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encouraged by the gifts and promises of Justinian. C# A P. To the historians of that prince, a campaign at the foot of mount Caucasus has seemed more deserving of a minute relation, than the labours of these missionaries of commerce, who again entered China, deceived a jealous people by concealing the eggs of the silk-worm in a hollow cane, and returned in triumph with the spoils of the East. under their direction, the eggs were hatched at the proper season by the artificial heat of dung; the worms were fed with mulberry leaves ; they lived and laboured in a foreign clië mate; a sufficient number of butterflies was saved to propagate the race, and trees were planted to supply the nourishment of the rising generations. Experience and reflection corrected the errors of a new attempt; and the Sogdoite ambassadors acknowledged, in the succeeding reign, that the Romans were not inferior to the natives of China in the education of the insects, and the manufactures of silk *, in which both China and Constantinople have been surpassed by the industry of modern Europe. I am not insensible of the benefits of elegant luxury ; yet I reflect with some pain, that if the importers of silk had introduced the art of printing, already practised by the Chie nese, the comedies of Menander and the entire



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* Procopius, 1. viii. Gothic. iv. c. 17. Theophanes, By zant. apud Phot. Cod. lxxxiv. p. 38. Zonaras, tom. ii. 1. xiv. p. 69. Pagi (tom. ii. p. 602.) assigns to the year 552 this memorable importation. Menander (in Excerpt. Legat. p. 107.) mentions the admiration of the Sogdoites; and Theophylact Simocatta (l. vii. c. g.) darkly represents the two rival king. doms in (China) the country of silk,

CHAP. decads of Livy would have been perpetuated in XL. the editions of the sixth century. A larger view

of the globe might at least have promoted the improvement of speculative science, but the Christian geography was forcibly extracted from texts of scripture, and the study of nature was the surest symptom of an unbelieving mind. The or. thodox faith confined the habitable world to one temperate zone, and represented the earth as an oblong surface, four hundred days journey in length, two hundred in breadth, encompassed by the ocean, and covered by the solid crystal of the

firmament * State of the

IV. The subjects of Justinian were dissatisfied with the times, and with the government.

Europe was over-run by the Barbarians, and Asia by the monks; the poverty of the West, discouraged the trade and manufactures of the East; the produce of labour was consumed by the un. profitable servants of the church, the state, and the army; and a rapid decrease was felt in the fixed and circulating capitals which constitute the national wealth. The public distress had been al


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* Cosmas, surnamed Indicopleustes, or the Indian naviga. tor, performed his voyage about the year 522, and composed át. Alexandria, between 535 and 547, Christian Topography (Montfaucon, Præfat. c. 1.), in which he refutes the impious opinion, that the carth is a globe; and Photius had read this work (Cod. xxxvi. p. 9, 10.), which displays the prejudices of a monk, with the knowledge of a merchant; the most valuable part has been given in French, and in Greek by Melchisedec Thevenot (Relations Curieuses, part i.), and the whole is since published in a splendid edition by the Pere Monfaucon (Nova Collectio Patrum, Paris, 1707, 2 vols. in fol. tom. ii. p. 113

-346.). But the editor, a theologian, might blush at not discovering the Nestorian heresy of Cosmas, which has been derected by la Croze (Christianisme des Indes, tom. i. p. 40–56.)


leviated by the economy of Anastasias, and that CHA P. prudent emperor accumulated an immense treasure while he delivered his people from the most odious or oppressive taxes. Their gratitude universally applauded the abolition of the gold of affliction, a personal tribute on the industry of the poor *, but more intolerable, as it should seem, in the form than in the substance, since the flourishing city of Edessa paid only one hundred and forty pounds of gold, which was collected in four years from ten thousand artificers t. Yet such was the parsimony which supported this liberal disposition, that, in a reign of twenty-seven years, Anastasius saved, from his annual revenue, the enormous sum of thirteen millions sterling, or three hundred and twenty thousand pounds of gold. His example was neglected, and his treasure was abused by the nephew of Justin. The riches of Justinian were speedily exhausted by alms and buildings, by ambitious wars, and ignominious treaties. His revenues were found in

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* Evagrius (1. iii. c. 39, 40.) is minute and grateful, but angry with Zosimus for calumniating the great Constantine. In collecting all the bonds and records of the tax, the humanity of Anastasius was diligent and artful; fathers were sometimes compelled to prostitute their daughters (Zosim. Hist. 1. ii. c. 38. p. 165, 166. Lipsia 1784). Timotheus of Gaza chose such an event for the subject of a tragedy (Suidas, tom. iii. p. 475.), which contributed to the abolition of the tax (Cedrenus, p. 35.),—an happy instance (if it be true) of the use of the theatre.

+ See Josua Stylites, in the Bibliotheca Orientalis of Asseman (tom. i. p. 268.). This capitation tax is slightly mentioned in the Chronicle of Edessa.

Procopius (Anecdot. c. 19.) fixes this sum from the report of the treasurers themselves. Tiberius had vicies ter millies; but far different was his empire from that of Anastasius

CHA P. adequate to his expences. Every art was tried to XL. extort from the people the gold and silver which

he scattered with a lavish hand from Persia to Avarice and profu. France *; his reign was marked by the vicissision of Jus. tinian. tudes, or rather by the combat of rapaciousness

and avarice, of splendour and poverty; he lived with the reputation of hidden treasures t, and bequeathed to his successor the payment of his debts [. Such a character has been justly accused by the voice of the people and of posterity: but public discontent is credulous; private malice is bold; and a lover of truth will peruse with a suspicious eye the instructive anecdotes of Procopius. The secret historian represents only the vices of Justinian, and those vices are darkened by his malevolent pencil. Ambiguous actions are imputed to the worst motives: error is confounded with guilt, accident with design, and laws with abuses : the partial injustice of a moment is dexterously applied as the general maxim of a reign of thirty-two years : the emperor alone is made res sponsible for the faults of his officers, the disorders of the times, and the corruption of his subjects;

and * Evagrius (I. iv. c. 30.), in the next generation was moderate and well-informed ; and Zonaras (1. xiv. c. 61.), in the

l xiith century, had read with care, and thought without prejudice : yet their colours are almost as black as those of the Anecdotes,

+ Procopius (Anecdot. c. 30.) relates the idle conjectures of the times. The death of Justinian, says the secret historian, will expose his wealth or poverty.

See Corippus de Laudibus Justini Aug. 1. ii. 260, &c. 384, &c.

“ Plurima sunt vivo nimium neglecta parenti,

“ Unde tot exhaustus contraxit debita fiscus." Centenaries of gold were brought by strong arms into the hippodrome :

“ Debita genitoris persolvit, cauta recipit,"

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and even the calamities of nature, plagues, earth- CHA P. quakes, and inundations are imputed to the prince of the dæmons, who had mischievously assumed the form of Justinian * · After this precaution I shall briefly relate the anecdotes of avarice and rapine, under the following heads : I. Justinian was 80 profuse that he could not be liberal. The civil and military officers, when they were admitted into the service of Pernicions

savings. the palace, obtained an humble rank and a moderate stipend; they ascended by seniority to a station of affluence and repose ; the annual pensions, of which the most honourable class was abolished by Justinian, amounted to four hundred thousand pounds; and this domestic economy was deplored by the venal or indigent courtiers as the last outrage on the majesty of the empire. The posts, the salaries of physicians, and the nocturnal illuminations, were objects of more general concern; and the cities might justly complain, that he usurped the municipal revenues which had been appropriated to these useful institutions. Even the soldiers were injured; and such was the decay of military spirit, that they were injured with impunity. The emperor refused, at the return of each fifth year, the customary donative of five pieces of gold, reduced his veterans to beg their bread, and suffered unpaid armies to melt away in the wars of Italy and Persia. II. The humanity of his predecessors had always Remit




* The Anecdotes (c. 11-14. 18. 20-30.) supply many facts and more complaints.

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