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Amalasuentha
Anastasius
Belisarius
Boethius
Civilitas
Heodoric's Tomb
Introduction
Italy Under Odovacar
Narses
Roman Officials--cassiodorus
Rome And Ravenna
Storm And Stress
The Arian League
The Conquest Of Italy
The Might Of Attila
The Southward Migration
The Theodoric Of Saga
Theodoric's Ancestors
Theodoric's Boyhood
Totila



Civilitas








Transformation in the character of Theodoric--His title--Embassies to
Zeno and Anastasius--Theodoric's care for the rebuilding of cities and
repair of aqueducts--Encouragement of commerce and manufactures--Revival
of agriculture--Anecdotes of Theodoric.


Thus far we have followed the fortunes of a Teutonic warrior of the
fifth century of our era, marking his strange vacillations between
friendship and enmity to the great civilised Empire under the shattered
fabric whereof he and his people were dwelling, and neither concealing
nor extenuating any of his lawless deeds, least of all that deed of
treachery and violence by which he finally climbed to the pinnacle of
supreme power in Italy. Now, for the next thirty years, we shall have to
watch the career of this same man, ruling Italy with unquestioned
justice and wise forethought, making the welfare of every class of his
subjects the end of all his endeavours, and cherishing civilisation (or,
as it was called in the language of his chosen counsellors, civilitas)
with a love and devotion almost equal to that which religious zeal
kindles in the hearts of its surrendered votaries.

The transformation is a marvellous one. Success and unquestioned
dominion far more often deprave and distort than ennoble and purify the
moral nature of man. But something like this transformation was seen
when Octavian, the crafty and selfish intriguer, ripened into the wise
and statesmanlike Augustus. Nor have our own days been quite ignorant of
a similar phenomenon, when the stern soldier-politician of Germany, the
man who once seemed to delight in war and whose favourite motto had till
then been blood and iron having secured for his master the hegemony of
Europe, strove (or seems to have striven), during twenty difficult
years, to maintain peace among European nations, like one convinced in
his heart that War is the supreme calamity for mankind.

It is a threadbare saying, Happy is the nation that has no annals, and
the miserable historians of the time tell us far too little about the
thirty years of peace which Italy enjoyed under the wise rule of
Theodoric; still we are told enough to enable us in some degree to
understand both what he accomplished and how he accomplished it. And one
thing which makes us accept the statements of these historians with
unquestioning belief is that they have no motive for the praises which
they so freely bestow on the great Ostrogoth. They are not his
countrymen, nor his fellow-religionists. Our chief authorities are Roman
and Orthodox, and bitterly condemn Theodoric for the persecution of the
Catholics, into which, as we shall see, he was provoked in the last two
years of his reign. Still, over the grave of this dead barbarian and
heretic, when they have nothing to gain by speaking well of him, they
cannot forbear to praise the noble impartiality and anxious care for the
welfare of his people, which, for the space of one whole generation,
gave happiness to Italy. It will be well to quote here one or two of
these testimonies, borne by impartial witnesses.

Our chief authority,[58] who is believed to have been a Catholic Bishop
of Ravenna, says:

He was an illustrious man, and full of good-will towards all. He
reigned thirty-three (really thirty-two) years, and during thirty of
these years so great was the happiness of Italy that even the wayfarers
were at peace. For he did nothing wrong. So did he govern the two
nations, the Goths and Romans, as if they were one people, belonging
himself to the Arian sect, yet he ordained that the civil administration
should remain for the Romans as it had been under their Emperors. He
gave presents and rations to the people, yet, though he found the
Treasury ruined, he brought it round, by his own hard work, into a
flourishing state. He attempted nothing (during these first thirty
years) against the Catholic faith. Exhibiting games in the circus and
amphitheatre, he received from the Romans the names of Trajan and
Valentinian (the happy days of which most prosperous Emperors he did in
truth seek to restore), and, at the same time, the Goths rendered true
obedience to their valiant King, according to the Edict which he had
promulgated for them.

He gave one of his daughters in marriage to the King of the Visigoths
in Gaul, another to the son of the Burgundian King; his sister to the
King of the Vandals, and his niece to the King of the Thuringians. Thus
he pleased all the nations round him, for he was a lover of manufactures
and a great restorer of cities. He restored the aqueduct of Ravenna,
which Trajan had built; and again, after a long interval, brought water
into the city. He completed, but did not dedicate, the palace, and
finished the porticoes round it. At Verona he erected baths and a
palace, and constructed a portico from the gate to the palace. The
aqueduct, which had been long destroyed, he renewed, and brought in
water through it. He also surrounded the city with new walls. At Ticinum
(Pavia) too he built a palace, baths, and an amphitheatre, and erected
walls round the city. On many other cities also he bestowed similar
benefits.

Thus he so charmed the nations near him that they entered into a league
with him, hoping that he would be their King. The merchants, too, from
divers provinces, flocked to his dominions, for so great was the order
which he maintained, that if any one wished to leave gold or silver on
his land (in his country house) it was as safe as in a walled city. A
proof of this was the fact that he never made gates for any-city of
Italy, and the gates already existing were not closed. Any one who had
business to transact could do it as safely by night as by day.

In his time men bought wheat at 60 pecks for a solidus (12 shillings
a quarter), and 30 amphorae of wine for the same price (2s. 4d. a
gallon).

So far the supposed Bishop of Ravenna. Now let us hear Procopius, an
official in the Imperial army which brought the Ostrogothic kingdom to
ruin:

Theodoric was an extraordinary lover of justice, and adhered rigorously
to the laws. He guarded the country from barbarian invasions, and
displayed the greatest intelligence and prudence. There was in his
government scarcely a trace of injustice towards his subjects, nor would
he permit any of those under him to attempt anything of the kind, except
that the Goths divided among themselves the same proportion of the land
of Italy which Odovacar had allotted to his partisans. Thus then
Theodoric was in name a tyrant (that is, an irregular, because
barbarian, ruler), but in deed a true King (or Emperor), not inferior to
the best of his predecessors, and his popularity grew greatly, both
among Goths and Italians, and this fact (that he was popular with both
nations) was contrary to the ordinary fashion of human affairs. For
generally, as different classes in the State want different things, the
government which pleases one party has to incur the odium of those who
do not belong to it.

After a reign of thirty-seven years[59] he died, having been a terror
to all his enemies, but leaving a deep regret for his loss in the hearts
of his subjects.

[Footnote 59: Really thirty-two years and a half from the death of
Odovacar, thirty-seven from the descent into Italy, thirty-eight from
Theodoric's departure from Novae.]

So much for the general aspect of Theodoric's rule in Italy. Now let us
consider rather more in detail what was his precise position in that
country. And first as to the title by which he was known. It is
singularly difficult to say what this title was. It is quite clear that
Theodoric never claimed to be Emperor of the West, the successor of
Honorius and Augustulus. But there are grave reasons for doubting
whether he called himself, as has been often stated, King of Italy. In
the fifth century territorial titles of this kind were, if not
absolutely unknown, at least very uncommon. The various Teutonic rulers
generally took their titles from the nations whom they led to battle,
Gaiseric being King of the Vandals and Alans, Gundobad, King of the
Burgundians, Clovis, King of the Franks, and so forth. Upon the
whole, it seems most probable that Theodoric's full title was King of
the Goths and Romans in Italy [60] and that the allusion to Romans in
his title explains some of the conflict of testimony as to the source
from whence he derived his title of King. It is quite true that a
Teutonic sovereign like Theodoric, sprung from a long line of royal
ancestors, and chosen by the voice of his people to succeed their king,
his father, would not need, and except under circumstances of great
national humiliation would not accept, any grant of the kingly title, as
ruler over his own nation, from the Augustus at New Rome. But when it
came to claiming by the same title the obedience of Romans as well as
Goths, especially in that country which had once been the heart of the
Empire,--Theodoric, King of the Goths, might well be anxious to strain
all the resources of diplomacy in order to obtain from the legitimate
head of the Roman world the confirmation of those important words and
Romans, which appeared in his regal title.[61]

In the year 490, probably soon after the battle of the Adda, Theodoric
sent Faustus, an eminent Roman noble and Chief of the Senate, on an
embassy to Zeno, hoping that he might receive from that Emperor
permission to clothe himself with the royal mantle. It will be
remembered that in the compact between Roman and Teuton, which preceded
Theodoric's invasion of Italy, words had been used which implied that he
was only to rule as locum tenens of the Emperor till he himself should
arrive to claim the supremacy. Now, with that conquest apparently almost
completed, and with his rival fast sealed up in Ravenna, Theodoric sends
a report of his success of the enterprise undertaken on joint account,
and desires to legalise his position by a formal grant of the mantle of
royalty from the Autocrat of the World.

The time of the arrival of Theodoric's embassy at Constantinople was
unpropitious, as the Emperor Zeno was already stricken by mortal
illness. On the 9th of April, 491, he died, and was succeeded by the
handsome but elderly life-guardsman, Anastasius, to whom Ariadne, widow
of Zeno, gave her hand in marriage. The rights and duties which
pertained to the compact between Theodoric and Zeno were perhaps
considered as of only personal obligation. It might plausibly be
contended by the Emperor's successor that he was not bound to recognise
the new royalty of his predecessor's, filius in arma, and by Theodoric
that the conditional estate in Italy granted to him to hold till Zeno
should himself arrive became absolute, now that by the death of Zeno
that event was rendered impossible. However this may be, we hear no more
of negotiations between the Gothic camp and the Court of Constantinople
till the death of Odovacar(493). Then the Goths, apparently in some
great assembly of the nation, confirmed Theodoric to themselves as
King, without waiting for the orders of the new Emperor.[62] Whatever
this ceremony may have imported, it must have in some way conferred on
Theodoric a fuller kingship, perhaps more of a territorial and less of a
tribal sovereignty than he had possessed when he was wandering with his
followers over the passes of the Balkans.

[Footnote 62: Gothi sibi confirmaverunt regem Theodericum, non expectata
jussione novi principis (Anastasii).--Anon. Vales., 57.]

Though Theodoric had not consulted the Emperor before taking this step,
he sent an ambassador, again Faustus, who now held the important post of
Master of the Offices,[63] to Constantinople, probably in order to
give a formal notification of his self-assumed accession of dignity.[64]

No messages or embassies, however, could yet soothe the wounded pride of
Anastasius. There was deep resentment at the Eastern Court, and for
three or four years there seems to have been a rupture of diplomatic
relations between Constantinople and Ravenna. At length, in the year
497, Theodoric sent another ambassador, Festus, (also an eminent Roman
noble and Chief of the Senate,) to Anastasius. This messenger, more
successful than his predecessor, made peace with Anastasius concerning
Theodoric's premature assumption of royalty, and brought back all the
ornaments of the palace which Odovacar had transmitted to
Constantinople.[65]


(497) This final ratification of the Ostrogoth's sovereignty in Italy is
so vaguely described to us that it is difficult to see how much it may
have implied. Probably it was to a certain extent convenient to both
parties that it should be left vague. The Emperor would not abandon any
hope, however shadowy, of one day winning back full possession of the
Hesperian kingdom. The King might hope that, in the course of years or
generations, he himself, or his descendants, might sever the last link
of dependence on Constantinople, perhaps might one day establish
themselves as full-blown Emperors of Rome. The claims thus left in
vagueness were the seeds of future difficulties, and bore fruit forty
years later in a bloody and desolating war, but meanwhile the position,
as far as we can ascertain it, seems to have been something like this.
Theodoric, King of the Goths and Romans in Italy, was absolute ruler
of the country de facto, except in so far as the Gothic nation,
assembled under arms at its periodical parades, may have exercised some
check on his full autocracy. He made peace and war, he nominated the
high officers of state, even one of the two Consuls, who still kept
alive the fiction of the Roman Republic; he probably regulated the
admissions to the Senate; he was even in the last resort arbiter of the
fortunes of the Roman Church.

On the other hand, he did not himself coin gold or silver money with his
effigy; but in this he was not singular, for it was not till a
generation or two had elapsed that any of the new barbarian royalties
thought it worth while to claim this attribute of sovereignty. Though
dressed in the purple of royalty, by assuming the title of King only, he
accepted a position somewhat lower than that of the Emperor of the New
Rome. He sent the names of the Consuls whom he had appointed to
Constantinople, an act which might be represented as a mere piece of
formal courtesy, or as a request for their ratification, according to
the point of view of the narrator. With a similar show of courtesy, or
submission, the accession of Theodoric's descendants to the throne was,
when the occasion arose, notified to the then reigning Emperor. And
there were many limitations which the good sense and statesmanlike
feeling of the Ostrogothic king imposed on his exercise of the royal
power, but which might be, perhaps were, represented as part of the
fundamental compact between him and the Emperor of Rome. Such were the
employment of men of Roman birth by preference, in all the great offices
of the state; absolute impartiality between the rival creeds, Catholic
and Arian (to the latter of which Theodoric himself was an adherent);
and a determination to abstain as much as possible from all fresh
legislation which might modify the rights and duties of the Roman
inhabitants of Italy, the legislative power being chiefly exercised in
order to provide for those new cases which arose out of the settlement
of so large a number of new-comers of alien blood within the borders of
the land.

After all the attempts which have been made to explain and to
systematise the relation between the new barbarian royalties and the old
and tottering Empire, much remains which is absolutely incapable of
definition, but perhaps an historical parallel, though not strictly
accurate, may somewhat aid our comprehension of the subject. It is
well-known how for the first hundred years of the English Raj in
India the power which actually resided in an association of traders,
the old East India Company, and which was wielded under their orders by
a Clive, a Hastings, or a Wellesley, was theoretically vested in an
Emperor, the descendant of the Great Mogul, who lived in seclusion in
his palace at Delhi, and who, though nominally all-powerful, had really,
as Macaulay has said, less power to help or to hurt than the youngest
civil servant of the Company. Now assuredly Anastasius and Justin, the
Imperial contemporaries of Theodoric, were no mere phantoms of royalty,
like the last Mogul Emperors of Delhi, but as far as actual efficacious
share in the government of Italy went, the parallel holds good. Such
deference as was paid to their name and authority was a mere courteous
form; the whole power of the State--subject, as has been said, to the
limitations still imposed by the popular institutions of the Goths--was
gathered up in the hands of Theodoric.

What then, it may be said, was gained by keeping up the fiction that
Italy still formed part of the Roman Empire, and that Theodoric ruled in
any sense as the delegate of the Emperor? For the present, much (though
at the cost of future entanglements and complications), since it
facilitated that union of Romania and Barbaricum, which was the next
piece of work obviously necessary for Europe. If the reader will recur
to that noble sentence of Ataulfus, which was quoted in the introduction
to this book,[66] he will see that the reasoning of that great chieftain
took this shape: A Commonwealth must have laws. The Goths, accustomed
for generations to their tameless freedom, have not acquired the habit
of obedience to the laws. Till they acquire that habit, the
administration of the State must be left in Roman hands, and all the
authority of the King must be used in defence of Roman organisation.

These principles, though he may never have read the passage of Orosius
which expounded them, were essentially the principles of Theodoric. So
long as he remained in antagonism to the Empire, he could not reckon on
the hearty co-operation of Roman officials in the task of government.
The brave, through patriotism, and the cowardly, through fear of coming
retribution, would decline to be known as his adherents, and would stand
aloof from his work of re-organization. But when it was known that even
the great Augustus at Constantinople, Our Lord Anastasius, Father of
his Country (as the coins styled him), recognised the royalty of
Theodoric, and had in some sort confided to him the government of Italy,
all the great army of civil servants, who performed the functions of
that highly specialised organism, the Roman State, could, without fear
and without reproach, accept office under the new-comer, and could look
forward again, as they had done before, to a fortunate official career,
to the honours and emoluments which were the recognised reward of the
successful civil servant.

In the next chapter, I shall describe with a little more detail the
character and the duties of some of these Roman officials. For the
present we will rather consider the nature of the work which Theodoric
accomplished through their instrumentality. We have already heard from a
nearly contemporary chronicler, the story of some of the great
civilising works which he wrought in the wasted land, the aqueducts of
Ravenna and Verona, the walls of Verona and Pavia, the baths, the
palace, and the amphitheatre. More important for the great mass of his
subjects was the perfect security which he gave to the merchant for his
commerce, to the husbandman for the fruit of his toil. Corn, as we have
seen, sank to the extraordinarily low price of twelve shillings a
quarter. But this low price did not mean, as it might in our country,
the depression of the agricultural interest, through the rivalry of the
foreign producer. On the contrary, the great economic symptom of
Theodoric's reign--and under the circumstances a most healthy
symptom--was that Italy, from a corn-importing became a corn-exporting
country. Under the old emperors, whose rule was a most singular blending
of autocracy and demagogy, in fact a kind of crowned socialism, every
nerve had been strained to bring from Alexandria and Carthage the corn
which was distributed gratuitously to the idle population of Rome. Under
such hopeless competition as this, together with the demoralising
influence of slave labour, large tracts of Italy had actually gone out
of cultivation. Now, by political changes, the merit of which must not
be claimed for the Ostrogothic government, both Egypt and Africa had
become unavailable for the supply of the necessities of Rome. Theodoric
and his ministers may however be praised for that prevalence of order
and good government, which enabled the long prostrate agriculture of
Italy to spring up like grass after a summer shower. The conditions of
prosperity were there, and only needed the removal of adverse influences
and mistaken benevolence to bring forth their natural fruit. The
grain-largesses to the people of Rome were indeed still continued in a
modified form, but the stores thus dispensed seemed to have been brought
almost entirely from Italy.[67] When Gaul was visited with famine, the
ship-masters along the whole western coast of Italy were permitted and
encouraged to take the surplus of the Italian crops to the suffering
province. Even in a time of dearth and after war had begun, corn was
sold by the State to the impoverished inhabitants of Liguria at sixteen
shillings a quarter.[68] Altogether we seem justified in asserting that
the economic condition of Italy, both as to the producers and the
consumers of its food-supplies, was more prosperous under Theodoric than
it had been for centuries before, or than it was to be for centuries
afterwards.


I have already made some reference to Aqueducts, which were among the
noblest and most beneficial works that any ruler of Italy could
accomplish. Ravenna, situated in an unhealthy swamp where water fit for
drinking was proverbially dearer than wine[69] was pre-eminently
dependent on such supplies of the precious fluid as could be brought
fresh and sparkling from the distant Apennines. Theodoric issued an
order to all the farmers dwelling along the course of the Aqueduct to
eradicate the shrubs growing by its side, which would otherwise fix
their roots in the bed of the stream, loosen the masonry, and cause many
a dangerous leak. This being done, said the Secretary of State, we
shall again have baths that we may look upon with pleasure, water which
will cleanse, not stain, water after using which we shall not require
again to wash ourselves: drinking-water, the mere sight of which will
not take away our appetite.[70] Similar care was needed to preserve the
great Aqueducts which were the glory of Imperial Rome, as even now their
giant arches, striding for miles over the desolate Campagna, are her
most impressive monument. At Rome also the officer who was specially
charged with the maintenance of these noble works, the Count of the
Aqueducts, was exhorted to show his zeal by rooting up hurtful trees,
and by at once repairing any part of the masonry that seemed to be
falling into decay through age. He was warned against peculation and
against connivance at the frauds which often marked the distribution of
the water supply, and he was assured that the strengthening of the
Aqueducts would constitute his best claim on the favour of his
sovereign.[71]


But while in most parts of Italy water is a boon eagerly craved for, in
some places it is a superabundance and a curse. At Terracina on the
Latian coast there still stands in the piazza a slab of marble with a
long inscription, setting forth that The most illustrious lord and
renowed king, Theodoric, triumphant conqueror, ever Augustus, born for
the good of the Commonwealth, guardian of liberty and propagator of the
Roman name, subduer of the nations, ordered that nineteen miles of the
Appian Way, being the portion extending from Three-bridges
(Tripontium) to Terracina should be cleared of the waters which had
flowed together upon it from the marshes on either side. A nobleman of
the very highest rank, Consul, Patrician, and Prefect of the City,
Caecina Maurus Basilius Decius, successfully accomplished this work under
the orders of his sovereign, and for the safety thus afforded to
travellers, was rewarded by a large grant of the newly-drained
lands.[72]


We have seen that Theodoric's anonymous panegyrist calls him a lover of
manufactures and a great restorer of cities. Of the manufactures
encouraged by the Ostrogothic king, we should have been glad to receive
a fuller account. All that I have been able to discover in the published
state-papers of himself and his successors at all bearing on this
subject is some instructions with reference to the opening of gold mines
in Bruttii (the modern Calabria), and iron mines in Dalmatia, a
concession of potteries to three senators, who are promised the royal
protection if they will prosecute the work diligently, and permission to
another nobleman to erect a row of workshops or manufactories
overlooking the Roman Forum.[73] The whole tenour of these State papers,
however, shows that public works were being diligently pushed on in
every quarter of Italy, and is entirely consistent with the praise
awarded to Theodoric as a lover of manufactures.

His zeal for the restoration of cities is by the same documents
abundantly manifested. At one time we find him giving orders for the
transport of marble slabs and columns to Ravenna, at another, directing
the repair of the walls of Catana, now rebuilding the walls and towers
of Arles, and now relieving the distress of Naples and Nola, which have
been half ruined by an eruption of Vesuvius.[74] His care for the
adornment of the cities of Italy with works of art is manifest, as well
as his zeal for their material enrichment. He hears with great disgust
that a brazen statue has been stolen from the city of Como. It is
vexatious says his Secretary, that while we are labouring to increase
the ornaments of our cities, those which Antiquity has bequeathed to us
should be diminished by such deeds as this. A reward of 100 aurei
(L60), and a free pardon is offered to any accomplice who will assist in
the discovery of the chief offender.[75]

But it is above all for Rome, for the glory and magnificence of Rome,
that this Ostrogothic king, in a certain sense the kinsman and
successor of her first ravager, Alaric, shows a tender solicitude. Her
Aqueducts, as we have seen, are to be repaired, her Cloacae, those still
existing memorials of the civilisation of the earliest, the regal, Rome,
are to be carefully upheld; the thefts of brass and lead from the public
buildings, which have become frequent during the disorders of the past
century, are to be sternly repressed[76]; a spirited patrician[77] who
has restored the mighty theatre of Pompeius is encouraged and rewarded,
the Prefect of the City is stimulated to greater activity in the repair
of all the ruined buildings therein. In Rome, praised beyond all other
cities by the world's mouth, it is not right that anything should be
found either sordid or mediocre.

In all these counsels for the material well-being of Italy, and for the
repair of the ravages of anarchy and war, Theodoric was undoubtedly much
assisted by his ministers of Roman extraction, some of whom I shall
endeavour to portray in a later chapter. Still, though the details of
the work may have been theirs, it cannot be denied that the initiative
was his. A barbarian, thinking only barbarous thoughts, looking upon war
and the chase as the only employments worthy of a free man, would not
have chosen such counsellors, and, if he had found them in his service,
would not have kept them. Therefore, remembering those years of boyhood,
which he passed at Constantinople, at a time when the character is most
susceptible of strong and lasting impressions, I cannot doubt that
notwithstanding the frequent relapses into barbarism which marked his
early manhood, he was at heart a convert to civilisation, that his
desire was to obtain for the Hesperian land all that he had seen best
and greatest in the social condition of the city by the Bosphorus, and
that his Secretary truly expressed his deepest and inmost thoughts when
he made him speak of himself as one whose whole care was to change
everything for the better.[78]

I shall close this chapter with a few anecdotes--far too few have been
preserved to us--which serve to show what manner of man he appeared to
his contemporaries. Again I borrow from the anonymous author, the
supposed Bishop of Ravenna.

He was, we are told, unlettered,[79] though fond of the converse of
learned men, and so clumsy with his pen that after ten years of reigning
he was still unable to form without assistance the four letters (THEO)
which were affixed as his sign-manual to documents issued in his name.
In order to overcome this difficulty he had a golden plate prepared with
the necessary letters perforated in it, and drew his pen through the
holes.[80] But, though he was unlettered, his shrewdness and mother-wit
caused both his sayings and doings to be much noted and remembered by
his subjects. In one difficult case which came before him, he discovered
the truth by a sudden device which probably reminded the bystanders of
the Judgment of Solomon, A young man who as a child had been brought up
by a friend of his deceased father, returned to his home and claimed a
share of his inheritance from his mother. She, however, was on the point
of marriage with a second husband, and under her suitor's influence she
disowned the son whom she had at first welcomed with joy and had
entertained for a month in her house. As the suitor persisted in his
demand that the son should be turned out of doors, and the son refused
to leave his paternal abode, the case came before the King's Court,[81]
where the widow still persisted in her assertion that the young man was
not her son, but a stranger whom she had entertained merely out of
motives of hospitality. Suddenly the king turned round upon her and
said: This young man is to be thy husband, I command thee to marry
him. The horror-stricken mother then confessed that he was indeed her
son.

Some of Theodoric's sayings passed into proverbs among the common
people. One was: He who has gold and he who has a devil can neither of
them hide what he has got Another: The Roman when in misery imitates
the Goth and the Goth in comfort imitates the Roman.

We have unfortunately no description of the great Ostrogoth's outward
appearance, though the indications in his history would lead us to
suppose that he was a man of stalwart form and soldierly bearing. Nor is
this deficiency adequately made up to us by his coins, since, as has
been already said, the gold and silver pieces which were circulated in
his reign bore the impress of the Eastern Emperor, and the miserable
little copper coins which bear his effigy do not pretend to portraiture.





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Previous: The Conquest Of Italy



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