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CHA P. to the petty kingdom erected by the Gepidæ on XXXIX. the ruins of Sirmium. His prudence could not
safely entrust the bulwark of Italy to such feeble and turbulent neighbours; and his justice might claim the lands which they oppressed, either as a part of his kingdom, or as the inheritance of his father. The greatness of a servant, who was named perfidious because he was successful, awakened the jealousy of the emperor Anastasius; and a war was kindled on the Dacian frontier, by the protection which the Gothic king, in the vicissitude of human affairs, had granted to one of the descendants of Attila. Sabinian, a general illustrious by his own and father's merit, advanced at the head of ten thousand Romans; and the provisions and arms, which filled a long train of waggons, were distri. buted to the fiercest of the Bulgarian tribes. But, in the fields of Margus, the eastern powers were defeated by the inferior forces of the Goths and Huns; the flower, and even the hope of the Roman armies was irretrievably destroyed; and such
; was the temperance with which Theodoric had inspired his victorious troops, that as their leader
had not given the signal of pillage, the rich spoils His naval of the enemy lay untouched at their feet *. Exarmament, asperated by this disgrace, the Byzantine court dispatched two hundred ships and eight thousand
A. D. 509.
the court of Bavaria : a liberal curiosity prompted bis inquiries into the antiquities of the country, and that curiosity was the germ of twelve respectable volumes,
See the Gothic transactions on the Danube and in Illyri. cum, in Jornandes (c. 58. p. 699.), Ennodius (p. 1607-1610.), Marcellinus (in Chron. p. 44. 47, 48.), and Cassiodorius (in Chron. and Var. iii. 23. 50. iv, 13. vii. 4. 24. viji, 9, 10, ļI. 21. ix. 8, 9.).
men to plunder the sea.coast of Calabria and Apu- CHAP. lia; they assaulted the ancient city of Tarentum, XXXIX. interrupted the trade and agriculture of an happy country, and sailed back to the Helespont, proud of their piratical victory over a people whom they still presumed to consider as their Roman brethren*. Their retreat was possibly hastened by the activity of Theodoric; Italy was covered by a fleet of a thousand light vessels t, which he constructed with incredible dispatch; and his firm moderation was soon rewarded by a solid and honourable peace. He inaintained with a powerful hand the balance of the West, till it was at length overthrown by the ambition of Clovis; and al. though unable to assist his rash and unfortunate kinsman the king of the Visigoths, he saved the remains of his family and people, and checked the Franks in the midst of their victorious career. I am not desirous to prolong or repeat # this narrative of military events, the least interesting of the reign of Theodoric ; and shall be content to add, that the Alemanni were protected f, that an
* I cannot forbear transcribing the liberal and classic style of Count Marcellinus : Romanus comes domesticorum, et Rusticus comes scholariorum cum centum armatis navibus, totidem. que dromonibus, octo millia militum armatorum secum serentibus, ad devastanda Italiæ littora processerunt, et usque ad Ta. rentum antiquissimam civitatem aggressi sunt; remensoque mari in honestam victoriam quam piratico ausu Romani ex Romanis repuerunt, Anastasio Cæsari reportarunt (in Chron. p. 48.). See Variar. i. 16. ü. 38.
+ See the royal orders and instructions (Var. iv, 15. V. 1620.). These armed boats should be still smaller than the thousand vessels of Agamemnon at the siege of Troy.
I Vol. vi. p. 330-337
$ Ennodius (p. 1610.) and Cassiodorius, in the royal name (Var. ii. 41.), record his salutary protection of the Alemanni.
CH A P. inroad of the Burgundians was severely chastised, XXXIX, and that the conquest of Arles and Marseilles
opened a free communication with the Visigoths, who'revered him both as their national protector, and as the guardian of his grandchild, the infant son of Alaric. Under this respectable character, the king of Italy restored the prætorian præfecture of the Gauls, reformed some abuses in the civil government of Spain, and accepted the an. nual tribute and apparent submission of its military governor, who wisely refused to trust his person in the palace of Ravenna * The Gothic sovereignty was established from Sicily to the Danube, from Sirmium or Belgrade to the Atlantic Ocean ; and the Greeks themselves have acknow
; ledged that Theodoric reigned over the fairest portion of the western empire t.
The union of the Goths and Romans might
bave fixed for ages the transient happiness of of Italy ac. cording to Italy; and the first of nations, a new people of laws. free subjects and enlightened soldiers, might have
gradually arisen from the mutual emulation of thejr respective virtues. But the sublime merit of guiding or seconding such a revolution, was not reserved for the reign of Theodoric; he wanted either the genius or the opportunities of a legislator I; and while he indulged the Goths
* The Gothic transactions in Gaul and Spain are represented with some perplexity in Cassiodorius (Var. iii. 32. 38. 41. 43, 44. v. 39.), Jornandes (c. 58. p. 698, 699.), and Procopius (Goth. I. i. c. 12.). I will neither hear nor reconcile the long and contradictory arguments of the Abté Dubos and the Count de Buat, about the wars of Burgundy.
+ Theophanes, p. 113. † Procopius affirins that no laws whatsoever were promul.
in the enjoyment of rude liberty, he servilely CHA P. copied the institutions, and even the abuses, of the XXXIX. political system which had been framed by Constartine and his successors.
From a tender regard to the expiring prejudices of Rome, the Barbariani declined the name, the purple and the diadem of the emperors ; but he assumed, under the hereditary title of king, the whole substance and plenitude of imperial prerogative*. His addresses to the eastern throne were respectful and ambiguous; he celebrated in pompous style the harmony of the two republics, applauded his own government as the perfect similitude of a sole and undivided empire, and claimed above the kings of the earth the same pre-eminence which he modestly allowed to the person or rank of Anastasius. The alliance of the East and West was annually declared by the unanimous choice of two consuls; but it should seem that the Italian candidate who was named by Theodoric, accepted a formal confirmation from the sovereign of Constantinople t: The Gothic palace of Ravenna re
gated by Theodoric and the succeeding kings of Italy (Goth. 1. ii. c. 6.). He must mean in the Gothic language. A Latin edict of Theodoric is still extant, in one hundred and fiftyfour articles.
* The image of Theodoric is engraved on his coins : his modest successors were satisfied with adding their own name to the head of the reigning emperor (Muratori Antiquitat. Italiæ Medii Ævi, tom. ii. dissert. xxvii. p. 577-579. Giannone Istoria Civile di Napoli, tom. i. P. 166.).
+ The alliance of the emperor and the king of Italy are represented by Cassiodorius (Var. i. 1. ii. 1, 2, 3. vi. i.) and Procopius (Goth. l. ii. c. 6. 1. iii. c. 21.), who celebrate the friendship of Anastasius, and Theodoric: but the figurative style of compliment was interpreted in a very different sense at Constantinople and Ravenna.
CHAP. flected the image of the court of Theodosius or XXXIX. Valentinian. The prætorian præfect, the præfect
of Rome, the quæstor, the master of the offices, with the public and patrimonial treasurers, whose functions are painted in gaudy colours by the rhetoric of Cassiodorius, still continued to act as the ministers of state. And the subordinate care of justice and the revenue was delegated to seven consulars, three correctors, and five presidents, who governed the fifteen regions of Italy, according to the principles and even the forms of Roman jurisprudence *. The violence of the conquerors was abated or eluded by the slow artifice of judicial proceedings; the civil administration with its honours and emoluments, was confined to the Italians; and the people still preserved their dress and language, their laws and customs, their personal freedom, and two-thirds of their landed property. It had been the object of Augustus to conceal the introduction of monarchy; it was the policy of Theodoric to disguise the reign of a Barbarian †. If his subjecs
*To the xvii provinces of the Notitia, Paul Warnafred the deacon (De Reb. Longobard. 1. ii. c. 14.-22.) has subjoined an xviiith, the Appenine (Muratori Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. i. p. 431-433.). But of these Sardinia and Corsica were possessed by the Vandals, and the two Rhætias, as well as the Cottian Alps, seem to have been abandoned to a military government. The state of the four provinces that now form the kingdom of Naples, is laboured by Giannone (tom. i. p. 172. 178.) with patriotic diligence.
+ See the Gothic history of Procopius (1. i. c. 1. 1. ii. c. 6.), the epistles of Cassiodorius (passim, but especially the vth and vith books, which contain the formula, or patents of offices), and the Civil History of Giannone (tom. i. 1. ii. iii.). The Gothic counts, which he places in every Italian city, are an