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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

Hear the furious acclamations of Constantinople and Tyre


expense of his consulship was

esteemed at two hundred and twenty-eight thousand pieces of gold; twenty lions, and thirty leopards, were produced at the same time in the amphitheatre, and a numerous train of horses, with their rich trappings, was bestowed as an extraordinary gift on the victorious charioteers of the circus. While he indulged the people of Constantinople, and received the addresses of foreign kings, the nephew of Justin assiduously cultivated the friendship of the senate. That venerable name seemed to qualify its members to declare the sense of the nation, and to regulate the succession of the Imperial throne: the feeble Anastasius had permitted the vigor of government to degenerate into the form or substance of an aristocracy; and the military officers who had obtained the senatorial rank were followed by their domestic guards, a band of veterans, whose arms or acclamations might fix in a tumultuous moment the diadem of the East. The treasures of the state were lavished to procure the voices of the senators, and their unanimous wish, that he would be pleased to adopt Justinian for his colleague, was communicated to the emperor. But this request, which too clearly admonished him of his approaching end, was unwelcome to the jealous temper of an aged monarch, desirous to retain the power which he was incapable of exercising; and Justin, holding his purple with both his hands, advised them to prefer, since an election was so profitable, some older candidate. Not withstanding this reproach, the
senate proceeded to decorate Justinian with the royal epithet of nobilissimus; and their decree was ratified by the affection or the fears of his uncle. After some time the languor of mind and body, to which he was reduced by an incurable wound in his thigh, indispensably required the aid of a guardian. He summoned the patriarch and senators; and in their presence solemnly placed the diadem on the head of his nephew, who was conducted from the palace to the circus, and saluted by the loud and joyful applause of the people. The life of Justin was prolonged about four months; but from the instant of this ceremony, he was considered as dead to the empire, which acknowledged Justinian, in the forty-fifth year of his age, for the lawful sovereign of the East. [11]

[Footnote 6: Manichaean signifies Eutychian. Hear the furious acclamations of Constantinople and Tyre, the former no more than six days after the decease of Anastasius. They produced, the latter applauded, the eunuch's death, (Baronius, A.D. 518, P. ii. No. 15. Fleury, Hist Eccles. tom. vii. p. 200, 205, from the Councils, tom. v. p. 182, 207.)]

[Footnote 7: His power, character, and intentions, are perfectly explained by the court de Buat, (tom. ix. p. 54--81.) He was great-grandson of Aspar, hereditary prince in the Lesser Scythia, and count of the Gothic foederati of Thrace. The Bessi, whom he could influence, are the minor Goths of Jornandes, (c. 51.)]

[Footnote 8: Justiniani patricii factione dicitur interfectus fuisse, (Victor Tu nunensis, Chron. in Thesaur. Temp. Scaliger, P. ii. p. 7.) Procopius (Anecdot. c. 7) styles him a tyrant, but acknowledges something which is well explained by Alemannus.]

[Footnote 9: In his earliest youth (plane adolescens) he had passed some time as a hostage with Theodoric. For this curious fact, Alemannus (ad Procop. Anecdot. c. 9, p. 34, of the first edition) quotes a Ms. history of Justinian, by his preceptor Theophilus. Ludewig (p. 143) wishes to make him a soldier.]

[Footnote 10: The ecclesiastical history of Justinian will be shown hereafter. See Baronius, A.D. 518--521, and the copious article Justinianas in the index to the viith volume of his Annals.]


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