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uarnents, which came to be used as weapons by her generals, or as part of their rapine, by her subaltern governors. The bigot's rage had some share in it; but more than all, her own citizens must bear the blame of destroying what, when they had degraded it, could still have adorned their native city. Their civil broils did not spare what the Goth, in his rage, had left untouched; what the bigot, in his momentary madness, had passed unmarked by his hammer. And worse than all, their avarice has stamped with its large and too evident footsteps, every quarter of the city.
Mr. Hobhouse has devoted to the examination of this subject, several pages of his work. So far, however, from having elucidated it, he has succeeded in embarrassing it, by throwing the rubbish of erudition upon a point from which it had been cleared by several able critics. It had been almost generally acknowledged, from the time of Angelo Pietro da Barga down to the present day, that the Goths had been much calumniated in regard to the ruin they are said to have caused in Rome. They have been represented as wantonly defacing the beautiful, and using their utmost strength in destroying the massy structures of the Queen of Cities, each time she came under their power. But, from the accounts, which have been handed down to us by those who lived nearest the time in which this destruction is said to have taken place, it would not appear that they committed any other depredations than what generally ensued when a town was given to sack. They seized upon the gold and silver, and when these failed, the baser metals were not despised. Fire was set to several parts of the city, apparently more by accident than pur
Eosely; but how small the effect of fire has been upon the public uildings, may be ascertained by the examination of the structures which remain. Little wood was employed , stone, bricks, a few beams, some of which were even of brass, constitute the materials. The houses of the poor and the palaces of the rich, might certainly supply such materials to a fire, as would free St. Jerome from the imputation of too great an exaggeration in his lamentation over Rome: 'Once the head of the world, now the 'sepulchre of its people.' The authorities quoted by Mr. Hobhouse, only prove the existence of a fire when the Goths entered Rome; they do not even prove that they set the city on fire, nor do they prove the fact of any wanton destruction. To establish this we need but follow him in his several authorites.
In order to weaken the authority of Orosius, who does not assert sufficient to warrant the Author's indignation, Mr. Hobhouse says, ' It should be remembered, that the supposed piety 'redeemed the actual violence of the Goths, and that respect 'for the vessels of St. Peter's shrine, made Orosius almost the 'apologist of Alaric.'—Yet Alaric was an Arian! Mr. H. however proceeds:
« It is certain that Alaric did burn a part of Rome. Orosius, by making the comparison between the former great fires, and that of the Goths, shews that such a comparison might be suggested by the magnitude of the latter calamity. He adds also, that after the people were, returned, the conflagration had left its traces, and in relating the.nartial destruction of the Forum by lightning, makes it appear that • the brazen beams, and the mighty structures which were then consumed, would have fallen by the hands and flames of the barbarians, had they not been too massive for human force to overthrow.' pp. 60, 61 _
Now, let us examine the very passages of Orosius at the bottom of these pages, that we may form some opinion of this gentleman's skill in bringing forward quotations to substantiate his text. The whole of note ' shall be extracted for this purpose.
'" Tortiadie Barbari,quam ingressi fuerint urbem, sponte discedunt, facto quidem aliquantarumaxlium incendio, scd ne tanto quidem, quantum septingesimo conditionis ejus anno casus effecerat." He compares the Gallic and Neronic fires, and says they were greater than the Gothic. /,.',;. !m vii. cap. xxxix. "Cujus n-i quamvis recens memoria sit, turn si quis ipsius populi Romani et multitudinem Videat et vocetn andiat, nihil facturn, si cut ipsi etiam fatentur, arbitrabitur, nisi aliquantis adhuc existentibusex incendio ruinis forte doceatur." Lib. vii. chap, xl.'
These quotations, literally translated, mean as follows: 'On 'the third day after their entry, the Barbarians of their own ac'cord retire, a burning of some buildings indeed having been • made, but not even so great as chance had caused in the 'Sv,ven hundredth year of the building of the city.' * * * * 'Of 'which, though the memory is recent, if any one should see the 'multitude and hear the voice of the Roman people itself, he will 'think nothing had been done, as they themselves allow, unless 'he may by chance be taught by the few ruins yet remainiag 'from the fire.' Now, what does the magnitude suggested by the comparison between the Gothic, and the Gallic and Neronic fires, amount to, more than, this, that a few buildings, certainly, were burned, but that the fire was not equal to the,one in the seven hundredth year of Rome, which is one of the smaller fires hardly mentioned by authors; and that it was so small that the common people had almost forgotten it, and a stranger might not discover it, except he happened to meet with some of the few ruins yet remaining. Orosius, who speaks this in his own person, wrote about A.d. 416, not more than six years after,. Alaric took the city.
The other passage which is quoted in support of the asser
tion, that the buildings would have been destroyed by the flames ki nil led by the barbarians, is as follows: Note ', page 61.
'Qulppe cum suprahumanas vires esset,incendere aeneas trabes, et subruere magnarum moles structurarum, ictu fulminum Forum cum imaginibus variis, quae superstitione miserabili vel deum vel hominem mentiuntur, abjectum est: horumque omnium abominamcntorum quod immissa per hostcm flamma non adiil, missus e ccelo ignis evertit. Lib ii cap. 15.'
'As it was above human strength to burn the brazen beams, 'and to overturn the mass of the great structures, the Forum, 'with the various images, which represent man and god by a mi'serable superstition, was thrown down by lightning; and what 'of all these abominations, the flames lighted by the enemy c could not approach, those sent by heaven overthrew.' Does this warrant the expression, relative to the barbarians not having overturned these mighty structures merely from the want of power? Orosius states that it was above human power to. do it, and, as a good Christian, seems to think that Heaven interposed to destroy that sanctuary of superstition which it would have baffled human effort to overthrow.
The expression used by Gelasius, ninety years after the event, 'Urbem evertit,' even if translated as Mr. Hobhouse would have it, ' overturned the city,' would have little weight against the authority of Orosius and other historians. But we are not a little astonished that an author who is certainly a classical scholar, should venture to give these English words as the version of the Latin; they imply much more than is conveyed by the original, the English words referring to the buildings, the Latin to the government. Alaric did overturn the government, for he set up a mock emperor one day, and on the next degraded him; but, according to Orosius, he did little injury to the buildings. Cicero uses ' Eoertere rempublicam,' merely for disturbing the government, not destroying the state.
'Procopius, (says Mr. H.) confines the fire to the quarter near the Salarian gate; but adds, that the Goths ravaged the whole city. The despoiling edifices of ornaments, many of which must have been connected with their structure, could not fail to hasten their decay.' p. 62.
Does the Author mean, by inserting this altogether in one separate paragraph, to convey the idea that Procopius says that these ornaments were taken away? We cannot find such a passage; nor do we know any historian who mentions their taking away the ornaments which were connected with the buildings. They remained in Rome only three days, and Rome had not before been sacked by any conquering army. Is it to be supposed that they wasted their time in taking away the bronze and other metals that bound the stones together? The quotation from Procopius merely 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 null and void, for at the same lime that he asserts that the Goths burned a part of the city, he 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 Cassiotlorus; 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 him; 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 have on our decision. Although, 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 he, like Procop:us, 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 more 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, 4 however, as is generally done, set fire to the town.' 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
(o contradict the author he was abridging1, 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 1 honestly retain.1 Yet Mr. Hobhouse, either not aware of this, or disguising it, merely says in reference to Jornandes, (though be 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 his titne 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, he manifestly exaggerates. And Socrates evidently copies Cassiodorus's Ecclesiastical History, as does the author of the Historia Miscella, That Rome was not in (he state Philostorgius describes, is evident. Mr. Hobhouse rejects the authority of Rutilins, who describes, in his voyage along the coast of Italy, the state of Rome in perhaps hyperbolical terms; yet, an enthusiast like him, would not have spoken so lightly of the mischief of the lioths, as to say,
Abscondat tristem deleta injuria casum.'
Nor would he, if their destruction had been such as to warrant our Author's representation, have 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 Gcnseric, Vitiges, and Totila. Genseric entered Home, and sacked it during fourteen days. He carried off the treasures of the Temple of Peace and of the Palace of the Caesars. But still, we have mention made of but one injury done to a public building, which was the taking of halt' 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 4 suppose,' as Mr. H. would have us believe, ' that the precious 'metals were extracted and torn dowu from all structures, pub"