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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

Footnote 24 Dispositorque novus sacrae Baduarius aulae


[Footnote

23: The original authors for the reign of Justin the younger are Evagrius, Hist. Eccles. l. v. c. 1--12; Theophanes, in Chonograph. p. 204--210; Zonaras, tom. ii. l. xiv. p. 70-72; Cedrenus, in Compend. p. 388--392.]

[Footnote 24: Dispositorque novus sacrae Baduarius aulae. Successor soceri mox factus Cura-palati.--Cerippus. Baduarius is enumerated among the descendants and allies of the house of Justinian. A family of noble Venetians (Casa Badoero) built churches and gave dukes to the republic as early as the ninth century; and, if their descent be admitted, no kings in Europe can produce a pedigree so ancient and illustrious. Ducange, Fam. Byzantin, p. 99 Amelot de la Houssaye, Gouvernement de Venise, tom. ii. p. 555.]

[Footnote 25: The praise bestowed on princes before their elevation is the purest and most weighty. Corippus has celebrated Tiberius at the time of the accession of Justin, (l. i. 212--222.) Yet even a captain of the guards might attract the flattery of an African exile.]

[Footnote 26: Evagrius (l. v. c. 13) has added the reproach to his ministers He applies this speech to the ceremony when Tiberius was invested with the rank of Caesar. The loose expression, rather than the positive error, of Theophanes, &c., has delayed it to his Augustan investitura immediately before the death of Justin.]

[Footnote 27: Theophylact Simocatta

(l. iii. c. 11) declares that he shall give to posterity the speech of Justin as it was pronounced, without attempting to correct the imperfections of language or rhetoric. Perhaps the vain sophist would have been incapable of producing such sentiments.]

Among the virtues of Tiberius, [28] his beauty (he was one of the tallest and most comely of the Romans) might introduce him to the favor of Sophia; and the widow of Justin was persuaded, that she should preserve her station and influence under the reign of a second and more youthful husband. But, if the ambitious candidate had been tempted to flatter and dissemble, it was no longer in his power to fulfil her expectations, or his own promise. The factions of the hippodrome demanded, with some impatience, the name of their new empress: both the people and Sophia were astonished by the proclamation of Anastasia, the secret, though lawful, wife of the emperor Tiberius. Whatever could alleviate the disappointment of Sophia, Imperial honors, a stately palace, a numerous household, was liberally bestowed by the piety of her adopted son; on solemn occasions he attended and consulted the widow of his benefactor; but her ambition disdained the vain semblance of royalty, and the respectful appellation of mother served to exasperate, rather than appease, the rage of an injured woman. While she accepted, and repaid with a courtly smile, the fair expressions of regard and confidence, a secret alliance was concluded between the dowager empress and her ancient enemies; and Justinian, the son of Germanus, was employed as the instrument of her revenge. The pride of the reigning house supported, with reluctance, the dominion of a stranger: the youth was deservedly popular; his name, after the death of Justin, had been mentioned by a tumultuous faction; 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 honors which she had abused, Sophia was reduced to a modest allowance: Tiberius dismissed her train, intercepted her correspondence, and committed to a faithful guard the custody of her person. But the services of Justinian were not considered by that excellent prince as an aggravation of his offences: after a mild reproof, his treason and ingratitude were forgiven; 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 fable was propagated) 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 own mind.


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