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the general was silent, but the voice of reproach CHAP. and menace issued from the mouth of his imperious wife. Accused by credible witnesses, and the evidence of his own subscription, the successor of St. Peter was despoiled of his pon. tifical ornaments, clad in the mean habit of a monk, and embarked without delay, for a distant exile in the East. At the emperor's command, the clergy of Rome proceeded to the choice of a new bishop; and after a solemn invocation of the Holy Ghost, elected the deacon Vigilius, who had purchased the papal throne by a bribe of two hundred pouods of gold. The profit, and consequently the guilt, of this simony, was imputed to Belisarius: but the hero obeyed the orders of his wife; Antonina served the passions of the empress; and Theodora lavished her treasures, in the vain hope of obtaining a pontiff hustile or indifferent to the council of Chalcedon *. The epistle of Belisarius to the emperor an- Deliver:
ance of nounced his victory, his danger, and his resolution, the city.
According to your commands, we have entered “ the dominions of the Goths, and reduced to
your obedience, Sicily, Campania, and the
city of Rome : but the loss of these conquests “ will be more disgraceful than their acquisition was glorious. Hitherto we have successfully
Of this act of sacrilege, Procopius (Goth. l. i. c 25.) is a dry and reluctant witness. The narratives of Liberatus (Breviarium. c. 22.) and Anastasius (de Vit. Pont. p. 39.) are characteristic, but passionate. Hear the execrations of Cardinal Barunius (A. D. 536, No. 123. A. D. 538, No.4
, 20.): portentum, facinus omni execratione dignum.
fought against the multitude of the Barbarians, but “ their multitudes may finally prevail. Victory is the
gift of Providence, but the reputation of kings " and generals depends on the success or the failure " of their designs. Permit me to speak with free“ dom: if you wish that we should live, send us os
subsistence; if you desire that we should con
quer, send us arms; horses and men. The “ Romans have received us as friends, and deli
verers; but in our present distress, they will be “ either betrayed by their confidence, or we shall “ be oppressed by their treachery and hatred. For “ myself, my life is consecrated to your service: “ it is yours to reflect, whether my death in this “ situation will contribute to the glory and pros
perity of your reign.” Perhaps that reign would have been equally prosperous, if the peaceful master of the East had abstained from the conquest of Africa and Italy : but as Justinian was ambitious of fame; he made some efforts, they were feeble and languid, to support and rescue his victorious general. A reinforcement of sixteen hundred Sclavonians and Huns was led by Martin and Valerian; and as they had reposed during the winter season in the harbours of Greece; the strength of the men and horses was not impaired by the fatigues of a sea-voyage ; and they distinguished their valour in the first sally against the besiegers. About the time of the summer-solstice, Euthalius landed at Terracina with large sims of money for the payment of the troops: he cautiously proceeded along the Appian way, and this convoy entered
Rome through the gate Capena *, while Belisa- CHAP. rius, on the other side, diverted the attention of the Goths by a vigorous and successful skirmish. These seasonable aids, the use and reputation of which were dexterously managed by the Roman general, revived the courage, or at least the hopes, of the soldiers and people. The historian Procopius was dispatched with an important commission, to collect the troops and provisions which Campania could furnish, or Constantinople had sent; and the secretary of Belisarius was soon followed by Antonina herself t, who boldly traversed the posts of the enemy, and returned with the Oriental succours to the relief of her husband and the besieged city. A fleet of three thousand Isaurians cast anchor in the bay of Naples, and afterwards at Ostia. Above two thousand horse, of whom a part were Thracians, landed at Tarentum; and, after the junction of five hundred soldiers of Campania, and a train of waggons laden with wine and flour, they directed their march on the Appian way, from Capua to the neighbourhood of Rome. The forces that arrived by land and sea, were united at the mouth of the Tyber. Antonina convened a council of war: it was resolved to surmount, with sails and oars, the adverse stream of the river: and the Goths were apprehensive of disturbing, by VOL. VII.
* The old Capena was removed by Aurelian to, or pear, the modern gate of St. Sebastian (see Nolli's plan). That memorable spot
has been consecrated by the Egerian grove, the memory of Numa, triutaphal arches, the sepulchtes of the Scipios, Metelli, &c.
+ The expression of Procopius has an invidious cast ---TuXV εε τε κσφαλες την σφισι συμβησομένης καραδοκει», (Goth. 1. ii. c. 4.), Yet he is speaking of a woman.
CHA P. any rash hostilities, the negociation to which Beli:
sarius had craftily listened. They credulously believed, that they saw no more than the vanguard of a fleet and army, which already covered the lonian sea and the plains of Campania; and the illusion was supported by the haughty language of the Roman general, when he gave audience to the ambassadors of Vitiges. After a specious discourse to vindicate the justice of his cause, they declared that, for the sake of peace, they were disposed to renounce the possession of Sicily. “The emperor " is not less generous,” replied his lieutenant, with a disdainful smile,“ in return for a gift which
you no longer possess, he presents you with an “ antient province of the empire; he resigns to " the Goths the sovereignty of the British island.” Belisarius rejected with equal firmness and contempt, the offer of a tribute ; but he allowed the Gothic ambassadors to seek their fate from the mouth of Justinian himself; and consented with eeming reluctance, to a truce of three months, from the winter solstice to the equinox of spring. Prudence might not safely trust either the oaths or hostages of the Barbarians, but the conscious su
periority of the Roman chief was expressed in the Belisarius
distribution of his troops. As soon as fear or many cities hunger compelled the Goths to evacuate Alba, of Italy.
Porto, and Centumcellæ, their place was instantly supplied; the garrisons of Narni, Spoleto, and Perusia, were reinforced, and the seven camps of the besiegers were gradually encompassed with the calamities of a siege. The prayers and pilgrimage of Datius, bishop of Milan, were not without
effect; and he obtained one thousand Thracians CHA P. and Isaurians, to assist the revolt of Liguria against her Arian tyrant. At the same time, John the Sanguinary *, the nephew of Vitilian was detached with two thousand chosen horse, first to Alba on the Fucine lake, and afterwards to the frontiers of Picenum on the Hadriatic sea. " In " that province," said Belisarius," the Goths “ have deposited their families and treasures, with
out a guard or the suspicion of danger. Doubt" less they will violate the truce : let them feel
your presence, before they hear of your mo" tions. Spare the Italians; suffer not any for-, « tified places to remain hostile in your rear; and
faithfully reserve the spoil for an equal and com
mon partition. It would not be reasonable,” he added with a laugh, " that whilst we are toiling “ to the destruction of the drones, our more for“ tunate brethren should rifle and enjoy the
The whole nation of the Ostrogoths had beeni The Gothi assembled for the attack, and was almost entirely raise the consumed in the siege of Rome If any credit be Rome.
A. D. 338 due to an intelligent spectator, one third at least Maroko of their enormous host was destroyed, in frequent and bloody combats under the walls of the city. The bad fame and pernicious qualities of the suma mer air, might already be imputed to the decay of agriculture and population; and the evils of fa. mine and pestilence were aggravated by their own
* Anastasius (p. 40.) has preserved this epithet of Sang uinarius, which might do honour to a tyger.