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sumed, that no people, unless the face of nature is changed, will relapse into their original barbarism. The improvements of society may be viewed under a threefold aspect. 1. The poet or philosopher illustrates his age and country by the efforts of a single mind; but those superior powers of reason or fancy are rare and spontaneous productions; and the genius of Homer, or Cicero, or Newton, would excite less admiration, if they could be created by the will of a prince, or the lessons of a preceptor. 2. The benefits of law and policy, of trade and manufactures, of arts and sciences, are more solid and permanent: and many individuals may be qualified, by education and o to promote, in their respective stations, the interest of the community. But this general order is the effect of skill and labor: and the complex machinery may be decayed by time, or injured by violence. 3. Fortunately for mankind, the more useful, or at least, more necessary arts, can be performed without superior talents, or national subordination; without the powers of one, or the union of many. Each village, each family, each individual, must always possess both ability and inclination to perpetuate the use of fire * and of metals; the propagation and service of domestic animals; the methods of hunting and fishing; the rudiments of navigation; the imperfect cultivation of corn, or other nutritive grain ; and the simple practice of the mechanic trades. Private genius and public industry may be extirpated; but these hardy plants survive the tempest, and strike an everlasting root into the most unfavorable soil. The splendid days of Augustus and Trajan were eclipsed by a cloud of ignorance; and the Barbarians subverted the laws and palaces of Rome. But the scythe, the invention or emblem of Saturn,” still continued annually to mow the harvests of Italy; and the human feasts of the Laestrigons “have never been renewed on the coast of Campania. Since the first discovery of the arts, war, commerce, and religious zeal have diffused, among the savages of the Old and New World, these inestimable gifts: they have been successively propagated ; they can never be lost. We may therefore acquiesce in the pleasing conclusion, that every age of the world has increased, and still increases, the real wealth, the happiness, the knowledge, and perhaps the vir
12 It is certain, however strange, that many nations have been ignorant of the use of fire. Even the ingenious natives of Otaheite, who are destitute of metals, have not invented any earthen vessels capable of sustaining the action of fire, and of communicating the heat to the liquids which they contain.
13 Plutarch. Quaest. Rom. in tom. ii. p. 275. Macrob. Saturnal. l. i. c. 8, p. 152, edit. London. The arrival of Saturn (of his religious worship) in a ship, may indicate; that the savage coast of Latium was first discovered and civilized by the Phoenicians.
14 In the ninth and tenth books of the Odyssey, Homer has embellished the tales of fearful and credulous sailors, who tialisformed the cannibals of Italy and Sicily into monstrous giants.
tue, of the human race.”
15 The merit of discovery has too often been stained with avarice, cruelty, and fanaticism ; and the intercourse of nations has produced the communication of disease and prejudice. A singular exception is due to the virtue of our own times and country. The five great voyages, successively undertaken by the command of his present Majesty, were inspired by the pure and generous love of science and of mankind. The same prince, adapting his benefactions to the different stages of society, has founded a school of painting in his capital ; and has introduced into the islands of the South Sea the vegetables and animals most useful to human life.
zENO AND ANASTASIUS, EMPERORS OF THE EAST. —BIRTH, EDUCATION, AND FIRST EXPLOITS OF THEODORIC THE OSTROGOTH.—HIS IN VASION AND CONQUEST OF ITALY.— THE GOTHIC RING DOM OF ITALY.—STATE OF THE WEST. —MILITARY AND CIVIL GOVERNMENT.--THE SENATOR BOETHIU.S.—LAST ACTS AND DEATH OF THEODORIC.
AFTER the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, an interval of fifty years, till the memorable reign of Justinian, is faintly marked by the obscure names and imperfect anmals of Zeno, Anastasius, and Justin, who successively ascended the throne of Constantinople. During the same period, Italy revived and flourished under the government of a Gothic king, who might have deserved a statue among the best and bravest of the ancient Romans.
Theodoric the Ostrogoth, the fourteenth in lineal descent of the royal line of the Amali," was born in the neighborhood of Vienna “two years after the death of Attila.f A recent victory had restored the independence of the Ostrogoths; and the three brothers, Walamir, Theodemir, and Widimir, who ruled that warlike nation with united counsels, had separately pitched their habitations in the fertile though desolate province of Pannonia. The Huns still threatened their revolted subjects, but their hasty attack was repelled by the single forces of Walamir, and the news of his victory reached the distant camp of his brother in the same auspicious moment that the favorite concubine of Theodemir was delivered of a son and heir. In the eighth year of his age. Theodoric was reluctantly yielded by his father to the public interest, as the pledge of an alliance which Leo, emperor of the East, had consented to purchase by an annual subsidy of three hundred pounds of gold. The royal hostage was educated at Constantinople with cale and tendermess. His body was formed to all the exercises of war, his mind was expanded by the habits of liberal conversation; he frequented the schools of the most skilful masters; but he disdained or neglected the arts of Greece, and so ignorant did he always remain of the first eldments of science, that a rude mark was contrived to represent the signature of the illiterate king of Italy.” As soon as he had attained the age of eighteen, he was restored to the wishes of the Ostrogoths, whom the emperor aspired to gain by liberality and confi. dence. Walamir had fallen in battle; the youngest of the brothers, Widimir, had led away into Italy and Gaul an army of Barbarians, and the whole nation acknowledged for their king the father of Theodoric. His ferocious subjects admired the strength and stature of their young prince;" and he soon convinced them that he had not degenerated from the valor of his ancestors. At the head of six thousand volunteers, he secretly left the camp in quest of adventures, descended the Danube as far as Singidunum, or Belgrade, and soon returned to his father with the spoils of a Sarmatian king whom he had vanquished and slain. Such triumphs, however, were productive only of fame, and the invincible Ostrogoths were reduced to extreme distress by the want of clothing and food. They unanimously resolved to desert their Pannonian encampments, and boldly to advance into 3 The four first letters of his name (QEOA) were inscribed on a gold plate, and when it was fixed on the paper, the king drew his pen though the intery als (Anonym. Walesian. ad calcem Amm., Marcellin. p. 722). This authentic, fact, with the testimony of Procopius, or at least of the contemporary Goths (Gothic. l. i. c. 2, p. 311), far outweighs the vague praises of Fnnodius (Sirmoud. Opera, tom. i. p. 1596) and Theophanes (Chronograph. p. 112).” * Statura est quae resignet proceritate regnantein (Ennodius, p. 1614). The the warm and wealthy neighborhood of the Byzantine court, which already maintained in pride and luxury so many bands of confederate Goths. After proving, by some acts of hostility, that they could be dangerous, or at least troublesome, enemies, the Ostrogoths sold at a high price their reconciliation and fidelity, accepted a donative of lands and money, and were intrusted with the defence of the Lower Danube, under the command of Theodoric, who succeeded after his father's death to the hereditary throne of the Amali.” A hero, descended from a race of kings, must have despised the base Isaurian who was invested with the IRoman purple, without any endowments of mind or body, without any advantages of royal birth, or superior qualifications. After the failure of the Theodosian line, the choice of Pulcheria and of the senate might be justified in some measure by the characters of Marcian and Leo, but the latter of these princes confirmed and dishonored his reign by the perfidious murder of Aspar and his sons, who too rigorousiy exacted the debt of gratitude and obedience. The inheritance of Leo and of the East was peaceably devolved on his infant grandson, the son of his daughter Ariadne; and her Isaurian husband, the fortunate Trascalisseus, exchanged that barbarous sound for the Grecian appellation of Zeno. After the decease of the elder Leo, he approached with unnatural respect the throne of his son, humbly received, as a gift, the second rank in the empire, and soon excited the public suspicion on the sudden and premature death of his young colleague, whose life could no longer promote the success of his ambition. But the palace of Constantinople was ruled by female influence, and agitated by female passions: and Verina, the widow of Leo, claiming his empire as her own, pronounced a sentence of deposition against the worthless and ungrateful servant on whom she alone had bestowed the sceptre of the East." As soon as she sounded a revolt in the ears of Zeno, he fled with precipitation into the mountains of Isauria, and her brother Basiliscus, already infamous by his African expedition," was unanimously proclaimed by the servile senate. But the reign of the usurper was short
1 Jormandes (de Rebus Geticis, c. 13, 14, pp. 629, 639, edit, Grot.) has drawn the pedigree of Theodoric from Gapt, one of the Anses or Demigods, who lived about the time of Domitian. Cassiodorus, the first who celebrates the royal race of the Amali (Viriar. viii. 5, ix. 25, x. 2 xi. 1), reckons the grandson of Theodoric as the xviith in descent. ‘Peringscioid (the Swedish commentator of Cochloeus, Vit. Theodoric. p. 27.1, &c., Stockholm, 1699) labors to connect this genealogy with the legends or traditions of his native country.*
2 More correctly on the banks of the Lake Pelso (Nieusiedler-see), near Carnuntum, almost on the same spot where Marcus Antoninus composed his meditations (Jornandes, c. 52, p. 659. Severin. Pannonia Illustrata, p. 22. Cellarius, Geograph. Antiq. tom. i. p. 350).
* A mala was a namo of hereditary sanctity and honor among the Ostrogoths. It enters into the names of Amalaberga, Amala suintha (swinthei means strength), Amalafred, Amalarich. ... In the poem of the Nibelungen, written three hundred years later, the Ostrogoths are called the Amilungen. According to Wachter it means, unstained, from the primative a, and malo a stain. It is pure Sanscrit, Amala, immaculatus. Schlegel, Indische Bibliothek, 1. p. 233.—M.
f The date of Theodoric’s birth is not accurately determined. e can hardly err, observes Manso, in placing it between the years 453 and 456. Manso, Gesclaichte des Ost Gothischen Reichs, p. 14—M.
bishop of Pavia (I mean the ecclesiastic who wished to be a bishop) then proceeds to celebrate the complexion, eyes, hands, &c., of his sovereign.
* Le Beau and his Commentator, M. St. Martin, support, though with no very satisfactory evidence, the opposite opinion. But Ilord Mahon (Life of Belisarius, p. 19), urges the much stronger argument, the Byzantine education of Theodoric, 5 The state of the Ostrogoths, and the first years of Theodoric, are found in Jormandes (c. 52–56, pp. 689-696 and Malchus (Excerpt. Legat. pp. 78–80), who erroneously styles him the son of Walamir. • Theophanes (p. 111) inserts a copy of her sacred letters to the provinces : to re ort to Baari Aetov wereo61, eart o “ ” kai Örri trpoxetpmordueba Bazskéa Teagkaxata atov, &c. Süch female pretensions would have astonished the slaves of the first Caesars. * Vol. iii. pp. 504-508.