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jutor, whose talents and virtues might be adequate to the crisis. The Goths were ravaging the eastern provinces; and in the west the German barbarians were threatening a descent upon Gaul. But the wise choice of the young Emperor was soon directed to an individual who was, perhaps, the only one in the empire, at this time, exactly suited for the emergency. His name and deeds constitute a very marked era in the fortunes of Rome; and are, therefore, worthy of a more lengthened detail in this history of some of its most distinguished great men.


THE LIFE OF THEODOSIUS. 1. THEODOSIUS FLAVIUS, justly styled in all ages the Great, was a native of the same province and of the same city in Spain, as his illustrious predecessor Trajan. The city of Italica, founded by Scipio Africanus for the wounded veterans of Italy, situated about three miles from Seville, has the honour of having been the birth-place of both these famous Emperors. Whether Theodosius was related to Trajan or not, is a fact of a more doubtful nature, though there are strong reasons which favour this belief. The father of Theodosius had been an eminent general, whose exploits in Britain and Africa were celebrated during the reign of Valentinian. Under his standard his son learned the arts of war; acquired the habits and constitution of a soldier; and in various conflicts with the Scots, the Saxons and the Moors, attained the rank and reputation of a courageous officer. He was speedily raised to the highest place in the army, and became Duke of Mæsia-a post of honour in which he obtained a great and important victory over the Sarmatians, and thus stamped his fame as a general. But at this stage his fortunes received a check, from the calamities which fell upon his father in Africa. Theodosius the elder, after having brought this province into subjection, fell a victim to some of the subtle artifices of his enemies; and through the influence of those corrupt ministers, who ruled the court and abused the confidence of Gratian, the Emperor thus became jealous of the greatness of his general, and suffered him to be put to death at Carthage (A.D. 376).

2. This event, which not only saddened but disgusted the mind of the younger Theodosius, had the effect of making him for a while desirous to renounce the path of public glory; and having obtained permission to quit his command in the army, he retired to the quiet seclusion and enjoyment of the ample patrimony which he inherited in Spain. Amidst the peaceful employments of his farm, that lay in a fruitful district between Valladolid and Segovia, a place still famous for its breed of sheep, the future lord of the Roman world, spent several months as a private character, devoting himself entirely to the pleasures of domestic and rural life. But his virtues and fame had left too strong an impression upon the minds of all men, to be overlooked at a time when the national glory was in danger. From this obscurity, therefore, the retired hero was recalled by a summons from the imperial court, which invited him to assume the dignity of the empire of the East. It was in the thirtieth year of his age (A.D. 379), that Theodosius was thus invested with the purple; and the hopes of all were at once fixed upon the future hero, whose countenance strongly reminded them of Trajan, but whose mind and manners were still more akin to that Emperor, who was still remembered as one of the greatest of the Roman princes.

3. The first work to which his military prowess directed itself, was the vindication of the Roman honour against those barbarians who had given it so fatal a stain at Hadrianople. The loss of forty thousand Romans on that occasion, would have been a motive sufficient to arouse the energies of a hero far less gifted than Theodosius. But caution, as well as courage were now necessary, to the successful prosecution of a war with a host of barbarians flushed with victory, and who were driving the affrighted multitudes of the provinces before them like a flock of sheep. Theodosius, however, knew how to recruit the scattered forces of the empire, and to act as the firm and faithful guardian of the republic. He pitched his camp at Thessalonica, a station from whence he could watch the movements of the barbarians with most advantage. The garrisons of the cities in the neighbourhood were speedily fortified and strengthened. Order and discipline were restored among his troops; and by accustoming them to


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make frequent sallies upon their enemies, whenever favourable opportunities occurred, their courage was by degrees revived; and they could again venture to look their enemies in the face, and rely upon the strength and spirit of the Roman arms. Thus, in four successive campaigns, the glory of the nation was as fully regained as in the days of Scipio; and though the Emperor was continually suffering from a disease of long standing, yet nothing could abate the ardour, skill and perseverance, with which he directed his mind to the public service.

4. Various methods were adopted by this wise prince to strengthen and secure his conquests over the enemies with whom he had to contend. Taking advantage of the divisions which often arose among these bands of savage robbers; purchasing the good-will of some of them with gifts and promises, and meeting others boldly in the field, the valour, policy and good fortune of Theodosius conspired, after a time, to subject the whole of them to his power. One of the first to surrender was Modar, a prince of his nation, who enlisted as a bold and faithful champion in the service of the Emperor. By his assistance an army of his countrymen was surprised and destroyed. An immense spoil, with four thousand waggons, was thus brought into the imperial camp (1.1). 382). Another leader of the Gothic forces, named Athanaric, found it also prudent to submit, and to accept of an advantageous treaty. Theodosius afterwards entertained this barbarian sovereign at Constantinople with great magnificence, and admitted him to his confidence and friendship. Athanaric, when he had surveyed the splendid buildings of the city, its spacious harbour, the innumerable vessels, the multitude of foreigners from all nations, and the arms and discipline of the troops, was so overwhelmed with astonishment by all he saw of the greatness of the conqueror, that he could not help exclaiming, in a transport of admiration, “ I now behold what I never could believe, the glories of this stupendous capital. The Emperor of the Romans is a god upon earth; and the presumptuous man who dares to lift a hand against him is guilty of his own blood!” After this submission of their leader, each of the independent chieftains hastened to procure a treaty of friendship for themselves; and in little less than four years from the death of Valens, a final capitulation took place of all the Gothic tribes who had invaded the empire during his reign (A.D. 382).

5. A few years after this peace (A.D. 386), a fresh attempt was made to disturb the empire, by a large body of the Ostrogoths, who assembled on the banks of the Low Danube, and prepared to force their way across the river. But they found their progress checked, by a triple line of galleys, forming an impenetrable chain of two miles and a half along the stream: Persevering in their attempt to obtain a passage, the greater part of them were overwhelmed or dispersed by the Roman navy. Alatheus, their leader, perished in the action, and is said to have been slain by the Emperor himself. The remainder of them, who gained the shore, were compelled to implore his clemency; and they, with the rest of their kindred tribes, became the subjects and servants of the people whom they had invaded.

6. To secure in future more effectually the safety of the empire on its northern frontier, the alliance of the tribes, who still remained in Thrace and Phrygia, was purchased by the conversion of large tracts of land; by a distribution of corn and cattle ; and an exemption from tribute during a certain period. From this body, who were still under the government of their own laws and chieftains, an army of forty thousand men was selected and maintained for the service of the Roman state. They were termed the Federati, and had the privilege of wearing golden collars. It was supposed that time, education, and the influence of Christianity, would gradually soften and improve the manners of these barbarians; and that they would become at length blended in their habits and interests, with the people who had taken them under their protection, And during the reign of Theodosius these measures were so far successful, that no outbreak of any importance occurred among them, and for the most part they acted on all occasions as his loyal subjects.

7. The Emperor had soon occasion to try their valour and sincerity, in his contest with a rival candidate for the empire, named Maximus. By birth also a Spaniard, and formerly the fellow-soldier of Theodosius, he had looked with a jealous eye upon the elevation of one with whom he was formerly associated in the same army. Having the command of the forces in Britain, he hoisted there his standard of revolt, and led a formidable army into Gaul; where he soon after succeeded in procuring the assassination of the feeble Emperor Gratian, whose Roman troops had become disaffected to his service, in consequence of the favours which he had lavished upon his German guards (A.D. 383).

8. The events connected with this revolt, and the death of Gratian, had passed so rapidly, that Theodosius had no time to prevent them, or to come to the succour of his colleague in the empire. The eastern provinces also required his presence; and the western were already in the power of the usurper. For a time, therefore, Theodosius

a felt himself constrained to dissemble his resentment, and to enter into a treaty by which the governments of Spain, Gaul, and Britain, were resigned to Maximus. By the same treaty also, Valentinian, the brother of Gratian, was to be secured in the possession of Italy, Africa, and the Western Illyricum (A.D. 383). But four years scarcely elapsed, when Maximus, aiming at a larger dominion, invaded Italy with a formidable army. Valentinian fed precipitately froin Milan, and took refuge with Theodosius at Thessalonica. He was accompanied by his mother Justina, and her daughter Galla. The tears and beauty of this young princess pleaded powerfully in the cause of Valentinian, and captivated the heart of Theodosius, who made her his wife, and the celebration of the royal nuptials was a sufficient indication, that he would soon lead his army into the field against the usurper of his brother's rights.

9. Maximus was now at the head of a brave and welldisciplined army; and had encamped himself near the city of Siscia in Pannonia, which was strongly defended by the broad and rapid current of the river Save. The forces of Theodosius had to be collected and marched to this distant quarter; and these preparations occupied a period of aboat two months. His army on this occasion was chiefly composed of the fierce bands of Huns, Alani and Goths, who bad enlisted in his service, and proved his best warriors in their attack upon the camp of Maximus. They had been formed into squadrons of archers ; and, being well practised in all the rapid movements of the Tartar tribes, they became

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