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approbation and blessing. The lowness of the door would not admit the lofty stature of Odoacer: he was obliged to stoop; but in that humble attitude the saint could discern the symptoms of his future greatness; and addressing him in a prophetic tone, “Pursue” (said he) “your design; proceed to Italy; you will soon cast away this coarse garment of skins; and your wealth will be adequate to the liberality of your mind.” The Barbarian, whose daring spirit accepted and ratified the prediction, was admitted into the service of the Western empire, and soon obtained an honorable rank in the guards. His manners were gradually polished, his military skill was improved, and the confederates of Italy would not have elected him for their general, unless the exploits of Odoacer had established a high opinion of his courage and capacity.” Their military acclamations saluted him with the title of king; but he abstained, during his whole reign, from the use of the purple and diadem,” lest he should offend those princes, whose subjects, by their accidental mixture, had formed the victorious army, which time and policy might insensibly unite into a great nation. Royalty was familiar to the Barbarians, and the submissive people of Italy was prepared to obey, without a murmur, the authority which he should condescend to exercise as the vicegerent of the emperor of the West. But Odoacer had resolved to abolish that useless and expensive office; and such is the weight of antique prejudice, that it required some boldness and penetration to discover the extreme facility of the enterprise. The unfortunate Augustulus was made the instrument of his own disgrace: he signified his resignation to the senate; and that assembly, in their last act of obedience to a Roman prince, still affected the spirit of freedom, and the forms of the constitution. An epistle was addressed, by their unanimous decree, to the emperor
121 Wade ad Italiam, vade vilissimis nunc pellibus coopertis : sed multis cito plurima largiturus. Anonym. Wales. p. 717. He quotes the life of St. Severinus, which is extant, and contains much unknown and valuable history; it was composed by his disciple Eugippius (A. D. 511) thirty years after his death. See Tillemont, Mém. Eccles. tom. xvi. pp. 168-181.
* Theophanes, who calls him a Goth, affirms, that he was educated, nursed (roëbevros), in Italy (p. 102); and as this strong expression will not bear a literal interpretation, it must be explained by long service in the Imperial guards.
** Nomen regis Odoacer assumpsit, cum tamen neque purpurá mec regalibus uteretur insignibus. Cassiodor. in Chron. A. D. 476. He seems to have assumed * Abstract title of a king, without applying it to any particular nation or coun
* Manso observes that Odoacer never called himself king of Italy, did not as5ume the purple, and no coins are extant with his name. Geschichte Ost-Goth. Reiches, p. 36–VI.
Zeno, the son-in-law and successor of Leo; who had lately been restored, after a short rebellion, to the Byzantine throne. They solemnly “disclaim the necessity, or even the wish, of continuing any longer the Imperial succession in Italy; since, in their opinion, the majesty of a sole monarch is sufficient to pervade and protect, at the same time, both the East and the West. In their own name, and in the name of the people, they consent that the seat of universal empire shall be transferred from Rome to Constantinople; and they basely renounce the right of choosing their master, the only vestige that yet remained of the authority which had given laws to the world. The republic (they repeat that name without a blush) might safely confide in the civil and military virtues of Odoacer; and they humbly request, that the emperor would invest him with the title of Patrician, and the administration of the diocese of Italy.” The deputies of the senate were received at Constantinople with some marks of displeasure and indignation: and when they were admitted to the audience of Zeno, he sternly reproached them with their treatment of the two emperors, Anthemius and Nepos, whom the East had successively granted to the prayers of Italy. “The first” (continued he) “you have murdered; the second you have expelled; but the second is still alive, and whilst he lives he is your lawful sovereign.” But the prudent Zeno soon deserted the hopeless cause of his abdicated colleague. His vanity was gratified by the title of sole emperor, and by the statues erected to his honor in the several quarters of Rome; he entertained a friendly, though ambiguous, correspondence with the patrician Odoacer; and he gratefully accepted the Imperial ensigns, the sacred ornaments of the throne and palace, which the Barbarian was not unwilling to remove from the sight of the people.” In the space of twenty years since the death of Valentinian, nine emperors had successively disappeared ; and the son of Orestes, a youth recommended only by his beauty, would be the least entitled to the notice of posterity, if his reign, which was marked by the extinction of the Roman empire in the West, did not leave a memorable era in the history of mankind.” The patrician Orestes had married the daughter of Count Romulus, of Petovio in Noricum : the name of Augustus, notwithstanding the jealousy of power, was known at Aquileia as a familiar surname; and the appellations of the two great founders, of the city and of the monarchy, were thus strangely united in the last of their successors.” The son of Orestes assumed and disgraced the names of Romulus Augustus; but the first was corrupted into Momyllus, by the Greeks, and the second has been changed by the Latins into the contemptible diminutive Augustulus. The life of this inoffensive youth was spared by the generous clemency of Odoacer; who dismissed him, with his whole family, from the Imperial palace, fixed his annual allowance at six thousand pieces of gold, and assigned the castle of Lucullus, in Campania, for the |. of his exile or retirement.” As soon as the Romans
* Malchus, whose loss excites our regret, has preserved (in Excerpt. Legat. . 93) this extraordinary embassy from the senate to Zeno. The anonymous ragment (p. 717), and the extract from Candidus (apud Phot. p. 176), are likewise of some use. * The precise year in which the Western empire was extinguished, is not Vositively ascertained. The vulgar era of A. D. 476 appears to 1:ave the sanction of authentic chronicles. But the two dates assigned by Jornandes (c. 46, p. 680) would delay that great event to the year 479; and though M. de Buat has over. looked his evidence, he produces (tom. viii. pp. 261-288) many collateral circumstances in support of the same opinion. 1." See his medals in Ducange (Fam. Byzantin. p. 81), Priscus (Excerpt. Legat. p. 56), Maffei (Osservazioni Letterarie, tom. ii. p. 314). We may allege a famous and similar case. The meanest subjects of the Roman empire assumed the illustrious name of Patricius, which, by the conversion of Ireland, has been communicated to a whole nation. ... " Ingrediens autem. Itayennam deposuit Augustulum de regno, o: infantiam misertus, concessit ei sanguinem; et quia pulcher erat, tamcrl donavit ei reditum sex millia solidos, et misiteum intra Campaniam cum parentibus suis libere vivere. Anonym. Wales. p. 716. Jornandes says (c. 46, p. 680), in Lucullano Campaniae castello exilii poena damnavit. *See the eloquent Declamation of Seneca (Epist. lxxxvi). The philosopher might have recollected, that all luxury is relative; and that the elder Scipio, whose manners were polished by study and conversation, was himself accused of that vice by his ruder contemporaries (Livy, xxix. 19). * Sylla, in the language of a soldier, praised his perifia castrametandi (Plin. Hist, Natur. xviii.,7). Phaedrus, who makes its shady walks (lata viridia) the Scene of an insipid fable (ii. 5), has thus described the situation:—
reathed from the toils of the Punic war, they were attracted by the beauties and the pleasures of Campania; and the country-house of the elder Scipio at Liternum exhibited a lasting model of their rustic simplicity.” The delicious shores of the Bay of Naples were crowded with villas; and Sylla applauded the masterly skill of his rival, who had seated himself on the lofty promontory of Misenum, that commands, on every side, the sea and land, as far as the boundaries of the horizon.” The villa of Marius was pur. chased, within a few years, by Lucullus, and the price had increased from two thousand five hundred, to more than fourscore thousand, pounds sterling.” It was adorned by the new proprietor with Grecian arts and Asiatic treasures; and the houses and gardens of Lucullus obtained a distinguished rank in the list of Imperial palaces.” When the Vandals became formidable to the sea-coast, the Lucullan villa, on the promontory of Misenum, gradually assumed the strength and appellation of a strong castle, the obseure retreat of the last emperor of the West. About twenty years after that great revolution, it was converted into a church and monastery, to receive the bones of St. Severinus. They securely reposed, amidst the broken trophies of Cimbric and Armenian victories, till the beginning of the tenth century; when the fortifications, which might afford a dangerous shelter to the Saracens, were demolished by the people of Naples.” - Odoacer was the first Barbarian who reigned in Italy, over a people who had once asserted their just superiority above the rest of mankind. The disgrace of the Romans still excites our respectful compassion, and we fondly sympathize with the imaginary grief and indignation of their degenerate posterity. But the calamities of Italy had gradually subdued the proud consciousness of freedom and glory. In the age of Roman virtue the provinces were subject to the arms, and the citizens to the laws, of the republic; till those laws were subverted by civil discord, and both the city and the provinces became the servile property of a tyrant. The forms of the constitution, which alleviated or disguised their abject slavery, were abolished by time and violence; the Italians alter. nately lamented the presence or the absence of the sovereigns, whom they detested or despised; and the succession of five centuries inflicted the various evils of military license, capricious despotism, and elaborate oppression. During the same period, the Barbarians had emerged from obscurity and contempt, and the warriors of Germany and Scythia were introduced into the provinces, as the servants, the allies, and at length the masters, of the Romans, whom they insulted or protected. The hatred of the people was suppressed by fear; they respected the spirit and splendor of the martial chiefs who were invested with the honors of the empire, and the fate of IRome had long depended on the sword of those formidable strangers. The stern Ricimer, who trampled on the ruins of Italy, had exercised the power, without assuming the title, of a king ; and the patient. Romans were insensibly prepared to acknowledge the royalty of Odoacer and his Barbaric successors. The king of Italy was not unworthy of the high station to which his valor and fortune had exalted him: his savage manners were polished by the habits of conversation ; and he respected, though a conqueror and a Barbariam, the institutions, and even the prejudices, of his subjects. After an interval of seven years, Odoacer restored the consulship of the West. For himself, he modestly, or proudly, declined an honor which was still accepted by the emperors of the East; but the curule chair was successively filled by eleven of the most illustrious senators;” and the list is adorned by the respectable name of Basilius, whose virtues claimed the friendship and grateful applause of Sidonius, his client.” The laws of the emperors were strictly enforced, and the civil administration of Italy was still exercised by the Prae. torian praefect and his subordinate officers. Odoacer devolved on the Roman magistrates the odious and oppressive task of collecting the public revenue; but he reserved for himself the merit of seasonable and popular indulgence.” Like the rest of the Barbarians, he had been instructed in the Arian heresy; but he revered the monastic and episcopal characters; and the silence of the Catholics attest the toleration which they enjoyed. The peace of the city required the interposition of his praefect Basilius in the choice of a Roman pontiff: the decree which restrained the clergy from 183 The consular Fasti may be found in Pagi or Muratori. The consuls named
Caesar Tiberius quum petens Neapolim,
In Misemensem villam venissit stram :
3. monte summo posita Luculli manu
* From seven myriads and a half to two hundred and fifty myriads of drachmae. Yet even in the possession of Marius, it was a luxurious retirement. The Romans derided his indolence; they soon bewailed his activity. See Plutarch, in Mario, tom. ii. p. 524.
* Luçullus had other villas of equal, though various, magnificence, at Baiae, Naples, Tusculum, &c. He boasted that he changed his climate with the storks and crames. Plutarch, in Lucull. tom. iii. p. 193.
*Severinus died in Noricum, A. D. 482. Six years afterwards, his body, Which Seattered miracles as it passed, was transported by his disciples into Italy. The devotion of a Neapolitan lady invited the saint to the Lucullan villa, in the place of Augustulus, who was probably no more. See Baronius (Annal. Eccles. A.D. 406, No. 50, 51) and Tillemont (Mém. Eccles, tom. xvi. pp. 178-181), from the *riginal life by Eugippius. The narrative of the last migration of Severinus to Naples is likewise an authentic piece.
by Qdoacer, or perhaps by the IRoman senate, appear to have been acknowledged in the IEastern empire.
184 Sidonius Apollinaris |. i; epist. 9, p. 22, edit. Sirmond) has compared the two leading senators of his time (A. D. 46S), Gennadius Avienus and Caecima Basilius. To the former he as igns the specious, to the latter the solid, virtues of o and private life. A Basilius junior, possibly his son, was consul in the year 480.
* Epiphanius interceded for the people of Pavia; and the king first granted an indulgence of five years, and afterwards relieved them from the oppression of Pelagius, the Prietorian praefect (Ennodius in Wit. St. Epiphan., in Sirmond, Oper. tom. i. pp. 1670-1672).