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Aëtius had not saved the Western Romans from the com. mon ignominy of tribute. Yet his dexterous policy prolonged the advantages of a salutary peace; and a numerous army of Huns and Alani, whom he had attached to his person, was employed in the defence of Gaul. Two colonies of these Barbarians were judiciously fixed in the territories of Valence and Orleans;” and their active cavalry secured the important passages of the IRhone and of the Loire. These savage allies were not indeed less formidable to the subjects than to the enemies of Rome. Their original settlement was enforced with the licentious violence of conquest; and the province through which they marched was exposed to all the calamities of a hostile invasion." Strangers to the emperor or the republic, the Alani of Gaul were devoted to the ambition of Aëtius; and though he might suspect, that, in a contest with Attila himself, they would revolt to the standard of their national king, the patrician labored to restrain, rather than to excite, their zeal and resentment against the Goths, the Burgundians, and the Franks. The kingdom established by the Visigoths in the southern provinces of Gaul, had gradually acquired strength and maturity; and the conduct of those anbitious Barbarians, either in peace or war, engaged the perpetual vigilance of Aëtius. After the death of Wallia, the Gothic sceptre devolved to Theodoric, the son of the great Alaric;" and his prosperous reign of more than thirty years, over a turbulent
s Deserta Valentinae urbis rura Alanis partienda trailuntur. Prosper. Tyronis Chron in Historiens de l’rance, tons. i. p. 639. A few lines afterwards, Prosper obseves, that lands in the ulterior Gaul were assi med to the Alani. Without admit ing the correction of Dulos (‘om. i., p. 300), the reasonable supposition of iro colonies or garrisons of Alani, will confirm his arguments, and remove his objections. - - -
9 See Prosper. Tyro, p. 630. Sidonius (Panegyr. Avit. 246) complains in the name of Auvergne, his native country,
Litorius Scythicos equites tune forte subacto
Another poet, Paulinus of Perigord, confirms the complaint :—
y ferre queas, qui durior hoste.
10 Theodoric II., the son of Theodoric I., declares to Avitus his resolution of repairing, or expiating, the faults which his grandfather had committed,—
Quae noster peccavitavus, quem fuscat id unum,
od te, Roma, capit-
This chapter, applicable only to the great Alaric, establishes the genealogy of the Gothic kings, which has hitherto been unnoticed.
people, may be allowed to prove, that his prudence was sup. ported by uncommon vigor, both of mind and body. Im. patient of his narrow limits, Theodoric aspired to the possession of Arles, the wealthy seat of government and commerce; but the city was saved by the timely approach of Aëtius; and the Gothic king, who had raised the siege with some loss and disgrace, was persuaded, for an adequate subsidy, to divert the martial valor of his subjects in a Spanish war. Yet Theodoric still watched, and eagerly seized, the favorable moment of renewing his hostile attempts. The Goths besieged Narbonne, while the 13elgian provinces were invaded by the Burgundians; and the public safety was threatened on every side by the apparent union of the enemies of IRome. On every side, the activity of Aëtius, and his Scythian cavalry, opposed a firm and successful resistance. Twenty thousand Burgundians were slain in battle; and the remains of the nation humbly accepted a dependent seat in the mountains of Savoy.” The walls of Narbonne had been shaken by the battering engines, and the inhabitants had endured the last extremities of famine, when Count Litorius, approaching in silence, and directing each horseman to carry behind him two sacks of flour, cut his way through the intrenchments of the besiegers. The siege was immediately raised; and the more decisive victory, which is ascribed to the personal conduct of Aëtius himself, was marked with the blood of eight thousand Goths. Dut in the absence of the patrician, who was hastily summoned to Italy by some public or private interest, Count Litorius succeeded to the command : and his presumption soon discovered that far different talents are required to lead a wing of cavalry, or to direct the operations of an important war. At the head of an army of Huns, he rashly advanced to the gates of Toulouse, full of careless contempt for an enemy whom his misfortunes had rendered prudent, and his situation made desperate. The predictions of the augurs had inspired Litorius with the profane confidence that he should enter the Gothic capital in triumph; and the trust which he reposed in his Pagan allies, encouraged him to reject the fair conditions of peace, which were repeatedly proposed by the bishops in the name of Theodoric. The king of the Goths exhibited in his distress the edifying contrast of Christian piety and moderation; nor did he lay aside his sackcloth and ashes till he was prepared to arm for the combat. His soldiers, animated with martial and religious enthusiasm, assaulted the camp of Litorius. The conflict was obstinate; the slaughter was mutual. The Roman general, after a to: tal defeat, which could be imputed only to his unskilful rashness, was actually led through the streets of Toulouse, not in his own, but in a hostile triumph; and the misery which he experienced, in a long and ignominious captivity, excited the compassion of the Barbarians themselves.” Such a loss, in a country whose finances were long since exhausted, could not easily be repaired; and the Goths, assuming, in their turn, the sentiments of ambition and revenge, would have planted their victorious standards on the banks of the Ithone, if the presence of Aëtius had not restored strength and discipline to the Romans.” The two armies expected the signal of a decisive action: but the generals, who were conscious of each other's force, and doubtful of their own superiority, prudently sheathed their swords in the field of battle; and their reconciliation was permanent and sincere. Theodoric, king of the Visigoths, appears to have deserved the love of his subjects, the confidence of his allies, and the esteem of mankind. His throne was surrounded by six valiant sons, who were educated with equal care in the exer. cises of the Barbarian camp, and in those of the Gallic schools: from the study of the Roman jurisprudence, they acquired the theory, at least, of law and justice; and the harmonious sense of Virgil contributed to soften the asperity of their native manners.” The two daughters of the Gothic king were given in marriage to the clácst sons of the kings of the Suevi and of the Vandals, who reigned in Spain and Africa: but these illustrious alliances were preg. nant with guilt and discord. The queen of the Suevi bewailed the death of a husband inhumanly massacred by hel brother. The princess of the Vandals was the victim of a jealous tyrant, whom she called her father. The cruel Genseric suspected that his son's wife had conspired to poison him ; the supposed crime was punished by the amputation of her nose and ears; and the unhappy daughter of Theodoric was ignominiously returned to the court of Toulouse in that deformed and mutilated condition. This horrid act, which must seem incredible to a civilized age, drew tears from every spectator; but Theodoric was urged, by the feelings of a parent and a king, to revenge such irreparable injuries. The Imperial ministers, who always cherished the discord of the Barbarians, would have supplied the Goths with arms, and ships, and treasures, for the African war; and the cruelty of Genseric might have been fatal to himself, if the artful Vandal had not armed, in his cause, the formidable power of the Huns., . His rich gifts and pressing solicitations inflamed the ambition of Attila; and the designs of Aëtius and Theodoric were prevented by the invasion of Gaul.” The Franks, whose monarchy was still confined to the neighborhood of the Lower Rhine, had wisely established the right of hereditary succession in the noble family of the Merovingians." These princes were elevated on a buckler, the symbol of military command ; " and the royal fashion of long hair was the ensign of their birth and dignity. Their flaxen locks, which they combed and dressed with singular care, hung down in flowing ringlets on their back and shoulders; while the rest of the nation were obliged, either by law or custom, to shave the hinder part of their head, to comb their hair over the forehead, and to content themselves with the ornament of two small whiskers.” The lofty stature of the Franks, and their blue eyes, denoted a Germanic origin ; their close apparel accurately expressed the figure of their limbs; a weighty sword was suspended from a broad belt; their bodies were protected by a large shield; and these warlike Barbarians were trained, from their earliest youth, to run, to leap, to swim ; to dart the javelin, or battle-axe, with unerring aim ; to advance, without hesitation, against a superior enemy; and to maintain, either in life or death, the invincible reputation of their ancestors.” Clodion, the first of their long-haired kings, whose name and actions are mentioned in authentic history, held his residence at Dispargum,” a village, or fortress, whose place may be assigned between Louvain and Brussels. From the report of his spies, the king of the Franks was informed, that the defenceless state of the second Belgic must #". on the slightest attack, to the valor of his subjects. He boldly penetrated through the thickets and morasses o' the Carbonarian forest; * occupied Tournay and Cambray, the only cities which existed in the fifth century, and extended his conquests as far as the IRiver Somme, over a desolate country, whose cultivation and populousness are the effects of more recent industry.” While Clodion lay encamped in the plains of Artois,” and celebrated, with vain 13 Caesaries prolixa “* * crinium flagellis per terga dimissis, &c. See the Pref. ace to the third volume of the Historians of France, and the Abbé Le Boeuf (Dissertat. tom, iii. pp. 47–79). This peculiar fashion of the Merovingians has been remarked by matives and strangers; by Priscus (tom. i. p. 60s), by Agathias (tom. ii. p. 49), and by Gregory of Tours (l. viii. 18, vi. 24, viii. 10, tom. ii. pp. 196, 278, 316). i. See an original picture of the figure, dress, arms, and temper of the ancient Franks, in Sidonius Apollinaris (Panegyr. Majorian. 238–254); and such pictures, though coarsely drawn, have a real and intrinsic value. Father Daniel (History de la Milice Françoise, tom. i. pp. 2–7) has illustrated the description. 2) I)ubos, Hist. Critique, &c., tom. i. pp. 271, 272. Some geographers have placed Dispargum on the German side of the Rhine. See a note of the Benedictitle Editors, to the Historians of France, tom. ii. p. 166. 21 The Carbonarian wood was that part of the great forest of the Ardennes which lay between the Escaut, or Scheldt, and the Meuse. Wales. Notit. Gall. p. 126. * Gregor. Turon. l. ii. c. 9, in tom. ii. pp. 166, 167. Fredegar. Epitom. c. 9, p. 395. Gesta Reg. Francor. c. 5, in tom. ii. p. 544. Wit. St. Remig. ab Hincmar, in tom. iii. p. 373. 23
11 The name of Sapaudia, the origin of Savoy, is first mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus; and two military posts are ascertained by the Noticia, within the limits of that province ; a cohort, was stationed at Grenoble in Dauphiné; and Ebredunum, or Iverdun, sheltered a fleet of small vessels, which commanded the Lake of Neufchâtel. , See Walesius, Notit. Galliarum, p. 503. D'Anville, Notice de l'Ancienne Gaule, pp. 284, 579.
to Salvian has attempted to explain the moral government of the Deity; a task which may be readily performed by supposing, that the calamities of the wicked are Judgments, and those of the righteous trials. - —— Capto terrarum damna patebant Litorio, in Rhodanum proprios producere fines, Theudoridae fixum ; mec erat pugnare necesse, Sed migrare Getis ; rabidam trux asperat iram Victor : quod sensit Scythicum sub moelhibus hostem Imputat, et millil est g avius, si fol sitan unquam Vincere contingat, trepido. Panegyr. A vit. 300, &c. Sidonius then proceeds, according to the duty of a panegyrist, to transfer the whole merit from Aëtius to his minister Avitus. oTheodoric II. revered, in the person of Avitus, the character of his preceptor. - Mihi Romula durdum Per te jura placent; paryumgue ediscere jussit A d tua verba pater, docili quo prisea Maron is Carmine molliret Scythicos nihi pagina mores. - Sidon. Panegyr. Avit. 495, &c.
15 Our authorities for the reign of Theodoric I. are, Jornandes de Rebus Geticis, c. 34, 36, and the Chronicles of Idatius, and the two Prospers, inserted in the Historians of France, tom. i. pp. 612–640. To these we may add Salvian de go” Dei, l. vii. pp. 243, 244, 245, and the panegyric of Avitus, by 10101llus,
13 Reges Crimitos se creavisse de primâ, et ut, ita, dicam, nobiliori suorum familiá (Greg. Turon. l. ii. c. 9, p. 166, of the second volume of the Historians of France). Gregory him elf does not mention the Merovingian name, which may be traced, however, to the beginning of the seventh century, as the distinctive appellation of the royal family, and even of the French monarchy: An ingeniótis critic has deduced the Merovingians from the great Marobóduus; and he has clearly proved, that the prince, who gave his name to the first race, was more ancient than the father of Childeric. See Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions, tom. xx. pp. 52-90, tom. xxx. pp. 557-587.
17 This German custom, which may be traced from Tacitus to Gregory of Tours, was at length adopted by the emperors of Constantinople. From a MS. of the tenth century, Montfaucon has delineated the representation of a similar ceremony, which the ignorance of the age had applied to King David. See Monumens de la Monarchie Françoise, tom. i. Discours Preliminaire.
Francus quá Cloio patentes
The precise spot was a town or village, called Vicus Helena; and both the name and the place are discovered by modern eographers at Lens. See Wales. Notit, Gall. p. 246. Longuerue, Description de la France, tom. ii. p. 88.