear nor reconcile the long and contradictory arguments of the Abbé Dubos and the Count de Buat about the wars of Burgundy.
[60 ][“Or Belgrade” seems to convey that Belgrade corresponds to the ancient Sirmium. This is a mistake. Belgrade (as the author knew) corresponds to Singidunum; Sirmium to Mitrovitz. The expedition against Sirmium took place in 504.]
[61 ]Theophanes, p. 113.
[62 ]Procopius affirms that no laws whatsoever were promulgated by Theodoric and the succeeding kings of Italy (Goth. l. ii. c. 6). He must mean in the Gothic language. A Latin edict of Theodoric is still extant, in one hundred and fifty-four articles. [The edictum Theodorici was only intended for cases in which (a) Romans or (b) Goths and Romans were concerned. The Goths had their own law, and their disputes were decided by an official entitled the Comes Gothorum (cp. Cass. Var. vii. 3) acting alone. In disputes between Goth and Roman, a Roman jurisconsult acted as assessor to the Comes Gothorum. For the text of the Edictum see part iv. of Dahn’s Könige der Germanen; an analysis in Hodgkin, iii. 345 sqq. The peculiar Ostrogothic institution of the saiones, a sort of royal messengers, may be mentioned here. We find a saio sent to call the Goths to arm against the Franks, or to rebuke a Prætorian prefect. One remarkable duty which devolved on a saio was the so-called tuitio regii nominis, Hodgkin, ib. 282. When a rich unwarlike Roman, “unable to protect himself against the rude assaults of sturdy Gothic neighbours, appealed to the King for protection,” the King took him under his tuitio, and a saio was quartered in his house as a guarantee of the royal protection. Naturally, the institution was sometimes abused.]
[63 ][Mr. Hodgkin (Italy and her Invaders, iii. p. 273) makes a statement exactly the reverse.]
[64 ]The image of Theodoric is engraved on his coins: his modest successors were satisfied with adding their own name to the head of the reigning emperor (Muratori, Antiquitat. Italiæ Medii Ævi, tom. ii. dissert. xxvii. p. 577-579. Giannone, Istoria Civile di Napoli, tom. i. p. 166). [Neither Theodoric nor any of his successors put his own effigy on his gold or silver coins. On silver coins of Theodoric we find on obverse the image of the Emperor; on reverse Theodoric’s monogram with cross and star, and INVICTA ROMA. But there is a copper coin of Theodahat with his bust.]
[65 ]The alliance of the emperor and the king of Italy are [leg. is] represented by Cassiodorius (Var. i. 1; ii. 1, 2, 3; vi. i.) and Procopius (Goth. l. ii. c. 6; l. iii. c. 21), who celebrate the friendship of Anastasius and Theodoric; but the figurative style of compliment was interpreted in a very different sense at Constantinople and Ravenna.
[66 ]To the xvii provinces of the Notitia, Paul Warnefrid the deacon (De Reb. Longobard. l. ii. c. 14-22) has subjoined an xviiith, the Apennine (Muratori Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. i. p. 431-433). But of these Sardinia and Corsica were possessed by the Vandals, and the two Rhætias, as well as the Cottian Alps, seem to have been abandoned to a military government. The state of the four provinces that now form the kingdom of Naples is laboured by Giannone (tom. i. p. 172, 178) with patriotic diligence.
[67 ]See the Gothic history of Procopius (l. i. c. 1; l. ii. c. 6), the epistles of Cassiodorius (passim, but especially the vth and vith books, which contain the formulæ, or patents of offices), and the Civil History of Giannone (tom. i, l. ii. iii.). The Gothic counts, which he places in every Italian city, are annihilated, however, by Maffei (Verona Illustrata, p. i. l. viii. p. 227); for those of Syracuse and Naples (Var. vi. 22, 23) were special and temporary commissions. [Cp. Mommsen, Neues Archiv, 14, 499 sqq.]
[68 ]Two Italians of the name of Cassiodorius, the father (Var. i. 24, 40) and the son (ix. 24, 25), were successively employed in the administration of Theodoric. The son was born in the year 479: his various epistles as quæstor, master of the offices, and Prætorian prefect extend from 509 [possibly 507] to 539, and he lived as a monk about thirty years (Tiraboschi Storia della Letteratura Italiana, tom. iii. p. 7-24. Fabricius, Bibliot. Lat. Med. Ævi, tom. i. p. 357, 358, edit. Mansi). [Cp. Appendix 2.]
[69 ]See his regard for the senate in Cochlœus (Vit. Theod. viii. p. 72-80).
[70 ]No more than 120,000 modii, or four thousand quarters (Anonym. Valesian., p. 721 [§ 67], and Var. i. 35; vi. 18; xi. 5, 39).
[71 ]See his regard and indulgence for the spectacles of the circus, the amphitheatre, and the theatre, in the Chronicle and Epistles of Cassiodorius (Var. i. 20, 27, 30, 31, 32; iii. 51; iv. 51, illustrated by the xivth Annotation of Mascou’s History), who has contrived to sprinkle the subject with ostentatious though agreeable learning. [It is supposed that Theodoric’s visit to Rome may have been the occasion of the publication of the Edictum Theodorici; which in that case would probably be the work of Liberius.]
[72 ]Anonym. Vales. p. 721 [§ 69]. Marius Aventicensis in Chron. In the scale of public and personal merit, the Gothic conqueror is at least as much above Valentinian, as he may seem inferior to Trajan.
[73 ]Vit. Fulgentii in Baron. Annal. Eccles. 500, No. 10.
[74 ]Cassiodorius describes in his pompous style the forum of Trajan (Var. viii. [leg. vii.] 6), the theatre of Marcellus (iv. 51), and the amphitheatre of Titus (v. 42); and his descriptions are not unworthy of the reader’s perusal. According to the modern prices, the Abbé Barthelemy computes that the brickwork and masonry of the Coliseum would now cost twenty millions of French livres (Mém. de l’Académie des Inscriptions, tom. xxviii. p. 585, 586). How small a part of that stupendous fabric?
[75 ]For the aqueducts and cloacæ, see Strabo (l. v. p. 360), Pliny (Hist. Nat. xxxvi. 24), Cassiodorius (Var. iii. 30, 31; vi. 6), Procopius (Goth. l. i. c. 19), and Nardini (Roma Antica, p. 514-522). How such works could be executed by a king of Rome, is yet a problem.
[76 ]For the Gothic care of the buildings and statues, see Cassiodorius (Var. i. 21, 25; ii. 34; iv. 30; vii. 6, 13, 15), and the Valesian Fragment (p. 721 [§ 70 sqq.]). [Square bricks (tegulae) have been found with Theodoric’s name. Reg. DN. Theoderico Felix Roma. See Gregorovius, Gesch. der Stadt Rom, i. 294.]
[77 ]Var. vii. 15. These horses of Monte-Cavallo had been transported from Alexandria to the baths of Constantine (Nardini, p. 188). Their sculpture is disdained by the Abbé Dubos (Reflexions sur la Poésie et sur la Peinture, tom. i. section 39), and admired by Winckelmann (Hist. de l’Art, tom. ii. p. 159).
[78 ]Var. x. 10 [leg. 30]. They were probably a fragment of some triumphal car (Cuper, de Elephantis, ii. 10).
[79 ]Procopius (Goth. l. iv. c. 21) relates a foolish story of Myron’s cow, which is celebrated by the false wit of thirty-six Greek epigrams (Antholog. l. iv. p. 302-306, edit. Hen. Steph. Auson. Epigram. lviii.-lxviii.).
[80 ]See an Epigram of Ennodius (ii. 3, p. 1893, 1894 [cclxiv. p. 214, ed. Vogel]) on this garden and the royal gardener.
[81 ]His affection for that city is proved by the epithet of “Verona tua,” and the legend of the hero; under the barbarous name of Dietrich of Bern (Peringskiöld ad Cochlæum, p. 240) [Peringskiöld annotated the Vita Theodorici regis Ostrogothorum et Italiæ of I. Cochlæus, 1699 (Stockholm)], Maffei traces him with knowledge and pleasure in his native country (l. ix. p. 230-236). [On the legend of Theodoric in Verona, see C. Cipolla, in the Archivio Stor. It. (Florence), 1890, vi. p. 457 sqq.]
[82 ]See Maffei, Verona Illustrata, part i. p. 231, 232, 308, &c. [The image of the palace given by Maffei is from a seal, not from a coin.] He imputes Gothic architecture, like the corruption of language, writing, &c. not to the Barbarians, but to the Italians themselves. Compare his sentiments with those of Tiraboschi (tom. iii. p. 61). [At Ravenna there are two great memorials of Theodoric; his tomb (see below, p. 343) and the church of St. Martin (called in caelo aureo from its golden ceiling) now known as S. Apollinare Nuovo, with beautiful mosaics, among which is a representation of the Palace of Theodoric. Close to the church is a high wall with some marble pillars, supposed to be a fragment of the actual Palace of Theodoric, but this is very doubtful. See C. Ricci, Ravenna, ei suoi dintorni.]
[83 ]The villas, climate, and landscape of Baiæ (Var. ix. 6. See Cluver. Italia Antiq. l. iv. c. 2, p. 1119, &c.), Istria (Var. xii. 22, 26), and Comum (Var. xi. 14, compare with Pliny’s two villas, ix. 7), are agreeably painted in the epistles of Cassiodorius.
[84 ]In Liguria, numerosa agricolarum progenies (Ennodius, p. 1678, 1679, 1680 [p. 101, ed. Vogel]). St. Epiphanius of Pavia redeemed by prayer or ransom 6000 captives from the Burgundians of Lyons and Savoy. Such deeds are the best of miracles.
[85 ]The political economy of Theodoric (see Anonym. Vales. p. 721 and Cassiodorius, in Chron.) may be distinctly traced under the following heads: iron mine (Var. iii. 23); gold mine (ix. 3); Pomptine marshes (ii. 32, 33); Spoleto (ii. 21); corn (i. 34; x. 27, 28; xi. 11, 12); trade (vi. 7, vii. 9, 23); fair of Leucothoe or St. Cyprian in Lucania (viii. 33); plenty (xii. 4); the cursus, or public post (i. 29; ii. 31; iv. 47; v. 5; vi. 6; vii. 33); the Flaminian way (xii. 18). [An inscription records the draining of the marshes, which had flowed over the Appian way between Tripontium and Terracina. A copy of this inscription stands in the Piazza of Terracina. Cp. C.I.L. x. 6850, p. 690, and see Appendix 9.]
[86 ]LX modii tritici in solidum ipsius tempore fuerunt, et vinum xxx amphoras in solidum (Fragment Vales.). Corn was distributed from the granaries at xv or xxv modi for a piece of gold, and the price was still moderate.
[87 ]See the life of St. Cæsarius in Baronius ( 508, No. 12, 13, 14). The king presented him with 300 gold solidi, and a discus of silver of the weight of sixty pounds.
[88 ]Ennodius in Vit. St. Epiphanii, in Sirmond Op. tom. i. p. 1672-1690. Theodoric bestowed some important favours on this bishop, whom he used as a counsellor in peace and war.
[89 ]Devotissimus ac si Catholicus (Anonym. Vales. p. 720); yet his offering was no more than two silver candlesticks (cerostrata) of the weight of seventy pounds, far inferior to the gold and gems of Constantinople and France (Anastasius in Vit. Pont. in Hormisdâ, p. 34, edit. Paris).
[90 ]The tolerating system of his reign (Ennodius, p. 1612, Anonym. Vales. p. 719. Procop. Goth. l. i. c. 1; l. ii. c. 6) may be studied in the Epistles of Cassiodorius, under the following heads: bishops (Var. i. 9; viii. 15, 24; xi. 23); immunities (i. 26; ii. 29, 30); church lands (iv. 17, 20); sanctuaries (ii. 11; iii. 47); church plate (xii. 20); discipline (iv. 44); which prove at the same time that he was the head of the church as well as of the state.
[91 ]We may reject a foolish tale of his beheading a Catholic deacon who turned Arian (Theodor. Lector, No. 17). Why is Theodoric surnamed Afer? From Vafer (Vales. ad. loc.). A light conjecture.
[92 ]Ennodius, p. 1621, 1622, 1636, 1638. His libell [p. 48 sqq., ed. Vogel] was approved and registered (synodaliter) by a Roman council (Baronius, 503, No. 6. Franciscus Pagi in Breviar. Pont. Rom. tom. i. p. 242). [It is to be observed that Ennodius applies papa once or twice to Epiphanius.]
[92a ][There are two lives of Symmachus, one by a partisan of his own, the other by a partisan of his rival. In the main points they agree. See Duchesne, Lib. Pont. i. p. 33.]
[93 ]See Cassiodorius (Var. viii. 15; ix. 15, 16), Anastasius (in Symmacho, p. 31), and the xviith Annotation of Mascou. Baronius, Pagi, and most of the Catholic doctors confess, with an angry growl, this Gothic usurpation.
[94 ]He disabled them — a licentia testandi; and all Italy mourned — lamentabili justitio. I wish to believe that these penalties were enacted against the rebels who had violated their oath of allegiance; but the testimony of Ennodius (p. 1675-1678) is the more weighty, as he lived and died under the reign of Theodoric.
[95 ]Ennodius, in Vit. Epiphan. p. 1689, 1690 [p. 107-8, ed. Vog.]. Boethius de Consolatione Philosophiæ, l. i. pros. iv. p. 45, 46, 47. Respect, but weigh, the passions of the saint and the senator; and fortify or alleviate their complaints by the various hints of Cassiodorius (ii. 8; iv. 36; viii. 5).
[96 ]Immanium expensarum pondus . . . pro ipsorum salute, &c.; yet these are no more than words.
[97 ]The Jews were settled at Naples (Procopius, Goth. l. i. c. 8), at Genoa (Var. ii. 28; iv. 33), Milan (v. 37), Rome (iv. 43). See likewise Basnage, Hist. des Juifs, tom. viii. c. 7, p. 254.
[98 ]Rex avidus communis exitii, &c. (Boethius, l. i. p. 59): rex dolum Romanis tendebat (Anonym. Vales. p. 723 [§ 86; the MSS. have tenebat]). These are hard words: they speak the passions of the Italians, and those (I fear) of Theodoric himself.
[99 ]I have laboured to extract a rational narrative from the dark, concise, and various hints of the Valesian Fragment (p. 722, 723, 724), Theophanes (p. 145), Anastasius (in Johanne, p. 35), and the Hist. Miscella (p. 103, edit. Muratori). A gentle pressure and paraphrase of their words is no violence. Consult likewise Muratori (Annali d’Italia, tom. iv. p. 471-478), with the Annals and Breviary (tom. i. 259-263) of the two Pagis, the uncle and the nephew.
[100 ]Le Clerc has composed a critical and philosophical life of Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (Bibliot. Choisie, tom. xvi. p. 168-275); and both Tiraboschi (tom. iii.) and Fabricius (Bibliot. Latin.) may be usefully consulted. The date of his birth may be placed about the year 470 [rather 480], and his death in 524, in a premature old age (Consol. Phil. Metrica, i. p. 5). [Some new light on Boethius and Symmachus has been gained by a fragment discovered in a 10th century MS. at Carlsruhe. It is known as the Anecdoton Holderi and has been edited by Usener (1877). Cp. Schepps’s paper in the Neues Archiv. xi., 1886.]
[101 ]For the age and value of this MS. now in the Medicean library at Florence, see the Cenotaphia Pisana (p. 430-447), of Cardinal Noris.
[102 ]The Athenian studies of Boethius are doubtful (Baronius, 510, No. 3, from a spurious tract, De Disciplinâ Scholarum), and the term of eighteen years is doubtless too long; but the simple fact of a visit to Athens is justified by much internal evidence (Brucker, Hist. Crit. Philosoph. tom. iii. p. 524-527), and by an expression (though vague and ambiguous) of his friend Cassiodorius (Var. i. 45), “longe positas [leg. positus] Athenas introisti.” [This expression is purely figurative and there is no evidence that Boethius had ever visited Athens. Cp. Gregorovius, Gesch. der Stadt Athen im Mittelalter, i. p. 54.]
[104 ]Bibliothecæ comptos ebore ac vitro parietes, &c. (Consol. Phil. l. i. pros. v. p. 74). The epistles of Ennodius (vi. 6; vii. 13; viii. 1, 31, 37, 40 [271, 318, 320, 408, 415, 418, ap. Vogel]), and Cassiodorius (Var. i. 39 [? 45]; iv. 6 [?]; ix. 21 [?]), afford many proofs of the high reputation which he enjoyed in his own times. It is true that the bishop of Pavia wanted to purchase of him an old house at Milan, and praise might be tendered and accepted in part of payment.
[105 ][The genuineness of these theological treatises is proved by a positive statement in the Anecdoton Holderi.]
[106 ]Pagi, Muratori, &c. are agreed that Boethius himself was consul in the year 510, his two sons in 522, and in 487, perhaps, his father. [For his father Aurelius Manlius Boethius, cp. C.I.L. v. 8120. He held the offices of Præf. Urbi and Præf. Præt.] A desire of ascribing the last of these consulships to the philosopher had perplexed the chronology of his life. In his honours, alliances, children, he celebrates his own felicity — his past felicity (p. 109, 110).
[107 ]Si ego scissem tu nescisses. Boethius adopts this answer (l. i. pros. 4, p. 53) of Julius Canus, whose philosophic death is described by Seneca (De Tranquillitate Animi, c. 14).
[108 ]The characters of his two delators, Basilius (Var. ii. 10, 11; iv. 22) and Opilio (v. 41; viii. 16), are illustrated, not much to their honour, in the epistles of Cassiodorius, which likewise mention Decoratus (v. 31), the worthless colleague of Boethius (l. iii. pros. 4, p. 193). [On the contrary we derive a favourable impression from Cassiodorius as to the character of the accusers Cyprian and Opilio, and also as to Decoratus. Cp. Var. viii. 17; v. 3, 4. Hodgkin, iii. 543 sqq.]
[109 ]A severe inquiry was instituted into the crime of magic (Var. iv. 22, 23; ix. 18); and it was believed that many necromancers had escaped by making their gaolers mad: for mad, I should read drunk. [The condemnation of Boethius and Symmachus had nothing to do with religion, so that they are in no sense martyrs.]
[110 ]Boethius had composed his own Apology (p. 53), perhaps more interesting than his Consolation. We must be content with the general view of his honours, principles, persecution, &c. (l. i. pros. iv. p. 42-62), which may be compared with the short and weighty words of the Valesian Fragment (p. 723 [§ 85]). An anonymous writer (Sinner, Catalog. MSS. Bibliot. Bern. tom. i. p. 287) charges him home with honourable and patriotic treason.
[111 ]He was executed in Agro Calventiano (Calvenzano, between Marignano and Pavia), Anonym. Vales. p. 723 [§ 87], by order of Eusebius, count of Ticinum or Pavia. The place of his confinement is styled the baptistery, an edifice and name peculiar to cathedrals. It is claimed by the perpetual tradition of the church of Pavia. The tower of Boethius subsisted till the year 1584, and the draught is yet preserved (Tiraboschi, tom. iii. p. 47, 48).
[112 ]See the Biographica Britannica, Alfred, tom. i. p. 80, 2d edition. The work is still more honourable if performed under the learned eye of Alfred by his foreign and domestic doctors. [Alfred made both a prose and a poetical translation.] For the reputation of Boethius in the middle ages, consult Brucker (Hist. Crit. Philosoph. tom. iii. p. 565, 566). [Chaucer also translated the Consolation.]
[113 ]The inscription on his new tomb was composed by the preceptor of Otho the third, the learned Pope Silvester II., who, like Boethius himself, was styled a magician by the ignorance of the times. The Catholic martyr had carried his head in his hands a considerable way (Baronius, 526, No. 17, 18); yet, on a similar tale, a lady of my acquaintance once observed, “La distance n’y fait rien; il n’y a que le premier pas qui coûte” [Madame du Deffand].
[114 ]Boethius applauds the virtues of his father-in-law (l. i. pros. 4, p. 59; l. ii. pros. 4, p. 118). Procopius (Goth. l. i. c. 1), the Valesian Fragment (p. 724), and the Historia Miscella (l. xv. p. 105) agree in praising the superior innocence or sanctity of Symmachus; and, in the estimation of the legend, the guilt of his murder is equal to the imprisonment of a pope. [Q. Aurelius Memmius Symmachus was great-grandson of the orator Symmachus who fought under Gratian and Theodosius for the dying cause of Paganism.]
[115 ]In the fanciful eloquence of Cassiodorius, the variety of sea and river fish are an evidence of extensive dominion; and those of the Rhine, of Sicily, and of the Danube were served on the table of Theodoric (Var. xii. 14). The monstrous turbot of Domitian (Juvenal. Satir. iii. 39) had been caught on the shores of the Adriatic.
[116 ]Procopius, Goth. l. i. c. 1. But he might have informed us whether he had received this curious anecdote from common report or from the mouth of the royal physician.
[117 ]Procopius, Goth. l. i. c. 1, 2, 12, 13. This partition had been directed by Theodoric, though it was not executed till after his death. Regni hereditatem superstes reliquit (Isidor. Chron. p. 721, edit. Grot.).
[118 ]Berimund, the third in descent from Hermanric, king of the Ostrogoths, had retired into Spain, where he lived and died in obscurity (Jornandes, c. 33, p. 202, edit. Murator.). See the discovery, nuptials, and death of his grandson Eutharic (c. 58, p. 220). His Roman games might render him popular (Cassiodor. in Chron.), but Eutharic was asper in religione (Anonym. Vales. p. 722, 723 [§ 80]).
[119 ]See the counsels of Theodoric, and the professions of his successor, in Procopius (Goth. l. i. c. 1, 2), Jornandes (c. 59, p. 220, 221), and Cassiodorius (Var. viii. 1-7). These epistles are the triumph of his ministerial eloquence.
[120 ]Anonym. Vales. p. 724, Agnellus de Vitis Pont. Raven. in Muratori, Script. Rerum Ital. tom. ii. P. i. p. 67. Alberti Descrittione d’Italia, p. 311. [In the time of Agnellus, the body of Theodoric was no longer in the mausoleum. In 1854 workmen found a skeleton with a golden cuirass and helmet, some hundred yards from the tomb. It is held by the archæologist of Ravenna, C. Ricci, that this was the body of Theodoric; others have named Odovacar. The gold armour was hidden and melted down by the discoverers, but some bits of the cuirass were rescued and are in the museum at Ravenna. Mr. Hodgkin has a fanciful conjecture on the removal of the body, iii. 583.]
[121 ]This legend is related by Gregory I. (Dialog. iv. 30), and approved by Baronius ( 526, No. 28); and both the Pope and Cardinal are grave doctors, sufficient to establish a probable opinion.
[122 ]Theodoric himself, or rather Cassiodorius, had described in tragic strains the vulcanos of Lipari (Cluver. Sicilia, p. 406, 410), and Vesuvius (iv. 50).
[1 ]Cp. especially p. 148-9. But Shestakov makes one inaccurate statement. Our sole authority for the place to which Basiliscus, on his return from Africa, was removed, namely, Heraclea (Perinthus), is Nicephorus Callistus (p. 80 C). Shestakov states that we find him there afterwards, in Theodore Lector, p. 180 A (Migne), and in John Ant. fr. 210; and (p. 149) ascribes to John of Antioch the statement that Basiliscus is at Heraclea, where he has an interview with Illus and conspires with him against Zeno. The place is mentioned by Theodore (and Theophanes) but not by John. The name Heraclea or Perinthus does not occur in the fragment.
[2 ]Procopiana (1st Progr.), p. 35-37.
[3 ]Zur Beurteilung des Geschichtschreibers Prokopius von C., p. 42-3.
[4 ]The date of the imprisonment of John the Cappadocian, vol. i. p. 136, ed. Bonn, and the incident of the spear wound of Trajan, vol. ii. p. 167.
[5 ]By the five years’ truce with Chosroes, vol. i. p. 281, and the murder of Gontharis, ib. p. 552. A speedy conclusion of the Gothic War was also looked for.
[6 ]To the Persica, vol. i. p. 281, 21, to end of bk. ii.; in the Vandalica, ib. p. 532, 533; in the Gothica, probably (vol. ii.) p. 340, 4, to end of bk. iii.
[7 ]Perhaps because it had been already privately published by recitation in a small circle of friends.
[8 ]I have briefly indicated Haury’s argument, above, vol. i. Introduction, p. lxv. note. The events related from p. 44 to 67 (vol. iii., ed. Bonn) fall into the time of Justin, and the βασιλεύς in this section is Justin, not Justinian. This is especially clear on p. 65, where the βασιλεύς and Justinian act in a contrary sense in regard to Theodotus.
[9 ]Haury, Procopiana, i. p. 28.
[10 ]There is actually external evidence for the gap in MSS. cited by Haury in his second programme (Procopiana, ii. p. 1).
[11 ]The other argument that the Edifices cannot have been written after May 7, 559, on which day the dome of St. Sophia fell in (Theoph. a.m. 6051), because Procopius could not have omitted to mention this incident, can be met by the reasonable assumption that Bk. i. (in which St. Sophia is described) was written earlier, and that Procopius did not feel himself obliged to insert before publication a disaster which did not redound to the greater glory of Justinian.
[12 ]Theophanes, a.m. 6054. See Dahn, Prokopius, p. 452; Haury, Procopiana, i. p. 34. Suidas describes Procopius as an illustris.
[13 ]Procopius Cæs. quatenus imitatus sit Thucydidem, 1885 (Erlangen); Die Nachahmung Herodots durch Prokop, 1894 (Nürnberg).
[14 ]Brückner, op. cit. p. 8 sqq., gives a good summary.
[15 ]See the very full criticism of Brückner, op. cit. p. 19 sqq. Cp. Ranke, Weltgeschichte, iv. 279. Also see above, vol. v. Appendix 14.
[16 ]Viz. Vrem. 2, 355-366. There are some good remarks here on the use of Ῥωμαɩ̂ος and τυραννεɩ̂ν.
[17 ]Viz. Vrem. ii. p. 24 sqq., 340 sqq.; iii. 96 sqq., 300 sqq., 461 sqq.
[18 ]Vand. i. 9, p. 353, ἐπινοη̂σαί τε ὀξὺς καὶ ἄοκνος τὰ βεβουλευμένα ἐπιτελέσαι. Hist. Arcan. c. 8, p. 57, ἐπινοη̂σαι μὲν τὰ ϕαν̂λα καὶ ἐπιτελέσαι ὀξύς. Cp. Brückner, op. cit. p. 47.
[19 ]Cc. 6-8, early life of Justinian; cc. 9-10, early life of Theodora, and how she ascended the throne; 11-14, Justinian; 15-17, Theodora. C. 17 ends with the story of John the Cappadocian, the point where the Persica also ends. Cp. Panchenko, op cit. ii. p. 343-4.
[20 ]Panchenko conjectures that this lacuna might be connected with the notable omission of any account of the conspiracy of Artabanus which is recorded in bk. iii. of the Gothic War. But is it meant that such an account may have fallen out or that Procopius intended to insert it here, and never did so? See Panchenko op. cit. ii. p. 55, cp. p. 345. Panchenko makes it probable that there was no final redaction of the Secret History (346-7).
[21 ]Quellenuntersuchungen zu den griechischen Historikern, p. 161. Cp. the remarks of Panchenko, ib. p. 48-9.
[22 ]Op. cit. Viz. Vrem. vol. iii.
[23 ]Μαλάλας, not Μαλαλα̂ς.
[24 ]Or, some think, to the ninth year of Justin, 574; because a Latin Laterculus of Emperors, taken from Malalas, comes down to that year. This document (compiled in the eighth century) is edited by Mommsen in Chron. Min. iii. p. 424 sqq. It seems to me more probable that the last entry was added, on his own account, by the author of an earlier Latin epitome which the eighth-century compiler used.
[25 ]Krumbacher, on the authority of A. S. Chachanov, states that there is a MS. of a Gregorian translation of Malalas at Tiflis (p. 329).
[26 ]More precisely: the first paragraphs of Bk. 18 belonged to the first edition.
[27 ]Prof. Krumbacher gives an excellent summary of the facts (§ 141) in his History of Byzantine Literature.
[28 ]Gelzer has conjectured that John of Antioch may be the same as John. Patriarch of Antioch, 631-649. The work would then have been composed before 631, as the author of the Constantinian excerpta de virtutibus is styled “John the monk.” But I question whether it would have been forgotten that the author was Patriarch.
[29 ]Mommsen, Chron. Min. i. 261.
[30 ]See Panegyr. in laudem Anastas. 46-48.
[31 ]Ib. 48.
[32 ]In the ed. princeps and the greatly improved Bonn ed. by Bekker, it is divided into seven Books, as if the whole eight were missing. But G. Loewe has shown that Books 4 and 5 were wrongly thrown into one, so that 5, 6, 7 should be 6, 7, 8; and so it appears in Partsch’s ed.
[33 ]He was bishop of the ecclesia Tonnennensis (or Tonnonnensis, or Tunnunensis) in the prov. Carthaginiensis. I follow the spelling adopted by Mommsen, which depends on a very probable conjectural restoration in an inscription (C.I.L. 8, suppl. 12, 552). The termination of the local name from which the adjective is formed seems to be unknown.
[1 ]This name seems to have been then applied to the whole marsh from Tripontium to Tarracina (Mommsen).
[2 ]= Sub aqua fuerunt (Mommsen).