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P. 54.—” M. Guizot denies that Lampridius means Cleander as praefect a pugione. The Libertinus seems to me to mean him.—M. P. 54.—t It seems to me there is none. The passage of Herodian is clear, and designates the city cohorts. Compare Dion, p. 797.-W. P. 55.—* Commodus placed his own head on the colossal statue of Hercules, with the inscription Lucius Commodus Hercules. The wits of Rome, according to a new fragment of Dion, published the following epigram, of which, like many other ancient jests, the point is not very clear. “Auðr raic Kawāivikoç Hpakajo, oix elul Aeëkuoc, &AW' àvaykáčovat pe.” It seems to be a protest of the god against being confounded with the emperor. Mai. Fragm. Vatican., ii., 225–M. P. 56—" The naturalists of our days have been more fortunate. London probably now contains more specimens of this animal than have been seen in Europe since the fall of the Roman empire, unless in the leasure gardens of the Emperor Frederic I. in Sicily, which possessed several. Frederic's collections of wild beasts were exhibited for the popular amusement in many parts of Italy. Raumer, Geschichte der Hohenstaufen, v. iii., p. 571. Gibbon, moreover, is mistaken, as a giraffe was presented to Lorenzo de Medici either by the Sultan of Egypt or the King of Tunis. Contemporary authorities are quoted in the old work, Gesner de Quadrupedibus, p. 162.-M. P. 57.—“Commodus had already resolved to massacre them the following night; they determined to anticipate his design. Herod., i., 17.—W. P. 58.- The senate always assembled at the beginning of the year, on the night of the 1st January (see Savaron on Sid. Apoll., viii., 6), and this happened the present year as usual, without any particular order.—G. from W. P. 58.—t That which Gibbon improperly calls, both here and in the note, tumultuous decrees, was no more than the applauses and acclamations which recur so often in the history of the emperors. The custom passed from the theatre to the sorum, from the forum to the senate. Applauses on the adoption of the imperial decrees were first introduced under Trajan. (Plin. jun. Panegyr., 75.) One senator read the form of the decree, and all the rest answered by acclamations accompanied with a kind of chant or rhythm. These were some of the acclamations addressed to Pertinax and against the memory of Commodus. Hosti patria honores detrahantur.
Parricidae honores detrahantur, Ut salvi simus, Jupiter, optime, maxime, serva nobis Pertinacem. This custom prevailed not only in the councils of state, but in all the meetings of the senate. However inconsistent it may appear with the solemnity of a religious assembly, the early Christians adopted and introduced it into their synods, notwithstanding the opposition of some of the fathers, particularly of St. Chrysostom. See the Coll. of Franc. Bern. Ferrarius de veterum acclamatione in Graevii Thesaur. Antiq. Rom., i., 6–W. This note is rather hypercritical as regards Gibbon, but appears to me worthy of preservation.— . P. 58-4 No particular law assigned this right to the senate: it was deduced from the ancient principles of the republic. Gibbon appears, to inser from the passage of Suetonius, that the senate, according to its ancient right, punished Nero with death. The words, however, more majorum, refer not to the decree of the senate, but to the kind of death, which was taken from an old law of Romulus. See Victor. Epit. Ed. Artzen, p. 484, n. 7.—W. P. 61—"Not on both these hills; neither Donatus nor Nardini justify this position (Whitaker's Review, p. 13). At the northern extremity of this i (the Viminal) are some considerable remains of a walled enclosure, which bears all the appearance of a Roman camp, and therefore is generally thought to correspond with the Castra Praetoria. Cramer's Italy, i., 390.-M. P. 63—” One of the principal causes of the preference of Julianus by the soldiers, was the dexterity with which he reminded them that Sulpicianus would not sail to revenge on them the death of his son-in-law. sopon, p. 1234, c. 11. Herod. ii., 6.
P. 63.—t A new fragment of Dion shows some shrewdness in the character of Julian. When the senate voted him a golden statue, he preferred one of brass as more lasting. He “had always observed,” he said, “that the statues of former emperors were soon destroyed. Those of brass alone remained.” The indignant historian adds that he was wrong. The virtue of sovereigns alone preserves their images: the brazen statue of Julian was broken to pieces at his death. Mai. Fragm. Vatican., p. 226.—M.
P. 63.—f The contradiction, as M. Guizot observes, is irreconcilable. He quotes both passages: in one Julianus is represented as a miser, in the other as a voluptuary. In the one he refuses to eat till the body of Pertinax has been buried, in the other he gluts himself with every luxury almost in the sight of his headless remains.—M.
P. 66.—" Carnuntum, opposite to the mouth of the Morava: its position is douotful, either Petronel or Haimburg. ... A little intermediate village seems to indicate by its name (Altenburg) the site of an old town. D'Anville, §: Anc., Sabaria, now Sarvar—G. Compare note 37. P. 66.—? These elephants were kept for rocessions, perhaps for the games. See erod. in loc.—M. P. 67–" Quae ad speculum dicunt fieri in quo pueri preligatis oculis, incantato vertice, respicere dicuntur. * * Tuncque uer widisse dicitur et adventum Severi et uliani decessionem. This seems to have been a practice somewhat similar to that of which our recent Egyptian travellers relate such extraordinary circumstances. See also Apuleius, Orat. de Magià.—M. P. 68.—* Lord Byron wrote, no doubt, from a reminiscence of that passage: “It is possible to be a very great man and to be still very inferior to Julius Caesar, the most complete character, so Lord Bacon thought, of all antiquity. Nature seems incapable of such extraordinary combinations as composed his versatile capacity, which was the wonder even of the Romans themselves. The first general, the only triumphant politician, inferior to none in point of eloquence, comparable to any in the attainments of wisdom, in an age made up of the greatest commanders, statesmen, orators, and philosophers, that ever appeared in the world; an author who composed a perfect specimen of military annals in his travelling carriage; at one time in a controversy with Cato, at another writing a treatise on punning, and collecting a set of good sayings; fighting and making love at the same moment, and willing to abandon both his empire and his mistress for a sight of the fountains of the Nile. Such did Julius Caesar appear to his contemporaries, and to those of the subsequent ages who were the most inclined to deplore and execrate his fatal genius.” Note 47 to Canto iv. of Childe Harold. P. 69.-" There were three actions, one near Cyzicus, near the Hellespont, and one near Nice in Bithynia, the third near the Issus in Cilicia, where Alexander conquered Darius. Dion, lxiv., c. 6. Herodian, iii., 2, 4.—W. Herodian represents the second battle as of less importance than Dion.—M. P. 69.-f According to Herodian, it was his lieutenant Laetus who led back the troops to the battle and gained the day, which Severus had almost lost. Dion also attributes to Laetus a great share in the victory. Severus afterward put him to death, either from fear or jealousy.-W. and G.
Wenck and M. Guizot have not given the real statement of Herodian or of Dion. According to the former, Laetus appeared with his own army entire, which he was suspected of having designedly kept disengaged when the battle was still doubtful, or, rather, after the rout of Severus. Dion says that he did not move till Severus had won the victory.—M. P. 70.-” There is no contradiction between the relation of Dion and that of Spartianus and the modern Greeks. Dion does not say that Severus destroyed Byzantium, but that he deprived it of its franchises and privileges, jo. the inhabitants of their property, razed the fortifications, and subjected the city to the jurisdiction of Perinthus. Therefore, when Spartian, Suidas, Cedrenus, say that Severus and his son Antoninus restored to Byzantium its rights and franchises, ordered temples to be built, &c., this is easily reconciled with the relation of Dion. Perhaps the latter mentioned it in some of the fragments of his history which have been lost. As to Herodian, his expressions are evidently exaggerated, and he has been guilty of so many inaccuracies in the history of Severus, that we have a right to suppose one in this passage. —G. #. W. *. and M. Guizot have omitted to cite Zosimus, who mentions a particular portico built by Severus, and called apparently by his name. Zosim., Ho ii., c. xxx., p. 151,153, edit. Heyne. —M. P. 71.-” Wenck denies that there is any authority for this massacre of the wives of the senators. He adds, that only the children and relatives of Niger and Albinus were put to death. This is true of the family of Albinus, whose bodies were thrown into the Rhone; those of Niger, according to Lampridius, were sent into exile, but afterward put to death. Among the partisans of Albinus who were put to death, were many women of rank, multae faminæ illustres. Lamprid. in Sever.—M. P. 71—t A new fragment of Dion describes the state of Rome during this contest. All pretended to be on the side of Severus; but their secret sentiments were often betrayed by a change of countenance on the arrival of some sudden report. Some were detected by overacting their loyalty, river de kai éx rot, opédpa orpooTroteiota tràéovëytváoxovro. Mai. Vatican., p. 227. Severus told the senate he would rather have their hearts than their votes, raï, poxalo Ae puzeire, kai Po rot; Wmotopacty—Ibid. P. 72–" Not of the army, but of the troops in Gaul. The contents of this letter seem to prove that Severtis'was really Y. to restore discipline. Herodian is only historian who accuses him of being the first cause of its relaxation.—G. from W. Spartian mentions his increase of the pay.—M. P. 73–t The praetorian praefect had never been a simple captain of the guards: from the first creation of this place under Augustus, it possessed great power. That emperor, therefore, decreed that there should be always two praetorian praefects, who could only be taken from the equestrian order. Tiberius first departed from the former clause of this edict; Alexander Severus violated the second by naming senators praefects. It appears that it was under Commodus that the praetorian prefects obtained the province of civil jurisdiction: it extended only to Italy, with the exception of Rome and its district, which was governed by the prafectus urbi. As to the control of the finances and the levying of taxes, it was not intrusted to them till after the great change that Constantine the First made in the organization of the empire: at least I know no passage which assigns it to them before that time: and Drakenborch, who has treated this question in his Dissertation de officio praefectorum praetorio, c. vi., does not quote one.—W. P. 72.—f Plautianus was compatriot, relative, and the old friend of Severus: he had so completely shut up all access to the emperor, that the latter was ignorant how far he abused his powers; at length, being informed of it, he began to limit his authority. The marriage of Plautilla with Caracalla was unfortunate; and the prince, who had been forced to consent to it, menaced the father and the daughter with death when he should come to the throne. It was feared, after that, that Plautianus would avail himself of the power which he still possessed, against the imperial family, and Severus caused him to be assassinated in his presence, upon the pretext of a conspiracy, which Dion considers fictitious.-W. This note is not perhaps very necessary, and does not contain the whole facts. Dion considers the conspiracy the invention of Caracalla, by whose command, almost by whose hand, Plautianus was slain in the presence of Severus—M. P. 75.-" The historical authority of Macpherson's Ossian has not increased since Gibbon wrote. We may, indeed, consider it exploded. Mr. Whitaker, in a letter to Gibbon (Misc. Works, p. 100), attempts, not very successfully, to weaken this objection of the historian.—M. P. 77.-* The account of this transaction in a new passage of Dion varies in
some degree from this statement. It adds
that the next morning, in the senate, Antoninus requested their indulgence, not because he had killed his brother, but because he was hoarse and could not address them. Mai. Fragm. Watican., p. 228.-M. P., 77—t The favourable judgment which history has given of Geta is not founded solely on a feeling of pity: it is supported by the testimony of contemporary historians: he was too fond of the pleasures of the table, and showed t mistrust of his brother; but he was humane, well instructed: he often endeavoured to mitiÉ. the rigorous decrees of Severus and aracalla. Herod., iv., 3. Spartian in Getà.-W. P.77—t The most valuable paragraph of Dion which the industry of M. Mai has recovered, relates to this daughter of Marcus, executed by Caracalla. Her name, as appears from Fronto as well as from Dion, was Cornificia. When commanded to choose the kind of death she was to suffer, she burst into womanish tears; but remembering her father Marcus, she thus spoke: “Oh my hapless soul (pupiðuov, animula), now imprisoned in the body, burst forth! be free! show them, however reluctant to believe it, that thou art the daughter of Marcus.” She then laid aside all her ornaments, and, preparing herself for death, ordered her veins to be opened. Mai. Fragm. Watican., ii., p. 230.-M. P. 78-" M. Guizot is indignant at this “cold” observation of Gibbon on the noble character of Thrasea; but he admits that his virtue was useless to the public, and unseasonable amid the vices .* his age.—M. P. 78-t Caracalla reproached all those who demanded no favours of him. “It is clear that if you make me no requests, you do not trust me; if you do not trust me, you suspect me; if you suspect me, you fear me; if you fear me, you hate me.” And forthwith he condemned them as con
spirators. A good specimen of the sorites in a tyrant's logic. See Fragm. Watican., p. 230.-M.
P. 78.- : o was no longer praetorian praefect: Caracalla had deprived him of that office immediately after the death of Severus. Such is the statement of Dion; and the testimony of Spartian, who gives Papinian the praetorian praefecture till his death, is of little weight opposed to that of a senator then living at Rome.—V P. 79.-" After these massacres Caracalla also deprived the Alexandrians of their spectacles and public feasts: he divided the city into two parts by a wall, with towers at intervals, to prevent the peaceful communications of the citizens. Thus was treated the unhappy Alexandrian, says Dion, by the savage beast of Ausonia. This, in fact, was the epithet which the oracle had applied to him ; it is said, indeed, that he was much pleased with the name, and often boasted of it. Dion, ixxvii., p. 1307–G. P. 79.-f Valois and Reimar have explained, in a very simple and probable manner, this passage of Dion, which Gibbon seems to me not to have understood. 'O aúróc roi; arpartoral; d6%a ric aspareias, roic uév Hv ro dopwoopiro retayuévour or 3twiac diaxóglac revrákova, Toš de mevraxtoxiàta, Wauðavew. He ordered that the soldiers should receive, as the reward of their services, the praetorians 1250 drachms, the others 5000 drachms. Walois thinks that the numbers have been transposed, and that Caracalla added 5000 drachms to the donations made to the praetorians, 1250 to those of the legionaries. The praetorians, in fact, always received more than the others. The error of Gibbon arose from his considering that this referred to the annual pay of the soldiers, while it relates to the sum they received as a reward for their services, on their discharge: âbâov Tic arpareiac means recompense for service. Augustus had settled that the praetorians, after sixteen campaigns, should receive 5000 drachms: the legionaries received only 3000 after twenty years. Caracalla added 5000 drachms to the donative of the praetorians, 1250 to that of the legionaries. Gibbon appears to have been mistaken both in confounding ... donative on discharge with the annual pay, and in not paying attention to the remark of Valois on the transposition of the numbers in the text.—G. P. 80.—* Carrhae, now Harran, between Edessa and Nisibis, famous for the defeat of Crassus; the Haran from whence Abraham set out for the land of Canaan. This city has always been remarkable for its attachment to Sabaism.—G. P. 82–" As soon as this princess heard of the death of Caracalla, she wished to starve herself to death: the respect shown to her by Macrinus in making no change in her attendants or her court, induced her to rolong her life. But it appears, as far as he mutilated text of Dion and the imperfect epitome of Xiphilin permit us to judge, that she conceived projects of ambition, and endeavoured to raise herself to the emire. She wished to tread in the steps of Širo and Nitocris, whose country bordered on her own. Macrinus sent her an order immediately to leave Antioch, and to retire wherever she chose. She returned to her former purpose, and starved herself to death.-G.
P. 82.-t He inherited this name from his great grandfather on the mother's side, Bassianus, father of Julia Maesa, his grandmother, and of Julia Domna, wife of Severus, Victor (in his epitome) is perhaps the only historian who has given the key to this #. when speaking of Caracalla. ic Bassianus ex avi materni nomine dictus. Caracalla, Elagabalus, and Alexander Severus, bore successively this name.—G. P. 83.−" Gannys was not a eunuch. Dion, p. 1355.—W. P. 83.—f The name of Elagabalus has been disfigured in various ways. Herodian calls him EXalayasażor; Lampridius and the more modern writers make him HelioÉ. Dion calls him Elegabalus; but lagabalus was the true name, as it appears on the medals. (Eckhel. de Doct. num. vet., t. vii., p. 250.) As to its ...; that which Gibbon adduces is given by Bochart, Chan., ii., 5; but Salmasius, on better grounds (not. in Lamprid. in Elagab.), derives the name of Elagabalus from the idol of that god, represented by Herodian and the medals in the form of a mountain (gibel in Hebrew), or great stone cut to a point, with marks which represent the sun. As it was not permitted at Hierapolis in Syria to make statues of the sun and moon, because, it was said, they are themselves sufficiently visible, the sun was represented at Emesa in the form of a great stone, which, as it appeared, had fallen from heaven. Spanheim, Caesar, notes, p. 46.—G. The name of Elagabalus, in “mummis rarius legetur.” asche, Lex Univ. Rei Numm. Rasche quotes two.—M. P. 85-" Wenck has justly observed that Gibbon should have reckoned the influence of Christianity in this great change. In the most savage times and the most corrupt courts, since the introduction of Christianity, there have been no Neros or Domitians, no Commodus or Elagabalus.-M. P. 86.- This opinion of Valsecchi has been triumphantly contested by Eckhel, who has shown the impossibility of reconciling it with the medals of Elagabalus, and who has given the most satisfactory explanation of the five tribunates of that emperor. He ascended the throne and received the tribunitian power the 16th of May, in the year of Rome 971; and on the 1st January of the next year, 972, he began a new tribunate, according to the custom established by preceding emperors. During the years 972, 973, 974, he enjoyed the tribunate, and commenced his fifth in the year 975, during which he was killed on the 10th March. Eckhel, de Doct. Num., viii., 430, &c.—G. P. 87-" Alexander received into his chapel all the religions which prevailed in the empire: he admitted Jesus Christ, Abraham, Orpheus, Apollonius of Tyana, &c. It is almost certain that his mother Mamaea had instructed him in the morality of Christianity. Historians, in general, agree in calling her a Christian: there is reason to believe that she had begun to have a taste for the principles of Christianity (see Tillemont, Alexander Severus). Gibbon has not noticed this circumstance; he appears to have wished to lower the character of this empress; he has throughout followed the narrative of Herodian, who, by the acknowledgment of Capitolinus himself, detested Alexander. Without believing the exaggerated praises of Lampridius, he ought not to have followed the unjust severity of Herodian, and, above all, not to have forgotten to say that the virtuous Alexander Severus had ensured to the Jews the preservation of their privileges, and permitted the exercise of Christianity. Hist. Aug., p. 121. The Christians had established their worship in a public place, of which the victuallers (caupomarii) claimed, not the property, but possession by custom. Alexander answered, that it was better that the place should be used for the service of God in any form than for victuallers.-G. I have scrupled to omit this note, as it contains some points worthy of notice; but it is very unjust to Gibbon, who mentions almost all the circumstances which he is accused of omitting in another, and, according to his plan, a fitter place, and, perhaps, in stronger terms than M. Guizot. See chap. xvi.-M. P. 88.—* Wenck observes that Gibbon, enchanted with the virtue of Alexander, has heightened, particularly in this sentence, its effect on the state of the world. His own account, which follows, of the insurrections and foreign wars, is not in harmony with this beautiful picture.—M. P 89.-” Gibbon has confounded two events altogether different; the quarrel of the people with the praetorians, which lasted three days, and the assassination of Ulpian by the latter. Dion relates first the death of Ulpian; afterward, reverting back according to a manner which is usual with him, he says that during the life of Ulpian there had been a war of three days between the praetorians and the people. But Ulpian was not the cause. Dion says, on the contrary, that it was occasioned by some unimportant circumstance; while he assigns a weighty reason for the murder of Ulpian, the judgment by which that praetorian praefect had condemned his predecessors, Chrestus and Flavian, to death, whom the soldiers wished to revenge. Zosimus (i.
1, c. xi.) attributes this sentence to Mamaa; but, even then, the troops might have imputed it to Ulpian, who had reaped all the advantage, and was otherwise odious to them.—W. P. 89–t Dion possessed no estates in Campania, and was not rich. He only says that the emperor advised him to reside during his consulate in some place out of Rome: that he returned to Rome after the end of his consulate, and had an interview with the emperor in Campania. He asked and obtained leave to pass the rest of his life in his native city (Nice, in Bithynia): it was there that he finished his history, * closes with his second consulship.–
P. 91–" Historians are divided as to the success of the campaign against the Persians ; Herodian alone speaks of defeat. Lampridius, Eutropius, Victor, and others, say that it was very glorious to Alexander; that he beat Artaxerxes in a great battle, and repelled him from the frontiers of the empire. . This much is certain, that Alexander, on his return to Rome (Lamp. Hist. Aug., c. 56, 133, 134), received the honours of a triumph, and that he said in his oration to the people, Quirites, vicinus Persas, milites divites reduximus, vobis congiarium pollicemur, cras ludos circenses Persicos donabimus. Alexander, says Eckhel, had too much modesty and wisdom to permit himself to receive honours which ought only to be the reward of victory, if he had not deserved them; he would have contented himself with dissembling his losses. Eckhel, Doct. Num. vet., vii., 276. The medals represent him as in triumph : one, among others, displays him crowned by victory between two rivers, the Euphrates and the Tigris. P. M. TR. P. xii., Cos. iii., PP. Imperator paludatus D. hastam, S. parazonium, stat inter duos fluvios humi jacentes, et ab accedente retro Victoria coronatur. AE, max. mod. (Mus. Reg. Gall.) Although Gibbon treats this question more in detail when he speaks of the Persian monarchy, I have thought fit to place here what contradicts his opinion.— G
P. 91–t See the interesting account of the site and ruins of Veii, in Sir W. Gell's Topography of Rome and its vicinity, v. ii., p. 303.−M. . 91.—f See Rationarium imperii. Compare besides Tacitus, Suet. Aug., c. ult. Dion, p. 832. Other emperors kept and published similar registers. See a dissertation of Dr. Wolle, de Rationario imperii Rom., Leipsig, 1773. The last book of Appian, also, contained the statistics of the Roman empire, but it is lost—W.