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14 THE ALEMANXI INVADE ITALY. Chap. XI.
the throne the consecrated images of the emperor and his predecessors,29 the golden eagles, and the various titles of the legions, engraved in letters of gold, were exalted in the air on lofty pikes covered with silver. When Aurelian assumed his seat, his manly grace and majestic figure30 taught the barbarians to revere the person as well as the purple of their conqueror. The ambassadors fell prostrate on the ground in silence. They were commanded to rise, and permitted to speak. By the assistance of interpreters they extenuated their perfidy, magnified their exploits, expatiated on the vicissitudes of fortune and the advantages of peace, and, with an ill-timed confidence, demanded a large subsidy, as the price of the alliance which they offered to the Romans. The answer of the emperor was stern and imperious. He treated their offer with contempt, and their demand with indignation; reproached the barbarians that they were as ignorant of the arte of war as of the laws of peace; and finally dismissed them with the choice only of submitting to his unconditioned mercy, or awaiting the utmost severity of his resentment.31 Aurelian had resigned a distant province to the Goths; but it was dangerous to trust or to pardon these perfidious barbarians, whose formidable power kept Italy itself in perpetual alarms.
Immediately after this conference it should seem that some unThe Aie- expected emergency required the emperor's presence in
iminni in- ._ x •' Tt i i i i • i» 1 m
vade Jtaiy, Fannoma. He devolved on his lieutenants the care of finishing the destruction of the Alemanni, either by the sword, or by the surer operation of famine. But an active despair has often triumphed over the indolent assurance of success. The barbarians, finding it impossible to traverse the Danube and the Roman camp, broke through the posts in their rear, which were more feebly or less carefully guarded; and with incredible diligence, but by a different road, returned towards the mountains of Italy.32 Aurelian, who considered the war as totally extinguished, received the mortifying intelligence of the escape of the Alemanni, and of the ravage which they already committed in the territory of Milan. The legions were commanded to follow, with as much expedition as those heavy bodies were capable of exerting, the rapid flight of an enemy, whose infantry and cavalry moved with almost equal swiftness. A few days afterwards the emperor himself marched to the relief of Italy, at the head of a chosen body of auxiliaries (among whom were the hostages and
39 The emperor Claudius was certainly of the number; but we are ignorant how far this mark of respect was extended; if to Casar and Augustus, it must have produced a very awful spectacle; a loug line of the masters of the world.
30 Vopiscus in Hist. August, p. 210. [Aurel. c. 6.]
31 Dexippua gives them a subtle and prolix oration, worthy of a Grecian sophist. 33 Hist. August, p. 215. [Vopisc. Aurel. c. 18.]
A.D. 270. VANQUISHED BY AURELIAN. 15
cavalry of the Vandals), and of all the Praetorian 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, ^heaV and the pursuit of the numerous detachments. Notwith- AureUaostanding 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 wa3 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 ^Emilian 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 Supcratiof 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
33 Dexippug, p. 12 [ed. Paris; p. 8, ed. Ven.; p. 21, ed. Bonn]. 54 Victor Junior in Aurelian [Epit. 35, 2].
35 Vopiscus in Hist. August, p. 216. f Aurel. c. 21.]
34 The little river, or rather torrent, of Metaurus, near Fano, has been immortalised by finding such an historian as Livy, and such n poet as Horace.
37 It is recorded by an inscription found at Pesaro. See Grater, cclxxvi. 3. w One should imagine, he said, that you were assembled in a Christian church, not in the temple of all the gods.
16 FORTIFICATIONS OF ROME. Chap. XI.
should require. Notwithstanding this liberal offer, it does not appear that any human victims expiated with their blood the sins of the A.D.3N, Roman people. The Sibylline books enjoined ceremonies Jan. n. 0f 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. tne 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.4'
38 Vopiscus, in Hist. August, p. 215, 216 [Aurel. c. 18, sqq.~], 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 Cfelius was a grove of oaks, and Mouut 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 buryiug-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 Capitoliue and Palatine only, with the adjacent valleys, were the primitive habitation of the Roman people. But this subject would require a dissertation.
41 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 circumference 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 unsatisfactory expedient of altering the true one, and has been accepted the numbers of Pliny, as Gibbon did in a by the best modern 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 Rom., Augustus embraced a considerable space vol. i. p. 192, seq.; Becker, de Ruinie outBido the city walls. Now Bunsen veteris Muris, p. 109, scq.—S.
A.I). 271. PROVINCIAL USURPERS. 17
The extent of the new walls, erected by Aurelian, and finished in the reign of Probus, was magnified by popular estimation to near fifty,*2 but is reduced by accurate measurement to about twenty-one miles.43* 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,44 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 3^TM,*TM of the North. To chastise domestic tyrants, and to reunite usurPcrethe 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- Ui'STTM
41 Hist. August, p. 222. [Vopise. Aurel. c. 39.] Both Lipsius and Isnac Vossius have eagerly embraced this measure. *■ See Nardini, Roma Antica, 1. i. c. 8.
44 Tacit. Hist. iv. 23.
44 For Aurelian's walls, seeVopiscus in Hist. August, p. 216, 222. [Aurel. c. 21 and 39.] Zosiinus, 1. 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 passman, after the millin, which would essentially the same as those of Aurelian. give ten Roman miles for the circuit, ameaThe 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. 03, ed. Bekker). Not only must we therefore reject the Here it is proposed to read ii (11) instead incredible number of fifty miles, but even of xi (21), but this arbitrary alteration of the less startling number of twenty-one. numbers is always uusatisfactoiy. See The former of these two numbers rests on Becker.de Roma; veteris Muris, p. 109, the authority of Vopiscus, who says, seq.; Bunbury on the Topography of "Muros urbis Rounr sic ampliavit, ut Rome, in the Classicum Museum, vol. iii, quinquaginta prope millia rourorum ejus p. 367.—S.
vol.. it. c
18 REIGN AND DEFEAT OF TETRICUS. Chap. XI.
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.46 The death of Victorinus, his friend and associate, was occasioned by a less worthy cause. The shining accomplishments47 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 anddefeat 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. A.d. 27i. He ventured to disclose his melancholy situation, and consummer. jured the emperor to hasten to the relief of his unhappy rival. Had this secret correspondence reached the ears of the
49 Hia competitor was Lollianus,* or ^Elianus, if, indeed, these names mean the same person. See Tillemont, torn. 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, neminein existiuio pneferendum; non in virtute Trajanum; non Antoninum in dementia: non in gravitate Nervam: non in gubernando asrario Vespasianum; non in censura totius vitie ac Beveritate militnri Pertinacetn vel Severum. Sed omnia haec libido et cupiditas voluptatis mulierarite sic perdidit, utnemo audeat virtutes ejus in litems mitterequein constat omnium judicio meruisse puniri.
4" He ravished the wife of Attitianus, an actuary, or army agent. Hist. August, p. 186. [Pollio, 1. c] Aurel. Victor in Aurelian.
40 Pollio assigns her an article among the thirty tyrants. Hist. August, p. 200. [xxx. Tyranni, c. 30.]
* The medals which bear the name of name of LselianuB, 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 aro many extant bearing the