web counter











THE enormous force of the onrush made by the Huns upon the Ostrogoths had been decisive for the fate of the Visigoths also. A considerable part of Athanarich’s army under their leaders Alavio and Fritigern had asked for and obtained from the Emperor Valens in the year 376 land for settlements on the right bank of the Danube. From that time these Goths were foederati of the Empire, and as such were obliged to render armed assistance and supply recruits. A demand for land made by bands of Ostrogoths under Alatheus and Saphrax was refused; nevertheless these bold Teutons effected the crossing of the river and followed their kinsmen. Quarrels between Romans and Goths led to Fritigern’s victory of Marcianople, which opened the way to the Goths as far as Hadrianople. They were pushed back indeed into the Dobrudscha by Valens’ army, and the troops under Richomer sent from the West by Gratian to assist the Eastern Empire were able to join the Eastern forces. After this however the success of arms remained changeable, especially when a section of Huns and Alani had joined the Goths. Thrace was left exposed to the enemy’s raids, which extended as far as Macedonia. Now it was time for the Emperor to intervene in person, the more so as Gratian had promised to come quickly to his assistance. At first the campaign was successful. The Goths were defeated on the Maritza near Hadrianople, and Valens advanced towards Philippopolis to effect a junction with Gratian. But Fritigern hastened southward to cut Valens off from Constantinople. The Emperor was forced to turn back, and whilst at Hadrianople was asked by Gratian in a letter delivered by Richomer to postpone the final attack until his arrival. At a council of war however Valens complied with his general Sebastian's opinion to strike without delay, as he had been informed that the enemy numbered but ten thousand. In any case they would have had to wait a long time for Gratian, who was hurrying eastward from a remote field of war. After rejecting a very ambiguous message from Fritigern, Valens led the Romans against the Goths, and (9 Aug. 378) a battle took place to the north-east of Hadrianople, probably near Demeranlija. The Goths were fortunate in receiving timely assistance (from the Ostrogoths and Alani under Alatheus and Saphrax) after they had already defeated a body of Roman cavalry, which had attacked them prematurely. The Roman infantry also met with defeat at the hands of the Goths, and two-thirds of their army perished. The Emperor himself was killed by an arrow, and his generals Sebastian and Trajan also lost their lives. When he heard the news from Richomer, Gratian withdrew to Sirmium, and now the Eastern Empire lay open to the attacks of the barbarians.

On 10 August the Goths advanced to storm Hadrianople, as they had been informed that there, in a strongly fortified place, the Emperor's treasure and the war-chest were kept. But their efforts to seize the town were in vain. The municipal authorities of Hadrianople had not even admitted within its walls those Roman soldiers who during the night after their defeat had fled there and found shelter in the suburbs under the ramparts. At ten o'clock in the morning the long-protracted struggle for the town began. In the midst of the turmoil three hundred Roman infantry formed a wedge and went over to the enemy, by whom, strange to say, all were killed. At last a terrible storm put an end to the fight by bringing the besieged the much needed supply of water, for want of which they had suffered the utmost distress. After this the Goths made several fruitless attempts to take the town by stratagem. When in the course of the struggle it became evident that many lives were being sacrificed to no purpose the Goths abandoned the siege from which the prudent Fritigern had from the beginning tried to dissuade them. Early on 12 August a council of war was held, in which it was decided to march against Perinthus on the Propontis, where, according to the report of many deserters, great treasures were to be found.

When the Goths had left Hadrianople the Roman soldiers gathered together and during the night one part of them, avoiding the high-roads, marched by lonely forest-paths to Philippopolis and thence to Sardica, probably to effect a junction with Gratian; whilst another part conveyed the well-preserved imperial treasures to Macedonia, where the Emperor, whose death was as yet unknown, was supposed to be. It will be observed that at this time the position of the Eastern Empire seemed hopeless. It could no longer defend itself against those robbing and plundering barbarians who, now that the battle was won, actually thought themselves strong enough to advance southward as far as the Propontis, and on their march could also rely on the assistance of the Huns and Alani. But here again the Goths had trusted too much to their good fortune. For, though on their arrival in the environs of Perinthus they encamped before the town, they did not feel strong enough for an attack, and carried on the war by terrible and systematic devastations only. In these circumstances it is surprising that they next marched upon Constantinople itself, the treasures of which greatly excited their covetousness. Apparently they hoped to surprise and take the capital at one blow. This time, however, through fear of hostile attacks they decided to approach the town in close array. They had almost reached Constantinople when they encountered a body of Saracens, who had come out in its defense. It is reported that by a monstrous deed one of these, a hairy, naked fellow, caused them to turn back. He threw himself with wild screams on one of the Goths, pierced his throat with a dagger, and greedily drank the blood which welled forth. For a time the struggles seem to have continued, but soon the Goths saw that they were powerless against the large and strongly fortified town and that they suffered greater loss than they inflicted. They therefore destroyed their siege engines on the Bosphorus, and bursting forth in single detachments, moved in a north-westerly direction through Thrace, Moesia, and Illyricum as far as the foot of the Julian Alps, plundering and devastating the country as they went. Every hand in the Eastern Empire was paralyzed with horror at the unrestrained ferocity of the barbarians. Only Julius, the magister militum, who held the command in the province of Asia, had courage enough for a terrible deed, which shows the boundless hatred felt by the Romans for the Goths, as well as the cruelty practiced in warfare at that time. He announced that on a certain day all Gothic soldiers in the towns and camps of Asia should receive their pay; instead of which all of them were at his command cut down by the Romans. In this manner he freed the provinces of the East from future danger. At the same time this incident shows clearly the straits to which the Eastern Empire was reduced. There was need of a clear-headed and determined ruler, if peace was ever to be restored to the Empire. With regard to this, however, everything depended upon the decision of Gratian, of whose doings we shall now have to give a short account.

We know that Gratian had made efforts long before the catastrophes to come to his uncle’s aid against the Goths. From this he was prevented by a war with the Alemanni. An Aleman from the country of the Lentienses (afterwards the Linzgau on the Lake of Constance) who served in the Roman Guard had returned to his country with the news that Gratian was shortly going to render assistance to his uncle in the East. This news had induced his tribesmen to make a raid across the Rhine in February 378. They were at first repulsed by frontier troops; but when it became known that the greater part of the Roman army had marched for Illyricum they prevailed upon their tribesmen to join in a big campaign. It was rumoured in Gaul that 40,000 or even as many as 70,000 Alemanni were on the war-path. Gratian at once called back those of his cohorts which were already on the way to Pannonia and put the comes Brittanniae Nannienus in command of his troops, together with the brave Mallobaudes, king of the Franks. A battle was fought at Argentaria (near Colmar), in which the Romans, thanks to the skill of their generals, won a complete victory, and Priarius, the chieftain of the Lentienses, was killed. Gratian now attacked the Alemanni, crossed the Rhine, and sent the Lentienses flying to their mountains. There they were completely hemmed in and had to surrender, promising to supply recruits to the Romans. After this Gratian marched from Arbor Felix (near St Gallen) eastwards along the high-road, passing Lauriacum on the way. As we have already seen, he did not reach Thrace in time, and on hearing of the defeat at Hadrianople he withdrew to Sirmium. Here, at the beginning of 379, a great political event took place. It must be mentioned that Theodosius, who had formerly been the commander-in-chief in Upper Moesia, and had since been living in a kind of exile in Spain, had been recalled by Gratian and entrusted with a new command. Before the end of 378 Theodosius had already given a proof of his ability by the defeat of the Sarmatians, who appear to have invaded Pannonia. The success was welcome in a time so disastrous for the Romans. This is most probably one of the reasons why Gratian (19 Jan. 379) at Sirmium raised him to be Emperor of the East and enlarged his dominions by adding to them Dacia, Upper Moesia, Macedonia, Epirus and Achaia, i.e. Eastern Illyricum.

The Visigoths under Fritigern had without doubt been the moving spirit in the war, although the Ostrogoths had played a valiant part in it. After Ermanarich had committed suicide, Withimir had become king of the Ostrogoths. He lost his life fighting against the Alani, and seems to have been succeeded by his infant son, in whose name the princes Alatheus and Saphrax reigned supreme. These, as we saw, joined forces later on with the Visigoths and contributed largely to the victory at Hadrianople. It appears that for some time after this, both tribes of the Goths made common cause against the Romans. At first the two Emperors were successful in some minor campaigns against the Goths, and while Gratian went westward against the Franks and perhaps against the Vandals who had made an invasion across the Rhine, Theodosius succeeded in creating at Thessalonica, a place which he chose as a strong and sure base for his further operations, a new and efficient army, into which he admitted a considerable number of Goths. Before the end of 379 he and his forces gained important successes over the enemy, who found themselves almost entirely confined to Lower Moesia and, owing to a lack of supplies, were compelled to renew the war in 380. The Visigoths under Fritigern advanced in a south-westerly direction towards Macedonia, whilst the Ostrogoths, Alani, and Huns went to the north­west against Pannonia. Theodosius, who hurried to meet the Visigoths, suffered a severe defeat in an unexpected night-attack. The Goths, however, did not follow up their victory, but contented themselves with pillaging Macedonia and Thessaly, whilst the Emperor Theodosius lay a prey to a protracted illness at Thessalonica. During this period Macedonia suffered terribly from the barbarians. At last when Gratian, whose assistance Theodosius had implored, sent an army under Bauto and Arbogast, two Frankish generals, the Goths were compelled to retreat into Lower Moesia. Gratian himself was at the same time forced to take command of an army again; for his general Vitalianus had been unable to prevent the Ostrogoths, Alani, and Huns from invading Pannonia. As this barbarian invasion was a great danger to the Western Empire, it was highly important for Gratian to make peace with the enemy before suffering great losses. This he accomplished by assigning Pannonia and Upper Moesia to the Ostrogoths and their allies as foederati. This settlement of the barbarians at its eastern frontier guaranteed the peace of the Western Empire in the immediate future. For the Eastern Empire also peace seemed now ensured. When Theodosius, who as an orthodox ruler commanded greater sympathy from his subjects than his predecessor, the Arian Valens, had recovered from his illness, he made a triumphal entry into Constantinople (24 Nov. 380), and here (11 Jan. 381) the Visigoth Athanarich arrived with his followers. He had been banished by the Goths whom he had led into Transylvania, and not desiring to ally himself with Fritigern on account of an old feud, asked to be admitted into the Empire. He was received with the greatest honours by Theodosius, but only survived his entrance by a fortnight. The high honour shown to Athanarich was evidently intended to create the impression among the inhabitants of the capital that war with the Goths was at an end; perhaps it was also hoped to promote more peaceful feelings among Fritigern’s followers. We are also led to believe that Theodosius soon commenced negotiations with this dreaded prince, which were brought to a conclusion in 382 by the magister militum Saturninus. A treaty of peace was concluded at Constantinople (3 Oct. 382) by which permission was given to Fritigern and all his Goths to settle as allies in Lower Moesia. They were also to retain their domestic legislation and the right to elect their own princes. It was their duty in return to defend the frontier and to furnish troops, which, however, were to be led by their own chiefs. They obtained the districts assigned to them free of tribute, and moreover the Romans agreed to pay them annually a sum of money.

This treaty was, without doubt, at the time a triumph for Theodosius, and as such it was loudly praised by the Emperor’s flatterers. But on closer examination we shall see that the Romans had only gained a momentary peace. From the outset it was impossible to accustom the Goths, proud conquerors of the Roman armies as they were, to the peaceful occupation of tilling the ground, and, as they had doubtless been allowed to settle in Moesia in a compact mass, retaining their domestic government, all efforts to Romanize them could but prove vain. Besides this the Danube, with the exception of the Dobrudscha, was stripped of Roman troops, and the ever-increasing number of Goths who entered the Roman army was naturally a considerable danger to it.

Moreover the majority of the Goths were Arians, and the rest still heathens. A year previously, however, Theodosius had not only attacked heathenism, but had issued a law against heretics, especially Arians. He had even sent his general Sapor into the East to expel the Arian bishops from their churches; only bishops professing the Nicene faith were to possess the churches. Thus the peace could not possibly be of long duration.

How greatly political questions excited the Goths, and how passionately their national feeling would sometimes break forth is shown by an event which occurred at Constantinople soon after 382. One day at the royal table two Gothic princes, who were specially honoured by Theodosius, gave free utterance to their opposed political convictions. Eriwulf was the leader of the national party among the Goths, which considered the destruction of the Roman Empire their ultimate object; he was an Arian by confession. Fravitta, on the other hand, was the head of that party which saw their future salvation in a close union with the Empire. He had married a Roman lady, and had remained a heathen. The quarrel between the two party-leaders ended by Fravitta drawing his sword and killing his opponent just outside the palace. The attempts of Eriwulf's followers to take immediate revenge were met with armed resistance on the part of the imperial palace-guards. This incident doubtless helped to strengthen Fravitta’s position at the Emperor’s Court, whilst he had made himself impossible to the Goths.

At this time a new danger to the Empire arose from those Goths who had remained at home and had been conquered by the Huns. As early as the winter of 384 or 385 they had taken possession of Halmyris (a town to the south of the estuary of the Danube) which however they left again, only to return in the autumn of 386 to ask for admission into the Empire together with other tribes. But the magister militum Promotus, commander of the troops in Thrace, forbade them to cross the river. He had the frontier carefully guarded, and met their attack with a ruse, cleverly conceived and successfully executed, by sending some of his men to the Ostrogoths under the pretence of betraying the Roman army to them. In reality however those soldiers of his reported to Promotus the place and time of the proposed night-attack, and when the barbarians, led by Odothaeus, crossed the river, the Romans, who were posted on a large number of anchored boats, made short work of them. This time the better strategy of the Romans gained a complete victory over the Goths. To commemorate this victory the Emperor, who subsequently appeared in person on the battlefield, erected a huge column ornamented with reliefs in the quarter of the town which is called Taurus.

Meanwhile (25 Aug. 383) Gratian had been killed at Lyons at the instigation of the usurper Maximus, who had been proclaimed Emperor by the army in Britain and had found followers in Gaul. At first Theodosius pretended to accept Maximus for a colleague; but in 388 he led his army against him and defeated him at Liscia and Pettau. In the end the usurper was taken prisoner and killed at Aquileia. Theodosius now appointed Valentinian II, Gratian's youthful brother, Emperor of the West, only reserving for himself the co-regency of Italy. He then sent his experienced general Arbogast into Gaul, where the Teutons from the right bank of the Rhine had seized the occasion offered by the quarrel for the throne to extend their power beyond the frontier. Three chiefs of the Ripuarian Franks, Genobaudes, Marcomir, and Sunno, had indeed crossed the Rhine in the neighbourhood of Cologne and made a raid upon the Roman territory. When the Roman generals Nannienus and Quintinus went to meet the raiders at Cologne, one part of them left the borderland of the province, whilst the others continued their march into the country, till they were at last beaten back in the Carbonarian forest (to the east of Tournai). Quintinus now proceeded to attack the enemy and crossed the Rhine at Novaesium (Neuss). But after pushing forward for three days into the wild and pathless regions on the right bank of the Rhine, he was decoyed into an ambush, in which almost the whole of his army perished. Thus it appeared likely that the Roman rule in the Rhenish provinces would before long be completely overthrown; for the generals Carietto and Syrus, whom Maximus had left behind, found it impossible to put a stop to the barbarian raids. At this juncture Arbogast was sent by Theodosius to save the West. His first act was to capture Flavius Victor, the infant son of Maximus, and to have him put to death. Then he reinforced his army with those troops which Maximus had left stationed in Gaul, and which together with their generals Carietto and Syrus were easily won over to his side. Last of all he turned against his former tribesmen, the Franks, and demanded from them the restitution of the booty and surrender of the originators of the war. When these demands were refused, he hesitated to begin war by himself. He found it difficult to come to a decision, for the fate of Quintinus’ troops was still fresh in his memory. In these straits he wrote to the Emperor Valentinian II, who seems to have urged a friendly settlement of the feuds; for in the autumn of 389 Arbogast had an interview with Marcomir and Sunno. The Franks, possibly fearing the mighty Theodosius, gave hostages, and a treaty of peace was concluded which cannot have been unfavourable to the barbarians.

In this way the Western Empire showed considerable indulgence in its treatment of the Teutons. The Eastern Empire on the contrary, and especially the Emperor, was soon directly and indirectly exposed to serious troubles from the Visigoths. We know that the Goths had extended their raids as far as Thessalonica. In this large town, the second in importance in the Balkan peninsula, there existed a certain amount of ill-feeling against the barbarians, which was greatly increased by the fact that the highest offices, both civil and military, were chiefly held by Teutons; moreover the town was garrisoned by Teuton soldiers.

The innate pride of Greeks and Romans alike was deeply wounded by this situation, and a very insignificant occurrence in the year 390 sufficed to make their hatred burst into flames. It happened in the following way. Botherich, the commandant of the town, had imprisoned a very popular charioteer and refused to set him free, when the people clamoured for his deliverance because of the approaching circus-games. This caused a rising against the obnoxious barbarian in which he lost his life. At the time of this incident the Emperor Theodosius was at Milan where he had frequent intercourse with the influential bishop Ambrose; this was not without its effect upon him, though in his innermost heart the Emperor as a secular autocrat could not but be opposed to ecclesiastical pretensions. Although Theodosius inclined by nature to leniency, or at any rate made a show of that quality, in this case at least wrath overcame every human feeling in him, and he resolved to chastise the town in a way so cruel, that nothing can be put forward in defense of it. When the people of Thessalonica were assembled in the circus and absorbed in contemplation of the games soldiers suddenly broke in and cut down all whom their swords could reach. For three hours the slaughter went on, till the victims numbered 7000. The Emperor himself, urged perhaps to mercy by Ambrose, had at the last hour revoked his order, but it was too late. Probably Theodosius had been led to this unspeakable cruelty by persons of his intimate acquaintance, among whom Rufinus played a prominent part. It seems that Rufinus had been magister officiorum since 382; in 392 he rose to the position of Praefectus Praetorio. When the news of this massacre reached Milan, the Christian population of the town was paralyzed with terror. Ambrose left the town and addressed a letter of the utmost gravity to Theodosius. He explained to him that his deed called for penitence and warned him not to attend at church. The proud sovereign perceived that he would have to submit to the penitence imposed on him, and obeyed the bishop's will. He did not leave Milan till the following year; but before returning to the Eastern capital he had to sustain a dangerous attack from the Goths in Thrace.

In 390 the Visigoths broke the peace to which they had sworn, and invaded Thrace; Huns and other tribes from beyond the Danube had thrown in their lot with them. They were commanded by Alaric, a prince of the Visigoths, belonging to the family of the Balti. This is the first appearance of Alaric, who was then about twenty years of age, and whose great campaigns subsequently excited such terror throughout the Roman Empire. But even then the Thracians appear to have been in great distress: for (1 July 391) Theodosius issued an edict at Aquileia, by which the inhabitants of the endangered district received permission to carry arms and to kill anybody found marauding in the open country. After Theodosius had entered the province, he took great pains to destroy the bands of marauders, and himself assisted in their pursuit. On the Maritza, however, he fell into an ambush and was completely defeated. Even his life seems to have been in danger, but he was rescued by his general Promotus. The latter continued the war against the Goths till the end of 391, though he had apparently fallen into disfavour at Court. He lost his life in the war, and public opinion at the capital attributed his death to Rufinus. Stilicho the Vandal now became commander of the troops in Thrace. He was born about 360, and had at an early age been attached to an embassy to Persia. Afterwards Theodosius had given him his niece Serena in marriage and promoted him step by step. He was considered to be one of the ablest statesmen in the Eastern Empire, and the military command entrusted to him in 392 was destined to increase the importance of his position. For he succeeded at length in defeating the enemy, who for so long a time had been the terror of the Empire. The Goths were surrounded on the Maritza. But again the Emperor showed mercy and gave orders that the enemy should be permitted to go free. Theodosius’ policy may probably be attributed to a certain fear of revenge, and it was doubtless influenced by Rufinus, who did not wish Stilicho to become too powerful. Thus a treaty with the vanquished Goths was concluded.

Meanwhile Arbogast had embarked upon a most ambitious course of politics. His aim was to get rid of the young and irresolute Valentinian II. Not indeed that he himself wished for the imperial crown, for he very likely felt its possession to be undesirable. His idea was to get Valentinian II out of the way, and then assist to the imperial throne some one of his ardent devotees, under whose name he himself hoped to wield the supreme power. For the attainment of this end, his first requisite was a trustworthy army. He therefore levied a large number of Teuton troops, in whose loyalty he could place the utmost confidence. When Valentinian took up his abode in Gaul, the relations between him and the powerful Frank became more and more strained, till finally the Emperor from his throne handed to his rival a written order, demanding that he should resign his post. Arbogast tore the document in pieces before the eyes of the Emperor, whose days were thenceforth numbered. On 15 May 392 the youthful sovereign was assassinated at Vienne; but whether Arbogast was directly responsible for this deed remains uncertain. The way was now clear for the Frank's ambitious plans. A short time previously the Frank Richomer had recommended to his tribesman Arbogast the head of the imperial chancery, the magister scriniorum Eugenius. This Roman, formerly a rhetorician and grammarian, was the man whom Arbogast intended to raise to the imperial throne. Eugenius could not but yield to the mighty man's wish. He therefore sent an embassy to Theodosius in 392 to obtain his recognition. But Theodosius gave an evasive answer; and as there was every prospect of a war, Arbogast deemed it necessary to make provision for a safe retreat. We know that the neighbourhood of the Franks formed a very vulnerable point of the Roman government in Gaul. For this reason in the winter of 392 Arbogast undertook a campaign against these dangerous neighbors. He probably hoped at the same time to reinforce his army with Frankish troops, should he be successful in this war. He pushed on through Cologne and the country along the river Lippe into the territory of the Bructeri and Chamavi, after which he turned eastward against the Ampsivarii, who had joined forces with the Chatti under Marcomir. Apparently he met with but little resistance, for in the spring of 393 Eugenius succeeded in concluding treaties with the Franks and even the Alemanni, on condition that they supplied him with troops. The ensuing period was spent in preparations for war in both Empires, Eugenius having been, thanks to Arbogast’s influence, recognized as Emperor in Italy also. Theodosius had reinforced his army more especially with Teutons; the Visigoths were again commanded by Alaric, whilst the leaders of the other foederati were Gainas, Saul, and the comes domesticorum Bacurius, an Armenian. The meeting of the two armies took place 5 Sept. 394 on the Frigidus, a tributary of the Isonza, probably the Hubel. As the Gothic troops formed the vanguard and opened the attack on the enemy, who were posted very favourably, they suffered severe losses on the first day of the battle, which greatly elated the Westerns. On the second day the battle would in all probability have been decided in favour of Arbogast, had not his general Arbitrio, who commanded the Frankish troops, gone over to Theodosius. It is related besides, that a violent storm from the north­east—the Bora, as it is called—wrought such havoc in the ranks of Eugenius' army, that it helped Theodosius to gain a complete victory. Eugenius was taken prisoner and put to death, and Arbogast escaped into the mountains, where he died by his own hand (8 Sept.). But whilst the relations and followers of Eugenius and Arbogast were pardoned, Alaric waited in vain for the post in the Roman army which Theodosius had promised him; and when (17 Jan. 395) Theodosius died at Milan, still in the prime of life, the Goths were sent home by Stilicho, who had been second in command during the war. To make matters worse, the yearly payments which had hitherto been made to the Goths were now injudiciously held back. These various causes combined to disturb the peace between the Romans and Goths, which had so far been tolerably well preserved, and the Goths once more commenced hostilities.

The time for a general rising seemed to be well chosen. Theodosius, whose strong hand had endeavoured to maintain the peace within the Empire, was now no more, and his sons were yet of tender age. The late Emperor had been the last to reign over the whole Empire. And even he, powerless to stay its decline, had been obliged to cede to the Goths an extensive district within its borders. How important the Teutonic element had grown can best be understood from the fact that the Teutons not only furnished the best part of the troops, but also commanded the armies and held the highest appointments, both civil and military.

Now that Theodosius was dead, the Empire was divided forever. At an age of hardly eighteen years his son Arcadius received the Empire of the East under the guidance of Rufinus, who had in 394, during the absence of Theodosius, been entrusted with the regency as well as with the supreme direction of Arcadius. On 27 April 395, to Rufinus’ great vexation, the young Emperor married Eudoxia, who had been brought to him by Eutropius, the eunuch of the palace. She was the daughter of Bauto, the Frank who had played an important part under Gratian and Valentinian. In the course of the same year Rufinus was most cruelly slain by the soldiers whom Gainas had but recently led back to Constantinople. After his death Eutropius stood in high favor with the Emperor. He received the office of High Chamberlain (praepositus sacri cubiculi) and later on the title patricius. The younger son Honorius, who was in his eleventh year, received the Western Empire. Stilicho was appointed his guardian and also regent. He had been raised to the rank of magister utriusque militiae by Theodosius before his death, and, as we saw, had married a niece of the Emperor. This capable man was no doubt better fitted than any other to rule the Empire in the spirit of Theodosius, and when the Emperor died it was he who without delay hurried to the Rhine to receive homage for Honorius from the Teuton tribes, even as far as the Batavi. Apparently on this journey King Marcomir was delivered into his hands, and was sent into exile to Tuscany. After this Stilicho immediately returned to Italy.

Meanwhile the Visigoths had broken loose from Moesia. Those of their tribesmen who had formerly accompanied Alaric to Transylvania had joined them and chosen Alaric, whose power at that time, however, was still limited, as leader in the coming war. This war was fraught with danger for the Eastern Empire, for it appears that in the early spring of 395 the whole mass of the Visigoths marched south towards Constantinople. As before, there could of course be no question of capturing the city, but the surrounding country was mercilessly devastated. It is most probable that Rufinus, who paid repeated visits to the hostile camp, bribed the enemy to retire. Alaric now made his way along the coast to Macedonia and Thessaly. Near Larissa he encountered Stilicho, who had left Italy with strong forces. These were the victorious East-Roman soldiers, whom he was leading home to their own country, hoping at the same time to win back Illyria for the Western Empire. This province, though given to Theodosius by Gratian, was said to have been restored by the former a short time before his death. Apparently the Goths had first of all tried to gain the valley of the Peneus, the Vale of Tempe; but meeting with resistance, they had pushed on across the eastern slopes of Olympus into Thessaly, where they barricaded themselves behind their wagons. Stilicho was on the point of attacking them when he received a message from Arcadius, ordering him to dismiss the army of the Eastern Empire, and himself return to Italy. If at first sight this order seems strange, it is because we have long been accustomed to see in Stilicho a disinterested statesman and general, who dedicated his labour and personality to the family of Theodosius. This disposition of Eastern Illyria, which Theodosius was supposed to have made shortly before his death, is however very doubtful, and it is certain that Stilicho had entertained personal ambitions with regard to that province. Viewed in the light of these circumstances, the order from Arcadius appears in a very different light, especially if to this is added the fact that in the same year the Huns had broken through the gates of the Caucasus at Baku on the Caspian Sea and reached Syria by way of Armenia. There they laid siege to Antioch and proceeded thence to Asia Minor. Ravages of every kind marked their way. In this situation it was an absolute necessity for the welfare of the State that the army should return to its own country. Stilicho obeyed the order, because, as has justly been remarked, he was probably uncertain about the future conduct of the East-Roman troops, a section of whom remained in Greece under Gerontius’ command to cover Thermopylae. Alaric, however, assisted perhaps by treachery, took possession of this famous pass without difficulty. After this the Goths marched through Boeotia into Attica. Here Alaric succeeded in seizing the Piraeus, and forced Athens to capitulate by cutting off her supplies. It is probable that she escaped pillage by the payment of a sum of money; Alaric stayed for a short time peacefully within her walls. From Athens the march of the Goths was continued to Eleusis, where they ransacked the temple of Demeter, and further to Megara, which was quickly taken. Gerontius had left the entrance to the Peloponnesus undefended, and the Gothic hordes, meeting with no resistance, broke like a torrent upon Corinth and thence on Argos and Sparta. Many an ancient work of art must have perished in this rush, but no mention is made of any systematic and wilful destruction of the ancient monuments.

It is a curious fact, that after all this the East-Roman government seems neither to have made war against the Huns, who had invaded Asia, nor to have lent assistance to the Greeks, when Gerontius had so utterly failed to do his duty at Thermopylae and the Isthmus. Help came rather from another quarter, and primarily, it must be owned, with a different purpose in view. Though Stilicho had returned to Italy, he had been kept well informed about events in Greece. As he himself had designs on East-Illyria, to which Epirus and Achaia belonged, and as Alaric was to all appearances endeavouring to create an independent sovereignty in these provinces, it was imperative for the vicegerent of the West to interfere. In 397 he transported an army to Greece, and, landing on the south side of Corinth, expelled the Goths from Arcadia and surrounded them at Elis near the Alpheus on the plateau of Pholoe. But no decisive battle was fought, for Stilicho was not sufficiently master of his own troops, and just then the revolt of the Moorish prince Gildo threatened to become a serious danger to the Western Empire. Gildo had formerly been praefect of Mauretania and had subsequently been raised to the office of magister utriusque militiae. In the year 394 he began his revolt, whereby he intended to secure the North coast of Africa as a dominion of his own, and in 397 he offered Africa as a feudal province to the Eastern Empire, hoping thereby to kindle war between the two Empires. In this predicament Stilicho avoided a decisive encounter with the Goths. For the second time he allowed his adversary to escape. He even concluded a treaty with Alaric, which doubtless contained an alliance against the Eastern Empire; for in these precarious circumstances the chief of the brave Goths might possibly prove of great service to Stilicho in his ambitious private policy. The effect of these conditions on the mutual relations of the two Empires was soon apparent. At Constantinople Stilicho was declared an enemy of the State, whilst in the Western Empire the consulship of Eutropius, who had been nominated for 399 and had entirely won the favour of Arcadius, was not acknowledged. Before his death Theodosius had so arranged the division of the Empire that the cohesion of the whole might for the future be firmly and permanently secured. Thus the first deep cleft had been made in a union which was already difficult to maintain. Neither Empire had a permanent diplomatic representation; only special embassies were sent from time to time, so that unfounded suspicions were very likely to arise on either side.

At this time, while Stilicho was sailing back in haste from Greece to Italy to prepare for war against Gildo, the Goths made a raid into Epirus, which they devastated in a terrible manner. At last the government at Constantinople was roused sufficiently to make proposals of peace to Alaric. In return for a sum of money and the position of magister militum in Illyria, Alaric withdrew from the alliance with Stilicho, made peace with the Eastern Empire, and occupied Epirus, which had been assigned to him, with his Gothic troops. Another trouble for the Eastern Empire at this time arose from the large number of Goths who served in the army, and more especially through their leader Gainas. At his command they had killed Rufinus in 395. When Eutropius did not reward him for his services with the high military office he coveted, he joined a rebellion of his compatriot Tribigild in Phrygia, against whom he had been sent out with an army. For after the fall and execution of the powerful favourite Eutropius in the summer of 399, a national movement was set on foot at Constantinople, having for its object the abolition of foreign influence in the high government offices; Aurelianus, Eutropius’ successor, was at the head of this movement. But the Roman supremacy was not destined to be revived. The Gothic rebellion in Asia Minor grew more and more alarming, and Arcadius was soon obliged to negotiate with Gainas. During an interview with the Emperor, the Goth succeeded in obtaining his nomination to the post of magister militum praesentalis and the extradition of the three leaders of the national party, one of whom was Aurelianus. On his subsequent return to the capital, Gainas could consider himself master of the Empire, and as such demanded of the Emperor a place of worship for the Arian Goths. But the famous theologian and bishop, John Chrysostom, contrived to avert this danger to the orthodox Church. But the power of Gainas was not to be of long duration. When in July 400 he left the town with the majority of the Goths, owing to a feeling of insecurity, the inhabitants rose against those who had been left behind. At last no refuge remained to them except the church they had lately been given. In its ruins they were burned, as Gainas failed to come to their rescue in time to storm the city. Gainas was declared a public enemy, and the pursuit was entrusted to his tribesman Fravitta, who so far carried out his order that he followed Gainas to Thrace and the Hellespont, and prevented him from crossing to Asia. Eventually, at the end of the year 400, Gainas was killed on the further side of the Danube by a chief of the Huns, called Uldin, who sent his head to Constantinople.

Nothing is more characteristic of the impotence of the Eastern Empire, than the revolt of this Gothic general, whose downfall was only secured by a combination of favourable circumstances. The clever and valiant Goth succumbed only to strangers; the Empire itself had no means to overthrow him.

Such were the conditions at the dawn of the new century; the last twenty-five years of the old having brought nothing but war, poverty, and depopulation to the Eastern Empire. It is true that for the Western Empire the century had closed more favourably; the campaign against Gildo especially had been prepared by Stilicho with characteristic ability. This Moorish prince, after putting to death the sons of his brother Mascezel, who had gone to Italy, had proceeded to conquer the North of Africa. Only the large and fortified towns could resist his ever-increasing power. He created great anxiety in Rome by cutting off her African corn-supply; but the danger of a famine was averted by Stilicho, who succeeded in having corn brought by sea from Gaul and Spain. When his preparations for war were completed, Stilicho did not at this critical time put himself at the head of the army, but resigned the supreme command to Mascezel. The army was not large, but it seems that Stilicho relied upon the skill of its commander for entering into secret relations with the leaders of the enemy. Mascezel departed for Africa, where the campaign was decided between Tebeste and Ammedera on the Ardalio, a tributary of the Bagradas. Apparently no real battle was fought, but Gildo's troops went over to the enemy or fled into the mountains. Gildo himself first tried to escape by sea, but returned to land and soon after met his death at Tabraca. These wars against the two rebels Gainas and Gildo so excited the imagination of the contemporary world, that they formed the subject of many poetical productions. Of these “The Egyptians or On Providence”, a novel by Synesius of Cyrene, and Claudian’s “War against Gildo” are preserved.

With the year 401, however, there began for the Western Empire a period similar to that which the Eastern Empire had already so long endured. The Teutons began to press forward in dense masses against the provinces of the Western Empire, which they had so long spared, and finally effected the complete dissolution of that once so mighty realm. But this time the disturbance did not proceed from the Goths only; other tribes also were involved in the movement, which could no longer be restrained, and the danger to the Empire grew in proportion. In the first place Alaric had made use of the short time of his alliance with the Eastern Empire to increase his power, chiefly by re-arming his Goths from the Roman arsenals. His plan of founding an independent kingdom for himself in Greece had failed, and it probably seemed most tempting to him to transfer his attentions to Italy, whose resources were not yet so completely drained by the Goths. No doubt Stilicho ruled there with a firm hand. He had in 398 created for himself an unassailable position by giving his daughter Maria, a mere child, in marriage to the Emperor Honorius, who was then fourteen years of age. But apparently Alaric did not fear the power of Stilicho, who had twice allowed him to escape from a most critical position; furthermore the Western Empire was just now engaged in a different direction. In the year 401, the Vandals, who had long ago settled in the regions between the Danube and the Theiss, began to grow restless. On account of their increasing population the majority of them had resolved to emigrate with their king Godigisel, retaining at the same time the right of possession over their old dominions. They were joined by Alani from Pannonia, and in the same year this new wave of migration reached Rhaetia by way of Noricum. Stilicho at first opposed them, but was eventually obliged to grant them territories in Noricum and Vindelicia under the suzerainty of Rome, in return for which they bound themselves to serve in the Roman army.

By this time Alaric had already left Epirus far behind and reached Aquileia by way of Aemona and the Birnbaum forest. This invasion of Italy by the barbarians caused great consternation; the fortifications of Rome were repaired and strengthened, and the young Emperor Honorius even contemplated an escape into Gaul. Venetia was already in the enemy's hands, and the road to Milan was occupied by the Goths. As Honorius was staying in this city, Alaric naturally desired above all to take possession of it. But Stilicho came to the rescue. He had reinforced his army with the Vandals and Alani with whom he had just made peace, and Alaric was forced to abandon the siege of Milan. He now tried to gain the coast in order to reach Rome. With Stilicho at his heels he turned to Ticinum and Rasta and thence to Pollentia. Here (6 April 402) a battle was fought in the early stages of which it seemed likely that the Romans would be defeated, as Saul, the Roman general of the Alani, had begun the battle prematurely. But the appearance of Stilicho with the main body of infantry changed the aspect of affairs. The fight was continued until nightfall, but though the Romans were left in possession of the field and took numerous prisoners, Stilicho can hardly be said to have gained a victory. For Alaric's forces retreated in perfect order and were able to continue their march on Rome. In this crisis Stilicho was obliged to come to terms with Alaric. The Gothic chief was raised to the rank of magister militant and promised to evacuate Italy. For the future the two generals arranged to conquer Eastern Illyria for the Western Empire. This treaty, which put a considerable check on the movements of the Goths, is explained not only by the state of affairs at that time, but also by the fact that Alaric's wife and children had been made prisoners during the battle. The Goths now left Italy, but remained close to the frontier, and made a fresh invasion in 403. This time Alaric tried to lay siege to Verona, but was defeated by Stilicho, and on trying to gain Rhaetia by way of the Brenner again found himself in a very dangerous plight, from which he could only extricate himself by concluding a new treaty with Stilicho against the Eastern Empire. Probably it was at this juncture that Sarus the Visigothic prince with his followers went over to Stilicho, a desertion which must be ascribed to Stilicho’s diplomatic skill. The uncertainty of the situation may account for the very remarkable fact that Stilicho suffered the enemy to escape so often from his fatal embrace. Be that as it may, the Goths withdrew, and Stilicho could celebrate a brilliant triumph with Honorius. Alaric, however, does not appear to have returned to Epirus till much later, but remained for some time in the neighbourhood of Illyria.

In the following year (405) the Ostrogoths and Vandals, the Alani and the Quadi under the leadership of Radagaisus left their homes, crossed the Alps, and descended into Italy. Their number, though much exaggerated by contemporary historians, must have been considerable; for the hostile army marched through the North of the peninsula in several divisions. Stilicho seems to have collected his troops at Pavia; the invasion happened at a very inopportune moment, as he was about to carry out his designs on Eastern Illyria. This time, however, he quickly succeeded in ridding himself of the enemy. He surrounded Radagaisus who had attacked Florence, in the narrow valleys of the Apennines near Faesulae, and destroyed a large part of his army. Radagaisus himself was captured with his sons whilst trying to escape, and was shortly afterwards executed. For this victory Stilicho’s thanks were chiefly due to two foreign generals, Sarus the Goth and Uldin the Hun. In this manner Italy had indeed been speedily saved from great danger, but at the end of the next year (406) hostile hordes broke into Gaul with so much the greater violence. It is very probable that this invasion, which was undertaken by the Vandals, had some connection with that of Radagaisus. In conjunction with the Vandals were the Alani, who had recently formed an alliance with them, and the Suevi, by whom we must understand the Quadi, who had formerly dwelt north of the Vandals. This great tribal migration, following the road along the Roman frontier (limes), reached the river Main, where they met the Silingi, a Vandal tribe which had gone westward with the Burgundians in the third century. These now helped to swell the Vandal hordes, whilst a part of the Alani under the leadership of Goar enlisted in the Roman army on the Rhine. Near this river the Vandals were attacked by some Frankish tribes, who were keeping guard on the frontier, in accordance with their treaty with Stilicho. In the ensuing fight the Vandals suffered severe losses, their king Godigisel being among the slain. On receiving this news the Alani immediately turned about, and, led by their king Respendial, they completely routed the Franks. On the last day of 406 this mass of people crossed the Rhine at Mainz, which they invested and destroyed. The march was continued by Treves to Rheims, where the bishop Nicasius was slain in his own church; thence to Tournai, Terouenne, Arras, and Amiens. From this point the journey proceeded through Gallia Lugdunensis to Paris, Orleans, and Tours, and, passing through Aquitania into Novempopulana, by Bordeaux to Toulouse, which the bishop Exuperius saved from falling into the enemies’ hands. But the fortified passes of the Pyrenees put a stop to their further advance. Thus Spain remained unconquered for the present, and the Vandals now made their way into the rich province of Narbonensis. The devastation of the extensive provinces and the conquered cities of Gaul was terrible; contemporary writers of prose and verse alike complain bitterly of the atrocities committed by the barbarians in this unhappy country. The oldest people could not remember so disastrous an invasion. The weakness of the Empire is revealed by the absence of a Roman army to oppose the Germans. Stilicho's policy was at that time directed towards Illyria, and for this reason he probably found it impossible to come to the assistance of Gaul.

This first great danger was soon followed by a second. The migration of the Vandals had very likely caused the Burgundians along the middle course of the Main to become restless; they now began to bear down upon the Alemanni on the lower Main. A part of the Burgundians had perhaps intended to join the great migration of 406, for shortly after we meet with them on the west side of the Rhine. The most important result, however, was, that the Alemanni now entered on a campaign against Roman Upper Germany, and conquered Worms, Speier, and Strasburg. Here again the Empire failed to send help, and the allied Franks remained quiet. Stilicho meanwhile collected an army in 406 and arranged a plan with Alaric, by which he could carry out his Illyrian projects from Epirus. Already a Praefectus Praetorio for Illyria had been nominated in the person of Jovius, when in the year 407 an event occurred which threw everything else into the background. A new emperor appeared on the scene. When a rumour had spread, that Alaric was dead, the legions in Britain after two unsuccessful attempts proclaimed Constantine emperor. According to Orosius, he was a common soldier, but his name excited hopes for better times. The new Emperor crossed over to Gaul without delay, where he was recognized by the Roman troops throughout the country. He immediately pushed forward into the districts along the Rhone, where, though he probably concluded treaties with the Alemanni, Burgundians, and Franks, he made but little impression on the Teutons who had invaded the land. But Stilicho had already sent the experienced general Sarus with an army against him. In the neighbourhood of Valence, which Constantine had made his temporary abode, his general Justinian was defeated and killed in battle by Sarus. Another of the usurper's generals met his death soon afterwards during an interview with the crafty Goth. When, however, Constantine sent against him his newly appointed generals, the Frank Edobic and the Briton Gerontius, Sarus abandoned the siege of Valence and effected a passage into Italy by paying a sum of money to the fugitive peasants called Bagaudae, who at that time held the passes of the Western Alps. Stilicho joined Honorius at Rome to discuss the serious situation. Constantine, however, directed his attention towards Spain, evidently with a view to protect his rear before attacking Italy. At the passes across the Pyrenees he met with energetic resistance from Didymus, Verenianus, Theodosius, and Logadius, all relatives of the Emperor. But Constantines son Constans soon overcame the enemy; he captured Verenianus and Didymus, whilst Theodosius and Logadius fled, the former to Italy, the latter to the East. After this, when Constans had returned to Gaul in triumph, he entrusted the passes to Gerontius, who was in command of the Honorians, a troop of barbarian foederati. These, it appears, fulfilled their duty but indifferently, for during the quarrels which ensued in the borderlands the Vandals, Alani and Suevi, who had pushed on as far as southern Gaul, saw an opportunity of executing their design on Spain.

With these disturbances in Spain is generally connected a great rising of the Celts in Britain and Gaul, which was directed against the advancing Teutonic tribes as well as against the Roman rule, and in which the Gaulish district of Armorica was especially concerned. Thus was prepared in these provinces the separation from the Roman government which had lasted for centuries, and at the same time Teutonic rule superseded that of the Romans in Spain.

Meanwhile Alaric had not failed to profit by the violent disturbances within the Western Empire. As Stilicho had neither undertaken the campaign against Illyria nor met the demands of the Gothic soldiers for their pay, Alaric believed himself entitled to deal a powerful blow at the Western Empire. Stilicho had recently strengthened his relations with the imperial house by a new link. The Empress Maria had died early, still a virgin as rumour went, and Stilicho succeeded in persuading the Emperor to marry his second daughter Thermantia. Now Alaric tried to force his way into Italy. He had left Epirus and reached Aemona. There he probably found the roads to the South barred; he therefore crossed the river Aquilis and made his way to Virunum in Noricum, whence he sent an embassy to Stilicho at Ravenna. The ambassadors demanded the enormous sum of four thousand pounds of gold as compensation for the long delay in Epirus and the present campaign of the Goths. Stilicho went to Rome to discuss the matter with the Emperor and the Senate. The majority of the Senate was opposed to the concession of this demand and would have preferred war with the Goths, but Stilicho's power in the assembly was still so great that his opinion prevailed and the huge sum was paid. At this juncture the rumour spread that the Emperor of the East was dead. Arcadius had indeed died (1 May 408). This greatly altered the situation, for Theodosius II, the heir to the Eastern throne, was but a child of seven. Honorius now decided to go to Ravenna, but was opposed by Stilicho, who wanted himself to inspect the troops there. But neither did Stilicho succeed in dissuading Honorius nor could a mutiny among the soldiers at Ravenna, which Sarus had promoted, induce the Emperor to desist from his plan. Nevertheless he eventually diverged from the route to Ravenna, and went to Bologna, where he ordered Stilicho to meet him for the purpose of discussing the situation in the East.

Stilicho's first concern at Bologna was to calm the agitation amongst the soldiers and recommend the ringleaders to the Emperor's mercy; then he took counsel with Honorius. It was the Emperor's wish to go in person to Constantinople and settle the affairs of the Eastern Empire, but Stilicho tried to turn him from this purpose, pointing out that the journey would cause too much expense, and that the Emperor could not well leave Italy whilst Constantine was as yet powerful and residing at Arles. Honorius bent his will to the prudent counsel of his great statesman, and it was resolved that Stilicho should go to the East, whilst Alaric was sent with an army to Gaul against Constantine. Stilicho, however, neither departed for the East nor did he gather together the troops which remained assembled at Pavia, and were ill-disposed towards him. Meanwhile a cunning Greek, the chancellor Olympius, profited by the change in the Emperor’s feelings towards his great minister. Under the mask of Christian piety he secretly intrigued against Stilicho in order to undermine his position. Thus Olympius accompanied the Emperor to Pavia and on this occasion spread the calumnious report, that Stilicho intended to kill the child Theodosius and put his own son Eucherius on the throne. The storm now gathered over Stilicho's head. The prelude to the catastrophe, however, took place at Pavia.

When the Emperor had arrived with Olympius at this town, the latter made an exhibition of his philanthropy by visiting the sick soldiers; probably his real object was to gather the threads of the conspiracy which he had already spun and to weave them further. On the fourth day Honorius himself appeared among the troops and tried to inspire them with enthusiasm for the fight against Constantine. At this moment Olympius gave a sign to the soldiers, and, in accordance with a previous arrangement, they threw themselves upon all the high military and civil officers present, who were supposed to be Stilicho's adherents. Some of them escaped to the town, but the soldiers rushed through the streets and killed all the unpopular dignitaries. The slaughter continued under the very eyes of the Emperor, who had withdrawn at first but reappeared without his royal robes and tried to check the mad fury of the soldiers. When the Emperor, fearing for his own life, had a second time retired, Longinianus, the Praefectus Praetorio for Italy, was also slain. News of this horrible mutiny reached Stilicho at Bologna. He at once summoned all the generals of Teutonic race in whose loyalty alone he could still trust. It was decided to attack the Roman army, should the Emperor himself have been killed. When, however, Stilicho learned that the mutiny had not been directed against Honorius, he resolved to abstain from punishing the culprits, for his enemies were numerous and he was no longer sure of the Emperor's support. But to this the Teuton generals would not agree, and Sarus even went so far as to have Stilicho’s Hunnic bodyguard killed during the night. Stilicho now betook himself to Ravenna, and to this town Olympius dispatched a letter from the Emperor, addressed to the army, with the order to arrest Stilicho and keep him in honourable custody. During the night Stilicho took refuge in a church to secure the right of sanctuary; but in the morning the soldiers fetched him away, solemnly assuring him that his life was safe. Then a second letter from the Emperor was read, which condemned Stilicho to death for high-treason. The fallen man might still have saved his life by appealing to the Teuton soldiers, who were devoted to him, and would readily have fought for him. But he made no attempt to do so, probably to preserve the Empire from a civil war, which would have been fatal at this time. Without resistance he offered his neck to the sword. In him the Roman Empire (23 August 408) lost one of its most prominent statesmen, and examples provide us with a fairly full list of them, but, still more, to what extent all the forts were in occupation at the same time and to what extent one succeeded another.

The troops which garrisoned these military posts were Roman, in the sense that they not only obeyed the Roman Emperor but were in theory and to a great extent in practice, even in the later days of Roman Britain, recruited within the Empire. The legionaries came from Romanized districts in the Western Empire; the auxiliaries, naturally less civilized to begin with but drilled into Roman ways and speech, were largely drawn from the Rhine and its neighbourhood: some probably were Celts, like the native Britons, others (as their names on tombstones and altars prove) were Teutonic in race. To what extent Britons were enrolled to garrison Britain, is not very clear; certainly, the statement that British recruits were always sent to the Continent (chiefly to Germany), by way of precaution, seems on our present evidence to be less sweepingly true than was formerly supposed.

From the standpoints alike of the ancient Roman statesman and of the modern Roman historian the military posts and their garrisons formed the dominant element in Britain. But they have left little permanent mark on the civilization and character of the island. The ruins of their forts and fortresses are on our hill-sides. But, Roman as they were, their garrisons did little to spread Roman culture here. Outside their walls, each of them had a small or large settlement of womenfolk, traders, perhaps also of time-expired soldiers wishful to end their days where they had served. But hardly any of these settlements grew up into towns. York may form an exception: it is a pure coincidence, due to causes far more recent than the Roman age, that Newcastle, Manchester and Cardiff stand on sites once occupied by Roman auxiliary forts. Nor do the garrisons appear to have greatly affected the racial character of the Romano-British population. Even in times of peace, the average annual discharge of time-expired men, with land-grants or bounties, cannot have greatly exceeded 1000, and, as we have seen, times of peace were rare in Britain. Of these discharged soldiers by no means all settled in Britain, and some of them may have been of Celtic or even of British birth. Whatever German or other foreign elements passed into the population through the army, cannot have been greater than that population could easily and naturally absorb without being seriously affected by them. The true contribution which the army made to Romano-British civilization was that its upland forts and fortresses formed a sheltering wall round the peaceful interior regions.

Behind these formidable garrisons, kept safe from barbarian inroads and in easy contact with the Roman Empire by short sea passages from Rutupiae (Richborough, near Sandwich in Kent) to Boulogne or from Colchester to the Rhine, stretched the lowlands of southern, midland policy; on the contrary the investment of the city was carried on with greater vigour than before. As the Goths also blockaded the Tiber, the city was cut off from all supplies, and soon famine broke out. No help came from Ravenna, and when the distress in the city was at its highest ambassadors were sent to the hostile camp to ask for moderate terms. At first Alaric demanded the surrender of all the gold and silver in the city, inclusive of all precious movable goods, and the emancipation of all Teuton slaves, but in the end he lowered his demand to an imposition, which, however, was still so heavy that it necessitated the confiscation of the sacred treasures stored in the temples. After this he withdrew his troops from Rome and went into the neighbouring province of Tuscany where he collected around his standard a great number of slaves, who had escaped from Rome. But even in this situation Honorius declined the negotiations for peace which were now urged by Alaric and the Senate alike.

This temporizing policy could not but bring ruin upon Italy, the more so, as at the beginning of 409 ambassadors came to treat with Honorius about the recognition of Constantine. The usurper had raised his son Constans, who had returned from Spain to Gaul, to the dignity of a co-emperor, and had had the two cousins of Honorius put to death. The Emperor, who entertained hopes that they were still alive and counted upon assistance from Constantine against Alaric, no longer withheld his recognition, and even sent him an imperial robe. During this time Olympius did not show himself in any way equal to the situation, but continued to persecute those whom he believed to be Stilicho's adherents. Honorius now ordered a body of picked troops from Dalmatia to come to the protection of Rome. These six thousand men, however, under their leader Valens were on their way surprised by Alaric, and all of them but one hundred were cut down. A second Roman embassy, in which the Roman bishop Innocent took part, and which was escorted by troops furnished by Alaric, was now sent to the Emperor. In the meantime Ataulf had at last made his way from Pannonia across the Alps, and although an army sent by the Emperor caused him some loss, probably near Ravenna, his junction with Alaric could not be prevented. Now at last a general outcry against Olympius, who had shown himself so utterly incompetent, arose at the imperial Court. The Emperor was forced to give in and depose his favourite, and after this he at length inclined his ear to more peaceful proposals. When, however, the Gothic chief in an interview with the Praefectus Praetorio Jovius at Ariminum demanded not only an annual subsidy of money and corn, but also the cession of Venetia, Noricum, and Dalmatia, and when moreover the same Jovius in a letter to the Emperor proposed that Alaric should be raised to the rank of a magister utrisque militae, because it was hoped that this would induce him to lower his terms, Honorius refused everything and was determined to go to war.

Apparently this bellicose mood continued, for shortly afterwards a fresh embassy from Constantine appeared at the Court, promising Honorius speedy support from British, Gaulish, and Spanish soldiers. Even Jovius had allowed himself to be persuaded by the Emperor and together with other high officials had taken an oath on pain of death never to make peace with Alaric.

At first all seemed to go well; Honorius levied 10,000 Huns for his army, and to his great satisfaction found that Alaric himself was inclined to peace and was sending some Italian bishops as ambassadors to him. Of his former conditions he only maintained the cession of Noricum and a subsidy of corn, the amount of which was to be left to the Emperor’s decision. He requested Honorius not to allow the city of Rome, which had ruled the world for more than a thousand years, to be sacked and burnt by the Teutons. There can be no doubt that the Goths were forced by the pressure of circumstances to offer these conditions. But Honorius was prevented from complying with them by Jovius, who is said to have pleaded the sanctity of the oath which he and others had taken. Alaric now had recourse to a simple device in order to attain the object of his desires. As he could not out of consideration for the Goths aspire to the imperial crown himself, he caused an emperor to be proclaimed. In order to put this proclamation into effect he marched to Rome, seized the harbour of Portus, and told the Senate of his intention to divide among his troops all the corn which he found stored there, should the city refuse to obey his orders. The Senate gave in, and in compliance with Alaric's wish was Attalus raised to the throne. He was a Roman of noble descent, who had been given a high government post by Olympius and shortly afterwards made praefect of the city by Honorius. Attalus thereupon raised Alaric to the rank of magister militum praesentalis, and Ataulf to that of comes domesticorum; but he gave them each a Roman colleague in their office, and Valens was made magister militum, while Lampadius, an enemy of Alaric, became praefect of the city. On the next day Attalus delivered a high-flown oration in the Senate, boasting that it would be a small matter for him and the Romans to subjugate the whole world. Soon, however, his relations with Alaric became strained. Formerly he had been a heathen, but though he now accepted the Arian faith and was baptized by the Gothic bishop Sigesar, he not only openly slighted the Goths but also, disregarding Alaric's advice to send a Gothic army under Druma to Africa, dispatched the Roman Constans with troops ill-prepared for war to that country. Africa was at that time held by Heraclian, one of Honorius' generals, the murderer of Stilicho, and the province required the Emperor's whole attention, as the entire corn supply of Rome depended upon its possession.

Attalus himself now marched against Honorius at Ravenna. The latter, who had already contemplated an escape to the East, sent Attalus a message to the effect that he would consent to acknowledge him as co-emperor. Attalus replied, through Jovius, that he would order Honorius to be mutilated and banish him to some remote island, besides depriving him of his imperial dignity. At this critical moment, however, Honorius was saved by four thousand soldiers of the Eastern Empire, who disembarked at Ravenna and came to his assistance. When the news arrived that the expedition against Heraclian in Africa had proved a complete failure and that Rome was again exposed to a great famine, owing to this victory of Honorius' arms, Attalus and Alaric abandoned the siege of Ravenna. Alaric turned against Aemilia where he took possession of all the cities except Bologna, and then advanced in a north-westerly direction towards Liguria. Attalus on the other hand hastened to Rome to take counsel with the Senate about the pressing African question. The majority of the assembly decided to send an army of Gothic and Roman troops to Africa under the command of the Goth Druma, but Attalus opposed the plan. This brought about his fall; for when Alaric heard of it he returned, stripped Attalus of the diadem and purple at Ariminum, and sent both to Honorius. He did not, however, leave the deposed Emperor to his fate, but kept him and his son Ampelius under his protection till peace had been concluded with Honorius. Placidia, Honorius’ sister, was also in Alaric's keeping. If we may believe Zosimus, she was brought from Rome as a kind of hostage by Alaric, who, however, granted her imperial honours.

The deposition of Attalus in May or June 410 was the starting-point for renewed negotiations for peace between Alaric and the Emperor, in the course of which the former perhaps claimed a part of Italy for himself. But the peaceful propositions were nipped in the bud by the Goth Sarus. He was hostile to Alaric and Ataulf; at that time he lay encamped in Picenum. Under pretence of being menaced by Ataulf’s strong body of troops, he went over to the Emperor and violated the truce by an attack on the Gothic camp. Alaric now marched for the third time against Rome, doubtless firmly resolved to punish the Emperor for his duplicity by thoroughly chastising the city, and to establish at last a kingdom of his own. The investment by the Goths caused another terrible famine in the city, and at last, during the night preceding 24 August 410, the Salarian gate was treacherously opened. Then followed a complete sack of the city, which did not, however, degenerate into mere wanton destruction, especially as it only lasted three days. The deeds of violence and cruelty which are mentioned more particularly in the writings of contemporary Christians were probably for the greater part committed by the slaves, who, as we know, had flocked to the Goths in great numbers. As early as 27 August the Goths left Rome laden with enormous spoil, and marched by Capua and Nola into southern Italy. For Alaric, who had probably borne the title of king already for a con­siderable time, had resolved to go to Africa by way of Sicily, and gain the dominion of Italy by the possession of that rich province. But when part of the army had embarked at Rhegium, his ships were scattered and destroyed by a storm. Alaric, therefore, turned back; but on the way north was seized by an illness which proved fatal before the end of the year 410. He was laid to rest in the river Basentus (Busento) near Cosentia. A large number of slaves were employed in first diverting the course of the river and then bringing it back into its former channel after the dead king and his treasures had been buried. In order that nobody might ever know the burial place, all the slaves who had been employed in the labour were killed. Ataulf was now elected king. He seems at first to have thought of carrying out the plans of his brother-in-law, Alaric; but on further consideration of the great power of Heraclian in Africa, he abandoned them and resolved rather to lead the Goths against Gaul. It is possible that on his march northward he again sacked Rome, and he certainly married Placidia before he withdrew from Italy. He invaded Gaul in 412, and in that year commenced the war which was waged so long by the Teutons against the Roman supremacy in that country.

A little earlier a similar struggle had begun in Spain, which resulted in the victory of the barbarians. In the autumn of 409 the Vandals, Alani, and Suevi had penetrated into Spain, tempted thither no doubt by the treasures of that rich country and by the greater security of a future settlement there. The course followed by those tribes was towards the west of the peninsula, first of all passing through Galicia and Lusitania. Constans, on leaving Spain, had certainly made an unfortunate choice in appointing Gerontius praefect; for not only did this official allow the Teutons to enter the country but he tried at the same time to put an end to Constantine's rule, by deserting him and causing one of his own followers, Maximus, to be proclaimed emperor. Circumstances even forced Gerontius into an alliance with the barbarians. For when Constans returned to Spain, the usurper could only drive him out of the country by making common cause with the Teutons. Gerontius followed Constans to Gaul, invested him at Vienne, and put him to death at the beginning of 411. He then turned his attention to Constantine, who concentrated his forces at Arles. But Honorius had by now recovered sufficiently to make war against Constantine. For that purpose he sent the Roman Constantius and a Goth named Wulfila with an army to Gaul. When Gerontius advanced to meet them, his soldiers deserted him and joined the imperial troops. He himself met his death shortly afterwards in a burning house, whilst Maximus succeeded in escaping. This sealed the fate of Constantine; for Constantius and Wulfila defeated the army of the Frank Edobic, who came to render him assistance. Constantius then proceeded to besiege Arles, which for a considerable time withstood his efforts, but eventually surrendered on conditions to the general of Honorius. The reason for this was that Constantius had heard that Guntiarius, king of the Burgundians, and Goar, king of the Alani, had raised the Gaulish noble Jovinus to the imperial throne at Mainz, and in these circumstances he deemed it necessary to offer easy terms of capitulation to Constantine. The usurper submitted; but on the way to Ravenna he and his youngest son were killed by Honorius’ command. His head was brought to Ravenna (18 Sept. 411). Meanwhile Jovinus with an army consisting of Burgundians, Franks, and Alemanni had marched southward, apparently in the belief that the critical situation of the Empire, which was at war with both Goths and Vandals, would facilitate a rapid extension of his power.

In these circumstances it was an easy matter for the Teutons who had invaded Spain to spread over a large part of the peninsula. For two years they scoured the west and south of the country, devastating and plundering as they went, until the alteration in the political situation, caused by the victories of Constantius, induced them to join the united Empire as foederati. In 411 they concluded a treaty with the Emperor, which imposed upon them the duty of defending Spain from foreign invasions. In return the Asdingi and Suevi received landed property for settlements in Galicia, the Silingi in Baetica, and the Alani in Lusitania and Carthaginensis. The larger Roman landowners probably ceded a third part of the land to them.

It was a time of the gravest convulsions for the Western Empire; for during these years were laid the foundations, on which the first important Teutonic States on Roman soil were built. Stilicho seems to have thought it possible for a kind of organic whole to develop out of the Roman and Teutonic nationalities; at least, that great statesman had always promoted peaceful relations between Romans and Teutons. But the change in politics after his death, as well as the immense size of the Empire, made a fusion of those two factors impossible. Now the time of the Teutonic conquests begins, though the name of foederati helped for a while to hide the real state of affairs. The very foundation of the Western Empire were shaken; but, above all, the future of Italy as the ruling power of the West was endangered by violent agitations in Africa, the country from which she drew her food-supplies. Just as here, in the heart of the Empire, so too on its borders, could serious danger be foreseen. Throughout the provinces the dissolution of the Empire was threatening. It had probably only been delayed so far by the lack of system in the Teutonic invasions and by the immense prestige of the Empire. But in respect of this the last generation had wrought a very perceptible change. During the long-continued warfare the Teutons had had time to become familiar with the manners of the Romans, their strategy, diplomacy, and political institutions, and it was owing to this that the great coalitions of tribes in 405 and 406 had already taken place. They are probably to be explained by the ever-increasing political discernment of the Teutons. Another result of those years of war was that under Alaric's rule the principle of monarchy was evolved out of military leadership; for the continuous warlike enterprises could not but develop an appreciation of a higher and more comprehensive supreme power. Thus Alaric was no longer the mere adviser of his tribe. His actions however do not show that he abused his high rank in his behaviour towards his tribesmen, while at the same time he ever displayed towards the Romans a humane and generous spirit which was remarkable in those times. On the other hand the Teutonic tribes, and especially the Visigoths, had seen enough of the internal weakness of the great Empire and of the impotence of its rulers to encourage them to make more serious attacks on the Western half, although Alaric in 410 would willingly have saved from pillage the capital of the world—that capital which, according to his own words in a message brought to Honorius by an embassy of bishops, had ruled the world for more than a thousand years. The fact that he nevertheless led his army to the sack of the city proves that he did not shrink from extreme measures when it was important to display the superiority of the Gothic army over the Roman mercenaries.

Thus it is evident that the Teutonic tribes, and more especially the Visigoths, were at this time passing through a transition stage. They had not yet forgotten their native customs and manner of living, whilst at the same time the foreign influences to which they had been exposed had been sufficiently strong to modify to some extent their original disposition and mode of viewing things. But as far as may be gathered from contemporary sources, their policy had not been influenced by Christian principles, and Christianity altogether played an unimportant part in the history of these migrating Teutons. It is true that, owing to the scantiness of contemporary evidence, we have in many decisive cases to trust to conjecture, and it is a cause for much regret that the moving political forces and even more the real conditions of life among the migrating Teutons are wrapt in impenetrable darkness, which is only dispersed as they begin to live a more settled life, and in particular after the establishment of the Visigoths in Gaul and Spain, the Vandals in Africa, and the Ostrogoths in Italy.