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Tne introduction of Barbarians into the Roman armies be-increase of
came every day more universal, more necessary, and more fatal. oilo, The most daring of the Scythians, of the Goths, and of the Germans, who delighted in war, and who found it more profitable to defend than to ravage the provinces, were enrolled, not only in the auxiliaries of their respective nations, but in the legions themselves, and among the most distinguished of the Palatine troops. As they freely mingled with the subjects of the empire, they gradually learned to despise their manners and to imitate their arts. They abjured the implicit reverence which the pride of Rome had exacted from their ignorance, while they acquired the knowledge and possession of those advantages by which alone she supported her declining greatness. The Barbarian soldiers who displayed any military talents were advanced, without exception, to the most important commands; and the names of the tribunes, of the counts and dukes, and of the generals themselves, betray a foreign origin, which they no longer condescended to disguise. They were often entrusted with the conduct of a war against their countrymen; and, though most of them preferred the ties of allegiance to those of blood, they did not always avoid the guilt, or at least the suspicion, of holding a treasonable correspondence with the enemy, of inviting his invasion, or of sparing his retreat. The camps and the palace of the son of Constantine were governed by the powerful faction of the Franks, who preserved the strictest connexion with each other and with their country, and who resented every personal affront as a national indignity.” When the tyrant Caligula was suspected of an intention to invest a very extraordinary candidate with the consular robes, the sacrilegious profanation would have scarcely excited less astonishment, if, instead of a horse, the noblest chieftain of Germany or Britain had been the object of his choice. The revolution of three centuries had produced so remarkable a change in the prejudices of the people that, with the public approbation, Constantine shewed his successors the example of bestowing the honours of the consulship on the Barbarians who, by their merit and services, had deserved to be ranked among the first of the Romans.” But as these hardy veterans, who had been edu
147 Malarichus—adhibitis Francis quorum ea tempestate in palatio multitudo florebat, erectius jam loquebatur tumultuabaturque. Ammian. l. xv. c. 5.
* Barbaros omnium primus, ad usque fasces auxerat et trabeas consulares. Ammian. 1. xx. c. 10. Eusebius (in Vit. Constantin. l. iv. c. 7) and Aurelius Victor seem to confirm the truth of this assertion; yet in the thirty-two consular Fasti of the reign of Constantine I cannot discover the name of a single Barbarian. I
cated in the ignorance or contempt of the laws, were incapable of exercising any civil offices, the powers of the human mind were contracted by the irreconcileable separation of talents as well as of professions. The accomplished citizens of the Greek and Roman republics, whose characters could adapt themselves to the bar, the senate, the camp, or the schools, had learned to write, to speak, and to act, with the same spirit, and with equal abilities. IV. Besides the magistrates and generals, who at a distance from the court diffused their delegated authority over the provinces and armies, the emperor conferred the rank of Illustrious on seven of his more immediate servants, to whose fidelity he entrusted his safety, or his counsels, or his treasures. 1. The private apartments of the palace were governed by a favourite eunuch, who, in the language of that age, was styled the praepositus or praefect of the sacred bed-chamber. His duty was to attend the emperor in his hours of state, or in those of amusement, and to perform about his person all those menial services which can only derive their splendour from the influence of royalty. Under a prince who deserved to reign, the great chamberlain (for such we may call him) was an useful and humble domestic; but an artful domestic, who improves every occasion of unguarded confidence, will insensibly acquire over a feeble mind that ascendant which harsh wisdom and uncomplying virtue can seldom obtain. The degenerate grandsons of Theodosius, who were invisible to their subjects and contemptible to their enemies, exalted the praefects of their bed-chamber above the heads of all the ministers of the palace; 14° and even his deputy, the first of the splendid train of slaves who waited in the presence, was thought worthy to rank before the respectable proconsuls of Greece or Asia. The jurisdiction of the chamberlain was acknowledged by the counts, or superintendents, who regulated the two important provinces of the magnificence of the wardrobe and of the luxury of the imperial table.” 2. The principal administration of public affairs was committed to the diligence and abilities of the master of the offices.” He was the supreme magistrate of the palace, inspected the discipline of the civil and military schools, and received appeals from all parts of the empire; in the causes which related to that numerous army of privileged persons who, as the servants of the court, had obtained, for themselves and families, a right to decline the authority of the ordinary judges. The correspondence between the prince and his subjects was managed by the four scrinia or offices of this minister of state. The first was appropriated to memorials, the second to epistles, the third to petitions, and the fourth to papers and orders of a miscellaneous kind.” Each of these was directed by an inferior master of respectable dignity, and the whole business was dispatched by an hundred and forty-eight secretaries, chosen for the most part from the profession of the law, on account of the variety of abstracts of reports and references which frequently occurred in the exercise of their several functions. From a condescension, which in former ages would have been esteemed unworthy of the Roman majesty, a particular secretary was allowed for the Greek language; and interpreters were appointed to receive the ambassadors of the Barbarians: but the department of foreign affairs, which constitutes so essential a part of modern policy, seldom diverted the attention of the master of the offices. His mind was more seriously engaged by the general direction of the posts and arsenals of the empire. There were thirty-four cities, fifteen in the east, and nineteen in the west, in which regular companies of workmen were perpetually employed in fabricating defensive armour, offensive weapons of all sorts, and military engines, which were deposited in the arsenals, and occasionally delivered for the service of the
8even ministers of the palace
The chamber. lain
should therefore interpret the liberality of that prince, as relative to the ornaments, rather than to the office, of the consulship.
149 Cod. Theod. 1. vi. tit. 8.
150 By a very singular metaphor, borrowed from the military character of the first emperors, the steward of their household was styled the count of their camp (comes castrensis). Cassiodorius very seriously represents to him that his own fame, and that of the empire, must depend on the opinion which foreign ambassadors may conceive of the plenty and magnificence of the royal table (Variar, l. vi. epistol. 9),
The matter of the offices
troops.1° 3. In the course of nine centuries, the office of The questor
quaestor had experienced a very singular revolution. In the infancy of Rome, two inferior magistrates were annually elected by the people, to relieve the consuls from the invidious manage
in Gutherius (de Officiis Domūs Augustae, l. ii. c. 20, l. iii.) has very accurately explained the functions of the master of the offices and the constitution of his subordinate scrinia. But he vainly attempts, on the most doubtful authority, to deduce from the time of the Antonines, or even of Nero, the origin of a magistrate who cannot be found in history before the reign of Constantine. [His importance —if not his origin—probably dated from the reign of Constantine, and gradually developed during the fourth century. . The original title was tribunus et mag. off. (Cod. Theod. ii. 9. 1), which further obscures the origin.]
*[Scr. dispositionum, of which one duty was to make dispositions in case of an imperial journey.]
ios It should not be overlooked that the mag. off was head of the school of agentes in rebus; see below, note 170.]
ment of the public treasure; * a similar assistant was granted to every proconsul, and to every praetor, who exercised a military or provincial command; with the extent of conquest, the two quaestors were gradually multiplied to the number of four, of eight, of twenty, and, for a short time, perhaps, of forty; 15% and the noblest citizens ambitiously solicited an office which gave them a seat in the senate, and a just hope of obtaining the honours of the republic. Whilst Augustus affected to maintain the freedom of election, he consented to accept the annual privilege of recommending, or rather indeed of nominating, a certain proportion of candidates; and it was his custom to select one of these distinguished youths, to read his orations or epistles in the assemblies of the senate.” The practice of Augustus was imitated by succeeding princes; the occasional commission was established as a permanent office; and the favoured quaestor, assuming a new and more illustrious character, alone survived the suppression of his ancient and useless colleagues.” As the orations which he composed in the name of the emperor 1% acquired the force, and, at length, the form of absolute edicts, he was considered as the representative of the legislative power, the oracle of the council, and the original source of the civil jurisprudence. He was sometimes invited to take his seat in the supreme judicature of the Imperial consistory, with the Praetorian praefects, and the master of the offices; and he was frequently requested to resolve the doubts of inferior judges; but, as he was not oppressed with a variety of subordinate business, his leisure and talents were employed to cultivate that dignified style of eloquence which, in the corruption of taste and language, still preserves the majesty of the Roman laws.” In some respects, the office of the Imperial quaestor may be compared with that of a modern chancellor; but the use of a great seal, which seems to have been adopted by the illiterate Barbarians, was never introduced to attest the public acts of the emperors. 4. The extraordinary title of count of the sacred The ruble largesses was bestowed on the treasurer-general of the revenue, “ with the intention perhaps of inculcating that every payment flowed from the voluntary bounty of the monarch. To conceive the almost infinite detail of the annual and daily expense of the civil and military administration in every part of a great empire would exceed the powers of the most vigorous imagination. The actual account employed several hundred persons, distributed into eleven different offices, which were artfully contrived to examine and control their respective operations. The multitude of these agents had a natural tendency to increase; and it was more than once thought expedient to dismiss to their native homes the useless supernumeraries, who, deserting their honest labours, had pressed with too much eagerness into the lucrative profession of the finances.” Twenty-nine pro
154 Tacitus (Annal. xi. 22) says that the first quaestors were elected by the people, sixty-four years after the foundation of the republic; but he is of opinion that they had, long before that period, been annually appointed by the consuls, and even by the kings. But this obscure point of antiquity is contested by other writers. [Mommsen (Staatsrecht, 2, p. 525) thinks that the quaestorship originated simultaneously with the consulsnip.] 185tacitus (Annal. xi. 22) seems to consider twenty [fixed by Sulla] as the highest number of quaestors; and Dion. (l. xliii. p. 374 [c. 47; cp. 51]) insinuates that, if the dictator Caesar once created forty, it was only to facilitate the payment of an immense debt of gratitude. Yet the augmentation which he made of praetors subsisted under the succeeding reigns. 196 Sueton. in August. c. 65, and Torrent. ad loc. Dion. Cas. p. 755. 157 The youth and inexperience of the quaestors, who entered on that important office in their twenty-fifth year (Lips. Excurs. ad Tacit. l. iii. D.), engaged Augustus to remove them from the management of the treasury; and, though they were restored by Claudius, they seem to have been finally dismissed by Nero (Tacit. Annal. xxii. 29. Sueton, in Aug. c. 36, in Claud. c. 24, Dion. p. 696 sliii. 2), 961 six. 24), &c.; Plin. Epistol. x. 20, et alib.). In the provinces of the Imperial division, the lace of the quaestors was more ably supplied by the procurators (Dion. Cass. p. 707 liii. 15); Tacit. in Vit. Agricol. c. 15); or, as they were afterwards called, rationales Hist. August. p. 130 [xviii. 45, j. But in the provinces of the senate we may still discover a series of quaestors till the reign of Marcus Antoninus (see the Inscriptions of Gruter, the Epistles of Pliny, and a decisive fact in the Augustan history, p. 64). From Ulpian we may learn (Pandect. l. i. tit. 13) that, under the government of the house of Severus, their provincial administration was abolished; and in the subsequent troubles the annual or triennial elections of quaestors must have naturally ceased. [The quaestorship continued to exist under the Constantinian monarchy, but it became virtually a municipal office at Rome, and the quaestors were no longer “commended", by the Emperor, but were entirely appointed by the Senate. Their chief function was to defray the cost of games.] *Cum patris nomine et epistolas ipse dictaret, et edicta conscriberet, orationesque in senatu recitaret, etiam quaestoris vice. Sueton. in Tit. c. 6. The office must
have acquired new dignity, which was occasionally executed by the heir-apparent of the empire. Trajan entrusted the same care to Hadrian his quaestor and cousin. See Dodwell, Praelection. Cambden. x. xi. p. 362-394. [It is not at all likely that the quastor of the new Monarchy can be derived from the quaestor who read the orations of Augustus in the Senate. Mommsen proposes (Ephem. Epig. 5, 625 ff.) to derive him from the vicarius a consillis sacris, the president (as he believes) of the consistorium. In any case he was probably instituted by Constantine (Zos. v. 32). As a rule, he had precedence of the master of offices. Observe that to both these officials were diverted functions which formerly belonged to the praet. prefect. The quaestor took his place in the consistorium (cp. App. 10), while the master of offices superseded him as commander of the palace guards.] *———— Terris edicta daturus; Supplicibus responsa.—Oracula regis Eloquio crevere tuo; nec dignius unquam Majestas meminit sese Romana locutam. Claudian in Consulat. Mall. Theodor. % See likewise Symmachus (Epistol. i. 17 ( = 23, ed. Seeck), and Cassiodorius (Variar. vi. 5). *Cod. Theod. l. vi. tit. 30. Cod Justinian. I. xii, tit. 24. [The sacred largesses