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CHA P. productive only of fame, and the invincible OsXXXIX, trogoths were reduced to extreme distress by the
want of clothing and food. They unanimously resolved to desert their Pannonian' encampments, and boldly to advance into the warm and wealthy neighbourhood of the Byzantine court, which already maintained in pride and luxury so many bands of confederate Goths. After proving by some acts of hostility that they could be dangerous, or at least troublesome enemies, the Ostrogoths sold at a high price their reconciliation and fidelity, accepted a donative of lands and money, and were entrusted with the defence of the lower Danube, under the command of Theodoric, who succeeded after his father's death to the hereditary
throne of the Amali *. The reiga An hero, descended from a race of kings, must of Zeno, A. D. 474 have despised the base Isaurian who was invested Feb.
with the Roman purple, without any endowments Apr. 9. of mind or body, without any advantages of royal
birth, or superior qualifications. After the failure of the Theodosian line, the choice of Pulcheria and of the senate might be justified in some measure by the characters of Martian and Leo, but the latter of these princes confirmed and dishonoured his reign by the perfidious murder of Aspar and his sons, who too rigorously exacted the debt of gratitude and obedience. The inheritance of Leo and of the East was peaceably
* The state of the Ostrogoths, and the first years of Theo. doric, are found in Jornandes (c. 52-56. p. 639—696.) and Malchus (Excerpt. Legat. p. 78-80.), who erroneously style him the son of Walamir.
devolved on his infant grandson, the son of his CHA P. daughter Ariadne ; and her Isaurian husband, the XXXIX.
; fortunate Trascalisseus, exchanged that barbarous sound for the Grecian appellation of Zeno. After the decease of the elder Leo, he approached with unnatural respect the throne of his son, humbly received, as a gift, the second rank in the empire, and soon excited the public suspicion on the sudden and premature death of his young colleague, whose life could no longer promote the success of his ambition. But the palace of Constantinople was ruled by female influence, and agitated by female passions; and Verina, the widow of Leo, claiming his empire as her own, pronounced a sentence of
a deposition against the worthless and ungrateful servant on whom she alone had bestowed the sceptre of the East *. As soon as she sounded a revolt in the ears of Zeno, he fled with precipitation into the mountains of Isauria, and her brother Basilis. cus, already infamous by his African expedition t, was unanimously proclaimed by the servile senate. But the reign of the usurper was short and turbulent. Basiliscus presumed to assassinate the lover of his sister ; he dared to offend the lover of his wife, the vain and insolent Harmatius, who, in the midst of Asiatic luxury, affected the dress, the demeanour, and the surname of Achilles [. By the conspiracy of the malcontents, Zeno was reB 3
* Theophanes (p. 111.) inserts a copy of her sacred letters, to the provinces: σε ότι βασιλειον ημετερον εσι ... και ότι προχερησαμεθα βασιλεια Τρασκαλλισαιον, &c. Sch fermale pretensions would have astonished the slaves of the first Cæsars. + Vol. vi. p. 301--204.
Suidas, tom. i. p. 332, 333. edit. Kaster.
CHA P. called from exile ; the armies, the capital, the XXXIX. person of Basiliscus, were betrayed; and his whole
family was condemned to the long agony of cold and hunger by the inhuman conqueror, who wanted courage to encounter or to forgive his enemies. The haughty spirit of Verina was still incapable of submission or repose. She provoked the enmity of a favourite general, embraced his cause as soon as he was disgraced, created a new emperor in Syria and Egypt, raised an army of seventy thousand men, and persisted to the last moment of her life in a fruitless rebellion, which, according to the fashion of the age, had been predicted by Christian hermits and Pagan magicians. While the East was aflicted by the passions of Verina, her daughter Ariadne was distinguished by the female virtues of mildness and fidelity ; she followed her husband in his exile, and after his
restoration she implored his clemency in favour of Of Anasta. her mother. On the decease of Zeno, Ariadne,
the daughter, the mother, and the widow of an 491-518.
emperor, gave her hand and the Imperial title to Apr. 11. July 8. Anastasius, an aged domestic of the palace, who
survived his elevation above twenty-seven years, and whose character is attested by the acclamation of the people, “ Reign as you have lived * !”
* The contemporary histories of Malchus and Candidus are lost; but some extracts or fragments have been saved by Photius (lxxviii, lxxix. p. 100-102.), Constantine Porphyrogenitus (Excerpt. Leg. p. 78-97), and in various articles of the Lexicon of Suidas. The Chronicle of Marcellinus (Imago Historiæ) are originals for the reigns of Zeno and Anastasius; and I must acknowledge, almost for the last time, my obligations to the large and accurate collections of Tillemont (Hist. des Emp. tom. vi. p. 472-652.).
Whatever fear or affection could bestow, was CHAP. profusely lavished by Zeno on the king of the xxxix. Ostrogoths ; the rank of patrician and consul, the command of the Palatine troops, an equestrian and revolt statue, a treasure in gold and silver of many thou- ric, sand pounds, the name of son, and the promise of a rich and 'honourable wife. As long as Theodoric condescended to serve, he supported with courage and fidelity the cause of his benefactor : his rapid march contributed to the restoration of Zeno; and in the second revolt, the Walamirs, as they were called, pursued and pressed the Asiatic rebels, till they left an easy victory to the Imperial troops *. But the faithful servant was suddenly converted into a formidable enemy, who spread the flames of war from Constantinople to the Adriatic ; many flourishing cities were reduced to ashes, and the agriculture of Thrace was almost extirpated by the wanton cruelty of the Goths, who deprived their captive peasants of the right hand that guided the plought. On such occasions, Theodoric sustained the loud and specious reproach of disloyalty, of ingratitude, and of insatiate avarice, which could be only excused by the hard necessity of his situation. He reigned, B4
* In ipsis congressionis tuæ soribus cessit invasor, cum profugo per te sceptra redderentur de salutæ dubitanti. Ennodius then proceeds (p. 1596, 1597, tom. i. Sirmond.) to transport his hero (on a dying dragon ?) into Æthiopia, beyond the tropic of Cancer. The evidence of the Valesian Fragment (p. 774.), Liberatus (Brev. Eutych. c. 25. p. 118.), and Theophanes (p. 112.) is more sober and rational.
+ This cruel practice is specially imputed to the Triarian Goths, less barbarous, as it should seem, than the Walamirs : but the son of Theodemir is charged with the ruin of many Roman cities (Malchus Excerpt. Leg. p. 95.)
CHAP. not as the monarch, but as the minister of a fe, XXXIX. rocious people, whose spirit was unbroken by sla
very, and impatient of real or imaginary insults. Their poverty was incurable; since the most liþeral donatives were soon dissipated in wasteful luxury, and the most fertile estates became barren in their hands; they despised, but they envied, the laborious provincials; and when their subsistence had failed, the Ostrogoths embraced the familiar resources of war and rapine. It had been the wish of Theodoric (such at least was his declaration), to lead a peaceful, obscure, obedient life, on the confines of Scythia, till the Byzantine court, by splendid and fallacious, promises, seduced him to attack a confederate tribe of Goths, who had been engaged in the party of Basiliscus. He marched from his station in Mæsia, on the solemn assurance that before he reached Adrianople he should meet a plențiful convoy of provisions, and a reinforcement of eight thousand horse and thirty thousand foot, while the legions of Asia were encamped at Heraclea to second his operations. These measures were disappointed by mutual jealousy, As he advanced into Thrace, the son of Theodemir foạnd an inhospitable solitude, and his Gothic followers, with an heavy train of horses, of mules, and of waggons, were betrayed by their guides among the rocks and precipices of Mount Sondis, where he was assault.. ed by the arms and invectives of Theodoric the son of Triarius. From a neighbouring height, his artful rival harangued the camp of the Walamirs, and branded their leader with the opprobrious