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troops, were defeated with considerable loss; the victorious Barbarians insulted the open country; and Carthage, Cirta, and Hippo Regius, were the only cities that appeared to rise above the general inundation.
The long and narrow tract of the African coast was filled with frequent monuments of Roman art and magnificence; and the respective degrees of improvement might be accurately measured by the distance from Carthage and the Mediterranean. A simple reflection will impress every thinking mind with the clearest idea of fertility and cultiva. tion; the country was extremely populous; the inhabitants reserved a liberal subsistence for their own use; and the an: nual exportation, pårticularly of wheat, was so regular and plentiful, that Africa deserved the name of the common granary of Rome and of mankind. On a sudden the seven fruitfui provinces, from Tangier to Tripoli, were overwhelmed by the invasion of the Vandals; whose destructive rage has perhaps been exaggerated by popular animosity, religious zeal, and extravagant declamation. War, in its fairest form, implies a perpetual violation of humanity and justice; and the hostilities of Barbarians are inflamed by the fierce and lawless spirit which incessantly disturbs their peaceful and domestic society. The Vandals, where they found resistance, seldom gave quarter; and the deaths of their valiant countrymen were expiated by the ruin of the cities under whose walls they had fallen. Careless of the distinctions of age, or sex, or rank, they employed every species of indignity and torture, to force from the captives a discovery of their hidden wealth. The stern policy of Genseric justified his frequent examples of military execution; he was not always the master of his own passions, or of those of his followers; and the calamities of war were aggravated by the licentiousness of the Moors, and the fanaticism of the Donatists. Yet I shall not easily be persuaded, that it was the common practice of the Vandals to extirpaté the olives, and other fruit trees, of a country where they intended to settle ; nor can I believe that it was a usual stratagem to slaughter great numbers of their prisoners before the walls of a besieged city, for the sole purpose of infecting the air, and producing a pestilence, of which they themselves must have been the first victims.25
25 The original complaints of the desolation of Africa are containel, 1. In a letter from Capreolus, bishop of Carthage, to excuse his absence from the council of Ephesus (ap Ruinart, p. 427). 2. In the life of St. Augustin by his friend and collega: Possidius (ap. Ruinart, p. 427). 3. In the llistory of the Vandalio
The generous mind of Count Boniface was tortured by the exquisite distress of beholding the ruin which he had occasioned, and whose rapid progress he was unable to check. After the loss of a battle, he retired into Hippo Regius, where he was immediately besieged by an enemy, who considered him as the real bulwark of Africa. The maritime colony of Hippo,24 about two hundred miles westward of Carthage, had formerly acquired the distinguished cpithet of Regius, from the residence of Numidian kings; and some remains of trade and populousness still adhere to the modern city, which is known in Europe by the corrupted name of Bona. The military labors, and anxious reflections, of Count Boniface, were alleviated by the edifying conversation of his friend St. Augustin ; 27 till that bishop, the light and pillar of the Catholic church, was gently released, in the third month of the siege, and in the seventysixth year of his age, from the actual and the impending calamities of his country. youth of Augustin had been stained by the vices and errors which he so ingenuously confesses; but from the moment of his conversion to that of his death, the manners of the bishop of Hippo were pure and austere; and the most conspicuous of his virtues was an ardent zeal against heretics of every denomination ; the Manichæans, the Donatists, and the Pelagians, against whom he waged a perpetual controversy. When the city, some months after his death, was burnt by the Vandals, the library was fortunately saved, which contained his volumi. nous writings; two hundred and thirty-two separate books or treatises on theological subjects, besides a complete exposition of the psalter and the gospel, and a copious magazine of epistles and homilies.28 According to the judgment Persecution, by Victor Vitensis (1. i. c. 1, 2, 3, edit. Ruinart). The last picture, which was drawn sixty years after the event, is more expressive of the author's passions than of the truth of facts.
26 See Cellarius, Geograph. Antiq. tom.ii. part ii. p. 112. Leo African. in Ramusio, tom. i. fol. 70. L'Afrique de Marmol, tom. ii. j'p. 434, 437. Shaw's Travels, pp. 46, 47. The old Hippo Regius was finally destroyed by the Arabs in the seva enth century; but a new town, at the distance of two miles, was built with the materials ; and it contained, in the sixteenth century, about three hundred families of industrious, but turbulent, manufacturers. The auljacent territory is renowned for a pure air, a fertile soil, and plenty of exquisite fruits.
27 The life of St. Augustin, by Tillemont, fills a quarto volume (Mém. Eccles. tom. xiii.) of more than one thousand pages; and tho diligence of that learned Jansenist was excited, on this occasion, by factious and devout zeal for the
28 Such, at least, is the account of Victor Vitensis (de Persecut. Vandal. 1. i. c. 3); though Gennadius seems to doubt whe' her any person had read, or even collecter, all the works of St. Augustin (see llieronym. Opera, tom. i. p. 319, in Cat. alog. Scriptor. Eccles)... They have been repeatedlly printed ; and Dupin (Bibli. othèque Eccles. tom. iii. pp. 158-257) has given a large and satisfactory abstract of them as they stand in the last edition of the Benedictines. My personal ac
founder of his sect.
of the most impartial critics, the superficial learning of Au gustin was confined to the Latin language; 29 and his style, though sometimes animated by the eloquence of passion, is usually clouded by false and affected rhetoric. But he possessed a strong, capacious, argumentative mind; he boldly. sounded the dark abyss of grace, predestination, free will, and original sin ; and the rigid system of Christianity which he framed or restored, 0 has been entertained, with public applause, and secret reluctance, by the Latin church.3
By the skill of Boniface, and perhaps by the ignorance of the Vandals, the siege of Hippo was protracted above fourteen months; the sea was continually open ; and when the adjacent country had been exhausted by irregular rapine, the besiegers themselves were compelled by famine to relinquish their enterprise. The importance and danger of Africa were deeply felt by the regent of the West. Placidia implored the assistance of her eastern ally: and the Italian feet and army were reënforced by Aspar, who sailed from Constantinople with a powerful armament. As soon as the force of the two empires was united under the command of Boniface, he boldly marched against the Vandals; and the loss of a second battle irretrievably decided the fate of Africa. He embarked with the precipitation of despair; and the people of Hippo were permitted, with their families and effects, to occupy the vacant place of the soldiers, the greatest part of whom were either slain or made prisoners by the Vandals. The count, whose fatal credulity had wounded the vitals of the republic, might en. ter the palace of Ravenna with some anxiety, which was soon removed by the smiles of Placidia. Boniface accepted with gratitudle the rank of patrician, and the dignity of quaintance with the bishop of Hippo does not extend beyond the Confessions and the City of God.
29 In his early youth (Confes. i. 14) St. Augustin disliked and neglected the study of Greek; and he frankly owns that lie read the Platonists in a Latin version (Confes. vii. 9). Some modern critics have thought, that his ignorance of Greek dis qualified him from expounding the Scriptures; and Cicero or Quintilian woulil have required the knowledge of that language in a profe sor of rhetoric.
30 These questions were seldom agita:ed, from the time of St. Paul to that of St. Augustil I am informed that the Greek fathers maintain the natural sentiments of the Semi-Pelagians; and that the orthodoxy of St. Augustin was de. rived from the Manichæan school.
31 The church of Rome has canonized Auglistin, and reprobateil Calvin. Yet as the real difference between them is invisible even to a theological microscope, the Molinists are oppressed by the authority of the saint, and the Jansenists are disgraced by their resemblance to the heretic. In the mean while, the Protestant Arminians stand aloof, and deride the mutual perplexity of the lisputants (see a curious Review of the Controversy, by Le Clerc, Bibliothèque Universelle (tom. xiv. pp. 141-398). Perhaps a reasoner still more independent may smile în his turn, when he peruses an Aiminian Commeutary on the Epistle to the Romans.
master-general of the Roman armies; but he must have blushed at the sight of those medals, in which he was represented with the name and attributes of victory.8
The discovery of his fraud, the displeasure of the empress, and the distinguished favor of his rival, exasperated the haughty and perfidious soul of Aëtius. He hastily returned from Gaul to Italy, with a retinue, or rather with an army, of Barbarian followers; and such was the weakness of the government, that the two generals decided their private quarrels in a bloody battle. Boniface was successful; but he received in the conflict a mortal wound from the spear of his adversary, of which he expired within a few days, in such Christian and charitable sentiments, that he exhorted his wife, a rich heiress of Spain, to accept Aëtius for her second husband. But Aëtius could not derive any immediate advantage from the generosity of his dying enemy; he was proclaimed a rebel by the justice of Placidia; and though he attempted to defend some strong fortresses, erected on his patrimonial estate, the Imperial power soon compelled him to retire into Pannonia, to the tents of his faithful Huns. The republic was deprived, by their mutual discord, of the service of her two most illustrious champions.33
It might naturally be expected, after the retreat of Boniface, that the Vandals would achieve, without resistance or delay, the conquest of Africa. Eight years, however, elapsed, from the evacuation of Hippo to the reduction of Carthage. In the midst of that interval, the ambitious Genseric, in the full tide of apparent prosperity, negotiated a treaty of peace, by which he gave his son Hunneric for a hostage, and consented to leave the Western emperor in the undisturbed possession of the three Mauritanias.34 This
32 Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 67. On one side, the head of Valentinian ; on the reverse, Boniface, with a scourge in one land, and a palm in the other, standing in a triumphal car, which is drawn by four horses, or, in another medal, by four stags ; an unlucky emblem! I should doubt whether another example can be found of the head of a subject on the reverse of an Imperial medal.* See Science des Medailles, by the Père Jobert, tom. i. pp. 132–150, edit. of 1739, by the
33 Procopius (ile Bell. Vandal. 1. 1. c. 3, p.185) continues the history of Boniface no further than his return to Italy. His death is mentioned by Prosper and Marcellinus; the expression of the latter, that Aëtius, the day before, had provided himself with a longer spear, implies something like a regular duel.
34 See Procopius, de Bell. Vandal. 1. i. c. 4. p. 186. Valentinian published several humane laws, to relieve the distress of his Numidian and Mauritanian subjects; he discharged them, in a great measure, from the payment of their debts, reduced their tribute to one-eighth, and gave them a right of appeal from their provincial magistrates to the præfect of Rome. Cod. Theod. tom. vi. Novell. pp. 11, 12.
baron de la Bastie.
* Lord Manon, Life of Belisarius, p. 133, mentions one of Belisarius, on the authority of Cedrenus.-M.
moderation, which cannot be imputed to the justice, must be ascribed to the policy, of the conqueror. His throne was encompassed with domestic enemies, who accused the baseness of his birth, and asserted the legitimate claims of his nephews, the sons of Gonderic. Those nephews, indeed, he sacrificed to his safety; and their mother, the widow of the deceased king, was precipitated, by his order, into the River Ampsaga. But the public discontent burst forth in dangerous and frequent conspiracies; and the warlike tyrant is supposed to have shed more Vandal blood by the hand of the executioner, than in the field of battle.35 The convulsions of Africa, which had favored his attack, opposed the firm establishment of his power; and the various seditions of the Moors and Germans, the Donatists and Catholics, continually disturbed, or threatened, the unsettled reign of the conqueror. As he advanced towards Carthage, he was forced to withdraw his troops from the Western provinces; the sea-coast was exposed to the naval enterprises of the Romans of Spain and Italy; and, in the heart of Numidia, the strong inland city of Cirta still persisted in obstinate independence.36 These difficulties were gradually subdued by the spirit, the perseverance, and the cruelty of Genseric; who alternately applied the arts of peace and war to the establishment of his African kingdom. He subscribed a solemn treaty, with the hope of deriving some advantage from the term of its continuance, and the moment of its violation. The vigilance of his enemies was relaxed by his protestations of friendship, which concealed his hostile approach; and Carthage was at length surprised by the Vandals, five hundred and eighty-five years after the destruction of the city and republic by the younger Scipio.87
A new city had arisen from its ruins, with the title of a colony; and though Carthage might yield to the royal prerogatives of Constantinople, and perhaps to the trade of Alexandria, or the splendor of Antioch, she still maintained the second rank in the West; as the Rome (if we may use the style of contemporaries) of the African world. That wealthy and opulent metropolis 33 displayed, in a dependent
35 Victor Vitensis, de Persecut. Vandal. l. ii. c. 5, p. 26. The cruelties of Genseric towards his subjects are strongly expressed in Prosper's Chronicle,
36 Possidius, in Vit. Augustin. c. 28, apud Ruinart. p. 428.
37 See the Chronicles of Idatius, Isidore, Prosper, and Marcellinus. They mark the same year, but different days, for the surprisal of Carthage.
3. The picture of Carthage, as it flourished in the fourth and fifth centuries, is taken from the Expositio totius Mundi, pp. 17, 18, in the third volume of Húdson’s Minor Geographers, from Ausonius de Claris Urbibus, pp. 228, 229; and
A. D. 442.