From A. D.


A. D.

A. D.

But no

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-
involving the aged sire and the infant at the breast, the reign of the Visigoths, received a mortal wound, and
helpless female and the priest before the altar. Orleans, was trampled under the feet of the horsemen; but his
the walls of which had been recently strengthened, had son, the gallant Torismond, soon revenged his death, by
the resolution and skill to make a successful resistance. advancing at the head of his nation, and throwing the
Ætius, it should seem, had promised to relieve it, and whole weight of a united charge upon the exhausted
entreated the brave defenders to keep the enemy at bay lines of the Huns, who were compelled to turn their
until he could bring up an army sufficiently strong to backs. The approach of night enabled Attila to with-
combat the Huns. But the time necessary to accom- draw his troops within the entrenchment of waggons;
plish this object somewhat exceeded his first calculation. which usually formed his camp; while the victors,
The Bishop, whose name was Anianus, encouraged unwilling to irritate the despair of so determined a cha-
meanwhile the perseverance of the garrison, and exhorted racter, did not attempt to expel him from his temporary
the people to lend their aid in repelling the furious fortress. In truth, the slaughter, which amounted to
assault of the Barbarians; assuring them that, before a hundred and sixty-two thousand, had weakened both
the close of another day, the expected succour would sides so much, that the battle was not renewed; and it
arrive, and their ancient city would be saved. He sent was only because Attila dreaded some ulterior movement
a messenger to the highest tower, to see whether there on the part of his able adversary, by, which his commu-
were any appearance of troops in the distant horizon; nication with the Danube might be intercepted, that he
but it was not till after he had been twice disappointed, resolved upon returning across the Rhine, and relin-
that the welcome intelligence was announced to him of quishing all his conquests in Gaul.t
a small cloud of dust rising at the remotest verge to In the following year the inundation, which had rolled Attila in-
which the eye could reach.

vades Italy
“ It is the aid of God!" back from the Provinces beyond the Alps, desolated the
exclaimed the pious Prelate, and his words were instantly fairest parts of Italy. The King of the Huns, whose 452.
repeated in shouts of joy by all the citizens. Every prey was snatched from his hands by the military talent
eye was now fixed on the distant object which had of Xtius, augmented his forces during the winter, and
revived their hopes ; and no long time elapsed before was ready, in the early months of Spring, to pass the
they could clearly distinguish the banners of the Empire

A. D,

* Sidon. Apoll. lib. viii. Ep. xv. * Jornand, de Reb. Get. c. 36, 37. Chron. Idat.

† Jornand, de Reb. Get, c. 41.

A. D.

From A. D.

A. n.



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


A. D.

Conduct 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.

A. D.

From A. D.

From A. D.


A. D.

to A. D.



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-
the noble families resident in Rome. Maximus did not tion of a city with which they were not connected by
allow his revenge to slumber; and finding fit agents any recollections of ancestry or sentiments of honour.
among the friends of Etius, he stimulated them to an The Vandals, accordingly, met with no opposition as
act which their affection for their late patron invested they approached the walls ; but as they drew nearer, they
with the character of justice and gratitude. Seizing saw issuing from the gates a procession of priests and
an opportunity afforded by the presence of Valentinianus anchorites, headed by the Bishop, coming forth to im-
at some Military Games in the Campus Martius, they plore the clemency of the invader, to entreat that he

upon him with arms in their hands, and stabbed would spare the helpless multitude within, and to save
him to the heart. In this manner fell the last Emperor the buildings from fire. The voice of Leo again soothed
of the House of Theodosius, despised for his weakness, a conqueror ; and Genseric, like Attila, consented to
and abhorred for his crimes; one whose conduct in his reverence the seat of Religion, reserving to himself,

years, and especially towards Ætius and Maximus, however, the infliction of such punishment on the luxu-
fully justified the comparison made in his hearing by an rious and the wanton as the justice of Heaven might
honest courtier, who likened him to a man who cuts off direct him to administer.t
his right hand with his left.t

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
was ample, and he had already filled the highest offices Capitol were torn down and removed, and the spoils
which could be discharged by a subject. To the repu- which Titus brought from the Temple of Jerusalem, the
tation which he had acquired by his able conduct in golden table, and the candlestick of seven branches com-
public life, he added the wise enjoyments of literature posed of the same material, were hurried on board and
and elegant society at home; and, till the moment that conveyed to Carthage. The rich furniture of the Palace,
he permitted himself to be arrayed in the Purple, his the massy plate, and the rare jewels which decorated
condition might be regarded as a rare instance of human the ensigns of office, were seized by the rude hands of
felicity. To strengthen his Government, indeed, he the soldiers, and classed with the common booty. Nor
procured the marriage of his son with the eldest daugh- were the persons of the highest rank in the State pro-
ter of the late Emperor ; and with the same view, per- tected from robbery and violence. Even Eudoxia her-
haps, he insisted on Eudoxia, the widow of Valenti- self, who had expected to meet a friend in Genseric,
nianus, becoming his own wife. But the means which was deprived of her most costly ornaments, and, with
he thus employed to ensure a happy reign, and to trans- her two daughters, compelled to join the train of the
mit to his family a hereditary right to the Empire, conqueror, and to accompany him to Africa. Thou-
proved the occasion of bringing his

days to a close, and sands of meaner captives were, in like manner, forced
of involving his Country in misery and disgrace. The into domestic servitude, or sold for slaves in the streets
Empress, indignant at the violence which had been

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.
* Procop. de Bell. Vandal. lib. i. c. 4. Chron. Marcel. Idat, and + Evag. lib. ii. c. 7. Chron. Idat. Prosp. Marcel. sub, am, Vict.
Prosp. Sidon. Panegyr. Avit.

Viten. lib. i. c. 8.
+ Procop. ubi suprà.

Jornand. de Reb. Get. c. 45. Procop. ubi suprà.





FROM A. D. 455, TO A, D. 476.

A. D.

A. D.

1. D.


A. D.


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

From 453.

have left to posterity a more unblemished reputation, own person, he resolved to wield through that of
or appear to have been more attentive than Marcianus another. Hereditary command during three genera-

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.

when stripped of its marvellous accompaniments, may choice fell upon a private individual, of obscure origin,
not be without a foundation in truth. It is said that Leo, by birth a Thracian, who hitherto had attained
Marcianus, while acting as Secretary of the Patrician no higher offices than those of Military Tribune and
Aspar during the African war, was taken prisoner by Chief Steward of Aspar's household. The new Em-
Genseric. The captive was brought into the Palace peror was elected by the nnanimous voice of the Senate,
Court preparatory to an inspection by the Barbarian and his inauguration was attended with an unusual
King, and there, while awaiting his arrival, Marcianus, solemnity. Anastatius, the Patriarch of Constantinople,
overpowered by fatigue, fell asleep upon the ground. placed the crown upon his brows, and established a
In this position, and exposed to the burning rays of a precedent which, in after-times, has been for the most
Tropical sun, the prisoner was not without assistance ; part adopted throughout all Christian Monarchies.
an eagle hovered over him while he slept, and expanded The foreign policy of Leo I. is necessarily intermingled
his broad wings as a shade. Genseric, who accidentally with the particulars which are presently to be described
viewed this occurrence from his apartment, interpreted of the occurrences in the West. We shall in this place
it as a prodigy; and concluding that his captive was treat only of his more immediate personal History. In
destined to be the future possessor of the Imperial his domestic administration he was gentle and munifi-
dignity, granted him liberty, upon a stipulation that he cent, a patron of Learning and the Arts, and studiously
would never make war upon the Vandals.* The Em- pacific. The chief troubles of his reign were occasioned
peror remembered, and adhered to his promise.

by those hands which had raised him to the throne.
The decease of the Empress Pulcheria occurred four Ariadne, the eldest of his two daughters, was bestowed

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
of St. Pulcheria is still observed by the modern Greeks; his grasp. He demanded the title of Cæsar for his son,

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

Death of

A. D.

A.D. 457.

Accession of Leo

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A. D.

A. D.


A. D.


A. D.

A. D.

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
of an Isaurian, the fortunate Trascalisseus, who ex- to excite his vigilance or carry him into the field in per-
changed that barbarous sound for the Grecian appella- son. He plunged, with an avidity unbecoming his age,
tion of Zeno,* under which he afterwards ascended the into the luxuries and even the dissipation of the Capital,
Throne of his father-in-law.

and thereby soon dissolved the slight bonds which had
The reign of Leo continued seventeen years, and, united him with the affections of his people. The feel-
though undistinguished by brilliant events, Historians ings of the Senate, who had not been consulted in the
have concurred in bestowing upon him a title which elevation of the Master-General of Gaul, were readily
has rarely been earned at so cheap a rate-it may be penetrated by Count Ricimer, the grandson of Wallia,
added, and the recollection is a melancholy one, at so King of the Visigoths; who, after having displayed his
small a sacrifice of human happiness. It is perhaps valour against a fleet of Vandals, which threatened the
chiefly to distinguish him from the many other and more Court of Italy, had just returned to Rome amidst the
weak Sovereigns who have borne the same name, that shouts of the populace. He was dissatisfied with the
he is known as the Great. Before his death he asso- feeble administration of a Prince who, on that side of

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 •
way to a succession, contrary to the order of Nature, but soon afterwards, when attempting to escape into Death of
and creating a very natural suspicion of the means by Gaul, he was overtaken either by disease or by the hand Avitus.
which it had been secured. The turbulent scenes of an assassin, and died before he could descend from
which followed will find a more convenient place in the mountains into his native Province of Auvergne.t 456.
another part of our narrative. We now return to the Ricimer, whose Barbarian origin might still have Elevation
transactions of the Western Empire.
been viewed as an obstacle to the highest preferment, Majoriaaus

. 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
tration of Civil affairs, in all the districts South of the professional knowledge. He had been recently ap-
Rhone and the Loire. The new Master-General soon pointed to the high office of Master-General of the
discovered that the Visigoths exercised, in the Gallic army, and was so much esteemed by all classes of the
Assembly, a degree of influence which entirely super- Romans, that the grandson of Wallia resolved, since he
seded the authority of the Emperor, and, consequently, himself durst not aspire to the sovereign power, to
that it was more for his interest to stand well with the gratify the wishes of the Senate and People by support-
Court of Thoulouse than with the Senate of Rome. ing his election. I
Theodoric was at this time the. Sovereign of the Goths, The short reign of Majorianus is a bright spot amid
having put to death his elder brother, the brave Toris- the general gloom which dimmed the evening of the
mond, who contributed so much to the success of his
countrymen at the battle of Châlons. When the news * Sidon. Panegyr. Avit. v. 550. Sidon. lib. ii. c. 2. Greg. Tour,
reached Gaul that Maximus had fallen the victim of lib. ii. c. 2.
popular fury, the Gothic Prince urged Avitus to assume

A. D.


A. D.

A. D.

A. D.

+ 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.

v. 107.

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