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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

Belisarius spoke the language of truth


[Footnote

2012: Gibbon had forgotten that the bearer of the "victorious letters of his brother" had sailed into the port of Carthage; and that the letters had fallen into the hands of the Romans. Proc. Vandal. l. i. c. 23.--M.]

[Footnote 21: These orations always express the sense of the times, and sometimes of the actors. I have condensed that sense, and thrown away declamation.]

[Footnote 22: The relics of St. Augustin were carried by the African bishops to their Sardinian exile, (A.D. 500;) and it was believed, in the viiith century, that Liutprand, king of the Lombards, transported them (A.D. 721) from Sardinia to Pavia. In the year 1695, the Augustan friars of that city found a brick arch, marble coffin, silver case, silk wrapper, bones, blood, &c., and perhaps an inscription of Agostino in Gothic letters. But this useful discovery has been disputed by reason and jealousy, (Baronius, Annal. A.D. 725, No. 2-9. Tillemont, Mem. Eccles. tom. xiii. p. 944. Montfaucon, Diarium Ital. p. 26-30. Muratori, Antiq. Ital. Medii Aevi, tom. v. dissert. lviii. p. 9, who had composed a separate treatise before the decree of the bishop of Pavia, and Pope Benedict XIII.)]

Belisarius spoke the language of truth. The surviving Vandals yielded, without resistance, their arms and their freedom; the neighborhood of Carthage submitted to his presence; and the more distant provinces were successively subdued

by the report of his victory. Tripoli was confirmed in her voluntary allegiance; Sardinia and Corsica surrendered to an officer, who carried, instead of a sword, the head of the valiant Zano; and the Isles of Majorca, Minorca, and Yvica consented to remain an humble appendage of the African kingdom. Caesarea, a royal city, which in looser geography may be confounded with the modern Algiers, was situate thirty days' march to the westward of Carthage: by land, the road was infested by the Moors; but the sea was open, and the Romans were now masters of the sea. An active and discreet tribune sailed as far as the Straits, where he occupied Septem or Ceuta, [23] which rises opposite to Gibraltar on the African coast; that remote place was afterwards adorned and fortified by Justinian; and he seems to have indulged the vain ambition of extending his empire to the columns of Hercules. He received the messengers of victory at the time when he was preparing to publish the Pandects of the Roman laws; and the devout or jealous emperor celebrated the divine goodness, and confessed, in silence, the merit of his successful general. [24] Impatient to abolish the temporal and spiritual tyranny of the Vandals, he proceeded, without delay, to the full establishment of the Catholic church. Her jurisdiction, wealth, and immunites, perhaps the most essential part of episcopal religion, were restored and amplified with a liberal hand; the Arian worship was suppressed; the Donatist meetings were proscribed; [25] and the synod of Carthage, by the voice of two hundred and seventeen bishops, [26] applauded the just measure of pious retaliation. On such an occasion, it may not be presumed, that many orthodox prelates were absent; but the comparative smallness of their number, which in ancient councils had been twice or even thrice multiplied, most clearly indicates the decay both of the church and state. While Justinian approved himself the defender of the faith, he entertained an ambitious hope, that his victorious lieutenant would speedily enlarge the narrow limits of his dominion to the space which they occupied before the invasion of the Moors and Vandals; and Belisarius was instructed


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