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Biography. taken from the Franks, the Burgundians, and the to abstain from the piratical habits which had so long Marcus
Lygians, were transported into Britain ; and hence it proved the shame of Isauria. This precaution, how.. Aurelius From has been conjectured, that Wandlesburg, in Cambridge- ever, like all other political arrangements that oppose
Probus shire, owes its name to a body of Vandals who were the natural bent of an uncivilized people, was soon
Augustus. 276. placed in that neighbourhood, during the reign of which found unavailing; and accordingly in a few years, the
From we are now recapitulating the events. Many of the hardy Tribes whom Probus subdued, could boast of 282.
wandering tribes, too, consented to occupy settlements increasing numbers, and of unshackled independence, Voyage of
276. the Bas
on the Rhine and the Danube; and we are told by throughout all the rugged mountains which their ances-
282. accepted an establishment in Thrace, and finally con- It had been a main object with this enlightened The army of tracted the habits and feelings of Roman subjects, with Emperor ever since he ascended the Throne, to streng- the East whom they became insensibly identifiedBut Probus then the foundations of the Civil authority, and thereby ninus Emwas not so successful in all his attempts at colonization, to withdraw the minds of the soldiers from the recol.
peror, and an interesting narrative is preserved respecting a lection of the dangerous privilege which they had so party of Franks, who had been carried into Pontus with long exercised, in the nomination of their Sovereigns. the view of strengthening that frontier against the But his example was not approved by the Legions in attacks of the Alani. Having got possession of some the remoter Provinces, who had ceased for several ships stationed at a port in the Euxine, they made their generations to reverence any other Government besides escape through the Bosphorus and Hellespont; and, that which was administered in their camp. We find, entering the Ægean sea, they landed from time to time accordingly, that when Probus marched into the West, on the coasts of Asia and Greece, to supply their wants, to repel the incursions of the Germanic hordes which or to gratify their revenge. Upon reaching the Island had taken possession of Gaul, the armies of the East of Sicily they attacked Syracuse with so much fury, that raised their Commander, Saturninus, to the rank of the inhabitants were unable to save either their lives or Augustus. This unfortunate Chief, who trembled at property. After this exploit they directed their course the distinction which his men had determined to force to Carthage, where they met with a check from a fleet upon him, bewailed in eloquent language the miserable sent out to oppose them ; but their vessels not being alternative to which he was reduced. " Alas!" he exmaterially injured, they still kept the sea, and turned claimed, “ the public loses this day the services of one their faces towards the shores of Spain. Passing the who has laboured not unsuccessfully for the promotion columns of Hercules they found themselves in the of her interests ; and the step which I have now been Atlantic Ocean; where, veering to the right, they at induced to take, cancels all my claims upon the gratilength touched the coast of Gaul, and finally completed tude of my Countrymen. You know not,” said he to their astonishing voyage by disembarking at the mouth those around him, “the misery of Sovereign power. of the Rhine.*
Swords are suspended over our necks ; spears and Probus sub
In the course of the following year Probus con- darts are pointed against our persons. We dread our dues the
ducted his victorious soldiers into Illyricum, where the Isaurians,
very Guards; we distrust our dearest companions. In peace of the Empire had been again disturbed by the raising me to the Imperial dignity, you have doomed incursions of the Scythian tribes. He strengthened in me to an inevitable death ; and in such circumstances his progress Eastward the important line of the Rhæ- there is only one consolation, the certainty that I cannot tian frontier; and, after a short delay, advancing upon perish alone.”+ the Barbarians in Pannonia, he drove them back, even The disaffection of the East was suppressed at small His defeat without the necessity of coming to a general action. expense of blood, but not before Saturninus had paid and death, Victory attended his steps wherever he went; and the the forfeit of his treason. It is said that Probus wished various Gothic nations, awed into submission by the to save his rival from the fury of the soldiers, and that terror of his name, immediately acknowledged their he had even entreated him to put confidence in his subjection, and relinquished the fruits of their plunder. clemency, should the fortune of war decide against him He met, indeed, with more resolute enemies in Asia in the field. But, in the unhappy state to which the Minor. The Isaurians, long noted as the boldest of Empire was reduced by the ascendency of the military robbers by sea as well as by land, set at defiance the power, it was never deemed expedient, either by the power of the Roman Emperor; but being sensible that victors or the vanquished, to spare the life of a defeated they could not encounter the discipline of his Legions usurper. in the field, they shut themselves up in a strong fort, The success which crowned the Imperial arms in Insurrecbuilt on the top of a steep and lofty precipice. The Syria, did not prevent a similar disturbance in Gaul. tion of
Proculus, siege to which this measure gave rise, was rendered re- Proculus, who commanded in that country, assumed markable by many instances of desperate courage, dis- the Purple, and prepared to maintain his pretensions at graced indeed with circumstances of minute horror, and the head of his troops; but he was so ill supported by the most barbarous cruelty. It is enough to relate, that the Germans, whom he had attempted to gain over to the skill of the Roman engineers prevailed over the his cause, that his resistance to the superior genius of resistance of savage fury and despair. Probus expelled Probus was equally short and ineffec al. The fate of the marauders from their rocks and caverns; and with this adventurer did not, however, deter Bonosus, the And Bonothe view of improving the character of the inhabitants, Admiral of a small fleet which the Romans maintained sus. he settled a number of his veteran soldiers as occupants upon the Rhine, from likewise withdrawing his allegiof the soil, on condition that their sons should hold The war which ensued appears to have been themselves bound to engage in the public service, and
• Vopisc. in Prob. c. 16. * Zonar. lib. xii. c. 29.p. 637 Eutrop. Aurel. Victor. Zosim. :Vopis, in Prob. c. 18; in Saturnin. passim, Zosim. lib.i. Zonar. lib. i. Vopisc. in Prob.
Biography. vigorously conducted on both sides. Several battles cade which surrounded the car of Probus. Among the
Marcus w were fought with various success; but the fortune of the vanquished, whose humiliation ministered to the pride Aurelius
Probus From Emperor at length resumed its wanted ascendency, and of the Romans, were the Germans and the Blemmyes ;
Augustus. compelled the faithless Lieutenant to take refuge among nations which at that period occupied the extreme 276. the Barbarians, from whom, it is said, he derived his boundaries of North and South in the Roman World.*
From birth. There he is reported to have delivered himself But this idle show was permitted by the Emperor, 282.
from his apprehensions by having recourse to a volun- rather to gratify the spectators than to soothe his own 276.
282. government of Probus.*
nected with the labours of the Camp; for which reason, Berplian | We find in Vopiscus and Zosimus an obscure narra- he had no sooner complied with the established usages
tive relating to an expedition into Egypt, conducted by of Rome, than he resumed his place at the head of the two of the Imperial Generals. Firmus, during the pre Legions stationed beyond the frontier on the Danube ceding reign, had displayed the standard of rebellion; and the Euxine. It is supposed that his ultimate and it would seem, that aided by the arms of a native object was to retaliate upon the Persians the injuries and Tribe, the Blemmyes, his troops still kept possession of disgrace which they had inflicted upon his Countrymen certain cities, and among the rest, Coptos and Ptolemais. in the person of the unhappy Valerian ; but, in the On this occasion they were reduced by the Lieutenants meantime, he thought proper to employ his troops in of Probus, who, to attest their victory, and grace the such public works as might at once enforce his plans Triumph of their master, carried as captives to Rome a of discipline, and add to the wealth and beauty of the considerable number of the people just named, whose Provinces. On this principle, while he commanded in His public singular appearance, it is added, excited in the Capital Egypt, he built Temples, Bridges, Porticoes, and Palaces, Works. a great degree of curiosity and astonishment.t
improved the navigation of the Nile, and even inSegociation In connection with this enterprise, the Augustan creased the productiveness of the rich soil for which that with Persia. Historian relates, that the King of Persia was so much country is distinguished. From similar motives he
offended or alarmed at the proceedings of the Roman instructed his soldiers to cover with luxuriant vineyards Emperor, that he resolved to take the field. An em- the hills of Gaul and Pannonia ; and not satisfied with bassy sent by the former, found Probus already en- such moderate undertakings, he resolved to drain an camped in the mountains of Armenia. He received the extensive tract of land near his native Sirmium, and representatives of the Persian Monarch with studied thereby to convert a stagnant marsh into a beautiful simplicity; and charged them with an answer to their plain, fitted for all the uses of agriculture. The warmaster which only served still farther to increase his riors of Italy could not consent to endure the unrefears. But we must not conceal, that the accompani- mitting toil of Pannonian peasants; and irritated by ments which adorn the narrative of this interview, cor- some expressions which the Emperor had employed, respond rather to the luxuriant fancy of a Rhetorician either to urge their labour or subdue their pride, they than to the dignity of such a character as that of Probus. threw down their spades and grasped their swords. We cannot believe that he would put any confidence Probus fled towards a tower, which he had constructed in the impression likely to be made upon the minds of as well perhaps for safety as for surveying the progress a formal, stately people, by seeing him seated on the of his works; but, before he could reach it, the soldiers grass, and eating pea-soup and pickled pork for his din- plunged their swords into his body, and terminated the He is assasner: or that he would pull off his cap to show his bald reign of one of the best Princes that had occupied the sinated. head, and assure the ambassadors that if the King their Throne of the Cæsars. Sovereign did not, before the sun should set, endeavour It would, indeed, be difficult to name among the His virtues, to repair the wrongs which he had done to the Romans, Sovereigns of Rome, one more distinguished than the he should see, before the end of the month, all the land Emperor Probus. Victorious throughout his whole in the Kingdom of Persia laid as bare as his head. At life, he added to his military talents the more valuable all events, it is certain that no hostilities ensued ; qualities of benevolence and integrity. Equal to Aurewhence we must conclude, that if the conference now lian as a warrior, he was milder and more gentle in his mentioned took place at all, it was attended with a disposition; as moderate, perhaps, as Marcus Aurelius, favourable result. I
he possessed greater abilities as a commander, and exThe return of Probus to Rome, after having subdued ercised a clearer judgment in promoting the interest of e Pobuse the Barbarians, and quashed the various insurrections the Republic. In a reign of six years he built or re
which had shaken the faith of the Provinces, afforded paired seventy cities; while he could number among
Hic Probus Imperator, et verè probus situs est.
Victor omnium gentium Barbarorum ; tion of the Blemmyes, see Pliny, v.8, where they are described to be a
Vopisc. in Prob. c. 21. headless people, carrying their mouths and eyes on their breasts. I Vopisc. in Probé Synes. p. 10–19.
Victor etiam Tyrannorum.
* Vopisc, in Prob. c. 19
M. AURELIUS CARUS AUGUSTUS; M. AURELIUS CARINUS AUGUSTUS;
AND M. AURELIUS NUMERIANUS AUGUSTUS.
FROM A. D. 282 to 295.
Carus of Probus was immediately placed in those of Carus; a field. The death of Probus had given courage to the
Augustus. From Prince whose character and motives do not enjoy that Barbarians, who renewed their predatory inroads into favourable light in the page of History to which his Illyricum and Thrace. The Persians, too, who had
From 282. actions appear to have entitled him. The manner in yielded to the menaces of that warlike Emperor, which the late Emperor was assassinated, might have assumed once more a threatening attitude, and excited
protected his principal Officers from the charge of pre- the fears of the Syrian Provinces. Carus, who was not Accession of
meditation ; but we find, notwithstanding, that the less a General than a Statesman, longed to signalize 285. Carus. Suspicions en
Prætorian Præfect who succeeded him on the Throne, his arms against those ancient enemies of Rome, and Prepares for tertained and who exercised the severest justice on his murderers, accordingly made preparations for entering upon the war against
the Sarmaagainst him. did not escape the suspicion of being accessary to a war with speed and effect. But before he committed
tians and crime to which he owed so great an advantage. the fortunes of the Empire to the decision of battle, he Persians. Zonaras, indeed, goes so far as to affirm, that Carus raised his two sons, Carinus and Numerianus, to the was named to the Empire before Probus was put to rank of Augustus : instructing the one to take the comdeath. Vopiscus, however, who had better means of mand of the Legions in Gaul, and conducting the other information, relates, that it was not until the soldiers to the Sarmatian frontier, which was already wasted by had consummated their mutiny in the blood of their bands of plunderers. victorious Chief, that they cast their eyes on the Præfect, His success against the Gothic Tribes was complete His victories as the most deserving of the Purple. *
and decisive. Sixteen thousand of their slain covered in Illyricum Doubts as A certain degree of doubt still remains respecting the the field of battle; while twenty thousand captives and Persia. to the place birth-place of the Emperor Carus : but, upon compar- rewarded the valour and discipline of the Romans with of his birth. ing the statements of different authors, we may con- whom they had ventured to engage. Leaving a suffi
clude that he was born in Illyricum, of parents, one of cient force to prevent the renewal of invasion, Carus
in the midst of which, after a tremendous clap of Letter to the Upon ascending the Throne, he thought it enough thunder, some one uttered a cry that the Emperor was Senate.
that he announced to the Senate his acceptance of the dead. It was discovered that the attendants of the
* Zonar. Jib. xii. c. 30. p. 638. Vopisc. in Car. c. 6.
* Vopisc. in Car.c.7, 8. Zonar, lib. xii.c.30. p. 638. Aurel. Victor, de Cæsaribus. Eutrop. lib. ix.
† Vopisc. in Car. c. 8.
From A. D.
From A. D.
Biography. Sovereign of Rome, may have fallen a victim to the At length the separation of the Court from the Camp M. Aurelive
anger or ambition of his Generals, rather than to the began to excite suspicions regarding the fidelity of Carinus fury of the elements. The event has been confidently Aper. The Soldiers insisted upon seeing the person of Augustus,
ascribed to the treachery of Arrius Aper, the Prætorian their Prince, concerning whose fate so many rumours M. Aurelius 282. Præfect, who was afterwards charged, upon similar were already in circulation; and they had no sooner broke Numerianus
grounds, with the murder of Numerianus ; and yet, it into his tent than they found that Numerianus had been Augustus. 285.
is but justice to mention, that most of the Historians sometime dead. The studied concealment which had who lived nearest the period in question, Vopiscus, so long marked the conduct of the Prætorian Præfect Eutropius, Aurelius Victor, Hieronimus, Rufus, and was held as indisputable evidence of his guilt; and he Festus, have attributed the demise of the Emperor to a was accordingly seized, thrown into chains, and reserved
282. natural cause. *
for a public trial, in the presence of the whole army. Namerian03
The vacancy which ensued was soon supplied by the To accomplish the purposes of justice or of revenge, Election of fuc'aimed, youngest son of Carus, whose accession was applauded Diocletian was elected Emperor; who, ascending a Diocletian.
by the unanimous voice of the soldiers, The rights of tribunal which was erected in the middle of the camp, tre Persia, the elder brother, who already occupied the Throne of gave orders that Arrius Aper should be brought before
the West, were at the same time recognised by the Army him. Desirous, in the first place, to purify himself from
Vopiscus adds to his narrative by recording a predic- A prophecy their panic, would advance into the country which still re- tion, which, in his opinion, accounts for the fact that respecting mained unconquered. The superstition of the Legions, Diocletian choose to execute with his own hand the him, however, opposed their farther progress towards the sentence of death upon the unfortunate Præfect ; for no East. The line in which the city of Ctesiphon forms one, says he, was ever more master of himself, or less the main position, was long regarded as the boundary subject to those bursts of passion, which anticipate determined by Fate to the Roman Empire ; it was, reflection, and drive men to act before they have time therefore, esteemed impious to brave the will of Heaven to think. He had not been long in the army, when hapby crossing the Tigris; while the manner of the late pening to be quartered at Tongres in Gaul, a Druidess Emperor's death was viewed as a manifestation that the remarked that he was extremely economical in his perGods were resolved to vindicate their authority over sonal expenses, and even reproached him with it. I the affairs of Man. The young Prince, accordingly, will be more generous, he replied, when I am Emperor. whatever might be his private wishes, found it neces. Your joke is not without foundation, rejoined the sary to listen to the entreaties of his soldiers, and to Priestess, for you shall be Emperor, but not until you desist from the prosecution of a war, which, in their have killed a Boar. This Prophecy made a deep imjudgment, had ceased to be auspicious.t
pression on the mind of the young soldier. Observing The Plezans In compliance with an impression which could not that the Imperial authority was often conferred upon
be either wisely or effectually resisted, Numerianus be- men of low extraction, he permitted himself to cherish gan his march towards Syria ; leaving the Persians at in secret the hope of one day obtaining it; and, taking a loss to account for a retreat
, which appeared to be the words of the Druidess in their literal acceptation, undertaken in contempt of all the probabilities of war. he frequently engaged in field sports with the view of Having passed through the various Provinces of Asia realizing the condition on which he was fated to ascend Minor, the camp, at the end of eight months, was the Throne. But it was not until Arrius A per appeared
pitched near Chalcedon, on the shores of the Bospho- before him as a criminal, that the mysterious language of Seness of rus. The health of the young Emperor being materially the Gallic female revealed its true import to his under
injured by the climate of the East, or the unusual standing; to verify which, and to secure the splendid rank
While these things came to pass in the East, Carinus Carinus Arrius Áper, who professed to communicate the will of employed his time in repressing sedition in Gaul, or in renders his master. I
displaying his vices and luxury in the Capital. Nature himself an formed him with a mind and a body equal to all the object of
contempt Eutrop. lib. ix. Vopisc. in Car. c.8. Aurel. Victor, de Cæsaribus ; enterprise and fatigues of war; and it is not denied,
and hatred, et Aurel. Victor, Epit. Hieron. Chron. in ann. + Vopisc. c. 9. Eutrop. lib. ix. bonar. lib. xii. c. 30.
* Vopisc. in Numerian.c. 13, 14, Vopisc, in Numerian. c. 12. Zonar. lib. xii. Aurel. Victor, Epit. † Vopisc. ubi suprà, c. 14. Eutrop. lib. ix. Aurel. Victor.
Biography. even by his greatest enemies, that when the emergen- It was in September, 284, that Diocletian was raised M. Aurelius
cies of the Empire required his presence in the field, to the Empire, and thereby constituted the rival of Carinus From he showed the best qualities both of a General and a Carinus. The winter appears to have passed in pre
Augustus. soldier. But he disgraced the season of Peace by paration for the contest, which in the ensuing Spring 282.
From the most contemptible vices and the fiercest cruelty. was to decide the fate of one or other of these Com
He banished or put to death the counsellors whom manders; and we find, accordingly, that when the army 285.
282. his father had placed around him to guide his inex. of the East began their march through Illyricum perience; and he punished with the meanest revenge towards Italy, the troops under Carinus advanced to
285. certain insults which his pride had sustained at meet them before they could pass the Rhætian Alps. Gains a victhe hands of his companions and school-fellows, who After various skirmishes attended with alternate suc- tory over had not had sufficient penetration to discover that he cess, a general action took place in Mæsia, in which the Diocletian, was destined to fill a Throne. He raised a door-keeper ability of the Western Emperor and the valour of his but is assas
to be Governor of Rome ; and, in the place of the troops were on the point of obtaining a signal triumph,
Regarding with the bitterest hatred every one the heart. Thus, the baseness of his character, which
CAIUS VALERIUS DIOCLETIANUS AUGUSTUS.
FROM A. D. 285 to 305.
From A. D.
Biography. Tue lineage of Diocletian has been traced by the war, the unanimous voice of the army called to the
Caius Historians of Rome, to a mean family in Dalmatia. His Throne the son of the slave of Anulinus. *
Valerias From father appears to have been originally a slave in the The election of Diocletian was amply justified by the Diocletianus
house of Anulinus, a wealthy Senator, by whom, even wisdom and moderation with which he began his reign. Augustus. 285.
after he had obtained his freedom, he continued to be Although he had been successfully opposed in the field
employed in the capacity of a Scribe. The servile name by the Legions under Carinus, he buried his resentment 305.
of the future Emperor was Docles, derived from the in the grave of that Emperor ; and so far was he from Birth of
town or village of Doclia, wherein his mother was born. punishing by death or deprivation those leaders who had
of Carus, and requested him to continue in the Office of
government, Rise in the Having at an early age embraced the profession of which he had discharged the duties so well. The same army and
arms, he rose fast in rank as well as in reputation under indulgence was shown to other men of rank; insomuch
several successive Princes. The school of Probus sup- that Aurelius Victor describes the astonishment of the the Throne.
plied him with the best maxims and the most striking Roman People at beholding a Civil war brought to an
* Vopisc. in Carin, c. 15–17. Zonar, lib. xii. c. 36. p. 638. + Eutrop. lib. ix.
• Vopisc. in Prob. Aurel. Victor, de Cæsaribus. Victor, Epil, † Aurel. Victor.