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by the appearance of rashness; that the Roman army should cautiously advance along the sea-shore, while the fleet preceded their march, and successively cast a bridge of boats over the mouths of the rivers, the Timavus, the Brenta, the Adige, and the Po, that fall into the Hadriatic to the north of Ravenna. Nine days he reposed in the city, collected the fragments of the Italian army, and marched towards Rimini to meet the defiance of an insulting enemy.
The prudence of Narses impelled him to speedy and decisive action. His powers were the last effort of the state: the cost of each day accumulated the enormous account; and the nations, untrained to discipline or fatigue, might be rashly provoked to turn their arms against each other, or against their benefactor. The same considerations might have tempered the ardour of Totila. But he was conscious, that the clergy and people of Italy aspired to a second revolution: he felt or suspected the rapid progress of treason, and he resolved to risk the Gothic kingdom on the chance of a day, in which the valiant would be animated by instant danger, and the disaffected might be awed by mutual ignorance. In his march from Ravenna, the Roman general chastised the garrison of Rimini, traversed in a direct line the hills of Urbino, and re-entered the Flaminian way, nine miles beyond the perforated rock, an obstacle of art and nature which might have stopped or retarded his progress.* The Goths were assembled in the neighbourhood of Rome; they advanced, without delay, to seek a superior enemy; and the two armies approached each other at tho distance of one hundred furlongs, between Taginat
* The Flaminian way, as it is corrected from the Itineraries, and tho best modern maps, by D'Anville, (Analyse de l'ltalie, p. 147—162, may be thus stated: Rome to Narni, fifty-one Roman miles; Terni, fifty-seven; Spoleto, seventy-five; Foligno, eighty-eight; Nocera, one hundred and three; Cagli, one hundred and forty-two; Intercisa, one hundred and fifty-seven; Fossombrone, one hundred and sixty; Fano, one hundred and seventy-six; Pesaro, one hundred and eighty-four; Eimini, two hundred and eight, about 189 English miles. He takes no notice of the death of Totila; but Wesseling (Itinerar. p. 614) exchanges for the field of Taginas the unknown appellation of Planiai, eight miles from Nocera. + Taginse, or rather Tadinas, is
mentioned by Pliny; but the bishopric of that obscure town, a mile from Gualdo, in the plain, was united, in the year 1007, with that of Nocera. The signs of antiquity are preserved in the local appellations, Foasalo, the camp; Capraia, Capreaj Bastia, Busta Gallorum. See
and the sepulchres of the Gauls.* The haughty message of Narses was an offer, not of peace, but of pardon. The answer of the Gothic king declared his resolution to die or conquer. "What day (said the messenger) will you fix for the combat?" "The eighth day," replied Totila: but early the next morning he attempted to surprise a foe, suspicious of deceit and prepared for battle. Ten thousand Heruli and Lombards, of approved valour and doubtful faith, were placed in the centre. Each of the wings was composed of eight thousand Romans; the right was guarded by the cavalry of the Huns, the left was covered by fifteen hundred chosen horse, destined, according to the emergencies of action, to sustain the retreat of their friends, or to encompass the flank of the enemy. From his proper station at the head of the right wing, the eunuch rode along the line, expressing by his voice and countenance the assurance of victory; exciting the soldiers of the emperor to punish the guilt and madness of a band of robbers; and exposing to their view, gold chains, collars, and bracelets, the rewards of military virtue. From the event of a single combat, they drew an omen of success; and they beheld with pleasure the courage of fifty archers, who maintained a small eminence against three successive attacks of the Gothic cavalry. At the distance only of two bow-shots, the armies spent the morning in dreadful suspense, and the Romans tasted some necessary food, without unloosening the cuirass from their breast, or the bridle from their horses. Narses awaited the charge; and it was delayed by Totila till he had received his last succours of two thousand Goths. While he consumed the hours in fruitless treaty, the king exhibited in a narrow space the strength and agility of a warrior. His armour was enchased with gold; his purple banner floated with the wind; he cast his lance into the air, caught it with the right hand, shifted it to the left,
Cluverius (Italia Antiqua, 1 . 2, c. 6, p. 615—617), Lucas Holstenius (Annotat. ad Cluver. p. 85, 86), Guazzesi (Dissertat. p. 177—217, a professed inquiry,) and the maps of the Ecclesiastical State and the March of Ancona, by Le Maire and Magini. * The battle was
fought in the year of Rome 458 : and the consul Decius, by devotinghis own life, assured the triumph of his country and his colleague Fabius. (T. Liv. 10. 28, 29.) Procopius ascribes to Camillus the victory of the Buata, Gallorum; and his error is branded by Cluveriu* with the national reproach of Qrsecorum nugamenta.
threw himself backwards, recovered his seat, and managed a fiery steed in all the paces and evolutions of the equestrian school. As soon as the succours had arrived, he retired to his tent, assumed the dress and arms of a private soldier, and gave the signal of battle. The first line of cavalry advanced with more courage than discretion, and left behind them the infantry of the second line. They were goon engaged between the horns of a crescent, into which the adverse wings had been insensibly curved, and were saluted from either side by the volleys of four thousand archers. Their ardour, and even their distress, drove them forwards to a close and unequal conflict, in which they could only use their lances against an enemy equally skilled in all the instruments of war. A generous emulation inspired the Romans and their barbarian allies: and Narses, who calmly viewed and directed their efforts, doubted to whom he should adjudge the prize of superior bravery. The Gothic cavalry was astonished and disordered, pressed and broken; and the line of infantry, instead of presenting their spears, or opening their intervals, were trampled under the feet of the flying horse. Six thousand of the Goths were slaughtered, without mercy, in the field of Tagina. Their prince, with five attendants, was overtaken by Asbad, of the race of the Gepida. "Spare the king of Italy," cried a loud voice, and Asbad struck his lance through the body of Totila. The blow was instantly revenged by the faithful Goths; they transported their dying monarch seven miles beyond the scene of his disgrace; and his last moments were not imbittered by the presence of an enemy. Compassion afforded him the shelter of an obscure tomb; but the Romans were not satisfied of their victory, till they beheld the corpse of the Gothic king. His hat, enriched with gems, and his bloody robe, were presented to Justinian by the messengers of triumph. *
As soon as Narses had paid his devotions to the author
« Theophanes, Chron. p. 193. Hist. Miacel1 . 1. 16, p. 108. [This embellishment of the tale does not accord with "the dress and arms of a private soldier," which Totila is said to have assumed, before he> gave the signal of battle. Some pretend that he was mortally wounded in a previous skirmish, which deprived the Goths of his presence and directing skill, and caused their defeat.—En.]
of victory, and the blessed Virgin, his peculiar patroness,* he praised, rewarded, and dismissed the Lombards. The villages had been reduced to ashes by these valiant savages; they ravished matrons and virgins on the altar; their retreat was diligently watched by a strong detachment of regular forces, who prevented a repetition of the like disorders. The victorious eunuch pursued his march through Tuscany, accepted the submission of the Goths, heard the acclamations, and often the complaints, of the Italians, and encompassed the walls of Rome with the remainder of his formidable host. Round the wide circumference, Narses assigned to himself, and to each of his lieutenants, a real or a feigned attack, while he silently marked the place of easy and unguarded entrance. Neither the fortifications of Hadrian's mole, nor of the port, could long delay the progress of the conqueror; and Justinian once more received the keys of Rome, which, under his reign, had been five times taken and recovered.f Bat the deliverance of Rome was the last calamity of the Roman people. The Barbarian allies of Karses too frequently confounded the privileges of peace and war: the despair of the flying Goths found some consolation in sanguinary revenge: and three hundred youths of the noblest families, who had been sent as hostages beyond the Po, were inhumanly slain by the successor of Totila. The fate of the senate suggests an awful lesson of the vicissitude of human affairs. Of the senators whom Totila had banished from their country, some were rescued by an officer of Belisarius, and transported from Campania to Sicily; while others were too guilty to confide in the clemency of Justinian, or too poor to provide horses for their escape to the sea-shore. Their brethren languished five years in a state of indigence and exile: the victory of Narses revived their hopes; but their premature return to the metropolis was prevented by the furious Goths; and all the fortresses of Campania were stained with patrician J
* Evagrius, 1. 4, c. 24. The inspiration of the Virgin revealed to Narses the day, and the word, of battle. (Paul. Diacon. 1. 2, c. 3, p. 776.)
+ "EiTi Tovtov fiaaiXevovrov To Tz'hitttov laXti. In the year 536' by Belisarius, in 546 by Totila, in 547 by Belisarius, in 549 by Totila, and in 552 by Narses. Maltretus had inadvertently translated sextum; a mistake which he afterwards retracts: but the mischief was done; and Cousin, with a train of French and Latin readers, have fallen into the Bnare. 'J Compare two passages of Procopius, (1. 3, o. 2S;
blood. After a period of thirteen centuries, the institution of Romulus expired; and if the nobles of Rome still assumed the title of senators, few subsequent traces can be discovered of a public council, or constitutional order, Ascend six hundred years, and contemplate the kings of the earth soliciting an audience, as the slaves or freedmen 'of the Roman senate !*
The Gothic war was yet alive. The bravest of the nation retired beyond the Po; and Teias was unanimously chosen to succeed and revenge their departed hero. The new king immediately sent ambassadors to implore, or rather to purchase, the aid of the Franks, and nobly lavished, for the public safety, the riches which had been deposited in the palace of Pavia. The residue of the royal treasure was guarded by his brother Aligern at CumaB in Campania; but the strong castle which Totila had fortified, was closely besieged by the arms of Narses. From the Alps to the foot of mount Vesuvius, the Gothic king, by rapid and secret marches, advanced to the relief of his brother, eluded the vigilance of the Roman chiefs, and pitched his camp on the banks of the Sarnus or Draco,\ which flows from Nuceria into the bay of Naples. The river separated the two armies: sixty days were consumed in distant and fruitless combats, and Teias maintained this important post, till he was deserted by his fleet and the hope of subsistence. With reluctant steps he ascended the Lactarian mount, where the physicians of Rome, since the time of Galen, had sent their patients for the benefit of the air and the milk.J But the
1 . 4, c. 24,) which, with some collateral hints from Marcellinus and Jornandei, illustrate the state of the expiring senate.
* See, in the example of Prusias, as it is delivered in the fragments of Polybius (Excerpt. Legat. 97, p. 927, 928) a curious picture of a royal slave. + The Apaicwv of Procopius (Goth. 1.4, c. 35,)
is evidently the Sarnus. The text is accused or altered by the rash violence of Cluverius, (1. 4, c. 3, p. 1156): but Camillo Pellegrini of Naples (Discorsi sopra la Campania Felice, p. 330, 331) has proved from old records, that as early as the year 822 that river was called the Dracontio, or Draconcello. [On the bank of this river stood the unfortudate Pompeii . Cellarius, i. 677.—Ed.] t Galen (de
Method. Medendi. 1 . 5, apud Cluver. 1. 4, c. 3, p. 1159, 1160,) describes the lofty site, pure air, and rich milk of mount Lactarius, whose medicinal benefits were equally known and sought in the time of Symmachus (1. 6, epist. 18) and Cassiodorus (Var. xi, 10). Nothing is now left except the name of the town of Latere. [Cassiodorus, as