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conjectured, that an assembly of seceding senators imitated, in the choice of Olybrius, the forms of a legal election. But the body of the senate and people firmly adhered to the cause of Anthemius; and the more effectual support of a Gothic army enabled him to prolong his reign, and the public distress, by a resistance of three months, which produced the concomitant evils of famine and pestilence. At length Ricimer made a furious assault on the bridge of Hadrian, or St. Angelo; and the narrow pass was defended with equal valor by the Goths till the death of Gilimer, their leader. The victorious troops, breaking down every barrier, rushed with irresistible violence into the heart of the city, and Rome (if we may use the language of a contemporary pope) was subverted by the civil fury of Anthemius and Ricimer.” The unfortunate Anthemius was dragged from his concealment, and inhumanly massacred by the command of his son-in-law ; who thus added a third, or perhaps a fourth, emperor to the number of his victims. The soldiers, who united the rage of factious citizens with the savage manners of Barbarians, were indulged, without control, in the license of rapine and murder: the crowd of slaves and plebeians, who were unconcerned in the event, could only gain by the indiscriminate pillage ; and the face of the city exhibited the strange contrast of stern cruelty and dissolute intemperance.” Forty days after this calamitous event, the subject, not of glory, but of guilt, Italy was delivered, by a painful disease, from the tyrant IRicimer, who bequeathed the command of his army to his nephew Gundobald, one of the princes of the Burgundians. In the same year all the principal actors in this great revolution were removed from the stage; and the whole reign of Olybrius, whose death does not betray any symptoms of violence, is included within the term of seven months. He left one daughter, the offspring of his marriage with Placidia; and the family of the great Theodosius, transplanted from Spain to Constantinople, was propagated in the female line as far as the eighth eneration.”
church of St. Peter. See Nardini Roma Antica, p. 67. It would, require a tedious dissertation to mark the circumstances, in which I am inclined to depart from the topography of that learned Roman. - 109 Nuper Anthemii et Ricimeris civili furore subversa est. Gelasius in Epist. ad Andromach. apud Baron. A. D 496, No. 42, Sigonius, (tom. i. 1. xiy. de Ooiolentali Imperio, pp. 542, 543), and Muratori (Annali d'Italia, tom. iv. pp.308, 309), with the aid of a less imperfect MS. of the Historia Miscella., have illustrated this dark and bloody transaction. * Such had been the saeva ac deformis urbe totă facies, when Rome was . assaulted and stormed by the troops of Vespasian (see Tacit. Hist. iii. 82,83); and overy cause of mischief had since acquired much additional energy. ' Thé revolution of ages may bring round the same calamites, but ages may revolve Wit...out producing a Tacitus to describe them.
Whilst the vacant throne of Italy was abandoned to lawless Barbarians,” the election of a new colleague was seriously agitated in the council of Leo. The empress Verina, studious to promote the greatness of her own family, had married one of her nieces to Julius Nepos, who succeeded his uncle Marcellinus in the sovereignty of Dalmatia, a more solid possession than the title which he was persuaded to accept, of Emperor of the West. But the measures of the Byzantine court were so languid and irresolute, that many months elapsed after the death of Anthemius, and even of Olybrius, before their destined successor could show himself, with a respectable force, to his Italian subjects. During that interval, Glycerius, an obscure soldier, was invested with the purple by his patron Gundobald; but the Burgundian prince was unable, or unwilling, to support his nomination by a civil war; the pursuits of domestic ambition recalled him beyond the Alps,” and his client was permitted to exchange the Roman sceptre for the bishopric of Salona. After extinguishing such a competitor, the emperor Nepos was acknowledged by the senate, by the Italians, and by the provincials of Gaul; his moral virtues, and military talents, were loudly celebrated; and those who derived any private benefit from his government, announced, in prophetic strains, the restoration of the public felicity.” Their hopes (if such hopes had been entertained) were confounded within the term of a single year; and the treaty of peace, which ceded Auvergne to the Visigoths, is the only event of his short and inglorious reign. The most faithful subjects of Gaul were sacrificed, by the Italian emperor, to the hope of domestic security; * but his repose was soon invaded by a furious sedition of the Barbarian confederates, who, under the command of Orestes, their general, were in full march from Rome to Ravenna. Nepos trembled at their approach ; and, instead of placing a just confidence in the strength of Ravenna, he hastily escaped to his ships, and retired to his Dalmatian principality, on the opposite coast of the Adriatic. By this shameful abdication, he protracted his life about five years, in a very ambiguous state, between an emperor and an exile, till he was assassinated at Salona by the ungrateful Glycerius, who was translated, perhaps as the reward of his crime, to the archbishopric of Milan.” The nations who had asserted their independence after the death of Attila, were established, by the right of possession or conquest, in the boundless countries to the north of the Danube; or in the Roman provinces between the river and the Alps. But the bravest of their youth enlisted in the army of confederates, who formed the defence and the terror of Italy;” and in this promiscuous multitude, the names of the Heruli, the Scyrri, the Alani, the Turcilingi, and the Rugians, appear to have predominated. The example of these warriors was imitated by Orestes,” the son of Tatullus, and the father of the last Roman emperor of the West. Orestes, who has been already mentioned in this History, had never deserted his country. His birth and fortunes rendered him one of the most illustrious subjects of Pannonia. When that province was ceded to the Huns, he entered into the service of Attila, his lawful sovereign, obtained the office of his secretary, and was repeatedly sent ambassador to Constantinople, to represent the person, and signify the commands, of the imperious monarch. The death of that conqueror restored him to his freedom; and Orestes might honorably refuse either to follow the sons of Attila into the Scythian desert, or to obey the Ostrogoths, who had usurped the dominion of Pannonia. He preferred the service of the Italian princes, the successors of Valentinian; and, as he possessed the qualifications of courage, industry, and experience, he advanced with rapid steps in the military profession, till he was elevated, by the favor of Nepos himself, to the dignities of patrician, and master-general of the troops. These troops had been long accustomed to reverence the character and authority of Orestes, who affected their manners, conversed with them in their own language, and was intimately connected with their national chieftains, by long habits of familiarity and friendship. At his solicitation they rose in arms against the obscure Greek, who presumed to claim their obedience; and when Orestes, from some secret motive, declined the purple, they consented, with the same facility, to acknowledge his son Augustulus, as the emperor of the West. By the abdication of Nepos, Orestes had now attained the summit of his ambitious hopes; but he soon discovered, before the end of the first year, that the lessons of perjury and ingratitude, which a rebel must inculcate, will be retorted against himself; and that the precarious sovereign of Italy was only permitted to choose, whether he would be the slave, or the victim, of his Barbarian mercenaries. The dangerous alliance of these strangers had oppressed and insulted the last remains of Roman freedom and dignity. At each revolution, their pay and privileges were augmented; but their insolence increased in a still more extravagant degree; they envied the fortune of their brethren in Gaul, Spain, and Africa, whose victorious arms had acquired an independent and perpetual inheritance; and they insisted on their peremptory demand, that a third part of the lands of Italy should'be immediately divided among them. , Orestes, with a spirit, which, in another situation, might be en titled to our esteem, chose rather to encounter the rage of an armed multitude, than to subscribe the ruin of an innocent people. He rejected the audacious demand; and his refusal was favorable to the ambition of Odoacer; a bold Barbarian, who assured his fellow-soldiers, that, if they dared to associate under his command, they might soon extort the justice which had been denied to their dutiful petitions. From all the camps and garrisons of Italy, the confederates, actuated by the same resentment and the same hopes, impatiently flocked to the standard of this popular leader; and the unfortunate patrician, overwhelmed by the torrent, hastily retreated to the strong city. of Pavia, the episcopal seat of the holy Epiphanites. Pavia was immediately besieged, the fortifications were stormed, the town was
111 See Ducange, Familiae Byzantin. pp. 74, 75. Areobindus, who appears to bave married the niece of the emperor Justinian, was the eighth descendant of the elder Theodosius. 112 The last revolutions of the Western empire are faintly marked in Theophanes (p. 102), Jormandes (c. 45, p. 679), the Chronicle of Marcellinus, and the Fragments of an anonymous writer, published by Walesius at the end of Ammianus (pp. 716, 717). If Photius had not been so wretchedly concise, we should derive much information from the contemporary histories of Malchus and Candidus, See his Extracts, pp. 172-179. 113 See Greg. Turon. l. ii. c. 28, in tom. ii. p. 175. Dubos, Hist. Critique, tom. i. p. 613. o the murder or death of his two brothers, Gundobald acquired the †. loses: on of the kingdom of Burgundy, whose ruin was hastened by their 18COrti. 114 Julius Nepos armis pariter summus Augustus ac moribus. Sidonius, 1. v. ep. 16, p. 146. Nepos had given to Ecdicius the title of Patrician, which Anthemius had promised, decessoris Anthemii fidem absolvit. Seel. viii. e.p. 7, p. 224. * Epiphanius was sent ambassador from Nepos to the Visigoths, for thé purpose of ascertaining the fines Imperii Italici (innodius in Sirmond, tom. i. pp. ić65-1669). His pathetic discourse concealed the disgraceful secret which soon *xcited the just and bitter complaints of the bishop of Clermont.
116 Malchus, apud Phot. p. 172. Ennod. Epigram. lxxxii. in Sirmond. Oper. tom. i. p. 1879. Some doubt may, however, be raised on the identity of the emperor and the archbishop.
117 Our knowledge of these mercenaries, who subverted the Western empire, is derived from Procopius (de Bell. Gothico, l. i. c. i. p. 308). The popular opinion, and the recent historians, represent Odoacer in the false light of a stranger, and a kina, who invadcd Italy with an army of foreigners, his native subjects.
ils Orestes, qui eo tempore quando Attila ad Italian venit, se illi junxit, et ejus notarius factus fuerat. A monvm. Vales. p. 716. He is mistaken in the date ; but we may credit his assertion, that the secretary of Attila was the father of Augustusus.
pillaged; and although the bishop might labor, with much zeal and some success, to save the property of the church, and the chastity of female captives, the tumult could only be appeased by the execution of Orestes.” His brother Paul was slain in an action near Ravenna; and the helpless Augustulus, who could no longer command the respect, was reduced to implore the clemency, of Odoacer. That successful Barbarian was the son of Edecon, who, in some remarkable transactions, particularly described in a preceding chapter, had been the colleague of Orestes himself.” The honor of an ambassador should be exempt from suspicion; and Edecon had listened to a conspiracy against the life of his sovereign. But this apparent guilt was expiated by his merit or repentance: his rank was eminent and conspicuous; he enjoyed the favor of Attila; and the troops under his command, who guarded, in their turn, the royal village, consisted of a tribe of Scyrri, his immediate and hereditary subjects. In the revolt of the nations, they still adhered to the Huns; and, more than twelve years afterwards, the name of Edecon is honorably mentioned, in their unequal contests with the Ostrogoths; which was terminated, after two bloody battles, by the defeat and dispersion of the Scyrri.” Their gallant leader, who did not survive this national calamity, left two sons, Onulf and Odoacer, to struggle with adversity, and to maintain as they might, by rapine or service, the faithful followers of their exile. Onulf directed his steps towards Constantinople, where he sullied, by the assassination of a generous benefactor, the fame which he had acquired in arms. His brother Odoacer led a wandering life among the Barbarians of Noricum, with a mind and a fortune suited to the most desperate adventures; and when he had fixed his choice, he piously visited the cell of Severinus, the popular saint of the country, to solicit his
119 See Ennodius (in Wit. Epiphan. Sirmond, tom. i. pp. 1669, 1670) He adds weight to the narrative of Procopius, though we may doubt wheth r the devil actually contrived the siege of Pavia, to distress the bishop and his fiock.
120 Jornandes, c. 53, 54, pp. 692-695. M. de Buat (Hist. des Peuple de l’Europe, tom. viii. pp. 221-228) has clearly explained the origin and adventures of Odoacer. I am almost inclined to believe that he was the same who pillaged Angers, and commanded a fleet of Saxon pirates on the CCean. Greg, Turon. l. ii. c. 18, in tom. ii. p. 170.t
* Manso observes that the evidence which identifies Edecon, the father of Qdoacer, with the colleague of Orestes, is not conclusive. Geschichte des OstGothischen Reiches, p. 32. But St. Martin inclines to agree with Gibbon, note, Wi. 75.—M. M According to St. Martin there is no foundation for this conjecture, vii. 75.