Page images
PDF
EPUB

Now Tacitus in his Life of Agricola, attributes the Loss of this their so remarkable Valour, to the Loss of their Liberty. Gallos in bellis floruisse accepimus, mox segnities cum otio intravit, " amila Virtute pariter ac Libertate--.. And I hope the Reader will excuse me, if the Love of my Country makes me add that remarkable Testimony of the Valour of the Gauls; mentioned by Fustin, lib. 24. · ---- “ The Gauls “ (says he finding theirMultitudes to increase

so fast, that their Lands cou'd not afford " them fufficient Sustenance, sent out three

hundred thousand Souls to seek for new Habitacions. Part of these feated themselves

in Italy; who both took and burnt the City * of Rome. Another part penetrated as far as

the Shores of Dalmatia, destroying infinite Numbers of the Barbarians, and settled themselves at last in Pannonia. A hardy bold and warlike Nation; who ventured next after Hercules, (to whom the like Attempt gave a Reputation of extraordinary Valour, and a Title to Immortality ) to cross those almost

inacceslible Rocks of the Alps, and places “ scarce passable by reason of the Cold : “Where after having totally subdued the Pan

nonians they waged War with the bordering Provinces for many Years. ---- And afterwards ---- being encouraged by their Success, subdivided their Parties; when some took their way to Græcia, fome to Macedonia, destroying all before them with Fire and Sword. And so grear was the Terror of the Name of the Gauls, that several Kings (not in the least threatned by them)of their own accord, purchased their peace with large Sums of Money-m. And in the following Book, he

[ocr errors]

fay's

“ Says, ---- So great was the Fruitfulness of “ che Gauls at that time, that like a Swarm

they fill'd all Asia. So that none of the Ea

stern Kings either ventured to make War without a mercenary Army of Gauls, or filed “ for refuge to other than the Gauls, when they were driven out of their Kingdoms. And thus much may suffice concerning their warlike Praises and Fortitude, which (as Tacitus tells us) was quite gone, as soon as they lost their Liberty. Yet some Cities, or Commonwealths, (as Plinius , lib. 4. cap. 11. tells us ) were permitted to continue free, after the Romans had reduced Gallia to the Form of a Province. Such were the Nervii, Ulbanelles, Sueffiones and Leuci. Also some of the Confederates: and among those he reckons the Lingones, Rbemi, Carnutes and Adui.

But we may easily learn from these Words of Critognatus the Arvernian, mentioned by Cafar, lib. 7. what the Condition was of those Commonwealths, which had the Misfortune to be reduced into the form of a Province. “ If ( says he ) “ you are ignorant after what man“ ner far distant Nations are used by the Ro

mans, you have no more to do, but to look " at our neighbouring Gallia, now reduced in

to the form of a Province: Which having “ its Laws and Customs chang'd, and being -". subjected to the Power of the Axes, is op. c press'd with perpetual Slavery. .

We are to understand, there were three kinds of Servitude, or Slavery. First, To bave a Garison of Soldiers imposed upon them, to keep them in awe; yet such Provinces as seemed peaceable and quiet, had no great Armies maintained in them. For Josephus writes in

his ad Book of the Hift. of the Feros, “ That " in the Emperor Titus's time, the Romans had “ but 1200 Soldiers in Garison in all Gaul, al

tho' (says he) they had fought with the

Romans for their Liberty, almost 800 Years, " and had near as many Cities, as the Romans “ had Garison-Soldiers. A Second Sort of Servitude was, when any Province was made Tributary, and compelled to pay Taxes; and to that End were forced to endure a Number of Tax-gatherers, that is, Harpies and Leeches, which suck'd out the very Blood of the Provina cials. Eutropius tells us, in his 6th Book, That Cæfar, as soon as he had subdued Gaul, impos'd a Tax upon it, by the Name of a Tribute, which amounted to H. S. Quadringenties ; which is about a Million of our Crowns. A Third Sört of Servitude was, when the Provinces were not permitted to be govern'd by their own Laws; but had Magistrates and Judges, with full Power and Authority ( cum ima perio & fecuribus ) over Life and Estate, sent them by the People of Rome. This Threefold Slavery not only our Gallia, but all the other Provinces, took most bitterly to heart; and therefore in Tiberius's Reigo, not long after Cæsar's Conquest, Tacitus tells us, Thar the Cities of Gaul rebell'd, because of the Continuance of Taxes, the Extortions of Usurers, and Insolence of the Soldiery. And afterwards in Nero's Reign, Suetonius writes, “That the Gauls being weary of his Tyranny, revolved. “ The World (favs he ) having for near 13 “ Years, endured fuch a sort of Prince, ac last “ shook him off: The Gauls beginning the “Defection. Now all Gallia was divided by' the Romans i11to 16 Provinces, viz: Viennenfis,

Nara

nia primulus Secunda, Lug ace, as Antoninus

ut Ammia. lib. If je were boudy, a in

Narbonensis prima, Narbonensis secunda, Aquitania prima, Aquitania Secunda, Novempopulana , Alpes maritimą, Belgica prima, Belgica secunda, Germania prima, Germania secunda, Lugdunensis prima, Lugdunensis secunda, Lugdunenfis tertia, Maxima Sequanorum, d Alpes Græcæ, as Antoninus in his Itinerary, and Sextus Rufus, give an Account of them. But Ammianus Marcellinus treats of them more particularly, lib. 15...

But to return to what we were speaking of: 'Tis not to be imagined, how grievously, and with what Indignation, the Gauls bore the Infolencies and Plunderings of the Romans; nor how frequently they revolted upon that Account: and because they were not strong enough of themselves to shake off the Roman Tyranny, 'twas a common Custom with them, to hire German Auxiliaries. These were the first Beginnings of the Colonies of the Franks: For those Germans, whether they were beaten by the Romans, or (which is more likely) were bought off by them, began by little and little, to settle themselves in the Borders of Gallia. This gave occasion to Suetonius , in his Life of Augustus, to say, ----- “ He drove the Germans “ beyond the River Elb; but the Suevi and Si“ cambri (submitting themselves) he transplan“ ted into Gallia, where he assign'd them Lands “ near the River Rhine----. Also in his Life of Tiberius, ---- “ He brought (says he) forty “ thousand of those that had surrendred themCC selves in the German War, over into Gallia, “ and allotted them Settlements upon the “ Banks of the Rhine. ----- Neither must we omit what Flavius Vopiscus records, concerning the Reign of Probus the Emperor, in whose time almost all Gallia, that is, fixty Cities, re.

volted

volted from the Romans; and with common Consent, took up Arms for the Recovery of their Liberty: - " Having done these things “ (says he) he march'd with a vast Army into “ Gaul, which after Rofthumus's Death was all

in Commotion, and when Aurelianus was kill'd, was in a manner possessed by the

Germans; there he gain'd so many Victories, “ that he recover'd from the Barbarians fixty “ of the most noble Cities of Gallia: And “ whereas they had overspread all Gallia with

out Controul, he slew near four hundred thousand of those that had seated themselves within the Roman Territories and transplant

ed the Remainders of them beyond the Ri“ vers Neckar, and Elb.

But how cruel and inhuman the Domination of the Romans was in Gallia : How intolerable their Exactions were: What horrible and wicked Lives they led; and with how great Inveteracy and Bitterness they were hared upon that Account by the Gauls, (especially by the Christians ) may best be learn'd from the Works of Salvianus, Bishop of Marseilles, which treat of Providence: Therefore 'tis incredible to tell, whatMultitudes of Germans pour'd themselves intoGallia ; theGauls not only not hindring, but even favouring and calling them in. Lati.. nus Pacatus, in his Speech to Theodosius, has this Passage; “ From whence shou'd I begin is my Discourse, but from thy Mischiefs, o " Gallia! who miay'st justly challenge a Supe* riority in sufferings, above all the Nations of Co the Earth, that have been vexed with this 6 Plague? ---- Now 'tis most plain boch from Sidonius Apollinaris , and especially from the above-mentioned Salvianus, in many places of

« PreviousContinue »