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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

Footnote 112 Procopius affirms l


towns were filled by lofty woods,

fair pastures, and arable lands; and the isthmus, of thirty seven stadia or furlongs, had been fortified by a Spartan general nine hundred years before the reign of Justinian. [117] In an age of freedom and valor, the slightest rampart may prevent a surprise; and Procopius appears insensible of the superiority of ancient times, while he praises the solid construction and double parapet of a wall, whose long arms stretched on either side into the sea; but whose strength was deemed insufficient to guard the Chersonesus, if each city, and particularly Gallipoli and Sestus, had not been secured by their peculiar fortifications. The long wall, as it was emphatically styled, was a work as disgraceful in the object, as it was respectable in the execution. The riches of a capital diffuse themselves over the neighboring country, and the territory of Constantinople a paradise of nature, was adorned with the luxurious gardens and villas of the senators and opulent citizens. But their wealth served only to attract the bold and rapacious Barbarians; the noblest of the Romans, in the bosom of peaceful indolence, were led away into Scythian captivity, and their sovereign might view from his palace the hostile flames which were insolently spread to the gates of the Imperial city. At the distance only of forty miles, Anastasius was constrained to establish a last frontier; his long wall, of sixty miles from the Propontis to the Euxine, proclaimed the impotence of his arms; and as the danger became
more imminent, new fortifications were added by the indefatigable prudence of Justinian. [118]

[Footnote 111: Montesquieu observes, (tom. iii. p. 503, Considerations sur la Grandeur et la Decadence des Romains, c. xx.,) that Justinian's empire was like France in the time of the Norman inroads--never so weak as when every village was fortified.]

[Footnote 112: Procopius affirms (l. iv. c. 6) that the Danube was stopped by the ruins of the bridge. Had Apollodorus, the architect, left a description of his own work, the fabulous wonders of Dion Cassius (l lxviii. p. 1129) would have been corrected by the genuine picture Trajan's bridge consisted of twenty or twenty-two stone piles with wooden arches; the river is shallow, the current gentle, and the whole interval no more than 443 (Reimer ad Dion. from Marsigli) or 5l7 toises, (D'Anville, Geographie Ancienne, tom. i. p. 305.)]

[Footnote 113: Of the two Dacias, Mediterranea and Ripensis, Dardania, Pravalitana, the second Maesia, and the second Macedonia. See Justinian (Novell. xi.,) who speaks of his castles beyond the Danube, and on omines semper bellicis sudoribus inhaerentes.]

[Footnote 114: See D'Anville, (Memoires de l'Academie, &c., tom. xxxi p. 280, 299,) Rycaut, (Present State of the Turkish Empire, p. 97, 316,) Max sigli, (Stato Militare del Imperio Ottomano, p. 130.) The sanjak of Giustendil is one of the twenty under the beglerbeg of Rurselis, and his district maintains 48 zaims and 588 timariots.]

[Footnote 115: These fortifications may be compared to the castles in Mingrelia (Chardin, Voyages en Perse, tom. i. p. 60, 131)--a natural picture.]

[Footnote 116: The valley of Tempe is situate along the River Peneus, between the hills of Ossa and Olympus: it is only five miles long, and in some places no more than 120 feet in breadth. Its verdant beauties are elegantly described by Pliny, (Hist. Natur. l. iv. 15,) and more diffusely by Aelian, (Hist. Var. l. iii. c. i.)]

[Footnote 117: Xenophon Hellenic. l. iii. c. 2. After a long and tedious conversation with the Byzantine declaimers, how refreshing is the truth, the simplicity, the elegance of an Attic writer!]


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