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elephants of the Via sacra were diligently restored ;* the famous heifer of Myron deceived the cattle, as they were driven through the forum of peace.f and an officer was created to protect those works of art, which Theodoric considered as the noblest ornaments of his kingdom.
After the example of the last emperors, Theodoric preferred the residence of Ravenna, where he cultivated an orchard with his own hands.J As often as the peace of his kingdom was threatened (for it was never invaded) by the barbarians, he removed his court to Verona.§ on the northern frontier, and the image of his palace, still extant on a coin, represents the oldest and most authentic model of Gothic - architecture. These two capitals, as well as Pavia, Spoleto, Naples, and the rest of the Italian cities, acquired under his reign the useful or splendid decorations of churches, aqueducts, baths, porticoes, and palaces.^ But the happiness of
(Reflexions sur la Poesie et sur la Peinture, tom, i, section 39,) and admired by Winkelmau. (Hist, de l'Art. tom, ii, p. 1S9.) [It was said, that each of these horses represented Bucephalus, tamed by Alexander, and that one was the work of Phidias, the other of Praxiteles. But the first of these sculptors was dead before the Macedonian hero wag born ; and Pliny, in his enumeration of the great works left by the latter (Hist. Nat. 36. 4) makes no mention of such a statue.—Ed.]
* Var. x.10. They were probably a fragment of some triumphal car. (Cuper de Elephantis, 2,10.) + Procopius (Goth. 1. 4,
c. 21) relates a foolish story of Myron's cow, which is celebrated by the false wit of thirty-six Greek epigrams. (Antholog. 1 . 4, p. 302— 306, edit. Hen. Steph.; Auson. Epigram. 58—<38.)
X See an Epigram of Ennodius (2, 3. p. 1893, 1894) on this garden and the royal gardener. § His affection for that city is
proved by the epithet of "Verona tua," and the legend of the hero: under the barbarous name of Dietrich of Bern, (Peringskiold ad Cochlseum, p. 240.) Mallei traces him with knowledge and pleasure in his native country (1 . 9, p. 230—236). [Eckhel (8. 212) remarks, that Gibbon was misled by Scipio Maffei, to call the representation of Theodoric's palace a coin, which is no more than a common brass seal, similar to many that have come down to us from the Middle Ages. The name of Dietrich von Bern, under which Theodoric is made a hero of early romance, was a German corruption of the Latin "Dietericua Veronensis," or perhaps a nearer approach to his true Gothic designation—Ed.] K See Maffei, Verona Illustrata, part 1, p. 231, 232. 308, Ac. He imputes Gothic architecture, like the corruption of language, writing, &c., not to the barbarians, but to the Italians themselves. Compare his sentiments with those of Tiraboschi (tom, iii, p. 61). [Whatever may have been the origin of the so-called "Gothic architecture," there are many various tastes and feelings, 270
HUM, ISTRIA, AND COMUM. [CH. XXXIX.
the subject was more truly conspicuous in the busy scene of labour and luxury, in the rapid increase and bold enjoyment of national wealth: from the shades of Tibur and Prseneste, the Roman senators still retired in the winter season to the warm sun and salubrious springs of Baiae; and their villas, which advanced on solid moles into the bay of Naples, commanded the various prospect of the sky, the earth, and the water. On the eastern side of the Hadriatic, a new Campania was formed in the fair and fruitful province of Istria, which communicated with the palace of Bavenna by an easy navigation of one hundred miles. The rich productions of Lucania and the adjacent provinces were exchanged at the Marcilian fountain, in a populous fair annually dedicated to trade, intemperance, and superstition. In the solitude of Comum, which had once been animated by the mild genius of Pliny, a transparent basin, above sixty miles in length, still reflected the rural seats which encompassed the margin of the Larian lake; and the gradual ascent of the hills was covered by a triple plantation of olives, of vines, and of chestnut trees.* Agriculture revived under the the shadow of peace, and the number of husbandmen was multiplied by the redemption of captives.f The iron mines of Dalmatia, a gold mine of
which forbid it to be decried as a "corruption" of any other style. It has its own peculiar characteristics, which, for itself alone, may raise it above the Grecian, in the estimation of its admirers, without subjecting them to be condemned for depraved artistic principles, or a distorting obliquity of view. See an able development of these principles in Pugin's True Principles of Pointed Architecture (edit. Bohn, 1853.).—Ed.] * The villas, climate, and land
scape of Baize, (Var. ix. 6. See Cluver. Italia Antiq. 1 . 4, c. 2, p. 1119, &c.) Istria (Var. xii. 22. 26.) and Comum (Var. XL 14. compare with Pliny's two villas, 9, 7) are agreeably painted in the Epistles of Cassiodorus. [" Nullus in orbe sinus Baiis prtelucet amoanis," was the song of Horace, who made this favourite retreat of the Romans the frequent theme of his verse (Carm. 2,18. 3, 1 and 4. Sat. 2. 4. 32. Epist. 1. 1. 83, &c.). He always said in a line as much as Cassiodorus did in one of his prolix and pedantic epistles. The minister could not give a sick officer leave of absence, to try sea-bathing and the air of the coast for the benefit of his health, without adding a long description of Bate.—Ed.]
+ In Liguria numerosa agricolarum progenies. (Ennodius,p. 1678— 1680.) St. Epiphanius of Pavia redeemed by prayer or ransom six thousand captives from the Burgundians of Lyons and Savoy. Such deeds are the best of miracles.
Bruttium, were carefully explored, and the Pomptine marshes, as well as those of Spoleto, were drained and cultivated by private undertakers, whose distant reward must depend on the continuance of the public prosperity.* Whenever the seasons were less propitious, the doubtful precautions of forming magazines of corn, fixing the price, and prohibiting the exportation, attested at least the benevolence of the state; but such was the extraordinary plenty which an industrious people produced from a grateful soil, that a gallon of wine was sometimes sold in Italy for less than three farthings, and a quarter of wheat at about five shillings and sixpence, t A country possessed of so many valuable objects of exchange, soon attracted the merchants of the world, whose beneficial traffic was encouraged and protected by the liberal spirit of Theodoric. The free intercourse of the provinces by land and water was restored and extended; the city gates were never shut either by day or by night; and the common saying, that a purse of gold might be safely left in the fields, was expressive of the conscious security of the inhabitants.
A difference of religion is always pernicious and often fatal to the harmony of the prince and people; the Gothic conqueror had been educated in the profession of Arianism, and Italy was devoutly attached to the Nicene faith. But the persuasion of Theodoric was not infected by zeal, and he piously adhered to the heresy of his fathers, without condescending to balance the subtle arguments of theological metaphysics. Satisfied with the private toleration of his Arian sectaries, he justly conceived himself to be the guardian of the public worship ; and his external reverence for a superstition which he despised, may have nourished in his mind the salutary indifference of a statesman or philosopher. The Catholics of his dominions acknowledged, perhaps with
* The political economy of Theodoric (see Anonym. Vales, p. 721, and Cassiodorus, in Chron.) may be distinctly traced under the following heads : iron mine (Var. iii. 23), gold mine (ix. 3), Pomptine marshes (ii. 32, 33), Spoleto (ii. 21), corn (i. 34. x. 27. 28. xi. 11.12), trade (vi. 7. vii. 9. 23), fair of Leucothoe or St . Cyprian in Lucania (viii. 83,) plenty (xii. 4) the cursus, or public post (i. 29. ii. 31. iv. 47. v. 5. vi. 6. vii. 33) the Flaminian way (xii . 18). + LX modii tritici in solidum
ipsius tempore fuerunt, et vinum 30 amphoras in solidum. (Fragment, Vales.) Corn was distributed from the granaries at fifteen or twentyfive modii for a piece of gold, and the price was still moderate.
TOLEEATION OF CATHOLICS. [CH. XXIII.
reluctance, the peace of the church; their clergy, according to the decrees of rank or merit, were honourably entertained in the palace of Theodoric ; he esteemed the living sanctity of Csesarius* and Epiphanius,t the orthodox bishops of Aries and Pavia; and presented a decent offering on the tomb of St. Peter, without any scrupulous inquiry into the creed of the apostle.J His favourite Goths, and even his mother, were permitted to retain or embrace the Athanasian faith, and his long reign could not afford the example of an Italian Catholic, who either from choice or compulsion had deviated into the religion of the conqueror. § The people, and the barbarians themselves, were edified by the pomp and order of religious worship; the magistrates were instructed to defend the just immunities of ecclesiastical persons and possessions; the bishops held their synods, the metropolitans exercised their jurisdiction, and the privileges of sanctuary were maintained and moderated according to the spirit of the Roman jurisprudence.^ With the protection, Theodoric assumed the legal supremacy of the church;
* See the life of St. Csesarius in Baronius. A.d. 508. No. 12—14.) The king presented him with three hundred gold solidi, and a discus of silver of the weight of sixty pounds. T Ennodius in Vit.
St. Epiphanii, in Sirmond. Op. tom, i, p. 1672—1690. Theodoric bestowed some important favours on this bishop, whom he \ised as a counsellor in peace and war. J Devotissimus ac si Catho
licus (Anonym. Vales. p. 207); yet his offering was no more than two ailver candlesticks (cerostrata) of the weight of seventy pounds, far inferior to the gold and gems of Constantinople and France. (Anastasius in Vit. Pont, in Hormisda, p. 34, edit. Paris.) § The tolerating
system of his reign (Ennodius, p. 1612. Anonym. Vales. p. 719. Procop. Goth. 1 . 1, c. 1.; 1. 2, o. 6) may be studied in the Epistles of Cassiodorus, under the following heads: bishops (Var. i. 9. viii, 15. 24; xi. 23), immunities (i. 26. ii. 29, 3u), church lands (iv. 17. 20), sanctuaries (ii. 11. iil . 47), church plate (xii. 20), discipline (iv. 44); which prove at the same time that he was the head of the church as well as of the state. [In the letters to which Gibbon has here referred, the hierarchy heard a a language, new and astounding to them. The first Gothic kings of Italy, although disposed to respect and honour the priesthood, were yet evidently bent on repressing their inordinate power, and restricting them to their proper functions. The Epistle (viii. 24) addressed to some "Clero Ecclesise Romance," tells them in plain terms to mind their own business and desist from intermeddling with worldly affairs. It will be interesting to watch the consequences of this check.—Ed.]
H We may reject a foolish tale of his beheading a Catholic deacon who turned Arian. (Theodor. Lector. No. 17.) Why is Theodoric sumamed Afer 1 From Vafcr? ^Vales. ad loc.) A light conjecture.
and his firm administration restored or extended some useful prerogatives, which had been neglected by the feeble emperors of the west. He was not ignorant of the dignity and importance of the Roman pontiff, to whom the venerable name of Pope was now appropriated. The peace or the revolt of Italy might depend on the character of a wealthy and popular bishop, who claimed such ample dominion, both in heaven and earth; who had been declared in a numerous synod to be pure from all sin, and exempt from all judgment.* When the chair of St. Peter was disputed by Symmachus and Laurence, they appeared at his summons before the tribunal of an Arian monarch, and he confirmed the election of the most worthy, or the most obsequious candidate. At the end of his life, in a moment of jealousy and resentment, he prevented the choice of the Romans, by nominating a pope in the palace of Ravenna. The danger and furious contests of a schism were mildly restrained, and the last decree of the senate was enacted to extinguish, if it were possible, the scandalous venality of the papal elections.f
I have descanted with pleasure on the fortunate condition of Italy; but our fancy must not hastily conceive that
[Afare or Affare was a medieval term for a farm or rural occupation. May not the surname given to Theodoric have had some reference to the orchard, which he cultivated with his own hand at Ravenna ?—Ed.]
* Ennodius, p. 1621. 1622. 1636.1638. His libel was approved and registered (synodaliter) by a Roman council. (Baronius, A.d. 503, No. 6. Franciscus Pagi in Breviar. Pont. Rom. tom. i, p. 242.)
T See Cassiodorus (Var. viii. 15. ix. 15,16), Anastasius (in Symrcacho, p. 31), and the eighteenth Annotation of Maacou. Baronius, Pagi, and most of the Catholic doctors, confess, with an angry growl, this Gothic usurpation. [These letters of Cassiodorus were written after the death of Theodoric and in the name of the young king, Athalaric; but of course, under the sanction of the Regent-mother, Amalasuntha. The first is addressed to the Senate of Rome, calling upon them to appoint the Pope selected by the deceased monarch; the second is to Pope John II., reprobating in strong terms the bribes, by which candidates for the pontifical chair obtained the votes of the senators; and the third, to Salvantius, the Prefect of the city, ordering the edict against these practices to be engraven on marble tablets, and "ante atrium beati apostoli Petri, in testimonium publicum, collocari." The second exposes to just obloquy the disgraceful contests for sacerdotal dignities, and the unscrupulous means resorted to for their attainment. If divine authority can be supposed to have transmitted itself through hands polluted by such impure and unholy practices, bribery and corruption cannot be culpable acts, in pursuit
VO I.. IV. 2