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his victory, to claim, as the sovereign of Bome, the allegiance of the dependent cities.—" When I treat with my enemies," replied the Roman chief, with a haughty smile, "I am more accustomed to give than to receive counsel: but I hold in one hand inevitable ruin, and in the other, peace and freedom, such as Sicily now enjoys." The impatience of delay urged him to grant the most liberal terms; his honour secured their performance; but Naples was divided into two factions; and the Greek democracy was inflamed by their orators, who, with much spirit and some truth, represented to the multitude that the Goths would punish their defection, and that Belisarius himself must esteem their loyalty and valour. Their deliberations, however, were not perfectly free: the city was commanded by eight hundred barbarians, whose wives and children were detained at Ravenna as the pledge of their fidelity; and even the Jews, who were rich and numerous, resisted, with desperate enthusiasm, the intolerant laws of Justinian. In a much later period, the circumference of Naples* measured only two thousand three hundred and sixty-three paces: t the fortifications were defended by precipices or the sea: when the aqueducts were intercepted, a supply of water might be drawn from wells and fountains; and the stock of provisions was sufficient to consume the patience of the besiegers. At the end of twenty days, that of Belisarius was almost exhausted, and he had reconciled himself to the disgrace of abandoning the siege, that he might march, before the winter season, against Rome and the Gothic king. But his anxiety was relieved by the bold curiosity of an Isaurian, who explored the dry channel of an aqueduct, and secretly reported that a passage might be perforated to introduce a file of armed soldiers into the heart of the city. When the work had been silently executed,
pleasures of Rome to that calm retreat. * This measure
was taken by Roger I. after the conquest of Naples (a.d. 1139) which he made the capital of his new kingdom. (Giannone, Istoria Civile, tom, ii, p. 169.) That city, the third in Christian Europe, is now at least twelve miles in circumference (Jul. Csesar. Capaccii Historia Neapol. 1. 1, p. 47), and contains more inhabitants (three hundred and fifty thousand) in a given space, than any other spot in the known world. + Not geometrical, but common paces or steps, of
twenty-two French inches (D'Anville, Mesures Itineraires, p. 7, 8): tha two thousand three hundred and sixty-three do not make an English A.D. 537.] HUMANITY or BELISABIUS.
the humane general risked the discovery of his secret, by a last and fruitless admonition of the impending danger. In the darkness of the night four hundred Romans entered the aqueduct, raised themselves by a rope, which they fastened to an olive tree, into the house or garden of a solitary matron, sounded their trumpets, surprised the sentinels, and gave admittance to their companions, who on all sides scaled the walls and burst open the gates of the city. Every crime which is punished by social justice was practised as the rights of war; the Huns were distinguished by cruelty and sacrilege, and Belisarius alone appeared in the streets and churches of Naples, to moderate the calamities which he predicted. "The gold and silver," he repeatedly exclaimed, "are the just rewards of your valour. But spare the inhabitants, they are Christians, they are suppliants, they are now your fellow-subjects. Restore the children "to their parents, the wives to their husbands; and shew them, by your generosity, of what friends they have obstinately deprived themselves." The city was saved by the virtue and authority of its conqueror,* and when the Neapolitans returned to their houses, they found some consolation in the secret enjoyment of their hidden treasures. The barbarian garrison enlisted in the service of the emperor; Apulia and Calabria, delivered from the odious presence of the Goths, acknowledged his dominion; and the tusks of the Calydonian boar, which were still shewn at Beneventum, are curiously described by the historian of Belisarius.f
The faithful soldiers and citizens of Naples had expected their deliverance from a prince, who remained the inactive and almost indifferent spectator of their ruin. Theodatus secured his person within the walls of Rome, while his cavalry advanced forty miles on the Appian way, and encamped in the Pomptine marshes; which, by a canal of nineteen miles in length, had been recently drained and
mile. * Belisarius was reproved by pope Sylverius for
the massacre. He repeopled Naples, and imported colonies of African captives into Sicily, Calabria, and Apulia. (Hist. Miscell. 1. 16, in Muratori, tom, i, p. 106, 107.) + Beneventum was built
by Diomede, the nephew of Meleager. (Cluver. tom, ii, p. 1195, 1196.) The Calydonian hunt is a picture of savage life. (Ovid. Metamorph. L 8.) Thirty or forty heroes were leagued against a hog: the brutes (not the hog) quarrelled with a lady for the head.
converted into excellent pastures.* But the principal forces of the Goths were dispersed in Dalmatia, Venetia, and Gaul; and the feeble mind of their king was confounded by the unsuccessful event of a divination, which seemed to presage the downfal of his empire.f The most abject slaves have arraigned the guilt, or weakness, of an unfortunate master. The character of Theodatus was rigorously scrutinized by a free and idle camp of barbarians, conscious of their privilege and power: he was declared unworthy of his race, his nation, and his throne; and their general Vitiges, whose valour had been signalized in the Illyrian war, was raised, with unanimous applause, on the bucklers of his companions. On the first rumour, the abdicated monarch fled from the justice of his country; but he was pursued by private revenge. A Goth, whom he had injured in his love, overtook Theodatus on the Flaminian way, and, regardless of his unmanly cries, slaughtered him, as he lay prostrate on the ground, like a victim (says the historian) at the foot of the altar. The choice of the people is the best and purest title to reign over them: yet such is the prejudice of every age, that Vitiges impatiently wished to return to Ravenna, where he might seize, with the reluctant hand of the daughter of Amalasontha, some faint shadow of hereditary right. A national council was immediately held, and the new monarch reconciled the impatient spirit of the barbarians to a measure of disgrace, which the misconduct of his predecessor rendered wise and indispensable. The Goths consented to retreat in the presence of a victorious enemy: to delay till the next spring the operations of offensive war; to summon their scattered forces; to relinquish their distant possessions, and to trust even Eome itself to the faith of its inhabitants. Leuderis, an
* The Decennovium is strangely confounded by Cluverius (tom. ii, p. 1007) with the river Ufena. It -was in truth a canal of nineteen miles, from Forum Appii to Terracina, on which Horace embarked in the night. The Decennovium, which is mentioned by Lucan, Dion Cnssius, and Cassiodorus, has been successively ruined, restored, and obliterated. (D'Anville, Analyse de l'ltalie, p. 185, &c.)
+ A Jew gratified his contempt and hatred for all the Christians, by inclosing three bands, each of ten hogs, and discriminated by the names of Goths, Greeks, and Romans. Of the first, almost al\ were found dead—almost all of the secoud were alive—of the third, half died, and the rest lost their bristles. No unsuitable emblem of the event.
aged warrior, was left in the capital with four thousand soldiers; a feeble garrison, which might have seconded the zeal, though it was incapable of opposing the wishes, of the Romans. But a momentary enthusiasm of religion and patriotism was kindled in their minds. They furiously exclaimed, that the apostolic throne should no longer be profaned by the triumph or toleration of Arianism; that the tombs of the Csesars should no longer be trampled by tho savages of the north; and, without reflecting that Italy must sink into a province of Constantinople, they fondly hailed the restoration of a Roman emperor as a new era of freedom and prosperity. The deputies of the pope and clergy, of the senate and people, invited the lieutenant of Justinian to accept their voluntary allegiance, and to enter the city, whose gates would be thrown open for his reception. As soon as Belisarius had fortified his new conquests, Naples and Cumse, he advanced about twenty miles to the banks of the Vulturnus, contemplated the decayed grandeur of Capua, and halted at the separation of the Latin and Appian ways. The work of the censor, after the incessant use of nine centuries, still preserved its primeval beauty, and not a flaw could be discovered in the large polished stones, of which that solid, though narrow road, was so firmly compacted.* Belisarius, however, preferred the Latin way, which, at a distance from the sea and marshes, skirted, in a space of one hundred and twenty miles, along the foot of the mountains. His enemies had disappeared: when he made his entrance through the Asinarian gate, the garrison departed without molestation along the Maminian way; and the city, after sixty years' servitude, was delivered from the yoke of the barbarians. Leuderis alone, from a motive of pride or discontent, refused to accompany the fugitives; and the Gothic chief, himself a trophy of the victory, was sent with the keys of Eome to the throne of the emperor Justinian.f
* Bergier (Hist, des Grands Chemins des Romains, tom. i, p. 221— 228. 440—444) examines the structure and materials, while D'Anville (Analyse d'ltalie, p. 200—213) defines the geographical line.
+ Of the first recovery of Rome, the year (536) is certain, from the series of events, rather than from the corrupt or interpolated text of Procopius: the month (December) is ascertained by Evagrius; (1. 4, c. 19) and the day (the tenth) may be admitted on the slight evidence of Nicephorus Callistus (1. 17, c. 13). For this accurate chronology,
The first days, which coincided with the old Saturnalia, "were devoted to mutual congratulation and the public joy; and the Catholics prepared to celebrate, without a rival, the approaching festival of the nativity of Christ. In the familiar conversation of a hero, the Romans acquired some notion of the virtues which history ascribed to their ancestors; they were edified by the, apparent respect of Belisarius for the successor of St. Peter, and his rigid discipline secured, in the midst of war, the blessings of tranquillity and justice. They applauded the rapid success of his arms, which overran the adjacent country, as far as Narni, Perusia, and Spoleto: but they trembled, the senate, the clergy, and the unwarlike people, as soon as they understood that he had resolved, and would speedily be reduced, to sustain a siege against the powers of the Gothic monarchy. The designs of Vitiges were executed, during the winter-season, with diligence and effect. From their rustic habitations, from their distant garrisons, the Goths assembled at Ravenna for the defence of their country; and such were their numbers, that after an army had been detached for the relief of Dalmatia, one hundred and fifty thousand fighting men marched under the royal standard. According to the degrees of rank or merit, the Gothic king distributed arms and horses, rich gifts, and liberal promises; he moved along the Flaminian way, declined the useless sieges of Perusia and Spoleto, respected the impregnable rock of Narni, and arrived within two miles of Rome, at the foot of the Milvian bridge. The narrow passage was fortified with a tower, and Belisarius had computed the value of the twenty days, which must be lost in the construction of another bridge. But the consternation of the soldiers of the tower, who either fled or deserted, disappointed his hopes, and betrayed his person into the most imminent danger. At the head of one thousand horse, the Roman general sallied from the Flaminian gate to mark the ground of an advantageous position, and to survey the camp of the barbarians ; but while he still believed them on the other side of the Tiber, he was suddenly encompassed and assaulted by their innumerable squadrons. The fate of Italy depended on his life; and the
we are indebted to the diligence and judgment of Pagi (tom, ii, p. 559, 560.) [According to Clinton (F.R. i, 766), Belisarius entered Romo December 9. Pagi was misled by the Latin version of Evagrius.