[1: See Priscus, p. 39, 72.]



[2: The Alexandrian or Paschal Chronicle, which introduces this haughty message, during the lifetime of Theodosius, may have anticipated the date; but the dull annalist was incapable of inventing the original and genuine style of Attila.]



[3: The second book of the Histoire Critique de l'Etablissement de la Monarchie Francoise tom. i. p. 189 - 424, throws great light on the state of Gaul, when it was invaded by Attila; but the ingenious author, the Abbe Dubos, too often bewilders himself in system and conjecture.]



[4: Victor Vitensis (de Persecut. Vandal. l. i. 6, p. 8, edit. Ruinart) calls him, acer consilio et strenuus in bello: but his courage, when he became unfortunate, was censured as desperate rashness; and Sebastian deserved, or obtained, the epithet of proeceps, (Sidon. Apollinar Carmen ix. 181.) His adventures in Constantinople, in Sicily, Gaul, Spain, and Africa, are faintly marked in the Chronicles of Marcellinus and Idatius. In his distress he was always followed by a numerous train; since he could ravage the Hellespont and Propontis, and seize the city of Barcelona.]



[5: Reipublicae Romanae singulariter natus, qui superbiam Suevorum, Francorumque barbariem immensis caedibus servire Imperio Romano coegisset. Jornandes de Rebus Geticis, c. 34, p. 660.]



[A: Some valuable fragments of a poetical panegyric on Aetius by Merobaudes, a Spaniard, have been recovered from a palimpsest MS. by the sagacity and industry of Niebuhr. They have been reprinted in the new edition of the Byzantine Historians. The poet speaks in glowing terms of the long (annosa) peace enjoyed under the administration of Aetius. The verses are very spirited. The poet was rewarded by a statue publicly dedicated to his honor in Rome. Danuvii cum pace redit, Tanaimque furore Exuit, et nigro candentes aethere terras Marte suo caruisse jubet. Dedit otia ferro Caucasus, et saevi condemnant praelia reges. Addidit hiberni famulantia foedera Rhenus Orbis ...... Lustrat Aremoricos jam mitior incola saltus; Perdidit et mores tellus, adsuetaque saevo Crimine quaesitas silvis celare rapinas, Discit inexpertis Cererem committere campis; Caesareoque diu manus obluctata labori Sustinet acceptas nostro sub consule leges; Et quamvis Geticis sulcum confundat aratris, Barbara vicinae refugit consortia gentis. Merobaudes, p. 1]



[B: - cum Scythicis succumberet ensibus orbis, Telaque Tarpeias premerent Arctoa secures, Hostilem fregit rabiem, pignus quesuperbi Foederis et mundi pretium fuit. Hinc modo voti Rata fides, validis quod dux premat impiger armis Edomuit quos pace puer; bellumque repressit Ignarus quid bella forent. Stupuere feroces In tenero jam membra Getae. Rex ipse, verendum Miratus pueri decus et prodentia fatum Lumina, primaevas dederat gestare faretras, Laudabatque manus librantem et tela gerentem Oblitus quod noster erat Pro nescia regis Corda, feris quanto populis discrimine constet Quod Latium docet arma ducem. Merobaudes, Panegyr. p. 15. - M.]



[6: This portrait is drawn by Renetus Profuturus Frigeridus, a contemporary historian, known only by some extracts, which are preserved by Gregory of Tours, (l. ii. c. 8, in tom. ii. p. 163.) It was probably the duty, or at least the interest, of Renatus, to magnify the virtues of Aetius; but he would have shown more dexterity if he had not insisted on his patient, forgiving disposition.]



[C: Insessor Libyes, quamvis, fatalibus armis Ausus Elisaei solium rescindere regni, Milibus Arctois Tyrias compleverat arces, Nunc hostem exutus pactis proprioribus arsit Romanam vincire fidem, Latiosque parentes Adnumerare sib, sociamque intexere prolem. Merobaudes, p. 12. - M.]



[7: The embassy consisted of Count Romulus; of Promotus, president of Noricum; and of Romanus, the military duke. They were accompanied by Tatullus, an illustrious citizen of Petovio, in the same province, and father of Orestes, who had married the daughter of Count Romulus. See Priscus, p. 57, 65. Cassiodorus (Variar. i. 4) mentions another embassy, which was executed by his father and Carpilio, the son of Aetius; and, as Attila was no more, he could safely boast of their manly, intrepid behavior in his presence.]



[8: Deserta Valentinae urbis rura Alanis partienda traduntur. Prosper. Tyronis Chron. in Historiens de France, tom. i. p. 639. A few lines afterwards, Prosper observes, that lands in the ulterior Gaul were assigned to the Alani. Without admitting the correction of Dubos, (tom. i. p. 300,) the reasonable supposition of two colonies or garrisons of Alani will confirm his arguments, and remove his objections.]



[9: See Prosper. Tyro, p. 639. Sidonius (Panegyr. Avit. 246) complains, in the name of Auvergne, his native country, - Litorius Scythicos equites tunc forte subacto Celsus Aremorico, Geticum rapiebat in agmen Per terras, Averne, tuas, qui proxima quaedue Discursu, flammis, ferro, feritate, rapinis, Delebant; pacis fallentes nomen inane. another poet, Paulinus of Perigord, confirms the complaint: - Nam socium vix ferre queas, qui durior hoste. See Dubos, tom. i. p. 330.]



[10: Theodoric II., the son of Theodoric I., declares to Avitus his resolution of repairing, or expiating, the faults which his grandfather had committed, - Quae noster peccavit avus, quem fuscat id unum, Quod te, Roma, capit. Sidon. Panegyric. Avit. 505. This character, applicable only to the great Alaric, establishes the genealogy of the Gothic kings, which has hitherto been unnoticed.]



[11: The name of Sapaudia, the origin of Savoy, is first mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus; and two military posts are ascertained by the Notitia, within the limits of that province; a cohort was stationed at Grenoble in Dauphine; and Ebredunum, or Iverdun, sheltered a fleet of small vessels, which commanded the Lake of Neufchatel. See Valesius, Notit. Galliarum, p. 503. D'Anville, Notice de l'Ancienne Gaule, p. 284, 579.]



[12: Salvian has attempted to explain the moral government of the Deity; a task which may be readily performed by supposing that the calamities of the wicked are judgments, and those of the righteous, trials.]



[13: - Capto terrarum damna patebant Litorio, in Rhodanum proprios producere fines, Thendoridae fixum; nec erat pugnare necesse, Sed migrare Getis; rabidam trux asperat iram Victor; quod sensit Scythicum sub moenibus hostem Imputat, et nihil est gravius, si forsitan unquam Vincere contingat, trepido. Panegyr. Avit. 300, &c. Sitionius then proceeds, according to the duty of a panegyrist, to transfer the whole merit from Aetius to his minister Avitus.]



[14: Theodoric II. revered, in the person of Avitus, the character of his preceptor. - Mihi Romula dudum Per te jura placent; parvumque ediscere jussit Ad tua verba pater, docili quo prisca Maronis Carmine molliret Scythicos mihi pagina mores. Sidon. Panegyr. Avit. 495 &c.]



[15: Our authorities for the reign of Theodoric I. are, Jornandes de Rebus Geticis, c. 34, 36, and the Chronicles of Idatius, and the two Prospers, inserted in the historians of France, tom. i. p. 612 - 640. To these we may add Salvian de Gubernatione Dei, l. vii. p. 243, 244, 245, and the panegyric of Avitus, by Sidonius.]



[16: Reges Crinitos se creavisse de prima, et ut ita dicam nobiliori suorum familia, (Greg. Turon. l. ii. c. 9, p. 166, of the second volume of the Historians of France.) Gregory himself does not mention the Merovingian name, which may be traced, however, to the beginning of the seventh century, as the distinctive appellation of the royal family, and even of the French monarchy. An ingenious critic has deduced the Merovingians from the great Maroboduus; and he has clearly proved, that the prince, who gave his name to the first race, was more ancient than the father of Childeric. See Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions, tom. xx. p. 52 - 90, tom. xxx. p. 557 - 587.]



[17: This German custom, which may be traced from Tacitus to Gregory of Tours, was at length adopted by the emperors of Constantinople. From a MS. of the tenth century, Montfaucon has delineated the representation of a similar ceremony, which the ignorance of the age had applied to King David. See Monumens de la Monarchie Francoise, tom. i. Discours Preliminaire.]



[18: Caesaries prolixa ... crinium flagellis per terga dimissis, &c. See the Preface to the third volume of the Historians of France, and the Abbe Le Boeuf, (Dissertat. tom. iii. p. 47 - 79.) This peculiar fashion of the Merovingians has been remarked by natives and strangers; by Priscus, (tom. i. p. 608,) by Agathias, (tom. ii. p. 49,) and by Gregory of Tours, (l. viii. 18, vi. 24, viii. 10, tom. ii. p. 196, 278, 316.)]



[19: See an original picture of the figure, dress, arms, and temper of the ancient Franks, in Sidonius Apollinaris, (Panegyr. Majorian. 238 - 254;) and such pictures, though coarsely drawn, have a real and intrinsic value. Father Daniel (History de la Milice Francoise, tom. i. p. 2 - 7) has illustrated the description.]



[20: Dubos, Hist. Critique, &c., tom. i. p. 271, 272. Some geographers have placed Dispargum on the German side of the Rhine. See a note of the Benedictine Editors, to the Historians of France, tom. ii p. 166.]



[21: The Carbonarian wood was that part of the great forest of the Ardennes which lay between the Escaut, or Scheldt, and the Meuse. Vales. Notit. Gall. p. 126.]



[22: Gregor. Turon. l. ii. c. 9, in tom. ii. p. 166, 167. Fredegar. Epitom. c. 9, p. 395. Gesta Reg. Francor. c. 5, in tom. ii. p. 544. Vit St. Remig. ab Hincmar, in tom. iii. p. 373.]



[23: - Francus qua Cloio patentes Atrebatum terras pervaserat. Panegyr. Majorian 213 The precise spot was a town or village, called Vicus Helena; and both the name and place are discovered by modern geographers at Lens See Vales. Notit. Gall. p. 246. Longuerue, Description de la France tom. ii. p. 88.]



[24: See a vague account of the action in Sidonius. Panegyr. Majorian 212 - 230. The French critics, impatient to establish their monarchy in Gaul, have drawn a strong argument from the silence of Sidonius, who dares not insinuate, that the vanquished Franks were compelled to repass the Rhine. Dubos, tom. i. p. 322.]



[25: Salvian (de Gubernat. Dei, l. vi.) has expressed, in vague and declamatory language, the misfortunes of these three cities, which are distinctly ascertained by the learned Mascou, Hist. of the Ancient Germans, ix. 21.]


[26: Priscus, in relating the contest, does not name the two brothers; the second of whom he had seen at Rome, a beardless youth, with long, flowing hair, (Historians of France, tom. i. p. 607, 608.) The Benedictine Editors are inclined to believe, that they were the sons of some unknown king of the Franks, who reigned on the banks of the Neckar; but the arguments of M. de Foncemagne (Mem. de l'Academie, tom. viii. p. 464) seem to prove that the succession of Clodion was disputed by his two sons, and that the younger was Meroveus, the father of Childeric. Note: The relationship of Meroveus to Clodion is extremely doubtful. - By some he is called an illegitimate son; by others merely of his race. Tur ii. c. 9, in Sismondi, Hist. des Francais, i. 177. See Mezeray.]


[27: Under the Merovingian race, the throne was hereditary; but all the sons of the deceased monarch were equally entitled to their share of his treasures and territories. See the Dissertations of M. de Foncemagne, in the sixth and eighth volumes of the Memoires de l'Academie.]




[28: A medal is still extant, which exhibits the pleasing countenance of Honoria, with the title of Augusta; and on the reverse, the improper legend of Salus Reipublicoe round the monogram of Christ. See Ducange, Famil. Byzantin. p. 67, 73.]



[29: See Priscus, p, 39, 40. It might be fairly alleged, that if females could succeed to the throne, Valentinian himself, who had married the daughter and heiress of the younger Theodosius, would have asserted her right to the Eastern empire.]



[30: The adventures of Honoria are imperfectly related by Jornandes, de Successione Regn. c. 97, and de Reb. Get. c. 42, p. 674; and in the Chronicles of Prosper and Marcellinus; but they cannot be made consistent, or probable, unless we separate, by an interval of time and place, her intrigue with Eugenius, and her invitation of Attila.]



[31: Exegeras mihi, ut promitterem tibi, Attilae bellum stylo me posteris intimaturum .... coeperam scribere, sed operis arrepti fasce perspecto, taeduit inchoasse. Sidon. Apoll. l. viii. epist. 15, p. 235]



[32: - Subito cum rupta tumultu Barbaries totas in te transfuderat Arctos, Gallia. Pugnacem Rugum comitante Gelono, Gepida trux sequitur; Scyrum Burgundio cogit: Chunus, Bellonotus, Neurus, Basterna, Toringus, Bructerus, ulvosa vel quem Nicer abluit unda Prorumpit Francus. Cecidit cito secta bipenni Hercynia in lintres, et Rhenum texuit alno. Et jam terrificis diffuderat Attila turmis In campos se, Belga, tuos. Panegyr. Avit.]



[33: The most authentic and circumstantial account of this war is contained in Jornandes, (de Reb. Geticis, c. 36 - 41, p. 662 - 672,) who has sometimes abridged, and sometimes transcribed, the larger history of Cassiodorus. Jornandes, a quotation which it would be superfluous to repeat, may be corrected and illustrated by Gregory of Tours, l. ii. c. 5, 6, 7, and the Chronicles of Idatius, Isidore, and the two Prospers. All the ancient testimonies are collected and inserted in the Historians of France; but the reader should be cautioned against a supposed extract from the Chronicle of Idatius, (among the fragments of Fredegarius, tom. ii. p. 462,) which often contradicts the genuine text of the Gallician bishop.]



[34: The ancient legendaries deserve some regard, as they are obliged to connect their fables with the real history of their own times. See the lives of St. Lupus, St. Anianus, the bishops of Metz, Ste. Genevieve, &c., in the Historians of France, tom. i. p. 644, 645, 649, tom. iii. p. 369.]



[35: The scepticism of the count de Buat (Hist. des Peuples, tom. vii. p. 539, 540) cannot be reconciled with any principles of reason or criticism. Is not Gregory of Tours precise and positive in his account of the destruction of Metz? At the distance of no more than a hundred years, could he be ignorant, could the people be ignorant of the fate of a city, the actual residence of his sovereigns, the kings of Austrasia? The learned count, who seems to have undertaken the apology of Attila and the Barbarians, appeals to the false Idatius, parcens Germaniae et Galliae, and forgets that the true Idatius had explicitly affirmed, plurimae civitates effractoe, among which he enumerates Metz.]



[36: - Vix liquerat Alpes Aetius, tenue, et rarum sine milite ducens Robur, in auxiliis Geticum male credulus agmen Incassum propriis praesumens adfore castris. Panegyr. Avit. 328, &c.]



[37: The policy of Attila, of Aetius, and of the Visigoths, is imperfectly described in the Panegyric of Avitus, and the thirty-sixth chapter of Jornandes. The poet and the historian were both biased by personal or national prejudices. The former exalts the merit and importance of Avitus; orbis, Avite, salus, &c.! The latter is anxious to show the Goths in the most favorable light. Yet their agreement when they are fairly interpreted, is a proof of their veracity.]



[38: The review of the army of Aetius is made by Jornandes, c. 36, p. 664, edit. Grot. tom. ii. p. 23, of the Historians of France, with the notes of the Benedictine editor. The Loeti were a promiscuous race of Barbarians, born or naturalized in Gaul; and the Riparii, or Ripuarii, derived their name from their post on the three rivers, the Rhine, the Meuse, and the Moselle; the Armoricans possessed the independent cities between the Seine and the Loire. A colony of Saxons had been planted in the diocese of Bayeux; the Burgundians were settled in Savoy; and the Breones were a warlike tribe of Rhaetians, to the east of the Lake of Constance.]



[39: Aurelianensis urbis obsidio, oppugnatio, irruptio, nec direptio, l. v. Sidon. Apollin. l. viii. Epist. 15, p. 246. The preservation of Orleans might easily be turned into a miracle, obtained and foretold by the holy bishop.]



[40: The common editions read xcm but there is some authority of manuscripts (and almost any authority is sufficient) for the more reasonable number of xvm.]



[41: Chalons, or Duro-Catalaunum, afterwards Catalauni, had formerly made a part of the territory of Rheims from whence it is distant only twenty-seven miles. See Vales, Notit. Gall. p. 136. D'Anville, Notice de l'Ancienne Gaule, p. 212, 279.]



[42: The name of Campania, or Champagne, is frequently mentioned by Gregory of Tours; and that great province, of which Rheims was the capital, obeyed the command of a duke. Vales. Notit. p. 120 - 123.]



[43: I am sensible that these military orations are usually composed by the historian; yet the old Ostrogoths, who had served under Attila, might repeat his discourse to Cassiodorus; the ideas, and even the expressions, have an original Scythian cast; and I doubt, whether an Italian of the sixth century would have thought of the hujus certaminis gaudia.]



[44: The expressions of Jornandes, or rather of Cassiodorus, are extremely strong. Bellum atrox, multiplex, immane, pertinax, cui simile nulla usquam narrat antiquitas: ubi talia gesta referuntur, ut nihil esset quod in vita sua conspicere potuisset egregius, qui hujus miraculi privaretur aspectu. Dubos (Hist. Critique, tom. i. p. 392, 393) attempts to reconcile the 162,000 of Jornandes with the 300,000 of Idatius and Isidore, by supposing that the larger number included the total destruction of the war, the effects of disease, the slaughter of the unarmed people, &c.]



[45: The count de Buat, (Hist. des Peuples, &c., tom. vii. p. 554 - 573,) still depending on the false, and again rejecting the true, Idatius, has divided the defeat of Attila into two great battles; the former near Orleans, the latter in Champagne: in the one, Theodoric was slain in the other, he was revenged.]



[46: Jornandes de Rebus Geticis, c. 41, p. 671. The policy of Aetius, and the behavior of Torismond, are extremely natural; and the patrician, according to Gregory of Tours, (l. ii. c. 7, p. 163,) dismissed the prince of the Franks, by suggesting to him a similar apprehension. The false Idatius ridiculously pretends, that Aetius paid a clandestine nocturnal visit to the kings of the Huns and of the Visigoths; from each of whom he obtained a bribe of ten thousand pieces of gold, as the price of an undisturbed retreat.]



[47: These cruelties, which are passionately deplored by Theodoric, the son of Clovis, (Gregory of Tours, l. iii. c. 10, p. 190,) suit the time and circumstances of the invasion of Attila. His residence in Thuringia was long attested by popular tradition; and he is supposed to have assembled a couroultai, or diet, in the territory of Eisenach. See Mascou, ix. 30, who settles with nice accuracy the extent of ancient Thuringia, and derives its name from the Gothic tribe of the Therungi]



[48: Machinis constructis, omnibusque tormentorum generibus adhibitis. Jornandes, c. 42, p. 673. In the thirteenth century, the Moguls battered the cities of China with large engines, constructed by the Mahometans or Christians in their service, which threw stones from 150 to 300 pounds weight. In the defence of their country, the Chinese used gunpowder, and even bombs, above a hundred years before they were known in Europe; yet even those celestial, or infernal, arms were insufficient to protect a pusillanimous nation. See Gaubil. Hist. des Mongous, p. 70, 71, 155, 157, &c.]



[49: The same story is told by Jornandes, and by Procopius, (de Bell Vandal. l. i. c. 4, p. 187, 188:) nor is it easy to decide which is the original. But the Greek historian is guilty of an inexcusable mistake, in placing the siege of Aquileia after the death of Aetius.]



[50: Jornandes, about a hundred years afterwards, affirms, that Aquileia was so completely ruined, ita ut vix ejus vestigia, ut appareant, reliquerint. See Jornandes de Reb. Geticis, c. 42, p. 673. Paul. Diacon. l. ii. c. 14, p. 785. Liutprand, Hist. l. iii. c. 2. The name of Aquileia was sometimes applied to Forum Julii, (Cividad del Friuli,) the more recent capital of the Venetian province. Note: Compare the curious Latin poems on the destruction of Aquileia, published by M. Endlicher in his valuable catalogue of Latin Mss. in the library of Vienna, p. 298, &c. Repleta quondam domibus sublimibus, ornatis mire, niveis, marmorels, Nune ferax frugum metiris funiculo ruricolarum. The monkish poet has his consolation in Attila's sufferings in soul and body. Vindictam tamen non evasit impius destructor tuus Attila sevissimus, Nunc igni simul gehennae et vermibus excruciatur - P. 290. - M.]



[51: In describing this war of Attila, a war so famous, but so imperfectly known, I have taken for my guides two learned Italians, who considered the subject with some peculiar advantages; Sigonius, de Imperio Occidentali, l. xiii. in his works, tom. i. p. 495 - 502; and Muratori, Annali d'Italia, tom. iv. p. 229 - 236, 8vo. edition.]



[52: This anecdote may be found under two different articles of the miscellaneous compilation of Suidas.]



[53: Leo respondit, humana, hoc pictum manu: Videres hominem dejectum, si pingere Leones scirent. Appendix ad Phaedrum, Fab. xxv. The lion in Phaedrus very foolishly appeals from pictures to the amphitheatre; and I am glad to observe, that the native taste of La Fontaine (l. iii. fable x.) has omitted this most lame and impotent conclusion.]



[54: Paul the Deacon (de Gestis Langobard. l. ii. c. 14, p. 784) describes the provinces of Italy about the end of the eighth century Venetia non solum in paucis insulis quas nunc Venetias dicimus, constat; sed ejus terminus a Pannoniae finibus usque Adduam fluvium protelatur. The history of that province till the age of Charlemagne forms the first and most interesting part of the Verona Illustrata, p. 1 - 388,) in which the marquis Scipio Maffei has shown himself equally capable of enlarged views and minute disquisitions.]



[55: This emigration is not attested by any contemporary evidence; but the fact is proved by the event, and the circumstances might be preserved by tradition. The citizens of Aquileia retired to the Isle of Gradus, those of Padua to Rivus Altus, or Rialto, where the city of Venice was afterwards built, &c.]



[56: The topography and antiquities of the Venetian islands, from Gradus to Clodia, or Chioggia, are accurately stated in the Dissertatio Chorographica de Italia Medii Aevi. p. 151 - 155.]



[57: Cassiodor. Variar. l. xii. epist. 24. Maffei (Verona Illustrata, part i. p. 240 - 254) has translated and explained this curious letter, in the spirit of a learned antiquarian and a faithful subject, who considered Venice as the only legitimate offspring of the Roman republic. He fixes the date of the epistle, and consequently the praefecture, of Cassiodorus, A.D. 523; and the marquis's authority has the more weight, as he prepared an edition of his works, and actually published a dissertation on the true orthography of his name. See Osservazioni Letterarie, tom. ii. p. 290 - 339.]



[D: The learned count Figliasi has proved, in his memoirs upon the Veneti (Memorie de' Veneti primi e secondi del conte Figliasi, t. vi. Veneziai, 796,) that from the most remote period, this nation, which occupied the country which has since been called the Venetian States or Terra Firma, likewise inhabited the islands scattered upon the coast, and that from thence arose the names of Venetia prima and secunda, of which the first applied to the main land and the second to the islands and lagunes. From the time of the Pelasgi and of the Etrurians, the first Veneti, inhabiting a fertile and pleasant country, devoted themselves to agriculture: the second, placed in the midst of canals, at the mouth of several rivers, conveniently situated with regard to the islands of Greece, as well as the fertile plains of Italy, applied themselves to navigation and commerce. Both submitted to the Romans a short time before the second Punic war; yet it was not till after the victory of Marius over the Cimbri, that their country was reduced to a Roman province. Under the emperors, Venetia Prima obtained more than once, by its calamities, a place in history. * * But the maritime province was occupied in salt works, fisheries, and commerce. The Romans have considered the inhabitants of this part as beneath the dignity of history, and have left them in obscurity. * * * They dwelt there until the period when their islands afforded a retreat to their ruined and fugitive compatriots. Sismondi. Hist. des Rep. Italiens, v. i. p. 313. -G. Compare, on the origin of Venice, Daru, Hist. de Venise, vol. i. c. l. - M.]



[58: See, in the second volume of Amelot de la Houssaie, Histoire du Gouvernement de Venise, a translation of the famous Squittinio. This book, which has been exalted far above its merits, is stained, in every line, with the disingenuous malevolence of party: but the principal evidence, genuine and apocryphal, is brought together and the reader will easily choose the fair medium.]



[59: Sirmond (Not. ad Sidon. Apollin. p. 19) has published a curious passage from the Chronicle of Prosper. Attila, redintegratis viribus, quas in Gallia amiserat, Italiam ingredi per Pannonias intendit; nihil duce nostro Aetio secundum prioris belli opera prospiciente, &c. He reproaches Aetius with neglecting to guard the Alps, and with a design to abandon Italy; but this rash censure may at least be counterbalanced by the favorable testimonies of Idatius and Isidore.]



[60: See the original portraits of Avienus and his rival Basilius, delineated and contrasted in the epistles (i. 9. p. 22) of Sidonius. He had studied the characters of the two chiefs of the senate; but he attached himself to Basilius, as the more solid and disinterested friend.]



[61: The character and principles of Leo may be traced in one hundred and forty-one original epistles, which illustrate the ecclesiastical history of his long and busy pontificate, from A.D. 440 to 461. See Dupin, Bibliotheque Ecclesiastique, tom. iii. part ii p. 120 - 165.]



[62: - tardis ingens ubi flexibus errat Mincius, et tenera praetexit arundine ripas - - - - Anne lacus tantos, te Lari maxime, teque Fluctibus, et fremitu assurgens Benace marino.]



[63: The marquis Maffei (Verona Illustrata, part i. p. 95, 129, 221, part ii. p. 2, 6) has illustrated with taste and learning this interesting topography. He places the interview of Attila and St. Leo near Ariolica, or Ardelica, now Peschiera, at the conflux of the lake and river; ascertains the villa of Catullus, in the delightful peninsula of Sirmio, and discovers the Andes of Virgil, in the village of Bandes, precisely situate, qua se subducere colles incipiunt, where the Veronese hills imperceptibly slope down into the plain of Mantua. Note: Gibbon has made a singular mistake: the Mincius flows out of the Bonacus at Peschiera, not into it. The interview is likewise placed at Ponte Molino. and at Governolo, at the conflux of the Mincio and the Gonzaga. bishop of Mantua, erected a tablet in the year 1616, in the church of the latter place, commemorative of the event. Descrizione di Verona a de la sua provincia. C. 11, p. 126. - M.]



[64: Si statim infesto agmine urbem petiissent, grande discrimen esset: sed in Venetia quo fere tractu Italia mollissima est, ipsa soli coelique clementia robur elanquit. Ad hoc panis usu carnisque coctae, et dulcedine vini mitigatos, &c. This passage of Florus (iii. 3) is still more applicable to the Huns than to the Cimbri, and it may serve as a commentary on the celestial plague, with which Idatius and Isidore have afflicted the troops of Attila.]



[65: The historian Priscus had positively mentioned the effect which this example produced on the mind of Attila. Jornandes, c. 42, p. 673]



[66: The picture of Raphael is in the Vatican; the basso (or perhaps the alto) relievo of Algardi, on one of the altars of St. Peter, (see Dubos, Reflexions sur la Poesie et sur la Peinture, tom. i. p. 519, 520.) Baronius (Annal. Eccles. A.D. 452, No. 57, 58) bravely sustains the truth of the apparition; which is rejected, however, by the most learned and pious Catholics.]



[67: Attila, ut Priscus historicus refert, extinctionis suae tempore, puellam Ildico nomine, decoram, valde, sibi matrimonium post innumerabiles uxores ... socians. Jornandes, c. 49, p. 683, 684. He afterwards adds, (c. 50, p. 686,) Filii Attilae, quorum per licentiam libidinis poene populus fuit. Polygamy has been established among the Tartars of every age. The rank of plebeian wives is regulated only by their personal charms; and the faded matron prepares, without a murmur, the bed which is destined for her blooming rival. But in royal families, the daughters of Khans communicate to their sons a prior right. See Genealogical History, p. 406, 407, 408.]



[68: The report of her guilt reached Constantinople, where it obtained a very different name; and Marcellinus observes, that the tyrant of Europe was slain in the night by the hand, and the knife, of a woman Corneille, who has adapted the genuine account to his tragedy, describes the irruption of blood in forty bombast lines, and Attila exclaims, with ridiculous fury, - S'il ne veut s'arreter, (his blood.) (Dit-il) on me payera ce qui m'en va couter.]



[69: The curious circumstances of the death and funeral of Attila are related by Jornandes, (c. 49, p. 683, 684, 685,) and were probably transcribed from Priscus.]




[70: See Jornandes, de Rebus Geticis, c. 50, p. 685, 686, 687, 688. His distinction of the national arms is curious and important. Nan ibi admirandum reor fuisse spectaculum, ubi cernere erat cunctis, pugnantem Gothum ense furentem, Gepidam in vulnere suorum cuncta tela frangentem, Suevum pede, Hunnum sagitta praesumere, Alanum gravi Herulum levi, armatura, aciem instruere. I am not precisely informed of the situation of the River Netad.]



[71: Two modern historians have thrown much new light on the ruin and division of the empire of Attila; M. de Buat, by his laborious and minute diligence, (tom. viii. p. 3 - 31, 68 - 94,) and M. de Guignes, by his extraordinary knowledge of the Chinese language and writers. See Hist. des Huns, tom. ii. p. 315 - 319.]



[E: The praises awarded by Gibbon to the character of Aetius have been animadverted upon with great severity. (See Mr. Herbert's Attila. p. 321.) I am not aware that Gibbon has dissembled or palliated any of the crimes or treasons of Aetius: but his position at the time of his murder was certainly that of the preserver of the empire, the conqueror of the most dangerous of the barbarians: it is by no means clear that he was not "innocent" of any treasonable designs against Valentinian. If the early acts of his life, the introduction of the Huns into Italy, and of the Vandals into Africa, were among the proximate causes of the ruin of the empire, his murder was the signal for its almost immediate downfall. - M.]



[72: Placidia died at Rome, November 27, A.D. 450. She was buried at Ravenna, where her sepulchre, and even her corpse, seated in a chair of cypress wood, were preserved for ages. The empress received many compliments from the orthodox clergy; and St. Peter Chrysologus assured her, that her zeal for the Trinity had been recompensed by an august trinity of children. See Tillemont, Uist. Jer Emp. tom. vi. p. 240.]



[73: Aetium Placidus mactavit semivir amens, is the expression of Sidonius, (Panegyr. Avit. 359.) The poet knew the world, and was not inclined to flatter a minister who had injured or disgraced Avitus and Majorian, the successive heroes of his song.]



[74: With regard to the cause and circumstances of the deaths of Aetius and Valentinian, our information is dark and imperfect. Procopius (de Bell. Vandal. l. i. c. 4, p. 186, 187, 188) is a fabulous writer for the events which precede his own memory. His narrative must therefore be supplied and corrected by five or six Chronicles, none of which were composed in Rome or Italy; and which can only express, in broken sentences, the popular rumors, as they were conveyed to Gaul, Spain, Africa, Constantinople, or Alexandria.]



[75: This interpretation of Vettius, a celebrated augur, was quoted by Varro, in the xviiith book of his Antiquities. Censorinus, de Die Natali, c. 17, p. 90, 91, edit. Havercamp.]



[76: According to Varro, the twelfth century would expire A.D. 447, but the uncertainty of the true aera of Rome might allow some latitude of anticipation or delay. The poets of the age, Claudian (de Bell Getico, 265) and Sidonius, (in Panegyr. Avit. 357,) may be admitted as fair witnesses of the popular opinion. Jam reputant annos, interceptoque volatu Vulturis, incidunt properatis saecula metis. ....... Jam prope fata tui bissenas Vulturis alas Implebant; seis namque tuos, scis, Roma, labores. See Dubos, Hist. Critique, tom. i. p. 340 - 346.]


[77: The fifth book of Salvian is filled with pathetic lamentations and vehement invectives. His immoderate freedom serves to prove the weakness, as well as the corruption, of the Roman government. His book was published after the loss of Africa, (A.D. 439,) and before Attila's war, (A.D. 451.)]


[78: The Bagaudae of Spain, who fought pitched battles with the Roman troops, are repeatedly mentioned in the Chronicle of Idatius. Salvian has described their distress and rebellion in very forcible language. Itaque nomen civium Romanorum ... nunc ultro repudiatur ac fugitur, nec vile tamen sed etiam abominabile poene habetur ... Et hinc est ut etiam hi quid ad Barbaros non confugiunt, Barbari tamen esse coguntur, scilicet ut est pars magna Hispanorum, et non minima Gallorum .... De Bagaudis nunc mihi sermo est, qui per malos judices et cruentos spoliati, afflicti, necati postquam jus Romanae libertatis amiserant, etiam honorem Romani nominis perdiderunt .... Vocamus rabelles, vocamus perditos quos esse compulimua criminosos. De Gubernat. Dei, l. v. p. 158, 159.]


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