« ForrigeFortsett »
a and, as he lay, trembling with aguish cold, under a weight of bed-clothes, he expressed, in broken murmurs to his phy sician Elpidius, his deep repentance for the murders of Boethius and Symmachus.” His malady increased, and after a dysentery which continued three days, he expired in the }. of Ravenna, in the thirty-third, or, if we compute rom the invasion of Italy, in the thirty-seventh year of his reign. Conscious of his approaching end, he divided his treasures and provinces between his two grandsons, and fixed the IRhone as their common boundary.” Amalaric was restored to the throne of Spain. Italy, with all the conquests of the Ostrogoths, was bequeathed to Athalaric; whose age did not exceed ten years, but who was cherished as the last male offspring of the line of Amali, by the shortlived marriage of his mother Amalasuntha with a royal fugitive of the same blood.” In the presence of the dying monarch, the Gothic chiefs and Italian magistrates mutually engaged their faith and loyalty to the young prince, and to his guardian mother; and received, in the same awful moment, his last salutary advice, to maintain the laws, to love the senate and people of Rome, and to cultivate with decent reverence the friendship of the emperor.” The monument of Theodoric was erected by his daughter Amalasuntha, in a conspicuous situation, which commanded the city of Ravenna, the harbor, and the adjacent coast. A chapel of a circular form, thirty feet in diameter, is crowned by a dome of one entire piece of granite: from the centre of the dome four columns arose, which supported, in a vase of porphyry, the remains of the Gothic king, surrounded by the brazen statues of the twelve apostles.” His spirit, after some previous expiation, might have been permitted to mingle with 108 Procopius, Goth. 1. i. c. 1. But he might have informed us, whether he had received this curious anecdote from common report, or from the mouth of the royal physician. 104 Procopius, Goth. l. i. c. 1, 2, 12, 13. This partition had been directed by Theodoric, though it was not executed till, after his death. Regni hereditatem superstes reliquit (Isidor. Chron. p. 721, edit. Grot). to Berimund, the third in descent trom Hermanric, king of the Ostrogoths, had retired into Spain, where he lived and died in obscurity (Jornandes. c. 33, p. 202, edit. Muratori). See the discovery, nuptials, and death of his grandson Eutharic (c. 58, p. 220). His Roman games might render him popular (Cassiodor. in Chron.), but Eutharic was asper in religione (Anonym. Wales. p. 723). 106 See the counsels of #... and the professions of his successor, in Procopius (Goth. 1. i. c. 1, 2), Jormandes (c. 59, pp. 220, 221), and Cassiodorus (Var. viii. 1-7). These epistles are the triumph of his ministerial eloquence. the benefactors of mankind, if an Italian hermit had not been witness, in a vision, to the damnation of Theodoric,” whose soul was plunged, by the ministers of divine vengeance, into the volcano of Lipari, one of the flaming mouths of the infernal world.”
107 Anonym. Wales. p. 724. Agnellus de Vitis. Pont. Raven. in Muratori Script. Rerum Ital. tom. ii. P. i. p. 67. Alberti Descrittione d'Italia, p. 311.*
* The Mausoleum of Theodoric, now Santa Maria della Rotonda, is owed in D'Agincourt, Histoire de l’Art, p. xviii. of the Architectural Priuts.—M.
108 This legend is related by Gregory I. (Dialog. iv. 36), and 2pproved by Baronius (A. D. 526, No. 28); and both the pope and cardinal are grave doctors, sufficient to establish a probable opinion.
109 Theodoric himself, or rather Cassiodorus, had described in tragic strains the volcanos of Lipari (Culver. Sicilia, pp. 406-410) and Wesuvius (iv. 50).
ELEVATION OF JUSTIN THE EIDER.—REIGN OF JUSTINIAN. —I. THE EMPRESS THEODORA.—II. FACTIONS OF THE CIRCU S AND SEDITION OF CONSTANTINOPLE.-III. TRADE AND MANUFACTURE OF SILK.—IV. FINANCES AND TAXES. —W. EDIFICES OF JUSTINIAN.—CHURCH OF ST. SOPHIA. —FORTIFICATIONS AND FRONTIERS OF THE EASTERN EMPIRE.-ABOLITION OF THE SCHOOLS OF ATHENS AND THE CONSULSHIP OF ROME.
THE emperor Justinian was born 1 near the ruins of Sardica (the modern Sophia), of an obscure race” of Barbarians,” the inhabitants of a wild and desolate country, to which the names of Dardania, of Dacia, and of Bulgaria, have been successively applied. His elevation was prepared by the adventurous spirit of his uncle Justin, who, with two other peasants of the same village, deserted, for the profession of arms, the more useful employment of husbandmen or shepherds." On foot, with a scanty provision of biscuit in their knapsacks, the three youths followed the high road of Constantinople, and were soon enrolled, for their strength and stature, among the guards of the emperor Leo. Under the two succeeding reigns, the fortunate peasant emerged to wealth and honors; and his escape from some dangers which threatened his life was afterwards ascribed to the guardian angel who watches over the fate of kings. His long and laudable service in the Isaurian and Persian wars would not have preserved from oblivion the name of Justin; yet they might warrant the military promotion, which in the course of fifty years he gradually obtained; the rank of tribune, of count, and of general; the dignity of senator, and the command of the guards, who obeyed him as their chief, at the important crisis when the emperor Anastasius was removed from the world. The powerful kinsmen whom he had raised and enriched were excluded from the throne; and the eunuch Amantius, who reigned in the palace, had secretly resolved to fix the diadem on the head of the most obsequious of his creatures. A liberal donative, to conciliate the suffrage of the guards, was intrusted for that purpose in the hands of their commander. But these weighty arguments were treacherously employed by Justin in his own favor; and as no competitor presumed to appear, the Dacian peasant was invested with the purple by the unanimous consent of the soldiers, who knew him to be brave and gentle, of the clergy and people, who believed him to be orthodox, and of the provincials, who yielded a blind and implicit submission to the will of the capital. The elder Justin, as he is distinguished from another emperor of the same family and name, ascended the Byzantine throne at the age of sixty-eight years; and, had he been left to his own guidance, every moment of a nine years' reign must have exposed to his subjects the impropriety of their choice. His ignorance was similar to that of Theodoric ; and it is remarkable that in an age not destitute of learning, two contemporary monarchs had never been instructed in the knowledge of the alphabet.* But the genius of Justin was far inferior to that of the Gothic king; the experience of a soldier had not qualified him for the government of an empire; and though personally brave, the consciousness of his own weakness was naturally attended with doubt, distrust, and political apprehension. But the official business of the state was diligently and faithfully transacted by the quaestor Proclus;* and the aged emperor adopted the talents and ambition of his nephew Justinian, an aspiring youth, whom his uncle had drawn from the rustic solitude of Dacia, and educated at Constantinople, as the heir of his private fortune, and at length of the Eastern empire. Since the eunuch Amantius had been defrauded of his money, it became necessary to deprive him of his life. The task was easily accomplished by the charge of a real or fictitious conspiracy; and the judges were informed, as an accumulation of guilt, that he was secretly addicted to the Manichaean heresy." Amantius lost his head ; three of his companions, the first domestics of the palace, were punished either with death or exile; and their unfortunate candidate for the purple was cast into a deep dungeon, overwhelmed with stones, and ignominiously thrown, without burial, into the sea. The ruin of Vitalian was a work of more difficulty and danger. That Gothic chief had rendered himself popular by the civil war which he boldly waged against Anastasius for the defence of the orthodox faith, and after the conclusion of an advantageous treaty, he still remained in the neighborhood of Constantinople at the head of a formidable and victorious army of Barbarians. By the frail security of oaths, he was tempted to relinquish this advantageous situation, and to trust his person within the walls of a city, whose inhabitants, particularly the blue faction, were artfully incensed against him by the remembrance even of his |..." hostilities. The emperor and his nephew embraced him as the faithful and worthy champion of the church and state; and gratefully adorned their favorite with the titles of consul and general; but in the seventh month of his consulship, Vitalian was stabbed with seventeen wounds at the royal banquet;" and Justinian, who inherited the spoil, was accused as the assassin of a spiritual brother, to whom he had recently pledged his faith in the participation of the Christian mysteries.” After the fall of his rival, he was pro
* There is some difficulty in the date of his birth (Ludewig in Vit. Justiniani, }. 125), none in the place—the district Bederiana—the village Tauresium, which e afterwards decorated with his name and splendor (D'Anville, Hist. de l'Acad. &c., tom. xxxi. pp. 287–292). * The names of these Dardanian peasants are Gothic, and almost English: Justinian is a translation of uprauda (upright); his father Sabatius (in Groecobarbarous language stipes) was styled in his village Istock (Stock): his mother Bigleniza was softened into Vigilantia. 8 Ludewig (pp. 127-135) attempts to justify the Amician name of Justinian and Theodora, and to connect them with a family from which the house of Austria has been derived. * See the anecdotes of Procopius (c. 6), with the notes of N. Alemannus. The satirist would not have sunk, in the vague and decent appellation of yewpyos, the Bouaoxos and oridopgos of Zonaras. Yet why are those names disgraceful ?—and what German baron would not be proud to descend from the Eumaeus of the Odyssey? “
* It is whimsical enough that, in our own days, we should have, even in jest, a claimant to lineal descent from the godlike swineherd, not in the person of a German baron, but in that of a professor of the Ionian University. Constantine Koliades, or some malicious wit under this name, has written a tall folio to prove Ulysses to be Homer, and himsehf the descendant, the heir (?), of the Eumaeus of the Odyssey.—M.
5 His virtues are praised by Procopius (Persic. l i. c. 11). The quaestor Proclus was the friend of Justinian, and the enemy of every other adoption.
* st. Martin questions the fact in both cases. The ignorance of Justin rests o the to ret history of Procopius, vol. viii. p. 8. St. Martin's notes on Le eau.-M1.
* Manichaean signifies Eutychian. Hear the furious acclamations of Constantinople and Tyre, the former no more than six days after the decease of Anastasius. They produced, the latter applauded, the eunuch's death (Baronius, A. D. 518, P. ii. No. 15. Fleury, Hist. Ecclés, tom. vii. pp. 200, 205, from the Councils, tom. v. pp. 182, 207). 7 His power, character, and intentions, are perfectly explained by the count de Buat (tom. ix. pp. 54-81). He was great-grandson of Aspar, hereditary §. in the Lesser Scythia, and count of the Gothic fooderati of Thrace. The Bessi, whom he could influence. are the minor Goths of Jornandes (c. 51). 8 Justiniani patricii factione dicitur interfectus fuisse (Victor Tununensis, Chron. in Thesaur. Temp. Scaliger. P. ii. p. 7). Procopius (Anecdot. c. 7) §§ ''. a tyrant, but acknowledges the döexportaria, which is well explaimed by enhallllus.