Skip to comments.Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire [ch. XXVI: 376 AD: Romans grant asylum to destroyers of Rome]
Posted on 07/21/2013 4:20:50 PM PDT by matt1234
But the attention of the emperor [Valens] was most seriously engaged, by the important intelligence which he received from the civil and military officers who were intrusted with the defence of the Danube. He was informed, that the North was agitated by a furious tempest; that the irruption of the Huns, an unknown and monstrous race of savages, had subverted the power of the Goths; and that the suppliant multitudes of that warlike nation, whose pride was now humbled in the dust, covered a space of many miles along the banks of the river. With outstretched arms, and pathetic lamentations, they loudly deplored their past misfortunes and their present danger; acknowledged that their only hope of safety was in the clemency of the Roman government; and most solemnly protested, that if the gracious liberality of the emperor would permit them to cultivate the waste lands of Thrace, they should ever hold themselves bound, by the strongest obligations of duty and gratitude, to obey the laws, and to guard the limits, of the republic. These assurances were confirmed by the ambassadors of the Goths, who impatiently expected from the mouth of Valens an answer that must finally determine the fate of their unhappy countrymen. The emperor of the East was no longer guided by the wisdom and authority of his elder brother, whose death happened towards the end of the preceding year; and as the distressful situation of the Goths required an instant and peremptory decision, he was deprived of the favorite resources of feeble and timid minds, who consider the use of dilatory and ambiguous measures as the most admirable efforts of consummate prudence. As long as the same passions and interests subsist among mankind, the questions of war and peace, of justice and policy, which were debated in the councils of antiquity, will frequently present themselves as the subject of modern deliberation. But the most experienced statesman of Europe has never been summoned to consider the propriety, or the danger, of admitting, or rejecting, an innumerable multitude of Barbarians, who are driven by despair and hunger to solicit a settlement on the territories of a civilized nation. When that important proposition, so essentially connected with the public safety, was referred to the ministers of Valens, they were perplexed and divided; but they soon acquiesced in the flattering sentiment which seemed the most favorable to the pride, the indolence, and the avarice of their sovereign. The slaves, who were decorated with the titles of praefects and generals, dissembled or disregarded the terrors of this national emigration; so extremely different from the partial and accidental colonies, which had been received on the extreme limits of the empire. But they applauded the liberality of fortune, which had conducted, from the most distant countries of the globe, a numerous and invincible army of strangers, to defend the throne of Valens; who might now add to the royal treasures the immense sums of gold supplied by the provincials to compensate their annual proportion of recruits. The prayers of the Goths were granted, and their service was accepted by the Imperial court: and orders were immediately despatched to the civil and military governors of the Thracian diocese, to make the necessary preparations for the passage and subsistence of a great people, till a proper and sufficient territory could be allotted for their future residence.
it was apparent to every discerning eye, that the Goths would long remain the enemies, and might soon become the conquerors of the Roman empire. Their rude and insolent behavior expressed their contempt of the citizens and provincials, whom they insulted with impunity. To the zeal and valor of the Barbarians Theodosius [successor of Valens] was indebted for the success of his arms: but their assistance was precarious; and they were sometimes seduced, by a treacherous and inconstant disposition, to abandon his standard, at the moment when their service was the most essential. During the civil war against Maximus, a great number of Gothic deserters retired into the morasses of Macedonia, wasted the adjacent provinces, and obliged the intrepid monarch to expose his person, and exert his power, to suppress the rising flame of rebellion. The public apprehensions were fortified by the strong suspicion, that these tumults were not the effect of accidental passion, but the result of deep and premeditated design. It was generally believed, that the Goths had signed the treaty of peace with a hostile and insidious spirit; and that their chiefs had previously bound themselves, by a solemn and secret oath, never to keep faith with the Romans; to maintain the fairest show of loyalty and friendship, and to watch the favorable moment of rapine, of conquest, and of revenge. But as the minds of the Barbarians were not insensible to the power of gratitude, several of the Gothic leaders sincerely devoted themselves to the service of the empire, or, at least, of the emperor; the whole nation was insensibly divided into two opposite factions, and much sophistry was employed in conversation and dispute, to compare the obligations of their first, and second, engagements. The Goths, who considered themselves as the friends of peace, of justice, and of Rome, were directed by the authority of Fravitta, a valiant and honorable youth, distinguished above the rest of his countrymen by the politeness of his manners, the liberality of his sentiments, and the mild virtues of social life. But the more numerous faction adhered to the fierce and faithless Priulf, who inflamed the passions, and asserted the independence, of his warlike followers. On one of the solemn festivals, when the chiefs of both parties were invited to the Imperial table, they were insensibly heated by wine, till they forgot the usual restraints of discretion and respect, and betrayed, in the presence of Theodosius, the fatal secret of their domestic disputes. The emperor, who had been the reluctant witness of this extraordinary controversy, dissembled his fears and resentment, and soon dismissed the tumultuous assembly. Fravitta, alarmed and exasperated by the insolence of his rival, whose departure from the palace might have been the signal of a civil war, boldly followed him; and, drawing his sword, laid Priulf dead at his feet. Their companions flew to arms; and the faithful champion of Rome would have been oppressed by superior numbers, if he had not been protected by the seasonable interposition of the Imperial guards. Such were the scenes of Barbaric rage, which disgraced the palace and table of the Roman emperor; and, as the impatient Goths could only be restrained by the firm and temperate character of Theodosius, the public safety seemed to depend on the life and abilities of a single man.
Yup. It will be called aztlan. Texas aint going down easy though. No, not like California at all.
But Byzantium endured for another thousand years.
We need to figure out where our Constantinople is.
Just like in “Red Dawn” (The Original), you will have to probably stop them in the Mid-West. What will be going on in border areas and in some of the cities, to quote Powers Boothe, “will be positively medieval”.
Liberals don’t believe in history, so this will mean nothing to them. They make up their own “histories” for political purposes so they figure everyone else does (and did), too.
I’m thinking the Rocky Mountain states, western Canada and Alaska, and we could link up with the Russkies via Siberia.
The Russkies will be on the other side. The vultures will be circling when the barbarians crash the gates of the US for good.
Interestingly, Boothe played the Roman general Aetius in a miniseries about Attila (Gerard Butler), about a dozen years ago. May have been History Channel, I don’t recall exactly.
They’re acting more conservative than we are lately, but I read you.
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Christianity as a contributor to the fall and to stability
That's why I prefer older history books. Anything written after 1960 is suspect, IMO, due to the infusion of liberal ideologies.
One interesting anecdote in that regard: I have a high school history book from 1979. Among the specially treated minority groups are Jews. You don't see that today. Blacks, hispanics, women, etc get special sections; but not Jews. I wonder exactly when the Jews fell out of favor with the publishers/editors.
Mohammed & Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy by Scott, Emmet (Dec 16, 2011)
Yeah, Boothe played Aetius, some called the “Last Roman”. Lots of end-times, collapse coincidences don’t you think?
I had forgotten that Attila was played by Gerard Butler. It was a very good mini-series/show.
That was when the History Channel used to have history programs and not now when all it plays are reality shows that only have a tangential relationship to history. Just like MTV, the History channel should change its name to reflect its lack of history programming.
That is true of many barbarian tribes, but not all. Many Germanic and Gothic tribes were more hostile than friendly to the Roman Empire for most of its existence. Rome was sacked by Visigoths in 410.
The sacking of Rome by the Visigoths was not official policy.
Alaric didn’t give his permission. His troops were hungry for loot and just went and did it.
The serious sacking came later, in 455, with Geiseric the Vandal in charge. Now, THAT was a party!
Read your history.
Well, if we’re talking about civilizational collapse and tribal warfare, the opportunity to take it out on those bastards would be an attractant for many.
The Republic of Texas, and its extended territories (Alaska.)
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