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From A. D. 455.
From A. D.
Western Empire. His contemporaries are loud and and luxury. To accomplish this important end, Ma-
476. Hus Epistle Royal virtues in which Procopius assures us that the Romans themselves. Some disaffected individuals
Monarch in truth excelled all his predecessors.* In offered their service to the King of the Vandals and
gust, concludes Majorianus, in this address worthy of the Purple without regret; and his death, said variously better times of his Country, " the maxims of my Go. to have been the effect of disease, or of poison admi.
461. vernment: you may confide in the faithful love and nistered by command of Ricimer, followed at the dissincere assurances of a Prince who has formerly been tance of only five days. * your companion, who still glories in the name of The Count again exercised his influence in the ap- Accession Senator, and who is anxious that you should never pointment of a Sovereign ; but remembering the error of Libius
Severus. repent of the judgment which you have pronounced in which he had committed on the former occasion, he his favour.”+
selected a person who would neither oppose his meaHu wise
The labours of Majorianus to revive the authority of sures nor eclipse his talents. Libius Severus is hardly laws, and Law, to rekindle among the youth of Italy a martial mentioned in History except as the tool which Ricimer patriotic es. spirit, and to arrest the decay of the Imperial city, employed to cover his ambition and to accomplish its
manifested a disposition which, had he succeeded im- objects. It is not stated even how long he lived nor mediately to the great Theodosius, might have preserved, what was the manner of his death ; but it is probable during another century, the splendour of Rome and the that he survived till the year 467, when Anthemius, integrity of the Empire. But good laws were of little recommended by the Emperor of the East, was invited avail when opposed to universal corruption of man- to occupy the Italian throne. The veil which Ricimer ners, and the example of a warlike Prince made no threw over his plot was so thin and transparent that impression upon the minds of a people who were said his selfish motives were fully appreciated by most of to tremble at the sound of the trumpet. He was more the principal Officers at home and in the Provinces. successful in his endeavours to lessen and equalize the Marcellinus in Dalmatia, for example, and Ægidius in taxes, which in most places had become disproportion. Gaul, refused to acknowledge the authority of a Prince ate to the ability of the inhabitants, as also in the plans who possessed no freedom either of thought or of action. which be adopted for restoring the coin to its proper The former, who had not renounced Paganism, Insurrecweight and standard. The severest of his laws were exclusive of the ascendancy which he had established tion of Mar. directed against the dilapidation of the public edifices by great military prowess, and by learning extraordinary cellinus. in Rome, which had lately suffered more from the hands in a soldier, was regarded with a superstitious reverence of the citizens than from those of the Barbarian con- by the adherents of the abolished worship, as being querors; and he attempted, by similar means, to enforce gifted with mysterious powers of divination. Prompted the duties of marriage and of chastity, in order that the more, doubtless, by his natural sagacity than by any Republic might be supplied with numerous subjects, supernatural assistance from the Gods whom he suptrained up in virtuous maxims, and with a veneration ported, Marcellinus had early placed himself beyond for the manners of purer times. I
the reach of the tyranny of Valentinianus. The mild He carried his arms into Gaul, and gained several sway of Majorianus had retained him in nominal obeadvantages over Theodoric, whom, however, he treated dience to the Empire ; but the death of that Prince, more like an ally_than an enemy. He pursued his and the treacherous artifices by which Ricimer endeacourse across the Pyrenees, and restored to the obe- voured to seduce his mercenaries from their fidelity, at dience of the Empire several nations of Barbarian origin, length compelled him to assert his independence, and which affected independence. But his main object was quitting his Government of Sicily, he established himthe recovery of Africa, which was still held by Genseric self as Sovereign of Dalmatia. The Adriatic was and his Vandals; for he well knew that the Romans swept by his fleets, and his power was acknowledged continued to regret exceedingly the loss of a Province by an embassy from Leo, who prevailed upon him to from which they had derived so much of their wealth leave the Romans unmolested. “ Ægidius, the Master- And of Ægi
• De Bell. Vandal. lib. i. c. 7. † Novel. lib. iv. p. 34.
Ibid. Majorian, tit. vi. ix.
* Procop. de Bell. Vandal. lib. i. c. 8. Idat. Chron. sub. ann. Sidon. lib. i. Ep. ii.
to A. D.
History. General of Gaul, denounced Ricimer as the murderer of Egypt, he gained several advantages over the Roman
of his Sovereign. Beyond the Alps he remained in Vandals. Had he pushed on to the Capital and Empire. From security, and, during an interval of four years, he pre- availed limself of the consternation into which the
From sented the singular spectacle of a Roman King on the inhabitants were thrown, he might have terminated 455. Throne of the Franks, that people having elected him the campaign by extinguishing the Kingdom of Gen
455. on the banishment of Childeric. The restoration of the seric; but being betrayed by the wily Barbarian into
native Prince terminated the Royalty but not the power a negotiation, he gradually forfeited all his advan476. of Ægidius, and he continued to defy the open violence tages, saw the natives recover their confidence, while
476. with which Ricimer was desirous to overwhelm him, his own soldiers were surrounded with difficulties which till, as was confidently believed by his friends, he fell a increased every day. At length the plan, meditated
victim to the secret and more sure arts of poison. by Genseric during this hollow truce, was ready to be Piracies of But the evil which pressed with the greatest severity accomplished. The wind shifted round to a favourable the Vandals, on the Government of Severus was the incessant hos- point ; when he, having filled some of his largest
tility of the Vandals; who, being masters of the sea vessels with combustibles, ran them, under the cloud Defeat of
and as the Barbarians generally embarked himself with part of his ships reached the Straits of the
have suffered less than that of the Greeks, sailed back Accession Leo, whose importance was not a little increased by to the island of Sicily, where he was soon afterwards of Anthe
this application, made choice of Anthemius, an Officer assassinated.* mius.
of great wealth, and who had married one of the This attempt to subdue the Vandals only added to Policy of 467.
daughters of the Emperor Marcianus. The election of their strength and increased their enmity. They im- Genseric.
rected to the accomplishment of objects closely conExpedition Preparations were now made in both Empires fornected with his peculiar interests. His marriage with into Africa. the reduction of the Vandalic power in Africa, which a daughter of Theodoric, the successor of Alaric, ad
the enterprising spirit of Genseric had rendered so mitted him to the councils of the Court of Thoulouse ;
in Gaul ar was intrusted to Basiliscus, the brother-in-law of Leo, The unpopularity of the government exercised by
Spain, whose want of ability or of heartiness in the cause, Ricimer, during the reign of Severus, had alienated rendered the whole abortive. He landed at a con- from the Empire the important district which was venient fort about forty miles from Carthage, where, placed under the inspection of Ægidius ; and the acbeing supported by Marcellinus and by the Præfeet cession of Anthemius, so far from reviving the authority Heraclius, who had crossed the Desert from the borders of Rome beyond the Alps, rather gave spirit to the
Goths and increased the despair of the Provincials. * Sidon. Panegyr. Arthem, v 317 Procopius de Bell. Vandal. lib. i. c. 6.
* Procop. lib. i. c. 6. Theophanes, p. 99. Zonares, lib, xiy. of Sidon, Panegyr. Anthem. v. 67,
+ Procop. de Bel. Vandal. D. i. c. 6.
From A. D.
From A. D.
History. , Euric, the third son of the first Theodoric, had as- was carried out a corpse, leaving only one child, a
cended the throne of Thoulouse by the murder of his daughter, the offspring of his marriage with Placidia. Empire. brother, and already made great progress in the re- The turbulent Ricimer had paid the debt of nature a
duction of Spain. Having crossed the Pyrenees with short time previously; but, as if with the view of per455.
a large army, he defeated the Chiefs of the various na- petuating the power of his family and the means of
455. carrying his conquests to the shores of the Western army to his nephew Gundobald, a Burgundian Prince, 476. Ocean, he laid the foundations of the Gothic monarchy, who had assisted him in the reduction of Rome.
476. the fortunes of which form so interesting an episode in In virtue of the right which thus appeared to de- Death of the History of Europe. His success in Gaul was hardly scend to him, the young soldier elevated to the supreme Olybrius. less brilliant ; and had he not been opposed by the authority an obscure person whose name was Glycerius, Accession fortifications of some of the stronger cities in the South, and who possessed none of the qualities which could Gly
cerius, he would have rendered himself master of all the recommend him to the nation over which he was apfrontier Provinces, and thereby cut off the connection pointed to rule. But, in the mean time, the Court of
473. between Rome and the best of her Transalpine de- the East had chosen for the successor of Olybrius, a pendencies.*
relative of the Empress and a nephew of Marcellinus, Dimulas The weakness of the Imperial Government was still and sent him at the head of a respectable force to de
further increased by the dissensions which prevailed mand the allegiance of his Italian subjects. Julius Astenitus between Anthemius and his son-in-law Ricimer. The Nepos, upon his arrival at Ravenna, found that the And of Juasdficiner. latter, who seemed determined to rule whoever should active policy of Gundobald had anticipated the more
lius Nepos. be on the Throne, finding himself thwarted by the ob- leisurely decisions of Leo, and that it might be ne
474. stiuacy of the Emperor, withdrew from Rome and cessary to fight for the occupation of a throne which fixed his head-quarters at Milan ; where he might be he had been invited to accept. It soon appeared, ready to intrigue with his warlike countrymen who however, that, as Glycerius had not acquired any hold occupied the extensive region between the Alps and upon the affections of the Romans, and as the Burthe Danube. To avert the evils which could not fail gundian Prince was called away by the duties of his to attack a divided Country, the Bishop of Pavia in- station beyond the Alps, the dangers of the field might terposed his good office with the view of effecting a be averted by a private negotiation. The Emperor of reconciliation ; but although both parties professed a the West accepted the Bishopric of Salona, and willingly readiness to sacrifice personal feeling to the public resigned to Nepos the cares and perils of royalty.* good, it was obvious that neither was sincere, and that The new reign promised happiness and security to each would embrace the earliest opportunity for crushing the Empire, and began to remove those painful apprethe other. Rieimer, accordingly, as soon as his plans hensions which clouded the views of every patriot, were matured, advanced towards the Capital with an relative to its independence and perpetuity. The Visiarmy of Barbarians, prepared to depose Anthemius, goths, it is true, pursued their course of victory in and to establish a successorit
Gaul, and had already seized upon the finest Provinces Reimer The candidate selected on this occasion by the factious of that Country ; but as their ambition was soothed in
Count possessed some claims to the dignity to which the mean time by the cession of Auvergne, a sacrifice Qiybrius as he was taught to aspire.
Olybrius, for this was his which could no longer be withheld, it was hoped that Esperor.
name, had married Placidia, the youngest daughter of they would, in return, prove a barrier against the inroad Valentinianus, who was carried away captive from of more hostile Barbarians who continued to advance Rome by Genseric in the year 455, and afterwards from the North. These visions of tranquillity were not restored with her mother Eudoxia to the Court of realized. The mixed army, raised for the defence of
Insurrection Constantinople. His pretensions were supported by Italy and recruited chiefly in the Countries between the of Orestes. the Vandals, who had suddenly become the advocates Alps and the Danube, was always more ready to obey of hereditary right, and by Leo, who, for some reason the command of one of their own blood than that of which is not recorded, had withdrawn his favour from any puppet which might be set up to occupy the ImAnthemius. But the Senate and People, jealous of the perial Throne. Orestes had served under Attila, and restless spirit of Ricimer, and unwilling that their even represented his person in repeated embassies to ancient sceptre should be transferred from hand to hand the Court of Constantinople. Upon the death of that at his pleasure, shut their gates against him, and ex- renowned Autocrat, the Pannonian Chief transferred pressed their resolution to submit to the horrors of a his allegiance to the Sovereigns of Rome, to whose.. Civil war rather than to his haughty dictation. I
fortunes he adhered with laudable constancy, and even The siege of Rome, which continued three months, received from the hands of Nepos himself the dignity of Berse, and terminated once more in the sack of the city and in Patrician and the office of Master-General of the troops,
the death of the Emperor. Cruelty and intemper- cavalry and infantry. It is extremely doubtful whether ance disgraced the triumph of Ricimer ; and the the seditious impulse began with the commander or successor of Anthemius ascended the Throne amidst with the soldiers; but, before any assistance could be the tears and execrations of the whole people. Nor procured from the East, Orestes was on his march todid Olybrius long possess the dignity which was wards Ravenna, to terminate the reign of the effeminate purchased by him at the expense of so much blood Greek. Julius fled to Dalmatia, where he appears
Death of and desolation ; for about three months after his have resumed, during two or three years, the govern- Julius entry into the Capital over the bodies of the citizens, he ment of his Principality, and afterwards to have fallen Nepos.
by the hand of an assassin.f * Jornand. de Reb. Get. c. 44, &c.
+ Zonar. lib. xiv. Priscus, Excerpt. Legat. p. 74. Procop. 'de Bell. Vandal. * Sidon. lib. v. Ep. xvi. lib. i. c. 6.
* Ennod, in Sirmon. tom. i. p. 1665. Malch, apud Phot.
A. D. 472.
From A. D.
• to A. D.
to A. D.
History Orestes, now the master of Italy, refused the Purple, Odoacer to decline the gift of Sovereign power, which Roman
which, however, he allowed to be conferred upon his son his triumphant followers urged him to accept. The Empire. From Augustulus, the last Emperor of the West. But, although melancholy fate of all the successors of Valentinianus
the General might be satisfied with his distribution of might indeed have taught him that the Throne of the 455. honour and power, the troops who accomplished the West could no longer be held with safety, except by a
455. revolution coinplained that their interests had not been Prince who should lead his life in a camp, and convert
consulted in the settlement of affairs. They, therefore, his subjects once more into Roman soldiers. The jea476. insisted that one-third part of Italy should be assigned lousy, too, of Imperial authority, which had sunk deeply
476. Accession of Augus
to them as a permanent residence; a grant which they into the minds of the Barbarian Chiefs, and which was tulus. maintained to be necessary to place them on an equal certainly the reason why Ricimer and Orestes chose to
footing with their countrymen in Gaul, Africa, and rule through the medium of a second person, might
of Lucullus, in the beautiful coast of Campania ; after Conduct of The individual now named was the son of Edecon, which, he made known his determination that Augus. Odoacer. the ambassador of Attila, who, at the Court of Theo- tulus should have no successor, but that the Imperial dosius, listened to the proposal of Chrysaphius to take dignity in the West should be brought to a close. The
Extinction away the life of his master. It must for ever remain Eastern Emperor, after some hesitation, acceded to this of the doubtful whether the colleague of Orestes, on that proposal ; allowed himself to be addressed as sole Western remarkable occasion, was seduced, even for a moment, monarch of the Roman world; and finally received Empire. from his duty to the King of the Huns, or whether he from the hands of the ambassadors, sent by the Senate, did not, from the very first, intend to expose the du- the Imperial insignia and the ornaments of the Palace, plicity of the Imperial Ministers. At all events, the which were no longer required for the more humble subsequent conduct of Edecon justifies the more fa- office of a deputy or vicegerent. These envoys were vourable alternative, as he adhered to the cause of instructed to inform Zeno, now on the Throne of Con
Odoacer Attila when it was most depressed, and fell in battle stantinople, that the Senators of Rome were decidedly
, the Alani, the Scyrri, and the Ru- administration the Provinces of Italy.*
A battle was fought near the walls of Ravenna, in which banks of the Tiber, or on the shores of the Adriatic;
tuius was obliged to throw himself on the clemency of death of a man whose vital powers had been gradually
oppressed by an irresistible disease, and who at length
not any longer endure. * Procop. de Bell. Goth. lib. i. c. 1. + Ennod, in Vit. Epiphan. tom. i. p. 1669.
* Cassiad. Chron. a. D. 476. Malch. in Excerpi. Legat. p. 93.
HIS TO R Y.
OUTLINE OF THE STATE OF EUROPE AT THE FALL OF THE ROMAN
EMPIRE OF THE WEST.
A. D. 476.
History Having, in our preceding pages, contemplated the assigning a common source. Whether we believe the Settlement
long agony and inglorious dissolution of the Roman obscure legends of romance, that the infancy of these A. D. Empire of the West, we pause on the boundary which mighty nations was cradled in the dark forests of Barbarian
Nations. 476. is usually defined to separate the History of the ancient Scandinavia, or admit only the certain evidence of Far of the and the modern World. The line thus drawn by the their contiguous xpansion in the Age of Tacitus over common agreement of Historians is merely conventional: the Northern shores of Germany,t there is every rea
476. but the division is not altogether imaginary. The fall son to conclude that the numerous Tribes of the Goths of the gigantic fabric of Roman Sovereignty presents and Vandals all sprang from one great stock. The the most stupendous vicissitude in the political fortunes principal division of the former name into Ostrogoths of the universe. It put a final period to that mighty and Visigoths—Eastern and Western Goths-equally power, which had for seven hundred years overshadowed marks their original relative position, and describes the the Earth with its universal dominion; and, at the dis- track of their subsequent conquests : but the main host tance of fourteen centuries more, the growth, the rise, of the Vandals was a part only of a numerous race, and the origin of all the existing institutions of civilized of whose collateral branches two chiefly became afterGovernment and Society remain to be traced up to the wards known, by the monarchies which they founded, same determinate and memorable epoch. The extinc- under their appellations of Burgundians and Lombards. tion or suppression of the polity, the jurisprudence, and Of all those fierce Tribes which seized on the various I. The Vanthe manners of classical antiquity; the sudden substi- fragments of the Western Empire, the Vandals were dals in tution of new laws and customs, new Orders of men, foremost in the rapid flight of migration and conquest. Africa. and even new principles and feelings, throughout the After forcing their way in a few years from the coasts mass of the European communities; the last rude of the Northern Ocean to those of the Atlantic and Meshock which overthrew the crumbling edifice of the old diterranean, and overrunning the extent of the Spanish world's grandeur and glory; and the settlement on its Peninsula, they had been impelled by the onward presruins of the Barbarian nations, which the lapse of suc- sure of the Visigothic power from the Pyrenees, and ceeding Ages was to expand and consolidate into the invited by the treason of a Roman Governor, to cross enduring monarchies of these latter times; all identify over into Africa. There, subjugating the Imperial the appropriate commencement of Modern History, Provinces, they erected a new Kingdom, and, before with the Fall of the Western Empire of the Romans. the middle of the Vth century, made Carthage a second
Before the consummation of that event, we have time the Capital of an independent State. About 11. The Vi. les selle seen that the hardy Barbarians of the North had already twenty years later, the Visigoths, already seated in the sigoths in Le Barba. spread their victorious swarms over the greatest por. beautiful Provinces of South-Western France, had Spain and As salions, tion of the Roman world. Every movement of these filled the vacant traces of the Vandals without desert- Aquitaine.
hordes was the migration of an entire people with their ing their former possessions ; and they thus established families, their most valuable effects, and all the appen- the power and extent of their monarchy on both sides dages of their rude association. Wherever they pene. of the Pyrenees, from the banks of the Rhone and the trated, they successively overthrew and subjected either Loire, to the maritime limits of the Spanish Peninsula. 111. The the Imperial forces, or the less powerful Tribes who had The Ostrogoths, on the other hand, gathering from the Ostrogoths preceded them in the march of conquest ; and, fixing Danube, overhung the Alps like a thunder-cloud, which in Italy. themselves in their new possessions, they converted them into the permanent settlements of their nations, * Jornandes, De Rebus Geticis, c. 4. Paulus Wamefridus, (Liacoand rivetted their strong yoke upon the servile necks of nus,) De Gestis Langobardis, lib. i. c. 2. the old population.
+ Tacitus, Annales, lib. ii. c. 62. So also the later authority of To many of the most famous races of these Northern Ptolemy, In Europa Tab. 4.
Procopius, De Bello Vandal. lib. i. c. 1. Barbarians, the faint light of tradition, and the more g Ibid. lib. i. ii. authentic probabilities of Geographical position unite in Jornandes, De Reb. Get, c. 45-47.