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Ch. 5, § 6‑7
This webpage reproduces a chapter of
History of the Later Roman Empire

by J. B. Bury

published by Macmillan & Co., Ltd.,

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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Ch. 7

Vol. I
Chapter VI

The German Invasions under Honorius

§ 1. Alaric's Second Invasion of Italy.
The Three Sieges of Rome (408‑410)

The fall of Stilicho was the signal for the Roman troops to massacre with brutal perfidy the families of the barbarian auxiliaries who were serving in Italy. The foreign soldiers, 30,000 of them, straightway marched to Noricum, joined the standard of Alaric, and urged him to descend on Italy.1 Among the few who remained faithful to Honorius were the Goth Sarus and his followers.

The general conduct of affairs was now in the hands of Olympius, who obtained the post of Master of Offices. He was faced by two problems. What measures were to be taken in regard to Constantine, the tyrant who was reigning in Gaul? And what policy was to be adopted towards Alaric, who was urgently demanding satisfaction of his claims, in Noricum? The Goth made a definite proposal, which it would have been wise to accept. He promised to withdraw into Pannonia if a sum of money was delivered to him and hostages were interchanged. The Emperor and Olympius declined, but took no measures for defending Italy against the menace of a Gothic invasion.2

 p175  Alaric acted promptly. In the early autumn of A.D. 408 he crossed the Julian Alps, and entered Italy for the third time. He marched rapidly and unopposed, by Cremona, Bononia, Ariminum, and the Flaminian Way, seldom tarrying to reduce cities,3 for this time his goal was Rome itself. The story was told that a monk appeared in his tent and warned him to abandon his design. Alaric replied that he was not acting of his own will, but was constrained by some power incessantly urging him to the occupation of Rome. Here we have, in another form, the same motif of Alaric's belief in his destiny to capture the City — penetrabis ad Urbem — to which Claudian ascribed his resolve to risk battle at Pollentia.

At length he encamped before the walls of Rome4 and hoped soon to reduce by blockade a city which had made no provision for a siege. His hopes were well founded. The Senate was helpless and stricken with fear. One of their first acts shows the extremity of their panic. Serena, the widow of Stilicho, lived in Rome, and, as Stilicho's collusive dealings with Alaric were well known, it was suspected that she had an understanding with the Goth and might betray the city. They decided to put her to death, calculating that Alaric, learning that he had no ally within to open the gates to him, would abandon the siege. The fact that she was the niece of the great Theodosius did not save her; she was strangled; and it is said that her cousin, the Emperor's sister, Galla Placidia, approved of the cruel act, which was based on the merest, and perhaps unfounded, suspicion.5 The pagan historian who records it acquits Serena of any thought of treachery, but regards her fate as a divine punishment for a sacrilege which she had committed many years before. The story is that when Theodosius closed the temples of Rome, Serena, moved by curiosity, visited the temple of the Great Mother,6 and seeing a necklace on the neck of the goddess took it off and hung it round her own. An aged Vestal virgin who had accompanied her cried shame on the impiety, and when  p176  Serena ordered her to be removed imprecated curses upon her, her husband, and children. To the pagans it seemed a fitting retribution that the neck which had worn the necklace of Rhea should feel the cord of the executioner.

The death of Serena did not change the plans of Alaric. He hindered provisions from coming up the Tiber from Portus, and the Romans were soon pressed by hunger and then by plague. The streets were full of corpses. Help had been expected from Ravenna, and as none came the Senate at length decided to negotiate. There was a curious suspicion abroad that the besieging army was led not by Alaric himself but by a follower of Stilicho who was masquerading as the Gothic king. In order to assure themselves on this point, the Senate chose as one of the envoys John, the chief of the Imperial notaries, who was personally acquainted with Alaric. The envoys were instructed to say that the Romans were prepared to make peace, but that they were ready to fight and were not afraid of the issue. Alaric laughed at the attempt to terrify him with the armed populace of Rome, and informed them that he would only desist from the siege on the delivery of all the gold, silver, and movable property in the city and all the barbarian slaves. "What will be left to us?" they asked. "Your lives," was the reply.

The pagan senators of Rome attributed the cruel disaster which had come upon them to the wrath of the gods at the abandonment of the old religion. The blockade, continued a few days longer, would force them to accept Alaric's cruel terms; the only hope lay in reconciling the angry deities, if perchance they might save the city. Encouraging news arrived at this time that in the Umbrian town of Narnia, to which Alaric had laid siege on his march, sacrifices had been performed and miraculous fire and thunder had frightened the Goths into abandoning the siege. The general opinion was that the same means should be tried at Rome. The Prefect of the City, Pompeianus, thought it well that the Christians should share in the responsibility for such a violation of the laws and he laid the matter before the bishop, Innocent I.7 The Pope is said to have "considered the safety of the city more important than his own opinion, and to have consented to the secret performance of the necessary rites. But the priests said that the rites would not avail unless they  p177  were celebrated publicly on the Capitol in the presence of the Senate, and in the Forum. Then the half-heartedness of the Roman pagans of that day was revealed. No one could be found with the courage to perform the ceremonies in public.8

After this futile interlude, nothing remained but, in a chastened and humble spirit, to send another embassy to Alaric and seek to move his compassion. After prolonged negotiations he granted tolerable terms. He would depart, without entering the city, on receiving 5000 pounds of gold (about £225,000), 30,000 of silver, 4000 silk tunics, 3000 scarlet-dyed skins, and 3000 pounds of pepper, and the Senate was to bring pressure to bear on the Emperor to conclude peace and alliance with the Goths. As the treasury was quite empty, and the contributions of the citizens fell short of the required amount of gold and silver, the ornaments were stripped from the images of the gods, and some gold and silver statues were melted down, to make up the ransom of the city. Before delivering the treasure to Alaric, messengers were despatched to Ravenna to obtain the Emperor's sanction of the terms and his promise to hand over to Alaric some noble hostages and conclude a peace. Honorius agreed, and Alaric duly received the treasures of Rome. He then withdrew his army to the southern borders of Etruria to await the fulfilment of the Emperor's promise (December A.D. 408). The number of his followers was soon increased by the flight from Rome of a multitude of the barbarian slaves, whose surrender he had formerly demanded. They flocked to his camp, and it is said that his host, thus reinforced, was 40,000 strong.

The year came to an end, Honorius entered upon his eighth consulship,9 and through the influence of Olympius, who was engaged in tracking down the friends and adherents of Stilicho, nothing was done to carry out the engagements to Alaric. The Goth grew impatient, Rome feared another attack, and the Senate sent three distinguished men to Ravenna to urge the government to send the hostages demanded by Alaric and  p178  compose a peace. One of these envoys was Priscus Attalus,10 who belonged to a family of Ionia. The embassy was unsuccessful, but Attalus was appointed to the position of count of the Sacred Largesses, and his colleague Caecilian to that of Praetorian Prefect of Italy (January 16‑20, A.D. 409).11 It was recognised, however, that something must be done to protect Rome, and a force of six thousand men were brought over from Dalmatia and sent to serve as a garrison in the menaced city. On the march thither they were intercepted by Alaric and almost all killed or captured. Attalus, who accompanied them, escaped. The Senate then sent another embassy, including as the principal delegate the bishop of Rome himself.

Before the siege of Rome Alaric had sent a message to his wife's brother, Athaulf, who was then in Pannonia, to join him in Italy. Athaulf with a force of Goths and Huns now crossed the Alps and marched to Etruria. Olympius collected some troops and sent them to intercept the new-comers. There was an engagement near Pisa, in which 300 Huns were said to have slain 1100 Goths, losing themselves only 17 men. But the success was not followed up, and the failure to hinder Athaulf from joining Alaric gave the enemies of Olympius, among whom were the eunuchs of the Palace, an opportunity to compass his fall. He fled to Dalmatia, and Jovius, his most formidable opponent, was created a patrician and appointed to the office of Praetorian Prefect of Italy.12 The first thing to be done was to induce the Emperor to remove adherents of Olympius who were in command of the military forces, and Jovius brought this about by secretly organising a meeting of the soldiers at Classis. The mutineers clamoured for the heads of the Masters of Soldiers, and Honorius was terrified into superseding them.13

 p179  Jovius, who had been a guest friend of Alaric, was anxious to bring about peace, and for this purpose he arranged an interview at Ariminum. The Goth demanded that the provinces of Venetia, Istria, Noricum, and Dalmatia should be ceded to him and his people as foederati, and that a certain annual supply of cornº and a money stipend should be granted. In his report of these demands to Honorius, Jovius suggested that Alaric might relax their severity if the honorary rank of Master of Both Services were conferred on him. But Honorius would not entertain the idea of bestowing on the barbarian or any of his kin an Imperial dignity; and he refused to grant the lands in which the Goths desired to settle.

Jovius opened the Emperor's answer in the presence of the king and read it aloud. The German deeply resented the language in which it was couched, and rising up in anger he ordered his barbarian host to march to Rome to avenge the insult which was offered to himself and all his kin. But in the meantime the government had been engaged in military preparations, and a large body of Huns had come to their assistance. And the food of the Goths was running short. Considering all things, Alaric thought it worth while to offer more moderate terms. Innocent, the bishop of Rome, which the Goths again threatened, was sent as an envoy to Ravenna, to press the Emperor to pause ere he exposed the city which had ruled the world for more than four hundred years to the fury of a savage foe. All that Alaric asked now was the two Noric provinces; he did not ask for Venetia nor yet for Dalmatia. Give the Goths Noricum and grant them annual supplies of grain; in return, they will fight for the Empire, and Italy will be delivered of their presence. Hard as it would have been to have had these barbarians so close to the threshold of Italy, it might have been better to have accepted these conditions. But Jovius, instead of advising peace, which he had desired before, advised a firm refusal. It appears that Honorius had taken him to task for his disposition to yield to Alaric at Ariminum, and that, fearing  p180  for his personal safety, he had leaped to the other extreme, and swore, and made others swear, by the head of the Emperor — a most solemn oath14 — to war to the death with Alaric. Honorius himself swore to the same effect.

Having met with this new refusal, Alaric marched to Rome (towards the end of A.D. 409) and called upon the citizens to rally to him against the Emperor. When this invitation was declined, he occupied Portus and blockaded the city for the second time. The corn stores lay at Portus, and he threatened that if the Senate did not comply with his demands he would use them for his own army. The Romans had no desire to submit again to the tortures of famine and they decided to yield. Alaric's purpose was to proclaim a new Emperor, who should be more pliable to his will than Honorius. He selected Priscus Attalus, the Prefect of the City,15 who was ready to play the part, and the Senate consented to invest him with the purple and crown him with the diadem. Attalus permitted himself to be baptized into the Arian religion by a Gothic bishop, but he had no thought of playing the part of a puppet. He and Alaric hoped each to use the other as a tool.16

It was evidently a condition of the arrangement that Alaric should receive a military command. He was appointed Master of the Foot,17 while the Mastership of the Horse was entrusted to a Roman. His brother-in‑law Athaulf was appointed Count of the Domestics.18 Lampadius, the same senator who had in the days of Stilicho protested in the Senate-house against the "compact of servitude" with Alaric, now accepted the Praetorian Prefecture.19 And it is significant that he and Marcian, who became Prefect of the City, and Attalus himself, had in old days all belonged to the circle of Symmachus, the great pagan senator.20 We are told that the inhabitants of Rome were in high spirits,  p181  because the new ministers were well versed in the art of government.

The first problem which presented itself to Attalus and Alaric was how they were to act in regard to Africa, which was held by the count Heraclian, who was loyal to Honorius. They were not safe so long as they did not possess the African provinces, on which Rome depended for her supplies of corn. Alaric advised that a Gothic force should be sent to seize Africa; but Attalus would not consent, confident that he could win Carthage without fighting a battle. He sent thither a small company of Roman soldiers under Constans, while he himself marched with Alaric against Ravenna.

Honorius was overwhelmed with terror at the tidings that a usurper had arisen in Italy, and that Rome had given him her adhesion. He made ready ships in Classis, which, if it came to the worst, might bear him to the shelter of New Rome, and he sent an embassy, including Jovius and other ministers, to Attalus, proposing a division of the Empire. But Attalus had such high hopes that he would not consent to a compromise; he agreed to allow the legitimate Augustus to retire to an island and end his days as a private individual. So probable did it seem that the tottering throne of Honorius would fall, and so bright the prospects of his rival, that Jovius, who had sworn eternal enmity to Alaric, went over to the camp of the usurper. The policy of Jovius was ever, when he adopted a new cause, to go to greater lengths than any one else. And now, when he joined the side of Attalus, he went further than Attalus in hostility to Honorius, and recommended that the Emperor, when he was dethroned, should be deformed by bodily mutilation.21 But Attalus is said to have chidden him for this proposal; he did not guess that it was to be his own fate hereafter.

It seemed probable that Honorius would flee. But at this juncture the Eastern came to the assistance of the Western government, and Anthemius, the Praetorian Prefect of the East, sent about four thousand soldiers to Ravenna (end of A.D. 409). With these Honorius was able to secure the city of the marshes against the hostile army, and await the result of the operations of Constans, the emissary of Attalus in Africa. If Heraclian  p182  maintained the province loyally against the usurper, the war might be prosecuted in Italy against Alaric and Attalus; if, on the other hand, Africa accepted a change of rule, Honorius determined to abandon Italy.

The news soon arrived that Constans had been slain. At this point, the opposition between the ideas of Attalus and the ideas of Alaric began to reveal itself openly. Alaric wished to send an army to Africa; and Jovius supported the policy in a speech to the Roman Senate. But neither the Senate nor Attalus were disposed to send barbarians against a Roman province; such a course seemed indecent22 — unworthy of Rome.

Jovius, the shifty Patrician, decided, on account of the failure in Africa, to desert his allegiance to Attalus, and return to his allegiance to Honorius; and he attempted to turn Alaric away from his league with the Emperor whom he had created. But Alaric would not yet repudiate Attalus. He had said that he was resolved to persist in the blockade of Ravenna, but the new strength which Honorius had obtained from Byzantium seems to have convinced him that it would be futile to continue the siege. He marched through the Aemilian province compelling the cities to acknowledge the authority of Attalus, and, failing to take Bononia, which held out for Honorius, passed on to Liguria, to force that province also to accept the tyrant.

Attalus meanwhile returned to Rome, which he found in a sad plight. Count Heraclian had stopped the transport of corn and oil from the granary of Italy, and Rome was reduced to such extremities of starvation, that some one cried in the circus, Pretium impone carni humanae, "set a price on human flesh." The Senate was now desirous to carry out the plan which it had before rejected with Roman dignity, and to send an army of barbarians to Africa; but Attalus again refused to consent to such a step.

Accordingly Alaric determined to pull down the tyrant whom he had set up; he had found that in Attalus, as well as in Honorius, the Roman temper was firm, and that he too was keenly conscious that the Visigoths were only barbarians. An arrangement was made with Honorius, who consented to pardon the usurper and those who had supported him. Near Ariminum Attalus was discrowned and divested of the purple  p183  robe with ceremonious solemnity (summer, A.D. 410); but Alaric provided for his safety, and retained him in his camp.23

Alaric could now approach Honorius with a good chance, as he thought, of concluding a satisfactory settlement. Leaving his main army at Ariminum he had a personal interview with the Emperor a few miles from Ravenna (July, A.D. 410).24 At this juncture the Visigoth Sarus appeared upon the scene and changed the course of history. He had been a rival of Alaric and a friend of Stilicho, and had deserted his people to enter the Roman service. Hitherto he had taken no part in the struggle between the Romans and his own nation, but had maintained a watching attitude in Picenum, where he was stationed with three hundred followers. He now declared himself for Honorius, and he resolved to prevent the conclusion of peace. His motives are not clear, but he attacked Alaric's camp. Alaric suspected that he had acted not without the Emperor's knowledge, and enraged at such a flagrant violation of the truce, he broke off the negotiations and marched upon Rome for the third time.

Having surrounded the city and once more reduced the inhabitants to the verge of starvation, he effected an entry at night through the Salarian gate, doubtless by assistance from within,25 on August 24, A.D. 410.26 This time the king was in no humour to spare the capital of the world. The sack lasted for two or three days.27 It was confessed that some respect was  p184  shown for churches, and stories were told to show that the violence of the rapacious Goths was mitigated by veneration for Christian institutions.28 There is no reason to suppose that all the building and antiquities of the city suffered extensive damage. The palace of Sallust, in the north of the city, was burnt down, and excavations on the Aventine, then a fashionable aristocratic quarter, have revealed many traces of the fires with which the barbarian destroyed the houses they had plundered.29 A rich booty and numerous captives, among whom was the Emperor's sister, Galla Placidia, were taken.

On the third day, Alaric led his triumphant host forth from the humiliated city, which it had been his fortune to devastate with fire and sword. He marched southward through Campania, took Nola and Capua, but failed to capture Naples. He did not tarry over the siege of this city, for his object was to cross over to Africa, probably for the purpose of establishing himself and his people in that rich country. Throughout their movements in Italy the food-supply had been a vital question for the Goths, and to seize Africa, the granary of Italy, whether for its own sake or as a step to seizing Italy itself, was an obvious course. The Gothic host reached Rhegium; ships were gathered to transport it to Messina, but a storm suddenly arose and wrecked them in the straits. Without ships, Alaric was forced to retire on his footsteps, perhaps hoping to collect a fleet at Naples. But his days were numbered. He died at Cosentia (Cosenza) before the end of the year (A.D. 410); his followers buried him in the Basentus, and diverted its waters into another channel, that his body might never be desecrated.30 It is related that the men  p185  who were employed on the work were all massacred, that the secret might not be divulged.31

Alaric's Ostrogothic brother-in‑law Athaulf was elected by the Visigoths to succeed him as their king.32 They must have remained for some time in southern Italy, perhaps still contemplating an invasion of Africa, but they finally abandoned the idea and marched northward along the west coast, to seek their fortunes in Gaul. Of their doings in Italy during the thirteen or fourteen months which elapsed between Alaric's death and their entry into Gaul we hear almost nothing. It is hardly probable that they visited Rome and plundered it again,33 but they laid Etruria waste. Five years later a traveller from Rome to Gaul preferred a journey by sea to traversing Tuscany devastated by Gothic sword and fire.

Postquam Tuscus ager postquamque Aurelius agger

perpessus Geticas ense vel igne manus

non silvas domibus, non flumina ponte cohercet,

incerto satius credere vela mari.34

Athaulf crossed the Alps early in A.D. 412, perhaps by the pass of Mont Genèvre,35 to play a leading part in the troubled politics of Gaul. But to explain the situation which confronted him we must go back to A.D. 406 and follow the course of events of six years which were of decisive importance for the future histories of Gaul, Spain, and Britain.

§ 2. The German Invasion of Gaul and Spain,
and the Tyranny of Constantine III (A.D. 406‑411)

On the last day of December A.D. 406 vast companies of Vandals, Suevians, and Alans began to cross the Rhine near Moguntiacum and pour into Gaul.36

 p186  The Asding Vandals, who, as we saw, invaded Raetia in A.D. 401, were finding their lands on the Theiss insufficient to support their growing numbers,37 and joining with the Alans, who were living in Pannonia, and with Suevians, who probably represent the ancient Quadi, they migrated northward to the Main. We may conjecture that this movement had some connexion with the unsettled conditions beyond the Middle Danube, which caused Radagaisus and his followers to invade Italy; and that the smaller German peoples who lived in those regions found themselves pressed and harried by their more powerful neighbours the Huns and the Ostrogoths. The idea of wandering into Gaul was naturally suggested by the fact that the Rhine frontier was no longer adequately defended. A large number of the Roman troops stationed there had been withdrawn recently by Stilicho, for the defence of Italy. On the Main, the host was joined by the Siling Vandals, who lived there with the Burgundians, to the east of the Alamanni.

The Alans were the first to reach the Rhine. They were led by two kings, Goar and Respendial, but here Goar separated himself from his fellows and offered his services to the Romans. The Asdings, under their king Godegisel, were some distance behind, when their march was interrupted by the appearance of an army of Franks,38 who as federates had undertaken the duty of protecting the Rhine for Rome. Godegisel was slain, and the Vandals would have been utterly destroyed had not Respendial returned to their aid. His Alans changed the fortunes of the battle, the Franks were defeated, and the invaders crossed the Rhine. Their first exploit was to plunder Mainz and massacre many of the inhabitants, who had sought refuge in a church. Then advancing through Germania Prima they entered Belgica, and following the road to Trier they sacked and set fire to that Imperial city. Still continuing their westward path they crossed the Meuse and the Aisne and wrought their will on Reims. From here they seem to have turned northward. Amiens,  p187  Arras and Tournay were their prey; they reached Térouanne,39 not far from the sea, due east of Boulogne, but Boulogne itself they did not venture to attack. After this diversion to the north, they pursued their course of devastation southward, crossing the Seine and the Loire into Aquitaine, up to the foot of the Pyrenees. Few towns could resist them. Toulouse was one of the few, and its successful defence is said to have been due to the energy of its bishop Exuperius.

Such, so far as we can conjecture from the evidence of our meagre sources, was the general course of this invasion, but we may be sure that the barbarians broke up into several hosts and followed a wide track, dividing among them the joys of plunder and destruction. Pious verse-writers of the time, who witnessed this visitation, painted the miseries of the helpless provinces vaguely and rhetorically, but perhaps truthfully enough, in order to point a moral.

Uno fumavit Gallia tota rogo.

The terror of fire and sword was followed by the horror of hunger in a wasted land.

In Eastern Gaul too some famous cities suffered grievously from German foes. But the calamities of Strassburg, Speier, and Worms were perhaps not the work of the Vandals and their associates. The Burgundians seem to have taken advantage of the crisis to push down the Main, and at the expense of the Alamanni to have occupied new territory astride the Rhine. And it is probably these two peoples, especially the Alamanni dislodged from their homes, who were responsible for the havoc wrought in the province of Upper Germany.40

It may have been in the early summer of A.D. 407 that the situation was changed by the arrival of Roman legions not from Italy but from Britain. That island had the reputation of being a fertile breeder of tyrants, and before the end of the previous year the Britannic soldiers had denounced the authority of Honorius and set up an Emperor for themselves in the person of a certain Marcus. We have no knowledge of their reason for this step, but we may conjecture that the revolt was due to discontent with the rule of the German Stilicho, just as the revolt of Maximus had been aimed at the German general  p188  Merobaudes. There was a certain Roman spirit alive among the legionaries, jealous of the growth of German influence. And we can well understand that they were impatient of the neglect of the defence of the Britannic provinces by the central government. One of the legions which guarded the island had been withdrawn in A.D. 40141 for the defence of Italy, but we are not informed whether it was sent back. In any case the troops in the island were probably not kept up to their nominal strength and were insufficient to contend against the constant inroads of the Picts and the expeditions of the Irish from beyond their channel, as well as the raids of Saxon freebooters from the continent. To subdue these enemies had been a task which had demanded all the energy of Theodosius himself. A victory over the Picts seems to have been gained in the early years of Honorius, but it was not of great account,42 and when events in the south forced Stilicho to denude the Rhine of its defenders, little thought can have been taken at Rome or Ravenna for the safety of remoter Britain. It was a favourable opportunity for such an expedition as that which Irish Annals record to have been led against the southern coasts of Britain by the High King of Ireland in A.D. 405.43 In such circumstances we can easily conceive that the troops longed for a supreme responsible authority on the spot.

Marcus was not a success. Soon after his elevation he was pronounced unfit and slain, to make way for Gratian, who reigned for four months (A.D. 407) and then met the fate of Marcus. The third tyrant was a private soldier who bore the auspicious name of Constantine, and was to play a considerable part for a few years on the stage of western Europe.

The first act of Constantine was to cross with an army into Gaul. It has been supposed that he feared an invasion of Britain by the German hordes, who had indeed approached the Channel, and that he went forth to meet the danger. It seems more probable that he was following the example of Magnus Maximus, who had in like manner crossed over to the continent to wrest Gaul and Spain from Gratian. He landed at Boulogne. It appears to be commonly supposed that he took with him all  p189  the forces in Britain, not only the field army, but also the garrisons of the frontiers. This is highly improbable. For we cannot imagine that he did not intend to retain his hold on the island, and it has been inferred from the evidence of a coin that he set up a colleague before he sailed.44 But he must have been accompanied by the whole field army, which was not very large, or the greater part of it.

Gaul sorely needed a Roman defender at the head of Roman legions, and the Gallic legions went over to Constantine. He inflicted a severe defeat on the barbarians, we know not where, and he is said to have guarded the Rhine more efficiently than it had been guarded since the reign of Julian — a statement which comes from a pagan admirer of the Apostate. The representatives of Honorius fled to Italy when Constantine passed into the Rhone valley and the south-eastern districts, which had escaped the ravages of the Germans. He seems to have made agreements with some of the intruders,45 which they perfidiously violated. But we know nothing definite as to his dealings with them. "For two years," writes a modern historian,46 "they and he both carry on operations in Gaul, each, it would seem, without any interruption from the other. And when the scene of action is moved from Gaul to Spain, each party carries on its operations there also with as little of mutual let or hindrance. It was most likely only by winking at the presence of the invaders and at their doings that Constantine obtained possession, so far as Roman troops and Roman administration were concerned, of all Gaul from the Channel to the Alps. Certain it is that at no very long time after his landing, before the end of the year 407, he was possessed of it. But at that moment no Roman prince could be possessed of much authority in central or western Gaul, where Vandals, Suevians, and Alans were ravaging at pleasure. The dominion of Constantine must have consisted of a long and narrow strip of eastern Gaul, from the Channel to the Mediterranean, which could not have differed very widely from the earliest and most extended of the many uses of the word Lotharingia. He held the imperial city on the Mosel, the home of Valentinian and the earlier Constantine."

 p190  When Constantine obtained possession of Arelate (Arles), then the most prosperous city of Gaul, it was time for Honorius and his general to rouse themselves. We saw how Stilicho formed the design of assigning to Alaric the task of subduing the adventurer from Britain, who had conferred upon his two sons, Constans, a monk, and Julian, the titles of caesar and nobilissimus respectively. But this design was not carried out. A Goth indeed, and a brave Goth, but not Alaric, crossed the Alps to recover the usurped provinces; and Sarus defeated the army which was sent by Constantine to oppose him. But he failed to take Valentia, and returned to Italy without having accomplished his purpose (A.D. 408).

The next movement of Constantine was to occupy Spain.47 We need not follow the difficult and obscure operations which were carried on between Spanish kinsmen of Honorius and the troops which the Caesar Constans and his lieutenant Gerontius led across the Pyrenees.48 The defenders of Spain were overcome, and Caesaraugusta (Zaragoza) became the seat of the Roman Caesar. Thus in the realm of Constantine almost all the lands composing the Gallic prefecture were included; he might claim to be the lord of Britain; the province of Tingitana, beyond the straits of Gades, was the only province that had obeyed Honorius and did not in theory obey Constantine.

Constans, however, was soon recalled to Gaul by his father, and elevated to the rank of Augustus. But Constantine himself meanwhile, possessing the power of an Emperor, was not wholly content; he desired also to be acknowledged as a colleague by the son of Theodosius, and become legitimised. He sent an embassy for this purpose to Ravenna (early in A.D. 409), and Honorius, hampered at the time by the presence of Alaric, was too weak to refuse the pacific proposals.49 Thus  p191  Flavius Claudius Constantinus was recognised as an Augustus and an Imperial brother by the legitimate emperor; but the fact that the recognition was extorted and soon repudiated, combined with the fact that he was never acknowledged by the other Augustus at New Rome, might justify us in refusing to include the invader from Britain who ruled at Arelate in the numbered list of Imperial Constantines. Some time afterwards another embassy, of whose purpose we are not informed, arrived at Ravenna, and Constantine promised to assist his colleague Honorius against Alaric, who was threatening Rome. Perhaps what Honorius was to do in return for the proffered assistance was to permit the sovran of Gaul to assume the consulship. In any case it was suspected that Constantine aspired to add Italy to his realm as he had added Spain, and that the subjugation of Alaric was only a pretext for entering Italy, as it might have been said that the subjugation of the Vandals and their fellow-invaders had been only a pretext for his entering Gaul. Hellebich, Master of Soldiers (equitum), was also suspected of favouring the designs of the usurper, and the suspicion, whether true or false, cost him his life; Honorius caused him to be assassinated. When this occurred Constantine was already in Italy, and the fact that when the news reached him he immediately recrossed the mountains, strongly suggests that the suspicion was true, and that he depended on this general's treason for the success of his Italian designs.

Constans had left his general, Gerontius, a Briton, in charge of Spain. Barbarian federates, known as Honorians, had been used for the conquest of Spain by Constans, and to these was entrusted the defence of the passes of the Pyrenees. It was an unfortunate measure. The Spanish regular troops, who now acknowledged the authority of Constantine, thought that the charge ought to have been entrusted as before to the national militia, and they revolted.50 The Honorians betrayed or neglected their trust. It was the autumn of A.D. 409, and on a Tuesday, either September 28 or October 5, the host of barbarians who had been oppressing western Gaul for more than two years — the  p192  Asdings under King Gunderic, the Silings, the Sueves, and the Alans — crossed the mountains and passed into Spain.51

Constans imputed the troubles in Spain to the incapacity of Gerontius, and he returned from Gaul to supersede him and restore order. But Gerontius was not of a spirit to submit tamely. He seems to have come to terms with the legions, and he made some sort of league with the barbarians, by which a large part of the land was abandoned to them.52 He renounced the authority of Constantine, and though he did not assume the purple himself, he raised up a new Emperor, a certain Maximus, who was perhaps his own son.

Thus at the beginning of A.D. 410 there were six Emperors, legitimate and illegitimate, acknowledged in various parts of the Empire. Besides Honorius and his nephew Theodosius, there was Attalus at Rome, there were Constantine and Constans at Arles, and there was Maximus at Tarragona.

Constans soon fled before Gerontius and his barbarian allies to Gaul, and after some time — the chronology is very obscure — Gerontius, leaving Maximus to reign in state at Tarragona, marched into Gaul against the father and son who had once been his masters. It was apparently in A.D. 411 that Constans was captured and put to death at Vienne, and then his father Constantine was besieged at Arles.

But Honorius, now that Alaric was dead, although the Goths were still in Italy, was able to bethink him of the lands he had lost beyond the Alps, and he sent an army under two generals Constantius and Ulfila, to do what Sarus had failed to do and win back Gaul. Constantius was an Illyrian, born at Naissus, the birthplace of Constantine the Great, and for the next ten years the fortunes of Honorius were to depend upon him as before they had depended upon Stilicho. We may consider it certain that when he led the troops of Italy to Gaul he had already been raised to the post of Master of Both Services.53 We have a slight portrait of his appearance and manners. He had  p193  large eyes, a broad head, and a long neck; he leaned low over the neck of his horse, and as his eyes shot swift glances right and left he seemed to beholders a man who might one day aim at the throne. On public occasions his look was stern, but in private, at table and at wine-parties, he was genial and agreeable. He was superior to the temptations of money, though at a later stage of his career he was to fall into the vice of avarice. His ambition was associated with love. He was passionately attached to the Emperor's step-sister Galla Placidia, who was now a captive in the hands of the Goths.

When Constantius and his Gothic subordinate Ulfila advanced along the coast road of Provence against Arles, the blockading army of Gerontius fled before the representatives of legitimacy. Gerontius returned to Spain and there his own troops turned against him. The house in which he took refuge was besieged; he and his Alan squire fought long and bravely for their lives; then the house was set on fire, and at length in despair he slew his squire and his wife at their own request and then stabbed himself.54 Maximus fled to find safety among some of the barbarian invaders who had supported his throne.

Meanwhile Constantine, with his second son Julian, was being besieged in Arles by the army of Italy which had replaced the army of Spain. The siege wore on for three months, and the hopes of the legitimised usurper depended upon the arrival of his general Edobich, who had been sent beyond the Rhine to gain reinforcements from the Alamanni and Franks. Edobich at length returned with a formidable army, but a battle, fought near the city, resulted in a victory for the besiegers. Edobich was slain by the treachery of a friend in whose house he sought shelter, and Constantine, seeing that his crown was irrecoverably lost, thought only of saving his life. He stripped off the Imperial purple and "fled to a sanctuary, where he was ordained priest, and the victors gave a sworn guarantee for his personal safety. Then the gates of the city were thrown open to the besiegers, and Constantine was sent with his son to Honorius. But that Emperor, cherishing resentment towards them for his cousins, whom Constantine had slain, violated the oaths and ordered  p194  them to be put to death, thirty miles from Ravenna"55 (September, A.D. 411).

§ 3. The Tyranny of Jovinus
and the Reign of Athaulf in Gaul (A.D. 412‑415)

It was not long after the fall of Constantine that a new tyrant was elevated in Gaul. Jovinus, a Gallo-Roman, was proclaimed at Moguntiacum. This city, which had been wrecked by the barbarians five years before, was now in the power of the Burgundians, and it was their king, Gundahar, and Goar, the Alan chief (who, it will be remembered, had been enlisted in the service of Honorius), to whom Jovinus owed the purple. Constantius and Ulfilas, having done their work in overthrowing the tyrant of Arles, had returned to Italy, and the subjugation of Jovinus was reserved for the Visigoths.

It has already been related that the Visigoths, under the leadership of King Athaulf, crossed the Alps early in A.D. 412. They took with them their captive Galla Placidia and the deposed Emperor Attalus. They had come to no agreement with Ravenna; if any agreement had been made, the restoration of Placidia would have been a condition. Athaulf was probably more inclined to side with Jovinus against Honorius than with Honorius against Jovinus. Circumstances decided him to champion the cause of legitimacy.

Attalus, from some motive which is not clear, persuaded him to offer his services to Jovinus. But it appears that the arrival of this unexpected help was not welcome to the tyrant. Perhaps his Burgundian friends did not look with favour on the coming of a people into Gaul who might prove rivals to themselves. Perhaps the terms which Athaulf proposed seemed exorbitant. Then Sarus, the Visigoth who had been in the service of Honorius, and who was the mortal enemy of Athaulf just as he had been the mortal enemy of Alaric, appeared on the scene with above a score of followers to attach himself to the fortunes of Jovinus, because Honorius had refused to grant him justice for the murder of a faithful domestic. Athaulf was incensed when he heard of his approach, and advanced with ten thousand  p195  to crush twenty men. Sarus did not shirk fighting against such appalling odds, and having performed deeds of marvellous heroism he was taken and put to death. This incident did not tend to smooth the negotiations with Jovinus, and when the tyrant proclaimed his brother Sebastian Augustus, against Athaulf's wishes,56 the Visigoth entered into communication with Dardanus the Praetorian Prefect, the only important official in Gaul who had not deserted the cause of Honorius. Envoys were sent to Ravenna, and Honorius accepted the terms of Athaulf, who promised to send him the heads of the two tyrants. Sebastian was defeated and slain immediately, and Jovinus fled to Valence, which, so recently besieged by Gerontius, was now to undergo another siege. It seems to have been taken by storm; Jovinus was carried to Narbonne and executed by the order of Dardanus (autumn, A.D. 413).57 For the moment the authority of Honorius was supreme in Gaul.

It may be wondered why Constantius having suppressed Constantine did not return to Gaul to deal with Jovinus. The explanation probably is that his presence in Italy was required to prepare measures for dealing with another tyrant who had arisen in Africa. The revolt of the count Heraclian, the slayer of Stilicho, was instigated, we are told, by the examples of tyranny which he had observed in Gaul.58 So infectious was "tyranny" that the man who three years before resisted the proposals of Attalus and the menaces of Alaric, loyally standing by the throne of Honorius, and who had been rewarded by the consulship,59 now threatened his sovran without provocation. He did not wait to be attacked in Africa. With a large fleet,  p196  of which the size was grossly exaggerated at the time,60 he landed in Italy, intending to march on Rome, but was almost immediately defeated,61 and fled back to Africa in a single ship to find that the African provinces would have none of him. He was beheaded in the Temple of Memory at Carthage (summer, A.D. 413).62 His consulship was declared invalid, and his large fortune was made over to Constantius, who was designated consul for the following year.

This revolt affected the course of events in Gaul. Honorius, whose mind did not travel far beyond his family and his poultry-yard, was bent on recovering his sister Placidia from the hands of the Visigoth, and this desire was ardently shared by Constantius, who aspired to the hand of this princess. Athaulf had agreed to restore her when the bargain had been made that in return for his services in crushing Jovinus he and his people should be supplied with corn and receive a Gallic province as Federates of Empire. But Africa was the corn-chamber of Italy, and when Heraclian stopped the transport of supplies63 it became impossible to fulfil the engagement with Athaulf. There was hunger in the Gothic camp. Athaulf therefore refused to carry out his part of the compact and surrender Placidia. He made an attempt to take Marseilles, which he hoped might fall by treachery, but it was defended by "the most noble" Boniface, an officer who with afterwards to play a more conspicuous and ambiguous part in Africa. Athaulf himself was severely wounded by a stroke which the Roman dealt him. But he was more fortunate at Narbonne. He captured this town and made it his headquarters, and he also seized the important cities of Bordeaux and Toulouse.64

Having established himself in Narbonensis and Aquitaine,  p197  Athaulf determined to give himself a new status by allying himself in marriage to the Theodosian house. Negotiations with Ravenna were doubtless carried on during his military operations, but he now persuaded Placidia, against the will of her brother, to give him her hand. The nuptials were celebrated in Roman form (in January, A.D. 414)65 at Narbonne, in the house of Ingenius, a leading citizen, and the pride of Constantius, who had just entered upon his first consulship, was spoiled by the news that the lady whom he loved was the bride of a barbarian. We are told that, arrayed in Roman dress, Placidia sat in the place of honour, the Gothic king at her side, he too dressed as a Roman. With other nuptial gifts Athaulf gave his queen fifty comely youths, apparelled in silk, each bearing two large chargers in his hands, filled one with gold, the other with priceless gems — the spoils of Rome. They had an ex-Emperor, Attalus, to conduct an epithalamium. The marriage festivities were celebrated with common hilarity by barbarians and Romans alike.

A contemporary writer66 has recorded words said to have been spoken by Athaulf, which show that, perhaps under the influence of Placidia, he had come to adopt a new attitude to the Empire. "At first," he said, "I ardently desired that the Roman name should be obliterated, and that all Roman soil should be converted into an empire of the Goths; I longed that Romania should become Gothia67 and Athaulf be what Caesar Augustus was. But I have been taught by much experience that the unbridled licence of the Goths will never admit of their obeying laws, and without laws a republic is not a republic. I have therefore chosen the safer course of aspiring to the glory of restoring and increasing the Roman name by Gothic vigour; and I hope to be handed down to posterity as the initiator of a Roman restoration, as it is impossible for me to change the form of the Empire."

We can hardly be wrong in ascribing this change in the spirit and policy of Athaulf to the influence of Placidia, and conjecturing  p198  that his conversion to Rome was the condition of her consent to the marriage. We know too little of the personality of this lady who was to play a considerable part in history for thirty years. She was now perhaps in her twenty-sixth year, and she may have been younger.68 Her personal attractiveness is shown by the passion she inspired in Constantius, and the strength of her character by the incidents of her life. She can have been barely twenty years of age when she approved of the execution of her cousin Serena at Rome, and in defiance of her brother's wishes in uniting herself to the Goth she displayed her independence. She was in later years to become the ruler of the West.

The friendly advances which were now made to Honorius by the barbarian, who had been forced upon him as a brother-in‑law, were rejected. Athaulf then resorted to the policy of Alaric. He caused the old tyrant Attalus to be again invested with the purple. Constantius, the Master of Soldiers, went forth for a second time to Arles to suppress the usurper and settle accounts with the Goths. He prevented all ships from reaching the coast of Septimania, as the territory of Narbonensis was now commonly called. The Goths were deprived of the provisions which reached Narbonne by sea, and their position became difficult. Athaulf led them southward to Barcelona, probably hoping to establish himself in the province of Tarraconensis (early in A.D. 415). But before they left Gaul, the Goths laid waste southern Aquitaine and set Bordeaux on fire.69 Attalus was left behind and abandoned to his fate, as he was no longer of any use to the Goths. Indeed his elevation had been a mistake. He had no adherents in Gaul, no money, no army, no one to support him  p199  except the barbarians themselves.70 He escaped from Gaul in a ship, but was captured and delivered alive to Constantius.71 In A.D. 417, the eleventh consulship of Honorius and the second of Constantius, the Emperor entered Rome in triumph with Attalus at the wheels of his chariot. He punished the inveterate tyrant by maiming him of a finger and thumb, and condemning him to the fate which Attalus had once been advised to inflict upon himself. He had not forgotten how the friend of Alaric had demanded with an air of patronising clemency that the son of Theodosius should retire to some small island, and he banished his prisoner to Lipara.

At Barcelona a son was born to Athaulf and Placidia. They named him Theodosius after his grandfather, and the philo-Roman feelings of Athaulf were confirmed. The death of the child soon after birth was a heavy blow; the body was buried, in a silver coffin, near the city.72 Athaulf did not long survive him. He had been so unwise as to take into his service a certain Dubius, one of the followers of Sarus, who avenged his first by slaying his second master. The king had gone to the stable, as was his custom, to look after his own horses, and the servant, who had long waited for a favourable opportunity, stabbed him (September, A.D. 415).73 He did not die till he had time to recommend his brother, who he expected would succeed to the kingship, to send Placidia back to Italy. But his brother did not succeed him. Singeric, the brother of Sarus — who probably had been privy to the deed of Dubius — seized the royalty and put to death the children of the dead king by his first wife, tearing them from the arms of the bishop Sigesar to whose protection they had fled for refuge. Placidia he treated with indignity and cruelty, compelling her to walk on foot for twelve  p200  miles in the company of captives. But the reign of the usurper (for he had seized the power by violence without any legal election) endured only for seven days; he was slain, and Wallia was elected king.

For the moment Gaul was free from the presence of German invaders, with the exception of one region. The Burgundians, who had crossed the Rhine and occupied the province of Germania Superior, had been confirmed in their possession by the tyrant Constantine. After the fall of Jovinus, whom they had supported, Honorius was in no position to turn them out. He accepted them as Federates of the Empire;74 they were bound to guard the Rhine against hostile invaders. Thus in A.D. 413 was founded the first Burgundian kingdom in Gaul, the kingdom of Worms (Borbetomagus). It is the Burgundy of the Nibelungenlied, which also preserves the name of the king, Gundahar (Gunther), who had gained for his people a footing west of the Rhine.

The island of Britain, when many of the troops were withdrawn by Constantine in A.D. 407, was left to defend itself as best it could against Picts, Scots, and Saxons. For a while the Vicar of the Diocese and the two military commanders of the frontier forces, the Count of the Saxon Shore in the south-east, and the Duke of the Britains in the north, were doubtless in communication with Constantine and taking their orders from him. When a great Saxon invasion devastated the country in A.D. 408,75 the Emperor in Gaul was in no position to send troops to the rescue, and the inhabitants of Britain renounced his authority, armed themselves, and defended their towns against the invaders.76 The news reached Italy, and Honorius seized the opportunity of writing, apparently to the local magistrates, authorising them to take all necessary measures for self-defence.77 We have no information as to the attitude of the Imperial garrisons and their commanders to the revolution. It is possible  p201  that they sympathised with the provincials and shared in it; most of these troops had the tradition of association with Britain for centuries. In any case, when Constantine fell, and the tyrant Jovinus had been crushed and Honorius was again master in Gaul, there can be little doubt that he and Constantius took measures to re-establish his power in Britain.78 In the first place, it is not probable that the provincials would have been able to hold out against the Saxon foe for fifteen or sixteen years without regular military forces, and we know that the Saxon did not begin to get any permanent foothold in the island before A.D. 428.79 And, in the second place, we have definite evidence that in or not long after that year there was a field army there under the Count of the Britains.80 At this time the Empire  p202  was hard set to maintain its authority in Gaul and Spain and Africa, and it could not attempt to reinforce or keep up to strength the regiments in Britain. But there is no reason to suppose that during the last ten years of the reign of Honorius, and for some time after, Roman government in Britain was not carried on as usual. Its gradual collapse and final disappearance belong to the reign of Valentinian III.

In these years of agony many British provincials fled from the terror-stricken provinces and sought a refuge across the sea in the north-western peninsula of Gaul. Maritime Armorica received a new Celtic population and a new name, Brittany, the lesser Britain.81

§ 4. Settlement of the Visigoths in Gaul,
and of the Vandals and Sueves in Spain (A.D. 415‑423)

The Visigoths were far from sharing in the philo-Roman proclivities of Athaulf. Their new king Wallia was animated by a national Gothic spirit and was not disposed at first to assume a pacific attitude towards Rome. A Spaniard two years later82 informs us that "he was elected by the Goths just for the purpose of breaking the peace, while God ordained him for the purpose of confirming it." Circumstances forced him into becoming a Federate of Rome, for he found his position in Spain untenable. The other barbarians had occupied most of the peninsula except Tarraconensis, and the Visigoths were unable to settle there because Roman ships blockaded the ports and hindered them from obtaining supplies. They were threatened by famine. To Wallia now, as to Alaric before, Africa seemed the solution of the difficulty, and he marched to the south of Spain (early in A.D. 416). But it was not destined that the Goths should set foot on African soil. As the fleet of Alaric had been wrecked in the straits of Sicily, even so some of the ships which Wallia had procured were shattered in the straits of Gades, and whether from want of troops or from  p203  superstitious fear he abandoned the idea. He decided that the best course was to make peace, and he entered into negotiations with Constantius.

Placidia, though still retained as a hostage, had been well treated, and her brother and lover were willing to treat with Wallia as they would not have treated with Athaulf. An agreement was concluded by which the Emperor undertook to supply the Goths with 600,000 measures of corn, and Wallia engaged to restore Placidia and to make war in the name of the Empire against the barbarians in Spain (before June, A.D. 416).

These engagements were carried out. After five years spent among the Goths, as captive and queen, Placidia returned to Italy,83 and she was persuaded, against her own wishes, to give her hand to the Patrician Constantius. They were married on January 1, A.D. 417, the day on which he entered on his second consulship.84

Wallia set about the congenial task of making war on the four barbarian peoples who had crossed the Pyrenees seven years before and entered the fair land of Spain, rich in corn and crops, rich in mines of gold and precious stones. For two years they seem to have devastated it far and wide. Then they settled down with the intention of occupying permanently the various provinces. The Siling Vandals, under their king Fredbal, took Baetica in the south; the Alans, under their king Addac, made their abode in Lusitania, which corresponds roughly to Portugal;85 the Suevians, and the Asding Vandals, whose king was Gunderic, occupied the north-western province of Gallaecia north of the Douro. The eastern provinces of Tarraconensis and Carthaginiensis, though the western districts may have been seized, and though they were doubtless constantly harried by raids, did not pass under the power of the invaders.

 p204  Wallia began operations by attacking the Silings in Baetica. Before the end of the year he had captured their king by a ruse and sent him to the Emperor. The intruders in Spain were alarmed, and their one thought was to make peace with Honorius, and obtain by formal grant the lands which they had taken by violence. They all sent embassies to Ravenna. The obvious policy of the Imperial Government was to sow jealousy and hostility among them by receiving favourably the proposals of some and rejecting those of others.86 The Asdings and the Suevians appear to have been successful in obtaining the recognition of Honorius as Federates, while the Silings and Alans were told that their presence on Roman soil would not be tolerated. Their subjugation by Wallia was a task of about two years.87 The Silings would not yield, and they were virtually exterminated. The king of the Alans was slain, and the remnant of the people who escaped the sword of the Goths fled to Gallaecia and attached themselves to the fortunes of the Asding Vandals. Gunderic thus became "King of the Vandals and Alans," and the title was always retained by his successors.

After these successful campaigns, the Visigoths were recompensed by receiving a permanent home. The Imperial government decided that they should be settled in a Gallic not a Spanish province, and Constantius recalled Wallia from Spain to Gaul. A compact was made by which the whole rich province of Aquitania Secunda, extending from the Garonne to the Loire, with parts of the adjoining provinces (Narbonensis and Novempopulana), were granted to the Goths. The two great cities on the banks of the Garonne, Bordeaux and Toulouse, were handed over to Wallia. But Narbonne and the Mediterranean coast were reserved for the Empire. As Federates the Goths had no  p205  authority over the Roman provincials, who remained under the control of the Imperial administration. And the Roman proprietors retained one-third of their lands; two-thirds were resigned to the Goths. Thus, from the point of view of the Empire, south-western Gaul remained an integral part of the realm; part of the land had passed into the possession of Federates who acknowledged the authority of Honorius; the provincials obeyed, as before, the Emperor's laws and were governed by the Emperor's officials. From the Gothic point of view, a Gothic kingdom had been established in Aquitaine, for the moment confined by restraints which it would be the task of the Goths to break through, and limited territorially by boundaries which it would be their policy to overpass. Not that at this time, or for long after, they thought of renouncing their relation to the Empire as Federates, but they were soon to show that they would seize any favourable opportunity to increase their power and extend their borders.

This final settlement of the Visigoths, who had moved about for twenty years, in the three peninsulas of the Mediterranean, to find at last a home on the shores of the Atlantic, was a momentous stage in that process of compromise between the Roman Empire and the Germans which had been going on for many years and was ultimately to change the whole face of western Europe. Constantius was doing in Gaul what Theodosius the Great had done in the Balkans. There were now two orderly Teutonic kingdoms on Gallic soil under Roman lordship, the Burgundian on the Rhine, the Visigothic on the Atlantic.

Wallia did not live to see the arrangements which he had made for his people carried into effect. He died a few months after the conclusion of the compact, and a grandson of Alaric88 was elected to the throne, Theoderic I (A.D. 418). Upon him it devolved to superintend the partition of the lands which the Roman proprietors were obliged to surrender to the Goths. It must have taken a considerable time to complete the transfer. The Visigoths received lion's share. Each landlord retained one-third of his property for himself and handed over the remaining portion to one of the German strangers.89 This arrangement  p206  was more favourable to the Goths than arrangements of the same kind which were afterwards made in Gaul and Italy, as we shall see in due course, with other intruders. For in these other cases it was the Germans who received one-third, the Romans retaining the larger share. And this was the normal proportion. For the principle of these arrangements was directly derived from the old Roman system of quartering soldiers on the owners of land. On that system, which dated from the days of the Republic, and was known as hospitalitas, the owner was bound to give one-third of the produce of his property to the guests whom he reluctantly harboured. This principle was now applied to the land itself, and the same term was used; the proprietor and the barbarian with whom he was compelled to share his estate were designated as host and guest (hospites).

This fact illustrates the gradual nature of the process by which western Europe passed from the power of the Roman into that of the Teuton. Transactions which virtually meant the surrender of provinces to invaders were, in their immediate aspect, merely the application of an old Roman principle, adapted indeed to changed conditions. Thus the process of the dismemberment of the Empire was eased; the transition to an entirely new order of things was masked; a system of Federate States within the Empire prepared the way for the system of independent states which was to replace the Empire. The change was not accomplished without much violence and continuous warfare, but it was not cataclysmic.

The problem which faced the Imperial Government in Gaul was much larger than the settlement of the Gothic nation in Aquitaine. The whole country required reorganisation, if the Imperial authority was to be maintained effectively as of old in the provinces. The events of the last ten years, the ravages of the barbarians, and the wars with the tyrants had disorganised the administrative system. The lands north of the Loire, Armorica in the large sense of the name, had in the days of the tyrant Constantine been practically independent, and it was the work of Exuperantius to restore some semblance of law and order in these provinces.90 Most of the great cities in the south and  p207  east had been sacked or burned or besieged. We saw how Imperial Trier, the seat of the Praetorian Prefect, had been captured and plundered by the Vandals; since then it had been, twice at least, devastated by the Franks with sword and fire.91 The Prefect of the Gauls translated his residence from the Moselle to the Rhone, and Arles succeeded to the dignity of Trier.

What Constantius and his advisers did for the restoration of northern Gaul is unknown, but the direction of their policy is probably indicated by the measure which was adopted in the south, in the diocese of the Seven Provinces. On April 17, A.D. 418, Honorius issued an edict enacting that a representative assembly was to meet every autumn at Arles, to debate questions of public interest. It was to consist of the seven governors of the Seven Provinces,92 of the highest class of the decurions,93 and of representatives of the landed proprietors. The council had no independent powers; its object was to make common suggestions for the removal of abuses or for improvements in administration, on which the Praetorian Prefect might act himself or make representations to the central government. Or it might concert measures for common action in such a matter as a petition to the Emperor or the prosecution of a corrupt official.94

Such a council was not a new experiment. The old provincial assemblies of the early Empire had generally fallen into disuse in the third century, but in the fourth we find provincial assemblies in Africa, and diocesan assemblies in Africa and possibly in Spain.95 Already in the reign of Honorius a Praetorian Prefect, Petronius, had made an attempt to create a diocesan assembly in Southern Gaul, probably in the hope that time and labour might be saved, if the affairs of the various provinces  p208  were all brought before him in the same month of the year. The Edict of A.D. 418 was a revival of this idea, but had a wider scope and intention. It is expressly urged that the object of the assembly is not merely to debate public questions, but also to promote social intercourse and trade. The advantages of Arles — a favourite city of Constantine the Great, on which he had bestowed his name, Constantina — and its busy commercial life are described. "All the famous products of the rich Orient, of perfumed Arabia and delicate Assyria, of fertile Africa, fair Spain, and brave Gaul, abound here so profusely that one might think the various marvels of the world were indigenous in its soil. Built at the junction of the Rhone with the Tuscan sea, it unites all the enjoyments of life and all the facilities of trade."96

It must also have been present to the mind of Constantius that the Assembly, attracting every year to Arles a considerable number of the richest and most notable people from Aquitania Secunda and Novempopulana, would enable the provincials, surrounded by Visigothic neighbours, to keep in touch with the rest of the Empire, and would help to counteract the influence which would inevitably be brought to bear upon them from the barbarian court of Toulouse.

The prospect of a return to peace and settled life in Spain seemed more distant than in Gaul. Soon after the Visigoths had departed, war broke out between Gunderic, king of the Vandals, and Hermeric, king of the Suevians. The latter were blockaded in the Nervasian mountains, but suddenly Asterius, Count of the Spains,97 appeared upon the scene, and his operations compelled the Vandals to abandon the blockade. At Bracara a large number were slain by the Roman forces. Then the Vandals and Alans, who now formed one nation, left Gallaecia and migrated to Baetica. On their way they met the Master of Soldiers,  p209  Castinus,98 who had come from Italy to restore order in the peninsula. He had a large army, including a force of Visigothic Federates, but he suffered a severe defeat, partly through the perfidious conduct of his Gothic allies. The Vandals established themselves in Baetica, but it does not appear whether the recognition they had received in Gallaecia as a Federate people was renewed when they took up their abode in the southern province (A.D. 422).99

§ 5. Elevation and Death of Constantius III (A.D. 421),
and Death of Honorius (A.D. 423)

When the Patrician Constantius had been virtual ruler of the western provinces of the Empire for ten years and had been for four a member of the Imperial family as the Emperor's brother-in‑law, Honorius was persuaded, apparently against his own wishes, to co-opt him as a colleague. On February 8, A.D. 421, Flavius Constantius was crowned Augustus,100 and immediately afterwards the two Emperors crowned Galla Placidia as Augusta. Two children had already been born to Constantius, the elder Justa Grata Honoria (A.D. 417 or 418) and the younger Placidus Valentinianus (July 3, A.D. 419).101

But the achievement of the highest dignity in the world was attended by a bitter mortification. The announcement of his elevation and that of Placidia was sent in the usual way to Constantinople, but Theodosius and his sister Pulcheria refused to recognise the new Augustus and Augusta. Their reasons for this attitude are not clear. Perhaps they had never forgiven Placidia for her marriage with Athaulf, and perhaps they had some idea of reuniting the whole Empire under the sway of Theodosius when his uncle died, and saw in Placidia's son Valentinian, on  p210  whom the title of nobilissimus was bestowed,102 an obstacle to the project. Constantius, writhing under this insult, thought of resorting to arms to force the eastern court to recognise him.103 In other ways too he found the throne a disappointment. The restraints surrounding the Imperial person were intolerably irksome to him; he was not free to go and come as he used when he was still in a private state. His popularity, too, had dwindled, for during the last few years he had grown grasping and covetous. His health failed, and after a reign of seven months he died (September 2).104

After his death, Honorius, who had always been fond of his step-sister, displayed his affection by kisses and endearments which were embarrassing for her and caused considerable scandal. The love, however, was presently turned into hatred through the machinations of Placidia's attendants;105 and the estrangement between the Emperor and his sister led to frays in the streets of Ravenna between the parties who espoused their causes. Goths who had accompanied the widow of Athaulf from Spain and remained in her service, and retainers of her second husband, fought for her name and fame. Castinus, the Master of Soldiers, was her enemy; we may conjecture that he hoped to succeed to the power and authority of Stilicho and Constantius. The breach widened, and at length Placidia, with her two children, was banished from Ravenna, and sought refuge with her kindred at Constantinople (A.D. 423).106 There was a rumour that Honorius suspected her of appealing to an enemy power to come to her assistance.107 If there is any truth in this, we may guess that "enemies" to whom she appealed were the Visigoths.

The reign of Honorius came to an end a few months later. He died of dropsy108 on August 15, A.D. 423. His name would be forgotten among the obscurest occupants of the Imperial throne were it not that his reign coincided with the fatal period  p211  in which it was decided that western Europe was to pass from the Roman to the Teuton. A contemporary, who was probably writing at Constantinople,109 observed that many grievous wounds were inflicted on the State during his reign. Rome was captured and sacked; Gaul and Spain were ravaged and ruined by barbarian hordes; Britain had been nearly lost. It was significant of the state of the times that a princess of the Imperial house should be taken into captivity and should deign to marry a barbarian chieftain.110 The Emperor himself did nothing of note against the enemies who infested his realm, but personally he was extraordinarily fortunate in occupying the throne till he died a natural death and witnessing the destruction of the multitude of tyrants who rose up against him.

The Author's Notes:

1 The number 30,000 is open to some suspicion. For if this army joined Alaric's forces (say 15,000 or 20,000 in invading Italy, the invaders would have been at least 45,000 strong; and we are told that Alaric, when he was reinforced by fugitive slaves after the siege of Rome (see below, p177), was 40,000 strong. Possibly 30,000 does represent the total of the barbarian troops, but only some of them joined Alaric. In any case these numbers are useful in illustrating the strength of the Visigothic host (see above, p105).

2 For the following events the chief sources are Olympiodorus, frags. 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 13; Zosimus, V.36 sqq.; Sozomen, IXsqq. (both these writers used Olympiodorus); Philostorgius, XII.3; Orosius, VII.38‑40.

3 Narnia is the only case recorded (see below). As this town blocked the Flaminian Way, and Alaric failed to take it, we may guess that, having turned off from that road, he approached Rome by the Via Salaria.

4 Probably in October, as Seeck argues (op. cit. V.593‑594). For Honorius was still at Milan on Sept. 24 (C. Th. IX.42.10), but at Ravenna during the siege (Zosimus, V.37).

5 Should we assign to this year the bronze tablet with D. n. Gallae Placidiae n. p. (i.e. nobilissimae puellae)? CIL XV.7153.

6 It was on the Palatine.

Thayer's Note: For detailed information and sources, see the article Aedes Magnae Matris in Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.

7 A.D. 402‑417.

8 Zosimus V.40. Sozomen does not refer to the alleged consent of Innocent. The statement in the Vit. Melaniae iun., published by Surius, I. p769, that a Prefect was slain by the people praetextu penuriae panis at a time when barbarians were devastating the neighbourhood is referred by Tillemont (Hist. V.569) to Pompeianus. The incident is not mentioned in the older Life (Anal. Boll. VIII. p34), but the arrival of Alaric at Rome shortly after Melania departed for Africa is noticed.

9 His colleague was his nephew, the Emperor Theodosius II.

10 Attalus was a pagan and had been a friend of Symmachus; eleven short letters addressed to him are preserved in the correspondence of Symmachus (Epp. VII.15‑25). Seeck (Symm. Opp. p. clxxi) thinks that he was son of the Ampelius who was Prefect of Rome in 370‑372. The portrait of Attalus on his medallions confirms his Greek origin.

11 The date is from C. Th. XVI.5.46, and IX.2.5.

12 Feb. or March 409. Jovius was Pr. Pr. before April 1 (C. Th. II.8.25), but not before Feb. 1 (C. J. II.4.7).

13 The changes in the military commands between August 408 and April 409 seem to have been as follows. After the death of Stilicho mag. utr. mil., Varanes became mag. ped., and Turpilio mag. equit.; while Vincentius and Salvius comites domesticorum equit. et ped. (see Mommsen, Hist. Schr. I.552, note 1, on the interpretation of Zos. V.32) were succeeded by Vigilantius and Valens. In the following months there was a rearrangement: Varanes is deposed and succeeded by Turpilio; whose place is taken by Vigilantius, (p179) and his by Hellebich. Finally in March 409 Valens replaces Turpilio, and Hellebich Vigilantius. See Mendelssohn on Zos. V.47, p288. Shortly afterwards, apparently Hellebich is removed, and Valens becomes, like Stilicho, mag. utr. mil. (Olympiodorus, fr. 13). Just after the fall of Stilicho it was an obvious measure of policy to restore the old system of two co-ordinate magistri. Mommsen, however (ib. 557), questions the accuracy of the statements of Zosimus.

14 More binding, Jovius asserted, than an oath by Heaven, Zos. V.50.

15 Attalus was appointed to this post at the time of the fall of Olympius.

16 He seems to have given hostages to Alaric, one of whom perhaps was Aetius. See Merobaudes, Panegyr. II.127 sqq. (pignusque superbi foederis et mundi pretium fuit) and Carm. IV.42 sqq.; Renatus Frigeridus, in Gregory of Tours, H.F. II.8 tribus annis Alarico obsessus.

17 But with the title Master of Both Services, Sozomen, IX.8. See Zos. VI.7.

18 Sc. of the cavalry. His colleague, too, was probably a Roman.

19 He had been Prefect of Rome in 398.

20 As observed by Seeck (Symmachus, Opp. p. cci): Tertullus, a member of the same group, was nominated consul in 410.

21 So Olympiodorus. Philostorgius (XII.3) attributes the proposal of acroteriasm to Attalus himself.

22 Zosimus, VI.9 ἀφεὶς πρὸς αὐτὴν [the Senate] ἀπρεπῆ τινα ῥήματα.

23 Along with his son Ampelius (ib. 12). For date see Schmidt, op. cit. I.125.

24 The chronology of the events between spring 409 and August 410 cannot be determined with any precision. Attalus can hardly have been elevated before the last months of 409. The hunger in Italy, due to the measures of Heraclian, was probably felt before the beginning of 410; and probably affected the loyalty of the followers of Attalus, who had begun to desert to Honorius before Feb. 14 (see C. Th. IX.38.11, cp. Schmidt, op. cit. I.214). The deposition of Attalus must have been later than the beginning of April (as it was not known at Constantinople on April 24; C. Th. VII.16.2, where tyrannici furoris et barbaricae feritatis refer to Attalus and Alaric), perhaps in May or June (Schmidt, ib. 215).

25 Sozomen, IX.9 προδοσίᾲ. One of the stories told in Procopius, B. V. I.2. is that Anicia Faltonia Proba was the culprit. Unable to endure the sight of the sufferings of the people, she admitted the foe. The story, generally rejected, is accepted by Seeck (op. cit. 413). Proba was the cousin and wife of Sextus Petronius Probus, who had a long and distinguished career recorded in many inscriptions. She was mother of three consuls. Cp. CIL VI.1754‑5, and the genealogical tree of the Anicii in Seeck's edition of Symmachus, p. xci.

26 The day is recorded in one MS. of Prosper's chronicle (Chron. min. I.466, cp. 491), in the Excerpta Sangallensia (ib. 300, where 9 should evidently be read for 19 Kal. Sept.), and Theophanes, Chron. A.M. 5903.

27 Orosius, II.19.13; VII.39.15.

28 Alaric issued special orders that the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul were not to be violated. We hear that the silver tabernacle over the altar of the Lateran Basilica was stolen (Lib. Pont. I.233); cp. Grisar, I.85. For the sack see (besides Orosius, and Sozomen) Augustine, De civ. DeiI.7 (and cp. the following chapters); De urbis excidio (P. L. 40); Jerome, Epp. 127, 128, 130; Prolog. to Bks. I and III of Comm. in Ezechielem.

29 Marcellinus, Chron. sub 410, says that Alaric burned part of the city. The palace of the Valerii on the Caelian hill was partly burned, Vit. Melan. iun. c. 14. The devastation in Rome and Italy is referred to in C. Th. VII.13.20, which is to be dated to Feb. 411 (not 410), as Seeck has shown (Regesten, p73). See further Lanciani, Destruction of Ancient Rome, and A. Merlin, L'Aventin dans l'antiquité, pp. 430‑433.

30 Cp. Olympiodorus, fr. 10. The same writer (fr. 15) relates the legend that Alaric was hindered from crossing the straits by the miraculous warning of a statue. The story was suggested by an actual statue at Catona (near Reggio), the place of embarkation for Sicily, which was known as ad fretum ad statuam, CIL X.6950. See Pace, I Barb. e Biz. p6.

31 Jordanes, Get. 158.

32 Alaric had children in 402, and Theoderic I was his grandson (see below, p205). They may have died since or perhaps were girls. Athaulf was marked out by his capacity, and may have been the nearest surviving and eligible relative of Alaric.

33 As alleged by Jordanes, Get. 159.

34 Rutilius Nam. I.39 sqq.

35 Chron. Gall. 87, p654; Schmidt, op. cit. I.223. If the Goths had taken the coast-road, they would have had to do with Constantius, who was at Arles.

36 The sources for the events related in this section are Olympiodorus, frs. 12, 14, 16; Zosimus, V.27, 31, 32, 43, VI.1‑6, 9, 13, and Sozomen, IX.11‑15 (both dependent on Olympiodorus); Orosius, VII.38 and 40‑42; Prosper; Consularia Italica; and Hydatius; Jerome, Ep. 123 (ad Ageruchiam, A.D. 409); Renatus Profuturus Frigeridus apud Gregory of Tours, H.F. II.9; Orientius, (p186) Common. II.165 sqq.; Paulinus (his identity is uncertain), Epigramma 10 sqq.; Prosper, De prov. Dei, 15 sqq.; Salvian, De gub. Dei, VI.15, VII.12. The most useful modern studies are Freeman's essay on Tyrants of Britain, Gaul, and Spain (E.H.R. I, Jan. 1886; reissued in Western Europe in the Fifth Century), and Schmidt's Gesch. der Wandalen, 17 sqq.

37 Procopius, B. V. I.22.3 λιμῷ πιεζόμενοι (perhaps the tradition of the Vandals themselves).

38 Obviously the Ripuarian Franks, whose seats were along the Rhine north of the Alamanni (whose territory extended from the Main southward to the Lake of Constance).

39 Teruanna, the town of the Morini.

40 Cp. Schmidt, op. cit. 2A.

41 See above, p161.

42 Claudian, In Eutrop. I.393 fracto secura Britannia Picto. Had the success been considerable, Claudian would have made more of it.

43 Cp. Bury, Life of Saint Patrick, p331.

44 See A. J. Evans, Numismatic Chronicle, 3rd series, VII.191 sqq., 1887; Bury, App. 19 to Gibbon, vol. III.

45 Probably with Alamanni and Burgundians. See Orosius, VII.40.

46 Freeman, op. cit.

47 Zosimus, VI.4. Terentius was appointed mag. mil., Apollinaris (grandfather of Sidonius the poet) Praetorian Prefect (ib.), and Decimiusº Rusticus Master of Offices (Greg. of Tours, II.9, quoting from Renatus Frigeridus).

48 Freeman has shown that we are not justified in accepting the version of the story which states that the representatives of the Theodosian house were engaged in defending the northern frontier of the peninsula against the Vandals and their fellow-plunderers before Constantine attempted to occupy it.

49 Constantine assumed the consulship in 409 in his dominions, as colleague of Honorius. See Liebenam, Fasti consulares, p41. Captives of the Theodosian house, who had been taken in the Spanish expedition, were in the hands of Constantine, and a hope of their release seems to have been one of the motives of Honorius in sending the purple robe to the (p191) usurper; but before the embassy was sent the captives had been put to death. For the coinage of Constantine and Constans see Cohen, VIII.198 sqq.

50 For the troops stationed there in the fifth century see Not. dig., Occ. XLII.25‑32. One legion (Septima Gemina)º and four cohorts in Gallicia, and one cohort at Veleia in Tarraconensis.

51 The alternative dates are given by the Spanish chronicler Hydatius. They may have followed (as Schmidt thinks, op. cit. 26) the main road from Bordeaux to Pampluna.

52 The sources give confused and contradictory accounts as to the order of events, and uncertainty may be felt whether the revolt of Gerontius preceded the entry of the Vandals into Spain, as there is a suggestion in some writers that they were invited by him.

53 In succession to Valens. Prosper describes him as mag. mil., sub 412, as patricius, sub 415. What post Ulfila held and who was mag. equitum is unknown.

54 The story is given in great detail by Sozomen (IX.4), who praises Nunechia (she was a Christian) for imploring her husband to kill her.

55 Olympiodorus, fr. 16.

56 The reason of his objection is not stated. Schmidt (op. cit. I.224) says that Athaulf aspired himself to be the colleague of Jovinus. That sounds incredible. I suggest that Athaulf's scheme was the elevation of Attalus and the division of Gaul between him and Jovinus.

57 Olympiodorus says that the heads of the two tyrants were exposed Καρθαγένης ἔξωθεν, as those of Constantine and Julian had been (two years before). Καρθαγένη might mean either Carthage or New Carthage (Carthagena) in Spain. It is generally explained to mean Carthage. I am inclined to think that Olympiodorus confused the two cities, and that while the heads of the earlier tyrants were exhibited at Carthagena, those of the later pair were taken to Carthage (in view of the revolt of Heraclian). Coins of Sebastian (silver) were issued during what must have been a very brief reign at Arles and Trier. For these and those of Jovinus see Cohen, VIII.202‑203.

58 See Philostorgius, XII.6, where Heraclian's name has been rightly restored.

59 Heraclian's consulship in 413 shows that his revolt began in that year (not in 412 as Hydatius, 51, suggests).

60 3700 ships acc. to Orosius, VII.42 and one of the two best MSS. of Marcellinus (sub 413; the other gives 700 ships and 3000 soldiers).

61 The words of Orosius, ib., suggest that he landed at the mouth of the Tiber and was defeated near the coast on his way to Rome (so Gibbon). But our other Spanish authority, Hydatius, 56, states that the battle was fought at Otricoli and 50,000 were slain. Otricoli is the first place where the Via Flaminia crosses the Tiber, after the Pons Mulvius.

Thayer's Note: That piece of writing should not suggest to the gentle reader that Otricoli is anywhere near the Pons Mulvius. Otricoli (the ancient Ocriculum) is some 70 km N of Rome. It is, however, the first place after the Flaminia next crosses the Tiber: that is, the Flaminia traverses much of the northern Latium while staying to the W of the river.

62 The edict annulling the acts of Heraclian and obliterating his name (C. Th. XV.14.13) is dated Aug. 3.

63 Orosius, ib.

64 Capta Tolosa, Rutil. Namat. I.496; nostra ex urbe [sc. Burdigala] Gothi, fuerant qui in pace recepti, Paulinus Pell. Eucharisticos, 312. The notice in Chron. Gall. p654, Aquitania Gothis tradita, relates to A.D. 414, but seems to be a mistaken anticipation of the settlement of 418 (cp. Schmidt, op. cit. I.226).

65 The description comes from Olympiodorus, fr. 24. Philostorgius (XII.4) compares the marriage to the union of pottery with iron (the fourth empire symbolised by the iron legs of the image in Daniel ii was explained as the Roman, see Sulpicius Severus, Chron. II.3). See the note of Bidez, ad. loc. Hydatius, 57, saw in it the fulfilment of Daniel's prophecy (xi.6) that the queen of the south would marry a king of the north.

66 Orosius, VII.42.

67 Romania, ut vulgariter loquar. This early use of Romania for the territory of the Roman Empire deserves notice.

68 Theodosius married her mother Galla in 387 (Zos. IV.43; so Gibbon, Clinton, Güldenpenning; in 386 acc. to Marcellinus sub a., so Tillemont, Sievers) towards the end of the year; so that Placidia may have been born in 388. Theodosius went to the west in that year and did not return to Constantinople, where Galla had remained during his absence, till Nov. 391, where he remained till the day after Galla's death in May 394. Galla died in childbirth, and the child died. It follows from these dates that Placidia might have been born in 392‑393. Of the two alternatives 388 appears to me to be the more probable.

69 We learn of these events from the Eucharisticos, the poem of Paulinus of Pella, already cited (308 sqq.). He describes the siege of Vasatae (Bazas), of which he was a witness. It was attacked by Goths and Alans, and was saved by the success of Paulinus in inducing the Alans to go over to the side of the Romans, ib. 329 sqq. The king of the Alans, an old friend of his, was probably Goar, whom we have already met (so Tillemont, Freeman, Schmidt).

70 Paulinus, who was grandson of the poet Ausonius and son of Hesperius, Praet. Prefect of Gaul in 379, accepted from Attalus the post of keeper of the privy purse, comes privatae largitionis (the title of an official subordinate to the comes r. priv., see Not. dig., Occ. XII.4) — a post, says Paulinus (Euchar. 296),

quam sciret nullo subsistere censu,

iamque suo ipse etiam desisset fidere regno,

solis quippe Gothis fretus male iam sibi notis

quos ad praesidium uitae praesentis habere,

non etiam imperii poterat, per se nihil ipse

aut opibus propriis aut ullo milite nixus.

(This is a specimen of the doggerel written by the grandson of Ausonius.) Coins show that Attalus had obtained some recognition at Trier.

71 He was captured in 416 (Chron. Pasch., sub a.). Cp. Prosper, sub 415, and Orosius, VII.42. Philostorgius (XII.4) says he was surrendered by the Goths, after Athaulf's death.

72 Olympiodorus, fr. 27.

73 The news of his death reached Byzantium on Sept. 24 (Chron. Pasch., sub a.) and was the occasion of games and rejoicings.

74 Prosper, sub 413.

75 Chron. Gall. 62 (p654). Here there are two successive entries: 61, hac tempestate praevaletudine (praevalente hostium multitudine, Mommsen) Romanorum vires attenuatae; 62, Britannia Saxonum incursione devastatae. Freeman (op. cit. p149) was misled by the bad text of Roncalli's edition.

76 Zosimus, VI.5.2 ὅπλα ἐνδύντες: this was a violation of a Lex Julia.

77 Ib. 10.2 Ὁνωρίου δὲ γράμμασι πρὸς τὰς ἐν Βρεταννίᾲ χρησαμένου πόλεις φυλάττεσθαι παραγγέλλουσι. It may be noted that in the reign of Honorius, Anderida (Pevensey) on the Saxon Shore was repaired and a new fort built at Peak on the Yorkshire coast (Haverfield, C. Med. H. I.379).

78 This is contrary to the ordinary view. Cp. Sagot, La Bretagne romaine, 251 sqq.; Lot, Les Migrations saxonnes, 11‑13. For the condition of Britain in the last period of Roman rule see Haverfield, Romanisation of Roman Britain, and his article on Britain (Roman) in Encyclopaedia Britannica (Ed. 11); and C. Med. H. I.

79 This is the British tradition. See Nennius, Historia Brittonum, 31 and 66 (Chron. min. III. pp171‑209). The Saxon tradition, recorded in the Saxon Chronicle, places the coming of the Saxons as permanent settlers in 449. Chron. Gall. 126, p660, has the following entry: Britanniae usque ad hoc tempus variis cladibus eventibusque latae (late vexatae, Mommsen) in dicionem Saxonum rediguntur. The date given is the 19th year of the joint rule of Theodosius and Valentinian = A.D. 442‑443. (The argument of Freeman, ib. p158, is spoiled by his reckoning it as the 18th year of Theodosius after the death of Arcadius.) A little later we have the appeal of the Britons for help to Aetius in Gaul recorded by Gildas (De excidio Britanniae, c. 20), Agitio ter consuli gemitus Britannorum. A.D. 446 was the third consulship of Aetius. These notices taken together look as if the Saxons, having gained some footholds about 428, during the following fourteen years extended their power, and then about 442 Roman rule definitely disappeared. See Bury, The Not. dig., J. R. S. X. Cp. also W. M. F. Petrie, Neglected British History, 1917. It is to be noted that communications between Britain and the continent were not broken off during the fifth century. Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, who had been sent there by the Pope in 429 to contend with the Pelasgian heresy (Prosper, sub a.), and is said to have gained a bloodless victory over the Saxons and Picts near St. Albans (Constantius, Vit. Germ. c. 17), visited the island a second time probably about 440 (ib. c. 25). See Levison, "Bischof Germanus von Auxerre," in Neues Archiv, XXIX (1903). We have evidence too of communications in 475 (Sidonius Apoll. Epp. IX.9.6.).

80 The fact that the Imperial officials in Britain are all recorded in the Not. dig., Occ. (c. A.D. 428) would not be decisive, as they might not have been erased unless Britain had been definitely handed over by treaty to another power. But there is one section, VII. (Distributio numerorum), which has been brought up to date, and here we find, under the comes Britanniarum, three numeri of infantry and six vexillationes, of which at least four and probably more are not recorded in the lists of the field forces which are under the supreme commands of the mag. ped. and the mag. eq. praes. (in sections V and VI). This must mean that these forces had been sent to Britain comparatively recently and had been entered under VII but not under V and VI. See Bury, op. cit.

81 See Freeman, op. cit. 162 sqq. We do not know whether any of the German invaders who crossed the Rhine in 406 had penetrated to Armorica. The enemies from whom we are told that Armorica suffered in the days of Constantine III were probably the Saxon pirates who infested the Channel and the western coast of Gaul. The Armoricans like the Britons resorted to self-help. Zosimus, VI.5.2.

82 Orosius, VII.43.

83 She was escorted by Euplutius, an agens in rebus who had conducted the negotiations. Olympiodorus, fr. 31.

84 He was consul again in 420, and in that year Symmachus the Prefect of Rome put up some monument in his honour, of which the dedicatory inscription is preserved (CIL VI.1719). He is there described as reparatori reipublicae et parenti invictissimorum principium — comiti et magistro utriusque militiae, patricio et tertio cons. ordinario. At Trier is preserved a memorial of his second consulship: an inscription copied on stone (in the twelfth century) probably from one of his consular ivory diptychs (CIL XIII.3674), Fl. Constantius v. c. comes et mag. utriusq. mil. atq. patricius et secundo consul ordinarius.

85 Hydatius, our chief authority for Spain in these years, says Lusitaniam et Carthaginiensem; but we may question whether Carth. was occupied as a whole.

86 I infer this from what actually happened, combined with the naïve statement of Orosius (VII.43) that all the barbarian kings had made representations to Honorius that he should allow them to fight it out in Spain, as their mutual slaughter would be to the interest of the Empire: tu cum omnibus pacem habe omniumque obsides accipe; nos nobis confligimus, nobis perimus, tibi vincimus, immortali vero quaestu reipublicae tuae, si utrique pereamus. When Orosius was writing this last chapter of his work (for which see below, Chap. IX, § 6), the war was still raging between the Visigoths and their foes, and the latest news was that Wallia was strenuously working for the establishment of peace, apparently early in 418. He was writing in Africa.

87 Sidonius Apollinaris, celebrating Wallia's grandson Ricimer, writes (Carm. II.363):

Tartesiacis avus huius Vallia terris

Vandalicas turmas et iuncti martis Halanos

stravit et occiduam texere cadavera Calpen.

88 See Sidonius, Carm. VII.505. There seems no reason why avus should not be understood literally, if we assume that Alaric was born c. 360 A.D.

89 See the fragments of laws of Euric in Leges Visig. ant. p3.

90 Rutilius Nam., writing in 417, says (De red. suo, I.213):

cuius Aremoricas pater Exuperantius oras

nunc postliminium pacis amare docet.

leges restituit, libertatemque reducit

et servos famulis non sinit esse suis.

Freeman suggested that Exuperantius was Praet. Pref. Germanus, who (p207) became in 418 bishop of Auxerre, seems to have been in the preceding years Dux tractus Armoricani et Nervicani, a military command which extended over five provinces (the two Aquitaines, and 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Lugdunensis). This is the natural identification of his ducatus (Constantius, Vit. Germ. I. c. 1 p202), since his authority ran in Sens and Auxerre which were in Lugd. Quarta.

91 Apparently about A.D. 410‑412. Renatus Frigeridus (in Greg. Tur. Hist. Fr. II.9): Treverorum civitas a Francis direpta incensaque est secunda irruptione; Salvian, De gub. Dei, VI. c. 15, ter excisa, but VII. c. 2, quadruplici eversione prostrata.

92 It is provided that the governors (iudices) of Aquitania Sec. and Novempopulana, on account of their distance from Arles, might send deputies.

93 Honorati, retired decurions.

94 We shall meet an instance in the prosecution of Arvandus: below, Chap. X § 4.º

95 See C. Th. XII.12.1 and 9; Guiraud, Les Assemblées provinciales dans l'empire romain, p228.

96 The edict is addressed to Agrippa, the Pr. Pr. of Gaul. It was not included in the Theodosian Code, but has been preserved as a separate document in several MSS. The text will be found in Sirmond's ed. of Sidonius Apollinaris (ed. 2, 1659, p241), in Hänel's Corpus legum (p238), and other collections; and also in Carette, Les Assemblées prov. de la Gaule romaine, p460 (in this book a very full discussion will be found).

97 The military command in Spain, with the title comes Hispaniarum, was new and must have been established after the invasion of the barbarians in 409. The first mentions of it are in Not. Occ. VII.118 and in Hydatius 74. Asterius was created a Patrician in reward for his success (Renatus, in Gregory of Tours, H.F. II.9).

98 Castinus is designated as mag. mil., not as mag. utr. mil., in the sources. This may mean that after the elevation of Constantius in 421 (see below) Castinus was appointed mag. ped. praes., along with a co-ordinate mag. equit. praes. We find in 423 Crispinus mag. equit. in C. Th. II.23.1 (where Seeck and Sundwall are surely wrong in reading Castino). In 419, or 420, Castinus was Count of the Domestics and led a campaign against the Franks (Renatus, ib.).

99 For these events see Hydatius 77 and Prosper sub 422.

100 The day of the month of his elevation, and that of his death, come from Theophanes, A.M. 5913.

101 Marcellinus, sub a. Honoria was called Justa Grata after her mother's maternal aunts, sisters of Galla.

102 Honorius reluctantly yielded to the pressure of Placidia to confer the title, whether before or after the death of Constantius. For the conjecture as to the project of Theodosius see Güldenpenning, op. cit. 240.

103 Olympiodorus, frs. 34, 38, 39, is our source for the last years of Constantius.

104 Olympiodorus adds that after his death petitions came in from all sides complaining of unjust acts he had committed to extort money.

105 Her old nurse Elpidia, a maid Spadusa, and Leonteus her curator or intendant, are mentioned. Olymp. fr. 40.

106 Prosper, sub a.

107 Cassiodorus, Chron., sub a.

108 Philostorgius, XII.13; Narr. de imp. dom. Val. p630.

109 Ib. The writer was an admirer of Theodosius II and probably wrote soon after the death of Honorius.

110 The curious expression used of Placidia's marriage, statum temporum decolorat, indicates the criticism which her act evoked in the east.

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