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CH A P. of the subject was more truly conspicuous in the XXXIX. busy scene of labour and luxury, in the rapid in

crease and bold enjoyment of national wealth. From the shades of Tibur and Præneste, the Roman senators still retired in the winter-season to the warm sun, and salubrious springs of Baize; and their villas, which advanced on solid moles into the bay of Naples, commanded the various prospect of the sky, the earth, and the water. On the eastern side of the Hadriatic, a new campania was formed in the fair and fruitful province of Istria, which communicated with the palace of Ravenna by an easy navigation of one hundred miles. The rich productions of Lucania and the adjacent provinces were exchanged at the Marci. lian fountain, in a populous fair annually dedicated to trade, intemperance and superstition. In the solitude of Comum, which had once been animated by the mild genius of Pliny, a transparent bason above sixty miles in length still reflected the rural seats which encompassed the margin of the Larian lake; and the gradual assent of the hills was covered by a triple plantation of olives, of vines, and of chesnut trees *. Agriculture revived under the shadow of peace, and the number of husbandmen was multiplied by the redemption of captives f. The iron mines of Dalmatia, a gold


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* The villas, climate, and landscape of Baiæ (Var. ix. 6. See Cluver. Italia Antiq. 1. iv. c. 2. p. 1119, &c.), Istria (Var. xii. 22. 26.), and Comum (Var. xi. 14. compare with Pliny's two villas, ix. 7.), are agreeably painted in the epistles of Cassiodorius.

+ In Liguria numerosa agricolarum progenies (Ennodius, p. 1678, 1679, 1680.). St. Epiphanius of Pavia redeemed by prayer or ransom 6000 captives from the Burgundians of Lyons and Savoy. Such deeds are the best of miracles.

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mine in Bruttium, were carefully explored, and CHAP: the Pomptine marshes, as well as those of Spoleto, XXXIX. were drained and cultivated by private undertakers, whose distant reward must depend on the continuance of the public prosperity *. Whenever the seasons were less propitious, the doubtful precautions of forming magazines of corn, fixing the price, and prohibiting the exportation, attested at least the benevolence of the state; but such was the extraordinary plenty which an industrious people produced from a grateful soil, that a gallon of wine was sometimes sold in Italy for less than three farthings, and a quarter of wheat at about five shillings and sixpence f. A country possessed of so many valuable objects of exchange, soon attracted the merchants of the world, whose bene: ficial traffic was encouraged and protected by the liberal spirit of Thieodoric. The free intercourse of the provinces by land and water was restored and extended; the city gates were never shut either by day or by night; and the common saying, that a purse of gold might be safely left in



* The political economy of Theodoric (see Anonym. Vales. p. 721. and Cassiodorius, in Chron.) may be distinctly traced under the following heads: iron mine (Var. iii. 23.) ; gold mine (ix. iii.); Pomptine marshes (ii. 32, 33.); Spo. leto (ii. 21.); corn (i. 34. x. 27, 28. xi. 11, 12.); trade (vi. 7. 9. 23.); fair of Leucothoe or St. Cyprian in Lucania (viii. 33.); plenty (xii. 4.); the cursus, or public post (i. 29. ii. 3i. iv. 47. v. 5. vi. 6. vii. 33.); the Flaminian way (xii. 18.).

+ LX modii tritici in solidum ipsius tempore fuerunt, et vinum xxx amphoras in solidum (Fragment Vales.). Corn was distributed from the granaries at xv or xxv modi for a piece of gold, and the price was still moderate.

CHAP, the fields, was expressive of the conscious security XXXIX. of the inhabitants *

A difference of religion is always pernicious and Theodoric an Arian. often fatal to the harmony of the prince and peo

ple; the Gothic conqueror had been educated in the profession of Arianism, and Italy was devoutly attached to the Nicene faith. But the persuasion of Theodoric was not infected by zeal, and he piously adhered to the heresy of his fathers, without condescending to balance the subtile arguments of theological metaphysics. Satisfied with the private toleration of his Arian sectaries, he justly conceived himself to be the guardian of the public worship, and his external reverence for a superstition which he despised, may have

nourished in his mind the salutary indifference of His tolera. a statesman or philosopher. The Catholics of his tion of the dominions acknowledged, perhaps with reluctance,

the peace of the church; their clergy, according to the degrees of rank or merit, were honourably entertained in the palace of Theodoric; he esteemed the living sanctity of Cæsarius f and Epiphanius f, the orthodox bishops of Arles and Pavia ; and presented a decent offering on the tomb of



See the life of St: Cæsarius in Baronius (A. D. 508. No. 12, 13, 14.). The king presented him with 300 gold solidi, and a discus of silver of the weight of sixty pounds.

+ Ennodius in vid. St. Epiphanii, in Sirmond Op. tom. i. p. 1672-1690. Theodoric bestowed some important favours on this bishop, whom he used as a counsellor in peace and war.

Devotissimus ac si Catholicus (Anonym. Vales. p. 720.); yet his offering was no more than two silver candlesticks (cerosirata) of the weight of seventy pounds, far inferior to the gold and gems of Constantinople and France (Anastasius la Vit. Pont. in Hormisda, p. 34. edit. Paris).

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St. Peter, without any scrupulous inquiry into C HA P. the creed of the apostle *. His favourite Goths, XXXIX. and even his mother, were permitted to retain or embrace the Athanasian faith, and his long reign could not afford the example of an Italian Ca. tholic, who either from choice or compulsion, had deviated into the religion of the conqueror +. The people, and the Barbarians themselves, were edified by the pomp and order of religious worship; the magistrates were instructed to defend the just immunities of ecclesiastical persons and possessions; the bishops held their synods, the metropolitana exercised their jurisdiction, and the privileges of sanctuary were maintained or mo. derated according to the spirit of the Roman jurisprudence. With the protection, Theodoric assumed the legal supremacy, of the church; and his firm administration restored or extended some useful prerogatives which had been neglected by the feeble emperors of the West. He was not ignorant of the dignity and importance of the Roman pontiff, to whom the venerable name of Pope was now appropriated. The peace or the revolt of Italy might depend on the character of a wealthy and popular bishop, who claimed such

ample * The tolerating system of his reign (Ennodius, p. 1612. Anonym. Vales. p. 719. Procop. Goth. 1. i. c. 1. 1. ii. c. 6.) may be studied in the Epistles of Cassiodorius, under the fol. lowing heads : bishops (Var. i. 9. viii. 15. 24. xi. 23.); immunities (i. 26. ii. 29, 30.); church lands (iv. 17. 20.) ; sanctuaries (ii. 11. iii. 47.); church plate (xii. 20.); discipline (iv. 44.); which prove at the same time that he was the head of the church as well as of the state.

+ We may reject a foolish tale of his beheading a Catholic deacon who turned Arian (Theodor. Lector. No. 17.). Why is Theodoric surnamed Afer? From Vafer; (Vales, ad loc.) A light conjecture.

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CHAP. ample dominion both in heaven and earth; who XXXIX. had been declared in a numerous synod to be pure

from all sin, and exempt from all judgment *. When the chair of St. Peter was disputed by Symmachus and Laurence, they appeared at his summons before the tribunal of an Arian monarch, and he confirmed the election of the most worthy or the most obsequious candidate. At the end of his life, in a moment of jealousy and resentment, he prevented the choice of the Ro.. mans, by nominating a pope in the palace of Ravenna. The danger and furious contests of a

. schism were mildly restrained, and the last decree of the senate was enacted to extinguish, if it were possible, the scandalous venality of the papal

elections t. Vices of I have descanted with pleasure on the fortunate his govern. ment.

condition of Italy ; but our fancy must not hastily conceive that the golden age of the poets, a race of men without vice or misery, was realised under the Gothic conquest. The fair prospect was sometimes overcast with clouds; the wisdom of Theodoric might be deceived, his power might be resisted, and the declining age of the monarch was sullied with popular hatred and patrician blood. In the first insolence of victory, he had been tempted to deprive the whole party of Odo


* Ennodius, p. 1621, 1622. 1636. 1638. His libell was approved and registered (synodaliter) by a Roman council (Baronius, A. D. 503, No. 6. Franciscus Pagi in Breviar. Pont. Rom. tom. i. p. 242.).

+ See Cassiodorius (Var. viii. 15. ix. 15, 16.), Anastasius in Symmacho, p. 31.), and the xviith Annotation of Mascou. Baronius, Pagi, and most of the Catholic doctors, confess, with än angry growl, this Gothic usurpation.

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