« ForrigeFortsett »
of the Romans or of the Barbarians, and at length emerged, between Ratisbon and Vienna, at the place where he designed to embark his troops on the Danube. By a well-concerted stratagem, he seized a fleet of light brigantines,38 as it lay at anchor; secured a supply of coarse provisions sufficient to satisfy the indelicate, but voracious, appetite of a Gallic army; and boldly committed himself to the stream of the Danube. The labours of his mariners, who plied their oars with incessant diligence, and the steady continuance of a favourable wind, carried his fleet above seven hundred miles in eleven days;3i and he had already disembarked his troops at Bononia, only nineteen miles from Sirmium, before his enemies could receive any certain intelligence that he had left the banks of the Rhine. In the course of this long and rapid navigation, the mind of Julian was fixed on the object of his enterprise; and, though he accepted the deputation of some cities, which hastened to claim the merit of an early submission, he passed before the hostile stations, which were placed along the river, without indulging the temptation of signalizing an useless and ill-timed valour. The banks of the Danube were crowded on either side with spectators, who gazed on the military pomp, anticipated the importance of the event, and diffused through the adjacent country the fame of a young hero, who advanced with more than mortal speed at the head of the innumerable forces of the West. Lucilian, who, with the rank of general of the cavalry, commanded the military powers of Illyricum. was alarmed and perplexed by the doubtful reports which he could neither reject nor believe. He had taken some slow and irresolute measures for the purpose of collecting his troops; when he was surprised by Dagalaiphus, an active officer, whom Julian, as soon as he landed at Bononia, had pushed forwards with some light infantry. The captive general, uncertain of
Orat. iii. p. 68[iv. c. 47]. Even the saint admires thespeed and secrecy of this march. A modern divine might apply to the progress of Julian the lines which were originally designed for another apostate:—
So eagerly the fiend,
O'er bog, or steep, through strait, rough, dense, or rare, With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies. M In that interval the Notitia places two or three fleets, the Lauriacensis (at Lauriacum, or Lorch), the Arlapensis, the Maginensis; and mentions five legions, or cohorts, of Liburnarii, who should be a sort of marines. Sect, lviii. edit. Labb. M Zosimus alone (1. iii. p. 156 fc. 10]) has specified this interesting circumstance. Mamertinus (in Panegyr. Vet. xi. 6, 7, 8), who accompanied Julian, as count of the sacred largesses, describes this voyage in a florid and picturesque manner, challenges Triptolemus and the Argonauts of Greece, &c.
his life or death, was hastily thrown upon a horse, and conducted to the presence of Julian; who kindly raised him from the ground, and dispelled the terror and amazement which seemed to stupefy his faculties. But Lucilian had no sooner recovered his spirits than he betrayed his want of discretion, by presuming to admonish his conqueror that he had rashly ventured, with a handful of men, to expose his person in the midst of his enemies. "Reserve for your master Constantius these timid remonstrances," replied Julian, with a smile of contempt; "when I gave you my purple to kiss, I received you not as a counsellor, but as a suppliant." Conscious that success alone could justify his attempt, and that boldness only could command success, he instantly advanced, at the head of three thousand soldiers, to attack the strongest and most populous city of the Illyrian provinces. As he entered the long suburb of Sirmium, he was received by the joyful acclamations of the army and people; who, crowned with flowers, and holding lighted tapers in their hands, conducted their acknowledged sovereign to his Imperial residence. Two days were devoted to the public joy, which was celebrated by the games of the Circus; but, early on the morning of the third day, Julian rKapudjii, or marched to occupy the narrow pass of Succi, in the defiles vrauj of Mount Haemus; which, almost in the mid-way between Sirmium and Constantinople, separates the provinces of Thrace and Dacia, by an abrupt descent towards the former and a simple declivity on the side of the latter.85 The defence of this important post was entrusted to the brave Nevitta; who, as well as the generals of the Italian division, successfully executed the plan of the march and junction which their master had so ably conceived.86 Hejoitiiw The homage which Julian obtained, from the fears or the inclination of the people, extended far beyond the immediate effect of his arms.87 The prefectures of Italy and Illyricum were administered by Taurus and Florentius, who united that important office with the vain honours of the consulship; and,
88 The description of Ammianus, which might be supported by collateral evidence, ascertains the precise situation of the Angustia Succorum, or passes of Succi. M. d'Anville, from the trifling resemblance of names, has placed them between Sardica and Naissus. For my own justification, I am obliged to mention the only error which I have discovered in the maps or writings of that admirable geographer. [The road from Constantinople crosses here the mountains which form the watershed between the Thracian plain and the basin of Sofia. Jirecek, Gesch. der Bulgaren, p, 15.1
*• Whatever circumstances we may borrow elsewhere, Ammianus (xxi. 8, 9, 10) still supplies the series of the narrative.
* Ammian. xxi. 9, 10, Libanius, Orat. Parent, c. 54, p. 379, 380. Zosimus, 1. iii. p. 156, 157 [c. 10].
as those magistrates had retired with precipitation to the court of Asia, Julian, who could not always restrain the levity of his temper, stigmatized their flight by adding, in all the Acts of the Year, the epithet of fugitive to the names of the two consuls. The provinces which had been deserted by their first magistrates acknowledged the authority of an emperor, who, conciliating the qualities of a soldier with those of a philosopher, was equally admired in the camps of the Danube and in the cities of Greece. From his palace, or, more properly, from his head-quarters of Sirmium and Naissus, he distributed to the principal cities of the empire a laboured apology for his own conduct; published the secret dispatches of Constantius; and solicited the judgment of mankind between two competitors, the one of whom had expelled, and the other had invited, the Barbarians.38 Julian, whose mind was deeply wounded by the reproach of ingratitude, aspired to maintain, by argument as well as by arms, the superior merits of his cause; and to excel, not only in the arts of war, but in those of composition. His epistle to the senate and people of Athens3" seems to have been dictated by an elegant enthusiasm; which prompted him to submit his actions and his motives to the degenerate Athenians of his own times, with the same humble deference as if he had been pleading, in the days of Aristides, before the tribunal of the Areopagus. His application to the senate of Rome, which was still permitted to bestow the titles of Imperial power, was agreeable to the forms of the expiring republic. An assembly was summoned by Tertullus, prsefect of the city; the epistle of Julian was read; and, as he appeared to be master of Italy, his claims were admitted without a dissenting voice. His oblique censure of the innovations of Constantine, and his passionate invective against the vices of Constantius, were heard with less satisfaction; and the senate, as if Julian had been present, unanimously exclaimed,
SbJulian (ad S. P. Q. Athen. p. 286 [p. 368, ed. H.]) positively asserts that he intercepted the letters of Constantius to the Barbarians: and Libanius as positively affirms that he read them on his march to the troops and the cities. Yet Ammianus Ixxi. 4) expresses himself with cool and candid hesitation, sifamts solius admit tcnda est fides. He specifies, however, an intercepted letter from Vadomair to Constantius, which supposes an intimate correspondence between them : "Caesar tuus disciplinam non habet".
"Zosimus mentions his epistles to the Athenians, the Corinthians, and the Lacedaemonians. The substance was probably the same, though the address was properly varied. The epistle to the Athenians is still extant (p. 268-287), and has afforded much valuable information. It deserves the praises of the Abbe de la Bleterie (PreT. a l'Histoire de Jovien, p. 24, 25), and is one of the best manifestos to be found in any language.
"Respect, we beseech you, the author of your own fortune".40 An artful expression, which, according to the chance of war, might be differently explained; as a manly reproof of the ingratitude of the usurper, or as a flattering confession that a single act of such benefit to the state ought to atone for all the failings of Constantius. Hostile The intelligence of the march and rapid progress of Julian
was speedily transmitted to his rival, who, by the retreat or Sapor, had obtained some respite from the Persian war. Disguising the anguish of his soul under the semblance of contempt, Constantius professed his intention of returning into Europe, and of giving chase to Julian; for he never spoke of this military expedition in any other light than that of a hunting party.41 In the camp of Hierapolis, in Syria, he communicated this design to his army, slightly mentioned the guilt and rashness of the Caesar, and ventured to assure them that, if the mutineers of Gaul presumed to meet them in the field, they would be unable to sustain the fire of their eyes and the irresistible weight of their shout of onset. The speech of the emperor was received with military applause, and Theodotus, the president of the council of Hierapolis, requested, with tears of adulation, that his city might be adorned with the head of the vanquished rebel.42 A chosen detachment was dispatched away in postwaggons, to secure, if it were yet possible, the pass of Succi; the recruits, the horses, the arms, and the magazines which had been prepared against Sapor, were appropriated to the service of the civil war; and the domestic victories of Constantius inspired his partisans with the most sanguine assurances of success. The notary Gaudentius had occupied in his name the provinces of Africa; the subsistence of Rome was intercepted; and the distress of Julian was increased by an unexpected event which might have been productive of fatal consequences. Julian had received the submission of two legions and a cohort of archers, who were stationed at Sirmium; but he suspected, with reason, the fidelity of those troops, which had been dis
40 Auctori iuo reverentiam rogamus. Ammian. xxi. Io. It is amusing enough to observe the secret conflicts of the senate between flattery and fear. See Tacit. Hist L 85.
41 Tanquam venaticiam prcedam capcret: hoc enim ad leniendum suorum metum subinde prasdicabai. Ammian. xxi. 7.
42 See the speech and preparations in Ammianus, xxi. 13. The vile Theodotus afterwards implored and obtained his pardon from the merciful conqueror, who signified his wish of diminishing his enemies, and increasing the number of his friends (xxii. 14).
tinguished by the emperor; and it was thought expedient, under the pretence of the exposed state of the Gallic frontier, to dismiss them from the most important scene of action. They advanced, with reluctance, as far as the confines of Italy; but, as they dreaded the length of the way and the savage fierceness of the Germans, they resolved, by the instigation of one of their tribunes, to halt at Aquileia, and to erect the banners of Constantius on the walls of that impregnable city. The vigilance of Julian perceived at once the extent of the mischief and the necessity of applying an immediate remedy. By his order, Jovinus led back a part of the army into Italy; and the siege of Aquileia was formed with diligence and prosecuted with vigour. But the legionaries, who seemed to have rejected the yoke of discipline, conducted the defence of the place with skill and perseverance; invited the rest of Italy to imitate the example of their courage and loyalty; and threatened the retreat of Julian, if he should be forced to yield to the superior numbers of the arms of the East48
But the humanity of Julian was preservea from the cruel and author alternative, which he pathetically laments, of destroying or of Aie'm, being himself destroyed: and the seasonable death of Constantius delivered the Roman empire from the calamities of civil war. The approach of winter could not detain the monarch at Antioch; and his favourites durst not oppose his impatient desire of revenge. A slight fever, which was perhaps occasioned by the agitation of his spirits, was increased by the fatigues of the journey; and Constantius was obliged to halt at the little town of Mopsucrene, twelve miles beyond Tarsus, where he expired, after a short illness, in the forty-fifth year of his age, and the twenty-fourth of his reign.44 His genuine character, which was
43 Amminn. xxi. 7. it, 12. He seems to describe, with superfluous labour, the operations of the siege of Aquileia, which, on this occasion, maintained its impregnable fame. Gregory Nazianzen (Oral. iii. p. 68 [iv. c. 48]) ascribes this accidental revolt to the wisdom of Constantius, whose assured victory he announces with some appearance of truth. Constantio quern credebat procul dubio fore victorem: nemo enim omnium tunc ab hac constanti sententia discrepabat. Ammian. xxi. 7.
<* His death and character are faithfully delineated by Ammianus (xxi. 14, 15, 16); and we are authorized to despise and detest the foolish calumny of Gregory iOrat. iii. p. 68), who accuses Julian of contriving the death of his benefactor. The private repentance of the emperor that he had spared and promoted Julian (p 69, and Orat. xxi. p. 389) is not improbable in itself, nor incompatible with the public verbal testament which prudential considerations might dictate in the last moments of his life. [Our text of Ammianus gives 5th Oct. as date of death of Constantius, cp. Ranke. Weltgeschichte, iv. 102. Idatius and Socrates give 3rd Nov. See Bilttner Wobst, der Tod dti K. Julians (Philologus, 52, p. 561), who points out that the astronomical datum of the oracle in Amm. 21, 2, 2 agrees neither with 5th Oct. nor 3rd Nov. but is rather nearer the latter.]