The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire
By Edward Gibbon
         IN the second  century  of  the Christian era, the Empire of
          Rome comprehended the  fairest  part  of  the earth, and the
          most civilised portion  of  mankind.   The frontiers of that
          extensive  monarchy  were  guarded  by  ancient  renown  and
          disciplined valour. The  gentle  but  powerful  influence of
          laws and manners  had  gradually  cemented  the union of the
          provinces. Their peaceful inhabitants enjoyed and abused the
          advantages of wealth  and  luxury.   The  image  of  a  free
          constitution was preserved  with decent reverence: the Roman
          senate appeared to  possess  the  sovereign  authority,  and
          devolved  on  the  emperors  all  the  executive  powers  of
          government. During a happy period (A.D. 98-180) of more than
          fourscore years, the  public administration was conducted by
          the virtue and  abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the
          two Antonines. It  is  the  design  of  this, and of the two
          succeeding chapters, to describe the prosperous condition of
          their empire; and  afterwards,  from  the  death  of  Marcus
          Antoninus, to deduce the most important circumstances of its
          decline  and  fall;   a   revolution   which  will  ever  be
          remembered, and is still felt by the nations of the earth.
Moderation of Augustus
          The principal conquests  of  the  Romans were achieved under
          the republic; and  the  emperors,  for  the  most part, were
          satisfied with preserving  those  dominions  which  had been
          acquired by the  policy  of the senate, the active emulation
          of the consuls,  and  the  martial enthusiasm of the people.
          The  seven  first   centuries   were  filled  with  a  rapid
          succession of triumphs;  but it was reserved for Augustus to
          relinquish the ambitious design of subduing the whole earth,
          and to introduce  a  spirit  of  moderation  into the public
          councils. Inclined to  peace by his temper and situation, it
          was easy for  him  to  discover  that  Rome,  in her present
          exalted situation, had  much  less to hope than to fear from
          the chance of  arms;  and that, in the prosecution of remote
          wars, the undertaking  became  every day more difficult, the
          event more doubtful, and the possession more precarious, and
          less beneficial. The  experience of Augustus added weight to
          these salutary reflections,  and  effectually  convinced him
          that, by the  prudent  vigour  of  his counsels, it would be
          easy to secure  every  concession  which  the  safety or the
          dignity of Rome  might  require  from  the  most  formidable
          Barbarians. Instead of  exposing  his person and his legions
          to  the  arrows   of  the  Parthians,  he  obtained,  by  an
          honourable treaty, the  restitution  of  the  standards  and
          prisoners which had been taken in the defeat of Crassus. (1) 
          His generals, in  the early part of his reign, attempted the
          reduction of Ethiopia  and Arabia Felix. They marched near a
          thousand miles to  the  south of the tropic; but the heat of
          the climate soon  repelled  the  invaders, and protected the
          unwarlike natives of  those  sequestered  regions (2) .  The
          northern countries of  Europe  scarcely deserved the expense
          and labour of  conquest. The forests and morasses of Germany
          were filled with  a  hardy  race of barbarians, who despised
          life when it  was separated from freedom; and though, on the
          first attack, they  seemed  to  yield  to  the weight of the
          Roman power, they soon, by a signal act of despair, regained
          their independence, and reminded Augustus of the vicissitude
          of fortune (3) .  On the death of that emperor, his testament
          was  publicly read  in  the  senate.  He  bequeathed,  as  a
          valuable legacy to  his  successors, the advice of confining
          the empire within  those limits, which Nature seemed to have
          placed as its permanent bulwarks and boundaries; on the west
          the Atlantic ocean;  the  Rhine and Danube on the north; the
          Euphrates on the  east;  and  towards  the  south, the sandy
          deserts of Arabia and Africa (4) .
Imitated by his successors.
          Happily for the  repose  of  mankind,  the  moderate  system
          recommended by the  wisdom  of  Augustus, was adopted by the
          fears and vices  of his immediate successors. Engaged in the
          pursuit of pleasure,  or  in  the  exercise  of tyranny, the
          first Caesars seldom  showed themselves to the armies, or to
          the provinces; nor  were they disposed to suffer, that those
          triumphs which their  indolence  neglected should be usurped
          by the conduct and valour of their lieutenants. The military
          frame of a subject was considered as an insolent invasion of
          the Imperial prerogative; and it became the duty, as well as
          interest, of every  Roman  general,  to  guard the frontiers
          intrusted to his  care,  without aspiring to conquests which
          might have proved  no  less  fatal  to  himself  than to the
          vanquished barbarians. (5) 
Conquest of Britian was the first exception to it.
          The only accession  which  the Roman empire received, during
          the first century  of the Christian era, was the province of
          Britain. In this  single  instance  the successors of Caesar
          and Augustus were  persuaded  to  follow  the example of the
          former, rather than the precept of the latter. The proximity
          of its situation to the coast of Gaul seemed to invite their
          arms; the pleasing, though doubtful intelligence, of a pearl
          fishery, attracted their  avarice;  (6)   and  as Britain was
          viewed in the  light  of a distinct and insulated world, the
          conquest scarcely formed any exception to the general system
          of continental measures.  After  a war of about forty years,
          undertaken  by the  most  stupid,  maintained  by  the  most
          dissolute, and terminated  by  the  most  timid  of  all the
          emperors, the far  greater  part  of the island submitted to
          the Roman yoke  (7) . The various tribes of Britons possessed
          valour without conduct,  and the love of freedom without the
          spirit of union.  They  took up arms with savage fierceness;
          they laid them  down, or turned them against each other with
          wild inconstancy; and  while  they  fought singly, they were
          successively subdued. Neither  the  fortitude of Caractacus,
          nor the despair  of  Boadicea,  nor  the  fanaticism  of the
          Druids, could avert  the slavery of their country, or resist
          the steady progress of the Imperial generals, who maintained
          the national glory,  when  the  throne  was disgraced by the
          weakest, or the  most  vicious  of mankind. At the very time
          when Domitian, confined  to  his  palace,  felt  the terrors
          which he inspired;  his  legions,  under  the command of the
          virtuous  Agricola, defeated  the  collected  force  of  the
          Caledonians at the  foot  of  the  Grampian  hills;  and his
          fleets,  venturing  to  explore  an  unknown  and  dangerous
          navigation, displayed the Roman arms round every part of the
          island. The conquest  of  Britain  was considered as already
          achieved; (8)  and  it was the design of Agricola to complete
          and ensure his success by the easy reduction of Ireland, for
          which in his  opinion, one legion and a few auxiliaries were
          sufficient. (9)  The  western  isle  might be improved into a
          valuable possession, and the Britons would wear their chains
          with the less  reluctance,  if  the  prospect and example of
          freedom were on every side removed from before their eyes.
          But the superior  merit  of  Agricola  soon  occasioned  his
          removal  from  the  government  of  Britain;  and  for  ever
          disappointed  this  rational,  though  extensive  scheme  of
          conquest. Before his  departure,  the  prudent  general  had
          provided for security  as  well  as  for  dominion.  He  had
          observed that the  island is almost divided into two unequal
          parts by the opposite gulfs, or, as they are now called, the
          Firths of Scotland.  Across  the  narrow  interval  of about
          forty miles, he had drawn a line of military stations, which
          was afterwards fortified  in the reign of Antoninus Pius, by
          a turf rampart  erected  on  foundations of stone (10) . This
          wall of Antoninus,  at  a  small  distance beyond the modern
          cities of Edinburgh  and  Glasgow, was fixed as the limit of
          the Roman province.  The native Caledonians preserved in the
          northern extremity of  the  island  their wild independence,
          for which they  were not less indebted to their poverty than
          to their valour.  Their  incursions were frequently repelled
          and chastised; but their country was never subdued (11) . The
          masters of the  fairest  and  most  wealthy  climates of the
          globe turned with contempt from gloomy hills assailed by the
          winter tempest, from  lakes  concealed  in  a blue mist, and
          from cold and  lonely  heaths,  over  which  the deer of the
          forest were chased by a troop of naked barbarians. (12) 
Conquest of Dacia; the second exception.
          Such was the  state  of  the  Roman  frontiers, and such the
          maxims of Imperial policy, from the death of Augustus to the
          accession of Trajan.  That  virtuous  and  active prince had
          received the education  of  a  soldier,  and  possessed  the
          talents of a  general  (13) .  The  peaceful  system  of  his
          predecessors was interrupted  by scenes of war and conquest;
          and the legions,  after  a  long interval, beheld a military
          emperor at their  head.  The  first  exploits of Trajan were
          against the Dacians,  the  most  warlike  of  men, who dwelt
          beyond the Danube,  and  who,  during the reign of Domitian,
          had insulted with  impunity the Majesty of Rome (14) . To the
          strength and fierceness of barbarians, they added a contempt
          for life, which  was  derived  from a warm persuasion of the
          immortality and transmigration  of the soul. (15)  Decebalus,
          the Dacian king,  approved  himself  a rival not unworthy of
          Trajan; nor did  he  despair  of  his  own  and  the  public
          fortune, till, by  the  confession  of  his  enemies, he had
          exhausted every resource  both  of  valour  and policy. (16) 
          This  memorable  war,   with  a  very  short  suspension  of
          hostilities, lasted five  years;  and  as  the emperor could
          exert, without control, the whole force of the state, it was
          terminated by an absolute submission of the barbarians. (17) 
          The new province  of  Dacia, which formed a second exception
          to  the  precept  of  Augustus,  was  about  1300  miles  in
          circumference. Its natural boundaries were the Dniester, the
          Teyss [Theiss modern  form],  or Tibiscus, the Lower Danube,
          and the Euxine  Sea.  The  vestiges  of  a military road may
          still  be traced  from  the  banks  of  the  Danube  to  the
          neighbourhood of Bender,  a  place famous in modern history,
          and the actual  frontier of the Turkish and Russian empires.
Conquest of Trajan in the east.
          Trajan was ambitious  of  fame; and as long as mankind shall
          continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers
          than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will
          ever be the vice of the most exalted characters. The praises
          of Alexander, transmitted  by  a  succession  of  poets  and
          historians, had kindled a dangerous emulation in the mind of
          Trajan. Like him  the  Roman emperor undertook an expedition
          against the nations  of  the  east,  but  he lamented with a
          sigh, that his  advanced  age scarcely left him any hopes of
          equalling the renown  of  the  son  of  Philip. (19)  Yet the
          success  of  Trajan,   however   transient,  was  rapid  and
          specious.  The degenerate  Parthians,  broken  by  intestine
          discord, fled before his arms. He descended the river Tigris
          in triumph, from  the  mountains  of  Armenia to the Persian
          gulf. He enjoyed  the  honour  of being the first, as he was
          the last, of  the  Roman  generals,  who ever navigated that
          remote sea. His  fleets  ravaged  the  coasts of Arabia; and
          Trajan vainly flattered  himself  that  he  was  approaching
          towards the confines of India. (20)  Every day the astonished
          senate  received the  intelligence  of  new  names  and  new
          nations, that acknowledged his sway. They were informed that
          the kings of  Bosphorus, Colchos, Iberia, Albania, Osrhoene,
          and even the  Parthian  monarch  himself, had accepted their
          diadems from the  hands of the emperor; that the independent
          tribes of the  Median  and Carduchian hills had implored his
          protection;  and  that   the   rich  countries  of  Armenia,
          Mesopotamia, and Assyria,  were  reduced  into  the state of
          provinces. (21)  But  the  death  of  Trajan soon clouded the
          splendid prospect; and  it  was justly to be dreaded that so
          many distant nations  would throw off the unaccustomed yoke,
          when they were  no  longer  restrained  by the powerful hand
          which had imposed it.
Resigned by his successor Hadrian.
          It was an  ancient  tradition,  that  when  the  Capitol was
          founded by one  of  the  Roman  kings, the god Terminus (who
          presided over boundaries,  and  was represented according to
          the fashion of  that  age by a large stone) alone, among all
          the inferior deities,  refused to yield his place to Jupiter
          himself.  A  favourable   inference   was   drawn  from  his
          obstinacy, which was  interpreted  by  the  augurs as a sure
          presage that the  boundaries  of the Roman power would never
          recede. (22)  During  many  ages,  the  prediction,  as it is
          usual, contributed to  its  own  accomplishment.  But though
          Terminus had resisted  the  majesty of Jupiter, he submitted
          to  the  authority   of   the   emperor  Hadrian.  (23)   The
          resignation of all  the  eastern conquests of Trajan was the
          first measure of his reign. He restored to the Parthians the
          election of an  independent  sovereign,  withdrew  the Roman
          garrisons from the  provinces  of  Armenia, Mesopotamia, and
          Assyria, and, in  compliance  with  the precept of Augustus,
          once more established  the  Euphrates as the frontier of the
          empire. (24)  Censure,  which arraigns the public actions and
          the private motives  of  princes,  has  ascribed  to envy, a
          conduct, which might  be  attributed  to  the  prudence  and
          moderation  of  Hadrian.   The  various  character  of  that
          emperor, capable, by  turns,  of  the  meanest  and the most
          generous  sentiments,  may   afford   some   colour  to  the
          suspicion: It was,  however,  scarcely in his power to place
          the superiority of  his  predecessor  in  a more conspicuous
          light, than by  thus  confessing himself unequal to the task
          of defending the conquests of Trajan.
Contrast of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius.
          The martial and  ambitious  spirit  of  Trajan formed a very
          singular contrast with  the moderation of his successor. The
          restless activity of  Hadrian  was not less remarkable, when
          compared with the  gentle repose of Antoninus Pius. The life
          of the former  was  almost  a  perpetual  journey; and as he
          possessed the various talents of the soldier, the statesman,
          and the scholar, he gratified his curiosity in the discharge
          of his duty.  Careless  of  the difference of seasons and of
          climates, he marched  on  foot,  and  bare-headed,  over the
          snows of Caledonia,  and  the  sultry  plains  of  the Upper
          Egypt; nor was  there a province of the empire which, in the
          course of his  reign,  was not honoured with the presence of
          the monarch. (25)   But  the  tranquil life of Antoninus Pius
          was  spent  in   the   bosom   of  Italy;  and,  during  the
          twenty-three years that  he  directed public administration,
          the longest journeys  of  that  amiable  prince  extended no
          farther than from  his  palace  in Rome to the retirement of
          his Lanuvian Villa. (26) 
Pacific system of Hadrian and the two Antonines.
          Notwithstanding this difference  in  their personal conduct,
          the general system  of  Augustus  was  equally  adopted  and
          uniformly pursued by  Hadrian and by the two Antonines. They
          persisted in the  design  of  maintaining the dignity of the
          empire, without attempting  to  enlarge its limits. By every
          honourable expedient they  invited  the  friendship  of  the
          barbarians; and endeavoured  to  convince  mankind  that the
          Roman power, raised  above  the  temptation of conquest, was
          actuated only by  the  love  of  order and justice. During a
          long period of forty-three years their virtuous labours were
          crowned  with  success;  and  if  we  except  a  few  slight
          hostilities that served  to  exercise  the  legions  of  the
          frontier, the reigns of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius offer the
          fair prospect of  universal  peace.  (27)  The Roman name was
          revered among the  most  remote  nations  of  the earth. The
          fiercest barbarians frequently  submitted  their differences
          to the arbitration  of the emperor; and we are informed by a
          contemporary historian, that  he  had  seen  ambassadors who
          were refused the honour which they came to solicit, of being
          admitted into the rank of subjects. (28) 
Defensive wars of Marcus Antoninus.
          The terror of the Roman arms added weight and dignity to the
          moderation  of the  emperors.  They  preserved  peace  by  a
          constant preparation for  war;  and  while justice regulated
          their  conduct, they  announced  to  the  nations  on  their
          confines that they  were  as little disposed to endure as to
          offer an injury.  The  military  strength, which it had been
          sufficient for Hadrian  and  the elder Antoninus to display,
          was exerted against  the  Parthians  and  the Germans by the
          emperor Marcus. The  hostilities  of the barbarians provoked
          the resentment of  that  philosophic  monarch,  and,  in the
          prosecution of a  just  defence,  Marcus  and  his  generals
          obtained many signal victories, both on the Euphrates and on
          the Danube. (29)   The  military  establishment  of the Roman
          empire,  which  thus  assured  either  its  tranquillity  or
          success, will now  become the proper and important object of
          our attention.
Military establishment of the Roman Emperors.
          In the purer  ages  of the commonwealth, the use of arms was
          reserved for those  ranks  of  citizens who had a country to
          love, a property to defend, and some share in enacting those
          laws, which it  was  their  interest,  as  well  as duty, to
          maintain. But in  proportion  as the public freedom was lost
          in extent of  conquest,  war  was gradually improved into an
          art, and degraded into a trade. (30)  The legions themselves,
          even at the  time  when  they  were  recruited  in  the most
          distant  provinces,  were   supposed  to  consist  of  Roman
          citizens. That distinction  was  generally considered either
          as a legal  qualification  or as a proper recompense for the
          soldier; but a more serious regard was paid to the essential
          merit of age,  strength,  and  military stature. (31)  In all
          levies, a just  preference  was given to the climates of the
          North over those  of  the South: the race of men born to the
          exercise of arms  was  sought for in the country rather than
          in cities; and  it  was  very  reasonably presumed, that the
          hardy occupations of smiths, carpenters, and huntsmen, would
          supply more vigour  and resolution than the sedentary trades
          which are employed  in  the  service  of  luxury. (32)  After
          every qualification of  property  had  been  laid aside, the
          armies of the  Roman  emperors were still commanded, for the
          most part, by officers of a liberal birth and education, but
          the common soldiers,  like  the  mercenary  troops of modern
          Europe, were drawn  from  the  meanest,  and very frequently
          from the most profligate, of mankind.
         That public virtue  which among the ancients was denominated
          patriotism, is derived  from  a  strong  sense  of  our  own
          interest in the  preservation  and  prosperity  of  the free
          government of which  we are members. Such a sentiment, which
          had rendered the  legions of the republic almost invincible,
          could make but  a  very  feeble  impression on the mercenary
          servants of a  despotic  prince;  and it became necessary to
          supply that defect by other motives, of a different, but not
          less forcible nature;  honour  and religion. The peasant, or
          mechanic, imbibed the  useful prejudice that he was advanced
          to the more  dignified profession of arms, in which his rank
          and reputation would  depend  on  his  own valour; and that,
          although the prowess  of a private soldier must often escape
          the notice of fame, his own behaviour might sometimes confer
          glory or disgrace  on  the  company, the legion, or even the
          army, to whose  honours  he  was  associated.  On  his first
          entrance into the  service, an oath was administered to him,
          with every circumstance  of  solemnity. He promised never to
          desert his standard,  to submit his own will to the commands
          of his leader,  and  to sacrifice his life for the safety of
          the emperor and the empire. (33)  The attachment of the Roman
          troops  to  their  standards  was  inspired  by  the  united
          influence of religion and of honour. The golden eagle, which
          glittered in the  front  of  the  legion,  was the object of
          their fondest devotion;  nor  was  it  esteemed less impious
          than it was  ignominious,  to  abandon that sacred ensign in
          the hour of  danger. (34)  These motives, which derived their
          strength from the  imagination,  were  enforced by fears and
          hopes of a  more  substantial  kind. Regular pay, occasional
          donatives, and a stated recompense, after the appointed time
          of service, alleviated  the  hardships of the military life,
          (35)  whilst, on  the  other  hand,  it  was  impossible  for
          cowardice or disobedience to escape the severest punishment.
          The centurions were  authorised  to chastise with blows, the
          generals had a  right  to  punish  with death; and it was an
          inflexible maxim of  Roman  discipline,  that a good soldier
          should dread his officers far more than the enemy. From such
          laudable arts did  the valour of the Imperial troops receive
          a degree of  firmness  and  docility,  unattainable  by  the
          impetuous and irregular passions of barbarians.
          And yet so  sensible  were the Romans of the imperfection of
          valour without skill  and practice, that, in their language,
          the name of  an  army  was  borrowed  from  the  word  which
          signified  exercise.  (36)    Military   exercises  were  the
          important and unremitted  object  of  their  discipline. The
          recruits and young  soldiers were constantly trained both in
          the morning and  in  the  evening,  nor was age or knowledge
          allowed to excuse  the veterans from the daily repetition of
          what they had completely learnt. Large sheds were erected in
          the winter-quarters of the troops, that their useful labours
          might not receive any interruption from the most tempestuous
          weather;  and it  was  carefully  observed,  that  the  arms
          destined to this  imitation  of war, should be of double the
          weight which was required in real action. (37)  It is not the
          purpose of this work to enter into any minute description of
          the  Roman  exercises.  We  shall  only  remark,  that  they
          comprehended  whatever  could  add  strength  to  the  body,
          activity to the limbs, or grace to the motions. The soldiers
          were diligently instructed  to  march,  to  run, to leap, to
          swim, to carry  heavy  burdens,  to  handle every species of
          arms that was used either for offence or for defence, either
          in distant engagement  or  in  a  closer  onset;  to  form a
          variety of evolutions;  and  to move to the sound of flutes,
          in the Pyrrhic or martial dance (38) . In the midst of peace,
          the Roman troops  familiarised  themselves with the practice
          of war; and  it is prettily remarked by an ancient historian
          who had fought  against them, that the effusion of blood was
          the only circumstance  which distinguished a field of battle
          from a field  of  exercise.  (39)   It  was the policy of the
          ablest generals, and  even  of  the  emperors themselves, to
          encourage  these military  studies  by  their  presence  and
          example; and we  are  informed  that  Hadrian,  as  well  as
          Trajan,   frequently   condescended    to    instruct    the
          unexperienced  soldiers,  to   reward   the   diligent,  and
          sometimes  to  dispute  with  them  the  prize  of  superior
          strength  or dexterity.  (40)   Under  the  reigns  of  those
          princes, the science of tactics was cultivated with success;
          and  as long  as  the  empire  retained  any  vigour,  their
          military instructions were  respected  as  the  most perfect
          model of Roman discipline.
The legions under the emperors.
          Nine centuries of  war  had  gradually  introduced  into the
          service many alterations  and  improvements. The legions, as
          they are described  by  Polybius,  (41)   in  the time of the
          Punic  wars,  differed  very  materially  from  those  which
          achieved the victories  of  Caesar, or defended the monarchy
          of  Hadrian and  the  Antonines.  The  constitution  of  the
          Imperial legion may  be  described  in a few words. (42)  The
          heavy-armed infantry, which composed its principal strength,
          (43)  was divided into ten cohorts, and fifty-five companies,
          under the orders  of  a correspondent number of tribunes and
          centurions. The first  cohort, which always claimed the post
          of honour and the custody of the eagle, was formed of eleven
          hundred and five  soldiers, the most approved for valour and
          fidelity. The remaining  nine cohorts consisted each of five
          hundred and fifty-five;  and  the  whole  body  of legionary
          infantry amounted to  six  thousand  one  hundred men. Arms.Their
          arms were uniform,  and  admirably  adapted to the nature of
          their  service: an  open  helmet,  with  a  lofty  crest;  a
          breast-plate, or coat of mail; greaves on their legs, and an
          ample buckler on  their  left  arm.  The  buckler  was of an
          oblong and concave  figure, four feet in length, and two and
          an half in  breadth,  framed of a light wood, covered with a
          bull's hide, and  strongly  guarded  with  plates  of brass.
          Besides a lighter  spear,  the  legionary soldier grasped in
          his right hand  the  formidable pilum, a ponderous javelin,
          whose utmost length  was  about  six  feet,  and  which  was
          terminated by a  massy triangular point of steel of eighteen
          inches. (44)  This instrument was indeed much inferior to our
          modern  fire-arms;  since  it  was  exhausted  by  a  single
          discharge, at the  distance of only ten or twelve paces. Yet
          when it was  launched  by a firm and skilful hand, there was
          not any cavalry that durst venture within its reach, nor any
          shield or corslet  that could sustain the impetuosity of its
          weight. As soon  as  the  Roman had darted his pilum he drew
          his sword, and  rushed forwards to close with the enemy. His
          sword was a  short well-tempered Spanish blade, that carried
          a double edge,  and  was  alike  suited  to  the  purpose of
          striking  or  of   pushing;   but  the  soldier  was  always
          instructed to prefer  the  latter  use of his weapon, as his
          own body remained  less  exposed, whilst he inflicted a more
          dangerous  wound on  his  adversary.  (45)   The  legion  was
          usually drawn up  eight  deep;  and  the regular distance of
          three feet was left between the files as well as ranks. (46) 
          A body of troops, habituated to preserve this open order, in
          a long front  and  a rapid charge, found themselves prepared
          to execute every disposition which the circumstances of war,
          or the skill  of  their  leader,  might suggest. The soldier
          possessed  a free  space  for  his  arms  and  motions,  and
          sufficient intervals were  allowed, through which seasonable
          reinforcements might be  introduced  to  the  relief  of the
          exhausted combatants. (47)   The  tactics  of  the Greeks and
          Macedonians were formed  on  very  different principles. The
          strength of the  phalanx  depended  on sixteen ranks of long
          pikes, wedged together in the closest array. (48)  But it was
          soon discovered by  reflection,  as  well by the event, that
          the strength of  the  phalanx was unable to contend with the
          activity of the legion. (49) 
          The cavalry, without  which  the  force  of the legion would
          have remained imperfect,  was  divided  into  ten  troops or
          squadrons; the first,  as the companion of the first cohort,
          consisted of an  hundred  and thirty-two men; whilst each of
          the  other nine  amounted  only  to  sixty-six.  The  entire
          establishment formed a  regiment,  if  we may use the modern
          expression, of seven hundred and twenty-six horse, naturally
          connected  with  its  respective  legion,  but  occasionally
          separated to act  in  the line, and to compose a part of the
          wings of the  army.  (50)  The cavalry of the emperors was no
          longer composed, like  that  of the ancient republic, of the
          noblest youths of  Rome  and Italy, who, by performing their
          military service on  horseback,  prepared themselves for the
          offices of senator  and  consul;  and solicited, by deeds of
          valour, the future suffrages of their countrymen. (51)  Since
          the alteration of  manners  and government, the most wealthy
          of the equestrian  order  were engaged in the administration
          of justice, and  of  the  revenue;  (52)   and  whenever they
          embraced  the profession  of  arms,  they  were  immediately
          intrusted with a troop of horse, or a cohort of foot (53) .
           Trajan  and Hadrian  formed  their  cavalry  from  the  same
          provinces, and the  same  class  of  their  subjects,  which
          recruited the ranks of the legion. The horses were bred, for
          the most part,  in  Spain  or Cappadocia. The Roman troopers
          despised the complete  armour  with which the cavalry of the
          East was encumbered. Their  more useful arms consisted in a
          helmet, an oblong shield, light boots, and a coat of mail. A
          javelin,  and  a  long  broad-sword,  were  their  principal
          weapons of offence. The use of lances and of iron maces they
          seem to have borrowed from the barbarians. (54) 
         The  safety  and  honour  of  the  empire  were  principally
          intrusted  to  the   legions,   but   the   policy  of  Rome
          condescended  to  adopt  every  useful  instrument  of  war.
          Considerable   levies  were   regularly   made   among   the
          provincials,  who  had   not  yet  deserved  the  honourable
          distinction   of  Romans.   Many   dependent   princes   and
          communities, dispersed round  the  frontiers, were permitted
          for a while,  to  hold  their  freedom  and  security by the
          tenure of military  service.  (55)   Even  select  troops  of
          hostile barbarians were frequently compelled or persuaded to
          consume their dangerous  valour  in remote climates, and for
          the benefit of the state. (56)  All these were included under
          the general name  of  auxiliaries;  and howsoever they might
          vary according to the difference of times and circumstances,
          their numbers were  seldom  much  inferior  to  those of the
          legions themselves. (57)   Among the auxiliaries, the bravest
          and most faithful  bands  were  placed  under the command of
          praefects and centurions,  and  severely trained in the arts
          of Roman discipline; but the far greater part retained those
          arms, to which  the  nature of their country, or their early
          habits  of life,  more  peculiarly  adapted  them.  By  this
          institution each legion,  to  whom  a  certain proportion of
          auxiliaries  was allotted,  contained  within  itself  every
          species of lighter  troops,  and of missile weapons, and was
          capable of encountering every nation, with the advantages of
          its respective arms  and discipline. (58)  Nor was the legion
          destitute of what,  in  modern  language,  would be styled a
Artillery.train of artillery.  It consisted in ten military engines of
          the largest, and  fifty-five  of  a smaller size; but all of
          which, either in an oblique or horizontal manner, discharged
          stones and darts with irresistible violence. (59) 
          The camp of  a  Roman  legion  presented the appearance of a
          fortified city. (60)   As  soon  as the space was marked out,
          the pioneers carefully  levelled  the  ground,  and  removed
          every   impediment  that   might   interrupt   its   perfect
          regularity.Its form was  an exact quadrangle; and we may calculate that
          a square of about seven hundred yards was sufficient for the
          encampment  of twenty  thousand  Romans;  though  a  similar
          number of our  own  troops would expose to the enemy a front
          of more than  treble  that extent. In the midst of the camp,
          the  praetorium,  or  general's  quarters,  rose  above  the
          others;  the cavalry,  the  infantry,  and  the  auxiliaries
          occupied their respective  stations;  the streets were broad
          and perfectly straight,  and  a  vacant space of two hundred
          feet was left  on  all  sides,  between  the  tents  and the
          rampart. The rampart  itself  was  usually twelve feet high,
          armed with a  line  of  strong  and intricate palisades, and
          defended by a  ditch  of  twelve feet in depth as well as in
          breadth. This important labour was performed by the hands of
          the legionaries themselves, to whom the use of the spade and
          the pick-axe was  no less familiar than that of the sword or
       pilum. Active valour may often be the present of nature; but
          such patient diligence  can  be  the fruit only of habit and
          discipline. (61) 
          Whenever the trumpet  gave the signal of departure, the camp
          was almost instantly  broke  up,  and  the  troops fell into
          their ranks without  delay or confusion. Besides their arms,
          which the legionaries scarcely considered as an encumbrance,
          they  were  laden   with   their   kitchen   furniture,  the
          instruments of fortification,  and  the  provision  of  many
          days.  (62)  Under  this  weight,  which  would  oppress  the
          delicacy of a modern soldier, they were trained by a regular
          step to advance, in about six hours, near twenty miles. (63) 
          On the appearance  of  an  enemy,  they  threw  aside  their
          baggage, and by  easy  and  rapid  evolutions  converted the
          column of march  into  an order of battle (64) . The slingers
          and archers skirmished  in the front; the auxiliaries formed
          the first line,  and  were  seconded  or  sustained  by  the
          strength of the legions: the cavalry covered the flanks, and
          the military engines were placed in the rear.
Number and disposition of the legions.
          Such were the  arts  of  war  by  which  the  Roman emperors
          defended their extensive conquests, and preserved a military
          spirit, at a  time  when every other virtue was oppressed by
          luxury and despotism.  If,  in  the  consideration  of their
          armies, we pass  from  their discipline to their numbers, we
          shall not find  it  easy  to  define them with any tolerable
          accuracy. We may  computes  however,  that the legion, which
          was itself a  body  of six thousand eight hundred and thirty
          one Romans, might,  with its attendant auxiliaries amount to
          about  twelve  thousand   five   hundred   men.   The  peace
          establishment of Hadrian  and his successors was composed of
          no less than  thirty  of these formidable brigades; and most
          probably  formed a  standing  force  of  three  hundred  and
          seventy-five thousand men.  Instead of being confined within
          the walls of  fortified  cities, which the Romans considered
          as the refuge of weakness or pusillanimity, the legions were
          encamped on the  banks  of  the  great rivers, and along the
          frontiers of the barbarians. As their stations, for the most
          part,  remained fixed  and  permanent,  we  may  venture  to
          describe the distribution  of the troops. Three legions were
          sufficient for Britain.  The principal strength lay upon the
          Rhine and Danube,  and  consisted of sixteen legions, in the
          following proportions: two  in  the  Lower  and three in the
          Upper Germany; one  in  Rhaetia,  one  in  Noricum,  four in
          Pannonia, three in  Maesia, and two in Dacia. The defence of
          the Euphrates was  entrusted  to  eight legions, six of whom
          were planted in Syria, and the other two in Cappadocia. With
          regard to Egypt, Africa, and Spain, as they were far removed
          from any important  scene of war, a single legion maintained
          the domestic tranquillity  of each of those great provinces.
          Even Italy was not left destitute of a military force. Above
          twenty thousand chosen soldiers, distinguished by the titles
          of City Cohorts  and  Praetorian  Guards,  watched  over the
          safety of the  monarch  and  the  capital. As the authors of
          almost every revolution  that  distracted  the  empire,  the
          Praetorians will, very  soon,  and  very  loudly, demand our
          attention; but in their arms and institution, we cannot find
          any circumstance which  discriminated them from the legions,
          unless it were  a more splendid appearance, and a less rigid
          discipline. (65) 
          The navy maintained by the emperors might seem inadequate to
          their greatness; but  it  was  fully  sufficient  for  every
          useful purpose of government. The ambition of the Romans was
          confined to the  land;  nor  was  that  warlike  people ever
          actuated by the  enterprising  spirit which had prompted the
          navigators of Tyre,  of Carthage, and even of Marseilles, to
          enlarge the bounds  of  the  world,  and to explore the most
          remote coasts of the ocean. To the Romans the ocean remained
          an object of terror rather than of curiosity; (66)  the whole
          extent  of  the  Mediterranean,  after  the  destruction  of
          Carthage, and the  extirpation  of the pirates, was included
          within their provinces.  The  policy  of  the  emperors  was
          directed only to preserve the peaceful dominion of that sea,
          and to protect  the  commerce  of their subjects. With these
          moderate views, Augustus  stationed  two permanent fleets in
          the most convenient  ports  of Italy, the one at Ravenna, on
          the Adriatic, the  other  at  Misenum, in the bay of Naples.
          Experience seems at  length  to have convinced the ancients,
          that as soon  as  their galleys exceeded two, or at the most
          three ranks of  oars,  they were suited rather for vain pomp
          than for real  service.  Augustus himself, in the victory of
          Actium, had seen  the  superiority of his own light frigates
          (they were called  Liburnians)  over  the lofty but unwieldy
          castles of his rivals (67) .  Of these Liburnians he composed
          the two fleets  of Ravenna and Misenum, destined to command,
          the one the  eastern,  the other the western division of the
          Mediterranean; and to  each  of  the squadrons he attached a
          body of several  thousand  marines. Besides these two ports,
          which may be  considered as the principal seats of the Roman
          navy, a very  considerable force was stationed at Frejus, on
          the coast of  Provence,  and the Euxine was guarded by forty
          ships, and three  thousand soldiers. To all these we add the
          fleet which preserved  the  communication  between  Gaul and
          Britain, and a great number of vessels constantly maintained
          on the Rhine  and  Danube,  to  harass  the  country,  or to
          intercept the passage  of  the barbarians. (68)  If we review
 Amount of the whole establishment.
         this general state of the Imperial forces; of the cavalry as
          well as infantry;  of  the  legions,  the  auxiliaries,  the
          guards, and the  navy; the most liberal computation will not
          allow us to  fix the entire establishment by sea and by land
          at more than four hundred and fifty thousand men- a military
          power, which, however,  formidable it may seem, was equalled
          by a monarch of the last century, whose kingdom was confined
          within a single province of the Roman empire. (69) 
View of the provinces of the Roman empire.
          We have attempted to explain the spirit which moderated, and
          the strength which  supported,  the power of Hadrian and the
          Antonines.  We  shall  now  endeavour,  with  clearness  and
          precision, to describe the provinces once united under their
          sway, but, at  present, divided into so many independent and
          hostile estates.
          Spain, the western extremity of the empire of Europe, and of
          the ancient world,  has,  in every age, invariably preserved
          the  same  natural  limits;  the  Pyrenaean  mountains,  the
          Mediterranean, and the Atlantic Ocean. That great peninsula,
          at present so  unequally divided between two sovereigns, was
          distributed by Augustus  into  three  provinces,  Lusitania,
          Baetica, and Tarraconensis.  The  kingdom  of  Portugal  now
          fills the place  of  the warlike country of the Lusitanians;
          and the loss  sustained  by  the  former, on the side of the
          East is compensated by an accession of territory towards the
          North. The confines of Grenada and Andalusia correspond with
          those of ancient  Baetica.  The remainder of Spain, Gallicia
          and the Asturias,  Biscay  and  Navarre,  Leon  and  the two
          Castilles, Murcia, Valencia,  Catalonia,  and  Arragon,  all
          contributed to form  the  third and most considerable of the
          Roman governments, which,  from the name of its capital, was
          styled  the  province  of  Tarragona.  (70)   Of  the  native
          barbarians, the Celtiberians  were the most powerful, as the
          Cantabrians  and  Asturians   proved   the  most  obstinate.
          Confident in the  strength of their mountains, they were the
          last who submitted  to  the  arms of Rome, and the first who
          threw off the yoke of the Arabs.
          Ancient Gaul, as  it contained the whole country between the
          Pyrenees, the Alps, the Rhine, and the Ocean, was of greater
          extent than modern France. To the dominions of that powerful
          monarchy,  with  its   recent  acquisitions  of  Alsace  and
          Lorraine, we must  add  the  duchy  of Savoy, the cantons of
          Switzerland, the four  electorates  of  the  Rhine,  and the
          territories of Liege,  Luxemburg,  Hainault,  Flanders,  and
          Brabant. When Augustus  gave  laws  to  the conquests of his
          father, he introduced  a division of Gaul equally adapted to
          the progress of  the  legions,  to the course of the rivers,
          and  to  the  principal  national  distinctions,  which  had
          comprehended above an  hundred  independent states. (71)  The
          seacoast  of the  Mediterranean,  Languedoc,  Provence,  and
          Dauphine, received their  provincial  appellation  from  the
          colony of Narbonne. The government of Aquitaine was extended
          from the Pyrenees  to  the  Loire.  The  country between the
          Loire and the  Seine  was  styled  the Celtic Gaul, and soon
          borrowed a new  denomination  from  the celebrated colony of
          Lugdunum, or Lyons.  The Belgic lay beyond the Seine, and in
          more ancient times had been bounded only by the Rhine; but a
          little before the  age  of Caesar the Germans, abusing their
          superiority of valour,  had  occupied a considerable portion
          of the Belgic  territory.  The Roman conquerors very eagerly
          embraced  so  flattering  a  circumstance,  and  the  Gallic
          frontier of the  Rhine,  from  Basil to Leyden, received the
          pompous names of the Upper and the Lower Germany. (72)  Such,
          under the reign  of the Antonines, were the six provinces of
          Gaul - the  Narbonnese,  Aquitaine, the Celtic, or Lyonnese,
          the Belgic, and the two Germanies.
          We have already  had  occasion  to  mention  the conquest of
          Britain, and to  fix  the  boundary of the Roman province in
          this island. It  comprehended  all  England,  Wales, and the
          Lowlands of Scotland,  as  far  as  Dumbarton and Edinburgh.
          Before Britain lost her freedom, the country was irregularly
          divided between thirty  tribes  of  barbarians,  of whom the
          most considerable were the Belgae in the West, the Brigantes
          in the North,  the  Silures in South Wales, and the Iceni in
          Norfolk and Suffolk.  (73)   As far as we can either trace or
          credit the resemblance of manners and language, Spain, Gaul,
          and Britain were  peopled by the same hardy race of savages.
          Before they yielded  to  the Roman arms, they often disputed
          the  field, and  often  renewed  the  contest.  After  their
          submission they constituted  the  western  division  of  the
          European  provinces, which  extended  from  the  columns  of
          Hercules to the  wall of Antoninus and from the mouth of the
          Tagus to the sources of the Rhine and Danube.
          Before the Roman  conquest,  the country which is now called
          Lombardy was not  considered as a part of Italy. It had been
          occupied  by  a  powerful  colony  of  Gauls,  who  settling
          themselves along the  banks  of  the  Po,  from  Piedmont to
          Romagna, carried their  arms  and  diffused their names from
          the Alps to  the  Apennine. The Ligurians dwelt on the rocky
          coast, which now forms the republic of Genoa. Venice was yet
          unborn; but the  territories of that state, which lie to the
          east of the Adige, were inhabited by the Venetians. (74)  The
          middle part of  the peninsula that now composes the duchy of
          Tuscany and the  ecclesiastical  state, was the ancient seat
          of the Estruscans  and  Umbrians to the former of whom Italy
          was indebted for the first rudiments of civilised life (75) .
          The Tiber rolled at the foot of the seven hills of Rome, and
          the country of the Sabines, the Latins, and the Volsci, from
          that river to  the  frontiers  of Naples, was the theatre of
          her infant victories.  On  that  celebrated ground the first
          consuls deserved triumphs;  their successors adorned villas,
          and their posterity  have  erected  convents. (76)  Capua and
          Campania possessed the  immediate  territory  of Naples; the
          rest of the  kingdom  was inhabited by many warlike nations,
          the Marsi, the  Samnites,  the  Apulians, and the Lucanians;
          and the sea  coasts  had  been  covered  by  the flourishing
          colonies of the  Greeks.  We  may remark, that when Augustus
          divided Italy into  eleven  regions,  the little province of
          Istria was annexed to that seat of Roman sovereignty. (77) 
The Danube and Illyrian frontier.
          The European provinces  of Rome were protected by the course
          of the Rhine  and  the  Danube.  The  latter of those mighty
          streams, which rises  at  the  distance of only thirty miles
          from the former, flows above thirteen hundred miles, for the
          most part, to  the south-east, collects the tribute of sixty
          navigable rivers, and  is,  at  length,  through six mouths,
          received into the  Euxine,  which  appears scarcely equal to
          such an accession  of  waters.  (78)   The  provinces  of the
          Danube soon acquired  the  general appellation of lllyricum,
          or the Illyrian  frontier,  (79)   and were esteemed the most
          warlike  of  the   empire;  but  they  deserve  to  be  more
          particularly considered under the names of Rhaetia, Noricum,
          Pannonia, Dalmatia, Dacia,  Maesia,  Thrace,  Macedonia, and
          The province of Rhaetia, which soon extinguished the name of
          the Vindelicians, extended  from  the  summit of the Alps to
          the banks of  the  Danube;  from  its  source, as far as its
          conflux with the  Inn. The greatest part of the flat country
          is subject to  the  elector of Bavaria; the city of Augsburg
          is protected by  the  constitution of the German empire; the
          Grisons are safe  in  their  mountains,  and  the country of
          Tyrol is ranked among the numerous provinces of the house of
Noricum and Pannonia.
          The wide extent  of territory, which is included between the
          Inn, the Danube,  and  the Save; Austria, Styria, Carinthia,
          Carniola, the Lower Hungary, and Sclavonia, was known to the
          ancients under the  names  of Noricum and Pannonia. In their
          original state of  independence,  their  fierce  inhabitants
          were intimately connected.  Under  the Roman government they
          were frequently united,  and they still remain the patrimony
          of a single  family.  They  now  contain  the residence of a
          German prince, who styles himself Emperor of the Romans, and
          form the centre, as well as strength, of the Austrian power.
          It may not  be  improper  to  observe,  that  if  we  except
          Bohemia, Moravia, the northern skirts of Austria, and a part
          of Hungary, between the Theiss and the Danube, all the other
          dominions of the  House of Austria were comprised within the
          limits of the Roman empire.
          Dalmatia, to which  the  name  of  Illyricum  more  properly
          belonged, was a  long  but narrow tract between the Save and
          the Adriatic. The  best  part  of the sea-coast, which still
          retains  its ancient  appellation,  is  a  province  of  the
          Venetian state, and  the  seat  of  the  little  republic of
          Ragusa. The inland  parts  have assumed the Sclavonian names
          of  Croatia  and   Bosnia;  the  former  obeys  an  Austrian
          governor, the latter  a Turkish pasha; but the whole country
          is still infested  by  tribes  of  barbarians,  whose savage
          independence irregularly marks  the  doubtful  limit  of the
          Christian and Mahometan power. (80) 
Moesia and Dacia.
          After the Danube  had  received the waters of the Theiss and
          the Save, it  acquired,  at least among the Greeks, the name
          of Ister. (81)   It  formerly  divided  Maesia and Dacia, the
          latter of which,  as we have already seen, was a conquest of
          Trajan, and the  only  province  beyond  the  river.  If  we
          inquire into the  present state of those countries, we shall
          find that, on  the  left  hand  of  the Danube, Temeswar and
          Transylvania have been  annexed,  after many revolutions, to
          the crown of  Hungary; whilst the principalities of Moldavia
          and  Wallachia acknowledge  the  supremacy  of  the  Ottoman
          Porte. On the  right  hand  of  the  Danube,  Maesia, which,
          during  the middle  ages,  was  broken  into  the  barbarian
          kingdoms of Servia  and Bulgaria, is again united in Turkish
Thrace, Macedonia, and Greece.
          The appellation of  Roumelia, which is still bestowed by the
          Turks on the  extensive  countries of Thrace, Macedonia, and
          Greece, preserves the  memory  of  their ancient state under
          the Roman empire.  In the time of the Antonines, the martial
          regions of Thrace, from the mountains of Haemus and Rhodope,
          to the Bosphorus and the Hellespont, had assumed the form of
          a province. Notwithstanding  the  change  of  masters and of
          religion, the new  city  of  Rome, founded by Constantine on
          the banks of  the  Bosphorus,  has  ever  since remained the
          capital of a  great  monarchy.  The  kingdom  of  Macedonia,
          which, under the  reign  of  Alexander,  gave  laws to Asia,
          derived more solid  advantages  from  the  policy of the two
          Philips; and with  its  dependencies of Epirus and Thessaly,
          extended from the  Aegean to the Ionian Sea. When we reflect
          on the fame  of  Thebes  and Argos, of Sparta and Athens, we
          can  scarcely  persuade  ourselves  that  so  many  immortal
          republics of ancient  Greece  were lost in a single province
          of the Roman  empire,  which, from the superior influence of
          the Achaean league,  was usually denominated the province of
Asia Minor.
          Such was the  state  of Europe under the Roman emperors. The
          provinces of Asia, without excepting the transient conquests
          of Trajan, are  all  comprehended  within  the limits of the
          Turkish  power. But,  instead  of  following  the  arbitrary
          divisions of despotism  and  ignorance, it will be safer for
          us, as well  as  more  agreeable,  to  observe the indelible
          characters of nature.  The  name of Asia Minor is attributed
          with  some  propriety  to  the  peninsula,  which,  confined
          betwixt the Euxine  and the Mediterranean, advances from the
          Euphrates towards Europe. The most extensive and flourishing
          district, westward of  Mount Taurus and the river Halys, was
          dignified by the  Romans  with  the exclusive title of Asia.
          The jurisdiction of  that province extended over the ancient
          monarchies  of  Troy,   Lydia,  and  Phrygia,  the  maritime
          countries of the  Pamphylians, Lycians, and Carians, and the
          Grecian colonies of  Ionia,  which  equalled in arts, though
          not in arms,  the  glory  of  their  parent. The kingdoms of
          Bithynia and Pontus  possessed  the  northern  side  of  the
          peninsula from Constantinople  to Trebizond. On the opposite
          side,  the  province   of  Cilicia  was  terminated  by  the
          mountains of Syria:  the  inland country, separated from the
          Roman Asia by  the  river  Halys,  and  from  Armenia by the
          Euphrates,  had  once  formed  the  independent  kingdom  of
          Cappadocia. In this  place  we may observe that the northern
          shores of the  Euxine,  beyond Trebizond in Asia, and beyond
          the Danube in  Europe,  acknowledged  the sovereignty of the
          emperors,  and received  at  their  hands  either  tributary
          princes or Roman garrisons. Budzak, Crim Tartary, Circassia,
          and Mingrelia, are  the  modern appellations of those savage
          countries. (82) 
Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine.
          Under the successors of Alexander, Syria was the seat of the
          Seleucidae, who reigned over Upper Asia, till the successful
          revolt of the Parthians confined their dominions between the
          Euphrates and the  Mediterranean.  When Syria became subject
          to the Romans,  it  formed  the  eastern  frontier  of their
          empire; nor did  that province, in its utmost latitude, know
          any other bounds  than  the  mountains  of Cappadocia to the
          north, and towards  the south the confines of Egypt, and the
          Red Sea. Phoenicia  and Palestine were sometimes annexed to,
          and sometimes separated from, the jurisdiction of Syria. The
          former of these was a narrow and rocky coast; the latter was
          a territory scarcely  superior to Wales, either in fertility
          or extent. Yet Phoenicia and Palestine will for ever live in
          the memory of mankind; since America, as well as Europe, has
          received letters from  the one, and religion from the other.
          (83)  A sandy desert alike destitute of wood and water skirts
          along the doubtful  confine  of Syria, from the Euphrates to
          the Red Sea. The wandering life of the Arabs was inseparably
          connected with their  independence;  and  wherever,  on some
          spots less barren  than  the rest, they ventured to form any
          settled habitation, they  soon  became subjects to the Roman
          empire. (84) 
          The geographers of  antiquity  have  frequently hesitated to
          what portion of the globe they should ascribe Egypt. (85)  By
          its situation that celebrated kingdom is included within the
          immense peninsula of  Africa;  but  it is accessible only on
          the side of  Asia, whose revolutions, in almost every period
          of history, Egypt  has  humbly  obeyed. A Roman praefect was
          seated on the splendid throne of the Ptolemies; and the iron
          sceptre of the  Mamalukes  is  now in the hands of a Turkish
          pasha. The Nile  flows  down the country, above five hundred
          miles from the  tropic  of  Cancer to the Mediterranean, and
          marks, on either  side,  the  extent  of  fertility  by  the
          measure of its  inundations.  Cyrene,  situate  towards  the
          west, and along  the  sea-coast,  was  first a Greek colony,
          afterwards a province  of  Egypt,  and  is  now  lost in the
          desert of Barca.
          From Cyrene to  the ocean, the coast of Africa extends above
          fifteen hundred miles;  yet so closely is it pressed between
          the Mediterranean and  the Sahara, or sandy desert, that its
          breadth seldom exceeds  fourscore  or  an hundred miles. The
          eastern division was  considered  by  the Romans as the more
          peculiar and proper  province of Africa. Till the arrival of
          the Phoenician colonies,  that fertile country was inhabited
          by the Libyans,  the  most  savage  of  mankind.  Under  the
          immediate jurisdiction of  Carthage, it became the centre of
          commerce and empire;  but  the  republic  of Carthage is now
          degenerated into the feeble and disorderly states of Tripoli
          and Tunis. The  military government of Algiers oppresses the
          wide  extent  of  Numidia,  as  it  was  once  united  under
          Massinissa and Jugurtha:  but  in  the time of Augustus, the
          limits of Numidia were contracted; and, at least, two-thirds
          of the country  acquiesced  in  the name of Mauritania, with
          the epithet of  Caesariensis.  The  genuine  Mauritania,  or
          country of the Moors, which, from the ancient city of Tingi,
          or  Tangier,  was   distinguished   by  the  appellation  of
          Tingitana, is represented  by  the  modern  kingdom  of Fez.
          Salle,  on  the  Ocean,  long  infamous  for  its  piratical
          depredations, was noticed  by  the  Romans,  as  the extreme
          object of their power, and almost of their geography. A city
          of their foundation  may  still be discovered near Mequinez,
          the residence of  the  barbarian whom we condescend to style
          the Emperor of Morocco; but it does not appear that his more
          southern dominions, Morocco  itself,  and  Segelmessa,  were
          ever comprehended within  the  Roman  province.  The western
          parts of Africa  are  intersected  by  the branches of Mount
          Atlas, a name  so idly celebrated by the fancy of poets;(86) 
          but which is  now diffused over the immense ocean that rolls
          between the ancient and the new continent. (87) 
The Mediterranean with its islands.
          Having now finished  the circuit of the Roman empire, we may
          observe, that Africa  is  divided  from  Spain  by  a narrow
          strait of about  twelve  miles,  through  which the Atlantic
          flows into the  Mediterranean.  The  columns of Hercules, so
          famous among the  ancients,  were two mountains which seemed
          to  have  been  torn  asunder  by  some  convulsion  of  the
          elements; and at  the  foot  of  the  European  mountain the
          fortress of Gibraltar is now seated. The whole extent of the
          Mediterranean  Sea,  its   coasts,  and  its  islands,  were
          comprised within the  Roman dominion. Of the larger islands,
          the two Baleares,  which  derive  their  name of Majorca and
          Minorca from their  respective size, are subject at present,
          the former to  Spain,  the  latter  to  Great Britain. It is
          easier to deplore  the  fate,  than  to  describe the actual
          condition, of Corsica. Two Italian sovereigns assume a regal
          title from Sardinia  and  Sicily.  Crete,  or  Candia,  with
          Cyprus, and most  of the smaller islands of Greece and Asia,
          have been subdued  by  the  Turkish  arms; whilst the little
          rock of Malta defies their power, and has emerged, under the
          government of its military Order, into fame and opulence.
General idea of the Roman empire.
          This long enumeration  of  provinces, whose broken fragments
          have formed so  many  powerful kingdoms, might almost induce
          us to forgive  the  vanity  or  ignorance  of  the ancients.
          Dazzled with the  extensive sway, the irresistible strength,
          and the real  or  affected  moderation of the emperors, they
          permitted themselves to  despise,  and  sometimes to forget,
          the outlying countries  which had been left in the enjoyment
          of a barbarous  independence; and they gradually usurped the
          licence of confounding  the Roman monarchy with the globe of
          the earth. (88)   But  the temper, as well as knowledge, of a
          modern  historian  requires   a   more  sober  and  accurate
          language. He may  impress a juster image of the greatness of
          Rome, by observing  that  the  empire was above two thousand
          miles  in breadth,  from  the  wall  of  Antoninus  and  the
          northern limits of  Dacia,  to mount Atlas and the tropic of
          Cancer;  that  it  extended,  in  length,  more  than  three
          thousand miles from the Western Ocean to the Euphrates; that
          it was situated  in  the  finest part of the Temperate Zone,
          between  the  twenty-fourth   and   fifty-sixth  degrees  of
          northern latitude; and that it was supposed to contain above
          sixteen hundred thousand  square miles, for the most part of
          fertile and well-cultivated land. (89) 

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