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the name of the Anicians was unknown; they appear to have derived their origin from Praeneste; and the ambition of those new citizens was long satisfied with the Plebeian honors of tribunes of the people.” One hundred and sixtyeight years before the Christian aera, the family was ennobled by the Praetorship of Anicius, who gloriously terminated the Illyrian war, by the conquest of the nation, and the captivity of their king.” From the triumph of that general, three consulships, in distant periods, mark the succession of the Anician name.” From the reign of Diocletian to the final extinction of the Western empire, that name shone with a lustre which was not eclipsed, in the public estimation, by the majesty of the Imperial purple." The several branches, to whom it was communicated, united, by marriage or inheritance, the wealth and titles of the Annian, the Petronian, and the Olybrian houses; and in each generation the number of consulships was multiplied by an hereditary claim.” The Anician family excelled in faith and in riches: they were the first of the Roman senate who embraced Christianity; and it is probable that Anicius Julian, who was afterwards consul and praefect of the city, atoned for his attachment to the party of Maxentius, by the readiness with which he accepted the religion of Constantine.” Their ample patrimony was increased by the industry of Probus, the chief of the Anician family; who shared with Gratian the honors of the consulship, and exercised, four times, the high office of Praetorian praefect.” His immense estates were scattered over the wide extent of the Roman world; and though the public might suspect or disapprove the methods by which they had been acquired, the generosity and magnificence of that fortunate statesman deserved the gratitude of his clients and the admiration of strangers.” Such was the respect entertained for his memory, that the two sons of Probus, in their earliest youth, and at the request of the senate, were associated in the consular dignity; a memorable distinction, without example, in the annals of Rome.” “The marbles of the Anician palace,” were used as a proverbial expression of opulence and splendor;” but the nobles and senators of Rome aspired, in due gradation, to imitate that illustrious family. The accurate description of the city, which was composed in the Theodosian age, enumerates one thousand seven hundred and eighty houses, the residence of wealthy and honorable citizens.” Many of these stately mansions might almost excuse the exaggeration of the poet; that Rome contained a multitude of palaces, and that each palace was equal to a city: since it included within its own precincts everything which could be subservient either to use or luxury; markets, hippodromes, temples, fountains, baths, porticos, shady groves, and artificial aviaries.” The historian Olympiodorus, who represents the state of Rome when it was besieged by the Goths,” continues to observe, that several of the richest senators received from their estates an annual income of four thousand 20 Probus . . . . claritudine generis et potentifi et opum magnitudine, cognitus Orbi Romano, per quem universum, poeme patrimonia sparsa possedit, iuste an secus nonjudicioli est nostii. Ammian. Marcellin. xxvii. 11. His children and widow erected for him a magnificent tomb in the Vatican, which was demolished in the time of Pope Nicholas V. to make room, for the new church of St. Peter. pounds of gold, above one hundred, and sixty thousand pounds sterling; without computing the stated provision of corn and wine, which, had they been sold, might have equalled in value one-third of the money. Compared to this immoderate wealth, an ordinary revenue of a thousand or fifteen hundred pounds of gold might be considered as no more than adequate to the dignity of the senatorian rank, which required many expenses of a public and ostentatious kind. Several examples are recorded, in the age of Honorius, of vain and popular nobles, who celebrated the year of their praetorship by a festival, which lasted seven days, and cost above one hundred thousand pounds sterling.” The estates of the Roman senators, which so far exceeded the proportion of modern wealth, were not confined to the limits of Italy. Their possessions extended far beyond the Ionian and Ægean Seas, to the most distant provinces: the city of Nicopolis, which Augustus had founded as an eternal monument of the Actian victory, was the property of the devout Paula;” and it is observed by Seneca, that the rivers, which had divided hostile nations, now flowed through the lands of private citizens.” According to their temper and circumstances, the estates of the Romans were either cultivated by the labor of their slaves, or granted, for a certain and stipulated rent, to the industrious farmer. The economical writers of antiquity strenuously recommend the former method, wherever it may be practicable; but if the object should be removed, by its distance or magnitude, from the immediate eye of the master, they prefer the active care of an old hereditary tenant, attached to the soil, and interested in the produce, to the mercenary administration of a negligent, perhaps an unfaithful, steward.” The opulent nobles of an immense capital, who were never excited by the pursuit of military glory, and seldom engaged in the occupations of civil government, naturally resigned their leisure to the business and amusements of private life. At Romé, commerce was always held in contempt : but the senators, from the first age of the republic, increased their patrimony, and multiplied their clients, by the lucrative practice of usury; and the obsolete laws were eluded, or violated, by the mutual inclinations and interest of both parties.” A considerable mass of treasure must always have existed at Rome, cither in the current coin of the empire, or in the form of gold and silver plate; and there were many sideboards in the time of Pliny which contained more solid silver, than had been transported by Scipio from vanquished Carthage.” The greater part of the nobles, who dissipated their fortunes in profuse luxury, found themselves poor in the midst of wealth, and idle in a constant round of dissipation. Their desires were continually gratified by the labor of a thousand hands; of the numerous train of their domestic slaves, who were actuated by the fear of punishment; and of the various professions of artificers and merchants, who were more powerfully impelled by the hopes of gain. The ancients were destitute of many of the conveniences of life, which have been invented or improved by the progress of industry; and the plenty of glass and linen has diffused more real comforts among the modern nations of Europe, than the senators of Rome could derive from all the refinements of pompous or sensual luxury.” Their luxury, and their manners, have been the subject of minute and laborious disquisition: but as such inquiries would divert me too long from the design of the present work, I shall produce an authentic state of Rome and its inhabitants, which is more peculiarly applicable to the period of the Gothic invasion. Ammianus Marcellinus, who prudently chose the capital of the empire as the residence the best adapted to the historian of his own times, has mixed with the narrative of public events a lively representation of the scenes with which he was familiarly conversant. The judicious reader will not always approve of the asperity of censure, the choice of circumstances, or the style of expression; he will perhaps detect the latent prejudices, and personal resentments, which soured the temper of Ammianus himself; but he will surely observe, with philosophic curiosity, the interesting and original picture of the manners of Rome.” “The greatness of Rome”—such is the language of the historian—“ was founded on the rare, and almost incredible, alliance of virtue and of fortune. The long period of her infancy was employed in a laborious struggle against the tribes of Italy, the neighbors and enemies of the rising city. In the strength and ardor of youth, she sustained the storms of war; carried her victorious arms beyond the seas and the mountains; and brought home triumphal laurels from every country of the globe. At length, verging towards old age, and sometimes conquering by the terror only of her name, she sought the blessings of ease and tranquillity. The von ERABLE city, which had trampled on the necks of the fiercest nations, and established a system of laws, the perpetual guardians of justice and freedom, was content, like a wise and wealthy parent, to devolve on the Caesars, her favorite sons, the care of governing her ample patrimony.” A secure and profound peace, such as had been once onjoyed in the reign of Numa, succeeded to the tumults of a
critics; but they all agree, that whatever may be the true reading, the sense of Claudian can be applied only to the Anician family. 14 The earliest date in the annals of Pighius, is that of M. Anicius Gallus Trib. Pl. A. U.C. 506. Another tribune, Q. Anicius, A. U. C. 508, is distinguishe by the epithet of Praenestinus. Livy (xlv. 43) places the Anicii below the great families of Rome. 15 Livv. xliv. 30, 31, xlv. 3, 26, 43. He fairly appreciates the merit of Anicius, and justly observes that his fame was clouded by the superior lustre of the Macedonian, which preceded the Illyrian, triumph. 16 The dates of the three consulships are, A. U. C. 593, 818, 967; the two last under the reigns of Nero and Caracalla. The second of these consuls distinguished himself only by his infamous flattery (Tacit. Annal. xy. 74); but even the evidence of crimes, if they bear the stamp of greatness and antiquity, is admitted, without reluctance, to prove the genealogy of a noble house. 17In the sixth century, the nobility of the Anician name is mentioned (Cassiodor. Variar. 1.x. Ep. 10, 12) with singular respect by the minister of a Gothic king of Italy. I —— Fixus in omnes Cognatos procedit honos: quemcumque requiras Häc de stirpe virum, certum est de Consule nasci. Per fasces numerantur Avi, semperdue renata Nobilitate virent, et prolem fata sequuntur. (Claudian in Prob. et. Olyb. Consulat. 12, &c.) The Annii, whose name seems to have merged in the Anician, mark the Fasti with many consulships, from the time of Vespasian to the fourth century. 19 The title of first Christian senator may be justified by the authority of Prudentius (in Symmach. i. 553) and the dislike of the Pagans to the Anician family. See Tillemont, Hist, des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 183, v. p. 44. Baron. Annal. A. D 212, No. 78, A. D. 322, No. 2.
Baronius, who laments the ruin of this Christian monument, has diligently preserved the inscriptions and basso-relievos. See Annal. Eccles. A. D. 395, No.
21 Two Persian satraps travelled to Milan and Rome, to hear St. Ambrose, and to see Probus (Paulin. in Vit. Ambros). Claudian (in Cons. Probin, et Olybr. 30 –60) seems at a loss how to express the glory of Probus. :3 see the poem which Claudian addressed to the two noble youths. 28 secundimus, the Manichaean, ap. Baron. Annal. Eccles. A. D. 390, No. 34. 24 See Nardini, Roma Antica, p. 89, 498, 500.
25 Quid loquarinclusas inter laquearia sylvas;
The poet lived at the time of the Gothic invasion. A moderate palace would
* The sons of Alypius, of Symmachus, and of Maximus, spent, during their respective praetorships, twelve, or twenty, or forty, centenaries (or hundred weight of gold). See Olympiodor. ap. Phot, p. 197. This popular estimation allows some latitude ; but it is difficult to explain a law in the Theodosian Code (l. vi. leg. 5), which fixes the expense of the first praetor at 25,000, of the second at 20,000, and of the third at 15,000 folles. The name of follis (see Mem. de l'Aca: démie des Inocriptions, tom. xxviii. p. 727) was equally applied to a purse of 125 pieces of silver, and to a small copper coin of the value of go's part of that purse. In the former sense, the 25,000 folles would be equal to ijo,000l., in the latter, to sive or six pounds sterling. The one appears extravagant, the other is ridiculous. There must have existed some third and middle value, which is here understood; but ambiguity is an excusable fault in the language of laws.
* Nicopolis . . . . . . in Actiaco littore sita possessionis vestrae nume pars vel maxima est. Jerom. in praefat. Comment. ad Epistol. ad Titum, tom. ix. p. 243. M. D. Tillemont supposés, strangely enough, that it was part of Agamemnon's inheritance. Mém. Eccles. tom. xii. p. 85.
* Seneca, Epist. lxxxix. His language is of the declamatory kind, but declamation could scarcely exaggerate the avarice and luxury of the Romans. The philosopher himself deserves some share of the reproach, if it be true that his §o exaction of Quadringenties, above three hundred thousand pounds which he had lent at high interest, provoked a rebellion in Britain (Dion Cassius 1. lxii. p. 1003.). According to the conjecture of Gale (Antoninus's Itinerary in Britain, p. 92), the same Fäustimus possessed an estate near Bury, in Suffolk, and auðtlier in the kingdom of Naples. -- -
80 Volusius, a wealthy senator (Tacit. Annal. iii. 30), always preferred tenants born on the estate. Columella, who received this maxim from him, argues very Holously on the subject. De Re Rustica, l. i. c. 7, p. 408, edit. Gesner. Leipsig,
* Walesius (ad Ammian. xiv. 6) has proved, from Chrysostom and Augustin, that the senators were not allowed to lend money at usury. Yet it appears from the Theodosian Code (see Godfroy ad l. ii. tit. xxxiii. tom. i. pn. 230-289), that they were permitted to take six per cent., or one-half of the legal interest; and, what is more singular, this mermission was granted to the young senators.
82 Plin. Hist. Natur. xxxiii. 50. He states the silver at only 4380 pounds, which is increased by Livy (xxx. 45) to 100,023: the former seems too little for an opulent city, the latter too much for an orivate sideboard.
83 The learned Arbuthnot (Tables of Ancient Coins, &c., p. 153) has observed with humor, and I believe with truth, that Augustus had neither glass to his windows nor a shirt to his back. Under the lower empire, the use of linen and glass became somewhat more common.*
* The discovery of glass in such common use at Pompeii, spoils the jest of Arbuthnot. See Sir W. Gell. Pompeiana, 2d scr. p. 98.-M.
84 It is incumbent on me to explain the liberties which I have taken with the text of Ammianus. i. I have melted down into one piece the sixth chapter of the fourteenth and the fourth of the twenty-eighth book: . 2. I have give”.9. der and connection to the confused mass of materials. 3. I have softened some of travagant hyperboles, and pared away some sunerfluities of the original. 4. I have developed some observations which were insinuated rather than expro wo these allowances, my version will be found, not literal indeed, but faithful and exact. 35 Claudian, who seems to have read the history of Ammianus, speaks of this great revolution in a much less courtly style :-Postguam jura ferox in se communia Caesar Transtulit. : et lapsi mores: des notaque Triscis Artibus, on gremium pacis Servile recessi. De Bel. Gildonico, p. 49.