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Translated by Charles Gaius Mierow
Chapter 60: War of East Romans against Ostrogoths.[527-65 AD]
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(307) When Justinian, the Emperor of the East, heard this, he was aroused as if he had suffered personal injury in the death of his wards. Now at that time he had won a triumph over the Vandals in Africa, through his most faithful patrician Belisarius. Without delay he sent his army under this leader against the Goths at the very time when his arms were yet dripping with the blood of the Vandals.|
(308) This sagacious general believed he could not overcome the Gothic nation, unless he should first seize Sicily, their nursing-mother. Accordingly he did so. As soon as he entered Trinacria, the Goths, who were besieging the town of Syracuse, found that they were not succeeding and surrendered of their own accord to Belisarius, with their leader Sinderith. When the Roman general reached Sicily, Theodahad sought out Evermud, his son-in-law, and sent him with an army to guard the strait which lies between Campania and Sicily and sweeps from a bend of the Tyrrhenian Sea into the vast tide of the Adriatic Sea.
(309) When Evermud arrived, he pitched his camp by the town of Rhegium. He soon saw that his side was the weaker. Coming over with a few close and faithful followers to the side of the victor and willingly casting himself at the feet of Belisarius, he decided to serve the rulers of the Roman empire. When the army of the Goths perceived this, they distrusted Theodahad and clamored for his expulsion from the kingdom and for the appointment as king of their leader Vitiges, who had been his armor bearer.
(310) This was done; and presently Vitiges was raised to the office of king on the Barbarian Plains. He entered Rome and sent on to Ravenna the men most faithful to him to demand the death of Theodahad. They came and executed his command. After king Theodahad was slain, a messenger came from the king -- for he was already king in the Barbarian Plains -- to proclaim Vitiges to the people.
(311) Meanwhile the Roman army crossed the strait and marched toward Campania. They took Naples and pressed on to Rome. Now a few days before they arrived, king Vitiges had set forth from Rome, arrived at Ravenna and married Mathesuentha, the daughter of Amalasuentha and grand-daughter of Theodoric, the former king. While he was celebrating his new marriage and holding court at Ravenna, the imperial army advanced from Rome and attacked the strongholds in both parts of Tuscany. When Vitiges learned of this through messengers, he sent a force under Hunila, a leader of the Goths, to Perusia which was beleaguered by them.
(312) While they were endeavoring by a long siege to dislodge count Magnus, who was holding the place with a small force, the Roman army came upon them, and they themselves were driven away and utterly exterminated. When Vitiges heard the news, he raged like a lion and assembled all the host of the Goths. He advanced from Ravenna and harassed the walls of Rome with a long siege. But after fourteen months his courage was broken and he raised the siege of the city of Rome and prepared to overwhelm Ariminum.
(313) Here he was baffled in like manner and put to flight; and so he retreated to Ravenna. When besieged there, he quickly and willingly surrendered himself to the victorious side, together with his wife Mathesuentha and the royal treasure. And thus a famous kingdom and most valiant race, which had long held sway, was at last overcome in almost its two thousand and thirtieth year by that conquerer of many nations, the Emperor Justinian, through his most faithful consul Belisarius. He gave Vitiges the title of patrician and took him to Constantinople, where he dwelt for more than two years, bound by ties of affection to the Emperor, and then departed this life.
(314) But his consort Mathesuentha was bestowed by the Emperor upon the patrician Germanus, his cousin. And of them was born a son (also called Germanus) after the death of his father Germanus. This union of the race of the Anicii with the stock of the Amali gives hopeful promise, under the Lord's favor, to both peoples.
Event: East Romans vs Ostrogoths
Triumph:The highest honour to a general: clad like Jupiter he drove in a chariot drawn by four white horses. Before him walked the prisoners taken in the war, and the spoils of the captured cities, and in later times pictures of the conquered territories were carried before the general's chariot. He was followed by his troops, who sung songs, often extempore effusions, in honour of their commander.