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Rebellions of Africa.-Restoration of the Gothic Kingdom
541-544. Victories of Totila, King of Italy
Contrast of Greek Vice and Gothic Virtue
Rome taken by the Goths
547 Recovered by Belisarius
548 Final Recal of Belisarius
549 Rome again taken by the Goths
549-551. Preparations of Justinian for the Gothic
552 Character and Expedition of the Eunuch Nar-
Invasion of Italy by the Franks and Alamauni 193
DECLINE AND FALL
Zeno and Anastasius, Emperors of the East.--Birth, Education, and first Exploits of Theodoric the Ostrogoth-His Invasion and Conquest of Italy.-The Gothic Kingdom of Italy.-State of the West.-Military and Civil Government.-The Senator Boethius.-Last Acts and Death of Theodoric.
FTER the fall of the Roman Empire in the CHA P. West, an interval of fifty years, till the me- xxxix. morable reign of Justinian, is faintly marked by the obscure names and imperfect annals of Zeno, 476-527Anastasius, and Justin, who successively ascended the throne of Constantinople. During the same period, Italy revived and flourished under the government of a Gothic king, who might have deserved a statue among the best and bravest of the ancient Romans.
CH A P. Theodoric the Ostrogoth, the fourteenth in liXXXIX. neal descent of the royal line of the Amali *, was Birth and born in the neighbourhood of Vienna † two years education after the death of Attila. A recent victory had doric, restored the independence of the Ostrogoths; and
A. D. 455-475.
the three brothers, Walamir, Theodemir, and Widimir, who ruled that warlike nation with united counsels, had separately pitched their habitations in the fertile though desolate province of Pannonia. The Huns still threatened their revolted subjects, but their hasty attack was, repelled by the single forces of Walamir, and the news of his victory reached the distant camp of his brother in the same auspicious moment that the favourite concubine of Theodemir was delivered of a son and heir. In the eighth year of his age,
Theodoric was reluctantly yielded by his father to the public interest, as the pledge of an alliance which Leo, emperor of the East, had consented to purchase by an annual subsidy of three hundred pounds of gold. The royal hostage was educated at Constantinople with care and tenderness.
* Jornandes (de Rebus Geticis, c. 13, 14. p. 629, 630. edit.. Grot.) has drawn the pedigree of Theodoric from Gapt, one of the Anses or Demi-gods, who lived about the time of Domitian. Cassiodorius, the first who celebrates the royal race of the“ Amali (Variar. viii. 5. ix. 25. X. 2. xi. 1.), reckons the grandson of Theodoric as the seventeenth in descent. Peringsciold (the Swedish commentator of Cochlæus. Vit. Theodoric. p. 271, &c. Stockholm, 1699) labours to connect this genealogy with the legends or traditions of his native country.
+ More correctly, on the banks of the lake Pelso (Nieusiedler-see), near Carnuntum, almost on the same spot where Marcus Antoninus composed his Meditations, (Jornandes, c. 52. p. 659. Severin. Pannonia Illustrata, p. 22. Cellarius, Geograph. Antiq. tom. i. p. 350.).
was formed to all the exercises of war; his mind CHAP was expanded by the habits of liberal conversa- XXXIX. tion ; he frequented the schools of the most skilful
; masters; but he disdained or neglected the arts of Greece, and so ignorant did he always remain of the first elements of science, that a rude mark was contrived to represent the signature of the illiterate king of Italy * As soon as he had attained the age of eighteen, he was restored to the wishes of the Ostrogoths, whom the emperor aspired to gain by liberality and confidence. Walamir had fallen in battle ; the youngest of the brothers, Widimir,
; had led away into Italy and Gaul an army of Barbarians, and the whole nation acknowledged for their king the father of Theodoric. His ferocious subjects admired the strength and stature of their young princet; and he soon convinced them that he had not degenerated from the valour of his ancestors. At the head of six thousand volunteers he secretly left the camp in quest of adventures, descended the Danube as far as Singidunum or Belgrade, and soon returned to his father with the spoils of a Sarmatian king whom he had vanquished and slain. Such triumphs, however, were
* The four first letters of his name (OÉOA) were inscribed on à gold plate, and when it was fixed on the paper, the king drew his pen through the intervals (Anonym. Valesian. ad Calcem Amin. Marcellin. p. 722.) This authentic fact, with the testimony of Procopius, or at least of the contemporary Goths (Gothic. 1. i. c. 2. p. 311.), far outweighs the vague praises of Ennodius (Sirmond. Opera, tom. i. p. 1596.) and Theophanes (Chronograph. p. 112.).
+ Statura est quæ resignet proceritate regnantem (Enno. dius, p. 1614.). The bishop of Pavia (I mean the ecclesiastic who wished to be a bishop) then proceeds to celebrate the complexion, eyes, hands, &c. of his sovereign.