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the Great ; from a succession of princes, who gradually fixed in the opinion of the Greeks a very humble standard of heroic, or at least of royal, perfection. Yet the temperate firmness with which Leo resisted the oppression of his benefactor, showed that he was conscious of his duty and of his prerogative. Aspar was astonished to find that his influence could no longer appoint a praefect of Constantinople: he presumed to reproach his sovereign with a breach of promise, and insolently shaking his purple, “It is not proper (said he), that the man who is invested with this garment, should be guilty of lying.” “Nor is it proper (replied Leo), that a prince should be compelled to resign his OW. In judgment, and the public interest, to the will of a subject.”" . After this extraordinary scene, it was impossible that the reconciliation of the emperor and the patrician could be sincere; or, at least, that it could be solid and permanent. An army of Isaurians" was secretly levied, and introduced into Constantinople; and while Leo undermined the authority, and prepared the disgrace, of the family of Aspar, his mild and cautious behavior restrained them from any rash and desperate attempts, which might have been fatal to themselves, or their enemies. The measures of peace and war were affected by this internal revolution. As long as Aspar degraded the majesty of the throne, the secret correspondence of religion and interest engaged him to favor the cause of Genseric. When Leo had delivered himself from that ignominious servitude, he listened to the complaints of the Italians; resolved to extirpate the tyranny of the Vandals; and declared his alliance with his colleague, Anthemius, whom he solemnly invested with the diadem and purple of the West. The virtues of Anthemius have perhaps been magnified, since the Imperial descent, which he could only deduce from the usurper Procopius, has been swelled into a line of emperors.” But the merit of his immediate parents, their honors, and their riches, rendered Anthemius one of the most illustrious subjects of the East. His father, Procopius, obtained, after his Persian embassy, the rank of general and patrician; and the name of Anthemius was derived from his maternal grandfather, the celebrated praefect, who protected, with so much ability and success, the infant reign of Theodosius. The grandson of the praefect was raised above the condition of a private subject, by his marriage with Euphemia, the daughter of the emperor Marcian. This splendid alliance, which might supersede the necessity of merit, hastened the promotion of Anthemius to the successive dignities of count, of master-general, of consul, and of patrician; and his merit or fortune claimed the honors of a victory, which was obtained on the banks of the Danube, over the Huns. Without indulging an extravagant ambition, the son-in-law of Marcian might hope to be his successor; but Anthemius supported the disappointment with courage and patience; and his subsequent elevation was universally approved by the public, who esteemed him worthy to reign, till he ascended the throne.” The emperor of the West marched from Constantinople, attended by several counts of high distinction, and a body of guards almost equal to the strength and numbers of a regular army: he entered Rome in triumph, and the choice of Leo was confirmed by the senate, the people, and the Barbarian confederates of Italy.” The solemn inauguration of Anthemius was followed by the nuptials of his daughter and the patrician Ricimer; a fortunate event, which was considered as the firmest security of the union and happiness of the state. The wealth of two empires was ostentatiously displayed; and many senators completed their ruin, by an expensive effort to disguise their poverty. All serious business was suspended during this festival; the courts of justice were shut; the streets of Rome, the theatres, the places of public and private resort, resounded with hymaeneal songs and dances: and the royal bride, clothed in silken robes, with a crown on her head, was conducted to the palace of Ricimer, who had changed his military dress for the habit of a consul and a senator. On this memorable occasion, Sidonius, whose early ambition had been so fatally blasted, appeared as the orator of Auvergne, among the provincial deputies who addressed the
69 Cedremus (pp. 345, 346), who was conversant with the writers of better days, has preserved the remarkable words of Aspar, Baataev, Tov tavrmy thv d'Aoupyióa mepageBAmulevov ot, Xpj čva betíðeoroat. -
10 The power of the Isaurians agitated the Eastern empire in the two succeeding reigns of Zemo and Anastasius; but it ended in the destruction of those Barbarians, who maintained their fiérce independence about two hundred and thirty years.
71 – Tali tu civis ab urbe
The poet (Sidon. Panegyr, Anthem. 67–306) then proceeds to relate the private
life and fortunes of the future emperor, with which he must have been very imperfectly acquainted.
72 Sidonius discovers, with tolerable ingenuity, that this disappointment added new lustre to the virtues of Anthemius (210, &c.), who declined one sceptre, and reluctantly accepted another (22, &c.). .
73 The poet again celebrates the unanimity of all orders of the state (15–22); and the Chronicle of Idatius mentions the forces which attended his march.
throne with congratulations or complaints.” The calends of January were now approaching, and the venal poet, who had loved Avitus, and esteemed Majorian, was persuaded by his friends to celebrate, in heroic verse, the merit, the felicity, the second consulship, and the future triumphs, of the emperor Anthemius. Sidonius pronounced, with assur. ance and success, a panegyric which is still extant; and whatever might be the imperfections, either of the subject : or of the composition, the welcome flatterer was immediately rewarded with the praefecture of Rome; a dignity which placed him among the illustrious personages of the empire, till he wisely preferred the more respectable character of a bishop and a saint.” The Greeks ambitiously commend the piety and catholic faith of the emperor whom they gave to the West; nor do they forget to observe, that when he left Constantinople, he converted his palace into the pious foundation of a public bath, a church, and a hospital for old men." Yet some suspicious appearances are found to sully the theological fame of Anthemius. From the conversation of Philotheus, a Macedonian sectary, he had imbibed the spirit of religious toleration; and the Heretics of Rome would have assembled with impunity, if the bold and vehement censure which Pope Hilary pronounced in the church of St. Peter, had not obliged him to abjure the unpopular indulgence.” Even the Pagans, a feeble and obscure remnant, conceived some vain hopes, from the indifference, or partiality, of Anthemius; and his singular friendship for the philosopher Severus, whom he promoted to the consulship, was ascribed to a secret project, of reviving the ancient worship of the gods.” 74 Interveniautem nuptiis Patricii Ricimeris, cuisilia perennis Augusti in spem
Fo securitatis copulabatur. The journey of Sidonius from Lyons, and the estival of Rome are described with some spirit. L. i. epist. 5, pp. 9–13, epist. 9,
p. 21. 75 Sidonius (l. i. epist. 9, pp. 23, 24) very fairly states his motive, his labor, and his reward. “Hic ipse Panegyricus, si non judicium, certe eventum, boni operis, accepit.” He was made bishop of Clermont, A. D. 471. Tillemont. Mém. Eccles. tom. xvi. p. 750. 70 The palace of Anthemius stood on the banks of the Propontis. In the ninth century, Alexius, the son-in-law of the emperor Theophilus, obtained permission to purchase the ground; and ended his days in a monastery, which he founded on that delightful spot. Ducange, Constantinopolis Christiana, pp. 117, 152. 77 Papa Hilarius * * * apud beatum Petrum Apostolum, palam neid fieret, clară voce constrinxit, in tantum ut mon ea facienda cum interpositione juramenti idem promitteret Imperator. , Gelasius Epistol. ad Andronicum, apud Baron. A. D. 467, No. 3. The cardinal observes, with some complacency, that it was much easier to plant heresies at Constantinople, than at Rome. 78 Damascius, in the life of the philosopher Isidore, apud Pllotium, p. 1049. Damascius, who lived under Justinian, composed another work, consisting of § praeternatural stories of souls, daemons, apparitions, the dotage of Platonic aganism,
These idols were crumbled into dust: and the mythology
which had once been the creed of nations, was so universally disbelieved, that it might be employed without scandal, or at least without suspicion, by Christian poets.” Yet the vestiges of , superstition were not absolutely obliterated, and the festival of the Lupercalia, whose origin had preceded the foundation of Rome, was still celebrated under the reign of Anthemius. The savage and simple rites were expressive of an early state of society before the invention of arts and agriculture. The rustic deities who presided over the toils and pleasures of the pastoral life, Pan, Faunus, and their train of satyrs, were such as the fancy of shepherds might create, sportive, petulant, and lascivious; whose power was limited, and whose malice was inoffensive. A goat was the offering the best adapted to their character and attributes; the flesh of the victim was roasted on willow spits; and the riotous youths, who crowded to the feast, ran naked about the fields, with leather thongs in their hands, communicating, as it was supposed, the blessing of fecundity to the women whom they touched.” The altar of Pan was erected, perhaps by Evander the Arcadian, in a dark recess in the side of the Palatine hill, watered by a perpetual fountain, and shaded by a hanging grove. A tradition, that, in the same place, Romulus and Remus were suckled by the wolf, rendered it still more sacred and venerable in the eyes of the Romans; and this sylvan spot was gradually surrounded by the stately edifices of the Forum.” After the conversion of the Imperial city, the Christians still continued, in the month of February, the annual celebration of the Lupercalia; to which they ascribed a secret and mysterious influence on the genial powers of the animal and vegetable world. The bishops of Rome were solicitous to abolish a profane custom, so repugnant to the spirit of Christianity; but their zeal was not supported by the authority of the civil magistrate : the inveterate abuse subsisted till the end of the fifth century, and Pope Gelasius, who purified the capital from the last stain of idolatry
79 In the poetical works of Sidonius, which he afterwards condemned (l. ix. epist. 16, p. 285), the fabulous deities are the principal actors. If Jerom was scourged by the angels for only reading Virgil, the bishop of Clermont, for such a vile imitation, deserved an additional whipping from the Muses.
80 Ovid (Fast. l. ii. 267–452) has given an amusing description of the follies of antiquity, which still inspired so much respect, that a grave magistrate, running naked through the streets, was not an object of astonishment or laughter.
81 See Dionys. Halicarm. l. i. pp. 25, 65, edit. Hudson. The Roman antiquaries Donatus (l. ii. c. 18, p.m. 173, 174) and Nardini (pp. 386, 387) have labored to ascertain the true situation of the Lupercal.
appeased, by a formal apology, the murmurs of the senate and people.” In all his public declarations, the emperor Leo assumes the authority, and professes the affection, of a father, for his son, Anthemius, with whom he had divided the administration of the universe.” The situation, and perhaps the character, of Leo, dissuaded him from exposing his person to the toils and dangers of an African war. But the powers of the Eastern empire were strenuously exerted to deliver Italy and the Mediterranean from the Vandals; and Genseric, who had so long oppressed both the land and sea, was threatened from every side with a formidable invasion. The campaign was opened by a bold and successful enterprise of the praefect Heraclius.” The troops of Egypt, Thebais, and Libya, were embarked under his command ; and the Arabs, with a train of horses and camels, opened the roads of the desert. Heraclius landed on the coast of Tripoli, surprised and subdued the cities of that province, and prepared, by a laborious march, which Cato had formerly executed,” to join the Imperial army under the walls of Carthage. The intelligence of this loss extorted from Genseric some insidious and ineffectual propositions of peace ; but he was still more seriously alarmed by the reconciliation of Marcellinus with the two empires. The independent patrician had been persuaded to acknowledge the legitimate title of Anthemius, whom he accompanied in his journey to Rome; the Dalmatian fleet was received into the harbors of Italy; the active valor of Marcellinus expelled the Vandals from the Island of Sar
* Baronius published, from the MSS. of the Vatican, this epistle of Pope Gelasius (A. D. 496, No. 28–45), which is entitled Adversus Andromachum Senatorem, coeterosque Romanos, qui Lupercalia secundum morem pristinum colenda constituebant. Gelasius always supposes that his adversaries are nominal Christians, and, that he may not yield to them in absurd prejudice, he imputes to this harmless festival all the calamities of the age.
83 Itaque nos quibus totius mundi regimen commisit superna provisio . * * Pius et triumphator semper Augustus filius hoster Antlemius, licet Divina Majestas et nostra creatio pietati ejus, plenam. Imperii commiserit potestatem, &c. * * Such is the dignified style of Ileo, whom Anthemius respectfully names, Dominus et Pater metis Princeps sacratissimus Leo. See Novell. Anthem. tit. ii. iii. p. 38, ad calcem Cod. Theod,
*4 The expedition of Heraclius is clouded with difficulties (Tillemont, Hist. des Empereurs, tom. vi. p. 640), and it requires some dexterily to use the circumstances afforded by Theophanes, without injury to the more respectable evidence of Procopius.
* The march of Cato from Berenice, in the province of Cyrene, was much longer than that of Heraclius from Tripoli. He passed the deep sandy desert in thirty days, and it was found necessary to provide, besides the ordinary supplies, a great number of skins filled with water, and several Psylli, who were supposed to possess the art of sucking the wounds which had been made by the serpents of their native country. See Plutarch in Caton. Uticens. tom. iv. p. 275. Strabon Geograph. 1. xvii. p. 1193.