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reign of Justinian.” In an age of freedom and valor, the slightest rampart may prevent a surprise; and Procopius appears insensible of the superiority of ancient times, while he praises the solid construction and double parapet of a wall, whose long arms stretched on either side into the sea; but whose strength was deemed insufficient to guard the Chersonesus, if each city, and particularly Gallipoli and Sestus, had not been secured by their peculiar fortifications. The long wall, as it was emphatically styled, was a work as disgraceful in the object, as it was respectable in the execution. The riches of a capital diffuse themselves over the neighboring country, and the territory of Constantinople, a paradise of nature, was adorned with the luxurious gardens and villas of the senators and opulent citizens. But their wealth served only to attract the bold and rapacious Barbarians; the noblest of the Romans, in the bosom of peaceful indolence, were led away into Scythian captivity, and their sovereign might view from his palace the hostile flames which were insolently spread to the gates of the Imperial city. At the distance only of forty miles, Anastasius was constrained to establish a last frontier; his iong wall, of sixty miles from the Propontis to the Euxine, proclaimed the impotence of his arms; and as the danger became more imminent, new fortifications were added by the indefati. gable prudence of Justinian.” Asia Minor, after the submission of the Isaurians,” remained without enemies and without fortifications. Those bold savages, who had disdained to be the subjects of Gallienus, persisted two hundred and thirty years in a life of independence and rapine. The most successful princes respected the strength of the mountains and the despair of the natives; their fierce spirit was sometimes soothed with gifts, and sometimes restrained by terror; and a military count, with three legions, fixed his permanent and ignominious station in the heart of the Roman provinces.” But no sooner was the vigilance of power relaxed or diverted, than 11: Xenophon Hellenic. l. iii. c. 2. After a long and tedious conversation with the Byzantine declaimers, how refreshing is the truth, the simplicity, the elegance of an Attic writer * See the long wall in Evagrius (l. iv. c. 38). This whole article is drawn from the fourth book of the Edirices, except Anchialus (l. iii. c. 7). "Turn back to vol. i. p. 343. In the course of this History, I have sometimes mentioned, and much oftener slighted, the hasty inroads of the Isaurians, which were not attended with any consequences. *-* Trebellius Pollio in Hist. August, p. 107, who lived under Diocletian, or Constantine. See likewise Pancirolus ad Notit. Imp. Orient. c. 115, 141. See tood.
the light-armed squadrons descended from the hills, and invaded the peaceful plenty of Asia. Although the Isaurians were not remarkable for stature or bravery, want rendered them bold, and experience made them skilful in the exercise of predatory war. They advanced with secrecy and speed to the attack of villages and defenceless towns; their flying parties have sometimes touched the Hellespont, the Euxine, and the gates of Tarsus, Antioch, or Damascus;* and the spoil was lodged in their inaccessible mountains, before the IRoman troops had received their orders, or the distant province had computed its loss. The guilt of rebellion and robbery excluded them from the rights of national enemies; and the magistrates were instructed, by an edict, that the trial or punishment of an Isaurian, even on the festival of Easter, was a meritorious act of justice and piety.” If the captives were condemned to domestic slavery they maintained, with their sword or dagger, the rivate quarrel of their masters; and it was found expedient for the public tranquillity to prohibit the services of such dangerous retainers. When their countryman Tarcalissaeus or Zeno ascended the throne, he invited a faithful and formidabie band of Isaurians, who insulted the court and city, and were rewarded by an annual tribute of five thousand pounds of gold. But the hopes of fortune depopulated the mountains, luxury enervated the hardiness of their minds and bodies, and in proportion as they mixed with mankind, they became less qualified for the enjoyment of poor and solitary freedom. After the death of Zeno, his successor Anastasius suppressed their pensions, exposed their persons to the revenge of the people, banished them from Constantinople, and prepared to sustain a war, which left only the alternative of victory or servitude. A brother of the last emperor usurped the title of Augustus; his cause was powerfully supported by the arms, the treasures, and the magazines, collected by Zeno; and the native Isaurians must have formed the smallest portion of the hundred and fifty thousand Barbarians under his standard, which was sanctified, for the first time, by the presence of a fighting bishop. Their disorderly numbers were vanquished in the plains of Phrygia by the valor and discipline of the Goths; but a war of six years almost exhausted the courage of the emperor.” The Isaurians retired to their mountains; their fortresses were successively besieged and ruined ; their communication with the sea was intercepted; the bravest of their leaders died in arms; the surviving chiefs, before their execution, were dragged in chains through the hippodrome; a colony of their youth was transplanted into Thrace, and the remnant of the people submitted to the Roman government. Yet some generations elapsed before their minds were reduced to the level of slavery. The populous villages of Mount Taurus were filled with horsemen and archers: they resisted the imposition of tributes, but they recruited the armies of Justinian; and his civil magistrates, the proconsul of Cappadocia, the count of Isauria, and the praetors of Lycaonia and Pisidia, were invested with military power to restrain the licentious practice of rapes and assassinations.” If we extend our view from the tropic to the mouth of the Tanais, we may observe, on one hand, the precautions of Justinian to curb the savages of AEthiopia,” and on the other, the long walls which he constructed in Crimaea for the protection of his friendly Goths, a colony of three thousand shepherds and warriors.” From that peninsula to Trebizond, the eastern curve of the Euxine was secured by forts, by alliance, or by religion; and the possession of Lazica, the Colchos of ancient, the Mingrelia of modern, geography, soon became the object of an important war. Trebizond, in after-times the seat of a romantic empire, was indebted to the liberality of Justinian for a church, an aqueduct, and a castle, whose ditches are hewn in the solid rock. From that maritime city, a frontier line of five 123 The Isaurian war and the triumph of Anastasius are briefly and darkly represented by John Malala (tom. ii. p. 106, 107), Evagrius (l. iii. c. 35), Theolipanes (pp. 118-120), and the Chronicle of Marcellinus. 1- Fortes ea regio (says Justinian) viros habet, nec in ullo differt ab Isauriá, though Procopius (Persic. l. i. c. 18) marks an essential difference between their military character; yet in former times the Lycaonians and Pisidians had defended their liberty against the great king (Xenophon. Anabasis, l. iii. c. 2): Justinian introduces Rome false of ridiculous erudition of the ancient empire of the Pisidians, and of Lycaon, who, after visiting Rome (long before AEneas), gave a name and people to Lycaoni (Novell. 24, 25, 27, 30). 125 See Procopius, Persic. l. i. c. 19. The altar of national concord, of annual sacrifice and oaths, which Joiocletian had erected in the Isle of Elephantine, was demolished by Justinian with less policy than zeal. 126 Procopius de Edificiis, l. iii. c. 7. Hist: 1. viii. c. 3, 4. These unambitious Goths had refused to follow the standard of Theodoric. As late as the xvth and xvith century, the name and nation might be discovered between Caffa and the Straits of Azoph (D'Anville, Mémoires de l'Académie, tom. xxx. p. 240). They well deserved the curiosity of Busbequius "Kiss." but seem to have vanl
* See the full and wide extent of their inroads in Philostorgius (Hist. Eccles. l. xi. c. 8), with Godefroy's learned Dissertations.
* Cod. Justinian. 1. ix, tit. 12, leg. 10. The punishments are severe—a fine of a hundred pounds of gold, degradation, and even death. The public peace might afford a prétence, but Zeno was desirous of monopolizing the valor and service of the Isaurians.
hundred miles may be drawn to the fortress of Circesium, the last IRoman station on the Euphrates.” Above Trebi. zond immediately, and five days’ journey to the south, the country rises into dark forests and craggy mountains, as savage though not so lofty as the Alps and the Pyrenees. In this rigorous climate,” where the snows seldom melt, the fruits are tardy and tasteless, even honey is poisonous: the most industrious tillage would be confined to some pleasant valleys; and the pastoral tribes obtained a scanty sustenance from the flesh and milk of their cattle. The Chalybians” derived their name and temper from the iron quality of the soil; and, since the days of Cyrus, they might produce, under the various appellations of Chaldaeans and
anians, an uninterrupted prescription of war and rapine. Under the reign of Justinian, they acknowledged the god and the emperor of the Romans, and seven fortresses were built in the most accessible passes, to exclude the ambition of the Persian monarch.” The principal source of the Euphrates descends from the Chalybian mountains, and seems to flow towards the west and the Euxine : bending to the south-west, the river passes under the walls of Satala and Melitene (which were restored by Justinian as the bulwarks of the Lesser Armenia), and gradually approaches the Mediterranean Sea; till at length, repelled by Mount Taurus,” the Euphrates inclines his long and flexible course to the south-east and the Gulf of Persia. Among the Ikoman cities beyond the Euphrates, we distinguish two recent foundations, which were named from Theodosius, and the relics of the martyrs; and two capitals, Amida and Edessa, which are celebrated in the history of every age. Their strength was proportioned by Justinian to the danger of their situation. A ditch and palisade might be sufficient to resist the artless force of the cavalry of Scythia; but more elaborate works were required to sustain a regular siege against the arms and treasures of the great king. His skilful engineers understood the methods of conducting, deep mines, and of raising platforms to the level of the rampart: he shook the strongest battlements with his military engines, and sometimes advanced to the assault with a line of movable turrets on the backs of elephants. In the great cities of the East, the disadvantage of space, perhaps of position, was compensated by the zeal of the people, who seconded the garrison in the defence of their country and religion ; and the fabulous promise of the Son of God, that Edessa should never be taken, filled the citizens with valiant confidence, and chilled the besiegers with doubt and dismay.” The subordinate towns of Armenia and Mesopotamia were diligently strengthened, and the posts which appeared to have any command of ground or water were occupied by numerous forts, substantially built of stone, or more hastily erected with the obvious materials of earth and brick. The eye of Justinian investigated every spot; and his cruel precautions might attract the war into some lonely vale, whose peaceful natives, connected by trade and marriage, were ignorant of national discord and the quarrels of princes. Westward of the Euphrates, a sandy desert extends above six hundred miles to the Red Sea. Nature had interposed a vacant solitude between the ambition of two rival empires; the Arabians, till Mahomet arose, were formidable only as robbers; and in the proud security of peace, the fortifications of Syria were neglected on the most vulnerable side. But the national enmity, at least the effects of that enmity, had been suspended by a truce, which continued above fourscore years. An ambassador from the emperor Zeno accompanied the rash and unfortunate Perozes,” in his expedition against the Nepthalites,f or white Huns, whose * Procopius |Pool. 1. ii. c. 12) tells the story with a tone, half skeptical, half superstitious, of Herodotus. The promise was not in the primitive lie of Eusebius, but dates at least from the year 400; and a third lie, the Veronica, was
12. For the geography and, architecture of this Armenian border, see the Pe: siam Wars and Edifices (l. ii, c. 4–7, l. iil. c. 2–7) of Procopius.
128 The country is described by Tournefort (Voyage au Levant, tom. iii. lettre xvii. xviii). That skilful botanist soon discovered the plant that infects the honey (Plin. xxi. 44, 45): he observes, that the soldiers of Lucullus might indeed be astonished at the cold, since, even in the plain of Erzerum, snow sometimes falls in June, and the harvest is seldom finished before September. The hills of Armenia are below the fortieth degree of latitude; but in the mountainous country which I inhabit, it is well known that an ascent of some hours carries the traveller from the climate of Languedoc to that of Norway; and a general theory has been introduced, that, under the line, an elevation of 2400 toises is equivalent to the cold of the polar circle (Reymond, Observations sur les Voyages de Coxe dans la Suisse, tom. ii. p. 104).
*The identity, or proximity of the Chalybians, or Chaldaeans, may be investigated in Strabo (1.2-ii. pp. 825, 826), Cellarius (Geograph. Antiq. tom, ii. p. 202– 204), and Freret (Mém, de Académie, tom. iv. p. 594). Xenophon'supnoses, in his Womance (Cyropæd, l. iii.), the same Barbarians, against whom he had fought in his retreat (Anabasis, l. iv.)
* Procopius, Persic. l. i. c. 15. De Edific. l. iii. c. 6.
* Ni Taurus obstet in nostra maria venturus (Pomponius Mela, iii. 8). Pliny * Poel as well as a naturalist (v. 20), personifies the river and mountain, an describes their combat. See the course of the Tigris and Euphrates in the excellent treatise of D'Anville.