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his troops.

but the fayourite eunuch still enjoyed the confi- Cha P. dence of Justinian, or the leader of a victorious XLIII. arnıy awed and repressed the ingratitude of a timid court Yet it was not by weak and mischievous indulgence that Narses secured the attachment of

Forgetful of the past, and regardless of the future, they abused the present hour of prosperity and peace. The cities of Italy resounded with the noise of drinking and dancing: the spoils of victory were wasted in sensual pleasures; and nothing (says Agathias) remained, unless to ex. change their shields and helmits for the soft lute and the capacious hogshead *.. In a manly oration not unworthy of a Roman censor, the eunuch reproved these disorderly vices, which sullied their fame and endangered their safety. The soldiers blushed and obeyed : discipline was confirmed, the fortifications were restored; a duke was stationed for the defence and military command of each of the principal cities t; and the eye of Narses per

; vaded the ample prospect from Calabria to the Alps. The remains of the Gothic nation evacuated the country, or mingled with the people : the Franks, instead of revenging the death of Buccelin, abandoned, without a struggle, their Italian con

quests :

* Ελιπετο γαρ ειμαι, αυτοις υπο αβελτεριας τας ασπιδας τυχον και to nearn ons nai xgam ape pagines are setti Cuporty snodo fai, (Agacuias, 1. ii.

. Jei p. 48.). In tne first scene or Racharu III. our English poet has beautifully enlarged on this idea, for which, however, he was not indebted to the Byzantine historian.

+ Maffei has proved (Verona Illustrata, P. i. 1. x. p. 257289.), against the common opinion, that the dukes of Italy were instituted before the conquest of the Lombards by Narses himself. In the Pragmatic Sanction (No, 23.), Justinian restrains the judices militares,

CHA P. quests: and the rebellious Sindbal, chief of the XLIII. Heruli, was subdued, taken, and hung on a lofty

gallows by the inflexible justice of the. Exarch *, The civil state of Italy, after the agitation of a long tempest, was fixed by a pragmatic sanction, which the emperor promulgated at the request of the pope. Justinian introduced his own jurisprudence into the schools and tribunals of the West: he ratified the acts of Theodoric and his immediate successors, but every deed was rescinded and abolished, which force had extorted, or fear had subscribed, under the usurpation of Totila. · A moderate theory was framed to reconcile: the rights of property with the safety of prescription, the claims of the state with the poverty of the people, and the pardon of offences with the interest of virtue and order of society. Under the Exarchs of Ravenna, Rome was degraded to the second rank

Yet the se. nators were gratified by the permission of visiting their estates in Italy, and of approaching without obstacle the throne of Constantinople: the regulation of weights and measures was delegated to the pope and senate ; and the salaries of lawyers and physicians, of orators and grammarians, were destined to preserve or rekindle the light of science in the ancient capital. Justinian might dictate benevolent edictst, and Narses might second his wishes


* See Paulus Diaconus, 1. ii. c, 2. p. 776. Menander (in Excerpt. Legat. p. 133.) mentions some risings in Italy by the Franks, and Theophanes (p. 201.) hints at some Gothic rebellions.

+ The Pragmatic Sanction of Justinian, which restores and regulates the civil state of Italy, consists of xxvii articles: it is dated August 15, A. D. 554; is addressed to Narses, V. J. Præpositus Sacri Cubiculi, and to Antiochus, Præfectus Præ.


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by the restoration of cities, and more especially of c H A P. churches. But the power of kings is most effec. XLIII. tual to destroy: and the twenty years of the Gothic war had conşummated the distress and depopulation of Italy. As early as the fourth campaign, under the discipline of Belisarius himself, fifty thousand labourers died of hunger * in the narrow region of Picenumt; and a strict interpretation of the evidence of Procopius would swell the loss of Italy above the total sum of her present inhabitants I. I desire to believe, but I dare not affirm, that Invasion of

the Bulga. Belisarius sincerely rejoiced in the triumph of rians, Narses. Yet the consciousness of his own exploits might teach him to esteem without jealousy the merit of a rival; and the repose of the aged warrior was crowned by a last victory which saved the emperor and the capital. The Barbarians who annualiy visited the provinces of Europe were less discouraged by some accidental defeats, than they were Vol. VII.


A. D. 559


torio Italiæ; and has been preserved by Julian Antecessor, and in the Corpus Juris Civilis, after the novels and edicts of Justinian, Justin, and Tiberius.

* A still greater number was consumed by famine in the southern provinces, (ute) the Ionian Gulph. Acorns were used in the place of bread Procopius had seen a deserted orphan suckled by a she-goat. Seventeen passengers were lodge ed, murdered, and eaten by two women, who were detected and slain by the eighteenth, &c.

+ Quinta regio Piceni est; quondam uberrimæ multitudinis, ccclx. millia Picentiu'n in fidem P. R. Venere (Plin. Hist. Natur. iii. 8.). Ia the time of Vespasian, this ancient population was already diminished.

I Perhaps fifteen or sixteen millions. Procopius (Anecdot. c. 18.) computes that Africa lost five millions, that Italy was thrice as extensive, and that the depopulation was in a larger proportion Bei his reckoning is inflamed by passion, and clouded with uncertainty.

CHAP. excited by the double hope of spoil and of subsidy, xlin. In the thirty-second winter of Justinian's reign, the w Danube was deeply frozen : Zabergan led the ca

valry of the Bulgarians, and his standard was followed by a promiscuous multitude of Sclavonians. The savage chief passed, without opposition, the river and the mountains, spread his troops over Macedonia and Thrace, and advanced with no more than seven thousand horse to the long walls which should have defended the territory of Constantinople. But the works of man are impotent against the assaults of nature; a recent earthquake had shaken the foundations of the wall; and the forces of the empire were employed on the distant frontiers of Italy, Africa, and Persia. The seven schools *, or companies of the guard or domestic troops had been augmented to the number of five thousand five hundred men, whose ordinary station was in the peaceful cities of Asia. But the places of the brave Armenians were insensibly supplied by lazy citizens, who purchased an exemption from the duties of civil life, without being exposed to the dangers of military service. Of such soldiers, few could be tempted to sally from the gates; and none could be persuaded to remain in the field, unless they wanted strength and speed to escape from the Bulgarians. The report of the fugitives exaggerated the numbers and fierceness of an enemy, who


* In the decay of these military schools, the satire of Pro. copius Anecdot. c. 24. Aleman. p. 102, 103.) is confirmed and illustrated by Agathias (l. v. p. 159.) who cannot be rejected as an hostile witness.

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had polluted holy virgins, and abandoned new- CHAP. born infants to the dogs and vultures ; a crowd of XLIII. rustics imploring food and protection, increased the consternation of the city, and the tents of Zabergan were pitched at the distance of twenty miles*, on the banks of a small river, which encircles Melanthias, and afterwards falls into the Propontis t. Justinian trembled : and those who had only seen the emperor in his old age, were pleased to suppose, that he had lost the alacrity and vigour of his youth. By his command the vessels of gold and silver were removed from the churches in the neighbourhood, and even the suburbs of Constantinople: the ramparts were lined with trembling spectators: the golden gate was crowded with useless generals and tribunes, and the senate shared the fatigues and the apprehensions of the populace. But the eyes of the prince and people were

Last victo. directed to a feeble veteran, who was compelled by ry of Beli.

sarius. the public danger to resume the armour in which he had entered Carthage and defended Rome. The horses of the royal stables, of private citizens, and

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* The distance from Constantinople to Melanthius, Villa Cæsariana (Ammian. Marcellin. xxx. 11.), is variously fixed at 102 or 140 stadia (Suidas, tom. ii. p. 522, 523. Agathias, 1. v. p. 158.), or xviii or xix miles (Itineraria, p. 138. 230. 323. 332. and Wesseling's Observations). The first xii miles, as far as Rhegium, were paved by Justinian, who built a bridge over a morass or gullet between a lake and the sea (Procop. de Edif. 1. iv. c. 8.).

+ The Atyras (Pompon. Mela, 1. j. c. 2. p. 169. edit. Voss.). At the river's mouth, a town or castle of the same name was fortified by Justinian (Procop. de Edif. I. iv. c. 2. Itinerar. p 570. and Wesseling)

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