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Constantius had entrusted the direction of his conduct, the [At Aotmi. Csesar was informed of the siege and deliverance of Autun. That 3kj ""*' large and ancient city, protected only by a ruined wall and pusillanimous garrison, was saved by the generous resolution of a few veterans, who resumed their arms for the defence of their country. In his march from Autun through the heart of the Gallic provinces, Julian embraced with ardour the earliest opportunity of signalizing his courage. At the head of a small body of archers and heavy cavalry, he preferred the shorter but the more dangerous of two roads; and sometimes eluding, and sometimes resisting, the attacks of the Barbarians, who were masters of the field, he arnved with honour ["•""•J and safety at the camp near Rheims, where the Roman troops had been ordered to assemble. The aspect of their young prince revived the drooping spirit of the soldiers, and they marched from Rheims in search of the enemy, with a confidence which had almost proved fatal to them. The Alemanni, familiarized to the knowledge of the country, secretly collected their scattered forces and, seizing the opportunity of a dark and rainy day, poured with unexpected fury on the rear-guard of the Romans.75 Before the inevitable disorder could be remedied two legions were destroyed; and Julian was taught by experience that caution and vigilance are the most important [B»tu«of lessons of the art of war. In a second and more successful (I°iiSSth)] action, he recovered and established his military fame: but, as the agility of the Barbarians saved them from the pursuit, his victory was neither bloody nor decisive. He advanced, however, to the banks of the Rhine, surveyed the ruins of Cologne, convinced himself of the difficulties of the war, and retreated on the approach of winter, discontented with the court, with his army, and with his own success.70 The power of the enemy was yet unbroken; and the Caesar had no sooner [senoim] separated his troops, and fixed his own quarters at Sens, in the centre of Gaul, than he was surrounded and besieged by a numerous host of Germans. Reduced in this extremity to the resources of his own mind, he displayed a prudent intrepidity which compensated for all the deficiencies of the place and garrison; and the Barbarians, at the end of thirty days, were obliged to retire with disappointed rage.
"[Julian was on his way to Decempagi, now Dieuze, in Lothringen.] 76 Ammianus (xvi. a, 3) appears much better satisfied with the success of his first campaign than Julian himself; who very fairly owns that he did nothing of consequence, and that he fled before the enemy:
The conscious pride of Julian, who was indebted only to his Hu second sword for this signal deliverance, was embittered by the reflexion 5tDPS?n that he was abandoned, betrayed, and perhaps devoted to destruction, by those who were bound to assist him by every tie of honour and fidelity. Marcellus, master-general of the cavalry in Gaul, interpreting too strictly the jealous orders of the court, beheld with supine indifference the distress of Julian, and had restrained the troops under his command from marching to the relief of Sens. If the Cassar had dissembled in silence so dangerous an insult, his person and authority would have been exposed to the contempt of the world; and, if an action so criminal had been suffered to pass with impunity, the emperor would have confirmed the suspicions which received a very specious colour from his past conduct towards the princes of the Flavian family. Marcellus was recalled, and gently dismissed from his office.77 In his room Severus was appointed general of the cavalry; an experienced soldier, of approved courage and fidelity, who could advise with respect and execute with zeal; and who submitted, without reluctance, to the supreme command which Julian, by the interest of his patroness Eusebia, at length obtained over the armies of Gaul.78 A very judicious plan of operations was adopted for the approaching campaign. Julian himself, at the head of the remains of the veteran bands, and of some new levies which he had been permitted to form, boldly penetrated into the centre of the German cantonments and carefully re-established the fortifications of Saverne79 in an rem advantageous post, which would either check the incursions, or *abMn"1 intercept the retreat, of the enemy. At the same time Barbatio, general of the infantry, advanced from Milan with an army of thirty thousand men,80 and passing the mountains prepared to throw a bridge over the Rhine, in the neighbourhood of Basil, [buiim] It was reasonable to expect that the Alemanni, pressed on either side by the Roman arms, would soon be forced to evacuate the provinces of Gaul, and to hasten to the defence of their native country. But the hopes of the campaign were defeated by the
77 Ammian. xvi. 7. Libanius speaks rather more advantageously of tne military talents of Marcellus. Oat. x. p. 272. And Julian insinuates that he would not have been so easily recalled, unless he had given other reasons of offence to the court, p. 278.
ra Severus, non discors, non arrogans, sed longa militiae frugalitate compertus; et eum recta praeeuntem secuturus, ut ductorem morigerus miles. Ammian. xvi. ti. Zosimus, 1. iii. p. 140 [c. 2].
79 [In Elsass, the German form of the name, Zabern, is now more familiar. On the restoration of the forts cp. Mommsen, Hermes 16, 489.]
*> [Rather 25,000; see Amm. ib. j
incapacity, or the envy, or the secret instructions, of Rarbatio; who acted as if he had been the enemy of the Csesar and the secret ally of the Barbarians. The negligence with which he permitted a troop of pillagers freely to pass, and to return almost before the gates of his camp, may be imputed to his want of abilities; but the treasonable act of burning a number of boats, and a superfluous stock of provisions, which would have been of the most essential service to the army of Gaul, was an evidence of his hostile and criminal intentions. The Germans despised an enemy who appeared destitute either of power or of inclination to offend them; and the ignominious retreat of Barbatio deprived Julian of the expected support, and left him to extricate himself from a hazardous situation, where he could neither remain with safety nor retire with honour.81 B»tti« of As soon as they were delivered from the fears of invasion, the A D »v' Alemanni prepared to chastise the Roman youth, who presumed "*"" to dispute the possession of that country which they claimed as their own by the right of conquest and of treaties. They employed three days and as many nights in transporting over the Rhine their military powers. The fierce Chnodomar, shaking the ponderous javelin, which he had victoriously wielded against the brother of Magnentius, led the van of the Barbarians, and moderated by his experience the martial ardour which his example inspired.82 He was followed by six other kings, by ten princes of regal extraction, by a long train of high-spirited nobles, and by thirty-five thousand of the bravest warriors of the tribes of Germany. The confidence derived from the view of their own strength was increased by the intelligence which they received from a deserter, that the Caesar, with a feeble army of thirteen thousand men, occupied a post about onerArnmton- and-twenty miles from their camp of Strasburg. With this inadequate force, Julian resolved to seek and to encounter the Barbarian host; and the chance of a general action was preferred to the tedious and uncertain operation of separately engaging the dispersed parties of the Alemanni. The Romans marched in close order, and in two columns, the cavalry on the right, the infantry on the left; and the day was so far spent when they appeared in sight of the enemy, that Julian was desirous of deferring the battle till the next morning, and of allowing his troops to recruit their exhausted strength by the necessary refreshments of sleep and food. Yielding, however, with some reluctance to the clamours of the soldiers, and even to the opinion of his council, he exhorted them to justify by their valour the eager impatience, which, in case of a defeat, would be universally branded with the epithets of rashness and presumption. The trumpets sounded, the military shout was heard through the field, and the two armies rushed with equal fury to the charge. The Caesar, who conducted in person his right wing, depended on the dexterity of his archers, and the weight of his cuirassiers. But his ranks were instantly broken by an irregular mixture of light-horse and of light-infantry, and he had the mortification of beholding the flight of six hundred of his most renowned cuirassiers.83 The fugitives were stopped and rallied by the presence and authority of Julian, who, careless of his own safety, threw himself before them, and, urging every motive of shame and honour, led them back against the victorious enemy. The conflict between the two lines of infantry was obstinate and bloody. The Germans possessed the superiority of strength and stature, the Romans that of discipline and temper; and, as the Barbarians who served under the standard of the empire united the respective advantages of both parties, their strenuous efforts, guided by a skilful leader, at length determined the event of the day. The Romans lost four tribunes, and two hundred and forty-three soldiers, in this memorable battle of Strasburg, so glorious to the Caesar,84 and so salutary to the afflicted provinces of Gaul. Six thousand of the Alemanni were slain in the field, without including those who were drowned in the Rhine or transfixed with darts whilst they attempted to swim across the river.85 Chnodomar himself was surrounded and taken prisoner, with three of his brave companions, who had devoted themselves to follow in life or death the fate of their chieftain. Julian received him with military pomp in the council of his officers; and, expressing a generous pity for the fallen state, dissembled his inward contempt for the abject humiliation, of his captive. Instead of exhibiting the vanquished king of the Alemanni, as a grateful spectacle to the cities of Gaul, he respectfully laid at the feet of the emperor this splendid trophy of his victory. Chnodomar experienced an honourable treatment: but the impatient Barbarian could not long survive his defeat, his confinement, and his exile.88 Joiimi mb- After Julian had repulsed the Alemanni from the provinces inula.* of the Upper Rhine, he turned his arms against the Franks, who were seated nearer to the ocean on the confines of Gaul and Germany, and who, from their numbers, and still more from their intrepid valour, had ever been esteemed the most formidable of the Barbarians.87 Although they were strongly actuated by the allurements of rapine, they professed a disinterested love of war, which they considered as the supreme honour and felicity of human nature; and their minds and bodies were so completely hardened by perpetual action that, according to the lively expression of an orator, the snows of winter were as pleasant to them as the flowers of spring. In the month of December, which followed the battle of Strasburg, Julian attacked a body of six hundred Franks, who had thrown themselves into two castles on the Meuse.88 In the midst of that severe season
81 On the design and failure of the co-operation between Julian and Barbatio, see Ammianus, xvi. n, and Libanius, Orat. x. p. 273. [The "pillagers" who passed were Lseti; they surprised Lyons.]
83 Ammianus (xvi. 12) describes with his inflated eloquence the figure and character of Chnodomar. Audax et fidens ingenti robore lacertorum, ubi ardor proelii sperabatur immanis, equo spumante, sublimior, erectus in jaculum formidandae vastitatis, armorumque nitore conspicuus: antea strenuus et miles, et utilis praeter caeteros ductor.. .. Decentium Csesarem superavit aequo matte congressus. [For criticism of the sources for the history of this campaign see Appendix 1. It may be noted that a very important hint for the topography of the battle has been missed by Gibbon. Libanius mentions that a part of the enemy was posted »*' ox'rtf fureupu, a bit of the old aqueduct of Strasburg where it crosses the Musauthal. See F. Vogel, Hist. Zeitschrift, vol. 24, p. 89, 1888.]
88 After the battle, Julian ventured to revive the rigour of ancient discipline by exposing these fugitives in female apparel to the derision of the whole camp. In the next campaign, these troops nobly retrieved their honour. Zosimus, 1. iii. p. 142 [c. 3].
*• Julian himself (ad S. P. Q. Athen. p. 2751 [359, ed. Hertl.]) speaks of the battle of Strasburg with the modesty of conscious merit; iiiaxtviwv oi« <utA.«is, io-*« Kai tit itfias a^ijcero ri roiav-n) ndxV' Zosimus compares it with the victory of Alexander over Darius; and yet we are at a loss to discover any of those strokes of military genius which fix the attention of ages on the conduct and success of a single day. [Julian wrote an account of the battle, which is not extant but is mentioned by Eunapius (fr. 9, F. H. G. iv.), and may be the basis of Ammian's account.]
85 Ammianus, xvl 12. Libanius adds 2000 more to the number of the slain (Orat. x. p. 274). But these trifling differences disappear before the 60,000 Barbarians whom Zosimus has sacrificed to the glory of his hero (1. iii. p. 141 [c. 3]). We might attribute this extravagant number to the carelessness of transcribers, if this credulous or partial historian had not swelled the army of 35,000 Alemanni to an innumerable multitude of Barbarians, irAqSo* a«ipo» pappitnr. It is our own fault if this detection does not inspire us with proper distrust on similar occasions.
89 Ammian. xvi. 12. Libanius, Orat. x. p. 276.
87 Libanius (Orat. iii. p. 137) draws a very lively picture of the manners of the Franks.
88 Ammianus, xvii. 2. Libanius, Orat. x. p. 278. The Greek orator, by misapprehending a passage of Julian, has been induced to represent the Franks as consisting of a thousand men; and, as his head was always full of the Peloponnesian war, he compares them to the Laccdsemonians, who were besieged and taken in the island of Sphacteria.