History of the Wars/Book IV
Gelimer, seeing all the Vandals gathered together, led his army against Carthage. And when they came close to it, they tore down a portion of the aqueduct,--a structure well worth seeing--which conducted water into the city, and after encamping for a time they withdrew, since no one of the enemy came out against them. And going about the country there they kept the roads under guard and thought that in this way they were besieging Carthage; however, they did not gather any booty, nor plunder the land, but took possession of it as their own. And at the same time they kept hoping that there would be some treason on the part of the Carthaginians themselves and such of the Roman soldiers as followed the doctrine of Arius. They also sent to the leaders of the Huns, and promising that they would have many good things from the Vandals, entreated them to become their friends and allies. Now the Huns even before this had not been well-disposed toward the cause of the Romans, since they had not indeed come to them willingly as allies (for they asserted that the Roman general Peter had given an oath and then, disregarding what had been sworn, had thus brought them to Byzantium), and accordingly they received the words of the Vandals, and promised that when they should come to real fighting they would turn with them against the Roman army. But Belisarius had a suspicion of all this (for he had heard it from the deserters), and also the circuit-wall had not as yet been completed entirely, and for these reasons he did not think it possible for his men to go out against the enemy for the present, but he was making his preparations within as well as possible. And one of the Carthaginians, Laurus by name, having been condemned on a charge of treason and proved guilty by his own secretary, was impaled by Belisarius on a hill before the city, and as a result of this the others came to feel a sort of irresistible fear and refrained from attempts at treason. And he courted the Massagetae with gifts and banquets and every other manner of flattering attention every day, and thus persuaded them to disclose to him what Gelimer had promised them on condition of their turning traitors in the battle. And these barbarians said that they had no enthusiasm for fighting, for they feared that, if the Vandals were vanquished, the Romans would not send them back to their native land, but they would be compelled to grow old and die right there in Libya; and besides they were also concerned, they said, about the booty, lest they be robbed of it. Then indeed Belisarius gave them pledges that, if the Vandals should be conquered decisively, they would be sent without the least delay to their homes with all their booty, and thus he bound them by oaths in very truth to assist the Romans with all zeal in carrying through the war.
And when all things had been prepared by him in the best way possible, and the circuit-wall had been already completed, he called together the whole army and spoke as follows: "As for exhortation, fellow Romans, I do not know that it is necessary to make any to you,--men who have recently conquered the enemy so completely that Carthage here and the whole of Libya is a possession of your valour, and for this reason you will have no need of admonition that prompts to daring. For the spirits of those who have conquered are by no means wont to be overcome. But I think it not untimely to remind you of this one thing, that, if you on the present occasion but prove equal to your own selves in valour, straightway there will be an end for the Vandals of their hopes, and for you of the battle. Hence there is every reason why you should enter into this engagement with the greatest eagerness. For ever sweet to men is toil coming to an end and reaching its close. Now as for the host of the Vandals, let no one of you consider them. For not by numbers of men nor by measure of body, but by valour of soul, is war wont to be decided. And let the strongest motive which actuates men come to your minds, namely, pride in past achievement. For it is a shame, for those at least who have reason, to fall short of one's own self and to be found inferior to one's own standard of valour. For I know well that terror and the memory of misfortunes have laid hold upon the enemy and compel them to become less brave, for the one fills them with fear because of what has already happened, and the other brushes aside their hope of success. For Fortune, once seen to be bad, straightway enslaves the spirit of those who have fallen in her way. And I shall explain how the struggle involves for you at the present time a greater stake than formerly. For in the former battle the danger was, if things did not go well for us, that we should not take the land of others; but now, if we do not win the struggle, we shall lose the land which is our own. In proportion, then, as it is easier to possess nothing than to be deprived of what one has, just so now our fear touches our most vital concerns more than before. And yet formerly we had the fortune to win the victory with the infantry absent, but now, entering the battle with God propitious and with our whole army, I have hopes of capturing the camp of the enemy, men and all. Thus, then, having the end of the war ready at hand, do not by reason of any negligence put it off to another time, lest you be compelled to seek for the opportune moment after it has run past us. For when the fortune of war is postponed, its nature is not to proceed in the same manner as before, especially if the war be prolonged by the will of those who are carrying it on. For Heaven is accustomed to bring retribution always upon those who abandon the good fortune which is present. But if anyone considers that the enemy, seeing their children and wives and most precious possessions in our hands, will be daring beyond reason and will incur risks beyond the strength which they have, he does not think rightly. For an overpowering passion springing up in the heart in behalf of what is most precious is wont to diminish men's actual strength and does not allow them to make full use of their present opportunities. Considering, then, all these things, it behooves you to go with great contempt against the enemy."
After such words of exhortation, Belisarius sent out all the horsemen on the same day, except five hundred, and also the guardsmen and the standard, which the Romans call "bandum," entrusting them to John the Armenian, and directing him to skirmish only, if opportunity should arise. And he himself on the following day followed with the infantry forces and the five hundred horsemen. And the Massagetae, deliberating among themselves, decided, in order to seem in friendly agreement with both Gelimer and Belisarius, neither to begin fighting for the Romans nor to go over to the Vandals before the encounter, but whenever the situation of one or the other army should be bad, then to join the victors in their pursuit of the vanquished. Thus, then, had this matter been decided upon by the barbarians. And the Roman army came upon the Vandals encamped in Tricamarum, one hundred and fifty stades distant from Carthage. So they both bivouacked there at a considerable distance from one another. And when it was well on in the night, a prodigy came to pass in the Roman camp as follows. The tips of their spears were lighted with a bright fire and the points of them seemed to be burning most vigorously. This was not seen by many, but it filled with consternation the few who did see it, not knowing how it would come out. And this happened to the Romans in Italy again at a much later time. And at that time, since they knew by experience, they believed it to be a sign of victory. But now, as I have said, since this was the first time it had happened, they were filled with consternation and passed the night in great fear.
And on the following day Gelimer commanded the Vandals to place the women and children and all their possessions in the middle of the stockade, although it had not the character of a fort, and calling all together, he spoke as follows: "It is not to gain glory, or to retrieve the loss of empire alone, O fellow Vandals, that we are about to fight, so that even if we wilfully played the coward and sacrificed these our belongings we might possibly live, sitting at home and keeping our own possessions; but you see, surely, that our fortunes have come round to such a pass that, if we do not gain the mastery over the enemy, we shall, if we perish, leave them as masters of these our children and our wives and our land and all our possessions, while if we survive, there will be added our own enslavement and to behold all these enslaved; but if, indeed, we overcome our foes in the war, we shall, if we live, pass our lives among all good things, or, after the glorious ending of our lives, there will be left to our wives and children the blessings of prosperity, while the name of the Vandals will survive and their empire be preserved. For if it has ever happened to any men to be engaged in a struggle for their all, we now more than all others realize that we are entering the battle-line with our hopes for all we have resting wholly upon ourselves. Not for our bodies, then, is our fear, nor in death is our danger, but in being defeated by the enemy. For if we lose the victory, death will be to our advantage. Since, therefore, the case stands so, let no one of the Vandals weaken, but let him proudly expose his body, and from shame at the evils that follow defeat let him court the end of life. For when a man is ashamed of that which is shameful, there is always present with him a dauntless courage in the face of danger. And let no recollection of the earlier battle come into your minds. For it was not by cowardice on our part that we were defeated, but we tripped upon obstacles interposed by fortune and were overthrown. Now it is not the way of the tide of fortune to flow always in the same direction, but every day, as a rule, it is wont to change about. In manliness it is our boast that we surpass the enemy, and that in numbers we are much superior; for we believe that we surpass them no less than tenfold. And why shall I add that many and great are the incentives which, now especially, urge us on to valour, naming the glory of our ancestors and the empire which has been handed down to us by them? For in our case that glory is obscured by our unlikeness to our kindred, while the empire is bent upon fleeing from us as unworthy. And I pass over in silence the wails of these poor women and the tears of our children, by which, as you see, I am now so deeply moved that I am unable to prolong my discourse. But having said this one thing, I shall stop,--that there will be for us no returning to these most precious possessions if we do not gain the mastery over the enemy. Remembering these things, shew yourselves brave men and do not bring shame upon the fame of Gizeric."
After speaking such words, Gelimer commanded his brother Tzazon to deliver an exhortation separately to the Vandals who had come with him from Sardinia. And he gathered them together a little apart from the camp and spoke as follows: "For all the Vandals, fellow soldiers, the struggle is in behalf of those things which you have just heard the king recount, but for you, in addition to all the other considerations, it so happens that you are vying with yourselves. For you have recently been victorious in a struggle for the maintenance of our rule, and you have recovered the island for the empire of the Vandals; there is every reason, therefore, for you to make still greater display of your valour. For those whose hazard involves the greatest things must needs display the greatest zeal for warfare also. Indeed, when men who struggle for the maintenance of their rule are defeated, should it so happen, they have not failed in the most vital part; but when men are engaged in battle for their all, surely their very lives are influenced by the outcome of the struggle. And for the rest, if you shew yourselves brave men at the present time, you will thereby prove with certainty that the destruction of the tyrant Godas was an achievement of valour on your part; but if you weaken now, you will be deprived of even the renown of those deeds, as of something which does not belong to you at all. And yet, even apart from this, it is reasonable to think that you will have an advantage over the rest of the Vandals in this battle. For those who have failed are dismayed by their previous fortune, while those who have encountered no reverse enter the struggle with their courage unimpaired. And this too, I think, will not be spoken out of season, that if we conquer the enemy, it will be you who will win the credit for the greatest part of the victory, and all will call you saviours of the nation of the Vandals. For men who achieve renown in company with those who have previously met with misfortune naturally claim the better fortune as their own. Considering all these things, therefore, I say that you should bid the women and children who are lamenting their fate to take courage even now, should summon God to fight with us, should go with enthusiasm against the enemy, and lead the way for our compatriots into this battle."
After both Gelimer and Tzazon had spoken such exhortations, they led out the Vandals, and at about the time of lunch, when the Romans were not expecting them, but were preparing their meal, they were at hand and arrayed themselves for battle along the bank of the stream. Now the stream at that place is an ever-flowing one, to be sure, but its volume is so small that it is not even given a special name by the inhabitants of the place, but it is designated simply as a brook. So the Romans came to the other bank of this river, after preparing themselves as well as they could under the circumstances, and arrayed themselves as follows. The left wing was held by Martinus and Valerian, John, Cyprian, Althias, and Marcellus, and as many others as were commanders of the foederati; and the right was held by Pappas, Barbatus, and Aïgan, and the others who commanded the forces of cavalry. And in the centre John took his position, leading the guards and spearmen of Belisarius and carrying the general's standard. And Belisarius also came there at the opportune moment with his five hundred horsemen, leaving the infantry behind advancing at a walk. For all the Huns had been arrayed in another place, it being customary for them even before this not to mingle with the Roman army if they could avoid so doing, and at that time especially, since they had in mind the purpose which has previously been explained, it was not their wish to be arrayed with the rest of the army. Such, then, was the formation of the Romans. And on the side of the Vandals, either wing was held by the chiliarchs, and each one led the division under him, while in the centre was Tzazon, the brother of Gelimer, and behind him were arrayed the Moors. But Gelimer himself was going about everywhere exhorting them and urging them on to daring. And the command had been previously given to all the Vandals to use neither spear nor any other weapon in this engagement except their swords.
After a considerable time had passed and no one began the battle, John chose out a few of those under him by the advice of Belisarius and crossing the river made an attack on the centre, where Tzazon crowded them back and gave chase. And the Romans in flight came into their own camp, while the Vandals in pursuit came as far as the stream, but did not cross it. And once more John, leading out more of the guardsmen of Belisarius, made a dash against the forces of Tzazon, and again being repulsed from there, withdrew to the Roman camp. And a third time with almost all the guards and spearmen of Belisarius he took the general's standard and made his attack with much shouting and a great noise. But since the barbarians manfully withstood them and used only their swords, the battle became fierce, and many of the noblest of the Vandals fell, and among them Tzazon himself, the brother of Gelimer. Then at last the whole Roman army was set in motion, and crossing the river they advanced upon the enemy, and the rout, beginning at the centre, became complete; for each of the Roman divisions turned to flight those before them with no trouble. And the Massagetae, seeing this, according to their agreement among themselves joined the Roman army in making the pursuit, but this pursuit was not continued for a great distance. For the Vandals entered their own camp quickly and remained quiet, while the Romans, thinking that they would not be able to fight it out with them inside the stockade, stripped such of the corpses as had gold upon them and retired to their own camp. And there perished in this battle, of the Romans less than fifty, but of the Vandals about eight hundred.
But Belisarius, when the infantry came up in the late afternoon, moved as quickly as he could with the whole army and went against the camp of the Vandals. And Gelimer, realising that Belisarius with his infantry and the rest of his army was coming against him straightway, without saying a word or giving a command leaped upon his horse and was off in flight on the road leading to Numidia. And his kinsmen and some few of his domestics followed him in utter consternation and guarding with silence what was taking place. And for some time it escaped the notice of the Vandals that Gelimer had run away, but when they all perceived that he had fled, and the enemy were already plainly seen, then indeed the men began to shout and the children cried out and the women wailed. And they neither took with them the money they had nor did they heed the laments of those dearest to them, but every man fled in complete disorder just as he could. And the Romans, coming up, captured the camp, money and all, with not a man in it; and they pursued the fugitives throughout the whole night, killing all the men upon whom they happened, and making slaves of the women and children. And they found in this camp a quantity of wealth such as has never before been found, at least in one place. For the Vandals had plundered the Roman domain for a long time and had transferred great amounts of money to Libya, and since their land was an especially good one, nourishing abundantly with the most useful crops, it came about that the revenue collected from the commodities produced there was not paid out to any other country in the purchase of a food supply, but those who possessed the land always kept for themselves the income from it for the ninety-five years during which the Vandals ruled Libya. And from this it resulted that their wealth, amounting to an extraordinary sum, returned once more on that day into the hands of the Romans. So this battle and the pursuit and the capture of the Vandals' camp happened three months after the Roman army came to Carthage, at about the middle of the last month, which the Romans call "December." [533 A.D.]
Then Belisarius, seeing the Roman army rushing about in confusion and great disorder, was disturbed, being fearful throughout the whole night lest the enemy, uniting by mutual agreement against him, should do him irreparable harm. And if this thing had happened at that time in any way at all, I believe that, not one of the Romans would have escaped and enjoyed this booty. For the soldiers, being extremely poor men, upon becoming all of a sudden masters of very great wealth and of women both young and extremely comely, were no longer able to restrain their minds or to find any satiety in the things they had, but were so intoxicated, drenched as they were by their present good fortunes, that each one wished to take everything with him back to Carthage. And they were going about, not in companies but alone or by twos, wherever hope led them, searching out everything roundabout among the valleys and the rough country and wherever there chanced to be a cave or anything such as might bring them into danger or ambush. For neither did fear of the enemy nor their respect for Belisarius occur to them, nor indeed anything else at all except the desire for spoils, and being overmastered by this they came to think lightly of everything else. And Belisarius, taking note of all this, was at a loss as to how he should handle the situation. But at daybreak he took his stand upon a certain hill near the road, appealing to the discipline which no longer existed and heaping reproaches upon all, soldiers and officers alike. Then indeed, those who chanced to be near, and especially those who were of the household of Belisarius, sent the money and slaves which they had to Carthage with their tentmates and messmates, and themselves came up beside the general and gave heed to the orders given them.
And he commanded John, the Armenian, with two hundred men to follow Gelimer, and without slackening their speed either night or day to pursue him, until they should take him living or dead. And he sent word to his associates in Carthage to lead into the city all the Vandals who were sitting as suppliants in sanctuaries in the places about the city, giving them pledges and taking away their weapons, that they might not begin an uprising, and to keep them there until he himself should come. And with those who were left he went about everywhere and gathered the soldiers hastily, and to all the Vandals he came upon he gave pledges for their safety. For it was no longer possible to catch anyone of the Vandals except as a suppliant in the sanctuaries. And from these he took away their weapons and sent them, with soldiers to guard them, to Carthage, not giving them time to unite against the Romans. And when everything was as well settled as possible, he himself with the greater part of the army moved against Gelimer with all speed. But John, after continuing the pursuit five days and nights, had already come not far from Gelimer, and in fact he was about to engage with him on the following day. But since it was not fated that Gelimer should be captured by John, the following obstacle was contrived by fortune. Among those pursuing with John it happened that there was Uliaris, the aide of Belisarius. Now this man was a passionate fellow and well favoured in strength of heart and body, but not a very serious man, but one who generally took delight in wine and buffoonery. This Uliaris on the sixth day of the pursuit, being drunk, saw a bird sitting in a tree at about sunrise, and he quickly stretched his bow and despatched a missile at the bird. And he missed the bird, but John, who was behind it, he hit in the neck by no will of his own. And since the wound was mortal, John passed away a short time afterwards, leaving great sorrow at his loss to the Emperor Justinian and Belisarius, the general, and to all the Romans and Carthaginians. For in manliness and every sort of virtue he was well endowed, and he shewed himself, to those who associated with him, gentle and equitable to a degree quite unsurpassed. Thus, then, John fulfilled his destiny. As for Uliaris, when he came to himself, he fled to a certain village which was near by and sat as a suppliant in the sanctuary there. And the soldiers no longer pressed the pursuit of Gelimer, but they cared for John as long as he survived, and when he had died they carried out all the customary rites in his burial, and reporting the whole matter to Belisarius they remained where they were. And as soon as he heard of it, he came to John's burial, and bewailed his fate. And after weeping over him and grieving bitterly at the whole occurrence, he honoured the tomb of John with many gifts and especially by providing for it a regular income. However, he did nothing severe to Uliaris, since the soldiers said that John had enjoined upon them by the most dread oaths that no vengeance should come to him, since he had not performed the unholy deed with deliberate intent.
Thus, then, Gelimer escaped falling into the hands of the enemy on that day. And from that time on Belisarius pursued him, but upon reaching a strong city of Numidia situated on the sea, ten days distant from Carthage, which they call Hippo Regius, he learned that Gelimer had ascended the mountain Papua and could no longer be captured by the Romans. Now this mountain is situated at the extremity of Numidia and is exceedingly precipitous and climbed only with the greatest difficulty (for lofty cliffs rise up toward it from every side), and on it dwell barbarian Moors, who were friends and allies to Gelimer, and an ancient city named Medeus lies on the outskirts of the mountain. There Gelimer rested with his followers. But as for Belisarius, he was not able to make any attempt at all on the mountain, much less in the winter season, and since his affairs were still in an uncertain state, he did not think it advisable to be away from Carthage; and so he chose out soldiers, with Pharas as their leader, and set them to maintain the siege of the mountain. Now this Pharas was energetic and thoroughly serious and upright in every way, although he was an Erulian by birth. And for an Erulian not to give himself over to treachery and drunkenness, but to strive after uprightness, is no easy matter and merits abundant praise. But not only was it Pharas who maintained orderly conduct, but also all the Erulians who followed him. This Pharas, then, Belisarius commanded to establish himself at the foot of the mountain during the winter season and to keep close guard, so that it would neither be possible for Gelimer to leave the mountain nor for any supplies to be brought in to him. And Pharas acted accordingly. Then Belisarius turned to the Vandals who were sitting as suppliants in the sanctuaries in Hippo Regius,--and there were many of them and of the nobility--and he caused them all to accept pledges and arise, and then he sent them to Carthage with a guard. And there it came about that the following event happened to him.
In the house of Gelimer there was a certain scribe named Boniface, a Libyan, and a native of Byzacium, a man exceedingly faithful to Gelimer. At the beginning of this war Gelimer had put this Boniface on a very swift-sailing ship, and placing all the royal treasure in it commanded him to anchor in the harbour of Hippo Regius, and if he should see that the situation was not favourable to their side, he was to sail with all speed to Spain with the money, and go to Theudis, the leader of the Visigoths, where he was expecting to find safety for himself also, should the fortune of war prove adverse for the Vandals. So Boniface, as long as he felt hope for the cause of the Vandals, remained there; but as soon as the battle in Tricamarum took place, with all the other events which have been related, he spread his canvas and sailed away just as Gelimer had directed him. But an opposing wind brought him back, much against his will, into the harbour of Hippo Regius. And since he had already heard that the enemy were somewhere near, he entreated the sailors with many promises to row with all their might for some other continent or for an island. But they were unable to do so, since a very severe storm had fallen upon them and the waves of the sea were rising to a great height, seeing that it was the Tuscan sea, and then it occurred to them and to Boniface that, after all, God wished to give the money to the Romans and so was not allowing the ship to put out. However, though they had got outside the harbour, they encountered great danger in bringing their ship back to anchorage. And when Belisarius arrived at Hippo Regius, Boniface sent some men to him. These he commanded to sit in a sanctuary, and they were to say that they had been sent by Boniface, who had the money of Gelimer, but to conceal the place where he was, until they should receive the pledges of Belisarius that upon giving Gelimer's money he himself should escape free from harm, having all that was his own. These men, then, acted according to these instructions, and Belisarius was pleased at the good news and did not decline to take an oath. And sending some of his associates he took the treasure of Gelimer and released Boniface in possession of his own money and also with an enormous sum which he plundered from Gelimer's treasure.
And when he returned to Carthage, he put all the Vandals in readiness, so that at the opening of spring he might send them to Byzantium; and he sent out an army to recover for the Romans everything which the Vandals ruled. And first he sent Cyril to Sardinia with a great force, having the head of Tzazon, since these islanders were not at all willing to yield to the Romans, fearing the Vandals and thinking that what had been told them as having happened in Tricamarum could not be true. And he ordered this Cyril to send a portion of the army to Corsica, and to recover for the Roman empire the island, which had been previously subject to the Vandals; this island was called Cyrnus in early times, and is not far from Sardinia. So he came to Sardinia and displayed the head of Tzazon to the inhabitants of the place, and he won back both the islands and made them tributary to the Roman domain. And to Caesarea in Mauretania Belisarius sent John with an infantry company which he usually commanded himself; this place is distant from Carthage a journey of thirty days for an unencumbered traveller, as one goes towards Gadira and the west; and it is situated upon the sea, having been a great and populous city from ancient times. Another John, one of his own guardsmen, he sent to Gadira on the strait and by one of the Pillars of Heracles, to take possession of the fort there which they call "Septem." And to the islands which are near the strait where the ocean flows in, called Ebusa and Majorica and Minorica by the natives, he sent Apollinarius, who was a native of Italy, but had come while still a lad to Libya. And he had been rewarded with great sums of money by Ilderic, who was then leader of the Vandals, and after Ilderic had been removed from the office and was in confinement, as has been told in the previous narrative, he came to the Emperor Justinian with the other Libyans who were working in the interest of Ilderic, in order to entreat his favour as a suppliant. And he joined the Roman expedition against Gelimer and the Vandals, and proved himself a brave man in this war and most of all at Tricamarum. And as a result of his deeds there Belisarius entrusted to him these islands. And later Belisarius sent an army also into Tripolis to Pudentius and Tattimuth, who were being pressed by the Moors there, and thus strengthened the Roman power in that quarter.
He also sent some men to Sicily in order to take the fortress in Lilybaeum, as belonging to the Vandals' kingdom, but he was repulsed from there, since the Goths by no means saw fit to yield any part of Sicily, on the ground that this fortress did not belong to the Vandals at all. And when Belisarius heard this, he wrote to the commanders who were there as follows: "You are depriving us of Lilybaeum, the fortress of the Vandals who are the slaves of the emperor, and are not acting justly nor in a way to benefit yourselves, and you wish to bring upon your ruler, though he does not so will it and is far distant from the scene of these actions, the hostility of the great emperor, whose good-will he has, having won it with great labour. And yet how could you but seem to be acting contrary to the ways of men, it you recently allowed Gelimer to hold the fortress, but have decided to wrest from the emperor, Gelimer's master, the possessions of the slave? You, at least, should not act thus, most excellent sirs. But reflect that, while it is the nature of friendship to cover over many faults, hostility does not brook even the smallest misdeeds, but searches the past for every offence, and allows not its enemy to grow rich on what does not in the least belong to them. Moreover, the enemy fights to avenge the wrongs which it says have been done to its ancestors; and whereas, if friendship thus turned to hostility fails in the struggle, it suffers no loss of its own possessions, yet if it succeeds, it teaches the vanquished to take a new view of the indulgence which has been shewn them in the past. See to it, then, that you neither do us further harm nor suffer harm yourselves, and do not make the great emperor an enemy to the Gothic nation, when it is your prayer that he be propitious toward you. For be well assured that, if you lay claim to this fortress, war will confront you immediately, and not for Lilybaeum alone, but for all the possessions you claim as yours, though not one of them belongs to you."
Such was the message of the letter. And the Goths reported these things to the mother of Antalaric, and at her direction made the following reply: "The letter which you have written, most excellent Belisarius, carries sound admonition, but pertinent to some other men, not to us the Goths. For there is nothing of the Emperor Justinian's which we have taken and hold; may we never be so mad as to do such a thing! The whole of Sicily we claim because it is our own, and the fortress of Lilybaeum is one of its promontories. And if Theoderic gave his sister, who was the consort of the king of the Vandals, one of the trading-ports of Sicily for her use, this is nothing. For this fact could not afford a basis for any claim on your part. But you, O General, would be acting justly toward us, if you should be willing to make the settlement of the matters in dispute between us, not as an enemy, but as a friend. And there is this difference, that friends are accustomed to settle their disagreements by arbitration, but enemies by battle. We, therefore, shall commit this matter to the Emperor Justinian, to arbitrate in whatever manner seems to him lawful and just. And we desire that the decisions you make shall be as wise as possible, rather than as hasty as possible, and that you, therefore, await the decision of your emperor." Such was the message of the letter of the Goths. And Belisarius, reporting all to the emperor, remained quiet until the emperor should send him word what his wish was.
But Pharas, having by this time become weary of the siege for many reasons, and especially because of the winter season, and at the same time thinking that the Moors there would not be able to stand in his way, undertook the ascent of Papua with great zeal. Accordingly he armed all his followers very carefully and began the ascent. But the Moors rushed to the defence, and since they were on ground which was steep and very hard to traverse, their efforts to hinder those making the ascent were easily accomplished. But Pharas fought hard to force the ascent, and one hundred and ten of his men perished in this struggle, and he himself with the remainder was beaten back and retired; and as a result of this he did not dare to attempt the ascent again, since the situation was against him, but he established as careful a guard as possible, in order that those on Papua, being pressed by hunger, might surrender themselves; and he neither permitted them to run away nor anything to be brought in to them from outside. Then, indeed, it came about that Gelimer and those about him, who were nephews and cousins of his and other persons of high birth, experienced a misery which no one could describe, however eloquent he might be, in a way which would equal the facts. For of all the nations which we know that of the Vandals is the most luxurious, and that of the Moors the most hardy. For the Vandals, since the time when they gained possession of Libya, used to indulge in baths, all of them, every day, and enjoyed a table abounding in all things, the sweetest and best that the earth and sea produce. And they wore gold very generally, and clothed themselves in the Medic garments, which now they call "seric," and passed their time, thus dressed, in theatres and hippodromes and in other pleasureable pursuits, and above all else in hunting. And they had dancers and mimes and all other things to hear and see which are of a musical nature or otherwise merit attention among men. And the most of them dwelt in parks, which were well supplied with water and trees; and they had great numbers of banquets, and all manner of sexual pleasures were in great vogue among them. But the Moors live in stuffy huts both in winter and in summer and at every other time, never removing from them either because of snow or the heat of the sun or any other discomfort whatever due to nature. And they sleep on the ground, the prosperous among them, if it should so happen, spreading a fleece under themselves. Moreover, it is not customary among them to change their clothing with the seasons, but they wear a thick cloak and a rough shirt at all times. And they have neither bread nor wine nor any other good thing, but they take grain, either wheat or barley, and, without boiling it or grinding it to flour or barley-meal, they eat it in a manner not a whit different from that of animals. Since the Moors, then, were of a such a sort, the followers of Gelimer, after living with them for a long time and changing their accustomed manner of life to such a miserable existence, when at last even the necessities of life had failed, held out no longer, but death was thought by them most sweet and slavery by no means disgraceful.
Now when this was learned by Pharas, he wrote to Gelimer as follows: "I too am a barbarian and not accustomed to writing and speaking, nor am I skilful in these matters. But that which I am forced as a man to know, having learned from the nature of things, this I am writing you. What in the world has happened to you, my dear Gelimer, that you have cast, not yourself alone, but your whole family besides, into this pit? Is it, forsooth, that you may avoid becoming a slave? But this is assuredly nothing but youthful folly, and making of 'liberty' a mere shibboleth, as though liberty were worth possessing at the price of all this misery! And, after all, do you not consider that you are, even now, a slave to the most wretched of the Moors, since your only hope of being saved, if the best happens, is in them? And yet why would it not be better in every way to be a slave among the Romans and beggared, than to be monarch on Mount Papua with Moors as your subjects? But of course it seems to you the very height of disgrace even to be a fellow slave with Belisarius! Away with the thought, most excellent Gelimer. Are not we, who also are born of noble families, proud that we are now in the service of an emperor? And indeed they say that it is the wish of the Emperor Justinian to have you enrolled in the senate, thus sharing in the highest honour and being a patrician, as we term that rank, and to present you with lands both spacious and good and with great sums of money, and that Belisarius is willing to make himself responsible for your having all these things, and to give you pledges. Now as for all the miseries which fortune has brought you, you are able to bear with fortitude whatever comes from her, knowing that you are but a man and that these things are inevitable; but if fortune has purposed to temper these adversities with some admixture of good, would you of yourself refuse to accept this gladly? Or should we consider that the good gifts of fortune are not just as inevitable as are her undesirable gifts? Yet such is not the opinion of even the utterly senseless; but you, it would seem, have now lost your good judgment, steeped as you are in misfortunes. Indeed, discouragement is wont to confound the mind and to be transformed to folly. If, however, you can bear your own thoughts and refrain from rebelling against fortune when she changes, it will be possible at this very moment for you to choose that which will be wholly to your advantage, and to escape from the evils which hang over you."
When Gelimer had read this letter and wept bitterly over it, he wrote in reply as follows: "I am both deeply grateful to you for the advice which you have given me and I also think it unbearable to be a slave to an enemy who wrongs me, from whom I should pray God to exact justice, if He should be propitious to me,--an enemy who, though he had never experienced any harm from me either in deeds which he suffered or in words which he heard, provided a pretext for a war which was unprovoked, and reduced me to this state of misfortune, bringing Belisarius against me from I know not where. And yet it is not at all unlikely that he also, since he is but a man, though he be emperor too, may have something befall him which he would not choose. But as for me, I am not able to write further. For my present misfortune has robbed me of my thoughts. Farewell, then, dear Pharas, and send me a lyre and one loaf of bread and a sponge, I pray you." When this reply was read by Pharas, he was at a loss for some time, being unable to understand the final words of the letter, until he who had brought the letter explained that Gelimer desired one loaf because he was eager to enjoy the sight of it and to eat it, since from the time when he went up upon Papua he had not seen a single baked loaf. A sponge also was necessary for him; for one of his eyes, becoming irritated by lack of washing, was greatly swollen. And being a skilful harpist he had composed an ode relating to his present misfortune, which he was eager to chant to the accompaniment of a lyre while he wept out his soul. When Pharas heard this, he was deeply moved, and lamenting the fortune of men, he did as was written and sent all the things which Gelimer desired of him. However he relaxed the siege not a whit, but kept watch more closely than before.
And already a space of three months had been spent in this siege and the winter was coming to an end. And Gelimer was afraid, suspecting that his besiegers would come up against him after no great time; and the bodies of most of the children who were related to him were discharging worms in this time of misery. And though in everything he was deeply distressed, and looked upon everything,--except, indeed, death,--with dissatisfaction, he nevertheless endured the suffering beyond all expectation, until it happened that he beheld a sight such as the following. A certain Moorish woman had managed somehow to crush a little corn, and making of it a very tiny cake, threw it into the hot ashes on the hearth. For thus it is the custom among the Moors to bake their loaves. And beside this hearth two children were sitting, in exceedingly great distress by reason of their hunger, the one being the son of the very woman who had thrown in the cake, and the other a nephew of Gelimer; and they were eager to seize the cake as soon as it should seem to them to be cooked. And of the two children the Vandal got ahead of the other and snatched the cake first, and, though it was still exceedingly hot and covered with ashes, hunger overpowered him, and he threw it into his mouth and was eating it, when the other seized him by the hair of the head and struck him over the temple and beat him again and thus compelled him with great violence to cast out the cake which was already in his throat. This sad experience Gelimer could not endure (for he had followed all from the beginning), and his spirit was weakened and he wrote as quickly as possible to Pharas as follows: "If it has ever happened to any man, after manfully enduring terrible misfortunes, to take a course contrary to that which he had previously determined upon, consider me to be such a one, O most excellent Pharas. For there has come to my mind your advice, which I am far from wishing to disregard. For I cannot resist fortune further nor rebel against fate, but I shall follow straightway wherever it seems to her best to lead; but let me receive the pledges, that Belisarius guarantees that the emperor will do everything which you recently promised me. For I, indeed, as soon as you give the pledges, shall put both myself into your hands and these kinsmen of mine and the Vandals, as many as are here with us."
Such were the words written by Gelimer in this letter. And Pharas, having signified this to Belisarius, as well as what they had previously written to each other, begged him to declare as quickly as possible what his wish was. And Belisarius (since he was greatly desirous of leading Gelimer alive to the emperor), as soon as he had read the letter, became overjoyed and commanded Cyprian, a leader of foederati, to go to Papua with certain others, and directed them to give an oath concerning the safety of Gelimer and of those with him, and to swear that he would be honoured before the emperor and would lack nothing. And when these men had come to Pharas, they went with him to a certain place by the foot of the mountain, where Gelimer came at their summons, and after receiving the pledges just as he wished he came with them to Carthage. And it happened that Belisarius was staying for a time in the suburb of the city which they call Aclas. Accordingly Gelimer came before him in that place, laughing with such laughter as was neither moderate nor the kind one could conceal, and some of those who were looking at him suspected that by reason of the extremity of his affliction he had changed entirely from his natural state and that, already beside himself, he was laughing for no reason. But his friends would have it that the man was in his sound mind, and that because he had been born in a royal family, and had ascended the throne, and had been clothed with great power and immense wealth from childhood even to old age, and then being driven to flight and plunged into great fear had undergone the sufferings on Papua, and now had come as a captive, having in this way had experience of all the gifts of fortune, both good and evil, for this reason, they believed, he thought that man's lot was worthy of nothing else than much laughter. Now concerning this laughter of Gelimer's, let each one speak according to his judgment, both enemy and friend. But Belisarius, reporting to the emperor that Gelimer was a captive in Carthage, asked permission to bring him to Byzantium with him. At the same time he guarded both him and all the Vandals in no dishonour and proceeded to put the fleet in readiness.
Now many other things too great to be hoped for have before now been experienced in the long course of time, and they will continue as long as the fortunes of men are the same as they now are; for those things which seem to reason impossible are actually accomplished, and many times those things which previously appeared impossible, when they have befallen, have seemed to be worthy of wonder; but whether such events as these ever took place before I am not able to say, wherein the fourth descendant of Gizeric, and his kingdom at the height of its wealth and military strength, were completely undone in so short a time by five thousand men coming in as invaders and having not a place to cast anchor. For such was the number of the horsemen who followed Belisarius, and carried through the whole war against the Vandals. For whether this happened by chance or because of some kind of valour, one would justly marvel at it. But I shall return to the point from which I have strayed.
So the Vandalic war ended thus. But envy, as is wont to happen in cases of great good fortune, was already swelling against Belisarius, although he provided no pretext for it. For some of the officers slandered him to the emperor, charging him, without any grounds whatever, with seeking to set up a kingdom for himself, a statement for which there was no basis whatever. But the emperor did not disclose these things to the world, either because he paid no heed to the slander, or because this course seemed better to him. But he sent Solomon and gave Belisarius the opportunity to choose whichever of two things he desired, either to come to Byzantium with Gelimer and the Vandals, or to remain there and send them. And Belisarius, since it did not escape him that the officers were bringing against him the charge of seeking supreme power, was eager to get to Byzantium, in order that he might clear himself of the charge and be able to proceed against his slanderers. Now as to the manner in which he learned of the attempt of his accusers, I shall explain. When those who denounced him wished to present this slander, fearing lest the man who was to carry their letter to the emperor should be lost at sea and thus put a stop to their proceedings, they wrote the aforesaid accusation on two tablets, purposing to send two messengers to the emperor in two ships. And one of these two sailed away without being detected, but the second, on account of some suspicion or other, was captured in Mandracium, and putting the writing into the hands of his captors, he made known what was being done. So Belisarius, having learned in this way, was eager to come before the emperor, as has been said. Such, then, was the course of these events at Carthage.
But the Moors who dwelt in Byzacium and in Numidia turned to revolt for no good reason, and they decided to break the treaty and to rise suddenly against the Romans. And this was not out of keeping with their peculiar character. For there is among the Moors neither fear of God nor respect for men. For they care not either for oaths or for hostages, even though the hostages chance to be the children or brothers of their leaders. Nor is peace maintained among the Moors by any other means than by fear of the enemies opposing them. Now I shall set forth in what manner the treaty was made by them with Belisarius and how it was broken. When it came to be expected that the emperor's expedition would arrive in Libya, the Moors, fearing lest they should receive some harm from it, consulted the oracles of their women. For it is not lawful in this nation for a man to utter oracles, but the women among them as a result of some sacred rites become possessed and foretell the future, no less than any of the ancient oracles. So on that occasion, when they made enquiry, as has been said, the women gave the response: "There shall be a host from the waters, the overthrow of the Vandals, destruction and defeat of the Moors, when the general of the Romans shall come unbearded." When the Moors heard this, since they saw that the emperor's army had come from the sea, they began to be in great fear and were quite unwilling to fight in alliance with the Vandals, but they sent to Belisarius and established peace, as has been stated previously, and then remained quiet and waited for the future, to see how it would fall out. And when the power of the Vandals had now come to an end, they sent to the Roman army, investigating whether there was anyone unbearded among them holding an office. And when they saw all wearing full beards, they thought that the oracle did not indicate the present time to them, but one many generations later, interpreting the saying in that way which they themselves wished. Immediately, therefore, they were eager to break the treaty, but their fear of Belisarius prevented them. For they had no hope that they would ever overcome the Romans in war, at least with him present. But when they heard that he was making his departure together with his guards and spearmen, and that the ships were already being filled with them and the Vandals, they suddenly rose in arms and displayed every manner of outrage upon the Libyans. For the soldiers were both few in each place on the frontier and still unprepared, so that they would not have been able to stand against the barbarians as they made inroads at every point, nor to prevent their incursions, which took place frequently and not in an open manner. But men were being killed indiscriminately and women with their children were being made slaves, and the wealth was being plundered from every part of the frontier and the whole country was being filled with fugitives. These things were reported to Belisarius when he was just about setting sail. And since it was now too late for him to return himself, he entrusted Solomon with the administration of Libya and he also chose out the greatest part of his own guards and spearmen, instructing them to follow Solomon and as quickly as possible to punish with all zeal those of the Moors who had risen in revolt and to exact vengeance for the injury done the Romans. And the emperor sent another army also to Solomon with Theodoras, the Cappadocian, and Ildiger, who was the son-in-law of Antonina, the wife of Belisarius. And since it was no longer possible to find the revenues of the districts of Libya set down in order in documents, as the Romans had recorded them in former times, inasmuch as Gizeric had upset and destroyed everything in the beginning, Tryphon and Eustratius were sent by the emperor, in order to assess the taxes for the Libyans each according to his proportion. But these men seemed to the Libyans neither moderate nor endurable.
Belisarius, upon reaching Byzantium with Gelimer and the Vandals, was counted worthy to receive such honours, as in former times were assigned to those generals of the Romans who had won the greatest and most noteworthy victories. And a period of about six hundred years had now passed since anyone had attained these honours, except, indeed, Titus and Trajan, and such other emperors as had led armies against some barbarian nation and had been victorious. For he displayed the spoils and slaves from the war in the midst of the city and led a procession which the Romans call a "triumph," not, however, in the ancient manner, but going on foot from his own house to the hippodrome and then again from the barriers until he reached the place where the imperial throne is. And there was booty,--first of all, whatever articles are wont to be set apart for the royal service,--thrones of gold and carriages in which it is customary for a king's consort to ride, and much jewelry made of precious stones, and golden drinking cups, and all the other things which are useful for the royal table. And there was also silver weighing many thousands of talents and all the royal treasure amounting to an exceedingly great sum (for Gizeric had despoiled the Palatium in Rome, as has been said in the preceding narrative), and among these were the treasures of the Jews, which Titus, the son of Vespasian, together with certain others, had brought to Rome after the capture of Jerusalem. And one of the Jews, seeing these things, approached one of those known to the emperor and said: "These treasures I think it inexpedient to carry into the palace in Byzantium. Indeed, it is not possible for them to be elsewhere than in the place where Solomon, the king of the Jews, formerly placed them. For it is because of these that Gizeric captured the palace of the Romans, and that now the Roman army has captured that the Vandals." When this had been brought to the ears of the Emperor, he became afraid and quickly sent everything to the sanctuaries of the Christians in Jerusalem. And there were slaves in the triumph, among whom was Gelimer himself, wearing some sort of a purple garment upon his shoulders, and all his family, and as many of the Vandals as were very tall and fair of body. And when Gelimer reached the hippodrome and saw the emperor sitting upon a lofty seat and the people standing on either side and realized as he looked about in what an evil plight he was, he neither wept nor cried out, but ceased not saying over in the words of the Hebrew scripture: "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." And when he came before the emperor's seat, they stripped off the purple garment, and compelled him to fall prone on the ground and do obeisance to the Emperor Justinian. This also Belisarius did, as being a suppliant of the emperor along with him. And the Emperor Justinian and the Empress Theodora presented the children of Ilderic and his offspring and all those of the family of the Emperor Valentinian with sufficient sums of money, and to Gelimer they gave lands not to be despised in Galatia and permitted him to live there together with his family. However, Gelimer was by no means enrolled among the patricians, since he was unwilling to change from the faith of Arius.
[Jan. 1, 535 A.D.] A little later the triumph was celebrated by, Belisarius in the ancient manner also. For he had the fortune to be advanced to the office of consul, and therefore was borne aloft by the captives, and as he was thus carried in his curule chair, he threw to the populace those very spoils of the Vandalic war. For the people carried off the silver plate and golden girdles and a vast amount of the Vandals' wealth of other sorts as a result of Belisarius' consulship, and it seemed that after a long interval of disuse an old custom was being revived. These things, then, took place in Byzantium in the manner described.
And Solomon took over the army in Libya; but in view of the fact that the Moors had risen against him, as has been told previously, and that everything was in suspense, he was at a loss how to treat the situation. For it was reported that the barbarians had destroyed the soldiers in Byzacium and Numidia and that they were pillaging and plundering everything there. But what disturbed most of all both him and all Carthage was the fate which befell Aïgan, the Massagete, and Rufinus, the Thracian, in Byzacium. For both were men of great repute both in the household of Belisarius and in the Roman army, one of them, Aïgan, being among the spearmen of Belisarius, while the other, as the most courageous of all, was accustomed to carry the standard of the general in battle; such an officer the Romans call "bandifer." Now at the time referred to these two men were commanding detatchments of cavalry in Byzacium, and when they saw the Moors plundering everything before them and making all the Libyans captives, they watched in a narrow pass with their followers for those who were escorting the booty, and killed them and took away all the captives. And when a report of this came to the commanders of the barbarians, Coutzinas and Esdilasas and Iourphouthes and Medisinissas, who were not far away from this pass, they moved against them with their whole army in the late afternoon. And the Romans, being a very few men and shut off in a narrow place in the midst of many thousands, were not able to ward off their assailants. For wherever they might turn, they were always shot at from the rear. Then, indeed, Rufinus and Aïgan with some few men ran to the top of a rock which was near by and from there defended themselves against the barbarians. Now as long as they were using their bows, the enemy did not dare come directly to a hand-to-hand struggle with them, but they kept hurling their javelins among them; but when all the arrows of the Romans were now exhausted, the Moors closed with them, and they defended themselves with their swords as well as the circumstances permitted. But since they were overpowered by the multitude of the barbarians, Aïgan fell there with his whole body hacked to pieces, and Rufinus was seized by the enemy and led away. But straightway one of the commanders, Medisinissas, fearing lest he should escape and again make trouble for them, cut off his head and taking it to his home shewed it to his wives, for it was a remarkable sight on account of the extraordinary size of the head and the abundance of hair. And now, since the narration of the history has brought me to this point, it is necessary to tell from the beginning whence the nations of the Moors came to Libya and how they settled there.
When the Hebrews had withdrawn from Egypt and had come near the boundaries of Palestine, Moses, a wise man, who was their leader on the journey, died, and the leadership was passed on to Joshua, the son of Nun, who led this people into Palestine, and, by displaying a valour in war greater than that natural to a man, gained possession of the land. And after overthrowing all the nations he easily won the cities, and he seemed to be altogether invincible. Now at that time the whole country along the sea from Sidon as far as the boundaries of Egypt was called Phoenicia. And one king in ancient times held sway over it, as is agreed by all who have written the earliest accounts of the Phoenicians. In that country there dwelt very populous tribes, the Gergesites and the Jebusites and some others with other names by which they are called in the history of the Hebrews. Now when these nations saw that the invading general was an irresistible prodigy, they emigrated from their ancestral homes and made their way to Egypt, which adjoined their country. And finding there no place sufficient for them to dwell in, since there has been a great population in Aegypt from ancient times, they proceeded to Libya. And they established numerous cities and took possession of the whole of Libya as far as the Pillars of Heracles, and there they have lived even up to my time, using the Phoenician tongue. They also built a fortress in Numidia, where now is the city called Tigisis. In that place are two columns made of white stone near by the great spring, having Phoenician letters cut in them which say in the Phoenician tongue: "We are they who fled from before the face of Joshua, the robber, the son of Nun." There were also other nations settled in Libya before the Moors, who on account of having been established there from of old were said to be children of the soil. And because of this they said that Antaeus, their king, who wrestled with Heracles in Clipea, was a son of the earth. And in later times those who removed from Phoenicia with Dido came to the inhabitants of Libya as to kinsmen. And they willingly allowed them to found and hold Carthage. But as time went on Carthage became a powerful and populous city. And a battle took place between them and their neighbours, who, as has been said, had come from Palestine before them and are called Moors at the present time, and the Carthaginians defeated them and compelled them to live a very great distance away from Carthage. Later on the Romans gained the supremacy over all of them in war, and settled the Moors at the extremity of the inhabited land of Libya, and made the Carthaginians and the other Libyans subject and tributary to themselves. And after this the Moors won many victories over the Vandals and gained possession of the land now called Mauretania, extending from Gadira as far as the boundaries of Caesarea, as well as the most of Libya which remained. Such, then, is the story of the settlement of the Moors in Libya.
Now when Solomon heard what had befallen Rufinus and Aïgan, he made ready for war and wrote as follows to the commanders of the Moors: "Other men than you have even before this had the ill fortune to lose their senses and to be destroyed, men who had no means of judging beforehand how their folly would turn out. But as for you, who have the example near at hand in your neighbours, the Vandals, what in the world has happened to you that you have decided to raise your hands against the great emperor and throw away your own security, and that too when you have given the most dread oaths in writing and have handed over your children as pledges to the agreement? Is it that you have determined to make a kind of display of the fact that you have no consideration either for God or for good faith or for kinship itself or for safety or for any other thing at all? And yet, if such is your practice in matters which concern the divine, in what ally do you put your trust in marching against the emperor of the Romans? And if you are taking the field to the destruction of your children, what in the world is it in behalf of which you have decided to endanger yourselves? But if any repentance has by now entered your hearts for what has already taken place, write to us, that we may satisfactorily arrange with you touching what has already been done; but if your madness has not yet abated, expect a Roman war, which will come upon you together with the oaths which you have violated and the wrong which you are doing to your own children."
Such was the letter which Solomon wrote. And the Moors replied as follows: "Belisarius deluded us with great promises and by this means persuaded us to become subjects of the Emperor Justinian; but the Romans, while giving us no share in any good thing, expected to have us, though pinched with hunger, as their friends and allies. Therefore it is more fitting that you should be called faithless than that the Moors should be. For the men who break treaties are not those who, when manifestly wronged, bring accusation against their neighbours and turn away from them, but those who expect to keep others in faithful alliance with them and then do them violence. And men make God their enemy, not when they march against others in order to recover their own possessions, but when they get themselves into danger of war by encroaching upon the possessions of others. And as for children, that will be your concern, who are not permitted to marry more than one wife; but with us, who have, it may be, fifty wives living with each of us, offspring of children can never fail."
When Solomon had read this letter, he decided to lead his whole army against the Moors. So after arranging matters in Carthage, he proceeded with all his troops to Byzacium. And when he reached the place which is called Mammes, where the four Moorish commanders, whom I have mentioned a little before, were encamped, he made a stockade for himself. Now there are lofty mountains there, and a level space near the foothills of the mountains, where the barbarians had made preparations for the battle and arranged their fighting order as follows. They formed a circle of their camels, just as, in the previous narrative, I have said Cabaon did, making the front about twelve deep. And they placed the women with the children within the circle; (for among the Moors it is customary to take also a few women, with their children, to battle, and these make the stockades and huts for them and tend the horses skilfully, and have charge of the camels and the food; they also sharpen the iron weapons and take upon themselves many of the tasks in connection with the preparation for battle); and the men themselves took their stand on foot in between the legs of the camels, having shields and swords and small spears which they are accustomed to hurl like javelins. And some of them with their horses remained quietly among the mountains. But Solomon disregarded one half of the circle of the Moors, which was towards the mountain, placing no one there. For he feared lest the enemy on the mountain should come down and those in the circle should turn about and thus make the men drawn up there exposed to attack on both sides in the battle. But against the remainder of the circle he drew up his whole army, and since he saw the most of them frightened and without courage, on account of what had befallen Aïgan and Rufinus, and wishing to admonish them to be of good cheer, he spoke as follows: "Men who have campaigned with Belisarius, let no fear of these men enter your minds, and, if Moors gathered to the number of fifty thousand have already defeated five hundred Romans, let not this stand for you as an example. But call to mind your own valour, and consider that while the Vandals defeated the Moors, you have become masters of the Vandals in war without any effort, and that it is not right that those who have conquered the greater should be terrified before those who are inferior. And indeed of all men the Moorish nation seems to be the most poorly equipped for war's struggle. For the most of them have no armour at all, and those who have shields to hold before themselves have only small ones which are not well made and are not able to turn aside what strikes against them. And after they have thrown those two small spears, if they do not accomplish anything, they turn of their own accord to flight. So that it is possible for you, after guarding against the first attack of the barbarians, to win the victory with no trouble at all. But as to your equipment of arms, you see, of course, how great is the difference between it and that of your opponents. And apart from this, both valour of heart and strength of body and experience in war and confidence because you have already conquered all your enemies,--all these advantages you have; but the Moors, being deprived of all these things, put their trust only in their own great throng. And it is easier for a few who are most excellently prepared to conquer a multitude of men not good at warfare than it is for the multitude to defeat them. For while the good soldier has his confidence in himself, the cowardly man generally finds that the very number of those arrayed with him produces a want of room that is full of peril. Furthermore, you are warranted in despising these camels, which cannot fight for the enemy, and when struck by our missiles will, in all probability, become the cause of considerable confusion and disorder among them. And the eagerness for battle which the enemy have acquired on account of their former success will be your ally in the fight. For daring, when it is kept commensurate with one's power, will perhaps be of some benefit even to those who make use of it, but when it exceeds one's power it lends into danger. Bearing these things in mind and despising the enemy, observe silence and order; for by taking thought for these things we shall win the victory over the disorder of the barbarians more easily and with less labour." Thus spoke Solomon.
And the commanders of the Moors also, seeing the barbarians terrified at the orderly array of the Romans, and wishing to recall their host to confidence again, exhorted them in this wise: "That the Romans have human bodies, the kind that yield when struck with iron, we have been taught, O fellow-soldiers, by those of them whom we have recently met, the best of them all, some of whom we have overwhelmed with our spears and killed, and the others we have seized and made our prisoners of war. And not only is this so, but it is now possible to see also that we boast great superiority over them in numbers. And, furthermore, the struggle for us involves the very greatest things, either to be masters of all Libya or to be slaves to these braggarts. It is therefore necessary for us to be in the highest degree brave men at the present time. For it is not expedient that those whose all is at stake should be other than exceedingly courageous. And it behoves us to despise the equipment of arms which the enemy have. For if they come on foot against us, they will not be able to move rapidly, but will be worsted by the agility of the Moors, and their cavalry will be terrified both by the sight of the camels, and by the noise they make, which, rising above the general tumult of battle, will, in all likelihood, throw them into disorder. And if anyone by taking into consideration the victory of the Romans over the Vandals thinks them not to be withstood, he is mistaken in his judgment. For the scales of war are, in the nature of the case, turned by the valour of the commander or by fortune; and Belisarius, who was responsible for their gaining the mastery over the Vandals, has now, thanks to Heaven, been removed out of our way. And, besides, we too have many times conquered the Vandals and stripped them of their power, and have thus made the victory over them a more feasible and an easier task for the Romans. And now we have reason to hope to conquer this enemy also if you shew yourselves brave men in the struggle."
After the officers of the Moors had delivered this exhortation, they began the engagement. And at first there arose great disorder in the Roman army. For their horses were offended by the noise made by the camels and by the sight of them, and reared up and threw off their riders and the most of them fled in complete disorder. And in the meantime the Moors were making sallies and hurling all the small spears which they had in their hands, thus causing the Roman army to be filled with tumult, and they were hitting them with their missiles while they were unable either to defend themselves or to remain in position. But after this, Solomon, observing what was happening, leaped down from his horse himself first and caused all the others to do the same. And when they had dismounted, he commanded the others to stand still, and, holding their shields before them and receiving the missiles sent by the enemy, to remain in their position; but he himself, leading forward not less than five hundred men, made an attack upon the other portion of the circle. These men he commanded to draw their swords and kill the camels which stood at that point. Then the Moors who were stationed there beat a hasty retreat, and the men under Solomon killed about two hundred camels, and straightway, when the camels fell, the circle became accessible to the Romans. And they advanced on the run into the middle of the circle where the women of the Moors were sitting; meanwhile the barbarians in consternation withdrew to the mountain which was close by, and as they fled in complete disorder the Romans followed behind and killed them. And it is said that ten thousand of the Moors perished in this encounter, while all the women together with the children were made slaves. And the soldiers secured as booty all the camels which they had not killed. Thus the Romans with all their plunder went to Carthage to celebrate the festival of triumph.
But the barbarians, being moved with anger, once more took the field in a body against the Romans, leaving behind not one of their number, and they began to overrun the country in Byzacium, sparing none of any age of those who fell in their way. And when Solomon had just marched into Carthage it was reported that the barbarians with a great host had come into Byzacium and were plundering everything there. He therefore departed quickly with his whole army and marched against them. And when he reached Bourgaon, where the enemy were encamped, he remained some days in camp over against them, in order that, as soon as the Moors should get on level ground, he might begin the battle. But since they remained on the mountain, he marshalled his army and arrayed it for battle; the Moors, however, had no intention of ever again engaging in battle with the Romans in level country (for already an irresistible fear had come over them), but on the mountain they hoped to overcome them more easily. Now Mt. Bourgaon is for the most part precipitous and on the side toward the east extremely difficult to ascend, but on the west it is easily accessible and rises in an even slope. And there are two lofty peaks which rise up, forming between them a sort of vale, very narrow, but of incredible depth. Now the barbarians left the peak of the mountain unoccupied, thinking that on this side no hostile movement would be made against them; and they left equally unprotected the space about the foot of the mountain where Bourgaon was easy of access. But at the middle of the ascent they made their camp and remained there, in order that, if the enemy should ascend and begin battle with them, they might at the outset, being on higher ground, shoot down upon their heads. They also had on the mountain many horses, prepared either for flight or for the pursuit, if they should win the battle.
Now when Solomon saw that the Moors were unwilling to fight another battle on the level ground, and also that the Roman army was opposed to making a siege in a desert place, he was eager to come to an encounter with the enemy on Bourgaon. But inasmuch as he saw that the soldiers were stricken with terror because of the multitude of their opponents, which was many times greater than it had been in the previous battle, he called together the army and spoke as follows: "The fear which the enemy feel toward you needs no other arraignment, but voluntarily pleads guilty, bringing forward, as it does, the testimony of its own witnesses. For you see, surely, our opponents gathered in so many tens and tens of thousands, but not daring to come down to the plain and engage with us, unable to feel confidence even in their own selves, but taking refuge in the difficulty of this place. It is therefore not even necessary to address any exhortation to you, at the present time at least. For those to whom both the circumstances and the weakness of the enemy give courage, need not, I think, the additional assistance of words. But of this one thing it will be needful to remind you, that if we fight out this engagement also with brave hearts, it will remain for us, having defeated the Vandals and reduced the Moors to the same fortune, to enjoy all the good things of Libya, having no thought whatever of an enemy in our minds. But as to preventing the enemy from shooting down upon our heads, and providing that no harm come to us from the nature of the place, I myself shall make provision."
After making this exhortation Solomon commanded Theodorus, who led the "excubitores" (for thus the Romans call their guards), to take with him a thousand infantrymen toward the end of the afternoon and with some of the standards to go up secretly on the east side of Bourgaon, where the mountain is most difficult of ascent and, one might say, impracticable, commanding him that, when they arrived near the crest of the mountain, they should remain quietly there and pass the rest of the night, and that at sunrise they should appear above the enemy and displaying the standards commence to shoot. And Theodoras did as directed. And when it was well on in the night, they climbed up the precipitous slope and reached a point near the peak without being noticed either by the Moors or even by any of the Romans; for they were being sent out, it was said, as an advance guard, to prevent anyone from coming to the camp from the outside to do mischief. And at early dawn Solomon with the whole army went up against the enemy to the outskirts of Bourgaon. And when morning had come and the enemy were seen near at hand, the soldiers were completely at a loss, seeing the summit of the mountain no longer unoccupied, as formerly, but covered with men who were displaying Roman standards; for already some daylight was beginning to shew. But when those on the peak began their attack, the Romans perceived that the army was their own and the barbarians that they had been placed between their enemy's forces, and being shot at from both sides and having no opportunity to ward off the enemy, they thought no more of resistance but turned, all of them, to a hasty flight. And since they could neither run up to the top of Bourgaon, which was held by the enemy, nor go to the plain anywhere over the lower slopes of the mountain, since their opponents were pressing upon them from that side, they went with a great rush to the vale and the unoccupied peak, some even with their horses, others on foot. But since they were a numerous throng fleeing in great fear and confusion, they kept killing each other, and as they rushed into the vale, which was exceedingly deep, those who were first were being killed constantly, but their plight could not be perceived by those who were coming up behind. And when the vale became full of dead horses and men, and the bodies made a passage from Bourgaon to the other mountain, then the remainder were saved by making the crossing over the bodies. And there perished in this struggle, among the Moors fifty thousand, as was declared by those of them who survived, but among the Romans no one at all, nor indeed did anyone receive even a wound, either at the hand of the enemy or by any accident happening to him, but they all enjoyed this victory unscathed. All of the leaders of the barbarians also made their escape, except Esdilasas, who received pledges and surrendered himself to the Romans. So great, however, was the multitude of women and children whom the Romans seized as booty, that they would sell a Moorish boy for the price of a sheep to any who wished to buy. And then the remainder of the Moors recalled the saying of their women, to the effect that their nation would be destroyed by a beardless man.
So the Roman army, together with its booty and with Esdilasas, marched into Carthage; and those of the barbarians who had not perished decided that it was impossible to settle in Byzacium, lest they, being few, should be treated with violence by the Libyans who were their neighbours, and with their leaders they went into Numidia and made themselves suppliants of Iaudas, who ruled the Moors in Aurasium. And the only Moors who remained in Byzacium were those led by Antalas, who during this time had kept faith with the Romans and together with his subjects had remained unharmed.
But during the time when these things were happening in Byzacium, Iaudas, who ruled the Moors in Aurasium, bringing more than thirty thousand fighting men, was plundering the country of Numidia and enslaving many of the Libyans. Now it so happened that Althias in Centuriae was keeping guard over the forts there; and he, being eager to take from the enemy some of their captives, went outside the fort with the Huns who were under his command, to the number of about seventy. And reasoning that he was not able to cope with such a great multitude of Moors with only seventy men, he wished to occupy some narrow pass, so that, while the enemy were marching through it, he might be able to snatch up some of the captives. And since there are no such roads there, because flat plains extend in every direction, he devised the following plan.
There is a city not far distant, named Tigisis, then an unwalled place, but having a great spring at a place which was very closely shut in. Althias therefore decided to take possession of this spring, reasoning that the enemy, compelled by thirst, would surely come there; for there is no other water at all close by. Now it seemed to all upon considering the disparity of the armies that his plan was insane. But the Moors came up feeling very much wearied and greatly oppressed by the heat in the summer weather, and naturally almost overcome by an intense thirst, and they made for the spring with a great rush, having no thought of meeting any obstacle. But when they found the water held by the enemy, they all halted, at a loss what to do, the greatest part of their strength having been already expended because of their desire for water. Iaudas therefore had a parley with Althias and agreed to give him the third part of the booty, on condition that the Moors should all drink. But Althias was by no means willing to accept the proposal, but demanded that he fight with him in single combat for the booty. And this challenge being accepted by Iaudas, it was agreed that if it so fell out that Althias was overcame, the Moors should drink. And the whole Moorish army was rejoiced, being in good hope, since Althias was lean and not tall of body, while Iaudas was the finest and most warlike of all the Moors. Now both of them were, as it happened, mounted. And Iaudas hurled his spear first, but as it was coming toward him Althias succeeded with amazing skill in catching it with his right hand, thus filling Iaudas and the enemy with consternation. And with his left hand he drew his bow instantly, for he was ambidextrous, and hit and killed the horse of Iaudas. And as he fell, the Moors brought another horse for their commander, upon which Iaudas leaped and straightway fled; and the Moorish army followed him in complete disorder. And Althias, by thus taking from them the captives and the whole of the booty, won a great name in consequence of this deed throughout all Libya. Such, then, was the course of these events.
And Solomon, after delaying a short time in Carthage, led his army toward Mt. Aurasium and Iaudas, alleging against him that, while the Roman army was occupied in Byzacium, he had plundered many of the places in Numidia. And this was true. Solomon was also urged on against Iaudas by the other commanders of the Moors, Massonas and Ortaïas, because of their personal enmity; Massonas, because his father Mephanias, who was the father-in-law of Iaudas, had been treacherously slain by him, and Ortaïas, because Iaudas, together with Mastinas, who ruled over the barbarians in Mauretania, had purposed to drive him and all the Moors whom he ruled from the land where they had dwelt from of old. So the Roman army, under the leadership of Solomon, and those of the Moors who came into alliance with them, made their camp on the river Abigas, which flows along by Aurasium and waters the land there. But to Iaudas it seemed inexpedient to array himself against the enemy in the plain, but he made his preparations on Aurasium in such a way as seemed to him would offer most difficulty to his assailants. This mountain is about thirteen days' journey distant from Carthage, and the largest of all known to us. For its circuit is a three days' journey for an unencumbered traveller. And for one wishing to go upon it the mountain is difficult of access and extremely wild, but as one ascends and reaches the level ground, plains are seen and many springs which form rivers and a great number of altogether wonderful parks. And the grain which grows here, and every kind of fruit, is double the size of that produced in all the rest of Libya. And there are fortresses also on this mountain, which are neglected, by reason of the fact that they do not seem necessary to the inhabitants. For since the time when the Moors wrested Aurasium from the Vandals, not a single enemy had until now ever come there or so much as caused the barbarians to be afraid that they would come, but even the populous city of Tamougadis, situated against the mountain on the east at the beginning of the plain, was emptied of its population by the Moors and razed to the ground, in order that the enemy should not only not be able to encamp there, but should not even have the city as an excuse for coming near the mountain. And the Moors of that place held also the land to the west of Aurasium, a tract both extensive and fertile. And beyond these dwelt other nations of the Moors, who were ruled by Ortaïas, who had come, as was stated above, as an ally to Solomon and the Romans. And I have heard this man say that beyond the country which he ruled there was no habitation of men, but desert land extending to a great distance, and that beyond that there are men, not black-skinned like the Moors, but very white in body and fair-haired. So much, then, for these things.
And Solomon, after bribing the Moorish allies with great sums of money and earnestly exhorting them, began the ascent of Mt. Aurasium with the whole army arrayed as for battle, thinking that on that day he would do battle with the enemy and just as he was have the matter out with them according as fortune should wish. Accordingly the soldiers did not even take with them any food, except a little, for themselves and their horses. And after proceeding over very rough ground for about fifty stades, they made a bivouac. And covering a similar distance each day they came on the seventh day to a place where there was an ancient fortress and an ever-flowing stream. The place is called "Shield Mountain" by the Romans in their own tongue. Now it was reported to them that the enemy were encamped there, and when they reached this place and encountered no enemy, they made camp and, preparing themselves for battle, remained there; and three days' time was spent by them in that place. And since the enemy kept altogether out of their way, and their provisions had failed, the thought came to Solomon and to the whole army that there had been some plot against them on the part of the Moors who were their allies; for these Moors were not unacquainted with the conditions of travel on Aurasium, and understood, probably, what had been decided upon by the enemy; they were stealthily going out to meet them each day, it was said, and had also frequently been sent to their country by the Romans to reconnoitre, and had decided to make nothing but false reports, in order, no doubt, that the Romans, with no prior knowledge of conditions, might make the ascent of Mt. Aurasium without supplies for a longer time or without preparing themselves otherwise in the way which would be best. And, all things considered, the Romans were suspicious that an ambush had been set for them by men who were their allies and began to be afraid, reasoning that the Moors are said to be by nature untrustworthy at all times and especially whenever they march as allies with the Romans or any others against Moors. So, remembering these things, and at the same time being pinched by hunger, they withdrew from there with all speed without accomplishing anything, and, upon reaching the plain, constructed a stockade.
After this Solomon established a part of the army in Numidia to serve as a guard and with the remainder went to Carthage, since it was already winter. There he arranged and set everything in order, so that at the beginning of spring he might again march against Aurasium with a larger equipment and, if possible, without Moors as allies. At the same time he prepared generals and another army and a fleet of ships for an expedition against the Moors who dwell in the island of Sardinia; for this island is a large one and flourishing besides, being about two thirds as large as Sicily (for the perimeter of the island makes a journey of twenty days for an unencumbered traveller); and lying, as it does, between Rome and Carthage, it was oppressed by the Moors who dwelt there. For the Vandals in ancient times, being enraged against these barbarians, sent some few of them with their wives to Sardinia and confined them there. But as time went on they seized the mountains which are near Caranalis, at first making plundering expeditions secretly upon those who dwelt round about, but when they became no less than three thousand, they even made their raids openly, and with no desire for concealment plundered all the country there, being called Barbaricini by the natives. It was against these barbarians, therefore, that Solomon was preparing the fleet during that winter. Such, then, was the course of events in Libya.
And in Italy during these same times the following events took place. Belisarius was sent against Theodatus and the Gothic nation by the Emperor Justinian, and sailing to Sicily he secured this island with no trouble. And the manner in which this was done will be told in the following pages, when the history leads me to the narration of the events in Italy. For it has not seemed to me out of order first to record all the events which happened in Libya and after that to turn to the portion of the history touching Italy and the Goths.
During this winter Belisarius remained in Syracuse and Solomon in Carthage. And it came about during this year that a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon, during this whole year, and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear nor such as it is accustomed to shed. And from the time when this thing happened men were free neither from war nor pestilence nor any other thing leading to death. And it was the time when Justinian was in the tenth year of his reign. [536-537 A.D.]
[536 A.D.] At the opening of spring, when the Christians were celebrating the feast which they call Easter, there arose a mutiny among the soldiers in Libya. I shall now tell how it arose and to what end it came.
After the Vandals had been defeated in the battle, as I have told previously, the Roman soldiers took their daughters and wives and made them their own by lawful marriage. And each one of these women kept urging her husband to lay claim to the possession of the lands which she had owned previously, saying that it was not right or fitting if, while living with the Vandals, they had enjoyed these lands, but after entering into marriage with the conquerors of the Vandals they were then to be deprived of their possessions. And having these things in mind, the soldiers did not think that they were bound to yield the lands of the Vandals to Solomon, who wished to register them as belonging to the commonwealth and to the emperor's house and said that while it was not unreasonable that the slaves and all other things of value should go as booty to the soldiers, the land itself belonged to the emperor and the empire of the Romans, which had nourished them and caused them to be called soldiers and to be such, not in order to win for themselves such land as they should wrest from the barbarians who were trespassing on the Roman empire, but that this land might come to the commonwealth, from which both they and all others secured their maintenance. This was one cause of the mutiny. And there was a second, concurrent, cause also, which was no less, perhaps even more, effective in throwing all Libya into confusion. It was as follows: In the Roman army there were, as it happened, not less than one thousand soldiers of the Arian faith; and the most of these were barbarians, some of these being of the Erulian nation. Now these men were urged on to the mutiny by the priests of the Vandals with the greatest zeal. For it was not possible for them to worship God in their accustomed way, but they were excluded both from all sacraments and from all sacred rites. For the Emperor Justinian did not allow any Christian who did not espouse the orthodox faith to receive baptism or any other sacrament. But most of all they were agitated by the feast of Easter, during which they found themselves unable to baptize their own children with the sacred water, or do anything else pertaining to this feast. And as if these things were not sufficient for Heaven, in its eagerness to ruin the fortunes of the Romans, it so fell out that still another thing provided an occasion for those who were planning the mutiny. For the Vandals whom Belisarius took to Byzantium were placed by the emperor in five cavalry squadrons, in order that they might be settled permanently in the cities of the East; he also called them the "Vandals of Justinian," and ordered them to betake themselves in ships to the East. Now the majority of these Vandal soldiers reached the East, and, filling up the squadrons to which they had been assigned, they have been fighting against the Persians up to the present time; but the remainder, about four hundred in number, after reaching Lesbos, waiting until the sails were bellied with the wind, forced the sailors to submission and sailed on till they reached the Peloponnesus. And setting sail from there, they came to land in Libya at a desert place, where they abandoned the ships, and, after equipping themselves, went up to Mt. Aurasium and Mauretania. Elated by their accession, the soldiers who were planning the mutiny formed a still closer conspiracy among themselves. And there was much talk about this in the camp and oaths were already being taken. And when the rest were about to celebrate the Easter festival, the Arians, being vexed by their exclusion from the sacred rites, purposed to attack them vigorously.
And it seemed best to their leading men to kill Solomon in the sanctuary on the first day of the feast, which they call the great day. [March 23, 536 A.D.] And they were fortunate enough not to be found out, since no one disclosed this plan. For though there were many who shared in the horrible plot, no word of it was divulged to any hostile person as the orders were passed around, and thus they succeeded completely in escaping detection, for even the spearmen and guards of Solomon for the most part and the majority of his domestics had become associated with this mutiny because of their desire for the lands. And when the appointed day had now come, Solomon was sitting in the sanctuary, utterly ignorant of his own misfortune. And those who had decided to kill the man went in, and, urging one another with nods, they put their hands to their swords, but they did nothing nevertheless, either because they were filled with awe of the rites then being performed in the sanctuary, or because the fame of the general caused them to be ashamed, or perhaps also some divine power prevented them.
And when the rites on that day had been completely performed and all were betaking themselves homeward, the conspirators began to blame one another with having turned soft-hearted at no fitting time, and they postponed the plot for a second attempt on the following day. And on the next day they acted in the same manner and departed from the sanctuary without doing anything, and entering the market place, they reviled each other openly, and every single man of them called the next one soft-hearted and a demoralizer of the band, not hesitating to censure strongly the respect felt for Solomon. For this reason, indeed, they thought that they could no longer without danger remain in Carthage, inasmuch as they had disclosed their plot to the whole city. The most of them, accordingly, went out of the city quickly and began to plunder the lands and to treat as enemies all the Libyans whom they met; but the rest remained in the city, giving no indication of what their own intentions were but pretending ignorance of the plot which had been formed.
But Solomon, upon hearing what was being done by the soldiers in the country, became greatly disturbed, and ceased not exhorting those in the city and urging them to loyalty toward the emperor. And they at first seemed to receive his words with favour, but on the fifth day, when they heard that those who had gone out were secure in their power, they gathered in the hippodrome and insulted Solomon and the other commanders without restraint. And Theodorus, the Cappadocian, being sent there by Solomon, attempted to dissuade them and win them by kind words, but they listened to nothing of what was said. Now this Theodorus had a certain hostility against Solomon and was suspected of plotting against him. For this reason the mutineers straightway elected him general over them by acclamation, and with him they went with all speed to the palace carrying weapons and raising a great tumult. There they killed another Theodorus, who was commander of the guards, a man of the greatest excellence in every respect and an especially capable warrior. And when they had tasted this blood, they began immediately to kill everyone they met, whether Libyan or Roman, if he were known to Solomon or had money in his hands; and then they turned to plundering, going up into the houses which had no soldiers to defend them and seizing all the most valuable things, until the coming of night, and drunkenness following their toil, made them cease.
And Solomon succeeded in escaping unnoticed into the great sanctuary which is in the palace, and Martinus joined him there in the late afternoon. And when all the mutineers were sleeping, they went out from the sanctuary and entered the house of Theodorus, the Cappadocian, who compelled them to dine although they had no desire to do so, and conveyed them to the harbour and put them on the skiff of a certain ship, which happened to have been made ready there by Martinus. And Procopius also, who wrote this history, was with them, and about five men of the house of Solomon. And after accomplishing three hundred stades they reached Misuas, the ship-yard of Carthage, and, since they had reached safety, Solomon straightway commanded Martinus to go into Numidia to Valerian and the others who shared his command, and endeavour to bring it about that each one of them, if it were in any way possible, should appeal to some of the soldiers known to him, either with money or by other means, and bring them back to loyalty toward the emperor. And he sent a letter to Theodorus, charging him to take care of Carthage and to handle the other matters as should seem possible to him, and he himself with Procopius went to Belisarius at Syracuse. And after reporting everything to him which had taken place in Libya, he begged him to come with all speed to Carthage and defend the emperor, who was suffering unholy treatment at the hands of his own soldiers, Solomon, then, was thus engaged.
But the mutineers, after plundering everything in Carthage, gathered in the plain of Boulla, and chose Stotzas, one of the guards of Martinus, and a passionate and energetic man, as tyrant over them, with the purpose of driving the emperor's commanders out of all Libya and thus gaining control over it. And he armed the whole force, amounting to about eight thousand men, and led them on to Carthage, thinking to win over the city instantly with no trouble. He sent also to the Vandals who had run away from Byzantium with the ships and those who had not gone there with Belisarius in the beginning, either because they had escaped notice, or because those who were taking off the Vandals at that time took no account of them. Now they were not fewer than a thousand, and after no great time they joined Stotzas and the army with enthusiasm. And a great throng of slaves also came to him. And when they drew near Carthage, Stotzas sent orders that the people should surrender the city to him as quickly as possible, on condition of their remaining free from harm. But those in Carthage and Theodorus, in reply to this, refused flatly to obey, and announced that they were guarding Carthage for the emperor. And they sent to Stotzas Joseph, the secretary of the emperor's guards, a man of no humble birth and one of the household of Belisarius, who had recently been sent to Carthage on some mission to them, and they demanded that Stotzas should go no further in his violence. But Stotzas, upon hearing this, straightway killed Joseph and commenced a siege. And those in the city, becoming terrified at the danger, were purposing to surrender themselves and Carthage to Stotzas under an agreement. Such was the course of events in the army in Libya.
But Belisarius selected one hundred men from his own spearmen and guards, and taking Solomon with him, sailed into Carthage with one ship at about dusk, at the time when the besiegers were expecting that the city would be surrendered to them on the following day. And since they were expecting this, they bivouacked that night. But when day had come and they learned that Belisarius was present, they broke up camp as quickly as possible and disgracefully and in complete disorder beat a hasty retreat And Belisarius gathered about two thousand of the army and, after urging them with words to be loyal to the emperor and encouraging them with large gifts of money, he began the pursuit of the fugitives. And he overtook them at the city of Membresa, three hundred and fifty stades distant from Carthage. There both armies made camp and prepared themselves for battle, the forces of Belisarius making their entrenchment at the River Bagradas, and the others in a high and difficult position. For neither of them saw fit to enter the city, since it was without walls. And on the day following they joined battle, the mutineers trusting in their numbers, and the troops of Belisarius despising their enemy as both without sense and without generals. And Belisarius, wishing that these thoughts should be firmly lodged in the minds of his soldiers, called them all together and spoke as follows:--
"The situation, fellow-soldiers, both for the emperor and for the Romans, falls far short of our hopes and of our prayers. For we have now come to a combat in which even the winning of the victory will not be without tears for us, since we are fighting against kinsmen and men who have been reared with us. But we have this comfort in our misfortune, that we are not ourselves beginning the battle, but have been brought into the conflict in our own defence. For he who has framed the plot against his dearest friends and by his own act has dissolved the ties of kinship, dies not, if he perishes, by the hands of his friends, but having become an enemy is but making atonement to those who have suffered wrong. And that our opponents are public enemies and barbarians and whatever worse name one might call them, is shewn not alone by Libya, which has become plunder under their hands, nor by the inhabitants of this land, who have been wrongfully slain, but also by the multitude of Roman soldiers whom these enemies have dared to kill, though they have had but one fault to charge them with--loyalty to their government. And it is to avenge these their victims that we have now come against them, having with good reason become enemies to those who were once most dear. For nature has made no men in the world either friends or opponents to one another, but it is the actions of men in every case which, either by the similarity of the motives which actuate them unite them in alliance, or by the difference set them in hostility to each other, making them friends or enemies as the case may be. That, therefore, we are fighting against men who are outlaws and enemies of the state, you must now be convinced; and now I shall make it plain that they deserve to be despised by us. For a throng of men united by no law, but brought together by motives of injustice, is utterly unable by nature to play the part of brave men, since valour is unable to dwell with lawlessness, but always shuns those who are unholy. Nor, indeed, will they preserve discipline or give heed to the commands given by Stotzas. For when a tyranny is newly organized and has not yet won that authority which self-confidence gives, it is, of necessity, looked upon by its subjects with contempt. Nor is it honoured through any sentiment of loyalty, for a tyranny is, in the nature of the case, hated; nor does it lead its subjects by fear, for timidity deprives it of the power to speak out openly. And when the enemy is handicapped in point of valour and of discipline, their defeat is ready at hand. With great contempt, therefore, as I said, we should go against this enemy of ours. For it is not by the numbers of the combatants, but by their orderly array and their bravery, that prowess in war is wont to be measured."
So spoke Belisarius. And Stotzas exhorted his troops as follows: "Men who with me have escaped our servitude to the Romans, let no one of you count it unworthy to die on behalf of the freedom which you have won by your courage and your other qualities. For it is not so terrible a thing to grow old and die in the midst of ills, as to return again to it after having gained freedom from oppressive conditions. For the interval which has given one a taste of deliverance makes the misfortune, naturally enough, harder to bear. And this being so, it is necessary for you to call to mind that after conquering the Vandals and the Moors you yourselves have enjoyed the labours of war, while others have become masters of all the spoils. And consider that, as soldiers, you will be compelled all your lives to be acquainted with the dangers of war, either in behalf of the emperor's cause, if, indeed, you are again his slaves, or in behalf of your own selves, if you preserve this present liberty. And whichever of the two is preferable, this it is in your power to choose, either by becoming faint-hearted at this time, or by preferring to play the part of brave men. Furthermore, this thought also should come to your minds,--that if, having taken up arms against the Romans, you come under their power, you will have experience of no moderate or indulgent masters, but you will suffer the extreme of punishment, and, what is more, your death will not have been unmerited. To whomsoever of you, therefore, death comes in this battle, it is plain that it will be a glorious death; and life, if you conquer the enemy, will be independent and in all other respects happy; but if you are defeated,--I need mention no other bitterness than this, that all your hope will depend upon the mercy of those men yonder. And the conflict will not be evenly matched in regard to strength. For not only are the enemy greatly surpassed by us in numbers, but they will come against us without the least enthusiasm, for I think that they are praying for a share of this our freedom." Such was the speech of Stotzas.
As the armies entered the combat, a wind both violent and exceedingly troublesome began to blow in the faces of the mutineers of Stotzas. For this reason they thought it disadvantageous for them to fight the battle where they were, fearing lest the wind by its overpowering force should carry the missiles of the enemy against them, while the impetus of their own missiles would be very seriously checked. They therefore left their position and moved toward the flank, reasoning that if the enemy also should change front, as they probably would, in order that they might not be assailed from the rear, the wind would then be in their faces. But Belisarius, upon seeing that they had left their position and in complete disorder were moving to his flank, gave orders immediately to open the attack. And the troops of Stotzas were thrown into confusion by the unexpected move, and in great disorder, as each one could, they fled precipitately, and only when they reached Numidia did they collect themselves again. Few of them, however, perished in this action, and most of them were Vandals. For Belisarius did not pursue them at all, for the reason that it seemed to him sufficient, since his army was very small, if the enemy, having been defeated for the present, should get out of his way. And he gave the soldiers the enemy's stockade to plunder, and they took it with not a man inside. But much money was found there and many women, the very women because of whom this war took place. After accomplishing this, Belisarius marched back to Carthage. And someone coming from Sicily reported to him that a mutiny had broken out in the army and was about to throw everything into confusion, unless he himself should return to them with all speed and take measures to prevent it. He there therefore arranged matters in Libya as well as he could and, entrusting Carthage to Ildiger and Theodorus, went to Sicily.
And the Roman commanders in Numidia, hearing that the troops of Stotzas had come and were gathering there, prepared for battle. Now the commanders were as follows: of foederati, Marcellus and Cyril, of the cavalry forces, Barbatus, and of infantry Terentius and Sarapis. All, however, took their commands from Marcellus, as holding the authority in Numidia. He, therefore, upon hearing that Stotzas with some few men was in a place called Gazophyla, about two days' journey distant from Constantina, wished to anticipate the gathering of all the mutineers, and led his army swiftly against them. And when the two armies were near together and the battle was about to commence, Stotzas came alone into the midst of his opponents and spoke as follows:
"Fellow-soldiers, you are not acting justly in taking the field against kinsmen and those who have been reared with you, and in raising arms against men who in vexation at your misfortunes and the wrongs you have suffered have decided to make war upon the emperor and the Romans. Or do you not remember that you have been deprived of the pay which has been owing you for a long time back, and that you have been robbed of the enemy's spoil, which the law of war has set as prizes for the dangers of battle? And that the others have claimed the right to live sumptuously all their lives upon the good things of victory, while you have followed as if their servants? If, now, you are angry with me, it is within your power to vent your wrath upon this body, and to escape the pollution of killing the others; but if you have no charge to bring against me, it is time for you to take up your weapons in your own behalf." So spoke Stotzas; and the soldiers listened to his words and greeted him with great favour. And when the commanders saw what was happening, they withdrew in silence and took refuge in a sanctuary which was in Gazophyla. And Stotzas combined both armies into one and then went to the commanders. And finding them in the sanctuary, he gave pledges and then killed them all.
When the emperor learned this, he sent his nephew Germanus, a man of patrician rank, with some few men to Libya. And Symmachus also and Domnicus, men of the senate, followed him, the former to be prefect and charged with the maintenance of the army, while Domnicus was to command the infantry forces. For John, who had held the office of prefect, had already died of disease. And when they had sailed into Carthage, Germanus counted the soldiers whom they had, and upon looking over the books of the scribes where the names of all the soldiers were registered, he found that the third part of the army was in Carthage and the other cities, while all the rest were arrayed with the tyrant against the Romans. He did not, therefore, begin any fighting, but bestowed the greatest care upon his army. And considering that those left in Carthage were the kinsmen or tentmates of the enemy, he kept addressing many winning words to all, and in particular said that he had himself been sent by the emperor to Libya in order to defend the soldiers who had been wronged and to punish those who had unprovoked done them any injury. And when this was found out by the mutineers, they began to come over to him a few at a time. And Germanus both received them into the city in a friendly manner and, giving pledges, held them in honour, and he gave them their pay for the time during which they had been in arms against the Romans. And when the report of these acts was circulated and came to all, they began now to detach themselves in large numbers from the tyrant and to march to Carthage. Then at last Germanus, hoping that in the battle he would be evenly matched in strength with his opponents, began to make preparations for the conflict.
But in the meantime Stotzas, already perceiving the trouble, and fearing lest by the defection of still others of his soldiers the army should be reduced still more, was pressing for a decisive encounter immediately and trying to take hold of the war with more vigour. And since he had some hope regarding the soldiers in Carthage, that they would come over to him, and thought that they would readily desert if he came near them, he held out the hope to all his men; and after encouraging them exceedingly in this way, he advanced swiftly with his whole army against Carthage. And when he had come within thirty-five stades of the city, he made camp not far from the sea, and Germanus, after arming his whole army and arraying them for battle, marched forth. And when they were all outside the city, since he had heard what Stotzas was hoping for, he called together the whole army and spoke as follows:
"That there is nothing, fellow-soldiers, with which you can justly reproach the emperor, and no fault which you can find with what he has done to you, this, I think, no one of you all could deny; for it was he who took you as you came from the fields with your wallets and one small frock apiece and brought you together in Byzantium, and has caused you to be so powerful that the Roman state now depends upon you. And that he has not only been treated with wanton insult, but has also suffered the most dreadful of all things at your hands, you yourselves, doubtless, know full well. And desiring that you should preserve the memory of these things for ever, he has dismissed the accusations brought against you for your crimes, asking that this debt alone be due to him from you--shame for what you have done. It is reasonable, therefore, that you, being thus regarded by him, should learn anew the lesson of good faith and correct your former folly. For when repentance comes at the fitting time upon those who have done wrong, it is accustomed to make those who have been injured indulgent; and service which comes in season is wont to bring another name to those who have been called ungrateful.
"And it will be needful for you to know well this also, that if at the present time you shew yourselves completely loyal to the emperor, no remembrance will remain of what has gone before. For in the nature of things every course of action is characterized by men in accordance with its final outcome; and while a wrong which has once been committed can never be undone in all time, still, when it has been corrected by better deeds on the part of those who committed it, it receives the fitting reward of silence and generally comes to be forgotten. Moreover, if you act with any disregard of duty toward these accursed rascals at the present time, even though afterwards you fight through many wars in behalf of the Romans and often win the victory over the enemy, you will never again be regarded as having requited the emperor as you can requite him to-day. For those who win applause in the very matter of their former wrong-doing always gain for themselves a fairer apology. As regards the emperor, then, let each one of you reason in some such way. But as for me, I have not voluntarily done you any injustice, and I have displayed my good-will to you by all possible means, and now, facing this danger, I have decided to ask this much of you all: let no man advance with us against the enemy contrary to his judgement. But if anyone of you is already desirous of arraying himself with them, without delay let him go with his weapons to the enemy's camp, granting us this one favour, that it be not stealthily, but openly, that he has decided to do us wrong. Indeed, it is for this reason that I am making my speech, not in Carthage, but after coming on the battle-field, in order that I might not be an obstacle to anyone who desires to desert to our opponents, since it is possible for all without danger to shew their disposition toward the state." Thus spoke Germanus. And a great uproar ensued in the Roman army, for each one demanded the right to be the first to display to the general his loyalty to the emperor and to swear the most dread oaths in confirmation.
Now for some time the two armies remained in position opposite each other. But when the mutineers saw that nothing of what Stotzas had foretold was coming to pass, they began to be afraid as having been unexpectedly cheated of their hope, and they broke their ranks and withdrew, and marched off to Numidia, where were their women and the money from their booty. And Germanus too came there with the whole army not long afterwards, having made all preparations in the best way possible and also bringing along many wagons for the army. And overtaking his opponents in a place which the Romans call Scalae Veteres, he made his preparations for battle in the following manner. Placing the wagons in line facing the front, he arrayed all the infantry along them under the leadership of Domnicus, so that by reason of having their rear in security they might fight with the greater courage. And the best of the horsemen and those who had come with him from Byzantium he himself had on the left of the infantry, while all the others he placed on the right wing, not marshalled in one body but in three divisions. And Ildiger led one of them, Theodoras the Cappadocian another, while the remaining one, which was larger, was commanded by John, the brother of Pappus, with three others. Thus did the Romans array themselves.
And the mutineers took their stand opposite them, not in order, however, but scattered, more in the manner of barbarians. And at no great distance many thousands of Moors followed them, who were commanded by a number of leaders, and especially by Iaudas and Ortaïas. But not all of them, as it happened, were faithful to Stotzas and his men, for many had sent previously to Germanus and agreed that, when they came into the fight, they would array themselves with the emperor's army against the enemy. However, Germanus could not trust them altogether, for the Moorish nation is by nature faithless to all men. It was for this reason also that they did not array themselves with the mutineers, but remained behind, waiting for what would come to pass, in order that with those who should be victorious they might join in the pursuit of the vanquished. Such was the purpose, then, of the Moors, in following behind and not mingling with the mutineers.
And when Stotzas came close to the enemy and saw the standard of Germanus, he exhorted his men and began to charge against him. But the mutinous Eruli who were arrayed about him did not follow and even tried with all their might to prevent him, saying that they did not know the character of the forces of Germanus, but that they did know that those arrayed on the enemy's right would by no means withstand them. If, therefore, they should advance against these, they would not only give way themselves and turn to flight, but would also, in all probability, throw the rest of the Roman army into confusion; but if they should attack Germanus and be driven back and put to rout, their whole cause would be ruined on the spot. And Stotzas was persuaded by these words, and permitted the others to fight with the men of Germanus, while he himself with the best men went against John and those arrayed with him. And they failed to withstand the attack and hastened to flee in complete disorder. And the mutineers took all their standards immediately, and pursued them as they fled at top speed, while some too charged upon the infantry, who had already begun to abandon their ranks. But at this juncture Germanus himself, drawing his sword and urging the whole of that part of the army to do the same, with great difficulty routed the mutineers opposed to him and advanced on the run against Stotzas. And then, since he was joined in this effort by the men of Ildiger and Theodorus, the two armies mingled with each other in such a way that, while the mutineers were pursuing some of their enemy, they were being overtaken and killed by others. And as the confusion became greater and greater, the troops of Germanus, who were in the rear, pressed on still more, and the mutineers, falling into great fear, thought no longer of resistance. But neither side could be distinguished either by their own comrades or by their opponents. For all used one language and the same equipment of arms, and they differed neither in figure nor in dress nor in any other thing whatever. For this reason the soldiers of the emperor by the advice of Germanus, whenever they captured anyone, asked who he was; and then, if he said that he was a soldier of Germanus, they bade him give the watchword of Germanus, and if he was not at all able to give this, they killed him instantly. In this struggle one of the enemy got by unnoticed and killed the horse of Germanus, and Germanus himself fell to the ground and came into danger, and would have been lost had not his guards quickly saved him by forming an enclosure around him and mounting him on another horse.
As for Stotzas, he succeeded in this tumult in escaping with a few men. But Germanus, urging on his men, went straight for the enemy's camp. There he was encountered by those of the mutineers who had been stationed to guard the stockade. A stubborn fight took place around its entrance, and the mutineers came within a little of forcing back their opponents, but Germanus sent some of his followers and bade them make trial of the camp at another point. These men, since no one was defending the camp at this place, got inside the stockade with little trouble. And the mutineers, upon seeing them, rushed off in flight, and Germanus with all the rest of the army dashed into the enemy's camp. There the soldiers, finding it easy to plunder the goods of the camp, neither took any account of the enemy nor paid any further heed to the exhortations of their general, since booty was at hand. For this reason Germanus, fearing lest the enemy should get together and come upon them, himself with some few men took his stand at the entrance of the stockade, uttering many laments and urging his unheeding men to return to good order. And many of the Moors, when the rout had taken place in this way, were now pursuing the mutineers, and, arraying themselves with the emperor's troops, were plundering the camp of the vanquished. But Stotzas, at first having confidence in the Moorish army, rode to them in order to renew the battle. But perceiving what was being done, he fled with a hundred men, and succeeded with difficulty in making his escape. And once more many gathered about him and attempted to engage with the enemy, but being repulsed no less decisively than before, if not even more so, they all came over to Germanus. And Stotzas alone with some few Vandals withdrew to Mauretania, and taking to wife the daughter of one of the rulers, remained there. And this was the conclusion of that mutiny.
Now there was among the body-guards of Theodorus, the Cappadocian, a certain Maximinus, an exceedingly base man. This Maximinus had first got a very large number of the soldiers to join with him in a conspiracy against the government, and was now purposing to attempt a tyranny. And being eager to associate with himself still more men, he explained the project to others and especially to Asclepiades, a native of Palestine, who was a man of good birth and the first of the personal friends of Theodorus. Now Asclepiades, after conversing with Theodorus, straightway reported the whole matter to Germanus. And he, not wishing as yet, while affairs were still unsettled, to begin any other disturbance, decided to get the best of the man by cajoling and flattering him rather than by punishment, and to bind him by oaths to loyalty toward the government. Accordingly, since it was an old custom among all Romans that no one should become a body-guard of one of the commanders, unless he had previously taken the most dread oaths and given pledges of his loyalty both toward his own commander and toward the Roman emperor, he summoned Maximinus, and praising him for his daring, directed him to be one of his body-guards from that time forth. And he, being overjoyed at the extraordinary honour, and conjecturing that his project would in this way get on more easily, took the oath, and though from that time forth he was counted among the body-guards of Germanus, he did not hesitate to disregard his oaths immediately and to strengthen much more than ever his plans to achieve the tyranny.
Now the whole city was celebrating some general festival, and many of the conspirators of Maximinus at about the time of lunch came according to their agreement to the palace, where Germanus was entertaining his friends at a feast, and Maximinus took his stand beside the couches with the other body-guards. And as the drinking proceeded, someone entered and announced to Germanus that many soldiers were standing in great disorder before the door of the court, putting forward the charge that the government owed them their pay for a long period. And he commanded the most trusty of the guards secretly to keep close watch over Maximinus, allowing him in no way to perceive what was being done. Then the conspirators with threats and tumult proceeded on the run to the hippodrome, and those who shared their plan with them gathered gradually from the houses and were assembling there. And if it had so chanced that all of them had come together, no one, I think, would have been able easily to destroy their power; but, as it was, Germanus anticipated this, and, before the greater part had yet arrived, he straightway sent against them all who were well-disposed to himself and to the emperor. And they attacked the conspirators before they expected them. And then, since Maximinus, for whom they were waiting to begin the battle for them, was not with them, and they did not see the crowd gathered to help them, as they had thought it would be, but instead even beheld their fellow-soldiers unexpectedly fighting against them, they consequently lost heart and were easily overcome in the struggle and rushed off in flight and in complete disorder. And their opponents slew many of them, and they also captured many alive and brought them to Germanus. Those, however, who had not already come to the hippodrome gave no indication of their sentiment toward Maximinus. And Germanus did not see fit to go on and seek them out, but he enquired whether Maximinus, since he had sworn the oath, had taken part in the plot. And since it was proved that, though numbered among his own body-guards he had carried on his designs still more than before, Germanus impaled him close by the fortifications of Carthage, and in this way succeeded completely in putting down the sedition. As for Maximinus, then, such was the end of his plot.
[539-540 A.D.] And the emperor summoned Germanus together with Symmachus and Domnicus and again entrusted all Libya to Solomon, in the thirteenth year of his reign; and he provided him with an army and officers, among whom were Rufinus and Leontius, the sons of Zaunas the son of Pharesmanas, and John, the son of Sisiniolus. For Martinus and Valerianus had already before this gone under summons to Byzantium. And Solomon sailed to Carthage, and having rid himself of the sedition of Stotzas, he ruled with moderation and guarded Libya securely, setting the army in order, and sending to Byzantium and to Belisarius whatever suspicious elements he found in it, and enrolling new soldiers to equal their number, and removing those of the Vandals who were left and especially all their women from the whole of Libya. And he surrounded each city with a wall, and guarding the laws with great strictness, he restored the government completely. And Libya became under his rule powerful as to its revenues and prosperous in other respects.
And when everything had been arranged by him in the best way possible, he again made an expedition against Iaudas and the Moors on Aurasium. And first he sent forward Gontharis, one of his own body-guards and an able warrior, with an army. Now Gontharis came to the Abigas River and made camp near Bagaïs, a deserted city. And there he engaged with the enemy, but was defeated in battle, and retiring to his stockade was already being hard pressed by the siege of the Moors. But afterwards Solomon himself arrived with his whole army, and when he was sixty stades away from the camp which Gontharis was commanding, he made a stockade and remained there; and hearing all that had befallen the force of Gontharis, he sent them a part of his army and bade them keep up the fight against the enemy with courage. But the Moors, having gained the upper hand in the engagement, as I have said, did as follows. The Abigas River flows from Aurasium, and descending into a plain, waters the land just as the men there desire. For the natives conduct this stream to whatever place they think it will best serve them at the moment, for in this plain there are many channels, into which the Abigas is divided, and entering all of them, it passes underground, and reappears again above the ground and gathers its stream together. This takes place over the greatest part of the plain and makes it possible for the inhabitants of the region, by stopping up the waterways with earth, or by again opening them, to make use of the waters of this river as they wish. So at that time the Moors shut off all the channels there and thus allowed the whole stream to flow about the camp of the Romans. As a result of this, a deep, muddy marsh formed there through which it was impossible to go; this terrified them exceedingly and reduced them to a state of helplessness. When this was heard by Solomon, he came quickly. But the barbarians, becoming afraid, withdrew to the foot of Aurasium. And in a place which they call Babosis they made camp and remained there. So Solomon moved with his whole army and came to that place. And upon engaging with the enemy, he defeated them decisively and turned them to flight. Now after this the Moors did not think it advisable for them to fight a pitched battle with the Romans; for they did not hope to overcome them in this kind of contest; but they did have hope, based on the difficult character of the country around Aurasium, that the Romans would in a short time give up by reason of the sufferings they would have to endure and would withdraw from there, just as they formerly had done. The most of them, therefore, went off to Mauretania and the barbarians to the south of Aurasium, but Iaudas with twenty thousand of the Moors remained there. And it happened that he had built a fortress on Aurasium, Zerboule by name. Into this he entered with all the Moors and remained quiet. But Solomon was by no means willing that time should be wasted in the siege, and learning that the plains about the city of Tamougade were full of grain just becoming ripe, he led his army into them, and settling himself there, began to plunder the land. Then, after firing everything, he returned again to the fortress of Zerboule.
But during this time, while the Romans were plundering the land, Iaudas, leaving behind some of the Moors, about as many as he thought would be sufficient for the defence of the fortress, himself ascended to the summit of Aurasium with the rest of the army, not wishing to stand siege in the fort and have provisions fail his forces. And finding a high place with cliff's on all sides of it and concealed by perpendicular rocks, Toumar by name, he remained quietly there. And the Romans besieged the fortress of Zerboule for three days. And using their bows, since the wall was not high, they hit many of the barbarians upon the parapets. And by some chance it happened that all the leaders of the Moors were hit by these missiles and died. And when the three days' time had passed and night came on, the Romans, having learned nothing of the death of the leaders among the Moors, were planning to break up the siege. For it seemed better to Solomon to go against Iaudas and the multitude of the Moors, thinking that, if he should be able to capture that force by siege, the barbarians in Zerboule would with less trouble and difficulty yield to the Romans. But the barbarians, thinking that they could no longer hold out against the siege, since all their leaders had now been destroyed, decided to flee with all speed and abandon the fortress. Accordingly they fled immediately in silence and without allowing the enemy in any way to perceive it, and the Romans also at daybreak began to prepare for departure. And since no one appeared on the wall, although the besieging army was withdrawing, they began to wonder and fell into the greatest perplexity among themselves. And in this state of uncertainty they went around the fortress and found the gate open from which the Moors had departed in flight. And entering the fortress they treated everything as plunder, but they had no thought of pursuing the enemy, for they had set out with light equipment and were familiar with the country round about. And when they had plundered everything, they set guards over the fortress, and all moved forward on foot.
And coming to the place Toumar, where the enemy had shut themselves in and were remaining quiet, they encamped near by in a bad position, where there would be no supply of water, except a little, nor any other necessary thing. And after much time had been spent and the barbarians did not come out against them at all, they themselves, no less than the enemy, if not even more, were hard pressed by the siege and began to be impatient. And more than anything else, they were distressed by the lack of water; this Solomon himself guarded, giving each day no more than a single cupful to each man. And since he saw that they were openly discontented and no longer able to bear their present hardships, he planned to make trial of the place, although it was difficult of access, and called all together and exhorted them as follows: "Since God has granted to the Romans to besiege the Moors on Aurasium, a thing which hitherto has been beyond hope and now, to such as do not see what is actually being done, is altogether incredible, it is necessary that we too should lend our aid to the help that has come from above, and not prove false to this favour, but undergoing the danger with enthusiasm, should reach after the good fortune which is to come from success. For in every case the turning of the scales of human affairs depends upon the moment of opportunity; but if a man, by wilful cowardice, is traitor to his fortune, he cannot justly blame it, having by his own action brought the guilt upon himself. Now as for the Moors, you see their weakness surely and the place in which they have shut themselves up and are keeping guard, deprived of all the necessities of life. And as for you, one of two things is necessary, either without feeling any vexation at the siege to await the surrender of the enemy, or, if you shrink from this, to accept the victory which goes with the danger. And fighting against these barbarians will be the more free from danger for us, inasmuch as they are already fighting with hunger and I think they will never even come to an engagement with us. Having these things in mind at the present time, it behooves you to execute all your orders with eagerness."
After Solomon had made this exhortation, he looked about to see from what point it would be best for his men to make an attempt on the place, and for a long time he seemed to be in perplexity. For the difficult nature of the ground seemed to him quite too much to contend with. But while Solomon was considering this, chance provided a way for the enterprise as follows. There was a certain Gezon in the army, a foot-soldier, "optio" of the detachment to which Solomon belonged; for thus the Romans call the paymaster. This Gezon, either in play or in anger, or perhaps even moved by some divine impulse, began to make the ascent alone, apparently going against the enemy, and not far from him went some of his fellow-soldiers, marvelling greatly at what he was doing. And three of the Moors, who had been stationed to guard the approach, suspecting that the man was coming against them, went on the run to confront him. But since they were in a narrow way, they did not proceed in orderly array, but each one went separately. And Gezon struck the first one who came upon him and killed him, and in this way he despatched each of the others. And when those in the rear perceived this, they advanced with much shouting and tumult against the enemy. And when the whole Roman army both heard and saw what was being done, without waiting either for the general to lead the way for them or for the trumpets to give the signal for battle, as was customary, nor indeed even keeping their order, but making a great uproar and urging one another on, they ran against the enemy's camp. There Rufinus and Leontius, the sons of Zaunas the son of Pharesmanes, made a splendid display of valorous deeds against the enemy. And by this the Moors were terror-stricken, and when they learned that their guards also had been destroyed, they straightway turned to flight where each one could, and the most of them were overtaken in the difficult ground and killed. And Iaudas himself, though struck by a javelin in the thigh, still made his escape and withdrew to Mauretania. But the Romans, after plundering the enemy's camp, decided not to abandon Aurasium again, but to guard fortresses which Solomon was to build there, so that this mountain might not be again accessible to the Moors.
Now there is on Aurasium a perpendicular rock which rises in the midst of precipices; the natives call it the Rock of Geminianus; there the men of ancient times had built a tower, making it very small as a place of refuge, strong and unassailable, since the nature of the position assisted them. Here, as it happened, Iaudas had a few days previously deposited his money and his women, setting one old Moor in charge as guardian of the money. For he could never have suspected that the enemy would either reach this place, or that they could in all time capture the tower by force. But the Romans at that time, searching through the rough country of Aurasium, came there, and one of them, with a laugh, attempted to climb up to the tower; but the women began to taunt him, ridiculing him as attempting the impossible; and the old man, peering out from the tower, did the same thing. But when the Roman soldier, climbing with both hands and feet, had come near them, he drew his sword quietly and leaped forward as quickly as he could, and struck the old man a fair blow on the neck, and succeeded in cutting it through. And the head fell down to the ground, and the soldiers, now emboldened and holding to one another, ascended to the tower, and took out from there both the women and the money, of which there was an exceedingly great quantity. And by means of it Solomon surrounded many of the cities in Libya with walls.
And after the Moors had retired from Numidia, defeated in the manner described, the land of Zabe, which is beyond Mt. Aurasium and is called "First Mauretania," whose metropolis is Sitiphis, was added to the Roman empire by Solomon as a tributary province; for of the other Mauretania Caesarea is the first city, where was settled Mastigas with his Moors, having the whole country there subject and tributary to him, except, indeed, the city of Caesarea. For this city Belisarius had previously recovered for the Romans, as has been set forth in the previous narrative; and the Romans always journey to this city in ships, but they are not able to go by land, since Moors dwell in that country. And as a result of this all the Libyans who were subjects of the Romans, coming to enjoy secure peace and finding the rule of Solomon wise and very moderate, and having no longer any thought of hostility in their minds, seemed the most fortunate of all men.
But in the fourth year after this it came about that all their blessings were turned to the opposite. [543-544 A.D.] For in the seventeenth year of the reign of the Emperor Justinian, Cyrus and Sergius, the sons of Bacchus, Solomon's brother, were assigned by the emperor to rule over the cities in Libya, Cyrus, the elder, to have Pentapolis, and Sergius Tripolis. And the Moors who are called Leuathae came to Sergius with a great army at the city of Leptimagna, spreading the report that the reason they had come was this, that Sergius might give them the gifts and insignia of office which were customary and so make the peace secure. But Sergius, persuaded by Pudentius, a man of Tripolis, of whom I made mention in the preceding narrative as having served the Emperor Justinian against the Vandals at the beginning of the Vandalic War, received eighty of the barbarians, their most notable men, into the city, promising to fulfil all their demands; but he commanded the rest to remain in the suburb. Then after giving these eighty men pledges concerning the peace, he invited them to a banquet. But they say that these barbarians had come into the city with treacherous intent, that they might lay a trap for Sergius and kill him. And when they came into conference with him, they called up many charges against the Romans, and in particular said that their crops had been plundered wrongfully. And Sergius, paying no heed to these things, rose from the seat on which he was sitting, with intent to go away. And one of the barbarians, laying hold upon his shoulder, attempted to prevent him from going. Then the others began to shout in confusion, and were already rushing together about him. But one of the body-guards of Sergius, drawing his sword, despatched that Moor. And as a result of this a great tumult, as was natural, arose in the room, and the guards of Sergius killed all the barbarians. But one of them, upon seeing the others being slain, rushed out of the house where these things were taking place, unnoticed by anyone, and coming to his tribemates, revealed what had befallen their fellows. And when they heard this, they betook themselves on the run to their own camp and together with all the others arrayed themselves in arms against the Romans. Now when they came near the city of Leptimagna, Sergius and Pudentius confronted them with their whole army. And the battle becoming a hand-to-hand fight, at first the Romans were victorious and slew many of the enemy, and, plundering their camp, secured their goods and enslaved an exceedingly great number of women and children. But afterwards Pudentius, being possessed by a spirit of reckless daring, was killed; and Sergius with the Roman army, since it was already growing dark, marched into Leptimagna.
At a later time the barbarians took the field against the Romans with a greater array. And Sergius went to join his uncle Solomon, in order that he too might go to meet the enemy with a larger army; and he found there his brother Cyrus also. And the barbarians, coming into Byzacium, made raids and plundered a great part of the country there; and Antalas (whom I mentioned in the preceding narrative as having remained faithful to the Romans and as being for this reason sole ruler of the Moors in Byzacium) had by now, as it happened, become hostile to Solomon, because Solomon had deprived him of the maintenance with which the emperor had honoured him and had killed his brother, charging him with responsibility for an uprising against the people of Byzacium. So at that time Antalas was pleased to see these barbarians, and making an offensive and defensive alliance with them, led them against Solomon and Carthage.
And Solomon, as soon as he heard about this, put his whole army in motion and marched against them, and coming upon them at the city of Tebesta, distant six days' journey from Carthage, he established his camp in company with the sons of his brother Bacchus, Cyrus and Sergius and Solomon the younger. And fearing the multitude of the barbarians, he sent to the leaders of the Leuathae, reproaching them because, while at peace with the Romans, they had taken up arms and come against them, and demanding that they should confirm the peace existing between the two peoples, and he promised to swear the most dread oaths, that he would hold no remembrance of what they had done. But the barbarians, mocking his words, said that he would of course swear by the sacred writings of the Christians, which they are accustomed to call Gospels. Now since Sergius had once taken these oaths and then had slain those who trusted in them, it was their desire to go into battle and make a test of these same sacred writings, to see what sort of power they had against the perjurers, in order that they might first have absolute confidence in them before they finally entered into the agreement. When Solomon heard this, he made his preparations for the combat.
And on the following day he engaged with a portion of the enemy as they were bringing in a very large booty, conquered them in battle, seized all their booty and kept it under guard. And when the soldiers were dissatisfied and counted it an outrage that he did not give them the plunder, he said that he was awaiting the outcome of the war, in order that they might distribute everything then, according to the share that should seem to suit the merit of each. But when the barbarians advanced a second time, with their whole army, to give battle, this time some of the Romans stayed behind and the others entered the encounter with no enthusiasm. At first, then, the battle was evenly contested, but later, since the Moors were vastly superior by reason of their great numbers, the most of the Romans fled, and though Solomon and a few men about him held out for a time against the missiles of the barbarians, afterwards they were overpowered by the enemy, and fleeing in haste, reached a ravine made by a brook which flowed in that region. And there Solomon's horse stumbled and threw him to the ground, and his body-guards lifted him quickly in their arms and set him upon his horse. But overcome by great pain and unable to hold the reins longer, he was overtaken and killed by the barbarians, and many of his guards besides. Such was the end of Solomon's life.
After the death of Solomon, Sergius, who, as has been said, was his nephew, took over the government of Libya by gift of the emperor. And this man became the chief cause of great ruin to the people of Libya, and all were dissatisfied with his rule--the officers because, being exceedingly stupid and young both in character and in years, he proved to be the greatest braggart of all men, and he insulted them for no just cause and disregarded them, always using the power of his wealth and the authority of his office to this end; and the soldiers disliked him because he was altogether unmanly and weak; and the Libyans, not only for these reasons, but also because he had shown himself strangely fond of the wives and the possessions of others. But most of all John, the son of Sisiniolus, was hostile to the power of Sergius; for, though he was an able warrior and was a man of unusually fair repute, he found Sergius absolutely ungrateful. For this reason neither he nor anyone else at all was willing to take up arms against the enemy. But almost all the Moors were following Antalas, and Stotzas came at his summons from Mauretania. And since not one of the enemy came out against them, they began to sack the country, making plunder of everything without fear. At that time Antalas sent to the Emperor Justinian a letter, which set forth the following:
"That I am a slave of thy empire not even I myself would deny, but the Moors, having suffered unholy treatment at the hands of Solomon in time of peace, have taken up arms under the most severe constraint, not lifting them against thee, but warding off our personal enemy; and this is especially true of me. For he not only decided to deprive me of the maintenance, which Belisarius long before specified and thou didst grant, but he also killed my own brother, although he had no wrongdoing to charge against him. We have therefore taken vengeance upon him who wronged us. And if it is thy will that the Moors be in subjection to thy empire and serve it in all things as they are accustomed to do, command Sergius, the nephew of Solomon, to depart from here and return to thee, and send another general to Libya. For thou wilt not be lacking in men of discretion and more worthy than Sergius in every way; for as long as this man commands thy army, it is impossible for peace to be established between the Romans and the Moors."
Such was the letter written by Antalas. But the emperor, even after reading these things and learning the common enmity of all toward Sergius, was still unwilling to remove him from his office, out of respect for the virtues of Solomon and especially the manner of his death. Such, then, was the course of these events.
But Solomon, the brother of Sergius, who was supposed to have disappeared from the world together with his uncle Solomon, was forgotten by his brother and by the rest as well; for no one had learned that he was alive. But the Moors, as it happened, had taken him alive, since he was very young; and they enquired of him who he was. And he said that he was a Vandal by birth, and a slave of Solomon. He said, moreover, that he had a friend, a physician, Pegasius by name, in the city of Laribus near by, who would purchase him by giving ransom. So the Moors came up close to the fortifications of the city and called Pegasius and displayed Solomon to him, and asked whether it was his pleasure to purchase the man. And since he agreed to purchase him, they sold Solomon to him for fifty pieces of gold. But upon getting inside the fortifications, Solomon taunted the Moors as having been deceived by him, a mere lad; for he said that he was no other than Solomon, the son of Bacchus and nephew of Solomon. And the Moors, being deeply stung by what had happened, and counting it a terrible thing that, while having a strong security for the conduct of Sergius and the Romans, they had relinquished it so carelessly, came to Laribus and laid siege to the place, in order to capture Solomon with the city. And the besieged, in terror at being shut in by the barbarians, for they had not even carried in provisions, as it happened, opened negotiations with the Moors, proposing that upon receiving a great sum of money they should straightway abandon the siege. Whereupon the barbarians, thinking that they could never take the city by force--for the Moors are not at all practised in the storming of walls--and at the same time not knowing that provisions were scarce for the besieged, welcomed their words, and when they had received three thousand pieces of gold, they abandoned the siege, and all the Leuathae retired homeward.
But Antalas and the army of the Moors were gathering again in Byzacium and Stotzas was with them, having some few soldiers and Vandals. And John, the son of Sisiniolus, being earnestly entreated by the Libyans, gathered an army and marched against them. Now Himerius, the Thracian, was commander of the troops in Byzacium, and at that time he was ordered by John to bring with him all the troops there, together with the commanders of each detachment, and come to a place called Menephesse, which is in Byzacium, and join his force there. But later, upon hearing that the enemy were encamped there, John wrote to Himerius telling what had happened and directing him to unite with his forces at another place, that they might not go separately, but all together, to encounter the enemy. But by some chance those who had this letter, making use of another road, were quite unable to find Himerius, and he together with his army, coming upon the camp of the enemy, fell into their hands. Now there was in this Roman army a certain youth, Severianus, son of Asiaticus, a Phoenician and a native of Emesa, commanding a detachment of horse. This man alone, together with the soldiers under him, fifty in number, engaged with the enemy. And for some time they held out, but later, being overpowered by the great multitude, they ran to the top of a hill in the neighbourhood on which there was also a fort, but one which offered no security. For this reason they surrendered themselves to their opponents when they ascended the hill to attack them. And the Moors killed neither him nor any of the soldiers, but they made prisoners of the whole force; and Himerius they kept under guard, and handed over his soldiers to Stotzas, since they agreed with great readiness to march with the rebels against the Romans; Himerius, however, they threatened with death, if he should not carry out their commands. And they commanded him to put into their hands by some device the city of Hadrumetum on the sea. And since he declared that he was willing, they went with him against Hadrumetum. And upon coming near the city, they sent Himerius a little in advance with some of the soldiers of Stotzas, dragging along, as it seemed, some Moors in chains, and they themselves followed behind. And they directed Himerius to say to those in command of the gates of the city that the emperor's army had won a decisive victory, and that John would come very soon, bringing an innumerable multitude of Moorish captives; and when in this manner the gates had been opened to them, he was to get inside the fortifications together with those who went with him. And he carried out these instructions. And the citizens of Hadrumetum, being deceived in this way (for they could not distrust the commander of all the troops in Byzacium), opened wide the gates and received the enemy. Then, indeed, those who had entered with Himerius drew their swords and would not allow the guards there to shut the gates again, but straightway received the whole army of the Moors into the city. And the barbarians, after plundering it and establishing there some few guards, departed. And of the Romans who had been captured some few escaped and came to Carthage, among whom were Severianus and Himerius. For it was not difficult for those who wished it to make their escape from Moors. And many also, not at all unwillingly, remained with Stotzas.
Not long after this one of the priests, Paulus by name, who had been appointed to take charge of the sick, in conferring with some of the nobles, said: "I myself shall journey to Carthage and I am hopeful that I shall return quickly with an army, and it will be your care to receive the emperor's forces into the city." So they attached some ropes to him and let him down by night from the fortifications, and he, coming to the sea-shore and happening upon a fishing-vessel which was thereabouts, won over the masters of this boat by great sums of money and sailed off to Carthage. And when he had landed there and come into the presence of Sergius, he told the whole story and asked him to give him a considerable army in order to recover Hadrumetum. And since this by no means pleased Sergius, inasmuch as the army in Carthage was not great, the priest begged him to give him some few soldiers, and receiving not more than eighty men, he formed the following plan. He collected a large number of boats and skiffs and embarked on them many sailors and Libyans also, clad in the garments which the Roman soldiers are accustomed to wear. And setting off with the whole fleet, he sailed at full speed straight for Hadrumetum. And when he had come close to it, he sent some men stealthily and declared to the notables of the city that Germanus, the emperor's nephew, had recently come to Carthage, and had sent a very considerable army to the citizens of Hadrumetum. And he bade them take courage at this and open for them one small gate that night. And they carried out his orders. Thus Paulus with his followers got inside the fortifications, and he slew all the enemy and recovered Hadrumetum for the emperor; and the rumour about Germanus, beginning there, went even to Carthage. And the Moors, as well as Stotzas and his followers, upon hearing this, at first became terrified and went off in flight to the extremities of Libya, but later, upon learning the truth, they counted it a terrible thing that they, after sparing all the citizens of Hadrumetum, had suffered such things at their hands. For this reason they made raids everywhere and wrought unholy deeds upon the Libyans, sparing no one whatever his age, and the land became at that time for the most part depopulated. For of the Libyans who had been left some fled into the cities and some to Sicily and the other islands. But almost all the notables came to Byzantium, among whom was Paulus also, who had recovered Hadrumetum for the emperor. And the Moors with still less fear, since no one came out against them, were plundering everything, and with them Stotzas, who was now powerful. For many Roman soldiers were following him, some who had come as deserters, and others who had been in the beginning captives but now remained with him of their own free will. And John, who was indeed a man of some reputation among the Moors, was remaining quiet because of the extreme hostility he had conceived against Sergius.
At this time the emperor sent to Libya, with some few soldiers, another general, Areobindus, a man of the senate and of good birth, but not at all skilled in matters of warfare. And he sent with him Athanasius, a prefect, who had come recently from Italy, and some few Armenians led by Artabanes and John, sons of John, of the line of the Arsacidae, who had recently left the Persian army and as deserters had come back to the Romans, together with the other Armenians. And with Areobindus was his sister and Prejecta, his wife, who was the daughter of Vigilantia, the sister of the Emperor Justinian. The emperor, however, did not recall Sergius, but commanded both him and Areobindus to be generals of Libya, dividing the country and the detachments of soldiers between them. And he enjoined upon Sergius to carry on the war against the barbarians in Numidia, and upon Areobindus to direct his operations constantly against the Moors in Byzacium. And when this expedition lauded at Carthage, Sergius departed forthwith for Numidia with his own army, and Areobindus, upon learning that Antalas and Stotzas were encamped near the city of Siccaveneria, which is three days' journey distant from Carthage, commanded John, the son of Sisiniolus, to go against them, choosing out whatever was best of the army; and he wrote to Sergius to unite with the forces of John, in order that they might all with one common force engage with the enemy. Now Sergius decided to pay no heed to the message and have nothing to do with this affair, and John with a small army was compelled to engage with an innumerable host of the enemy. And there had always been great enmity between him and Stotzas, and each one used to pray that he might become the slayer of the other before departing from the world. At that time, accordingly, as soon as the fighting was about to come to close quarters, both rode out from their armies and came against each other. And John drew his bow, and, as Stotzas was still advancing, made a successful shot and hit him in the right groin, and Stotzas, mortally wounded, fell there, not yet dead, but destined to survive this wound only a little time. And all came up immediately, both the Moorish army and those who followed Stotzas, and placing Stotzas with little life in him against a tree, they advanced upon their enemy with great fury; and since they were far superior in numbers, they routed John and all the Romans with no difficulty. Then, indeed, they say, John remarked that death had now a certain sweetness for him, since his prayer regarding Stotzas had reached fulfilment. And there was a steep place near by, where his horse stumbled and threw him off. And as he was trying to leap upon the horse again, the enemy caught and killed him, a man who had shown himself great both in reputation and in valour. And Stotzas learned this and then died, remarking only that now it was most sweet to die. In this battle John, the Armenian, brother of Artabanes, also died, after making a display of valorous deeds against the enemy. And the emperor, upon hearing this, was very deeply grieved because of the valour of John; and thinking it inexpedient for the two generals to administer the province, he immediately recalled Sergius and sent him to Italy with an army, and gave over the whole power of Libya to Areobindus.
And two months after Sergius had departed from there, Gontharis essayed to set up a tyranny in the following manner. He himself, as it happened, was commanding the troops in Numidia and spending his time there for that reason, but he was secretly treating with the Moors that they might march against Carthage. Forthwith, therefore, an army of the enemy, having been gathered into one place from Numidia and Byzacium, went with great zeal against Carthage. And the Numidians were commanded by Coutzinas and Iaudas, and the men of Byzacium by Antalas. And with him was also John, the tyrant, and his followers; for the mutineers, after the death of Stotzas, had set him up as ruler over themselves. And when Areobindus learned of their attack, he summoned to Carthage a number of the officers with their men, and among them Gontharis. And he was joined also by Artabanes and the Armenians. Areobindus, accordingly, bade Gontharis lead the whole army against the enemy. And Gontharis, though he had promised to serve him zealously in the war, proceeded to act as follows. One of his servants, a Moor by birth and a cook by trade, he commanded to go to the enemy's camp, and to make it appear to all others that he had run away from his master, but to tell Antalas secretly that Gontharis wished to share with him the rule of Libya. So the cook carried out these directions, and Antalas heard the word gladly, but made no further reply than to say that worthy enterprises are not properly brought to pass among men by cooks. When this was heard by Gontharis, he immediately sent to Antalas one of his body-guards, Ulitheus by name, whom he had found especially trustworthy in his service, inviting him to come as close as possible to Carthage. For, if this were done, he promised him to put Areobindus out of the way. So Ulitheus without the knowledge of the rest of the barbarians made an agreement with Antalas that he, Antalas, should rule Byzacium, having half the possessions of Areobindus and taking with him fifteen hundred Roman soldiers, while Gontharis should assume the dignity of king, holding the power over Carthage and the rest of Libya. And after settling these matters he returned to the Roman camp, which they had made entirely in front of the circuit-wall, distributing among themselves the guarding of each gate. And the barbarians not long afterwards proceeded straight for Carthage in great haste, and they made camp and remained in the place called Decimum. And departing from there on the following day, they were moving forward. But some of the Roman army encountered them, and engaging with them unexpectedly, slew a small number of the Moors. But these were straightway called back by Gontharis, who rebuked them for acting with reckless daring and for being willing to give the Romans foreknowledge of the danger into which they were thrown.
But in the meantime Areobindus sent to Coutzinas secretly and began to treat with him with regard to turning traitor. And Coutzinas promised him that, as soon as they should begin the action, he would turn against Antalas and the Moors of Byzacium. For the Moors keep faith neither with any other men nor with each other. This Areobindus reported to Gontharis. And he, wishing to frustrate the enterprise by having it postponed, advised Areobindus by no means to have faith in Coutzinas, unless he should receive from him his children as hostages. So Areobindus and Coutzinas, constantly sending secret messages to each other, were busying themselves with the plot against Antalas. And Gontharis sent Ulitheus once more and made known to Antalas what was being done. And he decided not to make any charges against Coutzinas nor did he allow him to know that he had discovered the plot, nor indeed did he disclose anything of what had been agreed upon by himself and Gontharis. But though enemies and hostile at heart to one another, they were arrayed together with treacherous intent, and each of them was marching with the other against his own particular friend. With such purposes Coutzinas and Antalas were leading the Moorish army against Carthage. And Gontharis was intending to kill Areobindus, but, in order to avoid the appearance of aiming at sole power, he wished to do this secretly in battle, in order that it might seem that the plot had been made by others against the general, and that he had been compelled by the Roman army to assume command over Libya. Accordingly he circumvented Areobindus by deceit, and persuaded him to go out against the enemy and engage with them, now that they had already come close to Carthage. He decided, therefore, that on the following day he would lead the whole army against the enemy at sunrise. But Areobindus, being very inexperienced in this matter and reluctant besides, kept holding back for no good reason. For while considering how he should put on his equipment of arms and armour, and making the other preparations for the sally, he wasted the greatest part of the day. He accordingly put off the engagement to the following day and remained quiet. But Gontharis, suspecting that he had hesitated purposely, as being aware of what was being done, decided openly to accomplish the murder of the general and make his attempt at the tyranny.
And on the succeeding day he proceeded to act as follows. Opening wide the gates where he himself kept guard, he placed huge rocks under them, that no one might be able easily to shut them, and he placed armoured men with bows in their hands about the parapet in great numbers, and he himself, having put on his breastplate, took his stand between the gates. And his purpose in doing this was not that he might receive the Moors into the city; for the Moors, being altogether fickle, are suspicious of all men. And it is not unnatural that they are so; for whoever is by nature treacherous toward his neighbours is himself unable to trust anyone at all, but he is compelled to be suspicious of all men, since he estimates the character of his neighbour by his own mind. For this reason, then, Gontharis did not hope that even the Moors would trust him and come inside the circuit-wall, but he made this move in order that Areobindus, falling into great fear, might straightway rush off in flight, and, abandoning Carthage as quickly as he could, might betake himself to Byzantium. And he would have been right in his expectation had not winter come on just then and frustrated his plan. [544-545 A.D.] And Areobindus, learning what was being done, summoned Athanasius and some of the notables. And Artabanes also came to him from the camp with two others and he urged Areobindus neither to lose heart nor to give way to the daring of Gontharis, but to go against him instantly with all his men and engage him in battle, before any further trouble arose. At first, then, Areobindus sent to Gontharis one of his friends, Phredas by name, and commanded him to test the other's purpose. And when Phredas returned and reported that Gontharis by no means denied his intention of seizing the supreme power, he purposed immediately to go against him arrayed for battle.
But in the meantime Gontharis slandered Areobindus to the soldiers, saying that he was a coward and not only possessed with fear of the enemy, but at the same time quite unwilling to give them, his soldiers, their pay, and that he was planning to run away with Anastasius and that they were about to sail very soon from Mandracium, in order that the soldiers, fighting both with hunger and with the Moors, might be destroyed; and he enquired whether it was their wish to arrest both and keep them under guard. For thus he hoped either that Areobindus, perceiving the tumult, would turn to flight, or that he would be captured by the soldiers and ruthlessly put to death. Moreover he promised that he himself would advance to the soldiers money of his own, as much as the government owed them. And they were approving his words and were possessed with great wrath against Areobindus, but while this was going on Areobindus together with Artabanes and his followers came there. And a battle took place on the parapet and below about the gate where Gontharis had taken his stand, and neither side was worsted. And all were about to gather from the camps, as many as were well disposed to the emperor, and capture the mutineers by force. For Gontharis had not as yet deceived all, but the majority remained still uncorrupted in mind. But Areobindus, seeing then for the first time the killing of men (for he had not yet, as it happened, become acquainted with this sight), was terror-stricken and, turning coward, fled, unable to endure what he saw.
Now there is a temple inside the fortifications of Carthage hard by the sea-shore, the abode of men who are very exact in their practice of religion, whom we have always been accustomed to call "monks"; this temple had been built by Solomon not long before, and he had surrounded it with a wall and rendered it a very strong fortress. And Areobindus, fleeing for refuge, rushed into the monastery, where he had already sent his wife and sister. Then Artabanes too ran away, and all the rest withdrew from Carthage as each one could. And Gontharis, having taken the city by assault, with the mutineers took possession of the palace, and was already guarding both the gates and the harbour most carefully. First, then, he summoned Athanasius, who came to him without delay, and by using much flattery Athanasius made it appear that what had been done pleased him exceedingly. And after this Gontharis sent the priest of the city and commanded Areobindus, after receiving pledges, to come to the palace, threatening that he would besiege him if he disobeyed and would not again give him pledges of safety, but would use every means to capture and put him to death. So the priest, Reparatus, stoutly declared to Areobindus that in accordance with the decision of Gontharis he would swear that no harm would come to him from Gontharis, telling also what he had threatened in case he did not obey. But Areobindus became afraid and agreed that he would follow the priest immediately, if the priest, after performing the rite of the sacred bath in the usual manner, should swear to him by that rite and then give him pledges for his safety. So the priest did according to this. And Areobindus without delay followed him, clad in a garment which was suitable neither for a general nor for any one else in military service, but altogether appropriate to a slave or one of private station; this garment the Romans call "casula" in the Latin tongue. And when they came near the palace, he took in his hands the holy scriptures from the priest, and so went before Gontharis. And falling prone he lay there a long time, holding out to him the suppliant olive-branch and the holy scriptures, and with him was the child which had been counted worthy of the sacred bath by which the priest had given him the pledge, as has been told. And when, with difficulty, Gontharis had raised him to his feet, he enquired of Gontharis in the name of all things holy whether his safety was secure. And Gontharis now bade him most positively to be of good cheer, for he would suffer no harm at his hands, but on the following day would be gone from Carthage with his wife and his possessions. Then he dismissed the priest Reparatus, and bade Areobindus and Athanasius dine with him in the palace. And during the dinner he honoured Areobindus, inviting him to take his place first on the couch; but after the dinner he did not let him go, but compelled him to sleep in a chamber alone; and he sent there Ulitheus with certain others to assail him. And while he was wailing and crying aloud again and again and speaking many entreating words to them to move them to pity, they slew him. Athanasius, however, they spared, passing him by, I suppose, on account of his advanced age.
And on the following day Gontharis sent the head of Areobindus to Antalas, but decided to deprive him of the money and of the soldiers. Antalas, therefore, was outraged, because he was not carrying out anything of what had been agreed with him, and at the same time, upon considering what Gontharis had sworn and what he had done to Areobindus, he was incensed. For it did not seem to him that one who had disregarded such oaths would ever be faithful either to him or to anyone else at all. So after considering the matter long with himself, he was desirous of submitting to the Emperor Justinian; for this reason, then, he marched back. And learning that Marcentius, who commanded the troops in Byzacium, had fled to one of the islands which lie off the coast, he sent to him, and telling him the whole story and giving pledges, persuaded him by kind words to come to him. And Marcentius remained with Antalas in the camp, while the soldiers who were on duty in Byzacium, being well disposed to the emperor, were guarding the city of Hadrumetum. But the soldiers of Stotzas, being not less than a thousand, perceiving what was being done, went in great haste, with John leading them, to Gontharis; and he gladly received them into the city. Now there were five hundred Romans and about eighty Huns, while all the rest were Vandals. And Artabanes, upon receiving pledges, went up to the palace with his Armenians, and promised to serve the tyrant according to his orders. But secretly he was purposing to destroy Gontharis, having previously communicated this purpose to Gregorius, his nephew, and to Artasires, his body-guard. And Gregorius, urging him on to the undertaking, spoke as follows:
"Artabanes, the opportunity is now at hand for you, and you alone, to win the glory of Belisarius--nay more, even to surpass that glory by far. For he came here, having received from the emperor a most formidable army and great sums of money, having officers accompanying him and advisers in great numbers, and a fleet of ships whose like we have never before heard tell of, and numerous cavalry, and arms, and everything else, to put it in a word, prepared for him in a manner worthy of the Roman empire. And thus equipped he won back Libya for the Romans with much toil. But all these achievements have so completely come to naught, that they are, at this moment, as if they had never been--except indeed, that there is at present left to the Romans from the victory of Belisarius the losses they have suffered in lives and in money, and, in addition, that they are no longer able even to guard the good things they won. But the winning back of all these things for the emperor now depends upon the courage and judgment and right hand of you alone. Therefore consider that you are of the house of the Arsacidae by ancient descent, and remember that it is seemly for men of noble birth to play the part of brave men always and in all places. Now many remarkable deeds have been performed by you in behalf of freedom. For when you were still young, you slew Acacius, the ruler of the Armenians, and Sittas, the general of the Romans, and as a result of this becoming known to the king Chosroes, you campaigned with him against the Romans. And since you have reached so great a station that it devolves upon you not to allow the Roman power to lie subject to a drunken dog, show at this time that it was by reason of noble birth and a valorous heart that at the former time, good sir, you performed those deeds; and I as well as Artasires here will assist you in everything, so far as we have the power, in accordance with your commands."
So spoke Gregorius; and he excited the mind of Artabanes still more against the tyrant. But Gontharis, bringing out the wife and the sister of Areobindus from the fortress, compelled them to remain at a certain house, showing them no insult by any word or deed whatsoever, nor did they have provisions in any less measure than they needed, nor were they compelled to say or to do anything except, indeed, that Prejecta was forced to write to her uncle that Gontharis was honouring them exceedingly and that he was altogether guiltless of the murder of her husband, and that the base deed had been done by Ulitheus, Gontharis by no means approving. And Gontharis was persuaded to do this by Pasiphilus, a man who had been foremost among the mutineers in Byzacium, and had assisted Gontharis very greatly in his effort to establish the tyranny. For Pasiphilus maintained that, if he should do this, the emperor would marry the young woman to him, and in view of his kinship with her would give also a, dowry of a large sum of money. And Gontharis commanded Artabanes to lead the army against Antalas and the Moors in Byzacium. For Coutzinas, having quarrelled with Antalas, had separated from him openly and allied himself with Gontharis; and he gave Gontharis his son and his mother as hostages. So the army, under the leadership of Artabanes, proceeded immediately against Antalas. And with Artabanes was John also, the commander of the mutineers of Stotzas, and Ulitheus, the body-guard of Gontharis; and there were Moors also following him, led by Coutzinas. And after passing by the city of Hadrumetum, they came upon their opponents somewhere near there, and making a camp a little apart from the enemy, they passed the night. And on the day after that John and Ulitheus, with a detachment of the army, remained there, while Artabanes and Coutzinas led their army against their opponents. And the Moors under Antalas did not withstand their attack and rushed off in flight. But Artabanes of a sudden wilfully played the coward, and turning his standard about marched off towards the rear. For this reason Ulitheus was purposing to kill him when he came into the camp. But Artabanes, by way of excusing himself, said he feared lest Marcentius, coming to assist the enemy from the city of Hadrumetum, where he then happened to be, would do his forces irreparable harm; but Gontharis, he said, ought to march against the enemy with the whole army. And at first he considered going to Hadrumetum with his followers and uniting with the emperor's forces. But after long deliberation it seemed to him better to put Gontharis out of the world and thus free both the emperor and Libya from a difficult situation. Returning, accordingly, to Carthage, he reported to the tyrant that he would need a larger army to meet the enemy. And Gontharis, after conferring with Pasiphilus, consented, indeed, to equip his whole army, but purposed to place a guard in Carthage, and in person to lead the army against the enemy. Each day, therefore, he was destroying many men toward whom he felt any suspicion, even though groundless. And he gave orders to Pasiphilus, whom he was intending to appoint in charge of the garrison of Carthage, to kill all the Greeks without any consideration.
And after arranging everything else in the very best way, as it seemed to him, Gontharis decided to entertain his friends at a banquet, with the intention of making his departure on the following day. And in a room where there were in readiness three couches which had been there from ancient times, he made the banquet. So he himself reclined, as was natural, upon the first couch, where were also Athanasius and Artabanes, and some of those known to Gontharis, and Peter, a Thracian by birth, who had previously been a body-guard of Solomon. And on both the other couches were the first and noblest of the Vandals. John, however, who commanded the mutineers of Stotzas; was entertained by Pasiphilus in his own house, and each of the other leaders wherever it suited the several friends of Gontharis to entertain them. Artabanes, accordingly, when he was bidden to this banquet, thinking that this occasion furnished him a suitable opportunity for the murder of the tyrant, was planning to carry out his purpose. He therefore disclosed the matter to Gregorius and to Artasires and three other body-guards, bidding the body-guards get inside the hall with their swords (for when commanders are entertained at a banquet it is customary for their body-guards to stand behind them), and after getting inside to make an attack suddenly, at whatever moment should seem to them most suitable; and Artasires was to strike the first blow. At the same time he directed Gregorius to pick out a large number of the most daring of the Armenians and bring them to the palace, carrying only their swords in their hands (for it is not lawful for the escort of officers in a city to be armed with anything else), and leaving these men in the vestibule, to come inside with the body-guards; and he was to tell the plan to no one of them, but to make only this explanation, that he was suspicious of Gontharis, fearing that he had called Artabanes to this banquet to do him harm, and therefore wished that they should stand beside the soldiers of Gontharis who had been stationed there on guard, and giving the appearance of indulging in some play, they were to take hold of the shields which these guards carried, and waving them about and otherwise moving them keep constantly turning them up and down; and if any tumult or shouting took place within, they were to take up these very shields and come to the rescue on the run. Such were the orders which Artabanes gave, and Gregorius proceeded to put them into execution. And Artasires devised the following plan: he cut some arrows into two parts and placed them on the wrist of his left arm, the sections reaching to his elbow. And after binding them very carefully with straps, he laid over them the sleeve of his tunic. And he did this in order that, if anyone should raise his sword over him and attempt to strike him, he might avoid the chance of suffering serious injury; for he had only to thrust his left arm in front of him, and the steel would break off as it crashed upon the wood, and thus his body could not be reached at any point.
With such purpose, then, Artasires did as I have said. And to Artabanes he spoke as follows: "As for me, I have hopes that I shall prove equal to the undertaking and shall not hesitate, and also that I shall touch the body of Gontharis with this sword; but as for what will follow, I am unable to say whether God in His anger against the tyrant will co-operate with me in this daring deed, or whether, avenging some sin of mine, He will stand against me there and be an obstacle in my way. If, therefore, you see that the tyrant is not wounded in a vital spot, do you kill me with my sword without the least hesitation, so that I may not be tortured by him into saying that it was by your will that I rushed into the undertaking, and thus not only perish myself most shamefully, but also be compelled against my will to destroy you as well." And after Artasires had spoken such words he too, together with Gregorius and one of the body-guards, entered the room where the couches were and took his stand behind Artabanes. And the rest, remaining by the guards, did as they had been commanded.
So Artasires, when the banquet had only just begun, was purposing to set to work, and he was already touching the hilt of his sword. But Gregorius prevented him by saying in the Armenian tongue that Gontharis was still wholly himself, not having as yet drunk any great quantity of wine. Then Artasires groaned and said: "My good fellow, how fine a heart I have for the deed, and now you have for the moment wrongfully hindered me!" And as the drinking went on, Gontharis, who by now was thoroughly saturated with wine, began to give portions of the food to the body-guards, yielding to a generous mood. And they, upon receiving these portions, went outside the building immediately and were about to eat them, leaving beside Gontharis only three body-guards, one of whom happened to be Ulitheus. And Artasires also started to go out in order to taste the morsels with the rest. But just then a kind of fear came over him lest, when he should wish to draw his sword, something might prevent him. Accordingly, as soon as he got outside, he secretly threw away the sheath of the sword, and taking it naked under his arm, hidden by his cloak, he rushed in to Gontharis, as if to say something without the knowledge of the others. And Artabanes, seeing this, was in a fever of excitement, and became exceedingly anxious by reason of the surpassing magnitude of the issue at stake; he began to move his head, the colour of his countenance changed repeatedly, and he seemed to have become altogether like one inspired, on account of the greatness of the undertaking. And Peter, upon seeing this, understood what was being done, but he did not disclose it to any of the others, because, being well disposed to the emperor, he was exceedingly pleased by what was going on. And Artasires, having come close to the tyrant, was pushed by one of the servants, and as he retreated a little to the rear, the servant observed that his sword was bared and cried out saying: "What is this, my excellent fellow?" And Gontharis, putting his hand to his right ear, and turning his face, looked at him. And Artasires struck him with his sword as he did so, and cut off a piece of his scalp together with his fingers. And Peter cried out and exhorted Artasires to kill the most unholy of all men. And Artabanes, seeing Gontharis leaping to his feet (for he reclined close to him), drew a two-edged dagger which hung by his thigh--a rather large one--and thrusting it into the tyrant's left side clean up to the hilt, left it there. And the tyrant none the less tried to leap up, but having received a mortal wound, he fell where he was. Ulitheus then brought his sword down upon Artasires as if to strike him over the head; but he held his left arm above his head, and thus profited by his own idea in the moment of greatest need. For since Ulitheus' sword had its edge turned when it struck the sections of arrows on his arm, he himself was unscathed, and he killed Ulitheus with no difficulty. And Peter and Artabanes, the one seizing the sword of Gontharis and the other that of Ulitheus who had fallen, killed on the spot those of the body-guards who remained. Thus there arose, as was natural, an exceedingly great tumult and confusion. And when this was perceived by those of the Armenians who were standing by the tyrant's guards, they immediately picked up the shields according to the plan which had been arranged with them, and went on the run to the banquet-room. And they slew all the Vandals and the friends of Gontharis, no one resisting.
Then Artabanes enjoined upon Athanasius to take charge of the money in the palace: for all that had been left by Areobindus was there. And when the guards learned of the death of Gontharis, straightway many arrayed themselves with the Armenians; for the most of them were of the household of Areobindus. With one accord, therefore, they proclaimed the Emperor Justinian triumphant. And the cry, coming forth from a multitude of men, and being, therefore, an exceedingly mighty sound, was strong enough to reach the greater part of the city. Wherefore those who were well-disposed to the emperor leaped into the houses of the mutineers and straightway killed them, some while enjoying sleep, others while taking food, and still others while they were awe-struck with fear and in terrible perplexity. And among these was Pasiphilus, but not John, for he with some of the Vandals fled to the sanctuary. To these Artabanes gave pledges, and making them rise from there, sent them to Byzantium, and having thus recovered the city for the emperor, he continued to guard it. And the murder of the tyrant took place on the thirty-sixth day of the tyranny, in the nineteenth year of the reign of the Emperor Justinian. [545-546 A.D.]
And Artabanes won great fame for himself from this deed among all men. And straightway Prejecta, the wife of Areobindus, rewarded him with great sums of money, and the emperor appointed him general of all Libya. But not long after this Artabanes entreated the emperor to summon him to Byzantium, and the emperor fulfilled his request. And having summoned Artabanes, he appointed John, the brother of Pappus, sole general of Libya. And this John, immediately upon arriving in Libya, had an engagement with Antalas and the Moors in Byzacium, and conquering them in battle, slew many; and he wrested from these barbarians all the standards of Solomon, and sent them to the emperor--standards which they had previously secured as plunder, when Solomon had been taken from the world. And the rest of the Moors he drove as far as possible from the Roman territory. But at a later time the Leuathae came again with a great army from the country about Tripolis to Byzacium, and united with the forces of Antalas. And when John went to meet this army, he was defeated in the engagement, and losing many of his men, fled to Laribus. And then indeed the enemy, overrunning the whole country there as far as Carthage, treated in a terrible manner those Libyans who fell in their way. But not long afterward John collected those of the soldiers who had survived, and drawing into alliance with him many Moors and especially those under Coutzinas, came to battle with the enemy and unexpectedly routed them. And the Romans, following them up as they fled in complete disorder, slew a great part of them, while the rest escaped to the confines of Libya. Thus it came to pass that those of the Libyans who survived, few as they were in number and exceedingly poor, at last and after great toil found some peace.
The _vexillum praetorium_ carried by the cavalry of the imperial guard, IV. x. 4 below; cf. Lat. _pannum_.
See III. xxiv. 1.
"Auxiliaries"; see Book III. xi. 3 and note.
Chap. i. 3.
Chap. i. 3.
Now Bona; it was the home and burial-place of St. Augustine.
The Eruli, or Heruli, were one of the wildest and most corrupt of the barbarian tribes. They came from beyond the Danube. On their origin, practices, and character, see VI. xiv.
The Greek implies that the Tuscan Sea was stormy, like the Adriatic. The Syrtes farther east had a bad reputation.
About twelve miles west of Algiers, originally Iol, now Cherchel; named after Augustus.
See III. i. 6 and note.
See III. i. 18.
Book III. ix. 9.
See III. x. 23
Lilybaeum had been ceded to the Vandals by Theoderic as dower of his sister Amalafrida on her marriage to Thrasamund, the African king (III. viii. 13).
"Friendship" and "hostility" refer to the present relations between Justinian and the Goths and what they may become.
The correspondence between Queen Amalasountha and Justinian is given in V. iii. 17.
In Latin _serica_, "silk," as coming from the Chinese (Seres).
Cf. Thucydides' description of the huts in which the Athenians lived during the great plague.
Pharas and the other Eruli.
Cf. ch. vi. 4.
"Auxiliaries"; see Book III. xi. 3.
_i.e._ there in Africa, as successor to the throne of the Vandal kings.
Book III. xxv. 2-4.
Examples of the Roman system have come to light in Egyptian papyri: cf. the declarations of personal property, [Greek: apographai], _Pap. Lond._, I., p. 79; _Flinders Petrie Pap._, III., p. 200, ed. Mahaffy and Smyly.
Since a triumph was granted only to an _imperator_, after the establishment of the principate by Augustus all triumphs were celebrated in the name of the emperor himself, the victorious general receiving only the _insignia triumphalia_. The first general to refuse a triumph was Agrippa, after his campaign in Spain, about 550 years before Belisarius' triumph in Constantinople.
The barriers (_carceres_), or starting-point for the racers, were at the open end of the hippodrome, the imperial box at the middle of the course at the right as one entered.
Cf. Book III. v. 3; that was in A.D. 455. The spoliation of Jerusalem by Titus had taken place in A.D. 70.
Ecclesiastes, i. 2.
Not an actual "triumph," but a triumphal celebration of his inauguration as consul.
The reference is to the old custom of distributing to the populace largesses (_congiaria_) of money or valuables on the occasion of events of interest to the imperial house, such as the emperor's assumption of the consular office, birthdays, etc. The first largess of this kind was made by Julius Caesar.
Cf. Book IV. ii. 1.
The Canaanites of the Old Testament.
_i.e._, Clypea, or Aspis, now Kalibia, on the Carthaginian coast.
_i.e._, from Tangier, opposite Cadiz, to Algiers. On Caesarea see IV. v. 5 and note.
"On the borders of Mauretania" according to Procopius, _De aedificiis_, vi. 6. 18.
Chap. x. 6.
Book III. viii. 25, 26.
The side toward the mountains; cf. § 20.
In the late Empire the _excubitores_, 300 in number, constituted the select guard of the palace. Their commander, _comes excubitorum_, held high rank at court; cf. VIII. xxi. 1, where we are told that Belisarius held this position, and _Arcana_ 6. 10, where Justin, afterwards emperor, is mentioned.
Cf. chap. viii. 14. Procopius has explained in III. xi. 6 that Solomon was a eunuch.
See III. viii. 5.
A _comes foedtratorum_, mentioned in III. xi. 6.
Book III. viii. 5.
_i.e._ Clypea. Not the place mentioned in IV. x. 24.
The region in the interior of Sardinia called Barbargia or Barbagia still preserves this name. But Procopius' explanation of the origin of the barbarian settlers there has not been generally accepted.
Book III. xviii. 7 ff.
IV. iv. 30 and note.
Baptism was administered only during the fifty days between Easter and Pentecost. Justinian had forbidden the baptism of Arians.
Cf. III. xi. 30.
Cf. chap. xiv. 8.
"Auxiliaries"; see Book III. xi. 3.
More correctly Gadiaufala, now Ksar-Sbehi.
Cirta, later named Constantina, now Constantine (Ksantina).
John the Cappadocian, cf. I. xxiv. 11 ff.
See Book III. xvii. 1 and note.
Called Mastinas in IV. xiii. 19.
Book IV. v. 5.
Cf. III. xxv. 4 ff.
Book III. x. 22 ff.
Book IV. xii. 30.
A reference to his slaughter of the eighty notables, IV. xxi. 7, where, however, nothing is said of an oath sworn on the Gospels.
Cf. Book II. iii. 32.
Cf. Book III. xvii. 11, xxi. 23.
The port of Carthage; see III. xx. 3.
A garment with a cowl, like the _cucullus_.
Cf. Book II. iii. 25.
Cf. Book II. iii. 15.
A contemptuous term for "subjects of the emperor."
See Book IV. xxi. 27.