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in which Roman and barbarian ideas must have been
strangely blended, adopted as the Emperor's son-in-
arms -'. It is, however, a curious commentary on the
double and doubtful position of the young Ostrogoth,
that his duties as Mayixtcr Utrinxyue Militiae do not
appear to have prevented him from continuing to
reside with his people, in the Province of Scythia by
the mouth of the Danube.

Soon after the restoration of Zeno to the throne, an Embassy
embassy came to Constantinople from ' the Goths in Gothic
Thrace allied with the Empire whom the Romans call
foederati,' and who were evidently the bands under
the command of the son of Triarius. This description,
which we owe to the accurate pen of Malchus, is
interesting as showing that the term foederati was
still employed, that these wandering hordes, formid-
able as they were to the peaceful husbandman, were
still nominally the allies of Rome. Nay, the word
carries us back a hundred years to the time when
Theodosius enlisted the disheartened fragments of the
Gothic nation under his eagles, and perhaps permits
us to see in the son of Triarius the natural successor
of the Ostrogothic chiefs, Alatheus and Saphrax.

1 Malchus (ap. Miiller, p. 129). The precise character of
Theodoric's military rank is a matter of conjecture.

2 ' Et post aliquod tempus ad ampliaiidum honorem ejus in
arma sibi eum filium adoptavit ' (.lord. De Eeb. Get. Ivii). The
date is doubtful, but the words of Malchus, dvO' &v eSei ^Sorcn-e
?rpos avTov aAAws TTWS i) irpos Trare'pa <povetv re /cat StaTt$ecr$ai, seem
to refer to the same ceremony, and if so, would fix it to this

VOL. Til. G

82 The Two Theodorics in Thrace.

BOOK iv. The request preferred by this embassy was that the
Emperor would be pleased to be reconciled with their

. _Q

Will the Theodoric, who wished for nothing better than to lead
Emperor a q lu ' e t and peaceable life, and refrain from vexing the
Theo- republic with his arms. On the other hand, they

doricus J

Triarii begged the Emperor to consider what harm Theodoric


favour? the Amal had done to the State, and how many cities
he had destroyed when he too was in opposition. Let
Zeno bury old grudges in the grave of Basiliscus, and
only consider which cause was really most for the
advantage of the Roman world.

(Jonsuita- On receiving this message the Emperor convoked

tion with

the a meeting of the Senate and desired the advice of


that body as to his reply. The Senators answered
that it was out of the question to think of taking
both the Theodorics into his pay, inasmuch as the
revenues, even now, scarcely sufficed to supply the
regular soldiers with their rations. Which of the
two the Emperor would select to honour with his
friendship, was a matter for Augustus himself to
and with decide. He then called in to the palace all the com-

tlie army.

mon soldiers who were in the city and all the scholae
(regiments of household troops) ; mounted the plat-
form (suggestum 1 ), from which a Roman imperator
was accustomed to harangue his men ; and delivered
a long oration of invective against the son of Triarius.
' This man has always been the enemy of the Roman
name. He has wandered, ravaging, through the plains
of Thrace. He has joined in the cruel deeds of Har-
matius, cutting off, like him, the hands of his cap-

is the word used by Malchus. No doubt the kind of
structure from which Trajan is represented in the Column as
addressing his soldiers is intended by the historian.

Zeno's harangue. 83

tives l , and has frightened all the agricultural population BOOK iv.
from their homes. He exercised a disastrous influence -
on the commonwealth in the affair of Basiliscus, and
persuaded that usurper to make away with his Roman
troops, on the plea that the Goths would suffice for
his defence. And now he sends an embassy, nominally
to sue for peace, but really to demand the office of
M'<jixter. If you therefore have any opinion on these
matters, utter it boldly, for, indeed, for this purpose
have I summoned you into the palace, knowing that
that emperor is likely to succeed who calls his brave
soldiers into his counsels.' The soldiers, seeing which
way their advice was asked for, all shouted for war
with the son of Triarius ; and, after a short interval
of hesitation, a defiant answer was returned to his
ambassadors. Zeno's resentment against him was War re-
further increased by the fact of the discovery of the
secret practices of three of the Gothic chief's adherents
in the city. These men (one of whom was ' Anthe-
mius the physician ') had not only written letters to
him themselves, but had forged others (if in truth
they were forgeries) from men holding high office in
the State, bidding the son of Triarius be of good heart
since he had many well-wishers in the city. The

1 This is how Gibbon, following the Latin version, translates

the passage ^etpas re a-!roTf.p.vwv apa TU> 'App.aTiw. Ill Smith's

edition this translation is rebuked and ' cutting off the hands of
Harmatius ' is proposed instead. But the old interpretation seems
to me allowable and the more probable of the two. In fact it is
rendered almost certain by the statement of Suidas (also perhaps
extracted from Malchus) concerning Harmatius : 'ETTI yap Ae'ovros

777305 rot's OTacn.aovTas, ocrovs \aj3oi TOIV pa.Kwv, ras x e ^P a S eKTe'fiKwv

d-nre'ire(ji.Tre. But it is possible that 'Ap/Acmcp is a mistake for
c HpaXetw (see p. 79).

G 2

84 The Tzvo Theodorics in T/irace.

BOOK iv. three traitors were punished with stripes and exile,
the sentence of death being commuted at the express



request of the Emperor.

Theo- War then, open war, was declared by Zeno on the


Triarii Gothic foederoiti. It seems, however, soon to have

ffcts til 6

best of it. suggested itself to the Emperor, that his Theodoric
was every day growing weaker, while the son of
Triarius was accumulating a larger and larger army ;
and he accordingly determined, if it were possible,
to make peace with the latter on reasonable con-
ditions.. He sent therefore to offer him his own
previous terms, restoration of his private property
(including probably the estates of Aspar), a life un-
molesting and unmolested, and the surrender of his
son as a hostage for the fulfilment of this compact.
But the books of the Sibyl were not now for sale at
the same price as before. The son of Triarius refused
to consent to these terms. He would not send his
son as a hostage, nor could he (so he said), now that
he had collected so vast a force, live upon the estates
which, carefully husbanded, might have sufficed for his
previous wants. No ! He would keep his men about
him, till some great success, or some great catastrophe,
had decided the quarrel between him and Zeno.
imperial The Emperor therefore had no resource but to
tions. prosecute the war with vigour. The dioceses of Pon-
tus, Asia, and the East (representing the whole of
Asia Minor and Syria) were emptied of their legions,
which came flocking to Constantinople. Waggons
were procured for the transport of arms, draught oxen,
were bought, corn and all other necessaries for a cam-
paign were laid up in store, and the great Illus
himself was expected to take the command.

Tlie Auial sent against his namesake. 85

For some reason or other, not Illus, but his brother- BOOK iv.
in-law Martinianus, a much weaker man, was named .

general. As the imperial army, consisting probably T]i J
of a number of discordant elements without cohesion *'" 'V'"' 1

urged into

or mutual reliance, was rapidly becoming disorganised :i -t if)n
under the nominal command of this man, Zeno deter-
mined to accelerate matters by urging the Amal into
action. He sent him a pressing message, urging him
to do some deed against the son of Triarius, which
might show that he was not unworthily styled Magis-
tc>' of the Roman army. Theodoric however, who was
no doubt aware of the recent attempt to resume
negotiations with his rival, refused to stir until the
Emperor and Senate had both bound themselves by
a solemn oath to make no treaty with the son of
Triarius. He then arranged a plan of campaign, which
involved a march with all his forces from Marcianople
(SJuttiila) to the Gates of the Balkan. There he was
to be met by the Magister Militum of Thrace 1 , with
2000 cavalry and 10,000 heavy-armed soldiers. After
crossing the Balkans he was also to be met in the
valley of the Hebrus and near Hadrianople by 20,000
infantry and 10,000 cavalry, troops being drawn, if
necessary, from Heraclea 2 (on the sea of Marmora)
and all the cities and garrisons near Constantinople.

All these j auctions of troops were promised : none and left
of them were performed ; and thus Theodoric, who ported,
punctually fulfilled his share of the bargain, found
himself, after an exhausting march over the rugged

1 So, on the authority of the Notitia Orientis, cap. vii, I would
translate 6 o-rparr/yos Tys pa.Krjs. There was no ' Dux Thraciae.'

1 Not Heraclea in Macedonia (Jlonastir) as stated in the first
edition. See Bury, i. 265.

86 The Two Theodorics in Thrace.

BOOK_IV. Balkan country, with only his Goths, unsupported by
the imperial troops, in presence of his enemy, who
was encamped on the steep and unassailable cliff of
Sondis l . A pitched battle was impossible ; but skir-
mishes constantly took place between the soldiers of
both armies, when engaged in getting fodder for their

insulting horses. Every dav, too, did the son of Triarius ride

words of . . J

Theo- within earshot of his rival's camp, and pour forth

doricus .

a stream of insulting epithets on the head of ' that
perjurer, that enemy and traitor to the whole Gothic
race, Theodoric. Silly and conceited boy ! He does
not understand the disposition of the Romans, nor see
through their design, which is to let the Goths tear
one another to pieces, while they sit by and watch the
game at their ease, sure of the real victory, whichever
side is defeated. And we the while, turning our
hands against our brethren, like the men who in that
story of theirs sprang from the seed of Cadmus, are
to be left few in number, an easy prey to the machi-
nations of the Romans. Oh, son of Theudemir ! which
of all the promises have they kept by which they
lured you hither ? Which of all their cities opened
her gates to you and feasted your soldiers ? They
have enticed you to your own destruction, and the
penalty of your rashness and stupidity will fall on the
people whom you have betrayed.'

These words, frequently repeated, produced their
troop* in- effect on the Amal's followers, who came to him, and
coalition said that indeed the adversary spoke reasonably, and

that it was absurd for them to continue an internecine


lheo " conflict with their kinsmen for the benefit of the

1 Situation unknown. Maiiso's conjecture, 'Succi,' does not
meet with approval.

Taunts of the son of Triarius. 87

common enemy. The son of Triarius, perceiving that BOOK iv
his words were finding entrance, came next day to -
the crest of an overhanging hill, and thence shouted
forth his upbraidings to Theodoric : ' Oh, scoundrel !
why art thou thus leading my brethren to perdition ?
Why hast thou made so many Gothic women widows ?
Where are now their husbands-? What has become
of all that abundance of good things which filled their
waggons, when they first set forth from their homes
to march under thy standard ? Then did they own
their two or three horses apiece. Now, without a
horse, they must needs limp on foot through Thrace,
following thee as if they were thy slaves. Yet they
are free men, and of no worse lineage than thine.
Ay ! and the time hath been when these penniless
wanderers would use a bushel to measure their aurei.'
When the army heard these too truly taunting words,
men and women alike came clamouring round the tent
of Theodoric, ' Peace, Peace with our brethren ! Else
will we quit thy standards, and take our own road to
safety.' The king, who was truly head of a limited
monarchy, recognising an expression of that popular
voice to which he must defer, came down (doubtless
with difficulty smothering his wrath) to the banks of
the stream appointed for a conference, met and con-
sulted with the man who had just been calling him
a scoundrel and a boy, settled the conditions of peace,
and then took and received a solemn oath, that there
should be no war thenceforward between the son of
Theudemir and the son of Triarius.

The reconciled Gothic chiefs sent a joint embassy to joint
the Emperor, demanding, on the part of the son of to the 3
Triarius, the fulfilment of all promises made to him by

88 The Two Thcodorics in Thrace.

BOOK iv. Leo, the arrears of pay due for past years, and the
restoration of his relatives [the family of Aspar] if
still alive, if not, an oath concerning them from Illus,
and any of the Isaurian chiefs to whose keeping they
might have been consigned l . The claim of the Amal
prince (mingled with complaints of the broken pro-
mises of the Emperor) was, that some district should
be assigned him for a permanent dwelling-place, that
rations of corn should be provided for his people till
they could reap their own harvest, and that some
of the imperial revenue officers, who were called
Domestici, should be immediately sent to take account
of (and no doubt to legalise) the requisitions which
the Goths were then levying on the province. If this
were not done, the Amal said, he could not prevent
his men, famished and destitute, from supplying their
needs in any way they could. This last request
curiously illustrates Theodoric's desire not to sink into
a mere chief of lawless plunderers, nor to make an
irretrievable breach with the Roman civilitas.

Zeno's To the son of Triarius, Zeno does not appear to

have vouchsafed any reply. He answered the Amal's
complaints with a wrangling ' Tu quoque : ' ' You said
nothing at first about requiring the help of imperial
troops to beat your rival ; that was an afterthought,
when you had already made up your mind to nego-
tiate with him, and you hoped to betray our soldiers
into a snare. So, at least, our generals thought, and

1 Ei Se KOL apa TeOrrJKarrt, TOY 'lAAorv irepl TOVTWV e7ro/y,o<rat KOL aAAous,

01? O.VTOS 7Tl TOUTWV TWV 'loW/ato!/ TTLO-Tfl'fL. Wllat COlllcl IjG the object

of asking for such an oath ? Was it in order to furnish legal
proof of their death, and enable the son of Triarius to enter on their
inheritance ?

Zcno and the Theodorics. 89

that was why they would not carry into effect the BOOK iv.

C*u Q

proposed combinations. Nevertheless, if you will even __
yet be faithful to our cause, and will vanquish the
son of Triarius, you shall receive 40,000 in gold
and 35,000 in silver, paid down, a yearly revenue
of 6,000, and the daughter of Olybrius (sprung from
the mighty Theodosius) or some other noble Byzantine
damsel to wife.'

Though aided by high dignities bestowed on most of Zeno's
the Gothic emissaries, all these attempts to break the tion.
league between the two Theodorics proved fruitless,
and the Emperor saw himself once more compelled to
face the reality of war. He again called out his army
and announced that he in person would share the
hardships, and applaud the valour, of his soldiers.
The announcement that, after a century of seclusion
in his palace, the Roman Augustus was going to be
once more, in the antique sense of the word, an Im-
j_n-rator, roused indescribable enthusiasm in the troops.
The very men who had before paid large sums to the
generals for exemption from military duty, now gladly
paid for liberty to fight. The scouts who had been
sent forward by the son of Triarius were taken
prisoners : a portion of the Amal's guard, who had
pressed forward to the Long Wall, were bravely re-
pulsed by the soldiers who were guarding it. This
was the outlook one day, and it shows us what im-
mense recuperative energy yet lay in the Roman
state-system, if only it had been guided by worthy
hands. The next day, all was changed by the palace-
bred sloth and cowardice of the Emperor. It was
announced that Zeno would not go forth to the cam-
paign. The soldiers heard the tidings with indignation.

90 The Two Theodorics in Thrace.

BOOK iv. They gathered together in angry clusters, and began
taunting one another with cowardice. ' Are you men ? '
they said ; ' have you arms in your hands, and will
you patiently endure such womanish softness, by which
city after city has been sacrificed, and now the whole
fair Empire of Rome is going to ruin, and every
one who pleases may have a hack at it ? ' The
temper of the troops was so mutinous that by the
advice of Martiriiamis (himself, as has been said, an
incompetent commander) they were ordered to dis-
perse into winter quarters, the pretext being alleged
that there was a prospect of peace with the son of
Triarius. The dispersion was successfully effected,
but, as they went, the soldiers growled over their own
folly in quitting the neighbourhood of the capital
before they had bestowed the purple on some man
worthy to wear it and able to save the state.

lie wins However, if Zeno failed to exhibit the courage of

overTheo- ,11-1 -> -, 11 . i

doricus the lion, he possessed, and could use with some suc-
:md dis- cess, the cunning of the fox. The hope of dissolving
coalition, the Gothic coalition by intrigue proved to be not
illusory. He had tried it before, at the wrong end,
when he dangled his bribes and his heiresses before
the eyes of the loyal-hearted son of Theudemir. He
now sent his ambassadors to the son of Triarius, to see
upon what terms he could buy peace with him. They
arrived at a critical moment. Theodoric the Amal
had swooped down on the fertile country at the foot
of Rhodope, was carrying off flocks and herds, ex-
pelling or slaying the cultivators and wasting their
substance. The son of Triarius watched with grim
delight these proceedings of ' the friend of the Ro-
mans, the son of Augustus : ' but at the same time

T/ic Emperor dissolves tlie coalition. g\

professed to mourn that the punishment was falling BOOK iv
on the guiltless peasants, not on Zeno or Verina,
whose happiness would not be interfered with, though
t/d'f/ were reduced to the extreme of misery. In this
mood the ambassadors found him : but all his newly-
kindled and virtuous indignation against the Court,


as well as his recently professed horror of Goth
warring against Goth, vanished before the splendour
of their offers. The promise of regular pay and rations
to 13,000 Goths to be chosen by himself, the command
of two Scholae, the dignity of Magister Praesentalis l ,
the re-grant of all the offices which he had held under
Basiliscus, and the restitution of all his former pro-
perty, these were the terms which detached the fervid
German patriot from his young confederate. As for
his relations (the family of Aspar) the Emperor re-
turned a mysterious reply : ' If they were dead, it
was of no use to say anything more about the subject;
but if they were alive they too should receive their
old possessions and go to dwell in some city which
he would point out to them -'.' The negotiation was
finally ratified on these lines. Money was sent for
distribution among the Triarian Goths, and their
leader stepped into all the dignities which were pre-
viously held by the Amal, but of which the latter was
now formally divested. In this ' triangular duel ' each
combination had now been tried. ' Zeno and the

' Either Equltinn or Peditwn.

1 Is it possible that these men, like so many others who had
provoked the resentment of the Isaurian party, had been sent
under the care of Illus to some stronghold in the Asiatic high-
lands, and that Zeno himself did not know what had become of
them ?

92 The Tioo Theodorics in Thrace.

BOOK iv. Amal against the son of Triarius ' had given place to
' the two Theodorics against Zeno,' which in its turn
was now replaced by ' Zeno and the son of Triarius
against the Amal.'

Theodoric Of the immediate effect of the announcement of


Mace- this combination on the Amal king we have no infor-


mation. We find him, however, early in the next
479- year, exasperated by recent losses, bursting, an angry
fugitive, into Macedonia, burning towns and killing
garrisons without quarter. Stobi having been thus
severely handled, he pressed on to Thessalonica. The
inhabitants of that city, ever an excitable and sus-
picious people, conceived an idea that the Emperor
and the Prefect meant to surrender them, unresisting,
to the Barbarian. A kind of revolution took place in
the city. The statues of Zeno were thrown down, and
the mob were on the point of tearing the Prefect to
pieces and setting his palace on fire. At the critical
moment, the intervention of the clergy and of some
of the most respected citizens averted these crimes.
The populace, who were asked to confide the defence
of their city to whom they would, took the keys of
Thessalonica from the Prefect and handed them to the
Archbishop, whose zeal against the Arian invaders
they doubtless felt to be a sufficient guarantee for the
tenacity of his defence. A civic guard was formed,
a commander was chosen, and his orders were obeyed.
In perusing the few lines which the Byzantine his-
torian devotes to these events we might fancy our-
selves to be reading the story of Paris in the early
days of ' Madam Ligue.'
Another Meanwhile Zeno, finding 1 himself not strong enough

t-mbassy _ ,

from Zeno to crush Theodoric, determined at least to soothe him.

Theodoric at Heraclca. 93

and to avert, if possible, the conflagration of towns BOOK iv
and the slaughter of garrisons. He sent an embassy -
(consisting of his relative Artemidorus and of a certain

to the

Phocas who had been his secretary when he himself Amal -
filled the office of Magister Mi/itum ') to remind Theo-
doric of past favours and dignities conferred upon
him, a barbarian by birth, in full reliance on his
loyalty. ' All these advantages he had lost, through
no fault of the Emperor, by giving heed to the crafty
suggestions of a man who was their common enemy.
But let him at least, in order not to make his case
more desperate, refrain from inflicting on the cities
of a powerful nation such injuries as it would be
impossible to forgive, and let him send an embassy
to obtain from the goodness of the Emperor such
requests as he could reasonably prefer.' Theodoric,
whose own better instincts were ever on the side of
civilisation, issued orders that his soldiers should
abstain from conflagration and from needless blood-
shed, though they were still to live at free-quarters
in Macedonia. His messengers returned with the
Emperor's ambassadors to Constantinople, and were
graciously received there. He himself moved with
his army to Heraclea.

This city, the Monast'u' of our own day, was

situated on the great Egnatian Way, a little less than ci. :l .
half-way from Thessalonica on the Aegean to Dyrrha-
chium on the Adriatic. ' Built at the western edge of
a npble plain, surrounded by the most exquisitely
shaped hills, in a recess or bay formed by two very

ApT/jii8<i)pov TTf.fjiTrf.L Kal ^U>KO.V TOV ore yv crrpa.T?7yo9 ypa/A/xarea
avr<3 1-775 apx*?s OITO.. We get the fact of the relationship between
Artemidorus and Zeno from Cassiodorus, Yar. i. 43.

94 The Two Theodorics in Thrace.

BOOK iv. high mountains, between which magnificent snow-

CH. 3.

- capped barriers is the pass to Akridha V and with one
of the main branches of the Axius (Vardar] flowing
through it, ' a broad and shifting torrent, crossed by
numerous bridges,' the city has been for centuries,
under Caesar and Sultan alike, a highly important
centre of civil and military administration for the
great plain of Macedonia. Of that plain, indeed, it
does not strictly form a part, being raised as it were
a step above it towards the central highlands, but the
great chain of Scardus stretching behind it (to which
belong the snow-capped barriers mentioned above) far
more decisively separates it from the western regions,
which were then known as Epirus and Illyria, now as
illness of The rich presents of the bishop of Heraclea to

his sister.

Theodoric and his followers preserved that city for the

present from pillage. He made it his head-quarters,

and was in fact detained there for a considerable time

by the sickness of his sister, a sickness which in the

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