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GHA P. morality extended the rights of war to the practice

of poisoning the waters *, and secretly firing the granaries † of a besieged city . While he pressed the blockade of Ravenna, he was surprised by the arrival of two ambassadors from Constantinople, with a treaty of peace which Justinian had imprudently signed, without deigning to consult the author of his victory. By this disgraceful and precarious agreement, Italy and the Gothie treasure were divided, and the provinces beyond the Po were left with the regal title to the successor of Theodoric. The ambassadors were eager to accomplish their salutary commission; the captive Vitiges accepted, with transport, the unexpected offer of a crown; honour was less prevalent among the Goths than the want and appetite of food; and the Roman chiefs, who murmured at the continuance of the war, professed implicit submission


* In the siege of Auximum, he first laboured to demolish an old aqueduct, and then cast into the stream, 1. dead bodies; 2. mischievous herbs; and 3. quicklime, which is named (says Procopius, 1. ii. c. 29.) Titavos by the ancients; by the moderns arosses. Yet both words are used as synonimous in Galen. (Dioscorides, and Lucian (Hen. Steph. Thesaur. Ling. Græc. tom, iii. p. 748.).

+ The Goths suspected Mathasuintha as an accomplice in the mischief, which perhaps was occasioned by accidental lightning.

I In strict Philosophy,' a limitation of the rights of war seems to imply nonesense and contradiction. Grotius himself is lost in an idle distinction between the jus naturæ and the jus gentium, between poison and infection. He balances in one scale the passages of Homer (Odyss. A. 259, &c.) and Florus (1. ii. c. 20. No. 7. ult.); and in the other, the examples of Solon (Pausanias, l. x. c. 37:) and Belisarius. See his great work De Jure Belli et Pacis, 1. iii. c. 4. si 15, 16, 17, and in Barbeyrac's version, (tom. ii. p. 257, &c.). Yet I

can under stand the benefit and validity of an agreement, tacit or express, mutually to abstain from certain modes of hostility. See the Amphictyonic oath in Eschines, de Falsâ Legationc.


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to the commands of the emperor. If Belisarius CHAP. had possessed only the courage of a soldier, the laurel would have been snatched from his hand by timid and envious counsels: but in this decisive moment, he resolved, with the magnanimity of a statesman, to sustain alone the danger and merit of generous disobedience. Each of his officers gave a written opinion, that the siege of Ravenna was impracticable and hopeless: the general then rejected the treaty of partition, and declared his own resolution of leading Vitiges in chains to the feet of Justinian. The Goths retired with doubt and dismay : this peremptory refusal deprived them of the only signature which they could trust, and filled their minds with a just apprehension, that a sagacious enemy had discovered the full extent of their deplorable state. They compared the fame and fortune of Belisarius with the weakness of their illfated king; and the comparison suggested an extraordinary project, to which Vitiges, with apparent resignation, was compelled to acquiesce. Partition would ruin the strength, exile would disgrace the honour, of the nation; but they offered their arms, their treasures, and the fortifications of Ravenna, if Belisarius would disclaim the authority of a master, accept the choice of the Goths, and assume, as he had deserved, the kingdom of Italy. If the false lustre of a diadem could have tempted the loyalty of a faithful subject, his prudence must have foreseen the inconstancy of the Barba. rians, and his rational ambition would prefer the safe and honourable station of a Roman general,



CHAP. Even the patience and seeming satisfaction with

which he entertained a proposal of treason, might Karao be susceptible of a malignant interpretation.

But the lieutenant of Justinian was conscious of his own rectitude; he entered into a dark and crooked path, as it might lead to the voluntary submission of the Goths; and his dexterous policy persuaded them that he was disposed to comply with their wishes, without engaging an oath or a promise for the performance of a treaty which he secretly abhorred. The day of the surrender of Ravenna was stipulated by the Gothic ambassadors : a fleet, laden with provisions, sailed as a welcome guest

into the deepest recess of the harbour : the gates kingdom were opened to the fancied king of Italy; and Beof Italy, lisarius, without meeting an enemy, triumphantly December. marched through the streets of an impregnable

city * The Romans were astonished by their success; the multitude of tall and robust Barbarians were confounded by the image of their own patience; and the masculine females, spitting in the faces of their sons and husbands, most bitterly reproached them for betraying their dominion and freedom to these pygmies of the south, contemptible in their numbers, diminutive in their stature. Before the Goths could recover from the first sur. prise, and claim the accomplishment of their


the Gothic

A. D. 530

* Ravenna was taken, not in the year 340, but in the latter end of 539; and pagi (tom. i. p. 569.) is rectified by Mu. ratori (Annali d'Italia, tom. v. p. 62.), who proves, from an original act on papyrus (Antiquit. Italiæ Medii Ævi, tom. ii. dissert. xxxii. p. 999—1007. Maffei, Istoria Diplomat. p. 155 -160), that before the 3d of January 540, peace and free

, correspondence were restored between Ravenna and Faenza.


doubtful hopes, the victor established his power CH A P. in Ravenna, beyond the danger of repentance and revolt. Vitiges, who perhaps had attempted to

Captivity of escape, was honourably guarded in his palace * ; Vitiges. the flour of the Gothic youth was selected for the service of the emperor; the remainder of the people was dismissed to their peaceful habitations in the southern provinces; and a colony of Italians was invited to replenish the depopulated city. The submission of the capital was imitated in the towns and villages of Italy, which had not been subdued, or even visited, by the Romans; and

; the independent Goths who remained in arms at Pavia and Verona, were ambitious only to become the subjects of Belisarius. But his inflexible loyalty rejected, except as the substitute of Justinian, their oaths of allegiance; and he was not offended by the reproach of their deputies, that he rather chose to be a slave than a king.

After the second victory of Belisarius, envy again Return ar.d whispered, Justinian listened, and the hero was Belisarius.

glory of recalled. “ The remnant of the Gothic war was “ no longer worthy of his presence: a gracious “ sovereign was impatient to reward his services, " and to consult his wisdom; and he alone was

capable of defending the East against the innu“ merable armies of Persia." Belisarius underVOL. VII.



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* He was seized by John the Sanguinary, but an oath or sacrament was pledged for his safety in the Basilica Julii (Hist. Miscell. l. xvii. in Muratori. tom. i. p. 107.). Anastasius (in Vit. Pont. p. 40.) gives a dark but probable account. Montfaucon is quoted by Mascou (Hist. of the Germans, xii. 21.) for a votive shieli representing the captivity of Vitiges, and pow in the collection of Signor Landi at Rome.


CHA P. stood the suspicion, accepted the excuse, embarked

at Ravenna his spoils and trophies; and proved, by his ready obedience, that such an abrupt re. moval from the government of Italy was not less unjust than it might have been indiscreet. 1 he emperor received, with honourable courtesy, both Vitiges and his more noble consort: and as the king of the Goths conformed to the Athanasiaa faith, he obtained, with a rich inheritance of lands in Asia, the rank of senator and patrician Every spectator admired, without peril, the strength and stature of the young Barbarians : they adored the majesty of the throne, and promised to shed their blood in the service of their benefactor. Justinian deposited in the Byzantine palace the treasures of the Gothic monarchy. A flattering senate was sometimes admitted to gaze on the magnificent spectacle ; but it was enviously secluded from the public view; and the conqueror of Italy renounced, without a murmur, perhaps without a sigh, the well-earned honours of a second triumph. His glory was indeed exalted above all external pomp; and the faint and hollow praises of the court were supplied, even in a servile age, by the respect and admiration of his country. Whenever he appeared in the streets and public places of Constantinople, Belisarius attracted and satisfied the eyes of the people. His lofty stature and ma


* Vitiges lived two years at Constantinople, and imperatoris in affectu convictus (or conjunctus) rebus excessit hu. manis. His widow, Maihajuenta, the wife and mother of the patricia! s, the elder and younger Germanus, united the streams

, of Anic an and Amali blood (Jornandes, c. 60. p. 221. in Mu. ratori, tom, i.).

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