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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

They were massacred at the table of Sergius


[Footnote

1001: Corippus gives a different account of the death of Stoza; he was transfixed by an arrow from the hand of John, (not the hero of his poem) who broke desperately through the victorious troops of the enemy. Stoza repented, says the poet, of his treasonous rebellion, and anticipated--another Cataline--eternal torments as his punishment.

Reddam, improba, poenas Quas merui. Furiis socius Catilina cruentis Exagitatus adest. Video jam Tartara, fundo Flammarumque globos, et clara incendia volvi. --Johannidos, book iv. line 211.

All the other authorities confirm Gibbon's account of the death of John by the hand of Stoza. This poem of Corippus, unknown to Gibbon, was first published by Mazzuchelli during the present century, and is reprinted in the new edition of the Byzantine writers.--M]

[Footnote 1002: This murder was prompted to the Armenian (according to Corippus) by Athanasius, (then praefect of Africa.)

Hunc placidus cana gravitate coegit Inumitera mactare virum. --Corripus, vol. iv. p. 237--M.]

[Footnote 2: Yet I must not refuse him the merit of painting, in lively colors, the murder of Gontharis. One of the assassins uttered a sentiment not unworthy of a Roman patriot: "If I fail," said Artasires, "in the first stroke, kill me on the spot, lest the rack should extort a discovery of

my accomplices."]

That country was rapidly sinking into the state of barbarism from whence it had been raised by the Phoenician colonies and Roman laws; and every step of intestine discord was marked by some deplorable victory of savage man over civilized society. The Moors, [3] though ignorant of justice, were impatient of oppression: their vagrant life and boundless wilderness disappointed the arms, and eluded the chains, of a conqueror; and experience had shown, that neither oaths nor obligations could secure the fidelity of their attachment. The victory of Mount Auras had awed them into momentary submission; but if they respected the character of Solomon, they hated and despised the pride and luxury of his two nephews, Cyrus and Sergius, on whom their uncle had imprudently bestowed the provincial governments of Tripoli and Pentapolis. A Moorish tribe encamped under the walls of Leptis, to renew their alliance, and receive from the governor the customary gifts. Fourscore of their deputies were introduced as friends into the city; but on the dark suspicion of a conspiracy, they were massacred at the table of Sergius, and the clamor of arms and revenge was reechoed through the valleys of Mount Atlas from both the Syrtes to the Atlantic Ocean. A personal injury, the unjust execution or murder of his brother, rendered Antalas the enemy of the Romans. The defeat of the Vandals had formerly signalized his valor; the rudiments of justice and prudence were still more conspicuous in a Moor; and while he laid Adrumetum in ashes, he calmly admonished the emperor that the peace of Africa might be secured by the recall of Solomon and his unworthy nephews. The exarch led forth his troops from Carthage: but, at the distance of six days' journey, in the neighborhood of Tebeste, [4] he was astonished


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