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lays. No sooner had Theodoric gained a short repose and refreshment to his wearied cavalry, than he boldly attacked the fortifications of the enemy; the Ostrogoths showed more ardor to acquire, than the mercenaries to defend, the lands of Italy; and the reward of the first victory was the ossession of the Venetian province as far as the walls of W. In the neighborhood of that city, on the steep banks of the rapid Adige, he was opposed by a new army, reënforced in its numbers, and not impaired in its courage: the contest was more obstinate, but the event was still more decisive; Odoacer fled to Ravenna, Theodoric advanced to Milan, and the vanquished troops saluted their conqueror with loud acclamations of respect and fidelity. But their want either of constancy or of faith soon exposed him to the most imminent danger; his vanguard, with several Gothic counts, which had been rashly intrusted to a deserter, was betrayed and destroyed near Faenza by his double treachery; Odoacer again appeared master of the field, and the invader, strongly intrenched in his camp of Pavia, was reduced to solicit the aid of a kindred nation, the Visigoths of Gaul. In the course of this History, the most voracious appetite for war will be abundantly satiated; nor can I much lament that our dark and imperfect materials do not afford a more ample narrative of the distress of Italy, and of the fierce conflict, which was finally decided by the abilities, experience, and valor of the Gothic king. Immediately before the battle of Verona, he visited the tent of his mother" and sister, and requested, that on a day, the most illustrious festival of his life, they would adorn him with the rich garments which they had worked with their own hands. “Our glory,” said he, “is mutual and inseparable. You are known to the world as the mother of Theodoric ; and it becomes me to prove, that I am the genuine offspring of those heroes from whom I claim my descent.” The wife or concubine of Theodemir was inspired with the spirit of the German matrons, who esteemed their sons’ honor far above their safety; and it is reported, that in a desperate action, when Theodoric himself was hurried along by the torrent of a flying crowd, she 1°See Ennodius, pp. 1603, 1694. Since the orator, in the king's presence, could boldly met them at the entrance of the camp, and, by her generous reproaches, drove them back on the swords of the enemy.” From the Alps to the extremity of Calabria, Theodoric reigned by the right of conquest; the Vandal ambassadors surrendered the Island of Sicily, as a lawful appendage of his kingdom; and he was accepted as the deliverer of Rome by the senate and people, who had shut their gates against the flying usurper.” Ravenna alone, secure in the fortifications of art and nature, still sustained a siege of almost three years; and the daring sallies of Odoacer carried slaughter and dismay into the Gothic camp. At length, destitute of provisions and hopeless of relief, that unfortunate monarch yielded to the groans of his subjects and the clamors of his soldiers. A treaty of peace was negotiated by the bishop of Ravenna; the Ostrogoths were admitted into the city, and the hostile kings consented, under the sanction of an oath, to rule with equal and undivided authority the provinces of Italy. The event of such an agreement may be easily foreseen. After some days had been devoted to the semblance of joy and friendship, Odoacer, in the midst of a solemn banquet, was stabbed by the hand, or at least by the command, of his rival. Secret and effectual orders had been previously despatched; the faithless and rapacious mercenaries, at the same moment, and without resistance, were universally massacred; and the royalty of Theodoric was proclaimed by the Goths, with the tardy, reluctant, ambiguous consent of the emperor of the East. The design of a conspiracy was imputed, according to the usual forms, to the prostrate tyrant; but his innocence, and the guilt of his conqueror,” are sufficiently proved by the advantageous treaty which force would not sincerely have granted, nor weakness have rashly infringed. The jealousy of power, and the mischiefs of discord, may suggest a more decent apology, and a sentence less rigorous may be pronounced against a crime which was necessary to introduce into Ital a generation of public felicity. The living author of this felicity was audaciously praised in his own presence by sacred and profane orators; * but history (in his time she was mute and inglorious) has not left any just representation of the events which displayed, or of the defects which clouded, the virtues of Theodoric.” One record of his fame, the volume of public epistles composed by Cassiodorus in the royal name, is still extant, and has obtained more implicit credit than it seems to deserve.” They exhibit the forms, rather than the substance, of his government; and we should vainly search for the pure and spontaneous sentiments of the Barbarian amidst the declamation and learning of a sophist, the wishes of a Roman senator, the precedents of office, and the vague professions, which, in every court and on every occasion, compose the language of discreet ministers. The reputation of Theodoric may repose with more confidence on the visible peace and prosperity of a reign of thirty-three years; the unanimous esteem of his own times, and the memory of his wisdom and courage, his justice and humanity, which was deeply impressed on the minds of the Goths and Italians. The partition of the lands of Italy, of which Theodoric assigned the third part to his soldiers, is honorably arraigned as the sole injustice of his life.” And even this act may be 23 The sonorous and servile oration of Ennodius was pronounced at Milan or Ravenna in the years 507 or 508 (Sirmond, tom. i. p. 615). Two or three years afterwards, the orator was rewarded with the bishopric of Pavia, which he held till his death in the year 521. (Dupin, Bibliot. Eccles. tom. v. pp. 11–14. See Saxii Onomasticon. tom. ii. p. 12). - 21 Our best materials are occasional hints from Procopius and the Walesian Tragment, which was discovered by Sirmond, and is published at the end of Ammianus Marcellinus. The author's name is unknown, and his style is barbarous; but in his various facts he exhibits the knowledge, without the passions, of a contemporarv. The president Montesquieu had formed the lilan of a history of Theodoric, which at a distance might appear a rich and interesting subject. 25 The best edition of the J’ariarum Libri xii. is that of Joh. Garretius (Rotomagi, 1679, in Opp. Cassiodor 2 vols. in fol.); but they deserved and required such an editor as the Marquis Scipio Maffei, who thought of pullishing them at fairly justified y the example of Odoacer, the rights of conquest, the true interest of the Italians, and the sacred duty of subsisting a whole people, who, on the faith of his promises, had transported themselves into a distant land.” Under the reign of Theodoric, and in the happy climate of Italy, the Goths soon multiplied to a formidable host of two hundred thousand men,” and the whole amount of their families may be computed by the ordinary addition of women and children. Their invasion of property, a part of which must have been already vacant, was disguised by the generous but improper name of hospitality; these unwelcome guests were irregularly dispersed over the face of Italy, and the lot of each Barbarian was adequate to his birth and office, the number of his followers, and the rustic wealth which he possessed in slaves and cattle. The distinctions of noble and plebeian were acknowledged; * but the lands of every freeman were exempt from taxes,” and he enjoyed the inestimable privilege of being subject only . to the laws of his country.” Fashion, and even convenience, soon persuaded the conquerors to assume the more elegant dress of the natives, but they still persisted in the use of their mother-tongue; and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring, that the child who had trembled at a rod, would never dare to look upon a sword.” Distress might sometimes provoke the indigent Roman to assume the ferocious manners which were insensibly relinquished by the rich and luxurious Barbarian; * but these mutual conversions were not encouraged by the policy of a monarch who perpetuated the separation of the

mention and praise his mother, we may conclude that the magnanimity of Theodoric was not hurt by the vulgar reproaches of concubine and bastard.*

* Gibbon here assumes that the mother of Theodoric was the concubine of Theodemir, which he leaves doubtful in the text.—M.

* This anecdote is related on the modern but respectable authority of Sigonius (Op. tom. i. p. 580. De Occident. Imp. 1. xv.) : his words are curious : 4 { Would you return ?” &c. She presented and almost displayed the original recess.

* Hist. Miscell. 1. xv., a Roman history from Janus to the ixth century, an Epitome of Eutropios, Paulus Diaconus, and Theophanes, which Muratori has Pool from a MS. in the Ambrosian library (Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. 1. p.

* Procopius (Gothic. l. i. c. i.) approves himself an impartial skeptic ; baori + “ 8oNepo rporp exteuve. Cassiodorus (in Chron.) and Ennodius (p. 1604) are loyal and gredulous, and the testimony of the Walesian Fragment (p. 718) may justify their belief. Marcellinus spits the venom of a Greek subject—operjuriis illectus, interfectusque est (in Chron.).

*The authority of Sigonius would scarcely have weighed with Gibbon except for on indecent anecdote. I have a recollection of a similar story in some of the Italian wars.-M.

Verona. The Barbara Eseganza (as it is ingeniously named by Tiraboschi) is never simple and seldom perspicuous.

* Compare Gibbon, ch. xxxvi. vol. iii. p. 459, &c. —Manso observes that this division was conducted not in a violent and irregular, but in a legal and orderly manner. The Harbarian, who could not show a title of grant from the officers &# Theodoric appointed for that purpose, or a prescriptive right of thirty years, in case he had obtained the property before the Ostrogothic conquest, was ejected from the estate. He conceives that estates too small to bear division paid a third of their produce.—Geschichte des Ost Gothischen Reiches, p. 82.-M. 26 Procopius, Gothic. l. i. c. i. Variarum, ii. Massei (Verona Illustrata, P. i. p. 228) exaggerates the injustice of the Goths, whom he hated as an Italian noble. The plebeian Muratori crouches under their oppression.

27 Procopius, Goth. 1. iii. c. 421. Ennodius describes (pp. 1612, 1613) the military arts and increasing numbers of the Goths.

* When Theodoric gave his sister to the king of the Vandals, she sailed for Africa with a guard of 1000 noble Gotlis, each of whom was attended by five armed followers (Procop. Vandal. l. i. c. 8). The Gothic nobility must have been as numerous as brave.

* See the acknowledgment of Gothic liberty (Var. v. 30).

* Procopius, Goth. l. i. c. 2. The Roman boys learnt the language (War. viii. 21) of the Goths. . Their general ignorance is not destroyed by the exceptions of Amalasuntha, a female, who might study without shame, or of Theodatus, whose learning provoked the indignation and contempt of his countrymen.

* A saying of Theodoric was founded on experience : “Romanus miser imitatur Gothum ; ut utilis (dives) Gothus imitatur Romanum.” (See the Fragment and Notes of Walesius, p. 719.)

* Manso (p. 100) quotes two passages from Cassiodorus to show that the Goths were not exempt from toe siscal claims.-Cassiodor. i. 19, iv. 14.—M.

WoL. III.-25

Italians and Goths; reserving the former for the arts of peace, and the latter for the service of war. To accomplish this design, he studied to protect his industrious subjects, and to moderate the violence, without enervating the valor, of his soldiers, who were maintained for the public defence. They held their lands and benefices as a military stipend: at the sound of the trumpet, they were prepared to march under the conduct of their provincial officers; and the whole extent of Italy was distributed into the several quarters of a well-regulated camp. The service of the palace and of the frontiers was performed by choice or by rotation; and each extraordinary fatigue was recompensed by an increase of pay and occasional donatives. Theodoric had convinced his brave companions, that empire must be acquired and defended by the same arts. After his example, they strove to excel in the use, not only of the lance and sword, the instruments of their victories, but of the missile weapons, which they were too much inclined to neglect; and the lively image of war was displayed in the daily exercise and annual reviews of the Gothic cavalry. A firm though gentle discipline imposed the habits of modesty, obedience and temperance; and the Goths were instructed to spare the people, to reverence the laws, to understand the duties of civil society, and to disclaim the barbarous license of judicial combat and private revenge.” Among the Barbarians of the West, the victory of Theodoric had spread a general alarm. But as soon as it appeared that he was satisfied with conquest and desirous of peace, terror was changed into respect, and they submitted to a powerful mediation, which was uniformly employed for the best purposes of reconciling their quarrels and civilizing their manners.” The ambassadors who resorted to Ravenna from the most distant countries of Europe, admired his wisdom, magnificence,” and courtesy; and if he sometimes accepted either slaves or arms, white horses or strange

32 The view of the military establishment of the Goths in Italy is collected from the Epistles of Cassiodorus (Var. i. 24, 40; iii. 3, 24, 48; iv. 13, 1}; v. 26, 27 ; viii. 3, 4, 25). They are illustrated by the learned Mascou (Hist. of the Germans, l. xi. 40–44, Annotation xiv.).”

83 See the clearness and vigor of his negotiations in Ennodius (p. 1607), and Cassiodorus (Var. iii. 1, 2, 3, 4; iv. 13; v. 43,44), who gives the different styles of friendship, counsel, expostulation, &c.

* Even of his table (Var. vi. 9) and palace (vii. 5). The admiration of strangers is represented as the most rational motive to justify these vain expenses, and to stimulate the diligence of the officers to whom these provinces were intrusted. .

* Compare Manso, Geschichte des Ost Gothischen Reiches, p. 114.—M.

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