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ed to attest the rights of Almondar, while the Gas- CHA P. sanite appealed to the Latin name of strata, a paved road, as an unquestionable evidence of the sovereignty and labours of the Romans*. The two monarchs supported the cause of their respective vassals; and the Persian Arab, without expecting the event of a slow and doubtful arbitration, enriched his flying camp with the spoil and captives of Syria. Instead of repelling the arms, Justinian attempted to seduce the fidelity, of Almondar, while he called from the extremities of the earth, the nations of Æthiopia and Scythia to invade the dominions of his rival. But the aid of such allies was distant and precarious, and the discovery of this hostile correspondence justified the complaints of the Goths and Armenians, who implored, almost at the same time, the protection of Chosroes. The descendants of Arsaces, who were still numerous in Armenia, had been provoked to assert the last relics of national freedom and hereditary rank; and the ambassadors of Vitiges had secretly traversed the empire to expose the instant, and almost inevitable, danger of the kingdom of Italy. Their representations were uniform, weighty, and effectual, " We stand before your throne, the advocates of
your interest as well as of our own. The am“ bitious and faithless Justinian aspires to be the " sole master of the world. Since the endless
Procopius, Persic. I. ii. c. 1. We are ignorant of the origia and object of this sirata, a paved road of ten days' journey. from Auranitis to Babylonia. (See a Latin note in Delisles Map Imp. Orient.) Wesseling and d'Anville are silent.
peace, which betrayed the common freedom of mankind, that prince, your ally in words, your
enemy in actions, has alike insulted his friends 6 and foes, and has filled the earth with blood and “ confusion. Has he not violated the privileges “ of Armenia, the independence of Colchos, and “ the wild liberty of the Tzanian mountains? Has “ he not usurped, with equal avidity, the city of
Bosphorus on the frozen Mæotus, and the vale “ of palm-trees on the shores of the Red Sea. “ The Moors, the Vandals, the Goths, have been “ successively oppressed, and each nation has “ calmly remained the spectator of their neigh“ bours ruin. Embrace, Oking! the favourable “ moment; the East is left without defence, while “ the armies of Justinian and his renouned gene“ ral are detained in the distant regions of the “ West. If you hesitate and delay, Belisarius and “ his victorious troops will soon return from the “ Tiber to the Tigris, and Persia may enjoy the “ wretched consolation of being the last devour“ ed *.” By such arguments Chosroes was easily persuaded to imitate the example which he condemned: but the Persian, ambitious of military fame, disdained the inactive warfare of a rival, who issued his sanguinary commands from the secure station of the Byzantine palace.
* I have blended, in a short speech, the two orations of the Arsacides of Armenia and the Gothic ambassadors. Procopius, in bis public history, feels, and makes us feel, that Justinian was the true author of the war (Persic. l. ii. c. 2, 3.).
A. D. 340.
Whatever might be the provocations of Chos- CHAP. roes, he abused the confidence of treaties; and the XLII, just reproaches of dissimulation and falsehood could
Le invades only be concealed by the lustre of his victories *, Syria, The Persian army, which had been assembled in the plains of Babylon, prudently declined the strong cities of Mesopotamia, and followed the western bank of the Euphrates, till the small, though popu. lous, town of Dura presumed to arrest the progress of the great king. The gates of Dura, by treachery and surprise, were burst open; and as soon as Chosroes had stained his scymiter with the blood of the inhabitants, he dismissed the ambassador of Justinian to inform his master in what place he had left the enemy of the Romans. The conqueror still affected the praise of humanity and justice; and as he beheld a noble matron with her infant rudely dragged along the ground, he sighed, he wept, and implored the divine justice to punish the author of these calamities. Yet the herd of twelve thousand captives was ransomed for two hundred pounds of gold ; the neighbouring bishop of Sergioplis pledged his faith for the payment; and in the subsequent year the unfeeling ararice of Chosroes exacted the penalty of an obligation which it was generous to contract and impossible to discharge. He advanced into the heart of Syria ; but a feeble
* The invasion of Syria, the ruin of Antioch, &c. are related in a full and regular series by Procopius (Persic. I. ii c. 5-14.). Small collateral aid can be drawn from the Orientals: yet not they, but D'Herbelot himself (p. 685.), should blush, when he blames them for making Justinian and Nushirvan coile, temporaries. On the geography of the seat of war, D'Anville (l'Euphrate et le Tigre) is sufficient and satisfactory.
CHAP. enemy,who vanquished at his approach, disappointed
him of the honour of victory; and as he could not hope to establish his dominion, the Persian king displayed in this inroad the mean and rapacious vices of a robber. · Hierapolis, Berrhæa or Aleppo, Apamea and Chalcis, were successively besieged; they redeemed their safety by a ransom of gold or silver, proportioned to their respective strength and opulence ; and their new master en. forced it, without observing the terms of capitulation. Educated in the religion of the Magi, he exercised, without remorse, the lucrative trade of sacrilege; and, after stripping of its gold and gems, a piece of the true cross, he generously restored the
naked relict to the devotion of the Christians of And ruins Apamea. No more than fourteen years had elapsed Antioch. since Antioch was ruined by an earthquake; but
the queen of the East, the new Theopolis, had been raised from the ground by the liberality of Justinian; and the increasing greatness of the build. ings and the people already erased the memory of this recent disaster. On one side, the city was defended by the mountain, on the other by the river Orontes; but the most accessible part was commanded by a superior eminence: the proper remedies were rejected, from the despicable fear of discovering its weakness to the enemy; and Germanus, the emperor's nephew, refused to trust his person and dignity within the walls of a besieged city. The people of Antioch had inherited the vain and satirical genius of their ancestors: they were elated þy a sudden reinforcement of six thousand soldiers;
they disdained the offers of an easy capitulation ; CHA P. and their intemperate clamours insulted from the ramparts the majesty of the great king. Under his eye the Persian myriads mounted with scalingladders to the assault; the Roman mercenaries fled
; through the opposite gate of Daphne ; and the generous resistance of the youth of Antioch served only to aggravate the miseries of their country. As Chosroes, attended by the ambassadors of Justinian, was descending from the mountain, he affected, in a plaintive voice, to deplore the obstinacy and ruin of that unhappy people; but the slaughter still raged with unrelenting fury; and the city, at the command of a Barbarian, was delivered to the flames. The cathedral of Antioch was indeed preserved by the avarice, not the piety, of the conqueror: a more honourable exemption was granted to the church of St. Julian, and the quarter of the town where the ambassadors resided; some distant streets were saved by the shifting of the wind, and the walls still subsisted to protect, and soon to betray, their new inhabitants. Fanaticism had defaced the ornaments of Daphne, but Chosroes breathed a purer air amidst her groves and fountains; and
; some idolaters in his train might sacrifice with impunity to the nymphs of that elegant retreat. Eighteen miles below Antioch, the river Orontes falls into the Mediterranean. The haughty Persian visited his term of conquests : and after bathing alone in the sea, he offered a solemn sacri.. fice of thanksgiving to the sun, or rather to the creator of the sun, whom the Magi adored. If this