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country. Fifty beautiful youths, in silken robes, carried a basin in each hand; and one of these basins was filled with pieces of gold, the other with precious stones of an inestimable value. Attalus, so long the sport of fortune, and of the Goths, was appointed to lead the chorus of the Hymeneal song; and the degraded emperor might aspire to the praise of a skilful musician. The Barbarians enjoyed the insolence of their triumph; and the provincials rejoiced in this alliance, which tempered, by the mild influence of love and reason, the fierce spirit of their Gothic lord. 188
The hundred basins of gold and gems, presented to Placidia at her nuptial feast, formed an inconsiderable portion of the Gothic treasures; of which some extraordinary speci. mens may be selected from the history of the successors of Adolphus. Many curious and costly ornaments of pure gold, enriched with jewels, were found in their palace of Narbonne, when it was pillaged, in the sixth century, by the Franks: sixty cups, or chalices; fifteen patens, or plates, for the use of the communion ; twenty boxes, or cases, to hold the books of the Gospels : this consecrated was distributed by the son of Clovis among
the churches of his dominions, and his pious liberality seems to upbraid some former sacrilege of the Goths. They possessed, with more security of conscience, the. famous missorium, or great dish for the service of the table, of massy gold, of the weight of five hundred pounds, and of far superior value, from the precious stones, the exquisite workmanship, and the tradition, that it had been presented by Aëtius, the patrician, to Torismond, king of the Goths. One of the successors of Torismond purchased the aid of the French monarch by the promise of this magnificent gift. When he was seated on the throne of Spain, he delivered it with reluctance to the ambassadors of Dagobert; despoiled them on the road; stipulated, after a long negotiation, the inadequate ransom of two hundred thousand pieces of gold; and preserved the missorium, as the pride of the Gothic treasury.140 When the treasury, after the conquest of Spam,
133 We owe the curious detail of this nuptial feast to the historian Olympio. dorus, ap. Photium, pp. 185, 188.
139 See in the great collection of the Historians of France by Dom Bouquet, tom, ii. Greg. Turonens. 1. iii. c. 10, p. 191. Gesta Regum Francorum, c. 23, p.
The anonymous writer, with an ignorance worthy of his times, supposes that these instrume:its of Christian worship hail belonged to the temple of Solo
If he has any meaning, it inust be that they were found in the sack of 140 Consult the following original testimonies in the Historians of France, tom. ii. Fredegarii Scholastici Chron. c. 73, p. 441. Fredegar. Fragment. iii. p.
was plundered by the Arabs, they admired, and they have celebrated, another object still more remarkable; a table of considerable size, of one single piece of solid emerald,141 encircled with three rows of fine pearls, supported by three hundred and sixty-five feet of gems and massy gold, and estimated at the price of five hundred thousand pieces of gold.142 Some portion of the Gothic treasures might be the gift of friendship, or the tribute of obedience; but the far greater part had been the fruits of war and rapine, the spoils of the empire, and perhaps of Rome.
After the deliverance of Italy from the oppression of the Goths, some secret counsellor was permitted, amidst the factions of the palace, to heal the wounds of that afflicted country.143 By a wise and humane regulation, the eight provinces which had been the most deeply injured, Campania, Tuscany, Picenum, Samnium, Apulia, Calabria, Bruttium, and Lucania, obtained an indulgence of five years : the ordinary tribute was reduced to one-fifth, and even that fifth was destined to restore and support the useful institution of the public posts. By another law, the lands which had been left without inhabitants or cultivation, were granted, with some diminution of taxes, to the neighbors who should occupy, or the strangers who should solicit them; and the new possessors were secured against the future claims of the fugitive proprietors. About the same time a general amnesty was published in the name of Honorius, to abolish the guilt and memory of all the involuntary offences which had been committed by his unhappy subjects, during the term of the public disorder and calamity. A decent and respecful attention was paid to the restoration of the capital; the citizens were encouraged to rebuild the edifices which had been destroyed or damaged by hostile fire; and extraordinary supplies of corn were imported from the coast of Africa. The crowds that so lately fled
Gesta Regis Dagobert, c. 29, p. 587. The accession of Sisenand to the throno of Spain happened A. D. 631. The 200,000 pieces of gold were appropriated by Dagobert to the foundation of the church of St. Denys.
1.1 The president Goguet (Origine des Loix, &c., tom. ii. p. 239) is of opinion, that the stupendous pieces of emerald, the statues and columns which antiquity has placed in Egypt, at Gades, at Constantinople, were in reality artificial compositions of colored glass. The famous emerald'dish, which is shown at Genoa, is supposed to countenance the suspicion.
142 Elniacin. Hist. Saracenica, 1. i. p. 85. Rogerie, Tolet. Hist. Arab. c. 9. Cardonne, Hist. de l'Afrique et de l'Espagne sous les Arabes, tom. i, p. 83. It was called the Table of Solomon, according to the custom of the Orientals, who ascribe to that prince every ancient work of knowledge or magnificence.
143 Lis three laws are inserted in the Theodosian Code, 1. xi. tit. xxviii. leg. 7. L. xiii. tit. xi. leg. 12. L. xv. tit. xiv. leg. 14. The expressions of the last are very remarkable, since they contain not only a pardon, but an apology.
before the sword of the Barbarians, were soon recalled by the hopes of plenty and pleasure; and Albinus, præfect of Rome, informed the court, with some anxiety and surprise, that, in a single day, he had taken an account of the arrival of fourteen thousand strangers.
In less than seven years, the vestiges of the Gothic invasion were almost obliterated ; and the city appeared to resume its former splendor and tranquillity. The venerable matron replaced her crown of laurel, which had been ruffled by the storms of war; and was still amused, in the last moment of her decay, with the prophecies of revenge, of victory, and of eternal dominion. 145
This apparent tranquillity was soon disturbed by the approach of a hostile armament from the country which afforded the daily subsistence of the Roman people. Heraclian, count of Africa, who, under the most difficult and distressful circumstances, had supported, with active loyalty, the cause of Honorius, was tempted, in the year
of his consulship, to assume the character of a rebel, and the title of emperor. The ports of Africa were immediately filled with the naval forces, at the head of'which he prepared to invade Italy: and his fleet, when it cast anchor at the month of the Tiber, indeed surpassed the fleets of Xerxes and Alexander, if all the vessels, including the royal galley, and the smallest boat, did actually amount to the incredible number of three thousand two hundred.146 Yet with such an armament, which might have subverted, or restored, the greatest empires of the earth, the African usurper made a very faint and feeble impression on the provinces of his rival. As he marched from the port, along the road which leads to the gates of Rome, he was encountered, terrified, and routed, by one of the Imperial captains; and the lord of this mighty
144 Olympiodorus ap. Phot. p. 188. Philostorgius (1. xii. c. 5) observes, that when Honorius made his triumphal entry, he encouraged the Romans, with his hand and voice (yelpi kai yawTtn) to rebuild their city; and the Chronicle of Prosper commends Heracliav, qui in Romanæ urbis reparationem strenuum exhibuerat
14) The date of the voyage of Claudius Rutilius Numatianus is cl gged with some difficulties ; but Scaliger has deduced from astronomical characters, that he loft Rome the 24th of September, and embarked at Porto the oth of October, A. D. 416. See Tillemont, Hist. des Empereurs, tom. v. p. 820. In this poetical Itinerary, Rutilius (1. i. 115, &c.) addresses Rome in a high strain of congratulation.
Erige crinales laures, seniumque sacrati
Verticis in virides, Roma, recinge comas, &c. 146 Orosius composed his history in Africa, only two years after the event; yet his authority seems to be overbalanced by the improbability of the fact. The Chronicle of Marcellinus gives Heraclian 700 ships and 3000 men ; the latter of these numbers is ridiculously corrupt; but the former would please me very much.
host, deserting his fortune and his friends, ignominiously fled with a single ship.147 When Heraclian landed in the harbor of Carthage, he found that the whole province, disdaining such an unworthy ruler, had returned to their allegiance. The rebel was beheaded in the ancient temple of Memory; his consulship was abolished ; 148 and the remains of his private fortune, not exceeding the moderate sum of four thousand pounds of gold, were granted to the brave Constantius, who had already defended the throne, which lie afterwards shared with his feeble sovereign. Honorius viewed, with supine indifference, the calamities of Rome and Italy ; 119 but the rebellious attempts of Attalus and Heraclian, against his personal safety, awakened, for a moment, the torpid instinct of his nature. He was probably ignorant of the causes and events which preserved him from these impending dangers; and as Italy was no longer invaded by any foreign or domestic enemies, he peaceably existed in the palace of Ravenna, while the tyrants beyond the Alps were repeatedly vanquished in the name, and by the lieutenants, of the son of Theodosius. 150 In the course of a busy and interesting narrative I might possibly forget to mention the death of such a prince: and I shall therefore take the precaution of observing, in this place, that he sur vived the last siege of Rome about thirteen years.
The usurpation of Constantine, who received the purple from the legions of Britain, had been successful, and seemed to be secure. His title was acknowledged, from the wall of Antoninus to the columns of Herculus; and, in the midst of the public disorder he shared the dominion, and the plunder, of Gaul and Spain, with the tribes of Barbarians, whose destructive progress was no longer checked by the Rhine or Pyrenees." Stained with the blood of the kinsmen
147 The Chronicle of Idatius affirms, without the least appearance of truth, that he advanced as far as Otriculum, in Umbria, where he was overthrown in a great battle, with the loss of 50,000 men.
118 See Cód. Theol. 1. xv, tit. xiv. leg. 13. The legal acts performed in his lume, even the manumission of slaves, were declared invalid, till they had been formally repeated.
149 I lave disdained to mention a very foolish, and probably a false, report (Procop. de Bell. V:undal. 1. i. c. 2), that Honorius was alarmed by the loss of Rome, till he understood that it was not a favorite chicken of that nan ə, but only the capital of the world, which had been lost. Yet even this siory is some evidence of the public opinion.
150 The materials for the lives of all these tyrants are taken from six contemporary historians, two Latius and four Greeks : Orosius, 1. vii. c. 42, pp. 581, 582583: Renatus Profuturus Frigeridus. apul Gregor. Turon. 1. ii. c., in the IIis, torians of Fronco, tom. ii. pp. 165, 166; Zosimus, 1. vi. pp. 370, 371 ; Olympiodorus apud Phot. pp. 180, 181, 181, 185 ; Sozomen, 1. ix. c. 12, 13, 14, 15; and Philostor gius, 1. xii. c. 8, 6, with Godefroy's Dissertation, pp. 477-481 ; besides the four Chronicles of Prosper Tyro, Prosper of Aquitain, Hatius, uni Marcellinus.
of Honorius, he extorted, from the court of Ravenna, with which he secretly corresponded, the ratification of his rebellious claims. Constantine engaged himself, by a solemn promise, to deliver Italy from the Goths; advanced as far as the banks of the Po; and after alarming, rather than assisting, his pusillanimous ally, hastily returned to the palace of Arles, to celebrate, with intemperate luxury, his vain and ostentatious triumph. But this transient prosperity was soon interrupted and destroyed by the revolt of Count Gerontius, the bravest of his generals; who, during the absence of his son Constans, a prince already invested with the Imperial purple, had been left to command in the provinces of Spain. From some reason, of which we are ignorant, Gerontius, instead of assuming the diadem, placed it on the head of his friend Maximus, who fixed his residence at Tarragona, while the active count pressed forwards, through the Pyrenees, to surprise the two emperors, Constantine and Constans, before they could prepare for their defence. The son was made prisoner at Vienne, and immediately put to death : and the unfortunate youth had scarcely leisure to deplore the elevation of his family; which had tempted, or compelled him, sacrilegiously to desert the peaceful obscurity of the monastic life. The father maintained a siege within the walls of Arles; but thos: walls must have yielded to the assailants, had not the city been unexpectedly relieved by the approach of an Italian army. The name of Honorius, the proclamation of a lawful emperor, astonished the contending parties of the rebels. Gerontius, abandoned by his own troops, escaped to the confines of Spain; and rescued his name from oblivion, by the Roman courage which appeared to animate the last moments of his life. In the middle of the night, a great body of his perfidious soldiers surrounded and attacked his house, which he had strongly barricaded. His wife, a valiant friend of the nation of the Alani, and some faithful slaves, were still attached to his person; and he used, with so much skill and resolution, a large magazine of darts and arrows, that above three hundred of the assailants lost their lives in the attempt. His slaves, when all the missile weapons were spent, fled at the dawn of day; and Gerontius, if he had not been restrained by conjugal tenderness, might have imitated their example; till the soldiers, provoked by such obstinate resistance, applied fire on all sides to the house. In this fatal extremity, he complied with the re