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VANQUISHED BY AURELIAN.
cavalry of the Vandals), and of all the Prætorian guards who had served in the wars on the Danube. 33
As the light troops of the Alemanni had spread themselves from the Alps to the Apennine, the incessant vigilance of Aurelian and are at and his officers was exercised in the discovery, the attack, quisbed by and the pursuit of the numerous detachments. Notwith- Aurelian. standing this desultory war, three considerable battles are mentioned, in which the principal force of both armies was obstinately engaged. 34 The success was various. In the first, fought near Placentia, the Romans received so severe a blow, that, according to the expression of a writer extremely partial to Aurelian, the immediate dissolution of the empire was apprehended.35 The crafty barbarians, who had lined the woods, suddenly attacked the legions in the dusk of the evening, and, it is most probable, after the fatigue and disorder of a long march. The fury of their charge was irresistible; but at length, after a dreadful slaughter, the patient firmness of the emperor rallied his troops, and restored, in some degree, the honour of his arms. The second battle was fought near Fano in Umbria ; on the spot which, five hundred years before, had been fatal to the brother of Hannibal.36 Thus far the successful Germans had advanced along the Æmilian and Flaminian way, with a design of sacking the defenceless mistress of the world. But Aurelian, who, watchful for the safety of Rome, still hung on their rear, found in this place the decisive moment of giving them a total and irretrievable defeat. 37 The flying remnant of their host was exterminated in a third and last battle near Pavia ; and Italy was delivered from the inroads of the Alemanni.
Fear has been the original parent of superstition, and every new calamity urges trembling mortals to deprecate the wrath Superstiof their invisible enemies. Though the best hope of the monies. republic was in the valour and conduct of Aurelian, yet such was the public consternation, when the barbarians were hourly expected at the gates of Rome, that, by a decree of the senate, the Sibylline books were consulted. Even the emperor himself, from a motive either of religion or of policy, recommended this salutary measure, chided the tardiness of the senate, 38 and offered to supply whatever expense, whatever animals, whatever captives of any nation, the gods
* Dexippus, p. 12 [ed. Paris; p. 8, ed. Ven.; p. 21, ed. Bonn). * Victor Junior in Aurelian (Epit. 35, 2].
Vopiscus in Hist. August. p. 216. (Aurel. c. 21.] * The little river, or rather torrent, of Metaurus, near Fano, has been immortalised by finding such an historian as Livy, and such a poet as Horace. # It is recorded by an inscription found at Pesaro. See Gruter, cclxxvi. 3.
One should imagine, he said, that you were assembled in a Christian church, out in the temple of all the gods.
FORTIFICATIONS OF ROME.
6.D. 271, Jan. 11.
should require. Notwithstanding this liberal offer, it does not appear that any human victims expiated with their blood the sins of the
Roman people. The Sibylline books enjoined ceremonies
of a more harmless nature - processions of priests in white robes, attended by a chorus of youths and virgins; lustrations of the city and adjacent country; and sacrifices, whose powerful influence disabled the barbarians from passing the mystic ground on which they had been celebrated. However puerile in themselves, these superstitious arts were subservient to the success of the war; and if, in the decisive battle of Fano, the Alemanni fancied they saw an army of spectres combating on the side of Aurelian, he received a real and effectual aid from this imaginary reinforcement. 39
But whatever confidence might be placed in ideal ramparts, the Fortifications experience of the past, and the dread of the future, induced of Rome. the Romans to construct fortifications of a grosser and more substantial kind. The seven hills of Rome had been surrounded, by the successors of Romulus, with an ancient wall of more than thirteen miles. The vast enclosure may seem disproportioned to the strength and numbers of the infant state. But it was necessary to secure an ample extent of pasture and arable land against the frequent and sudden incursions of the tribes of Latium, the perpetual enemies of the republic. With the progress of Roman greatness, the city and its inhabitants gradually increased, filled up the vacant space, pierced through the useless walls, covered the field of Mars, and, on every side, followed the public highways in long and beautiful suburbs.*
3. Vopiscus, in Hist. August. p. 215, 216 [Aurel. c. 18, 891.], gives a long account of these ceremonies from the registers of the senate.
40 Plin. Hist. Natur, iii. 5 ($ 9]. To confirm our idea, we may observe that for a long time Mount Cælius was a grove of oaks, and Mount Viminal was overrun with osiers; that in the fourth century the Aventine was a vacant and solitary retirement; that till the time of Augustus the Esquiline was an unwholesome burying-ground; and that the numerous inequalities remarked by the ancients in the Quirinal sufficiently prove that it was not covered with buildings. Of the seven hills, the Capitoline and Palatine only, with the adjacent valleys, were the primitive habitation of the Roman people. But this subject would require a dissertation.
+ Exspatiantia tecta multas addidere urbes, is the expression of Pliny.
* This statement of Pliny is startling, supposes that the measurement of Pliny since the walls of Servius did not exceed refers to the circunference of the city as seven miles, and no new walls were built divided into the fourteen regions, not of round the city till the time of Aurelian. the city as marked by its ancient walls. But the explanation given by Bunsen of There is, therefore, no occasion to resort this passage of Pliny is beyond doubt to the insatisfactory expedient of altering the true one, and has been accepted the numbers of Pliny, as Gibbon did in a by the best moderu scholars. We know subsequent part of this work, when he that the city had long outgrown its saw the necessity of reducing the measureoriginal limits, and that the fourteen ment of the city. Ch. xli. note 77. See regions into which it was divided by Bunsen, Beschreibung der Stadt Romn., Augustus embraced a considerable space vol. i. p. 192, seq. ; Becker, de Rorox outside the city walls. Now Bunsen veteris Muris, p. 109, seq.-3.
The extent of the new walls, erected by Aurelian, and finished in the reign of Probus, was magnified by popular estimation to near fifty, 42 but is reduced by accurate measurement to about twenty-one miles. 434 It was a great but a melancholy labour, since the defence of the capital betrayed the decline of the monarchy. The Romans of a more prosperous age, who trusted to the arms of the legions the safety of the frontier camps, 14 were very far from entertaining a suspicion that it would ever become necessary to fortify the seat of empire against the inroads of the barbarians.45
The victory of Claudius over the Goths, and the success of Aurelian against the Alemanni, had already restored to the arms Aurelian of Rome their ancient superiority over the barbarous nations suppresses of the North. To chastise domestic tyrants, and to reunite usurpers. the dismembered parts of the empire, was a task reserved for the second of those warlike emperors. Though he was acknowledged by the senate and people, the frontiers of Italy, Africa, Illyricum, and Thrace, confined the limits of his reign. Gaul, Spain, and Britain, Egypt, Syria, and Asia Minor, were still possessed by two rebels, who alone, out of so numerous a list, had hitherto escaped the dangers of their situation ; and to complete the ignominy of Rome, these rival thrones had been usurped by women.
A rapid succession of monarchs had arisen and fallen in the provinces of Gaul. The rigid virtues of Posthumus served Succession only to hasten his destruction. After suppressing a com- in Gaur.
* Hist. August. p. 222. (Vopisc. Aurel c. 39.] Both Lipsius and Isaac Vossius have eagerly embraced this measure.
* See Nardini, Roma Antica, 1. i. c. 8. * Tacit. Hist. iv. 23.
es For Aurelian's walls, see Vopiscus in Hist. August. p. 216, 222. [Aurel. c. 21 and 39.) Zosimus, l. i. (c. 49) p. 43. Eutropius, ix. 15 . Aurel. Victor in Aurelian. Victor Junior in Aurelian. Euseb. Hieronym. et Idatius in Chronic.
. Neither of these numbers can be ambitus teneant.” It has been ingeniadmitted. The walls which surround ously conjectured by Becker that in this the modern city of Rome are, with the passage we ought to understand pedum, exception of the part beyond the Tiber, not passuum, after the millia, which would essentially the same as those of Aurelian. give ten Roman miles for the circuit, a meaThe latter were restored by Honorius, as surement very near the truth. The meawe learn from an inscription on the walls surement of twenty-one miles rests upon now extant; and the walls of Honorius the authority of Olympiodorus, who says are universally allowed to be those which that the walls of Honorius, as measured by we see at present. Now these walls the geometer Ammon, just before the measure between twelve and thirteen siege of the city by Alaric, were twentymiles, and, excluding the additions by one miles in circumference (Olympiod. the Popes, between eleven and twelve. ap. Photium, Bibl. 80, p. 63, ed. Bekker). Not only must we therefore reject the Here it is proposed to read é (11) instead incredible number of fifty miles, but even of xd (21), but this arbitrary alteration of the less startling number of twenty-one. numbers is always unsatisfactory. See The former of these two numbers rests on Becker, de Romæ veteris Muris, p. 109, the authority of Vopiscus, who says, seq.; Bunbury on the Topography of " Muros urbis Romæ sic ampliavit, ut Rome, in the Classicum Museum, vol. üi. quinquaginta prope millia murorum ejus p. 367.-8.
REIGN AND DEFEAT OF TETRICUS.
petitor who had assumed the purple at Mentz, he refused to gratify
his troops with the plunder of the rebellious city; and, in
the seventh year of his reign, became the victim of their disappointed avarice. The death of Victorinus, his friend and associate, was occasioned by a less worthy cause. The shining accomplishments“ of that prince were stained by a licentious passion, which he indulged in acts of violence, with too little regard to the laws of society, or
even to those of love. 48 He was slain at Cologne, by a
conspiracy of jealous husbands, whose revenge would have appeared more justifiable, had they spared the innocence of his son. After the murder of so many valiant princes, it is somewhat remarkable, that a female for a long time controlled the fierce legions of Gaul, and still more singular that she was the mother of the unfortunate Victorinus. The arts and treasures of Victoria enabled her successively to place Marius and Tetricus on the throne, and to reign with a manly vigour under the name of those dependent emperors. Money of copper, of silver, and of gold, was coined in her name; she assumed the titles of Augusta and Mother of the Camps: her power ended only with her life; but her life was perhaps shortened by the ingratitude of Tetricus.49 When, at the instigation of his ambitious patroness, Tetricus
assumed the ensigns of royalty, he was governor of the peaceful province of Aquitaine, an employment suited to
his character and education. He reigned four or five years over Gaul, Spain, and Britain, the slave and sovereign of a licentious army, whom he dreaded, and by whom he was despised. The valour and fortune of Aurelian at length opened the prospect of a deliverance.
He ventured to disclose his melancholy situation, and con
jured the emperor to hasten to the relief of his unhappy rival. Had this secret correspondence reached the ears of the
46 His competitor was Lollianus," or Ælianus, if, indeed, these names mean the same person. See Tillemont, tom. iii. p. 1177.
47 The character of this prince by Julius Aterianus (ap. Hist. August. p. 187 [Pollio, xxx. Tyranni, c. 5]) is worth transcribing, as it seems fair and impartial. Victorino, qui post Junium Posthumium Gallias rexit, neminem existimo præferendum; non in virtute Trajanum; non Antoninum in clementia: non in gravitate Nervam: non in gubernando ærario Vespasianum; non in censura totius vitæ ac severitate militari Pertinacem vel Severum. Sed omnia hæc libido et cupiditas voluptatis mulierariæ sic perdidit, ut nemo audeat virtutes ejus in literas mittere quem constat omnium judicio meruisse puniri.
18 He ravished the wife of Attitianus, an actuary, or army agent. Hist. August. p. 186. [Pollio, 1. c.] Aurel. Victor in Aurelian.
49 Pollio assigns her an article among the thirty tyrants. Hist. August. p. 200. [xxx. Tyranni, c. 30.]
a The medals which bear the name of name of Lælianus, which appears to have Lollianus are considered forgeries, except been that of the competitor of Posthumus. one in the museum of the Prince of Wal- Eckhel, Doct. Num. t. vii. p. 449.-G. deck: there are many extant bearing the
The reign and defeat of Tetricus.
A D. 271.
our, till they were which was foughtnes, Franks and
soldiers, it would most probably have cost Tetricus his life; nor could he resign the sceptre of the West without committing an act of treason against himself. He affected the appearances of a civil war, led his forces into the field against Aurelian, posted them in the most disadvantageous manner, betrayed his own counsels to the enemy, and with a few chosen friends deserted in the beginning of the action. The rebel legions, though disordered and dismayed by the unexpected treachery of their chief, defended themselves with desperate valour, till they were cut in pieces almost to a man, in this bloody and memorable battle, which was fought near Châlons in Champagne. The retreat of the irregular auxiliaries, Franks and Batavians, whom the conqueror soon compelled or persuaded to repass the Rhine, restored the general tranquillity, and the power of Aurelian was acknowledged from the wall of Antoninus to the Columns of Hercules.
As early as the reign of Claudius, the city of Autun, alone and unassisted, had ventured to declare against the legions of Gaul. After a siege of seven months they stormed and plundered that unfortunate city, already wasted by famine. 52 Lyons, on the contrary, had resisted with obstinate disaffection the arms of Aurelian. We read of the punishment of Lyons,33 but there is not any mention of the rewards of Autun. Such, indeed, is the policy of civil war: severely to remember injuries, and to forget the most important services. Revenge is profitable, gratitude is expensive.
Aurelian had no sooner secured the person and provinces of Tetricus than he turned his arms against Zenobia, the A.D. 272. celebrated queen of Palmyra and the East. Modern Zenobia; Europe has produced several illustrious women who have sustained with glory the weight of empire ; nor is our own age destitute of such distinguished characters. But if we except the doubtful achievements of Semiramis, Zenobia is perhaps the only female whose superior genius broke through the servile indolence imposed on her sex by the climate and manners of Asia.94 She claimed her descent
so Pollio in Hist. August. p. 196. [xxx. Tyranni, c. 23.) Vopiscus in Hist. August p. 2201, [Aurel. c. 32.] The two Victors, in the lives of Gallienus and Aurelian. Eutrop. ix. 13 [c. 9]. Euseb. in Chron. Of all these writers, only the two last (bat with strong probability) place the fall of Tetricus before that of Zenobia M. de Boze (in the Academy of Inscriptions, tom. xxx.) does not wish, and Tillemont (tom. i. p. 1189) does not dare, to follow them. I have been fairer than the one, and bolder than the other. (Clinton places the fall of Tetricus after that of Zenobia, in 274. 8.)
Si Victor Junior in Aurelian. Eumenius mentions Bataricæ ; some critics, without any reason, would fain alter the word to Bagaudica.
* Eunien. in Vet. Panegyr. iv. 8. * Vopiscus in Hist. August. p. 246 in Proculo, c. 13). Autun was not restored till the reign of Diocletian. See Eumenius de restaurandis sche
Almost everything that is said of the manners of Odenathus and Zenobia is takey from their Lives in the Augustan History, by Trebellius Pollio: see p. 192, 198 las. Tyranni, c. 14 and 29.)