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THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE 



ROMAN EMPIRE 



VOL. V. 



THE ASBUNnUI MMIVBaUTY MUUM UMITBD. 



I! 



i I 



THE HISTORY 



OF THE 



DECLINE AM) FALL OF THE 

ROMAN EMPIRK 



BY 



EDWARD GIBBON 



EDITED IN SEVEN VOLUMES 
WITH INTRODUCTION, NOTES, APPENDICES, AND INDEX 

BY 

J. B. B^UBT, M.A. 

■o». UTT.D. or dubham; hom. ll.d. of sdivbuboh 
iVDore HSMBSft or THE iMnRiAi. AOADSMT OF flomroM, 0T. psmMBuan 
rsu^ow OF TBunrr oollxob, and ksoius PBornsoB or obskk 
nr TBB uimmMiTT or dubldt 



VOL. V. 



METHUEN & CO. 

86 ESSEX STREET, W.O. 

LONDON 

1901 
Stomd MdiHtm 

C 



.Gr5 

Y,5 



V 



^'^*// 



:, 1302 j 




r^d, ^ ^// 



NOTE. 

In the revision of the proof sheets of Chapters L. and LI. 
invaluable help has been received from Mr. Stanley Lane- 
Poole, who, in the case of the previous volumes also, has 
been untiringly kind in answering questions and making sug- 
gestions. 

J. R R 



"n 



CONTENTS OF THE FIFTH VOLUME 



CHAPTER XLV 

Reign of thg yotmger yuitin-^wtbassy of ths Avars — Their SeiiUment oh 
the Danube — Conqnest of Italy by the LombardM — Adoption and Reign 
of Tiberius— Of Maurice — State of Italy under the Lombards and the 
Exarchs of Ravenna — Distress of Romt— Character and Pontificate of 
Gregory tke First 

FAttS 

I 

2 
2 

3 

4 



565 Death of Justiman 

5^5-574- Reign of Justin II. or the Younger 

5^ His Consulship 

Embassy of the Avars 

Albotn, King of the Lombards— ^lis Valour, Love, and Kevenge 
[567] The Lombards and Avars destroy the King and Kingdom of the 
(JepuuB ... ... ... ... ... 

367 [568] Alboin undertakes the Conquest of Italy 

DisaiSection and Death of Narses 



568-570. Conquest of a great Part of Jtaly by the Lombards 

' srcd by " " "" 
Her Flight and Death 



573 AUxnn is murdered by his Wife Rosamond 



Clepho, Kinff of the Lombards 

Weakness of the Emperor Justin . . . 

574 Association of Tibenus 

578 Death of Justin II 

57S-582. Reign of Tiberius II 

His Virtues 

582-^02. The Reign of Maurice 

Distress of luly 

584-590. Autharis, King of the Lombards 

The Exarchate of Kavenna 

The Kingdom of the Lombards 

Language and Manners of the Lombards 

Dtess and Marriage ... 

Govermnent ... 

^^^^ Mrfil^Vw ••• ••• ■•■ ••• ••• 

Miaeryof Rome 

The Tombs and Relics of the Apostles 

Both ttid Proftjiion oIGregory theJRpoum 



7 

9 

zo 

(2 

X3 

14 

S4 
16 

»7 

\i 

19 
20 

22 

23 

24 
24 

a? 
29 

29 

30 
32 



CONTENTS 



5go-6o4. Pontificate of Oiegory the Great, or First . 

Hia Spitilual Office 

And Temporal Government 

HisEstatcH 

And Alma 

The Saviour of Rome 



CHAPTER XLVI 

ittvolutionz of Pmitt afttr Ihi Dtath of Chosrots or Nuihirvtm — Hit Sok 
HormouM, a Tyranl, ii dtpottd — Umrpation of Bahrain — Flight and 
Rtttoration of Chotrot$ II^~Hi$ Gratitude to tin Ramant—Tkt 
Ckagan of tht Avart — Rnolt of the Army agaitat Maurice — His 
Dtath— Tyranny of Phocas—Elivatlon of Htrailius—Tkt Ptraan War 
— Chosrott tubduts Syria, Egypt, and Alia Minor — Sitgi of Conttanti- 
""" ' '"^ " ■ - ' - " ■ " ■ •■-■ - vicforUs and 



Contest of Rome and Persia 

570 Conquest of Yemen by Nushirvan 

573 His last War with the Romans 

57g His Death 

579-590- Tyranny and Vices of his Son Hormoui 
SQO Exploits of Bahrain „ 

His Rebellion „ 



Death of Hormoiu 

Chosroes flies to the Romans 

His Return and 6nal Victory 

Death of Bahram 

5gi-6o3. Restoration and Policy of CfaosToes .. 
Sjo-6oo. Pride, Policy, and Power of the Chagan of th 
591-603. Wars of Maurice against the Avars ., 

State of the Roman Armies... 

Their Discontent 

And Rebellion 

601 Election of Pbocas 

Revolt of Constantinople 

Death of Maurice and his Children... 
Coi-fiio. Fhocas Emperoi 

His Character. _ 

And Tyranny 

610 His FaU and Death 

610-642. Reign of HeiacliuB 

603 Chosroes invades the Roman Empire 

611 His Conquest of SyriA .„ 

614 OfPalestioe _ 

616 OfEgypt 

Of Asa Minor 

/fu Reign and MagnificcDoe 



CONTENTS 



IX 



A.D. 



610-622. Distress of Heradius 

He solicits Peace 

621 His Preparations for War 

622 First Esrpedition of Heradius aigainst the Persians 

623, 624, 625. His second Expedition 

626 Deliverance of Constantinople from the Persians and Avars 
Alliances and Conquests of Heraclius 

627 His third Expedition 

Ana Victories ... ... ... ... ... ... 

Flight of Chosroes 

628 He is deposed 

And murdered by his Son Siroes 

Treaty of Peace between the two Empires 



PAOB 



::: ?S 

... 7« 

... 78 

8i 


... 85 

::: % 


... 89 


91 


92 


92 


93 



CHAPTER XLVn 



Theological History of the Doctrine of the IncamaHon — The Human and 
Divine Nature of Christ — Enmity of the Patriarchs of Alexandria and 
Constantinofle~~St, Cyril and Nestorius — Third General Council 0/ 
Ephesus — Heresy of Eutyches — Fourth General Council of Chalcedon 
—-Civil and Ecclesiastical Discord — Intolerance of Justinian — The 
Three Chapters — The Monothelite Controversy — State of the Oriental 
Sects— I, The Nestorians—II. The yacohites—III, The Maronites^ 
IV. The Armenians— V. The Copts— VI. The Abyssinians 

The Incarnation of Christ 

I. A pure man to the Ebionites 

His Birth and Elevation 

II. A pure God to the Docetes 

His incorruptible Body 

III. Double Nature of Cerinthus 

IV. Divine Incarnation of Apollinaris 

V. Orthodox Consent and Verbal Disputes 

412-444. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria 

413,414,415. His Tyranny 

428 Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople 

429-431. His Heresy 

43X First Council of Ef^iesas 

Condemnation of Nestorius 

Opposition of the Orientals 

431-435- Victory of Cyril 

435 Exile of Nestorius 

448 Heresy of Eutyches 

449 Second Council of Ephesus 

45Z Council of Chalcedon 

Faith of Chalcedon 

45Z-432. Discord of the East 

482 The Henoticon of Zeno *** 

508-518. The Trisagion, and religious War, till the Death of Anav 

hSUBJSM ..« «•« ««• ... ••• ... .•• *«« V^^ 



... 96 

97 
... 98 

99 

lOI 


X02 


... 104 
... 105 
... 107 
... 108 


no 


III 


... 114 
... 115 
... 116 


... 117 
... 119 

121 


121 


... 123 

... 125 

126 

... 128 



CONTENTS 



514 Fiiat leligiout Wbi 

519-565. Theoloeical Chaiactm and Govecnment of JuBtioian 

Hu Persecution of Heietict 

OfPagans 

Ofjew. 

Of SanuriUtns 

HUOTtfaodoxy 

S32-6gS. The Three Chapters 

553 Vth General Council : lid of Constantinople 

5C4 Heresy of Justinian 

629 The Monothelite Controversy 

639 The Ectbesis of Heradius 

64S The Type of Conatans 

680, eSi, Vlth General Council: Hid of Constantinople 

Union of the Greek and Latin Churches ... 

Perpetual Separation of the Oriental Sects 

I. Thb Nehtokians 

500 Sole Maatcra of Perua 

500-1200. Their Missions in Taitary, India, China, 
SS3 The Christians of St. Thomas m India ... 



III. Thb 1 

IV. Ths Arubniahb 

V, Thb Copts or Eovptianb 

337-jeS. The Patriarch Theodoaius 

538 Paul 

551 Apollinaria 

5S0 Eulogiua 

6og John 

Their S«iaration and Decay 

6x5-661. Benjamin, the Jacobite Patriarch 
VI. Thb ABysamiAKa and Nubians 

530 Church of Abyaunia 

1535-1550, The Pt^tuguesein Abyssinia 

1557 Hissionof the Jesuits 

iia6 Coaversion of the Emperor 

163a Rnal Expulsion of the Jeiuita 



CHAPTER XLVIII 

ON 0/ tkt four bat Voluma — Suectuiim ami Charaettrt of Ikt Grttk 
Bmptrort of ComlantinopU, from tht Timt of Heraclna lo the LaHn 
CoH^uttt 

Defectsof the Byzantine History 

Ita Connexion with the Revolutions of the World 

Plan of the two last rwaito} Volumes 

Second Maniage ana Death of Heradius 

tiiKlII. 



CONTENTS 



u 



Punifthment of Martina and Heradeonas ^ 
Coostans II. ... ... ... .» m. ». 

668 CoDstantine IV. Pogonattu .» .« ^ » 

685 Justinian II « — «••- 

695-705. His Exile ^ 

705-711. His Restoration and Death ^ 

711 Philippicus ^ 

713 Ana^asius IL « 

716 Theodosius III ^ ^ 

718 Leo III. the Isaurian 

74Z [740] Constantine V. Copronymvs .» 

'11 J ■ ^•W *V. ..« aa* *.« ... ••« 

780 Constantine VI. and Irene .» .^ 

792 Irene ... ... ... .«. ,^ .«, 

8o2 Nicephonis I ^ 

8x1 Staurados 

Michael L Rhangabe 

8x3 Leo V. the Armoiian .» ..^ 

820 Michael II. the Stammerer 

839 Theophilus « 

842 Michael III ^ 

Urj Basil I. the Macedonian 

886 Leo VI. the Philosopher 

911 Alexander, Constantine VII. Porphyrogenitus 

9x9 Romanus I. Lecapenus , 

Christopher, Stephen, Constantine VIII 

945 C<»i8tantine VII 

959 Romanas II. junior 

963 Nicephorus II. Phocas 

969 John Zimisces, Basil II. Constantine IX. [VIII.] 

976 Basil II. and Constantine IX. [VIII.] 

1025 Constantine IX. [VIII.] ^ 

X028 Romanas III. Argynis «. 

1034 Michael FV. the Paphlagonian ... .- 

1041 Michael V. Calaphatea *. 

1042 Zoe and Theodora « 

Constantine X. [IX.] Monomachixs... .« ... 

X054 Theodora ... ... ... .». 

X056 Michael VI. Stxatioticus ,^ .». ... ... 

X057 Isaac I. Comncnus ^ ... .^ 

1059 Constantine XL [X.] Ducas... ... .^ ... 

1067 Budocia ... ... ... ... ... ... 

Romanas III. Diogenes 

107X Michael VII. Parapinaces, Andronicus I. Constantine 

1078 Nicephonis III. Botaniates 

io8z Alexms L Comnenos 

ixx8 John or Calo-Johannes 

1143 Bnlaniiel ... «.. ... ... ... ••• 

xx8o Alexius II. ... ... ... ... 

Character and first Adventures of Andronicus . . . 

1183 Aodronicus I. Comnenus 

11^ laaac IL AngehM 



• • • 

• • • 

• • • 

• • • 



XII. 



• • • 

• • • 



PAOB 

176 
176 
178 
179 

x8o 
181 
183 
184 
184 
184 
186 
188 
189 
191 
192 
192 

193 

193 

195 
196 

199 

201 

ao6 

20s 

209 

209 

209 

2X1 

2x1 
2x3 
2x5 
2x7 
2x7 
2x8 
2x9 
2x9 
219 
220 
220 
220 
222 
222 
223 
223 
224 
226 
228 
229 
23a 
232 
239 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XLIX 

etton, Wortkif, and Perueulion of Imagtt — Rivoll of tiaty a»d 

Romt—Trmporaf Dominion of tkt Popt — Conqtutt of Italy by tkt 
Franki — BilailitkiiuHt of Inagtt — CkaracUr aiid coronation of Char- 
Umagnt — Ritloratton a»d Ditay of tJu RomoH Bmpir* in tki Wt%l — 
IndtptndnKt of Italy — ConilitntioH of tkt Gtrmanie Body 

■ Introduction of Imagei intotbc Chrittian Church 244 

Theic Woishh) 345 

The Image of Ede«s2 I47 

lu Copiet 144 

Opposition to I iDBge- Worship 149 

736-840. Leo the Iconmdaat, and his Successon 151 

7J4 [753I Thrit Synod at Constantinople 35a 

Their Creed 353 

710-775. Their Persecution of the Images and Monk* 353 

Stateofltaly ajj 

S Epistles of Gregoiy II. to the Emperor 357 

Revoltofltaly a6o 

Republic of Rome 363 

730-75^ Rome attacked by the Lombards 164 

754 Hci Deliverance by Pepin VSfb 

774 Conquest of Lombardy by Charlemagne ... a68 

751, 753, 768. Pepin and Charlemagne, Kings of France z68 

Pwidana of Rome 269 

Donation! of Pepin and Charlemagne to the Popes 371 

Forgery of the Donation of Conslantine 373 

780 Restoration of Images in the East by the Empress Irene . . . 375 

787 Vllth General Council, lid of Nice 376 

843 Final Establishment of Images by the Empress Theodora ... 377 

794 Relnctanceof the Franks and of Chailemagne 379 

774-Soo. Final Separation of the Popes from the Eastern Empire ... 379 
Boo Coronation of Charlemagne as Empcrar of Rome and of the 

West .„ _ 381 

768-814. Reini and Character of Charlemagne 383 

Extent irf his Empire 386 

Fiance ._ 386 

Spain ... _ ... ,„ 387 

Italy „ ._ ... _ 388 

Qennany „ .„ „ 38B 

Hungary _ 389 

His Neighbour* and Enemies 390 

His Successors 391 

814.887. In Italy 391 

911 In Qennany ... ._ 391 

987 In France ... .„ 391 

S14-S40. Lewi* the Pioo* 39a 

840.856. LothaireL aga 

856.875. LewialL 393 

888 Diviaion of the Empire aga 

gOa Dtbo, King of Gcnnany, restores anA appe^iriatea the WMcm 

Empire i^ » .■■ ... ... ... •.. ... agj 



CONTENTS xiii 

A.D. PAOB 

Transactionsof the Western and Eastern Empires .^ .» 294 

800-1060. Authority of the Emperors in the Elections of the Popes 396 

X^lowSQdo ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• >•• ••• ••• ^97 

X073 Reformation and Claims of the Church 299 

Authority of the Emperors in Rome 299 

932 Revolt (j'Alberic « .« 300 

967 Of Pope John XIL ^ .. ... .^ 300 

998 Of the Consul Crescentius 301 

774-1250. The Kincdom of Italy - ... 30a 

1152-1x90. Frederic L « ... 303 

1198-Z250. Frederic II 304 

814-1250. Independence of the Princes of Germany 304 

1250 The Germanic Constitution 306 

1347- 1378. Weakness and Poverty of the German Emperor Charles IV. 307 

1356 His Ostentation „ ... 309 

Contrast of the Power and Modesty of Augustus ... ... 3x0 



CHAPTER L 

Dtscriptum of Arabia and its Inhabitants — Birth, Character, and Doetriiu 
0/ Mahonut — He preaches at Mecca — Flies to Medina — Propagates his 
religion by the Sword — Voluntarv or reluctant Submission oj the Arabs 
— His Death and Successors — The Claims and Fortunes o/Ali and his 
Descendants 

Description of Arabia 311 

The Soil and Climate ... 312 

Division of the Sandy, the Stony, and the Happy, Arabia ... 313 

Manners of the Bedcmeens, or Pastoral Arabs 314 

Jl XIC JiAVft B6 ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• 3 3 

m UC# V^vUHCA ••• ••• *•• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• 3'*3 

Cities of Arabia .». 316 

^U^^^CA ••• •*• »».« ••■ ••^ ••• ••« ••• •*• 3 7 

AaCX m I BQC ••• ••• ••• •»-• •»• ••• ••• ••* ^7 

National Independence of the Arabs 3x8 

Their domestic Freedom and Character 320 

Civil Wars and private Revenge *. 322 

Annual Truce ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 3^4 

Their sodsd Qualifications and Virtues .» 324 

Love of Poetry .». ... ... .». ... ... ... 325 

Examples of Generosity 326 

Ancient Idolatzy ... ... ... ..^ ... ... ... 3^ 

The Caaba, or Temple of Mecca 328 

Sacnfioes and Rites ... ... .^ ... ... ... ... 3^ 

Introduction of the Sobians 330 

Xhe Magians ... ... ... ... ..^ ... ... ... 33^ 

A Ow IC^vB ... ... ... ..• ... ... .*• .«• 33 

The Christians ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 33^ 

569-609. Birth and Education of Mahomet ... .^ .» ... 333 

DeUverance of Mecca 333 

lalfficatiofis of the Prophet 335 

\a%Mb ..• ... ••• ••• ••• •»• •*. ••• 3v7 



Sf 



zhr 



CONTENTS 



Mahomet the ApoMle of Ood, and the last of the Prophet* 



Precepts of Mahomet— Ptayet, Fasting, Alma 

Reamrection ... 

Hell and Paiadtae 

flog MtAomet preaches at Mecca 

0i3-63a. Is oppoted by the Koreirii 

Aia And driven from Mecca 

IB Prince of Medina 



His ddenuve Wars against the Kmeish at Mecca 

Ms Battle of Bedec 

[6is]OfOhud 

<^S [^^] T^^ Nations, or the Ditch 

6a3-fia7. Mahomet subdues the JewaofAraUa 

639 Sobmission of Mecca 

S39-033. Conquest of AtaMa 

B39, 631^ First War of the Mahometans against the fi 

632 Death of Mahomet 

His Character , 

Private life of Mataoniel 

HUWivea 

And Children 

Character f>f All 

a Reign of Abobdeet 



m. 



DJacard of the Turks and Persians 

65J Death of Othman 

^5-660. ReimofAI) 

855,01661-680. Rdgn of Moawiyafa 

No DeMhefHosehi 

Posterity of MaliomBt and Ali 

Soccesi of Mahomet 

Permanency of hia Religion 
His Merit towards his Country 



CHAPTER LI 
■Ti*CtmqKtil of Ptnia, Syria, Bgypi, Africa, and Sfain, 
SaraetHj — Empire ofau CaUpu, or SvcMuars ofuaJio 
"• ■ ■■-■- ' undMTtl ■ ■* 



Oiriitians, Src., 1 



V thrir GovtTMHtiU 



Cononesla 
ionof PSMU 
O36 Battle Of Cttlesia 



CONTENTS 



6]7 Sack ol Madayn 

Foundation of Cufa 

637-651. Conquest of Pcrda 
651 Death of tlie last King 
710 The Conquest orTramoxiana 

632 Invasion of SvHiA 

Siege of Bona 

633 „ of DanuMcm 

633 Battle of Aiznadin 

The Arabs leturn to .__ 

6i^ The City is taken by Sunn ■nd Capitulation 

Pursuit of the Damascenes ^30 

Fail of Abyla ... ... 438 

635 Sieges of Hdiopolisand EmeM 430 

636 [634] Battle of Ycrmuk 431 

637 Conquest of Jenisalem 434 

63B .. of Aleppo ajidAnttocb 437 

Flight ol Heracli us 439 

End of the Syrian Wai 440 

633-639. The Conqueiois of S}^ 441 

^39-^55' Progress of the Syrian Cotiquerors 44a 

EiiVPT. Charactciand Lifeof AniTon 444 

638 Invasion of Egypt 445 

The Cities of Memphis, Babylon, and Cairo 446 

Volantaiy Submission of the Copts or Jacobites 448 

Sie^e and Conquest of Alexandfia 430 

The Alexandrian Library 45a 

Adniinistiaiian of Egypt 45J 

Riches »nd Populotisness 456 

647 Afxica. First invasion by Abdallab 451} 

The PriliMt Gregcny and hia Daughter 460 

Victory oflhc Arabs 461 

665-689. Progress of Ihe Saracens in Africa 4C] 

670-675. Foundation of Cairoan 466 

(Qi-actS. Conouest ofCaithage 468 

6^709. Final Conquest of Africa 46g 

Adoption oftfae Moors 471 

709 Spain. First Temptations and Designs of the AralM 471 

State of the Gothic Monarchy 473 

710 The first Descent of the Arabs 474 

711 Their second Descent and Victory 475 

Ruin of the Gothic Monarchy 477 

71a, 713. Conquest of Spain by Musa 479 

714 Disgrace of Musa 48a 

FriMperity of Spain under the Arabi 4S4 

Religious Toleration 480 

Propagation of Mahomeiism 486 

Fall of the .Magians of Persia 4«7 

749 Decline and Fall of Christianity tn Africa 489 

1149 And Spain 490 

TolenoitMoftbeChiiMiani .- 491 

cCittphs.- ._ 493 



THE HISTORY 

OF THS 

DECIjINE and fall op the ROMAN EMPIRE 

CHAPTER XLV 

Ragn of ike Yowwer Jtutin — Embassy of ike Avars — Their SeUle- 
ment on the Danube — Conquest of Italy by the Lombards — 
Adoption and Reign of Tioerius — of Maurice — Slate of Italy 
under the Lombards and the Exarchs of Ravenna — Distress 
of Rome — Character and Pontificate of Gregory the First 

During the last yean of Justinian, his infirm mind was devoted ommi or 
to heavenly contemplation, and he neglected the business ofjUSm^ 
the lower world. His subjects were impatient of the long"*^' 
continuance of his life and reign ; yet all wno were capable of 
reflection apprehended the moment of his death, which might 
myolve the capital in tumult and the empire in civil war. 
Seven nephews ^ of the childless monarch, the sons or grand- 
sons of his brother and sister, had been educated in the 
splendour of a princely fortune ; they had been shewn in high 
eommands to the provinces and armies ; their characters were 
known, their followers were zealous ; and, as the jealousy of 
tge postponed the declaration of a successor, they might expect 
with equal hopes the inheritance of their uncle. He expired 
in his palace after a reign of thirty-eight years ; and the deci- 
Bve opportnnity was embraced by the ftiends of Justin, the son 
of Vigilaentia.' At the hour of midnight his domestics were 



^ See tbe CamiW of Justiftaod Justinian in the Familiae Bjrzantinae of Dnoan^ 
pi B9- [OX. The oevout ciTilians, iLudewig (in Vit Justinian, p. 131 ) and Heineccius 
iRisL Joris Roman, p^ 374), have since illustrated the genealogy of their favourite 



* In the story of Tustin's elevation I have translated into simple and concise 

prcK the eigfat bunared verses of the two first books of Corippus* de Laudibus 
.^-. ^^ ,., . -* . [See Appendix I. For 

6057 (a false reading — 
Rom., ad ann.).] 

vol*. V. 1 




2 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

awakened by an importunate crowd, who thundered at his 
door, and obtained admittance by revealing themselves to be 
the principal members of the senate. These welcome deputies 
announced the recent and momentous secret of the emperor's 
decease ; reported, or perhaps invented, his dying choice of the 
best beloved and most deserving of his nephews ; and conjured 
Justin to prevent the disorders of the multitude, if they should 
perceive, with the return of light, that they were left with- 
out a master. After composing his countenance to surprise, 
sorrow, and decent modesty, Justin, by the advice of his wife 
Sophia, submitted to the authority of the senate. He was 
conducted with speed and silence to the palace ; the guards 
saluted their new sovereign ; and the martial and religious rites 
of his coronation were diligently accomplished. By the hands 
of the proper officers he was invested with the Imperial 
sarments, tiie red buskins, white tunic, and purple robe. A 
rortunate soldier, whom he instantly promoted to the rank of 
tribune, encircled his neck with a military collar ; four robust 
youths exalted him on a shield ; he stood firm and erect to 
receive the adoration of his subjects; and their choice was 
sanctified by the benediction of the patriarch, who imposed the 
^ diadem on the head of an orthodox prince. The hippodrome 
Ija^ was already filled with innumerable multitudes ; and no sooner 
ii^M^^did the emperor appear on his throne than the voices of the 
blue and the green Actions were confounded in the same loyal 
acclamations. In the speeches which Justin addressed * to the 
senate and people, he promised to correct the abuses which 
had disgraced the age of his predecessor, displayed the maxims 
Mwg- of a just and beneficent ffovemment, and declared that, on the 
approaching calends of January,' he would revive in his own 
person the name and liberality of a Roman consuL The im- 
mediate discharge of his uncle's debts exhibited a solid pledge 
of his fiatith and generosity : a train of porters laden with bags 
of gold advanced into the midst of the hippodrome, and the 
hopeless creditors of Justinian accepted this equitable payment 
as a voluntary gift. Before the end of three years his example 
was imitated and surpassed by the empress Sophia, who de- 
livered many indigent citizens from the weight of debt and \ 
usury : an act of benevolence the best entitled to gratitude, 

' It is surprising how Pagi (Critica in Annal. Baron, torn, il p. 639) could be 'i 

tempted by any chronicles to contradict the plain and decisive text of Corippus >\ 

(vicina dona, L ii. 354, vidna dies, L iv. i.), and to postpone, till A.D. 567, tha \ 

consulship ofJustiiL ^ 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIRE 8 

since it relieves the most intolerable distress ; but in which 
the bounty of a prince is the most liable to be abused by the 
claims of prodigality and fi»ud.^ 

On the seventh day of his reign, Justin gave audience to the 
ambassadors of the Avars, and the scene was decorated to im- ajiTm 
press the barbarians with astonishment, veneration, and terror. 
Fron& the palace gate, the spacious courts and long porticoes 
were lined with the lofty crests and gilt bucklers of the guards, 
who presented their spears and axes with more confidence than 
they would have shewn in a field of battle. The officers who 
exerciaed the power, or attended the person, of the prince were 
attired in their richest habits and arranged according to the 
military and civil order of the hierarchy. When the veil of the pmv. m] 
sanctuary was withdrawn, the ambassadors beheld the emperor 
of the East on his throne, beneath a canopy or dome, which 
was supported by four columns and crowned with a winged 
figure of victory. In the first emotions of surprise, they sub- 
mitted to the servile adoration of the Byzantine court ; but, as 
soon as they rose from the ground, Targetius,^ the chief of the 
embassy, exjuressed the freedom and pride of a barbarian. He 
extolled, by the tongue of his interpreter, the greatness of the 
chagan, by whose clemency the kingdoms of the South were 
permitted to exist, whose victorious subjects had traversed the 
firoaen rivers of Scjrthia, and who now covered the banks of 
the Danube with innumerable tents.^ The late emperor had 
cultivated, with annual and costly gifts, the friendship of a 
gmtefiil monarch, and the enemies of Rome had respected the 
allies of the Avars. The same prudence would instruct the 
nephew of Justinian to imitate the liberality of his uncle, and 
to purchase the blessings of peace from an invincible people, 
who delighted and exceUed in the exercise of war. The reply 
of the emperor was delivered in the same strain of haughty 
defiance, and he derived his confidence from the God of the 
Christians, the ancient glory of Rome, and the recent triumphs 
of Justinian. ''The empire," said he, '' abounds with men and 
hones, and arms sufficient to defend our frontiers and to chastise 
the barbarians. You offer aid, you threaten hostilities: we 

^ * Tbeophan. Chronograph, p. 905 [ad ann. 6059 ; the date is a year wrong ; 
I Ke hst oocie]. Whenever Cedrenus or Zonaras are mere transcribers, it is super- 
( ftoons to allqpB their testimony. 

> [Ti^rMf and Tc^fiiff in Menander» fr. 38 ; but Tergasis in Corippus, iii 

* [Cpi Appends a.] 



4 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

despise your enmity and your aid. The conquerors of the Avars 
solicit our alliance : shall we dread their fugitives and exiles ? ^ 
The bounty of our uncle was granted to your misery, to your 
humble prayers. From us you shall receive a more important 
obligation, the knowledge of your own weakness. Rf^tire firom 
oar presence ; the lives of ambassadors are safe ; and, if you 
return to implore our pardon, perhaps you will taste of our 
benevolence." ^ On the report of his ambassadors^ the chagan 
was awed by the apparent firmness of a Roman emperor, of 
whose character and resources he was ignorant. Instead of 
executing his threats against the eastern empire, he marched 
into the poor and savage countries of Germany, which were 
subject to the dominion of the Franks. After two doubtful 
battles he consented to retire, and the Austrasian king relieved 
the distress of his camp with an immediate supply of com and 
cattle.^ Such repeated disappointments had diilled the spirit 
of the Avars, and their power would have dissolved away in the 
Sarmatian desert, if the alliance of Alboin, king of the Lombards, 
had not given a new object to their arms, and a lasting settle- 
ment to their wearied fortunes. 

While Alboin served under his &ther's standard, he en- 
countered in battle, and transpierced with his lance, the rii^ 
prince of the GepidsB. The Lombards, who applauded such 
early prowess, requested his father with unanimous 



7 CorippuB, I. iii. 39a The unquettionable sense relates to the Turks, the 
conquerors of the Avars ; but the word scultor has no apparent meaning, and the 
sole Ms. of Corippus, from whence the first edition (1581, apud Plantin) was 
printed, is no longer visible. The last editor, Fogginl of Rome, has inserted 
the conjectural emendation of soUan ; but the proofs of Duoapoe ( Joinville, Dissert. 
xvL p. 238-240) for the earhr use of this title among the Tones and Persians are < 
weak or ambiguous. And I must incline to the aothority of d'Herbdot (B3>Iio' 
tUque Orient p. 825), who aaeribes the word to tlie Arabic and Chaldean tongues, 
and the date to the beginning of the xith century, when it was bestowed b£the 
caliph of Bagdad on Mahmud, prince of Gazna and oont^ueror of India. fThis 
lodgment on Poggini's conjecture is sound, though sulUtn is wad bjr P^rtKh, the ^ 
ktaft editor. It is doubtful whether the lines do refer to the Turks.] \ 

9 For these characteristic speecbes, compare the verse of Corippua(L iiL aji* 1 

4Di) with the prose of Menander (Excerpt Legation, p. zoo, 103 [fr. 28, in F. H. G., l 

hr.];. Their diversity proves that they cud not oopy each other ; their resemblance ^ 

tbat they drew from a common originaL [John 01 Ephesns says thAt JditiB catted ^ 

the Avar envoys dogs, and threatened to cut off their hair and then tbeir heads ; . 

vi.a4-] 

* For the Austrasian war, see Menander (Excerpt Legat p. iioffr. 14, F. H. G., 
iv. p. 2x9]), Gregory of Tours (Hist Frana L iv. c 29), and Paul the ueaoon (de * 
Gest. Langobard. 1. il c. zo). FThis passage in Paul refers to thejfrs/ invasion 
of the Merovingian dominions or the Avars, whkh took place in A.D. 562. and is 

recordeA \yf Gregory in iv. 23. The date of the second invasion, recorded by "■ 

Oregory in iv. 29 and by Menander, is probably A.D. 566.] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 6 

tbat the heroic youth, who had ahared the dangers of the fi^ld, 
might be admitted to the feast of victory. "You are not un- 
mindful/' replied the inflexible Audoin, ''of the wise customs 
of our anoestofs. Whatever may be his merit, a prince is incap- 
able of sitting at table with his &ther till he has received his arms 
from a foreign and royal hand." Alboin bowed with reverence 
to the institutions of his countryy selected forty companions, and 
boldly visited the court <^ Turisund king of the Gepidse, who 
embmced and entertained, according to the laws of hospitality, 
the murderer of his son. At the banquet, whilst Alboin oc- 
cupied the seat of the youth whom he had slaan, a tender 
lemembmnce arose in tlui mind of TurisumL " How dear is 
that place-^how hateful is that person ! " were the words that 
escaped, with a sigh, from the indignant &ther. His grief 
exaspeimted the national resentment of the Gepidce; and 
Cunioiondy his surviving son, was provoked by wine, or fraternal 
ifection, to the desire of vengeance. ''The Lombards/' said 
the mde barbarian, " resemble, in figure and in smell, the mares 
of our Sannatian plains." And this insult was a coarse allusion 
to the white bands which enveloped their legs. *' Add another 
resemUanoe," replied an audacious Lombard ; "you have felt how 
stvongiy they kick. Visit the plain of Asfeld, and seek for the 
bones of thy brother ; they are mingled with those of the vilest 
soimels." The Gepidei, a nation of warriors, started from their 
seatSi and the fearless Alboin, with his forty companions, laid 
th^r hands on their swords. The tumult was appeased by the 
venerable interposition of Turisund. He saved his OMm honour, 
and the life of his guest ; and, after the solemn rites of in- 
fcstitnre, dismissed the stranger in the bloody arms of his son, 
the 1^ of a weeping parent Alboin returned in triumph ; and 
the Lombards, who celebrated his matchless intrepidity, were 
eompelled to praise the virtues of an enemy.^ In this extra- 
ordinary visit he had probably seen the daughter of Cunimund, 
who soon after ascended the throne of the Gepidse. Her name 
was Rosamond, an appellation expressire of female beauty, and 
which our own history or romance has oonsecrated to amorous 
tales. The king of the Lombards (the &ther of Alboin no 
loiter lived) was ccmtracted to the grand-daughter of Clovis ; 
but the restraints of fidth and poUcy soon yielded to the hope 

M Panl Warnelnd, the deacon of Friuli. de Gest. Langobard. L i. c. 33, 04. 
His pictum of oatiofMd umxamn, tbouKfa rudely sketched, are mote ^ML^ vdAl 
biihftil than those of 6eda or Ongory oi Touts. 



6 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

of poflsessing the &ir Rosamond, and of insulting her feimily and 
nation. The arts of persuasion were tried without success ; and 
the impatient lover, by force and stratagem, obtained the object 
of his desires. War was the consequence which he foresaw and 
solicited; but the Lombards could not long withstand the 
furious assault of the Gepidse, who were sustained by a Roman 
army. And, as the offer of marriage was rejected with contempt, 
Alboin was compelled to relinquish his prey, and to partake of 
the disgrace which he had inflicted on the house of Cunimund.^^ 
When a pubhc quarrel is envenomed by private injuries, a 
t^^ blow that is not mortal or decisive can be productive only of a 
boiof short truce, which allovrs the unsuccessful combatant to sharpen 
u8i his arms for a new encounter. The strength of Alboin had been 
found unequal to the gratification of his love, ambition, and 
revenge ; he condescended to implore the formidable aid of the 
chagan ; and the arguments that he employed are expressive of 
the art and policy of the barbarians. In the attack of the 
Gepidce he had been prompted by the just desire of extirpating 
a people whom their alliance with the Roman empire had 
rendered the common enemies of the nations and the personal 
adversaries of the chagan. If the forces of the Avars and the 
Lombards should unite in this glorious quarrel, the victory was 
secure, and the reward inestimable : the Danube, the Hebrus, 
Italy, and Constantinople would be exposed, without a barrier, 
to tneir invincible arms. But, if they hesitated or delayed to 
prevent the malice of the Romans, the same spirit which had 
insulted, would pursue the Avars to the extremity of the earth. 
These specious reasons were heard by the chagan with coldness 
and disdain; he detained the Ixmibard ambassadors in his 
camp, protracted the negotiation, and by turns alleged his 
want of inclination, or his want of ability, to undertake this 
important enterprise. At length he signified the ultimate price 
of his alliance, that the Lombards should immediately present 
him with the tithe of their cattle ; that the spoils and captives 
should be equally divided ; but that the lands of the Gepid« 
should become the sole patrimony of the Avars. Such hard 
conditions were eagerly accepted by the passions of Alboin ; 
and, as the Romans were dissatisfied with the ingratitude and 
perfidy of the Gepids, Justin abandoned that incorrigible people 
to their fiite, and remained the tranquil spectator of this un- 

'^ The storv is told by an impostor (Tbeophylact. SimooaU 1. vi. c xo) ; but he 
Juul art etuMiga to buiJd bis fictions on public and notorious facts. 



i 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIKE 7 

equal conflict.^' The despair of Cimimund was active and 
dangerous. He was informed that the Avars had entered his 
confines ; but on the strong assurance that, after the defeat of 
the Lombards, these foreign invaders would easily be repelled, 
he rushed forwards to encounter the implacable enemy of his 
name and fiumly. But the courage of the Gepidae could secure 
them no more than an honourable death. The bravest of the 
nation fell in the field of battle ; the king of the Lombards 
contemplated with delight the head of Cunimund, and his skull 
was fiuhioned into a cup to satiate the hatred of the conqueror, 
or, perhaps, to comply with the savage custom of his country.^^ 
After this victory no farther obstacle could impede the progress 
of the confederates, and they fiuthfuUy executed the terms of 
their agreement. ^^ The fiur countries of Walachia, Moldavia, 
Transjlvaniay and the parts of Hungary beyond the Danube, 
were occupied, without resistance, by a new colony of Scythians; 
and the Dadan empire of the chagans subsisted with splendour 
above two hundred and thirty years. ^^ The nation of the 
Gepidse was dissolved ; but, in the distribution of the captives, 
the slaves of the Avars were less fortunate than the companions 
of the Lombards, whose generosity adopted a valiant foe, and 
whose freedom was incompatible with cool and deliberate 
tyranny. One moiety of the spoil introduced into the camp of 
Alboin more wealth than a barbarian could readily compute. 
Hie fair Rosamond was persuaded or compelled to acknowledge 
the rights of her victorious lover ; and the daughter of Cuni- 
mund appeared to forgive those crimes which might be imputed 
to her own irresistible charms. 

The destruction of a mighty kingdom established the faxae Aiboim mad 
of Alboin. In the days of Charlemagne, the Bavarians, the flSSS^Jta 
Saxons, and the other tribes of the Teutonic language, still ^""^ 
repeated the songs which described the heroic virtues, the 

^ [Tbe negotiations becween Avars and Lombards, described by Menander, fr. 
24axKl 95 (F. H. G. hr. p. ajo), belong to A.d. 566 at earliest, and most probably ; 
aie destruction of the G^idae is most naturally placed in 567. ] 

" It appears from Strabo. Pliny, and Ammianus Marcellinus that tbe same 
practice was common among the Scythian tribes (Muratori, Scriptores Rer. Italic, 
torn. i. p. 424). Tbe scaifs of North America are likewise trophies of valour. 
Tbe skuU of Cunimund was preserved above two himdred years among the 
Lombards; and Paul himself was one of the guests to whom duke Katchis 
edttbiied this cup on a high festival (L it c. 38). H^he same barbarity was practised 
by the Bulgarians. The skull of the Emperor Nicephorus I. was made into a cup 
bf the Bol^^tfian sovran Crum. Sec below, c Iv. ] 

^ Puil« L L & 97. Menander, in Excerpt. Legat. p. no, in [ioc, cit.}, 

>*[See Appendix a.J 



8 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

valour, liber&lity, and fortune of the king of the Lombards.^^ 
But his ambition was yet unsatisfied, and the conqueror of the 
Gepidffi turned his eyes from the Danube to the richer banks of 
the Po and the Tiber. Fifteen years had not elapsed since 
his subjects, the confederates of Narses, had visited the pleasant 
climate of Italy ; the mountains, the rivers, the highways, were 
fiuniliar to their memory ; the report of their success, perhaps 
the view of their spoils, had kindled in the rising generation 
the flame of emulation and enterprise. Their hopes were en- 
couraged by the spirit and eloquence of Alboin ; and it is 
affirmed that he spoke to their senses by producing, at the 
royal feast, the fidrest and most exquisite fruits that grew 
spontaneously in the garden of the world. No sooner had he 
erected his standard than the native strength of the Lombards 
was multiplied by the adventurous youth of Germany and 
Sc3rthia. The robust peasantry of Noricum and Pannonia had 
resumed the manners of barbarians ; and the names of the 
Grepide, Bulgarians, Sarmatians, and Bavarians, may be dis- 
tinctly traced in the provmces of Italy.^^ Of the Saxons, the 
old allies of the Lx>mbards, twenty thousand warriors, with 
their wives and children, accepted the invitation of Alboin. 
Their bravery contributed to his success ; but the accession or 
the absence of their numbers was not sensibly felt in the 
magmtude of his host. Every mode of religion was freely 
practised by its respective votaries. The king of the Lombards 
had been educated in the Arian heresy ; but the Catholics, m 
their public worship, were allowed to pray for his conversion ; 
while the more stubborn barbarians sacrificed a she-goat, or 
perhaps a captive, to the gods of their fitthers.^^ The Lombards 
and their confederates were united by their common attachment 

10 Ut hactenus etiam tam apud Bajoariorum gentem, quam et Saxontim aed et 
alios ehisdem linguae homines . , . in eorum carminibus celebretur. Paul. L i. c. 
97. He died A.d. 799 (Muratori. in Praefat. tonL i. p. ^). These German 
songs, some of iidiicfa might be as old as Tadtus (de Monbus Germ. c.|s), were 
compiled and tranacribed by Charlemagne. Barbara et antiquissima carmina, 
onibus veterum regum actus et bella canebantur scripsit memoriaeaue mandavit 
(Eginhard, in Vit. Carol. Magn. c 99, p. i^o, 131). The poems, wnich Goldast 
commends (Animadvers. nd Eginhaid. p. 207), appear to be recent and con- 
temptible romances. 

" The other nations are rehearsed by Paul (L ii. c. 6, 96). Muratori (AntichitA 
Italiane, torn. 1. dissert. I p. 4) has discovered the village of the Bavarians, three 
n^es from Modena. 

'" Gregory the Roman (Dialog. 1. iii. c. 27, a8. apud Baron. AnnaL Eccles. 
A.D. 579, No. xo) supposes that they likewise adored this she-goat. 1 know but of 
one migkm in which the god and the victim are the &ame» 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 



9 



to a chief, who excelled in all the virtues and vices of a savage 
hero ; and the vigilance of Alboin provided an ample magasine 
of offensive and defensive arms for the use of the expedition. 
The portable wealth of the Lombards attended the march ; 
their lands they cheerfully relinquished to the Avars, on the 
solemn promise, which was made and accepted without a smile, 
that, if they fidled in the conquest of Italy, these voluntary 
exiles should be reinstated in their former possessions. 

They might have fiuled, if Narses had been the antagonist of 
the JLombards ; and the veteran warriors, the associates of his m 
Gothic victory, would have encountered with reluctance an 
enemy whom they dreaded and esteemed. But the weakness 
of the Byiantine court was subservient to the barbarian cause ; 
and it was for the niin of Italy that the emperor once listened 
to the complaints of his subjects. The virtues of Narses were 
stained with avarice ; and in his provincial reign of fifteen years 
he accnmnlated a treasure of gold and silver which surpassed 
the modesty of a private fortune. His government was op- 
presnve or unpopular, and the general discontent was expressed 
with fireedom by the deputies of Rome. Before the throne of 
Justin they boldly declared that their Gothic servitude had been 
moire tolerable than the despotism of a Greek eunuch ; and 
that, unless their tyrant were instantly removed, they would 
eonsult their ovm happiness in the choice of a master. The 
apprehension of a revolt was urged by the voice of envy and 
detrmctum, which had so recently triumphed over the merit of 
Belisarius. A new exarch,^* Longinus, was appointed to super- 
sede the conquenv of Italy, and the base motives of his recall 
were revealed in the insultijog mandate of the empress Sophia, 
** that he should leave to men the exercise of arms, and return 
to his proper station among the maidens of the palace, where a 
distaff ahcnild be again placed in the hand of the eunuch". " I 
will spin her such a thiead, as she shall not easily unravel ! " is 
nid to have been the reply which indignation and conscious 
firtue extorted from the hero. Instead of attending, a slave 
and a victim, at the gate of the Byzantine palace, he retired to 
Naples, from whence (if any credit is due to the belief of the 
times) Narses invited tne Lombards to chastise the ingratitude 
of the prince and people.^ But the passions of the people are 

[Tbcre is some doubc whether Longinus bore this title. The first governor 
xnainljr was '* exaixh *' is Smaragdus, the successor of Longinus, A.D. 585. J 



«add«fttii( 



* Tim cfaaive off the rteanon against Narses (1. iL c. O may be groandles& \ \xli 
Ae weak apoiosycff the cardiiial (Baron. Aonai. £ccka. A.D. 5671 No. ViqiV>& 



10 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

furious and changeable, and the Romans soon recollected the 
merits, or dreaded the resentment, of their victorious general. 
By the mediation of the pope, who undertook a special pilgrim- 
age to Naples, their repentance was accepted; and Narses, 
assuming a milder aspect and a more dutiful language, consented 
to fix h£ residence in the CapitoL His death,^^ though in the 
extreme period of old age, was unseasonable and premature, 
since his genius alone could have repaired the last and &tal 
error of his life. The reality, or the suspicion, of a conspiracy 
disarmed and disunited the Italians. The soldiers resented the 
disgrace, and bewailed the loss, of their generaL They were 
ignorant of their new exarch; and Lmiginus was himself 
ign(»ant of the state of the army and the province. In the 
preceding years Italy had been desolated by pestilence and 
nunine, and a disaffected people ascribed the calamities of 
nature to the guilt or folly of their rulers.^ 

Whatever might be the grounds of his security, Alboin neither 
r^ expected nor encountered a Roman army in the field. He as- 
Mi» cended the Julian Alps, and looked down with contempt and 
desire on the firuitful plains to which his victonr communicated 
the perpetual appellation of Lombardy. A uiithful chieftain 
and a select band were stationed at Forum Julii, the modem 
Friuli, to guard the passes of the mountains. The Lombards 

rejected by the best critics — Pftgi (torn. ii. p. 639, 640), Muratori (Annali d'ltalia, 
torn. V. p. 160-163), and the last editors, Horatius Blancus (Script Remm Italic, 
torn. i. p. 437, 428) and Philip Argelatus (Sigon. Opera, torn. ii. p. 11, zs). The 
Narses who assisted at the coronation 01 Justin ^Corippus, L iii. 221) is clearly 
understood to be a different person. [The only evidence, desenring consideration, 
for the cham against Narses consists in : (a) the statement of the bioerapher of 
Pope John III. (Lib. Pontif. Ixiii.), who wrote, as the Abb6 Duchesne nas estab- 
lished, c. 580-590. A.D. : the statement of Paul the Deacon, cited above, is copied 
from this biography; (/s) the statement of Isidore of Seville (Chron. 409. ed. 
Mommsen in Chron. Min. ii p. 476). This evidence does not establish a presump- 
tion of his guilt, but shows that very soon after the event it was generally bdievtod 
that he was in collusion with the invaders. The story of the dis^ff appears in an 
earlier writer than Paul, namely " Fredegarius " (3. 6^), who makes Sophia send 
Narses a golden distaff. So Euelthon, King of CYpnan Salamis, gave a distaft 
and wool to Pheretime of Cyrene, when she asked mm for an army (Herodotus, 4, 
160). And we shall presently see the same symbol used for insult by a Per^an 
prince (below, p. 46).] 

^ The death of Narses is mentioned by Paul, L ii c. iz ; Anastas. in Vit. Johan. 
lit p. 43 ; Agnellus. Liber Pontifical. Raven, in Script Rer. Italicarum, tom. ii. 
part I, p. 114, 124. Yet I cannot believe with AgneUus that Narses was ninety- 
nve yesLTS of age. Is it iHX>bable that all his exploits were performed at four- 
score? 

^ The designs of Narses and of the Lombards for the invasion of Italy are 
exposed in the last chapter of the first book, and the seven first chapters of the 
second book, of Paul the Deacon. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 11 

respected the strength of Pavia, and listened to the prayers ot 
the Trevisans ; their slow and heavy multitudes proceeded to 
occupy the palace and city of Verona ; and Milan, now rising 
from her ashes, was invested hy the powers of Alboin five 
months after his departure from Pannonia. Terror preceded 
his march ; he found ever3rwhere, or he left, a dreary solitude ; 
snd the pusillanimous Italians presumed, without a trial, that 
the stranger was invincible. Escaping to lakes, or rocks, or 
iiiorassesy the afirighted crowds concealed some fragments of 
their wealth, and delayed the moment of their servitude. 
Fsnlinus, the patriarch of Aquileia, removed his treasures, [a.s.ibi^' 
sacred and profime, to the isle of Grado,^ and his successors ca.d. m\ 
were adopted by the in&nt republic of Venice, which was con- 
tinually enriched by the public calamities. Honoratus, who 
filled the chair of St. Ambrose, had credulously accepted the 
fidthless offers of a capitulation ; and the archbishop, with the 
clergy and nobles of Milan, were driven by the perfidy of 
Alboin to seek a refuge in the less accessible ramparts of 
Genoa. Along the maritime coast, the courage of the inhabi- 
tants was supported by the fruality of supply, the hopes of 
relief, and the power of escape ; but, from the Trentine hills to 
the gates of Ravenna and Rome, the inland regions of Italy 
became, without a battle or a siege, the lasting patrimony of 
the Lombards. The submission of the people invited the bar- 
barian to assume the character of a lawful sovereign, and the 
helpless exarch was confined to the office of announcing to the 
emperor Justin the rapid and irretrievable loss of his provinces 
and cities.^ One city, which had been diligently fortified by 
the Goths, resisted the arms of a new invader; and, while Italy 
was subdued by the flying detachments of the Lombards, the 
royal camp was fixed above three years before the western gate 
of Ticinum, or Pavia. The same courage which obtains the 
esteem of a civilised enemy provokes the fury of a savage, and 

B Which from this tnintlation was called the New Aquileia (Chron. Venet. p. 
3V The patriarch of Grado soon became the first citizen of the republic (p. 9, 
kc), but liis seat was not removed to Venice till the year 145a He is now deco- 
nted with titles and honours ; but the genius of the churdi has bowed to that of 
te stale, and the government of a catholic city is strictly presbyterian. Tbom- 
a»n. IHKipline de TEglise, torn. L p. 156, 157, 161-165. Amelot de la Houssaye, 
Gonvemement de Vtene, torn. i. p. 356-261. 

M Pan! has given a description of Italy, as it was then divided into eighteen 
leckms (L ii. & 14'M)- 1^ Dissertatio Chorographica de Italift Medii i£vi, by 
Fad»r Beretti. a Benedictine monk, and regius professor at Pavia. has been use- 
UJy ccmaoltrd. [For the more important description of George the Cypriote, 
Appendix 3.] 



12 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

the impatient besieger had bound himself by a tremendous 
oath that age, and sex, and dignity should be confounded in a 
general massacre. The aid of famine at length enabled him to 
execute his bloody vow ; but, as Alboin entered the gate, his 
horse stumbled, fell, and could not be raised frcmi the ground. 
One of his attendants was prompted by compassion, or piety, 
to interpret this miraculous sign of the wrath of Heaven ; the 
conqueror paused and relented ; he sheathed his sword, and, 
peacefully reposing himself in the palace of Theodoric, pro- 
claimed to the trembling multitude that they should live and 
obey. Delighted with the situation of a city which was en- 
deared to his pride by the difficulty of the purchase, the prince 
of the Lombards disdained the andent glories of Milan; and 
P^via, during some ages, was respected as the capital of the 
kingdom of Italy. ^ 

The reign of the founder was splendid and transient ; and, 
before he could regulate his new conquests, Alboin fell a sac- 
rifice to domestic treason and female revenge. In a palace 
near Verona, which had not been erected for the barbarians, 
he feasted the companions of his arms ; intoxication was the 
reward of valour, and the king himself was tempted by appetite, 
or vanity, to exceed the ordinary measure of his intemperance. 
After draining many capacious bowls of Rhs&tian or Falemian 
wine, he called for the skull of Cunimund, the noblest and 
most precious ornament of his sideboard. The cup of victmry 
was accepted with horrid applause by the circle of the Lombard 
chiefe. ''Fill it again with wine," exclaimed the inhuman con- 
qneror, '' fill it to uie brim ; carry this goblet to the queen, and 
request, in my name, that she would rejoice with her &ther.'' 
In an agony of grief and rage, Rosamond had strength to utter 
'* Let the will of my lord be obeyed I " and, touching it with her 
lips, pronounced a silent imprecation, that the insult should be 
washed away in the blood of Alboin. Some indulgence might 
be due to the resentment of a daughter, if she had not already 
violated the duties of a wife. Implacable in her enmity, or 
inconstant in her love, the queen of Italy had stooped from the 
throne to the arms of a subject, and Helmichis, the king's 
armour-bearer, was the secret minister of her pleasure and 

* For the conquest of Italy, see the original materials of Paul (1. ii. c. 7-10, 19, 
14, 95, 96, 97), the eloquent narrative of Sigonius (torn. ii. de Regno Italise, 1. i. p. 
13-19), and the correct and critical review of Muiatori (Annali d Italia, torn. v. p. 
164-180)1 [A chronological summary of the Lombard conquest b added m 
Appendix 3!] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 13 

revenge. Agminst the proposal of the murder, he could no 
knger lurge the temples of fidelity or gratitude ; but Helmichis 
trembled, when he revolved the danger as well as the guilt, 
when he reooUeeted the matchless strength and intrepidity of a 
wanior whom he had so often attended in the field of battle. 
He proflsed, and obtained, that one of the bravest champions of 
die Lombards should be associated to the enterprise, but no 
more than a promise of secrecy could be drawn from the gallant 
Peredeus ; and the mode of seduction employed by Rosamond 
betrays her shameless insensibility both to honour and love. 
She summed the place of one of her female attendants who was 
belovea by Pferedeos, and contrived some excuse for darkness 
and silence, tiU she could inform her companion that he had 
enjoyed the queen of the Lombards, and that his own deaths or 
the death of Alboin, must be the consequence of such treason- 
able adoltery. In this alternative, he chose rather to be the 
acoompUoe than the victim of Rosamond,^ whose undaunted 
spirit was incapable of fear or remorse. She expecte4 and soon 
fiMmd a fiivourable moment, when the king oppressed with wine 
had retired from the table to his afternoon slumbers. His &ith- 
leas spouse was anxious for his health and repose ; the gates of 
the palace were shut, the arms removed, the attendants dis- 
misBed; and Rosamond, after lulling him to rest by her tender 
c are s ses , unbolted the chamber-door, and urged the reluctant 
eimsjpimUm to the instant execution of the deed. On the first 
alarm, the warrior started from his couch ; his sword, which he 
Bttenfpted to draw, had been fiutened to the scabbard by the 
hand of Resartiond ; and a small stool, his only weapon, could 
not Icng protect him fixmi the spears of the assassins. The 
daughter of Cunhnund smiled in his frill ; his body was buried 
under the staircase of the palace ; and the grateful posterity of 
the Lomhirds revered the tomb and the memory of their vic- 
torious faider. 

Hie ambitioiis Rosamond aspired to reign in the name of hCTSy^m 
lover ; the d^ and palace of Verona were awed by her power ; 
and a fiuthfnl band of her native Gepidse was prepared to 
applaud the revenge, and to second the wishes, of their sove- 
Tcign. Bat the Lombsrd chiefr, who fied in the first moments 

» The rtawiml reader will recollect the wife and murder of Candaules, so 
apeeaUf told in tlie first book of Herodotus. The choice of Oyges. alpdrrai avrht 
nptnmmt, majTierve as the etcuse of Peredeus; and this soft insinuation of an 
odioBS idea has been imitated by the best writers of antiquity (Qraevius, ad Cioeroo. 
OmL pro MUSite, c. so)i 



14 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

of conBtem&tion and disorder, had resumed their courage and 
collected their powers ; and the nation, instead of lubmitting 
to herreign, demanded, with uiuuiimoiiB cries, that justice should 
be executed on the guilty spouse and the murderers of their 
king. She sought a refuge among the enemies of her cotmtty, 
and a criminal who deterred the abhorrence of manlrinH was 
protected by the selfish policy of the exarch. With her daughter, 
the heiress of the Lombard throne, her two lovers, her trusty 
Gepidn, and the spoils of the palace of Verona, Roeamond 
descended the Adige and the Po, and was transported by a 
Greek vessel to the safe harbour of Ravenna. Longinua beheld 
with delight the chamM and the treasures of the widow of 
Alboin ; her situation and her past conduct might justify the 
moat licentious proposals; and she readily listened to the 
passion of a minister, who, even in the decline of the emjure, 
was respected as the equal of kings. The death of a jealous 
lover was an easy and grateful sacrifice, and, as Helmichia issued 
from the bath, he received the deadly potion from the hand of 
his mistress. The taste of the liquor, its speedy operation, and 
his experience of the character of Rosamond, convinced him 
that he was poisoned : he pointed his dagger to her breasL 
compelled her to drain the remainder of the cup, and expired 
in a tew minutes, with the consolation that she could not survive 
to enjoy the fruits of her wickedness. The daughter of Alboin 
and Rosamond, with the richest spoils of the Lombards, was 
embarked for Constantinople ; the surprising strength of Pere- 
deus amused and terrified the Imperial court ; his blindness and 
revenge exhibited an imperfect copy of the adventures of Sam- 
< son. ^ the free suffi«ge of the nation, in the assembly of 
. Pavia, Clepho, one of their noblest chiefa, was elected as the 
successor of Alboin. Before the end of eighteen months, the 
throne was polluted 1^ a second murder ; Clepho was stabbed 
by the hand of a domestic; the ■'c^K^ office was suspended above 
ten years, during the minority of his son Autharis ; and Italy 
was divided and oppressed by a ducal aristocracy of thirty 
tyrants." 
( When the nephew of Justinian ascended the throne, he pro- 
' claimed a new sera of happiness and glory. The annals of the 
second Justin ^ are marked with disgrace abroad and misery at 

" See Ihe hiHoiy of Paul, L JL c. 38-33. I have bonawmd •ome inlenstiog 
drcunutuues from tbe Uber PontiAcoJis of Afodlu^ in Script. Rcr. Ital. torn. iZ 
p. 194- Of all chronolo^cal (uida Mumori 11 tiie nfot. 

** The ongitMl antbort tor tb« ralgn of JoRln tbe jrounfO' ue Evagiiu*, Hin 



OF THE EOMAN EMPIRE 16 

home. In the West, the Roman empire was afflicted by the 
k» of Italy, the desolation of Africa, and the conquests of the 
Peraians. Injustice prevailed both in the capital and the 
proviiuxs : the rich trembled for their property, the poor for 
their safety, the ordinary magistrates were ignorant or venal, 
the occasional remedies appear to have been arbitrary and 
Tiolent, and the oomnhiints of the people could no longer be 
silenced by the splendid names of a legislator and a conqueror. 
The ofrinion which imputes to the prince all the calamities of 
his tiines may be countenanced by the historian as a serious 
truth or a sahitaiy prejudice. Yet a candid suspicion will arise 
that the sentiments of Justin were pure and benevolent, and 
that he might have filled his station without reproach, if the 
Acuities of his mind had not been impaired by disease, which 
deprived the emperor of the use of his feet and confined him to 
the palace, a stranger to the complaints of the people and the 
vices of the government. The tardy knowledge of his own 
impotence determined him to lay down the weight of the 
diajdem ; and in the choice of a worthy substitute he shewed 
some symptoms of a discerning and even magnanimous spirit. 
The only son of Justin and Sophia died in his infiuicy ; their 
daughter Arabia was the wife of Baduarius,^ superintendent of 
the palace, and afterwards commander of the Italian armies, who 
vainly aspired to confirm the rights of marriage by those of 
adoption. While the empire appeared an object of desire, 
Justin was accustomed to behold with jealousy and hatred his 
brothers and cousins, the rivals of his hopes ; nor could he 
depend cm the gratitude of those who would accept the purple 
IS a restitution rather than a gift. Of these competitors, one 
had been removed by exile, and afterwards by death ; and the 
emperor himself had inflicted such cruel insults on another, that 

Eodes. L ▼. & I-I2 ; Theoplianes, in Chronograph, p. 204-210 ; Zonaras, torn. ii. 
L xir. pL 7072 ; Cedrenns, in Compend. p. 588-392. [A highly important source, 
oov acceaible, is the Ecclesiastical History of John of Ephesus, a contemporary. 
See Appendix X.] 

* Dispositorque novus sacrae Baduarius aulse. 
Successor soceri mox factus Cura palati 

Conppus [in L. J. , 2, 284-5]. 
lUduaiius is emmierated among the descendants and aUies of the house of Tus- 
taon. [Q>. John Bidar., ad ann. 576, ed. Mommsen (Chron. Min., vol 2), p. 
2x4.] A ftamly of noble Venetians (Casa Badoero) built churches and gave dukes 
u> the republic as early as the ninth century ; and, if their descent be admitted, no 
bogs in Europe can produce a pedigree so ancient and illustrious. Ducang^, 
Fam. E^zantin. p. 991 Amdot de la Houssaye, Gouvemement de V^nise, torn. n. 



16 THE DECLINE AND EAM. 

he must either dread his resentment or despise his yatjence. 
This domestic animosity was refined into a generous xesohitiaD 
of seeking a successor, not in his family, bat in the republic ; 
and the artful Sophia recommended Tiberius,^ his nithfiil 
captain of the guards, whose virtues and fortune the emperar 
ifttiaa might cherish as the fhiit of his judicious choice. The oeremony 
n!^ of his elevation to the rank of Csesar, or Augustus, was performed 
'^^ in the portico of the palace, m the presence of the patriarch 
and the senate. Justin collected the remaining strength of his 
mind and body, but the popular belief that his speech was 
inspired by the Deity betrays a very humble opinion both of the 
man and of the times.^^ *' You behold," said the emperor, ^ the 
ensigns of supreme power. You are about to receive them not 
fiiom my hand, but from the hand oi God. Honour them, and 
from them you will derive honour. Respect the empress your 
mother ; you are now her scm ; before, you were her servant. 
Delight not in blood, abstain from revenge, avoid those actions 
by which I have incurred the public hatied, and consult the 
experience rather than the example of jrour predecessor. As a 
man, I have sinned ; as a sinner, even in this life, I have been 
severely punished ; but these servants (and he pointed to his 
ministers), who have abused my confidence and inflamed my 
passions, will appear with me before the tribunal of Christ I 
have been d^msied by the splendour of the diadem : be thou 
wise and modest ; remember what you have been, remember 
what you are. You see around us your slaves and your children; 
with the authority, assume the tenderness, of a parent Love 
your people like yourself ; cultivate the affections, maintain the 
discipline, of the army ; protect the fortunes of the rich, relieve 
the necessities of the poor." ^ The assembly, in silence and in 
tears, applauded the counsels, and sympathised with the re- 
pentance, of their prince ; the patriarch rehearsed the prayers 

*^ The praise bestowed on princes before their elevation is the purest and most 
weijghty. Corippus has celebrated Tiberiiis at the time of the accession of Justin 
(L L ai9-322). Yet even a captain of the guards might attract the flattery of an 
African exile. 

*^ Evagrius (1. V. c. 13) has added the reproadi to Ms ministers. He applies 
this speeds to the ceremony when Tiberius was invested with the rank of Caesar. 
The loose expression, ratner than the positive error, of Theopbanes, &a has 
ddared it to his Augusttm investiture immediately before the death of Justin. 

« Theophylact Simocatta (L iil c. ix) declares that he shall give to posterity 
the speech ot Justin as it was pronounced, without attempting to correct the im- 
perfections of language or rhetoric. Perhaps the vain 8q>hist would have been 
mcapable of producing such sentiments. [John of Bphesns notes that scribes took 
down Justin's speech m ^orthand (iiL 4). Cp. Miduid the Syrian, Jounu Asiat 
1848. Oct. p. 996-7.] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 17 

of the ctmrdi ; Tiberius received the diadem on his knees, and 
Jortin, who bi his abdioation appeared most worthy to reign, 
addrened the new monareh in the following words : " If you 
ooDsenty I liye ; if yon command, I die ; may the Gvod of heaven 
sttd earth infiiae into your heart whatever I have neglected or 
for g o t t en ". The four last years of the emperor Justin were xjjj^g 
psHurd in tranquil obscurity; his conscience was no longer iuSi9ii^( 
tormented by the remembrance of those duties which he was 
incapaMe of discharging ; and his choice was justified by the 
filial reverance and gratitude of Tiberius. 

Among the virtues of Tiberius,'^ his beauty (he was one of the gjg*f , 
tallest and most comely of the Romans) might introduce him to j^^ 
the fisvoor of Sophia ; and the widow of Justin was persuaded SSFais. 
that she should preserve her station and influence under the 
xe^;n of a second and more youthful husband. But, if the 
ambitiacis candidate had been tempted to flatter and dissemble, 
it was no longer in his power to fulfil her expectations or his 
ramtse. The fiietions of the hippodrome demanded, with 
ini|iatienoe, the name oi their new empress ; both the 
people and Sophia were astonished bv the proclamation of 
Awasfssls, the secret though lawful wi& of the emperor Tibe- 
IUW.M Whatever could alleviate the disappointment of Sophia, 
Impel ia l honours, a stately palace, a numerous household, was 
hbemlly bestowed by the piety of her adopted son ; on solemn 
necasinM he attendcMl and consulted the widow of his bene£BM;- 
tor ; bat her ambition disdained the vain semblance of ro3ralty, 
and the respectful appellation of mother served to exasperate, 
atiKr than wpesse, the rage of an injured woman. While she 
aeoqitedy sod repaid with a courtly smile, the &ir expressions of 
legavd and «onfidenee, a secret alliance was concluded between 
the dowager emp res s and her ancient enemies ; and Justinian, 
tiie son m G^manns, was empkyyed as the instrument of her 
retenge. The pride of the reigning house supported, with re- 
'.f the dominion of a stranger ; the youth was deservedly 




* Par tfaediaracter and reigii of Tiberius, see Evagrios, L v. a 13 ; Theophy- 
Isct, L iiL c la, Ac. ; TbeophAiies, in Chron. p. 2104x3 ! Zonaraa, torn. ii. L xiv. 
Q. 73 fc III; Cedreaas, pL joa [l 688, ed. Bonni ; Paul Waraefrid, de Gestis 
LmgohanL L iiL c. zz, xsl The deacon of Forum Julii appears to have possessed 
WBe c uiiom nod aotfacatie fSuSs. 

*(Tbeon|nil]HnBB«f Anasiasiawulna (Aocxudingto Micfaad tbeSsFrian, 
***f-** oCHdena was fiven to ber by Soj^kua; loc. cU., p. 907.) The statement 
a Oe text vbicfa rests on the authority of Theophanes, implying that Sophia did 
aat know oC faoTs eriiteticetni after Justin's death, is inconsistent with SMbatMSft& od 
*e BsatsiapMiy, Jote of Efhrnm, ^7] 

VOL. V. 2 



18 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

popular ; his name^ after the death of Justin, had been men- 
tioned by a tumultuous fisMstion ; and his own submissive offer of 
his head^ with a treasure of sixty thousand pounds^ might be 
interpreted as an evidence of guilt, or at least of fear. Justinian 
received a free pardon, and the command of the eastern army. 
The Persian monarch fled before his arms; and the acclamations 
which accompanied his triumph declared him worthy of the 
purple. His artful patroness had chosen the month of the 
vintage, while the emperor^ in a rural solitude^ was permitted 
to enjoy the pleasures of a subject. On the first intelligence of 
her designs he returned to Constantinople, and the conspiracy 
was suppressed by his presence and firmness. From the pomp 
and honours which she had abused, Sophia was reduced to a 
modest allowance ; Tiberius dismissed her train, intercepted her 
correspondence, and committed to a fieiithful guard the custody 
of her person. But the services of Justinian were not con- 
sidered by that excellent prince as an aggravation of his offences ; 
after a mild reproof, his treason and ingratitude were fingiven ; 
and it was commonly believed that the emperor entertained 
some thoughts of contracting a double alliance with the rival of 
his throne. The voice of an angel (such a &ble was propa- 
gated) might reveal to the emperor that he should always 
triumph over his domestic foes ; but Tiberius derived a firmer 
assurance from the innocence and generosity of his 0¥m mind. 
With the odious name of Tiberius, he assiuned the more 
popular appellation of Constantine and imitated the purer vir- 
tues of the Antonines. After recording the vice or folly of so 
many Roman princes, it is pleasing to repose, lor a moment, 
on a character conspicuous by the qualities of humanity, justice, 
temperance, and fortitude ; to contemplate a sovereign affable 
in his palace, pious in the church, impartial on the seat of 
judgment, and victorious, at least by his generals, in the Persian 
war. The most glorious trophy of his victory consisted in a 
multitude of captives whom Tiberius entertained, redeemed, 
and dismissed to their native homes with the charitable spirit 
of a Christian hero. The merit or misfortunes of his own sub- 
jects had a dearer claim to his beneficence, and he measured his 
bounty not so much by their expectations as by his own dignity. 
This maxim, however dangerous in a trustee of the public 
wealth, was balanced by a principle of humanity and justice, 
which taught him to abhor, as of the basest alloy, the gold that 
was extracted from the tears of the people. For their relief, as 
often SB they had suffered by natund or hostile calamities, he 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 19 

was impatient to remit the arrears of the past, or the demands 
of fntnre taxes ; he sternly rejected the servile offerings of his 
ministers, which were compensated by tenfold oppression ; and 
the wise and equitable laws of Tiberius excited the praise and 
regret of succeeding times. Constantinople believed that the 
emperor had discovered a treasure ; but his genuine treasure 
consisted in the practice of liberal economy and the contempt ot 
all vain and superfluous expense.*^ The Romans of the East 
would have been happy, if the best gift of heaven, a patriot 
king, had been confirmed as a proper and permanent blessing. 
But in less than four years after the death of Justin, his worthy 
successor sunk into a mortal disease, which left him only 
sufficient time to restore the diadem, according to the tenure by 
which he held it, to the most deserving of his fellow-citisens. 
He selected Blaurice from the crowd, a judgment more precious 
than the purple itself ; the patriarch and senate were sunmioned 
to the bed of the djring prince ; he bestowed his daughter and 
the empire ; and his last advice was solemnly delivered by the 
voice of the qusstor. Tiberius expressed his hope that the 
virtues of his scm and successor would erect the noblest mau- 
scdenm to his memofy. His memory was embalmed by the 
public affliction ; but the most sincere ffrief evaporates in the 
tumult of a new reign, and the eyes and acclamations of man- 
kind were speedily diiected to the rising sun. 

The empoor Maurice derived his origin from ancient Rome ; ^ ^jj^^: 
bat his immediate parents were settled at Arabissus in ^PP^'Jf^^J 
docia, and their singular felicity preserved them alive to benold sr 
and partake the fortune of their augiut son. The youth of 
ICaurioe was spent in the profession of arms ; Tiberius promoted 
him to the command of a new and fisivourite legion of twelve 
thousand confederates ;*^ his valour and conduct were signalised 
m the Persian war ; and he returned to Constantinople to ac- 
cept, as his just reward, the inheritance of the empire. Maurice 

■ [Tins pcaiK is not desenred. On the oontrary, the capital fault of Tiberius 
as an admimitntor was Us redden expenditure ; for which his succenor, Maurice, 

■It is fhat t on singnlar enoogfa that Paul (L iiL c. 15) should distinguish him 
a Ae fiist Greek emperor— primus ex Graecorum genere in Imperio oonstitutus 
[Iq., eonfirmatos est> His immediate predecessors had indeed been bom in 
the Latin pnmnoes of Europe ; and a various reading, in Graeoomm Imperio, 
voakl a|iplf tbe ex pre ssi on to the empire rather than the prince. 

*[.^)^fa» ikousand, Theophanes, A.M. 6074 (Zonaras says Z3.ooo). It was a 
cores of fbscicn slaves (A yp ktu ««i|urra iBvutmv). Finlay compares it to the 
JuteriesL Manrioe held the post of Count of ,the Foederati, Ntbea T\^xx\^a& 
cQDfflstted to lum the command of the Dew corps.] 



dr 



20 THE DECUNE AND FALL 

ascended the thnme at the mature age of forty-^hfee yean ; and 
he reigned dbove twenty yeara orer the East and over himself ; ^ 
expellhig froBk his mind the wild democracy of passions, and 
establishing (according to the quaint expression of Evagrius) a 
perfect aristocracy d reason and virtue. Some suspicion will 
degrade the testimony of a subject^ though he protests that his 
secret praise should never reach the ear of his -sovereign,*^ and 
some &ilings seem to place the character of Maurice below the 
purer merit of his predecessor. His cold and reserved de- 
meanour might be imputed to arrogance ; his justice was not 
always exempt fix>m cruelty, nor his clemency from weakness ; 
and his rigid economy too often exposed him to the reproach 
of avarice. But the rational wishes of an absolute monarch 
must tend to the happiness -of his people ; Maurice was endowed 
with sense and ooorage to promote that happmess, and his 
administration was directed by the principles and example of 
Tiberius. The pusillanimity of the Greeks had introduced so 
complete a. separation between the offices of king and of geneml 
that a private soldier who had deserved and obtained the 
purple sieldom or never appeared at the head of his armies. 
Yet the emperor Maurice enjoyed the gloiy of restoring the 
Persian monarch to his throne ; his lieutenants waged a doubtful 
war against the Avars of the Danube ; and he east an eye of pity, 
of ineffectual pity, on the abject and distressful state of lids 
Italian j provinces. 

From Italy the' emperors were incessantly tormented by tales 
of misery and demands of succour, which extorted the humiliat- 

^Conmlt, for the charader and reign of Maurice, the fifUi<and lixth books of 
Evagrius, particularly L vi. c. z ; the eight books of his prolix and florid history by 
Tbeophylsurt Simocatta ; Theophanes, p. 213, &c. ; Zonanm, torn. iL I xiv. p. 73 
[c. IB] ; Odrenus, p. 394 [L p. 691]. [Add John of Eptiesus.] 

i^m^A^nfO'ff ^x4t* apionMcpArciar ik ir roic cavrov iityiatioU ic«ra0Ti|9'afMriMr. £va* 

grius composed his history in the twelfth year of Maurice ; and hie had been so 
wisely indiscreet that the emperor knew and rewarded his favourable opinion (L vi. c 

a). I^Finlay suggested that the exprenion of Evagrius conceals an allusion to the 
ministrative policy of Maurice, wfaich>he expkiins as follows ( Hist, of Greece, i. p. 
308) : Maurice aimed at reform and decided that his first step should be ** to render 
the army, long a licentious and turbulent check on the imperial power, a well- 
^iit/y^piitwH and eflicient instrument of his will ; and he hoped in this manner to 
repress the tyranny of the ofllcial aristocracy " and strengthen the authority of the 
central government " In his struggle to obtain this result he was compelled to 
make use of the existing administration ; and, consequently, he appears in the 
histoiy of the empire as the supporter and protector of a detested aristocracy, 
equally unpopular with the arm^ and the people ; while his ulterior plans for the 
improvement of the dvil condition of his subjects were never fully made known. 
And j^^haps never framed even by himself."] 



OP THE BOMAN EMPIHE. 21 



wifaawim of their own weakneaa. The expiring dignitf ci 
I was only marked by the freedom- and energy- of her 
iaints: " IfjovL are incapable," she aaid, ''of delhreringrua 
the sword of the Lombard% save ns at least fram the 
dtj of fiunine " . Tiberina forgave the rqnroachy and relieved 
lirtresB : a snpply of eom was transported from 'Eigj^ to 
Iber ; and the Roman people, invoking the name, not^of 
Una, but of St. Peter, repulsed the barbarians from their 
But the relief was accidental, the danger was.perpetaal 
reasing ; and the clergy and senate, coUeeting'ther remains 
BIT ancient opolence, a sun of three thousand pounds of 
diqwtched uxt patrician Pkunphromufr to lay their giftaiA-D. ht] 
heir oomplaints at the foot of the Byaantino' throne. The 
tioQ of the coort, and the forces ci the East, were diiverted- 
ie Persian war; but the jastice of Tiberius applied the 
ly to the defence of tha^ city; and he disnaissed the- 
ian with his best advic^ either to bribe- the Lonafaaad 
I or to porehaae the aid of the kings of Franee. Notwith4^ 
ing Una weak invention, Italy waa still afflict3ed> Rome maa' 
besi^^ed, and the suburb of Classe, only thiee miles^ >froinfA.s. nq 
ma,, was pillaged and occupied by the troops of asimpla- 
of Spoleto. Maurice gave audienee* to a second- depuUn 
yi priests and senators; the duties and the meaaaeet of - 
on were forcibly urged in the letters of the Roman pontiff ; 
ia nuncio^ the deacon Gregory, was alike qualified to-solicit 
owcrs either of heaven or of the earth. The eaoqperor 
ed, with s tranger efiect, the measures of his predecMor ; 
formidable chiefr were persuaded to embrace the friend- 
if the Romans, and one of them, a mild and fritbful bar 
ly lived and died in the service of the exarch ; the p as s e s 
e Alps were delivered to the Franks ; and the pope en- 
ged them to vwlate, without scruple, their oaths and 
^ements to the misbelievers. Childebert, the greatr-grand- [a.]>. itq 
f Clovis, was persuaded to invade Italy l^ the payment of 
lioosand pieces ; but, as he had viewed with delight some CAo^oof] 
itine coin of the weight of one pound of gold, the king of 
stfia might stipulate that the gift should be rendered more 
ly of his acceptance by a proper mixture of these respect- 
medals. The dukes of the Lombards had provoked by[A.s.8»fi 
ent inroads their powerful neighbours of Gaul. As soon 
rf were apprehensive of a just retaliation, they renounced 
foeUe and- disorderly independence ; the advantages of 
govcmiBent, onion, secrecy, and vigour, were unanimoudy 



22 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

hM^ confessed ; and Autharis, the son of Clepho, had already attained 

^jvij. the strength and reputation of a warrior. Under the standard 
of their new king^ the conquerors of Italy withstood three 
successive invasions, one of which was led by Childebert him- 
self, the last of the Merovingian race who descended from the 

I. MB or Alps. The first expedition was defeated by the jealous ani- 
mosity of the Franks and AlemannL In the second th^ were 

>-Mq vanquished in a bloody battle, with more loss and dishonour 
than they had sustained since the foundation of their monarchy. 
Impatient for revenge, they returned a third time with accumu- 

>-"Q lated force, and Autharis yielded to the fury of the torrent. 
The troops and treasures of the Lombards were distributed in 
the walled towns between the Alps and the Apennine. A 
nation less sensible of danger than of fieitigue and delay soon 
murmured against the folly of their twenty commanders ; and 
the hot vapours of an Italian sun infected with disease those 
tramontane bodies which had already suffered the vicissitudes 
of intemperance and famine. The powers that were inadequate 
to the conquest, were more than sufficient for the desolation, of 
the country; nor could the trembling natives distinguish be* 
tween their enemies and their deliverers. If the junction of 
the Merovingian and Imperial forces had been effected in the 
neighbourhood of Milan, perhaps they might have subverted 
the throne of the Lombajcb ; but the Franks expected six days 
the signal of a flaming village, and the arms of the Greeks were 

iteft] idly employed in the reduction of Modena and Parma, which 
were torn from them after the retreat of their Transalpine allies. 
The victorious Autharis asserted his claim to the dominion of 
Italy. At the foot of the Rhsetian Alps, he subdued the re- 
sistance, and rifled the hidden treasures, of a sequestered island 
in the lake of Comum. At the extreme point of Calabria, he 
touched with his spear a column on the sea-shore of Rhegium,^ 
proclaiming that ancient land-mark to stand the immoveable 
lx>undary of his kingdom >i 

^Tbe Columna Regina, in the narrowest part of the Faro of Messina, one 
hundred stadia from Rhegium itself, is frequently mentioned in ancient geography. 
Quver. Ital. Antiq. torn. iL p. 1995. Lucas Holsten. Annotat ad Cluver. p. 
301. Wesseling. Itinerar. p. zo6i 

^ The Greek historians afford some faint hints of the wars of Italy (Menander, 
in Ezcer^ Legat p. 124. ia6[F. H. G., iv. p. 253. 363]. Theoph}rlact, L iiL c. 4). 
The Latms are more satisfoctory ; and especially I%ul Wamrfrid (L iiL JjS'Mh 
who had read the more ancient histories of Secundus and Gregory of Ixiurs^ 
Baronius produces some letters of the popes, &c. ; and the thnes are measured 
by the accurate scale of Pagi and Muratori. [The march of Autharis to Reggio 
Uprobabfy oalf a 2cfend. P|itil introdqoet it with/ama tsi ($» 3a). ] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 23 



DnriDg a period of two hundred years, Italy was iin-T^mi 
equally dividcMl between the kingdom of the Lombards and 
tbe exarchate of Ravenna. The offices and professions, which 
the jealousy of Coostantine had separated, were united by the 
indulgence of Justinian ; and eighteen successive exarchs were 
invested, in the decline of the empire, with the full remains of 
civil, of military, and even of ecclesiastical power. Their im- 
mediate jurisdiction, which was afterwards consecrated as the 
patrimooy of St. Peter, extended over the modem Romagna, 
the marshes or vallejrs of Ferrara and Commachio,^^ five mari- 
time cities from Rimini to Ancona, and a second, inland Penta- 
polxB,^ between the Adriatic coast and the hills of the Apen- 
niiie. Three subordinate provinces, of Rome, of Venice, and of 
Naples, which were divided by hostile lands from the palace of 
RaTcnna, acknowledged, both in peace and war, the supremacy 
of the exarch. The duchy of Rome appears to have included 
the Tuscan, Sabine, and Latian conquests, of the first four hun- 
dred years of the city, and the limits may be distinctly traced 
along the coast, from Civita Vecchia to Terracina, and with the 
coarse of the Tiber from Ameria and Nami to the port of Ostia. 
The numerous islands from Grado to Chiozza composed the 
infiuit dominion of Venice ; but the more accessible towns on 
the continent were overthrown by the Lombards, who beheld 
with impotent fury a new capital rising from the waves. The 
power of the dukes of Naples was circumscribed by the bay 
and the adjacent isles, by the hostile territory of Capua, and by 
the Roman colony of Amalphi,^ whose industrious citizens, by 
the invention of the mariner's compass, have unveiled the Uice 
of the fflobe. The three islands of Sardinia, Corsica, and Sicily, 
still adhered to the empire ; and the acquisition of the fiirther 
Calabria removed the land-mark of Autharis frx>m the shore of 
Rh^tum to the isthmus of Consentia. In Sardinia, the savage 
mountaineers preserved the liberty and religion of their an- 
eesto r s ; hut the husbandmen of Sicily were chained to their 
rich and cultivated soil. Rome was oppressed by the iron 

*Tbe papal advocates, Zacagni and Fontanini, might justly claim the talley 
or morass of Commachio as a part of the exarchate. But the ambition of including 
Uodftia. Regno, Puma, and Plaoentia, has darkened a geographical question 
irbat doobtfiil and obscure. Even Muratori, as the servant of the house of 
is not free from partiality and prejudice. 

^[Aesb, Fomm Sempfonii, Urbinimi, Callis, Eugubium.] 

^See DirficnMinn, Dissert Ima de Republidl Amalphitani, p. 1-42, ad cak«k 

[i7aa> 



24 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

sceptre of the exarchs^ and a Greek, perhaps an eunuch, iimdted 
with impunity the ruins of the CapitoL But Naples soon ac- 
quired the fnrivilege of electing her own dukes ; ^ the indepen- 
dence of Amalphi was the fruit of conunerce ; and the voluntaiy 
attachment of Venice was finally ennobled by an equal allisnoe 
with the Eastern empire. On the map of Italy, the measoie of 
the exarchate occupies a very inadequate space, but it included 
an ample proportion of wealth, industry, and population. The 
most udthml and valuable subjects escaped from the barbarian 
yoke; and the banners of Pavia and Verona, of Milan and 
Padua, were displayed in their respective quarters by the new 
rdon inhabitants of Ravenna. The remainder of Italy was possessied 
"^ by the Lombards ; and from Pavia, the royal seat^ their kingdom 
was extended to the east, the north, and the west, as far as the 
confines of the Avars, the Bavarians, and the Franks of Anstr— i> 
and Burgundy. In the language of modem geography, it is now 
rejuresented by the Terra Firma of the Venetian republic, l^TQi, 
the Milanese, Piedmont, the coast of Genoa, Mantua, Farmay 
and Modena, the grand duchy of Tuscany, and a large portion 
of the ecclesiastical state from Perugia to the Adriatic. The 
dukes, and at length the princes, of Beneventum survived the 
monarchy, and propagated the name of the Lombards. From 
Capua to Tarentum, they reigned near five hundred years over 
the greatest part of the present kingdom of Naples.^ 
(•uid In comparing the proportion of the victorious and the van- 
terdaquished people, the change of language will afford the most 
probable inference. According to this standard it will appear 
that the Lombards of Italy, and the Visigoths of Spain, were less- 
numerous than the Franks or Burgundians ; and the conqueroxB 

^Gregor. Magn. 1. iii. epist. 33, 25. a6, 27. 

^ I have described the state of Italy from the excellent Dissertation of Bfirettl. 
Giannone (Istoria Civile, torn. i. p. 374-^87) has followed the learned Camillo P«Ua» 

Sini in the geography of the kingdom of Naples. After the loss of the true Calabria, 
e vanity of the Greeks substituted that name instead of the more imoble appellation 
of Bruttium ; and the change appears to have taken place before m time 01 Charlo-. 
magne (Eginhard, p. 75 [V. Car., 15]). [The change was probably the result of an 
administrative innovation in the second half of the seventh century (due presumably 
to the Emperor Constans II.). Calabria, Apulia, and Bruttii seem to have been 
united as a single province, entitled Calabna. Thus Bruttii came to be part of 
(official) Calabna. when the duke of Beneventum, Romuald, conquered most of 
the heel (soon after a.d. 671) Bruttii came to be almost the whole of "Calabria". 
Thus an administrative change, prior to the conquest of Romuald. initiated the 
attachment of the name Calabria to the toe ; the conquest of RomuaJd brought 
about the detachment of the name from the heel. These are the conclusions 
arrived at in the investigatioa of M. Schipa on La migratione del mome CaiaMa^ 
ia the Archmo storico per le province napoletane, 1895, pi 23 jyy;] 



07 THE BOMAN EMPIRE 2& 

mmt yield,, ini their tam, to the multitude oi Saxons 
es who ahnott eradicated the idioms of Britaiiu The 
tahaB has been inaensibly formed by the mtxtore of 
he awkwBidneis of the harharians in the nice manage- 
ladensiona amd conjugations reduced them to the use 
rand. amwlisry verbs ; and many new ideas have beeo- 
. by Tentonic appellations^ Yet the principal stock* of 
aad« familiar wofds is foond to be of Latin derivation ;^ 
s were sufficiently conversant: with the obsalete, Uie 
d the municipal dialects of ancient Italy, we sboald> 

<M!igin of many terms which' migh^ perhaps, be ve- 

the classic parity of Rome* A' numetoos army con^ 
at a snudl nation, and the powers* of the Loinfoasds 
t diflHaished bjr the retreat of twenty thousand Saaons, 
led a dependent situation, and returned, after many 

prplons adventures, to their native country.^ The 
Alboin waa of formidable extent, but the extent of 
jold be easily drcumscribed within the limits of a cibr ; 
maXmi infaabitaiits must be thinly scattered over the 
. large ooontsy. Whenr Alboin descended from the 
nvested his nephew^ the first duke of Friuli, with thetfteoutfu] 

of the- pravince and the people; but the prudent 
old hmre- declined the dangerous <^ce, unless he had 
nitted to choose^ among the nobles of the Lombsrdsy 
t nasiber of fomilies^ to form a perpetual colony of 
nd sobjectsL In the progre s s of conquest^ the same 
lid not- be jpanted to the dukes of Biesda or Be rgam o, 
«r Turin, of Spoleto or Beneventum ; but each of these, 

of their colleagues, settled in 'his appokited district 
nd of followers who resorted to his standard in war 
tribunal in peace. Their attachment was free and 
e: resigning the gifts and benefits which they had 
tiiey might emigrate with their fomilies into the juris- 
' another duke ; but their absence frxnn the kingdom 
ihed with deaths as a crime of military desertion;^ 



IllaMM^ iMuti p. 310-321) and Muratori (AnCiGfait& Italiaae, 
zxriL znciiL p. 71-365) have asserted the native claims of the 
1 ; the fonner- with enthusiasm, the latter vrith discretion : both with 
euuil J9 and tnsh; 

; Oert. Langobard. L iii. c. 5, 6, 7. 

ii c. 9b He caOs these families or generations by the Teutonic name 
ndi.ia Ukewne taed in the Lombard laws. The humble deacon was 
KoftheaolHlitjofhisown race. SeeLiv. 0.39^ 

« No. 3 and 177 of the laws of liofhsns» 



26 THE DECLINE AND FALI^ 

The posterity of the first conquerors stmck a deeper root into 
the soil, which, by every motive of interest and honour, thej 
were bound to defend. A Lombard was bom the soldier of ms 
king and his duke ; and the civil assemblies of the nation dit* 
played the banners, and assumed the appellation, of a r^pilar 
army. Of this army, the pay and the rewards were diftWB- 
fix>m the conquered provinces ; and the distribution, which wm 
not effected till aft^ the death of Alboin, is disgraced by the 
foul marks of injustice and rapine. Many of the most wcadthy 
Italians were shdn and banished ; the remainder were divided 
among the strangers, and a tributary obligation was imposed 
(under the name of hospitality) of pa3ring to the Lombards % 
third part of the fruits of the earth. Within less than seventy 
years, this artificial S3nitem was abolished by a more simple and 
solid tenure.'^^ Either the Roman landlord was expelled by hit 
strong and insolent guest ; or the annual payment, a third of the 
produce, was exchanged by a more equitable transaction for an 
adequate proportion of landed property. Under these foreign 
masters, the business of agriculture, in the cultivation of coti^ 
vines, and olives, was exercised with degenerate skill and industij 
by the labour of the slaves and natives. But the occupations of « 
pastoral life were more pleasing to the idleness of the barbarians. 
In the rich meadows of Venetia, they restored and improred 
the breed of horses for which that province had once been illoa- 
trious ; '^^ and the Italians beheld with astonishment a foreign rsee 
of oxen or buffaloes.^ The depopulation of Lombardy and the 
increase of forests afforded an ample range for the pleasures 

'^ Paul, L it c. 31, 32, L iiu c x6. The laws of Rotharis, promulgated A.IX 
643, do not contain the smallest vestige of this payment of thirds ; but they pr»> 
serve many curious circumstances of the state of Italy and the mannen of the 
Lombards. 

">The studs of Dionysius of Syracuse, and his frequent victories in the Olympio 
games, had diffused among the Greeks the fame of the Venetian horses ; but tbs 
breed was extinct in the time of Strabo (L v. p. 335 J[z, § 4]). Gisulf obtained from 
his unde generosarum emiarum grcses. Paul, L u. c. ^ The Lombards aftflv 
wards introduced caballi auvatici — ^wiM horsei. Paul, L iv. c xi. 

<^Txmc (a.d. 506) primum bubali in Italiam delati Italiae populis miracola foere 
(Paul Wamefrid, L iv. c 11). The buffaloes, ¥dK>se native climate appears to be 
Africa and India, are unknown to Europe except in Italy, where they are 
numerous and useful The ancients were ignorant of these animals, unloi 
Aristotle (Hist Animal. 1. ii. c i, p. ^, Paris, 1783) has described them as the wikl 
oxen of Arachosia. See Buffon, Hist. Naturelle, torn, xu and Supplement, torn, 
vi. ; Hist G^ndrale des Voyages, tom. i* P^ 7t 48X1 ii* 105. iii. agi, iv. a^, ^z, ▼. 
193. vi. 491, viii. 400, X. 666; Pennant's Qimdmpeides, p. 34 ; EHctionnaire a'Hist 
>faturelle, par Valmont de Bomare, tom. ii. p. 74. Yet I must not conceal the 
suspicion that Paul, by a vulgar error, may have applied the name of htbaius to 
tJie aurocbM, or wild bull, of ancient Genaanj. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 27 

! ehase.^ That marvellous art which teaches the birds of 
r to acknowledge the voice, and execute the commands, 
dr master had been unknown to the ingenuity of the 
8 and Romans.^ Scandinavia and Sc3rthia produce the 
t and most tractable finlcons ; ^ they are tamed and edu- 
bj the roving inhabitants, always on horseback and in the 

This fiiyoorite amusement of our ancestors was introduced 
e barbariana into the Roman provinces ; and the laws of 
ssteem the sword and the hawk as of equal dignity and 
tance in the hands of a noble Lombard. '^^ 
■mpid was the influence of climate and example that the sm aaH 
Aids of the fourth generation surveyed with curiosibr and '* 
it the portraits of Uieir savage fore&thers.^ Their heads 
Jiaren behind, but the shaggy locks hung over their eyes 
Doath, and a long beard, represented the name and 
iter of the nation. Their dress consisted of loose linen 
nts, after the &shion of the Anglo-Saxons, which were 
ited, in their opinion, with broad stripes of variegated 
B* The legs and feet were clothed in long hose and open 
is ; and even in the security of peace a trusty sword was 
ntlj girt to their side. Yet this strange apparel and 

aspect often concealed a gentle and generous disposition ; 
s soon aa the rage of battle had subsided, the captives and 

Dsnlt the xxist Dissertation of Muratori. 

etr ienonmoe is proved by the silence even of those who professedly treat 
ts oi hunting and the history of animals. Aristotle (Hist. AnimaL L ix. c. 
. i. p. 586, and the Notes of his last editor, M. Camus, torn, ii p. 914), 
list. Natur. L z. c. zo). /Elian (de Natur. Animal. I. ii. c 43). and perhaps 

(Odyss. xxiL 500-306), descrioe with astonishment a tacit league and 
I chase between the hawks and the Thradan fowlers, 
rticularlj the gerfaut, or gyrialcon, of the siie of a small eagle. See the 
d descnptioa of M. de Buffon, Hist Naturelle, tom. xvi. p. 339, &c. 
ipi. Reram Italicamm, tom. i. part ii. p. 129. This is the xvith law of 
eror Lewis the PiooSb His father Charlemagne had falconers in his house- 
wdl as bontsroen (Mtooires sur Tancienne Chevalerie, par M. de St Palaye, 

p. Z75)* I obser^ in the laws of Rotharis a more eany mention of the art 
in^ (No. 33s) ; and in Gaul, in the vth century, it is celebrated by Sidonius 
iris among the talents of Avitus (|^Carm. viu] 903-307). 
e epitaq>h of Droctulf (Paul, L in. c. 19) may be applied to many of his 



Terribils visu facies, sed corda benignus, 
Longaoue robusto pectore barba tuit 
-traits of the old Loinoards might still be seen in the palace of Monza, 
niles from Milan, which had b^ founded or restored by queen Theude- 
iv. a9, sni See Muratori, tom. I dissertaz. xxiiL p. 30a pTheudelinda's 
■itb a goUl bandk, and a counterfeit hen with chickens, which belonged to 
• siiown in the saoistv of the churdi at Monza, which she founded. Lvtlle 
Ad boildiQg remains^j 



28 THE DECLIKE AND FALL 



subjects were aometimes surprised by the humanity of the victor. 
The vices of the Lombards were the- effect of passion, of 
ignorance, of intoxication ; their virtues are the more laudable^ 
as they were not afiected by the hypocrisy of social manners, 
nor imposed by the rigid constraint of laws and eduoation. I 
should not be apprehensive of deviating from my subject if it 
were in my power to delineate the private life o£ the conquerors 
of Italy, and I shall relate with pleasure the adventurous 
gallantry of Autharis, which breathes the tvue spirit of chivalry 
and romance. ^^ After the losa of his promised bride, a 
Merovingian princess, he sought in maoiage the daughter of 
the king of Bavaria ; and Guibald accepted the alliance of the 
Italian monarch. Impatient of the slow pr o gr e ss of negotia- 
tion, the ardent lover escaped from his palace and visited the 
court of Bavaria in the train of his own embassy. At the 
public audienoe, the unknown stranger advanced to the thrane, 
and informed Giaribald that the ambassador was indeed- the 
minister of state, but that he alone was the friend of Autharis, 
who had trusted him with the delicate commission of mukirg 
a fiuthfrd repoft of the charms -of his spouse* Theudelinda was 
summoned to undergo this important examfaiatioi^ and, after a 
pause of silent rapture, he hailed her as the qneen of Italy, and 
numbly requested .that, according to^ the cnstcMn of the nation, 
she would present a cup of wine to the first of her new subjects. 
By the command of her father, she obeyed ; Autharis received 
the cup in his turn, and, in restoring it to the princess, he 
secretly touched her hand, and drew his own finger over his 
fiice and lips. In the evening, Theudelinda imputed to her 
nurse the indiscreet familiarity of the stianger, and was com- 
forted by the assurance that such boldness could proceed only 
from the king her husband, who, by his beauty and courage, 
i^peared worthy of her love^ The ambassadots were ms- 
missed ; no sooner did they reach the confines of Italy than 
Autharis, raising himself on his horse, darted his battle-axe 
against a tree with incomparable strengtii and dexterity : 
''Such," said he to the astonished Bavarians, ''such are tne 
strokes of the king of the Lombards ". On the approach of 
a French army, Garibald and his daughter took remge in the 
dominions of their ally; and the mairiagje was consummated 

M The story of Antharis and TbendeUnda is rdatad bf- Paul. I iii. c 99, 34 ; 
and any fragment of Bavarian antiqmtr cadtts the indefiaigafele dflig«ice of the 
oount de Boat, Hist, des Peoples dt rsapope^- tCMs. xi. a 595-635^ tonx »i. p. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE » 

in the piiaoe of Vepona. At the end of one fear, it fms 
dissolved by the death of Aiitharis ; but the virtues of Theude- 
Hnda ^ had endeared her to the nation^ and she was permitted 
to hcBtaw, with her hand, the sceptre of the Italian kingdom. 
From tills fitct, as well as from similar events,^^ it is certain 
that the Lombards possessed freedom to elect their sovereign, 
and sense to decline the frequent use of that dangerous 
pnvil^e. The public revenue arose <from the produce of land 
and the pfofits of justice. When the independent duke»a|;reed 
that Autharis should ascend the throne of his Either, they 
endowed the r^pal^offioe with a &ir moiety of their respective 
demalaa. The inoodest nobles aspired to the honours of 
tervitikle near the person of ^eir prince ; he rewarded the 
idehty of his vassals br the precarious gift of pensions and 
bm^/Soew ; and atoned ror the injuries of war by the ridi 
finndation of monasteries and ohurehes. In peace a judge, a 
leader in war, he never usurped the powers of a sole and 
afasolvte legislator. The king of Italy convened the national 
assemblies in the palace, or more probably in the fields, of 
Anria ; his great council was composed of the persons most 
eadnent by their birth and dignities ; but the validity, as w^ll 
as the execution, ^ their decrees depended on the approbation 
of the fiMJul people, the fortumUe mny of the Lombards. 
About 'fiMOicore years after the •eonaucfit of Italy, thetr 
traditional customs were transcribed in Teutonic Latin,® aUd **** 
ratified by the consent of the prince and people; some new 
regulations were introduced, more suitable to their present 
osndition ; the example of (Rotbaris was imitated by the wisest 
of his soocesMffs; and the laws of the Lombards have been 
esteemed the least imperfoct of the balrbaric oodes.^ S ec ur e 
by their courage in the possession of liberty, these rude and 
liasty- legislators were>ineapaMe>of balancing the powers of the 
constitution or of discussing the nice theory of political govern- 

<*Oiaiiiiofie (Istoria QvQe di Nopoli, torn. L p. a6s\ has justly censured the 
impertineiioe of Boccaccio (Gia iii. Novd. a), who, without right, or truth, or 
pretence, has given the pious queen Theudelinda to the arms of a muleteer. 

^ Paul, L iii. c. 16. The first dissertation of Muratori and the first volume of 
GiannoDe's history may be consulted for the state of the kingdom of Italy. 

*>Tlie most accurate edition of the laws of the Lombacds is tobe found in the 
Scriptores Rcrum Italicarum, torn. i. part ii. p. i^iSi, collated 'fiom the most 
ancient Mss. and illustrated by the critical notes of. Muratori. -[Ed. F. Bkihme, 
in Pens, Mon. hegg. iv. 607 sqg, (xS68) ; also small separate oct ed. (1869).] 

** Montcsqnifu, li!sprit des Loix, L xxviii. c. i. Les loix des Boargwsnoas aont 
asses judideusas : cellade Rothariset des autres princes Lombards leaoat encore 

plus^ 



80 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

ment. Such crimes as threatened the life of the aovereigi 
the safety of the state were adjudged worthy of death ; 
their attention was principally confined to the defence of 
person and property of the subject. According to the stm 
jurisprudence of the times, the guilt of blood might be 
deemed by a fine ; yet the high price of nine hun(&ed pi' 
of gold declares a just sense of the value of a simple dti 
Less atrocious injuries, a wound, a fracture, a blow, an 
probrious word, were measured with scrupulous and aln 
ridiculous diligence; and the prudence of the legislator 
couraged the ignoble practice of bartering honour and reve 
for a pecuniary compensation. The ignorance of the T^^Hwbi 
in the state of Paganism or Christianity, gave implicit cr 
to the malice and mischief of witchcraft ; but the judges of 
seventeenth century might have been instructed and < 
founded by the wisdom of Rotharis, who derides the abi 
superstition, and protects the wretched victims of popula 
judicial cruelty.^ The same spirit of a legislator, auperki 
his age and country, may be ascribed to Luitprmnd, 
condemns, while he tolerates, the impious and inveterate a1 
of duels,^ observing from his own experience that the jn 
cause had often been oppressed by successful violence. W 
ever merit may be discovered in the laws of the Lombards, 1 
are the genuine fruit of the reason of the barbariani, 
never admitted the bishops of Italy to a seat in their legiala 
councils. But the succession of their kings is marked ^ 
virtue and abihty ; the troubled series of their annals is adoi 
with fair intervals of peace, order, and domestic happiness ; 
the Italians enjoyed a milder and more equitable gOYemn 
than any of the other kingdoms which had been founder 
the ruins of the Western empire.^ 

Amidst the arms of the Lombards, and under the despoi 

MSee Leges Rotharis, Na ^, p. 47. Striga is used as the name of a n 
It is of the purest classic origm (Horat epod. v. ao, Petron. c. 134) ; and 
the words ot Petronius (quae striges comedenint nervos tuos ?) it may be in! 
that the prejudice was of Italian rather than barbaric extraction. 

*Quia incerti sumus de judicio Dei, et multos audivimus per pugnam sine 
caus& suam causam perdere. Sed propter consuetudinem gcntem nostrnm Lt 
bardonun legem impiam vetare non possumus. See p. 74, Na 65, of the 
of Luitprand, promulgated A.D. 724. 

**Read the history of Paul Wamefrid; particularly L iiL c 16. Bai 
rejects the praise, which appears to contradict the invectives of pope Qrogor 
Great ; but Muratori (Annali d' Italia, tom. ▼. p. 217) presumes to Inrimatc 
the saint may have magnified the faults of Arians and enemien 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 81 

of the Greeksy we again inquire into the fate of Rome,^ which 
had reached, about the close of the sixth century, the lowest 
period of her depression. By the removal of the seat of empire, 
and the successive loss of the provinces, the sources of public 
and pfrivate opulen<» were exhausted; the lofty tree, under 
whose shade the nations of the earth had reposed, was deprived 
of its leaves and branches, and the sapless trunk was left to 
'wither on the ground. The ministers of command and the 
Bif engers of victory no longer met on the Appian or Flaminian 

3; and the hostile approach of the Lombiuxls was often felt 
continually feared. The inhabitants of a potent and 
peacefiil capital, who visit without an anxious thought the 
garden of the adjacent country, will £Eiintly picture in their 
fuKj the distress of the Romans : they shut or opened their 
gates with a trembling hand, beheld from the walls the flames 
of their houses, and heard the lamentations of their brethren, 
wiio were coupled together like dogs and dragged away into 
distant slaveiy beyond the sea and the mountains. Such in- 
ccssant alarms must annihilate the pleasures and interrupt the 
labours of a rural hfe ; and the Campagna of Rome was speedily 
redooed to the state of a dreary wilderness, in which the land 
Is barren, the waters are impure, and the air is infectious. 
Curiosity and ambition no longer attracted the nations to the 
ciqpital of the world : but, if chance or necessity directed the 
steps of a wandering stranger, he contemplated with horror the 
vacancy and solitude of the city, and might be tempted to ask, 
where is the senate, and where are the people ? In a season 
of excessive rains, the Tiber swelled above its banks, and rushed 
with irresistible violence into the valleys of the seven hills. A 
pestilential disease arose from the stagnation of the deluge, and 
so rapid was the contagion that fourscore persons expired in an 
boor in the midst of a solemn procession, which implored the 
mercy of heaven.^ A society in which marriage is encouraged 
and industry prevails soon repairs the accidental losses of pesti- 
lence and war ; but^ as the &r greater part of the Romans was 
condemned to hopeless indigence and cehbacy, the depopula- 
tion was constant and visible, and the gloomy enthusiasts might 

^ The passages of the bomilies of Gregory whicfa represent the miserable state 
of tbe c^ and country are transcribed in tbe Annals of Baronius, a.d. 590, Na 
x6. AJX 59S. Na a, &c &c. 

*> Tbe imindation and plague were reported by a deacon, whom his bishop, 
Gregory of Tours, had dispatched to Rome for some relics. The ingenious mes- 
lesger embellished his tale and the river with a great dragon and a train of Utde 
serpents (Oregi Tttntu I x. c. i). 



laANllMof 



82 THE DECLmE AND FAJIL 

expect the approaching fidlnre of the hmnan raoe.^ Yi 
number of dtiaens still exceeded the measure of subsisi 
their precarious fbcxl was supplied from the harvests of Sii 
Egypt ; and the frequent repetition of fimine betrays t 
attention of the emperor to a distant province. The edif 
Rome were exposed to the same ruin and decay ; the mo 
ing fiibrics were easily orerthiewn by innnda^ons, ten 
and earthquakes; and the monks, who had occu|Hed th< 
advantageous stations, exulted in their base triumph ov* 
ruins of antiquity. It is commonly believed that pope Gi 
the First attacked the temples ana mutilated the statues 
(dty ; that, by the command of the barbarian, the Pi 
libmry was reduced to ashes ; and that the history of lii 
the peculiar mark of his absurd and mischievous fimal 
The writings of Gregory himself reveal his hnplacable af 
ko the monuments-of classic genina ; and he points his ee 
censure against the pro&ne learning of a biriiop who 1 
the art of gnonmar, studied the Liiin poets, and prono' 
with the same voice, the praises of Jupiter and those of CI 
But the evidence of his destr u c tiv e mge is doubtftd and r 
the Temple of Peace or the Theatre of Mavcellus have 
demolished by the slow operation of ages; and a fbrmi 
scription wonid have mnltqphcd the c op i es of Viigil «nc 
in the countries which were not subject to the ecclesi 
dictator.^ 

Like Thebes, or Babylon, or Caithage, the name of 
might have been erased horn the earth, if the city hi 
bera animated by a vital principle, whifch again restored 
honour and dominion. A vague tradition was embracer 
two Jewish teachers, a tent-maker and a fisherman, ha 
merly been exeented in the circus of Nero ; and at the 
five hundred years their genuine or fictitious relics were i 



^ Gfegory of Rome (Dialoe. L u. c zc) nlates a memorable , 

Benedict : koma aGentilibus [/!^., gentiocn] doo extenniaabitur sod ten 
bos, oormeis turbimbos ac teme mocii limt,, fiuigau] in aemetipsA m^ 
Sudi a prophecy melts into true hittaiy, and himomm die cffideBee of 
after which it was invented. 

^ Quia in uno se ore cum Jovis landibiis Christi laudes non capiunt, * 
grave nefandumque sit miscopis canere QUod aeo laioo reUgioso convea 
considera (I. ix. ep. ^). The writings of GcsgQcy himself attest his inaoi 
any classic taste or literature. 

^ fiayle (Dictionnaire Critique, torn, ik p^ 598* 999)* ^ ^ T"i7 f^^'^ < 
Grteoire L, has quoted, for the buildings and statiiea, Platina in QregorM 
the Palatine libranr^ohn of Salisbury (de Nugis Curialium, L M. c.a6) ; 
Livy, Antoninus of Flocenoe : the oldest of the three lived in Ifae aith ceo 



> 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 88 

as the paUadium of Christian Rome. The pilgrims of the East 
and West resorted to the holy threshold ; but the shrines of 
the apostles were guarded by miracles and invisible terrors ; and 
it was not without fear that the pious Catholic approached the 
object of his worship. It was &tal to touch, it was dangerous to 
behold, the bodies of the saints ; and those who from the purest 
motives presumed to disturb the repose of the sanctuary were 
afirighted by visions or punished with sudden death. The un- 
reasonable request of an empress, who wished to deprive the 
Romans of their sacred treasure, the head of St. Paul, was 
rejected with the deepest abhorrence ; and the pope asserted, 
most probably with truth, that a linen which had been sancti- 
6ed in the neighbourhood of his body, or the filings of his chain, 
which it was sometimes easy ana sometimes impossible to 
obtain, possessed an equal degree of miraculous virtue."^' But 
the power as well as virtue of the apostles resided with living 
energy in the breast of their successors ; and the chair of St. 
Peter was filled under the reign of Maurice by the first and 
greatest of the name of Gregory.^* His grand&ther Felix had ,|^^„„ 
himself been pope, and, as the bishops were already bound by JJ^^gJJ 
the law of celibacy, his consecration must have been preceded 
by the death of his wife. The parents of Gregory, Sylvia and 
Gordian, were the noblest of the senate and the most pious 
of the church of Rome ; his female relations were numbered 
among the saints and virgins ; and his own figure with those of 
his £iither and mother were represented near three hundred 
years in a fiunily portrait,^^ whicn he offered to the monastery 

^ Gregor. L iil epist 24, indict, za, &e. From the epistles of Gregory, and 
(he viiith volume of the Annals of Baronius, the pious reader may collect the 
particles of holy iron which were inserted in keys or crosses of gold and distributed 
in Britain, Gaul. Spain, Africa, Constantinople, and Egypt. The pontifical smith 
^rbo bandied the file must have understood the miracles which it was in his own 
power to operate or withhold : a circumstance which abates the superstition of 
Gbregory at the expense of his veracity. 

^ Besides the epistles of Gregory himself which are methodised by Dupin 
(Kbliotheque Ecd^ torn. v. p. io^-i26), we have three Lives of the pope : the 
two 6rst written in the viiith and ixth centuries (de Triplici Vit4 St Greg. Preface 
to the ivth volume of the Benedictine edition) by the deacons Paul (p. 1-18) and 
John {p. 19-188), and containing much origm^, though doubtful, evidence; the 
third, a long and laboured compilation by the Benedictine editors (p. i99-305). 
The Annals of Baronius are a copious but partial history. His papal prejudices 
are tempered br the good sense of Fleury (Hist. EccI^ tom. viii.). and his 
chronology has been rectified by the criticism of Pagi and Muratori. [Paul's life 
of Gr^gonr is a compilation from the Hist Eocles. of Bede and Gregory's own 
works. For the methodization of Gregory's Epistles see Appendix z.] 

^* John the deacon has described them like an eye-witness (L W. c %^« %i{\\ %:e^ 
his description b illustniied by Angelo Rooca, a Roman aat^yq^oaxi i^ Q(t«v 

VOL. V. 8 



84 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

of St. Andrew. The design and colouring of this picture afford 
an honourable testimony that the art of painting was cultivated 
by the Italians of the sixth century ; but the most abject ideas 
must be entertained of their taste and learning, since the 
epistles of Gregory, his sermons, and his dialogues, are the 
work of a man who was second in erudition to none of his 
contemporaries ; ^^ his birth and abilities had raised him to the 
office of prsfect of the city, and he enjoyed the merit of re- 
noimcing the pomp and vanities of this world. His ample 
patrimony was dedicated to the foundation of seven monas- 
teries,*^^ one in Rome,^<^ and six in Sicily ; and it was the wish 
of Gregory th^t he might be unknown in this life and glorious 
only in the next. Yet his devotion, and it might be sincere, 
pursued the path which would have been chosen by a crafty 
and ambitious statesman. The talents of Gregory, and the 
splendour which accompanied his retreat, rendered him dear 
and useful to the church ; and implicit obedience has been 
always inculcated as the first duty of a monk. As soon as he 
had received the character of deacon, Gregory was sent to 
reside at the Byzantine court, the nuncio or minister of the 
apostolic see ; and he boldly assumed, in the name of St. Peter, 
a tone of independent dignity, which would have been criminal 
and dangerous in the most illustrious layman of the empire. 
I He returned to Rome with a just increase of reputation, and, 
after a short exercise of the monastic virtues, he was dragged 
from the cloister to the papal throne, by the unanimous voice 
of the clergy, the senate, and the people. He alone resisted, 

Opera, torn. iv. p. ^12-326)1 who observes that some mosaics of the popes of the 
viith century are still preserved in the old churches of Rome (p. ^1*323). The 
same walls which represented Gregory's family are now decorated with the martyr- 
dom of St. Andrew, the noble contest of E>ominidiino and Guido. fTbe life of 
Gregory by Jc^m, compiled towards the end of the ninth cent, for Pope john VIII.. 
consists largely of extracts from Gregory's letters.] 

^ Disciplinis vero liberalibus, hoc est grammatic&, rhetoridL, dialectic^ ita a 
puero est institutns, ut, quamvis eo tempore florerent adhuc Romae studia litenmim, 
tamen nulli in urbeip^ secundus putaretur. Paul Diacon. in Vit. S. Gregor. c a. 

^ The Benedictines (Vit Greg. L i. p. 205-908) labour to reduce the monas- 
teries of Gregory within the rule of their own order ; but, as the question is oon« 
fessed to be doabtful, it is dear that these powerful monks are in the wrong. See 
Butler's Lives of the Saints, voL HL p. 145, a work of merit : the sense and learning 
belong to the author— his prejudices are those of his profession. 

^ Monasterium Gregorianum in ejusdem Beati Gregorii sedibus ad cUvom 
Scanri prope eodesiam SS. Johannis et Pauli in honorem St Andreae (John in 
Vit Greg. L i. c. 6. Greg. L vii. epist. 13). This house and monast^ were 
situate on the side of Uie Caelian hill which fronts the Palatine ; they are now 
occupied by the Camaldoli ; San Gre^orio triumphs, and St Andrew has retired to 
m snuUI cbapch Nardini, Roma Antica, L iii. c 6, p. loa Descrissione di Roma« 
torn. L p. 44B'446, 



Of THE ROMAN EMPIRE 36 

1 to resisty his own elevation ; and his humUe petition 
luice would be pleased to reject the choice of the 
could only serve to exalt his character in the eyes of 
eror and the public When the &tal mandate was 
id, Gregory solicited the aid of some friendly mep> 
> convey him in a basket beyond the gates of Rome, 
estly concealed himself some days among the woods 
ntainSy tiU his retreat was discovered, as it is said, by 
1 light. 

mtificate of Gregory the GretU, which lasted thirteen re^ioatoc 
; months and ten days, is one of the most ^<^fyui9 S[J|^£^ 
f the history of the church. His virtues, and even his Jj^jj^^ 
singular mixture of simplicity and cunning, of pride 
llity, of sense and superstition, were happily suited to 
m and to the temper of the times. In his rival, the 

of Constantinople, he condemned the antichristian g^tiM 
oiverBal bishop, which the successor of St. Peter was 
hty to concede, and too feeble to assume ; and the 
ical jurisdiction of Gregory was confined to the triple miipicitM 
' of bishop of Rome, primate of Italy, and apostle of 
„ He fr^uently ascended the pulpit, and kindled, by 

though pathetic eloquence, the congenial passions ol 
nee ; the language of the Jewish prophets was inter- 
id applied ; and tbe minds of the people, depressed by 
sent calamities, were directed to the hopes and fears 
ivisible world. His precepts and example defined the 

the Roman liturgy,^® the distribution of the parishes, 
idar of festivals, the order of processions^ the service of 
ts and deacons, the variety and change of sacerdotal 
Till the last days of his life, he officiated in the 
' the mass, which continued above three hours ; the 
a chant ^ has preserved the vocal and instrumental 

the theatre ; and the rough voices of the barbarians 
d to imitate the melody of the Roman school.^ £x- 

orcfs prayer consists of half a dozen lines : the Sacramentarius [sacra- 
I and Antiphonarius of Gregory fill 88o folio pages (torn. iiL P. u p. !• 
these only constitute a part of the Orda Xamanus, which MabiUoo has 
Jid Fleory has ahridged (Hist. Eodds. torn. viii. p. 139-152). [See H. 
rbeolog. Zeitsch. zSiBc; W. Hohaus, Die Beaeutnng Gregors des 
litnri^Scher Schriftsteller, 1889.] 

B firom the Abbtf Dobos (R^ezions sor la Podsie et la Ptemture, torn. 
[75) that the simplicity of the Ambrosian chant was confined to four 
le the more perfect harmony of the Gregorian comprised the eight 
ifteen diords of the ancient music He observes (p. j^sO <luU the 
s admire the preface and many passages oC the Qieg<cinaik oKm. 

be deaom (ia ViL Greg. I il c 7) ex^j r eiaes the earV^ covSMBi^dL >QDit 



36 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

perience had shewn him the efiic&cy of these solemn and. 
pompous rites, to soothe the distress^ to confirm the &ith, to 
mitigate the fierceness, and to dispel the dark enthusiasm, of 
the vulgar, and he readily forgave their tendency to promote 
the reign of priesthood and superstition. The bishops of Italy 
and the adjacent islands acknowledged the Roman pontiff as 
their speciaJ metropolitan. Even the existence, the union, c^ 
the translation of episcopal seats was decided by his absolute 
discretion ; and his successful inroads into the provinces of 
Greece, of Spain, and of Gaul, might countenance the more 
lofty pretensions of succeeding popes. He interposed to pre- 
vent the abuses of popular elections; his jealous care maintained 
the purity of faith and discipline ; and the apostolic shepherd 
assiduously watched over the faith and discipline of the subor- 
dinate pastors. Under his reign, the Arians of Italy and Spain 
were reconciled to the catholic church, and the conquest of 
Britain reflects less glory on the name of Cssar than on that of 
Gregory the First. Instead of six legions, forty monks were 
embarked for that distant island, and the Pontiff lamented the 
austere duties which forbade him to partake the perils of their 
spiritual warfiu^. In less that two years he could announce to 
the archbishop of Alexandria that they had baptized the king 
A.BL mr} of Kent with ten thousand of his Anglo-Saxons, and that the 
Roman missionaries, like those of the primitive church, were 
armed only with spiritual and supernatural powers. The 
credulity or the prudence of Gregory was always disposed to 
confirm the truths of religion by the evidence of ghosts, miracles, 
and resurrections;^^ and posterity has paid to his memory the 
same tribute which he freely granted to the virtue of his own 
or the preceding generation. The celestial honours have been 
liberally bestowed by the authority of the popes, but Gregory 
is the last of their own order whom they have presumed to in- 
scribe in the calendar of saints. 

Their temporal power insensibly arose from the calamities of 
the times ; and the Roman bishops, who have deluged Europe 

Italians for tramontane singing. Alpina scilicet corpora vocum suanxm tonitmis 
altisone per str epe n tia, susceptae modulationis dulcedinem proprie non resultant: 
quia bibuli gutturis barbara feritas dum inflexionibus et repercussionibus mitem 
nititur edere cantilcnam, natumli quodam fragore quasi plaustra per gradus confuse 
Bonantia rigidas voces jactat, &c. In the time of Cfharlemagne, the nanks, though 
with some reluctance, admitted the justice of the reproach. Muratori, Dissert, xztr. 

"^ A French critic (Petnis Gussanvillus, Opera, tom. il p. 105-1x3) hasvihiD- 
Gated the rig^t of Gregory to the entire nonsense of the Dialogues. Dupin (tomu 
V. p. 1^8) does not think that any one will vouch for the truth of 911 tboK nuir^qlQi; 
I uomd like to know ktw many of them he believed himself. 



• I 

I 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 37 

and Asia with blood, were compelled to reign as the ministers 
of charity and peace. I. The church of Rome, as it has been 
formerly observedy was endowed with ample possessions in 
Italy, Sicily, and the more distant provinces ; and her agents, pud 
who were commonly subdeacons, had acquired a civil, and even 
criminaJy jurisdiction over their tenants and husbandmen. The bib « 
sQocessoir of St. Peter administered his patrimony with the 
temper of a vigilant and moderate landlord ; ^ and the epistles 
of Gregory are fiUed with salutary instructions to abstain from 
donbtfiil or vexatious lawsuits, to preserve the integrity of 
weights and measures, to grant every reasonable delay, and to 
reduce the capitation of the slaves of the glebe, who purchased 
the right of marriage by the payment of an arbitrary fine.^ 
The rent or the produce of these estates was transported to the 
month of the Tiber, at the risk and expense of the pope ; in the 
me of wealth he acted like a £uth&l steward of the church and 
the poor, and liberally applied to their wants the inexhaustible 
resources of abstinence and order. The voluminous account of 
his receipts and disbursements was kept above three hundred 
years in the Lateran, as the model of Christian economy. Onu^a 
the four great festivals,^ he divided their quarterly allowance 
to the clergy, to his domestics, to the monasteries, the churches, 
the places of burial, the alms-houses, and the hospitals of Rome, 
sad the rest of the diocese. On the first day of every month, 
be distributed to the poor, according to the season, their stated 
partion of com, wine, cheese, vegetables, oil, fish, fresh pro- 
liiioDS, cloths, and money ; and his treasurers were continually 
sanmoned to satisfy, in his name, the extraordinary demands 
of indigence and merit The instant distress of the sick and 
[ helpless, of strangers and pilgrims, was relieved by the bounty 
\ of each day, and of every hour; nor would the pontiff indulge 
himself in a frugal repast, till he had sent the dishes from his 
' own table to some objects deserving of his compassion. The 

■ 

■ Baronini is unwiUios to expatiate on the care of the patrimonies, lest he should 
bonv that they consisted not of kingdoms but /arms. The French writers, the 
BcBBdictine editors (torn. {▼. 1. iii p. 979. &c.), and Fleury (torn. viii. p. 29, &c.) 



are not afiaid of entering into these humble though useful details ; and the 
l ua m uk f of Fleury dwells <m the social virtues of Gregory. [On the patrimonies 
IR IL GfiHr, Zeitsch. tike kathoL Theologie, L 391 sfg. 1877. J 

■ I nuicfa ionect that this pecuniary fine on the marriages of villains produced 
(he fB"*^?n*j and often fabulous, right de cuissagt, de marquet/e, &c. With the 
rnnaiHt of her husband, an handsome bride might commute the payment in the 
vms of a young landlord, and the mutual favour might afford a precedent of local 
atbor than Iqgal tyranny. 

*■ [The four occasions were : Easterday. the birthday of the Apostles, the birth- 
^y of St. Andrew, Grqpwy't own birthday.] 



38 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

misery of the times had reduced the nobles and matrons of 
Rome to accept, without a blush, the benevolence of the church; 
three thousand virgins received their fiood and raiment from the 
hand of their bene&ctor ; and many bishops of Italy escaped 
from the barbarians to the hospitable threshold of the Vatican. 
Gregory might justly be styled the Father of his countiy ; and 
such was the extreme sensibility of his conscience that, for the 
death of a beggar who had perished in the streets, he inter- 
dicted himself during several days from the exercise of sacer- 
dotal Amctions. II. The misfortunes of Rome involved the 
apostolical pastor in the business of peace and war; and it might 
be doubtful to himself whether piety or ambition prompted him 
to supply the place of his absent sovereign. Gregory awakened 
the emperor from a long slumber, exposed the guilt or incapa- 
city of the exarch and his inferior ministers, complained that 
the veterans were withdrawn from Rome for the defence of 
Spoleto, encouraged the Italians to guard their cities and altars, 
and condescended, in the crisis of danger, to name the tribunes 
and to direct the operations of the provincial troops. But the 
martial spirit of the pope was checked by the scruples of hn- 
manity and religion ; the imposition of tribute, though it was 
employed in the Italian war, he freely condemned as odious 
and oppressive ; whilst he protected, against the Imperial edicts^ 
the pious cowardice of the soldiers who deserted a militaiy 
for a monastic life. If we may credit his own declarations^ it 
would have been easy for Gregory to exterminate the Lens* 
bards by their domestic Actions, without leaving a king, a dnks^ 
or a count, to save that unfortunate nation from the ven* 
geance of their foes. As a christian bishop, he preferred the 
salutary offices of peace ; his mediation appeased the tumult of 
arms ; but he was too conscious of the arts of the Greeks, and 
the passions of the Lombards, to engage his sacred promise lor 
the observance of the truce. Disappointed in the hope of a. 
general and lasting treaty, he presumed to save his country 
without the consent of the emperor or the exarch. The sword. 
D. wj of the enemy was suspended over Rome : it was averted by the 
mild eloquence and seasonable gifts of the pontiff, who com- 
manded tne respect of heretics and barbarians. 
■aviour '^^^ merits of Gregory were treated by the Byzantine court 
'^^ with reproach and insult ; but in the attachment of a grateful 
people he found the purest reward of a citizen and the best 
right of a sovereign.^ 

^ The tempond reign of Qrtgorr I, is ably exposed bgr Sigoniui ia the ficst 
book de Regno lulise. See his works, torn, ii. p. 4475. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 3d 




CHAPTER XLVI 

RnobUums of Portia after the DeaUi of Chosroes or Nuthirvan — 
His Son Hormoue, a Tyrant, is deposed — Usurpation of Bah-- 
ram — Flight and Restoration of Chosroes 11. — His Gratitude 
to the Romans — The Chagan of the Avars — Revolt of the Army 
Maurice — His Death — Tyranny of Phocas — Elevation 
acUus — The Persian War — Chosroes subdues Syria, 
t, and Asia Minor — Siege of Constantinople by the Persians 
Avars — Persian Expeditions — Victories and Triumph of 
HeraclhiS 

Tbc conflict of Rome and Persia was prolonged firom the death ooatMi of 
of Cebssus to the reign of Heraclius. An experience of seven Pmu 
himdxed years might convince the rival nations of the impossi- 
bilityof maintaining their conquests beyond the fatal limits of 
the Tigris and Euphrates, Yet the emulation of Trajan and 
Julian waa awakened by the trembles of Alexander, and the 
sovereigns of Persia indulged the ambitious hope of restoring 
the empire of Cyrus.^ Such extraordinary efforts of power and 
eonrage will alwajrs command the attention of posterity ; but 
the events by which the fiite of nations is not materially changed 
leave a fiunt impression on the page of history, and the patience 
of the reader would be exhausted by the repetition of the same 
hortiiities, undertaken without cause, prosecuted without glory^ 
md terminated without effect. The arts of negotiation, un- 
known to the simple greatness of the senate and the Csesars, 
voe ftssiduously cultivated by the Byzantine princes ; and the 
■emorials of their perpetual embassies ' repeat, with the same 
mifonn prolixity, the language of fiilsehood and declamation, 
the inaolenoe of the barbarians, and the servile temper of the 
tnbntary Greeks. Lamenting the barren superfluity of materials. 



qui . • . r epoBcerent • . . veteres Persanim ac Maoedonum terminos, 
Aamm possesaa C]rro et post Alezandro, per vaniloquentiam ac minat 
Tadt. AmaL vt 31. Such was the language of the Arsacida : I havo 
Rpealedljr mariied theloftj claims of the Sassanians, 

* See the embasws of Menander, extracted and preserved in the xth century bf 
the onkr oCCooitaiitiiie Forphjrogenitos [cp. Appendix z]. 



40 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

I have itudied to oompreta the nainktiye of these uninteies 
transactions ; but the just Nushirvan is still applauded as 
model of Oriental kings, and the ambition of his granc 
Chosroes prepared the revolution of the East, which was spee 
accomplished by the arms and the religion of the successoi 
Mahomet. 

In the useless altercations that precede and justify thequai 
of princes, the Greeks and the barbarians accused each othc 
violating the peace which had been concluded between the 
empires about four years before the death of Justinian, 
sovereign of Persia and India aspired to reduce under 
obedience the province of Yemen or Arabia ' Felix, the dis 
land of myrrh and frankincense, which had escaped, rather i 
opposed, the conquerors of the East. After the defeai 
Alnrahah under the walls of Mecca,^ the discord of his sons 
brothers gave an easy entrance to the Persians ; they cIl 
the strangers of Abyssinia beyond the Red Sea ; and a m 
prince of the ancient Homerites was restored to the throne as 
vassal or viceroy of the great Nushirvan.^ But the nephe 
Justinian declared his resolution to avenge the injuries of 
Christian ally the prince of Abyssinia, as they suggested a de 
pretence to discontinue the annual irilnite, which was po 
disguised by the name of pension. The churches of Persarm 
were oppressed by the intolerant spirit of the Magi; i 
secretly invoked the protector of the Christians ; and, after 
pious murder of their satraps, the rebels were avowed and 
ported as the brethren and subjects of the Roman emp< 
The complaints of Nushirvan were disregarded by the Byzas 
court ; Justin jrielded to the importunities of the Turks, 
offered an alliuice against the common enemy ; and the Pei 
monarchy was threatened at the same instant by the un 
forces of Europe, of Ethiopia, and of Scjrthia. At the ag 

* The ^reneral independence of the Arabs, which cannot be admitted wi 
many limitations, is blindly asserted in a separate dissertation of the authors < 
Universal Histoiy, vol. zx. p. Z96-a5a A perpetual miracle is supposed to 
guarded the prophecy in favour of the posterity of Ishmael ; ana these le 
bigots are not anaid to risk the truth of Christianity on this fraU and sli] 
foundation. 

^ [See below, chap. L p. 333 and 334, note 68.] 

* D'Herbelot, Biblioth. Orient, p. 477. Pocock, Specimen Hist. Arabui 
64. 65. Father Pagi (Critica, tom. il p. 646) has proved that, after ten ^ 
peace, the Persian war, which continued twenty jrears, was renewed a.d. 571 1 
Mahomet was bom A.D. 569 [cp. below, p. 334], in the year of the elephant, c 
defeat of Abrahah (Gagmer. Vie de Mahomet, tom. 1. p. 89, 90, 98) ; and 
account allows two yean for the conquest of Yemen. 



OF THE BOMAN £MPIB£ 41 

nre, the lOTereign of the £ast would perhaps hare choien 
acefiil enjoyment of his glory and greatness ; bat, as soon sit iMt 

became inevitable, he took the field with the alacrity of aoauiaa. a.] 

whilst the aggressor trembled in the palace of Constanti- 
Nushirvan, or Chosroes, conducted in person the siege 
ra ; and, although that important fortress had been left 
ite of troops and magazines^ the valour of the inhabitants iaj>. mv\ 
d above five months the archers, the elephants, and the 
rv engines of the Great King. In the meanwhile his 
11 Adarman advanced from Babylon, traversed the desert, 
I the Euphrates, insulted the suburbs of Antioch, reduced ca.d. m] 
es the city of Apamea, and laid the spoils of Syria at the 
f his master, whose perseverance in the midst of winter at 
I subverted the bulwark of the East. But these losses, 
astonished the provinces and the court, produced a 
ry eflfect in the repentance and abdication of the emperor 
I ; a new spirit arose in the Byzantine councils ; and a truce 
ee vears was obtained by the prudence of Tiberius.^ That [a.d.8vk] 
lable interval was employed in the preparations of war ; 
lie voice of rumour proclaimed to the world that from the 
it countries of the Alps and the Rhine, from Scjrthia, 
I, Pannonia, Illyricum, and Isauria, the strength of the 
rial cavalry was reinforced with one hundred and fifty 
and soldiers. Yet the king of Persia, without fear or 
ut faith, resolved to prevent the attack of the enemy ; 

passed the Euphrates ; and, dismissing the ambassadors of 
ius, arrogantly commanded them to await his arrival at 
ea, the metropolis of the Cappadocian provinces. The two 
s encountered each other in the battle of Melitene : the [a.]i. bki 
rians, who darkened the air with a cloud of arrows, 
iged their line, and extended their wings across the plain ; 

the Romans, in deep and solid bodies, expected to prevail 
ser action, by the weight of their swords and lances. A 
ian chief, who commanded their right wing, suddenly 
d the flank of the enemy, attacked their rear-guard in the 
ace of Chosroes, penetrated to the midst of the camp^ 
ed the royal tent, profisined the eternal fire, loaded a train 
oaels with the spoils of Asia, cut his way through the 
\n host, and returned with songs of victory to his mends, 
had consumed the day in single combats or ineffectual 

tie tnioe of three 3rears was preceded by an armistice of ajrear (spring 574 to 
6175). The Romans had to pay a sum of money annually for the tniOQ^ jM 
Udnot apply to Penannenia; cp. John of Ephesus, vi. 8.] , * V 



42 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

skirmishes. The darkness of the night and the separation of 
the Romans afforded the Persian monarch an opportunity of 
revenge ; and one of their camps was swept away bj a rapid 
and impetuous assault. But the review of his loss and the 
consciousness of his danger determined Chosroes to a speedy 
retreat ; he biumt, in his passage, the vacant town of Melitene ; 
and, without consulting the safety of his troops, boldly swam 
the Euphrates on the back of an elephant J After this unsuc- 
cessful campaign, the want of magazines, and perhaps some 
inroad of the Turks, obliged him to disband or divide his forces; 
the Romans were left masters of the field, and their general 
Justinian, advancing to the relief of the Persarmenian rebelsy 
erected his standard on the banks of the Arazes. The great 
Pompey had formerly halted within three da3rs' march of the 
Caspian ; ^ that inland sea was explored, for the first time, by an 
hostile fleet,^ and seventy thousand captives were transplanted 
from H3rrcania to the isle of Cyprus. On the return of spring; 
Justinian descended into the fertile plains of Assyria, the flames 

«iL of war approached the residence of Nushirvan, the indignant 
monarch sunk into the grave, and his last edict restrained his 
successors from exposing their person in a battle against the 
Romans. Yet the memory of this transient afiront was lost in 
the glories of a long reign ; and his formidable enemies, after 
indulging their dream of conquest, again solicited a short respite 
from the calamities of war.^® 

^•ad The throne of Chosroes Nushirvan was filled by Hormonx. 

rmon or Honuisdas, the eldest or the most favoured of his sons, 

%m With the kingdoms of Persia and India, he inherited the repa- 

V [Cp. John Eph., vi. 8. The Romans might have followed t^ their rictory, or 
at least hmdered the destruction of Melitene. Their inactivity is ascribed to the 
mutual jealousies of the commanders.] 

' He had vanquished the Albanians, who brought into the field Z2,ooo hone 
and 60,000 foot ; but he dreaded the multitude of venomous reptiles, wh(»e exist- 
ence may admit of some doubt, as well as that of the neighbouring Amasons. 
Plutarch, in Pompeio, torn, il p. X165, xz66 [c. 36]. 

* In the history of the world I can only perceive two navies on the Caspian : z. 
Of the Macedonians, when Patrocles, the admiral of the kings of Syria, Seleucus 
and Antiochus, descended most probably the river Oxus, from tlie confines of 
India (Plin. Hist. Natur. vi. 21). i. Of the Russians, when Peter the First con- 
ducted a fleet and army from the neighbourhood of Moscow to the coast of Persia 
(Bell's Travels, vol ii. p. 325-359). He justly observes that such martial pomp 
iBd never been displayed on the Volga. 

^^ For these Persian wars and treaties, see Menander in Excerpt. Legat pi 
Z13 [le^, 1x4], X2^ [fr. 33, 36 e/ sg^.f in F. H. Q. It.]. Theophanes Byzant apud 
Pbotium, cod. Ixiv. p. 77, 80, 8x. Evagrius, I. v. c. 7-15. TheophyUict, L iii. c 
9-Z6. Agathias, L it. p. 140 [c. 99]. Qohn d Ephesus, vL yi^ The lait edict 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIRE 43 

I example of his &ther, the service, in every rank, 
and valiant officers, and a general system of adminis- 
irmonized hy time and political wisdom to promote 
less of the prince and people. But the royal youth 
still more valuable blessing, the friendship of a sage 
trended over his education, and who always preferred 
tr to the interest of his pupil, his interest to his 
u In a dispute with the Grreek and Indian philo- 
uzuig ^^ had once maintained that the most grievous 
i cf£ life is old age without the remembrance of virtue ; 
amdour will presume that the same principle com- 
0, during three years, to direct the councils of the 
ipire. His zeal was rewarded by the gratitude and 
Hormouz, who acknowledged himself more indebted 
septor than to his parent ; but, when age and labour 
r»i the strength and perhaps the Acuities of this 
lunsellor, he retired from court, and abandoned the 
nonarch to his own passions and those of his fiivourites. 
ml vicissitude of human affairs, the same scenes were 
t Ctesiphon, which had been exiiibited in Rome after 
of Marcus Antoninus. The ministers of flattery and 
, who had been banished by the father, were recalled 
bed by the son ; the disgrace and exile of the friends 
an established their tyranny ; and virtue was driven 
s from the mind of Hormouz, from his palace, and 
;ovemment of the state.^^ The faithful agents, the 
ars of the king, informed him of the progress of dis- 
t the provincial governors flew to their prey with the 
of lions and eagles, and that their rapine and injustice 

eems to be a vain invention of the Greeks, credulously accepted by 
Theophylact] 

kilihir may be considered, in his character and station, as the Seneca 
bat his virtues, and perhaps his faults, are less known than those of 
vho appears to have been much more loquacious. The Persian sage 
on who impcMted from India the game of chess and the fables of 
ti has been the fame of his wisdom and virtues that the Christians 
a believer in the gospel ; and the Mahometans revere Buzurg as a 
[usulman. D'Herbelot, Biblioth^ue Orientale, p. aid. [Buzuiff 
sorite fijg^re in rhetorical literature, but is unknown to strict nistoiy. 
, Taban, p. 251.] 

irk portrait of Hormizd is based on the accounts of the Greek 
leopbylactus, Menander, Evagrios (to whidi add John of Ephesus, vL 
mans did not forgive him for renewing the war. Moreover Theophy- 
9S derived his ideas of the character of Hormizd from Chosroes IL 
ians who accompanied him to Constantinople; and they of course 
dark colours. See N5ldeke, Tabari, p. 265. Hormizd attempted 
a power of the magnates and the priests, and strengthen the royal 



44 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

would teach the most loyal of his subjects to abhor the nan 
and authority of their sovereign. The sincerity of this advi* 
was punished with death, the murmurs of the cities we 
despised, their tumults were quelled by military executioi 
the intermediate powers between the throne and the peop 
were abolished; and the childish vanity of Hormouc, wl 
affected the daily use of the tiara, was fond of declaring th 
he alone would be the judge as well as the master of 1: 
kingdom. In every word and in every action, the son 
Nushirvan degenerated from the virtues of his fiither. H 
avarice defiratuded the troops ; his jealous caprice degraded t] 
satraps; the palace, the tribunals, the waters of the Tigr 
were stained with the blood of the innocent ; and the tyra: 
exulted in the sufferings and execution of thirteen thousai 
victims. As the excuse of his cruelty, he sometimes cond 
scended to observe that the fears of the Persians would 1 
productive of hatred, and that their hatred must terminate 
rebellion; but he forgot that his own guilt and folly had i 
spired the sentiments which he deplored, and prepared ti 
event which he so justly apprehended. Exasperated by loi 
and hopeless oppression, the provinces of Babylon, Susa, ai 
Carmania erected the standard of revolt; and the princes 
Arabia, India, and Scythia refused the customary tribute to tl 
unworthy successor of Nushirvan. The arms of the Romai 
in slow sieges and frequent inroads, afflicted the frontiers 
Mesopotamia and Assyria ; one of their generals professed hii 
self the disciple of Scipio ; and the soldiers were animated bj 
miraculous image of Christ, whose mild aspect should nev 
have been displayed in the frt)nt of battle.^^ At the same tin 
the eastern provinces of Persia were invaded by the great khan 
.n. B«] who passed the Oxus at the head of three or rour hundrt 
thousand Turks. The imprudent Hormouz accepted th< 
perfidious and formidable aid ; the cities of Khorasan 
Bactriana were commanded to open their gates; the march 
the barbarians towards the mountains of H3nrcania revealed tl 

power by the support of the lower classes. It was a bold poliqr, too bold for 
talents.] 




manufacture ; but in the next thousand years many others issued firom the sa 
work-shop. 

^* [He is named Sh&ba by Hish&m. apud Tabari (N&ldeke, p. 969) ; a 
Remusat identified him with Chao-wu, a luiaQ who is mentioned at this time 
the Chinese annals.] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 45 

ndence of the Turkish and Roman aims; and their 
oat have subverted the throne of the house of Sassan. 

had been lost by a king; it was saved by a hero. MoHit« 
8 revolt, Varanes or Bahram is stigmatized by the son a.s. m 
ou2 as an ungrateful slave : the proud and ambiguous 

of despotism, since he was trulv descended firom the 
3rince8 of Rei,^ one of the seven nimilies whose splendid 

as substantial prerogatives exalted them above the 
' the Persian nobility.^^ At the siege of Dara, the 
f Bahram was signalised under the eyes of Nushirvan, 
1 the &ther and son successively promoted him to the 
d of armies, the government of Media, and the superin- 
t of the palace. The popular prediction which marked 
the deliverer of Persia might be inspired by his past 

and extraordinary figure ; the epithet Giubin is ex-CAoMa] 

of the quality of dry wood; he had the strength and 
if a giant, and his savage countenance was fancifullv 
d to that of a wild cat. While the nation trembled, 
ormouz disguised his terror by the name of suspicion, 
servants concealed their disloyalty under the mask of 
iram alone displayed his undaunted courage and ap- 
idelity ; and, as soon as he found that no more than 
housand soldiers would follow him against the enemy, 
ently declared that to this &tal number heaven had 

the honours of the triumph. The steep and narrow 
of the Pule Rudbar ^^ or Hjrrcanian rock is the only 
oogh which an army can penetrate into the territory 

, or Rei, is mentioned in the apocryphal book of Tobit as already 
, 700 years before Christ, under the Assyrian empire. Under the foreign 
Uiropns and Arsatia, this city, 500 stadia to the south of the Caspian 
successively embellished by the Macedonians and Parthians (Strabo, 
96 [c. 13, 6]). Its grandeur and populousness in the ixth century is 
d beyond the bounds of credibility ; out Rei has been since ruined by 
be unwholesomeness of the air. Chardin, Voyage en Perse, torn. L p. 
D'Herbelot, Bibliot. Oriental p. 714. [Rei or Rayy was a little to the 
'eheran.] 

ibylact, L iii. c. 18. The story of the seven Persians is told in the third 
irodotus ; and their noble descendants are often mentioned, especially 
nents of Ctesias. Yet the independence of Otanes (Herodot. 1. iil c. 
lostile to the sp»trit of despotism, and it may not seem probable that 
iamilies could survive the revolutions of eleven hundred years. They 
ever be represented by the seven ministers (Brisson, de Regno Persioo, 
1) ; and some Persian nobles, like the kings of Pontus (Polyb. I v. p. 
f al) and Cappadocia (Diodor. Sicul. L zxxi. torn, it p. 5x7 [c. 19]), 
n their descent from the bold companions of Darius. 

I accurate description of this mountain by Olearius fVoj^afe en PerM, 
)• who ascended it with much diflSculty and danger in his velum from 
the Caspian 



46 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

of Rei and the plains of Media. From the commanding heigl 
a band of resolute men might overwheboa with stones and ds 
the myriads of the Turkish host: their emperor and his i 
were transpierced with arrows ; and the fugitives were L 
without counsel or provisions, to the revenge of an injw 
people. The patriotism of the Persian general was stimula* 
by his affection for the city of his fore&thers ; in the hour 
victory every peasant became a soldier, and every soldier 
hero ; and their ardour was kindled by the gorgeous specta 
of beds and thrones and tables of massy gold, the spoils 
Asia, and the luxury of the hostile camp. A prince of a ] 
malignant temper could not easily have forgiven his bene£ftd 
and the secret hatred of Hormouz was envenomed bj 
malicious report that Bahram had privately retained the m 
precious fruits of his Turkish victory. But the approach c 
Roman army on the side of the Araxes compelled the i 
placable tyrant to smile and to applaud ; and the toils 
Bahram were rewarded with the permission of encounterin 
new enemy, by their skill and discipline more formidable tl 
a Scythian multitude. Elated by his recent success, he i 
patched an herald with a bold defiance to the camp of < 
Romans, requesting them to fix a day of battle, and to cho 
whether they would pass the river themselves or allow a f 
passage to the arms of the Great King. The lieutenant of ^ 
emperor Maurice preferred the safer alternative, and this k 
circumstance, which would have enhanced the victory of ^ 
Persians, rendered their defeat more bloody and their esoi 
more difficult. But the loss of his subjects and the dangei 
his kingdom were overbalanced in the mind of Hormouz 
the disgrace of his personal enemy ; and no sooner had Bahi 
collected and reviewed his forces than he received from 
royal messenger the insulting gift of a distaff, a spinni 
wheel, and a complete suit of female appareL Obedient 
the will of his sovereign, he shewed himself to the soldien 
this unworthy disguise ; they resented his ignominy and tl: 
own ; a shout of rebellion ran through the ranks ; and 1 
general accepted their oath of fidelity and vows of reven 
A second messenger, who had been ocmimanded to bring 1 
rebel in chains, was trampled under the feet of an elepha 
nuxuau and manifestos were diligently circulated, exhorting the Persi 
to assert their freedom against an odious and oontempti 
tyrant The defection w&s rapid and universal ; his lo3ral sla 
were sacrificed to the public fury ; the troops deserted to 1 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 47 

sUndard of Bahrain; and the provinces again saluted the 
deliverer of his country. 

As the passes were £uthfully guarded, Hormouz could only 
oompate toe number of his enemies W the testimony of a guilty 
eooscience, and the daOy defection of those who, in the hour of 
his distress, avenged their wrongs or forgot their obligations. He 
proadly displayed the ensigns of royalty ; but the city and palace 
of Modain had already escaped from the hand of the tyrant. 
Amon^ the victims of his cruelty, Bindoes, a Sassanian prince, 
had been cast into a dungeon ; lids fetters were broken by the 
leal and courage of a brother ; and he stood before the king 
st the head of those trusty guards who had becin chosen as the 
ministers of his confinement and perhaps of his death. Alarmed 

5^ the hasty intrusion and bold reproaches of the captive, 
onnouz looked round, but in vain, for advice or assistance ; 
discove r ed that his strength consisted in the obedience of 
otheiSy and patiently yielded to the single arm of Bindoes, who 
druged him from the throne to the same dungeon in which 
he h^nself had been so lately confined. At the first tumult, 
Chosvoes, the eldest of the sons of Hormouz, escaped from the 
6ty ; he was persuaded to return by the pressing and friendly 
invitation of Bindoes, who promised to seat him on his father's 
throne^ and who expected to reign under the name of an in- 
experienced youth. In the just assurance that his accomplices 
eoold neither forgive nor hope to be forgiven, and that every 
Persian might be trusted as the judge and enemy of the tyrant, 
he instituted a pubhc trial without a precedent and without a 
eopj in the annals of the East. The son of Nushirvan, who 
had requested to plead in his own defence, was introduced as 
a criminal into the full assembly of the nobles and satraps.^^ 
He was heard with decent attention as long as he expatiated 
on the advantages of order and obedience, the danger of in- 
novation, and the inevitable discord of those who had en- 
( eounged each other to trample on their lawful and hereditary 
•overeign. By a pathetic appeal to their humanity, he ex- 
torted that pity which is seldom refused to the fiiUen fortunes 
of a king ; and, while they beheld the abject posture and 
iqoalid appearance of the prisoner, his tears, his chains, and 
the marks of ignominious stripes, it was impossible to forget 
how recently they had adored the divine splendour of his 

*The Orientals suppoae that Bahram convened this assembly and prodaimed 
ChoBOCi, but Tbeopojlact is, in this instance, more distinct and credible. 



dlMA 



48 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

diadem and purple. But an angry marmnr arose in the 
assembly as soon as he presmned to vindicate his conduct 
and to applaud the victories of his reign. He defined the 
duties of a king, and the Persian nobles listened with a smile 
of contempt ; they were fired with indignation when he dared 
to vilify the character of Chosroes ; and by the indiscreet offer 
of resigning the sceptre to the second of his sons he subscribed 
his own condemnation and sacrificed the life of his innocent 
favourite. The mangled bodies of the boy and his mother 
were exposed to the people ; the eyes of Hormouz were pierced 
with a hot needle ; and the punishment of the father was 
succeeded by the coronation of his eldest son. Chosroes had 
ascended the throne without guilt, and his piety strove to 
alleviate the miseiy of the abdicated monarch ; from the 
dungeon he removed Hormouz to an apartment of the palace, 
supplied with liberality the consolations of sensual enjoyment, 
and patiently endured the furious sallies of his resentment 
and despair. He might despise the resentment of a blind and 
unpopular tyrant, but the tiara was trembling on his head, till 
he could subvert the power, or acquire the friendship, of the 
great Bahram, who sternly denied the justice of a revolution 
in which himself and his soldiers, the true representatives of 
Persia, had never been consulted. The offer of a genera] 
amnesty and of the second rank in his kingdom was answered^ 
by an epistle from Bahram, friend of the gods, conqueror ot 
men, and enemy of ^rrants, the satrap of satraps, general of 
the Persian armies, and a prince adorned with the title of eleven 
virtues.^® He commands Chosroes, the son of Hormouz, to shun 
the example and &te of his &ther, to confine the traitors who 
had been released from their chains, to deposit in some holy 
place the diadem which he had usurped, and to accept fix>m 
tiis gracious benefiictor the pardon of his fiiults and the govern- 
ment of a province. The rebel might not be proud, and the 
king most assuredly was not humble ; but the one was con- 
scious of his strength, the other was sensible of his weakness ; 
and even the modest language of his reply still left room for 

>*[Aooording to Ttbari (Ndldeke, n. 876), Cboiroes and Bahram had an 
interview on the banks of the Naharvin. J 

* See the words of Theophjlact, L !▼. c. 7. Ba#^ ^cXof rsTt 9flt, runrvt 

In this answer Chosroes stjks hinudf rf mmtI x«p^<ofMvo« iiifiara ... 4 t©^ 'Aommw 
(the genii) fu9#o4Mv«f [c. 8, 5. The meaniBg of "A^vm^ is quite obtcuxe]. This 
it genuine Orintal bombait. 



» 



fliMtOtk* 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 49 

treaty and reconciliation. Chosroes led into the field the slaves 
of the palace and the populace of the capital; they beheld with 
terror the banners of a veteran army ; they were encompassed 
and surprised by the evolutions of the general ; and the satraps 
who had deposed Hormouz received the punishment of their 
revolt, or expiated their first treason by a second and more 
criminal act of disloyalty. The life and lioerty of Chosroes were 
saved, but he was reduced to the necessity of imploring aid 
or refuge in some foreign land ; and the implacable Bindoes, 
inxious to secure an unquestionable title, hastily returned to 
the palace, and ended, with a bow-string, the wretched exist- SMthtf 
ence of the son of Nushirvan.^^ SSTSo* 

While Chosroes dispatched the preparations of his retreat, he 
deliberated with his remaining mends ^ whether he should 
loric in the vallejrs of Mount Caucasus, or fiy to the tents of the 
Turks, or solicit the protection of the emperor. The long 
emulation of the successors of Artaxerxes and Constantine in- 
creased his reluctance to appear as a suppliant in a rival court ; 
but he weighed the forces of the Romans, and prudently con- 
sidered that the neighbourhood of Syria would render his 
escape more easy and their succours more effectuaL Attended 
only by his concubines and a troop of thirty guards, he secretly 
departed from the capital, fiollowea the banlu of the Euphrates, 
traversed the desert, and halted at the distance of ten miles 
from Circesium. About the third watch of the night, the 
Boman prsefect was informed of his approach, and he introduced 
the royal stranger to the fortress at the dawn of day. From 
thence the king of Persia was conducted to the more honourable 
residence of Hierapolis ; ^ and Maurice dissembled his pride, 
and displayed his benevolence, at the reception of the letters 
and ambanadors of the grandson of Nushirvan. They humbly 
represented the vidssitudes of fortune and the common interest 



I ^^Tbeophylact (L iv. c. 7) imputes the death of Honnoux to his son, by whose 
oommand he was beaten to death with clubs. I have followed the milder account 
of Kbondcmir and Entychius [and so Tabari, p. aSo] and shall always be content 
with the sli^test evidoioe to extenuate the crime of parricide. [The account of 
Sefaaeoa, p. 33-4, also exonerates Chosroes.] 

*> After the battle of Pharsalia, the Pompey of Lucan(l. viiL 956-455) holds a 
amilar debate. He was himself desirous of seeking the nuthians ; but his com- 
panioDS aUiorred the unnatural alliance; and the adverse prejudices might 
operate as forcibly on Chosroes and his companions, who could describe, with the 
ame vehemence, the oontrast of laws, religion, and manners, between the East 
aadWest. 

*rThe letter was dispatched from Circesium, the frontier town (TheophyL, ^ 
20) ; Tabari falsely says, from Antioch (p. 28a). 1 

Toii. y. 4 



£0 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

4>f princes, exaggerated the ingratitude of Bahram, the agent of 
the evil principle, and urged, with specious argument, that it was 
for the advantage of the Romans themselves to support the two 
monarchies which balance the world, the two great luminaries 
by whose salutary influence it is vivified and adorned. The 
anxiety of Chosroes was soon relieved by the assurance that the 
emperor had espoused the cause of justice and royalty ; but 
Maurice prudently declined the expense and delay of his use- < 
less visit to Constantinople. In the name of his generous bene- 
fi&ctor, a rich diadem was presented to the fugitive prince with > 
an inestimable gift of jewels and gold ; a powerAil army was I 
assembled on the frontiers of Syria and Armenia, under the I 
command of the valiant and futhml Narses ; ^^ and this general, \ 
of his own nation and his own choice, was directed to pass the 
Tigris, and never to sheath his sword till he had restored 
Chosroes to the throne of his ancestors. The enterprise, how- 
it ntva ever splendid, was less arduous than it might appear. Persia 
had already repented of her fiital rashness, which betrayed the 
heir of the house of Sassan to the ambition of a rebelUous 
subject ; and the bold refusal of the Magi to consecrate his 
usurpation compelled Bahiam to assume the sceptre, regardless 
of the laws and prejudices of the nation. The palace was soon 
distracted with conspiracy, the city with tumult, the provinces 
with insurrection ; and the cruel execution of the guilty and the 
suspected served to irritate rather than subdue the public 
discontent. No sooner did the grandson of Nushirvan display 
his own and the Ronuui banners beyond the Tigris than he was } 
joined, each day, by the increasing multitudes of the nobility ^ 
and people ; and, as he advanced, he received from every side ] 
the grateful offerings of the keys of his cities and the h^ids of 
his enemies. As soon as Modain was freed from the presence 
of the usurper, the loyal inhabitants obeyed the first summons 
of Mebodes at the head of only two thousand horse, and Chosroes 
accepted the sacred and precious ornaments of the palace as the 
pledge of their truth and a presage of his approaching success. 
After the junction of the Imperial troops, which Bahram vainly 

** In this age there were three warriors of the name of Narus, who have been 
often confounded (Pagi, Critica, torn. ii. p. 640) : i. A Persannenian, the brother 
of Isaac and Armatius, who, after a inooessful action against Belisarius, deserted 
from his Persian sovereign and afterwards served in the Italian war. — a. The 
eunuch who concjuered ludy. — 3. The restorer of Chosroes, who is celebrated in 
the poem of Corippus (I. iit 990*227) as ezcelsus super omnia vertice agmina . . . 
habitu modestus . . • roonrni prooitate placens, virtute verendus; fiilmincnii 
auttas, vigiltms, Ac, [Compare above, vol iv. p. 4x2, n. 55.] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 51 

struggled to prevent, the contest was decided by two battles on 

the banks of the Zab and the confines of Media. The Romans. aMiiMi 

' * - 

with the £Euthful subjects of Persia, amounted to sixty thousand, 
while the whole force of the usurper did not exceed forty 
thousand men; the two generals signalised their valour and 
ability, but the victory was finally determined by the prevalence 
of numbers and discipline. With the remnant of a broken army, 
Bahram fled towards the eastern provinces of the Oxus ; ^^ 
the enmity of Persia reconciled him to the Turks ; but his days p^«f 
were shortened by poison, perhaps the most incurable of poisons : 
the stings of remorse and despair, and the bitter remembrance 
of lost glonr. Yet the modem Persians still commemorate the 
exploits of Bahram; and some excellent laws have prolcmged 
the duration of his troubled and transitory reign. 

The restoration of Chosroes was celebrated with feasts andi^j^^ 
executions; and the music of the royal banquet was o^^^c^^j'^^ 
disturbed by the groans of dying or mutilated criminals, A 
genoml paidon might have diffused comfort and tranquillity 
through a country which had been shaken by the late revolu- 
tions ; yet, before the sanguinary temper of Chosroes is blamed, 
we should learn whether the Persians had not been accustomed 
either to dread the rigour, or to despise the weakness, of their 
soveieign. The revolt of Bahram and the conspiracy of the 
satraps were impartially punished by the revenge or justice of 
the conqueror ; the merits of Blndoes himself could not purify 
his hand from the guilt of royal blood ; and the son of Hormouz 
was desirous to assert his own innocence and to vindicate the 
sanctity of kings. During the vigour of the Ronuui power, 
several jMinces were seated on the throne of Persia by the arms 
and the authority of the first Ciesars. But their new subjects 
were soon disgusted with the vices or virtues which they had 
Imbtb^ in a foreign land; the instability of their dominion 
gave birth to a vulgar observation that the choice of Rome was 
solicited and rejected with equal ardour by the capricious levity 
(»f Oriental slaves.^ But the glory of Maurice was conspicuous 
in the long and fortunate reign of his wn and his ally. A band 
of a thousand Romans, who continued to guard the person of 
Chosroes, proclaimed his confidence in the fidelity of the 

*■• [Sebaeos {m. 3, tr. Patkan., p. 43) says he fled to Balkh and was pat to death 
dMfelqr the intrigues of Chosroes. For the romance of Bahrftm— composed between 
the death o£ Chosroes II. and the fall of the Pttaan kingdom— see NdMeke, tf, 
dtp, 474 jyf .] 

"Expernnentis cognitmn est barbaros malle Rom& p^ere reges quam habere. 
These experiments are admirably represented in the invitaxioa and e3i^K:^^»x d 
VooooeslAmiBL iL i-j), Tbidata (Aaatd. vl 32-44), and M<hieceAl»VXxma\.^ 



52 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

strangers ; his growing strength enabled him to dismiss this un- 
popular aid, but he steadily professed the same gratitude and 
reverence to his adopted father ; and, till the death of Maurice, 
the peace and alliance of the two empires were £uthfully main- 
tained. Yet the mercenary friendsnip of the Roman prince 
had been purchased with costly and important gifts : the strong 
cities of Martyropolis and Dara were restored, and the Persar- 
menians became the willing subjects of an empire, whose 
eastern limit was extended, beyond the example of former 
times, as far as the banks of the Araxes and the neighbourhood 
of the Caspian. A pious hope was indulged that the church 
as well as the state might triumph in this revolution ; but, if 
ChosToes had sincerely listened to the Christian bishops, the 
impression was erased by the zeal and eloquence of the Ma;^ ; 
if he was armed with philosophic indifference, he accommodated 
his belief, or rather his professions, to the various circumstances 
of an exile and a sovereign. The imaginary conversion of 
the king of Persia was reduced to a local and superstitious 
veneration for Sergius,^ one of the saints of Antioch, who heard 
his prayers and appeared to him in dreams ; he enriched the 
shrine with offerings of gold and silver, and ascribed to this 
invisible patron the success of his arms, and the pregnancy of 
Sira, a devout Christian and the best beloved of his wives.-<^ 
The beauty of Sira, or Schirin,^ her wit, her musical talents, 

lo, xii. 10-14). I^c ^c ^ Tacitus seems to have transpierced the camp. of the 
Parthians and the walls of the harem. 

^Sergins and his companion Bacchus, who are said to have suffered in the 
persecution of Maximian, obtained divine honour in France, Italy, Constantinople, 
and the East. Their tomb at Rasaphe was famous for miracles, and that Syrian 
town acquired the more honourable name of Sergiopolis. Tillemont, M^m. 
Eccl<5s. tom. V. p. 491-496. Butler's Saints, vol x. p. 155, [One of the sources 
used by Taban transforms Sergius into a general sent by Maurice to restore 
Chosroes to the throne. For Maurice's Armenian acquisitions cp. Appendix 5.I 

^ Evajgjius (1. vi a ai) and Tbeophylact (I v. a 13, 14) have preserved the onginal 
letters of Chosroes written in Greek, signed with his own hand, and afterwards 
inscribed on crosses and tables of gold, which were deposited in the church ol 
Semopolis. They had been sent to the bishop of Antioch, as primate of Syria. 

^ The Greeks only describe her as a Roman by birth, a Christian by r^igion ; 
but she is represented as the daughter of the emperor Maurice in the Persian and 
Turkish romances, which celebrate the love of Knosrou for Schirin, of Schirin for 
Ferhad, the most beautiful youth of the East. D'Herbek>t, Biblioth. Orient. 
P> 789* 997i 99?* n^c name Shirin is Persian, and Sebaeos expressly states that 
she was a native of Khtlzistfin (c. 5, p. 50, Russ. Tr.), but agrees with the other 
sources that she was a Christian. Taoari |p. 383) states that Maurice gave 
Chosroes his daughter Maria, and it seems that Persian tradition is unanimous 
(Nfildeke, 1^.) in recording that Chosroes married a daughter of the emperor and 
that she was the mother 01 ShErOe (Siroes). If Maria had been given to Chosroes 
at the time of his restoration, the circumstance could hardly uiil to have been 
noticed by Theophylactus ; the silence of the Greek sources is, m any case, curious. 
Tbe cbroDtclc ci Mkihael the Syrian, it is true, supports the statement of Tabari 
(Joum. AaiMt, 1848, Oct, p, 908).] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 53 

kmous in the history or rather in the romances of the 
r own name is expressive, in the Persian tongue^ of 
I and grace ; and the epithet of Parviz ^ alludes to the 
r her Toytl lover. Yet Sira never shared the passion 
e inspired, and the bliss of Chooroes was tortured by 

doubt that, while he possessed her person, she had 

her affections on a meaner &vourite.^ 
the majesty of the Roman name was revived in the rrid*. pouer 

prospect of Europe is less pleasing and less glorious. th«2^tt 
eparture of the Lombards and the ruin of the Gepidse, a.s.WSoq^ 
ice of power was destroyed on the Danube ; and the ^^ 
read their permanent dominion from the foot of the 
be sea-coast of the Euxine. The reign of Baian is the 

sera of their monarchy ; their chagan, who occupied 
i palace of Attila, appears to have imitated his char* 
. policy ; ^^ but, as the same scenes were repeated in a 
fircle, a minute representation of the copy would be 
f the greatness and novelty of the originaL*^ The 

the second Justin^ of Tiberius, and Maurice, was 

by a proud barbarian, more prompt to inflict, than 
to suffer, the injuries of war ; and, as often as Asia 

uune/orwft or afarwiz seems to mean "victorious" ; cp. NOldeke, 

7S-1 

lioic senes of the tyranny of Hormouz, the revolt of Bahram. and the 

storation of Chosroes, is related by two contemporary Greeks — more 

Evagrius (l vi. c. i6, 17, 18, 19), and most diffusely by Tbeophylact 
L iii c. 6-18, I. iv. c. z-i6, 1. v. c. 1-15); sucdeedmg compilers, 
I Cedrenus, can only transcribe and abridge. Hie Christian Arabs, 
AnnaL tom. il p. 900-208) and Abulpharagius (Dynast p. 96^), 
tve consulted some particular memoirs. The great Persian historians 

century, Mirkhond and Khondemir, are only known to me t^ the 
ctracts of Schikard (Tarikh, p. I5o-z50, Texeira, or rather Stevens 
Tsia, p. 182-186), a Turkish Ms. translated by the Abb6 Fourmont 
\caddnue des Inscriptioos, tom. vii. p. 325-334), and D'Herbdot (aoz 
mm^ p. 457-459 ; Bahramy p. 174 ; Khosrou Parvit^ p. 996). Were I 
tisfied of their authority, I could wish these Oriental materials had 
ofnoos. [We can add Tabari and Seboeos.] 

aal idea of the pride and po>ver of the chagan may be taken from 
EzcerpL Lmt p. Z17, &c. [fr. 27, pp. 832-3, in F. H. G. iv.]) and 
L (L L c 3 ; L vii c. i^), whose eight books are much more honourable 
than to the Roman prince. The predecessors of Baian had tasted the 

Rome, and he survived the reign of Maurice (Buat, Hist, des Peuples 
tn. zL p. 545). The chagan who invaded Italy a.d. 611 (Muratori. 
. V. p. 305^ was then juvenili aetateflorentem(Patil Wamefrid, de Gest 

L v. & 38), the son, perhaps, or the grandson, of Baian. [Baian was 
f his eldest son ; and he by a younger brother, who was chagan in a.d. 
le Rdadoo of the siege of Constantinople in that year ap. Mai, x. p. 
know ooc which of the sons was chagan in A.D. 511.] 
tofy of the Avar invasions has been told in great detail by Sir H, 
lie Avan. in Journal of Royal Asiatic Sopety, 1889, ^ 7^1, sgq. ^«t 
jajtKX Roman Em/jicne; iL 116, jff,] 



54 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

was threatened by the Persian arms^ Europe was oppressed bj 
the dangerous inroads, or costly friendship, of the Avars. 
When the Roman envoys approached the presence of the 
chagan, they were commanded to wait at the door of his tent, 
till, at the end perhaps of ten or twelve days, he condescended 
to admit them. If tne substance or the style of their message 
was offensive to his ear, he insulted, with a real or affected fury, 
their own dignity and that of their prince ; their baggage was 
plundered, and their lives were only saved by the promise of 
a richer present and a more respectful address. But Us sacred 
ambassadors enjoyed and abused an unbounded licence in the 
midst of Constantinople ; they urged, with importunate clamours, 
the increase of tribute, or the restitution of captives and deserters ; 
and the majesty of the empire was almost equally degraded 
by a base compliance or by the £dse and fearral excuses with 
which they eluded such insolent demands. The chagan had 
never seen an elephant; and his curiosity was excited by 
the strange, and perhaps &bulous, portrait of that wonderful 
animaL At his command, one of the largest elephants of the 
Imperial stables was equipped vrith stately caparisons, and con- 
ducted by a numerous train to the royal village in the plains 
of Hungary. He surveyed the enormous beast with surprise, 
vrith disgust, and possibly with terror ; and smiled at the vain 
industry of the Romans, who, in search of such useless rarities, 
could explore the limits of the land and sea. He wished, at 
the expense of the emperor, to repose in a golden bed. The 
wealth of Constantinople, and the skilful diligence of her artists, 
were instantly devoted to the gratification of his caprice ; but, 
when the work was finished, he rejected with scorn a present 
so unworthy the majesty of a great king.^ These were the 
casual sallies of his pride, but the avarice of the chagan was a 
more steady and tractable passion : a rich and r^nlar supply 
of silk apparel, furniture, and plate, introduced the rudiments 
of art and luxury among the tents of the Scjrthians ; their 
appetite was stimulated by the pepper and cinnamon of India ;** 
the annual subsidy or tribute was raised from fourscore to one 

« Theophylact, L i. c. 5, 6. 

^ Even in the field, the chagan delighted in the use of these aromatics. He 
solicited as a gift 'li^tx^ Kupvttimt pggg, HmfmuUf], and rece iv ed irtfvtp» k«1 ^ifAX»v 

The Europeans of the ruder ages oonsomed more spices in their meat and dd& 
than is compatible with the ddicacy of a modem palate. Vie Privfe de FVancois, 
torn, il p, x6a, 263. 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIBE 55 

and twenty thousand pieces of gold ; and, after each 
ntemiption, the payment of the arrears, with exorbi-* 
eresty was always made the first condition of the new 

In the language of a barbarian without guile, the 
f the Avars a&ected to complain of the insincerity of the 
^ yet he was not inferior to the most civilised nations 
efinements of dissimulation and perfidy. As the sue* 
f the Lombards, the chagan asserted his daim to the 
it city of Sirmium, the ancient bulwark of the lUyrian 
s.^ The plains of the Lower Hungary were covered 
: Avar horse, and a fieet of large boats was built in the 
sn wood, to descend the Danube, and to transport into 
i the materials of a bridge. But, as the strong garrison 
Innum, which commanded the confiux of the two rivers, 
ave stopped their passage and baffled his designs, he 
1 their apprehensions by a solemn oath that his views 
t hostile to the empire. He swore by his sword, the 
of the god of war, that he did not, as the enemy of 
xmstruct a bridge upon the Save. ''If I violate my 
ursued the intrepid Baian, ** may I myself, and the last 
ation, perish by the sword ! may the heavens, and fire, 
f of the heavens, fidl upon our heads I may the forests 
intains bury us in their ruins ! and the Save, returning, 
the laws of nature, to his source, overwhelm us in his 
'aters!" After this barbarous imprecation, he calmly 
, what oath was most sacred and venerable among the 
3S, what guilt of perjury it was most dangerous to incur, 
hop of Singidunum presented the gospel, which the 
received with devout reverence. ''I swear," said he, 
i God who has spoken in this holy book, that I have 
fidsehood on my tongue nor treachery in my heart." 
as he rose firom his knees, he accelerated the labour of 
Ige, and dispatched an envoy to proclaim what he no 
pdsbed to conceal. *^ Inform the emperor," said the 
IS Baian, '*that Sirmium is invested on every side, 
his prudence to withdraw the citizens and their effects, 
resign a city which it is now impossible to relieve or 

phvlact. L vl c. 6 : L vil c. 15. The Greek historian confesses the truth 
! of bis reproach. 

LDder (in Excerpt Legat p. 126-132, 174-175 C^* 63, 64, 6c, 66, ap. 
H. G. iv.]) describes the perjury of Bauan and the surraider of Sirmium. 
Kt his account of the siege, which is commended bv Theophylact, L I c. 3. 
[rf] wtpi^tami cro^ ivrt^pnmi, [Cp. John oT Ephesos* ¥i 84» 



56 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

defencL" Without the hope of relief, the defence of Sirmiom 
was prolonged above three years ; the walls were still untouched; 

A.«i] but famine was inclosed within the walls, till a merciful capitu- 
lation allowed the escape of the naked and hungry inhabitants. 
Singidunum, at the distance of fifW miles, experienced a more 
cruel &te : the buildings were rased, and the vanquished people 
was condemned to servitude and exile. ^ Yet the ruins of Sir- 
mium are no longer visible ; the advantageous situation of 
Singidunum soon attracted a new colony of Sclavonians ; and 
the conflux of the Save and Danube is still guarded by the 
fortifications of Belgrade, or the White City, so often and so 
obstinately disputed by the Christian and Turkish arms.^ From 
Belgrade to the walls of Constantinople a line may be measured 
of six hundred miles : that line was marked with flames and 
with blood; the horses of the Avars were alternately bathed 
in the Euxine and the Adriatic ; and the Roman ponti^ alarmed 
by the approach of a more savage enemy, ^ was reduced to 
cherish the Lombards as the protectors of Italy. The despair 
of a captive, whom his country refused to ransom, disclosed to 
the Avars the invention and practice of military engines;^ 
but in the first attempts they were rudely framed and awkwardly 
managed ; and the resistance of Diocletianopolis and Bercea, of 

•&•■*] Philippopolis and Hadriano^, soon exhausted the skill and 
patience of the besiegers. The warfjeire of Baian was that of a 
Tartar, yet his mind was susceptible of a humane and generous 
sentiment; he spared Anchialus, whose salutary waters had 
restored • the health of the best beloved of his wives ; and the 
Romans confess that their starving army was fed and dismissed 
by the liberality of a foe. His empire extended over Hungary, 
Poland, and Prussia, from the mouth of the Danube to that of 
the Oder ; ^ and his new subjects were divided and transplanted 

^ rWe find the chagan again attacking it in A.D. 591.] 

^ See d'Anville, in the M^moires de T'Acad. des Inscriptions, torn. xxviiL p, 
4x3-443. The Sclavonic name of Belp^tU is mentioned m the xth century by 
Constantine Porphyrogenitus ; the Latm appellation of Alba Grttca is used by the 
Franks in the banning of the ixth (p. 414]^ 

^ Baron. AnnaL Eccles. A.D. 600, No. i. Paul Wamefrid (L iv. c 38) relates 
their irruption into Friuli, and (c. 39), the captivity of his ancestors, about A.D, 
632. The Sclavi traversed the Adriatic cum multitudine navium, and made a 
descent in the territory of Sipontum (c 47). 

** Even the helepolis. or moveable turret Theophylact, 1. iL i6, 17. 

^ The arms and alliances of the chagan reached to the neighbourhood of a 

western sea, fifteen months' journey from Constantinople. The emperor Maurice 

con wsed with some itinerant harpers from that remote country, and only seems 

to have mistaken a trade for a nation. Theophylact, I vl c. a. [On extent of 

Avar empin, qx Appendix aj 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 57 

b^ the jealous policy of the conqueror.^ The eastern regions 
of Germany, which had been left vacant by the emigration of 
the VandaLB, were replenished with Sclavonian colonists; the 
nme tribes are discovered in the neighbourhood of the Adriatic 
and of the Baltic ; and, with the name of Baian himself, the 
niyrian cities of Neyss and Lissa are again found in the heart 
of Silesia. In the disposition both of his troops and provinces, 
the chagan exposed tiie vassals, whose lives he disregarded,^ 
to the first assault ; and the swords of the enemy were blunted 
before they encountered the native valour of the Avars. 
The Persian alliance restored the troops of the East to the w^of 



defence of Europe ; and Maurice, who had supported ten years M»iAit^ 
the insolence of^the chagan, declared his resolution to march insiMSi 
persoii against the barbarians. In the space of two centuries, 
none of the successors of Theodosius had appeared in the field, 
their lives were supinely spent in the palace of Constantinople ; 
and the Greeks could no longer understand that the name of 
emperor, in its primitive sense, denoted the chief of the armies 
of the republic The martial ardour of Maurice was opposed by 
the grave flattery of the senate, the timid superstition of the 
patriarch, and the tears of the empress Constantina ; and they 
all conjured him to devolve on some meaner general the 
fiitignes and perils of a Sc3rthian campaign. Deaf to their advice 
and entreaty, the emperor boldly advanced ^ seven miles from ijl.'d. sml] 
the capital ; the sacred ensign of the cross was displayed in the 
boat, and Maurice reviewed, with conscious pride, the arms and 
numbers of the veterans who had fought and conquered beyond 
the Tigris. Anchialus was the last term of his progress by sea 
and land ; he solicited, without success, a miraculous answer to 
Iiis Doctumal prayers ; his mind was confounded by the death 
of a fiiivourite horse, the encounter of a wild boar, a storm of 
wind and rain, and the birth of a monstrous child ; and he forgot 

* This is one of the most probable and luminous conjectures of the learned 
soont de Buat (Hist des Peuples Barbares, torn, xl p. 5^6-568). The Tzechi and 
Sertn are fonna tofKther near mount Caucasus, in Illyricum, and on the Lower 
Qbe. Even the wildest traditions of the Bohemians, &c. aflford some colour to 
his hypothesis. 

** See Fred^gartos, in the Historians of France, tom. it p. 432. Baian did not 
QODoeal his proud insensibilitj. *<>r» rotovrovs (not ro<rovTovf according to a foolish 
OKndation) iwm^^m rj P«|Uiacf , «ff cl Koi 9V|lfiai^ y« ir^ot favary oAMi^ai, oAA' </uiot 

^ See the march and return of Maurice, in Theophylact. L v. c. z6, 1. vi. c. i, 
i, ^ If be were a writer of taste or genius, we might suspect him of an elegant 
ino^ ; bat Theophylact is wanlf harmless. 



58 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

that the best of omens is to unsheath our sword in the defence 
of our country.** Under the pretence of receiving the am- 
bassadors of Persia, the emperor returned to Constantinople, 
exchanged the thoughts of war for those of devotion, and dis- 
appointed the public hope by his absence and the choice of his 
lieutenants. The blind partiality of fraternal love might 
dl 8H] excuse the promotion of his brother Peter, who fled with equal 
disgrace fitnn the barbarians, from his own soldiers, and from 
the inhabitants of a Roman city. That city, if we may credit 
the resemblance of name and character, was the famous Azimun- 
tium,^ which had alone repelled the tempest of Attila. The 
example of her warlike youth was propagated to succeeding 
generations ; and they obtained, horn the first or the second 
Justin, an honourable privilege, that their valour should be 
always reserved for the defence of their native country. The 
brother of Maurice attempted to violate this privilege, and to 
mingle a patriot band with the mercenaries of his camp ; they 
retired to the church, he was not awed by the sanctity of the 
place ; the people rose in their cause, the gates were shut, the 
ramparts were manned ; and the cowardice of Peter was found 
equal to his airogance and injustice. The military fame of 
;v|g^ Commeiitiolus *^ is the object of satire or comedy rather than 
^•00] of serious history, since he was even deficient in the vile and 
vulgar qualification of personal courage. His solemn councils, 
strange evolutions, and secret orders always supplied an apology 
for flight or delay. If he marched against the enemy, the 
pleasant valleys of mount Hsemus opposed an insuperable 
irrier ; but in his retreat he explored, with fearless curiosity, 
the most difficult and obsolete paths, which had almost escaped 
the memory of the oldest native. The only blood which he 
lost was drawn, in a real or aflected malady, by the lancet of a 
surgeon ; and his health, which felt with exquisite sensibility the 
approach of the barbarians, was uniformly restored by the 
repose and safety of the winter season. A prince who could 

• Elt oMwif apivrot «fAtlM«#M vwpi Wrpi|t. Iliad, xii. 243. 
This noble terse, which nnites the spirit of an hero with the reason of a sage, may 
prove that Homer was in every light superior to his age and country. 

^ Theophylact, 1. vii. c. 3. On the evidence of this fact, which had not occurred 
to my memory, the candid reader will correct and excuse a note in the iiird volume 
of this history, p. 433, which hastens the decar of Astmns, or Admuntium : an- 
other century of patriotism and valour is cheaply purchased by such a confession. 

<7 See the shameful conduct of Commentidus, in Theophylact, L ii e. X0-X5, L 
vii. c. 13. 14. 1. viiL c. 9, 4. [On the duronology of these Avar campaigns in 
TTieppbymeiMM see the editor's article in Eof . Hittor. Review, April, xSSS.] 



pie 
bai 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 5» 

ate and rapport this imworthT favourite must derive no 
fifom the accidental merit of his colleague Priscus.^ In 
uccessive battles^ which seem to have been conducted with 
and resolution^ seventeen thousand two hundred barbarians 
made prisoners ; near sixty thousand, with four sons of the 
m, were slain; the Roman general surprised a peaceful 
ict of the €vepid», who slept under the protection of the 
B ; and his last trophies were erected on the banks of the 
ibe and the Theiss. Since the death of Trajan, the arms 
e em|Hre had not penetrated so deeply into the old Dada ; 
he success of Priscus was transient and barren ; and he 
ioon recalled by the apprehension that Baian, vrith dauntless 
: and recruited forces, was preparing to avenge his defeat 
r the walls of ConstantinopJe.^^ 

le theory of war was not more familiar to the camps of steu^r 
r and IVajan than to those of Justinian and Maurice.^ The 
of Tuscany or Pontus still received the keenest temper 
the skill of the Byzantine workmen. The magazines were 
tifblly stored with every species of offensive and defensive 
hi the construction and use of ships, engines, and 
ficatioiis, the barbarians admired the superior ingenuity of 
ople whom they so often vanquished in the field. The 
ice of tactics, the order^ evolutions, and stratagems of 
[ui^y was truiscribed and studied in the books of the 
iks and Romans. But the solitude or degenencv of the 
inees could no longer supply a race of men to handle those 
xmSy to guard those walls, to navigate those ships, and to 
ce the theory of war into bold and suocessftil practice. The 
OS of Belisajios and Narses had been fonned without 'a 
er, and expired without a disciple. Neither honour, nor 
otism, nor generous superstition, could animate the lifeless 
es of slaves and strangers, who had succeeded to the 
>ura of the legions ; it was in the camp alone that the 
sror should have exercised a despotic command ; it was only 

See the exploits of Priseus, L viiu c 2, 3. 

rhe general detail of the war against the Avars may be traced in the first, 
i, sixth, seventh, and eighth books of the History of the emperor Maurice, 
teophylaet Simocatta. As he wrote in the reign of HeracIiiB, he had no 
ation to flatter ; but his want of judgment renders him diffuse m trifles and 
le in the most interesting facts. 

Mamice himself composed xii books on the military art, which are still extant, 
ave been published (Upsal, 1664) by John Schefler at the end of the Tactics 
ian (Fabridus Bibliot. Graeca, 1. iv. c. 8, tom. iii. p. 978), who promises to 
mofe fillip of his work in its proper place. [This work is not by Maurioe. 
bove, vol IV. p. 346, n. 15.] 



60 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

in the camps that his authority was disobeyed and insulted ; he 
appeased and inflamed with gold the licentiousness of the 
troops ; but their vices were inherent, their victories were 
accidental, and their costly maintenance exhausted the sub- 
stance of a state which they were unable to defend. After a 
long and pernicious indulgence, the cure of this inveterate evil 
was undertaken by Maurice ; but the rash attempt, which drew 
destruction on his own head, tended only to aggravate the 
disease. A reformer should be exempt from the suspicion of 
interest, and he must possess the confidence and esteem of those 
whom he proposes to reclaim. The troops of Maurice might 
listen to the voice of a victorious leader ; they disdained the 
admonitions of statesmen and sophists ; and, when they received 
an edict which deducted from their pay the price of their arms 
and clothing, they execrated the avarice of a prince insensible 
of the dangers and &tigues from which he had escaped. The 
camps both of Asia and Europe were agitated with frequent and 
furious seditions ; ^^ the enraged soldiers of Edessa pursued, 
with reproaches, with threats, with wounds, their trembling 
generals ; they overturned the statues of the emperor, cast 
stones against the miraculous image of Christ, and either re- 
jected the yoke of all civil and militaiy laws or instituted a 
dangerous model of voluntary subordination. The monaroti, 
always distant and often deceived, was incapable of jdelding or 
persisting according to the exigence of the moment. But the 
fear of a general revolt induced him too readily to accept any 
act of valour or any expression of loyalty, as an atonement for 
the popular offence ; the new reform was abolished as hastily as 
it had been announced ; and the troops, instead of punishment 
and restraint, were agreeably surprised by a gracious proclama- 
tion of immunities and rewards. But the soldiers accepted 
without gratitude the tardy and reluctant gifts of the emperor ; 
their insolence was elated by the discovery of his weakness and 
their own strength ; and their mutual hatred was inflamed 
beyond the desire of forgiveness or the hope of reconciliation. 
The historians of the times adopt the vulgar suspicion that 
Maurice conspired to destroy the troops whom he had laboured 
to reform ; the misconduct and fitvour of Commentiolus are im< 
puted to this malevolent design ; and every age must condemn 



^ See the nratinies under the reign of Maurice, in Theophylact, 1. iii. c, X'4, 1, 
fi a 7, 8, xot 1. vii. c. X, I viii. c. 6, &c. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 61 

the inhmnaiiity or avarice ^ of a prince who, by the trifling cajdl mq 
ruisoin of six thousand pieces of gold, might have prevented the 
massacre of twelve thousand prisoners in the hands of the 
chagan. In the just fervour of indignation, an order was signi-Mid nuait 
fied to the army of the Danube that they should spare the 
magazines of the province and establish their winter quarters in [a.d. toi-s] 
the hostile country of the Avars. The measure of their griev- 
ances was full : they pronounced Maurice unworthy to reign, 
expelled or slaughtered his faithful adherents, and under the 
command of Phocas, a simple centurion, returned by hasty 
marches to the neighbourhood of Constantinople. After a long^wUMiof 
series of legal succession, the military disorders of the third tQ^ostobtt 
century were again revived ; yet such was the novelty of 
the enterprise that the insurgents were awed by their own 
lashness. They hesitated to invest their favourite with the 
vacant purple,^ and, while they rejected all treaty with 
Maurice himself, they held a friendly correspondence with his 
•on Theodosius and vrith Germanus the fiither-in-law of the 
royal youth. So obscure had been the former condition of 
Phocas that the emperor was ignorant of the name and character 
of his rival; but, as soon as he learned that the centurion, 
though bold in sedition, was timid in the &ce of danger, 
"Alas!" cried the desponding prince, ''if he is a coward, he 
will surely be a murderer ". 

Yet, if Constantinople had been firm and &ithful the murderer a^wgjof 
might have spent his fury against the walls; and the rebel a«9i« 
army would have been gradually consumed or reconciled by the 
prudence of the emperor. In the games of the circus, which he 
fepeated with unusual pomp, Maurice disguised with smiles of 
confidence the anxiety of his heart, condescended to solicit the 
applause of the JadionSf and flattered their pride by accepting 
from their respective tribunes a list of nine hundred blues and 

■ Tbeopbylact and Theophanes seem ignorant of the conspira|^ and avarice 
of Maarioe. [The refusal to ransom the captives is mentioned by Theophanes. p. 
ado. L 5-xz (ed. de Boor) ; and also the conspiracy, p. 279, 1. 32. See also John of 
Antiocfa, fir. 218 b, in F. H. G. v. p. 35.] These charges, so unfavourable to the 
SKoory of that emperor, are first mentioned by the author of the Paschal Chron- 
^ (P^ 379* 3^ [P* ^^' ^ Bonn]) ; from whence Zonaras (tom. il L ziv. p. 77, 
7^ t^ X3i) ^^ tzanscribed them. Cedrenus (p. 399 [L p. 700, ed. Bonn]) has 
toQowed another computation of the ransom, t^inlay thinks that many of the 
prisooers were deserters.] 

* [It seems quite dear that originally there was no idea of elevating Phocas 
foEcept in his own mind) ; he was chosen simply as leader. The idea of the army 
was to snpenede Maurice by Germanxis or Theodosius. The conduct of Germanus 
is s o m e wh at ambiguous throughout. The narrative is given in greater detail in 
Bory, Later Roman Empire, iL 86^.] 



62 THE DECUNE AND FALL 

fifteen hundred ffreens, whom he affected to esteem as the solid 

Eillars of his throne. Their treacherous or languid support 
etrayed his weakness and hastened his fsdl ; the green £M;tion 
were the secret accomplices of the rebels, and the blues recom- 
mended lenity and moderation in a contest with their Roman 
brethren. The rigid and parsimonious virtues of Maurice had 
long since alienated the hearts of his subjects : as he walked 
barefoot in a religious procession, he was rudely assaulted with 
stones, and his guards were compelled to present their iron 
maces in the defence of his person. A fiinatic monk ran through 
the streets with a drawn sword, denouncing against him the 
wrath and the sentence of God, and a vile plebeian, who repre- 
sented his countenance and apparel, was seated on an ass and 
pursued by the imprecations of the multitude.^ The emperor 
suspected the popularity of Germanus with the soldiers and 
citizens ; he feared, he threatened, but he delayed to strike ; 
the patrician fled to the sanctuary of the chunm ; the people 
rose in his defence, the walls were deserted by the guards, ud 
the lawless city was abandoned to the flames and rapine of a 
nocturnal tumult. In a small bark, the unfortunate Maurice, 
with his wife and nine children, escaped to the. Asiatic shore, 
but the violence of the wind compelled him to land at the 
. church of St Autonomus ^ near Chalcedon, from whence he 
dispatched Theodosius, his eldest son, to implore the gratitude 
and friendship of the Persian monarch. For nimself, he refused 
to fly : his body was tortured with sciatic pains,^ his mind was 
enfeebled by superstition ; he patiently awaited the event of the 
revolution, and addressed a fervent and public prayer to the 
Almighty, that the punishment of his sins might be inflicted in 
this world rather than in a future life. After the abdication of 

** In their clamours against Maurice, the people of Constantinople branded him 
with the name of Mardonite or Marcionist : a heresy (sa^ Theophylact, L viiL c 

9) furo. nvof fM»pa¥ cvAaS«iac, cvi|9i|¥ rt koI MtraytfAacntK' Did they Only caSt OUt a 

vague reproach — or had the emperor really listened to some ol»cure teacher of 
those ancient Gnostics ? 

M The church of St Autonomus (whom I have not the honour to know) was 150 
stadia from Constantinople (Theophylact, 1. viii. c 9). [It was on the gulf of 
Nicomedia ; Nic. Callist x8, 4a The life of Autonomus (4th cent) will be found 
in Acta Sanct, 13 Sept iv. 16 sqq."] The port of Eutropius, where Maurice and 
his children were murdered, is described by Gyllius (de Bosphoro Thrado^ L 
ill. c. zi. ) as one of the two harbours of Chalcedon. 

** The inhabitants of Constantinople were generally subfect to the i4«m lf0pi>rtZ*v\ 
and Theophylact insinuates (L viii. c. 9) that, if it were consistent with the rules of 
history, he could assign the medical cause. Yet such a digrcnioo would not hav« 
been more impertinent than his inquiry (L vii. c. x6, 17) Into the annual inundac 
tions of the Nile^ and all the opinions of the Greek phiioaopberi oa that subject 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 63 

3Caiirice^ the two &ctions disputed the choice of an emperor ; 
but the fiivourite of the blues was rejected by the jealousy of 
their antagonists, and Germanus himself was hurried along by 
the crowds, who rushed to the palace of Hebdomon,^ seven 
miles from the city, to adore the majesty of Phocas the cen- 
turion. A modest wish of resigning the purple to the rank and 
merit of Germanus was opposed by his resolution, more obstinate 
and equally sincere ; the senate and clergy obeyed his summons, 
and, as soon as the patriarch was assured of his orthodox belief 
he oonsecrated the successful usurper in the church of St. John [|i«t. u} 
the Baptist. On the third day,^ amidst the acclamations of a 
thoughtless people, Phocas made his public entry in a chariot ijtw. m 
drawn by four white horses ; the revolt of the troops was re- 
warded by a lavish donative; and the new sovereign, after 
visiting the palace, beheld from his throne the games of the 
hippodrome. In a dispute of precedency between the two 
fiutiaiis, his partial judgment inclined in favour of the greens. 
" Remember that Maurice is still alive ! " resounded from the 
of^Kwite side ; and the indiscreet clamour of the blues ad- 
monished and stimulated the cruelty of the tyrant. The ministers 
of death were dispatched to Chalcedon ; they dragged the em- [|i«t. m 
peror from his sanctuary ; and the five sons of Maurice were 
successively murdered before the eyes of their agonizing parent. 
At each stroke which he felt in his heart, he found strength to 
rehearse a pious ejaculation : '* Thou art just, O Lord : and thy DMthof 
jodgments are righteous". And such, in the last moments, Slr^lidi^ 
was his rigid attachment to truth and justice that he revealed to «r^' '"*' * 
the soldiers the pious fidsehood of a nurse who presented her 
own child in the place of a royal infant.^ The tragic scene 
was finally closed by the execution of the emperor himself, in 
the twentieth year of his reign, and the sixty-third of his age. 
The bodies of ibe fiither and his five sons were cast into the sea, 
their heads were exposed at Constantinople to the insults or 
pity of the multitude, and it was not till some signs of putre* 
£u:tion had appeared, that Phocas connived at the private burial 
of these venerable remains. In that grave, the fitults and errors 

^ [See above, voL it p. 546, and vol iiL p. 10, n. a8.] 

* [On the next day, according to Theophylact, 8. za] 

From tlus generous attempt, Comeille has deduced the intricate web of his 

of Htrexlius^ whidi requires more than one representation to be clearly 

(Comeille de Voltaire, torn. v. p. 300) ; and which, after an interval of 



«uv, is wid to have putzled the author himself (Anecdotes Dramatiques, 



64 THE DECLINE AND FALL , 

of Maurice were kindly interred. His fate alone was remem- 
bered ; and at the end of twenty years, in the recital of the 
history of Theophylact, the moumful tale was interrupted by 
the tears of the audience.^ 
MOM MB. Such tears must have flowed in secret, and such compassion 
MfoT.s' would have been criminal, under the reign of Phocas, who was 
peaceably acknowledged in the provinces of the East and West. 
The images of the emperor and his wife Leontia were exposed 
in the Lateran to the veneration of the clergy and senate of 
Rome, and afterwards deposited in the palace of the Csesars, 
between those of Constantine and Theodosius. As a subject 
and a Christian, it was the duty of Gregory to acquiesce in the 
established government, but the joyful applause with which he 
salutes the fortune of the assassin has sullied with indelible dis- 
grace the character of the saint. The successor of the apostles 
might have inculcated with decent firmness the guilt of blood, 
and the necessity of repentance : he is content to celebrate 
the deliverance of the people and the &11 of the oppressor; 
to rejoice that the piety and benignitv of Phocas have been 
raised by Providence to the Imperial throne ; to pray that his 
hands may be strengthened against all his enemies ; and to 
express a wish, perhaps a prophecy, that, after a long and 
triumphant reign, he may be transferred from a temporal to an 
everlasting kingdom.^^ I have already traced the steps of a 
revolution so pleasing, in Gregory's opinion, both to heaven and 
earth ; and Phocas does not appear less hateful in the exercise 
than in the acquisition of power. The pencil of an impartial 
historian has delineated the portrait of a monster:^ his diminu- 
tive and deformed person, the closeness of his shaggy eye-brows, 

* The revolt of Phocas and death of Maurice are told by Tbeophylact Simo 
catta (L viii. c. 7-12), the Paschal Chronicle (p. 379, 380), Theophanes (Cluxmo* 
graph, p. 238-244 [ad A.M. 6094]), Zonaras (torn. ii. 1. xiv. p. 77-80 [c. 13, 14]), 
and Cedrenus (p. 399-404 [p. 700 s^g., ed. Bonn]). 

^ Gregor. 1. xi. epist. 38. indict vi. Benignitatem vestrse pietatis ad Imperiale 
fastigium pervenisse gaudemus. Laetentur caeii et exultet terra, et de vestria 
benignis actibus universae reipublicse populus nunc usque vehementer afflictus 
hilaiescat, &c. This base flatterv, the topic of Protestant invective, is justly 
censured by the philosopher Bayle (Dictionnaire Critique, Gr^goire I. Not H. 
torn. ii. p. 597, 598). Cardinal Baroniut justifies the pope at the expense of the 
fallen emperor. 

^ The images of Phocas were destrojred ; but even the malice of his enemies 
would suffer one copy of such a portrait or caricature (Cedrenus. p. 404 [i. 708, ed. 
Bonn]) to escape the flames. [A statue to Phocas, erected by the exarch Smarag- 
dus, adorned the Roman Forum. The column i^-as dug up in A.D. 1813 and is one 
of the most conspicuous objects in the Forum. For the dedication on toe base, see 
C. L L. , 6, laoa.'] 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIRE 66 

sd hair, his beardless chin, and his cheek disfigured and 
loured by a fonnidable scar. Ignorant of letters, of laws, 
5ven of arms, he indulged in the supreme rank a more 
e privilege of lust and drunkenness, and his brutal pleasures 

either injurious to his subjects or disgraceful to himsel£ 
oat assuming the office of a prince, he renounced the 
ssion of a soldier ; and the reign of Phocas afflicted Europe 

ignominious peace, and Asia with desolating war. His 
^e temper was inflamed by passion, hardened by fear, 
aerated by resistance or reproach. The flight of Theo- 
18 to the Persian court had been intercepted by a rapid 
lit or a deceitful message : he was beheaded at Nice, and 
Bst hoars of the young prince were soothed by the oom- 

of religion and the consciousness of innocence. Yet his 
torn disturbed the repose of the usurper ; a whisper was 
lated throuffh the East, that the son of Maurice was still 

; the people expected their avenger, and the widow and 
hters of the late emperor would have adopted as their son 
brother the vilest of mankind. In the massacre of the 
srial &mily,^ the mercy, or rather the discretion, of Phocas 
spared tbe^e unhappy females, and they were decently 
ned to a private house. But the spirit of the empress 
tantina, still mindful of her £Bither, her husband, and her 

aspired to freedom and revenge. At the dead of night, [a.ix tNf] 
w»ped to the sanctuary of St. Sophia ; but her tears, and 
^Id of her associate Germanus, were insufficient to provoke 
tsarrection. Her life was forfeited to revenge, and even to 
3e ; but the patriarch obtained and pledged an oath for her 
y ; a monastery was allotted for her prison, and the widow 
aorice accepted and abused the lenity of his assassin. The 
>very or the suspicion of a second conspiracy, dissolved the iajd. ms\ 
gements and rekindled the fiiry of Phocas. A matron who 
nanded the respect and pity of mankind, the daughter, 

and mother of emperors, was tortured like the vilest 
fitctor, to force a confession of her designs and associates ; 
the empress Constantina, vrith her three innocent daughters, 
beheaded at Chalcedon, on the same ground which hadaiidtyranjr 
. stained with the blood of her husband and five sons. After 

rhe fomily of Matirioe is represented by Ducange (Familiae Byzantinse, p. 
07. 106): his eldest son Theodosius had been crowned emptor when he 
more than four Tears and a half old, and he is always joined with his lather 
s nhftadoDS of Qregory, With the Christian daughters. Anastasia and 
:Cale, I am surprised to find the Pagan name of Qeopatra, 

VOL. V. B 



66 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

such an example, it would be superfluous to enumerate the 
names and sufferings of meaner victims. Their condemnation 
was seldom preceded by the forms of trial, and their punish- 
ment was embittered by the refinements of cruelty : their eyes 
were pierced, their tongues were torn from the root, the hands 
and feet were amputated ; some expired under the lash, others 
in the flames, others again were transfixed with arrows ; and a 
simple speedy death was mercy which they could rarely obtain. 
The hippodrome, the sacred asylum of the pleasures and the 
liberty of the Romans, was polluted with heads and limbs 
and mangled bodies ; and the companions of Phocas were the 
most sensible that neither his favour nor their services could 
protect them from a tyrant, the worthy rival of the Caligulas 
and Domitians of the fost age of the empire.^ 
It flui and A daughter of Phocas, his only child, was given in marriage 
0^ 09Wb« « to the patrician Crispus,^ and the rc^o/ images of the bride and 
bridegroom were indiscreetly placed in the circus, by the side 
of the emperor. The fiither must desire that his posterity 
should inherit the fruit of his crimes, but the monarch was 
offended by this premature and popular association ; the tribunes 
of the green fisuition, who accused the officious error of their 
sculptors, were condemned to instant death ; their lives were 
granted to the prayers of the people ; but Crispus might reason- 
ably doubt whether a jealous usurper could forget and pardon 
his involuntaiy competition. The green fsiction was alienated 
by the ingratitude of Phocas and the loss of their privileges ; 
every province of the empire was ripe for rebellion ; and Hera- 
clius, exarch of Africa, persisted above two years in refusing all 
tribute and obedience to the centurion who disgraced the throne 
of Constantinople. By the secret emissaries of Crispus and the 
senate, the independent exaroh was solicited to save and to 
govern his countiy ; but his ambition was chilled by age, and 
he resigned the dangerous enterprise to his son Heraclius, and 
to Nicetas, the son of Gregory his friend and lieutenant. The 
powers of Africa were armed by the two adventurous youths ; they 

^ Some of the cruelties of Phocas are marked by Theophylact, I viii. c. 13, 14, 
15. George of Pisidia, the poet of Heraclius, styles him (BeU. Abaricum, p. ^ [L 
^y Rome, 1777) nff rvpuntCBot & 6vmti0tKrot koX ^io^poc Bpinrnw. The latter epithet 
is just — but the corrupter of life was easily vanquished. 

* In the writers, and in the copies of those writers, there is such hesitation be- 
tween the names of Priscus and CrUfus (Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. xziX that I 
have been tempted to identify the son-in-law of Phocas with the hero five times 
victorious over the Avars. [Kpt^vot is merdv a mistake for Upia-Koc in Mss. of 
Nioephorus. The mistake does not occur in Theophanes.] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 67 

agreed that the one should navigate the fleet from Carthage to 
Constantinople^ that the other should lead an army through 
Egypt and Asia^ and that the Imperial purple should be the 
reward of diligence and success. A fitint rumour of their under- 
taking was conveyed to the ears of Phocas, and the wife and 
mother of the younger Heraclius were secured as the hostages 
of his fiuth ; but the treacherous art of Crispus extenuated the 
distant peril, the means of defence were neglected or delayed, 
and the tyrant supinely slept till the African navy cast anchor 
in the Hellespont. Their standard was joined at Abydus by 
the fii^tives and exiles who thirsted for revenge ; the ships of 
Heraclius, whose lofty masts were adorned with the holy 
sjmbols of religion,^ steered their triumphant course through 
the Propontis ; and Phocas beheld from the ¥nndows of the 
palace his approaching and inevitable &te. The green &ction 
was tempted, by gif^ and promises, to oppose a feeble and 
fruitless resistance to the luiding of the Africans; but the 
peo|de, and even the guards, were determined by the well-timed 
defection of Crispus ; and the tyrant was seized by a private 
enemy, who boldly invaded the solitude of the palace. Stripped 
of the diadem and purple, clothed in a vile habit, and loaded 
with chains, he was transported in a small boat to the Imperial 
galley of Heraclius, who reproached him with the crimes of his 
abominable reign. ** Wilt thou govern better ? " were the last 
words of the despair of Phocas. After suffering each variety of 
insult and torture, his head was severed from his body, the 
mangled trunk was cast into the flames, and the same treat- 
nent was inflicted on the statues of the vain usurper and the 
leditioua banner of the green faction. The voice of the clergy, 
the senate, and the people invited Heraclius to ascend the 
throne which he had purified from guilt and ignominy ; after 
ume graceful hesitation, he jrielded to their entreaties. His 
eoranation was accompanied by that of his wife Eudoxia ; and (indoeu] 
their posterity, till the fourth generation, continued to reign BttgB«f 
over the empire of the East. The voyage of Heraclius had SSTiffiVrt 
been easy and prosperous; the tedious march of Nicetas wasrSkU 
not accomplished before the decision of the contest ; but he 
nfamitted without a murmur to the fortune of his friend, and 



I * Acoordin^ to Theophanes, Ktfi w r tM, and cuetf kk tft«^ropoc. Cedrenus adds an 
h\ 9 ^ f mm % i ^ v 9 • tfuctfrs r«v KvpMv, which Heraclius bore as a banner in the first P^arsian 
qprditiop. See Georp^ Pisid. Acroas. L 14a The manufacture seems to have 
iooridied : but Foggim, the Roman editor (p. a6), is at a loss to determine whether 
Ibis picture was an origmal or a copy. 



68 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

his laudable intentions were rewarded with an equestrian statue 
and a daughter of the emperor. It was more difficult to trust 
the fidelity of Crispus, whose recent services were recompensed 
by the command of the Cappadocian army. His arrogance soon 
provoked, and seemed to excuse, the ingratitude of his new 
sovereign. In the presence of the senate, the son-in-law of 
Phocas was condemned to embrace the monastic life ; and the 
sentence was justified by the weighty observation of Heraclius 
that the man who had betrayed his fiither could never be &ith- 
ful to his friend.^ 
dM thJ^ Even after his death the republic was afflicted by the crimes 
rt^^S ^^ Phocas, which armed with a pious cause the most formidable 
>> *«• of her enemies. According to the friendly and equal forms of 
the Byzantine and Persian courts, he announced his exaltation 
to the throne ; and his ambassador Lilius, who had presented 
him with the heads of Maurice and his sons, was the best 

Qualified to describe the circumstances of the tragic scene.^ 
lowever it might be varnished by fiction or sophistry, Chosroes 
turned with horror firom the assassin, imprisoned the pretended 
envoy, disclaimed the usurper, and declared himself the avenger 
of his fEither and bene&ctor. The sentiments of grief and re- 
sentment which humanity would feel, and honour would dictate, 
promoted, on this occasion, the interest of the Persian king ; 
and his interest was powerfully magnified by the national and 
religious prejudices of the Magi and satraps. In a strain of 
artml adulation, which assumed the language of freedom, they 
presumed to censure the excess of his gratitude and friendship m 
the Greeks : a nation with whom it was dangerous to conclude 
either peace or alliance ; whose superstition was devoid of truth 
and justice ; and who must be incapable of any virtue, since they 
could perpetrate the most atrocious of crimes, the impious 
murder of their sovereign.^ For the crime of an ambitious 
centurion, the nation which he oppressed was chastised with the 

^ See the tyranny of Phocas and the elevation of HeraclitB, in Chron. noofaal. 
p. 380-383 [p. 694 sgg,, ed. Bonn] ; Tbeopbanes, p. 348-250 ; Nioepbonis, pi 3-7 ; 
Cedrenuv p. 404-407 [i. p. 708 sag., ed. Bonn] , Zonaras, torn. ii. L ziv. p. 80-83 (c. 



14, X5I [For the race of Heraclius and Nioetas see Appendix 5.] 

^ Thfoophylact. L viii. c. 1%. The life of Maurice was composed about the yiaar 
698>(L viii. c. 23) by Tbeophylact SioMscatta. ex-prsefect, a native of Egvpt Pho- 
tius, who gives an ample extract of the work (cod. Ixv. p. 8z-iooX geiUly reproves 
the affectation and allegory of the style. His preface is a dialogue between Philo- 
sophy and History; th^ seat themselves under a plane-tree^ and the latter touches 
her lyre. 

^ Christianis nee pactum esse nee fidem nee foedus . . . quod si ulla iUis fides 
fuiflset, legem snum non occidissent Eutych. Annales. torn. IL p^ sxx, vers. 
Pocock. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE «» 

etlAmities of war ; and the same calamities^ at the end of twenty 
years, were retaliated and redoubled on the heads of the Per- 
giaiia.70 The ^neral who had restored Chosroes to the throne 
itill commanded in the East ; and the name of Narses was the 
formidable sound with which the Assyrian mothers were accus- 
tomed to terrify their infants. It is not improbable that a 
oatiYe subject of Persia should encourage his master and his 
friend to deliver and possess the provinces of Asia. It is still 
more probable that Chosroes should animate his troops by the 
assurance that the sword which they dreaded the most would 
remain in its scabbard or be drawn in their fstvour. The hero 
ecrald not depend on the fstith of a tyrant, and the tyrant was 
eouKiouB how little he deserved the obedience of an hero. 
Narses was removed from his military command ; he reared an cajk mq 
independent standard at Hierapolis in Syria ; he was betrayed 
by fidlacious promises, and burnt alive in the market-place of 
Constantinople. Deprived of the only chief whom they could 
fear or esteem, the bands which he had led to victory were 
twice broken by the cavalry, trampled by the elephants, and 
pierced by the arrows of the barbarians ; and a great number of 
the captives were beheaded on the field of battle by the sen- 
tenee of the victor, who might justly condemn these seditious 
mercenaries as the authors or accomplices of the death of 
Maurice. Under the reign of Phocas, the fortifications of Mer- rouMiMt 
din, Dara, Amida, and Edessa, were successively besieged, 
reduced, and destroyed, by the Persian monarch ; he passed J^,^** 
the Euphrates, occupied the Syrian cities, Hierapolis, Chalcis, ^»* cu 
•nd Beraa or Aleppo, and soon encompassed the walls of 
Antioch with his irresistible arms. The rapid tide of success 
discloses the decay of the empire, the incapacity of Phocas, and 
the disaffection of his subjects ; and Chosroes provided a decent 
apology for their submission or revolt, by an impostor who 
attended his camp as the son of Maurice ^ and the lawful heir 
of the monarchy. 

* We must DOW, for some ages, take oar leave of contemporary historians, and 
dooend, if it be a descent, from the affectation of rhetoric to the rude simplicity of 
cknMucles and abridgments. Those of Theophanes (Chronograph, p. 244-279) 
wd Nioephoms (p. 3-16) sapply a regular, but imperfect series, of the Persian war ; 
sad for any additional facts I quote my spiecial authorities. Theophanes, a courtier 
vho brr*"*^ a monk, was bom a.d. 748 ; Nicephorus, patriarch of Constantinople, 
vfao died A.D. 829^ was somewhat younger : they both suffered in the cause of 
iaMSb Hanldus de Scriptoribus Byzantinis, p. 200-246. [See Appendix i.] 

" Tlie Penian historians have been themselves deceived ; but Theophanes (p. 
144 [a. ic 6005}) accuses Chotroes of the fraud and falsehood ; and Eutycbius he- 
lines (AnnaL torn. ii. p. 211) that the son of Maurice, who was saved from the 
Uved and died a monk on mount Sinai. 



70 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

The first intelligence from the East which Heraclius re- 
ceived ^^ was that of the loss of Antioch ; hut the aged 
metropolis, so often overturned by earthquakes and pillaged 
by the enemy, could supply but a small and languid stream of 
treasure and blood. The Persians were equally successful and 
more fortunate in the sack of Csesarea, the capital of Cappa- 
docia; and, as they advanced beyond the ramparts of the 
frontier, the boundary of ancient war, they found a less obstinate 
resistance and a more plentiful harvest. The pleasant vale of 
Damascus has been adorned in every age with a royal city ; 
her obscure felicity has hitherto escaped the historian of the 
Roman empire; but Chosroes reposed his troops in the para- 
dise of Damascus before he ascended the hills of libanus 
or invaded the cities of the Phoenician coast. The conquest 
of Jerusalem,^' which had been meditated by Nushirvan, was 
achieved by the zeal and avarice of his grandson ; the ruin of 
the proudest monument of Christianity was vehemently urged 
by tne intolerant spirit of the Magi ; and he could enlist, for 
tnis holy warfare, an army of six-and-twenty thousand Jews, 
whose fririous bigotry might compensate, in some degree, for 
the want of valour and discipline. After the reduction of 
Galilee and the region beyond the Jordan, whose resistance 
appears to have delayed the fate of the capital, Jerusalem itself 
was taken by assault ; the sepulchre of Christ, and the stately 
churches of Helena and Constantine, were consumed, or at least 
damaged, by the flames ; the devout offerings of three hundred 
years were rifled in one sacrilegious day ; the patriarch 2jach- 
ariah, and the true cross, were transported into Persia ; and the 
massacre of ninety thousand Christians is imputed to the Jews 
and Arabs who swelled the disorder of the Persian march. 
The fugitives of Palestine were entertained at Alexandria by 
the cluurity of John the archbishop, who is distinguished among 



^ Eut^chius dates all the losses of the empire under the reign of Phocas : an 
error which saves the honour of Heraclius, whom he brings not from Carthage, 
but Salonica, with a fleet laden with vegetables for the relief of Constantinople 
(Anna!, torn, it p. 323, 324). The other Christians of the East, Barhebrseus (apud 
Asseman. Bibliothec. Oriental, torn, iiu p. 4x2, 413), Elmacin (Hist. Saracen^. 
13-16), Abulphaiagius (Dynast p. 98, 99), are more sincere and accurate. The 
years of the Persian war are disposed in the chronology of PagL 

^ On the conquest of Jerusalem, an event so interesting to the church, see the 
Annals of Eutychius (torn. ii. p. aia-22^) and the lamentations of the monk 
Antiochus (apud Baronium, AnnaL Ecdes. A.D. 614. Na 16-96), whose one 
hondred and twenty-nine homilies are still extant, if what no one reads may be 
Mid to be extant 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 71 

of saints by the epithet of altiu-giver ;'^^ and the 
of the churchy with a treasure of three hundred 
I pounds, were restored to the true proprietors, the 
eveiy country and every denomination. But Egjrpt 
e only province which had been exempt since the time 
;tian from foreign and domestic war, was again subdued 
uccessors of C3rru8J^ Pelusium, the key of that im-j'!ig* 
country, was surprised by the cavahy of the Persians : 
ised with impunity the innumerable channels of the 
ind explored the long valley of the Nile, from the 
I of Memphis to the confines of Ethiopia. Alexandria 
ive been relieved by a naval force, but the archbishop 
prefect embarked for Cyprus ; and Chosroes entered 
ad city of the empire, which still preserved a wealthy 
of industry and commerce. His western trophy was 
not on the walls of Carthage,^^ but in the neighbour- 
Tripoli; the Greek colonies of Cyrene were finally 
^d; and the conqueror, treading in the footsteps of 
er, returned in triumph through the sands of the 
lesert. In the same campaign, another army advanced ^^ ^^ 
e Euphrates to the Thnician Bosphorus ; Chalcedon •!«.*«. 
red after a long siege, and a Persian camp was 
led above ten years in the presence of Constantinople, 
rcoast of Pontus, the city of Ancyra, and the isle of 
Kte enumerated among the last conquests of the Great 
nd, if Chosroes had possessed any maritime power, his 

life of this worthy saint is composed by Leontius [of NeapoUs], a 
ary bishop ; and I find in Baxx^nius (AnnaL Eccles. A.D. 6io, Na zo, 
leury (torn. viii. p. 235-242) sufficient extracts of this edifying work, 
c text of this Life was first published by H. Gelzer, 1893. The Latin 
will be found in Rosweyde's Vitae Patrum, and in Migne's Patr. Lat, 

337^^-] 

late of the conquest of Egypt is given by Theophanes as A.M. 6x07, that 
;, in which year Chalcedon was also attacked. Nioephonis (p. Q> ed. 
ipresents the attack on Chalcedon as subsequent to the conquest of Egypt 
»d by the same general (Saitos). According to Tabari the keys of 
. were delivered to Chosroes in his 28th year, s a.d. 617-618 (d. 210)1 
uggests that the statements may be reconciled by assuming mat the 
not sent till a long time after the conquest Gelser (see next note) 
conquest of Egypt in A.D. 619.] 

arror of Baronius and many others who have carried the arms of 

o Carthage instead of Chalcedon, is founded on the near resemblance 

dc words KoAxif^ca and Kapxijiora in the text of Theophanes, &c. which 

fometimes confomided by transcribers and sometimes by critics. 

donbt that XaXiai^o^os given by the Mss. of Theophanes is the true 
too^ C. de Boor, in his edition, has introduced KapxY^orot from the 
dation of Anastasius. See C. de Boor, in Hermes, 1890 (tur Chrono- 

1 Tbeo^ianes) ; H. Gelzer, in Rheinisches Museum, 1893 (Cbalkedon 



72 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

boundless ambition would have spread slavery and desolaticm 
over the provinces of Europe. 

From the long-disputed banks of the Tigris and Euphrates, 
the reign of the grandson of Nushirvan was suddenly extended 
to the Hellespont and the Nile^ the ancient limits of the Persian 
monarchy. But the provinces, which had been fashioned by 
the habits of six hundred years to the virtues and vices of the 
Roman government, supported with reluctance the yoke of the 
barbarians. The idea of a republic was kept alive by the 
institutions, or at least by the writings, of the Greeks and 
Romans, and the subjects of Heraclius had been educated to 
pronounce the words of liberty and law. But it has always 
been the pride and policy of Oriental princes to display the 
titles and attributes of their omnipotence ; to upbraid a nation 
of slaves with their true name and abject condition ; and to en- 
force, by cruel and insolent threats, the rigour of their absolute 
commands. The Christians of the East were scandalized by 
the worship of fire and the impious doctrine of the two 
principles ; the Magi were not less intolerant than the bishops ; 
and the martyrdom of some native Persians, who had deserted 
the religion of Zoroaster,^ was conceived to be the prelude of 
a fierce and general persecution. By the oppressive laws of 
Justinian, the adversaries of the church were made the enemies 
of the state ; the alliance of the Jews, Nestorians, and Jacobites 
had contributed to the success of Chosroes, and his partial fistvoor 
to the sectaries provoked the hatred and fears of the Catholic 
clergy. Conscious of their fear and hatred, the Persian con- 
queror governed his new subjects with an iron sceptre ; and, 
as if he suspected the stability of his dominion, he exhausted 
their wealth by exorbitant tributes and licentious rapine, de- 
spoiled or demolished the temples of the "East, and transported 
to his hereditary realms the gold, the silver, the precious 
marbles, the arts, and the artists of the Asiatic cities. In the 
obscure picture of the calamities of the empire,^^ it is not easy 
to discern the figure of Chosroes himself, to separate his actions 
from those of his lieutenants, or to ascertain his personal merit 

Oder Karchedon? p. i6i), a paper which discusses the chronology of these 
Persian conquests.] 

ff The fenuine acts of St. Anastasius are published in those of the viith general 
council, from whence Baronius (AnnaL Eocles. A.D. 6i^, 626, 607) and Butler 
(Lives of the Saints, vol i. p. 242-248) have taken their accotmts. The holy 
martjrr deserted from the Persian to me Roman army, berime a monk at 
Jerusalem, and insulted the worship of the Magi, which was then established at 
Csesarea in Palestine. [For the Acfa of St. Ans^tasius see Appendix i.] 

TBAbulpharagius, Dynast p. 99. Elmactn, Hist. Saraoen. p. 14. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 73 

general bUie of glory and magnificence. He enjoyed 
tentation the firuits of victory, and frequently rethred 
5 hardships of war to the luxury of the palace. But in 
» of twenty-four years, he was deterred by superstition 
itment from approaching the gates of Ctesipnon; and 
ante reddence of Artemita, or Dastagerd,^ was situate 
the Tigris, about sixty miles to the north of the 
^ The adjacent pastures were covered with flocks and 
the paradise or park was replenished with pheasants, 
s, ostriches, roebucks, and wild boars; and the noble 
f lions and tigers was sometimes turned loose for the 
pleasures of the chase. Nine hundred and sixty ele- 
were maintained for the use or splendour of the Great 
his tents and baggage were carried into the field by 
thousand great camels and eight thousand of a smaller 
and the rojral stables were filled with six thousand 
nd horses, among whom the names of Shebdiz and Barid 
owned for their speed or beauty. Six thousand guards 
vely mounted beiore the palace gate ; the service of the 
apartments was performed by twelve thousand slaves ; 
lie number of three thousand virgins, the £Eurest of Asia, 
ippy concubine might console her master for the age 
indifference of Sira. The various treasures of gold, 
^ems, silk, and aromatics, were deposited in an hundred 
neous vaults ; and the chamber Badaverd denoted the 
ral gift of the winds which had wafted the spoils of 
18 into one of the Syrian harbours of his rival. The 
flattery, and perhaps of fiction, is not ashamed to com- 
t thirty thousand rich hangings that adorned the walls, 
Y thousand columns of silver, or more probably of marble, 
ted wood, that supported the roof; and the thousand 
f gold suspended in the dome, to imitate the motions 
>lanets and the constellations of the ssodiac.^^ While 

hron. Pasch. A«my«p-xoo^ = Dastaferd-i-Chosrau. In Mart. Aiiastasii 
Jan. 23) the place is called Discarta, the Aramaic form (Arab DasJkaraf). 
die, o^, cii, p. 995 ; and see below, p. ^ n. za6».] 
▼ille, Mtai. de TAcad^mie des Inscriptions, tom. zxxiL p. 568-571. 
difierence betw e en the two races consists in one or two htxmps ; the 
f has only one ; the size of the proper camel is larger ; the country he 
m, Turkestan or Bactriana ; the dromedary is confined to Arabia and 
fioo. Hist Naturdle, tom. xi. p. an, &c. Aristot Hist. Animal, tom. 
[, torn. iLpu 285. 

phanes, Outmograph. p. a68 [p. 322, ed. de Boor]. D'Herbdot, 
[Be Orientak, p. 097. The Greeks describe the decay, the Persians the 
, of Dastasera; bat the former speak from the modest witness of the 
tter from me Wgne report of the ear. 






74 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

the PersUn monarch contemplated the wonders of his art and ^ 
power^ he received an epistle from an obscure citizen of Mecca, ', 
inviting him to acknowledge Mahomet as the apostle of God. .; 
He rejected the invitation, and tore the epistle. '< It is thus^" j 
exclaimed the Arabian prophet, "that Ood will tear the 4 
kingdom, and reject the supplications, of Chosroes." ^ Placed ,' 
on the verge of the two great empires of the East, Mahomet ^ 
observed with secret joy the progress of their mutual destruo- .*. 
tion ; and, in the midst of the Persian triumphs, he ventured ; 
to foretell that, before many years should elapse, victory would * 
again return to the banners of the Romans.^ ^ 

At the time when this prediction is said to have been delivered, 
A.DLCUMB no prophecy could be more distant from its accomplishment, . 
since the first twelve years of Heraclius announced the approach- 
ing dissolution of the empire. If the motives of Chosroes had . 
been pure and honourable, he must have ended the quarrel with , 
the death of Phocas, and he would have embraced^ as his best "* 
ally, the fortunate African who had so generously avenged the \ 
injuries of his benefactor Maurice. The prosecution of the war ' 
revealed the true character of the barbarian ; and the suppliant 
embassies of Heraclius to beseech his clemency, that he wouU I 
spare the innocent, accept a tribute, and give peace to the^ 
world, were rejected with contemptuous ^ence or insolenl * 
menace. S3rria, Egypt, and the provinces of Asia were subdued [ 
by the Persian arms, while Europe, from the confines of Istiia ' 
to the long wall of Thrace, was oppressed by the Avars, uaaa^ 
tiated with the blood and rapine of the Italian war. They had 
coolly massacred their male captives in the sacred field of Pan- 
nonia ; the women and children were reduced to servitude ; and 
the noblest virgins were abandoned to the promiscuous lust of 
the barbarians. The amorous matron who opened the gates of' 
Friuli passed a short night in the arms of her royal lover ; the 
next evening, Romilda was condemned to the embraces of twelve 



^The historians of Mahomet, Abalfeda (in Vit MohammecL p. 9a, 93) 

Gagnier (Vie de Mahomet, torn, il p. 247), date this embassy in the viith yiu of "^ 
the Hegira, which commences A.D. 6a8, May 11. Their chronoloey is errooeooiff^ 
since Chosroes died in the month of February of the same year (Pagi, Critica» toob .^ 
iL p. 779). [The embassy may have been despatched before the d^th of ChovoM^ 
was known ; out it must have been received hy Siroea.] The count de Bonkia^^ 
villiers (Vie de Mahomed, p. 337, 338) places this embassy about A.D. 615, woa0i 
after the conquest of Palestme. Yet Mahomet would scarcely have ventm ed saK^ 
soon on so bold a step. . -^ 

**See the xxxth chapter of the Koran, intitled ik€ Greeks, Our honest aaf^ 
learned translator Sale (p. 330, 331) fairly states this conje^ure, gueis, wagoiT^^u 
Mahomet ; but BoulainviUiers (p. 399-344), with wicked intentloni, labom ijkf 
establidi this evident propheqr of a future event, which must, in nb opioka^r 
embarrass the Christian polemics. y 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 75 

Armn ; and the third day the Lombard princess was impaled in 
the sight of the camp, while the chagan observed, with a cruel 
amile, that such a husband was the fit recompense of her lewd- 
iieaa and perfidy.^ By these implacable enemies Heraclius, 
on either side, was insulted and besieged; and the Roman 
empire was reduced to the walls of Constantinople, with the 
r rmn a n t of GreecCi Italy, and Africa, and some maritime cities, 
from Tyre to Trebixond, of the Asiatic coast After the loss of 
Egypt, the capital was afflicted by famine and pestilence ; and t^^*^- uifl 
the emperor, incapable of resistance and hopeless of relief, had 
resolved to transfer his person and government to the more 
secure residence of Carthage.^ His ships were already laden 
with the treasures of the palace ; but his flight was arrested by 
the patriarch, who armed the powers of religion in the defence 
of his oountiy, led Heradius to the altar of St. Sophia, and ex- 
torted a solemn oath that he would live and die with the people 
^lom God had entrusted to his care. The chagan was en- 
cunped in the plains of Thrace, but he dissembled his perfidious 
designs, and solicited an interview with the emperor near the 
town of Heradea. Their reconciliation was celebrated with C^^- oil 
equestrian games, the senate and people in their gayest apparel 
loorted to the festival of peace, and the Avars beheld, with 
oiTj and desire, the spectacle of Roman luxury. On a sudden, 

I the hippodrome was encompassed by the Sc3rthian cavalry, who 
kd pressed their secret and noctunial march ; the tremendous 
Mma of the chagan's whip gave the signal of the assault ; and 
Heraclius, wrapping his diadem round his arm, was saved, with 
citreme hasard, by the fleetness of his horse. So rapid was the 
yvBuit that the Avars almost entered the golden gate of Con- 
teitiiiople with the flying crowds;^ but the plunder of the 



*Paiil 'Wamefrid, de Gestis Langobordoram, 1. iv. c. 38, 42. Muratori, Annali 
fhdia, torn. V. p. 305, &c 

"[This design seems to have followed the failure of the embassy to Chosroes.] 

'The Paschal Chronide, which sometimes introduces fragments of history into 
^j akuicn list of namesand dates, gives the best account of the treason of the Avars, 
I fcA> 39^ [P* 7'^ ^^' * ^ Bonn^ The number of captives is added by Nicephonis. 
^wynanes places tnis attack of the Avars in a.d. 619 (a. m. 61 10). the date adopted 
FebiTiixs, Gibbon, Muralt, Clinton. But Chron. Fasch. gives A.D. 623, and 
Gerland (Byt. Ztachr., 3, p. 334-7) has argued with much plausibility that this 
•e is right and that the return of Heradius in A.D. 623 (G«>rge Pis. Acroas. iiu 
91) was due to iMis danger from the Avars. — It was on this occasion that the 
BBBest of the Virgin was discovered in a coffin at Blachern ; and the discovery 
bidated b^ a oootemporaiTj Theodore Syncdlus. The relation has been edited 

- form by 
to the 




76 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

suburbs rewarded their treason, and they transported bey^ 
the Danube two hundred and seventy thousand captiyes. 
the shore of Chalcedon, the emperor held a safer confere 
with a more honourable foe, who, before Heradius descen 
from his galley^ saluted with reverence and pity the majest; 
iiiiBi the purple. The friendly offer of Sain the Persian general 
^ conduct an embassy to the presence of the Great King^ was 
cepted with the warmest gratitude, and the prayer for pari 
and peace was humbly presented by the praetorian preefect, 
prsfect of the city, and one of the first ecclesiastics of 
patriarchal church.^ But the lieutenant of Chosroes had fiit 
mistaken the intentions of his master. " It was not an embas! 
said the tyrant of Asia, " it was the person of Heraclius, bo 
in chains, that he should have brought to the foot of my thn 
I will never give peace to the emperor of Rome till he has 
jured his crucified Crod and embraced the worship of the si 
Sain was flayed alive, according to the inhuman practice of 
country; and the separate and rigorous confinement of 
ambassadors violated the law of nations and the fiiith oi 
express stipulation. Yet the experience of six years at ler 
persuaded the Persian monarch to renounce the conquesi 
Constantinople and to specify the annual tribute or ransoi 
the Roman empire: a thousand talents of gold, a thous 
talents of silver, a thousand silk robes, a thousand horses, 
a thousand virgins. Heraclius subscribed these ignomin 
terms, but the time and space which he obtained to collect t 
treasures from the poverty of the East was industriously 
ployed in the preparations of a bold and desperate attack. 
ipfwpftn. Of the characters conspicuous in history, that of Hera< 
iHm *^' is one of the most extraordinaiy and inconsistent. In 
first and last years of a long reign, the emperor appear 
be the slave of sloth, of pleasure, or of superstition, the c 
less and impotent spectator of the public calamities. But 
languid mists of the morning and evening are separated 
the brightness of the meridian sun : the Arcadius ot the pa 
arose the Caesar of the camp ; and the honour of Rome 
Heraclius was gloriously retrieved by the exploits and trop 
of six adventurous campaigns. It was the duty of the By 
tine historians to have revealed the causes of his slumber 

^Some original pieces, such as the speech or letter of the Roman amboss 
(p. 386-^88 [p. 707 sfg., ecL Bonn]), likewise constitute the merit of the Pa 
Chnmicle, which was com po sed, perhaps at Alexandria, uKler the rei| 
Heraclius [cp. Appendix z} 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIBE 77 

figilanoe. At this distance we can only conjecture that he was 

endowed with more personal courage than political resolution ; 

Uiat he was detained by the charms, and perhaps the arts, of 

hit niece Martina, with whom, after the death of Eudocia, he 

contracted an incestuous marriage ; ^ and that he yielded to the 

bue advice of the counsellors, who urged, as a fundamental law, 

that the life of the emperor should never be exposed in the 

fidd.^ Perhaps he was awakened by the last insolent demand 

of the Persian conqueror ; but, at the moment when Heraclius 

■mimrcl the spirit of a hero, the only hopes of the Romans were 

fawn from the vicissitudes of fortune, which might threaten 

the proud prosperity of Chosroes and must be ^vourable to 

&o0e who had attained the lowest period of depression.^^ To 

[Bovide for the expenses of war was the first care of the emperor ; 

mid, for the purpose of collecting the tribute, he was allowed 

Id icdicit the bcaievolence of the Eastern provinces. But the 

icifenae no longer flowed in the usual channels ; the credit of an 

ariMtrazy prince is annihilated by his power; and the courage of 

Heradius was first displayed in daring to borrow the consecrated 

wealth of churches under the solemn vow of restoring, with 

■my, whatever he had been compeUed to employ in the service 

tf religion and of the empire. The clergy themselves appear to 

bve sympathized with the public distress, and the discreet 

: ptriarrh of Alexandria, without admitting the precedent of 

■oil^e, assisted his sovereign by the miraculous or seasonable 

levelatioo of a secret treasure.^^ Of the soldiers who had con- 



*Nioepbonis (p. lo, ii), who brands this marriage with the name of «tf««fu>r 
•d Ai^i rwFi is hapfij to observe that of two sons, its incestuous fruit, the elder 
«« marked by Providence with a stiff neck, the younger with the loss of hearing. 

'George of Pisidia (Acroas. L ixa-125, p. ^), who states the opinions, acquits 
fee poallaiunious connsdiors of any sinister views. Would he have excused the 
pDod aad oontemptaous admonition of Crispus? *Kwtrm0i(;^v ovm ii^v fiamXtZ 
t^m mmwmXM4twi9n¥ ^««tXn«, ««i ratf wif^m iwixmpimCttv iwdfunv [Nic. p. 5, ed. 

kBoor]. 

George Pisid. Acroas. i. 51, &c p. 4. 
He Orientals are not less fond of remarking this strange vicissitude ; and I 
iber some story of Kbosrou Parviz, not very unlike the ring of Polycrates 



**Buonius gravely relates this discovery, or rather transmutation, of barrels, 
■ot of honey, bat of gold (Annal Eccles. A.D. 620, No. 3, &a). Yet the loan 
«■ a r b i tnu y, stnoe it was collected by soldiers, who were ordered to leave the 
Hbuuvli of Alexandria no more than one hundred pounds of gold. Nicephonis 
(p^ xi\ two hundred jrears afterwards, speaks with ill-humour of this contribution. 



78 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

Spired with Pfaocas, only two were found to have sarvived 
stroke of time and of the barbarians ;^ the loss, even of tl 
seditious veterans^ was imperfectly supplied by the new le 
of Heradius, and the gold of the sanctuary united^ in the s 
camp, the names, and arms, and languages of the East 
West. He would have been content with the neutrality of 
Avars ; and his friendly entreaty that the chagan would act 
as the enemy but as the guardian of the empire was ac< 
panied with a more persuasive donative of two hundred t! 
sand pieces of gold. Two days after the festival of Easter,^ 
emperor, exchanging his purple for the simple garb of a pen! 
Aprttf] and warrior,^ g&ve the signal of his departure. To the i 
of the people Heradius recommended his children ; the civil 
military powers were vested in the most deserving hands ; 
the discretion of the patriarch and senate was authorise* 
save or surrender the city, if they should be oppressed ii 
absence by the superior forces of the enemy, 
im a^*^ The neighbouring heights of Chalcedon were covered * 
taaidiMi ' tents and arms ; but, if the new levies of Heraclius had 1 
LA. oi rashly led to the attack, the victory of the Persians in the s 
of Constantinople might have been the last day of the Ro 
empire. As imprudent would it have been to advance into 
provinces of Asia, leaving their innumerable cavalry to ii 
cept his convoys, and continually to hang on the lassitude 
disorder of his rear.^ But the Greeks were still masters oi 
sea ; a fleet of galle3rs, transports and storeships, was assem 
in the harbour ; the barbarians consented to embark ; a st< 
wind carried them through the Hellespont ; the western 
southern coast of Asia Minor lay on their left hand ; the s 
of their chief was first displayed in a storm ; and even 
eunuchs of his train were excited to suffer and to worl 
the example of their master. He landed his troops on 
confines of Syria and Cilicia, in the gulf of Scanderoon, w 

which the church of Constantinople might ftiU fed. [The ecciesiastica] 
illustrates the religious character of the wan of Heradius : crusades again 
Fire-worshippers who had taken captive the Holy City and the True Croo.] 

**Theoplnrlact Simocatta, L viii. c xa. This dicumstanoe need not exdi 
surprise. Tne muster-roll of a regiment, even in time of peace, is renewed i 
than twenty or twenty-five years. 

*«[On Easter Monday, April 5, A.D. 69a.] 

^ He changed his fmrfle for dladk buskins, and djred them red in the blc 
the Pttsians (Georg. Pisid. Acroas. iiL zz8, lai, xaa. See the notes of Fo 

** [But see nesa note.] 



\ 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIRE 79 

i8t suddenly tarns to the south ; and his discernment 
pressed in the choice of this important post.^ From 
s, the scattered garrisons of the maritime cities and the 
ins might repair with speed and safety to his Imperial 
"d. The natural fortifications of Cilicia protected, and 
•ncealedythe camp of Heraclius^^ which was pitched near 
m the same ground where Alexander had vanquished 
t of Darius. The angle which the emperor occupied was 
indented into a vast semicircle of the Asiatic, Armenian, 
rian provinces ; and, to whatsoever point of the circum- 
he should direct his attack, it was easy for him to dis- 
his own motions and to prevent those of the enemy. In 
np of Issus the Roman general reformed the sloth and 
r of the veterans, and educated the new recruits in the 
dge and practice of military virtue. Unfolding the 
loos image of Christ, he urged them to revenge the holy 
rhich had been profstned by the worshippers of fire ; ad- 
g them by the endearing appellations of sons and brethren, 
Lored the public and private wrongs of the republic. The 



rge of Pisidia (Acroas. iL lo, p. 8) has fixed this important point of the 
Ml CiUdan gates. They are elegantly described by Xenophon, who 
through them a thousand years before. A narrow pass of three stadia 
rteep high rocks (Wr^o* 1|At^aTOi) and the Mediterraniean, was closed at 
by strong gates, impr^;nable to the land (vapi A^tr ov« }v ^ff )« aooeasible 
Vmsibasis, 1* i» !>. 35» 36, with Hutchison's Geographical Dissertation, p. 
e gates were thirty-five parasangs, or leagues, from Tarsus (Anabasis, L 
\^[c, 4])* <uid eight or ten finom Antioch. (Compare Itinerar. Wesseling, 
li ; S^ultens, Index. Geograph. ad calcem Vit. Saladin. p. o ; Voyage 
tie et en Perse, par M. Otter, torn. L p. 78, 79.) [Historians have gene- 
twcd Qoerdus in interpreting the Uiikai of G^>fge of Pisidia ( allieoph. 
i Boor) as the Cilidan Gates. Tafel has proved that this interpretation 
wrong and that the place meant is Pyia€ on the southern side c» the Ni- 
I Bay, which Heradius reached by sailing round the cape of Heraeum 
i. 157). See Sitzungsberichte der Wiener Akad. der Wiss. ix. p. 164, 
rotn I^lae Heraclius proceeded b^ land (see £. Gerland, Die persiscfaen 
des Kaisers Herakleios, Byz. Ztschrift. iil P« S46, 1894) cvl rat ritv BtnAirmv 
3 the districts of the themes or re^^ents (Eastern Phrygia and Cappa- 
ind thence to the Armenian frontier. The Persian gennal Shahrbarflz 
him firom invading Persia on the Armenian side, and at the beginning of 
r Heraclius found himself surrounded in the mountains of Pontus, but he 
1 h*"*^^' skilfully, and was on one occasion rescued from an attadc by an 
' the nooon. The battle mentioned in the text concluded the campai^ ; 
le cannot be fixed. There was no fighting in Cilicia ; nor does Cihcia 
I the campaign, except where Shahrbarftz retires there for a brief space, 
oed to return northward, lest Heraclius should invade Persia.] 

raidius might write to a friend in the modest words of Cicero : "Castra 
I ca ipsa quae contia Darium habuerat apud Issum Alexander, impcara- 
pttulo melior quam aut tu aut ego ". Ad Atticum, v. 2a Issus, a rich 
nshing city in the time of Xenophon, was mined by the prosperity of 
ria orScanderoon, on the other side of the bay. 



80 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

subjects of a monarch were persuaded that they fought in tl 
cause of freedom ; and a similar enthusiasm was communicate 
to the foreign mercenaries, who must have viewed with equ 
indifference the interest of Rome and of Persia. Heradius Idi 
self, with the skill and patience of a centurion, inculcated tl 
lessons of the school of tactics, and the soldiers were assiduous 
trained in the use of their weapons and the exercises and evol 
tions of the field. The cavalry and infiintry in light or heai 
armour were divided into two parties ; the trumpets were fixed 
the centre, and their signals directed the march, the chaig 
the retreat, or pursuit ; the direct or oblique order, the deep * 
extended phalanx ; to represent in fictitious combat the oper 
tions of genuine war. Whatever hardship the emperor impos< 
on the troops, he inflicted with equal severity on himself; the 
labour, their diet, their sleep were measured by the infiexib 
rules of discipline ; and, without despising the enemy, the 
were taught to repose an implicit confidence in their own valoi 
and the wisdom of their leader. Cilida was soon encompass! 
with the Persian arms ; but their cavalry hesitated to enter tl 
defiles of mount Taurus, till they were circumvented by tl 
evolutions of Heraclius, who insensibly gained their rear, whil 
he appeared to present his front in order of battle. By a fkl 
motion, which seemed to threaten Armenia, he drew the 
against their wishes to a general acticm. They were tempte 
by the artful disorder of his camp ; but, when they advanc^ 
combat, the ground, the sun, and the expectation of bo' 
armies, were unpropitious to the barbarians ; the Romans su 
cessfully repeated their tactics in a field of battle ; ^ and tl 
event of the day declared to the world that the Persians we 
not invincible and that an hero was invested with the purp] 
Strong in victory and fime, Heraclius boldly ascended tl 
heights of mount Taurus, directed his march through the plai 
of Cappadocia, and established his troops for the winter seast 
in safe and plentiful quarters on the bai^ of the river Halys. 
His soul was superior to the vanity of entertaining Constan 
]>.at] nople with an imperfect triumph; but the presence of tl 

M Foggini ( Annotat. p. 31) suspects that the persons were deceived by the 4^ 
wtwkifYi$4rii of /Elian (Tactic, c 48), an intricate spiral motion of the army. He < 
serves (p. 28) that the military descriptions of George of Pisldia are transcribed 
the Tactics of the emperor Lea 

^^ George of Pisidia, an eye-witness (Across, ii. i^, ftc.), described in th 
acroaseis or cantos, the first eicpedition of Heraclins. The poem has been lat 
(1777) pnblished at Rome ; bat such vagae and declamatory praise is far fn 
corresponding with the sanguine hopes of Pagi, D'AnviOe, Ac. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 81 






or ynm. indispeiifably required to soothe the restless and 
(HIS spirit of the Avars. 

re the days of Sdpio and Hannibal^ no bolder enterprisesm 
sen attempted than that which Heradius achieved for the SET 
ranee of the empire.^^^ He permitted the Persians to 
a for a while the provinces, and to insult with impunity 
pitaly of the East ; while the Roman emperor explored his 
IS way through the Black Sea ^^ and the mountains of 
lia, penetrated into the heart of Persisy^^^ and recalled 
■mies of the Great King to the defence of their bleeding gin 
y. With a select band of &ve thousand soldiers, Hera- jg^J 
tailed from Constantinople to Trebizond; assembled hisMjjg 

hfiopluinfai (p. 256 [p. 506, ed. de Boor]) carries Heradius swiftly (mtA 
ito Armenia. Nioephorus (p. 11), though he confounds the twoexi>edi- 
efines the province ot Lazica. Eutychius (AnnaL torn, iu p. 231} has given 
> men, with the more probable station of Trebixond. [Kicepnoms and 
Monachus throw the three expeditions of Heradius into one.] 

rom Constantinople to Trebizond, with a fair wind, four or five da^rs ; from 
to Enerom, five ; to Erivan, twdve ; to Tauris, ten : in all tlurtv-two. 
the Itinerary of Tavemier (Voyages, tom. L p. X9-56X who was perfect^ con- 
with the roads of Asia. Toumefort, whotravdledwithapasha,sp«Dttenor 
iaya between TYebizond and Elrsearom (Vojrage du Levant, tom. iiL lettre 
ind Chardin (Voyages, tom. i. p« 3^9^54) gives the more correct distance of 
Be parasangs, eadi of 5000 paces (what paces?) between EIrivan and Tanris. 
Men shown byQerland(<^ cit.t p. 345) that in none of his three expeditions 
BcUus reach the scene of operations by sailing across the Euxine. Inregardto 
and expedition, the assumption (restmg on the statementsof Nicephorusand 
Monadras) is disproved by the narrative of the Armenian historian Sebaeos. 
tm we learn that Heradius proceeded from Chaloedon to Cacsarea in Cappa- 
rhis shows thm aresult of the first expedition was thesettingfree of Chalcedon 
e Persian occupation. From Caesarea, he marched northward, crossed the 
les^ reached Karin or ErzerQm, and thence entered the valley of the Araxes, 
Urcnred the towns of Dovin and Nakitchevan (Sebaeos, c siis^ p. xoa, Rusa^ 
jy Patkanian)^ A brilliant emendation of PtoL H. Gelxer has restored to 
se of George of Pisidia a reference to the capture of Dovin. Heradiad, a. 



Mf 4r wmp4fytf w i ^ ^opi t rod Aonifhnt, 
[eradiai entered Adherbijim, desboyed a fine temple at GanMca (Tavris), 
owed Chosroes in the direction of Dastagerd (Theqphanes, p. 307). But a 
ay bad been formed under Shfthln, and Shahrbaifix was approEiching with 
es from the ¥rest (Sebaeos, id,) ; they were to join at Nisims. The news 
movements forced Heradius to abandon his advance on Dastagerd and 
to Albania. The campaign has been thoroughly ditcnisrd by E. Gerland, 




i; but the obscure campaign of 694 [proMbly 625] he passes over in silence. 
Lte of the first campaign ot the second expedition, namdy the campaign in 
ijan, is probably 6£f (not 603). See Gerland, ^. cit,} 

TOJj. V. 6 



82 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

forces which had wintered in the Pontic regions ; and, from the 
mouth of the Phasis to the Caspian Sea^ encouraged his subjects 
and allies to march with the successor of Constantine under the 
fiuthfiil and victorious banner of the cross. When the legions 
of Lucullus and Pompey first passed the Euphrates^ they blushed 
at their easy victory over the natives of Armenia. But the long 
experience of war had hardened the minds and bodies of that 
effeminate people ; their zeal and bravery were approved in the 
service of a declining empire ; they abhorred and feared the 
usurpation of the house of Sassan, and the memory of persecu- 
tion envenomed their pious hatred of the enemies of Christ 
The limits of Armenia, as it had been ceded to the emperor 
Maurice, extended as far as the Araxes ; the river submitted to 
the indignity of a bridge ; ^^ and Heraclius, in the footsteps of 
&] Mark ^tony, advanced towards the city of Tauris or Gand- 
zaca,^^^ the ancient and modem capital of one of the provinces 
of Media. At the head of forty thousand men, Chosroes himself 
had returned from some distant expedition to oppose the pro- 
gress of the Roman arms ; but he retreated on the approach of 
Heraclius, declining the generous alternative of peace or of 
battle. Instead of half a million of inhabitants, which have 
been ascribed to Tauris under the reign of the Sophys, the city 
contained no more than three thousand houses ; but the value 
of the royal treasures was enhanced by a tradition that they 
were the spoils of Crcesus, which had been transported by CyruM 
from the citadel of Sardes. The rapid conquests of Heraclius 
were suspended only by the winter season ; a motive of pru- 
dence, or superstition,^^ determined his retreat into the pro- 
vince of Albania, along the shores of the Caspian; and his tents 
were most probably pitched in the plains of Mogan,^^ the 

^^ Et pontem indignatus Araxes. Virgil, ^Endd, viil 728. The river Araxes 
is noisy, rapid, vehement, and, with the melting of the snows, irresistible ; the 
strongest and most mass^ bridges are swept away by the current ; and its indigHa' 
turn is attested by the ruins of many arches near the old town of Zulfa. Vo3rages 
de Chardin, torn. i. p. 252. [For the cessions to Maurice cp. Appendix 4.] 

iwChardin, torn. i. p. 255-259. With the Orientals (D'Herbelot, Biblioth. 
Orient, p. 834), he ascnoes the foundation of Tauris, or Tebris, to Zobdde, the 
wile of the famous Caliph Haroun Alrashid ; but it appears to have been more 
ancient ; and the names of Gandzaca, Gaxaca, Gaza, are expressive of the royal 
treasure. The number of 550,000 inhabitants is reduced by Chardin from x, 100,000, 
the popular estimate. 

i^i^He opened the gospel, and applied or interpreted the first casual passage to 
the name and situation of Albania. Theophanes, p. 258 [p. 308, de Boor]. 

i^The heath of Mogan, between the Cjrrus and the Araxes, is sixty parasangi 
in length and twenty in breadth (Olearius, p. 1023, 1024), abounding m waters 
and miitfal pastures (Hist, de Nadir Shah, translated by Mr. Jones from a 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 83 

^ncaxnpment of Oriental princes. In the course of 
afiil inroad^ he signalised the seal and revenge of a 
smperor : at his command, the soldiers extinguished 
nd destroyed the temples of the Magi ; the statues 
s, Dv-ho aspired to divine honours, were abandoned to 

; sLnd the ruins of Thebarma or Ormia,^^ which had 

[i to Zoroaster himself, made some atonement for the 

the holy sepulchre. A purer spirit of religion was 

tlie relief and deliverance of fifty thousand captives. 

iras rewarded by their tears and grateful acclama- 
it this wise measure, which spread the fiune of his 
ce, difiiised the murmurs of the Persians against the 

obstinacy of their own sovereign. 

the glories of the succeeding campaign, Heradius is 
tt to our eyes and to those of the Bysaotine histcnrians.^^ 
; spacious and fruitful plains of Alfaaniay the emperor 
> follow the chain of H3rrcanian motmtains, to descend 
[Movince of Media or Irak, and to carrv liis victorious 
ur as the rojal cities of Casbin and Ispahan, which had 

;. part ii. p. a, 3y. See the encampments of Timur (Hist par 
All, L V. c. 37 ; I. vl a 13) and the coronation of Nadir Shah (Hist 

iL 3-x3t ftxid the English Life by Mr. Jones, p. 64, 65). [Fnm the 

>f Theophanes, r4 «jcpa rM 'AXfiavimu " the heights of Albania." Albania 
Gerland concludes that Theophanes used the name for all the land 

i Araxes. Accofding to Sebaeos Heradius wintered in the mountain 

r Nakitchevan (Ras& transL, p. 203)1] 

anna and Ormia, near the lake Spanto, are proved to be the same dty 
le (M^moires de I'Acad^mie, tom. zzvilL p. 564, 565). It is honoured 
th-place of Zoroaster, according to the Persians (Schtdtens, Index 
p. 48) ; and their tradition is fortified by M. Perrou d'AnqnetU (Mtou 
des Inscript torn. xxxL p. 375), with some texts from Ais^ or tieir, 
u [It is almost certain that ^nfiapiLott in Theophanes (p. 308) is a mis- 
p#«^fi«ti, as Hoffmann has suggested (Syrische Axten persisc^er Miirmer, 
■S^i^iifr would mean the province Beth Armftyi, in which Dastagerd was 
lie great fire-temple which Heradius destroyed was at Gazaka (Sebaeos, 
p. Gerland. cf, «/., p. 354.] 

onoC find, and (what is much more) M. d'Anville does not attempt to 
Salban, Tarantum, territory of the Huns, &c. mentioned by Theophanes 
k). Eajprcfaius (AnnaL torn, ii p. 231, 232), an insufficient author, names 
; and Casbin is most probabljr the dty of Sapor. Ispahan is twenty-four 
•ney from Tauris, and Casbin half way lietweeu them (Voyages de 
, torn. L p. 63*82^ [Salban has been identified with a village AXi (Sd>aeo8, 
i the district of Arjish, north of Lake Van (Gerland, ^. W/., p. ^). 
is Derindeh on the AJcsu, a western tributary of the Euf^irates ; it is 
diteoe. The very difficult and uncertain operations in the lands north 
tea, and between Lake Van and the upper Euphrates, from end of A.D. 624 
of A.D. 606, tin discussed by Gerland (p. 355 wX An Armenian 
be tenth oentivy , Moses KaAankatad, thrtnrs some lljght, independent of 



84 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

never been approached by a Raman conqueror. Alarmed by 
the danger of his kingdom, the powers of Chosroes were ahready 
recalled from the Nile and the Bosphorus, and three formidable 
armies ^^^ surrounded, in a distant and hostile land, the camp 
of the emperor. The Colchian allies prepared to desert his 
standard ; and the fears of the bravest veterans were expressed, 
rather than concealed, by their desponding silence. '^ Be not 
terrified," said the intrepid Heracnus, '' by the multitude of 
your foes. With the aid of Heaven, one Roman may triumph 
over a thousand baiiMirians. But, if we devote our lives for the 
salvation of our brethren, we shall obtain the crown of mart3^^- 
dom, and our immortal reward will be liberally paid by Grod and 
posterity." These magnanimous sentiments were supported by 
the vigour of his actions. He repelled the threelbla attack of 
the Persians, improved the divisions of their chiefii, and» by a 
well-concerted train of marches, retreats, and successful actions, 
finally chased them from the field into the fortified cities of 
Media and Assyria. In the severity of the winter season, 

Ju] Sarbaraza deemed himself secure in the walls of Salban ; he was 

surprised by the activity of Heraclius, who divided his troops 

.JK «M] and performed a laborious march in the silence of the niffht. 
The flat roo& of the houses were defended with useless valour 
against the darts and torches of the Romans ; the satraps and 
nobles of Persia, with their wives and children, and the flower 
of their martial youth, were either slain or made prisoners. 
The general escaped by a precipitate flight, but his golden 
armour Mras the prize of the conqueror ; and the soldiers of 
Heraclius enjoyed the wealth and repose which they had so 
nobly deserved. On the return of spring, the emperor traversed 
in seven days the mountains of Curdistan, and passed without 
resistance the rapid stream of the Tigris. Oppressed by the 
weight of their spoils and captives, the Roman army halted 
under the walls of Amida ; and Heraclius informed the senate 
of Constantinople of his safety and success, which they had 

gnht^^J^ already felt by the retreat of the besiegers. The bridges of the 
Euphntes were destroyed by the Persians ; but, as soon as the 
emperor had discovered a roid, they hastily retired to defend 
the banks of the Sarus,^^^ in Cilieia. That river, an impetu<His 

>>*[Uncter Shahrbariz, ShShIn, and Shihraplakan ( s SasablaagasX] 

^ At ten parasangs from Tanas» the army of thnyoongetCfruM passed the 
Sams, three plethra m breadth; the Pyramus, a stamun u breadth, ran five 
parasangs farther to the east (Xoiophon, Anabaii. 1. i« p* 339 34 [c 4])> 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 86 

totrent, was about three hundred feet broad ; the bridge was 
fortified with strong turrets; and the banks were lined with 
barbarian archers. After a bloody conflict, which continued 
till the evening, the Romans prevailed in the assault, and a 
Fenian of gigantic siae was slain and thrown into the Sams by 
the hand of the emperor himself. The enemies were dispersed 
and dismayed; Heradius pursued his march to Sebaste in^jkirii,A 
Caf^padoda ; and, at the eicpiration of three years, the same 
coast of the Euxine applauded his return from a long and 
victcMrious ezpedition.^^* 

Instead of skirmishing on the fi*ontier, the two monarchs who Pi MgwaiM 
disputed the empire of the East aimed their desperate strokes Myugwi 
at the heart of their rival. The military force of Persia was mu Ann. 
wasted by the marches and combats of twenty years, and many 
of the veterans, who had survived the perils of the sword and 
the clknate, were still detained in the fortresses of Egjrpt and 
But the revenge and ambition of Chosroes exhausted 
kingdom ; and the new levies of subjects, strangers, and 
slaves, were divided into three formidable bodies.^^' The first 
army of fifty thousand men, illustrious by the ornament and 
title of the golden speartf was destined to march against He- 
ntclins ; the second was stationed to prevent his junction with 
the troops of his brother Theodorus ; and the third was com- 
manded to besiege Constantinople, and to second the opera- 
tiona of the chagan, with whom the Persian king had ratified 
a treaty of alliance and partition. Sarbar, the general of the [nutetin 
third army, penetrated through the provinces of Asia to the 
well-known camp of Chaloedon, and amused himself with the 
destruction of the sacred and profane buildings of the Asiatic 
suburbs, while he impatiently waited the arrival of his Scjrthian 
friends on the opposite side of the Bosphorus. On the twenty- 
ninth of June, thirty thousand barbarians, the vanguard of the 
Avars, forced the long wall, and drove into the capital a 
promiscuous crowd of peasants, citizens, and soldiers. Four- 
thousand ^^^ of his native subjects, and of the vassal tribes 



^''GeQcgie of Pisidia (BeU. Abaricum, 3^-265, p. 49) celebrates with truth the 
persevering courage of the three campaigns {r^U W9fnip6pmn) against the Persians. 

i>* PietaThis (Annotationes ad Nicei»ionim» p. 63, 63, 64) discriminates the 
names and actions of five Persian generals, who were successively sent against 
Heradins. 

*>* This number of dglbl m3Tiads is specified by George at Pisidia (BelL Abar. 
319)1 The poet (50-88) clearly indicates that the old chi^an lived till the reign of 
Heradius, wad that his son and successor was bom of a foreign mother. Yet 
Fogginx (Annotau p. 57) has given another interpre^tion to this passage. [Cpu 
above, p. $3*^ S^l 



86 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

of Gepidae, Ruasians^ Bulgarians, and Sclavoniana, advanced 
under the standard of the chagan ; a month was spent in 
inarches and negotiations ; but the whole city was invested on 
the thirty-first of July, from the suburbs of Pera and Galata to 
the Blachemae and seven towers ; and the inhabitants descried 
with terror the flaming signals of the European and Asiatic 
shores. In the meanwhile the magistrates of Constantinople 
repeatedly strove to purchase the retreat of the chraan; 
but their deputies were rejected and insulted ; and he suffered 
the patricians to stand before his throne, while the Persian 
envoys, in silk robes, were seated by his side. " You see," said 
the haughty barbarian, ''the proo& of my perfect union with 
the Great King ; and his lieutenant is ready to send into my 
camp a select band of three thousand warriors. Presume no 
longer to tempt your master with a partial and inadequate 
ransom ; your wealth and your city are the only presents 
worthy of my acceptance. For yourselves, I shall permit you 
to depart, each with an under-garment and a shirt ; and, at my 
entreaty, my friend Sarbar will not refuse a passage through 
his lines. Your absent prince, even now a captive or a fugitive, 
has left Constantinople to its &te ; nor can you escape the arms 
of the Avars and Persians, unless you could soar into air 
like birds, unless like fishes you could dive into the waves." ^^^ 
During ten successive days the capital was assaulted by the 
Avars, who had made some progress in the science of attack ; 
they advanced to sap or batter the wall, under the cover of the 
impenetrable tortoise; their engines discharged a perpetual 
volley of stones and darts ; and twelve lofty towers of wood 
exalted the combatants to the height of the neighbouring 
ramparts. But the senate and people were animated by the 
spirit of Heraclius, who had detached to their relief a body of 
twelve thousand cuirassiers ; the powers of fire and mechanics 
were used with superior art and success in the defence of 
Constantinople ; and the galleys, with two and three ranks of oars, 
commanded the Bosphorus, and rendered the Persians the idle 
spectators of the defeat of their allies . The Avars were repulsed ; 
a fleet of Sclavonian canoes was destroyed in the harbour ; the 
vassals of the chagan threatened to desert, his provisions were 

^^*A bird, a frog, a mouse, and five arrows, had been the present of the 
Scjrthian king to Darius (Herodot. 1. iv. c. 131, 132). Substituez une lettre A, ces 
signes (says Rousseau, with much good taste), plus ella sera mena^ante moins elle 
enrayera : ce ne cera cm'une fanfarronade dont Darius n'eut fait que rire (Emile, 
torn. iii. p. Z46). Yet I much question whether the senate and people of Constant!- 
nople laughed at this message of the chagan. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 87 

exhauBted, &nd^ after burning his engines, he gave the signal of 
a slow and formidable retreat. The devotion of the Romans 
ascribed this signal deliverance to the virgin Mary; but the 
mother of Christ would surely have condemned their inhuman 
murder of the Persian envoys, who were entitled to the rights 
of humanity, if they were not protected by the laws of nations.^^* 
After the division of his army, Heraclius prudently retired to 
the banks of the Phasis, from whence he maintained a defensive SSSS ' 
war against the fifty thousand gold spears of Persia* His 
inxiety was relieved by the deliverance of Constantinople ; his 
hopes were confirmed by a victory of his brother Theodorus ; ^^^ 
and to the hostile league of Chosroes with the Avars the 
Roman emperor opposed the useful and honourable alliance of 
the Turks. At Ids liberal invitation, the horde of Choaars ^^^ poMMn] 
transported their tents from the plains of the Volga to the 
mountains of Georgia ; Heraclius received them in the neigh- 
bourhood of Teflis,^^^ and the khan -with his nobles dismounted 
from their horses, if we may credit the Greeks, and fell prostrate 
on the ground, to adore the purple of the Caesar. Sudi volun- 
tary homage and important aid were entitled to the warmest 
acknowledgments ; and the emperor, taking off his own diadem, 
placed it on the head of the Turkish prince, whom he saluted 
with a tender embrace and the appellation of son. After a 
sumptuous banquet, he presented Ziebel with the plate and 
ornaments, the gold, the gems, and the silk, which had been 
used at the Imperial table, and, with his own hand, distributed 

^^•The Paschal Chronicle (p. 392-397 [p. 716 j^/.]) K*^^ * minute and authentic 
narrative of the siege and deliverance of Constantinople. Theophanes (p. 26^ [p. 
3x6, ed. de Boor]) adds some circumstances ; and a faint light may be obtained 
from the smoke of George of Pisidia, who has composed a poem (de Bello Abarico, 
p. 45-54) to commemorate this auspicious event [There is another minute account 
of this siege preserved in manv mss. and printed by Mai in Nova Patrum Bib- 
liotfaeca, vol 6, 1853. V. Vasilievski has made it probable that its author is Theodore 
Sjooellus, who was one of the deputies to the chagan. See Viz. Vremenn., iii. 
p.9i-a.] 

M7 [Over Shahin.] 

^^Tbe power of the Chozars prevailed in the viith, viiith, and ixth centuries. 
Thev were known to the Greeks, the Arabs, and, under the name of /CasOf to 
the Chinese ^emselves. De Guignes, Hist des Huns, tom. iL part ii. p. 507- 

S09- 

lu [An Armenian source states that the Khazars, who had invaded Persian 
territory in a previous year, now joined Heraclius in a siege of Tiflis. But a 
Persian geDcraf entered the town and successfully defied the besiegers. Zhebu, the 
chagan of the Khazars, then withdrew to his own land, but in the following year 
tent aivcilianes to the Emperor. See Gerland, iff, cit. , p. 364. With the exception 
of these events in connexion with the Khazars, toe year from autumn A.D. 6a6 to 
autunm A.D. 697 is a blank.] 



I 



88 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

rich jeweb and eanings to his new allies. In a secret inter- 
view, he produced the portrait of his daughter Eadociay^* con- 
descended to flatter the barbarian with the promise of a fiur and 
august bride, obtained an inmiediate sucoonr of forty thousand 
hme, and n^otiated a strong diversion of the Turkish arms on 
the side of the Oxus.^ The Persians in their tarn, retreated 
with precipitation ; in the camp of Edessa, Hemdns reviewed 
an army of seventy thousand Romans and strangers ; and some 
months were successfully employed in the recovery of the cities 
of Syria, Mesopotamia, and Armenia, whose fortifieations had 
been imperfectly restored. Sarfoar still maintained the im- 
portant station of Chalcedon ; but the jealoosy of Chosroes, or 
the artifice of Heraclius, soon alienated the mind of that 
powerfiil satrap from the service of his king and country. A 
messenger was intercepted with a real or fictitious mandate to 
the cadarigan, or second in command, directing him to send, 
without delay, to the throne the head of a guilty or unfortunate 
general. The dispatches were transmitted to Sarbar himself; 
and, as soon as he read the sentence of his own death, he 
dexterously inserted the names of four hundred officers, as- 
sembled a military council, and asked the cadangqn, whether he 
was prepared to execute the commands of their tyrant? The 
Persians unanimously declared that Chosroes had forfeited the 
sceptre ; a separate treaty was conduded with the government 
of Constantinople ; and, if some considerations of honour or 
policy restrained Sarbar from joining the standard of Heradius, 
the emperor was assured that he might prosecute, without in- 
terruption, his designs of victory and peace. 

Deprived of his firmest support, and doubtful of the fidelity 
of his subjects, the greatness of Chosroes Mras still conspicuous 
in its ruins. The number of ^e hundred thousand may be 
interpreted as an Oriental metaphor, to describe the men and 
arms, the horses and elephants, that covered Media and 
Assyria against the invasion of Heradius. Yet the Romans 

^** Epiphania, or Eudoda, the only daughter of Heradius and his first wife 
Eadoda, was bom at Constantinople on the 7th of July, A.D. 611, baptised the 15th 
of August, and crowned (in the oratory of Sl Stephen in the palace) the 4th of 
October of the same year. At this time she was about fifteen. Eodocia was 
afterwards sent to her Turkish husband, but the news of his death stopped her 
journey and prevented the consummation (Dncange, FamilisB Bjrsantin. p. 118). 

^ Klmarin (HisL Saracen, p. Z3-x6) gives some curious and probable facts ; 
but his numbers are rather too high— -300,000 Romans assembled at Edeoa— 
500,000 Persians kiUed at Nineveh. The abatement of a dpber is scarcely 
enough to restore his sanity. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 89 

boldly sdranced irom the Araxes to the Tigris, and the timid 
prudence of Rhasates was content to follow them by forced puiMdh] 
marches through a desolate countnr, till he received a peremp- 
tory mandate to risk the &te of Persia in a decisive battle. 
Eastward of the Tigris, at the end of the bridge of Mosul, the 
great Nineveh had formerly been erected ; ^^ the city, and even 
the ruins of the city, had long since disappeared ; ^^ the vacant 
spaoe afforded a spacious field for the operations of the two 
armies. But these operations are neglected by the Byzantine 
historians, and, like the authors of epic poetry and romance, 
they ascribe the victory not to the military conduct, but to the 
personal valour, of their favourite hero. On this memorable 
day, Heraclius, on his horse Phallas,^^ surpassed the bravest of 
his warriors : his lip was pierced with a spear, the steed was m«?m« 
wounded in the thigh, but he carried his master safe andSi"""'^ 
victorious through the triple phalanx of the barbarians. In the 
heat of the action, three valiant chiefs were successively slain 
by the sword and lance of the emperor; among these was 
Bhasates himself; he fell like a soldier, but the sight of his 
bead scattered grief and despiir through the &inting ranks of 
the Persians. His armour of pure and massy gold, the shield of 
one hundred and twenty plates, the sword and belt, the saddle 
and cuirass, adorned the triumph of Heraclius, and, if he had 
not been fiuthful to Christ and his mother, the champion of 
Rome might have offered the fourth optme spoils to the Jupiter 
of the Capitol.*^ In the battle of Nineveh, which was fiercely 
fought mmi daybreak to the eleventh hour, twenty-eight Bs3 

» Ctesias (apod Diodor. Sicul torn. i. L ii. p. 115, edit Wesseling [c. 3]) as- 
u 480 stadia (perhaps only thirty-two miles) for the circumference of Nineveh. 



Jonas talks of three days' jotflrner : the 120,000 persons described by the prophet 
as JncapaMft of discerning their right hand from their left may a£ford about 700,000 




the first age of the Arabian caliphs. 

^» Niebuhr (Voyage en Arable, &c. torn. iL p. a86) paased over Nineveh with- 
ovt perceiving it He mistook for a ridge of hills the old rampart of brick or 
eum. It is said to have been 100 feet high, flanked with 1500 towers, each of the 
hei^ of 900 feet 

Bft [4dXfimf, 4 hMy6iuvo% A6pKmr (Theoph. p. 3x8). Doram seems to have been the 
fttine of the steed, 4«A/I«ff (cf. 4«Amv) to describe its colour (white ?).] 

1* Rex regia arma fero (says Romulus, in the first consecration) . . . bina 
postca (oontiniies Livy, I 10) inter tot bella opima parta sunt spolia, adeo rara ejus 
foftuna decoris. If Varro (apud Pomp. Festum, pi 306, edit. Dader) could iusu^ 
Us liberality in granting the opimt spoils even to a common soldier who had slain 
the king or geaml of the enemy, the honour would have been much more cheap 
lad common. 



90 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

standards, beside those which might be broken or torn, were 
taken from the Persians ; the greatest part of their army was 
cut in pieces, and the victors, concealing their own loss, passed 
the night on the field. They acknowledged that on this occa- 
sion it was less difficult to kill than to discomfit the soldiers of 
Chosroes ; amidst the bodies of their friends, no more than two 
bow-shot from the enemy, the remnant of the Persian cavalry 
stood firm till the seventh hour of the night ; about the eighth 
hour they retired to their unrifled camp, collected their baggage, 
and -dispersed on all sides, from the want of orders rather than 
of resolution. The diligence of Heraclius was not less admir- 
able in the use of victory; by a march of forty-eight miles in 
four-and-twenty hours, his vanguard occupied the bridges of the 
zab jrreat and the lesser TaX} ; and the cities and palaces of Assyria 

] were open for the first time to the Romans. By a just grada- 

tion of^ magnificent scenes, they penetrated to the royal seat of 
Dastagerd, and, though much of the treasure had been removed, 
and much had been expended, the remaining wealth appears to 
have exceeded their hopes, and even to have satiated their 
avarice. Whatever could not be easily transported they con- 
sumed with fire, that Chosroes might feel the anguish of those 
wounds which he had so often inflicted on the provinces of the 
empire ; and justice might allow the excuse, ^ the desolation 
had been confined to the works of regal luxury, if national 
hatred, military licence, and religious zeal had not wasted with 
equal rage the habitations and the temples of the guiltless sub- 
ject. The recovery of three hundred Roman standards, and 
the deliverance of the numerous captives of Edessa and Alex- 
andria, reflect a purer glory on the arms of Heraclius. From 
the palace of Dastagerd,^^^ he pursued his march within a few 
miles of Modain or Ctesiphon, till he was stopped, on the banks 
of the Arba, by the difficulty of the passage, the rigour of the 
season, and perhaps the fiime of an impregnable capital.^'^ The 

'^b.-Manh] return of the emperor is marked by the modem name of the 

tanap] dty of Shcrbzour ; he fortunately passed mount Zara before 
the snow, which fell incessantly thirty-four days ; and the 

iANiiu] citizens of Gandzaca, or Tauris, were compelled to entertain 
his soldiers and their horses with an hospitable reception.^^ 

^* [Dastagerd lay not far from Bagdad, near the present Shahr&bfin.] 

13^ rSebaeos (c. 37, p. 105-6) ascribes the Emperor's retreat into Adharbijan to 
fear of oeing cut off by Shahrbarftz.] 

1^ In describing this last expedition of Heraclius, the facts, places, and the 
dates of Theophanes (p. 365-271 [a.m. 61 18]) are so accurate and authentic that 
he must have foUowea the original letters of the emperor, of which the Paachil 



OF THE ROMAN £MPIB£ 91 

When the ambition of Chosroes was reduced to the defence wi^ rf 
of his hereditary kingdom, the love of glory, or even the sense aj^ m, 
of shame, should have urged him to meet his rival in the field. 
In the battle of Nineveh, his courage might have taught the 
Persians to vanquish, or he might have &llen with honour by 
the lance of a Roman emperor. The successor of Cyrus chose 
rather, at a secure distance, to expect the event, to assemble 
the relics of the defeat, and to retire by measured steps before 
the march of Heraclius, till he beheld with a sigh the once 
loved mansions of Dastagerd. Both his friends and enemies 
were persuaded that it was the intention of Chosroes to bury 
himself under the ruins of the city and palace ; and, as both 
might have been equally adverse to his flight, the monarch of 
Asia, with Sira and three concubines, escaped through an hole 
in the wall nine days before the arrival of the Romans. The 
slow and stately procession in which he shewed himself to the 
prostrate crowd was changed to a rapid and secret journey ; 
and the first evening he lodged in the cottage of a peasant, 
whose humble door would scarcely give admittance to the 
Great King.^^ His superstition was subdued by fear ; on the 
third day, he entered with joy the fortifications of Ctesiphon ; 
yet he still doubted of his safety till he had opposed the river 
Tigris to the pursuit of the Romans. The discovery of his 
flight agitated with terror and tumult the palace, the city, and 
the camp of Dastagerd; the satraps hesitated whether they 
had most to fear irom their sovereign or the enemy ; and the 
females of the harem were astonished and pleased by the sight 
of mankind, till the jealous husbands of three thousand wives 
again confined them to a more distant castle. At his com- 
mand the army of Dastagerd retreated to a new camp: the 
front was covered by the Arba, and a line of two hundred 
elephants ; the troops of the more distant provinces successively 
arrived ; and the vilest domestics of the king and satraps were 
enrolled for the last defence of the throne. It was still in the 
power of Chosroes to obtain a reasonable peace ; and he was 
repeatedly pressed by the messengers of Heraclius to spare 
the blood of his subjects, and to relieve an humane conqueror 

Chronicle has preserved (p. jigS'Aioa [737-734. ed. Boon]) a very curious spedmen. 
[Theopbanes seems here to have put various sources together.] 

^^ The words of 'Fbeophanes are remarkable : «t<ri$Ait Xoap^ etc oUor y»«pyov 

i*m»tt,mtn (p. 269 [p. 333, ed. de Boor]). Young princes who discover a propensity 
to war should repeatedly transcribe and translate such salutary tttzts. 



92 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

from the pftinful duty of canying fire and sword thi 
fiiirest countries of Asia. But the pride of the Pe 
not yet sunk to the level of his fortune ; he derived i 
tary confidence frt>m the retreat of the emperor ; he i 
impotent rage over the ruins of his Assyrian palaces 
regarded too long the rising murmurs of the nat 
complained that their lives and fortunes were sacrifio 
obstinacy of an old man. That unhappy old man wf 
tortured with the sharpest pains both of mind and bo 
in the consciousness of his approaching end, he resol 
a tiara on the head of MerdMsa, the most favoured of 
But the will of Chosroes was no longer revered, ai 
who gloried in the rank and merit of his mother Sira, 
spired with the maleoontents to assert and anticipate ^ 
of primogeniture.^^ Twenty-two satraps, they styl 
selves patriots, were tempted by the wealth and ho: 
new reign : to the soldiers, the heir of Chosroes pre 
increase of pay ; to the Christians the free exerds< 
religion ; to the captives liberty and rewards ; and to t 
instant peace and the reduction of taxes. It was d< 
by the conspirators that Siroes^ with the ensigns o1 
should appear in the camp ; and, if the enterprise sh 
his escape was contrived to the Imperial court But 
monarch was saluted with unanimous acclamations ; 
iBdjD0M4, of Chosroes (yet where could he have fled }) was rudelj^ 
ks eighteen sons were massacred before his £Eu*e, and he w) 
imvdisvd into a dungeon, where he expired on the fifth day. Tl 
Si!^ 7?h. and modem Persians minutely describe how Chosrot 
suited, and fiunished, and tortured, by the comma 
inhuman son, who so fiur surpassed the example of h 
but at the time of his death, what tongue could relate 
of the parricide? what. eye could penetrate into the 
darkneu f According to the fiuth and mercy of his 
enemies, he sunk without hope into a still deeper 

i*The authentic narrative of the faXi of Chosroes is contained in 
Heraclios (Chron. Paschal p. 398 [p. 797]), and the history of Tht 
271 (p. 396, ed. de Boor]). 

x*> On the first rumour of the death of Chosroes. an Heracliad in 
was instantly published at Constantinople by George of Pisidia (p. 




Ac.) in Uie letter of Heradius : he alnwst applauds the parricide of Sire 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE »8 

and it will not be denied that tyranta of every age and sect are 
the beat entitled to such infernal abodes. The glory of the 
boose of Sassan ended with the life of Choaroes ; his unnatural 
•on enjoyed only eight months the fruit of his crimes ; and in 
the space of four years the regal title was assumed by nine 
candidates^ who disputed, with the sword or da^er, the frag* 
ments of an exhausted monarchy. Evenr province and each 
city of Persia was the scene of independence, of discord, and 
of blood, and the state of anarchy prevailed about eight years 
longer, till the fections were silenced and united under the 
common yoke of the Arabian caliphs.^'^ 

As soon as the mountains became passable, the emperor xr«itrttr 
received the welcome news of the success of the conspiracy, {SSSl tk* 
the death of Chosroes. and the elevation of his eldest son toSjD.'St!' 
the throne of Persia. The authors of the revolution, eager to^^ 
display their merits in the court or camp of Tauris, preceded 
the ambassadors of Siroes, who delivered the letters of their 
master to his brother the emperor of the Romans.^^ In the 
language of the usurpers of every age, he imputes his own 
crimes to the Deity, and, ¥rithout desrading his equal majesty, 
he oflfers to reconcile the long diacora of the two nations, by a 
treaty of peace and alliance more durable than brass or iron. 
The conditions of the treaty were easily defined and feithfnlly 
executed. In the recovery of the standards and prisoners which 
had fellen into the hands of the Persians, the emperor imitated 
the example of Augustus : their care of. the national dignity 
was celebrated by the poets of the times ; but the decay of 
genius may be measured bv the distance between Horace and 
George of Pisidia : the subjects and brethren of Heraclius were 
redeemed from persecution, slavery, and exile ; but, instead of 
the Roman eagles, the true wood of the holy cross was restored 
to the importunate demands of the successor of Constantine. 
The victor was not ambitious of enlarging the weakness of the 
empire ; the son of Chosroes abandoned without regret the 
conquests of his fether ; the Persians who evacuated ttie cities 
of Syria and £g3l>t were honourably conducted to the frtmtier ; 

u^The best Orienud aoooimts of this last period of the Sassanian kings are 
famd in Eutjrchius (AnnaL torn, ii a 351-056), who dissembles the parridde of 
Siroes. D'Herbelot (BiUiothAqiie Onentale, d, 7S0), and Assemanni (BifaUothec 
OrientaL torn, iil p. 415-4^0). [Fos chronoiogicai list of the chief osnrpen, see 
Appendix 61] 

"Tbs letter of Siroes in the Paschal Chronicle (pi 40s [p. 735, ed. Bonn]) 
onfortiinntely ends before he proceeds to business. The treaty appears in its 
execution in the histories of Tbeophanes and NicephoniR. 



94 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

and a war which had wounded the vitals of the two monarchies 
produced no change in their external and relative situation. 
The return of Heraclius from Tauris to Constantinople was a 
perpetual triumph ; and, after the exploits of six glorious cam- 
paigns, he peaceably enjoyed the sabbath of his toils. After a 
long impatience, the senate, the clergy, and the people went 
forth to meet their hero, with tears and acclamations, with 
olive branches and innumerable lamps ; he entered the capital 
in a chariot drawn by four elephants; and, as soon as the 
emperor could disengage himself from the tumult of public joy, 
he tasted more genuine satisfaction in the embraces of his 
mother and his son.^** 

The succeeding year was illustrated by a triumph of a very 
different kind, the restitution of the true cross to the holy 
sepulchre. Heraclius performed in person the pilgrimage of 
Jerusalem, the identity of the relic was verified by the discreet 
patriarch,^'^ and this august ceremony has been commemorated 
by the annual festival of the exaltation of the cross. Before 
the emperor presumed to tread the consecrated ground, he was 
instructed to strip himself of the diadem and purple, the pomp 
and vanity of the world ; but in the judgment of his clergy the 
persecution of the Jews was more easily reconciled with the 
precepts of the gospel. He again ascended his throne to re- 
ceive the congmtulations of the ambassadors of France and 
India ; and the fiune of Moses, Alexander, and Hercules ^^ was 
eclipsed, in the popular estimation, by tiie superior merit and 
glory of the great Heraclius. Yet the deliverer of the East 
was indigent and feeble. Of the Persian spoils the most 
valuable portion had been expended in the war, distributed to 
the soldiers, or buried, by an unlucky tempest, in the waves of 

M^Thc burden of Coraeille's song, 

" Montres Heraclius au people qui Tattend," 
is much better suited to the present oteaatoo. See his triumph in Theophanes 
(p. 272, 273 [A.M. 6119]), ana Nicepborus (p. 15, 16). The life of the mother 
and tenderness ai the son are attested by George of Pisldia (Bell. Abar. 255, &c. 

g, 49). The metaphor of the Saobath is us^ somewhat profanely^ by these 
yiantine Christians. 

i<^See Baronios(AnnaL Eocles. A.IX 638. Na z-4), Eutychius (Annal torn. ii. 
p. 240-248), Nioephorus ^Braiv. p. 15)1 The seals of the case had never been 
broken; and this pr eserva tion of tne cross is ascribed (under God) to the devotion 
of queen Sira. 

1* George of Pisidia, Acroas. iil de Expedit. contra Persas, ^15, ftc and 
Heracliad. Acroas. I 65-138. I neglect the meaner parallels of Danid» Timotheus. 
&C. Chosroes and the dttgan were of coarse compared to Bdsluuiar, Pharaoh, 
the old serpent, &c. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 



dS 



the Euxine. The conscience of the emperor was oppressed by 

the obligation of restoring the wealth of the clergy^ which he 

had borrowed for their own defence ; a perpetual fiind was 

required to satisfy these inexorable creditors ; the provinces, 

ah'eady wasted by the arms and avarice of the Persians, were 

compelled to a second pa3rment of the same taxes ; and the 

arrears of a simple citizen, the treasurer of Damascus, were 

commuted to a fine of one hundred thousand pieces of gold. 

The loss of two hundred thousand soldiers ^^ who had fi&llen by 

the sword was of less fiital importance than the decay of arts, 

agriculture, and population, in this long and destructive war ; 

and, although a victorious army had been formed under the 

standard of Heraclius, the unnatural effort appears to have 

exhausted rather than exercised their strength. While the 

emperor triumphed at Constantinople or Jerusalem, an obscure 

town on the confines of Syria was pillaged by the Saracens, and 

they cut in pieces some troops who advanced to its relief: an 

ordinary and trifling occurrence, had it not been the prelude 

of a mighty revolution. These robbers were the apostles of 

Mahomet ; their fiinatic valour had emerged from the desert ; 

and in the last eight years of his reign Heraclius lost to the 

Arabs the same provinces which he had rescued from the 

Persians. 



^''Soidas (in Exoopt Hist Byzant. p. 46) gives this number; but either the 
Fersiam. most be read for the Isaurian war, or this passage does not belong to 
ifae tmpuw Heradius. 



96 THE DECLINE AND FALL 



CHAPTEB XLVn 

Theological HitUny of the Dodrme of the Incarnation — The Hwman 
and Divine Nature of Christ — Emmty of the Patriarchs of 
Alexandria and Constaniinople^^L CyrU and Nestarius — 
Third General Council of Ephesus — Heresy of Euiyehu — 
Fourth General Council of Chalcedon — Civil and Ecdesiasiical 
Discord'-Intolerance of Justiman^The Three Chapters^Tht 
MonotheKte Conirovern-^Staie of the Oriental Seds—I. The 
Nestorians—II. The Jacobites— III. The Maromies—IV. The 
Armenians — V, The Copts and 



i^tewn^ After the extinction of paganism, the Christians in peace and 
piety might have enjoyed their solitary triumph. But the 
principle of discord was alive in their bosom, and they were 
more solicitous to explore the nature, than to practise the laws, 
of their founder. I have already observed that the disputes of 
the Trinity were succeeded by those of the Incarnation : alike 
scandalous to the church, alike pernicious to the state, still 
more minute in their origin, still more durable in their effects. 
It is my design to comprise in the present chapter a religious 
war of two hundred and fifty years, to represent the ecclesias- 
tical and political schism of the Oriental sects, and to introduce 
their clamorous or sanguinary contests by a modest inquiry into 
the doctrines of the primitive church.^ 

^ By what means shall I authenticate this previous uu^uiry, which I have studied 
to circumscribe and compress? — If I persist in supportmg each fact or reflection 
by its proper and special evidenocj eyenr line would demand a string of testimonies, 
and every note would swell to a critical dissertation. But the numberless passages 
of antiquity which I have seen with my own eyes are compiled, digested, and 
illustrated by Petavius and Lt Clerc^ by Bgamsodre and Moskeim, I shall be con- 
tent to fortify my narrative by the names and characters of these respectable guides ; 
and in the contemplation of a minute or remote object I am not ashamed to borrow 
the aid of the strongest glasses z. The Dcgmata Tkeokgica of Petavius are a 
work of incredible labour and compass ; the volumes which relate solely to the in- 
carnation (two folios, vth and vith, of 837 pages) are divided into xvi book*— the 
first of history, the remainder of controversy ana doctrine. The Jesuit's learning 
is copious and correct ; his Latinity is pure, his method dear, his argument pro- 
found and well connected ; but he is the slave of the fathers, the aoourge of berciics, 
ibe enemy of truth and candour, as often at tk^ are inimical to the Ca th oli c 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 07 

L A laudable r^ard for the honour of the first pnMeljtes has l A|^ 
countenanced the belief, the hope, the wish, that the EbioniteSyr^ " 
or at least the Nazarenes, were distinguished only hy their 
obstinate perseverance in the practice of the Mosaic rites. 
Their churches have disappeared, their books are obliterated; 
their obscure freedom might allow a latitude of &ith, and the 
softness of their in£uit creed would be variously moulded by 
the zeal or prudence of three hundred years. Yet the most 
charitable oritidsm must refuse these sectaries any knowledge 
of the pure and proper divinity of Christ. Educated in the 
school of Jewish prophecy and prejudice, they had never been 
taught to elevate their hopes above an human and temporal 
Messiah.' If they had courage to hail their king when he 
^ypeared in a plebeian garb, their grosser apprehensions were in- 
capable of discerning their God, who had studiously disguised 
his celestial character under the name and person of a mortaL' 
The familiar companions of Jesus of Nazareth conversed with 
their friend and countryman, who, in all the actions of rational 
tnd animal life, appeared of the same species with themselves. 
His progress from in£uicy to youth and manhood was marked 

cnae. a. The Arminian Le Clerc, who has composed In a quarto volume (Amster- 
dam, 17x6) the ecclesiastical history of the two nrst oeaturies, was free both in his 
temper and situation ; his sense is dear, but his thou|;hts are narrow ; he reduces 
the reason or foU^ of ages to the standard of his private jud^ent, and his im- 
nartialitj is sometimes quickened, and sometimes taunted, by his opposition to the 
ttihenL See the heretics (Corinthians, Izxx. ; Ebionites, ciii. ; Carpocratians, cxz. ; 
Vakntinians, cxzi. ; Basilidians, cxxiiL ; Marcionites, cxlL, &c.) under their proper 
datesL 5. The Histoire Critique du Manichdsme (Amsterdam, 1754. 1739. in two vols. 
ID 410. with a posthtmious dissertation sur les Nazarenes, Lausanne, 1745) ^ ^* 
de Beausbfare is a treasure of ancient philosophy and theology. The learned 
historian spins m\h incomparable art the S3rstematic thread of opinion, and trans- 
forms himself hy turns into the person of a saint, a sage, or an heretic. Yet his 
refinement is sometimes excessive ; he betrays an amiable partiality in favour of the 
weaker side; and, while he guards against calumny, he does not allow sufficient 
Kope for superstition and fanaticism. A copious table of contents will direct the 
reader to any point that he wishes to examme. 4. Less profound than Petavius. 
ksB independent than Le Qerc, less ingenious than Beausobre, the historian Mos- 
beim is full, rational, correct, and moderate. In his learned work, De Rebus 
Christianis ante Constantinum (Helmstadt, 1753, in 4to), see the Naxarenes and 
Ebuiiii€s,n. 179-179, 328-333 ; the Gnostics in general, p. 179, ftc. ; Cerintkus, p. 
I9fr«a; Hasilides. p. 353-361; Carpocrates, p. 36^367; Valentinus, p. 371-389; 
Uarcion* p. 404-410 ; the Mamdueans, p. 839-837, sc. 

Ays the Jewish Tryphon (Justin. Dialog, p. 907) in the name of his countrymen ; 
aad the modem Jews, the few who divert their thoughts firom money to rdigion, 
ttSSk hold the same language and allege the literal sense of the prophets. 

« *Chtyfl08toai (Basnage, Hist des Juifs, tom. v. c. o, p. 183) and Atbanasius 

I (IVtET. Donnat Tbeolog. torn. v. L u c. 3, p. 3) are obliged to oanG^ that the 
\ divinityof Christ is rardynientiooed b/hiinself or his apoil^ 
VOZfc K 7 



1 



98 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

by a regular increase in stature and wisdom ; and, after a pain- 
ful agony of mind and body, he expired on the cross. He lived 
and died for the service of mankind ; but the life and death of 
Socrates had likewise been devoted to the cause of religion 
and justice ; and, although the stoic or the hero may disdain 
the humble virtues of Jesus, the tears which he shed over his 
friend and country may be esteemed the purest evidence of 
his humanity. The miracles of the gospel could not astonish 
a people who held, with intrepid &ith, the more splendid 
prodigies of the Mosaic law. The prophets of ancient days 
had cured diseases, raised the dead, divided the sea, stopped 
the sun, and ascended to heaven in a fiery chariot. And the 
metaphorical style of the Hebrews might ascribe to a saint and 
martyr the adoptive title of Son op God. 

Yety in the insufficient creed of the Nazarenes and the 
Ebionites, a distinction is fsuntly noticed between the heretics, 
who confounded the generation of Christ in the common order 
of nature, and the less guilty schismatics, who revered the 
virsinity of his mother and excluded the aid of an earthly 
father. The incredulity of the former was countenanced l^ 
the visible circumstances of his birth, the legal marriage of his 
reputed parents, Joseph and Maiy, and his lineal claim to the 
kingdom of David and the inheritance of Judah. But the 
secret and authentic history has been recorded in several copies 
of the gospel according to St. Matthew,^ which these sectaries 
long preserved in the original Hebrew,^ as the sole evidence of 
their &ith. The natural suspicions of the husband, conscious 
of his own chastity, were dispelled by the assurance (in a dream) 
that his wife was pregnant of the Holv Ghost; and, as this 
distant and domestic prodigy could not rail under the personal 
observation of the historian, he must have listened to the same 

*The two first chapters of St Matthew did not eaust in the Ebiooite OG^nes 
(Epiphan. Hseres. zxx. 13) ; and the miracoloos ooncqition is one of the lait articles 
whidi Dr. Priestley has curtailed from his scanty creed. 

■It is probable enough that the first of the gospels for the use of the Jewish 
converts was composed in the Hebrew or Syriac ioiom : the fact is attested by a 
chain of fathers— Papias, Irenaeus, Origen. Jerom. &c. It is defontly bdieved by 
the Catholics, and admitted by Casaabon, Grotius, and Isaac Voesios, among tlie 
Ftotestant critics. But this Hebrew goapd of St. Matthew is most unaeoountably 
lost ; and we may accuse the diligenoe or fidelity of the primitive cfanrehes, who 
have prefe rr ed the unauthorised imion of some nameless Greek. Eraanns and 
his followers, who respect our Greek text as the original gospel, dqprhe themselves 
of the evidence which declares it to be the work 01 an apostle. See Simoo, HisL 
Critique. Ac. tom. UL c. 5-9» p. 47-xoz and the Prokigoinena of MiU and Wetitein 
to the New Testament* 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIiRE 99 

votoe which dictated to Isidah the future conception of a virgin. 
The son of a virgin, generated by the ineflbble operation of the 
Holy Spirit, was a creature without example or resemblance, 
superior in every attribute of mind and body to the children 
of Adam. Since the introduction of the Greek or Chaldean 
jdiiloBophy,^ die Jews^ were persuaded of the pre-ezistence, 
tmnsmigrationj and immortality of souls ; and Providence was jus- 
tified by a supposition that they were confined in their earthly 
prisona to expiate the stains which they had contracted in a 
fiirmer stated But the d^rees of purity and ccmmption are 
almost immeasurable. It may be fidrly presumed that the 
most sublime and virtuous of human spirits was infused into the 
o&pcing of Macrv and the Holy Ghost ;^ that his abasement 
was the result of his voluntaiy choice ; and that the object of 
his mission was to purify, not his own, but the sins of the 
world. On his return to his native skfes^ he received the im* 
mense reward of his obedience : the everlasting kingdom of the 
Messiah, which had been darkly foretold by the prophets, under 
the carnal images of peace, of conquest, and of dominion. 
Omnipotence could enlarge the human fiieulties of Christ to 
the extent of his celestial office. In the language of antiquity, 
the title of God has not been severely confined to the first 
parent, and his incomparable minister, his only begotten Son^ 
might daim, without presumption, the religious, though second- 
ary, worship of a subject world. 
II. The seeds of the ftith, which had slowly arisen in the rocky g^ i^ ^^ 

*Tbe netapbysiGS of the tool are disengaged bf Cioero (IHianwIan. L L) and 
liazimiis of Tyn (DiasertaL xvi.) from the iniroacies of dialogue, which sometimei 
aoraae, and often perplex, the readers of the PMa^^nis, the PkauUm, and the Ltaos 
tfPlata 

'The disciples of Jesus were persuaded that a man misht have sinned before he 
vaa bom (John ix. 9h and the Aariaess held the transmigration of virtuous souls 
(Josq»h.deBeU* Judaioo,Liic.7[/!»'. c.8,|iip andarooderaRabtHismodestljr 
amired tliat Hermes, I^rtbagoras, mto, «& derived their metaph|sics from his 
iOottrioiis oountryraea. 

s Fov different opinions have been entertained c o n cern in g the origin of human 
KHilai I. That thc^ are eternal and divine, a. That tl^ were created in a 
apaiate state of axntenoe, before their union with the body. 9. That they have 
boai propagated from the oiional stock of Adam, who contained in himself the 
watal as well as the oorporealsaed of his posterity. 4. Tbnteachaoulisoocasion- 
aDy crealed and embodied in the momeot of conception.— The last of these senti- 
aeota appears to have prevailed among the modems ; and our spiritual history is 
l^own leaa sublime, without becoming more intelligible. 

**Or» ^ rw IvnipK fvvit 4 «w*Aa«^5r— was one of the fifteen heresies imputed 
to Origen, and doiied by his apologist (Photius, Bibliothec cod. cxyii. p^agjS). 

vid. 



Someof the Rabbisattribine one and the aaaoe soul to the persons of Adam, Da' 
and the Messiah. 



100 THE DECLINE AJ^D .FALL 

and ungmtefiilfoilof Judea, were tnuuplanted, in full maturity, 
to the happier climes of the Gentiles ; and the stmngers of 
Rome or Asia, who never beheld the manhood, were the more 
readily disposed to embrace the divinity, of Christ. The poly- 
theist and the philosopher, the Greek and the barbarian, were 
alike accustomed to conceive a long succession, an infinite chain 
of angels, or dsemonSy or deities, or aeons, or emanations, issuing 
firom the throne of light. Nor oould it seem stranrn or in- 
credible that the first of these seons, the Logos, or Word of God, 
of the same substance with the Father, should descend upon 
earth to deliver the human race from vice and error and to con- 
duct them in the paths of life and immortality. But the pre- 
vailing doctrine of the eternity and inherent nravity of matter 
infected the primitive churches of the East. Many among the 
Gentile proselytes refused to believe that a celestial spirit, an 
undivideid portion of the first essence, had been personally 
united with a mass of impure and contaminated flesh ; and, 
in their seal for the divinity, they piously abjured the humanity, 
of Christ While his blood was still recent on Mount Calvary ,i<^ 
the DoceU§, a numerous and learned sect of Asiatics, invented 
the phaniasiic system, which was afterwards pK^sagated by the 
Marcionites, the Manichseans, and the various names of the 
Gnostic heresy.^^ They denied the truth and authenticity of 
the gospels, as far as they relate the conception of Mary, the 
birth of Christ, and the t^rty yean that preceded the exercise 
of his ministry. He first appeared on the banks of the Jordan 
in the form of perfect manhood ; but it was a form only, and 
not a substance : an human figure created by the hand of 
Omnipotence to imitate the &culties and actions of a man and 
to impose a perpetual illusion on the senses of his friends and 

^^ Apostolis adhue in smcdio supentitibas. apud Jndmua CtacM suufuine 
reoente. Phantasma domini oorons asserebatiir. Hierooym. adven. Ludier. c. 
8. The epistle of Ignatius to the Smynucans, and even the gospd aoeordin|f to St 
John, are levelled against the growing error of the Dooetes, woo had obtaraed too 
much credit in the world (i John iv. x, 5). 

11 About the year aoo of the Christian era, Irenaos and Hippolytns refuted the 
thirty-two sects, rn« ^nOuv^^av yvAnrnt* which had multiplied to foms oo ie in the 
time of Epiphanius (PhoL Bibiioth. cod. cxx., end., oodl). The five books of 
Irensras exist only in barbarous Latin ; but the original might perham be found in 
some monasteiy of Qreeoe. [Fragments of the original are p r es er ved In Hippc^ytus, 




a larger treatise entitled ir«rA vM6r alp^vvw lA«vxo« ("^ known as AaMpuSot) 
bks. iv.-x. were discovered on Mount Athos in jB^m, and bk. i. is the weu*kBOwn 
Pkihsopkumena which used to be attributed to Ongen.] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 101 

enemiea. Articulate sounds vibrated on the ears of the disciples ; 
but the image which was impressed on their optic nenre eluded 
the more stubborn evidence of the touch, and they enjoyed 
the spiritual^ not the corporeal^ presence of the Son of (xod. 
The rage of the Jews was idly wasted against an impassive 
phantom ; and the mystic scenes of the passion and death, the 
resorrection and ascension of Christ, were represented on the 
theatre of Jerusalem for the benefit of mankind. If it were 
urged that such ideal mimicry^ such incessant deception, was 
unworthy of the God of truth, the Docetes agreed with too 
many of their orthodox brethren in the justification of pious 
fiikehood. In the system of the Gnostics, the Jehovah of Israel, 
the creator of this lower world, was a rebellious, or at least an 
ignorant, spirit. The Son of God descended upon earth to 
abolish his temple and his law ; and, fi:>r the accomplishment of 
this salutary end, he dexterously transferred to his own person 
the hope and prediction of a temporal Messiah. 

One of the most subtle disputants of the Manichaean school ^j^ 
has pressed the danger and indecency of supposing that the iSSj 
€rod of the Christians, in the state of an human foetus, emerged 
at the end of nine months from a female womb. The pious 
horror of his antagonists provoked them to disclaim all sensual 
drcomstances of conception and delivery ; to maintain that the 
divinity passed through Mary like a sun-beam through a plate 
of glass ; and to assert that the seal of her virginity remained 
onbroken even at the moment when she became the mother of 
Christ. But the rashness of these concessions has encouraged 
a milder sentiment of those of the Docetes, who taught, not 
that Christ was a phantom, but that he was clothed with an 
impassible and incorruptible body. Such, indeed, in the more 
orthodox system, he iias acquii^ since his resurrection, and 
such he must have always possessed, if it were capable of per- 
vading, without resistance or injury, the density otintermediate 
matter. Devoid of its most essential properties, it might be 
exempt from the attributes and infirmities of the flesh. A foetus 
that oould increase firom an invisible point to its full maturity, 
a child that could attain the stature of perfect manhood, without 
deriving any nourishment fixmi the orainaiy sources, might con- 
tinue to exist without repairing a daily waste by a daihr supply 
of external matter. Jesus might share the repasts of his ai»- 
dples without being subject to the calls of thirst or hunger ; 
and his virgin purity was never sullied by the involuntary stains 
of sensual concupiscence. Of a body thus singularly constituted. 



102 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

a question would arise, by what means, and of what materiak, 
it was originally framed ; and our sounder theology ia startled 
by an answer which was not peculiar to the Gnostics, that both 
the form a&d the substance proceeded from the divvie essence. 
The idea of pure and absolute spirit is a refinement of modem 
philosophy ; the incorporeal essence^ ascribed by the ancients to 
human souls, celestial beingsi, and even the Deity himself does 
not exclude the notion of extended space ; and their imagina- 
tion was satisfied with ^ subtle nature of air, or fire, or aather, 
incomparably more perfect than tha grossness of the material 
world. If we define the place, we most describe the figure, of 
the Deity. Our experience, perhaps our vanity, represents the 
powers of reason and virtue under an human form. The Anthro- 
pomorphites, who swarmed among the monks of Egypt and the 
Catholics of Africa, could produce the express declaration of 
Scripture that man was made after the image of his Creator.^ 
The venerable Serapion, one of the saints of die Nitrian desert, 
relinquished, with many a tear, his darling prejudice ; and be- 
wailed, like an infimt, his unludky oonversionf wluch had stolen 
away his God and left his mind without any visible object of 
fiuth or devotion.^* 
L Mbto IIL Such were the fleeting shadows of the Docetes, A more 
substantial, though less simple^ hypothesis was cootrived by 
Cerinthus of Asia,^^ who dared to oppose the last of the apgftles. 
Placed on the confines of the Jewish and Gentile wQrU)^ he 
laboured to reconcile the Gnostic with the Ebionite, by.con- 

^' The pilgrim Cassian, who visited Egypt in the beginning of the vth onitury, 
observes and laments the reign of anthropomor^iism amon|f m monks, who were 
not conscious that they embraced the system of Bpicunis (Cioeio, de Nat Dtorass, 
i. i8. 34). Ab miiverso propemodimi genere monachoram, qni per totam pio* 
vinciam iEgyptimi morabantur, pro simplicitatis errore susceptum est, ut e con- 
trario memoratnm pontiiioem {TMeo^ins) velut hsBresI gravfasimA ' depr m v attn n/ 
pars maxima senionim ab universa fratemitatis corpore decemeret detestandom 
(Cassian, ColIatiOD. x. a). As long as St Augustin remained a Manirhafan, he 
was scandalized bjr the anthropomorphism of the vulvar Catholics. 

u Itaest in oratione senex lentt co nftaus^ eoqnod illam i^pm96^/op^» imaglnem 
Ddtatis, quam proponere sibi in onUiona oonsueverat, abokri de suo oorde seff||iret» 
ut in amarisslmos fletus crcbrosque singultus repente prorumpen^ in teuam 
prostratus, cum ejulatu validisslnio prodiunaret ; '* Hem me mnerum I tol^nmt a 
me Deum meum, et qutm nunc teneam bob habeo» vol quern adoraa alit iateiw 
pdlem jam nescio ". Cassian, CoUat. x. a [lf£, 3]. 

1* St John and Cerinthus (A.D. do. Cleric. Hist Eocles. p. 493) aectdefitally met 
in the public bath of Kphesas ; but the apostle fled from the heretic; lest the 
buikling should tumble on their beada This foolish story, rqprobated b^; Dr. 
Middleton (Miscellaneous Works, voL il), is related however tw Irsnse^ (lii. 3), 
on the evidence of Polycarp, and was probably suited to the time and residence of 
Cerinthus. The obsdete, Vet probably ttae tme, reading of t John iv. 3—4 A^ 
r^ 'l^rtCp ttlhidm to tbs ooubk natare of that primitiva bentic 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 103 

fessing in the same Meaaidli the supernatural union of a man 
and a God ; and this mystic doctrine was adopted with manv 
fimciful improvements hy Carpocrates^ Basilides, and Valentiiie,^ 
the heretics of the Eg^tian school. In their eyes, Jesds of 
Naaareth was a mere mortal, the legitimate son of Joseph and 
Maiy ; but he was the best and wisest of the human race, 
selected as the worthy instrument to restore upon earth the 
worship of the true and supreme Deity. When he was bap* 
tized in the Jordan, the Chbist, the first of the smns, the Son 
of God himself descended on Jesoa in the form of a dove, to 
inhabit his mind and direct his actions during the allotted 
period of his ministry. When the Messiah was delivered into 
the hands of the Jews, the Christ, an immortal and impassible 
being, forsook his earUUy tabernacle, flew bade to the pleroma 
or world of spirits, and left the solitiuy Jesus to suffer, to com* 
plain, and to expire. But the justice and generosity of such a 
desertion are strongly questionable ; and the fate of an innocent 
martyr, at first impelled and at length abandoned, by his divine 
companion, might provoke the pity and indignation of the pro* 
fime. Their murmurs were variously silenced by the sectaries 
who espoused and modified the double system of Cerinthos. It 
was alleged that, when Jesus was nailed to the cross, he was 
endowed with a miraculous apathy of mind and body, which 
rendered him insensible of his apparent sufferings. It was 
affirmed that these momentary though real pangs would be 
abundantly repaid by the temporal reign of a thousand years 
reserved for the Messiah in his kingdom of the new Jerusalem. 
It was insinuated that, if he suffered, he deserved to suffer ; 
that human nature is never absolutely perfect ; and tiiat the 
cross and passion might serve to expiate the venial transgres* 
sions of the son of Joseph, before his mysterious union with the 
Saa of God.10 

^Tbe Valentiniazu embraced a complex and almost incohemt sjrMem. x. 
Both Christ and Jesus were aeons, though of diffiarent de^^rees ; the one acting as 
the rational soul, the other as the divine spirit, of the Saviour, a. At the time of 
the passion, they both retired, and left only a sensitive soul and an human body. 
3. £ven that body was setbereal, and perhaps apparent Such are the laborioos 
ooodusions of Mosheim. But I much doubt whether the Latin translator under- 
stood Irenaeus, and whether Irenseus and the Valentinians understood themselves. 

1* The heretics abused the passionate exclamation of *' My God, my God, why 
hast iboa /orsaim me?" Rousseau, who .has drawn an eloquent hut in decent 
parallel between Christ and Socrates, forgets that not a word of impatience or 
despair escaped from the mouth of the dying philosopher. In the Messiah sod! 
sentiments could be only apparent ; and such ill-eoimding words are properly ^ 
plained as the application of a psalm and prophiBi^; 



104 THE DECLINE AND FALL 




IV. All thoee who believe the inmuiterudiW of the wwl, a 
spedoof mnd noble tenet, most confen, from their present ex- 
perience, the incomprehensible onion of mind and matter. A 
similar unicm is not inconsistent with a much higher, or even 
with the highest degree, of mental &culties ; and the incarna- 
tion of an flDon or archaii^l, the most perfect of created spirits, 
does not involye any positive contxmdiction or absnrditr. In the 
age of religious freedom, whidi was detennined by the council 
of Nice, the dignity of Christ was measured by private judgment 
according to the indefinite rule of scripture, or reason, or tradi- 
tion. But, when his pore and proper divinity had been estab- 
lished on the ruins of Arianism, the fiuth of the Catholics 
trembled on the edge of a precipice where it was impossible to 
recede, dangerous to stand, dreadful to frdl ; and the manifold 
inconveniences of their creed were aggravated by the sublime 
character of their theology. They hesitated to p rono un ce thai 
God himself, the second person of an equal and consubstantial 
trinity, was manifested in the flesh ; ^^ thai a being who pervades 
the universe had been confined in the womb of Mary ; thai his 
eternal duration had been marked by the days and months and 
years of human existence ; (hat the Almighty had been scourged 
and crucified ; that his impassible essence had felt pain and 
anguish ; that his omniscience was not exempt from ignorance ; 
and that the source of life and immortality expired on Mount 
Calvary. These alarming consequences were affirmed with un- 
blushing simplicity by Apollinaris,^ bishop of Laodicea, and one 
of the luminaries of the church. The son of a learned gmm- 
marian, he was skilled in all the sciences of Greece ; eloquence, 
erudition, and philosophy, conspicuous in the volumes of Apol- 
linaris, were humbly devoted to the service of religion. The 

17 This strong expression might be justified by the langyage of St Pral (x Tfan. 
ill x6). but we are deceived by our modem Bibles. The wofd o {wkicA) was 
altered to #«6t IGat) at Constantinople in the beginning of the vith century : the 
true reading, which is visible in the Latin and Syriac versioms, stiQ exists in the 
reasoning of the Greek as well as of the Latin fiitbers ; and thb fraud, with that of 
the tkret witnessts of St, Jokn^ is admirably detected by Sir Isaac Newtoo. (See 
his two letten tranuated by M. de Missy, m the Journal Britanniqne, torn. sv. p. 
ZX8-190, 35z-39a) I have weighed the argtnnents, and may yield to the anthority, 
01 the fim of philosophers, who was &ply skilled in critical and theological 
studies. 

1* For ApoUinaris and his sect, tee Socrates, L ii c. 46, L iH. c. x6 ; Soso m en, 
1. V. c x8, L vi. c. 8^, sy; Theodoret, I. t. 3, zo^ xx ; Tillemont, M^moires 
EocUsiastiques, torn. vii. p. 600, 6^, Not p. 789-794, In 4ito, Venise, 173a. The 
contemporary saints always mention the DislM>p of Laodicea as a frioid and 
brother. The style of the more recent Ustoriaas is harsh fod boitik ; yet Philos- 
tocgius compares him (L vUL c. 11-15) to Basil and QicfOfy. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 106 

worthy friend of Athanatiaf , the worthy antagonlf t of Julian, 
he bravely wrestled with the AriaDS and rolytheists, and, 
though he affected the rigour of geometrical demonstration, his 
commentaries revealed the literal and all^^cal sense of the 
scriptures. A mystery which had long floated in the loosenew 
of popular belief was defined by his perverse diligence in a 
technical form ; and he first proclaimed the memorable words, 
" One incarnate nature of Christ," which are still re-echoed 
with hostile clamours in the churches of Asia^ Egypt, and 
Ethiopia. He taught that the Godhead was united or mingled 
with the body of a man ; and that the Logos, the eternal wis- 
dom, supplied in the flesh the i^iace and office of an human 
soul. Yet, as the profound doctor had been terrified at his own 
rashness, Apollinaris was heard to mutter some £ednt accents 
of excuse and explanation. He acquiesced in the old distinction 
of the Greek philosophers between the rational and sensitive 
soul of man ; that he might reserve the Logot for intellectual 
functions, and employ the subordinate human principle in the 
meaner actions of animal life. With the moderate Docetes, he 
revered Mary as the spiritual, rather than as the carnal, mother 
of Christ, whose body either came from heaven, impassible and 
incorruptible, or was absorbed, and as it were transformed, into 
the essence of the Deity. The system of Apollinaris was 
strenuously encountered by the Asiatic and Syrian divines|y 
whose schools are honoured by the names of Basil, Gregory, 
and Chrysostom, and tainted by those of Diodorus, Theodore, 
and Nestorius. But the person of the aged bishop of Laodi'eea, 
his character and dignity, remained inviolate ; and his rivals, 
since we may not suspect them of the weakness o£ toleration, 
were astonished, perhaps, by the novelty of the argument, and 
diffident of the final sentence of the Catholic church. Her 
judgment at length inclined in their favour; the heresy of 
Apollinaris was condemned, and the sepamte congregations of 
his disciples were proscribed by the Imperial laws. But his prin- 
ciples were secreUy entertained in the monasteries of Egjrpt, 
and his enemies felt the hatred of Theophilus and C3^, the 
successive patriarchs of Alexandria. 

V. The grovelling Ebionite and the fiantastic Docetes were v.oriaod< 
rejected and forgotten; the recent zeal against the errors of g jry<£ 
Apollinaris reduced the Catholics to a seeming agreement with 
the double nature of Cerinthus. But, instead of a temporary 
and occasional alliance, they established, and fve still embrace, 
the substantial, indissoluble, and everlasting union of a perfect 



106 THB DECLINE AND FALL 

God with a perfect man, of the second penKm of the trinity with 
a reasonabld soul and hamaa flesh. In the beginning of the 
fifth oenturyi thenittfy of the itvo nahereg was the prevailing 
doctiine of the church. On all sides it was confessed that the 
mode. of their co^^xistence could neither be represented hj our 
ideas nor expressed by our language. Yet a secret and incuiv 
able discord was cherished between those who were most ap- 
prehensive of confounding^ and those who were most fearful 
of separating, the divinity and the humanity of Christ. Im- 
pelled by religioua frensjr, they fled with adverse haste from the 
error wl^ch they mutually deoned most destructive of truth and 
salvation. On either hand they were anxious to guard, they 
were jealous to defend, the union and the distinction of the two 
natures, and to invent such forms of speech, such Sjrmbols of 
doctrine, as were least: susceptible of doubt or ambiguity. The 
poverty of ideas and language tempted them to ransack art and 
nature for every possible comparison^ and each oompariaon mis- 
led their fimcy in the explanation of an incomparable mysteiy. 
In the polemic microscope an atom is enlaiged to a monster, 
and each party was skilful to exaggerate the absurd or impious 
conclusions tibAt might be extort^ from the principka of their 
adverteries. To escape from each other, they wandmd through 
many a dark and devious thicket, till they were astonished by 
the honrid phantoms of Cerinthns and Apollinaris, who guarded 
the opposite issues of the theological labjninth. As soon as 
they beheld the twilight of sense and heresy, they started, 
measured back their steps^ and were again involved in the 
gloom of impenetrable orthodoxy. To purge themselves ftom 
the guilt or reproach of damnable error, they disavowed their 
consequences, explained their principles, excused their indis- 
cretions, and unanimously pronounced the sounds of concord 
and fiiith. Yet a latent aid almost invisible spaik still lurked 
among the embers of controveny : by the breath of prejudice 
and passion, it was quickly kindled to a mighty flame, and the 
verbal disputes ^^ of the Oriental sects have shaken tlie pillars 
of the chunih and sta^e. 

1^ I appeal to the confession of two Orieatal prelates, Gregory Abqlpharagtns 
the Jacobite primate of the East, and Elias the Nestorian metropolitan ol Daxnas- 
cus (see Asseman. Bibliothec. OrientaL tom. il p. sax, torn. liL p. 5x4, itc\ that 
the Melehitea, Jacobit e ^ NostorianaL Ac. sfree m the dodrimg^ ami oilkr only in 
the txprrsHoH, Our most learned and rational divines— Bania«^ Lc^ Qerc, 
Beausobre, La Croze^ Mosheim, Jahlooski— are inclined to favour Uus charitable 
judgment ; but the seal of Petaviiis is load and angry, and the modenttkm of 
Dupin is oonvtyed in a ' 



OF THE BOSCAU EMPIBE 107 

The name of Cyril of. Alexandria, it. iamous in controvenial 
itery, and the title of Muni is a mark that his opinions and hisISriS! 
pirtjr have finally prevailed In the house of his uncle,. theu-Aj 
udibishop Theophilos, he imbibed the orthodox lessons of aeal 
md dominion^ and five years cxf his youth were profitably spent 
n the adjacent monasteries of Nitria. Under the tuition of 
:he abbot SeraplOny he applied himself to ecclesiastical studies 
rith svch indentigable ardour, that in the course of one sleiepless 
light he has perused the four gospefe, the catholic epistles, and 
;he e|iistle to the Romwia Ovigen he detested; but the 
rritings of Clemens and Dionysins, of Athanasius and Basil, 
rere coaUnnally in his hands ; by the theory and practice of 
lispmtcty his £uth was confirmed and his wit was sharpened ; he 
attended ronnd his cell the cobwebs of scholastic theology, and 
aeditated the works of allegory and metaphysics, whose re* 
aaina, iii seven Terfoose folios, now peaceably slumber by the 
ide of their rivals.^ Cyril prayed and fasted in the desert, 
mt his thoughts (it is the reproach of a friend ^) were still fixed 
a the world ; and the call of Theophilus, who summoned him 
o the tnmnlt of cities and synods, was too readily obeyed by 
he aspiring hermit. With the amirobation of his uncle, he 
tfumed the office, and acquired the fsme, of a popular preacher, 
iia comely person adorned the pulpit, the harmony of his voice 
eaoanded in the cathedral, his friends were stationed to lead 
r second the iipplause of the congregation,^ and the hasty 
lotes of the scribes preserved his discourses, which in their 
iffect, thongli not in their composition, might be compared with 
hose of the Athenian orators. The death of Theophilus ex* 
Mided and realised the hopes of his nephew. The clergy of 
Alexandria was divided; the soldiers and their general sup- 
Mwted the claims of the archdeacon ; but a resistless multitude, 
rith voices and with hands, asserted the cause of their frivourite ; 
Old, after a period of thirt^-'nine years, Cyril was seated on the 
hrone of Athanasius.^ 

^ La Croie (Hist da Christianisme des Indes, torn. L p. 24) avows his con- 
empt for the genius and writings of CyriL De tons les ouvrages des anciens, il y 
n a pea qu'on lise avec moins d'udlittf ; and Dupin (Biblioth^ue Eod^siastiqut^ 
om. iv. p. 42-52), in words of respect, teaches us to dapise them. 

A Of Isidore of Pdnsium <L L epist 25, p. 8X As the letter is not of tbd most 
leditable sort, TOlemont, kss sincere than the B<41andists, afiects a doubt 
rheiher Mi Cyril is the nephew of Theophilus (Mtfoft. EcddSb torn. xiv. p. 268). 

**A grammarian b named by Socrates H. yil 23) BUwvpot Bi Upom^ Tt$ 

mTK6trcw Kvo.XA«v mafitmitt «at ir«pi rb cp^rovr iv rmis MtLtntaA(mt «^t»v «yff^cr^ 
'ro'j.mt.6T roc. 

» See the youth and promDtioQ of Cyril, inSdenues(L viL c.7)and Renaudot 



108 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

The prise was not unworthy of his ambition. At a distance 
from the courts and at the head of an immense capital, the 
patriarch, as he was now styled, of Alexandria, had gradnally 
usurped the state and authori^ of a ciril magistrate. The 
public and priyate charities of tiie city were managed by his 
discretion ; his voice inflamed or appeased the passions of the 
multitude ; his commands were blindOiy obeyed by his numerous 
and fanatic parabolam,^ familiarised in their daily office with 
scenes of death ; and the prsfects of ^^gypt were awed or pro- 
voked by the temporal power of these Christian pontifis. Ardent 
in the prosecution of heresy, Cyril auspiciously opened his reign 
by oppressing the Novatians, the most innocent and harmless 
of the sectaries. The interdiction of their religious worship 
i^peared in his eyes a just and meritorious act ; and he eon* 
fiscated their holy vessels, without apprehending the guilt of 
sacrilege. The toleration and even the privileges of the Jews, 
who had multiplied to the number of forty thousand, were 
secured by the laws of the Caesars and Ptolemies and a long 
prescription of seven hundred years since the feundation of 
Alexandria. Without any legal sentence, without any royal 
mandate, the patriarch, at the dawn of day, led a seditious 
multitude to the attack of the 83magogues. Unarmed and un- 
prepared, the Jews were incapable of resistance ; their houses 
of prayer were levelled with the ground; and the epiaeopal 
warrior, after rewarding his troops with the plunder of their 
goods, expelled from the city the remnant of the unbelieving 
nation. Perhaps he might plead the insolence of their pros- 
perity, and their deadly hatred of the Christians, whose blood 
they had recently shed in a malicious or accidental tumult. 
Such crimes would have deserved the animadversion of the 
magistrate ; but in this promiscuous outrage, the innocent were 
confounded with the guilty, and Alexandria was impofverished 
by the loss of a wealthy and industrious colony. Toe seal of 

(HisL Patriarch. Alexandrin. p. xo6, xoB). TbeAbM Reoandot drew his materials 
m>m the Arabic history of Sevisms, bishop of Hermopolis Magna, or Asfamaneiii, 
in the zth century, who can neter be tmsted* unless our assent is e ato rted fagr the 
into-nal evidence of facts. 



'•The Parabolani of Aleamdria were a charitable corporation, i u a UUtfa d < 
the plague of Gallienus, to visit the sick, and to bury Mat dead. Tbey gradoally 
enlarged, abused, and sold the privilens of their order. Their ouUag e uui ooo- 
duct under the reign of Cyril provoked the emperor to deprive the patriarch of 
their nomination, and to restrain their n um b er to five or six hundred. But these 
restraints were transient and inetfiBCtuaL See the Theodosian Code, L xvi. tit iL, 
and TUlcmont, lUiau EocKib torn. xiv. p. #76-078^ [Cpw abovc^ vol ii. pw 3x9^] 



OF THE BOSIAN EMPIRE 10|ft 

exposed him to the penalties of the Julian law ; but in a 
5 government and a superstitious age he was secure gf imr 
V, and even of praise. Orestes complained ; but his just 
laints were too quickly forgotten by the ministers of Theo- 
B^ and too deeply remembered by a priest who affected to 
m, and oMitinued to hate, the prafect of Egypt. As he 
d through the streets, his chariot was assaulted by a band 
e hundred of the Nitrian monks ; his guards fled from the 
beasts of the desert ; his protestations that he was a Chxis- 
and a Catholic were answered hy a volley of stones, and 
ice of Orestes was covered with blood. Ilie loyal dtiaens 
ezandria hastened to his rescue ; he instantly satisfied his 
e and revenge against the monk by whose hand he had 
wounded, and Ammonius expired under the rod of the 
. At the command of Cyril, his body was raised from the 
id and transported in solemn procession to the cathedral ; 
yame of Ammonius was changed to that of Thaumasius the 
TfiU; his tomb was decorated with the trophies of martyr- 
; and the patriarch ascended the pulpit to celebrate Uie 
lanimity of an assassin and a rebeL Such honours might 
i the faithful to combat and die under the banners of the 
; and he soon prompted, or accepted, the sacrifice of a 
I, who professed the religion of the Greeks, and cultivated 
riendship of Orestes. Hypatia, the daughter of Theon the 
ematidan,^ was initiated in her Other's studies ; her learned 
icnts have elucidated the geometry of Apollonius and Dio- 
bus, and she publicly taught, both at Atnens and Alexan- 
the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. In the bloom of 
;y and in the maturitv of wisdom, the modest maid refru^ 
>ver8 and instructed her disciples ; the persons most illus- 
I for their rank or merit were impatient to visit the female 
lopher ; and Cyril beheld, with a jealous eye, the gorseous 
of horses and slaves who crowded the door of her acackmy. 
nour was spread among the Christians that the daughter 
beon was the only obstacle to the reconciliation of the 
ict and the archbishop; and that obstacle was speedily 
red. On a fatal day, in the holy season of Lent, Hypatia[Aj)i«iq 

or Tbeon, and bis daoffhter Hypatia. see Fabridua, BiblioCbec: torn, viii p. 



:x. Herartidein tbel^conof SukUsiscarJoosaiidonginaL Hembiui 
91 Opera, torn. viL p. 99^, 296) observes that she was prosecuted mA f)|v 
\kmtvmp 99^U¥ ; and an epigram in the Greek Anthology (L i. c. 76, pu X5a 
3rod8n) celebrates her knowledge and eloquence, ^le is booouiaoqr 
oed (Epist xo^ 15, 16, ^-^ 134, 135, 153) by her friend and disciple the 
)phic bishop Synesius. X^. A. Meyer, Hypatia yon Alexandria, 188a] 



110 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

was torn from her chariot^ stripped naked^ dragffed tc 
churchy and inhumanly butchered bj the hands of Petei 
reader and a troop of savage and merciless fanatics : her 
was scraped from her bones with shaip oyster shellSj^ anc 
quivering limbs were delivered to the flames. The jnst pro 
of inquiiy and punishment was stopped by seasonable gifts 
the murder of Hypatia has imprinted an indelible stato oi 
character and religion of C3nril of Alexandria.^ 
■tartu,^ Superstition^ perhaps, would more gently expiate the 1 
uteatt^ of a virgin than the banishment of a saint; and Cyril 
^Ajpruib accompanied his unde to the iniquitous synod of the 
When the memory of Chrysostom was restored and consecr 
the nephew of Theophilus, at the head of a dying faction 
maintained the justice of his sentence ; nor was it till af 
tedious delay and an obstinate resistance that he 3rielded tc 
consent of the Catholic world.^ His enmity to the Byza: 
pontifis ^ was a sense of interest, not a sally of passion 
envied their fortunate station in the sunshine of the Im] 
court ; and he dreaded their upstart ambition, which oppn 
the metropolitans of Europe and Asia, invaded the provinc 
Antioch and Alexandria, and measured their diocese hy 
limits of the empire. The long moderation of Atticus: 
mild usurper of the throne of Chrysostom, suspended the 
mosities of the eastern patriarchs; but Cyril was at Ic 
awakened by the exaltation of a rival more worthy of his es 
and hatred. After the short and troubled reign of Sisii 
bishop of Constantinople, the Actions of the clergy and p< 

M'Oarp^oic oMiXoK cal ficAii^bv 8ca«v««'arrcf, Ac Oyster shdls Were plei 
strewed on the sea-beach before the Caesarenm. I may therefore prefer the 
sense, without rmecting the metaphorical version of tqgmimf^ tifesi which ic u 
M. de Valois. I am ignorant, and the assassins were probably r^g;^xlles5. w 
their victim was yet alive. [cMUor means simply iiiZaf (by cuttm^ her th 
not scfttped.^ 

^^Tbese exploits of Sl Cyril are recorded fay Socrates (L vii. a 13, 14 
and the most reluctant bigotiy is oompelkd to copy an historian who coolly 
the murderers of Hypatia M^t rb ^mwm IvfipiMi. At tl|e mention < 
injmed name, I am pleased to observe a Uuab even on the diaek of Baroniui 
4x5, Na ^Y 

* He was deaf to the entreaties of Atticus of Constantinople, and of Isic 
Pdusinm, and yielded only (if we may believe Nicepborua, !• xiv. a 18) 
personal mtercenioo of the Virgin. .Yet in his last years he still mutterei 
John Chrysostom had been justly ooodeomed (Tillemont Mtei. EodififlL too 
pb 978-283 ; BaroniuSt AnnaL Eodes. A.l>. 4x9, No. 46^4). 

s^See then- characters in the history of Socrates (L vii. c. 85-08) ; their 
and pretansioiiii m the huge oomp fl atio n of Tbonattin (DiscipliMde FEglisc 
L p. 8o-9x)i 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIBB 111 

were appeased by the choice of the emperor, who, on this 
occasion, consulted the voice of &me, and invited the merit of 
a stranger. Nestorius,^ a native of Germanicia and a monk of 
Antioch, was recommended by the austerity of his life and the 
eloquence of his sermons; but the first homily iiHiich he 
preached before the devout Theodosius betrayed the acrimonv 
and impatience of his seal. '' Give me, O Caesar ! " he exclaimed 
" give me the earth purged of heretics^ and I will give you in 
exchange the kingdom of heaven. Exterminate with me, the 
heretics ; and with you> I will exterminate the Persians.'* On 
the fifth day, as if Use treaty had been already signed, the 
patriarch of Constantinople discovered, surprised, and attacked 
a secret conventicle of the Arians; they preferred death to 
submission ; the flames that were kindled by their despair soon 
spread to the neighbouring houses, and the triumph of Nestorius 
was clouded by the name of mcendiairy* On either side of the 
HeUespont, his episcopal vigour imposed a rigid formulary of 
&ith and discipline ; a chronological error concerning the festival 
of Easter was punished as an ofience against the church and 
state. Lydia and Caria, Sardes and Miletus, were purified with 
the blood of the obstinate Quartodeeimans ; and the edict of 
the emperor, or rather of the patriarch, enumerates three and [aj>. «q 
twenty degrees and denominations in the guilt and punishment 
of heresy.'^ Bat the sword of persecution, which Nestorius so 
fiuriously wielded, was soon turned against his own breast. 
Beligion was the pretence ; but, in the judgment of a oon« 
temporary saint, ambition was the genuine motive of episq^^pal 
warfiure.*^ 

In the Sjrrian school, Nestorius had been taught to abhor theBbi 
confusion of the two natures, and nicely to discriminate the ^^ 
humanity of his master Christ from the divinity of the Lord 
Jesafl." The Blessed Virgin he revered as tiie mother of 
Christ, but his ears were offended with the rash and recent 



^His elevation and conduct are described by Socrates (1. vii. c. 39* 3i) ; fl 
oelUnus seems to have applied the loquentiae satis, sapientise panim, or Sallt 



and 
MaroeOinus seems to have applied the loquentiae satis, sapientise parum, of Sallust. 

B Cod. Theodos. 1. xvl tit ▼. leg. 65. with the illiistrations of Baronius (A.D. 
4a8. No. 35, &C.), Godefrqy (ad locum), and Pagl (Critica, torn, il p. aoB). 

'Isidore of Pdusium (L iv. epist. 57). His words are siroof and scandalous^ 

H icarfi^cK , cl ical vvv ircpl vpay/ia #<ior max Atfyov cpctrror 3tai^yttv trpooiroiovrrai ^nk 

4a«fx^ l«iS«jcxcu6fMvoi { Isdore is a saint, but m never became a bishop ; and I 
baV suqiect that the pride of Diogenes tramided'on the pride of Plato. 

* La Cro^e (Christianisme des Indes. torn. L p. 44^5%; Thesaurus Epistolious 
La Crotiuiui, tokn. iil p. 276-380) has detecte4 the me ot ^ Uwv^mt and 4 k^im 
liKovr, which in the ivth, vth, and vith oenturi^' diacripiiQates the fdiool 01 
Diodoms of Tarsus and his Nesti6riaB disctplfei, ' 



112 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

title of mother of God^^ which had been insensibly adopted 
sinee the origin of the Arian controversy. FVom the pulpit 
of Constantinople, a friend of the patriarchy and afterwards the 
patriarch himself repeatedly preached against the usCj or the 
abuse, of a word ^ unknown to the apostles, unauthorised by 
the church, and which could <ndy tend to alarm the timorous, 
to mislead the simple, to amuse the profimCi and to justify, by 
a seeming resemblance, the old genealogy of Olympus.^ In 
his calmer moments Nestorius confessed that it might be 
tolerated or excused by the union of the two natures and the 
communication of their idioms;^ but he was exasperated, by 
contradiction, to disclaim the worship of a new-bom, an in£uit 
Deity, to draw his inadequate similes from the conjugal or civil 
partnerships of life, and to describe the manhood of Christ as 
the robe, the instrument, the tabernacle of his Godhead. At 
these blasphemous sounds, the pillars of the sanctuary were 
shaken. The unsuccessful competitors of Nestorius indulged 
their pious or personal resentments ; the Byzantine clergy was 
secretly displeased with the intrusion of a stranger ; whatever 
is superstitious or absurd, might claim the protection of the 
monks; and the.peojde were interested in tne glory of their 
virgin patroness.*^ The sermons of the archbishop and the 
service of the altar were disturbed by seditious clamour ; his 
authority and doctrine were renounced by sepavate ooogrega- 

**9€OT6itot — Deipara: as in loology we fiuniliarly speak of oviparoas and 
vhriparoas animals. It is not easy to nx the invention of this word, whidi La 
Crose (Christianisme des Indes, torn. L p. x6) ascribes to Eusebhisof Csesarea and 
the Arians. The orthodox testimonies are produced by Cyril and Pecavius 
(DogmaL Theolog. torn. v. L v. c. 15, p. 354. Ac.); but the veracity of the saint is 
que^ooable. and the epithet of •■•fim* so easily slides from the margin to the 
text of a Catholic Ms. 

^ Basnage, in his Histoire de I'E^lise, a work of controversy (tom. L p. 505), 
justifies the mother, by the blood, en God (Acts xx. 38, with Mill's various read- 
mgs). But the Greek Mss. are fax from unanimous ; and the primitive style of 
the blood of Christ is preserved in the Syriac version, even in those copies which 
were used by the Christians of St Thomas on the coast of Malabar (La Croze, 
Christianisme des Indes. tom. L p. 317). The jealousy of the Nestorians and 
Monophysites has guarded the punty ot their text 

M The Pagans of Egypt already lauj^ied at the new Cybele of the Christians 
(Isidor. L i. epist 54) : a letter was forged in the name of Hypatia, to ridicule the 
theology of her assassin (Synodicon, c. 216, in iv. tom. Concil. p. 484). In the 
article of Nestorius, Bayle has scattered some loose philosophy on the worship 
of the Virgin Mary. 

''The kvrOovKt of the Greeks, a mutual loan or transfer of the idioms or proper- 
ties of each nature to the other-nof infinity to man, passibility to God, &e. Twelve 
rules on this nicest of subjects compose the Theotodcal Grammar of Peiaviiis (Dog- 
mata Tlieolog. tom. v. 1. iv. c. 14, 15, p. 909. ftcj; 

■See Ducange, C. P. ChrisUana, L L pw 30* te 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 113 

tions; every wind scattered round the empire the leaves of 
controversy ; and the voice of the combatants on a sonorous 
theatre re-«choed in the cells of Palestine and Egjqpt It was 
the duty of Cyril to enlighten the aeal and ignorance of his 
innumerable monks : in the school of Alexandria^ he had 
imbibed and professed the incarnation of one nature; and 
the successor of Athanasius consulted his pride and ambition 
when he rose in arms against another Arius, more formidaUe 
and more guilty^ on the second throne of the hierarchy. 
After a short correspondence^ in which the rival prelates 
disguised their hatred in the hollow language of respect and 
charity, the patriarch of Alexandria denounced to the prince 
and people, to the East and to the West, the damnable errors 
of the B3rzantine pontiff. From the East, more especially fimm 
Antioch, he obtained the ambiguous counsels of toleration and 
silence, which were addressed to both parties while they 
&voured the cause of Nestorius. But the Vatican received 
with open arms the messengers of £g3rpt. The vanity of 
Celestine was flattered bv the appeal ; and the partial version 
of a monk decided the nuth of tne pope, who, with his Latin 
clergy, was ignorant of the language, the arts, and the theology 
of the Greeks. At the head of an Italian synod, Gelestine 
weighed the merits of the cause, approved the creed of CyrQ, 
condemned the sentiments and perM>n of Nestorius, degraded 
the heretic from his episcopal dignity, allowed a respite of ten 
days for recantation and penance, and delegated to his enemy 
the execution of this rash and illegal sentence. But the patri- 
arch of Alexandria, whilst he darted the thunders of a god, 
exposed the errors and passions of a mortal ; and his twelve 
anathemas^ still torture the orthodox slaves who adtoe the 
memory of a saint, without forfeiting their allegiance to the 
synod of Chalcedon. These bold assertions are indelibly tinged 
with the colours of the Apollinarian heresy ; but the serious, 
and perhaps the sincere, professiops of Nestorius have satisfied 
the wiser and less partial theolc^ans of the present times.^ 

>*Concil torn. iiL p. 043. They have never been directly approved bjr the 
church (TillemoDt, M^m. Ecd^s. torn. xiv. p. 368-373). I almost pity the agony 
of rage and sophistry with which Peuvius seems to be agitated in the vith book of 
his Dogmata Tbeologica. 

^Siich as the rational Basnage (ad torn. L Varior. LeetioQ* Canisii in Pnefat 
c ii p. xx-23) and La Crose, the nniversal scholar (Cbristianisme des Indes, torn. 
I p. i6-9a be rEthiopie, p. 96, 97. Theaaur. EpisL p. 176, fta aS^, 085); His 
free sentence is confirmed by that of his friends Jablooski (Thesanr. Bpist torn. i. 
p. 193-901) and Mosheim (idem, pu 304: Ne s to riu m crfanme camisse est et 

VOL. V. 8 



114 THE DECLINE AND FALi. 

Yet neither the emperor nor the primate of the Bast were 
iditpoaed to obey the mandate of an Italian priest ; and a sjnod 
/of the Catholic, or rather of the Greek, church was unanimously 
demanded as the sole remedy that could appease or deckle this 
ecclesiastical quaireL^ Ephesus, on all sides accessible by sea 
and land, was chosen fat the place, the festival of Pentecost for 
the day, of the meeting ; a writ of summons was despatched to 
eadi metropolitan, and a guard was stationed to protect and 
oonfine the fitthers till they should settle the mysteries of 
heaven and the fiuth of the earth. Nestorius appeued, not as 
a criminal, but as a judge ; he depended on the weight rather 
than the nnmbor of his prelates ; and his sturdy slaves from the 
baths of Zeuzippus were armed for every service of injury or 
defence. But his adversary Cjrril was more powerful in the 
weapons both of the flesh and of the spirit. Disobedient to 
the letter, or at least to the meaning, of the royal summons, he 
was attended by fifty Egyptian bishc^, who expected from tiieir 
patriarch's nod the inspiratioD of the Holy Ghost. He had 
contracted an intimate alliance with Memnon Ushop of Ephesus. 
The despotic primate of Asia disposed of the ready succours of 
thirty or forty episcopal votes ; a crowd of peasants, the slaves 
of the church, was poured into the city to suppcnrt with blows 
and clamours a metaphysical aigument ; and tiie people aeal- 
ously asserted the honour of the virgin, whose body reposed 
within the walls of Ephesus.^ The fleet which had trans- 
ported Cyril from Alexandria was laden with the riches of 
figypt; and he disembarked a numerous body of mariners, 
slaves, and frnatics, enlisted with blind obedience under the 
banner of St. Mark and the mother of God. The frthers, and 
even the guards, of the ooundl were awed by this martial array ; 
the adversaries of Cyril and Mary were insulted in the streets 

acnteatia); and tfarae nore rwpactebte judses will not easily be found. Aneman, 
a learned and modest slave, can kardfy disoeni (Bibliothec. Orient, torn. iv. p. 
X9(>^) the sailt and error of the Nestoriana 

^ The origin and progrees of the Nertcrian ujuu O fe ts fy tiP the synod of Ephe- 
sus, may be found in Soaates (L viL c. 32), Evagrius (t I c. i, 2]. Libenitus(Brev. 
c x-a), the original Acu (CoDciL torn, iil pi 551-091, edit. Venise, 1798), the 
Annals of Barontni and ngi, sod tiie ftithfol corfections of TfUenont (M^m. 
Eodte torn. xiv. pi S83-377). 

^ The Cfaristiaas 01 the tour fine ce ntufi e s were ignorant of the deadi and burial 
ofMaiy. The tradition of Ephesus b affirmed by the synod («ip#«»«MJi4yof*I«<Mn|c^ 
mA\9mt4mtwfiUmt^i , ft n K k m^ ta. CondL tom. iii. p. xioa); yetithasbeeniperseded 
by the claim Of Jerusalem; andhni isn^emulrihif ,asit wassfaewntothe pilgrims, 
produoed the mbto of her resmrection and awwmpf ion, in whkih the Qredc and 
Latin cfattfcbee have pioodv a rciaie e wd . Sae Baronioi (AaaaL Bcdsik A.0. 4S, 
Ha 6, Ac ) and TOtonont (Mte. Beckii. ton. L pi 467^477)1 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIRE U6 

or threatened in their houses ; his eloquence and lihemlity made 
a daily increase in the number of hia adherents ; and the Egyp- 
tian soon computed that he might conuqfiand the attendance and 
the voices of two hundred bishop^.^ But the author of the 
twelve anathemas foresaw and dreaded the opposition of John 
of Antioch, who with a small, though respectable, train of 
metropolitans and divines was advandi^ by slow joumevs from 
the distant capital of the Bast. Impatient of a delay wnich he 
stigmatized as voluntary and culpaole,^ Cyril announced the 
opening of the synod sixteen days setter the festival of Pente- 
cost. Nestoiius, who depended on the near apinroach of his 
Eastern firiends, persisted, like his predecessor Chrysostom, to 
disclaim the jurisdiction and to disobey the summons of his 
enemies ; thev hastened his trial, and his accuser presided in 
the seat of judgment. SixtY-eight bishops^ twenty-two pf 
metropolitan nuuL, defended his cause by a modest and teo;i- 
perate protest ; they were excluded from the counsels of their 
Ixrethren. Candidiw, in the emperor's name, requested a delay 
of four days; the profime magistrate was driven with outrage 
and insult from the assembly of the saints. The whole of thUsg* 
momentous transaction was crowded iuto the compass of auM. j«m 
summer's day ; the bishops delivered their separate opinions ; 
but the uniformity of style reveals the influence or the hand of 
a master, who had been accused of corruptii]^ the public evi- 
dence of their acts and subscriptions.^ Without a dissenting 
voice;, they recognised in the epistles of Cyril the Nioene 
creed and the doctrine of the ftthero : but the partial extracts 
from the letters and homilies of Nestorius were interrupted by 
curses and anathemas ; and the heretic yroB degraded m>m his 
epiacopal and ecclesiastical dignity, Tt^ sentence^ maliciously 
to the new Judas, was affix,ed and proclaimed in the 



* The Acts of Chakedon (ConcU. tom» iv. p. 1405, X4a8) exhibit a Uvdy picture 
d the blind, obstinate aervitude of the bishops of Egrpt to their patriarch. 

M Civil or ecclesiastical business detained the bishops at Antioch tin the x8th of 
Maj. Ephesus was at die distance of ttkirty dM* Journey ; and ten days mofe 
may be Aurlv allowed for accidents and repoBQi Tho aaxck of X«nophon over the 
same grottod enumerates above a6o parasfings or.lea^nes ; and this measure might 
be illQStrated from ancient and modem itinararles, ill knew how to compare the 
speed of an army, a synod, and a eaiavati. Jolui of Antioch is rduetantly ai&- 
quitted by miemant hamsclf(MtaL EcdtettOfQ- av, p. 3fi^i^ 

nM iMi^iuf MtKOTOfijf Kvp(AA«v rtx^i^orroc. Evagrius^ L I c. 7. The same impa- 
tatloB was vged by Coimt Irenaos (torn. ifi. pi xa^p); and m orthodox critics do 
not find it an easy task to defend w purity of l|ie ureek or Latin copies of tl>e 



Acta 



116 THE DECLINE AND 

streets of Ephesus ; the weary prelates^ as they issued from the 
church of the mother of Ooa, were saluted as her champions ; 
and her victoiy was celebrated by the illuminations^ the songs, 
and the tumult of the night. 
tapodtiM of On the fifth day, the triumph was clouded by the arrival and 
luMnTSS^ indignation of the Eastern bishops. In a chamber of the inn, 
before he had wiped the dust from his shoes, John of Antioch 
gave audience to Candidian the Imperial minister ; who related 
his ineffectual efforts to prevent or to annul the hasty violence 
of the Egyptian. With equal haste and violence, the Oriental 
synod of ntty bishops degraded Cyril and Memnon frtmi their 
episcopal honours, condemned, in the twelve anathemitf, the 
purest venom of the ApoUinarian heresy, and described the 
Alexandrian primate as a monster, bom and educated for the 
destruction of the church.^ HU throne was distant and inac- 
cessible ; but they instantly resolved to bestow on the flock of 
Ephesus the blesdng of a fidUiful shepherd. By the vigilance 
or Memnon, the churches were shut against them, and a strong 
garrison was thrown into the cathedral The troops, under the 
command of Candidian, advanced to the assault ; tne outguards 
were routed and put to the sword ; but the place was impreg- 
nable : the besiegers retired ; their retreat was pursued oy a 
vigorous sally ; they lost their horses, and many of the soldiers 
were dangerously wounded with clubs and stones. Ephesus, 
the dty of the Virgin, was defiled with rage and clamour, with 
sedition and blood; the rival synods ds^ed anathemas and 
excommunications from their spiritual engines ; and the court 
of Theodosius was perplexed by the adverse and contradictory 
narratives of the Sjrrian and Egjrptian Actions. Durinff a busy 
period of three months, the emperor tried everv meuiod, ex- 
cept the most effectual means of indifference ana conteimpt, to 
reconcile this theological quarreL He attempted to remove or 
intimidate the leaders by a common sentence of acquittal or 
condemnation ; he invested his representatives at Ephesus with 
ample power and miUtary force; he summoned mm either 
party eight chosen deputies to a free and candid conference in 
the neighbourhood of the capital, fiir from the contagion of 
popular fr^nay. But the Orientals refused to yield^ and the 
Catholics, proud of their numbers and of their Latin allies. 



^'OUiw Ui0pifrm^iMKk^^a^vwx!hUiuXrfm^t€. After the ooolitioa of John 
and Cyril, these invectives were nmtuaUjr fo rgot te n. Tbe aqrk of dtrjinuiiion 
must never be confounded with the fenohie sense which r e sp ec tabte ftr'V* enters 
tain of each other's merit (CondL torn. ^ p. 1044). 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIBE 117 

rejected all temui of union or toleFAtion. The natienoe of the 
meek Theodosius was provoked^ and he dissolved, in anger^ 
this episcopal tumult, which at the distance of thirteen cen- 
turies assumes the venerable aspect of the third oecumenical 
council .^^ '' Grod is my witness/' said the pious prince^ ''that I 
am not the author of this confusion. His providence will discern 
and punish the guilty. Return to your provinces, and may 
your private virtues repair the mischie:f and scandal of your 
meeting." They returned to their provinces^ but the same 
passions which had distracted the sjmod of Ephesus were dif- 
fused over the Eastern world. After three obstinate and equal 
campaigns, John of Antioch and Cyril of Alexandria conde- 
scended to explain and embrace ; but their seeming re-union 
must be imputed rather to prudence than to reason, to the 
mutual lassitude rather than to the Christian charity of the 
patriarchs. 

The Byzantine pontiff had instilled into the royal ear a ^^^2!3l^a'i 
prejudice against the character and conduct of his Egyptian SESs 
rival. An epistle of menace and invective,^ which accom- 
panied the summons, accused him as a busy, insolent, and 
envious priest, who perplexed the simplicity of the £uth, 
riolated the peace of the church and state, and, by his artful 
and separate addresses to the wife and sister of Theodosius, 
presunied to suppose, or to scatter, the seeds of discord in the 
Imperial &mily. At the stem command of his sovereign, Cyril 
haa repaired to Ephesus, where he was resisted, threatened, 
and confined, by the magistrates in the interest of Nestorins. 
and the Orientals ; who assembled the tro<^ of Lydia and 
Ionia to suppress the fimatic and disorderly train of the patriarch. 
Without expecting the royal licence, he escaped from his guards, 
precipitatelv eml^rked, deserted the imperfect synod, and 
letired to his episcopal fortress of safety and independence. 
But his artful emissaries, both in the court and city, successfully 



'See the Acts of the Synod of E^esua, in the original Greek, and a Latin 
venion idmoet oontemporary (ConciL torn. iii. p. 99X*Z339) with the Synodicoo 
adverms Trap^OBdiam irenaeti (torn. iv. p. 255-^97), the Eccl e siastical Histories of 
Soaates JL m c. 34) and Evagriiis (I i. a 3, 4, 5). and the Breviary of liberatui 
(in CoadL torn. yC p. 419-4591 c. 5, 6), and the M^noiras Eod^ of Tillemont 
(torn. «▼. p. 377-487^ 

4B Tmpmj^v (says the emperor in pointed langiMge) vA yt <«» rav?^ mU x^P^^M^ 

mi wouaMmt aJJJmv rovTMr ^|um ipiwioiit 4**P AvAiAnffvff • • • warvbt |i«AX»r f i^^Mt . . . 

ir4pmt tU m u i ti^n t t . I sboald be curious to know oov maai Nestorius paid for 
theae ezpraiions so mortifying to hia rival. 



118 THE DECU'lirE AN1> FALL 

laboured to appease the resentmenti and to conciliate the fiiyour, 
of the emperor. The feeble son of Arcadlutf was alternately 
swayed by his wife and sister, by the eunuchs and women of 
tiie palace ; superstition and avarice were their ruling passions ; 
and the orthodox chie6 were assiduous in their endeavoura to 
alarm the foitner and td gratify the latter. Constantinople 
and the suburbs were sanctified with frequent monasteries, and 
the holy abbots^ Dalmatius and Eutyches^^ had devoted their 
seal and fideli^ to the cause of Cyril, the worship of Mary, 
and the unity of Christ. From the first moment of their 
monastic life, they had never mingled with the world, or trod 
the profime ground of the City. But in this awful moment of 
the danger of the church, their vow was superseded by a more 
sublime and indispensable duty. At the head of a long order 
of monks and hermits, who carried burning tapers in their 
hands and chaunted litanies to the mother of Crod, they pro- 
ceeded from their monasteries to the palace. The people was 
edified and inflamed by this extraordinary spectacle, iad the 
trembling monarch listened to the pra3rers and adjurations of the 
saints, who boldly pronounced that none could hope for salvation 
unless they embraced the person and the creed of the orthodox 
successor of Athanasius. At the same time every avenue of 
the throne was assaulted with gold. Under the decent names 
of eulopa and benedicthnt, the courtiers of both sexes were 
bribed according to the measure of their power and rapadoua- 
ness. But their incessant demands despoiled the sanctuaries 
of Constantinople and Alexandria; and the authority of the 
patriarch was unable to sdlence the just murmur of his clergy, 
that a debt of sixty thousand pounds had already been con- 
tracted to support the expense of this scandalous corruption.^ 
Ptilcheria, who relieved ner brother from the weight of an 
emjnre, was the firmest pillar of orthodoxy ; and so Ultimate 
was the alliance between the thunders of the sjrnod and the 

* Eotydies, the heresiarch Entycfaei, ii honourably named by Ctfil at a friend, 
anunt, and the strenuous defender of the £uth. His brother, the abbot Dalmatius, 
if likewise employed to bind theenuperor and all his chamberlains itrriHiitoi^itrm' 
AtoM. Synodioon, c. 003* in ConoiL torn. iv. p. 467. 

** Clerid qui hie sunt contristantnr, quod eodesin Alenmdrina nodata ilt hnius 
eansA turbdao : et debet praeter ilia quae hinc transmissa sint mm^ Uhmt nuUt 
quimgmias, Et nnneet8oriptinnestutpr«Btet;seddetiiaeodeBapraataavariti8e 
quorum nosti, ftc. This carious and orif^nal letter, from Qvil's archdeacon to 
his creature the new bishop of Constantinoplet has been gnaceonntaMy pfesenfed 
in an old Latin version (Synodieon, c 903: CondL torn. It. p. 46^466). The 
mask is almost dropped, and'^e saints ^mk the booeit lanfoafft arinterett and 
Qonfederacv. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE lift 

whispers of the comrtrthat Cvril was assured of svoeess ii he 
could displace one euxrach and substitute another in the finroor 
of Theodosius. Yet the Egyptian could not boast of a gkxrioos 
or decdsive victoiy. The ]^peror, with unaccustomed finnaess» 
adhered to his promise of protecting the innocence of the Oriental 
bishops ; and Cyril softened his anathemas, and confessed, with 
ambiguity and reluctance, a twofold nature of Christ, belbxe he 
was permitted to satiate his revenge against the unfortnnate 
Nestorius.*^ 

The rash and obstinate Nestorius, before the end of thewt«f 
synod, was opjNiessed by C3rril, betrayed by the court, and fidbtly vAJ). m 
supported by his Eastern friends. A sentiment of fear or in- 
dignation prompted him, while it was yet time, to affect the 
glory of a voluntaiy abdication;^' his wish, or at least his 
request, was readily granted ; he was conducted with honour' 
firom Ephesus to his old monastexy of Antioch ; and, after a 
short pause, his successors, Maximian and IVoclus, were acknow- 
ledged as the lawful bishops of Constantinople. But in the 
silence of his cell the degraded patriarch could no longer re* 
sume the innocence and security of a private monk. The past 
he regretted, he was discontented with the present^ and the 
future he had reason to dread ; the Oriental bishops successively 
disengaged their cause from his unpopular name ; and each day 
decreased the number of the schismatics who revered Nestorius 
as the confessor of the feith. After a residence at Antioch of 
four years, the hand of Theodosius subscribed an ediet,'^ which 
ranked him with Simon the magician, proscribed his opinions 
and followers, condemned his writings to the flames, and banished 
his person fiist to Petra in Arabia, and at length to Oasis, one 

■^ The tecUoos negotiations that sncoeeded the STnod of Epbesoa are diffiisdy 
rdated in the original Acts (ConciL tom^ iil p. ly^im, ad fio. vol and the 
Synodicon, in torn, iv.), Socrates (L vil c. aS, 35, 40, 41), Bvagrius (L t a 6, 7, 8, 
la), Liberatus (c. 7-10), Tillemont (M^m. Ecd^ torn. »▼. p. 487-676). The moat 
patient reader will thank me for compressing so mtich nonsense and falsehood in 
afewlineSb 



L I & 7. The original letters in the Synodioon (a 15, 24, 25, a6) justify the a/^MnroMir 
of a voluntary resignation, which is asserted by Ebed-Jesu. a Nestorian writer, 
apud Assonan. Biluiot OrientaL tom. ill p. 999, 30a. [For this writer see also 
wrist's Syriac Literature, p. 385 sg^,] 

* See the Imperial letters in the Acts of the Sjmod of Ephesus (CondL torn, iil 
p. 1730-1735). The odious name of Sinumiofu, which was affixed to the disciples 
of this rtp^rMmn Ma^umXimt, was designed mt «r hmfUvt. wpofikiNftnt tiAv^m 

{nrapxitw. Yet theae were Christians t woo difiered only in names and to shadowi; 



THE DECUNE AND FALL 

of the itiand$ of thfe Libyan desert^ Secluded from the church 
and from the world, the exile was still pursued hy the rage of 
bigotry and war* A wandering tribe of the Blemmyes» or Nn- 
biansy invaded his solitary prison ; in their retreat they dismissed 
a crowd of useless captives; but no sooner had Nestorius 
reached the banka of the Nile than he would gladly have es- 
caped from a Boman and orthodox city to the milder servitude 
of the savages. His flight was punished as a new crime ; the 
soul of the patriarch inspired the civil and ecclesiastical powers 
of Egypt ; the magistrates, the soldiers, the monks, devoutly 
tortured the enemy of Christ and St Cyril ; and, as &r as the 
confines of :£thio|Ha, the heretic was alternately dragged and 
recalled, till his aged body was broken by the hardships and 
acddents of these reiterated journeys. Yet his mind was still 
independent and erect ; the president of Thebais was awed by 
his pastoral letters ; he survived the Catholic tyrant of Alex- 
andria, and, after sixteen years' banishment, the s3mod of Chalce- 
don would perhaps have restored him to the honours, or at 
least to the communion, of the church. The death of Nestorius 
prevented his obedience to their welcome summons ; ^ and his 
disease might afford aome oolour to the scandalous report that 
his tongue, the organ of Uaspheimr, had been eaten by the 
worms. He was biuied in a dty of Upper Egypt, known by the 
names of Chemnis, or Panopolis, or Akmim ; ^ but the immortal 
malice of the Jacobites has persevered for ages to cast stones 
against his sepulchre, and to propagate the foolish tradition 
that it was never watered by the rain of heaven, which equally 

"* The metaphor of islands is applied by the grave civilians (Pandect L xlviii. 
tit 22, leg. 7) to those happr spots which are discriminated by water and verdure 
from the Lib>mn sands. Three of these under the common name of Oasis, or 
Alvahat : i. The temple of Jupiter Ammon [Oasis of Siwah]. 9. The middle 
Oasis [el Kasr], three days* joiiniey to the west of Lycopolis. 3. The southern, 
where Nestorius was banished, in the first climate and only three dajrs' journey 
from the confines of Nubia [Great Oasis, or Wah el Khar^eh]. See a learned 
Note of Michaelis (ad'Descript Egypt AbolfedsB, p. ai, 34). 

^ The invitation of Nestorius* to the Synod of Chalcedon is related by 7jtrh»rin^ 
bishop of Meiitene [Mytilene] (Evagrius, L ii. c. 3 ; Asseman. Bibliot Orient torn. 
M- P* 55)» 9^^ ^^ famous Xenaias or Pbilozenus, bishop of Hierapolis (Asseman. 
Bibliot. Orient tom. ii. p. 40, Ac), denied fay Eva^ius and Asseman, and stoutly 
maintained by La Croce (Thesaur. EpistoL tom. iit p. iSz, Ac). The fact is not 
improbable ; yet it was tne interest of the Monophysites to spread the invidious 
report ; and Eutychius (tom. \L p. xa) affirms that Nestorius died after an exile of 
seven yean, and consequently ten years before the synod of Chalcedon. 

■* €:onsuIt d'Anville (M^moire sur I'Egypte, p. 191), Pocock (Description of the 
East, vol. L p. 7^)* Abulfeda (Descript Egypt p. 14) and his commenutor 
Michaelis (Not. p. 7B-83), and the Nubiaa Geographer (p. 4a), who mentions, in 
jhe xiith gentuty , the ruins and the ayir^flyift pifya^ 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIBE 121 

descendB on the righteowi and the ungodly.*^ Hunianity may 
drop a tear on the £sLte of Nestorius ; vet juBtice must observe 
that he suffered the persecution which he had approved and 
inflicted." 

The death of the Alexandrian primate, after a reign of thirty- ^^^ 
two years, abandoned the Catholics to the intemperance ofzealSuKlM 
and the abuse of victory.^^ The tnonophi^sUe doctrine (one 
incarnate nature) was rigorously preached in the churches of 
Egypt and the monasteriies of the East ; the primitive creed of 
Apollinaris was protected by the sanctity of Cjrril ; and the 
name of Eutyches, his venerable friend, has beenapjdiedto the 
-sect most adverse to the Syrian heresy of Nestorius. His rival, 
Entyches, was the abbot, or archimandrite, or superior of three 
hundred monks, but the opinions of a simple and illiterate re* 
cluse might have expired in the cell, where he had slept above 
seventy years, if the resentment or indiscretion of Flavian^ the 
Byzantine pontiff, had not exposed the scandal to the eyes of 
the Christian world. His domestic synod was instantly con* 
vened, their proceedings were sullied with clamour and artifice, 
and the aged heretic was surprised into a seeming confession 
that Christ had not derived his body from the substance of the 
Virgin Mary. From their partial decree, Eutrches appealed to 
a general council ; and his cause was vigorously asserted by his 
gc^son Cluysaphius, the reigning eunudi of the palace, and his 
accomplice Dioscorus, who had succeeded to the throne, the 
creed, the talents, and the vices of the nephew of Theophilus. 
By the special summons of Theodosius, the second synod of swgd ^ 
Ephesus was judiciously composed of ten metropolitans and ^^i^ 1$*%^ 
bishops from each of the six dioceses of the Eastern empire; mi 
some exceptions of frivour or merit enlarged the number to one 
hundred and thirty-five ; and the Syrian Barsnmas, as the chief 
and representative of the monks, was invited to sit and vote 

" Eutychius (AnnaL torn, il p. 12) and Gregory Bar-Hebrseus. or Abulphar- 
agius ^AsKman. torn. iL p. 3x6), represent the croiuJitj of the tenth and thirteenth 



** We are obliged to Evagrius (I. i. c. 7) for some extracts fh>m the letters of 
Nestorius ; but the lively picture of his sufiorings is treated with insiih by the bard 
and stupid fanatic 

* Dizi Cyrillum, dum viveret, auctoritate suA effedsse, ne Eutjrchianismus et 
Monophysitarum error in nervum erumperet : idaue verum puto . . . aliqno , ^ . 
honesto modo wmJuvttiiar oecinerat The learned but cautious Jablonski did not 
always speak the whole truth. Cum Cyrillo lenius omnino egi, quam si tecum aut 
cum aliis rei hujus probe gnaris et sequis rerum aestimatoribus serroones privatos 
conferrem (Thesaur. pistol. La Crozian. torn. I |x j^, Z98) : ap pcceUent k^ 
,to bis dissertations on t&e.Kestorian oontCQversy I 



122 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

with the successors of the apostles. But the despotism of the 
Alexandrian patriarch again oppressed the freedom of debate ; 
the same spiritual and canud weapons were again drawn from 
the arsenals of Egypt ; the Asiatic veterans, a band of archers^ 
served under the oraers of Dioscorus ; and the more fbnnidable 
monks, whose minds were inaccessible to reason or mercy, 
besieged the doors of the cathedraL The general and, as it 
shouM seem, the unconstrained voice of the fitthers accepted 
the fiuth and even the anathemas of Cjrril ; and the heresy of 
the two natures was formally condemned in the persons and 
writings of the most learned Orientals. " May those who divide 
Christ be divided with the sword, may they be hewn in pieces, 
may they be burnt alive ! " were the charitable wishes of a 
Christian synod.^ The innocence and sanctity of Butyches 
were acknowledged without hesitation ; but the prelates, more 
especially those of Thrace and Asia, were unwilling to depose 
their patriarch for the use or even the abuse of his lawful 
jurisdiction. They embraced the knees of Dioscorus, as he 
stood with a threatening aspect on the footstool of his throne, 
and conjured him to forgive the offences, and to respect the 
dignity, of his brother. '' Do you mean to raise a sedition ? " 
exclaimed the relentless tyrant, 'f Where are the officers ? " 
At these words a furious multitude of monks and soldiers, with 
staves, and swords, and chains, burst into the church ; the 
trembling bishops hid themselves behind the altar, or under 
the benches; and, as they were not inspired with the seal of 
martyrdom, they successively subscribed a blank paper, which 
was afterwards filled with the condemnation of the Bysantine 
pontiff. Flavian was instantly delivered to the wild beasts of 
this spiritual amphitheatre ; the monks were stimulated by the 
voice and example of Barsumas to avenge the injuries of Christ ; 
it is said that the patriardi of Alexandria revileo, and buffeted, 
and kicked, and trampled his brother of Constantinople : ^^ it 



Mt iiUpm lupivM . . . ci rtff x^ft Sifo, h4$ۤuu At the request of Dioscorus, those 
who were not able to roar (fitni^mi) stretdied out their hands. At Cbalcedon, the 
Orientals disclaimed these ezclamatioaB ; but the Egyptians more consistently 




. . . _ . c. 

iC) is amplified bv the historian Zonaras (tcmL iL L xiiL p. 44 Fc' 33]), who affirms that 
Dioaoorus Iddwd like a wild ass. But the langiage of iLiberatus (Brev. c. la, in 
CondL torn. vL p. ^^38) is more cautious ; tod the acts of Chaloedon, which lavish 
the names of Momictde, Cain^ ftc, do not Justify so pointed a charge. The monk 
Barsumas Is more particularly accuse d — fa 4«^ t>» pjmU^wf ♦JUaw«'»», mbt^ivr^n 
luX ikrf9, v^t^w (CondL torn, iv. p^ 14x3)1 



OF THE BOMAK EBiPIEE 12S 

te oartain tUt the Tletiiii, belbve heoouM teach thepboe of hk 
exile^ expired on the third day, of the wounds and bniiaea 
which he had received at Ephesus. This second synod has 
been justly branded as a gang of robbers and assassins ; ^ yet 
the accusers of Dioseoms woiud magnify bis violence, to allevi* 
ate the cowardice and inconstancy of their own behaviour. 

The £uth of Egypt had prevailed ; but the vanquished party ommaci 
was supported by the same pope who encountered without fearSoti^ 
the hostile rage of Attila and Genseric. The theology of. Leo^ 
his &mous tome or epistle on the mystery of the incarnation, 
bad been disr^[arded by the synod of Ephesus ; his authority, 
and that of the Latin diurch, was insulted in his legates, who 
escaped fimn slavery and death to relate the melancholy tale of 
the tyraimy of Diosoorus and the martyrdom of Flavian. His 
pfO^Hndal synod annulled the irregular proceedings of Bphesns ; 
but, as this sOep was itself irregular, he solicited the convocation 
of a general council in the 6ee and orthodox provinces of Italy, 
From ids independent throne the Roman bishop spoke and 
acted without danger, as the head of the Christians, and his 
dictates were obsequiously transcribed by Pladdia and her son 
Valentinian, who addressed their Eastern colleague to restore, 
die peace and ui^ty of the diurch. But the pageant of Oriental' 
royalty was mc^ea with equal dexterity by the hand> of the 
eunudi; and Theodosius could pronouiioe, without hesitation, 
that the church was abfMidy peaceful and triumphant, and that 
the recent flame had been extinguished by the just punishment 
of the Nestorians. Perhaps the Greeks would be still involved 
in the heresy of the Monophysites, if the emperor's horse had 
not ^DTtunately stumbled; Tlieodosius expired; his orthodox 
sister, Pnlcherfa, with a nominal husband, succeeded to the 
tinmie ; Chtysaphius was burnt, Dioseoms was disgraced, the 
exiles were recalled, and the iome of Leo was subscribed by the 
Orientat bishops. Yet the pope was disappointed in his fiivourite 
project of a Latin council ; he disdained to preside in the Gireek 
synod which was speedily assembled at Nice in Bithynia ; his 
legates required in a peremptoiy tone the presence of the em« 
peror; ana the weary fitthers were transported to Chalcedon 
under the immediate eye of Marcian and the senate of Con- 
stantinople. A quarter of a mile from the Thradan Bosphorus, 
the church of St Euphemia was built on the summit of a gentle 

<* [Yet, as Oelttr has dbsftrved, the proceeding at the Robber-sjrnod were not 
9Q miicb WQtt violent than tbose at synods lecogniaed bjr the Church.] 



124 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

though lofty ascent ; the triple stracture wms celebiated as a 
prodigy of art, and the boundless prospect of the land and sea 
might have raised the mind of a sectary to the contemplation 
of the God of the universe. Six hundred and thirty bishops 
were ranged in order in the nave of the church; but the 
patriarchs of the East were preceded by the legates^ of whom 
the third was a simple priest ; and the place of hoaour was 
reserved for twenty laymen of consular or senatorian rank* The 
gospel was ostentatiously displayed in the centre, but the rule 
of mith was defined by the papal and Imperial ministers, who 
moderated the thirteen sessions of the council of Chalcedon.^^ 
Their partial interposition silenced the intemperate shouts and 
execrations which degraded the episcopal gravity ; but, on the 
formal accusation of the legates, Diosoorus was compelled to 
descend from his throne to the rank of a criminal, already con- 
demned in the opinion of his judges. The Orientals^ less 
adverse to Nestorius than to Cyril, accepted thellUHBans as their 
deliverers : Thrace, and Pontns, and Asia were exaspesated 
against the murderer of Flavian, and the new patriarchs of 
Constantinople and Antioch secured their places by the sacrifice 
of their benefiictor. The bishops of Palestine, Macedonia, and 
Greece were attached to the &ith of Cyril ; but in the &Lce of 
the synod, in the heat of the battle, the leaders, with their 
obsequious train, passed from the right to the left wing, nad 
decided the victory by this seasonable, desertion. Of the 
seventeen sufiragans wiio sailed from Alexandria, four were 
tempted frtHn their allegiance, and the thirteen, fiillinff pros- 
trate on the ground, implored the mercy of the councU, with 
sighs and tears and a pathetic declaration that, if they yielded, 
they should be massacred, on their return to Egypt, by the 
indignant people. A tardy repentance was allowra to expiate 
the guilt or eiror of the aeoomplioes of Dioscorus ; but their 
sins were accumulated on his head ; he neither asked nor hoped 
for pardon, and the moderation of those who pleaded for a 
general amnesty was drowned in the prevailing cry of victory 
and revenge. To save the reputati<m of his utte adherents, 

*> The Acts of the Council of Chaloedofi (Condi, torn. iv. p. 76x«907i) compre- 
hend those of Epheius (p. 890-XZ80), which again comprise the synod of Constanti> 
nople under Flavian (p. 930-1072) ; and It requires some attention to disengage 
this double involution. The whole bustnen of Eutychss, Flavian, and Diosixntus 
b related by Evagrius (1. 1 a 9-12. and I il c z, a, 3, 4) and Liboatos (Brev. c. 
II, 12. 13. lA Once more, and almost for the last time, I appeal to the diligence 
of Tillemont (M6m. Eocl4& torn. xv. p. 4797x9). The annals of Baronhu and 
Pagi will accompany me mpch fiRrtlier 00 my long and laboriow journey. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE ^ 125 

some perwonal offence were skilfully detected: his rash and 
illegal excommunicatioii of the pope, and his contumacious 
refbsal (while he was detained a prisoner) to attend the 
sotninons of the synod. Witnesses were introduced to prove 
the special fiu^ of his pride, avarice, and cruelty; and the 
&thers heard with abhorrence that the alms of the church 
were lavished on the female dancers, that his palace, and even 
his bath, was open to the prostitutes of Alexandria, and that 
the in&mous Pansophia, or Irene, was publicly entertained as 
the concubine of the patriarch.^ 

For these scandalous offences Dioscorus was deposed by the jjgjg^jtf^ 
synod and banished by the emperor ; but the purity of his £uth 
was declared in the presence, and with the tacit approbation, 
of the fisithers. Their prudence supposed rather than pro- 
nounced the heresy of Eutyches, who was never summoned 
before their tribunal ; and they sat silent and abashed, when a 
bold Mbnophysite, casting at their feet a volume of C3nril, 
challenged them to anathematize in his person the doctrine of 
a saint. If we fitirly peruse the acts of Chalcedon as they are 
recorded by the orthodox party,^ we shall find that a great 
majority of the bishops embraced the simple unity of Christ ; 
and the ambiguous concession, that he was formed of or from 
two natures, might imply either their previous existence, or 
their subsequent confusion, or some dangerous interval between 
the conception of the man and the assumption of the God. 
The Roman theology, more positive and precise, adopted the 

** M^JUtftw \99pifi6tinf Ummi^ » Kakmidvii 'Op«tr)) (perhaps Btpi^iai) vepl i$t mu 6 
v ku d »^ m 9 o t Tit« 'AAcfoySp^Mr i^iu>9 a^riKt ^h'I^i' avrfit re itaX rod ipwriAi pjtitrfift.4v9t 

(Ooodl. torn. iv. p. 1976). A specimen of the wit and malice of the people is pre- 
lerved in the Greek Anthology (L ii. c. 5, p. z88, edit. WecheL), although the 
application was tmknown to the editor Brodaeus. The nameless epigrammatist 
nuses a tolerable pun, by confounding the episcopal sahitation of " Peace be to 
all ! " with tbe genuine or corrupted name of the bishop's concubine : 

Bij^ni wAitnwtp, iwiaK0W09 cTvcr iwtkBup, 

llmt 84paTtu wimp ^r fUpot Mop l^n ; 
I am ignorant whether the patriarch, who seems to have been a jealous lover, is 
the Cimon of a preceding epigram, whose Woe eonrK^ was viewed with envy and 
wooder by Priapus himself. 

* Those who reverence the infiallibiUty of synods may try to ascertain their 
ienae; The leading bishops were attended by partial or careless scribes, who dis- 
persed their copies round the world. Our Greek Mss. are sullied with the false 
and proscribed reading ofUritp ^nup (Concil tom. iii p. 1460) ; the authentic 
translation of Pope Leo I. does not seem to have been executed ; and the old 
Latin versions materially differ from the present Vulgate, which v^as revised (A.D. 
5So) bf Rustknis, a Roman priest, from the best Ivfss. of the *Axo^ii|Tot at Con- 
stantino^ (Ducanfe, C P. Christiana, L iv. p. X5z), a famous monastery of 
Latins. Greeks, and Syriaaa. See CondL tom. iv. p. 2959-0049, and Pagi, Critica, 
torn. iL pi 326, &c 



126 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

temi most offensive to the ean of the Eg3rpiiaiMi, that Christ 
existed in two natures ; and this momentous particle ^ (which 
the memory^ rather than the und»standing» must retain) had 
almost produced a schism among the Catholic bishops. The 
tofne of Leo had been respectfully, perhaps sincerely, subscribed ; 
but they protested, in two successive debates, that it was 
neither expedient not lawful to transgress the sacred landmarks 
which had been fixed at Nice, Omstantinople, and Ephesus, Jtc- 
cording to the rule of scripture and tradition. At length they 
yielded to the importunities of their masters, but their infidlible 
decree, after it had been ratified with deliberate votes and 
vehement acclamations, was overturned in the next, session by 
the opposition of the legates and their Oriental fiienda. It was 
in vain that a multitude of episcopal voices repeated in chorus^ 
" The definition of the fiithers is orthodox and immutable ! The 
heretics are now discovered! Anathema to the Nestorians! 
Let them depart ftom the synod 1 Let them repair to Rome J " ^ 
The legates threatened, the emperor was absolute, and a oon- 
mittee of eighteen bishops prepared a new decree, which was 
imposed on the reluctant assembly. In the name of the fourth 
general council, the Christ in one person, but m two natures, 
was announced to the catholic world ; an invisible line was 
drawn between the heresy of Apollinaris and the &ith of St. 
Cyril ; and the road to paradise, a bridge as sharp aa a raior, 
was suspended over the abyss by the master-hand .^ f ;tbe theo- 
logical artist During ten centmies of bUndneas and sexvitude, 
Europe received her religious opinions ftom the oracle of the 
Vatican; and the same doctrine, already varnished with the 
rust of antiquity, was admitted without dispute into the creed 
of the reformers, who disclaimed the supremacy of the Roman 
pontiff. The synod of Chalcedon still triumphs in the protes- 
tant churches ; but the fermmt of controversy has subsided, and 
the most pious Christians of the present day are ignorant or 
careless ot their own belief concerning the mystery of the 
incarnation. 
gjjBgj^or Far different was the temper of the Greeks and Egyptians 

*> It is darkly reprewnted in the microtoope of Peta^ius (torn. v. L iii. c. 5) ; yet 
the subtle theologian is himself afinud^-oe quis fortasse supervacaneam eC nimis 
anxiam putet hujusmodi voculantm iaqniiitioiiein, eC ab inttitnti theoloaici gravi 
tate alieoam (p. 224). 



p. X449V Bvagrins and Liheratns piese&t only the pladd tm» ef the synod, and 
discreetly slide over these embers suppositos dneri dolosa 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIEE 127 

under the orthodox reigns of Leo and Marcian. Those pious 
emperors enforced with arms and edicts the sjmhol of their 
&iUi ; ^ and it was declared by the conscience or honour of five 
hundred bishops that the decrees of the synod of Chalcedon 
might be lawfully supported, even with blood. The Catholics 
observed with satis&ction that the same miod was odious both 
to the Nestorians and the Monophysites ; ^ but the Nestodaos 
were less angiy, or less powerful, and the East was distracted 
by the obstinate and sanguinaiy zeal of the Monophysites. 
Jerusalem was occupied by an army of monks ; in the name of 
the one incarnate nature, they pilli^ed, they burnt, they 
murdered ; the sepulchre of Christ was deffled with blood ; and 
the gates of the city were guarded in tiunultuous rebellion 
against the troops of the emperor. After the disgrace and exile 
of Dioscorus, the Eg3rptiana still regretted their spiritual &ther, 
and detested the usuipation of his successor, who was introduced 
by the finthers of Chalcedon. The throne of Proterius was 
supported by a guard of two thousand soldiers ; he waged * five 
years' war against the people of Alexandria ; and, on the first 
intelligence of the deatn of Marcian, he became the victim of 
their zeaL On the third day before the festival of Easter, the 
patriarch was besieged in the cathedral and murdered in the 
baptisteiy. The remains of his mangled corpse were delivered 
to the flames, and his ashes to the wind; and the deed was 
inspired by the visicm of a pretended angel : an ambitious 
mcnik, who, under the name of Timothy the Cat,^^ succeeded 

^ See, in the Appendix to the Acts of Chalcedon, the confirmation of the synod 
by Kiardan (Condi torn. iv. p. 1781, 1783) ; his letters to the monks of Alexandria 
(p. X791), of Moont Sinai (p. 1793), of Jemsalem and Palestine (p. 179B); his 
bws against the Entjchians (pu 2809. xSzx, 1831) ; the correspoodenoe of Leo 
with the provincial synods on the revouitioa of AlBxandria (p. z835-z99o)l 

** Pbotius (or rather Eulogius of Alexandria) confesses In a fine passage the 
specious colour of this double charge against pope Leo and his synod 01 Cha&edon 
(KlslioL cod. ccxxy. p. 768). He waced a dotible war against the enemies of the 
church, and wounded either foe with the darts of his adversary— «M«AA4A»iff fUKin 
nit iamwi\»vt irirpmotu. Against Nestorius he seemed to introduce the ^^vvic 
of the Monophysites: against Eutycbes he appeBured to countenance the iwvri^u ^v 
*««»^^ of the Nestorians. The apologist claims a charitable interpretation for the 
saints; if the same had been extended to the heretics, the sound of the controversy 
would have been lost in the air. 

^ AlAovp^ from his nocturnal expeditions. In daricness and disguise he crept 
round the cells of the monastery, and whispered the revelation to Im slumbering 
brethren (Tbeodor. Lector. L i^I& 8]). [Timothy the Cat was exiled and another 
Timothy, supported by the Emperor Leo, succeeded. This Timothy was called 
BasUikos^ his partv was the "royal" party; and this is the origin of the name 
Meldiites or royalists (see bdow, p. 144, n. zza). For these events see Zacharias 
of Mytilene, Bk. iv.] 



128 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

to the place and opinions of Dioscorus. This deadly supersti- 
tion was inflamed, on either side, by the principle and the 
practice of retaliation : in the pursuit of a metaphysical quarrel, 
many thousands ^ were slain, and the Christians of every degree 
were deprived of the substantial enjoyments of social life and 
of the invisible gifts of baptism and the holy communion. 
Perhaps an extravagant &ble of the times may conceal an 
allegorical picture of these fiinatics, who tortured each other 
and themselves. '* Under the consulship of Venantius and 
Celer/' says a grave bishop, ** the people of Alexandria, and all 
Egypt, were seized with a strange and diabolical frensy : g^reat 
and small, slaves and freedmen, monks and clergy, the natives 
of the land, who opposed the inmod of Chalcedon, lost their 
speech and reason, barked like dogs, and tore, with their own 
teeth, the flesh ftcem their hands and arms." ^ 
iMXmo. The disorders of thirty yean at length produced the fitmous 
Henoticon ^ of the emperor Zeno, which in his reign, and in 
that of Anastasius, was signed by all the bishops of the East, 
under the penalty of degndation and exile, if they rejected or 
infringed this salutary and fundamental law. The deigy may 
smile or groan at the presumption of a layman who defines the 
articles of &ith ; ^^ yet^ if he stoops to the humiliating task, his 
mind is less infected by prejudice or interest, and the authority 
of the magistrate can pnty be maintained by the concord of the 
people. It is in ecclesiastical story that Zeno appears least con- 
temptible ; and I am not able to discern any Manichsean or 
Eutychian guilt in the generous saying of Anastasius, That it 

Siu^ is the nyporbolic Umguage of the Henoticoii. 



boa of Zaao. 



^ See the Chronicle of Victor T^innuiieiisis, in the Lectiooes Antiquse of 
Canisius, republished by Basoage, torn. I p. 3061 

" The Henoticon is transcribed bjr Evagrios (I iii. c. 13), and translated by 
Liberatus (Brev. c. 18). Paiei (CHtica. torn, il p. 411) and Asseman (BiUioL 
Orient torn. I p. 043) are satisfied that it is free from heresy ; but Petavius (Dogmat. 
Theolog. torn. v. Li. c 13, d. 40) most unaccountably affirms: Chalcedonensem 
ascivit An adversary woula prove that he had never read the Henoticon. 

MThe Hetaotikon was of course drawn up br the able Patriarch Aoachis. It is 
an admirable document, and it secured the umty and peace of the Church in the 
East throughout the reigns of Zeno and Anastasius. It was based on the doctrines 
of Nicflea and Ephesus, and practically r emoved the dedsidns of Chalcedon. F^m 
a secular point of view nothing is clearer than that the Council of Chakedon was a 

Eave misfortune for the Empire. The statesmanlike HenotOcon retrieved the 
under so far as it was possible ; and the reopening of the question and reinstate- 
ment of the authori^ of Chalcedon was one or the most criminal acts of Justinian, 
—a consequence of his Western policy. Reoondliatioa ^th the tee of Rome was 
bought by the disunion of the East.] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIEE 129 

worthy of an emperor to persecute the worsfaippeft of 
nd the citizens of Rome. The Henoticon was most 

to the Egyptians; yet the smallest blemish has not 
scribed by the jealous and even jaundiced eyes of our 
: schoolmen^ and it accurately represents th^ Catholic 

the incarnation, without adopting or disclaiming the 
terms or tenets of the hostile sects. A solemn anathema 
»unced against Nestorius and Eutyches ; against all 

by whom Christ is divided, or conmundcd, or reduced 
mtom. Without defining the number or the article of 
I nature, the pure system of St. Cyril, the faith of Nice, 
:inople, and Ephesus, is respectfully confirmed; but, 
>f bowing at the name of the fourth council, the subject 
sed by the censure of all omtrary doctrines, t/*any such 
en taught either elsewhere or at Chalcedon. Under 
liguous expression the friends and the enemies of the 
)d might unite in a silent embrace. The most reason- 
istians acquiesced in this mode of toleration ; but their 
vas feeble and inconstant, and their obedience was 

as timid and servile by the vehement spirit of their 

On a subject which engrossed the thoughts and dis- 

xf men, it was difficult to preserve an exact neutrality ; 

i sermon, a prayer, rekindled the fiame of controversy ; 

IxNids of communion were alternately broken and re- 

3y the private animosity of the bishops. The space 

Nestorius and Eutyches was filled by a thousand 

>f language and opinion ; the acephali ^^ of Egypt and 

tan pontiffs, of equal valour though of unequal strength, 

found at the two extremities of the theological scale, 
phali, without a king or a bishop, were separated above 
mdred years from the patriarchs of Alexandria, who 
;pted the communion of Constantinople, without exact- 
»rmal condemnation of the synod of Chalcedon. For 
g the communion of Alexandria, without a formal 
:ion of the same synod, the patriarchs of Constanti- 
zTe anathematized by the popes. Their inflexible des- 
nvolved the most orthodox of the Greek churches in 
itual contagion, denied or doubted the validity of their 



Lenaudot (Hist Patriarch. Alex. p. 123, 131, 145, 195, 34;r). Tbey were 
by the care of Mark I. (a.d. 799-819) ; he promoted their chiefs to the 
of Athribis and Talba (perhaps Tava; see d'Anville, p. 82), and 
le sacraments, which had failed for want of an episcopal ordination. 

Ci. V. 9 



ffl^MdMth 



130 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

sacraments/* and fomented, thirty-five years, the schism of the 
East and West, till they finally abolished the memory of four 
Byzantine pontifis, who had dared to oppose the supremacy of 
St. PeterJ^ Before that period, the precarious truce of Con- 
stantinople and Egypt had been violated by the seal of the 
rival prelates. Macedonius, who was suspected of the Nestorian 
heresy, asserted, in disgrace and eidle, the svnod of Chalcedon, 
while the successor of C3rril would have purchased its overthrow 
vrith a bribe of two thousand pounds of gold. 
chATM- In the fever of the times, Uie sense, or rather the s<Mmd, of 

3|^^^ww,a syllable was sufficient to disturb the peace of an empire. 
-« ^ -- «• rj.^^ Trisaoion 78 (thrice holy), " Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of 
Hosts I " is supposed by the Greeks to be the identical hymn 
which the angels and cherubim eternally repeat before the 
throne of God, and which, about the middle of the fifth century, 
was miraculously revealed to the church of Constantinople. 
The devotion of Antioch soon added "who was crucified for 
us ! " and this grateful address, either to Christ alone or to the 
whole Trinity, may be justified by the rules of theology, and 
has been gradually adopted by the Catholics of the East and 
West. But it had been imagined by a Monophysite bishop ;''^ 
the gift of an enemy was at first rejected as a dire and 
dangerous blasphemy, and the rash innovation had nearly cost 
the emperor Anastasius his throne and his Ute.^ The people 

^ De his quos baptizavit, quos ordinavit Acacitis, majonim traditione oonfectam 
et veram, praecipue religiosas solicitudini congniam praebemus sine difficoltate 
medicinam (Gelasius, in episL L ad Euphemium, Concil torn. v. p. 986I The 
offer of a medicine proves tne disease, and numbers must baveperisbed beum the 
arrival of the Roman physician. T^Uemont himself (M6m. Eod^ torn. xvi. p. 
379, 64a, &C.) is shocked at the proud uncharitable teinper of the popes ; thejr are 
now glad, says he, to invoke St Flavian of Antioch, St. EUas 01 Jemsalem, Ac. 
to whom they refused communion whilst upon earth. But cardinal Barooius is 
firm and hard as the rock of SL Peter. 

^ Their names were erased from the diptych of the church: ex venerabili 
diptycho, in quo pise memorise tiansitum ad caelum habentium epis c oporum 
vocabula continentur (CondL torn. iv. p. 1846). This ecclesiastical record was 
therefore e(]uivalent to the book of life. 

^Petavius (Dogmat Theolog. torn. v. L v. c. 2, 9, 4, p. axT-ssc) and TQlemont 
(Mdm. EocMs. tom. xiv. p. 713, ftc. 799) represent the history and doctrine of the 
Trisagion. In the twelve centuries b e tw een Isaiah and St Ptoclus*8 boy, who was 
taken up into heaven before the bisbop and people of Constantinople, the long was 
considerably improved. The boy beard the angels sing " Holy God I Holy strong I 
Holv immortal f " 

"" Peter Gnapheus. tht/uUer (a trade which he had exerdsed in his monastery), 
patriarch of Antioch. na tedious storv is discussed in the Annals of Pagi (A.D. 
477-490) and a dissertation of M. de Vauns at the end of his Evagrins. 

^Toe troubles under the reign of Anastasius must be gathered from the 
Chronicles of Victor, Marcellinus, and Tbeophanes. As the last wu not piiblishwi 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 131 

(tantinople was devoid of any rational principles of free- 
lut they held, as a lawful cause of rebellion, the colour 
iry in the races, or the colour of a mystery in the schools, 
isagion, with and without this obnoxious addition, was 
I in the cathedral by two advene choirs, and, when their 
'ere exhausted, they had recourse to the more solid argu- 
»f sticks and stones ; the aggressors were punished 1^ the 
r, and defended by the patriarch; and the crown and 
irere staked on the event of this momentous quarrel, 
■eets were instantly crowded with innumerable swarms 

women, and children ; the legions of monks, in regular 
oarched and shouted, and fought at their head. " Chris- 
this is the day of martyrdom ; let us not desert our 
1 &ther ; anathema to the Manichaean t3rrant ! he is 
liy to reign." Such was the Catholic cry; and the 
of Anastasius lay upon their oars before the palace, till 
riarch had pardoned his penitent and hushed the waves 
troubled multitude. The triumph of Macedonius was[A.ii.iu(| 
1 by a speedy exile ; but the zeal of his flock was again 
sted by the same question, " Whether one of the Trinity 
en crucified?" On this momentous occasion the blue 
sen factions of Constantinople suspended their discord, 
e civil and military powers were annihilated in their 
fe. The ke3rs of the city and the standards of the guards 
leposited in the forum of Constantine, the principal 

and camp of the fiiithful. Day and night they were in- 
ly busied either in singing h3nn(ms to the honour of their 

in pillaging and murdering the servants of their prince, 
ad of his &vourite monk, the friend, as thev styled him, 
enemy of the Holy Trinity, was borne aloft on a spear ; 
e firebrands, which had been darted against heretical 
res, diffused the undistinguishing flames over the most 
>x buildings. The statues of the emperor were broken, 
I person was concealed in a suburb, till, at the end of 
lays, he dared to implore the mercy of his subjects. 
it his diadem and in the posture of a suppliant, Anastasius 
id on the throne of the circus. The Catholics, before 
:, rehearsed their genuine Trisagion ; they exulted in the 
dich he proclaimed by the voice of a herald of abdicating 
pie ; they listened to the admonition that, since all could 

ne of Baronius, bis critic Pagi is more copious, as well as more correct. 
hvarch parties of the time see H. Gelzer, Josua Stylites und die daroaiUgen 
91 Parteien des Ostens, in B3rz. Zeitschrift, I p. 34 J^. > 1892.] 



132 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

not reign, they should previously agree in the choice of a sover- 
eign ; and they accepted the blood of two unpopular ministers, 
whom their master, without hesitation, condemned to the lions. 
These furious but transient seditions were encouraged by the 
success of Vitalian, who, with an army of Huns and Bulgarians, 
for the most part idolaters, declared himself the champion of 
the Catholic fiiith. In this pious rebellion he depopulated 
Thrace, besieged Constantinople, exterminated sixty-^ve thou- 
sand of his fellow-Christians, till he obtained the recall of the 
bishops, the satisfaction of the pope, and the establishment of 
the council of Chalcedon, an orthodox treaty, reluctantly signed 
by the dying Anastasius, and more faithfully performed by the 
fit^jMgam uncle of Justinian. And such was the event of the Jirti of the 
Bu ' religious wars which have been waged in the namCt and by the 

disciples, of the God of peaoe.^^ 
AMAjgoai Justinian has been already seen in the various lights of a 
mA{«j«^ prince, a conqueror, and a lawgiver : the theologian^ still re- 
ttKiML AJD, mains, and it affords an un&vourable prejudice that his theo- 
logy should form a very prominent feature of his portrait. 
The sovereign sympathized vrith his subjects in their supersti- 
tious reverence for living and departed saints ; his Code, and 
more especially his Novels, confirm and enlarge the privileges 
of the clergy ; and, in every dispute between a monk and a 
layman, the partial judge was inclined to pronounce that truth 
and innocence and justice were always on the side of the 
church. In his public and private devotions the emperor was 
assiduous and exemplary ; his prayers, vigils, and fiwts displayed 
the austere penance of a monk ; his fancy was amused by the 
hope or belief of personal inspiration ; he had secured the 
patronage of the Virgin and St. Michael the archangel ; and his 

^ The general history, from the ooandl of Chaloedon to the death of AaasUuBm, 
may be found in the Breviary of Liberatus (c. 14-19). the iid and iiid books of Eva- 

E, the abstract of the two books of Theodore the Reader, the Aeta of the 
6s f and the. Epistles of the Popes (Condi, torn. v.). [Also the EodetiasliGa] 
iry of Zacharias of Mytilene.1 The series is continued with some disorder in 
the xvth and xvith tomes of the Mteioires Eod^iastiqoes of TiDemont. And here 
I must take leave for ever of that inoompsimble guide— whose bigotrv is over- 
balanced by the merits of emditioQ, diUflenoe, veracity, and scmpuloos mmutOMM. 
He was prevented by death from completing, as he designed, the vith century of 
the church and empire. 

"The strain of the Anecdotes of Procoph» (c. xx. xj, x8, 97, 90), with the 
learned remarks of Alemannus, is oonfinned, rather than contridictad, by the 
Acts of the Councils, the fourth book of Evagrius, and the complaints of the 
African Facundus in has xiith book— de tribus capitnlis, "cum videri doetus 
appetit importune . . . spontaneis qoaestionibiis eoclesiam turbat ". See Prooop. 
de Bell. Goth. 1. iii. c. 35. 



t 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 138 

reooverj ^xnn a dangerons disease was ascribed tx> the mira- 
eolous sucoonr of the holy martyrs Cosmas and Damian. The 
a^ital and the provinces of the East were decorated with the 
monum^its of his religion ; ^ and, though the far greater part 
of these costly structures may be attributed to his taste or 
ostentation^ the seal of the royal architect was probably 
quidcened by a genuine sense of love and gratitude towards 
his invisible benelactoTs. Among the titles of Imperial greatr 
DesB, the name of PUms was most pleasing to his ear ; to promote 
the temporal and spiritual interest of the church was the 
lerious business of his life ; and the duty of &ther of his 
country was often sacrificed to that of deiender of the &ith. 
Hie controversies of the times were congenial to his temper 
and understanding; and the theological professors most in- 
wardly deride the diligence of a stranger, who cultivated their 
art and neglected his own. *' What can ye fear," said a b6ld 
ccmspirator to his associates, ''from your bigoted tyrant? 
Sleef^ess and unarmed he sits whole nights in his closet, debat- 
ing with reverend grey-beards, and turning over the pages of 
eeclesiastical volumes."^ The fruits of these lucubrations 
were displayed in many a conference, where Justinian might 
shine as the loudest and most subtle of the disputants ; in many 
a sermon, which, under the name of edicts and epistles, pro- 
chdmed to the empire the theology of their mastar. While 
the barbarians invaded the provinces, while the victorious 
legicms marched under the banners of Belisarius and Narses, 
the successor of Trajan, unknown to the camp, was content to 
fanquish at the head of a sjhmxL Had he invited to these 
synods a disinterested and rational spectator, Justinian might 
have learned ''thai religious controversy is the offiipring of 
arrogance and fblty ; thai true piety is most laudably expressed 
by silence and submission ; that man, ignorant of his o¥m nature, 
ihottld not presume to scrutinise the nature of his God ; and 
thai it is sufficient for us to know that power and benevolenoe 
arc the perfect attributes of the Deity ".^ 

* Prooop. de iEdifidis, L i. c. 6, 7, &c passim. 

***Ot i^ Hi0itrmi i^tf XaucTVf it 1*1 •vl A^i|c r»v6c Am^I rvnwy [/^. rwrmp] 6m«v r^Tf 

iVMT. Prooop. de BeU. GoUi. L uL a 3a. In the Life of St. Eutyooius (apud 
Aleman. ad Prooop. Arcan. c. 18) the same character is given with a design to 
pniae Jusciniaa. [Vita Eutydiii, fay Eustratius, in Mi^^ne, Patr. Gr. , vol. 86. J 

*For these wise and moderate sentiments, Procopiils (de Bell. Goth. 1. i. c. 3) 
is scourged in Ihe preface of Alemannus, who ranks him among tbe^IiticalCbxii- 
tians-— sed longe verius hsereaium omniimi sentinas, prorsusque Atheos — abomi* 
nable Atheists who preached the imitation of God's mocy to man (ad Hist Arcaa 
c. 13L ^ 



134 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

Toleration was not the virtue of the times, and indulgence 
to rebels has seldom been the virtue of princes. But, when the 
prince descends to the narrow and peevish character of a dis- 
putant, he is easily provoked to supply the defect of argument 
by the plenitude of power, and to chastise without mercy the 
perverse blindness of those who wilfully shut their eyes against 
the light of demonstration. The reign of Justinian was an 
uniform yet various scene of persecution; and he appears to 
have surpassed his indolent predecessors both in the contrivance 
of his laws and the rigour of their execution. The insufficient 
term of three months was assigned for the conversion or exile 
of all heretics ; ^ and, if he still connived at their precarious 
stay, they were deprived, under his iron yoke, not <mly of the 
benefits of society, but of the common birth-right of men and 
Christians. At the end of four hundred years, the Montanists 
of Phrygia^ still breathed the vrild enthusiasm of perfection 
and prophecy which they had imbibed from their male and 
female apostles, the special organs of the Paraclete. On the 
approach of the Cathouc priests and soldiers, they grasped with 
alacrity the crown of mar^^om ; the conventicle and the con- 
gregation perished in the flames, but these primitive £EUiatic8 
were not extinguished three hundred years after the death of 
their t3rrant. Under the protection of the Grothic confederates, 
the church of the Arians at Constantinople had braved the seve- 
rity of the laws ; their clergy equalled the wealth and magni- 
ficence of the senate ; and the gold and silver which were seised 
by the rapacious hand of Justinian might perhaps be claimed 
as the spoils of the provinces and the trophies of the barbarians. 
A secret remnant of pagans, who still lurked in the most 
refined and most rustic conditions of mankind, excited the 
indignation of the Christians, who were, perhaps, unwilling that 
any strangers should be the witnesses of their intestine quarrels. 
A bishop was named as the inquisitor of the fiuth, and his dili- 
gence soon discovered, in the court and city, the magistrates, 

"This alternative, a precious circumstance, is preserved by John Malala (torn. 
iL p. 63, edit. Venet. 1733 ifp. 449, ed. Bonn])« who deserves more credit as he 
dravrs towards his end. After numbering the heretics, Nestoriau, Eutychians, 
ftc. ne expectent, says Justinian, at digni veniA judioentur : jubemus enim ut . . . 
oonvicti et aperti hseretici justae et idoneaB animadversioni sabjidantiir. Baronius 
copies and applauds this edict of the Code (A.D. 527, Na 39, 40). 

*^See the character and principles of the Montanists, in Mosheim, de Rebus 
Christ ante Constantinum, p. 4x0-424. [There is an important investigation of 
Montanism in Ritschl's Die Entstefaung der altkatholischen Kirdie, X857 (ed. a) ; 
the historv of the ho-esy has been trnted in a special work by Boonvi^scfa, Ge- 
schicbte des Montanismus, 1878.] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 135 

lawyers, physiciaiiB, and sophists, who still cherished the super- 
stition of the Greeks. They were sternly informed that they 
must choose without delay between the displeasure of Jupiter 
or Justinian, and that their aversion to the gospel could no longer 
be disguised under the scandalous mask of indifference or im- 
piety. The patrician Photius perhaps alone was resolved to live 
and to die like his ancestors ; he enfranchised himself with the 
stroke of a dagger, and left his tyrant the poor consolation of 
exposing with ignominy the lifeless corpse of the fugitive. His 
wesker brethren submitted to their earthly monarch, underwent 
the ceremony of baptism, and laboured, by their extraordinary 
zeal, to erase the suspicion, or to expiate the guilt, of idolatry. 
The native country of Homer, and the theatre of the Trojan 
war, still retained the last sparks of his mythology : by the 
csre of the same bishop, seventy thousand Pagans were detected 
and converted in Asia, Phrygia, Lydia, and Caria ; ninety-six 
churches were built for the new proselytes ; and linen vest- 
ments, bibles and liturgies, and vases of gold and silver, were 
supplied by the pious munificence of Justinian.^ The Je¥rs, or j< 
who had been gradually stripped of their immunities, were 
impressed by a vexatious law, which compelled them to observe 
the festival of Easter the same day on which it was celebrated 
by the Christians.^ And they might complain with the more 
reason, since the Catholics themselves did not agree with the 
astronomical calculations of their sovereign ; the people of Con- 
stantinople delayed the beginning of their Lent a whole week 
after it had been ordained by authority; and they had the 
pleasure of fiuting seven days, while meat was exposed for sale 
by the conmiand of the emperor. The Samaritans of Palestine ^ •[ 
were a motlew" race, an ambiguous sect, rejected as Jews by the 
pagans, by tne Jews as schismatics, and by the Christians as 
idolaters. The abomination of the cross had already been 

*Tbeophan. Chron. p. 153 [a.m. 6023]. John the Monophysite, bishop of 
Asia, is a more authentic witness of this transaction, in which he was himself em> 
plojed by the emperor (Asseman. Bib. Orient torn. ii. p. 85). [See the history of 
lolm of Kphesos, 3, 36, 37.] 

' * Compare Procopios (Hist Arcan. c. 38, and Aleman's Notes) with Theo- 

1 phanes (Chron. p. 190 [A.M. 6(^]). The council of Nice has entrusted the 

I patriardi, or rather the astronomers, of Alexandria with the annual proclamation 

{ of Easter ; and we still read, or rather we do not read, many of the Paschal epis- 
tles of St. CjrriL Since the reign of Monophytism [le^, Monoph3rsitism^ in Egypt, 

] the Catholics were perplexed by such a foolish prejudice as that which so long 

' j opposed, among the Protestants, the reception of the Gregorian style. 

*^For the religion and history of the Samaritans, consult Basnage, Histoire des 
"I Juifs, a learned and impartial work. 



136 THE DECLINE AND FALS. 

planted on their holy mount of Gaiisini,^^ but the petveeation of 
Justinian offered only the alternative of baptism or rebellion. 
They chose the latter ; under the standard of a desperate leader, 
they rose in arms, and retaliated their wrongs on the lives, 
the property, and the temples, of a defenceless people. The 
Samaritans were finally subdued by the regular forces of the 
East : twenty thousand were slain, twenty thousand were sold 
by the AralM to the infidels of Persia and India, and the re- 
mains of that unhappy nation atoned for the crime of treason 
by the sin of hypocrisy. It has been computed that one hun- 
dred thousand Roman subjects were extirpated in the Samaritan 
war,^^ which converted the once fruitfol province into a desolate 
and smoking wilderness. But in the creed of Justinian the 
guilt of murder could not be applied to the slaughter of un- 
believers; and he piously laboured to establish with fire and 
sword the unity of the Christian fiiith.^^ 
Bjaortii». With these sentiments, it was incumbent on him, at least, 
to be always in the right. In the first years of his administran 
tion, he signalised his zeal as the disciple and patron of ortho- 
doxy ; the reconciliation of the Greeks and Latins established 
the iome of St Leo as the creed of the emperor and the empire ; 
the Nestorians and Eutychians were exposed, on either side, 
to the double edge of persecutiixi ; and the four synods of Nice, 
Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, were ratified by the 
code of a Catholic lawgiver.^ But, while Justinian strove to 

u Sichem, Neapolis, Naplous, the andent and modem seat of the Samaritans, 
is situate in a valley betvreen the barren Ebal, the mountain of cursing to the north, 
the fruitful Garitim, or mountain of cursing [U^. blessing] to the south, ten or deven 
hoars' travel from Jerusalem. See Maundrell, Journey from Aleppo, Stc p, 59-^ 

^ Procop. Anecdot c. iz. Theophan. Chron. p. 122 U^. 152 ; p. 178, ed. de 
Boor]. John Malala, Chron. torn. u. p. 6a [p. 447, ed. Bonn]. I femexober an 
observation, half philosophical, half superstitious, that the province which had 
been mined by the bigotnr of Justinian was the same through whi^ the Ma- 
hometans penetrated into tne empire. 

^ The expression of Procopius is remarkable ; ov yap ot cMmt 4tfvof h4piA9up tbmi, 

^¥ y€ luii r^ ovTov 66^ »l r«A«VTMrrtt rvxoivr om%. AnecdoL C. 13. 

•* See the Chronicle of Victor, p. 328, and the original evidence of the laws of 
Justinian. During the first years of his reign, Baronius himself is in extreme good 
humour with the emperor, who courted the popes till he got them into his power. 
[The ecclesiastical policy of Justinian's reign consists of a series of endeavours to 
undo the consequences of the fatal recognition of the Chalcedonian dogma, which 
had signalised the accession of Justin. The Monophysites of the East had been 
alienated, and the attempts to win them back, without sacrificing the newly 
achieved reconciliation with Rome, proved a failure. The importance of Thec^ 
dora consisted in her intelligent Monophyaitic policy. The depositicm of the Mooo- 
physite Patriarchs of Constantinople and Antioch, Anthimus and Severui, in 
A.D. 536, would never have occurred but for a pohtical reason— to siiist the anus 



OF THE EOMAN EMPIRE 137 

maintain the unifbmiity of fidth and worship^ hit wife Theodora, 
whose vices were not inoompatible with devotion, had listened 
to the Monophysite teachers ; and the open or clandestine 
enemies of the church revived and multiplied at the smile of 
their gracious patroness. The capital, the palace, the nuptial 
bed, were torn by spiritual discord; yet so doubtful was the 
sincerity of the royal consorts that their seeming disagreement 
was imputed by many to a secret and mischievous confederacy 
against the religion and happiness of their people.^ The 
finmous dispute of the three chapters,^ which has fiUed more iSuSit 
volumes than it deserves lines^ is deeply marked with this 
subtle and disingenuous spirit. It was now three hundred 
years since the body of Origen ^^ had been eaten by the worms : 
his soul, of which he held the pre-existence, was in the hands 
of its Creator, but his writings were eagerly perused by the 
monks of Palestine. In these writings the piercing eye of 
Justinian descried more than ten metaph3rsical errors ; and the 
primitive doctor, in the company of Pythagoras and Plato, was 
devoted by the clergy to the eternity of hell-fire, which he had 
presumed to deny. Under the cover of this precedent, a 
treacherous blow was aimed at the council of Chalcedon. The 
fiithers had listened without impatience to the praise of Theo- 
dore of Mopsuestia;^ and their justice or indulgence had 

of Belisarius in Italy. The ingeniously imagined condemnation of the Three 
Chapters did not win over the Monophysites, and was regarded in Italy and Africa 
as an attack on Pope Leo I. and Chalcedon. Gelter does not go too far when he 
describes the ecclesiastical measures of Justinian as " a series of mistakes ".] 

^ Procopius, Anecdot. c i^ Evagrius, 1. iv. c. lo. If the ecclesiastical never 
read the secret historian, thetr common suspicion proves at least the general 
hatred. 

** On the subject of the three chapters, the original acts of the vth general 
council of Constantinople supply much useless, though authentic, knowled^ 
(ConciL torn. vL p. 1-419). The Greek Evagrius is less copious and correct (1. iv. 
c 38) than the three sealous Africans^ Facundus (in his twelve books, de tribus 
capitulis. which are most correctly published by Sirmond), Liberatus (in his 
Breviarium, c 29, 23. 24), and Victor Tununensis in his Chronicle (in torn. i. 
AntK|. Lect Canisii, p. ^^^y^ The Liber Pontificalis, or Anastasius (in 
Vigilio, Pelagio, &c. ), is original, Italian evidence. The modern reader will derive 
some information from Dupin (Bibliot, Eccles. torn. v. p. 189-207) and Basnage 
(HisL de I'Eglise, torn. i. p. 519-541)1 yet the latter is too firmly resolved to de- 
preciate the authority and character of the popes. 

^ Origen had indeed too great a propensity to imitate the irA«yi} and Ivaaifitiu 
of the old philosophers (Justinian, ad Menam in ConciL torn. vi. p. 356). His 
moderate opinions were too repugnant to the zeal of the church, and ne was found 
gttiltT of the heresy of treason. 

"Basnage (Prsefat p. 11-14, ad. torn. i. Antiq. Lect. Canis.) has fairly 
weighed the guut and innocence of Theodore of Mopsuestia. If he composed 10,000 
w Juiues , as many errors would be a diaritable allowance. In all the subsequent 
catalogiies of heresiarchs. he akMoe, without his twobiethren, is incltxied ; and it is 
the duty of Asseman (Bodiot. Orient tom. iv. p. 203-907) to justify the sentence. 



138 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

restored both Theodoret of Cyrrhus and Ibas of Edesta to the 
communion of the church. But the characters of these Oriental 
bishops were tainted with the reproach of heresy ; the first had 
been the master, the two others were the friends, of Nestorius : 
their most suspicious passages were accused under the title of 
the three chapters ; and the condemnation of their memory must 
involve the honour of a S3mod whose name was pronounced 
with sincere or affected reverence by the Catholic world. If 
these bishops, whether innocent or guilty, were annihilated in 
the sleep of death, they would not probably be awakened by 
the clamour which, after an hundred years, was raised over their 
grave. If they were already in the fiings of the dsmon, their 
torments could neither be aggravated nor assuaged by human 
industry. If in the company of saints and angels they enjoved 
the rewards of piety, they must have smiled at the idle tury 
of the theological insects who still crawled on the sur&ce of 
the earth. The foremost of these insects, the emperor of the 
Romans, darted his sting, and distilled his venom, perhaps 
without discerning the true motives of Theodora and her 
ecclesiastical &ction. The victims were no longer subject to 
his power, and the vehement style of his edicts could only 
proclaim their damnation and invite the clergy of the East to 
Hi giMna join in a full chorus of curses and anathemas. The East, with 
f^Suiu^ some hesitation, consented to the voice of her sovereign : the 
Bs,iuj«- 'fifth general council, of three patriarchs and one hundred and 
**** sixty-five bishops, was held at Constantinople ; and the authors, 
as well as the defenders, of the three chapters were separated 
from the communion of the saints and solemnly delivered to 
the prince of darkness. But the Latin churches were more 
jealous of the honour of Leo and the synod of Chalcedon ; and, 
if they had fought as they usually did under the standard of 
Rome, they might have prevailed in the cause of reason and 
humanity. But their chief was a prisoner in the hands of the 
enemy ; the throne of St. Peter, which had been disgraced by 
the simony, was betrayed by the cowardice, of Vigilius, who 
yielded, after a long and inconsistent struggle, to the despotism 
of Justinian and the sophistnr of the Greeks. His apostacy 
provoked the indignation of the Latins, and no more than two 
bishops could be found who would impose their hands on his 
deacon and successor Pelagius. Yet the perseverance of the 
popes insensibly transferred to their adversaries the appellation 
of schismatics : the Illyrian, African, and Italian churches were 
oppressed by the civil and eodetiastical powers, not without 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 139 

some effort of military force ;^ the distant barbarians tran- 
scribed the creed of the Vatican ; and, in the period of a century, 
the schism of the three chapters expired in an obscure angle of 
the Venetian province. ^^ But the religious discontent of the 
Italians had already promoted the conquests of the Lombards, 
and the Romans tnemselves were accustomed to suspect the 
fiuth, and to detest the government, of their Byzantine tjrrant. 

Justinian was neither steady nor consistent in the niceBtr«v«f 
process of fixing his volatile opinions and those of his subjects. J uxwr * 
In his youth, he was offended by the slightest deviation from SiUSSS? 
the orthodox line ; in his old age, he transgressed the measure of 
temperate heresy, and the Jacobites, not less than the Catholics, 
were scandalized by his declaration that the body of Christ 
was incorruptible, and that his manhood was never subject to 
any wants and infirmities, the inheritance of our mortal flesh. 
This phantasHc opinion was announced in the last edicts of 
Justinian ; and at the moment of his seasonable departure the 
clergy had refused to subscribe, the prince was prepared to 
persecute, and the people were resolved to suffer or resist. 
A bishop of Treves, secure beyond the limits of his power, 
addressed the monarch of the £ast in the language of authority 
and affection. '' Most gracious Justinian, remember your bap- 
tism and your creed ! Let not yoiu* grey hairs be defiled with 
heresy. Recall your fathers from exile, and your followers 
from perdition. You cannot be ignorant that Italy and Gaul, 
Spain and Africa, already deplore your fall, and anathematize 
your name. Unless, witifiout delay, you destroy what you have 
taught ; unless you exclaim with a loud voice, I have erred, 
I have sinned, anathema to Nestorius, anathema to Eutyches, 
you deliver your soul to the same flames in which theif will 
eternally bum." He died and made no sign.^®^ His death 

^ See the complaints of Liberatus and Victor, and the exhortations of pope 
Fdagius to the conqueror and exarch of Italy. Schisma . . . per potestates 
pubhcas opprimatur, &c. (ConciL torn. vi. p. 467, &c.). An army was detained 
to suppress the sedition of an Illyrian city. See Pitxx)pius (de Bell. Goth. 1. iv. c. 
35) : Sttrwt^ ivtxa v^inv avrott ot "Xptvriayoi 3tajMi^x0ynu. He seems to promise an 
eodesiasticai history. It would have been curious and impartial 

1* The bishops of the patriarchate of Aquileia were reconciled by pope Honorius, 
A.D. 638 (Muratori, Annali d'ltalia, tom. v. p. 376) ; but th^ again relapsed, and 
the schism was not finally extinguished till 698. Fourteen years before, the church 
of Spain had overlooked the vth general council with contemptuous silence (xiii. 
ConciL Toletan. in Concil. tom. vii. p. 487-494). 

M* Nicetius, bishop of Treves (Concil. tom. vl p. 51X-513). He himself, like 
most of the Gallican prelates (Gregor. Epist L vil ep. 5. in Concil. tom. vt p. 
1007), was separated from the communion of the four patriarchs, by his refusal to 



140 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

restored in some degree the peace of the church, and the 
reigns of his four successors, Justin, Tiherius, Maurice, and 
Phocas, are distinguished by a rare, though fortunate, vacancy 
in the ecclesiastical history of the Eiast.^^ 

The &culties of sense and reason are least capable of acting 
nj. AJ). on themselves ; the eye is most inaccessible to the sight, the 
soul to the thought ; yet we think, and even feel, that one mil, 
a sole principle of action, is essential to a rational and conscious 
being. When Heraclius returned from the Persian war, the 
orthodox hero consulted his bishops, whether the Christ whom 
he adored, of one person but of two natures, was actuated by 
a single or a double wilL They replied in the singular, and 
the emperor was encouraged to hope that the Jacobites of 
£g3rpt and Syria might be reconciled by the profession of a 
doctrine, most certainly harmless, and most probably true, 
since it was taught even by the Nestorians themselves.^®* 
The experiment was tried without effect, and the timid or 
vehement Catholics condemned even the semblance of a retreat 
in the presence of a subtle and audacious enemy. The orthodox 
(the prevailing) party devised new modes of speech, and argu- 
ment, and interpretation ; to either nature of Christ they 
speciously applied a proper and distinct energy ; but the 
difference was no longer visible when they allowed that the 
human and the divine will were invariably the same.^^ The 

condemn the three chapters. Baronius almost pronounces the damnation of Jus- 
tinian (A.D. 56^, No. 6). [The sources for the heresy of Justinian are : the Life of 
the Patriarch Eutychius (who was hanished for his opposition to the aphtharto- 
docetic doctrine) by his contemporary Eustratius (Acta Sett April 6, l p. 550 j^^. ); 
Evagrius (iv. .1^41) ; a notice in a Constantinopolitan chroiiicle (the U4yaK 
Xpoyoypa^tof 7) preserved in the *£<cAoyai awh rns imcK. laropims published in 
Cramer's Anrcd. Paris, 2, p. xii, and copied by Theophanes, fuai A.M, 6057 ; 
John of Nikiu, ed. Zotenberg, p. 518 ; Nicepborus, in his list of Patriarchs of 
Constantinople, in the Xpovoyp. ovt^rofio^, p, 117, ed. de Boor. The great exponent 
of the doctrine of the incorruptibility of Christ's body was Julian. Bishop or Hali. 
camassus. His doctrine is stated mlsdy in the passage of John of Niklu — at least 
in the translation. As for Nicetios, cp. Appendix 8.] 

^^ After relating the last heresy of Justinian (1. iv. c. 39, 40, 41) and the edict 
of his successor (1. v. c. 3 [4]), the remainder of the history of Evagrius is filled 
with civil, instead of ecclesiastical, events. 

1^ This extraordinary and perhaps inconsistent doctrine of the Nestorians had 
been observed by La Croze (Christianisme des Indes, torn. i. p. 19, ao), and is more 
fully exposed by Abulpharagius (Bibliot Orient torn. ii. p. 293 ; Hist. Djmast p. 
91, vers. Latin. Pooock) and Asseman himself (torn. iv. p. 2x8). They seem igno- 
rant that they might allege the positive authority of the ecthesis. 'O /ump^ Ncov^ct 




^ See the orthodox faith in Pttavhis (Dogmata Theolpg. torn. v. 1. iz. c. 6-xo^ 
p. 433-447) • f^ ^ depths of this oootrovmy are sounded in the Greek dialogue 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 141 

diiMMwe was attended with the customary symptoms ; but the 
Greek clergy, as if satiate with the endless controversy of the 
incarnation, instilled a healing counsel into the ear of the 
prince and people. They declared themselves monotheutes 
(asserters of the unity of will) ; but they treated the words as 
new, the questions as superfluous, and recommended a religious 
silence as the most agreeable to the prudence and charity of 
the i^ospel. This law of silence was successively imposed by i ^^^ 
the ecikesig or exposition of Heraclius, the li^ or model of hi8A.D.aiLti 
grandson Constans ; ^^ and the Imperial edicts were subscribed omi^SL*' 
with alacrity or reluctance by the four patriarchs of Rome, 
Constantinople, Alexandria, and Antioch. But the bishop and 
monks of Jerusalem sounded the alarm ; in the language, or 
even in the silence, of the Greeks, the Latin churches detected 
a latent heresy ; and the obedience of pope Honorius to the 
commands of his sovereign was retracted and censured by the 
bolder ignorance of his successors. They condemnea the 
execrable and abominable heresy of the Monothelites, who 
revived the errors of Manes, Apollinaris, Eutyches, &c. ; they 
signed the sentence of excommunication on the tomb of St. 
Peter ; the ink was mingled with the sacramental wine, the 
blood of Christ ; and no ceremony was omitted that could fill the 
saperstitioQs minds vrith horror and affright. As the repre- cajx mi] 
sentative of the Western church, pope Martin and his Lateran 
synod anathematized the perfidious and guilty silence of the 
Ghreeks. One hundred and five bishops of Italy, for the most 
part the subjects of Constans, presumed to reprobate his 
wicked type and the impious edhens of his grandfather, and to 
confound the authors and their adherents with the twenty-one 
notorious heretics, the apostates from the church, and the 
organs of the deviL Such an insult under the tamest reign C^yi*}jM^ 
could not pass with impunity. ^2P^ Martin ended his days ajk mq 
on the inhospitable shore of the Tauric Chersonesus, and his 
oracle, the abbot Maximus, was inhumanly chastised by the 
amputation of his tongue and his right hand.^^ But the 

between Maximus aod Pyrrhus (ad calcem torn, viil AnnaL Baron, p. 755*79^ 
[Migne, Pair. Gr. xci. p. iSS tf^.])i which relates a real conference, and produoea 
a slMrt-Ured co nv er s ioa [See Appendix i.] 

^ Impiissimam ecthesim . . . scelerosum typum (Concil. torn. viL p. $66), 
(fiabolicae operations genimina (fors. germina, or else the Greek ^wmf^ucro, in the 
cngaud; ConciL p. 363. 364) are the expressions of the xviiith anathema. 
Tlie epistle of pope Martin to Amandus, a Gallican bishop, stigmatizes the Mono- 
thelites and their heresy with equal virulence (p. 392). [The ecthesis declared the 
singleness of the Will] 

iM The sufidings of Martin and Maximus are desc rib ed with pathetic shnplloity 



BA 



142 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

same invincible spirit survived in their successors, and the 
triumph of the Latins avenged their recent defeat and 
obliterated the disgrace of the three chapters. The S3mod8 of 
K|Vf%- Rome were confirmed by the sixth general council of Constan- 
D WLVor. tinople, in the palace and the presence of a new Constantine^ 
^A a descendant of Heraclius. The royal convert converted the 
Byzantine pontiff and a majority of the bishops ; ^^^ the dis- 
senters, with their chie^ Macarius of Antioch, were condemned 
to the spiritual and temporal pains of heresy ; ^^ the East con- 
descended to accept the lessons of the West ; and the creed 
was finally settled which teaches the Catholics of every age 
that two wills or energies are harmonized in the person of 
Christ. The majesty of the pope and the Roman 83mod was 
represented by two priests, one deacon, and three bishops ; 
but these obscure Latins had neither arms to compel, nor 
treasures to bribe, nor language to persuade ; and I am 
ignorant by what arts they could determine the \ofty emperor 
of the Greeks to abjure the catechism of his in&ncy and to 
persecute the religion of his fathers. Perhaps the monks and 
people of Constantinople^^ were fiivourable to the Lateran 
creed, which is indeed the least &vourable of the two ; and 
the suspicion is countenanced by the unnatural moderation of 
the Greek clergy, who appear in this quarrel to be conscious 
of their weakness. While the synod debated, a £uiatic pro- 

in their original letters and acts (Concil. torn. viL p. 63-78 ; Baron. AnnaL Ecdes 
A.D. 656, Na a, et annos subaeouent). Yet the chastisement of their disobedience, 
Ifoptc and 9w^rof aun^yi^, had been previously announced in the Type of Constans 
(ConciL torn. viL p. 240). 

1^ Eutychius (AnnaL torn, il p. 368 [U^. 348]) most err o neo u sly supposes that 
the 12^ bishops of the Roman synod transported themselves to Constantinople ; and, 
by adding them to the 168 Gredcs, thus composes the sixth council of ag2 fathers 

1^ [Pope Honorius and the Patriarch Sergius were also condemned. The con- 
demnation of such eminent and saintly men, as Gelzer observes, does not redound 
to the credit of the council The position of Honorius is notoriously awkward for 
the modem doctrine of Papal infauiUlity.] 

1* The Monothelite Constans was hated by all sui r»t vmwra {says Theophanes, 

Chron. p. 39s [A.M. 6160]) iiuvi^ 9^pa[i^. v^oi^] npAiraKTMr. When the 
Monothelite monk failed in his miracle, the people shouted h JUb« Mt^^Mv (Concil. 
tom. viL p. 1033). But this was a natural and transient emotion ; and I much fear 




supported the Imperial throne against Italian usurpers ; the influence of the Roman 
cuna was paramount in the West ; and, to keep Roman Italy, it was expedient for 
the theology of the Byzantine court to submit to that of Rome. (Krumbacher's 
Gesch. derbyi. Utt, p. 955-^^ 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 148 

posed a more summaiy decision, by raising a dead man to life ; 
the prelates assisted at the trial ; but the acknowledged failure 
may serve to indicate that the passions and prejudices of the 
multitude were not enlisted on the side of the Monothelites. 
In the next generation, when the son of Constantine was de- 
posed and slain by the disciple of Macarius, they tasted the 
feast of revenge and dominion ; the image or monument of 
the sixth council was de&ced, and the original acts were com- 
mitted to the flames. But in the second year their patron was 
cast headlong from the throne, the bishops of the East were 
released from their occasional conformity, the Roman fiuth 
was more firmly replanted by the orthodox successors of 
Bardanes, and the fine problems of the incarnation were for- 
gotten in the more popular and visible quarrel of the worship 
of images. ^^^ 

Before the end of the seventh century, the creed of thenuoief 
incarnation, which had been defined at Rome and Constanti-i 
nople, was uniformly preached in the remote islands of Britain* 
and Ireland ; ^^^ the same ideas were entertained, or rather the 
same words were repeated, by all the Christians whose liturgy 
was performed in the Greek or the Latin tongue. Their 
numbers and visible splendour bestowed an imperfect claim 
to the appellation of Catholics ; but in the East they were 
marked with the less honourable name of MelchUes or 

110 The history of Monothelitism may be found in the Acts of the Synods of 
Rome (torn, vil p. ^-395. 601-608) and Constantinople (p. 609-1429). Baronius 
extracted some original documents from the Vatican librarv ; and his chronoU^ w 
rectified bv the dihgence of Pagi. Even Dupin (Bibliotheque Eccl^ tom. vl p. 
57-71) and Basnage (Hist de I'Eglise, torn. L p. 541-555) afford a tolen^le abridg- 
ment. [Besides these documents we have the works of Maximus and Anastasius. 
See Appendix i.] 

ui In the Lateran synod ot 679, Wilfrid, an Anglo-Saxon bishop, subscribed 
pro omni Aquilonan parte Britanniae et Hibemiae, quae ab Anglorum et Brit- 
tonum, necnon Scotonim et Pictorum gentibus colebantur (Eddius, in Vit St 
Wilfrid, c. 31. apud Pagi, Critica, tom. iii. p. 88). Theodore (magnae insulae 
Britanniae archiepiscopus et philosophus) was long expected at Rome (ConciL tom. 
vii. p. 714), but he contented himself with holding (a.d. 680) his provincial ^miod of 
HsUfield, in which he receive the decrees of pope Martin and the first Lateran 
council a^inst the Monothelites (Concil. tom. vii. p. 597, &c.). Theodore, a 
monk of Tarsus in Cilicia, had been named to the primacy of Britain by pope 
Viialian (a.d. 668 ; see Baronius and Pagi), whose esteem for his learning and piet)r 
was tainted by some distrust of his national character — ne quid contrarium veritati 
fidei, Grsecorum more, in ecclesiam cui prseesset introduceret. The Cilidan was 
sent from Rome to Canterbury, under the tuition of an African guide (Bedae Hist. 
Eccles. Anglonnn, 1. iv. c. i). He adhered to the Roman doctrine ; and the same 
creed of the incarnation has been uniformly transmitted from Theodore to the 
modem primates, whose sound understanding is perfaai>s seldom engaged with that 
abstruse mystery. [For Theodore see the article of Bishop Stubbs in the Diet, of 
Christian Biography ; cp. Index to Plummcr's ed. of Bede, sub vJ] 



tal 



144 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

Royalists ; ^^ of men whose faith^ instead of resting on the 
basis of seriptore, reason, or tradition, had been established, 
and was still maintained, by the arbitrary power of a temporal 
monarch. Their adversaries might allege the words of the 
Cuthers of Constantinople, who profess themselves the slaves of 
the king ; and thev might relate, with malicious joy, how the 
decrees of Chalceaon had been inspired and reformed by the 
emperor Marcian and his virgin bride. The prevailing fsction 
will naturally inculcate the duty of submission, nor is it less 
natural that dissenters should feel and assert the principles of 
freedom. Under the rod of persecution, the Nestorians and 
Monophysites degenerated into rebels and fugitives ; and the 
most ancient and useful allies of Rome were taught to consider 
the emperor not as the chief, but as the enemy, of the Chris- 
tians. Language, the leading principle which unites or separ- 
ates the tribes of mankind, soon discriminated the sectaries 
of the East by a peculiar and perpetual badge, which abolished 
irpttui the means of intercourse and the hope of reconciliation. The 
ffi?^ long dominion of the Greeks, their colonies, and, above all, 
their eloquence had propagated a language doubtless the most 
perfect that has been contrived by the art of man. Yet the 
body of the people, both in Sjrria and Egypt, still persevered 
in the use of their national idioms ; with this difference, how- 
ever, that the Coptic was confined to the rude and illiterate 
peasants of the Nile, while the Syriac,^^^ from the mountains 
of Assyria to the Red Sea, was adapted to the higher topics 
of poetry and argument. Armenia and Ab3rssinia were infected 
by the speech and learning of the Greeks ; and their barbaric 
tongues, which have been revived in the studies of modem 
Europe, were unintelligible to the inhabitants of the Roman 
emp^. The Syriac and the Coptic, the Armenian and the 

^1' This name, unknown till the xth centurv, appears to be of Sirriac origin. 
It was invented by the Jacobites, and eagerly adopted by the Nestorians and 
Mahometans; but it was accepted without shame by the Catholics, and b fre- 
quently used in the Annals of Eutychius (Asseraan. Bibliot. Orient, torn. ii. p. 507, 
&C. torn. iiL p. 355. Renaudot, Hist. Patriarch. Alexandrin. p. no). 'H#i<tr 
£ovXm tov Boaai«K« was the acclamation of the fathers of Constantinople (Concil. 
torn. vii. p. 765). [But cp. above, p. 127, n. 7a] 

^^ The SyriaCy which the natives revere as the primitive language, was divided 
into three dialects : i. The Aramaean^ as it was refined at Edessa and the cities of 
Mesopotamia ; a. The Palestuu^ which was used in Jerusalem, Damascus, and 
the rest of Syria ; 3. The Natatkatan^ the rustic idiom of the mountains of 
Assyria and the villages of Irak (Gregor. Abulpharag. Hist. D)mast. p. zi). On 
the Syriac, see Ebed-Jesu (Assenan* torn. iii. p. 396, ftcX whose pretjudioe alone 
could prefer it to the Arabic. ^. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 145 

£tluopic, are consecrated in the service of their respeetive 
churches ; and their theology is enriched by domestic versions ^^* 
both of the scriptures and of the most popubir Others. After 
s period of thirteen hundred and sixty years, the spark of con- 
troversy, first kindled by a sermon of Nestorius, still bums in 
the bosom of the East, and the hostile communicms still main- 
tain the &ith and discipline of their founders. In the most 
abject state of ignorance, poverty, and servitude, the Nes- 
torians and Monophysites reject the spiritual supremacy of 
Rome, and cherish the toleration of their Turkish masters, 
which allows them to anathematise, on one hand, St. C3rril 
and the synod of Ephesus, on the other, pope Leo and the 
council of Chalcedon. The weight which they cast into the 
downfall of the Eastern empire demands our notice, and the 
reader may be amused with the various prospects of I. The 
Nestorians ; II. The Jacobites ; ^^^ III. The Maronites ; IV. The 
Armenians ; V. The Copts ; and VI. The Abyssinians. To 
the three former, the Syriac is common; but of the latter, 
each is discriminated by the use of a national idiom. Yet the 
modem natives of Armenia and Abyssinia would be incapable of 
conversing with their ancestors ; ana the Christians of Egypt and 
Syria, who reject the religion, have adopted the language, of the 
Arabians. The lapse of time has seconded the sacerdotal arts ; 
and in the East, as well as In the West, the Deity is addressed in 
an obsolete tongue, unknown to the majority of the congregation. 

I. Both in his native and his episcopal province, the heresy l 
of the unfortunate Nestorius was speedily obliterated. The 
Oriental bishops, who at Ephesus had resisted to his fiioe the 
arrogance of Cyril, were mollified by his tardy concessions. 
The same prelates, or their successors, subscribed, not without 
a murmur, the decrees of Chalcedon ; the power of the Mono- 

'^ I shall not enrich my ignorance with the spoils of Simoo, Walton, Mill, 
Wetstein, Assemannns, Lud(dphus. La Croze, whom I have consulted with some 
care. It appears, i. TAat, ot all the versions which are celebrated by the fathers, 
it is doubtful whether any are now extant in their pristine integrity, a. That the 
Syriac has the best claim ; and that the consent of the Oriental sects is a proof 
that it is more ancient than their schism. 

^^ In the account 6f the Monoph3rsites and Nestorians, I am deeply indebted 
to the Bibliotheca Orientalis Clementino-Vaticana of Joseph Simon Assemanmis. 
That learned Maronite was dispatched in the year 2715 b^ pope Clement XI. to 
visit the moDasterics of Bg3rpt and Syria, in search of Mn. His four folio volumes, 
pttblisbed at Rome 1719-1728, contain a part only, though periiaps tiie most 
valuable, of his extensive project As a native and as a scholar, he possessad the 
Syriac literature; and, though a dependent of Rome, he wishes to be moderate and 
candid. 

VOL. V, 10 



146 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

physites reconciled them Mrith the Catholics in the conformity 
of passion, of interest, and insensibly of belief; and their last 
reluctant sigh was breathed in the defence of the three 
chapters. Their dissenting brethren, less moderate, or more 
sincere, were crushed by the penal laws ; and as early as the 
reign of Justinian it became difficult to find a church of 
Nestorians within the limits of the Roman empire. Beyond 
those limits they had discovered a new world, in which they 
might hope for liberty and aspire to conquest. In Persia, not- 
withstanding the resistance of the Magi, Christianity had struck 
a deep root, and the nations of the East reposed under its 
salutary shade. The catholic, or primate, resided in the capital ; 
in his S3mods, and in their dioceses, his metropolitans, bisnops, 
and clergy represented the pomp and honour of a regular 
hierarchy ; they rejoiced in the increase of proselytes, who 
were converted from the Zendavesta to the Gospel, firom the 
secular to the monastic life ; and their zeal was stimulated 
by the presence of an artfbl and formidable enemy. The 
Persian church had been founded by the missionaries of Syria ; 
and their language, discipline, and doctrine were closely 
interwoven with its original frame. The catholics were elected 
and ordained by their own sufiiagans ; but their filial depend- 
ence on the patriarchs of Antioch is attested by the canons 
of the Oriental church. ^^^ In the Persian school of Edessa,^^'' 
the rising generations of the fiiithfbl imbibed their theological 
idiom; they studied in the S3nriac version the ten thousand 
volumes of Theodore of Mopsuestia ; and they revered the 
apostolic &ith and holy martyrdom of his disciple Nestorius, 
.whose person and language were equally unknown to the 

^^* See the Arabic canons of Nice, in the translation of Abraham Ecdidlensis, 
No- 37. 38* 39. 40- Concil. torn, il p. 335, 336, edit. Venet. These vulgar titles, 
Nicene and Arabic, are both apocryphal. The council of Nice enacted no more 
than twenty canons (Theodoret. Hist Eocles. L i. c. 8), and the remainder, seventy 
or eiriity, were collected from the synods of the Greek chiux:h. The Syriac edition 
of Manithas is no longer extant ^Asseman. Bibliot. Oriental torn. L p. 195, tom. 
iii. p. 74), and the Arabic version is marked with many recent interpolations. Yet 
this code contains many curious rdics of ecclesiastical discipline ; and, since it is 
eoually revered l^ all the eastern communions, it was probably finished before the 
schism of the Nestorians and Jacobites (Fabric. Bibhot. Graec. tom. xi. p. 363- 
367). [A German translation {\w E. Nestle) of the statutes of the Nestorian 
school of Nisibis will be found in Ztsch. f. Kiraiengesch,, z8, p. axi sqg., 1897.] 

w Tbeodora the Reader (L iL c. 5, 49, ad calcem Hist. Eccks.) has noticed this 
Persiaii school of Edessa. Its ancient splendour and the two seras of its down- 
fall (A.D. 4^1 and 489) are clearly discussed by Assemanni (Biblioth. Orient, torn, 
ii. p. 40a, iii. p. 376, 378 iv. p. 70, 904). [R. Duval, Hist. poL, relig., el Utt. 
d'Edesse, 1892.] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 147 

nmtions beyond the Tigris. The first indelible lesson of Ibas, 
bishop of Edessa, taught them to execrate the EfffpiUms, who, 
in the synod of Ephesus, had impiously ocmfounded the two 
natures of Christ. The flight of the masters and scholars, who 
were twice expelled from the Athens of Sjrria, dispersed a p| ^ 
crowd of missionaries, inflamed by the double zeal of religion i aii <j 
and revenge. And the rigid unity of the Monophysites, who, 
under the reigns of Zeno and Anastasius, had invaded the 
thrones of the East, provoked their antagonists, in a land of 
freedom^ to avow a moral, rather than a physical, union of the 
two persons of Christ. Since the first preaching of the gospel, 
the Sassanian kings beheld with an eye of suspicion a race of 
aliens and apostates, who had embraced the religion, and who 
might fiivour the cause, of the hereditary foes of their country. 
The royal edicts had often prohibited their dangerous corre- 
spondence with the Syrian clergy ; the progress of the schism 
was grateful to the jealous pride of Perozes, and he listened 
to the eloquence of an artful prelate, who painted Nestorius 
as the friend of Persia, and urged him to secure the fidelity of 
his Christian subjects by granting a just preference to the 
victims and enemies of the Roman t3nrant. The Nestorians 
composed a large majority of the clergy and people ; they 
were encouraged by the smile, and armed with the sword, of 
despotism ; yet many of their weaker brethren were startled 
at tne thought of breaking loose from the communion of the 
Christian world, and the blood of seven thousand seven 
hundred Monophysites, or Catholics, confirmed the uniformity 
of fieiith and discipline in the churches of Persia.^^® Their 
ecclesiastical institutions are distinguished by a liberal prin- 
ciple of reason, or at least of policy ; the austerity of the 
cloister was relaxed and gradually forgott^i ; houses of charity i _ _^__^_ 
were endowed for the education of orphans and foundlings ;£2i?iit' 
the law of celibacy, so forcibly recommended to the Greeks 
and Latins, was disregarded by the Persian clergy ; and the 
number of the elect was multiplied by the public and reiterated 
nuptials of the priests, the bishops, and even the patriarch him- 
self. To this standard of natural and religious freedom 
myriads of fugitives resorted firom aU the provinces of the 

^^ A dissertation on the state of the Nestorians has swelled in the hands of 
Assemanni to a foUo volume of 050 P^ges, and his learned researches are digested 
in the most lucid order. Besicfes tnis ivth volume of the Bibliotheca OrimtaHs^ 
the extracts in the three preceding tomes (tom. L p. aos, iL p. 321-463* iii* 64'^, 
37^395* &<^' 4^-408' 5805^) i>u^y ^ usefully cooniiteiL 



.148 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

.Eastern empire ; the narrow bigotry of Justinian was punished 
•by the emigration of his most industrious subjects ; they 
•transported into Persia the arts both of peace and war; and 
those who deserved the finTOur, were promoted in the senrice, 
of a discerning monarch. The arms of Nushirvan, and his 
fiercer grandson, were assisted with advice, and money, and 
troops, by the desperate sectaries who still lurked in their 
native cities of the East ; their zeal was rewarded with the gift 
of the Catholic churches ; but, when those cities and churches 
were recovered by Heradius, their open profession of treason 
and heresy compelled them to seek a refuge in the realm 
of their foreign ally. But the seeming tranquillity of the 
Nestorians was often endangered, and sometimes overthrown. 
They were involved in the conunon evils of Oriental despot- 
ism ; their enmity to Rome could not always atone £6r tJieir 
attachment to the gospel ; and a colony of three hundred 
thousand Jacobites, the captives of Apamea and Antioch, was 
permitted to erect an hostile' altar in the £m% of the catholic 
and in the sunshine of the court. In his last treaty, Justinian 
introduced some conditions which tended to enlarge and fortify 
the toleration of Christianity in Persia. The emperor, ignorant 
of the rights of conscience, was incapable of pity or esteem for 
the heretics who denied the authority of the holy synods ; but he 
.flattered himself that they would gradually pereetve the tem- 
poral benefits of union with the empire and the churdi of Rome ; 
and, if he fiiiled in exciting their gratitude, he might hope to 
provoke the jealousy of their sovereign. In a latter age, the 
Lutherans have been burnt at Paris, and protected in Grermany, 
by the superstition and policy of the most CfariiBtian king. 
fiMirate. The desire of gaining souls for God, and .subjects for the 
^fcf ^^ ' church, has excited in every age the diligence of the Cfaris- 
SuASsIt tian priests From the conquest of Persia they oanriedibeir 
'^ spiritual arms to the north, the .east, and the south ;Naiid the 

simplicity of the gospel was Aishioned and painted with the 
ccdonrs of the Svriac theology. Itt the sixth century, aooovding 
to the report of a Nestorian tfavellcr,^^^ Christianity was sue- 

ufSee the Topographia Ckristiasaof Ccwmai, surDained Indio^pleustes* or the 
Indian navigator. L iil p. 178, ijg, L xL p. 337. The entire voric, of whidh some 
curiotis extracts may be found in Photius (ood. xxxvL p. 9, 10, edit Hoescfael), 
Tb^vcoot (in the first Part of his Rabution des Voyams. Sac), and Fabridus 
(JBibliou GrsDC. L iil c. 25, toiii« il p. 603-6x7). has teen p nb liihff d by £atber 
MontfaiKon at Paris 1707 in the Nova CoUectio Patnim (torn, il p. iiSry^fi), It 
was the design of the author to confute the impious heresy of those who mamtain 
that the earth is a globe,asid not a flat. QMoog table, as it is rqiresented in the 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 149 

ceasfuUy preached to the Bactriansy the Hudb, the Peniant, the 
Indians, the Penarmenians, the Medes, and the Elamites ; the 
barbaric churches, from the gulf of Persia to the Caspian sea, 
ireore almost infinite; and their recent faith was. conspicuous 
in the number and sanctity of their monks and martyrs. The 
pepper coast of Malabar, and the isles of the ocean, Socotora . 
and Ceylon, were peopled with an increasing multitude of 
Christians ; and the bishops and clergy of those sequestered 
regions derived their ordination from the catholic of Babylon. 
In a subsequent age, the zeal of the Nestorians overleaped 
the limits which had confined the ambition and curiosity both 
of the Greeks and Persians. The missionaries of Balch and 
Samarcand pursued without fear the footsteps of the roving 
Tartar, and insinuated themselves into the camps of the valleys 
of Imaus and the banks of the Selinga. They exposed a meta-^ 
ph3r8ioal creed to those illiterate shepherds ; to those sanguinary 
warriors they recommended humanity and repose. Yet a khaUi 
whose power they vainlv magnified, is said to have received at 
their hands the rites of baptism, and even of ordination ; and 
the £une of Prester or Preahfter John ^^ has long amused the 
credulity of Europe. The royal convert was indulged in the 
use of a portable altar ; but he dispatched an embassy to the 
patriarch, to inquire how, in the season of Lent, he should 
abstain firom animal food, and how he might celebrate the 
Eucharist in a desert that produced neither com nor wine. In 
their progress by sea and land, the Nestorians entered China 
by the port of Canton and the northern residence of Sigan. cw n m H 
Unlike the senators of Rome, who assumed with a smile the 
characters of priests and augurs, the mandarins, who affect in 
public the reason of philosophers, are devoted in private to 
every mode of popular superstition. They cherished and they 



scriptures (L ii. p 138). But the nonsense of the monk is mingled with the 
lease of the traveller, wl 

. at Alexandria, a.d. 543 ^_ _ ^. _.,_. __,_. , 

PraeCat. c. a). [Cosmas had sailed in the " Persian " and "Arabic " Gulfs, but this 



practical knowledge of the traveller, who performed his voyage a. p. 523, and 
" " " ok " " 



published his book at Alexandria, a.d. 547 (L il p. 140, 141. Montfieiucon, 



voyage to Taprobane was performed by his friend Sopater. It is not certain that 
Cosmas visited it himself.] The Nestorianism of Cosmas, unknown to his learned 
editor, was detected by La Croce (Christianisme des Indes, tom. i. p. 40-^5), and 
is coofimaed by Assemanni (Bibliot Orient, torn. iv. p. 605, 606I [On Cosmas, 
his theory and his voyaees, cp. Mr. C. R. Beazley, Dawn cl Moaem Geography, 
Pl 190 sq^. and 373 sqq^ 

«* In Its long progress to Mosul, Jerusalem, Rome, &c the story of Prestei' John 
evaporated in a monstrous fable, of which some features have been borrowed 
from the Lama of Thibet (Hist G^n^logique dcs Tartares, p. ii. p. 42 ; Hist, de 
Gengiscan, p. 31, &c.), and were ignorantly transferred by the Portuguese to the 
emperor of Ab]rssinia (Ludolph. Hist. iEthiop. Conunent. L iL c. i). Yet it is 
probable that in the xith and xiith centuries Nestgrian Christianity was pro- 



150 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

coofiMUided the gods of Bdestme and of India ; but the pro- 
pantkNi of Clurcrtiamtj awakened the jealousy of the state, 
and, after a shoct TicisBitade of fiivour and penecution, the 
Ibi^eign sect e x pire d m ignonoiee and oblivion. ^^ Under the 
reign of the cailphi, the Nestcman church was diffused from 
China to Jerusalem and Cjfprus ; and their numbers, with those 
of the Jacobites, were computed to surpass the Greek and 
Latiki conmunkmsL*' Twenty-fire metropolitans or archbishops 
cooaqMsed their hierarchy, but several of these were dispensed, 
by Uie distance and danger of the Way, from the duty of 
pmonal attendance, on the easy condition that every six years 
they should testify their fiuth and obedience to the catholic or 
patriarch of Babylon : a vague appellation, which has been sue- 
eessavely applied to the royal seats of Seleucia, Ctesiphon, and 
Bagdad. Tnese remote branches are long since withered, and 
the old patriarchal trunk ^ is now divided by the El^aks of 
Xlo«ul» the representatives, almost in lineal descent, of the 
genuine and primitive succession, the Josephs of Amida, who 
are reconciled to the church of Rome,^** and the Simeons of 
Van cc Ormia, whose revolt, at the head of forty thousand 
fiunilies, waspromoted in the sixteenth century by the Sophis 
of INnsia. Tne number of three hundred thousand is allowed 
for the whole body of the Nestorians, who, under the name of 
rhaldffans or Assyrians, are confounded with the most learned 
or the most powerful nation of Eastern antiquity. 
j2jj^ According to the legend of antiquity, the gospel was preached 
£M^ in India by St. Thomas.^^^ At the end of the ninth century, 

fettKd in the horde of the Keraites (d'Herbelot, p. 956, 915, 959. Assemanni, torn, 
iv, a 468-504). 

w The Christianitr of China, between the seventh and the thirteenth century, 
is invincibly proved l^ the consent of Chinese, Arabian, Syriac, and Latin eviclence 
(Asaemanm, Biblioth. Orient, torn. iv. p. 503-552. M^m. de rAcad6aaie des 
Inscript torn. xxx. p. 808-8x9). The inscription of Siganfu, which describes the 
foftunrs of the Nestorian church, from the nrst mission, A.D. 656, to thecimnent 
year ^, is accused of forgery by La Croze, Voltaire, ftc. who become the dupes 
of thnr own cunning, while they are afraid of a Jesuitical fraud. [See Appendix 7. ] 

^ Jacobitas et Nestoriani plures quam Graeci et LatinL Jacob a Vitriaco, Hist. 
HieroaoL L iu c. ;r6, a 109^, in the Gesta Dei per Francos. The immben are 
given by Thomassin, Discipline de I'Eglise, torn. 1. p. 17a. 

^ The division of the patriarchate may be traced in the Bibliotbeca Orient, of 
Aanmanni, torn. L p. 523-549 ; tom. iL p. 457, ftc.; torn. iii. p. 603, p. 601-603 ; torn. 
iY. p» 164*169, p. 423. p. 639-639, ftc 

"* The pompous language or Rome, 00 the submission of a Nestorian patriardi, 
is ekfantlT represented in the viith book of Fra-Paolo: Babylon, Ninev^ 
Arbela. mnci the trophies of Alexander, Tauris and E^batana, the Tigris and Indi& 

^Thtt Indian missionary St Thomas, an apostle, a Manichaean, or an 
Armenian merchant (La Crose, Christianisme des Indes. tom. i. p. 57-70), was 
famous, bowefver, as early as the thne of Jerom (ad Marodlam, ep«. 148 [59, 
At Migoc, P.L. vol 99]). Marco P6I0 was informed on the spot that he •nflfered 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 151 

his shrine, perhaps in the neighbourhood of Madras, was de- 
voutly visited by the ambassadors of Alfred, and their return 
with a cargo of pearls and spices rewarded the zeal of the 
English monarch, who entertained the largest projects of trade 
and discovery.^^® When the Portuguese first opened the navi- 
gation of India, the Christians of St. Thomas had been seated 
for ages on the coast of Malabar, and the difference of their 
character and colour attested the mixture of a foreign race. In 
arms, in arts, and possibly in virtue, they excelled the natives 
of Hindostan; the husbandmen cultivated the palm-tree, the 
merchants were enriched by the pepper-trade, the soldiers pre* 
ceded the nairs or nobles of Malabar^ and their hereditary 
privileges were respected by the gratitude or the fear of the 
king of Cochin and the Zamorin himself They acknowledged 
a Gentoo sovereign, but they were governed, even in temporal • 
concerns, by the bishop of Angamala. He still asserted his 
ancient title of metropolitan of India, but his real jurisdiction 
was exercised in fourteen hundred churches, and he was en- 
trusted with the care of two hundred thousand souls. Their 
religion would have rendered them the firmest and most cordial A.n. uoo^ i 
allies of the Portuguese, but the inquisitors soon discerned in 
the Christians of St. Thomas the unpardonable guilt of heresy 
and schism. Instead of owning themselves the subjects of the 
Roman pontiff, the spiritual and temporal monarch of the globe, 
they adhered, like their ancestors, to the communion of the 
Nestorian patriarch; and the bishops whom he ordained at 
Mosul traversed the dangers of the sea and land to reach their 
diocese on the coast of Malabar. In their Syriac liturgy, the 
names of Theodore and Nestorius were piously commemorated ; 
they united their adoration of the two persons of Christ ; the 

martyrdom in the city of Maabar, or Meliapour, a league only from Madras 
(d'Anville, Ecclaircissemens sur I'lnde, p. 125), where the Portuguese founded an 
episcopal church under the name of St Thom^, and where the samt performed an 
annual miracle, till he was silenced by the profane neighbourhood of the English 
(La Croze, torn. ii. p. 7-16). [For the account of Christianity in India, given by 
Cosmas, see R. A. Lipsius, Die apokryphen Apostelgeschichten und Apostelle- 
genden, i. 383 sgq. Cp. above, vol. iv. p. 234, n. 78.] 

'* Neither the author of the Saxon Chronicle (A.D. 883) nor William of 
Malmesbury (de Gestis Regum Angliae, 1. ii. c. 4, p. 44) were capable^ in the ■ 
twelfth oentiuy, of inventing this extraordinary fact ; they are incapable of explain- 
ing the motives and measures of Alfred ; and their hasty notice serves oidy to 
provoke our curiosity. William of Malmesbury feels the difficulty of the enter- 
prise, quod quivis in hoc saeculo miretur ; and I almost suspect that the English 
ambassadors collected their cargo and legend in Egypt. The royal author has 
not enriched his Orosius (see Barrington's Miscellanies) with an Indian, as well as 
a Scandinavian, voyage. 



152 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

title of Mother of God was ofiensive to their ear, and they 
measnred with scrupulous avarice the honours of the Virgin 
Marj, whom the superstition of the Latins had almod exalted 
to the rank of a goddess. When her image was first presented 
to the disciples of St Thomas^ they indignantly exclaimed, 
** We are Clunstiansy not idolaters ! " and their simple devotion 
was content with the veneration of the cross. Their separation 
from the Western world had left them in ignorance of the imr 
provementSy or corruptions, of a thousand years; and their 
conformity with the £uth and practice of the fifth century 
would equally disappoint the prejudices of a Papist or a Pro- 
testant. It was the first care of the ministers of Rome to 
intercept all correspondence with the NesUnrian patriarch, and 
several of his bishops expired in the prisons of the holy ofiice. 
The flock, without a shepherd, was assaulted by the power of 
the Portuguese^ the arts of the Jesuits, and the zeal of Alexis 
de Menezes, archbishop of Goa, in his personal visitation of 
the coast of Malabar. The synod of Diamper, at which he 
presided, consummated the pious work of the reunion, and 
rigorously imposed the doctrine and discipline of the Roman 
church, without forgetting auricular confession, the stnmgest 
engine of ecclesiastical torture. The memory of Theodore and 
Nestorius was condemned, and Malabar Was reduced under the 
dominion of the pope, of the primate, and of the Jesuits who 
invaded the see of Angamala or Cranganor. Sixty years of 
servitude and h3rpocrisy were patiently endured ; but, as soon 
aS' the Portuguese empire was shaken by the courage and 
industry of the Dutch, Uie Nestorians asserted, with vigour and 
effect, the religion of their fiithers. The Jesuits were incapable 
of defending the power winch they had abused ; the arms -of 
forty thousand Christians were pointed against their fisdling 
tyrants ; and the Indian archdeaoon assumed the charaeter of 
bishop, till a fresh supply of episcopal gifts and Syriac mission- 
aries could be obtained from the patriarch of Babylon. Since 
the expulsion of the Portuguese, the Nestorian creed is freely 
professed on the coast of Malabar. The trading companies of 
Holland and England are the friends of toleration; but, if 
oppression be less mortifying than oontempt, the Christians of 
St. Thomas have reason to complain of the cold and silent in- 
difference of their brethren of ^urope.^^ 

^^ Concerning the Christians of St. Thomas, see Assemanmis, Biblioth. Orient 
torn. !▼. IX 391-407. 435-451 ; Geddes's Chnrui History of Malabar; and, above 
all, La CroM^ Hiiiaire da Christianisme dei Indes, in two yoIi, xamo^ La KamL 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIEE 168 

The history of the Monophysites is less oopioiis sndn. 
estiiig than that of the Nestorians. Under the reigns of 
and Anaatasius, their artful leaders surprised the ear of 
irince, usurped the thrones of the East, and crushed on its 
e soil the school of the S3rrians. The rule of the Mooo- 
te £iith was defined with exquisite discretion by Severus, 
urch of Antioch : he condemned, in the style of the Heno- 
, the adverse heresies of Nestorius and fiutyches, main- 
d against the latter the reality of the body of Christ, and 
rained the Greeks to allow that he was a liar who spoke 
.U8 3a(; ^^ approximation of ideas could not abate the 
nence of passion; each party was the more astonished 
their blind antagonist could dispute on so trifling a 
enoe ; the tyrant of Syria enforced the belief of his creed, 
bis reign was polluted with the blood of three hundred 
fifty monks, who were slain, not perhaps without provoca^ 
Jt resistance, under the walls of Apamea.^*^ The successor a.d. su 
nastasius replanted the orthodox standard in the East ; 
US fied into £g3nP^ y '^^^ ^* friend, the eloquent Xenaias,^^ 
had esci^ped fitnn the Nestorians of Persia^ was suffocated 
I exile by the Melchites-of Paphlagonia. Fifty-four bishops 
swept from their thrones, eight hundred ecclesiastics were 
nto ivison,^^^ and, notwithstanding the ambiguous ftstvour 

I learned and agreeable work. They have drawn from the same source, the 
[Tiese and Italian narratives ; and the prejudices of the Jesuits are sufficiently 
ed by those of the Protestants. 

)tor «tv<ir ^ndaJ^i^t is the expression of Theodore in his treatise of the 
ation. p. 945, 247, as he is quoted by La Croze (Hist du Christianisme 
>pie et d'Armdnie, p. 35), who exclaims, perhaps too hastily, " Quel pitoyable 
lement 1 '* Renaudot has touched (Hist. Patriarch. Alex. p. 197-138) the 
a accounts of Sevenis ; and his authentic creed may be found in the epistle 
n the Jacobite patriarch of Antioch, in the xth century, to his brother 
sof Alexandria (Ass^man. Bibliot Orient tom. iL p. 132- 141). [A Syriac 
tion of a Life of Sevenis by Zacharias of Mytilene is preserved, and was 
led by J. Spanuth, 1893. On the position of »5venis in ecclesiastical history, 

Bustratius, Xnn7pof o Movo^o-trqr, 1894.] 

Spist Archimandritarum et Monachorum Syri» Sectmdae ad Papam Honnis- 
^onciL tom. v. p. 598-602. The courage of St Sabas, ut leo animosus, will 
the suspicion that the arms of these monks were not always spiritual or de- 
(Baronius, A.D. 513, No. 7, &a). 

Vssemanni (Bibliot Orient tom. iL p. xo-46) and La Croze (Christianismt 
)pie, p. 36-40) will supply the history of Xenaias, or Philoxenus, bishop of 
r^ or Hierapolis, in Syria. He was a perfect master of the Syriac language, 
e author or editor of a version of the New Testament 
fhe names and titles of fifty-four bishops, who were exiled by Justin, are 
red in the Chronicle of Dionysius (apud Asseman. tom. iL p. 54]!. Severuf 
rrsonally summoned to Constantinople — for his trial^ says Liberatus (Brev* 
-that his tongue might be cut out^ says Evagrius (L iv. c 4^ The prudent 
ich did not stay to examine the difference. This ecclesiastical revolution is 
ly Pagi to the month of Septembo' of the year 518 (Ciitica, torn. iL p, 506)1 



164 THE TyECUNE AND JALL 

of Theodora, the Oriental flocks^ deprived of their shepherds, 
must insensibly have been either famished or poisoned. In 
this spiritual distress, the expiring faction was revived, and 
united, and perpetuated^ by the labours of a monk ; and the 
name of James Baradsus ^** has been preserved in the appella- 
tion of JacohiteSf a familiar sound which may startle the ear of 
an English reader. From the holy confessors in their prison 
[e. ^D. Ml] ^f Constantinople he received the powers of bishop of Edessa 
and apostle of the East, and the ordination of fourscore 
thousand bishops, priests, and deacons is derived from the 
same inexhaustible source. The speed of the zealous mission- 
ary was promoted by the fleetest dromedaries of a devout chief 
of the Arabs ; the doctrine and discipline of the Jacobites were 
secretly established in the dominions of Justinian ; and each 
Jacobite was compelled to violate the laws and to hate the 
Roman legislator. The successors of Severus, while they lurked 
in convents or villages, while they sheltered their proscribed 
heads in the caverns of hermits or the tents of the Saracens, 
still asserted, as they now assert, their indefeasible right to 
the title, the rank, and the prerogatives of patriarch of 
Antioch ; under the milder 3roke of the infideb they reside 
about a league from Merdin, in the pleasant monastery of 
Zapharan, which they have embellished with cells, aqueducts, 
and plantations. The secondary, though honourable, place is 
filled by the maphrian, who, in his station at Mosul itself, defies 
the Nestorian catholic, with whom he contests the supremacy 
of the East. Under the patriarch and the maphrian, one 
hundred and fifty archbishops and bishops have been counted 
in the different ages of the Jacobite church ; but the order of 
the hierarchy is relaxed or dissolved, and the greater part of 
their dioceses is confined to the neighbourhood of the Euphrates 
and the Tigris. The cities of Aleppo and Amida, which are 
often visited by the patriarch, contain some wealthy merchants 
and industrious mechanics, but the multitude derive their scanty 
sustenance from their daily labour; and poverty, as well as 
superstition, may impose their excessive fisMts : five annual lents, 
during which both the clergy and laity abstain not only from 
flesh or eggs, but even from the taste of wine, of oil, and of 

"The obscure bistoiy of James, or Jacobus, Baxadacns, or Zanzalus [obi A.D. 
ctS] may be gathered from Eu^hius (AmiaL torn, il pL 144, 147). Kenaudot 
(Hist, Patriarch. Alex. p. 133). and Assemannus (Bibliot. Onent torn, l p. 424, torn. 
iL p. 62H69, 394-332, p. 414, torn. iL p. 38c-388)[and Bar-Hebraeos, Chron. EccL, 
ed. Abbeloos and Lamy, p. 215 sgg^ He seems to be miknown to the Greeks. 
The Jacobites themselves had rather deduce their name and pedigree from St 
Jsuaaes the apostle; 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 156 

fish. Their present numbers are esteemed from fiftj to four- 
More thousand souls, the remnant of a populous church, which 
has gradually decreased under the oppression of twelve centuries. 
Yet in that long period some strangers of merit have been 
converted to the Mouophysite faith^ and a Jew was the father 
of Abulpharagius,^^ primate of the East, so truly eminent 
both in his life and death. In his life, he was an elegant 
writer of the Syriac and Arabic tongues, a poet, physician, and 
historian, a subtle philosopher, and a moderate divine. In his 
death, his funeral was attended by his rival the Nestorian 
patriarch, with a train of Greeks and Armenians, who forgot 
their disputes and mingled their tears over the grave of an 
enemy. The sect which was honoured by the virtues of Abul- 
pharagius appears^ however, to sink below the level of their 
Nestorian brethren. The superstition of the Jacobites is more 
abject, their fieists more rigid, ^^ their intestine divisions are 
more numerous, and their doctors (as &r as I can measure the 
degrees of nonsense) are more remote from the precincts of 
reason. Something may possibly be allowed for the rigour of 
the Monophysite theology; much more for the superior in- 
fluence of the monastic order. In S3rria, in Egjrpt, in ^Ethiopia, 
the Jacobite monks have ever been distinguished by the 
austerity of their penance and the absurdity of their legends. 
Alive or dead, they are worshipped as the frivourites of the 
Deity ; the crosier of bishop and patriarch is reserved for their 
venerable hands; and they assume the government of men, 
while they are yet reeking with the habits and prejudices of 
the cloister.^** 

III. In the style of the Oriental Christians, the Monothelites of m. 
every age are described under the appellation of Martmites,^^^' 

1" The account of his person and writings is perhaps the most curious article 
in the Bibliotheca of Assemannus (torn, il p. 244-331, under the name of Gregorius 
Bar-Htbraeus\ [See Appendix i.] La Croze (Christianisme d'Ethiopie, p. 53-63) 
ridicules the prejudice of the Spaniards against the Jewish blood, which secretly 
defiles their church and state. 

**• This excessive abstinence is censured by La Croze (p. 352) and even by the 
Syrian Assemannus (torn. i. p. aa6, torn, il p. 304, «>5). 

^^ The state of the Monophysites is excellent^ illustrated in a dissertation 
at the bq^inning of the iid volume of Assemannus, which contains 14a pages. 
The Syriac Chronicle of Gregory Bar-Hebraeus, or Abulpharagius (Bibhot Orient 
torn, il p. 32T-463). pursues the double series of the Nestorian catholics and the 
mafhrioHs of the Jacobites. 

^The synonymous use of the two words may be proved from Eutychius 
(AnnaL tom. il p. 191. 267-332) and many similar passages which mav be found 
m the methodical table of Pocock. He was not actuated by any prejudice against 
the Maronites of the xth century ; and we may believe a Melcbite, whose tqiti- 
monv is confirmed by the Jacobites and LatinSr 



156 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

a name which has been insensibly transferred from an hermit 
to a monastety, from a monastery to a nation. Maron, a saint 
or savage of the fifth century, displayed his religious madness 
in Syria ; the rival cities of Apamea and Emesa disputed his 
relics, a stately church was erected on his tomb, and six 
hundred of his disciples united their solitary cells on the banks 
of the Orontes. In the controversies of the incarnation, tbey 
nicely threaded the orthodox line between the sects of Nes- 
torius and Eutyches ; but the unfortunate question of one will 
or operation in the two natures of Christ was generated by 
their curious leisure. Their proselyte, the emperor Heraclius, 
was rejected as a Manmite from the walls of Emesa ; he found 
a refuge in the monastery of his brethren ; and their theological 
lessons were repaid with the gift of a spacious and worthy 
domain. The name and doctrine of this venerable scdiool were 
propagated among the Greeks and Syrians, and their zeal is 
expressed by Maearius, patriarch of Antioch, who declared 
before the synod of Constantinople that, sooner than subscribe 
the tfvo wiUs of Christ, he would submit to be hewn piece-meal 
and cast into the sea.^^'^ A similar or a less cruel mode of per- 
secution soon converted the unresisting subjects of the plain, 
while the glorious title of MardaUes,^^ or rebels, was bravely 
maintained by the hardy natives of mount Libanus. John 
Maron, one of the most learned and popular of the monks, 
assumed the character of patriarch of Antioch ; his nephew 
Abraham, at the head of the Maronites, defended their civil and 
religious freedom against the tyrants of the East The son of 
the orthodox Coustantine pursued, with pious hatred, a people 
of soldiers, who might have stood the bulwark of his empire 
against the common foes of Christ and of Rome. An army of 
Greeks invaded Syria ; the monastery of St. Maron was de- 
stroyed with fire ; the bravest chieftains were betrayed and 
muidered ; and twelve thousand of their followers were trans- 
planted to the distant frontiers of Armenia and Thrace. Yet 
the humble nation of the Maronites has survived the empire 
of Xk>nstantinople, and they still enjoy, under their Turkish 

^ CoodL torn. vii. p. 78a The Monothdite cause was supported with firmness 
and subtlety by Constantine, a Syrian priest of Apamea (p. Z040. &c). 

^^ Theop^ianes (Cbron. p. 995, 296, 300, 309, 306 [suk A.lf. 6169, 6176, 6x78, 
6Z83P and Cedrenus (p. 4^. 440 [p. 765, 771, ed. Bonn]) rdate the ezpldts of the 
Marautea. The name {Mara, in Sjrnac ndeUauU) is explained by La Rooue 
(Voyage de la Syrie, torn. iL p. 53), the data aze fixed by Pagi (A.IX 676, Na 
4-Z4, A.IX 685, Na 3, 4). and even the obscure wiory of the patriarch, John 
Maron (Asseman. BitdioL Orient torn. L p. 496-590), iUustiatai, IroiD the year 
^*^ to 707, the troubles of mount Libanus, 



OF THE ROMAN 'EMPIRE 157 

masters, a free religion and a mitigated servitude. Their 
domestic governors are ckosen among the ancient nobility ; the 
patriarch, in his monastery of Canobin, still £Emcies himself on 
the throne of Antioch ; nine bishops compose his synod, and 
one hundred and fifty priests, who retain the liberty of marriage, 
are entrusted with the care of one hundred thousand souls. 
Their country extends from the ridge of mount Libanus to the 
shores of Tripoli ; and the gradual descent affords, in a narrow 
space, each variety of soil and climate^ from the Holy Cedars, 
erect under the weight of snow,^^ to the vine, the mulberry, 
and the olive trees of the fruitful valley. In the twelfth 
century, the Maronites, abjuring the Monothelite error, were 
reconciled to the Latin churches of Antioch and Rome,^^ and 
the same alliance has been frequently renewed by the ambition 
of the popes and the distress of the Syrians. But it may 
reascmably be questioned whether their union has ever been 
perfect or sincere ; and the learned Maronites of the college of 
Rome have vainly laboured to absolve their ancestors from the 
guilt of heresy and schism. ^^ 

IV. Since the age of Constantine, the Armenians ^'^^ hadr ^»> 
signalised their attachment to the religion and empire of the 
Christians. The disorders of their country, and their ignorance 

u» In the last centnry, twenty large cedars still remained (Voyage de la Roqoe, 
tofiL L p. 68-76) ; at pfesent they are reduced to four or five {Vtlney, torn. L p. 
264). These trees, so famous in scripture, were guarded by excommunication ; the 
wood was sparingly borrowed for small crosses, &c ; an annual mass was chanted 
under their shade ; and they were endowed by the S]rnans with a sensitiys power of 
erecting their branches to repel the snow, to which mount Libanus is less faithful 
than it is painted by Tacitus : Inter ardores opacum fidumque nivibus — a daring 
metaphor (Hist v. 6). 

'** The evidence of William of Tjrre (Hist in Gestis Dei per Francos, L xxii. a 
8. p. xoas) is copied or confirmed by Jacques de Vitra (Hist Hierosolym. L il & 
77. p> 1003, 1094)^ ^ut this unnatural league expired with the power of the Franks ; 
and Abulpharagius (who died in 1286) considers the Maronites as a sect of Mono- 
thelites (fiibliot Orient torn, il p. a^). 

1^ I find a description and history of the Bifaionites in' the Voyages de la S3rrie 
et du Mont Liban. par la Roque (a vols, in lama Amsterdam. 1723 ; particularly 
torn. I p. 42-47. p. 174-184, tom. iu p. lo-iao). In the ancient pairt, he copies the pre- 
judices of Nairon, and the other Maronites of Rome, which Assemannus is afraid 
to renounce and ashamed to support. Jablooski (Imdtut Hist Christ tom. iii p. 
186), Niebuhr I Voyage de rArabie. &c. tom. il p. 546, 370-381). and, above all, 
the judicious Volney (Voyage en Egypte et enSyrfe, torn, il p. 8-31, Paris, 1787) 
may be consulted. 

*^ The religion of the Armenians is briefly described by La Crose( Hist du Christ 
de rEurope et de TArm^me, p. 969-403). He refers to the great Armenian 
History of Galanus (3 vols, in foL Rome, 1650-1661), and commends the state of 
Armenia in the iiid volume of the Nouveaux Mtoioues dcs Missions du Levant 
The work of a Jesuit must have sterling merit when it is praised by La Cron; 



168 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

of the Greek tongue, prevented their clergy from assisting at 
the synod of Chalcedon, and they floated eighty-four years ^^ 
in a state of indifference or suspense, till their vacant £idth was 
finally occupied by the missionaries of Julian of Halicamassus,^^ 
who in Egypt, their common exile, had been vanquished by the 
arguments or the influence of his rival Severus, the Monophysite 
patriarch of Antioch. The Armenians alone are the pure dis- 
ciples of Eutyches, an unfortunate parent, who has been re- 
nounced by the greater part of his spiritual progeny. They 
alone persevere in the opinion that the manhood of Christ was 
created, or existed without creaticm, of a divine and incorrup- 
tible substance. Their adversaries reproach them with the 
adoration of a phantom ; and they retort the accusation, by 
deriding or execrating Uie blasphemy of the Jacobites, who 
impute to the Godhead the vile infirmities of the flesh, even 
the natural effects of nutrition and digestion. The religion of 
Armenia could not derive much glory from the learning or the 
power of its inhabitants. The royalty expired with the origin 
of their schism, and their Christian khigs, who arose and fell in 
the thirteenth century on the confines of Cilicia, were the 
clients of the Latins, and the vassals of the Turkish sultan of 
Iconium. The helpless nation has seldom been permitted to 
enjoy the tranquillity of servitude. From the earliest period to 
the present hour, Armenia has been the theatre of perpetual 
war; the lands between Tauris and Erivan were dispeopled 
by the cruel policy of the Sophis ; and myriads of Christian 
fiEunilies were transplanted, to perish or to propagate in the 
distant provinces of Persia. Under the rod of oppression, the 
zeal of the Armenians is fervid and intrepid ; they have often 

g referred the crown of martyrdom to the white turban of 
lahomet ; they devoutly hate the error and idolatry of the 
Greeks ; and their transient union with the Latins is not less 
devoid of truth than the thousand bishops whom their patriarch 
offered at the feet of the Roman pontiff.^^ The catholic, or 



itf The schism of the Armenians is placed 84 years after the council of Chalce- 
don (Pagi, Critica, ad A.D. 535). It was consummated at the end of seventeen 
vears ; and it is from the year of Christ 559 that we date the sera of the Armenians 
(l*Art de verifier les Dates, p. xxxv.). 

'^ The sentiments and success of Julian of Halicamassus may be seen in Libera- 
tus (Brev. a 19), Renaudot (Hist Patriarch. Alex. p. z^, 303), and Assemannus 
(Bibliot Orient, tom. il Dissertat de Monophysitis, p. viil p. 286). 

i^See a remarkable fact of the twelfth oentuiy in the History of Nioecas 
Choniates (p. 358). Yet, three hundred years before, Pbotius (EpittoL ii. p. 49. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 169 

of the Armenians^ resides in the monastery of Ek- 
miasin, three leagues from Erivan. Forty-seven archbishops, 
each of whom may claim the obedience of four or five sufiimgans, 
are consecrated by his hand ; but the far greater part are only 
titular prelates, who dignify with their presence and service the 
simplicity of his court As soon as they have performed the 
liturgy, they cultivate the garden ; and our bishops will hear 
with surprise that the austerity of their life increases in just 
proportion to the elevation of their rank. In the fourscore 
thousand towns or villages of his spiritual empire, the patriarch 
receives a small and voluntary tax from each person above the 
age of fifteen ; but the annual amount of six hundred thousand 
crowns is insufficient to supply the incessant demands of charity 
and tribute. Since the beginning of the last century, the 
Armenians have obtained a large and lucrative share of the 
conunerce of the East ; in their return from Europe, the caravan 
usually halts in the neighbourhood of Erivan, the altars are 
enriched with the firuits of their patient industry ; and the £uth 
of Eutyches is preached in their recent congregations of Bar- 
bary and Poland.^** 

V. In the rest of the Roman empire, the despotism of the v. 
prince might eradicate or silence the sectaries of an obnoxious ^ 
creed. But the stubborn temper of the Egyptians maintained 
their opposition to the synod of Chalcedon, and the polii^ of 
Justinian condescended to expect and to seize the opportunity 
of discord. The Monophysite church of Alexandria ^^^ was torn 
by the disputes of the corrupHbles and incorruptible^, and, on the 
death of the patriarch, the two factions upheld their respective 



candidates.^^ Gaian was the disciple of Julian, Theodosius had ^i, ^kmk 
been the pupil of Severus. The claims of the former were^S^^JS 
supported by the consent of the monks and senators, the city 
and the province ; the latter depended on the priority of hiiB 



edit. MoDtacut [1651]) had gloried in the conversion of the Armenians — Aarpn^i 

i^The travelling Armenians are in the way of everv traveller, and their mother 
church is on the high road between Constantinople and Ispahan. For their present 
state, see Fabridus (Lux Evangelii, &c. c. xxzviii. p. 40-51), Olearius (i iv. c. 40}. 
Chardin (vol it p. 239), Toumefort (lettre xx.) and, above all, Tavemier (torn, l 
p. 28-37, 5x0-518), that rambling jeweller, who had read nothing, but had seen so 
much and so well. 

^^The history of the Alexandrian patriarchs, from Dioscorus to Benjamin, is 
taken from Renaudot (p. iX4-i64) and the second tome erf* the Annals of Eutychins. 

1^ Liberat Brev. c. 20, 23. Victor. Chron. p. ^, 330. Procop. Anecdot c. 26, 
27. [Vita S. Sabae, p. 398, 408, 482. cd. PomyalovsklJ 



140 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

ordination, the favour of the empress Theodora, and the arms 
of the eunuch Narses, which might have been used in more 
honourable war£Eue. The exile of the popular candidate to 
Carthage and Sardinia inflamed the ferment of Alexandria; 
and, after a schism of one hundred and seventy years, the 
Gaianites still revered the memory and doctrine of their founder. 
The strength of numbers and of discipline was tried in a des- 
perate and bloody conflict ; the streets were filled with the dead 
bodies of citizens and soldiers ; the pious women, ascending the 
roo& of their houses, showered down eveiy sharp or ponderous 
utensil on the heads of the enemy; and the final victory of 
Narses was owing to the flames with which he wasted the 
third capital of the Roman world. But the lieutenant of 
Justinian had not conquered in the cause of an heretic ; Theo- 
FMd. AJk dosius himself was speedily, though gently, removed ; and Paul 
"" of Tanis, an orthodox monk, was rais^ to the throne of 

Athanasius. The powers of government were strained in his 
support ; he might appoint or displace the dukes and tribunes 
of Egypt ; the sfiowance of bread which Diocletian had granted 
was suppressed, the churches were shut, and a nation of sohis- 
maties was deprived at once of their spiritual and carnal Ibod. 
In his turn, the tyrant was excommunicated by the seal and 
revenge of the people ; and none except his servile Melchites 
would salute him as a man, a Christian, or a bishop. Yet such 
is the blindness of ambition that, when Paul was expelled on 
a charge of murder, he solicited, with a bribe of seven hundred 
pounds of gold, his restoration to the same station of hatred 
A^uurfa. and ignominy. His successor Apollinaris entered the hostile 
city in military array, alike qualified for pntjrer or for battle. 
His troops, under arms, were distributed through the streets ; 
the gates of the cathednd were guarded ; and a chosen band 
was stationed in the choir, to defend the person of their ohie£ 
He stood erect on his throne, and, throwing aside the upper 
garment of a warrior, suddenly appeared before the eyes of the 
multitude in the robes of patriarch of Alexandria. Astonish- 
ment held them mute ; but no sooner had Apollinaris begun to 
read the tome of St. Leo than a volley of curses, and invec- 
tives, and sUmes assaulted the odious minister of the emperor 
and the sjrnod. A charge was instantly sounded by the suc- 
cessor of the apostles; the soldiers waded to their knees In 
blood ; and two hundred thousand Christians are said to have 
foUen by the sword : an incredible account, even if it be ex- 
tended from the slaughter of a day to the eighteen years of 



OF THE RO^LVN EMPIRE 161 

the reign of Apollinaris. Two succeeding patriarchSi Eulogius ^^ 
and John,^^ laboured in the conversion of heretics, with arms 
and arguments more worthy of their evangelical profession. 
The theological knowledge of Eulogius was displayed in many a 
volume, which magnified the errors of Entyches and Severus, and ^^ 
attempted to reconcile the ambiguous language of St. Cjnril with 
the orthodox creed of pope Leo and the fiithers of Chslcedon. 
The bounteous alms of John the £leemos3maiy were dictated Joka. aj> 
by superstition, or benevolence, or policy. Seven thousand five 
hundred poor were maintained at his expense ; on his accession, 
he found eight thousand pounds of gold in the treasury of the 
diurch ; he collected ten thousand from the liberality of the 
fidthful ; yet the primate could boast in his testament that he 
left behind him no more than the third part of the smallest 
of the silver coins. The churches of Alexandria were delivered 
to the Catholics, the religion of the Monoph3rsites was pro- 
scribed in Egypt, and a law was revived which excluded the 
natives from the honours and emoluments of the state. 

A more important conquest still remained, of the patriarch, nair mm 
the oracle and leader of the Egjrptian church. Theodosius had uuj 
resisted the threats and promises of Justinian with the spirit 
of an apostle or an enthusiast. '' Such/' replied the patriarch, 
" were the offers of the tempter, when he shewed the kingdoms 
of the earth. But my soul is &r dearer to me than life or 
dominion. The churches are in the hands of a prince who can 
kill the body; but my conscience is my own; and in exile, 
poverty, or chains, I will stedfi&stly adhere to the fidth of my 
noly predecessors, Athanasius, Cyril, and Dioscorus. Anathema 
to the tome of Leo and the synod of Chalcedon ! Anathema 
to all who embrace their creed ! Anathema to them now and 
fiar evermore ! Naked came I out of my mother's womb ; naked 
shall I descend into the grave. Let those who love God follow 

1^ Ealogius. who had been a monk of Antioch. was more conspicoous for 
nbt]^ than eloquence. He proves that the enemies of the Caith, the Gaianites 
and Theodosians, ought not to be reconciled ; that the same proposition may be 
orthodox in the mouth of St Cyril, heretical in that of Severus; that the opposite 
assertions of St. Leo are equally true, &c His writings are no longer eiEtant, 
except in the extracts of Photius, who had perused them with care and satisfisiction, 
cod. ocviii., ccxzv., ccxxvL, oazvii., ocxxs., cdxxz. [For his fragments see 
Migne, Patr. Gr., 86, 3957 f^aj] 

uB See the Life of John the Eleemosynary, by his contemporary Leontius bishop of 
Neapolis in Cyprus, whose Greek text, either lost or hidden, is reflected in the 
Latin ivrsion or Baronius (A.1X 6x0, Na ^ A.D. 6ao, Na 8). I^ (Crttica, tom. iL 
pi 763) and Fabridus (I v. & zi. torn. viL p. 454) have made some critical observa- 
tions. TTbe Greek text was edited for the first Ume by H. Gelser, 1803 (in Krilger's 
Sammlung. part 5). It is an interesting biography written in popular style.] 

VOL. V. 11 



162 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

me, and seek their salyation." After comforting his brethren, 
he embarked for Constantinople, and sustained in six successive 
interviews the ahnost irresistible weight of the rojral presence. 
His opinions- were favourably entertained in the palace and the 
city ; the influence of Theodora assured him a safe-conduct and 
honourable dismission ; and he ended his da3rs, though not on 
the throne, yet in the bosom, of his native country. On the 
news of his death, Apollinaris indecently feasted the nobles 
and the clergy ; but his joy was checked by the intelligence 
of a new election ; and, while he enjoyed the wealth of Alezan- 
dria, his rivals reigned in the monasteries of Thebais, and were 
maintained by the voluntary oblations of the people. A perpe- 
tual succession of patriarchs arose fix>m the ashes of Theodosius ; 
and the Monoph3rsite churches of S3rria and Egypt were united 
by the name of Jacobites and the communion of the £uth. 
But the same £uth, which has been confined to a narrow sect 
of the Syrians, was diffused over the mass of the £g3rptian or 
Coptic nation, who, almost unanimously, rejected the decrees 
of the synod of Chalcedon. A thousand years were now elapsed 
since Egjrpt had ceased to be a kingdom, since the conquerors 
of Asia and Europe had trampled on the ready necks of a 
people whose ancient wisdom and power ascends beycmd the 
records of history. The conflict of zeal and persecution re- 
kindled some sparks of their national spirit. They abjured, 
with a foreign heresy, the manners and language of the Greeks : 
every MelcJdte, in their eyes, was a stranger, every Jacobite 
a citizen ; the idliance of marriage^ the offices of humanity, were 
condemned as a deadly sin ; the natives renounced all allegiance 
to the emperor ; and his orders, at a distance from Alexandria, 
were obeyed only under the pressure of military force. A 
generous effort might have redeemed the religion and liberty 
of Egypt, and her six hundred monasteries might have poured 
forth their myriads of holy warriors, for whom death should 
have no terrors, since life had no comfort or delight. But ex- 
perience has proved the distinction of active and passive 
courage ; the fiinatic who endures without a ffroan the torture 
of the rack or the stake would tremble and nj before the &oe 
of an armed enemy. The pusillanimous temper of the Egyp- 
tians could only hope for a change of masters; the arms of 
Chosroes depopulated the land, yet under his reign the Jaco- 
bites enjoyed a short and precarious respite. The victoiy of 
Heradlus renewed and aggravated the persecution, and the 
again escaped from Alexandria to the desert In his 



rMoUto 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIBE 1^ 

mjamin mui eneoiuiaged bj a voice which bftde him ez«M 

bhe end of ten yeara^ the aid of a foreign nation, maikedyffST 

Effyptiana thenuelvet with the ancient right of dicum- 

The character of these deliveren and the nature of the 

ice will be hereafter explained ; and I shall step aver 

■val of eleven centuries, to observe the present misery 

icobites of Egypt The populous city of Cairo affbrcJs 

ice, or rather a shelter, for their indigent patriarch and a 

of ten bishops; forty monasteries have survived the in- 

;he Arabs ; and the progress of servitude and apostacy has 

the Coptic nation to the despicable number of twenty^ 

birty thousand families :^^ a race of illiterate b^gars, 

ily consolation is derived irom the superior wretdbedf- 

he Greek patriarch and his diminutive congregation.^^ 

le Coptic patriarch, a rebel to the CsBsars, or a slave to ^L ^i,,^. 

fths, still gloried in the filial obedience of the kings of »^*<S^ 

id iBthiopia. He repaid their homage by magnifying 

satness; and it was boldly asserted that they could 

to the field an hundred thousand horse, with an equal 

of camels ; ^^ that their hand could pour or restrain 

rs of the Nile ;i^ and the peace and plenty of Egypt 

lumber is taken from the curious Recherches sur les Egyptiens et les 
m. ii. p. 19a, 193), and appears more probable than the 600,000 
z5»ooo modem, Copts of GemelU Caireri. Cyril Lucar, the Prototant 
if Constantinople, laments that those heretics were ten times more 
iian his orthodox Greeks, ingeniously appWing the w)J<mt «r Uxdin 
>X^oco of Homer (Iliad ii. 128), the most porfect expression of contempt 
IX Evangelii, 740). 

listory <^ the Copts, their religion, manners, &c ma]r be found in the 
odot's motley work, neither a translation nor an ori^nal ; the Chrooi- 
ie o^ Peter, a Jacobite ; in the two versions of Abrs^iam Ecchellensis, 
; and J[6hn Simon Asseman, Venet X799. These annals descend no 

the xiiith century. The more recent accounts must be searched 
travdkrs into Egypt, and the Nouveaux Mdmoires des Missions du 
2 the last century, Josqph Abudacnns, a native of Cairo, published at 
thirtv pages, a sli^t Historia Jacobitarum, 147, post z^ ^or the 
d history of Egypt cp. "The Churches and Monastenes of Egypt 
to AbQ §alih the Armenian." tr. by B. T. Evetts, ed. by A. J. Butler, 
.mflineau, Monumenu pour servir k I'hist de I'Egypte chrft. au iv«, 
i« slides, 1895.] 

t the year 737. See Renaudot, Hist Patriarch. Alex. p. asi, aaa ; 
[isL Saracen, p. 99. 

Iph. HisL iEthiopic et Comment. L l c. 8 ; Renaudot, Hist Patriaidi. 
3, ftc. This opinion, introduced into Egypt and Eurqje by the artifice 
s, the pride of the Abyssinians, the fear aixl ignorance of the Turks and 
not even the semblance of truth. The rains of iGtluopia do not, in 
s of the Nile, consult the will of the monarch. If the river approaches 

within three days' journey of the Red Sea (see d'AnviUe^s Maps), a 
should divert Hs coarse would demand, and most probablj surpav, the 
leCsesars. 



164 THE DECLINE AKD FALL 

was obtained, even in this wmld, b^ the interces ri on of the 
patriarch. In exile at Constantinople, Theodosius recommended 
to his patroness the conversicm of the black nations of Nubia,^^ 
from the tropic of Cancer to the confines of Abjrssinia. Her 
design Mras suspected, and emulated, by the more orthodox 
emperor. The rival missionaries, a Melchite and a Jacobite, 
embarked at the same time ; but the empress, from a motive of 
love or fear, was more effectoally obeyed; and the Catholic 
priest WH8 detained by the president of Thebais, while the 
Cjmu^UBff king of Nubia and his court were hastily baptized in the fiuth 
of Diosconis. The tardy envoy of Justinian was received and 
dismissed with honour ; but, when he accused the heresy and 
treason of the Egyptians, the negro convert was instructed 
to reply that he would never abandon his brethren, the true 
believers, to the persecuting ministers of the S3mod of Chalce- 
don.^^ During several ages the bishops of Nubia were named 
and consecrated by the Jacobite patriarch of Alexandria ; as 
late as the twelfth centmry, Christianity prevailed ; and some 
rites, some ruins, are still visible in the savage towns of 
Sennaar and Dongola.^^^ But the Nubians at length executed 
their threats of returning to the worship of idols ; the climate 
required the indulgence of polygamy; and they have finally 

lo'The Ab3rssiiiians. who still p i ^e ae r ve the features and olive oomplezioQ of the 
Arabs, afford a proof that two thousand yean are not soflident to diange the 
colour of the human race. The Nubians, an African race, are pure negroes, as 
black as those of Senegal or Congo, with flat noses, thick lips, and woolly hair 
(Buffon, Hist. Naturelle, torn. v. p. 1x7, 143, 144, z66, 9x9, edit in zamo, Paris, 
1769). The ancients beheld, without much attention, the extraordinary phseoome- 
non which has exercised the philosophers and theologians of modem timea 

iw Asseman. Bibliot Orient torn. L p. 029. [The source for the couvei ' il oo of 
the Nobadz, under their king Silko. is John of Ephesus, iv., c. 5 sff,, wbose 
account is minute and interesting. The name of the king is knomi fhm the 
inscription of Talmis (C. L G. ^079), where Silko. " king of the Nubadet and idl 
the Ethiopians," celebrates his victooes over the Blemmyes, who dwdled bel w acn 
the Nobadae and the Empire. The Blemmyes by their treaties with the Empire 
had the right of worshipping in the temple of Isis at Philae, and co ns e qu ently this 
temple had to be kept open for them (cp. Priscus. fr. ai ; C L G; 4045. 4046 ; 
Procop. R P. l 19). Their conversion to Christianity seems to oKfe oeen 
accomplished under Justinian, and in A.IX 577 the temple of Isis was transfoniied 
into a church (C. L G. 8647-8-^). For the conversion of the Alodes. a people 
south of the Nobadae and bordering on the Abyssinians, see John of Ephen*, rr. 
c* 53* 53. See M. I'abb^ Duchesne, Eglises S^parfes, pi 287 sjf.] 

u^The Christianity of the Nubians, A. a 1x^3, is attested by the aberUT al 
Edrisi, falsely described under the name of the 



[53, IS attestea ny t&e sbens ai 
Nubian geographer (p. x8), who 
lys of historical fight that twinkk 



represents them as a nation of Jacobites. The rays 

in the history of Renaudot (p. 176, 8ac>'3a4, 981-286, 405, ^34, 451, 464) are all 

previous to this Kra. See the modem slate in tlie l/!ttres Edifiantes (Kect 



See the modem slate in tlie l/!ttres Edifiantes (Kectieil, tv.) 
and Busching (torn. ix. p. x5a'X59, par Berenger). 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 166 

preferred the triumph of the Koran to the abMement of the 
Cross. A metaphysical religion may appear too refined for the 
capacity of the negro race ; yet a bladk or a parrot might be 
taught to repeat the wordt of the Chalcedonian or Monophysite 



Christianity was more deeply rooted in the Abyssinian ani«ii«f 
empire; and, although the correspondence has been some-AS^oMfcft 
time interrupted above seventy or an hundred years^ the 
mother-church of Alexandria retains her colony in a state of 
perpetual pupihige. Seven bishops once composed the iBthi- 
i^c synod: had their number amounted to ten, they might 
have elected an independent primate ; and one of their kings 
was ambitious of promoting his brother to the ecclesiastical 
throne. But the event was foreseen^ the increase was denied ; 
the episcopal office has been gradually confined to the alnma^^^ 
the head and author of the Abyssinian priesthood ; the 
patriarch supplies each vacancy with an £g3rptian monk ; and 
the character of a stranger appears more venerable in the 
eyes of the people, less dangerous in those of the monarch. 
In the sixth century, when the schism of Egypt was confirmed, 
the rival chie&, with their patrons Justinian and Theodora, 
strove to outstrip each other in the conquest of a remote and 
independent province. The industry of the empress was again 
victorious, and the pious Theodora has established in that 
sequestered church the fiiith and discipline of the Jacobites. ^^ 
Encompassed on all sides by the enemies of their religion, the 
Ethiopians slept near a thousand years, forgetful of the world, 
by whom they were forgotten. They were awakened by the 
Portuguese, who, turning the southern promontory of Africa, 
appeared in India and the Red Sea, as if they had descended m; 2? 
toroogh the air from a distant planet. In the first moments 
of their interview, the subjects of Rome and Alexandria 
observed the resemblance, rather than the difference, of their 
fidth ; and each nation expected the most important benefits 

"The abana is improperly dignified by the Latins with the title of patriarch. 
The Abyssinians acknowledge only the four patriarchs, and their chief is no more 
than a metroocditan or national primate (Ludolph, Hist Ethiopia et Comment 
L iiL a 7). The seven bishops of Renaudot (p. 511), who existed A.D. 1131, are 
anknown to the historian. 

u*I know not why Asaemannus (Bibliot Orient torn, il [l] p. 3^4) should call 
in onestion these probable missions of Theodora into Nubia and i£thiopia. The 
sUght notices of Abyssinia till the year 1500 are supplied by Renaudot (p. 336-34I. 
381, 382. JOS. 443. Ac 4Sa, 456. 463* 47S» 4^0, cii, 585. 559*5^) ^^m the Coptic 
writers. The mind of Lodolphus was a perfect blank. 




166 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

from an alliance with their Christian brethren. In their 
lonely situation, the iBthiopians had almost relapsed into the 
savage life. Their vessek, which had traded to Ceylon, 
scarcely presumed to navigate ihs rivers of Africa ; the ruins 
of Axume were deserted, the nation was scattered in villages, 
and the emperor (a pompous name) was content, both in peace 
and war, with the immoveable residence of a camp. Conscious 
of their own indigence, the Abyssinians had formed the 
rational project of importing the arts and ingenuity of 
Europe ; ^^ and their ambassadors at Rome and Lisbon were 
instructed to solicit a colony of smiths, carpentefs, tilers, 
masons, printers, surgeons, and phjrsicians, for the use of their 
country. But the public danger soon called for the instant 
and effectual aid of arms and soldiers to defend an unwarlike 
people from the barbarians who ravaged the inland eountry, 
and the Turks and Arabs who advanced from the sea-coast in 
more formidable array. Ethiopia was saved by four hnndred 
and fifty Portuguese, who displayed in the field the native 
valour of Europeans and the artificial powers of the musket 
and cannon. In a moment of terror, the emperor had promised 
to reconcile himself and his subjects to the Catholic fiuth ; a 
Latin patriarch represented the supremacy of the pope ; ^^^ 
the empire, enlarged in a tenfold proportion, was supposed 
to contain more gold than the mines of America ; ana . the 
wildest hopes of avarice and seal were built on the willing 
submission of the Christians of Africa. 
{SfJS^ But the vows which pain had extorted were forsworn on 
^' ^ the return of health. The Abyssinians still adhered with un- 
shaken constancy to the Monopiijrsite fiiith ; their languid .belief 
was inflamed by the exercise of dispute; they branded the 
Latins with the names of Arians and Nestorians, and Impnted 
the adoration oi fimr gods to those who separated ithe two 
natures of Christ. Fremonay a place of worship, or smtiher of 
exile, was assigned to the Jesuit missionaries, "nieiii skill ill the 

1^ Ludolph. Hist iEthiop. L iv. c. 5. The mast neoenary arts are now 
eseerdsed by the Jews, and me foreign trade is in the hands of the Armenians 
What Gregory principally admired andenried was the industry of Ewppe aiMs 
et opificia. 

1^ Jc^m Bermudez, whose relation, printed at Lisbon, 1569, was translated into 
English by Purdias (Pilgrims, L viL c. 7, pi ZZ49, &&), and from tbeooeintoFVench 
by La Croze (Christianisme afitUopiey p. 90-965). The piece is cnrioos ; bot the 
mtthor may be suspected of deceiving Ab^nia^ Rome, and Fcutngal. His title 
to the rank of patriarch is daili and doubtful (Ludolph. Comment. Na zoi, pi 

473)- 



OF THE BOMAK £MPIB£ 167 

liberal and mechanic arts, their theological leammg, and the 
decency of their manners, inspired a barren esteem ; but they 
were not endowed with the gift of miracles,^^ and they vainly 
solicited a reinforcement of European troops. The patience and 
dexterity of forty years at length obtained a more fiivourable 
aodience, and two emperors of Ab3r88inia were persuaded that 
Rome could ensure the temporal and everlasting happiness of 
her votaries. The first of these royal converts lost ms crown 
and his life ; and the rebel army was sanctified by the abuna, 
who hurled an anathema at the apostate, and absolved his 
subjects firom their oath of fidelity. The fi&te of Zadenghel was 
revenged by the courage and fortune of Susneus, who ascended 
the throne under the name of Segued, and more vigorously 
prosecuted the pious enterprise of his kinsman* After the 
amusement of some unequal combats between the Jesuits and 
his illiterate priests, the emperor declared himself a proselyte to 
the synod of Chalcedon, presuming that his clergy and people 
would embrace without delay the religion of their prince. Tlie 
liberty of choice was succeeded by a law whidi imposed, under 
pain of death, the belief of the two natures of Christ : the 
AfavBsinians were enjoined to work and to play on the Sabbath ; 
ana Segued, in the fi&ce of Europe and Africa, renounced his 
connexion with the Alexandrian church. A Jesuit, Alphonso omi 
Mendez, the Catholic patriarch of Ethiopia, accepted in theimr.Ti 
name of Urban VIII. the homage and abjuration of his penitent. 
" I confess/' said the emperor on his knees, " I confess that the 
pope is the vicar of Christ, the successor of St. Peter, and the 
sovereign of the world. To him I swear true obedience, and at 
his feet I offer my person and kingdom." A similar oath was 
repeated by his son, his brother, the clergy, the nobles, and 
even the ladies of the court ; the Latin patriarch was invested 
with honours and wealth; and his missionaries erected their 
churches or citadels in the most convenient stations of the 
empire. The Jesuits themselves deplore the &tal indiscretion 
of their chief, who forgot the mildness of the gospel and the 
policy of his order, to introduce with hasty violence the liturgy 
of Rome and the inquisition of Portugal. He condemned the 
ancient practice of circumcision, which health rather than 

» Religio Romana . . . nee precibus patnim nee miraculis ab ipsis editis 
ioffiilciebattir, is the uncontradicted assurance of the devout emperor Susneus to 
his patriarch Mendei (Ludolph. Comment. Na ia6, p. 529) ; and such assmances 
sbould be preciously kept, as an antidote against anjr marveUous legendsL 



168 THE DECLINE AND FAIX 

superstition had first invented in the climate of ^thidpia.^^ A 
new baptism, a new ordination, Mras inflicted on the natives ; 
and they trembled with horror when the most holy of the dead 
were torn from their graves, when the most illustrious of the 
living were excommunicated by a foreign priest. In the defence 
of their religion and liberty, the Abyssinians rose in arms, with 
desperate but imsuccessful zeaL Five rebellions were extinguished 
in tne blood of the insurgents ; two abunas were slain in battle, 
whole legions were slaughtered in the field, or suffocated in 
their caverns : and neither merit nor rank nor sex could save 
from an ignominious death the enemies of Rome. But the 
victorious monarch was finally subdued by the constancy of 
the nation, of his mother, of his son, and of his most faithful 
friends. Segued listened tm the voice of pity, of reason, per- 
haps of fear ; and his edict of liberty of conscience instantly 
revealed the tpranny and weakness of the Jesuits. On the 
death of his rather, Basilides expelled the Latin patriarch, 
and restored to the wishes of the nation the fiiith and the 
uio^ discipline of Egypt. The Monophysite dmrches resounded 
• janMg. with a song of triumph, " that the sheep of iBthiopia were 
now delivered from the hymnas of the West " ; and the gates 
of that solitary realm were for ever shut against the arts, the 
science, and the fimaticism of Europe.^^ 

^^ I am aware how tender is the question of circumcision. Yet I will affinn, 
I. That the ^Ethiopians have a j^]fsicai reason for the circumcision of males, and 
even of females (Recherches Phuosophiqnes sur les Am^cains, tom. il). a. That 
it was practised m iCthiopia long before the introduction of Judaism or Christianity 
(Herodot L it c. 104. Marsham, Canon. Chron. p. 7a, 73). " Infantes drcom- 
ddimt ob consuetudinem non ob Judaismum/' says Gregory the Abvssinian priest 
(apud Fabric. Lux Christiana, p. 790). Yet, in the heat erf* dispute, the Portuguese 
were sometimes branded with the name oiuncircttmcised (La Croze, p. 80; Ludolph. 
Hist and Comment L lit c. z). 

i**The three Protestant historians, Ludolphus (Hist .£thiopica, Franoofurt, 
z68i ; Commentarius, x6qz ; Relatio Nova, «c. 1693, in folio), Geddes (Church 
History of iEthiopia, London, 1696, in 8vo), and La Croze (Hist du Christianlsme 
d'Ethiopie et d'Armenie, La Haye, 1739, in zamo), have drawn their principal 
materials from the Jesuits, especially from the General History of Telles, published 
in Portuguese at Coimbra, z66a We might be surprised at their frankness ; 
but their most flagitious vice, the spirit of persecution, was in their eyes the most 
meritorious virtue. Ludolphus poiw pw f d some, though a slight, advantage firom 
the ^thiopic language, and the personal coovenation of Gresocy, a free-spirited 
Abyssinian priest, whom he invited from Rome to the court of Saxe-Gotha. See 
the Theologla iEthiopica of Gregory, in Fkbridus. Lux Evangelii, p. 7x6-734* 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIRE 180 



CHAPTER XLVra 

Plan of the last two [quarto] Folumef — Succession and Characters 
of the Greek Emperors of Constantinople, from the Time of 
Heraclius to the jLatin Conquest 

I HAVE now deduced from Trajan to Constantine. from Con-iMtatsof 
stantine to Heraclius, the regular series of the Roman mm 
emperors ; and faithfully exposed the prosperous and adverse 
fortunes of their reigns. Five centuries of the decline and hXL 
of the empire have already elapsed ; but a period of more 
than eight hundred years still separates me from the term 
of my labours, the taking of Constantinople by the Turks. 
Should I persevere in the same course, should I observe the 
same measure, a prolix and slender thread would be spun 
through many a volume, nor would the patient reader find an 
adequate reward of instruction or amusement. At every step, 
as we sink deeper in the decline and fiill of the Eastern 
empire, the annals of each succeeding reign would impose a 
more ungrateful and melancholy task. These annals must 
continue to repeat a tedious and uniform tale of weakness and 
misery ; the natural connexion of causes and events would be 
broken by frequent and hasty transitions, and a minute ac- 
cumulation of circumstances must destroy the light and effect 
of those general pictures which compose the use and ornament 
of a remote history. From the time of Heraclius, the Bysan- 
tine theatre is contracted and darkened ; the line of empire, 
which had been defined by the laws of Justinian and the arms 
of Belisarius, recedes on all sides from our view ; the Roman 
name, the proper subject of our inquiries, is reduced to a 
narrow comer of Europe, to the lonely suburbs of Constanti- 
nople ; and the fiite of the Greek empire has been compared 
to that of the Rhine, which loses itself in the sands before its 
waters can mingle with the ocean. The scale of dominion is 
diminished to our view by the distance of time and place ; nor 
is the loss of external splendour compensated by the nobler 
gifts of virtue and genini. In the last momenta of her decay. 



170 THS DECLINE AND FALL 

Constantinople was doubtless more opulent and populous than 
Athens at her most flourishing sera, when a scanty sum of six 
thousand talents, or twelve hundred thousand pounds sterling, 
was possessed by twenty-one thousand male citisens of an 
adult age. But each of these citizens was a freeman, who 
dared to assert the liberty of his thoughts, words, and actions ; 
whose person and pro^rty were guarded by equal law ; and 
who exercised his independent vote in the government of the 
republic. Their numbekv seem to be multiplied by the strong 
and various discriminations of character : under the shield of 
freedom, on the wings of emulation and vanity, each Athenian 
aspired to the level of the national dignity ; from this com- 
manding eminence aome chosen spirits soared beyond the 
reach of a vulgar eye ; and the chances of superior merit in a 
great and populous kingdom, as they are proved by experience, 
would excuse the computation of imaginary mOlioas. The 
territories of Athens, Sparta, and their allies do not exceed 
a moderate province of France or England; but, after the 
trophies of Balamis and Plattta, they expand in our fimcy to 
the gigantic size of Asia, which had been trampled under the 
feet of the victorious Greeks. But the subjects of the Byian- 
tine empiire, who assume and dishonour the names bom of 
Greeks and Romans, present a dead uniformity of abject vices, 
which are neither softened by the weakness of humanity nor 
animated by the vigour of memorable crimes. The freemen 
of antiquity might repeat, with generous enthusiasm, the 
sentence of Homer, ** tnat, on the first day of his serritnde, 
the (aiptive is deprived of one half of his manly virtue **. But 
the poet had only seen the effects of ciril or domestic 
slavery, nor could he foretell that the second moiety of man* 
hood must be annihilated by the spiritual despotism which 
shackles not only the actions but even the thoughts of the 
prostrate votary. By this double yoke, the Greeks were op- 
pressed under the successors of Heraclius ; the tyrant, a law 
of eternal justice, was degraded by the vices of his subjects ; 
and on the throne, in the camp, in the schools, we search, 
perhaps with fruitl^ diligence, the names and chaiaeters that 
may deserve to be rescued from oblivion. Nor are the defects 
of the subject compensated by the skill and varielr of the 
painters. Of a space of eight hundred years, the &ur first 
centuries are overspread with a doud, interrupted by some 
£unt and broken lays of historic Ivht; in the lives of the 
emperors^ firom Manrioe ta Aleziiii, fissil thto. Jiaoadankui has 



OF THE ROMAN ^MPIBE 171 

alone been the theme of a separate work ; and the absence, 
or loss, or imperfection of contemporary evidence most be 
poorly supplied by the doubtfiil authority of more recent com- 
pilers. The four last centuries are exempt firom the reproadi 
of penury ; and with the Comnenian &mily the historic muse 
of Constantinople again revives, but her apparel is gaudy, her 
motions are without elegance or grace. A ;lucces8ion of priests, 
or courtiers, treads in each other's footsteps in the same path 
of servitude and superstition: their views are narrow, their 
judgment is feeble or corrupt; and we close the volume of 
copious barrenness, still ignorant of the causes of events, the 
characters of the actors, and the manners of the times, which 
they celebrate or deplore. The observation which has been 
ap|Hied to a man may be extended to a whole people, that the 
energy of the sword is communicated to the pen ; and it will 
be found, by experience, that the tone of history will rise or 
fM with the spirit of the age. 

From these considerations, I should have abandoned^ ^*^2U«wi 
out regret, the Greek slaves and their servile historians, had «im r»voto 
I not reflected that the &te of the Byzantine monarchy isvoru 
pasnvely connected with the most splendid and important 
revolutions which have changed the state of the world. The 
space of the lost provinces was immediately replenished with 
new colonies and rising kingdoms ; the active virtues of peace 
and war deserted from the vanquished to the victorious nations ; 
and it is in their origin and conquests, in their religion and 
government, that we must explore the causes and effects of 
the decline and &U of the Eastern empire. Nor will this 
scope of narrative, the riches and variety of these materials, 
be incompatible with the unity of design and composition. 
As, in his daily prayers, the Musulman of Fez or Delhi still 
turns his &ce towards the temple of Mecca, the historian's eyfe 
shall be always fixed on the city of Constantinople. The 
excursive line may embrace the wilds of Arabia and Tartary, 
but the circle wiU be ultimately reduced to the decreasing 
limit of the Roman monarchy. 

On this princinle, 1 shall now establish the plan of the last Q^^ 
two volumes of the present work. The first chapter will coPrCtygg 
tain, in a regular series, the emperors who reigned at Constanti- 
nople during a period of six hundred years, from the days of 
HeracHos to the Latin conquest : a rapid abstract, which may 
be supported by a general appeal to the order and text of the 
original bisleriana. In this introduction, I AaU confine iHysdf 



170 



THE DEC' 



ConstaDtinopte was d" 
Athena at her mosX .. 
thouund talenti, or iv. 
was poasested by tvm 
adult age. But ciui. 
dared to assert the lii/ 
whose person and [j.. 
who exercised hi^ i.i^. 
republic. Their «..:;■ 
and various discriiu... 
freedom, on the .v.i. 
aspired to the !< - . 
mandinf; cmincio-^ 
reach of a vnlg;ii . - . 
gieatand pnpiilua 
would excu-si- :i.v 
tenritories of .\<...' 
a nuxleratK yv- 
trophies of ^'^i;.- ■,- 
the gigantic ~:. 
feet of tli^ vi<T — 
tine enipirt". v .. 
Greeks and 1:< 
which arc m .. -•"" 
animated )>) ' i...,. 
of'ia "■ ■■ ■■■** 




^.ijSFALL 



. _ -(h. mDaet, the mode of their 

"• _ :-ti— '"^ of their domestic 

jstL- rtiga to accelerate or 

~, ~_ ,f dapire. Such a chrono- 

s^:^ JK various argument of 

^^ .unmatance of the event- 

_ 4,^ .aelf in a proper place 

''^ . .ja*" state of the empire, 

^ 'm-^oans, which ahook the 

- ^ «bl be the subject of two 

^i fM mut be postponed till 

.,_,jaiBAl the view of the world 

_.^,M.^>: dM Christian sra. After 

~ jhk«. the following nations will 

.^^ w;. xenpy the space to which 

^^^» jr merit, or the degree of 

^^ Mki the present age. I. The 

„^H. •'iB:h includes all the baN 

^ .'Wmmt, who were united by the 

,^f,im^ The persecution of images 

^ .^me and Italy from the Bysan- 

j« .-^Muration of the Roman empire 

I,— jr Saracens, Three ample 

.^^ .iwioos and interesting objecL 

^t country and its inhabitants, 

at Mahomet ; the character. 

In the second, I shall 

Syria, Egypt, and Africa, 

e ; nor can I check their 

overthrown the monarchies of 

I shall inquire how Coustanti- 

by the luxury and arts, the 

re of the caliphs. A single 

BVLOARIANS, IV', HuNOARlANa, 

hj aea or by }and the provinces 

of these, so important in their 

__ _MBe curiosity in their origin and 

; m rather the private adventurers 

btuided a powerful kingdom in 

throne of Constantinople, dia- 

Jrj, and almoat realised the 

TW Latins ; the subjects of the 



OF THE EOMAN EMPIRE 178! 

pope, the nations of the West, who enlisted under the banner 
of the Cross, for the recovery or relief of the holy sepulchre* 
The Greek emperors were terrified and preserved by the 
myriads of pilgrims who marched to Jerusalem with Godfrey 
of Bouillon and the peers of Christendom. The second and 
third crusades trod in the footsteps of the first: Asia and 
Europe were mingled in a sacred war of two hundred years ; 
and the Christian powers were bravely resisted, and finally 
expelled, by Saladin and the Mamalukes of Egypt. In these 
memorable crusades, a fleet and army of French and Venetians 
were diverted from Syria to the Thracian Bosphorus ; they 
assaulted the capital, they subverted the Greek monarchy; 
and a dynasty of Latin princes was seated near threescore 
years on the throne of Constantine. VIII • The Greeks them-., 
selves, during this period of captivity and exile, must be con- 
sidered as a foreign nation, the enemies, and again the sove- 
reigns, of Constantinople. Misfortune had rekindled a spark 
of national virtue ; and the Imperial series may be continued^ 
with some dignity, from their restoraticm to the Turkish con- 
quest. IX. The Moguls and Tartars. By the arms of Zingis: 
and his descendants the globe was shaken from China te 
Poland and Greece ; the Sultans were overthrown ; the caliphs 
fell ; and the Caesars trembled on their throne. The victories, 
of Timour suspended, above fifty years, the final ruin of the 
Byzantine empire. X. I have already noticed the first ap- 
pearance of the Turks ; and the names of the fistthers, oiSelfuk 
and Oihmatiy discriminate the two successive dynasties of tiie 
nation which emerged in the eleventh century from the 
Scjrthian wilderness. The former established a potent and 
splendid kingdom from the banks of the Oxus to Antioch and 
Nice ; and the first crusade was provoked by the violation of 
Jerusalem and the danger of Constantinople. From an humble 
origin^ the Ottomans arose, the scourge and terror of Chiisten* 
dom. Constantinople Mras besieged and taken by Mahomet 11., 
and his triumph annihilates the remnant, the image, the title, 
of the Roman empire in the East. The schism of the Greeks 
wiU be connected with their last calamities, and the restora- 
tion of learning in the Western world. I shall return from the 
captivity of the new, to the ruins of ancient, Rome ; and the 
venerable name, the interesting theme, will shed a ray of 
glory on the conclusion of my labours.^ 

1 [For a division of the Imperial higtonr from the seventh t» the twclith oeDtary 
into periods, see Appendix 9.] 



■ «, 4 



M !±Ji . tCLDiE AXD FALL 

-t^ M»,«..v^4 ««rc»(ULMi» ^ad omabtd a tyimnt and ascended 
'fii,. ;v^^ -** .!c --iciisor*- ot ha rvign is perpetuated by the 

" "^ ^.. ..^^».>^ wiu rr^iMnbitfloM, of the Eastern provinces. 

^^ ' 4 - cuvx'.^ his first wife, he disobeyed the 

...^ .^ v'E^.ru :iitr jtws. by his second marriage with 

.^- «b». uM .ac superstition of the Greeks beheld 

_^.^^ A% * ^A«?ti n tile diseases of the father and the 

'a» ^S4,v:t«. 3siC the opinion of an illegitimate 

^ wuv V l.xj^torc die choice, and loosen the obedi- 

^_ v "vckHs. .:Hr jflsbiCion of Martina was quickened 

^ ^ •••*. j-^.. ~i.iu sn^oiip* by the envy of a step-mother ; 

.V >^wv. ^usOk-tu w«» evo ^ble to withstand the arts of 

...^w w ^.x'MK-tiiN. wtucantine, his eldest son, enjoyed in 

1..A.V ^«r N. :':*c sH .Vu^custus; but the weakness of his 

..v^. .-w^ M «^wv£\-u % vvii«nuctte and a guardian, and he yielded 

. .-. ..«. V. xtuv<:uivx' cu tiifce partition of the empire. The 

,.«.,. *.w^ ^.ukU%^iK:%i ct> the piilace to ratify or attest the as- 

^ ,>^. v.. . ^(..Mctcoikitf, the son of Martina;- the imposition 

.V ■••'•..v .£• *«<*^ c\«iMecffated by the prayer and blessing of 

;v ^, ^k.v>! !K* <«-ctat\^rs and patricians adored the majesty 

V ,'v.... .a4*c<vr Mid the partners of his reign; and, as 

^^ ^ -'.v vvft»> «cre thrown open, they were hailed by the 

.. .;^^. H** luportaut voice of the soldiers. After an 

..^ J IV c u%uichs, the pompous ceremonies which formed 

^ ^>...vv .'* 'A\c Bysantine state were celebrated in the 

«. ..v«:^ ^-'^^i' uppoJrume; the concord of the royal brothers 

. «.. ..!Cx%%%;i> wii>p»aycd by the younger leaning on the arm 

.N. .%..«.. . uui the name of Martina was mingled in the 

v«^»%.«»»«« >*% viuil declamations of the people. Heraclius sur- 

> « V •>.% «ii<i«H:4iittiNi about two years ; his last testimony de- 

''' ^^^^ Kv «ttO M,HMA the equal heirs of the Eastern empire, and 

x^^*«^*«.v%. Kui t\> honour his widow Martina as their mother 

» Ku ^Mfi'iia first appeared on the throne with the name 

^ ^^'^ ^ ^ ..^^»^^*v* ^i fvyalty, she was checked by a firm, though 

^ . vN^'^<* .«|i|HiMtiou ; and the dying embers of freedom were 

..v.«v H v'V breath of superstitious prejudice. "We reve- 



• :^. . ^•. . ivsi .M HerAclitts ^^ere : (i) b^ Endocia : Epiphania (caUed Eudoda 

vvskCs^ ->•««% '^M*> \. IX oil : Constantine (or Heraclius the Small, see Theoph. 

^".^7 V N ^i>a4i ; (a) 1^ Martina : Heradonas (or Heraclius) ; Au^us- 

.'VvA. h»«ut. NUiinusor Martinus. Some other children by Martma, 

-. .^ -v^ ii»*-:wi** Cuusuniine. died young.] 

>^ « XNhMuwoM I^MTphyrofeniwtai, De Cer.. ii 37, p. 6a7-S, ed. Bomii] 



OF THE BOSCAN EMPIBE ITS 

rence/' exclaimed the voice of a dtdien, ^we r eve gcace the 
mother of our princes ; but to those princes alone our obedience 
is due ; and Constantine, the elder emperor, is of ail age ta 
sustain, in his own hands, the weight of the sceptre. Your sex 
is excluded by nature from the toils of fforemment. How 
could you combat, how could you answer, the barbariansi* who, 
with hostile or friendly intentions, may approach the royal 
city ? May heaven avert from the Roman repubtic thiA national 
disgrace, which would provoke the patience of the slaves of 
Persia ! " Martina descended from the throne with indignation, 
and sought a refuge in the female apartment of the palace. 
The reign of Constantine the Third lasted only one hundnsd and 
three days ; he expired in the thirtieth year of his age, and, 
although his life had been a long malady, a belief was enter- 
tained that poison had been the means, and his cruel step- 
mother the author, of his imtimely fiite. Martina reaped, 
indeed, the harvest of his death, and assumed the government fiSf 
in the name of the surviving emperor ; but the incestuous widow 
of Heraclius was universally abhorred; the jealousy of the 
people was awakened ; and the two orphans, whom Constantine' 
had left, became the objects of the public care. It was in vain 
that the son of Martina, who was no more than fifteen years of 
age, was taught to declare himself the guardian of his nephews, 
one of whom he had presented at the baptismal font ; it was in 
vain that he swore on the wood of the true cross to defend 
them against all their enemies. On his death-bed, the liate 
emperor dispatched a trusty servant to arm the troops and 
provinces of the East in the defence of his helpless children ; 
the eloquence and liberality of Valentin had been successful, 
and fix>m his camp of Chalcedon he bdldly demanded the 
punishment of the assassins and the restoration of the lawful 
heir. The licence of the soldiers, who devoured the grapes 
and drank the wine of their Asiatie vineyards, provoked the 
citizens of Constantinople against the domestic authors of their 
calamities, and the dome of St. Sophia re-echoed, not with 
prayers and hymns, but with the clamours and imprecations of 
an enraged multitude. At their imperious command, Henid- 
leonas appeared in the pulpit with the eldest of the royal 
orphans ; Constans alone wa$ isaluted as emperor of the Ronlans ; 
and a crown of gold, which had been taken from the tomb of 
Heraditts, was placed on his head, with the solemn benediction 
of the patriarch. But in the tumult, of joy and indigpation the 
church was pillaged, the sanctuary was poUutcd by a pioiiiie-j 



174 



THI 



truuitfnt coniiui^si., 
After the dca... 
patriarch, mm . . 
his DJcce Muii.i: . 
the jiidfriiii.-iu ' 
defonnitv ui ... 
birth is sii;:.. 

t^ mBtenml ii< . 
and the aged ii..^ 
coi^ognl alluruiu. ' 
a mature :t;^: >.. 
constitiiti*.:. 
with Kicr. 
senate n..- 

of the .111.' 
the palri 
of the Kr> -> 
soon as tli. 
tumuli II . 

the i-t. 
G«th<-(l; 




^^^: and the Mmothelite 
^^h ^rr dropping a protesta- 

^^ggt digbt trom the seal of 
^^ft 'jtoadj task was reserved 

^^«arT strength from the 
.^^^ The spirit of Roman 
^ i«t(it examples of the jndg- 
J— siprits were deposed and 
J wt^ of Constantine. But 
^^^ was stained by the in- 
^ jxiocent and the guiltj : 

iMi III id to the amputation, 
jer M his nose ; and after this 
:jM lentainder of their days in 
^M «vre capable of reflection 
t jtftr servitude, by observing 
, M^ for a moment in the 



I 6ve hundred yean 
■. ~ ,»sKns< >f ^^ listen to the ora- 

"^"~" ', i in the twelfth year of his 

-^ " ^ - .iArr returning his thanks for 

^^~ ^^^^bW *ho had intercepted the 
>* "I'' ^ ■■^k * BJr ^^ divine providence," 

*•*" ;^ MwiriiahteouB decree. Martina 

*"^V^ ^v'lwen cast headlong from the 
*^'^*^!r» "^^^ have prevented the Roman 
^'^ jn**^*** t"*""*?' ' therefore exhort 
*' ^'_ iM** a* tbe counsellors and judges 
^f" '^ MMtiirs were gratified by the 
■^^ ■ jj^^ liiMaSiTe of their sovereign ; but 
^""V^^^Maifcy ■"•' regardless of freedom ; 
* ' ;^|^j* m ho"' Tvas quickly erased by 

*^ \^.^ (fe habits of despotism. He 
"^^^ wt the senate or people should 

•» . fdutore and seat bis brother 

By the imposition of holy 

Heradiui ; be w;u renamed Con- 

';Hmcliiuhad broufshl 

sud is lo izUed tqr Ni- 

slwiTi kDovm a* Coculani 

l1 aime, but that be wu pi 




■X 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 177 

vrdert, the grandson of Heraclius was disqualified for the 
purple ; but this ceremony^ which seemed to profime the sac- 
raments of the church, was insufficient to appease the suspicions 
of the tyrant, and the death of the deacon Theododus could ^ 
ilone expiate the crime of his royal birth. His murder was 
tvexiged by the imprecations of the people, and the assassin, in 
the niiness of power, was driven from his capital into voluntey 
md perpetual exile. Constans embarked iar Greece ; and, as 
if he meant to retort the abhorrence which he deserved, he is 
uud, from the Imperial galley, to have spit against the walls of 
bis native city. After passing the winter at Athens, he sailed 
to Tarentum in Italy, visited Rome, and concluded a longC^J^t 
pilgrimage of disgrace and sacrilegious rapine, bv fixing his 
residence at Syracuse.^ But, if Constans could fiy from his 
people, he coudd not fly from himself. The remorse of his 
conscience created a phantom who pursued him by land and 
lea, by day and by night ; and the visionary Theodosius, pre- 
lenting to his lips a cup of blood, said, or seemed to say, 
' Drink, brother, drink : " a sure emblem of the aggravation of 
lis guilt, since he had received frx>m the hands of the dieacon 
!ie mystic cup of the blood of Christ.^ Odious to himself and 
» mankind, Constans perished by domestic, perhaps by episcopal 
eason in the capital of Sicily. A servant who waited in the 
th, after pouring warm water on his head, struck him violently 
th the vase. He fell, stunned by the blow and suffocated by 
* water ; and his attendants, who wondered at the tedious 
ay, beheld with indifference the corpse of their lifeless 
!>eror. The troops of Sicily invested with the purple an 
nire youth, whose inimitable beauty eluded, and it might g sSftJi f 

This description of the Jfigkt of CDnstans from Constantinople is certainly a 

>resentation. Of the causes of the execution of Theodosius we know nothing ; 

bough Constans was certainly unpopular in his capital and this unpopulantj 

ess confirmed him in his resolve to proceed to the West, this resolve was in 

t instance evidently dictated by statesmanlihe motives. He had vigorously 

sctively checked the advance of Saracen ojrms in the East ; it seemiBd now 

vtant to protect Africa and Sicily, threatened and attacked by the same 

and at the same time recover the south of Italy (duchy of Beneventnm) 

: Lx)mbards. In this last task Constans failed; and his idea of moving 

; centre of the empire to Old Rome was an unpractical dream. He seems 

-eorganixed the administration of the Imperial territory in South Italy, by 

one province Calabria, including both the heel and toe. When the hed 

ted from the empire, the name became appropriated exclusively to the 

; unpopularity oi Constans had probabljr its gravest cause in the heavy 

rhich he imposed for the military reorganisation of the empire.] 

Cedrenus, L p. 762, ed. Bonn.] 

L. V. 12 ^ 



178 THE D£CI4N£; : AND , F^J^^ 

. easily elude, the declining art of the piunters and iculpton of 
the age. 
^ttM Constans had left in the Byxantine palace three sons, the 
2^*^ eldest of whom had been clothed in his infiincy with the purple. 
When tlie fiither summoned them to attend his person in Sicily^ 
these precious hostages were detained by the Greeks, and a 
finn renisal informed him that they were the children of the 
state. The news of his murder was conveyed with almost 
supernatural speed from Syracuse to Constantinople ; and 
. Constantine, the eldest of his sons, inherited his throne without 
being the heir of the public hatred.^ His subjects contributed 
with zeal and alacrity, to chastise the guilt and presumption of 
a province which liad usurped the rights of the senate and 
people ; the young emperor sailed from the Hellespont with a 
powerful fleet; and the legions of Rome and Carthage were 
assembled under his standard in the harbour of Sjrracuse. The 
defeat of the Sicilian tyrant was easv, his punishment just, and 
his beauteous head was exposed in tne hippodrome ; but I can- 
not applaud the clemency of a prince who, among a crowd of 
victors, condemned the son of a patrician for deploring with 
some bitterness the execution of a virtuous &ther. The youth 
was castrated ; he survived the operation ; and the memory of 
this indecent cruelty is preserved by the elevation of Germanus 
to the rank of a patriarcn and saint. After pouring this bloodv 
libation on his father's tomb, Constantine returned to his capital, 
and the growth of his young beard during the Sicilian voyi^^e 
was announced, by the familiar surname of Pogonatus, to the 
Grec;ian world, out his reign, like that of his predecessor, was 
stained with fraternal 4i8<20i^* On his two brothers, Heradius 
and Tiberius, he had bestowed the title of Augustus : an empty 
title, for they continued to languish, without trust or power, in 
the solitude of the palace. At their secret instigation, the 
troops of the Anatolian tkeme ^ or province approached the city 
on tne Asiatic side, demanded for the royal brothers the parti- 
tion or exercise of sovereignty, and supported their seditious 
claim by a theological argument. They were Christians (they 
cried) and orthodox Cathdics ; the sincere votaries of the holy 
and undivided Trinity. Since there are three equal persons in 
heaven, it is reasonable there should be three equal persons 



* [For the Saracen siege of Coooumtinople in Constantine's nigp^ lee c UL a/ 
Mi, / for the cstabUibment of the Bulgarian kingdom, c !▼• iul mm/.] 



' [For the TTUimis, whkh begin to appear in the aeoood half of the seventh 
century, see voL vL Appendix.] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 179 

apon euth* The emperor invited these learned divines to a 
£diendly conference, in which they might propose their argu- 
ments to the senate; they obeyed the summons; but tiie 
prospect of their bodies hanging on the gibbet in the suburb of 
GalAta reconciled their companions to the unitv of the reign of 
Constantine. He pardoned his brothers, and their names were 
still pronounced in the public acclamations; but, on the 
repetition or suspicion of a similar ofience, the obnoxious princes 
were deprived of their titles and noses, in the presence of the 
Catholic bishops who were assembled at Constantinople in the 
sixth general synod. In the close of his life, Pogonatus was 
vudous only to establish the right of primogeniture ; the hair 
of his two sons, Justinian and Heraclius, was offered on the 
shrine of St. Peter, as a symbol of their spiritual adoption by 
the pope ; but the elder was alone exalted to the rank of 
Augustus and the assurance of the empire. 

After the decease of his fiither, the inheritance of the Roman ^^^ 
world devolved to Justinian II. ; and the name of a triumphant s<fiS« 
lawgiver was dishonoured by the vices of a boy, who imitated 
bis namesake only in the expensive luxury of building. His 
passions were strong ; his understanding was feeble ; and he 
was intoxicated with a foolish pride that his birth had given 
him the command of millions, of whom the smallest community 
woald not have chosen him for their local magistrate. H^ 
fitvonrite ministers were two beings the least susceptible of 
human sympathy, an eunuch and a monk; to the one he 
abandoned the palace, tO' the other the finances ; the fbtmer 
corrected the emperor's mother with a scourge, the latter sus- 
pended the insolvent tributaries, with their heads downwaids, 
over a alow and smoky fire. Since the days of Commodus and 
Car^calky the cruel^ of the Roman princes had most oom- 
monly been the eroct of their fear; but Justinian, who 
possfysird some vigour of charaetevp enjoyed the sufferings, and 
nsawed the revenge, of his subjects about ten years, till the 
acaanre was foil, of his crimes and of their patience. In a dark 
dm^eon, Lecoitiiis, a g«ieral of reputation, had groaned above 
three years with some of the noblest and most deserving of 
the. yntririsn^ ; he was suddenly drawn forth to assume the 
government of Greece ; and this promotioiii of an injured man 
was a mark of the contempt rather than of the coi^Uence of 
his prince. As he was followed to the port by the kind offices 
of his friends, Leontius observed, with a sigh, that he was a 
victim adorned for sacrifice and that inevitable death would 



180 THE DECLmE AND FALL 

pursue his footsteps. They ventured to reply that glory anc 
empire might be the recompense of a generous resolution ; thai 
every order of men abhorred the reign of a monster ; and thai 
the hands of two hundred thousand patriots expected only th( 
voice of a leader. The night was chosen for their deliverance 
and, in the first effort of the conspirators, the prefect was slaii 
and the prisons were forced open; the emissaries of Leontiu! 
proclaimed in every street, " Christians, to St. Sophia ! " ; anc 
the seasonable text of the patriarch, '* this is the day of th< 
Lord ! " was the prelude of an infiammatory sermon. From th< 
church the people adjourned to the hippodrome ; Justinian, ii 
whose cause not a sword had been drawn, was dragged befor< 
these tumultuary judges, and their clamours demanded th< 
instant death of the tyrant. But Leontius, who was alreadj 
clothed with the purple, oast an eye of pity on the prostrate soi 
of his own bene&ctor, and of so many emperors. The life o 
Justinian was spared ; the amputation of his nose, perhaps o 
his tongue, was imperfectly performed ; the happy flexibility o 
the Greek language could impose the name of Khinotmetus 
and the mutilated t3rrant was banished to Chersonse in Crim 
Tartary, a lonely settlement, where com, wine, and oil wer< 
importMl as foreign luxuries. 

iLD*£RiB ^ ^^^ ^^^ o^ ^^^ Scjrthian wilderness, Justinian stil 
cherished the pride of his birth and the hope of his restoration 
After three years' exile, he received the pleasing intelligent 
that his injurv was avenged by a second revolution, and tha 
Leontius ^ in his tiurn had beta dethroned and mutilated by th< 

rmwrtum. rebel Apsimar, who assumed the more respectable name o 
Tiberius. But the claim of lineal succession was still formidable 
to a plebeian usurper ; and his jealousy was stimulated by th< 
complaints and cnarges of the Chersonites, who beheld th( 
vices of the tyrant in the spirit of the exile. With a band o 
followers, attached to his person bv common hope or eommoi 
despair, Justinian fled from the inhospitable shore to the hord< 
of tne Chozars, who pitched thcte tents between the Tanais atK 
Borysthenes. The khan entertained with pity and respect th< 
royal suppliant; Phanagoria, once an opulent dty, on tb 
Asiatic side of the lake Maeotts, was assigned for his residence 
and every Roman prejodice was stifled in his marriaffe with th< 
sister of the barbarian, who seems, however, from the name o 

* [The chief event of the rdgn of Leontius (A.D. 695-698) was the final loss 
Africa. See below, 6. IL] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 179 

upon euth* The emperor invited these learned divines to a 
£ciendly conference, in which they might propose their argu- 
ments to the senate; they obeyed the summons; but the 
prospect of their bodies hanging on the gibbet in the suburb of 
GalAta reconciled their companions to the unil^ of the reign of 
CoDstantine. He pardoned his brothers, and their names were 
itill pronounced in the public acclamations; but, on the 
repetition or suspicion of a similar offence, the obnoxious princes 
were deprived of their titles and noses, in the presence of the 
Catholic bishops who were assembled at Constantinople in the 
sixth general synod. In the close of his life, Pogonatus was 
wudous only to establish the right of primogeniture ; the hair 
of his two scms, Justinian and Heraclius, was offered on the 
shrine of St. Peter, as a symbol of their spiritual adoption by 
the pope; but the elder was alone exalted to the rank of 
Augustus and the assurance of the empire. 

After the decease of his fiither, the inheritance of the Romany 
world devolved to Justinian II. ; and the name of a triumphant s<viS« 
lawgiver was dishonoured by the vices of a boy, who imitated 
hia namesake only in the expensive luxury of building. His 
passions were strong; his understanding was feeble; and he 
was intoxicated with a foolish pride that his birth had given 
him the command of millions, of whom the smallest community 
would not have chosen him for their local magistrate. H^ 
fiivomite ministers were two beings the least susceptible of 
human sympathy, an eunuch and a monk; to the one he 
abandoned the palace, to the other the finances ; the fbtmer 
corrected the emperor's mother with a soouige, the latter sus- 
pended the insolvent tributaries, with their heads downwaids, 
orer a alow and smoky fire. Since the days of Commodus and 
Car^calhy the cruel|^ of the Roman princes had most oom- 
mooly been the eroct of their fear; but Justinian, who 
pawMScd some vigour of characiCTp enjoyed the sufferings, and 
naaved the revenge of his subjects about ten years, till the 
mcawim sras foil, of his Grimes and of their patience. In a dark 
dm^eon, Xeositiiis, a gmeral of reputation, had groaned above 
tbreii years with some of the noblest and most deserving of 
ibm. fitririsns ; he was suddenly drawn forth to assume the 
govmunent of Greece ; and this promotion of an injured man 
was a Biaris of the contempt rather than of the coi^yence of 
his prince. As he was followed to the port by the kind offices 
of his friends, Leontius observed, with a sigh, that he was a 
victim adorned for sacrifice and that inevitable death would 



182 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

and Justinian^ planting a foot on eaeh of their necks, ocmteiii- 
plated above an hour the chariot-race, whOe the inconstant 
people shouted, in the words of the Psalmist, ''Thou shah 
trample on the asp and basilisk, and on the lion and dn^gon 
shalt thou set thy foot i " ^^ The universal defection which he 
had once experienced might provoke him to repeat the with of 
Caligula, that the Roman pec^e had but one head. Yet I shall 
presume to observe that such a wish is unworthy of an in- 
genious tyrant since his revenge and cruel^ would have 
been extinguished by a single blow, instead of the slow 
variety of tortures which Justinian inflicted on the victims of 
his anger. His pleasures were inexhaustible; neither private 
virtue nor public service could expiate the guilt of active or even 
passive obedience to an established government ; and, during 
the six years of his new reign, he considered the axe, the cord, 
and the rack as the only instruments of royalty.^' But his most 
implacable hatred was pointed against the Chersonites, who 
had insulted his exile and violated the laws of hospitality. Their 
remote situation afibrded some means of defence, or at least of 
escape ; and a grievous tax was imposed on Constantinople, to 
supply the preparations of a fleet and armv. " All are guilty, 
and all must perish," was the mandate of Justinian ; and the 
bloody execution was entrusted to his fiivourite Stephen, who 
[Aj>. vsi was recommended by the epithet of the Savage. Yet even the 
savage Stephen imperfectly accomplished the intentions of his 
sovereign. The slowness of his attack allowed the greater part 
of the inhabitants to withdraw into the countiy; and the 
minister of vengeance contented himself with redneing the 
youth of both sexes to a state of servitude, with roasting alive 
seven of the principal dtiseni^ with drowning twenty in the 
sea, and with reserving fi>rty*two in chains to rec^ve their 
doom from the mouth of the emperor. In their retunif the 
fleet was driven on the rocky shores of Anatolia, and Jnsttnian 
applauded the obedience of the Euxine, which had involved so 
many thousands of his subjects and enemies in a oomnHNi ship- 
wreck ; but the tyrant was still insatiate of blood, and a sooond 
expedition was commanded to extirpate the remains of the 

u [Psalm zd. 13 ; according to raadiag q[ the Septvagint, Lum (Xlwra) aUodai 
to LeoiUiut, iivinU to Apsimar; while pmOJunw suggests a petty /hmAnf*.] 

u [The reign of Apsimar had been on the whole suocesifal, and, thou^ it aaw 
the loss of the Fourth Armenia to the Saracens, was marked br some tmportont 
s ii coe sa e s , especially a naval victory olTtheooast of Cnida. In justiniaa's aeoood 
reign, there was an unsuocasiftil eipsdftfcm against Bulgaria, and lyaaa was 
lost to the Saracens.] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 179 

apoa euth* The emperor invited these learned divines to a 
mendly conference, in which they might propose their argu- 
ments to the senate; they obeyed fiie summons; but the 
prospect of their bodies hanging on the gibbet in the suburb of 
GalAta reconciled their companions to the uni^ of the reign of 
CoDstantine. He pardoned his brothers, and their names were 
itill pronounced in the public acclamations; but, on the 
repetition or suspicion of a similar oiTence, the obnoxious princes 
were deprived of their titles and noses, in the presence of the 
Cath<^c bishops who were assembled at Constantinople in the 
sixth general synod. In the close of his life, Pogonatus was 
uudous only to establish the right of primogeniture ; the hair 
of his two s<ms, Justinian and Heraclius, was offered on the 
shrine of St. Peter, as a symbol of their spiritual adoption by 
the pope ; but the elder was alone exalted to the rank of 
Augustus and the assurance of the empire. 

After the decease of his fiither, the inheritance of the Romany 
world devolved to Justinian II. ; and the name of a triumphant s<viS« 
lawgiver was dishonoured by the vices of a boy, who imitated 
bis namesake only in the expensive luxury of building. His 
pasdons were strong; his understanding was feeble; and he 
was intoxicated with a foolish pride that his birth had given 
him the command of millions, of whom the smallest community 
would not have chosen him for their local magistrate. H^ 
fiivomite ministers were two beings the least susceptible of 
human sympathy, an eunuch and a monk ; to the one he 
abandoned the palace, to the other the finances ; the fbtm^r 
eonected the emperor's mother with a scourge, the latter sus- 
pended the insolvent tributaries, with their heads downwaids, 
orer a alow and smoky fire. Since the days of Commodus and 
Car^calhy the cruelty of the Roman princes had most oom- 
monlj been the eroct of their fear; but Justinian, who 
possfsird some vigour of charaetevp enjoyed the sufferings, and 
nsaved the revenge of his subjects about ten years, S]l the 
mcawim sras foil, of his crimes and of their patience. In a dark 
dm^eon, Lecoitins, a gmeral of reputation, had groaned above 
tbreii yean with some of the noblest and most deserving of 
the. ppiririans ; he was suddenly drawn forth to assume the 
government of Greece ; and this prcmiotioa of an injured man 
was a wmA of the contempt rather than of the coi:didence of 
his prince. As he was followed to the port by the kind offices 
of his friends, Leontius observed, with a sigh, that he was a 
victim adorned for sacrifice and that inevitable death would 



A.D.m. 



184 THE DECLINE AND FAJLL 

Zeudppas; and, retuming to the palace, entertaioed his noUet 
with a sumptuous banquet. At the meridian hour he with* 
drew to his chamber, intoxicated with flattery and wine, and 
forgetful that his example had made every subject ambitious 
and that every ambitious subject was his secret enemy. Some 
bold conspirators introduced themselves in the disorder of the 
feast; and the slumbering monarch was surprised, bounds 
blinded, and deposed, before he was sensible of his danger. 
Yet the traitors were deprived of their reward ; and the free 
M 4 ' ^^ voice of the senate and people promoted Artemius from the office 
of secretary to that of emperor: he assumed the title of Anas- 
tasius the Second, and displayed in a short and troubled reign 
the virtues both of peace and war. But, after the extinction of 
the Imperial line, the rule of obedience was violated, and every 
change diffused the seeds of new revolutions. In a mutiny of 
the fleet, an obscure and reluctant officer of the revenue was 
forcibly invested with the purple ; after some months of a naval 
war, Anastasius resigned the sceptre ; ^^ and the conqueror, 
Theodosius the Third, submitted in his turn to the superior 
ascendant of Leo, the general and emperor of the Oriental 
troops. His two predecessors were permitted to embrace the 
ecclesiastical profession ; the restless impatience of Anastasius 
tempted him to risk and to lose his life in a treasonable enter- 
prise; but the last days of Theodosius were honourable and 
secure. The single sublime word, ''health," which he in- 
scribed on his tomb, expresses the confidence of philosophy or 
religion ; and the fisime of his miracles was long preserved 
among the people of Ephesus. This convenient shelter of the 
church might sometimes impose a less<m of clemency; but it 
may be questioned whether it is for the public interest to> 
diminish the perils of unsuccessful ambition. 

I have dwelt on the fidl of a tymnt ; I shall briefly represent. 
t£ the founder of a new dynasty, who is known to posterity by 
the invectives of his enemies, and whose public and private 
life is involved in the ecclesiastical story of the Iconoclasts. 
Yet in spite of the clamours of superstition, a fiivourable preju- 
dice for the charaeter of Leo the Isaurian may be reasonably 
drawn from the obscurity of his birth and the duration of his 
reign.^^' — ^I. In an age of manly spirit, the prospect of an 

^rAnastasius was making preparations for an attack on the Saracens by sea. 
His fall was due to the mutiny of tbe troops of the Op^vtai Theme, whose 
officers he had punished for the part they had played la the •deposition of 
Philippicus.] 

»LFor the acta of Leo IIL, see ako c. UiL (Saracen si^ge of CoBMuainople) ; 
and c. xHx. (iconodasm) ; for his legal work, see Appendix jx For chronology* 
Cjp. Appendix loj 



o m. ttM 



OF THE BOMAiDf EMPIRE 185 

ImperUl reward would have kindled every energy^ ef the mindj 
ana produced a crowd of competitors as deserving as they were 
desirous to reign. Even in the corruption and debility of the 
modem Greeks, the elevation of a plebeian from the' last to' the . 
first rank of society supposes some qualifications above the 
level of the multitude. He would probably be ignorant and 
disdainful of speculative science ; ana in the pursuit of fbrtune 
he might absolve himself from the obligations of benevolence 
and justice; but to his character we may ascribe the useful 
virtues of prudence and fortitude, the knowledge of mankind, 
and the important art of gaining their confidence and direct- 
ing their passions. It is agreed that hco was a native of. 
Isauria,^^ and that Conon was his primitive name. The writers, 
whose awkward satire is praise, describe him as an itmerant 
pedlar, who drove an ass with some paltry merchandise to the 
country fiiirs ; and foolishly relate that he met on the road 
some Jewish fortune-teUers, who promised him the Roman 
empire on condition that he should abolish the worship of 
idols. A more probable account relates the migration of his • 
&ther from Asia Minor to Thrace, where he exercised the 
lucrative trade of a graaier ; and he must have acquired con* 
siderable wealth, since the first introduction of hia son was 
procured by a supply of five hundred sheep to the Imperial 
camp. His first service was in the guards of Justinian, where 
he soon attracted the. notice, and by degrees the jealousy^ of 
the tyrant. His valour and dexterity were conspicuous in the 
Colchian war ; ^^ from Anastasius he received the command of 
the Anatolian legions ; and by the sufirage of the soldiers he 
was raised to the empire, with the general applause of the 
Roman worlds — II. In this dangerous elevation, Leo the Third 

17 [The authority is Th«ophanes, wlio calls hUn " the Lsaurian/' hot makes ths 
strange statement that be came from Germanicia rn a^rfit^t^ 6i U r^c 'lo-avp^, " but 
really from Isauria," ^pi^ch Anastasius, in his' Latin translation, oorrecCs into 
fftmtrt Synu, It is dear that there is a mistake here, as K. Scheak has ibown. 
(Bjrz. Zeitsch., v., p. 996-6. 2896); as Leo'si family belonged tq Germanicia he 
u-asaSyrixm of Commagene, not an Isaurian; ^nd in theSvyayM^X^^^^i^C^^c 
Boor's ed. of Nicephorus, p. 925) he is calted & l^pot. Scbenk thinks that Tbeo- 
phaiies confounded Germanicia with Germanicopolls in Isauria (West Cilida); 
but the position of Germanicia in " Syria** was well known to Theophanes (cp. 
D. 423, 445, 451). Possibly Theophanes wrote ^ ▼% 3vp£a«, and Anastasius trans- 
lated the genuine reading. There is nothing improbable in an accidental comip- 
tioQ of r^ Svpuif to tit'Imorpcat (and ^*l<rcvpo« two lines before would follow\ 
This explanation is supported by the fact that in another passage (which Scheok 
omits to notke) Theophanes does call Leo " the Syrian " ([x 4x2, 3). J 

3>[For an account of Leg^f adventure? in Alania and Abao^, see Bur^, Later 
Romaic Empire, il, 574-7-] 



189 THE IXECLINB' AND FALL 

supported himself against the envy of his eaiuJs, the discontent 
of a powerful Ifaction, and the assaults of his foreign and domestic 
enemies. The Catholics, who accuse his religious innovations, 
are obliged to confess that they were undertaken with temper 
and conducted with firmness. Their silence respects the wisdom 
of his administration and the purity of his manners. After a 
reign of twenty*fbur years, he peaceably expired in the palace 
of Constantinople ; and the purple whidn he had acquired was 
transmitted, by the right of Inheritance, to the third generation. 
In a long reign of thirty-four years, the son and successor of 
gj a itot Leo, Constantine the Fifth, sumamed Copron3ntnu8,^* attacked, 
«pro(^ with less temperate seal, the images or idols of the church, 
• S^ Their votaries have exhausted the bitterness of religious gall 
in their portrait of this spotted puother, this antidhrist, this 
fljring dragon of the serpent's seed, who surpassed the vices of 
Elagabalus and Nero. His reign was a long butcheiy of what- 
ever was most noble, or holy, or innocent, in his empire. In 
person, the emperor assisted at the execution of his victims, 
surveyed their agonies, listened to their groans, and indulged, 
without satiating, his appetite for blood ; a plate of noses was 
accepted as a grateful offering, and his domestics were often 
scourged or mutilated by the roval hand. His surname was 
derived from his pollution of bis fMiitismal fbnt.^^ The infont 
might be excused; but the manly pleasures of Copronjnnus de- 
graded him below the level of a brute ; his lust confounded 
the eternal distinctions of sex and species ; and he seemed to 
extract some unnatural delight from the objects most offensive 
to human sense. In bis religion, the leonodast was an Heretic, 
a Jew, a Mahometan, a Pagan, and an Atheist ; and his belief 
of an invisible power could be discovered only in his maffic 
rites, human victims, and nocturnal sacrifices to Venus and tne 
demons of antiquity. His life was stained with the most 
opposite vices, and the ulcers which covered his body antici- 
pated before his death the sentiment of hell-tortures. Of 
these accusations, which I have so patiently copied, a part is 
refuted by its own absurdity ; and, in the private anecdotes of 



>*[(For CoosUntine'fl rdgn we alto capu xlix., liiL, liv.) At the very outset 
of his reign Constantine's throne was endangerad Yif the rebellion of his brother-in- 
Imw, ArtavBsdus, Count of the OpsiUaa TfiBme, who possessed much influence in 
the Armeniao Theme. Constantinn lost Conimntinnple for neftrly two years, a. p. 
741-3, but finally vaamished Artavaadns nd his sons in a bnlliant campaign. 
It is to be obKTved mat the Patriuch Ansstasius supported Artavasdus, who 
restored image worshipi. For the chroaailQgyaf Constantine s reign, see Appendix o.] 

^*» [More probably, like his other sarassse X<tikUHmas, from his devotion to the 
suUes (Ranke).] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIEE 187 

the life of princes, the lie ii mere easy as the detection is more 
difficoH. Without adopting the pernicious maxim that, where 
much is alleged, something must be true, I can however discern 
that Constantine the Fifth was dissolute and cruel Calumny 
is more prone to exaggerate than to invent ; and her licentious 
tongue is checked in some measure by the experience of the 
age and countiy to which she appeals. Of the bishops and 
monks, the generals and magistrates, who are said to have 
suffered under his reign, the numbers are recorded, the names 
were conspicuous, the execution was public, the mutilation 
visible and permanent. The Catholics hated the person and 
government of Copronymus ; but even their hatred is a proof 
of their oppression. ITiey dissemble the i»t>vocations which 
might excuse or justify his rigour, but even these provocations 
must graduaUy inflame his resentment and harden his temper 
in the use or the abuse of despotism. Yet the character of 
the fifth Constantine was not devoid of merit, nor did his 
govenmient always deserve the curses or the contempt of the 
Greeks.^ From the confession of his enemies, I am informed 
of the restoration of an ancient aqueduct, of the redemption 
of two thousand five hundred captives, of the uncommon plenty 
of the times, and of the new colonies with which he repeopled' • 
Constantinople and the Thradan cities. They reluctantly 
praise his activity and courage ; he was on hofseback in the* 
field at the head of his legions ; and, although the fortune of 
his arms was various, he triumphed by sea and land, on< the 
Euphrates and the Danube, in civil and barbarian- wan 
Heretical praise must be cast into the scale, to counteriMlanee 
the weight of orthodox invective* The Iconoclasts revered 
the virtues of the prince : fiorty years after his death, they 
still prayed before the tomb of the saint. A miraculous vision 
was propagated by fanatidsm or fraud ; and the Christian hero 
appeared on a milk-white steed, brandishing his lance against 

* [Constantine was an naoommonly able and vigorous nikr, tmceasingiy active 
in endeavours to improve the internal administration, and suoocasltil in bis military 
operations. He won back Melitene, Germanida, and Tbeodosiopolis from tbe 
Saracens, and destroyed an armada which the cali|>h sent to besieg|e Csrprus (A.D. 
746). He weakened the Bolgarian kingdom by a seriee of campaigns of various 
fortmie. His persecation of the monks was crael and rigorous, though perhaps 
more excusable than most persecutions ; it was a warfare against gross super- 
stition. Gibbon has not mentkxied the great pestilenee which devasuted the* 
empire in this reign. Tbeophanes has given a vivid description of it At Conr ' 
stantinople it raged for a year (a. a 749)1 and the depopulation which it caused 
led to an influx of new inhabitants, to wtiich tvferenoe is made in the text, Cpi 
Finlay, Hist of Greece, ii , 667. ] 



188 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

the pagans of Bulgaria : '' An absurd fisible/' says the Githolic 
historian^ "since Copronymus is chained with the daemons in 
the abyss of hell "• 
iv. A.11. Leo the Fourth, the son of the fifth, and the fitther of the 
^^ sixth, Constantine, was of a feeble constitution both of mind 
and body, and the principal care of his reign was the settle- 
ment of the succession. The association of the young Con- 
stantine was urged by the officious zeal of his subjects ; and 
the emperor, conscious of his decay, complied, after a prudent 
hesitation, with their unanimous wishes. The royal infimt, at 
the age of five yearn, was crowned with his mother Irene ; 
and the national consent was ratified by every circumstance of 
pomp and solemnity that could dazzle the eyes, or bind the 
conscience, of the Greeks. An oath of fidelity was ad- 
ministered in the palace, the church, and the hippodrome, to 
the several orders of the state, who adjured the holy names 
of the son, and mother, of Grod. '* Be witness, O Christ ! that 
we will watch over the safety of. Constantine the son of Leo, 
expose our lives in his service, and bear true allegiance to his 
person and posterity." They pledged their fiuth on the wood 
of the true cross, and the act of their engagement was de- 
posited on the altar of St. Sophia. The first to swear, and 
the first to violate their oath, were the five sons of Copronymus 
by a second marriage ; and the story of these princes is singu- 
Ifur and tragic. The right of primogeniture excluded them 
from the throne ; the injustice of their elder brother defirauded 
them of a legacy of about two millions sterling; some vain 
titles were not deemed a sufficient compensation for wealth 
and power; and th^ repeatedly conspired against their 
nephew, before and after the death of his fiither. Their first 
attempt was pardoned ; for the second offence they were con- 
demned to the ecclesiastical state ; and for the third treason 
Nicephorus, the eldest and most guilty, was deprived of his -eyes, 
and nis four brothers, Christopher, Nicetas, Anthimus, and 
lodtmni Eudoxus, wcre punished, as a milder sentence, by the amputa- 
tion of their tongues. After five years' confinement, they 
escaped to the church of St, Sophia, and displayed a pathetic 
spectacle to the people. " Countrymen and Christians," cried 
Nicephorus for himself and his mute brethren, " behold the 
sons of your emperor, if you can still recognise our filatures in 
this miserable state. A lifis, an imperfect life, is all that the 
malice of our enemies has spared. It is now threatened^ and 
we now throw ourselves on your oompassion.'* The rising 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 189 

murmur might hare produced m revolntian, had it not been 
checked by the presence of a minister, who soothed the un- 
happy princes with flattery and hope, and gently drew them 
from the sanctuary to the palace. They were speedily em- 
barked for Greece, and Athens was allotted for the place of 
their exile. In this calm retreat, and in their helpless con- 
dition, Nioephorus and his brothers' were tormented by the 
thirst of power, and tempted by a Sclavonian chief, who 
offered to break their prison and to lead them in arms, and in 
the purple, to the gates of Constantinople. But the Athenian 
people, ever sealous in the cause of Irene, prevented their 
justice or cruelty ; and the five sons of Copronymus were 
plunged in eternal darkness and oblivion. 

For himself, that emperor had' chosen a barbairian wife^ the ^{^^^ 
daughter of the khan of the C3iosars ; but in the marriage of ^g'mt^ 
his heir he preferred an Athenian vii^n^ an orphan, seventeen 
years old, whose sole fortune must have oonsistea in her personal 
accomplishments. The nuptials of Leo and Irene wiere cele- 
brated with royal pomp ; she soon acquired the love and con- 
fidence of a feeble husband ; and in his testament he declared 
the empress guardian of the Ropian' world, • and of their son 
Constantine the Sixth, who was no more than t^n' years of age. 
During his childhood, Irene most- ably and assiduously dis- 
charged, in her public administration^ the duties of a fidthful 
mother ; and her seal in the restoration of images^ has deserved 
the name and honours of a saint, which she still occupies in the 
Greek calendar. But the emperbr attained the .maturity of 
Touth; the maternal yoke became: more grievous; and he 
listened to the fiivoutrites of his own age, who shared his 
pleasures, and were ambitious of sharing his power. Their 
reasons convinced him of his right, their praises of hia ability, 
to reign ; and he cooseated to reward the servicei of Irene, by 
a perpetual banishment to the isle of Sicily. But her vigilance 
and penetration easily disconcerted their rash projects ; a simi- 
lar or more severe punishment was retaliatea on themselves 
and their advisers ; and Irene inflicted on the ungrateful prince 
the chastisement of a boy. After this contest, the mother and 
the son were at the head of two domestic fiictions ; and, instead 
of mild influence and voluntary obedience, she held in chains 
a captive and an enemy. The empress was overthrown by the 
abuse of victory ; the oath of fidelity, which she exacted 16 

n [See below, p. 2761I 



m 



190 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

herself alone, was pronooneed with teluctant munnun ; And the 
boldrefiisal of the Armenian guards enoounged a free andgeneral 

[Aj>. nq declaration that Constantine the Sixth was the lawfol emperor 
of the Romans. In this character he ascended his hereditary 
throne, and dismissed Irene to a life of solitude and repose. 
But her haughty spirit condescended to the arts of dissimula- 
tion : she flattered the bishops and eunuchs, revived the filial 

ca.D. iH] tenderness o{ the prince, regained his confidence, and betrayed 
his credulity. The character of Constantine was not destitate 
of sense or spirit ; but his education had been studiously neg- 
lected ; and his ambitious mother exposed to the public censure 
the vices which she had nourished and the actions which she 

[AJKiH] had secretly advised. His divorce and second marriage 
offended the prejudices of the clergy," and, by his imprudent 
rigour, he forfeited the attachment of the Armenian guards. 
A powerful conspiracy was formed for the restoration of Irene ; 
and the secret, though widely diffiised, was fiidthfiilly kept 
above eight months, till the emperor, suspicions of his danger, 
escaped firom Constantinople, with the design of appealing to 
the jprovinces and armies. By this hasty mght, the enmress 
was left on the brink of the precipice ; yet, before she implored 
the mercy of her son, Irene addressed a private epistle to the 
firiends whom she had placed about his person, irith a menace 
that, unless th^ accomplished, §ke would reveal, their treason. 
Their foar rendered them intrepid ; they seiaed the emperor on 
the Asiatic shore, and he was tian^Kxrted to the porplqriyiapait- 
ment of the palace, where he had first seen the light. In the 
mind of Irene, amUtion had stifled every sentiment of humanity 
and nature ; and it was decreed in her bloody council that Con- 
stantine should be rendered inci^ble of the throne. Her 

^iiT, emissaries assaulted the sleeping prince, and stabbed their 

^^ *" daggers with such violence and precipitation into his ejres, as 

>* [Constantine had been betrothed to Rotmd, danghter of Chutes tht Great, 
but Irene had broken off the match and oompdled him to marry a lady who was 
distasteftil to hioL In795hefeUinlovewithoiieoChismother^tmaidsofbaooiir. 
Tbeodote ; and, with thie insidious purpose of making him odious to the dergy 
who regarded second marriages as mipions, Irene encouraged him to divoioe his 
wife Maria and marry Theodote The patriarch Tarastus was a coarticr and ao- 
quiesoed in the emptor's wishes, thouffh he would not perform fhs marriage 
ceremony himselt The affair created grant scandal among the monks, the most 
prominent of whom were Plato and his nephew Theodore ofthe abbqr of Studion. 
They broke off«0OTiiitranM with the patriarch and the ompetur. aghi»meff(OMob. 
der bUderstflrmenden Kaiser, p. 3x1) makes merry over the embarrassment d 
historians in view of the fact that both Tsrasius who approved of the oiaiiiage and 
Theodore who condemned it are canonised asima] 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIBE 191 

if they meant to execute a mortal sentence. An ambtgnous 
passage of Theophanes persuaded the aiinalist of the church 
that death was the immediate consequence of this barbsJKNis 
execution,^ The Catholics have been deceived or subdued by 
the authority of Baronius ; and Protestant seal has re-«cboed 
the words of a cardinal, desirous, as it should seem, to &vaur 
the patroness of images. Yet the blind son of Irene survived 
many years, oppressed by the court, and forgotten by the wcirld ; 
the Isaurian dynasty was silently extinguished ; and the memory 
of Constantine was recalled only by the nuptials of his daughter 
Euphrosjrne with the emperor Michael the Second. 

The most bigoted orthodoxy has justly execrated the- un-nwa. ▲. 
natural mother, who may not easily be paralleled in the history^ *** 
of crimes. To her bloody deed superstition has attributed a 
subsequent darkness of seventeen days ; during which many 
vessels in mid-day were driven from their eoursei as if the sun, 
a globe of fire so vast snd so remote, icould syinpathLie with 
the atoms of a revolving planet. On earth, the. crime- of Irene 
was left five years unpunished ; her rqign was 'Cravned with 
external splendour ; imd, if riie could silence ' 1^ voice of 
conscience, she neither heard Aor regarded the reproaches of 
mankind. The Roman world bowed to the government of a 
female ; and, as she moved through the streets of Constanti- 
nople, the reins of four milk-white steeds were held by as m^ny 
patricians, who marched on fiM>t before the golden chariot of 
their queen. But these patricians were for the mpst part 
eunuchs ; and their black ingratitude justified, on this .occasion, 
the popular hatred and contempt. Raised, enriched, entrusted 
with the first dignities of the empire, they basely opnspired 
against their bene&ctress ; the great treasurer Nioephorus was 
secretly invested with the purple ; her successor was introduced 
into the palace, and crowned at St. Sophia by the venal 
patriarch. In their first interview, she recapitulated, withc*wMta: 
dignity, the revolutions of her life, gently accused the perfidy 
of Nicephorus, insinuated that he owed his life to her unsus- 
picious clemency, and, for the throne and treasures which she 
resigned, solicited a decent and honourable retreat. His avarice 

» [Theophanes says that the blinding was inflicted in such a way that death 
was meant to resolL The survival of Constantine is attested b^ Zooaras, xv. c. 
14 ; and is not disproved by Theophanes^ But Sohlosser (0^. ai. M9-3o) is not 
justified in asserting that he was only recently dead when M ittbad IL cane i»4be 
throne (A.D. Sao). On the contiary, the passage in Theopbb Contia.* pi 5ii'9d. 
Bonn<» Cedrenus, it 75X takea along with GenesiiH, p. 35* poiau lo a pirratting 
belief that he died soon ate iho operation oO'his.eytkj 



192 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

refused this modest compensatioii ; and, in her exile of the isle 
of Lesbos, the empress earned a scanty subsistence by the 
labours of her distaff. 
nMitewL Many tyrants have reigned undoubtedly more criminal than 
tetoiSrki Nicephorus, but none perhaps have more deeply incurred the 
muversal abhorrence of their people. His character was stained 
with the three odious vices of h3rpocrisy, infpmtitude, and 
avarice ; ^ his want of virtue was not redeemed by any superior 
talents, nor his want of talents by any pleasing qualifications. 
Unskilful and unfortunate in war, Nicephorus was vanquished 
by the Saracens, and slain by the Bulgarians ; and the advan- 
tages of his death overbalanced, in the public opinion, the 
destruction of a Roman army. His son and heir Stauracius 
escaped from the field with a mortal wound ; yet six months of 
an expiring life were sufficient to refute his indecent, though 
popular, declaration that he would in all thincs avoid the 
example of his &ther. On the near prospect of his decease, 
Michael, the great master of the palace and the husband of his 
sister Procopia, Was nakned by every person of the palace and 
dtv, except by his envious brother. Tenacious of a sceptre now 
falling from his haind, he conspired against the life of his 

. ^ [Nicephorus had to set the fii^onf.«»« of the state in order after the extravagant 
administration of Irene, and ihvai he was ^aced in the same disadvantageous 
position as the etnperor Mmirice, who saifered for the lavish expenditure of 
Tiberias. " The financial admupfatmtkm of Nioephorui ia justly aoc u scd of severity, 
and even of rapacity. . . . But though he is justl3r accused oi oppression he does 
not merit the reproach of avarice often tirged against him. Wnen he consideird 
expenditure necessary for the good of the empire, be was liberal of the public 
money. He spared, no expense :to kee^ up numerous annies, and it was not from 
ill-judged economy, but fropi want of nnlitary talents, that has campaigns were un- 
successful" (Finlay, iU p. 97}. Nfcephoms "eageriy pursued the oentrmlixing 
poflicy of his iconoclast prsdecesSon, and strove to render the civil power supreme 
over the clergy and Uie Cbur^ . He forbade the Patriarch to hold any communi- 
cations vrith the Pope, whom he.considered as the Patriarch of Charlemagne ; and 
this prudent measure hto caU;^ much of the virulence whh which his memory 
has been attackod by eoclesiasttcal and orthodox historians. The Patriarch 
Tarasius had shown himself no enemy to the supremacy- of the emperor, and he 
was highly esteemed by Nicephorus as one of Uie heads of the party, both in the 
church and state, which the e mp e r or was anxious to conciliate." On the death 
of Tarasius, the emperor fqvifid {A.ix 8oQin the historian Niorahorus "an able 
and popular prdate. disposed to support his secular views". The emperor then 
proceeded to affirm toe principle of his independence of ecclesiastical atithorit^, and 
took as a test question the second marriage of Constantine VI.— a question in 
which he had no personal interest. A ijfood was assembled and prooooifced the 
marriage valid. This inflamed the wrath of the monastic party, under the leader- 
Aip 01 Theodore Studiu ; they refused to eommunicate with the patriarch Ni- 
oephorus ; and the abbots Theodore and Plato were banished and deposed. The 
two principles of Nicephorus in his ecclesiastical policy were the supmnacy of the 
civil authority and toleration. He declined for instance to persecute the PauUdans. 
(For the Bulgarian campaign in wiiichNieqAwniahMthiiiifeieebdinr,daqxl?.)] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 193 

sttocesaor, and cherished the idem of changing to a democracy 
the Roman empire. But these rash projects served only to 
inflame the zeal of the people, and to remove the scruples of 
the candidate ; Michael the First accepted the purple, and, 
before he sunk into the grave, the son of Nicephorus implored 
the clemency of his new sovereign. Had Michael in an age of gBjhjMiL 
peace ascended an hereditary throne, he might have reigned ^^!]^, 
and died the father of his people ; but his mild virtues were 
adapted to the shade of private life, nor was he capable of 
controlling the ambition of his equals or of resisting the arms 
of the victorious Bulgarians. While his want of ability and 
success exposed him to the contempt of the soldiers, the 
masculine spirit of his Mrife Procopia awakened their indignation. 
Even the Greeks of the ninth century were provoked by the 
insolence of a female, who, in the front of their standards, pre- 
sumed to direct their discipline and animate their valour ; and 
their licentious clamours advised the new Semiramis to rever- 
ence the majesty of a Roman camp. After an unsuccessful 
campaign, the emperor left, in their winter-quarters of Thrace, 
a disaffected army under the command of his enemies; and 
their artful eloquence persuaded the soldiers to break the do- 
minion of the eunuchs^ to degrade the husband of Procopia, 
and to assert the right of a military election. They marched 
towards the capital ; yet the clergy, the senate, and the people 
of Constantinople adhered to the cause of Michael; and the 
troops and treasures of Asia might have protracted the mischiefii 
of civil war. But his humanity (by the ambitious, it will be 
termed his weakness) protested that not a drop of Christian 
blood should be shed in his quarrel, and his messengers pre- 
sented the conquerors with the keys of the city and the palace. 
They were disarmed by his innocence and submission ; his life 
and his eyes were spared ; and the Imperiad monk enjoyed the 
comforts of solitude and religion above thirty-two years after 
he had been stripped of the purple and separated from his 
wife. 

A rebel, in the time of Nicephorus, the famous and unfor- L> ov^tt|« 
tunate Bardanes, had once the curiosity to consult an Asiatic jLggs. 
prophet, who, affcer prognosticating his &11, announced the 
fortunes of his three principal officers, Leo the Armenian, 
Michael the Phrygian,^ and Thomas the Cappadocian,^ the 

* [A native of Amorium ; hence his dynasty is called the Amorian dynasty.] 

* [Of Slavonic descent, at least on one side ; hence known as Thomas the 
Slavonian.] 

VOL. V. 13 



194 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

successive reigns of the two former, the firuitless and &tal 
enterprise of the third. This prediction was verified^ or rather 
was produced, hy the event Ten years afterwards, when the 
Thracian camp rejected the husband of Procopia, the crown was 
presented to the same Leo, the first in military rank and the 
secret author of the mutiny. As he affected to hesitate, " With 
this sword," said his companion Michael, " I will open the gates 
of Constantinople to your Imperial sway ; or instantly plunge it 
into your bosom, 1^ you obstinately resist the just desires of your 
fellow-soldiers". The compliance of the Armenian was re- 
warded with the empire, and he reigned seven years and an 
half under the name of Leo the Fifth.*^ Educated in a camp, 
and ignorant both of laws and letters, he introduced into his 
civil government the rigour and even cruelty of military dis- 
cipline ; but, if his severity was sometimes dangerous to the 
innocent, it was always formidable to the guilty. His religious 
inconstancy was taxed by the epithet of Chameleon, but the 
Catholics have acknowledged, by the voice of a saint and con- 
fessors, that the life of the Iconoclast was useful to the republic. 
The zeal of his companion Michael was repaid with riches, 
honours, and military command ; and his subordinate talents 
were beneficially employed in the public service. Yet the 
Phrygian was dissatisfied at receiving as a &vour a scanty 
portion of the Imperial prize which he had bestowed on his 
equal ; and his discontent, which sometimes evaporated in a 
hasty discourse, at length assumed a more threatening and 
hostile aspect against a prince whom he represented as a cruel 
tyrant. That tyrant, however, repeatedly detected, warned, 
and dismissed the old companion of his arms, till fear and 
resentment prevailed over gratitude ; and Michael, after a 
scrutiny into his actions and designs, was convicted of treason 
and sentenced to be burnt alive in the furnace of the private 
baths. The devout humanity of the empress Theophano was 
fatal to her husband and fiimily. A solemn day, the twenty- 
fifth of December, had been fixed for the execution ; she urged 
that the anniversary of the Saviour's birth would be profiuied 
by this inhuman spectacle, and Leo consented with reluctance 
to a decent respite. But on the vigil of the feast his sleepless 

^ [Leo*s reign was marked hf a Bulgarian siege of the capital, and the tempor* 
arj loss of Hadrianople. The death of the Bulgarian king Cnunn (A.D. 8x5) 
rescued the empire from a serious danger ; and Leo, after winning a hard-fougnt 
battle, concluded a thirtf ^rears' peace with his suocessor Omortag (A.D, 8x7). 
Under this reign the empire had peace from the Saracens.] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 195 

anxiety prompted him to visit, at the dead of night, the chamber 
in which his enemy was confined ; he beheld him released from 
his chain, and stretched on his gaoler's bed in a profound 
slumber. Leo was alarmed at these signs of security and in- 
telligence ; but, though he retired with silent steps, his entrance 
and departure were noticed by a slave who lay concealed in a 
comer of the prison. Under the pretence of requesting the 
spiritual aid of a confessor, Michael informed the conspirators 
that their lives depended on his discretion, and that a few 
hours were left to assure their own safety by the deliverance o£ 
their friend and country. On the great festivals, a chosen 
band of priests and chanters was admitted into the palace, by 
a private gate, to sing matins in the chapel ; and Leo, who 
regulated with the same strictness the discipline of the choir 
and of the camp, was seldom absent from those early devotions. 
In the ecclesiastical habit, but with swords under their robes, the 
conspirators mingled with the p^*ocession, lurked in the angles 
of the chapel, and expected, as the signal of murder, the in- 
tonation of the first psalm by the emperor himselC The 
imperfect light, and the uniformity of dress, might have &voured 
his escape, while their assault was pointed against an harmless 
priest ; but they soon discovered their mistake, and encom- 
passed on all sides the royal victim. Without a weapon, and 
without a friend, he grasped a weighty cross, and stood at bay 
against the hunters of his life ; but, as he asked for mercy, 
" This is the hour, not of mercy, but of vengeance," was the 
inexorable reply. The stroke of a well-aimed sword separated 
from his body the right arm and the cross, and Leo the Ar- 
menian was slain at the foot of the altar. 

A memorable reverse of fortune was displayed in Michael theiodMtiiL 
Second, who, from a defect in his speech, was sumamed theMnr. aj 
Stammerer. He was snatched from the fiery furnace to the 
sovereignty of an empire ; and, as in the tumult a smith could 
not readily be found, the fetters remained on his legs several hours 
after he was seated on the throne of the CsBsars. The royal 
blood which had been the price of his elevation was unprofitably 
spent ; in the purple he retained the ignoble vices of his origin ; 
and Michael lost his provinces with as supine indifference as if 
they had been the inheritance of his &thers.^ His title was 
disputed by Thomas, the last of the military triumvirate, whon«Mitott< 
transported into Europe fourscore thousand barbarians from the oq ^ 

* TFor the loss of Crete and the beginn^n^ of the Saracen oonqoest of Sicily, 
see baow, chap. liL For Michael's ecclesiastical policy see below, pi 378.] 



196 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

banks of the Tigris and the shores of the Caspian.^ He formed 
the siege of Constantinople ; but the capital was defended with 
spiritual and carnal weapons; a Bulgarian king assaulted the 
camp of the Orientals, and Thomas had the misfortune, or the 
ra^. M. weakness, to fiill alive into the power of the conqueror. The 
hands and feet of the rebel were amputated ; he was placed on 
an ass, and, amidst the insults of the people, was led through 
the streets, which he sprinkled with his blood. The deprava- 
tion of manners, as savage as they were corrupt, is marked by 
the presence of the emperor himsel£ Deaf to the lamentations 
of a fellow-soldier, he incessantly pressed the discovery of more 
accomplices, till his curiosity was checked by the question of an 
honest or guilty minister : ** Would you give credit to an enemy 
against the most faithful of your friends ? *' After the death of 
his first wife, the emperor, at the request of the senate, drew 
from her monastery Euphro83me, the daughter of Constantine 
the Sixth. Her august birth might justify a stipulation in the 
marriage-contract, that her children should equally share the 
empire with their elder brother. But the nuptials of Michael 
and Euphrosyne were barren ; and she was content with the 
title of Mother of Theophilus, his son and successor. 
TiMo^^iM. The character of TheopUlus is a rare example in which 
oetdbcr's rcligious xcal has allowed, and perhaps magnified, the virtues 
of an heretic and a persecutor.^ His valour was often felt by 
the enemies, and his justice by the subjects, of the monarchy ; 
but the valour of Theophilus was rash and fruitless, and his 

* [The foreign origin of Thomas, " by separating him in an unusual degree 
from the ruling classes in the empire — for he was, like Michael, of a very low rank 
in society — caused him to be r^arded as a friend of the people ; and all the subject 
races in the empire espoused his cause, which in many provinces took the form of 
an attack on the Roman administration, rather than of a revolution to place a new 
emperor on the throne. This rebellion is remarkable for assuming more o( the 
character of a social revolution than of an ordinary insurrection ' (Fialay, iL p. 
130). Thomas entered into connexion with the Saracens, and the Patriarch of 
Antioch was permitted to crown him in that city. He besieged Constantinople 
twice with his fleet. After his defeat by the Bulgarians be was oesieged in Arcadi- 
opolis for five months ; his own followers surrendered him. We possess M idhAel's 
account of the rebellion in a letter whidi he addressed to Lewis the Pious, A.D. 824.] 

'^[The portrait of the Emperor Theophilus drawn by Schlosser and by Finlay 
is probably too favourable. The hard judgment of H. Gelser, who regards him 
as a much overrated, really insignificant, rulor, may be nearer the truth ^in Kium- 
bacher's Gesch. der byz. Litt , p. 968)1 Gelser especially condemns him for iDcapadty 
to understand the sign of the times. His persecution of the icooodule priests had 
something fonatical about it whidi did not mark the policy of tlie eariier 
ioonodastk: sovereigns. There is no authority for Gibbon's staloroent (p. 197) of 
cruel punishments (cp. Schlosser, op. cii. p, 524), but he does not connect these 
punishments with image-worshia The finances were in a p r o sp ero us state in this 
reign, but the credit is not (faie to Theophilus, whose incontinent paMkm fior 
building caused a serious drain on the treasury.] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 197 

justice arbitrary and crueL He displayed the banner of the 
cross against the Saracens ; but his five expeditions were con- 
cluded by a signal overthrow; Amorium, the native city ^^LJ^-S!* 
his ancestors, was levelled with the ground^ and from his military 
toils he derived only the surname of the Unfortunate. The 
wisdom of a sovereign is comprised in the institution of laws 
and the choice of magistrates, and, while he seems without 
action, his civil government revolves round his centre with the 
silence and order of the planetary system. But the justice of 
Theophilus was fiishioned on the model of the Oriental despots, 
who, in personal and irregular acts of authority, consult the 
reason or passion of the moment, Mrithout measuring the sentence 
by the law or the penalty by the offence. A poor woman 
threw herself at the emperor's feet, to complain of a powerful 
neighbour, the brother of the empress, wno had raised his 
palace-wall to such an inconvenient height that her humble 
dwelling was excluded from light and air ! On the proof of 
the &ct, instead of granting, like an ordinary judge, sufficient 
or ample damages to the plaintiff, the sovereign adjudged to 
her use and benefit the palace and the ground. Nor was Theo- 
philus content with this extravagant satisfaction : his zeal con- 
verted a civil trespass into a criminal act ; and the unfortunate 
patrician was stripped and scourged in the public place of 
Constantinople. For some venial offences, some defect of 
equity or vigilance, the principal ministers, a prsefect, a qucestor, 
a captain of the guards, were banished or mutilated, or scalded 
with boiling pitd^, or burnt alive in the hippodrome ; and, as 
these dreadful examples might be the effects of error or caprice, 
they must have alienated from his service the best and wisest 
of the citizens. But the pride of the monarch was flattered in 
the exercise of power, or, as he thought, of virtue ; and the 
people, safe in their obscurity, applauded the danger and 
debasement of their superiors. This extraordinary rigour was 
justified, in some measure, by its salutary consequences ; since, 
after a scrutiny of seventeen days, not a complaint or abuse 
could be found in the court or city ; and it might be alleged 
that the Greeks could be ruled only with a rod of iron, and 
that the public interest is the motive and law of the supreme 
judge. Yet in the crime, or the suspicion, of treason, that 
jndf e is of all others the most credulous and partial. Theo- 
phinis might inflict a tardy vengeance on the assassins of Leo 
and the saviours of his fiither; but he enjoyed the fruits of 
their crime ; and his jealous tyranny sacrificed a brother and 



198 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

a prince to the future safety of his life. A Persian of the race 
of the Sassanides died in povertv and exile at Constantinople, 
leaving an only son, the issue of a plebeian marriage. At the 
age of twelve years, the royal birth of Theophobus was revealed, 
and his merit was not unworthy of his birth. He was educated 
in the Byzantine palace, a Christian and a soldier ; advanced 
with rapid steps in the career of fortune and glory ; received 
the hand of the emperor's sister ; and was promoted to the 
command of thirty thousand Persians, who, like his fiither, had 
fled from the Mahometan conquerors. These troops, doubly in- 
fected with mercenary and nnatic vices, were desirous of re- 
volting against their bene&ctor and erecting the standard of 
their native king ; but the loyal Theophobus rejected their 
offers, disconcerted their schemes, and escaped from their hands 
to the camp or palace of his royal brother. A generous con- 
fidence might have secured a fidthful and able guardian for his 
wife and his infimt son, to whom Theophilus, in the flower of 
his age, was compelled to leave the inheritance of the empire. 
But his jealousy was exasperated by envy and disease ; he 
feared the dangerous virtues which might either support or 
oppress their in&ncy and weakness ; and the dying emperor 
demanded the head of the Persian prince. With savage de- 
light, he recognised the fruniliar features of his brother : " Thou 
art no longer Theophobus," he said ; and sinking on his couch 
(A,D.Mq he added, with a £Edtering voice, " Soon, too soon, I shall be 
no more Theophilus I " 

The Russians, who have borrowed from the Greeks the 
greatest part of their civil and ecclesiastical policy, preserved, 
till the last century, a singular institution in the marriage of 
the Csar. They collected, not the virgins of every rank and 
of every province, a vain and romantic idea, but the daughters 
of the principal nobles, who awaited in the palace the choice 
of their sovereign. It is afiirmed that a similar method was 
adopted in the nuptials of Theophilus.'^ With a ffolden apple 
in his hand, he slowly walked between two lines of oontendkig 



'^[A similax brideshow was beJd to select a wife for Leo VL, soo of Basil and 
Eudocia. See the Aoyov of Nicepborus Gregoras on Tbeophano, who was chosen 
on this occasion; in HergenriMber's Moomn. Graec. ad Photium eiusque bis- 
toriam pertinentia, p. 74. In this connryion compare also the life of St Irene, 
who came from Cappadoda to Constantinople m consequence of letters tent 
throogh the Empire (iccrA mm y^) by Theodora, wife of Theophilus, 
ieeliing a wife for her son (AcU Sott., Jofy fl8, vol vL, 6 5 jyy.). Cpi Th. 



UapCDski, Ocberki po istoril visaatitkoi ofarasovannosti, p. 57. 



OF THE EOMAI^ EMPIRE 199 

beauties ; his eye was detained by the channs of Icasia,^ and, 
in the awkwardness of a first declaration, the prince could only 
observe that, in this world, women had been the cause of much 
evil : " And surely, Sir," she pertly replied, " they have like- 
wise been the occasion of much good ". This affectation of un- 
seasonable wit displeased the Imperial lover ; he turned aside 
in disgust ; Icasia concealed her mortification in a convent ; 
and the modest silence of Theodora was rewarded with the 
golden apple. She deserved the love, but did not escape the 
severity, of her lord. From the palace garden he beheld a 
vessel deeply laden, and steering into the port; on the dis- 
covery that the precious cargo of Syrian luxury was the property 
of his wife, he condemned the ship to the fiames, with a sharp 
reproach that her avarice had degraded the character of an 
empress into that of a merchant. Yet his last choice entrusted 
her with the guardianship of the empire and her son Michael, wAt^ai 
who was left an orphan in the fifth year of his age. The resto- JaMar^w 
ration of images, and the final extirpation of the Iconoclasts, 
has endeared her name to the devotion of the Greeks ; but in 
the fervour of religious seal Theodora entertained a grateful 
regard for the memory and salvation of her husband. After 
thirteen years ^ of a prudent and frugal administration, she 
perceived the decline of her influence ; but the second Irene 
imitated only the virtues of her predecessor. Instead of con- 
spiring against the life or government of her son, she retired, [a.d sbq 
without a struggle, though not without a murmur, to the soli- 
tude of private life, deploring the ingratitude, the vices, and 
the inevitable ruin of the worthless youth. 

Among the successors of Nero and Elagabalus, we have not 
hitherto found the imitation of their vices, the character of a 

" [This Icasia, or rather Casia, was the only poetess of any merit throughout 
the whole '* Byzantine" period, since the famous Athenais. All that is known 
of her and her writings (cniefly epigrams) will be found in the recent monograph 
(Kasia, 1897) of Krumbacher, who suggests that Icasia is a corruption of 4 K«o-ia^ 
It was probably owing to her reputation for poetical talent that Theophilus ad- 
dressed her ; his remark was (we may conjecture) couched in a metrical form ; 
and her reply was likewise a ** political '* verse. The metrical form has been dis- 
arranged m the chronicling, but a slight change f the addition of a syllable, and 
the transposition of one wonl) restores it Theophilus said : — 

^ J- ^ iiiL yvrsucbf (eia)vppihf ri ^cwAo, 
and Casia's improvised reply was : — 

«AA«L ical itA yvrmucht r^ Kfttirrova wifyi^ti 

(Sjrmeon Mag., p. 625, ed. Bonn).] 

^[Fourteen years ; Vita Theodorae, p. 14, in Kegel's Analecta Bytantino- 
Russica (also cp. Fmlay, ii, p. 17a, n. 3). For this Life of Theodora, a con- 
temporary work, cp. Appendix i.] 



200 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

Roman prince who considered pleasure as the object of life and 
virtue as the enemy of pleasure. Whatever might have been 
the maternal care of Theodora in the education of Michael the 
Third, her unfortunate son was a king before he was a man. If 
the ambitious mother laboured to check the progress of reason, 
she could not cool the ebullition of passion; and her selfish 
policy was justly repaid by the contempt and ingratitude of the 
headstrong youth. At the age of eighteen, he rejected her 
authority, without feeling his own incapacity to govern the 
empire and himsel£ With Theodora, all gravity and wisdom 
retired from the court ; their place was supplied by the alternate 
dominion of vice and foUy ; and it was impossible, without for- 
feiting the public esteem, to acquire or preserve the &vour of 
the emperor. The millions of gmd and diver which had been 
accumulated for the service of the state were lavished on the 
vilest of men, who flattered his passions and shared his pleasures ; 
and, in a reign of thirteen years, the richest of sovereigns was 
compelled to strip the palace and the churches of their precious 
furniture. Like Nero, he delighted in the amusements of the 
theatre, and sighed to be surpassed in the accomplishments in 
which he should have blushed to excel. Yet the studies of 
Nero in music and poetiy betrayed some symptoms of a liberal 
taste ; the more ignoble arts of the son of Theophilus were con- 
fined to the chariotr-race of the hippodrome. The four fitctions 
which had agitated the peace, still amused the idleness, of the 
capital ; for himself, the emperor assumed the blue livery ; the 
three rival colours were distributed to his favourites, and, in the 
vile though eager contention, he forgot the dignity of his person 
and the safety of his dominions. He silenced the messenger 
of an invasion, who presumed to divert his attention in the most 
critical moment of the race ; and by his command the impor- 
tunate beacons were extinguished, that too frequently sparead 
the alarm from Tarsus to Constantinople.^ The most sidlfril 
charioteers obtained the first place in his confidence and esteem ; 

MfThe line of beacons is given in Theoph. Contin., p. 197, and Const Poqphyr. 
De Cer., l» App., p. 491. The first station of the line was (i) the Fortress of 
Lulon (which the Saracens called StUkUiia, bemuse it had a Slavonic garrison V 
It commanded the pass between Tyana and the Cilician gates, and Professor 
Ramsay would identify it with Faustinopolis ^ Halala (Asia Minor, p. 353). The 
fire of Lulon flashed the message to (9) Mt Argaeus, which Professor Ramsay 
discovers in a peak of the Hassan Dagh, south of Lake Tatta. The next station 
was (3) Isamus (" west of the north end of the lake") ; then (4) Aegilus (between 
Troknades and Dorylaeum) ; (5) Mamas (N. W. of Dorylaeum) ; (6) Cyrizus 
(Katerli Dagh? Ramsay, ib. p. 187) ; (7) Mocilus (Samanli Dagh. N. of Lake 
Ascanius ; Ramsay, ib, p. 187) ; (8) ML Auxentius; (9) the Pharos in the palace 
of Constantinople.) 



OF THE BJOMAm EMPIKB 901 

their merit was profusely rewarded; the emperor feasted in 
their houses, and presented their children at the baptismal font ; 
and, while he applauded his own popularity, he affected to 
blame the cold and stately reserve of his predecessors. The 
unnatural lusts which had degraded even the manhood of Nero 
were banished from the world ; yet the strength of Michael was 
consumed by the indulgence of love and intemperance. In his 
midnight revels, when his passions were inflamed by ¥dne, he 
was provoked to issue the most sanguinary commands ; and, if 
any feelings of humanity were left, he was reduced, with the 
return of sense, to approve the salutary disobedience of his 
servants. But the most extraordinary feature in the character 
of Michael is the pro&ne mockery of the religion of his country. 
The superstition of the Greeks might, indeed, excite the smile 
of a philosopher ; but his smile would have been rational and 
temperate, and he must have condemned the ignorant folly of 
a youth who insulted the objects of pubhc veneration. A buf- 
foon of the court was investc^d in the robes of the patriarch ; his 
twelve metropohtans, among whom the emperor was ranked, 
assumed their ecclesiastical garments ; they used or abused the 
sacred vessels of the altar ; and in their bacchanalian feasts the 
holy communion was administered in a nauseous compound of 
vinegar and mustard. Nor were these impious spectacles con* 
cealed from the eyes of the city. On the day of a solemn 
festival, the emperor, with his bishops or buffoons, rode on aases 
through the streets, encountered the true patriarch at the head 
of his clergy, and by their hcentious shouts and obscene gestures 
disordered the gravity of the Christian procession. The devotion 
of Michael appeared only in some offence to reason or piety ; he 
received his theatrical crowns from the statue of the Virgin; 
and an Imperial tomb was violated for the sake of burning the 
bones of Constantine the Iconoclast. By this extravagant c(hi- 
duct, the son of Theophilus became as contemptible as he was 
odious ; every citizen was impatient for the deliverance of his 
country ; and even the fiivourites of the moment were appre- 
hensive that a caprice might snatch away what a caprice had 
bestowed. In the thirtieth year of his age, and in the hour of 
intoxication and sleep, Michael the Third was murdered in his 
chamber by the founder of a new djrnasty, whom the emperor 
had raised to an equality of rank and power. 

The genealoffT of Basil the Macedonian (if it be not thesMUiibc 
spurious offspring of pride and flattery) exhibits a genuine a^ mt, 
picture of the revolution of the most illustrious fiunilies. The ' ^ 



202 THE BECLIKE AND FALL 

Arsacides, the rivals of Rome, possessed the sceptre of the East 
near four hundred years : a younger branch of these Parthian 
kings continued to reign in Armenia ; and their royal descend- 
ants survived the partition and servitude of that ancient 
monarchy.^ Two of these, Artabanus and Chlienes, escaped 
or retired to the court of Leo the First ; his bounty seated them 
in a safe and hospitable exile, in the province of Macedonia: 
Hadrianople was their final settlement. During several genera- 
tions they maintained the dignity of their birth ; and their 
Roman patriotism rejected the tempting ofiers of the Persian 
and Arabian powers, who recalled them to their native countiy. 
But their splendour was insensibly clouded by time and poverty; 
and the fiither of Basil was reduced to a small farm, which ne 
cultivated with his own hands. Yet he scorned to disgiace the 
blood of the Arsacides by a plebeian alliance : his wife, a widow 
of Hadrianople, was pleased to count among her ancestors the 
great Constantine ; and their Toyal infimt was connected by 
some dark affinity of lineage or country with the Macedonian 
Alexander. No sooner was he bom than the cradle of Basil, 
his family, and his city, were swept away by an inundation of 
the Bulgarians ; he was educated a slave in a foreign land ; and 
in this severe diiscipline he acquired the hardiness of body and 
flexibility of mind which promoted his future elevation. In the 
age of youth or manhood he shared the deliverance of the 
Roman captives, who generously broke their fetters, marched 
through Bulgaria to the shores of the Euxine, defeated two 
armies of barbarians, embarked in the ships which had been 
stationed for their reception, and returned to Constantinople, 
from whence they were distributed to their respective homes. 
But the freedom of Basil was naked and destitute ; his farm 
was ruined by the calamities of war ; after his father's death, 
his manual labour or service could no longer support a fiunily 
of orphans ; and he resolved to seek a more conspicuous theatre, 
in which eveiy virtue and eveiy vice may lead to the paths of 
greatness. The first night of his arrival at Constantinople, 
without friends or money, the weary pilgrim slept <m the steps 
of the church of St. Diomede ; he was ted by the casual hospi- 

^ [The Armenian descent of Basil (oo the fiuher's side) is set bejond doubt br 
the notice in the Vita Euthymii (ed. de Boor, p. a, cdw de Boor's remarks, fx zjo-i ), 
combined with the circumstance that a brotoer or Basil was named Symbatios. 
Tlie settlement of Armenian families in Tliimoe by Constantine V. is attested by 
Theophanes, A.11. 6247; Nicephorus, n. 661 Cp. Rambaud, L'empire grec an 
dijdtoe siide, p. Z47. Harom of Ispolian states that Basil was a Siav, but there 
li ao evidenoe to bear this out] 



OF TH£ ROMAN EMPIRE 203 

talit J of a mcmk ; and was introduced to the service of a cousin 
and namesake of the emperor Theophilus ; who^ though himself 
of a diminutive person^ was always followed by a train of tall 
and handsome domestics. Basil attended his patron to the 
government of Peloponnesus; eclipsed, by his personal merit, 
the birth and dignity of Theophilus, and iormed an useful con- 
nexion with a wealUiy and charitable matron of Patras. Her 
spiritual or carnal love embraced the young adventurer, whom 
she adopted as her son. Danielis presented him with thirty 
slaves ; and the produce of her bounty was expended in the 
support of his brothers and the purchase of some large estates 
in Macedonia. His gratitude or ambition still attached him to 
the service of Theophilus ; and a lucky accident recommended 
him to the notice of the court. A famous wrestler, in the train 
of the Bulgarian ambassadors, had defied, at the royal banquet, 
the boldest and most robust of the Greeks. The strength of 
Basil was praised ; he accepted the challenge ; and the bar- 
barian champion was overthrown at the first onset. A beautiful 
but vicious horse was condemned to be hamstrung ; it was sub- 
dued by the dexterity and courage of the servant of Theophilus; 
and his conqueror was promoted to an honourable rank in the 
Imperial stables. But it was impossible to obtain the confidence 
of Michael, without compljring with his vices; and his new 
&vourite, the great chamberlain of the palace, was raised and 
supported by a disgraceful marriage with a royal concubine, and 
the dishonour of his sister, who succeeded to her place.'* The 
public administration had been abandoned to the Csesar Bardas,*^ 
the brother and enemy of Theodora; but the arts of female 
influence persuaded Michael to hate and to fear his uncle ; he 
was drawn from Constantinople, under the pretext of a Cretan 
expedition, and stabbed in the tent of audience, by the sword 
of the chamberlain, and in the presence of the emperor. About 
a month after this execution, Basil was invested with the title r^ an 
of Augustus and the government of the empire. He supported 
this unequal association till his influence was fortified by popular 
esteem. His life was endangered by the caprice of the emperor; 
and his dignity was profiined by a second colleague, who had 
rowed in the galleys. Yet the murder of his henehdor must 

*>rTbe ooQcubme's name was Eudoda Ingerina, mother of Leo VL The 
chronicles do not say that Basil's sister became Michael's concubine, but that 
Michael's sister Thecla became Basil's concubine. Cp. George Mon., p. 898, ed. 
Bonn.] 

^ [For Bardas, a man of great talent and no principle, see below, chapi liil] 



204 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

be condemned as an act of ingiatitude and treason ; and the 
churches which he dedicated to the name of St. Michael were 
a poor and puerile expiation of his guilt. 

The different ages of Basil the First may be compared with 
those of Augustus. The situation of the Greek did not allow 
him in his earliest youth to lead an army against his country 
or to proscribe the noblest of her sons ; but his aspiring genius 
stooped to the arts of a slave ; he dissembled his ambition and 
even his virtues, and grasped with the bloody hand of an 
assassin the empire which he ruled with the wisdom and 
tenderness of a parent. A private citizen may feel his interest 
repugnant to his duty; but it most be from a deficiency of 
sense or courage that an absolute monarch can separate his 
happiness from his glory or his glory from the public welfare. 
The life or panegyric of Basil has, indeed, been composed and 
published under the long reign of his descendants ; but even 
their stability on the throne may be justly ascribed to the 
superior merit of their ancestor. In his character, his grandson 
Constantine has attempted to delineate a perfect image of 
royalty; but that feeble prince, unless he had copied a real 
model, could not easily have soared so high above the level of 
his own conduct or conceptions. But the most solid praise of 
Basil is drawn from the comparison of a ruined and a flourish- 
ing monarchy, that which he wrested from the dissolute Michael, 
and that which he bequeathed to the Macedonian dynasty. 
The evils which had been sanctified by time and example were 
corrected by his master-hand ; and he revived, if not the national 
spirit, at least the order and majesty of the Roman empire. 
His application was inde&tigable, his temper cool, his under- 
standing vigorous and decisive ; and in his practice he observed 
that rare and salutary moderation, which pursues each virtue 
at an equal distance between the opposite vices. His military 
service had been confined to the palace ; nor was the emperor 
endowed with the spirit or the talents of a warrior. Yet under 
his reign the Roman arms were again formidable to the bar- 
barians. As soon as he had formed a new army by discipline 
and exercise, he appeared in person on the banks of the 
Euphrates, curbed the pride of the Saracens, and suppreised 
the dangerous though just revolt of the Manichseans.^ His 
indignation against a rebel who had long eluded his pursuit 
provoked him to wish and to pray that, by the grace of God, 

* [For the rebellion of the Paulicians under Carbeas and Chrviochir, aee below. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 206 

he might drive three arrows into the head of Chrysochir. That 
odious head, which had been obtained by treason rather than by vld. tni 
valour, was suspended from a tree, and thrice exposed to the 
dexterity of the Imperial archer : a base revenge against the dead, 
more worthy of the tiroes than of the character of Basil. But 
his principal merit was in the civil administration of the finances 
and of the laws. To replenish an exhausted treasury, it was 
proposed to resume the lavish and ill-placed gifts of his pre- 
decessor : his prudence abated one moiety of the restitution ; 
and a sum of twelve hundred thousand pounds was instantly 
procured to answer the most pressing demands and to allow 
some space for the mature operations of economy. Among the 
various schemes for the improvement of the revenue, a new 
mode was suggested of capitation, or tribute, which would have 
too much depended on the arbitrary discretion of the assessors. 
A sufficient list of honest and able agents was instantly pro- 
duced by the minister; but, on the more careful scrutiny of 
Basil himself, only two could be found who might be safely 
entrusted with such dangerous powers; and they justified 
his esteem by declining his confidence. But the serious and 
successful diligence of the emperor established by degrees an 
equitable balance of property and payment, of receipt and ex- 
penditure ; a peculiar fund was appropriated to each service ; 
and a public method secured the interest of the prince and the 
property of the people. After reforming the luxury, he assigned 
two patrimonial estates to supply the decent plenty, of the 
Imperial table ; the contributions of the subject were reserved 
for his defence ; and the residue was employed in the embel- 
lishment of the capital and provinces. A taste for building, 
however costly, may deserve some praise and much excuse ; 
from thence industry is fed, art is encouraged, and some object 
is attained of public emolument or pleasure ; the use of a road, 
an aqueduct, or an hospital is obvious and solid; and the 
hundred churches that arose by the command of Basil were 
consecrated to the devotion of the age. In the character of 
a judge, he was assiduous and impartial, desirous to save, but 
not aftaid to strike ; the oppressors of the people were severely 
chastised; but his personal foes, whom it might be unsate 
to pardon, were condemned, after the loss of their e3res, to a 
life of solitude and repentance. The change of language and 
manners demanded a revision of the obsolete jurisprudence of 
Justinian; the voluminous body of his Institutes, Pandects, 
Code, and Novels was digested under forty titles, in the Greek 



206 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

idiom ; and the BatUict^ which were improyed and completed 
by his son and grandson, must be referred to the original genius 
of the founder of their race.* This glorious reign was termi- 
nated by an accident in the chase. A furious stag entangled 
his horns in the belt of Basil, and raised him from his horse ; 
nc ») he was rescued by an attendant, who cut the belt and slew the 
animal; but the fi&U, or the fever, exhausted the strength of 
AfjiL the aged monarch, and he expired in the palace, amidst the 
tears of his family and people.^ If he struck off the head of 
the faithful servant, for presuming to draw his sword against 
his sovereign, the pride of despotism, which had lain dormant 
in his life, revived in the last moments of despair, when he no 
longer wanted or valued the opinion of mankind. 
>o|w.tiM> Of the four sons of the emperor, Constantine died before his 
aSH * father, whose grief and credulity were amused by a flattering 
Af.fB) impostor and a vain apparition. Stephen, the youngest, was 
content with the honours of a patriarch and a saint ; both Leo 
and Alexander were alike invested with the purple, but the 
powers of government were solely exercised by Uie elder 
brother. Tne name of Leo VI.^ has been dignified with the 
title of philosopher J and the union of the prince and the sage, of 
the active and speculative virtues, would indeed constitute the 
perfection of human nature. But the claims of Leo are far short of 
this ideal excellence. Did he reduce his passions and appetites 
under the dominion of reason ? His life was spent in the pomp 
of the palace, in the societ|r of his wives and concubines ; and 
even the clemency which he shewed, and the peace whidi he 
strove to preserve, must be imputed to the softness and indo- 
lence of his character. Did he subdue his prejudices, and those 
of his subjects ? His mind was tinged with the most puerile 



* [See Appendix zi. For affiurs in Italy, see chap. hrL] 

^ me died on 99th August, not in March. SeeMtirBlt,EaHudeChroa.byzanL, 
p. 466. Nine days dapsed b etw e en the accident and his death ; ^Hta Euthymii. 
c. I. f 16.] 

^^ [Leo was a pedant He reminds us of the Empmr Claudius and James I. 
of England. For the first ten years of his reign, his chief minister and adviser was 
Stylianus Zautzes — ^like Basil, a "Macedonian" of Armenism descent — to whom 
Basil on his deathbed conmiitted the charge of the state (Vita Euthymii, c i, § 18). 
He received the title of BasiUopator (A.IX 894), died two years later. His daughter 
Zoe was the second wife of Leo (a.d. 894-6). For the Bulgarian T»r Simeon, the 
most formidable neighbour of the empire at this time, see chap, Iv. The most strik- 
in|[ calamity of Leas reisn was the descent of the renefl^e Leo of (the Syrian) 
Tni)olis with a fleet of Mohammadan pirates on Thessalonica ; 03,000 captives were 
carried off (a.d. 904). The episode has been described in full detail by John 
Cameniatfft (ed. Bonn, Script wwt Theiyh., p, 487 sqq.\ SeeFinlay, ii, 967 jvy. 
The reign or Leo has been rally treated in a Rusnan monograph \if N. Popov 
(Impermtor Lev vi Modri, z89a)ij; 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 207 

superstition ; the influence of the clergy and the errors of the 
people were consecrated by his laws ; and the oracles of Leo, 
which reveal, in prophetic style, the fates of the empire, are 
founded on the arts of astrology and divination. It we still 
inquire the reason of his sage appellation, it can only be replied 
that the son of Basil was less ignorant than the greater part of 
his contemporaries in church and state ; that his education had 
been directed by the learned Photius ; ^^ and that several books 
of profane and ecclesiastical science were composed by the pen, 
or in the name, of the Imperial philosopher. But the reputation 
of his philosophy and religion was overthrown by a domestic 
vice, the repetition of his nuptials. The primitive ideas of the 
merit and holiness of celibacy were preached by the monks and 
entertained by the Greeks. Marriage was allowed as a neces- 
sary means for the propagation of mankind ; after the death of 
either party, the survivor might satisfy, by a second union, the 
weakness or the strength of the flesh ; but a iJurd marriage was 
censured as a state of legal fornication ; and a fourth was a sin 
or scandal as yet unknown to the Christians of the East. In 
the beginning of his reign, Leo himself had abolished the state 
of concubines, and condemned, without annulling, third mar- 
riages ; but his patriotism and love soon compelled him to 
violate his own laws, and to incur the penance which, in a 
similar case, he had imposed on his subjects. In his three first 
alliances, his nuptial bed was unfruitful ; *^ the emperor required 
a female companion, and the empire a legitimate heir. The 
beautiful Zoe was introduced into the palace as a concubine ; 
and, after a trial of her fecundity and the birth of Constantine, 
her lover declared his intention of legitimating the mother and 
the child by the celebration of his fourth nuptials. But the 
patriarch Nicholas refused his blessing; the Imperial baptism gg>-^ 
of the young prince was obtained by a promise of separation ; 
and the contumacious husband of Zoe was excluded from the 
communion of the fiiithfiil. Neither the fear of exile, nor the 
desertion of his brethren, nor the authority of the Latin church, 

^[Por the Patriarch Photius see below, chap. liiL He was deposed by Leo, 
and the Patriarchate given to the Emperor's bnHher Stephen.] 

^ [Leo married (i) Theophano, vho died 893 ; (9) Zoe, who died 896 ; (3) 
Eudocia Baian6, who died 900 ; (4) Zoe Carbonupsina. The Patriarch, Nicolaus 
Mysticus, who opposed the fourth marriage, was banished in February 907, and 
succeeded by Euth^ius, who complied with the Emperor's wishes. This 
Euthjrmins (whose biography, edited by de Boor, is an important source for the 
reign of Leo) was a man of independent character, and had been previously 
banished for opposing the marriage with the second Zoe, On the marriage laws cp. 
Appendix iz.J 



208 THE DECUNE AND FALL 

nor the danger of fisdlure or doubt in the succession to the 
empire, could bend the spirit of the inflexible monk. After the 

CA.S.IU!] death of Leo, he was recalled from exile to the civil and ec- 
clesiastical administration ; and the edict of union which was 

[Aji.Mq promulgated in the name of Constantine condemned the future 
scandal of fourth marriages and left a tacit imputation on his 
own birth. 

ahMjUr, In the Greek language jMcip/S^ and porphyry are the same word ; 

m ragyiy. and, as the colours of nature are invariable, we may learn that a 

aS^SS^ dark deep red was the Tyrian dye which stained the purple of 
the ancients. An apartment of the Bjrzantine palace was lined 
with porphyry ; it was reserved for the use of the pregnant 
empresses ; and the rcnral birth of their children was expressed 
by the appellation of porphyrogenUe, or bom in the purple. 
Several of the Roman princes had been blessed with an heir ; 
but this peculiar surname was first applied to Constantine the 
Seventh. His life and titular reign were of equal duration ; 
but of fifty-four years six had elapsed before his father's death ; 
and the son of Leo was ever the voluntary or reluctant subject 
of those who oppressed his weakness or abused his confidence. 
His uncle Alexander, who had long been invested with the title 
of Augustus, was the first colleague and governor of the young 
prince ; but, in a rapid career of vice and folly, the brother of 

;p«*tt<rf^ Leo already emulated the reputation of Michael ; and, when 

jmt»A.B. he was extinguished by a timely death, he entertained the 
project of castrating his nephew and leaving the empire to a 
worthless favourite. The succeeding years of the mhMNity of 
Constantine were occupied by his mother Zoe, and a succession 
or council of seven regents,^ who pursued their interests, gratified 
their passions, abandoned the republic, supplanted each other, 
and finally vanished in the presence of a soldier. From an 
obscure origin, Romanus Lecapenus had raised himself to the 
command of the naval armies ; and in the anarchy of the times 
had deserved, or at least had obtained, the national esteem. 
With a victorious and affectionate fleet, he sailed from the 
mouth of the Danube into the harbour of Constantinople, and 
was hailed as the deliverer of the people and the guardian of 
the prince. His supreme office was at first defined ay the new 
appellation of fiither of the emperor,^ but Romanus soon dis- 

M [The most importaDt and capable of the regents was John Eladai.] 

^ rRomanus was made great Hetagriofxh (eaptain of the foragn guards) on 
IdarcD 35 ; BasUeofiaior^ April aj ; CoMmr^ SepL 24 ; At^gusims, Dec. 17 (Tbeoph. 
_, Cootin., p. 393-7* ed. Bonn).] 



OF TH£ BOMAN EMPIRE 209 

dained the subordinate powers of a minister, and assumed, with^ ^ 
the titles of Ceesar and Augustus, the fbll independence of^ro 
royalty, which he held near five and twenty years. His three 
sons, Christopher, Stephen, and Constantine, were successively OMMte 
adorned with the same honours, and the lawful emperor was iggiga|^^ 
degraded from the first to the fifth rank in this college ofgrn^CA-o. 
princes. Yet, in the preservation of his life and crown, he 
might still applaud his own fortune and the clemency of the 
usurper. The examples of ancient and modem history would 
have excused the ambition of Romanus ; the powers and the 
laws of the empire were in his hand; the spurious birth of 
Constantine would have justified his exclusion ; and the grave 
or the monastery was open to receive the son of the concubine. 
But Lecapenus does not appear to have possessed either the 
virtues or the vices of a t3rrant.^ The spirit and activity of his 
private life dissolved away in the sunshine of the throne ; and 
in his licentious pleasures he forgot the safety both of the 
republic and of his fiimily. Of a mild and religious character, 
he respected the sanctity of oaths, the innocence of the youth, 
the memory of his parents, and the attachment of the people. 
The studious temper and retirement of Constantine disarmed 
the jealousy of power ; his books and music, his pen and his 
pendll, were a constant source of amusement ; and, if he could 
improve a scanty allowance by the sale of his pictures, if their 
price was not enhanced by the name of the artist, he was 
endowed with a personal talent which few princes could employ 
in the hour of adversity. 

The &11 of Romanus was occasioned by his own vices and o g <* gff'j i 
those of his children. After the decease of Christopher, his 
eldest son, the two surviving brothers quarrelled with each 

^ [Both Gibbon and Finlav seem to have done some injustice to Romantis in 
representing him as weak. He showed strength in remorselessly carrying out his 
poLicy of founding a Lecapenian dynasty ; it was frustrated through an unexpected 
blow. In foreign politics and war, he was on the whole soocessnil ; and he kept 
down the dangerous elements, within the empire, which threatened his throne. 
Of great interest and significance is his law of A.D. 0^5, by which he attemoted to 
put a stop to the growth of the enormous estates, whidb, especially in Asia Minor, 
were gnulualljr absorbing the small proprietors and ruining agriculture. These 
laiifundia^ which increased in spite of all legislation, were an eooDomical evil, a 
political danger, and even injured the army, as the provision for soldiers largely 
consisted in inalienable laniu, and these were swallowed up by the rich landed 
kxxls. See the novel of Romanus in Zachariii von Linsenthal, Jus Orteco* 
Romanum, liL p. 242 sqq, / and cp. the further le^lation of Constantine vii (>^. 
p. 252 j^i/.), A.D. 947, who found that notwithstandmg the prohibition of Romanus 
" the greater part of the magnates did not abstain from bargains most ruinous to 
the poor with whom they deut ". Cp. Appendix zi.] 

VOL. V. 14 



>M;lf] 



210 THE DECLINE AM) FALL 

other, and conspired against their fiither. At the hour of noon, 
when all strangers were regularly excluded from the palace, 
they entered his apartment with an armed force, and conveyed 
w\2f^ him, in the habit of a monk, to a small island in the Ptopontis, 
which was peopled by a religious community. The rumour of 
this domestic revolution excited a tumult in the city ; but 
Porph3rrogenitu8 alone, the true and lawfril emperor, was the 
object of the public care ; and the sons of Lecapenus were 
taught, by tardy experience, that they had achieved a guilty 
and perilous enterprise for the benefit of their rivaL Their 
sister Helena, the wife of Constantine, revealed, or supposed, 
their treacherous design of assassinating her husband at the 
royal banquet. His loyal adherents were alarmed; and the 
two usurpers were prevented, seised, degraded from the purple, 
and embarked for the same island and monastery where their 
fiither had been so lately confined. Old Romanus met them on 
the beach with a sarcastic smile, and, after a just reproach of 
their folly and ingratitude, presented his Imperial colleagues 
with an equal shiu^ of his water and vegetable diet. In the 
fortieth year of his reign, Constantine the Seventh obtained the 
possession of the Eastern world, which he ruled, or seemed to 
rule, near fifteen years. But he was devoid of that energy of 
character which could emei^e into a life of action and glory ; 
and the studies which had amused and dignified his leisure were 
incompatible with the serious duties of a sovereign.*^ The 
emperor neglected the practice, to instruct his son Romanus in 
the theory, of government ; while he indulged the habits of 
intemperance and sloth, he dropt the reins of administration 
into the hands of Helena his wife ; ^ and, in the shifting scene 
of her fiivour and caprice, each minister was regretted in the 
promotion of a more worthless successor. Yet the birth and 
misfortunes of Constantine had endeared him to the Greeks ; 
they excused his fiulings ; they respected his learning, his 
innocence and charity, his love of justice ; and the ceremony 
of his frineral was mourned with the unfeigned tears of his 
subjects. The body, according to ancient custom, lay in state 
in the vestibule of the palace ; and the civil and military officers, 
the patricians, the senate, and the clergy, approached in due 
order to adore and kiss the inanimate corpse of their sovereign. 
Before the procession moved towards the Imperial sepulchre, an 

^ [On ContUuitine and his litenuy works, see further chap. Uii] 

^ [The military support of Constantine was Bardas PhocAS and his three soa% 
Nfeepbonis^ Leo, and Constantine:] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 211 

herald proclaimed this awful admonition : *' Arise, O king of the 
world, and obey the smnmons of the King of kings ! " 

The death of Constantine was imputed to poison ; and his son fMummVL 
Romanus, who derived that name from his maternal grand£Either,&%v.u 
ascended the throne of Constantinople. A prince who, at the 
age of twenty, could be suspected of anticipating his inherit- 
ance must have been already lost in the public esteem ; yet 
Romanus was rather weak than wicked ; and the largest share 
of the guilt was transferred to his wife, Theophano, a woman of 
base origin, masculine spirit, and flagitious manners. The sense 
of personal glory and public happiness, the true pleasures of 
royalty, were unknown to the son of Constantine ; and, while 
the two brothers, Nicephorus and Leo, triumphed over the 
Saracens, the hours which the emperor owed to his people were 
consumed in strenuous idleness. In the morning he visited the 
circus ; at noon he feasted the senators ; the greater part of the 
afternoon he spent in the sphasrUterium, or tennis-court, the 
only theatre of his victories ; frt>m thence he passed over to the 
Asiatic side of the Bosphorus, hunted and killed four wild boars 
of the largest size, and returned to the palace, proudly content 
with the labours of the day. In strength and beauty he was 
conspicuous above his equals ; tall and straight as a young 
cypress, his complexicm was &ir and florid, his eyes sparkling, 
his shoulders broad, his nose long and aquiline. Yet even these 
perfections were insufiicient to flx the love of Theophano ; and, 
after a reign of four years, she mingled for her husband the pyq^yi 
same deadly draught which she had composed for his £Either. 

By his marriage with this impious woman, Romanus theg^|]>g» 
younger left two sons, Basil the Second, and Constantine ^^^tmitni 
Ninth, and two daughters, Theophano and Anne. The eldest 
sister was given to Otho the Second,^® emperor of the West ; 
the younger became the wife of Wolodomir, great duke and 
apostle of Russia ; and, by the marriage of her grand-daughter 
with Henry the First, king of France, the blood of the Mace- 

^[There can be little doubt that Theophano the wife of Otto II. was really 
the (uu:^ter of Romanus and sister of Basil IL (not another lady palmed on 
upon the Emperor of the West), notwithstanding Thietmar (the historian of the 
Ejnperor Henry IL), Chron. iL 15, and the silence of the Greek authorities. (Cp. 




sieae, p. 193^1 MOitmann, louowea oy uieseorecnt, arguea agamsi ine genumo- 
ness 01 Theophana She was refused to Otto by Nicephorus, but granted by 
John Ttimisoes, who became her step-uncle by mamage with the lister of 
Romaima] 



212 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

donians, and perhaps of the Anacides, still flows in the veins of 
the Bgurbon Hne. After the death of her husband, the empress 
aspired to reign in the name of her sons, the elder of whom was 
five, and the yomiger only two, years of age ; but she soon felt 
the instability of a throne, which was supported by a female 
who could not be esteemed, and two in&nts who could not be 
feared. Theophano looked around for a protector, and threw 
herself into the arms of the bravest soldier ; her heart was 
capricious ; but the deformity of the new favourite rendered 
it more than probable that interest was the motive and excuse 
of her love. Nicephoms Phocas^ united, in the popular 
opinion, the double merit of an hero and a saint. In the former 
character, his qualifications were genuine and splendid : the 
descendant of a race, illustrious by their military exploits, he 
had displayed, in every station and in every province, the 
courage of a soldier and the conduct of a chief; and Nicephoms 
^^'^'U was crowned with recent laurels from the important conquest 
of the isle of Crete. ^^ His religion was of a more ambiguous 
cast ; and his hair-cloth, his fiuts, his pious idiom, and his 
wish to retire from the business of the world, were a con- 
venient mask for his dark and dangerous ambition.^' Yet he 
imposed on an holy patriarch, by whose influence, and by a 
decree of the senate, he was entrusted, during the minority of 
the young princes, with the absolute and independent com- 
mand of the Oriental armies. As soon as he had secured the 
leaders and the troops, he boldly marched to Constantinople, 
trampled on his enemies, avowed his correspondence with the 
empress, and, without degrading her sons, assumed, with the 
title of Augustus, the pre-eminence of rank and the plenitude 
of power. But his marriage with Theophano was refused by 

M[The chief work on Nioephonis is M. G. Schlumbeiger's Un emporeur Dyzan- 
tine att dixi&me si^e ; Nic^pnore Phocas, 1890 ; a fine work, which be has con- 
tinued in his L'^p^ bynntine li la &i du dixiime ai^e, 1897, which coven 
the reign of Tzimisoes and the first thirteen years of Basil IL] 

^ [For the Saracen wars of Nicephoms, see chap. liL ad. fin. He had also 
won triumphs in Cilicia and Syria (a.d. 962) before his accession.] 

"■ [Though Nicephoms, as has been said, lived only for his armv, vet throughout 
all his life he had a hankering after the cloister. His intimacy with Athamshis, the 
founder of the Great LAura 00 Mount Athos, is an interesting episode in his life ; 
it is attractively told by M. Schlumberser, c^ cii,, chap. vL But for Nicephoms, 
the Laura would never have been founoed. It is at this period that the monastic 
ttlemmts of Mount Athos come into prominenor, The earliest mentioa of monks 
(andMrites ; not in monasteries) 00 the Holy Mount is fiound in Genesius, referring 
to the time of Basil I. (p. 89, ed. Bonn! The first clear picture of the monastfe 
<DOMtitqtiofl of Athot ii fiound in the Typikoo of John Tdmisoes, A.IX 07a (P. 
lieycr. Die Hanptuikunden f&r die Geschichte der AthoskUteter. p. 141 Jfy. k] 



OF TH£ BOAIAN EMPIRE 213 

the same patriarch who had placed the crown on his head ; by 
his second nuptials he incurred a year of canonical penance ; 
a bar of spiritual affinity was opposed to their celebration ; and 
some evasion and perjury were required to silence the scruples 
of the clergy and people. The popularity of the emperor was 
lost in the purple ; in a reign of six years he provoked the 
hatred of strangers and subjects ; and the h3rpocrisy and avarice 
of the first Nicephorus were revived in his successor. H3rpo- 
crisy I shall never justify or palliate ; but I will dare to observe 
that the odious vice of avarice is of all others most hastily 
arraigned and most unmercifully condemned. In a private 
citizen^ our judgment seldom expects an accurate scrutiny into 
his fortune and expense ; and, in a steward of the public 
treasure, frugality is always a virtue, and the increase of taxes 
too often an indispensable duty. In the use of his patrimony, 
the generous temper of Nicephorus had been proved ; and tne 
revenue was strictly applied to the service of the state : each 
spring the emperor marched in person against the Saracens ; 
and every Roman might compute the employment of his taxes 
in triumphs, conquests, and the security of the Eastern barrier. 
Among the warriors who promoted his elevation and served '•ki 



under his standard, a noble and valiant Armenian had deserved ^ 

and obtained the most eminent rewards. The stature of John 



Zimiaces was below the ordinary standard ; but this diminutive 
body was endowed with strength, beauty, and the soul of an 
hero. By the jealousy of the emperor's brother, he was de* 
graded from the office of general of the East to that of director 
of the posts, and his murmurs were chastised with disgrace and 
exile. But Zimisces was ranked among the numerous lovers 
of the empress ; on her intercession, he was permitted to reside 
at Chalcedon, in the neighbourhood of the capital ; her bounty 
was repaid in his clandestine and amorous visits to the palace ; 
and Theophano consented with alacrity to the death of an ugly 
and penurious husband. Some bold and trusty conspirators 
were concealed in her most private chambers ; in the darkness 
of a winter night, Zimisces, with his principal companions, 
embarked in a small boat, traversed the Bosphorus, landed at 
the palace stairs, and silently ascended a ladder of ropes, which 
was cast down by the female attendants. Neither his own 
suspicions, nor the warnings of his friends, nor the tardv aid of 
his brother Leo, nor the lortress which he had erected in the 
palace, could protect Nicephorus from a domestic foe, at whose 
voice every door was opened to the assassins. As he slept on a gw. m. a.x 



214 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

bear-skin on the ground, he was roused by their noisy intrusion, 
and thirty daggers glittered before his eyes. It is doubtful 
whether Zimisces imbrued his hands in the blood of his sove- 
reign ; but he enjoyed the inhuman spectacle of revenge. The 
mitfder was protracted by insult and crueltv ; and, as soon as 
the head of Nicephorus was shewn from the window, the tu- 
mult was hushed and the Armenian was emperor of the East. 
On the day of his coronation, he was stopped on the threshold 
of St. Sophia, by the intrepid patriarch ; who charged his con- 
science with the deed of treason and blood, and required, as 
a sign of repentance, that he should separate himself from his 
more criminal associate. This sally of apostolic zeal was not 
offensive to the prince, since he could neither love nor trust 
a woman who had repeatedly violated the most sacred obliga- 
tions ; and Theophano, instead of sharing his Imperial fortune, 
was dismissed with ignominy from his bed and palace. '^ In 
their last interview, she displayed a frantic and impotent rage ; 
accused the ingratitude of her lover ; assaulted with words and 
blows her son Basil, as he stood silent and submissive in the 
presence of a superior colleague ; and avowed her own prosti- 
tution, in proclaiming the illegitimacy of his birth. The public 
indignation was appeased by her exile and the punishment of 
the. meaner accomplices ; the death of an unpopular prince 
was forgiven ; and the guilt of Zimisces was forgotten in the 
splendour of his virtues.'^ Perhaps his prolusion was less 
useful to the state than the avarice of Nicephorus ; but his 
gentle and generous behaviour delighted all who approached 
his person ; and it was only in the paths of victory that he 
trod in the footsteps of his predecessor. The greatest part of 
his reign was employed in the camp and the field ; his personal 
valour and activity was signalised on the Danube and the Tigris, 
Ln.tit4 the ancient boundaries of the Roman world ; and by his double 
'^''*^ triumph over the Russians and the Saracens he deserved the 

^[The dismissal of Theophano was demanded by morality and rdigion, but 
it was the least important part of the bargain between the Emperor and the 
Patriarch Pdyeuctua. The price that Tsimisoes reallv paid for his coronation was 
the abrogation of the Novel of Nicephorus Pbocas, which ordained that no ecclesi- 
astical decision, no promotion or nomination, could be made by the bishops with- 
out the Imperial consent In his description of the last interview. Gibbon wronglv 
nialKS Theophano assault her son ; it was the chamberiain Basil (qk bdow, n. 50) 
whom she assaulted.] 

*'[The position of Nicephorus and Tsimisoes reminds us of the Merovingian 
majordomate. Finlay observes that they were both " men of nobler minds umn 
the n(4)les around them, for both renected the rights and persons of their wards 
J and legitimate princes, Basil and Constantine, and contented tbemaelves wiUi 

fbe post of prime minister and the rank of emperor". Romanos L, who held a 
limilar position, had attempted to play the part of Pippin and failed.] 



it 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 215 

titles of savkmr of the empire and conqueror of the East.^ In 
his last return from Syria, he observed that the most fruitful 
lands of his new provinces were possessed by the eunuchs.^ 
And is it for them/' he exclaimed, vdth honest indignation, 
that we have fought and conquered ? Is it for them that we 
shed our blood and exhaust the treasures of our people ? " ^^ 
The complaint was re-echoed to the palace, and the death of 
Zimisces is strongly marked with the suspicion of poison. 

Under this usurpation, or regency, of twelve years, the twosMOiLui^ 
lawful emperors, Basil and Constantine, had silently grown xx. ▲.n.v 
to the age of manhood. Their tender years had been in- ^ 
capable of dominion ; the respectful modesty of their attend- 
ance and salutation was due to the age and merit of their 
guardians ; the childless ambition of those guardians had no 
temptation to violate their right of succession ; their patrimony 
was ably and faithfully administered ; and the premature death 
of Zimisces was a loss, rather than a benefit, to the sons of 
Romanus. Their want of experience detained them twelve 
years Icmger the obscure and voluntary pupils of a minister, who cbmii] 
extended his reign by persuading them to indulge the pleasures 
of youth and to disdain the labours of government. In this 
silken web, the weakness of Constantine was for ever en- 
tangled ; but his elder brother felt the impulse of genius and 
the desire of action ; he frowned, and the minister was no 
more. Basil was the acknowledged sovereign of Constanti- 
nople and the provinces of Europe ; but Asia was oppressed 
by two veteran generals, Phocas and Sclents, who, alternately 

^ [For the great Russian triumph of Tzimisces, which gave Bulgaria into his 
hands, see chap. Iv. ; for his Saracen campaigns, chap, lii.] 

^[The chamberlain Basil, to whom Tzimisces had entrusted the conduct of the 
military administration, and who practically ruled the empire after the death of 
Tzimisces, before Basil II. reached maturity. This eunuch was a bastard son of 
Romanus Lecapenus, and was a man of majestic and imposing presence, and great 
ability. His father had made him commander of the foreign guard, and grand 
chamberlain (Parakcemomenos) ; and he had won a victory over the Saracens in 
A.D. 958. He played a leading part in the revolution which placed Nicephorus 
on the throne, and had been appointed by him " President of the Senate," an 
office established for the first time. But he did not like Nicephorus, who |;ave 
him perhaps too little voice in the administration. An op{x>rtune indisposition 
confined him to his bed at the time of that Emperor's assassination, but when he 
heard the news he lost no time in joining Tzimisces, who seems to have placed him- 
self in the hands of the experienced statesman. ] 

^ [This incident illustrates an evil already mentioned above, n. 46, and more 
fully discussed in Appendix ii, the growth m the Asiatic provinces of enormous 
estates devoted to pasturage, which were ruining the small farmers and the 
agriculture, and transforming the provinces into feudal domains of a few powerfiil 
magnates Both Nicephorus and Tzimisces were fully alive to the eviL] 



216 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

firiends and enemies, subjects and rebels, maintained their 
independence, and laboured to emulate the example of suc- 
cess&l usurpation.^ Against these domestic enemies, the son 
of Romanus first drew his sword, and they trembled in the 
presence of a lawful and high-spirited prince. The first, in 
the fi*ont of battle, was thrown nrom his horse, by the stroke 
of poison or an arrow ; the second, who had been twice loaded 
with chains, and twice invested with the purple, was desirous 

^Aaro, AA of ending in peace the small remainder of his days. As the 
aged suppliant approached the throne, with dim eyes and 
faltering steps, leaning on his two attendants, the emperor 
exclaimed, in the insolence of youth and power, *' And is this 
the man who has so long been the object of our terror ? " 
After he had confirmed his own authority ^ and the peace of 
the empire, the trophies of Nicephorus and Zimisces would not 
suffer their royal pupil to sleep in the palace. His long and 
firequent expeditions against the Saracens were rather glorious 
than useful to the empire ; but the final destruction of the 

CAJx Maq kingdom of Bulgaria appears, since the time of Belisarius, the 
most important triumph of the Roman arms.^ Yet, instead 
of applauding their victorious prince, his subjects detested the 

^[Bardas Scleras verv nearly achieved his design of succeeding to the place 
of Tzimisoes. His rebellion was not aimed at the young Emperors, but at the 
power of the eunuch Basil, who had consigned him to an honourable banishment 
as Duke of the frontier theme of Mesopotamia. Very popular with the army. Scleras 
carried everything before him in Asia, where be had tne support of many of the 
great landed proprietors, and was also succoured by neighbouring Saracen armies 
and the bandits of the frontier mountains. He defeated the Imperial general 
Peter Phocas at Bukulithos (somewhere between Lycandus and Arabissus), and 
then close to Lycandus (a.d. 976). He also won command of the sea (A.D. 977). 
but in the following year his fleet was annihilated. But he took Nicaea and 
threatened the capital In this extremity his rival Bardas Phocas, who had 
rebelled against Tzimisces and having been subdued by this same Sclenii was 
banished to Chios, was recalled from exile and placed at the head of an army. 
But Scleras defeated him in two great battles, in the plain of Pankalia, on the 
banks of the Sangarius, and at Baiilike Therma, A.D. 978. Next year, however, 
help supplied by the Iberian prince David enabled Phocas to crush the rebdlion 
in the second battle of Pankalia (March 24, A.D. 979). During the next eight 
years Phocas was commander-in-chief of the army, while Scleras n^ had fled 
to the Moslems remained a captive at Bagdad. In A.D. 987, Phocas rebelled, 
and the Saracens sent against him, as a second pretender, Bardas Sdenis at the 
head of an army of deserters. Phocas took him prisoner, subjugated Ada Minor, 
but was defeated (April 989) by the marvellous energy of Basil IL with the help 
of the Roman auxiliaries ramished by Vladimir of Kiev, who was shortly to 
become his brother-in-law. The best account of these interesting episodes will 
be ibund in Schlimiberger's L'tfpopfe byzantine, &c, chaps. vL, viL, xt.] 

*[Basil completed the assertion of his own authority by banishmg his name- 
•sake the eunuch in a.d. 989^] 

^[Seecbapblv.] 
r 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 217 

rapacious and rigid avarice of Basil ; and in the imperfect 
narrative of his exploits, we can only discern the courage, 
patience, and ferociousness of a soldier. A vicious education, 
which could not subdue his spirit, had clouded his mind ; he 
was ignorant of every science ; and the remembrance of his 
learned and feeble grandsire might encourage a real or affected 
contempt of laws and lawyers, of artists and arts. Of such a 
character, in such an age, superstition took a firm and lasting 
possession ; after the first licence of his youth, Basil the Second 
devoted his life, in the palace and the camp, to the penanee 
of an hermit, wore the monastic habit under his robes and 
armour, observed a vow of continence, and imposed on his 
appetites a perpetual abstinence from wine and nesh. In the 
sixty-eighth year of his age, his martial spirit urged him to 
embark in person for a holy war against the Saracens of Sicily ; 
he was prevented by death ; and Basil, sumamed the Slayer 
of the Bulgarians, was dismissed firom the world with the 
blessings of the clergy and the curses of the people. After his 
decease, his brother Constantine enjoyed, about three years, Sjl jS *' 
the power, or rather the pleasures, of royalty; and his only 
care was the settlement of the succession. He had enjoyed, 
sixty-six years, the title of Augustus ; and the reign of the 
two brothers is the longest and most obscure of the Byzantine 
history. 

A lineal succession of five emperors, in a period of one hun-: 
dred and sixty years, had attached the loyalty of the Greeks to jlSmk, 
the Macedonian d3ma8ty, which had been thrice respected by 
the usurpers of their power. After the death of Constantine 
IX., the last male of the royal race, a new and broken scene 
presents itself, and the accumulated years of twelve emperors 
do not equal the space of his single reign. His elder brother 
had preferred his private chastity to the public interest, and 
Constantine himself had only three daughters: Eudocia, who 
took the veil, and Zoe and Theodora, who were preserved till a 
mature age in a state of ignorance and virginity. When their 
marriage was discussed in the council of their dying fiither, the 
cold or pious Theodora refused to give an heir to the empire, but 
her sister Zoe presented herself a willing victim at the altar. 
Romanus Arg3rrus, a patrician of a graceful person and fiur 
reputation, was chosen for her husband, and, on his declining 
that honour, was informed that blindness or death was the 
second alternative. The motive of his reluctance was conjugal 
affection, but his fiuthful wife sacrificed her own happiness to 



218 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

his safety and greatness ; and her entrance into a monastery 
removed the only bar to the Imperial nuptials. After the 
decease of Constantine, the sceptre devolved to Romanus the 
Third ; but his labours at home and abroad were equally feeble 
and fruitless ; and the mature age^ the forty-eight years of Zoe, 
were less &vourable to the hopes of pregnancy than to the in- 
dulgence of pleasure. Her &vourite chamberlain was an hand- 
some Paphlagonian of the name of Michael^ whose first trade 
had been that of a money-changer ; and Romanus, either from 
gratitude or equity, connived at their criminal intercourse, or 
accepted a slight assurance of their innocence. But Zoe soon 
justified the Roman maxim that every adulteress is capable of 
poisoning her husband ; and the death of Romanus was instantly 
followed by the scandalous marriage and elevation of Michael the 
|yfc*grv- Fourth* The expectations of Zoe were however disappointed : in- 
jfrAsriiii ^^^^ ^^'^ vigorous and grateful lover, she had placed in her bed a 
miserable wretch, whose health and reason were impaired by 
epileptic fits, and whose conscience was tormented by despair 
and remorse. The most skilful physicians of the mind and body 
were summoned to his aid ; and his hopes were amused by 
frequent pilgrimages to the baths, and to the tombs of the most 
popular saints ; the monks applauded his penance, and, except 
restitution (but to whom should he have restored.^), Michael 
sought every method of expiating his guilt. While he groaned 
and prayed in sackcloth and ashes, his brother, the eunuch 
John, smiled at his remorse, and enjoyed the harvest of a crime 
of which himself was the secret and most guilty author. His 
administration was only the art of satiating his avarice,^^ and 
Zoe became a captive in the palace of her fieithers and in the 
hands of her slaves. When he perceived the irretrievable decline 
of his brother's health, he introduced his nephew, another 
Michael, who derived his surname of Calaphates fi^om hxB Other's 
occupation in the careening of vessels ; at the command of the 
eunuch, Zoe adopted for her son the son of a mechanic ; and this 
fictitious heir was invested with the title and purple of the C«- 
sars, in the presence of the senate and clergy. So feeble was 
the character of 2^ that she was oppressed by the liberty and 
power which she recovered by the death of the Paphlagonian ; 

*i [Gibbon, like most historians, is unjuit to these Paphlacponians. who, if greedy 
adventurers, were all competent men. The reign of Micfaaei IV. was distinguished 
by a temporary recovery of the western coast of Sicily (A.D. zo3;^^4a) through the 
ability ofthe great seneral Geom Maniaces (see below, chap. Ivl). The govern- 
nent had to meet the danger ot a rebelUon of the Bulgarian Slavs of Macedonia 
tander Peter Deljan. This was put down ; hot Servia rose under Slepbea Bofiriav 
and iuooessfully asserted its independence (A.D. 1040).] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 219 

and, at the end of four days, she placed the crown on the head 
of Michael the Fifth, who had protested, with tears and oaths, jgMM^t^ 
that he should ever reign the first and most obedient of herSsTSST 
subjects. The only act of his short reign was his base ingrati- 
tude to his bene&ctors, the eunuch and the empress. The dis- 
grace of the former was pleasing to the public ; but the murmurs, 
and at length the clamours, of Constantinople deplored the 
exile of Zoe, the daughter of so many emperors ; her vices were 
forgotten, and Michael was taught that there is a period in^^xon^ 
which the patience of the tamest slaves rises into fury and 
revenge. The citizens of every degree assembled in a formidable 
tumult, which lasted three days; they besieged the palace, 
forced the gates, recalled their mothers, Zoe from her prison, SMiadi fin 
Theodora from her monastery, and condemned the son ot Cala- vSS^jiSi 
phates to the loss of his eyes or of his life. For the first time, 
the Greeks beheld with surprise the two royal sisters seated on 
the same throne, presiding in the senate, and giving audience to 
the ambassadors of the nations. But this singular union subsisted 
no more than two months ; the two sovereigns, their tempers, 
interests, and adherents, were secretly hostile to each other; 
and, as Theodora was still adverse to marriage, the indefatigable 
Zoe, at the age of sixty, consented, for the public good, to 
sustain the embraces of a third husband, and the censures of 
the Greek church.^^ His name and number were Constantine ooMiMrtiM 
the Tenth, and the epithet of Monomachus, the single combatant, auMi^mL; 
must have been expressive of his valour and victory in some^iu 
public or private quarrel^ But his health was broken by the 
tortures of the gout, and his dissolute reign was spent in the 
alternative of sickness and pleasure. A fair and noble widow 
had accompanied Constantine in his exile to the isle of Lesbos, 
and Sclerena gloried in the appellation of his mistress. After 
his marriage and elevation, she was invested with the title and 
pomp of Augusta^ and occupied a contiguous apartment in the 
palace. The lawful consort (such was the delicacy or corruption 

*'[Much new material for the scandals and intrigues of the court under the 
regimes of Zoe and Theodora, and the emperors who were elevated through them, 
has been revealed in the contemporary History of Paellus (Sathas, BibL Gr. Med. 
Ae\'., iv. ; see Appendix x). See Bury, Roman Emperors from Basil II. to Isaac 
Komntoos, in Eng. Hist. Rev. 4, p. 41 sqq,, and 351 sqq, (1889^ The chief 
events of the reign of Constantine IX. were tne revolt <H Leon Tomikios (which is 
the subject of a special monograph by R. SchOtte, 1896), an invasion of the 
Pafrinaks, the final schism of the Greek and Latin Churches (see below, chap, be), 
and the incorporation of Armenia in the Empire. For the foundation of a 
school of jurisprudence see Appendix ix.] 

** [Monomachus was a surname of the family ; it had no personal application to 
Constantine, See Psellus, Hist., p. no, ed. Sathas.] 



220 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

of Zoe) consented to this strange and scandalous partition ; and 
the emperor appeared in public between his wife and his con- 
cubine. He survived them both; but the last measures of 
Constantine to change the order of succession were prevented 
by the more vigilant friends of Theodora ; and, after his decease, 
roT.ao she resumed, with the general consent, the possession of her 
inheritance. In her name, and by the influence of four 
eunuchs, the Eastern world was peaceably governed about nine- 
teen months ; and, as they wished to prolong their dominion, 
they persuaded the aged princess to nominate for her successor 
noMVL Michael the Sixth. The surname of Stralioiicus declares his 
Ld. uBjL military profession ; but the crasy and decrepit veteran could 
^ only see with the eyes, and execute with the hands, of his 

ministers. Whilst he ascended the throne, Theodora sunk into 
the grave, the last of the Macedonian or Basilian dynasty. I 
have hastily reviewed, and gladly dismiss, this shameful and 
destructive period of twenty-eight years, in which the Greeks, 
degraded below the common level of servitude, were transferred 
like a herd of cattle by the choice or caprice of two impotent 
females. 
mml oh». From this night of slavery, a ray of freedom, or at least of 
m, Aag. SI spirit, begins to emerge : the Greeks either preserved or revived 
the use of surnames, which perpetuate the £une of here- 
ditary virtue ; and we now discern the rise, succession, and al- 
liances of the last dynasties of Constantinople and Trebizond 
The Comneniy who upheld for a while the £ftte of the sinking 
empire, assumed the nonour of a Roman origin ; but the family 
had been long since transported from Italy to Asia. Their 
patrimonial estate was situate in the district of Castamona in 
the neighbourhood of the Euxine ; and one of their chiefii, who 
had already entered the paths of ambition, revisited with 
affection, perhaps with regret, the modest though honourable 
dwelling of his uithers. The first of their line was the illustrious 
Manuel, who, in the reign of the second Basil, contributed by 
war and treaty to appease the troubles of the East ; he left in 
a tender age two sons, Isaac and John, whom, with the con- 
sciousness of desert, he bequeathed to the gratitude and favour 
of his sovereign. The noble youths were carefully trained in 
the learning of the monastery, the arts of the palace, and the 
exercises of the camp; and firom the domestic service of the 
guards they were rapialy promoted to the command of provinces 
and armies. Their natenud union doubled the force and reputa- 
ton of the Comneni, and their ancient nobility was iUiutrated 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 221 

by the marriage of the two brothers, with a captive princess of 
Bulgaria, and the daughter of a patrician, who had obtained the 
name of Charon from the number of enemies whom he had sent 
to the infernal shades. The soldiers had served with reluctant 
loyalty a series of effeminate masters ; the elevation of Michael 
the Sixth was a personal insult to the more deserving generals ; 
and their discontent was inflamed by the parsimony of the em- 
peror and the insolence of the eunuchs. They secretly assembled 
in the sanctuary of St. Sophia, and the votes of the military 
sjrnod would have been unanimous in fiivour of the old and 
valiant Catacalon, if the patriotism or modesty of the veteran had 
not suggested the importance of birth as well as merit in the 
choice of a sovereign. Isaac Comnenus was approved by general {jJSf ^ ^ 
consent, and the associates separated without delay to meet in 
the plains of Phrygia, at the head of their respective squadrons 
and detachments. The cause of Michael was defended in a 
single battle by the mercenaries of the Imperial guard, who were 
aliens to the public interest^ and animated only by a principle 
of honour and gratitude. After their defeat, the fears of the 
emperor solicited a treaty, which was almost accepted by the 
moderation of the Comnenian. But the former was betrayed 
by his ambassadors, and the latter was prevented by his firiends. 
The solitary Michael submitted to the voice of the people ; the 
patriarch annulled their oath of allegiance ; and, as he shaved 
the head of the ro3ral monk, congratulated his beneficial ex- 
change of temporal royalty for the kingdom of heaven : an ex- 
change, however, which the priest, on his own account, would 
probably have declined. By the hands of the same patriarch,^ 
Isaac Comnenus was solemnly crowned ; the sword which he in-[i^s] 
scribed on his coins might be an offensive symbol, if it implied 
his title by conquest ; but this sword would have been drawn 
against the foreign and domestic enemies of the state. The 
decline of his health and vigour suspended the operation of 
active virtue; and the prospect of approaching death deter- 
mined him to interpose some moments between life and eternity. 
But, instead of leaving the empire as the marriage portion of 
his daughter, his reason and inclination concurred in the pre- [iiMte] 
ference of his brother John, a soldier, a patriot, and the father 
of five sons, the future pillars of an hereditary succession. His 

**[This powerful and ambitious prelate, Michael Cerularius, aimed at securing 
for the Patriarch the same headship of the Eastern Church and the same inde- 
pendent position in regard to the Emperor, which the Pope hdd in the West Isaac 
deposed him. For this period see H. MUdler, Theodora, Michael Stratiotikos, 
Jsaak Komnenos, 1894.] 



222 THE DECUNE AND FALL 

first modest reluctance might be the natm^l dictates of discretion 
and tenderness, but his obstinate and successful perseverance, 
however it may daaszle with the show of virtue, must be censured 
as a criminal desertion of his duty and a rare offence against his 
family and country.^ The purple which he had remsed was 
accepted by Constantine Ducas, a friend of the Comnenian 
house, and whose noble birth was adorned with the experience 
and reputation of civil policy.^ In the monastic habit, Isaac 

5figjj5§^ recovered his health, and survived two years his voluntary ab- 
dication. At the command of his abbot, he observed the rule 
of St Basil, and executed the most servile offices of the convent ; 
but his latent vanity was gratified by the frequent and respect- 
fill visits of the reigning monarch, who revered in his person 
the character of a bene&ctor and a saint. 

SH^'^^flJ*'^ If Constantine the Eleventh were indeed the subject most 

iSSHJfn' worthy of empire, we must pity the debasement of the age and 
nation in which he was chosen. In the labour of puerile 
declamations he sought, without obtaining, the crown of elo- 
quence, more precious in his opinion than that of Rome ; and 
in the subordinate functions of a judge he forgot the duties of a 
sovereign and a warrior.^^ Far from imitating the patriotic 
indifference of the authors of his greatness, Ducas was anxious 
only to secure, at the expense of the republic, the power and 
prosperity of his children. His three 8<his, Michael the Seventh, 
Andronicus the First, and Constantine the Twelfth, were invested 
in a tender age with the equal title of Augustus; and the 

SlJ*]^^^- succession was speedily opened by their fiither's death. His 
widow, Eudocia,^ was entrusted with the administration ; but 
experience had taught the jealousy of the dying monarch to 
protect his sons from the danger of her second nuptials ; and 
her solemn engagement, attested by the principal senators, was 
deposited in the hands of the patriarch. Before the end of seven 
months, the wants of Eudoda, or those of the state, called aloud 
for the male virtues of a soldier ; and her heart had already 
chosen Romanus Diogenes, whom she raised from the scaffold 

*[" Gibbon accepts the statement of Nioephorus Biyennitxs (L ao) that John 
refused the imperial crown ; but it appears to be merdj a flourish of fiunilj pride, 
for Scylitzes expressly dedarea that Isaac set aside his brother " (Finlay, Hist 
of Greece, ii., p. la, n. a). Isaac was married to a Bulgarian prinoen Ailnterina, 
the daughter probably of John Vladislav, as Scylitzes says (p. 6a8 ; q>. MSdkr, 
0^. cit, p. i^).] 

* [Especially financial poller.] 

V[For the anti-militaiy policy adopted by Constantine Ducas, and in general 
for the condition of the empire at this period, see C Neumann's exodlent wofk. 
Das Byzantinische Reich vor den KreussQgen.] 

* [For the literary work and influence of Eudoda, see bdow, chapi liiL] 




OF THE ROMAN EMPIBE 223 

to the throne. The discovery of a treasonable attempt had 
exposed him to the severity of the laws : his beauty and valour 
absolved him in the eyes of the empress; and Romanus,^ from 
a mild exile, was recalled on the second day to the command of 
the Oriental armies. Her royal choice was yet unknown to the 

Eublic, and the promise which would have betrayed her fidse- 
ood and levity was stolen by a dexterous emissary from the 
ambition of the patriarch. Xiphilin at first alleged the sancti^ 
of oaths and the sacred nature of a trust ; but a whisper that 
his brother was the future emperor relaxed his scruples, and 
forced him to confess that the public safety was the supreme 
law. He resigned the important paper ; and, when his hopes 
were confounded by the nomination of Romanus, he could no 
longer regain his security, retract his declarations, nor oppose 
the second nuptials of the empress. Yet a murmur was heard 
in the palace ; and the barbarian guards had raised their battle- 
axes in the cause of the house of Ducas, till the young princes 
were soothed by the tears of their mother and the solemn 
assurances of the fidelity of their guardian, who filled the 
Imperial station with dignity and honour. Hereafter I shall 
relate his valiant but unsuccessful efibrts to resist the progress riMihiip. 
of the Turks. His defeat and captivity inflicted a deadly 
wound on the Byzantine monarchy of the East ; and, after he 
was released from the chains of the sultan, he vainly sought 
his wife and his subjects. His wife had been thrust into a 
monastery, and the subjects of Romanus had embraced the 
rigid maxim of the civil law that a prisoner in the hands of the 
enemy is deprived, as by the stroke of death, of all the public 
and private rights of a citizen. In the general consternation ig gMMrtji 
the Caesar John asserted the indefeasible right of his three BSKS S 
nephews : Constantinople listened to his voice ; and the Turkish xn. ▲^ 
captive was proclaimed in the capital, and received on the 
frontier, as an enemy of the republic. Romanus was not more 
fortunate in domestic than in foreign war : the loss of two 
battles compelled him to peld, on the assurance of fkir and 
honourable treatment ; but his enemies were devoid of fiiith or 
humanity; and, after the cruel extinction of his sight, his 
wounds were left to bleed and corrupt, till in a few days he was 
relieved ftota a state of misery. Under the triple reign of the 
house of Ducas, the two younger brothers were reduced to the 
vain honours of the purple ; but the eldest, the pusillanimous 

^ [He was stratftgos of Triaditza (Sofia).] 



224 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

Michael, was incapable of sustaining the Roman sceptre ; and 
his surname of Parapinaces denotes the reproach which he 
shared with an avaricious favourite who enhanced the price, 
and diminished the measure, of wheat. In the school of Psellus, 
and after the example of his mother, the son of Eudocia made 
some proficiency in philosophy and rhetoric ; but his character 
was degraded, rather than ennobled, by the virtues of a monk 
and the learning of a sophist. Strong in the contempt of their 
sovereign and their own esteem, two generals at the head of 
the European and Asiatic legions assumed the purple at Hadria- 
nople and Nice. Their revolt was in the same month; they 
bore the same name of Nicephoms; but the two candidates 
were distinguished by the surnames of Bryennius and Botani- 
ates : the former in the maturity of wisdom and courage, the 
latter conspicuous only by the memory of his past exploits. 
While Botaniates advanced with cautious and dilatory steps, his 
active competitor stood in arms before the gates of Constanti- 
nople. The name of Bryennius was illustrious ; his cause was 
popular ; but his licentious troops could not be restrained from 
burning and pillaging a suburb ; and the people, who would 
have hailed the rebel, rejected and repulsed the incendiary of 
his country. This change of the public opinion was fiivoarable 
to Botaniates, who at length, with an army of Turks, approached 
the shores of Chalcedon. A formal invitation, in the name of 
the patriarch, the synod, and the senate, was circulated through 
the streets of Constantinople ; and the general assembly, in the 
dome of St. Sophia, debated, with order and calmness, on the 
choice of their sovereign. The guards of Michael would have 
dispersed this unarmed multitude ; but the feeble emperor, 
applauding his own moderation and clemency, resigned the 
ensigns of royalty, and was rewarded with the monastic habit 
and the title of archbishop of Ephesus. He left a son, a Con- 
stantine, bom and educated in the purple ; and a daughter of 
the house of Ducas illustrated the blood, and confirmed the 
succession, of the Comnenian dynasty. 

John Comnenus, the brother of the emperor Isaac, sonrived 

J^ in peace and dignity his generous refusal of the sceptre.^ Bv 

• his wife Anne, a woman of masculine spirit and policy, he left 

eight children : the three daughters multiplied tne Comnenian 

alhances with the noblest of the Greeks ; of the five sons, 

Manuel was stopped by a premature death ; Isaac and Alexins 



k. 



**[Seeabove, n.65.] 



OF THE KOMAN EMPIRE 226 

restored the Imperial greatness of their house, which was 
enjoyed without toil or danger by the two younger brethren, 
Hadrian and Nicephorus. Alexius, the third and most illustrious 
of the brothers, was endowed by nature with the choicest gifts 
both of mind and body: they were cultivated by a liberal 
education, and exercised in the school of obedience and adver- 
sity. The youth was dismissed from the perils of the Turkish 
war by the paternal care of the emperor Romanus ; but the 
mother of the Comneni, with her aspiring race, was accused of 
treason, and banished, by the sons of Ducas, to an island in 
the Propontis. The two brothers soon emerged into fiivour 
and action, fought by each other s side against the rebeb and 
barbarians, and adhered to the emperor Michael, till he was 
deserted by the world and by himself. In his first interview 
with Botaniates, ** Prince/' said Alexius, with a noble frankness, 
" my duty rendered me your enemy ; the decrees of God and 
of the people have made me your subject Judge of my future 
loyalty by my past opposition." The successor of Michael 
entertained him with esteem and confidence; his valour was 
employed against three rebels, who disturbed the peace of 
the empire, or at least of the emperors. Ursel, Bryennius, and 
Basiladus were formidable by their numerous forces and military 
fiune ; they were successively vanquished in the field, and led in 
chains to the foot of the throne ; and, whatever treatment they 
might receive from a timid and cruel court, they applauded the 
clemency, as well as the courage, of their conqueror. But the 
loyalty of the Comneni was soon tainted by fear and suspicion ; 
nor is it easy to settle between a subject and a despot the debt 
of gratitude, which the former is tempted to claim by a revolt 
and the latter to discharge by an executioner. The refusal of 
Alexius to march against a fourth rebel, the husband of his 
sister, destroyed the merit or memory of his past services; the 
favourites of Botaniates provoked the ambition which they 
apprehended and accused ; and the retreat of the two broHieHB 
might be justified by the defence of their life or liberty. The 
women of the fiimily were deposited in a sanctuary, respected 
by tyrants : the men, mounted on horseback, sallied ' from the 
city and erected the standard of civil war. The soldiers, who 
had been gradually assembled in the capital and the neighbour- 
hood, were devoted to the cause of a victorious and ihjuped 
leader;* the ties of common interest and domestic alliance 
secured the attachment of the house of Ducas ; and the gener- 
ous disputje of the Comneni was terminated by the dedisiva 
VOL. V. 16 



NWl 



226 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

resolution of Isaac, who was the first to invest his younger 
brother with the name and ensigns of royalty. They returned 
to Constantinople, to threaten rather than besiege that impreg- 
nable fortress ; but the fidelity of the guards was corrupted ; a 
lyrfii] gate was surprised, and the fleet was occupied by the active 
courage of George PaleeologuSy who fought against his &ther, 
without foreseeing that he laboured for his posterity. Alexius 
ascended the throne ; and his aged competitor disappeared in a 
monasters. An army of various nations was gratified with the 
pillage of the city ; but the public disorders were expiated by 
the tears and fiists of the Comneni, who submitted to every 
penance compatible with the possession of the empire. 
UisiwL The life of the emperor Alexius has been delineated by a 

iS^SJl' £ftvourite daughter, who was inspired by a tender regard for his 
^"^^^ person and a laudable zeal to perpetuate his virtues. Conscious 
of the just suspicion of her readers, the princess Anna Comnena 
repeatedlv protests that, besides her personal knowledge, she 
had searched the discourse and writings of the most respectable 
veterans ; that, after an interval of thirty years, forgotten by, 
and forgetful of, the world, her mournful solitude was inacces- 
sible to hope and fear ; and that truth, the naked perfect truth, 
was more dear and sacred than the memory of her parent. Yet, 
instead of the simplicity of style and narrative which wins our 
belief, an elaborate affectation of rhetoric and science betrajrs, 
in every page, the vanity of a female author. The genuine 
character of Alexius is lost in a vague constellation of virtues ; 
and the perpetual strain of panegyric and apology awakens our 
jealousy, to question the veracity of the historian and the merit 
of the hero. We cannot, however, refuse her judicious and 
important remark that the disorders of the times were the 
misfortune and the glory of Alexius ; and that every calamity 
which can afflict a declining empire was accumulated on his 
reign, by the justice of heaven and the vices of his predecessors. 
In the East, the victorious Turks had spread, from Persia to 
the Hellespont, the reign of the Koran and the Crescent ; the 
West was invaded by the adventurous valour of the Nonnans ; 
and, in the moments of peace, the Danube poured forth new 
swarmS) who had gained, in the science of war, what thej had 
lost in the ferociousness of manners. The sea was not less 
hostile than the land ; and, while the frontiers were assaolted 
by an open enemy, the palace was distracted with secret treason 
and conspiracy. On a sudden, the banner of the Gross was 
dfaphjed by the Latins: Europe was preeipitated on Asia; 



^ 



OF THE ROMAN EBCPIBE 227 

and Constantinople had almost been swept away by this im- 
petuous deluge. In the tempest Alexius steered the Imperial 
iressel with dexterity and courage. At the head of his armies 
he was bold in action, skilful in stratagem, patient of &ticaey 
ready to improve his advantages, and rising from his dereats 
with inexhaustible vigour. The discipline of the camp was 
revived, and a new generation of men and soldiers was created 
by the example and the precepts of their leader. In his inter- 
course with the Latins, Alexius was patient and artful; his 
discerning eye pervaded the new system of an unknown world; 
and I shall hereafter describe the superior policy with which 
he balanced the interests and passions of the champions of the 
first crusade.^^ In a long reign of thirty-seven years, he subdued 
and pardoned the envy of his equals ; the laws of public and 
private order were restored; the arts of wealth and science 
were cultivated ; the limits of the empire were enlarged in 
Europe and Asia ; and the Comnenian sceptre was transmitted 
to his children of the third and fourth generation. Yet the 
difficulties of the times betrayed some defects in his character ; 
and have exposed his memory to some just or ungenerous 
reproach. The reader may possibly smile at the lavish praise 
which his daughter so often bestows on a flying hero; the 
weakness or prudence of his situation might be mistaken for a 
want of personal courage ; and his political arts are branded by 
the Latins with the names of deceit and dissimulation. The 
increase of the male and female Inranches of his family adorned 
the throne and secured the succession; but their princely 
laxmry and pride offended the patricians, exhausted the revenue, 
and insulted the misery of the people. Anna is a fidthful 
witness that his happiness was destroyed, and his health was 
broken, by the cares of a public life ; the patience of Constan- 
tinople was £tttigued by the length and severity of his reign ; 
and, before Alexius expired, he had lost the love and reverence 
of his subjects. The clergy could not foi^ive his application 
of the sacred riches to the defence of the state; but they 
applauded his theological learning and ardent seal for the 
orthodox fidth, which he defended with his tongue, his pen, 
and his sword. His character was degraded by the superstition 
of the Greeks ; and the same inconsistent principle of human 
nature enjoined the emperor to found an hospital fer the poor 
and infinn, and to direct the execution of an heretic, who was 

71 [For the Normans, cp. below, chap. Ivi. ; for the First Crusade, chap. IviiL' 
For tbe reigns ci Alexius, John, and Manuel : P. Wilken, Remm ab Alex. L Joh. 
et Man. Comnenis gest Ubri iv. x8zx.] 



mm/^»mmt0mm^MmMtw tmt 



228 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

burnt alive in the square of St. Sophia. Even the sinoerity of 
his moral and religious virtues was suspected by the persons 
who had passed their lives in his ^miliar confidence. In his 
last hours, when he was pressed by his wife Irene to alter the 
succession, he raised his head, and breathed a pious ejaculation 
on the vanity of this world. The indignant reply of the empress 
may be inscribed as an epitaph on his tomb, '* You die, as you 
have lived — an hypocrite ! " 
guorjOiio- It was the wish of Irene to supplant the eldest of her surviv- 
p^^M^ ing sons in fiivour of her daughter the princess Anna, whose 
philosophy would not have renised the weight of a diadem. 
But the order of male succession was asserted by the friends 
of their country ; the lawful heir drew the royal signet from 
the finger of his insensible or conscious £ftther ; and the empire 
obeyed the master of the palace. Anna Comnena was stimu- 
lated by ambition and revenge to conspire against the life of 
her brother, and, when the design was prevented by the fears 
or scruples of her husband, she passionately exclaimed that 
nature had mistaken the two sexes and had endowed Bryennius 
with the soul of a woman. The two sons of Alexius, John and 
Isaac, maintained the fraternal concord, the hereditary virtue 
of their race ; and the younger brother was content with the 
title of Sebatlocraiarf which approached the dignity, without 
sharing the power, of the emperor. In the same person, the 
claims of primogeniture and merit were fortunately united ; his 
swarthy complexion, harsh features, and diminutive stature had 
suggested the ironical surname of Calo-Johannes, or John the 
Handsome, which his grateful subjects more seriously applied 
to the beauties of his mind. After the discovery of her treason, 
the life and fortune of Anna were justly forfeited to the laws. 
Her life was spared by the clemency of the emperor, but he 
visited the pomp and treasures of her palace, and bestowed the 
rich confiscation on the most deserving of his friends. That 
respectable friend, Axuch, a slave of Turkish extmction, pre- 
sumed to decline the gift and to intercede for the criminal; 
his generous master applauded and imitated the virtue of his 
fiivourite ; and the reproach or complaint of an ii\|ured brother 
was the only chastisement of the guilty princess. After this 
example of clemency, the reniain<£5r of his reign was never 
disturbed by conspiracy or rebellion: feared by his nobles, 
beloved by his people, John was never reduced to the painful 
necessity of punishing, or even of pardoning, his personal 
if^^T"^^*. During his government of twenty-five yean, the 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE' 229 

penalty of death was abolished in the Roman empire, a law of 
mercy most delightful to the humane theorist, but of which the 
practice, in a large and vicious community, is seldom consistent 
with the public safety. Severe to himself, indulgent to others, 
chaste, frugal, abstemious, the philosophic Marcus would not 
have disdained the artless virtues of his successor, derived from 
his heart, and not borrowed from the schools. He despised 
and moderated the stately magnificence of the Byzantine court, 
so oppressive to the people, so contemptible to the eye of 
reason. Under such a prince, innocence had nothing to fear, 
and merit had everything to hope ; and, without assuming the 
tyrannic office of a censor, he introduced a gradual, though 
visible, reformation in the public and private mannera of C<ni- 
stantinople. The only defect of this accomplished character 
was the frail^ of noble minds, the love of arms and military 
glory. Yet the frequent expeditions of John the Handsome 
may be justified, at least in tneir principle, by the necessity of 
repelling the Turks from the Hellespont and the Bosphorus. 
The sultan of Iconium was confined to his capital, the bar- 
barians were driven to the mountains, and the maritime 
provinces of Asia enjoyed the transient blessings of their de* 
liverance. From Constantinople to Antioch and Aleppo, he 
repeatedly marched at the head of a victorious army, and, in 
the sieges and battles of this holy war, his Latin allies were 
astonished by the superior spirit and prowess of a Greek. As 
he began to indulge the ambitious hope of restoring the ancient 
limits of the empire, as he revolved in his mind the Euphrates 
and Tigris, the dominion of Syria, and the conquest of Jerusalem, 
the thread of his life and of the public felicity was broken by a 
singular accident. He hunted the wild boar in the valley of 
Anasarbus, and had fixed his javelin in the body of the furious 
animal; bat, in the struggle, a poisoned arrow dropped from 
his quiver, and a slight wound in his hand, which produced a 
mortification, was fiital to the best and greatest of the Conn 
nenian princes. 

A premature death had swept away the two eldest sons ofMywLAj 
John the Handsome ; of the two survivors, Isaac and Manuel, his 
judgment or affection preferred the younger ; and the choice of 
their ^ring prince was ratified by the soldiers who had applauded 
the valour of his fiivourite in the Turkish war. The £uthfrd 
Axuch hastened to the capital, secured the person of Isaac in 
honourable confinement, and purchased, with a gift of two hun- 
dred pounds of silver, the leading ecclesiastics of St. Sophia, 



IMHi«M*M 



230 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

who possessed a decisive voice in the comsecimtion of an emperor. 
With his veteran and affectionate troops, Manuel soon visited 
Constantinople ; his brother acquiesced in the title of Sebasto- 
crator ; his subjects admired the lofty stature and martial graces 
of their new sovereign, and listened with credulity to the mitter- 
ing promise that he blended the wisdom of age with the ac- 
tivity and vigour of youth. By the experience of his govern- 
ment, they were taught that he emulated the spirit, and shared 
the talents, of his &ther, whose social virtues were buried in 
the grave. A reign of thirty-seven years is filled by a perpetual 
though various war&re against the Turks, the Christians, and 
the hordes in the wilderness beyond the I^mube. The arms of 
Manuel were exercised on mount Taurus, in the plains of 
Hungary, on the coast of Italy and £gypt, and on the seas of 
Sicily and Greece ; the influence of his negotiations extended 
from Jerusalem to Rome and Russia; and the Bysantine 
monarchy, for a while, became an object of respect or terror to 
the powers of Asia and Europe. Educated in the silk and 
purple of the East, Manuel possessed the iron temper of a 
soldier, which cannot easily be paralleled, except in the lives of 
Richard the First of England, and of Charles the Twelfth of 
Sweden. Such was his strength and exercise in arms that Ray- 
mond, sumamed the Hercules of Antioch, was incapable of 
wielding the lanoe and buckler of the Greek emperor. In a 
fiunous tournament, he entered the lists on a fiery courser, and 
overturned in his first career two of the stoutest of the Italian 
knights. The first in the charge, the last in the retreat, his 
friends and his enemies alike trembled, the former for Air safety 
and the latter for their own. After posting an ambuscade in a 
wood, he rode forwards in search of some perilous adventure, 
accompanied only by his brother and the fidthful Axuch, who 
refused to desert their sovereign. Eighteen horsemen, after a 
short combat, fled before them ; but the numbers of the enemy 
increased ; the march of the reinforcement was tardy and fearfii^ 
and Manuel, without receiving a wound, cut his way through 
a squadron of five hundred Turks. In a battle against the 
Hungarians, impatient of the slowness of his troops, he snatched 
a standard from the head of the column, and was die first, 
almost alone, who passed a bridge that separated him from the 
enemy. In the same country, after transporting his army 
beyond the Save, he sent back the boats with an older, under 
pain of death, to their oommander, that he should leave him 
to flflsiqiier or die on that hostile land. In the si^ie of Corfii, 



OF THE BOMAK EMPIBE 281 

towing after him a captive galley, the emperor stood aloft on 
the poop, opposing against the volleys of darts and stones % 
large buclder and a flowing sail ; nor could he have escaped in-^ 
evitable death, had not the Sicilian admiral enjoined his archere 
to respect the person of an hero. In one day, he is said to have 
slain above forty of the barbarians with his own hand; he 
returned to the camp, dragging along four Turkish prisoners, 
whom he had tied to the rings of his saddle ; he was ever the 
foremost to provoke or to accept a single combat; and the 
gigantic champions, who encountered his arm, were transpierced 
by the lance, or cut asunder by the sword, of the invincible 
Manuel. The story of his exploits, which appear as a model or 
a copy of the romances of chivalry, may induce a reasonable 
suspicion of the veracity of the Greeks ; I will not, to vindicate 
thcdr credit, endanger my own ; yet I may observe that, in the 
long series of their annals, Manuel is the only prince who 
has been the subject of similar exaggeration. With the valour 
of a soldier, he did not unite the skill or prudence of a general ; 
his victories were not productive of any permanent or useful 
conquest ; and his Turkish laurels were blasted in his last un« 
fortunate campaign, in which he lost his army in the mountains 
of Pisidia, and owed his deliverance to the generosity of the 
sultan. Bat the most singular feature in the character of 
Manuel is the contrast and vicissitude of labour and sloth, of 
hardiness and effeminacy. In war he seemed ignorant of 
peace, in peace he appeared incapable of war. In the field 
he slept in the sun or in the snow, tired in the longest marches 
the strength of his men and horses, and shared with a smile the 
abstinence or diet of the camp. No sooner did he return to 
Constantinople than he resigned himself to the arts and pleasures 
of a life of luxury ; the expense of his dress, his table, and his 
palace, surpassed the measure of his predecessors, and whole 
sununer dajrs were idly wasted in the delicious isles of the 
Propontis, in the incestuous love of his niece Theodcmi. The 
doable cost of a warlike and dissolute prince exhausted the 
revenue and multiplied the taxes ; and Manuel, in the distneis 
of his last Turkish camp, endured a bitter reproach firom iMie 
mouth of a desperate soldier. As he quenched his thirsty, be 
complained that the water of a fountain was mingled witih 
Cfartetian blood. '' It is not the first time," exclaimed a wiiq^ 
from the crowd, '' that you have drank, O empercMr I the hU^ 
of your Christian subjects" Manuel Conmenus was twiee 
married, to the virtuous Bertha or Irene of Grermany, and to 



of 



282 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

the beauteous Maria, a F^nch or Latin princess of Antioch. 
The only daughter of his first wife was destined for Bela an 
Hungarian prince, who was educated at Constantinople, under 
the name ot Alexius ; and the consummation of their nuptials 
might have transferred the Roman sceptre to a race of free and 
warlike barbarians. But, as soon as Maria of Antioch bad 
given a son and heir to the empire, the presumptive rights of 
Bela were abolished, and he was deprived of his promised bride ; 
but the Hungarian prince resumed his name and the kingdom 
of his fathers, and displayed such virtues as might excite the 
regret and envy of the Greeks. The son of Maria was named 
Alexius ; and at the age of ten years he ascended the Bysantine 
throne, after his &ther*s decease had closed the glories of the 
Comnenian line. 
udwXL The firatemal concord of the two sons of the great Alexius 
vlS^ had been sometimes clouded by an opposition of interest and 
dMad. passion. By ambition, Isaac the Sebastocrator was excited to 
flight and rebellion, from whence he was reclaimed by the firm- 
ness and clemency of John the Handsome. The errors of Isaac, 
the fiither of the emperors of Trebisond, were short and venial ; 
but John, the elder of his sons, renounced for ever his religion. 
Provoked by a real or imaginary insult of his uncle, he escaped 
from the Roman to the Turkish camp ; his apostacy was rewarded 
with the sultan's daughter, the title of Chelebi, or noble, and 
the inheritance of a princely estate ; and in the fifteenth century 
Mahomet the Second boasted of his Imperial descent from the 
Comnenian family. Andronicus, younger brother of John, son 
of Isaac, and grandson of Alexius Comnenus, is one of the most 
conspicuous characters of the age ; and his genuine adventures 
might form the subject of a very singular romance. To justify 
the choice of three ladies of royal birth, it is incumbent on me 
to observe that their fortunate lover was cast in the best pro- 
portions of strength and beauty; and that the want of the 
softer graces was supplied bv a manly countenance, a lofty 
stature, athletic muscles, and tne air and deportment of a soldier. 
The preservation, in his old age, of health and vigour was the 
reward of temperance and exercise. A piece of bread and a 
draught of water were often his sole and evening repast ; and, 
if he tasted of a wild boar, or a stag, which he had roasted 
with his own hands, it was the well-earned fruit of a laborious 
leiMBe. Dexterous in arms, he was ignorant of fear; his per- 
VMSfve eloquence could bend to every situation and character 
"of life ; his style, though not his practice, was fimhioned by the 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 288 

example of St. Paul ; and, in every deed of mischief^ he had a 
heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute. In 
his youth, after the death of the emperor John, he followed 
the retreat of the Roman army ; but, in the march through Asia 
Minor, design or accident tempted him to wander in the 
mountains ; the hunter was encompassed by the Turkish hunts- 
men, and he remained some time a reluctant or willing captive 
in the power of the sultan. His virtues and vices recommended 
him to the &vour of his cousin ; he shared the perils and the 
pleasures of Manuel; and, while the emperor lived in public 
incest with his niece Theodora, the affections of her sister 
Eudocia were seduced and enjoyed by Andronicus. Above the 
decencies of her sex and rank, she gloried in the name of his 
concubine; and both the palace and the camp could witness 
that she slept, or watched, in the arms of her lover. She ac- 
companied him to his military c<»nmand of Cilida, the first 
scene of his valour and imprudence. He pressed, with active 
ardour, the siege of Mopsuestia ; the day was employed in the 
boldest attacks ; but the night was wasted in song and dance ; 
and a band of Greek comedians formed the choicest part of his 
retinue. Andronicus was surprised by the sally of a vigilant foe ; 
but, while his troops fled in disorder, his invincible lance trans- 
pierced the thickest ranks of the Armenians. On his return to 
the Imperial camp in Macedonia, he was received by Manuel 
with public smiles and a private reproof; but the duchies of 
Naissus, Braniseba, and Castoria were the reward or consolation 
of the unsuccessful general. £udocia still attended his motions ; 
at midnight their tent was suddenly attacked by her angry 
brothers, impatient to expiate her infisuny in his blood; his 
daring spirit refused her advice, and the disguise of a female 
habit ; and, boldly starting from his couch, he drew his sword 
and cut his way through the numerous assassins. It was here 
that he first betrayed his ingratitude and treachery : he engaged 
in a treasonable correspondence with the king of Hungary and 
the German emperor ; approached the royal tent at a suspicious 
hour with a drawn sword, and under the mask of a Latin 
soldier avowed an intention of revenge against a mortal foe ; 
and imprudently praised the fleetness of his horse as an instru- 
ment of flight and safety. The monarch dissembled his sus- 
picions ; but, after the close of the campaign, Andronicus was 
arrested and strictly confined in a tower of the palace of 
Constantinople. 

In this prison he was left above twelve years : a most pain- 



BWdistig— %<« L 'fr t ' . II 



234 THE DECUNE AND FALL 

ful restraint, from which the thirst of action and pleasure per- 
petually urged him to escape. Alone and pensive, he per- 
ceived some broken bricks in a comer of the chamber, and 
gradually widened the passage till he had explored a dark 
and forgotten recess. Into this hole he conveyed himself and 
the remains of his provisions, replacing the bricks in their 
former position, and erasing with care the footsteps of his 
retreat. At the hoor of the customary visit, his guards were 
amased by the silence and solitude of the prison, and reported, 
with shame and fear, his incomprehensible flight. The gates 
of the palace and city were instantly shut ; the strictest orders 
were dispatched into the provinces for the recovery of the 
fugitive ; and his wife, on the suspicion of a pious act, was 
basely imprisoned in the same tower. At the dead of night, 
she beheld a spectre : she recognised her husband ; they 
shared their provisions; and a son was the fruit of these 
stolen interviews, which alleviated the tediousness of their 
confinement. In the custody of a woman, the vigilance of the 
keepers was insensibly relaxed ; and the captive had accom- 
plished his real escape, when he was discovered, brought back 
to Constantinople, and loaded with a double chain. At length 
he found the moment and the means of his deliverance. A 
boy, his domestic servant, intoxicated the guards, and obtained 
in wax the impression of the keys. By the diligence of his 
friends, a similar key, with a bundle of ropes, was introduced 
into the prison, in the bottom of a hogshead. Andronieus 
employed, with industry and courage, the instruments of his 
safety, unlocked the doors, descended from the tower, con- 
cealed himself all day among the bushes, and sealed in the 
night the garden-wall of the palace. A boat was stationed 
for his reception ; he visited his own house, embraced his 
children, cast away his chain, mounted a fleet horse, and di- 
rected his rapid course towards the banks of the Danube. At 
Anchialus in Thrace, an intrepid friend supplied him with 
horses and money ; he passed the river, traversed with speed 
the desert of Moldavia and the Carpathian hills, and had 
almost reached the tovni of Halicz, in the Polish Russia, when 
he was intercepted by a party of Walachialu, who resolved to 
convey their important captive to Constantinople. His presence 
of mind again extricated him from this danger. Under the 
pretence of sickness, he dismounted in the night, and was 
allowed to step aside from the troop ; he planted in the 
gtound his long staff; clothed it with nis cap and upper gar- 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIEB 286 

ment ; and, stealing into the wood, left a phantom to amine 
for some time the eyes of the Walachians. From Halies he 
was honourably conducted to Kiow, the residence of the' great 
duke ; the subtle Greek soon obtained the esteem and con- 
fidence of leroslaus ; his character could assume the maniieni(T«Mi«a 
of every climate ; and the barbarians applauded his strength 
and courage in the chase of the elks and bears of the forest. 
In this northern region he deserved the forgiveness of Manuel, 
who solicited the Russian prince to join his arms in the invasion 
of Hungary. The influence of Andronieus achieved this im- 
portant service ; his private treaty was signed with a promise 
of fidelity on one side and of oblivion on the other ; and he 
marched, at the head of the Russian cavalry, from the Bcvj*- 
sthenes to the Danube. In his resentment Manuel had ever 
sympathised with the martial and dissolute character of his 
cousin ; and his free pardon was sealed in the assault of Zemlin, 
in which he was second, and second only, to the valour of the 
emperor. 

No sooner was the exile restored to freedom and his country, 
than his ambition revived, at first to his own, and at length to 
the public, misfortune. A daughter of Manuel was a feeble bar 
to the succession of the more deserving males of the Comnenian 
blood ; her future marriage with the prince of Hungary was 
repugnant to the hopes or prejudices of the princes and nobles. 
But, when an oath of allegiance was required to the pre- 
sumptive heir, Andronieus alone asserted the honour of the 
Roman name, declined the unlawful engagement, and bc^dly 
protested against the adoption of a stranger. His patriotism' 
was offimsive to the emperor, but he spoke the sentiments of 
the people, and was removed from the royal presence by an- 
honourable banishment, a second command of the Cilician' 
fifontier, with the absolute disposal of the revenues of Cyprus. 
In this station, the Armenians again exercised his courage and 
exposed his negligence ; and the same rebel, who baffled all 
his operations, was unhorsed and almost slain by the vigour 
of his lance. But Andronieus soon discovered a more easy 
and pleasing conquest, the beautiful Philippa, sister of the 
empress Maria, and daughter of Rajrmond of Poitou, the Latin 
prince of Antioch. For her sake he deserted his station, and 
wasted the summer in balls and tournaments ; to his love she 
sacrificed her innocence, her reputation, and the offer of an 
advantageous marriage. But the resentment of Manuel for 
this domestic afiront interrupted his pleasures; Andrcmieus 



236 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

left the indiscreet princess to weep and to repent; and, with 
a band of desperate adventurers, undertook the pilgrimage of 
Jerusalem. His birth^ his martial renown, and professions of 
zeal announced him as the champion of the Cross; he soon 
captivated both the clergy and the king ; and the Greek prince 
was invested with the lordship of Berytus, on the coast of 
Phcenida. In his neighbourhood resided a young and hand- 
some queen, of his own nation and fiunily, great-grand-daughter 
of the Emperor Alexius, and widow of Baldwin the Third, 
king of Jerusalem. She visited and loved her kinsman* Theo- 
dora was the third victim of his amorous seduction ; and her 
shame was more public and scandalous than that of her pre- 
decessors. The emperor still thirsted for revenge ; and his 
subjects and allies of the Sjnrian frontier were repeatedly 
pressed to seise the person, and put out the eyes, of the 
fugitive. In Palestine he was no longer safe ; but the tender 
Theodora revealed his danger and accompanied his flight. 
The queen of Jerusalem was exposed to the East, his obse- 
quious concubine ; and two illegitimate children were the 
living monuments of her weakness. Damascus was his first 
refuge ; and in the character of the great Noureddin and his 
servant Saladin, the superstitious Greek might learn to revere 
the virtues of the Musulmans. As the friend of Noureddin 
he visited, most probably, Bagdad and the courts of Persia ; 
and, after a long circuit round the Caspian Sea and the moun- 
tains of Georgia, he finally settled among the Turks of Asia 
Minor, the hereditary enemies of his country. The sultan of 
Colonia afforded an hospitable retreat to Andronicus, his mis- 
tress, and his band of outlaws ; the debt of gratitude was paid 
by frequent inroads in the Roman province of Trebiaood ; and 
he seldom returned without an ample harvest of spoil and of 
Christian captives. In the story of his adventures, he was fond 
of comparing himself to David, who escaped, by a long exile, 
the snares of the wicked. But the royal prophet (he presumed 
to add) was content to lurk on the borders of Judsea, to slav 
an Amalekite, and to threaten, in his miserable state, the li^ 
of the avaricious Nabal. The excursions of the Comnenian 
prince had a wider range ; and he had spread over the Eastern 
world the glory of his name and religion. By a sentence of 
the Greek church, the licentious rover had been separated from 
the fiuthful ; but even this exoommunication may piove that he 
never abjured the profession of Christianity. 

His vigilance had eluded or repelled the open and secret 



OF THE EOMAN EMPIRE 287 

persecution of the emperor ; but he was at length ensnared by 
the captivity of his female companion. The governor of Trebt- 
zond succeeded in his attempt to surprise the person of Theo- 
dora ; the queen of Jerusalem and her two children were sent 
to Constantinople^ and their loss embittered the tedious solitude 
of banishment. The fugitive implored and obtained a final 
pardon, with leave to throw himself at the feet of his sovereign, 
who was satisfied with the submission of this haughty spirit. 
Prostrate on the ground, he deplored with tears and groans the 
guilt of his past rebellion ; nor would he presume to arise, unless 
some fiuthful subject would drag him to the foot of the throne 
by an iron chain with which he had secretly encircled his neck. 
This extraordinary penance excited the wonder and pity of the 
assembly ; his sins were forgiven by the church and state ; bat 
the just suspicion of Manuel fixed his residence at a distance 
firom the court, at Oenoe, a town of Pontus, surrounded with 
rich vineyards, and situate on the coast of the Euxine. The 
death of Manuel and the disorders of the minority soon opened 
the fiiirest field to his ambition. The emperor was a boy of 
twelve or fourteen years of age, without vigour, or wisdom, or 
experience ; his mother, the empress Mary, abandoned her 
person and government to a favourite of the Comnenian name ; 
and his sister, another Mary, whose husband, an Italian, was 
decorated with the title of Ctesar, excited a conspiracy, and at 
length an insurrection, against her odious stepmother. The 
provinces were forgotten, the capital was in flames, and a 
century of peace and order was overthrown in the vice and 
weakness of a few months. A civil war was kindled in Con- 
stantinople; the two Actions fought a bloody battle in the 
square of the palace; and the rebels sustained a regular siege 
in the cathedral of St. Sophia. The patriarch laboured with 
honest zeal to heal the wounds of the republic, the most respect- 
able patriots called aloud for a guardian and avenger, and every 
tongue repeated the praise of the talents and even the virtues 
of Andronicus. In his retirement he affected to revolve the 
solemn duties of his oath : '^ If the safety or honour of the 
Imperial &mily be threatened, I will reveal and oppose the 
mischief to the utmost of my power". His correspondence 
with the patriarch and patricians was seasoned with apt Quota- 
tions from the I^lms of David and the Epistles of St Paul ; 
and he patiently waited till he was called to her deliverance by 
the v<M0e of his country. In his march from Oenoe to Con- 
stantinople^ his dender train insensibly swelled to a crowd and 



|BP»W ■ ) ! a ^^i ^ iT -wT ■ 



238 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

an anny ; his professions of religion and loyalty were mistaken 
for the language of his heart ; and the simplicity of a foreign 
dress^ which shewed to advantage his majestic stature, displayed 
a lively image of his poverty and exile. All opposition sunk 
before him ; he reached the straits of the Thracian Bosphorns ; 
the Byzantine navy sailed from the harbour to receive and 
transport the saviour of the empire ; the torrent was loud and 
irresistible^ and the insects who had basked in the sunshine of 
royal fiivour disappeared at the blast of the storm. It was the 
firat care of Andronicus to occupy the palace, to salute the 
emperor, to confine his mother, to punish her minister, and to 
restore the public order and tranquillity. He then visited the 
sepulchre of Manuel: the spectators were ordered to stand 
aloof; but, as he bowed in the attitude of prayer, they heard, 
or thought they heard, a murmur of triumph and revenge : *' I 
no longer fear thee, my old enemy, who hast driven me a vaga- 
bond to every climate of the earth. Thou art safely deposited 
under a sevenfold dome, from whence thou canst never arise till 
the signal of the last trumpet. It is now my turn, and speedily 
will I trample on thy ashes and thy posterity." From his 
subsequent tyranny, we may impute such feelings to the man 
and the moment ; but it is not extremely probable that he gave 
an articulate sound to his secret thoughts. In the first months 
of his administration, his designs were veiled by a fiur semblance 
of h3rpocrisy, which could delude only the eyes of the multi- 
tude ; the coronation of Alexius was performed with due 
solemnitv, and his perfidious guardian, holding in his hands the 
body and blood of Christ, most ficrvently declared that he lived, 
and was ready to die, for the service of^^his beloved pupil. But 
his numerous adherents were instructed to maintain that the 
sinking empire must perish in the hands of a child, that the 
Romans could only be saved by a veteran prince, bold in arms, 
skilfol in policy, and taught to reign by the long experience of 
fortune and mankind ; and that it was the duty of evety citisen 
to force the reluctant modesty of Andronicus to undertake the 
burthen of the public care. The young emperor was himself 
constrained to join his voice to the general acclamation and to 
solicit the association of a eolleague, who instantly degraded 
him from the supreme rank, secluded his person, and verified 
the rash declaration of the patriarch that Alexius might be 
considered as dead, so soon as he was committed to the costody 
of his guardian. But his death was preceded by the imprison- 
ment and execution of his mother. After hIaArning her re- 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 239 

patatioii mnd inflaming against her the passions of the multitude, 
the tyrant accused and tried the empress for a treasonable 
correspondence with the king of Hungary. His own son, a 
youth of honour and humanity, avowed his abhorrence of tiiis 
flagitious act, and three of the judges had the merit of prefer- 
ring their ccynseience to their safety ; but the obsequious tribunal, 
without requiring any proof or hearing any defence, condemned 
the widow of Manuel ; and her unfortunate son subscribed the 
sentence of her death. Maria was strangled, her corpse was 
buried in the sea, and her memory was wounded by the insult 
most offensive to female vanity, a fitlse and ugly representaticm 
of her beauteous form. The fisite of her son was not long 
deferred ; he was strangled with a bowstring, and the tyrant, 
insensible to pity or remorse, after surve3ring the body of the 
innocent youth, struck it rudely with his foot : *' Thy &ther,'' 
he cried, *' was a knave ^ thy mother a whore, and thyself a 
fool ! " 

The Roman sceptre, the reward of his crimes, was held byA 
Andronicus about three years and a half, as the guardian orA|i>i^im 
sovereign of the empire. His government exhibited a singular 
contrast of vice and virtue. When he listened to his passions, 
he was the scourge, when he consulted his reason, the fctther, 
of his people.^^ In the exercise of private justice, he was 
equitable and rigorous ; a shameful and pernicious venality was 
abolished, and the offices were filled widi the most deserving 
candidates, by a prince who had sense to choose and severity to 
punish. He prohibited the inhuman practice of pillaging the 
goods and persons oi shipwrecked mariners ; the provinces, so 
long the objects of oppression or neglect, revived in prosperity 
and plenty ; and millions applauded the distant blessings of his 
reign, whOe he was cursed by the witnesses of his daily 
cruelties. The ancient proverb, that bloodthirsty is the man 
who returns firom banishment to power, had been applied with 
too much truth to Marius and Tiberius ; and was now verifled 
for the third time in the life of Andronicus. His memory was 



T* [To Falfaneraver belongs the credit of hariog given a just estimate of the 
administration of Andronicus (Geschicbte des Kaismums Trapezunts, p. 29). He 
showed that Andronictis made a serious and resolute attempt to rescue the empire 
from its decline, on the lines wluch had been folkywed by Basil II. and abandcvied 
since his death. The objects of Andronicus were to purify the administration and 
to remedy the great economical evil which was ruining the empire — the growth of 
vast estates, ne was consequently detested by the aratocratic and officiau dasKS, 
and it muinwn of tfaete claaws who wrote hit liiBtory.] 



f^mSaSmmm> 



240 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

stored with a black list of the enemies and rivals, who had tra- 
duced his merit, opposed his greatness, or insulted his mis- 
fortunes ; and the only comfort of his exile was the sacred hope 
and promise of revenge. The necessary extinction of the young 
emperor and his mother imposed the fetal obligation of extirpat- 
ing the friends who hated and might punish the assassin ; and 
the repetition of murder rendered him less willing, and less 
able, to forgive. An horrid narrative of the victims whom he 
sacrificed by poison or the sword, by the sea or the flames, would 
be less expressive of his cruelty than the appellation of the 
Halcyon-days, which was appliea to a rare and bloodless week 
of repose. The tjrrant strove to transfer, on the laws and the 
judges, some portion of his guilt ; but the mask was fctllen, and 
his subjects could no longer mistake the true author of their 
calamities. The noblest of the Greeks, more especially those 
who, by descent or alliance, might dispute the Comnenian 
inheritance, escaped from the monster's den ; Nice or Prusa, 
Sicily or Cyprus, were their places of refuge ; and, as their 
flight was aire&dy criminal, they aggravated their offence by an 
open revolt and the Imperial title. Yet Andronicus resisted 
the daggers and swords of his most formidable enemies ; Nice 
and Prusa were reduced and chastised ; the Sicilians were 
content with the sack of Thessalonica ; and the distance of 
Cyprus was not mare propitious to the rebel than to the tjrrant. 
His throne was subverted by a rival without merit and a people 
without arms. Isaac Angelus, a descendant in the female line 
from the great Alexius, was marked as a victim by the prud- 
ence or superstition of the emperor. In a moment of despair, 
Angelus defended his life and liberty, slew the executioner, and 
fled to the church of St. Sophia. The sanctuary was insensibly 
filled with a curious and mournful crowd, who, in his &te, 
prognosticated their own. But their lamentations were soon 
turned to curses, and their curses to threats ; they dared to ask, 
" Why do we fear ? why do we obey ? We are many, and he is 
one ; our patience is the only bond of our slavery.' With the 
dawn of day the city burst into a general sedition, the prisons 
were thrown open, the coldest and most servile were roused to 
the defence of their country, and Isaac, the second of the name, 
was raised from the sanctuary to the throne. Unconscious of 
his danger, the tjrrant was absent, withdrawn from the toUs of 
state, in the delicious islands of the Propontis. He had con- 
tracted an indecent marriage with Alice, or Ames, daughter of 
Lewis the Seventh of FMnoe, and rdict of the anmtiinite 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 241 

Alexius ; and his society, more suitable to his temper than to 
his age, was composed of a young wife and a fitvourite concubine. 
On the first alarm he rushed to Constantinople, impatient for 
the blood of the guilty ; but he was astonished by the silence 
of the palace, the tumult of the city, and the general desertion 
of mankind. Andronicus proclaimed a free pardon to his 
subjects ; they neither desired nor would grant forgiveness : he 
offered to resign the crown to his son Manuel ; but the virtues 
of the son could not expiate his Other's crimes. The sea was 
still open for his retreat ; but the news of the revolution had 
flown along the coast ; when fear had ceased, obedience was no 
more ; the Imperial galley was pursued and taken by an armed 
brigantine ; and the tyrant was dragged to the presence of 
Isaac Angelus, loaded with fetters, and a long chain round hia 
neck. His eloquence and the tears of his female companions 
pleaded in vain for his life ; but, instead of the decencies of a 
legal execution, the new monarch abandoned the criminal to the 
numerous sufferers whom he had deprived of a &ther, an 
husband, or a friend. His teeth and hair, an eye and a hand, 
were torn from him, as a poor compensation for their loss ; and 
a short respite was allowed, that he might feel the bitterness of 
death. Astride on a camel, without any danger of a rescue, he 
was earned through the citv^ and the basest of the populace 
rejoiced to trample on the ieSlen majesty of their prince. After 
a thousand blows and outrages, Andronicus was hung by the 
feet between two pillars that supported the statues of a wolf 
and sow ; and every hand that could reach the public enemy 
inflic^ted on his body some mark of ingenious or brutal cruelty, 
till two friendly or furious Italians, plunging their swords into 
his body, released him from all human punishment. In this 
long and painful agony, " Lord have mercy upon me ! " and ''Why 
will you bruise a broken reed?" were the only words that 
escaped from his mouth. Our hatred for the tjrrant is lost in 
pity for the man ; nor can we blame his pusillanimous res^nia- 
tion, since a Greek Christian was no longer master of his lire. 

I have been tempted to expatiate on the extraordinary char- 1 „ 
acter and adventures of Andronicus ; but I shall here terminate iSm^ 
the series of the Greek emperors since the time of Heradius. 
The branches that sprang from the Comnenian trunk had in- 
sensibly withered ; and the male line was continued only in the 
posterity of Andronicus himself, who, in the public confusion, 
usurped the sovereignty of Trebizond, so obscure in history and 
so fiunous in romance. A private citisen of Philadelphia, Con- 
VOI*. V. 16 



242 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

gtantine Angelas, had emerged to wealth and hanoun by his 
marriage with a daughter of the emperor Alexius. His son 
Andronicus is conspicuous only by his cowardice. His gmnd- 
son Isaac punished and succeeded the tyrant ; but he was de* 
throned by his own vices and the ambition of his brother ; and 
their discord introduced the Latins to the conquest of Con- 
stantinople, the first great period in the fall of the Eastern 
empire. 

If we compute the number and duration of the reigns, it will 
be found that a period of six hundred years is filled by sixty 
emperors ; including, in the Augustan list, some female sove- 
reigns, and deducting some usurpers who were never acknow- 
ledged in the capital, and some princes who did not live to 
possess their inheritance. The average proportion will allow 
ten years for each emperor, £ar below the chronological rule of 
Sir Isaac Newton, who, from the experience of more recent and 
regular monarchies, has defined about eighteen or twenty years 
as the term of an ordinary reign. The Byzantine empire was 
most tranquil and prosperous, when it could acquiesce in heredi- 
tary succession ; five dynasties, the Heraclian, Isaurian, Amorian, 
Basilian, and Comnenian families, enjoyed and transmitted the 
royal patrimony during their respective series of five, four, three, 
six, and four generations ; several princes number the years of 
their reign with those of their infiuicy ; and Coostantine the 
Seventh and his two grandsons occupy the space of an entire 
century. But in the intervals of the Bysantine dynasties^ the 
succession is rapid and broken, and the name of a sucoessfiil 
candidate is speedily erased by a more fortunate competitor. 
Many were the paths that led to the summit of royalty ; the 
fitbric of rebellion was overthrown by the stroke of conspiracy 
or undermined by the silent arts of intrigue ; the fitvourites of 
the soldiers or people, of the senate or clergy, of the women 
and eunuchs, were alternately clothed with the purple; the 
means of their elevation were base, and their end was often 
contemptible or trsgie. A beinc of the nature of man, endowiMl 
with the same faculties, but wim a longer measure of existence, 
would cast down a smile of pity and contempt on the erfanes and 
follies of human ambition, so eager, in a narrow span^ to gnup 
at a precarious and short-lived enjojrment. It Is thus that liie 
experience of lustory exalts and enlarges the horiflon of oiBr in- 
teUectual view. In a compotitian of some days, in a perusal of 
some hours, six hundred years have rolled away, and the dum- 
tion of a life or reign is contracted to a fleeting moment ; the 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIBE 243 

grave is ever beside the throne ; the success of a criminal is 
ahnost instantly followed by the loss of his prize ; and our im- 
mortal reason survives and disdains the sixty phantoms of kings, 
who have passed before our eyes and £untly dwell on our re- 
membrance. The observation that, in every age and climate, 
ambition has prevailed with the sam^ commanding energy may 
abate the surprise of a philosopher ; but, while he condemns the 
vanity, he may search the motive, of this universal desire to 
obtain and hold the sceptre of dominion. To the greater part 
of the Byzantine series we cannot reasonably ascribe the love of 
fione and of mankind. The virtue alone of John Comnenus was 
beneficent and pure ; the most illustrious of the princes who 
precede or follow that respectable name have trod with some 
dexterity and vigour the crooked and bloody paths of a selfish 
policy; in scrutinising the imperfect characters of Leo the 
Isanzian, Basil the First, and Alexius Comnenus, of Tkeophilus, 
the second Basil, and Manuel Comnenus, our esteem and 
censure are almost equally balanced ; and the remainder of the 
Imperial crowd could only desire and expect to be forgotten by 
posterity. Was personal happiness the aim and object of their 
ambition? I shall not descant on the vulgar topics of the 
misery of kings ; but I may surely observe that their condition^ 
of all others, is the most pregnant with fear and the least sus* 
ceptible of hope; For these opposite passions, a larger soope 
was allowed in the revolutions of antiquity than in the smooth 
and solid temper of the modem world, which -cannot easily re» 
peat either the triumf^ of Alexander or the &11 of Darius. But 
the peculiar infelicity of the Byzantine princes exposed them 
to domestic perils^ without afibrding any lively promise of 
foreign conquest. From the pinnacle of greatness, Androniow 
was precipitated l^ a death more cruel and shameful than that 
of the vilest malefactor ; but the most glorious of his prede* 
cessors had much more to dread from their subjects than to 
hope from their enemies. The army was licentious without 

r% the nation turbulent without freedom ; the barbarians of 
Buift and West pressed on the monarchy, and the loss of the 
pfovinces was terminated by the final servitude of the capil^L 

The entire series of Roman emperors, from the first of the 
Cssars to the last of the Constantipies, cKtends above fifteen 
hundred yean ; and the term of dominioa imbrdken by foceiffn 
conquest surpasses the measure of the ancient monarchies : the 
Assyrians or Medes^ the successors of Cyrus, or those of Alex- 
ander. 



244 THE DECLINE AND FALL 



CHAPTER XLIX 

Inirodaction, Worship, and PerseaUioH of Images — Revolt of Italy 
and Rome — Temporal Dominion of the Popes — Conquest of 
Italy by the Franks — Establishment of Imagiss — Character and 
Coronation of Charlemagne — Restoration am Decay of the Ro' 
man Empire in the West — Independence qf Itafy— Constitution 
of the Germanic Body 

bBtradveon In the oonnexion of the church and state I have oonaidered 
Hois' the former as subservient only and rehitive to the hitter : a 
oimith salutary maxim, if in fiict, as well as in narrative, it had ever 
been held sacred. The oriental philosophy of the Gnostics, 
the dark abyss of predestination and grace, and the strange 
transformations of the Eucharist from the sign to the substance 
of Christ's body,^ I have purposely abandoned to the curiosity 
of speculative divines. But I have reviewed, with diligence 
and pleasure, the objects of ecclesiastical hisUwy, by whidi the 
decline and fM of the Roman empire were matarially affected, 
the propagation of ChristiBnity, the constitution of the Catlio- 
lie church, the ruin of Paganism^ and the sects that arose from 
the mysterious controversies concerning the Trinity and incar- 
nation. At the head of this class, we may justly nmk the wor- 
ship of images, so fiercely disputed in the eighth and ninth 
centuries ; since a Question of popular superstition produced 
the revolt of Italy, the temporal power of the pope% and the 
restoration of the Roman empire in the West 

The primitive Christians were possessed with an unooiiquer- 
able repugnance to the use and abuse of images, and this 
aversion may be ascribed to their descent from the Jews and 
their enmity to the Ghreeks. The Mosaic law had severely pro- 
scribed all representations of the Deity ; and that precept was 
firmly established in the principles and practice of the chosen 
peojue. The wit of the Christian apologists was pointed against 



I The karned Selden has given the history of tranwihitantiation in a oompce^ 
hensive and pithv sentence : " Thb opinion is only rhetoric turned Into Ippc" 
(his Works, vol iu. p. 9073. » ^ Tshfe^Ok). 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 246 

the foolish idolaters, who bowed before the workmanship of 
their own hands : the images of brass and marble, which, had 
they been endowed with sense and motion, should have started 
rather from the pedestal to adore the creative powers of the 
artist.^ Perhaps some recent and imperfect converts of the 
Gnostic tribe might crown the statues of Christ and St. Paul 
with the pro&ne honours which they paid to those 6f Aristotle 
and Pythagoras ; ' but the public religion of the Catholics was 
uniformly simple and spiritual ; and the first notice of the use 
of pictures is in the censure of the council of Illiberis, three OMm] 
hundred years after the Christian sera.^ Under the successors 
of Constantine, in the peace and luxury of the triumphant 
church, the more prudent bishops condescended to indulge a 
visible superstition for the benefit of the multitude ; and, after 
the ruin of Paganism, they were no longer restrained by the 
apprehension of an odious paralleL The first introduction of a 
symbolic worship was in the veneration of the cross and of 
relics. The saints and martyrs, whose intercession was im- 
plored, were seated on the right hand of God ; but the gracious 
and often supernatural favours, which, in the popular belief, 
were showered round their tomb, conveyed an unquestionable 
sanction of the devout pilgrims, who visited, and touched, and 
kissed these lifeless remains, the memorials of their merits and 
sufferings.^ But a memorial, more interesting than the skull 
or the sandals of a departed worthy, is a fiiithful copy of his 
person and features, delineated by the arts of painting or 
sculpture. In every age, such copies, so congenial to human 
feelings, have been cherished by the zeal of private firiendship 
or public esteem; the images of the Roman emperors were 
adored with civil and almost religious honours; a reverence 
less ostentatious, but more sincere, was applied to the statues 
of sages and patriots ; and these pro&ne virtues, these splendid 
sins, disappeared in the presence of the holy men who had died 
for their celestial and everlasting country. At first, the experi- tm 
ment was made with caution and scruple ; and the venerable 

* Nee intellieunt homines ineptissimi, quod, si sentire simulacra et moveri po6- 
sent [altro], aaoratura hominem faissent a quo sunt expolita (Divin. Institut I il 
c. a). Lactantius is the last, as well as the most eloquent, of the Latin apologists. 
Their raillery of idols attacks not only the object, but the form and matter. 

'See Irenaeus, Epiphanius, and Augustin (Basnage, Hist, des Eglises R6fonn6es, 
torn. ii. p. 131 3). inis Gnostic practice has a singular affinity with the private 
worship of Alexander Severus (Lampridius, c. 29 ; Lardner, Heathen Testimonies, 
voL iii. p. 34). 

^ [OuK>n 36, Mansi, Cone. la, 264.] m 

^See this History, vol il p. 909, p. 455 ; vol iiu p. 208-315. .m 



246 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

pictures were discreetly allowed to instruct the ignormnt, tc 
awaken the cold, and to gratify the prejudices of the heaUien 
proselytes. By a slow though inevitable progression, the honoun 
of the original were transferred to the copy ; the devout Christian 
prayed before the image of a saint ; and the Pagan rites oi 
genuflexion, luminaries, and incense again stole into the Catholic 
church. The scruples of reason, or piety, were silenced by the 
strong evidence of visions and miracles ; and the pictures whicl] 
speak, and move, and bleed, must be endowed with a divine 
energy, and may be considered as the proper objects of religioni 
adoration. The most audacious pencil might tremble in the 
rash attempt of defining, by forms and colours, the infinite 
Spirit, the eternal Father, who pervades and sustains the uni- 
verse.^ But the superstitious mind was more easily reconciled 
to paint and to worship the angels, and, above all, the Son o1 
God, under the human shape which, on earthy they have con- 
descended to assume. The second person of the Trinity had 
been clothed with a real and mortal body ; but that body had 
ascended into heaven, and, had not some similitude been pre- 
sented to the eyes of his disciples, the spiritual worship oi 
Christ might have been obliterated by the visible relics and 
representations of the saints. A similar indulgence was requisite, 
and propitious, for the Virgin Mary ; the place of her burial 
was unknown ; and the assumption of her soul and body intc 
heaven was adopted by the creiduHty of the Greeks and Latins. 
The use, and even the worship^ of images was firmly established 
before the end of the sixth century ; they were fondly cherished 
by the warm imagination of the Greeks and Asiatics; the 
Pantheon and Vatican were adorned with the emblema of « 
new superstition; but this semblance of idolatry was more 
coldly entertained by the rude barbarians and the Arian clergy 
of the West. The bolder forms of sculpture, in brass or marble, 
which peopled the temples of antiquity, were offensive to the 
fancy or conscience of the Christian Greeks ; and a smooth sur- 
fiice of colours has ever been esteemed a more decent and 
harmless mode of imitation.^ 

^ Ov yap rb ecZoi^ kwktvp ywipt^w icm iki^wnp nop^ait riwt oal •y4|M"'*f imnmifoiitnr. 
ovr« t^ffff 'COL** (i^Xoiff T^i' vvMowMir col vpMrapx^*' ovoicr tv&sy 4pi*^' ttMwmitafut 
(Concilium Nicenum, it in Collect Labb. tonL viil p. X025, edit VeneL). 11 acroil 
peut-dtrc k propos de ne point aouffiir d'images de la Trinity ou de la Divinity ; 
res d^fenseurs les plus zfl& des images ayant oondamn^ oeDes^, et le oondle di 
Trente'ne parlant que des images de J6sus Christ et des Saints (Dupin, Biblioi 
Ecclte. tom. vL p. 154). 

*This general history of images is drawn from the xziid book of the Hist 
des Eglises Rtformfes of Basnage, torn. ii. p. 13x0-1337. He was a Pkotettani, 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIBE 247 

The merit and effect of a copy depends on its resemblance gMfcyn* 
with the original; but the primitive Christians were ignorant 
of the genuine features of the Son of God, his mother, and his 
apostles : the statue of Christ at Paneas in Palestine "^ was 
more probably that of some temporal saviour; the (jnostics 
and their profane monuments were reprobated ; and the fancy 
of the Christian artists could only be guided by the clandestine 
imitation of some heathen model. In this distress, a bold and 
dexterous invention assured at once the likeness of the iraag<e 
and the innocence of the worship. A new superstructure of fame 
was raised on the popular basis of a Syrian legend, on the 
correspcmdence of Christ and Abgarus, so famous in the days ukgur v. 
of Eusebius, so reluctantly deserted by our modem advocates. *^ 
The bishop of Ccesarea^ records the epistle,* but he most 
strangely forgets the picture of Christ,^® — the perfect impression 

but of a manly spirit ; and on this head the Protestants are so notoriously in the 
right that they can venture to be impartial. See the perplexity of poor Friar 
Pagi. Critica. torn. I p. 42. [Schwarzlose, der Bilderstreit, chap, i (1890).] 

^ After removing some rubbish of miracle and inconsistency, it many be allowed 
that, as late as the jrear 300, Paneas in Palestine was decorated with a bronse 
statue, representing a grave personage wrapt in a cloak, with a grateful or sup- 
pliant female knecnng before him, and that an inscription-^r^ 2«nripi, r^ t^pf^fir^f — 
was perhaps inscribed on the pedestal By the Christian^ this group was foolishly 
explained of their founder, and the^twr woman whom he had cured of the bloody 
flux (Euseb. vii. 18, Philostorg. vii. 3, &c.). M. de Beausobre more reasonably 
conjectures the philosopher Apollonius, or the emperor Vespasian. In the latter 
supposition, the female is a city, a province, or perhaps the queen Berenice 
(BSbliotb^ue Germanique. torn. xiii. J). 1-92). 

'Euseb. Hist. E^les. i. i. c. 13 [cp. ii. i]. The learned Assemannus has 
bronght up the collateral aid of three Syrians, St Ephrem, Josna Stylites, and 
James bishop of Sanig; but I do not find any notice of the Sjrriac original [qx 
next note] or the archives of Edessa (Bibliot. Orient, tom. I p. 318, 420. 554). 
Thdr vague beli^ is probably derived from the Greeks. 

'The evidence for these epistles is stated and rejected by the candid LArdner 
^Heathen Testimonies, voL 1. p. 297-309). Among the herd of bigots who are 
forcibly driven from this convenient but untenable post, I am ashamed, with the 
Grabes, Caves, Tillemonts, &c to discover Mr. Addison, an English gentleman 
(his Works, vol L p. ^28, Baskerville's edition) ; but his superficial tract 00 the 
Christian religion owes its credit to his name, his style, and the interested applause 
of our clergy. [The conversion of Edessa seems to have been achieved later than 
200 A.D. by Bardesanes, under a later Abgar (902-217) ; and the legend probably 
arose soon after. About A.D. 400, the document quoted \xf Eusebius was edited in 
an improved form and increased by the addition of the miraculous picture. This 
is the so-called Doctrina Addaei or Acta Thaddaei^ which has come down in Syriac 
(G. Phillips, The doctrine of Addai, i8^X Greek (Tisehendorf, Act Ap. Apoc., 
a6xjwf .) and Armenian. See R. A. Lipsins, die edessenische Abgarsage, 18S0 ; 
L. Tixeront, Les orig. de I'^glise d'Edesse et la Wgende d' Abgar, 1888.] 

i^From the silence of James of Sarug (Asseman. BibfioL Orient, p. 289, 318) 
and the testimony of Evagrius (Hist. Eccles. 1. iv. c 37), I condude that this fable 
was invented between the years 521 and 594, most probabh^ afler the siege of 
Edessa in 540 (Asseman. tom. i. p. 416; Procopius, de Bell. Persic. I. il [c. xaU It is 
the sword smd buckler of Gregory II. (in Epist. i. ad Leon. Isaur. Concu. tom. 
viiu p. 656, 657), of John Damascenus (Opera, tom. L p. 981, edit. Lequien), and 



248 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

of his face on a linen, with which he gratified the fidth of the 
royal stranger, who had invoked his healing power and offered 
the strong city of Edessa to protect him against the malice of 
the Jews. The ignorance of the primitive church is explained 
by the long imprisonment of the image, in a niche of the wall, 
from whence, after an oblivion of five hundred years, it was 
released by some prudent bishop^ and seasonably presented to 
the devotion of the times. Its first and most glorious exploit 
was the deliverance of the city from the arms of Chosroes 
Nushirvan ; and it was soon revered as a pledge of the divine 
promise that Edessa should never be taken by a foreign enemy. 
It is true, indeed, that the text of Procopius ascribes the doable 
deliverance of Edessa to the wealth and valour of her citizens, 
who purchased the absence and repelled the assaults of the 
Persian monarch. He was ignorant, the profane historian, of 
the testimony which he is compelled to deliver in the ecclesias- 
tical page of Evagrius, that the Palladium was exposed on the 
rampart, and that the water which had been sprinkled on the 
holy £Eu;e, instead of quenching, added new fuel to, the flames 
of the besieged. After this important service, the imaffe of 
Edessa was preserved with respect and gratitude ; and, if the 
Armenians rejected the legend, the more credulous Greeks 
adored the similitude, which was not the work of any mortal 
pencil, but the immediate creation of the divine originaL The 
style and sentiments of a Bysantine hjrmn will declare how &r 
their worship was removed from the grossest idolatry. '' How 
can we with mortal eyes contemplate this image, whose celestial 
splendour the host of heaven presumes not to behold ? He 
who dwells in heaven condescends this day to visit us by his 
venerable image ; He who is seated on the cherubim visits us 
this day by a picture, which the Father has delineated with his 
immaculate hand, which he has formed in an inefiable manner, 
and which we sanctify by adoring it with fear and love." 
Before the end of the sixth century, these images, made wUhoui 
hands (in Greek it is a single word ^^), were propagated in the 

of the second Nioene CouncQ (Actio, v. p. lo^). The most perfiect editioii may 
be found in Cedrenos (Compend. p. itJ-xtS Fl p. 308 sqg,, ed. Bonn]). 

u 'Axcipo*o(«r»c. See Ducange, in QIosi. Graec et LaL The suhject is treated 
with equal learning and bigotry b^ the Jesuit Gretser (Syntagma de Imaginibos 
non Manu factis, ad calcem Codim de Oflkiis. p. 289-330), the ass, or rather the 
fox, of Ingoldstadt (see the Scaligerana) ; with 09ual reason and wit by the Protes- 
tsAt Beausobre, in the ironical controversy which he has spread through many 
volumes of the Bibliothique Germanique (torn, xviii. p. x-co, xx. p. 07-68, xxv. n, 
1.36. xxvii. p. 85.118. n^ii p. 1.33. xxxL pu xii-iX x£SL ^ 75-107. nxi^. P^ 
6f^). [The Hellenic parallel to these «MM«4x««^««<Ym are tbeAya^ml^Mvfi.] 



OF THE BOMAN £MPIB£ 249 

camps and cities of the Eastern empire ; ^^ they were the objects in wiiM 
of wofship, and the instmments of miracles ; and in the hoar 
of danger or tumult their venerable presence could revire the 
hope, rekindle the courage^ or repress the fury, of the Roman 
legions. Of these pictures, the fiur greater part, the transcripts 
of a human pencil, could only pretend to a secondary likeness 
and improper title; but there were some of higher descent, 
who derived their resemblance from an immediate contact with 
the original, endowed, for that purpose, with a miraculous and 
prolific virtue. The most ambitious aspired from a filial to a 
mtemal relation with the image of Edessa ; and such is the 
veromca of Rome, ofer Spain, or Jerusalem, which Christ in his 
agony and bloody sweat applied to his fiice and delivered to an 
holy matron. The fruitful precedent was speedily transferred 
to the Virgin Mary and the saints and martyrs. In the church 
of Diospolis in Palestine, the features of the mother of Grod ^* 
were deeply inscribed in a marble column ; the East and West 
have been decorated by the pencil of St. Luke; and the 
evangelist, who was perhaps a physician, has been forced to 
exercise the occupation of a painter, so profane and odious in 
the eyes of the primitive Christians. The Olympian Jove, 
created by the muse of Homer and the chisel of Phidias, might 
inspire a philosophic mind with momentary devotion ; but these 
Catholic images were fidntly and flatly delineated by monkish 
artists in the last degeneracy of taste and genius. ^^ 

The worship of images had stolen into the church by in-o> gj|tiM i 
sensible degrees, and each petty step was pleasing to them&S^ 
superstitious mind, as productive of comfort and innocent of 
sin. But in the beginning of the eighth century, in the full 
magnitude of the abuse, the more timorous Greeks were 
awakened by an apprehension that, under the mask of Christi- 
anity, they had restored the religion of their fiithers ; they 
heard, with grief and impatience, the name of idolaters : 

i^Tbeophylact. Simocatta (I. ii. c. 3, p. 34, I Hi. c. i, p. 63) celebrates the 
$9ta4puc^ ffucoo^^a, which he styles ixtipowoliirov ; yet it was no more than a copy, 
since he adds, jpx^nwor rh iKti^ov o& 'Fmtiaioi (of Edessa) tf^ifOKcijovai n ififPiiTov, 
See IHigi, torn. ii. A.D. 586, Na ix. 

13 See, in the genuine or supposed works of John Damascenus, two passages on 
the Vir;gin and St Luke, which have not been noticed by Gretser, nor consequently 
by Beausobre. Opera Joh. Damascen. torn. I p. 618, 631. [There is an important 
passage* showing that image-worship was thoroughly established in the beginning 
of the 7th cent , in the story of Barlaam and Josaphat (see Appendix i ). See 
Miffoe. P.O., ^ p. 1032.] 

i«'<Yoar scandalous figures stand quite out from the canvas: thgr are as 
bad as a group of statues I It was thus that the ignorance and bigotry 01 a Grade 
priest applanded the pictures of Titian^ which 1m bad ordered, and iduaed to 



Kti vviirist, ins iiiotner, ana nis saints ; and 
on the hope or promise of miraculous defe 
quest of ten years, the Arabs subdued t\ 
images ; and* in their opinion, the hard ol 
decisive judgment between the adoratic 
these mote and inanimate idols. For i 
bntred the Persian assaults ; but the ehosc 
Christ, was inrolved in the oommon ruin 
semblanoe became the slave and trophy of 
servitude of three hundred jrears, the Palli 
the devotion of Coostantino^e, for a ransor 
pounds of silver, the redemption of two 1 
and -a perpetual truce for the territory < 
season of distress and dismay, the eloquem 
exerdsed in the defimce of images ; anc 
prove that the sin and schism of the | 
Orientals had forfeited the fitvour, and an 
of these precious symbols. But they were 
m ur m u rs of many simple or rational Chrii 
to the evidence of texts, of fiwsts, and of 
and secretly desired the reformation of ti 
worship of images had never been establii 
or positive law, its pn^ress in the Eastei 
retarded, or accelerated, by the differences < 
the local degrees of refinement, and the p 
the bishops. The splendid devotion was 



OF THE EOMAlf EMPISiB 261 

the lerity of the capital and the inventive genius of the Byean*' 
tine clergy, while the rade and remote districts of Asia were 
strangers to this innovation of sacred luxury. Many larg^ 
congregations of Gvnostics and Arians maintained, after their 
conversion, the simple worship which had preceded their sepa* 
ration ; and the Armenians, the most wariike subjects of Rome, 
were not reconciled, in the twelfth century, to the sight of 
images. ^^ These various denominations of men afforded a feud 
of prejudice and aversion, of small account in the villages of 
Anatolia or Thrace, but which, in the fortune of a soldier, a 
prelate, or an eunuch, might be often connected with the 
powers of the church and state. 

Of such adventurers, the most fortunate was the emperor 
Leo the Third,^^ who, from the nMwmt^ns of Isauria, ascended 
the throne of the East. He was ignorant of sacred and pro* 
&ne letters ; but his education, his reason, perhaps his inter- 
course with the Jews and Arabs, had inspired the martial 
peasant with an hatred of images ; and it was held to be the 
duty of a prince to impose on his subjects the dictates of his 
own conscience. But in the outset of an unsettled reign, 
during ten years of toil and danger, Leo submitted to the 
meanness of h]rpocrisy, bowed before the idols which he despised, 
and satisfied the Roman pontiff with the annual professions of 
his orthodoxy and seaL In the reformation of religion, his 
first steps were moderate and cautious : he assembled a great 
council of senators and bishops, and enacted, with their consent, 
that all the images should be removed from the sanctuary and 
altar to a proper height in the churches, where they mi^t be 
visible to the eyes, and inaccessible to the superstition, of the 
people. But it was impossible, on either side, to check the 
rapid though adverse impulse of veneration and abhorrence ; 

tas, L ii. p. 258 \p. 597, ed. Bonn]). The Armenkn churches are still content 
with the croBS (Missions du Levant, torn, iii p. 148] ; but surely the superstitious 
Greek is unjust to the superstition of the Germans of the xiith century. 

I'Our original, but not impartial, monuments of the Iconoclasts must be 
drawn from the Acts of the Councils, torn. viti. and ix. Collect Labb^, edit 
Venet, and the historioBl writings of H^eophaties, Nioepharus, Manasses, 
Cedrenus, Zonaras, &c Of the modem Catholics, Baronius, Pagi, Natalis 
Alexander (Hist. Eocles. Seculum viiL and ix.), and Maimbourg (Hist, des 
Icooodastes) have treated the subject with learning, passkm, and crrauUty. The 
Protestant labours of Frederic Spanheim (Historia Imaginum Restituta) and 
James Basnage (Hist des Egiises R^orm^es, tom. iL L xxHi. p. 1339-1585) are 
cast into the Iconoclast scale. With this mutual aid, and opposite tenoencv, it 
is easfp for «i to poise the balance with philosophic indifference. [Seefinther, 
Appeodis s.] 




•MM 



252 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

in their lofty position, the sacred images still edified their 
votaries and reproached the tjrrant.^^ He was himself provoked 
by resistance and invective ; and his own party accused him 
of an imperfect discharge of his doty, and urged for his imita- 
tion the example of the Jewish king, who had broken, without 
scruple, the brazen serpent of the temple. By a second edict, 
he proscribed the existence as well as the use of religious 
jD.m] pictures; the churches of Constantinople and the provinoes 
were cleansed from idolatry ; the images of Christ, the Virgin, 
and the Saints were demolished, or a smooth surface of plaster 
was spread over the walls of the edifice. The sect of the 
Iconoclasts was supported by the seal and despotism of six 
emperors, and the East and West were involved in a noisy con- 
flict of one hundred and twenty years. It was the design of 
Leo the Isaurian to pronounce the condemnation of images, 
as an article of £uth, and by the authority of a general council ; 
but the convocation of such an assembly was reserved for his 
son Constantine ; ^* and, though it is stigmatised by triumphant 
bigotry as a meeting of fools and atheists, their own partial 
and mutilated acts betray many symptoms of reason and piety. 
>gbrgj^ The debates and decrees of many provincial sjmods introduced 
jOc A.O. the summons of the general council, which met in the suburbs 
of Constantinople, and was composed of the respectable number 
of three hundred and thirty-eight bishops of Europe and 
Anatolia ; for the patriarchs of Antioch and Alexandria were 
the slaves of the caliph, and the Roman pontiiT had withdrawn 
the churches of Italy and the West fitnn the communion of 
the Greeks. This B3rsantine synod assumed the rank and 
powers of the seventh general council ; yet even this title was 
a recognition of the six preceding assemblies which had labori- 
ously built the structure of the Catholic fiiith. After a serious 
deliberation of six months, the three hundred and thirty-eight 
bishops pronounced and subscribed an unanimous decree, that 
all visible symbols of Christ, except in the Eucharist, were 
either blasphemous or heretical ; that image-worship was a 
corruption of Christianity^ and a renewal of Paganism; that 
all such monuments of idolatry should be broken or erased ; 

i8»[This is probably incorrect. See Appendix 15 00 Leo's edicts.] 
1* Some flowers of rhetoric are Imfiam wa^iamtop mmk «#t«r, and the bishops votf 
luirm^pomr. By [Pseudo-JDamascmos it is s^led Icvpov mI iBmcnt (Opera, torn. i. p, 
633). Spanheim's Apology for the Synod of Constantinople (p. 171, oc.) is worked up 
with truth and ingenuity, from such materials as he could find in the Nioene Acts 
(p. Z046, Ac.). The witty John of Damaacus converts hnninvt into ! ■■ — < i »w i» 
makes them KoiXt^Miimvf* slaves of their belly, Ac. (Opera, torn. L pu 906)^ 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 263 

and that those who should refuse to deliver the objects of 
their private superstition were guilty of disobedience to the 
authority of the church and of the emperor. In their loud 
and loyal acclamations, they celebrated the merits of their 
temporal redeemer ; and to his seal and justice they entrusted 
the execution of their spiritual censures. At Constantinople, 
as in the former councils, the will of the prince was the rule 
of episcopal faith ; but, on this occasion, I am inclined to sus^ 
pect that a large majority of the prelates sacrificed U^eir secret 
conscience to the temptations of hope and fear. In the long 
night of superstition, the Christians had wandered fax away 
from the simplicity of the gospel ; nor was ^it easy for them 
to discern the clue, and tread back the mazes, of the labyrinth. 
The worship of images was inseparably blended, at least to 
a pious fancy, with the Cross, the Virgin, the saints, and their 
relics ; the holy ground was involved in a cloud of miracles 
and visions ; and the nerves of the mind, curiosity and scepti- 
cism, were benumbed by the habits of obedience and belief. 
Constantine himself is accused of indulging a royal licence to 
doubt, or deny, or deride the mysteries of the Catholics,^ but 
they were deeply inscribed in the public and private creed of 
his bishops ; and the boldest Iconoclast might assault with a 
secret horror the monuments of popular devotion, which were 
consecrated to the honour of his celestial patrons. In the 
reformation of the sixteenth century, freedom and knowledge 
had expanded all the &culties of man, the thirst of innovation 
superseded the reverence of antiquity, and the vigour of 
Europe could disdain those phantoms which terrified the sickly 
and servile weakness of the Greeks. 

The scandal of an abstract heresy can be only proclaimed 
to the people by the blast of the ecclesiastical trumpet; but ^ 
the most ignorant can perceive, the most torpid must feel, the aj)m»tti 
pro&nation and down&U of their visible deities. The first 
hostilities of Leo were directed against a lofty Christ on the 
vestibule, and above the gate, of the pajace.^^ A ladder had 
been planted for the assault, but it was furiously shaken by a 
crowd of zealots and women ; they beheld, with pious transport, 
the ministers of sacrilege tumbling from on high and dashed 

^ He is accused of proscribing the title of saint ; styling the Virgin, Mother 
of C&rist ; comparing her after her delivery to an empty purse; or Arianism, 
Nestorianism, &c. In his defence, Spanheim {& iv. d. qoj) is somewhat em> 
Imrassed between the interest of a Protestant and tne duty of an orthodox 
divine. 

*^[Cp. Vit. Steph. Jun., ap. Migne, P.G. loo, p. 1085.] 



p^HW^ .".- ■».■>■ .— 



254 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

against the pavement ; and the honours of the ancient martyrs 
were prostituted to these criminals, who justly suffered for 
murder and rebellion.^^ The executicm of the imperial edicts 
was resisted by frequent tumults in Constantinople and the 
provinces ; the person of Leo was endangered, his officers were 
massacred, and the popular enthusiasm was quelled by the 
strongest efforts of the civil and military power. Of the Archi- 
pelago, or Holy Sea, the numerous islands were filled with 
images and monks ; their votaries abjured, without scruple, the 
enemy of Christ, his mother, and the saints ; they armed a fleet 
of boats and galleys, displayed their consecrated banners, and 
boldly steered for the harbour of Constantinople, to place on 
the throne a new fiivourite of God and the people. They de- 
pended on the succour of a miracle ; but their miracles were 
inefficient against the Greek Jire; and, after the defeat and 
conflagration of their fleet, the naked islands were abandoned 
to the clemency or justice of the conqueror. The son of Leo, 
in the first year of his reign, had undertaken an expedition 
against the Saracens; during his absence, the capital, the 
palace, and the purple were occupied by his kinsnum Arta- 
vasdes, the ambitious champion of the orthodox fiiith. The 
worship of images was triumphantly restored ; the patriarch 
renounced his dissimulation, or dissembled his sentiments ; and 
the righteous claim of the usurper was acknowledged both in the 
new, and in ancient, Rome. Constantine flew for refuge to his 
paternal mountains ; but he descended at the head of the bold 
and affectionate Isaurians ; and his final victory confounded the 
arms and predictions of the fitnatics. His long reign was dis- 
tracted with clamour, sedition, conspiracy, and mutual hatred, 
and sanguinary revenge ; the persecution of images was the 
motive, or pretence, of his adversaries ; and, if they missed a 
temporal diadem, they were rewarded by the Greeks with the 
crown of martyrdom. In every act of open and clandestine 
treason, the emperor felt the unforgiving enmity of the monks, 
the faithful slaves of the superstition to which they owed their 
riches and influence. They prayed, they preached, they ab- 
solved, they inflamed, they conspired ; the solitude of Palestine 
poured forth a torrent of inve^ve ; and the pen of St John 
Damascenus,^ the last of the Greek &thers, devoted the 

^ The holy confessor Theophanes approves the principle of tfadr rebeOion, i^t^ 
ctrov/uroc iiXtf ^ ^30 [A.M. 6ai8]). Gregory IL (in £pist i. ad Imn. Leon. 
Concil. torn. viii. p. 6ox, 664) applauds the seal of the Byamtlne women who killed 
the Imperial officers. 

** John, or Mansur, was a noble Chrittlan of Damascni, idio held a oonider- 



OF THE SOMAN EMPIBE 296 

tjrraat'f head, both in this world and the next.^ I am ik^ vt 
leisure to examine how &r the monks pr^voked^ nor how nvieh 
they have exaggerated, their real and pretended tufferinga, nor 
how many lost their lives or limbs, their eyes or their bearda, 
by the cruelty of the emperor. From the chastisement of in^ 
dividuals, he proceeded to the abolition of the order ; and, as 
it was wealthy and useless, his resentment might be stinudated 
by avarice and justified by patriotism. The formidable name 
and mission of the Dragqn^^ his visitor-general^ excited the 
terror and abhorrence of the black nati(»i; the religious com*- 
muniUes were dissolved, the buildings were converted into 
magarines, or barracks ; the lands, moveables^ and cattle were 
confiscated ; and our modem precedents will support the charge 
that much wanton or malicious havoc was exercised against the 
relics, and even the books, of the monasteries. With the habit 
and profession of monks, the public and private worship of 
images was rigorously proscribed ; and it should seem that a 
solemn Objuration of idolatry was exacted from the subjects, or 
at least from the clergy, of the Eastern empire.^ 

The patient East abjured, with reluctance, her sacred images; iM««f 
they were fondly cherished, and vigorously defended, by the 
independent seal oi the Italians. In ecclesiastical rank and 
jurisdiction^ the patriarch of Constantinople and the pope of 

able ofhcc in the service of the caliph. His zeal in the cause of ima^ ex{>Dsea 
him to the resentment and treachery of the Greek emperor ; and on the 'snsbidon 
of a treasonable correspondence he was deprived ot his right hand, which was 
miraculously restored by the Virgin. After this deliverance, be resigned his office;, 
distributed bis wealth, and burira himself in the monastery of St. Sabas, between 
Jerusalem and the E>ead Sea. The legend is famous; but his learned editor, 
Father Lequieo, has unluckily proved £at St. John Damaaoenus was already a 
monk before the Iconoclast dispute (Opera, torn. L Vit St Joan. Damascen. p. 
10-13, et Notas ad loc). [Cp. Appendix i.] 

" After sending Leo to the devil, he introduces his heir — rb luopby a^roC yimnuuL, 
mmi rii« mm^imt mitni Kknaov6ut cV <iirXf yci^^MMf (Opera Damaseco. tcm. i. Pi 60s 
[c. Const Cabk. c. 90J). If the authenticitv of this piece be svspicious [tbece is 
no doubt that it is spurious], we are sure that in other woiks, no longer extant, 
Damasoenus bestowed on Constantine the title of Mor XaMv&M Xpcord^MXo*'* 
^u^dtyft»r (tom. l p. ^). [The authority for these citations from John of Damascus 
is the Vita Siepham Junioris. Cp. Appendix i.] 

** In tho nairative of this persecution from Theophanes and Cedrenus, Span- 
beim (pu 335-9^40) is happy to compare the Draco of Leo with the dragoons 
{DracoHes) of Louis XIV.; and highly solaces himsdf with this oontrovmial 
pun. 

* H^rfyyiyfiii y^ i^4wwi^iM aarA ir«r«r iiupx^*" ^^ V*^ ^ X'*f>^ o^roC, wdirtwt 
■ W | yA #i — sal lnrifc>— Tov i^ r ton uu rifr ir^oairiwaaitf rmr vtwmr cucovwr ([pseodo-J 
Daaasoen. Op^ torn. i. p. 625 [c. Const CabalL, 21]). Tlus oath and subscrip* 
tioii I do not remember to have seen in any modem compilation. 



mtammmtmdH 



266 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

Rome were nearly equaL But the Greek prelate was a 
«lave under the e3re of his matter, at whose nod he alternately 
passed from the convent to the throne, and from the throne to 
the convent A distant and dangerous station, amidst the bar- 
barians of the West, excited the spirit and freedom of the Latin 
bishops. Their popular election endeared them to the Romans ; 
the public and private indigence was relieved by their ample 
revenue ; and the weakness or neglect of the emperors com- 
pelled them to consult, both in peace and war, the temporal 
safety of the city. In the school of adversity the priest insen- 
sibly imbibed the virtues and the ambition of a prince ; the 
same character was assumed, the same policy was adopted, by 
the Italian, the Greek, or the Syrian, who ascended the chair 
of St. Peter ; and, after the loss of her legions and provinces, the 
genius and fortune of the popes again restored the supremacy of 
Rome. It is agreed that in the eighth century their dominion 
was founded on rebellion, and that the rebellion was produced, 
and justified, by the heresy of the Iconoclasts ; but the conduct 
of the second and third Gregory, in this memorable contest, is 
variously interpreted by the wishes of their friends and enemies. 
The Byzantine writers unanimously declare that, after a fruit- 
less admonition, they pronounced the separation of the East 
and West, and deprived the sacrilegious tjrrant of the revenue 
and sovereignty of Italy. Their excommunication is still more 
clearly expressed by the Greeks, who beheld the accomplish- 
ment of the papal triumphs ; and, as they are more strongly 
attached to their religion than to their country, they praise, 
instead of blaming, the zeal and orthodoxy of these apostolical 
men.^^ The modem champions of Rome are eager to accept 
the praise and the precedent : this great and glorious example 
of the deposition of royal heretics is celebrated by the cardinals 
Baronius and Bellarmine;^ and, if they are wked why the 
same thunders were not hurled against the Neros and Julians 
of antiquity, they reply that the weakness of the primitive 

" Kal i^v 'Pwiuii|v ^¥ «<VD \r§] 'IroKif rift BmnktUt cvroft Aw4onin, wm Theo- 
phanes (Chronograph, p. 343 [a.m. 6221]). For this Gregory is styled Of Ced- 
reniis ^p iiwoaroXutAt (p. aS/h), Zonarms qjedfies the thunder, hw^j^mt ontiif 
(torn. fi. L zv. p. 104, xo^ l& 4, ad tnit]). It may be observed tfaat tbeGraoks 
are apt to confound the tunes and actions of two Gtegories. 

^ See Baronius, Annal Eccles. A.D. 730, Na 4, 5, dignum esemphun 1 BeOar- 
min. de Romano Pontifke, L v. a 8, molctaYit earn parte imperil SicoiiiiB. de 
Regno Italiae, L iil Opera, torn, ii p. 169^ Yet such is the cfaaiip ofltaiy that 
Sigonius is corrected by the editor of Milan, Phili{q)us Argdatus, anologiiese. and 
subject of the pope. 



OF THE ROMAN EBCPIBE 267 

church was the sole cause of her patient lojralty.'* On this 
occasion, the effects of love and hatred are the same ; and the 
zealous Protestants, who seek to kindle the indignation, and to 
alarm the fears, of princes and magistrates, expatiate on the in- 
solence and treason of the two Gregories against their lawful 
sovereign.^ They are defended only by the moderate Catholics, 
for the most part, of the Gallican church,^ who respect the 
saint without approving the sin. These common advocates of 
the crown and the mitre circumscribe the truth of &cts by tihe 
rule of equity, scripture, and tradition ; and appeal to the evi- 
dence of the Latins,'^ and the lives ** and epistles of the popes 
themselves. 

Two original epistles, from Gregory the Second to the_ 
emperor Leo, are still extant ; ^ and, if they cannot be praised J* 
as the most perfect models of eloquence and logic, they ex- 

^ Quod si Christiani olim non deposaenint Neronem aut Juliannm, id fait quia 
deerant vires temporales Christianis (honest Bellarmine, de Kom. Pont. L v. c. 7). 
Cardinal Perron adds a distinction more honourable to the first Christians, tmt not 
more satis£actory to modem princes— the treawn. of heretics and apostates^ vrho 
break their oath, belie their coin, and renounce their allqgpanoe to Christ and bis 
vicar (Perroniana, p. 89). 

* Take, as a specimen, the cautious Basnage (Hist de I'Eglise, p. 1350, 1351), 
and the vehement Spanheim (Hist. Imaginum), who, with an hundred more, tread 
in the footsteps of the centuriators of Magdeburg. 

^ See Launoy (Opera, torn. ▼. pars iL epist vil 7, p. 456-474), Natalis Alex- 
ander (Hist Nov. Testamenti, secoL viiL Dissert i. p. ^>^)» I^gi (Critica, torn. 
til p. 215-916), and Giannone (Istoria Civile di Napoli, torn. L pu 3x7-390), a 
disciple of the GalUcan school In the field of controversy I always pitr the 
moderate party, who stand on the open middle ground exposed to the fire 01 both 

^ They appeal to Paul Wamefrid, or Diaoonus (de Gestis Langobaxd. L n. c. 
49, p. C06, 507, in Script ItaL Muratori. torn. L pars L), and the nominal Anas- 
tasios (de vit Pont in Muratori, torn. tii. pars I Gregorius II. pi 154. Gra- 
gorius IIL p. 158. Zacharias, p. 161. Stephanus IIL p. 165. Pauhif, pu 170; 
Stephanus IV. p. i/d. Hadrianus, p. 179. Leo IIL p. 195). Yet I may remark 
that the trae Anastasras (Hist Eccles. p. 134. edit Reg.), and the Historia MisceOa 
(L zzL p. 151, in torn. L Script ItaL), tx)th of the izth century, translate and 
approve the Greek text of Theophane& 

**With some minute difierence. the most learned critics, Lucas Hotocniui, 
Sdidestrate. Ciampini, Bianchini, Muiatori (Prolegomena ad torn, ill pars i.), are 
aereed that the Liber Pontificalis was composed and continurd by the apostolical 
librarians and notaries of the viiith and ixth centuries; and that the last and 
smallest part is the work of Anastasius, whose name it bears. The style is bur- 
barons, the narrative partial, the details are trying ; jtx it must be read as a cnrioof 
and authentic record of the times. The episties of the popes are dispersed in the. 
volumes of Councfls. [See Appendix i.] 

'■The two epistles of Gregory IL have been pies ei-yp d in the AcU of the Nletne; 
Council (torn. viiL p. 651-674). They are without a dale, which is varioiisl^ fixed, 
by Baionias in the year 736, by Muratori (Annali d'ltajia, torn, vt fL vx^n^ 799, 
and by Pagi in 73a Sodi is the fioroe of prejudice, that some Papists haatpraised 
the ^ood sense and moderation of these letters. [See Appendix 14.. Ifot tbei 
pootificate of Gregory : DahmeB, Das Poottfikat GRfOTilL, x888.] ^ ' 

VOL. V. 17 




258 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

hibit the portrait, or at least the mask, of the founder of the 
papal monarchy. ** During ten pure and fortunate years," says 
Gregory to the emperor, " we have tasted the annual comfort 
of your royal letters, subscribed in purple ink with your own 
hand, the sacred pledges of your attachment to the orthodox 
creed of our &thers. How deplorable is the change! how 
tremendous the scandal! You now accuse the Catholics of 
idolatry ; and, by the accusation, you betray your own impiety 
and ignorance. To this ignorance we are compelled to adapt the 
grossness of our style and arguments ; the first elements of holy 
letters are sufficient for your confusion ; and, were you to enter 
a grammar-school and avow yourself the enemy of our wonhip^ 
the simple and pious children would be provoked to cast their 
horn-books at your head." After this decent salutation, the 
pope attempts the usual distinction between the idols of antiquity 
and the Christian images. The former were the fanciful repre- 
sentations of phantoms or daemons, at a time when the true 
God had not manifested his person in any visible likeness. The 
latter are the genuine forms of Christ, his mother, and his saints^ 
who had approved, by a crowd of miracles, the innocence and 
merit of this relative worship. He must indeed have trusted 
to the ignorance of Leo, since he could assert the perpetual 
use of images from the apostolic age, and their venerable 
presence in the six synods of the Catholic church. A more 
specious argument is dbrawn from present possession and recent 
practice; the harmony of the Christian world supersedes the 
demand of a general council ; and Gregory frankly confesses 
that such assemblies can only be useful under the reign of an 
orthodox prince. To the impudent and inhuman Leo, mote 
guilty than an heretic, he recommends peace, silence, and 
implicit obedience to his spiritual guides of Constantinople and 
Rome. The limits of civil and ecclesiastical powers are defined 
by the pontiff. To the former he appropriates the body ; to the 
latter, the soul : the sword of justice is in the hanos of the 
magistrate ; the more formidable weapon of excommunication 
is entrusted to the clergy ; and in the exercise of their divine 
commission a sealous son will not spare his offending &ther; 
the successor of St. Peter may lawfully chastise the kings of the 
earth. ** You assault us, O tyrant ! with a carnal and militaiy 
hand ; unarmed and naked, we can only implore the Christ, the 
prince of the heavenly host, that he will send unto yon a deiyfl, 
for the destruction of your body and the salvation of your sooL 
You declare, with foonsh airogance, I will despatch my oiden 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRB 269 

to Rome ; I will bresk in pieces the iniAge of St Peter ; and 
Gregory, like his predecessor Martin, shall be transported in 
chains^ and in exile, to the foot of the Imperial throne. Would 
to God thkt'I might be permitted to tread in the footsteps of 
the h6fy Martin ; bcft may the fute of Constans serv^ as a warn- 
ing to the persecutors of the church ! After his just condemna* 
tion by the bishops of Sicily, the tyrant was cut off, in the 
fulness of his sins, by a domestic servant ; the saint is still adored 
by \he nations of S<^hia, among whom he ended his banish- 
ment and his life. But it is our duty to live for the edification 
and support of the fiuthful people ; nor are we reduced to risk 
our safety on the event of a combat Incapable as you are of 
defetiding your Roman subjects, the maritime situation of the 
city may perliaps expose it to your depredation ; but we can 
remove to the distance of four-and-twenty stadia,^ to the first [»s bUm] 

fortress of the Lombards^ and then ^you may pursue the 

winds. Are you ignorant that the popes are the bond of union, 
the mediators of peace, between the East and West ? The 
eyes of the nations are fixed on our humility ; and they revere, 
as a God upon earth, the apostle St. Peter, whose image you 
threaten to destroy.^ The remote and interior kingdoms o{ 
the West present their homage to Christ and his vicegerent; 
and we now prepare to visit one of their most powerful monarchs, 
who desires to receive fiom our hands the sacrament of baptism:** 
The barbarians have submitted to the yoke of the gospel, while 
you alone are deaf to the voice of the shepherd. These pious 
barbarians are kindled into rage; they thirst to avenge the 
persemition of the East Abandon your rash and fintal enter- 
prise; reflect, tremble, and repent If you persist, we are 
innocent of the blood that will be spilt in the contest ; may it 
&11 on yoiir own head." 

^ Flwdn, Havmpa oraSta inrovu^vni h 'ApyMMVf 'Pmfuft etc rijr ywjMy r^t Komw^i 
««« 9ww9 iMt^or r«v« «m|mw( (EpisU I p. 664). This proximity of the Lombards is 
hard of dlfestion. Gunflio Pellegrini (Dissert, iv. de Ducatu Beneventi, in the 
ScripL ItuT torn. ▼. p, m, in) fmvibly reckons the twenty*four stadia, not from 
Rome, bat from the limits of the Roman duchy, to the first fortress, perhaps Sora, 
of tbe Lombards. I rather bdieve that Gregory, with the pedantry of the age, 
employs stadia for miles without much inquiry into tbe genuine measure. 

"*Or «1 vfitfM fim^(k i uu ryfi hitrttn Mf 0«br lirtycMr ^x^*^ 

*'Aark ri|f ivmripav Mtfvwf t«v krfotUrw Xffvrmv (d. 665). The pope appears to 

have imposed on the ignorance of the Greeks ; he Uvra and died in the Latowi ; and 
in his time all tbe kingdoms of the West had embraced Christianitv. May not this 
unknown Sefiehts have some reference to the chief of the Saxon fiefUarcky to Ina 
king of Wessez, who. in the pontificate of Gregory the Second, visited Rome, for 
the purpose, not of baptism, but of pilgrimage? (Pagi. A.D. 689. No a, A.D. 726, 
No. 15). [Scbenk adopts this explanation, in bis art on Leo IIL, Byt. Ztsch. v. p. 
a89u] 



■hi^M 



2e0 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

▼oit of The first assault of Leo against the images of Constantinople 

K 4e. had been witnessed by a crowd pf strangers from Italy and the 
West, who related, with grief and indignation, the sacrilege of 
tlie emperor. But on the reception of his proscriptive edict 
they tiiembled for their domestic deities ; the images of Qirist 
and the virgin, of the angels, martyrs, and saints, were abolished 
in all the churches of Italy ; and a strong alternaUve was pro- 
posed to the Roman pontiff*, the royal fiivour as the price of 
his compliance, degradation and exile as the penalty of his 
disobedience. Neither zeal nor policy allowed him to hesitate; 
and the haughty strain in whidi Gregory addressed the em- 
peror displays his confidence in the truth of his doctrine or the 
powers of resistance. Without depending on prayers or mizades, 
ne boldly armed against the public enemy, and his pastoral 
letters admonished the Italians of their danger and their duty.*^ 
At this signal, Ravenna, Venice, and the cities of the Exarchate 
and Pentapolis, adhered to the cause of religion ; their military 
force by sea and land consisted, for the most part, of the 
natives ; and the spirit of patriotism and xeal was transfused 
into the mercenary strangers. The Italians swore to live and 
die in the defence of the pope and the holy images; the 
Roman people was devoted to their father, and even the Lom- 
bards were ambitious to share the merit and advantage of this 
holy war. The most treasonable act, but the most obvious 
revenge, was the destruction of the statues of Leo himself ; the 
most effectual and pleasing measure of rebellion was the with- 
holding the tribute of Italy, and depriving him of a power 
which he had recently abused by the imposition of a new 
capitation.^ A form of administration was preserved by the 
election of magistrates and governors ; and so high was the 
public indignation that the Italians were prepared to create 
an orthodox emperor, and to conduct him with a fleet and army 

'^ I shall transcribe the important and decisive passage of the Liber PontiflcaUi. 
Respiciens ergo pius vir proCuiam prindpis jussKnem, jam oootra Imperalorem 
ouasi contra kostem se armavit, renuens naBrasim ejus, icribens ubique se eavere 
Christianos, eo quod orta fuisset impieCas talis, igiiur permoti omnes Penta- 
polenses atque Venetiamm exerdtus contra Imperatoris juisionem ratitannit; 
dicentes se nunquam in ejusdem pontifids oondescendere necem, ted pro ^m 
magis defensione viriliter decertare (p. 156). 

» A census, or capitation, says Anastasius (p. 156) ; a most cruel tax, unknown 
to the Saracens themselves, eacdaims the lealous Maimbourg (Hist des Iooixk 
clastes, L i. ), and Theophanes (p. 544), wbo talks of Pharaoh's numbering the male 
children of Israel. This mode of taxation was fiuniliar to the Saracens ; and, mart 
unluckily for the historian, it was imposed a few years afterwards in Fkaiioe by his 
patron Lewis XIV. 



OF THE ROBIAK EMPIRE 261 

to the palace of Constantinople. In that palace, the Roman 
bishops, the second and third Gregory, were condemned as the 
authors of the revolt, and every attempt was made, either by 
fraud or force, to seize their persons and to strike at their lives. 
The city was repeatedly visited or assaulted by captains of the 
guatds, and dukes and exarchs of high dignity or secret trust ; 
they landed with foreign troops, they obtained some domestic 
aid, and the superstition of Naples may blush that her &thera 
were attached to the cause of heresy. But these clandestine 
or open attacks were repelled by the courage and vigilance 
of the Romans ; the Greeks were overthrown and massacred, 
their leaders suffered an ignominious death, and the popes, 
however inclined to mercy, refused to intercede for these guilty 
victims. At Ravenna,^ the several quarters of the city had 
long exercised a bloody and hereditary feud ; in religious con- 
troversy they found a new alitnent of faction ; but the votaries 
of images were superior in numbers or spirit, and the exarch, 
who attempted to stem the torrent, lost his life in a popularl*^^- "H 
sedition. To punish this flagitious deed and restore his do- 
minion in Italy, the emperor sent a fleet and army into the 
Adriatic gulf. After suffering from the winds and waves much 
loss and delay, the Greeks made their descent in the neighbour- 
hood of Ravenna ; they threatened to depopulate the guilty 
capital and to imitate, perhaps to surpass, the example oi Jus- 
tinian the Second, who had chastised a former rebellion by the 
choice and execution of fifty of the principal inhabitants. The 
women and clergy, in sackcloth and ashes, lav prostrate in 
prayer ; the men were in arms for the defence of their country ; 
the common danger had united the factions, and the event of 
a battle was preferred to the slow miseries of a siege. In a 
hard-fought day, as the two armies alternately yielded and 
advanced, a phantom was seen, a voice was heard, and Ravenna 
was victorious by the assurance of victory. The strangers re- 
treated to their ships, but the populous sea-coast poured forth 
a multitude of boats ; the waters of the Po were so deeply 
infected with blood that during six years the public prejudice 
abstained from the fish of the river ; and the institution of an 
annual feast perpetuated the worship of images and the ab- 

* See the Liber Pontificalis of Agnellus (in the Scriptores Rerum Italicanim of 
Muratori. torn. ii. pars i.), whose deeper shade of barbarism marks the diffierexice 
between Rome ana Ravenna. Yet we are indebted to him for some curious and 
domestic Cacts — the quarters and factions of Ravenna (p. IC4), the revenge of 
|uscintan IL (p. 160, 161 )» the defeat of the Greeks (p. 170. 171), ftc. [The story in 
Agn^lus isvery donbtM. Cp. Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders, vi. 453-4.] 



262 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

horrence of the Greek tyrant. Amidst the triumph of the 
Catholic arms, the Roman pontiff convened a synod of ninety- 
three bishops against the heresy of the Iconoclasts. With their 
consent he pronounced a general excommunication against all 
who by word or deed should attack the tradition of the fiithers 
and the images of the saints ; in this sentence the emperor was 
tacitly involved ; ^ but the vote of a last and hopeless remon- 
strance may seem to imply that the anathema was yet suspended 
over his guilty head. No sooner had thev confirmed their own 
safety, the worship of images, and the freedom of Rome and 
Italy, than the popes appear to have relaxed of their severity 
and to have spared the relics of the Byzantine dominion. 
Their moderate counsels delayed and prevented the election of 
a new emperor, and they exhorted the Italians not to separate 
from the body of the Roman monarchy. The exarch was permit- 
ted to reside within the walls of Ravenna, a captive rather than a 
master ; and, till the Imperial coronation of Charlemagne, the 
government of Rome and Italy was exercised in the name of 
the successors of Constantine.^^ 
ggy* ^ The liberty of Rome, which had been oppressed by the arms 
and arts of Augustus, was rescued, after seven hundred and 
fifty vears of servitude, from the persecution of Leo the Isaurian. 
By the Csesars, the triumphs of the consuls had been annihi- 
lated : in the decline and fall of the empire, the god Terminus, 
the sacred boundary, had insensibly receded from the ocean, 
the Rhine, the Danube, and the Euphrates; and Rome was 
reduced to her ancient territory from Viterbo to Terradna^ and 
from Nami to the mouth of the Tiber.^'^ When the kings were 
banished, the republic reposed on the firm basis which had been 
founded by their wisdom and virtue. Their perpetual jnris- 



^ Yet Ijco was undoubtedly comprised in the si quis . . . imaginum SAcnmm 
. . . destructor . . . extiterit sit extorris a corpore D. N. Jesu Christi Tel totins 
ecclesiae unitate. The canonists may decide whether the guilt or the name cod- 
stitutes the excommunication ; and the. decision is of the last importanoe to their 
safety, since, according to the oracle (Gratian Caus. xxiii. q. 5, c. 47, apud Span- 
heim, HisL Imag. p. iia), homicidas non esse qui exoommunicatos trnddaat 

*^ Compescuit tale consilium Pontifez, iperans conversioiicm prindpii(Anfiata& 
p. 156). Sed ne desisterent ab amore et fide R. J. admonebat (p. 157). The 
popes style Leo and Constantine Copronynius, Impcratores et Dotnini, with the 
strange epithet of Piissimi, A famous Mosaic of tlie Lateran (A.D. 798) i c pi e icn ta 
Christ, who deli\'ers the keys to St Peter and the banner to Conntantine V. 
(Muratori, Annali d' Italia, torn. vi. p. 337). 

^ I have traced the Roman dnchy according to the maps, and the roapa acootd- 
ing to the excellent dissertation of father Ucretti (de Choromphii Itaito Medii 
iGvi, sect XX. p. 8x6432). Yet I must nicely obaerve tl^at Viterbo ii oC Lonbaid 
foundation (p. axzX and that Terradna was murped by the Graeka. 



OF THE ROMAN EBfFIEtE 208 

diction was divided between two annual magistrates ; the senate 
continued to exercise the powers of administration and counsel ; 
and the legislative authority was distributed in the aasemUies 
of the people by a well-proportioned scale of property and 
service. Ignorant of the arts of luxury, the primitive Romans 
had improved the science of government and war ; the will of 
the community was absolute; the rights of individuals were 
sacred ; one hundred and thirty thousand citizens were armed 
for defence or eonquest ; and a band of robbers and outlaws 
was moulded into a nation, deserving of freedom and ambitious 
of glory.^ When the sovereignty of the Greek emperors was 
extinguished, the ruins of Rmne presented the sad image of 
depopulation and decay ; her alavery was an habit, her liberty 
an accident : the effect of superstition, and the object of her own 
amasement and terror. The last vestige of the substance, or 
even the forms, of the constitution was obliterated from the 
practice and memory of the Romans; and they were devoid of 
knowledge, or virtue, again to build the &bric of a common- 
wealth. Their scanty remnant, the offspring of slaves and 
strangers, was despicable in the eyes of the victorious bar- 
barians. As often as the Franks or Lombards expressed their 
most bitter contempt of a foe, they called him a Roman; *'aiid 
in this name," says the bishop Liutprand, *' we include whatever 
is base, whatever is cowardly, whatever is perfidious, the ex- 
tremes of avarice and luxury, and every vice that can prostitute 
the dignity of human nature ".^ By the necessity of th^ 
situation, the inhabitants of Rome were cast into the rough 
model of a remiblican government ; they were compelled to 
elect some juoges in peace, and some leaders in war; the 
nobles assembled to deliberate, and; their resolves could not be 
executed without the union and consent of the multitude. The 
style of the Roman senate and people was revived,^ but the 

^On the extent, populatioa, Ac of the RomAn kinsdom, the reader may pernse, 
with pleasure, the Dtsamrs Friiiminairt to the Rtoublique Romame of M de 
Beuitart (torn. I), who will not be accused of too much credulity for the early ages 
of Rome. 

**QQOi{Romanos) nos, Longobardi scilicet, Saxones, Franci, Lotharingi,' Ba- 
goarii, Sueyi, Bnrgundlones, tanto dedignamur ut inimioos nostros oommod nil 
aUud contumeliarum msi Romane dicamus ; hoc solo, id est Romanorum nomkie, 
quicquid ignobiUtatis, quioquid timiditatis, quicquid avaritisD, quicquid luxorise, 
guicquki mendadi, immo quioquid vitionim est comprdiendentes fLiutprand, in 
LqgaL [c. xa] Script. ItaL torn. iL pars i. p. 481). For the sins of Cato or 'DiUy. 
Minos n^ght have imposed as a nt penance the daily perusal of this barbarous 



ssaee; 

^Pipino legi Francorum [et patrido Romanorum], omnis senatus, atque mi- 
Tersa populi generaUtas a Deo servatse RomansB urbio. Codes Carolin. ^ist. 361 



■«ta 



264 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

spirit was fled ; and their new independence was disgraced by 
the tumultuous conflict of licentiousness and oppression. The 
want of laws could only be supplied by the influence of religion, 
and their foreign and domestic counsels were moderated by the 
authority of the bishop. His alms, his sermons, his correspond- 
ence with the kings and prelates of the West, his recent ser- 
vices, their gratitude and oath, accustomed the Romans to 
consider him as the first magistrate or prince of the city. The 
Christian humility of the popes was not offended by the name 
of Dondnus, or Lord ; and tneir £ice and inscription are still 
apparent on the most ancient coina.^ Their temporal dominion 
is now confirmed by the reverence of a thousand yean ; and 
their noblest title is the free choice of a people whom they 
had redeemed from slavery. 
>«■•*» ^^ In the quarrels of ancient Greece, the holy people of £lis 
jOTKiwr^ enjoyed a perpetual peace, under the protection of Jupiter, and 
in the exercise of the Olympic games.^^ Happy would it have 
been for the Romans, if a similar privilege had guarded the 
patrimony of St. Peter from the calamities of war; if the 
Christians who visited the holy threshold would have sheathed 
their swords in the presence of the apostle and his successor. 
But this mjTstic circle could have been traced only by the wand 
of a legislator and a sage ; this pacific system was incompatible 
with the zeal and ambition of the popes ; the Romans were not 
addicted, like the inhabitants or £lis, to the innocent and 
placid labours of agriculture; and the barbarians of Italy, 
though softened by the climate, were fiu* below the Grecian 
states in the institutions of public and private life. A memor- 
able example of repentance and piety was exhibited by Liutpnnd, 
king of the Lombards. In arms, at the gate of the Vatioan, 
AJ^ nQ the conqueror listened to the voice of GregcHy the Seeond,^ 
withdrew his troops, resigned his conquests, respectfully visited 

in Script. ItaL torn. iii. pan ii. p. 160. The names of senatui and SQiator were 
never totally extinct (Dissert Ciiorogniph. pu 216, 217) ; but in the middle 



th^ signified little more than nobilei^ optimates, &c. (Ducange, Gloss. Latin.). 

a); i 
DDNN. with the word CONOB, which the Phn Joubert (Science des MtiaiOes, 



See Muratori, Antiquit Italise Medii JEyi, torn, il Dissortat zzviL p. si& 
On one of these coins we read Hadrianus Papa (a.d. 77a) ; on the revterse, VicL 



torn. iL p. 4a) explains by COA^stantinopoU CTfficina B {secmnda). [OB ^ 79. Cp. 
above, voL a, p. Z9C n. 189.] 

^See West^s Dissertation on the Olyropic Games (Pindar, vol. iL p. 39-36. 
edition in zamo), and the Judicious reflections of Polybius (torn. I L iv. p. 466, 
edit. Gronov. [c r^U 

^The speech oiGregory to the Lombard is finely composed by SigoninsCde 
Rmo ItaliaB, L iil Opim, ton. iL a 17^ who imitates the Voeaoe and the spirit 
of Sallust or Livy. [Limpraad bad fonned a league with the exarch Eutydiias 
against the Pope.] 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIRE 265 

the church of St. Peter, and after performing hia devotiona, 
offered his aword and dagger, his cuirass and mantle, his ailver 
cross and his crown of gold, on the tomb of the apostle. But 
this religious fervour was the illusion, perhaps the artifice, of 
the moment ; the sense of interest is strong and lasting ; the 
love of arms and rapine was congenial to the Lombards ; and 
both the prince and people were irresistibly tempted by the 
disorders of Italy, the nakedness of Rome, and the unwarlike 
profession of her new chiefl On the first edicts of the em- 
peror, they declared themselves the champions of the holy 
images; Liutprand invaded the province of Romagna, which 
had already assumed that distinctive appellation ; the Catholics 
of the Exarchate 3rielded without reluctance to his civil and 
military power ; and a foreign enemy vras introduced for the cajk imri 
first time into the impregnable fortress of Ravenna. That city 
and fortress were speedily recovered by the active diligence i^^ ^1 
and maritime forces of the Venetians ; and those fiuthful sub- 
jects obeyed the exhortation of Gregory himself in separating 
the personal guilt of Leo from the general cause of the Roman 
empire.^^ The Greeks were less mindful of the service than 
the Lombards of the injury ; the two nations, hostile in their 
fiuth, were reconciled in a dangerous and unnatural alliance ; 
the king and the exarch marched to the conquest of SpoletoUu>.i«r| 
and Rome ; the storm evaporated without effect ; but the policy 
of Liutprand alarmed Italy with a vexatious alternative of 
hostility and truce. His successor Astolphus declared himself 
the equal enemy of the emperor and the pope ; Ravenna was 
subdued by force or treachery,^ and this final conquest ex-cAJi.iii4 
tinguished the series of the exarchs, who had reigned with a 
subordinate power since the time of Justinian and the ruin of 
the Gothic kingdom. Rome was summoned to acknowledge 
the victorious Lombard as her lawful sovereign; the annual 
tribute of a piece of gold was fixed as the ransom of each 

^The Venetian historians, John Safominus (Chron. Vcnet. p. 13) and the 
do^ Andrew Dandolo (Scriptores Rer. ftal. torn, xil p. 135), have preserved this 
epistle of Gregory. The loss and reoovery of Ravenna are mentioned by Paulus 
Diaconus (de GeBt. Langobard. L vi. a 49* 54, in Script Ital. torn. I pars i. p. 
506, 508) ; but our chronologists, Pagi, Muratori, &c. cannot ascertain the date or 
circumstances. [Monticolo, Le spedlzioni di Liutprando, &c. , in the Arch. d. R. 
Soc. Rom. di storia patria (1893), p. 321 sgq, ; Hodgkin, op. cit. vu note F. p. 
505-8. The date of tne recoverv of Ravenna was probably a.d. 740, that of the 
capture A.D. 738 or 739 ; but Monticolo places both in A.D. 735.] 

*^The option will depend on the various readings of the Mss. of Anastasius — 
dteeftrai^ or dtctrpserat (Script. ItaL torn. iii. pars I p. 267). [DtctrpMroi bat no 
Ms. authority. See LiU Pont. i. p. 444, ed. Dochesne.] 



266 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

citizen ; and the swofd of deiirtiction was umheathed to exact 
the penalty of her disobedience The Romans hesitated ; they 
entreated; they complained; and the threatening barbarians 
were checked by arms and negotiations, till the popes had en- 
gaged the friendship of an ally and avenger beyond the Alps.^^ 

Bv i^Tw- In his distress, the first ^^ Gregory had implored the aid of the 

gjpiB. Ajx hero of the age, of Charles Martel, who governed the French 
monarchy with the humble title of mayor or duke ; and who, 
by his signal victoiy over the Saracens, had saved his countiy, 
and perhaps Europe, from the Mahometan yoke. The ambas- 
sadors of the pope were received by Charles with decent 
reverence ; but the greatness of his occupations and the shorts 
ness of his life prevented his interference in the affiurs of Italy, 
except by a triendly and ineffectual mediation. His son 
Pepin, the heir of his power and virtues, assumed the office of 
champion of the Roman church; and the zeal of the French 
prince appears to have been prompted by the love of glory and 
religion. But the danger was on the banks of the Tiber, the 
succour on those of the Seine ; and our sympathy is cold to the 
relation of distant misery. Amidst the tears of the city, 
Stephen the Third embraced the generous resolution of visiting 
in person the courts of Lombaxdy and France, to deprecate the 
injustice of his enemy, or to excite the pity and indignation ot 
his friend. After soothing the public despair by litanies and 
orations, he undertook this laborious journey wiUi the ambas- 
sadors of the French monarch and the Gr^k emperor. The 
king of the Lombards was inexorable ; but his threats could 
not silence the complaints, nor retard the speed, of the Roman 

CAj>* IB] pontilT, who traversed the Pennine Alps, reposed in the abbey 
of St. Maurice, and hastened to grasp the right hand of his 
protector, a hand which was never lifted in vain, either in war 
or friendship. Stephen was entertained as the visible suecenor 

jKi^Qgmy. • .of the apostle ; at the next assembly, the field of March or of 
May, his injuries were exposed to a devout and warlike nation, 
and he repassed the Alps, not as a suppliant, but as a conqaeror, 
at the head of a French army, whicn was led by the king in 

CAJ>. T54] person. The Lombards, after a weak resistance, obtained an 

"1 The Codex Carolinus is a collection of the epistles of the Popes to Chariei 
Martel (whom they style SuBrqruIms), P^md and Charlemagne, as fiir as the year 
791, when it was formed b^ the last of thew princes. His orisinal and authentfa' 




•u[:^mm/ third.] 



;0F TH£ B9MAN EMPJBE 267 

igptiominious peace, aild swore to restore the possessions, and to 
respect the sanctity, of the Roman. church. But no sooner was 
Aabolphus delivered from the presence of the French arms, than 
he forgot his promise, and resented his disgrace. Rome was 
again encompassed hy his arms ; and Stephen, apprehensive of C^J** ^"Q 
fatiguing the seal of his Transalpine allies, enforced his com- 
plaint and request by an eloquent letter in the name and 
person of St. Peter himsel£^^ llie apostle assures his adoptive 
sons, the king, the clergy, and the nobles of France, that, dead 
in the flesh, he is still alive in the spirit ; that they now hear, 
aod must obey, the voice of the founder and guawiian of the 
Roman church ; that the Virgin, the angels, the saints, and the 
martyrs^ and all the host of heaven, unanimously urge the 
request, and will confess the obligation; that riches, victory, 
ana paradise will crown their pious enterprise; and that 
eternal damnation will be the penalty of their neglect, if they 
suffer his tomb, his temple, and hispeofde to &11 into the 
hands of the peHidious Lombards, Tne second expedition of 
Pepin was not less rapid and fortunate than the first : St. Peter ^^^-^"Q 
was satisfied, Rome was again saved, and Astolphus was taught 
the lessons of justice and sincerity by the scourge of a foreign 
master. After this double chastisement, the Lombards languished 
about twenty years in a state of languor and decay. But their 
mtnds were not yet humbled to their condition ; and, instead of 
affecting the pacific virtues of the feeble, they peevishly harassed 
the Romans .with, a repetition of claims, evasions, and inroads, 
which they undertook without reflection and terminated with- 
out glovy* On ^ther side, their expiring monarchy was pressed 
by the seal and prudence of pope Hadrian the first, by the genius, 
the ftfiftUne, and greatness of Charlemagne the; son of Pepin.; 
these heroes of the church and state were united in public and 
domestic friendship ; and, while they tmmpled on the prostrate, 
they varnished thedr proce^ings with tne £Burest colours of 
equity and moderation.^ The passes of the Alps, and the walls 

"See this most extraordinary letter in the Codex Carolinus, epist. iil p. 93. 
The enemies of the popes have oiarged them with fraud and blasphemy ; yet they 
wanif meant to persuade rather th^ deceive. This introduction of the dead, or 
of immortals, was familiar to the ancient orators, though it is executed 00 this 
occasion in the rude fashion of the age. 

* Except in the divorce of the daughter of Desiderius, whom Charlemagne 
repnrtiatfin sine aliquo crimine. Pope Stephen IV. had most furiously opposed 
the aniancp of a noble Frank — cum perfidA, horridA, nee dioendA., foetentissimA. 
natione Longofaardoruro — to whom he imputes the first stain of leprosy (Cod. 
CarolUu episL 45, pu 178, 179). Another reason against the marriage was the 
existence of a.first wife (Muratori, Annali d'ltalia, torn. vi. p. 232, 233, 236, 237). 
But Charlemagne indulged himself in the freedom of polygamy or ooQcabinagei 



268 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

of Pavia, were the only defence of the Lombards ; the fimner 
ckou^^of were surprised, the latter were invested, by the son of Pepin; 
o!wri«awcM. and after a blockade of two years, Desiderius, the last of their 
[Ma'amtte] native princes, surrendered his sceptre and his capitaL Under 
the dominion of a foreign king, but in the possession of their 
national laws, the Lombards became the brethren, rather than 
the subjects, of the Franks ; who derived their blood, and 
manners, and language from the same Germanic origin.^ 
r»pi»Md The mutual obligations of the popes and the Carlovingian 
^»g^ ' family form the important link of ancient and modem, of civil 
m, nim ' and ecclesiastical, histoiy. In the conquest of Italy, the cham- 
pions of the Roman church obtained a fiivourable occasicm, 
a specious title, the wishes of the people, the prayers and 
intrigues of the clergy. But the most essential gifts of the 
popes to the Carlovingian race were the dignities of king of 
France ^ and of patrician of Rome. I. Under the sacerdotal 
monarchy of St. Peter, the naticms began to resume the practice 
of seeking, on the banks of the Tiber, their kings, their laws, 
and the oracles of their fkte. The Franks were perplexed 
between the name and substance of their government. AH the 
powers of royalty were exercised by Pepin, mayor of the palace ; 
and nothing, except the regal title, was wanting to his ambitkm. 
His enemies were crushed by his valour; his friends were 
multiplied by his liberality ; his fiither had been the saviour of 
Christendom ; and the cLums of personal merit were repeated 
and ennobled in a descent of four generationi. The name and 
image of royalty was still pre8ervc^d in the last descendant of 
Clovis, the feeble Childeric ; but his obsolete right could onfy 
be used as an instrument of sedition ; the nation was desirous 
of restoring the simplicity of the constitution ; and Pepin, a 
subject and a prince, was ambitious to ascertain his own rank 
and the fortune of his fiunily. The mayor and the nobles were 
bound, by an oath of fidelity, to the royal phantom ; the blood 
of Clovis was pure and sacred in their eyes; and their com- 
mon ambassadors addressed the Roman pontiff, to dispel their 

^See the Annali d'ltalia of Muntori, torn. vL and the three first illiwirtsttoni 
of his Antiquitates Italise Medii iGvi, torn. L 

^ Besides the common historians, three French critics, Laimov (Opera, torn. ▼. 
pars ii. L vii. epist. 9, p. 477-487). Pagi (Critica, A.D. 751, Na 1-6, A.D. 759 
Na i-xo), and Natalis Alexander (HisL Novi Testament!, uissertat iL p. 96-107) 
have treated this subject of the depositioD of Childeric wiUi learning and attentmB 
but with a strong bias to save the independence of the crown. Yet tbej an hsni 
pressed by the texts which they prodnoe of Esinhard, Theopbancs. and ttas M 
annals, Laureshamenses. Fuldenses, Loisidani [ w Lanriaenses inaioni]i 



(W THE BOMAS EMPIRE 209 

Tuples or to absolve their promise. The interest of pope 
•chaiyi the successor of the two Gregories, prompted him to 
ecide;, and to decide in their fiivour ; he pronounced that the 
stion might lawfully unite, in the same person, the title and 
ithority of king ; and that the unfortunate Childeric, a victim 
f the public safe^, should be degraded, shaved, and confined 
I a vnonasteiy for the remainder of his days. An answer so 
^rceable to their wishes was accepted by the Franks, as the 
pinion of a casuist, the sentence of a judge, or the oracle of a 
rophet; the Merovingian race disaj^peitfed from the earth; 
[id Pepin was exalted on a buckler by the suffrage of a free 
eople, accustomed to obey his laws and to march under his 
jmdard. His coronation was twice performed, with the * 
motion of the popes, by their most fiiithful servant St. Boni&ce, 
le uostle of Gennany, and by the grateful hands of Stephen 
iie Third, who, in the monasteiy of St. Denys, placed the 
iadem on the head of his bene£iictor. The royal unction of 
ie kings of Israel was dexterously applied ; ^ the successor of 
t. Peter assumed the character of a divine ambassador; a 
rerman chieftain was transformed into the Lord's anointed; 
od this Jewish rite has been diffused and maintained by the 
iperstition and vanity of modem Europe. The Franks were 
baolved from their ancient oath ; but a dire anathema was 
inndered against them and their posterity, if they should dare 
> renew the same freedom of choice, or to elect a king, except 
I the holy and meritorious race of the Carlovingian princes, 
/ithout apprehending the future danger, these princes gloried 
I their present security ; the secretary of Charlemagne affirms 
3at the French soeptre was transferred by the authority of 
ie popes ;^ and in their boldest enterprises they insist, with 
mndenoe, on this signal and successful act of temporal juris- 
iction. 
II. In the change of manners and language, the patricians g^^Ji^**^ ^ 

* Not absolutely for the first time. On a less conspicuous theatre, it had been 
led. in the vith and viith centuries, by the provincial bishops of Britain and Spain, 
he royal unction of Constantinople u*as borrowed from the Latins in the last age 

the empire. Constantine Manasses mentions that of Charlemagne as a foreign, 
wish, incomprehensible ceremony. See Seldcn's Titles of Honour, in his Works, 
>L ill part i. p. a^-a^ I should have noticed (as Professor Sickel has pointed 
It to me in bis essay (p. 35) mentioned below, sui p. 383) that there is no evidence 
at anointing was practised at Constantinople in 8th century. 

•»Sec EgaShard, in Viti Caroli Magni, c. i. p. 9. Ac c iiL p. 24. Childeric was 
rpOKd^Jnssu, the Carloringians were t»XabVtsa^ed-~auctoritaU, Pontiiicis Romani. 
wauof» ae._pceteiid that these strong words are susceptible of a very soft inter- 
vlatioiL Be it 10: yet Eginbard understood the world. Um court and the Latin 



270 THE DEOLINS AND VAUL 

of Rome ^ were hr removed from the senate of Romulitt or the' 
palace of Constantine, from the free nobles of the repubBe or 
the fictitious parents of the emperor. After the Tec ov erj of 
Italy and Africa by the arms of Justinian, the importance and 
danger of those remote provinces required the presence of a 
supreme magistrate ; he was indifferent^ styled the exarch or 
the patrician ; and these governors of Ravenna, who fill their 
place in the chronology of princes, extended their jtnisdietion 
over the Roman city. Since the revolt of Italy and the loss of 
the Exarchate, the distress of the Romans had exacted some 
sacrifice of their independence. Yet, even in this act, they 
exercised the right of disposing of themselves ; and the decrees 
' of the senate and people successively invested Charles Martel 
and his posterity with the honours of patrician of Rome. The 
leaders of a powerful nation would have disdained a servile 
title and subondinate office ; but the reign of the Greek emperors 
was suspended ; and, in the vacancy of the empire, they de- 
rived a more glorious commission from the pope and the re- 
public. The Roman ambassadors presented these patricikns 
'^D. 7».nq with the keys of the shrine of St Peter, as a pledge and symbol 
of sovereignty j with a holy banner, which ft was their right 
and duty to unfurl in the defence of the cbiirch and city.* ' In 
the time of Charles Martel and of Pepin, the interposition of the 
Lombard kingdom covered the freedom, while it threatened the 
safety, of Rome ; and the patrkiaU represented only the title, 
the service, the alliance, of these distant protectors. The 
power and policy of Charlemagne annihilated an enemy, and 
imposed a master. In his first visit to the capital, he was 
received with all the honours which had formerly be^ paid to 
the exarch, the representative of the emperor 7 and these 
honours obtained some new decorations' ftom the jcfy and 

BB For the title and pjowers of patrician of Rome, see Dncuge (Qloa*. f Latin. 
torn. V. p. 149-151). Pagi (Critica, A.x>. 740, Na 6-xz), Muratbrr(Aimali cTltalia, 
torn. vL p. 308-329), and St Marc (Abr^ Chronologiqne d'ltalie, torn. L p. 579- 
^\ Of these the Franciscan Pagi is the most dispoMd to make the putndaw a 
heutenant of the church rather than of the empire. [That the patriciate of Pippin 
and Charles was not an empty title but had rights and duties a shown bv Sicad, 
Gbtt. gel. Anz. 1897, p. 847, a^S. On the term fairicUUms Btiri for ttaa tarn- 
tonal lordship of the popes, cp. Kehr, G5tL Nachnchten, 1896, p. 144.] 

^The papal advocates can soften the symbolic meaning of the banner and tfas 
keys ; but the style of ad ngmum dimisimoSi or direzimns (Codex Carolia episL L 
torn, ill pars ii. p. 76), seems to allow of no palliation or escape. In the Ma of 
the Vienna library, they read, instead of rmvm, rciguwu pnyer or reqont (ssb 
Ducange), and the royalty of Charles Marteiis subverted by this important oonefr* 
tion (Catalini. in his Critical Prefaces, Annali dltalia, torn. zviL pb 95-99). \BUbA 
shows that the banner had no jurkUcal sigiificance, opt, ciL pi Sj^t, For tbi 
keys, cp. Appendix 16.] 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIRE 271 

gratitude of pope Hadrian the First.^ No sooner was he informed 
of the sudden approach of the monarch, than he dispatched the 
magistrates and nobles of Rome to meet him, with the banner, 
about thirty miles from the city. At the distance of one mile, 
the Flaminian way was lined with the schools, or national com- 
munities, of Greeks, Lombards, Saxons, &c. ; the Roman youth 
was under arms ; and the children of a more tender age, with 
palms and olive branches in their hands, chaunted the praises of 
their great deliverer. At the aspect of the holy crosses and 
ensigns of the saints, he dismoimted finm his horse, led the 
[urocession of his nobles to the Vatican, and, as he ascended the 
stairs, devoutly kissed eabh step of the threshold of the apostles. 
In the portico, Hadrian expected him at the head of his clergy ; 
they embraced, as friends and equals ; but, in their march to the 
altar, the king or patrician assumed the right hand of the pope. 
Nor was the Frank content with these vain and empty demon- 
strations of respect. In the twenty-six years that elapsed 
between the conquest of Lombardy and his Imperial coronation, 
Rome, which had been delivered by the sword, was subject as 
his own to the sceptre, of Charlemagne. The peo{^e swore 
allegiance to his person and £umly ; in his name money was 
coined and justice was administered ; and the election of the 
popes was examined and confirmed by his authority. Except an 
original and self-inherent claim of sovereignty, there was not 
any prerogative remaining which the tlHe of emperor could add 
to the patridan of Rome.^^ 

The irratitude of the Carlovininans was adequate to these: 
obligations, and their names are consecrated as the saviours and aSiatu 
bene&ctors of the Roman church. Her ancient patrimony of 
farms and houses was transformed by their bounty into the 
temporal dominion of cities and prorinces ; and the donation of 
the Exarchate was the first-fruits of the conquests of Pepin^^ 

*^ In the authentic narrative of this reception, the Liber Pontificalis observes-^- 
obfnam illl ejus sanctitas diri^ns venerabiles cruces, id est signa ; sicut mos est 
ad exarcfaum aut patridtun stiscipiendutn, enm cum ingenti Sonore susdpi fedt > 
(torn, iii pais I p. 185). 

^ Paulus Diacoous, who wrote before the entire of Charlemagne, describes 
Rome as his subject city-^vestrse [? vestras] civitates [Romanos ipsamque urbem 
Romuleam ; ap. Freher, i. p. ^74] (ad Pompeium Festum) suis addidit sceptris 
|de Metensis Ecclesise Episcopls). Some Carlovingian medals, struck at Rome, 
nave engaged Le Blanc to write an elaborate, thou|^ partial, dissertation on their 
authority at Rome, both as patricians and emperors (^masterdam, 16^, in 4to). 

*■ Mosheim (Institution. Hist. Eccles. p. 263) weigns this donation with fair and 
deliberate prudence. The original Hct has never been (Mxxluced ; but the Liber 
PooCificafis represents (p. 171), and the Codex Cardinus supposes, this ample nft. 
Both are contemporary records ; and the latter is the more antbontic, since it oaa 
been preserved, not in the papal, but the Imperial, Ubnuy. [See Appendix 16.] , 



272 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

Astolphus with a sigh relinquished his prey ; the keys and the 
hostages of the principal cities were delivered to the French 
ambassador; and, in his master's name, he presented them 
before the tomb of St. Peter. The ample measure of the Ex- 
archate ^ might comprise all the provinces of Italy which had 
obeyed the emperor and his vicegerent ; but its strict and proper 
limits were included in the territories of Ravenna, Bologna, and 
Ferrara ; its inseparable dependency was the Pentapolis, which 
stretched along the Adriatic from Rimini, to Ancona, and ad- 
vanced into the midland countnr as &r as the ridges of the 
Apennine. In this transaction, the ambition and avarice of the 
popes has been severely condemned. Perhaps the humility of 
a Christian priest should have rejected an earthly kingdom, 
which it was not easy for him to govern without renouncing the 
virtues of his profession. Perhaps a fisuthfiil subject, or even a 
generous enemy, would have been less impatient to divide the 
spoils of the barbarian ; and, if the emperor had entrusted 
Stephen to solicit in his name the restitution of the Exarchate^ 
I will not absolve the pope from the reproach of treachery and 
fiilsehood. But in the rigid interpretation of the laws every 
one may accept, without injury, whatever his benefactor can 
bestow without injustice. The Greek emperor had abdicated 
or forfeited his right to the Exarchate ; and the sword of 
Astolphus was broken by the stronger sword of the Carlovinpan. 
It was not in the cause of the Iconoclast that Pepin had ex- 
posed his person and army in a double expedition beyond the 
Alps ; he possessed, and might lawfully alienate, his conquests ; 
and to the importunities of the Greeks he piously replied that 
no human consideration should tempt him to resume the gift 
which he had conferred on the Roman pontiff for the remission 
of his sins and the salvation of his souL The splendid donation 
was granted in supreme and absolute dominion, and the world 
beheld, for the first time, a Christian bishop invested with the 
prerogatives of a temporal prince : the choice of magistrates, 
the exercise of Justice, the imposition of taxes, and the wealth 
of the palace of Ravenna. In the dissolution of the Lombard 
kingdom, the inhabitants of the duchy of Spoleto ^ sought a 

<> Between the exorbitant claims, and narrow concessions, of interest and pre- 
judice, from which even Muratori (Antiquitat. torn. i. p. 63-68) is not eJEcmpt, I 
have been guided, in the limits of tbe Exarchate and Pentapolis, by the Dismtatio 
Chorographica Italiae Medii iEvi, tom. z. p. z6o-i8a 

M Spoletini deprecati sunt, ut eos in lenritio B. Petri redperet et moce Romano- 
rum tonsurari faceret (Anastasius, p. 185). Yet it may be a quMtioo whether tiMy 
gave thdr own persons or tbetr coimtiy. . 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 278 

\ from the storm, aliAved their bescb •fter , the Eoman 
Dy dedared theniBelves the servants and sulijeots of St. 

and completed, by this Yoluntarj surrender, the present 
of the ecclesiastical state. That mjrsterious circle was 
:ed to an indefinite extent by the verbal or written dona- 
f Charlemagne,^ who, in the first transports of his vict<My, 
led himse^ and the Greek emperor of the cities and 
s which had formerly been annexed to the Exarchate. 
1 the cooler moments of absence and reflection, he viewed, 
n eye of jealousy and envy, the recent greatness of his 
iastical ally. The execution of his own and his fiither's 
les was respectfully duded ; the king of the Frsnks. and 
irds asserted the inalienable ri^ts of the empire ; and, in 
t and death, Ravenna,^ as weU as Rome, was numbc9red 

list of his metropolitan cities. The sovereignty of the 
bate melted away in the hands of the popes ; they found 

archbishops of Ravenna a dangerous and domestic rival ; V 
ibles and priests disdained the yoke of a priest ; and, in 
Borders of the times, they could only retain the memory 
indent daim, which, in a more prosperous age, they have 
d and realised. 

ad is the resource of weakness and cunning; and the 
, though ignorant, barbarian was often entangled in- the 
* sacerdotal policy. The Vatican and Lateran were an 
1 and manufacture, which, according to the occasion, have 
oed or concealed a various collection of fidae or genuine, 
rupt or suspidous acts, as they tended to promote the in- 

of the Roman church. Before the end of the eighth 

1 ... 

le policy and donations of Charleoiagne arecarefaOHT txaniotd bgr St 
ibr^g^, torn. i. p. 390-408), who has well sttidied the Codex Carolinus. I 
with him, that they were only verbal. The most ancient act of donation 
tends to be extant is Hbax of the emperor Lewis the PSoos (Sigonius, de 
Italise, 1. iv.. Opera, torn, it p. 267-070). Its antlienticity, or at least its 
% are much questioned (Pagi, A.D. 8x7, Na 7, ftc.; Muratori, Annali, torn. 
(2, &a ; Dissertat Cborographica, p. 33, 34), but I see no reasonable obfee- 
bese princes so freely dbposmg of what was not thdr own. [The gemiuie- 
tbe Ludovictanum. A.D. 8x7. is now generally admitted. The mention of 
ids Sardinia and Sicify may be an interpolation.] 
larlemagne solicited and obtained from tiie pro pr ietor, Hadrian I., the 

of the palace of Ravenna, for the decoration of Aix-la-Cbapdle (Cod. 

epist. 67. p. 223). [He bnflt his palace on the model of Theodoric's, and 
cfa (included in the present cathedral of Aachen) on the pattern of San 
It Ravenna. Hi^ architect's name was Oda] 
e popes often complain of the usurpations of Leo of Ratenna (Codex 

epist Sii 59} 53. p. 200-905). Si corpus St Andrese fratris germani St 
: humasset. neqtdtqnam nos Roman! ponti^ces sic sab|ugassent (Agadhis. 
ootificalis, in Scriptores Rerum ItaL torn. ii. pais L p. Z07). 

^0L.y/ la 




274 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

century, some apostoliool seiibey perhaps the notorious Isidore, 
composed the decretals, and the donation of Constantine, the 
two magic pillars of the spiritual and temporal monarchj of the 
popes. This memorable donation was introduced to the world 
by an epistle of Hadrian the First, who exhorts Charlemagne to 
imitate the liberality, and revive the name, of the great Con- 
stantine.^ According to the legend, the first of the Christian 
empierors was healed of the leprosy^ and purified in the waters 
of baptism, by St. Silvester, the Roman bishop ; and never was 
physician more gloriously recompensed. His royal pro8el3rte 
withdrew from the seat and patrimony of St. Peter ; dedaired 
his resolution of founding a new capital in the East ; and re- 
signed to the popes the free and perpetual sovereignty of Rome, 
Italy, and the provinces of the West^ This fiction was pro- 
ductive of the most beneficial effects. The Greek princes were 
convicted of the ffuilt of usurpation ; and the revolt of Gregory 
wtw the claim ofhis lawful inheritance. The popes were de- 
livered from their debt of gratitude ; and the nominal gifts of 
the Carlovingians were no more than the just and irrevocable 
restitution of a scanty portion of the ecclesiastical state. The 
sovereignty of Rome no longer depended on the choice of a 
fickle people ; and the successors of St. Peter and Constantine 
were invested with the purple and prerogatives of the Casan. 
So deep was the ignorance and credulity of the times that the 
most absurd of fiibles was received, with equal reverence, in 
Greece and in France, and is still enrolled among the decrees 
of the canon law.^^ The emperors and the Romans were in- 
capable of discerning a forgery that subverted their rights and 
freedom ; and the only opposition proceeded from a Sabine 
monastery, which, in the beginning of the twelfth century, dis- 



*" Piissimo ConstantiDO magno per ^jug kurgitfttero S. R. Ecclesia elevata et 
exaluta est, et potestateoi in his Hc^wtmb partibui Urgiri dignatiis est. . . . Qqu 
eoce Dovus CoDStantiniis his temponbus, Ac (Codex Caroliii. episL 49, in torn, 
iii. pars ii. p. 195)^ Pagi (Critica, A. XX 304, Na z6) ascribes them to an impostor 
of the viiith century, who Dorrowed the name of St Isidore : his humble utle of 
Peccator was ignorantly, but aptly, turned into Mtrtaior; his merchandise was 
indeed profitable, and a few sheets of paper were sold for much wealth aixl power. 

* Fabridus (Bibliot Graec. tomu vl pi 4-7) has enumerated the several editions 
of this Act» in Greek and LatiiL The copy which Lanrentius Valla recites and re- 
futes appears to be taken either from the spurious Acts of St Silvester or from 
Gratian's Decree, to which, according to him and others, it has been sorreptitioalf 
tacked. 

^ In the year 1059, it was believed (was it believed ?) by pope Leo IX., cardinal 
Peter Damianus, &c. Muratori places (Aimali d'ltalia, tom. iz. p. 03, a^) the 
fictitious donatkms of Lewis the Pious, the Othos, Ac. de Donationc CoostaminL 
See a Dissertation of Natalia Alexander, srcnhmi iv. diOk as, p, SSS'Siy^ 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIEE 275 

puted the truth and validity of the dcination of ConBtantineJ^ 
In the revival of letters and liberty this (ictitioiis deed was 
transpierced by the pen of Lauredtius Valla^ the pen of an 
eloquent critic and a Roman patriotJ- His contemporaries of 
the fifteenth century were astonished at his sacrilegious bold- 
ness ; yet such is the silent and' rrresistible progress of reason 
that before the end of the next age the fiible was rejected by 
the contempt of historians ^' and poets,^^ and the tacit or modest 
censure of the advocates of the Roman chmrchJ^ The popes 
themselves have indulged a smile at the credulity of the vul- 
gar ; ^^ but a fiike and obsolete title still sanctifies their reign ; 
and, by the same fortune which has attended the decretals and 
the Sibylline oracles, the edifice has subnsted after the founda- 
tions have been undermined. 

While the popes established in Italy their fk^edom and 

^ See a large account of the controversy (a.D. 1105). which arose from a private ttetapi 
lawsuit, in the Chronicon Farfense [by Gregoriu^ Catinensis] (Script. RemmS'fc/ 
Italicarum, torn. ii. pars iL p. 637, &c. ), a copious extract from the archi^pcs of 
that Benedictine abbey. They were formerly accessible to curious foreigners (Le 
Blanc and Mabillon), and would have enriched the first volume of the Historia 
Monastica Italia of Quirini. But they are now imprisoned (Muratori, Scriptored 
R. L torn. iL para ii. Dw 969) by the timid policy of the court of Rome ; and the 
future cardinal yieldea to the voice of autnority and the whispers of ambition 
(Quirini, Comment, pars ii. p. 123-136). [The Registrum of Farfa is being 
published (not ytt complete) oy J. Georgi and U. Balzani. The Orth. defens. 
imperialis de investitura (A.D. iiiu) is ed. b^ Heinemann in M.G.H., LibelU de lite; 
ii. S3S s^if. (189J).] 

^ I have resul in the collection of Schardius (de Potestate Imperial! Ecclesiastic^, 
P* 734*7^) t^ animated discourse, which vras composed by the author A.D. 1440, 
six years ailer the flight of pope Eugenius IV. It is a most vehement party pam- 
phlet : Valla justifies and ammates the revolt of the Romans, and would even 
approve the use of a dagger against their sacerdotal tyrant. Such a critic might 
expect the persecution of the derg^ ; yet he made his peace, and is buried \n the 
Lateran (Eknyle, Dictionnaire Critique. Valla ; Vo^sius. de Historicis Latinia^ 
p. c8o). 

"^ See Guicciardhii, a servant of the popes, in that long and valuable digression, 
which has resumed its place in the iajit editioa, eoa^ecUy published from the 
author's Ms. and printed in four volumes in quarto, under the name of Friburgo, 
1775 (Istoria d* Italia, tom. L p. 38^-395). 

^ The Paladin Astolpho found it in the moon, among the things that were lost 
upon earth (Orlando Furioso, xxxiv. 80). 

Di vari fiori ad un gran monte passa, 
Ch'ebbe gid buono odore, or puxxa forte 
Questo era il dono (se per6 dir leoe) 
Che Constantino al buon Silvestro feoe. 
Vet this incomparable poem has been approved by a bull of Leo X. 

^ See Baronius, A.D. J24, Na ii7*Z33, A.D. 2x91, Na 51, &a The cardinal 
wishes to suppose that Rome was offered Constantine, and refused by Silvester. 
The act of donation he considers, strangely enough, as a forgery of the Greeks. 

^ Baronius n*en dit guires contre ; encore en a-t-il trop dit, et Ton vouloit ians 
moi {fiardinal du Pemm), qui I'empdGhal, oensurer oette partie de son hiAoira. 
J'en devisai un jour avec le Papc, et il ne me repondit autre chose " che vcdetB? i 
Canonici la tengono," il le diaoit ett riant (Porooiana, p. 77). * 



276 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

dominion, the iniAgesy the fint cause of their revolt, were 
restored in the Eastern empire.^ Under the reign of Cea- 
stantine the Fifth, the unioo of dviland ecclesiastical power had 
overthrown the tree, without extirpating the root, of super- 
stition. The idols, for such tbej were now held, were secretly 
cherished by the order and the sex most prone to devotion; 
and the fond alliance of the monks and females obtained a final 
victory over the reason and authority of man. Leo the Fourth 
maintained with less rigour the religion of his fi&ther and gmnd- 
fiither ; but his wife, the &ir and ambitious Irene, had imbibed 
the seal of the Athenians, the heirs of the idolatry, rather than 
the philosophy, of their ancestors. During the life of her 
husband, these sentiments were inflamed by danger and dis- 
simulation, and she could only labour to protect abd ptomote 
some &vourite monks, whom she drew from their caverns and 
seated on the metropolitan thrones of the East. But, as soon 
as she reigned in her own name and that of her son, Irene more 
seriously undertook the ruin of the Iconoclasts ; and the first 
step of her future persecution was a general edict for liberty of 
conscience. In the restoration of the monks, a thousand images 
were exposed to the public veneration ; a thousand legends were 
invented of their sufferings and miracles. By the opportunities 
of death or removal the e|riscopal seats were judiciously filled ; 
the most eager competitors for earthly or celestial fiivour anti- 
cipated and flattered the judgment of their sovereign ; and the 
promotion of her secretary Tarasius gave Irene the patriarch of 
Constantinople and the command of the Oriental church. But 
the decrees of a general council could only be repealed by a 
similar assembly ; ^ the Iconoclasts whom she convened were 
bold in possession and averse to debate ; and the feeble voice 
of the bishops was re-echoed l^ the more formidable clamour 
naMMcmi of the soldiers and people of Constantinople. The delay and 

BlML A.D 

kSlt ^Hie remaining histocy of imam, from Irene to Theodora, it coOacted, for 

the Catholics, b^ Barooius and Pagi (A.a 760440), Natalis Alexander (Hiit 
N. T. seculum viiL Panoplia adYenu Haefetiooai, p. 1x8-276), and I>u[Nn (BiblioL 




(Institut. Hist Eccles. secuL viiL et ix,\. The Protestants, except 
Mosheim, are soured with controvenqr ; but the CathoUci, except Dmite. are ifr 
flamed by the fuiy and superstition oC the monks; and even le Bbul InkL du Bat 
Empire), a gentlonan and a acholar, is infected by the odious Ti>ntagiffn, 

^See the Acts, in Greek and Latin, of the aeoood CouneO of Nice, with a 
number of rehitive pieces, in the viiithirolmne •of the CduncUs, p. 645-16001 Afidtb- 
fid mrion, with tome critical naftm, woidd provoke, ia diSerent readen, a 4gh or 



OF THE BOMAOI^ EMPIRE 277 

mtrlguM of a jrear, the sepamtion of the disaffected troops, and 
the choice of Nice for a second orthodox sjnod removea these 
obstacles ; and the episcopal conscience was asain, after the 
Greek &shion, in the hands of the prince. No more than 
eighteen days were allowed for the consummation of this im- 
portant work ; the Iconoclasts appeared, not as judges, but as 
criminals or penitents ; the scene was decorated by the legates 
of pope Hadrian and the Eastern patriarchs ; ^ the decrees were 
ftmmed by the president Tarasius, and ratified by the acclama- 
tions and sabscriptions of three hundred and fifty bishops. 
They unanimously pronounced that the worship of images is 
agreeable to scripture and reason, to the Others and councils of 
the church : but they hesitate whether that worship be relative 
air diieet; whether the Godhead and the figure of Christ be 
entitled to the same mode of adoration. Of this second Nicene 
council, the acts are still extant': a curious monument of super- 
stition and ignorance, of falsehood and folly. I shall only 
notice the juc^gment of the bishops on the comparative merit 
of image-worship and morality. A monk had concluded a truce 
with the d»mon of fornication, on condition of interrupting his 
daily prayers to a picture that hung in his cell. His scruples 
prompted him to consult the abbot '* Rather than abstain 
from adoring Christ and his Mother in their holy images, it 
would be better for you," replied the casu»t, *' to enter every 
brothel, and visit every prostitute, in the city." ^ 

For the honour of orthodoxy, at least the orthodoxy of thensAic*- 
Roman church, it is somewhat unfortunate that the tiiro princes ^rSSSti 
who convened the two councils of Nice are both stained with n^JUS 
the blood of their sons. The second of these assemblies was^^^ 
approved and rigorously executed by the despotism of Irene, 
and she refused her adversaries the toleration which at first she 
had gmnted to her friends. During the five succeeding reigns, 
a period of thirty-eight years, the contest was maintained, with 
unabated mge and various success, between the worshippers, 

^Tbe pope's kgatef were casual messengers, two priests without any special 
oommission, and who were disavowed on weir reiarn. Some vagabond monks 
were persuaded by the Catholics to represent the Oriental patriarchs. This 
curious anecdote is revealed by Theodore Stndites (episL I 38, m Sinnond. Opp. 
torn. V. p. 1319), one of the warmest Iconoclasts of tne age. 

^ifrpof *^ cuc^K. These visite could not be hmocent, since the Aoi^y wpv^Ut (the 
dasnumof fomioatlon) ^wmki^M M aftrW . . . 4r |Uf clr «f Mm^f «^ »f<< ^ «, Ac 
Actio iv. p. 901, Actio v. p. xo^i, — • " 



■ •• —■«•«- 



278 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

and the breakers, of the images; but I am not Inclined to 
pursue with minute diligence the repetition of the same erenta. 
Nicephorus allowed a general liberty of speech and praetioe ; 
and the only virtue of his reign is accused by the monla aa the 
cause of his temporal and eternal perdition. Superstition and 
weakness formed the character of Michael the Firsts but the 
saints and images were incapable of supporting their votary on 
the throne. In the purple, Leo the Fifth asserted the name and 
religion of an Armenian ; and the idols, with their aeditioiia 
adherents, were condemned to a second exile. Their applauae 
would have sanctified the murder of an impious tyrant, but his 
assassin and successor, the second Michael, was tainted from 
his birth with the Phrygian heresies : he attempted to mediate 
between the contending parties ; and the intractable spirit of 
the Catholics insensibly cast him into the opposite scale.^ His 
moderation was guarded by timidity ; but his son Theophilua, 
alike ignorant of fear and pity, was the last and most cruel of 
the Iconoclasts^ The enthusiasm of the times ran strongly 
against them ; and the emperors, who stemmed the torrent, 
were exasperated and punished by the public hatred. Aifcer 
the death of Theophilus, the final victory of the images was 
achieved by a second female, his widow Theodora, whom he 
left the guardian of the empire. Her measures were bold and 
decisive. The fiction of a tardy repentance absolved the &me 
and the soul of her deceased huslMnd ; ^ the sentence of the 
Iconoclast patriarch was commuted from the loss of his eyes 
to a whipping of two hundred lashes ; the bishops trembled, 
».Mq the monks shouted, and the festival of orthodoxy preserves 
the annual memory of the triumph of the images.^ A single 
question yet remained, whether they are endowed with any 
proper and inherent sanctity; it was agitated by the Greeka 
of the eleventh century ; ^ and, as this opinion has the strongest 

>i [Michael was really indifferent in rdigioiB matters ; his policy was lotefatta.] 

"^ [His edict against Imag|e-worship was pablished in A.D. S3S. The chief 
martyrs ^-ere Lazanis the painter, who was scourged and imprisoned, and the 
brothers Theodore and I'heophanes, who were tortured. Veraes were branded on 
the head of Theodore, here known as Gratiot, None of the martyn soflbied 
death.] 

^ [See the De Theoohili hnpenuoris absohitione, in Regd's AnaL Bys.-RuH. 
p. 19 Sifq. (cp. p. X. sqq!).'] 

(^ [The Sunday of Orthodoxy, There It a full stndy on the oooncil of 84a by 
l*h. Uspenski in his Ocherki po ist Vi& obrasannosti, p. 3-88.] 

* See an account of this controversy in the Alexias of Anna Cownsna (L v. p^ 
199 \c. 9]) and Mosbdm (Institut Hist Ecdea p. 371, 37s). 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIBE 279 

recommendation of absurdi^, I am surprised that it was not 
more explicitly decided in the affirmative. In the West, pope 
Hadrian the First, accepted and announced the decrees ojt the 
Nicene assembly^ which is now revered by the Catholics as the 
seventh in rank of the general councils. Rome and Italy were 
docile to the voice of their father ; but the greatest part of the 
Latin Christians were &r behind in the race of superstition. 
The churches of France, Germany, England, and Spain, steered i^iMteM 
a middle course between the adoration and the destruction of S^JS^ 
images, which they admitted into their temples, not as objects SSfSil ^ 
of worship, but as lively and useful memorials of fiuth and 
history. An angry book of controversy was composed and 
published in the name of Charlemagne ; ^ under his authority 
a synod of three hundred bishops was assembled at Frankfort ;^ 
they blamed the fury of the Iconoclasts, but they pronounced 
a more severe censure against the superstition of the Greeks 
and the decrees of their pretended council, which was long 
despised by the barbarians of the West.^ Among them the 
worship of images advanced with a silent and insensible pro- 
gress ; but a large atonement is made for their hesitation and 
delay by the gross idolatry of the ages which precede the re- 
formation, and of the countries, both in Europe and America, 
which are still immersed in the gloom of superstition* 

It was after the Nicene synod, and under the reign of theiiMiM 
pious Irene, that the popes consummated the separation of Rome ffp Aw 
and Italy, by the translation of the empire to the less orthodox < ^^^^ 
Charlemagne. They were compelled to choose between the.^ 
rival nations ; religion was not the sole motive of their choice ; 
and, while they dissembled the fisulings of their friends, they 
beheld, with reluctance and suspicion, the Catholic virtues of 

^ The Libtri Carolini (Spanheim, p. 443-539)* oomposed in the palace or winter 
quarttTS of Charlemagne, at Worms, A.D. 790; and sent by Engebert to pope 
Hadrian 1. who answered them by a grandis et verbosa epistola (Condi, torn. viu. 
P- 1 553)- '^^ Carolines propose lao objections against the Nioeoe mod, and 
such words as these are the flowers of their rhetoric--dementiam priscse GentiUtatis 
obsoletum errorem . • . argumenta insanissima et absurdissima . . . derisione 
dignas naenias, &c. &c. 

^ The assemblies of Charlemagne were political, as well as ecclesiastical ; and 
the three hundred members (NaL Alexander, sec. viil |>. 53), who sat and voted 
at Frankfort, must include not only the bishops, but the abbots, and even the 
principal laymen. 

^ Qui supra sanctissima patres nostri (episcopi et saoerdotes) emnimedis lervi- 
lium et adorationem imaginum renuentes conteropserunt, atque oonsentientes 000- 
demnaverunt (Concil. torn. ix. p. lox ; Canon ii. Franddiird). A polemic muM 
\jt hord^iearted indeed, who does not pity the efibrts of Bsronios, Pagi. Aleander, - 
*4aimbotirg, &c to elude this unlucky sentence, 



280 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

their foes. The diflTerence of langiwge and maimeri had per- 
petuated the enmity of the two capitals; and they were 
idienated from each other by the hostile opposition of seventy 
years. In that schism the Romans had tasted of freedom^ and 
the popes of sovereignty: their snhmission would have ex- 
posed them to the revenge of a jealous tyrant ; and the revolu- 
tion of Italy had betrayed the impotence, as well as the 
tyranny, of the Bysantine court The Greek emperors had 
restored the images, but they had not restored the Calabrian 
estates ^ and the Illyrian diocese,^ which the Iconoclasts had 
torn away from the successors of St. Peter ; and pope Hadrian 
threatens them with a sentence of excommunication unless 
they speedily abjure this practical heresy.*^ The Greeks were 
now orthodox, but their religion might be tainted by the 
breath of the reigning monarch ; the Franks were now con- 
tumacious, but a discerning eye might discern their approach- 
ing conversion from the use, to the adoration, of images. The 
name of Charlemagne was stained by the polemic acrimony of 
his scribes; but the conqueror himself conformed, with the 
temper of a statesman, to the various practice of France and 
Italy. In his four pilgrimages or visits to the Vatican, he 
emtoiced the popes in the communion of friendship and piety ; 
knelt before the tomb, and oonsequentlv before the image, 
of the apostle ; and joined, without scruple, in all the prayers 
and processions of the Roman liturgy. Would prudence or 
gratitude allow the pontifis to renounce their benefiictor.^ 
Had they a right to atienate his gift of the Exarchate ? Had 

^Theophanes (p. 343 [sud A.lf. 60141) specifies thoee of Sicily and Calabria. 
which yielded an annual rent of three talents. and a half of gold (perhaps 700QL 
sterling). Liutprand more pompously enumerates the patrimonies of the Roman 
church in Greece, Judaea, Persia, Mesopotamia, Babylonia, Egypt, and Libya, 
which were detained by the injustice of the Greek emperor {l^^B^ ad. Nioeph- 
orom, in Script Remm lulicarum, torn. iL pars l p. 481 [c. 17]). 

*^The great diocese of the Eastern lUyricum, with ApoUa, Calabria, and Skiiy 
(Thomassm, Discipline de TEglise, torn. I p. 145). Bj the coafe»iQQ of the 
Greeks, the patriarch of Constantinopte had detadied xrom Rome the melzx>* 
politans of Thessaloidca, Athens, Cormth, Nicopolis, and Patras (Loc Holsten. 
Geograph. Sacra, p. 33) ; and his spiritual conquests extended to Naplei and 
Amalphi (Giannone Istoria Civile di NapoU, tom. I p. 517-584. Pagi, JLa 
730, Na iz). [See Manai, Cona 13, 80S; 15, 167.] 

*^ In hoc ostenditur, quia ex ww capitulo ab errore levcnds, in aliis dntibm, in 
eodtm (was it the same?) permaneant errore . . . de diocesi S. R. E. sea de 
patrimoniis iterum increpantes oomraooemus, at si ea restitoere noluerit hereticom 
earn pro binosmodi errore perseveramiA deoememas (Epist Hadrian, ^pae ad 



Carbtam Magnnm, in CondL torn. viiL p. 1598) ; to which he adds a raaaoa, 
loost directly opposite to his ooodoet, that ne p refa red 
ndecffoith to tne goods of this tnunitcMyivtond, 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIRE 281 

they power to abolish his government of Roine ? The title of 
patrician was below the merit and greatness of Charlemagne ; 
and it was onl j by reviving the Western empire that they could 
pay their obligations or secure their establishment. By this 
decisive measure they would finally eradicate the clahns of 
the Greeks ; from the debasement of a provincial town, the 
majesty of Rome would be restored ; the Latin Christians 
would be united under a supreme head, in 'their ancient metro-* 
polls; and the conquerors of the West would receive their 
crown from the successors of St. Peter. The Roman churdi 
would acquire a sealous and respectable advocate ; and, undei' 
the shadow of the Cariovingian power, the bishop might exer- 
cise, with honour and safety, the government of the city.^ 
Before the ruin of paganism in Rome^ the competition for a 

wealthy bishopric had often beeik productive of tumult and : 

bloodshed. The people was less numerous, but the times wereSSTuT^ 
more savage, the prize more important, and the chaii^ of St.AjxMk 
Peter was fiercely disputed by the leading ecclesiastics who 
aspired to the rank of sovereign. The reign of Hadrian the 
First ^ suipasses the measure of past or succeeding ages ; ^ the 
walls of Rome, the sacred patrimony, the ruin of the Lombards 
and the friendship of Charlemagne, were the trophies of his 
&me ; he secretly edified the throne of his successors, and dis- 
played in a narrow space the virtues of a great prince. His 
memoty was revered ; but in the next election, a priest of the [^jk nq 
Lateran (Leo the Third) was preferred to the nephew and the 
fiivourite of Hadrian, whom he had promoted to the first dignities 
of the church. Their acquiescence or repentance disguised, 
above four years, the blackest intention of revenge, till the day 

ts Fontanini contidere the emperors as no more than the advocates of the 
church (advocatus et defensor S. R. £. See Ducaoge, Gloss. Lat torn. I p. 
97). His antagonist, Muratori, reduces the popes to be no more than the eiarchf 
of the emperor. In the more equitable view of Mosheim (Institut HisL Eocles. 
p. 364, 265) thej held Rome under the empire as the most honourable species of 
fief or benefice — premuntur nocte caliginosd, i 

s* His merits and hopes are summed up in an epitaph of thirty-eight verses, of 
which Charlemagne declares himself the author (ConciL torn. viii. p. 590). 
Post patrem lacrymans Carolus haec carmina scripsi. 

Tu mihi dulcis amor, te modo plango pater 

Nomina jungo simul titulis, clarissime, nostra 
Adrianus, Carolus, rex ego, tuque pater. 
The poetry might be supplied by Alcuin ; but the tears, the most glorious tribute, 
can only belong to Charlemagne. 

** Every new pope is admonished— " Sancte Pater, non videbis annos Petri," 
twenty-five years. On the whole series th^ average is about eight years— a short 
hope for an ambitious cardinal 



•4W^'««IHPiMi«>w^ 



I- 



282 THE DECLINE AITD FALL 

of a procession, when a furious band of conspirators dispersed 
the unarmed multitude and assaulted with blows and wounds 
the sacred person of the pope. But their enterprise on his life 
or liberty was disappointed, perhaps by their own confusion 
and remorse. Leo was left for dead on the ground; on his 
revival from the swoon, the effect of his loss of blood, he 
recovered his speech and sight; and this natural event was 
improved to the miraculous restoration of his eyes and tongue, 
of which he had been deprived, twice deprived, by the knife 
of the assassins.^ From his prison, he escaped to the Vatican ; 
the duke of Spoleto hastened to his rescue, Charlemagne 
sympathized in his injury, and in his camp of Paderbom in 
Westphalia accepted or solicited a visit from the Roman pontiff. 
Leo repassed the Alps with a conmiission of counts and Ushops, 
the guards of his safety and the judges of his innocence ; and it 
was not without reluctance that the conqueror of the Saxons 
delayed till the ensuing year the personal discharge of this pious 
office. In his fourth and last pilgrimage, he was received at 
Rome with the due honours of Idng and patrician ; Leo was 
permitted to purge himself by oath of the crimes imputed to 
his charge; his enemies were silenced, and the saollegious 
attempt against his life was punished by the mild and insuffi- 
cient penalty of exile. On the festival of Christmas, the last 
year of the eighth century, Charlemagne appeared in the church 
of St. Peter ; and, to gratify the vanity of Rome, he had ex- 
changed the simple dress of his country for the habit of a 
patrician.*^ After the celebration of the holy mjrsteries, Leo 
suddenly placed a precious crown on his head,^ and the dome 

^ The assurance of Anastasius (torn. iiL pars i. p. 197, 198) is supported by 
the credulity of some French annalists ; but Eginhard and other writers of the 
same age are more natural and sincere. " Unus ei ocuhis paulhilum est laesus,*' 
says John the deacon of Naples (ViL Episcop. Napol. in Soriptoros Muratori, 
tom. u pars ii. p. 313). Theodolphus, a contemporary bishop of Orleuis, obserYBS 
with prudence (1. lii. carm. 3) : — 

Reddita sunt? mirum est ; mirum est auferre nequlsse, 

Est tamen in dubio, hinc mirer an inde magis. 

*"Twice, at the request of Hadrian and Leo» he appeared at Rome-^loD^ 
tunicd et chlamyde araictus, et calceamentis quoque Romano more formatis. 
Kginhard (c. xxiii. p. Z09-113) describes, like Suetonius, the simplicity of his dnss, 
so popular in the nation that, when Charles the Bald returned to France in a 
foreign habit, the patriotic dogs barked at the apostate (Gaillard, Vie de Charle- 
magne, tom. iv. p. 109). 

^See Anastasius (p. 199) and Eginhard (c. xxviil p. XS4-X38). The unction is 
mentioned by Theophanes (p. m [a.!!. 6989]), the oath by Sigonius (from the 
Ondo Romanus), and the popes adoration more antiquorum principum br the 
Annates Dertiniani (Script Murator, torn. I pan iL p. 505) [cpi Chroo. Moiiwc. 
ad. ann. 801]. 



OF THE BOHAN EMPIBE 288 

resounded with the accUmatians of the people, ** Long life and 
victory to Charles^ the most pious Augustus, crowned by God, 
the great and pacific emperor of the Romans ! " The head and 
body of Charlemagne were consecrated by the royal unction ; 
after the example of the Caesars he was saluted or adored by the 
pontiff; his coronation oath represents a promise to maintain 
the £uth and privileges of the church ; and the first-fruits were 
paid in his rich offerings to the shrine of the apostle. In his 
familiar conversation, the emperor protested his ignorance of 
the intentions of Leo, which he would have disappointed by 
his absence on that memorable day. But the preparations of 
the ceremony must have disclosed the secret ; and the journey 
of Charlemagne reveals his knowledge and expectation : he had 
acknowledged that the imperial title was the object of his 
ambition, and a Roman senate had pronounced that it was the 
only adequate reward of his merit and services.®^ 

The appellation of great has been often bestowed and some-adgBMi 
times deserved, but Charlemagne is the only prince in whose ouutaM 
£Bivour the title has been indissolubly blended with the name.^ 
That name, with the addition of saitU^ is inserted in the Roman 
calendar ; and the saint, by a rare felicity, is crowned with the 
praises of the historians and philosophers of an enlightened 
age.^^ His real merit is doubtless enhanced by the barbarism 
of the nation and the times from which he emerged ; but the 

*BThts great event of the translation or restoration of the empire is related and 
discussed by Natalis Alexander (secuL ix. dasert L p. 390-^), Pagi (torn, iii p. 
418)^ Muratori (Annaii d'ltalia, torn. vi. p. 339-352), Sigonius (de Kenio Italiae, 
L iv. Opp. torn. iL p. a^y-asi), Spanheim (de nct& Translatione Imperii), Giannone 
(torn. L p. 395-405), St Marc (Abr^ Cbronologique, tom. L p. 436-450). Gaillard 
(HisL de duirlemagne, torn. ii. p. ^6>446). Almost all these modems have some 
religious or national bias. [The Pope's act was a surprise to Charles, who would 
have wished to become Emperor in some other way — how we know not. There is 
an interesting discussion of the question in Bryoe's Holy Roman Empire, c. 5.] 

* [The question has been raised whether Charlemagne is nothing more than a 
popular equivalent of Carolus Magnus. The fact that magnus was a purely 
literary word (even in the days of Cicero there can be little dotiot iYkBXgmndis was 
the ordinary colloquial word) seemed an objection ; and it was held by Mr. Freeman 
that Charlemagne arose originally from a confusion with Carloman, and was then 
established in use by a false connexion with Carolus Magnus.] 

}0<>By Mably (Observations sur I'Histoire de France), Voltaire (Histoire 
G^n^raie), Robertson (History of Charles V.), and Montesquieu (Esprit des Loix, 
1. xxxu c. 18). In the year 1783. M. Gaillard puUished his Histoire de Char- 
lemagne (in 4 vols, in lamo), which I have freely and profitably used. The 
author is a man of sense and humanity ; and his work is laboured with in- 
dustry and elqnuice. But I have likewise examined the original monuments of 
the reigns of Fepin iuhI Charlemagne, in the fifth tpIiuqc of the Historians of 
France, 



lfa^fci^fclX*»^^I H <»B»l » ■l " ''^' 



284 THE DECLINE AND FAiX 



apparent magnitude of an object is likewise fseSaitfgeA h 
unequal comparison ; and the ruins of Palmjra derive a c 
splendour from the nakedness of the suntMinding d< 
Without injustice to his &me, I may discern some blemisii 
the sanctity and greatness of the restorer of the We 
empire. Of his moral virtues, chastity is not the most 
spicuous ; ^^^ but the public happiness could not be mate; 
injured by his nine wives or conciibines, the various indulg 
oi meaner or more transient amours, the multitude o 
bastards whom he bestowed on the church, and the long ceL 
and licentious manners of his daughters,^^ whom the fiithe] 
suspected of loving With too fend a passion. I shall be sea 
permitted to accuse the ambition of a conqueror ; but, in s 
of equal retribution, the sons of his brother Carloman. 
Merovingian princes of Aqnitain, and the four thousand 
hundred Saxons who were beheaded on the same spot, v 
have something to allege against the justice and human! 
Charlemagne. His treatment of the vanquished Saxons ^^ 
an abuse of the right of conquest; his laws were not 
sanguinary than his arms; and, in the discussion o 
motives, whatever is subtracted ^m bigotry must be imj 
to temper. The sedentary reader is amased by his ince 
activity of mind and body ; and his subjects and enemies 
not less astonished at his sudden presence, at the moi 
when they believed him at the most distant extremity o; 
empire ; neither peace nor war, nor summer nor winter, 
a season of repose : and our fancy cannot easily reoo 
the annals of his reign with the geography of his expedil 
But this activity was a national rather ttuui a personal vii 
the vagrant life of a Frank was spent in the chase, in pO| 

^^^ The vision of Wdtin, composed hf a monk deven years after the de 
Charlemagne, shews him in pucgatory, with a vulture, who is perpetually sr 
the guilty member, while the rest of his bodv, the emblem of his virtuesi w 
and perfect (see Gaillard, tom. iL p. 317-960). 

10s The marriage of Eginhard with Imma, daughter of Charlwiyupe^ is, 
opinion, sufficiently refuted by the frobrvm and suspteio that suliMd the 
damsels, without excepting his own wife (c. ziz. |». 98-xoo, cum Notis Scfam 
The husband must have been too strong sor the historian. 

^o* Besides the massacres and transmlgratioiis, the pain of death was proiM 
against the followiug crimes: x. The refusal of baptism. 9. The false pretc 
baptism. 3. A reuipse to id(>Iatry. 4. The murder of a priest or I 
5. Human sacrifices. & Eating meat in Lent Bat evenr crime mil 
Kxpiated by baptism or penance (Gaillard, ton. iL p. 94x-«47) ; and the Cfa 
Saxons became the friends and equals of the Fhmks (Sirw, Corpoi 
Gcnnanicse. p. 133). 



OF THE^ SOMAN EMPUtE 285 

age, in miliUiyadventimS'; and the joameys of Charlemagne 
were 'diBtaagidsfaed onlj bj a more numerous train and a more 
important purpoie. His military renown must be tried by the 
scnitiny of his tr<>bpB> his enemies^ and his actions. Alexander 
conquered with the arms of Philip, but the trvo heroes who pre- 
ceded Chariemogne • bequeathed him their name, their ex- 
anlplesy and the companions of their victories. At the head of 
his vtteraia aad superior armies, he oppressed the savage or de- 
generate nkittons who were incapable of confederating for their 
oomnion safety; nor did he ever encounter an equal antagonist 
in mmrbers, in discipline, or in arms. The science of war has 
beett lost>and>reviv^ .with the arts of peace ; but his campaigns 
are not illustrated by any siege or battle of singular difficulty 
and' 'success ; and he might behold^ with envy, the Saracen 
trophiea of his grand&ther. After Ms Spanish expedition, his 
feap-gaard was defeated m the Pyrenaean mountains; and the 
soldfeorsy whose sRnation was irretrievable and whose valour was 
useless, might accuse, with their last breath, the want of skill 
or caution of their generaL^^ I touch with reverence the laws 
of Chariemagne, so highly applauded by a respectable judge. 
They compose net a system, but a series, of occasional and 
saiilute edicts, for the correction of abuses, the reformation of 
manners, the economy of his fiurms, the care of his poultry, and 
even the sale of his eggs. He wished to improve the laws and 
the character of the Franks ; and his attempts, however feeble 
and imperfect, are deserving of praise. The inveterate evils of 
the times were suspended or mollified by his government ;i^ 
but in his institutions I can seldom discover the general views 
and the immortal spirit of a legislator, who survives himself for 
the benefit of posterity. The union and stability of his empire 
depended on the life of a single man ; he imitated the oan- 
gerotis practice of dividing his kingdoms among his sons ; and, 
after his numerous diets, the whole constitution was left to 
fluctuate between the disorders of anarchy and despotism. His 
esteem for the piety and knowledge of the clergy tempted him 
to entrust that aspiring order with temporal dominion and dvil 
jurisdiction; and his son Lewis, when he was stripped and 

M^ la this ictiOD, the famous Rutland, Rolando, Orlando, was slain— cum pluri- 
boi aliis. See the truth in Eginhard (c 9, p. 5x-56)t and the fable in an ingenious 
fi ii pphimft oC hL, QaiUsrd (ton^ iii.ji. 474). The Spaniards are too proud oC a 
viMy vidohhisiorr asGnhet to the Gascons, and romance to the Saracens. 

i<* YetSdimfilf. ttota the best authorities, represents the interior disorders sad 
oppression oC his reign (Hist, des Allemands, torn. ii. p. 45-49). 



286 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

degraded by the bishops, might acciue, in some measi 
imprudence of his father. His laws enforced the impo 
tithes, because the daemons had procUimed in the air t 
de&ult of payment had been the cause of the last aci 
The literary merits of Charlemagne are attested by the 
tion of schools, the introduction of arts, the works whi 
published in his name, and his fiuniliar connexion w 
subjects and strangers whom he invited to his court to 
both the prince and people. His own studies were tare 
rious, and imperfect; if he spoke Latin and understood 
he derived the rudiments of knowledge from conversatio 
than from books ; and, in his mature age, the emperor i 
acquire the practice of writing, which every peasant no^ 
in his in&ncy.^^7 The grammar and logic, the music 
tronomy, of the times were only cultivated as the hai 
of superstition; but the curiosity of the human mil 
ultimately tend to its improvement, and the encourage 
learning reflects the purest and most pleasing lustre 
character of Charlemagne.^^ The dignity of his perso 
length of his reign, the prosperity of his arms, the vigoi 
government, and the reverence of distant nations dis 
him from the royal crowd ; and Europe dates a new a 
his restoration of the Western empire, 
iztntof hia That empire was not unworthy of its title ; ^^^ and 

Mipirs 1b 

1^ Omnis homo ex su& proprietate legitimam decimara ad ecclesian 
Experimento enim dididmus, in anno, quo ilia valida fames irrepsit, ebul 
annonas a dsemonibus devoratas et voces exprobationis auditati Such 
cree and assertion of the great Council of Frankfort (canon xxv. torn, i 
Both Selden (Hist, of Tithes ; Works, vol iiL part ii. p. X146) and M 
(Ksprit des L^ix, L xxxi. c. 13) repre sen t Charlemaene as the first UjgUi 
tithes. Such obligations have country gentlemen to bis memory ! 

'^ Eginhard (c 35, p. 119) clearly affirms, tentabat et scribere . . . 
prosp)erc successit labor praepostenis et tero inchoatus. The modems 
verted and corrected this obvious meaning, and the title of M. Gaillard' 
tion (torn. iiL p. 947-060) betrays his partialiw. 

^^ See Gaillard, torn, iil p. 138-126, and Schmidt, tom. IL p. xai-xas 

^<>" M. Gaillard (tom. iiL p. 373) fixes the true stature of Charlemaj 
Dissertation of Marquard Freher ad caloem Eginhard. p. aao, fta) at fi\ 
inches of French, about six feet one inch and a fourth English, measi 
romance writers have increased it to ei^ht feet, and the giant was end 
matchless strength and appetite : at a single stroke of his good iword 
cut asunder an horseman and his horse ; at a single repast he devourc 
two fowls, a quarter of mutton, &c 

>>o See the concise but correct and original work of d'Anville (Etati 
Europe aprte la Chute de TEmpire Romain en Occident, Paris, Z77 
whose map includes the empire or Charlemagne ; the difienent parts are 
by Valesius (Notitia Gallianim) for France, Beretti (Dinortatio Cborogr 
Italy, de Marca (Marca Hispanica) for Spain. For the mkkUe gaogimp 
many, I confess myself poor and deitituta. 



OF THE BOlfAN EMPIBE 287 

the furest kingdoms of Europe were the patrimony or conquest 
of a prince who reimed at the same time in France, Spain, 
Italy, Germany, and Hungary.^^^ I. The Roman province of 
Gaul had been transformed into the name and monarchy of 
France ; but, in the decay of the Merovingian line, its limits 
were contracted by the independence of the Britons and the 
revolt of Aquitain. Charlemagne pursued, and confined, the 
Britons on the shores of the ocean ; and that ferocious tribe, 
whose origin and language are so difierent from the French, 
was chastised by the imposition of tribute, hostages, and peace. 
After a long and evasive contest, the rebellion of the dukes of[A.x»,iH 
Aquitain was punished by the finfeiture of their province, their 
liberty, and their lives. Harsh and rigorous would have been 
such treatment of ambitious governors, who had too faithfully 
copied the mayors of the palace. But a recent discoveiy ^^' has 
proved that these unhappy princes were the last and lawful 
heirs of the blood and sceptre of Clovis, a younger branch, from 
the brother of Dagobert, of the Merovingian house. Their 
ancient kingdom was reduced to the duchy of Gascogne, to the 
counties of Fesenzac and Armagnac, at the foot of the Pyrenees ; 
their race was propagated till the beginning of the sixteenth 
century ; and, after surviving their Girlovingian tyrants, they 
were reserved to feel the injustice, or the &vours, of a third 
dynasty. By the re-union of Aquitain, France was enlarged to 
its present boundaries, with the additions of the Netherlands 
and Spain, as &r as the Rhine. II. The Saracens had been spsia 
expelled fh)m France by the grandfather and father of Charle- 
magne ; but they still possessed the greatest part of Spain, 
from the rock of Gibraltar to the Pyrenees. Amidst their civil 
divisions, an Arabian emir of Saragossa implored his protection [a.d. tt 
in the diet of Paderbom. Charlemagne undertook the expe- 
dition, restored the emir, and, without distinction of faith, im- [a.d. n 
partially crushed the resistance of the Christians, and rewarded 
the obedience and service of the Mahometans. In his absence 

1^^ After a brief relation of his wars and conquests (Vit. Carol c. ^-14), E^n- 
hard recapitulates, in a few words (c. 15), the countries subject to his empire. 
Struvius (Coqpus Hist. German, p. xx8-Z49) has inserted in his Notes the texts of 
the old Chronicles. 

11* Of a charter granted to the monastery of Alaon (A.D. 845) by Charles the 
Bald, which deduces this royal pedigree. I doubt whetner some subsequent links 
of the ixth and xth centuries are eatially firm ; yet the whole is approved and de- 
fended by M. Gaillard (torn, il p. 60-81, 203-906), who aflSrms that the family of 
Montesquieu (not of the president de Montesquieu) is dftcended, in the female fine, 
from Clotaire and Clovis— on innocent pretension 1 



288 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

he instituted the Spanish march,^^^ which extended from the 
Pyrenees to the river £bro ; Barcelona was the residence of the 
French governor ; he possessed the counties of RounUum and 
Catalonia; and the infant kingdoms of Navarre and Arragon were 

toty subject to his jurisdiction. III. As king of the Lombards, and 

patrician of Rome, he reigned over the greatest part of Italy,^^^ 

JLD. m] a tract of a thousand miles from the Alps to the borders of 
Calabria. The duchy of Beneoenlum, a Lombard fief, had spread, 
at the expense of the Greeks, over the modem kingdom of 
Naples. But Arrechis, the reigning duke, refused to be in- 
cluded in the slavery of his country; assumed the independent 
title of prince ; and opposed his sword to the Carlovingian 
monarchy. His defence was firm, his submission was not in- 
glorious, and the emperor was content with an easy tribute, the 
demolition of his fortresses, and the acknowledgment, on his 
coins, of a supreme lord. The artful flatteiy of his son Grimoald 
added the appellation of £ftther, but he asserted his dignity with 
prudence, and Beneventum insensibly escaped from the French 
yoke.^^^ IV. Charlemagne was the first who united GrsaMAirv 
under the same sceptre. The name of Oriental France is pre- 
served in the circle of Franconia ; and the people of Heeee and 
Thuringia were recently incorporated with the victors by the 
conformity of religion and government. The Aletnamd, so for- 
midable to the Romans, were the faithful vassals and confede- 
rates of the Franks ; and their country was inscribed within the 
modem limits of Alsace, Snnbia, and Switzerland. The Banarkms, 
with a similar indulgence of their laws and manners, were less 

JLD.TM] patient of a master; the repeated treasons of Tasillo justified 
the abolition of her hereditary dukes ; and their power was 
shared among the counts, who judged and guarded that impor- 
tant frontier. But the north of Germany, from the Rhine and 

MJD, nMM] beyond the Elbe, was still hostile and Pagan ; nor was it till 
after a war of thirty-three years that the Saxons bowed undtf 
the yoke of Christ and of Charlemagne. The idols and their 
votaries were extirpated ; the foundation of eight bishoprics, of 
Munster, Osnaburgh, Paderbom, and Minden, of Bremen, Ver- 

lu The governors or counts of the Spanish march revolted from Charies the 
Simple about the year 900 ; and a poor pittance, the Roosillon. has been r e co ffered 
in 1642 by the kings of France (Longuerue, Description de la France, torn. L pi 
800-222). Yet the Rousillon contains 1^900 sabjects, and annually pays 

2,600,000 livres (Necker, Administration des Finances, torn. L p. 278, 279) ; 1 

people perhaps, and doubtless more money, than the march of Cbariemacne. 

11* Schmidt, Hist des Allemands, torn. iL p. 200^ Ac. 

^ See Giannone, torn. i. p. 374* 375, and the Annals of Moratori. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 289 

den, Hildesheim^ and Halberstadt, define, on either side of the 
Weser, the bounds of ancient Saxony ; these episcopal seats 
were the first schools and cities of that savage land ; and the 
religion and humanity of the children atoned, in some degree, 
for the massacre of the parents. Beyond the Elbe, the SUm, or 
Sclavonians, of similar manners and various denominations,^^^ 
overspread the modem dominions of Prussia, Poland, and Bo- 
hemia, and some transient marks of obedience have tempted the 
French historian to extend the empire to the Baltic and the 
Vistula. The conquest or conversion of those countries is of a 
more recent age ; but the first union of Bohemia ¥ath the Ger-L 
manic body may be justly ascribed to the arms of Charlemagne. SPSbCq 
V. He retaliated on the Avars, or Huns of Pannonia, the some >nfwr 
calamities which they had infiicted on the nations. Their rings, 
the wooden fortifications which encircled their districts and 
villages, were broken down by the triple effort of a French 
army, that was poured into their country by land and water, 
through the Carpathian mountains and along the plain of the 
Danube. After a bloody conflict of eight years, the loss of some lA^ ni-w 
French generals was avenged by the slaughter of the most noble 
Huns ; the relics of the nation submitted ; the royal resideniSe 
of the chagan was left desolate and unknown ; and the treasures, 
the rapine of two hundred and fifty years, enriched the vio- 
torioos troops or decorated the churches of Italy and GauL^f 
After the reduction of Pannonia, the empire of Charlemagne 
was bounded only by the conflux of the Danube with the Theiss 
and the Save ; the provinces of Istria, Libumia, and Dalinatia 
were an easy, though unprofitable, accession ; and it was aa 
effect of his moderation that he left the maritime cities under 
the real or nominal sovereignty of the Greeks. But these difh 
tant possessions added more to the reputation than to the power 
of the Latin emperor ; nor did he risk any ecclesiastical founda- 
tions to reclaim the barbarians from their vagrant life and idol- 

U0 [It is interesting to observe on the map of Europe in the 8th and oth centuries 
that a strong serriea array of ^avonic peoples reached from the Baltic to the 
Ionian and Aegean seas. At the end of the 9th century the Magyars made a 
permanent brea^ in the line.] 

U7 Quot prselia in eo gesta ! quantum sanguinis effusum sit I Testatum vacua 
omni habitatione Pannonia, et locus in quo regia Cagani fait ita desertus^ ut n^ 
vestigium quidem humanas habitationis appareat. Tota in hoc hello Hunnonim 
nob^litas periit, tota gloria decidit. omnis pecunia et congesti ex longo tempore 
thesauri mrepti sunt. Eginhard, a 15. [The Avaric war strictly lasted six years, 
A.D. 791-61. Gibbon counts eight jrears (nine ?) by dating the outbreak of tlie waf 
ivith the invasion of Friuli and Beneventum by the Avars in A.D. 788.] 

VOL. V. 19 



290 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

atrous worship. Some canals of communication between the 
rivers, the Sa6ne and the Meuse, the Rhine and the Danube, 
were £untly attempted.^^^ Their execution would have vivified 
the empire ; and more cost and labour were often wasted in the 
structure of a cathedraL 

If we retrace the outlines of this geographical picture, it will 
be seen that the empire of the Franks extended, between east 
and west, from the Ebro to the Elbe or Vistula ; between the 
north and south, from the duchy of Beneventum to the river 
Eyder, the perpetual boundary of Germany and Denmaric The 
personal and political importance of Charlemagne was magnified 
by the distress and division of the rest of Europe. The islands 
of Great Britain and Ireland were disputed by a crowd of princes 
of Saxon or Scottish origin ; and, after the loss of Spain, the 
Christian and Grothic kingdom of Alphonso the Chaste was 
confined to the narrow range of the Asturian mountains. These 
petty sovereigns revered the power or virtue of the Carlovingian 
monarch, implored the honour and support of his alliance, and 
stvled him their common parent, the sole and supreme emperor 
of the West.^^^ He maintained a more equal interooorse with 
the caliph Harun al Rashid,^^ whose dominion stretched from 
Africa to India, and accepted from his ambassadors a tent, a 
water-clock, an elephant, and the keys of the Holy Sepoldffe. 
It is not easy to conceive the private friendship of a Frank and 
an Arab, who were strangers to each other's person, and lan- 
guage, and religion ; but their public correspondence was 
founded on vanity, and their remote situation left no room for 
a competition of interest. ^'^ Two-thirds of the Western empire 

^iB The junction of the Rhine and Danube was undertaken only for the tervioe of 
the Pannonian war (Gaillard, Vie de Charlemasfne, torn. ii. p. 31^31$)- The canal, 
which would have been only two leagues in len^, and of which some traces are 
still extant in Swabia, was interrupted fay excessive rains, military avocationa, and 
superstitious fears (Schsepflin, Hist, de I'Acad^mie des Inscriptions, torn. zviiL pw 
356. Molimina fluviorum, &c. junjraidorum, ^ 59^)> 

11' See Eginhard, a x6, and Gaillard, torn. u. p. 361-185, who mentions, with a 
loose reference, the intercourse of Charlemacne and Egbot, the em p eror's gift of 
his own sword, and the modest answer of his Saxon disdple. The anecdote, if 
genuine, would have adorned our English histories. [On the relations of Charles 
with England, see Palgrave, English (^mmonwealth, i. 484 sff, /Freeman, Nonnan 
Conquest, L Appendix D.] 

i^The corropondenoe is mentioned only in the French annals* and the 
Orientals are i^oiant of the caliph's firiendsiiip for the CVbii/MJs rfy a poliie 
appellation, which Harun bestows on the empoor of the Greeks. 

^^ [It lay in the nature of things (as Mr. Freeman was fond of j»5W"f'»g out) 
that thie Western Emperor should be hostile to his nei^boor the Emir (afterwards 
Caliph) of Cordova and friendly to the Caliph of Bagdad, while his rival the 
Eastern Emperor was hostile to the Caliph of Bagdad and friendly to the distant 
ruler of Cordova.] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 291 

of Rome were subject to Charlemagne, and the deficiency was 
amply supplied by his command of the inaccessible or invincible 
nations of Germany. But in the choice of his enemies we 
may be reasonably surprised that he so often preferred the pov- 
erty of the north to the riches of the south. The three-and-thirty 
campaigns laboriously consumed in the woods and morasses 
of Grermany would have sufficed to assert the amplitude of 
his title by the expulsion of the Greeks from Italy and the 
Saracens from Spain. The weakness of the Greeks would 
have ensured an easy victory; and the holy crusade against 
the Saracens would have been prompted by glory and revenge, 
and loudly justified by religion and policy. Perhaps, in his ex* 
peditions beyond the Rhine and the Elbe, he aspired to save 
his monarchy ^m the fiite of the Roman empire, to disarm 
the enemies of civilised society, and to eradicate the seed of 
future emigrations. But it has been wisely observed that, in a 
light of precaution, all conquest must be ineffectual, unless it 
oould be universal ; since the increasing circle must be involved 
in a lai^^ sphere of hostility. ^^ The subjugation of Germany 
withdrew the veil which had so long concealed the continent 
or islands of Scandinavia from the knowledge of Europe, and 
awakened the torpid courage of their barbarous natives. The 
fiercest of the Saxon idolaters escaped from the Christian tyrant 
to their brethren of the north ; the ocean and Mediterranean 
were covered with their piratical fleets ; and Charlemagne be- 
held with a sigh the destructive progress of the Normans, who, 
in less than seventy years, precipitated the fall of his race and 
monarchy. 

Had the pope ana the Romans revived the primitive con*HisiM8«- 
stitution, the titles of emperor and Augustus were conferred on^».*a 
Charlemagne for the term of his life ; and his successors, on eachniaW 
vacancy, must have ascended the throne by a formal or tacit tar 
eleeticm. But the association of his son Lewis the Pious asserts 
the independent right of monarchy and conquest, and the em- 
peror seems on this occasion to have foreseen and prevented 
the latent claims of the clergy. The royal youth was com-aji. 
manded to take the c^;t)wn from the altar, and with his own 
hands to place it on his head, as a gift which he held from God, 
his &ther, and the nation. ^^ The same ceremony was repeated, 

^* Gaillard, torn. ii. p. 361-365, 471-476, 49a. I have borrowed his judicious 
remarlES 00 Charlemagne's plan of cx>n(}uest, and the judicious distniction of his 
enemies of thefintand the second emcetnie (torn, it p. 184, ^09, ftc). 

^^ Thegan, the biographer of Lewis, relates this coronation ; and Baronius has 



292 



THE DECLINE AND FALL 



UmiMtbm 
Plovf. AJD, 



iLD.8IMN 



UwlalL 
A-D.MMn 



[A.D. Mi] 



DlvMoaof 

tiM 

A.D. 



though with less energy, in the subsequent assodatioiiB of 
Lothaire and Lewis the Second ; the Carlovingian sceptre was 
transmitted from &ther to son in a lineal descent of four 
generations ; and the ambition of the popes was reduced to the 
empty honour of crowning and anointing these hereditary 
princes who were already invested with their power and 
dominion. The pious Lewis survived his brothers, and em- 
braced the whole empire of Charlemagne ; but the nations and 
the nobles, his bishops and his children, quickly discerned that 
this mighty mass was no longer inspired by the same aoul ; and 
the foundations were undermined to the centre, while the ex- 
ternal surface was yet fair and entire. After a war, or battle, 
which consumed one hundred thousand Franks, the empire 
was divided by treaty between his three sons, who had violated 
every filial and fraternal duty. The kingdoms of Grermany and 
France were for ever separated ; the provinces of Gaul, between 
the Rhone and the Alps, the Meuse and the Rhine, were 
assigned, with Italy, to the Imperial dignity of Lothaire. In 
the partition of his share, Lorraine and Aries, two recent and 
transitory kingdoms, were bestowed on the younger children ; 
and Lewis the Second, his eldest son, was content with the 
realm of Italy, the proper and sufficient patrimony of a l^^wi!*" 
emperor. On his death without any male issue, the vacant 
throne was disputed by his uncles and cousins, and the popes 
most dexterously seised the occasion of judging the claims and 
merits of the candidates, and of bestowing on the moat obse- 
quious or most liberal the Imperial office of advocate of the 
Roman church. The dregs of the Carlovingian race no longer 
exhibited any symptoms of virtue or power, and the ridiculous 
epithets of the bald^ the stammerer^ the fat^ and the mmple, 
distinguished the tame and uniform features of a crowd of ktaigs 
alike deserving of oblivion. By the &ilure of the coUatend 
branches, the whole inheritance devolved to Charles the Fat, 
the last emperor of his fiunily ; his insanity authorised the 
desertion of Germany, Italy, and France ; he was deposed in a 
diet, and solicited his daily bread from the rebels, by whose 
contempt his life and liberty had been spared. Acooiditig to 
the measure of their force, the governors, the bishops, and the 



honestly transcribed it (A.D. 8x3, Na xa, ftc ; see Gaillard, torn. ii. Pl Sa6» 507, 
508), howsoever adverse to the daims of the popes. For the series 01 tfie Gano- 
vineians, see the historians of France, Italy, and Germany; PfefleU .Sgiwwfaii, 
VeUy, Muratori, and even Voltaire, wiioie pictuRS are sometonwt ji»t and al«S|S 
pleasing. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 293 

lords usurped the fragments of the filing empire; and some 
preference was shewn to the female or illegitimate blood of 
Charlemagne. Of the greater part the title and possession 
were alike doubtfiil, and the merit was adequate to the con* 
tracted scale of their dominions. Those who could appear with 
an army at the gates of Rome were crowned emperors in the 
Vatican ; but their modesty was more frequently satisfied with 
the appellation of kings of Italy ; and the whole term of 
sevens-four years may be deemed a vacancy, from the abdi- 
cation of Charles the Fat to the establishment of Otho theiouo] 
First. 

Otho 1^ was of the noble race of the dukes of Saxony ; and, ogoiay 
if he truly descended from Witikind, the adversary and prose^NstwMMj 
lyte of Charlemagne, the posterity of a vanquished people was 8?^^ 
exalted to reign over their conquerors. His &ther Henry the tSSIm. &; 
Fowler was elected, by the suffrage of the nation, to save and 
institute the kingdom of Germany. Its limits ^^ were enlarged 
on every side by his son, the first and greatest of the Otbos. 
A portion of Gaul to the west of the Rhine, along the banks of 
the Meuse and the Moselle, was assigned to the Germans, by 
whose blood and language it has been tinged since the time of 
Cssar and Tacitus. Between the Rhine, the Rhone, and the 
Alps, the successors of Otho acquired a vain supremacy over the 
broken kingdoms of Burgundy and Aries. ^^^ In the north, 
Christianity was propagated by the sword of Otho, the conqueror 
and apostle of the Slavic nations of the £lb& and Oder ; the 
marches of Brandenburg and Sleswick were fortified with Ger* 
man colonies ; and the king of Dennuu*k, the dukes of Poland 
and Bohemia, confessed themselves his tributary vassals. At 
the head of a victorious army, he passed the Alps, subdued 
the kingdom of Italy, delivered the pope, and for ever fixed the 

1^ He was the son of Otho, the son of Ludolph, in whose favour the duchy ot 
Saxony had been instituted, a.d. 858. Ruotgenis, the biographer of a St Bruno 
[brother of Otto the Great] (Bibliot. Bunavianas Catalog, torn. iii. voL ii. p. 679), 
gives a splendid character of his family. Atavorum atavi usque ad hominum 
memoriam lomnes nobilissimi ; nullus in eorum stirpe ignotus, nuUus degener 
facile reperitur (apud Struvium, Corp. Hist. German, p. 316). [The Vit. Brunonis 
is edited separately by Pertz in the Scr. rer. Germ.. 18^1. 1 Yet Giuadling (in 
Henrico Aucupe) is not satisfied of his descent from Witikind. 

^* See the treatise of Conringius (de Finibus Imperii Germanici Franoofurt, 
1680, in 4to) : be rejects the extravagant and improper scale of the Roman and 
Carlovingian empires, and discusses, with moderation, the rights of Germany, her 
vassals, and her neighbours. 

'^ [The kin^;dom of Aries, or Lower Burgundy, was founded in 879 by Boso ot 
Vienne ; the kmgdom of Upper Burgundy (between Jura and the Pennine Alps) in 
888 by Count Rudolf, the Guelf. The two kingdoms were united in 953, and this 
kingdom of Aries was annexed to the Empire under Conrad II. a hundred years 
hter (1033).] 



tlMWwi- 
ntmA 



294 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

Imperial crown in the name and nation of Grermany, From 
that memorable sra, two maxims of public jurisprudence were 
introduced by force, and ratified by time : I. 7'hat the prince 
who was elected in the German diet acquired from that instant 
the subject kingdoms of Italy and Rome; II. But that he 
might not legally assume the titles of emperor and Augustus, 

till he had received the crown fWmi the hands of the Roman 

pontiff.127 

The Imperial dignity of Charlemagne was announced to the 
East by the alteration of his style ; and, instead of saluting his 
£Eithers, the Greek emperors, he presumed to adopt the more 
equal and familiar appellation of brother. ^^ Perhaps in his 
connexion with Irene he aspired to the name of husband : his 
embassy to Constantinople spoke the language of peace and 
friendship, and might conceal a treaty of marriage with that 
ambitious princess, who had renounced the most sacred duties 
of a mother. The nature, the duration, the probable conse- 
quences of such an union between two distant and diasonant 
empires, it is impossible to conjecture; but the unanimous 
silence of the Latins may teach us to suspect that the report 
was invented by the enemies of Irene, to charge her with the 
guilt of betraying the church and state to the strangers of the 
West.^^ The French ambassadors were the spectators, and 
had nearly been the victims, of the conspiracy of Nicephorus, 
and the national hatred. Constantinople was exasperated by 
the treason and sacrilege of ancient Rome : A proverb, " That 
the Franks were good friends and bad neighbours," was in 
every one's mouth ; but it was dangerous to provoke a neighbour 
who might be tempted to reiterate, in the church of St. Sophia, 
the ceremony of his Imperial coronation. After a t€»ious 
journey of circuit and delay, the ambassadors of Nicephorus 
found him in his camp, on the banks of the river Sala ; and 

^^ The power of custom forces me to number Conrad I. and Henry L, the 
Fowler, in tne list of emperors, a title which was never assumed by those kings of 
Germany. The Italians, Muratori for instance, are more scrupulous and correct, 
and only reckon the princes who have been crowned at Rome. 

1* Invidiam tamen suscepti nominis (C. P. imperatoribus super hoc indignan- 
tibus) magnA tulit patientift, vicitque eorum contumaciam . . . mittendo ad eos 
crebffBS legationes, et in epistolis fratres eos appellanda ^nhard, c. aS, pi xsS. 
Perhaps it was on their account that, like Augustus, he ameted some rdnctanoe 
to receive the empire. 

i*The<^hanes speaks ot the coronation and unction of Charles, Kdl^wAAoc 
(Chronograph, p. m [a.m. 6989]), and of his treaty of marriage whh Irene (pi 40a 
f A.M. 6394]), which IS imknown to the Latins. Qaillard relates his trmnsactions 
with the Greek empire (torn. iU ^ 446-468)1 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 295 

Cbarleniagne afiected to confound their vanity by displaying in 
a Franconian village the pomp, or at least the pride, of the 
Byzantine palace. ^^ The Greeks were successively led through 
four halls of audience ; in the first, they were ready to fidl 
prostrate before a splendid personage in a chair of state, till he 
informed them that he was only a servant, the constable, or 
master of the horse, of the emperor. The same mistake and 
the same answer were repeated in the apartments of the count 
palatine, the steward, and the chamberlain ; and their im- 
patience was gradually heightened, till the doors of the presence- 
chamber were thrown open, and they beheld the genuine 
monarch, on his throne, enriched with the foreign luxury which 
he despised, and encircled with the love and reverence of his 
victorious chie£sk A treaty of peace and alliance was concluded 
between the two empires, and the limits of the East and West 
were defined by the right of present possession. But the 
Greeks ^^^ soon rorgot this humiliating equality, or remembered 
it onlv to hate the barbarians by whom it was extorted. During 
the short union of virtue and power, they respectfully saluted 
the auguit Charlemagne with the acclamations of hakletu and 
emperor of the Romans. As soon as these qualities were 
separated in the person of his pious son, the Byzantine letters 
were inscribed, '* To the king, or, as he styles himself, the 
emperor, of the Franks and Lombards ". When both power 
and virtue were extinct, they despoiled Lewis the Second of 
his hereditary title, and, with the barbarous appellation of rex 
or rega^ degraded him among the crowd of Latin princes. His 
reply ^^ is expressive of his weakness ; he proves, with some 
learning, that both in sacred and profane history the name of 
king is synonymous with the Greek word batileus ; i^ at Con* 
stantinople, it were assumed in a more exclusive and imperial 
sense, he claims firom his ancestors, and from the pope, a just 
participation of the honours of the Roman purple. The same 

1*^ GaiUard very properly observes that this pageant was a farce suitable to 
children only, but that it was indeed represented in the presence, and for the 
benefit, of children of a larger growth. 

>A Compare, in the original texts collected by Pagi (torn. iiL A.D. Sis. Na 7, 
A.D. 834, No. 10. &C. ), the contrast of Charlemagne and his son : To the former 
the ambassadors of Michael (who were indeed di^vowed) more suo, id est, Hngui 
Graeca laudes dixerunt, imperatorem eum et Ba0-(Ac« appellantes ; to the latter, 
Vocaio imperatori Francarum, &c. [Gasquet. L'empire bysantin et la monarchie 
franque, x888.] 

1** See the epistle, in Paraiipomena, of the anon3anous writer of Salerno (Script. 
ItaL torn, il pars ii p. 243-354, c. 93-107), whom Baronius (a.d. 871, Na 51-71) 
mistook for Erchempert, when he transcribed it in his Annals. 



K- 



296 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

controveny was revived in the reign of the Othos ; and their 
ambassador describes, in lively coloursy the insolence of the 
Byxantine court ^'^ The Greeks affected to despise the poverty 
and ignorance of the Franks and Saxons ; and, in their last 
decline, refused to prostitute to the kings of Germany the title 
of Roman emperors. 
rtfc w uy ^r These emperors, in the election of the popes, continued to 
«5j^* exercise the powers which had been assumed by the Gothic 
99^ A.D. and Grecian princes ; and the importance of this prerogative 
increased with the temporal estate and spiritual jurisdiction of 
the Roman church. In the Christian aristocracy, the principal 
members of the clergy still formed a senate to assist the ad- 
ministration, and to supply the vacancy, of the bishop. Rome 
was divided into twenty-eight parishes, and each pariah was 
governed by a cardinal-priest, or presbyter, a title which, how- 
ever common and modest in its origin, has aspired to emulate 
the purple of kings. Their number was enlarged by the associa- 
tion of the seven deacons of the most considerable hospitals, 
the seven palatine judges of the Lateran, and some dignitaries 
of the church. This ecclesiastical senate was directed by the 
seven cardinal-bishops of the Roman province, who were less 
occupied in the suburb dioceses of Ostia, Porto, Velitrae, Tns- 
culum, Prseneste, Tibur, and the Sabines, than by their weekly 
service in the Lateran, and their superior share in the honoun 
and authority of the apostolic see. On the death of the pope, 
these bishops recommended a successor to the suffrage of the 
college of cardinals,^^ and their choice was ratified or rejected 
by the applause or clamour of the Roman people. But the 
election was imperfect ; nor could the pontiff be legally conse- 
crated till the emperor, the advocate of the church, had 
graciously signified his approbation and consent The royal 
commissioner examined, on the spot, the form and freedom 
of the proceedings ; nor was it till after a previous scrutiny into 

>** Ipse enim vos, non imperatorem, id est BcotAia sak linguA, sed ob indigna- 
tionem 'Pihr«i id est regem nostril vocabat (Liutprand. in \jsgM. in Script. ItaL 
torn. iL pars i. p. 479 [c. 3]). The pope bad exhorted Nicephorus, emperor of the 
Greeks, to make peace with Otho, the august e m peror of the Romana^'-q^am in- 
scriptio secundum Grsecos peocatrix et temeraria . . . iroperatorem inquiunt, 
MHtversalem, RomatufrumfAugttstum, magnwm, solum, Nioepbonmi(p. 486 [c 47]. 

iMfhe origin and progress of the title of cardinal may be found in Thomaasn 
(Discipline de I'Eglise, torn. i. p. 126X-X298), Muratori (Antiquitat Italiae Medn 
iEvi, torn. vi. dissert IxL p. i59-x8a), and Mosheim (Institut riist. Ecdes. p. 34s- 
3^7), who accurately remarks the forms and changes of the election. The caixlinal- 
Dishops, so highly exalted by PMer Damianus. are sunk to a levd with the rest of 
the sacred coliege. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 297 

he qualifiofttiom of the ouididates that he accepted an oath 

»f fiaelity and confinned the donationa which had sucoeadTely 

enriched the patrimony of St. Peter. In the frequent aehiams, 

he rival dauns were sabmitted to the aentenee of the emperor ; 

.nd in a synod of bishops he presumed to judge, to condemn, 

nd to punish the crimes of a guilty pontiC Otho the First im- 

losed a treaty on the senate and people, who engaged to prefer 

he candidate most acceptable to his majesty ; ^^ his successors 

nticipated or prevented their choice ; they bestowed the Roman 

benefice, like the bishoprics of Cologne or Bamberg, on their 

hancellors or preceptors ; and, whatever might be the merit of 

I Frank or Sajum, his name sufficiently attests the interpoai- 

ion of foreign power. These acts of prerogative were most 

peciously excused by the vices of a popular elecstion. The 

ompetitor who had been excluded by the cardinals appealed 

o the passions or avarice of the multitude; the Vatican and 

he Lateran were stained with blood ; and the most powerful 

enators, the marquises of Tuscany and the counts of Tusculum, 

eld the apostolic see in a long and disgraceful servitude. The 

Oman pontifBi of the ninth and tenth centuries were insulted, 

ifHisoned, and murdered by their t3rTants ; and such was their 

digenee after the loss and usurpation of the ecclesiastical 

trimonies, that they could neitner support the state of a 

inoe nor exercise the charity of a priest ^^ The influence of 

sister prostitutes, Marozia and Theodora, was founded on 

ir wealth and beautv, their political and amorous intrigues : 

most strenuous of their lovers were rewarded with the 

oan mitre, and their reign ^^ may have suggested to the 

Firmiter iurantes, nunquam se papain decturos aut ordinaturos, praeter 
asmn et dectionem Otbonis et filu sui (Liutprand, L vi. c. 6, p. 47a [Hist 
is, c 21]). This important concession may either supply or confirm the 
* of the clergy and pieople of Rome, so fiercely rejected by Baronius, Pkgi, 

matori (a.d. 964), and so well defended and explamed by Sl Marc (Abrte^. 

. p. 808-816. tom. iv. p. 1x67-1 18O. Consult tnat historical critic, and Uie 
of Muratori, for the election and confirmation of each pope. 

lie oppression and vices of the Roman church in the xth century are 

r painted in the history and legation of Liutprand (see p. ^40, 4150, 471-^76, 

), and it is whimsical enough to observe Muratori tempenng the invectives 

nius against the popes. But these popes had bem chosen, not by the 

{, but ay lay-patrons. 

e time of pope Joan {papissa Joanna) is placed somewhat earlier than 
I or Marosia ; and the two years of her imaginary reign are forcibly in- 
tween Leo IV. and Benedict III. But the contemporary Anastasius 

4y links the death of I^eo and the elevation of Benedict (iluoo, mox, p. 
the accurate chronology of Pagi, Muratori, and Leibnits fixes both 

be year 857. 



298 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

darker ages ^^ the hhke i>» of a female pope.^^ The bastf 
son, the grandson, and the great-grandson ^^^ of Maiosia, a n 
genealogy, were seated in the chair of St. Peter, and it was 
the age of nineteen years that the second of these became 1 
head of the Latin church. His youth and manhood were o 
suitable complexion; and the nations of pilgrims could b 
testimony to the charges that were urged against him in 
Roman synod, and in the presence of Otho the Great. 
John XII. had renounced the dress and decencies of his p 
fession, the soldier may not perhaps be dishonoured by the wi 
which he drank, the blood that he spilt, the flames that 
kindled, or the licentious pursuits of gaming and hunting. I 
open simony might be the consequence of distress; and 
blasphemous invocation of Jupiter and Venus, if it be tr 
could not possibly be serious. But we read with some surpi 
that the worthy grandson of Marozia lived in public adulti 
with the matrons of Rome ; that the Lateran palace was tuni 
into a school for prostitution ; and that his rapes of virgins a 
widows had deteired the female pilgrims from visiting the Um 
of St. Peter, lest, in the devout act, they should be violal 
by his successor. i''^ The Protestants have dwelt with malici< 

'"The advocates for pope Joan produce one hundred and fifty wiUwaes, 
rather echoes, of the xivth, xvth, and xvith centuries. Th^r bear testim 
against themselves and the legend, by multiplying the prooi that so con 
a story musi have been repeated by writers of^ everv descnption to whom it 
known. On those of the ixth and xth centuries the recent event would li 
flashed with a double force. Would Photius have spared such a reproach ? Cc 
Liutprand have missed such scandal ? It is scarcely worth while to diacias 
various readings of Martinus Polonus, Sigebert of Gemblours, or even Maria 
Scotus ; but a most palpable forgery is the passage of pope Joan, which has b 
foisted into some Mss. and editions of the Roman Anastasius. TThe legwc 
Pope Joan has been finally dealt with by Dollinger in his PabstfaUln des Mi\ 
alters, p. i sqq. She has been made the heroine of a clever Greek novel by 

Rhoides, i) ironcrcra 'Iwayra.1 

** As false, it deserves tnat name ; out I would not oronouDoe it incredi 
Suppose a famous French chevalier of our own times to nave been bom in Itj 
and educated in the church, instead of the army ; her merit or fortime m^^ b 
raised her to St. Peter's chair ; her amours woiud have been natural ; her delii 
in the streets unlucky, but not improbable. 

140 Till the Reformation, the tale was repeated and believed without ofles 
and Joan's female statue long occupied her place among the popes in the catba 
of Sienna (Pagi, Critica, tom. iil p. 6a4^5a6). She has been amuhilatcd by 
learned Protestants, Bkmdel and Bayle (Dictionnaire Critique, Papbsse, Poloi 
Blondel) ; but their brethren were scandalized by this equitable aiid gena 
criticism. SpoiUieim and Lenfant attempt to save this poor engine of oootrova 
and even Mosheim condescends to cherisn some doubt and suspicioa (pi aS^), 

iMaQohn XI. was the legitimate, not the bastard, son of Maracia ; aod it ii 
true that her great-grandson was Pope.] 

1^^ Lateranense palatium . . . prostibulum meretncum. . . . Tcttis oom 
gentium, prseterquam [Ug. praeterj Romanorum, absentia nraliemm, qiue 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 299 

pleasure on these characters of antichrist ; but to a philoscn^iic 
eye the vices of the clergy are &r less dangerous than tneir 
virtues. After a long series of scandal, the apostolic see wasag 




reformed and exalted by the austerity and seal of Gregory VII. ^ 
That ambitious monk devoted his lire to the execution of two 
projects. I. To fix in the college of cardinals the freedom and 
independence of election, and for ever to abolish the right or 
usurpation of the emperors and the Roman people. II. To 
bestow and resume the Western empire as a fief or benefice ^^ 
of the church, and to extend his temporal dominion over the 
kings and kingdoms of the earth. After a contest of fifty yean, 
the first of these designs was accomplished by the firm suf^rt 
of the ecclesiastical order, whose liberty was connected with 
that of their chie£ But the second attempt, though it was 
crowned ¥ath some partial and apparent success, has been 
vigorously resisted by the secular power, and finally extinguished 
by the improvement of human reason. 

In the revival of the empire of Rome, neither the bishop norAat^ 
the people could bestow on Charlemagne or Otho the provinces tai 
which were lost, as they had been won, by the chance of arms. 
But the Romans were free to choose a master for themselves ; 
and the powers which had .been delegated to the patrician were 
irrevocably granted to the French and Saxon emperors of the 
West. The broken records of the times ^^^ preserve some 
remembrance of their palace, their mint, their tribunal, their 
edicts, and the sword of justice, which, as late as the thirteenth 
centuiy, was derived from Csesar to the prsefect of the city.^^ 
Between the arts of the popes and the violence of the people, 
this supremacy was crushed and annihilated. Content with the 
titles of emperor and Augustus, the successors of Charlemagne 
neglected to assert this local jurisdiction. In the hour of pros- 
nun apostolonim limina oiiandi grati& timent visere. cum nonnullas ante dies 
rncos hiinc audierint conjugatas viduas, virgines vi oppressisse (Liutprand, Hist, 
▼i. c 6. p. 471 [Hist. Ott. c. 4]. See the whole afiGur of John XII. p. 471-476). 

i^A new example of the mischief of equivocation is the beneJUium (Docange, 
torn. L p. 617, &c. ), which the pope conferred on the emperor Frederic I. , since the 
Latin word may signify either a legal fief, or a simple favour, an obligation (we 
want the word Uenfait). See Schmidt, Hist, des Allemands, tom. iil p. 393-408. 
Pfeffel. Abr^ Chronologique, tom. i. p. 229, 396, 317, 324, 420, 430, 500, 505, 
509. &C. 

i^For the history of the emperors in Rome ano itaiy, see Sigonius, de Regno 
Italiae, Opp. torn, ii., with the Notes of Saxius, and the Annals of Muratori, who 
might ider moce distinctly to the authors of his great coUecUoo. 

i^See the Dissertation of Le Blanc at the end of his treatise des Monnoyes de 
France, in which be produces some Roman coins of the French emperors. 



300 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

perity, their ambition was diverted by more alluring objects ; 
and in the decay and division of the empire they were oppressed 
■M«ii«r by the defence of their hereditary provinces. Amidst the ruins 
m ' of Italy, the &mous Marosia invited one of the usurpers to 

assume the character of her third husband ; and Hugh, king 
of Burgundy, was introduced by her faction into the mole of 
Hadrian or castle of St Angelo, which commands the principal 
bridge and entrance of Rome. Her son by the first marriage, 
Alberic, was compelled to attend at the nuptial banquet ; but 
his reluctant and ungrateful service was chastised with a blow 
by his new father. The blow was productive of a revolution. 
'* Romans," exclaimed the youth, <* once you were the masters 
of the world, and these Burgnndians the most abject of your 
slaves. They now reign, these voracious and brutal savages, 
and my injury is the (xmunenoement of your servitude. * ^^ 
The alarum-bell rung to arms in every quarter of the city ; the 
Burgundians retreated with haste and shame ; Marosia was 
imprisoned by her victorious son ; and his brother, pope John 
XL, was reduced to the exercise of his spiritual functions. With 
the title of prince, Alberic possessed above twenty years the 
government of Rome, and he is said to have gratified the 
popular prejudice by restoring the office, or at least the title, 
of consuls and tribunes. His son and heir Octavian assumed, 
with the pontificate, the name of John XII. ; like his pre- 
decessor, he was provoked by the Lombard princes to seek a 
deliverer for the church and republic ; and the services of Otho 
were rewarded with the Imperial dignity. But the Saxon was 
imperious, the Romans were impatient, the festival of the coro- 
nation was disturbed by the secret conflict of prerogative and 
freedom, and Otho commanded his sword-bea!rer not to stir 
from his person, lest he should be assaulted and murdered at 
the foot of the altar. ^^ Before he repassed the Alps, the 
emperor chastised the revolt of the people and the ingratitude 
of John XII. The pope was degraded in a synod ; the pwe fec t 
was mounted on an ass, whipped through the city, and cast into 
a dungeon ; thirteen of the most ffuUty were hanged, others 
were mutilated or banished ; and this severe process was justi- 

i^Romanonim aliquandosenri, scilicet Burgundiooes, Romanis imperent? . . . 
Romanse urbis dignitas ad tantam est stidtitiain ducta, ut meretricnm etiam iiaperio 
pareat? (Liutprand [Antap.], 1. ill c. I9 [c. 45], p. 450). Sigooiiii (L vL jn joo) 
positively afiirnis the renovauon of the oonmiUbip ; bat in the old writers Albenieoi 
IS more frequently styled prinoeps Romanomin. 

i^Ditmar, p. 354, apod Sdunidt, torn. iii. p. 439. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 301 

fied by the ancient laws of Theodosius and Justinian. The 
voice of fame has accused the second Otho of a perfidious and 
bloody act, the massacre of the senators, whom he had in- 
vited to his table under the fair semblance of hosmtality and 
friendship. ^^^ In the minority of his son Otho the Third, Rome 
made a bold attempt to shake off the Saxon yoke^ and the 
consul Crescentius was the Brutus of the republic. From the wttwMwi 
condition of a subject and an exile, he twice rose to the com- aSmi*" 
mand of the city, oppressed, expelled, and created the popes, 
and formed a conspiracy for restoring the authority of the Greek 
emperors. In the fortress of St. Angelo he maintained an 
obstinate siege, till the unfortunate consul was betrayed by a 
promise of safety ; his body was suspended on a gibbet, and 
his head was exposed on the battlements of the castle. By a 
reverse of fortime, Otho, after separating his troops, was be- 
sieged three days, without food, in his palace ; and a disgraceful 
escape saved him from the justice or fiiry of the Romans. 
The senator Ptolemy was the leader of the people, and the 
widow of Crescentius ei\joyed the pleasure or the fiime of re- 
venging her husband, by a poison which she administered to 
her Imperial lover. It was the .design of Otho the Third to 
abandon the ruder countries of the north, to erect his throne 
in Italy, and to revive the institutions of the Roman monarchy. 
But his successors only once in their lives appeared on the 
banks of the Tiber, to receive their crown in the Vatican. ^^ 
Their absence was contemptible, their presence odious and for- 
midable. They descended from the Alps, at the head of their 
barbarians, who were strangers and enemies to the ccmntry ; and 
their transient visit was a scene of tumult and bloodshed.^^ 
A faint remembrance of their ancestors still tormented the 
Romans; and they beheld with pious indignation the suoces- 

i^This bloody feast is described in Leonine verae, in the Piantheon of Godfrey 
of Viterbo (Script. Ital. torn. viL p. 436, 437 Fed. Waits, in Pertz's Mon., xxit., p. 
107 sf^.J^f who flourished towards the end of the xiith century (Fabricius, Bibliot 
I^Atin. med. et infimi Mvi, torn. ilL p. 69. edit. Mansi) ; bat his evidence, which 
imposed on Sigonius, is reasonably suspected by Muratori (Annali, torn. viiL p. 177). 

I'The oorooatioo of the emperor, and some original oercmonies of the zth 
century, are preserved in the Panegyric on Berengarius [composed 91 c-oaaj (Script. 
ItaL torn. ii. pars I 405-414), illustrated by the Notes of Hadrian Valesius, and 
Leibnitz. [Gesta Berengani imp., ed. £. Dttmmler, 1871. Also in Pertz's 
Monura. voL iv.] ^gonius has related the whole process of the Roman expedition, 
in good Latin, but with some errors of time and fact (L vii. p. 441-446). 

1^ In a ouarrri at the coronation of Conrad IL Muratori takes leave to obsenne 
— doveano ben essere allora, indisciplinati, Barbari, e bestUUi i Tedescbi. AnnaL 
torn, viii p. 568. 



802 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

8ion of Saxons, Franks, Swabians, and Bohemians, who usurped 
thepurple and prerogatives of the Csesars. 

There is nothing perhaps more adverse to nature and reason 
than to hold in ol^dienee remote countries and foreign nations, 
in opposition to their inclination and interest. A torrent of 
barbarians may pass over the earth, but an extensive empire 
must be supported by a refined system of policy and oppression : 
in the centre, an absolute power, prmnpt in action flli^d rich in 
resources ; a swift and easy communication with the extreme 
parts ; fortifications to check the first effort of rebellion ; a 
regular administration to protect and punish ; and a well* 
disciplined army to inspire fear, without provoking diaoootent 
and despair. Far different was the situation of the German 
Caesars, who were ambitious to enslave the kingdom €i£ Italy. 
Their patrimonial estates were stretched along the Rhine, or 
scattered in the provinces ; but this ample domain was alienated 
by the imprudence or distress of successive princes ; and their 
revenue, from minute and vexatious prerogative, was scarcely 
sufficient for the maintenanoe of their household. Their troops 
were formed by the legal or voluntary service of their feudlal 
vassals, who passed the Alps with reluctance, assumed the 
licence of rapine and disorder, and capriciously deserted before 
the end of the campaign. Whole armies were swept away by 
the pestilential influence of the climate ; the survivon brought 
back the bones of their princes and nobles,^^ and the effects of 
their own intempersnoe were often imputed to the treachery 
and malice of the Italians, who rejoiced at least in the ealamitirs 
of the barbarians. This irr^nlar tyranny might contend on 
equal terms with the petty tyrants of Italy; nor can the 
people, or the reader, be mndi Interested in Uie event of the 
quarrel. But in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the Lom- 
bards rekindled the flame of industry and freedom ; and the 
ffenerouB example was at length imitated bv the repnhlics of 
Tuscany. In the Italian cities a municipal government had 
never been totally abolished; and their first privileges were 
ffranted by the fovour and poli^ of the emperorB, who were 
desirous of erecting a ^ebeian barrier against the independence 
of the nobles. But their rapid progre ss , the daily extenskm of 



!>** After boiling away the flesh. The caldrons for that purpo se were a 
sary piece of travelling furniture; and a German, who was nsfaig it for his brodKr. 
promised it to afriend, after it should have been employed for himsdf (Sduoidi. 
torn. iiL p. Aa3, 42^). The same author ol ss iW4 that the wbole Saaoa liiw 
extinguisnea in Italy (torn. iL p. 440), 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 803 

their power and pretensioiiB, were founded on the numbers and 
spirit of these rising communities. ^^^ Each city filled the 
measure of her diocese or district ; the jurisdiction of the 
counts and bishops, of the marquises and counts, was banished 
from the land; and the proudest nobles were persuaded or 
compelled to desert their solitary castles, and to embrace the 
more honourable character of freemen and magistrates. The 
legislative authority was inherent in the general assembly ; but 
the executive powers were entrusted to three consuls, annu- 
ally chosen from the three orders of captaifu, valvassors,^^ and 
commons, into which the republic was divided. Under the 
protection of equal law, the labours of agriculture and com- 
merce were gradually revived ; but the martial spirit of the 
Lombards was nourished by the presence of danger; and, as 
often as the bell was rung or the standard ^^ erected, the gates 
of the city poured forth a numerous and intre{nd band, whose 
zeal in their own cause was soon guided by the use and dis- 
cipline of arms. At the foot of these popular ramparts, the 
pride of the CaesEuurs was overthrown ; and the invisible genius 
of liberty prevailed over the two Frederics, the greatest princes 
of the middle age : the first, superior perhaps in military 
prowess ; the second, who undoubtedly excelled in the softer 
accomplishments of peace and learning. 

Ambitious of restoring the splendour of the purple, Frederic rntatetti 
the First invaded the republics of Lombardy, with the arts of auv-aiM 
statesman, the valour of a soldier, and the cruelty of a tyrant. 
The recent discovery of the Pandects had renewed a science 
most fitvourable to despotism; and his venal advocates pro- 
claimed the emperor the absolute master of the lives and 
properties of his* subjects. His royal prerogatives, in a less 
odious sense, were acknowledged in the diet of Roncaglia ; and 
the revenue of Italy was fixed at thirty thousand pouiMls of 
silver,^^ which were multiplied to an indefinite demand by the 

m Otbo bishop of Frisiiigen has left an importaiit passage on the Italian cities 
(L iL c. 13, in Script ItaL torn. vL p. 707'7Xo); and the rise, progress, and 
government of these republics are perfectly illustrated by Muratori (Antiqmtat 
ItaL Medii Mvi, torn. hr. dissert. xlv.-L ii p. t'^S- AnnaL torn. viii. ix. jl). 

"■For these titles, see Selden (Titles of Honour. voL iil part L p 488), 
Ducange (Gloss. Latin, torn. iL p. 140, torn, vu p. 776). and St. Marc (Abrdig^ 
ChronSc^gique, torn. iL p. 719). 

i^Tbe Lombards invented and used the carocium, a standard planted on a oar 
or wagi^on, dmwn hy a team of oxen (Ducange, torn. iL pw 194, 195 ; Muratori, 
Antiqmtat torn. ii. Diss. zxxvL p. 489-493). 

iMpuntber Ligurinus, L viiL 584. et seq. apud Schmidt, tom. iii. p. 399. 



304 THE DECLINE AND FALt 

• 

rapine of the fiscal officers. The ohstinate cities were reduced 
by the terror or the force of his arms; his captives were delivered 
to the executioner, or shot from his military engines; and, 
after the siege and surrender of Milan, the buildings of that 
stately capital were rased to the ground, three hundred host- 
ages were sent into Germany, and the inhabitants were dispersed 
in four villages, under the yoke of the inflexible conqueror.^ 
But Milan soon rose from her ashes ; and the league of Lomr 
bardy was cemented by distress ; their cause was espoused by 
Venice, pope Alexander the Third, and the Greek emperor; 
the &bric of oppression was overturned in a day ; and in the 
trea^ of Constance, Frederic subscribed, with some reservations, 
the freedom of four-and-twenty cities. His grandson contended 
tate^ with their vigour and mattuity ; but Frederic the Second ^ 
-.so ' was endowed with some personal and peculiar advantages. His 
birth and education recommended him to the Italians ; and, in 
the implacable discord of the two factions, the Ghibelins were 
attached to the emperor, while the Guelfr displayed the banner 
of liberty and the church. The court of Rome had slumbered, 
when his] father Henry the Sixth was permitted to unite with 
the empire the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily ; tpA from these 
hereditary realms the son derived an ample and ready supply of 
troops and treasure. Yet Frederic the Second was finally op- 
pressed by the arms of the Lombards and the thunders of the 
Vatican ; his kingdom was given to a stranger, and the last of 
his family was beheaded at Naples on a public scaffold. Daring 
sixty years no emperor appeared in Italy, and the name was 
remembered only by the ignominious sale of the last relics of 
sovereignty, 
•pra^i^ The barbarian conquerors of the West were pleased to 
^n^^ decorate their chief with the title of emperor ; but it was not 
their design to invest him with the despotism of Constantine 
and Justinian. The persons of the Germans were firee, theh 
conquests were their own, and their national character was 
animated by a spirit which scorned the servile jorispradenoc 
of the new or the ancient Rome. It would have been a vain 
and dangerous attempt to impose a monarch on the armed ftee- 

1"^ Solus imperator fadem suam finnavit ut petram (Burcacd. de Eicidk 
Mediolani, Script ItaL torn. vL p. 917). This volume of Moratori oontains the 
originals of the history of Frederic the First, which most be compsred with dw 
re^ird to the drcumstanoes and prejudices of each Gcmuui or Lombard writer. 

iM For the history of Frederic II. and the house of Swabia at Naplei. M 
Giannone, Istoria Civile, torn. ii. 1. xiv.-zix. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 806 

men, who were impatient of a magistrate ; on the bold, who 
refused to obey; on the powerful, who aspired to command. 
The empire of Charlemagne and Otho was distributed among 
the dukes of the nations or provinces, the counts of the smaller 
districts, and the margraves of the marches or frontiers, who all 
united the civil and military authority as it had been delegated 
to the lieutenants of the fnrst Caesars. The Roman governors, 
who, for the most part, were soldiers of fortune, seduced their 
mercenary legions, assumed the Imperial purple, and either 
£Bdled or succeeded in their revolt, without wounding the power 
and unity of government. If the dukes, margraves, and counts 
of Germany were less audacious in their dbiims, the consequences 
of their success were more lasting and pernicious to the state. 
Instead of aiming at the supreme rank, they silently laboured 
to establish and appropriate their provincial independence. 
Their ambition was seconded by the weight of their estates and 
vassals, their mutual example and support, the common interest 
of the subordinate nobility, the change of princes and fiunilies, 
the minorities of Otho the Third and Henry the Fourth, the 
ambition of the popes, and the vain pursuits of the fugitive 
crowns of Italy and Rome. All the attributes of regal and 
territorial jurisdiction were gradually usurped by the com- 
manders of the provinces ; the right of peace and war, of life 
and death, of coinage and taxation, of foreign alliance and 
domestic economy. Whatever had been seized by violence 
was ratified by &vour or distress, was granted as the price of 
a doubtful vote or a voluntary service; whatever haid been 
granted to one could not, without injury, be denied to his 
successor or equal ; and every act of local or temporary pos- 
session was insensibly moulded into the constitution of the 
Germanic kingdom. In every province, the visible presence of 
the duke or count was interposed between the throne and the 
nobles ; the subjects of the law became the vassals of a private 
chief; and the standard, which he received from his sovereign, 
was often raised against him in the field. The temporal power 
of the clergy was cherished and exalted by the superstition or 
policy of the Carlovingian and Saxon dynasties, who blindly 
dep^ided on their moderation and fidelity ; and the bishoprics 
of Germany were made equal in extent and privilege, superior 
in wealth and population, to the most ample states of the mili- 
tary order. As long as the emperors retained the prerogative 
of bestowing on every vacancy these ecclesiastic and secular 
benefices, their cause was maintained by the gratitude or am- 
VOIi. v.. 20 



306 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

bition of their friends and fitvourites. But in the quarrel of the 
investitures they were deprived of their influence over the 
episcopal chapters ; the freedom of election wsls restored, and 
the sovereign was reduced, by a solemn mockery, to his Jirtl 
prayen, the recommendation, once in his reign, to a single 
prebend in each church. The secular govemors, instead of 
being recalled at the will of a superior, could be degraded 
only by the sentence of their peers. In the first age of the 
monarchy, the appointment of the son to the duchy or 
county of his father was solicited as a favour ; it was 
gradually obtained as a custom and extorted as a right; the 
lineal succession was often extended to the collateral or female 
branches; the states of the empire (their popular, and at 
length their legal, appellation) were divided and alienated 
by testament and sale; and all idea of a public trust was 
lost in that of a private and perpetual inheritance. The 
emperor could not even be enriched 'by the casualties of 
forfeiture and extinction; within the term of a year he was 
obliged to dispose of the vacant fief; and in the choice of the 
candidate it was his duty to consult either the general or the 
provincial diet. 

After the death of Frederic the Second, Germany was left 
WHM«H«. ^ QiQugter with an hundred heads. A crowd of princes and 
prelates disputed the ruins of the empire; the lords of in- 
numerable castles were less prone to obey than to imitate 
their superiors ; and, according to the measure of their strength, 
their incessant hostilities received the names of conquest or 
robbery. Such anarchy was the inevitable consequence of the 
laws and manners of Europe ; and the kingdoms of France and 
Italy were shivered into fragments by the violence of the same 
tempest. But the Italian dtiea and French vassals were divided 
and destroyed, while the union of the Germans has produced, 
under the name of an empire, a great system of a fedemtive 
republic. In the frequent and at last the perpetual institution 
of^diets, a national spirit was kept alive, and the powers of a 
common legislature are still exercised by the three branches or 
collc^ges of the electors, the princes, and the free and Imperial 
cities of Germany. I. Seven of the most powerful feudatories 
were permitted to assume, with a distinguished name and nnk, 
the exclusive privilege of choosing the Roman emperor; and 
these electors were the king of Bcmemiay the duke of Saxony, 
the margrave of &andenoiii;g, the count palatine of the 
Rhine, and the three ardibiahopB of Ments, of T^reves, and <rf 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 307 

• 

Cologne. ^^'^ II. The college of princes and prelates purged them- 
selves of a promiscuous multitude : they reduced to four repre- 
sentative votes the long series of independent counts^ and excluded 
the nobles or equestrian order, sixty thousand of whom, as in the 
Polish diets, had appeared on horseback in the field of election. 
III. The pride of birth and dominion, of the sword and the 
mitre, wisely adopted the commons as the third branch of the 
legislature, and, in the progress of society, they were introduced 
about the same era into the national assemblies of France, 
England, and Germany. The Hanseatic league commanded 
the trade and navigation of the north ; the confederates of the 
Rhine secured the peace and intercourse of the inland country ; 
the influence of the cities has been adequate to their wealth 
■nd policy, and their negative still invalidates the acts of the 
two superior colleges of electors and princes. ^^ 

It is in the fourteenth century that we may view, in the strongest w«« 
light, the state and contrast of the Roman empire of Grermany, ortiwom 
which no longer held, except on the borders of the Rhine and SSi^[v 
Danube, a single province of Trajan or Constantine. Their un- isn' 
worthy successors were the counts of Hapsburg, of Nassau, of 
Luxemburg, and of Schwartzenburg ; the emperor Henry the 
Seventh procured for his son the crown of Bohemia, and his 
grandson Charles the Fourth was bom among a people strange 

I*' [The dectoral college *' is mentioned a. d. x 152, and in somewhat clearer terms 
in 1 198, as a distinct body ; but without anything to show who composed it. First 
in A.D. 1363 does a letter df Pope Urban IV. say that by immemorial custom the 
right of choosing the Roman kmg belonged to seven persons, the seven who had 
just divided their votes on Richard of Cornwall and Alphonso of Castile." The three 
archbishops represented the German church ; the four lav electors should have been 
the four great dukes of Saxony. Franconia, Bavaria, and Swabia. But the duchies 
of Franconia (or East Franda) and Swabia were extinct, their place being taJcen 
by the Palatinate of the Rhine and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. A coraict for 
the seventh place between Bavaria and the king of Bohemia (who claimed it by 
virtue of his office of cup-bearer) was decided by the Emperor Rudolf in 1289 in 
favour of the king of Bonemia. (Bryce, Holy Roman Empire (ed. 7), p. 999-3a)] 

^'^ In the immense labyrinth oiihe Jus publicum of Germany, I must either quote 
one writer or a thousand ; and I had rather trust to one faithful i^uide than tran- 
scribe, on credit, a multitude of names and passages. That guide is M. Pfeffel, the 
author of the best legal and constitutional history that I know of any country 
(Nouvel Abr^^ Chronologique de THistoire et du Droit Public d'Allemagne, Paris, 
1776, 3 vols, in 4to). His learning and judgment have discerned the most interest- 
ing facts ; his simple brevity comprises them in a narrow space ; his chronological 
oi^er distributes them under the proper dates; and an elaborate index coUects 
them cmder their respective heads. To this work, in a less perfect state. Dr. 
Robertson was gratefully indebted for that masterly sketch which traces even the 
modem changes of the Germanic body. The Corpus Historiae Germanicfle of 
Stnivius has been likewise consulted, the more usefully, as that huge compilation 
is fortified, in every page, with the original texts. 



308 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

and barbarous in the estimation of the Grermans themselveSi^ 
After the excommunication of Lewis of Bavaria, he received the 
gift or promise of the vacant empire from the Rcrnian pontifli, 
who, in the exile and captivity of Avignon, afiected the dominion 
of the earth. The death of his competitors united the electoral 
college, and Charles was unanimously saluted king of the Ro- 
mans, and future emperor : a title which, in the same age, wA 
prostituted to the Caesars of Germany and Greece. The German 
emperor was no more than the elective and impotent magistrate 
of an aristocracy of princes, who had not left him a village that 
he might call his own. His best prerogative was the right of 
presiding and pn^xMing in the national senate, which was con- 
vened at his summons; and his native kingdom of Bohemia, 
less opulent than the adjacent city of Nuremberg, was the 
firmest seat of his power and the richest source of his iwenue; 
The army with which he paased the Alps consisted of three 
hundred horse. In the cathedral of St. Ambrose, Charles was 
crowned with the iron crown, which tradition ascribed to the 
Lombard monarchy ; but he was admitted only with a peaeefbl 
train ; the gates of the city were shut upon him ; and the king 
of Italy was held a captive by the arms of the Visconti, ii^iom 
he condSrmed in the sovereignty of Milan. In the Vatican he 
was again crowned with the golden crown of the empire ; bat, 
in obedience to a secret treaty, the Roman emperor immediately 
withdrew, without reposing a single night within the walls of 
Rome. The eloquent Petrarch,^^ whose fancy revived the 
visionary glories of the Capitol, deplores and upbraids the 
ignominious flight of the Bohemian ; and even his contempoim- 
ries could observe that the sole exercise of his authority was in 
the lucrative sale of privileges and titles. The gold of Italy 
secured the election of his son ; but such was the shamefoL 
poverty of the Roman emperor that his person was airested by 
a butcher in the streets of Worms, and was detained in the 

1" Yet, fersoHalfy, Charles IV. must not be considered as a barbarian. After 
his education at Paris, he recovered the use of the Bohemian, his native, idiom; 
and the emperor conversed and wrote with equal facility in Frendi, Latin, Italiui, 
and German (Struvius, p. 6x5, 6x6). Petrarch alwap represents him as a polite 
and learned prince. [He founded the Unhersitv of Prague, which he mocleDed on 
the universities of Sakmo and Naples (founded by Frederick IL\ In eBOOungiBS 
the national language he went so fiu' as to decree that all German paraats ilioiild 
have their children taught Bohemian.] 

i*> Besides the German and Italian historians, the expedition of Charles IV. b 
uiinted in lively and original colours in the curious M^moires sor la Vie de 
Petrarque, tom. iii. p. 37^30^ by the Abb^ dc Sade. whose prolinty bar 
been blamed by any reader 01 taste and curiosity. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIBE 809 

public inn, as a pledge or hostage for the payment of his ex- 
penses. 

From this humiliating scene let us turn to the apparent bi 
majesty of the same Charles in the diets of the empire. The 
golden bull, which fixes the Germanic constitution, is promul- 
gated in the style of a sovereign and legislator.^®^ An hundred 
princes bowed before his throne, and exalted their own dignity 
by the voluntary honours which they yielded to their chief or 
minister. At the royal banquet, the hereditary great officers, 
the seven electors, who in rank and title were equal to kings, 
performed their solemn and domestic service of the palace. 
The seals of the triple kingdom were borne in state by the 
archbishops of Mentz, Cologne, and Treves, the perpetual arch- 
chancellors of Germany, Italy, and Aries. The great marshal, 
on horseback, exercised his function with a silver measure of 
oats, which he emptied on the ground, and immediately dis- 
mounted to regulate the order of the guests. The great 
steward, the count palatine of the Rhine, placed the dishes 
on the table. The great chamberlain, the margrave of Branden- 
burg, presented, after the repast, the golden ewer and bason, 
to wash. The king of Bohemia, as great cup-bearer, was 
represented by the emperor's brother, the duke of Luxemburg 
and Brabant; and the procession was closed by the great 
huntsmen, who introduced a boar and a stag, with a loud 
chorus of horns and hounds.^^^ Nor was the supremacy of the 
emperor confined to Germany alone ; the hereditary monarchs 
of Europe confessed the pre-eminence of his rank and dignity ; 
he was the first of the Christian princes, the temporal head of 
the great republic of the West ;^^ to his person the title of 
majesty was long appropriated ; and he disputed with the 

1^ [Charles sacrificed the interests of Germany entirely to those of Bohemia, 
the interests of the Empire to those of his own house. The Golden Bull does not 
mention Germany or Italy. Mr. Bryce's epigram on Charles IV. is famous : " he 
legalized anarchy, and called it a constitution". Mr. Bryce observes : " He saw 
in his office a means of serving personal ends, and to them, while appearing to 
exalt by elaborate ceremonies its ideal dignity, he deliberately sacrificed what real 
strength was left '* ; and : " the sums expended in obtaining the ratification of the 
Golden Bull, in procuring the election ot his son Wenzel, in aggrandizing Bohemia 
at the expense of Germany, had been amassed by keeping a market in which 
honours and exemptions, with what lands the crown retained, were put up openly 
to be bid for".] 

^''See the whole ceremony, in Struvius, p. 609. 

i<*The republic of Europe, with the pope and emperor at its head, was never 
represented with more digni^ than in the oomicil 01 Constance See Lenfant's 
History of that assembly. 



A.l> 



310 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

pope the sublime prerogative of creating kings and assembling 
councils. The oracle of the civil law, the learned Bartolus, was 
a pensioner of Charles the Fourth ; and his school resounded 
with the doctrine that the Roman emperor was the rightful 
sovereign of the earth, from the rising to the setting sun. The 
contrary opinion was eondemned, not as an error, but as an 
heresy, since even the gospel had pronounced, ''And there 
went forth a decree from Cssar Augustus, that all ike world 
should be taxed". ^•^ 
■ini»of If we annihilate the interval of time and space between 
l^^S^ Augustus and Charles, strong and striking will be the contrast 
between the two Csesars: the Bohemian, who concealed his 
weakness under the mask of ostentation, and the Roman, who 
disguised his strength under the semblance of modesty. At 
the head of his victorious legions, in his reign over the aea and 
land, from the Nile and Euphrates to the Atlantic ocean, 
Augustus professed himself the servant of the state and the 
equal of his fellow-citisens. The conqueror of Rome and her 
provinces assumed the popular and legal form of a censor, a 
consul, and a tribune. His will was the law of mankind, bnt^ 
in the declaration of his laws, he borrowed the voice of the 
senate and people ; and, from their decrees, their master ac- 
cepted and renewed his temporary conmiission to administer 
the republic. In his dress, his domestics,^^ his titles. In all 
the offices of social life, Augustus maintained the character of 
a private Roman ; and his most artful flatterers respected the 
secret of his absolute and perpetual monarchy. 

^•*Gravina, Origines Juris Civills, p. io8. 

i^Six thousand urns hove been dis c o v ered of the slaves and freedmen of 
Augustus and Livia. So minute was the division of office that one dave was 
appointed to weigh the wool which was spun by the empress's maids, another for 
the care of her lap-dog, &c (Camere Sepolchrale, Ac by BiandifaiL Estnd of 
his work, in the Bibliothiquc Italique, torn. iv. p. 175. His ElQge, br Fontendfet 
torn. vi. p. ^56). But thoe servants were of the same rank, and poanny not more 
numerous than those of PoUio or Lentolns. They only prove tbe genval licbei 
of the city. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 811 



CHAPTBB L 

Description of Arabia and its InhMianU — Birth, Character, and 
Doctrine of Mahomet — He preaches at Mecca — FUes to Medina 
— Propagates his Retigion by the Smord — Voluntary or re* 
luctant Submission of the Arabs — His Death and Suaxssors — 
The Claims and Fortunes ofAli and his Descendants 

After pursuing; above six hundred years, the fleeting Caesars of 
Constantinople and Germany, I now descend, in the reign of 
Heraclius, on the eastern borders of the Greek monarchy. 
While the state was exhausted by the Persian war, and the 
church was distracted by the Nestorian and Monophysite sects, 
Mahomet, with the sword in one hand and the Koran in the p 
other, erected his throne on the ruins of Christianity and. of * 
Rome. The genius of the Arabian prophet, the manners of his 
nation, and the spirit of his religion involve the causes of the 
decline and &11 of the Eastern empire ; and our eyes are 
curiously intent on one of the most memorable revolutions 
which have impressed a new and lasting character on the 
nations of the globe. ^ 

In the vacant space between Persia, S3n*ia, Egypt, and Ethiopia, DMogpuwi 
the Arabian peninsula ^ may be conceived as a triangle of spadouB ^ 

1 As in this and the following chapter I shall display much Arabic learning, I 
must profess my total ignorance of the Oriental tongues, and my gratitude to the 
learned interpreters, vrho have transfused their science into the Latin, F^tmch, 
and English Leuiguages. Their collections, versions, and histories, I shall occasion- 
ally notice. 

* The geographers of Arabia may be divided into three classes : i. The Greeks and 
Latins, whose progressive knowledge may be traced in A^harchides (de Man Ru- 
bro, in Hudson, Geograph. Minor, torn, i.), DiodorusSicmus (tom. i. 1. il p. 159-167 

[c. 485^^.1 1. iiL p. 2ix-3i6[c. 14 J^^.], edit. Wesseling), Strabo(L xvi. p. 1113-11x4 
c. 4,1-4], irom Eratosthenes ; p. 1122-1132 [c. 4, 5 s^gT], from Artemidorus), Diony- 
sius (Periegesis, 927-^69), Pliny (Hist Natur. v. X2, vi. 3p), and Ptolemy (Descript 
ct Tabulae Urbium, m Hudson, tom. iii.). 3. The AraHc writers, who have treated 
the subject v^-ith the zeal of patriotism or devotion : the extracts of Pocock (Speci- 
men Hist. Arabum, p. 135-138], from the Geography of the Sherif al Edrissi, raider 
us still more dissatisfied vnth toe version or a&idgment (p. 34-37, 44-^6, 108, ftc. 
1 19, Ac.) which the Maronites have published under the absurd title of Geognu>hia 
Nubiaios (Paris, 16x9) ; bat the Latin and Ficnch translators, Greaves (in Huduon, 
torn. iiL) and GaUaxid (Vcya^ de la Pskitiiie par la Roque, p. 965-346), have 



312 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

but irregular dimensions. From the northern point of Beles' 
on the Euphrates^ a line of fifteen hundred miles is terminated 
by the straits of Babelmandeb and the land of frankinoense. 
About half this length * may be allowed for the middle breadth 
from east to west, from Bassora to Suez, frx>m the Persian Gulf 
to the Red Sea.^ The sides of the triangle are gradually en- 
laiged, and the southern basis presents a front of a thousand 
miles to the Indian ocean. The entire surface of the peninsula 
exceeds in a fourfold proportion that of Germany or France; 
but the far greater part has been justly stigmatized with the 
toagiMd epithets of the stony and the «mdy. Even the wilds of Tartaiy 
*^^ are decked by the hand of nature with lofty trees and lozuriant 
herbage ; and the lonesome traveller derives a sort of comfort 
and society from the presence of vegetable life. But in the 
dreary waste of Arabia, a boundless level of sand is intersected 
by sharp and naked mountains, and the &ce of the desert, 
without shade or shelter, is scorched by the direct and intense 
rays of a tropical sun. Instead of refreshing breezes, the winds, 
puiicularly from the south-west, diffuse a noxious and even 
deadly vapour ; the hillocks of sand which they alternately ndse 
and scatter are compared to the billows of the ocean ; and whole 
caravans, whole armies, have been lost and buried in the whiri- 
wind. The common benefits of water are an object of desire 
and contest ; and such is the scarcity of wood that some art is 
requisite to preserve and propagate the element of fire. Arabia 

opened to us the Arabia of Abulfeda, the most copious and correct aocomit of the 
peninsula, which may be enriched, however, from the Biblioth^ue OrientaJe of 
d'Herbelot, p. X20, et alibi passim. 3^ The Burvpean travellers: amoof whom 
Shaw (p. 438-453) and Niebuhr (Description, 1^3, Voyages, torn. L z^76{dfSMrve 
an honourable distinction ; Busching (G6Qgp:aphie par Bmnger, tom. viiu n, 4x6-510^ 
has compiled with iudgraent ; and d'Anville s Maps (Orbis Veteribos NoCnii. and 
m Partie de TAsie) should lie before the reader, witn his G^ographie Andieniie, 
tom. ii. p. 208-231. [Of European travellers since Niebuhr, we have the aoooonts 
of J. L. Burckhardt, Travels in Arabia, 1899; J. R. Wellsted, lYavels in Arabia, 
1838 ; W. G. Palgrave, Narrative of a jrear's journey through central and eAUcm 
Arabia (ed. 3), 1868. For the Nejd : Lady Anne Blunt^ POgrimage to N^ 
( 1881). See also below, n. ai. The historical geocraphy of Arabia has been treated 
by C Forster (" The Hist. Geography of Arabia. 1844).] 

* Abiilfed. Descript Arabiae, p. z. D'Anville, I'Euphrate et le Tigre, p. 19, aa 
It was in this place r^&lis]. the paradise or garden of a satrap \rk BcAmof pmieUmi^ 
that Xenoi^on and the Greeks first passed the Euphrates^Anabastn, L L c 10 
[Ajf. c 4. § 10], p. 29, edit Wells). 

^[This measurement is not accurate. The distance is 900 miles. The " soutbem 
basis " is laoo miles from Bab al-Mandeb to Ras al-Hadd.] 

'Reland has proved, vrith much superfluous learning, i. That our Red Sea 
(the Arabian Gult) is no more than a part of the Mart Rubrum^ the '^v#fA •^U«v*« 
of the andents, which was extendea to the indefinite space of the Indaui oceaiL 
& That the synonymous words <p«i^. wi^af, allude to the odour of the bbcki or 
negroes (Dissert MiscelL torn. I. p. 59-ii7)> 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIKE 313 

is destitute of navigable rivers, which fertilise the soil and 
convey its produce to the adjacent regions; the torrents that 
fall firom the hills are imbibed by the thirsty earth ; the rare 
and hardy plants, the tamarind or the acacia, that strike their 
roots into the clefts of the rocks, are nourished by the dews of 
the night ; a scanty supply of rain is collected in cisterns and 
aqueducts; the wells and springs are the secret treasure of 
the desert ; and the pilgrim of Mecca,® after many a dry and 
sultry march, is disgusted by the taste of the waters, which have 
rolled over a bed of sulphur or salt. Such is the general and 
genuine picture of the climate of Arabia. The experience of 
evil enhances the value of any local or partial enjoyments. A 
shady grove, a green pasture, a stream of fresh water, are suffi- 
cient to attract a colony of sedentary Arabs to the fbrtunate 
spots which can afford food and refreshment to themselves and 
their cattle, and which encourage their industry in the cultiva- 
tion of the palm-tree and the vine. The high lands that border 
on the Indian ocean are distinguished by their superior plenty 
of wood and water; the air is more temperate, the fruits are 
more delicious, the animals and the human race more numerous ; 
the fertility of the soil invites and rewards the toil of the hus- 
bandman; and the peculiar gifts of frankincense^ and coffee 
have attracted, in different ages, the merchants of the world. 
If it be compared with the rest of the peninsula, this seques- 
trated region may truly deserve the appellation of the happy; 
and the splendid colouring of fancy and fiction has been sug- 
gested by contrast and countenanced by distance. It was for 
this earthly paradise that nature had reserved her choicest 
&vours and her most curious workmanship; the incompatible 
blessings of luxury and innocence were ascribed to the natives ; 
the sou was impregnated with gold ^ and gems, and both the 
land and sea were taught to exhale the odours of aromatic 

'In the thirtv days, or stations, between Cairo and Mecca, there are fifteen 
destitute of good water. See the route of the Hadjees, in Shaw s Travels, p. 477. 
[Cp. Burton's work, cited below, n. 21.] 

7Tbe aroraatics, especially the ihtts or frankincense, of Aratua occupy the xiith 
book of Pliny. Our great poet (Paradise Lost, L iv.) introduces, in a simile, the 
spicy odours that are blown by the north-east wind from the Sabsean coast : 

Many a l^igue, 

Pleas'd with the grateful scent, <^d Ocean smiles. 
(Plin. Hist. Natur. xii 42.) 

^ Agatharchides affirms that hunps of pure gold vrere found, from the sise of an 
olive to that of a nut ; that iron was twice, and silver ten times, the vahie of gokl 
(de Man Rnbro, p. 60). These real or imaginary treasures are vaniahad ; and no 
gold mines are at present known in Arabia (Niebubr, Dicriptton, p^ 194)^ [Bat 

Appendix 17.] > 



314 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

ridM ttf sweets. This division of the stmdy^ the tUm^, and the happy^ so 
!ite^,'afld ^miliar to the Greeks and LAtins, is unknown to the Aimbians 
iSSf themselves; and it is singular enough that a countiy, whose 
language and inhabitants had ever been the same, should scarcely 
retain a vestige of its ancient geognqphj. The maritime districts 
of Bahrein and Oftian are opposite to the realm of Persia. The 
kingdom of Yemen displays the limits, or at least the situation, 
o<] of Arabia Felix ; the name Neged is extended over the inland 

space ; and the birth of Mahomet has illustrated the province of 
Hejas along the coast of the Red Sea.^ 
nm^ The measure of population is regulated by the means of sub- 

sistence ; and the inhabitants of this vast peninsula might be 
out-numbered by the subjects of a fertile and industrious pro- 
vince. Along the shores of the Persian gulf, of the ocean, and 
even of the Red Sea, the Icktkyoj^agiy^^ or fish-eaters, continued 
to wander in quest of their precarious food. In this primitive 
and abject state, which ill deserves the name of society, the 
hunuin brute, without arts or laws, almost without sense or 
language, is poorly distinguished from the rest of the animal 
creation. Generations and ages might roll away in silent oblivion, 
and the helpless savage was restrained from multiplying his 
race by the wants and pursuits which confined his existence to 
the narrow margin of the sea-coast. But in an early period of 
antiquity the great body of the Arabs had emerged from this 
scene of misery ; and, as the naked wilderness could not main- 
tain a people of hunters, they rose at once to the more secure 
and plentiful condition of the pastoral life. The same life is 
uniformly pursued by the roving tribes of the desert, and in the 
portrait of the modem Bedomeens we may trace the features of 
their ancestors,^^ who, in the age of Moses or Mahomet, dwelt 

* Consult, peruse, and study the Specimen Historiae Arabum of Pocock t (Ozon. 
1650, in 4to). The thirty para of text aad version are extracted from the Djrnasties 
of Gregory Abulpharagius, which Pooock afterwards translated (Oxon. 1663, in 4to) ; 
the three hundred and fifty-eight nota from a classic and original work 00 the 
Arabian antiquities. [Hij&s = banier.l 

i^^Arrian remarks the Icbthyophagt of the coast of Hejac (Periplus Maris 
Erythrsei, p* za), and beyond Aden (p. js). It seems probaUe that the shoces of 
the Red Sea. (in the laimt aenie) were oecimied by these savages in the time, 
perhaps, of Cyrus ; but f can hardly bebeie toat any cannibals were left among 
the savages in the reign of Justinian (ProoopL de Bell. Persic. 1. i. c. 19). 

" See the Specimen Historiae Arabom of Pooock, p. 2, 5, 86, ftc The journey 
of M. d'Arvieux, in 1664, to the camp of the emir of Mount Carmd (Voyage de la 
Palestine, Amsterdam, 1718J, exhibha a pleMtng and original picture of the llfo of 
the Bedowecns, which may be iUmtratea from Niebuhr (Description de I'Arabie, 
p. 327-344), and Volney (torn, i {>. M9^5)» ^^ !*>' '^^ ^""^ jndkaous of our 
Syrian travellers. [Sachau (Rabe in Smn, X883 ; quoted above, vol. ii. p. 401) b 
the most recent and trustworthy anthori^. Observe that *' Bedoweens" ■ aa 
incorrect form. Btdawi means an Anib 01 the dewrt, opposed to a villager, and 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIKE 315 

under similar tents, and conducted their horses and camels and 
sheep to the same springs and the same pastures. Our toil is 
lessened, and our wealth is increased, by our dominion over the 
useful animals ; and the Arabian shepherd had acquired the 
absolute possession of a faithfiil friend and a laborious slave. ^^ 
Arabia, in the opinion of the naturalist, is the genuine and 
original country of the horse ; the climate most propitious, not tim 
indeed to the size, but to the spirit and swiftness, of that gener- 
ous animal. The merit of the Barb, the Spanish, and the 
English breed is derived from a mixture of Arabian blood ;^' 
the Bedoweens preserve, with superstitious care, the honours 
and the memory of the purest race ; the males are sold at a high 
price, but the females are seldom alienated ; and the birth of a 
noble foal was esteemed, among the tribes, as a subject of joy 
and mutual congratulation. These horses are educated in the 
tents, among the children of the Arabs,^^ with a tender familiar- 
ity, which trains them in the habits of gentleness and attachment. 
They are accustomed only to walk and to gallop ; their sensa- 
tions are not blunted by the incessant abuse of the spur and the 
whip ; their powers are reserved for the moments of flight and 
pursuit ; but no sooner do they feel the touch of the hand or 
the stirrup than they dart away with the swiftness of the wind ; 
and, if their firiend be dismounted in the rapid career, they 
instantly stop till he has recovered his seat. In the sands of 
Africa and Arabia the camel is a sacred and precious gift. That n« 
strong and patient beast of burthen can perform, without eating 
or drinking, a journey of several days ; ^^ and a reservoir of fresh 
water is preserved in a large bag, a fifth stomach of the animal, 
whose body is imprinted with the marks of servitude. The 
larger breed is capable of transporting a weight of a thousand 
pounds ; and the dromedary, of a lighter and more active frame, 
outstrips the fleetest courser in the race. Alive or dead, almost 
every part of the camel is serviceable to man ; her milk is plenti- 

the plural is BecUwa, or Bidwan, never Bedawin. The English plural would be 
Bedawis.] 

IS Read (it is no unpleasmg task) the incomparable articles of the Hone and the 
Camel, in the Natural History of M. de Bufifon. 

i^For the Arabian horses, see d'Arvieux (p. 159-173) and Niebuhr (p. 142-144). 
At the end of the thirteenth century, the horses of Neged were esteemed sure-footed, 
those of Yemen strong and serviceable, those of Hejaz most noble. The horses of 
Europe, the tenth and last dass, were generally despised, as having too much body 
and too little spirit (d'Hcrbelot, Bibliot Orient pi 339) ; their strength was requisite 
to bear the weight of the knight and his annoar. « 

MTTbis is an cxaggentioB. : .llipm^ fi^psled with great consideration, it is not 
osoaf for the Aiab hoisei to vmrn into tbt iiottL] 

>*{A dromedaiy ean f» nilkoal m0m ifat ds^ fn summer, ten in winter.] 



316 THE DECLINE AND FALL' 

fill and nutritious ; the young and tender flesh has the taste of 
veal ; ^^ a valuable salt is extracted from the urine ; the dung 
supplies the deficiency of fiiel ; and the long hair, which fitlk 
each year and is renewed, is coarsely manu£ictured into the 
garments, the furniture, and the tents, of the Bedoweens. In 
the rainy seasons they consume the rare and insufficient herbage 
of the desert ; during the heats of summer and the scarcity of 
winter, they remove their encampments to the sea-coast, the 
hills of Yemen, or the neighbourhood of the Euphrates, and 
have often extorted the dangerous licence of visiting the banks 
of the Nile and the villages of Syria and Palestine. The life 
of a wandering Arab is a life of danger and distress; and, 
though sometimes, by rapine or exchange, he may appropriate 
the fruits of industry, a private citizen in Europe is in the 
possession of more solid and pleasing luxury than the proudest 
emir who marches in the field at the head of ten tnousand 
horse. 
Mof Yet an essential difference may be found between the hordes 

of Scjrthia and the Arabian tribes, since many of the latter were 
collected into towns and employed in the labours of trade and 
agriculture. A part of their time and industry was still devoted 
to the management of their cattle ; they mingled, in peace and 
war, with their brethren of the desert; and the Bedoweens 
derived from their useful intercourse some supply of their wants 
and some rudiments of art and knowledge. Among the forty- 
two cities c»f Arabia,^^ enumerated by Abulfeda, the most ancient 
and populous were situate in the happy Yemen ; the towers of 
Saana^^ and the marvellous reservoir of Merab^* were con- 
structed by the kings of the Homerites ; but their profane lustre 

10 Qui carnibus camelomxn vesd lolent odii tenaoes sunt, was the opinion of an 
Arabian physician (Pocock, Specimen, p. 88). Mahomet himself, who was fond of 
milk, prdfers the cow, and does not even mention the camel ; but the diet of Mecca 
and Medina was already more luzurioos (Qamier, Vie de Mahomet, torn, iil p. 
404). [Camel's flesh is said to be very insipidLj 

17 Yet Marcian of Heraclea (in Periplo, p. 16, in tom. i. Hudson, Minor. 
Geograph.) reckons one hundred and sixtv^our towns in Arabia Fdix. The sin 
of the towns might be small— the faith of the writer might be large. 

u It is compared by Abulfeda (in Hodaon, tom. iii. p. 54) to I^mascus, and is 
still the residence of the Imam of Yemen (Voyages de Niebubr, tom. i. p. 33i-34a). 
Saana [San '&] is twenty-four parasangs from Dafar [Dhafllr] (Abulfeda. p. 51), 
and sixty-eight from Aden (p. ci). 

1* Pocock, Specimen, p. 57 ; Geograph. Nubtensis, p. 52. Meriaba. or Merab, six 
miles in circumference, was destroyed oy the legions of Augustus (Plin. Hist. Nat. 
vi. 32). and had not revived in the fo mt ee n th centmy (Abulfed. Descnpt Arab. 
P- 58)- [i^ ^''^ reached but not deitrojed hf the Usicms of Augustus. Its strong 
wails deterred Callus from a siege. Their mbn ftiu stand. See Anaiid, JounMl 
Asiat. (7 s6r.), 3, p. 3 sqq., 1874. J 



OF THE ROMAN KAIIMKE :n7 

was eclipsed by the prophetic glories of Medina ^ and Mbcca,^ 
near the Red Sea, and at the distance from each other of two 
hundred and seventy miles. The last of these holy places 
was known to the Greeks under the name of Macoraba ; and the 
termination of the word is expressive of its greatness, which has 
not indeed, in the most flourishing period, exceeded the size and 
populousness of Marseilles. Some latent motive, perhaps of 
superstition, must have impelled the founders, in the choice of 
a most unpromising situation. They erected their habitations 
of mud or stone in a plain about two miles long and one mile 
broad, at the foot of three barren mountains ; the soil is a rock ; 
the water even of the holy well of Zemzem is bitter or brackish ; 
the pastures are remote from the city; and grapes are trans- 
ported about seventy miles from the gardens of Tayef. The 
fame and spirit of the Koreishites, who reigned in Mecca, were 
conspicuous among the Arabian tribes ; but their ungrateful 
soil refused the labours of agriculture, and their position was 
favourable to the enterprises of trade. By the sea-port ofiMr«nd« 
Gedda, at the distance only of forty miles, they maintained an 
easy correspondence with Abyssinia ; and that Christian kingdom 
afforded the first refuge to the disciples of Mahomet. The 
treasures of Africa were conveyed over the peninsula to Gerrha 
or Katif, in the province of Bahrein, a city built, as it is said, 
of rock-salt, by the Chaldaean exiles ; ^ and from thence, with 
the native pearls of the Persian Gulf, they were floated on rafts 
to the mouth of the Euphrates. Mecca is placed almost at an 

^The name of ci^^ Medina^ was appropriated, car' €^oxi|r, to Yatreb [Yathrib] 
(the latrippa of the Greeks), the seat of the prophet [al- Medina, or, in full, Medlnat 
en-Nebi, ' ' the cit^ of the prophet "\ The distances from Medina are reckoned l^ 
Abulfeda in stations, or da3fs' journey of a caravan (p. 15), to Bahrein, xv. ; to 
Hassora, xviii. ; to Cufah, xx. ; to Damascus or Palestine, xx. ; to Cairo, xxv. ; 
to Mecca, x. ; from Mecca to Saana (p. 53), or Aden, xxx. ; to Cairo, xxxL days, 
or 412 hours (Shaw's Travels, p. 477) ; which, according to the estimate of d'Anville 
(Mesures Itindraires, p. 99), allows about twenty-five English miles for a day's 
journey. From the land of frankincense (Hadramaut, in Yemen, between Aden 
and Cape Fartasch) to Gaza, in Syria, Pliny (Hist. Nat xil 3a) computes Ixv. 
mansions of camels. These measures may assist fancy and elucidate facts. 

^ Our notions of Mecca must be drawn from the Arabians (d'Herbelot, Biblio- 
th^ue Orientale, p. 36S-37X. Pocock, Specunen, p. i35-xa8. Abidfeda, p. ii-4o). 
As no unbeliever is permitted to enter the city, our travellers are silent ; and the 
short hints of Th^euot (Voyages du Levant, part i. p. 490) are taken from the 
suspicious mouth of an African renegada Some Persians counted 6000 houses 
(Chardin. tom. iv. p. 167). |Tor a description of Mecca, see Burckhardt, of. cii» ; 
and Sir. R. Burton's Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah, 
185^-6 ; and, best of all, Snouck Hurjgronje, Mekka, 1888. Gibbon was ignorant 
of the visit of Joseph Pitts, his captivity and his book, '* Account of the religion 
and manners of the Mahometans ^ (3rd ed. , 1731). For this, and other visits, see 
Burton, op. tit.^ Appendix.] 

23Strabo, 1. xvL p. ixxo [3, § 3]. See one of these salt houses near Bassora, 
in d'Herbelot, Bibliot. Orient, p. 6. 



318 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

equal distance, a month's joiirMv, between Yemen on the right, 
and Syria on the lefl, hand. Tike former was the winter, the 
latter the summer, station of her caravans ; and their seasonable 
arriyal relieved the ships of India from the tedious and trouble- 
some navigation of the Red Sea. In the markets of Saana and 
Merab, in the harbours of Oman and Aden, the camels of the 
Koreishites were laden with a precious cargo of anmuitiGi; a 
supply of com and manufactures was purchased in the fidrs of 
Bosftra and Damascus; the lucrative exchange diffused plenty 
and riches in the streets of Mecca ; and the noblest of her sons 
united the love of arms with the profession of merchandise.^ 
ratioMi iB. T^^ perpetual independence of the Arabs has been the theme 
^SirSSSS*^ ^^ P^^^ among strangers and natives; and the arts of contro- 
versy transform this singular event into a prophecy and a 
miracle, in favour of the posterity of IsmaeL^ Some exceptions, 
that can neither be dissembled nor eluded, render this mode of 
reasoning as indiscreet as it is superfluous: the kingdom of 
Yemen has been successively subdued by the Abyssiniana^ the 
Persians, the sultans of E^rpt,^ and the Turks ;^ the holy 
cities of Mecca and Medina have repeatedly bowed under a 
Scythian tyrant ; and the Roman province of Arabia ^ embiaoed 

*3 Minim dictu ex innumeris populis pars ecqua in comwurciis aut in latrodniis 
(legit (Plin. Hist. Nat vi. 32). See Sale's Koran, Sura. cvi. p. 50^ Pocock, 
Specimen, p. 2. D'Herbelot. BiblioU Orient p. 361. Prideanx's Life a lyfalKmet, 
p. 5. Gagnicr, Vie de Mahomet, torn. L pi 7a, lao, 196, &c. 

**A nameless doctor (Universal Hist ydL zx. octavo edition) has formally 
dtfwmstraUd the truth of Christianity by the independence of the Araba A critic, 
besides the exceptions of fact, might dispute the meaning of the text (Qen. zvi. la), 
the extent of the application, and the foundation of the pedigree. 

^ It was subdued. A.D. 1173, by a brother of the great Saladin, who founded a 
dynasty of ( !urds or Ayoubites (Guignes, Hist, des Huns, torn. i. p. 425. D'Her- 
belot. p. 477). 

s>By the lieutenant of Soliman L (A.D. 1538). and Selim IL (1568). See 
Cantemir's Hist, of the Othman empire, pi aoi, 221. The Pasha, who resided at 
Saana, commanded twenty-one Beys, bat no revenue was ever remitted to the 
Porte (Marsigli, Stato MUitare dell' Imperio Ottomanno, p. 124), and the IXirks 
were expelled about the year 1630 (Niebobr, pi 167, 168). 

V Of the Roman province, under the name of Arabia and the third Palestine, 
the principal cities were Bostra and Petxa, which dated their sera from the year 
105, when they were subdued by Pafana, a lieutenant of Trajan (Dion. Caastus, L 
Ixviii Tc. 14]). Petra was the capital of the Nabathaeans ; whose name is derived from 
the eldest of the sons of Ismad (Gen. atxv. 12. &c. with the Commentaries of 
Jerom, Le Clerc. and Calmet). Justinian relinauished a palm countzr of ten days' 
journey to the south of ifBIah (Procop. de BeH Persic. L l c. 19), and the Romans 
maintained a centurion and a custom-hooK (Arrian in Periplo Maris ErythrKi, p. 
IX, in Hudson, tom. i.) at a place (Amwc^ mi|tii, Ptigus Albns Hawara) in the tern- 
tory of Medina (d'AnviUe, M^moire sur rE(ypte. pi 243). These real nnisfinnfr, 
and some naval inroads oif Trajan (tVripl- P> '4, 15). are magnified by mstoi^ and 
medals into the Roman conquest or Arabia. [Aher Diocletian, Arabia was divided 
into two provinces ; see above, vol. iu p. 550, n. d] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 319 

the peculiar wilderness in which Ismael and his sons must have 
pitched their tents in the &ce of their brethren. Yet these 
exceptions are temporary or local ; the body of the 'nation has 
escaped the yoke of the most powerful monarchies ; the arms of 
Sesostris and Cyrus^ of Pompey and Trajan, could never achieve 
the conquest of Arabia ; the present sovereign of the Turks ^ 
may exercise a shadow of jurisdiction^ but his pride is reduced 
to solicit the friendship of a people whom it is dangerous to 
provoke and fruitless to attack. The obvious causes of their 
freedom are inscribed on the character and country of the 
Arabs. Many ages before Mahomet,^ their intrepid valour had 
been severely felt by their neighbours in offensive and defensive 
war. The patient and active virtues of a soldier are insensibly 
nursed in the habits and discipline of a pastoral life. The care 
of the sheep and camels is abandoned to the women of the 
tribe ; but the martial youth under the banner of the emir is 
ever on horseback and in the field, to practise the exercise of 
the bow^ the javelin^ and the scymetar. The long memory of 
their independence is the firmest pledge of its perpetuity, and 
succeeding generations are animated to prove their descent and 
to maintain their inheritance. Their domestic feuds are sus- 
pended on the approach of a conmion enemy ; and in their last 
hostilities against the Turks the caravan of Me<M:a was attacked 
and pillaged by fourscore thousand of the confederates. When 
they advance to battle, the hope of victory is in the front ; in 
the rear, the assiu-ance of a retreat. Their horses and camels, 
who in eight or ten days can perform a march of four or five 
hundred miles, disappear before the conqueror ; the secret waters 
of the desert elude his search ; and his victorious troops are 
consumed with thirst, hunger, and fiitigue, in the pursuit of an 
invisible foe, who scorns his efforts, and safely reposes in the 
heart of the burning solitude. The arms and deserts of the 
Bedoweens are not only the safeguards of their own freedom, 
but the barriers also of the happy Arabia, whose inhabitants, 
remote from war, are enervated by the luxury of the soil and 
climate. The legions of Augustus melted away in disease and 
lassitude ; ^^ and it is only by a naval power that the reduction 

'^Niebuhr (Description de TArabie, p. 303, 303, 329-331) affords the moat 
recent and authentic intelli^;ence of the Turkish empire in Arabia. [Harris's Travels 
among the Yemen Rebeb is the latest account (1894).] 

>*Diodorus Siculus (tom. it 1. xix. p. 390-393, edit Weaseling [c. 94, sq^.Ji has 
clearly exposed the freedom of the NabaUieean Arabs, who resisted the arms of 
Antigonus and his son. 

3»Stnibo, 1. xvi. p. 1137-X139 [3, § oa j^.] ; Plin. Hist. Natur. vi. y. iClius 
Oallus landed near Medina, and marched near a thousand miles into the port of 



•tar 



320 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

of Yemen has been successfully attempted. When Mahomet 
erected his holy standard,^ that kingdom was a province of the 
Persian empire ; yet seven princes of the Homerites still reigned 
in the mountains ; and the vicegerent of Chosroes was tempted 
to forget his distant country and his unfortunate master. The 
historians of the age of Justinian represent the state of the 
independent Arabs, who were divided by interest or affection 
in the long quarrel of the East : the tribe of Gasian was allowed 
to encamp on the Syrian territory ; the princes of Hira were 
permitted to form a city about forty miles to the southward of 
the ruins of Babylon. Their service in the field was speedy and 
vigorous ; but their firiendship was venal, their faith inconstant, 
their enmity capricious : it was an easier task to excite than to 
disarm these roving barbarians ; and, in the familiar intercourse 
of war, they learned to see, and to despise, the splendid weak- 
ness both of Rome and of Persia. From Mecca to the Eu- 
phrates, the Arabian tribes^ were confounded by the Greeks 
and Latins under the general appellation of Sarackhs,** a name 
which every Christian mouth has been taught to pronounce with 
terror and abhorrence. 

The slaves of domestic tyranny may vainly exult in their 
national independence ; but the Arab is personally free ; and he 
enjoys, in some degree, the benefits of society, wiUiont forfeiting 
the prerogatives of nature. In every tribe, superstition, or grati- 
tude, or fortune has exalted a particular £unily above the heads 

Yemen between Mareband the Ocean. The non ante devictis Sabaeae regibas (Od. 
L 2^)f and the intacti Aiabum thesauri (Od. ill 34), of Honice attest the vuvin 
punty of Arabia. PThe mistake of Gallus lay in not s^lin^ directly to Yemen.J 

*> See the imperfect history of Yemen in Pocock, Specimen, p. 55-66, of Hva, 
p. 66-74. of Gassan. p. 75-78, as far as it could be known or preserved in the time 
of ignorance. [The bat authority is H. C. Kay, Hist, of the Yemen, 189a (from 
Arabic sources, and chiefly Omara, al-Khazraji, and al-Jann&bi).] 

"The Xap«in|i'uc4 ^Ao, ^vpui^ ravra mu rb wXimtow cvrwr ^%pi«pd#ftw 



&Uow9roi. are described by Menander (Excerpt Lcigatioo. p. 149 [fr. 15, p. 
290, ed. Mttller]), Procopius de BelL Persia Lie. 17, 19, L ii c. 10). and, m 
the most lively colours, by Ammianus Marcellinus (1. xiv. c 4), who had spoken 
of them as early as the reign of Marcus. 

" The name which, used by Ptolemy and Pliny in a more confined, by Ammianns 
and Procopius in a larger, sense, has been derived, ridiculously from SaraA, the wife 
of Abraham, obscurely from the village of Saraka (^mtA N<^crM«vc. Stephan. de 
Urbibus), more plausibly from the Arabic words which signinr a thievish character. 



or Oriental situation (Holtinger, Hist Oriental. L i. c i. p. 7. 8. Pooock, Speci- 
men, p. 33. 35. Asseman. Bibliot Orient torn. iv. p. 567). Yet the last and most 
popular of these etymologies is refuted by Ptolemy (Arsdsia, p. 2. z6, in Hodsoo. 



tom. iv.). who expressly remarks the western and southern position of the Sara- 
cens, then an obscure tribe on the borders of Egypt Tb: appeUatioo cannot 
therefore allude to any iM/ti^ifa/ character ; aiui, since it was imposed by strangers, 
it must be foimd. not in the Arabic, but in a foreign language. [ShaHti s Eastern : 
oommonly used for Ijevaniine^'\ 



OF THE SOMAN EMPIRE S21 

of their equals. The dignities of sheikh and emir invariably de- 
scend in uiis chosen race ; but the order of succession is loose 
and precarious ; and the most worthy or aged of the noble kins- 
men are preferred to the simple, though important, office of com- 
posing disputes by their advice and guiding valour by their 
example. Even a female of sense and spirit has been permitted to 
command the countrymen of 2^nobia.^ The momentary junction 
of several tribes pioduces an army ; their more lasting union 
constitutes a nation ; and the supreme chief, the emir oi emirs, 
whose banner is displayed at their head, may deserve, in the 
eyes of strangers, the honours of the kingly name. If the 
Arabian princes abuse their power, they are quickly punished 
by the desertion of their subjects, who had been accustomed to 
a mild and parental jurisdiction. Their spirit is free, their steps 
are unconfined, the desert is open, and the tribes and families 
are held together by a mutuid and voluntaiy compact. The 
softer natives of Yemen supported the pomp and majesty of a 
monarch ; but, if he could not leave his palace without endan- 
gering his life,^ the active powers of government must have 
been devolved on his nobles and magistrates. The cities of 
Mecca and Medina present, in the heart of Asia, the form, or 
rather the substance, of a commonwealth. The grandfather of 
Mahomet and his lineal ancestors appear in foreign and domestic 
transactions as the princes of their country ; but they reigned, 
like Pericles at Athens, or the Medici at Florence, by the opinion 
of their wisdom and integrity ; their influence was divided with 
their patrimony ; and the sceptre was transferred from the uncles 
of the prophet to a younger branch of the tribe of Koreish. On 
solemn occasions they convened the assembly of the people ; 
and, since mankind must be either compelled or pe rs uaded to 
obey, the use and reputation of oratory among the ancient Arabs 
is the clearest evidence of public freedom.^ But their simple 

M Saraceni . . . mulieres aiunt in eos regnare (Expositio tothu Mundi, p. 3, in 
Hudson, torn. iH.). The reign of Mavia is tamous in ecclesiastical storyi Pooock, 
Specimen, p. 69, 83. 

» Ml) i^tivmi U Twr fimtnkiimv [w i^9im wHuv U tAp fim^OgCmv i^^XBtlvl is the 
report of Agatharchides (de Man Rubro, p. 63, 64, in Hudson, torn, i), uiodona 
Siculus (torn. i. L iiu c. 47, p. 215), and Strabo (L xvu pi 1124 [3. § 19]). But I 
much suspect that this is one of the popular tales or extraordinary accidents which 
the credulity of travellers so often transforms into a fact, a custom, and a law. 

» Non gloriabantur antiquitus Arabes, nisi jriadio, bospite, et gloqnuUiA (Sepb- 
adius, apud Pocock, Specimen, p. 161, i6a). This gift of speech they shared only 
with the Persians ; and the sententious Arabs would probably have difdained.the 
simple and sublime logic of Demosthenes. 

VOL. V. 21 



822 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

freedom was of a very difTerent taat from the nice and artificial 
machinery of the Greek and Roman republics, in which each 
member possessed an undivided share of the civil and political 
rights of the community. In the more simple state of the Arabs 
the nation is free, because each of her sons disdains a base sub- 
mission to the will of a master. His breast is fortified with the 
austere virtues of courage, patience, and sobriety ; the love of 
independence prompts him to exercise the habits of self^som- 
mand ; and the fear of dishonour guards him from the meaner 
apprehension of pain, of danger, and of death. The gravity and 
firmness of the mind is conspicuous in his outward demeanoor ; 
his speech is slow, weighty, and concise ; he is seldom provoked 
to laughter ; his only gesture is that of stroking his beard^ the 
venerable symbol of manhood ; and the sense of his own impor- 
tance teaches him to accost his equals without levity and his 
superiors without awe.^ The liberty of the Saracens survived 
their conquests ; the first caliphs indulged the bold and fiuniliar 
language of their subjects ; they ascended the pulpit to persuade 
and edify the congregation ; nor was it before the seat of empire 
was removed to the Tigris that the Abbassides adopted the 
proud and pompous ceremonial of the Persian and Bysantine 
courts. 
ji^_wan In the study of nations and men, we may observe the causes 

""' — ' "- ^^^^ render them hostile or friendly to each other, that tend to 
narrow or enlarge, to mollify or exasperate, the social character. 
The separation of the Arabs from the rest of mankind has ac- 
customed them to confound the ideas of stranger and enemy ; 
and the poverty of the land has introduced a maxim of juris- 
prudence which they believe and practise to the present hour. 
They pretend that, in the division of the earth, the rich and 
fertile climates were assigned to the other branches of the human 
family ; and that the posterity of the outlaw Ismael might re- 
cover, by fraud or force, the portion of inheritance of which he 
had been unjustly deprived. According to the remark of Pliny, 
the Arabian tribes are equally addicted to theft and merchandise ; 
the caravans that traverse the desert are ransomed or pillaged ; 
and their neighbours, since the remote times of Job and Sesostris,* 



utdprlTato 



^ I must remind the reader that d*Arrieuz, d'HerbeloC, and Niebuhr 
in the most lively colcmrs, the nuumers ud eovernment of the Arabs, wliidi are 
illustrated by many incidental panafes in the life of Mahomet. 

» Observe the first chapter of Job, ud the long wall of i5cx> stadia which 
Sesostris built from Pelusium to HeHopoUs (Diodor. SicuL torn. i. 1. i. p^ 67). 
Under the name of Hycws^ the ah cp hcfd jdngs, tbey had formerly sobdoed EbfP^ 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 823 

have been the YictiiiM €)i their rapacious spirit. If a Bedoween 
discovers from afar a solitary traveller, he rides furiously against 
him, crying, with a loud voice, " Undress thyself, thy aunt (ntjf 
fnife) is without a gannent ". A ready submission entitles him 
to merey ; resistance will provoke tne aggressor, and his own 
blood must expiate the blood which he presumes to shed in 
legitimate defence. A single robber or a few associates are 
branded with their genuine name ; but the exploits of a numerous 
band assume the character of a lawful and honourable war. The 
temper of a people, thus armed against mankind, was doubly in- 
flamed by the domestic licence of rapine, murder, and revenge. 
In the constitution of Europe, the right of peace and war is now 
confined to a small, and the actual exercise to a much smaller, list 
of respectable potentates ; but each Arab, with impunity and re- 
nown, mi^t point his javelin against the life of his countryman. 
The union of the nation consisted only in a vague resemblance 
of language and manners ; and in each community the jurisdic- 
tion of the magistrate was mute and impotent. Of the time of 
ignorance which preceded Mahomet, seventeen hundred battles^ 
are recorded by tradition; hostility was embittered with the 
rancour of civil &ction ; and the recital, in prose or verse, of an 
obsolete feud was sufficient to rekindle the same passions among 
the descendants of the hostile tribes. In private life, every man, 
at least every fitmily, was the judge and avenger of its own cause. 
The nice sensibility of honour, which weighs the insult rather 
than the injury, sheds its deadly venom on the ouarrels of the 
Arabs ; the honour of their women, and of their beards, is most 
easily wounded ; an indecent action, a contemptuous word, can 
be expiated only by the blood of the offender ; and such is their 
patient inveteracy that they expect whole months and years the 
opportunity of revenge. A fine or compensation for murder is 
familiar to the barbarians of every age ; but in Arabia the kins- 
men of the dead are at liberty to accept the atonement, or to 
exercise with their own hands the law of retaliation, llie re- 
fined malice of the Arabs refuses even the head of the murderer, 

(Marsham, Canon. Chron. p. 98-163, &c.). [Ifycsuis supposed to mean "princes 
of the Sbasu," a name for tne Bedouins of the Sinai peninsuk. The name Hyksos 
comes from Manetho, ap. Joseph, c A^on., L 14. Another name for them (in 
Egyptian documents) is Mentu. See Chabos, Les pasteun en Egypte, x868; 
Peine, History of Egypt, ex.] 

» Or, according to another account. laoo (d*Herfoelot, Kblioth^ue Orientale, 
p. 75). The two historians who wrote of the Awm al Arab^ the battles of the 
Arabs, lived m the ninth and tenth century. The iamoas war of Dahes and Gabrah 
was occasioned by two bprses, lasted forty years, and ended in a proverb (Pooock, 
Specimen, p. 48). 



'.T 



324 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

substitutes an innocent to the guilty person, and tnnsftis die 
penalty to the best and most conaidenble of the race bj wbon 
they have been injured. If he fiUls by their hands, they aie ex- 
posed in their turn to the danger of reprisals ; the interest and 
principal of the bloody debt are accumulated ; the individnalsof 
either family lead a life of malice and suspicion, and fifty yean 
may sometimes elapse before the account of vengeance be mnl^ 
settled.^ This sanguinaiy spirit, ignorant of pity or fi ltg i y e n ci iH 
has been moderated, however, by the ma»ims of honour, whidi 
require in every private encounter some decent equality of age 
and strength, of numbers and weapons. An annual festival of 
two, perhaps of four, months was observed by the Amfas befixe 
the time of Mahomet, during which their swords were religioiisly 
sheathed, both in foreign and domestic hostility; and this partial 
truce is more strongly expressive of the habits of anaidiy and 
warfare.4i 

But the spirit of rapine and revenge was attemperea Dj the 
milder influence of trade and literature. The solitary pentesnia 
is encompassed by the most civilised nations of Uie ancient 
world ; the merchant is the friend of mankind ; and the annual 
caravans imported the first seeds of knowledge and politeness 
into the cities and even the camps of the desert whatever 
may be the pedigree of the Arabs, their language is derived 
from the same original stock with the Hebrew, the Syriac^ and 
the Chaldsan tongues; the independence of the tribes was 
marked by their peculiar dialeets ;^ but each, after their own, 
allowed a just preference to the pure and perspicuous idioai of 
Mecca. In Arabia as well as in Greece, the perfectioii of lan- 
guage outstripped the refinement of manners ; and her wpotA 
could diversify the fiHirsoore names of honey, the two hundred 

^ The modern theoiy and praetiee of the Arabs in the revenge of miu dei are 
described by Niebuhr (UcBcriptloo, p. a6-3i)L The hanher featnrcs of aatiqiiiif 
may be traced in the Koran, c. a. p. sOb c 17, p. 330, with Sale's ObservatioUb 

^ Procopius (de BeU. Posic. L i. c 16) places the Aop holy months about the 
summer solstice. The Arabians cous e ua t e fbyr months of the year— Che fint, 
seventh, eleventh, and twdfth : and pielend that in a long series of ages ths traoe 
was infringed only four or six times. (Sale*s Preliminary Disoourae, p. 147*150^ 
and Notes on the ninth diapter of the Rona, pi 154, &c. Casiri, BiUioL HlBpn» 
Arabica, torn. ii. p. 90^ ai.) 

4 Arrian, in the second century, reniarks (in Periplo Maris Eiythis e i , p. is) Ifae 
partial or total difference of the disJects of the Arabs. Their langnaae and Icinen 




parrot. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 325 

of a serpent, the five hundred of a Hon, the thousand of a sword, 
at a time when this copious dictionary was entrusted to the 
memory of an illiterate pa9ple. The monuments of the Homerites 
were inscribed with an obsolete and mysterious character ; but 
the Cnfic letters, the mmndwork of the present alphabet, were 
invented on the banks of the Euphrates ; and the recent in- 
vention was taught at Mecca by a stranger who settled in that 
city after the birth of Mahomet. The arts of grammar, of metre, 
and of rhetoric were unknown to the freebom eloquence of the 
Arabians ; but their penetration was sharp, their fancy luxuriant, 
their wit strong and sententious,^ and their more elaborate com- 
positions were addressed with energy and effect to the minds of 
their hearers. The genius and merit of a rising poet was cele-x«v« of poetry 
brated by the applause of his own and the kindred tribes. A 
solemn banquet was prepared, and a chorus of women, striking 
their tymbals, and displaying the pomp of their nuptials, sung 
in the presence of their sons and husbands the felicity of their 
native tribe ; that a champion had now appeared to vindicate 
their rights ; that a herald had raised his voice to immortalise 
their renown. The distant or hostile tribes resorted to an annual 
fidr, which was abolished by the fimaticism of the first Moslems : 
a national assembly that must have contributed to refine and 
harmonize the barbarians. Thirty days were employed in the 
exchange, not only of com and wine, but of eloquence and 
poetry. The prize was disputed by the generous emulation of 
the bards ; the victorious performance was deposited in the 
archives of princes and emirs ; and we may read in our own 
language the seven original poems which were inscribed in 
letters of gold and suspended in the temple of Mecca.^ The 
Arabian poets were the historians and moralists of the age ; and, 
if they S3rmpathized with the prejudices, they inspired and 
crowned the virtues, of their countrymen, llie indissoluble 

^ A familiar tale in Voltaire's Zadig (le Chien et le Cheval) b related to prove 
the natural sagacity of the Arabs (d'Herbelot, BibUot Orient p. lao, ifli ; Qag- 
nier, Vie de NJaboinet, torn. I pi 37-46); but d'Arvieox, orratber La Roqne (Voy- 
age de Palestine, p. 93), denies the boasted superiority of the Bedoweens. The one 
hundred and sixty-nine sentences of All (translated by Odder, London, 1718) aflfbrd 
a jtist and favourable specimen of Aiabian wit [Metre and rhetoric merv familiar 
to the early Arab poets.] 

^ Pocock (Specimen, p. 158-161) and Casiri (Bibliot Hispano-Arabica, tom. u 
p. 48. 84. &€., 119, tom. 11. p. 17, &c.) speak of tne Arabian poets before Mahomet ; 
the seven poems of the ICaaba have been published in English by Sir William 
Jones ^ but his honourable mission to India has deprived ill of his own notes, far 
more mteresting than the obscure and obsolete text. [Th. Nttldeke, Poesie dor 
ahen Araber, 1864 ; Lyall. Ancient Arabic Poetry, 1885 ; Firesnel, Lettres sor 
I'histoire des Arabes, 1836 ; Caussin de Perceval, Eaiai sor lliistoire des ArabOL 
The legend of the seven poems hung in the Kaaba has no foondatioQ.] 



gUMTUtitj 



326 THE DECUNE AND FALL 

union of generosity and vakmr was the darling theme of their 
song ; and, when they pointed their keenest satire agminst a 
despicable race, they aifirmed, in the bitterness of reproach, 
that the men knew not how to give nor the women to 
Kxu&ptMof deny.**^ The same hospitality which was practised by Abraham 
"""" and celebrated by Homer is still renewed in the campa of the 
Arabs. The ferocious Bedoweens, the terror of the desert, 
embrace, without inquiry or heaitatkm, the stranger who dares 
to confide in their honour and to enter their tent. Hia treat- 
ment is kind and respectful ; he shares the wealth or the poverfy 
of his host ; and, after a needful repose, he is dismissed on his 
way, with thanks, with blessings, and perhaps with gifts. Tlie 
heart and hand are more largely expanded by the wants of a 
brother or a friend ; but the heroic acts that could deserve the 
public applause must have surpassed the narrow measure of dis- 
cretion and experience. A dispute had arisen, who, amons 
citizens of Mecca, was entitled to the prise of generosity ; and 
a successive application was made to the three who were deemed 
most worthy of the trial Abdallah, the son of Abbas, had un- 
dertaken a distant journey, and his foot was in the stirrup when 
he heard the voice of a suppliant, '* O son of the uncle of the 
apostle of God, I am a traveller, and in distress! " He instantly 
dismounted to present the pilgrim with his camel, her rich ca- 
parison, and a purse of four thousand pieces of gold, excepting 
only the sword, either for its intrinsic value or as the gift of an 
honoured kinsman. The servant of Kais informed the second 
suppliant that his master was asleep ; hut he immediately added, 
" Here is a purse of seven thousand pieces of gold (it is all we 
have in the house), and here is an order that will entitle yon to 
a camel and a slave ". The master, as soon as he awoke, pnised 
and enfranchised his faithful steward, with a gentle reproof that 
by respecting his slumbers he had stinted his bounty. The third 
of these heroes, the blind Arabah, at the hour of prayer, was 
supporting his steps on the shoulders of two slaves. " Alas ! " 
he replied, '* my coffers are empty ! but these you may sdl ; 
"if you refuse, I renounce them.' At these words, poshii^ 
away the youths, he groped along the wall with his stattl The 
character of Hatem is the perfect model of Arabian viitne;^ 



tf Sale's Preliminary DiKOWse, pw 09, 3a 



1x8. 

fori 

cum 




, OF THE BOMAK EMPIRE 327 

he was brave and liberal, an eloquent poet and a successful 
robber : forty camels were roasted at his hospitable feast ; and 
at the prayer of a suppliant enemy he restored both the captives 
and the spoil. The freedom of his countrymen disdained the 
laws of justice ; they proudly indulged the spontaneous impulse 
of pity and benevolence. 

The religion of the Arabs^^'^ as well as of the Indians, consisted 
in the worship of the sun, the moon, and the fixed stars ; a primi- 
tive and specious mode of superstition. The bright luminaries 
of the sky display the visible image of a Deity : their number 
and distance convey to a philosophic, or even a vulgar, eye the 
idea of boundless space : the cluuracter of eternity is marked on 
these solid globes, that seem incapable of corruption or decay : 
the regularity of their motions may be ascribed to a principle of 
reason or instinct ; and their real or imaginary influence encour- 
ages the vain belief that the earth and its inhabitants are the 
object of their peculiar care. The science of astronomy was 
cultivated at Babylon ; but the school of the Arabs was a clear 
firmament and a naked plain. In their nocturnal marches, they 
steered by the guidance of the stars ; their names, and order, 
and daily station were familiar to the curiosity and devotion of 
the Bedoween ; and he was taught by experience to divide in 
twenty-eight parts the zodiac of the moon, and to bless the con- 
stellations who refreshed with salutary rains the thirst of the 
desert. The reign of the heavenly orbs could not be extended 
beyond the visible sphere ; and some metaphysical powers were 
necessary to sustain the transmigration of souls and the resurrec- 
tion of bodies ; a camel was left to perish on the grave, that he 
might serve his master in another life ; and the invocation of 
departed spirits implies that they were still endowed with 
consciousness and power. I am ignorant, and I am careless, of 
the blind mythology of the barbarians ; of the local deities, of 
the stars, the air, and the earth, of their sex or titles, their 
attributes or subordination. Each tribe, each family, each inde- 
pendent warrior, created and changed the rites and the object 
of his fantastic worship ; but the nation, in every age, has bowed 

^ Whatever can now be known of the idotatiy of the ancient Arabians may be 
found in Pocock (Specimen, p. 89-136, 163, 164). His profound emdition is more 
clearly and concisely interpreted by Sale (Prenminary Diaooone, p. 14-24) ; and 
Assemanni (Bibliot. Orient, torn. iv. p. 580-590) has added some valuable remarks. 
[On the state of Arabia and its reUppon Mfors Islam, see Caussin de Perce v al, 
Essai sur Thistoiredes Arabes, vol 11. , and E. H. Palmer's Introductioii to bis 
translatk^n of the Koran (in the * * Sacred Books of the East").] 



328 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

to the religion, as weU as to the language, of Mecca. The 
genuine antiquity of the Caaba ascends beyond the Christian 
sera : in describing the coast of the Red Sea, the Greek historian 
Diodorus^ has remarked, between the Thamudites and the 
Sabaeans, a &mous temple, whose superior sanctity was revered 
by all the Arabians ; the linen or silken veil, which is annually 
renewed by the Turkish emperor, was first offered by a pious 
king of the Homerites, who reigned seven hundred years before 
the time of Mahomet ^^ A tent or a cavern might suffice for the 
worship of the savages, but an edifice of stone and clay has been 
erected in its place ; and the art and power of the monarchs of 
the East have been confined to the simplicity of the original 
modcL^ A spacious portico encloses the quadrangle of the 
Caaba, a square chapel, twenty-four cubits long, twenty-three 
broad, and twenty-seven high ; a door and a window admit the 
light ; the double roof is supported by three pillars of wood ; a 
spout (now of gold) dischaiges the rain-water, and the well 
Zemsem is protected by a dome from accidental pollution. The 
tribe of Koreish, by fraud or force, had acquired the custody of 
the Caaba: the sacerdotal office devolved through four lineal 
descents to the grandfiither of Mahomet ; and the fomfly of the 
Hashemites, from whence he sprung, was the most respectable 
and sacred in the eyes of their country.^ The precincts of 
Mecca enjoyed the rights of sanctuary ; and, in the last month 



SicuL torn. i. 1. iii. p. an [c. 44]). The chormctcr and position are so oorrectlj ap- 
posite, that I am surprised how this curious paaage should have been read wiihant 
notice or application. Yet this famous temple had been overlooked bf Agathar- 
cfaides (de Man Rubro, p. c8, in Hudson, torn. I), whom Diodorus copies in the 
rest of the description. Was the SieUfam more knowing than the Egyptian ? Or 
was the Caaba built between the years of Rome 650 [Agatharchides wrote his 
Hislorica in the and cent. B.C under Ptolemy VI.] and 746. the dates of their re- 
spective histories? (Dodwdl, In DisRrt. ad tom. i. Hudson, p. 7a. Fhbricius. 
&bliot Grace, tom. it p. 770^) [It is improbable that Diodorus rem to the Kaaba.] 

^Pocock, Specimen, p. 60. 6x. Firom the death of Mahomet we ascend to 6S. 
from his birth to 199, v«rs before the CSuistian sera. The veil or curtain, which 
is now of silk and gold, was no more than a piece of Egyptian linen (Abulfeda, 
in Vit. Mohammed, c. 6. p. 14). [The oowoing (Kiswa) of the Kaaba is made in 
Cairo of a coarse brocade of silk and ootton. See Lane, Modem Egyptians, ch. ur.] 

■^Tbe original plan of the Caaba (which is servilely copied in Sale, the Unirenal 
History. &c.) was a Turkish draught, which Reland (de Religione MohammedicA, 
p. zx3-xa3) has c or re ct ed and explained from the best authorities. For the de- 
scription and Iqrend of the Caaba, cooralt Pdoock (Spe ci men, p. ix5-xas), the 
Bibliothique Onentale of d'Hcrbelot (CmM«. //kywu; Zmums. Ac.) and Sak 
(Preliminaxy Disoourse, p. xi4-za9). 

" Cosa, the fifth ancestor of Maho m et, mast have usurped the Caaba, A.P. 440; 
but the story is differently told bv Jaanafai (Gagnier, Vie de Mahonet, torn. Lpi 
65459) and tiy Abulfeda (in VU. mbam. e. 6^ pt 13). 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 329 

of each year, the city and the temple were crowded with a long 
train of pilgrims, who presented their vows and offerings in the 
house of God. The same rites, which are now accomplished by 
the feuthful Musulman, were invented and practis^ by the 
superstition of the idolaters. At an awful distance they cast 
away their garments ; seven times, with hasty steps, they en- 
circled the Caaba, and kissed the black stone ; seven times they 
visited and adored the adjacent mountains ; seven times they 
threw stones into the valley of Mina ; and the pilgrimage was 
achieved, as at the present hour, by a sacrifice of sheep and 
camels, and the burial of their hair and nails in the consecrated 
ground. Each tribe either found or introduced in the Caaba 
their domestic worship ; the temple was adorned, or defiled, 
with three hundred and sixty idols of men, eagles, lions, and 
antelopes ; and most conspicuous was the statue of Hebal, of 
red agate, holding in his hand seven arrows, without heads or 
feathers, the instruments and symbols of profane divination. 
But this statue was a monument of Syrian arts ; the devotion of 
the ruder ages was content with a pillar or a tablet ; and the 
rocks of the desert were hewn into gods or altars, in imitation of 
the black stone ^^ of Mecca, which is deeply tainted with the 
reproach of an idolatrous origin. From Japan to Peru, the usei 
of sacrifice has universally prevailed ; and the votary has ex- 
pressed his gratitude, or fear, by destroying or consuming, in 
honour of the gods, the dearest and most precious of their gifts. 
The life of a man ^ is the most precious oblation to deprecate a 
public calamity : the altars of Phoenicia and Egypt, of Rome and 
Carthage, have been polluted with human gore ; the cruel 
practice was long preserved among the Arabs ; in the third 
century, a boy was annually sacrificed by the tribe of the 
Dumatians ; ^ and a royal captive was piously slaughtered by 

"3 In the second century, Maximus of Tjnre attributes to the Arabs the worship 
of a stone — 'ApAfiiot. o-ifiovai fii¥t ovrtva ii oim ot3«, rb ii tty«A|ui [S] «l5«v A^Vet ^r 
rrrpivMvof (dissert viii. torn. i. p. 142, edit Reiske) ; and the reproach is furiously 
re-echoed b^ the Christians (Clemens Alex, in Protreptico, p. 40 ; Amobius contra 
Gentes, I. vi. p. 246). Yet tnese stones were no other than the ^a<rvAc of Syria, and 
Greece, so renowned in sacred and profane antiquity (Euseb. Praep. EvangeL L i. 
p. 37i Marsham, Canon. Chron. p. 54-56). 

^ The two horrid subjects of 'Ai^^tvam and UaUoiviFU are accurately discussed 
by the learned Sir John Marsham (Canon. Chron. p. 76-78, 301-304). Sanchoniar 
tho derives the Phoenician sacrifices from the example of Chronus ; but we are 
i^orant whether Chronus lived before or after Abraham, or indeed whether be 
hved at all. 

^ Kor^ crov {kootov vciSa t#vov, is the reproach of Por phyry ; but he lUDewiae 
hnputes to the Romans the same barbarous custom, whicxi, A.U.C 657, had bsn 



330 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

the prince of the Saracens, the ally and soldier of the emperor 
Justinian.^ A parent who drags his son to the altar exhibits 
the most painful and sublime effort of fanaticism ; the deed, or 
the intention, was sanctified by the example of saints and heroes ; 
and the father of Mahomet himself was devoted by a rash row, 
and hardly ransomed for the equivalent of an hunidred camels. 
In the time of ignorance, the Arabs, like the Jews and EgyptUaa, 
abstained from the taste of swine's flesh ; ^ they circumcised ^'' 
their children at the age of puberty ; the same customs, without 
the censure or the precept of the Koran, have been silently 
transmitted to their posterity and proselytes. It has been 
sagaciously conjectured that the artful legislator indulged the 
stubborn prejudices of his countrymen. It is more simple to 
believe that he adhered to the habits and opinions of his youth, 
without foreseeing that a practice congenial to the climate of 
Mecca might become useless or inconvenient on the banks of 
the Danube or the Volga. 
gwtactoon^ Arabia was free ; the adjacent kingdoms were shaken by the 
storms of conquest and tjrranny, and the persecuted sects fled 
to the happy land where they might profess what they thou^t 
and practise what they professed. The religions of the Sa- 
bians and Magians, of the Jews and Christians, were disseminated 
from the Persian Gulf to the Red Sea. In a remote period of 
antiquity, Sabianism was diffused over Asia by the science of 
the Chaldeans^ and the arms of the Assvrians. From the 

finally abolished. Dumaetha, Daumat alGendal, is noticed by Ptolemy (TabuL 
p. 37, Arabia, p. 0-39), and Abulfeda (p. 57} ; and may be found in d'Anville's 
maps, in the mid-desert between Chaibar and Tadmor. 

^ Procopius (de Bell Persioo, L i. c fl8), Evagrius (I. vi. c. 91), and Pooock 
(Specimen, p. 72, 86) attest the human aauawcesot the Arabs in the vith century. 
The danc^er and escape of Abdallah is a tradition rather than a fact (Gamier, 
Vie de Kiahomet, torn. i. p. 83-84). 

^Suillis cnrnibus abstinent, says Solinus (Polyhistor. c. 33), who copies PUnyn. 
viii. c. 68) in the strange supposition that hogs cannot live in Arabia. The 
Egyptians were actuated by a natural and superstitious horror for that unclean 
b«Lst ( Marsham. C'anon. p. 205). The old Ara&ans likewise practised, ^t caihnm, 
the rite of ablution (Herodot 1. L c. 80 [Ug. 198]), which is sanctified by the 
Mahometan law (Reland. P. 75, &c. ; Charoin, or rather the Mollah of Shaw 
Abbas, tom. iv. p. 71, &c.). 

^ The Mahometan doctors are not fond of the subject ; yet they hold drcnmdsiOD 
necessary to salvation, and even pretend that Mahomet was miraculously bora 
without a foreskin (Pbcock, 5%pecimen, pi 3191 300 ; Sale's Preliminaxy Diaoocnse, 
p. 106, 107). 

M Diodorus Siculus (tom. i. L iL p. u^XjX [c. aoAf^.]) has cast on their religioa 
the curious, but superiicial, clanoe of a Greek. Their astronomy would be fiv 
more valuable : they had looked through the telescope of reason, since ther oonld 
doubt whether the sun were in the number of the planets or of the fiiaa staia 
[For the Sabians and their religiia tee Appendix laj 



OF THE BOMAN EMPIRE 331 

observations of two thousand years the priests and astronomers 
of Babylon ^^ deduced the eternal laws of nature and providence. 
They adored the seven gods or angels who directed the course 
of the seven planets and shed their irresistible influence on the 
earth. The attributes of the seven planets, with the twelve 
signs of the zodiac and the twenty-four constellations of the 
northern and southern hemisphere, were represented by images 
and talismans ; the seven days of the week were dedicated to 
their respective deities; the Sabians prayed thrice each day; 
and the temple of the moon at Haran was the term of their 
pilgrimage.^ But the flexible genius of their &ith was always 
ready eiUier to teach or to learn ; in the tradition of the creation, 
the deluge, and the patriarchs, they held a singular agreement 
with their Jewish captives ; they appealed to the secret books 
of Adam, Seth, and Enoch ; and a slight infusion of the gospel 
has transformed the last remnant of the Polytheists into the 
Christians of St. John, in the territory of Bassora.^^ The altars ih«ibc 
of Babylon were overturned by the Magians ; but the injuries 
of the Sabians were revenged by the sword of Alexander; 
Persia groaned above five hundred years under a foreign yoke ; 
and the purest disciples of Zoroaster escaped from the contagion 
of idolatry^ and breathed with their adversaries the freedom of 
the desert.^^ Seven hundred years before the death of Mahomet, n* j««i 
the Jews were settled in Arabia ; and a flEu: greater multitude 
was expelled from the Holy Land in the wars of Titus and 
Hadrian. The industrious exiles aspired to liberty and power : 
they erected synagogues in the cities and castles in the wilder- 
ness, and their Gentile converts were confounded with the 



^•Simplicius (who quotes Porphyry) de Caelo, I ii. com. xlvi. p. 123, lin. 18, 
apud Marsham, Canon. Chron. p. 474, who doubts the fact, because it is adverse 
to his s]^tems. The earliest date of the Chaldean observations is the year 2234 
before Christ. After the conquest of Babylon by Alexander, they were communi- 
cated, at the request of Aristotle, to the astronomer Hipparchus. What a moment 
in the annals of science I 

*>Pocock (Specimen, p. 138-146), Hottinger (Hist. Oriental, p. x62-203), Hyde 
(de Religione Vet. Persarum, p. 124, 128, &e.), d'Herbelot {SaH, p. 725, 726), and 
Sale (Preliminary Discourse, p. 14, 15), rather excite than ^pratify our curiosity ; 
and the last of these writers confounds Sabi4|ism with the primitive religion of the 
Arabs. ' 

A^D'Anville (I'Euphrates et le Tigre, p. 130-147) will fix the position of these 
ambiguous Christians ; Assemannus (Bibliot. Oriental, torn. iv. p. 607-614) may ex- 
plain their tenets. But it is a slippery task to ascertain the creed of an Ignorant 
people, afraid and ashamed to disclose their secret traditions. 

^The Magi were fixed in the province of Bahrein (Qagnier, Vie de Mahomet, 
torn. iii. p. 1x4) and mingled with the old Arabians (Pocock, Spedmen, p. t^isp)* 



332 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

children of Israel, whom they reiembled in the outwaid mark 
• cairiatuu of circumcision. The ChristiAn mistknuuies were stUl more active 
and successful : the Catholics asserted their universal reign ; the 
sects whom they oppressed succeKively retired beyond the limits 
of the Roman empire; the BiareioDites and the Manidueans 
dispersed their phaaUutic opinions and apocryphal goapela ; the 
churches of Yemen, and the princes of Hira and uanany were 
instructed in a purer creed by the Jacobite and Nestorian 
bishops.^ The liberty of choice was presented to the tribes : 
each Arab was free to elect or to compose his own private 
religion; and the rude superstition of his house was mingled 
with the sublime theology of saints and philosophers. A fonda- 
mental article of £uth was inculcated by the consent of the 
learned strangers : the existence of one supreme God, who is 
exalted above the powers of heaven and earth, but who has 
oflen revealed himself to mankind by the ministry of his angels 
and prophets, and whose grace or justice has interrupted, by 
seasonable miracles, the order of nature. The most ratioiial of 
the Arabs acknowledged his power, thou^ they n^lected his 
worship ; ^ and it was habit rather than conviction that still 
attached them to the relics of idolatry. The Jews and Chris- 
tians were the people of the hook ; the Bible was already trsna- 
lated into the Arabic language,^ and the volume of the Old Testa- 
ment was accepted by the concord of these implacable enemies. 
In the story of the Hebrew patriarchs, the Arabs were pleased to 
discover the fisithers of their natkm. They applauded the Irirth 
and promises of Ismael ; revered the faith and virtue of Abraham ; 
traced his pedigree and their own to the creation of the first 
man, and imbibed with equal credulity the prodiffies of the 
holy text and the dreams and traditions of the Jewish rabbis. 

OThe state of the Jewa and Christiana in Arabia is dcacribed bj Pooock from 
Sharestani, &c (Spedinen, p. 60, 134, Ad), Hoctinger (Hist Orient, p. 0x0-138). 
d'Herbelot (Bibhot. Orient p. 474-476)» Baaiage (Hist aes Jutis, torn. viLp. 185, 
torn, viil p. aSo), and Sale (Prduninaiy Diiooiine, p. as, Ac. 3a. Ac.). [ShahniF 
stfini. Religionspartheien und PhOosophfln-Schule ; a translation \xf Th. Haar- 
brUcker, Z850-1.J 

Min their ofiferings, it was a nuudm to defraud God for the profit of the idol, 
not a more potent, but a more irritable patron (Pooock, Specimen, p. io8| 109). 

^Our versions now extant, whethsr Jewirii or Christian, appear more rooeot 
than the Koran ; but the existence of a prior translation may be fairij inferred : 
I. From the popetnal practice of the ijmaflDgiie, of expounding the Hebrew 
lesson by a paraphrase in the vulgar toQne 01 the country ; a. From the anakgy 
of the Armenian, Persian, iEthiopac venkmSi expressly quoted by the latbeni of 
the fifth century . who asiert that the Scriptnrm were translated into «// the Barfaarie 
languages (Walton, Prolegomena ad EabUa Polyglot, p 34, 93-97; Simoo. Hitt. 
Critic^ue du V. ct du N. Tenament, tom, L pi uo^ x8x, fl8a-a86^ 093, 305, 306^ 
torn. IV. p. ao6). 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 888 

The base and plebeian origin of Mahomet is an unskilful Hriii ■»« 
calumny of the Christians,^ who exalt instead of degrading the miii mm^ 
merit of their adversary. His descent from Ismael was a 
national privilege or fable ; but, if the first steps of the pedigree*'^ 
are dark and doubtfid« he could produce many generations of 
pure and genuine nobility : he sprung from the tribe of Koreish 
and the fiunUy of Hashem, the most illustrious of the Arabs, the 
princes of Mecca, and the hereditary guardians of the Caaba. 
The grandfrither of Mahomet was Ab£>l Motalleb, the son oftfift^fei 
Hashem, a wealthy and generous citisen, who relieved the 
distress of famine with the supplies of commerce. Mecca, which 
had been fed by the liberality of the father, was saved by the 
courage of the son. The kingdom of Yemen was subject to the 
Christian princes of Abyssinia; their vassal Abrahah was pro- 
voked by an insult to avenge the honour of the cross ; and the 
holy city was invested by a train of elephants and an army of 
Africans. A treaty was proposed ; and in the first audience the 
grand&ther of Mahomet demandal the restitution of his cattle. 
" And why/' said Abrahah, " do you not rather implore my clem- 
ency in favour of your temple, which I have threatened to de- 
stroy ? " '* Because," replied the intrepid chief, " the cattle is 
my own ; the Caaba belongs to the gods, and ihey will defend 
their house fit>m ii^ury and sacrilege." The want of provisions, 
or the valour of the Koreish, compelled the Abyssinians to a dis- 
graceful retreat; their discomfiture had been adorned with a 
miraculous flight of birds, who showered down stones on the 
heads of the infidels ; and the deliverance ¥ras long commemo- 
rated by the sera of the elephant^ The glory of Abdol Motal-Jj^ 

MIn eo conveniunt omnes, ut plebeio vUique genere ortum. ftc. (Hottinger, 
Hist. Orient p. 136). Yet Theopnanes, the most ancient of the Greeks, and the 
father of many a lie, confesses that Mahomet was of the race of Ismael, U luSit 
y«irtM»r«Tif« ^Aii« /Chronograph, p. 277 [A.ii. 6123]). [The name Mohammad 
(-■" the Praised ") is found as eany as A.XX 1x3 ; c/. C.I.G. na 4500, iCo«#m<ow.] 

^Abulfeda (in Vit Mohammed, c. x, a) and Gafnier (Vie de Mahomet, p. 
35-97) describe the popular and approved genealogy 0? the prophet At Mecca, I 
would not dispute its authenticity : at Lau^mne, I will venture to observe, i. TJkat 
from Ismael to Mahomet, a period of 3500 years, they reckon thirty, instead of 
seventy-five, generations ; a. That the modem Bedoweens are ignorant of their 
history and careless of their pedigree (Voyage d'Arvieux, p. xoo, 103). 

** The seed of this history, or (able, is contained in the cvth chapter of the 
Koran [entitled the Elephant]; and Gagnier (in Praefat ad. Vit Mooam. p. 18, 
&c.) has translated the historical narrative of Abulfeda, which mayr be illustrated 
from d'Herbelot (Bibliot Orientale. p. xa) and Pooock (Specimen, p. 64). 
Prideaux (Life of Mahomet, p. 48) calls it a lie of the coinage of Mahomet ; bat 
Sale (Koran, p. QDx-^3), who is naif a MnsuUnan, attacks the inconsistent faith 
of the Doctor lor believing the miraclCTOf the Ddphic Apolkx M a r aoci (Alcoran, 



334 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

]eb was crowned with damestic happiness, his life was piroloiiged 
to the age of one hundred and ten years, and he became the 
father of six daughters and thirteen sons. His best beloved 
Abda]lah was the most beautifiil and modest of the Arabian 
youth ; and in the first night, when he consummated his marriage 
with Amina, of the noble race of the Zahrites, two handrMl 
virgins are said to have expired of jealousy and despair. Mar 
hornet, or more properly Mohammed, the only son of Abdallah 
and Amina, was born at Mecca, four years after the death of 
Justinian, and two months after the defeat of the Abyssinians,^ 
whose victory would have introduced into the Caaba tne relu^oD 
of the Christians. In his early infancy, he was deprived or hi: 
father, his mother, and his grand&ther ; his uncles were strong 
and numerous; and, in the division of the inheritance, the 
orphan's share was reduced to five camels and an Ethiopian 
maid-servant. At home and abroad, in peace and war, Abu 
Taleb, the most respectable of his uncles, was the gcdde and 
guardian of his youth ; in his twenty-fifth year, he entered into 
the service of Cadijah, a rich and noble widow of Mecca, who 
soon rewarded his fidelity with the gift of her hand and 
fortune. The marriage contract, in the simple style of antiquity, 
recites the mutual love of Mahomet and Cadijah ; describes him 
as the most accomplished of the tribe of Koreish ; and stipulates 

torn. i. part ii. p. 14, torn. ii. p. 823) ascribes the miracle to the devil, and extorts 
from the Mahometans the confe.->.sion that God would not have defended anint 
the Christians the idols of the Caaba. [The expedition of Abraha against Mecca 
is historical Ibn Ish&k's account of it is preserved in Tabari (Nudeke. p^ 901 
j^^.). but the earliest notice of it is in a Greek writer — Procopius, Pers. L aa The 
Mohamniarlan authorities always place the expedition in A.D. 570 ; but NtiUddce, 
l^ discovering the passage in Procopius, has rectified the chronology. The 
expedition must have taken place before Procopius wrote his Persica, that is 
probably before A. n. 544. It has been questioned whether Abraha actually ap- 




phant?") proves that Mecca felt itself seriously 
Abraha had an elephant \^ith him. As for Abraha, the accounts of his rise to po«'er 
vary ; but he was probably an Abyssinian soldier of low birth who ov erthr e w the 
vassal king of Yemen and usurped his place. The miracle which caused his 
retreat from the Hijaz was an outbreak of smallpox.] 

®The safest aeras of Abulfeda (in Vit. & i. p. a), of Alexander, or the Greeks, 
882, of Bocht Naser, or Nabonasser, 1316, equally lead us to the year ^69. 
The old Arabian calendar is too dark and uncertain to support the Benedictines 
(Art de verifier les Dates, p. 1^), who from the day of the month and week 
deduct.* a new mode of calculation, and remove the birth of Mahomet to the 
yrar of Christ 570, the xoth of November. Yet this date would agree with the 
year 882 of the Greeks, which is assigned by Elmacin (Hist Saracen, p. 5) and 
Abulpliamgius (Dynast p. xoi. and £inta, Pooock's version}. While we rdlne 
our chronologv. it is possible, that the illitente prophet was ignoraatof hiiofwn 
age. [ Probably the date A. IX 570 is appnndinalely oorreoL ] 



OF THE BOMANI EMIPIEE 38ft 

a dowry of twelve ounoes of gold and twenty cameky which was: 
supplied by the liberality of his uncle.^^ By this alliance, the son. 
of Abdallah was restored to the station of his ancestors ; and the 
judicious matron ¥ras content with his domestic virtues^ till, in 
the fortieth year of his age,^ he assumed the title of a prophet, 
and proclaimed the religion of the Koran. 

According to the tradition of his companions, Mahomet ^ was 
distinguished by the beauty of his person, an outward gift which 
is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused. 
Before he spoke, the orator engaged on his side the affections of 
a public or private audience. They applauded his commanding 
presence, his majestic aspect, his piercing eye, his gracious smile, 
his flowing beaid, his countenance that painted every sensation 
of the soul, and his gestures that enforced each expression of the 
tongue. In the fiuniliar Offices of life he scrupulously adhered to 
the grave and ceremonious politeness of his country ; his respect- 
ful attention to the rich and power^ was dignified by his con- 
descension and af&bility to the poorest citizens of Mecca; the 
frankness of his manner concealed the artifice of his views ; and 
the habits of courtesy were imputed to personal friendship or 
universal benevolence. His memory was capacious and retentive, 
his wit easy and social, his imagination sublime, his judgment 
clear, rapid, and decisive. He possessed the courage both of 
thought and action ; and, although his designs might gradually 
expand with his success, the first idea which he entertained of 
his divine mission bears the stamp of an original and superior 
genius. The son of Abdallah was educated in the bosom of the 
noblest race, in the use of the purest dialect of Arabia ; and the 

70 1 copy the honourable testimony of Abu Taleb to his family and nephew. Laus 
Dei, qui nos a stirpe Abrahami et semine Ismaelis constituit, et nobis regionem 
sacram dedit, et nos judices hominibus statuit. Porro Mohammed filius AMollahi 
nepotis mei [rupas nuus) quocum [non] ex aequo libralntur e Koraishidis quispiam 
cui non praeponderaturus est, bonitate et exoellentiit, et intellectu et glonA et 
actunine etsi opum inops fuerit {et oerte opes umbra transiens sunt et depositum 
quod reddi debet), desiderio Cnadijae filiac Chowailedi tenetur, et ilia vicissim 
ipsitu ; quicquid autem dotis vice petieritis, ego in me susdpiam (Pocock, Speci- 
men, e septimd. parte libri Ebo Hamduni [p. 171]). 

71 The private life of Mahomet, from his birth to his mission, is preserved by 
Abulfeda (in Vit c. V7) and the Arabian writers of genuine or apocryphal note, 
who are alleged by Hottinger (Hist Orient p. 204-311). Maracd (torn, l pu 10-Z4), 
and Gagnier (Vie de Mahomet, tom. i. p. 97-134). 

7> Abulfeda, in Vit. c. 65, 66 ; Gagnier, Vie de Mahomet, tom. iii. p. 873-989 ; 
the best traditions of the person and conversation of the prophet are derived from 
Ayesha, All, and Abu Horaira (Gagnier, tom. ii. p. 367; Ockley's Hist, of the 
Saracens, voL ii. p. 149), sumaroed the father of a cat, 1^ died m the year 59 of 
the Hegira. [Traditions reported by AbQ-Horaira require corroboration.] 



S36 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

fluency of his speech was oonected and enhanced fay the pfactice 
of discreet and seasonable silence. With these powers of elo- 
quence, Mahomet was an illiterate barbarian; his youth had 
never been instructed in the arts of reading and writing;^ 
the common ignorance exempted him from shame or reproacfai 
but he was reduced to a narrow circle of existence, and deprived 
of those fedthful mirrors which reflect to our mind the minds of 
sages and heroes. Yet the book of nature and of man was open 
to his view ; and some fancy has been indulged in the political 
and philosophical observations which are ascribed to the Arabian 
traveller J^ He compares the nations and the religions of the 
earth ; discovers the weakness of the Persian and Roman monar- 
chies ; beholds, with pity and indignation, the degeneracy of 
the times ; and resolves to unite, under one God and ooe king, 
the invincible spirit and primitive virtues of the Arabs. Our 
more accurate inquixy will suggest that, instead of visiting the 
courts, the camps, the temples of the East, the two journeys of 
Mahomet into Syria were confined to the fiurs of Bostra and 
Damascus ; that he was only thirteen years of age when he ac- 
companied the caravan of his unde ; and that his duty compelled 
him to return as soon as he had disposed of the merchanaise of 
CadijalL In these hasty and superficial excursions, the eye of 
genius might discern some objects invisible to his grosser com- 

^Those who believe that Mahomet eoold read or write are incapable of reading 
what is written, with another pen, in the Sarati, or chapters of the Koran, vii. sudx. 
xcvi. These texts, and the tradition of the Sonna, are admitted without doabt by 
Abulfeda (in Vit. c. viL), Gagnier (Not ad Aoulfed. p. 15), Pocock (Specimen, p^ 
151), Reland(de Religione Mooammedici, p. S36), and Sale (Prdiminaiy Dbooone. 
p. 42). Mr. White, almost alone, denies the ignorance, to accuse the imposture, 
of the prophet. His arguments are far from satisfactory. Two short trading 
journeys to the fairs of Syria were surdr not sufficient to infuse a sdenoe ao rare 
among the citizens of Mecca ; it was not m the cool deliberate act of a treaty that 
Mahomet would have dropped the mask ; nor can any conclusion be drawn from 
the words of disease and deUrinm. The Uittred youth, before be aspired to the 
prophetic character, must have often exerdaed, in private life, the arts tA reading 
and writing ; and his first converts, of his own fiunfly, would have been the first to 
detect and upbraid his scandalous hypocrisy. White's Sermons, p. 003, 904, Notes, 
p. xxxvi-xxxviiL [It seems probaUe that Mohammad had some knowledge of the 
arts of reading and writing, but that in practioe be employed an amanuensis to whom 
he dictated his s&ras. On the snb|ect of the knowledge of writing in Arabia see 
D.H. Mailer, EpigraphischeDenkiniaeraaiAimbiea,invoL syoftheDenkadiriften 
of the Vienna Acad. X889.] 

74 The Count de BoulainvilUen (Vie de M a h o mmf d. p. aoa-aaS) leads his Arabian 
pupil, like the Telemachus of Fte^lon, or the Cyrus of Ramsay. His Journey to 
the court of Persia is probably a fiction ; nor can I trace the origin of hisexdama* 
tion, " Les Grecs sont pourtant dea hoamei*'. The two Syrian journeys are ex- 
pressed by almost aU the Andann writers, l»lh llahoinetans and Chriitians (Gagniw 
ad AbuUed. p^ 10), 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 387 

s ; some seeds of knowledge might be cast upon a fruitful 
tuthis ignorance of the Syriac language must have checked 
iosity ; ^^ and I cannot perceive, in Uie life or writings of 
let, that his prospect was £ur extended beyond the limits 
Arabian world. From every region of that solitary world, 
grims of Mecca were annually assembled by the calls of 
m and commerce : in the free concourse of multitudes, a 

citizen, in his native tongue, might study the political 
nd character of the tribes, the theory and practice of the 
nd Christians. Some useful strangers might be tempted, 
ed, to implore the rights of hospitality ; and the enemies 
lomet have named the Jew, the Persian, and the S3nrian 
whom they accuse of lending their secret aid to the com- 
n of the Koran J^ Conversation enriches the understand- 
± solitude is the school of genius ; and the uniformity of 

denotes the hand of a single artist. From his earliest 
Mahomet was addicted to religious contemplation ; ^ each 
uring the month of Ramadan, he withdrew fix>m the world 
»m the arms of Cadijah ; in the cave of Hera, three miles 
lecca,^^ he consulted the spirit of fraud or enthusiasm, 
abode is not in the heavens, but in the mind of the pro[^et. 
ith which, under the name of Islam,''^ he preached to his 
and nation is compounded of an eternal truth, and a ne- 

fiction, That there is only one God, and that Mahomet 
APOSTLE of God. 

the boast of the Jewish apologists that, while the learned 
I of antiquity were deluded by the fiibles of polytheism, 
raple ancestors of Palestine preserved the knowledge and 
p of the true God. The moral attributes of Jehovah may 

•ham mad occasionally borrows Aramaic words, where his native tongue 
a, but is apt to use these borrowed words in a wron^ sense.] 
1 not at leisure to pursue the fables or conjectures ynhich name the strangers 
}r suspected by the infidels of Mecca (Koran, c i6. p.. 233, c 35, p. 297, 
:'s Remarks. Prideaux's Life of Mahomet, p. 22-27. CSk^^ier, Not. ad 

p. II. 74. Maracci, torn. ii. p. 400). Even Prideaux has observed that 
action must have been secret, and that the scene lay in the heart of Arabia. 
>hammad had come into contact with a religioos movement which had re- 
gun in Arabia, — the movement of the /Jani/s, men who were seeking for a 
stimulated perhaps (as Wellhausen holds) by primitive forms of Chrisoanity 

among hermits m the Sjh'O- Babylonian desert] 

ilfeda in Vit. c. 7, p. 15. Gagnier, tom. i. p. 133, 135. The situation of 
[era is remarked by Abulfeda (Geograph. Arab. p. 4J/ Yet Mahomet had 
d of the cave of Egeria ubi noctumae Numa constituebat amicss, of the 
[ount where Minos conversed with Jove, &c [A late tradition asserted 
iterval of two or three years elapsed between tbfsfrst and the ueomd revda- 
[ira. This was called the doctrine of tht/airaA 
am and Muslim (« Modem, Musolman) art toe infinitive and participle 

3L. V. 22. 



338 THE DECLINE AND FALL? 

not easily be reconciled with the standard of humam virtue ; hit 
metaphysical qualities are darkly expressed ; but each page of 
the Pentateuch and the Prophets is an evidence of his power; 
the unity of his name is inscribed on the first table of the law ; 
and his sanctuary was never defiled by any visible image of the 
invisible essence. After the ruin of the temple, the fidth of the 
Hebrew exiles was purified, fixed, and enlightened, by the 
spiritual devotion of the synagogue ; and the authority of Ma- 
homet will not justify his perpetual reproach that the Jews of 
Mecca or Medina adored Esra as the son of God.^ But the 
children of Israel had ceased to be a people ; and the religions 
of the world were guQty, at least in the eyes of the prophet^ of 
giving sons, or daughters, or companions, to the supreme dod. 
In the rude idolatry of the Arabs, the crime is manifest and 
audacious ; the Sabians are poorly excused by the pre-eminence 
of the first planet or intelligence in their celestial hierardiT; 
and in the Magian system the conflict of the two principles 
betra3rs the imperfection of the conoueror. The Christians of 
the seventh century had insensibly retapsed into a semblance of 
paganism ; their public and private vows were addressed to the 
relics and images that disgraced the temples of the East ; the 
throne of the Almighty was darkened by a cloud of martyrs, and 
saints, and angels, the objects of popiuar veneration ; and the 
Collyridian heretics^ who flourished in the firuitful soil of AralMa, 
invested the Virgin Maiy with the name and honours of a god- 
dess.^ The mjTsteries of the Trinity and Incamatioa appear to 
contradict the principle of the divine unity. In their obvious 
sense they introduce three equal deitieg, and transform the man 
Jesus into the substance of the son of God ;^ an orthodox com- 

of the causative form of the root s/m, which oonnotes ''peace". The idea was to 
make peace with the stronger— to surrender to Allah.] 

^ Koran, c. o, p. 253. Al Bddawi and the other commentators quoted by Sale 
adhere to the charge ; out I do not nnderrtand that it is coloured by the most ob- 
scure or absurd tradition of the Talmudists. 

^Hottinger, Hist. Orient p. 8a5*a98. The Collyridian heresy was carried fron 
Thrace to Arabia by some women, and the name was barowed fiom the mmM»fiUt 
or cake, which they offisred to the goddess. This example, that of BoyUns. bishop 
of Bostra (Euseb. Hist. Eccles. L vi. c. 53), aadseferal othen, may eaccnse the re- 
proach, Arabia hseresetm feraz. 

^ The three gods in the Koran f c 4* pu 8z, e. 5, p. 9a) are obnonshr directed 
against our Catholic mystery ; but tne Arabic eonmeniators understand tbem of 
the Father, the Son. and the Virgin Mary, an heretical Trinity, maintained, as it is 
said, by some barbarians at the oomdl of Nice (Eutycfa. AnnaL torn. i. ^ 440I 
But the existence of the Mariamiiu is denied by the candid Beausobre (nist. as 
Manicb^isme, tom. L p. 53a), and he derives the mistake from the word iPMwA^tbe 
Holy Ghost, which, in some Oriatal tooMi, is of the feminine fOKkry and is 
figuratively styled the Mother of Christ in the goipd of the Ni 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 33d 

« 

mcntary will satisfy only a believing mind ; intemperate curiosity 
and zeal had torn the veil of the sanctuary ; and each of the 
Oriental sects was eager to confess that all^ except themselves, 
deserved the reproach of idolatry and polytheism. The creed 
of Mahomet is free from suspicion or ambiguity ; and the Koran 
is a glorious testimony to the unity of God. The prophet of 
Mecca rejected the worship of idols and men^ of stars and planets, 
on the rational principle that whatever rises must set, that what- 
ever is bom must die, that whatever is corruptible must decay and 
perish.^ In the author of the universe, his rational enthusiasm 
confessed and adored an infinite and eternal being, without form 
or place, without issue or similitude, present to our most secret 
thoughts, existing by the necessity of his own nature, and deriv- 
ing from himself all moral and intellectual perfection. These 
sublime truths, thus announced in the language of the prophet,® 
are firmly held by his disciples, and defined with metaphysical 
precision by the interpreters of the Koran. A philosophic 
Atheist might subscribe the popular creed of the Mahometans : ^ 
a creed too sublime perhaps for our present Acuities. What ob- 
ject remains for the fancy, or even the understanding, when we 
have abstracted from the unknown substance all ideas of time 
and space, of motion and matter, of sensation and reflection ? 
The first principle of reason and revelation was confirmed by the 
voice of Mahomet ; his proselytes, from India to Morocco, are 
distinguished by the name of UnUarians ; and the danger of 
idolatry has been prevented by the interdiction of images. The 
doctrine of eternal decrees and absolute predestination is strictly 
embraced by the Mahometans ; and they struggle with the com- 
mon difficulties, how to reconcile the prescience of God with the 
freedom and responsibility of man ; how to explain the permis- 
sion of evil under the reign of infinite power and infinite good- 
ness. 

The God of nature has written his existence on all his ^or^s»^„..y. 
and his law in the heart of man. To restore the knowledge of«SSuia4tiM 

*This tnin of thought is philooopbically exemplified in the character of Abra- 
ham, who opposed in Chaldaea the mst introduction of idolatiy (Koran, c. 6^ p. 
io6 ; d'Herbdot, BiblioL Orient p. 13). 

V See the Koran, particularly the second (pu 30), the fift^-aeventh (p. 437), the 
fifty-eighth (p. 441), chapters, which proclaim the omnipotence of the Creator. 

** The most orthodox creeds are tranalatedby Pooock (Spedmen, p. 274, 984-992), 
Ockley (Hist of the Saracens, vol. ii p. IxxxiL-xcv.), RdBnd(de Region. Moham. 
1. i. a 7*13), and Chardin (Voyages en Perse, torn. iv. p. 4-08). The great tnxth 
that God is witboat similinW, k foolishly critidaed br lianoei (Aloocan, torn. L 
part iil p. 87-94), because he made man after hit own IniaiiB. 



340 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

the one, and tlie practice of the other, has been the real or pre- 
tended aim of the prophets of every age ; the libei«li^ of 
Mahomet allowed to his predecessors the same credit which he 
claimed for himself ; and the chain of inspiration was prolonged 
from the fall of Adam to the promulgation of the KonuoL^ 
During that period, some rays of prophetic light had been im- 
parted to one hundred and twenty-four thousand of the elect, 
discriminated by their respective measure of virtue and gimce ; 
three hundred and thirteen apostles were sent with a special 
commission to recal their country from idolatry and vice ; one 
hundred and four volumes have been dictated by the Holy 
Spirit ; and six legislators of transcendent brightness have an- 
nounced to mankind the six successive revelations of various 
rights, but of one immutable religion. The authority and 
st:ition of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Christ, and Mahomet 
rise in just gradation above each other ; but whosoever hates 
or rejects nay one of the prophets is numbered with the infidels. 
The writings of the patriarchs were extant only in the apoc- 
ryphal copies of the Greeks and Syrians ; ^ the conduct of 
Adam had not entitled him to the gratitude or respect of his 
children ; the seven precepts of Noah were observed by an 
inferior and imperfect class of the proselytes of the synagogues ;^ 
and the memory of Abraham was obscurely revered by the 
Sabians in his native land of Chaldsea ; of the myriads of prophets, 
Moses and Christ alone lived and reigned ; and the remnant of 
the inspired writings was comprised in the books of the Old and 
the New Testament. The miraculous story of Moses is con- 
secrated and embeUished in the Koran ; ^ and the captive Jews 
enjoy the secret revenge of imposing their own belief on the 
nations whose recent creeds they deride. For the author of 
Christianity, the Mahometans are taught by the prophet to 

u Keland, de Relig. Mohanu L L p. S7-47. Sale's Prdiminary Discourse, p. 
73-76. Voyage de Clmrdin, torn. iv. pi 08-37 and 37^7 for the Pnan addilsM, 
" Ali is the vicar of God I " Yet the predie numbo: of prophets is not an ankle 
of faith. 

M For the Apocryphal books of Adam, see Fabricius, Codex Pseudepimphus 
V. T. p. 27-90; of Seth, p. X54-Z57; ofEnodi,p. 160-219. But the book of Enoch 
is consecrated, in some measure, by the qnoCatioa of the apostle St^Jode ; and a 
long legendary fragment is alleged by Synodlus and Scaliger. [*nie book of 
Enoch survives in an Ethiopic versioiiy edited by Archbishop Lawrence, with a 
translation, x8ax.] 

"7 Thescven precepts of Noah are explained by Marsham (Canon. Chronicns, 
p. 154-180), who adopts, on this orr a i io n , Ihe Ifaniing and creaulity of Seklen. 

» The articles of Adam, Nook, AhmUm, Mua, Ae. in the BbUolh&qae of 
d'Herbelot. are gaily bedecked with the findAil kfcpdi of the hUbauMum, who 
have built on the groundworii of floriplm end the Telmod. 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 341 

entertain a high and mysterious reverence.^ " Verily, Christ ^*« 
Jesus, the son of Mary, ia the apostle of God, and his word, 
which he conveyed unto Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from 
him : honourable in this world, and in the world to come ; and 
one of those who approach near to the presence of Grod." ^ The 
wonders of the genuine and ajtocry^phal gospels ^^ are profusely 
heaped on his head ; and the Latin church has not disdained to 
borrow frcmi the Koran the immaculate conception ^ of his 
virgin mother. Yet Jesus was a mere mortal ; and, at the day 
of judgment, his testimony will serve to condemn both the 
Jews, who reject him as a prophet, and the Christians, who adore 
him as the Son of God. The malice of his enemies aspersed 
his reputation and conspired against his life ; but their intention 
only was guilty, a phantom or a criminal was substituted on the 
cross, and the innocent saint was translated to the seventh 
heaven.^ During six hundred years the gospel was the way of 
truth and salvation ; but the Christians insensibly forgot both 
the laws and the example of their founder ; and Mahomet was 
instructed by the Gnostics to accuse the Church, as well as the 
synagogue, of corrupting the integrity of the sacred text.** The 
piety of Moses and of Christ rejoiced in the assurance of a 
future prophet, more illustrious than themselves ; the evangelic 

^ Koran, c. 7, p. 128, &c, c 10, p. 173, &c. D'Herbelot, p. 647, &c. 

» Koran, c. 3, p. 40, c. 4, p. 8a D'Herbelot, p. 399, &c. 

** See the gospel of St. Thomas, or of the Infancy, in the Codex Apocryphus 
N. T. of Falxicius, who collects the various testimonies conconing it (p. 196-158). 
It was published in Greek by Cotdier, and in Arabic by Sike, who thinks our 
present copy more recent than Mahomet. Yet his quotations agree with the ori- 
ginal about the speech of Christ in his cradle, his living birds of day, &c (SiAty a 
I , p. x68. 169, c. 36, p. 198, 199, c 46, p. 906. CoUiter, c. a, p^ 160, 161). [Ed. 
riscbendorf. Evang. apocrypha, 1876, and W. Wright, C<mtributions to the 
apocryphal literature of the N.T. , 186?.] 

*3 It is darkly hinted in the Koran (c. 3, p. 39), and more clearly explained by 
the tradition of the Sonnites (Sale's Note, and Maracci. torn. ii. p. iia). In the 
xiith century, the immaculate conception was condemned by St. Bernard as a 
presumptuous novelty (Fra Paolo, Istoria dd Concilio di Trento, 1. il ). 

^ Seie the Koran, c. 3, v. 53 and c. a, v. 156 of Maracci's edition. Deus est 
praestantissimus dolose agentium (an odd praise) . . . nee crucifixerunt eum, sed 
objecta est eis similitudo : an expression tnat may suit mth the system of the Do* 
cetes ; but the commentators believe (Maracci, torn. iL p. 11:^-115, 173; Sale, p. 
42, 43. 79) that another man, a friend or an enemy, was crucified in the likeness 
of Jesus : a fable which they had read in the gospel of St Barnabas, and whidi 
had been started as early as the time of Irenseus, by some Ebionite heretics (Beai»* 
sobre, Hist, du Manich^isme, tom. ii. p. 25. Mosheim de Reb. Christ p. 353). 

<^ This charge is obsciurely urged in the Koran (c. 3, p. 45); but neither 
Mahomet nor his followers are sufficiently versed in lan^^uages and criticism to give 
any weight or colour to their suspidons. Yet the Anans and Nestorians coukl 
relate some stories, and the illiterate prophet might listen to the bold asierUons gC 
the Manich'aeans. Siee Beausobre, torn, u p. 991-30^ 



342 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

promise of the ParacUte, or Holy Ghost, was pfefignred in the 
name, and accomplished in the person, of Biabomet,'* the 
greatest and the last of the i^xMtles of GrocL 

iMKona The communication of ideas requires a similitude of thou^t 
and language ; the discomse of a philosopher would vibrate, 
without effect, on the ear of a peasant ; yet how minute is the 
distance of iheir understandings, if it be compared with the 
contact of an infinite and a finite mind, with the word of God 
expressed by the tongue or the pen of a mortal ? The insptrsr 
tion of the Hebrew prophets, of the apostles and evangelists of 
Christ, might not be incompatible with the exercise of their 
reason and memory ; and the diversity of their genius is strongly 
marked in the style and composition of the books of the Old and 
New Testament But Mahomet was contented with a chancter 
more humble, yet more sublime, of a simple editor : the nb- 
stance of the Koran,^ according to himself or his disdj^es, is 
uncreated and eternal, subsisting in the essence of the Deity, 
and inscribed with a pen of light on the table of his everlasting 
decrees. A paper copy in a volume of silk and gems was bfooght 
down to the lowest heaven by the angel Grabriel, who, under 
the Jewish ceconomy, had indeed been dispatched on the most 
important errands ; and this trusty messenger successively re- 
vealed the chapters and verses to the Arabian prophet Instead 
of a perpetual and perfect measure of the divine will, the 
fingments of the Koran were produced at the discret i on of 
Midiomet ; each revelation is suited to the emergencies of his 
policy or passion; and all contradiction is removed by the 
saving maxim that any text of scripture is abrogated or modified 
by any subsequent passage. The word of God and of the 
apostle was diligently recorded by his dhKdples on palm-leaves 
and the shoulder-bones of mutton ; and the pages, without 
order or connexion, were cast into a domestic diest, in the 

nm custody of one of his wives. Two years after the death of 

meaiumleal) 
dltlonof tte 

^^■^"l ^ Among the prophecies of the Old and New Testament, whkh are p er v e ilcd 

by the fraud or ignorance of the MoMdmans, they apply to the prophet the 

promise of the ParacUte, or Comforter, wfaidi had been already usiirped faj the 

Montanists and Manichseans (Beanaobre, Hist Critique du Manichtisme^ torn. L 

p. 263, ftc.) ; and the easy change of ktten, wtpucAwr^ for m^iiJ^rttt, alfocds the 

etymolo^ of the name of Mohammed (Maiaod, tom. L part L p. 15-08). [|Sae 

John xvL 7.] 

« For the Koran, see dUerbdot, pu 85M ; Maracd. tom i. m Vit Moham- 
med, p. 39-45 ; Sale, Preliminary Discourse, p^ 56-7a [Ndldeke, Gesdbicfate des 
Qorins, i860 ; Weil. Einleitung in dem Kixmn. 1878 (ed. a) ; Palmer's tnuislatk» 
in '* Sacred Books of the East" (z88o); RoddweU'f trsuktioa, and arti^ ia 
Hughes' dictionary of Islim.] 



OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 843 

Mahomet, the sacred volume was collected and published by his 
firiend and successor Abubeker ; ^ the work was revised by the gjiggt 
caliph Othman, in the thirtieth year of the Hegira ; and the 
various editions of the Koran assert the same miraculous privilege 
of An uniform and incorruptible text. In the spirit of enthusiasm 
or \anity^ the pro[^et rests the truth of his mission on the merit of 
his book, audaciously challenges both men and angels to imitate 
the beauties of a single page, and presumes to assert that God alone 
cou d dictate this incomparable performance.^ This argument 
is HDst powerfully addressed to a devout Arabian, whose mind 
is altuned to faith and rapture, whose ear is delighted by the 
muac of sounds, and whose ignorance is incapable of comparing 
the productions of human genius.^ The harmony and copious- 
nesj of style will not reach, in a version, the European infidel ; 
he xrill peruse, with impatience, the endless incoherent rhapsody 
of kble, and precept, and declamation, which seldom excites a 
sertiment or an idea, which sometimes crawls in the dust and is 
soKietimes lost in the clouds. The divine attributes exalt the 
faacy of the Arabian missionary ; but his loftiest strains must 
yield to the sublime simplicity of the book of Job, composed in 
a remote age, in the same country, and in the same language.^^ 
If the composition of the Koran exceed the faculties of a man, 
to what superior intelligence should we ascribe the Iliad of 
Homer or the Philippics of Demosthenes ? In all religions, 
the life of the founder supplies the silence of his written revelan 
tion : the sayings of Mahomet were so many lessons of truth ; 
his actions so many examples of virtue; and the public and 
private memorials were preserved by his wives and companions. 
At the end of two hundred years, the Sotma, or oral law, was 

^ [AbQ-Bekr's edition was made by Zaid, who had acted as secretary of the 
prophet. It was known as " the Leaves" {al-smhu/). Zaid also took part in the 
preparation of Othmlln's edition, of which four official copies were made, for 
Medina, KQfa, Basra and Damascus.] 

* Koran, c, 17, v. 89. In Sale, p. 235, 236. In Maracci, p. 41a 

^ Yet a sect of Arabians was persuaded that it might be equalled or surpassed 
by an human pen (Pocock. Specimen, p. 221, &c.) ; and Maracci (the polemic is 
too hard for the translator) derides the rhyming affectation of the most applauded 
passage (torn. i. part ii. p. 69-75). 

^^ Colkx]uia (whether real or fabulous) in medii ArabiA atque ab Arabifaus 
habita (Lowth, de Poesi Hebraeorum Prselect. xxxii. xxxiii. xxxiv. with his 
German editor Michaelis, Epimetron iv.). Yet Michadis (p. 671-673) has detected 
many Egyptian images, the elephantiasis, papyrus, Niw, crocodile, Ac. The 
language is ambiguously styled AroHco-Hebroiiu The resemblance of the sitter 
dialects was much more visible in their childhood than io tlieir mature age (Mi- 
chaelis, p. 682; Sdiultens, in Prsdat. Job). 



344 THE DECLINE AND FALL 

fixed and oonsecrmted by the labours of Al Bochari, who dia- 
criminated seven thousand two hundred and seventy-five 
genuine traditions^ from a mass of three hundred thousind 
reports of a more doubtful or spurious character. Each day 
the pious author prayed in the temple of Mecca, and performed 
his ablutions with the water of Zemzem ; the pages vere 
successively deposited on the pulpit and the sepulchre of the 
apostle ; and the work has becai approved by the four orthxioz 
sects of the Sonnites.^^^ 
iraeiM The mission of the ancient prophets, of Moses and of Jbsns, 

had been confirmed by many splendid prodigies ; and Mahnnet 
was repeatedly urged, by the inhabitants of Mecca and Melina, 
to produce a similar evidence of his divine legation : to call dnm 
from heaven the angel or the volume of his revelation, to c£ate 
a garden in the desert, or to kindle a conflagration in the uibe- 
lieving city. As often as he is pressed by the demands of the 
Koreish, he involves himself in the obscure boast of vision ind 
prophecy, appeals to the internal proofs of his doctrine, ind 
shields himself behind the providence of God, who refuses th^sc 
signs and wonders that would depreciate the merit of fiuth and 
aggravate the guilt of infidelity. But the modest or angry tone 
of his apologies betrays his weakness and vexation ; and these 
passages of scandal establish, beyond suspicion, the integrity of 
the Koran. ^^ The votaries of Mahomet are more assured than 
himself of his miraculous gifts, and their confidence and credu- 
lity increase as they are fiirther removed from the time and place 
of his spiritual exploits. They believe or aflirm that trees went 
forth to meet him ; that he was saluted by stones ; that water 
gushed from his fingers ; that he fed the hungry, cured the sick, 
and raised the dead ; that a beam groaned to him ; that a camel 
complained to him ; that a shoulder of mutton informed him of 
its being poisoned ; and that both animate and inanimate nature 
were equally subject to the apostle of God.^^ His dream of a 

i*)! Al Bochnri died A.H. 234. See D'Herbelot, p. 908, 416, 807. Gagnier. 
Not ad Abulfed. c 19, p. 53. [He discriminated 4000 out of 600,000 tradiuons. 
His book, the Sabih Bokhfln, is still of the highest authority in the world of Isltm.] 

i<»See more remarkably, Koran, c. a, 6, za, x^, 17. Prideaux (Life of Ma- 
homet, p. 18, 19) has confounded the impostor. Maracci, with a more learned 
apparatus, has shewn that the passages which deny his miracles are clear and 
positive (Alcoran, tom. i. part ii. p. 7-1 2) , and those which seem to assert them are 
ambiguous and insufficient (p. la-aa). [This contradiction between the Koran and 
the Tradition on the matter of miracles is remarkable and instnictive.] 

lO'See the Specimen Hist Arabum, the test of Abulpharagius. p. xj ; the noces 
of Pocock, p. 187-190 ; lyHerfadott BibUotbiqoe Oriatak, pu 76, 77 ; Voja^ 



OF THE BOMAN EMPTHE 845 

nocturnal journey is seriously described as a real and corporeal 
transaction. A mysterious animal, the Borak, conveyed him from 
the temple of Mecca to that of Jerusalem ; with his companion 
Gabriel, he successively ascended the seven heavens, and received 
and repaid the salutations of the patriarchs, the prophets^ and 
the angels, in their respective mansions. Beyond the seventh 
heaven, Mahomet alone was permitted to proceed ; he passed 
the veil of unity, approached within two bow-shots of the throne, 
and felt a cold that pierced him to the heart, when his shoulder 
was touched by the hand of God. After this familiar though 
important conversation, he again descended to Jerusalem, re- 
mounted the Borak, returned to Mecca, and performed in the 
tenth part of a night the journey of many thousand years. ^^ 
According to another legend, ihe apostle confounded in a 
national assembly the malicious challenge of the Koreish. His 
resistless word split asunder the orb of the moon: the obedi- 
ent planet stooped from her station in the sky, accomplished the 
seven revolutions round the Caaba, saluted Mahomet in the 
Arabian tongue, and, suddenly contracting her dimensions, en- 
tered at the collar, and issued forth through the sleeve, of his 
shirt.^^ The vulgar are amused with these marvellous tales ; 

de Chardin, torn. iv. p. 200-303. Maracci (Alcoran, torn. L p. 3»64) has most 
laboriotisly collected and confutol the miracles and prc^becies <k Mabomet. which, 
according to some writers, amount to three thousand. 

104 The nocturnal journey is circimistantially related by Abulfeda (in Vit Mo-I 
bammed, c 19, p. 33). who wishes to think it a vision ; by Prideaux (p. 31-40), who 
aggravates the absurdities ; and by Gagnier (torn. I p. 353^343), who declares,.' 
from the zealous Al Jannabi, that to deny this journey is to disbelieve the Koran.| 
Yet the Koran, without naming either heaven or Jerusalem or Mecca, has only 
dropped a mysterious hint : Laus illi qui transtulit servum suum ab oratorio Haram 
ad oratorium remotissimum (Koran, c. 17, v. i, in Maracci, torn. ii. p. 407 ; for 
Sale's version is more licentious). A slender basis for the aifrial structure of tradi-, 
tion. [The literal translation of the opening words of the 17th sQrz (which clearly 
belongs to the later Meccan period/ is " Praise be unto him who transported his 
servant by night from the sacred tr:ntp!e to the farther temple, the circuit (or envi- 
rons) of which we have blr«ed **. The simplest inference may seem to be that 
the prophet actually visited Jerusalem in the course of the la^t two years of the Mec- 
can period ; yet it is hard to believe that tht; visit would not have been known as a fact] 

1* In the prophetic style, which uses thf prebtrrit or past for the future, Mahomet 
had said : Appropinquavit bora et scissa est luna (Koran, c. ^, v. 1 ; in Maraoci,' 
tom, ii. p. 688). This hgure of rhetoric has been converted into a fact, which is 
said to be attested by the most respectable eye-witnesses (Maracd, torn. ii. p. 690). 
The festival is still celebrated by the Persian5 (CJhardin, tonL iv. p. soi); and the 
legend is tediously spun out by Gagnier (Vie de Mahomet, tom. i. p. 183-334), on 
the faith, as it should seem, of the credulous Al Jannabi. Yet a Mahometan doctor 
has arrai^ed the credit of the principal witness (apud Pooock, Specimen, p. 187) ; 
the best interpreters are content with the simple sense of the Koran (Al Beidawi, 
apud Hottinger, Hist. Orient. L ii. pu 303); and the aleaoe of AboUeda is worthy 
of a prince and a phikMopfacr* 



346 THE DEGLINE AND FALL 

but the gravest of the Mnsulmmn doctors imitate the iiiodat[ 
of their master^ and indulge a latitude of faith or interpretatioiL^ 
They might speciously allege that, in preaching the religion, it 
was needless to violate the harmony of nature ; that a creed mi- 
clouded with mystery may be excused from mindefl ; and 
that the sword of Mahomet was not less potent than the rod of 
Moses. 
ggg^ The polytheist is oppressed and distracted by the variety of 

•vmtat^ superstition : a thousand rites of Egjrptian origin were interwoven 
with the essence of the Mosaic law ; and the spirit of the Goipd 
had evaporated in the pageantiy of the church. The propad 
of Mecca was tempted by prejudice, or policy, or patriotiam, to 
sanctify the rites of the Arabians and the custom of visiting the 
holy stone of the Caaba. But the precepts of Mahomet himsdf 
inculcate a more simple and rational piety : urajrer, futing, and 
alms are the religious duties of a Musulman ; ""^ and he is encour- 
aged to hope that prajrer will carry him half way to God, fiutiiy 
will bring him to tne door of his palace, and alms will gain him 
admittances^ I. According to the tradition of the nocturnal 
journey, the apostle, in his personal conference with the Deity, 
was commanded to impose on his disciples the daOy obligation 
of fifty prayers. By the advice of Moses, he applied for an alle- 
viation of this intolerable burthen ; the number was giadually 
reduced to five ; without any dispensation of business or pleasorey 
or time or place : the devotion of the faithful is repeated at day- 
break, at noon, in the afternoon, in the evening^ and at the fint 
watch of the night ; and, in the present decay ofreligious fe rv our, 
our travellers are edified by the profound humility and attention 
of the Turks and Persians. Cleanliness is the key of pnjer : 
the frequent lustration of the hands, the fiu%, and the body, 
which was practised of old by the Arabs, is solemnly ei^oined bv 
the Koran ; and a permission is formally granted to supply with 
sand the scarcity of water. The words and attitudes of suppU- 

><" Abulpbaragius, in Spedmen Hist Arab. p. 17 ; and his soeptidsm is jiatified 
in the notes of Pocock, p. 190-194, irom the pwest authorities. 

io7[Add the precept of pilgrimage to Meoca ; q>. SOra a.] 

i^i^The most authentic aoooant of then precepts, pilgrima^ prayer, faitlBg, 
alms, and ablutions, is extracted fron the rasian and Arabian thedogiaM uf 
Maracci (PTX>drom. part iv. p. 9-04) ; Rdand (in his excellent treatise de ReU^ooe 
MohammedidL. Utrecht, 1717, p. 67-193) ; and Chardin (Vorages en Perse, tom. 
iv. p. 47-195). Maracci is a partial aflCONr; but the jeweller, Chardtn. bad the 
eyes of a philosopher ; and Reland, a Jiidicioas student, had travelled over the 
£ast in his closet at UtrechL The xhrtB letter of Toumelbrt (Vovage du Levant, 
to