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charge : the Roman cavalry thrice passed the rivulet; the
were thrice repulsed; and the conflict was firmly . till Zano fell, and the standard of Belisarius was displayed. Gelimer retreated to his camp ; the Huns joined the pursuit; and the victors despoiled the bodies of the slain. Yet no more than fifty Romans, and eight hundred Vandals, were found on the field of battle ; so inconsiderable was the carnage of a day, which extinguished a nation, and transferred the empire of Africa. In the evening Belisarius led his infantry to the attack of the camp; and the pusillanimous flight of Gelimer exposed the vanity of his recent declarations, that to the vanquished, death was a relief, life a burden, and infamy the only object of terror. His departure was secret; but as soon as the Vandals discovered that their king had deserted them, they hastily dispersed, anxious only for their personal safety, and careless of every object that is dear or valuable to mankind. The Romans entered the camp without resistance; and the wildest scenes of disorder were veiled in the darkness and confusion of the night. Every Barbarian who met their swords was inhumanly massacred ; their widows and daughters, as rich heirs, or beautiful concubines, were embraced by the licentious soldiers; and avarice itself was almost satiated with the treasures of gold and silver, the accumulated fruits of conquest or economy in a long period of prosperity and peace. In this frantic search, the troops, even of Belisarius, forgot their caution and respect. Intoxicated with lust and rapine, they explored, in small parties, or alone, the adjacent fields, the woods, the rocks, and the caverns, that might possibly conceal any desirable prize : laden with booty, they deserted their ranks, and wandered without a guide, on the high road to Carthage; and if the flying enemies had dared to return, very few of the conquerors would have escaped. Deeply sensible of the disgrace and danger, Belisarius passed an apprehensive night on the field of victory: at the dawn of day, he planted his standard on a hill, recalled his guards and veterans, and gradually restored the modesty and obedience of the camp. It was equally the concern of the Roman general to subdue the hostile, and to save the prostrate, Barbarian; and the suppliant Vandals, who could be found only in churches, were protected by his authority, disarmed, and separately confined, that they might neither disturb the public peace, nor become the victims of popular revenge. After despatching a light detachment to tread the footsteps of Gelimer, he advanced, with his whole army, about ten days’ march, as far as Hippo Regius, which no longer possessed the relics of St. Augustin.” The season and the certain intelligence that the Vandal had fled to an inaccessible country of the Moors, determined Belisarius to relinquish the vain pursuit, and to fix his winter quarters at Carthage. From thence he despatched his principal lieutenant, to inform the emperor, that in the space of three months he had, achieved the conquest of Africa. Belisarius spoke the language of truth. The surviving Vandals yielded, without resistance, their arms and their freedom: the neighborhood of Carthage submitted to his presence; and the more distant provinces were successively subdued by the report of his victory. Tripoli was confirmed in her voluntary allegiance; Sardinia and Corsica surrendered to an officer, who carried, instead of a sword, the head of the valiant Zano; and the Isles of Majorca, Minorca, and Ivica consented to remain an humble appendage of the African kingdom. Caesarea, a royal city, which in looser geography may be confounded with the modern Algiers, was situate thirty days' march to the westward of Carthage: by land, the road was infested by the Moors; but the sea was open, and the Romans were now masters of the sea. An active and discreet tribune sailed as far as the Straits, where he occupied Septem or Ceuta,” which rises opposite to Gibraltar on the African coast: that remote place was afterwards adorned and fortified by Justinian ; and he seems to have indulged the vain ambition of extending his empire to the columns of Hercules. He received the messengers of victory at the time when he was preparing to publish the Pandects of the Roman law ; and the devout or jealous emperor celebrated the divine goodness, and confessed, in silence, the merit of his successful general.” Impatient to abolish the temporal and spiritual tyranny of the Wandals, he proceeded, without delay, to the full establishment of the Catholic church. Her jurisdiction, wealth, and immunities, perhaps the most essential part of episcopal religion, were restored and amplified with a liberal hand; the Arian worship was suppressed, the , Donatist meetings were proscribed;” and the synod of Carthage, by the voice of two hundred and seventeen bishops,” applauded the just measure of pious retaliation. On such an occasion, it may not be presumed, that many orthodox prelates were absent; but the comparative smallness of their number, which in ancient councils had been twice or even thrice multiplied, most clearly indicates the decay both of the church and state. While Justinian approved himself the defender of the faith, he entertained an ambitious hope, that his victorious lieutenant would speedily enlarge the narrow limits of his dominion to the space which they occupied before the invasion of the Moors and Vandals; and Belisarius was instructed to establish five dukes or commanders in the convenient stations of Tripoli, Leptis, Cirta, Caesarea, and Sardinia, and to comFo the military force of palatines or borderers that might
* The relics of St. Augustin were carried by the African bishops to their Sardinian exile (A. D. 500); and it was believed, in the viiith century, that Liutrand, king of the Lombards, transported them (A. D. 721) from Sardinia to avia. In the year 1695, the Augustan friars of that city found a brick arch, marble coffin, silver case, silk wrapper, bones, blood, &c., and perhaps an inscription of Angostino in Gothic letters. But this useful discovery has been disputed by reason and jealousy (Baronius, Annal. A. D. 725, Nos. 2--9. Tillemont, Mém. Eccles. tom. xiii. p. 944. Montfaucon, Diarium Ital. pp. 26–30. Muratori, Antiq. Ital. Medii AFvi, tom. v. dissert. lviii. p. 9, who had composed a separate treatise before the decree of the bishop of Pavia, and Pope Benedict XIII). * Tà Tns moat Tetas Tpool uva. is the expression of Procopius (de Edific. l. vi. c. 7). Ceuta, which has been defaced by the Portuguese, flourished in nobles and palaces, in agriculture and manufactures, under the more prosperous reign of the Arabs (l'Afrique de Marmol, tom. ii. p. 236). * See the second and third preambles to the digest, or Pandects, promulgated A. D. 533, December 16. To the titles of Vandalicus and Africanus, Justinian or rather Belisarius, had acquired a just claim ; Gothicus was premature, and A rancicus false, and offensive to a great nation.
e sufficient for the defence of Africa. The kingdom of the Vandals was not unworthy of the presence of a Praetorian praefect; and four consulars, three presidents, were appointed to administer the seven provinces under his civil jurisdiction. The number of their subordinate officers, clerks, messengers, or assistants, was minutely expressed; three hundred and ninety-six for the praefect himself, fifty for each of his vicegerents; and the rigid definition of their fees and salaries was more effectual to confirm the right, than to prevent the abuse. These magistrates might be oppressive, but they were not idle; and the subtile questions of justice and revenue were infinitely propagated under the new government, which professed to revive the freedom and equity of the Roman republic. The conqueror was solicitous to extract a prompt and plentiful supply from his African subjects; and he allowed them to claim, even in the third degree, and from the collateral line, the houses and lands of which their families had been unjustly despoiled by the Vandals. After the departure of Belisarius, who acted by a high and special commission, no ordinary provision was made for a master-general of the forces: but the office of Praetorian praefect was intrusted to a soldier; the civil and military owers were united, according to the practice of Justinian, in the chief governor ; and the representative of the em|. in Africa, as well as in Italy, was soon distinguished y the appellation of Exarch.”
25 See the original acts in Baronius (A. D. 535, No. 21-54). The emperor applauds his own clemency to the heretics, cum sufficiateis vivere.
20 Dupin (Géograph. Sacra Africana, p. 1ix. ad Optat. Milav.) observes and bewails this episcopal decay. In the more orosperous age of the church, he had noticed 690 bishoprics ; but however minute were the dioceses, it is not probable that they all existed at the same time.
Yet the conquest of Africa was imperfect till her former sovereign was delivered, either alive or dead, into the hands of the Romans. Doubtful of the event, Gelimer had given secret orders that a part of his treasures should be transported to Spain, where he hoped to find a secure refuge at the court of the king of the Visigoths. But these intentions were disappointed by accident, treachery, and the indefatigable pursuit of his enemies, who intercepted his flight from the sea-shore, and chased the unfortunate monarch, with some faithful followers, to the inaccessible mountain of Papua,” in the inland country of Numidia. He was immediately besieged by Pharas, an officer whose truth and sobriety were the more applauded, as such qualities could seldom be found among the Heruli, the most corrupt of the Barbarian tribes. To his vigilance Belisarius had intrusted this important charge ; and, after a bold attempt to scale the mountain, in which he lost a hundred and ten soldiers, Pharas expected, during a winter siege, the operation of distress and famine on the mind of the Vandal king. From the softest habits of pleasure, from the unbounded command of industry and wealth, he was reduced to share the poverty of the Moors,” supportable only to themselves by their ignorance of a happier condition. In their rude hovels, of mud and hurdles, which confined the smoke and excluded the light, they promiscuously slept on the ground, perhaps on a sheep-skin, with their wives, their children, and their cattle. Sordid and scanty were their garments; the use of bread and wine was unknown ; and their oaten or barley cakes, imperfectly baked in the ashes, were aevoured almost in a crude state, by the hungry savages. The health of Gelimer must have sunk under these strange and unwonted hardships, from whatsoever cause they had been endured; but his actual misery was imbittered by the recollection of past greatness, the daily insolence of his protectors, and the just apprehension that the light and venal Moors might be tempted to betray the rights of hospitality. The knowledge of his situation dictated the humane and friendly epistle of Pharas. “Like yourself,” said the chief of the Heruli, “I am an illiterate Barbarian, but I speak the language of plain sense and an honest heart. Why will you persist in hopeless obstimacy * Why will you ruin yourself, your family, and nation? The love of freedom and abhorrence of slavery P Alas! my dearest Gelimer, are you not already the worst of slaves, the slave of the vile nation of the Moors? Would it not be preferable to sustain at Constantinople a life of poverty and servitude rather than to reign the undoubted monarch of the mountain of Papua 2 Do you think it a disgrace to be the subject of Justinian 2 Belisarius is his subject; and we ourselves, whose birth is not inferior to your own, are not ashamed of our obedience to the Roman emperor. That generous prince will grant you a rich inheritance of lands, a place in the senate, and the dignity of patrician: such are his gracious intentions, and you may depend with full assurance on the word of Belisarius. So long as Heaven has condemned us to suffer, patience is a virtue; but if we reject the proffered deliverance, it degenerates into blind and stupid despair.” “I am not insensible,” replied the king of the Vandals, “how kind and rational is your advice. But I cannot persuade myself to become the slave of an unjust enemy, who has deserved my implacable hatred. Him I had never injured either by word or deed : yet he has sent against me, I know not from whence, a certain Belisarius, who has cast me headlong from the throne into this abyss of misery. Justinian is a man; he is a prince; does he not dread for himself a similar reverse of fortune?. I can write no more: my grief oppresses me. Send me, I beseech you, my dear Pharas, send me, a lyre,” a sponge, and a loaf of bread.” From the Vandal messenger, Pharus was informed of the motives of this sin
27 The African laws of Justinian are illustrated by his German biographer (Cod. 1. i. tit, 27. Novell. 36, 37, 131. Vit. Justinian, pp. 349-377.)
28 Mount Papua is placed by D'Anville (tom. iii. p. 92, and Tabul. Imp. Rom. Occident.) near Hippo Regius and the sea; yet this situation ill agrees with the long pursuit beyond Hippo, and the words of Procopius (l. ii. c. 4) iv tois Novu vēt as éorxárous.*
* Shaw (Travels, p. 220) most accurately represents the manners of the Bedo. weens and Kabyles, the last of whom, by their language, are the remnant of the Moors; yet how changed—how o are these modern savages l—provisions ere plenty among them, and bread is common.
* Compare Lord Mahon, 120. I conceive Gibbon to be right.—M.