The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire
By Edward Gibbon
          THE incapacity of a weak and distracted government may often
          assume  the  appearance   and   produce  the  effects  of  a
          treasonable correspondence with  the public enemy. If Alaric
          himself had been  introduced into the council of Ravenna, he
          would probably have  advised  the  same  measures which were
          actually pursued by the ministers of Honorius.(1) The king of 
          the  Goths  would   have   conspired,   perhaps   with  some
          reluctance, to destroy  the  formidable  adversary  by whose
          arms, in Italy  as  well  as  in  Greece,  he had been twice
          overthrown. 'Their' active and interested hatred laboriously
          accomplished the disgrace  and  ruin  of the great Stilicho.
          The valour of  Sarus,  his fame in arms, and his personal or
          hereditary influence over  the confederate barbarians, could
          recommend him only  to  the  friends  of  their  country who
          despised or detested  the  worthless characters of Turpilio,
          Varanes, and Vigilantius.  By  the pressing instances of the
          new favourites, these  generals,  unworthy as they had shown
          themselves of the  name  of soldiers,(2) were promoted to the 
          command of the cavalry, of the infantry, and of the domestic
          troops.  The  Gothic   prince  would  have  subscribed  with
          pleasure the edict which the fanaticism of Olympius dictated
          to the simple  and  devout  emperor.  Honorius  excluded all
          persons who were adverse to the catholic church from holding
          any office in the state; obstinately rejected the service of
          all  those who  dissented  from  his  religion;  and  rashly
          disqualified many of  his  bravest and most skilful officers
          who adhered to  the  Pagan  worship  or  who had imbibed the
          opinions of Arianism. (3)  These measures, so advantageous to 
          an enemy, Alaric would have approved, and might perhaps have
          suggested; but it  may  seem  doubtful whether the barbarian
          would have promoted  his  interest  at  the  expense  of the
          inhuman and absurd  cruelty  which  was  perpetrated  by the
          direction, or at  least with the connivance, of the Imperial
          ministers. The foreign  auxiliaries who had been attached to
          the person of Stilicho lamented his death; but the desire of
          revenge was checked by a natural apprehension for the safety
          of their wives  and  children, who were detained as hostages
          in the strong  cities  of  Italy,  where  they  had likewise
          deposited their most valuable effects. At the same hour, and
          as if by  a common signal, the cities of Italy were polluted
          by the same horrid scenes of universal massacre and pillage,
          which involved in  promiscuous  destruction the families and
          fortunes of the  barbarians.  Exasperated by such an injury,
          which  might have  awakened  the  tamest  and  most  servile
          spirit, they cast a look of indignation and hope towards the
          camp of Alaric,  and  unanimously  swore to pursue with just
          and implacable war  the perfidious nation that had so basely
          violated the laws  of  hospitality. By the imprudent conduct
          of  the  ministers   of   Honorius  the  republic  lost  the
          assistance, and deserved  the  enmity, of thirty thousand of
          her bravest soldiers;  and  the  weight  of  that formidable
          army, which alone  might  have  determined  the event of the
          war, was transferred  from the scale of the Romans into that
          of the Goths.
          In the arts  of negotiation, as well as in those of war, the
          Gothic king maintained  his superior ascendant over an enemy
          whose seeming changes  proceeded  from  the  total  want  of
          counsel and design. From his camp, on the confines of Italy,
          Alaric attentively observed  the  revolutions of the palace,
          watched the progress  of  faction  and discontent, disguised
          the hostile aspect  of  a barbarian invader, and assumed the
          more popular appearance  of the friend and ally of the great
          Stilicho;  to  whose  virtues,  when  they  were  no  longer
          formidable, he could  pay  a  just tribute of sincere praise
          and regret. The  pressing invitation of the malcontents, who
          urged the king of the Goths to invade Italy, was enforced by
          a lively sense  of  his  personal  injuries;  and  he  might
          speciously  complain  that   the  Imperial  ministers  still
          delayed and eluded  the  payment of the four thousand pounds
          of gold which had been granted by the Roman senate either to
          reward his services  or  to  appease  his  fury.  His decent
          firmness  was  supported  by  an  artful  moderation,  which
          contributed to the  success  of  his  designs. He required a
          fair and reasonable  satisfaction; but he gave the strongest
          assurances that, as  soon  as  he  had obtained it, he would
          immediately retire. He  refused  to  trust  the faith of the
          Romans, unless Aetius  and  Jason,  the  sons  of  two great
          officers of state, were sent as hostages to his camp: but he
          offered to deliver in exchange several of the noblest youths
          of the Gothic  nation. The modesty of Alaric was interpreted
          by the ministers  of  Ravenna  as  a  sure  evidence  of his
          weakness and fear.  They  disdained  either  to  negotiate a
          treaty or to  assemble  an  army and with a rash confidence,
          derived only from  their  ignorance  of  the extreme danger,
          irretrievably wasted the  decisive moments of peace and war.
          While they expected,  in sullen silence, that the barbarians
          should evacuate the confines of Italy, Alaric, with bold and
          rapid marches, passed  the Alps and the Po; hastily pillaged
          the cities of  Aquileia,  Altinum,  Concordia,  and Cremona,
          which yielded to  his  arms;  increased  his  forces  by the
          accession  of  thirty   thousand  auxiliaries,  and  without
          meeting a single  enemy in the field, advanced as far as the
          edge of the morass which protected the impregnable residence
          of the emperor  of  the  West.  Instead  of  attempting  the
          hopeless siege of  Ravenna,  the prudent leader of the Goths
          proceeded  to  Rimini,   stretched  his  ravages  along  the
          sea-coast of the  Hadriatic,  and  meditated the conquest of
          the ancient mistress  of the world. An Italian hermit, whose
          zeal  and  sanctity   were   respected   by  the  barbarians
          themselves, encountered the  victorious  monarch, and boldly
          denounced the indignation  of  Heaven against the oppressors
          of the earth:  but  the  saint himself was confounded by the
          solemn asseveration of  Alaric  that  he  felt  a secret and
          preternatural impulse, which  directed,  and even compelled,
          his march to  the  gates of Rome He felt that his genius and
          his fortune were  equal to the most arduous enterprises; and
          the enthusiasm which he communicated to the Goths insensibly
          removed the popular  and  almost  superstitious reverence of
          the nations for  the  majesty of the Roman name. His troops,
          animated by the  hopes  of spoil, followed the course of the
          Flaminian  way,  occupied   the   unguarded  passes  of  the
          Apennine,(4) descended  into  the rich plains of Umbria; and, 
          as they lay  encamped  on  the banks of the Clitumnus, might
          wantonly slaughter and  devour the milk-white oxen which had
          been so long  reserved  for  the  use of Roman triumphs.(5) A 
          lofty situation and  a  seasonable  tempest  of  thunder and
          lightning preserved the  little  city of Narni: but the king
          of the Goths,  despising  the  ignoble  prey, still advanced
          with unabated vigour;  and  after  he had passed through the
          stately  arches,  adorned   with   the  spoils  of  barbaric
          victories, he pitched his camp under the walls of Rome.(6) 
          During a period  of  six hundred and nineteen years the seat
          of empire had  never  been  violated  by  the  presence of a
          foreign enemy. The  unsuccessful  expedition  of  Hannibal(7) 
          served only to  display  the  character  of  the  senate and
          people; of a  senate  degraded, rather than ennobled, by the
          comparison of an  assembly of kings; and of a people to whom
          the  ambassador  of   Pyrrhus   ascribed  the  inexhaustible
          resources of the  Hydra. (8) Each of the senators in the time 
          of the Punic  war  had  accomplished  his  term  of military
          service, either in  a subordinate or a superior station; and
          the decree which  invested  with temporary command all those
          who had been  consuls,  or  censors,  or dictators, gave the
          republic  the  immediate   assistance   of  many  brave  and
          experienced generals. In  the beginning of the war the Roman
          people consisted of  two hundred and fifty thousand citizens
          of an age to bear arms.(9) Fifty thousand had already died in 
          the defence of  their  country; and the twenty-three legions
          which were employed in the different camps of Italy, Greece,
          Sardinia, Sicily, and  Spain,  required  about  one  hundred
          thousand men. But  there  still  remained an equal number in
          Rome and the  adjacent  territory  who  were animated by the
          same intrepid courage;  and  every  citizen was trained from
          his earliest youth  in  the  discipline  and  exercises of a
          soldier. Hannibal was  astonished  by  the  constancy of the
          senate, who, without raising the siege of Capua or recalling
          their scattered forces,  expected  his approach. He encamped
          on the banks  of  the  Anio,  at the distance of three miles
          from the city:  and  he was soon informed that the ground on
          which he had pitched his tent was sold for an adequate price
          at a public auction; and that a body of troops was dismissed
          by an opposite road to reinforce the legions of Spain.(10) He 
          led his Africans  to the gates of Rome, where he found three
          armies in order  of  battle  prepared  to  receive  him; but
          Hannibal dreaded the  event  of a combat from which he could
          not hope to  escape  unless  he  destroyed  the  last of his
          enemies; and his  speedy  retreat  confessed  the invincible
          courage of the Romans.
          From the time  of the Punic war the uninterrupted succession
          of  senators  had  preserved  the  name  and  image  of  the
          republic;   and  the   degenerate   subjects   of   Honorius
          ambitiously derived their  descent  from  the heroes who had
          repulsed the arms of Hannibal and subdued the nations of the
          earth.  The temporal  honours  which  the  devout  Paula (11) 
          inherited and despised are carefully recapitulated by Jerom,
          the guide of  her  conscience and the historian of her life.
          The genealogy of her father, Rogatus, which ascended as high
          as Agamemnon, might seem to betray a Grecian origin; but her
          mother, Blasilla, numbered  the Scipios, Amilius Paulus, and
          the Gracchi in  the list of her ancestors; and Toxotius, the
          husband of Paula, deduced his royal lineage from Aeneas, the
          father of the  Julian  line.  The  vanity  of  the rich, who
          desired  to  be   noble,   was   gratified  by  these  lofty
          pretensions. Encouraged by  the applause of their parasites,
          they easily imposed on the credulity of the vulgar; and were
          countenanced in some  measure  by the custom of adopting the
          name of their  patron,  which had always prevailed among the
          freedmen and clients  of illustrious families. Most of those
          families, however, attacked  by  so  many causes of external
          violence or internal  decay,  were gradually extirpated: and
          it would be  more reasonable to seek for a lineal descent of
          twenty generations among the mountains of the Alps or in the
          peaceful solitude of  Apulia,  than  on the theatre of Rome,
          the  seat  of   fortune,   of   danger,   and  of  perpetual
          revolutions. Under each  successive  reign  and  from  every
          province of the  empire a crowd of hardy adventurers, rising
          to eminence by  their  talents  or  their vices, usurped the
          wealth, the honours,  and the palaces of Rome; and oppressed
          or  protected  the  poor  and  humble  remains  of  consular
          families, who were  ignorant, perhaps, of the glory of their
          In the time  of  Jerom and Claudian the senators unanimously
          yielded the pre-eminence  to  the Anician line; and a slight
          view of their  history will serve to appreciate the rank and
          antiquity of the noble families which contended only for the
          second place.(13) 
          During the five  first  ages  of  the  city  the name of the
          Anicians was unknown;  they  appear  to  have  derived their
          origin  from  Praeneste;  and  the  ambition  of  those  new
          citizens was long  satisfied  with  the  plebeian honours of
          tribunes of the people.(14) One hundred and sixty-eight years 
          before the Christian  era  the  family  was  ennobled by the
          praetorship  of  Anicius,   who  gloriously  terminated  the
          Illyrian war by the conquest of the nation and the captivity
          of their king. (15)  From  the  triumph of that general three 
          consulships in distant  periods  mark  the succession of the
          Anician name.(16)  From  the reign of Diocletian to the final 
          extinction of the  Western  empire  that  name  shone with a
          lustre which was  not  eclipsed  in the public estimation by
          the majesty of  the Imperial purple.(17) The several branches 
          to  whom  it   was   communicated  united,  by  marriage  or
          inheritance,  the wealth  and  titles  of  the  Annian,  the
          Petronian, and the  Olybrian  houses; and in each generation
          the number of  consulships  was  multiplied by an hereditary
          claim.(18) The  Anician  family  excelled  in  faith  and  in 
          riches: they were the first of the Roman senate who embraced
          Christianity and it is probable that Anicius Julian, who was
          afterwards consul and  praefect  of the city, atoned for his
          attachment to the  party  of Maxentius by the readiness with
          which he accepted  the  religion  of  Constantine. (19) Their 
          ample patrimony was increased by the industry of Probus, the
          chief of the  Anician  family,  who  shared with Gratian the
          honours of the consulship, and exercised four times the high
          office of Praetorian  praefect. (20) His immense estates were 
          scattered over the  wide  extent  of  the  Roman  world; and
          though the public might suspect or disapprove the methods by
          which  they  had   been   acquired,   the   generosity   and
          magnificence  of  that   fortunate  statesman  deserved  the
          gratitude of his clients and the admiration of strangers.(21) 
          Such was the  respect  entertained  for his memory, that the
          two sons of  Probus,  in  their  earliest  youth  and at the
          request of the  senate,  were  associated  in  the  consular
          dignity: a memorable  distinction,  without  example  in the
          annals of Rome.(22) 
          "The  marbles  of  the  Anician  palace,"  were  used  as  a
          proverbial expression of  opulence and splendour;(23) but the 
          nobles and senators  of  Rome  aspired  in  due gradation to
          imitate that illustrious family. The accurate description of
          the  city,  which   was  composed  in  the  Theodosian  age,
          enumerates one thousand seven hundred and eighty houses, the
          residence of wealthy  and  honourable  citizens. (24) Many of 
          these stately mansions  might almost excuse the exaggeration
          of the poet  -  that  Rome contained a multitude of palaces,
          and that each  palace was equal to a city, since it included
          within  its  own   precincts   everything   which  could  be
          subservient either to  use  or luxury: markets, hippodromes,
          temples,  fountains,  baths,  porticos,  shady  groves,  and
          artificial  aviaries.(25)  The  historian  Olympiodorus,  who 
          represents the state  of  Rome  when  it was besieged by the
          Goths,(26) continues  to  observe that several of the richest 
          senators received from  their  estates  an  annual income of
          four thousand pounds  of  gold,  above one hundred and sixty
          thousand  pounds  sterling;  without  computing  the  stated
          provision of corn and wine, which, had they been sold, might
          have equalled in  value  one-third of the money. Compared to
          this immoderate wealth, an ordinary revenue of a thousand or
          fifteen hundred pounds  of  gold  might  be considered as no
          more than adequate  to  the  dignity of the senatorian rank,
          which required many  expenses  of  a public and ostentatious
          kind. Several examples  are  recorded in the age of Honorius
          of vain and  popular nobles who celebrated the year of their
          praetorship by a  festival  which lasted seven days and cost
          above one hundred  thousand  pounds sterling.(27) The estates 
          of the Roman senators, which so far exceed the proportion of
          modern wealth, were  not  confined  to  the limits of Italy.
          Their possessions extended  far  beyond the Ionian and Agean
          seas to the  most  distant provinces: the city of Nicopolis,
          which Augustus had  founded  as  an  eternal monument of the
          Actian victory, was the property of the devout Paula;(28) and 
          it is observed  by Seneca, that the rivers which had divided
          hostile nations now  flowed  through  the  lands  of private
          citizens.(29) According  to  their  temper and circumstances, 
          the estates of  the  Romans  were  either  cultivated by the
          labour of their  slaves,  or  granted,  for  a  certain  and
          stipulated rent, to  the  industrious farmer. The economical
          writers of antiquity strenuously recommend the former method
          wherever it may  be  practicable but if the object should be
          removed by its  distance or magnitude from the immediate eye
          of the master,  they  prefer  the  active  care  of  an  old
          hereditary tenant, attached  to  the  soil and interested in
          the produce, to the mercenary administration of a negligent,
          perhaps an unfaithful steward.(30) 
          The opulent nobles  of  an  immense  capital, who were never
          excited by the pursuit of military glory, and seldom engaged
          in the occupations  of  civil government, naturally resigned
          their leisure to  the  business  and  amusements  of private
          life. At Rome  commerce was always held in contempt; but the
          senators, from the  first  age  of  the  republic, increased
          their  patrimony  and   multiplied   their  clients  by  the
          lucrative practice of  usury,  and  the  obsolete  laws were
          eluded or violated  by  the mutual inclinations and interest
          of both parties. (31)  A  considerable  mass of treasure must 
          always have existed  at  Rome, either in the current coin of
          the empire, or  in  the  form  of gold and silver plate; and
          there were many  sideboards  in  the  time  of  Pliny  which
          contained more solid  silver  than  had  been transported by
          Scipio from vanquished  Carthage.(32) The greater part of the 
          nobles, who dissipated  their  fortunes  in  profuse luxury,
          found themselves poor  in the midst of wealth, and idle in a
          constant   round  of   dissipation.   Their   desires   were
          continually gratified by  the labour of a thousand hands; of
          the  numerous train  of  their  domestic  slaves,  who  were
          actuated by the  fear  of  punishment;  and  of  the various
          professions  of artificers  and  merchants,  who  were  more
          powerfully impelled by  the hopes of gain. The ancients were
          destitute of many  of  the  conveniences  of life which have
          been invented or  improved  by the progress of industry; and
          the  plenty of  glass  and  linen  has  diffused  more  real
          comforts  among  the  modern  nations  of  Europe  than  the
          senators of Rome  could  derive  from all the refinements of
          pompous or sensual luxury.(33) Their luxury and their manners 
          have been the  subject of minute and laborious disquisition;
          but as such  inquiries  would  divert  me  too long from the
          design of the  present  work,  I  shall produce an authentic
          state of Rome  and  its inhabitants which is more peculiarly
          applicable to the  period  of  the Gothic invasion. Ammianus
          Marcellinus, who prudently  chose  the capital of the empire
          as the residence  the  best  adapted to the historian of his
          own times, has  mixed  with the narrative of public events a
          lively  representation of  the  scenes  with  which  he  was
          familiarly conversant. The  judicious reader will not always
          approve   the   asperity   of   censure,   the   choice   of
          circumstances, or the  style  of expression; he will perhaps
          detect the latent  prejudices and personal resentments which
          soured the temper  of  Ammianus  himself; but he will surely
          observe, with philosophic  curiosity,  the  interesting  and
          original picture of the manners of Rome.(34) 
          "The  greatness  of  Rome  (such  is  the  language  of  the
          historian) was founded  on  the  rare  and almost incredible
          alliance of virtue  and  of  fortune. The long period of her
          infancy was employed  in  a  laborious  struggle against the
          tribes of Italy,  the  neighbours  and enemies of the rising
          city. In the  strength and ardour of youth she sustained the
          storms of war,  carried  her victorious arms beyond the seas
          and the mountains,  and  brought home triumphal laurels from
          every country of  the  globe. At length, verging towards old
          age, and sometimes  conquering  by  the  terror  only of her
          name, she sought the blessings of ease and tranquillity. The
          VENERABLE CITY, which  had  trampled  on  the  necks  of the
          fiercest nations, and  established  a  system  of  laws, the
          perpetual guardians of  justice  and  freedom,  was content,
          like a wise  and  wealthy parent, to devolve on the Caesars,
          her  favourite  sons,   the  care  of  governing  her  ample
          patrimony.(35) A  secure and profound peace, such as had been 
          once enjoyed in  the reign of Numa, succeeded to the tumults
          of a republic;  while  Rome was still adored as the queen of
          the earth, and the subject nations still reverenced the name
          of the people and the majesty of the senate. But this native
          splendour (continues Ammianus)  is  degraded  and sullied by
          the conduct of  some  nobles,  who,  unmindful  of their own
          dignity and of  that  of  their country, assume an unbounded
          licence of vice  and  folly. They contend with each other in
          the empty vanity  of  titles  and  surnames,  and  curiously
          select or invent  the most lofty and sonorous appellations -
          Reburrus or Fabunius,  Pagonius  or  Tarrasius (36) which may 
          impress  the  ears  of  the  vulgar  with  astonishment  and
          respect. From a  vain ambition of perpetuating their memory,
          they affect to  multiply their likeness in statues of bronze
          and marble; nor  are they satisfied unless those statues are
          covered with plates  of  gold;  an  honourable  distinction,
          first granted to Acilius the consul, after he had subdued by
          his arms and  counsels  the  power  of  king  Antiochus. The
          ostentation of displaying,  of  magnifying perhaps, the rent
          roll of the estates which they possess in all the provinces,
          from the rising  to  the  setting  sun,  provokes  the  just
          resentment of every  man  who recollects that their poor and
          invincible ancestors were not distinguished from the meanest
          of the soldiers  by  the  delicacy  of  their  food  or  the
          splendour of their  apparel.  But  the modern nobles measure
          their rank and  consequence  according  to  the loftiness of
          their chariots,(37)  and  the  weighty  magnificence of their 
          dress. Their long  robes  of  silk  and  purple float in the
          wind; and as  they  are  agitated,  by art or accident, they
          occasionally discover the  under  garments, the rich tunics,
          embroidered with the figures of various animals.(38) Followed 
          by a train  of  fifty servants, and tearing up the pavement,
          they move along the streets with the same impetuous speed as
          if they travelled  with  post-horses  and the example of the
          senators is boldly imitated by the matrons and ladies, whose
          covered carriages are  continually driving round the immense
          space of the  city  and  suburbs.  Whenever these persons of
          high distinction condescend  to visit the public baths, they
          assume, on their  entrance,  a  tone  of  loud  and insolent
          command, and appropriate  to  their own use the conveniences
          which were designed  for  the  Roman  people.  If,  in these
          places of mixed  and  general  resort,  they meet any of the
          infamous ministers of  their  pleasures,  they express their
          affection by a  tender  embrace,  while they proudly decline
          the  salutations  of  their  fellow-citizens,  who  are  not
          permitted to aspire  above the honour of kissing their hands
          or their knees.  As soon as they have indulged themselves in
          the refreshment of the bath, they resume their rings and the
          other ensigns of  their  dignity,  select from their private
          wardrobe of the  finest  linen,  such as might suffice for a
          dozen persons, the  garments  the  most  agreeable  to their
          fancy, and maintain  till  their  departure the same haughty
          demeanour, which perhaps  might  have  been  excused  in the
          great Marcellus after  the  conquest  of Syracuse. Sometimes
          indeed these heroes  undertake  more  arduous  achievements:
          they visit their  estates  in Italy, and procure themselves,
          by the toil  of  servile hands, the amusements of the chase.
         (39) If at  any  time,  but more especially on a hot day, they 
          have courage to  sail  in  their  painted  galleys  from the
          Lucrine lake(40)  to  their elegant villas on the seacoast of 
          Puteoli and Caieta,(41) they compare their own expeditions to 
          the marches of  Caesar  and  Alexander.  Yet  should  a  fly
          presume to settle  on  the  silken  folds  of  their  gilded
          umbrellas, should a sunbeam penetrate through some unguarded
          and  imperceptible chink,  they  deplore  their  intolerable
          hardships, and lament  in  affected  language that they were
          not born in  the  land  of the Cimmerians,(42) the regions of 
          eternal darkness. In  these journeys into the country(43) the 
          whole body of  the  household  marches with their master. In
          the same manner  as  the cavalry and infantry, the heavy and
          the light armed troops, the advanced guard and the rear, are
          marshalled by the  skill  of  their military leaders, so the
          domestic officers, who bear a rod as an ensign of authority,
          distribute and arrange  the  numerous  train  of  slaves and
          attendants. The baggage  and wardrobe move in the front, and
          are  immediately  followed  by  a  multitude  of  cooks  and
          inferior ministers employed  in  the service of the kitchens
          and of the table. The main body is composed of a promiscuous
          crowd of slaves,  increased  by  the accidental concourse of
          idle or dependent  plebeians.  The  rear  is  closed  by the
          favourite band of  eunuchs,  distributed  from age to youth,
          according to the order of seniority. Their numbers and their
          deformity excite the horror of the indignant spectators, who
          are ready to  execrate the memory of Semiramis for the cruel
          art  which she  invented  of  frustrating  the  purposes  of
          nature, and of  blasting  in  the  bud  the  hopes of future
          generations. In the  exercise  of  domestic jurisdiction the
          nobles of Rome  express  an  exquisite  sensibility  for any
          personal injury, and  a  contemptuous  indifference  for the
          rest of the  human  species.  When they have called for warm
          water, if a  slave  has  been  tardy in his obedience, he is
          instantly chastised with  three  hundred  lashes; but should
          the same slave  commit  a  wilful  murder,  the  master will
          mildly observe that he is a worthless fellow, but that if he
          repeats  the  offence   he   shall  not  escape  punishment.
          Hospitality was formerly the virtue of the Romans; and every
          stranger who could  plead  either  merit  or  misfortune was
          relieved or rewarded  by  their generosity. At present, if a
          foreigner, perhaps of no contemptible rank, is introduced to
          one of the proud and wealthy senators, he is welcomed indeed
          in the first  audience  with  such warm professions and such
          kind  inquiries,  that   he   retires   enchanted  with  the
          affability of his  illustrious  friend,  and  full of regret
          that he had  so long delayed his journey to Rome, the native
          seat of manners as well as of empire. Secure of a favourable
          reception, he repeats  his  visit  the  ensuing  day, and is
          mortified by the  discovery  that  his person, his name, and
          his  country  are   already   forgotten.  If  he  still  has
          resolution to persevere,  he  is  gradually  numbered in the
          train of dependents,  and  obtains the permission to pay his
          assiduous  and  unprofitable  court  to  a  haughty  patron,
          incapable of gratitude  or  friendship,  who scarcely deigns
          remark his presence,  his departure, or his return. Whenever
          the rich prepare  a  solemn  and  popular  entertainment,(44) 
          whenever they celebrate  with  profuse and pernicious luxury
          their private banquets,  the  choice  of  the  guests is the
          subject of anxious  deliberation. The modest, the sober, and
          the learned are  seldom  preferred and the nomenclators, who
          are commonly swayed  by interested motives, have the address
          to insert in  the  list  of invitations the obscure names of
          the most worthless of mankind. But the frequent and familiar
          companions of the great are those parasites who practise the
          most useful of  all  arts,  the art of flattery; who eagerly
          applaud each word and every action of their immortal patron;
          gaze with rapture  on  his  marble  columns  and  variegated
          pavements, and strenuously  praise  the  pomp  and  elegance
          which he is  taught  to  consider  as a part of his personal
          merit. At the  Roman  tables the birds, the squirrels,(45) or 
          the fish, which  appear of an uncommon size are contemplated
          with curious attention;  a  pair  of  scales  is  accurately
          applied to ascertain  their  real weight and, while the more
          rational  guests are  disgusted  by  the  vain  and  tedious
          repetition, notaries are  summoned to attest by an authentic
          record the truth  of such a marvellous event. Another method
          of introduction into  the houses and society of the great is
          derived from the  profession  of  gaming,  or, as it is more
          politely styled, of  play.  The confederates are united by a
          strict and indissoluble  bond  of  friendship,  or rather of
          conspiracy; a superior  degree of skill in the 'Tesserarian'
          art (which may  be  interpreted  the game of dice and tables
         (46) ) is a  sure  road  to  wealth and reputation. A master of 
          that sublime science,  who in a supper or assembly is placed
          below a magistrate, displays in his countenance the surprise
          and indignation which Cato might be supposed to feel when he
          was refused the  praetorship  by  the  votes of a capricious
          people. The acquisition  of  knowledge  seldom  engages  the
          curiosity of the  nobles,  who abhor the fatigue and disdain
          the advantages of  study;  and  the  only  books  which they
          peruse are the  Satires  of  Juvenal,  and  the  verbose and
          fabulous histories of Marius Maximus.(47) The libraries which 
          they have inherited  from  their  fathers are secluded, like
          dreary sepulchres, from  the light of day.(48) But the costly 
          instruments of the  theatre, flutes, and enormous lyres, and
          hydraulic organs, are  constructed  for  their  use; and the
          harmony  of vocal  and  instrumental  music  is  incessantly
          repeated in the  palaces  of Rome. In those palaces sound is
          preferred to sense,  and the care of the body to that of the
          mind. It is  allowed as a salutary maxim, that the light and
          frivolous suspicion of  a contagious malady is of sufficient
          weight to excuse  the  visits  of the most intimate friends;
          and even the  servants who are despatched to make the decent
          inquiries are not  suffered  to  return  home till they have
          undergone the ceremony  of  a  previous  ablution.  Yet this
          selfish and unmanly delicacy occasionally yields to the more
          imperious passion of avarice. The prospect of gain will urge
          a rich and  gouty senator as far as Spoleto; every sentiment
          of arrogance and  dignity  is  subdued  by  the  hopes of an
          inheritance, or even  of  a  legacy; and a wealthy childless
          citizen is the  most  powerful  of  the  Romans.  The art of
          obtaining  the signature  of  a  favourable  testament,  and
          sometimes of hastening  the  moment  of  its  execution,  is
          perfectly understood; and  it  has happened that in the same
          house, though in different apartments, a husband and a wife,
          with the laudable  design  of over-reaching each other, have
          summoned their respective  lawyers,  to  declare at the same
          time their mutual but contradictory intentions. The distress
          which follows and chastises extravagant luxury often reduces
          the great to  the  use  of  the most humiliating expedients.
          When  they desire  to  borrow,  they  employ  the  base  and
          supplicating style of the slave in the comedy; but when they
          are called upon  to  pay,  they  assume the royal and tragic
          declamation of the  grandsons  of Hercules. If the demand is
          repeated,  they  readily   procure  some  trusty  sycophant,
          instructed to maintain a charge of poison, or magic, against
          the insolent creditor,  who  is  seldom released from prison
          till he has  signed  a  discharge  of  the whole debt. These
          vices, which degrade  the moral character of the Romans, are
          mixed  with a  puerile  superstition  that  disgraces  their
          understanding.   They  listen   with   confidence   to   the
          predictions  of haruspices,  who  pretend  to  read  in  the
          entrails  of victims  the  signs  of  future  greatness  and
          prosperity; and there  are many who do not presume either to
          bathe or to  dine,  or  to  appear in public, till they have
          diligently consulted, according  to  the rules of astrology,
          the situation of  Mercury  and the aspect of the moon.(49) It 
          is singular enough  that  this  vain  credulity may often be
          discovered among the profane sceptics who impiously doubt or
          deny the existence of a celestial power."
          In populous cities,  which  are  the  seat  of  commerce and
          manufactures, the middle  ranks  of  inhabitants, who derive
          their subsistence from  the  dexterity  or  labour  of their
          hands, are commonly the most prolific, the most useful, and;
          in that sense,  the  most respectable part of the community.
          But the plebeians  of Rome, who disdained such sedentary and
          servile arts, had  been oppressed from the earliest times by
          the weight of debt and usury, and the husbandman, during the
          term of his  military  service,  was  obliged to abandon the
          cultivation of his  farm. (50)  The lands of Italy, which had 
          been originally divided  among  the  families  of  free  and
          indigent proprietors, were  insensibly  purchased or usurped
          by the avarice  of the nobles; and in the age which preceded
          the fall of  the  republic,  it  was  computed that only two
          thousand  citizens  were   possessed   of   any  independent
          substance.(51) Yet  as  long  as the people bestowed by their 
          suffrages the honours  of  the  state,  the  command  of the
          legions, and the  administration of wealthy provinces, their
          conscious pride alleviated  in some measure the hardships of
          poverty and their  wants  were  seasonably  supplied  by the
          ambitious  liberality of  the  candidates,  who  aspired  to
          secure a venal  majority  in  the thirty-five tribes, or the
          hundred and ninety-three  centuries,  of  Rome. But when the
          prodigal commons had imprudently alienated not only the use,
          but the inheritance, of power, they sunk, under the reign of
          the Caesars, into  a vile and wretched populace, which must,
          in a few  generations, have been totally extinguished, if it
          had not been  continually  recruited  by  the manumission of
          slaves and the  influx of strangers. As early as the time of
          Hadrian it was  the  just complaint of the ingenuous natives
          that the capital had attracted the vices of the universe and
          the manners of  the  most opposite nations. The intemperance
          of the Gauls,  the  cunning  and  levity  of the Greeks, the
          savage obstinacy of  the  Egyptians  and  Jews,  the servile
          temper  of  the  Asiatics,  and  the  dissolute,  effeminate
          prostitution of the  Syrians,  were  mingled  in the various
          multitude, which, under  the proud and false denomination of
          Romans, presumed to  despise their fellow-subjects, and even
          their sovereigns, who  dwelt  beyond  the  precincts  of the
          ETERNAL CITY.(52) 
          Yet the name of that city was still pronounced with respect:
          the frequent and  capricious tumults of its inhabitants were
          indulged with impunity;  and  the successors of Constantine,
          instead of crushing the last remains of the democracy by the
          strong arm of  military  power,  embraced the mild policy of
          Augustus, and studied  to  relieve  the poverty and to amuse
          the  idleness of  an  innumerable  people. (53)  I.  For  the 
          convenience of the lazy plebeians, the monthly distributions
          of corn were  converted  into  a daily allowance of bread; a
          great number of ovens were constructed and maintained at the
          public expense; and at the appointed hour, each citizen, who
          was furnished with  a  ticket,  ascended the flight of steps
          which had been assigned to his peculiar quarter or division,
          and received, either  as  a  gift  or at a very low price, a
          loaf of bread  of  the weight of three pounds for the use of
          his  family.  II.  The  forests  of  Lucania,  whose  acorns
          fattened large droves  of  wild  hogs, (54)  afforded,  as  a 
          species  of  tribute,   a  plentiful  supply  of  cheap  and
          wholesome meat. During  five  months  of  the year a regular
          allowance of bacon  was  distributed to the poorer citizens;
          and the annual consumption of the capital, at a time when it
          was much declined  from  its former lustre, was ascertained,
          by an edict  of Valentinian the Third, at three millions six
          hundred and twenty-eight  thousand  pounds. (55)  III. In the 
          manners of antiquity  the  use  of oil was indispensable for
          the lamp as  well  as for the bath, and the annual tax which
          was imposed on  Africa  for  the benefit of Rome amounted to
          the weight of  three  millions  of  pounds,  to the measure,
          perhaps, of three  hundred thousand English gallons. IV. The
          anxiety  of  Augustus   to   provide   the  metropolis  with
          sufficient plenty of  corn  was  not  extended  beyond  that
          necessary article of human subsistence; and when the popular
          clamour  accused  the  dearness  and  scarcity  of  wine,  a
          proclamation was issued  by the grave reformer to remind his
          subjects that no  man  could  reasonably complain of thirst,
          since the aqueducts  of Agrippa had introduced into the city
          so many copious  streams  of  pure  and salubrious water.(56) 
          This rigid sobriety  was  insensibly  relaxed; and, although
          the generous design  of  Aurelian(57) does not appear to have 
          been executed in  its  full  extent,  the  use  of  wine was
          allowed on very  easy  and liberal terms. The administration
          of the public  cellars  was  delegated  to  a  magistrate of
          honourable rank; and  a  considerable part of the vintage of
          Campania was reserved for the fortunate inhabitants of Rome.
          The  stupendous  aqueducts,  so  justly  celebrated  by  the
          praises of Augustus  himself,  replenished the 'Thermae', or
          baths, which had  been constructed in every part of the city
          with  Imperial  magnificence.   The   baths   of   Antoninus
          Caracalla,  which  were  open,  at  stated  hours,  for  the
          indiscriminate  service of  the  senators  and  the  people,
          contained above sixteen  hundred  seats  of marble; and more
          than  three  thousand   were   reckoned   in  the  baths  of
          Diocletian. (58) The  walls  of  the  lofty  apartments  were 
          covered with curious  mosaics,  that imitated the art of the
          pencil in the elegance of design and the variety of colours.
          The Egyptian granite  was  beautifully  encrusted  with  the
          precious green marble  of  Numidia;  the perpetual stream of
          hot water was  poured  into  the capacious basins through so
          many wide mouths of bright and massy silver; and the meanest
          Roman could purchase,  with  a  small copper coin, the daily
          enjoyment of a  scene  of pomp and luxury which might excite
          the envy of the kings of Asia.(59) From these stately palaces 
          issued a swarm  of dirty and ragged plebeians, without shoes
          and without a  mantle;  who  loitered away whole days in the
          street or Forum  to  hear  news  and  to  hold  disputes who
          dissipated in extravagant  gaming  the miserable pittance of
          their wives and  children;  and spent the hours of the night
          in obscure taverns  and  brothels in the indulgence of gross
          and vulgar sensuality.(60) 
          But the most  lively  and  splendid  amusement  of  the idle
          multitude depended on  the  frequent  exhibition  of  public
          games and spectacles.  The  piety  of  Christian princes had
          suppressed the inhuman  combats of gladiators; but the Roman
          people still considered  the  Circus  as  their  home, their
          temple, and the  seat  of  the republic. The impatient crowd
          rushed at the  dawn of day to secure their places, and there
          were many who  passed  a  sleepless and anxious night in the
          adjacent porticos. From the morning to the evening, careless
          of the sun  or  of  the  rain, the spectators, who sometimes
          amounted to the number of four hundred thousand, remained in
          eager  attention;  their   eyes  fixed  on  the  horses  and
          charioteers, their minds agitated with hope and fear for the
          success  of  the   colours  which  they  espoused;  and  the
          happiness of Rome  appeared  to hang on the event of a race.
         (61) The same  immoderate  ardour  inspired their clamours and 
          their applause as  often  as  they were entertained with the
          hunting of wild  beasts  and the various modes of theatrical
          representation. These representations in modern capitals may
          deserve to be  considered  as  a  pure and elegant school of
          taste, and perhaps  of virtue. But the Tragic and Comic Muse
          of the Romans,  who  seldom  aspired beyond the imitation of
          Attic genius,(62)  had  been  almost totally silent since the 
          fall of the  republic; (63)  and  their  place was unworthily 
          occupied by licentious farce, effeminate music, and splendid
          pageantry.  The  pantomimes,  (64)   who   maintained   their 
          reputation from the  age  of  Augustus to the sixth century,
          expressed, without the  use  of words, the various fables of
          the gods and  heroes  of  antiquity;  and  the perfection of
          their art, which  sometimes  disarmed  the  gravity  of  the
          philosopher, always excited  the  applause and wonder of the
          people. The vast  and  magnificent  theatres  of  Rome  were
          filled  by three  thousand  female  dancers,  and  by  three
          thousand  singers,  with   the  masters  of  the  respective
          choruses. Such was  the  popular  favour which they enjoyed,
          that,  in a  time  of  scarcity,  when  all  strangers  were
          banished from the  city,  the  merit  of contributing to the
          public pleasures exempted them from a law which was strictly
          executed against the professors of the liberal arts.(65) 
          It  is  said   that  the  foolish  curiosity  of  Elagabalus
          attempted to discover,  from  the quantity of spiders' webs,
          the number of  the  inhabitants  of  Rome.  A  more rational
          method of inquiry  might  not  have  been undeserving of the
          attention of the  wisest  princes,  who  could  easily  have
          resolved a question  so  important  for the Roman government
          and so interesting to succeeding ages. The births and deaths
          of the citizens  were  duly registered; and if any writer of
          antiquity had condescended  to mention the annual amount, or
          the common average,  we  might now produce some satisfactory
          calculation which should  destroy the extravagant assertions
          of critics, and  perhaps  confirm  the  modest  and probable
          conjectures of philosophers.(66) The most diligent researches 
          have  collected only  the  following  circumstances,  which,
          slight and imperfect as they are, may tend in some degree to
          illustrate the question of the populousness of ancient Rome.
          I. When the capital of the empire was besieged by the Goths,
          the  circuit  of   the  walls  was  accurately  measured  by
          Ammonius,  the  mathematician,   who   found   it  equal  to
          twenty-one miles.(67)  It  should  not  be forgotten that the 
          form  of  the   city  was  almost  that  of  a  circle,  the
          geometrical figure which  is  known  to  contain the largest
          space within any  given  circumference.  II.  The  architect
          Vitruvius, who flourished  in  the  Augustan  age, and whose
          evidence,  on  this   occasion,   has  peculiar  weight  and
          authority, observes that  the innumerable habitations of the
          Roman people would  have  spread  themselves  far beyond the
          narrow limits of  the  city;  and  that  the want of ground,
          which was probably  contracted  on every side by gardens and
          villas, suggested the  common, though inconvenient, practice
          of raising the  houses  to a considerable height in the air.
         (68)  But  the  loftiness  of  these  buildings,  which  often 
          consisted of hasty  work and insufficient materials, was the
          cause of frequent and fatal accidents; and it was repeatedly
          enacted by Augustus,  as well as by Nero, that the height of
          private edifices within  the walls of Rome should not exceed
          the measure of seventy feet from the ground.(69) III. Juvenal 
         (70) laments, as  it  should seem from his own experience, the 
          hardships of the  poorer  citizens, to whom he addresses the
          salutary advice of emigrating, without delay, from the smoke
          of Rome, since  they  might  purchase in the little towns of
          Italy a cheerful,  commodious  dwelling  at  the  same price
          which they annually  paid  for a dark and miserable lodging.
          House-rent  was  therefore   immoderately   dear:  the  rich
          acquired, at an  enormous  expense,  the  ground, which they
          covered with palaces  and gardens; but the body of the Roman
          people was crowded  into  a  narrow space; and the different
          floors and apartments  of the same house were divided, as it
          is still the custom of Paris and other cities, among several
          families of plebeians. IV. The total number of houses in the
          fourteen regions of  the  city  is  accurately stated in the
          description of Rome  composed under the reign of Theodosius,
          and they amount  to  forty-eight  thousand three hundred and
          eighty-two.(71) The  two classes of 'domus' and of 'insulae', 
          into which they  are divided, include all the habitations of
          the capital, of  every  rank  and condition, from the marble
          palace of the  Anicii,  with  a  numerous  establishment  of
          freedmen and slaves,  to  the  lofty and narrow lodginghouse
          where the poet  Codrus and his wife were permitted to hire a
          wretched garret immediately under the tiles. If we adopt the
          same average which,  under  similar  circumstances, has been
          found applicable to  Paris,(72) and indifferently allow about 
          twenty-five persons for  each house, of every degree, we may
          fairly estimate the  inhabitants  of  Rome at twelve hundred
          thousand: a number which cannot be thought excessive for the
          capital  of  a   mighty   empire,   though  it  exceeds  the
          populousness of the greatest cities of modern Europe.(73) 
          Such was the  state  of Rome under the reign of Honorius, at
          the time when  the  Gothic  army formed the siege, or rather
          the blockade, of  the  city. (74) By a skilful disposition of 
          his numerous forces,  who  impatiently watched the moment of
          an assault, Alaric  encompassed  the  walls,  commanded  the
          twelve principal gates,  intercepted  all communication with
          the adjacent country,  and vigilantly guarded the navigation
          of the Tiber,  from  which the Romans derived the surest and
          most plentiful supply  of  provisions. The first emotions of
          the nobles and  of  the  people  were  those of surprise and
          indignation, that a vile barbarian should dare to insult the
          capital of the  world;  but their arrogance was soon humbled
          by misfortune; and  their  unmanly  rage,  instead  of being
          directed against an enemy in arms, was meanly exercised on a
          defenceless and innocent  victim.  Perhaps  in the person of
          Serena  the  Romans   might  have  respected  the  niece  of
          Theodosius, the aunt,  nay  even the adoptive mother, of the
          reigning emperor; they  abhorred  the widow of Stilicho; and
          they listened with  credulous passion to the tale of calumny
          which accused her  of  maintaining  a  secret  and  criminal
          correspondence  with  the   Gothic   invader.  Actuated,  or
          overawed, by the  same  popular  frenzy, the senate, without
          requiring any evidence of her guilt, pronounced the sentence
          of her death.  Serena  was  ignominiously strangled; and the
          infatuated multitude were astonished to find that this cruel
          act of injustice  did not immediately produce the retreat of
          the  barbarians  and  the  deliverance  of  the  city.  That
          unfortunate  city  gradually  experienced  the  distress  of
          scarcity, and at length the horrid calamities of famine. The
          daily allowance of  three  pounds  of  bread  was reduced to
          one-half, to one-third,  to  nothing;  and the price of corn
          still  continued  to   rise   in  a  rapid  and  extravagant
          proportion. The poorer  citizens who were unable to purchase
          the necessaries of life, solicited the precarious charity of
          the rich; and  for  a while the public misery was alleviated
          by the humanity  of Laeta, the widow of the emperor Gratian,
          who had fixed her residence at Rome, and consecrated, to the
          use of the indigent, the princely revenue which she annually
          received from the grateful successors of her husband.(75) But 
          these private and  temporary  donatives were insufficient to
          appease the hunger of a numerous people; and the progress of
          famine  invaded  the   marble   palaces   of   the  senators
          themselves. The persons of both sexes, who had been educated
          in the enjoyment  of  ease and luxury, discovered how little
          is requisite to  supply  the demands of nature; and lavished
          their unavailing treasures  of gold and silver to obtain the
          coarse and scanty  sustenance which they would formerly have
          rejected with disdain.  The food the most repugnant to sense
          or  imagination,  the  aliments  the  most  unwholesome  and
          pernicious to the  constitution,  were eagerly devoured, and
          fiercely disputed, by  the  rage of hunger. A dark suspicion
          was entertained that  some  desperate  wretches  fed  on the
          bodies of their  fellow-creatures  whom  they  had  secretly
          murdered; and even  mothers (such was the horrid conflict of
          the two most  powerful  instincts implanted by nature in the
          human breast), even  mothers  are  said  to  have tasted the
          flesh of their slaughtered infants!(76) Many thousands of the 
          inhabitants of Rome  expired  in  their  houses,  or  in the
          streets,  for  want   of   sustenance;  and  as  the  public
          sepulchres without the walls were in the power of the enemy,
          the stench which  arose  from  so  many  putrid and unburied
          carcasses infected the  air; and the miseries of famine were
          succeeded and aggravated  by the contagion of a pestilential
          disease. The assurances  of  speedy  and  effectual  relief,
          which were repeatedly transmitted from the court of Ravenna,
          supported, for some  time,  the  fainting  resolution of the
          Romans, till at  length the despair of any human aid tempted
          them to accept  the  offers  of a preternatural deliverance.
          Pompeianus, praefect of the city, had been persuaded, by the
          art or fanaticism  of  some  Tuscan  diviners,  that, by the
          mysterious  force  of  spells  and  sacrifices,  they  could
          extract the lightning  from  the  clouds,  and  point  those
          celestial fires against  the  camp of the barbarians.(77) The 
          important secret was communicated to Innocent, the bishop of
          Rome; and the  successor  of  St.  Peter is accused, perhaps
          without foundation, of preferring the safety of the republic
          to the rigid severity of the Christian worship. But when the
          question was agitated  in  the senate; when it was proposed,
          as an essential  condition,  that those sacrifices should be
          performed in the  Capitol,  by  the  authority  and  in  the
          presence  of  the   magistrates;   the   majority   of  that
          respectable assembly, apprehensive  either  of the Divine or
          of the Imperial displeasure, refused to join in an act which
          appeared almost equivalent  to  the  public  restoration  of
          The last resource  of  the Romans was in the clemency, or at
          least in the  moderation,  of  the  king  of  the Goths. The
          senate, who in  this emergency assumed the supreme powers of
          government, appointed two  ambassadors to negotiate with the
          enemy. This important  trust  was  delegated  to Basilius, a
          senator of Spanish  extraction,  and  already conspicuous in
          the administration of  provinces;  and  to  John,  the first
          tribune of the  notaries,  who  was peculiarly qualified, by
          his dexterity in business, as well as by his former intimacy
          with the Gothic  prince.  When they were introduced into his
          presence, they declared,  perhaps in a more lofty style than
          became their abject condition, that the Romans were resolved
          to maintain their dignity, either in peace or war; and that,
          if Alaric refused  them  a fair and honourable capitulation,
          he might sound  his  trumpets, and prepare to give battle to
          an innumerable people,  exercised  in  arms  and animated by
          "The thicker the  hay,  the  easier  it  is  mowed," was the
          concise reply of the barbarian; and this rustic metaphor was
          accompanied by a loud and insulting laugh, expressive of his
          contempt for the menaces of an unwarlike populace, enervated
          by luxury before  they  were  emaciated  by  famine. He then
          condescended to fix  the ransom which he would accept as the
          price of his  retreat  from  the walls of Rome: all the gold
          and silver in  the city, whether it were the property of the
          state,  or  of   individuals;  all  the  rich  and  precious
          moveables; and all the slaves who could prove their title to
          the name of barbarians. The ministers of the senate presumed
          to ask, in  a  modest and suppliant tone, "If such, O king !
          are your demands,  what  do  you  intend to leave us?" "YOUR
          LIVES," replied the  haughty  conqueror:  they  trembled and
          retired. Yet before they retired, a short suspension of arms
          was granted, which  allowed  some  time for a more temperate
          negotiation. The stern  features  of  Alaric were insensibly
          relaxed; he abated  much  of the rigour of his terms; and at
          length  consented to  raise  the  siege,  on  the  immediate
          payment of five  thousand pounds of gold, of thirty thousand
          pounds of silver,  of  four thousand robes of silk, of three
          thousand pieces of fine scarlet cloth, and of three thousand
          pounds weight of  pepper. (79)  But  the  public treasury was 
          exhausted; the annual  rents  of  the great estates in Italy
          and the provinces were intercepted by the calamities of war;
          the gold and gems had been exchanged, during the famine, for
          the vilest sustenance;  the  hoards  of  secret  wealth were
          still  concealed by  the  obstinacy  of  avarice;  and  some
          remains of consecrated  spoils  afforded  the  only resource
          that could avert  the impending ruin of the city. As soon as
          the Romans had  satisfied  the  rapacious demands of Alaric,
          they were restored,  in  some  measure,  to the enjoyment of
          peace and plenty.  Several  of  the  gates  were  cautiously
          opened; the importation of provisions from the river and the
          adjacent country was  no longer obstructed by the Goths; the
          citizens resorted in  crowds  to  the  free market which was
          held  during three  days  in  the  suburbs;  and  while  the
          merchants  who  undertook   this   gainful   trade   made  a
          considerable profit, the  future subsistence of the city was
          secured by the  ample  magazines which were deposited in the
          public and private granaries. A more regular discipline than
          could have been  expected  was  maintained  in  the  camp of
          Alaric; and the  wise barbarian justified his regard for the
          faith of treaties,  by  the  just  severity  with  which  he
          chastised a party  of licentious Goths who had insulted some
          Roman citizens on  the  road to Ostia. His army, enriched by
          the contributions of  the  capital, slowly advanced into the
          fair and fruitful  province of Tuscany, where he proposed to
          establish  his  winter-quarters;  and  the  Gothic  standard
          became the refuge  of  forty  thousand barbarian slaves, who
          had broke their  chains,  and  aspired, under the command of
          their great deliverer,  to  revenge  the  injuries  and  the
          disgrace of their  cruel  servitude.  About the same time he
          received a more  honourable reinforcement of Goths and Huns,
          whom Adolphus,(80) the brother of his wife, had conducted, at 
          his pressing invitation,  from  the  banks  of the Danube to
          those of the  Tiber,  and  who  had cut their way, with some
          difficulty and loss,  through  the  superior  numbers of the
          Imperial troops. A  victorious leader, who united the daring
          spirit of a barbarian with the art and discipline of a Roman
          general, was at  the  head  of  an hundred thousand fighting
          men;  and Italy  pronounced  with  terror  and  respect  the
          formidable name of Alaric.(81) 
          At the distance  of  fourteen  centuries we may be satisfied
          with relating the  military  exploits  of  the conquerors of
          Rome, without presuming  to investigate the motives of their
          political conduct. In  the midst of his apparent prosperity,
          Alaric was conscious, perhaps, of some secret weakness, some
          internal  defect;  or   perhaps   the  moderation  which  he
          displayed was intended  only  to deceive and disarm the easy
          credulity of the  ministers  of  Honorius.  The  king of the
          Goths repeatedly declared  that  it  was  his  desire  to be
          considered as the  friend  of peace and of the Romans. Three
          senators, at his  earnest  request, were sent ambassadors to
          the court of  Ravenna,  to  solicit the exchange of hostages
          and the conclusion of the treaty; and the proposals which he
          more clearly expressed during the course of the negotiations
          could only inspire  a  doubt of his sincerity, as they might
          seem inadequate to  the  state of his fortune. The barbarian
          still aspired to the rank of master-general of the armies of
          the West; he stipulated an annual subsidy of corn and money;
          and he chose the provinces of Dalmatia, Noricum, and Venetia
          for the seat  of his new kingdom, which would have commanded
          the important communication between Italy and the Danube. If
          these modest terms  should  be  rejected,  Alaric  showed  a
          disposition to relinquish his pecuniary demands, and even to
          content himself with the possession of Norieum; an exhausted
          and impoverished country, perpetually exposed to the inroads
          of the barbarians of Germany.(82) But the hopes of peace were 
          disappointed by the  weak obstinacy, or interested views, of
          the minister Olympius.  Without  listening  to  the salutary
          remonstrances of the  senate, he dismissed their ambassadors
          under the conduct  of  a military escort, too numerous for a
          retinue of honour,  and  too  feeble for an army of defence.
          Six thousand Dalmatians, the flower of the Imperial legions,
          were ordered to  march from Ravenna to Rome, through an open
          country which was  occupied by the formidable myriads of the
          barbarians.  These  brave   legionaries,   encompassed   and
          betrayed,  fell a  sacrifice  to  ministerial  folly;  their
          general, Valens, with  an hundred soldiers, escaped from the
          field of battle;  and  one  of the ambassadors, who could no
          longer claim the  protection  of  the  law  of  nations, was
          obliged to purchase  his  freedom  with  a  ransom of thirty
          thousand pieces of  gold.  Yet  Alaric, instead of resenting
          this act of  impotent  hostility,  immediately  renewed  his
          proposals of peace,  and  the  second  embassy  of the Roman
          senate, which derived  weight  and dignity from the presence
          of Innocent, bishop  of  the  city,  was  guarded  from  the
          dangers of the road by a detachment of Gothic soldiers.(83) 
          Olympius (84)  might   have  continued  to  insult  the  just 
          resentment of a  people who loudly accused him as the author
          of the public  calamities,  but  his power was undermined by
          the secret intrigues  of  the  palace. The favourite eunuchs
          transferred the government  of  Honorius  and  the empire to
          Jovius, the Praetorian  praefect  - an unworthy servant, who
          did not atone  by  the  merit of personal attachment for the
          errors and misfortunes  of his administration. The exile, or
          escape,  of  the  guilty  Olympius  reserved  him  for  more
          vicissitudes of fortune: he experienced the adventures of an
          obscure and wandering  life; he again rose to power; he fell
          a second time  into  disgrace;  his  ears  were cut off - he
          expired under the  lash - and his ignominious death afforded
          a grateful spectacle  to  the friends of Stilicho. After the
          removal of Olympius, whose character was deeply tainted with
          religious fanaticism, the Pagans and heretics were delivered
          from the impolitic proscription which excluded them from the
          dignities of the  state. The brave Gennerid,(85) a soldier of 
          barbarian origin, who  still  adhered  to the worship of his
          ancestors, had been  obliged to lay aside the military belt;
          and though he  was repeatedly assured by the emperor himself
          that laws were not made for persons of his rank or merit, he
          refused to accept  any  partial dispensation, and persevered
          in honourable disgrace till he had extorted a general act of
          justice from the  distress  of  the  Roman  government.  The
          conduct of Gennerid in the important station to which he was
          promoted  or  restored,   of   master-general  of  Dalmatia,
          Pannonia,  Noricum,  and   Rhaetia,  seemed  to  revive  the
          discipline and spirit  of  the  republic.  From  a  life  of
          idleness and want  his  troop were soon habituated to severe
          exercise  and  plentiful   subsistence,   and   his  private
          generosity often supplied  the  rewards which were denied by
          the avarice or  poverty  of the court of Ravenna. The valour
          of Gennerid, formidable  to the adjacent barbarians, was the
          firmest bullwark of  the Illyrian frontier; and his vigilant
          care  assisted  the  empire  with  a  reinforcement  of  ten
          thousand  Huns,  who  arrived  on  the  confines  of  Italy,
          attended by such a convoy of provisions, and such a numerous
          train of sheep  and  oxen, as might have been sufficient not
          only for the  march  of  an army but for the settlement of a
          colony.  But the  court  and  councils  of  Honorious  still
          remained a scene  of weakness and distraction, of corruption
          and anarchy. Instigated  by  the praefect Jovius, the guards
          rose  in furious  mutiny  and  demanded  the  heads  of  two
          generals and of  the  two  principal  eunuchs. The generals,
          under a perfidious promise of safety, were sent on shipboard
          and privately executed;  while  the  favour  of  the eunuchs
          procured  them  a   mild  and  secure  exile  at  Milan  and
          Constantinople.  Eusebius  the   eunuch  and  the  barbarian
          Allobich succeeded to  the  command of the bedchamber and of
          the guards; and  the  mutual  jealousy  of  the  subordinate
          ministers was the  cause of their mutual destruction. By the
          insolent order of  the  count  of  the  domestics, the great
          chamberlain  was shamefully  beaten  to  death  with  sticks
          before  the  eyes   of   the  astonished  emperor;  and  the
          subsequent assassination of  Allobich,  in  the  midst  of a
          public procession, is  the  only circumstance of his life in
          which Honorius discovered the faintest symptom of courage or
          resentment. Yet before  they fell, Eusebius and Allobich had
          contributed their part to the ruin of the empire by opposing
          the conclusion of a treaty which Jovius, from a selfish, and
          perhaps a criminal  motive, had negotiated with Alaric, in a
          personal interview under  the  walls  of  Rimini. During the
          absence of Jovius  the  emperor  was  persuaded  to assume a
          lofty  tone of  inflexible  dignity,  such  as  neither  his
          situation nor his character could enable him to support; and
          a letter, signed  with the name of Honorius, was immediately
          despatched to the  Praetorian  praefect, granting him a free
          permission to dispose  of  the  public  money,  but  sternly
          refusing to prostitute  the  military honours of Rome to the
          proud demands of  a  barbarian  This  letter was imprudently
          communicated to Alaric  himself;  and  the  Goth, who in the
          whole  transaction had  behaved  with  temper  and  decency,
          expressed in the  most  outrageous language his lively sense
          of the insult  so  wantonly offered to his person and to his
          nation. The conference of Rimini was hastily interrupted and
          the praefect Jovius, on his return to Ravenna, was compelled
          to adopt, and even to encourage, the fashionable opinions of
          the court. By  his advice and example the principal officers
          of the state  and  army  were obliged to swear that, without
          listening in any  circumstances  to any conditions of peace,
          they would still  persevere  in perpetual and implacable war
          against the enemy  of  the  republic.  This  rash engagement
          opposed an insuperable  bar  to  all future negotiation. The
          ministers of Honorius  were  heard  to declare that, if they
          had only invoked  the  name of the Deity, they would consult
          the public safety,  and  trust  their  souls to the mercy of
          Heaven: but they had sworn by the sacred head of the emperor
          himself; they had  touched  in  solemn  ceremony that august
          seat of majesty  and wisdom; and the violation of their oath
          would expose them to the temporal penalties of sacrilege and
          While the emperor  and  his  court enjoyed with sullen pride
          the security of  the  marshes and fortifications of Ravenna,
          they  abandoned  Rome,   almost   without  defence,  to  the
          resentment of Alaric.  Yet  such was the moderation which he
          still preserved, or affected, that as he moved with his army
          along  the Flaminian  way  he  successively  despatched  the
          bishops of the  towns  of  Italy  to reiterate his offers of
          peace, and to  conjure  the  emperor  that he would save the
          city and its  inhabitants from hostile fire and the sword of
          the barbarians.(87)  These  impending calamities were however 
          averted, not indeed  by  the  wisdom of Honorius, but by the
          prudence or humanity  of  the  Gothic  king,  who employed a
          milder,  though not  less  effectual,  method  of  conquest.
          Instead of assaulting  the  capital he successfully directed
          his efforts against  the  Port  of Ostia, one of the boldest
          and most stupendous  works  of  Roman  magnificence. (88) The 
          accidents to which  the  precarious  subsistence of the city
          was continually exposed  in  a winter navigation and an open
          road had suggested  to  the  genius  of the first Caesar the
          useful  design  which   was  executed  under  the  reign  of
          Claudius.  The artificial  moles  which  formed  the  narrow
          entrance advanced far  into the sea, and firmly repelled the
          fury of the  waves,  while the largest vessels securely rode
          at anchor within  three  deep  and  capacious  basins  which
          received the northern  branch  of  the Tiber about two miles
          from  the  ancient  colony  of  Ostia. (89)  The  Roman  Port 
          insensibly swelled to  the  size  of  an  episcopal city,(90) 
          where the corn of Africa was deposited in spacious granaries
          for the use  of  the  capital.  As  soon  as  Alaric  was in
          possession of that  important  place he summoned the city to
          surrender at discretion and his demands were enforced by the
          positive declaration that a refusal, or even a delay, should
          be instantly followed by the destruction of the magazines on
          which the life of the Roman people depended. The clamours of
          that people and  the  terror  of famine subdued the pride of
          the senate; they listened without reluctance to the proposal
          of placing a  new  emperor  on  the  throne  of the unworthy
          Honorius; and the  suffrage of the Gothic conqueror bestowed
          the purple on  Attalus,  praefect  of the city. The grateful
          monarch   immediately   acknowledged    his   protector   as
          master-general of the armies of the West; Adolphus, with the
          rank of count  of the domestics, obtained the custody of the
          person of Attalus;  and the two hostile nations seemed to be
          united in the closest bands of friendship and alliance.(91) 
          The gates of  the city were thrown open, and the new emperor
          of the Romans, encompassed on every side by the Gothic arms,
          was conducted in  tumultuous  procession  to  the  palace of
          Augustus and Trajan.  After he had distributed the civil and
          military  dignities  among  his  favourites  and  followers,
          Attalus convened an  assembly of the senate, before whom, in
          a formal and  florid  speech,  he asserted his resolution of
          restoring the majesty of the republic, and of uniting to the
          empire the provinces  of  Egypt  and the East which had once
          acknowledged  the  sovereignty  of  Rome.  Such  extravagant
          promises  inspired every  reasonable  citizen  with  a  just
          contempt for the  character  of  an unwarlike usurper, whose
          elevation was the  deepest  and most ignominious wound which
          the republic had  yet  sustained  from  the insolence of the
          barbarians.  But the  populace,  with  their  usual  levity,
          applauded the change  of  masters. The public discontent was
          favourable to the  rival  of  Honorius;  and  the sectaries,
          oppressed by his persecuting edicts, expected some degree of
          countenance, or at  least  of toleration, from a prince who,
          in his native  country  of  Ionia,  had been educated in the
          Pagan superstition, and who had since received the sacrament
          of baptism from  the  hands of an Arian bishop.(92) The first 
          days of the  reign  of  Attalus were fair and prosperous. An
          officer of confidence  was  sent with an inconsiderable body
          of troops to  secure  the  obedience of Africa; the greatest
          part of Italy  submitted to the terror of the Gothic powers;
          and though the city of Bologna made a vigorous and effectual
          resistance, the people  of  Milan, dissatisfied perhaps with
          the absence of Honorius, accepted with loud acclamations the
          choice of the  Roman  senate.  At  the  head of a formidable
          army, Alaric conducted his royal captive almost to the gates
          of Ravenna; and  a solemn embassy of the principal ministers
          - of Jovius  the  Praetorian  praefect, of Valens, master of
          the cavalry and  infantry,  of the quaestor Potamius, and of
          Julian,  the first  of  the  notaries  was  introduced  with
          martial pomp into  the  Gothic  camp.  In  the name of their
          sovereign they consented  to acknowledge the lawful election
          of his competitor,  and to divide the provinces of Italy and
          the West between  the  two  emperors.  Their  proposals were
          rejected with disdain; and the refusal was aggravated by the
          insulting clemency of  Attalus,  who condescended to promise
          that if Honorius would instantly resign the purple he should
          be permitted to  pass  the  remainder  of  his  life  in the
          peaceful exile of some remote island.(93) So desperate indeed 
          did the situation  of  the son of Theodosius appear to those
          who  were  the   best   acquainted  with  his  strength  and
          resources, that Jovius  and  Valens,  his  minister  and his
          general,  betrayed  their  trust,  infamously  deserted  the
          sinking  cause  of   their  benefactor,  and  devoted  their
          treacherous allegiance to  the service of his more fortunate
          rival. Astonished by  such  examples  of  domestic  treason,
          Honorius trembled at  the  approach of every servant, at the
          arrival of every  messenger.  He  dreaded the secret enemies
          who might lurk  in  his capital, his palace, his bedchamber;
          and some ships  lay  ready  in  the  harbour  of  Ravenna to
          transport the abdicated  monarch  to  the  dominions  of his
          infant nephew, the emperor of the East.
          But there is  a Providence (such at least was the opinion of
          the historian Procopius (94) ) that watches over innocence and 
          folly, and the  pretensions of Honorius to its peculiar care
          cannot  reasonably be  disputed.  At  the  moment  when  his
          despair,  incapable  of   any   wise  or  manly  resolution,
          meditated a shameful  flight,  a seasonable reinforcement of
          four thousand veterans  unexpectedly  landed  in the port of
          Ravenna. To these  valiant strangers, whose fidelity had not
          been corrupted by  the  factions  of the court, he committed
          the walls and  gates  of  the  city, and the slumbers of the
          emperor were no  longer  disturbed  by  the  apprehension of
          imminent and internal  danger.  The  favourable intelligence
          which was received from Africa suddenly changed the opinions
          of men and  the  state  of  public  affairs.  The troops and
          officers whom Attalus  had  sent  into  that  province  were
          defeated  and  slain,  and  the  active  zeal  of  Heraclian
          maintained his own  allegiance  and  that of his people. The
          faithful count of  Africa  transmitted a large sum of money,
          which fixed the  attachment  of  the Imperial guards and his
          vigilance in preventing  the  exportation  of  corn  and oil
          introduced famine, tumult  and  discontent into the walls of
          Rome. The failure  of  the African expedition was the source
          of  mutual complaint  and  recrimination  in  the  party  of
          Attalus,  and the  mind  of  his  protector  was  insensibly
          alienated from the interest of a prince who wanted spirit to
          command or docility  to  obey.  The  most imprudent measures
          were adopted, without the knowledge or against the advice of
          Alaric, and the  obstinate refusal of the senate to allow in
          the embarkation the  mixture  even  of  five  hundred Goths,
          betrayed a suspicious  and distrustful temper which in their
          situation was neither  generous  nor prudent. The resentment
          of the Gothic  king was exasperated by the malicious arts of
          Jovius, who had  been  raised  to the rank of patrician, and
          who  afterwards excused  his  double  perfidy  by  declaring
          without a blush  that  he  had  only  seemed  to abandon the
          service of Honorius  more  effectually  to ruin the cause of
          the usurper. In  a  large  plain  near  Rimini,  and  in the
          presence  of  an   innumerable   multitude   of  Romans  and
          barbarians, the wretched  Attalus  was publicly despoiled of
          the diadem and  purple;  and  those  ensigns of royalty were
          sent by Alaric  as the pledge of peace and friendship to the
          son of Theodosius. (95)  The  officers  who returned to their 
          duty were reinstated  in  their  employments,  and  even the
          merit of a  tardy repentance was graciously allowed, but the
          degraded  emperor  of  the  Romans,  desirous  of  life  and
          insensible of disgrace, implored the permission of following
          the Gothic camp  in  the  train  of a haughty and capricious

          The degradation of Attalus removed the only real obstacle to
          the conclusion of  the  peace,  and  Alaric  advanced within
          three miles of  Ravenna  to  press  the  irresolution of the
          Imperial ministers, whose  insolence  soon returned with the
          return of fortune. His indignation was kindled by the report
          that a rival  chieftain,  that  Sarus, the personal enemy of
          Adolphus, and the  hereditary foe of the house of Balti, had
          been received into  the palace. At the head of three hundred
          followers that fearless  barbarian  immediately sallied from
          the  gates  of  Ravenna,  surprised  and  cut  in  pieces  a
          considerable body of  Goths, re-entered the city in triumph,
          and was permitted  to insult his adversary by the voice of a
          herald, who publicly  declared  that the guilt of Alaric had
          for ever excluded  him  from  the friendship and alliance of
          the emperor.(97)  The crime and folly of the court of Ravenna 
          was expiated a  third  time  by  the calamities of Rome. The
          king of the Goths, who no longer dissembled his appetite for
          plunder and revenge, appeared in arms under the walls of the
          capital; and the  trembling  senate,  without  any  hopes of
          relief, prepared by a desperate resistance to delay the ruin
          of their country.  But they were unable to guard against the
          secret conspiracy of  their slaves and domestics, who either
          from birth or  interest  were  attached  to the cause of the
          enemy.  At the  hour  of  midnight  the  Salarian  gate  was
          silently opened, and  the  inhabitants  were awakened by the
          tremendous sound of  the  Gothic trumpet. Eleven hundred and
          sixty-three years after the foundation of Rome, the Imperial
          city, which had subdued and civilised so considerable a part
          of mankind, was  delivered  to  the  licentious  fury of the
          tribes of Germany and Scythia.(98) 

          The proclamation of Alaric, when he forced his entrance into
          a vanquished city,  discovered, however, some regard for the
          laws of humanity  and  religion.  He  encouraged  his troops
          boldly  to seize  the  rewards  of  valour,  and  to  enrich
          themselves with the  spoils  of  a  wealthy  and  effeminate
          people; but he  exhorted  them at the same time to spare the
          lives  of the  unresisting  citizens,  and  to  respect  the
          churches of the  apostles St. Peter and St. Paul as holy and
          inviolable sanctuaries. Amidst  the  horrors  of a nocturnal
          tumult several of  the Christian Goths displayed the fervour
          of a recent conversion; and some instances of their uncommon
          piety and moderation  are  related,  and perhaps adorned, by
          the zeal of  ecclesiastical writers.(99) While the barbarians 
          roamed  through the  city  in  quest  of  prey,  the  humble
          dwelling of an  aged virgin, who had devoted her life to the
          service of the altar, was forced open by one of the powerful
          Goths. He immediately  demanded,  though  in civil language,
          all  the  gold   and  silver  in  her  possession,  and  was
          astonished at the  readiness with which she conducted him to
          a splendid hoard of massy plate of the richest materials and
          the most curious workmanship.

          The barbarian viewed  with  wonder and delight this valuable
          acquisition,  till  he   was   interrupted   by   a  serious
          admonition,  addressed  to   him  in  the  following  words:
          "These," said she, "are the consecrated vessels belonging to
          St. Peter: if  you  presume  to touch them, the sacrilegious
          deed will remain on your conscience. For my part, I dare not
          keep what I am unable to defend." The Gothic captain, struck
          with reverential awe,  despatched  a messenger to inform the
          king of the treasure which he had discovered, and received a
          peremptory order from Alaric, that all the consecrated plate
          and  ornaments should  be  transported,  without  damage  or
          delay, to the  church  of  the  apostle. From the extremity,
          perhaps, of the  Quirinal hill to the distant quarter of the
          Vatican, a numerous  detachment  of Goths, marching in order
          of battle through  the  principal  streets,  protected  with
          glittering arms the  long  train  of their devout companions
          who bore aloft on their heads the sacred vessels of gold and
          silver,  and the  martial  shouts  of  the  barbarians  were
          mingled with the  sound  of religious psalmody. From all the
          adjacent houses a  crowd of Christians hastened to join this
          edifying procession, and  a  multitude of fugitives, without
          distinction of age  or  rank,  or even of sect, had the good
          fortune to escape  to the secure and hospitable sanctuary of
          the Vatican. The learned work concerning the City of God was
          professedly composed by St. Augustin, to justify the ways of
          Providence in the  destruction  of  the  Roman greatness. He
          celebrates with peculiar satisfaction this memorable triumph
          of Christ, and  insults  his adversaries by challenging them
          to produce some similar example of a town taken by storm, in
          which the fabulous  gods  of  antiquity  had  been  able  to
          protect either themselves or their deluded votaries.(100) 

          In the sack  of Rome some rare and extraordinary examples of
          barbarian virtue have  been  deservedly  applauded.  But the
          holy precincts of  the  Vatican  and  the apostolic churches
          could receive a  very  small proportion of the Roman people:
          many thousand warriors,  more  especially  of  the  Huns who
          served under the  standard  of Alaric, were strangers to the
          name, or at  least  to  the  faith,  of  Christ,  and we may
          suspect, without any  breach  of charity or candour, that in
          the hour of  savage licence, when every passion was inflamed
          and every restraint  was removed, the precepts of the Gospel
          seldom influenced the  behaviour  of  the Gothic Christians.
          The writers the  best  disposed to exaggerate their clemency
          have freely confessed that a cruel slaughter was made of the
          Romans,(101) and  that  the  streets  of the city were filled 
          with dead bodies,  which  remained without burial during the
          general  consternation. The  despair  of  the  citizens  was
          sometimes converted into  fury;  and whenever the barbarians
          were provoked by  opposition,  they extended the promiscuous
          massacre to the  feeble, the innocent, and the helpless. The
          private  revenge of  forty  thousand  slaves  was  exercised
          without pity or  remorse;  and  the ignominious lashes which
          they had formerly  received were washed away in the blood of
          the guilty or obnoxious families. The matrons and virgins of
          Rome  were  exposed   to  injuries  more  dreadful,  in  the
          apprehension  of  chastity,   than  death  itself;  and  the
          ecclesiastical historian has  selected  an example of female
          virtue for the  admiration of future ages.(102) A Roman lady, 
          of singular beauty  and  orthodox  faith,  had  excited  the
          impatient desires of  a  young  Goth,  who, according to the
          sagacious remark of  Sozomen,  was  attached  to  the  Arian
          heresy. Exasperated by her obstinate resistance, he drew his
          sword, and, with  the anger of a lover, slightly wounded her
          neck. The bleeding  heroine  still  continued  to  brave his
          resentment and to repel his love, till the ravisher desisted
          from his unavailing  efforts,  respectfully conducted her to
          the sanctuary of the Vatican, and gave six pieces of gold to
          the guards of  the  church  on  condition  that  they should
          restore her inviolate  to  the  arms  of  her  husband. Such
          instances  of courage  and  generosity  were  not  extremely
          common.  The  brutal   soldiers   satisfied   their  sensual
          appetites without consulting  either  the inclination or the
          duties of their  female  captives;  and  a  nice question of
          casuistry  was  seriously  agitated,  whether  those  tender
          victims, who had  inflexibly  refused  their  consent to the
          violation  which  they   sustained,   had   lost,  by  their
          misfortune, the glorious  crown of virginity.(103) There were 
          other losses indeed  of  a  more  substantial  kind and more
          general  concern.  It   cannot  be  presumed  that  all  the
          barbarians were at  all  times  capable of perpetrating such
          amorous outrages; and  the  want  of  youth,  or  beauty, or
          chastity, protected the  greatest  part  of  the Roman women
          from the danger  of  a rape. But avarice is an insatiate and
          universal  passion; since  the  enjoyment  of  almost  every
          object that can  afford pleasure to the different tastes and
          tempers of mankind  may  be  procured  by  the possession of
          wealth. In the  pillage  of Rome a just preference was given
          to gold and  jewels, which contain the greatest value in the
          smallest  compass and  weight,  but,  after  these  portable
          riches had been  removed  by  the more diligent robbers, the
          palaces of Rome  were  rudely stripped of their splendid and
          costly furniture. The  sideboards  of  massy  plate, and the
          variegated wardrobes of  silk  and  purple, were irregularly
          piled in the  waggons  that  always  followed the march of a
          Gothic army. The  most  exquisite  works of art were roughly
          handled or wantonly  destroyed: many a statue was melted for
          the sake of  the  precious materials and many a vase, in the
          division of the  spoil,  was  shivered into fragments by the
          stroke of a battleaxe. The acquisition of riches served only
          to stimulate the  avarice  of  the rapacious barbarians, who
          proceeded by threats,  by  blows,  and by tortures, to force
          from their prisoners  the confession of hidden treasure.(104) 
          Visible splendour and expense were alleged as the proof of a
          plentiful fortune; the  appearance of poverty was imputed to
          a  parsimonious  disposition;  and  the  obstinacy  of  some
          misers, who endured  the  most  cruel  torments  before they
          would discover the  secret  object  of  their affection, was
          fatal to many  unhappy  wretches, who expired under the lash
          for  refusing  to  reveal  their  imaginary  treasures.  The
          edifices  of  Rome,   though   the   damage  has  been  much
          exaggerated, received some  injury  from the violence of the
          Goths. At their  entrance  through  the  Salarian  gate they
          fired the adjacent  houses  to  guide  their  march  and  to
          distract the attention  of  the  citizens; the flames, which
          encountered  no obstacle  in  the  disorder  of  the  night,
          consumed many private and public buildings, and the ruins of
          the palace of Sallust(105) remained in the age of Justinian a 
          stately monument of  the  Gothic  conflagration. (106)  Yet a 
          contemporary historian has observed that fire could scarcely
          consume the enormous  beams  of  solid  brass,  and that the
          strength of man  was insufficient to subvert the foundations
          of ancient structures.  Some truth may possibly be concealed
          in his devout  assertion,  that the wrath of Heaven supplied
          the imperfections of  hostile rage, and that the proud Forum
          of Rome, decorated  with  the  statues  of  so many gods and
          heroes, was levelled in the dust by the stroke of lightning.

          Whatever might be the numbers of equestrian or plebeian rank
          who perished in  the  massacre  of  Rome,  it is confidently
          affirmed that only one senator lost his life by the sword of
          the enemy.(108) But it was not easy to compute the multitudes 
          who, from an  honourable  station  and a prosperous fortune,
          were suddenly reduced to the miserable condition of captives
          and exiles. As  the  barbarians  had more occasion for money
          than  for  slaves,  they  fixed  at  a  moderate  price  the
          redemption of their  indigent  prisoners; and the ransom was
          often paid by  the  benevolence  of  their  friends,  or the
          charity of strangers. (109)  The captives, who were regularly 
          sold, either in  open  market  or by private contract, would
          have legally regained  their  native  freedom,  which it was
          impossible for a  citizen to lose or to alienate.(110) But as 
          it was soon discovered that the vindication of their liberty
          would endanger their  lives, and that the Goths, unless they
          were tempted to  sell,  might  be  provoked  to murder their
          useless prisoners, the  civil jurisprudence had been already
          qualified by a  wise regulation, that they should be obliged
          to serve the  moderate  term  of  five  years, till they had
          discharged by their  labour  the  price of their redemption.
         (111) The nations  who  invaded  the  Roman  empire had driven 
          before  them,  into   Italy,  whole  troops  of  hungry  and
          affrighted provincials, less  apprehensive of servitude than
          of famine. The  calamities  of  Rome and Italy dispersed the
          inhabitants to the  most  lonely,  the most secure, the most
          distant places of  refuge.  While  the Gothic cavalry spread
          terror and desolation  along  the  sea-coast of Campania and
          Tuscany, the little island of Igilium, separated by a narrow
          channel  from  the   Argentarian  promontory,  repulsed,  or
          eluded, their hostile  attempts;  and at so small a distance
          from Rome, great numbers of citizens were securely concealed
          in the thick  woods  of that sequestered spot.(112) The ample 
          patrimonies  which many  senatorian  families  possessed  in
          Africa invited them, if they had time and prudence to escape
          tom the ruin  of  their  country,  to embrace the shelter of
          that hospitable province.  The  most  illustrious  of  these
          fugitives was the  noble  and  pious Proba,(113) the widow of 
          the praefect Petronius.  After the death of her husband, the
          most powerful subject  of Rome, she had remained at the head
          of the Anician  family,  and successively supplied, from her
          private fortune, the expense of the consulships of her three
          sons. When the  city  was  besieged  and taken by the Goths,
          Proba  supported with  Christian  resignation  the  loss  of
          immense riches embarked  in  a  small vessel from whence she
          beheld, at sea,  the  flames of her burning palace; and fled
          with  her  daughter   Laeta,  and  her  grand-daughter,  the
          celebrated virgin Demetrias,  to  the  coast  of Africa. The
          benevolent profusion with  which  the matron distributed the
          fruits or the  price of her estates contributed to alleviate
          the misfortunes of  exile and captivity. But even the family
          of  Proba  herself   was   not  exempt  from  the  rapacious
          oppression  of  Count   Heraclian,   who   basely  sold,  in
          matrimonial prostitution the  noblest maidens of Rome to the
          lust  or  avarice  of  the  Syrian  merchants.  The  Italian
          fugitives were dispersed  through  the  provinces, along the
          coast of Egypt  and  Asia,  as  far  as  Constantinople  and
          Jerusalem;  and  the  village  of  Bethlehem,  the  solitary
          residence of St.  Jerom and his female converts, was crowned
          with illustrious beggars,  of  either sex and every age, who
          excited the public  compassion  by  the remembrance of their
          past fortune.(114)  This awful catastrophe of Rome filled the 
          astonished empire with  grief  and  terror. So interesting a
          contrast of greatness  and  ruin disposed the fond credulity
          of the people  to  deplore,  and  even  to  exaggerate,  the
          afflictions of the  queen of cities. The clergy, who applied
          to recent events  the  lofty metaphors of Oriental prophecy,
          were sometimes tempted  to  confound  the destruction of the
          capital and the dissolution of the globe.

          There  exists  in   human  nature  a  strong  propensity  to
          depreciate the advantages,  and to magnify the evils, of the
          present times. Yet,  when  the  first emotions had subsided,
          and a fair  estimate  was  made of the real damage, the more
          learned and judicious  contemporaries were forced to confess
          that infant Rome had formerly received more essential injury
          from the Gauls  than she had now sustained from the Goths in
          her declining age. (115)  The  experience of eleven centuries 
          has  enabled posterity  to  produce  a  much  more  singular
          parallel; and to affirm with confidence, that the ravages of
          the barbarians whom  Alaric  had  led  from the banks of the
          Danube were less  destructive than the hostilities exercised
          by the troops  of  Charles the Fifth, a catholic prince, who
          styled  himself  Emperor   of  the  Romans. (116)  The  Goths 
          evacuated the city at the end of six days, but Rome remained
          above nine months in the possession of the Imperialists; and
          every hour was  stained  by  some  atrocious act of cruelty,
          lust, and rapine.  The  authority  of  Alaric preserved some
          order and moderation  among  the  ferocious  multitude which
          acknowledged  him  for   their  leader  and  king;  but  the
          constable of Bourbon  had gloriously fallen in the attack of
          the walls; and  the  death  of  the  general  removed  every
          restraint of discipline  from  an  army  which  consisted of
          three independent nations,  the Italians, the Spaniards, and
          the Germans. In  the  beginning of the sixteenth century the
          manners  of  Italy  exhibited  a  remarkable  scene  of  the
          depravity of mankind. They united the sanguinary crimes that
          prevail in an  unsettled state of society, with the polished
          vices which spring from the abuse of art and luxury; and the
          loose  adventurers, who  had  violated  every  prejudice  of
          patriotism and superstition  to  assault  the  palace of the
          Roman pontiff, must  deserve  to  be  considered as the most
          profligate of the  Italians.  At  the same era the Spaniards
          were the terror  both  of  the  Old and New World; but their
          high-spirited  valour  was   disgraced   by   gloomy  pride,
          rapacious avarice, and unrelenting cruelty. Indefatigable in
          the pursuit of  fame  and  riches,  they  had  improved,  by
          repeated practice, the  most exquisite and effectual methods
          of torturing their  prisoners:  many  of  the Castilians who
          pillaged Rome were  familiars  of  the holy inquisition; and
          some volunteers, perhaps,  were  lately  returned  from  the
          conquest of Mexico.  The  Germans were less corrupt than the
          Italians, less cruel  than the Spaniards; and the rustic, or
          even  savage  aspect  of  those  Tramontane  warriors  often
          disguised a simple  and  merciful  disposition. But they had
          imbibed,  in the  first  fervour  of  the  Reformation,  the
          spirit, as well  as  the principles, of Luther. It was their
          favourite amusement to  insult,  or destroy, the consecrated
          objects of catholic  superstition;  they  indulged,  without
          pity or remorse, a devout hatred against the clergy of every
          denomination and degree  who  form so considerable a part of
          the inhabitants of modern Rome; and their fanatic zeal might
          aspire to subvert  the throne of Antichrist, to purify, with
          blood and fire,  the  abominations of the spiritual Babylon.

          The retreat of  the  victorious Goths, who evacuated Rome on
          the sixth day, (118)  might be the result of prudence, but it 
          was not surely  the  effect  of  fear.(119) At the head of an 
          army encumbered with rich and weighty spoils, their intrepid
          leader advanced along  the  Appian  Way  into  the  southern
          provinces of Italy,  destroying whatever dared to oppose his
          passage, and contenting  himself  with  the  plunder  of the
          unresisting  country. The  fate  of  Capua,  the  proud  and
          luxurious metropolis of  Campania,  and which was respected,
          even in its  decay, as the eighth city of the empire,(120) is 
          buried in oblivion; whilst the adjacent town of Nola(121) has 
          been illustrated, on  this  occasion,  by  the  sanctity  of
          Paulinus,(122) who  was  successively a consul, a monk, and a 
          bishop. At the  age  of  forty he renounced the enjoyment of
          wealth and honour,  of  society and literature, to embrace a
          life of solitude  and  penance; and the loud applause of the
          clergy encouraged him  to  despise  the  reproaches  of  his
          worldly friends, who  ascribed  this  desperate  act to some
          disorder of the  mind  or  body.(123) An early and passionate 
          attachment determined him  to fix his humble dwelling in one
          of the suburbs  of  Nola,  near  the  miraculous tomb of St.
          Felix, which the public devotion had already surrounded with
          five  large  and  populous  churches.  The  remains  of  his
          fortune, and of  his  understanding,  were  dedicated to the
          service of the  glorious martyr; whose praise, on the day of
          his festival, Paulinus never failed to celebrate by a solemn
          hymn; and in  whose  name  he  erected  a  sixth  church, of
          superior elegance and  beauty, which was decorated with many
          curious  pictures from  the  history  of  the  Old  and  New
          Testament. Such assiduous  zeal  secured  the  favour of the
          saint,(124) or  at  least  of  the people; and, after fifteen 
          years' retirement the  Roman  consul was compelled to accept
          the bishopric of  Nola,  a  few  months  before the city was
          invested by the  Goths.  During  the  siege,  some religious
          persons were satisfied  that they had seen, either in dreams
          or visions, the  divine form of their tutelar patron, yet it
          soon appeared by  the  event,  that  Felix  wanted power, or
          inclination, to preserve  the flock of which he had formerly
          been the shepherd.  Nola  was  not  saved  from  the general
          devastation;(125) and  the  captive bishop was protected only 
          by the general  opinion  of his innocence and poverty. Above
          four years elapsed  from the successful invasion of Italy by
          the arms of  Alaric,  to  the voluntary retreat of the Goths
          under the conduct of his successor Adolphus; and, during the
          whole time, they  reigned  without  control  over  a country
          which, in the  opinion  of  the ancients, had united all the
          various  excellences of  nature  and  art.  The  prosperity,
          indeed, which Italy  had  attained  in the auspicious age of
          the Antonines, had  gradually  declined  with the decline of
          the empire. The  fruits  of  a long peace perished under the
          rude grasp of  the  barbarians;  and  they  themselves  were
          incapable of tasting  the more elegant refinements of luxury
          which had been prepared for the use of the soft and polished
          Italians. Each soldier, however, claimed an ample portion of
          the substantial plenty,  the  corn and cattle, oil and wine,
          that was daily  collected  and consumed, in the Gothic camp;
          and the principal  warriors insulted the villas and gardens,
          once inhabited by  Lucullus  and Cicero, along the beauteous
          coast of Campania.  Their  trembling  captives, the sons and
          daughters of Roman  senators,  presented, in goblets of gold
          and gems, large  draughts  of  Falernian wine to the haughty
          victors, who stretched  their  huge limbs under the shade of
          plane-trees, (126)  artificially   disposed  to  exclude  the 
          scorching rays, and  to admit the genial warmth, of the sun.
          These  delights  were   enhanced   by  the  memory  of  past
          hardships: the comparison  of  their  native soil, the bleak
          and barren hills  of  Scythia,  and  the frozen banks of the
          Elbe and Danube,  added  new  charms  to the felicity of the
          Italian climate.(127) 

          Whether fame, or  conquest,  or  riches  were  the object of
          Alaric, he pursued  that object with an indefatigable ardour
          which could neither  be quelled by adversity nor satiated by
          success. No sooner  had he reached the extreme land of Italy
          than he was  attracted  by  the  neighbouring  prospect of a
          fertile and peaceful  island.  Yet  even  the  possession of
          Sicily  he considered  only  an  intermediate  step  to  the
          important expedition which  he already meditated against the
          continent of Africa.  The straits of Rhegium and Messina(128) 
          are twelve miles  in  length,  and  in the narrowest passage
          about one mile  and  a half broad; and the fabulous monsters
          of the deep,  the  rocks  of  Scylla  and  the  whirlpool of
          Charybdis,  could  terrify  none  but  the  most  timid  and
          unskilled mariners. Yet as soon as the first division of the
          Goths had embarked,  a  sudden  tempest arose, which sunk or
          scattered many of  the transports; their courage was daunted
          by the terrors  of  a  new element; and the whole design was
          defeated by the  premature  death  of  Alaric,  which fixed,
          after a short  illness, the fatal term of his conquests. The
          ferocious character of  the  barbarians was displayed in the
          funeral of a  hero  whose valour and fortune they celebrated
          with mournful applause. By the labour of a captive multitude
          they forcibly diverted the course of the Busentinus, a small
          river  that  washes   the  walls  of  Consentia.  The  royal
          sepulchre, adorned with  the splendid spoils and trophies of
          Rome, was constructed  in  the  vacant  bed; the waters were
          then restored to  their natural channel; and the secret spot
          where the remains  of Alaric had been deposited was for ever
          concealed by the  inhuman  massacre of the prisoners who had
          been employed to execute the work.(129) 

          The  personal  animosities   and  hereditary  feuds  of  the
          barbarians were suspended  by  the strong necessity of their
          affairs; and the  brave  Adolphus, the brother-in-law of the
          deceased monarchy was  unanimously elected to succeed to his
          throne. The character  and  political system of the new king
          of  the  Goths   may   be   best  understood  from  his  own
          conversation with an  illustrious  citizen  of Narbonne, who
          afterwards, in a  pilgrimage to the Holy Land, related it to
          St Jerom, in  the presence of the historian Orosius. "In the
          full confidence of  valour and victory, I once aspired (said
          Adolphus) to change  the face of the universe; to obliterate
          the name of  Rome; to erect on its ruins the dominion of the
          Goths; and to  acquire,  like Augustus, the immortal fame of
          the founder of  a  new empire. By repeated experiments I was
          gradually convinced that  laws  are essentially necessary to
          maintain and regulate a well constituted state; and that the
          fierce untractable humour  of  the  Goths  was  incapable of
          bearing the salutary yoke of laws and civil government. From
          that moment I proposed to myself a different object of glory
          and ambition; and  it  is  now  my  sincere  wish  that  the
          gratitude of future  ages  should acknowledge the merit of a
          stranger, who employed  the  sword  of  the  Goths,  not  to
          subvert, but to  restore and maintain, the prosperity of the
          Roman empire."(130) With these pacific views the successor of 
          Alaric  suspended  the  operations  of  war,  and  seriously
          negotiated with the  Imperial  court  a treaty of friendship
          and alliance. It  was  the  interest  of  the  ministers  of
          Honorius, who were now released from the obligation of their
          extravagant oath, to  deliver  Italy  from  the  intolerable
          weight of the Gothic powers; and they readily accepted their
          service against the  tyrants and barbarians who infested the
          provinces  beyond  the  Alps. (131)  Adolphus,  assuming  the 
          character of a  Roman  General,  directed his march from the
          extremity of Campania to the southern provinces of Gaul. His
          troops, either by  force  or agreement, immediately occupied
          the cities of  Narbonne,  Toulouse, and Bordeaux; and though
          they were repulsed  by  Count  Boniface  from  the  walls of
          Marseilles,  they soon  extended  their  quarters  from  the
          Mediterranean to the  ocean. The oppressed provincials might
          exclaim that the  miserable  remnant  which  the  enemy  had
          spared was cruelly  ravished  by their pretended allies; yet
          some  specious colours  were  not  wanting  to  palliate  or
          justify the violence  of the Goths. The cities of Gaul which
          they attacked might  perhaps  be considered as in a state of
          rebellion against the  government  of Honorius: the articles
          of the treaty  or the secret instructions of the court might
          sometimes be alleged in favour of the seeming usurpations of
          Adolphus; and the guilt of any irregular unsuccessful act of
          hostility might always  be  imputed,  with  an appearance of
          truth,  to the  ungovernable  spirit  of  a  barbarian  host
          impatient of peace  or  discipline.  The luxury of Italy had
          been less effectual  to  soften the temper than to relax the
          courage of the  Goths;  and  they  had  imbibed  the  vices,
          without imitating the  arts  and  institutions, of civilised

          The professions of  Adolphus  were probably sincere, and his
          attachment to the  cause  of the republic was secured by the
          ascendant which a Roman princess had acquired over the heart
          and understanding of  the  barbarian king. Placidia,(133) the 
          daughter of the  great  Theodosius, and of Galla, his second
          wife, had received  a  royal  education  in  the  palace  of
          Constantinople;  but the  eventful  story  of  her  life  is
          connected with the  revolutions  which  agitated the Western
          empire under the  reign  of  her brother Honorius. When Rome
          was first invested  by the arms of Alaric, Placidia, who was
          then about twenty years of age, resided in the city; and her
          ready consent of  the death of her cousin Serena has a cruel
          and  ungrateful  appearance,   which,   according   to   the
          circumstances of the action, may be aggravated or excused by
          the consideration of  her  tender  age. (134)  The victorious 
          barbarians detained, either  as  a hostage or a captive,(135) 
          the sister of  Honorius;  but  while  she was exposed to the
          disgrace of following  round  Italy  the motions of a Gothic
          camp, she experienced,  however,  a  decent  and  respectful
          treatment.  The authority  of  Jornandes,  who  praises  the
          beauty of Placidia,  may  perhaps  be counterbalanced by the
          silence, the expressive  silence, of her flatterers: yet the
          splendour of her  birth, the bloom of youth, the elegance of
          manners,   and  the   dexterous   insinuations   which   she
          condescended to employ,  made  a deep impression on the mind
          of Adolphus; and the Gothic king aspired to call himself the
          brother of the  emperor.  The ministers of Honorius rejected
          with disdain the  proposal  of  an  alliance so injurious to
          every sentiment of  Roman  pride;  and  repeatedly urged the
          restitution of Placidia as an indispensable condition of the
          treaty of peace.  But  the  daughter of Theodosius submitted
          without reluctance to  the desires of the conqueror, a young
          and valiant prince,  who  yielded  to Alaric in loftiness of
          stature, but who  excelled  in the more attractive qualities
          of grace and  beauty.  The marriage of Adolphus and Placidia
         (136) was consummated before the Goths retired from Italy; and 
          the solemn, perhaps  the  anniversary, day of their nuptials
          was afterwards celebrated  in  the house of Ingenuus, one of
          the most illustrious  citizens  of  Narbonne  in  Gaul.  The
          bride, attired and  adorned like a Roman empress, was placed
          on a throne of state; and the king of the Goths, who assumed
          on this occasion  the  Roman habit, contented himself with a
          less honourable seat  by  her side. The nuptial gift, which,
          according to the  custom  of  his nation,(137) was offered to 
          Placidia, consisted of  the  rare  and magnificent spoils of
          her  country.  Fifty  beautiful  youths,  in  silken  robes,
          carried a basin  in  each  hand; and one of these basins was
          filled with pieces  of  gold, the other with precious stones
          of an inestimable  value.  Attalus,  so  long  the  sport of
          fortune and of  the  Goths, was appointed to lead the chorus
          of the Hymeneal  song; and the degraded emperor might aspire
          to the praise  of a skilful musician. The barbarians enjoyed
          the insolence of their triumph; and the provincials rejoiced
          in this alliance,  which  tempered, by the mild influence of
          love and reason, the fierce spirit of their Gothic lord.(138) 

          The hundred basins of gold and gems presented to Placidia at
          her nuptial feast  formed  an  inconsiderable portion of the
          Gothic treasures; of  which some extraordinary specimens may
          be selected from  the history of the successors of Adolphus.
          Many curious and  costly  ornaments  of  pure gold, enriched
          with jewels, were  found in their palace of Narbonne when it
          was pillaged in  the sixth century by the Franks: sixty cups
          or chalices; fifteen  patens,  or plates, for the use of the
          communion; twenty boxes,  or cases, to hold the books of the
          gospels: this consecrated  wealth(139) was distributed by the 
          son of Clovis  among  the churches of his dominions, and his
          pious liberality seems  to  upbraid some former sacrilege of
          the Goths. They possessed, with more security of conscience,
          the famous 'missorium', or great dish for the service of the
          table, of massy  gold, of the weight of five hundred pounds,
          and of far  superior  value,  from  the precious stones, the
          exquisite workmanship, and  the  tradition  that it had been
          presented by Aetius,  the  patrician,  to Torismond, king of
          the Goths. One  of the successors of Torismond purchased the
          aid of the French monarch by the promise of this magnificent
          gift.  When he  was  seated  on  the  throne  of  Spain,  he
          delivered it with reluctance to the ambassadors of Dagobert;
          despoiled  them  on  the  road;  stipulated,  after  a  long
          negotiation, the inadequate  ransom  of two hundred thousand
          pieces of gold;  and preserved the missorium as the pride of
          the Gothic treasury. (140)  When  that  treasury,  after  the 
          conquest of Spain,  was plundered by the Arabs, they admired
          and  they  have   celebrated   another   object  still  more
          remarkable; a table  of  considerable  size,  of  one single
          piece of solid  emerald, (141)  encircled  with three rows of 
          fine pearls, supported  by three hundred and sixty-five feet
          of gems and  massy  gold, and estimated at the price of five
          hundred thousand pieces  of  gold. (142)  Some portion of the 
          Gothic treasures .might  be  the  gift  of friendship or the
          tribute of obedience;  but the far greater part had been the
          fruits of war  and  rapine,  the  spoils  of the empire, and
          perhaps of Rome.

          After the deliverance  of  Italy  from the oppression of the
          Goths, some secret  counsellor  was  permitted,  amidst  the
          factions of the palace, to heal the wounds of that afflicted
          country.(143) By  a  wise  and  humane  regulation  the eight 
          provinces which had been the most deeply injured - Campania,
          Tuscany, Picenum, Samnium,  Apulia,  Calabria, Bruttium, and
          Lucania - obtained an indulgence of five years; the ordinary
          tribute was reduced  to  one-fifth,  and even that fifth was
          destined to restore  and  support  the useful institution of
          the public posts.  By  another  law the lands which had been
          left without inhabitants  or  cultivation were granted, with
          some diminution of  taxes,  to  the  neighbours  who  should
          occupy or the strangers who should solicit them; and the new
          possessors were secured  against  the  future  claims of the
          fugitive proprietors. About  the same time a general amnesty
          was published in  the name of Honorius, to abolish the guilt
          and memory of  all the 'involuntary' offences which had been
          committed by his  unhappy  subjects  during  the term of the
          public  disorder  and  calamity.  A  decent  and  respectful
          attention was paid  to  the  restoration of the capital; the
          citizens were encouraged  to  rebuild the edifices which had
          been destroyed or damaged by hostile fire; and extraordinary
          supplies of corn were imported from the coast of Africa. The
          crowds  that  so   lately  fled  before  the  sword  of  the
          barbarians were soon  recalled  by  the  hopes of plenty and
          pleasure and Albinus,  praefect of Rome, informed the court,
          with some anxiety  and surprise, that in a single day he had
          taken  an  account  of  the  arrival  of  fourteen  thousand
          strangers.(144) In  less than seven years the vestiges of the 
          Gothic  invasion  were  almost  obliterated,  and  the  city
          appeared to resume  its  former  splendour and tranquillity.
          The venerable matron replaced her crown of laurel, which had
          been ruffled by  the  storms of war, and was still amused in
          the last moment of her decay with the prophecies of revenge,
          of victory, and of eternal dominion.(145) 

          This  apparent  tranquillity   was  soon  disturbed  by  the
          approach of an  hostile  armament  from  the  country  which
          afforded  the  daily   subsistence   of  the  Roman  people.
          Heraclian, count, of  Africa,  who  under the most difficult
          and  distressful circumstances  had  supported  with  active
          loyalty the cause  of  Honorius,  was tempted in the year of
          his consulship to  assume  the  character of a rebel and the
          title of emperor.  The  ports  of  Africa  were  immediately
          filled with the  naval  forces,  at  the  head  of  which he
          prepared to invade Italy; and his fleet, when it cast anchor
          at the mouth  of  the  Tiber, indeed surpassed the fleets of
          Xerxes and Alexander,  if  all  the  vessels,  including the
          royal galley and  the  smallest boat, did actually amount to
          the incredible number of three thousand two hundred.(146) Yet 
          with  such  an  armament,  which  might  have  subverted  or
          restored the greatest  empires  of  the  earth,  the African
          usurper made a  very  faint  and  feeble  impression  on the
          provinces of his  rival.  As  he marched from the port along
          the  road  which   leads  to  the  gates  of  Rome,  he  was
          encountered, terrified, and  routed  by  one of the Imperial
          captains; and the  lord  of  this mighty host, deserting his
          fortune and his  friends,  ignominiously  fled with a single
          ship.(147) When  Heraclian landed in the harbour of Carthage, 
          he  found  that  the  whole  province,  disdaining  such  an
          unworthy ruler, had  returned to their allegiance. The rebel
          was beheaded in the ancient temple of Memory, his consulship
          was abolished,(148)  and  the remains of his private fortune, 
          not exceeding the  moderate  sum  of four thousand pounds of
          gold, were granted to the brave Constantius, who had already
          defended the throne  which  he  afterwards  shared  with his
          feeble sovereign. Honorius  viewed  with supine indifference
          the calamities of  Rome  and  Italy, (149) but the rebellious 
          attempts  of Attalus  and  Heraclian  against  his  personal
          safety awakened for  a  moment  the  torpid  instinct of his
          nature. He was  probably  ignorant  of the causes and events
          which preserved him  from  these  impending  dangers; and as
          Italy was no  longer  invaded  by  any  foreign  or domestic
          enemies, he peaceably  existed  in  the  palace  of Ravenna,
          while the tyrants beyond the Alps were repeatedly vanquished
          in the name and by the lieutenants of the son of Theodosius.
         (150) In the  course  of  a  busy  and interesting narrative I 
          might possibly forget to mention the death of such a prince,
          and I shall  therefore  take  the precaution of observing in
          this place that  he  survived  the  last siege of Rome about
          thirteen years.

          The usurpation of  Constantine, who received the purple from
          the legions of  Britain,  had been successful, and seemed to
          be secure. His  title  was  acknowledged  from  the  wall of
          Antoninus , to the Columns of Hercules, and, in the midst of
          the public disorder,  he shared the dominion and the plunder
          of Gaul and  Spain  with  the  tribes  of  barbarians  whose
          destructive progress was  no  longer checked by the Rhine or
          Pyrenees. Stained with the blood of the kinsmen of Honorius,
          he  extorted from  the  court  of  Ravenna,  with  which  he
          secretly corresponded, the  ratification  of  his rebellious
          claims. Constantine engaged  himself  by a solemn promise to
          deliver Italy from  the  Goths, advanced as far as the banks
          of the Po,  and,  after  alarming  rather than assisting his
          pusillanimous ally, hastily returned to the palace of Arles,
          to  celebrate  with   intemperate   luxury   his   vain  and
          ostentatious triumph. But this transient prosperity was soon
          interrupted and destroyed  by the revolt of Count Gerontius,
          the bravest of  his generals, who, during the absence of his
          son Constans, a  prince  already  invested with the Imperial
          purple, had been  left to command in the provinces of Spain.
          For some reason of which we are ignorant, Gerontius, instead
          of assuming the  diadem, placed it on the head of his friend
          Maximus, who fixed  his  residence  at  Tarragona, while the
          active  count  pressed  forwards  through  the  Pyrenees  to
          surprise the two  emperors  Constantine  and Constans before
          they could prepare  for  their  defence.  The  son  was made
          prisoner at Vienne,  and  immediately  put  to death and the
          unfortunate  youth  had  scarcely  leisure  to  deplore  the
          elevation of his  family, which had tempted or compelled him
          sacrilegiously  to desert  the  peaceful  obscurity  of  the
          monastic life. The  father  maintained  a  siege  within the
          walls of Arles;  but  those  walls  must have yielded to the
          assailants had not  the  city  been unexpectedly relieved by
          the approach of  an  Italian army. The name of Honorius, the
          proclamation of a  lawful emperor, astonished the contending
          parties of the  rebels.  Gerontius,  abandoned  by  his  own
          troops, escaped to  the  confines  of Spain, and rescued his
          name from oblivion  by  the  Roman courage which appeared to
          animate the last  moments  of his life. In the middle of the
          night a great body of his perfidious soldiers surrounded and
          attacked his house,  which  he  had strongly barricaded. His
          wife, a valiant  friend of the nation of the Alani, and some
          faithful slaves, were  still  attached to his person; and he
          used with so  much  skill and resolution a large magazine of
          darts and arrows, that above three hundred of the assailants
          lost their lives  in  the  attempt. His slaves, when all the
          missile weapons were  spent,  fled  at  the dawn of day; and
          Gerontius,  if  he  had  not  been  restrained  by  conjugal
          tenderness, might have  imitated  their  example;  till  the
          soldiers, provoked by  such  obstinate  resistance,  applied
          fire on all  sides  to the house. In this fatal extremity he
          complied with the  request  of  his barbarian friend and cut
          off his head. The wife of Gerontius, who conjured him not to
          abandon her to  a  life  of  misery  and  disgrace,  eagerly
          presented her neck  to  his  sword: and the tragic scene was
          terminated by the  death  of  the  count  himself, who after
          three ineffectual strokes,  drew a short dagger and sheathed
          it in his  heart. (151)  The unprotected Maximus, whom he had 
          invested with the  purple,  was indebted for his life to the
          contempt that was  entertained  of  his power and abilities.
          The caprice of  the barbarians, who ravaged Spain, once more
          seated this Imperial  phantom  on  the throne: but they soon
          resigned him to  the  justice  of  Honorius;  and the tyrant
          Maximus after he had been shown to the people of Ravenna and
          Rome, was publicly executed.

          The general, Constantius  was  his  name,  who raised by his
          approach the siege  of  Arles  and  dissipated the troops of
          Gerontius, was born a Roman; and this remarkable distinction
          is strongly expressive of the decay of military spirit among
          the subjects of  the  empire. The strength and majesty which
          were conspicuous in  the  person  of that general(152) marked 
          him in the  popular  opinion  as  a  candidate worthy of the
          throne  which  he   afterwards  ascended.  In  the  familiar
          intercourse of private  life  his  manners were cheerful and
          engaging: nor would  he sometimes disdain, in the license of
          convivial mirth, to  vie  with  the pantomimes themselves in
          the exercises of  their  ridiculous profession. But when the
          trumpet summoned him  to  arms;  when  he mounted his horse,
          and, bending down  (for  such  was  his  singular  practice)
          almost upon the  neck,  fiercely  rolled  his large animated
          eyes round the  field,  Constantius  then struck terror into
          his foes and  inspired  his  soldiers  with the assurance of
          victory. He had  received  from  the  court  of  Ravenna the
          important  commission  of   extirpating   rebellion  in  the
          provinces  of  the   West;   and   the   pretended   emperor
          Constantine, after enjoying a short and anxious respite, was
          again  besieged in  his  capital  by  the  arms  of  a  more
          formidable enemy. Yet  this  interval  allowed  time  for  a
          successful negotiation with the Franks and Alemanni; and his
          ambassador, Edobic, soon  returned at the head of an army to
          disturb the operations  of  the  siege  of  Arles. The Roman
          general, instead of  expecting  the  attack  in  his  lines,
          boldly, and perhaps  wisely,  resolved to pass the Rhone and
          to meet the  barbarians. His measures were conducted with so
          much  skill  and  secrecy,  that,  while  they  engaged  the
          infantry of Constantius  in  the  front,  they were suddenly
          attacked, surrounded, and  destroyed  by  the cavalry of his
          lieutenant Ulphilas, who had silently gained an advantageous
          post in their  rear.  The remains of the army of Edobic were
          preserved by flight  or submission, and their leader escaped
          from the field of battle to the house of a faithless friend,
          who too clearly  understood  that  the head of his obnoxious
          guest would be  an  acceptable and lucrative present for the
          Imperial general. On  this occasion Constantius behaved with
          the magnanimity of  a genuine Roman. Subduing or suppressing
          every sentiment of  jealousy,  he  publicly acknowledged the
          merit and services  of  Ulphilas;  but he turned with horror
          from the assassin  of  Edobic,  and  sternly  intimated  his
          commands that the  camp  should no longer be polluted by the
          presence of an  ungrateful  wretch who had violated the laws
          of friendship and  hospitality. The usurper, who beheld from
          the walls of  Arles  the ruin of his last hopes, was tempted
          to place some  confidence  in  so  generous  a conqueror. He
          required  a solemn  promise  for  his  security;  and  after
          receiving, by the  imposition of hands, the sacred character
          of a Christian  presbyter,  he ventured to open the gates of
          the city. But  he  soon  experienced  that the principles of
          honour and integrity,  which  might  regulate  the  ordinary
          conduct  of  Constantius,   were  superseded  by  the  loose
          doctrines of political  morality.  The  Roman general indeed
          refused to sully  his laurels with the blood of Constantine;
          but the abdicated  emperor  and  his  son  Julian were sent,
          under a strong  guard,  into  Italy; and before they reached
          the palace of Ravenna they met the ministers of death.

          At a time  when  it  was  universally  confessed that almost
          every man in  the  empire  was superior in personal merit to
          the princes whom  the  accident of their birth had seated on
          the throne, a  rapid  succession  of usurpers, regardless of
          the fate of  their  predecessors,  still continued to arise.
          This mischief was  peculiarly felt in the provinces of Spain
          and Gaul, where  the  principles  of order and obedience had
          been extinguished by  war  and rebellion. Before Constantine
          resigned the purple, and in the fourth month of the siege of
          Arles, intelligence was  received  in the Imperial camp that
          Jovinus had assumed  the  diadem  at  Mentz,  in  the  Upper
          Germany, at the  instigation of Goar, king of the Alani, and
          of  Guntiarius,  king  of  the  Burgundians;  and  that  the
          candidate on whom they had bestowed the empire advanced with
          a formidable host  of barbarians from the banks of the Rhine
          to those of  the  Rhone.  Every  circumstance  is  dark  and
          extraordinary in the  short history of the reign of Jovinus.
          It was natural  to  expect that a brave and skilful general,
          at the head  of  a victorius army, would have asserted, in a
          field of battle,  the  justice of the cause of Honorius. The
          hasty retreat of  Constantius  might be justified by weighty
          reasons; but he  resigned  without a struggle the possession
          of Gaul; and  Dardanus, the Praetorian praefect, is recorded
          as the only magistrate who refused to yield obedience to the
          usurper.(153) When  the  Goths,  two years after the siege of 
          Rome, established their  quarters in Gaul, it was natural to
          suppose  that  their  inclinations  could  be  divided  only
          between the emperor  Honorius,  with  whom they had formed a
          recent  alliance,  and   the  degraded  Attalus,  whom  they
          reserved in their  camp for the occasional purpose of acting
          the part of  a  musician  or  a  monarch. Yet in a moment of
          disgust (for which  it  is  not  easy to assign a cause or a
          date) Adolphus connected  himself  with the usurper of Gaul;
          and imposed on  Attalus  the ignominious task of negotiating
          the treaty which  ratified  his  own  disgrace. We are again
          surprised to read,  that,  instead of considering the Gothic
          alliance as the  firmest  support  of  his  throne,  Jovinus
          upbraided, in dark  and  ambiguous  language,  the officious
          importunity of Attalus;  that,  scorning  the  advice of his
          great  ally,  he   invested  with  the  purple  his  brother
          Sebastian; and that he most imprudently accepted the service
          of Sarus, when  that gallant chief, the soldier of Honorius,
          was provoked to  desert  the  court of a prince who knew not
          how to reward  or punish. Adolphus, educated among a race of
          warriors, who esteemed  the  duty  of  revenge  as  the most
          precious and sacred  portion  of their inheritance, advanced
          with  a  body   of  ten  thousand  Goths  to  encounter  the
          hereditary enemy of the house of Balti. He attacked Sarus at
          an  unguarded  moment,  when  he  was  accompanied  only  by
          eighteen or twenty  of  his  valiant  followers.  United  by
          friendship, animated by  despair, but at length oppressed by
          multitudes, this band of heroes deserved the esteem, without
          exciting the compassion,  of their enemies; and the lion was
          no sooner taken  in  the  toils (154)  than  he was instantly 
          despatched. The death  of Sarus dissolved the loose alliance
          which Adolphus still  maintained  with the usurpers of Gaul.
          He again listened  to the dictates of love and prudence; and
          soon satisfied the  brother  of  Placidia,  by the assurance
          that he would  immediately transmit to the palace of Ravenna
          the heads of  the  two  tyrants,  Jovinus and Sebastian. The
          king of the Goths executed his promise without difficulty or
          delay: the helpless  brothers,  unsupported  by any personal
          merit, were abandoned  by  their  barbarian auxiliaries; and
          the short opposition of Valentia was expiated by the ruin of
          one of the  oldest cities of Gaul. The emperor chosen by the
          Roman senate, who  had  been  promoted,  degraded, insulted,
          restored, again degraded,  and  again  insulted, was finally
          abandoned to his fate; but when the Gothic king withdrew his
          protection, he was  restrained,  by  pity  or contempt, from
          offering  any  violence   to  the  person  of  Attalus.  The
          unfortunate  Attalus,  who  was  left  without  subjects  or
          allies, embarked in  one of the ports of Spain, in search of
          some secure and  solitary retreat; but he was intercepted at
          sea, conducted to  the  presence of Honorius, led in triumph
          through the streets of Rome or Ravenna, and publicly exposed
          to the gazing multitude, on the second step of the throne of
          his invincible conqueror.  The  same  measure  of punishment
          with which, in the days of his prosperity, he was accused of
          menacing his rival, was inflicted on Attalus himself: he was
          condemned,  after  the  amputation  of  two  fingers,  to  a
          perpetual exile in the isle of Lipari, where he was supplied
          with the decent  necessaries  of  life. The remainder of the
          reign Honorius was  undisturbed  by rebellion; and it may be
          observed that in  the space of five years seven usurpers had
          yielded to the fortune of a prince who was himself incapable
          either of counsel or of action.

          The situation of  Spain,  separated  on  all  sides from the
          enemies of Rome,  by  the  sea,  by  the  mountains,  and by
          intermediate provinces, had secured the long tranquillity of
          that remote and  sequestered country; and we may observe, as
          a sure symptom  of  domestic happiness, that, in a period of
          four hundred years,  Spain  furnished  very few materials to
          the history of  the  Roman  empire.  The  footsteps  of  the
          barbarians, who, in  the  reign of Gallienus, had penetrated
          beyond the Pyrenees,  were soon obliterated by the return of
          peace; and in  the  fourth century of the Christian era, the
          cities of Emerita  or  Merida, of Corduba, Seville, Bracara,
          and Tarragona, were  numbered  with  the most illustrious of
          the Roman world.  The  various  plenty  of  the  animal, the
          vegetable,  and  the  mineral  kingdoms,  was  improved  and
          manufactured by the  skill of an industrious people; and the
          peculiar advantages of  naval  stores contributed to support
          an extensive and profitable trade.(155) The arts and sciences 
          flourished under the  protection of the emperors; and if the
          character  of the  Spaniards  was  enfeebled  by  peace  and
          servitude, the hostile  approach  of  the  Germans,  who had
          spread terror and desolation from the Rhine to the Pyrenees,
          seemed to rekindle  some  sparks of military ardour. As long
          as the defence  of  the mountains was intrusted to the hardy
          and  faithful militia  of  the  country,  they  successfully
          repelled the frequent  attempts  of  the  barbarians  But no
          sooner had the  national  troops  been  compelled  to resign
          their  post  of   the  Honorian  bands  in  the  service  of
          Constantine, than the  gates  of  Spain  were  treacherously
          betrayed to the  public  enemy,  about ten months before the
          sack of Rome  by  the Goths.(156) The consciousness of guilt, 
          and the thirst  of  rapine, prompted the mercenary guards of
          the Pyrenees to  desert their station; to invite the arms of
          the Suevi, the  Vandals,  and  the  Alani;  and to swell the
          torrent which was poured with irresistible violence from the
          frontiers of Gaul  to  the sea of Africa. The misfortunes of
          Spain may be  described in the language of its most eloquent
          historian, who has  concisely  expressed the passionate, and
          perhaps exaggerated, declamations  of  contemporary writers.
         (157) "The irruption of these nations was followed by the most 
          dreadful  calamities:  as  the  barbarians  exercised  their
          indiscriminate cruelty on the fortunes of the Romans and the
          Spaniards, and ravaged  with  equal  fury the cities and the
          open country. The  progress  of famine reduced the miserable
          inhabitants to feed  on the flesh of their fellow-creatures;
          and even the  wild  beasts, who multiplied, without control,
          in the desert,  were  exasperated  by the taste of blood and
          the impatience of  hunger  boldly to attack and devour their
          human  prey.  Pestilence   soon  appeared,  the  inseparable
          companion of famine;  a  large  proportion of the people was
          swept away; and  the  groans  of  the dying excited only the
          envy of their  surviving  friends. At length the barbarians,
          satiated with carnage  and  rapine,  and  afflicted  by  the
          contagious evils which they themselves had introduced, fixed
          their  permanent  seats  in  the  depopulated  country.  The
          ancient Gallicia, whose  limits  included the kingdom of Old
          Castille, was divided between the Suevi and the Vandals: the
          Alani were scattered  over  the  provinces of Carthagena and
          Lusitania, from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean; and
          the  fruitful territory  of  Baetica  was  allotted  to  the
          Silingi,  another  branch  of  the  Vandalic  nation.  After
          regulating this partition,  the  conquerors  contracted with
          their new subjects some reciprocal engagements of protection
          and obedience: the  lands  were  again  cultivated;  and the
          towns and villages  were again occupied by a captive people.
          The greatest part  of  the  Spaniards  was  even disposed to
          prefer this new  condition  of  poverty and barbarism to the
          severe oppressions of  the  Roman government; yet there were
          many  who still  asserted  their  native  freedom,  and  who
          refused, more especially  in  the  mountains of Gallicia, to
          submit to the barbarian yoke.(158) 

          The important present  of the heads of Jovinus and Sebastian
          had approved the friendship of Adolphus and restored Gaul to
          the  obedience  of   his   brother   Honorius.   Peace   was
          incompatible with the  situation  and  temper of the king of
          the Goths. He  readily  accepted the proposal of turning his
          victorious arms against  the barbarians of Spain; the troops
          of  Constantius  intercepted   his  communication  with  the
          seaports of Gaul,  and  gently pressed his march towards the
          Pyrenees:(159) he passed the mountains, and surprised, in the 
          name of the  emperor, the city of Barcelona. The fondness of
          Adolphus for his  Roman  bride  was  not  abated  by time or
          possession; and the  birth  of  a  son,  surnamed,  from his
          illustrious grandsire, Theodosius,  appeared  to fix him for
          ever in the interest of the public. The loss of that infant,
          whose remains were  deposited  in  a silver coffin in one of
          the churches near  Barcelona, afflicted his parents; but the
          grief of the Gothic king was suspended by the labours of the
          field; and the  course of his victories was soon interrupted
          by domestic treason.  He  had  imprudently received into his
          service one of  the  followers  of  Sarus,  a barbarian of a
          daring spirit, but  of  a  diminutive  stature, whose secret
          desire of revenging  the  death  of  his  beloved patron was
          continually  irritated  by  the  sarcasms  of  his  insolent
          master.  Adolphus  was   assassinated   in   the  palace  of
          Barcelona; the laws  of  the  succession  were violated by a
          tumultuous faction;(160)  and  a  stranger to the royal race, 
          Singeric, the brother  of  Sarus  himself, was seated on the
          Gothic throne. The  first  act  of his reign was the inhuman
          murder of the  six  children  of  Adolphus,  the  issue of a
          former marriage, whom he tore, without pity, from the feeble
          arms of a  venerable  bishop. (161) The unfortunate Placidia, 
          instead of the  respectful  compassion  which she might have
          excited in the  most  savage breasts, was treated with cruel
          and wanton insult.  The  daughter of the emperor Theodosius,
          confounded among a  crowd  of vulgar captives, was compelled
          to march on  foot  above twelve miles, before the horse of a
          barbarian, the assassin  of  an  husband whom Placidia loved
          and lamented.(162) 

          But Placidia soon  obtained the pleasure of revenge; and the
          view of her  ignominious sufferings might rouse an indignant
          people against the  tyrant,  who  was  assassinated  on  the
          seventh day of  his usurpation. After the death of Singeric,
          the free choice of the nation bestowed the Gothic sceptre on
          Wallia, whose warlike  and ambitious temper appeared, in the
          beginning of his  reign,  extremely hostile to the republic.
          He marched in  arms  from  Barcelona  to  the  shores of the
          Atlantic Ocean, which  the  ancients  revered and dreaded as
          the boundary of  the world. But when he reached the southern
          promontory of Spain, (163)  and, from the rock now covered by 
          the fortress of Gibraltar, contemplated the neighbouring and
          fertile coast of  Africa,  Wallia  resumed  the  designs  of
          conquest which had  been interrupted by the death of Alaric.
          The winds and waves again disappointed the enterprise of the
          Goths; and the  minds  of a superstitious people were deeply
          affected by the repeated disasters of storms and shipwrecks.
          In this disposition,  the  successor  of  Adolphus no longer
          refused to listen  to  a  Roman  ambassador, whose proposals
          were enforced by  the  real,  or  supposed,  approach  of  a
          numerous army, under the conduct of the brave Constantius. A
          solemn treaty was  stipulated  and  observed:  Placidia  was
          honourably restored to  her  brother;  six  hundred thousand
          measures of wheat  were  delivered  to the hungry Goths;(164) 
          and Wallia engaged  to  draw his sword in the service of the
          empire.  A  bloody  war  was  instantly  excited  among  the
          barbarians of Spain;  and the contending princes are said to
          have addressed their  letters,  their ambassadors, and their
          hostages, to the  throne  of  the Western emperor, exhorting
          him to remain  a  tranquil  spectator  of their contest, the
          events of which  must  be  favourable  to  the Romans by the
          mutual slaughter of  their  common  enemies.(165) The Spanish 
          war was obstinately  supported, during three campaigns, with
          desperate  valour  and  various  success;  and  the  martial
          achievements  of Wallia  diffused  through  the  empire  the
          superior renown of  the  Gothic  hero.  He  exterminated the
          Silingi, who had  irretrievably ruined the elegant plenty of
          the province of Baetica. He slew, in battle, the king of the
          Alani; and the  remains  of  those  Scythian  wanderers  who
          escaped from the  field,  instead  of choosing a new leader,
          humbly sought a  refuge  under  the standard of the Vandals,
          with whom they  were ever afterwards confounded. The Vandals
          themselves, and the  Suevi,  yielded  to  the efforts of the
          invincible Goths. The  promiscuous  multitude of barbarians,
          whose retreat had  been  intercepted,  were  driven into the
          mountains of Gallicia;  where  they  still  continued,  in a
          narrow compass and  on  a  barren  soil,  to  exercise their
          domestic  and  implacable   hostilities.  In  the  pride  of
          victory, Walliawas faithful  to his engagements: he restored
          his Spanish conquests  to the obedience of Honorius; and the
          tyranny of the  Imperial  officers soon reduced an oppressed
          people to regret  the  time  of  their  barbarian servitude.
          While the event  of  the  war  was still doubtful, the first
          advantages obtained by the arms of Wallia had encouraged the
          court of Ravenna to decree the honours of a triumph to their
          feeble  sovereign.  He   entered   Rome   like  the  ancient
          conquerors of nations;  and  if  the  monuments  of  servile
          corruption had not  long  since met with the fate which they
          deserved, we should  probably find that a crowd of poets and
          orators, of magistrates  and bishops, applauded the fortune,
          the  wisdom, and  the  invincible  courage  of  the  emperor

          Such a triumph might have been justly claimed by the ally of
          Rome,  if Wallia,  before  he  repassed  the  Pyrenees,  had
          extirpated the seeds  of  the  Spanish  war.  His victorious
          Goths, forty-three years  after  they had passed the Danube,
          were established, according to the faith of treaties, in the
          possession  of the  second  Aquitain,  a  maritime  province
          between the Garonne  and  the  Loire,  under  the  civil and
          ecclesiastical jurisdiction of  Bourdeaux.  That metropolis,
          advantageously situated for  the  trade  of  the  ocean, was
          built in a  regular  and  elegant  form;  and  its  numerous
          inhabitants were distinguished  among  the  Gauls  by  their
          wealth, their learning, and the politeness of their manners.
          The adjacent province, which has been fondly compared to the
          garden of Eden,  is  blessed  with  a  fruitful  soil  and a
          temperate climate; the  face  of  the  country displayed the
          arts and the rewards of industry; and the Goths, after their
          martial toils, luxuriously  exhausted  the rich vineyards of
          Aquitain. (167)  The  Gothic  limits  were  enlarged  by  the 
          additional  gift of  some  neighbouring  dioceses;  and  the
          successors  of  Alaric   fixed   their  royal  residence  at
          Toulouse, which included  five populous quarters, or cities,
          within the spacious  circuit  of  its  walls. About the same
          time, in the last years of the reign of Honorius, the GOTHS,
          the BURGUNDIANS, and  the  FRANKS, obtained a permanent seat
          and dominion in  the provinces of Gaul. The liberal grant of
          the usurper Jovinus  to  his Burgundian allies was confirmed
          by the lawful  emperor;  the  lands  of the First, or Upper,
          Germany were ceded  to those formidable barbarians; and they
          gradually occupied, either  by  conquest  or treaty, the two
          provinces which still  retain,  with the titles of Duchy and
          of County, the  national  appellation  of  Burgundy.(168) The 
          Franks,  the  valiant  and  faithful  allies  of  the  Roman
          republic, were soon  tempted  to  imitate  the invaders whom
          they had so  bravely  resisted.  Treves, the capital of Gaul
          was pillaged by  their  lawless bands; and the humble colony
          which they so  long maintained in the district of Toxandria,
          in Brabant, insensibly  multiplied  along  the  banks of the
          Meuse and Scheld,  till  their  independent power filled the
          whole extent of  the  Second, or Lower, Germany. These facts
          may be sufficiently  justified by historic evidence; but the
          foundation  of  the   French   monarchy  by  Pharamond,  the
          conquests, the laws,  and  even  the existence of that hero,
          have been justly  arraigned  by  the  impartial  severity of
          modern criticism.(169) 

          The ruin of  the opulent provinces of Gaul may be dated from
          the establishment of  these  barbarians,  whose alliance was
          dangerous  and  oppressive,   and   who   were  capriciously
          impelled, by interest  or  passion,  to  violate  the public
          peace.  A heavy  and  partial  ransom  was  imposed  on  the
          surviving provincials who had escaped the calamities of war;
          the fairest and  most  fertile  lands  were  assigned to the
          rapacious strangers, for  the  use  of their families, their
          slaves,  and  their   cattle;   and  the  trembling  natives
          relinquished with a  sigh  the inheritance of their fathers.
          Yet these domestic  misfortunes, which are seldom the lot of
          a vanquished people,  had  been  felt  and  inflicted by the
          Romans themselves, not  only  in  the  insolence  of foreign
          conquest, but in the madness of civil discord. The Triumvirs
          proscribed eighteen of  the  most  flourishing  colonies  of
          Italy,  and  distributed  their  lands  and  houses  to  the
          veterans who revenged the death of Caesar, and oppressed the
          liberty of their  country.  Two poets, of unequal fame, have
          deplored,  in  similar  circumstances,  the  loss  of  their
          patrimony; but the  legionaries  of  Augustus appear to have
          surpassed, in violence  and  injustice,  the  barbarians who
          invaded Gaul under the reign of Honorius. It was not without
          the utmost difficulty  that Virgil escaped from the sword of
          the centurion who  had usurped his farm in the neighbourhood
          of Mantua;(170)  but  Paulinus of Bourdeaux received a sum of 
          money from his  Gothic  purchaser,  which  he  accepted with
          pleasure and surprise;  and,  though it was much inferior to
          the real value  of  his  estate,  this  act  of  rapine  was
          disguised by some  colours of moderation and equity.(171) The 
          odious name of  conquerors  was  softened  into the mild and
          friendly appellation of  the  guests  of the Romans; and the
          barbarians of Gaul,  more  especially  the Goths, repeatedly
          declared that they  were  bound to the people by the ties of
          hospitality, and to  the  emperor  by the duty of allegiance
          and  military  service.   The  title  of  Honorius  and  his
          successors, their laws  and  their  civil  magistrates  were
          still respected in  the provinces of Gaul, of which they had
          resigned the possession  to  the  barbarian  allies; and the
          kings, who exercised  a  supreme  and  independent authority
          over their native  subjects,  ambitiously solicited the more
          honourable rank of  master-generals  of the Imperial armies.
         (172) Such was  the involuntary reverence which the Roman name 
          still impressed on the minds of those warriors who had borne
          away in triumph the spoils of the Capitol.

          Whilst Italy was  ravaged  by the Goths, and a Succession of
          feeble tyrants oppressed  the provinces beyond the Alps, the
          British island separated  itself  from the body of the Roman
          empire.  The  regular   forces  which  guarded  that  remote
          province  had been  gradually  withdrawn;  all  Britain  was
          abandoned without defence,  to  the  Saxon  pirates  and the
          savages of Ireland  and  Caledonia.  The Britons, reduced to
          this extremity, no  longer  relied on the tardy and doubtful
          aid  of  a  declining  monarchy.  They  assembled  in  arms,
          repelled  the  invaders,   and  rejoiced  in  the  important
          discovery of their  own  strength. (173) Afflicted by similar 
          calamities, and actuated  by  the same spirit, the Armorican
          provinces (a name  which comprehended the maritime countries
          of Gaul between  the  Seine  and  the Loire)(174) resolved to 
          imitate  the  example   of  the  neighbouring  island.  They
          expelled the Roman magistrate, who acted under the authority
          of  the usurper  Constantine;  and  a  free  government  was
          established among a  people  who had so long been subject to
          the arbitrary will  of a master. The independence of Britain
          and Armorica was  soon  confirmed  by  Honorius himself, the
          lawful emperor of  the  West;  and  the  letters by which he
          committed to the  new  states  the  care of their own safety
          might be interpreted as an absolute and perpetual abdication
          of   the  exercise   and   rights   of   sovereignty.   This
          interpretation was, in some measure, justified by the event.
          After the usurpers  of  Gaul  had  successively  fallen, the
          maritime provinces were  restored  to  the empire. Yet their
          obedience  was  imperfect  and  precarious:  the  vain,  the
          inconstant,  rebellious  disposition   of  the  people,  was
          incompatible  either with  freedom  or  servitude; (175)  and 
          Armorica, though it  could  not  long maintain the form of a
          republic, (176) was  agitated  by  frequent  and  destructive 
          revolts. Britain was  irrecoverably  lost. (177)  But  as the 
          emperors wisely acquiesced  in  the independence of a remote
          province, the separation  was not embittered by the reproach
          of tyranny or  rebellion;  and  the claims of allegiance and
          protection  were  succeeded  by  the  mutual  and  voluntary
          offices of national friendship.(178) 

          This revolution dissolved the artificial fabric of civil and
          military government; and  the  independent country, during a
          period of forty  years,  till the descent of the Saxons, was
          ruled by the  authority  of  the clergy, the nobles, and the
          municipal towns.(179) I. Zosimus, who alone has preserved the 
          memory  of  this   singular   transaction,  very  accurately
          observes that the  letters of Honorius were addressed to the
          cities of Britain. (180)  Under the protection of the Romans, 
          ninety-two considerable towns  had  arisen  in  the  several
          parts of that great province; and, among these, thirty-three
          cities were distinguished  above  the rest by their superior
          privileges and importance. (181)  Each of these cities, as in 
          all the other  provinces  of  the  empire,  formed  a  legal
          corporation, for the  purpose  of  regulating their domestic
          policy;  and  the   powers   of  municipal  government  were
          distributed among annual  magistrates,  a select senate, and
          the assembly of  the people, according to the original model
          of the Roman  constitution. (182)  The management of a common 
          revenue, the exercise  of  civil  and criminal jurisdiction,
          and the habits  of public counsel and command, were inherent
          to these petty  republics;  and  when  they  asserted  their
          independence, the youth  of  the  city,  and of the adjacent
          districts,  would  naturally   range  themselves  under  the
          standard of the  magistrate. But the desire of obtaining the
          advantages,  and of  escaping  the  burthens,  of  political
          society, is a perpetual and inexhaustible source of discord;
          nor can it  reasonably  be  presumed that the restoration of
          British freedom was  exempt  from  tumult  and  faction. The
          pre-eminence of birth  and fortune must have been frequently
          violated by bold  and  popular  citizens;  and  the  haughty
          nobles, who complained that they were become the subjects of
          their own servants, (183) would sometimes regret the reign of 
          an arbitrary monarch. II. The jurisdiction of each city over
          the  adjacent  country  was  supported  by  the  patrimonial
          influence of the  principal senators; and the smaller towns,
          the villages, and  the  proprietors of land, consulted their
          own safety by  adhering  to  the  shelter  of  these  rising
          republics. The sphere  of  their attraction was proportioned
          to the respective  degrees of their wealth and populousness;
          but the hereditary  lords of ample possessions, who were not
          oppressed by the neighbourhood of any powerful city, aspired
          to the rank of independent princes, and boldly exercised the
          rights of peace  and  war.  The  gardens  and  villas, which
          exhibited some faint  imitation  of  Italian elegance, would
          soon be converted  into  strong castles, the refuge, in time
          of danger, of  the  adjacent country:(184) the produce of the 
          land was applied  to purchase arms and horses; to maintain a
          military force of  slaves,  of  peasants,  and of licentious
          followers: and the  chieftain  might  assume, within his own
          domain, the powers  of  a civil magistrate. Several of these
          British chiefs might  be  the  genuine  posterity of ancient
          kings;  and  many  more  would  be  tempted  to  adopt  this
          honourable  genealogy, and  to  vindicate  there  hereditary
          claims, which had  been  suspended  by the usurpation of the
          Caesars.(185) Their  situation  and their hopes would dispose 
          them to affect  the  dress, the language, and the customs of
          their ancestors. If  the  'princes' of Britain relapsed into
          barbarism, while the  cities  studiously  preserved the laws
          and  manners of  Rome,  the  whole  island  must  have  been
          gradually  divided  by   the  distinction  of  two  national
          parties, again broken  into  a  thousand subdivisions of war
          and faction by  the  various  provocations  of  interest and
          resentment. The public  strength,  instead  of  being united
          against  a  foreign  enemy,  was  consumed  in  obscure  and
          intestine quarrels; and  the personal merit which had placed
          a successful leader  at  the head of his equals might enable
          him to subdue  the  freedom of some neighbouring cities, and
          to claim a rank among the 'tyrants'(186) who infested Britain 
          after the dissolution  of  the  Roman  government.  III. The
          British church might be composed of thirty or forty bishops,
         (187) with an  adequate proportion of the inferior clergy; and 
          the want of  riches  (for  they  seem to have been poor)(188) 
          would compel them  to  deserve the public esteem by a decent
          and  exemplary behaviour.  The  interest,  as  well  as  the
          temper, of the clergy, was favourable to the peace and union
          of their distracted country: those salutary lessons might be
          frequently inculcated in  their  popular discourses; and the
          episcopal synods were  the  only councils that could pretend
          to the weight  and authority of a national assembly. In such
          councils,   where   the    princes   and   magistrates   sat
          promiscuously with the bishops, the important affairs of the
          state, as well  as  of  the church, might be freely debated,
          differences  reconciled,  alliances   formed,  contributions
          imposed, wise resolutions  often  concerted,  and  sometimes
          executed; and there  is  reason to believe, that, in moments
          of extreme danger,  a  'Pendragon', or Dictator, was elected
          by the general consent of the Britons. These pastoral cares,
          so worthy of  the  episcopal  character,  were  interrupted,
          however, by zeal  and  superstition;  and the British clergy
          incessantly laboured to eradicate the Pelagian heresy, which
          they abhorred as  the  peculiar  disgrace  of  their  native

          It  is  somewhat  remarkable,  or  rather  it  is  extremely
          natural, that the revolt of Britain and Armorica should have
          introduced  an  appearance  of  liberty  into  the  obedient
          provinces of Gaul.  In  a  solemn edict,(190) filled with the 
          strongest  assurances  of   that  paternal  affection  which
          princes so often  express,  and  so seldom feel, the emperor
          Honorius promulgated his  intention  of  convening an annual
          assembly  of  the   seven   provinces:   a  name  peculiarly
          appropriated to Aquitain  and  the ancient Narbonnese, which
          had long since  exchanged  their  Celtic  rudeness  for  the
          useful and elegant  arts  of  Italy. (191) Arles, the seat of 
          government and commerce,  was appointed for the place of the
          assembly, which regularly  continued twenty-eight days, from
          the fifteenth of  August  to  the thirteenth of September of
          every year. It  consisted  of the Praetorian praefect of the
          Gauls; of seven  provincial governors, one consular, and six
          presidents; of the  magistrates, and perhaps the bishops, of
          about sixty cities;  and  of a competent, though indefinite,
          number of the  most  honourable  and  opulent  possessors of
          land, who might  justly be considered as the representatives
          of their country.  They  were  empowered  to  interpret  and
          communicate the laws  of  their  sovereign;  to  expose  the
          grievances and wishes of their constituents; to moderate the
          excessive or unequal  weight  of taxes; and to deliberate on
          every subject of  local  or  national  importance that could
          tend to the  restoration  of the peace and prosperity of the
          seven provinces. If  such  an  institution,  which  gave the
          people  an  interest  in  their  own  government,  had  been
          universally established by  Trajan  or  the  Antonines,  the
          seeds of public  wisdom and virtue might have been cherished
          and propagated in  the empire of Rome. The privileges of the
          subject would have  secured  the  throne  of the monarch the
          abuses  of  an  arbitrary  administration  might  have  been
          prevented,   in  some   degree,   or   corrected,   by   the
          interposition of these  representative  assemblies;  and the
          country would have  been defended against a foreign enemy by
          the arms of natives and freemen. Under the mild and generous
          influence of liberty,  the  Roman empire might have remained
          invincible and immortal;  or if its excessive magnitude, and
          the instability of human affairs, had opposed such perpetual
          continuance, its vital  and  constituent  members might have
          separately preserved their  vigour  and  independence But in
          the decline of  the  empire,  when every principle of health
          and life had  been  exhausted, the tardy application of this
          partial remedy was  incapable  of producing any important or
          salutary  effects.  The   emperor   Honorius  expresses  his
          surprise that he  must  compel  the  reluctant  provinces to
          accept  a  privilege   which   they   should  ardently  have
          solicited. A fine of three, or even five, pounds of gold was
          imposed on the  absent  representatives,  who  seem  to have
          declined this imaginary  gift of a free constitution, as the
          last and most cruel insult of their oppressors.

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