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had already pillaged and impoverished the provinces; and, while the expences of the governinent increased, the revenues of the einpire were diininished.
To augment the revennes, Caraccalla extended the free. doin of the city to the whole Roman world. While Rome and Italy were represented as the centre of governinent, a national character was preserved. The higher offices in the army were filled by men, who, rising by reguilar steps through the succession of civil and military ho11ours, po:refred influence in the legions, and preserved order in the coinmonwealth. But, when Caraccalla conferred the freedom of Roine on all the subjects of the empire, the national spirit and the Roman character became extinct. The legions were composed of peasants and barbarians, who knew no country but their cainp. Rome was no longer the city of Romans. The arıny were no more the foldiers of their country, but lawless banditti, insatiable of prey. They exposed the empire by public auction to the highest bidder. They elected Emperors, to extort vast sums of money, and dethroned them, to extort equal sumns from their fucceffors. In fifty years from the death of Severus, more than fifty emperors were created or murdered, to ġratify the avarice or infolence of this military mob.
'When Italy and the adjacent provinces were so exhausted that little hopes of plunder remained to the soldiers, ambitious candidates found it more and more difficult to ama's fufficient treasure to bribe the legions. The empesors availing themselves of this disposition of the troops, divided the inperial power, to preserve the sovereign authority. Marcus Aurelius had given the example of associating a partner to the throne. This custom was followed by several of his fucceffors; and Dioclesian at last ordained, that two Emperors Thould govern conjointly, and two Cæfars be appointed their lieutenants and succes, fors.
By this arrange inent of Dioclefian, the military anarchy was destroyed; and the arınies, commanded by princes who were united in one interest, obeyed.
The tyranny was now transferred from the legions to the prince. Safe from conspirators, and seated on their thrones, the Emperors imitated the pomp and the luxury of an Afiatic court, and coinmitted the government of the empire to favourites, and to women.
The Roman empire was now governed by four princes, who commanded four great armies. The uncommon ge. nius of one man, or the more uncominon concord of the first sovereigns, might give a temporary stability to such VOL. I.
Miscellaneous Remarks. a form of government. But, in the usual course of human affairs, such an heterogeneous body must foon be rent asunder, and fall in pieces. The partition of fupreme power creates jealousies and suspicions; and, presenting a constant object to the passions, paves the way for revolutions.
The abdication of Dioclefian fhewed that he was the victim of his own policy. His colleague alfo refigning, the two Cæfars, Galerius, and Constantiu, assumed the purple. These fellow-sovereigns foon fufpected each other, and broke off all communication, the one governing the East, and the other the West.
Two co-ordinate powers, independent of each other, were now established. “Hence the origin of the Eastern and the Western empires.
Rome, ceasing to be the seat of empire, was no longer the centre of riches; and Italy, robbed of its wealth, its armies and inhabitants, funk into a state of languor. Recruits to supply the legions were not now to be found. When the armies disposed of the imperial dignity, the military rank was an object of ambition as well as of avarice. Numerous candidates offered to embrace a profesfion which led to opulence and power. Hence the empire feemed to refume new strength, under the reigns of Claudius, Aurelian, and Probus.
But when the arrangement of Dioclefian took place, the foldiers had it no longer in their power to dispose the emperors, to plunder the people, or to extort donations from their masters. Their consequence was lost, the military rank was debased, and few were willing to wield the sword. · Galienus had made a law, prohibiting the senators from ferving in the army; and from this time the citizens most distinguished by their birth, confined their ambition to civil officers. - From the corruption and effeminacy of the age, the people preferred the secure indolence of poverty to the dangers and fatigues of war. The armies were now filled with peafants and provincials, who were dragged from their families, or bribed into service. Thus the depression of the martial spirit concurred with the decline of the military discipline.
In this feeble and defenceless state, the emperors entered into a treaty with foine of the barbarians; on whom they bestowed lands within their own territories, in quality of auxiliaries, and opposed them, as a bulwark, to other barbarians. Without these foreign aids, the Emperors, who fucceeded Dioclefian, could forin no extensive enterprize.
By this means the barbarians learned the discipline of the Romans, and knew the advantage of a solid establishment.
An empire founded by arms must be supported by arıns. Accordingly, it was the great study of the Romans, in the glowing periods of the Republic, to animate the valour, and perfc& the discipline of the legions. When the spirit, which had rendered the legions of the Republic invincible, no longer animated the mercenary subjects of a despotic prince, regulations were made to supply that defect; and laudable arts used to improve the valour and docility of those armies, by which the imperial dominions were to be protected or extended.
When the prætorian bands had assumed the right to dispose of the throne, they created and dethroned emperors at pleasure, and a military anarchy was established. To diminish the military power, Dioclefian and his successors depressed the spirit and corrupted the discipline, which had rendered the army formidable to the sovereign, as well as to his enemies. The vigour of the military government was now dissolved, and the barbarian forces were superior in the military art, as well as in courage, to the Roman armies.
The Romans had subdued the neighbouring nations, and obtained universal monarchy, not only by the art of war, but by their enthusiasm, their policy, their passion for glory, and the love of their country. When these virtues liad disappeared under the emperors, and the inilitary art alone furvived, this alone, notwithstanding the weakness or tyranny of these princes, enabled them to preserve their dominion. But, when the arıny were corrupted, and military discipline lost, the palladium of Rome was withdrawn, and the empire exposed a prey to all the nations around.
Various causes have been afligned for the immense irruption of barbarians, which poured from the north at this period of time. The decline of the Roman Empire which was now visible, and felt among the barbarous nations, was the true cause of the invasion of the Roman territories *. The west and north of Europe, as well as the north of Asia, had always been the seat of roving and martial tribes, who were ready on every occasion to thift their abodes, from the desire of more inviting settlements, or the hope of plunder and of glory. The defeat and deftruction of the Cimbri by Marius, who, on this account, was stiled the third Founder of Rome; the terror of the Roman name, occasioned by a long series of victories, and the
Destruction of the Roman Empire. 1 'egions which guarded the frontiers, repressed for a while, the fury of the unconquered nations, and drove to a different direction the torrent of the north. Still, however, a sagacious observer of human affairs inight have looked to these regions with anxious forebodings for his country. The philosophical eye of a celebrated historian * fax, from a-far, the nations that were to revenge the cause of mankind, and marked, on the German frontier, the cloud that was to burst in thunder on Roine.
The Destruction of the Roman Empire, after the Death of Constantine, and the Events which haftened its Catastrophe.
TITHERTO the characters of the Roman einperors H the state: and its rise or decline inight have been said to depend on the virtues and vices, the wisdom or the indolence, of those who governed it. But from this dreary period its recovery was becoine desperate ; no wisdom could obviate its fall, no courage oppose the evils that surrounded it on every side. Instead therefore of entering into a minute account of the characters of its succeeding emperors, it will ar present fuffice to take a general furvey of this part of the history, and rather describe the causes by which the state was brought down to nothing, than the persons who neither could haften nor prevent its decline. Indeed if we were to enter into a detail concerning the characters of the princes of those tiines, it should be those of the conquerors, not the conquered; of those Gothic chiefs who led a more virtuous and more courageous people to the conquests of nations, corlupted by vice and enervated by luxury.
These barbarians were at first unknown to the Romans, and for some time after had been only incommodious to thein. But they were now become formidable, and arose in such numbers, that the earth seemed to produce a new race of mankind, to complete the empire's destruction. They had been increasing in their deserts, amidst regions covered with snow, and had long only waited the opportunity of
poffesfing a more favourable climate. Against such an enemy, no courage could avail, no abilities be successful. A victory only cut off numbers without an habitation; and tribes foon to be succeeded by others equally desperate and obscure.
The emperors who were destined to contend with this people, were feldom furnished with a fufficient degree of courage or conduct to oppose them. Afia seemed to enervate their manners, and produced a desire to be adored like the monarchs of the East. Sunk in softness, they shewed themselves with less frequency to the soldiers, they became more indolent, fonder of domestic pleasures, and more abstracted from the empire. Conftantins, who reigned thirty-eight years, was weak, timid, and unsuccessful; governed by his eunuchs and his wives ; and unfit to prop the falling einpire.
Julian, his successor, furnamed the Apostate, upon account of his relapfing into Paganism, A. D. 365. was, notwithstanding, a very good and a very valiant prince, By his wisdomn, conduct, and economy, he chared the barbarians, who had taken fifty towns upon the Rhine, out of their new settlements, and his name was a terror to them during his reign, which lasted but two years.
Jovian and Valentinian had virtue and strength sufficient to preserve the empire from immediately falling under its enemies. No prince saw the necessity of restoring the ancient plan of the empire more than Valentinian. The former emperors had drained all the frontier garrisons, merely to itrengthen their own power at home ; but his whole life was employed in fortifying the banks of the Rhine, making levies, raising castles, placing troops in proper stations, and furnishing them with subsistence for their support. An event however, which some discerning politicians had foreseen, brought a A. D. 452. ocw enemy to assist in the universal destruction.
That tract of land which lies between the Palus Mæotis the mountains of Caucasus, and the Caspian Sea, was inhabited by a numerous favage people, who went by the name of the Huns and Alins. Tneir foil was fertile, and the inhabitants fond of robbery and plunder. The invasion of the Huns impelled the Gothic nation on the provinces of the West. The original principle of motion was concealed in the remote countries of the north ; and the latent causes of these emigrations inay be illustrated, by considering the tribes of hunters and shepherds, who, in every age, have inhabited the immense plains of Scythia or Tar