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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

At length the harbor of Caucana


hundred soldiers. Their health

was restored by the diligence of Belisarius, who provided fresh bread at Methone, and boldly expressed his just and humane indignation the emperor heard his complaint; the general was praised but the minister was not punished. From the port of Methone, the pilots steered along the western coast of Peloponnesus, as far as the Isle of Zacynthus, or Zante, before they undertook the voyage (in their eyes a most arduous voyage) of one hundred leagues over the Ionian Sea. As the fleet was surprised by a calm, sixteen days were consumed in the slow navigation; and even the general would have suffered the intolerable hardship of thirst, if the ingenuity of Antonina had not preserved the water in glass bottles, which she buried deep in the sand in a part of the ship impervious to the rays of the sun. At length the harbor of Caucana, [13] on the southern side of Sicily, afforded a secure and hospitable shelter. The Gothic officers who governed the island in the name of the daughter and grandson of Theodoric, obeyed their imprudent orders, to receive the troops of Justinian like friends and allies: provisions were liberally supplied, the cavalry was remounted, [14] and Procopius soon returned from Syracuse with correct information of the state and designs of the Vandals. His intelligence determined Belisarius to hasten his operations, and his wise impatience was seconded by the winds. The fleet lost sight of Sicily, passed before the Isle of Malta, discovered the capes of Africa, ran along
the coast with a strong gale from the north-east, and finally cast anchor at the promontory of Caput Vada, about five days' journey to the south of Carthage. [15]

[Footnote 11: I have read of a Greek legislator, who inflicted a double penalty on the crimes committed in a state of intoxication; but it seems agreed that this was rather a political than a moral law.]

[Footnote 12: Or even in three days, since they anchored the first evening in the neighboring isle of Tenedos: the second day they sailed to Lesbon the third to the promontory of Euboea, and on the fourth they reached Argos, (Homer, Odyss. P. 130--183. Wood's Essay on Homer, p. 40--46.) A pirate sailed from the Hellespont to the seaport of Sparta in three days, (Xenophon. Hellen. l. ii. c. l.)]

[Footnote 13: Caucana, near Camarina, is at least 50 miles (350 or 400 stadia) from Syracuse, (Cluver. Sicilia Antiqua, p. 191.) * Note *: Lord Mahon. (Life of Belisarius, p.88) suggests some valid reasons for reading Catana, the ancient name of Catania.--M.]

[Footnote 14: Procopius, Gothic. l. i. c. 3. Tibi tollit hinnitum apta quadrigis equa, in the Sicilian pastures of Grosphus, (Horat. Carm. ii. 16.) Acragas.... magnanimum quondam generator equorum, (Virg. Aeneid. iii. 704.) Thero's horses, whose victories are immortalized by Pindar, were bred in this country.]

[Footnote 15: The Caput Vada of Procopius (where Justinian afterwards founded a city--De Edific.l. vi. c. 6) is the promontory of Ammon in Strabo, the Brachodes of Ptolemy, the Capaudia of the moderns, a long narrow slip that runs into the sea, (Shaw's Travels, p. 111.)]


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