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 +====== History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire ======
 +
 +{{ :​edward-gibbon-2-sized.jpg?​nolink|Edward Gibbon}}
 +
 +===== Edward Gibbon, Esq. =====
 +
 +With notes by the Rev. H. H. Milman
 +
 +1782 (Written), 1845 (Revised)
 +
 +==== Volume 1 (of 6) Chapters 7,8,9 ====
 +
 +[[history_of_the_decline_and_fall_of_the_roman_empire_edward_gibbon|]]
 +====== Chapter VII: Tyranny Of Maximin, Rebellion, Civil Wars, Death Of Maximin. ======
 +
 +===== Part I. =====
 +
 +The Elevation And Tyranny Of Maximin. - Rebellion In Africa And Italy, Under The Authority Of The Senate. - Civil Wars And Seditions. - Violent Deaths Of Maximin And His Son, Of Maximus And Balbinus, And Of The Three Gordians. - Usurpation And Secular Games Of Philip.
 +
 +Of the various forms of government which have prevailed in the world, an hereditary monarchy seems to present the fairest scope for ridicule. ​ Is it possible to relate without an indignant smile, that, on the father'​s decease, the property of a nation, like that of a drove of oxen, descends to his infant son, as yet unknown to mankind and to himself; and that the bravest warriors and the wisest statesmen, relinquishing their natural right to empire, approach the royal cradle with bended knees and protestations of inviolable fidelity? ​ Satire and declamation may paint these obvious topics in the most dazzling colors, but our more serious thoughts will respect a useful prejudice, that establishes a rule of succession, independent of the passions of mankind; and we shall cheerfully acquiesce in any expedient which deprives the multitude of the dangerous, and indeed the ideal, power of giving themselves a master.
 +
 +In the cool shade of retirement, we may easily devise imaginary forms of government, in which the sceptre shall be constantly bestowed on the most worthy, by the free and incorrupt suffrage of the whole community. Experience overturns these airy fabrics, and teaches us, that in a large society, the election of a monarch can never devolve to the wisest, or to the most numerous part of the people. ​ The army is the only order of men sufficiently united to concur in the same sentiments, and powerful enough to impose them on the rest of their fellow-citizens;​ but the temper of soldiers, habituated at once to violence and to slavery, renders them very unfit guardians of a legal, or even a civil constitution. ​ Justice, humanity, or political wisdom, are qualities they are too little acquainted with in themselves, to appreciate them in others. ​ Valor will acquire their esteem, and liberality will purchase their suffrage; but the first of these merits is often lodged in the most savage breasts; the latter can only exert itself at the expense of the public; and both may be turned against the possessor of the throne, by the ambition of a daring rival.
 +
 +The superior prerogative of birth, when it has obtained the sanction of time and popular opinion, is the plainest and least invidious of all distinctions among mankind. ​ The acknowledged right extinguishes the hopes of faction, and the conscious security disarms the cruelty of the monarch. ​ To the firm establishment of this idea we owe the peaceful succession and mild administration of European monarchies. ​ To the defect of it we must attribute the frequent civil wars, through which an Asiatic despot is obliged to cut his way to the throne of his fathers. ​ Yet, even in the East, the sphere of contention is usually limited to the princes of the reigning house, and as soon as the more fortunate competitor has removed his brethren by the sword and the bowstring, he no longer entertains any jealousy of his meaner subjects. ​ But the Roman empire, after the authority of the senate had sunk into contempt, was a vast scene of confusion. ​ The royal, and even noble, families of the provinces had long since been led in triumph before the car of the haughty republicans. ​ The ancient families of Rome had successively fallen beneath the tyranny of the Caesars; and whilst those princes were shackled by the forms of a commonwealth,​ and disappointed by the repeated failure of their posterity, ^1 it was impossible that any idea of hereditary succession should have taken root in the minds of their subjects. ​ The right to the throne, which none could claim from birth, every one assumed from merit. ​ The daring hopes of ambition were set loose from the salutary restraints of law and prejudice; and the meanest of mankind might, without folly, entertain a hope of being raised by valor and fortune to a rank in the army, in which a single crime would enable him to wrest the sceptre of the world from his feeble and unpopular master. ​ After the murder of Alexander Severus, and the elevation of Maximin, no emperor could think himself safe upon the throne, and every barbarian peasant of the frontier might aspire to that august, but dangerous station.
 +
 +[Footnote 1: There had been no example of three successive generations on the throne; only three instances of sons who succeeded their fathers. ​ The marriages of the Caesars (notwithstanding the permission, and the frequent practice of divorces) were generally unfruitful.]
 +
 +About thirty-two years before that event, the emperor Severus, returning from an eastern expedition, halted in Thrace, to celebrate, with military games, the birthday of his younger son, Geta.  The country flocked in crowds to behold their sovereign, and a young barbarian of gigantic stature earnestly solicited, in his rude dialect, that he might be allowed to contend for the prize of wrestling. ​ As the pride of discipline would have been disgraced in the overthrow of a Roman soldier by a Thracian peasant, he was matched with the stoutest followers of the camp, sixteen of whom he successively laid on the ground. His victory was rewarded by some trifling gifts, and a permission to enlist in the troops. ​ The next day, the happy barbarian was distinguished above a crowd of recruits, dancing and exulting after the fashion of his country. ​ As soon as he perceived that he had attracted the emperor'​s notice, he instantly ran up to his horse, and followed him on foot, without the least appearance of fatigue, in a long and rapid career. ​ "​Thracian,"​ said Severus with astonishment,​ "art thou disposed to wrestle after thy race?" "Most willingly, sir," replied the unwearied youth; and, almost in a breath, overthrew seven of the strongest soldiers in the army.  A gold collar was the prize of his matchless vigor and activity, and he was immediately appointed to serve in the horseguards who always attended on the person of the sovereign. ^2
 +
 +[Footnote 2: Hist. August p. 138.]
 +
 +Maximin, for that was his name, though born on the territories of the empire, descended from a mixed race of barbarians. ​ His father was a Goth, and his mother of the nation of the Alani. ​ He displayed on every occasion a valor equal to his strength; and his native fierceness was soon tempered or disguised by the knowledge of the world. ​ Under the reign of Severus and his son, he obtained the rank of centurion, with the favor and esteem of both those princes, the former of whom was an excellent judge of merit. ​ Gratitude forbade Maximin to serve under the assassin of Caracalla. ​ Honor taught him to decline the effeminate insults of Elagabalus. ​ On the accession of Alexander he returned to court, and was placed by that prince in a station useful to the service, and honorable to himself. ​ The fourth legion, to which he was appointed tribune, soon became, under his care, the best disciplined of the whole army.  With the general applause of the soldiers, who bestowed on their favorite hero the names of Ajax and Hercules, he was successively promoted to the first military command; ^3 and had not he still retained too much of his savage origin, the emperor might perhaps have given his own sister in marriage to the son of Maximin. ^4
 +
 +[Footnote 3: Hist. August. p. 140.  Herodian, l. vi. p. 223. Aurelius Victor. ​ By comparing these authors, it should seem that Maximin had the particular command of the Tribellian horse, with the general commission of disciplining the recruits of the whole army.  His biographer ought to have marked, with more care, his exploits, and the successive steps of his military promotions.]
 +
 +[Footnote 4: See the original letter of Alexander Severus, Hist. August. p. 149.]
 +
 +Instead of securing his fidelity, these favors served only to inflame the ambition of the Thracian peasant, who deemed his fortune inadequate to his merit, as long as he was constrained to acknowledge a superior. ​ Though a stranger to rea wisdom, he was not devoid of a selfish cunning, which showed him that the emperor had lost the affection of the army, and taught him to improve their discontent to his own advantage. ​ It is easy for faction and calumny to shed their poison on the administration of the best of princes, and to accuse even their virtues by artfully confounding them with those vices to which they bear the nearest affinity. ​ The troops listened with pleasure to the emissaries of Maximin. ​ They blushed at their own ignominious patience, which, during thirteen years, had supported the vexatious discipline imposed by an effeminate Syrian, the timid slave of his mother and of the senate. ​ It was time, they cried, to cast away that useless phantom of the civil power, and to elect for their prince and general a real soldier, educated in camps, exercised in war, who would assert the glory, and distribute among his companions the treasures, of the empire. ​ A great army was at that time assembled on the banks of the Rhine, under the command of the emperor himself, who, almost immediately after his return from the Persian war, had been obliged to march against the barbarians of Germany. The important care of training and reviewing the new levies was intrusted to Maximin. ​ One day, as he entered the field of exercise, the troops either from a sudden impulse, or a formed conspiracy, saluted him emperor, silenced by their loud acclamations his obstinate refusal, and hastened to consummate their rebellion by the murder of Alexander Severus.
 +
 +The circumstances of his death are variously related. ​ The writers, who suppose that he died in ignorance of the ingratitude and ambition of Maximin, affirm, that, after taking a frugal repast in the sight of the army, he retired to sleep, and that, about the seventh hour of the day, a part of his own guards broke into the imperial tent, and, with many wounds, assassinated their virtuous and unsuspecting prince. ^5 If we credit another, and indeed a more probable account, Maximin was invested with the purple by a numerous detachment, at the distance of several miles from the head-quarters;​ and he trusted for success rather to the secret wishes than to the public declarations of the great army. Alexander had sufficient time to awaken a faint sense of loyalty among the troops; but their reluctant professions of fidelity quickly vanished on the appearance of Maximin, who declared himself the friend and advocate of the military order, and was unanimously acknowledged emperor of the Romans by the applauding legions. ​ The son of Mamaea, betrayed and deserted, withdrew into his tent, desirous at least to conceal his approaching fate from the insults of the multitude. ​ He was soon followed by a tribune and some centurions, the ministers of death; but instead of receiving with manly resolution the inevitable stroke, his unavailing cries and entreaties disgraced the last moments of his life, and converted into contempt some portion of the just pity which his innocence and misfortunes must inspire. ​ His mother, Mamaea, whose pride and avarice he loudly accused as the cause of his ruin, perished with her son.  The most faithful of his friends were sacrificed to the first fury of the soldiers. Others were reserved for the more deliberate cruelty of the usurper; and those who experienced the mildest treatment, were stripped of their employments,​ and ignominiously driven from the court and army. ^6 [Footnote 5: Hist. August. p. 135.  I have softened some of the most improbable circumstances of this wretched biographer. ​ From his ill-worded narration, it should seem that the prince'​s buffoon having accidentally entered the tent, and awakened the slumbering monarch, the fear of punishment urged him to persuade the disaffected soldiers to commit the murder.] [Footnote 6: Herodian, l. vi. 223-227.]
 +
 +The former tyrants, Caligula and Nero, Commodus, and Caracalla, were all dissolute and unexperienced youths, ^7 educated in the purple, and corrupted by the pride of empire, the luxury of Rome, and the perfidious voice of flattery. ​ The cruelty of Maximin was derived from a different source, the fear of contempt. ​ Though he depended on the attachment of the soldiers, who loved him for virtues like their own, he was conscious that his mean and barbarian origin, his savage appearance, and his total ignorance of the arts and institutions of civil life, ^8 formed a very unfavorable contrast with the amiable manners of the unhappy Alexander. ​ He remembered, that, in his humbler fortune, he had often waited before the door of the haughty nobles of Rome, and had been denied admittance by the insolence of their slaves. ​ He recollected too the friendship of a few who had relieved his poverty, and assisted his rising hopes. ​ But those who had spurned, and those who had protected, the Thracian, were guilty of the same crime, the knowledge of his original obscurity. ​ For this crime many were put to death; and by the execution of several of his benefactors,​ Maximin published, in characters of blood, the indelible history of his baseness and ingratitude. ^9 [Footnote 7: Caligula, the eldest of the four, was only twenty-five years of age when he ascended the throne; Caracalla was twenty-three,​ Commodus nineteen, and Nero no more than seventeen.]
 +
 +[Footnote 8: It appears that he was totally ignorant of the Greek language; which, from its universal use in conversation and letters, was an essential part of every liberal education.]
 +
 +[Footnote 9: Hist. August. p. 141.  Herodian, l. vii. p. 237. The latter of these historians has been most unjustly censured for sparing the vices of Maximin.]
 +
 +The dark and sanguinary soul of the tyrant was open to every suspicion against those among his subjects who were the most distinguished by their birth or merit. ​ Whenever he was alarmed with the sound of treason, his cruelty was unbounded and unrelenting. ​ A conspiracy against his life was either discovered or imagined, and Magnus, a consular senator, was named as the principal author of it.  Without a witness, without a trial, and without an opportunity of defence, Magnus, with four thousand of his supposed accomplices,​ was put to death. ​ Italy and the whole empire were infested with innumerable spies and informers. ​ On the slightest accusation, the first of the Roman nobles, who had governed provinces, commanded armies, and been adorned with the consular and triumphal ornaments, were chained on the public carriages, and hurried away to the emperor'​s presence. Confiscation,​ exile, or simple death, were esteemed uncommon instances of his lenity. ​ Some of the unfortunate sufferers he ordered to be sewed up in the hides of slaughtered animals, others to be exposed to wild beasts, others again to be beaten to death with clubs. ​ During the three years of his reign, he disdained to visit either Rome or Italy. ​ His camp, occasionally removed from the banks of the Rhine to those of the Danube, was the seat of his stern despotism, which trampled on every principle of law and justice, and was supported by the avowed power of the sword. ^10 No man of noble birth, elegant accomplishments,​ or knowledge of civil business, was suffered near his person; and the court of a Roman emperor revived the idea of those ancient chiefs of slaves and gladiators, whose savage power had left a deep impression of terror and detestation. ^11
 +
 +[Footnote 10: The wife of Maximin, by insinuating wise counsels with female gentleness, sometimes brought back the tyrant to the way of truth and humanity. ​ See Ammianus Marcellinus,​ l. xiv. c. l, where he alludes to the fact which he had more fully related under the reign of the Gordians. ​ We may collect from the medals, that Paullina was the name of this benevolent empress; and from the title of Diva, that she died before Maximin. ​ (Valesius ad loc. cit. Ammian.) Spanheim de U. et P. N. tom. ii. p. 300. Note: If we may believe Syrcellus and Zonaras, in was Maximin himself who ordered her death - G]
 +
 +[Footnote 11: He was compared to Spartacus and Athenio. ​ Hist. August p. 141.]
 +
 +As long as the cruelty of Maximin was confined to the illustrious senators, or even to the bold adventurers,​ who in the court or army expose themselves to the caprice of fortune, the body of the people viewed their sufferings with indifference,​ or perhaps with pleasure. ​ But the tyrant'​s avarice, stimulated by the insatiate desires of the soldiers, at length attacked the public property. ​ Every city of the empire was possessed of an independent revenue, destined to purchase corn for the multitude, and to supply the expenses of the games and entertainments. ​ By a single act of authority, the whole mass of wealth was at once confiscated for the use of the Imperial treasury. ​ The temples were stripped of their most valuable offerings of gold and silver, and the statues of gods, heroes, and emperors, were melted down and coined into money. ​ These impious orders could not be executed without tumults and massacres, as in many places the people chose rather to die in the defence of their altars, than to behold in the midst of peace their cities exposed to the rapine and cruelty of war.  The soldiers themselves, among whom this sacrilegious plunder was distributed,​ received it with a blush; and hardened as they were in acts of violence, they dreaded the just reproaches of their friends and relations. Throughout the Roman world a general cry of indignation was heard, imploring vengeance on the common enemy of human kind; and at length, by an act of private oppression, a peaceful and unarmed province was driven into rebellion against him. ^12 [Footnote 12: Herodian, l. vii. p. 238.  Zosim. l. i. p. 15.] The procurator of Africa was a servant worthy of such a master, who considered the fines and confiscations of the rich as one of the most fruitful branches of the Imperial revenue. ​ An iniquitous sentence had been pronounced against some opulent youths of that country, the execution of which would have stripped them of far the greater part of their patrimony. In this extremity, a resolution that must either complete or prevent their ruin, was dictated by despair. ​ A respite of three days, obtained with difficulty from the rapacious treasurer, was employed in collecting from their estates a great number of slaves and peasants blindly devoted to the commands of their lords, and armed with the rustic weapons of clubs and axes. The leaders of the conspiracy, as they were admitted to the audience of the procurator, stabbed him with the daggers concealed under their garments, and, by the assistance of their tumultuary train, seized on the little town of Thysdrus, ^13 and erected the standard of rebellion against the sovereign of the Roman empire. They rested their hopes on the hatred of mankind against Maximin, and they judiciously resolved to oppose to that detested tyrant an emperor whose mild virtues had already acquired the love and esteem of the Romans, and whose authority over the province would give weight and stability to the enterprise. ​ Gordianus, their proconsul, and the object of their choice, refused, with unfeigned reluctance, the dangerous honor, and begged with tears, that they would suffer him to terminate in peace a long and innocent life, without staining his feeble age with civil blood. Their menaces compelled him to accept the Imperial purple, his only refuge, indeed, against the jealous cruelty of Maximin; since, according to the reasoning of tyrants, those who have been esteemed worthy of the throne deserve death, and those who deliberate have already rebelled. ^14
 +
 +[Footnote 13: In the fertile territory of Byzacium, one hundred and fifty miles to the south of Carthage. ​ This city was decorated, probably by the Gordians, with the title of colony, and with a fine amphitheatre,​ which is still in a very perfect state. ​ See Intinerar. Wesseling, p. 59; and Shaw's Travels, p. 117.]
 +
 +[Footnote 14: Herodian, l. vii. p. 239.  Hist. August. p. 153.] The family of Gordianus was one of the most illustrious of the Roman senate. ​ On the father'​s side he was descended from the Gracchi; on his mother'​s,​ from the emperor Trajan. ​ A great estate enabled him to support the dignity of his birth, and in the enjoyment of it, he displayed an elegant taste and beneficent disposition. ​ The palace in Rome, formerly inhabited by the great Pompey, had been, during several generations,​ in the possession of Gordian'​s family. ^15 It was distinguished by ancient trophies of naval victories, and decorated with the works of modern painting. ​ His villa on the road to Praeneste was celebrated for baths of singular beauty and extent, for three stately rooms of a hundred feet in length, and for a magnificent portico, supported by two hundred columns of the four most curious and costly sorts of marble. ^16 The public shows exhibited at his expense, and in which the people were entertained with many hundreds of wild beasts and gladiators, ^17 seem to surpass the fortune of a subject; and whilst the liberality of other magistrates was confined to a few solemn festivals at Rome, the magnificence of Gordian was repeated, when he was aedile, every month in the year, and extended, during his consulship, to the principal cities of Italy. He was twice elevated to the last-mentioned dignity, by Caracalla and by Alexander; for he possessed the uncommon talent of acquiring the esteem of virtuous princes, without alarming the jealousy of tyrants. ​ His long life was innocently spent in the study of letters and the peaceful honors of Rome; and, till he was named proconsul of Africa by the voice of the senate and the approbation of Alexander, ^18 he appears prudently to have declined the command of armies and the government of provinces. ^* As long as that emperor lived, Africa was happy under the administration of his worthy representative:​ after the barbarous Maximin had usurped the throne, Gordianus alleviated the miseries which he was unable to prevent. ​ When he reluctantly accepted the purple, he was above fourscore years old; a last and valuable remains of the happy age of the Antonines, whose virtues he revived in his own conduct, and celebrated in an elegant poem of thirty books. ​ With the venerable proconsul, his son, who had accompanied him into Africa as his lieutenant, was likewise declared emperor. ​ His manners were less pure, but his character was equally amiable with that of his father. ​ Twenty-two acknowledged concubines, and a library of sixty-two thousand volumes, attested the variety of his inclinations;​ and from the productions which he left behind him, it appears that the former as well as the latter were designed for use rather than for ostentation. ^19 The Roman people acknowledged in the features of the younger Gordian the resemblance of Scipio Africanus, ^! recollected with pleasure that his mother was the granddaughter of Antoninus Pius, and rested the public hope on those latent virtues which had hitherto, as they fondly imagined, lain concealed in the luxurious indolence of private life.
 +
 +[Footnote 15: Hist. Aug. p. 152.  The celebrated house of Pompey in carinis was usurped by Marc Antony, and consequently became, after the Triumvir'​s death, a part of the Imperial domain. ​ The emperor Trajan allowed, and even encouraged, the rich senators to purchase those magnificent and useless places, (Plin. Panegyric. c. 50;) and it may seem probable, that, on this occasion, Pompey'​s house came into the possession of Gordian'​s great- grandfather.]
 +
 +[Footnote 16: The Claudian, the Numidian, the Carystian, and the Synnadian. The colors of Roman marbles have been faintly described and imperfectly distinguished. ​ It appears, however, that the Carystian was a sea-green, and that the marble of Synnada was white mixed with oval spots of purple. ​ See Salmasius ad Hist. August. p. 164.]
 +
 +[Footnote 17: Hist. August. p. 151, 152.  He sometimes gave five hundred pair of gladiators, never less than one hundred and fifty. ​ He once gave for the use of the circus one hundred Sicilian, and as many Cappaecian Cappadecian horses. ​ The animals designed for hunting were chiefly bears, boars, bulls, stags, elks, wild asses, &​c. ​ Elephants and lions seem to have been appropriated to Imperial magnificence.]
 +
 +[Footnote 18: See the original letter, in the Augustan History, p. 152, which at once shows Alexander'​s respect for the authority of the senate, and his esteem for the proconsul appointed by that assembly.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: Herodian expressly says that he had administered many provinces, lib. vii. 10. - W.]
 +
 +[Footnote 19: By each of his concubines, the younger Gordian left three or four children. ​ His literary productions,​ though less numerous, were by no means contemptible.]
 +
 +[Footnote !: Not the personal likeness, but the family descent from the Scipiod. - W.]
 +
 +As soon as the Gordians had appeased the first tumult of a popular election, they removed their court to Carthage. ​ They were received with the acclamations of the Africans, who honored their virtues, and who, since the visit of Hadrian, had never beheld the majesty of a Roman emperor. ​ But these vain acclamations neither strengthened nor confirmed the title of the Gordians. ​ They were induced by principle, as well as interest, to solicit the approbation of the senate; and a deputation of the noblest provincials was sent, without delay, to Rome, to relate and justify the conduct of their countrymen, who, having long suffered with patience, were at length resolved to act with vigor. ​ The letters of the new princes were modest and respectful, excusing the necessity which had obliged them to accept the Imperial title; but submitting their election and their fate to the supreme judgment of the senate. ^20
 +
 +[Footnote 20: Herodian, l. vii. p. 243.  Hist. August. p. 144.] The inclinations of the senate were neither doubtful nor divided. ​ The birth and noble alliances of the Gordians had intimately connected them with the most illustrious houses of Rome.  Their fortune had created many dependants in that assembly, their merit had acquired many friends. ​ Their mild administration opened the flattering prospect of the restoration,​ not only of the civil but even of the republican government. ​ The terror of military violence, which had first obliged the senate to forget the murder of Alexander, and to ratify the election of a barbarian peasant, ^21 now produced a contrary effect, and provoked them to assert the injured rights of freedom and humanity. ​ The hatred of Maximin towards the senate was declared and implacable; the tamest submission had not appeased his fury, the most cautious innocence would not remove his suspicions; and even the care of their own safety urged them to share the fortune of an enterprise, of which (if unsuccessful) they were sure to be the first victims. ​ These considerations,​ and perhaps others of a more private nature, were debated in a previous conference of the consuls and the magistrates. ​ As soon as their resolution was decided, they convoked in the temple of Castor the whole body of the senate, according to an ancient form of secrecy, ^22 calculated to awaken their attention, and to conceal their decrees. ​ "​Conscript fathers,"​ said the consul Syllanus, "the two Gordians, both of consular dignity, the one your proconsul, the other your lieutenant, have been declared emperors by the general consent of Africa. ​ Let us return thanks,"​ he boldly continued, "to the youth of Thysdrus; let us return thanks to the faithful people of Carthage, our generous deliverers from a horrid monster - Why do you hear me thus coolly, thus timidly? ​ Why do you cast those anxious looks on each other? ​ Why hesitate? ​ Maximin is a public enemy! may his enmity soon expire with him, and may we long enjoy the prudence and felicity of Gordian the father, the valor and constancy of Gordian the son!" ^23 The noble ardor of the consul revived the languid spirit of the senate. ​ By a unanimous decree, the election of the Gordians was ratified, Maximin, his son, and his adherents, were pronounced enemies of their country, and liberal rewards were offered to whomsoever had the courage and good fortune to destroy them. [See Temple Of Castor and Pollux]
 +
 +[Footnote 21: Quod. tamen patres dum periculosum existimant; inermes armato esistere approbaverunt. - Aurelius Victor.]
 +
 +[Footnote 22: Even the servants of the house, the scribes, &c., were excluded, and their office was filled by the senators themselves. ​ We are obliged to the Augustan History. p. 159, for preserving this curious example of the old discipline of the commonwealth.]
 +
 +[Footnote 23: This spirited speech, translated from the Augustan historian, p. 156, seems transcribed by him from the origina registers of the senate] During the emperor'​s absence, a detachment of the Praetorian guards remained at Rome, to protect, or rather to command, the capital. ​ The praefect Vitalianus had signalized his fidelity to Maximin, by the alacrity with which he had obeyed, and even prevented the cruel mandates of the tyrant. ​ His death alone could rescue the authority of the senate, and the lives of the senators from a state of danger and suspense. ​ Before their resolves had transpired, a quaestor and some tribunes were commissioned to take his devoted life.  They executed the order with equal boldness and success; and, with their bloody daggers in their hands, ran through the streets, proclaiming to the people and the soldiers the news of the happy revolution. ​ The enthusiasm of liberty was seconded by the promise of a large donative, in lands and money; the statues of Maximin were thrown down; the capital of the empire acknowledged,​ with transport, the authority of the two Gordians and the senate; ^24 and the example of Rome was followed by the rest of Italy.
 +
 +[Footnote 24: Herodian, l. vii. p. 244]
 +
 +A new spirit had arisen in that assembly, whose long patience had been insulted by wanton despotism and military license. ​ The senate assumed the reins of government, and, with a calm intrepidity,​ prepared to vindicate by arms the cause of freedom. ​ Among the consular senators recommended by their merit and services to the favor of the emperor Alexander, it was easy to select twenty, not unequal to the command of an army, and the conduct of a war.  To these was the defence of Italy intrusted. Each was appointed to act in his respective department, authorized to enroll and discipline the Italian youth; and instructed to fortify the ports and highways, against the impending invasion of Maximin. ​ A number of deputies, chosen from the most illustrious of the senatorian and equestrian orders, were despatched at the same time to the governors of the several provinces, earnestly conjuring them to fly to the assistance of their country, and to remind the nations of their ancient ties of friendship with the Roman senate and people. ​ The general respect with which these deputies were received, and the zeal of Italy and the provinces in favor of the senate, sufficiently prove that the subjects of Maximin were reduced to that uncommon distress, in which the body of the people has more to fear from oppression than from resistance. ​ The consciousness of that melancholy truth, inspires a degree of persevering fury, seldom to be found in those civil wars which are artificially supported for the benefit of a few factious and designing leaders. ^25 [Footnote 25: Herodian, l. vii. p. 247, l. viii. p. 277.  Hist. August. p 156-158.]
 +
 +For while the cause of the Gordians was embraced with such diffusive ardor, the Gordians themselves were no more.  The feeble court of Carthage was alarmed by the rapid approach of Capelianus, governor of Mauritania, who, with a small band of veterans, and a fierce host of barbarians, attacked a faithful, but unwarlike province. ​ The younger Gordian sallied out to meet the enemy at the head of a few guards, and a numerous undisciplined multitude, educated in the peaceful luxury of Carthage. ​ His useless valor served only to procure him an honorable death on the field of battle. ​ His aged father, whose reign had not exceeded thirty-six days, put an end to his life on the first news of the defeat. ​ Carthage, destitute of defence, opened her gates to the conqueror, and Africa was exposed to the rapacious cruelty of a slave, obliged to satisfy his unrelenting master with a large account of blood and treasure. ^26
 +
 +[Footnote 26: Herodian, l. vii. p. 254.  Hist. August. p. 150-160. ​ We may observe, that one month and six days, for the reign of Gordian, is a just correction of Casaubon and Panvinius, instead of the absurd reading of one year and six months. ​ See Commentar. p. 193.  Zosimus relates, l. i. p. 17, that the two Gordians perished by a tempest in the midst of their navigation. A strange ignorance of history, or a strange abuse of metaphors!] The fate of the Gordians filled Rome with just but unexpected terror. The senate, convoked in the temple of Concord, affected to transact the common business of the day; and seemed to decline, with trembling anxiety, the consideration of their own and the public danger. ​ A silent consternation prevailed in the assembly, till a senator, of the name and family of Trajan, awakened his brethren from their fatal lethargy. ​ He represented to them that the choice of cautious, dilatory measures had been long since out of their power; that Maximin, implacable by nature, and exasperated by injuries, was advancing towards Italy, at the head of the military force of the empire; and that their only remaining alternative was either to meet him bravely in the field, or tamely to expect the tortures and ignominious death reserved for unsuccessful rebellion. ​ "We have lost," continued he, "two excellent princes; but unless we desert ourselves, the hopes of the republic have not perished with the Gordians. ​ Many are the senators whose virtues have deserved, and whose abilities would sustain, the Imperial dignity. ​ Let us elect two emperors, one of whom may conduct the war against the public enemy, whilst his colleague remains at Rome to direct the civil administration. I cheerfully expose myself to the danger and envy of the nomination, and give my vote in favor of Maximus and Balbinus. Ratify my choice, conscript fathers, or appoint in their place, others more worthy of the empire."​ The general apprehension silenced the whispers of jealousy; the merit of the candidates was universally acknowledged;​ and the house resounded with the sincere acclamations of "Long life and victory to the emperors Maximus and Balbinus. ​ You are happy in the judgment of the senate; may the republic be happy under your administration!"​ ^27
 +
 +[Footnote 27: See the Augustan History, p. 166, from the registers of the senate; the date is confessedly faulty but the coincidence of the Apollinatian games enables us to correct it.]
 +
 +====== Chapter VII: Tyranny Of Maximin, Rebellion, Civil Wars, Death Of Maximin. ======
 +
 +===== Part II. =====
 +
 +The virtues and the reputation of the new emperors justified the most sanguine hopes of the Romans. ​ The various nature of their talents seemed to appropriate to each his peculiar department of peace and war, without leaving room for jealous emulation. ​ Balbinus was an admired orator, a poet of distinguished fame, and a wise magistrate, who had exercised with innocence and applause the civil jurisdiction in almost all the interior provinces of the empire. ​ His birth was noble, ^28 his fortune affluent, his manners liberal and affable. ​ In him the love of pleasure was corrected by a sense of dignity, nor had the habits of ease deprived him of a capacity for business. The mind of Maximus was formed in a rougher mould. ​ By his valor and abilities he had raised himself from the meanest origin to the first employments of the state and army.  His victories over the Sarmatians and the Germans, the austerity of his life, and the rigid impartiality of his justice, while he was a Praefect of the city, commanded the esteem of a people whose affections were engaged in favor of the more amiable Balbinus. The two colleagues had both been consuls, (Balbinus had twice enjoyed that honorable office,) both had been named among the twenty lieutenants of the senate; and since the one was sixty and the other seventy-four years old, ^29 they had both attained the full maturity of age and experience. [Footnote 28: He was descended from Cornelius Balbus, a noble Spaniard, and the adopted son of Theophanes, the Greek historian. Balbus obtained the freedom of Rome by the favor of Pompey, and preserved it by the eloquence of Cicero. ​ (See Orat. pro Cornel. Balbo.) The friendship of Caesar, (to whom he rendered the most important secret services in the civil war) raised him to the consulship and the pontificate,​ honors never yet possessed by a stranger. The nephew of this Balbus triumphed over the Garamantes. ​ See Dictionnaire de Bayle, au mot Balbus, where he distinguishes the several persons of that name, and rectifies, with his usual accuracy, the mistakes of former writers concerning them.]
 +
 +[Footnote 29: Zonaras, l. xii. p. 622.  But little dependence is to be had on the authority of a modern Greek, so grossly ignorant of the history of the third century, that he creates several imaginary emperors, and confounds those who really existed.]
 +
 +After the senate had conferred on Maximus and Balbinus an equal portion of the consular and tribunitian powers, the title of Fathers of their country, and the joint office of Supreme Pontiff, they ascended to the Capitol to return thanks to the gods, protectors of Rome. ^30 The solemn rites of sacrifice were disturbed by a sedition of the people. ​ The licentious multitude neither loved the rigid Maximus, nor did they sufficiently fear the mild and humane Balbinus. ​ Their increasing numbers surrounded the temple of Jupiter; with obstinate clamors they asserted their inherent right of consenting to the election of their sovereign; and demanded, with an apparent moderation, that, besides the two emperors, chosen by the senate, a third should be added of the family of the Gordians, as a just return of gratitude to those princes who had sacrificed their lives for the republic. ​ At the head of the city-guards,​ and the youth of the equestrian order, Maximus and Balbinus attempted to cut their way through the seditious multitude. ​ The multitude, armed with sticks and stones, drove them back into the Capitol. ​ It is prudent to yield when the contest, whatever may be the issue of it, must be fatal to both parties. ​ A boy, only thirteen years of age, the grandson of the elder, and nephew ^* of the younger Gordian, was produced to the people, invested with the ornaments and title of Caesar. ​ The tumult was appeased by this easy condescension;​ and the two emperors, as soon as they had been peaceably acknowledged in Rome, prepared to defend Italy against the common enemy.
 +
 +[Footnote 30: Herodian, l. vii. p. 256, supposes that the senate was at first convoked in the Capitol, and is very eloquent on the occasion. ​ The Augustar History p. 116, seems much more authentic.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: According to some, the son. - G.]
 +
 +Whilst in Rome and Africa, revolutions succeeded each other with such amazing rapidity, that the mind of Maximin was agitated by the most furious passions. ​ He is said to have received the news of the rebellion of the Gordians, and of the decree of the senate against him, not with the temper of a man, but the rage of a wild beast; which, as it could not discharge itself on the distant senate, threatened the life of his son, of his friends, and of all who ventured to approach his person. ​ The grateful intelligence of the death of the Gordians was quickly followed by the assurance that the senate, laying aside all hopes of pardon or accommodation,​ had substituted in their room two emperors, with whose merit he could not be unacquainted. ​ Revenge was the only consolation left to Maximin, and revenge could only be obtained by arms.  The strength of the legions had been assembled by Alexander from all parts of the empire. ​ Three successful campaigns against the Germans and the Sarmatians, had raised their fame, confirmed their discipline, and even increased their numbers, by filling the ranks with the flower of the barbarian youth. ​ The life of Maximin had been spent in war, and the candid severity of history cannot refuse him the valor of a soldier, or even the abilities of an experienced general. ^31 It might naturally be expected, that a prince of such a character, instead of suffering the rebellion to gain stability by delay, should immediately have marched from the banks of the Danube to those of the Tyber, and that his victorious army, instigated by contempt for the senate, and eager to gather the spoils of Italy, should have burned with impatience to finish the easy and lucrative conquest. ​ Yet as far as we can trust to the obscure chronology of that period, ^32 it appears that the operations of some foreign war deferred the Italian expedition till the ensuing spring. ​ From the prudent conduct of Maximin, we may learn that the savage features of his character have been exaggerated by the pencil of party, that his passions, however impetuous, submitted to the force of reason, and that the barbarian possessed something of the generous spirit of Sylla, who subdued the enemies of Rome before he suffered himself to revenge his private injuries. ^33
 +
 +[Footnote 31: In Herodian, l. vii. p. 249, and in the Augustan History, we have three several orations of Maximin to his army, on the rebellion of Africa and Rome: M. de Tillemont has very justly observed that they neither agree with each other nor with truth. ​ Histoire des Empereurs, tom. iii. p. 799.]
 +
 +[Footnote 32: The carelessness of the writers of that age, leaves us in a singular perplexity. ​ 1. We know that Maximus and Balbinus were killed during the Capitoline games. ​ Herodian, l. viii. p. 285.  The authority of Censorinus (de Die Natali, c. 18) enables us to fix those games with certainty to the year 238, but leaves us in ignorance of the month or day. 2. The election of Gordian by the senate is fixed with equal certainty to the 27th of May; but we are at a loss to discover whether it was in the same or the preceding year.  Tillemont and Muratori, who maintain the two opposite opinions, bring into the field a desultory troop of authorities,​ conjectures and probabilities. ​ The one seems to draw out, the other to contract the series of events between those periods, more than can be well reconciled to reason and history. ​ Yet it is necessary to choose between them. Note: Eckhel has more recently treated these chronological questions with a perspicuity which gives great probability to his conclusions. ​ Setting aside all the historians, whose contradictions are irreconcilable,​ he has only consulted the medals, and has arranged the events before us in the following order: -
 +
 +Maximin, A. U. 990, after having conquered the Germans, reenters Pannonia, establishes his winter quarters at Sirmium, and prepares himself to make war against the people of the North. In the year 991, in the cal ends of January, commences his fourth tribunate. ​ The Gordians are chosen emperors in Africa, probably at the beginning of the month of March. ​ The senate confirms this election with joy, and declares Maximin the enemy of Rome. Five days after he had heard of this revolt, Maximin sets out from Sirmium on his march to Italy. ​ These events took place about the beginning of April; a little after, the Gordians are slain in Africa by Capellianus,​ procurator of Mauritania. ​ The senate, in its alarm, names as emperors Balbus and Maximus Pupianus, and intrusts the latter with the war against Maximin. ​ Maximin is stopped on his road near Aquileia, by the want of provisions, and by the melting of the snows: he begins the siege of Aquileia at the end of April. Pupianus assembles his army at Ravenna. Maximin and his son are assassinated by the soldiers enraged at the resistance of Aquileia: and this was probably in the middle of May.  Pupianus returns to Rome, and assumes the government with Balbinus; they are assassinated towards the end of July Gordian the younger ascends the throne. ​ Eckhel de Doct. Vol vii 295. - G.] [Footnote 33: Velleius Paterculus, l. ii. c. 24.  The president de Montesquieu (in his dialogue between Sylla and Eucrates) expresses the sentiments of the dictator in a spirited, and even a sublime manner.]
 +
 +When the troops of Maximin, advancing in excellent order, arrived at the foot of the Julian Alps, they were terrified by the silence and desolation that reigned on the frontiers of Italy. ​ The villages and open towns had been abandoned on their approach by the inhabitants,​ the cattle was driven away, the provisions removed or destroyed, the bridges broken down, nor was any thing left which could afford either shelter or subsistence to an invader. Such had been the wise orders of the generals of the senate: whose design was to protract the war, to ruin the army of Maximin by the slow operation of famine, and to consume his strength in the sieges of the principal cities of Italy, which they had plentifully stored with men and provisions from the deserted country. ​ Aquileia received and withstood the first shock of the invasion. ​ The streams that issue from the head of the Hadriatic Gulf, swelled by the melting of the winter snows, ^34 opposed an unexpected obstacle to the arms of Maximin. ​ At length, on a singular bridge, constructed with art and difficulty, of large hogsheads, he transported his army to the opposite bank, rooted up the beautiful vineyards in the neighborhood of Aquileia, demolished the suburbs, and employed the timber of the buildings in the engines and towers, with which on every side he attacked the city.  The walls, fallen to decay during the security of a long peace, had been hastily repaired on this sudden emergency: but the firmest defence of Aquileia consisted in the constancy of the citizens; all ranks of whom, instead of being dismayed, were animated by the extreme danger, and their knowledge of the tyrant'​s unrelenting temper. ​ Their courage was supported and directed by Crispinus and Menophilus, two of the twenty lieutenants of the senate, who, with a small body of regular troops, had thrown themselves into the besieged place. ​ The army of Maximin was repulsed in repeated attacks, his machines destroyed by showers of artificial fire; and the generous enthusiasm of the Aquileians was exalted into a confidence of success, by the opinion that Belenus, their tutelar deity, combated in person in the defence of his distressed worshippers. ^35
 +
 +[Footnote 34: Muratori (Annali d' Italia, tom. ii. p. 294) thinks the melting of the snows suits better with the months of June or July, than with those of February. ​ The opinion of a man who passed his life between the Alps and the Apennines, is undoubtedly of great weight; yet I observe, 1. That the long winter, of which Muratori takes advantage, is to be found only in the Latin version, and not in the Greek text of Herodian. ​ 2. That the vicissitudes of suns and rains, to which the soldiers of Maximin were exposed, (Herodian, l. viii. p. 277,) denote the spring rather than the summer. ​ We may observe, likewise, that these several streams, as they melted into one, composed the Timavus, so poetically (in every sense of the word) described by Virgil. They are about twelve miles to the east of Aquileia. ​ See Cluver. Italia Antiqua, tom. i. p. 189, &c.]
 +
 +[Footnote 35: Herodian, l. viii. p. 272.  The Celtic deity was supposed to be Apollo, and received under that name the thanks of the senate. ​ A temple was likewise built to Venus the Bald, in honor of the women of Aquileia, who had given up their hair to make ropes for the military engines.] The emperor Maximus, who had advanced as far as Ravenna, to secure that important place, and to hasten the military preparations,​ beheld the event of the war in the more faithful mirror of reason and policy. ​ He was too sensible, that a single town could not resist the persevering efforts of a great army; and he dreaded, lest the enemy, tired with the obstinate resistance of Aquileia, should on a sudden relinquish the fruitless siege, and march directly towards Rome.  The fate of the empire and the cause of freedom must then be committed to the chance of a battle; and what arms could he oppose to the veteran legions of the Rhine and Danube? ​ Some troops newly levied among the generous but enervated youth of Italy; and a body of German auxiliaries,​ on whose firmness, in the hour of trial, it was dangerous to depend. ​ In the midst of these just alarms, the stroke of domestic conspiracy punished the crimes of Maximin, and delivered Rome and the senate from the calamities that would surely have attended the victory of an enraged barbarian.
 +
 +The people of Aquileia had scarcely experienced any of the common miseries of a siege; their magazines were plentifully supplied, and several fountains within the walls assured them of an inexhaustible resource of fresh water. ​ The soldiers of Maximin were, on the contrary, exposed to the inclemency of the season, the contagion of disease, and the horrors of famine. ​ The open country was ruined, the rivers filled with the slain, and polluted with blood. ​ A spirit of despair and disaffection began to diffuse itself among the troops; and as they were cut off from all intelligence,​ they easily believed that the whole empire had embraced the cause of the senate, and that they were left as devoted victims to perish under the impregnable walls of Aquileia. ​ The fierce temper of the tyrant was exasperated by disappointments,​ which he imputed to the cowardice of his army; and his wanton and ill-timed cruelty, instead of striking terror, inspired hatred, and a just desire of revenge. ​ A party of Praetorian guards, who trembled for their wives and children in the camp of Alba, near Rome, executed the sentence of the senate. Maximin, abandoned by his guards, was slain in his tent, with his son, (whom he had associated to the honors of the purple,) Anulinus the praefect, and the principal ministers of his tyranny. ^36 The sight of their heads, borne on the point of spears, convinced the citizens of Aquileia that the siege was at an end; the gates of the city were thrown open, a liberal market was provided for the hungry troops of Maximin, and the whole army joined in solemn protestations of fidelity to the senate and the people of Rome, and to their lawful emperors Maximus and Balbinus. ​ Such was the deserved fate of a brutal savage, destitute, as he has generally been represented,​ of every sentiment that distinguishes a civilized, or even a human being. The body was suited to the soul.  The stature of Maximin exceeded the measure of eight feet, and circumstances almost incredible are related of his matchless strength and appetite. ^37 Had he lived in a less enlightened age, tradition and poetry might well have described him as one of those monstrous giants, whose supernatural power was constantly exerted for the destruction of mankind.
 +
 +[Footnote 36: Herodian, l. viii. p. 279.  Hist. August. p. 146. The duration of Maximin'​s reign has not been defined with much accuracy, except by Eutropius, who allows him three years and a few days, (l. ix. 1;) we may depend on the integrity of the text, as the Latin original is checked by the Greek version of Paeanius.]
 +
 +[Footnote 37: Eight Roman feet and one third, which are equal to above eight English feet, as the two measures are to each other in the proportion of 967 to 1000.  See Graves'​s discourse on the Roman foot.  We are told that Maximin could drink in a day an amphora (or about seven gallons) of wine, and eat thirty or forty pounds of meat.  He could move a loaded wagon, break a horse'​s leg with his fist, crumble stones in his hand, and tear up small trees by the roots. ​ See his life in the Augustan History.] It is easier to conceive than to describe the universal joy of the Roman world on the fall of the tyrant, the news of which is said to have been carried in four days from Aquileia to Rome. The return of Maximus was a triumphal procession; his colleague and young Gordian went out to meet him, and the three princes made their entry into the capital, attended by the ambassadors of almost all the cities of Italy, saluted with the splendid offerings of gratitude and superstition,​ and received with the unfeigned acclamations of the senate and people, who persuaded themselves that a golden age would succeed to an age of iron. ^38 The conduct of the two emperors corresponded with these expectations. ​ They administered justice in person; and the rigor of the one was tempered by the other'​s clemency. ​ The oppressive taxes with which Maximin had loaded the rights of inheritance and succession, were repealed, or at least moderated. ​ Discipline was revived, and with the advice of the senate many wise laws were enacted by their imperial ministers, who endeavored to restore a civil constitution on the ruins of military tyranny. ​ "What reward may we expect for delivering Rome from a monster?"​ was the question asked by Maximus, in a moment of freedom and confidence. Balbinus answered it without hesitation - "The love of the senate, of the people, and of all mankind."​ "​Alas!"​ replied his more penetrating colleague - "​alas! ​ I dread the hatred of the soldiers, and the fatal effects of their resentment."​ ^39 His apprehensions were but too well justified by the event.
 +
 +[Footnote 38: See the congratulatory letter of Claudius Julianus, the consul to the two emperors, in the Augustan History.]
 +
 +[Footnote 39: Hist. August. p. 171.]
 +
 +Whilst Maximus was preparing to defend Italy against the common foe, Balbinus, who remained at Rome, had been engaged in scenes of blood and intestine discord. ​ Distrust and jealousy reigned in the senate; and even in the temples where they assembled, every senator carried either open or concealed arms. In the midst of their deliberations,​ two veterans of the guards, actuated either by curiosity or a sinister motive, audaciously thrust themselves into the house, and advanced by degrees beyond the altar of Victory. ​ Gallicanus, a consular, and Maecenas, a Praetorian senator, viewed with indignation their insolent intrusion: drawing their daggers, they laid the spies (for such they deemed them) dead at the foot of the altar, and then, advancing to the door of the senate, imprudently exhorted the multitude to massacre the Praetorians,​ as the secret adherents of the tyrant. ​ Those who escaped the first fury of the tumult took refuge in the camp, which they defended with superior advantage against the reiterated attacks of the people, assisted by the numerous bands of gladiators, the property of opulent nobles. The civil war lasted many days, with infinite loss and confusion on both sides. ​ When the pipes were broken that supplied the camp with water, the Praetorians were reduced to intolerable distress; but in their turn they made desperate sallies into the city, set fire to a great number of houses, and filled the streets with the blood of the inhabitants. ​ The emperor Balbinus attempted, by ineffectual edicts and precarious truces, to reconcile the factions at Rome.  But their animosity, though smothered for a while, burnt with redoubled violence. ​ The soldiers, detesting the senate and the people, despised the weakness of a prince, who wanted either the spirit or the power to command the obedience of his subjects. ^40
 +
 +[Footnote 40: Herodian, l. viii. p. 258.]
 +
 +After the tyrant'​s death, his formidable army had acknowledged,​ from necessity rather than from choice, the authority of Maximus, who transported himself without delay to the camp before Aquileia. ​ As soon as he had received their oath of fidelity, he addressed them in terms full of mildness and moderation; lamented, rather than arraigned the wild disorders of the times, and assured the soldiers, that of all their past conduct the senate would remember only their generous desertion of the tyrant, and their voluntary return to their duty.  Maximus enforced his exhortations by a liberal donative, purified the camp by a solemn sacrifice of expiation, and then dismissed the legions to their several provinces, impressed, as he hoped, with a lively sense of gratitude and obedience. ^41 But nothing could reconcile the haughty spirit of the Praetorians. ​ They attended the emperors on the memorable day of their public entry into Rome; but amidst the general acclamations,​ the sullen, dejected countenance of the guards sufficiently declared that they considered themselves as the object, rather than the partners, of the triumph. ​ When the whole body was united in their camp, those who had served under Maximin, and those who had remained at Rome, insensibly communicated to each other their complaints and apprehensions. The emperors chosen by the army had perished with ignominy; those elected by the senate were seated on the throne. ^42 The long discord between the civil and military powers was decided by a war, in which the former had obtained a complete victory. ​ The soldiers must now learn a new doctrine of submission to the senate; and whatever clemency was affected by that politic assembly, they dreaded a slow revenge, colored by the name of discipline, and justified by fair pretences of the public good.  But their fate was still in their own hands; and if they had courage to despise the vain terrors of an impotent republic, it was easy to convince the world, that those who were masters of the arms, were masters of the authority, of the state.
 +
 +[Footnote 41: Herodian, l. viii. p. 213.]
 +
 +[Footnote 42: The observation had been made imprudently enough in the acclamations of the senate, and with regard to the soldiers it carried the appearance of a wanton insult. ​ Hist. August. p. 170.]
 +
 +When the senate elected two princes, it is probable that, besides the declared reason of providing for the various emergencies of peace and war, they were actuated by the secret desire of weakening by division the despotism of the supreme magistrate. ​ Their policy was effectual, but it proved fatal both to their emperors and to themselves. ​ The jealousy of power was soon exasperated by the difference of character. ​ Maximus despised Balbinus as a luxurious noble, and was in his turn disdained by his colleague as an obscure soldier. ​ Their silent discord was understood rather than seen; ^43 but the mutual consciousness prevented them from uniting in any vigorous measures of defence against their common enemies of the Praetorian camp.  The whole city was employed in the Capitoline games, and the emperors were left almost alone in the palace. ​ On a sudden, they were alarmed by the approach of a troop of desperate assassins. ​ Ignorant of each other'​s situation or designs, (for they already occupied very distant apartments,​) afraid to give or to receive assistance, they wasted the important moments in idle debates and fruitless recriminations. The arrival of the guards put an end to the vain strife. ​ They seized on these emperors of the senate, for such they called them with malicious contempt, stripped them of their garments, and dragged them in insolent triumph through the streets of Rome, with the design of inflicting a slow and cruel death on these unfortunate princes. ​ The fear of a rescue from the faithful Germans of the Imperial guards, shortened their tortures; and their bodies, mangled with a thousand wounds, were left exposed to the insults or to the pity of the populace. ^44
 +
 +[Footnote 43: Discordiae tacitae, et quae intelligerentur potius quam viderentur. ​ Hist. August. p. 170.  This well-chosen expression is probably stolen from some better writer.]
 +
 +[Footnote 44: Herodian, l. viii. p. 287, 288.]
 +
 +In the space of a few months, six princes had been cut off by the sword. Gordian, who had already received the title of Caesar, was the only person that occurred to the soldiers as proper to fill the vacant throne. ^45 They carried him to the camp, and unanimously saluted him Augustus and Emperor. His name was dear to the senate and people; his tender age promised a long impunity of military license; and the submission of Rome and the provinces to the choice of the Praetorian guards, saved the republic, at the expense indeed of its freedom and dignity, from the horrors of a new civil war in the heart of the capital. ^46
 +
 +[Footnote 45: Quia non alius erat in praesenti, is the expression of the Augustan History.]
 +
 +[Footnote 46: Quintus Curtius (l. x. c. 9,) pays an elegant compliment to the emperor of the day, for having, by his happy accession, extinguished so many firebrands, sheathed so many swords, and put an end to the evils of a divided government. After weighing with attention every word of the passage, I am of opinion, that it suits better with the elevation of Gordian, than with any other period of the Roman history. ​ In that case, it may serve to decide the age of Quintus Curtius. ​ Those who place him under the first Caesars, argue from the purity of his style but are embarrassed by the silence of Quintilian, in his accurate list of Roman historians.
 +
 +Note: This conjecture of Gibbon is without foundation. ​ Many passages in the work of Quintus Curtius clearly place him at an earlier period. ​ Thus, in speaking of the Parthians, he says, Hinc in Parthicum perventum est, tunc ignobilem gentem: nunc caput omnium qui post Euphratem et Tigrim amnes siti Rubro mari terminantur. ​ The Parthian empire had this extent only in the first age of the vulgar aera: to that age, therefore, must be assigned the date of Quintus Curtius. ​ Although the critics (says M. de Sainte Croix) have multiplied conjectures on this subject, most of them have ended by adopting the opinion which places Quintus Curtius under the reign of Claudius. ​ See Just. Lips. ad Ann. Tac. ii. 20.  Michel le Tellier Praef. in Curt. Tillemont Hist. des Emp. i. p. 251.  Du Bos Reflections sur la Poesie, 2d Partie. Tiraboschi Storia della, Lett. Ital. ii. 149.  Examen. crit. des Historiens d'​Alexandre,​ 2d ed. p. 104, 849, 850. - G.
 +
 +This interminable question seems as much perplexed as ever. The first argument of M. Guizot is a strong one, except that Parthian is often used by later writers for Persian. ​ Cunzius, in his preface to an edition published at Helmstadt, (1802,) maintains the opinion of Bagnolo, which assigns Q. Curtius to the time of Constantine the Great. ​ Schmieder, in his edit. Gotting. 1803, sums up in this sentence, aetatem Curtii ignorari pala mest. - M.] As the third Gordian was only nineteen years of age at the time of his death, the history of his life, were it known to us with greater accuracy than it really is, would contain little more than the account of his education, and the conduct of the ministers, who by turns abused or guided the simplicity of his unexperienced youth. ​ Immediately after his accession, he fell into the hands of his mother'​s eunuchs, that pernicious vermin of the East, who, since the days of Elagabalus, had infested the Roman palace. ​ By the artful conspiracy of these wretches, an impenetrable veil was drawn between an innocent prince and his oppressed subjects, the virtuous disposition of Gordian was deceived, and the honors of the empire sold without his knowledge, though in a very public manner, to the most worthless of mankind. ​ We are ignorant by what fortunate accident the emperor escaped from this ignominious slavery, and devolved his confidence on a minister, whose wise counsels had no object except the glory of his sovereign and the happiness of the people. ​ It should seem that love and learning introduced Misitheus to the favor of Gordian. ​ The young prince married the daughter of his master of rhetoric, and promoted his father-in-law to the first offices of the empire. ​ Two admirable letters that passed between them are still extant. ​ The minister, with the conscious dignity of virtue, congratulates Gordian that he is delivered from the tyranny of the eunuchs, ^47 and still more that he is sensible of his deliverance. ​ The emperor acknowledges,​ with an amiable confusion, the errors of his past conduct; and laments, with singular propriety, the misfortune of a monarch, from whom a venal tribe of courtiers perpetually labor to conceal the truth. ^48
 +
 +[Footnote 47: Hist. August. p. 161.  From some hints in the two letters, I should expect that the eunuchs were not expelled the palace without some degree of gentle violence, and that the young Gordian rather approved of, than consented to, their disgrace.]
 +
 +[Footnote 48: Duxit uxorem filiam Misithei, quem causa eloquentiae dignum parentela sua putavit; et praefectum statim fecit; post quod, non puerile jam et contemptibile videbatur imperium.]
 +
 +The life of Misitheus had been spent in the profession of letters, not of arms; yet such was the versatile genius of that great man, that, when he was appointed Praetorian Praefect, he discharged the military duties of his place with vigor and ability. ​ The Persians had invaded Mesopotamia,​ and threatened Antioch. ​ By the persuasion of his father-in-law,​ the young emperor quitted the luxury of Rome, opened, for the last time recorded in history, the temple of Janus, and marched in person into the East.  On his approach, with a great army, the Persians withdrew their garrisons from the cities which they had already taken, and retired from the Euphrates to the Tigris. ​ Gordian enjoyed the pleasure of announcing to the senate the first success of his arms, which he ascribed, with a becoming modesty and gratitude, to the wisdom of his father and Praefect. ​ During the whole expedition, Misitheus watched over the safety and discipline of the army; whilst he prevented their dangerous murmurs by maintaining a regular plenty in the camp, and by establishing ample magazines of vinegar, bacon, straw, barley, and wheat in all the cities of the frontier. ^49 But the prosperity of Gordian expired with Misitheus, who died of a flux, not with out very strong suspicions of poison. ​ Philip, his successor in the praefecture,​ was an Arab by birth, and consequently,​ in the earlier part of his life, a robber by profession. ​ His rise from so obscure a station to the first dignities of the empire, seems to prove that he was a bold and able leader. ​ But his boldness prompted him to aspire to the throne, and his abilities were employed to supplant, not to serve, his indulgent master. ​ The minds of the soldiers were irritated by an artificial scarcity, created by his contrivance in the camp; and the distress of the army was attributed to the youth and incapacity of the prince. ​ It is not in our power to trace the successive steps of the secret conspiracy and open sedition, which were at length fatal to Gordian. ​ A sepulchral monument was erected to his memory on the spot ^50 where he was killed, near the conflux of the Euphrates with the little river Aboras. ^51 The fortunate Philip, raised to the empire by the votes of the soldiers, found a ready obedience from the senate and the provinces. ^52 [Footnote 49: Hist. August. p. 162.  Aurelius Victor. ​ Porphyrius in Vit Plotin. ap. Fabricium, Biblioth. ​ Graec. l. iv. c. 36. The philosopher Plotinus accompanied the army, prompted by the love of knowledge, and by the hope of penetrating as far as India.]
 +
 +[Footnote 50: About twenty miles from the little town of Circesium, on the frontier of the two empires.
 +
 +Note: Now Kerkesia; placed in the angle formed by the juncture of the Chaboras, or al Khabour, with the Euphrates. This situation appeared advantageous to Diocletian, that he raised fortifications to make it the but wark of the empire on the side of Mesopotamia. ​ D'​Anville. Geog. Anc. ii. 196. - G.  It is the Carchemish of the Old Testament, 2 Chron. xxxv. 20. ler. xlvi. 2. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 51: The inscription (which contained a very singular pun) was erased by the order of Licinius, who claimed some degree of relationship to Philip, (Hist. August. p. 166;) but the tumulus, or mound of earth which formed the sepulchre, still subsisted in the time of Julian. ​ See Ammian Marcellin. xxiii. 5.]
 +
 +[Footnote 52: Aurelius Victor. ​ Eutrop. ix. 2.  Orosius, vii. 20. Ammianus Marcellinus,​ xxiii. 5.  Zosimus, l. i. p. 19.  Philip, who was a native of Bostra, was about forty years of age.
 +
 +Note: Now Bosra. ​ It was once the metropolis of a province named Arabia, and the chief city of Auranitis, of which the name is preserved in Beled Hauran, the limits of which meet the desert. ​ D'​Anville. ​ Geog. Anc. ii. 188. According to Victor, (in Caesar.,) Philip was a native of Tracbonitis another province of Arabia. - G.]
 +
 +We cannot forbear transcribing the ingenious, though somewhat fanciful description,​ which a celebrated writer of our own times has traced of the military government of the Roman empire. ​ "What in that age was called the Roman empire, was only an irregular republic, not unlike the aristocracy ^53 of Algiers, ^54 where the militia, possessed of the sovereignty,​ creates and deposes a magistrate, who is styled a Dey.  Perhaps, indeed, it may be laid down as a general rule, that a military government is, in some respects, more republican than monarchical. ​ Nor can it be said that the soldiers only partook of the government by their disobedience and rebellions. ​ The speeches made to them by the emperors, were they not at length of the same nature as those formerly pronounced to the people by the consuls and the tribunes? ​ And although the armies had no regular place or forms of assembly; though their debates were short, their action sudden, and their resolves seldom the result of cool reflection, did they not dispose, with absolute sway, of the public fortune? What was the emperor, except the minister of a violent government, elected for the private benefit of the soldiers?
 +
 +[Footnote 53: Can the epithet of Aristocracy be applied, with any propriety, to the government of Algiers? ​ Every military government floats between two extremes of absolute monarchy and wild democracy.]
 +
 +[Footnote 54: The military republic of the Mamelukes in Egypt would have afforded M. de Montesquieu (see Considerations sur la Grandeur et la Decadence des Romains, c. 16) a juster and more noble parallel.] "When the army had elected Philip, who was Praetorian praefect to the third Gordian, the latter demanded that he might remain sole emperor; he was unable to obtain it.  He requested that the power might be equally divided between them; the army would not listen to his speech. ​ He consented to be degraded to the rank of Caesar; the favor was refused him.  He desired, at least, he might be appointed Praetorian praefect; his prayer was rejected. Finally, he pleaded for his life.  The army, in these several judgments, exercised the supreme magistracy."​ According to the historian, whose doubtful narrative the President De Montesquieu has adopted, Philip, who, during the whole transaction,​ had preserved a sullen silence, was inclined to spare the innocent life of his benefactor; till, recollecting that his innocence might excite a dangerous compassion in the Roman world, he commanded, without regard to his suppliant cries, that he should be seized, stripped, and led away to instant death. ​ After a moment'​s pause, the inhuman sentence was executed. ^55
 +
 +[Footnote 55: The Augustan History (p. 163, 164) cannot, in this instance, be reconciled with itself or with probability. ​ How could Philip condemn his predecessor,​ and yet consecrate his memory? ​ How could he order his public execution, and yet, in his letters to the senate, exculpate himself from the guilt of his death? ​ Philip, though an ambitious usurper, was by no means a mad tyrant. ​ Some chronological difficulties have likewise been discovered by the nice eyes of Tillemont and Muratori, in this supposed association of Philip to the empire.
 +
 +Note: Wenck endeavors to reconcile these discrepancies. ​ He supposes that Gordian was led away, and died a natural death in prison. ​ This is directly contrary to the statement of Capitolinus and of Zosimus, whom he adduces in support of his theory. ​ He is more successful in his precedents of usurpers deifying the victims of their ambition. ​ Sit divus, dummodo non sit vivus. - M.]
 +
 +====== Chapter VII: Tyranny Of Maximin, Rebellion, Civil Wars, Death Of Maximin. ======
 +
 +===== Part III. =====
 +
 +On his return from the East to Rome, Philip, desirous of obliterating the memory of his crimes, and of captivating the affections of the people, solemnized the secular games with infinite pomp and magnificence. ​ Since their institution or revival by Augustus, ^56 they had been celebrated by Claudius, by Domitian, and by Severus, and were now renewed the fifth time, on the accomplishment of the full period of a thousand years from the foundation of Rome.  Every circumstance of the secular games was skillfully adapted to inspire the superstitious mind with deep and solemn reverence. The long interval between them ^57 exceeded the term of human life; and as none of the spectators had already seen them, none could flatter themselves with the expectation of beholding them a second time.  The mystic sacrifices were performed, during three nights, on the banks of the Tyber; and the Campus Martius resounded with music and dances, and was illuminated with innumerable lamps and torches. Slaves and strangers were excluded from any participation in these national ceremonies. ​ A chorus of twenty-seven youths, and as many virgins, of noble families, and whose parents were both alive, implored the propitious gods in favor of the present, and for the hope of the rising generation; requesting, in religious hymns, that according to the faith of their ancient oracles, they would still maintain the virtue, the felicity, and the empire of the Roman people. ^58 The magnificence of Philip'​s shows and entertainments dazzled the eyes of the multitude. ​ The devout were employed in the rites of superstition,​ whilst the reflecting few revolved in their anxious minds the past history and the future fate of the empire.
 +
 +[Footnote 56: The account of the last supposed celebration,​ though in an enlightened period of history, was so very doubtful and obscure, that the alternative seems not doubtful. ​ When the popish jubilees, the copy of the secular games, were invented by Boniface VII., the crafty pope pretended that he only revived an ancient institution. ​ See M. le Chais, Lettres sur les Jubiles.]
 +
 +[Footnote 57: Either of a hundred or a hundred and ten years. Varro and Livy adopted the former opinion, but the infallible authority of the Sybil consecrated the latter, (Censorinus de Die Natal. c. 17.) The emperors Claudius and Philip, however, did not treat the oracle with implicit respect.]
 +
 +[Footnote 58: The idea of the secular games is best understood from the poem of Horace, and the description of Zosimus, 1. l. ii. p. 167, &c.] Since Romulus, with a small band of shepherds and outlaws, fortified himself on the hills near the Tyber, ten centuries had already elapsed. ^59 During the four first ages, the Romans, in the laborious school of poverty, had acquired the virtues of war and government: by the vigorous exertion of those virtues, and by the assistance of fortune, they had obtained, in the course of the three succeeding centuries, an absolute empire over many countries of Europe, Asia, and Africa. ​ The last three hundred years had been consumed in apparent prosperity and internal decline. ​ The nation of soldiers, magistrates,​ and legislators,​ who composed the thirty-five tribes of the Roman people, were dissolved into the common mass of mankind, and confounded with the millions of servile provincials,​ who had received the name, without adopting the spirit, of Romans. ​ A mercenary army, levied among the subjects and barbarians of the frontier, was the only order of men who preserved and abused their independence. ​ By their tumultuary election, a Syrian, a Goth, or an Arab, was exalted to the throne of Rome, and invested with despotic power over the conquests and over the country of the Scipios. [Footnote 59: The received calculation of Varro assigns to the foundation of Rome an aera that corresponds with the 754th year before Christ. ​ But so little is the chronology of Rome to be depended on, in the more early ages, that Sir Isaac Newton has brought the same event as low as the year 627 (Compare Niebuhr vol. i. p. 271. - M.)]
 +
 +The limits of the Roman empire still extended from the Western Ocean to the Tigris, and from Mount Atlas to the Rhine and the Danube. ​ To the undiscerning eye of the vulgar, Philip appeared a monarch no less powerful than Hadrian or Augustus had formerly been.  The form was still the same, but the animating health and vigor were fled.  The industry of the people was discouraged and exhausted by a long series of oppression. ​ The discipline of the legions, which alone, after the extinction of every other virtue, had propped the greatness of the state, was corrupted by the ambition, or relaxed by the weakness, of the emperors. ​ The strength of the frontiers, which had always consisted in arms rather than in fortifications,​ was insensibly undermined; and the fairest provinces were left exposed to the rapaciousness or ambition of the barbarians, who soon discovered the decline of the Roman empire.
 +
 +====== Chapter VIII: State Of Persion And Restoration Of The Monarchy. ======
 +
 +===== Part I. =====
 +
 +Of The State Of Persia After The Restoration Of The Monarchy By Artaxerxes.
 +
 +Whenever Tacitus indulges himself in those beautiful episodes, in which he relates some domestic transaction of the Germans or of the Parthians, his principal object is to relieve the attention of the reader from a uniform scene of vice and misery. ​ From the reign of Augustus to the time of Alexander Severus, the enemies of Rome were in her bosom - the tyrants and the soldiers; and her prosperity had a very distant and feeble interest in the revolutions that might happen beyond the Rhine and the Euphrates. ​ But when the military order had levelled, in wild anarchy, the power of the prince, the laws of the senate, and even the discipline of the camp, the barbarians of the North and of the East, who had long hovered on the frontier, boldly attacked the provinces of a declining monarchy. ​ Their vexatious inroads were changed into formidable irruptions, and, after a long vicissitude of mutual calamities, many tribes of the victorious invaders established themselves in the provinces of the Roman Empire. ​ To obtain a clearer knowledge of these great events, we shall endeavor to form a previous idea of the character, forces, and designs of those nations who avenged the cause of Hannibal and Mithridates.
 +
 +In the more early ages of the world, whilst the forest that covered Europe afforded a retreat to a few wandering savages, the inhabitants of Asia were already collected into populous cities, and reduced under extensive empires, the seat of the arts, of luxury, and of despotism. ​ The Assyrians reigned over the East, ^1 till the sceptre of Ninus and Semiramis dropped from the hands of their enervated successors. ​ The Medes and the Babylonians divided their power, and were themselves swallowed up in the monarchy of the Persians, whose arms could not be confined within the narrow limits of Asia. Followed, as it is said, by two millions of men, Xerxes, the descendant of Cyrus, invaded Greece. Thirty thousand soldiers, under the command of Alexander, the son of Philip, who was intrusted by the Greeks with their glory and revenge, were sufficient to subdue Persia. ​ The princes of the house of Seleucus usurped and lost the Macedonian command over the East. About the same time, that, by an ignominious treaty, they resigned to the Romans the country on this side Mount Tarus, they were driven by the Parthians, ^* an obscure horde of Scythian origin, from all the provinces of Upper Asia.  The formidable power of the Parthians, which spread from India to the frontiers of Syria, was in its turn subverted by Ardshir, or Artaxerxes; the founder of a new dynasty, which, under the name of Sassanides, governed Persia till the invasion of the Arabs. This great revolution, whose fatal influence was soon experienced by the Romans, happened in the fourth year of Alexander Severus, two hundred and twenty-six years after the Christian era. ^2 ^! [Footnote 1: An ancient chronologist,​ quoted by Valleius Paterculus, (l. i. c. 6,) observes, that the Assyrians, the Medes, the Persians, and the Macedonians,​ reigned over Asia one thousand nine hundred and ninety-five years, from the accession of Ninus to the defeat of Antiochus by the Romans. As the latter of these great events happened 289 years before Christ, the former may be placed 2184 years before the same aera.  The Astronomical Observations,​ found at Babylon, by Alexander, went fifty years higher.] [Footnote *: The Parthians were a tribe of the Indo-Germanic branch which dwelt on the south-east of the Caspian, and belonged to the same race as the Getae, the Massagetae, and other nations, confounded by the ancients under the vague denomination of Scythians. ​ Klaproth, Tableaux Hist. d l'​Asie,​ p. 40.  Strabo (p. 747) calls the Parthians Carduchi, i.e., the inhabitants of Curdistan. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 2: In the five hundred and thirty-eighth year of the aera of Seleucus. ​ See Agathias, l. ii. p. 63.  This great event (such is the carelessness of the Orientals) is placed by Eutychius as high as the tenth year of Commodus, and by Moses of Chorene as low as the reign of Philip. Ammianus Marcellinus has so servilely copied (xxiii. 6) his ancient materials, which are indeed very good, that he describes the family of the Arsacides as still seated on the Persian throne in the middle of the fourth century.]
 +
 +[Footnote !: The Persian History, if the poetry of the Shah Nameh, the Book of Kings, may deserve that name mentions four dynasties from the earliest ages to the invasion of the Saracens. The Shah Nameh was composed with the view of perpetuating the remains of the original Persian records or traditions which had survived the Saracenic invasion. ​ The task was undertaken by the poet Dukiki, and afterwards, under the patronage of Mahmood of Ghazni, completed by Ferdusi. ​ The first of these dynasties is that of Kaiomors, as Sir W. Jones observes, the dark and fabulous period; the second, that of the Kaianian, the heroic and poetical, in which the earned have discovered some curious, and imagined some fanciful, analogies with the Jewish, the Greek, and the Roman accounts of the eastern world. ​ See, on the Shah Nameh, Translation by Goerres, with Von Hammer'​s Review, Vienna Jahrbuch von Lit. 17, 75, 77. Malcolm'​s Persia, 8vo. ed. i. 503.  Macan'​s Preface to his Critical Edition of the Shah Nameh. ​ On the early Persian History, a very sensible abstract of various opinions in Malcolm'​s Hist. of Persian. - M.]
 +
 +Artaxerxes had served with great reputation in the armies of Artaban, the last king of the Parthians, and it appears that he was driven into exile and rebellion by royal ingratitude,​ the customary reward for superior merit. His birth was obscure, and the obscurity equally gave room to the aspersions of his enemies, and the flattery of his adherents. ​ If we credit the scandal of the former, Artaxerxes sprang from the illegitimate commerce of a tanner'​s wife with a common soldier. ^3 The latter represent him as descended from a branch of the ancient kings of Persian, though time and misfortune had gradually reduced his ancestors to the humble station of private citizens. ^4 As the lineal heir of the monarchy, he asserted his right to the throne, and challenged the noble task of delivering the Persians from the oppression under which they groaned above five centuries since the death of Darius. ​ The Parthians were defeated in three great battles. ^* In the last of these their king Artaban was slain, and the spirit of the nation was forever broken. ^5 The authority of Artaxerxes was solemnly acknowledged in a great assembly held at Balch in Khorasan. ^! Two younger branches of the royal house of Arsaces were confounded among the prostrate satraps. ​ A third, more mindful of ancient grandeur than of present necessity, attempted to retire, with a numerous train of vessels, towards their kinsman, the king of Armenia; but this little army of deserters was intercepted,​ and cut off, by the vigilance of the conqueror, ^6 who boldly assumed the double diadem, and the title of King of Kings, which had been enjoyed by his predecessor. ​ But these pompous titles, instead of gratifying the vanity of the Persian, served only to admonish him of his duty, and to inflame in his soul and should the ambition of restoring in their full splendor, the religion and empire of Cyrus.
 +
 +[Footnote 3: The tanner'​s name was Babec; the soldier'​s,​ Sassan: from the former Artaxerxes obtained the surname of Babegan, from the latter all his descendants have been styled Sassanides.]
 +
 +[Footnote 4: D'​Herbelot,​ Bibliotheque Orientale, Ardshir.] [Footnote *: In the plain of Hoormuz, the son of Babek was hailed in the field with the proud title of Shahan Shah, king of kings - a name ever since assumed by the sovereigns of Persia. ​ Malcolm, i. 71. - M.] [Footnote 5: Dion Cassius, l. lxxx.  Herodian, l. vi. p. 207. Abulpharagins Dynast. p. 80.]
 +
 +[Footnote !: See the Persian account of the rise of Ardeschir Babegan in Malcolm l 69. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 6: See Moses Chorenensis,​ l. ii. c. 65 - 71.]
 +
 +I.  During the long servitude of Persia under the Macedonian and the Parthian yoke, the nations of Europe and Asia had mutually adopted and corrupted each other'​s superstitions. ​ The Arsacides, indeed, practised the worship of the Magi; but they disgraced and polluted it with a various mixture of foreign idolatry. ^* The memory of Zoroaster, the ancient prophet and philosopher of the Persians, ^7 was still revered in the East; but the obsolete and mysterious language, in which the Zendavesta was composed, ^8 opened a field of dispute to seventy sects, who variously explained the fundamental doctrines of their religion, and were all indifferently devided by a crowd of infidels, who rejected the divine mission and miracles of the prophet. ​ To suppress the idolaters, reunite the schismatics,​ and confute the unbelievers,​ by the infallible decision of a general council, the pious Artaxerxes summoned the Magi from all parts of his dominions. ​ These priests, who had so long sighed in contempt and obscurity obeyed the welcome summons; and, on the appointed day, appeared, to the number of about eighty thousand. But as the debates of so tumultuous an assembly could not have been directed by the authority of reason, or influenced by the art of policy, the Persian synod was reduced, by successive operations, to forty thousand, to four thousand, to four hundred, to forty, and at last to seven Magi, the most respected for their learning and piety. ​ One of these, Erdaviraph, a young but holy prelate, received from the hands of his brethren three cups of soporiferous wine.  He drank them off, and instantly fell into a long and profound sleep. ​ As soon as he waked, he related to the king and to the believing multitude, his journey to heaven, and his intimate conferences with the Deity. ​ Every doubt was silenced by this supernatural evidence; and the articles of the faith of Zoroaster were fixed with equal authority and precision. ^9 A short delineation of that celebrated system will be found useful, not only to display the character of the Persian nation, but to illustrate many of their most important transactions,​ both in peace and war, with the Roman empire. ^10
 +
 +[Footnote *: Silvestre de Sacy (Antiquites de la Perse) had proved the neglect of the Zoroastrian religion under the Parthian kings. - M.] [Footnote 7: Hyde and Prideaux, working up the Persian legends and their own conjectures into a very agreeable story, represent Zoroaster as a contemporary of Darius Hystaspes. ​ But it is sufficient to observe, that the Greek writers, who lived almost in the age of Darius, agree in placing the aera of Zoroaster many hundred, or even thousand, years before their own time.  The judicious criticisms of Mr. Moyle perceived, and maintained against his uncle, Dr. Prideaux, the antiquity of the Persian prophet. ​ See his work, vol. ii.
 +
 +Note: There are three leading theories concerning the age of Zoroaster: 1. That which assigns him to an age of great and almost indefinite antiquity - it is that of Moyle, adopted by Gibbon, Volney, Recherches sur l'​Histoire,​ ii. 2.  Rhode, also, (die Heilige Sage, &c.,) in a very ingenious and ably-developed theory, throws the Bactrian prophet far back into antiquity 2. Foucher, (Mem. de l'​Acad. xxvii. 253,) Tychsen, (in Com. Soc. Gott. ii. 112), Heeren, (ldeen. i. 459,) and recently Holty, identify the Gushtasp of the Persian mythological history with Cyaxares the First, the king of the Medes, and consider the religion to be Median in its origin. ​ M. Guizot considers this opinion most probable, note in loc. 3.  Hyde, Prideaux, Anquetil du Perron, Kleuker, Herder, Goerres, (Mythen-Geschichte,​) Von Hammer. ​ (Wien. Jahrbuch, vol. ix.,) Malcolm, (i. 528,) De Guigniaut, (Relig. de l'​Antiq. 2d part, vol. iii.,) Klaproth, (Tableaux de l'​Asie,​ p. 21,) make Gushtasp Darius Hystaspes, and Zoroaster his contemporary. ​ The silence of Herodotus appears the great objection to this theory. ​ Some writers, as M. Foucher (resting, as M. Guizot observes, on the doubtful authority of Pliny,) make more than one Zoroaster, and so attempt to reconcile the conflicting theories. - M.] [Footnote 8: That ancient idiom was called the Zend.  The language of the commentary, the Pehlvi, though much more modern, has ceased many ages ago to be a living tongue. ​ This fact alone (if it is allowed as authentic) sufficiently warrants the antiquity of those writings which M d'​Anquetil has brought into Europe, and translated into French.
 +
 +Note: Zend signifies life, living. ​ The word means, either the collection of the canonical books of the followers of Zoroaster, or the language itself in which they are written. They are the books that contain the word of life whether the language was originally called Zend, or whether it was so called from the contents of the books. ​ Avesta means word, oracle, revelation: this term is not the title of a particular work, but of the collection of the books of Zoroaster, as the revelation of Ormuzd. ​ This collection is sometimes called Zendavesta, sometimes briefly Zend.
 +
 +The Zend was the ancient language of Media, as is proved by its affinity with the dialects of Armenia and Georgia; it was already a dead language under the Arsacides in the country which was the scene of the events recorded in the Zendavesta. ​ Some critics, among others Richardson and Sir W. Jones, have called in question the antiquity of these books. ​ The former pretended that Zend had never been a written or spoken language, but had been invented in the later times by the Magi, for the purposes of their art; but Kleuker, in the dissertations which he added to those of Anquetil and the Abbe Foucher, has proved that the Zend was a living and spoken language. - G.  Sir W. Jones appears to have abandoned his doubts, on discovering the affinity between the Zend and the Sanskrit. ​ Since the time of Kleuker, this question has been investigated by many learned scholars. ​ Sir W. Jones, Leyden, (Asiat. Research. x. 283,) and Mr. Erskine, (Bombay Trans. ii. 299,) consider it a derivative from the Sanskrit. ​ The antiquity of the Zendavesta has likewise been asserted by Rask, the great Danish linguist, who, according to Malcolm, brought back from the East fresh transcripts and additions to those published by Anquetil. ​ According to Rask, the Zend and Sanskrit are sister dialects; the one the parent of the Persian, the other of the Indian family of languages. - G. and M. But the subject is more satisfactorily illustrated in Bopp's comparative Grammar of the Sanscrit, Zend, Greek, Latin, Lithuanian, Gothic, and German languages. ​ Berlin. 1833-5. According to Bopp, the Zend is, in some respects, of a more remarkable structure than the Sanskrit. ​ Parts of the Zendavesta have been published in the original, by M. Bournouf, at Paris, and M. Ol. shausen, in Hamburg. - M.
 +
 +The Pehlvi was the language of the countries bordering on Assyria, and probably of Assyria itself. ​ Pehlvi signifies valor, heroism; the Pehlvi, therefore, was the language of the ancient heroes and kings of Persia, the valiant. ​ (Mr. Erskine prefers the derivation from Pehla, a border. - M.) It contains a number of Aramaic roots. ​ Anquetil considered it formed from the Zend. Kleuker does not adopt this opinion. ​ The Pehlvi, he says, is much more flowing, and less overcharged with vowels, than the Zend.  The books of Zoroaster, first written in Zend, were afterwards translated into Pehlvi and Parsi. ​ The Pehlvi had fallen into disuse under the dynasty of the Sassanides, but the learned still wrote it.  The Parsi, the dialect of Pars or Farristan, was then prevailing dialect. ​ Kleuker, Anhang zum Zend Avesta, 2, ii. part i. p. 158, part ii. 31. - G.
 +
 +Mr. Erskine (Bombay Transactions) considers the existing Zendavesta to have been compiled in the time of Ardeschir Babegan. - M.] [Footnote 9: Hyde de Religione veterum Pers. c. 21.]
 +
 +[Footnote 10: I have principally drawn this account from the Zendavesta of M. d'​Anquetil,​ and the Sadder, subjoined to Dr. Hyde's treatise. ​ It must, however, be confessed, that the studied obscurity of a prophet, the figurative style of the East, and the deceitful medium of a French or Latin version may have betrayed us into error and heresy, in this abridgment of Persian theology.
 +
 +Note: It is to be regretted that Gibbon followed the post- Mahometan Sadder of Hyde. - M.]
 +
 +The great and fundamental article of the system, was the celebrated doctrine of the two principles; a bold and injudicious attempt of Eastern philosophy to reconcile the existence of moral and physical evil with the attributes of a beneficent Creator and Governor of the world. ​ The first and original Being, in whom, or by whom, the universe exists, is denominated in the writings of Zoroaster, Time without bounds; ^! but it must be confessed, that this infinite substance seems rather a metaphysical,​ abstraction of the mind, than a real object endowed with self-consciousness,​ or possessed of moral perfections. ​ From either the blind or the intelligent operation of this infinite Time, which bears but too near an affinity with the chaos of the Greeks, the two secondary but active principles of the universe, were from all eternity produced, Ormusd and Ahriman, each of them possessed of the powers of creation, but each disposed, by his invariable nature, to exercise them with different designs. ^* The principle of good is eternally aborbed in light; the principle of evil eternally buried in darkness. ​ The wise benevolence of Ormusd formed man capable of virtue, and abundantly provided his fair habitation with the materials of happiness. ​ By his vigilant providence, the motion of the planets, the order of the seasons, and the temperate mixture of the elements, are preserved. ​ But the malice of Ahriman has long since pierced Ormusd'​s egg; or, in other words, has violated the harmony of his works. Since that fatal eruption, the most minute articles of good and evil are intimately intermingled and agitated together; the rankest poisons spring up amidst the most salutary plants; deluges, earthquakes,​ and conflagrations attest the conflict of Nature, and the little world of man is perpetually shaken by vice and misfortune. ​ Whilst the rest of human kind are led away captives in the chains of their infernal enemy, the faithful Persian alone reserves his religious adoration for his friend and protector Ormusd, and fights under his banner of light, in the full confidence that he shall, in the last day, share the glory of his triumph. At that decisive period, the enlightened wisdom of goodness will render the power of Ormusd superior to the furious malice of his rival. ​ Ahriman and his followers, disarmed and subdued, will sink into their native darkness; and virtue will maintain the eternal peace and harmony of the universe. ^11 ^!!
 +
 +[Footnote !: Zeruane Akerene, so translated by Anquetil and Kleuker. There is a dissertation of Foucher on this subject, Mem. de l'​Acad. des Inscr. t. xxix. According to Bohlen (das alte Indien) it is the Sanskrit Sarvan Akaranam, the Uncreated Whole; or, according to Fred. Schlegel, Sarvan Akharyam the Uncreate Indivisible. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: This is an error. ​ Ahriman was not forced by his invariable nature to do evil; the Zendavesta expressly recognizes (see the Izeschne) that he was born good, that in his origin he was light; envy rendered him evil; he became jealous of the power and attributes of Ormuzd; then light was changed into darkness, and Ahriman was precipitated into the abyss. ​ See the Abridgment of the Doctrine of the Ancient Persians, by Anquetil, c. ii Section 2. - G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 11: The modern Parsees (and in some degree the Sadder) exalt Ormusd into the first and omnipotent cause, whilst they degrade Ahriman into an inferior but rebellious spirit. ​ Their desire of pleasing the Mahometans may have contributed to refine their theological systems.]
 +
 +[Footnote !!: According to the Zendavesta, Ahriman will not be annihilated or precipitated forever into darkness: at the resurrection of the dead he will be entirely defeated by Ormuzd, his power will be destroyed, his kingdom overthrown to its foundations,​ he will himself be purified in torrents of melting metal; he will change his heart and his will, become holy, heavenly establish in his dominions the law and word of Ormuzd, unite himself with him in everlasting friendship, and both will sing hymns in honor of the Great Eternal. ​ See Anquetil'​s Abridgment. ​ Kleuker, Anhang part iii. p 85, 36; and the Izeschne, one of the books of the Zendavesta. ​ According to the Sadder Bun-Dehesch,​ a more modern work, Ahriman is to be annihilated:​ but this is contrary to the text itself of the Zendavesta, and to the idea its author gives of the kingdom of Eternity, after the twelve thousand years assigned to the contest between Good and Evil. - G.]
 +
 +====== Chapter VIII: State Of Persion And Restoration Of The Monarchy. ======
 +
 +===== Part II. =====
 +
 +The theology of Zoroaster was darkly comprehended by foreigners, and even by the far greater number of his disciples; but the most careless observers were struck with the philosophic simplicity of the Persian worship. "That people,"​ said Herodotus, ^12 "​rejects the use of temples, of altars, and of statues, and smiles at the folly of those nations who imagine that the gods are sprung from, or bear any affinity with, the human nature. The tops of the highest mountains are the places chosen for sacrifices. ​ Hymns and prayers are the principal worship; the Supreme God, who fills the wide circle of heaven, is the object to whom they are addressed."​ Yet, at the same time, in the true spirit of a polytheist, he accuseth them of adoring Earth, Water, Fire, the Winds, and the Sun and Moon.  But the Persians of every age have denied the charge, and explained the equivocal conduct, which might appear to give a color to it.  The elements, and more particularly Fire, Light, and the Sun, whom they called Mithra, ^! were the objects of their religious reverence, because they considered them as the purest symbols, the noblest productions,​ and the most powerful agents of the Divine Power and Nature. ^13 [Footnote 12: Herodotus, l. i. c. 131.  But Dr. Prideaux thinks, with reason, that the use of temples was afterwards permitted in the Magian religion. Note: The Pyraea, or fire temples of the Zoroastrians,​ (observes Kleuker, Persica, p. 16,) were only to be found in Media or Aderbidjan, provinces into which Herodotus did not penetrate. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote !: Among the Persians Mithra is not the Sun: Anquetil has contested and triumphantly refuted the opinion of those who confound them, and it is evidently contrary to the text of the Zendavesta. ​ Mithra is the first of the genii, or jzeds, created by Ormuzd; it is he who watches over all nature. Hence arose the misapprehension of some of the Greeks, who have said that Mithra was the summus deus of the Persians: he has a thousand ears and ten thousand eyes.  The Chaldeans appear to have assigned him a higher rank than the Persians. ​ It is he who bestows upon the earth the light of the sun.  The sun. named Khor, (brightness,​) is thus an inferior genius, who, with many other genii, bears a part in the functions of Mithra. ​ These assistant genii to another genius are called his kamkars; but in the Zendavesta they are never confounded. ​ On the days sacred to a particular genius, the Persian ought to recite, not only the prayers addressed to him, but those also which are addressed to his kamkars; thus the hymn or iescht of Mithra is recited on the day of the sun, (Khor,) and vice versa. ​ It is probably this which has sometimes caused them to be confounded; but Anquetil had himself exposed this error, which Kleuker, and all who have studied the Zendavesta, have noticed. See viii. Diss. of Anquetil. ​ Kleuker'​s Anhang, part iii. p. 132. - G. M. Guizot is unquestionably right, according to the pure and original doctrine of the Zend.  The Mithriac worship, which was so extensively propagated in the West, and in which Mithra and the sun were perpetually confounded, seems to have been formed from a fusion of Zoroastrianism and Chaldaism, or the Syrian worship of the sun.  An excellent abstract of the question, with references to the works of the chief modern writers on his curious subject, De Sacy, Kleuker, Von Hammer, &c., may be found in De Guigniaut'​s translation of Kreuzer. ​ Relig. d'​Antiquite,​ notes viii. ix. to book ii. vol. i. 2d part, page 728. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 13: Hyde de Relig. Pers. c. 8.  Notwithstanding all their distinctions and protestations,​ which seem sincere enough, their tyrants, the Mahometans, have constantly stigmatized them as idolatrous worshippers of the fire.]
 +
 +Every mode of religion, to make a deep and lasting impression on the human mind, must exercise our obedience, by enjoining practices of devotion, for which we can assign no reason; and must acquire our esteem, by inculcating moral duties analogous to the dictates of our own hearts. ​ The religion of Zoroaster was abundantly provided with the former and possessed a sufficient portion of the latter. ​ At the age of puberty, the faithful Persian was invested with a mysterious girdle, the badge of the divine protection; and from that moment all the actions of his life, even the most indifferent,​ or the most necessary, were sanctified by their peculiar prayers, ejaculations,​ or genuflections;​ the omission of which, under any circumstances,​ was a grievous sin, not inferior in guilt to the violation of the moral duties. ​ The moral duties, however, of justice, mercy, liberality, &c., were in their turn required of the disciple of Zoroaster, who wished to escape the persecution of Ahriman, and to live with Ormusd in a blissful eternity, where the degree of felicity will be exactly proportioned to the degree of virtue and piety. ^14
 +
 +[Footnote 14: See the Sadder, the smallest part of which consists of moral precepts. ​ The ceremonies enjoined are infinite and trifling. ​ Fifteen genuflections,​ prayers, &c., were required whenever the devout Persian cut his nails or made water; or as often as he put on the sacred girdle Sadder, Art. 14, 50, 60.
 +
 +Note: Zoroaster exacted much less ceremonial observance, than at a later period, the priests of his doctrines. ​ This is the progress of all religions the worship, simple in its origin, is gradually overloaded with minute superstitions. ​ The maxim of the Zendavesta, on the relative merit of sowing the earth and of prayers, quoted below by Gibbon, proves that Zoroaster did not attach too much importance to these observances. ​ Thus it is not from the Zendavesta that Gibbon derives the proof of his allegation, but from the Sadder, a much later work. - G]
 +
 +But there are some remarkable instances in which Zoroaster lays aside the prophet, assumes the legislator, and discovers a liberal concern for private and public happiness, seldom to be found among the grovelling or visionary schemes of superstition. Fasting and celibacy, the common means of purchasing the divine favor, he condemns with abhorrence, as a criminal rejection of the best gifts of Providence. ​ The saint, in the Magian religion, is obliged to beget children, to plant useful trees, to destroy noxious animals, to convey water to the dry lands of Persia, and to work out his salvation by pursuing all the labors of agriculture. ^* We may quote from the Zendavesta a wise and benevolent maxim, which compensates for many an absurdity. ​ "He who sows the ground with care and diligence acquires a greater stock of religious merit than he could gain by the repetition of ten thousand prayers."​ ^15 In the spring of every year a festival was celebrated, destined to represent the primitive equality, and the present connection, of mankind. ​ The stately kings of Persia, exchanging their vain pomp for more genuine greatness, freely mingled with the humblest but most useful of their subjects. ​ On that day the husbandmen were admitted, without distinction,​ to the table of the king and his satraps. ​ The monarch accepted their petitions, inquired into their grievances, and conversed with them on the most equal terms. ​ "From your labors,"​ was he accustomed to say, (and to say with truth, if not with sincerity,) "from your labors we receive our subsistence;​ you derive your tranquillity from our vigilance: since, therefore, we are mutually necessary to each other, let us live together like brothers in concord and love." ^16 Such a festival must indeed have degenerated,​ in a wealthy and despotic empire, into a theatrical representation;​ but it was at least a comedy well worthy of a royal audience, and which might sometimes imprint a salutary lesson on the mind of a young prince.
 +
 +[Footnote *: See, on Zoroaster'​s encouragement of agriculture,​ the ingenious remarks of Heeren, Ideen, vol. i. p. 449, &c., and Rhode, Heilige Sage, p. 517 - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 15: Zendavesta, tom. i. p. 224, and Precis du Systeme de Zoroastre, tom. iii.]
 +
 +[Footnote 16: Hyde de Religione Persarum, c. 19.]
 +
 +Had Zoroaster, in all his institutions,​ invariably supported this exalted character, his name would deserve a place with those of Numa and Confucius, and his system would be justly entitled to all the applause, which it has pleased some of our divines, and even some of our philosophers,​ to bestow on it.  But in that motley composition,​ dictated by reason and passion, by enthusiasm and by selfish motives, some useful and sublime truths were disgraced by a mixture of the most abject and dangerous superstition. The Magi, or sacerdotal order, were extremely numerous, since, as we have already seen, fourscore thousand of them were convened in a general council. Their forces were multiplied by discipline. ​ A regular hierarchy was diffused through all the provinces of Persia; and the Archimagus, who resided at Balch, was respected as the visible head of the church, and the lawful successor of Zoroaster. ^17 The property of the Magi was very considerable. Besides the less invidious possession of a large tract of the most fertile lands of Media, ^18 they levied a general tax on the fortunes and the industry of the Persians. ^19 "​Though your good works,"​ says the interested prophet, "​exceed in number the leaves of the trees, the drops of rain, the stars in the heaven, or the sands on the sea-shore, they will all be unprofitable to you, unless they are accepted by the destour, or priest. ​ To obtain the acceptation of this guide to salvation, you must faithfully pay him tithes of all you possess, of your goods, of your lands, and of your money. ​ If the destour be satisfied, your soul will escape hell tortures; you will secure praise in this world and happiness in the next.  For the destours are the teachers of religion; they know all things, and they deliver all men." ^20 ^*
 +
 +[Footnote 17: Hyde de Religione Persarum, c. 28.  Both Hyde and Prideaux affect to apply to the Magian the terms consecrated to the Christian hierarchy.]
 +
 +[Footnote 18: Ammian. Marcellin. xxiii. 6.  He informs us (as far as we may credit him) of two curious particulars:​ 1. That the Magi derived some of their most secret doctrines from the Indian Brachmans; and 2. That they were a tribe, or family, as well as order.]
 +
 +[Footnote 19: The divine institution of tithes exhibits a singular instance of conformity between the law of Zoroaster and that of Moses. ​ Those who cannot otherwise account for it, may suppose, if they please that the Magi of the latter times inserted so useful an interpolation into the writings of their prophet.]
 +
 +[Footnote 20: Sadder, Art. viii.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: The passage quoted by Gibbon is not taken from the writings of Zoroaster, but from the Sadder, a work, as has been before said, much later than the books which form the Zendavesta. and written by a Magus for popular use; what it contains, therefore, cannot be attributed to Zoroaster. ​ It is remarkable that Gibbon should fall into this error, for Hyde himself does not ascribe the Sadder to Zoroaster; he remarks that it is written inverse, while Zoroaster always wrote in prose. ​ Hyde, i. p. 27.  Whatever may be the case as to the latter assertion, for which there appears little foundation, it is unquestionable that the Sadder is of much later date.  The Abbe Foucher does not even believe it to be an extract from the works of Zoroaster. ​ See his Diss. before quoted. ​ Mem. de l'​Acad. des Ins. t. xxvii. - G. Perhaps it is rash to speak of any part of the Zendavesta as the writing of Zoroaster, though it may be a genuine representation of his.  As to the Sadder, Hyde (in Praef.) considered it not above 200 years old.  It is manifestly post-Mahometan. ​ See Art. xxv. on fasting. - M.]
 +
 +These convenient maxims of reverence and implicit were doubtless imprinted with care on the tender minds of youth; since the Magi were the masters of education in Persia, and to their hands the children even of the royal family were intrusted. ^21 The Persian priests, who were of a speculative genius, preserved and investigated the secrets of Oriental philosophy; and acquired, either by superior knowledge, or superior art, the reputation of being well versed in some occult sciences, which have derived their appellation from the Magi. ^22 Those of more active dispositions mixed with the world in courts and cities; and it is observed, that the administration of Artaxerxes was in a great measure directed by the counsels of the sacerdotal order, whose dignity, either from policy or devotion, that prince restored to its ancient splendor. ^23
 +
 +[Footnote 21: Plato in Alcibiad.]
 +
 +[Footnote 22: Pliny (Hist. Natur. l. xxx. c. 1) observes, that magic held mankind by the triple chain of religion, of physic, and of astronomy.] [Footnote 23: Agathias, l. iv. p. 134.]
 +
 +The first counsel of the Magi was agreeable to the unsociable genius of their faith, ^24 to the practice of ancient kings, ^25 and even to the example of their legislator, who had a victim to a religious war, excited by his own intolerant zeal. ^26 By an edict of Artaxerxes, the exercise of every worship, except that of Zoroaster, was severely prohibited. The temples of the Parthians, and the statues of their deified monarchs, were thrown down with ignominy. ^27 The sword of Aristotle (such was the name given by the Orientals to the polytheism and philosophy of the Greeks) was easily broken; ^28 the flames of persecution soon reached the more stubborn Jews and Christians; ^29 nor did they spare the heretics of their own nation and religion. ​ The majesty of Ormusd, who was jealous of a rival, was seconded by the despotism of Artaxerxes, who could not suffer a rebel; and the schismatics within his vast empire were soon reduced to the inconsiderable number of eighty thousand. ^30 ^* This spirit of persecution reflects dishonor on the religion of Zoroaster; but as it was not productive of any civil commotion, it served to strengthen the new monarchy, by uniting all the various inhabitants of Persia in the bands of religious zeal. ^!
 +
 +[Footnote 24: Mr. Hume, in the Natural History of Religion, sagaciously remarks, that the most refined and philosophic sects are constantly the most intolerant.
 +
 +Note: Hume's comparison is rather between theism and polytheism. ​ In India, in Greece, and in modern Europe, philosophic religion has looked down with contemptuous toleration on the superstitions of the vulgar. - M.] [Footnote 25: Cicero de Legibus, ii. 10.  Xerxes, by the advice of the Magi, destroyed the temples of Greece.]
 +
 +[Footnote 26: Hyde de Relig. Persar. c. 23, 24.  D'​Herbelot,​ Bibliotheque Orientale, Zurdusht. ​ Life of Zoroaster in tom. ii. of the Zendavesta.] [Footnote 27: Compare Moses of Chorene, l. ii. c. 74, with Ammian. ​ Marcel lin. xxiii. 6.  Hereafter I shall make use of these passages.] [Footnote 28: Rabbi Abraham, in the Tarikh Schickard, p. 108, 109.] [Footnote 29: Basnage, Histoire des Juifs, l. viii. c. 3. Sozomen, l. ii. c. 1 Manes, who suffered an ignominious death, may be deemed a Magian as well as a Christian heretic.]
 +
 +[Footnote 30: Hyde de Religione Persar. c. 21.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: It is incorrect to attribute these persecutions to Artaxerxes. The Jews were held in honor by him, and their schools flourished during his reign. ​ Compare Jost, Geschichte der Israeliter, b. xv. 5, with Basnage. Sapor was forced by the people to temporary severities; but their real persecution did not begin till the reigns of Yezdigerd and Kobad. ​ Hist. of Jews, iii. 236.  According to Sozomen , i. viii., Sapor first persecuted the Christians. ​ Manes was put to death by Varanes the First, A. D. 277. Beausobre, Hist. de Man. i. 209. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote !: In the testament of Ardischer in Ferdusi, the poet assigns these sentiments to the dying king, as he addresses his son: Never forget that as a king, you are at once the protector of religion and of your country. ​ Consider the altar and the throne as inseparable;​ they must always sustain each other. Malcolm'​s Persia. i. 74 - M]
 +
 +II.  Artaxerxes, by his valor and conduct, had wrested the sceptre of the East from the ancient royal family of Parthia. There still remained the more difficult task of establishing,​ throughout the vast extent of Persia, a uniform and vigorous administration. ​ The weak indulgence of the Arsacides had resigned to their sons and brothers the principal provinces, and the greatest offices of the kingdom in the nature of hereditary possessions. ​ The vitaxoe, or eighteen most powerful satraps, were permitted to assume the regal title; and the vain pride of the monarch was delighted with a nominal dominion over so many vassal kings. ​ Even tribes of barbarians in their mountains, and the Greek cities of Upper Asia, ^31 within their walls, scarcely acknowledged,​ or seldom obeyed. any superior; and the Parthian empire exhibited, under other names, a lively image of the feudal system ^32 which has since prevailed in Europe. ​ But the active victor, at the head of a numerous and disciplined army, visited in person every province of Persia. The defeat of the boldest rebels, and the reduction of the strongest fortifications,​ ^33 diffused the terror of his arms, and prepared the way for the peaceful reception of his authority. ​ An obstinate resistance was fatal to the chiefs; but their followers were treated with lenity. ^34 A cheerful submission was rewarded with honors and riches, but the prudent Artaxerxes suffering no person except himself to assume the title of king, abolished every intermediate power between the throne and the people. ​ His kingdom, nearly equal in extent to modern Persia, was, on every side, bounded by the sea, or by great rivers; by the Euphrates, the Tigris, the Araxes, the Oxus, and the Indus, by the Caspian Sea, and the Gulf of Persia. ^35 That country was computed to contain, in the last century, five hundred and fifty-four cities, sixty thousand villages, and about forty millions of souls. ^36 If we compare the administration of the house of Sassan with that of the house of Sefi, the political influence of the Magian with that of the Mahometan religion, we shall probably infer, that the kingdom of Artaxerxes contained at least as great a number of cities, villages, and inhabitants. ​ But it must likewise be confessed, that in every age the want of harbors on the sea- coast, and the scarcity of fresh water in the inland provinces, have been very unfavorable to the commerce and agriculture of the Persians; who, in the calculation of their numbers, seem to have indulged one of the nearest, though most common, artifices of national vanity.
 +
 +[Footnote 31: These colonies were extremely numerous. ​ Seleucus Nicator founded thirty-nine cities, all named from himself, or some of his relations, (see Appian in Syriac. p. 124.) The aera of Seleucus (still in use among the eastern Christians) appears as late as the year 508, of Christ 196, on the medals of the Greek cities within the Parthian empire. ​ See Moyle'​s works, vol. i. p. 273, &c., and M. Freret, Mem. de l'​Academie,​ tom. xix.] [Footnote 32: The modern Persians distinguish that period as the dynasty of the kings of the nations. ​ See Plin. Hist. Nat. vi. 25.]
 +
 +[Footnote 33: Eutychius (tom. i. p. 367, 371, 375) relates the siege of the island of Mesene in the Tigris, with some circumstances not unlike the story of Nysus and Scylla.]
 +
 +[Footnote 34: Agathias, ii. 64, [and iv. p. 260.] The princes of Segestan de fended their independence during many years. ​ As romances generally transport to an ancient period the events of their own time, it is not impossible that the fabulous exploits of Rustan, Prince of Segestan, many have been grafted on this real history.]
 +
 +[Footnote 35: We can scarcely attribute to the Persian monarchy the sea-coast of Gedrosia or Macran, which extends along the Indian Ocean from Cape Jask (the promontory Capella) to Cape Goadel. ​ In the time of Alexander, and probably many ages afterwards, it was thinly inhabited by a savage people of Icthyophagi,​ or Fishermen, who knew no arts, who acknowledged no master, and who were divided by in-hospitable deserts from the rest of the world. ​ (See Arrian de Reb. Indicis.) In the twelfth century, the little town of Taiz (supposed by M. d'​Anville to be the Teza of Ptolemy) was peopled and enriched by the resort of the Arabian merchants. ​ (See Geographia Nubiens, p. 58, and d'​Anville,​ Geographie Ancienne, tom. ii. p. 283.) In the last age, the whole country was divided between three princes, one Mahometan and two Idolaters, who maintained their independence against the successors of Shah Abbas. (Voyages de Tavernier, part i. l. v. p. 635.]
 +
 +[Footnote 36: Chardin, tom. iii c 1 2, 3.]
 +
 +As soon as the ambitious mind of Artaxerxes had triumphed ever the resistance of his vassals, he began to threaten the neighboring states, who, during the long slumber of his predecessors,​ had insulted Persia with impunity. ​ He obtained some easy victories over the wild Scythians and the effeminate Indians; but the Romans were an enemy, who, by their past injuries and present power, deserved the utmost efforts of his arms.  A forty years' tranquillity,​ the fruit of valor and moderation, had succeeded the victories of Trajan. ​ During the period that elapsed from the accession of Marcus to the reign of Alexander, the Roman and the Parthian empires were twice engaged in war; and although the whole strength of the Arsacides contended with a part only of the forces of Rome, the event was most commonly in favor of the latter. ​ Macrinus, indeed, prompted by his precarious situation and pusillanimous temper, purchased a peace at the expense of near two millions of our money; ^37 but the generals of Marcus, the emperor Severus, and his son, erected many trophies in Armenia, Mesopotamia,​ and Assyria. ​ Among their exploits, the imperfect relation of which would have unseasonably interrupted the more important series of domestic revolutions,​ we shall only mention the repeated calamities of the two great cities of Seleucia and Ctesiphon. [Footnote 37: Dion, l. xxviii. p. 1335.]
 +
 +Seleucia, on the western bank of the Tigris, about forty-five miles to the north of ancient Babylon, was the capital of the Macedonian conquests in Upper Asia. ^38 Many ages after the fall of their empire, Seleucia retained the genuine characters of a Grecian colony, arts, military virtue, and the love of freedom. ​ The independent republic was governed by a senate of three hundred nobles; the people consisted of six hundred thousand citizens; the walls were strong, and as long as concord prevailed among the several orders of the state, they viewed with contempt the power of the Parthian: but the madness of faction was sometimes provoked to implore the dangerous aid of the common enemy, who was posted almost at the gates of the colony. ^39 The Parthian monarchs, like the Mogul sovereigns of Hindostan, delighted in the pastoral life of their Scythian ancestors; and the Imperial camp was frequently pitched in the plain of Ctesiphon, on the eastern bank of the Tigris, at the distance of only three miles from Seleucia. ^40 The innumerable attendants on luxury and despotism resorted to the court, and the little village of Ctesiphon insensibly swelled into a great city. ^41 Under the reign of Marcus, the Roman generals penetrated as far as Ctesiphon and Seleucia. ​ They were received as friends by the Greek colony; they attacked as enemies the seat of the Parthian kings; yet both cities experienced the same treatment. The sack and conflagration of Seleucia, with the massacre of three hundred thousand of the inhabitants,​ tarnished the glory of the Roman triumph. ^42 Seleucia, already exhausted by the neighborhood of a too powerful rival, sunk under the fatal blow; but Ctesiphon, in about thirty- three years, had sufficiently recovered its strength to maintain an obstinate siege against the emperor Severus. ​ The city was, however, taken by assault; the king, who defended it in person, escaped with precipitation;​ a hundred thousand captives, and a rich booty, rewarded the fatigues of the Roman soldiers. ^43 Notwithstanding these misfortunes,​ Ctesiphon succeeded to Babylon and to Seleucia, as one of the great capitals of the East.  In summer, the monarch of Persia enjoyed at Ecbatana the cool breezes of the mountains of Media; but the mildness of the climate engaged him to prefer Ctesiphon for his winter residence.
 +
 +[Footnote 38: For the precise situation of Babylon, Seleucia, Ctesiphon, Moiain, and Bagdad, cities often confounded with each other, see an excellent Geographical Tract of M. d'​Anville,​ in Mem. de l'​Academie,​ tom. xxx.] [Footnote 39: Tacit. Annal. xi. 42.  Plin. Hist. Nat. vi. 26.] [Footnote 40: This may be inferred from Strabo, l. xvi. p. 743.] [Footnote 41: That most curious traveller, Bernier, who followed the camp of Aurengzebe from Delhi to Cashmir, describes with great accuracy the immense moving city.  The guard of cavalry consisted of 35,000 men, that of infantry of 10,​000. ​ It was computed that the camp contained 150,000 horses, mules, and elephants; 50,000 camels, 50,000 oxen, and between 300,000 and 400,000 persons. ​ Almost all Delhi followed the court, whose magnificence supported its industry.]
 +
 +[Footnote 42: Dion, l. lxxi. p. 1178.  Hist. August. p. 38. Eutrop. viii. 10 Euseb. in Chronic. ​ Quadratus (quoted in the Augustan History) attempted to vindicate the Romans by alleging that the citizens of Seleucia had first violated their faith.]
 +
 +[Footnote 43: Dion, l. lxxv. p. 1263.  Herodian, l. iii. p. 120. Hist. August. p. 70.]
 +
 +From these successful inroads the Romans derived no real or lasting benefit; nor did they attempt to preserve such distant conquests, separated from the provinces of the empire by a large tract of intermediate desert. The reduction of the kingdom of Osrhoene was an acquisition of less splendor indeed, but of a far more solid advantage. ​ That little state occupied the northern and most fertile part of Mesopotamia,​ between the Euphrates and the Tigris. ​ Edessa, its capital, was situated about twenty miles beyond the former of those rivers; and the inhabitants,​ since the time of Alexander, were a mixed race of Greeks, Arabs, Syrians, and Armenians. ^44 The feeble sovereigns of Osrhoene, placed on the dangerous verge of two contending empires, were attached from inclination to the Parthian cause; but the superior power of Rome exacted from them a reluctant homage, which is still attested by their medals. ​ After the conclusion of the Parthian war under Marcus, it was judged prudent to secure some substantia, pledges of their doubtful fidelity. ​ Forts were constructed in several parts of the country, and a Roman garrison was fixed in the strong town of Nisibis. ​ During the troubles that followed the death of Commodus, the princes of Osrhoene attempted to shake off the yoke; but the stern policy of Severus confirmed their dependence, ^45 and the perfidy of Caracalla completed the easy conquest. ​ Abgarus, the last king of Edessa, was sent in chains to Rome, his dominions reduced into a province, and his capital dignified with the rank of colony; and thus the Romans, about ten years before the fall of the Parthian monarchy, obtained a firm and permanent establishment beyond the Euphrates. ^46
 +
 +[Footnote 44: The polished citizens of Antioch called those of Edessa mixed barbarians. ​ It was, however, some praise, that of the three dialects of the Syriac, the purest and most elegant (the Aramaean) was spoken at Edessa. This remark M. Bayer (Hist. Edess. p 5) has borrowed from George of Malatia, a Syrian writer.]
 +
 +[Footnote 45: Dion, l. lxxv. p. 1248, 1249, 1250.  M. Bayer has neglected to use this most important passage.]
 +
 +[Footnote 46: This kingdom, from Osrhoes, who gave a new name to the country, to the last Abgarus, had lasted 353 years. ​ See the learned work of M. Bayer, Historia Osrhoena et Edessena.]
 +
 +Prudence as well as glory might have justified a war on the side of Artaxerxes, had his views been confined to the defence or acquisition of a useful frontier. ​ but the ambitious Persian openly avowed a far more extensive design of conquest; and he thought himself able to support his lofty pretensions by the arms of reason as well as by those of power. ​ Cyrus, he alleged, had first subdued, and his successors had for a long time possessed, the whole extent of Asia, as far as the Propontis and the Aegean Sea; the provinces of Caria and Ionia, under their empire, had been governed by Persian satraps, and all Egypt, to the confines of Aethiopia, had acknowledged their sovereignty. ^47 Their rights had been suspended, but not destroyed, by a long usurpation; and as soon as he received the Persian diadem, which birth and successful valor had placed upon his head, the first great duty of his station called upon him to restore the ancient limits and splendor of the monarchy. ​ The Great King, therefore, (such was the haughty style of his embassies to the emperor Alexander,) commanded the Romans instantly to depart from all the provinces of his ancestors, and, yielding to the Persians the empire of Asia, to content themselves with the undisturbed possession of Europe. ​ This haughty mandate was delivered by four hundred of the tallest and most beautiful of the Persians; who, by their fine horses, splendid arms, and rich apparel, displayed the pride and greatness of their master. ^48 Such an embassy was much less an offer of negotiation than a declaration of war. Both Alexander Severus and Artaxerxes, collecting the military force of the Roman and Persian monarchies, resolved in this important contest to lead their armies in person.
 +
 +[Footnote 47: Xenophon, in the preface to the Cyropaedia, gives a clear and magnificent idea of the extent of the empire of Cyrus. Herodotus (l. iii. c. 79, &c.) enters into a curious and particular description of the twenty great Satrapies into which the Persian empire was divided by Darius Hystaspes.] [Footnote 48: Herodian, vi. 209, 212.]
 +
 +If we credit what should seem the most authentic of all records, an oration, still extant, and delivered by the emperor himself to the senate, we must allow that the victory of Alexander Severus was not inferior to any of those formerly obtained over the Persians by the son of Philip. ​ The army of the Great King consisted of one hundred and twenty thousand horse, clothed in complete armor of steel; of seven hundred elephants, with towers filled with archers on their backs, and of eighteen hundred chariots armed with scythes. This formidable host, the like of which is not to be found in eastern history, and has scarcely been imagined in eastern romance, ^49 was discomfited in a great battle, in which the Roman Alexander proved himself an intrepid soldier and a skilful general. ​ The Great King fled before his valor; an immense booty, and the conquest of Mesopotamia,​ were the immediate fruits of this signal victory. Such are the circumstances of this ostentatious and improbable relation, dictated, as it too plainly appears, by the vanity of the monarch, adorned by the unblushing servility of his flatterers, and received without contradiction by a distant and obsequious senate. ^50 Far from being inclined to believe that the arms of Alexander obtained any memorable advantage over the Persians, we are induced to suspect that all this blaze of imaginary glory was designed to conceal some real disgrace.
 +
 +[Footnote 49: There were two hundred scythed chariots at the battle of Arbela, in the host of Darius. ​ In the vast army of Tigranes, which was vanquished by Lucullus, seventeen thousand horse only were completely armed. Antiochus brought fifty-four elephants into the field against the Romans: by his frequent wars and negotiations with the princes of India, he had once collected a hundred and fifty of those great animals; but it may be questioned whether the most powerful monarch of Hindostan evci formed a line of battle of seven hundred elephants. ​ Instead of three or four thousand elephants, which the Great Mogul was supposed to possess, Tavernier (Voyages, part ii. l. i. p. 198) discovered, by a more accurate inquiry, that he had only five hundred for his baggage, and eighty or ninety for the service of war.  The Greeks have varied with regard to the number which Porus brought into the field; but Quintus Curtius, (viii. 13,) in this instance judicious and moderate, is contented with eighty-five elephants, distinguished by their size and strength. In Siam, where these animals are the most numerous and the most esteemed, eighteen elephants are allowed as a sufficient proportion for each of the nine brigades into which a just army is divided. ​ The whole number, of one hundred and sixty-two elephants of war, may sometimes be doubled. ​ Hist. des Voyages, tom. ix. p. 260.
 +
 +Note: Compare Gibbon'​s note 10 to ch. lvii - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 50: Hist. August. p. 133.
 +
 +Note: See M. Guizot'​s note, p. 267.  According to the Persian authorities Ardeschir extended his conquests to the Euphrates. ​ Malcolm i. 71. - M.] Our suspicious are confirmed by the authority of a contemporary historian, who mentions the virtues of Alexander with respect, and his faults with candor. ​ He describes the judicious plan which had been formed for the conduct of the war. Three Roman armies were destined to invade Persia at the same time, and by different roads. ​ But the operations of the campaign, though wisely concerted, were not executed either with ability or success. The first of these armies, as soon as it had entered the marshy plains of Babylon, towards the artificial conflux of the Euphrates and the Tigris, ^51 was encompassed by the superior numbers, and destroyed by the arrows of the enemy. The alliance of Chosroes, king of Armenia, ^52 and the long tract of mountainous country, in which the Persian cavalry was of little service, opened a secure entrance into the heart of Media, to the second of the Roman armies. ​ These brave troops laid waste the adjacent provinces, and by several successful actions against Artaxerxes, gave a faint color to the emperor'​s vanity. ​ But the retreat of this victorious army was imprudent, or at least unfortunate. ​ In repassing the mountains, great numbers of soldiers perished by the badness of the roads, and the severity of the winter season. ​ It had been resolved, that whilst these two great detachments penetrated into the opposite extremes of the Persian dominions, the main body, under the command of Alexander himself, should support their attack, by invading the centre of the kingdom. ​ But the unexperienced youth, influenced by his mother'​s counsels, and perhaps by his own fears, deserted the bravest troops, and the fairest prospect of victory; and after consuming in Mesopotamia an inactive and inglorious summer, he led back to Antioch an army diminished by sickness, and provoked by disappointment. ​ The behavior of Artaxerxes had been very different. ​ Flying with rapidity from the hills of Media to the marshes of the Euphrates, he had everywhere opposed the invaders in person; and in either fortune had united with the ablest conduct the most undaunted resolution. ​ But in several obstinate engagements against the veteran legions of Rome, the Persian monarch had lost the flower of his troops. ​ Even his victories had weakened his power. ​ The favorable opportunities of the absence of Alexander, and of the confusions that followed that emperor'​s death, presented themselves in vain to his ambition. ​ Instead of expelling the Romans, as he pretended, from the continent of Asia, he found himself unable to wrest from their hands the little province of Mesopotamia. ^53 [Footnote 51: M. de Tillemont has already observed, that Herodian'​s geography is somewhat confused.]
 +
 +[Footnote 52: Moses of Chorene (Hist. Armen. l. ii. c. 71) illustrates this invasion of Media, by asserting that Chosroes, king of Armenia, defeated Artaxerxes, and pursued him to the confines of India. ​ The exploits of Chosroes have been magnified; and he acted as a dependent ally to the Romans.]
 +
 +[Footnote 53: For the account of this war, see Herodian, l. vi. p. 209, 212. The old abbreviators and modern compilers have blindly followed the Augustan History.]
 +
 +The reign of Artaxerxes, which, from the last defeat of the Parthians, lasted only fourteen years, forms a memorable aera in the history of the East, and even in that of Rome.  His character seems to have been marked by those bold and commanding features, that generally distinguish the princes who conquer, from those who inherit an empire. ​ Till the last period of the Persian monarchy, his code of laws was respected as the groundwork of their civil and religious policy. ^54 Several of his sayings are preserved. ​ One of them in particular discovers a deep insight into the constitution of government. ​ "The authority of the prince,"​ said Artaxerxes, "must be defended by a military force; that force can only be maintained by taxes; all taxes must, at last, fall upon agriculture;​ and agriculture can never flourish except under the protection of justice and moderation."​ ^55 Artaxerxes bequeathed his new empire, and his ambitious designs against the Romans, to Sapor, a son not unworthy of his great father; but those designs were too extensive for the power of Persia, and served only to involve both nations in a long series of destructive wars and reciprocal calamities. [Footnote 54: Eutychius, tom. ii. p. 180, vers. Pocock. ​ The great Chosroes Noushirwan sent the code of Artaxerxes to all his satraps, as the invariable rule of their conduct.]
 +
 +[Footnote 55: D'​Herbelot,​ Bibliotheque Orientale, au mot Ardshir. We may observe, that after an ancient period of fables, and a long interval of darkness, the modern histories of Persia begin to assume an air of truth with the dynasty of Sassanides. [Compare Malcolm, i. 79. - M.] The Persians, long since civilized and corrupted, were very far from possessing the martial independence,​ and the intrepid hardiness, both of mind and body, which have rendered the northern barbarians masters of the world. The science of war, that constituted the more rational force of Greece and Rome, as it now does of Europe, never made any considerable progress in the East.  Those disciplined evolutions which harmonize and animate a confused multitude, were unknown to the Persians. ​ They were equally unskilled in the arts of constructing,​ besieging, or defending regular fortifications. ​ They trusted more to their numbers than to their courage; more to their courage than to their discipline. ​ The infantry was a half-armed, spiritless crowd of peasants, levied in haste by the allurements of plunder, and as easily dispersed by a victory as by a defeat. ​ The monarch and his nobles transported into the camp the pride and luxury of the seraglio. ​ Their military operations were impeded by a useless train of women, eunuchs, horses, and camels; and in the midst of a successful campaign, the Persian host was often separated or destroyed by an unexpected famine. ^56 [Footnote 56: Herodian, l. vi. p. 214.  Ammianus Marcellinus,​ l. xxiii. c. 6. Some differences may be observed between the two historians, the natural effects of the changes produced by a century and a half.]
 +
 +But the nobles of Persia, in the bosom of luxury and despotism, preserved a strong sense of personal gallantry and national honor. ​ From the age of seven years they were taught to speak truth, to shoot with the bow, and to ride; and it was universally confessed, that in the two last of these arts, they had made a more than common proficiency. ^57 The most distinguished youth were educated under the monarch'​s eye, practised their exercises in the gate of his palace, and were severely trained up to the habits of temperance and obedience, in their long and laborious parties of hunting. ​ In every province, the satrap maintained a like school of military virtue. ​ The Persian nobles (so natural is the idea of feudal tenures) received from the king's bounty lands and houses, on the condition of their service in war.  They were ready on the first summons to mount on horseback, with a martial and splendid train of followers, and to join the numerous bodies of guards, who were carefully selected from among the most robust slaves, and the bravest adventures of Asia.  These armies, both of light and of heavy cavalry, equally formidable by the impetuosity of their charge and the rapidity of their motions, threatened, as an impending cloud, the eastern provinces of the declining empire of Rome. ^58
 +
 +[Footnote 57: The Persians are still the most skilful horsemen, and their horses the finest in the East.]
 +
 +[Footnote 58: From Herodotus, Xenophon, Herodian, Ammianus, Chardin, &c., I have extracted such probable accounts of the Persian nobility, as seem either common to every age, or particular to that of the Sassanides.]
 +
 +====== Chapter IX: State Of Germany Until The Barbarians. ======
 +
 +===== Part I. =====
 +
 +The State Of Germany Till The Invasion Of The Barbarians In The Time Of The Emperor Decius.
 +
 +The government and religion of Persia have deserved some notice, from their connection with the decline and fall of the Roman empire. ​ We shall occasionally mention the Scythian or Sarmatian tribes, ^* which, with their arms and horses, their flocks and herds, their wives and families, wandered over the immense plains which spread themselves from the Caspian Sea to the Vistula, from the confines of Persia to those of Germany. But the warlike Germans, who first resisted, then invaded, and at length overturned the Western monarchy of Rome, will occupy a much more important place in this history, and possess a stronger, and, if we may use the expression, a more domestic, claim to our attention and regard. ​ The most civilized nations of modern Europe issued from the woods of Germany; and in the rude institutions of those barbarians we may still distinguish the original principles of our present laws and manners. ​ In their primitive state of simplicity and independence,​ the Germans were surveyed by the discerning eye, and delineated by the masterly pencil, of Tacitus, ^* the first of historians who applied the science of philosophy to the study of facts. ​ The expressive conciseness of his descriptions has served to exercise the diligence of innumerable antiquarians,​ and to excite the genius and penetration of the philosophic historians of our own times. The subject, however various and important, has already been so frequently, so ably, and so successfully discussed, that it is now grown familiar to the reader, and difficult to the writer. We shall therefore content ourselves with observing, and indeed with repeating, some of the most important circumstances of climate, of manners, and of institutions,​ which rendered the wild barbarians of Germany such formidable enemies to the Roman power.
 +
 +[Footnote *: The Scythians, even according to the ancients, are not Sarmatians. ​ It may be doubted whether Gibbon intended to confound them. - M.] The Greeks, after having divided the world into Greeks and barbarians. divided the barbarians into four great classes, the Celts, the Scythians, the Indians, and the Ethiopians. ​ They called Celts all the inhabitants of Gaul. Scythia extended from the Baltic Sea to the Lake Aral: the people enclosed in the angle to the north-east, between Celtica and Scythia, were called Celto- Scythians, and the Sarmatians were placed in the southern part of that angle. But these names of Celts, of Scythians, of Celto-Scythians,​ and Sarmatians, were invented, says Schlozer, by the profound cosmographical ignorance of the Greeks, and have no real ground; they are purely geographical divisions, without any relation to the true affiliation of the different races. ​ Thus all the inhabitants of Gaul are called Celts by most of the ancient writers; yet Gaul contained three totally distinct nations, the Belgae, the Aquitani, and the Gauls, properly so called. ​ Hi omnes lingua institutis, legibusque inter se differunt. ​ Caesar. Com. c. i. It is thus the Turks call all Europeans Franks. ​ Schlozer, Allgemeine Nordische Geschichte, p. 289.  1771. Bayer (de Origine et priscis Sedibus Scytharum, in Opusc. p. 64) says, Primus eorum, de quibus constat, Ephorus, in quarto historiarum libro, orbem terrarum inter Scythas, Indos, Aethiopas et Celtas divisit. Fragmentum ejus loci Cosmas Indicopleustes in topographia Christiana, f. 148, conservavit. Video igitur Ephorum, cum locorum positus per certa capita distribuere et explicare constitueret,​ insigniorum nomina gentium vastioribus spatiis adhibuisse, nulla mala fraude et successu infelici. ​ Nam Ephoro quoquomodo dicta pro exploratis habebant Graeci plerique et Romani: ita gliscebat error posteritate. ​ Igitur tot tamque diversae stirpis gentes non modo intra communem quandam regionem definitae, unum omnes Scytharum nomen his auctoribus subierunt, sed etiam ab illa regionis adpellatione in eandem nationem sunt conflatae. ​ Sic Cimmeriorum res cum Scythicis, Scytharum cum Sarmaticis, Russicis, Hunnicis, Tataricis commiscentur. - G.] [Footnote *: The Germania of Tacitus has been a fruitful source of hypothesis to the ingenuity of modern writers, who have endeavored to account for the form of the work and the views of the author. ​ According to Luden, (Geschichte des T. V. i. 432, and note,) it contains the unfinished and disarranged for a larger work.  An anonymous writer, supposed by Luden to be M. Becker, conceives that it was intended as an episode in his larger history. ​ According to M. Guizot, "​Tacite a peint les Germains comme Montaigne et Rousseau les sauvages, dans un acces d'​humeur contre sa patrie: son livre est une satire des moeurs Romaines, l'​eloquente boutade d'un patriote philosophe qui veut voir la vertu la, ou il ne rencontre pas la mollesse honteuse et la depravation savante d'une vielle societe."​ Hist. de la Civilisation Moderne, i. 258. - M.]
 +
 +Ancient Germany, excluding from its independent limits the province westward of the Rhine, which had submitted to the Roman yoke, extended itself over a third part of Europe. ^1 Almost the whole of modern Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Livonia, Prussia, and the greater part of Poland, were peopled by the various tribes of one great nation, whose complexion, manners, and language denoted a common origin, and preserved a striking resemblance. ​ On the west, ancient Germany was divided by the Rhine from the Gallic, and on the south, by the Danube, from the Illyrian, provinces of the empire. ​ A ridge of hills, rising from the Danube, and called the Carpathian Mountains, covered Germany on the side of Dacia or Hungary. ​ The eastern frontier was faintly marked by the mutual fears of the Germans and the Sarmatians, and was often confounded by the mixture of warring and confederating tribes of the two nations. ​ In the remote darkness of the north, the ancients imperfectly descried a frozen ocean that lay beyond the Baltic Sea, and beyond the Peninsula, or islands ^1 of Scandinavia.
 +
 +[Footnote 1: Germany was not of such vast extent. ​ It is from Caesar, and more particularly from Ptolemy, (says Gatterer,) that we can know what was the state of ancient Germany before the wars with the Romans had changed the positions of the tribes. Germany, as changed by these wars, has been described by Strabo, Pliny, and Tacitus. ​ Germany, properly so called, was bounded on the west by the Rhine, on the east by the Vistula, on the north by the southern point of Norway, by Sweden, and Esthonia. ​ On the south, the Maine and the mountains to the north of Bohemia formed the limits. ​ Before the time of Caesar, the country between the Maine and the Danube was partly occupied by the Helvetians and other Gauls, partly by the Hercynian forest but, from the time of Caesar to the great migration, these boundaries were advanced as far as the Danube, or, what is the same thing, to the Suabian Alps, although the Hercynian forest still occupied, from north to south, a space of nine days' journey on both banks of the Danube. "​Gatterer,​ Versuch einer all-gemeinen Welt-Geschichte,"​ p. 424, edit. de 1792.  This vast country was far from being inhabited by a single nation divided into different tribes of the same origin. We may reckon three principal races, very distinct in their language, their origin, and their customs. ​ 1. To the east, the Slaves or Vandals. ​ 2. To the west, the Cimmerians or Cimbri. ​ 3. Between the Slaves and Cimbrians, the Germans, properly so called, the Suevi of Tacitus. ​ The South was inhabited, before Julius Caesar, by nations of Gaulish origin, afterwards by the Suevi. - G.  On the position of these nations, the German antiquaries differ. ​ I.  The Slaves, or Sclavonians,​ or Wendish tribes, according to Schlozer, were originally settled in parts of Germany unknown to the Romans, Mecklenburgh,​ Pomerania, Brandenburgh,​ Upper Saxony; and Lusatia. ​ According to Gatterer, they remained to the east of the Theiss, the Niemen, and the Vistula, till the third century. ​ The Slaves, according to Procopius and Jornandes, formed three great divisions. ​ 1. The Venedi or Vandals, who took the latter name, (the Wenden,) having expelled the Vandals, properly so called, (a Suevian race, the conquerors of Africa,) from the country between the Memel and the Vistula. ​ 2. The Antes, who inhabited between the Dneister and the Dnieper. ​ 3. The Sclavonians,​ properly so called, in the north of Dacia. ​ During the great migration, these races advanced into Germany as far as the Saal and the Elbe.  The Sclavonian language is the stem from which have issued the Russian, the Polish, the Bohemian, and the dialects of Lusatia, of some parts of the duchy of Luneburgh, of Carniola, Carinthia, and Styria, &c.; those of Croatia, Bosnia, and Bulgaria. ​ Schlozer, Nordische Geschichte, p. 323, 335.  II.  The Cimbric race.  Adelung calls by this name all who were not Suevi. ​ This race had passed the Rhine, before the time of Caesar, occupied Belgium, and are the Belgae of Caesar and Pliny. ​ The Cimbrians also occupied the Isle of Jutland. The Cymri of Wales and of Britain are of this race. Many tribes on the right bank of the Rhine, the Guthini in Jutland, the Usipeti in Westphalia, the Sigambri in the duchy of Berg, were German Cimbrians. ​ III.  The Suevi, known in very early times by the Romans, for they are mentioned by L. Corn. Sisenna, who lived 123 years before Christ, (Nonius v. Lancea.) This race, the real Germans, extended to the Vistula, and from the Baltic to the Hercynian forest. ​ The name of Suevi was sometimes confined to a single tribe, as by Caesar to the Catti. The name of the Suevi has been preserved in Suabia.
 +
 +These three were the principal races which inhabited Germany; they moved from east to west, and are the parent stem of the modern natives. ​ But northern Europe, according to Schlozer, was not peopled by them alone; other races, of different origin, and speaking different languages, have inhabited and left descendants in these countries.
 +
 +The German tribes called themselves, from very remote times, by the generic name of Teutons, (Teuten, Deutschen,) which Tacitus derives from that of one of their gods, Tuisco. ​ It appears more probable that it means merely men, people. ​ Many savage nations have given themselves no other name.  Thus the Laplanders call themselves Almag, people; the Samoiedes Nilletz, Nissetsch, men, &​c. ​ As to the name of Germans, (Germani,) Caesar found it in use in Gaul, and adopted it as a word already known to the Romans. ​ Many of the learned (from a passage of Tacitus, de Mor Germ. c. 2) have supposed that it was only applied to the Teutons after Caesar'​s time; but Adelung has triumphantly refuted this opinion. ​ The name of Germans is found in the Fasti Capitolini. ​ See Gruter, Iscrip. 2899, in which the consul Marcellus, in the year of Rome 531, is said to have defeated the Gauls, the Insubrians, and the Germans, commanded by Virdomar. See Adelung, Aelt. Geschichte der Deutsch, p. 102. - Compressed from G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 1: The modern philosophers of Sweden seem agreed that the waters of the Baltic gradually sink in a regular proportion, which they have ventured to estimate at half an inch every year. Twenty centuries ago the flat country of Scandinavia must have been covered by the sea; while the high lands rose above the waters, as so many islands of various forms and dimensions. Such, indeed, is the notion given us by Mela, Pliny, and Tacitus, of the vast countries round the Baltic. ​ See in the Bibliotheque Raisonnee, tom. xl. and xlv. a large abstract of Dalin'​s History of Sweden, composed in the Swedish language.
 +
 +Note: Modern geologists have rejected this theory of the depression of the Baltic, as inconsistent with recent observation. ​ The considerable changes which have taken place on its shores, Mr. Lyell, from actual observation now decidedly attributes to the regular and uniform elevation of the land. - Lyell'​s Geology, b. ii. c. 17 - M.]
 +
 +Some ingenious writers ^2 have suspected that Europe was much colder formerly than it is at present; and the most ancient descriptions of the climate of Germany tend exceedingly to confirm their theory. ​ The general complaints of intense frost and eternal winter, are perhaps little to be regarded, since we have no method of reducing to the accurate standard of the thermometer,​ the feelings, or the expressions,​ of an orator born in the happier regions of Greece or Asia.  But I shall select two remarkable circumstances of a less equivocal nature. ​ 1. The great rivers which covered the Roman provinces, the Rhine and the Danube, were frequently frozen over, and capable of supporting the most enormous weights. ​ The barbarians, who often chose that severe season for their inroads, transported,​ without apprehension or danger, their numerous armies, their cavalry, and their heavy wagons, over a vast and solid bridge of ice. ^3 Modern ages have not presented an instance of a like phenomenon. 2. The reindeer, that useful animal, from whom the savage of the North derives the best comforts of his dreary life, is of a constitution that supports, and even requires, the most intense cold.  He is found on the rock of Spitzberg, within ten degrees of the Pole; he seems to delight in the snows of Lapland and Siberia: but at present he cannot subsist, much less multiply, in any country to the south of the Baltic. ^4 In the time of Caesar the reindeer, as well as the elk and the wild bull, was a native of the Hercynian forest, which then overshadowed a great part of Germany and Poland. ^5 The modern improvements sufficiently explain the causes of the diminution of the cold.  These immense woods have been gradually cleared, which intercepted from the earth the rays of the sun. ^6 The morasses have been drained, and, in proportion as the soil has been cultivated, the air has become more temperate. ​ Canada, at this day, is an exact picture of ancient Germany. ​ Although situated in the same parallel with the finest provinces of France and England, that country experiences the most rigorous cold.  The reindeer are very numerous, the ground is covered with deep and lasting snow, and the great river of St. Lawrence is regularly frozen, in a season when the waters of the Seine and the Thames are usually free from ice. ^7 [Footnote 2: In particular, Mr. Hume, the Abbe du Bos, and M. Pelloutier. Hist. des Celtes, tom. i.]
 +
 +[Footnote 3: Diodorus Siculus, l. v. p. 340, edit.  Wessel. Herodian, l. vi. p. 221.  Jornandes, c. 55.  On the banks of the Danube, the wine, when brought to table, was frequently frozen into great lumps, frusta vini.  Ovid. Epist. ex Ponto, l. iv. 7, 9, 10.  Virgil. Georgic. l. iii. 355.  The fact is confirmed by a soldier and a philosopher,​ who had experienced the intense cold of Thrace. ​ See Xenophon, Anabasis, l. vii. p. 560, edit. Hutchinson. Note: The Danube is constantly frozen over.  At Pesth the bridge is usually taken up, and the traffic and communication between the two banks carried on over the ice.  The Rhine is likewise in many parts passable at least two years out of five. Winter campaigns are so unusual, in modern warfare, that I recollect but one instance of an army crossing either river on the ice.  In the thirty years' war, (1635,) Jan van Werth, an Imperialist partisan, crossed the Rhine from Heidelberg on the ice with 5000 men, and surprised Spiers. ​ Pichegru'​s memorable campaign, (1794-5,) when the freezing of the Meuse and Waal opened Holland to his conquests, and his cavalry and artillery attacked the ships frozen in, on the Zuyder Zee, was in a winter of unprecedented severity. - M. 1845.]
 +
 +[Footnote 4: Buffon, Histoire Naturelle, tom. xii. p. 79, 116.] [Footnote 5: Caesar de Bell.  Gallic. vi. 23, &​c. ​ The most inquisitive of the Germans were ignorant of its utmost limits, although some of them had travelled in it more than sixty days' journey.
 +
 +Note: The passage of Caesar, "​parvis renonum tegumentis utuntur,"​ is obscure, observes Luden, (Geschichte des Teutschen Volkes,) and insufficient to prove the reindeer to have existed in Germany. ​ It is supported however, by a fragment of Sallust. Germani intectum rhenonibus corpus tegunt. - M.  It has been suggested to me that Caesar (as old Gesner supposed) meant the reindeer in the following description. ​ Est bos cervi figura cujus a media fronte inter aures unum cornu existit, excelsius magisque directum (divaricatum,​ qu ?) his quae nobis nota sunt cornibus. ​ At ejus summo, sicut palmae, rami quam late diffunduntur. ​ Bell. vi. - M. 1845.] [Footnote 6: Cluverius (Germania Antiqua, l. iii. c. 47) investigates the small and scattered remains of the Hercynian wood.]
 +
 +[Footnote 7: Charlevoix, Histoire du Canada.]
 +
 +It is difficult to ascertain, and easy to exaggerate, the influence of the climate of ancient Germany over the minds and bodies of the natives. Many writers have supposed, and most have allowed, though, as it should seem, without any adequate proof, that the rigorous cold of the North was favorable to long life and generative vigor, that the women were more fruitful, and the human species more prolific, than in warmer or more temperate climates. ^8 We may assert, with greater confidence, that the keen air of Germany formed the large and masculine limbs of the natives, who were, in general, of a more lofty stature than the people of the South, ^9 gave them a kind of strength better adapted to violent exertions than to patient labor, and inspired them with constitutional bravery, which is the result of nerves and spirits. ​ The severity of a winter campaign, that chilled the courage of the Roman troops, was scarcely felt by these hardy children of the North, ^10 who, in their turn, were unable to resist the summer heats, and dissolved away in languor and sickness under the beams of an Italian sun. ^11
 +
 +[Footnote 8: Olaus Rudbeck asserts that the Swedish women often bear ten or twelve children, and not uncommonly twenty or thirty; but the authority of Rudbeck is much to be suspected.]
 +
 +[Footnote 9: In hos artus, in haec corpora, quae miramur, excrescunt. ​ Taeit Germania, 3, 20.  Cluver. l. i. c. 14.]
 +
 +[Footnote 10: Plutarch. in Mario. ​ The Cimbri, by way of amusement, often did down mountains of snow on their broad shields.]
 +
 +[Footnote 11: The Romans made war in all climates, and by their excellent discipline were in a great measure preserved in health and vigor. ​ It may be remarked, that man is the only animal which can live and multiply in every country from the equator to the poles. ​ The hog seems to approach the nearest to our species in that privilege.]
 +
 +====== Chapter IX: State Of Germany Until The Barbarians. ====== ​
 +
 +===== Part II. =====
 +
 +There is not any where upon the globe a large tract of country, which we have discovered destitute of inhabitants,​ or whose first population can be fixed with any degree of historical certainty. ​ And yet, as the most philosophic minds can seldom refrain from investigating the infancy of great nations, our curiosity consumes itself in toilsome and disappointed efforts. When Tacitus considered the purity of the German blood, and the forbidding aspect of the country, he was disposed to pronounce those barbarians Indigence, or natives of the soil.  We may allow with safety, and perhaps with truth, that ancient Germany was not originally peopled by any foreign colonies already formed into a political society; ^12 but that the name and nation received their existence from the gradual union of some wandering savages of the Hercynian woods. ​ To assert those savages to have been the spontaneous production of the earth which they inhabited would be a rash inference, condemned by religion, and unwarranted by reason. [Footnote 12: Facit. Germ. c. 3.  The emigration of the Gauls followed the course of the Danube, and discharged itself on Greece and Asia.  Tacitus could discover only one inconsiderable tribe that retained any traces of a Gallic origin.
 +
 +Note: The Gothini, who must not be confounded with the Gothi, a Suevian tribe. ​ In the time of Caesar many other tribes of Gaulish origin dwelt along the course of the Danube, who could not long resist the attacks of the Suevi. The Helvetians, who dwelt on the borders of the Black Forest, between the Maine and the Danube, had been expelled long before the time of Caesar. ​ He mentions also the Volci Tectosagi, who came from Languedoc and settled round the Black Forest. ​ The Boii, who had penetrated into that forest, and also have left traces of their name in Bohemia, were subdued in the first century by the Marcomanni. The Boii settled in Noricum, were mingled afterwards with the Lombards, and received the name of Boio Arii (Bavaria) or Boiovarii: var, in some German dialects, appearing to mean remains, descendants. ​ Compare Malte B-m, Geography, vol. i. p. 410, edit 1832 - M.]
 +
 +Such rational doubt is but ill suited with the genius of popular vanity. Among the nations who have adopted the Mosaic history of the world, the ark of Noah has been of the same use, as was formerly to the Greeks and Romans the siege of Troy.  On a narrow basis of acknowledged truth, an immense but rude superstructure of fable has been erected; and the wild Irishman, ^13 as well as the wild Tartar, ^14 could point out the individual son of Japhet, from whose loins his ancestors were lineally descended. ​ The last century abounded with antiquarians of profound learning and easy faith, who, by the dim light of legends and traditions, of conjectures and etymologies,​ conducted the great grandchildren of Noah from the Tower of Babel to the extremities of the globe. ​ Of these judicious critics, one of the most entertaining was Oaus Rudbeck, professor in the university of Upsal. ^15 Whatever is celebrated either in history or fable, this zealous patriot ascribes to his country. ​ From Sweden (which formed so considerable a part of ancient Germany) the Greeks themselves derived their alphabetical characters, their astronomy, and their religion. ​ Of that delightful region (for such it appeared to the eyes of a native) the Atlantis of Plato, the country of the Hyperboreans,​ the gardens of the Hesperides, the Fortunate Islands, and even the Elysian Fields, were all but faint and imperfect transcripts. ​ A clime so profusely favored by Nature could not long remain desert after the flood. The learned Rudbeck allows the family of Noah a few years to multiply from eight to about twenty thousand persons. ​ He then disperses them into small colonies to replenish the earth, and to propagate the human species. ​ The German or Swedish detachment (which marched, if I am not mistaken, under the command of Askenaz, the son of Gomer, the son of Japhet) distinguished itself by a more than common diligence in the prosecution of this great work.  The northern hive cast its swarms over the greatest part of Europe, Africa, and Asia; and (to use the author'​s metaphor) the blood circulated from the extremities to the heart.
 +
 +[Footnote 13: According to Dr. Keating, (History of Ireland, p. 13, 14,) the giant Portholanus,​ who was the son of Seara, the son of Esra, the son of Sru, the son of Framant, the son of Fathaclan, the son of Magog, the son of Japhet, the son of Noah, landed on the coast of Munster the 14th day of May, in the year of the world one thousand nine hundred and seventy-eight. ​ Though he succeeded in his great enterprise, the loose behavior of his wife rendered his domestic life very unhappy, and provoked him to such a degree, that he killed - her favorite greyhound. ​ This, as the learned historian very properly observes, was the first instance of female falsehood and infidelity ever known in Ireland.]
 +
 +[Footnote 14: Genealogical History of the Tartars, by Abulghazi Bahadur Khan.]
 +
 +[Footnote 15: His work, entitled Atlantica, is uncommonly scarce. Bayle has given two most curious extracts from it.  Republique des Lettres Janvier et Fevrier, 1685.]
 +
 +But all this well-labored system of German antiquities is annihilated by a single fact, too well attested to admit of any doubt, and of too decisive a nature to leave room for any reply. The Germans, in the age of Tacitus, were unacquainted with the use of letters; ^16 and the use of letters is the principal circumstance that distinguishes a civilized people from a herd of savages incapable of knowledge or reflection. ​ Without that artificial help, the human memory soon dissipates or corrupts the ideas intrusted to her charge; and the nobler faculties of the mind, no longer supplied with models or with materials, gradually forget their powers; the judgment becomes feeble and lethargic, the imagination languid or irregular. ​ Fully to apprehend this important truth, let us attempt, in an improved society, to calculate the immense distance between the man of learning and the illiterate peasant. ​ The former, by reading and reflection, multiplies his own experience, and lives in distant ages and remote countries; whilst the latter, rooted to a single spot, and confined to a few years of existence, surpasses but very little his fellow-laborer,​ the ox, in the exercise of his mental faculties. ​ The same, and even a greater, difference will be found between nations than between individuals;​ and we may safely pronounce, that without some species of writing, no people has ever preserved the faithful annals of their history, ever made any considerable progress in the abstract sciences, or ever possessed, in any tolerable degree of perfection, the useful and agreeable arts of life.
 +
 +[Footnote 16: Tacit. Germ. ii. 19.  Literarum secreta viri pariter ac foeminae ignorant. ​ We may rest contented with this decisive authority, without entering into the obscure disputes concerning the antiquity of the Runic characters. ​ The learned Celsius, a Swede, a scholar, and a philosopher,​ was of opinion, that they were nothing more than the Roman letters, with the curves changed into straight lines for the ease of engraving. See Pelloutier, Histoire des Celtes, l. ii. c. 11.  Dictionnaire Diplomatique,​ tom. i. p. 223.  We may add, that the oldest Runic inscriptions are supposed to be of the third century, and the most ancient writer who mentions the Runic characters is Venan tius Frotunatus, (Carm. vii. 18,) who lived towards the end of the sixth century.
 +
 +Barbara fraxineis pingatur Runa tabellis.
 +
 +Note: The obscure subject of the Runic characters has exercised the industry and ingenuity of the modern scholars of the north. ​ There are three distinct theories; one, maintained by Schlozer, (Nordische Geschichte, p. 481, &c.,) who considers their sixteen letters to be a corruption of the Roman alphabet, post-Christian in their date, and Schlozer would attribute their introduction into the north to the Alemanni. ​ The second, that of Frederick Schlegel, (Vorlesungen uber alte und neue Literatur,) supposes that these characters were left on the coasts of the Mediterranean and Northern Seas by the Phoenicians,​ preserved by the priestly castes, and employed for purposes of magic. ​ Their common origin from the Phoenician would account for heir similarity to the Roman letters. ​ The last, to which we incline, claims much higher and more venerable antiquity for the Runic, and supposes them to have been the original characters of the Indo-Teutonic tribes, brought from the East, and preserved among the different races of that stock. ​ See Ueber Deutsche Runen von W. C. Grimm, 1821.  A Memoir by Dr. Legis. ​ Fundgruben des alten Nordens. ​ Foreign Quarterly Review vol. ix. p. 438. - M.] Of these arts, the ancient Germans were wretchedly destitute. ​ They passed their lives in a state of ignorance and poverty, which it has pleased some declaimers to dignify with the appellation of virtuous simplicity. Modern Germany is said to contain about two thousand three hundred walled towns. ^17 In a much wider extent of country, the geographer Ptolemy could discover no more than ninety places which he decorates with the name of cities; ^18 though, according to our ideas, they would but ill deserve that splendid title. ​ We can only suppose them to have been rude fortifications,​ constructed in the centre of the woods, and designed to secure the women, children, and cattle, whilst the warriors of the tribe marched out to repel a sudden invasion. ^19 But Tacitus asserts, as a well-known fact, that the Germans, in his time, had no cities; ^20 and that they affected to despise the works of Roman industry, as places of confinement rather than of security. ^21 Their edifices were not even contiguous, or formed into regular villas; ^22 each barbarian fixed his independent dwelling on the spot to which a plain, a wood, or a stream of fresh water, had induced him to give the preference. ​ Neither stone, nor brick, nor tiles, were employed in these slight habitations. ^23 They were indeed no more than low huts, of a circular figure, built of rough timber, thatched with straw, and pierced at the top to leave a free passage for the smoke. ​ In the most inclement winter, the hardy German was satisfied with a scanty garment made of the skin of some animal. The nations who dwelt towards the North clothed themselves in furs; and the women manufactured for their own use a coarse kind of linen. ^24 The game of various sorts, with which the forests of Germany were plentifully stocked, supplied its inhabitants with food and exercise. ^25 Their monstrous herds of cattle, less remarkable indeed for their beauty than for their utility, ^26 formed the principal object of their wealth. ​ A small quantity of corn was the only produce exacted from the earth; the use of orchards or artificial meadows was unknown to the Germans; nor can we expect any improvements in agriculture from a people, whose prosperity every year experienced a general change by a new division of the arable lands, and who, in that strange operation, avoided disputes, by suffering a great part of their territory to lie waste and without tillage. ^27
 +
 +[Footnote *: Luden (the author of the Geschichte des Teutschen Volkes) has surpassed most writers in his patriotic enthusiasm for the virtues and noble manners of his ancestors. ​ Even the cold of the climate, and the want of vines and fruit trees, as well as the barbarism of the inhabitants,​ are calumnies of the luxurious Italians. ​ M. Guizot, on the other side, (in his Histoire de la Civilisation,​ vol. i. p. 272, &c.,) has drawn a curious parallel between the Germans of Tacitus and the North American Indians. - M.] [Footnote 17: Recherches Philosophiques sur les Americains, tom. iii. p. 228. The author of that very curious work is, if I am not misinformed,​ a German by birth. ​ (De Pauw.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 18: The Alexandrian Geographer is often criticized by the accurate Cluverius.]
 +
 +[Footnote 19: See Caesar, and the learned Mr. Whitaker in his History of Manchester, vol. i.]
 +
 +[Footnote 20: Tacit. Germ. 15.]
 +
 +[Footnote 21: When the Germans commanded the Ubii of Cologne to cast off the Roman yoke, and with their new freedom to resume their ancient manners, they insisted on the immediate demolition of the walls of the colony. ​ "​Postulamus a vobis, muros coloniae, munimenta servitii, detrahatis; etiam fera animalia, si clausa teneas, virtutis obliviscuntur."​ Tacit. Hist. iv. 64.] [Footnote 22: The straggling villages of Silesia are several miles in length. See Cluver. l. i. c. 13.]
 +
 +[Footnote 23: One hundred and forty years after Tacitus, a few more regular structures were erected near the Rhine and Danube. Herodian, l. vii. p. 234.]
 +
 +[Footnote 24: Tacit. Germ. 17.]
 +
 +[Footnote 25: Tacit. Germ. 5.]
 +
 +[Footnote 26: Caesar de Bell.  Gall. vi. 21.]
 +
 +[Footnote 27: Tacit. Germ. 26.  Caesar, vi. 22.]
 +
 +Gold, silver, and iron, were extremely scarce in Germany. Its barbarous inhabitants wanted both skill and patience to investigate those rich veins of silver, which have so liberally rewarded the attention of the princes of Brunswick and Saxony. Sweden, which now supplies Europe with iron, was equally ignorant of its own riches; and the appearance of the arms of the Germans furnished a sufficient proof how little iron they were able to bestow on what they must have deemed the noblest use of that metal. ​ The various transactions of peace and war had introduced some Roman coins (chiefly silver) among the borderers of the Rhine and Danube; but the more distant tribes were absolutely unacquainted with the use of money, carried on their confined traffic by the exchange of commodities,​ and prized their rude earthen vessels as of equal value with the silver vases, the presents of Rome to their princes and ambassadors. ^28 To a mind capable of reflection, such leading facts convey more instruction,​ than a tedious detail of subordinate circumstances. The value of money has been settled by general consent to express our wants and our property, as letters were invented to express our ideas; and both these institutions,​ by giving a more active energy to the powers and passions of human nature, have contributed to multiply the objects they were designed to represent. ​ The use of gold and silver is in a great measure factitious; but it would be impossible to enumerate the important and various services which agriculture,​ and all the arts, have received from iron, when tempered and fashioned by the operation of fire, and the dexterous hand of man.  Money, in a word, is the most universal incitement, iron the most powerful instrument, of human industry; and it is very difficult to conceive by what means a people, neither actuated by the one, nor seconded by the other, could emerge from the grossest barbarism. ^29
 +
 +[Footnote 28: Tacit. Germ. 6.]
 +
 +[Footnote 29: It is said that the Mexicans and Peruvians, without the use of either money or iron, had made a very great progress in the arts.  Those arts, and the monuments they produced, have been strangely magnified. ​ See Recherches sur les Americains, tom. ii. p. 153, &c]
 +
 +If we contemplate a savage nation in any part of the globe, a supine indolence and a carelessness of futurity will be found to constitute their general character. ​ In a civilized state, every faculty of man is expanded and exercised; and the great chain of mutual dependence connects and embraces the several members of society. ​ The most numerous portion of it is employed in constant and useful labor. ​ The select few, placed by fortune above that necessity, can, however, fill up their time by the pursuits of interest or glory, by the improvement of their estate or of their understanding,​ by the duties, the pleasures, and even the follies of social life.  The Germans were not possessed of these varied resources. ​ The care of the house and family, the management of the land and cattle, were delegated to the old and the infirm, to women and slaves. ​ The lazy warrior, destitute of every art that might employ his leisure hours, consumed his days and nights in the animal gratifications of sleep and food.  And yet, by a wonderful diversity of nature, (according to the remark of a writer who had pierced into its darkest recesses,) the same barbarians are by turns the most indolent and the most restless of mankind. ​ They delight in sloth, they detest tranquility. ^30 The languid soul, oppressed with its own weight, anxiously required some new and powerful sensation; and war and danger were the only amusements adequate to its fierce temper. ​ The sound that summoned the German to arms was grateful to his ear.  It roused him from his uncomfortable lethargy, gave him an active pursuit, and, by strong exercise of the body, and violent emotions of the mind, restored him to a more lively sense of his existence. ​ In the dull intervals of peace, these barbarians were immoderately addicted to deep gaming and excessive drinking; both of which, by different means, the one by inflaming their passions, the other by extinguishing their reason, alike relieved them from the pain of thinking. ​ They gloried in passing whole days and nights at table; and the blood of friends and relations often stained their numerous and drunken assemblies. ^31 Their debts of honor (for in that light they have transmitted to us those of play) they discharged with the most romantic fidelity. The desperate gamester, who had staked his person and liberty on a last throw of the dice, patiently submitted to the decision of fortune, and suffered himself to be bound, chastised, and sold into remote slavery, by his weaker but more lucky antagonist. ^32
 +
 +[Footnote 30: Tacit. Germ. 15.]
 +
 +[Footnote 31: Tacit. Germ. 22, 23.]
 +
 +[Footnote 32: Id. 24.  The Germans might borrow the arts of play from the Romans, but the passion is wonderfully inherent in the human species.] ​     Strong beer, a liquor extracted with very little art from wheat or barley, and corrupted (as it is strongly expressed by Tacitus) into a certain semblance of wine, was sufficient for the gross purposes of German debauchery. ​ But those who had tasted the rich wines of Italy, and afterwards of Gaul, sighed for that more delicious species of intoxication. They attempted not, however, (as has since been executed with so much success,) to naturalize the vine on the banks of the Rhine and Danube; nor did they endeavor to procure by industry the materials of an advantageous commerce. To solicit by labor what might be ravished by arms, was esteemed unworthy of the German spirit. ^33 The intemperate thirst of strong liquors often urged the barbarians to invade the provinces on which art or nature had bestowed those much envied presents. ​ The Tuscan who betrayed his country to the Celtic nations, attracted them into Italy by the prospect of the rich fruits and delicious wines, the productions of a happier climate. ^34 And in the same manner the German auxiliaries,​ invited into France during the civil wars of the sixteenth century, were allured by the promise of plenteous quarters in the provinces of Champaigne and Burgundy. ^35 Drunkenness,​ the most illiberal, but not the most dangerous of our vices, was sometimes capable, in a less civilized state of mankind, of occasioning a battle, a war, or a revolution.
 +
 +[Footnote 33: Tacit. Germ. 14.]
 +
 +[Footnote 34: Plutarch. in Camillo. ​ T. Liv. v. 33.]
 +
 +[Footnote 35: Dubos. ​ Hist. de la Monarchie Francoise, tom. i. p. 193.] The climate of ancient Germany has been modified, and the soil fertilized, by the labor of ten centuries from the time of Charlemagne. ​ The same extent of ground which at present maintains, in ease and plenty, a million of husbandmen and artificers, was unable to supply a hundred thousand lazy warriors with the simple necessaries of life. ^36 The Germans abandoned their immense forests to the exercise of hunting, employed in pasturage the most considerable part of their lands, bestowed on the small remainder a rude and careless cultivation,​ and then accused the scantiness and sterility of a country that refused to maintain the multitude of its inhabitants. ​ When the return of famine severely admonished them of the importance of the arts, the national distress was sometimes alleviated by the emigration of a third, perhaps, or a fourth part of their youth. ^37 The possession and the enjoyment of property are the pledges which bind a civilized people to an improved country. ​ But the Germans, who carried with them what they most valued, their arms, their cattle, and their women, cheerfully abandoned the vast silence of their woods for the unbounded hopes of plunder and conquest. The innumerable swarms that issued, or seemed to issue, from the great storehouse of nations, were multiplied by the fears of the vanquished, and by the credulity of succeeding ages.  And from facts thus exaggerated,​ an opinion was gradually established,​ and has been supported by writers of distinguished reputation, that, in the age of Caesar and Tacitus, the inhabitants of the North were far more numerous than they are in our days. ^38 A more serious inquiry into the causes of population seems to have convinced modern philosophers of the falsehood, and indeed the impossibility,​ of the supposition. ​ To the names of Mariana and of Machiavel, ^39 we can oppose the equal names of Robertson and Hume. ^40
 +
 +[Footnote 36: The Helvetian nation, which issued from a country called Switzerland,​ contained, of every age and sex, 368,000 persons, (Caesar de Bell.  Gal. i. 29.) At present, the number of people in the Pays de Vaud (a small district on the banks of the Leman Lake, much more distinguished for politeness than for industry) amounts to 112,​591. ​ See an excellent tract of M. Muret, in the Memoires de la Societe de Born.]
 +
 +[Footnote 37: Paul Diaconus, c. 1, 2, 3.  Machiavel, Davila, and the rest of Paul's followers, represent these emigrations too much as regular and concerted measures.]
 +
 +[Footnote 38: Sir William Temple and Montesquieu have indulged, on this subject, the usual liveliness of their fancy.]
 +
 +[Footnote 39: Machiavel, Hist. di Firenze, l. i.  Mariana, Hist. Hispan. l. v. c. 1]
 +
 +[Footnote 40: Robertson'​s Charles V.  Hume's Political Essays. Note: It is a wise observation of Malthus, that these nations "were not populous in proportion to the land they occupied, but to the food they produced. ​ They were prolific from their pure morals and constitutions,​ but their institutions were not calculated to produce food for those whom they brought into being. - M - 1845.]
 +
 +A warlike nation like the Germans, without either cities, letters, arts, or money, found some compensation for this savage state in the enjoyment of liberty. ​ Their poverty secured their freedom, since our desires and our possessions are the strongest fetters of despotism. ​ "Among the Suiones (says Tacitus) riches are held in honor. ​ They are therefore subject to an absolute monarch, who, instead of intrusting his people with the free use of arms, as is practised in the rest of Germany, commits them to the safe custody, not of a citizen, or even of a freedman, but of a slave. ​ The neighbors of the Suiones, the Sitones, are sunk even below servitude; they obey a woman."​ ^41 In the mention of these exceptions, the great historian sufficiently acknowledges the general theory of government. ​ We are only at a loss to conceive by what means riches and despotism could penetrate into a remote corner of the North, and extinguish the generous flame that blazed with such fierceness on the frontier of the Roman provinces, or how the ancestors of those Danes and Norwegians, so distinguished in latter ages by their unconquered spirit, could thus tamely resign the great character of German liberty. ^42 Some tribes, however, on the coast of the Baltic, acknowledged the authority of kings, though without relinquishing the rights of men, ^43 but in the far greater part of Germany, the form of government was a democracy, tempered, indeed, and controlled, not so much by general and positive laws, as by the occasional ascendant of birth or valor, of eloquence or superstition. ^44
 +
 +[Footnote 41: Tacit. German. 44, 45.  Freinshemius (who dedicated his supplement to Livy to Christina of Sweden) thinks proper to be very angry with the Roman who expressed so very little reverence for Northern queens. Note: The Suiones and the Sitones are the ancient inhabitants of Scandinavia,​ their name may be traced in that of Sweden; they did not belong to the race of the Suevi, but that of the non-Suevi or Cimbri, whom the Suevi, in very remote times, drove back part to the west, part to the north; they were afterwards mingled with Suevian tribes, among others the Goths, who have traces of their name and power in the isle of Gothland. - G] [Footnote 42: May we not suspect that superstition was the parent of despotism? ​ The descendants of Odin, (whose race was not extinct till the year 1060) are said to have reigned in Sweden above a thousand years. ​ The temple of Upsal was the ancient seat of religion and empire. ​ In the year 1153 I find a singular law, prohibiting the use and profession of arms to any except the king's guards. ​ Is it not probable that it was colored by the pretence of reviving an old institution? ​ See Dalin'​s History of Sweden in the Bibliotheque Raisonneo tom. xl. and xlv.]
 +
 +[Footnote 43: Tacit. Germ. c. 43.]
 +
 +[Footnote 44: Id. c. 11, 12, 13, & c.]
 +
 +Civil governments,​ in their first institution,​ are voluntary associations for mutual defence. ​ To obtain the desired end, it is absolutely necessary that each individual should conceive himself obliged to submit his private opinions and actions to the judgment of the greater number of his associates. ​ The German tribes were contented with this rude but liberal outline of political society. ​ As soon as a youth, born of free parents, had attained the age of manhood, he was introduced into the general council of his countrymen, solemnly invested with a shield and spear, and adopted as an equal and worthy member of the military commonwealth. ​ The assembly of the warriors of the tribe was convened at stated seasons, or on sudden emergencies. ​ The trial of public offences, the election of magistrates,​ and the great business of peace and war, were determined by its independent voice. ​ Sometimes indeed, these important questions were previously considered and prepared in a more select council of the principal chieftains. ^45 The magistrates might deliberate and persuade, the people only could resolve and execute; and the resolutions of the Germans were for the most part hasty and violent. ​ Barbarians accustomed to place their freedom in gratifying the present passion, and their courage in overlooking all future consequences,​ turned away with indignant contempt from the remonstrances of justice and policy, and it was the practice to signify by a hollow murmur their dislike of such timid counsels. ​ But whenever a more popular orator proposed to vindicate the meanest citizen from either foreign or domestic injury, whenever he called upon his fellow-countrymen to assert the national honor, or to pursue some enterprise full of danger and glory, a loud clashing of shields and spears expressed the eager applause of the assembly. ​ For the Germans always met in arms, and it was constantly to be dreaded, lest an irregular multitude, inflamed with faction and strong liquors, should use those arms to enforce, as well as to declare, their furious resolves. ​ We may recollect how often the diets of Poland have been polluted with blood, and the more numerous party has been compelled to yield to the more violent and seditious. ^46
 +
 +[Footnote 45: Grotius changes an expression of Tacitus, pertractantur into Proetractantur. ​ The correction is equally just and ingenious.] [Footnote 46: Even in our ancient parliament, the barons often carried a question, not so much by the number of votes, as by that of their armed followers.]
 +
 +A general of the tribe was elected on occasions of danger; and, if the danger was pressing and extensive, several tribes concurred in the choice of the same general. ​ The bravest warrior was named to lead his countrymen into the field, by his example rather than by his commands. ​ But this power, however limited, was still invidious. ​ It expired with the war, and in time of peace the German tribes acknowledged not any supreme chief. ^47 Princes were, however, appointed, in the general assembly, to administer justice, or rather to compose differences,​ ^48 in their respective districts. ​ In the choice of these magistrates,​ as much regard was shown to birth as to merit. ^49 To each was assigned, by the public, a guard, and a council of a hundred persons, and the first of the princes appears to have enjoyed a preeminence of rank and honor which sometimes tempted the Romans to compliment him with the regal title. ^50
 +
 +[Footnote 47: Caesar de Bell.  Gal. vi. 23.]
 +
 +[Footnote 48: Minuunt controversias,​ is a very happy expression of Caesar'​s.] [Footnote 49: Reges ex nobilitate, duces ex virtute sumunt. Tacit Germ. 7] [Footnote 50: Cluver. Germ. Ant. l. i. c. 38.]
 +
 +The comparative view of the powers of the magistrates,​ in two remarkable instances, is alone sufficient to represent the whole system of German manners. ​ The disposal of the landed property within their district was absolutely vested in their hands, and they distributed it every year according to a new division. ^51 At the same time they were not authorized to punish with death, to imprison, or even to strike a private citizen. ^52 A people thus jealous of their persons, and careless of their possessions,​ must have been totally destitute of industry and the arts, but animated with a high sense of honor and independence.
 +
 +[Footnote 51: Caesar, vi. 22.  Tacit Germ. 26.]
 +
 +[Footnote 52: Tacit. Germ. 7.]
 +
 +====== Chapter IX: State Of Germany Until The Barbarians. ======
 +
 +===== Part III. =====
 +
 +The Germans respected only those duties which they imposed on themselves. ​ The most obscure soldier resisted with disdain the authority of the magistrates. ​ "The noblest youths blushed not to be numbered among the faithful companions of some renowned chief, to whom they devoted their arms and service. ​ A noble emulation prevailed among the companions, to obtain the first place in the esteem of their chief; amongst the chiefs, to acquire the greatest number of valiant companions. ​ To be ever surrounded by a band of select youths was the pride and strength of the chiefs, their ornament in peace, their defence in war. The glory of such distinguished heroes diffused itself beyond the narrow limits of their own tribe. ​ Presents and embassies solicited their friendship, and the fame of their arms often insured victory to the party which they espoused. ​ In the hour of danger it was shameful for the chief to be surpassed in valor by his companions; shameful for the companions not to equal the valor of their chief. ​ To survive his fall in battle, was indelible infamy. ​ To protect his person, and to adorn his glory with the trophies of their own exploits, were the most sacred of their duties. ​ The chiefs combated for victory, the companions for the chief. ​ The noblest warriors, whenever their native country was sunk into the laziness of peace, maintained their numerous bands in some distant scene of action, to exercise their restless spirit, and to acquire renown by voluntary dangers. Gifts worthy of soldiers - the warlike steed, the bloody and even victorious lance - were the rewards which the companions claimed from the liberality of their chief. ​ The rude plenty of his hospitable board was the only pay that he could bestow, or they would accept. ​ War, rapine, and the free-will offerings of his friends, supplied the materials of this munificence. ^53 This institution,​ however it might accidentally weaken the several republics, invigorated the general character of the Germans, and even ripened amongst them all the virtues of which barbarians are susceptible;​ the faith and valor, the hospitality and the courtesy, so conspicuous long afterwards in the ages of chivalry. The honorable gifts, bestowed by the chief on his brave companions, have been supposed, by an ingenious writer, to contain the first rudiments of the fiefs, distributed after the conquest of the Roman provinces, by the barbarian lords among their vassals, with a similar duty of homage and military service. ^54 These conditions are, however, very repugnant to the maxims of the ancient Germans, who delighted in mutual presents; but without either imposing, or accepting, the weight of obligations. ^55
 +
 +[Footnote 53: Tacit. Germ. 13, 14.]
 +
 +[Footnote 54: Esprit des Loix, l. xxx. c. 3.  The brilliant imagination of Montesquieu is corrected, however, by the dry, cold reason of the Abbe de Mably. ​ Observations sur l'​Histoire de France, tom. i. p. 356.] [Footnote 55: Gaudent muneribus, sed nec data imputant, nec acceptis obligautur. ​ Tacit. Germ. c. 21.]
 +
 +"In the days of chivalry, or more properly of romance, all the men were brave, and all the women were chaste;"​ and notwithstanding the latter of these virtues is acquired and preserved with much more difficulty than the former, it is ascribed, almost without exception, to the wives of the ancient Germans. ​ Polygamy was not in use, except among the princes, and among them only for the sake of multiplying their alliances. Divorces were prohibited by manners rather than by laws. Adulteries were punished as rare and inexpiable crimes; nor was seduction justified by example and fashion. ^56 We may easily discover that Tacitus indulges an honest pleasure in the contrast of barbarian virtue with the dissolute conduct of the Roman ladies; yet there are some striking circumstances that give an air of truth, or at least probability,​ to the conjugal faith and chastity of the Germans. [Footnote 56: The adulteress was whipped through the village. Neither wealth nor beauty could inspire compassion, or procure her a second husband. ​ 18, 19.]
 +
 +Although the progress of civilization has undoubtedly contributed to assuage the fiercer passions of human nature, it seems to have been less favorable to the virtue of chastity, whose most dangerous enemy is the softness of the mind.  The refinements of life corrupt while they polish the intercourse of the sexes. ​ The gross appetite of love becomes most dangerous when it is elevated, or rather, indeed, disguised by sentimental passion. The elegance of dress, of motion, and of manners, gives a lustre to beauty, and inflames the senses through the imagination. ​ Luxurious entertainments,​ midnight dances, and licentious spectacles, present at once temptation and opportunity to female frailty. ^57 From such dangers the unpolished wives of the barbarians were secured by poverty, solitude, and the painful cares of a domestic life.  The German huts, open, on every side, to the eye of indiscretion or jealousy, were a better safeguard of conjugal fidelity, than the walls, the bolts, and the eunuchs of a Persian haram. ​ To this reason another may be added, of a more honorable nature. ​ The Germans treated their women with esteem and confidence, consulted them on every occasion of importance, and fondly believed, that in their breasts resided a sanctity and wisdom more than human. ​ Some of the interpreters of fate, such as Velleda, in the Batavian war, governed, in the name of the deity, the fiercest nations of Germany. ^58 The rest of the sex, without being adored as goddesses, were respected as the free and equal companions of soldiers; associated even by the marriage ceremony to a life of toil, of danger, and of glory. ^59 In their great invasions, the camps of the barbarians were filled with a multitude of women, who remained firm and undaunted amidst the sound of arms, the various forms of destruction,​ and the honorable wounds of their sons and husbands. ^60 Fainting armies of Germans have, more than once, been driven back upon the enemy, by the generous despair of the women, who dreaded death much less than servitude. ​ If the day was irrecoverably lost, they well knew how to deliver themselves and their children, with their own hands, from an insulting victor. ^61 Heroines of such a cast may claim our admiration; but they were most assuredly neither lovely, nor very susceptible of love. Whilst they affected to emulate the stern virtues of man, they must have resigned that attractive softness, in which principally consist the charm and weakness of woman. ​ Conscious pride taught the German females to suppress every tender emotion that stood in competition with honor, and the first honor of the sex has ever been that of chastity. ​ The sentiments and conduct of these high-spirited matrons may, at once, be considered as a cause, as an effect, and as a proof of the general character of the nation. ​ Female courage, however it may be raised by fanaticism, or confirmed by habit, can be only a faint and imperfect imitation of the manly valor that distinguishes the age or country in which it may be found.
 +
 +[Footnote 57: Ovid employs two hundred lines in the research of places the most favorable to love.  Above all, he considers the theatre as the best adapted to collect the beauties of Rome, and to melt them into tenderness and sensuality,​]
 +
 +[Footnote 58: Tacit. Germ. iv. 61, 65.]
 +
 +[Footnote 59: The marriage present was a yoke of oxen, horses, and arms.  See Germ. c. 18.  Tacitus is somewhat too florid on the subject.] [Footnote 60: The change of exigere into exugere is a most excellent correction.]
 +
 +[Footnote 61: Tacit. Germ. c. 7.  Plutarch in Mario. ​ Before the wives of the Teutones destroyed themselves and their children, they had offered to surrender, on condition that they should be received as the slaves of the vestal virgins.] The religious system of the Germans (if the wild opinions of savages can deserve that name) was dictated by their wants, their fears, and their ignorance. ^62 They adored the great visible objects and agents of nature, the Sun and the Moon, the Fire and the Earth; together with those imaginary deities, who were supposed to preside over the most important occupations of human life.  They were persuaded, that, by some ridiculous arts of divination, they could discover the will of the superior beings, and that human sacrifices were the most precious and acceptable offering to their altars. ​ Some applause has been hastily bestowed on the sublime notion, entertained by that people, of the Deity, whom they neither confined within the walls of the temple, nor represented by any human figure; but when we recollect, that the Germans were unskilled in architecture,​ and totally unacquainted with the art of sculpture, we shall readily assign the true reason of a scruple, which arose not so much from a superiority of reason, as from a want of ingenuity. ​ The only temples in Germany were dark and ancient groves, consecrated by the reverence of succeeding generations. ​ Their secret gloom, the imagined residence of an invisible power, by presenting no distinct object of fear or worship, impressed the mind with a still deeper sense of religious horror; ^63 and the priests, rude and illiterate as they were, had been taught by experience the use of every artifice that could preserve and fortify impressions so well suited to their own interest. [Footnote 62: Tacitus has employed a few lines, and Cluverius one hundred and twenty-four pages, on this obscure subject. ​ The former discovers in Germany the gods of Greece and Rome.  The latter is positive, that, under the emblems of the sun, the moon, and the fire, his pious ancestors worshipped the Trinity in unity]
 +
 +[Footnote 63: The sacred wood, described with such sublime horror by Lucan, was in the neighborhood of Marseilles; but there were many of the same kind in Germany.
 +
 +Note: The ancient Germans had shapeless idols, and, when they began to build more settled habitations,​ they raised also temples, such as that to the goddess Teufana, who presided over divination. ​ See Adelung, Hist. of Ane Germans, p 296 - G]
 +
 +The same ignorance, which renders barbarians incapable of conceiving or embracing the useful restraints of laws, exposes them naked and unarmed to the blind terrors of superstition. ​ The German priests, improving this favorable temper of their countrymen, had assumed a jurisdiction even in temporal concerns, which the magistrate could not venture to exercise; and the haughty warrior patiently submitted to the lash of correction, when it was inflicted, not by any human power, but by the immediate order of the god of war. ^64 The defects of civil policy were sometimes supplied by the interposition of ecclesiastical authority. ​ The latter was constantly exerted to maintain silence and decency in the popular assemblies; and was sometimes extended to a more enlarged concern for the national welfare. ​ A solemn procession was occasionally celebrated in the present countries of Mecklenburgh and Pomerania. ​ The unknown symbol of the Earth, covered with a thick veil, was placed on a carriage drawn by cows; and in this manner the goddess, whose common residence was in the Isles of Rugen, visited several adjacent tribes of her worshippers. ​ During her progress the sound of war was hushed, quarrels were suspended, arms laid aside, and the restless Germans had an opportunity of tasting the blessings of peace and harmony. ^65 The truce of God, so often and so ineffectually proclaimed by the clergy of the eleventh century, was an obvious imitation of this ancient custom. ^66 [Footnote 64: Tacit. Germania, c. 7.]
 +
 +[Footnote 65: Tacit. Germania, c. 40.]
 +
 +[Footnote 66: See Dr. Robertson'​s History of Charles V. vol. i. note 10.] But the influence of religion was far more powerful to inflame, than to moderate, the fierce passions of the Germans. Interest and fanaticism often prompted its ministers to sanctify the most daring and the most unjust enterprises,​ by the approbation of Heaven, and full assurances of success. The consecrated standards, long revered in the groves of superstition,​ were placed in the front of the battle; ^67 and the hostile army was devoted with dire execrations to the gods of war and of thunder. ^68 In the faith of soldiers (and such were the Germans) cowardice is the most unpardonable of sins.  A brave man was the worthy favorite of their martial deities; the wretch who had lost his shield was alike banished from the religious and civil assemblies of his countrymen. ​ Some tribes of the north seem to have embraced the doctrine of transmigration,​ ^69 others imagined a gross paradise of immortal drunkenness. ^70 All agreed, that a life spent in arms, and a glorious death in battle, were the best preparations for a happy futurity, either in this or in another world.
 +
 +[Footnote 67: Tacit. Germania, c. 7.  These standards were only the heads of wild beasts.]
 +
 +[Footnote 68: See an instance of this custom, Tacit. Annal. xiii. 57.] [Footnote 69: Caesar Diodorus, and Lucan, seem to ascribe this doctrine to the Gauls, but M. Pelloutier (Histoire des Celtes, l. iii. c. 18) labors to reduce their expressions to a more orthodox sense.]
 +
 +[Footnote 70: Concerning this gross but alluring doctrine of the Edda, see Fable xx. in the curious version of that book, published by M. Mallet, in his Introduction to the History of Denmark.]
 +
 +The immortality so vainly promised by the priests, was, in some degree, conferred by the bards. ​ That singular order of men has most deservedly attracted the notice of all who have attempted to investigate the antiquities of the Celts, the Scandinavians,​ and the Germans. ​ Their genius and character, as well as the reverence paid to that important office, have been sufficiently illustrated. ​ But we cannot so easily express, or even conceive, the enthusiasm of arms and glory which they kindled in the breast of their audience. ​ Among a polished people, a taste for poetry is rather an amusement of the fancy, than a passion of the soul.  And yet, when in calm retirement we peruse the combats described by Homer or Tasso, we are insensibly seduced by the fiction, and feel a momentary glow of martial ardor. ​ But how faint, how cold is the sensation which a peaceful mind can receive from solitary study! ​ It was in the hour of battle, or in the feast of victory, that the bards celebrated the glory of the heroes of ancient days, the ancestors of those warlike chieftains, who listened with transport to their artless but animated strains. ​ The view of arms and of danger heightened the effect of the military song; and the passions which it tended to excite, the desire of fame, and the contempt of death, were the habitual sentiments of a German mind. ^71 ^*
 +
 +[Footnote 71: See Tacit. Germ. c. 3.  Diod. Sicul. l. v. Strabo, l. iv. p. 197.  The classical reader may remember the rank of Demodocus in the Phaeacian court, and the ardor infused by Tyrtaeus into the fainting Spartans. ​ Yet there is little probability that the Greeks and the Germans were the same people. Much learned trifling might be spared, if our antiquarians would condescend to reflect, that similar manners will naturally be produced by similar situations.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: Besides these battle songs, the Germans sang at their festival banquets, (Tac. Ann. i. 65,) and around the bodies of their slain heroes. King Theodoric, of the tribe of the Goths, killed in a battle against Attila, was honored by songs while he was borne from the field of battle. ​ Jornandes, c. 41.  The same honor was paid to the remains of Attila. ​ Ibid. c. 49. According to some historians, the Germans had songs also at their weddings; but this appears to me inconsistent with their customs, in which marriage was no more than the purchase of a wife.  Besides, there is but one instance of this, that of the Gothic king, Ataulph, who sang himself the nuptial hymn when he espoused Placidia, sister of the emperors Arcadius and Honorius, (Olympiodor. p. 8.) But this marriage was celebrated according to the Roman rites, of which the nuptial songs formed a part.  Adelung, p. 382. - G. Charlemagne is said to have collected the national songs of the ancient Germans. ​ Eginhard, Vit. Car. Mag. - M.]
 +
 +Such was the situation, and such were the manners of the ancient Germans. ​ Their climate, their want of learning, of arts, and of laws, their notions of honor, of gallantry, and of religion, their sense of freedom, impatience of peace, and thirst of enterprise, all contributed to form a people of military heroes. ​ And yet we find, that during more than two hundred and fifty years that elapsed from the defeat of Varus to the reign of Decius, these formidable barbarians made few considerable attempts, and not any material impression on the luxurious and enslaved provinces of the empire. ​ Their progress was checked by their want of arms and discipline, and their fury was diverted by the intestine divisions of ancient Germany. I.  It has been observed, with ingenuity, and not without truth, that the command of iron soon gives a nation the command of gold.  But the rude tribes of Germany, alike destitute of both those valuable metals, were reduced slowly to acquire, by their unassisted strength, the possession of the one as well as the other. ​ The face of a German army displayed their poverty of iron.  Swords, and the longer kind of lances, they could seldom use.  Their frameoe (as they called them in their own language) were long spears headed with a sharp but narrow iron point, and which, as occasion required, they either darted from a distance, or pushed in close onset. ​ With this spear, and with a shield, their cavalry was contented. ​ A multitude of darts, scattered ^72 with incredible force, were an additional resource of the infantry. ​ Their military dress, when they wore any, was nothing more than a loose mantle. ​ A variety of colors was the only ornament of their wooden or osier shields. ​ Few of the chiefs were distinguished by cuirasses, scarcely any by helmets. ​ Though the horses of Germany were neither beautiful, swift, nor practised in the skilful evolutions of the Roman manege, several of the nations obtained renown by their cavalry; but, in general, the principal strength of the Germans consisted in their infantry, ^73 which was drawn up in several deep columns, according to the distinction of tribes and families. ​ Impatient of fatigue and delay, these half-armed warriors rushed to battle with dissonant shouts and disordered ranks; and sometimes, by the effort of native valor, prevailed over the constrained and more artificial bravery of the Roman mercenaries. ​ But as the barbarians poured forth their whole souls on the first onset, they knew not how to rally or to retire. ​ A repulse was a sure defeat; and a defeat was most commonly total destruction. ​ When we recollect the complete armor of the Roman soldiers, their discipline, exercises, evolutions, fortified camps, and military engines, it appears a just matter of surprise, how the naked and unassisted valor of the barbarians could dare to encounter, in the field, the strength of the legions, and the various troops of the auxiliaries,​ which seconded their operations. ​ The contest was too unequal, till the introduction of luxury had enervated the vigor, and a spirit of disobedience and sedition had relaxed the discipline, of the Roman armies. ​ The introduction of barbarian auxiliaries into those armies, was a measure attended with very obvious dangers, as it might gradually instruct the Germans in the arts of war and of policy. ​ Although they were admitted in small numbers and with the strictest precaution, the example of Civilis was proper to convince the Romans, that the danger was not imaginary, and that their precautions were not always sufficient. ^74 During the civil wars that followed the death of Nero, that artful and intrepid Batavian, whom his enemies condescended to compare with Hannibal and Sertorius, ^75 formed a great design of freedom and ambition. ​ Eight Batavian cohorts renowned in the wars of Britain and Italy, repaired to his standard. ​ He introduced an army of Germans into Gaul, prevailed on the powerful cities of Treves and Langres to embrace his cause, defeated the legions, destroyed their fortified camps, and employed against the Romans the military knowledge which he had acquired in their service. ​ When at length, after an obstinate struggle, he yielded to the power of the empire, Civilis secured himself and his country by an honorable treaty. The Batavians still continued to occupy the islands of the Rhine, ^76 the allies, not the servants, of the Roman monarchy. [Footnote 72: Missilia spargunt, Tacit. Germ. c. 6.  Either that historian used a vague expression, or he meant that they were thrown at random.] [Footnote 73: It was their principal distinction from the Sarmatians, who generally fought on horseback.]
 +
 +[Footnote 74: The relation of this enterprise occupies a great part of the fourth and fifth books of the History of Tacitus, and is more remarkable for its eloquence than perspicuity. ​ Sir Henry Saville has observed several inaccuracies.]
 +
 +[Footnote 75: Tacit. Hist. iv. 13.  Like them he had lost an eye.] [Footnote 76: It was contained between the two branches of the old Rhine, as they subsisted before the face of the country was changed by art and nature. See Cluver German. Antiq. l. iii. c. 30, 37.]
 +
 +II.  The strength of ancient Germany appears formidable, when we consider the effects that might have been produced by its united effort. ​ The wide extent of country might very possibly contain a million of warriors, as all who were of age to bear arms were of a temper to use them.  But this fierce multitude, incapable of concerting or executing any plan of national greatness, was agitated by various and often hostile intentions. Germany was divided into more than forty independent states; and, even in each state, the union of the several tribes was extremely loose and precarious. ​ The barbarians were easily provoked; they knew not how to forgive an injury, much less an insult; their resentments were bloody and implacable. ​ The casual disputes that so frequently happened in their tumultuous parties of hunting or drinking, were sufficient to inflame the minds of whole nations; the private feuds of any considerable chieftains diffused itself among their followers and allies. ​ To chastise the insolent, or to plunder the defenceless,​ were alike causes of war.  The most formidable states of Germany affected to encompass their territories with a wide frontier of solitude and devastation. The awful distance preserved by their neighbors attested the terror of their arms, and in some measure defended them from the danger of unexpected incursions. ^77
 +
 +[Footnote 77: Caesar de Bell. Gal. l. vi. 23.]
 +
 +"The Bructeri ^* (it is Tacitus who now speaks) were totally exterminated by the neighboring tribes, ^78 provoked by their insolence, allured by the hopes of spoil, and perhaps inspired by the tutelar deities of the empire. ​ Above sixty thousand barbarians were destroyed; not by the Roman arms, but in our sight, and for our entertainment. ​ May the nations, enemies of Rome, ever preserve this enmity to each other! ​ We have now attained the utmost verge of prosperity, ^79 and have nothing left to demand of fortune, except the discord of the barbarians."​ ^80 - These sentiments, less worthy of the humanity than of the patriotism of Tacitus, express the invariable maxims of the policy of his countrymen. ​ They deemed it a much safer expedient to divide than to combat the barbarians, from whose defeat they could derive neither honor nor advantage. ​ The money and negotiations of Rome insinuated themselves into the heart of Germany; and every art of seduction was used with dignity, to conciliate those nations whom their proximity to the Rhine or Danube might render the most useful friends as well as the most troublesome enemies. ​ Chiefs of renown and power were flattered by the most trifling presents, which they received either as marks of distinction,​ or as the instruments of luxury. ​ In civil dissensions the weaker faction endeavored to strengthen its interest by entering into secret connections with the governors of the frontier provinces. ​ Every quarrel among the Germans was fomented by the intrigues of Rome; and every plan of union and public good was defeated by the stronger bias of private jealousy and interest. ^81
 +
 +[Footnote *: The Bructeri were a non-Suevian tribe, who dwelt below the duchies of Oldenburgh, and Lauenburgh, on the borders of the Lippe, and in the Hartz Mountains. ​ It was among them that the priestess Velleda obtained her renown. - G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 78: They are mentioned, however, in the ivth and vth centuries by Nazarius, Ammianus, Claudian, &c., as a tribe of Franks. ​ See Cluver. ​ Germ. Antiq. l. iii. c. 13.] [Footnote 79: Urgentibus is the common reading; but good sense, Lipsius, and some Mss. declare for Vergentibus.]
 +
 +[Footnote 80: Tacit Germania, c. 33.  The pious Abbe de la Bleterie is very angry with Tacitus, talks of the devil, who was a murderer from the beginning, &c., &c.]
 +
 +[Footnote 81: Many traces of this policy may be discovered in Tacitus and Dion: and many more may be inferred from the principles of human nature.] The general conspiracy which terrified the Romans under the reign of Marcus Antoninus, comprehended almost all the nations of Germany, and even Sarmatia, from the mouth of the Rhine to that of the Danube. ^82 It is impossible for us to determine whether this hasty confederation was formed by necessity, by reason, or by passion; but we may rest assured, that the barbarians were neither allured by the indolence, nor provoked by the ambition, of the Roman monarch. ​ This dangerous invasion required all the firmness and vigilance of Marcus. ​ He fixed generals of ability in the several stations of attack, and assumed in person the conduct of the most important province on the Upper Danube. After a long and doubtful conflict, the spirit of the barbarians was subdued. ​ The Quadi and the Marcomanni, ^83 who had taken the lead in the war, were the most severely punished in its catastrophe. ​ They were commanded to retire five miles ^84 from their own banks of the Danube, and to deliver up the flower of the youth, who were immediately sent into Britain, a remote island, where they might be secure as hostages, and useful as soldiers. ^85 On the frequent rebellions of the Quadi and Marcomanni, the irritated emperor resolved to reduce their country into the form of a province. ​ His designs were disappointed by death. ​ This formidable league, however, the only one that appears in the two first centuries of the Imperial history, was entirely dissipated, without leaving any traces behind in Germany.
 +
 +[Footnote 82: Hist. Aug. p. 31.  Ammian. Marcellin. l. xxxi. c. 5.  Aurel. Victor. ​ The emperor Marcus was reduced to sell the rich furniture of the palace, and to enlist slaves and robbers.]
 +
 +[Footnote 83: The Marcomanni, a colony, who, from the banks of the Rhine occupied Bohemia and Moravia, had once erected a great and formidable monarchy under their king Maroboduus. ​ See Strabo, l. vii. [p. 290.] Vell. Pat. ii. 108.  Tacit. Annal. ii. 63.
 +
 +Note: The Mark-manaen,​ the March-men or borderers. ​ There seems little doubt that this was an appellation,​ rather than a proper name of a part of the great Suevian or Teutonic race. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 84: Mr. Wotton (History of Rome, p. 166) increases the prohibition to ten times the distance. ​ His reasoning is specious, but not conclusive. Five miles were sufficient for a fortified barrier.]
 +
 +[Footnote 85: Dion, l. lxxi. and lxxii.]
 +
 +In the course of this introductory chapter, we have confined ourselves to the general outlines of the manners of Germany, without attempting to describe or to distinguish the various tribes which filled that great country in the time of Caesar, of Tacitus, or of Ptolemy. ​ As the ancient, or as new tribes successively present themselves in the series of this history, we shall concisely mention their origin, their situation, and their particular character. ​ Modern nations are fixed and permanent societies, connected among themselves by laws and government, bound to their native soil by arts and agriculture. ​ The German tribes were voluntary and fluctuating associations of soldiers, almost of savages. ​ The same territory often changed its inhabitants in the tide of conquest and emigration. ​ The same communities,​ uniting in a plan of defence or invasion, bestowed a new title on their new confederacy. ​ The dissolution of an ancient confederacy restored to the independent tribes their peculiar but long-forgotten appellation. ​ A victorious state often communicated its own name to a vanquished people. Sometimes crowds of volunteers flocked from all parts to the standard of a favorite leader; his camp became their country, and some circumstance of the enterprise soon gave a common denomination to the mixed multitude. ​ The distinctions of the ferocious invaders were perpetually varied by themselves, and confounded by the astonished subjects of the Roman empire. ^86 [Footnote 86: See an excellent dissertation on the origin and migrations of nations, in the Memoires de l'​Academie des Inscriptions,​ tom. xviii. p. 48 - 71.  It is seldom that the antiquarian and the philosopher are so happily blended.]
 +
 +Wars, and the administration of public affairs, are the principal subjects of history; but the number of persons interested in these busy scenes is very different, according to the different condition of mankind. In great monarchies, millions of obedient subjects pursue their useful occupations in peace and obscurity. ​ The attention of the writer, as well as of the reader, is solely confined to a court, a capital, a regular army, and the districts which happen to be the occasional scene of military operations. But a state of freedom and barbarism, the season of civil commotions, or the situation of petty republics, ^87 raises almost every member of the community into action, and consequently into notice. ​ The irregular divisions, and the restless motions, of the people of Germany, dazzle our imagination,​ and seem to multiply their numbers. ​ The profuse enumeration of kings, of warriors, of armies and nations, inclines us to forget that the same objects are continually repeated under a variety of appellations,​ and that the most splendid appellations have been frequently lavished on the most inconsiderable objects.
 +
 +[Footnote 87: Should we suspect that Athens contained only 21,000 citizens, and Sparta no more than 39,​000? ​ See Hume and Wallace on the number of mankind in ancient and modern times.
 +
 +Note: This number, though too positively stated, is probably not far wrong, as an average estimate. ​ On the subject of Athenian population, see St. Croix, Acad. des Inscrip. xlviii. Boeckh, Public Economy of Athens, i. 47. Eng Trans, Fynes Clinton, Fasti Hellenici, vol. i. p. 381.  The latter author estimates the citizens of Sparta at 33,000 - M.]
  
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