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and other metals that bound the stones together? The quotation from Procopius inerely states that they burned the houses near the gate, and sacked the whole city.
The authority of Marcellinus, the author of the quoted chronicle, is pull and void, for at the same time that he asserts that the Goths burned a part of the city, be is guilty of a great inaccuracy, when, in the same sentence, he states that Alaric remained six days in the city. Orosius, who was a contemporary, asserts that Rome remained in their possession only three days.
The authorityin favour of the opinion against the Goths, which has the greatest weight, is Cassiodorus; although he is not, as the Author asserts, an earlier or a better authority than the three above mentioned. That Marcellinus was his predecessor, is proved by Cassiodorus's quoting bim ; and Procopius and Cassiodorus must have been living at the same time, as the latter did not die till A. D. 540, only three years before the plague of Constantinople, which the former so accurately describes. But let us examine what weight the testimony of Cassiodorus should bave on our decision. Althougll
, not being either a Roman or a Goth, he may be supposed to be impartial, yet, writing against Arians, we must not be surprised if he, in his ecclesiastical history, should be disposed to colour somewhat unfavourably those facts which tell against them. Cassiodorus wrote about 115 years after the sacking of Rome; he was not therefore a contemporary, like Orosius ; nor was be, like Procopius, the secretary of Belisarius, any time a resident in Rome. These however we have seen, do not mention any of the wonders of Rome as having been burned by Alaric. Cassiodorus also speaks generally : • They came to Rome, which laying waste, they burnt with fire
many of its miracles.' Procopius speaks inore particularly, and says : “ They burnt the houses which were nearest the gate,
amongst which was that of Sallust the historian.' Yet, these two historians had, to say the least, equal opportunities of ascertaining the fact. Orosius, then, who lived at the very time, must be allowed to decide in our favour, when he says: Only
a few buildings were burnt.' There is one other circumstance to be taken into consideration, which is, that Jornandes, who writes specially upon the Gothic affairs, and who, in his prefatory letter to a friend, mentions that he abridges the Twelve books of Cassiodorus on the subject, which are now unfortunately lost, says, in the most clear and decisive terms : They did not, • however, as is generally done, set fire to the towo.' How can we reconcile this, unless we believe that Cassiodorus, in bis ecclesiastical history, referred to this point negligently, as one not immediately relevant, but, in his great history of the Goths, spoke more accurately. We cannot imagine that Jornandes would have ventured, in spite of his being a Goth, so completely
* to contradict the author he was abridging, when in his preface he
says, Of which (books) though I do not copy the words, yet 'the sense and the things done I believe I honestly retain.' Yet Mr. Hobhouse, either not aware of this, or disguising it, merely says in reference to Jornandes, (though he quotes the passage in which he denies the setting fire to the town;) - The
Gothic historian, who says that fire was not put to the town ' is no evidence, being directly contradicted by the above quoted ' and other authorities. We think that Jornandes is quite reconcilable to the others. Orosius says the city was on fire, not accusing the Goths of being the authors of the conflagration; hence, it appears not improbable that in bis time there was some doubt as to how the fire originated; which, however, the mere compilers, and succeeding historians, asserted cursorily, and naturally enough, to have been caused by those at whose entry it happened.
The other authorities which Mr. H. quotes, are of little avail, for when Philostorg:us speaks of the fire, and of the city lying in
ruins, be manifestly exaggerates. And Socrates evidently $ copies Cassiodorus's Ecclesiastical History, as does the author
of the Aistoria Miscella. That Rome was not in the state Pbilostorgius describes, is evident. Mr. Hobhouse rejects the authority of Rutilius, who describes, in his voyage along the coast of Italy, the state of Rome in perhaps hyperbolical terms; yet, an enthusiast like bim, would not have spoken so lightly of the mischief of the Goths, as to say,
• Abscondat tristem deleta injuria casum.' Nor would be, if their destruction had been such as to warrapt our Author's representation, bave sung of the shining temples which confuse the sight, and cause the poet to dream that such are the houses of the gods. He would not particularly have mentioned the aviaries,
• Vernula qua vario carmine ludit avis,' if the Goths had wantoned in mischief only twelve years before.
Mr. Hobhouse next proceeds to notice the ruin caused by Genseric, Vitiges, and Totila. Genseric entered Rome, and sacked it during fourteen days. He carried off the treasures of the Temple of Peace and of the Palace of the Cæsars. But still, we have mention made of but one injury done to a public building, which was the taking of half the copper tiles from the Temple of Jupiter. As this is particularly specified by Procopius, without any hint at other ruins, it is not reasonable to suppose,' as Mr. H. would have us believe, ‘ that the precious metals were extracted and torn dowo from all structures, pub' lic and private, a violence which, without the use of fire or
engines, must have loosened many of the compact masses, and * been totally destructive to smaller edifices.' Our Author concludes, that ninety-nine of every hundred readers, will think the authorities at the bottom of his page, bear him out in bis assertions, while they are in fact quite innocent of being accomplices in his calumny.
Vitiges, though he came down 'as a furious lion,' did no more than any general would do, even in the present civilized age. He cut the aqueducts, as Procopius says, to binder the city from obtaining water by their means. This measure against a besieged town, was quite consistent with the practice of war; and that it was not done without sufficient motive, is proved by the fact mentioned by Anastasius, that water was in consequence sold at a great price in the city. The burning of
every thing without the walls, and the beginning of the desolation of the Campagna,' according to our Author, reduces itself, according to the authority he has referred to but not quoted, to Vitiges's laying waste the possessions of private individuals, of the treasury, and of the church, and to bis destroying churches and the bodies of martyrs.
Totila, when obliged to leave Rome, desirous of preventing its becoming so formidable an obstacle to him as it had proved to Vitiges, in case the Greeks got possession of it, certainly burned a third part of the walls. He even burned a very small part of the city beyond the Tiber ; but Procopius, in that very passage referred to but not quoted by the Author of the Illustrations, says, that Totila, through sorrow at having been the cause of the destruction of this part, ordered the restoration of Rome to the utmost of his power. Besides which, Procopius, who is partial rather than otherwise, to the enemies of the Goths, gives a description of Rome, from which we must infer, that by the constant care of its citizens, the buildings remained in their pristine splendour, and that even many of the earliest monuments remained, from which he selects the ship of Æneas to describe particularly; so that the injury done by Totila and all his barbarian predecessors, could not have been very great.
Mr. Hobhouse, after referring to Procopius, has these words :
An author of the Chronicles records a fire, and the total abandonment of the city for more than forty days; and it must be men. tioned that there is no certain trace of the palace of the Cæsars having survived the irruption of Totila.' p. 69.
Now, the author of the Chronicle, Marcellinus, if literally translated, will be found to say, at the bottom of the page Totila, by the treachery of the Isaurians, enters Rome, and overturns the walls, burning soine few houses, (aliquantas,)
After which devastation, Rome remained so desolate, that no men but only brutes remained there.' Laying aside the question as to the degree of credit to be attached to Marcellinus, who, we have already seen, is inaccurate in his statement of the evil inflicted by Ariuns, and whom no contemporary author bears out in these assertions, it is remarkable how clearly he distinguishes between the firing of a few houses and the abandonment of the city for forty days. To an inaccurate observer, it might seem, from Mr. H.'s account, as if Marcellinus meant to imply that the fire lasted forty days. There being no trace of the palace of the Cæsars after Totila, when it is not mentioned in the histories of his contemporaries, cannot imply that he ruined it.
We have thus accompanied Mr. Hobhouse through the whole of his authorities concerning the ruin caused by the barbarians, and we hope that we have shewn, that his very quotations afford po proof that they wantonly destroyed any monument of Roman grandeur; the only building of consequence mentioned as destroyed, being the palace of Sallust. We have also seen that there is even room for questioning the cause of the fire which destroyed this palace and the neighbouring houses. Thus completely are all the Author's assertions concerning the barbarians disproved. We do not mean to assert that no dilapidations took place during the various sieges. The repairing the walls by Belisarius, the attack on Hadrian's mole, and so many otber instances in which the richest marbles and the finest sculptures were used as means of offence and defence, would immediately prove the futility of the assertion. But we do maintain that the Goths, as barbarians, were not to blame for this, any more than the efferninate Greek or the luxurious Roman.
Did we think the work worthy of it, we might in this manner go through the whole, shewing at every page quotations misapplied, and assertions made without foundation. The Chrispotian' would be as easily cleared from a great portion of the
obloquy recast upon him by this Author, as is The Gothias easily would the laurels snatched_from his unacknowledged predecessors, be stripped from him. But though we camot afford the time necessary to followhim through all bis misrepresentations, there is one point upon which we must say a few words. We refer to the many occasions throughout bis' book, in which he takes upon himself, in a flippant and sneering way, to question the authority of writers whose merit has generally been acknowledged as great, in the literary world, in respect of that very qualification in which Mr. Hoblouse is so conspicuously deficient, literary accuracy and impartiality. Upon several certainly trifling points, he does not scruple to contradict and laugh at Muratori, Gibbon, Tiraboschi, and many other great names. Without saying how much these Authors are superior in veracity, as historians, to the Author of the Illustrations, we shall be content with examining a few of the instances in which he criticizes them.
In a note at page 8, he says,
• Muratori's Apnals were attacked on their first appearance, as “ uno de' libri più fatali al principato Romano ;" to which the libra. rian replied, that “ truth was neither Guelf nor Ghibelline." If he had thought that she was neither Catholic nor Protestant, he would have slurred over the massacre of St. Bartholomew as an event which gave rise to many exaggerations amongst the Hugonots. “ Lascerò io disputare ai gran Dottori intorno al giustificare o riprovare quel si strepitoso fatto; bastando a me di dire, che per cagion désso im. mense esagerazioni fece il partito de gli Ugonoti, e loro servi di stimolo e di scusa per ripigliar l'armi contra del Re.” Annali ad an. 1572, tom. x. p. 464. In page 469, ibid. he talks of the great loss of France by the death of the murderer, Charles IX, who, if he had lived, would have “extirpated the seed of heresy."
Let us see what is the literal translation of what Muratori says concerning the massacre. "I will leave it to the great
doctors to dispute concerning the justifying or blaming this so • famous deed; it being sufficient for me to say that on account
of it the Hugonots made very great exaggerations, and that it (served them as a stimulus and an excuse for taking arms against the king.' Does it not strike every one, that in a case like this, where an Author cannot speak bis mind without in. curring the imputation of rashly endangering his life, the best way was to say, as he does, that he refers it to others to decide about the condemning or justifying the deed, evidently shewing that at least he thought it open to discussion ? That the Hugonots exaggerated very much the number of the slain, he had mentioned before, and he here allows, that it served them as an excuse for taking up arms against the king. The second reference, and Mr. H.'s free translation, do not quite agree. Muratori says, that it was a misfortune to France that Charles
died;' but why? Because Henry the IIId. was in Poland ; because Catherine of Medicis, bis mother, and regent of the kingdom, was not capable of keeping in the Hugonots, who began to form cabals with the German Protestants, and to disturb the peace. He certainly says, ' potea sperarsi, one might 'be able to hope that had he lived, as he was zealous for the Catholic religion, and as he was gifted with warlike inclinations, he would have cleared his kingdom of beretical seed. But how different is this colouring from that given by Mr. Hobhouse!