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A. D. 695.
with the purple, cast an eye of pity on the pros- CHAP.
XLVIII. trate son of his own benefactor and of so many emperors. The life of Justinian was spared; the amputation of his nose, perhaps of his tongue, was imperfectly performed: the happy flexibility of the Greek language could impose the name of Rhinotmetus. and the mutilated tyrant was banished to Chersonæ in Crim-Tartary, a lonely settlement, where corn, wine, and oil, were imported as foreign luxuries.
On the edge of the Scythian wilderness, Jus- His exile, tinjan still cherished the pride of his birth and 705. the hope of his restoration. After three years exile, he received the pleasing intelligence that his injury was avenged by a second revolution, and that Leontius in his turn had been dethroned and mutilated by the rebel Apsimar, who assumed the more respectable name of Tiberius. But the claim of lineal succession was still forinidable to a plebeian usurper; and his jealousy was stimulated by the complaints and charges of the Chersonites, who beheld the vices of the tyrant in the spirit of the exilé. With a band of followers, attached to his person by common hope or common despair, Justinian fled from the inhospitable shore to the hord of the Chozars, who pitched their tents between the Tanais and Borysthenes. The khan entertained with pity and respect the royal suppliant: Phanagoria, once an opulent city, on the Asiatic side of the lake Mæotis, was assigned for his residence ; and every Roman prejudice was stifled in his marriage with the sister of the barbarian, who seems, however, from the name
CHAP. of Theodora, to have received the sacra
ment of baptism. But the faithless Chozar
may I perish this instant-may the Almighty “ whelm me in the waves—if I consent to spare “ a single head of my enemies !" He survived this impious menace, sailed into the mouth of the Danube, trusted his person in the royal village of the Bulgarians, and purchased the aid of Terbelis, a pagan conqueror, by the promise of his daughter and a fair partition of the treasures of the empire. The Bulgarian kingdom extended to the confines of Thrace; and the two princes besieged Constantinople at the head of fifteen thousand horse. Apsimar was dismayed by the sudden and hostile apparition of his rival, whose head had been promised by the Chozar, and of whose evasion he was yet ignorant. After an absence of ten years, the crimes of Justinian were faintly remembered, and the birth and misfortunes of their heredit
ary sovereign excited the pity of the multitude, CHAP. ever discontented with the ruling powers ; and by the active diligence of his adherents he was introduced into the city and palace of Constantine
In rewarding his allies and recalling his wife, His restorJustinian displayed some sense of honour and ation and gratitude; and Terbelis retired after sweeping A: D. 706 away an heap of gold coin, which he measured with his Scythian whip. But never was vow more religiously performed than the sacred oath of revenge which he had sworn amidst the storms of the Euxine. The two usurpers, for I must reserve the name of tyrant for the conqueror, were dragged into the hippodrome, the one from his prison, the other from his palace. Before their execution, Leontius, and Apsimar were cast prostrate in chains beneath the throne of the emperor; and Justinian, planting a foot on each of their necks, contemplated above an hour the chariot-race, while the inconstant people shouted, in the words of the Psalmist,-“ Thou shalt trample on the asp “ and basilisk, and on the lion and dragon “ shalt thou set thy foot!" The universal defection which he had once experienced might provoke him to repeat the wish of Caligula, that the Roman people had but one head. · Yet I shall presume to observe, that such a wish is unworthy of an ingenious tyrant, since his revenge and cruelty would have been extinguished by a single blow, instead of the slow variety of tortures which Justinian inflicted on the victims of his anger. His pleasures were inex
CHAP. haustible: neither private virtue nor public
service could expiate the guilt of active, or even passive obedience to an established government; and during the six years of his new reign, he considered the axe, the cord, and the rack, as the only instruments of royalty. But his most implacable hatred was pointed against the Chersonites, who had insulted his exile and violated the laws of hospitality. . Their remote situation afforded some means of defence, or at least of escape; and a grievous tax was imposed on Constantinople, to supply the preparations of a fleet and army.
“ All are guilty, “ and all must perish," was the mandate of Jus tinian; and the bloody execution was intrusted to his favourite Stephen, who was recommended by the epithet of the savage.
Yet even the savage Stephen imperfectly accomplished the intentions of his sovereign. The slowness of his attack allowed the greater part of the inhabitants to withdraw into the country; and the minister of vengeance contented himself with reducing the youth of both sexes to a state of servitude, with roasting alive seven of the principal citizens, with drowning twenty in the sea, and with reserving forty-two in chains to receive their doom from the inouth of the emperor. In their return, the fleet was driven on the rocky shores of Anatolia ; and Justinian applauded the obedience of the Euxine, which had involved so many thousands of his subjects and enemies in a common shipwreck: but the tyrant was still insatiate of blood; and a second expedition was com
manded to extirpate the remains of the pro- CHAP: scribed colony. In the short interval, the Chersonites had returned to their city, and were prepared to die in arms; the khan of the Chozars had renounced the cause of his odious brother; the exiles of every province were assembled in Tauris ; and Bandanes, under the name of Philippicus, was invested with the purple. The imperial troops, unwilling and unable to perpetuate the revenge of Justinian, escaped his displeasure by abjuring his allegiance; the fleet, under their new sovereign, steered back a more auspicious course to the harbours of Sinope and Constantinople; and every tongue was prompt to pronounce, every hand to execute, the death of the tyrant. Destitute of friends, he was deserted by his barbarian guards; and the stroke of the assassin was praised as an act of patriotism and Roman virtue. His son Tiberius had taken refuge in a church; his aged grandmother guarded the door; and the innocent youth, suspending round his neck the most formidable relics, embraced with one hand the altar, with the other the wood of the true cross. But the popular fury that dares to trample on superstition, is deaf to the cries of humanity; and the race of Heraclius was extinguished after a reign of one hundred years. Between the fall of the Heraclian and the rise
Philippiof the Isaurian dynasty,a short interval of six years cus,
A. D. 711, is divided into three reigns. Bardanes, or Philip- Decem. picus, was hailed at Constantinople as an hero ber. who had delivered his country from a tyrant; and