« ElőzőTovább »
to A. D.
dibe Protincials poder
History. ment of men and ships to cooperate with her troops in with death and torture, as an act of treason against the Roman
the defence of the African Provinces. A large arma- State. Allowing his avarice to be further stimulated by Empire. From ment sailed from Constantinople under the command sectarian bigotry, he prosecuted, by fines and banishof Aspar, an experienced Officer who had rescued Italy ment, all who would not embrace the tenets of the Arian
From 410. from the usurpation of John, and paved the way for the Heresy, or, at least, abjure those which were held by his accession of the young monarch. As soon, then, as the theological opponents. Thousands of both sexes fled
410. forces of the East and West were united under Boniface, from the dominions of the tyrant and threw themselves 455. it was resolved to try once more the fortune of war. A upon the compassion of their countrymen in Italy,
455. great battle ensued, in which the soldiers of Genseric Egypt, Greece, and Syria. The calamities which atwere again victorious, and the conquest of Africa was tended the sack of Rome, were repeated in Africa; and, completed. The Roman General threw himself on board although the range of suffering might be bounded by a ship and set sail for Italy; where, soon afterwards narrower limits, the savage character of the conqueror meeting with Ætius, his personal enemy, and the author made them more severely felt.* of his unfortunate disaffection, he challenged him to The determination of Genseric to create a naval power Ulterior single combat and died on his spear. *
was inost steadily pursued. Behind hiin were the woods designs of Suferings
À miserable scene of proscription, plunder, and death of Mount Atlas, which allorded an abundant supply of Genseric. was witnessed in Africa during the succeeding ten years. timber; while he found at Carthage and the neighbour
The arms of Genseric, which were successful against ing ports a sushcient mumber of carpenters to construct Genseric. the Legions of Rome, could not protect liim from the ships, and of seamen to equip and navigate them. His
more dangerous enemies who lurked in his own camp, Vandals, whose courage was equal to the most daring and who either envied his greatness, or impatiently enterprise, condescended to learn from their slaves the tolerated his severe command. He had risen to the important resources of the nautical art; while the Moors throne by violating the rights of two nephews, the sons and other native Africans, desirous to revenge the opof his brother Gonderic; and to secure the power which pression which they had endured under the Romans, he thus unjustly acquired, he afterwards put them and eagerly listened to the invitation of the conqueror, and their mother to a violent death. Unable to resist presented themselves in crowds to man his fleet. Once the pressure of invasion which was directed against him more the squadrons of Carthage were about to claim from all the ports of Italy and Spain, he consented to the sovereignty of the Mediterranean, and to carry connegotiate for a treaty of Peace, and even to deliver up quest to the shores of Europe. The able Prince who his son Hunneric as a pledge for the sincerity of his directed their movements, first tried their skill and engagements. Still he felt himself exposed to incessant prowess against the Island of Sicily and the adjacent conspiracies, which his cruel policy could neither pre- coast; and finding, from the reduction of Palermo, that vent nor subdue; and, although more Vandal blood is he could trust to their efficiency in more important unsaid to have been shed by the hand of the executioner dertakings, he already held himself master of Rome. than by the sword of the enemy, the throne of Genseric But as the designs of Genseric on the Western Emdid not appear to rest on a stable foundation.t
pire might not have been realized without the cooperaPeluction
At length, however, the recluction of Carthage gave tion which he received from a strong power that had ci Carthage. him the command of the sea, and supplied liin with the already shown itself on the frontiers of the Lesser Asia,
means of resisting as well as of retaliating the naval we inust now return to the History of Constantinople expeditions with which he had been so frequently as- under the successors of Arcadius. sailed from the opposite shores. Five hundred and It was in the year 408 that the son of the great State of tlie eighty-five years had elapsed from the memorable epoch, Theodosius left the throne of the East to a child of the Eastern when the younger Scipio put an end to the ancient
Empire. same name, and the actual government of his dominions
Govern. Republic of the Carthaginians, and levelled their walls. to a woiran. The minority of the Prince was, indeed, ment of But a new town had arisen from the ruins of the old, faithfully directed by the wisdom of Anthemius, the Præ- Pulcheria. and arrived at such a degree of wealth and splendour, fect, whose excellent abilities were not imequal to the ar as to be entitled to rank next to Rome among the cities duous task which was committed to his care. He repelled of the West. Carthage received the treasures, the arms, the first aggressions of the Huns, strengthened the forand the industry of six opulent Provinces, and was tifications of the Capital, and established a respectable regarded as the inistress of the fertile territory which force along the banks of the Danube. But he found it stretched along the shores of the Mediterranean, a expedient, either with the view of removing jealousy, or journey of ninety days. Nor was Genseric ignorant of of gratifying the ambition of Pulcheria, the sister of the the great value of the prize which had thus fallen into young Emperor, to associate her in the management of his hands. He divided the best of the lands among his affairs; for although she was only two years older than followers, enriched them with the spoils of the Pro- Theodosius, her mind was much more mature and vigorvincials, and taught them to look towards Italy itself, ous, and in all respects better fitted to take a share in as the scene where they were finally to obtain the full the duties of government. At the age of sixteen, reward of their labours, and an ample gratification of accordingly, she was saluted with the title of Augusta. their revenge. He issued ar. Edict, enjoining all per- Yielding to the impression of the period in which her sons to deliver up to the officers whom he had appointed lot was cast Pulcheria made choice of a life of celibacy, for that purpose, all the gold, silver, precious stones, and even prevailed upon her sisters, Arcadia and and costly furniture in their possession ; giving notice, Marina, to unite with her in the establishment of a at the same time, that the attempt to keep back any religious society; in which, removed from the vexations part of the property therein specified, would be punished and frivolities of the world, they might spend the greater
part of their time in study, devotion, and other spiritual * Procop.de Bell. Kandul. lib. i. c. 2, 3. Victor. Viten. de Persecut. l'andal. lib). ii. c. 3.
* Chron. Idat. sub ann. Chron. Prosp. Isidor. Marcel.
to A. D.
History. exercises. The avocations of piety, however, were not oppressed and defended them, rendering their fine Roman
allowed to interfere with the more important claims of Country, on many occasions, the scene of mutual con- Empire. From business. Avoiding the ostentation of sovereign power, tention and the pretext for bloody wars.* she continued to influence all public measures; and it But an enemy was at hand who soon afterwards
From; 410. was remarked that, though arrayed in female attire, fully avenged the cause of Armenia, and of all the other
410. she was the only individual among the descendants of nations which had felt the heavy pressure of Roman or
Theodosius who exhibited any tokens of his manly Persian ascendancy. The Huns, deriving their origin 455. spirit. She superintended, at the same time, the edu- from the extreme East, had pushed before them the
455. cation of her brother, whose mind she soon discovered Goths, Vandals, and other Scythic hordes, to the con- History of to be incapable of rising above the mere forms of fines of Europe, and had now themselves advanced to the Huns. polished life; and for this reason alone, it has been the banks of the Danube and the shores of the Euxine candidly supposed, she limited her instructions to those Finding an ample territory in the district which external observances which might qualify him to repre- has since borne their name, they confined their depresent the majesty of the East, while the real authority dations for several years to the remotest Provinces of the and patronage of office might still be retained in her Empire, and contented themselves with exercising their own hands. She even chose a wife for him in the per- arms on such of the Barbarian Tribes as might dispute son of Eudocia, an Athenian maid, who first presented their occupation of the fertile plains of Hungary. Under herself at Court as a supplicant, and who, as the consort Rugilas, the uncle of the celebrated Attila, an army of of Theodosius, was destined to experience a great sixty thousand men had approached the frontiers of variety of fortune.*
Italy, in order to support the usurper John, who, as we
government of Anthemius and Pulcheria when a dispute Honorius. The death of the Secretary rendered their
some occasions, a greater desire to intrigue with the Settlement Few treaties have been more faithfully observed than Court of Constantinople than to prosecute the plans of of Armenia. that between Varanes and the younger Theodosius. conquest in which they professed to engage. In such
The interests of Armenia, at one period, threatened to circumstances the Barbarian monarch could not fail to
* Theodoret, lib, v. c. 39. Soc. lib. vii. c. 18-21. Mos. Choren. lib. iii. c. 59. 65.
+ Soc. lib. vii. c. 43. Theodoret, lib. v. c. 36. → Soz. lib. ix c13. Soc. lib. vii. c. 22.
Jornand. de Rcb. Get. c. 31. Soc. lib, vii. c. 43.
From A. D. 410.
to A. D. 455.
History. from the chances of war. They insisted that the annual Arabia and Egypt, the riches of which, on a former Roman salary or tribute paid to the leader of the Huns should occasion, had excited the avarice of his countrymen ;
Empire. be doubled; that a greater facility of trade on the but Genseric, the Vandal, who found his position in
Danube and in the neighbouring Provinces should be Africa threatened by the combined armies of Theodosius 410. secured to them; that the Romans should deliver up and Valentinianus, prevailed upon the Huns to break the
all the captives who had escaped from the camp of truce which confined them to the banks of the Danube,
Rugilas, or submit to a fine for every one who could and to pour down upon Thrace and Macedonia. A 455.
not be recovered; and, in the last place, that the Em- pretence soon occurred for consummating the treachery Their de
peror should withdraw his faith from every engagement suggested by the Vandal Prince. A quarrel among the
entered into with the enemies of the Huns. It does not dealers who frequented the markets of the North, suppetuer. appear that the Imperial Ministers acceded to terms so plied to the Huns an occasion for attacking the Pro
humiliating to their Country, nor is it probable that vincials with fire and sword; immediately after which,
of the Emof a voluntary and equal alliance.*
piety, compelled him at least to recall the troops which pire and Earls The History of Attila, whose short stature, swarthy had been assembled for the recovery of Africa, to sum- armies. Autory of complexion, flat nose, and large head proclaimed his mon the Legions from the Eastern frontier, and even to
affinity to the Tartar race, is one of the most remarkable collect the garrisons from the forts in Illyricum and
which gained for him, at once, the confidence and the vanquished, that their numbers were altogether insufFinds the veneration of his countrymen. He had the good fortune ficient to check the ravages of the Barbarians, who
to acquire possession of the fabled sword of Mars, wasted the whole of the surrounding country. The
into captivity. The Capital itself might, at no distant Before Attila directed his arms against the Empire, period, share the same fate ; for, although Attila might one he had subdued the most powerful nations in Scythia retire to the neighbourhood of the Danube to recruit
and Germany. The Goths and Vandals, to escape from his army and obtain provisions, there was no doubt that
When the King of the Huns was solicited to grant a had invaded the Provinces of Italy and Gaul, where suspension of arms, he assumed the right of dictating
Peace: the they either perished, or conquered a settlement among the conditions upon which the Treaty was to be founded. the subjects of Honorius. The Huns successively oc- He insisted that the Emperor should resign an extensive on which cupied the lands which the others found it necessary to territory situated on the Southern bank of the Danube, it was evacuate; and Attila, either in person or by his Lieute- and which stretched from Singidunum as far as Novæ granted. nants, had already left tokens of his victories on the in Thrace. The breadth was defined by the vague shores of the Baltic and of the Western Ocean, on the measurement of fifteen days' journey, and was deterborders of France and of Holland, on the Euxine and mined by limits satisfactory to Attila, He next Caspian Seas, on the limits of Persia, and even in the demanded that the annual subsidy, first paid to his remote territories of Upper India and China.
uncle Rugilas, should be augmented from seven hunHaving his forces thus spread along the whole breadth dred pounds of gold to two thousand one hundred, more of Europe and the Provinces of Western Asia, the King besides
an immediate payment of six thousand pounds of the Huns could attack, at pleasure, either division of of gold in name of indemnity for the expenses of the the Roman Empire, or even the dominions of the House late war. In the last place, he stipulated that all the of Sussan. The Ministers of Constantinople had hoped Huns, taken in war, should be released without ransom; that Attila would waste his resources by invading the that every Roman captive, who had escaped, should be Persians, and in an attempi to push his conquests into compelled to purchase his freedom at the price of
twelve pounds of gold; and that all the deserters from
* Priscus, p. 331. Procop. de Edific lib. iv. c. 5. Chron. Prosp.
Tyro, and Marcell.
to A. D.
of the con
History. his standard should be unconditionally delivered up to did not rise above the rank of huts, such as were used Roman military justice.*
by the shepherds of the great Indian desert, when Empire. From Attila soon found reason to complain that the Minis- encamped in their summer pasturages. The interior,
ters of Theodosius, either from want of honour or want it is true, was decorated with much rude magnificence, 410. of treasure, did not fulfil the terms on which he had displaying the gold and silver vessels which they had
410. been pleased to withdraw his troops from their territory. taken from the Romans, as well as the swords and splen
He therefore sent repeated embassies to Constantino did harness on which they lavished the greater portion of 455. Embassies ple, urging an immediate compliance with the stipu- their wealth. The wives of Attila were arrayed in the
455. on both
rich garments which had been fabricated for the ladies lations to which they had pledged their faith, and, more sides. especially, that they should deliver up all the fugitives of the Eastern Court; their robes were embroidered
and deserters who had taken refuge within their walls. with the most costly materials, and their shoes were To mollify his resentment, it was resolved to despatch to studded with gold and precious stones. The monarch his campa courtier of considerable rank,who might explain alone despised the finery of the nations which he had to the Hunnic Sovereign the reduced state of the public subdued, and retained in his dress, his arms, and the revenue, and the fidelity with which they had sought furniture of his horse, the plain simplicity which had out every individual who owed allegiance to his Crown. distinguished his ancestors. His table was covered Maximin was the name of the envoy who was charged with wooden dishes; his food was simple flesh without with this important commission, and he was accom
bread or seasoning; and he drank out of a vessel which panied on his journey by Vigilius, by Priscus the Histo- may have been formed in the wilds of Tartary.* rian, who was attached to him by the bonds of friendship,
During the audience which he had granted to the Attila disand by Orestes and Edecon, the ambassadors of Attila. ambassadors and Vigilius on the banks of the Danube, covers his The camp of the Huns was stationed on the Southern he insinuated against the latter the guilt which he had knowledge bank of the Danube, at the distance of about six hun- meditated in conjunction with Edecon. The interpreter,
spiracy dred miles from Constantinople, whither the representa- who could not be ignorant of the allusion, did not, as tives of the two nations proceeded, by the way of Sar- might have been expected, seek safety in flight ; and dica and Naïssus.t
even when he was brought before the tribunal of Attila, Conspiracy While Edecon was at the Court of Theodosius, he he persevered in asserting his innocence, till the threat to take
was introduced to the Chamberlain Chrysaphius, who, of inflicting instant death upon his son drew from him away the life of
by promises of unbounded wealth and favour, seduced a full discovery of his criminal intentions. The King Attila, him so far from his duty as to listen to a proposal for of the Huns, on this occasion, put to shame by his mag
assassinating Attila. Vigilius, who was appointed to nanimous conduct the low arts adopted by Theodosiu s attend Maximin, was privy to this disgraceful plot, and and his Ministers. He declared that if his hands were engaged to assist in its execution ; but Edecon, either not bound by the respect which he felt for the law of repenting his base design, or, it is more probable, nations, he would nail the deceitful interpreter to a cross, never having had any serious intention to accomplish it, and leave his body to be devoured by the birds of the revealed the secret to his master, before the Romans air. He would not therefore put him to death, but treatwere admitted into his presence. The Hun restrained ing him like a captive whom he had taken in battle, he his indignation, or only gave expression to it in such
should estimate his life at two hundred pieces of gola. terms as could affect the conscious feelings of Vigilius,
He reserved for the ear of the Emperor himself a meswho trembled at the implied menaces which reached his . sage of remonstrance, admonition, and reproof, which ears. Maximin, who was ignorant of the conspiracy, his consent to the conspiracy of Chrysaphius very naand, consequently, of the import of the remarks which turally suggested. “Theodosius,” said he, " is the son alluded to it in the speech of Attila, confined his en
of an illustrious father, and so am I ; but, by consenting deavours to the furtherance of the public business on
to pay me tribute, he has fallen from his greatness, and which he had been commissioned; but the Barbarian, has become my servant. It is not, therefore, right that either to mortify the pride of the Emperor or to gratify he should forget his duty, and like a wicked slave enter his own vanity, declared that he could come to no de- into treasonable designs against my life.”t termination until he had met the ambassadors of the
The envoy, who pronounced this reproof in the pre- A new E Western Empire, also, who were on their progress
sence of Theodosius, was further instructed to demand bassy, towards his Capital, on the Northern side of the Upper the head of Chrysaphius, the author of the plot. The Danube. A journey of several days, through a wasted
Emperor, whose resentment was overcome by his fears, or barren country, was accordingly undertaken by the
warded off the impending storm by promising to send Romans, who were entertained at the successive stages
to the Court of Attila ambassadors of high rank, and with sincere hospitality, and, in one place, by the widow invested with full power to settle all the matters in disof Bleda, the brother of Attila, whom the latter, in a
pute between the Huns and Romans. With this view divine impulse as it was esteemed, had put to death with
he selected Nomius the Great Treasurer, and Anatolius the sword of Mars, I
the Master-General of the Army, whom he loaded with The Court The royal village of Attila, situated somewhere be- gifts to soften the enraged Barbarian, and through of Attila, tween the Danube and the Carpathian mountains, pre- the articles of the late Treaty would be most punctually
whom he conveyed the
most positive assurances that all sented a singular spectacle to the eyes of the luxurious inhabitants of Constantinople. The Palace of the King
observed. These concessions on the part of Theodohimself was constructed of timber, and covered with sius, the magnificent presents with which they were straw or reeds; and the houses of his principal Officers accompanied, and, above all, the dignified Order from
which the ambassadors were chosen, flattered the vanity • Chron. Prosp. Tyro, Priseus, p. 34.
* Priscus, p. 56. Hæ sedes regis barbariem totam tenentis, # Priscus, p. 69–72,
hæc captis civitatibus habitacula præponebat. Ibid. p. 49–70.
+ lbid. p. 38, 39.
A. Da 410.
to A. D.
History of Attila, and disposed him to moderation and clemency. be encountered by an army not less able than desirous Roman He consented that Chrysaphius should live, and that to punish their aggression.*
Vigilius should be restored to favour; binding himself, Unaccustomed to such language, Attila gave utter-
ance to his passion in the most haughty terms imagi410.
inviolate all the conditions of the Peace, to release a nable. He resolved to subdue both Empires, and to
certain number of captives, and to restore part of the find a Palace in the Capital of each: he instructed his 455. territory which he had claimed by right of conquest.* Ministers to make known his determination at Ravenna
A. D. Policy of It has been made a question by a distinguished as well as at Constantinople; and to assure both Valen
455. Attila, author whether Attila, in acceding to this Treaty, wastinianus and the successor of Theodosius, that he would Rage of
actuated by moderation or by selfishness. He maintains chastise their tardy obedience in the heart of their domi- Attila.
The death of Boniface threw the Government of State of the
he had been delivered as a hostage. He had entered While these interesting events engaged the attention into an intimate friendship with Attila, to whose care he Ikeodosius of the Roman world, Theodosius met his death by a subsequently committed the military education of his
fall from his horse in hunting. As he left no heirs to son; and during a long intercourse in War as well as in 450. the throne, his sister Pulcheria was invested with the Peace, the two Commanders never entirely forgot the
supreme power, and proclaimed Empress of the East. kindness which had passed between them in the tents
a religious oath. No sooner was Marcianus raised to the so far inflamed his resentment, that Ætius was conAccession Imperial dignity than he gave proof of the great talents vinced the storm could no longer be averted, either on ci Narci.
and mild disposition which had recommended him to the Alps or on the Rhine. For this reason he laboured
licentious manners of the higher classes in the Capital. Theodoric, the son of the renowned Alaric, and occupied goths. Ilis resiste To repair, in some degree, the evils produced by the that district in the Southern part of Gaul, of which ance to the timid counsels of the late reign, he resolved to brave Thoulouse is the Capital. About fifteen years prior to appressions the hazards of war rather than to submit longer to the the period at which our narrative has arrived, the young
arrogant claims of Attila, who not only demanded, in a King made several attempts to extend his dominions,
Chief of the Vandals, had not the menaces of Attila
The Franks, after an unavailing contest with the The Franks.
* Procop. de Bello Vandal. lib. i. c. 4. Evagrius, lib. ii. c. 1. Chron. Pasch. sub. ann.
+ Priscus, c. 39. * Jornand, de Reb. Get. c. 36, 37.
Vict, Viten, De Persee. Vandal. Chron. Marcel, and Idat. + Montesquieu, Considerations, &c. p. 232.