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and took refuge with her nephew at Constantinople. In a few months the emperor of the West ended a disgraceful reign of twenty-eight years, A. D. 423. John, his secretary, usurped the throne; but Theodosius II. sent a fleet and army to enforce the claims of his cousin, the son of Placidia, and the troops in Ravenna were easily persuaded to surrender their upstart emperor. John was beheaded at Aquileia, A. D. 425.
247. Valentinian III. was a child of six years. The Western empire was therefore placed under the regency of his mother, Placidia, who continued to rule it for a quarter of a century, while the military command was held by Aëtius and Boniface. Unhappily, these two generals were enemies. The malicious falsehoods of Aëtius led Boniface into rebellion, and lost Africa to the empire. Gen'seric, king of the Vandals in Spain, willingly accepted the invitation of Boniface, and crossed the straits with 50,000 men. The Moors immediately joined his army; the Donatists hailed him as their deliverer from persecution.
Too late, Boniface discovered his mistake, and returned to his allegiance. All Roman Africa, except Carthage, Cirta, and Hippo Regius, had passed over to the Vandals. Forces were sent from Constantinople to aid those of Italy; but the combined armies were defeated, and Boniface was compelled to abandon Africa, taking with him all the Roman inhabitants who were able to leave. The countries on the Danube had been ceded to the Eastern empire, in return for the aid of Theodosius II., in placing Valentinian III. upon his throne. Britain, unprotected by the Roman armies, had thrown off her allegiance, and had for forty years no government except that of the clergy, the nobles, and the magistrates of the towns. The Goths were settled permanently in south-western Gaul; the Burgundians in the east, and the Franks in the north of the same country; and except a small tract in southern Gaul, the Western empire now included only Italy and the region of the western Alps.
248. Aëtius defended the Gallic province against the Visi-Goths on one side, and the Franks on the other, until the latter called in a new and more terrible ally than all previous invaders, in At'tila, king of the Huns. This savage chief was known to the terror-stricken world of his time, as the Scourge of God. He had subdued to his authority all the barbarians between the Baltic and the Euxine, the Rhine and the Volga, and his army of 700,000 men was officered by a host of subject kings. He had been for nine years ravaging the Eastern empire to the very walls of Constantinople, and had only retired upon the promise of an enormous annual tribute, and the immediate payment of 6,000 pounds of gold. He now invaded Gaul, in behalf of a Frankish king who had been driven beyond the Rhine, and had sought his aid.
A very numerous sect in Africa, opposed by Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, and by an edict of Honorius.
Theod'oric, the son of Alaric, now king of the Visi-Goths, had allied himself with the Romans, and their united armies came up with Attila, just as he had effected the capture of Orleans by battering down its walls. The Hun instantly drew off his hordes from the plunder of the city, and retreated across the Seine to the plains about Chalons', where his Scythian cavalry could operate to better advantage. Then followed one of the most memorable battles in the history of the world. The aged king Theodoric was slain, but the victory was gained by the valor of his subjects. Attila was driven to his circle of wagons, and only the darkness of night prevented the total destruction of his hosts.
This was the last victory ever achieved in the name of the Western empire. It settled the great question, whether modern Europe should be Teuton or Tartar. The Goths were already Christian; their rude energy was well adapted to the laws and institutions of civilized life. The Huns were savage, heathen, destructive; mighty to ravage and desolate, but never, in their greatest power and wealth, known to build and organize a state. Most of what is admirable in European history would have been reversed by a different result of the battle of Chalons.
249. Attila retreated beyond the Rhine. Two years later, he descended into north-eastern Italy, reduced Aquileia, Alti'num, Concordia, and Padua to heaps of ashes, and plundered Pavia and Milan. The fugitives from the old territory of the Veneti took refuge upon the hundred low islets at the head of the Adriatic, and laid, in poverty and industry, the foundations of the Republic of Venice. While he was diverted from his threatened march upon Rome, by the intercessions of Pope Leo, Attila suddenly died, and his kingdom fell to pieces even more rapidly than it had been built up. Two of his sons perished in battle. Irnac, the youngest, retired into Scythia. Valentinian showed his relief from apprehension by murdering Aëtius with his own hand. Having in many ways disgusted and offended his subjects, he was himself assassinated in March, A. D. 455.
Maximus, his murderer, assumed the purple, but he continued in power less than three months. Eudox'ia, the widow of Valentinian, called in the aid of Genseric, the Vandal king of Africa, who, commanding the Mediterranean with his fleets, was only too eager for the spoils of Italy. The Romans, as soon as he had landed in Ostia, put to death their unworthy emperor; but this execution failed to appease the barbarian. Fourteen days the Eternal City was again given up to a pillage more unscrupulous than that of Alaric. The Vandal fleet, waiting at Ostia, was laden with all the wealth which the Goths had spared, and receiving on board the empress Eudoxia and her daughter, made a safe return to Carthage.
250. The Romans were too much paralyzed to appoint a new sovereign.
When the news reached Gaul, Avi'tus, the general of the armies there, was proclaimed, through the influence of Theodoric II., and was acknowledged for more than a year throughout the Western empire. But, A. D. 456, Count Ric'imer, a Goth commanding the foreign auxiliaries in Italy, rebelled, and captured Avitus in a battle near Placentia. He set up Marjo'rian, whose talents and virtues revived some appearance of justice and energy in the government. A fleet was now prepared for the invasion of Africa, in the hope not only of retaliating upon Genseric for his plunder of Rome, but of stopping the ravages of the Vandal pirates upon the coasts of Italy. It was betrayed to the emissaries of Genseric, in the Spanish port of Carthagena.
Ricimer, by this time, was jealous of his protégé, and, forcing him to resign, set up a new puppet in the person of Lib'ius Severus, in whose name he hoped to exercise the real power. But the nominal rule of Severus was confined to Italy, while, beyond the Alps, two Roman generals — Marcellinus in Dalmatia, and Ægid′ius in Gaul-possessed the real sovereignty, though without the imperial titles. The coasts of Italy, Spain, and Greece were continually harassed by the Vandals, and Ricimer, two years after the death of Severus (A. D. 467), appealed to the court of Constantinople for aid against the common enemy, promising to accept any sovereign whom the emperor would appoint.
251. Anthemius, a Byzantine nobleman, was designated as emperor of the West, and received the allegiance of the Senate, the people, and the barbarian troops. The fidelity of Count Ricimer was thought to be secured by his marriage with the daughter of the new emperor. A formidable attack upon the Vandals was made by the combined forces of the East and the West; but it failed through the weakness or treachery of Bas'ilis'cus, the Greek commander, who lost his immense fleet through the secret management of Genseric. The Vandals recovered Sardinia and became possessed of Sicily, whence they could ravage Italy more constantly than ever.
The Goths, meanwhile, became dissatisfied with the foreign rule. Ricimer retired to Milan, where, in concert with his people, he openly revolted, marched with a Burgundian army to Rome, and forced the Senate to accept a new emperor in the person of Olyb'rius, A. D. 472. Anthemius was slain in the attack upon the city. Ricimer died forty days after his victory, bequeathing his power to his nephew, Gund'obald, a Burgundian. Olybrius died a month or two later, and Gundobald raised a soldier named Glyce'rius to the vacant throne. The emperor of the East interfered again, and appointed Julius Nepos - a nephew of Marcellinus of Dalmatia-who was accepted by the Romans and Gauls, Glycerius being consoled for the loss of his imperial titles by the safer and more peaceful dignity of Bishop of Salo'na.
252. Scarcely was Julius invested with the insignia of his rank, when he was driven from the country by a new sedition led by Ores'tes, master-general of the armies, who placed upon the throne his own son, Romulus Augustus. This last of the Western emperors, who bore, by a curious coincidence, the names of the two founders of Rome and the empire, was more commonly called Augus'tulus, in burlesque of the imperial grandeur which mocked his youth and insignificance.
The mercenaries demanded one-third of the lands of Italy as the reward of their services; and being refused, they sprang to arms again, slew Orestes, deposed Augustulus, and made their own chief, Odo'acer, king of Italy. The Roman Senate, in a letter to Zeno, emperor of the East, surrendered the claim of their country to imperial rank, consented to acknowledge Constantinople as the seat of government for the world, but requested that Odoacer, with the title of "Patrician," should be intrusted with the diocese of Italy.
With the fall of the Western empire, Ancient History ends. But the establishment of kingdoms by the northern nations marks the rise of a new era, which, through centuries of turbulence, will open into the varied and brilliant scenes of Modern History.
Alaric, invading Italy, is defeated by Stilicho. Gladiatorial combats are forever abolished at Rome. Honorius fixes his capital at Ravenna. Italy and Gaul are overrun by a pagan host. Constantine becomes emperor in the extreme West, A. D. 407–411. Death of Stilicho and massacre of Gothic women and children lead Alaric to a second invasion of Italy, A. D. 408-410. Rome is three times besieged, and finally given up to plunder for six days. Alaric dies, A. D. 410, and is succeeded by Adolphus, who marries the sister of Honorius, and founds a Gothic kingdom in Spain and southern Gaul. Constantius, second husband of Placidia, reigns as colleague of Honorius, A. D. 421; and his son, Valentinian III., succeeds to the whole Western empire, A. D. 425-455. During the regency of Placidia, the general Boniface, deceived by Aëtius, betrays Africa to the Vandals. Gaul is invaded by Attila, king of the Huns, who is defeated by Goths and Romans near Chalons, A. D. 451. He ravages northern Italy; and fugitives from cities which he destroys, found Venice on the Adriatic, A. D. 452. Valentinian III. is assassinated; and his widow, to avenge his death, calls in the Vandals, who plunder Rome fourteen days. Avitus (A. D. 455, 456) is proclaimed emperor in Gaul. Count Ricimer rebels, and sets up first Marjorian (A. D. 457-461), then Severus (A. D. 461-465), and finally applies for an emperor to the Eastern court, which appoints Anthemius (A. D. 467-472). Ricimer revolts again, and crowns Olybrius, who dies in a few months. Glycerius (A. D. 473, 474) soon exchanges the crown for a miter, and Julius Nepos is installed as sovereign. Orestes sets up his own son, Romulus Augustus (A. D. 475, 476), the last Roman emperor of the West. Odoacer becomes king of Italy, and the Western empire is overthrown.
The four sacred colleges.
1. What three successive forms of government in ancient Rome? 2. What races inhabited Italy?
@ 8. 9-11.
3. Describe, severally, their origin, character, and institutions. √4. Relate the traditions concerning the origin of Rome.
5. Describe the acts and characters of the first three kings.
7. What changes were made by Ancus Martius and Tarquinius Priscus?
17. 18. 19-21.
The ceremony of lustration.
The government and condition of Rome after the expulsion
The causes and effects of the first secession.
The Cassian, Publilian, Terentilian, and Hortensian laws.
19. Describe the Laws of the Twelve Tables.
420. What occasioned the second secession?
21. What changes in government resulted from it?
22. Describe the Veientine War and its consequences.
The invasion of Italy by the Gauls.
The sack and siege of Rome.
The condition of the Romans after the departure of the
The treason of Marcus Manlius.
The Licinian laws... towelli
The final expulsion of the Gauls.
The character of the Samnites.
31. Relate the incidents of the Latin War.
32. Describe the Second Samnite War, and the reduction of the Equi.
31. What nations were allied against Rome, B. C. 283?
35. Describe the campaigns of Pyrrhus in Italy and Sicily.
39. Describe the conquest of the Gauls in northern Italy.
The preparations by Carthage for the Second Punic War.
86, 87. 89-94.
95. 96. 112.
113, 114, 117.