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532.] THE SEDITION SUPPRESSED. a firm and regular attack; the blues signalized the fury of their repentance; and it is computed that above thirty thousand persons were slain in the merciless and promis. cuous carnage of the day. Hypatius was dragged from his throne, and conducted with his brother Pompey to the feet of the emperor: they implored his clemency; but their crime was manifest, their innocence uncertain, and Justinian had been too much terrified to forgive. The next morning the two nephews of Anastasius, with eighteen illustrious accomplices, of patrician or consular rank, were privately executed by the soldiers; their bodies were thrown into the sea, their palaces razed, and their fortunes confiscated. The hippodrome itself was condemned during several years to a mournful silence: with the restoration of the games the same disorders revived: and the blue and green factions continued to afflict the reign of Justinian, and to disturb the tranquillity of the Eastern empire.*
III. That empire, after Rome was barbarous, still em-7 braced the nations whom she had conquered beyond the Hadriatic, and as far as the frontiers of Æthiopia and Persia. Justinian reigned over sixty-four provinces, and nine hundred and thirty-five cities;his dominions were blessed by nature with the advantages of soil, situation, and climate; and the improvements of human art had been perpetually diffused along the coast of the Mediterranean and the banks of the Nile, from ancient Troy to the Ægyptian Thebes. Abraham I had been relieved by the well
* Marcellinus says in general terms, innumeris populis in circo trucidatis. Procopius numbers thirty thousand victims : and the thirty-five thousand of Theophanes are swelled to fortythousand by the more recent Zonaras. Such is the usual progress of exaggeration.
† Hierocles, a contemporary of Justinian, composed bis Lúvõexuos (Itineraria, p. 631) or review of the Eastern provinces and cities, before the year 535. (Wesseling in Præfat. and Not. ad p. 623, &c.
I See the book of Genesis (xii, 10,) and the administration of Joseph. The annals of the Greeks and Hebrews agree in the early arts and plenty of Ægypt; but this antiquity supposes a long series of improvement : and Warburton, who is almost stifled by the Hebrew, calls aloud for the Samaritan chronology. (Divine Legation, vol. iii, p. 29, &c.). [The chronologies of MM. Bunsen and Lepsius carry back the history of Egypt to 3800 years B.C. (Letters from Egypt, by Dr. R. Lepsius, p. 499–506. edit. Bohn). Yet the emigrants from that country, who colonized Greece about 2000 years later, took with them only the simplest arts and first rudi
known plenty of Egypt; the same country, a small and populous tract, was still capable of exporting, each year, two hundred and sixty thousand quarters of wheat for the use of Constantinople ;* and the capital of Justinian was supplied with the manufactures of Sidon, fifteen centuries after they bad been celebrated in the poems of Homer.t The annual powers of vegetation, instead of being exhausted by two thousand harvests, were renewed and invigorated by skilful husbandry, rich manure, and seasonable repose. The breed of domestic animals was infinitely multiplied. Plan. tations, buildings, and the instruments of labour and luxury, which are more durable than the term of human life, were accumulated by the care of successive generations. Tradition preserved, and experience simplified, the humble practice of the arts; society was enriched by the division of labour and the facility of exchange; and every Roman was lodged, clothed, and subsisted, by the industry of a thousand hands. The invention of the loom and distaff has been piously ascribed to the gods. In every age, a variety of animal and vegetable productions, hair, skins, wool, flax, cotton, and at lengtn silk, have been skilfully manufactured to hide or adorn the human body; they were stained with an infusion of permanent colours; and the pencil was successfully employed to improve the labours of the loom. ments of civilization. This fact renders the claim to such high antiquity very doubtful.-ED.]
* Eight millions of Roman modii, besides a contribution of eighty thousand aurei for the expenses of water carriage, from which the subject was graciously excused. See the thirteenth edict of Justinian : the numbers are checked and verified by the agreement of the Greek and Latin texts.
of Homer's Iliad, 6. 289. These veils, méthou mau toki oi, were the work of the Sidonian women.' But this passage is more honourable to the manufactures than to the navigation of Phoenicia, from whence they had been imported to Troy in Phrygian bottoms. [Sidon was undoubtedly celebrated for its manufactures at a very early period; but Phoenicia was never without a fleet by which these might be conveyed to other countries. The veils, moreover, which were the theme of Homer's song were not made at Sidon, but at Troy, by Sidonian women, whom Paris had taken there with him,
έργα γυναικών Σιδονίων, τας αυτός 'Αλέξανδρος θεοειδής ήγαγε Σιδονίηθεν.
Iliad, 6. 2894291. In those days men disdained the labours of the loom as well as of the distaff, and left them to be performed by female hands. The progress of the textile art was therefore slow in ancient times. But a laudable In the choice of those colours* which imitate the beauties of nature, the freedom of taste and fashion was indulged ; but the deep purple, which the Phænicians extracted from a shell-fish, was restrained to the sacred person and palace of the emperor; and the penalties of treason were denounced against the ambitious subjects who dared to usurp the prerogative of the throne. I
I need not explain that silks is originally spun from the bowels of a caterpillar, and that it composes the golden tomb from whence a worm emerges in the form of a butterfly. Till the reign of Justinian, the silk-worms, who feed on the leaves of the white mulberry-tree, were confined to China; those of the pine, the oak, and the ash, were common in the forests both of Asia and Europe ; but as their education is more difficult, and their produce more uncertain, they were generally neglected, except in the little island of Ceos, near the coast of Attica. A thin gauze was procured from their webs; and this Cean manufacture, the invention of a woman,
curiosity supplied occasionally the place of a more active energy, and discovered new materials, or new purposes to which the old might be applied.—ED.)
* See in Ovid (de Arte Amandi, 3. 269, &c.) a poetical list of twelve colours borrowed from flowers, the elements, &c. But it is almost impossible to discriminate by words all the nice and various shades both of art and nature.
* By the discovery of cochineal, &c. we far surpass the colours of antiquity. Their royal purple had a strong smell, and a dark cast as deep as bull's blood.-Obscuritas rubens (says Cassiodorus, Var. i, 2) nigredo sanguinea. The president Goguet (Origine des Loix et des Arts, part. 2, 1. 2, c. 2, p. 184-215) will amuse and satisfy the reader. I doubt whether his book, especially in England, is as well known as it deserves to be
I Historical proofs of this jealousy have been occasionally introduced, and many more might have been added; but the arbitrary acts of despotism were justified by the sober and general declarations of law. (Codex Theodosian. 1. 10, tit. 21, leg. 3, Codex Justinian. 1. 11, tit. 8, leg. 5.) An inglorious permission, and necessary restriction, was applied to the mimo, the female dancers. (Cod. Theodos. I. 15, tit. 7, leg. 11.)
S In the history of insects (far more wonderful than Ovid's Metamorphoses) the silkworm holds a conspicuous place. The bombyx of the isle of Ceos, a: described by Pliny (Hist. Natur. 11, 26, 27, with the notes of the two learned Jesuits, Hardouin and Brotier), may be illustrated by a similar species in China (Mémoires sur les Chinois, tom. ii, p. 575--598); but our silk-worm, as well as the white mulberry-tree, were unknown to Theophrastus and Pliny. [Aristotle is the first by whom the silk-worm is mentioned. (De Animal. v. 19.) The period at which it was introduced into the island of Cos or 'Ceos, by Pamphyla, the daughter of for female use, was long admired both in the East and at Rome. Wbatever suspicions may be raised by the garments of the Medes and Assyrians, Virgil is the most ancient writer who expressly mentions the soft wool which was combed from the trees of the Seres or Chinese,* and this natural error, less marvellous than the truth, was slowly corrected by the knowledge of a valuable insect, the first artificer of the luxury of nations. That rare and elegant luxury was censured in the reign of Tiberius, by the gravest of the Romans; and Pliny, in affected though forcible language, has condemned the thirst of gain, which explored the last confines of the earth, for the pernicious purpose of exposing to the public eye naked draperies and transparent matrons. A dress, which showed the turn of the limbs, and colour of the skin, might gratify vanity, or provoke desire; the silks which had been closely woven in China, were sometimes unravelled by the Phænician women, and the precious materials were multiplied by a looser texture, and the intermixture of linen threads. I Two hundred years after the age of Pliny, the use of pure or even of mixed silks was confined to the female Patous, is supposed to correspond with that in which Solomon lived. Ed.]
* Georgic. 2, 121. Serica quando venerint in usum planissime non scio : suspicor tamen in Julii Cæsaris ævo, nam ante non invenio, says Justus Lipsius (Excursus 1, ad Tacit. Annal. 2. 32). See Dion Cassius (1. 43, p. 358, edit. Reimar.) and Pausanias (1. 6, p. 519); the first who describes, however strangely, the Seric insect, (The “soft wool, which was combed from the trees,” is equally applicable to cotton, which it ought to be remembered, is also a product of the East.-ED.)
* Tam longinquo orbe petitur, ut in publico matrona transluceat..... ut denudet foeminas vestis. (Plin. 6, 20. 11, 21.) Varro and Publius Syrus had already played on the toga vitrea, ventus textilis, and nebula linea. (Horat. Sermon. 1, 2. 101, with the notes of Torrentius and Dacier.) [Gibbon's confused or transposed epithets do not represent Pliny's words correctly ; in fact, they have made him write nonsense. He describes the drapery as transparent, and the matron as visible through it; nor could the wearers of such attire be properly called naked. The German translator has followed closely the error of his English model, and rendered the passage lit rally. M. Guizot's version is much better, “ des vêtemens qui ne vêtissent pas, et des matrones nues, quoique habillées.”ED.]
I On the texture, colours, names, and use of the silk, half silk, and linen garments of antiquity, see the profound, diffuse, and obscure researches of the great Salmasius (in Hist. August. 'p. 127. 309, 310. 339. 341. 342. 344. 388-391. 395. 513), who was ignorant of the most common trades of Dijon or Leyden.
sex, till the opulent citizens of Rome and the provinces were insensibly familiarized with the example of Elagabalus, the first who by this effeminate habit, had sullied the dignity of an emperor and a man. Aurelian complained, that a pound of silk was sold at Rome for twelve ounces of gold ; but the supply increased with the demand, and the price diminished with the supply. If accident or monopoly sometimes raised the value even above the standard of Aurelian, the manufacturers of Tyre and Berytus were sometimes compelled, by the operation of the same causes, to content themselves with a ninth part of that extravagant rate.* A law was thought necessary to discriminate the dress of comedians from that of senators; and of the silk exported from its native country, the far greater part was consumed by the subjects of Justinian. They were still more intimately acquainted with a shell-fish of the Mediterranean, surnamed the silk-worm of the sea; the fine wool or hair by which the mother of pearl affixes itself to the rock, is now manufactured for curiosity rather than use; and a robe obtained from the same singular materials, was the gift of the Roman emperor to the satraps of Armenia.t
A valuable merchandize of small bulk is capable of defraying the expense of land carriage; and the caravans traversed the whole latitude of Asia in two hundred and forty-three days, from the Chinese ocean to the sea-coast of Syria. Silk was immediately delivered to the Romans by the Persian merchants, who frequented the fairs of Armenia and Nisibis : but this trade, which in the intervals of truce was oppressed by avarice and jealousy, was totally interrupted by the long wars of the rival monarcbies. The great king
* Flavius Vopiscus in Aurelian. C. 45, in Hist. August. p. 224. See Salmasius ad Hist. Aug. p. 392, and Plinian. Exercitat. in Scinum, p. 694, 695. The Anecdotes of Procopius (c. 25) state a partial and imperfect rate of the price of silk in the time of Justinian. [According to Vopiscus, Aurelian, objecting to the high price, denied his empress a silk robe, which she wished for.--Ed.]
+ Procopius de Edif. lib. 3, c. 1. These pinnes de mer are found near Smyrna, Sicily, Corsica. and Minorca; and a pair of gloves of their silk was presented to pope Benedict XIV.
Procopius, Persic. lib. 1, c. 20, lib. 2, c. 25. Gothic. lib. 4, c. 17. Menander in Excerpt. Legat. p. 107. Of the Parthian or Persian em. pire, Isidore of Charax (in Stathmis Parthicis, p. 7, 8, in Hudson, Geograph. Minor. tom. ii) has marked the roads, and Ammianus Marcel. linus (lib. 23, c. 6. p. 400) bas enumerated the provinces.