Sidebilder
PDF
ePub
[graphic]

THE FOURTH CENTURY OF EMPIRE: AURELIAN TO THEODOSIUS

(270-395 A.d.)

270. Aurelian, called Restitutor Orbis, becomes emperor. He defeats tbe Goths and makes peace with them. Alamanni invade Umbria and are defeated by Aurelian in three engagements. 273. Palmyra and its queen

who had maintained himself as emperor in Gaul, Britain, and Spain, defeated at Chalons. 275. Tacitus, emperor. 276. Probus and ftorlan, emperors. They clear Gaul of its German invaders and pursue them across the Rhine. 282. Carus, emperor. Sarmatians defeated. Persian expedition. 284. Diocletian, emperor. He makes Nicomedia in Bithynia his capital. 286. Maximian. joint emperor for administration of the West. 293. Conatantius chiorua and Galerius named caesars. 296. Constantius recovers Britain. Revolt of Egypt suppressed by Diocletian. Battle of Carrhae. Galerius defeated by the Persians. 297. Galerius defeats the Persians and makes a treaty securing Mesopotamia to the Romans. 298. Constantius defeats the Alamanni at Langres. 303. Christian persecution. 305. Abdication of Diocletian and Maximian. Constantius and Galerius, emperors. 306. Constantine the Great succeeds his father Constantius in the rale of Spain, Gaul, and Britain. Maxentius emperor at Rome. Maximian resumes the purple. Licinius made emperor. 310. Maximian executed by Constantine. 313. Defeat and death of Maxentius. The Edict of Milan issued by Licinius and Constantine, inaugurating religious toleration. 314. War between Licinius and Constantine. 323. Battles of Hadrianopolis and Chalcedon. Defeat of Licinius. 324. Licinius executed. Constantine sole ruler. 325. First general council at Nicaea. 330. Byzantium, or Constantinople, becomes the capital of the empire. 337. Constantino II, Constans, and Constantius II divide the empire. 340. Battle of Aquileia between Constantine II and Constans. Death of Constantine II. His dominions fall to Constans. 350. Death of Constans. Revolt of Magnentius. 353. Constantius II sole emperor. 357. Battle of Argentoratum (Strasburg); Julian defeats the Alamanni. 361. Julian, "the Apostate," emperor. 362. Edict granting general toleration. 363. Persian War. Julian ia victorious at Ctesiphon, and in other battles, but is at last obliged to retreat and is killed. Jovian emperor. He makes peace with the Persians, resigning five districts beyond the Tigris. He places Christianity on an equality with other religions. 364. Valentinianus I and Valens, emperors. 367. Gratianus emperor for the West. 374. War with the Quadi. 375. Valentinian n reigns conjointly with Gratian on the death of Valentinian I. 376. Huns and Alans attack the eastern Goths. Valens permits the Goths to settle in Thrace. 378. Goths threaten Constantinople. Battle of Hadrianopolis. Goths defeat the Romans with great slaughter. Death of Valens. 379. Theodosius the Great, emperor of the East. 380. Theodosius becomes a Christian. He successfully continues the war against the Goths and makes a treaty with

Zenobia taken by Aurelian.

[graphic]

them which is followed by their establishment in Thrace, Phrygia, and Lydia, and the enrolment of large numbers in the army of the Eastern Empire. 383. Clemens Maximus revolts against Gratian, who is captured and put to death. 387. Maximus makes himself master of Italy. Theodosius restores Valentinian II, and puts Maximus to death. 390. Massacre of the inhabitants of Thessalonica by order of Theodosius in revenge for the murder of officials. 392. Valentinian II murdered. Eugenius emperor of the West. 394. Theodosius defeats Eugenius and becomes the last emperor of the whole Roman world. 395. Death of Theodosius. Arcadius becomes emperor of the East and Honorius of the West. THE WESTERN DOMINIONS IN THE FIFTH CENTURY OF EMPIRE (395-476 A.d.)

395. At death of Theodosius the division of the empire becomes permanent. Honorius, aged eleven, rules over the western portion, with Stilicho as regent. Alaric ravages Thrace. Stilicho proceeds against him. 396. Second expedition of Stilicho. Alaric escapes into Epirus, and Stilicho returns to Italy. 397. Revolt of Gildo in Africa, causing scarcity of food in Rome. He is defeated, and kills himself the following year. 403. Battle of Pollentia ends invasion of Italy by Alaric, begun the previous year. Retreat of Alaric. 405. Radagaisus with an army of 200,000, composed of Celts, Germans, Sarmatians, and Gauls, invades Italy. Successfully opposed by Stilicho. Capture and death of Radagaisus. His army destroyed. 406. The Vandals enter Gaul. 407. Revolt of the army in Britain. Constantine declared emperor; makes himself master of the whole of Gaul as far as the Alps. 408. Murder of Stilicho. Alaric besieges Rome, but retires on payment of money. 409. Alaric, besieging Rome, has Attalus proclaimed emperor. Revolt of Gerontius in Spain; he proclaims Maximus emperor. Vandals invade Spain. 410. Alaric takes Rome and plunders it. Death of Alaric. Succeeded by Atawulf. 411. War between the usurpers, Constantine and Gerontius. Constantius leads the imperial forces against the two rebels. Death of Constantine and Gerontius. 412. Jovinus proclaimed emperor in Gaul. Peace between Honorius and Atawulf. 413. Atawulf slays Jovinus. Heraclianus invades Italy, but is slain. 415. Death of Atawulf in Spain. Succeeded by Wallia, who, the following year, makes peace with Honorius. 418. Subjection of Spain by the Goths after two years' war. Death of Wallia. Succeeded by Theodoric I. Aquitania ceded to the Goths. 419. The Suevi and Vandals war in Spain. 421. Constantius declared augustus, but he is not accepted. 423. Death of Honorius. 424. John or Joannes seizes the western division. 425. Valentinian in, nephew of Honorius, declared augustus. Defeat and death of the usurper Joannes. Attack on the Goths in Gaul. 428. War in Gaul continued. The Vandal king, Gunderic, dies, and Genseric succeeds. 429. Genseric crosses into CHAPTER XXIX. THE EMPIRE AND THE PROVINCES When Augustus entered upon secure possession of absolute power, the Roman Empire included the fairest and most famous lands on the face of the globe and all the civilised peoples of the ancient world found a place in its ample bosom. It extended from the ocean on the west to the Euphrates, from the Danube and the Rhine to the cataracts of the Nile and the deserts of Africa and Arabia. And although, in the first decades of imperial rule, a few tribes within its huge circumference had not completely assimilated the system of Roman civilisation and law; although in the Alps and Pyrenees, on the lower Danube and in the inaccessible gorges of the Taurus some warlike races retained their savage freedom and did not stoop their necks to the rods and axes of Rome, the mighty mistress of the world — they offered but a futile defiance, better fitted to assert and exercise the martial vigour of the legions than to inspire the masters of the world with dread or set bounds to their dominion. The wars which Augustus or his legates waged in the Cantabrian Mountains of northwestern Spain, in the Alps and the wooded hills of Dalmatia, merely served to consolidate the empire and strengthen its frontiers, and gave the imperial ruler an opportunity of renewing the martial feats and triumphs of the republic. The Spanish mountaineers were transplanted to the plains and constrained to conduct themselves peaceably. Deprived of their savage liberty, they accustomed themselves to agriculture and social life; and the Spanish cities, endowed with privileges and connected by highroads, soon became seats of Roman culture and spheres of active influence in trade and commerce. The products of the soil, the largess of the sea, the fruits of industry — oil and wine, honey and wax, wool and salt fish — were exported in large quantities from the ports of Spain and filled the seaboard cities with wealth. The fierce and predatory tribes of the Alpine range, from Savoy and Piedmont to Istria, were again and again smitten with the edge of the sword and forced to submit; the newly founded military colony of Augusta Pretoria(Aosta), in the country of the Salassians and at the junction of the Graian and Pennine Alps, served thenceforward as a bulwark to the Roman possessions in northwest Italy, after the stubbornness of the hardy mountaineers had been broken by the carrying off of such men as were capable of bearing arms to the slave market at Eporedia (Ivrea). In the year 15 B.C. the free races of Raetia, Vindelicia, and Noricum were conquered, from the Lake of Constance and the Valley of the Inn to the Adriatic; and Tiberius led his legions from Gaul to the sources of the Rhine, there to join hands with Drusus, the vigorous youth for whom was reserved the honour of "ushering in the last hour of the liberty of the mountains," and who was then advancing from the south. A single campaign sufficed to [15 B.C.-7 A.D.]

[graphic]

Africa, on invitation of Boniface, who has been several years in revolt431. War of Boniface with Vandals ended with capture of Hippo. The* Vandals are masters of a large part of Africa. 432. War between Boniface and Aetius. Death of Boniface. 434. Attila becomes king of the> Huns. It is said that Honoria, sister of Valentinian, in disgrace at court, invites him to attack Italy. 435. Peace with Genseric. War with the Burgundians and Goths in Gaul. 436. Theodoric besieges Narbo. 437. The war in Gaul continues. Valentinian marries daughter of Theodosius II. 439. Theodoric defeats Litorius at Tolosa. Peace with the Goths. 440. Genseric invades Sicily. 444. Attila murders his brother, Bleda, and succeeds to the full authority. 446. The Vandals devastate Roman dominions in Spain. The Britons ask aid against the Saxons. 448. The Suevi ravage Roman dominions in Spain. 451. Attila invades Gaul. He is defeated at Chalons by Aetius and Theodoric. Death of Theodoric, who is succeeded by his son,. Torismond. 452. Attila invades Italy. Siege and capture of Aquileia. Attila retires to Gaul. Death of Torismond, succeeded by Theodoric II. Leo, bishop of Rome, goes as ambassador to Attila. 453. Death of AttilaHis army is scattered. 455. Murder of Valentinian by Petronius Maximus. Maximus declared emperor. He marries the widow of Valentinian, who calls Genseric to her aid. Murder of Maximus as he is preparing to fly from the Vandal. Avitus proclaimed emperor in Gaul by Theodoric II. He is recognised by Marcian at Constantinople. 457. Majorlan made emperor by Ricimer, who, the previous year, has deposed Avitus. 458. Majorian proceeds against the Vandals and Gauls. 459. Peace between Majorian and Theodoric II, who has been defeated. 460. Roman fleet destroyed by Genseric at Carthagena. Peace between Majorian and Genseric. 461. Deposition and murder of Majorian by Ricimer. Elevation of Severus. 462. Vandals ravage Italy. 463. Theodoric II attempts to gain possession of Gaul. Is defeated, but rules over a large portion of Spain. 465. Death of Severus. No emperor is appointed, Ricimer keeping power in his own hands. 466. Murder of Theodoric II by his brother, Euric, who succeeds him. 467. Anthemius appointed emperor by Leo of Constantinople, at Ricimer's request. 470. Euric takes Arelate and Massilia, and defeats the Britons. Execution of the patrician Romanus, who aspires to the empire. 472. War between Ricimer and Anthemius. Ricimer declares Olybrius emperor, and puts Anthemius to deathDeath of Ricimer. Death of Olybrius. 473. G-lycerius proclaimed emperor. The Ostrogoths prepare to invade the empire. 474. Leo sends Julius Nepos. to reign in the West. Glycerius deposed. Euric occupies Arverna. Peace between Euric and Nepos. 475. Orestes drives out Nepos and proclaims his own son, Romulus Auguatuius, emperor. 476. Odoacer invades Italy. Romulus Augustulus deposed, and Odoacer acknowledged king of Italy.

The Byzantine Emperor Zeno confers the title of patrician upon Odoacer, who rules a nominal vicar. "There was thus," says Br3'ce, "legally no extinction of the Western Empire at all, but only a reunion of East and West."

[graphic]

destroy forevermore the freedom of these disconnected tribes, who had no national ties to unite them into a political entity. A trophy on the southern slope of the mountain rampart proclaimed to posterity that under the leadership and auspices of Augustus four-and-forty nations, all mentioned by name, had been vanquished and subjugated by the sword of Rome. The transportation of the most vigorous elements of the population to foreign parts, the construction of Alpine roads, the erection of fortresses and castella, and the founding of military colonies (amongst which Augusta Vindelicorum, the present Augsburg, and Regina Castra, the modern Ratisbon, quickly took the first rank), secured these conquests and won fresh territory for the dominion of Rome; so that in a short time all the land between the Danube and the Alps was included in the provincial dominions of the Roman Empire.

At the same time the great stretch of country from Istria to Macedonia and from the Adriatic to the Save was won for the empire; what had hitherto been the maritime province of Illyricum was not only augmented by the addition of the territory of the Iapydes (Iapodes) and Dalmatians, but a station and magazine was established on the lower Danube by the conquest of the Pannonian town of Siscia at the confluence of the Colapis (Kulpa) and Save. In vain did the Iapydes defend their capital with the courage of desperation; the emperor himself, though wounded in the thigh and in both arms, prosecuted the attack until all men capable of bearing arms had fallen in the fray, and the women, old men, and children had perished either in the flames of the burning town or by their own hands. In a very short time strong fortified lines were drawn through Pannonia and Moesia to the southern bank of the river, and presently a continuous chain of fortresses under the charge of six legions prepared the way for the acquisition of fresh provinces, and warded off the raids of the northern barbarians.

The Thracian principalities south of the Haemus sank into a more and more dependent position. In the reign of Tiberius, Cotys, a gentle and amiable prince, was murdered by his cruel uncle Rhescuporis. The widow appealed to Rome, whereupon the perpetrator of the crime was deposed by a decree of the senate, and the country divided between the sons of the two kings. Under these circumstances the sovereignty of Rome struck ever deeper root, till at length the last shadow of liberty and independence vanished and the whole of Thrace was gathered into the ample bosom of the world-empire.

The attempts at revolt made by the Pannonians and Dalmatians in the years 12 and 11 B.C. were savagely suppressed by Agrippa, and after his death by his successor Tiberius. The deportation of the men capable of bearing arms into slavery and the disarmament of the remainder re-established quiet and submission for a long while. But the love of liberty was not quelled in this warlike race. Infuriated by the extortions of Rome, who — in the words of one of their leaders — sent "not shepherds and dogs, but wolves, to tend the flocks," and at the enlistment of their gallant sons for service in foreign parts, the Dalmatians and Pannonians again drew the sword in the year 6 A.D. to free themselves from the burdens of taxation and military service.

The rebellion spread rapidly through the whole country; enterprising leaders, two of whom bore the name of Bato, marched upon the Roman fortresses of Sirmium and Salona, ravaging the land as they went, while others harassed Macedonia with a large army. A bold troop of armed men threatened to invade Italy by way of Tergeste (Trieste); a disquieting agitation was abroad among the fierce Dalmatian and Sarmatian horsemen of the

« ForrigeFortsett »