Uzyskaj dostęp do tej i ponad 60000 książek od 6,99 zł miesięcznie
The classic book of history written by the English historian Edward Gibbon, which traces the trajectory of Western civilization (as well as the Islamic and Mongolian conquests) from the height of the Roman Empire to the fall of Byzantium.
Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi na:
Liczba stron: 5426
Odsłuch ebooka (TTS) dostepny w abonamencie „ebooki+audiobooki bez limitu” w aplikacjach Legimi na:
Thank you for reading. If you enjoy this book, please leave a review.
All rights reserved. Aside from brief quotations for media coverage and reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced or distributed in any form without the author’s permission. Thank you for supporting authors and a diverse, creative culture by purchasing this book and complying with copyright laws.
Copyright © 2015 by Edward Gibbon
Published by Perennial Press
Interior design by Pronoun
Edited by Perennial Press
Distribution by Pronoun
Chapter I: The Extent Of The Empire In The Age Of The Antoninies.—Part I.
Chapter I: The Extent Of The Empire In The Age Of The Antoninies.—Part II.
Chapter I: The Extent Of The Empire In The Age Of The Antoninies.—Part III.
Chapter II: The Internal Prosperity In The Age Of The Antonines.—Part I.
Chapter II: The Internal Prosperity In The Age Of The Antonines.—Part II.
Chapter II: The Internal Prosperity In The Age Of The Antonines.—Part III.
Chapter II: The Internal Prosperity In The Age Of The Antonines.—Part IV.
Chapter III: The Constitution In The Age Of The Antonines.—Part I.
Chapter III: The Constitution In The Age Of The Antonines.—Part II.
Chapter IV: The Cruelty, Follies And Murder Of Commodus.—Part I.
Chapter IV: The Cruelty, Follies And Murder Of Commodus.—Part II.
Chapter V: Sale Of The Empire To Didius Julianus.—Part I.
Chapter V: Sale Of The Empire To Didius Julianus.—Part II.
Chapter VI: Death Of Severus, Tyranny Of Caracalla, Usurpation Of Marcinus.—Part I.
Chapter VI: Death Of Severus, Tyranny Of Caracalla, Usurpation Of Marcinus.—Part II.
Chapter VI: Death Of Severus, Tyranny Of Caracalla, Usurpation Of Marcinus.—Part III.
Chapter VI: Death Of Severus, Tyranny Of Caracalla, Usurpation Of Marcinus.—Part IV.
Chapter VII: Tyranny Of Maximin, Rebellion, Civil Wars, Death Of Maximin.—Part I.
Chapter VII: Tyranny Of Maximin, Rebellion, Civil Wars, Death Of Maximin.—Part II.
Chapter VII: Tyranny Of Maximin, Rebellion, Civil Wars, Death Of Maximin.—Part III.
Chapter VIII: State Of Persion And Restoration Of The Monarchy.—Part I.
Chapter VIII: State Of Persion And Restoration Of The Monarchy.—Part II.
Chapter IX: State Of Germany Until The Barbarians.—Part I.
Chapter IX: State Of Germany Until The Barbarians.—Part II.
Chapter IX: State Of Germany Until The Barbarians.—Part III.
Chapter X: Emperors Decius, Gallus, Æmilianus, Valerian And Gallienus.—Part I.
Chapter X: Emperors Decius, Gallus, Æmilianus, Valerian And Gallienus.—Part II.
Chapter X: Emperors Decius, Gallus, Æmilianus, Valerian And Gallienus.—Part III.
Chapter X: Emperors Decius, Gallus, Æmilianus, Valerian And Gallienus.—Part IV.
Chapter XI: Reign Of Claudius, Defeat Of The Goths.—Part I.
Chapter XI: Reign Of Claudius, Defeat Of The Goths.—Part II.
Chapter XI: Reign Of Claudius, Defeat Of The Goths.—Part III.
Chapter XII: Reigns Of Tacitus, Probus, Carus And His Sons.—Part I.
Chapter XII: Reigns Of Tacitus, Probus, Carus And His Sons.—Part II.
Chapter XII: Reigns Of Tacitus, Probus, Carus And His Sons.—Part III.
Chapter XIII: Reign Of Diocletian And This Three Associates.—Part I.
Chapter XIII: Reign Of Diocletian And This Three Associates.—Part II.
Chapter XIII: Reign Of Diocletian And This Three Associates.—Part III.
Chapter XIII: Reign Of Diocletian And This Three Associates.—Part IV.
Chapter XIV: Six Emperors At The Same Time, Reunion Of The Empire.—Part I.
Chapter XIV: Six Emperors At The Same Time, Reunion Of The Empire.—Part II.
Chapter XIV: Six Emperors At The Same Time, Reunion Of The Empire.—Part III.
Chapter XIV: Six Emperors At The Same Time, Reunion Of The Empire.—Part IV.
Chapter XV: Progress Of The Christian Religion.—Part I.
Chapter XV: Progress Of The Christian Religion.—Part II.
Chapter XV: Progress Of The Christian Religion.—Part III.
Chapter XV: Progress Of The Christian Religion.—Part IV.
Chapter XV: Progress Of The Christian Religion.—Part V.
Chapter XV: Progress Of The Christian Religion.—Part VI.
Chapter XV: Progress Of The Christian Religion.—Part VII
Chapter XV: Progress Of The Christian Religion.—Part VIII.
Chapter XV: Progress Of The Christian Religion.—Part IX.
Chapter XVI—Conduct Towards The Christians, From Nero To Constantine.—Part I.
Chapter XVI: Conduct Towards The Christians, From Nero To Constantine.—Part II.
Chapter XVI: Conduct Towards The Christians, From Nero To Constantine.—Part III.
Chapter XVI: Conduct Towards The Christians, From Nero To Constantine.—Part IV.
Chapter XVI: Conduct Towards The Christians, From Nero To Constantine.—Part V.
Chapter XVI: Conduct Towards The Christians, From Nero To Constantine.—Part VI.
Chapter XVI: Conduct Towards The Christians, From Nero To Constantine.—Part VII.
Chapter XVI: Conduct Towards The Christians, From Nero To Constantine.—Part VIII.
Chapter XVII: Foundation Of Constantinople.—Part I.</h2/p>
Chapter XVII: Foundation Of Constantinople.—Part II.
Chapter XVII: Foundation Of Constantinople.—Part III.
Chapter XVII: Foundation Of Constantinople.—Part IV.
Chapter XVII: Foundation Of Constantinople.—Part V.
Chapter XVII: Foundation Of Constantinople.—Part VI.
Chapter XVIII: Character Of Constantine And His Sons.—Part I.
Chapter XVIII: Character Of Constantine And His Sons.—Part II.
Chapter XVIII: Character Of Constantine And His Sons.—Part III.
Chapter XVIII: Character Of Constantine And His Sons.—Part IV.
Chapter XIX: Constantius Sole Emperor.—Part I.
Chapter XIX: Constantius Sole Emperor.—Part II.
Chapter XIX: Constantius Sole Emperor.—Part III.
Chapter XIX: Constantius Sole Emperor.—Part IV.
Chapter XX: Conversion Of Constantine.—Part I.
Chapter XX: Conversion Of Constantine.—Part II.
Chapter XX: Conversion Of Constantine.—Part III.
Chapter XX: Conversion Of Constantine.—Part IV.
Chapter XXI: Persecution Of Heresy, State Of The Church.—Part I.
Chapter XXI: Persecution Of Heresy, State Of The Church.—Part II.
Chapter XXI: Persecution Of Heresy, State Of The Church.—Part III.
Chapter XXI: Persecution Of Heresy, State Of The Church.—Part IV.
Chapter XXI: Persecution Of Heresy, State Of The Church.—Part V.
Chapter XXI: Persecution Of Heresy, State Of The Church.—Part VI.
Chapter XXI: Persecution Of Heresy, State Of The Church.—Part VII.
Chapter XXII: Julian Declared Emperor.—Part I
Chapter XXII: Julian Declared Emperor.—Part II.
Chapter XXII: Julian Declared Emperor.—Part III.
Chapter XXII: Julian Declared Emperor.—Part IV.
Chapter XXIII: Reign Of Julian.—Part I.
Chapter XXIII: Reign Of Julian.—Part II.
Chapter XXIII: Reign Of Julian.—Part III.
Chapter XXIII: Reign Of Julian.—Part IV.
Chapter XXIII: Reign Of Julian.—Part V.
Chapter XXIV: The Retreat And Death Of Julian.—Part I.
Chapter XXIV: The Retreat And Death Of Julian.—Part II.
Chapter XXIV: The Retreat And Death Of Julian.—Part III.
Chapter XXIV: The Retreat And Death Of Julian.—Part IV.
Chapter XXIV: The Retreat And Death Of Julian.—Part V.
Chapter XXV: Reigns Of Jovian And Valentinian, Division Of The Empire.—Part I.
Chapter XXV: Reigns Of Jovian And Valentinian, Division Of The Empire.—Part II.
Chapter XXV: Reigns Of Jovian And Valentinian, Division Of The Empire.—Part III.
Chapter XXV: Reigns Of Jovian And Valentinian, Division Of The Empire.—Part IV.
Chapter XXV: Reigns Of Jovian And Valentinian, Division Of The Empire.—Part V.
Chapter XXV: Reigns Of Jovian And Valentinian, Division Of The Empire.—Part VI.
Chapter XXV: Reigns Of Jovian And Valentinian, Division Of The Empire.—Part VII.
Chapter XXVI: Progress of The Huns.—Part I.
Chapter XXVI: Progress of The Huns.—Part II.
Chapter XXVI: Progress of The Huns.—Part III.
Chapter XXVI: Progress of The Huns.—Part IV.
Chapter XXVI: Progress of The Huns.—Part V.
Chapter XXVII: Civil Wars, Reign Of Theodosius.—Part I.
Chapter XXVII: Civil Wars, Reign Of Theodosius.—Part II.
Chapter XXVII: Civil Wars, Reign Of Theodosius.—Part III.
Chapter XXVII: Civil Wars, Reign Of Theodosius.—Part IV
Chapter XXVII: Civil Wars, Reign Of Theodosius.—Part V.
Chapter XXVIII: Destruction Of Paganism.—Part I.
Chapter XXVIII: Destruction Of Paganism.—Part II.
Chapter XXVIII: Destruction Of Paganism.—Part III.
Chapter XXIX: Division Of Roman Empire Between Sons Of Theodosius.—Part I.
Chapter XXIX: Division Of Roman Empire Between Sons Of Theodosius.—Part II.
Chapter XXX: Revolt Of The Goths.—Part I.
Chapter XXX: Revolt Of The Goths.—Part II.
Chapter XXX: Revolt Of The Goths.—Part III.
Chapter XXX: Revolt Of The Goths.—Part IV.
Chapter XXX: Revolt Of The Goths.—Part V.
Chapter XXXI: Invasion Of Italy, Occupation Of Territories By Barbarians.—Part I.
Chapter XXXI: Invasion Of Italy, Occupation Of Territories By Barbarians.—Part II.
Chapter XXXI: Invasion Of Italy, Occupation Of Territories By Barbarians.—Part III.
Chapter XXXI: Invasion Of Italy, Occupation Of Territories By Barbarians.—Part IV.
Chapter XXXI: Invasion Of Italy, Occupation Of Territories By Barbarians.—Part V.
Chapter XXXI: Invasion Of Italy, Occupation Of Territories By Barbarians.—Part VI.
Chapter XXXI: Invasion Of Italy, Occupation Of Territories By Barbarians.—Part VII.
Chapter XXXII: Emperors Arcadius, Eutropius, Theodosius II.—Part I.
Chapter XXXII: Emperors Arcadius, Eutropius, Theodosius II.—Part II.
Chapter XXXII: Emperors Arcadius, Eutropius, Theodosius II.—Part III.
Chapter XXXIII: Conquest Of Africa By The Vandals.—Part I.
Chapter XXXIII: Conquest Of Africa By The Vandals.—Part II.
Chapter XXXIV: Attila.—Part I.
Chapter XXXIV: Attila.—Part II.
Chapter XXXIV: Attila.—Part III.
Chapter XXXV: Invasion By Attila.—Part I.
Chapter XXXV: Invasion By Attila.—Part II.
Chapter XXXV: Invasion By Attila.—Part III.
Chapter XXXVI: Total Extinction Of The Western Empire.—Part I.
Chapter XXXVI: Total Extinction Of The Western Empire.—Part II.
Chapter XXXVI: Total Extinction Of The Western Empire.—Part III.
Chapter XXXVI: Total Extinction Of The Western Empire.—Part IV.
Chapter XXXVI: Total Extinction Of The Western Empire.—Part V.
Chapter XXXVII: Conversion Of The Barbarians To Christianity.—Part I.
Chapter XXXVII: Conversion Of The Barbarians To Christianity.—Part II.
Chapter XXXVII: Conversion Of The Barbarians To Christianity.—Part III.
Chapter XXXVII: Conversion Of The Barbarians To Christianity.—Part IV.
Chapter XXXVIII: Reign Of Clovis.—Part I.
Chapter XXXVIII: Reign Of Clovis.—Part II.
Chapter XXXVIII: Reign Of Clovis.—Part III.
Chapter XXXVIII: Reign Of Clovis.—Part IV.
Chapter XXXVIII: Reign Of Clovis.—Part V.
Chapter XXXVIII: Reign Of Clovis.—Part VI.
Chapter XXXIX: Gothic Kingdom Of Italy.—Part I.
Chapter XXXIX: Gothic Kingdom Of Italy.—Part II.
Chapter XXXIX: Gothic Kingdom Of Italy.—Part III.
Chapter XL: Reign Of Justinian.—Part I.
Chapter XL: Reign Of Justinian.—Part II.
Chapter XL: Reign Of Justinian.—Part III.
Chapter XL: Reign Of Justinian.—Part IV.
Chapter XL: Reign Of Justinian.—Part V.
Chapter XLI: Conquests Of Justinian, Character Of Balisarius.—Part I.
Chapter XLI: Conquests Of Justinian, Character Of Balisarius.—Part II.
Chapter XLI: Conquests Of Justinian, Character Of Balisarius.—Part III.
Chapter XLI: Conquests Of Justinian, Character Of Balisarius.—Part IV.
Chapter XLI: Conquests Of Justinian, Character Of Balisarius.—Part V.
Chapter XLI: Conquests Of Justinian, Character Of Balisarius.—Part VI.
Chapter XLII: State Of The Barbaric World.—Part I.
Chapter XLII: State Of The Barbaric World.—Part II.
Chapter XLII: State Of The Barbaric World.—Part III.
Chapter XLII: State Of The Barbaric World.—Part IV.
Chapter XLIII: Last Victory And Death Of Belisarius, Death Of Justinian.—Part I.
Chapter XLIII: Last Victory And Death Of Belisarius, Death Of Justinian.—Part II.
Chapter XLIII: Last Victory And Death Of Belisarius, Death Of Justinian.—Part III.
Chapter XLIII: Last Victory And Death Of Belisarius, Death Of Justinian.—Part IV.
Chapter XLIV: Idea Of The Roman Jurisprudence.—Part I.
Chapter XLIV: Idea Of The Roman Jurisprudence.—Part II.
Chapter XLIV: Idea Of The Roman Jurisprudence.—Part III.
Chapter XLIV: Idea Of The Roman Jurisprudence.—Part IV.
Chapter XLIV: Idea Of The Roman Jurisprudence.—Part V.
Chapter XLIV: Idea Of The Roman Jurisprudence.—Part VI.
Chapter XLIV: Idea Of The Roman Jurisprudence.—Part VII.
Chapter XLIV: Idea Of The Roman Jurisprudence.—Part VIII.
Chapter XLV: State Of Italy Under The Lombards.—Part I.
Chapter XLV: State Of Italy Under The Lombards.—Part II.
Chapter XLV: State Of Italy Under The Lombards.—Part III.
Chapter XLVI: Troubles In Persia.—Part I.
Chapter XLVI: Troubles In Persia.—Part II.
Chapter XLVI: Troubles In Persia.—Part III.
Chapter XLVI: Troubles In Persia.—Part IV.
Chapter XLVII: Ecclesiastical Discord.—Part I.
Chapter XLVII: Ecclesiastical Discord.—Part II.
Chapter XLVII: Ecclesiastical Discord.—Part III.
Chapter XLVII: Ecclesiastical Discord.—Part IV.
Chapter XLVII: Ecclesiastical Discord.—Part V.
Chapter XLVII: Ecclesiastical Discord.—Part VI.
Chapter XLVIII: Succession And Characters Of The Greek Emperors.—Part I.
Chapter XLVIII: Succession And Characters Of The Greek Emperors.—Part II.
Chapter XLVIII: Succession And Characters Of The Greek Emperors.—Part III.
Chapter XLVIII: Succession And Characters Of The Greek Emperors.—Part IV.
Chapter XLVIII: Succession And Characters Of The Greek Emperors.—Part VI.
Chapter XLIX: Conquest Of Italy By The Franks.—Part I.
Chapter XLIX: Conquest Of Italy By The Franks.—Part II.
Chapter XLIX: Conquest Of Italy By The Franks.—Part III.
Chapter XLIX: Conquest Of Italy By The Franks.—Part IV.
Chapter XLIX: Conquest Of Italy By The Franks.—Part V.
Chapter XLIX: Conquest Of Italy By The Franks.—Part VI.
Chapter L: Description Of Arabia And Its Inhabitants.—Part I.
Chapter L: Description Of Arabia And Its Inhabitants.—Part II.
Chapter L: Description Of Arabia And Its Inhabitants.—Part III.
Chapter L: Description Of Arabia And Its Inhabitants.—Part IV.
Chapter L: Description Of Arabia And Its Inhabitants.—Part V.
Chapter L: Description Of Arabia And Its Inhabitants.—Part VI.
Chapter L: Description Of Arabia And Its Inhabitants.—Part VII.
Chapter L: Description Of Arabia And Its Inhabitants.—Part VIII.
Chapter LI: Conquests By The Arabs.—Part I.
Chapter LI: Conquests By The Arabs.—Part II.
Chapter LI: Conquests By The Arabs.—Part III.
Chapter LI: Conquests By The Arabs.—Part IV.
Chapter LI: Conquests By The Arabs.—Part V.
Chapter LI: Conquests By The Arabs.—Part VI.
Chapter LI: Conquests By The Arabs.—Part VII.
Chapter LI: Conquests By The Arabs.—Part VIII.
Chapter LI: Conquests By The Arabs.—Part IX.
Chapter LII: More Conquests By The Arabs.—Part I.
Chapter LII: More Conquests By The Arabs.—Part II.
Chapter LII: More Conquests By The Arabs.—Part III.
Chapter LII: More Conquests By The Arabs.—Part IV.
Chapter LII: More Conquests By The Arabs.—Part V.
Chapter LIII: Fate Of The Eastern Empire.—Part I.
Chapter LIII: Fate Of The Eastern Empire.—Part II.
Chapter LIII: Fate Of The Eastern Empire.—Part III.
Chapter LIII: Fate Of The Eastern Empire.—Part IV.
Chapter LIV: Origin And Doctrine Of The Paulicians.—Part I.
Chapter LIV: Origin And Doctrine Of The Paulicians.—Part II.
Chapter LV: The Bulgarians, The Hungarians And The Russians.—Part I.
Chapter LV: The Bulgarians, The Hungarians And The Russians.—Part II.
Chapter LV: The Bulgarians, The Hungarians And The Russians.—Part III.
Chapter LVI: The Saracens, The Franks And The Normans.—Part I.
Chapter LVI: The Saracens, The Franks And The Normans.—Part II.
Chapter LVI: The Saracens, The Franks And The Normans.—Part III.
Chapter LVI: The Saracens, The Franks And The Normans.—Part IV.
Chapter LVI: The Saracens, The Franks And The Normans.—Part V.
Chapter LVII: The Turks.—Part I.
Chapter LVII: The Turks.—Part II.
Chapter LVII: The Turks.—Part III.
Chapter LVIII: The First Crusade.—Part I.
Chapter LVIII: The First Crusade.—Part II.
Chapter LVIII: The First Crusade.—Part III.
Chapter LVIII: The First Crusade.—Part IV.
Chapter LVIII: The First Crusade.—Part V.
Chapter LIX: The Crusades.—Part I.
Chapter LIX: The Crusades.—Part II.
Chapter LIX: The Crusades.—Part III.
Chapter LX: The Fourth Crusade.—Part I.
Chapter LX: The Fourth Crusade.—Part II.
Chapter LX: The Fourth Crusade.—Part III.
Chapter LXI: Partition Of The Empire By The French And Venetians.—Part I.
Chapter LXI: Partition Of The Empire By The French And Venetians.—Part II.
Chapter LXI: Partition Of The Empire By The French And Venetians.—Part III.
Chapter LXI: Partition Of The Empire By The French And Venetians.—Part IV.
Chapter LXII: Greek Emperors Of Nice And Constantinople.—Part I.
Chapter LXII: Greek Emperors Of Nice And Constantinople.—Part II.
Chapter LXII: Greek Emperors Of Nice And Constantinople.—Part III.
Chapter LXIII: Civil Wars And The Ruin Of The Greek Empire.—Part I.
Chapter LXIII: Civil Wars And The Ruin Of The Greek Empire.—Part II.
Chapter LXIV: Moguls, Ottoman Turks.—Part I.
Chapter LXIV: Moguls, Ottoman Turks.—Part II.
Chapter LXIV: Moguls, Ottoman Turks.—Part III.
Chapter LXIV: Moguls, Ottoman Turks.—Part IV.
Chapter LXV: Elevation Of Timour Or Tamerlane, And His Death.—Part I.
Chapter LXV: Elevation Of Timour Or Tamerlane, And His Death.—Part II.
Chapter LXV: Elevation Of Timour Or Tamerlane, And His Death.—Part III.
Chapter LXVI: Union Of The Greek And Latin Churches.—Part I.
Chapter LXVI: Union Of The Greek And Latin Churches.—Part II.
Chapter LXVI: Union Of The Greek And Latin Churches.—Part III.
Chapter LXVI: Union Of The Greek And Latin Churches.—Part IV.
Chapter LXVII: Schism Of The Greeks And Latins.—Part I.
Chapter LXVII: Schism Of The Greeks And Latins.—Part II.
Chapter LXVIII: Reign Of Mahomet The Second, Extinction Of Eastern Empire.—Part I.
Chapter LXVIII: Reign Of Mahomet The Second, Extinction Of Eastern Empire.—Part II.
Chapter LXVIII: Reign Of Mahomet The Second, Extinction Of Eastern Empire.—Part III.
Chapter LXVIII: Reign Of Mahomet The Second, Extinction Of Eastern Empire.—Part IV.
Chapter LXIX: State Of Rome From The Twelfth Century.—Part I.
Chapter LXIX: State Of Rome From The Twelfth Century.—Part II.
Chapter LXIX: State Of Rome From The Twelfth Century.—Part III.
Chapter LXIX: State Of Rome From The Twelfth Century.—Part IV.
Chapter LXX: Final Settlement Of The Ecclesiastical State.—Part I.
Chapter LXX: Final Settlement Of The Ecclesiastical State.—Part II.
Chapter LXX: Final Settlement Of The Ecclesiastical State.—Part III.
Chapter LXX: Final Settlement Of The Ecclesiastical State.—Part IV.
Chapter LXXI: Prospect Of The Ruins Of Rome In The Fifteenth Century.—Part I.
Chapter LXXI: Prospect Of The Ruins Of Rome In The Fifteenth Century.—Part II
Introduction—The Extent And Military Force Of The Empire In
The Age Of The Antonines.
In the second century of the Christian Æra, the empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilized portion of mankind. The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valor. The gentle but powerful influence of laws and manners had gradually cemented the union of the provinces. Their peaceful inhabitants enjoyed and abused the advantages of wealth and luxury. The image of a free constitution was preserved with decent reverence: the Roman senate appeared to possess the sovereign authority, and devolved on the emperors all the executive powers of government. During a happy period of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines. It is the design of this, and of the two succeeding chapters, to describe the prosperous condition of their empire; and after wards, from the death of Marcus Antoninus, to deduce the most important circumstances of its decline and fall; a revolution which will ever be remembered, and is still felt by the nations of the earth.
The principal conquests of the Romans were achieved under the republic; and the emperors, for the most part, were satisfied with preserving those dominions which had been acquired by the policy of the senate, the active emulations of the consuls, and the martial enthusiasm of the people. The seven first centuries were filled with a rapid succession of triumphs; but it was reserved for Augustus to relinquish the ambitious design of subduing the whole earth, and to introduce a spirit of moderation into the public councils. Inclined to peace by his temper and situation, it was easy for him to discover that Rome, in her present exalted situation, had much less to hope than to fear from the chance of arms; and that, in the prosecution of remote wars, the undertaking became every day more difficult, the event more doubtful, and the possession more precarious, and less beneficial. The experience of Augustus added weight to these salutary reflections, and effectually convinced him that, by the prudent vigor of his counsels, it would be easy to secure every concession which the safety or the dignity of Rome might require from the most formidable barbarians. Instead of exposing his person and his legions to the arrows of the Parthians, he obtained, by an honorable treaty, the restitution of the standards and prisoners which had been taken in the defeat of Crassus.
His generals, in the early part of his reign, attempted the reduction of Ethiopia and Arabia Felix. They marched near a thousand miles to the south of the tropic; but the heat of the climate soon repelled the invaders, and protected the un-warlike natives of those sequestered regions. The northern countries of Europe scarcely deserved the expense and labor of conquest. The forests and morasses of Germany were filled with a hardy race of barbarians, who despised life when it was separated from freedom; and though, on the first attack, they seemed to yield to the weight of the Roman power, they soon, by a signal act of despair, regained their independence, and reminded Augustus of the vicissitude of fortune. On the death of that emperor, his testament was publicly read in the senate. He bequeathed, as a valuable legacy to his successors, the advice of confining the empire within those limits which nature seemed to have placed as its permanent bulwarks and boundaries: on the west, the Atlantic Ocean; the Rhine and Danube on the north; the Euphrates on the east; and towards the south, the sandy deserts of Arabia and Africa.
Happily for the repose of mankind, the moderate system recommended by the wisdom of Augustus, was adopted by the fears and vices of his immediate successors. Engaged in the pursuit of pleasure, or in the exercise of tyranny, the first Cæsars seldom showed themselves to the armies, or to the provinces; nor were they disposed to suffer, that those triumphs whichtheir indolence neglected, should be usurped by the conduct and valor of their lieutenants. The military fame of a subject was considered as an insolent invasion of the Imperial prerogative; and it became the duty, as well as interest, of every Roman general, to guard the frontiers intrusted to his care, without aspiring to conquests which might have proved no less fatal to himself than to the vanquished barbarians.
The only accession which the Roman empire received, during the first century of the Christian Æra, was the province of Britain. In this single instance, the successors of Cæsar and Augustus were persuaded to follow the example of the former, rather than the precept of the latter. The proximity of its situation to the coast of Gaul seemed to invite their arms; the pleasing though doubtful intelligence of a pearl fishery, attracted their avarice; and as Britain was viewed in the light of a distinct and insulated world, the conquest scarcely formed any exception to the general system of continental measures. After a war of about forty years, undertaken by the most stupid, maintained by the most dissolute, and terminated by the most timid of all the emperors, the far greater part of the island submitted to the Roman yoke. The various tribes of Britain possessed valor without conduct, and the love of freedom without the spirit of union. They took up arms with savage fierceness; they laid them down, or turned them against each other, with wild inconsistency; and while they fought singly, they were successively subdued. Neither the fortitude of Caractacus, nor the despair of Boadicea, nor the fanaticism of the Druids, could avert the slavery of their country, or resist the steady progress of the Imperial generals, who maintained the national glory, when the throne was disgraced by the weakest, or the most vicious of mankind. At the very time when Domitian, confined to his palace, felt the terrors which he inspired, his legions, under the command of the virtuous Agricola, defeated the collected force of the Caledonians, at the foot of the Grampian Hills; and his fleets, venturing to explore an unknown and dangerous navigation, displayed the Roman arms round every part of the island. The conquest of Britain was considered as already achieved; and it was the design of Agricola to complete and insure his success, by the easy reduction of Ireland, for which, in his opinion, one legion and a few auxiliaries were sufficient. The western isle might be improved into a valuable possession, and the Britons would wear their chains with the less reluctance, if the prospect and example of freedom were on every side removed from before their eyes.
But the superior merit of Agricola soon occasioned his removal from the government of Britain; and forever disappointed this rational, though extensive scheme of conquest. Before his departure, the prudent general had provided for security as well as for dominion. He had observed, that the island is almost divided into two unequal parts by the opposite gulfs, or, as they are now called, the Friths of Scotland. Across the narrow interval of about forty miles, he had drawn a line of military stations, which was afterwards fortified, in the reign of Antoninus Pius, by a turf rampart, erected on foundations of stone. This wall of Antoninus, at a small distance beyond the modern cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, was fixed as the limit of the Roman province. The native Caledonians preserved, in the northern extremity of the island, their wild independence, for which they were not less indebted to their poverty than to their valor. Their incursions were frequently repelled and chastised; but their country was never subdued. The masters of the fairest and most wealthy climates of the globe turned with contempt from gloomy hills, assailed by the winter tempest, from lakes concealed in a blue mist, and from cold and lonely heaths, over which the deer of the forest were chased by a troop of naked barbarians.
Such was the state of the Roman frontiers, and such the maxims of Imperial policy, from the death of Augustus to the accession of Trajan. That virtuous and active prince had received the education of a soldier, and possessed the talents of a general. The peaceful system of his predecessors was interrupted by scenes of war and conquest; and the legions, after a long interval, beheld a military emperor at their head. The first exploits of Trajan were against the Dacians, the most warlike of men, who dwelt beyond the Danube, and who, during the reign of Domitian, had insulted, with impunity, the Majesty of Rome. To the strength and fierceness of barbarians they added a contempt for life, which was derived from a warm persuasion of the immortality and transmigration of the soul. Decebalus, the Dacian king, approved himself a rival not unworthy of Trajan; nor did he despair of his own and the public fortune, till, by the confession of his enemies, he had exhausted every resource both of valor and policy. This memorable war, with a very short suspension of hostilities, lasted five years; and as the emperor could exert, without control, the whole force of the state, it was terminated by an absolute submission of the barbarians. The new province of Dacia, which formed a second exception to the precept of Augustus, was about thirteen hundred miles in circumference. Its natural boundaries were the Niester, the Teyss or Tibiscus, the Lower Danube, and the Euxine Sea. The vestiges of a military road may still be traced from the banks of the Danube to the neighborhood of Bender, a place famous in modern history, and the actual frontier of the Turkish and Russian empires.
Trajan was ambitious of fame; and as long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters. The praises of Alexander, transmitted by a succession of poets and historians, had kindled a dangerous emulation in the mind of Trajan. Like him, the Roman emperor undertook an expedition against the nations of the East; but he lamented with a sigh, that his advanced age scarcely left him any hopes of equalling the renown of the son of Philip. Yet the success of Trajan, however transient, was rapid and specious. The degenerate Parthians, broken by intestine discord, fled before his arms. He descended the River Tigris in triumph, from the mountains of Armenia to the Persian Gulf. He enjoyed the honor of being the first, as he was the last, of the Roman generals, who ever navigated that remote sea. His fleets ravaged the coast of Arabia; and Trajan vainly flattered himself that he was approaching towards the confines of India. Every day the astonished senate received the intelligence of new names and new nations, that acknowledged his sway. They were informed that the kings of Bosphorus, Colchos, Iberia, Albania, Osrhoene, and even the Parthian monarch himself, had accepted their diadems from the hands of the emperor; that the independent tribes of the Median and Carduchian hills had implored his protection; and that the rich countries of Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Assyria, were reduced into the state of provinces. But the death of Trajan soon clouded the splendid prospect; and it was justly to be dreaded, that so many distant nations would throw off the unaccustomed yoke, when they were no longer restrained by the powerful hand which had imposed it.
IT WAS AN ANCIENT TRADITION, that when the Capitol was founded by one of the Roman kings, the god Terminus (who presided over boundaries, and was represented, according to the fashion of that age, by a large stone) alone, among all the inferior deities, refused to yield his place to Jupiter himself. A favorable inference was drawn from his obstinacy, which was interpreted by the augurs as a sure presage that the boundaries of the Roman power would never recede. During many ages, the prediction, as it is usual, contributed to its own accomplishment. But though Terminus had resisted the Majesty of Jupiter, he submitted to the authority of the emperor Hadrian. The resignation of all the eastern conquests of Trajan was the first measure of his reign. He restored to the Parthians the election of an independent sovereign; withdrew the Roman garrisons from the provinces of Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Assyria; and, in compliance with the precept of Augustus, once more established the Euphrates as the frontier of the empire. Censure, which arraigns the public actions and the private motives of princes, has ascribed to envy, a conduct which might be attributed to the prudence and moderation of Hadrian. The various character of that emperor, capable, by turns, of the meanest and the most generous sentiments, may afford some color to the suspicion. It was, however, scarcely in his power to place the superiority of his predecessor in a more conspicuous light, than by thus confessing himself unequal to the task of defending the conquests of Trajan.
The martial and ambitious of spirit Trajan formed a very singular contrast with the moderation of his successor. The restless activity of Hadrian was not less remarkable when compared with the gentle repose of Antoninus Pius. The life of the former was almost a perpetual journey; and as he possessed the various talents of the soldier, the statesman, and the scholar, he gratified his curiosity in the discharge of his duty. Careless of the difference of seasons and of climates, he marched on foot, and bare-headed, over the snows of Caledonia, and the sultry plains of the Upper Egypt; nor was there a province of the empire which, in the course of his reign, was not honored with the presence of the monarch. But the tranquil life of Antoninus Pius was spent in the bosom of Italy, and, during the twenty-three years that he directed the public administration, the longest journeys of that amiable prince extended no farther than from his palace in Rome to the retirement of his Lanuvian villa.
Notwithstanding this difference in their personal conduct, the general system of Augustus was equally adopted and uniformly pursued by Hadrian and by the two Antonines. They persisted in the design of maintaining the dignity of the empire, without attempting to enlarge its limits. By every honorable expedient they invited the friendship of the barbarians; and endeavored to convince mankind that the Roman power, raised above the temptation of conquest, was actuated only by the love of order and justice. During a long period of forty-three years, their virtuous labors were crowned with success; and if we except a few slight hostilities, that served to exercise the legions of the frontier, the reigns of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius offer the fair prospect of universal peace. The Roman name was revered among the most remote nations of the earth. The fiercest barbarians frequently submitted their differences to the arbitration of the emperor; and we are informed by a contemporary historian that he had seen ambassadors who were refused the honor which they came to solicit of being admitted into the rank of subjects.
The terror of the Roman arms added weight and dignity to the moderation of the emperors. They preserved peace by a constant preparation for war; and while justice regulated their conduct, they announced to the nations on their confines, that they were as little disposed to endure, as to offer an injury. The military strength, which it had been sufficient for Hadrian and the elder Antoninus to display, was exerted against the Parthians and the Germans by the emperor Marcus. The hostilities of the barbarians provoked the resentment of that philosophic monarch, and, in the prosecution of a just defence, Marcus and his generals obtained many signal victories, both on the Euphrates and on the Danube. The military establishment of the Roman empire, which thus assured either its tranquillity or success, will now become the proper and important object of our attention.
In the purer ages of the commonwealth, the use of arms was reserved for those ranks of citizens who had a country to love, a property to defend, and some share in enacting those laws, which it was their interest as well as duty to maintain. But in proportion as the public freedom was lost in extent of conquest, war was gradually improved into an art, and degraded into a trade. The legions themselves, even at the time when they were recruited in the most distant provinces, were supposed to consist of Roman citizens. That distinction was generally considered, either as a legal qualification or as a proper recompense for the soldier; but a more serious regard was paid to the essential merit of age, strength, and military stature. In all levies, a just preference was given to the climates of the North over those of the South: the race of men born to the exercise of arms was sought for in the country rather than in cities; and it was very reasonably presumed, that the hardy occupations of smiths, carpenters, and huntsmen, would supply more vigor and resolution than the sedentary trades which are employed in the service of luxury. After every qualification of property had been laid aside, the armies of the Roman emperors were still commanded, for the most part, by officers of liberal birth and education; but the common soldiers, like the mercenary troops of modern Europe, were drawn from the meanest, and very frequently from the most profligate, of mankind.
That public virtue, which among the ancients was denominated patriotism, is derived from a strong sense of our own interest in the preservation and prosperity of the free government of which we are members. Such a sentiment, which had rendered the legions of the republic almost invincible, could make but a very feeble impression on the mercenary servants of a despotic prince; and it became necessary to supply that defect by other motives, of a different, but not less forcible nature—honor and religion. The peasant, or mechanic, imbibed the useful prejudice that he was advanced to the more dignified profession of arms, in which his rank and reputation would depend on his own valor; and that, although the prowess of a private soldier must often escape the notice of fame, his own behavior might sometimes confer glory or disgrace on the company, the legion, or even the army, to whose honors he was associated. On his first entrance into the service, an oath was administered to him with every circumstance of solemnity. He promised never to desert his standard, to submit his own will to the commands of his leaders, and to sacrifice his life for the safety of the emperor and the empire. The attachment of the Roman troops to their standards was inspired by the united influence of religion and of honor. The golden eagle, which glittered in the front of the legion, was the object of their fondest devotion; nor was it esteemed less impious than it was ignominious, to abandon that sacred ensign in the hour of danger. These motives, which derived their strength from the imagination, were enforced by fears and hopes of a more substantial kind. Regular pay, occasional donatives, and a stated recompense, after the appointed time of service, alleviated the hardships of the military life, whilst, on the other hand, it was impossible for cowardice or disobedience to escape the severest punishment. The centurions were authorized to chastise with blows, the generals had a right to punish with death; and it was an inflexible maxim of Roman discipline, that a good soldier should dread his officers far more than the enemy. From such laudable arts did the valor of the Imperial troops receive a degree of firmness and docility unattainable by the impetuous and irregular passions of barbarians.
And yet so sensible were the Romans of the imperfection of valor without skill and practice, that, in their language, the name of an army was borrowed from the word which signified exercise. Military exercises were the important and unremitted object of their discipline. The recruits and young soldiers were constantly trained, both in the morning and in the evening, nor was age or knowledge allowed to excuse the veterans from the daily repetition of what they had completely learnt. Large sheds were erected in the winter-quarters of the troops, that their useful labors might not receive any interruption from the most tempestuous weather; and it was carefully observed, that the arms destined to this imitation of war, should be of double the weight which was required in real action. It is not the purpose of this work to enter into any minute description of the Roman exercises. We shall only remark, that they comprehended whatever could add strength to the body, activity to the limbs, or grace to the motions. The soldiers were diligently instructed to march, to run, to leap, to swim, to carry heavy burdens, to handle every species of arms that was used either for offence or for defence, either in distant engagement or in a closer onset; to form a variety of evolutions; and to move to the sound of flutes in the Pyrrhic or martial dance. In the midst of peace, the Roman troops familiarized themselves with the practice of war; and it is prettily remarked by an ancient historian who had fought against them, that the effusion of blood was the only circumstance which distinguished a field of battle from a field of exercise. ^39 It was the policy of the ablest generals, and even of the emperors themselves, to encourage these military studies by their presence and example; and we are informed that Hadrian, as well as Trajan, frequently condescended to instruct the unexperienced soldiers, to reward the diligent, and sometimes to dispute with them the prize of superior strength or dexterity. Under the reigns of those princes, the science of tactics was cultivated with success; and as long as the empire retained any vigor, their military instructions were respected as the most perfect model of Roman discipline.
Nine centuries of war had gradually introduced into the service many alterations and improvements. The legions, as they are described by Polybius, in the time of the Punic wars, differed very materially from those which achieved the victories of Cæsar, or defended the monarchy of Hadrian and the Antonines. The constitution of the Imperial legion may be described in a few words. The heavy-armed infantry, which composed its principal strength, was divided into ten cohorts, and fifty-five companies, under the orders of a correspondent number of tribunes and centurions. The first cohort, which always claimed the post of honor and the custody of the eagle, was formed of eleven hundred and five soldiers, the most approved for valor and fidelity. The remaining nine cohorts consisted each of five hundred and fifty-five; and the whole body of legionary infantry amounted to six thousand one hundred men. Their arms were uniform, and admirably adapted to the nature of their service: an open helmet, with a lofty crest; a breastplate, or coat of mail; greaves on their legs, and an ample buckler on their left arm. The buckler was of an oblong and concave figure, four feet in length, and two and a half in breadth, framed of a light wood, covered with a bull’s hide, and strongly guarded with plates of brass. Besides a lighter spear, the legionary soldier grasped in his right hand the formidable pilum, a ponderous javelin, whose utmost length was about six feet, and which was terminated by a massy triangular point of steel of eighteen inches. This instrument was indeed much inferior to our modern fire-arms; since it was exhausted by a single discharge, at the distance of only ten or twelve paces. Yet when it was launched by a firm and skilful hand, there was not any cavalry that durst venture within its reach, nor any shield or corselet that could sustain the impetuosity of its weight. As soon as the Roman had darted his pilum, he drew his sword, and rushed forwards to close with the enemy. His sword was a short well-tempered Spanish blade, that carried a double edge, and was alike suited to the purpose of striking or of pushing; but the soldier was always instructed to prefer the latter use of his weapon, as his own body remained less exposed, whilst he inflicted a more dangerous wound on his adversary. The legion was usually drawn up eight deep; and the regular distance of three feet was left between the files as well as ranks. A body of troops, habituated to preserve this open order, in a long front and a rapid charge, found themselves prepared to execute every disposition which the circumstances of war, or the skill of their leader, might suggest. The soldier possessed a free space for his arms and motions, and sufficient intervals were allowed, through which seasonable reenforcements might be introduced to the relief of the exhausted combatants. The tactics of the Greeks and Macedonians were formed on very different principles. The strength of the phalanx depended on sixteen ranks of long pikes, wedged together in the closest array. But it was soon discovered by reflection, as well as by the event, that the strength of the phalanx was unable to contend with the activity of the legion.
The cavalry, without which the force of the legion would have remained imperfect, was divided into ten troops or squadrons; the first, as the companion of the first cohort, consisted of a hundred and thirty-two men; whilst each of the other nine amounted only to sixty-six. The entire establishment formed a regiment, if we may use the modern expression, of seven hundred and twenty-six horse, naturally connected with its respective legion, but occasionally separated to act in the line, and to compose a part of the wings of the army. The cavalry of the emperors was no longer composed, like that of the ancient republic, of the noblest youths of Rome and Italy, who, by performing their military service on horseback, prepared themselves for the offices of senator and consul; and solicited, by deeds of valor, the future suffrages of their countrymen. Since the alteration of manners and government, the most wealthy of the equestrian order were engaged in the administration of justice, and of the revenue; and whenever they embraced the profession of arms, they were immediately intrusted with a troop of horse, or a cohort of foot. Trajan and Hadrian formed their cavalry from the same provinces, and the same class of their subjects, which recruited the ranks of the legion. The horses were bred, for the most part, in Spain or Cappadocia. The Roman troopers despised the complete armor with which the cavalry of the East was encumbered. Their more useful arms consisted in a helmet, an oblong shield, light boots, and a coat of mail. A javelin, and a long broad sword, were their principal weapons of offence. The use of lances and of iron maces they seem to have borrowed from the barbarians.
The safety and honor of the empire was principally intrusted to the legions, but the policy of Rome condescended to adopt every useful instrument of war. Considerable levies were regularly made among the provincials, who had not yet deserved the honorable distinction of Romans. Many dependent princes and communities, dispersed round the frontiers, were permitted, for a while, to hold their freedom and security by the tenure of military service. Even select troops of hostile barbarians were frequently compelled or persuaded to consume their dangerous valor in remote climates, and for the benefit of the state. All these were included under the general name of auxiliaries; and howsoever they might vary according to the difference of times and circumstances, their numbers were seldom much inferior to those of the legions themselves. Among the auxiliaries, the bravest and most faithful bands were placed under the command of præfects and centurions, and severely trained in the arts of Roman discipline; but the far greater part retained those arms, to which the nature of their country, or their early habits of life, more peculiarly adapted them. By this institution, each legion, to whom a certain proportion of auxiliaries was allotted, contained within itself every species of lighter troops, and of missile weapons; and was capable of encountering every nation, with the advantages of its respective arms and discipline. Nor was the legion destitute of what, in modern language, would be styled a train of artillery. It consisted in ten military engines of the largest, and fifty-five of a smaller size; but all of which, either in an oblique or horizontal manner, discharged stones and darts with irresistible violence.
THE CAMP OF A ROMAN legion presented the appearance of a fortified city. As soon as the space was marked out, the pioneers carefully levelled the ground, and removed every impediment that might interrupt its perfect regularity. Its form was an exact quadrangle; and we may calculate, that a square of about seven hundred yards was sufficient for the encampment of twenty thousand Romans; though a similar number of our own troops would expose to the enemy a front of more than treble that extent. In the midst of the camp, the prætorium, or general’s quarters, rose above the others; the cavalry, the infantry, and the auxiliaries occupied their respective stations; the streets were broad and perfectly straight, and a vacant space of two hundred feet was left on all sides between the tents and the rampart. The rampart itself was usually twelve feet high, armed with a line of strong and intricate palisades, and defended by a ditch of twelve feet in depth as well as in breadth. This important labor was performed by the hands of the legionaries themselves; to whom the use of the spade and the pickaxe was no less familiar than that of the sword or pilum. Active valor may often be the present of nature; but such patient diligence can be the fruit only of habit and discipline.
Whenever the trumpet gave the signal of departure, the camp was almost instantly broke up, and the troops fell into their ranks without delay or confusion. Besides their arms, which the legendaries scarcely considered as an encumbrance, they were laden with their kitchen furniture, the instruments of fortification, and the provision of many days. Under this weight, which would oppress the delicacy of a modern soldier, they were trained by a regular step to advance, in about six hours, near twenty miles. On the appearance of an enemy, they threw aside their baggage, and by easy and rapid evolutions converted the column of march into an order of battle. The slingers and archers skirmished in the front; the auxiliaries formed the first line, and were seconded or sustained by the strength of the legions; the cavalry covered the flanks, and the military engines were placed in the rear.
Such were the arts of war, by which the Roman emperors defended their extensive conquests, and preserved a military spirit, at a time when every other virtue was oppressed by luxury and despotism. If, in the consideration of their armies, we pass from their discipline to their numbers, we shall not find it easy to define them with any tolerable accuracy. We may compute, however, that the legion, which was itself a body of six thousand eight hundred and thirty-one Romans, might, with its attendant auxiliaries, amount to about twelve thousand five hundred men. The peace establishment of Hadrian and his successors was composed of no less than thirty of these formidable brigades; and most probably formed a standing force of three hundred and seventy-five thousand men. Instead of being confined within the walls of fortified cities, which the Romans considered as the refuge of weakness or pusillanimity, the legions were encamped on the banks of the great rivers, and along the frontiers of the barbarians. As their stations, for the most part, remained fixed and permanent, we may venture to describe the distribution of the troops. Three legions were sufficient for Britain. The principal strength lay upon the Rhine and Danube, and consisted of sixteen legions, in the following proportions: two in the Lower, and three in the Upper Germany; one in Rhætia, one in Noricum, four in Pannonia, three in Mæsia, and two in Dacia. The defence of the Euphrates was intrusted to eight legions, six of whom were planted in Syria, and the other two in Cappadocia. With regard to Egypt, Africa, and Spain, as they were far removed from any important scene of war, a single legion maintained the domestic tranquillity of each of those great provinces. Even Italy was not left destitute of a military force. Above twenty thousand chosen soldiers, distinguished by the titles of City Cohorts and Prætorian Guards, watched over the safety of the monarch and the capital. As the authors of almost every revolution that distracted the empire, the Prætorians will, very soon, and very loudly, demand our attention; but, in their arms and institutions, we cannot find any circumstance which discriminated them from the legions, unless it were a more splendid appearance, and a less rigid discipline.
The navy maintained by the emperors might seem inadequate to their greatness; but it was fully sufficient for every useful purpose of government. The ambition of the Romans was confined to the land; nor was that warlike people ever actuated by the enterprising spirit which had prompted the navigators of Tyre, of Carthage, and even of Marseilles, to enlarge the bounds of the world, and to explore the most remote coasts of the ocean. To the Romans the ocean remained an object of terror rather than of curiosity; the whole extent of the Mediterranean, after the destruction of Carthage, and the extirpation of the pirates, was included within their provinces. The policy of the emperors was directed only to preserve the peaceful dominion of that sea, and to protect the commerce of their subjects. With these moderate views, Augustus stationed two permanent fleets in the most convenient ports of Italy, the one at Ravenna, on the Adriatic, the other at Misenum, in the Bay of Naples. Experience seems at length to have convinced the ancients, that as soon as their galleys exceeded two, or at the most three ranks of oars, they were suited rather for vain pomp than for real service. Augustus himself, in the victory of Actium, had seen the superiority of his own light frigates (they were called Liburnians) over the lofty but unwieldy castles of his rival. Of these Liburnians he composed the two fleets of Ravenna and Misenum, destined to command, the one the eastern, the other the western division of the Mediterranean; and to each of the squadrons he attached a body of several thousand marines. Besides these two ports, which may be considered as the principal seats of the Roman navy, a very considerable force was stationed at Frejus, on the coast of Provence, and the Euxine was guarded by forty ships, and three thousand soldiers. To all these we add the fleet which preserved the communication between Gaul and Britain, and a great number of vessels constantly maintained on the Rhine and Danube, to harass the country, or to intercept the passage of the barbarians. If we review this general state of the Imperial forces; of the cavalry as well as infantry; of the legions, the auxiliaries, the guards, and the navy; the most liberal computation will not allow us to fix the entire establishment by sea and by land at more than four hundred and fifty thousand men: a military power, which, however formidable it may seem, was equalled by a monarch of the last century, whose kingdom was confined within a single province of the Roman empire.
We have attempted to explain the spirit which moderated, and the strength which supported, the power of Hadrian and the Antonines. We shall now endeavor, with clearness and precision, to describe the provinces once united under their sway, but, at present, divided into so many independent and hostile states.
Spain, the western extremity of the empire, of Europe, and of the ancient world, has, in every age, invariably preserved the same natural limits; the Pyrenæan Mountains, the Mediterranean, and the Atlantic Ocean. That great peninsula, at present so unequally divided between two sovereigns, was distributed by Augustus into three provinces, Lusitania, Bætica, and Tarraconensis. The kingdom of Portugal now fills the place of the warlike country of the Lusitanians; and the loss sustained by the former on the side of the East, is compensated by an accession of territory towards the North. The confines of Grenada and Andalusia correspond with those of ancient Bætica. The remainder of Spain, Gallicia, and the Asturias, Biscay, and Navarre, Leon, and the two Castiles, Murcia, Valencia, Catalonia, and Arragon, all contributed to form the third and most considerable of the Roman governments, which, from the name of its capital, was styled the province of Tarragona. Of the native barbarians, the Celtiberians were the most powerful, as the Cantabrians and Asturians proved the most obstinate. Confident in the strength of their mountains, they were the last who submitted to the arms of Rome, and the first who threw off the yoke of the Arabs.
Ancient Gaul, as it contained the whole country between the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Rhine, and the Ocean, was of greater extent than modern France. To the dominions of that powerful monarchy, with its recent acquisitions of Alsace and Lorraine, we must add the duchy of Savoy, the cantons of Switzerland, the four electorates of the Rhine, and the territories of Liege, Luxemburgh, Hainault, Flanders, and Brabant. When Augustus gave laws to the conquests of his father, he introduced a division of Gaul, equally adapted to the progress of the legions, to the course of the rivers, and to the principal national distinctions, which had comprehended above a hundred independent states. The sea-coast of the Mediterranean, Languedoc, Provence, and Dauphine, received their provincial appellation from the colony of Narbonne. The government of Aquitaine was extended from the Pyrenees to the Loire. The country between the Loire and the Seine was styled the Celtic Gaul, and soon borrowed a new denomination from the celebrated colony of Lugdunum, or Lyons. The Belgic lay beyond the Seine, and in more ancient times had been bounded only by the Rhine; but a little before the age of Cæsar, the Germans, abusing their superiority of valor, had occupied a considerable portion of the Belgic territory. The Roman conquerors very eagerly embraced so flattering a circumstance, and the Gallic frontier of the Rhine, from Basil to Leyden, received the pompous names of the Upper and the Lower Germany. Such, under the reign of the Antonines, were the six provinces of Gaul; the Narbonnese, Aquitaine, the Celtic, or Lyonnese, the Belgic, and the two Germanies.
We have already had occasion to mention the conquest of Britain, and to fix the boundary of the Roman Province in this island. It comprehended all England, Wales, and the Lowlands of Scotland, as far as the Friths of Dumbarton and Edinburgh. Before Britain lost her freedom, the country was irregularly divided between thirty tribes of barbarians, of whom the most considerable were the Belgæ in the West, the Brigantes in the North, the Silures in South Wales, and the Iceni in Norfolk and Suffolk. As far as we can either trace or credit the resemblance of manners and language, Spain, Gaul, and Britain were peopled by the same hardy race of savages. Before they yielded to the Roman arms, they often disputed the field, and often renewed the contest. After their submission, they constituted the western division of the European provinces, which extended from the columns of Hercules to the wall of Antoninus, and from the mouth of the Tagus to the sources of the Rhine and Danube.
Before the Roman conquest, the country which is now called Lombardy, was not considered as a part of Italy. It had been occupied by a powerful colony of Gauls, who, settling themselves along the banks of the Po, from Piedmont to Romagna, carried their arms and diffused their name from the Alps to the Apennine. The Ligurians dwelt on the rocky coast which now forms the republic of Genoa. Venice was yet unborn; but the territories of that state, which lie to the east of the Adige, were inhabited by the Venetians. The middle part of the peninsula, that now composes the duchy of Tuscany and the ecclesiastical state, was the ancient seat of the Etruscans and Umbrians; to the former of whom Italy was indebted for the first rudiments of civilized life. The Tyber rolled at the foot of the seven hills of Rome, and the country of the Sabines, the Latins, and the Volsci, from that river to the frontiers of Naples, was the theatre of her infant victories. On that celebrated ground the first consuls deserved triumphs, their successors adorned villas, and their posterity have erected convents. Capua and Campania possessed the immediate territory of Naples; the rest of the kingdom was inhabited by many warlike nations, the Marsi, the Samnites, the Apulians, and the Lucanians; and the sea-coasts had been covered by the flourishing colonies of the Greeks. We may remark, that when Augustus divided Italy into eleven regions, the little province of Istria was annexed to that seat of Roman sovereignty.
Tysiące ebooków i audiobooków
Ich liczba ciągle rośnie, a Ty masz gwarancję niezmiennej ceny.
Napisali o nas:
Nowy sposób na e-księgarnię
Czytelnicy nie wierzą
Legimi idzie na całość
Projekt Legimi wielkim wydarzeniem
Spotify for ebooks