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CHA P. sian name of paradise *, they enjoyed a cool and elegant repose; and, after the daily use of the bath, the Barbarians were seated at a table profusely spread with the delicacies of the land and sea. Their silken robes loosely flowing after the fashion of the Medes, were embroidered with gold: love and hunting were the labours of their life, and their vacant hours were amused by pantomimes, chariot-races, and the music and dances of the theatre.

Defeats the

tle.

In a march of ten or twelve days, the vigilance a first bat of Belisarius was constantly awake and active against his unseen enemies, by whom, in every place, and at every hour, he might be suddenly attacked. An officer of confidence and merit, John the Armenian, led the vanguard of three hundred horse; six hundred Messagetæ covered at a certain distance the left flank; and the whole fleet steering along the coast, seldom lost sight of the army, which moved each day about twelve miles, and lodged in the evening in strong camps; or in friendly towns. The near approach of the Romans to Carthage filled the mind of Gelimer with anxiety and terror. He prudently wished to protract the war till his brother, with his veteran troops, should return from the conquest of Sardinia; and he now lamented the rash policy of

his

* Παράδεισος καλλιτος ἀπαντων μεις ὢν ημείς εσμέν. The paradises, a name and fashion adopted from Persia, may be represented by the royal garden of Ispahan (Voyage d'Olearius, p. 774.). See, in the Greek romances, their most perfect model (Longus, Pastoral. 1. iv. p. 99–101. Achilles Tatius, 1. i. P. 22, 23.).

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his ancestors, who, by destroying the fortifica- Chap: tions of Africa, had left him only the dangerous resource of risking a battle in the neighhourhood of his capital. The Vandal conquerors, from their original number of fifty thousand, were multiplied, without including their women and childten, to one hundred and sixty thousand fighting men: and such forces, animated with valour and union, might have crushed, at their first landing, the feeble and exhausted bands of the Roman general. But the friends of the captive king were tnore inclined to accept the invitations, than to tesist the progress, of Belisarius ; and many a proud Barbarian disguised his aversion to war under the more specious name of his hatred to the usurper. Yet the authority and promises of Gelisa mer collected a formidable army, and his plans were concerted with some degree of military skill. An order was dispatched to his brother Amniatas, to collect all the forces of Carthage, and to encounter the van of the Roman army at the distance of ten miles from the city: his nephew Gibamund, with two thousand horse, was destined to attack their left, when the monarch him. self, who silently followed, should charge their rear, in a situation which excluded them from the aid or even the view of their fleet. But the rashness of Ammatas was fatal to himself and his country. He anticipated the hour of attack, outstripped his tardy followers, and was pierced with a mortal wound, after he bad slain, with his own hand, twelve of his boldest antagonists. His Vandals fled to Carthage ; the highway, almost

ten

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mans.

1

CHA P. ten miles, was strewed with dead bodies; and it

seemed incredible that such multitudes could be slaughtered by the swords of three hundred Ro

The nephew of Gelimer was defeated after a slight combat by the six hundred Massagetæ : they did not equal the third part of his numbers; but each Scythian was fired by the example of his chief, who gloriously exercised the privilege of his family, by riding foremost and alone to shoot the first arrow against the enemy. In the meanwhile, Gelimer himself, ignorant of the event, and misguided by the windings of the hills, inadvertently passed the Roman army, and reached the scene of action where Ammatas had fallen. He wept the fate of his brother and of Carthage, charged with irresistible fury the advancing squadrons, and might have pursued, and perhaps decided the victory, if he had not wasted those inestimable moments in the discharge of a vain, though pious, duty to the dead. While his spirit was broken by this mournful office, he heard the trumpet of Belisarius, who leaving Antonina and his infantry in the camp, pressed forwards with his guards and the remainder of the cavalry to rally his flying troops, and to restore the fortune of the dayMuch room could not be found in this disorderly battle for the talents of a general; but the king fled before the hero; and

the Vandals, accustomed only to a Moorish enemy, · were incapable of withstanding the arms and discipline of the Romans. Gelimer retired with hasty steps towards the desert of Numidia; but he had soon the consolation of learning that his

private

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of Carth

private orders for the execution of Hilderic and CH A P. his captive friends had been faithfully obeyed. The the tyrant's revenge, was useful only to his enemies. The death of a lawful prince excited the compassion of his people; his life might have perplexed the victorious Romans; and the lieutenant of Justinian, by a crime of which he was innocent, was relieved from the painful alternative of forfeiting his honour or relinquishing his conquests.

As soon as the tumult had subsided, the several Reduction parts of the army informed each other of the age, A. D). accidents of the day; and Belisarius pitched his

533, Sep. 16 camp on the field of victory, to which the tenth mile-stone from Carthage had applied the Latin appellation of decimus. From a wise suspicion of the stratagems and resources of the Vandals, he marched the next day in order of battle, halted in the evening before the gates of Carthage, and allowed a night of repose, that he might not in darkness and disorder, expose the city to the licentiousness of the soldiers, or the soldiers themselves the secret ambush of the city. But as the fears of Belisarius were the result of calm and intrepid reason, he was soon satisfied that he might confide, without danger, in the peaceful and friendly aspect of the capital. Carthage blazed with innumerable torches, the signals of the public joy ; the chain was removed that guarded the entrance of the port ; the gates were thrown open, and the people, with acclamations of gratitude, hailed and invited their Roman deliverers. The defeat of the Vandals, and the freedom of Africa, were Vol. VII.

N

announced

CHA P. announced to the city on the eve of St. Cypriari,

when the churches were already adorned and illuminated for the festival of the martyr, whom three centuries of superstition had almost raised to a local deity. The Arians, conscious that their reign had expired, resigned the temple to the Catholics, who rescued their saint from profane hands, performed the holy rites, and loudly proclaimed the creed of Athanasius and Justinian. One awful hour reversed the fortunes of the contending parties. The suppliant Vandals, who had so lately indulged the vices of conquerors, sought an humble refuge in the sanctuary of the church; while the merchants of the East were delivered from the deepest dungeon of the palace by their affrighted keeper, who implored the protection of his captives, and shewed them, through an aperture in the wall, the sails of the Roman fleet. After their separation from the army, the naval commanders had proceeded with slow caution along the coast, till they reached the Hermæan promontory, and obtained the first intelligence of the victory of Belisarius. Faithful to his in.. structions, they would have cast anchor about twenty miles from Carthage, if the more skilful seamen had not represented the perils of the shore, and the signs of an impending tempest. Still ignorant of the revolution, they declined, however, the rash attempt of forcing the chain of the port; and the adjacent harbour and suburb of Mandracium were insulted only by the rapine of a private officer who disobeyed and deserted his leaders. But the Imperial fleet, advancing with

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a fair

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