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From A. D.
History. extends from the Rhine to the Somme. On the death mixed with those of Theodoric, the King of the Visi- Roman
Empire. of Clodion, one of the earliest Sovereigns of the first goths, moving on rapidly for the relief of Orleans.* race, a dissension took place between his two sons; Attila, whose ranks had been thinned by the active
From one of whom implored the protection of the Roman service in which his army was engaged since he crossed
A. D. 410. Government, while the other solicited the aid of Attila. the Rhine, saw the danger of risking a battle in the
410. The Hun, who had resolved to attack the Western very heart of a Country where he had neither friends
to Empire, eagerly availed himself of so favourable an nor allies but such as were within the limits of his camp. 455. opportunity for accomplishing his object, under the He therefore immediately raised the siege, and re
455. specious pretence of vindicating the rights of an injured treated towards the extensive plains of Châlons; in Orleans rePrince, who courted his alliance.
which, should he find it necessary to come to an action, lieved by Besides the Visigoths and a large body of the Franks, his cavalry, he imagined, would secure him a great tius and
Theodoric, the Lieutenant of Valentinianus had secured the services advantage over the foot soldiers of the Roman General.
King of the of a detachment of the Alani, which still possessed a The Visigoths, meanwhile, under Torismond, the eldest
Visigoths. part of Gaul, and of an army of Huns, who had sepa- son of their King, pressed upon his rear so closely, that rated themselves from the main camp on the Danube. he could not prevent several bloody contests, in one of There was some reason for doubt, indeed, whether, which not fewer than fifteen thousand of his Barbarians when opposed to Attila in the field of battle, their fell by the sword; and hardly had he arrived in the national predilections would not overcome their more open country where he had determined to make a stand, recent attachment to the cause of the Empire; and it when he found himself opposed by a powerful host, required, besides, no small degree of address to prevent recruited from five or six different nations, but all anitheir hereditary dislike of the Goths, Franks, and Bur- mated with one spirit, and directed by the prudent gundians, from precipitating all the Provinces South of valour of Ætius. He could not, had he been inclined, the Rhine into the desolation of a Civil war.
pursue his retreat any further. Resolving, therefore, extent of preparation could save that fertile country to fight, he laboured to revive the drooping courage of from the projected inroad of the Huns. After a march his #uns, by reminding them of their former exploits, of seven hundred miles from his head-quarters in the and by holding out the certainty of a decisive triumph plains of Hungary, Attila mustered his formidable host in the approaching combat. He had indeed consulted on the frontiers of Gaul ; where, after being joined by his priests, who found, in the entrails of their victims, those Franks who supported the claims of the elder son indications of disaster to the Scythian warriors, but who, of Clodion, he began hostilities by attacking the nearest at the same time, could assure the King that the success towns, and by laying waste the fields whence they drew of his enemies, if it occurred, must be purchased by the their supplies. *
death of their principal leader. The History of this invasion of the Hims presents the Whatever might be his impressions, he began the Battle of Attila invades Gaul,
usual description of havoc, ruin, and individual wretch-conflict with his usual intrepidity, and used every argu- Chalons, and lays
edness, which marked the path of those savage warriors ment which could affect the pride or superstition of his and defeat siege to in all the Countries which they overran. Most of the men, to induce them to follow his example. A frightful Orleans, cities North of the Loire were besieged and stormed, scene of carnage ensued. The fortune of battle seemed
and generally given up to military execution; in which to waver between the bravery of the contending armies, 451.
case the massacre of the inhabitants was promiscuous, and the issue was long doubtful. Theodoric, the Sove-
* Sidon. Apoll. lib. viii. Ep. xv. * Jornand, de Reb. Get. c. 36, 37. Chron. Idat.
† Jornand, de Reb. Get, c. 41.
From A. D.
to A. D.
History, mountain barrier which protected the land of the Cæsars, patriotic endeavours, was charged with betraying Italy Roman and to resume his course of victory within sight of the to its ferocious invaders. *
Empire. walls of Ravenna. The siege of Aquileia first occupied No sooner had the Emperor arrived at the Capital,
his arms, and, owing to the ignorance of his men in the than it was suggested by his counsellors that an attempt 410.
art of reducing fortresses, delayed his progress more ought to be made to deprecate the wrath of Attila, and
than three months. The resolution and skill displayed to procure Peace. The King of the Huns had for 455.
by the defenders exhausted the patience of Attila : his several years claimed Honoria, the sister of Valentiniprovisions were consumed, and his troops were becom- anus, as his wife, and even after that Princess was
455. ing clamorous; the season for active operations was married to another, he demanded to be put in possession Peace obfast passing away, and time was given to the Imperial of the dowry or territorial rights which were supposed tained by Generals to reinforce the Italian armies, and to arrange to belong to her as the grandaughter of Theodosius. the Romans.
The Princess their plans for a vigorous campaign. These considera- The Roman Senators, employed to negotiate the Treaty,
Honoria. tions had induced him to issue orders for raising the informed him that his claims were now fully recognised siege, when the simple circumstances of seeing a stork by the Imperial Government, and that if he would leave its nest, built on one of the walls, and fly away withdraw his army beyond the Alps, the wealth of towards the country, revived the confidence of the in- Honoria should be put into his hands. The Barvader, and inspired new hope into his followers. A barian Chief was gratified with this concession, as furious assault was made on the fortifications; the well as with the respect shown to his character in the Huns effected an entry; and Aquileia soon ceased to selection of the embassy; for he beheld in his camp, as exist but as a heap of ruins. A similar fate awaited suppliants from the Emperor, Avienus and Trigetius, the other cities on the coast of the Adriatic, as far as men of Consular dignity, and who had discharged the the river Po, including Altinum, Concordia, Padua, highest offices in the State, as also Leo, the Bishop of Vicenza, and Verona. Milan and Pavia, which opened Rome, an Ecclesiastic of great celebrity. He granted their gates on the first approach of the conqueror, and the Peace, which was asked in a manner so flattering to which could sooth his avarice by the surrender of their his vanity, and accepted the treasure bestowed in the wealth, were allowed to preserve their public edifices, name of Honoria ; but so far was he from relinquishing and even to retain the greater part of their inhabitants. his imaginary right to her person that, if she were not
But, in general, the unhappy people were stripped of delivered up to his ambassadors within a limited period, Oren of their property, deprived of their dwellings, and com- he threatened to renew the invasion of the Empire at Venice, pelled to seek safety in distant flight. Thousands of the head of a more formidable army than had yet ap
them took refuge in those small islands which stud the peared under his banners.t upper extremity of the Adriatic sea; and there, by But the final term of his conquests and of his life Death of exercising the industry which had already begun to was now nearly expired. Upon his return to the royal adorn and enrich the towns from whence they were village beyond the Danube, he solemnized his marriage
453. expelled, they laid the foundations of the Venetian with Ildico, a beautiful maiden, whom he chose to add commonwealth. *
to the number of his wives, and was found dead in bed Ætius, meanwhile, exerted all the influence which the morning after the festivity. · The bursting of a belonged to his commanding character to raise an army blood-vessel deprived the Huns of their warlike monarch, that might enable him to repeat, in the plains of Italy, and put an end to their power in Europe. The various the noble triumph which he had gained the former nations which had assembled under his standard, and year in the neighbourhood of Chalons. He urged acknowledged his supremacy, immediately separated, Valentinianus to call his people into the field, and soli- and turned their arms against one another ; while the cited the Emperor of the East to send a powerful rein- sons of Attila, instead of striving to perpetuate the forcement from Pannonia and Illyricum; so that, by unity of their father's Empire, quarrelled about the cutting off the retreat of the Barbarians through the succession, and partitioned his territories. The Gepidæ, passes of the Alps, they might complete the destruction the Ostrogoths, the Alani, the Suevi, and the Heruli, of their main Body, and terminate for ever the career of after losing the best of their warriors in a succession of Attila. But the son of Placidia was a stranger to the battles, seized the Provinces on either side of the Danube, alarms and duties of war; and rather than expose his and spread out their colonies from Pannonia to the person to the danger and fatigue of protracted hostility, shores of the Euxine. The remainder of the Huns he would have consented to abandon the finest part of retired into Scythia, and laboured to preserve their his Empire to the ravages of the Huns. That he might name among a kindred people ; but the fortune of war have the means of escaping into Gaul, whenever the still proving unfavourable, they were compelled to give advance of Attila should render his position insecure, way to a more powerful horde from the North, and he left the strong fortress of Ravenna, and removed his finally to resign all pretensions to an independent Court to Rome. In such circumstances all the efforts sovereignty. I of Ætius proved unavailing. At the head of the small Three years
before the death of Attila, the inother of Valentinie body of troops who were attached to his interests, and Valentinianus paid the debt of nature, and left him to anus murwho preferred death to the dishonour of their Country, the intrigues of the eunuch Heraclius. . This unworthy ders Ætius he hovered round the camp of the Huns, attacked their Minister succeeded in stirring up in the weak mind of
454. outposts, and harassed their march. But as the mass his master a deep feeling of jealousy towards Ætius, of the Romans were now unacquainted with the exercise the main protector of his country. The reputation of arms, and had long ceased to feel those generous which he had acquired in the war with Attila, his great emotions which rendered their ancestors invincible, the wealth, and the attachment of the army, did, no doubt, liberator of Gaul, so far from being supported in his
* Chron. Prosp. and Idat.
† Priscus, p. 56. Jornand. de Reb. Get. c. 42, * Procop. de Bell. Vandal. lib. i. c. 4. Jornand, de Rcb. Get. c. 42. Jornand. de Reb. Get. c. 49, 50.
From A. D.
From A. D.
to A. D.
History. confer upon the Patrician a degree of power incom- had long been making preparations, and waited only for
Roman patible with the rank of a subject. But the victor of a plausible pretext to cover the ambition and avarice Empire. Châlons had on all occasions employed his influence which mingled with his other motives.*
for the welfare of the State and the security of the No sooner had the King of the Vandals landed at the 410. Throne, and had studiously rendered his ambition sub- mouth of the Tiber than the fate of Maximus was
410. servient to the honour of a Roman and to the duty of decided. The soldiers joined with the populace in
a Commander, Animated with the consciousness of their detestation of a Prince who was only bold to 155. innocence, or regardless of the danger with which he avenge his private wrongs, and had taken no steps to
455, was threatened, he went to the Palace to remind the secure the public safety. He was overwhelmed with a Death of Emperor of a promise in favour of his son ; and while shower of stones in the streets of Rome, and his body Maximus he was urging his claim with some degree of vehemence, thrown into the river; the domestics of Eudoxia, and Valentinianus drew his sword and plunged it in the the adherents of the late Emperor, being among the breast of the General, to whom he had been twice in- most active of the assailants. debted for the preservation of his Country.
Genseric advanced towards Rome, prepared to con- TheVandal To this horrible crime the son of Placidia soon added tend for the prize which it contained with the army, advance to Death of Valentini- another, which brought upon him the punishment of both which had been formed during the active adminis. Rome.,
Having fraudulently enticed the wife of Petronius Maxi- tration of the Patrician Ætius. But the Capital of the
mus into the Palace, he accomplished by force that which world no longer trusted for her defence to the arms of 455. he had not been able to gain by all the arts of seduction, her soldiers. The Barbarian auxiliaries, who had taken
and thereby entirely alienated from him the minds of all the place of her Legions, felt no interest in the protec-
upon him with arms in their hands, and stabbed would spare the helpless multitude within, and to save
years, and especially towards Ætius and Maximus, however, the infliction of such punishment on the luxu-
The Vandals and Moors, not feeling themselves bound Sack it, an Petronius Petronius Maximus, whose domestic injury had ren. by the scruples of their leader, pillaged the city, and carry off th Maximus dered vacant the Throne of the West, was immediately carried off to their ships whatever wealth had been left plunder to ascends the summoned by the shouts of the people to receive the by Alaric, or had been accumulated during an interval Carthage. throne.
Imperial dignity. His birth was illustrious, his fortune of nearly fifty years. The precious ornaments of the
days to a close, and sands of meaner captives were, in like manner, forced
of Carthage; many of whom, from change of climate inflicted upon her feelings, and suspicious that Maximus and the hardships of the voyage, sank under the pressure had planned the murder of her former husband, resolved of disease, and thus surrendered in a foreign land the
to be revenged on the usurper, although this solace to life which had been deceitfully spared in their own Eudoxia
her injured affections should be purchased at the ex- Country. I invites the pense of the Roman people. She invited Genseric to Vandals. undertake the invasion of Italy, an object for which he
* Sidon. Apoll. lib. i. Ep. xiii. Sidon. in Panegyr. Avit. v. 441.
Procop. de Bell. Vandal lib. i. c. 4.
Viten. lib. i. c. 8.
Jornand. de Reb. Get. c. 45. Procop. ubi suprà.
FROM THE SACK OF ROME BY THE VANDALS TO THE EXTINCTION
OF THE WESTERN EMPIRE.
FROM A. D. 455, TO A, D. 476.
The inactivity of the Emperor of the East during these Imperial diadem, it is probable that he has been Roman
misfortunes of Rome, cannot be regarded without sur- unjustly accused. But the power which he was too Empire. From prise. Few of the Sovereigns who filled that throne conscientious or too prudent to accept openly, in his
have left to posterity a more unblemished reputation, own person, he resolved to wield through that of
455. to the happiness of their subjects ; and it is difficult to tions had placed the armies of the East at his disposal, 476. assign a motive for his seeming indifference to the and the wealth which he had long painfully accumulated, lzeirity calamities of the Sister Empire. In the deficiency of and now lavishly distributed, secured to him the
476. of Mars' authentic materials for the History of his reign, we have willing suffrages of the Capital, which, if it had shown been presented with a legend, which, nevertheless, reluctance, he was equally prepared to overawe.
by those hands which had raised him to the throne.
PresumpPucheria. years before that of her nominal husband. She died in in marriage upon Andaburius, the son of Aspar ; but tion of
the odour of virginity, and her treasures having been the haughty Patrician, in his eagerness to elevate his Aspar. 453. bequeathed to charitable uses, she was a successful family, forgot those maxims of prudence which had
claimant of the honour of canonization. The Festival tempered his own ambition when the sceptre was within
and similar honours are partaken by her consort. If, and having urged upon his Prince the heavy debt of en Mar- during the six years of his reign, he did not affect obligation which was his due, and the powerful
means the glory of a warrior, he successfully established him- which he possessed of enforcing his demands, he self in the affections of his subjects, by innocence and crowned his importunities by an act of gross personal simplicity of manners, by extraordinary piety, and by affront. Laying hold of the Imperial robe, he shook it zeal for Religion.
with indignation, and added, " It is not fit that he who Aspar has not escaped suspicion of compassing the wears the Purple should stoop to a falsehood."* The the Great gious scruples he refused to renounce his profession is it fit that he should surrender his judgment, like a
of Arianism, the sole barrier between himself and the slave, to the will of a subject." In spite of this remark
Accession of Leo
History. able interview, it is asserted that Andaburius was arms in subduing the reluctance of the Romans, but Romar
declared Cæsar; but any reconciliation between the also to promote his interests in Gaul and Spain, by Empire From offended Prince and his presumptuous General thence- waging war with the Suevi and the other Barbarous
From forward must have been confined to outward profession. nations within the Pyrenees, who still refused to ac455. The populace of Constantinople loudly expressed knowledge the supremacy of the Empire. The General
455. their discontent at the appointinent; and in their hatred hesitated until the consent of Marcian could be obtained ;
of Arianism, they forgot both the splendour of Aspar's after which he allowed himself to be announced as the 476. military reputation, and the frequency of his largesses. successor of Maximus, and, in due time, crossed the
476, Leo was not backward in profiting by these demonstra- Alps to receive the congratulations of his people.*
tions of popular feeling, and he secretly encouraged The short reign of this monarch derived its sole Victories His ipsur.
Theodoric rection the dislike which seemed to promise him a release from glory from the triumphs of Theodoric over Rechiarius,
in Spain. the insufferable burden of a master. We are ill ac- the King of the Suevi. Several sanguinary conflicts quainted with the precise nature of the occurrences took place between these rivals, which ended in the
436. which at length placed Aspar in open rebellion. It entire defeat and death of the latter ; but the success seems as if a protracted struggle ensued, and that the which attended the ally of the Romans did not materially streets of Constantinople more than once were stained strengthen their interests on either side of the Pyrenees, with the blood of the contending parties. But in the for the Sovereign of the Visigoths looked rather to the
end the fortune of the Emperor prevailed, and Aspar extension of his own dominions than to the perpetuity And death. and his son fell by the hands of the Eunuchs of the of the Imperial Government. Avitus, on the other
Palace. The widow of Andaburius became the bride hand, possessed neither ambition nor activity sufficient
and thereby soon dissolved the slight bonds which had
ciated with himself in the Empire, the infant son of the Alps, could not be viewed but as an usurper; for Accession Zeno and his daughter Ariadne, a child scarcely six which reason he intimated to Avitus that it were wise of Leo II. years of age. A single year after the decease of his for him to retire from the toils of Government, and
grandfather terminated the rule of this unhappy boy. .enter once more upon the enjoyment of a private life. 474. The title of Cæsar had already been bestowed upon The Emperor was easily induced to exchange his Throne And of
Zeno, and the premature death of his son opened the for the Chair of a Bishop in the Church of Placentia •
. Avitus is The next Emperor owed his elevation to the partiality consulted the interests of his adopted Country, by raising
457. raised to the of the Gauls, and to the power of Theodoric, the King to the Throne a true patriot and a distinguished soldier. throne by of the Visigoths. Maximus, to relieve his Italian Go- Majorianus had been bred in the school of Ætius, to whom Theodoric, the Visigoth.
vernment from the care of the Provinces beyond the he was sincerely attached by the deepest sentiments of
Alps, had nominated Avitus, a native of that Country, gratitude and respect, and to whose military reputation 455.
to the command of the army, as well as to the adminis- he had greatly contributed by his steady valour and
+ Jornand. de Reb. Get. c. 44. Sidon. Apoll, lib. ix. Ep. xvi.
Chron. Idat. sub. ann. Greg. Tour. lib. ii. c. 2. Sidon. Panegyr. the Purple; promising not only to assist him with his
Anthem, v. 302.
Procop. de Beil. Vandal. lib. i. c. 7. Sidon. Panegyr, Majorian * Gibbon, c. 39.