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the swarthy Tartar, and approached without at. CH A P. taining the lofty stature and fair complexion of XLII. the German. Four thousand six hundred villages * were scattered over the provinces of Russia and Poland, and their huts were hastily built of rough timber, in a country deficient both in stone and iron. Erected, or rather concealed in the depth of forests, on the banks of rivers, or the edge of morasses, we may not perhaps, without flattery, compare them to the architecture of the beaver ; which they resembled in a double issue, to the land and water for the escape of the savage inhabitant, an animal less cleanly, less diligent, and less social, than that marvellous quadruped. The fertility of the soil, rather than the labour of the natives, supplied the rustic plenty of the Sclavonians. Their sheep and horned cattle were large and numerous, and the fields which they sowed with millet and panic t, afforded, in the place of bread, a coarse and less nutritive food. The incessant rapine of their neighbours compelled them to bury this treasure in the earth; but on the appearance of a stranger, it was freely imparted by a people, whose un
* This sum is the result of a particular list, in a curious MS. fragment of the year 550, found in the library of Milan. The obscure geography of the times provokes and exercises the patience of the count de Buat (tom. xi. p. 69–189.). The French minister often loses himself in a wilderness which requires a Saxon and Polish guide..
* Panicum milium. See Columella, 1. ii. c. 9. p. 430. edit. Gesner. Plin. Hist. Natur. xviii. 24, 25. The Sarmatians made a pap of millet, mingled with mares milk or blood. In the wealth of modern husbandry, our millet feeds poultry, and not heroes. See the dictionaries of Bomare and Miller
CHA P. favourable character is qualified by the epithets of
chaste, patient, and hospitable. As their supreme god, they adored an invisble master of the thunder. The rivers and the nymphs obtained their subordinate honours, and the popular worship was expressed in vows and sacrifice. The Sclavonians disdained to obey a despot, a prince, or even a migistrate; but their experience was too narrow, their passions too headstrong, to compose a system of equal law or general defence, Some 'voluntary respect was yielded to age and valour; but each tribe or village existed as a separate republic, and all must be persauded where none could be compelled. They fought on foot, almost naked, and, except an unwieldy shield, without any defensive armour : their weapons of offence were a bow, a quiver of small poisoned arrows; and a long rope, which they dexterously threw from a distance, and entangled their enemy in a running noose. In the field, the Sclavonian infantry was dangerous by their speed, agility, and hardiness; they swam, they dived, they remained under water, drawing their breath through a hollow cane; and a river or lake was often the scene of their unsuspected ambuscade. But these were the achievements of spies or stragglers ; the military art was unknown to the Sclavonians ; their name was obscure, and their con quests inglorious *
For the name and nation, the situation and manners of the Sclavonians, see the original evidence of tlie vith century, in Procopius (Goth. 1. ii. c. 26. 1. iii, c. 14.) and the emperor
I have marked the faint and general outline of CHA P. the Sclavonians and Bulgarians, without attempting to define their immediate boundaries, which are
Their in. were not accurately known or respected by the roads. Barbarians themselves. Their importance was measured by their vicinity to the empire ; and
; the level country of Moldavia and Walachia was occupied by the Antes *, a Sclavonian tribe, which swelled the titles of Justinian with an epithet of conquest f. Against the Antes he erected the fortifications of the lower Danube ; and laboured to secure the alliance of a people seated in the direct channel of northern inundation, an interval of two hundred miles between the mountains of Transylvania and the Euxine sea. But the Antes wanted power and inclination to stem the fury of the torrent: and the light-armed Sclavonians, from an hundred tribes, pursued, with almost equal speed, the footsteps of the Bulgarian horse.
The payment of one piece of gold for each soldier, procured a safe and easy retreat through the country of the Gepidæ, who com
manded Mauritius or Maurice (Stratagemat. 1. ï. c. 5. apnd Mascou. Annotat. xxxi.). The Stratagems of Maurice have been printed only, as I understand, at the end of Scheffer's edition of Arrian's Tactics, at Upal, 1664 (Fabric. Bibliot. Græc. 1. iv. c. 8. tom. iii. p. 278.), a scarce, and hitherto, to me, an inaccessible book.
* Antes corum fortissimi .... Taysis qui rapidus et vorticosus in Histri fluenta furens devolvitur (Jornandes, c. 5. p. 194. edit. Murator. Procopius, Goth. l. ii. c. 14. et de Edific. l. iv. c. 7). Yet the same Procopius mentions the Goths and Huns as neighbours, YUTOBITU, to the Danube (de Edific. 1. iv. c. 1.).
+ The national title of Anticus, in the laws and inscriptions of Justinian, was adopted by bis successors, and is justified by the pious Ludewig (in vit. Justinian. p. 515.). It had strangely puzzled the civilians of the middle age.
CHA P. manded the passage of the upper Danube *. The
. XLII. hopes or fears of the Barbarians; their intestine
union or discord; the accident of a frozen or shallow stream; the prospect of harvest or vintage; the prosperity or distress of the Romans; were the causes which produced the uniform repetition of annual visits t; tedious in the nar-rative, and destructive in the event. The same year, and possibly the same month, in which Ravenna surrendered, was marked by an invasion of the Huns or Bulgarians, so dreadful, that it almost effaced the memory of their past inroads. They spread from the suburbs of Constantinople to the Ionian gulph, destroyed thirty-two cities or castles, erazed Potidæa, which Athens had built and Philip had besieged, and repassed the Danube, dragging at their horses' heels one hundred and twenty thousand of the subjects of Justinian. In a subsequent inroad they pierced the wall of the Thracian Chersonesus, extirpated the habitations and the inhabitants, boldly traversed the Hellespont, and returned to their companions, laden with the spoils of Asia. Another party, which seemed a multitude in the eyes of the Romans, penetrated, without opposition, from the streights of Thermopylæ to the isthmus of Corinth; and the last ruin of Greece has appeared an object too minute for the attention of history. The works which the emperor raised for the protection,
Procopius, Goth 1. iv. c. 25. + An inroad of the Huns is connected, by Procopius, with a comet; perhaps that of 531 (Persic. 1. ii. c. 4.). Agathias (l. v. p. 154, 155.) borrows from his predecessor some early facts,
but at the expence, of his subjects, served only to c HA P. disclose the weakness of some neglected part; and the walls, which by flattery had been deemed impregnable, were either deserted by the garrison, or scaled by the Barbarians. Three thousand Sclavonians, who insolently divided themselves into two bands, discovered the weakness and misery of a triumphant reign. They passed the Danube and the Hebrus, vanquished the Roman generals who dared to oppose their progress, and plundered, with impunity, the cities of Illyricum and Thrace, each of which had arms and numbers to overwhelm their contemptible assailants. What: ever praise the boldness of the Sclavonians may deserve, it is sullied by the wanton and deliberate cruelty which they are accused of exercising on their prisoners. Without distinction of rank, or age, or sex, the captives were impaled or flayed alive, or suspended between four posts and beaten with clubs till they expired, or inclosed in some spacious building, and left to perish in the flames, with the spoil and cattle which might impede the march of these savage victors * Perhaps a more impartial narrative would reduce the number, and qualify the nature, of these horrid acts; and they might sometimes be excused by the cruel laws of retaliation. In the siege of Topirus t, whose
* Thr cruelties of the Sclavonians are related or magnified by Procopius (Goth. 1. iii. c. 29. 38.). For their mild and liberal behaviour to their prisoners, we may appeal to the authority, somewhat more recent, of the emperor Maurice (Stratagem. 1. ii. c. 5.).
+ Topirus was situate near Philippi in Thrace, or Macedo. nia, opposite to the isle of Thasos, twelve days journey from Constantinople (Cellarius, tom. i. p. 676.840.).