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who had trusted to his faithless promise, were murdered, by his order, in. a church of Numidia. "When every resource, either of force or perfidy, was exhausted, Stotzas, with some desperate Vandals, retired to the wilds of Mauritania, obtained the daughter of a barbarian prince, and eluded the pursuit of his enemies by the report of his death. The personal weight of Belisarius, the rank, the spirit, and the temper, of Germanus, the emperor's nephew, and the vigour and. success of the second administration of the eunuch Solomon, restored the modesty of the camp, and maintained, for a while, the tranquillity of Africa. But the vices of the Byzantine court were felt in that distant province; the troops complained that they were neither paid nor relieved; and as soon as the public disorders were sufficiently mature, Stotzas was again alive, in arms, and at the gates of Carthage. He fell in a single combat, but he smiled in the agonies of death, when he was informed that his own javelin had reached the heart of his antagonist. The example of Stotzas, and the assurance that a fortunate soldier had been the first king, encouraged the ambition of Gontharis, and he promised, by a private treaty, to divide Africa with the Moors, if, with their dangerous aid, he should ascend the throne of Carthage. The feeble Areobindus, unskilled in the affairs of peace and war, was raised by his marriage with the niece of Justinian to the office of exarch. He was suddenly oppressed by a sedition of the guards; and his abject supplications, which provoked the contempt, could not move the pity, of the inexorable tyrant. After a reign of thirty days, Gontharis himself was stabbed at a banquet, by the hand of Artaban; and it is singular enough, that an Armenian prince, of the royal family of Arsaces, should re-establish at Carthage the authority of the Roman empire. In the conspiracy which unsheathed the dagger of Brutus against the life of Caesar, every circumstance is curious and important to the eyes of posterity: but the guilt or merit of these loyal or rebellious assassins could interest only the contemporaries of Procopius, who, by their hopes and fears, their friendship or resentment, were personally engaged in the revolutions of Africa.*
* Yet I must not refuse him the merit of painting, in lively colours, the murder of Gontharis. One of the assassins uttered a sentiment not unworthy of a Roman patriot.—'' If I fail (said Artasires) in the 500
That country was rapidly sinking into the state of barbarism, from whence it had been raised by the Phoenician colonies and Roman laws: and every step of intestine discord was marked by some deplorable victory of savage man over civilized society. The Moors,* though ignorant of justice, were impatient of oppression: their vagrant life and boundless wilderness disappointed the arms, and eluded the chains, of a conqueror; and experience had shewn, that neither oaths nor obligations could secure the fidelity of their attachment. The victory of mount Auras had awed them into momentary submission; but if they respected the character of Solomon, they hated and despised the pride and luxury of his two nephews, Cyrus and Sergius, on whom their uncle had imprudently bestowed the provincial governments of Tripoli and Pentapolis. A Moorish tribe encamped under the walls of Leptis, to renew their alliance, and receive from the governor the customary gifts. Fourscore of their deputies were introduced as friends into the city; but, on the dark suspicion of a conspiracy, they were massacred at the table of Sergius; and the clamour of arms and revenge was re-echoed through the valleys of mount Atlas, from both the Syrtes to the Atlantic ocean. A personal injury, the unjust execution or murder of his brother, rendered Antalas the enemy of the Romans. The defeat of the Vandals had formerly signalized his valour; the rudiments of justice and prudence were still more conspicuous in a Moor; and while he laid Adrumetum in ashes, he calmly admonished the emperor that the peace of Africa might be secured by the recall of Solomon and his unworthy nephews. The exarch led forth his troops from Carthage: but at the distance of six days' journey, in the neighbourhood of Tebeste,t he was astonished by the superior numbers and fierce aspect of the barbarians. He proposed a treaty;
the first stroke, kill me on the spot, lest the rack should extort a discovery of my accomplices."
* The Moorish wars are occasionally introduced into the narrative of Procopius (Vandal 1 . 2, c. 19—23. 25. 27, 28. Goth. 1 . 4, c. 17); and Theophanes adds some prosperous and adverse events in the last years of Justinian.
+ Now Tibesh, in the kingdom of Algiers. It is watered by a river, the Sujerass, which falls into the Mejerda (Bagradas). Tibesh is still remarkable for its walls of large stones (1ike the Coliseum of Eome), a fountain and a grove of walnut-tree: the country is fruitful, and the
solicited a reconciliation; and offered to bind himself by the most solemn oaths. "By what oaths can he bind himself J (interrupted the indignant Moors.) Will he swear by the gospels, the divine books of the Christians? It was on those books that the faith of his nephew Sergius was pledged to eighty of our innocent and unfortunate brethren. Before we trust them a second time, let us try their efficacy in the chastisement of perjury, and the vindication of their own honour.'' Their honour was vindicated in the field of Tebeste, by the death of Solomon, and the total loss of his army. The arrival of fresh troops and more skilful commanders, soon checked the insolence of the Moors; seventeen of their princes were slain in the same battle; and the doubtful and transient submission of their tribes was celebrated with lavish applause by the people of Constantinople. Successive inroads had reduced the province of Africa to one-third of the measure of Italy; yet the Roman emperors continued to reign above a century over Carthage, and the fruitful coast of the Mediterranean. But the victories and the losses of Justinian were alike pernicious to mankind; and such was the desolation of Africa, that in many parts a stranger might wander whole days without meeting the face either of a friend or an enemy. The nation of the Vandals had disappeared ; they once amounted to a hundred and sixty thousand warriors, without including the children, the women, or the "slaves. Their numbers were infinitely surpassed by the number of the Moorish families extirpated in a relentless war; and the same destruction was retaliated on the Romans and their allies, who perished by the climate, their mutual quarrels, and the rage of the barbarians. "When Procopius first landed, he admired the populousness of the cities and country, strenuously exercised in the labours of commerce and agriculture. In less than twenty years, that busy scene was converted into a silent solitude; the wealthy citizens escaped to Sicily and Constantinople; and the secret historian has confidently affirmed, that five millions of Africans
neighbouring Bereberes are warlike. It appears from an inscription, that, under the reign of Adrian, the road from Carthage to Tebeste was constructed by the third legion. (Marmol, Description de l'Afrique, tom, ii, p. 442, 443. Shaw's Travels, p. 64—66.) [This is probably the Tipasa, where Bruce observed the remains of a temple, an arch, and other extensive ruins/the relics of Roman dominion. See Introduction
were consumed by the wars and government of the emperor Justinian.*
The jealousy of the Byzantine court had not permitted BeUsarius to achieve the conquest of Italy; and his abrupt departure revived the courage of the Goths.f who respected his genius, his virtue, and even the laudable motive which had urged the servant of Justinian to deceive and reject them. They had lost their king (an inconsiderable loss), their capital, their treasures, the provinces from Sicily to the Alps, and the military force of two hundred thousand Barbarians, magnificently equipped with horses and arms. Yet all was not lost, as long as Pavia was defended by one thousand Goths, inspired by a sense of honour, the love of freedom, and the memory of their past greatness. The supreme command was unanimously offered to the brave Uraias ; and it was in his eyes alone that the disgrace of his uncle Vitiges could appear as a reason of exclusion. His voice inclined the election in favour of Hildibald, whose personal merit was recommended by the vain hope that his kinsman Theudes, the Spanish monarch, would support the common interest of the Gothic nation. The success of his arms in Liguria and Venetia seemed to justify their choice; but he soon declared to the world, that he was incapable of forgiving or commanding his benefactor. The consort of
to his Travels, p. 26.—Ed.] * Procopius, Anecdot. c. 18.
The series of the African history attests this melancholy truth. [The desolate condition to which Africa was reduced had not been the work of twenty years; nor can we give credit to the rapid and extensive depopulation which Procopius asserts to have taken place. Our attention has been drawn, at successive periods, to the gradual decline of that once flourishing region. The scene, so awfully described, is only a more advanced stage of the general decay. Jornandes (c. 38) concludes his brief narrative of these events by saying, "Sic Africa Vandalico jugo erepta et in libertatem revocata hodie congatuUL" Whether the words be his or those of Cassiodoms, it is most likely that they were prompted by the writer's exultation in the triumph of orthodoxy over Arianism, and are therefore to be as little trusted as the dark pictures drawn by Procopiua—Ed.]
+ In the second (c. 30) and third books (c. 1—40) Procopius continues the history of the Gothic war from the fifth to the fifteenth year of Justinian. As the events are less interesting than in the former period, he allots only half the space to double the time. Jornandes and the Chronicle of Marcellinus afford some collateral hints. Sigonius, Pagi, Muratori, Mascou, and De Buat, are useful, and hava been used.
A.d. 541-544.] Victoeies or Totila.
Hildibald was deeply -wounded by the beauty, the riches, and the pride of the wife of Uraias; and the death of that virtuous patriot excited the indignation of a free people. A bold assassin executed their sentence by striking off the head of Hildibald in the midst of a banquet; the Rugians, a foreign tribe, assumed the privilege of election; and Totila, the nephew of the late king, was tempted by revenge, to deliver himself and the garrison of Trevigo into the hands of the Romans. But the gallant and accomplished youth was easily persuaded to prefer the Gothic throne before the service of Justinian; and as soon as the palace of Pavia had been purified from the Rugian usurper, he reviewed the national force of five thousand soldiers, and generously undertook the restoration of the kingdom of Italy.
The successors of Belisarius, eleven generals of equal rank, neglected to crush the feeble and disunited Goths, till they were roused to action by the progress of Totila and the reproaches of Justinian. The gates of Verona were secretly opened to Artabazus, at the head of one hundred Persians in the service of the empire. The Goths fled from the city. At the distance of sixty furlongs the Roman generals halted to regulate the division of the spoil. "While they disputed, the enemy discovered the real number of the victors: the Persians were instantly overpowered, and it was by leaping from the wall that Artabazus preserved a life which he lost in a few days by the lance of a Barbarian, who had defied him to single combat. Twenty thousand Romans encountered the forces of Totila, near Paenza, and on the hills of Mugello, of the Florentine territory. The ardour of freedmen, who fought to regain their country, was opposed to the languid temper of mercenary troops, who were even destitute of the merits of strong and well disciplined servitude. On the first attack they abandoned their ensigns, threw down their arms, and dispersed on all sides with an active speed, which abated the loss, whilst it aggravated the shame, of their defeat. The king of the Goths, who blushed for the baseness of his enemies, pursued with rapid steps the path of honour and victory. Totila passed the Po, traversed the Apennine, suspended the important conquest of Ravenna, Plorence, and Rome, and marched through the heart of Italy, to form the siege, or rather the blockade, of Naples. The Roman chiefs, imprisoned in their respective cities, and