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sent to his assistance. The decisive moments were wasted in idle deliberation; the Goths too hastily abandoned, perhaps, an advantageous post; and the opportunity of a secure retreat was lost by their slow and disorderly motions. After Clovis had passed the ford, as it is still named, of the Hart, he advanced with bold and hasty steps to prevent the escape of the enemy. His nocturnal march was directed by a flaming meteor, suspended in the air above the cathedral of Poitiers; and this signal, which might be previously concerted with the orthodox successor of St. Hilary, was compared to the column of fire that guided the Israelites in the desert. At the third hour of the day, about ten miles beyond Poitiers, Clovis overtook, and instantly attacked, the Gothic army; whose defeat was already prepared by terror and confusion. Yet they rallied in their extreme distress, and the martial youths, who had clamorously demanded the battle, refused to survive the ignominy of flight. The two kings encountered each other in single combat. Alaric fell by the hand of his rival; and the victorious Frank was saved by the goodness of his cuirass, and the vigour of his horse, from the spears of two desperate Goths, who furiously rode against him to revenge the death of their sovereign. The vague expression of a mountain of the slain, serves to indicate a cruel, though indefinite, slaughter; but Gregory has carefully observed, that his valiant countryman Apollinaris, the son of Sidonius, lost his life at the head of the nobles of Auvergne. Perhaps these suspected Catholics had been maliciously exposed to the blind assault of the enemy; and perhaps the influence of religion was superseded by personal attachment, or military honour/
'After correcting the text, or excusing the mistake of Procopius, who places the defect of Alaric near Carcassone, we may conclude from the evidence of Gregory, Fortunatus, and the author of the Gesta Francorum, that the battle was fought in campo I'lr/.i,,1. „.;, on the banks of the Clain, about ten miles to the south of Poitiers. Clovis overtook and attacked the Visigoths near Vivonne, and the vietory was decided near a village still named Champagn£ St. Hilare. See the Dissertations of the Abbe le Boeuf, tom. 1. p. 304—331.
Conquest Such is the empire of Fortune (if we may of Aquitain stil] disguise our ignorance under that popular Franks, name), that it is almost equally difficult to foresee the events of war, or to explain their various consequences. A bloody and complete victory has sometimes yielded no more than the possession of the field; and the loss of ten thousand men has sometimes been sufficient to destroy, in a single day^ the work of ages. The decisive battle of Poitiers was followed by the conquest of Aquitain. Alaric had left behind him an infant son, a bastard competitor, factious nobles, and a disloyal people; and the remaining forces of the Goths were oppressed by the general consternation, or opposed to each other in civil discord. The victorious king of the Franks proceeded without delay to the siege of Angouleme. At the sound of his trumpets the walls of the city imitated the example of Jericho, and instantly fell to the ground; a splendid miracle, which may be reduced to the supposition, that some clerical engineers had secretly undermined the foundations of the rampart.8 At Bordeaux, which had submitted without resistance, Clovis established his winter quarters; and his prudent economy transported from Thoulouse the royal treasures, which were deposited in the capital of the monarchy. The conqueror penetrated as far as the confines of Spain ;h restored the honours of the Catholic church; fixed in Aquitain a colony of Franks;1 and delegated to his lieutenants the easy task of subduing, or extirpating, the nation of the Visigoths. But the Visigoths were protected by the wise and powerful monarch of Italy. While the balance was still equal, Theodoric had perhaps delayed the march of the Ostrogoths; but their strenuous efforts successfully resisted the ambition of Clovis; and the army of the Franks, and their Burgundian allies, was compelled to raise the siege of Arles, with the loss, as it is said, of thirty thousand men. These vicissitudes inclined the fierce spirit of Clovis to acquiesce in an advantageous treaty of peace. The Visigoths were suffered to retain the possession of Septimania, a narrow tract of sea-coast, from the Rhone to the Pyrenees; but the ample province of Aquitain, from those mountains to the Loire, was indissolubly united to the kingdom of France.11
K Angouleme is in the road from Poitiers to Bourdeaux ; and although Gregory delays the siege, I can more readily believe that he confounded the order of history, than that Clovis neglected the rules of war.
"Pyrenaeos monies usque Perpinianum subjecit, is the expression of Rorico, which betrays his recent date; since Perpignan did not exist before the tenth century. (Marca Hispanica, p. 458.) This florid and fabulous writer (perhaps a monk of Amiens; see the Abbe le Bceuf, Mem. de 1'Academie, tom. 17. p. 228— 245.) relates, in the allegorical character of a shepherd, the general history of his countrymen the Franks; but his narrative ends with the death of Clovis.
1 The author of the Geita Francorum positively affirms, that Clovis fixed a body of Franks in the Saintonge and Bourdelois; and he is not injudiciously followed by Rorico, electos milites, atque fortissimos. cum parvulis, atque muheribus. Yet it should seem that they soon mingled with the Romans of Aquitain, till Charlemagne introduced a more numerous and powerful colony. (Dubos Hist. Critique, tom. *. p. «13-)
After the success of the Gothic war, Clovis accepted the honours of the Roman consulship. The emperor Anastasius ambitiously bestowed on the most powerful rival of Theodoric, the title and ensigns of that eminent dignity; yet, from some unknown cause, the name of Clovis has not been inscribed in the Fasti either of the castor west.1 On the solemn day, the monarch of Gaul, placing a diadem on his head, was invested in the church of St. Martin, with a purple tunic and mantle. From thence he proceeded on horseback to the cathedral of Tours; and, as he passed through the streets, profusely scattered, with his own hand, a donative of gold and silver to the joyful multitude, who incessantly repeated their acclamations of Consul and Augustus. The actual, or legal, authority of Clovis, could not receive any new accessions from the consular dignity. It was a name, a shadow, an empty pageant; and if the conqueror had been instructed to claim the ancient prerogatives of that high office, they must have expired with the period of its annual duration. But the Romans were disposed to revere, in the person of their master, that antique title which the emperors condescended to assume: the barbarian himself seemed to contract a sacred obligation to respect the majesty of the republic; and the successors of Theodosius, by soliciting his friendship, tacitly forgave, and almost ratified, the usurpation of Gaul. Final est*- Twenty-five years after the death of Clovis, ^TMent this important concession was more formally deFrench clared, in a treaty between his sons and the emiuGaui/ peror Justinian. The Ostrogoths of Italy, unA.D.ose. a^le to Defend their distant acquisitions, had resigned to the Franks the cities of Arles and Marseilles: of Arles, still adorned with the seat of a praetorian prefect, and of Marseilles, enriched by the advantages of trade and navigation.m This transaction was confirmed by the imperial authority; and Justinian, generously yielding to the Franks the sovereignty of the countries beyond the Alps, which they already possessed, absolved the provincials from their allegiance; and established on a more lawful, though not more solid, foundation, the throne of the Merovingians." From that era, they
k In the composition of the Gothic war, I have used the following materials, with due regard to their unequal value. Four epistles from Theodoric king of Italy, (Cassiodor. lib. 3. epist. 1—4. in tom. 4. p. 3—5.) Procopius, (de Bell. Goth. lib. 1. c. 21. in tom. 2. p. 34,33.) Gregory of Tours, (lib. 2. c. 35—37. in tom. 2. p. 181—183.) Jomandes, (de Reb. Geticis, c. 58. in tom. 2. p. S8.) Fortunatus, (in Vit. St. Hilarii, in tom. 3. p. 380.) Isidore, (in Chron. Goth, in tom. 2. p. 702.) the Epitome of Gregory of Tours, (in tom. 2. p. 401.) the author of Gesta Francorum; (in tom. 2. p. 553—555.) the Fragments of Frcdegarius. (in tom. 2. p. 463.) Aimoin, (lib. 1. c. 20. in tom. 3. p. 41, 42.) and Rorico, (lib. 4. in tom. S. p. 14—19.)
1 The Fatti of Italy would naturally reject a consul, the enemy of their sovereign; but any ingenious hypothesis, that might explain the silence of Constantinople and Egypt (the Chronicle of Marcellinus, and the Paschal), is overtumed by the similar silence of Marius bishop of Avenche, who composed his Fasti in the kingdom of Burgundy. If the evidence of Gregory of Tours were less weighty and positive, (lib. 2. c. 38. in tom. 2. p. 183.) I could believe that Clovis, like Odoacer, received the lasting title and honours of Patrician. (Pagi Critica, tom. 2. p. 474. 492.)
* Under the Merovingian kings, Marseilles still imported from the east, paper, wine, oil, linen, silk, precious atones, spier.*, &c. The Gauls, or Franks,traded to Syria, and the Syrians were established m Gaol. See M. de Guignes, Mem. de 1'Academie, tom. 37. p. 471—475.
"Ot' ynj van forto f'aXJurt; £u> T» <w<paXii tmmirBai, Qfurym jun Tui auTcxriTcp.; To tpya tvifftyayumrnt T«tc >•<". This strong declaration of Procopius, (de Bell. Gothic. Kb. 3. cap. 33. in tom. 2. p. 41.) would almost suffice to justify the Abb6 Dubos.
enjoyed the right of celebrating at Arles the games of the Circus; and by a singular privilege, which was denied even to the Persian monarch, the gold coin, impressed with their name and image, obtained a legal currency in the empire.0 A Greek historian of that age has praised the private and public virtues of the Franks, with a partial enthusiasm, which cannot be sufficiently justified by their domestic annals.p He celebrates their politeness and urbanity, their regular government and orthodox religion; and boldly asserts, that these barbarians could be distinguished only by their dress and language from the subjects of Rome. Perhaps the Franks already displayed the social disposition, and lively graces, which in every age have disguised their vices, and sometimes'concealed their intrinsic merit. Perhaps Agathias, and the Greeks, were dazzled by the rapid progress of their arms, and the splendour of their empire. Since the conquest of Burgundy, Gaul, except the Gothic province of Septimania, was subject, in its whole extent, to the sons of Clovis. They had extinguished the German kingdom of Thuringia, and their vague dominion penetrated beyond the Rhine, into the heart of their native forests. The Alemanni, and Bavarians, who had occupied the Roman provinces of Rhaetia and Noricum, to the south of the Danube, confessed themselves the humble vassals of the Franks; and the feeble barrier of the Alps was incapable of resisting their ambition. When the last survivor of the sons of Clovis united their inheritance and conquests of the Merovingians, his kingdom extended far beyond the limits of modern France. Yet
'The Franks who probably used the mints of Treves, Lyons, and Aries, imitated the coinage of the Roman emperors of seventy-two ulidi, or pieces, to the pound of gold. But as the Franks established only a decuple proportion of gold and silver, ten shillings will be a sufficient valuation of their solidus of gold. It was the common standard of the barbaric fines, and contained forty denarii, or silver threepences. Twelve of these denarii made a lolidus or shilling, the twentieth part of the ponderal and numeral Iicr«, or pound of silver, which has been so strangely reduced in modem France. See Le Blanc Traite Historique des Monnoyes de France, p. 37—43, &c.
P Agathias, in tom. 1. p. 47. Gregory of Toor s exhibits a very different picture. Perhaps it would not be easy within the same historical space, to find more vice and leas virtse. We are continually shocked bythe union of savage and corrupt manners