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resolution; and leaving only a part of his guards to reën. force the feeble garrisons, he intrusted the command of Africa to the eunuch Solomon,” who proved himself not unworthy to be the successor of Belisarius. In the first invasion, some detachments, with two officers of merit, were surprised and intercepted; but Solomon speedily assembled his troops, marched from Carthage into the heart of the country, and in two great battles destroyed sixty thousand of the Barbarians. The Moors depended on their multitude, their swiftness, and their inaccessible mountains; and the aspect and smell of their camels are said to have produced some confusion in the Roman cavalry.” But as soon as they were commanded to dismount, they derided this contemptible obstacle: as soon as the columns ascended the hills, the naked and disorderly crowd was dazzled by glittering arms and regular evolutions; and the menace of their female prophets was repeatedly fulfilled, that the Moors should be discomfited by a beardless antagonist. The victorious eunuch advanced thirteen days’ journey from Carthage, to besiege Mount Aurasius,” the citadel, and at the same time the garden, of Numidia. That range of hills, a branch of the great Atlas, contains, within a circumference of one hundred and twenty miles, a rare variety of soil and climate; the intermediate valleys and elevated plains abound with rich pastures, perpetual streams, and fruits of a delicious taste and uncommon magnitude. This fair solitude is decorated with the ruins of Lambesa, a Roman city, once the seat of a legion, and the residence of forty thousand inhabitants. The Ionic temple of AEsculapius is encompassed with Moor. ish huts; and the cattle now graze in the midst of an amphi, theatre, under the shade of Corinthian columns. A sharp per. pendicular rock rises above the level of the mountain, where the African princes deposited their wives and treasure; and a proverb is familiar to the Arabs, that the man may eat fire who dares to attack the craggy cliffs and inhospitable na
* See the African government and warfare of Solomon, in Procopius (Vandal. 1. ii. c. 10, 11, 12, 13, 19, 20). He was recalled, and again restored; and his last victory dates in the xiiith year of Justinian (A. D. 539). An accident in his childhood had rendered him a eunuch (1.1. c. 11) : the other Roman generals were amply furnished with beards troyovos outritAduevot (l. ii. c. 8).
* This natural antipathy of the horse for the camel is affirmed by the ancients (Xenophon. Cyropaed.]. vi. p. 488, 1. vii. pp. 483, 492, edit. Hutchinson, Polyaen. Stratagen. vii. 6, Plin. Hist. Nat. viii. 26, AElian, de Natur. Annal. 1. iii. c. 7); but it is disproved by daily experience, and derided by the best judges, the Ori. entals (Voyage d'Oléarius, p. 553).
... Procopius is the first who describes Mount Aurasius (Vandal. 1. ii. c. 13. De Edific. l. vi. c. 7). He may be compared with Leo Africanus (dell'Africa, parte §§ Ramusio, tom. i. fol. 77, recto). Marmol (tom. ii. p. 430), and Shaw (pp. * Isidor. Chron. p. 722, edit. Grot. Mariana, Hist. Hispan. 1. v. c. 8, p. 173.
tives of Mount Aurasius. This hardy enterprise was twice attempted by the eunuch Solomon: from the first, he retreated with some disgrace; and in the second, his patience and provisions were almost exhausted; and he must again have retired, if he had not yielded to the impetuous courage of his troops, who audaciously scaled, to the astonishment of the Moors, the mountain, the hostile camp, and the summit of the Geminian rock. A citadel was erected to secure this important conquest, and to remind the Barbarians of their defeat; and as Solomon pursued his march to the west, the long-lost province of Mauritanian Sitifi was again annexed to the Roman empire. The Moorish war continued several years after the departure of Belisarius; but the laurels which he resigned to a faithful lieutenant may be justly ascribed to his own triumph. The experience of past faults, which may sometimes correct the mature age of an individual, is seldom profitable to the successive generations of mankind. The nations of antiquity, careless of each other's safety, were separately vanquished and enslaved by the Romans. This awful lesson might have instructed the Barbarians of the West to oppose, with timely counsels and confederate arms, the unbounded ambition of Justinian. Yet the same error was repeated, the same consequences were felt, and the Goths, both of Italy and Spain, insensible of their approaching danger, beheld with indifference, and even with joy, the rapid downfall of the Vandals. After the failure of the royal line, Theudes, a valiant and powerful chief, ascended the throne of Spain, which he had formerly administered in the name of Theodoric and his infant grandson. Under his command, the Visigoths besieged the fortress of Ceuta on the African coast: but, while they spent the Sabbath day in peace and devotion, the pious security of their camp was invaded by a sally from the town, and the king himself, with some difficulty and danger, escaped from the hands of a sacrilegious enemy.” It was not long before his pride and resentment were gratified by a suppliant embassy from the unfortunate Gelimer, who implored, in his distress, the aid of the Spanish monarch. But instead of sacrificing these unworthy passions to the dictates of generosity and prudence, Theudes amused the ambassadors till he was secretly informed of the loss of Carthage, and then dismissed them with obscure and cron, temptuous advice, to seek in their native country a true knowledge of the state of the Vandals.” The long continuance of the Italian war delayed the punishment of the Visigoths; and the eyes of Theudes were closed before they tasted the fruits of his mistaken policy. After his death, the sceptre of Spain was disputed by a civil war. The weaker candidate solicited the protection of Justinian, and ambitiously subscribed a treaty of alliance, which deeply wounded the independence and happiness of his country. Several cities, both on the ocean and the Mediterranean, were ceded to the Roman troops, who afterwards refused to evacuate those pledges, as it should seem, either of safety or payment; and as they were fortified by perpetual supplies from Africa, they maintained their impregnable stations, for the mischievous purpose of inflaming the civil and religious factions of the Barbarians. Seventy years elapsed before this painful thorn could be extirpated from the bosom of the monarchy; and as long as the emperors retained any share of these remote and useless possessions, their vanity might number Spain in the list of their provinces, and the successors of Alaric in the rank of their vassals.” The error of the Goths who reigned in Italy was less excusable than that of their Spanish brethren, and their punishment was still more immediate and terrible. From a motive of private revenge, they enabled their most dangerous enemy to destroy their most valuable ally. A sister of the great Theodoric had been given in marriage to Thrasimond, the African king: * on this occasion, the fortress of Lilybaeum ” in Sicily was resigned to the Vandals; and the princess Amalafrida was attended by a martial train of one thousand nobles and five thousand Gothic soldiers, who signalized their valor in the Moorish wars. Their merit was overrated by themselves, and perhaps neglected by the Vandals; they viewed the country with envy, and the conquerors with disdain; but their real or fictitious conspiracy was prevented by a massacre; the Goths were oppressed, and the captivity •7 Procopius, Vandal. 1. i. c. 24. 48 See the original Chronicle of Isidore, and the vih and vith books of the History of Spain by Mariana. The Romans were finally expelled by Suintila, king of the Visigoths (A. D. 621-626), after their reunion to the Catholic church. * See the marriage and fate of Amalafrida in Procopius (Vandal. l. i. c. 8, 9), and in Cassiodorus (Var. ix.1) the expostulation of her royal brother. Compare likewise the Chronicle of Victor Tunnunensis. * Lilybaeum was built by the Carthaginians, Olymp. xcv. 4; and in the first
Yet, according to Isidore, the siege of Ceuta, and the death of Theudes, hap.
F. A. AE. H. 586—A. D. 548; and the place was defended, not by the Wandals, ut by the Romans.
Punic war, a strong situation, and excellent harbor, rendered that place an im portant object to both nations.
of Amalafrida was soon followed by her secret and suspicious death. The eloquent pen of Cassiodorus was employed to reproach the Vandal court with the cruel violation of every social and public duty; but the vengeance which he threatened in the name of his sovereign might be derided with impunity, as long as Africa was protected by the sea, and the Goths were destitute of a navy. In the blind impotence of grief and indignation, they joyfully saluted the approach of the Romans, entertained the fleet of Belisarius in the ports of Sicily, and were speedily delighted or alarmed by the surprising intelligence, that their revenge was executed beyond the measure of their hopes, or perhaps of their wishes. To their friendship the emperor was indebted for the kingdom of Africa, and the Goths might reasonably think, that they were entitled to resume the possession of a barren rock, so recently separated as a nuptial gift from the Island of Sicily. They were soon undeceived by the haughty mandate of Belisarius, which excited their tardy and unavailing repentance. “The city and promontory of Lilybaeum,” said the Roman general," “belonged to the Vandals, and I claim them by the right of conquest. Your submission may deserve the favor of the emperor; your obstinacy will provoke his displeasure, and must kindle a war, that can terminate only in your utter ruin. If you compel us to take up arms, we shall contend, not to regain the possession of a single city, but to deprive you of all the provinces which you unjustly withhold from their lawful sovereign.” A nation of two hundred thousand soldiers might have smiled at the vain menace of Justinian and his lieutenant: but a spirit of discord and disaffection prevailed in Italy, and the Goths supported, with reluctance, the indignity of a female reign.”
The birth of Amalasontha, the regent and queen of Italy,” united the two most illustrious families of the Barbarians. Her mother, the sister of Clovis, was descended from the long-haired kings of the Merovingian rage; * and the regal succession of the Amali was illustrated in the eleventh generation, by her father, the great Theodoric, whose merit might have ennobled a plebeian origin. The sex of his daughter excluded her from the Gothic throne; but his vigilant tenderness for his family and his people discovered the last heir of the royal line, whose ancestors had taken refuge in Spain; and the fortunate Eutharic was suddenly exalted to the rank of a consul and a prince. He enjoyed only a short time the charms of Amalasontha, and the hopes of the succession ; and his widow, after the death of her husband and father, was left the guardian of her son Athalaric, and the kingdom of Italy. At the age of about twenty-eight years, the endowments of her mind and person had attained their perfect maturity. Her beauty, which, in the apprehension of Theodora herself, might have disputed the conquest of an emperor, was animated by manly sense, activity, and resolution. Education and experience had cultivated her talents; her philosophic studies were exempt from vanity; and, though she expressed herself with equal elegance and ease in the Greek, the Latin, and the Gothic tongue, the daughter of Theodoric maintained in her counsels a discreet and impenetrable silence. By a faithful imitation of the virtues, she revived the prosperity, of his reign; while she strove, with pious care, to expiate the faults, and to obliterate the darker memory of his declining age. The. children of Boethius and Symmachus were restored to their paternal inheritance; her extreme lenity never consented to inflict any corporal or pecuniary penalties on her Roman subjects; and she generously despised the clamors of the Goths, who, at the end of forty years, still considered the people of Italy as their slaves or their enemies. Her salutary measures were directed by the wisdom, and celebrated by the eloquence, of Cassiodorus; she solicited and deserved the friendship of the emperor; and the kingdoms of Europe respected, both in peace and war, the majesty of the Gothic throne. But the future happiness of the queen and of Italy depended on the education of her son; who was destined, by his birth, to support the different and almost incompatible characters of the chief of a Barbarian camp, and the first magistrate of a civilized nation. From the age of ten years,” Athalaric was diligently instructed in the arts and sciences, either useful or ornamental for a Roman prince; and three venerable Goths were chosen to instil the princi
* Compare the different passages of Procopius (Vandal. l. ii. c. 5, Gothic, 1. i
* For the reign and character of Amalasontha, see Procopius (Gothic, l. i. e. 2, 3, 4, and Anecdot. c 16, with the Notes of Alemannus), Cassiodorus (Var. viii. ix. x. and xi. 1), and Jormandes (De Rebus Geticis, c. 59, and De Successione Regnorum. in Muratori, tom. i., p. 24).
& The marriage of Theodoric with Audefleda, the sister of Clovis, may be placed in the year 495, soon after the conquest of Italy (De Buat, Hist. des Peui. tom. ix. p. 213). The nuptials of Eutharic and Anoalasoutha were celebrated in 515 (Cassiodor. in Chron. p. 453).