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Fisgraphy. till he completed their discomfiture under the walls soldiers plaeed their strength and their pride. Leaving Lucius
of that City, and compelied their Sovereign to take the defence of the place to six hundred bowmen, he Domitius refuge in her Capital. The strength of the fortifi- turned to Emesa ; where he spent some time in distri- Aurelianus
Augustus. cations, and the ample stores of provisions and ammuni- buting rewards and punishments, according to the ser270. tion with which she had supplied the garrison, gave her vices he had received, or the injuries which he had
From reason to hope that she could hold out till famine or sustained from the subjects of Zenobia. On this 275. the climate should drive the victors from the depth of occasion, the celebrated Longinus fell a victim to the
270. the wilderness which surrounded her seat of Govern- weakness of his mistress, and to the severe policy of ment, *
the victor. The Queen of Palmyra has been accused 275. He great The siege of Palmyra is one of the most interesting of purchasing life at the expense of her fame and Execution preparations events that mark the History of the declining Empire. friends. To avoid the disgrace of inflicting the penalty of Longinus.
In the eyes of Aurelian it appeared an object of not less of treason upon a woman, Aurelian selected from among difficulty than importance. The Roman People, said her counsellors fit objects upon whom to vent his anger, he, may speak with contempt of the war which I am and to assert the rights of an offended Sovereign. But now waging against a woman. They are ignorant both the fame of Longinus, it has been observed, will survive of the character and of the power of Zenobia. It is that of the Princess who betrayed, and of the Tyrant impossible to enumerate her warlike preparations, of who condemned him. Genius and learning were instones, of arrows, and of every species of missile wea- capable of moving a fierce, unlettered soldier, but they pon. The walls are provided with formidable engines, had served to elevate and harmonize the soul of Lonand artificial fires are thrown from every assailable ginus. Without uttering a complaint, he calmly folpoint. The fear of punishment has armed her with a lowed the executioners, pitying his unhappy mistress, desperate courage ; but still I trust for success to the and bestowing comfort on his afflicted friends. * protecting Deities of Rome, who have hitherto been But the miseries of Palmyra were not yet accom- Insurrection favourable to all my undertakings.t
plished. The Roman Emperor had scarcely reached at Palmyra Gege of Unwilling, at the same time, to incur the manifold Illyricum, whither he was called by a renewed incursion Panna hazards inseparable from a protracted siege in such a of the Goths, when the fickle Syrians once more re
region, the Emperor wrote to Zenobia with the view of volted, and displayed on their walls the standard of inducing her to surrender. Her answer was firm and rebellion. Listening to the advice of Apsæus, they fell indignant. She reminded him of the resolute conduct upon the garrison, all of whom, with their Commander of Cleopatra ; threatened him with the vengeance of the Sandarion, they cruelly put to death; after which they Persians, the Saracens, and the Armenians ; and even proclaimed as Augustus a relative of their Queen, who taunted him with the losses which he had recently sus- is known in the varying histories of the times, by the tained at the hands of the roving Arabs. But her allies names of Achilleus and of Antiochus. Stimulated by a were less zealous than she expected; her provisions just resentment, Aurelian returned to Palmyra, rejected were at length exhausted; and after all her resources the submission of the rebels, and forthwith delivered had been called into action and failed, she was obliged up the town to military execution. Torrents of blood It is sacked to yield to the fatal necessity of relinquishing her proud were shed; the Temples were robbed of their ornaments, by the
City to the resentment of a powerful Conqueror. At- and the other public edifices of their magnificence and Romans. Capture of tempting to make her escape to the Persians, on the splendour; and, upon the whole, so great was the de
back of a swift dromedary, she was taken prisoner by a vastation, that the City of Palm Trees never afterwards
under the command of Probus, who afterwards ascended The capture of Zenobia decided the fate of Palmyra. the Throne, as well as under the personal direction of It is asserted by Zosimus, that before she left the city, Aurelian himself, who went thither to subdue the disshe exhorted the garrison to hold out until she should affection of Firmus, a wealthy citizen of Alexandria. return with a reinforcement from the Persians. But Entitled by so many victories to the honours of a Aurelian no sooner was it known that she was prisoner in the Triumph, the Emperor repaired to Rome, where the celebrates a
Triumph. camp of the Romans, than the inhabitants, despairing people were impatient to witness the gratifying spectacle of relief, entreated the clemency of the conqueror, of that gorgeous procession. Vopiscus exhausts all and declared their readiness to deliver up the city into the powers of language in describing the objects which his hands. Aurelian listened to the voice of policy invited the public applause and admiration. Three rather than to that of revenge ; he granted to them the Royal chariots graced its splendour. The first was life and liberty which they implored, and contented that of Odenatus, shining with gold, silver, and precious himself with a portion of their wealth, the silks and stones. Another, equally superb, had been given to precious stones which they obtained from the remoter Aurelian by the King of Persia. The third was made Asia, and the arms, horses, and camels, in which their for Zenobia, who in the height of her prosperity, when
she flattered herself with thoughts of becoming mistress * Zosim. lib. i. p. 655—657. Aurel. Victor, Epit. + Vopisc. in Aurel. c. 26.
* Vopisc. in Aurel. Zosim. lib. i. Trebell. Poll. in Trigint. Tyran. Trebell. Poll. in Trigint. Tyran. Zosim. lib. i. p. 657.
† Zosimn. lib. i. Vopisc. in Aurel. Trebell. Poll. in Trigint. Turun.
It is the Goths,
Biography. of Rome, intended it for her triumphant entry into that and the hand of the executioner was fatigued with the Lurias city ; little anticipating that it would be her fate to daily duties of his office. *
Domitius From follow the wheels of the same car, a vanquished and Conscious that he was better qualified to guide the
Aurelianus hopeless captive. A fourth vehicle appeared, drawn by valour of his Legions in the field, than to employ the
Augustus. 270. four stags, and described as having belonged to a King wisdom of his counsellors in the Senate, he listened
of the Goths; a deceitful token of victory over a Peo- without reluctance to a rumour which announced an 275.
ple to whom had been recently conceded the important approaching commotion in Gaul. The rapidity of his 270.
Province of Dacia, originally conquered by Trajan, and
Aurelian," ing centuries.t
from Thrace into Asia Minor, he was attacked and
home; a duty which at all times requires a delicate It was the remark of a Ruler who succeeded him
* Vopisc. in Aurel. 36, 37, 39. Aurel. Victor. Calphurn. Eclag
† Zosim. lib. i. Zonar. lib. xii. c. 27. p. 636. Eutrop. lib. ix, 24, 25, 30. Aurel. Victor. Eutrop. lib. ix. | Vopisc. in Aurel. Trebell. Poll, in Trigint, Tyran. Aurel. Victor,
Vopisc. in Aurel. 44. Diocletianum frequenter, dixisst, Aurelio Epit.
anum magis ducem esse debuisse quam Principem.,
MARCUS CLAUDIUS TACITUS AUGUSTUS.
FROM SEPTEMBER, A. D. 275, to APRIL, A. D. 276.
Biography. The death of Aurelian so much enraged the Army, powerful Monarchy in the world, menaced by foreign Marcus that the Soldiers were more intent for a time on bring- enemies, and torn by domestic factions.*
Claudius From ing his murderers to condign punishment, than on It was the wisdom not less than the inclination of
Augustus. providing a successor. Even after they had recovered this aged Emperor, that induced him to leave much of 275. from the first paroxysm of wrath, they hesitated whether the supreme power in the hands from which he received
From they should immediately exercise the right which long it. He encouraged the Senate to resume their wonted 276. custom had placed in their hands, or wait for the advice authority; to appoint Proconsuls to all the Provinces ;
275. The Army csalts the
and concurrence of the Senate, in choosing a Head for and to exercise all the other privileges which had been Sesate, the Empire. Upon a short deliberation they adopted conferred upon them by Augustus. His moderation 276.
the latter alternative, and resolved to write, or to send a and simplicity were not affected by the change of his His encou-
Sovereign, without an usurper, and without a sedition.* ciated with a Scythian tribe, the Alani, to reinforce his
was convoked to exercise once more the valuable pre- Barbarians, faithful to their engagement, arrived on Emperor,
rogative with which the Constitution of Rome had the Roman frontiers with a strong body of cavalry;
* Vopisc. Florian. c. 5,6. + Vopisc.
| Vopisc. Zosim. lib. i. Zonar. lib. xii. c. 27. p. 637. VOL. XI.
Biography. despised his pacific genius and literary habits. But it him a stranger. It is clear, at all events, that he died
is not less probable, that he sank under the fatigues of at Tyana in Cappadocia, after having swayed the From
the campaign and the severity of the climate, to both Sceptre of the Roman Empire about two hundred
vices of Probus,
Biography. This virtuous Prince was a native of Pannonia, where, them with acting precipitately, in electing a Chief who Marcus
like the parents of Claudius and Aurelian, his father had no desire to enjoy supreme power, and who posses- Aurelius From appears to have filled the station and discharged the sed not those qualities which were best fitted to ensure
duties of a small occupier of land. The young Probus popular applause. In a Letter to the Prætorian Præfect, Augustus, 276. entered the army, it is supposed, in the rank of a private too, he declared that he had never wished for the Em
From soldier; but, his merits having struck the discerning eye pire, and had even accepted it with great unwillingness; 282.
of Valerian, he obtained immediate preferment, and but, he added, it is no longer permitted me to resign Early ser
276. afterwards advanced so rapidly in his profession, that, an office which exposes me to the utmost danger and before he reached the customary age, he was by the odium; I must continue to act the part which the 282. positive command of the same Emperor invested with soldiers have imposed upon me.t the office of Military Tribune. This increase of power The election of two Emperors necessarily produced Defeat and only served to display in a larger field his great talent a temporary commotion in all the Provinces beyond the death of
Florianus, for war, and to point him out as worthy of still higher Adriatic. It is even said that Rome and the West promotion. At length he was placed at the head of the acknowledged Florianus, while Syria, Egypt, and the third Legion, an honour which Valerian himself once neighbouring countries declared for his rival; but it is enjoyed; on which occasion, the latter acknowledged manifest, from the position of the two armies, that the that the quickest returns of favour were slow in com- fate of the Empire, and of the hostile competitors, could parison with the brilliant career of victory which he had only be determined at a distance from the Capital. The pursued, and promised that he would soon commit to former, impatient of the opposition with which he was his hands a much more important trust than he had threatened, left the frontiers, which he had been aphitherto discharged.*
pointed to guard, and advanced into Cilicia, with the His favour When Aurelian ascended the Thi ne, he found in view of giving battle to the Syrian Legions. Probus, on with Taci. Probus an able and faithful General. He employed the other hand, who knew that the climate would soon
him to reconquer Egypt from the arms of Zenobia, procure for him a bloodless triumph, satisfied himself
your clemency gave to the world a Head chosen from Elected
It is not, therefore, in any degree surprising that among yourselves; for you are the legal Sovereigns of Emperor with Flo.
when, by the insurrection in Cappadocia, the Empire the Empire, and the power which you derive from your rianus.
was deprived of a Head, the army of the East should ancestors, ought to descend to your posterity. Happy
Aurel. Victor, Epit. Aurel. Victor, de Cæsaribus, Florian, Vopisc. c. 3,9. Aurel. Victor, Epit.
c. 2, 3. Zosim, lib. i. f Vopisc, c. 9. Jul. de Cæsaribus.
† Zosim. lib, i. Eutrop. lib. ix. Vopisc. in Prob. c. 7.
Esgraphy. Empire; and by your judgment on this head I shall his mercy: and so complete was his success, that he Marcus regulate my conduct.**
hesitated for a moment whether he should leave them Aurelius From
Probus When this respectful Epistle was read in the Senate, in possession of their rude independence, or subject
Augustus. the election of the Eastern army was ratified by the their whole Country to the condition of a Roman 276. Members with the loudest acclamations. A decree Province. The latter object, he was aware, could not
was immediately passed to confirm in the hand of be obtained without inducing or compelling the natives 982.
Probus the sceptre which he seemed willing to relin- to relinquish their arms; a concession which, he knew, 276. He'ection tied quish, and to confer upon him all the several branches they would not make, as long as there was a marsh or of the Imperial dignity; the names of Cæsar and a forest in their rear to protect their scattered remains.
282. Augustus, ihe Proconsular command, the Tribunitian He therefore thought it more expedient to limit the power, the Office of Pontifex Maximus, the title of price of the peace which they sought to the restitution Father of his Country, and the privilege of making of the effects and captives which they had carried away three motions in the Senate in the same day: a mode from the Provinces ; obliging the Chiefs to punish such of investiture, it has been remarked, which, though it of their people as might refuse to comply with those seemed to multiply the authority of the Emperor, ex- terms to the full and literal extent. In additiou, he
pressed the Constitution of the ancient Republic. imposed upon them an annual tribute of corn and cattle, Ba Consti- That Probus was sincere in the deference which he for the use of the garrison, which he might find it társal Gothus paid to the Senate, is placed beyond doubt by the necessary to establish along their frontier, as well as to
general tenour of his whole reign. On all occasions he reimburse the Empire for the expense and loss occaconfined himself to military affairs, and confided to the sioned by the war. Lastly, he demanded from them a illustrious body now named, the full and unfettered ad- contingent of sixteen thousand men, chosen from among ministration of the Civil government. Indeed, he not the bravest of their youths, to serve in the Roman only preserved entire the privileges of the Senatorial armies. These he took care so to distribute in distant Order, but even enlarged them to an extent fully equal Provinces, and in separate corps, that not more than to the Constitution established by Augustus. By a fifty or sixty individuals were under the same standard ; declaration addressed to that assembly, he ordered that observing that, though it might be wise to recruit the all appeals from inferior Courts of justice, throughout ranks of the Legions from the Barbarians, it was a the whole Empire, should be submitted to their judg- species of aid which ought to be felt but not seen.* ment. He likewise restored to them the power of ap- To ensure a continuance of the tranquillity which he He builds a pointing the Proconsuls of such Provinces as belonged had thus enforced, he established a line of forts and wall from
the Danube to the jurisdiction of the People ; and also insisted that other military stations from the Rhine to the Danube. the Civil Magistrates even of those Provinces which About the reign of Hadrian, when that mode of defence Rhine. were under the immediate direction of the Emperor, began to be practised, these garrisons were connected, should consent to receive their commissions from the and covered by a strong entrenchment of trees and Senate.†
palisades. In the place of so rude a bulwark, Probus The first exercise of power on the part of the new built a stone wall of a considerable height, and fortified Monarch, was to punish those individuals who had been it by towers at convenient distances. From the neighmost active in the mutiny which led to the fall of his bourhood of Nieustadt and Ratisbon on the Danube, it predecessor. But the restless spirit of the Barbarians, stretched across hills, vallies, rivers, and morasses, as by whom the Empire was surrounded, soon called him far as Wimpsen on the Neckar, and at length terminated
to a service more congenial to his warlike character. on the banks of the Rhine, after a winding course of zations Gaul, ever since the death of Aurelian, had been infested nearly two hundred miles. This important barrier,
by the usual inroads of Franks, Burgundians, and other uniting the two mighty streams which protected the Northern nations, who, not content with plundering the Roman Provinces in Europe, seemed to fill up the country, as formerly, seized upon the principal towns, vacant space through which the Northern Barbarians and manifested every where an undisguised resolution could penetrate into the heart of the Empire. But it to invest themselves with a permament occupation of has been well observed, that the experience of the world the land.
from China to Britain, has exposed the vain attempt of Great suc
Marching against the several hordes in their respec- fortifying an extensive tract of country. The fate of the enter of the tive settlements, he succeeded, after a bloody campaign, wall which Probus erected confirms the truth of this
in driving them across the Rhine, and in restoring tran- remark; for in a few years after his death, it was overquillity to the Gallic Provinces. Four hundred thou- thrown by the Alemanni, and its scattered ruins, still sand of the invaders are reported to have fallen the visible in our times, serve only to excite the wonder, or victims of their avarice or rashness. Vopiscus adds,
amuse the superstition, of the German peasant.* that the Roman Emperor, not satisfied with having
To the wise policy of Probus has been ascribed a His plans delivered his territories from an enemy so active and practice, the general adoption of which at a later period, of coloniza
tion. rapacious, followed them into their own fortresses, and might have conferred an important benefit on the displayed the terror of his power on the banks of the Empire; that, namely, of replenishing the border lands Neckar and of the Elbe. To teach them the value of exhausted by incessant war, with colonies drawn from peace, he resolved to leave upon their minds a deep im- the more crowded countries of the Barbarians, strengpression of the horrors and devastation which accom.
thened by such Roman soldiers as chose to accept repany an unsuccessful war. With his views he continued tirement, and a portion of the richest soil. It was not the pursuit and the slaughter, until nine of the Barba- unusual to dispose of captives in the manner now disrian Kings threw themselves at his feet and implored cribed. Zosimus relates, that most of the prisoners
Vopisc. in Prob. c. 13-15. Zosim. lib. i. p. 664. Aurel. • Vopisc. in Prob. c. 11–13.
Victor, er Vict. Epit. + Zosim, lib. i. p. 663. Zonar. lib. xii, c. 29. p. 637
| Vopisc. ubi supra, Zosim. lib. i. Hieron, Chron. Eutrop. lib. ix.