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CHA P. successively cast a bridge of boats over the mouths
and the Po, that fall into the Hadriatic to the
of an insulting enemy.
and decisive action. His powers were the last A.D. 552. effort of the state : the cost of each day accumuJuly,
lated the enormous account; and the nations,
• The Flaminian way, as it is corrected from the Itineraries, and the best modern maps, by d'Anville, (Analyse de l'Italie, p. 147-152), may be thus stated : Rome to Narni, si Ro man miles ; Terni, 57; Spoleto, 75; Foligno, 88; Nocera,
Bourhood of Rome, they advanced without delay CHAD. to seek a superior enemy, and the two armies ap- XLIII. proached each other at the distance of one hun. dred furlongs, between Tagina and the sepulchres of the Gauls t. The haughty message of Narses was an offer, not of peace, but of pardon. The answer of the Gothic king declared his resolution to die or conquer.
“ What day,” said the messenger, “ will you fix for the combat?” “ The “ eighth day,” replied Totila : but early the next morning he attempted to surprise a foe, supicious of deceit, and prepared for battle. Ten thousand Heruli and Lombards, of approved valour and doubtful faith, were placed in the centre. Eachi of the wings was composed of eight thousand Romans; the right was guarded bỳ the cavalry of the Huns, the left was covered by fifteen hundred chosen horse, destined, according to the emergenVOL. VII.
103; Cagli, 142; Intercisa, 157; Fossombrone, 160 ; Fano 176: Pesaro, 184; Rimini, 208-about 189 English miles. He takes no notice of the death of Totila ; but Wesseling (Itinerar. p. 614.) exchanges for the field of Taginas the unknown appellation of Pranias, eight miles from Nocera.
Taginæ, or rather Tadinæ ; is mentioned by Pliny ; but the bishoprie of that obscure town, a mile from Gualdo, in the plain, was united, in the year 1007, with that of Nocera. The signs of antiquity are preserved in the local appellations, Fossato, the camp; Capraia, Caprea ; Bastia, Busta Gallorum. Sce Cluverius (Italia Antiqua, i. ii. c. 6. p. 615, 6.6, 617), Lucas Holstenius (Annotat. ad Clúver. p. 85, 86), Guazzesi (Dissertat. p. 177-217, a professed inquiry), and the maps of the ecclesiastical state and the march of Ancona, by Lo Mairc and Magini.
+ The battle was fought in the year of Rome 458; and the consul Decius, by devoting his own life, assured the triumpla of his country and his colleague Fabius (T. Liv. x. 28, 29.). Procopius ascribes to Camillus the victory of the Busta Gula lorum; and his error was branded by Clurerius with the nag tional reproach of Græcorum nugamenta.
CHA P. cies of action, to sustain the retreat of their friends XLIII. or to encompass the flank of the enemy. From
his proper station at the head of the right wing, the eunuch road along the line, expressing by his voice and countenance the assurance of victory ; exciting the soldiers of the emperor to punish the guilt and madness of a band of robbers; and exposing to their view, gold chains, collars, and bracelets, the rewards of military virtue. From the event of a single combat, they drew an omen of success; and they beheld with pleasure the courage of fifty archers, who maintained a small eminence against three successive attacks of the Gothic cavalry. At the distance only of two bow-shots, the armies spent the morning in dreadful suspence, and the Romans tasted some necessary food, without unloosening the cuirass from their breast, or the bridle from their horses. Narses awaited the charge ; and it was delayed by Totila till he had received his last succours of two thousand Goths.
While he con. sumed the hours in fruitless treaty, the king exhibited in a narrow space the strength and agility of a warrior. His armour was enchased with gold ; his purple banner floated with the wind : he cast his lance into the air; caught it with the right hand; shifted it to the left; threw himself backwards; recovered his seat; and managed a fiery steed in all the paces and evolutions of the equestrian school.
As soon as the succours had arrived, he retired to his tent, assumed the dress and arms of a private soldier, and gave the signal of battle. The first line of cavalry advanced with more courage than discretion, and left behind them the infantry
of the second line. They were soon engaged be- CHAP. tween the horns of a crescent, into which the ad- XLIII. verse wings had been insensibly curved, and were saluted from either side by the vollies of four thousand archers. Their ardour, and even their distress drove them forwards to a close and unequal con. flict, in which they could only use their lances against an enemy equally skilled in all the instruments of war. A generous emulation inspired the Romans and their Barbarian allies; and Narses who calmly viewed and directed their efforts, doubted to whom he should adjudge the prize of superior bravery. The Gothic cavalry was asto.. nished and disordered, pressed and broken; and the line of infantry, instead of presenting their spears, or opening their intervals, were trampled under the feet of the flying horse. Six thousand of the Goths were slaughtered, without mercy, in the field of Tagina. Their prince, with five attendants, was overtaken by Ashbad, of the race of the Gepidæ; “ Spare the king of Italy," cried a loyal voice, and Ashbad struck his lance through the body of Totila. The blow was instantly revenged by the faithful Goths; they transported their dying monarch seven miles beyond the scene of his disgrace; and his last moments were not embittered by the presence of an enemy. Compassion afforded him the shelter of an obscure tomb; but the Romans were not satisfied of their victory, till they beheld the corpse of the Gothic king. His hat, enriched with gems, and his bloody robe, were presented to Justinian by the messengers of triumph *. Cc2
* Thcophanes, Chron. p. 193. Hist. Miscell. 1. xvi. p. 208,
CHAP. As soon as Narses had paid his devotions to the
XLIII. Author of victory, and the blessed Virgin, his pes culiar patroness *, he praised, rewarded, and disConquest of Rome by
missed the Lombards. The villages had been reduced to ashes by these valiant savages; they ravished matrons and virgins on the alter ; their retreat was diligently watched by a strong detachment of regular forces, who prevented a repetition of the like disorders. The victorious eunuch pursued his march through Tuscany, accepted the submission of the Goths, heard the acclamations, and often the complaints of the Italians, and encompassed the walls of Rome with the remainder of his formidable host. Round the wide circumference, Narses assigned to himself, and to each of his lieutenants, a real or a feigned attack, while he silently marked the place of easy and unguarded entrance. Neither the fortifications of Hadrian's mole, nor of the port, could long delay the progress of the conqueror; and Justinian once more received the keys of Rome, which, under his reign, had been five times taken and recovered t. But the deli. verance of Rome was the last calamity of the Ro man people. The Barbarian allies of Narses too frequently confounded the privileges of peace and war: the despair of the flying Goths found some
• Evagrius, l. iv. e. 24. The inspiration of the Virgin revealed to Narses the day, and the word, of battle (Paul Dia. con. 1. ii c. 3. p.776.).
+ Επι τοτε βασιλευοντος το πεμπτον εαλιν. In the year 536 by Belisarius, in 546 by Totila, in 547 by Belisarius, in 549 by Totila, and in 552 by Narses. Maltretus had inadvertently translated sextum; a mistake which he afterwards retracts : but the mischief was done ; and Cousin, with a train of French and Latin readers, have fallen into the snare.