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the son and successor of Decias, was denced by their total neglect of the to relieve bimself as quickly as possi- security of their vessels, which were ble of the victors, ; and having yielded sunk or dispersed by the brave Dixipto them all they required, the Goths pus, who, having witnessed the sack of returned well satisfied to their settle. Athens with a bleeding heart, secured ments in the Ukraine, A.D. 251. the assistance of the engineer Cleoda
As it is not our intention to record mus, and, in some measure, avenged Gothic history any farther than it is the sufferings of his country. connected with the train of events The indolent Gallienus, who at this which brought about the “Origin of period occupied the throne, reluctantly the Russians," we will only remark (in leaving his palace and his pleasures, at faintly tracing their movements during last led the Roman army to oppose the a long interval), that the sixty miles ravagers, and the Goths became sud. from the banks of the Borysthenes to denly aware of the extent of their the isthmus now called Perekop, was danger, while they perceived their faeasily passed, and the Goths having tal disregard of the means of retreat. driven out the Alani, * overran and The disorganised multitude emlong possessed Taurica Chersonesus. braced the basty resolution of break.
Either by open force or secret ing into Mesia, and forcing their way treachery they seized Ponticapæum over the Danube into their distant set(now Kertsch), and once the capital of tlements in the Ukraine ; while the Mithridates, situated on the Cim- jealousies, the divisions, and the consemerian Bosphorus; and this advan- quent procrastination of the Imperial tage giving them the possession of commanders, alone permitted the sucships, their adventurous ardour was cess of the desperate attempt. excited by the prospect of the spoils During the long interval from the of the opulent shores of Asia.
commencement of the Dioclesian era, The daring voyagers passed the A.D. 284, until the empire was finally Circassian coast, and accomplishing a divided into east and west, between sweep of three hundred miles, the Valentinian and Valens, in 364, five riches and captives of the luxurious Roman Emperors had succeeded to, Trebizond encumbered their flat-bot- and sunk under the weight of, the diatomed boats.
until Constantine united under Impatient of the limits of the Eux. his single sceptre the far separated ine, they steered through the Thracian limits of the Roman world. Bosphorus, until they floated in the The venerable city of Augustus saw, waters of Propontis, and following with grief and indignation, the seat of their winding way through the
Helles- government transferred from the hills pont and the islands of the Ægæum, of the Tiber to the shores of the
as pos. Piræus.
beheld their newly-erected habitations Neither enervated Athens nor de- reflected in the waters of the Golden generate Sparta could throw before Horn. their sacred precincts one remnant of The Gotl had long respected the the valour of Miltiades, or the devo- sceptre of the great Constantine, whose tion of Leonidas; nor could Corinth, power they had experienced, and by Thebes, or Argos, defend their crum- whose liberality they had benefited, bling walls. The spirits of the heroes and under him and his successors they of Marathon and Thermopylæ might had extended their dominions, while sigh upon the blast, as the groves of scrupulously regarding the Roman Academus, still breathing the pre- limits. cepts of Socrates and Plato, were pro- At this period, the aged Hermanefaned by barbarian shouts, and no ric, King of the Ostrogoths, and the Spartan fortification to encircle the noblest descendant of the heroic Amadevoted cities could be formed from la, had compelled the nations deriving, their pusillanimous sons.
from a common stock to acknowledge A general conflagration blazed over him as their sovereign ; the chiefs of Greece from Attica to Epirus; but the the Visigoths relinquished the royal recklessness of barbarians was evi- dignity, and governed under him with
* Reuilly, p. 85.
the modest appellation of judges;" banners of Vouti, they harassed the while the Gepidæ submitted to his au- vanquished Huns, who retained in thority, and the success of his arms re- their reverses the unconquerable spirit duced all the Sclavonian, and many of of their ancestors, and the free shepBurgundian and Vandal tribes, under herds of the North resolved to seek a rehis supreme control. His dominions mote settlement in the western world, extended from the Danube to the Bal. beyond the reach of these unceasing tic, comprising the ancient seats and persecutions. subsequent acquisitions of his people ; The formidable exiles were soon while the Romans viewed with compla- åcross the mountains of Imaus; but cency the progress of a power which still pressed by the vindictive Siempi, they never imagined could be dangers during a progress of three thousand ous to their invincible name.
miles, it is probable their eonstant apHowever necessary are the convul- prehension of the same power impelled sions of the world to the accomplish- them on the frontier of Europe. ment of the decrees of Heaven, the After a tedious and protracted emiphilosopher will pause with satisfaction gration, the increased multitude of the on a period, when mankind seemed to Huns, with their flocks and herds, suspend contention, and to rest, as if their dependants and allies, colleeted by tacit consent, from mutual destruc- by the way, passed the Volga A.D. 370, tion, for at the time to which we now and boldly advanced into a strange allude, the clash of arms for a while conntry, where the tents of the Alani subsided along the frontiers of the em- and painted Agathyrsi covered the pire.
plains between the Volga and the But this repose was at length rudely Tanais. disturbed by a tempest sweeping from A collision was inevitable ; but the the north, until it fell with fary, in its impossibility of retreat rendered the southward course, upon the Gothie Huns invincible, the King of the Alani nation, precipitating it over the Impe was slain, and the greater part of his rial boundaries. +57 cinta
nation embracing the offer of union * This was the first appearance of the with the victors, the accumulated torHuns from the vast wilds on the north rent rolled southwards on the devoted of the great wall of China, to which Goths. empire they bad, under their fierce Hermaneric vigorously prepared to Tanjous, been often formidable ; and meet the shock with the entire force of previous to the Christian era, their his extended dominions; but he also conquests had extended to the Corea was soon fatally convineed how frail is and
the Japanese sea on the east, and the bond which unites conquered and to the head of the Irtish, the valleys of unwilling nations to the iron hand of Imaus and ancient Bulgaria, on the power. The oppressed Sclavonians west.
discovered more anxiety to assist than China was oppressed by their depre. to repel the invaders ; and the Roxodations and exactions, until Vouti, the lani especially, burning with rage at fifth in descent in the powerful dynasty indignities inflicted on the wife of one of «Han," instead of the timid and of their chiefs, fled to the Huns, after defensive policy of his predecessors, the brothers of the unfortunate princess boldly surprised the camp of the Huns, bad pierced Hermaneric with their in the midst of sleep and intemperance, daggers. and though the Tanjou bravely cut his We before particularly noted the way through the enemy, the bodies of “Roxolani,” as originally encountered fifteen thousand of his best warriors by the Goths, with whose fortunes they attested the severity of his defeat. remained connected, and we now find
Among the most prominent of his this obscure tribe of the great stock of vassal hordes who immediately dis- the Sclavi aiding the Huns, and we claimed his authority,
were the Siempi,* shall endeavour to explain the powers a tribe of oriental Tartars, and who ful causes which forced them from were soon pre-eminent in revenging amid the stormy convulsions of the the cruelties they had formerly en northern provinces of the empire, undured. Placing themselves under the til we shall discover them, under their
* De Guignes' “ History of tbe Huns," i., p. 189.
Grecian appellation, "the 'Pas," seated, brose triumphed the fiery and eager A.D. 860,* near the northern shore of disputants seemed equally forgetful of Lake Ilmen.
the paternal hand that swayed the The majority of the Sclavonians sceptre, under which they enjoyed the joined in the revolt referred to, pro- blessings of leisure and security for the curing for themselves thereby only a fierce disquisitions and subtle intricachange of tyrants, the Goths yielded eies of theological contention. to their fate, and the royal line of the But in every age of the world bas Amali might afterwards be found mankind appeared insensible to preamong the descendants of the haughty sent advantages, until the eternal proAttila.
gress of change may prove the stern The routed and flying subjects of contrast of altered circumstances, and Hernaneric gladly placed themselves compel, when too late, a just appreunder the judge of the Visigoths, who ciation of the past. The Roman Emhad escaped the slaughter, and who pire was a striking illustration of this bad wisely resolved on fortifying the after the month of January, 395, for mountains between the Danube and before the end of the winter its subthe Pruth; and would have secured jects were made fully aware how great southern Dacia (now Wallachia), but had been their obligations to the dethe terrified crowd could feel no safety ceased Theodosius. north of the latter river, and their am- The tranquillity which his power had bassadors fell prostrate in the dust, enforced, and his ability preserved, while imploring
the gracious permission was speedily disturbed by the trumpet of Valens, then Emperor of the East, of the famous Alaric, of the noble line to pass into the empire, and cultivate of the Baltha" or “ the Bold," which the waste lands of Thrace, under the yielded only to the royal dignity of the protection of the Roman government. Amali ; and the Goths, deserting the 5. Valens heard, with astonishment wearisome pursuits of industry at the and alarm, the account of a race of sound, joyfully flocked to the standard savages, differing from the rest of the bu- of that artful and intrepid leader. man species by their fat noses, sunken Greece was again devastated from eyes, and faces destitute of beard, the Ionian to the Ægæan shore, and and whose misshapen bodies the hatred the fair plains of Italy were indented of the Goths represented as the off- with the deep and bloody traces of spring of witches and evil demons. their march. Twice was the eternal The Imperial prefects and generals city invested by their arms. Eleven also were not ashamed, in their panic, hundred and sixty years after its founto disgrace their decorations by second- dation was it given over to their fury, ing the petition of the Goths; and to and the suppliant senate received & extol the fortune which prepared a vassal king, at the dictation of the suppliant and hitherto valiant nation, haughty barbarian, before the stern as a defence to the throne of Valens, grief of the Gothic warriors turned against the savage hordes of the north. aside the waters of the Busentinus, and The prayer of the Goths was granted; & grave being opened in its bed by a orders were immediately directed to doomed band of captives, the body of the military governors to permit their Alaric was there deposited amid untold free ingress to the provinces, and from treasures. The river was then let back that fatal hour, renouncing the preca- into its course, and the unhappy excarious condition of aliens, they asserted vators of the sepulchre preserved the their rights, as possessors of land, citi- secret of the exact locality in the silence zens, and Imperial soldiers, nor ever of death. receded until a descendant of Amala During this period the Huns, weawas seated on the throne of Italy. ried with their long wanderings, were
The reign of the great Theodosius, satisfied with the Ukraine, and the to which we next pass on, is more ce- broad country to the confines of Dacia lebrated for polemical contests than (from which they had expelled the barbaric victories; for, while Arianism Goths), until the whole north of Eudecayed and the Emperor was baptized rope becoming, at last, inadequate to -while Priscillian suffered and Am- their growing power and prosperity,
* D'Anville, "Empire de Rassie," pp. 1-10.
they were thoroughly aroused by the Italy, and the Visigoths having already tiger-spirit of Attila, when Sclavonians, penetrated into the western peninsula, Goths, and Romans were overwhelmed the passes of the Danube were left open in one common oppression beneath the to the first invader. destructive course of that ferocious The Gepidæ speedily transported devastator.
themselves from the opposite bank of How strange the reflection, that, the river, and occupying the deserted after the revolution of sixteen centu. settlements of their ancient kinsmen, ries, the descendants of a tribe of these erected their standards on the walls of very Sclavonians should be as discon- Sirmium and Belgrade. The apology tented with this self-same space, and of “ the loiterers " was ironical and in. little less eager for aggression, plun- sulting for their self-authorised locader, and blood.
tion; they pleaded that “the domi. Attila, the son of Mundzuck, collect- nions of Cæsar were so extensive, he ed a tribute of furs from the nations willingly relinquished those useless inbabiting almost to the Northern possessions, and his faithful allies had Ocean, while it would be impossible anticipated his gifts, and shown a just to define the limits of his dominions confidence in his bounty." The indigtowards the East. During his life- nation of the Emperor was natural and time, neither the leader of the Ostro- deserved ; but the mode of his revenge goths, nor the chief of the Gepidæ, was the artifice of a weak and vindicimagined a revolt against the great tive mind, more injurious in its effects, conqueror, whose imperious message as is ever the case, to the punisher could remind the Roman monarch tbat than the punished. “he was his neighbour both in Europe Justinian's course was this: He and Asia, as he touched the Danube adopted the fatal expedient of opwith one hand, while he stretched the posing an equally dangerous influence other over the Volga ;” and the Em- to that of the insolent invaders, and peror was made to understand the re- he invited the Longobards, a people sult of this terrible proximity, when of the Vandals, into the empire, to seven hundred thousand barbarians, check the rising power of the Gepidæ. laden with spoil, retreated from the The Longobards strictly performed prostrate and depopulated empire. their contract, and the enraged Gepi
The same immutable laws, however, dæ gratified their revenge by inciting which forbid the perpetual enjoyment the Sclavonian tribes to carry their of good, also mercifully put a period depredations to the very walls of the to the continuance of evil, and the Imperial city. world slowly resuscitated on the dis- But a more savage element was at appearance of the scourge of God.” this juncture infused'into those fierce Among the nations who asserted their contentions by the sudden appearance independence after the death of Attila, of the Avars, whose formidable alli. the Ostrogoths first usurped Pannonia ance with the Longobards was to prove and Noricum; the Visigoths moved the final destruction of the Gepidæ. farther to the west: while on the op
And with the arrival of a strange posite side of the Danube, the plains and uncouth race, whose name was now called Upper Hungary, and the hitherto unknown in the Roman world, Transylvanian hills, were possessed by we may contemplate one of those wonthe Gepidæ.
derful coincidences, which are ever The fifty years immediately succeed- destined by an unsearchable power to ing the downfall of the Western Em- work together for the accomplishment pire, and the occupation of Italy by of future events. The very first movethe Goths, have been better rescued ments of a newborn nation, that was from oblivion by the monarchs of that yet to overwhelm the Empire of the people, than by the names of three in- East, and to possess the city of Consignificant emperors of the East, until stantine, forcibly impelled the Avars A.D. 527, when commenced the long from the deserts beyond the Volga, to reign of Justinian, so memorable for be the immediate cause of the northern the success, the renown, and the mis. flight of the Sclavonians, and the first fortunes of Belisarius. The victories development of Rnssian power. of the Imperial general soon compelled The sides of the Altai mountains, the Ostrogoths to withdraw from Pan. often termed the girdle of the earth, ponia and Noricum for the defence of and which mark the centre of Asia,
have ever abounded in minerals, and avoided the prediction, that " when there the Turks (or rather a captive they shut themselves up within the walls portion of the Turcomans, from be- of cities, their destruction would be intween the Caspian and the Aral Seas), evitable;" and the annual, though now the most oppressed slaves of the great forgotten, ceremony of the prince and Khan of Geougen, formed weapons of the nobles hammering the red iron on war in glowing and subterranean the anvil, attested their pride in their forges. From the same mines,* in humble origin. striking connexion with the first coinci- In the career of their first conquests dence, has the industry of their impla- they fell upon the Avars, who dwelt cable enemies, the Russians, been long along the dark waters of the Tula, and employed in extracting iron for their the body of the Chagan of that nation destruction.
and three hundred thousand of his subIt is beyond our province to specu- jects, covered the space of a journey of late on the future, but the mind irre- four days. sistibly ponders on the mysterious The survivors of the Avars followed combination of circumstances by which the course of the Volga in their flight, the obscure origin of the Ottomans and after a wearisome march, conwas instrumental in producing the in- stantly pursued and distressed by the significant beginning of their northern Turkish cavalry, they reached the foot foe, whose power was to expand, until of Mount Caucasus, where they first the Russian should possess the cradle heard the name of the Roman empire. of the Turk, and who, gradually fol- At the humble request of the outlowing in his early steps, should at last casts, the Governor of Lazica perstalk before him, with menacing as- mitted their ambassadors to cross the pect, as the predictor of his dissolution, Euxine to Constantinople; and the and the hungry expectant of his domi- curiosity of the luxurious citizens was nions.
excited, and their imaginations terDuring their long servitude under rified, at the sight of new barbarians, the Geougen, the numbers of the Turks whose bair, bound with many-coloured bad become formidable, from the con. strings, hung in long tresses to their tempt or indifference of their tyrants, heels, and whose wild and flashing and it needed but the voice of decision eyes gazed with equal wonder at the and daring to remind them that mus- babitations of civilised man. cular arms, habituated to the ponder- The aged Emperor was anxious to ous bammer, might fatally wield the behold such unknown beings; and on blades they were tempering for the admission to his presence, Candish, service of the great Khan.
their chief, extolled the invincible vaBertezena spoke the bold words in lour of the Avars, who, “having heard their ears, the scimitars flashed in their of the splendour of his liberality, had swarthy hands, the Turks sallied from come to offer bim their services, and the mountain of Ir-ganakon, and a to vanquish and destroy all the ene. bloody battle almost exterminated the mies that disturbed his repose." The nation of the Geougen. A sceptre
feeble-minded Justinian at once conwas the reward of the intrepid leader, ceived he had found a ready and forand while the emancipated Turks swept tunate means of distracting and curbover and subdued the north, the royal ing, in their turn, the licentiousness of encampment was seldom out of sight bis late allies the Longobards; he asof the forges of their fathers.
sured the Avars of his friendship and Seated on his rude throne, in a val- of speedy employment, while the ser. ley of the Golden Mountain, the proud vile senate submitted to this mistaken successor of Bertezena, with a power policy. Thus
these fugitives, who had that might seem fabulous to the effe.
fled from the Turkish arms, were perminate ruler of Stamboul, could, at the mitted to pass the Tanais and the same moinent, dictate an alliance to Borysthenes, A.D. 560, and advancing the Monarch of China, and give orders boldly into Dacia, abused the authority to the myriads of his cavalry to sweep of the Emperor in their fearful rathe banks of the Volga.
vages, and remorseless use of victory. For ages the Turks dreaded and The Longobards were not slow in
* “ History of Siberia," p. 342.
† De Guigues, tom. i., p. 58.