Page images
PDF
EPUB

speech, since the grace of their martyrdom had abandoned them.

[ocr errors]

CHAP. XV, -CABAONES THE MOOR. He also relates another wonderful occurrence, wrought by our Saviour God in the case of men, aliens indeed to our religion, who, however, acted with religious reverence. He states that Cabaones was chieftain of the Moors in the neighbourhood of Tripolis. This Cabaones, he says-for it is worth while to use his own words during his able narration of this matter also—this Cabaones, as soon as he learned that the Vandals were marching against him, acted in the following manner. First, he commanded all his subjects to refrain from injustice and all luxurious food, but particularly from commerce with women; and having raised two fortified enclosures, he encamped himself with all the men in one, and enclosed the women in the other, threatening death to any man who should approach the women. Afterwards, he sent scouts to Carthage with these instructions : that when the Vandals on their march outraged any temple reverenced by the Christians, they should note what was being done, and when the Vandals left the place, should, immediately on their departure, treat the sanctuary in a manner directly the re

It is mentioned that he further said, that he was ignorant of the God worshipped by the Christians, but it was likely, if he were powerful, as was affirmed, that he would chastise those who outraged him, and defend such as rendered him service. The scouts, therefore, coming to Carthage, continued to watch the preparations of the Vandals, and when the army set forward for Tripolis, they followed it, disguised in a sorry dress. The Vandals, encamping at the close of the first day, introduced their horses and other beasts into the temples of the Christians, and abstained from no species of outrage, but gave way to their usual licence; and beating and severely scourging the priests whom they happened to seize, bid them wait upon them. But as soon as the Vandals had left the place, the scouts of Cabaones did all that had been enjoined them, and immediately cleansed the sanctuaries, sedulously removing the dung and every other defilement: they lighted all the tapers, paid reverent obeisance to the priests, and saluted them with every kindness; and when they had bestowed money on the beggars who sat round the shrine, they followed the army of the Vandals, who, from this point along the whole line of march, committed the same outrages, while the scouts remedied them. When, however, they were at no great distance, the scouts, proceeding in advance, anuounced to Cabaones all that had been done by the Vandals and themselves to the temples of the Christians, and that the enemy were now near. On hearing this, he prepared to engage. By far the greater part of the Vandals, as our author states, were destroyed : some were captured by the enemy, and very

verse.

few returned home. Such was the misfortune that Thrasamund sustained at the hands of the Moors. He died some time after, having ruled the Vandals for seven and twenty years.

CHAP. XVI. - EXPEDITION OF BELISARIUS AGAINST THE

VANDALS. The same author writes that Justinian, having, in pity to the Christians in that quarter, professed his intention of undertaking an expedition for their relief, was being diverted from his purpose by the suggestion of John, prefect of the palace, when a dream appeared to him, bidding him not to shrink from the execution of his design; for, by assisting the Christians he would overthrow the power of the Vandals. Being determined by this circumstance, in the seventh year of his reign,' he despatches Belisarius, about the summer solstice, to attack Carthage; on which occasion, when the general's ship touched at the shore of the palace, Epiphanius, bishop of the city, offered up appropriate prayers, having previously baptized some of the soldiers and embarked them on board the vessel. He also narrates some circumstances, worthy of record, relating to the martyr Cyprian, in the following words :

“All the Carthaginians especially reverence Cyprian, a holy man, and having erected on the shore, in front of their

" There is some uncertainty in the date of this invasion, most of the historians placing it A. D. 534, though Baronius considers that it took place in the preceding year. Valesius is inclined to adopt the former date. We should remark that Justinian's reign is reckoned from the calends of April. If, therefore, we place the Vandalic expedition in Justinian's fourth consulate, it will be the eighth year of his empire.

city, a noble shrine, besides other reverential observances, they celebrate an annual festival, and call it Cypriana ; and the sailors are accustomed to call the tempestuous weather which I have before mentioned by the same name as the festival, since it is wont to happen at the time of the year at which the Africans have fixed its perpetual celebration. This temple the Vandals, in the reign of Huneric, took by force from the Christians, and ignominiously expelling the priests, resitted it, as henceforward belonging to the Arians. They say that Cyprian, frequently appearing in a dream to the Africans who were indignant and distressed on this account, told them that there was no occasion for the Christians to be solicitous about him, for in time he would avenge himself ; which prediction attained its accomplishment in the time of Belisarius, when Carthage, ninety-five years after its loss, was reduced by him under the Roman power, by the utter overthrow of the Vandals : at which time the doctrine of the Arians was entirely extirpated from Africa, and the Christians recovered their own temples, according to the prediction of the martyr Cyprian."

CHAP. XVII.-TRIUMPH OF BELISARIUS. The same author writes as follows. “ When Belisarius had subdued the Vandals, he returned to Byzantium, bringing the spoils and prisoners, and among them Gelimer, king of the Vandals. A triumph was granted him, and he carried in procession through the Hippodrome whatever would be an object of wonder. Among these were considerable treasures obtained by Genseric from the plunder of the palace at Rome, as I have already narrated; when Eudoxia, the wife of Valentinian, emperor of the West, having been both deprived of her husband and subjected to an outrage on her chastity by Maximus, invited Genseric, with a promise of surrendering the city to him ; on which occasion, after burning Rome, he conveyed Eudoxia and her daughters to the country of the Vandals. Together with the other treasures, he then carried off all that Titus, the son of Vespasian, had brought to Rome on the capture of Jerusalem ; offerings which Solomon had dedicated to God. These Justinian, in honour of Christ our God, sent back to Jerusalem : an act of becoming reverence to the Deity, to whom they had in the first instance been dedicated. On this occasion, Procopius says that Gelimer, prostrating himself on the ground in the hippodrome, before the imperial throne on which Justinian was sitting to witness the proceedings, made application, in his own language, of the divine oracle: “ Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” (Eccles. i. 2.)

CHAP. XVIII.- ORIGIN OF THE MOORS.

JUSTINIAN IN AFRICA.

MUNIFICENCE OF

PROCOPIUS mentions another circumstance unnoticed before his time, but one that can scarcely be regarded with sufficient wonder. He states that the Moors of Libya settled in that country after being dislodged from Palestine, and that they are those whom the divine oracles mention as the Girgashites and Jebusites, and the other nations subdued by Joshua the son of Nun. He concludes the entire truth of the story from an inscription in Phænician characters, which he says that he himself had read, and that it was near a fountain, where were two pillars of white stone on which were engraved these words : “We are those who fled from the face of Joshua the robber, the son of Nun.”

Such was the end of these transactions, in Africa becoming again subject to the Romans, and paying, as before, an annual tribute.

Justinian is said to have restored one hundred and fifty cities in Africa, some of which had been altogether, and others extensively ruined; and this he did with surpassing magnificence, in private and public works and embellishments, in fortifications, and other vast structures by which cities are adorned and the Deity propitiated ; also in aqueducts for use and ornament, the supply of water having been in some cases conveyed to the cities for the first time, in others restored to its former state.

CHAP. XIX.-EVENTS FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF THEODORIC.

I now proceed to relate what occurred in Italy; events which have also been treated very distinctly by Procopius, the Rhetorician, down to his own times.

[EVAGRIUS.)

2 D

1

After Theodoric, as I have already detailed,' had captured Rome and utterly destroyed its king Odoacer, and had closed his life in possession of the Roman sovereignty, his wife Amalasuntha held the reins of government, as guardian of their common son Athalaric; a woman rather of a masculine temperament, and administering affairs accordingly. She was the first person who led Justinian to entertain a desire for the Gothic war, by sending an embassy to him on the formation of a conspiracy against herself. On the death, however, of Athalaric at a very early age, Theodatus, a kinsman of Theodoric, was invested with the sovereignty of the West, but abdicated when Justinian had despatched Belisarius to that quarter; being a person addicted rather to literature, and altogether wanting in military experience; while Vitiges, an able soldier, was in command of his forces. From the materials which the same Procopius nas collected, one may gather that Vitiges abandoned Rome on the arrival of Belisarius in Italy; who at once marched upon the city. The Romans readily opened their gates to him ; a result mainly brought about by Silverius, their bishop, who, with this view, had sent to him Fidelis, formerly assessor to Athalaric. They accordingly surrendered their city to him without resistance: and thus Rome, after an interval of sixty years, again fell into Roman hands on the ninth day of the month Apellæus, called by the Latins December. The same Procopius writes, that, when the Goths were besieging Rome, Belisarius, suspecting Silverius of a design to betray the city, transports him to Greece and appoints Vigilius in his room.

.

CHAP. XX-CONVERSION OF THE HERULI. ABOUT the same time, as Procopius also writes, when the Heruli, who had already crossed the river Danube in the reign of Anastasius, had experienced generous treatment at the hands of Justinian, in large presents of money, the whole nation embraced Christianity and adopted a more civilized mode of life.2

See above, b. iii. ch. 27. ? Concerning the conversion of these people to the faith of Christ, Procopius speaks in book i. of his Gothics, and Theophanes in his Chronicon, These people, as they lived near the lake Mæotis, in fenny places, were from thence first termed Éluri: fin in Greek signifies fens, or fenny places.

« PreviousContinue »