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PREFACE

OF THE FOURTH VOLUME OF THE QUARTO EDITION.

I Now discharge my promise, and complete my design, of writing the History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, both in the West and the East. The whole period extends from the age of Trajan and the Antoninee, to the taking ot Constantinople by Mahomet the Second; and includes a review of the crusades and the state of Rome during the middle ages. Since the publication of the first volume, twelve years have elapsed: twelve years, according to my wish, "of health, of leisure, and of perseverance." I may now congratulate my deliverance from a long and laborious service, and my satisfaction will be pure and perfect, if the public favour should be extended to the conclusion of my work.

It was my first intention to have collected, under one view, the numerous authors, otVevery age and language, from whom I have derived the materials of this history; and I am still convinced that the apparent ostentation would be more than compensated by real use. If I have renounced this idea; if I have declined an undertaking which had obtained the approbation of a masterartist,* my excuse may be found in the extreme difficulty of assigning a proper measure to such a catalogue. A naked list of names and editions would not be satisfactory either to myself or my readers; the characters of the principal authors of the Roman and Byzantine History have been occasionally connected with the events which they describe; a more copious and critical inquiry might indeed deserve, but it would demand, an elaborate volume, which might swell by degrees into a general library of historical writers. For the present I shall content myself with renewing my serious protestation, that I have always endeavoured to draw from the fountain-head; that my curiosity, as well as a sense of duty, has always urged me to study the originals, and that, if

» * See Dr. Robertson's Preface to his History of America

TOL. IV.

iv PEEFACE TO THE FOUETH VOLUME O3?

they have sometimes eluded my search, I have carefully marked the secondary evidence, on whose faith a passage or a fact were reduced to depend.

I shall soon revisit the banks of the lake of Lausanne, a country which I have known and loved from my early youth. Under a mild government, amidst a beauteous landscape, in a life of leisure and independence, and among a people of easy and elegant manners, I have enjoyed, and may again hope to enjoy, the varied pleasures of retirement and society. But I shall ever glory in the name and character of an Englishman: I am proud of my birth in a free and enlightened country, and the approbation of that country is the best and most honourable reward of my labours. Were I ambitious of any other patron than the Public, I would inscribe this work to a Statesman, who, in a long, a stormy, and at length an unfortunate administration, had many political opponents, almost without a personal enemy; who has retained, in his fall from power, many faithful and disinterested friends; and who, under the pressure of severe infirmity, enjoys the lively vigour of his mind, and the felicity of his incomparable temper. Lord North will permit me to express the feelings of friendship in the language of truth: but even truth and friendship should be silent, if he still dispensed the favours of the crown.

In a remote solitude, vanity may still whisper in my ear, that my readers, perhaps, may inquire, whether, in the conclusion of the present work, I am now taking an everlasting farewell. They shall hear all that I know myself, all that I could reveal to the most intimate friend. The motives of action or silence are now equally balanced, nor can I pronounce in my most secret thoughts on which side the scale will preponderate. I cannot dissemble that six ample quartos must have tried, and may have exhausted, the indulgence of the Public; that in the repetition of similar attempts, a successful author has much more to lose than he can hope to gain; that I am now descending into the vale of years; and that the most respectable of my countrymen, the men whom I aspire to imitate, have resigned the pen of history about the same period of their lives. Yet I consider that the annals of ancient and modern times may afford many rich and interesting subjects.; that I am still possessed of health and leisure; that by the practice of writing, some skill and facility must be acquired; and that, in the ardent pursuit of truth and knowledge, I am not conscious of decay. To an active mind, indolence is more painful than labour; and the first months of my liberty will be occupied and amused in the excursions of curiosity and taste. By such temptations I have been sometimes seduced from the rigid duty even of a pleasing and voluntary task; but my time will now be my own; and in the use or abuse

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>f independence, I shall no longer fear my own reproaches or those of my friends. I am fairly entitled to a year of jubilee: next summer and the following winter will rapidly pass away; and experience only can determine whether I shall still prefer the freedom and variety of study to the design and composition of a regular work, which animates, while it confines, the daily application of the author. Caprice and accident may influence my choice; but the dexterity of self-love will contrive to applaud either active industry or philosophic repose. Downing Strert, Mat 1, 1788.

P.S. I shall embrace this opportunity of introducing two verbal remarks, which have not conveniently offered themselves to my notice. 1. As often as I use the definitions of beyond the Alps, the Rhine, the Danube, <fec., I generally suppose myself at Rome, and afterwards at Constantinople; without observing whether this relative geography may agree with the local, but variable, situation of the reader, or the historian. 2. In proper names of foreign, and especially of Oriental origin, it should be always our aim to express in our English version, a faithful copy of the original. But this rule, which is founded on a just regard to uniformity and truth, must often be relaxed; and the exceptions will be limited or enlarged by the custom of the language, and the taste of the interpreter. Our alphabets may bj often defective: a harsh sound, an uncouth spelling, might offend the ear or the eye of our countrymen; and some words, notoriously corrupt, are fixed, and as it were naturalized, in the vulgar tongue. The prophet Mohammed can no longer be stripped of the famous, though improper, appellation of Mahomet: the wellknown cities of Aleppo, Damascus, and Cairo, would almost be lost in the strange descriptions of Hcdeb, Damashk, and Al Cahira: the titles and offices of the Ottoman empire are fashioned by the practice of three hundred years; and we are pleased to blend the three Chinese monosyllables, Con-fu-tzee, in the respectable name of Confucius, or even to adopt the Portuguese corruption of Mandarin. But I would vary the use of Zoroaster and Zerdiuht, as I drew my information from Greece or Persia: since our connexion with India, the genuine Timour is restored to the throne of Tamerlane: our most correct writers have retrenched the Al, the superfluous article, from the Koran: and we escape an ambiguous termination, by adopting Moslem instead of Mussulmen, in the plural number. In these, and in a thousand examples, the shades of distinction are often minute; and I can feel, where I cannot explain, the motives of my choice.

At the end of the History, the reader will find a general Index to the whole Work, which has been drawn up by a person frequently employed in works of this nature.

CONTENTS

OF THE EOUKTH VOLUME.

CHAPTER XXXV.—Invasion Of Gaul By Attila.He Is Eepulsed

BY .ETIUS AND THE VISIGOTHS. ATTILA INVADES AND EVACUATES

ITALY. THE DEATHS OF ATTILA, 2ETIUS, AND VALENTINIAN THE

THIRD.

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CONTENTS. vii

A.D. PAOB

455. Sack of Rome by the Vandals 47

The Emperor Avitus ....... 60

453—466. Character of Theodoric, King of the Visigoths . . 62

456. His Expedition into Spain ...... 54

456. Avitus is Deposed ........ 68

457. Character and Elevation of Majorian . . . .58

457—461. His Salutary Laws 61

The Edifices of Rome 63

457. Majorian prepares to Invade Africa ..... 64

The Loss of his Fleet 67

461. His Death 68

461—467. Ricimer Reigns under the Name of Severo» . . 69

Revolt of Marcellinus in Dalmatia . . . . .70 of iEgidius in Gaul .... .70

461— 467. Naval War of the Vandals 71

462, &c. Negotiations with the Eastern Empire . . .72

457—474. Leo, Emperor of the East 74

467—472. Anthemius, Emperor of the West . . . .76

The Festival of the Lupercalia 77

468. Preparations against the Vandals of Africa . . .79

Failure of the Expedition . . . . . .82

462— 472. Conquests of the Visigoths in Spain and Gaul . . 84

468. Trial of Arvandus 86

471. Discord of Anthemius and Ricimer . . . ,89

472. Olybrius, Emperor of the West 91

472. Sack of Rome, and Death of Anthemius . . . . 92

Death of Ricimer ....... .92

of Olybrius 93

472—475. Julius Nepos and Glycerius, Emperors of the West . 93

475. The Patrician Orestes ....... 95

476. His Son Augustulus, the last Emperor of the West . . 96

476—490. Odoacer, King of Italy 97

476 or 479. Extinction of the Western Empire .... 98

Augustulus is Banished to the Lucullan Villa . . . 100

Decay of the Roman Spirit ...... 102

476—490. Character and Reign of Odoacer .... 103

Miserable State of Italy ....... 105

CH. XXXVII.—ORIGIN, PROGRESS, AND BFFEOTS OF THE MONASTIC

LIFE. — CONVERSION OF THE BARBARIANS TO CHRISTIANITY AND

ARIANISM.—PERSECUTION OP THE VANDALS IN AFRICA.—EXTINCTION

OF ARIANISM AMONG THE BARBARIANS.

I. Institution Of The Monastic Lips . . . .106

Origin of the Monks . . . . . . .107

305. Antony, and the Monks of Egypt . . . , .108

341. Propagation of the Monastic Life at Rome . . . .110

321. Hilarion in Palestine ....... 112

360. Basil in Pontus 112

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