free ebooks

History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

They should instantly accept the tempting offers of Totila


[Footnote

19: This conspiracy is related by Procopius (Gothic. l. iii. c. 31, 32) with such freedom and candor, that the liberty of the Anecdotes gives him nothing to add.]

[Footnote 20: The honors of Belisarius are gladly commemorated by his secretary, (Procop. Goth. l. iii. c. 35, l. iv. c. 21.) This title is ill translated, at least in this instance, by praefectus praetorio; and to a military character, magister militum is more proper and applicable, (Ducange, Gloss. Graec. p. 1458, 1459.)]

[Footnote 21: Alemannus, (ad Hist. Arcanum, p. 68,) Ducange, (Familiae Byzant. p. 98,) and Heineccius, (Hist. Juris Civilis, p. 434,) all three represent Anastasius as the son of the daughter of Theodora; and their opinion firmly reposes on the unambiguous testimony of Procopius, (Anecdot. c. 4, 5,--twice repeated.) And yet I will remark, 1. That in the year 547, Theodora could sarcely have a grandson of the age of puberty; 2. That we are totally ignorant of this daughter and her husband; and, 3. That Theodora concealed her bastards, and that her grandson by Justinian would have been heir apparent of the empire.]

[Footnote 22: The sins of the hero in Italy and after his return, are manifested, and most probably swelled, by the author of the Anecdotes, (c. 4, 5.) The designs of Antonina were favored by the fluctuating jurisprudence of Justinian. On the law of marriage and divorce, that emperor was

trocho versatilior, (Heineccius, Element Juris Civil. ad Ordinem Pandect. P. iv. No. 233.)]

Before the departure of Belisarius, Perusia was besieged, and few cities were impregnable to the Gothic arms. Ravenna, Ancona, and Crotona, still resisted the Barbarians; and when Totila asked in marriage one of the daughters of France, he was stung by the just reproach that the king of Italy was unworthy of his title till it was acknowledged by the Roman people. Three thousand of the bravest soldiers had been left to defend the capital. On the suspicion of a monopoly, they massacred the governor, and announced to Justinian, by a deputation of the clergy, that unless their offence was pardoned, and their arrears were satisfied, they should instantly accept the tempting offers of Totila. But the officer who succeeded to the command (his name was Diogenes) deserved their esteem and confidence; and the Goths, instead of finding an easy conquest, encountered a vigorous resistance from the soldiers and people, who patiently endured the loss of the port and of all maritime supplies. The siege of Rome would perhaps have been raised, if the liberality of Totila to the Isaurians had not encouraged some of their venal countrymen to copy the example of treason. In a dark night, while the Gothic trumpets sounded on another side, they silently opened the gate of St. Paul: the Barbarians rushed into the city; and the flying garrison was intercepted before they could reach the harbor of Centumcellae. A soldier trained in the school of Belisarius, Paul of Cilicia, retired with four hundred men to the mole of Hadrian. They repelled the Goths; but they felt the approach of famine; and their aversion


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us