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destroy their idols; the crime of sacrificing to the demons was punished by the Anglo-Saxon laws with the heavier penalties of imprisonment and confiscation ; and even the wise Alfred adopted, as an indispensable duty, the extreme rigor of the Mosaic institutions.137 But the punishment and the crime were gradually abolished among a Christian people; the theological disputes of the schools were suspended by propitious ignorance; and the intolerant spirit which could find neither idolaters nor heretics, was reduced to the persecution of the Jews. That exiled nation had founded some synagogues in the cities of Gaul; but Spain, since the time of Hadrian, was filled with their numerous colonies.188 The wealth which they accumulated by trade, and the management of the finances, invited the pious avarice of their masters; and they might be oppressed without danger, as they had lost the use, and even the remembrance, of arms. Sisebut, a Gothic king, who reigned in the beginning of the seventh century, proceeded at once to the last extremes of persecution.189Ninety thousand Jews were compelled to receive the sacrament of baptism ; the fortunes of the obstinate infidels were confiscated, their bodies were tortured; and it seems doubtful whether they were permitted to abandon their native country. The excessive zeal of the Catholic king was moderated, even by the clergy of Spain, who solemnly pronounced an inconsistent sentence: that the sacraments should not be forcibly imposed; but that the Jews who had been baptized should be constrained, for the honor of the church, to persevere in the external practice of a religion which they disbelieved and detested. Their frequent relapses provoked one of the successors of Sisebut to banish the whole nation from his dominions; and a council of Toledo published a decree, that every Gothic king should swear to maintain this salutary edict. But the tyrants were unwilling to dismiss the victims, whom they delighted to torture, or to deprive themselves of the industrious slaves, over whom they might
137 See the Historians of France, tom. iv. p. 114 ; and Wilkins, Leges Anglo Saxonicæ, pp. 11, 31. Siquis sacrificium immolaverit præter Deo soli morte
136 The Jews pretend that they were introduced into Spain by the fleets of Solomon, and the arms of Nebuchadnezzar; that Hadrian transported forty thousand families of the tribe of Judah, and ten thousand of the tribe of Benjamin, &c. Basnage, Hist. des Juifs, tom. vii. c. 9, pp. 210--256.
139 Isidore, at that time archbishop of Seville, mentions, disapproves, and congratulates, the zeal of Sisebut (Chron. Goth. p. 728). Baronius (A.D. 614, No. 41) assigns the number on the evidence of Almoin (1. iv. c. 22); but the evidence is weak, and I have not been able to verify the quotations (Historians of France, tom. iii. p, 127).
exercise a lucrative oppression. The Jews still continued in Spain, under the weight of the civil and ecclesiastical laws, which in the same country have been faithfully transcribed in the Code of the Inquisition. The Gothic kings and bishops at length discovered, that injuries will produce hatred, and that hatred will find the opportunity of revenge. A nation, the secret or professed enemies of Christianity, still multiplied in servitude and distress; and the intrigues of the Jews promoted the rapid success of the Arabian conquerors.
As soon as the Barbarians withdrew their powerful support, the unpopular heresy of Arius sunk into contempt and oblivion. But the Greeks still retained their subtle and loquacious disposition: the establishment of an obscure doctrine suggested new questions, and new disputes; and it was always in the power of an ambitious prelate, or a fanatic monk, to violate the peace of the church, and, perhaps, of the empire. The historian of the empire may overlook those disputes which were confined to the obscurity of schools and synods. The Manichæans, who labored to reconcile the religions of Christ and of Zoroaster, had secretly introduced themselves into the provinces : but these foreign sectaries were involved in the common disgrace of the Gnostics, and the Imperial laws were executed by the public hatred. The rational opinions of the Pelagians were propagated from Britain to Rome, Africa, and Palestine, and silently expired in a superstitious age. But the East was distracted by the Nestorian and Eutychian controversies; which attempted to explain the mystery of the incarnation, and hastened the ruin of Christianity in her native land. These controversies were first agitated under the reign of the younger Theodosius : but their important consequences extend far beyond the limits of the present volume. The metaphysical chain of argument, the contests of ecclesiastical ambition, and their political influence on the decline of the Byzantine empire, may afford an interesting and instructive series of history, from the general councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon, to the conquest of the East by the successors of Mahomet.
140 Basnage (tom. viii. c. 13, pp. 388-400) faithfully represents the state of the Jews; but he might have added from the canons of the Spanish councils, and the laws of the Visigoths, many curious circumstances, essential to his subject, though they are foreign to mine.*
* Compare Milman, Hist. of Jews, iii, 256, 266.-M.
REIGN AND CONVERSION OF CLOVIS.-HIS VICTORIES OVER
THE ALEMANNI, BURGUNDIANS, AND VISIGOTHS. —ESTAB-
THE Gauls, who impatiently supported the Roman yoke, received a memorable lesson froin one of the lieutenants of Vespasian, whose weighty sense had been refined and expressed by the genius of Tacitus. “The protection of the republic has delivered Gaul from internal discord and foreign invasions. By the loss of national independence, you have acquired the name and privileges of Roman citizens. You enjoy, in common with ourselves, the permanent benefits of civil government; and your remote situation is less exposed to the accidental mischiefs of tyranny. Instead of exercising the rights of conquest, we have been contented to impose such tributes as are requisite for your own preservation. Peace cannot be secured without armies; and armies must be supported at the expense of the people. It is for your sake, not for our own, that we guard the barrier of the Rhine against the ferocious Germans, who have so often attempted, and who will always desire, to exchange the solitude of their woods and morasses for the wealth and fertility of Gaul. The fall of Rome would be fatal to the provinces; and you would be buried in the ruins of that mighty fabric, which has been raised by the valor and wisdom of eight hundred years. Your imaginary freedom would be insulted and oppressed by a savage master; and
1 In this chapter I shall draw my quotations from the Recueil des Historiens des Gaules et de la France, Paris, 1738–1767, in eleven volumes in folio. By the labor of Dom Bouquet, and the other Benedictines, all the original testimonies, as far as A. D. 1060, are disposed in chronological order, and illustrated with learned notes. Such a national work, which will be continued to the year 1500, might provoke our emulation.
2 Tacit. Hist. iv. 73, 74, in tom. i. p. 415. To abridge Tacitus would indeed be presumptuous; but I may select the general ideas which he applies to the pres ent state and future revolutions of Gaul.
the expulsion of the Romans would be succeeded by the eternal hostilities of the Barbarian conquerors. This salutary advice was accepted, and this strange prediction was accomplished. In the space of four hundred years, the hardy Gauls, who had encountered the arms of Cæsar, were imperceptibly melted into the general mass of citizens and subjects; the Western empire was dissolved; and the Germans, who had passed the Rhine, fiercely contended for the possession of Gaul, and excited the contempt, or abhor. rence, of its peaceful and polished inhabitants. With that conscious pride whicn the preëminence of knowledge and luxury seldom fails to inspire, they derided the hairy and gigantic savages of the North; their rustic manners, dissonant joy, voracious appetite, and their horrid appearance, equally disgusting to the sight and to the smell. The lib eral studies were still cultivated in the schools of Autun and Bordeaux; and the language of Cicero and Virgil was familiar to the Gallic youth. Their ears were astonished by the harsh and unknown sounds of the Germanic dialect, and they ingeniously lamented that the trembling muses fled from the harmony of a Burgundian lyre. The Gauls were endowed with all the advantages of art and nature; but as they wanted courage to defend them, they were justly condemned to obey, and even to flatter, the victorious Barbarians, by whose clemency they held their precarious fortunes and their lives.4
As soon as Odoacer had extinguished the Western em. pire, he sought the friendship of the most powerful of the Barbarians. The new sovereign of Italy resigned to Euric, king of the Visigoths, all the Roman conquests beyond the Alps, as far as the Rhine and the Ocean : 5 and the senate might confi:in this liberal gift with some ostentation of power, and without any real loss of revenue or dominion, The lawful pretensions of Euric were justified by ambition and success; and the Gothic nation might aspire, under his command, to the monarchy of Spain and Gaul. Arles and Marseilles surrendered to his armis; he oppressed the free
3 Eadem semper causa Germanis transcendendi in Gallias libido atque avaritiæ et mutandæ sedis amor; ut relictis paludibus et solitudinibus suis, fecundissimum hoc solum vosque ipsos possiderent,
Nam pulsis Romanis quid aliud quam bella omnium inter se gentium existent?
4 Sidonius Apollinaris ridicules, with affected wit and pleasantry, the bard. ships of his situation (Carm. xii. in tom. i. p. 811).
5 See Procopius de Bell. Gothico, 1. i. c. 12, in tom. ii. The character of Grotius inclines me to believe that he has not substituted the Rhine for the Rhône (Hist. Gothorum, p. 175) without the authority of some MS.
dom of Auvergne; and the bishop condescended to pur chase his recall from exile by a tribute of just, but reluctant praise. Sidonius waited before the gates of the palace among a crowd of ambassadors and suppliants; and their various business at the court of Bordeaux attested the power, and the renown, of the king of the Visigoths. The Heruli of the distant ocean, who painted their naked bodies with its cærulean color, implored his protection, and the Saxons respected the maritime provinces of a prince, who was destitute of any naval force. The tall Burgundians_submitted to his authority; nor did he restore the captive Franks, till he had imposed on that fierce nation the terms of an unequal peace. The Vandals of Africa cultivated his useful friendship; and the Ostrogoths of Pannonia were supported by his powerful aid against the oppression of the neighbor. ing Huns. The North (such are the lofty strains of the poet) was agitated or appeased by the nod of Euric; the great king of Persia consulted the oracle of the West; and the aged god of the Tiber was protected by the swelling genius of the Garonne.6 The fortune of nations has often depended on accidents; and France may ascribe her greatness to the premature death of the Gothic king, at a time when his son Alaric was a helpless infant, and his adversary Clovis an ambitious and valiant youth.
While Childeric, the father of Clovis, lived an exile in Germany, he was hospitably entertained by the queen, as well as by the king, of the Thuringians. After his restoration, Bafina escaped from her husband's bed to the arms of her lover; freely declaring, that if she had known a man wiser, stronger, or moļe beautiful, than Childeric, that man. should have been the object of her preference. Clovis was the offspring of this voluntary union; and, when he was no more than fifteen years
age, he succeeded, by his father's death, to the command of the Salian tribe. The narrow limits of his kingdom were confined to the island of the
6 Sidonius, 1. viii. epist. 3, 9, in tom. i. p. 800. Jornandes (de Rebus Geticis, c. 47, p. 680) justifies, in some measure, this portrait of the Gothic hero.
1 I use the familiar appellation of Clovis, from the Latin Chlodovechus, or Chlod ceus. But the Ch expresses only the German aspiration; and the true name is not different from Luduin, or Lewis (Mém. de l'Académie des Inscriptions tom xx. p. 68).
8 Greg. Turon. 1. ii. c. 12, in tom. i. p. 168. Bafina speaks the language of nature; the Franks, who had seen her in their youth, might converse with Gregory in their old age ; and the bishop of Tours could not wish to defame the mother of the first Christian king.
9 The Abbé Dubos (Hist. Critique de l'Etablissement de la Monarchie Fran. çoise dans les Gaules, tom. i. pp. 630-650) has the merit of defining the primitive kingdom of Clovis, and of ascertaining the genuine number of his subjects.