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Book V
Chapter 1

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Italy and Her Invaders

by
Thomas Hodgkin


2nd edition
Oxford University Press
London
1896

The text, and illustrations except as noted,
are in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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Book V
Chapter 3

Book V (continued)

Vol. IV
p22
Chapter II

Belisarius at Carthage and at Naples

Authorities

Sources: —

Procopius De Bello Vandalico, II.10‑17 (vol. I pp447‑490, ed. Bonn), and De Bello Gotthico, I.8‑10 (vol. II pp38‑57).

For some African events Flavius Cresconius Corippus, an African man of letters, who wrote a panegyric of the Emperor Justin II (565‑578), and a poem called 'Johannis' in praise of the victorious campaign of John, governor of Africa, against the Moors (550). This latter poem, which was discovered by Mazzuchelli in 1814, and first published in 1820, is included in the Bonn edition of the Byzantine historians. The style is good for so late an age of Latin literature.

Guides: —

In studying the topography of Neapolis I have received some assistance from Summonte's 'Storia di Napoli,' but my chief guides are Beloch and Capasso.

Julius Beloch, a German student of Italian antiquities, is the author of a valuable monograph ('Campanien,' Berlin, 1879) on the cities of Campania. Its usefulness is greatly increased by the beautifully executed Atlas with which it is accompanied.

The Commendatore Bartolommeo Capasso, one of the first archaeologists of Naples, has written a tract 'Sull' antico sito di Napoli e Palepoli,' which is a perfect quarry of information as to the Greek and Roman cities. A few details as to the course of the Neapolitan aqueducts were furnished to me by S. Capasso personally in 1882, when I had the privilege of making his acquaintance in Naples.

 p23  Belisarius ordered to invade Italy at once. When the news of the double-dyed treachery of Theodahad reached the Court of Constantinople orders were despatched to Belisarius to proceed with all speed to Italy and push the war against the Goths to the uttermost. He was, however, hindered for some weeks from obeying these orders, by a sudden call to another post of danger; a call which well illustrates the precarious and unenduring character of Justinian's conquests and the inherent vices of Byzantine domination.

He is prevented by bad news from Carthage. It was a few days after Easter, in the year 536, probably therefore about the 30th or 31st of March,1 when a single ship rounded the headland of Plemmyrium, passed the fountain of Arethusa, and reached the landing-place of Syracuse. A few fugitives leaped on land and hastened to the presence of Belisarius. Chief among them was the Eunuch Solomon, in whose keeping, two years before, he had left the fortress and city of Carthage guarded by a triumphant Roman army. What causes had brought a man placed in such height of power, and a brave and prudent soldier, into so great disaster?

Relations between the imperial governor of Africa and the Moors. Not his wars with the declared enemies of the Empire, though it is worth our while to notice even here how Justinian's conquests really paved the way for the barbarians. The Vandals had reared a kingdom in North Africa, semi-civilised it is true, but which, if left to itself, would have become wholly civilised, and which meanwhile was strong enough to keep the wild sons of the desert in check. Now, the Vandals overthrown, the Moors came on.2 They pushed their  p24 forays far into the African province; in hosts of 30,000 and 50,000 at a time they invaded Numidia and Byzacene; they loudly complained that the promises by which they had been lured into the Roman alliance had been left unfulfilled; and when Solomon ventured to remind the chiefs that he held their children as hostages for their good behaviour they replied, 'You monogamist Romans may fret about the loss of your children. We who may have fifty wives apiece if it so pleases us, feel no fear that we shall ever have a deficiency of sons.'

535. In two battles the Eunuch-Governor had defeated his Moorish antagonists.3 But still the Moorish chief Iabdas remained encamped on the high and fruitful table-land of Mount Auras, thirteen days' journey from Carthage, and from thence at every favourable opportunity swept down into the plain, pillaging, slaying, leading into captivity; nor had Solomon, though he led one expedition against him, yet be able to dislodge him thence.

 p25  Mutiny of the Roman soldiers, 536. Thus had several events passed till the east of 536, and then the real, the tremendous danger of the Eunuch's position was suddenly revealed to him, in the shape of an almost universal mutiny of the Roman soldiers. We call them Roman in accordance with the usage of the times, because they served that peculiar political organisation at Constantinople which still called itself the Roman Republic,4 and because the banners under which they marched to battle still bore the world-known letters S. P. Q. R. But, as has been already hinted, probably not one soldier out of a hundred in the imperial army could speak Latin, and many of them may have hardly known sufficient Greek to find their way about the streets of Constantinople. They were Heruli from the Danube, Isaurians from the Asiatic highlands, Huns from the steppes of Scythia, Armenians from under the shadow of Ararat, anything and everything but true scions of the old Oscan and Hellenic stocks whose deeds are commemorated by Livy and Thucydides.

Their disappointed hopes. These men, Teutons many of them by birth, and Arians by religious profession, having been permitted to marry the Vandal widows whose husbands they had slain, had expected to settle in comfort upon the Vandal lands, and live thenceforward in peace, under some loose bond of allegiance to the Emperor, as the new lords of Africa. The land question. Not such, however, was the intention of the bureaucracy of Constantinople. The usual swarm of Logothetae, of Agentes in rebus, of Scriniarii, settled down upon the province, intent  p26 upon sucking the last available aureus out of it for the public treasury. The lands of the conquered Vandals were all deemed to have reverted to the state, and if the husband of a Vandal widow, whether he were soldier or civilian, cultivated them, it must be under the burden of a land‑tax revised every fifteen years, so strictly as to make him virtually tenant at a rack-rent under the tax‑gatherer. In many cases, not even on these unfavourable terms was the occupancy of the land assigned to the soldiers. Here, then, were plentiful materials for a quarrel. On the one hand, a number of hot‑blooded, stalwart men, flushed with the pride of conquest, each one with a remembrancer of his wrongs for ever at his ear, reminding him, 'Such an estate or such a villa belonged to me when I was the wife of a Vandal warrior, yet thou who has conquered Vandals art thyself landless.' On the other side, the Eunuch-Governor and the official hierarchy, pleading the law of the State, the custom of the Empire: 'It was reasonable that the slaves, the ornaments, the portable property, should be the spoil of the soldiers. But the land, which once belonged to the Roman Empire, must revert to the Emperor and the Commonwealth of Rome, who called you forth as soldiers, trained you, armed you, paid you, not in order that you should conquer these lands for yourselves, but that they might become public property and furnish rations not for you only, but for all the soldiers of the Empire.'

Religious difficulty. Thus was the African land-question raised. But there was also a religious difficulty. Many of the soldiers in the late army of Belisarius, especially the martial Heruli, were Arians. The Vandal priests who  p27 still remained in Africa found access to these men, and inflamed their minds with a recital of the religious disabilities to which they, the conquerors as much as the conquered, were subject. The prohibition of Justinian was positive. No baptism nor any other religious rite was to be performed by or upon any man not holding the full, orthodox, Athanasian faith. The time of Easter was drawing nigh, at which it was usual to baptize all the children who had been born in the preceding year. No child of a Herulian would be admitted to the holy font, no Herulian himself would be permitted to share in the solemnities of Easter, unless he first renounced the creed of his forefathers, the creed which had perhaps been brought to his rude dwelling on the Danubian shore by some Arian bishop, disciple or successor of the sainted Ulfilas.

Return of four hundred Vandals. As the evil genius of the Empire would have it, there was yet a third element of disaffection cast into the African cauldron. The Vandals whom Belisarius carried captive to Byzantium had been enrolled in five regiments of cavalry, had received the honourable name of 'Justinian's Vandals,' and had been ordered to garrison the cities of Syria against the Persians. The greater part proceeded to their appointed stations and faithfully served the Empire which had robbed them of their country. But four hundred of them, finding themselves at Lesbos with a favouring wind, hosted their sails, forced the mariners to obey their orders, and started for Peloponnesus first and then for Africa. Arrived at the well-remembered shore, they ran their ships aground, landed, and marched off for the uncaptured stronghold of Mount Aurasius. Here they received a message from the soldiers at Carthage  p28 who contemplated mutiny, soliciting their assistance, which, after solemn oaths and promises given and received, they agreed to furnish to the mutineers. So, when Easter drew on, all was ripe for revolt.

Solomon to be slain, 21 March. The mutineers agreed among themselves that Solomon should be slain in the great Basilica of Carthage on Good Friday, and that this crime will be the signal for the insurrection to break out. They took little care about secresy:º the guards, the shield-bearers, many even of the household servants of the Eunuch, were in the plot, but none betrayed it, so great was the longing of all for the Vandal lands. So, unsuspecting evil, sat Solomon in the great Basilica, while the ceremonies went forward which commemorated the death of Christ, and which were meant to be signalised by his own. The conspirators gathered round him. Each man, with frowns and gestures of impatience, motioned to his neighbour to do the deed of blood, but none could bring himself with his own arm to strike the blow. The plot fails. Either the sanctity of the place, or old loyalty to their general, or else the still unstifled voice of conscience, prevented any from volunteering for the service; and they had not taken the precaution of selecting the arch-murderer before they entered the sacred building. When the words 'Ite, jam missa est' came from the lips of the officiating prelate, they hastened from the Basilica, each cursing the other for his cowardice and softness of heart. But 'To‑morrow,' said they, 'in the same place the deed shall be done.' 22 March On the morrow Solomon again sat in the great Basilica; again his would‑be murderers assembled round him, again the same invisible influence stayed their hands. When the service  p29 was over they foamed out into the Forum, a disappointed and angry crowd. The epithets 'Traitor,' 'Coward,' 'Faint-heart' were freely bandied about among them, so freely that, feeling sure that their design must now be generally known, the chiefs of the plot left the city and began freebooting in the country districts.

The mutiny spreads. When Solomon discovered the danger with which he had to deal, he went round to the soldiers' quarters and exhorted those who were still remaining in the city to abide faithful to the Emperor. For five days the mutiny seemed to have been checked, but at the end of that time, when the soldiers within the city saw that their revolted comrades were pursuing their career of ravage outside unchecked, it burst out with fresh fury. The soldiers collected in the Hippodrome, and shouted out the names of Solomon and the other chief authorities in the state, loading them with every kind of coarse abuse. Theodore the Cappadocian proclaimed leader. Theodore the Cappadocian, apparently the most popular of Solomon's officers, was sent by him to harangue them in soothing terms. Not a word of his soft eloquence was listened to; but believing him to be secretly opposed to Solomon and his policy, the mutineers with loud shouts acclaimed him as their leader. Theodore appears to have been a man of staunch loyalty, but he humoured the whim of the rebels for a few hours, in order to favour Solomon's escape. With loud and tumultuous shouts the mutineers, self-constituted guards of Theodore, escorted him to the palace of the Prefect. There they found another Theodore, captain of the guards, a man of noble character and a skilled soldier, but for the moment unpopular with these rebels. Him they slew,  p30 and having thus tasted blood, they dispersed themselves through the city, killing every man whom they met, Roman or Provincial, who was suspected of being a friend of Solomon, or who had money enough about him to make murder profitable. They entered all the houses which were not guarded by the few still loyal soldiers, and carried off all the portable plunder that they found there. At length night came on, and the mutineers, stretched in drunken sleep in the streets and forums of the city, rested from their orgie of rapine. Flight of Solomon. Then Solomon and his next in command, Martin, who had been cowering for refuge all day in the chapel of the Governor's palace, stole forth to the house of Theodore the Cappadocian. He pressed them to take food, though sadness and fear had well-nigh deprived them of appetite, and then had them conveyed to the harbour. A little company of eight persons embarked in a boat belonging to one of the ships under Martin's command. These eight persons were Solomon, Martin, five officers of the Eunuch's household, and — most important of all in our eyes — the Councillor Procopius, to whom we owe the whole of this narrative. After rowing in an open boat for nearly forty miles, the fugitive Governor and his suite reached Missua, on the opposite (eastward) shore of the bay of Tunis, a place which was apparently used as a kind of supplemental port, owing to the original harbour of Carthage having become too small for its trade.5 At Missua they felt themselves in comparative  p31 safety, and from hence the Eunuch despatched Martin to Valerian and the other generals commanding in Numidia, on the west of the Carthaginian province, to warn them of the mutiny, and to endeavour, under the shelter of their forces, to win back by gold or favour as many as possible of mutineers to their old loyalty. He also wrote to Theodore, giving him a general commission to act for the imperial interests in Carthage as might seem best at the time, and then Solomon himself, probably taking some ship of war out of the roadstead at Missua, set sail for Syracuse with Procopius in his train, and, as we have seen, arrived there in safety to claim the assistance of Belisarius.

Stutza made leader of the rebels. Meanwhile the insurgents, who had by this time found that Theodore the Cappadocian would not lend himself to their seditious designs, assembled on the plains of Bulla,6 a short distance to the south of Carthage, and there chose out Stutza,7 one of the body-guard of Martin, and acclaimed him as their king.8 Stutza, if not endowed with any great strategic talents, was a man of robustness and hardihood. He found under his standards no fewer than 8000 revolted  p32 soldiers. These were soon joined by 1000 Vandals, partly the recent fugitives from Constantinople, partly those who had escaped the notice of the conquering host two years before. They were further joined by that usual result of anarchy in the Roman state, a large number of slaves. The united host aimed at nothing less than driving out the imperial generals and making themselves lords of the whole northern coast of Africa.9 Carthage on the point of surrender to the rebels. They at once marched to Carthage (which it is hard to understand why they should ever have quitted), and called upon Theodore to surrender the city. Josephius, one of the literary attendants of Belisarius,10 who happened to have just arrived at the capital, was sent to persuade them not to resort to any further acts of violence; but Stutza showed the soldier's disdain of the scribe and the mutineer's contempt of the rules of civilised warfare by at once putting him to death. Despair at this ruthless deed filled the hearts of the scanty defenders of Carthage, and they were on the point of surrendering the city to the insurgents.

Arrival of Belisarius. Such was the state of affairs when in an hour all was changed by the arrival of Belisarius. He sailed from Syracuse with one ship, probably the same which had brought the Eunuch, and with one hundred picked men of his body-guard on board. It was twilight  p33 when he arrived. The mutineers were encamped round the city, confident that on the morrow it would be theirs. Day dawned: they heard that Belisarius was inside the walls: Departure of the rebels. awed by the mere name of the mighty commander, they broke up their camp and commenced a disorderly rout, or rather flight, never halting till they reached the city of Membressa on the Bagradas, fifty‑one Roman miles southwest from the capital.11 Belisarius pursues. Here they at length ventured to encamp; and here the terrible Belisarius came up with them, having only 2000 men under his standards, whom by gifts and promises he had persuaded to return to their former loyalty. As Membressa itself was unwalled, neither army dared to occupy it. Belisarius seems to have crossed the Bagradas,12 which is not a rapid though a pretty copious stream, without opposition, and encamped near to its banks. The mutineers, whose army must have been five times including his, pitched their camp on an elevated spot, difficult of access. Both commanders, according to classic custom, harangued their men, or at least the Thucydidean historian whom we are following thinks proper to represent them as thus encouraging their troops. Speech of Belisarius. Belisarius, while deploring the hard necessity which compelled him to take up arms against the men who had once echoed his own pass-word, declared that they had brought their ruin on themselves by their unholy deeds, and that the devastated fields of Africa, and the corpses  p34 of the comrades slain by them, men whose only crime was their loyalty, demanded vengeance. He was persuaded that the newly-raised tyrant Stutza would want that confidence in himself and in the prompt obedience of his troops which alone ensures success. And he ended with a maxim of which his own career was to afford a signal verification: 'It is not by the mass of combatants but by their disciplined courage that victories are won.'

Speech of Stutza. Stutza enlarged on the ingratitude which, after they had undergone the toils of war, had given to idle non‑combatants the fruits of victory. After the one gleam of freedom which they had enjoyed during the last few weeks, a return to slavery would be ten times bitterer than their previous condition. If indeed even to live as slaves would be granted them, — but after the dangerous example which they had set, they must expect, if vanquished, to suffer unutterable punishments, perhaps to expire in torment. They could die but once: let them die, if need were, free warriors on that battle-field. Nay, rather, let them conquer, as they must do, a foe so greatly their inferior in numbers, and whose troops in their secret hearts were only longing to share their freedom.

Battle of the Bagradas. After all this eloquence the battle was hardly a battle. The mutineers, finding that the wind blew strongly in their faces, and fearing that their spears would thus fail to penetrate, endeavoured to make a flank movement, and so to get to windward of the enemy. Belisarius did not give them time to execute this manoeuvre, but ordered his men to come to close quarters at once while the mutineers were still in disorder. This unexpected attack threw them into  p35 utter confusion. Defeat of the rebels. They fled in headlong rout, and did not draw bridle till they reached Numidia. The Vandals, less demoralised than the disloyal soldiers, for the most part refused to fly, and died upon the field of battle. Belisarius' army was too small to venture with safety upon a long pursuit, but the camp of the enemy was given up to be plundered by them. They found it richly furnished with gold and silver, the spoil of Carthage; utterly deserted by the men, but full of women, the original abettors of the war, who had now, probably in obedience to the laws of Mars, to contract a third marriage, with their new conquerors.

Return of Belisarius to Sicily. The rebellion appeared sufficiently crushed to justify Belisarius in returning to Sicily, especially as there was a danger that the example set by the Carthaginian insurgents might be followed by the army stationed there. Accordingly, leaving his son-in‑law Ildiger and Theodore of Cappadocia in charge of the African capital, he sailed away to Syracuse.

The interest which the mutiny at Carthage possesses for us consists in the light which it throws on the character of Belisarius, and the ascendency which he exercised over a greedy and licentious soldiery. Its course after he disappears from the scene must be described as briefly as possible.

After-course of the rebellion. The Roman generals in Numidia, five in number, finding Stutza with his band close to their frontier, marched hastily against him, thinking to crush him before he could re‑form his scattered army. He advanced, however, into the space between the hostile ranks, and delivered a short and spirited harangue, the result of which was that the generals found themselves  p36 deserted by their troops, who went over in a body to the insurgents. The generals took shelter in a neighbouring church, surrendered on the promise of their lives being spared, and were all slain by Stutza, a man without pity and without faith.

Mission of Germanus. The mutiny having thus become more formidable than ever, Justinian took a step which he would have done well to take sooner. He sent his nephew, the best of the nobles of the imperial house, the gentle and statesman-like Germanus, with a sufficient supply of treasure to discharge the soldiers' arrears of pay, which had evidently been accumulating for some time; and with instructions to pursue a policy of conciliation towards the insurgents, declaring that the Emperor only desired the good of his brave soldiers, and would severely punish all who had injured them. The man and the policy were so well matched that Germanus, who at first found under the imperial standard only a third of the troops entered on the African muster-rolls, had soon under his command a larger number of soldiers than followed the fortunes of Stutza. The rebels lost heart and fled again into Numidia. Battle of Scalae Veteres. A battle ensued at a place called Scalae Veteres,13 the site of which does not appear to have been identified. The fight was desperate and confused. Rebels and loyalists were so like one another in outward appearance, that the troops of Germanus were obliged to be continually asking for the pass-word, in order to distinguish friend from foe. The horse of Germanus was killed under  p37 him; but in the end his standards triumphed. Stutza fled: the rebel camp was sacked by the victorious imperialists, who in the fury of plunder refused to listen even to the restraining voice of the general. A squadron of Moors who had been hovering on the outskirts of the battle, the professed allies of the insurgents, but waiting to see which side was favoured by Fortune, now joined the Emperor's forces in a headlong chase of the defeated soldiers.

536 or 537. End of military rebellion. With the battle of Scalae Veteres the military rebellion was at an end. Stutza with some of the Vandals succeeded in escaping to Mauritania, where he married the daughter of one of the Moorish chiefs. Return of Solomon, 539. Solomon, who on the departure of Germanus was sent to resume the government of Africa, expelled the Moors from Numidia as well as from the Carthaginian province, and for four years ruled these regions in peace and prosperity. His death, 543. In 543 some acts of ill faith on the part of the Romans roused the hitherto loyal Moors of Tripoli and Tunis into insurrection. The chief, Antalas, long a faithful ally of the Romans, headed the movement: and in one of the first battles of the war, the Eunuch Solomon, deserted by a large body of his troops, who accused him of parsimoniously withholding from them their share of the spoils, fell into the hands of the enemy and was slain. Sergius governor. His nephew Sergius, a young man of swaggering demeanour, ignorant of the art of war, unpopular with the generals for his arrogance, with the soldiers for his cowardice and effeminacy, with the provincials for his avarice and lust, was entrusted with the government of the province, which under his sway went rapidly to ruin.

 p38  Reappearance of Stutza, 544. And now for a brief space Stutza reappeared on the scene, co‑operating with Antalas, and labouring not altogether in vain to combine with the Moorish invasion a revival of the old military mutiny. Sergius prosecuted the war with feebleness and ill‑success. John the son of Sisinniolus,14 his best subordinate, was so disgusted by the governor's arrogance that he ceased to exert himself in the imperial cause. And after every defeat which Sergius sustained, after every successful siege by the Moors, a number of soldiers joined the standards of Stutza, who doubtless still harangued as volubly as eight years ago on the grievances of the army and the rapacity of the officials.

Appointment of Areobindus, 545. At length Justinian, though by this time he was heartily weary of his Western conquests and the endless cares in which they involved him, sent a few soldiers and many generals to do their utmost towards finishing the war in Africa. Among the generals was Areobindus, a descendant probably of the great Aspar, all‑powerful under Marcian and Leo in the middle of the previous century. He was himself allied to the imperial house, having married Justinian's niece. Under Areobindus, John the son of Sisinniolus was willing to fight, and not only willing but eager. There was only one man in the world whom he hated more than Sergius, and that was the upstart Stutza. The hatred was mutual, and each of these men had been heard to say, that if he could only kill the other he would himself cheerfully expire. The double prayer was, practically, granted. Battle of Sicca Venerea. A slender army of the imperialists — for Sergius moodily refused his co‑operation — met the Moorish king and the  p39 veteran mutineer on the plain below Sicca Venerea, on the confines of the African and Numidian provinces, about 100 miles south-west of Carthage.15 Before the battle commenced, John and Stutza, instinct with mutual hatred, rode forth between the two armies to try conclusions with one another in single combat. An arrow from the bow of the imperial general wounded Stutza in the groin. He fell to the earth mortally wounded, but not dead. Death of Stutza. The mutineers and the army of the Moors swept across the plain, and found him lying under a tree, grasping out the feeble remains of life. Full of rage they dashed on, overpowered the scanty numbers of the imperialists, and turned them to flight. John's horse stumbled as he was galloping down a steep incline: while he was vainly endeavouring to mount, the enemy surrounded and slew him. In a few minutes Stutza died, happy in hearing that his great enemy had fallen. In the first moment of the flight John had said, 'Any death is sweet now, since my prayer that I might slay Stutza has been granted.'

Sergius removed from the governorship, 545. The events of this campaign induced Justinian at last to remove Sergius from the government of Africa and send him to prosecute the war in Italy. After murders, insurrections, changes of ruler which it is not necessary to relate here,16 another John, distinguished  p40 as the brother of Pappus, was appointed Magister Militum,17 and sent to govern Africa.18 Under his administration the province again enjoyed some years of tolerable tranquillity, and the Moors were brought into order and subjection. But from decade to decade, the fine country which had once owned the sway of the Vandals sank deeper into ruin.  p41 Many of the provincials fled to Sicily and the other islands of the Mediterranean.19 The traveller, in passing through those regions which had once been most thickly peopled, now scarcely met a single wayfarer.20 Languishing under barbarian inroads, imperial misgovernment, and iniquitous taxation, the country was ripening fast for the time when even Saracen invasion should seem a relief from yet more intolerable evils.

Belisarius sets foot in Italy, 536. Our rapid survey of events in Africa has carried us fully ten years beyond the point which we have reached in the history of Italy. We go back to Belisarius, landing at Syracuse, on his return voyage from Carthage in April or May 536. The fears which were entertained of a repetition in Sicily of the mutinies of Carthage proved groundless; or, if there had been disaffection, the soldiers at the mere sight of a born ruler like Belisarius at once returned to their accustomed obedience. He was able to administer the best antidote to mutiny, employment. Leaving sufficient garrisons in Syracuse and Palermo, he crossed from Messina to Reggio, and planting his standard on the Italian soil, was daily joined by large numbers of the inhabitants.

The Byzantines in Magna Graecia. Belisarius was now in Magna Graecia, that region which, in the seventh century before the birth of Christ, was so thickly sown with Hellenic colonies that it seemed another Hellas. Down to the time of the wars of Rome with Pyrrhus and the Tarentines (B.C. 281‑272) this Grecian influence had lasted unimpaired. How far it had in the succeeding eight  p42 centuries been obliterated by the march of Roman legions, by the foundation of Roman colonies, by the formation of the slave-tilled latifundia of Roman proprietors, there are perhaps not sufficient materials to enable us to decide. Certainly the Byzantine re‑conquest was both easier and more secure in Calabria and Apulia than in any other part of Italy. The cause of this was that there were fewer Goths in the south than in the north. Possibly another cause may have been that still existing remembrances of the golden age of Magna Graecia took the sting out of the taunt, 'They are but Greeklings,'21 which was sometimes applied, not by Goths only, but by Italian provincials, to the invaders from Byzantium. To trace out the remains of this lingering Hellenic feeling, and to distinguish them from the undoubted and considerable influence exerted on Southern Italy by the Greeks of Constantinople from the sixth century to the twelfth, would be an interesting labour; but it is one which lies beyond our present province.22

Evermud the Goth joins the invaders. At Reggio Belisarius received an accession to his ranks, which showed the weakness of the national feeling of the Goths. No less a personage than Evermud, the son-in‑law of Theodahad, who had been entrusted with a detachment of troops to guard the Straits, came with all his retinue23 into the Roman  p43 camp, prostrated himself at the feet of Belisarius, and expressed his desire to be subject to the will of the Emperor.24 His unpatriotic subserviency was rewarded. He was at once sent to Constantinople, that haven of rest and luxury, which all Romanised Goths languished to behold, and there received the dignity of Patrician and many other rewards from the hand of Justinian.

Advance to Naples. The Roman army marched on unopposed and supported by the parallel movement of the fleet, through the province of Bruttii and Lucania.25 They crossed the wide bed of the Silarus; they entered the province of Campania. Still no Gothic army disputed the passage of any river, nor threatened them from any mountain height. At length they reached a strong city by the sea, defended by a large Gothic garrison, the city of Neapolis, the modern Naples. Before this place Belisarius was to tarry many days.

Comparison of ancient and modern Naples. The modern city of Naples is divided into twelve quartieri, built along a winding and beautifully regular shore-line, of which it occupies four miles in length, varying in breadth from one mile to two and a half, according to the nature of the ground. By a recent census it contained about 460,000 inhabitants. The Neapolis of the Roman Empire occupied a space only a little overlapping one of the twelve modern quartieri, that of S. Lorenzo. It formed an oblong about 1000 yards in length by 800 in breadth. Apparently we have no means of stating  p44 its exact population at any period of the Empire; but, if we conjecture it at a twelfth of the population of the modern city, we shall probably be exaggerating rather than depreciating the number of its inhabitants.

It is then evident that the modern traveller must unclothe himself of many of his remembrances of the existing city of Naples in order to form anything like an accurate idea of the place which Belisarius besieged. It may be well to proceed by the method of rejection, and to indicate the chief points, conspicuous in a modern panorama of Naples, which we must eliminate in order to obtain the true value of the ancient Neapolis. Starting, then, from the western extremity, from Posilippo and the Tomb of Virgil, we come first to the houses which look upon the long drives and shrubberies of the Riviera di Chiaia. We see at a glance that these are modern. They no more belong to the classical, or even the mediaeval, city than the Champs Élysees of the French capital belong to the Lutetia of Julian or the Paris of the Valois kings. But two natural strongholds arrest the eye as we move onwards towards the city: on the right the little fortress-crowned peninsula of Castello dell' Ovo, on the left the frowning ridge of the all‑commanding Castle of St. Elmo. With the first we have already made acquaintance. The site of the villa of Lucullus, the luxurious gilded cage of the deposed Augustulus, the shrine of the sainted Severinus, it suggests interesting speculations as to who may have been its occupants when the trumpets of Belisarius sounded before its walls, but it is emphatically no part of the city of Neapolis. Saint Elmo brings vividly before us the differences between ancient and modern warfare.  p45 From the fourteenth century onwards (at least till the most recent changes in the science of gunnery deprived it of its importance) it was emphatically the stronghold of Naples. He who held that tyrannous crest of rock virtually held the town. And yet in the wars of the Romans and the Goths this magnificent natural fortress seems to have been absolutely unimportant. The nearest houses of Neapolis were about three-quarters of a mile distant from the base of Saint Elmo, and in those days of catapults and balistae this distance would seem to have been enough to rob even such an eminence of its terrors; otherwise we must surely have heard of its being occupied by Belisarius. We move forwards to the east, still keeping tolerably near the shore. The far‑famed Theatre of San Carlo, the Bourbon Palace with its rearing horses in bronze, the massive Castel Nuovo, and the two harbours below it, all these are outside of the ancient city. Out of it too is the quaint and dingy Largo del Mercato, that most interesting spot to a lover of mediaeval Naples, where market-women chatter and chaffer over the stone once reddened with the blood of Conradin, where a poet's ear might still almost hear the gauntlet of the last of the Swabians ring upon the pavement, summoning his Aragonese kinsman to the age‑long contest with the dynasty of Anjou. All this is Naples, but not Neapolis. Where then is the ancient city? Turn back towards the north-west, strike the busy street of the Toledo about a third of the way up on its course from the sea. Limits of Neapolis. Here at length we are, not at, but near, the site of the classical city, whose western wall once ran parallel to the Toledo at a distance of about 150 yards to the  p46 right. The Piazza Cavour (Largo delle Pigne) and Strada Carbonara lie a little outside of the northern boundary of Neapolis. Castel Capuano (near the modern railway station) marks its extreme eastern point. The southern wall ran along a little range of higher ground (now nearly levelled with the plain below it), at a distance of some two or three hundred yards from the coast-line, from the Church of the Annunziata to the University. One suburb on the west perhaps once extended about half‑way from the western walls of the ancient city to the Toledo, and another on the south may probably have filled up in a similar way the interval between the city and the sea.26

Traces of the old Roman city. The block of ground thus indicated once stood out — difficult as it is now to believe it — somewhat abruptly above the surrounding plain.27 Even now, looking at it on the map, we can trace in it the handiwork of the Roman surveyors. Its three broad 'Decuman' streets running from east to west (Strada Nilo,28 Strada dei Tribunali, and Strada Anticaglia), intersected by twenty-three 'Cardines' running from north to south, still, notwithstanding the alterations made in them to gratify the Neapolitan passion for church building, exhibit an appearance of regularity and rectangularity conspicuously absent in the other part of the city, the haphazard growth of the Middle  p47 Ages. Roman remains have at various times been discovered under almost the whole of the space denoted above, but nothing is now left for the lover of Roman antiquity to gaze upon save two Corinthian columns of the Temple of the Dioscuri built into the church of S. Paolo Maggiore, and some faint traces of the ancient Theatre lingering in the yards and cellars of the Strada Anticaglia.29

Likeness of Neapolis to Pompeii. Fortunately we have an excellent aid to the imagination in endeavouring to bring before the mental vision the Neapolis which Procopius gazed upon. The neighbouring town of Pompeii is very similar in dimensions and shape, and was probably very similar in character.30 Only we must suppose that near five centuries — centuries upon the whole rather of the decay of art than of its development — had passed over the Tablina and the Triclinia of the buried city to make it correspond with its surviving neighbour. The heathen temples must be imagined to have fallen somewhat into decay, and several Christian basilicas must be allowed to have grown up under their shadow. The fact that the four oldest parish churches in Naples31 — S. Giovanni Maggiore, Santi Apostoli, S. Giorgio Maggiore, and S. Maria Maggiore — all belong to the district whose confines we have traced, is an interesting confirmation of the truth of its antiquity.32

 p48  Siege operations of Belisarius. Belisarius stationed his fleet in the harbour, where they were beyond the range of the projectiles of the enemy. A Gothic garrison stationed in 'the suburb' (possibly the suburb between the city and the sea) at once surrendered to the invaders. Embassy from the citizens. Then a message was sent to the Roman general asking him if he would consent to receive a deputation of some of the principal inhabitants of the city, anxious to confer with him for the public welfare. He consented, and the deputation, with one Stephanus at its head, appeared before him. Speech of Stephanus. Stephanus pleaded the hard case of the Roman citizens of Naples, summoned by a Roman army to surrender their town, and prevented from doing so by a Gothic garrison. Nor were even these Gothic soldiers free agents. Their wives and children were in the hands of Theodahad, who would assuredly visit upon them any fault which the garrison might commit towards him. In these cruel circumstances the citizens begged Belisarius not to press upon them his summons to surrender. After all, it was not there, but under the walls of Rome, that the  p49 decisive engagement would have to be fought. If Rome were reduced to the Emperor's obeisance, Neapolis must inevitably follow its example. If the general were repulsed from Rome, the possession of a little city like Neapolis would avail him nothing.

Reply of Belisarius. Belisarius coldly thanked the orator for his advice as to the course of the campaign, but announced his intention of conducting the war according to his own notions of military expediency. To the Roman inhabitants he offered the choice of freedom to be achieved by his arms; or slavery, they themselves fighting to keep the yoke upon their necks. He could hardly doubt what in such circumstances their choice would be, especially as the prosperous condition of the loyal Sicilians showed that he was both able and willing to keep the promises which he made in the name of the Emperor. Even to the Goths he could offer honourable terms. Let them either enter his army and become the servants of the great Monarch whom the civilised world obeyed, or, if they refused this proposal, on the surrender of the city they should march out unharmed (it is to be presumed with the honours of war), and depart whither they would.

Debates in the city. Stephanus, whose patriotism had been quickened by the promise of large rewards to himself if he could bring about the surrender of the city, strove earnestly to induce his fellow-citizens to accept the terms of Belisarius. He was seconded in these efforts by a Syrian merchant named Antiochus, long resident in Neapolis, a man of great wealth and high reputation. Two orators however, named Pastor and Asclepiodotus, also men of great influence in the city, stood forth as the advocates of an opposite policy, one of  p50 loyalty to the Goths and resistance to Byzantium. If we are perplexed at finding professed rhetoricians and men of letters (one of whom bears a Greek name) championing the cause of the barbarians, we may remember the life-long loyalty of Cassiodorus to the house of Theodoric, and may conjecture that other men of like training to his had been induced to enter the Gothic service. Some of these, like the two rhetoricians now before us, may have had statesmanship enough to see that the so‑called 'Roman liberty' which was offered to the Italians would mean only a change of masters, and that change not necessarily one for the better.

Belisarius accepts the offered terms of capitulation. By the advice of Pastor and Asclepiodotus, the demands of the Neapolitans were raised so high that in their opinion Belisarius would never grant them. A memorandum containing these demands was presented by Stephanus to the General, who accepted them and confirmed his acceptance by an oath. On the news of this favourable reply the pressure in favour of surrender became so strong that the Gothic garrison alone would not have ventured to resist it. The common people had begun to stream down towards the gates with the intention of opening them: but then the two orators 'whose sentence was for open war' gathered the Goths and the principal Neapolitans together and again harangued them in support of their views:

Pastor and Asclepiodotus strongly oppose the surrender. 'The mob have taken this thought of surrender into their minds and are eager to execute it.33 But  p51 we, who deem that they are rushing headlong to ruin, are bound to consult you, the leaders of the state, and to put our thoughts before you, the last contribution that we can make to the welfare of our country. You think that, because you have the promise and the oath of Belisarius, you are now relieved from all further danger of the horrors of war. And if that were so, we should be the first to advise you to surrender. But how can Belisarius guarantee your future security? He is going to fight the nation of the Goths under the walls of Rome. Suppose that he does not gain the victory: you will have the Gothic warriors in a few days before your gates breathing vengeance against the cowardly betrayers of their trust. And on the other hand, if he wins, even on that most favourable supposition you will have to make up your minds to the permanent presence of an imperial garrison in your town. For the Emperor, though he may be much obliged to you for the moment for removing an obstacle out of his path, will not fail to make a note of the fact that the Neapolitans are a fickle and disloyal people, not safe to be trusted with the defence of their city. No: depend upon it, you will stand better both with friends and foes if you do not lightly surrender the trust committed to your hands. Belisarius cannot take the city: the magnitude of the promises which he makes to you is the plainest proof of that. You have strong walls and an abundant supply of provisions. Only stand firm for a few days and you will see the cloud of war roll away from your borders.'

Jewish loyalty to the Goths. With this the orators brought forward some Jews to vouch for the fact that Neapolis was well provisioned for a siege. The Israelite nation were always  p52 in favour of the tolerant rule of Theodoric and his successors as against the narrow bigotry of Byzantium. Apparently, in this instance, they were able to speak with authority, being the merchants by whose aid the needful stores of provision had been procured. Negotiations for surrender broken off. The result of the harangue of the two orators, backed by the assurances of the Hebrews, was that the party of surrender was outvoted, and Belisarius, sorely vexed at the delay, but unwilling to leave so strong a place untaken in his rear, had to set about the siege of Neapolis.

Appeal to Theodahad. The citizens, having resolved on a stubborn defense, appealed, as they had abundant right to do, to Theodahad for assistance. That miserable prince, utterly unready for war, seems to have allowed the precious winter months to slip by without making any preparations of importance, and was now seeking to diviners and soothsayers for knowledge as to that future which he had done nothing to mould. His classical reading might have made him familiar with the well-known saying of Hector, —

Εἷς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος, ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ πάτρης.34

Theodahad had resorts to the diviners. But instead of this robust determination to conquer Fortune, the dreamy mysticism of his own Etruria, intent for centuries on poring over the page of futurity, swayed the nerveless spirit of Theodahad. The manner of divination, concerted between him and a Jewish magician, was ridiculous enough to have been practised by any Roman augur. Omen of the hogs. Thirty hogs, divided into three batches of ten each, were shut up in three separate pens. One was labelled 'Troops of the Emperor,'  p53 another 'Goths,' and the last 'Romans.' The unfortunate animals were then left for a certain number of days without food. When the pens were opened, it was found that the Gothic hogs had all perished save two, that of the Roman animals half had died and the remaining half had lost all their bristles, while the Imperialists were nearly all alive. The inference was obvious. The Gothic race was doomed to almost utter extermination; the provincials of Italy should suffer cruel hardships and the loss of all their property, but half of the nation should survive the war; while the Byzantine invaders alone should emerge from it fat and flourishing. After this augury of the hogs, Theodahad felt himself even less prepared than before to send effectual succour to the Neapolitans.

Vigorous resistance of the Neapolitans. The citizens, however, were making so good a defence that it seemed as if they might be able to do without reinforcements. The steepness of the approaches to the walls, the narrow space between them and the sea, which left no room for the evolutions of troops, and possibly some defect in the harbourage which made it difficult for the ships to approach near enough to hurl projectiles into the city, all made the task of Belisarius one of unusual difficulty. He had cut off the aqueduct which brought water from Serino, in the valley of the Samnite river Sabatus, into Neapolis; but there were so many excellent wells within the enclosure that the inhabitants scarcely perceived any diminution of their water-supply. As day passed on after day and still no breach was made in the walls, and many of his bravest soldiers were falling in the useless assaults, Belisarius, chafing at the delay, began bitterly to repent that he had ever undertaken the siege. It  p54 was still perhaps only June,35 but twenty days of the siege had already elapsed, and at this rate it would be winter before he met Theodahad and the great Celtic host under the walls of Rome.

The Isaurian in the aqueduct. At this crisis, when he was on the point of giving the order to the soldiers to collect their baggage and raise the siege, one of his body-guard, an Isaurian named Paucaris, brought him tidings which gave him a gleam of hope. One of his fellow-countrymen, a private soldier, clambering, as these Isaurian mountaineers were in the habit of doing, up every steep place that they could scale, had come to the end of the broken aqueduct. Curious to see the specus or channel along with the water had once flowed, he had entered through the aperture, which had been imperfectly closed by the defenders of the city, and crept for some distance along the now waterless conduit. At length he came to a part of its course where it was taken through the solid rock, and here, to save labour, the diameter of the specus was smaller, too small for a man in armour to creep through it. Yet he deemed that the hole might be widened sufficiently to remove this difficulty, and that it would then be possible to penetrate by this forgotten passage into the city itself. Belisarius at once perceived the importance of the discovery, and sent some Isaurians with the utmost secrecy, under the guidance of their countryman to accomplish the desired excavation.  p55 They used no axe or hammer, that they might not alarm the enemy. The aqueduct made practicable. Patiently, with sharp instruments of steel they filed away at the rock, and at length returned to the General, announcing that there was now a practicable passage through the aqueduct.

Belisarius gives the citizens another chance of surrender. But before attempting by this means the assault of the city, Belisarius determined to make one more effort to persuade the inhabitants to surrender. Sending for Stephanus, he said to him (in word which remind us of a well-known utterance of our own Duke of Wellington), 'Many are now the cities that I have seen taken, and I am perfectly familiar with all that goes on at such a time, — the grown men slain with the edge of the sword; the women suffering the last extremity of outrage, longing for death but unable to find one friendly destroyer; the children driven off into bondage, doomed to sink from an honourable condition into that of half‑fed and ignorant boors, slaves of the very men whose hands are red with the blood of their parents; and besides all this, the leaping flames destroying in an hour all the comeliness of the city. I can see as in a mirror, my dear Stephanus, your fair city of Neapolis undergoing all these horrors which I have beheld in so many of the towns that I have taken; and my whole soul is stirred with pity for her and her inhabitants. She is a city of old renown. They are Romans and Christians, and I have many barbarians in my army hard to restrain at any time, and now maddened by the loss of brethren and comrades who have fallen in the siege. I will tell you honestly that you cannot escape me. The plans which I have made are such that the city must fall into my hands. Be advised by me, and accept an  p56 honourable capitulation while you can. If you refuse, blame not Fortune, but your own perversity for all the miseries that shall come upon you.' The citizens will not accept it. With tears and lamentations Stephanus delivered to his fellow-citizens the message of Belisarius'; but they, confident in the impregnability of their city, still abjured every thought of surrender.

Preparations for the assault. As there was no possibility of avoiding the assault, Belisarius proceeded to make his plans for it as perfect as possible. At twilight he chose out four hundred men whom he placed under the command of Magnus, a cavalry officer, and Ennes, a leader of the Isaurians. Though we are not expressly told that it was so, there seems some reason to suppose that the half of this force commanded by Ennes was itself of Isaurian nationality; and no doubt both Paucaris and the original discoverer of the passage took part in the expedition. The men were fully armed with shield, breastplate, and sword, and two trumpeters went with them. The whole secret of the plan was then disclosed to Magnus and Ennes; the spot was indicated where they were to enter the aqueduct, and from whence with lighted torches they and their four hundred were to creep stealthily into the city. Meanwhile the Roman host was kept under arms ready for action, and the carpenters were set to work preparing ladders for the assault.

Some of the exploring party turn faint-hearted. At first the General had to endure a disappointment. Fully one half of the aqueduct party — the non‑Isaurian half if our conjecture be correct — when they had crept for some distance through the dark channel, declared that the deed was too dangerous, and marched back to the entrance, the reluctant and mortified Magnus at  p57 their head. Others volunteer. Belisarius, who was still standing there surrounded by some of the bravest men in the army, had no difficulty in at once selecting what volunteers to take the place of the recreants; and his gallant step‑son Photius, claiming to be allowed to head the expedition, leapt eagerly into the aqueduct. The General thought of Antonina, and forbade her son to venture through the channel; All go forward. but the example of his bravery and the bitter taunts of Belisarius so stung the waverers, that they too returned into the aqueduct, thus apparently raising the numbers of the storming party to six hundred.

Bessas engages the attention of the garrison. Fearing that so large a detachment might make some noise which would be heard by the Gothic sentinels, the General ordered his lieutenant Bessas to draw near to the walls and engage their attention. Bessas harangued them accordingly in his and their native tongue, enlarging on the rich rewards of the imperial service, and advising them to enter it without delay. They replied with taunts and insults; but the object was gained. In the storm of the debate, amid all the crash of Teutonic gutturals, any muffled sounds from the region of the aqueduct passed unheeded.

Exit from the aqueduct. The storming party were now within the circuit of the walls of Neapolis, but they found themselves penetrating further than they wished; and how to emerge into the city was as yet by no means apparent. A lofty vaulted roof of brick was over their heads. They seem to have been standing in what would have been a great reservoir had the aqueduct been still flowing. Despair seized the heart of those who had already entered the place, and the column of soldiers still pressing on from behind made their situation each  p58 moment more perilous. At length those in front saw a break in the vaulting above them, by the break the outlines of a cottage, by the cottage an olive-tree. It was hopeless for armed soldiers to climb up that steep reservoir-side; but one brave fellow, an Isaurian doubtless, laid aside helmet and shield, and with hands and feet scrambled up the wall. In the cottage he found one old woman in a state of abject poverty. He threatened her with death if she stirred or shrieked. She was mute. He fastened a strong strap which he had brought with him to the stem of the olive-tree. His comrades grasped the other end, and one by one all the six hundred mounted without accident.

The aqueduct party signal to their comrades. By this time the fourth watch of the night had begun. The storming party rushed to the northern ramparts, beneath which they knew that Belisarius and Bessas would be stationed, slew two of the sentinels who were taken unawares, and then blew a long blast on their bugles. At once the Byzantine soldiers placed the ladders against the walls and began to mount. Destruction! The ladders, which had been hurriedly made in the darkness by the army carpenters, were too short, and did not reach to the foot of the battlements. They were taken down again, and two of them were hastily but securely fastened together. Now the soldiers could mount. They poured over the battlements. On the north side at any rate the city was won.

On the south, between the sea and the wall, the task of the assailants was somewhat harder. There, not the Goths, but the Jews kept watch; the Jews ever embittered against the persecuting Government of Constantinople, and now fighting with the courage  p59 of despair, since they knew that the part which they had taken in opposing the surrender had marked them out for vengeance. But when day arrived, and they were attacked in their rear by assailants from the other part of the city, even the Jews were obliged to flee, and the southern gates were opened to the Byzantines.

The city taken. The besiegers on the east side, where no serious assault had been contemplated, had no scaling ladders, and were obliged to burn the gates of the city before they could effect an entrance. By this time the whole troop of semi-barbarians called the Roman army was pouring through the town, murdering, ravishing, plundering, binding for slavery, even as Belisarius had prophetically described. The Huns who were serving under the banners of the Empire, and who were no doubt still heathens, did not respect even the sanctity of the churches, but slew those who had taken refuge at the altars.

Belisarius exhorts his soldiers to be merciful. Then Belisarius collected his troops together, probably in the great Forum of the city, and delivered a harangue in which he besought them not to tarnish the victory which God had given them by unholy deeds. The Neapolitans were now no longer enemies, but fellow-subjects: let them not sow the seeds of irreconcilable hatred by a bloody butchery in the first city which they had taken. With these words, and with the assurance that all the wealth which they could lay hands upon should be theirs, as the fitting reward of their valour, he persuaded the soldiers to sheathe their swords, and even to unbind their captives and restore wives to their husbands, children to their parents. Thus, says the historian, did the Neapolitans — those at least of them who escaped the massacre — pass  p60 in a few hours from freedom to slavery, and back again from slavery to freedom, and even to a certain measure of comfort. For they had succeeded in burying their gold and all their most precious property; and after the storm of war had passed they were able to recover it.

The Gothic prisoners. Eight hundred Gothic warriors were taken prisoners in the city. Belisarius protected them from outrage at the hands of his soldiery and kept them in honourable captivity, treating them in all respects like soldiers of his own.

Fate of Pastor. The unhappy leaders of the war‑party attested by their end the sincerity of their advice. Pastor, who was previously in perfect health, when he saw that the city was taken, received so violent a shock that he had a stroke of apoplexy which proved immediately fatal. Asclepiodotus with some of the nobles of the city presented himself boldly before Belisarius. Violent reproaches of Stephanus. Stephanus, in his grief at the calamities which had befallen his native city, assailed with bitter reproaches 'that betrayer of his country, that wickedest of men, who had sold his city in order to curry favour with the Goths. Had the cause of the barbarians triumphed, Asclepiodotus would have denounced the patriots as traitors and hounded them to the death. Only the valour of Belisarius had delivered them from this calamity.' With some dignity Asclepiodotus replied that the invective of Stephanus was really his highest praise, since it showed that he had been firm in his duty to those whom he found set over him. Now that by the fortune of war Neapolis had passed under the power of the Emperor, Asclepiodotus would be found as faithful a servant of the Empire as he had been of the Goths, while Stephanus at the first whisper of  p61 ill‑fortune would be found veering back again from his new to his old allegiance.

Death of Asclepiodotus. We are not told what part Belisarius took in this quarrel. The populace followed Asclepiodotus on his departure from the general's tent, assailed him with reproaches as author of all their miseries, and at length slew him and mangled his remains. Then seeking the house of Pastor, they would not for a long time believe his slaves who assured them of his death. Satisfied at last by the sight of his dead body, they dragged it forth from the city and hung it ignominiously on a gibbet. They then repaired to the quarters of Belisarius, told him what they had done, and craved pardon for the display of their righteous indignation, a pardon which was readily granted.

So ended the Byzantine siege of Naples. The only remembrance of it which, in the changed circumstances of the city, a modern traveller can obtain, is furnished by a few red arches which, under the name of Ponti Rossi, traverse one of the roads leading north-eastwards from the city, a little below the royal palace of Capo di Monte. At this point apparently the aqueduct which led into the city of Naples branched off from the main line which held on its course westwards to Puteoli and Baiae. Over these arches marched the hardy Isaurians on that perilous midnight adventure which resulted in the capture of Neapolis.36


The Author's Notes:

1 Easter Sunday fell on the 23rd of March in the year 536 (L'Art de vérifier les Dates, p11).

2 It is in a digression as to the Moors, inserted at this point of his history, that Procopius introduces the often-quoted but improbable story of the two pillars erected by Canaanitish exiles near Tigisis in Numidia, with this inscription in Phoenician characters: 'We are they who fled from the face of Joshua the robber the son of Nun.'

3 These were the battles of Mammas and Burgaon. The sites of these places do not appear to be identified. Mammas was the only engagement that deserved to be called a pitched battle, and here the chief difficulty arose from the confusion caused in the Roman cavalry by the sight and smell of the camels. At Burgaon the Moors were encamped on a precipitous hill. By a daring night-march — not unlike that by which Wolfe scaled the Heights of Abraham — Solomon posted some troops on the summit of the hill. The Moors, panic-stricken at finding themselves between two attacks, rushed down the hill, and (according to Procopius) 50,000 of them perished in a precipitous ravine, without one Roman soldier being slain.

4 I think the frequent references of Procopius in the account of this very mutiny to ἡ πολιτεία, illustrated by the usage of his contemporary Cassiodorus, justify this statement.

5 See the very carefully written article on Carthage in Smith's Dict. of Greek and Roman Geography, I.551A. The words of Procopius are: Σταδίους τε τριακοσίους ἀνύσαντες ἀφίκοντο ἐς Μισσοίαν τὸ Καρχηδονίων ἐπίνειον (vol. I p474)

6 Probably the Bulla Mensa of Ptolemy, not Bulla Regia in Numidia, which is four days' journey from Carthage. (See Smith's Dict. of Geography, s.v. Bulla.)

7 The Byzantine form of the name, found in Procopius and Marcellinus, is Stotzas. But the African-born writers, Corippus and Victor of Tunnuna, call him Stuzas and Stutias respectively (the latter change perhaps for metrical reasons). The editor of Corippus suggests the German 'Stutzer' (strutter) as a derivation (p245, ed. Bonn).

8 Τύραννον σφίσιν εἵλοντο. The man who was 'tyrant' in the eyes of legitimate authority can hardly have been less than king to his own followers.

9 Much in the same way as the Mamertine mercenaries of Agathocles obtained dominion in Sicily B.C. 282, or the Mamelukes in Egypt in the thirteenth century of our era.

10 The description of the character and office of Josephius (De Bell. Vand. II.15), 'clerk of the imperial guards' (τῶν βασιλέως φυλάκων γραμματεύς), 'a man of distinction and one of the household of Belisarius,' may at least illustrate the position of Procopius himself in the army.

11 Equivalent to nearly 47 English miles. Procopius's measurement, 350 stadia, agrees very nearly with the 51 miles of the Antonine Itinerary.

12 The Bagradas is the modern Medjerdah.

13 So the translators agree in rendering the χωρίον ὃ δὴ Καλλασβατάρας καλοῦσι Ῥωμαῖοι of Procopius (De Bell. Vand. II.17): but possibly some other name, which might lead to the identification of the site, is concealed under it.

14 Who is called by Corippus, Joannes Primus.

15 An interesting description of Keff, the modern representative of Sicca Venerea, and a sketch of the rocky eminence on which its citadel stands, is given in Dr. Davis's Carthage and her Remains (London, 1861), pp604‑614. Sicca played a not unimportant part in the war with Jugurtha. Apparently it is the same place at which Arnobius the Christian apologist kept a school, numbering Lactantius among his pupils.

16 Areobindus governor 545. Slain by Gontharis, Roman general in Numidia. Tyranny of Gontharis. He is slain by Artabanes, after thirty‑six days' rule, 545. Artabanes governor 545‑546.

17 There was, however, besides the Magister Militum a special Praefectus Praetorio for Africa, ruling at Carthage. This magistrate was first appointed by Justinian in 534 (Codex I.27). He seems to have been replaced by an Exarch of Africa towards the end of the sixth century (Bury, II.35; Diehl, L'Administration Byzantine, &c., p157).

18 The great number of persons bearing the name of the Apostle John is a confusing element in the history of these times. In the absence of surnames Procopius is very careful to distinguish them by means of their family relationships. We shall have two generals of the name of John to deal with in the Italian campaigns of Belisarius. Meanwhile in the history of these African affairs we distinguish the following bearers of the name: —

I. John the son of Sisinniolus, the enemy of Sergius and the slayer of Stutza.

II. John the brother of Pappus, governor of Africa for some years after 546. He was the hero of the poem of Corippus, and husband (probably) of Justina, niece of Justinian.

III. John the Armenian, brother of Artabanes, slain in the same battle as No. I.

IV. John the usurper (ὁ τύραννος), also called Stutza Junior, whom the soldiers made their leader after the death of Stutza. With a following of 1000 soldiers he joined the usurper Gontharis (545). After the death of Gontharis he took refuge with some Vandals in a church, surrendered to Artabanes on receiving a promise that his life should be spared, and was sent bound to Constantinople (545).

(Procop. de B. V. II.28, and Marcellinus Comes, s. a. 547 — two years too late.)

19 Procopius, De Bello Vandalico, II.23 (I.512).

20 Procopius, Anecdota, XVIII (III.106).

21 'Graeculi isti.'

22 Of course all that is here said about the old and new Hellenism of South Italy applies, with certain modifications, to Sicily also.

23 Proc. De B. G. I.8. For the received text ξὺν παισὶ τοὺς ἑπομένοις, the alternative reading ξὺν πᾶσι τ. ἑ., found in Hoeschel's edition, seems to give a better sense. (This is the reading adopted by Comparetti.)

24 Jordanes (De Reb. Get. LX and De Reg. Succ. 370) gives the Gothic form of Procopius' Ebrimuth, and supplies a few particulars.

25 One province, not two, at the time of the Notitia.

26 Capasso thinks that the sea has not here receded more than a few yards since the days of the Romans.

27 This seems to be the general opinion of the topographers, yet the measurements given by Beloch (p63) of the level at which Roman remains have been found, do not seem to give a depth of more than about twenty feet for the depression north of the city.

28 With its continuation Strada Biagio and Strada Forcella.

29 Between the Vico di San Paolo and the Vico dei Giganti.

30 Pompeii as well as Neapolis seem to have been about 1000 yards long by 800 broad.

31 The Duomo (dedicated to S. Gennaro), though situated within this district and on the site of the temples of Neptune and Apollo, dates from the period of the Angevin kings.

32 The alluring pursuit of all enquirers into the earliest history of Neapolis is the attempt to fix the site of Palaepolis, the elder sister of that city, like her founded from Cumae, but ultimately absorbed in or obliterated by the greatness of her younger rival. Many Neapolitan archaeologists fix Palaepolis on the east of the other city. Niebuhr, with a somewhat amusing positiveness, fixes it far to the west, near Posilippo. S. Capasso contends for a nearer position on the south-west, at the Castel Nuovo and on the site of the present Palazzo Reale. Beloch argues that there never was such a city as Palaepolis, and that the mention of it is due to a mis­understanding of the word Palaepolitani — the old citizens of Neapolis as opposed to some new settlers. But in the face of Livy's clear statement (VIII.22) as to the situation of the two cities, and the record in the Triumphal Fasti of the victory of Publilius over the 'Samnites Palaepolitanei,' this seems too bold a stroke of historical skepticism.

33 From this and other passages there seems some reason to conclude that the aristocratic party at Naples were at this time in favour of the Gothic dominion, the democracy in favour of the Byzantine.

34

'No better omen than his own right hand

Inspires the warrior for his native land.'

35 Procopius' indications of time are not very clear at this point, but I conjecture that the siege of Neapolis may have occupied the last twenty days of June, perhaps reaching on into July. The deposition of Theodahad, which was its immediate result, occurred in August.

36 Lord Stanhope (Life of Belisarius, p180),º following Muratori, says that it was through this same aqueduct that Alfonso of Arragon entered the city in 1442. But this, I am informed by S. Capasso, is an error. The aqueduct through which the Spaniards entered the city was called 'della Bolla.' It brought water from Somma under Mount Vesuvius, and entered the city through the eastern, not the northern wall.


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