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Batavians, with the ancient dioceses of Tournay and Ar. ras; " and at the baptism of Clovis the number of his warriors could not exceed five thousand. The kindred tribes of the Franks, who had seated themselves along the Belgic rivers, the Scheld, the Meuse, the Moselle, and the Rhine, were governed by their independent kings, of the Merovingian race; the equals, the allies, and sometimes the enemies, of the Salic prince. But the Germans, who obeyed, in peace, the hereditary jurisdiction of their chiefs, were free to follow the standard of a popular and victorious general; and the superior merit of Clovis attracted the respect and allegiance of the national confederacy. When he first took the field, he had neither gold and silver in his coffers, nor wine and corn in his magazine; * but he imitated the example of Caesar, who, in the same country, had acquired wealth by the sword, and purchased soldiers with the fruits of conquest. After each successful battle or expedition, the spoils were accumulated in one common mass; every war. rior received his proportionable share; and the royal prerogative submitted to the equal regulations of military law. The untamed spirit of the Barbarians was taught to acknowledge the advantages of regular discipline.” At the annual review of the month of March, their arms were diligently inspected, and when they traversed a peaceful territory, they were prohibited from touching a blade of grass. The justice of Clovis was inexorable; and his careless or disobedient soldiers were punished with instant death. It would be superfluous to praise the valor of a Frank; but the valor of Clovis was directed by cool and consummate prudence.” In all his transactions with mankind, he calculated the weight of interest, of passion, and of opinion; and his measures were sometimes adapted to the sanguinary manners of the Germans, and sometimes moderated by the milder genius of Rome, and Christianity. He was intercepted in the career of victory, since he died in the forty fifth year of his age; but he had already accomplished, in a reign of thirty years, the establishment of the French monarchy in Gaul. The first exploit of Clovis was the defeat of Syagrius, the son of Ægidius; and the public quarrel might, on this occasion, be inflamed by private resentment. The glory of the father still insulted the Merovingian race; the power of the son might excite the jealous ambition of the king of the Franks. Syagrius inherited, as a patrimonial estate, the city and diocese of Soissons: the desolate remnant of the second Belgic, Rheims and Troyes, Beauvais and Amiens, would naturally submit to the count or patrician; * and after the dissolution of the Western empire, he might reign with the title, or at least with the authority, of king of the Romans.” As a Roman, he had been educated in the liberal studies of rhetoric and jurisprudence; but he was engaged by accident and policy in the familiar use of the Germanic idiom. The indel endent Barbarians resorted to the tribunal of a stranger, who possessed the singular talent of explaining, in their native tongue, the dictates of reason and equity. The diligence and affability of their judge rendered him popular, the impartial wisdom of his decrees obtained their voluntary obedience, and the reign of Syagrius over the Franks and Burgundians seemed to revive the original institution of civil society.” In the midst of these peaceful occupations, Syagrius received, and boldly accepted, the hostile defiance of Clovis; who challenged his rival in the spirit, and almost in the language, of chivalry, to appoint the day and the field” of battle. In the time of Caesar, Soissons would have poured forth a body of fifty thousand horse; and such an army might have been plentifully supplied with shields, cuirasses, and military en
10 Ecclesiam incultamac negligentia civium Paganorum praetermissam, veprium densitate oppletam, &c. Wit. St. Vedasti, in tom. iii. p. 372. This description supposes that Arras was possessed by the Pagans many years before the baptism of Clovis. 11 Gregory of Tours (1. v. c. i. tom. ii. p. 232) contrasts the poverty of Cloyis with the wealth of his grandsons. Yet Remigius (in tom. iv. p. 52) mentions his paternas opes, as sufficient for the redemption of captives. 1* See Gregory (1. ii. c. 27, 37, in tom. ii. pp. 175, 181, 182). The famous story of the vase of Soissons explains both the power and the character of Clovis. As a point of controversy, it has been strangely tortured by Boulainvilliers, Dubos, and the other political antiquarians. 13 The duke of Nivernois, a noble statesman, who has managed weighty and delicate negotiations, ingeniously illustrates (Mém, de l'Acad, des Inscriptions, tom. xx. pp. 147-184) the political system of Clovis.
14 M. Biet (in a Dissertation which deserved the prize of the Academy of Sois
sons, pp. 178226) has accurately defined the nature and extent of the kingdom of Syagrius, and his father; but he too readily allows the slight evidence of Dubos (tom. ii. pp. 54–57) to deprive him of Beauvais and Amiens.
13 I may observe that Fredegarius, in his epitome of Gregory of Tours (tom. ii. p. 398) has prudently substituted the name of Patricius for the incredible title of Reac Romanorum.
19 Sidonius (l. v. Epist. 5, in tom. i. p. 794), who styles him the Solon, the Am. phion, of the Barbarians, addresses this imaginary king in the tone of †"...# and equality. From such offices of arbitration, the crafty Dejoces had raise himself to the throne of the Medes (Herodot. l. i. c. 96-100).
17 Campum, sibi praeparari jussit. M. Biet (pp. 226-251) has diligently ascertained his field of battle, at Nogent, a Benedictine abbey, about ten miles to the north of Soissons. The ground was marked by a circle of Pagan sepulchres; And Clovis bestowed the adjacent lands of Leully and Coucy on the church of Rheims.
ines, from the three arsenals or manufactures of the city.”
3ut the courage and numbers of the Gallic youth were long since exhausted ; and the loose bands of volunteers, or mer. cenaries, who marched under the standard of Syagrius, were incapable of contending with the national valor of the Franks. It would be ungenerous, without some more accu. rate knowledge of his strength and resources, to condemn sthe rapid flight of Syagrius, who escaped, after the loss of a battle, to the distant court of Toulouse. The feeble minority of Alaric could not assist or protect an unfortunate fugitive; the pusillanimous * Goths were intimidated by the menaces of Clovis; and the Roman king, after a short confinement, was delivered into the hands of the executioner. The Belgic cities surrendered to the king of the Franks; and his dominions were enlarged towards the East by the ample diocese of Tongres” which Clovis subdued in the tenth year of his reign.
The name of the Alemanni has been absurdly derived from their imaginary settlement on the banks of the Leman Lake.” That fortunate district, from the lake to Avenche, and Mount Jura, was occupied by the Burgundians.” The northern parts of Helvetia had indeed been subdued by the ferocious Alemanni, who destroyed with their own hands the fruits of their conquest. A province, improved and adorned by the arts of Rome, was again reduced to a savage wilderness; and some vestige of the stately Windonissa may still be discovered in the fertile and populous valley of the Aar.” From the source of the Rhine to its conflux with the Main and the Moselle, the formidable swarms of the Alemanni commanded either side of the river, by the right of ancient possession, or recent victory. They had spread themselves into Gaul, over the modern provinces of Alsace and Lorraine; and their bold invasion of the kingdom of Cologne summoned the Salic prince to the defence of his Ripuarian allies. Clovis encountered the invaders of Gaul in the plain of Tolbiac, about twenty-four miles from Cologne; and the two fiercest nations of Germany were mutually animated by the memory of past exploits, and the prospect of future greatness. The Franks, after an obstinate struggle, gave way; and the Alemanni, raising a shout of victory, impetuously pressed their retreat. But the battle was restored by the valor, and the conduct, and perhaps by the piety, of Clovis; and the event of the bloody day decided forever the alternative of empire or servitude. The last king of the Alemanni was slain in the field, and his people were slaughtered or pursued, till they threw down their arms, and yielded to the mercy of the conqueror. Without discipline it was impossible for them to rally: they had contemptuously demolished the walls and fortifications which might have protected their distress; and they were followed into the heart of their forests by an enemy not less active, or intrepid, than themselves. The great Theodoric congratulated the victory of Clovis, whose sister Albofleda the king of Italy had lately married; but he mildly interceded with his brother in favor of the sup. pliants and fugitives, who had implored his protection. The Gallic territories, which were possessed by the Alemanni, became the prize of their conqueror; and the haughty nation, invincible, or rebellious, to the arms of Rome, acknowledged the sovereignty of the Merovingian kings, who graciously permitted them to enjoy their peculiar manners and institutions, under the government of official, and, at length, of hereditary, dukes. After the conquest of the Western provinces, the Franks alone maintained their ancient habitations beyond the Rhine. They gradually subdued, and civilized, the exhausted countries, as far as the Elbe, and the mountains of Bohemia; and the peace of Europe was secured by the obedience of Germany.” monkish superstition, and of industrious freedom. If he be truly a philosopher, he will applaud the merit and happiness of his own times. * Gregory of Tours (l. ii. 30, 37, in tom. ii. pp. 176, 177, 182), the Gesta Franco
18 See Caesar. Comment. de Bell. Gallic, ii. 4, in tom. i. p. 220, and the Notitiae, tom. i. p. 126. The three Fabrica of Soissons were Scutaria, Balistoria, and Climabaria. The last supplied the complete armor of the heavy cuirassiers. 19 The epithet must be confined to circumstances; and history cannot justify the French prejudice of Gregory (l. ii. c. 27, in tom. ii. p. 175) ut Gothorum pavere mos est. 20 Dubos has satisfied me (tom. i. pp. 277-286) that Gregory of Tours, his transcribers, or his readers, have repeatedly confounded the German kingdom of Thotringia, beyond the Rhine, and the Gallic, city of Tongria, on the Meuse, which lo.more anciently the country of the Eburones, and more recently the diocese of Liege. \ 21 Populi habitantes juxta Lemannum lacum, Alemanni dicuntur. Servius, ad Virgil. Georgic, iv. 278. Dom Bouquet (tom. i. p. 817) has only alleged the mole recent and corrupt text of Isidore of Seville. 22 Gregory of Tours sends St. Lupicinus inter illa Jurensis deserti secreta, quae, inter Burgundiam Alamanmiamgue sita, Aventicae adjacent civitati, in tom. i. p. 648. M. de Watteville (Hist. de la Conféderation Helvetique tom. i. pp. 9, 10) has accurately defined the Helvetian limits of the Duchy of Alemanilia, and the Transjurane Burgundy. They were commensurate with the dioceses bf Constance and Avenche, or Lausanne, and are all still discriminated, in modern Switzerland, by the use of the German or French language. 23 See Guilliman de Rebus Helviticis, l. i. c. 3, pp. 11, 12. Within the ancient walls of Windonissa, the castle of Hapsburgh, the abbey of Konigsfield, and the town of Bruck, have successively arisen. The philosophic traveller may com: pare the monuments of Roman couquest, of !. or Austrian tyranny, of
rum (in tom. ii. p. 551), and the epistle of Theodoric (Cassiodor. Variar. i. ii. c. 41, in tom. iv. p. 4), represent the defeat of the Alemanni. Some of their tribes set.
Till the thirtieth year of his age, Clovis continued to worship the gods of his ancestors.” His disbelief, or rather disregard, of Christianity, might encourage him to pillage with less remorse the churches of a hostile territory: but his subjects of Gaul enjoyed the free exercise of religious worship; and the bishops entertained a more favorable hope of the idolater, than of the heretics. The Merovingian prince had contracted a fortunate alliance with the fair Clotilda. the niece of the king of Burgundy, who, in the midst of an Arian court, was educated in the profession of the Catholic faith. It was her interest, as well as her duty, to achieve the conversion * of a Pagan husband; and Clovis insensibly listened to the voice of love and religion. He consented (perhaps such terms had been previously stipulated) to the baptism of his eldest son; and though the sudden death of the infant excited some superstitious fears, he was persuaded, a second time, to repeat the dangerous experiment. In the distress of the battle of Tolbiac, Clovis loudly in. voked the God of Clotilda and the Christians; and victory disposed him to hear, with respectful gratitude, the elouent” Remigius,” bishop of Rheims, who forcibly displayed the temporal and spiritual advantages of his con. version. The king declared himself satisfied of the truth of the Catholic faith; and the political reasons which might have suspended his public profession, were removed by the devout or loyal acclamations of the Franks, who showed themselves alike prepared to follow their heroic leader to tled in Rhaetia, under the protection of Theodoric ; whose successors ceded the colony and their country to the grandson of Clovis. The state of the Alemanni under the Merovingian kings may be seen in Mascou (Hist. of the Ancient Germans, xi. 8, &c.). Annotation xxxvi. and Guilliman (de Reb. Helvet. l. ii. c. 10-12, . 72–83). o PP, Clotilda, or rather Gregory, supposes that Cloyis worshipped the gods of Greece and Rome. The fact is incredible, and the mistake only shows how completely, in less than a century, the national religion of the Franks had been abolished, and even forgotten. - * Gregory of Tours relates the marriage and conversion of Clovis (l. ii. c. 82. 31, in tom. ii. pp. 175-178). Even Fredegarius, or the nameless Epitomizer (in tomii. p. 398-400) the author of the Gesta Francorum (in tom. ii. pp., 548-552), and Aimoin himself (l. i. c. 13, in tom. iii. pp. 37–40), may be heard without disdain, Tradition might long preserve some curious circumstances of these important transactions. 21 A traveller, who returned from Rheims to Auvergne, had stolen a copy of his declamations from the secretary or bookseller of the modest archbishop (Sidonias Apollinar. l. ix. epist. 7). Four epistles of Remigius, which are all still §. (in tom. iv. pp. 51, 52, 53), do not correspond with the splendid praise of 1Gioll ills. 28 Hincmar, one of the successors of Remigius (A. D. 845–882), has composed his life (in tom. iii. pp. 373-380). The authority of ancient MSS. of the church of Rheims might inspire some confidence, which is destroyed, however, by the selfish and audacious fictions of Hincmar. It is remarkable enough. that Remi
gous, who was consecrated at the age of twenty-two (A. D. 457), filled the episco, pal chair seventy-four years (Pagi Critica, in Baron, tom. ii. pp. 384, 572).