sea of Africa. The misfortunes of Spain may be described in the language of its most eloquent historian, who has concisely expressed the passionate, and perhaps exaggerated, declamations of contemporary writers.” “The irruption of these nations was followed by the most dreadful calamities; as the Barbarians exercised their indiscriminate cruelty on the fortunes of the Romans and the Spaniards, and ravaged with equal fury the cities and the open country. The progress of famine reduced the miserable inhabitants to feed on the flesh of their fellow-creatures; and even the wild beasts, who multiplied, without control, in the desert, were exasperated by the taste of blood, and the impatience of hunger, boldly to attack and devour their human prey. Pestilence soon appeared, the inseparable companion of famine; a large proportion of the people was swept away; and the groans of the dying excited only the envy of their surviving friends. At length the Barbarians, satiated with carnage and rapine, and affiicted by the contagious evils which they themselves had introduced, fixed their permanent seats in the depopulated country. The ancient Gallicia, whose limits included the kingdom of Old Castille, was divided between the Suevi and the Vandals; the Alani were scattered over the provinces of Carthagena and Lusitania, from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean; and the fruitful territory of Boetica was allotted to the Silingi; another branch of the Vandalic nation. After regulating this partition, the conquerors contracted with their new subjects some reciprocal engagements of protection and obedience: the lands were again cultivated ; and the towns and villages were again occupied by a captive people. The greatest part of the Spaniards was even disposed to prefer this new condition of poverty and barbarism, to the severe oppressions of the Roman government; yet there were many who still asserted their native freedom ; and who refused, more especially in the mountains of Gallicia, to submit to the Barbarian yoke.”” The important present of the heads of Jovinus and Sebastian had approved the friendship of Adolphus, and restored Gaul to the obedience of his brother Honorius. Peace was incompatible with the situation and temper of the king of the Goths. IIe readily accepted the proposal of turning his victorious arms against the Barbarians of Spain; the troops of Constantius intercepted his communication with the seaports of Gaul, and gently pressed his march towards the Pyrenees:” he passed the mountains, and surprised, in the name of the emperor, the city of Barcelona. The fondness of Adolphus for his Itoman bride was not abated by time or possession; and the birth of a son, surnamed, from his illustrious grandsire, Theodosius, appeared to fix him forever in the interest of the republic. The loss of that infant, whose remains were deposited in a silver coslin in one of the churches near Barcelona, afflicted his parents; but the grief of the Gothic king was suspended by the labors of the field ; and the course of his victories was soon interrupted by domestic treason. He had imprudently received into his service one of the followers of Sarus; a Barbarian of a daring spirit, but of a diminutive stature; whose secret desire of revenging the death of his beloved patron was continually irritated by the sarcasms of his insolent master. Adolphus was assassinated in the palace of Barcelona; the laws of the succession were violated by a tumultuous faction; *... and a stranger to the royal race, Singeric, the brother of Sarus himself, was seated on the Gothic throne. The first act of his reign was the inhuman murder of the six children of Adolphus, the issue of a for

1st Idalius wishes to apply the prophecies of Daniel to these national calamities; and is therefore obliged to accommodate the circumstances of the event to the terms of the prediction.

153 Mariana de Rebus Hispanicis, 1. v. c. 1, tom. i. p. 148. Hag. Comit. 1733. He had read, in Orosius (1. vii., c. 41, p. 579), that the Barbarians had turned their swords into ploughshares; and that many of the Provincials had preferred inter Barbaros pauperém libertatem quam inter Romanos tributariam Solicitudinelu, sustinere.

mer marriage, whom he tore, without pity, from the feeble arms of a venerable bishop.” The unfortunate Placidia, instead of the respectful compassion, which she might have excited in the most savage breasts, was treated with cruel and wanton insult. The daughter of the emperor Theodosius, confounded among a crowd of vulgar captives, was compelled to march on foot above twelve miles, before the horse of a 13arbarian, the assassin of a husband whom Placidia loved and lamented.”

1 * This mixture of force and persuasion may be fairly inferred from comparing Orosius and Jormandes, the Roman and the Gothic listorian.

* According to the system of Jorn undes (c. 33, p. 659), the true hereditary right to the Gothic sceptre was vested in the Amali ; but those princes, who were the vassals of the Huns, commanded the tribes of the Ostrogoths in some distant parts of Germany or Scythia,

13. The murder is related by Olympiodorus : but the number of the children is taken from an epitaph of suspected authority.

102 The death of Adolphus was celebrated at Constantinople with illuminations and (ircensian games. (See Chron, Alexandrin.) . It may seem doubtful whether the Greeks were actuated, on this occasion, by their hatred of the Barbarians, or of the Latins.

[ocr errors]

But Placidia soon obtained the pleasure of revenge; and the view of her ignominious sufferings might rouse an indignant people against the tyrant, who was assassinated on the seventh day of his usurpation. After the death of Singeric, the free choice of the nation bestowed the Gothic sceptre on Wallia; whose warlike and ambitious temper appeared, in the beginning of his reign, extremely hostile to the republic. He marched in arms from Barcelona to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, which the ancients revered and dreaded as the boundary of the world. But when he reached the southern promontory of Spain,” and, from the rock now covered by the fortress of Gibraltar, contemplated the neighboring and fertile coast of Africa, Wallia resumed the designs of conquest, which had been interrupted by the death of Alaric. The winds and waves again disappointed the enterprise of the Goths; and the minds of a superstitious people were deeply affected by the repeated disasters of storms and shipwrecks. In this disposition, the successor of Adolphus no longer refused to listen to a Roman ambassador, whose proposals were enforced by the real, or supposed, approach of a numerous army, under the conduct of the brave Constantius. A solemn treaty was stipulated and observed ; Placidia was honorably restored to her brother; six hundred thousand measures of wheat were delivered to the hungry Goths; * and Wallia engaged to draw his sword in the service of the empire. A bloody war was instantly excited among the Barbarians of Spain; and the contending princes are said to have addressed their letters, their ambassadors, and their hostages, to the throne of the Western emperor, exhorting him to remain a tranquil spectator of their contest; the events of which must be favorable to the Romans, by the mutual slaughter of their common enemies.” The Spanish war was obstinately supported, during three campaigns, with desperate valor, and various success; and the martial achievements of Wallia diffused through the empire the superior renown of the Gothic hero. He exterminated the Silingi, who had irretrievably ruined the elegant plenty of the province of Boetica. He slew, in battle, the king of the Alani; and the remains of those Scythian wanderers, who escaped from the field, instead of choosing a new leader, humbly sought a refuge under the standard of the Vandals, with whom they wer ever afterwards confounded. The Vandals themselves, and the Suevi, yielded to the efforts of the invincible Goths. The promiscuous multitude of Barbarians, whose retreat had been intercepted, were driven into the mountains of Gallieia; where they still continued, in a narrow compass, and on a barren soil, to exercise their domestic and implacalle hostilities. In the pride of victory, Wallia was faithful to his engagements; he restored his Spanish conquests to the obedience of Honorius; and the tyranny of the Imperial officers soon reduced an oppressed people to regret the time of their Barbarian servitude. While the event of the war was still doubtful, the first advantages obtained by the arms of Wallia had encouraged the court of Ravenna to decree the honors of a triumph to their feeble sovereign. He entered Ikome like the ancient conquerors of nations; and if the monuments of servile corruption had not long since met with the fate which they deserved, we should probably find that a crowd of poets and orators, of magistrates and bishops, applauded the fortune, the wisdom, and the invincible courage, of the emperor Honorius.” Such a triumph might have been justly claimed by the ally of Rome, if Wallia, before he repassed the Pyrenees, had extirpated the seeds of the Spanish war. His victorious Goths, forty-three years after they had passed the Danube, were established, according to the faith of treaties, in the possession of the second Aquitain; a maritime province between the Garonne and the Loire, under the civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Bourdeaux. That metropolis, advantageously situated for the trade of the ocean, was built in a regular and elegant form; and its numerous inhabitants were distinguished among the Gauls by their wealth, their learning, and the politeness of their manners. The adjacent province, which has been fondly compared to the gar. den of Eden, is blessed with a fruitful soil, and a temperate climate; the face of the country displayed the arts and the rewards of industry; and the Goths, after their martial toils, luxuriously exhausted the rich vineyards of Aquitain.” The Gothic limits were enlarged by the additional gift of S- y g some neighboring dioceses; and the successors of Alaric fixed their royal residence at Toulouse, which included five populous quarters, or cities, within the spacious circuit of its walls. About the same time, in the last years of the reign of IHonorius, the GoTIIs, the BURGUNDIANs, and the I'RANKs, obtained a permanent seat and dominion in the provinces of Gaul. The liberal grant of the usurper Jovi. nus to his Burgundian allies, was confirmed by the lawful emperor; the lands of the First, or Upper, Germany, were ceded to those formidable Barbarians; and they gradually occupied, either by conquest or treaty, the two provinces which still retain, with the titles of Duchy and of County, the national appellation of Burgundy.” The Franks, the valiant and faithful allies of the Roman republic, were soon tempted to imitate the invaders, whom they had so bravely resisted. Treves, the capital of Gaul, was pillaged by their lawless bands; and the humble colony, which they so long maintained in the district of Toxandria, in Brabant, insensi. bly multiplied along the banks of the Meuse and Scheldt, till their independent power filled the whole extent of the Second, or Lower, Germany. These facts may be sufficiently justified by historic evidence; but the foundation of the 'rench monarchy by Pharamond, the conquests, the laws, and even the existence, of that hero, have been justly arraigned by the impartial severity of modern criticism.” 17 Ausonius (de Claris Urbibus, pp. 257-263) celebrates Bourdeaux with the partial affection of a native. See in Salyian (de Gubern. Dei, p. 228. Paris, 1608) a florid description of the provinces of Aquitain and Novempopulania. 163 Orosius (l. vii. c. 32, p. 550) commends the mildness and modesty of these Burgundians, who so their subjects of Gaul as their Christian brethren. Mascou has ill strated the origin of their kingdom in the four first annotations at the end of his laborious History of the Ancient Germans, vol. ii. pp. 555–572, of the English translation. 16 See Mascou, 1. viii. c. 43, 44, 45. Except in a short and suspicious line of the Chronicle of Prosper (in tom. i. p. 638) the name of Pharamond is never mentioned before the seventh century. The author of the Gesta Francorum (in tom. ii. p. 543) suggests, probably enough, that the choice of Pharamond, or at least of

163 Quod Tarfessiacis avus hujus Vallia terris

Vandalicas turmas, et juncti Martis Alamos.
Stravit, eu occiduam texère cadavera Calpen.

Sidon. Apollinar. in Panegyr. Anthem. 363,
p. 300, edit. Sirmond.

184 This supply was very acceptable : the Goths were insulted by the Vandals of Spain with the epithet of Truli, because, in their extreme distress, they had 5. a piece of gold for a trula, or about half a pound of flour. Olympiod. apud ot. p. 189. 105 Orosius inserts a copy of these pretended letters. Tucum omnibus pacem habe, omniumque obsides accipe ; nos nobis confligimus nobis perimus, tibi wincimus; immortalis vero quaestus erit Reipublicae tuæ, si utrique pereamus. The idea is just ; but I cannot persuade myself that it was entertained, or expressed, by the Barbarians, -

196 Roman triumphans ingrediour, is the formal expression of Prosper's Chronicle. The facts which relate to the death of Adolphus, and the exploits of Wallia, are related from Olympiodorus (ap. Phot. p. 188). Orosius (l. vii.; c.43, pp. to womandes (de Rebus Geticis, c. 31, 32), and the Chronicles of Idatius and Sidoré.

a king, was recommended to the Franks by his father Marcomir, who was an exiie in Tuscany.”

* The first mention of Pharamond is in the Gesta, Francorum, assigned to about the year 720. St. Martin; iv. 469. The modern French writers in general subscribe to the opinion of Thierry: Faramond fils de Markomio, quoique son molm soit bien germanique, et son regime possible, ne figure pas dans les histoiresles plus dignes de foi. A. Thierry, Lettres sur l’Histoire de France, p. 90.-M.

« ForrigeFortsett »