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in Italy; since, in their opinion, the majesty of a solo monarch is sufficient to pervade and protect, at the same time, both the East and the West. In their own name, and in the name of the people, they consent that the seat of universal empire shall be transferred from Rome to Constan
their master, the only vestige that yet remained ot the authority which had given laws to the world. The republic," they repeat that name without a blush, "might safely confide in the civil and military virtues of Odoacer; and they humbly request, that the emperor would invest him with the title of patrician, and the administration of the diocese of Italy." The deputies of the senate were received at Constantinople with some marks of displeasure and indignation; and when they were admitted to the audience ol Zeno, he sternly reproached them with their treatment of the two emperors, Anthemius and Nepos, whom the East had successively granted to the prayers of Italy. "The first," continued he, "you have murdered; the second you have expelled; but the second is still alive, and whilst he lives he is your lawful sovereign." But the prudent Zeno soon. deserted the hopeless cause of his abdicated colleague. His vanity was gratified by the title of sole emperor, and by the statues erected to his honour in the several quarters of Rome; he entertained a friendly, though ambiguous, correspondence with the patrician Odoacer; and he gratefully accepted the imperial ensigns, the sacred ornaments of the throne and palace, which the barbarian was not unwilling to remove from the sight of the people.*
In the space of twenty years since the death of Valentinian nine emperors had successively disappeared; and the son of Orestes, a youth recommended only by his beauty, would be the least entitled to the notice of posterity, if his reign, which was marked by the extinction of the Roman empire in the West, did not leave a memorable era in the history of mankind.f The patrician Orestes had married
» Malchus, whoso loss excites our regret, has preserved (in Excerpt. Legat. p. 93) this extraordinary embassy from the senate to Zeno. The anonymous fragment (p. 717), and the extract from Candidus, (apud Phot. p. 176) are likewise of some use.
+ The precise year in which the Western empire was extinguished is sot positively ascertained. The vulgar era of A.D. 476, appears to
renounce the right of choosing 100
AUGUSTULUS IS BANISHED TO [CH. XXXVI.
the daughter of count Romulus, of Petovio in Noricum: the name of Augustus, notwithstanding the jealousy of power, .was known at Aquileia as a familiar surname; and the appellations of the two great founders of the city and of the monarchy, were thus strangely united in the last of their successors.* The son of Orestes assumed and disgraced the names of Romulus Augustus; but the first was corrupted into Momylus, by the Greeks, and the second has been changed by the Latins into the contemptible diminutive Augustulus. The life of this inoffensive youth was spared by the generous clemency of Odoacer; who dismissed him, with his whole family, from the imperial palace, fixed his annual allowance at six thousand pieces of gold, and assigned the castle of Lucullus, in Campania, for the place of his exile or retirement.f As soon as the Romans breathed from the toils of the Punic war, they were attracted by the beauties and the pleasures of Campania; and the country-house of the elder Scipio, at Liternum, exhibited a
have the sanction of authentic chronicles. But the two dates assigned by Jornandes (c. 46, p. 680), would delay that great event to the year 479: and though M. de Buat has overlooked his evidence, he produces (tom. viii, p. 261—288) many collateral circumstances in support of the same opinion. [Clinton (F. R. i. 684) cites Jornandes (Get. c. 44, and De Regn. p. 709) as a concurrent authority with Cassiod. Chron. for the year 476. The date is determined by the second consulship of Basiliscus, whose usurpation ended in 477. Eckhel (8. 203) has no coins oi Romulus later than Aug. 22, A.d. 476.—Ed.]
* See his medals in Ducange (Fam. Byzantin. p. 81), Priscus (Excerpt. Legat. p. 56.) Maffei (Osservazioni Letterarie, tom. ii, p. 314.) We may allege a famous and similar case. The meanest subjects of the Roman empire assumed the illustrious name of patricius, which, by the conversion of Ireland, has been communicated to a whole nation. [The medals of the son of Orestes exhibit only Romulus as his real name, and Augustus as the usual imperial title. There was here no unusual or affected assumption of names. Those of Augustulus, Momulus, or Momylus, were mockeries, by which the contempt of his subjects was expressed; they were never recorded on coins. Eckhel, 8. 203. Gibbon has too hastily adopted his illustration of the similarly assumed illustrious name of Patricius. The apostle of Ireland was not a subject of the Roman empire. As already observed, (ch. 30) he was born in Scotland, and through all the first years of his life, known only by the name of Succoth. That of Patricius, afterwards adopted, could scarcely give him importance among the people of Ireland, by whom its meaning was not understood.—Ed.]
+ Ingrediens autem Ravennam deposuit Augustulum de regno, cujua infantiam misertus concessit ei sanguinem; et quia pulcher erat, tamen A.D. 476 OE 479.] THE LUCULLAN VILLA.
lasting model of their rustic simplicity.* The delicious shores of the bay of Naples were crowded with villas; and Sylla applauded the masterly skill of his rival, who had seated himself on the lofty promontory of Misenum, that commands, on every side, the sea and land, as far as the boundaries of the horizon.f The villa of Marius was purchased, within a few years, by Lucullus, and the price had increased from two thousand five hundred, to more than fourscore thousand, pounds sterling.J It was adorned by the new proprietor with Grecian arts and Asiatic treasures; and the houses and gardens of Lucullus obtained a distinguished rank in the list of imperial palaces.§ When the Vandals became formidable to the sea-coast, the Lucullan villa, on the promontory of Misenum, gradually assumed the strength and appellation of a strong castle, the obscure retreat of the last emperor of the West. About twenty years after that great revolution, it was converted into a church and monastery, to receive the bones of St. Severinus. They securely reposed, amidst the broken trophies of Cimbric and Armenian victories, till the beginning of the tenth century; when the fortifications, which might afford a dangerous shelter to the Saracens, were demolished by the people of Naples.^
douavit ei reditum sex millia solidos, et misit eum intra Campaniam cum parentibus suis libere vivere. Anonym. Valea. p. 716. Jornandes says (o. 46, p. 680), in Lucullano Campania; castello exilii poena damnavit. * See the eloquent Declamation of Seneca. (epist. 86.)
The philosopher might have recollected, that all luxury is relative; and that the elder Scipio, whose manners were polished by study and conversation, was himself accused of that vice by his ruder contemporaries. (Livy, 29. 19.) + Sylla, in the language of a soldier, praised his peritia castrametandi. (Plin. Hist. Natur. 18. 7.) Phfedi-us,( who makes its shady walks (Iceta viridia) the scene of an insipid fable,; (2. 5) has thus described the situation:
Csesar Tiberius quum petens Neapolim,
In Misenensem villain venisset suam; \
Quse monte summo posita Luculli manu
Prospectat Siculum et prospicit Tuscum mare. I From seven myriads and a half to two hundred and fifty myriads of drachmse. Yet even in the possession of Marius, it was a luxurious retirement. The Romans derided his indolence: they soon bewailed his activity. See Plutarch, in Mario, tom. ii, p. 524.
§ Lucullus had other villas of equal though various magnificence, at Baia;, Naples, Tusculum, &c. He boasted that he changed his climate with the storks and cranes. Plutarch, in Lucull. tom. iii, p. 193. U Severinus died in Noricum, A.D. 482. Six years afterwards, his 102
DECAY OF THE ROMAN SPIEIT. [CH. XXXVI.
Odoacer was the first barbarian who reigned in Italy, over a people who had once asserted their just superiority above the rest of mankind. The disgrace of the Romans still excites our respectful compassion, and we fondly sympathize with the imaginary grief and indignation of their degenerate posterity. But the calamities of Italy had gradually subdued the proud consciousness of freedom and glory. In the age of Roman virtue, the provinces were subject to the arms, and the citizens to the laws, of the republic; till those laws were subverted by civil discord, and both the city and the provinces became the servile property of a tyrant. The forms of the constitution, which alleviated or disguised their abject slavery, were abolished by time and violence; the Italians alternately lamented the presence or the absence of the sovereigns, whom they detested or despised; and the succession of five centuries inflicted the various evils of military licence, capricious despotism, and elaborate oppression.* During the same period, the barbarians had emerged from obscurity and contempt, and the warriors of Germany and Scythia were introduced into the provinces, as the servants, the allies, and at length the masters, of the Eomans, whom they insulted or protected. The hatred of the people was suppressed by fear; they respected the spirit and splendour of the martial chiefs who were invested with the honours of the empire; and the fate of Eome had long depended on the sword of those formidable strangers. The stern Ricimer, who trampled on the ruins of Italy, had exercised the power, without assuming the title, of a king; and the patient Romans were insensibly prepared to acknowledge the royalty of Odoacer and his barbaric successors.
The king of Italy was not unworthy of the high station to which his valour and fortune had exalted him; his savage manners were polished by the habits of conversation; and
body, which scattered miracle8 as it passed, was transported by his disciples into Italy. The devotion of a Neapolitan lady invited the saint to the Lucullan villa, in the place of Augustulus, who was probably no more. See Baronius (Annal. Eccles. A.d. 496, No. 50, 51) and Tillemont, Mem. Eccles. tom, xvi, p. 178—181) Irom the original life by Eugippius. The narrative of the last migration ol' Severinus to Naples, is likewise an authentic piece. * [This concise
recapitulation of the evils to which Gibbon attributes Rome's decay, may here permit a repetition of the remark, that these could not of themselves have produced such dire consequences, had not the public mind been previously enfeebled. Sacerdotal tyranny, cloaking itself
he respected, though a conqueror and a barbarian, the institutions, and even the prejudices, of his subjects. After an interval of seven years, Odoacer restored the consulship of the West. For himself, he modestly, or proudly, declined an honour which was still accepted by the emperors of the East; but the curule chair was successively filled by eleven of the most illustrious senators;* and the list is adorned by the respectable name of Basilius, whose virtues claimed the friendship and grateful applause of Sidonius, his client.f The laws of the emperors were strictly enf orced, and the civil administration of Italy was still exercised by the prsetorian prefect, and his subordinate officers. Odoacer devolved on the Roman magistrates the odious and oppressive task of collecting the public revenue; but he reserved for himself the merit of seasonable and popular. indulgence.J Like the rest of the barbarians, he had been instructed in the Arian heresy; but he revered the monastic and episcopal characters; and the silence of the Catholics attests the toleration which they enjoyed. The peace of the city required the interposition of his prefect Basilius in the choice of a Eoman pontiff: the decree which restrained the clergy from alienating their lands, was ultimately designed for the benefit of the people, whose devotion would have been taxed to repair the dilapidations of the church.§ Italy was protected by the arms of its conqueror; and its frontiers were respected by the barbarians of Gaul and Germany,
in the reverend mantle of Christianity, had everywhere exacted the submission, and gradually destroyed the resources, of self-dependent intellect.—Ed.] * The consular Fasti may be found in Pagi
or Muratori. The consuls named by Odoacer, or perhaps by the Roman senate, appear to have been acknowledged in the Eastern empire. + Sidonius Apollinaris (1. 1, epist. 9, p. 22, edit.
Sirmond) has compared the two leading senators of hia time (a.d. 468), Gennadius Avienus and Csccina Basilius. To the former ho assigns the specious, to the latter the solid, virtues of public and private life. A Basilius junior, possibly his son, was consul in the year 480.
£ Epiphauius interceded for the people of Pavia; and the king first granted an indulgence of five years, and afterwards relieved them from the oppression of Pelagius, the prsetorian prefect. (Ennodius, in Vit. St. Epiphan. in Sirmond. Oper. tom, i, p. 1670. 1672.)
§ See Baronius, Anna1 . Eccles. A.d. 483, No. 10—15. Sixteen years afterwards, the irregular proceedings of Basilius were condemned by pope Symmachus in a Roman synod. [Pope Symmachus must not be confounded with his contemporary the senator of the same name and father-in-law of Boethius. The zeal and determination of this pontiff