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18. Did Claudius gain a victory over the Goths?

The event surpassed his own expectations, and those of the world; by the most signal victories he delivered the empire from this host of barbarians; and was distinguished by posterity under the glorious appellation of the Gothic Claudius.

19. When did the Alemanni invade Italy?

In the reign of Aurelian, the successor of Claudius. The barbarians finding it impossible to traverse the Danube and the Roman camp, broke through the posts in their rear, which were more feebly and less carefully guarded; and with incredible diligence, but by a different road, returned towards the mountains of Italy; and Aurelian, who considered the war as totally extinguished, received the mortifying intelligence of the escape of the Alemanni, and of the ravage which was already committed in the territory of Milan.

The legions were commanded to follow, and the emperor himself marched to the relief of Italy at the head of a chosen body, composed of the hostages and cavalry of the Vandals, and all the prætorian guards who had served in the wars of the Danube.

20. What was the result of this desultory war?

The success was various. Three considerable battles are mentioned.

21. Where was the first fought?

Near Placentia; the Romans received so severe a blow, that the immediate dissolution of the empire was apprehended; the crafty barbarians lined the woods, and attacked the legion in the dusk of evening, when resting after the fatigues of a long march. The fury of their charge was irresistible; but at length, after dreadful slaughter, the patient firmness of the emperor rallied his troops, and restored, in some degree, the honour of his arms.


22. Where was the second battle?


At Fano, in Umbria, on the spot which, five hundred years before, had been fatal to the brother of Hannibal. Thus far the successful Germans had advanced along the Emilian and Flaminian way, with a design of sacking the defenceless "Mistress of the World ;" but Aurelian, who, watchful for the safety of Rome, still hung on their rear, found in this place the decisive moment for giving them a total and irretrievable defeat. The flying remnant of their host was exterminated in a third and last battle near Pavia, and Italy was delivered from the inroads of the Alemanni.

23. What was Aurelian's next act?

The arms of Rome being restored to their ancient superiority over the barbarous nations of the north, Aurelian resolved to chastise domestic tyrants, and to reunite the dismembered parts of the empire. Though he was acknowledged by the senate and people, the frontiers of Italy, Africa, Illyricum, and Thrace confined the limits of his reign. Gaul, Spain and Britain, Egypt, Syria, and Asia Minor, were still possessed by two rebels, who alone, out of a numerous list, had hitherto escaped the dangers of their situation; and to complete the ignominy of Rome, these rival thrones had been usurped by women.

24. Who reigned in Gaul?

Victoria, having by her arts and treasures succeeded in successively placing Marius and Tetricus on the throne, reigned with a manly vigour under the name of those dependant emperors.

25. Who was Tetricus?

When, at the instigation of his ambitious patroness, he assumed the insignia of royalty, he was governor of the peaceful province of Aquitaine, an employment suited to his character and education. He reigned




four or five years over Gaul, Spain, and Britain, the slave and sovereign of his army, whom he dreaded, and by whom he was despised.

26. Did he seek to throw off his thraldom?

The valour and fortune of Aurelian at length opened the prospect of deliverance. He ventured to disclose his melancholy situation, and conjured the emperor to hasten to the relief of his unhappy rival.

27. What was the result of this appeal?

Had this secret correspondence reached the ears of the soldiers, it would most probably have cost Tetricus his life; nor could he resign the sceptre of the West without pretending a civil war, leading his forces into the power of Aurelian, under the mask of opposing him. The rebel legions, disordered and dismayed by the treachery of their chief, defended themselves with desperate valour, until they were cut in pieces almost to a man. This bloody and memorable battle was fought near Chalons, in Champagne. The Franks and Batavians were compelled or persuaded to retreat beyond the Rhine, and the power of Aurelian was acknowledged from the wall of Antoninus to the columns of Hercules.

28. Name the second power that defied the Roman sway?

Palmyra and the East, in the person of their sovereign, Zenobia. Modern Europe has produced several illustrious women, who have sustained with glory the weight of empire; nor is our own age destitute of such distinguished characters. But, if we except the doubtful achievements of Semiramis, Zenobia is perhaps the only woman whose superior genius broke through the servile indolence imposed on her sex by the climate and manners of Asia.


29. From whom did she claim descent?


From the Macedonian kings of Egypt; she equalled in beauty her ancestor Cleopatra, and far surpassed her in virtuous principles and valour.

30. Was she beautiful and accomplished?

Zenobia was esteemed the most lovely as well as the most heroic of her sex. She was of a dark complexion; her teeth were of a pearly whiteness, and her large black eyes sparkled with uncommon fire, tempered by the most attractive sweetness. Her voice was strong and harmonious. Her manly understanding was strengthened and adorned by study. She was not ignorant of the Latin tongue, but possessed in equal perfection the Greek, the Syriac, and the Egyptian languages. She had drawn up for her own use an epitome of oriental history, and familiarly compared the beauties of Homer and Plato, under the tuition of the sublime Longinus.

31. Who shared her throne?

Odenathus, who from a private station raised himself to the dominion of the East. She soon became the friend and companion of a hero. Odenathus, in the intervals of war, passionately delighted in hunting, and Zenobia's ardour in that dangerous amusement was not inferior to his own. She had inured her constitution to fatigue, disdained the use of a covered carriage, generally appeared on horseback in a military habit, and sometimes marched several miles on foot at the head of the troops.

32. May the successes of Odenathus, in a great measure, be ascribed to her incomparable prudence and fortitude?

Yes, especially their splendid victories over the Great King, whom they twice pursued to the gates of



Ctesiphon, which laid the foundations of their united fame and


33. What caused the death of Odenathus?

After a successful expedition against the Gothic plunderers of Asia, the Palmyrenian prince returned to the city of Emesa in Syria, where the conqueror, invincible in war, was cut off by domestic treason, being assassinated by his nephew, Mæonius, whom he had punished for insolence.

34. Did Mæonius gain any advantage by this act? Only the pleasure of revenge for the moment. He had scarcely time to assume the title of Augustus, before he was sacrificed by Zenobia to the memory of her husband.

35. Who filled the vacant throne?

Zenobia, who governed with manly counsels Palmyra, Syria, and the East, above five years.

36. What characterised her reign?


Courage and prudence. By the death of Odenathus, that authority was at an end which the senate had granted him only as a personal distinction but his martial widow, disdaining both the senate and Gallienus, obliged one of the Roman generals, who was sent against her, to retreat into Europe with the loss of his army and reputation. Her steady administration was guided by the most judicious maxims of policy. If it were expedient to pardon, she could calm her resentment; if it were necessary to punish, she could impose silence on the voice of pity. Her strict economy was accused of avarice; yet on every proper occasion she appeared magnificent and liberal.

37. How was she regarded by the other powers?

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