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extremities of thirst and hunger. They were obliged to traverse a sandy desert, which, in the extent of seventy miles, did not afford a single blade of sweet grass nor a single spring of fresh water, and the rest of the inhospitable waste was untrod by the footsteps either of friends or enemies. Whenever a small measure of flour could be discovered in the camp, twenty pounds weight were greedily purchased with ten pieces of gold,117 the beasts of burden were slaughtered and devoured, and the desert was strewed with the arms and baggage of the Roman soldiers, whose tattered garments and meagre countenances displayed their past sufferings and actual misery. A small convoy of provisions advanced to meet the army as far as the castle of Ur; and the supply was the more grateful, since it declared the fidelity of Sebastian and Procopius. At Thilsaphata118 the emperor most graciously received the generals of Mesopotamia, and the remains of a once flourishing army at length reposed themselves under the walls of Nisibis. The messengers of Jovian had already proclaimed, in the language of flattery, his election, his treaty, and his return, and the new prince had taken the most effectual measures to secure the allegiance of the armies and provinces of Europe by placing the military command in the hands of those officers who, from motives of interest or inclination, would firmly support the cause of their benefactor.119 The friends of Julian had confidently announced the success of his
expedition. They entertained a fond persuasion that the cumnur temples of the gods would be enriched with the spoils of the treaty of East; that Persia would be reduced to the humble state of
a tributary province, governed by the laws and magistrates of Rome; that the barbarians would adopt the dress, and manners, and language of their conquerors; and that the youth of Ecbatana
117 We may recollect some lines of Lucan (Pharsal. iv. 95), who describes a similar distress of Coesar'a army in Spain:—
Sseva fames aderat
Miles eget: toto censu non prodigus emit
Exiguam Cererem. Proh lucri pallida tabes!
Non deest prolato jejunus venditor auro. See Guichardt (Nouveaux Memoires Militaires, torn. i. p. 379-382). His analysis of the two campaigns in Spain and Africa is the noblest monument that has ever been raised to the fame of Cajsar.
"' M. d'Anville (see his Maps, and l'Euphrate et le Tigre, p. 92, 93) traces their march, and assigns the true position of Hatra, Ur, and Thilsaphata, which Ammianus has mentioned. He does not complain of the Samiel, the deadly hot wind, which Thevenot (Voyages, part ii. 1. i. p. 192) so much dreaded.
"' The retreat of Jovian is described by Ammianus (xxv. 9), Libanius (Orat. Parent, c. 143, p. 365), and Zosimus (1. iii. [c. 33] p. 194).
* Hatra or Atra, of which there are See Lynch, in Journal of Geograph. Sovery extensive ruinB, is now called Al- ciety, vol. ix. p. 467; Ainsworth, ReIliithr. The town was probably very searches, vol. ii. c. 35; Layard, Nineveh ancient, but the ruins seem to belong to and its Remains, vol. i. p. 108. The pothe Sassanian period, or, at all events, sition of Ur and Thilsaphata is uncertain, are not earlier than the Parthian dynasty. —S.
A.D. 363. CLAMOUR AGAINST THE TREATY OF PEACE. 223
and Susa would study the art of rhetoric under Grecian masters.120 The progress of the arms of Julian interrupted his communication with the empire, and, from the moment that he passed the Tigris, his affectionate subjects were ignorant of the fate and fortunes of their prince. Their contemplation of fancied triumphs was disturbed by the melancholy rumour of his death, and they persisted to doubt, after they could no longer deny, the truth of that fatal event.121 The messengers of Jovian promulgated the specious tale of a prudent and necessary peace; the voice of fame, louder and more sincere, revealed the disgrace of the emperor and the conditions of the ignominious treaty. The minds of the people were filled with astonishment and grief, with indignation and terror, when they were informed that the unworthy successor of Julian relinquished the five provinces which had been acquired by the victory of Galerius, and that he shamefully surrendered to the barbarians the important city of Nisibis, the firmest bulwark of the provinces of the East.122 The deep and dangerous question, how far the public faith should be observed when it becomes incompatible with the public safety, was freely agitated in popular conversation, and some hopes were entertained that the emperor would redeem his pusillanimous behaviour by a splendid act of patriotic perfidy. The inflexible spirit of the Roman senate had always disclaimed the unequal conditions which were extorted from the distress of her captive armies; and, if it were necessary to satisfy the national honour by delivering the guilty general into the hands of the barbarians, the greatest part of the subjects of Jovian would have cheerfully acquiesced in the precedent of ancient times.123
But the emperor, whatever might be the limits of his constitutional authority, was the absolute master of the laws and arms of j0TlM1 the state; and the same motives which had forced him to S* subscribe, now pressed him to execute the treaty of peace. Jheflvt""** He was impatient to secure an empire at the expense of a SeVi"raiali°» few provinces, and the respectable names of religion and A'W1"
m Libanius (Orat. Parent, c. 145, p. 366). Such were the natural hopes and wishes of a rhetorician.
121 The people of Carrhae, a city devoted to Paganism, buried the inauspicious messenger under a pile of stones (Zosimus, 1. iii. [c. 34] p. 196). Libanius, when he received the fatal intelligence, cast his eye on nis sword; but he recollected that Plato had condemned suicide, and that he must live to compose the Panegyric of Julian (Libanius de Vita sua, torn. ii. p. 45, 46 [ed. Morell. Paris, 1627]).
'** Aimnianus and Eutropius may be admitted as fair and credible witnesses of the public language and opinions. The people of Antioch reviled an ignominious peace which exposed them to the Persians on a naked and defenceless frontier (Excerpt. Valesiana, p. 845, ex Johanne Antiocheno.).
,a The Abbe" de la BleWie (Hist, de Jovien, torn. i. p. 212-227), though a severe casuist, has pronounced that Jovian was not bound to execute his promise: since he could not dismember the empire, nor alienate, without their consent, the allegiance of his people. I have never found much delight or instruction in such political metaphysics.
honour concealed the personal fears and the ambition of Jovian. Notwithstanding the dutiful solicitations of the inhabitants, decency, as well as prudence, forbade the emperor to lodge in the palace of Nisibis; but the next morning after his arrival, Bineses, the ambassador of Persia, entered the place, displayed from the citadel the standard of the Great King, and proclaimed, in his name, the cruel alternative of exile or servitude. The principal citizens of Nisibis, who, till that fatal moment, had confided in the protection of their sovereign, threw themselves at his feet They conjured him not to abandon, or, at least, not to deliver, a faithful colony to the rage of a barbarian tyrant, exasperated by the three successive defeats which he had experienced under the walls of Nisibis. They still possessed arms and courage to repel the invaders of their country; they requested only the permission of using them in their own defence, and, as soon as they had asserted their independence, they should implore the favour of being again admitted into the rank of his subjects. Their arguments, their eloquence, their tears, were ineffectual. Jovian alleged, with some confusion, the sanctity of oaths; and as the reluctance with which he accepted the present of a crown of gold convinced the citizens of their hopeless condition, the advocate Sylvanus was provoked to exclaim, "O emperor! may you thus be "crowned by all the cities of your dominions!" Jovian, who in a few weeks had assumed the habits of a prince,124 was displeased with freedom, and offended with truth; and as he reasonably supposed that the discontent of the people might incline them to submit to the Persian government, he published an edict, under pain of death, that they should leave the city within the term of three days. Ammianus has delineated in lively colours the scene of universal despair, which he seems to have viewed with an eye of compassion.125 The martial youth deserted, with indignant grief, the walls which they had so gloriously defended; the disconsolate mourner dropped a last tear over the tomb of a son or husband, which must soon be profaned by the rude hand of a barbarian master; and the aged citizen kissed the threshold and clung to the doors of the house where he had passed the cheerful and careless hours of infancy. The highways were crowded with a trembling multitude; the distinctions of rank, and sex, and age, were lost in the general calamity. Every one strove to bear away some fragment from the wreck of his fortunes; and as they could not command the immediate service of an adequate number of horses or
IM At Nisibis ho performed a royal act. A bravo officer, his namesake, who had been thought worthy of the purple, was dragged from supper, thrown into a well, and stoned to death without any form of trial or evidence of guilt. Ammian. xxv. 8.
m See xxv. 9, and Zosimus, 1. iii. [c. 3:;] p. 19+, 195.
A.d. 363. REFLECTIONS ON THE DEATH OF JULIAN. 225
waggons, they were obliged to leave behind them the greatest part of their valuable effects. The savage insensibility of Jovian appears to have aggravated the hardships of these unhappy fugitives. They were seated, however, in a new-built quarter of Amida; and that rising city, with the reinforcement of a very considerable colony, soon recovered its former splendour and became the capital of Mesopotamia.126 Similar orders were despatched by the emperor for the evacuation of Singara and the castle of the Moors, and for the restitution of the five provinces beyond the Tigris. Sapor enjoyed the glory and the fruits of his victory; and this ignominious peace has justly been considered as a memorable aera in the decline and fall of the Roman empire. The predecessors of Jovian had sometimes relinquished the dominion of distant and unprofitable provinces; but, since the foundation of the city, the genius of Rome, the god Terminus, who guarded the boundaries of the republic, had never retired before the sword of a victorious enemy.1117
After Jovian had performed those engagements which the voice of his people might have tempted him to violate, he hastened Reflection* away from the scene of his disgrace, and proceeded with on thc death his whole court to enjoy the luxury of Antioch.128 Without consulting the dictates of religious zeal, he was prompted, by humanity and gratitude, to bestow the last honours on the remains of his deceased sovereign;129 and Procopius, who sincerely bewailed the loss of his kinsman, was removed from the command of the army, under the decent pretence of conducting the funeral. The corpse of Julian was transported from Nisibis to Tarsus, in a slow march of fifteen days, and, as it passed through the cities of the East, was saluted by the hostile factions with mournful lamentations and clamorous insults. The Pagans already placed their beloved hero in the rank of those gods whose worship he had restored, while the invectives of the Christians pursued the soul of the apostate to hell, and his body to the grave.130 One party lamented the approaching ruin of their altars, the other celebrated the marvellous deliverance of the church. The Christians applauded, in lofty and ambiguous strains, the stroke of divine vengeance which had been so long suspended over the guilty head of Julian. They acknowledged that the death of the tyrant, at the instant he expired beyond the Tigris, was revealed to the saints of Egypt, Syria, and Cappadocia;U1 and instead of suffering him to fall by the Persian darts, their indiscretion ascribed the heroic deed.to the obscure hand of some mortal or immortal champion of the faith.'32 Such imprudent declarations were eagerly adopted by the malice or credulity of their adversaries,133 who darkly insinuated or confidently asserted that the governors of the church had instigated and directed the fanaticism of a domestic assassin.134 Above sixteen years after the death of Julian, the charge was solemnly and vehemently urged in a public oration addressed by Libanius to the emperor Theodosius. His suspicions are unsupported by fact or argument, and we can only esteem the generous zeal of the sophist of Antioch for the cold and neglected ashes of his friend.131
m Chron. Paschal, p. 300 [torn. i. p. 554, ed. Bonn]. The ecclesiastical Notitim may be consulted.
in Zosimus, 1. iii. [c. 32] p. 192, 193. Sextus Rufus de Provinciis, c. 29. Augustin de Civitat. Dei, 1. iv. c. 29. This general position must be applied and interpreted with some caution.
"* Ammianus, xxv. 10. Zosimus, 1. iii. [c. 34] p. 196. He might be edax, et vino Venerique indulgens. But I agree with La Bldterie (torn. i. p. 148-154) in rejecting the foolish report of a Bacchanalian riot (ap. Suidam) celebrated at Antioch by the emperor, his wife, and a troop of concubines.
'" The Abbe de la BliSterie (torn. i. p. 156, 209) handsomely exposes the brutal bigotry of Baronius, who would have thrown Julian to the dogs, ne cespititia quidem sepultura dignus.
130 Compare the sophist and the saint (Libanius, Monod. torn. ii. p. 251, and Orat. Parent, c. 145, p. 367, c. 156, p. 377, with Gregory Nazianisen, Orat. iv. p. 125-132). The Christian orator faintly mutters some exhortations to modesty and forgiveness:
VOL. III. Q
It was an ancient custom in the funerals, as well as in the triumphs ami funeral of the Romans, that the voice of praise should be corrected of Juumi. by that of satire and ridicule, and that, in the midst of the splendid pageants which displayed the glory of the living or of the dead, their imperfections should not be concealed from the eyes of the world.136 This custom was practised in the funeral of Julian. The comedians, who resented his contempt and aversion for the theatre, exhibited, with the applause of a Christian audience, the lively
but he is well satisfied that the real sufferings of Julian will far exceed the fabulous torments of Ixion or Tantalus.
131 Tillemont (Hist. des F.mpereurs, torn. iv. p. 549) has collected these visions. Some saint or angel was observed to be absent in the night on a secret expedition, &c.
at Sozomen (1. vi. 2) applauds the Gretk doctrine of tyrannicide: but the whole passage, which a Jesuit might have translated, is prudently suppressed by the president Cousin.
"* Immediately after the death of Julian an uncertain rumour was scattered, t«lo cecidisse Romano. It was carried by some deserters to the Persian camp; and the Romans were reproached as the assassins of the emperor by Sapor and his subjects (Ammian. xxv. H; Libanius de ulciseenda Juliani uece, c. xiii. p. 162, 163). It was urged, as a decisive proof, that no Persian had appeared to claim the promised reward (Lihau. Orat. Parent, c. 141, p. :i6'5). Hut the Hying horseman who darted the fatal javelin might be ignorant of its effect, or he might be slain in the same action. Ammianus neither feels nor inspires a suspicion.
'" 'Orrn i»T5A*» rXr,ai> ri <rf*> alirZt ia%nn. This dark and ambiguous expression may point to Athanasiir*, the first without a rival of the Christian clergy (Libauius de uleis. Jul. neco, c. 5, p. 149. La Bleterie, Hist, de Jovien, torn. i. p. 179).
lai The orator (Fabricius, Biblioth. Once. torn. vii. p. 14.rj-179) scatters suspicions, demands an inquiry, and insinuates that proofs might still be obtained. He ascribes the success of the Huns to the criminal neglect of revenging Julian's death.
136 At the funeral of Vespasian, the comedian who personated that frugal emperor anxiously inquired how much it cost >—Fourscore thousand pounds fcenties).—Givo me the tenth part of the sum, and throw my body into the Tiber. Sueton. in Vespasian, c. 19, with the notes of Casaubon and Gronoviua.