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which at that time extended as far as the neighbourhood of Sogdiana." Having incurred the displeasure of his master, Mamgo, with his followers, retired to the banks of the Oxus, and implored the protection of Sapor. The emperor of China claimed the fugitive, and alleged the rights of sovereignty. The Persian monarch pleaded the laws of hospitality, and with some difficulty avoided a war, by the promise that he would banish Mamgo to the uttermost parts of the west; a punishment, as he described it, not less dreadful than death itself. Armenia was chosen for the place of exile, and a large district was assigned to the Scythian horde, on which they might feed their flocks and herds, and remove their encampment from one place to another, according to the different seasons of the year. They were employed to repel the invasion of Tiridates; but their leader, after weighing the obligations and injuries which he had received from the Persian monarch, resolved to abandon his party. The Armenian prince, who was well acquainted with the merit as well as power of Mamgo, treated him with distinguished respect; and, by admitting him into his confidence, acquired a brave and faithful servant, who contributed very effectually to his restoration.0
The Per- For awhile, fortune appeared to favour the enterprising valour of Tiridates. He not only expelled the enemies of his family and country from the whole extent of Armenia, but in the prosecution of his revenge he carried his arms, or at least his incursions, into the heart of Assyria. The historian, who has preserved the name of Tiridates from oblivion, celebrates, with a degree of natural enthusiasm, his per
"Voa-ti, the first emperor of the seventh dynasty, who then reigned in China, had political transactions with Fergana, a province of Sogdiana, and is said to have received a Roman embassy. (Histoire des Huns, tom. 1. p. 38.) In those ages the Chinese kept a garrison at Kashgar, and one of their generals, about the time of Trajan, marched as far as the Caspian sea. With regard to the intercourse between China and the western countries, a curious memoir of M . de Guigues may be consulted, in the Academic des Inscriptions, tom. 32. p. 355. 0 See Hist. Armen. lib. 2. c. 81.
sonal prowess; and, in the true spirit of eastern romance, describes the giants and the elephants that fell beneath his invincible arm. It is from other information that we discover the distracted state of the Persian monarchy, to which the king of Armenia was indebted for some part of his advantages. The throne was disputed by the ambition of contending brothers; and Hormuz, after exerting without success the strength of his own party, had recourse to the dangerous assistance of the barbarians who inhabited the banks of the Caspian sea.p The civil war was, however, soon terminated, either by a victory or by a reconciliation; and Narses, who was universally acknowledged as king of Persia, directed his whole force against the foreign enemy. The contest then became too unequal; nor was the valour of the hero able to withstand the power of the monarch. Tiridates, a second time expelled from the throne of Armenia, once more took refuge in the court of the emperors. Narses soon re-established his authority over the revolted province; and loudly complaining of the protection afforded by the Romans to rebels and fugitives, aspired to the conquest of the east.q
Neither prudence nor honour could permit the tween the emperors to forsake the cause of the Armenian king, and it was resolved to exert the force of the empire m ^ie Persian war- Diocletian, with the calm dignity which he constantly assumed, fixed his own station in the city of Antioch, from thence he prepared and directed the military operations/ The
P Ipsos Persas ipsumque Regem ascitis Saccia, et Russia, et Gel!is, petit frater Ormies. Panegyric. Vet. 3.1. The Saccae were a nation of wandering Scythians, who encamped towards the sources of the Oxus and the Jaxartes. The Gelli were the inhabitants of Ghilan along the Caspian sea, and who so long, under the name of Dilemites, infested the Persian monarchy. See d'Herbelot, Bibliolheque Orientale.
i Moses of Chorene takes no notice of this second revolution, which I have been obliged to collect from a passage of Ammianus Marcellinus. (Lib. •-'.». c. 5.) Lactantius speaks of the ambition of Narses, " Concitatus domesticis exemplis an sui Saporis adoccupandumorientemmagnis copiisinhiabat." De Mort. Persecut.c.9.
* We may readily believe, that Lactantius ascribes to cowardice the conduct of Diocletian. Julian, in his oration, says, that he remained with all the forces of the empire; a very hyperbolical expression.
conduct of the legions was intrusted to the intrepid valour of Galerius, who, for that important purpose, was removed from the banks of the Danube to those of the Defeat of Euphrates. The armies soon encountered each Galerius. Other in the plains of Mesopotamia, and two battles were fought with various and doubtful success: but the third engagement was of a more decisive nature; and the Roman army received a total overthrow, which is attributed to the rashness of Galerius, who, with an inconsiderable body of troops, attacked the innumerable host of the Persians But the consideration of the country that was the scene of action, may suggest another reason for his defeat. The same ground on which Galerius was vanquished, had been rendered memorable by the death of Crassus, and the slaughter of ten legions. It was a plain of more than sixty miles, which extended from the hills of Carrhae to the Euphrates; a smooth and barren surface of sandy desert, without a hillock, without a tree, and without a spring of fresh water.' The steady infantry of the Romans, fainting with heat and with thirst, could neither hope for victory if they preserved their ranks, nor break their ranks without exposing themselves to the most imminent danger. In this situation they were gradually encompassed by the superior numbers, harassed by the rapid evolutions, and destroyed by the arrows of the barbarian cavalry. The king of Armenia had signalized his valour in the battle, and acquired personal glory by the public misfortune. He was pursued as far as the Euphrates; his horse was wounded, and it appeared impossible for him to escape the victorious enemy. In this extremity Tiridates embraced the only refuge which he saw before him: he dismounted and plunged into the stream. His armour was heavy, the river very deep, and, at those parts, at
* Our five abbreviateTM, Eutropius, Festus, the two Victors, and Orosiua, all relate the last and great battle; but Orosius is the only one who speaks of the two former.
1 The nature of the country is finely described by Plutarch, in the life of Crassus; and by Xenophon in the first book of the Anabasis.
least half a mile in breadth;" yet such was his strength and dexterity, that he reached in safety the opposite bank.1 With regard to the Roman general, we are ignorant of the circumstances of his escape; but when he His re- returned to Antioch, Diocletian received him not byPDio- with tne tenderness of a friend and colleague, cietian. but w itn the indignation of an offended sovereign. The haughtiest of men, clothed in his purple, but humbled by the sense of his fault and misfortune, was obliged to follow the emperor's chariot above a mile on foot and to exhibit before the whole court the spectacle of his disgrace/
Second As soon as Diocletian had indulged his pricampaign vate resentment, and asserted the majesty of surims. preme power, he yielded to the submissive 'entreaties of the Caesar, and permitted him to retrieve his own honour, as well as that of the Roman arms. In the room of the unwarlike troops of Asia, which had most probably served in the first expedition, a second army was drawn from the veterans and new levies of the Illyrian frontier, and a considerable body of Gothic auxiliaries were taken into the imperial pay/ At the head of a chosen army of twenty-five thousand men, Galerius again passed the Euphrates; but instead of exposing his legions in the open plains of Mesopotamia, he advanced through the mountains of Armenia, where he found the inhabitants devoted to his cause, and the country as favourable to the operations of infantry, as it was inconvenient for the motions of the cavalry.3 AdHis vie- varsity had confirmed the Roman discipline, tary. while the barbarians, elated by success, were become so negligent and remiss, that, in the moment when they least expected it, they were surprised by the active conduct of Galerius, who, attended only by two horsemen, had, with his own eyes, secretly examined the state and position of their camp. A surprise, especially in the night-time, was for the most part fatal to a Persian army. Their horses were tied, and generally shackled, to prevent their running away; and, if an alarm happened, a Persian had his housing to fix, his horse to bridle, and his corslet to put on, before he could mount? On this occasion the impetuous attack of Galerius spread disorder and dismay over the camp of the barbarians. A slight resistance was followed by a dreadful carnage; and, in the general confusion, the wounded monarch (for Narses commanded his armies in person) fled towards the deserts of Media. His sumptuous tents, and those of his satraps, afforded an immense booty to the conqueror: and an incident is mentioned, which proves the rustic but martial ignorance of the legions, in the elegant superfluities of life. A bag of shining leather, filled with pearls, fell into the hands of a private soldier; he carefully preserved the bag, but he threw away its contents, judging that whatever was of no use could not and beha- possibly be of any value.0 The principal loss of hi»Uroyai Narses was of a much more affecting nature, captives. Several of his wives, his sisters, and children, who had attended the army, were made captives in the defeat. But, though the character of Galerius had in general very little affinity with that of Alexander, he imitated, after his victory, the amiable behaviour of the Macedonian towards the family of Darius. The wives and children of Narses were protected from violence and rapine, conveyed to a place of safety, and treated with every mark of respect and tenderness, that was due from
• See Foster's Dissertation in the second volume of the translation of the Anabasis by Spelman; which I will venture to recommend as one of the best versions extant.
1 Hist. Armen. lib. 2. c. 76. I have transferred this exploit of Tiridates from an imaginary defeat to the real one of Galerius.
» Ammian. Marcellin. lib. 14. The mile, in the hands of Eutropius, (9.24.) of Festus, (c. 25.) and of Orosius, (7. 25.) easily increased to several miles. 1 Aurelius Victor. Jomandes de Rebus Geticis, c. 21.
B Aurelius Victor says, " Per Armenians in hostes contendit, quae feme sola, sea facilior vincendi via est." He followed the conduct of Trajan, and the idea of Julius Caesar.