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Ch. 19, §§13‑14
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 not been proofread.
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Ch. 21

Vol. II
Chapter XX

Diplomacy and Commerce

Justinian was not less energetic in increasing the prestige and strengthening the power of the Empire by his diplomacy than by his arms. While his generals went forth to recover lost provinces, he and his agents were incessantly engaged in maintaining the Roman spheres of influence beyond the frontiers and drawing new peoples within the circle of Imperial client states. The methods were traditional and are familiar, but he pursued and developed them more systematically than any of his predecessors. Youths of the dynasties ruling in semi-dependent countries were educated at Constantinople, and sometimes married Roman wives. Barbarian kinglets constantly visited the capital, and Justinian spared no expense in impressing them with the majesty and splendour of the Imperial court. He gave them titles of Roman rank, often with salaries attached; above all, if they were heathen, he procured their conversion to Christianity. Baptism was virtually equivalent to an acknowledgment of Roman overlord­ship. He used both merchants and missionaries for the purposes of peaceful penetration. And he understood and applied the art of stirring up one barbarian people against another.​1 Perhaps no Emperor practised all these methods, which are conveniently comprehended under the name of diplomacy, on such a grand scale as Justinian, who was the last to aspire to the Imperial ideal expressed by the Augustan poet:

illa inclyta Roma

imperium terris, animos aequabit Olympo.

The objects aimed at varied in different quarters. On  p293  some frontiers they were mainly political, on others largely commercial. In the north, the European provinces against invasion by managing the rapacious barbarians who lived within striking distance. In the Caucasian regions, the chief concern was to contend against the influence of Persia. In the neighbourhood of the Red Sea commercial aims were predominant. In a general survey of these multifarious activities it will be convenient to notice the hostile invasions which afflicted the Balkan provinces during this reign and the system of fortifications which was constructed to protect them, and to describe the general conditions of commerce. We have already seen examples of the Emperor's diplomatic methods in his dealings with the Moors and with the Franks.2

§ 1. The Slavs

The array of barbarous peoples against whom Justinian had to protect his European subjects by diplomacy or arms, from the Middle Danube to the Don, were of three different races. There were Germans and Huns as before, but a third group, the Slavs, were now coming upon the scene. The German group consisted of three East German peoples, the Gepids of Transylvania, and the Heruls and the Langobardi to the north-west of the Gepids. The Huns were represented by the Bulgarians of Bessarabia and Walachia, and the Kotrigurs further east. The Slavs lived in the neighbourhood of the Bulgarians on the banks of the lower Danube in Walachia.

This general disposition of peoples had resulted from the great battle of the Netad which dissolved the empire of Attila. One of the obscure but most important consequences of that event was the westward and southward expansion of the Slavs towards the Elbe and towards the Danube.

It has been made probable by recent research that the prehistoric home of the Slavs was in the marshlands of the river Pripet, which flows into the Dniepr north of Kiev.​3 This unhealthy district, known as Polesia, hardly half as large as England,  p294  is now inhabited by White Russians. It could produce little cornº as it could only be cultivated in spots, and it was so entirely unsuitable for cattle that the Slavs had no native words for cattle or milk. They may have reared swine, but perhaps their food chiefly consisted of fish and the manna-grass which grows freely in the marshy soil. The nature of the territory, impeding free and constant intercourse, hindered the establishment of political unity. The Slavs of Polesia did not form a state; they had no king; they lived in small isolated village groups, under patriarchal government.

Their history, from the earliest times, was a tragedy. Their proximity to the steppes of Southern Russia exposed them as a prey to the Asiatic mounted nomads who successively invaded and occupied the lands between the Don and the Dniester. Living as they did, they could not combine against these enemies who plundered them and carried them off as slaves. They could only protect themselves by hiding in the forest or in the waters of their lakes and rivers. They built their huts with several doors to facilitate escape when danger threatened; they hid their belongings, which were as few as possible, in the earth. They could elude a foe by diving under the water and lying for hours on the bottom, breathing through a long reed, which only the most experienced pursuers could detect.4

At a time of which we have no record the Slavs began to spread silently beyond the borders of Polesia, northward, eastward, and southward. In the fourth century they were conquered  p295  by Hermanric, king of the Ostrogoths, and included in his extensive realm.​5 They enjoyed a brief interlude of German tyranny instead of nomad raids; then the Huns appeared and they were exposed once more to the oppression which had been their secular lot. They had probably learned much from the Goths; but when they emerge at length into the full light of history in the sixth century, they still retained most of the characteristics which their life in Polesia had impressed upon them. They lived far apart from one another in wretched hovels;​6 though they had learned to act together, they did not abandon their freedom to the authority of a king. Revolting against military discipline, they had no battle array and seldom met a foe in the open field.​7 Their arms were a shield, darts, and poisoned arrows.​8 They were perfidious, for no compact could bind them all; but they are praised for their hospitality to strangers and for the fidelity of their women.

As we might expect, they had no common name. Slav, by which we designate all the various peoples who spread far and wide in Eastern Europe from the original Polesian home, comes from Slovene, which appears originally to have been a local name attached to a particular group dwelling at a place called Slovy; and the fortunes of the name are due to the fact that this group was among the first to come into contact with the Roman Empire. Before the reign of Justinian these Sclavenes, as the historian Procopius calls them,​9 had along with another kindred people, the Antae, settled in the neighbourhood of the Bulgarians,  p296  along the banks of the Lower Danube. Antae is not a Slavonic name, and it is not unlikely that they were a Slavonic tribe which had been conquered and organised by a non-Slavonic people — somewhat as in later times the Slavs of Moesia were conquered by the Bulgarians and took their name. However this may be, these new neighbours of the Empire now began to exchange the rôle of victims for that of plunderers.

Like the Huns, the Antae and Sclavenes supplied auxiliaries for the Roman army.​10 And along with the Huns they were always watching for an opportunity to cross the Danube and plunder the Roman provinces. In the invasions which are recorded in the reign of Justinian, it is sometimes the Slavs, sometimes the Bulgarians who are mentioned, but it is probable that they often came together. In A.D. 529 the Bulgarians overran Lower Moesia and Scythia. They defeated Justin and Baduarius, the generals who opposed them, and crossing the Balkan passes, invaded Thrace.​11 There they captured another general, Constantiolus, and obtained from the Emperor ten thousand pieces of gold for his release. Another incursion in the following year was repulsed with numerous losses to the invaders by Mundus, the Master of Soldiers in Illyricum;​12 and Chilbudius, who was appointed Master of Soldiers in Thrace about the same time, not only prevented the barbarians from crossing the Danube for three years, but terrorised them by making raids into their own country. His success made him rash. Venturing to cross the river with too small a force, he was defeated and slain by the Sclavenes. No one of the same ability replaced him, and the provinces were once more at the mercy of the foe.​13 We hear, however, of no serious invasion till A.D. 540, when the Bulgarians, with a host exceptionally huge, devastated the peninsula from sea to sea.​14 They forced  p297  their way through the Long Wall and spread terror to the suburbs of the capital. They occupied the Chersonesus, and some of them even crossed the Hellespont and ravaged the opposite coast. They laid waste Thessaly and Northern Greece; the Peloponnesus was saved by the fortifications of the Isthmus. Many of the castles and walled towns fell into their hands,​15 and their captives were numbered by tens of thousands. This experience moved Justinian to undertake the construction of an extensive system of fortifications which will be described hereafter.

Soon after this invasion a quarrel broke out between the Sclavenes and the Antae, and Justinian seized the opportunity to inflame their rivalry by offering to the Antae a settlement at Turris, an old foundation of Trajan on the further side of the Lower Danube, where as federates of the Empire, in receipt of annual subsidies, they should act as a bulwark against the Bulgarians.​16 We are not told whether this plan was carried out, but we may infer that the proposal was accepted, from the fact that in the subsequent invasions the Antae appear to have taken no part.​17 In A.D. 545 the Sclavenes were thoroughly defeated in Thrace by Narses and a body of Heruls whom he had engaged for service in Italy.​18 Three years later the same marauders devastated Illyricum as far as Dyrrhachium,​19 and in A.D. 549 a band of 3000 penetrated to the Hebrus, where they divided into two parties, of which one ravaged Illyricum and the other Thrace. The maritime city of Topirus was taken, and the cruelties committed by the barbarians exceed in atrocity all that is recorded of the invasions of the Huns of Attila.​20 In the following summer the Sclavenes came again, intending to attack Thessalonica, but Germanus happened to be  p298  at Sardica, making preparations to take reinforcements to Italy. The terror of his name diverted the barbarians from their southward course and they invaded Dalmatia.​21 Later in the year the Sclavenes, reinforced by newcomers, gained a bloody victory over an Imperial army at Hadrianople,​22 penetrated to the Long Wall, but were pursued and forced to give up much of their booty.

Two years later there was another inroad, and on this occasion the Gepids aided and abetted the Sclavenes, helping them, when they were hard pressed by Roman troops, to escape across the river, but exacting high fees from the booty-laden fugitives.23

Permanent Slavonic settlements on Imperial soil were not to begin till about twenty years after Justinian's death, but the movements we have been following were the prelude to the territorial occupation which was to determine the future history of south-eastern Europe.

§ 2. The Gepids and Lombards; Kotrigurs and Utigurs

The most power­ful of the barbarous peoples on the Danube frontier, against whom the Emperors had protect their European subjects, were the Gepids of Transylvania. The old policy of recognising them as federates and paying them yearly subsidies, seems to have been success­ful until Sirmium was taken from the Ostrogoths by Justinian, and being weakly held was allowed to fall into their hands. Establishing themselves in this stronghold they occupied a portion of Dacia Ripensis and made raids into the southern provinces.​24 Justinian immediately discontinued the payment of subsidies and sought a new method of checking their hostilities. He found it in the rivalry of another East-German nation, the Langobardi, who had recently appeared upon the scene of Danubian politics. Yet another people, the Heruls, who belonged to the same group, payed a  p299  minor part in the drama, in which the Gepids and Langobardi were the principal actors, and Justinian the director.

It was more than a century since the Langobardi, or Lombards, as we may call them in anticipation of the later and more familiar corruption of their name, had left their ancient homes on the Lower Elbe, where they were neighbours of the Saxons, whose customs resembled their own, but the details of their long migration are obscure.​25 Soon after the conquest of the Rugians by Odovacar, they took possession of the Rugian lands, to the north of the province of Noricum, but they remained here only for a few years and then settled in the plains between the Theiss and the Danube.​26 At this time, it was in the reign of Anastasius, they lived as tributary subjects of another East-German people, more savage than themselves. We have already met the Heruls taking part in the overthrow of the Hunnic realm and contributing mercenary troops to the Imperial service. In the second half of the fifth century they seem to have fixed their abode somewhere in North-western Hungary, and when the Ostrogoths left Pannonia they became a considerable and aggressive power dominating the regions beyond the Upper Danube. They invaded the provinces of Noricum and Pannonia, and won overlord­ship over the Lombards. Theoderic, following his general policy towards his German neighbours, allied himself with their king Rodulf, whom he adopted as a son.​27 But soon  p300  afterwards (A.D. 507‑512), they attacked the Lombards without provocation and were defeated in a sanguinary battle.

This defeat had important results. It led to the dissolution of the Herul nation into two portions, of which one migrated northward and returned to the old home of the people in Scandinavia. The rest moved first into the former territory of the Rugians, but finding the land a desert they begged the Gepids to allow them to settle in their country. The Gepids granted the request, but repaid themselves by carrying off the cattle and violating their women. Then the Heruls sought the protection of the Emperor, who readily granted them land in one of the Illyrian provinces.​28 But their rapacious instincts soon drove them to plunder and maltreat the provincials, and Anastasius was compelled to send an army to chastise them. Many were killed off; the rest made complete submission, and were suffered to remain. No people quite so barbarous had ever yet been settled on Roman soil. It was their habit to put to death the old and the sick; and the women were expected to hang themselves when their husbands died. When Justinian came to the throne he effected their conversion to Christianity. Their king with his nobles was invited to Constantinople, where he was baptized with all his party, the Emperor standing sponsor, and was dismissed with handsome gifts. Larger subsidies were granted to them, and better lands in the neighbourhood of Singidunum, with the province of Second Pannonia (A.D. 527‑528).​29 Henceforward, for some years, they fulfilled their duties as Federates, and supplied contingents to the Roman army. But though their savagery had been mitigated after they embraced the Christian faith, they were capricious and faithless; they had not even the merit of chaste manners, for which Tacitus and Salvian praise the Germanic peoples; they were the worst people in the whole world, in the opinion of a contemporary historian.30

Suddenly it occurred to them that they would prefer a republican form of government, though their kings enjoyed only a shadow of authority. Accordingly they slew their king, but  p301  very soon, for they were unstable as water, they repented, and decided to choose a ruler among the people of their own race who had settled in Scandinavia. Some of their leading men were sent on this distant errand and duly returned with a candidate for the throne.​31 But in the meantime, during their long absence, the Heruls, with characteristic indecision, bethought themselves that they ought not to elect a king from Scandinavia without the consent of Justinian, and they invited him to choose a king for them. Justinian selected a certain Suartuas, a Herul who had long lived at Constantinople. He was welcomed and acclaimed by the Heruls, but not many days had passed when the news came that the envoys who had gone to Scandinavia would soon arrive. Suartuas ordered the Heruls to march forth and destroy them; they obeyed cheerfully; but one night they all left him and went over to the rival whom they had gone forth to slay. Suartuas returned alone to Constantinople.

The consequence of this escapade was that the Heruls split up again into two portions. The greater part attached themselves to the Gepids; the rest remained federates of the Empire.​32 This was the position of affairs when about the middle of the sixth century war broke out between the Gepids and the Lombards.

The Lombards are represented as having been Christians while they were still under the yoke of the Heruls. After they had won their independence they lived north of the Danube in the neighbourhood of the Gepids.​33 We hear nothing more of them until we find their king Wacho, in A.D. 539, refusing to send help to the Ostrogoths on the ground that he was a friend and ally of Justinian.​34 Some years later the Emperor assigned to them settlements in Noricum and Pannonia,​35 and granted them the subsidies which it was usual to pay to federates. We  p302  may take it that he deliberately adopted this policy in order to use the Lombards as a counterpoise to the Gepids, with whom he had recently broken off relations.36

It was not long before these two peoples quarrelled and prepared for war. Audoin at this time was king of the Lombards​37 and Thorisin of the Gepids. They both sent ambassadors to Constantinople, the Lombards to beg for military aid,​38 the Gepids hardly hoping to do more than induce the Emperor to remain neutral. Justinian decided to assist the Lombards and sent a body of 10,000 horse, who were directed to proceed to Italy when they had dealt with the Gepids. These troops met an army of hostile Heruls and defeated them severely, but in the meantime the Lombards and Gepids had composed their differences, to the disappointment of Justinian. It was felt, however, by both sides that war was inevitable and was only postponed. The Gepids, fearing that their enemies, supported by Constantinople, would prove too strong for them, concluded an alliance with the Kotrigurs.

The Kotrigurs, who were a branch of the Hunnic race, occupied the steppes of South Russia, from the Don to the Dniester, and were probably closely allied to the Bulgarians​39 or Onogundurs — the descendants of Attila's Huns — who had their homes in Bessarabia and Walachia. They were a formidable people and Justinian had long ago taken precautions to keep them in check, in case they should threaten to attack the Empire, though it was probably for the Roman cities of the Crimea, Cherson and Bosporus, that he feared, rather than for the Danubian provinces. As his policy on the Danube was to  p303  use the Lombards as a check on the Gepids, so his policy in Scythia was to use another Hunnic people, the Utigurs, as a check on the Kotrigurs. The Utigurs lived beyond the Don, on the east of the Sea of Azov, and Justinian cultivated their friendship by yearly gifts.

When a host of 12,000 Kotrigurs, incited by the Gepids, crossed the Danube and ravaged the Illyrian lands, Justinian immediately despatched an envoy to Sandichl, king of the Utigurs, to bid him prove his friendship to the Empire by invading the territory of their neighbours. Sandichl, an experienced warrior, fulfilled the Emperor's expectations; he crossed the Don, routed the enemy, and carried their women and children into slavery. When the news reached Constantinople, Justinian sent one of his generals​40 to the Kotrigurs who were still plundering the Balkan provinces, to inform them of what had happened in their own land, and to offer them a large sum of money to evacuate Roman territory. They accepted the proposal, and it was stipulated that if they found their own country occupied by the Utigurs, they should return and receive from the Emperor lands in Thrace. Soon afterwards another party of 2000 Kotrigurs, with their wives and children, arrived as fugitives on Roman soil. They were led by Sinnion, who had fought in Africa as a commander of Hunnic auxiliaries in the Vandal campaign of Belisarius. The Emperor accorded them a settlement in Thrace. This complacency shown to their foes excited the jealous indignation of the Utigurs, and king Sandichl sent envoys to remonstrate with Justinian on the injustice and impolicy of his action. They were appeased by large gifts, which it was obviously the purpose of their coming to obtain.41

In the following year (A.D. 552), the war so often threatened and so often postponed between the Lombards and Gepids broke out. The Gepids sought to renew their old alliance with the Empire, and Justinian consented,​42 but when the Lombards soon afterwards asked him to fulfil his engagements and send  p304  troops to help them he denounced his new treaty with the Gepids on the pretext that they had helped Sclavenes to cross the Danube. Among the leaders of the forces which marched to co-operate with the Lombards, were Justin and Justinian, the Emperor's cousins, but they were detained on their way to suppress a revolt at Ulpiana, and never arrived at their destination. Only those troops which were commanded by Amalfridas, the brother-in‑law of the Lombard king,​43 pursued their march and took part in the campaign. The Lombards won a complete victory over the Gepids, and Audoin, in announcing the good news to Justinian, reproached him for failing to furnish the help which they had a right to expect in consideration of the large force of Lombards which had recently gone forth to support Roman arms in Italy.

After this defeat the Gepids concluded treaties of perpetual peace with the Lombards and with the Empire,​44 and peace seems to have been preserved so long as Justinian reigned. After his death the enmity between these two German peoples broke out again, and the Lombards, aided by other allies, eliminated the name of the Gepids from the political map of Europe.

§ 3. The Invasion of Zabergan (A.D. 558)

In a few years the Kotrigurs recovered from the chastisement which had been inflicted upon them by their Utigur neighbours, and in the winter of A.D. 558‑559, under a chieftain whose name was Zabergan, a host of these barbarians crossed the frozen Danube, and passing unopposed through Scythia and Moesia, entered Thrace. These provinces would seem to have been entirely denuded of troops. In Thrace Zabergan divided his followers into three armies. One was sent to Greece, to ravage the unprotected country; the second invaded the Thracian Chersonese; the third army, consisting of seven thousand cavalry, rode under Zabergan himself to Constantinople.

The atrocities committed by the third body are thus described by a contemporary writer:45

 p305  As no resistance was offered to their course, they overran the country and plundered without mercy, obtaining a great booty and large numbers of captives. Among the rest, well-born women of chaste life were most cruelly carried off to undergo the worst of all misfortunes, and minister to the unbridled lust of the barbarians; some who in early youth had renounced marriage and the cares and pleasures of this life, and had immured themselves in some religious retreat, deeming it of the highest importance to be free from cohabitation with men, were dragged from the chambers of their virginity and violated. Many married women who happened to be pregnant were dragged away, and when their hour was come brought forth children on the march, unable to conceal their throes, or to take up and swaddle the new-born babes; they were hauled along, in spite of all, hardly allowed even time to suffer, and the wretched infants were left where they fell, a prey for dogs and birds, as though this were the purpose of their appearance in the world.

To such a pass had the Roman Empire come that, even within the precincts of the districts surrounding the Imperial city, a very small number of barbarians committed such enormities.​46 Their audacity went so far as to pass the Long Walls and approach the inner fortifications. For time and neglect had in many places dilapidated the great wall, and other parts were easily thrown down by the barbarians, as there was no military garrison, no engines of defence. Not even the bark of a dog was to be heard; the wall was less efficiently protected than a pig-sty or a sheep-cot.

The Huns encamped at Melantias, a village on the small river Athyras, which flows into the Propontis. Their proximity created a panic in Constantinople, whose inhabitants saw in imagination the horrors of siege, conflagration, and famine. The terror was not confined to the lower classes; the nobles trembled in their palaces, the Emperor was alarmed on his throne. All the treasures of the churches, in the tract of country between the Euxine and the Golden Horn, were either carted into the city or shipped to the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus. The undisciplined corps of the Scholarian guards, ignorant of real warfare, did not inspire the citizens with much confidence.

On this critical occasion Justinian appealed to his veteran general Belisarius to save the seat of empire. In spite of his years and feebleness Belisarius put on his helmet and cuirass once more. He relied chiefly on a small body of three hundred men who had fought with him in Italy; the other troops that he mustered knew nothing of war, and they were more for appearance than for action. The peasants who had fled before  p306  the barbarians from their ruined homesteads in Thrace accompanied the little army. He encamped at the village of Chettus, and employed the peasants in digging a wide trench round the camp. Spies were sent out to discover the numbers of the enemy, and at night many beacons were kindled in the plain with the purpose of misleading the Huns as to the number of the forces sent out against them. For a while they were misled, but it was soon known that the Roman army was small, and two thousand cavalry selected by Zabergan rode forth to annihilate it. The spies informed Belisarius of the enemy's approach, and he made a skilful disposition of his troops. He concealed two hundred peltasts and javelin-men in the woods on either side of the plain, close to the place where he expected the attack of the barbarians; the ambuscaders, at a given signal, were to shower their missiles on the hostile ranks. The object of this was to compel the lines of the enemy to close in, in order to avoid the javelins on the flank, and thus to render their superior numbers useless through inability to deploy. Belisarius himself headed the rest of the army; in the rear followed the rustics, who were not to engage in the battle, but were to accompany it with loud shouts and cause a clatter with wooden beams, which they carried for that purpose.

All fell out as Belisarius had planned. The Huns, pressed by the peltasts, thronged together, and were hindered both from using their bows and arrows with effect, and from circumventing the Roman wings. The noise of the rustics in the rear, combined with the attack on the flanks, gave the foe the impression that the Roman army was immense, and that they were being surrounded; clouds of dust obscured the real situation, and the barbarians turned and fled. Four hundred perished before they reached their camp at Melantias, while not a single Roman was mortally wounded. The camp was immediately abandoned, and all the Kotrigurs hurried away, imagining that the victors were still on their track. But by the Emperor's orders Belisarius did not pursue them.

The fortunes of the Hunnic troops who were sent against the Chersonese were not happier. Germanus, a native of Prima Justiniana, had been appointed some time previously commandant in that peninsula, and he now proved himself a capable officer. As the Huns could make no breach in the great wall,  p307  which barred the approach to the peninsula and was skilfully defended by the dispositions of Germanus, they resorted to the expedient of manufacturing boats of reeds fastened together in sheaves; each boat was large enough to hold four men; one hundred and fifty were constructed, and six hundred men embarked secretly in the bay of Aenus (near the mouth of the Hebrus), in order to land on the south-western coast of the Chersonese. Germanus learned the news of their enterprise with delight, and immediately manned twenty galleys with armed men. The fleet of reed-built boats was easily annihilated, not a single barbarian escaping. This success was followed up by an excursion of the Romans from the wall against the army of the dispirited besiegers, who then abandoned their enterprise and joined Zabergan, now retreating after the defeat at Chettus.

The other division of the Huns, which had been sent in the direction of Greece, also returned without achieving any signal success. They had not penetrated farther than Thermopylae, where the garrison of the fortress prevented their advance.

Thus, although Thrace, Macedonia, and Thessaly suffered terribly from this invasion, Zabergan was frustrated in all three points of attack, by the ability of Belisarius, Germanus, and the garrison of Thermopylae. Justinian redeemed the captives for a considerable sum of money, and the Kotrigurs retreated beyond the Danube. But the wily Emperor laid a trap for their destruction. He despatched a characteristic letter to Sandichl, the king of the Utigurs, whose friendship he still cultivated by periodical presents of money. He informed Sandichl that the Kotrigurs had invaded Thrace and carried off all the gold that was destined to enrich the treasury of the Utigurs. "It would have been easy for us," ran the Imperial letter, "to have destroyed them utterly, or at least to have sent them empty away. But we did neither one thing nor the other, because we wished to test your sentiments. For if you are really valiant and wise, and not disposed to tolerate the appropriation by others of what belongs to you, you are not losers; for you have nothing to do but punish the enemy and receive from them your money at the sword's point, as though we had sent it to you by their hands." The Emperor further threatened that,  p308  if Sandichl proved himself craven enough to let the insult pass, he would transfer his amity to the Kotrigurs. The letter had the desired effect. The Utigurs were stirred up against their neighbours, and ceaseless hostilities wasted the strength of the two peoples.47

The historian who recorded the expedition of Zabergan concludes his story by remarking that these two Hunnic peoples were soon so weakened by this continual warfare that though they were not wholly extinguished they were incorporated in larger empires and lost their individualities and even their names.​48 The power which threatened them was already at the gate of Europe at the time of Zabergan's invasion.49

§ 4. The Defences of the Balkan Peninsula

Unable to spare military forces adequate to protect the Balkan provinces against the inroads of the barbarians, Justinian endeavoured to mitigate the evil by an elaborate system of fortresses, which must have cost his treasury large sums. In Thrace, Macedonia, Dardania, Epirus, and Greece, new forts were built, old forts were restored and improved, about six hundred in all.50

Thrace had always been defended by a line of fortresses on both sides of the Danube. They were now renovated and their number was increased. Behind them, in the provinces of Lower Moesia and Scythia, there were about fifty walled towns and castles. South of the Balkan range, the regions of Mount Rhodope and the Thracian plain were protected by 112 fortresses. The defences of Hadrianople and Philippopolis, Plotinopolis and  p309  Beroea (Stara Zagora) were restored, and Topirus, under Mount Rhodope, which the Sclavenes had taken by assault, was carefully fortified. Trajanopolis and Maximianopolis, in the same region, were secured by new walls, and the populous village of Ballurus was converted into a fortified town. On the Aegean coast, the walls of Aenus were raised in height, and Anastasiopolis strengthened by a new sea-wall. The wall, which hedged in the Thracian Chersonese but had proved too weak to keep out the Bulgarians, was demolished, and a new and stronger defence was built, which proved effective against the Kotrigurs. Sestos was made impregnable, and a high tower was erected at Elaeûs. On the Propontis, Justinian built a strong city at Rhaedestus and restored Heraclea. Finally, he repaired and strengthened the Long Wall of Anastasius.

The provinces belonging to the Prefecture of Illyricum were strewn with fortresses proportionate in number to the greater dimensions of the territory. The stations on the Danube from Singidunum to Novae were set in order. In Dardania, the Emperor's native province, eight new castles were built and sixty-one restored. Here he was concerned not only to provide for the defence of the province but to make it worthy of his own greatness by imposing and well-furnished cities. Scupi, near the village where he was born, began a new era in its history under the name of Justiniana Prima, though the old name refused to be displaced, and the town is now Üsküb. It was raised to high dignity as the ecclesiastical metropolis of Illyricum; the number of its churches, its municipal offices, the size of its porticoes, the beauty of its market-places impressed the visitor. Ulpiana (Lipljan), too, was embellished, and became Justiniana Secunda,​51 and near it the Emperor founded a new town called Justinopolis in honour of his uncle. In the centre of the peninsula the walls of Sardica and Naissus were rebuilt.

The inhabitants of Macedonia were protected by forty-six forts and towns. Cassandrea, which had failed to withstand the Sclavenes, was made impregnable. In the two provinces of Epirus, forty-five new forts were built and fifty rehabilitated. In Thessaly, the decayed walls of Thebes, Pharsalus, Demetrias,  p310  Larissa, and Diocletianopolis on Lake Castoria, and other towns​52 were restored. The defences of Thermopylae were renewed and improved, and the historic barrier which had hitherto been guarded by the local farmers was entrusted to 2000 soldiers.​53 The Isthmus of Corinth was fortified anew,​54 and the walls of Athens and the Boeotian towns, which were dilapidated by age or earthquakes, were restored.

This immense work of defence did not avail to keep the barbarians out of the land. Writing in A.D. 550 Procopius sums up the situation: "Illyricum and Thrace, from the Ionian Sea to the suburbs of Byzantium, were overrun almost every year since Justinian's accession to the throne by Huns, Sclavenes, and Antae, who dealt atrociously with the inhabitants. In every invasion I suppose that about 200,000 Roman subjects were killed or enslaved; the whole land became a sort of Scythian desert."​55 The historian's supposition doubtless exaggerates the truth considerably, and he would have been more instructive if he had told us how far the improved fortifications mitigated the evils of the invasions. It is clear, however, that it was a great advantage for the inhabitants to have more numerous and safer refuges when the barbarians approached; and we may guess that if statistics had been kept they would have shown a decrease in the number of the victims.

§ 5. The Crimea

No cities in the Roman Empire deserve greater credit for preserving Greek civilisation in barbarous surroundings than Cherson and Bosporus in the lonely Cimmerian peninsula. They were the great centres for the trade between the Mediterranean and the basins of the Volga and the Don. They were exposed to the attacks of the Huns both from the north and from the east, and the subsidies which Justinian paid to the Utigurs must have been chiefly designed to purchase immunity for these  p311  outposts of the Empire. They had always stood outside the provincial system, and the political position of Bosporus seems to have been more independent of the central power than that of Cherson, where the Emperors maintained a company of artillery (ballistarii).​56 In the fifth century the bond between Bosporus and Constantinople was broken, a change which was doubtless a result of the Hunnic invasion, and during this period it was probably tributary to the neighbouring Huns. But in the reign of Justin the men of Bosporus sought the protection of the Empire and were restored to its fold.​57 They soon found that they would have to pay for the privilege. They were not indeed asked to pay the ordinary provincial taxes, but Cherson and Bosporus were required to contribute to the maintenance of a merchant fleet which we may suppose was intended exclusively for use in the Euxine waters. This ship-money was also imposed on Lazica, when that land was annexed to the Empire.58

The Crimean Huns occupied the territory between the two cities. It is not clear whether they stood in the definite relation of federates to the Empire; but in A.D. 528 their king Grod was induced to come to Constantinople, where he was baptized, the Emperor acting as sponsor, and he undertook to defend Roman interests in the Crimea.​59 At the same time Justinian sent a garrison of soldiers to Bosporus under the command of a tribune. Grod, on returning home, took the images of his heathen gods — they were made of silver and electrum, — and melted them down. But the priests and the people were enraged by this impiety, and led by his brother, Mugel, they slew Grod, made Mugel king, and killed the garrison of Bosporus. The Emperor then sent considerable forces which intimidated the  p312  Huns and tranquillity was restored.​60 Bosporus was then strongly fortified, the walls of Cherson, which were old and weak, were rebuilt, and two new forts were erected in the south of the peninsula.61

In the north of the Crimea there was a small Gothic settlement, apparently a remnant of the Ostrogothic kingdom which in the fourth century extended along the north coast of the Euxine. These Goths are described as few in number, but good soldiers, skilful in agriculture, and a people of hospitable habits. They were under the protection of the Empire and were ready, when the Emperor summoned them, to fight against his foes. Their chief place was Dory on the coast; they would have no walled towns or forts in their land, but Justinian built long walls at the points where it was most exposed to an invader.62

From these genuine Goths of the Crimea we must carefully distinguish another people, who were also described as Goths but perhaps erroneously. These were the Tetraxites (a name of mysterious origin) who lived in the peninsula of Taman over against Bosporus.​63 They too were a small people, and their fate depended on the goodwill of the Utigurs,​64 whose kingdom  p313  stretched from the Don as far south as the Hypanis. They engaged, however, in secret diplomacy with Justinian. Their bishop had died, and (A.D. 548) they sent envoys to Constantinople to ask the Emperor to provide a successor. This was the ostensible object of the embassy, and nothing else was mentioned in the official audience, for they were afraid of the Utigurs; but they had a secret interview with the Emperor, at which they gave him useful information for the purpose of stirring up strife among the Huns.65

To the south of the Utigurs, in the inland regions north of the Caucasian range, were the lands of the Alans, traditionally friends of the Romans, and further east the Sabirs, whose relations to the Empire have come before us in connexion with the Persian wars. On the coast south of the Hypanis, the Zichs, whose king used in old days to be nominated by the Emperor, were accounted of small importance.​66 But their southern neighbours, the Abasgians and the Apsilians, came, as we have already seen, within the sphere of political intrigue and military operations by which Rome and Persia fought for the control of Colchis. On the Abasgian coast the Romans had two fortresses, Sebastopolis (formerly called Dioscurias) and Pityus. On hearing that Chosroes intended to send an army to seize these places, Justinian ordered the garrisons to demolish the fortifications, burn the houses, and withdraw. But he afterwards rebuilt  p314  Sebastopolis on a scale worthy of his reputation as a great builder.​67 The fact that he thought it worth while to maintain this outpost shows how considerable were the political and commercial interests of the Empire in this region.

§ 6. The Avars

One of the disadvantages of the system of subsidising the barbarians on the frontiers or endowing them with territory was that fresh and formidable enemies were lured to the Roman borders from remote wilds and wastes by the hope of similar benefits. Towards the end of Justinian's reign, a new people of Hunnic race appeared on the frontier of Europe, north of the Caspian, and immediately fixed their covetous desires on the Empire, whose wealth and resources were probably exaggerated far beyond the truth among the barbarian tribes. They called themselves Avars, though it is alleged that they had usurped the name of another people better than themselves;​68 but they were destined to play a part on the European scene similar, if on a smaller scale, to that which had been played by the Huns.

Their westward migration was undoubtedly due to the revolution in Central Asia, which, about the middle of the sixth century, overthrew the power of the Zhu‑zhu​69 and set in their place the Turks, who had been their despised vassals. Tu-men was the name of the leader who rose against his masters and founded the empire of the Turks. His successor, Mo-kan (A.D. 553‑572), overthrew the kingdom of the Ephthalites and organised the vast Turkish empire which extended from China to the Caspian and southwards to the borders of Persia, dividing it into two khanates, of which the western was subordinate to the eastern.70

 p315  In A.D. 558 Justin, the son of Germanus, who was commanding the forces in Colchis, received a message from Sarus, king of the Alans, to the effect that Candich, king of the Avars, desired to enter into communications with the Emperor. Justin informed his country, who signified his readiness to receive an embassy. The envoys of Candich arrived at Constantinople. They vaunted the invincibility of the Avars and made large demands — land, gifts, annual subsidies. Justinian, having consulted the Imperial Council, gave them handsome gifts, couches, clothes, and gold chains, and sent an ambassador to Candich, who was informed that the Emperor might take his requests into consideration, if the Avars proved their worth by subduing his enemies. The Avars immediately made war upon the Sabirs and destroyed them, and fought with success against the Utigurs. Having cleared the way, they advanced through Kotrigur territory to the regions of the Bug and Seret, subjugated the Antae, and in A.D. 562 they made a great raid through Central Europe, appeared on the Elbe, and threatened the eastern marches of the Frank kingdom of Austrasia. But all these expeditions seem to have been carried out from their headquarters, somewhere between the Caspian and the Black Sea.71

In the same year Baian, who had succeeded Candich and was afterwards to prove himself the Attila of the Avars, sent an embassy to Constantinople, demanding land in a Roman province. The ambassadors travelled by Colchis, and Justin, who arranged for their journey to the capital, gained the confidence of one of the party and was secretly informed by him that treachery was intended. He therefore advised Justinian to detain the barbarians as long as possible, since the Avars would not carry out their purpose of crossing the Danube till the envoys had departed. The Emperor acted on this advice, and Bonus, the Quaestor of Moesia and Scythia, was instructed  p316  to see to the defences of the river.​72 The policy succeeded, though we do not know exactly why; the Avars did not attempt to invade the Empire; and the envoys were at last dismissed. They received the usual gifts, which they employed in buying clothes and arms before they left Constantinople. The arms must have been furnished by the Imperial factories, and the Emperor apparently did not consider it politic to refuse to sell them. But he sent secret instructions to Justin to take the arms away from the barbarians when they arrived in Colchis. Justin obeyed, and this act is said to have been the beginning of enmity between the Romans and the Avars. Justinian did not live to see the sequel. But he had not been long in his grave before Baian led his people to the Danube, where they secured a permanent abode and were a scourge to the Balkan provinces for nearly sixty years.

§ 7. Roman Commerce

In the efforts of the Imperial government to extend its influence in the Red Sea sphere, the interests of trade were the principal consideration. Before we examine the fragmentary and obscure record of Roman intervention in the affairs of Ethiopia and Southern Arabia, we may survey the commercial activities of the Empire abroad.

The trade of the Mediterranean was almost entirely in the hands of Syrians and Greeks. In Rome and Naples and Carthage, and not only in Marseilles and Bordeaux, but also in the chief inland cities of Gaul, we find settlements of oriental merchants.​73 Their ships conveyed to the west garments of silk and wrought linen from the factories of Tyre and Berytus, purple from Caesarea and Neapolis, pistachios from Damascus, the strong wines of Gaza and Ascalon, papyrus from Egypt, furs from Cappadocia.74  p317  There was a large demand for embroidered stuffs, especially for ecclesiastical use, cloths for altars, curtains for churches.​75 But the great centre to which the ships from all quarters converged was the Imperial capital, as the richest and most populous city of the world.​76 It seems probable that most of the imports which the Empire received from the countries bordering on the Euxine came directly across its waters to Constantinople and were distributed from there: the skins which the Huns exchanged at Cherson for stuffs and jewels,​77 and the slaves, skins, corn, salt, wine, which were obtained from Lazica.

For the Empire trade with the East had always been mainly a trade in imports. The East supplied the Mediterranean peoples with many products which they could not do without, while they had themselves less produce to offer that was greatly desired by the orientals. There had, from of old, been a certain market in China for glass, enamelled work, and fine stuffs from Syria;​78 but whatever exports found their way thither or to India and Arabia were far from being a set-off to the supplies of silk, not to speak of spices, precious stones, and other things which the East sent to the West. The balance of trade was, therefore, decidedly against the Empire, and there was a constant drain of gold to the East.79

Under the early Roman Empire, the trade with India, the Persian Gulf, Arabia, and the eastern coast of Africa had been  p318  in the hands of Roman merchants, who sailed through the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean in their own vessels. Before the end of the third century this direct commerce seems to have ceased almost entirely. The trade between the Mediterranean and the East passed into the hands of intermediaries, the Persians, the Abyssinians, and the Himyarites of Yemen. This change may have been due to the anarchical conditions of the Empire, which followed on the death of Alexander Severus and were unfavourable to commercial enterprise. The energy of Persian merchants, under the orderly rule of the Sassanids, secured a monopoly of the silk trade, and the products of India were conveyed by Abyssinian traders to their own market at Adulis, or even to the Roman ports on the isthmus, Clysma (Suez)​80 and Aila. The Red Sea trade itself seems to have been gradually abandoned, as time went on, to the Abyssinians and Himyarites, who grew more power­ful and important as their commercial profits increased. The Abyssinians — as we may conveniently call the Ethiopians of the kingdom of Axum, from which modern Abyssinia descends — also profited by the disuse of the Nile as a trade route with East-Central Africa. The products of those regions (slaves, ivory, ebony, gold, gems, ochre, etc.) had come to Egypt by the Nile, as well as by the Red Sea, in the old days when the Ethiopic kingdom of Meroe flourished. Meroe declined in the second century, and in the third its organisation fell to pieces, and the Upper Nile, under the control of the barbarous Nubians and Blemmyes, became impracticable as a road for trade. With the shifting of power from Meroe to Axum, East African commerce passed entirely into the hands of the Abyssinians.81

 p319  As to the traffic with India, we find much curious information in a remarkable book which was written about the middle of the sixth century, the Christian Cosmography of Cosmas.

Cosmas, who is known as Indicopleustes, "sailor of the Indian Sea," was an Egyptian merchant, but when he wrote his book he had probably abandoned his calling and become a monk. The Cosmography, which was composed about A.D. 445‑450,​82 is unfortunately neither a treatise on geography like Strabo's or Ptolemy's, nor a plain account of his travels, but a theological work, designed to explain the true shape of the universe as proved by Scripture, and especially to refute the error of pagan science that the earth is spherical. His theory as to the shape of the world, which is based on the hypothesis that Moses, "the great cosmographer," intended his tabernacle to be a miniature model of the universe, is not devoid of interest as an example of the fantastic speculations to which the interpretation of the Biblical documents as literally inspired inevitably leads.

The earth, according to Cosmas, is a flat rectangle, and its length is double its breadth. The heavens form a second story, welded to the extremities of the earth by four walls. The dry land which we inhabit is surrounded by the ocean, and beyond it is another land where men lived before the Deluge. The firmament is the ceiling between the two stories, and the earth, the lower story, lies at the bottom of our universe, to which it sank when it was created. There is nothing below it. Hence the pagan theory of the antipodes is a delusion. On its western side the earth rises into a great conical mountain, which hides  p320  the sun at night. The sun is not larger than the earth, as the pagans falsely imagine, but much smaller. The revolutions of all the celestial bodies are guided by angel pilots.83

It would be a mistake to suppose that this strange reconstruction of the world, which contemptuously set aside all that Greek science had achieved, represented the current views of orthodox Christians or ever obtained any general credence. It was not indeed original. Cosmas derived his conceptions from hints which had been thrown out by theologians of the Syrian school, especially from Theodore of Mopsuestia.​84 But for us the value of the work lies in the scraps of information relating to his own travels which the author introduces incidentally, and in the contents of an appendix, which has no relation to his theme, and seems to have been part of another work of Cosmas, and to have been attached to the Cosmography by some injudicious editor.85

Cosmas knew the Red Sea well. He visited Ethiopia in the reign of Justin,​86 and he made at least one voyage to the Persian Gulf.​87 It is to this voyage that he probably referred when he wrote: "I sailed along the coast of the island of Dioscorides (Socotra), but did not land, though in Ethiopia I met some of its Greek-speaking inhabitants."​88 The Persian Gulf probably represents the limit of his eastern travel, for in all that he tells of Ceylon and India we are struck by the absence of any of those personal touches which could not fail to appear in the description of an eye-witness. It was only a rare Roman merchant  p321  who visited the markets of Ceylon.​89 The trade between the Red Sea and India was entirely in the hands of the Abyssinians, and the Roman merchants dealt with them.

Ceylon, which the ancients knew as Taprobane,​90 was the great centre of maritime commerce between the Far East and the West. In its ports congregated Persian, Ethiopian, and Indian merchants. Silk was brought from China to its markets, and continental India sent her products: Malabar, pepper; Calliana, copper; Sindu, musk and castor.​91 The islanders exported their own products eastward and westward, and they had a merchant service themselves, but the significance of Ceylon was its position as an emporium for merchandise in transit. The Persians had an advantage over the Romans in that they traded directly with the island, and had a commercial colony there,​92 while the Roman trade, as we have seen, was carried on through the Ethiopians and intermediaries.

While it is probable that most of the Indian commodities which were consumed in the Empire travelled by this route, the Ethiopian traders did not carry silk. The large supplies of silk which reached the Romans were bought from Persian merchants, and most of it was probably conveyed overland from China to Persia, though part of it may also have come by sea, by way of Ceylon and the Persian Gulf. We do not know by what methods the Persians succeeded in establishing this monopoly and preventing the Abyssinians from trading in silk. It was highly inconvenient to the Empire to depend exclusively on a political rival for a produce of which the consumption was immense, and in time of war the inconvenience was grave. Justinian deemed it a matter of first importance to break the Persian monopoly, and for this purpose, during the first Persian War, he entered into negotiations with the king of Abyssinia.  p322 

§ 8. The Abyssinians and Himyarites

The kingdom of the Abyssinians or Ethiopians, who were also known as the Axumites, from the name of their capital city Axum, approached Suakim on the north, stretched westwards to the valley of the Nile, and southwards to the Somali coast. Their port of Adulis was reckoned as a journey of fifteen days from Axum where the king resided.​93 Roman merchants frequented Adulis, where there was a great market of the produces of Africa, slaves, spices, papyrus, ivory, and gold from Sasu.94

The commercial relations of the Abyssinians with their neighbours across the straits, the Himyarites of Yemen, were naturally close, and from time to time they sought to obtain political control over South-western Arabia. Christian missionaries had been at work in both countries since the reign of Constantius II, when an Arian named Theophilus was appointed bishop of the new churches in Abyssinia, Yemen, and the island of Socotra.​95 He is said to have founded churches at Safar and Aden.​96 After this we lose sight of these countries for about a century and a half, during which Christianity probably made little way in either country, and Judaism established itself firmly in Yemen. Then we learn that in the reign of Anastasius a bishop was sent to the Himyarites.​97 We may conjecture that this step was the consequence of a war between the Himyarites and Abyssinians, which is misdated in our records, but apparently belongs to the reign of Zeno or of Anastasius.98

 p323  Dimnos, king of the Himyarites, who was probably a convert to Judaism, massacred some Greek merchants, as a measure of reprisal for alleged ill-treatment of Jews in the Roman Empire. Thereupon, presumably at direct instigation from Constantinople, the Abyssinian king Andas invaded Yemen, put Dimnos to death, and doubtless left a viceroy in the country with an Ethiopian garrison. Andas had vowed that, if he were victorious, he would embrace Christianity. He fulfilled his vow, and the Emperor sent him a bishop from Alexandria. Andas was succeeded by Tazena, whose inscriptions describe him as "King of Axum and Homer and Reidan and Saba and Salhen."​99 He also was converted from paganism, and his son Elesboas, who was on the throne at the beginning of Justin's reign, was probably brought up a Christian.100

In the meantime a Himyarite leader, Dhu Novas, of Jewish faith, succeeded in over­powering the Ethiopian garrison, proclaimed himself king, and proceeded to persecute the Christians.​101 It is not quite certain whether Elesboas immediately sent an army to re-establish his authority (A.D. 519‑520),​102 but if he did so, Dhu Novas recovered his power within the next two years  p324  and began systematically to exterminate the Christian communities of southern Arabia, if they refused to renounce their errors and embrace Judaism. Having killed all the Ethiopians in the land, he marched with a large army against the fortified town of Nejran, which was the headquarters of the Christians (A.D. 523). The siege was long, but, when the king promised that he would spare all the inhabitants, the place capitulated. Dhu Novas, however, had no intention of keeping faith, and when the Christians refused to apostatise, he massacred them to the number of 280, among whom the most conspicuous was Harith, the emir of the tribe of Harith ibn‑Kaab. After having performed this service to the Jewish faith, Dhu Novas despatched envoys to Al‑Mundir of Hira, bearing a letter in which he described his exploits, boasted that he had not left a Christian in his land, and urged the Saracen emir to do likewise. When the envoys arrived at Al‑Mundhir's camp at Ramla (January 20, A.D. 524), Simeon Beth Arsham, the head of the Monophysites of the Persian empire, happened to be there, having come on the part of the Emperor Justin to negotiate peace with the Saracens. Horrified by the news, Simeon immediately transmitted it to Simeon, abbot of Gabula, asking him to arrange that the Monophysites of Antioch, Tarsus, and other cities should be informed of what had happened.103

It is possible that Justin and the Patriarch of Alexandria​104 despatched messengers to Axum to incite the Abyssinians to avenge the slaughtered Christians and suppress the tyrant. In any case Ela Atzbeha invaded Yemen with a great army (A.D. 524‑525), defeated and killed Dhu Novas, and set up in his  p325  stead a Himyarite Christian, whose name was Esimiphaios, as tributary king.105

Such were the political relations of the two Red Sea kingdoms when, in A.D. 531, Justinian sent Julian, an agens in rebus, to the courts of Ela Atzbeha and Esimiphaios.​106 The purpose of the embassy was to win their co-operation against Persia in different ways. Julian travelled to Adulis by sea, and had an audience of Ela Atzbeha at Axum. The king stood on a four-wheeled car harnessed to four elephants. He was naked, except for a linen apron embroidered with gold and straps set with pearls over his stomach and shoulders.​107 He wore gold bracelets and held a gilt shield and two gilt lances. His councillors, who stood round him, were armed, and flute-players were performing. He kissed the seal of the Emperor's letter, and was amazed by the rich gifts which Julian brought him. He readily agreed to ally himself with the Empire against Persia. The chief service which the Abyssinians could render was to destroy the Persian monopoly in the silk trade by acting as carriers of silk between Ceylon and the Red Sea ports, a service which would also be highly profitable to themselves.

The consent of Ela Atzbeha, as over­lord of Yemen, must also have been obtained to the proposals which Julian was instructed to lay before Esimiphaios. The Arabians of Maad (Nejd) were subject to the Himyarites, and their chieftain, Kais, who was a notable warrior, had slain a kinsman of the king and had been forced to flee into the desert. The plan of Justinian was to procure the pardon of Kais, in order that he, at the head of an army of Himyarites and Maadites, might invade the Persian empire.

 p326  Although Julian was success­ful in his negotiations and the kings promised to do what was required, they were unable to perform their promises. For men of Yemen to attack Persia meant long marches through the Arabian deserts, and the Himyarites shrank from such a difficult enterprise. In Ceylon the Abyssinian merchants were out-manoeuvred by the Persians, who bought up all the cargoes of silk as soon as they arrived in port.

It must have been soon after Julian's embassy that a revolt broke out in Yemen. Esimiphaios was dethroned and imprisoned, and a certain Abram, who was originally the slave of a Roman resident at Adulis, seized power.​108 It seems to have been a revolt of the Ethiopian garrison, not of the natives, and it is probable that Abram, who was a Christian, had been appointed commander of the garrison by Ela Atzbeha himself. Two expeditions were sent against Abram, but in both the Abyssinians were decisively defeated, and Ela Atzbeha then resigned himself to the recognition of Abram as viceroy.

Of the subsequent mission of Nonnosus, whom Justinian sent to Abyssinia, Yemen, and Maad, we only know that the ambassador on his journeys incurred many dangers from both men and beasts. The father of Nonnosus, Abram, was employed on similar business, and on two occasions conducted negotiations with Kais, the Arab chief of Nejd. Kais sent his son Muaviah as a hostage to Constantinople, and afterwards, having resigned the chieftaincy to his brother, visited the Imperial capital himself and was appointed phylarch of Palestine.109

 p327  Historians and chroniclers tell us nothing of the revival of the Christian communities in the kingdom of the Himyarites after the fall of their persecutor Dhu Novas. There are other documents, however, which record the appointment of a bishop and describe his activities in Yemen. According to this tradition, Gregentius of Ulpiana was sent from Alexandria as bishop of Safar in the reign of Justin. He held a public disputation on the merits of Judaism and Christianity with a learned Jew and utterly discomfited him; and he drew up a Code of laws for Abram king of the Himyarites. As some of the historical statements in these documents are inconsistent with fact, the story of Gregentius has been regarded with scepticism and even his existence has been questioned.​110 But there is no good reason to suppose that the story does not rest on a genuine tradition which was improved by legend and was written down when the historical details were forgotten. The Code of laws bears some internal marks of genuineness, though we may hope, for the sake of the Himyarites, that it was never enforced.111

 p328  § 9. The Nobadae and Blemyes

The missionary zeal of Justinian and Theodora did not overlook the African peoples who lived on the Upper Nile between Egypt and Abyssinia. We have already seen how the hostility of the Blemyes, whose seats were above the First Cataract, and their southern neighbours the Nobadae, whose capital was at Dongola, constantly troubled the upper provinces of Egypt. The Nobadae and their king Silko were converted to Christianity about A.D. 540. The story of their conversion is curious. Theodora was determined that they should learn the Monophysitic doctrine; Justinian desired to make them Chalcedonians. In this competition for the souls of the Nobadae, Theodora was success­ful. The episode is thus related by a Monophysitic historian:112

Among the clergy in attendance on the Patriarch Theodosius was a proselyte named Julianus, an old man of great worth, who conceived an earnest spiritual desire to christianise the wandering people who dwell on the eastern borders of the Thebais beyond Egypt, and who are not only not subject to the authority of the Roman Empire, but even receive a subsidy on condition that they do not enter nor pillage Egypt. The blessed Julianus, therefore, being full of anxiety for this people, went and spoke about them to the late queen Theodora, in the hope of awakening in her a similar desire for their conversion; and as the queen was fervent in zeal for God, she received the proposal with joy, promised to do everything in her power for the conversion of these tribes from the errors of idolatry. In her joy, therefore, she informed the victorious King Justinian of the purposed undertaking, and promised and anxiously desired to send the blessed Julian thither. But when the king [Emperor] heard that the person he intended to send was opposed to the Council of Chalcedon, he was not pleased, and determined to write to the bishops of his own side in the Thebais, with orders for them to proceed thither and instruct the Nobadae, and plant among them the name of synod. And as he entered upon the matter with great zeal, he sent thither, without a moment's delay, ambassadors with gold and baptismal robes, and gifts of honour for the king of that people, and letters for the duke of the Thebais, enjoining him to take every care of the embassy and escort them to the territories of the Nobadae. When, however, the queen learnt these things, she quickly, with much cunning, wrote letters to the duke of the Thebais, which were as follows: "Inasmuch as both his majesty and myself have purposed to send an embassy to the people of the Nobadae, and I am now  p329  despatching a blessed man named Julian; and further my will is that my ambassador should arrive at the aforesaid people before his majesty's; be warned, that if you permit his ambassador to arrive there before mine, and do not hinder him by various pretexts until mine shall have reached you and shall have passed through your province and arrived at his destination, your life shall answer for it; for I shall immediately send and take off your head." Soon after the receipt of this letter the king's ambassador also came, and the duke said to him, "You must wait a little while we look out and procure beasts of burden and men who know the deserts, and then you will be able to proceed." And thus he delayed him until the arrival of the merci­ful queen's embassy, who found horses and guides in waiting, and the same day, without loss of time, under a show of doing it by violence, they laid hands upon him, and were the first to proceed. As for the duke, he made his excuses to the king's ambassador, saying, "Lo! when I had made my preparations and was desirous of sending you onward, ambassadors from the queen arrived and fell upon me with violence, and took away the beasts of burden I had got ready, and have passed onward; and I am too well acquainted with the fear in which the queen is held to venture to oppose them. But abide still with me until I can make fresh preparations for you, and then you also shall go in peace." And when he heard these things he rent his garments, and threatened him terribly and reviled him; and after some time he also was able to proceed, and followed the other's track without being aware of the fraud which had been practised upon him.

The blessed Julian meanwhile and the ambassadors who accompanied him had arrived at the confines of the Nobadae, whence they sent to the king and princes informing him of their coming; upon which an armed escort set out, who received them joyfully, and brought them into their land unto the king. And he too received them with pleasure, and her majesty's letter was presented and read to him, and the purport of it explained. They accepted also the magnificent honours sent them, and the numerous baptismal robes, and everything else richly provided for their use. And immediately with joy they yielded themselves up and utterly abjured the errors of their forefathers, and confessed the God of the Christians, saying, "He is the one true God, and there is no other beside Him." And after Julian had given them much instruction, and taught them, he further told them about the council of Chalcedon, saying that "inasmuch as certain disputes had sprung up among Christians touching the faith, and the blessed Theodosius being required to receive the council and having refused was ejected by the king [Emperor] from his throne, whereas the queen received him and rejoiced in him because he stood firm in the right faith and left his throne for its sake, on this account her majesty has sent us to you, that ye also may walk in the ways of Pope Theodosius, and stand in his faith and imitate his constancy. And moreover the king has sent unto you ambassadors, who are already on their way, in our footsteps."

The Emperor's emissaries arrived soon afterwards, and were dismissed by Silko, who informed them that if his people embraced  p330  Christianity at all it would be the doctrine of the holy Theodosius of Alexandria, and not the "wicked faith" of the Emperor. The story, which is told by one who admired the Empress and lived under her protection, illustrates her unscrupulousness and her power.

The Nobadae, converted to Christianity, immediately co-operated with the Empire in chastising the Blemyes and forcing them to adopt the same faith. Roman troops under Narses made a demonstration on the frontier of the Thebaid, but the main work was done by Silko, who celebrated his victory by setting up an inscription in the temple of the Blemyes at Talmis (Dodekaschoinois, now Kelabsheh). The boast of this petty potentate might be appropriate in the mouth of Attila or Tamurlane: "I do not allow my foes to rest in the shade but compel them to remain in the full sunlight, with no one to bring them water to their houses. I am a lion for the lands below, and a bear for the lands above."​113 The conversion of the Blemyes enabled Justinian to abolish the scandal of the pagan worship at Philae, which had been suffered to exist on account of an ancient convention with that people.​114 A Greek agent was appointed to reside at Talmis and represent the Imperial authority.115

§ 10. The Silk Industry

The efforts of Justinian and his Abyssinian friends to break down the Persian monopoly of the silk trade had been frustrated by the superior organisation of Persian mercantile interests in  p331  the markets of Ceylon. There was one other route by which it might have been possible to import silk direct from China, namely overland through Central Asia and north of the Caspian Sea to Cherson. This possibility was no doubt considered. Justinian, however, does not seem to have made any attempt to realise it, but it was to be one of the political objects of his successor.

After the outbreak of the war with Persia in A.D. 540, the private silk factories of Berytus and Tyre suffered severely.​116 It must be explained that, in order to prevent the Persian traders from taking advantage of competition to raise the price of silk, all the raw material was purchased from them by the commerciarii of the fisc, who then sold to private enterprises all that was not required by the public factories (gynaecia) which ministered to the needs of the court.​117 Justinian instructed the commerciarii not to pay more than 15 gold pieces (£9:7:6) for a pound of silk, but he could not force the Persians to sell at this price, and they preferred not to sell at all or at least not to sell enough to serve the private as well as the public factories. It is not clear whether hostilities entirely suspended the trade, but at best they seriously embarrassed it, and as the supplies dwindled the industrial houses of Tyre and Berytus raised the prices of their manufactures. The Emperor intervened and fixed 8 gold pieces a pound as the maximum price of silk stuffs. The result was that many manufactures were ruined. Peter Barsymes, who was Count of the Sacred Largesses in A.D. 542, took advantage of the crisis to make the manufacture of silk a State monopoly, and some of the private industries which had failed were converted into government factories. This change created a new source of revenue for the treasury.118

Chance came to the aid of Justinian ten years later and solved the problem more effectively than he could have hoped. Two monks, who had lived long in China or some adjacent  p332  country,​119 visited Constantinople (A.D. 552) and explained to the Emperor the whole process of the cultivation of silkworms. Though the insect itself was too ephemeral to be carried a long distance, they suggested that it would be possible to transport eggs, and were convinced that they could be hatched in dung, and that the worms could thrive on mulberry leaves in Europe as successfully as in China. Justinian offered them large rewards if they procured eggs and smuggled them to Constantinople. They willingly undertook the adventure, and returned a second time from the East with the precious eggs concealed in a hollow cane. The worms were developed under their instructions, Syria was covered with mulberry trees, and a new industry was introduced into Europe. Years indeed must elapse before the home-grown silk sufficed for the needs of the Empire, and in the meantime importation through Persia continued,​120 and Justinian's successor attempted to open a new way of supply with the help of the Turks.

If we regard commerce as a whole, there is no doubt that it prospered in the sixth century. Significant is the universal credit and currency which the Imperial gold nomisma enjoyed. Cosmas Indicopleustes, arguing that the "Roman Empire participates in the dignity of Christ, transcending every other power, and will remain unconquered till the final consummation," mentions as a proof of its eminent position that all nations from one end of the earth to the other use the Imperial coinage in their mercantile transactions.​121 Illustrative anecdotes had been told of old by merchants who visited Ceylon. Pliny relates that a freedman who landed there exhibited Roman denarii to the king, who was deeply impressed by the fact that all were of equal weight though they bore the busts of different Emperors.​122 Sopatros, a Roman merchant who went to Ceylon in an Ethiopian vessel in the reign of Zeno or Anastasius, told Cosmas​123 that he  p333  had an audience of the king along with a Persian who had arrived at the same time. The king asked them, "Which of your monarchs is the greater?" The Persian promptly replied, "Ours, he is the king of kings." When Sopatros was silent, the king said, "And you, Roman, do you say nothing?" Sopatros replied, "If you would know the truth, both the kings are here." "What do you mean?" asked the king. "Here you have their coins," said Sopatros, "the nomisma of the one and the drachm of the other. Examine them." The Persian silver coin was good enough, but could not be compared to the bright and shapely gold piece. Though Sopatros was probably appropriating to himself an ancient traveller's tale,​124 it illustrates the prestige of the Imperial mint.

The independent German kingdoms of the West still found it to their interest to preserve the images and superscriptions of the Emperors on their gold money. In the reign of Justinian the Gallic coins of the Merovingian Franks have the Emperor's bust and only the initials of the names of the kings.​125 The Suevians in Spain continued to reproduce the monetary types of Honorius and Avitus. The last two Ostrogothic kings struck Imperial coinage, only showing their hostility to Justinian by substituting for his image and inscriptions those of Anastasius.126

The Author's Notes:

1 He is praised for his dexterity in this art in the contemporary anonymous treatise Περὶ στρατηγικῆς, II.4 p58.

2 There is a comprehensive survey of "the diplomatic work" of Justinian in Diehl's monograph p367 sqq. Commerce is treated separately (533 sqq.).

3 This theory is based on a combination of botanical and linguistic evidence. It was originated (1908) by Rostafinski and has been developed by Peisker. The Slavs have no (p294) native words for the beech, the larch, and the yew, but they have a word for the hornbeam; hence their original home must have lain in the hornbeam zone, but outside the zones of the other trees, and this consideration determines it as Polesia. The brief sketch I have given of the primitive Slavs is derived from the writings of Peisker (see Bibliography), especially from C. Med. H. II chap. XIV. Rostafinski's article, Les demeures primitives des Slaves, will be found in Bull. de l'Acad. des Sciences de Cracovie, Cl. de phil. 1908.

4 Pseudo-Maurice, Strateg. XI.5. (It has been conjectured by Kulakovski, Viz. Vrem. VII.108 sqq., that the word πλωταί which occurs in this chapter for rafts or flosses is the Slavonic plot.) The accounts of the manners of the Slavs in this sixth-century treatise and in Procopius, B. G. III.14, are in general agreement and supplement each other. For their religion (cult of fire, worship of nymphs and rivers) see Peisker, op. cit. p425; Jireček, Geschichte der Bulgaren, 102 sqq. The Slavs under this name are, I think, first mentioned in the fourth century by Caesarius (brother of Gregory of Nazianzus), Quaestiones, P. G. XXXVIII p985: οἱ Σκλαυηνοὶ καὶ Φυσωνῖται, οἱ καὶ Δανούβιοι προσαγορευόμενοι, οἱ μὲν γυναικομαστοβοροῦσιν ἡδεῶς διὰ τὸ πεπληρῶσθαι τοῦ γάλακτος, μυῶν δίκην τοὺς ὑποτίτθους ταῖς πέτραις ἐπαράττοντες, οἱ δὲ καὶ τῆς νομίμης καὶ ἀδιαβλήτου κρεωβορίας ἀπέχουσιν. See Müllenhoff, Deutsche Altertumskunde, II p367.

Thayer's Note: "Long reed" is suspect on technical grounds. A useful breathing tube or snorkel cannot be more than about 50 cm long, since beyond that human lungs, subjected to increasing water pressure, do not have the strength to expel the breathed air to the surface and exchange it for fresh. The physics — of the extreme case in which the lungs are assumed to have a 100% oxygen absorption efficiency — are given in detail in "Theoretical Limit to the Depth at Which a Snorkel May Be Used" (paper by A. Toohie, J. McGuire and A. Pohl of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester).

5 Jordanes, Get. 119, where they are called Veneti (as in Pliny and Tacitus). They attempted to resist, numerositate pollentes — sed nihil valet multitudo imbellium. We can put no credence in what Jordanes (after Cassiodorus) tells us of Hermanric's immediate successors (which is at variance with statements of Ammian), and I cannot accept (as Peisker does, op. cit. p431) his statement that King Vinithar subdued the Antae soon after the Hunnic invasion (ib. 247).

6 Procopius, ib. 24.

7 Pseudo-Maurice, who describes them as ἄναρχα καὶ μεισάλληλα (pp275‑276).

8 Ib., and Procopius, ib. 25, who says that some of them went into battle without tunic or cloak, and wearing only trousers. He describes them as tall and brave, and in complexion reddish.

9 Jordanes also has Sclaveni (e.g. Rom. 388), distinct from Antae. In Pseudo-Maurice we get as the generic term Σκλάβοι. Procopius says (ib. 29) that Antae and Sclavenes had originally a common name Σπόροι, which, according to Dobrovsky and Šafarik (Slav. Altertümer, I.95), is a corruption of Srbi (Serbs). The thesis maintained by Šafarik and Drinov, and defended by Jireček, that Slavs had begun to settle into the Balkan Peninsula already in the third century A.D., and that the Carpi and Kostoboks were Slavonic peoples, must be rejected as resting on insufficient evidence. See Šafarik, op. cit. I.213 sq., Jireček, op. cit. ch. III.

10 See Procopius, B. G. I.27.2. They must have supplied recruits already in the fifth century, for in 468 we meet a man of Slavonic name (Anagast) who had risen to be Mag. mil. of Thrace. See above vol. I p434.

11 John Mal. XVIII.437. Theophanes, A.M. 6031. Justin was slain. Baduarius is not to be confused with his namesake, son-in‑law of the Emperor Justin II.

12 Ib. 451 Οὗννοι μετὰ πολλοῦ πλῆθους διαφόρων βαρβάρων, Marcellinus, sub a. (Bulgares).

13 Procopius, B. G. III.14. Chilbudius was appointed in the year of Justinian, A.D. 530‑531, and was slain three years later. Here the Οὗννοι, Ἄνται and Σκλαβηνοί are associated as invaders.

14 Procopius, B. V. II.4. John of Ephesus, who was then in Constantinople, speaks of Justinian barricading himself in his Palace, H. E. Part II p485.

15 Thirty-two fortresses in Illyricum were taken, and the town of Cassandrea was captured by assault.

16 Procopius, B. G. III.14. Turris had long been derelict; Justinian apparently proposed to have it restored at his expense.

17 The Antae accepted, on condition that a captive, whom they believed to be Chilbudius (the general who was slain in A.D. 533‑534), should organise the settlement. The impostor was sent to Constantinople and captured by Narses in Thrace, and his pretensions were exposed. Procopius does not tell the sequel.

18 Ib. III.13.

19 Ib. III.29.1‑3.

20 Procopius relates this invasion under the year 549‑550 (III.38). I infer that it belongs to 549, from the fact that the next invasion was clearly in the summer of 550 (III.40.1; cp. 39.29). It is often placed in 551 (as by Diehl, op. cit. 220). The impalings which the Sclavenes practised may have been learned from the Huns.

21 Germanus had formerly inflicted a great defeat on the Antae, when he was Master of Soldiers in Thrace (ib. 40.6); the date is unknown.

22 The defeated army was under well-known leaders: Constantian (Count of the Stable), Aratius, Nazares (who was or had been mag. mil. Illyrici, B. G. III.11.18), Justin, son of German us, and John Phagas, but the supreme command was entrusted to Scholasticus, a Palace eunuch, otherwise unknown. The soldiers forced their leaders to give battle against their wish.

23 A piece of gold for every person they ferried into safety. Ib. IV.25.5.

24 Procopius, B. G. II.14.

25 The original home of the Langobardi was in Scandinavia, but they had settled in the regions of the Lower Elbe before the time of Augustus. Their southward migration is dated by modern historians as not earlier than the beginning of the fourth century. It is probable that the old interpretation of their name (Long Beards) is the true one (see Blasel, Die Wanderzüge der Langobarden, 129 sqq.). The chief sources of their early history are the Origo gentis Langobardorum (c. A.D. 650); Fredegarius, Chron. III.65 (embodying Lombard tradition); Paulus Diac. Hist. Lang. Book I (based on the Origo). See, on the difficult geographical and chronological questions connected with the movements of the Lombards, Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders, vol. V; Schmidt, Gesch. der deutschen Stämme, I.427 sqq.; Blasel, op. cit. (where a bibliography will be found).

26 Campi patentes = Feld (Origo and Paul, Hist. Lang. I.20); which in Chron. Gothorum, ch. II, is called Tracia.

27 Cassiodorus, Var. IV.2, a letter addressed to the king of the Heruls, whose name comes from the Lombard sources. Its date is between 507 and 511, so that the battle must be placed, not c. 505 with Schmidt, but at earliest 507‑508, and at latest 511‑512 (see next note). If it is true that the Lombards moved from Rugia to the Campi patentes three years before the battle (Paul, ib.), the earliest date for their change of abode is 504‑505. The name of the Lombard king at this time was Tato. Rodulf, the Herul, was slain in the battle (Paul, ib.). The best source is Procopius, B. G. II.14; the fuller story of Lombard tradition is largely legendary.

28 Probably Dacia Ripensis. Marcellinus, s. a. 512; Procopius, ib. XV.i.1.

29 Procopius, B. G. II.14.33; III.34.42; John Mal. XVIII.427; John Eph., H. E. Part II p475 (sub a. 844 = A.D. 533). Cp. Menander, fr. 9 (F. H. G. IV).

30 Procopius, ib. II.14.36 καὶ μίξεις οὐχ ὁσίας τελοῦσιν, ἄλλας τε καὶ ἀνδρῶν καὶ ὀρνιθων.

31 In his account of this episode Procopius (ib. 15) designates Scandinavia as Thule and describes it as ten times larger than Britain. Among the peoples who inhabit it he knows of two, the Gauts and the Skrithifinoi. Of the Gauts in Sweden we otherwise know, and it is natural to identify the Skrithifinoi with the Finns.

32 Procopius, B. G. III.34.43, who says that the total fighting strength of the Heruls was 4500 men, of whom 3000 joined the Gepids. Cp. II.15.37.

33 This was the period of the linguistic change, which is known as the second shifting of consonants and produced the High German language. It originated in southern Germany, and the Lombard language was affected by it.

34 Proc. B. G. II.22. Above, p205.

35 Ib. III.33.10 Ηωρικῶν τε πόλει (Noreia = Neumarkt) καὶ τοῖς ἐπὶ Παννονίας ὀχυρώμασί τε καὶ ἄλλοις χωρίοις.

36 Procopius relates two events together, under the fourteenth year of the Gothic War, i.e. A.D. 548‑549, but in a digression which assigns only the loose date "when Totila had gained the upper hand" (ib. 7). In the following chapter (III.34) he anticipates the chronology (χρόνῷ δὲ ὔστερον) and narrates the war of the Gepids and Lombards, which was thus subsequent to A.D. 549.

37 Audoin (half-brother of Wacho) married the daughter of Hermanfrid, king of the Thuringians. The marriage was arranged by Justinian. For after Hermanfrid's death, his wife Amalaberga (Theoderic's niece) had returned to Italy with her children, and they were after brought to Constantinople by Belisarius. See B. G. I.31.2; IV.12.

38 Procopius, who puts long speeches into the mouths of the envoys, makes the Lombards urge that they were Catholics, not Arians like the Gepids (III.34, 24). Yet when they subsequently conquered Italy, they were Arians. They seem to have been exceptionally indifferent to religion. Cp. Hodgkin, op. cit. V.158.

39 The name Kotrigur is to be compared with Kotragos in the genealogy of the Bulgarians. Theophanes describes Κότραγοι near L. Maeotis as ὁμόφυλοι of the Bulgarians (A.M. 6171).

40 Aratius, the Armenian. The name of the Kotrigur leader was Chinialon.

41 Procopius, B. G. IV.18 and 19. The long speech which the author puts into the mouths of the envoys is, of course, his own criticism of Justinian's policy. The date of these events seems to be A.D. 551. Cp. ib. 21, 4.

42 Ib. 25.8‑9. Procopius obliquely criticises Justinian by emphasising the solemnity of the oaths with which the treaty was confirmed.

43 He was son of Hermanfrid; see above, p302, n2.

44 Ib. 27.21.

45 Agathias V.2; cp. John Mal. XVIII p490; Theophanes, A.M. 6051. The Huns were almost a whole year in Roman territory. See Clinton, F. R., sub A.D. 559.

46 Theophanes, ib., notices that two generals, Sergius and Edermas, were defeated by the Huns before they reached the Long Wall.

47 Agathias, V.25; John Ant., fr. 217 (F. H. G. IV); Menander, fr. 1, De leg. Rom. Another invasion of Huns is recorded in A.D. 562 (Theophanes, A.M. 6054); Anastasiopolis was captured.

48 Agathias, V.25; while the Kotrigurs were subjugated by the Avars, the Utigurs were conquered by the western Turks about 576 (cp. Menander, fr. 14, De leg. Rom. p208).

49 Below, § 6.

50 The source is Procopius, Aed. IV (Thayer Note: in my Web transcription, in Parts B and C), where full lists of the forts (of which few can be identified) will be found. It seems probable that the fortifications were carried out on a general plan, after A.D. 540 (we know that Cassandrea and the Chersonese were fortified after that date, and Topirus after 549). The invasion of that year had displayed the deficiencies of the existing fortifications. Most of the old military forts had only one tower (they were called μονοπύργια). Justinian's seem to have been larger and had several towers. Ib. 5.4. On the general principles of the defensive fortifications of the provinces, as illustrated by the remains in Africa, see above, p148.

51 For the identification of the two Justinianas see Evans, Antiquarian Researches in Illyricum, Part III.62 sq.; Part IV.134 sqq. Scupi had been ruined by an earthquake in 518 (Marcellinus, s. a.).

52 Metropolis (near the modern Karditsa), Gomphi, Tricca (now Trikkala), Caesarea, Centauropolis.

53 Procopius, Aed. IV.2.14; H. A. 26.33, where it is said that, on the pretext of paying the garrison, the municipal rates of all the cities of Greece were appropriated to the treasury; this change is attributed to the logothete Alexander Psalidios.

54 The fortress of Megara had been restored apparently under Anastasius, CIG IV.8622. Cp. Hertzberg, Gesch. Griechenlands, III.469.

55 H. A. 18.20.

56 Cp. Kulakovski, Proshloe Tavridi, c. viii. For the geography of the peninsula see E. H. Minns, Scythians and Greeks (1913), where a sketch of the history of Cherson will be found.

57 Procopius, B. P. I.12. It is a disputed question whether the inscription of the Caesar Tiberius Julius Diptunes, "friend of Caesar, friend of the Romans," belongs to A.D. 522 (as Kulakovski maintains, ib. 59). A count and an eparch are mentioned, raising the presumption that the stone was inscribed when Bosporus was subject to the Empire. The inscription is published in Latyshev, Sbornik, II.39.

58 See the Novel of Tiberius of A.D. 575 (= Justinian, Nov. 163) ἐπὶ τοῖς λεγομένοις τῶν εἰδῶν πλωίμοις γινομένοις ἐπί τε τῆς Λάζων χώρας καὶ Βοσπόρου καὶ Χερσονήσου.

59 John Mal. XVIII.431. John Eph. H. E. Part II p475, where the king is called Gordian. Some time previously, Probus had been sent to Grod to induce him to send help to the Iberians against Persia. Procopius, B. P. I.12.6.

60 John Mal. ib.; cp. Theophanes, A.M. 6020. It would be interesting to know more about this expedition. According to John Mal., transports of soldiers were sent by sea, and a large force under Baduarius by land, starting from Odessus. The march of a Roman army by the northern coast of the Euxine, through the territory of the Bulgarians and Kotrigurs, was a unique event. John of Ephesus (ib.) says that Mugel and his followers fled to another country in fear of the Emperor.

61 ΤὸἈλούστου καὶ τὸ ἐν Γορζουβίταις. Procopius, Aed. III.7.11. In this passage Procopius clearly alludes to the events of 528. The walls of Cherson had been strengthened in the reign of Zeno, CIG IV.8621. Procopius (B. G. IV.5.28) curiously describes Phanagoria as near Cherson and still subject to the Romans.

62 They were Christians, and perhaps they had a bishop at as early a date as the Council of Nicaea (Mansi, II.696 provinciae Gothiae. Theophilus Gothiae metropolis). If this is so, they must have been distinct from the Ostrogoths of Hermanric. The chief source for this people is Procopius, Aed. III.7.13‑17. He describes them as Ῥωμαίων ἔνσπονδοι. When he says that they numbered about 3000, he perhaps means the men of military age. For these Goths and the Tetraxites see Loewe, Die Reste der Germanen am Schwarzen Meere, 22 sqq. They are confused by Tomaschek, Die Goten in Taurien, 12.

63 A name for Taman, T'mutarakan, which occurs in old Russian sources and is evidently of Arabic or Turkish origin, supplied Vasil'evski with an ingenious interpretation of Tetraxie, which is approved by Loewe (op. cit. 33‑34). He explains T'mutarakan as derived from τὰ Μάτραχα*, which he identifies with τὸ Ταμάταρχα (in Constantine Porph. De adm. imp. c42), from which he gets Τμετραξῖται* as a name of the inhabitants, and hence Τετραξῖται (the corruption being influenced by τετραξός). Loewe thinks that the Tetraxites were Heruls.

Thayer's Note: The sources are various manuscripts of the so‑called Hypatian Codex, a compendium of three early Kievan chronicles. For full details, see Doroshenko, Survey of Ukrainian Historiography, pp21‑31; also, a good summary article at the Encyclopedia of Ukraine.

64 They supplied 2000 soldiers to the expedition of the Utigurs against the Kotrigurs in 551. Procopius, B. G. IV.18.22.

65 Procopius, B. G. IV.4.9‑13. Of their religion he says: "I cannot say whether they were once Arians, like the other Gothic peoples, or held some other creed, for they do not know themselves, but now they adhere with simple sincerity to the (orthodox) religion" (ἀφελείᾳ καὶ ἀπραγμοσύνῃ πολλῇ τιμῶσι τὴν δόξαν). I cannot find in Procopius (ib. IV.5) the statement, ascribed to him by Loewe, that the Tetraxites lived in the Crimea before they settled in the Taman peninsula. It is to be noticed that the old Greek town of Phanagoria, opposite to Bosporus, was in their hands, and was probably the headquarters of their ecclesiastics. An inscription found at Taman, and doubtless brought there from Phanagoria, relates to the restoration of a church under the auspices of Justinian. It is dated to an eleventh indiction, which gives three possible dates, 533, 548, and 563. This stone is discussed by Latyshev, Viz. Vrem. I.657 sqq., who decided for 533; by Kulakovski, ib. 2.189 sqq., who argued for 548 (but he is now doubtful, Pamiatnik, p10, n1); and by Semenov, B. Z. VI.387 sqq., who denies that the year can be fixed.

66 In his account of these regions in B. G. IV.4, Procopius places the Saginae apparently to the north of the Zichs, though one might infer from another passage, ib. 2.16, that they were nearer to Colchis. He also mentions the Bruchoi as dwelling between the Alans and Abasgians. The Sunitae were also neighbours of the Alans, B. P. I.15.1. See also B. P. II.29.15. It is difficult to identify all the names of the tribes enumerated as living north of Abasgia in the table of peoples in Zacharias Myt. XII.6, p328 (the Kotrigurs appear as Khorthrigor).

67 Procopius, B. G. IV.4‑6; and Aed. III.7.8‑9.

68 Cp. Theophylactus Simocatta, Hist. VII.7; Bury, App. 5 to Gibbon, vol. V.

69 See above, chap. III § 3. The Zhu‑zhu are supposed to have been the true and original "Avars."

70 See Bury, Appendix 17 to Gibbon, vol. IV. The scanty information supplied by Greek sources about the early Turkish Empire must be supplemented by Chinese records (cp. E. H. Parker's article in E. H. R. XI.431 sqq., and A Thousand Years of the Tartars, 1896; Marquart, Historische Glossen zu den alttürkischen Inschriften, in Wiener Zeitschrift f. die Kunde des Morgenlandes, VII.157 sqq., 1898). The later history of the Turks and their institutions (seventh and eighth centuries) have been illustrated by the Turkish inscriptions discovered in Eastern Mongolia (Thomsen, Inscriptions de l'Orkhondéchiffrées, 1894; Radloff, Die alt-türkischen Inschriften der Mongolei, 1895 (Neue Folge), 1897 (Zweite Folge), (p315) 1899; Marquart, op. cit., and Die Chronologie der alt-türk. Inschriften, 1898. Mokan may almost certainly be identified with Silzibulos in Menander.

71 Menander, De leg. gent. frs. 1‑13; John Eph. H. E. Part III VI.24; Gregory of Tours, Hist. Fr. IV.23. Cp. also Pseudo-Nestor, Chron. c8 (p6, ed. Miklovich), on the subjugation of the Slavonic Dudlebians of Volkynia by the Avars (Obre), which Šafarik (Slaw. Altertümer, II.60) and Marquart (Osteur. Streifzüge, 147) refer to the invasion of 562. The comments of Marquart (Chronologie, 78 sqq.) on Menander, fr. 3, based on the theory that the Antae at this time exercised overlord­ship over the Bulgarians, are very hazardous. John Eph. (ib. cp. III.25) says the Avars were so called from wearing their hair long.

72 Menander, ib. fr. 4. Bonus is described as πρωτοστάτης τοῦ θητικοῦ καὶ οἰκετικοῦ. He had been appointed quaestor exercitus of the Five Provinces (see below, p340) in 536 (Nov. 41).

73 Cp. the article of Bréhier, Les Colonies d'orientaux en occident, B. Z. XII.1 sqq. (1903). On commerce in general in the sixth century see Heyd, Hist. du commerce, I. pp1‑24.

74 See the Expositio totius mundi, which was translated from the Greek soon after 345. Sidonius (Carm. 17.15) speaks of the vina Gazetica, cp. Cassiodorus, Var. 12.5; Greg. of Tours, Hist. Fr. VII.29. Among the exports from Spain, the Expositio enumerates oil, bacon, cloth, and mules; from Africa, oil, cattle, and clothing. On the multitude of Syrian merchants in Gaul cp. Salvian, De gub. Dei, IV.14.

75 Cp. the document of A.D. 471 given by Duchesne, Lib. pont. I.cxlvii. Wealthy private persons also obtained from the East the artistic tapestries which they needed for the adornment of their houses, like that embroidered with hunting-scenes which is described by Sidonius, Epp. IX.13. On figured textiles see Dalton, Byz. Art, 577 sqq.

76 Paulus Silentiarius (S. Sophia, 232) makes Constantinople say:

εἰς ἐμὲ φορτὶς ἄπασα φερέσβιον ἐλπιδα τείνει

κύκλιον εἰσορόωσα δρόμον διδυμάονος ἄρκτου.

77 Jordanes, Get. 37; cp. Procopius, B. G. IV.20, 17.

78 See Hirth, China and the Roman Orient. M. Khvostov's Russian work, Istoriia vostochnoi torgovli Grekorimskago Egipta, is indispensable for eastern trade down to the end of the third century.

79 We have no figures bearing on the amount of the trade except those furnished by Pliny in the first century. He says that India received annually from the Empire 55 million sesterces (c. £600,000), and that China, India, and Arabia together took at least 100 million sesterces (c. £1,000,000); Nat. Hist. VI.23, § 101, and XII.18, § 84. If these sums represented the whole value of the imports, the volume of trade would have been small; but it probably means only the balance of trade — the amount of specie which was taken from the Empire; and to know the value of the imports, we should have also to know the amount of the exports which partly paid for them. So Hirth, ib. p227, and Khvostov, op. cit. p410, inclines to this view.

80 Clysma is Qulzum, a quarter of a mile north of Suez. This is shown by its description in the account of her pilgrimage to Sinai by the Abbess Aetheria (of South Gaul), who travelled in the early years of Justinian's reign (between 533 and 540), according to K. Meister in Rhein. Mus., N. F., LXIV.337 sqq. (1909), and Mommsen, Hist. Sch. III.610 sqq., but according to others in the last years of the fourth century (see E. Weigand, B. Z. XX.1 sqq., 1912). She saw many large ships there, and mentions that there was a resident agens in rebus, known as a logothete, who used to visit India every year by order of the Emperor. India, of course, must mean Ethiopia. The most important duty of this office was to see that the regulations as to exports were observed (cp. C. Th. VI.29.8).

81 Khvostov, op. cit. 29 sqq. For the early trade of Roman Egypt with the East see also Mommsen, Röm. Gesch. V chap. XII. It is to be observed that the cessation of direct trade with the East was reflected in the decline of geographical knowledge, illustrated by the misuse of India to designate Ethiopia, which is frequent in Greek and Latin writers from the fourth century.

82 Books I‑V appeared first, and VI‑X were separately added to answer objections and supply additional explanations. The chronological indications are as follows: (1) Timothy, Patriarch of Alexandria, who died in 535, is described as νῦν τετελευτηκώς, X p315. (2) Theodosius of Alexandria is still alive at Constantinople, ib. p314. Theodosius was confined, after his deposition in 536, in the Thracian fort of Derkos (John Eph. Comm. de B. Or., p14), but afterwards lived under Theodora's protection at Constantinople, where he died soon after Justinian's death (ib. p159; cp. H. E. Part II p248). These indications give the limits 536 and 565. (3) It is stated in VI p232 that a solar and a lunar eclipse, which occurred in the same year, on Mecheri 12 and Mesori 14, had been predicted. Two such eclipses did occur on February 6 and August 1 in 547. Hence Book VI was written after 547. (4) Book II was written (p72) twenty-five years after the Himyarite expedition of Elesboas, which occurred "at the beginning of the reign of Justin." This implies about 544‑545 for Books I‑V.

83 The extension of the work of creation over six days — whereas it could have been accomplished by a single fiat — is ingeniously explained as due to the Creator's wish to give a series of object-lessons to the angels, III p105 sqq.

84 Cosmas was a Nestorian. Cp. M'Crindle, Introd. to his translation, p. ix.

85 Books XI and XII, of which the latter is a series of fragments. He had written a general geography which is lost (Prologue, ad init.), but it has been suggested that Book XI formed part of it (Winstedt, Introd. p5).

86 II p72.

87 He says that he had sailed in the Persian, Arabian, and Roman gulfs (the Roman means the Mediterranean), ib. p62, where he relates that "once having sailed to Inner India and crossed a little towards Barbaria — where farther on is situated Zingion, as they call the mouth of the Ocean — we saw a flight of albatrosses (suspha)." Inner India is either South Arabia or Abyssinia, though in the same passage Ceylon is said to be in Inner India (if Inner is not an error for Outer). Barbaria is the African coast south of Abyssinia, and Zingion is Zanzibar.

88 III p119. There were Christian clergy here who received ordination from Persia. Cosmas also mentions that there were Christian churches in Ceylon, Mala (Malabar), and Calliana (near Bombay) under a bishop ordained in Persia.

89 Cosmas knew one. See below, p332.

90 Cosmas also calls it Sielediva (from which comes the modern Arabic Serendib). He tells us that there were two kings in the island, and there were many temples, on the top of one of which (perhaps the Buddhist temple of Anarajapura) shone a red stone, large as the cone of a pine, which Cosmas calls a hyacinth. This stone was known by report to Marco Polo (III.14), who calls it a ruby. It is supposed by some to be an amethyst. Cosmas, XI.321 sqq.

91 Sindu has been identified with Diul-Sind, at the mouth of the Indus. China in Cosmas is Τζινίστα. He says that from there and other emporia (probably Further India) Ceylon receives silk, aloes (ἀλοήν), cloves (καρυόφυλλα), sandalwood (τζανδάναν).

92 XI p322.

93 So Nonnosus, who had made the journey (F. H. G. IV.179). Procopius says 12. We first hear of this Ethiopian kingdom in the Periplus maris Erythraei, § 2 sqq. (Geogr. Gr. Minores, vol. I), i.e. in the first century A.D. Its history has been elucidated by Dillmann in his articles in Abh. Berliner Akad., 1878 and 1880.

94 The Ethiopians gave meat, salt, and iron in exchange for the gold they got from Sasu, Cosmas, II p70. The mention of iron is to be noticed in view of what Procopius says, B. P. I.19.25: the Ethiopians have no iron; they cannot buy it from the Romans, for it is expressly forbidden by law.

95 Frumentius, ordained by Athanasius, had been the first bishop in Abyssinia. Athanasius (Apologia ad Constantinum, 31) quotes a letter from Constantius to the Ethiopian kings, Aizan and Sazan, asking them to send back Frumentius as a heretic. (An inscription of this Aizan is preserved, CIG III.5128, where he appears as sole king, but his brother Saiazan is mentioned. The mission of Theophilus is recorded by Philostorgius, III.4‑6.

96 Τάφαρον, Ἀδάνη.

97 Theodore Lector, II.58 (his source was John Diakrinoumenos).

98 The events connected with the names of Andas and Dimnos are related by John Mal. (XVIII.433 and 429) to the reign of Justinian (A.D. 529). But we know on unimpeachable (p323) authority that at that time the names of the kings were respectively Elesboas and Esimiphaios, and Elesboas had been on the throne since the beginning of Justin's reign. We must therefore suppose that John Malalas, misunderstanding his authority, made a chronological mistake, and refer the episode to an earlier period. Cp. Duchesne, Les Églises séparées, 316‑317; Andöldeke, Tabari, 175; Fell, Die Christenverfolgung in Südarabien, in Z. D. M. G. XXXV.19. The name Ἄνδας appears as Ἀδάδ in Theophanes (A.M. 6035), and as Aidug in John Eph. H. E. Part II, extract in Assemani, Bibl. Or. I p359. It is supposed to correspond to Ela-Amida in Ethiopic chronicles.

99 Homer is Himyar; Reidan has been explained as = Safar, and Salhen as the fortress of Ma'rib (Fell, ib. 27); Saba (Sheba) is familiar. For the inscriptions of Tazena see Dillmann, Z. D. M. G. VII.357 sqq. Huart (Hist. des Arabes, p53) suggests that the Ethiopians had no ships and that the Romans must have supplied them with transports for their expeditions to Yemen.

100 Ela Atzbeha is the Ethiopic name (Nöldeke, ib. 188). Of the Greeks, Cosmas gets nearest to it with his Ἐλλατζβάς, II p72; John Mal. has Ἐλεσβόας, Acta mart. Arethae, p721 Ἐλεσβάς, Procopius Ἐλλησθεαῖος. On his coins he was also called Chaleb (see Schlumberger in Rev. numism. 1886, pl. XIX Χαλὴβ βασιλεὺς υἱὸς Θεζεναº), and this, his "throne-name," appears in the Ethiopic version of the Acta mart. Arethae. Cp. Fell, ib. 17 sqq.

101 See the consolatory letter written by Jacob of Sarug (who died November 29, 521) to the Himyarite Christians, edited by Guidi (see Bibliogr. I.2, B).

102 Guidi (op. cit. pp476, 479) argues for two expeditions against Dhu Novas, the earlier in 519. There is a good deal to be said for this. Cosmas witnessed the preparations of Ela Atzbeha "at the beginning of the reign of Justin" (loc. cit.), and, as Justin reigned only till 527, it would have been a strange misuse of words to speak of 524 as the beginning of his reign. See above, p319, n1. Cp. Mordtmann, Z. D. M. G. XXXV.698.

103 For these events the Syriac letter of Simeon, which has been edited by Guidi, and is generally recognised as genuine, is the most authentic source. Simeon, who was accompanied by Mar Abram and Sergius, bishop of Rosapha, had obtained further information as to the massacre when he returned to Hira from Al‑Mundhir's camp. It has been conjectured by Duchesne (op. cit. p325) that Sergius was the author of the Martyrium Arethae et sociorum which has come down in Greek. John Psaltes, in 524‑525, composed a Greek hymn on the martyrs, which was immediately translated into Syriac by Paul, bishop of Edessa (died October 30, 526), and his version is preserved (Z. D. M. G. XXXI.400 sqq.). He speaks not of 280, but of more than 200 martyrs. A verse in the Koran (Sura 85) is said to refer to the massacre: "Cursed were the contrivers of the pit, of fire supplied with fuel; when they sat round the same, and were witnesses of what they did against the true believers."

104 So the Greek version of Mart. Arethae, where a letter from Justin (doubtless an invention) is given. But as the Armenian version contains nothing of these negotiations, we have no guarantee that they were mentioned in the original Syriac work. Cp. Duchesne, loc. cit.

105 Procopius, B. P. I.20.1. (John Mal. XVIII.457, says that the king of the Axumites made Anganes, a man of his own family, king of the Himyarites.) A Himyarite inscription found at Hisn-Gurab seems to record these events. It commemorates an Abyssinian invasion, and the defeat and death of the Himyarite king. The name of the man who set it up was read as Es‑Samaika, but Fell has plausibly suggested that the true reading may be Es‑Samaifa, which would correspond to Ἐσιμιφαῖος. He does not, however, designate himself as king. The date is 640 of the Himyarite era, which (if the theory is correct) would be determined as 640‑525 = 115. See Z. D. M. G. 7, 473, and 35, 36.

106 There are two sources for this embassy, Procopius, ib. 20.9 sqq., and John Mal. loc. cit. (with the additions of Theophanes, who has placed it under a wrong year, A.M. 6064 = A.D. 571‑572). It can be inferred from the words of John Mal. (ὠς ἐξηγήσατο ὁ αὐτὸς πρεσβευτὴς) that Julian published an account of this embassy, which was doubtless also known to Procopius.

107 Σχιαστὰς διὰ μαργαριτῶν καὶ κλαβία ἀνὰ πέντε (John Mal. ib.).

108 Procopius, ib. 3‑8, who, as he says, anticipates events subsequent to Julian's embassy. According to Mart. Arethae and the Gregentius documents (see below), which entirely ignore Esimiphaios, Abram was set up as king immediately after the overthrow of Dhu Novas. If Abram was commander of the resident Abyssinian troops, the error is explicable.— The name of Abram or Abraha was remembered in Arabic legend for his expedition against Mecca. His purpose was to destroy the Ka'ba. He was riding an elephant called Mahmud, and when he approached the city the animal knelt down and refused to advance. Then a flock of birds came flying from the sea with stones in their bills which they dropped on the heads of the troops. The legend is commemorated in the Koran (Sura 105): "Hast thou not seen how the Lord dealt with the masters of the elephant?"

109 The fragments of the book of Nonnosus, preserved by Photius, are meagre and disappointing, and there are no chronological indications (F. H. G. IV.179). We may conjecture that Abram was of Saracen race and that both he and Nonnosus could speak Arabic.

Thayer's Note: The link is to the Greek text and a Latin translation. The English translation by J. H. Freese is given at Tertullian.Org.

110 All the interesting parts of the Vita Gregentii, preserved in a Sinaitic MS., have been published by Vasil'ev (see Bibliography). The disputation with the Jew Herbanus, which is included in the Vita, is found by itself in many MSS., and had already been edited (see Migne, P. G. LXXXVI). According to the Life, Gregentius was born at Ulpiana in Dardania. It is significant that this city, which is called Μπλιάρες (cp. the Slavonic name Lipljan), is described as ἐν τοῖς μεθορίοις Ἀβάρων and τελοῦσα εἰς το αὐτὸ τῶν Ἀβάρων γένος, suggesting that the work was composed between 580 and 630. Gregentius travelled in Sicily, Italy, and Spain (Καρταγένα), and finally went to Alexandria ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Ἰουστίνου βασιλέως Ῥωμαίων καὶ Ἐλεσβοὰμ βασιλέως Αἰθιόπων καὶ Δουναῦ (Dhu Novas) βασιλέως Ὁμηριτῶν καὶ Προτερίου πάπα Ἀλεξανδρείας. When the Ethiopian king overthrew Dhu Novas, he wrote to Proterius asking him to ordain and send a bishop to the Himyarites. Proterius consecrated the deacon Gregentius, who travels apparently up the Nile and reaches the capital city of the Ethiopians, which is called Ἀμλέμ. Thence he proceeds to Safar, where he finds Ela Atzbeha, and under his auspices restores and founds churches at Nejran (Ηεγρά), Safar, Akana, Legmia. Before Ela Atzbeha returned home (he had remained, ὡς ἔφασάν τινες, about three years in Yemen) he and Gregentius elevated Abram to the throne. In this narrative Abram appears as the successor of Dhu Novas; Esimiphaios is entirely ignored; and a Patriarch of Alexandria, Proterius, is introduced who is never mentioned in any records except in connexion with Gregentius. Another suspicious point should be noticed. Gregentius visits Agrigentum; the names of his parents are Agapius and Theodote. Now there exists the Life of a mysterious saint, Gregory of Agrigentum, and his parents were Chariton (which has much the same meaning as Agapius) and Theodote, while the name Gregentius itself suggests Agrigentum (cp. Vasil'ev, p67). In the Greek and Slavonic Menaea and Synaxaria Gregentius is noticed, sometimes under the name of Gregory. See Synax. eccl. Cplae. (A. SS. Nov.), p328.

111 For the Code see below, p413.

112 John Eph. H. E. Part III IV.6‑7. I have borrowed the version of Payne-Smith. A short account of the conversion of the Nobadae and Blemyes will be found in Duchesne, op. cit. 287 sqq.

113 Lefebvre, Recueil, 628, p118; CIG III.5072. He describes himself as ἐγὼ Σιλκὼ βασιλίσκος Ηουβάδων καὶ ὅλων τῶν Αἰθιόπων. The Greek who composed the inscription must have smiled to himself when he introduced the diminutive βασιλίσκος, "kinglet." Silko was succeeded by Eirpanomos (or Ergamenes). See Revillout, Mémoire sur les Blemmyes, in Acad. des Inscr., sér. 1, VIII.2, pp371 sqq. — References to the hostilities of the Blemyes in the sixth century will be found in Pap./Cairo I.670004, 67007, and 67009. Here we find them plundering Omboi, and a pagan subject of the Empire reopening apparently a heathen temple for them (67004).

114 See below, p371.

115 Cp. CIG IV.8647‑8649 (posterior to Justinian's reign). Three interesting Greek inscriptions, found at Gebeleïn, are discussed by J. Krall, in Denkschr. of the Vienna Academy, vol. XLVI (1900). The princes of the Blemyes, like those of the Nobadae, were styled βασιλίσκοι by their Greek notaries. In the first of these texts (which date probably from the time of Anastasius or Justin) we find Charachen, βασιλείσκος τῶν Βλεμῦων, giving orders as to an island in the Nile (perhaps near Gebeleïn), for which the Romans (οἱ Ῥώμεις) paid a συνήθεια. See Wessely, Gr. Papyrusurk. No. 132.

116 Procopius, H. A. 25.13 sqq.

117 C. J. IV.40.2. The most important study of the silk trade in the sixth century is that of Zachariä von Lingenthal, Eine Verordnung Justinians über den Seidenhandel in Mém. de l'Acad. de St‑Pét., sér. VII vol. IX.6. (See also a paper of Herrmann, Die alern Seidenstrassen, in Sieglins Forschungen, Heft 21.).

118 Procopius, ib. The government sold silk stuffs with ordinary dye at 6 nomismata an ounce, but the Imperial dye, called ὁλόβηρον, at more than 24 nom. an ounce.

119 Serinda, supposed by some to be Khotan. Procopius (B. G. IV.17) describes it as ὑπὲρ Ἰνδῶν ἔθνη τὰ πολλά. Possibly Cochin-China is meant. The sources are Procopius, ib. (the order of whose narrative points to the year 552), and Theophanes of Byzantium, F. H. G. IV p270, who ascribes the importation to a Persian.

120 Compare the treaty of 562 (above, p121).

121 Cosmas, II p81. Coins of Arcadius and Honorius, Theodosius II, Marcian, Leo I, Zeno, Anastasius and Justin I have been found in southern and western India; of Marcian and Leo in northern India. See Sewell, Roman Coins found in India, Journal Asiat. Soc. XXXVI.620‑635 (1904).

122 Nat. Hist. VI.22.

123 XI p323.

124 So Winstedt rightly (his ed. of Cosmas, p355).

125 Only Theodebert, as a sign of defiance, substituted his own name for that of Justinian, but left the title PP Aug. This is what Procopius refers to, B. G. III.33.5. Here he makes the curious statement that it is not lawful (θέμις) for any barbarian potentates, including the Persian king, to stamp gold coins with their own images, because even their own merchants would not accept such money.

126 Wroth, Catalogue of Coins of the Vandals, etc., Plates X and XII, cp. Introd. p. xxxviii. The rule did not apply to silver and bronze coins.

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