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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

Who celebrate the friendship of Anastasius and Theodoric


person or rank of Anastasius.

The alliance of the East and West was annually declared by the unanimous choice of two consuls; but it should seem that the Italian candidate who was named by Theodoric accepted a formal confirmation from the sovereign of Constantinople. [54] The Gothic palace of Ravenna reflected the image of the court of Theodosius or Valentinian. The Praetorian praefect, the praefect of Rome, the quaestor, the master of the offices, with the public and patrimonial treasurers, [5411] whose functions are painted in gaudy colors by the rhetoric of Cassiodorus, still continued to act as the ministers of state. And the subordinate care of justice and the revenue was delegated to seven consulars, three correctors, and five presidents, who governed the fifteen regions of Italy according to the principles, and even the forms, of Roman jurisprudence. [55] The violence of the conquerors was abated or eluded by the slow artifice of judicial proceedings; the civil administration, with its honors and emoluments, was confined to the Italians; and the people still preserved their dress and language, their laws and customs, their personal freedom, and two thirds of their landed property. [5511] It had been the object of Augustus to conceal the introduction of monarchy; it was the policy of Theodoric to disguise the reign of a Barbarian. [56] If his subjects were sometimes awakened from this pleasing vision of a Roman government, they derived more substantial comfort from the character of a Gothic prince, who
had penetration to discern, and firmness to pursue, his own and the public interest. Theodoric loved the virtues which he possessed, and the talents of which he was destitute. Liberius was promoted to the office of Praetorian praefect for his unshaken fidelity to the unfortunate cause of Odoacer. The ministers of Theodoric, Cassiodorus, [57] and Boethius, have reflected on his reign the lustre of their genius and learning. More prudent or more fortunate than his colleague, Cassiodorus preserved his own esteem without forfeiting the royal favor; and after passing thirty years in the honors of the world, he was blessed with an equal term of repose in the devout and studious solitude of Squillace. [5711]

[Footnote 52: Procopius affirms that no laws whatsoever were promulgated by Theodoric and the succeeding kings of Italy, (Goth. l. ii. c. 6.) He must mean in the Gothic language. A Latin edict of Theodoric is still extant, in one hundred and fifty-four articles. * Note: See Manso, 92. Savigny, vol. ii. p. 164, et seq.--M.]

[Footnote 53: The image of Theodoric is engraved on his coins: his modest successors were satisfied with adding their own name to the head of the reigning emperor, (Muratori, Antiquitat. Italiae Medii Aevi, tom. ii. dissert. xxvii. p. 577--579. Giannone, Istoria Civile di Napoli tom. i. p. 166.)]

[Footnote 54: The alliance of the emperor and the king of Italy are represented by Cassiodorus (Var. i. l, ii. 1, 2, 3, vi. l) and Procopius, (Goth. l. ii. c. 6, l. iii. c. 21,) who celebrate the friendship of Anastasius and Theodoric; but the figurative style of compliment was interpreted in a very different sense at Constantinople and Ravenna.]


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