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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

52 to quarrel about the origin of Cumae


Their

industry had scooped the Sibyl's cave [46] into a prodigious mine; combustible materials were introduced to consume the temporary props: the wall and the gate of Cumae sunk into the cavern, but the ruins formed a deep and inaccessible precipice. On the fragment of a rock Aligern stood alone and unshaken, till he calmly surveyed the hopeless condition of his country, and judged it more honorable to be the friend of Narses, than the slave of the Franks. After the death of Teias, the Roman general separated his troops to reduce the cities of Italy; Lucca sustained a long and vigorous siege: and such was the humanity or the prudence of Narses, that the repeated perfidy of the inhabitants could not provoke him to exact the forfeit lives of their hostages. These hostages were dismissed in safety; and their grateful zeal at length subdued the obstinacy of their countrymen. [47]

[Footnote 42: The item of Procopius (Goth. l. iv. c. 35) is evidently the Sarnus. The text is accused or altered by the rash violence of Cluverius (l. iv. c. 3. p. 1156:) but Camillo Pellegrini of Naples (Discorsi sopra la Campania Felice, p. 330, 331) has proved from old records, that as early as the year 822 that river was called the Dracontio, or Draconcello.]

[Footnote 43: Galen (de Method. Medendi, l. v. apud Cluver. l. iv. c. 3, p. 1159, 1160) describes the lofty site, pure air, and rich milk, of Mount Lactarius, whose medicinal benefits

were equally known and sought in the time of Symmachus (l. vi. epist. 18) and Cassiodorus, (Var. xi. 10.) Nothing is now left except the name of the town of Lettere.]

[Footnote 44: Buat (tom. xi. p. 2, &c.) conveys to his favorite Bavaria this remnant of Goths, who by others are buried in the mountains of Uri, or restored to their native isle of Gothland, (Mascou, Annot. xxi.)]

[Footnote 45: I leave Scaliger (Animadvers. in Euseb. p. 59) and Salmasius (Exercitat. Plinian. p. 51, 52) to quarrel about the origin of Cumae, the oldest of the Greek colonies in Italy, (Strab. l. v. p. 372, Velleius Paterculus, l. i. c. 4,) already vacant in Juvenal's time, (Satir. iii.,) and now in ruins.]

[Footnote 46: Agathias (l. i. c. 21) settles the Sibyl's cave under the wall of Cumae: he agrees with Servius, (ad. l. vi. Aeneid.;) nor can I perceive why their opinion should be rejected by Heyne, the excellent editor of Virgil, (tom. ii. p. 650, 651.) In urbe media secreta religio! But Cumae was not yet built; and the lines (l. vi. 96, 97) would become ridiculous, if Aeneas were actually in a Greek city.]

[Footnote 47: There is some difficulty in connecting the 35th chapter of the fourth book of the Gothic war of Procopius with the first book of the history of Agathias. We must now relinquish the statesman and soldier, to attend the footsteps of a poet and rhetorician, (l. i. p. 11, l. ii. p. 51, edit. Lonvre.)]


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