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If Belisarius had been tempted to hesitate in his allegiance, he might have urged, even against the emperor himself, the indispensable duty of saving Africa from an enemy more barbarous than the Vandals. The origin of the Moors is involved in darkness; they were ignorant of the use of letters.* Their limits cannot be precisely defined: a boundless continent was open to the Libyan shepherds; the change of seasons and pastures regulated their motions; and their rude huts and slender furniture were transported with the same ease as their arms, their families, and their cattle, which consisted of sheep, oxen, and camels.f During

been so conspicuous in many parts of this history; and the third belonged to the Sclavonians, who entered Germany in the time of the emperor Heraclius, about the commencement of the seventh century. The Huns were of the latter race, as also the Bulgarians and Avars. The unfilled space, left by the numerous colonies that had planted themselves within what once was the Roman empire, was soon occupied by the outlying hordes, which pressed gradually on towards the seat of civilization and the treasury of spoil. Thus Sarmatian tribes succeeded to Gothic in the possession of various territories, in the east and north-east of Germany. Among them were the Wenden and also the Obotriten, who are noticed in ch. 30. The so-called Vandals in Brandenburg, who used a Sclavonian dialect, were evidently descendants of the ancient Wenden.—Ed.]

* Sallust represents the Moors as a remnant of the army of Heracles (De Bell. Jugurth. c. 21); and Procopius (Vandal. 1. 2, c. 10), as the posterity of the Cananseans who fled from the robber Joshua (Xijffnjc). He quotes two columns, with a Phoenician inscription. I believe in the columns—I doubt the inscription—and I reject the pedigree.

+ Virgil (Georgic. 3. 339) and Pomponius Mela (1, 8), describe the wandering life of the African shepherds, similar to that of the Arabs and Tartars; and Shaw (p. 222) is the best commentatoi dn the poet and the geographer. [These illiterate savages must not be confounded with the ancient Mauri, the people of Mauritania. See ch. 33. The wilds of mount Atlas, and the sun-burnt regions farther to the south, were undoubtedly the abodes of formidable barbarians, who, when no longer restrained by a strong arm, made predatory incursions into the cultivated lands of a milder clime. But these were not the shepherds described by Virgil and Pomponius Mela, who knew nothing of Africa but the narrow strip along its northern coast. The Moors of Procopius were, perhaps, more on a level with the negro population that now holds the interior, than with the most rustic of the tribes that border on the Mediterranean. He was betrayed into one of his usual mistakes respecting these savages. Being informed that they dwelt beyond Mount Aurasius, in Zaba, a term which in their language signified the south, or a nameless country lying in that direction, he confounded this with what he had heard of north-western Africa, and made it into a province of the empire, called Mauritania Prima, with Sitiphis, an SCO DEFEAT OF THE MOOES. [CH. HI.

the vigour of the Roman power, they observed a respectful distance from Carthage and the sea-shore; under the feeble reign of the Vandals, they invaded the cities of Numidia, occupied the sea-coast from Tangier to Csesarea, and pitched their camps, with impunity, in the fertile province of Byzacium. The formidable strength and artful conduct of Belisarius secured the neutrality of the Moorish princes, whose vanity aspired to receive, in the emperor's name, the ensigns of their regal dignity.* They were astonished by the rapid event, and trembled in the presence of their conqueror. But his approaching departure soon relieved the apprehensions of a savage and superstitious people; the number of their wives allowed them to disregard the safety of their infant hostages; and when the Roman general hoisted sail in the rt of Carthage, he heard the cries, and almost beheld the mes, of the desolated province. Yet he persisted in his resolution; and, leaving only a part of his guards to reinforce the feeble garrisons, he intrusted the command of Africa to the eunuch Solomon,t 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.f But as soon as

unknown city, for its capital. We must receive the geography of such writers with great circumspection.—Ed.]

* The customary gifts were a sceptre, a crown or cap, a white cloak, a figured tunic and shoes, all adorned with gold and silver; nor were these precious metals less acceptable in the shape of coin. (Procop. Vandal. 1. 1, c. 25.) + See the African government and

warfare of Solomon, in Procopius. (Vandal. 1 . 2, c. 10—13. 19, 20.) He was recalled, and again restored; and his last victory dates in ttie thirteenth 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, Trwywroc f^TriVXa/uevoi (1. 2, c. 8).

J This natural antipathy of the horse for the camel is affirmed by the ancients; (Xenophon. Cyropa;d. 1. 6, p. 438; 1. 7, p. 483. 492, edit. Hutchinson. Polyscn. Stratagem. 7. 6. Plin. Hist. Nat. 8. 26. ^lian de Natur. Animal. 1. 3, c. 7) but it is disproved by daily experience, and derided by the best judges, the Orientals. (Voyage d'Olearius, p. 653.^

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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 thoir 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 -32sculapius is encompassed with Moorish huts; and the cattle now graze in the midst of an amphitheatre, under the shade of Corinthian columns. A sharp perpendicular rock rises above the level of the mountain, where the African princes deposited Mieir 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 natives of mount Aurasius. Thni 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

* Proeopius is the first who describes mount Aurasius. (Vandal. 1. 2, c. 13, de Edific. 1 . 6, c. 7.) He may be compared with Leo Africanus {dell'Africa, parte 5, in Bamusio, tom .i, fol. 77, recto), Marmol (tom, ii, p. 430), and Shaw (p. 56—59). [In the Introduction to his Travels 4p. 28), Bruce relates his visit to this mountain, the Mons Audus, or Aurus, of Ptolemy, and now the Jibbel Auress of the Turks. He describes it as "an assemblage of many of the most craggy steeps in Africa," among which he found a tribe called Neardie. Like the Kabyles around them, they maintained a wild independence, rough in their manners, and fiercely courageous; their complexion fairer than that of any other people south of Britain, with red hair and blue eyes. Bruce considered them to be descendants of the Vandals, whose African "kingdom was overthrown by Belisarius. (See Gibbon's note, p. 387.) They acknowledged that their ancestors had been Christians; but this would apply equally to other races that dwelt there at that time. Many ruins, with Latin inscriptions, pointed out the site of the ancient Lambesa. The French Oriental scholar, Langles, thought that the mountain of Eyre, in the south of Fez, was the Mons Aurasi'is.—Ed.]

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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 separatelyvanquished 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 downfal of the Vandals. After the failure of the royal fine, 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

* Isidor. Chron. p. 722, edit. Grot. Mariana, Hist. Hispan. 1 . 5, c. 8, p. 173. Yet, according to Isidore, the siege of Ceuta, and the death of Theudes, happened, A. x. H. 586, A.d. 548, and the place was defended, not by the Vandals, but by the Romans.


the loss of Carthage, and then dismissed them with obscure and contemptuous 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.f

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 dange rous enemy to destroy their most valuable ally. A sister of the great Theodoric had been given in marriage to Thrasi

* Procopius, Vanda1 . 1. 1, c. 24. [The history of Spain at this period is very obscure. After the death of Alaric II. in 507, (see ch. 38) Theudes was sent by Theodoric to guard the throne of the infant Amalarich. This he performed faithfully till the young king died in 531, when the regent or guardian became king himself, and reigned till 548. His motive for besieging Septa (Ceuta) and its date, both remain uncertain. Mariana says that it preceded the overthrow of the Vandals, and was undertaken to assist them. Gelimer's ambassadors had a very tedious voyage, and did not arrive till after the intelligence of the fall of Carthage had reached Theudes. He concealed it from them, and on their return they were made prisoners by the Romans. Clinton, F. R., i, 726; ii, 145. Mariana, v, 8.—Ed.]

+ See the original chronicle of Isidore, and the fifth and sixth books of the History of Spain by Mariana. The Romans were finally expelled by Suintila, the king of the Visigoths (a.d. 621—626), after their reunion to the Catholic church.

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