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arrival of Orestes and Pylades, and the triumph of virtue, and religion over savage fierceness, serve to represent an historical truth, that the Tauri, the original inhabitants of the peninsula, were, in some degree, reclaimed from their brutal manners, by a gradual intercourse with the Grecian colonies, which settled along the maritime coast. The little kingdom of Bosphorus, whose capital was situated on the Straits, through which the Maeotis communicates itself to the Euxine, was composed of degenerate Greeks, and half-civilized barbarians. It subsisted, as an independent state, from the time of the Peloponnesian war,(98) was at last swallowed up by the ambition of Mithridates, (99) and, with the rest of his dominions, sunk under she weight of the Roman arms. From the reign of Augustus,(100) the kings of Bosphorus were the humble, but not useless, allies of the empire. By presents, by arms, and by a slight fortification drawn across the Isthmus, they effectually guarded against the roying plunderers of Sarmatia, the access of a country, which, from its peculiar situation and convenient harbours, commanded the Euxine sea and Asia Minor.(101) As long as the sceptre was possessed by a lineal succession of kings, they acquitted themselves of their important charge with vigilance and success. Domestic factions, and the fears, or private interest, of obscure usurpers, who seized on the vacant throne, admitted the Goths into the heart of Bosphorus. With the acquisition of a superfluous waste of fertile soil, the conquerors obtained the command of a naval force, sufficient to transport their armies to the coast of Asia.(102) The ships, used in the navigation of the Euxine were of a very singular construction. They were slight flat-bottomed barks framed of timber only, without the least mixture of iron, and occasionally covered with ashelving roof, on the appearance of a tempest.(103) . In these floating houses, the Goths carelessly trusted themselves to the mercy of an unknown sea, under the conduct of sailors pressed into the service, and whose skill and fidelity were equally suspicious. But the hopes of plunder had banished every idea of danger, and a natural fearlessness of temper supplied in their minds the more rational confidence, which is the just result of knowledge and experience. Warriors of such a daring spirit must have often murmured against the cowardice of their guides, who required the strongest assurances of a settled calm before they would venture to embark; and would scarcely ever be tempted to lose sight of the land. Such, at least, is the practice o the modern Turks;(104) and they are probably not inferior, in the art of navigation, to the ancient inhabitants of Bosphorus. The fleet of the Goths, leaving the coast of Circassia on the left hand, first appeared before Pityus,(105) the utmost limits of the Roman provinces; a city provided with a convenient port and sortified with a strong wall. Here they met with a resistance more obstinate than they had reason to expect from the feeble garrison of a distant fortress. They were repulsed; and their disappointment seemed to diminish the terror of the Gothic name. As long as Successianus, an officer of superior rank and merit, defended that frontier, all their efforts were ineffectual; but as soon as he was removed by Valerian to a more honourable but less important station, they resumed the attack of Pityus; and, by the * of that city, obliterated the memory of their former disgrace.(106 § round the eastern extremity of the Euxine sea, the navigation from Pityus to Trebizond is about three hundred miles.(107) The course of the
! (98) Sprabo, 1. vii. p. 309. The first kings of Bosphorus were the allies of Athens. (99) Appian. in Mithridat. (100) It was reduced by the arms of Agrippa Orosius, vi. 21. Eutropius, vii. 9. The Romans once advanced within three days' march of the Tanais. Tacit. Annal. xii. 17. (101) See the Toxaris of Lucian, if we credit the sincerity and the virtues of the Scythian, who relates agreat war of his nation against the kings of Bosphorus. (102) Zosimus, l. i. p. 28. (103) Strabo, l. xi. Tacit. Hist. iii. 47. They were called Camara. (104) See a very natural picture of the Euxine navigation, in the sixteenth letter of Tournefort. (105) Arrian places the frontier garrison at Dioscurias, or Sebastopolis, forty-four miles to the east of Pityus. The garrison of Phasis consisted in his time of only four hundred root see the Periplus of the Euxine.* (106) Zosimus, i. i. p. 30. Q07) Arrian (in Periplo Maris Euxin. p. 130,) calls the distance 2610 stadia,
it was distinguished by wise laws, a naval power of two hundred galleys, and three arsenals, of arms, of military engines, and of corn.(115) It was still the seat of wealth and luxury; but of its ancient strength, nothing remained except the situation, in a little island of the Propontis, connected with the continent of Asia only by two bridges. From the recent sack of Prusa, the Goths advanced within eighteen miles(116) of the city, which they had devoted to destruction; but the ruin of Cyzicus was delayed by a fortunate accident. The season was rainy, and the lake Apolloniates, the reservoir of all the s . of Mount Olympus, rose to an uncommon height. The little river of Ryndacus, which issues from the lake, swelled into a broad and rapid stream, and stopped the progress of the Goths. Their retreat to the maritime city of Heraclea, where the fleet had probably been stationed, was attended by a long train of wagons, laden with the spoils of Bithynia, and was marked by the flames of Nice and Nicomedia, which they wantonly burnt.(117) Some obscure hints are men tioned of a doubtful combat that secured their retreat.(118) But even a com plete victory would have been of little moment, as the approach of the autumnal equinox summoned them to hasten their return. Fo navigate the Euxine before the month of May, or after that of September, is esteemed § o om Turks the most unquestionable instance of rashness and olly.(119 hen we are informed that the third fleet, equipped by the Goths in the
rts of Bosphorus, consisted of five hundred sail of ships,(120) our ready imagination instantly computes and multiplies the formidable armament; but, as we are assured by the judicious Strabo,(121) that the piratical vessels used by the barbarians of Pontus and the lesser Scythia, were not capable of containing more than twenty-five or thirty men, we may safely affirm, that fifteen thousand warriors, at the most, embarked in this great expedition. Impatient of the limits of the Euxine, they steered their destructive course from the Cimmerian to the Thracian Bosphorus. When they had almost gained the middle of the straits, they were suddenly driven back to the entrance of them; till a favourable wind springing up the next day, carried them in a few hours into the P. sea, or rather .#. of the Propontis. Their landing on the little Island of Cyzicus was attended with the ruin of that ancient and noble city. From thence issuing again through the narrow passage of the Hellespont, they pursued their winding navigation amidst the numerous islands scattered over the Archipelago, or the AEgean Sea. The assistance of captives and deserters must have been very necessary to pilot their vessels, and to direct their various incursions, as well on the coast of Greece/es on that of Asia. At length the Gothic fleet anchored in the port of Piraeus, five miles distant from Athens,(122) which had attempted to make some preparations for a vigorous defence. Cleodamus, one of the engineers employed by the emperor's orders to fortify the maritime cities against the Goths, had already begun to repair the ancient walls fallen to decay since the time of Sylla. The efforts of his skill were ineffectual, and the barbarians became masters of the native seat of the muses and the arts. But while the conquerors abandoned themselves to the license of plunder and intemperance, their fleet that lay with a slender guard in the harbour of Piraeus, was unexpectedly attacked by the brave Dexippus, who, flying with the engineer Cleodamus from the sack of Athens, collected a hasty band of volunteers, peasants as well as soldiers, and in some measure avenged the calamities of his country.(123)
(115) Strabo, 1. xii. p. 573.
(116) Pocock's Description of the East, l. ii. c. 23, 24. (117) Zosimus, l. i. p. 33.
(118). Syncellus tells us an unintelligible story of prince odenathus, who defeated the Goths, and who was killed by prince Odenathus.
119) Voyages de Chardin, tom. i. p. 45. He sailed with the Turks from Constantinople to Caffa.
120) Syncellustp. 382,) speaks of this expedition as undertaken by the Heruli.
121) Strabo, 1. xi. p. 495. (122) Plin. Hist. Natur. iii. 7.
(123) Hist. August. p. 181. Victor. c. 33. Orosius, vii. 42. Zosimus, l. i. p. 35. Zonaras, l. xii. 635. Syncellus, p. 382. It is not without some attention, that we can explain and conciliate their impersect hints. We can still discover some traces of the partiality of Dexippus, in the relation of his own and his countrymen's exploits.”
But this exploit, whatever lustre it might shed on the declining age of Athens, served rather to irritate than to subdue the undaunted spirit of the northern invaders. A general conflagration blazed out at the same time in every district of Greece. Thebes and Argos, Corinth and Sparta, which had formerly waged such memorable wars against each other, were now unable to bring an army into the field, or even to defend their ruined fortifications. The o: of war, both by land and by sea, spread from the eastern point of Sunium to the western coast of Epirus. The Goths had already advanced within sight of Italy, when the approach of such imminent danger awakened the indolent Gallienus from his dream of pleasure. The emperor appeared in arms; and his presence seems to have checked the ardour, and to have divided the strength of the enemy. Naulobatus, a chief of the Heruli, accepted an honourable capitulation, entered with a large body of his countrymen into the service of Rome, and was invested with the ornaments of the consular dignity, which had never before been profaned by the hands of a o Great numbers of the Goths, o: with the perils and hardships of a tedious voyage, broke into Maesia, with a design of forcing their way over the Danube to their settlements in the Ukraine. The wild attempt would have proved inevitable destruction, if the discord of the Roman generals had not opened to the barbarians the means of an o The small remainder of this destroying host returned on board their vessels; and measuring back their way o the Hellespont and the Bosphorus, ravaged in their passage the shores of Troy, whose fame immortalized by Homer, will probably survive the memory of the Gothic conuests. As soon as they found themselves in safety within the basin of the uxine, they landed at Anchialus in Thrace, near the foot of Mount Haemus; and, after all their toils, indulged themselves in the use of those pleasant and salutary hot baths. What remained of the voyage was a short and easy navigation.(126) Such was the various fate of this third and greatest of their naval enterprises. It may seem difficult to conceive, how the original body of fifteen thousand warriors could sustain the losses and divisions of so bold an adventure. But as their numbers were gradually wasted by the sword, by shipwrecks, and by the influence of a warm climate, they were perpetually renewed by troops of banditti and deserters, who flocked to the standard of plunder, and by a crowd of fugitive slaves, often of German or Sarmatian extraction, who eagerly seized the glorious opportunity of freedom and revenge. In these expeditions, the Gothic nation claimed a superior share of honour and danger; but the tribes, that fought under the Gothic |. are sometimes distinguished and sometimes confounded in the imperfect histories of that age; and as the barbarian fleets seemed to issue from the mouth of the Tanais, the vague but familiar ap o of Scythians was frequently bestowed on the mixed multitude.(127 In the general calamities of mankind, the death of an individual, however exalted, the ruin of an edifice, however famous, are passed over with careless inattention. Yet we cannot forget that the temple o Diana at Ephesus, after having arisen with increasing splendour from seven repeated o was finally burnt by the Goths in their third naval invasion. The arts of . Greece, and the wealth of Asia, had conspired to erect that sacred and magnificent structure. It was supported by a hundred and twenty-seven marble columns of the Ionic order. They were gifts of devout monarchs, and each was sixty feet high. The altar was adorned with the masterly sculptures of Praxiteles, who had, perhaps, selected from the favourite legends of the place the birth of the divine children of Latona, the concealment of Apollo after the slaughter of the Cyclops, and the clemency of Bacchus to the vanquished
(124) Syncellus, p. 382. This body of Heruli was for a longtime faithful and famous
(125) Claudius, who commanded on the Danube, thought with propriety and acted with spirit. His colleague was jealous of his fame. Hist August. p. 181.
(126) Jornandes, c. 20.
(127) Zosimus and the Greeks (as the author of the Philopatris) * the name of Scythians to those whom Jornandes, and the Latin writers, constantly represent as Go
(128. Hist. August. p. 178. Jornandes, c. 20
Amazons.(129) Yet the length of the temple of Ephesus was only sour hun dred and twenty-five feet, about two-thirds of the measure of the church of St. Peter's at Rome.(130). In the other dimensions, it was still more inferior to that sublime production of modern architecture. The spreading arms of a Christian cross require a much greater breadth than the oblong temples of the pagans; and the boldest artists of antiquity would have been startled at the proposal of raising in the air a dome of the size and proportions of the Pantheon. The temple of Diana was, however, admired as one of the wonders of the world. Successive empires, the Persian, the Macedonian, and the Roman, had revered its sanctity, and enriched its splendour.(131) But the rude savages of the Baltic were destitute of a taste for the elegant arts, and they despised the ideal terrors of a foreign superstition.(132) nother circumstance is related of these invasions, which might deserve our notice, were it not . to be suspected as the fanciful conceit of a recent sophist. We are told, that in the sack of Athens the Goths had collected all the libraries, and were on the point of setting fire to this funeral pile of Grecian learning, had not one of their chiefs, of more refined policy than his brethren, dissuaded them from the design, by the profound observation, that as long as the Greeks were addicted to the study of books, they would never apply themselves to the exercise of arms.(133). The sagacious counsellor (should the truth of the fact be admitted) reasoned like an ignorant barbarian. In the most polite and powerful nations, genius of every kind has displayed itself about the same period; and the age of science has generally been the age of military virtue and success. IV. The new soverei of Persia, Artaxerxes and his son Sapor, had triumphed (as we have food seen) over the house of Arsaces. Of the many rinces of that ancient race, Chosroes, king of Armenia, had alone preserved th his life, and his independence. He defended himself by the natural strength of his country; by the perpetual resort of fugitives and malecontents; by the alliance of the Romans, and, above all, by his own courage. Invincible in arms, during a thirty years' war, he was at length assassinated by the emissaries of Sapor, o of Persia. The patriotic satraps of Armenia, who asserted the freedom and dignity of the crown, implored the protection of Rome in favour of Tiridates, the lawful heir. But the son of Chosroes was an infant, the allies were at a distance, and the Persian monarch advanced toward the frontier at the head of an irresistible force. . Young Tiridates, the future hope of his country, was saved by the fidelity of a servant, and Armenia continued above twenty-seven years a reluctant province of the great monarchy of Persia.(134) Elated with this easy conquest, and presuming on the distresses or the o of the Romans, Sapor obliged the strong garrisons of Carrhae and Nisibist to surrender, and spread devastation and terror on either side of the Euphrates. The loss of an important frontier, the ruin of a faithful and natural ally, and the rapid success of Sapor's ambition, affected Rome with a deep sense of the insult as well as of the danger. Valerian flattered himself, that the vigilance of his lieutenants would sufficiently provide for the safety of the Rhine and of the Danube; but he resolved, notwithstanding his advanced age, to march in erson to the defence of the o: During his progress through Asia inor, the naval enterprises of the Goths were suspended, and the afflicted ofolo, l. xiv. p. 640. Vitruvius, l. i. c. 1. praefat. 1. vii. Tacit. Annal. iii. 61. Plin. Hist. Nat. WI. *ś, The length of St. Peter's is 840 Roman palms; each palm is very little short of nine English inches. See Greaves's Miscellanies, vol. i. p. 233, on the Roman foot.” (131) The policy, however, of the Romans, induced them to abridge the extent of the sanctuary or asylum, which by successive privileges had spread itself two stadia round the temple. Strabo, l. xiv. p. 641. Tacit. Annal. iii. 60, &c. (132) They offered no sacrifices to the Grecian gods. See Epist. Gregor. Thaumat. (133) Zonaras, I. xii. p. 635. Such an anecdote was perfectly suited to the taste of Montaigne. He makes use of it in his agreeable Essay on Pedantry, l. i. c. 24. (134) Moses Chorenensis, l. ii. c. 71.73, 74. Žo l. xii. p. 628. The authentic relation of the
Armenian historian serves to rectify the confused account of the Greek. The latter talks of the children of Tiridates, who at that time was himself an infant.