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of the Romans, who ventured to set sail with a side-wind, and on a stormy day. The weather proved favourable to their enterprise. Under the cover of a thick fog, they escaped the fleet of Allectus, which had been stationed off the Isle of Wight to receive them, landed in safety on some part of the western coast, and convinced the Britons, that a superiority of naval strength will not always protect their country from a foreign invasion. Asclepiodatus had no sooner disembarked the imperial troops, than he set fire to his ships; and, as the expedition proved fortunate, his heroic conduct was universally admired. The usurper had posted himself near London, to expect the formidable attack of Constantius, who commanded in person the fleet of Boulogne; but the descent of a new enemy required his immediate presence in the west. He performed this long march in so precipitate a manner, that he encountered the whole force of the prefect with a small body of harassed and disheartened troops. The engagement was soon terminated by the total defeat and death of Allectus: a single battle, as it has often happened, decided the fate of this great island; and when Constantius landed on the shores of Kent, he found them covered with obedient subjects. Their acclamations were loud and unanimous; and the virtues of the conqueror may induce us to believe, that they sincerely rejoiced in a revolution, which, after a separation often years, restored Britain to the body of the Roman empire.11 Defence Britain had none but domestic enemies to of the dread; and as long as the governors preserved their fidelity, and the troops their discipline, the incursions of the naked savages of Scotland or Ireland could never materially affect the safety of the province. The peace of the continent, and the defence of the principal rivers which bounded the empire, were objects of far greater difficulty and importance. The policy of Diocletian, which inspired the councils of his associates, provided for the public tranquillity, by encouraging a spirit of dissension among the barbarians, and by strengthening the fortifications of the Roman limit. In the east Fortifica- ne fixed a line of camps, from Egypt to the Pertionfc sian dominions, and for every camp he instituted an adequate number of stationary troops, commanded by their respective officers, and supplied with every kind of arms, from the new arsenals which he had formed at Antioch, Emesa, and Damascus) Nor was the precaution of the emperor less watchful against the well-known valour of the barbarians of Europe. From the mouth of the Rhine to that of the Danube, the ancient camps, towns, and citadels, were diligently re-established, and in the most exposed places, new ones were skilfully constructed; the strictest vigilance was introduced among the garrisons of the frontier, and every expedient was practised that could render the long chain of fortifications firm and impenetrable.11 A barrier so respectable was seldom violated, and the barbarians often turned against each other their disappointed rage. The t Goths, the Vandals, the Gepidae, the Burgunb«rianB. dians, the Alemanni, wasted each other's strength by destructive hostilities; and whosoever vanquished, they vanquished the enemies of Rome. The subjects of Diocletian enjoyed the bloody spectacle, and congratulated each other, that the mischiefs of civil war were now experienced only by the barbarians.1 Conduct Notwithstanding the policy of Diocletian, it of the was impossible to maintain an equal and undis
h With regard to the recovery of Britain. we obtain a few hints from Aurelius Victor and Eutropius.
emperors. . * ' -;
turbed tranquillity during a reign of twenty years, and along a frontier of many hundred miles. Sometimes the barbarians suspended their domestic animosities, and the relaxed vigilance of the garrisons sometimes gave a passage to their strength or dexterity. Whenever the provinces were invaded, Diocletian conducted himself with that calm dignity which he always affected or possessed; reserved his presence for such occasions as were worthy of his interposition, never exposed his person or reputation to any unnecessary danger, ensured his success by every means that prudence could suggest, and displayed, with ostentation, the consequences of his victory. In wars of a more difficult nature, and more doubtful event, he employed the rough valour of Maximian; and that faithful soldier was content to ascribe his own victories to the wise counsels and Valour auspicious influence of his benefactor. But, after the adoption of the two Caesars, the emperors themselves retiring to a less laborious scene of action, devolved on their adopted sons the defence of the Danube and of the Rhine. The vigilant Galerius was never reduced to the necessity of vanquishing an army of barbarians on the Roman territory.m The brave and active Constantius delivered Gaul from a very furious inroad of the Alernanni; and his victories of Langres and Vindonissa appear to have been actions of considerable danger and merit. As he traversed the open country with a feeble guard, he was encompassed on a sudden by the superior multitude of the enemy. He retreated with difficulty towards Langres; but in the general consternation, the citizens refused to open their gates, and the wounded prince was drawn up the wall by the means of a rope. But, on the news of his distress, the Roman troops hastened from all sides to his relief, and before the evening, he had satisfied his honour and revenge by the slaughter of six thousand Alemanni." From the monuments of those times the obscure traces of several other victories over the barbarians of Sarmatia and Germany might possibly be collected; but the tedious search would not be rewarded either with amusement or with instruction.
1John Malala, in Chron. Antiochen, tom. 1. p. 408, 409.
k Zosirn. lib. 1. p. 3. That partial historian seems to celebrate the vigilance of Diocletian, with a design of exposing the negligence of Constantine : we may, however, listen to an orator, " Nam quid ego alarum et cohortium castra percenseam, toto Kluiui et Istri et Euphratis limite restitute." Paoegyr. Vet. 4.18.
1 Iluunt omnes in sanguincm suum populi, quibus non contiget esse Romanis, obstinatecque feritatis pcenas nunc sponte persolvunt. Panegyr. Vet. 3. 16. Mamertinus illustrates the fact, by the example of almost all the nations of the world.
lu He complained, though not with the strictest truth, " Jam fluxisse annos quindecim in quibus, in lllyrico, ad ripam Danubii relegatus cum gentibus barbaris Inctaret." Lactant. de M. P. c. 18.
Treatment The conduct which the emperor Probus had barbarians a(^opted in the disposal of the vanquished, was imitated by Diocletian and his associates. The captive barbarians, exchanging death for slavery, were distributed among the provincials, and assigned to those districts (in Gaul, the territories of Amiens, Beauvais, Cambray, Treves, Langres, and Troyes, are particularly specified)0 which had been depopulated by the calamities of war. They were usefully employed as shepherds and husbandmen, but were denied the exercise of arms, except when it was found expedient to enrol them in the military service. Nor did the emperors refuse the property of lands, with a less servile tenure, to such of the barbarians as solicited the protection of Rome. They granted a settlement to several colonies of the Carpi, the Bastarnae, and the Sarmatians; and, by a dangerous indulgence, permitted them in some measure to retain their national manners and independence.11 Among the provincials, it was a subject of flattering exultation, that the barbarian, so lately an object of terror, now cultivated their lands, drove their cattle to the neighbouring fair, and contributed by his labour to the public plenty. They congratulated their masters on the powerful acces
• In the Greek text of Eusebius, we read six thousand, a number which I have preferred to sixty thousand of Jerome, Orosius, Eutropius, and his Greek translator Paenius. • Panegyr. Vet. 7. 21.
P There was' a settlement of the barmatians in the neighbourhood of Treves, which seems to have been deserted by those lazy barbarians: Ausonius speaks of them in his Moselle;
Unde iter ingrediens nemorosa per avia snlum.
Arvaque Sauromatum nuper metata colonis.
sion of subjects and soldiers; but they forgot to observe, that multitudes of secret enemies, insolent from favour, or desperate from oppression, were introduced into the heart of the empire.q
Wars of While the Caesars exercised their valour on e banks of the Rhine and Danube, the presence of the emperors was required on the southern confines of the Roman world. From the Nile to Mount Atlas, Africa was in arms. A confederacy of five Moorish nations issued from their deserts to invade the peaceful provinces/ Julian had assumed the purple at Carthage." Achilleus at Alexandria, and even the Blemmyes, renewed, or rather continued, their incursions into the Upper Egypt. Scarcely any circumstances have been preserved of the exploits of Maximian in the western parts of Africa; but it appears by the event, that the progress of his arms was rapid and decisive, that he vanquished the fiercest barbarians of Mauritania, and that he removed them from the mountains, whose inaccessible strength had inspired their inhabitants with a lawless confidence, and habituated them to A.d. 296. a life of rapine and violence.' Diocletian, on his Conduct 8idej opened the campaign in Egypt by the siege tian in of Alexandria; cut off the aqueducts which ypt' conveyed the waters of the Nile into every quarter of that immense city ;u and, rendering his camp impregnable to the sallies of the besieged multitude, he pushed his reiterated attacks with caution and vigour. After a siege of eight months, Alexandria, wasted by the sword and by fire, implored the clemency of the conqueror; but it experienced the full extent of his se
1 See the rhetorical exultation of Eumenius. Panegyr. 7.9. 'Scaliger (Animadvers. ad Euseb. p. 243.) decides in his usual manner, that the quinque gentiani, or five African nations, were the five great cities, the Pentapolis of the inoffensive province of Cyrene.
• After his defeat, Julian stabbed himself with a dagger, and immediately leaped into the flames. Victor in Epitome.
1 Tu ferocissimos Mauritania e populos inaccessis montium Juris et naturali nuinitionefidentes, expugnasti, recepisti, transtulisti. Panegyr. Vet. 6. 8.
"See the description of Alexandria, in Hirtius de Bel. Alexandrin. c. 5. VOL. II. C