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HIST O R Y.
FROM THE FINAL DIVISION OF THE EMPIRE TO THE SACK OF ROME
BY THE GOTHS.
FROM A, D. 395. TO A. D. 410.
History. The accession of Honorius in the West, and of his humanity, and whose heart was dead to the stings of Roma brother Arcadius to the throne of Constantinople, compunction. Rufinus, who imposed upon the late
Empire. From marks an epoch in the History of the Roman Empire. Emperor a high opinion of his prudence and fidelity,
The division which took place when Valentinianus I. was raised by him to the Præfecture of the East, 395. intrusted to Valens the Government of the Eastern and found himself, upon the death of his patron, still
395. Provinces, amounted to little more than the appoint- able either to command the confidence of the ruling
ment of a Lieutenant, who might exercise the Imperial monarch, or to subdue his reluctance. We pass over 410.
offices, in subordination to a supreme head. But when the various steps by which this favourite of Theodosius 410.
the two sons of Theodosius assumed the sceptre of their supplanted his rivals and deceived his master, to give Accession of Arcadius respective dominions, it appears to have been under- an outline of his short administration as the represen- And of Re: and Hono- stood that each was to be independent of the other, tative of Arcadius, whose name was only used to veil finus bis rius. both as to the ground on which their authority rested, the avarice, and to afford a pretext for the cruel exac
Minister. and also as to the objects for which it should be em- tions of his Minister. * ployed. We may therefore regard it as an established As Rufinus was not called to direct the affairs of fact, that the Roman world, which was formerly divided State in the carrying on of War, or in the establishment for the sake of convenience, was henceforth separated of Peace, his policy was limited to the accumulation into two parts, as distinct kingdoms, subject to different of wealth, which he regarded as the instrument of laws, and destined to follow an entirely new line of power; and in the prosecution of this object, he
succession. To Arcadius, who for a considerable time had recourse to all the means which an insatiable Division of had held the rank of Augustus, there fell, as his in- covetousness, set free from every principle of justice the Empire. heritance, the valuable Provinces of Asia Minor, Syria, and compassion, could suggest to a man clothed with
Egypt, Thrace, Dacia, Macedonia, and the Eastern unbounded authority. The remark of Claudian that Cruelit ad
his avarice; and hence he neglected to gain the supCharacter
Our attention is first attracted to Arcadius, who is port of the soldiers, who, had they shared in his plunder, of Arcadius. described by his contemporaries as a weak and pusilla- would not, it is probable, have called in question the
nimous Prince. He had nothing in his mind or body foul expedients by which it was obtained. His vinresembling the greatness and dignity of his father. dictive and jealous spirit, moreover, created enemies His figure was small and badly formed ; his countenance among a class of men who were less exposed to his was sallow, and expressive of imbecility, hesitation, and extortion than to his personal resentment.
He had languor, marking a total absence of genius, and even procured the death of several individuals, whose rank of all deep passion or sustained emotion. Equally was higher than his own, especially of Tatianus, whom devoid of talent and of energy he could not fail to become he was immediately appointed to succeed, and of the tool of some one of those ambitious persons who Proculus, the son of this distinguished Officer, who was surrounded his throne; and, unfortunately for himself Præfect of Constantinople. In a manner equally unjust as welı as for his country, the power of government was he took away the life of Lucianus, the Count of the seized by the hand of an individual, whose abilities were East, who had purchased from Rufinus himself the high never guided by the feeling of patriotism, whose as- preferment which now awakened the jealousy of the piring views were never restrained by the sense of latter. He resolved to execute in person the vengeance * Oros. lib. vii. c. 36. Zos. lib. v. c. 1.
Zos lib. iv. c. 51. Claud. in Rufin. lib.i. Zos, lib. v. c. 2-4. 240
History. which he had meditated against this delegate of his by fear, now burst out without restraint. The body of
Roman power; for which reason he made a rapid journey to Rufinus was literally torn in pieces ; and his wife and Empire. From Antioch, dragged him before his tribunal, and sentenced daughter, had they not taken refuge in a Religious
From him to a cruel and ignominious punishment.*
Sanctuary, would have shared the same fate. * 395. Such unrelenting ferocity turned against the Imperial The feeble Arcadius now found himself in the hands
395. Minister the rage of every Order of the people, from of the men who had deceived and murdered his prin
the Eunuchs in the Palace to the Generals at the head cipal servant. The Empress, who owed her elevation 410.
of the army. The former, who were, perhaps, the to the stratagem of Eutropius, recommended him to the 410. most intimately acquainted with his purposes, set the favour of her husband; while Gaïnas, who could rely
example of opposing his nefarious schemes. He had upon the support of the army, sought no other patron. His disap. betrothed his daughter to Arcadius, and by this marriage Zosimus insinuates that the influence of Stilicho was pointment he hoped to establish his authority on a permanent exerted to secure the promotion of his tools at the Court in tbe mar- basis ; but the Chamberlain Eutropius, acting in con- of Constantinople, and that the General of Honorius Fize of Are cert with the other Eunuchs, conducted to the pliant still aspired to the government of both Empires, in
Emperor a young lady_named Eudoxia, whose father capacity of guardian to the two young Princes. What- Eutropius commanded a body of Franks in the service of Rome. ever truth there may be in the former part of this
sugDisappointed, and even in some degree the object of gestion, there seems to be no doubt that his interference
To effect this object he importuned the Government which were, on all sides, pressing upon the limits of
by Alaric in
Greece. they halted until the Emperor and his Minister should marked with blood and desolation, with the sack of come forth to greet their arrival ; and no sooner did towns and the captivity of the inhabitants. Rufinus they see the enemy of their General and the oppressor had everywhere placed such Officers in command as of the people surrounded by their ranks, than one of either could not defend their Country, or who were base their number stepped forth and plunged a sword into his breast. The fury of the populace, hitherto checked
* Claud. in Rufin. lib. ii. Zos. lib. v. c. 7. Soz. lib. viii. c. 1.
Soc. lib. vi, c. 1. Philostorg. lib. xi. c. 3.
Reipublicæ scelus ambitús tegeret, barbaras gentes ille inmisit, hic
fovit. Zosimus (lib. v. c. 5.) says much the same.
Es A. D. 395.
to A. D.
From A. D. 395.
to A. D. 410.
History. enough to receive instructions not to defend it. The detected, was amenable to the same tribunal with the
R1 straits of Thermopylae were abandoned without drawing overt act, a hasty expression, or an ambiguous term, Empire From
a sword, and the strongest positions in Greece were exposed the most illustrious individuals in the Empire
given up as fast as the enemy could advance to occupy to the loss of life and estate. Nay, to complete the 395.
them. Phocis and Beotia could not resist the torrent reign of terror, it was enacted that the sons of traitors,
of Barbarians which were thus let in upon them. All although not convicted of the crime laid to the charge 410.
the men capable of bearing arms were massacred, while of their parents, should be rendered incapable of in-
in Insurrecti conqueror, and resigned their wealth, their ornaments, part of the Empire which, perhaps, was the least ex
of Tribigil the triumphs of Art and of War, and, above all, the posed to its weight. The Chief of one of those Colonies
399. flower of their inhabitants, as a prey to his savage of Ostrogoths which had been planted by Theodosius followers. As, however, the succeerling events of this in Phrygia, influenced either by the desire of plunder Gothic insurrection are more closely connected with or by the secret instigation of Gaïnas, took the field at the history of the West than of the East, we shall not the head of his clan, and displayed the standard of follow them out to any greater length at present, but rebellion. Tribigild, meeting with no formidable resume the narrative as it respects the reign of Arcadius resistance, made a great impression on the richest
and of his unworthy Ministers at Constantinople.* Provinces of Asia Minor; the intelligence of which no Character Eutropius was on many accounts the most odious sooner reached Constantinople, than an army was sent of Eutro- and contemptible of those instruments of tyranny which against him linder Leo, a rude and ignorant soldier, pius. were employed or permitted by the weak Monarch of while Gaïnas was ordered to proceed into Thrace to
the Grecian Empire to oppress his subjects. The defeat any attempt that might be made in that quarter. origin and occupations of this favourite cast a shade The incapacity of the former was soon made manifest. upon his character which no degree of power or of The Barbarians attacked his camp in the night, and wealth could remove ; while the insolence with which dispersed his troops; the greater part of whom made he assailed men of the noblest birth, and the rapacity haste to join the victorious rebel, and to encourage him with which he plundered all classes of the people, ex- in the pursuit of his ulterior object, the acquisition of cited against him an universal feeling of indignation. wealth, and, as they imagined, the punishment of EuHis avarice was equal to that of Rufinus, without tropius. The failure of Leo rendered necessary the having the accompaniment of that lofty ambition which presence of Gaïnas with a reinforcement from the stimulated the covetousness of the latter. To the dis. Thracian Legions ; but this Officer, still more incensed grace of the Roman name, he appeared in the Senate than Tribigild against the Imperial favourite, had no as a Consul, and at the head of the army as a Com- intention to weaken the body of the insurgents or to mander; imitating the acts which were performed by disappoint their hopes. Instead of opposing the OstroCæsar and Camillus, as an ape mimics the doings of a goths, he directed their movements and even strengthinan.
ened their positions; and when he had thus made them The contempt with which his person and adminis- formidable, he wrote to Arcadius that the smallness of
tration were everywhere regarded soon rendered him the army under his command, as it rendered the issue Cruelty and impatient of superior merit as well as of illustrious of a battle uncertain, dictated the expediency of termi1yranny of genealogy. Abundantius, who had introduced him to nating the contest by a negotiation for Peace. The his Govern- the Palace of Constantinople, was the first victim of his Emperor, who could contemplate no alternative, waited
spleen, being deprived of his fortunes, and banished to with impatience for the conditions which it might please
an inhospitable district on the shores of the Black Sea. the victor to propose ; but when he heard that the 397.
Timasius, the Master-General of the armies under head of his Minister was demanded as the basis of the
pius. procured a law of treason to be passed, which punished where, under the protection of St. Chrysostom, he en
A. D. with death and confiscation of goods every one who joyed the privilege of Sanctuary until the fury of the
399. should conspire, either with subjects or with strangers, people had subsided. He was in the first instance against any of the persons whom the Emperor con- banished to the island of Cyprus, whence he was almost sidered as the Members of his Government, of his House instantly recalled, and condemned to death.t hold, of his Civil establishment, and even the principal But the ambition or revenge of Gaïnas was not satis. Officers of his army. On this broad ground a private fied with the downfal of Eutropius. Displeased at the quarrel might be identified with a deliberate conspiracy elevation of Aurelian and Saturninus, two individuals against the State ; and as the intention, if it could be
* Claud. in Eutrop. lib. i. Zos. lib. v. c. 9. Claud. in Rufin. lib. ii. Zos. lib. v. c. 16. The latter his- + Zosimus (lib. v. c. 13.) represents the insurrection as originating torian mentions that Athens was saved by the appearance of the with Gaïnas. In lib. v. c. 14—18. he gives a good account of this spectre of Achilles.
rebellion, Pbilostorg. lib. ii. c. 6.
History of Consular rank, who were invested with the offices to of the Capital, indeed, was occasionally disturbed by Roman
which he aspired, he threw off his allegiance altogether, the contests of the two great Religious parties, which Empire. From
united his force with that of Tribigild in the Province at that time divided the Christian World, the Arians
Hellespont. Arcadius found it necessary to enter into interests of the true Faith were made the pretext for
395. He condescended to have a personal interview with tious views; and we find, accordingly, that thousands 410. Revok of them at Chalcedon, where he agreed to sacrifice his of both sexes, who knew not the meaning of the lan
410. Gainas, new Ministers to appease the jealousy of Gaïnas, to guage which they used, nor the import of the question
Religious make the latter Master-General of the Roman armies, which they discussed, were ready to inflict and to suffer and to permit the Capital to be garrisoned with Gothic death, rather than yield a single step to their theological versies. soldiers. *
opponents. The Empress herself, who had taken This success led to the speedy ruin of the fortunate offence at the Archbishop, the celebrated Chrysostom, Barbarian. Unable to repress the violence of his fol- mingled in these disputes; and, on several occasions, lowers, who mixed with the insolence of conquest the carried her enmity so far as to convince every one that acrimony of Religious controversy, he had the mortifica- her zeal was stimulated by private resentment, and tion to learn that a great part of his army was cut off not, as she professed, by a regard for evangelical truth by the citizens of Constantinople, who had risen in and piety. defence of their creed. Gaïnas was declared a public Zosimus relates, too, that in the year 404, a part of Invasion of enemy, and compelled to seek safety in flight. The Syria and of Asia Minor was laid waste by an irruption the Isauloyal troops in the adjoining Provinces were intrusted of the Isaurians, who, bursting from the fastnesses of rians. to the command of Fravitta, a Gothic Chief, whose Mount Taurus, swept away from the husbandmen of fidelity towards the Emperor pointed him out as the Pamphylia and Cilicia the fruits of their land, and fittest person for that important charge; upon which robhed ihe inhabitants of the villages. This temporary suitable preparations were made by sea and land to invasion was checked by Arbazacius, who soon drove subdue the rebellious Generals, and to restore the in- the freebooters back into the hills, and strengthened dependence of Government. Of the war which ensued the military posts along the border; his reputation, so few details have been preserved that we can only however, did not pass unsullied by the suspicion that
form a conjecture in regard to the scene on which it he had sold to the marauders the facility of escape, and His defeat. was prosecuted, and the immediate results which it accepted a share of their booty for permission to carry
produced. It would appear that a succession of de- away the remainder, But this occurrence did not
, confided the fortunes of the vanquished rebel. Gaïnas, reduced to despair, his son to the generosity of the Persian Monarch ;
made several furious charges upon the lines of his whom, it is said, he regarded as less likely to be inAnd death. antagonist, in one of which he was slain, together fluenced by ambitious views, than the turbulent Chiefs
with the greater part of his devoted band. His head by whom the throne of Constantinople was at that
out positively calling the truth of it in question, directs
Soz. lib. viii. c. 25.
* Zos. lib. v.c, 22, Soz. lib. vi. c. 4:
+ Zos. lib. v. c. 23.
* Zos. lib. v. c. 25. Philostorg. lib. ii. c. 8.
to A. D.
History. Availing ourselves of the pause created by the death relinquish Italy altogether to the Barbarian conqueror, Roman
of the Eastern Emperor, we resume the history of the to make a great effort to drive him once more beyond Empire. From West under the government of Honorius. We inten- the mountains. The Prince himself, yielding to his
From tionally omit the details of a second African war, fears, was inclined to follow the advice of those who 395. excited by Gildo, a brother of the tyrant Firmus, and recommended an immediate retreat into Gaul; but
395. which ended, like the former, in the defeat and death Stilicho, unwilling to abandon the city and country of
of the principal rebels. The year 398 was signalized at the Romans into the hands of a savage host, which 410. Marriage of once by this success, and by the marriage of the Em- would plunder and debase the venerable memorials of
peror with his cousin, the daughter of. Stilicho; events their ancient fame, entreated his Sovereign to maintain, Energy of
their valleys, and attacked in the hilly parts of Rhætia Advance of
We have already described the operations which a powerful body of the enemy who threatened a descent
army, under the Chief just named, carried terror and Alemanni to join the standard of the Emperor, and to
The King of the Visigoths, eager to terminate the war
Situated between the two Empires, Alaric could not by the capture of the Prince, invested the place with
tification to find himself surrounded, and exposed to
* Claud. in Entrop. and de Bello Getico, v. 565.
* Claud, de Bello Gorico, v. 267.