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History. battle against the assailants; but the steady valour and Commander, by whose talents and courage Italy was Roman
discipline of the Romans finally prevailed, forced the for a time relieved from the presence of a sanguinary Empire. From intrenchments of his camp, and drove him from the foe. In the Games which followed, Honorius abolished,
From field at the head of his remaining cavalry. The spoils by a formal decree, the inhuman spectacle of Gladiators; 395. of Greece, which the Barbarians still carried about with following in this measure not only the counsels of
395. them, rewarded the success of the conquerors; thou- Religion, but also the softer spirit of the Age, which 410.
sands of prisoners fell into their hands, and, among the had begun to take offence at the sight of blood so
410. precious stones, and recently elated with the hope of The Capital of Italy had not for many years been fixes the occupying the throne of the West.
regarded as the residence of her Sovereigns. During seat of his Alaric The Gothic Commander, superior to the caprice of the preceding century, indeed, Rome had only three Government
at Raveppa. Anarches to fortune, resolved to occupy the time which was spent times witnessed the presence of an Emperor; and as
by his enemies in congratulation, in the bold enterprise the reasons assigned for transferring the Court to a
menaced it, and supplied with a garrison from the for more than three hundred years after, continued Stleho pro- neighbouring territory. Disappointed a second time, to be the seat of Government and the Metropolis of vents hin the despair of the Barbarians might have impelled Italy.t
them to some rash attempt not less destructive to the A series of events about this period distracted the Invasion o. country than a more regular triumph in the field ; a Western Empire; but they are so indistinctly arranged Italy by Raconsideration which induced the Roman General to by Zosimus, the only regular Historian to whom we dagaisus.
propose a Truce, and to hold out to the invaders the can refer, that it is somewhat difficult to ascertain their A Truce.
means of retiring without further loss of honour or of order. It was, probably, in the second year after the property. The conditions were accepted on the part of repulse of Alaric, that a German Prince, named RadaAlaric; but as every concession had been wrung from gaisus, descended from the shores of the Baltic at the him by the pressure of circumstances, or by the over- head of a powerful host of Vandals, Suevians, and Burwhelming influence of the Chieftains, who exercised a gundians, to attack Italy and Gaul. This mighty army, separate authority in his camp, he never .cordially re- consisting of more than two hundred thousand warriors, linquished the determination which he expressed upon was divided into three parts ; one section of which, his entrance into Italy, of finding within its limits either under the personal command of the Sovereign, ad
a kingdom or a grave. It is upon a reference to such vanced towards the Upper Danube, with the view of Al arie fails feelings only that we can account for his attempt upon pouring down upon the hereditary dominions of Hono
Verona while pursuing his retreat towards the Rhætian rius. The safety of Rome and the defence of the teapt on
Alps. His intention was, by a sudden assault, to take Empire were once more intrusted to the prudent valour that important city, the key of the fine country by which of Stilicho; but so unexpected was the inroad upon it is surrounded; but his design being made known by Pannonia, and so reluctant had the people of Italy certain traitors who kept up a correspondence with become to the exercise of arms, that it was found imStilicho, he was attacked in front and flank by a supe- possible to attempt the protection of a distant frontier, rior force, and punished with a defeat not less severe or even to occupy the passes of the Alps. The Legions than he had sustained at Polentia. On this occasion were accordingly reinforced with large bodies of Barhe owed his personal safety to the swiftness of his horse, barian auxiliaries, Huns, Goths, and Alans, who appear and to an unskilful maneuvre on the part of the to have engaged on either side indifferently, and to Alani, who, in their eagerness to conquer, broke their have chosen the standard of Stilicho or of Radagaisus, ranks, and thereby made an opening for the Gothic according to their individual preferences. I cavalry to charge. Alaric, although discomfited, con- It was the policy of the Roman General to make no Destruction tinued to keep the field against Stilicho, until, finding resistance to the progress of the enemy until he could of his arıny his men sinking under the weight of disease and famine, attack him with his whole assembled force, and in an by Silichó. he thought proper to listen to the advice of his cap- advantageous position. In his camp at Pavia he retains, and embrace the opportunity which was held out ceived intelligence that the Germans had issued from to him for effecting a retreat.*
the mountains, crossed the Po, and even advanced to Rome, recently delivered from the terror of an as- the city of Florence, which they were preparing to estets Romne sault, expressed an ardent desire to receive within her besiege. It grieved him to hear that several of the
walls the son of Theodosius. After some delay he was finest towns in the upper Provinces were pillaged and 403. induced to comply with the entreaties of the Senate ;
and, at length, in the month of December, 403, he en-
* Prudentius, in his Poem against Symmachus, described the sin having by his side in the same chariot the indefatigable voice against them in the Amphitheatre. See ENCYCLOPÆDIA, Misc.
Div. Gladiators. Prud. in Sym. lib. ii. v. 1121. Theod. lib. v. c. 26.
+ Claud. II. Cons. Hon. 494. Procop. de Hello Getico, lib.i. c. 1. * Claud. de Bello Getico, v. 560. and VI. Cons. Hon.
Zos. lib. v. c. 26.
to A, D.
History. destroyed; but as his arrangements were not yet com- nated by the mere sound of a name, they next exalted to Roman
pleted, he confined his exertions to the increase and the Imperial dignity a private soldier called Constan- Empire. From discipline of his army. At length, when the Barba- tine, who had neither talents nor experience to qualify
From rians had for some time wasted their strength against him for his high office. But he had, nevertheless, pe395. the walls of Florence, he advanced to complete their netration enough to perceive that his safety would be
395. destruction. He began by surrounding their camp with most effectually secured by giving employment to his
a deep ditch and rampart, which at once cut them off rude subjects, and by directing their impetuvus valour 410. from retreat and from a supply of provisions. Several against a people whom they had been taught to regard
410. skirmishes, indeed, appear to have taken place during as their natural enemies. He conducted a large body of
Constanthe progress of the work, which were attended with them across the Channel into Gaul, where he announced tinus raised various success; but, in the end, Radagaisus found himself as the Sovereign of the West, and invited the to the himself confined to a narrow space of ground between allegiance of all the districts which were not under the throne the city and the circumvallation with which he was in- immediate control of the German conquerors.
of Britain He
and Gaul. vested, and rendered alike incapable of commanding a then marched against the Vandals and Burgundians, field in which to fight, or an opening by which to over whom, as he generally surprised them in detached retire. He re:solved, therefore, to have recourse to a bodies, he gained repeated advantages. He even foiled treaty, or rather, perhaps, to listen to a proposal to that the Imperial General whom Honorius commanded to effect made by his prudent antagonist; who, as he send his head to Ravenna ; and, finally, pursuing his found it very difficult to recruit his Legions, avoided fortune into Spain, he succeeded in establishing his every occasion of sacrificing the lives of his men. But authority among all the nations of that fine Peninsula. whatever might be the motives in which it originated, The son of Theodosius, who despaired of subduing him, the negotiation was followed by an issue fatal to the admitted his claims to the Sovereignty of the West, and life of the German Prince and to the fame of Stilicho. even asked his assistance to expel the Goths froin Italy,
Under some prelence, wbich has not been explained, to the fairest parts of which they now began to mainDeath of Radagaisus was disgracefully beheaded, and his people tain an hereditary right. * Radagaisus. were sold for slaves, and scattered over the face of the It would appear that Constantine crossed the Alps to Revolt of surrounding country.
cooperate with his Imperial ally against their common Gerontius The remain
The other divisions of the grand army, which had enemy; but the result of the expedition, whatever it in Spain. der of his descended to the borders of the Empire, turned their may have been, is concealed in the turbulent scenes army in- line of march towards the West, crossed the Rhine, and which followed. Spain was excited to insurrection by vades Gaul. entered the Northern Provinces of Gaul. This invasion the Count Gerontius, one of the bravest Generals of the
is the more memorable from the fact that the mixed host British monarch; and, hence, Constantine had no sooner
sonal safety, he set out in company with his son on the Insurrec- A similar cause produced a similar effect in Britain. way to Ravenna. To excite the veneration or fears of tion in
The principal stations in that Island were stripped of the the Emperor, the deposed monarch caused himself to
troops which usually kept the surrounding country in be clothed with the character of a Priest, an expedient,
* Oros. lib. vii. c. 37. Zos. lib. v. c. 26.
* Claud 1. Cons. Stilich. lib. ii. v. 250. Zos. lib. v. c. 2-6 Oros. t Zus. lib. vi. c. 3. Oros, lib. vii. c. 40. Claud. 1. Cons. Stilich. lib. vii, c. 40. lib. i. v. 221.
† Soz. lib. vii. p. 379. Zos. lib. vi. c. 5, 6. 13.
From A. D.
History. But the course of events recalls us to the History of or a trade, and that if they did not gratify the demands. Roman
Alaric, who was about to occupy a distinguished place of Alaric, they must consent to behold their cities levelled Empire among the characters of that interesting drama which with the ground, their fields laid waste, and their pas
From preceded the downfal of the Western Empire. On his tures stripped of their flocks. It was, therefore, resolved retreat from Italy after the defeat at Verona, he is de- that four thousand pounds of gold should be presented
395. scribed as having suffered many privations, and lost a to the King of the Goths, in name of compensation or
great part of his army; but the King of the Goths had of subsidy; an arrangement which was justly described 410. long been exercised in all the casualties which belong by one of the speakers as a Treaty not of Peace but of
410. bates his to war, and could bear them with equanimity, while his servitude.*
ranks received an immediate accession from his mi- The manifest tendency of the principles adopted in Disgrace hals. grating countrymen who hung on the limits of the the government of Stilicho, was to exalt the power of and death
of Stilicho, Empire, and whom the fame of his exploits and the the Goths by conceding too much to the pusillanimous hope of plunder attracted to his standard. He was, feelings which prevailed among the Italians. The Bar
408. therefore, very soon in a capacity to take the field either barian auxiliaries were now, in fact, become the standing as the enemy or as the ally of Honorius. In virtue of army of the Empire; and nothing seemed wanting to the office which he held under the Eastern Empire, as complete the extinction of the Roman name, but the Master-General of the further Illyricum, he was entitled elevation of a Gothic Prince to the throne of Augustus, to maintain a considerable military force; and as his Perhaps it was the fear of this disgraceful result, which secret object was to extend his power on both sides of excited against the Minister that suspicion or hatred the Adriatic, it seems to have been to him a matter of which soon afterwards terminated in the loss of his the utmost indifference whether he should begin by influence and of his life. His authority was gradually attacking the Sovereign of Ravenna, or his feeble brother undermined in the Palace by the crafty measures of at Constantinople. Stilicho, who joined to the expe- Olympius, who irritated the pride and alarmed the fears rience of a warrior the penetration and wisdom of a of Honorius, by representing to him that the absolute consummate politician, determined to gain the Gothic rule, exercised by his father-in-law, diminished the King, by raising him to an honourable station in Italy, splendour of the Imperial dignity, and was, probably,
and by pointing out a profitable employment for his meant to pave the way, on the part of the General, for 1: zzprinted arms. Alaric was accordingly nominated to the chief the assumption of a title of which he had long enjoyed
command of the Roman armies in the Illyrian Præfecture, all the privileges. Similar intrigues propagated similar and directed, at the same time, to make an inroad into apprehensions in the camp at Pavia, where the remains the territories of Arcadius, to which, for certain reasons of the Roman army continued to practise the forms of of state, Stilicho thought it expedient to revive the claims ancient discipline. The friends of Stilicho were the of his master. He accepted the appointment, and pre- first victims of insurrection; and among them were the tended to obey the orders communicated to him from most distinguished persons of the State and the printhe Court of Ravenna ; but discovering, perhaps, the cipal Officers of Government. At length, the hero himself, true motive which guided the policy of the Prime who had repaired to Ravenna, was seduced from the Minister, he soon relinquished his enterprise against altar under an oath of protection, and instantly beheaded Thessaly and Epirus, and removed his camp to the by the sword of Count Heraclion.t confines of Italy. Actuated by the most various and The blind rage which thus deprived the Empire of its The perse
cution of inconsistent motives, Alaric now demanded a reward last defence, could not be satisfied while any one sur
his friends. for his services in the East; insinuating, in no ambi- vived who bore the name or blood of Stilicho. His son guous language, that, if Honorius did not immediately Eucherius, whom it was said he meant to raise to the accede to his wishes
, he would without delay indemnify Sovereign power, was pursued and put to death. His himself and his followers by seizing upon the wealth of personal adherents were persecuted under various prethe adjoining Provinces.*
texts, and chiefly on the ground of their being privy to His forbear. In this very difficult crisis, Stilicho anticipated some a conspiracy, the object of which was supposed to be este pure advantage from consulting the Senate. He repaired to the depositiun of the weak-minded Honorius. The
Rome, whither, also, he appears to have conducted the vindictive temper of Olympius allowed no individual to
Emperor; and there, in the Palace of the Cæsars, he escape who had contributed to the fame or shared the poads of laid before the collected wisdom of the nation the state bounty of the Master General of the West; and we find,
of public affairs, and solicited the aid of such advice as accordingly, that Claudian the Poet, whose muse was
camp overlooked the richest plains of Italy, that it was full of soldiers to whom war had become a pastime
* Oros. lib, vii. c. 38. Zos. lib. v. c. 29, 30. Soz. lib. ix. c. 4.
+ Philostorg. lib. xii. c. 3. Zos. lib. v. c. 31-34. Oros. lib, vii. * Zos, lib. v. c. 29. Soz. lib. viii. c. 25. lib. ix. c. 4. Soc. lib, vii. e. 10.
Zos, lib. v. c. 34, 35 Oros. lib. vii. c. 38.
From A. D.
History While the infatuated Ministers of Honorius were degree for the dastardly conduct of the Senators, in Romaa
pursuing the objects of their private revenge, or grati- their quality of soldiers and as the natural leaders of Empire. fying the cupidity of their partisans, Alaric, wlio no the people. Famine had rendered all classes of the
From longer dreaded the Italian Legions, resumed his inten- inhabitants familiar with the greatest evils which can 395. tion of marching to Rome. The subsidy which had aflict human nature. Thousands had died from want,
395. been voted by the Senate was not yet paid; and the or from the use of improper food ; and a pestilence,
wily Barbarian, who still retained his position at Emona, created by the stench of putrid bodies, rapidly thinned 410.
A. D. had penetration enough to perceive that the failure of the remaining population. In this distressing crisis, a
410. the Imperial treasurer in regard to the main condition resolution was adopted by the Senate to address the march to of the Treaty, supplied him with a pretext for invading clemency or the avarice of Alaric. Two ambassadors Home. Italy, which might be turned to much greater advantage proceeded to his camp, and made known to him the
than he could gain from the fourthousand pounds of gold. willingness of the great Council of the Empire to enter
groundless persuasion, the Gothic King descended from scended to return to the question of Peace, and informed Crosses the the Alps, passed the Po, and reduced some of the most the envoys that he would remove from their city on Po, and
opulent cities in the North of Italy. Aquileia, Altinum, condition of receiving all the gold it contained, all the takes seve
Concordia, and Cremona opened their gates at his silver, the richest of their furniture, and all the slaves ral cities.
approach ; while the numerous bands of his countrymen of Barbarian extraction. “ If you take these things from
spairing of all assistance from without, and unable to State and When the Capital of the Western World was first be- resist any longer the progress of disease within the population sieged by Alaric, its inhabitants amounted to not less walls, the Magistrates of Rome yielded to the necesof Rome. than twelve hundred thousand, including all ages and sity of their situation, and begged to be informed by
both sexes; and as the principal supplies of food were their enemy on what conditions he would relieve them
an illiterate Scythian. In their impotent rage they advantages with a strong hand, he showed himself Death of took away the life of Serena, the widow of Stilicho, ready to listen to terms for a lasting Peace. In fact, he
whom they accused of holding a traitorous correspond- had all along declared himself the friend of tranquillity
they regarded as at once a disgrace and a terror.t more lofty than the appointment of Master-General of Senate pro
The sufferings which they endured before they would the Italian Provinces. The facility, too, with which he poses to ca- consent to propose terms to the invader, atoned in some had uniformly opened his ears to the offers of Stilicho, pitulate.
* Zos. lib. v. c. 37. Soz. lib. ix. c. 6.
* Z06. lib. v. c. 40-42. Soz. lib. ix. c. 6.
Roman while the tide of fortune was still running high in his sented to raise Attalus, the Præfect, to the throne of the Empire. favour, presents a remarkable proof in support of his West, and to throw off their allegiance to the son of
sincerity; while, on the occasion now more immedi- Theodosius, who had sacrificed their interests through 395. diately before us, instead of pursuing the course of vic- obstinacy and pride.
tory which lay open before him, he proffered to Hono- Alaric soon discovered that the tool which he meant
rius the support of his arms, on the easy conditions of to employ in the person of Attalus could not be used 410.
being invested with the military office already mentioned, either with safety or advantage; and finding, besides, 410. of being supplied with a small subsidy of corn and money, that his elevation to the Purple would prove an insuper- Attalus de- , and of being allowed to exercise a separate command able obstacle to the pacific arrangements which he posed. The in Dalmatia, Venetia, and Noricum. In point of territory professed to have in view, he reduced him once more
Goths still he would even have been satisfied with Noricum alone, to a private station. In a large plain near Rimini, and
offer peace. rather than involve the Empire again in the perils of in the presence of a great multitude of persons, Goths
and Romans, the new Emperor was publicly stripped Cszetture It is not easy to discover a motive for such conduct of the diadem and robe of State, which were sent to
on the part of the Gothic Prince. That he had his Honorius as a pledge of friendship and Peace. But eye fixed on the Sovereignty of some portion of Italy, no concessions made by the Sovereign of the Visigoths from the first hour that he entered it, is certain could gain the confidence of the Imperial Ministers. from the resolution, which he repeatedly expressed, of On the contrary, they prevailed upon their master to finding in it either a kingdom or a grave ; and publish, by the voice of a herald, that the guilt of Alaric that he continued to cherish this lofty ambition ad- could never be effaced, and that it had for ever exmits of little doubt, from the perseverance with which cluded him from the most distant hope of accomplishing he renewed his invasion whenever he could find a pre- an alliance with the Head of the Roman Empire.t text for attacking Honorius. But it may be presumed The indignant Prince immediately turned the van of Alaric that neither his hopes nor his wishes, in the first in- his army, for the third time, towards Rome, where he marches to stance, extended to the occupation of all the Italian meant to punish the arrogance of Honorius and the
third time, Provinces; and, moreover, that, either from superstition, infatuation of his counsellors. The Senate, aware of takes, and or an undefined feeling of reverence for the Metropolis the provocation which had been heaped upon the in- sacks it. of the Roman World, he was desirous to abstain from vader, made preparations to defend the walls until violating the sanctity of her walls. The city of the relief could be brought to them from the nearest miliCæsars was already the chief seat of Christianity West- tary station; from Ravenna, or even from Africa ; but ward of the Adriatic; was hallowed by many sacred the people at large, remembering the horrors of the associations connected with the History of the true faith, former siege, and dissatisfied with the conduct of their as well as with the labours and sufferings of its most Government, could not be induced to cooperate with distinguished ministers; and contained, besides, many this sudden patriotism on the part of the Nobles. In relics of the Apostles, and buildings consecrated to the course of the night one of the gates was opened, by their memories. His respect for the authority of Reli- which the Goths rushed in and took possession of the gion was, indeed, fully manifested, when he finally city without resistance; and, consequently, in the fir obtained possession of Rome ; and the fear of sacrilege instance, without bloodshed. Their Chief bad given was found to check the avarice of his followers in cases the most ample permission to seize upon the riches of where the most rigid military discipline would have the vanquished wherever they could find them; but he been entirely disregarded.
commanded his soldiers, at the same time, to respect (массу
But the moderation of Alaric, from whatever cause every building and utensil dedicated to the service of e morius. it may have proceeded, produced not the proper effect Religion; and, above all, to spare the lives of those who parte ads on the foolish Ministers of Honorius. Viewing the in- appeared in the streets unarmed. There is but too
vader's abstinence as a proof of weakness, they received much reason, however, to suspect that the enormities Lowards tae his proposals with contempt, and answered them with usual upon the sacking of a large town disgraced, in
iusolence; and, in order to bind themselves to an unde- some measure, the triumph of Alaric. Among his
Zos. lib. v. c. 45, Soz. lib. ix. c. 7. Philostorg. lib. xii. c. 3.
Oros. lib. vi. c. 39-42. Zoi. lib. vi. c. 13. Procop: đe Bel. * Zos. lib. v.c. 44.
Vand. lib. i. c. 2.