founded.(16) Westward of the Goths, the numerous tribes of the Vandals were spread along the banks of the Oder, and the sea-coast of Pomerania and Mecklenburgh. A striking resemblance of manners, complexion, religion, and language, seemed to indicate that the Vandals and the Goths were originally one great people.(17) The latter Fo to have been subdivided into Ostrogoths, Visigoths, and Gepidae.(18) e distinction among the Yandals, was more strongly, marked by the independent names of Heruli, Burgundians, Lombards, and a variety of other petty states, many of which, in a future age, expanded themselves into powerful monarchies.t n the age of the Antonines, the Goths were still seated in Prussia. About the reign of Alexander Severus, the Roman province of Dacia had alread experienced their proximity by frequent and destructive inroads.(19) . In this interval, therefore, of about seventy years, we must place the second migration of the Goths from the Baltic to the Euxine; but the cause that produced it lies concealed among the various motives which actuate the conduct of unsettled barbarians. Either a pestilence, or a famine, a victory, or a defeat, an oracle of the gods, or the eloquence of a daring leader, were sufficient to impel the Gothic arms on the milder climates of the south. Besides the influence of a martial religion, the numbers and spirit of the Goths were equal to the most dangerous adventures. The use of round bucklers and short swords rendered them formidable in a close engagement; the manly obedience which they yielded to hereditary kings, gave uncommon union and stability to their councils;(20) and the renowned Amala, the hero of that age, and the tenth ancestor of Theodoric, king of Italy, enforced, by the ascendant of personal merit, the prerogative of his birth, which he derived from the olnses, or demi gods of the §. nation.(21) The fame of a great enterprise excited the bravest warriors from all the Vandalic states of Germany, many of whom are seen a few years afterward combating under the common standard of the Goths.(22) The first motions of the emigrants carried them to the banks of the Prypec, a river universall conceived by the ancients to be the southern branch of the Borysthenes.(23 The windings of that great stream through the plains of Poland and Russia gave a direction to their line of march, and a constant supply of fresh water and pasturage to their numerous herds of cattle. They followed the unknown course of the river, confident in their valour, and careless of whatever power might †. their progress. The Bastarnae and the Venedi were the first who presented themselves; and the flower of their youth, either from choice or compulsion, increased the Gothic army. The Bastarnae dwelt on the northern side of the Carpathian mountains; the immense tract of land that separated the Bastarnae from the savages of Finland, was o or rather wasted, by the Vene di;(24) we have some reason to believe that the first of these nations, which distinguished itself in the Macedonian `...) and was afterward divided into the formidable tribes of the Peucini, the Borani, the Carpi, &c. derived its origin from the Germans. With better authority, a Sarmatian extraction may

(16) By the German colonies who followed the arms of the Teutonic knights. The conquest and conversion of Prussia were completed by those adventurers in the thirteenth century. (17) Pliny (Hist. Natur. iv. 14,) and Procopius (in Bell. Vandal. 1. i. c. 1,) agree in this opinion. They lived in distant ages, and possessed different means of investigating the truth. (18) The 9stro and Visi, the eastern and western Goths obtained those denominations from their original seats in Scandinavia.” In all their future marches and settlements they preserved, with their names, the same relative situation: . When they first departed from Sweden, the infant colony was contained in three vessels. The third being a heavy sailer, lagged behind, and the crew, which afterward i. o a nation, received from that circumstance the appellation of Gepidae, or loiterers. Jor nandes, c. 17. (19) See a fragment of Peter Patricius in the Excerpta Legationum; and with regard to its probable date, see Tillemont, Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iii. p. 346. (20) Omnium harum gentium insigne, rotunda senta, breves gladii, et erga reges obsequium. Tacit. Germania, c.43. The Goths probably acquired their iron by the commerce of amber. (21) Jornandes, c. 13, 14. (2) The Heruli, and the Uregundi or Burgundi, are particularly mentioned. See Mascou's History of the Germans, I. v. A passage in the Augustan History, p. 28, seems to allude to this great emigration. The Marcomannic war was partly occasioned by the pressure of barbarous tribes, who fled before the arms of more northern barbarians. (3) D'Anville, Geographie Ancienne and the third part of his incomparable map of Europe. Co) Tacit. Germania, c. 46. (85) Cluver Germ. Antiqua, l. ii. c.43

be assigned to the Venedi, who rendered themselves so famous in the middle ...) But the confusion of blood and manners on that doubtful frontier often perplexed the most accurate observers.(27). As the Goths advanced near the Euxine sea, they encountered a purer race of Sarmatians, the Jazyges, the Alani, and the Roxolani: and they were probably the first Germans who saw the mouths of the Borysthenes, and of the Tanais. . If we inquire into the characteristic marks of the people of Germany and of Sarmatia, we shall discover that those two great portions of human kind were principally distinguished by fixed huts or moveable tents, by a close dress, or flowing garments, by the marriage of one or of several wives, by a military force, consisting, for the most part, either of infantry or cavalry; and above all, by the use of the Teutonic, or of the Sclavonian language; the last of which has been diffused by conquest, from the confines #: to the neighbourhood of Japan. The Goths were now in possession of the Ukraine, a country of considerable extent and uncommon o , intersected with navigable rivers, which, from either side, discharge themselves into the Borysthenes; and interspersed with large and lofty forests of oaks. The plenty of game and fish, the innumerable bee-hives, deposited in the hollow .F old trees, and in the cavities of rocks, and forming, even in that rude age, a valuable branch of commerce, the size of the cattle, the temperature of the air, the aptness of the soil for every species of grain, and the luxuriancy of the vegetation, all displayed the liberalit of Nature, and tempted the industry of o But the Goths withstood all these temptations, and still adhered to a life of idleness, of poverty, and of radine. he Scythian hordes, which, toward the east, bordered on the new settlements of the Goths, presented nothing to their arms, except the doubtful chance of an unprofitable victory. But the prospect of the Roman territories was far more alluring ; and the fields of Dacia were covered with rich harvests, sown by the hands of an industrious, and exposed to be gathered by those of a warlike, people. It is probable, that the conquests of Trajan, maintained by his successors, less for any real advantage, than for ideal dignity, had contributed to weaken the empire on that side. The new and unsettled province of Dacia, was neither strong enough to resist, nor rich enough to satiate, the rapaciousness of the barbarians. As song-as the remote banks of the Niester were considered as the boundary of the Roman power, the fortifications of the Lower Danube were more carelessly guarded, and the inhabitants of Maesia lived in supine security, fondly conceiving themselves at an inaccessible distance from any barbarian invaders. The irruptions of the Goths, under the reign of Philip, fatally convinced them of their mistake. The king, or leader, of that fierce nation, traversed with contempt the province of Dacia, and passed both the Niester and the Danube without encountering any opposition capable of retarding his progress. The relaxed discipline of the Roman troops, betrayed the most important posts, where they were stationed, and the fear of deserved punishment induced great numbers of them to enlist under the Gothic standard. The various multitude of barbarians appeared, at length, under the walls of Marcianopolis, a city built by Trajan in honour of his sister, and at that time the capital of the second Maesia.(29) The inhabitants consented to ransom their lives and property, by the payment of a large sum of money, and the invaders retreated back into their deserts, animated, rather than satisfied, with the first success of their arms against an opulent but feeble country. Intelligence


o Tonel. the Slavi, and the Antes, were the three great tribes of the same people. Jornandes, c. 24. (27) Tacitus most assuredly deserves that title, and even his cautious suspense is a proof of his diligent inquiries. ,68) Genealogical History of the Tartars, p. 593. Mr. Bell (vol. ii. p. 379) traversed the Ukraine in his journey from Petersburgh to Constantinople. The modern face of the country is a just representation of the ancient, since, in the hands of the Cossacks, it still remains in a state of nature. (29). In the sixteenth chapter of Jornandes, instead of secundo Maesiam, we may venture to substitute secundam, the second Mesia, of which Marcianopolis was certainly the capital (see Hierocles de ProVinciis, and Wesseling ad locum, p. 636. Itinerar.) It is surprising how this palpable error of the scribe could escape the judicious cor of Grotius.t


of the censor elect, he apprized him of the difficulty and importance of his great office. “Happy Valerian,” said the prince to his distinguished subject, “happy in the general approbation of the senate and of the Roman republic! Accept the censorship of mankind; and judge of our manners. You will select those who deserve to continue members of the senate; you will restore the equestrian order to its ancient splendour; you will improve the revenue, yet moderate the public burdens. W. will distinguish into regular classes o: various and infinite multitude of citizens, and accurately review the military strength, the wealth, the virtue, and the resources of Rome. Your decisions shall obtain the force of laws. The army, the palace, the ministers of justice, and the great officers of the empire, are all subject to your tribunal. . None are exempted, excepting only the ordinary consuls,(39) the praefect of the city, the king of the sacrifices, an §. long as she preserves her chastity inviolate) the eldest of the vestal virgins. Eventhese few, who may not dread the severity, will anxiously solicit the esteem, of the Roman censor.”(40) A magistrate, invested with such extensive powers, would have appeared not so much the minister as the colleague of his sovereign.(41) Valerian justly dreaded an elevation so full of envy and of suspicion. He modestly urged the alarming greatness of the trust, his own insufficiency, and the incurable corruption of the times. He artfully insinuated, that the office of censor was inseparable from the imperial dignity, and that the feeble hands of a subject were unequal to the support of such an immense weight of cares and of power.(42) The approaching event of war soon put an end to the prosecution of a project so specious but so impracticable; and while it preserved Valerian from the danger, saved the emperor Decius from the disappointment, which would most probably have attended it. A censor may maintain, he can never restore the morals of a state. It is impossible for such a magistrate to exert his authority with benefit, or even with effect, unless he is supported by a quick sense of honour and virtue in the minds of the people; by a decent reverence for the public opinion, and by a train of useful prejudices combating on the side of national manners. In a period when these principles are annihilated, the censorial jurisdiction must either sink into empty Fo: or be converted into a partial instrument of vexatious oppression.(43) It was easier to vanquish the Goths, than to eradicate the public vices; yet even in the first of these enterprises, Decius lost his army and his life. The Goths were now, on every side, surrounded and pursued by the Roman arms. The flower of their troops had perished in the long siege of Philippopolis, and the exhausted country could no longer afford subsistence for the remaining multitude of licentious barbarians. Reduced to this extremity, the Goths would gladly have purchased, by the surrender of all their booty and prisoners, the permission of an undisturbed retreat. But the emperor, confident of victory, and resolving, by the chastisement of these invaders, to strike a salutary terror into the nations of the North, refused to listen to any terms of accommodation. The high-spirited barbarians preferred death to slavery. An obscure town of Maesia, called Forum Terebronii,(44) was the scene of the battle. The Gothic army was drawn up in three lines, and, either from choice or accident, the front of the third line was covered by a morass. In the beginning of the action, the son of Decius, a youth of the fairest hopes, and already associated to the honours of the purple, was slain by an arrow, in the sight of his afflicted father; who, summoning all his fortitude, admonished the dismayed troops, that the loss of a single soldier was of little importance to the repub


(39) Yet in spite of this exemption Pompey appeared before that tribunal during his consulship. The occasion ..o. equally singular and honourable. Plutarch in Pomp. p. 630. (40) See the original speech in the Augustan History, p. 173, 174. (41). This transaction might deceive Zonaras, who supposes that Valerian was actually declared the colleague of Decius, I. xii. p. 625. (42). Hist. August. p. 174. The emperor's reply is omitted. (43) Such as the attempts of Augustus toward a reformation of manners. , Tacit. Annal. iii.24. (44) Tillemont, Histoire des Empereurs, tom. iii. p. 598. As Zosimus and some of his followers mis take the Danube for the Tanais, they place the field of battle in the plains of Scythia.

nc.(45) The conflict was terrible; it was the combat of despair against grief and rage. The first line of the Goths at length gave way in disorder; the second, advancing to sustain it, shared its fate; and the third only remained entire, prepared to dispute the passage of the morass, which was opoly attempted by the presumption of the enemy. “Here the fortune of the da turned, and all things became adverse to the Romans: the place deep o ooze, sinking under those who stood, slippery to such as advanced; their armour heavy, the waters deep; nor could they wield, in that uneasy situation, their weighty javelins. The barbarians, on the contrary, were inured to encounters in the bog; their persons tall, their spears long, such as could wound at a distance.”(46) In this morass the Roman army, after an ineffectual struggle, was irrecoverably lost; nor could the body of the emperor ever be jo such was the fate of Decius, in the fiftieth year of his age; an accomplished prince, active in war, and affable in peace;(48) who, together with . son, has deserved to be compared, both in life and death, with the too, examples of ancient virtue.(49) [A. D. 251.] This fatal blow humbled, for a very little time, the insolence of the legions. They appear to have patiently expected, and submissively obeyed, the decree of the senate, which regulated the succession to the throne. From a just regard for the memory of Decius, the imperial title was conferred on #o. is only surviving son; but an equal rank, with more effectual power, was granted to Gallus, whose experience and ability seemed to equal the great trust of guardian to the young prince and the distressed o The first care of the new emperor was to deliver the Illyrian provinces from the intolerable weight of the victorious Goths. He consented to leave in their hands the rich fruits of their invasion, an immense booty, and, what was still more disgraceful, a great number of prisoners of the highest merit and quality. He plentifully supplied their camp with every conveniency that could *... their angry spirits, or facilitate their so much wished for departure; and he even promised to pay them annually a large sum of gold, on condition they should never afterward infest the Roman territories by their incursions.(51) In the age of the Scipios, the most opulent kings of the earth, who courted the protection of the victorious commonwealth, were gratified with such trifling presents as could only derive a value from the hand that bestowed them; an ivory chair, a coarse garment of o an inconsiderable piece of plate, or a uantity of copper “...) fter the wealth of nations had centred in ome, the emperors displayed their greatness, and even their policy, by the regular exercise of a steady and moderate liberality toward the allies of the state. They relieved the poverty of the barbarians, honoured their merit, and recompensed their fidelity. . These voluntary marks of bounty were understood to flow, not from the fears, but merely from the generosity or the gratitude of the Romans; and while presents and subsidies were liberally distributed among friends and suppliants, they were sternly refused to such as claimed them as a debt.(53). But this stipulation of an annual payment to a victorious enemy, appeared without disguise in the light of an ignominious tribute; the minds of the Romans were not yet accustomed to accept such

(45) Aurelius Victor allows two distinct actions for the deaths of the two Decii; but I have preferred the account of Jorman

(46) I have ventured to copy from Tacitus (Annal. i. 64), the picture of a similar engagement between a Roman army and a German tribe.

(47) Jornandes, c. 18. Zosimus, l. i. p. 22. Zonaras, l. xii. p. 627. Aurelius Victor.

(48) The Decii were killed before the end of the year two hundred and fifty-one, since the new princes took possession of the consulship on the ensuing calends of January.

(49) Hist. August. p. 223, gives them avery honourable place among the small number of good empe rors who reigned between Augustus and Dioclesian.

(50) Haec ubi Patres comperere—decernunt. Victor in Caesaribus.

(51) Zonaras, l. xii. p. 628.

(52) A Sella, a o: and a golden Patera of five pounds' weight, were accepted with joy and grati. tude by the wealthy king of Egypt (Livy, xxvii. 4). Quina Millia JEris, a weight of copper in value about eighteen pounds sterling, was the usual present made to foreign ambassadors (Livy, xxxi. 9).

(53). See the firmness of a Roman general solate as the time of Alexander Severus, in the Excerpta Legationum, p. 25, Edit. Louvre.

« ForrigeFortsett »