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4 COBNECTION OF OTITJS WITH THE HUNS. [CH. XXXY.
western provinces, were insensibly taught to respect the faith and valour of the patrician j3Stius. He soothed their passions, consulted their prejudices, balanced their interests, and checked their ambition. A seasonable treaty, which he concluded with Genseric, protected Italy from the depredations of the Vandals; the independent Britons implored and acknowledged his salutary aid: the imperial authority was restored and maintained in Gaul and Spain; and he compelled the Pranks and the Suevi, whom he had vanquished in the field, to become the useful confederates of the republic.
From a principle of interest as well as gratitude, jEtius assiduously cultivated the alliance of the Huns. While he resided in their tents as a hostage, or an exile, he had familiarly conversed with Attila himself, the nephew of his benefactor; and the two famous antagonists appear to have been connected by a personal and military friendship, which they afterwards confirmed by mutual gifts, frequent embassies, and the education of Carpilio, the son of _3£tius, in the camp of Attila. By the specious professions of gratitude and voluntary attachment, the patrician might disguise his apprehensions of the Scythian conqueror, who pressed the two empires with his innumerable armies. His demands were obeyed or eluded. When he claimed the spoils of a vanquished city, some vases of gold, which had been fraudulently embezzled, the civil and military governors of Noricum were immediately dispatched to satisfy his complaints :* and it is evident, from their conversation with Maximin and Priscus, in the royal village, that the valour and prudence of iEtius had not saved the western Romans from the common ignominy of tribute. Yet his dexterous policy
Profuturus Frigeridua, a contemporary historian, known only by some extracts, which are preserved by Gregory of Tours. (1. 2, c . 8, in tom. ii, p. 163.) It was probably the duty, or at least the interest, of Renatus, to magnify the virtues of -5Stius; but he would have shewn more dexterity, if ho had not insisted on his patient, forgiving disposition. * The embassy consisted of Count Romulus; of Promotus, president of Noricum; and of Romanus, the military duke. They were accompanied by Tatullus, an illustrious citizen of Petovio, in the same province, and father of Orestes, who had married the daughter of Count Romulus. See Priscus, p. 57. 65. Cassiodorua (Variar. 1. 4,) mentions another embassy, which was executed by his father and Carpilio, the son of iEtius; and, as Attila was no more, he could safely boast of their manly intrepid behaviour in his presence.
prolonged the advantages of a salutary peace; and a numerous army of Huns and Alani, whom he had attached to his person, was employed in the defence of Gaul. Two colonies of these barbarians were judiciously fixed in the territories of Valence and Orleans :* and their active cavalry secured the important passages of the Rhone and of the Loire. These savage allies were not indeed less formidable to the subjects than to the enemies of Rome. Their original settlement was enforced with the licentious violence of conquest; and the province through which they marched, was exposed to all the calamities of a hostile invasion.f Strangers to the emperor or the republic, the Alani of Gaul were devoted to the ambition of -3itius; and though he might suspect, that, in a contest with Attila himself, they would revolt to the standard of their national king, tho patrician laboured to restrain, rather than to excite, their zeal and resentment against the Goths, the Burgundians, and the Franks.
The kingdom established by the Visigoths, in the southern^ provinces of Gaul, had gradually acquired strength and maturity; and the conduct of those ambitious barbarians, either in peace or war, engaged the perpetual vigilance of ^Etius. After the death of Wallia, the Gothic sceptre devolved to Theodoric, the son of the great Alaric,J and his prosperous reign, of more than thirty years, over a turbulent people, may be allowed to prove, that his prudence was
* Deserta Valentinse urbis rura Alanis partienda traduntur. Prosper. Tyronia Chron. in Historiens de France, tom, i, p. 639. A few lines afterwards Prosper observes, that lands in the ulterior Gaul were assigned to the Alani. Without admitting the correction of Dubos, (tom, i, p. 300,) the reasonable supposition of two colonies or garrisons of Alani, will confirm his arguments, and remove his objections.
+ See Prosper. Tyro, p. 639. Sidonius (Panegyr. Avit. 246) complains, in the name of Auvergne, his native country :— Litorius Scythicos equites tunc forte subacto Celsus Aremorico, Geticum rapiebat in agmen Per terras, Arverne, tuas, qui proxima quseque Discursu, flammis, ferro, feritate, rapinis, Delebant; pacis fallentes nomen inane.
Another poet, Paulinus of Perigord, confirms the complaint:—
See Dubos, tom, i, p. 330. t Theodoric II. the son of Theodoric I. declares to Avitus his resolution of repairing, or expiating, the faults which his grandfather had committed.
supported by uncommon vigour, both of mind and body. Impatient of his narrow limits, Theodoric aspired to the possession of Aries, the wealthy seat of government and commerce; but the city was saved by the timely approach of .Jitius; and the Gothic king, who had raised the siege with some loss and disgrace, was persuaded, for an adequate subsidy, to divert the martial valour of his subjects in a Spanish war. Yet Theodoric still watched, and eagerly seized the favourable moment of renewing his hostile attempts. The Goths besieged Narbonne, while the Belgic provinces were invaded by the Burgundians; and the public safety was threatened on every side by the apparent union of the enemies of Bome. On every side, the activity of JEtius and his Scythian cavalry, opposed a firm and successful resistance. Twenty thousand Burgundians were slain in battle, and the remains of the nation humbly accepted a dependent seat in the mountains of Savoy.* The walls of Narbonne had been shaken by the battering engines, and the inhabitants had endured the last extremities of famine, when count Litorius, approaching in silence, and directing each horseman to carry behind him two sacks of flour, cut his way through the intrenchments of the besiegers. The siege was immediately raised, and the more decisive victory, which is ascribed to the personal conduct of ^Etius himself, was marked with the blood of eight thousand Goths. But in the absence of the patrician, who was hastily summoned to Italy by some public or private interest, count Litorius
Qua; noster pecoavit aims, quem fuseat id unum,
Sidon. Panegyric. Avit. 505. This character, applicable only to the great Alaric, establishes the genealogy of the Gothic kings, which has hitherto been unnoticed. [There is no evidence of Alaric haviDg left a son, and the expression used by Sidonius is too indefinite to warrant the inference. Theodosius I. was an old man in 451, when he fell at the battle of Chalons (matura senectute, Jorn. c. 40). If he had been the rightful heir to the throne, he would not have been supplanted by his uncle Adolphus, in 410, nor by Wallia in 415.—Ed.]
* The name of Sapaudia, the origin of Savoy, is first mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus; and two military posts are ascertained, by the Notitia, within the limits of that province; a cohort was stationed at Grenoble in Dauphine'; and Ebredunum, or Iverdun, sheltered a fleet of small vessels, which commanded the lake of Neufchatel. See Valesius, Notit. Galliarum, p. 503. D'Anville, Notice de l'Ancienne Gaule, p. 284. 579. [The Burgundians ever and anon come before us, slaughtered, exterminated, or expelled; yet re-appear in full strength
succeeded to the command; and his presumption soon discovered, that far different talents are required to lead a wing of cavalry, or to direct the operations of an important war. At the head of an army of Huns, he rashly advanced to the gates of Thoulouse, full of careless contempt for an enemy, whom his misfortunes had rendered prudent, and his situation made desperate. The predictions of the augurs had inspired Litorius with the profane confidence that he should enter the Gothic capital in triumph; and the trust which he reposed in his Pagan allies, encouraged him to reject the fair conditions of peace, which were repeatedly proposed by the bishops in the name of Theodoric. The king of the Goths exhibited in his distress the edifying contrast of Christian piety and moderation; nor did he lay aside his sackcloth and ashes till he was prepared to arm for the combat. His soldiers, animated with martial and religious enthusiasm, assaulted the camp of Litorius. The conflict was obstinate, the slaughter was mutual. The Roman general, after a total defeat, which could be imputed only to his unskilful rashness, was actually led through the streets of Thoulouse, not in his own, but iu a hostile triumph; and the misery which he experienced, in a long and ignominious captivity, excited the compassion of the barbarians themselves.* Such a loss, in a country whose spirit and finances were long since exhausted, could not easily be repaired; and the Goths, assuming, in their turn, the sentiments of ambition and revenge, would have planted their victorious standards on the banks of the Rhone, if the presence of iEtius had not restored strength and discipline to the Romans.f The two armies expected the signal of a
and maturity as often; and the provinces where they settled, thirty years before this period (see vol. ii, p. 473) retained, through a long series of ages, the name then given to them.—Ed.]
* Salvian has attempted to explain the moral government of the Deity; a task which may be readily performed by supposing, that the calamities of the wicked are judgments, and those of the righteous, trials.
+ Capto terrarum damna patebant
Litorio, in Rhodanum proprios producere fines,
Panegyr. Avit. 300, &c.
decisive action; but the generals, who were conscious of each other's force, and doubtful of their own superiority, prudently sheathed their Bwords in the field of battle; and their reconciliation was permanent and sincere. Thedoric, king of the Yisigoths, appears to have deserved the love of his subjects, the confidence of his allies, and the esteem of mankind. His throne was surrounded by six valiant sons, who were educated with equal care in the exercises of the barbarian camp, and in those of the Gallic schools: from the study of the Roman jurisprudence, they acquired the theory, at least, of law and justice; and the harmonious sense of Virgil contributed to soften the asperity of their native manners.* The two daughters of the Gothic king were given in marriage to the eldest sons of the kings of the Suevi and of the Vandals, who reigned in Spain and Africa; but these ilustrious alliances were pregnant with guilt and discord. The queen of the Suevi bewailed the death of a husband, inhumanly massacred by her brother. The princess of the Vandals was the victim of a jealous tyrant, whom she called her father. The cruel Genseric suspected that his son's wife had conspired to poison him; the supposed crime was punished by the amputation of her nose and ears ; and the unhappy daughter o? Theodoric was ignominiously returned to the court of Thoulouse in that deformed and mutilated condition. This horrid act, which must seem incredible to a civilized age, drew tears from every spectator; but Theodoric was urged, by the feelings of a parent and a king, to revenge such irreparable injuries. The imperial ministers, who always cherished the discord of the barbarians, would have supplied the Goths with arms, and ships, and treasures, for the African war; and the cruelty of Genseric might have been fatal to himself, if the artful Vandal had not armed, in his cause, the formidable power of the Huns. His rich gifts and pressing solicitations
Sidonius then proceeds, according to the duty of a panegyrist, totransfer the whole merit from JEtius, to his minister Avitus.
* Theodoric II. revered, in the person of Avitus, the character of his preceptor.
Mihi Romula dudum
Per te jura placent: parvumque ediscere jussit
Sidon. Panegyr. Avit. 495, &c. (The willingness of the Goths to be educated, is here again manifest.—Ed.]