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enemy was yet unbroken; and the Caesar had no sooner separated his troops, and fixed his own quarters at Sens, in the centre of Gaul, than he was surrounded and besieged by a numerous host of Germans. Reduced in this extremity to the resources of his own mind, he displayed a prudent intrepidity, which compensated for all the deficiencies of the place and garrison; and the barbarians, at the end of thirty days, were obliged to retire with disappointed rage.
His The conscious pride of Julian, who was in
ctr. debted only to his sword for this signal deliverA-D-357-ance, was imbittered by the reflection, that he was abandoned, betrayed, and perhaps devoted to destruction, by those who were bound to assist him by every tie of honour and fidelity. Marcellus, mastergeneral of the cavalry in Gaul, interpreting too strictly the jealous orders of the court, beheld with supine indifference the distress of Julian, and had restrained the troops under his command from marching to the relief of Sens. If the Caesar had dissembled in silence so dangerous an insult, his person and authority would have been exposed to the contempt of the world; and if an action so criminal had been suffered to pass with impunity, the emperor would have confirmed the suspicions, which received a very specious colour from his past conduct towards the princes of the Flavian family. Marcellus was recalled, and gently dismissed from his office.' In his room Severus was appointed general of the cavalry; an experienced soldier, of approved courage and fidelity, who could advise with respect, and execute with zeal; and who submitted, without reluctance, to the supreme command which Julian, by the interest of his patroness Eusebia, at length obtained over the armies of Gaul.11 A very judicious plan of operations was adopted for the approaching campaign. Julian himself, at the head of the remains of the veteran bands, and of some new levies which he had been permitted to form, boldly penetrated into the centre of the German cantonments, and carefully re-established the fortifications of Saverne, in an advantageous post, which would either check the incursions, or intercept the retreat, of the enemy. At the same time Barbatio, general of the infantry, advanced from Milan with an army of thirty thousand men, and passing the mountains, prepared to throw a bridge over the Rhine, in the neighbourhood of Basil. It was reasonable to expect that the Alemanni, pressed on either side by the Roman arms, would be soon forced to evacuate the provinces of Gaul, and to hasten to the defence of their native country. But the hopes of the campaign were defeated by the incapacity, or the envy, or the secret instructions, of Barbatio, who acted as if he had been the enemy of the Caesar, and the secret ally of the barbarians. The negligence with which he permitted a troop of pillagers freely to pass, and to return almost before the gates of his camp, may be imputed to his want of abilities; but the treasonable act of burning a number of boats, and a superfluous stock of provisions, which would have been of the most essential service to the army of Gaul, was an evidence of his hostile and criminal intentions. The Germans despised an enemy who appeared destitute either of power or of inclination to offend them; and the ignominious retreat of Barbatio deprived Julian of the expected support; and left him to extricate himself from a hazardous situation, where he could neither remain with safety, nor retire with honour.0 Battle of As soon as they were delivered from the fears AJDb357, of invasion, the Alemanni prepared to chastise the August. Roman youth, who presumed to dispute the possession of that country, which they claimed as their own by the right of conquest and of treaties. They employed three days, and as many nights, in transporting over the Rhine their military powers. The fierce Chnodomar, shaking the ponderous javelin, which he had victoriously wielded against the brother of Magnentius, led the van of the barbarians, and moderated by his experience the martial ardour which his example inspired.d He was followed by six other kings, by ten princes of regal extraction, by a long train of high-spirited nobles, and by thirty-five thousand of the bravest warriors of the tribes of Germany. The confidence derived from the view of their own strength, was increased by the intelligence which they received from a deserter, that the Caesar, with a feeble army of thirteen thousand men, occupied a post about one-and-twenty miles from their camp of Strasburg. With this inadequate force, Julian resolved to seek and to encounter the barbarian host; and the chance of a general action was preferred to the tedious and uncertain operation of separately engaging the dispersed parties of the Alemanni. The Romans marched in close order, and in two columns, the cavalry on the right, the infantry on the left; and the day was so far spent when they appeared in sight of the enemy, that Julian was desirous of deferring the battle till the next morning, and of allowing his troops to recruit their exhausted strength by the necessary refreshments of sleep and food. Yielding, however, with some reluctance, to the clamours of the soldiers, and even to the opinion of his council, he exhorted them to justify by their valour the eager impatience, which, in case of a defeat, would be universally branded with the epithets of rashness and presumption. The trumpets sounded, the
» Ammian. 16.7. Libanius speaks rather more advantageously of the military talents of Marcellus, Orat. 10. p. 872. And Julian insinuates, that he would not have been so easily recalled, unless he had given other reasons of offence to the court, p. 278.
b Severus, non discors, non arrogant, sed longa railitia e frugalitate compCThis; el eum recta pneeuntem secutuius, ut diictorem morigerus miles. Ammian. 16.11Zosimue, lib. 3. p. 140.
1 On the design and failure of the co-operation between Julian and Barbatio, see Ammianus (16. 11.) and Libaniun, Orat . 10. p. 273.
d Ammianus (16.12.) describes, with his inflated eloquence, the figure and character of Chnodomar. Audax et fidens ingenti robore lacertorum, ubi ardor proelii sperabatur immanis, equo spumante, sublimior, erectus in jaculuxn formidanda e vaotitatis, armorumque nitore conspicuus: antea strenuus et miles, et atilis
prater caneros ductor Decentium Caesarem superavit aequo martecon
military shout was heard through the field, and the two armies rushed with equal fury to the charge. The Caesar, who conducted in person his right wing, depended on the dexterity of his archers, and the weight of his cuirassiers. But his ranks were instantly broken by an irregular mixture of light-horse and of light-infantry, and he had the mortification of beholding the flight of six hundred of his most renowned cuirassiers." The fugitives were stopped and rallied by the presence and authority of Julian, who, careless of his own safety, threw himself before them, and urging every motive of shame and honour, led them back against the victorious enemy. The conflict between the two lines of infantry was obstinate and bloody. The Germans possessed the superiority of strength and stature, the Romans that of discipline and temper; and as the barbarians, who served under the standard of the empire, united the respective advantages of both parties, their strenuous efforts, guided by a skilful leader, at length determined the event of the day. The Romans lost four tribunes, and two hundred and forty-three soldiers, in this memorable battle of Strasburg, so glorious to the Caesar/ and so salutary to the afflicted provinces of Gaul. Six thousand of the Alemanni were slain in the field, without including those who were drowned in the Rhine, or transfixed with darts whilst they attempted to swim across the river.' Chiiodomar himself was surrounded and taken prisoner, with
e After the battle, Julian ventured to revive the rigour of ancient discipline, by exposing these fugitives in female apparel to the derision of the whole camp. In the next campaign, these troops nobly retrieved their honour. Zosimus, lib. 3. p. 142.
'Julian himself (ad S. P. Q. Athen. p. 279.) speaks of the battle of Strasburg with the modesty of conscious merit; 'Here'" mx nxXca; im; xui Ei; upas a.$I«t» n maim f"X"- Zosimus compares it with the victory of Alexander over I );ir ins: and yet we are at a loss to discover any of those strokes of military genius which fix the attention of ages on the conduct and success of a single day.
'- Ammianus, 16. 12. Libanius adds two thousand more to the number of the slain. (Orat. 10. p. 274.) But these trifling differences disappear before the sixty thousand barbarians, whom Zosimus has sacrificed'to the glory of his hero, (lib. 2. p. 141.) We might attribute this extravagant number to the carelessness of transcribers, if this credulous or partial historian had not swelled the army of five thousand Alemanni to an innumerable multitude of barbarians, wX»9ot airci^v 80.^80.^1. It is Out own fault if this detection does not inspire us with proper distrust on similar occasions.
three of his brave companions, who had devoted themselves to follow in life or death the fate of their chieftain. Julian received him with military pomp in the council of his officers; and expressing a generous pity for the fallen state, dissembled his inward contempt for the abject humiliation of his captive. Instead of exhibiting the vanquished king of the Alemanni, as a grateful spectacle to the cities of Gaul, he respectfully laid at the feet of the emperor this splendid trophy of his victory. Chnodomar experienced an honourable treatment; but the impatient barbarian could not long survive his defeat, his confinement, and his exile.11
Julian After Julian had repulsed the Alemanni from the ues the provinces of the Upper Rhine, he turned his Franks. &Tms against the Franks, who were seated nearer 583. to the ocean on the confines of Gaul and Germany; and who, from their numbers, and still more from their intrepid valour, had ever been esteemed the most formidable of the barbarians.1 Although they were strongly actuated by the allurements of rapine, they professed a disinterested love of war, which they considered as the supreme honour and felicity of human nature; and their minds and bodies were so completely hardened by perpetual action, that, according to the lively expression of an orator, the snows of winter were as pleasant to them as the flowers of spring. In the month of December, which followed the battle of Strasburg, Julian attacked a body of six hundred Franks, who had thrown themselves into two castles on the Meuse.k In the midst of that severe season they sustained, with inflexible constancy, a siege of fifty-four days; till at length, exhausted by hunger, and satisfied that the vigilance of the enemy
h Animism. 16. 12. Libanius, Orat. 10. p. 276.
'I abanins (Orat. 3. p. 137.) draws a very lively picture of the manners of the Franks.
k Ammianus, 17. 2. Libanius, Orat. 10. p. 278. The Greek orator, by misapprehending a passage of Julian, has been induced to represent the Franks as consisting of a thousand men; and as his head was always full of the Peloponnesian war, he compares them to the Lacedemonians, who were besieged and taken in the island of Sphacteria.