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. BELISAEIUS IN LUCAKTA. [cn. XLIII.
scattered in the highways to annoy the feet of the horses; and as new gates could not suddenly be procured, the entrance was guarded by a Spartan rampart of his bravest soldiers. At the expiration of twenty-five days, Totila returned by hasty marches from Apulia, to avenge the injury and disgrace. Belisarius expected his approach. The Goths were thrice repulsed in three general assaults; they lost the flower of their troops; the royal standard had almost fallen into the hands of the enemy, and the fame of Totila sank, as it had risen, with the fortune of his arms. Whatever skill and courage could achieve had been performed by the Roman general; it remained only that Justinian should terminate, by a strong and seasonable effort, the war which he had ambitiously undertaken. The indolence, perhaps the impotence, of a prince who despised his enemies, and envied his servants, protracted the calamities of Italy. After a long silence, Belisarius was commanded to leave a sufficient garrison at Eome, and to transport himself into the province of Lucania, whose inhabitants, inflamed by Catholic zeal, had cast away the yoke of their Arian conquerors. In this ignoble warfare, the hero, invincible against the power of the Barbarians, was basely vanquished by the delay, the disobedience, and the cowardice of his own officers. He reposed in his winter-quarters of Crotona, in the full assurance that the two passes of the Lucanian hills were guarded by his cavalry. They were betrayed by treachery or weakness; and the rapid march of the Goths scarcely allowed time for
spikes, one fixed in the ground, the three others erect or adverse. (Procopius, Gothic. 1. 3, c. 24. Just. Lipsius, Poliorcetwi", 1. 5, c. 3.) The metaphor was borrowed from the tribuli (land caltrops), a herb with a prickly fruit, common in Italy. (Martin, ad Virgil. Georgic . 1. 153, vol. ii, p. 33.) [The original tribulus of the Latins was a species of thistle—our rock-thistle, classed by Virgil (Georg. 1. 153) and Pliny (21. 58) among the noxious weeds that impede more valuable vegetation. The instrument of war which it suggested, the Italians afterwards denominated cahiatrappa, and the French ckausse-trappe. From some of these the Anglo-Saxons learned to put it into the form of colcpsejIpe (Junius ad. voc.) to which we have given that of caltrop or calthrop. According to Ducange (6. 1251. 1278), the term tribulus was applied in later times to the larger means of defence. called clievaux-de-frise. The Latins, to denote the act of annoying by means of the plant or the engine, invented the verb tribvXare, to which wo are indebted for our word tribulation.—Ed.}
the escape of Belisarius to the coast of Sicily. At length a fleet and army were assembled for the relief of Buscianum, or Rossano,* a fortress sixty furlongs from the ruins of Sybaris, where the nobles of Lucania had taken refuge. In the first attempt, the Eoman forces were dissipated by a storm. In the second they approached the shore; but they saw the hills covered with archers, the landing-place defended by a line of spears, and the king of the Goths impatient for battle. The conqueror of Italy retired with a sigh, and continued to languish, inglorious and inactive, till Antonina, who had been sent to Constantinople to solicit succours, obtained, after the death of the empress, the permission of his return.
The five last campaigns of Belisarius might abate the envy of his competitors, whose eyes had been dazzled and wounded by the blaze of his former glory. Instead of delivering Italy from the Goths, he had wandered like a fugitive along the coast, without daring to march into the country, or to accept the bold and repeated challenge of Totila. Yet in the judgment of the few who could discriminate counsels from events, and compare the instruments with the execution, he appeared a more consummate master of the art of war, than in the season of his prosperity, when he presented two captive kings before the throne of Justinian. The valour of Belisarius was not chilled by age; his prudence was matured by experience; but the moral virtues of humanity and justice seem to have yielded to the hard necessity of the times. The parsimony or poverty of the emperor compelled him to deviate from the rule of conduct which had deserved the love and confidence of the Italians. The war was maintained by the oppression of Ravenna, Sicily, and all the faithful subjects of the empire; and the rigorous prosecution of Herodian provoked that injured or guilty ofiicer to deliver Spoleto into the hands of the enemy. The avarice of Antonina, which had been sometimes diverted
* Ruscia, the navale Thurionim, was transferred to the distance of sixty stadia to Ruscianum, Rossano, an archbishopric without suffragans. The republic of Sybaris is now the estate of the duke of CorigHano. (Riedesel, Travels into Magna Grtecia and Sicily, p. 166—171.) [The modern town is in the Neapolitan province of Calabria Citra. The bay, on which it stands, is called from it Golfo di Rossano, and the neighbouring headland commemorates antiquity by the name of Capo di Roscia.—En.]
by love, now reigned without a rival in her breast. Belisarius himself had always understood that riches, in a corrupt age, are the support and ornament of personal merit. And it cannot be presumed that he should stain his honour for the public service, without applying a part of the spoil to his private emolument. The hero had escaped the sword of the Barbarians, but the dagger of conspiracy* awaited his return. In the midst of wealth and honours, Artaban, who had chastised the African tyrant, complained of the ingratitude of courts. He aspired to Prsejecta, the emperor's niece, who wished to reward her deliverer; but the impediment of his previous marriage was asserted by the piety of Theodora. The pride of royal descent was irritated by flattery; and the service, in which he gloried, had proved him capable of bold and sanguinary deeds. The death of Justinian was resolved, but the conspirators delayed the execution till they could surprise Belisarius, disarmed and naked, in the palace of Constantinople. Not a hope could be entertained of shaking his long-tried fidelity; and they justly dreaded the revenge, or rather the justice, of the veteran general, who might speedily assemble an army in Thrace to punish the assassins, and perhaps to enjoy the fruits of their crime. Delay afforded time for rash communications and honest confessions: Artaban and his accomplices were condemned by the senate, but the extreme clemency of Justinian detained them in the gentle confinement of the palace, till he pardoned their flagitious attempt against his throne and life. If the emperor forgave his enemies, he must cordially embrace a friend whose victories were alone remembered, and who was endeared to his prince by the recent circumstance of their common danger. Belisarius reposed from his toils, in the high station of general of the East and count of the domestics; and the older consuls and patricians respectfully yielded the precedency of rank to the peerless merit of the first of the Romans.f The first of the Eomans still submitted to be the slave of his wife; but the
* This conspiracy is related by Procopius (Gothic. 1. 8, c. 31, 32) with such freedom and candour, that the liberty of the Anecdotes gives him nothing to add. + The honours of Belisarius
are gladly commemorated by his secretary. (Procop. Goth. 1 . 3, c. 35; 1. 4, c. 21. The title of SrpariIync is ill translated, at least in this instance, by prefectus pratorio; and to a military character, magister militum is more proper and applicable. (Ducange, Gloss. Gr&c
servitude of habit and affection became less disgraceful when the death of Theodora had removed the baser influence of fear. Joannina their daughter, and the sole heiress of their fortunes, was betrothed to Anastasius, the grandson, or rather the nephew, of the empress,* whose kind interposition forwarded the consummation of their youthful loves. But the power of Theodora expired, the parents of Joannina returned, and her honour, perhaps her happiness, was sacrificed to the revenge of an unfeeling mother, who dissolved the imperfect nuptials before they had been ratified by the ceremonies of the Church.f
Before the departure of Belisarius, Perusia was besieged, and few cities were impregnable to the Gothic arms. Bavenna, Ancona, and Crotona still resisted the Barbarians; and when Totila asked in marriage one of the daughters of France, he was stung by the just reproach, that the king of Italy was unworthy of his title till it was acknowledged by the Roman people. Three thousand of the bravest soldiers had been left to defend the capital. On the suspicion of a monopoly, they massacred the governor, and announced to Justinian, by a deputation of the clergy, that unless their offence was pardoned, and their arrears were satisfied, they should instantly accept the tempting offers of Totila. But the officer, who succeeded to the command (his name was Diogenes), deserved their esteem and confidence; and the Goths, instead of finding an easy conquest, encountered a vigorous resistance from the soldiers and people, who patiently endured the loss of the port, and of all maritime
p. 1458, 1459.) * Alemannus (ad Hist. Arcanam, p. 68),
Ducange (Familise Byzant. p. 98), and Heinecciua (Hist. Juris Civilis, p. 434), all three represent Anastasius as the son of the daughter of Theodora; and their opinion firmly reposes on the unambiguous testimony of Procopius. (Anecdot. c. 4, 5—BvyarptSif) twice repeated.) And yet I will remark, 1. That in the year 547, Theodora could scarcely have a grandson at the age of puberty. 2. That we are totally ignorant of this daughter and her husband; and, 3. That Theodora concealed her bastards, and that her grandson, by Justinian, would have been heir-apparent of the empire.
+ The anapriifiaTa, or sins, of the hero in Italy, and after his return, are manifested airapaKaKviTTia£, and most probably swelled, by the author of the Anecdotes (c. 4, 5). The designs of Antonina were favoured by the fluctuating jurisprudence of Justinian. On the law of marriage and divorce, that emperor was trocho versatilior. (Heineccius, Element, Juris Civil, ad Ordinem Pandect. p. 4, No. 233.)
518 EOMI AGAIN TAKEN BT THE GOTHS. [CH. TT.TTT.
supplies. The riege of Rome would perhaps have been raised, if the liberality of Totila to the Isaurians had not encouraged some of their venal countrymen to copy the example of treason. In a dark night, while the Cxothie trumpet sounded on another side, they silently opened the gate of St. Paul: the Barbarians rushed into the city; and the flying garrison was intercepted before they could reach the harbour of Centumcelbje. A soldier trained, in the school of Belisarius, Paul of Cilicia, retired with four hundred men to the mole of Hadrian. They repelled the Goths; but they felt the approach of famine; and their aversion to the taste of horse-flesh confirmed their resolution to risk the event of a desperate and decisive sally. But their spirit insensibly stooped to the offers of capitulation; they retrieved their arrears of pay, and preserved their arms and horses, by enlisting in the service of Totila; their chiefs, who pleaded a laudable attachment to their wives and children in the East, were dismissed with honour; and above four hundred enemies, who had taken refuge in the sanctuaries, were saved by the clemency of the victor. He no longer entertained a wish of destroying the edifices of Rorne,* which he now respected as the seat of the Gothic kingdom; the senate and people were restored to their country; the means of subsistence were liberally provided; and Totila, in the robe of peace, exhibited the equestrian games of the circus. Whdst he amused the eyes of the multitude, four hundred vessels were prepared for the embarkation of his troops. The cities of Bhegium and Tarentum were reduced; he passed into Sicily, the object of his implacable resentment, and the island was stripped of its gold and silver, of the fruits of the earth, and of an infinite number of horses, sheep, and oxen. Sardinia and Corsica obeyed the fortune of Italy; and the sea-coast of Greece was visited by a fleet of three hundred galleys.f
* The Romans were still attached to the monuments of their ancestors; and, according to Procopius (Goth. 1. 4, c. 22), the galley of tineas, of a single rank of oars, twenty-five feet in breadth, one hundred and twenty in length, was preserved entire in the navalia, near Monte Testaceo, at the foot of the Aventine. (Nardini, Soma Antica, 1 . 7, c. 9, p. 486. Donatus, Roma Antiqua, 1. 4, c. 13, p. 334.) But all antiquity is ignorant of this relic.
+ In these seas, Procopius searched without success for the isle of Calypso. He was shown at Phoeacia or Corcyra, the petrified ship of Ulysses (Odyss. 13. 163); but he found it a'recent fabric of many